Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Human Rights > Is the City of Irving, Texas Really Good at Catching Undocumented Immigrants or Violating Basic Human Rights?

Is the City of Irving, Texas Really Good at Catching Undocumented Immigrants or Violating Basic Human Rights?

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 — 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.
Uh huh.
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.

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  • Frank
    September 26, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Another unbelievable piece of tripe posted in here! I could post a huge rebuttal to all of it but why bother with trying to convince ethnocentric traitors about what this country is all about and why the rule of law has made us a success.

  • yave begnet
    September 26, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Query: what are the chances those 40% can mobilize and swing future elections against leaders who persecute immigrants? Or is the city polarized enough that the vote would split along ethnic lines and the incumbents would win?

  • grandmausa
    September 27, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Everytime I have ever been pulled over, I MUST provide a valid drivers license, proof of insurance and registration. How is it profiling to ask for these documents? It’s standard procedure. If you don’t have all of these documents, you get cited, no matter what race you are. I’m tired of illegals who drive illegal crying about getting cited, deported, etc. Break the law, face the consequences, period.

  • Frank
    September 27, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Our leaders are persecuting “immigrants”, please explain.
    Just as grandmausa has stated, I too am expected to provide documents if I am pulled over on the road and I am White.
    There is no racial profiling only criminal profiling. Too bad some refuse to accept the difference. No one no matter who they are should object to being questioned by law enforcement unless they have something to hide.

  • Marisa Treviño
    September 27, 2007 at 9:09 am

    It’s persecution when people are not behind a wheel, but socializing around a barbecue and police come up and demand documents for no reason other than they are outside.
    It’s one thing to be asked to provide documentation when you’re behind the wheel and in violation of a law but when has it been a crime to just get together with friends for some hamburgers on the grill?

  • patte
    September 27, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I live in the metroplex and Irving is not profiling…their police officers are not making illegal alien arrests…they are going to high crime areas and arresting those who violate the law…when they arrive at the city jail, Irving has enacted the law to have ICE agents there to check everyone who walks into that jail for proper identification – including those from other countries besides Mexico…it does not matter if you are poor, if you need a job, if you enter this country illegally, you are breaking the law and deportation is the proper way to handle it…if you are poor and feel that going into 7/11 and demanding money and product that is not yours, you are breaking the law – not matter if you are poor and hungry…it is nice to yell racism at every turn when there is no other answer to give to the question, “what about illegal do you not understand”…my parents arrived here from europe, did not speak english, got into line, learned english, wait 14 years to become citizens and now you want to yell that you deserve to move to the front of the line because you needed a job…when someone breaks out of prison, they don’t have documentation, they don’t have any form of i.d….they steal it, just like an illegal does…they will work for pennies on the dollar, just like illegals do…but i don’t see anyone forming a committee to argue that since they managed to escape, they should be entitled to remain free…stealing anyone’s driver’s license, social security card, bank card to get a job is against the law…it is forgery…and unless the hispanic community demands that illegals conform to the laws of the united states, they need to stop yelling racism…ask blacks what racism is…no one forced anyone from mexico or any other country to come here without documentation, and no one should expect a free pass…to suggest that my united states citizenship is only worth $5,000 is appalling…and I can guarantee you that if I crossed the boarder into mexico without proper identification, deportation would not be on the agenda – jail would be on the agenda…so don’t play the race card, don’t tell me you are doing jobs that Americans won’t do…Americans have a right to be here, and I can guarantee each of you, if someone today came up and said they would do your job for pennies on the dollar, with no benefits and your company gave them that job, you would yell to high heavens about the unfairness of it all…not one of you would say the person who took that job wanted it and you did not…perhaps if the 12 million illegals spent as much time organizing to change the laws of mexico instead of asking Americans to conform to them, they could have a country where they could work, live and prosper…versus asking Americans to fork over millions to support them…and please don’t use the argument that they are paying taxes and social security – they are using stolen identification…perhaps the illegals can get some fulsome prison inmate who can commiserate with them about the unfortunate turn of events that they also stole documents and can’t collect on the money earned from those documents…please change your own country’s laws and leave ours alone…please march in your own country’s streets for change, please wage this racism argument there – your country is not poor; you just find it less difficult to raise hell here about our laws and our way of life…

  • George
    September 27, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Patte, you’ve described the feelings of the vast majority of the non-Hispanic citizens, and so eloquently and so succinct. Thank you.

  • David O.
    September 27, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    To Patte:
    you wrote, “my parents arrived here from europe, did not speak english, got into line, learned english, wait 14 years to become citizens and now you want to yell that you deserve to move to the front of the line because you needed a job”. When did they emigrate to the EEUU?

  • David O.
    September 27, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Yes she sure decribes the feelings of the vast majority , and in a very RACIST way too. Do you know what racisim is Patte? Your post is right out of the right wing play book. Your mantra, your prayer to the white god, your constant saying of “What part of illegal don’t you understand?” is nicely done in your post, although it is completely wrong.

  • David O.
    September 27, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Frank: ..”and I am White”.
    Really? I did not know that.
    What a surprise.

  • Frank
    September 27, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Law enforcement does not go to people’s family barbeques to investigate them for no reason and it isn’t based on race. They had probable cause to believe that illegals were there or other criminals were there. Stop the BS!
    David, where is the racism in Patte’s post? I didn’t see any. Please point out the specifics.

  • Horace
    September 28, 2007 at 5:46 am

    No, David O., other than some self-interested Latinos, citizens fear the importation of millions of poor due to the necessity for providing free medical care and other social services for them. No nation on this planet has as its objective adding to their society additional illiterate and poor, and that’s what amnesty means. We did Mexico and the rest of Latin America a favor once, by establishing the 1986 amnesty, and what did these people do twenty years later? They aided and abetted their fellow countrymen to cross the border and again demanded amnesty for their friends and families. We’ve been taken advantage of once too often to be fooled again. What we have is a never ending chain of Latin Americans, illegtimately obtaining ever expanding power and using it to their advantage. The rest of this nation, and by that I mean African/European/Asian Americans are not going to standby and be steamrollered by Latin America into suffering the consequences of their ineptitude and failure to comply with the Declaratation of Human Rights that Ms. Trevino quote. I suggest that if there is a racial agenda here, it is on the part of some Hispanics, who dispicably pull the race card when their argument fail on merit.

  • David O.
    September 28, 2007 at 9:15 am

    “citizens fear the importation of millions of poor due to the necessity for providing free medical care and other social services for them.”
    And you are OK with the billions spent monthly in Irak?
    Who is taking advantage of who in that fiasco?
    As for your premise that ‘we’, meaning everyone not Latino, are tired and are not going to take it anymore, I say poppycock.
    We are not going anywhere and for everyone deported or jailed there will be 10 more to take his place.
    So get used to it, your fears will come true.

  • David O.
    September 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Regarding the racist post by Patte you asked for specifics. Well the whole premise is racist. If still don’t get it and you need items spelled out, then I suggest that you do a study on the various levels of racism, which is not just about using slurs or stereotypes, and why that post is so offensive.
    I’m sure you can do that since you have done so much research on immigration that adding another topic would be a cinch for you.
    Jus trine to hep, U unnerstand.

  • Kevin King
    September 28, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    First, I am a resident of Irving and am speaking about my community. We have a wonderful mixed community and many run down areas are being revitalized by latinos. Do I know if they are legal or not- no how could I? But we chose our city in large part because it seemed to stand for what my love for America was- a place where everyone could work together to build a better place regardless of where they came from or what their past is. We have lived in Boston and Los Angeles and despite lots of high-minded talk most of the areas are divided along racial lines. Whites don’t live south of the 10 freeway in LA and blacks don’t usually shop at the Prudential center in Boston. Here, it seemed different. We have a large number of latinos, but also a good number of Indians and middle easterners and a modest sized black community. We picked Irving because it has some of the lowest crime rates in the Dallas metroplex, even in the poorer areas. There is not a part of this city I have felt unsafe in.
    There are many people who do not share my view of what makes America great. They believe that this country can only be great if it is made up of people who look and believe exactly like they do. They hide behind laws instead of trying to decide what is moral or right. Europeans did not discover America, there were plenty of people who were already here. When we say that our ancestors were “legal” all we really mean is that a bunch of us got together, formed a government and by might decided that was what was going to be legal. The majority of the ancestors of the latino immigrants are native americans. These are the same people we have been oppressing since we (whites) first came to this country. We have a responsibility to learn from history, stop the persecution, and learn to live in peace with the people who were here first.
    I love our country and there are many great things that our country has done and will do. And in spite of the people here who are deluding themselves into thinking that God created this country just for protestant white republicans immigrants are going to continue coming to this country and are going to continue contributing to its greatness. Many people worry immigrants are stealing resources. Here in texas we have no income tax- instead we are dependant on property taxes. So whether you are here illegally or not you are paying local taxes, either on the home you have bought or as part of your rent. Our county hospital is funded almost exclusively by property taxes, federal medicaid is near non-existent (as can be seen by the extent of health services in other counties).
    America is great because it is a melting pot. Immigrants who come here contributing their hard work but also bring other viewpoints and cultural strengths and become a valuable part of the fabric of our community.

  • David O.
    September 29, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Your post is one of those rare posts on the internet that does not rely on talking head BS, like “What part of illegal don’t you understand?”.
    Thanks for taking the time for adding your comments to this blog and is a wonderful statement instead of the usual cawing from heckle and jeckle.

  • Frank
    September 29, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    David, have you no shame bragging about illegally taking over a country? I don’t have a problem with legal Hispanics, so why would you say that? Our government is going to secure our borders because that is what most Americans want and that includes many Hispanics too. You had better deal with that and if you are a citizen of our country you had better examine your conscience as to why you would want an illegal invasion of our country to continue. Are you Hispanic? If so then you are the racist one, not Patte because you are driven by ethnics rather than loyalty to this country.
    Kevin, it doesn’t matter who was in this country first. It is a now a sovereign nation called the USA with borders and only it’s citizens and legal residences have a right to be here. We fought wars and paid Mexico $15 million for some of these lands that are now ours.
    Funny you should mention the indigenous. Are you talking about the Mesitzo Mexicans? If so, they are part Spaniard, you know those ancestors of THEIRS that came over here and raped and plundered right along with other white people. Oh, I guess they get to deny that part of their geneology and just claim the native indian side, right? LOL! Their ancestors are just as guilty as mine who came from England!
    No one is denying that immigrants have help build this country but it has nothing to do with those here illegally. They aren’t immigrants!

  • Felicia
    October 4, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I understand that everyone keeps saying, “You breal the law, u pay”. I agree, but what harm are they doing here, seriously. Harm is when the illegal parents of us citizen children, have to rely on the welfare and foster care system. That is when Irving officials will begin their complaints. I HATE living in Irving and will be moving as soon as my contract is up. And as a Latin woman, I have been stopped by the police 3 times in the past few months, for no reason and no tickets once they knew I spoke clear and fluent English. Also, at my daughter’s school, I have had several women make racial negative remarks. Little do they know, I understand everything and unlike them, I show respect because I could easily put them in their place and make them feel like the magets they are, but I choose to be the better person (mainly because children are around). I had a WHITE women slam her car door into mine, and saw me and my daughter in our vehicle and said NOTHING! And they think they are at an advantage. Yet, they must hurt someone else to feel better of themselves.
    Like the rally last week, NO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS became violent, yet we saw the HATRED in the eyes of the ones who claim “police officlas are doing their jobs”. Can you imagine, these are simple civilans, just imagine the police and council officials who feel this way and CAN do something to hurt the illegal immigrants. I hope the CITY of IRVING faces lawsuits that they could never imagine and hopefully all the one’s who are for the CAP, are their to pay their dues.
    Irving police is so “excited” in protecting their little racist city, that they forget to protect their very own. Yes, I am a US Citizen of Latin culture and there is a well off mechanic owner who goes crazy at nights and starts shooting. Nothing was nor is done about his unlawful ways. We had almost the entire prejudice police department and did nothing. This man still roams freely.
    This is how bad, sad, and desperate the City of Irving has became.

  • Frank
    October 4, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    They are bankrupting our hospitals, increasing our taxes, increasing our crime rates, overcrowding our schools, stealing I.D.’s and SS numbers, that is just the tip of the iceberg, need I say more?
    Illegals are giving all Hispanics a bad name unfortunately, especially those who stick up for them. That is the anger you are experiencing. Americans are having their country invaded. Why don’t legal Hispanics side with other Americans against this rather than siding with the illegals? You reap what you sow.
    As far as displays of racism, Hispanics are not the only ones who are the butt end of this. There are racists in every group. I have seen rallies where it was the illegals and their enablers who became violent, don’t kid yourself. It happens on both sides of the issue.
    So the whole city of Irving is racist now? I doubt it. My bet would be that most are just law abiding citizens fed up with illegal immigration. Don’t worry about those who have a racist agenda, they are among the minority. But it seems like the pro-illegal movement wants to group all who are opposed to illegal immigration in the same group of, racists.

  • David O.
    October 4, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    “They are bankrupting our hospitals, increasing our taxes, increasing our crime rates, overcrowding our schools, stealing I.D.’s and SS numbers, that is just the tip of the iceberg, need I say more?”
    Yes please say more and this time with documented facts and not right-wing talking points.

  • Frank
    October 5, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Denying the truth will not change it. There are plenty of documented facts out there to support what I am stating.
    Let’s take the unpaid medical bills alone at the main hospital in Dallas for the birthing of babies by illegal aliens. The costs to taxpayers is astronomical. Not to mention that these kids are entitled to welfare up to age 18 years old. Just the tip of the iceburg my friend.

  • Tlakatekatl
    October 9, 2007 at 12:46 am

    who’s the “illegal alien” pilgrim?

  • YAYA
    October 10, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    ALIENS IN 2004 AND

  • Edward Dawson
    October 11, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    As I write, I am in North Carolina watching the Irving mayor on CNN. Everything is has said is correct. The people who are getting into trouble are doing so because they have violated the law. That alone should be enough to cause them trouble. What do they expect? Then, after getting into trouble for breaking the law, they cannot produce proof of their identity or citizenship. None of this is forgiveable, which the bleeding hearts seem to think Irving should do. If you are driving without a license, for example, get off the streets! I vote for the Irving mayor and the chief of police! At the same time, it disgusts me that the U.S. Congress has not taken leadership on this issue.

  • joe
    October 11, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    This is what i wrote to the Mayor.
    Is there any resemblance of Your family to Adolph Hitler?
    Knowing that government is trying to work and bring all those illegals out of shadow and You doing that cowardly job to wind as many as possible to deport is plain inhuman.
    Let me tell You something about me.
    I’m an immigrant from Europe and at II world war Hitler prohibited sheltering and helping Jews. Otherwise You could get kill along with those who received help from You.My family did just that knowing that it is human to help other in need , knowing all those consequences.
    Tell me that what Your are trying to do isn’t any different from what happened almost 70 years ago in Europe.
    I do all my best that this problem will be highlighted Internationally and that this wont be taken with applause and sooner or later Europe and other countries will see on their own eyes how ignorant is U.S government.
    I understand of securing Our country, enforcing Our law’s, deporting illegal criminals but at what cost. Those who came here illegally to have a better life? Why didn’t You enforce law’s 10,20,30 and so years ago?
    Good luck on Your Immigration crusade. And i hope You arent Christian or catholic because what You doing is just slap in a face to Our God.
    Joe Wiles

  • diana joe
    October 11, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    May the holy beings guide you, and protect your beautiful heart Joe.
    -May the history of the Holocaust be used so many times in contrast with this inhumane way of treating humans here in my un-United States that our law makers will have night-mares,and those of them that have children of their own- they best watch out because when anyone intentionally disrupts, and attempts to dissolve the beauty of a family they will systematically set themselves and their own families,into a very, very dark cursed way.
    No one should ever go against the beauty, and the sacredness of a family no matter where on the scale of success or political power they think they are. Family is sacred.
    Leave the humans alone already!
    – Have mercy on the children!

  • Doug
    October 15, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Where are the Latino solutions? All I am hearing from the Latinos is griping and whining because they find themsleves in a situation they created by coming here illegally. When they decide to become part of the solution instead of just being the problem, then people will take them seriously. Lessons are being learned though, what happened to all of the Mexican flags that were so proudly waved in demonstrations past? The unsupported lies put forth by the Latino community and echoed through the news media are becoming a joke.

  • Lenora
    October 15, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I love how media says only a few people had beer in their hands. I’m sure that lie makes for a better story. I live there and I was there in the mentioned apartment complex (Willows Apartments). Believe me there were more than a few beers. They were disturbing the peace as always. Almost daily they get drunk, listen to loud music, fight, break beer bottles, and destroy property and so on. I don’t go outside much because there are men loitering/drinking on the corner whistling at the women. Now they only come out on Sundays I guess they feel police don’t work on Sundays? Don’t take my word for it, drive by someday. I am Mexican American and have never been harassed by Irving Police or feel as if I’m being hunted down. I failed to mention “their”race because I wanted you to focus on the crime not what color they were. People need to realize you cannot break the law regardless of what race you are.

    October 15, 2007 at 11:47 am

    The ONLY reason people are being deported is because they are in the U.S. illegally. What part of illegal is so hard to understand?

  • David O.
    October 15, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Lilac with the magic mantra: “..What part of illegal is so hard to understand?”
    Apparently the police don’t understand that their tactics are illegal. Maybe you can enlighten them since you are so concerned with law and order and all that

  • andy
    October 15, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Looks like most people in this country just grew up to the point of enforcing our laws.
    If you so smart why didnt you talk like that 10,20 years ago?
    Illegal immigration is not just in this country and some how other countries dealt with it pretty good and today most of them not care about ti so much since we all know this is our planet and borders are only for governmental puprose.
    Little history in case you dont know.
    In 80’s germany was devided by huge wall and made people sad.I know US government pushed to take that wall down. 30 years later this nation is building just that.
    Second war Hitler was killing and stalking jews them because he thought they dont belong to our sciety. 70 years later this nation does just that to illegal immigrants.
    Hmmmmm i guess we learn pretty good from our sad history right? NOT THIS COUNTRY!!!!!
    And dont tell me after we deal with illegals our country is going for another war …..lets say with Iran then maybe Korea and others.
    Good Job and very patriotic of You.

  • Ashley
    October 17, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Sorry if I offend anyone by what I am about to say. I understand illegal immigrants wanting a better life for themselves and their families and how they would do anything to get that. Any legal American wants the same thing. However, I think that if you are caught then the punishment is deportation, and the police are just doing their jobs, even if it was in the middle of a barbecue, they suspected illegal immigrants were there and with probable cause they are allowed to come check. (you can correct me if I’m wrong) The only problem I have with illegal immigrants is that when I was 17 I got pregnant and didn’t have the money to pay for my child’s birth and hospital bills for having her. I called the medicaid office they told me that I would qualify. Once I got there they said oh we thought you were an illegal immigrant, so since I was an American citizen I didn’t qualify for a certain program that would have paid for my hospital bills. I was furious…I pay my taxes and they don’t, yet they can get help and I can’t?? That’s unfair I believe. I had to get married to my baby’s father in order to qualify for medicaid. I WAS SEVENTEEN! Still in high school, I hadn’t even considered marriage…but I got married in order to have my daughter’s birth paid for. Also, my friend has a son with downsyndrome, his school will not pay for him to have a special teacher or class so that he can learn to read. Yet they have 3 teachers that teach only Spanish speaking children, half of those children are illegal. If they were not in his school they would have the budget to hire him his own teacher so that he would have to chance to read before he turns 10 years old. Once again, she pays taxes to help support the school, and the illegal immigrants don’t have to…please explain to me how this is fair, and how deportation isn’t.

  • andy
    October 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    As for today the police has no right to come and check immigration status on someone.If there is crime invloved then yes.
    Sorry for your life story and i hope many young people will think before getting themselfs into pregnancy in that stage of age.
    I’m sure if you had choice then probably you wouldnt go for it again.
    Overall tell me how is is that illegals supposedly drain medicare in 200 billions a year but yet our country can afford oil war and be 9 trillion dollars in debt.
    Hold on girl because we might go for another ride with Iran and who knows what else.
    So i say that most of our taxes go to pay for wars than that illegal medicare bill.

  • Jimmie
    October 21, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Dear Mayor,
    Thank you for doing your job in letting your police officers arrest people who do not have drivers liscense or insurance and lettinig ICE investigate the situation.Keep up the good work.God Bless America

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