Topic title:

Are Anti-illegal alien orgs badly run ?

Star Member
Date Posted:
  08/14/2008 10:28 PM
  Jun 2008

Are SoCal anti-illegal immigration orgs hate groups or heroes?
July 21st, 2008, 5:04 pm ·
6 Comments · posted by Erin Carlyle

Depending where you stand on the issue of illegal immigration, groups like the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) and Save Our State (SOS) are either heroic or misguided. Last year, CCIR and SOS were named hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
CCIR sponsored Prop. 187, the state ballot measure that would have denied illegal immigrants access to health care, social services and public education. Members of SOS have boycotted Home Depot for supporting day labor centers. They’ve also demonstrated against advertisements and public art that they say implies that California is being taken over by Mexicans.
These groups say they are simply defending American borders and drawing attention to an important issue that the nation should not continue to ignore.
What do you think? Are they hate groups?
Before you respond you may want to hear from a long-time activist.

Elaine Proko, 75, of Anaheim, has been active in immigration reform efforts for 17 years. At a Minuteman, CCIR, and SOS 4th of July rally near the California-Mexico border this month, I asked Proko why she got involved.
“Because I think we’re being invaded,” Proko said. “I think the quality of life in our country has diminished. I think that our politicians are catering too much to the Mexicans, and when Americans ask for help, they’re not getting it.”
I asked her to be a bit more specific about the invasion and quality of life issues.
“Alright,” she said. “We flush our toilets. We don’t let our kids run rampant. We watch that they don’t get into gangs. We don’t let our children run through stores. We don’t ask for free everything, like hospital care. We don’t ask for free insurance. I don’t know any American that hasn’t been willing to pay for their own insurance.”
“Too many babies that they expect us to pay for,” she added. “Using children to import more of their family and friends and relatives.”
Proko was careful, however, to clarify that she had nothing against Mexican people.
The issues that Proko raises are common concerns among those for whom illegal immigration is a key political issue. At the 4th rally (Camp Vigilant?), a number of politicians spoke of illegal immigration as an invasion that threatens to overcome the U.S.
UCI Professor Leo Chavez says in his new book, “The Latino Threat,” that the media and anti-illegal immigration activists portray Latinos as a unique cultural group that threatens the nation because they refuse to assimilate.
Proko, it seems, would agree with this characterization of immigrants.
But Chavez has conducted original research in Orange County that he says counteracts what he calls the “Latino Threat Narrative” - the idea that Latinos refuse to assimilate. I’ll be writing more about Chavez and his ideas soon.
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Could infighting end Minuteman movement?

One of the most visible groups in the anti-illegal immigration movement could be defunct in seven months, its leader says. "We've lost the battle," said Minuteman project founder Jim Gilchrist. "My intuition tells me this entire movement will fizzle to nothing by the end of the year." Gilchrist, a former California accountant, founded the project in October 2004. In two years, the grass-roots border-control group had grown to boast more than 200 chapters across the country.

Today, Gilchrist says, a host of internal problems are bringing the movement to its knees.
More than 20 chapters, including the Skokie-based Illinois Minuteman project, have disbanded, leaving fewer than 180 in operation. Dozens of chapters are fighting with one another and vying for attention, he said.

"Donations are way down. Communication is way down instead of people getting organized and unified, they're attacking each other more than the issues," Gilchrist said. "We're still fighting the fight, but I want to be clear: I'm firing a warning shot." Lindenhurst resident Rick Biesada, director of the Chicago Minuteman Project, calls the infighting "disheartening. Everyone wants to be a chief these days. But nobody wants to be an Indian."
When chapters close, Gilchrist said, more times than not members do not join another chapter -- they leave the movement.

The hundreds of members of the Illinois Minuteman Project, which shut down after leader Rosanna Pulido went to work for the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, haven't joined the Chicago project, Biesada said.

Jack Martin, a project director for FAIR, could not comment on whether his organization has reaped the benefits of the Minuteman chapter's collapse. "I don't think that we have any good idea as to whether people who come to us have been members of Minuteman chapters or are members, we don't have that data," he said. Still, Martin said, FAIR numbers and operations remain steady.

Though Biesada says the two remaining local Minuteman chapters, the Chicago Minuteman and the Minuteman Midwest, are staying strong for the time being, "as far as staying together as a national movement, it's up in the air right now." That type of conjecture, immigration experts say, is reasonable.

"For all these reasons and more, plus the current context," said Barry Chiswick, an immigration and economics professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, "the anti-illegal immigration movement could very well collapse." Two factors, the presidential election and the economy, have shifted focus away from the issue of illegal immigration, taking the wind out of the Minuteman sails.

Candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain all have kept the subject on the back burner, Chiswick said. "Hispanics are a key demographic group in this election," he said. "A large number of them are interested in easier immigration. If you come out for stricter enforcement during a campaign, you're only risking making people angry."

Then there's the economic downturn, says Notre Dame's Institute of Latino Studies Director Allert Brown-Gort. "There are other things to talk about that are more pressing," than immigration, Brown-Gort said. "It's taken the wind out of the movement." Rising fuel prices make it more difficult for many to attend meetings and protests. Biesada, who runs a trucking business, says "normally, if I'd go to a protest or rally, I'd hire someone to work for me. Now I can't afford to do it. The price of diesel fuel is just killing us."

Economic woes may even blunt the Minuteman Project's reason for being. The construction industry, traditionally a draw for Hispanic immigrants, according to nonpartisan Pew Research Center, is at a near standstill. "If you're not likely to find a job, I think we're going to see a serious downturn in the number of people coming across the border. It's a response to the market," Brown-Gort said. Fewer job opportunities and the falling value of the dollar "means that coming to the United States is less attractive than it has been," Chiswick said. "Even if you find a job, that job is less valuable."

With a combination of the economic downturn, the lack of national attention and a slowing of illegal immigrant traffic, McHenry County Latino Coalition director Carlos Acosta said he believes it's getting harder and harder for anti-immigration groups to connect with the general population. "Their message has become a little stale," Acosta said. "Because the economy has gone down, everybody's out of work. It's harder to blame an immigrant for losing a job." Still, Acosta said, if the Minuteman movement were to dwindle, in some ways it could hurt immigration advocacy groups. Local Minuteman protests have created a few unexpected alliances, Acosta said. "We have been able to reach out to other groups locally that have not been traditionally involved -- a much better relationship with the McHenry County Peace group -- they had not historically been involved in immigration matters." "The Minuteman movement, in some ways, really strengthened immigrant advocacy groups," Acosta said. "It forced us to find ways to really explain to the general population what are the benefits of comprehensive immigration reform."


Some Anti-Illegal Alien Groups are Mis-Managed.

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Star Member
Date Posted:
  08/29/2008 03:13 PM
  Jun 2008

Poverty Law Center listed 'hate group' Save Our State and leadership icons= Chelene Nightengale and Brook 'watchdog' Young posted (on a staff 'locked and unlocked and locked' again SOS forum protected thread) this crappy liberal media hit piece on Jim MinuteMen Project Gilchrist. Chelene and Brook conservative Ron Paul libertarians now posting and publicizing this progressive biased liberal slanted reporter's hit news.

Strange bed partners, to be sure.

Both of these so-called sham liberatarian anti-illegal alliens 'patriots' are only thinking of themselves, as usual. Hoping this related court case solution will effect their libelous case against Jim Gilchrist. Those court cases will be heard at the end of September, early October. Chelene and Brook haven't thought about what their public petty attacks (along with others B. Coe and others etc on Gilchrist.) which are sowing the seeds of doubt, confusion, divisiveness, descention, mission failure against the purpose they said they believed in, fighting illegal aliens, outlaw immigration, and getting secure USA borders. Some reality check!
Chelene and Brook want to personally hurt Jim Gilchrist. They stupidly think these court suit monetary losses are coming out of Mr. Gilchrists's personal pocket finances. What jerks!
On the contrary, this monetary settlement money is being paid by hard earned real mom-and-pa patriot's money donations to the MMP corporation to continue it's needed work. Hard earned money that should be used for other more important anti-illegal alien fight matters. Chelene and Brook are destroying our cause with their egotisitical back-biting against Gilchrist, but Chelene and Brook could care less despite their carping and phony patriotic screaming and posturing for their naive Save Our State masses.

Could there have been a better way to end a drought of matters litigious and celebrate my return to the O.C. Courthouse than to bear witness to Minuteman Jim Gilchrist being socked with another $18,888 in attorney's fees?

Frank Mickadeit
The Orange County Register

The only thing that would have made me happier yesterday is if Jimbo had been there himself. But his once-thriving anti-immigration empire is in free fall these days, and who can blame him for not wanting to see everything he built come a-tumblin' down?
And its not like Gilchrist lost this money and another $9,100 a few weeks back to some pansy immigrant-lover like me. He lost this money to his former allies in the valiant fight to guard our borders from the brown-skinned horde that daily menaces the Republic with its desire to do jobs Americans won't.
Gilchrist and these allies have been suing and countersuing each other over control of the Minuteman Project. Judge Randell Wilkinson recently tossed out Gilchrist's ham-fisted attempt to shut up his opponents via a defamation lawsuit.

Part 1 of yesterday's court hearing was to hear Wilkinson rule on whether he would apply a pro-free-speech law and force Gilchrist to pay the attorney fees of three former allies, including Deborah Courtney and Marvin Stewart.
Not only didn't Gilchrist show up for Part 1, neither did his attorney. Not that it would have mattered. Wilkinson read from a prepared order. Roughly $4,000 of the $18,888 judgment against Jimbo was a bonus the judge tossed in based on Courtney's attorney's pleading that he had represented indigent defendants and at some personal risk.
Attorney Daniel Lula alleged that Gilchrist or someone close to him had called up Lula's supervising partners at Payne & Fears and suggested it would be bad for the firm's reputation if Lula continued to work on Courtney's behalf. The partnership apparently blew off the threat, and Lula remains on the case.
I put in a call to Gilchrist's attorney the one who didn't show up but he hadn't returned it as of my deadline.


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localthinker edited message on 08/29/2008 03:18 PM

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