Sunday, November 05, 2006

Legal Hispanics are against Illegal Aliens too

From this link:

Anti-illegal immigrant group rallies in Escondido

ESCONDIDO ---- The national group You Don't Speak For Me, representing Latinos who oppose illegal immigration, held a feisty rally in front of Escondido City Hall on Friday morning.

Claudia Spencer, California president of the group and a legal resident who immigrated from Mexico and is now a U.S. citizen, denounced illegal immigrants for turning neighborhoods in North County into "a Third World cesspool" and immigrant rights activists for "brazenly waving foreign flags" during their rallies.

Spencer vowed to speak out on behalf of the "silent majority" of Latino immigrants who oppose illegal immigration.

"We're here to close the borders," said retired Army Col. Albert Rodriguez, chairman of the group that was founded in May and reportedly has chapters in 14 states. "We can't accept this invasion from the south."

North County cities have attracted considerable attention in the national debate over illegal immigration.

Although Friday's speakers didn't mention it, the rally took place at the same time as a news conference held by the American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego. The ACLU and other civil rights groups are suing the city of Escondido to stop a recently passed ordinance that would ban landlords from renting to illegal immigrants.

About 25 people, including all three Escondido City Council members who supported the rental ordinance, attended the rally, which lasted about half an hour.

Congressman Brian Bilbray, R-Escondido, who is seeking re-election Tuesday, told the group that the federal government had let Escondido down and the city had "taken action it never should have had to take" in enacting the rental ordinance.

Bilbray also took credit for pressuring Immigration and Customs Enforcement to perform a raid a week ago on a day-labor hiring site near a gas station on Encinitas Boulevard in Encinitas. He pledged to visit other sites around the county and call authorities' attention to them.

Bilbray touted a bill sponsored by Reps. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, and Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, that would create digitally encrypted, tamper-proof Social Security cards and increase penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.

After the rally, Spencer said she would be recruiting people for You Don't Speak for Me across the state and continuing to lobby both Congress and local governments for more immigration enforcement.

The event combined media-conscious staging for several TV stations with genuine outrage.

While event organizers urged supporters to line up so that Latino faces would appear on TV, separately, a tearful Melanie Kortlang held a picture of her (non-Latino) daughter Amy, who was killed in a crash with an alleged drunken driver in October near Ramona.

The driver of the truck that smashed head-on into Amy Kortlang's car, Rafael Perez, was previously deported to Mexico in March after a drunken-driving conviction in the United States and is now in county jail.

Rally participants held up signs that showed people such as Oceanside police Officer Anthony Zeppetella, who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in 2003.

The signs came in handy during an apparently unplanned tussle that distracted the cameras for a few moments.

As San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk took the podium, activist Daniel Perez walked up to the side of the rally and began speaking loudly. Several people surrounded Perez and held up their signs in an attempt to stop cameras from showing his face.

A man wearing an Airborne Brigade cap, later identified as Minuteman rally organizer Raymond Herrera, kept his hands behind his back and began pushing Perez with his shoulders and hips. They did not exchange blows.

Afterwards Perez said he had come to City Hall, which was closed, to turn in a permit application he was holding for an event planned on another day and said he didn't know about the rally before he walked up.

"It just shows how much the city is being hijacked by the Minutemen," Perez said, adding that he was considering pressing battery charges against Herrera.

Escondido police questioned both men but officers said there would be no arrests and a report on the incident would be filed with the district attorney's office.

Contact staff writer Quinn Eastman at (760) 740-5412 or

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