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Showdown in Waukegan: Open borders lobby protests program to deport criminal aliens Update: Waukegan stands firm; votes for deportation

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 16, 2007 11:04 PM

Bumped (original post 7/16/ 11:34am)…

11:00pm Eastern update. Late-breaking update…despite heavy open-borders pressure, the city of Waukegan will proceed on its partnership with the feds to deport criminal aliens. The Sun Times reports:

Officials will not reconsider a proposal that could lead to local police enforcing federal immigration laws, a measure that has galvanized activists on both sides of the issue in this city north of Chicago.

The 8-2 vote by the Waukegan City Council Monday night allows police to apply for a special program through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as early as Tuesday. Once trained, officers could identify, process and detain immigration offenders they come across on the job.

The council voted 7-2 in June to apply for the program, but a member who voted for it then tried to call it back for reconsideration. Monday’s majority included Mayor Richard Hyde, who did not vote in the previous meeting.

Seats at the council meeting were in such demand that police distributed 400 tickets for admission. But the chambers held less than 200 people, and so about 100 people waited in line outdoors, hoping for a seat.

A news conference, prayer vigil and rally before the vote drew hundreds of people opposed to Waukegan joining the federal program. About 50 supporters of the measure — some singing songs like ”God Bless America” through bullhorns — demonstrated across the street.

Police Chief William Biang said being part of the program would streamline the deportation process and cut down on bureaucratic hurdles.

”It has nothing to do with race,” Biang said. ”This has to do with getting criminals out of Waukegan.”

***

Thousands of pro-illegal immigration activists are expected to descend on Waukegan, Illinois today. Why? Because the City Council is voting on a measure that would allow the city to partner with the feds to deport criminal aliens. This is the 287(g) program I have been telling you about–the one that every state legislature and local government should be joining. The one the Bush administration should be aggressively promoting in the name of public safety and national security. The anti-enforcement lobby is fighting tooth and nail to prevent the program from spreading:

Waukegan authorities say they are preparing today for thousands of people expected to descend on the downtown area to protest the city’s proposed extension of immigration enforcement.
Waukegan Police Chief William Biang said his department is working with other local agencies to beef up enforcement for an announced rally that will coincide with the City Council’s vote to reconsider application for 287(g) authorization.

Though thousands are expected, only about 175 will fit in council chambers. Admission will be granted only to those who have tickets, which will be distributed at Waukegan’s south beach, beginning at 4 p.m.

The first 400 people will be given tickets, but only 174 are guaranteed admission.

If the council supports moving forward with 287(g), ultimately Waukegan police could obtain authority to begin deportation proceedings for illegal residents convicted of violent crimes.

That’s something that many in the Hispanic community say would go too far.

Yeah. God forbid we enforce existing laws and kick out violent illegal alien criminals!

Turns out the scheduled vote is a “revote.” The program was initially approved by a 7-2 vote last month:

At issue is a federal training program for local and state law-enforcement agencies that would allow officers to enforce immigration laws and initiate deportation proceedings.

What started out with a whisper — no members of any activist group were at the June 18 meeting when the Waukegan council voted 7-2 to authorize police to apply for the program — has turned into a roar.

Mayor Richard Hyde and other officials have said the program, referred to as 287(g) after a section of the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, would allow officers to start deportation proceedings for immigrants — legal or illegal — convicted of crimes such as murder, rape and drug-related felonies. The goal is to oust criminals, not persecute immigrants obeying the law, Hyde said.

The open borders lobby is organizing boycotts of Waukegan. The Freedom Folks bloggers are there to cover the story, and have posted photos of businesses that are supporting the pro-illegal alien crowd. Unfortunately, the local Dunkin Donuts has chosen the wrong side.

Things are expected to heat up today around 4-5pm. If you’re in the area, stop by and support the city.

Sovereign Nation or Sanctuary Nation: It’s your choice and it’s in our hands.

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