Mayor Bloomberg got an unexpected tongue lashing on November 22nd from representatives of the Queens-based Juniper Park Civic Association. At a City Hall bill signing ceremony for Introduction 656A the Mayor and the City Council were criticized for jeopardizing public safety. This legislation will result in limiting cooperation between the Department of Correction (DOC) and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) by protecting roughly half of the criminal illegal aliens at Rikers Island from deportation. The Mayor is required to listen to public comment before a bill signing.
JPCA executive board member Edward Kampermann was the first to speak in opposition to the bill. "Clearly, Christine Quinn and all the democrats are placing their bet for re-election on pandering to the Hispanic vote, but honest hard working law abiding Hispanics – who vote – deserve better than having criminals with an unknown past lurking in their neighborhoods and canvassing other neighborhoods to ply their trade. How many times do we read of illegal criminals, who have been released back into society, committing heinous crimes such as rape and murder ‒ too many times," said Kampermann.
Manny Caruana, JPCA Sgt. at Arms, also blasted Quinn and City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley for co-sponsoring the bill. "Again you've thrown your constituents to the wolves, placing your political loyalties before citizens of your district. You would rather tow the party line than protect law-abiding citizens from criminal illegal aliens."
Robert Holden, president of the JPCA, stated that individuals who bypass our legal immigration process and enter the United States illegally have already broken the law. They have committed a misdemeanor and that should deny them protection under this bill. He also said that most of the illegal aliens in our country have no paperwork whatsoever. Many are under assumed names. Documents that are produced are usually counterfeit. "The Dept of Correction has little or no access to the illegal alien's prior record in their country," said Holden. Holden also criticized the wording of the bill and the Mayor for referring to criminals at Rikers Island as "immigrants." He stated, "They are illegal aliens and criminals too. Ignoring this distinction is an insult to the millions of immigrants who came here legally and reveals a complete lack of empathy for those individuals who respected our laws," said Holden.
Holden also told the story of Yu Yao, 23, from China, she was in the United States on a student visa and living at a relative's while planning to attend law school. In May 2010 while walking in Flushing, Carlos Salazar Cruz, 28, an illegal alien from Mexico, grabbed a pipe and smacked Yao in the face, and dragged her by the hair into an alleyway. Cruz then removed the woman's clothing from the waist down and raped her with the pipe. The young woman suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and lower-body trauma. She died later at New York Hospital. "Carlos Salazar Cruz had no criminal record in the United States, however we have no idea what his record was in Mexico. This bill would protect illegal aliens like Carlos Salazar Cruz."
Holden also said that he "never imagined that a Mayor of the City of New York could ever sign a bill, only 10 years after 9/11/01, that obstructed cooperation with Homeland Security on illegal alien criminals."
JPCA's Tony Nunziato said that the Mayor and the City Council's first allegiance should be protecting citizens of the United States and not pandering to special interests like illegal alien rights groups. "My family members were immigrants from Italy and came through the right way, the front door, legally, and not the back door. Protecting criminal illegal aliens from deportation just makes no sense."
Dieter Keppler testified that as a legal immigrant from Germany, he was personally insulted by the City Council's bill. He told of how his family members had to wait years and spend thousands of dollars on lawyer fees to become honest citizens of the U.S. He was upset that this bill is protecting illegal aliens who were later arrested.
City Council Member Peter F. Vallone, Jr., Chair of the Public Safety Committee submitted a written statement in which he said in part, "Mayor Bloomberg must return to his original stance and not support this dangerous legislation. There is little difference between the original bill and the final version. Make no mistake, this will make our communities less safe ‒ it not only puts illegal immigrants who have been charged with another crime back on our streets, but makes no distinction between arrests for violent crimes and other crimes." Council Member Vallone maintains in his written statement that the only substantial difference is that the new version adds the category "known gang member" to already existing categories such as "terror watch list" and "convicted of a crime" where the city still cooperates with federal authorities.
At the end of the comments the Mayor spoke directly to the JPCA members that while he understood some of the concerns with the bill that he was going to sign it. "Immigrants (correction illegal aliens, I believe is the correct term) for the most part pay their taxes and do not use the city social services," said Bloomberg. "This bill is a balance that protects lower level inmates at Rikers from deportation and separation from their families." He blamed the Federal Government for not doing enough on managing immigration and placing too much burden on the States. He also said that as a city New York is doing one of the best jobs in the country in managing immigration.
In all, four speakers were in favor of the bill while five were against, all from the Juniper Park Civic Assn.
Illegal aliens don't grub from the system? Bloomberg's sleep walk is becoming a full fledged coma!
$113,000,000,000 ‒ This year's cost of US illegal immigration. Approximately 75% of that cost is absorbed by the states.
$1117 ‒ The average amount you and your family paid in taxes this year to support illegals.
$52,000,000,000 ‒ The cost of educating the children of illegals. This is by far the single largest cost to the American taxpayer. (We have schools on every corner!)
$2,700 ‒ The average dollar amount a single illegal household costs the US federal government.
1,400,000 – The number of illegal immigrant households that use at least one major welfare program. (food stamps, WIC, school lunch, Medicaid, TANF, SSI, and public/rent-subsidized housing)