Friday, April 11, 2008

Letter: Men Are Illegal Aliens

Steve,

The "men on the corner" are illegal aliens, if they weren't they would go to the Arlington Employment Center. The loitering is tolerated because it is in community where low-middle income residents live. I don't see men standing on the corner in ZIPS 22201, 22207, and 22209, just to name a few.

Having men loitering on the corners is neither good for the neighborhood or business and has often led to crime. I do not go to the CVS after dark because I don't feel safe. I have often wondered if the loitering would be tolerated if the men were white or black.

I would prefer that the men hang out at the country club on N. Glebe Road or in community of million dollar McMansions on N. Military Road, but the property owners wouldn't put up with it for two seconds.

I appreciate your trying to be politically correct, culturally appropriate, etc. Sometimes you have to call it what it is.

Karen McMillan

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Comments:
I imagine that even a small Mom & Pop operation like CVS has a lawyer or two who could fix any problem they had. I imagine the day laborers are not bad for business. If they were, CVS could get rid of them.

The problem for Ms. McMillan is that CVS doesn't need HER business. Go somewhere else.

The problem for Ms. McMillan is that some of her neighbors are low-skilled, non-English speakers with families to feed. It sounds like she would rather children go hungry, than have to look at their fathers earning the best living they can.

Ms. McMillan's lack of Christian sympathy distresses me.

Brendan Meyer
4501 Arlington Blvd #401
 
Why should these men receive "Christian sympathy"? Christ allegedly stated that the meek will inherit the earth and that the poor will always be with us.

These men are clearly too meek to go to a County employment center. They are obviously poor. Therefore, according to Christ himself, these men will always be with us and will eventually inherit the earth. No need for "Christian sympathy" here.

There is even less need for "Christian sympathy" for a bunch of loiters who illegally entered the U.S. while others waited their turn, who do not risk their lives by serving in the U.S armed forces or in the County's fire or police departments, who harass women, who foul streets, parking lots and yards with litter and human waste, who compete with legal workers and therefore depress the income legal immigrants and U.S. citizens, and who send the money that they earn to relatives who pay taxes to foreign governments that are not necessarily friendly to the United States.

Save your "Christian sympathy" for somebody else.
 
As someone who grew up in Buckingham and who went in and out of the Glebe market every other day for a decade, I'm offering my two cents.

First, as the greater area gentrifies, more people who feel they deserve a better millieu are being scandalized by the presence of these men. But they have always been there, at various times, in varying volume. I guess I would have preferred that they were all wearing pastel sweater vests and gripping soy mochas, if had the class-vanity then that I have now. Nonetheless, neither I nor my mom never felt unsafe, and never had or saw a hint of trouble on the corner. Maybe it is because we had different expectations -- we were thrilled to live in an affordable area for working immigrants like us where there were no bustling corner drug markets or nightly gun-fire.

Second, those out there looking for work and not socializing are there because, with less than 2.5 percent unemployment in Arlington, all labor is in massive demand, including that of illegal aliens. There is no need for them to go to some employment center or to learn English, whatever their legal status might be.

We all want the corner to look like Clarendon, where the loiterers blocking the sidewalks are smartly attired, and their job-networking is done by showing their business cards, not their work boots. But that's not how it is for everyone. And we do not have the kind of local government that will haul a man to jail for simply sitting on a public curb or waiting for a bus without money. That's a good thing, whereever you live in the County.

D. Wharwood
 
The message by Dave Wharward states "labor is in massive demand, including that of illegal aliens."

This statement is incorrect. It reflects an ignorance of the facts that is far too common in Arlington.

Although it is not really "news", the front page of today's (April 17, 2007), Alexandria-Arlington Extra Section of the Washington Post directs readers an article on page 12 that reports that many job seekers at the County's Employment and Education seekers are having great difficulty finding employment, even as day laborers. Some are getting drunk, while others are developing psychiatric problems. The Executive Director of the Center is now asking the County government to provide mental health counseling for the legal and illegal immigrants that congregate there.

Things might be better at in the open air job market in Buckingham, but I doubt it, as I see men loitering there all day. In any event, it is certainly clear that illegal aliens are competing for jobs in Arlington that legal immigrants and U.S. citizens want and need. The illegals are also competing for the costly mental health services and counseling that the Executive Director wants Arlington's taxpayers to fund.

You can read the Washington Post article at the following URL:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/15/AR2008041503036.html
 
My message above omitted the location and full name of the County employment center that the Washington Post article described. According to the Post, it's the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, just off Four Mile Run.
 
I am concerned about drug and alcohol abuse occurring with the day laborers. On Friday at the corner of Henderson Road and George Mason, I saw one of these men, reeling back and forth, quite unsteady,ready to fall over. Alcohol abuse is prevalent among the youth in Buckingham,too, a big concern for their hard working parents.
I often pick up the beer bottles and cans on the streets and sidewalks, especially the litter behind Culpepper Gardens.
If there are no jobs for these men, what is the solution? It is a sad situation.
Ann G.
 
The simplest solution to the substance abuse problem in Buckingham is to call the police whenever you see any drunks or people who are appear to be under the influence of illegal substances. Ask the police to arrest the substance abusers and to escort them to the County's jail or to appropriate treatment facilities. Do it often.

If you see substance abusers and loiterers trespassing in the parking lots of commercial properties (such as Glebe Market and CVS), inform the owners of the businesses that you will not patronize their establishments until they get rid of the undesirables or until they can show you that the police are not responding to their requests to arrest or otherwise remove the trespassers from their premises.

You can also frequently contact the federal immigration service and report apparent illegal aliens in the neighborhood. Ask the feds to raid the places that the illegals congregate, to press charges on the people who are breaking law by hiring the illegals, and to arrest, jail and deport the illegals themselves.

The "sad situation" exists because Buckingham residents are not doing any the above often enough. When residents do not take these obvious actions, their property values fall and their neighborhoods deteriorate.
 

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