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 Post subject: Remembrance Day coverage
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:20 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:30 pm
Posts: 2037
Jerry Davich of the Post-Tribune did a superb job telling our story about Remembrance Day!

http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/davic ... n-day.html

Jerry Davich: Illegal immigration issue on voters’ minds this Election Day?
JERRY DAVICH jdavich@post-trib.com November 6, 2011 11:18PM
***Click the link to see the photo***
Rick Biesada (from left) of Lindenhurst, Ill., Mike Madia of Schaumburg, Ill., Joan Ramey of Waukegan, Ill., and Alice Massengill of Hobart, Ind., protest against illegal immigration in Merrillville on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. | Guy Rhodes~For Sun-Times Me
Updated: November 7, 2011 1:57AM

Cheree Calabro had a hard time keeping her poster steady on Sunday afternoon against a stiff, biting wind.

While standing along Broadway in Merrillville with a dozen other demonstrators, the Valparaiso woman’s poster stated, “National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Illegal Alien Criminals.” She hoisted it to passing motorists, some who honked in support, others who probably honked just to honk, in front of the office of U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville.

Calabro, co-founder of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, or IFIRE, has been doing such public demonstrations for many years.

Her long-term goal is clear: To reform the federal government’s ineffectual laws and toothless enforcement of illegal immigration. Her short-term goal is even simpler, yet just as frustrating: To raise awareness about this ever-controversial issue to her fellow Americans, starting with fellow region residents.

IFIRE and other national groups picked Nov. 6 because it is the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act amnesty.

John Stahl, chairman of the Tea Party Immigration Coalition, said in a statement, “One legacy of the IRCA Amnesty is millions of illegal aliens who continue to invade our country expecting another amnesty, and some of them are violent criminals.”

“It is appropriate that Nov. 6 be the day that we observe a moment of silence, remembering the tens of thousands of unnecessary victims of illegal alien crimes,” he said. “They are unnecessary victims because if the federal government did its job, secured our borders and enforced our immigration laws, we wouldn’t have illegal alien criminals victimizing innocent American citizens and legal immigrants.”
This, in a nutshell, was the purpose of Sunday’s protest, which sported several American flags and colorful posters.

“It is time that the people of Northern Indiana recognize the plight of our fellow citizens,” said Calabro, who calls herself a disgruntled Republican.

Greg Serbon, IFIRE’s state director and a local Democrat, held a sign that stated, “Illegal Alien Crime 100% Preventable” while saying more Americans are killed by illegal aliens each year than have been killed in the Iraq War.

Calabro pointed to the March 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report on Criminal Alien Statistics, stating there have been 25,064 arrests for homicides by illegal aliens.
Serbon, who I’ve respected for his efforts since the Clinton administration, contacted me last month about this very issue. I replied, asking for a local crime-homicide that illustrates his point.

On Sunday, he and Calabro referred to the 2008 deaths of Stephen Hough, Amy Bartelmey and Garry Weiss, “who would still be alive today if Mario Cadena had been deported during any of his previous encounters with local law enforcement,” Calabro said.

If you recall, Cadena, 30, of Crown Point, allegedly was speeding west on 101st Street and disregarded a stop sign at the intersection with Randolph. His vehicle struck Weiss’s Ford Mustang and also Hough and Bartelmey in their Ford Explorer. All four died of blunt-force trauma injuries.

The initial police report issued to media after the crash made no mention of Cadena’s nationality or legal status. That sensitive information came out only after a Post-Tribune reporter dug into Lake County records, looking for previous driving offenses or a criminal record.

Another protester, Rick Biesada of Illinois, said his daughter was in a traffic crash two years ago with an illegal alien who had no auto insurance.

He said the purpose of Sunday’s demonstration, in part, was to prompt citizens to vote into office lawmakers and representatives who will do something about reforming our state and country’s illegal immigration policies.

He noted that our federal government refuses to protect our borders and, worse yet, actively fights implementation and enforcement of state laws targeting illegal immigration.

IFIRE requested a statement from Visclosky for Sunday’s protest, hopefully saying he would sponsor or support H.R. 3168, the Illegal Alien Crime Reporting Act of 2011. The bill would prohibit payment of Department of Homeland Security funds to a state unless it compiles, reports and provides the FBI with statistics on illegal alien criminals. This includes those who are arrested, charged, convicted of a crime, or incarcerated, including the person’s immigration status and country of origin.

But Visclosky’s office didn’t respond in time for the demonstration, Calabro said.

“It’s not totally hopeless,” she told me, referring to the group’s tireless efforts to create change in this state and country’s laws.

She and the other dozen advocates for immigration reform faced a stiff wind and a spitting rain while protesting in front of their congressman’s office. On a broader scale, they continually face a gale-force wind of ignorance and indifference by many of us while their legislators seemingly spit in their faces.

Serbon claims the biggest problem facing his cause is the lack of media exposure, as well as media ineptitude and media partiality.

I see his point. But I wonder if the media exposure from today’s column will prompt anyone to take action of any kind regarding illegal immigration.

With Election Day coming tomorrow, I also wonder how many voters will cite this issue in their ballot-box criteria.

Or not.

Listen to Jerry’s new radio show “Casual Fridays” on Fridays at noon on WLPR 89.1-FM or

 Post subject: Re: Remembrance Day coverage
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:30 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:30 pm
Posts: 2037
I'd like to thank Lindsay Machak for covering our story! She's a little tiny thing---probably not even 5 feet tall. She told us about being a reporter in Texas. She was required to give police advance notice of her whereabouts when she went out to do her job. This was for her personal safety. She also had to take a Spanish interpreter with her every time. She recounted how perpetrators had come across the border and shot a Texas man in the face 10 times and then fled back across the border, never to be caught.

Activisits linking crimes to illegal immigrants demonstrate outside Visclosky's office
• Story
• Discussion
By Lindsay Machak lindsay.machak@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 | Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:30 pm | Loading…

(***Click link in order to see photos***)

Kristin A. Smith | The Times
Robert Ramey, left, and Greg Serbon protest with members of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement outside U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky's office in Merrillville. Nov. 6 marked the first National Day of Remembrance for victims of crimes by illegal immigrants.

MERRILLVILLE | The government can prevent the deaths of thousands of Americans each year, a local woman said outside U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky's office Sunday afternoon.

Cheree Calabro and about a dozen people stood outside the representative's office, 7895 Broadway, to ask federal leaders to crack down on illegal immigration.

The group's signs were designed to raise awareness about American citizens who are dying at the hands of illegal immigrants, Calabro said.

The event was organized by the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, a group that opposes illegal immigration.

Calabro, 60, of Valparaiso, emphasized the group's intention is to raise awareness about illegal immigration, not immigration as a whole.

"We are happy to have immigrants here," she said. "But they have to follow the rules and laws just like everybody else."

The smiling faces of Garry Weiss, Stephen Hough and his fiancée Amy Bartelmey appeared on one of the signs. Their images were being used to represent local people who died after an illegal immigrant broke the law.

Weiss, 53, of Crown Point, Hough, 26, of Merrillville, and Bartelmey, 25, of Hobart, were killed after Mario Cadena caused a three-vehicle crash in 2008.
Cadena, 30, of Crown Point, was intoxicated and was in the country illegally. He also died in the wreck.

Calabro said the three deaths could have been prevented if the government had been enforcing immigration rules more thoroughly.

"We believe those lives were lost unnecessarily," Calabro said. "If our government was watching immigration, many American lives would be saved."

Copyright 2011 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted in Merrillville, Valparaiso on Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:30 pm Updated: 10:30 pm. | Tags: Local News, Merrillville, Valparaisio, Pete Visclosky, Federal Government, Immigration, Illegal Immigration

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake ... z1d0bgdizM

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