Skip to comments.Opinions clash in initial meeting of Ark. immigration watch group
Posted on 08/30/2006 3:49:52 PM PDT by pulaskibush
Opinions clash in initial meeting of Ark. immigration watch group
Viewpoints clashed Tuesday night during the Arkansas Minuteman Civil Defense Corps organizational meeting at Lake Hamilton Fire Department.
Nearly half of the packed meeting room at the station were there to voice their opposition to the organizations mission, while the other half voiced staunch support.
"Its up to us to do what we can to protect the birthright of our children and grandchildren," meeting organizer Bill Riggins of Hot Springs told the crowd. "With every benefit and every reward comes responsibility."
Riggins called the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States an "invasion of our southern borders."
Greg Thompson, national training director for the organization, compared the work of the Minutemen to that of a neighborhood watch program.
He explained that volunteers watch the U.S./Mexican border and report any illegal activity to law enforcement.
Someone from the audience asked by what authority they have to conduct their operations. The question brought about a heated exchange between the two sides.
"Weve got the right to defend our property," a man shouted. "The Mexican border is not your property," a woman responded. "Were Americans, and thats our property," the man replied. Thompson told the crowd that the meeting was for people who were interested in joining the Minutemen, and if people were not interested, they could leave.
"Your opinion is not welcome," he said. Thompson said that illegal immigrants are exploited in many different ways, and that efforts to stem illegal immigration would actually help protect them.
"We have saved hundreds of illegal people coming across the border in the desert," he said. "They didnt have water; they didnt have food.
"The next time you stay in a hotel and see a Latino maid, remember that 77 percent of these women have been molested in their journey across this country."
He also denied that the group was involved in any sort of racism. "If people make the slightest implication that they are racist, they cannot be allowed to join," he said.
Riggins explained that they are trying to stop illegal immi grants, not legal ones. "Were not talking about le gal immigrants," he said. "We welcome and certainly need their participation in our orga nization." Thompson echoed the point, saying that immigrants should follow the legal procedures to get into the country.
"We believe theres a better way to bring people into this country," he said. "It would let them work, let them pay taxes and let them learn English." Trina Fortanelli-Lezana, the 23-year-old daughter of a Mexican immigrant, argued that people come into the country trying to make better lives for their families.
"We do need to secure our borders," she said. "But, against terrorists, not people who want to come make better lives for their families." Thompson closed the meeting to only those who wished to join the organization.
IN DEBATE: Regina Clark, left, Barbara Flores and Trina Fortanelli-Lezama engage in a discussion with a man who declined to be identified following a meeting of the Arkansas Minuteman Civil Defense Corps at the Lake Hamilton Fire Station on Tuesday.
(not shown is Trina Fortanelli-Lezana's mother, who was the biggest mouth in the illegal crowd. She was also the biggest person in the room!)
Now the real story. There were about 60 to 70 people there. Only about a dozen of them were pro-illegal. The room was packed. The media brought cameras into the room. About 5 minutes into the meeting, the illegal group interrupted by yelling questions about minutmen attacking illegals and being armed. They were asked to hold their questions but continued. Riggins then asked someone to contact the sherriff's office. That's when the illegal crowd calmed down. Riggins talked about the immigrant children that he had adopted. A Cuban guy(I think a freeper) stood up and stated his support for immigration reform. A woman stating she is a democrat talked about a housing project being flooded with illegals and demanded enforcement. Several non-media people took pictures and recorded the meeting.
Thompson stated that those not wanting to join should leave. The illegal crowd went outside and yelled at whoever walked out. I argued with them when I walked out and tried to take pictures but it was too dark for my camera to work right. The Sentinel Record didn't bother to put photos of the whole room or me or the Cuban guy or the woman debating the illegal crowd. There should be some video out soon.
Carlos Cervantes, the President of LULAC was also there, but said nothing and left early.
The stupid headline in the paper was "Opinions clash in initial meeting of Ark. immigration watch group".
If they were illegal, they have no right to be at the meeting . What part of ILLEGAL don't they know ? Kick their a$$es out . They basically have no right to anything in the country .
You must use the original headline and you must provide a link, even if it requires registration.
I've changed the headline, but I need the link, or the whole thread is subject to being pulled.
why can't these phony immigrants and criminal aliens just use their Mexican ID's and be done with it? Perfectly legal here!
I'll give you about three more minutes to comply with the rules.
What rules are you refering to?
Here is the link to the paper. You have to register for a subscription, but you can enter bogus data:
You changed the headline in violation of the rules, and you haven't provided a link to a published story.
You didn't sign up here yesterday.
Now provide the link to the story and quit playing games.
WHY did the Arkansas media mostly ignore, and in the case of one television station blatantly LIE about the threatning remarks made by the racist organization LULAC ?
Channel 11 News reported: Cerventez says, I think eventually somebody's going to get hurt." when the truth is the progressive racist leader clearly stated: "I think eventually somebody will probably get killed." The others simply ignored the statement completely.
Charles Cervantes of Little Rock, state director of the Arkansas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) spewed a disgusting personal attack against the members of the Minuteman patriotic group describing them as "retired old men who have nothing else to do other than play cowboys and Indians out in the desert." and later said "...they are just U.S. Citizens."
1.. Somebody's going to get killed!
2. They're just U.S. Citizens
Thanks, that's all we ask. Provide a link to where someone can read the story, even if they need to sign up. And use the original headline from that source.
If they weren't doing somethinhg they shouldn't have been doing then they wouldn't have been in that position.
"...not people who want to come make better lives for their families."
When those people want to make better lives for their families at the expense of the quality of life for our own families, then they are not welcome. And we have enough home grown criminals without giving a whole bunch more a pass on their utter disregard for the law. Of course, those responsible for enforcing the law seem to have equal disregard for it, so it's pretty hard to expect anyone to take it seriously.
Here is the link to where you may see the front page.
For what good it will do - the Hot-Springs Sentinel Record website , in plain english, ****s! It takes 5 steps to log in and look at one article in a pseudo-pdf format.
Found this headlining a page in the Hot-Springs Sentinel Record last night!
The original graphic was one of those strobe-light flashing ones - WARNING - Viewer may find it offensive:
Call them to register your complaint (they're usually very progressive anti-American)
Melinda Gassaway is the editor
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