LatinaLista — The 2006 Community Survey reports that the total population of Irving, Texas stands at 205,920.
It's a figure that is steadily dropping.
Not because of deaths or people relocating, but rather because of deportations.
Between June 1, 2006 and September 18, 2007, at least 1,600 people have been deported. That's about 1% of the city's total population.
The Mayor of Irving says that the police are just doing an excellent job of law enforcement, but there are enough doubts to those claims to make the Mexican Consulate issue a rare travel warning to Mexican nationals â€” Avoid Irving, Texas. Looking Mexican can get you harassed and deported.
On a good day, a police officer will catch a few speeders and red light runners, maybe arrest a burglary suspect or a drunken driver, and might even catch a peeping tom - all in one day.
But how are we to believe that just by doing their job, which is patrolling for these kinds of offenses and worst, that they would net on a daily basis undocumented immigrants?
The Mayor of Irving wants us all to believe that.
The city is cooperating with the government's Criminal Alien Program (24/7) which allows them to detain any undocumented immigrant who has committed a crime. Only after it's been determined that they have committed a crime and have been taken to jail can the police question them on their legal status.
The operative word is "crime."
Though the Mayor of Irving, Herbert Gears, claims the Irving police department is not racially profiling, but just doing their duty by hauling into the city jail people who are found, during a "routine stop," to be driving without a license or have an outstanding arrest warrant for not appearing in court, there are enough eyewitness reports to dispute those claims.
Irving Mayor Herbert Gears
The only problem is those eyewitnesses can only make those claims in Spanish.
For example, a group of Latino immigrants were doing nothing more than having a barbecue recently in the commons area of their apartment complex. Some had a beer in their hands.
All of a sudden, a group of police officers approached the immigrants demanding to know their immigration status. When some of the men took off running for their apartments, the police ran after them and were reported to have pounded on the closed apartment doors demanding they show proof of citizenship.
That is against the law.
The bottom line is that this type of "police enforcement" is nothing more than persecution.
To justify the high numbers of detained immigrants to a job being "well done" is as ludicrous as some small towns supplementing more than half of their revenue from traffic citations and claiming to do an excellent job of catching speeders.
The Mayor said that the number one offense that gets undocumented immigrants arrested is because they have no driver's license.
Unlike New York, which realizes the benefit of allowing undocumented immigrants to have a driver's license, Texas, along with other states, would rather be punitive and withhold this form of identification from these people.
Unfortunately, the only ones we're hurting are ourselves.
For the most part, we are the ones criminalizing those undocumented immigrants who do nothing more than work and try to live a life they can be proud of.
The only reason why the majority of undocumented immigrants don't have driver's licenses or car insurance is because our state laws have mandated it to be that way.
Yet, what the city of Irving is doing to its Hispanic community doesn't just hurt the undocumented - it insults the legal Latino community. A little over 40 percent of Irving's population is Latino.
To be singled out to show proof of your identity and citizenship status, even if you were born in this country, takes its toll on the pride and dignity of any human being.
Unless this policy becomes a city-wide initiative where even blue-haired, old ladies and tobacco-chewing, rednecks are asked to show the same proof, this policy is not just discriminatory and insulting but lacks the moral and ethical principles of what serve as the foundations of truly excellent police departments.
High numbers don't always reflect a job well done. It sometimes reflects abuse of power.