Saturday, September 29, 2007

Update on Irving racism

Okay, it's not actually an update on whether Irving is racist or not, I just put that up there because it's bound to annoy some of those same people who've set themselves up as champions of America and all things American.

I have heard first-hand some of the rumors going around Irving's Hispanic community about the supposed discriminatory enforcement. I say supposed because as yet there is no direct evidence of it, all the skyrocketing number of deportations is circumstantial evidence that cops are being discriminatory. However that may be, Hispanics in the community, both legal and illegal, have become highly fearful of the police. Reflecting that, there are rumors and stories going around about some of the supposed incidents that have ocurred.

The general fear is that police are staking out areas where they know there are likely to be more Hispanic people. Some people expressed fear of going to the ESL classes at the Irving Public Library's East Branch because they thought INS (actually Immigration and Customs Enforcement) would have people waiting there to pick them up. Obviously there's some confusion and a conflation between what local police are doing and Federal enforcement.

To make it perfectly clear, the process whereby illegals are deported from Irving is that first they have to be arrested on some legitimate basis other than "suspicion of being illegal". For one, random search and seizure is still illegal in this country, despite 7 years of Bush rule. For two, local municipalities do not have the authority to enforce federal law. The courts have been clear on that. So they pick someone up on speeding, expired inspection, public drunkenness, etc. Then that person is taken to jail, where Irving PD jailkeepers call a number ICE has set up for the purpose of determining whether a prisoner is illegal or not. Then ICE does the research, and if that is an illegal they tell IPD and come pick them up for deportation.

The area of contention all along has been whether or not IPD is now focusing on Hispanics and whether they're taking Hispanics in for things that they wouldn't be if they were white.

Anyway, another rumor has been that ICE has been staking out the local clubs 2001 and 2009 (which aren't in Irving but close by in Dallas). These are huge clubs where tons of Hispanics go every Friday and Saturday night.

I've heard (although I haven't witnessed) that Hispanics are avoiding the Wal-Mart on 183 in Irving because they're afraid of going there. Two witnesses have informed me that this Wal-Mart has been practically empty for a couple of days.

Another story is that people who were grilling in front of their apartments have been rounded up for some completely fictitious or entirely innocuous charge (such as drinking in public, as if nobody ever hangs around outside their apartment drinking beer).

And this last rumor actually involves in Irving council member. Supposedly Beth Van Duyne was talking about putting up cameras at all intersections that would scan all plates and if the car was unregistered a warrant would be put out for it. I don't even know how that's supposed to work.

I don't think there's much substance to any of these rumors, as they are conflicting, confusing, and just don't make any sense. The point is that the Hispanics of Irving are very fearful right now, and are angry that their own city won't deign to give them straight answers as to what this extra enforcement against illegals is all about.

1 comment:

adam said...

True or not, this is good local reporting.