[Marxism] Immigration debate prompts death threats and hate crimes

Steven L. Robinson srobin21 at comcast.net
Tue Apr 25 23:19:26 MDT 2006


Schwarzenegger says immigration debate has prompted threats

Juliet Williams Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - Prominent Hispanic elected officials, including the mayor of
Los Angeles and California's lieutenant governor, have received threats in
the midst of a heated national debate over immigration policy, Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger said.

Schwarzenegger told reporters Monday about the threats against Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, both Democrats, during a news
conference in his office Monday.

"There's something very important that I need to speak to my fellow
Californians about," he said. "It has come to my attention that our
Lieutenant Gov. Bustamante and our Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and other
elected officials of Mexican heritage have received disturbing and hateful
death threats."

Schwarzenegger said he also was disturbed to learn that vandals had torched
and spray-painted ethnic insults on a Mexican-owned restaurant in San Diego
County earlier this month.

Sheriff's officials ruled the April 10 attack a hate crime.

"That is not what California stands for," Schwarzenegger said. "I've asked
the district attorneys throughout our state to be vigilant and swift in
their actions against those who practice hate against our fellow citizens."

Bustamante spokesman Steve Green said the lieutenant governor appeared at
some immigration rallies with Villaraigosa at the end of March and received
"nasty e-mails" afterward. The threat came about three weeks ago on a blank
postcard, he said.

"We got one postcard from Pasadena that said words to the effect, 'All you
dirty Mexicans should go back to Mexico. The only good Mexican is a dead
Mexican,'" Green said.

He said the threat was forwarded to the California Highway Patrol.

"The CHP investigates threats made against public officials, but we don't
discuss the details of those threats," spokeswoman Fran Clader said.

A spokeswoman for Villaraigosa said she didn't know whether the mayor had
received any threats because of his position on the immigration debate.

"With any elected official, you get threats from unstable people. I'm not
aware of any threats directly related to his position on immigration,"
spokeswoman Janelle Erickson said.

Villaraigosa told the Spanish newspaper La Opinion he wasn't concerned about
the threats.

"The important thing is that I have a responsibility to represent everybody
in Los Angeles, including immigrants, and I am not going to abandon that
responsibility because of the extremists who are making threats," the mayor
said in the paper's April 14 edition.

A Los Angeles police spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.

The governor made the comments Monday before signing an executive order
creating a new administration position of crime-victims' advocate.

He "felt compelled to express his disappointment in this sort of activity
and the zero-tolerance the state has for that kind of crime," said Adam
Mendelsohn, the governor's communications director.

The fire at a restaurant in the eastern San Diego County town of Jamul
occurred April 10, the day after an estimated 50,000 people marched during a
pro-immigration rally in downtown San Diego, but sheriff's officials didn't
cite a connection.

Obscenities were spray-painted in red on the front door, on a poster
advertising NASCAR events and on the side wall of Mariachi's Mexican Bar and
Grill, sheriff's officials said. Investigators determined that gasoline or
another accelerant was used to set the fire, which caused about $10,000
damage.

A representative of the sheriff's bomb-arson squad could not be reached
Monday, and an FBI spokesman did not return a telephone message from The
Associated Press.

Schwarzenegger has said he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, but also
called a massive deportation of the estimated 11 million foreigners living
illegally in the United States unrealistic. President Bush gave the same
message Monday, the final day of a four-day visit to California.

In Irvine, Bush spoke in support of a stalled Senate bill that includes
provisions that would allow for eventual citizenship to some of the illegal
immigrants already here. Some conservatives say that would amount to
amnesty.

A divided Congress was expected to resume the immigration debate after
returning Monday from a two-week recess.

On Sunday, Schwarzenegger gave his most detailed comments to date on a
proposal to build a 700-mile wall along the border with Mexico to deter
illegal immigration, which was included in legislation enacted in the U.S.
House of Representatives.

During an interview on ABC's "This Week," the Republican governor said the
wall would amount to "going back to the Stone ages." He also urged the
federal government to use high-tech gear and more patrols to secure the
nation's southern boundary.

Schwarzenegger has said previously that fences might be appropriate in some
areas, but raised doubts about the effectiveness of a wall snaking along the
border.

---

Associated Press writers Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles and Seth Hettena in San
Diego contributed to this report.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/14419289.htm

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