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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287101,00.html

Pretty effective. Looks like someone is trying to enforce the law.

Panama City Sherriff Cracks Down on Illegal Immigrants
Thursday, June 28, 2007

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. â€" The sheriff's department has developed a remarkably effective â€" and controversial â€" way of catching illegal immigrants: Deputies in patrol cars pull up to a construction site in force, and watch and see who runs.

Those who take off are chased down and arrested on charges such as trespassing, for cutting through someone else's property, or loitering, for hiding out in someone's yard, or reckless driving, for speeding off in a car.

U.S. immigration authorities are then given the names of those believed to be in this country illegally.

"It's not wrong for them to run, but it's not wrong for us to chase them either," said Sheriff Frank McKeithen, who created his Illegal Alien Task Force in April to target construction sites in this Florida Panhandle county.

Immigrant advocates say the technique is repugnant, and the ACLU says its constitutionality is questionable.

Illegal immigrants are leaving town. And builders are worried the crackdown will deprive them of the labor they need to take part in a building boom in which Panama City's Beach cheap spring-break motels are being torn down and replaced with high-rise condos.

The sheriff said the raids are justified under a long-standing Florida law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

His department has conducted dozens of these raids over the past three months, sometimes using five or six patrol cars, and has reported more than 500 people to immigration officials since November.

The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is investigating the arrests because "the intimidation factor is of great concern," said Elise Shore, regional counsel for the organization.

Benjamin Stevenson, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, said he finds the tactic troubling.

"Why are they sending out six or seven agents to investigate a paper crime, and are they causing them to run in the first place through intimidation?" he asked.

As the debate over illegal immigration plays out in Washington, McKeithen is among a growing number of state and local officials taking it upon themselves to enforce immigration laws that up to now were regarded as a federal responsibility.

For example, Farmers Branch, Texas, is trying to prohibit apartment rentals to illegal immigrants in the Dallas suburb. Georgia passed a law requiring employers to verify the immigration status of all new employees.

Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Miami, would not comment on the sheriff's tactics.

McKeithen has asked Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for a legal opinion on his tactics. A spokeswoman for McCollum said the office is researching the request.

McKeithen is already under fire from civil rights groups over the videotaped 2006 death of a 14-year-old boy who was roughed up by guards at a juvenile boot camp operated by the sheriff's department. Eight former employees are facing manslaughter charges.

The sheriff said that more recently, his officers have been making fewer arrests of workers who flee, and are concentrating more on asking employers for the paperwork on their employees. Sheriff's deputies then arrest workers whose documents are found to be fraudulent.

Mexican illegal immigrant Jose Madrid, 28, said he has been unable to find a construction job over the past six weeks because of the crackdown, and hasn't been able to send money to his parents and his 7-year-old son back home.

"We immigrants, we are leaving Panama City. People are afraid they will be deported," he said. "The companies don't want to hire illegal people. Now they're only hiring those with papers."

Developer Louis Breland is finishing the first phase of a $750 million beach condo project.

"Subcontractors could not function without immigrant laborers for painting, rebar and steel work. They are the best workers," he said. "Without them, the cost of construction would be 10 times as much and nothing would get built."
 

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Lots of different thoughts here.
Foremost is WTF are some of those people thinking?!! (retorical, they're lefties so they aren't really thinking in any logical manner...)

Immigrant advocates say the technique is repugnant
Why? These aren't immigrants. They are ILLEGAL immigrants. The legal guys are sitting on the construction site watching their illegal buddies do the 100 yard dash and laughing at em. At least I would be. Of course I'd have already called the cops on their arse if I knew they were illegal.

Illegal immigrants are leaving town.
=D> :cheers:

And builders are worried the crackdown will deprive them of the labor they need
:-({|=
Well if you weren't breaking the law & helping others to do the same then this wouldn't be a problem now would it.

His department has conducted dozens of these raids over the past three months, sometimes using five or six patrol cars, and has reported more than 500 people to immigration officials since November.
:righton:

The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is investigating the arrests because "the intimidation factor is of great concern,"
What intimidation? I bet the legal immigrants aren't intimidated at all. I bet they just sit by & enjoy the extra 30 minute break.

Benjamin Stevenson, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, said he finds the tactic troubling.
I find it affective, refreshing & innovative.

I think Ms Shore and Mr Stevenson should take a look at the name of the company on their paycheck.
Mexican American Legal Defense Fund
American Civil Liberties Union
These people are not Americans, they are not trying to become Americans and they are not doing anything except harming Americans. These two groups should be working to get these illegals out of the country. They should be helping the sheriff. :evil:

Mexican illegal immigrant Jose Madrid, 28, said he has been unable to find a construction job over the past six weeks because of the crackdown, and hasn't been able to send money to his parents and his 7-year-old son back home.
:shock:
:x
:evil:
Well tough shyte Jose. You are breaking OUR laws. Go the h#ll back to Mexico so you can be with you parents & your child and either go through the proper channels to work in America legally or work to fix your own damn country.

"We immigrants, we are leaving Panama City. People are afraid they will be deported," he said. "The companies don't want to hire illegal people. Now they're only hiring those with papers."
\:D/

Developer Louis Breland is finishing the first phase of a $750 million beach condo project.

"Subcontractors could not function without immigrant laborers for painting, rebar and steel work. They are the best workers," he said. "Without them, the cost of construction would be 10 times as much and nothing would get built."
Say what you mean Louis.
Here, I'll correct your statement for you:
...ILLEGAL immigrant laborers... They are the cheapest workers...
Awww, I'm soooo sorry your slave labor is being forced out of town. What a shame. Guess everyone will just have to pay a bit more to get the work done, won't they? Shouldn't affect you too bad because you will just pass the cost on to your client. If we get rid of all of that slave labor so that your competitors also have to use legal immigrates for work then everyone's costs will be similar and you won't be losing out. Stop complaining & start helping get rid of the illegals & then everything will be back on par and all the expense here will go back to the customers not you.
 

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I tell ya what, America has some amazing Sheriffs. Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, and now, Florida. What a great damned country! I wish I could cast votes for these guys.

I often wonder why the Socialists aren't screaming about the "victimization" of these illegals by the employers.

ETA:
Tinkerhell said:
These aren't immigrants. They are ILLEGAL immigrants.
I think you're half-right. They are illegal aliens.

Isn't an immigrant a person who moves with the intent of obtaining nationality? Concerning those from Mexico specifically, it has been my experience that criminal aliens' first loyalty is to Mexico, and their second is to the dollar... or maybe the other way around :p
 

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From the other Camp

I have to hand it to the Cops on this one, it sounds like an innovative and effective method.

:rant: I'm getting really tired of people fussing about aliens, legal or illegal. These folks are here WORKING trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Good for them. As to the ones that are here without the proper papers, I don't think that makes them bad people or genuine criminals any more that I think any of you are contemptible bandits if you ILLEGALLY walk into your local Sonny's with a pistol buried under your jacket or left in your glove box. I believe that the LAW is wrong, not the people that live in defiance of it. :rant:
 

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The problem I have with the illegals is that they come here and their kids go to school for free and have free health care while we can't even provide for our own. When homelessness is no longer an issue and every American citizen can have decent affordable health care, then we can look at helping the rest of the world with their problems.
 

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+1
I don't have any problem with anyone wanting to better themselves. That's a huge part of what this country is founded upon. BUT as noted above, these aren't situations where you have a single person coming into the country assimilating making money trying to better themselves. A large portion of these folks are coming in, bringing relatives & children with them, taking adavantage of our stupid social support system, bringing violence drugs & gang activity and in the very short but ultimate end taking money from me. They are indirectly hurting ME and YOU and every other legal citizen that pays taxes and supports the community.

THAT is what I have a problem with & why I say deport every single person that is not here legally. I don't care how but seal the border & then start purging the country of those that are not here legally.
 

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wsweeks2 said:
The problem I have with the illegals is that they come here and their kids go to school for free and have free health care while we can't even provide for our own. When homelessness is no longer an issue and every American citizen can have decent affordable health care, then we can look at helping the rest of the world with their problems.
How is it that the illegals "have free health care" but not "every American citizen can have decent affordable health care" ?

It's really not that hard to make a good life here. If a poor, uneducated, non-english speaker can get by working in some crappy job for petty cash, there's no good reason a native born American bum cannot do the same. I'm not an advocate of "helping the rest of the world with their problems" but I see noting wrong with letting them come here and working to help themselves.
 

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Sine Nomen said:
How is it that the illegals "have free health care" but not "every American citizen can have decent affordable health care" ?
It's quite simple.

Go to your local Emergency Room.

Give false demographic information to the admissions clerk. Most people find that giving the address for a local church, civic figure, or the police station works.

Receive free emergency care under EMTALA. Never see a bill.

of course, if your local hospital is like us, they have a list of commonly used "fake" addresses posted and will know to attempt to get your real address.

I'm not advocating committing insurance fraud, but it's how a great deal of the indigent community gets free healthcare. The hospitals don't lose much money, because they can just increase the prices for "luxury" procedures like colonoscopy, cholecystectomy, cataract removal, lithotripsy, and the like, most of which are only undertaken by those with health insurance. And if they lose too much money they just apply for an "emergency" grant from the Center for Medicare Services.

If you pay for healthcare, or have health insurance, you're already providing "free" healthcare for the indigent.
 

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I agree.
Just do it legally.
Why is that so hard or so wrong to ask of everyone?
Get in the system. Pay taxes, pay SS. Learn the language. Learn a little bit about America and American history. Try to ASSIMILATE. Try to make America better at the same time you are making yourself better.

America should not be trying to take care of everyone. Right now 12-20 million people get paid a wage that is crappy here, but you can live like a refugee (and still be better off than you were in your country) and ship that money back home to another country and it's great cash for your family there ((and the economy there)) and in the mean time they can get a bogus SS #, go to the hospitals and get foodstamps, commit crimes, fill our jails, and in general weaken our country.

It is a parasitic existence. Yes we have out own natural born citizens that are the exact same, or worse because they just don't want to work. Believe me I would have zero problem setting up an exchange program.

Lets exchange our natural born citizens that have been having 6 babies and living on welfare for 10 years & refuse to hold down a job & have drinking/drug/criminal history problems and ship them to Mexico and in return we give citizenship to one illegal alien family that has been busting arse working for a sub-contractor or lawn service or whatever for the last 5 years and wants to make themselves better & pay taxes & do things by the book.

You know when it really comes down to it I do not blame the illegals for doing it. They have a crappy country with a horrible economy & no prospects. They can come here work hard, make good money & even living poorly here is far better than living averagely in Mexico. Who could blame them. Hell, I'd want to do it. The ones I blame are the politicians and the judges and law enforcement that don't enforce the laws we have. And they've done that for sooo long now that it have created a huge mess. Heck ship them off too....
 

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Tinkerhell said:
Lets exchange our natural born citizens that have been having 6 babies and living on welfare for 10 years & refuse to hold down a job & have drinking/drug/criminal history problems and ship them to Mexico and in return we give citizenship to one illegal alien family that has been busting arse working for a sub-contractor or lawn service or whatever for the last 5 years and wants to make themselves better & pay taxes & do things by the book.
+1,000,000
 

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Tinkerhell said:
The ones I blame are the politicians and the judges and law enforcement that don't enforce the laws we have. And they've done that for sooo long now that it have created a huge mess. Heck ship them off too....
Is the real problem lack of enforcement of current laws or the actual enforcement of those laws that makes it unnecessarily difficult and expensive to immigrate the legal way?
 

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Sine Nomen said:
Is the real problem lack of enforcement of current laws...?
Just look at enforcement of the reasonable gun laws we have on the books and there is your answer.
 

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If they have nothing to hide, why are they running? :-k
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Georgia passed a law requiring employers to verify the immigration status of all new employees.
:roll:
Isn't that what we have Form I-9 for?
 

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I surprised no one said the joke... "anyone who runs is a VC. anyone who doesn't run is a well disciplined VC!"
 

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Sine Nomen said:
Is the real problem lack of enforcement of current laws or the actual enforcement of those laws that makes it unnecessarily difficult and expensive to immigrate the legal way?
Well, speaking from experience...doing it the legal way is a big time PITA.

My wife is from Russia and it has been nothing but a huge headache for us to do it the "right" and legal way. And, we're still not done. :evil:

Anyhue....
 

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asbrand said:
Sine Nomen said:
Is the real problem lack of enforcement of current laws or the actual enforcement of those laws that makes it unnecessarily difficult and expensive to immigrate the legal way?
Well, speaking from experience...doing it the legal way is a big time PITA.

My wife is from Russia and it has been nothing but a huge headache for us to do it the "right" and legal way. And, we're still not done. :evil:

Anyhue....
How long has it been since you started the whole process? Just curious.
 

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So far, about 2.5 years.

Took over 8 months before she was allowed in the country on the Fiance' VISA (K1). We got married a month later (well within the 90 day requirement).

We've been trying to convert her over to "Legal Permanent Resident Alien" status since then. :?
 

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And that is ridiculous Asbrand. Illegals come here and people want to give them amnesty. You're following the rules and getting the run around. That's the problem with this country.
 
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