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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Morristown's Cresitello pours gas on immigration debate

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello
(Photo, United Patriots of America)

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello strikes me as the kind of guy who would shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater if it would get him front-page coverage.

Well, Saturday's rally did, in Morristown's Daily Record.

Granted, what to do about illegal immigration and about illegal immigrants who are already in this country, is a vexing -- and vexed -- question.

But it's not as simple as Cresitello and the nativist crowds he whips up make it out to be.

Truth to tell, though, the counterdemonstrators did not win any prizes for yelling during the national anthem, as Fred Snowflack points out in his Fred's Blog --
...the counter demonstrators did themselves no good by constantly yelling and heckling. That accomplishes nothing. They also yelled during the National Anthem. That was pure stupidity and just hurts their cause.
Nevertheless, Cresitello seems out of step with most Jerseyans. To wit: a story about the most recent Monmouth University/Gannett poll in today's Courier paints a picture quite different from that of Cresitello --

...almost two in three state residents (65 percent) said most illegal immigrants who have worked in the country for at least two years should be given a chance to apply for legal status. Only 30 percent said they should be deported, according to the poll.

Frank Argote-Freyre, director of the Monmouth County Chapter of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, said the most significant figure in the survey was the number of residents who favor an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

"The poll indicates that those who advocate draconian measures, such as massive deportations, are out of step with the majority of New Jersey residents," he said.

He noted the poll showed about 57 percent of state residents believe illegal immigrants are more likely to take the kind of jobs that Americans do not want. Some 35 percent said those immigrants take jobs away from Americans.

"It used to be that you could get teenagers to shovel the snow from your driveway in the winter," Argote-Freyre said. "Many of the teens on my block are playing computer games or pursuing other electronic diversions in the winter. Inevitably, every morning in the aftermath of a big snowstorm, several men with only a minimal grasp of English will knock on my door and offer to shovel my driveway."

Everyone who cares about the future of the country, about the fate of immigrants, about social justice, and about enforcing the law should be engaged in the discussion.

However, Cresitello does nothing to help the discussion along by
[taking] the time to refer to the protesters across South Street as "Communists and Marxists"
as The Ridge Nightfly notes.

The country has a problem because it never really enforced the southern borders properly for the last twenty years.

But, as far as local enforcement of immigration laws goes, Cresitello ignores that the courts are beginning to assert localities do not have jurisdiction here.

A good, old-fashioned case of demagoguery if you ask me.

And most New Jerseyans aren't buying it.

Daily Record (Morristown) - 7/29/2007: "5 arrested at Morristown immigration rally"

Ledger - 7/29/2007: "Anger of immigrant debate bursts forth at rallies"

Courier - 7/29/2007: "Poll: Jerseyans support illegal immigrants already in U.S."
Bloggers --
-- Dan Damon

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