Dog Attack on Illegal Immigrant Ignites Immigration Debate In N.J. Town
Many Protest a Judge’s Ruling That the Dog Be Put Down
Dec. 1, 2007An 85-pound German shepherd has become the unlikely face of the immigration debate in upscale Princeton, N.J., after a judge ordered the dog to be put down for attacking an illegal immigrant last summer.Thousands of people have flooded the Internet and even petitioned the governor to ask that Congo be spared for his attack on Honduran landscaper Giovanni Rivera, who was injured seriously in June and later awarded $250,000 in insurance money.
Though the basics of this story are easy – man is attacked by dog for going into a family’s yard after being told to wait – there seems to be a lot of missing information. There also seems to be some disturbing name calling by people that is very similar to what is seen at anti-illegal immigrant, or nativist, protests.
“Too bad Congo doesn’t work on the border patrol,” one resident wrote online. “Maybe there would be less illegals entering our country.”
Another poster called Rivera “illegal scum.”
The first statement assumes that Congo sniffs out undocumented workers and attacks them when he really seemed to be simply protecting his family. The last statement is just a terrible derogatory insult that has no basis in this argument. What’s strange is there aren’t any quotes where people question where the family hired these workers from. As they were undocumented wouldn’t it have to be true that this family is breaking the law by hiring undocumented workers? Did the father know they were undocumented?
The legality of the workers really has no place in this argument. The only thing that needs to be determined to save Congo’s life is whether or not the men were warned not to come in the yard and whether or not the men were actually attacking Congo. Bringing the men’s status as citizens into this argument does nothing to help Congo and only serves to take away from the real issue here – a dog is going to die for protecting its owners. Those that hate undocumented workers will not be doing Congo any favors by calling them “illegal scum”.
This shouldn’t be turned into a rally cry for the nativist groups; it needs to remain an effort to save a dog that was protecting it’s family – and that’s it.