That's the front page, top of the fold headline in today's Maryville Daily Times. Which is unfortunate, because there are a lot more important things going on than this manufactured wedge issue made up by GOP strategists to further divide our nation and further confuse an already misinformed electorate.

This story doesn't appear anywhere else that I can find. It's curious that the Maryville Daily Times is the only newspaper that seems to be running with this, because you'd think it would be of great concern to residents of Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas where teams of ICE Detention and Removal officers responsible for "tracking down criminal aliens and immigration fugitives" made a "record number of arrests last year."

But how many arrests were there exactly? 448* according to the article. With twelve to twenty million "illegals" here, depending on which GOP propaganda sheet you rely on for information, that's not very impressive. The article says they only have 75 "fugitive operations teams" working 595,000 cases.

It doesn't sound like the Bush Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are all that serious about "rounding up" all these "illegals" and deporting them. I guess they're more worried about providing cheap labor for their corporate pals to exploit. But it's a red meat issue for "law and order" conservative Republicans to talk about in the newspapers. Be afraid of people not like you! They're probably Catholics!

Some of the article is printed verbatim from a Dec. 4th ICE press release. Were regional press releases sent out, which were printed verbatim as "news"? At any rate, the timing is curious, especially the timing of why this is such big news for Blount County today.

For a better perspective on the issue, see this letter to the editor brought to our attention in comments below.

(*In comparison, according to FBI crime statistics there were 336 violent crimes and 1586 property crimes reported in Blount County alone in 2006.)

Topics:

who said it?

Who said it? No, I mean who wrote this canned phrase -

“As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes against our citizens should be on notice that ICE is going to use all of the tools at its disposal to find you and send you home,” said Trey Lund, New Orleans field office director for ICE detention and removal operations.

(link...)

"As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities should be on notice that ICE is going to use all of the tools at its disposal to find you and send you home," Aitken said.

Immigration- the wedge issue for 2008.

Haha. Good catch.

Hahaha. Good catch. Stenography journalism is good work, if you can get it.

Since "criminal aliens" are

Since "criminal aliens" are apparently a big concern according to this article, I wonder how many actual "illegal" (undocumented) immigrants were booked into the Blount County jail for crimes other than immigration violations in 2006?

Many are jailed for no

Many are jailed for no drivers license and insurance. But let's not get too happy about illegals. Many, many Hispanics have told me "The best criminals of Mexico are in the USA." One reason being is no one is checked out here, no ID no fingerprints and so on. That's why we need a humane system that lets the good guys come and work and keep the criminals out!
Programs such as the H2A agriculture worker programs would be a good example of a program that works well, for the most part.

But let's not get too happy

But let's not get too happy about illegals. Many, many Hispanics have told me "The best criminals of Mexico are in the USA."

Not getting happy about excusing criminal behavior. Just questioning the GOP fear-mongering propaganda that illegals are criminals we should be afraid of. My guess is that most of them work hard, pay their bills, and try to stay out of trouble just like everybody else excepty maybe moreso for obvious reasons. I'm sure there are a few crackheads and drug dealers and thugs just as there are in any segment of the population. I was curious if there were any actual statistics about how many v. the rest of the population. Guess there aren't many, or it's not as big a problem as we're being told. But I'm always happy to be educated if that's not the case.

My guess is that most of

My guess is that most of them work hard, pay their bills, and try to stay out of trouble just like everybody else excepty maybe moreso for obvious reasons.

Exactly right. I am not disagreeing with you at all. I appreciate your level headed approach to the subject.

I personally have never known a Hispanic person that is involved in drugs, but I have heard that many are. I've known a few who drank too much, though. Pretty much like many people no matter their station in life.

Illegal Immigrants are coming to Getcha!!!

Listen. Everybody knows that all of the Gay Illegal Immigrants are 7734 bent on robbing your house, stealing your Guns, and forcing you to watch Gay Marriages in your own Living Rooms, as they burn American Flags in your front yards. The right-of-center's are programmed to respond to such stimuli. Stay the Course. Keep reminding your friends, and especially your right-of-center aquaintences, that the Shrubyah Administration SAT on Peaceful Iranian Intelligence for over 4 years, and they've destroyed evidence of ILLEGAL torture in order to keep the Texo-Fascist regime outta International trouble. It's a hard Pill for the right-of-center's to swallow, but eventually even their own Patriotism will spark an air of Realization--and me bets, they'll agree.

viva Evo Morales

Roundup

They could probably hold a round up session at Wal-Mart on any given Saturday or Sunday evening. Or better yet raid Green Acres Flea Market. LOL

Don't forget the Public

Don't forget the Public Laundry and the Mexican store... El paseo de el mexicano. LoL (I tease my Hispanic friends about this alot)

The Tennessean ran the story

The Tennessean ran the story today, but put a little more effort into it than just copying and pasting a press release:

(link...)

The article contains this interesting remark:

"Living undocumented in the United States is not itself a criminal offense unless one is discovered in the country after having been ordered out."

Wow. So there's no such thing as "illegal immigration" or "illegals" unless they've been adjudicated? Puts the right-wing rhetoric in a whole new light.

Fun with maps

(link...)

Take the time to study this. Very interesting.

Cool map Mello.

It seams my Norwegian decent places me in a minority to Germans in most of Minnesota. I would not have guessed it.

Forrest (10,000 lake, mosquito slapping, Hubert Humphery type Progressive Liberal) Erickson

Forrest

Love the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. Wish we still had such wild lands and pristine lakes. Bet you could see some stars from there, huh?

What I found interesting

What I found interesting is that Appalachian folks say they are of American descent. I looked at that map and thought geeze, folks in Appalachia have shorter memories than the rest of the country.

That sure seems to go along with the thinking that you are only from Blount County if yer great granddaddy was borned here.

I always heard

That we were primarily Scottish-Irish descent. Thus the book "Our Southern Highlands." And the reason we are perhaps a little clannish, collectively.

I found "American" a little

I found "American" a little odd, too. This area was settled by mostly Scot-Irish, some Germans, English and who knows what else. Many Blount County settlers claim Black Dutch or somrthing like that. This usually means there is some Indian blood or other racial mixture in the bloodline.
Actually local folks seem to have long memories, as I grew up knowing who my great great grandparents were.

Census terminology?

Note the following in the map annotations:

"Areas with the largest "American" ancestry populations were mostly settled by English, French, Welsh, Scottish and Irish."

Sounds like this is the Census Bureau's terminology, not the respondents. This is sort of the East Coast early settler amalgam that largely got displaced in places like Massachusetts as they moved on looking for open land and less government. They also tended to move South looking for a more Britain-like mild climate, whereas the slightly later coming Germans spread across the upper tier of states from New York and Pennsylvania.

The Census bureau accepted

The Census bureau accepted ‘‘American’’as a unique ethnicity if it was given alone,with an ambiguous response, or with state names. If the respondent listed any other ethnic identity such as‘‘Italian-American,’’generally the‘‘American’’portion of the response was not coded. However, distinct groups such as‘‘American Indian,’’‘‘Mexican American,’’and‘‘African American’’were coded and identified separately because they represented groups who considered themselves
different from those who reported ‘‘Indian,’’‘‘Mexican,’’or‘‘African,’’respectively.

From the guide to the 2000 Census

(link...)

Yeah, from that map,

Yeah, from that map, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina are the only places in America with "Americans"?

American American

Did Germans have to come from somewhere besides Germany originally?

Probably, but you gotta draw the line somewhere and just call 'em Germans.

American American. That's me. Been here all my life.

German Hillbillies

Some Germans came to Newport, and to this day are the best Moonshine manufacturers in the Nation. A couple of Germans met their makers in Crossville during WWII, after they escaped a POW camp there--a local Cabin Granny mistook their accents for Yankees and shot 'em dead. Some former German POWs decided to stay here after the War, enamored with the beauty of the region.

Albion's Seed, 1989--David Hackett Fischer [ Wiki ] argues that East TN appears to be a mix of Carolinean Gaelic and Virginian Cavalier migration. We, here, use Skillets, have Belly Aches, refer adoringly to lil' %$hits, and always use the Gaelic 'uns as in Little 'uns, and Big 'uns. Allowed is interchangeable with Thought, and y'all is more grammatically decipherable than you (plural). Elizabeth the 1st supposedly spoke this way, and to be 'in', back then one tried to mimick the Queen.

The Adventure Journals of William Byrd's "History of the Dividing Line" is a great look into how Virginians thought of Carolinian's and vice versa, in the early 1700's. The Smoky Mountains are described in this Journal, and one can sense the excitement of the explorer's discovery, as they dragged Surveying chain through swamps and crags.

viva Evo Morales

If Memory serves

There was a big German POW camp down in Tellico. Lots of stories there.

A few of the early settlers

A few of the early settlers in Cades Cove were of German ancestry. I want to say the Emert family of Tuckaleechee also were of German ancestry, but I'm not certain.

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