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By thisistwitchy  •  May 7, 2005 09:54 PM

On Saturday afternoon, I drove to Rockville, Md., for a large “gathering to condemn the REAL ID Act.” (The act will tighten driver’s license standards to prevent illegal aliens from obtaining the IDs, close asylum loopholes, and provide funding to fix a huge gap in a border fence between California and Mexico.) Casa de Maryland, a government-funded open-borders group, organized the protest on the public school athletic field at Richard Montgomery High School.

You can see the rally photos I took at my new Flickr site. Here’s a sample:

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Several hundred “documented” and “undocumented” workers attended, demanding driver’s licenses and blanket amnesty. Maryland is one of ten states that don’t require applicants to prove they are citizens or legal residents. Nevertheless, militant CASA leader Gustavo Torres complained: “The MVA [Motor Vehicle Administration] has absolutely no right to ask for people’s Social Security number or immigration status to get a driver’s license.” The illegal alien advocates led protesters in a chant demanding that the “MVA Obey The Law!”

No kidding.

A contingent of Montgomery County police officers were dispatched to the scene–not to help with immigration enforcement, but to protect the protesters, help direct traffic, and manage the parking lot for illegal aliens who (ahem!) drove to the event. Our tax dollars at work.

With Casa de Maryland organizers shouting “No license, no justice! No justice, no peace!” in the background (the only time I could understand them as they exhorted the crowd), I interviewed Montgomery County, Md., police lieutenant J.R. Hack (yeah, that’s his real name). Lt. Hack amiably told me the protest was “a good thing.” When I asked him why, he said “everyone should have a voice.”

Asked if the Department of Homeland Security had been notified of the illegal alien rally, Lt. Hack emphatically said no. “We’re here to help them.”

Even if they’re here illegally? I asked. “We don’t want to initimidate anyone,” said Lt. Hack.

Shouldn’t you report people to DHS if you know they are here illegally? I asked. “That’s not my responsibility,” he said.

Welcome to the sanctuary mentality and homeland security insanity. Is it any wonder MS-13 has spread like a virus in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area?

The cops didn’t mind intimidating Michael Graham, however. The WMAL-AM talk show host, who came provocatively dressed in an INS t-shirt, was denied entrance onto the taxpayer-subsidized, public high school field by organizers who said the protest was “invitation only.” When he presented ID showing his affilation with WMAL/ABC News, organizers of the illegal alien driver’s license rally told Graham he didn’t have proper ID.

Yeah, that’s right. They told him he didn’t have proper ID.

Five cops surrounded Graham as he went back to his car. I asked Lt. Hack whether Graham would be allowed into the event. He said while Graham had a right to be there, the cops “wouldn’t and couldn’t guarantee his safety.” Lt. Hack referred dismissively to Graham as a “nut” and a “troublemaker,” at one point doubting that Graham was who he said he was. If only the cops had as much skepticism about the identities of all the “undocumented workers” at the rally as they did for a law-abiding citizen.

Graham inverted his t-shirt and joined the rally, only to be blocked from taking photos and shouted down as a “racist bigot.”

Tomas Veiga, a legal immigrant and naturalized American originally from Angola who is a local realtor, also stopped by the rally to observe. “This is crazy,” he told me. “I can’t understand how people who are here illegally can get [a driver’s license] law to protect them.”

What’s the solution to the illegal immigration problem? I asked. Veiga suggested New Ipswich, New Hampshire’s novel approach of using trespass laws. “If they’re trespassing, arrest them.”

Veiga stayed only briefly because he had to get to work. Despite the craziness, he said with a broad smile, “This is the best country in the world. I’m blessed.”
I doubt the militant protesters shouting on the field demanding illegal alien entitlements shared Mr. Veiga’s sentiment.

Here is how the lame MSM covered the rally.

Others blogging…

Michael Graham has posted his account at his WMAL blog. Check it out. Audio links coming.

Cam Edwards

Michael Y., who blogs at Curiouser and Curiouser, e-mails:

Just one comment on the last photo on your photo page. There is a sign in the background of the stage which reads: “Security for All Marylanders.” I found that interesting[, c]onsidering that illegal immigrants are not citizens of the United States. They are therefore not citizens of Maryland. Therefore they are not Marylanders. Add that fact to your comment about MS-13 running rampant in Maryland and that sign actually goes against their own cause[, a]s one could make the case that ACTUAL Marylanders’ safety (“Security”) from illegal immigrants such as MS-13 depends upon increased enforcement of immigration laws.

The Urban Grind weighs in. As a commenter notes, there are some worrisome loopholes in the REAL ID Act that I hope get addressed in conference.

For more outrageous border folly stories, check here and here at The Immigration Blog.

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