Immigration Issues Have Settled In North Texas
by Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter
IRVING, TX (2007-10-11) Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter:
Accusations of bigotry and racial profiling are fueling fears among Irving’s immigrant population. Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla initially liked the city’s Criminal Alien Program, figuring it would deport dangerous, hardened criminals. With numbers showing most of those jailed were arrested for misdemeanors before they were deported as illegal immigrants, Quintanilla has changed his mind, and plans a protest in Irving this weekend.
Carlos Quintanilla, Hispanic activist: What was intended to be a good program has failed miserably. Because there’s no distinction of what is a criminal alien and whether traffic citations constitute devious criminal behavior.
It’s odd to me that he decides to use Asians in this statement when it’s no secret that Hispanics are the targets of these raids.
Herbert Gears, Irving Mayor: We’re in no way like Farmers Branch. We have more Asians in Irving than Farmers Branch has people.
In his crass way he at least understands that certain words are deemed hateful.
don’t refer to people as illegals. Might as well call them wetbacks. Why don’t we do that? Because those words are no longer acceptable. One day in the future we’ll look back and see the word illegal in the same way.
The mayor obviously understands the fear this type of program brings to the Hispanic community which is why he decided to speak about it to selected students attending Nimitz high school.
Zeeble: Gears likes the program he heard was used in Arizona. He added the program helps Immigration officials, and expects they those officials in turn, would help Irving. But concerns have spread to Irving’s Mexican American parents, and their children in public schools. The other day, Mayor Gears told members of the Nimitz high school Latin club about the policy, where he said NO students would ever be deported…