Immigrant stories bring fresh energy to the Iron Range

International flags represent the national origins of students at Hibbing Community College. (Aaron J. Brown)

With St. Urho’s Day honoring Finnish heritage today and the Irish fete of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, we may reflect on the roots of many who live in Northern Minnesota.

It’s been a long time, but not that long, since the Mesabi Iron Range was majority foreign born. Nevertheless, that happened. The melding of immigrant populations from around the world gave the region a certain character that endures to this day.

Demographics have changed since then, but immigrant stories still may be found here in the frozen North.

Kao Kalia Yang, author of “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir”

Today, author Kao Kalia Yang will lead a discussion of her 2009 Minnesota Book Award winner “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir” at Hibbing Community College.

“The Latehomecomer” is part of the National Education Association “Big Read” program. The book attracts new attention and a new audience after its release nine years ago. Yang drew strong notices as a debut Minnesota author for the book’s evocative stories of the Hmong cultural journey from Southeast Asia to Minnesota.

Tonight’s event includes a free community dinner and discussion from 5-7 p.m. at the HCC Fine Dining Hall adjacent to the college commons. The deadline has passed for dinner RSVPs, but you are still welcome to join in the discussion.

HCC’s Trio program distributed free copies of “The Latehomecomer” in preparation for this event.

Then next week, on Wednesday, March 21, HCC will host “Flags Day.” Each year, the college celebrates its immigrant population and diversity by hoisting new flags into the rafters of the commons. This year, the college adds Zambia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and a special Hmong Embroidery.

“Flags Day” runs from 11 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Wednesday and includes world music, bingo and a free international food tasting experience.

The transfer of culture across oceans and continents continues, as it always has and as it always will.


Comments

  1. Ranger47 says:

    Good post…I sense a few differences though between immigrants of the late 19th century vs those more recent:
    First and foremost, our grand or great grandparents came here legally.
    Second, they all learned English. They knew not doing so would leave them at a tremendous economic disadvantage.
    Third, they all generally lived by what is commonly referred to as the Protestant work ethic (self-reliant, hardworking, and morally upright).
    Fourth, they took pride in their new American identity and believed in America’s exceptionalism.
    Fifth, most celebrated, and still do, their ethnic heritage. But they also assimilated and bought into American culture, which was/is greatly different from theirs.

    Newcomers, legal or illegal, coming today? Not so much..

  2. Ranger, if you haven’t visited Ellis Island, I would recommend you do.
    What unfortunately hasn’t changed in the current immigrant experience is earlier immigrants were also reviled and endured great discrimination all documented at Ellis Island. Here on the Iron Range in early 1900’s there were warning signs at establishments saying No Finns or Indians. Yet somehow they became Americans and contributed to this country.
    For most immigrants today, it can take many, many years to become a American citizens. You can watch videos of immigrants, people from everywhere on the planet, finally getting their citizenship and see the tears and joy on their faces.
    Too many have not learned a thing from our long history of immigrant discrimination but immigrants persevere despite that.

    • I agree kissa, life will never be fair or easy….back then, now or in the future. Good to see you didn’t disagree with my comments.

  3. You more than imply that today’s immigrants don’t possess the qualities of our immigrant ancestors to be allowed to be citizens but that’s par for the course for you.

    • Point one kissa – how dare you say today’s illegal immigrants possess the same qualities as our grandparents/ancestors. Our ancestors didn’t break the law to get in. They came here legally, through the Ellis Island system as you pointed out. Yet more than 11 million people are here illegally today as lawbreakers. That’s hardly possessing the same qualities of past immigrants. That’s more than half of all people entering the U.S. since 2000.

  4. I do dare. Immigrants here that are undocumented do learn English, have jobs, have work ethics, are hardworking, raise families, etc, etc. The question I have is do you believe there should be no amnesty, no road to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are doing everything as “right” as our ancestors did?
    What about immigrants who have been here for years, decades, who served in our military, many who have given their lives? There are communities across the country that are reeling when their neighbors and friends are suddenly gone, deported, such as in Pacific County, WA. Police Chief Flint Wright was shocked as he watched established community members, largely employed by local fisheries, canneries were arrested or detained by ICE. He said he has no idea what they were going to do when the industries were heavily dependent on migrant workers and people have just been emotionally in turmoil because they have seen people they’ve known for years: friends, neighbors, acquaintances, kids in school together, just gone. Most painful for Wright was watching a friend get picked up by ICE. “It’s easy to say yes, that’s great policy…it’s different when you see it is actually affecting people’s lives. I didn’t sign up for this”. Long Beach school superintendent said their small district has lost around 25 students to ICE deportations. “It’s hard to explain to classrooms not understanding how their country is doing this.”
    In MN, Associate Professor Wanyama at Augsburg who came here on a student visa in 1992 may be deported to Kenya. Colleagues and community do not want to lose him.
    A 43 year old doctor in internal medicine in Michigan came here as a child from Poland with his parents. He has a green card but he was picked up because he had committed some misdemeanors in high school. He may be deported to Poland and he doesn’t even speak Polish.
    There are many stories like this now. Decent hardworking people who are being sent to countries where they may know no one, the culture or how they will support themselves and separated from their spouses, children and friends and the life they’ve only known since they were children or young adults.
    There are also increasing number of cases of parents being separated from their children by DHS at the southern border to “discourage” immigrants. One example is a mother and 7 year old daughter from Democratic Republic of Congo. The mother is detained in Calif and her little girl was sent 2,000 miles away to child detention center in Chicago. I can’t even wrap my mind around the cruelty of separating a child from the parent. Breaks my heart.
    People come here out of desperation and not just for financial reasons. Many are in fear for their lives and the lives of their children if they stay in their native country.
    So I ask, is it zero tolerance you want, no exceptions, no redemption, no heart? If so, might as well tear down the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

    • Ranger47 says:

      You come across as a haughty elitist kissa…giving a bad name to those who dwell in some of Balsams best swamps. What gives you the right to decide/promote which laws are to be followed and which are ok to break without consequence? Over 160 million Americans disagree with your open boarders, crime promoting position. Your illogical, asinine thinking is a slap in the face to all law abiding citizens…and the reason Hillary’s out stumbling around India instead of breaking bones in the White House.

      Let’s move on to the next point…All immigrants must be willingly to learn English not as a second language, but a first (as your ancestors so successfully did), so not to be at an economic disadvantage the rest of their lives. New citizens can always take French, German, Latin, Spanish…or whatever as a second language, as you and I did. I’m kinda partial to Finnish actually but would suggest Japanese or Chinese mandarin to the current generation.

    • David Gray says:

      If illegal immigrants are working within the system then they are also committing fraud and identity theft.

  5. Didn’t answer my question, Ranger.

  6. The immigrants who arrived decades ago did not go through all the hoops and money now required to become a citizen….a whole different ball game
    “Becoming a Citizen: Naturalization Records, 1850 – 1930
    Video Podcast Transcript
    Minnesota Historical Society
    In a nation of immigrants, becoming a citizen – being “naturalized” has been an
    important part of our personal and national history. For most of American history there
    were few barriers to becoming a resident. The only official records of new arrivals were
    the Passenger Lists furnished by incoming vessels to U.S. Customs officials. These simply
    listed the names of all passengers, their nationality, where they embarked and, in some
    cases, where they were going. For many immigrants that simple list is the only record of
    their arrival in America. One could work, own property and enjoy most of the benefits
    of living in this county without ever becoming a citizen.
    However, citizenship was a requirement for those wishing to vote, hold public office or
    purchase land from the U.S. Government. For most of the 19th Century, this was a
    simple, two step process. The person seeking to become a citizen first went to a local
    “court of record” that is any court that kept permanent records of its proceedings, and
    declared that it was his “bona fide intention” to become a citizen of the United States
    and to renounce allegiance to his former country. This usually involved making a sworn
    statement before a judge and signing a printed document. It should be noted that
    because women could not vote during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and few women
    purchased land or homesteaded, it is unusual to find a naturalization record for female
    immigrants before the 1920’s.
    Some years later (the usual required period was 5 years) the applicant would reappear
    before the court with two witnesses who would swear that he had been a good citizen.
    The applicant would then take the oath of allegiance before the judge and be officially
    declared a citizen of the United States. If he was married and had children born
    overseas, his wife and minor children would automatically become citizens. Children
    born to a married couple after their arrival in America were considered citizens by birth,
    regardless of their parents’ status.”

    • Ranger47 says:

      That was then, this is now Jackie. Our ancestors followed the process. Laws have changed, follow them. If you don’t like the laws, change them. To ignore them and break them without consequence is bedlam, anarchy, which is what we have.

  7. Mike Worcester says:

    Historical context on what at one time constituted “legal immigration”. Follow the link to the original article for more detail.

    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/17/578666008/why-legal-immigration-doesnt-apply-to-early-immigrants-to-the-u-s

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jennings-legal-illegal-immigration-20180114-story.html

    • Ranger47 says:

      You’re using an Obama minion talking points…and not listening Mike. Today’s law’s are today’s law’s…which over 11 million people have broken. I’m guessing you’re one of the guys who ignore my No Trespassing signs during deer hunting…and justify it by applying land ownership and trespassing laws of 150 years ago.

    • Gerald S says:

      Excellent references, Mike. The facts are always interesting and relevant. I actually toured the Immigrant Museum on a visit to NY City a few years ago, and found it extremely interesting.. I would recommend it to everyone if they happen to be in NYC.

      Of course in the discussion group afterwards there was someone expressing the “my ancestors came here legally, why can’t you” argument, and the docent patiently explained the same facts. I don’t think it made any impression on him either.

      • Ranger47 says:

        “The facts are always interesting and relevant” as you say Gerald, unless they don’t fit your narrative. There are many facts regarding today’s illegal immigrants you simply choose to disregard as irrelevant and discount them by inventing the more pleasing, but bogus term, “undocumented”. The huddled masses here legally see right through that fancy speak.

        Again, gain some honesty, credibility by getting your home address public along with an invitation to illegals to move in with you, unannounced. Until that happens, your just another liberal hypocrite encouraging others to live the life you think they should…but yet you refuse to. A blatant liberal hypocrite Gerald. Sad way to live..

  8. WOW!!!…….explain again why it is so difficult to attract new businesses to the range? I’m sure Ranger47 has a bunch of 1947 vintage thoughts on this. OMG!

    • Ranger47 says:

      “When losing the argument, change the subject.” Immigration jg, immigration. Not how unions have worked hard to minimize job growth on the Range.

      • Not unions and not immigration….I’m talking about the difficulty selling a place that is hostile and backwards thinking.

        • Ranger47 says:

          We agree jg. It’s really difficult to sell a place which has a history of in your face, raised closed fist unions….hostile and backward thinking.

  9. In your first post, Ranger you were ballyhooing about the virtues of the early immigrants. They were hardly saints 2-3 bars on every block. But unions…

  10. Ranger, I get it you’re an absolutist, zero tolerance, the law is the law kind of guy where excessive, punitive and counterproductive applications of the law are just the breaks. Life ain’t fair. Too bad if decent folks and innocent children suffer from deliberate abuses of the law. That’s certainly how you seem to feel but won’t straight out say it, own it.

    • Ranger47 says:

      “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”

      The beauty we have in America is, if you don’t like the governing authorities, we can vote ’em out. We can change the law. But to intentionally break laws simply cause we don’t like them..and expect no consequence? A horrific, heinous society in which to live.

  11. Ranger, I doubt your God is pleased at the bigotry and lack of compassion your party is demonstrating on a daily basis …immigration, the poor, minorities. Just a guess…

    • Ranger47 says:

      Godly compassion doesn’t come from “parties” Jackie. It comes from people like you and me. And it’s you and me whom God and watching and will one day judge, not parties. Taking from one person and giving what they take to another (while first taking a cut for themselves), as parties do, is as distant from being compassionate as the east is from the west. That’s as cruel, bigoted and hypocritical as it gets…and has nothing to do with compassion.

  12. Big yawn…

    • Ranger47 says:

      Consider one of Aaron’s courses Jackie…say SPCH 1040. Unless your age as such that maybe you could join the Bluejackets National Forensics League..

  13. Perhaps you could point out posts where you have demonstrated compassion toward others, Ranger, because I seem to have missed them.

    • David Gray says:

      He is showing compassion towards the American working class whose wages are driven down by the flow of illegal labor.

      Why don’t you care? Why do you hate the working class American?

      I guess for you ideology trumps compassion.

      • Thanks David…couldn’t have said it better. I’ve been off line for a few days.

      • Gerald S says:

        That argument is interesting, but wrong. Study after study has shown that illegal immigrants do not take jobs away from locally born people. They take jobs Americans won’t take, and pump money into the economy like any other group of working people. Undocumented people congregate overwhelmingly in places where there is excess demand for workers in jobs they can do, not in places where locally born people are out of work or where high unemployment is driving down wages. Automation and technology and shipping jobs overseas are the villains you are looking for.

        They also pay taxes, before someone brings that up. In fact, they tend to pay much higher taxes for their income because they do not file and collect refunds. Calculations by Social Security actuaries have shown that illegal immigrants are actually prolonging the life of the Social Security Trust by a few years because they will not collect the Social Security they pay.

        Illegal immigration is a crime. It is a misdemeanor, probably more serious than driving 70 in a 60 zone but less serious than entering an intersection when the light is already red.

        It is definitely true that they have broken the law. It is also definitely true that in many communities, almost none of which are on the Range, they have lived there for decades and become important parts of both the economic and social life of the area. That is why the Wall, immigration crackdown, and so on are such a hard sell in areas that actually have significant numbers of undocumented people and why they tend to favor pathways to citizenship and amnesty so strongly. It is among the people who have no experience with the issue other than what they see on cable news that the strong support for aggressive crackdown on the 11 million people who have come here to work hard, raise their families, and be more safe than in their homelands is a winning political trope.

        • Ranger47 says:

          Gerald, please post your address, leave your door unlocked & if you have a security system, disable it. I’m not sure the next time I’ll pass by your way but I’m sure you won’t mind if I spend a few nights, unannounced. I’ll put the sheets in the washer when I leave.

          • Gerald S says:

            Amusing. As someone said, when you lose an argument, just change the subject.

          • Ranger47 says:

            Oh….no needed to leave the door unlocked. I’ll find a way in. Not sure what time I’ll arrive though. Could be after midnight. You don’t have a dog or gun do you?

          • Ranger47 says:

            Yes Gerald, it could be amusing if it’s me that shows unannounced. Not so amusing if it’s one of the millions of illegals who might not be as kind and respectful of you and your property as I would. Again, your address? Get some skin in the illegal game you so strongly support.

        • David Gray says:

          Another example that extreme verbosity can be used to attempt to hide error.

          • Gerald S says:

            Error? Is that supposed to be an argument?

            And BTW, Ranger, the rate of crime by immigrants is substantially lower than the rate of crime by locally born white Americans, and the rate of crime by illegal immigrants is substantially lower. Immigrants don’t want to be deported, and illegal immigrants definitely don’t want to interest the police.

  14. The majority of Iron Rangers are working class folks so accusing me of hating my family, friends, neighbors and myself is a bit hyperbolic, no?
    Aside from compassion, trying to deport all undocumented immigrants, DACA folks, and immigrants with green cards would be massively expensive. Trump campaign promise to deport 11 million immigrants thought to be living illegally in US would be devastating, costing $400 to $600 billion. Building more wall would be massively expensive and still wouldn’t stop immigrants from flying in and overstaying their visas. Farm, construction and service industries would be hit hard. US would suffer an economic nightmare with estimates private sector worker output to decline by hundreds of billions of dollars. Not hard to imagine the effect on working class Americans. You and Ranger probably know this but dismiss many similar studies as fake.
    If neither exercising compassion toward immigrants and their families who contribute to our country nor the sucking drain on our economy resonate with you, I have to wonder what else motivates your line in the sand stances.

    • You haven’t flown recently kissa. I’m sitting in MSP airport….surrounded by thousands of people. I’ll bet you whatever you wish that there are no illegals amongst the thousands. For sure there are no undocumented. God forbid I had to show a photo ID! And guess what, there are even guys with machine guns. I feel pretty safe in knowing all folks here are not here illegally and that I’m not going to get shot. (As I said years ago, schools could learn a lot from our airport security).
      And yes, the studies you mention remind me of IPCC/algore climate change models.

      • Gerald S says:

        Ranger, you misunderstand how that works.

        People enter the country with legal rights to visit, attend school, attend meetings, or do business, and then just “overstay” their visas. I have absolutely no doubt that some of the people at MSP are planning on staying illegally, or are already staying illegally — as David pointed out, illegal ID is easy to come by. All you need is an Iowa or North Dakota driver’s license, and you’re in business — or for that matter a MN “enhanced” license, like I carry. I am certain that you can buy one for no more than $100 to $200 dollars in the Twin Cities if you ask around in the right places, and probably for less in Dallas, Phoenix, Miami, or LA.

        As you probably know, right now the largest number of undocumented immigrants come here from Asia and do, in fact, come by plane. There is actually net loss of people to Mexico right now, with more returning than coming, although we do have net undocumented immigration from Central America. As someone pointed out, that wall is going to have to be really high to keep out the airplanes.

        • Ranger47 says:

          If the Monarch butterfly had your fatalistic attitude Gerald, they’d have disappeared eons ago, as the U.S. will if we continue as is. Encouraging people to break the law as you do strikes 100’s of millions of legal citizens as really strange, third world. At what point does law breaking become unacceptable to you? Again, open your home to all, get skin in the game, give us your address so I or some folks can drop in…unannounced, undocumented, illegally. I’m willing to take the chance ICE won’t show up.

          • Gerald S says:

            Ranger, you keep stumbling off the track.

            I guess Ronald Reagan was one of those people who encourage people to break the law. And i guess you never have broken the law yourself — no speeding, never drove with a blood alcohol over 0.08, never picked up a souvenir rock in a national park, or never had a drink before you were 18 — or probably 21 in your day, like mine.

            All of those are misdemeanors. Illegal immigration is a misdemeanor too. To me, it makes about as much sense to spend billions of dollars pursuing people who came here in 2003 to wash dishes as it does to spend billions of dollars tracking down you or me for underage drinking that occurred decades ago. I could steal a million dollars and in MN three years later I would be in the clear. I could mug you and put you in the hospital and three years later be in the clear. That doesn’t mean the law finds the crimes acceptable, it means that after a certain time it is no longer able to prosecute. Doesn’t it make sense to have a statute of limitations for this much less serious crime? Reagan apparently thought so.

            And, for the record, driving while drinking is a way more serious crime.

    • Your continual advocacy of anarchy is certainly unAmerican…but more so, very disturbing kissa

      • Gerald S says:

        Very similar to other anarchists like former Governor Perry, Senator McCain, former President Bush, Senator Hatch, Senator Graham, former Vice President Cheney, and other “disturbing” public officials. Ronald Reagan, of course, actually ran a large amnesty program for illegal immigrants when he was in office. A really severe anarchist.

        As I said, people who live in states and places where there actually are significant numbers of illegal immigrants, like the ones I listed above, almost always favor pathways to citizenship and amnesty programs. Or to use your analogy, people who have actually had visitors in their house are way more tolerant of undocumented people than those who live up here in Frostbite Falls where the only immigrants they see are on TV and the their thoughts about immigration are dominated by imaginary horrors. As I said in another context, it is well demonstrated that people fear things that are exotic to them, and are calm and unworried about things that are routine.

  15. Of course you are a climate change denier. You probably also believe Obama was born in Kenya and Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster.

  16. Ranger47 says:

    Once again, Gerald, address on Aaron’s blog, or Facebook, along with “All illegals welcome, day or night”. Try it for six months…You’re, at length, coming across as a b***s***ter, sitting on the sidelines.

  17. Arguing with Ranger is a complete waste of time…and it certainly isn’t because he is so “clever”.

  18. So actually, are there any programs where a person could sponsor or adopt an immigrant and help them to legal citizenship? I know its been thrown around here as a joke or threat or something, but there are a lot of people who would help if they actually were allowed to do so. I’ve never read that it is possible to help that way. Maybe that could be the first step.. see if people would help by sponsorship.

    • Gerald S says:

      It is my understanding that under current rules, except for people filing for asylum, anyone who enters the country illegally has to leave before they can receive any consideration for permanent status or citizenship, and that if they have a record of entering illegally, it is very unlikely that they would be allowed back in, because they would have a record of violation of immigration rules. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous “immigration” lawyers who suggest to people that they have ways to helping them be able to stay, but generally that just means that the immigrants lose anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 in “fees” for “services” that amount to little other than filing boilerplate appeals that bring the immigrants to the attention of ICE and lead to deportation. Once you are in the country illegally, the only hope for relief is political in the form of a program for pathways to citizenship or a Reagan style amnesty.

      There are people involved with organizations that do try to help undocumented immigrants, often including religious groups, but they cannot do much in terms of dealing with legal status, and in some cases may be violating the law, depending on exactly what they are doing.

      There apparently is an “underground railway” in existence right now that is helping people — mostly teens fleeing violence, death threats, and sexual slavery in Central America and people fleeing the horrors in Africa you read about every day — to get through the US and into Canada, where they have a better chance of getting asylum and where there are agencies operating in the open to try to help them. I personally do not know anything about any of these groups, but have just heard about them.

      However, there is an opportunity for private citizens to act as sponsors for people entering the country on asylum programs. Sponsors help the immigrants to find housing, jobs, to navigate the challenges of living in the US in terms of learning about everything from shopping to schools to driving, and so on. I think you might be able to find out about that from agencies like Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities, or by using the internet.

      • Ranger47 says:

        I’ve got a feeling Amy might obey the law and forgo getting involved with those here illegally.

        But you Gerald, support the illegals already here and yet to come. Posting your home address with a welcoming note to them is an easy, personally gratifying way to get involved. As you say – “There are people that do try to help illegal immigrants, and in some cases may be violating the law, depending on exactly what they are doing”. As you’re continually promoting this activity, and think it’s good for the country, why not personally help out by inviting them into your home?

        • I see that you are seriously confused again, Ranger.

          I do not support illegal immigrants, other than endorsing an approach that treats illegal immigration in the same ways we treat other more serious crimes, with a statute of limitations that allows people who live here for years and contribute to our communities to pursue pathways to citizenship to the benefit of our country and our taxpayers. That is me, Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch, Rick Perry, and many other Republicans and Democrats who have actually thought about this issue and have personal experience with it in their states and communities.

          • Now this is new Gerald….you not supporting illegal immigrants! Have you also changed your position to stop the flow of them coming in?

    • Ranger47 says:

      It great thought Amy.

      With legal immigrants, it’s done all the time. Our church has sponsored a number of immigrant families. You as an individual can do the same by filling out an affidavit of support to accept financial responsibility for the person coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor. An affidavit of support is legally enforceable. The law concerning affidavits of support is found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections 212(a)(4) and 213A. Go for it! It’s personally very rewarding and the immigrant(s) are very grateful.

      With illegal immigrants, I’d be cautious. You might fall under the category of “harboring a fugitive”. In most states including Minnesota (excluding a handful of lawless cities/counties), that gets you in serious trouble, including jail time and fines.

      • Generally speaking, when aid to illegal immigrants is confined to humanitarian support there is no legal violation. Many church aid groups and other similar charities like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and so on do not and are not required to make distinctions among their clients. However, if the groups actually get involved in helping to conceal people from the law they are risking prosecution.

        The church programs that Ranger talks about are the same ones I am talking about.

        In terms of “lawless” cities/counties, I assume what Ranger is talking about is the policy in many places of not having local law enforcement get involved in investigation, arrest, and prosecution of illegal immigrants who are otherwise not violating the law, and of ignoring immigration status of informants, witnesses, and complainants in criminal cases. The main issue here is that many police forces and prosecutors offices believe that it is important for them to not get into an adversarial relationship with many people in their community over what are, of course, misdemeanor crimes. Many of them find that vigorous pursuit of immigration violators interferes significantly with their ability to find witnesses and complainants needed to prosecute what they see as much more significant crimes like domestic abuse, sex trafficking, drug trafficking, employment violations like wage and hour issues, and even murder. Recent courthouse steps arrests by ICE of women acting as complainants in abuse cases and people serving as witnesses in criminal cases serves to make enforcement of those laws a lot harder. If local police are actively working to help ICE, that essentially makes them an enemy to be feared and avoided by large numbers of people in many cities, rather than being seen as allies in keeping the community safe. Turning potential informants in criminal cases over to ICE is not a good way to solve crimes.

        In the end, the cities are often forced into a choice as to exactly what laws they consider more criminally significant. Do you want to catch drug dealers or do you want to catch dishwashers?

        Of course, that is unlikely to be a problem on the Range, with the possible exception of sex trafficking crimes where illegal aliens are frequent victims and where we have seen instances of people bringing them here from larger cities, since we do not have significant undocumented immigrant communities. Just another example of how people up here do not have the experience of the complexities of immigration issues that allows them to understand what is actually going on, facilitating knee jerk reactions rather than thoughtful responses.

        • Nothing new here, nothing we haven’t heard before…simply restates lawlessness is acceptable. But does imply Rangers don’t have the wisdom (it’s way to complex for us) to understand the issue…deplorables.

  19. Ranger47 says:

    Gerald…You’ve just stated – “I do not support illegal immigrants”, so no argument left, we’re in agreement. The problem you’ve created though is your tens of thousands of words don’t match up. So…also time to evoke Mark Twain – “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

    Please post your home address and welcome the illegals into your home. Help out in a personal meaningful way.

  20. Gerald S says:

    So we have no argument. We both support sensible management of immigration offenses with laws creating a pathway to citizenship that recognizes the trivial nature of immigrants’ crime, and that at worst it should be treated like any other crime — with a statute of limitations for non-asylum seekers so if they are caught within the first three years — the statute limit in MN for all crimes but murder — they get sent back. If they are not caught by then, they are free to live normally like everyone else. And we recognize that local police have way better things to do than waste their time pursuing people for this trivial federal misdemeanor — after all, they don’t break off chasing a bank robber to arrest a jaywalker.

    And before you fall into another tangent, I don’t support jaywalkers either, but am opposed to chasing jaywalkers for their entire lives to penalize them. Our government and police have way better things to do than playing obsessive Inspector Javert going after dishwashers or housekeepers at the cost of billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Obviously the sensible thing to do, so congratulations on overcoming your recurring and repeatedly stated fear that brown people might be creeping into your house. Maybe now you can take the next step, and tell your representatives to pass sensible reform, following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan.

    • Ranger47 says:

      A typical, hypocritical, misleading liberal. Don’t put words in my mouth Gerald. You said – “I do not support illegal immigrants”, which puts us on the same page. I’d never line up with the rest of the lawlessness you so ramblingly spew. Now, get your address out there to the public…and invite those illegals over for dinner. Put your house where your mouth is.

      p.s. I’ve never once mentioned race, brown, black, white, yellow or whatever. Just another typical tactic…race bait. What’s next in this immigrant discussion…abortion?

      • Gerald S says:

        “The Lawless Ones,” starring Ronald Reagan.

      • Gerald S says:

        I was reading between the lines when I said “brown,” based on the fact that you were repeatedly talking about the danger of immigrants breaking into houses and the fact that you revealed yourself to be a white supremacist in your infamous post in 2016. I certainly agree that it is possible that you were fantasizing about Irish people, since there are a fairly large number of illegal immigrants from Ireland, so perhaps I was jumping to conclusions that a white supremacist would be most afraid of brown immigrants.

        Otherwise, I thought you said you, me, and Lawless Ron Reagan agreed.

  21. Ranger47 says:

    It isn’t what you say or think that ultimately defines you Gerald, it’s what you do. However, if you say one thing and do another, that at a minimum makes you a hypocrite. The good news is, no one can take those values away from you.

    • “There you go again.”

      • So…we’ve got what Gerald, 12 million or more illegals in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of which are into drugs, gangs and all that comes with it, including torture and murder. And you encourage even more of the same. Yet…you have no interest, make no offer, for them to come into your home. That can only mean you want me, my neighbors, your neighbors to take them in. If not us, who? They got to go somewhere. You must be thinking the street is fine.

        We’re all sinful but one can only conclude you’re an incredibly cruel & evil person. It’s not too late Gerald, no better time than the Easter season to ask Jesus into your heart, change your ways.

        • Gerald S says:

          Ranger, as you probably know, you are dead wrong about the role of illegal immigrants in crime. Immigrants actually commit far less crime than locally born white people, by more than half, and illegal immigrants commit even fewer crimes. If you are alluding to MS-13 and their recent activity on Long Island, most members of MS-13 — a gang founded in the US that has spread to Central America — who are in the US are American citizens who were born here.

          Obviously, immigrants do commit some crimes, and those that do should be punished, including by deportation, just as white Americans should be. However, the overwhelming number of illegal immigrants are hard working family people who are here for one of two reasons: economic opportunity, just as most of my immigrant forefathers, or flight from dangerous and oppressive situations, in many cases a flight for their lives, as one of my ancestors did as well. Almost all are working and earning, as was their goal when they came here, and do not need offers of housing since they can afford their own. To suggest that they are homeless is just one more insult that reflects more on you than them.

          Rational immigration policy has been backed by every leader of both parties for the last half century. It is also backed by majorities of the public by 60-80% margins. I guess they are all evil.

          • Ranger47 says:

            “Invisible:” The reality for undocumented homeless illegal immigrants
            by ARIEL GOMEZ
            April 5, 2017
            “They have no documentation, no stable home, and no support. Often unnoticed, their struggle is hidden within the walls of overcrowded apartments and in the shadows of government agencies”. These illegal immigrants are what Janethe Peña, executive director of D.C. Doors, calls the city’s “invisible” homeless.

            Peña knows the story all too well. As a illegal immigrant from Nicaragua, she came to the U.S. with her mother. They came to D.C. and moved into a three-bedroom home with 14 of their family members. “Undocumented homelessness is a major issue, Peña said.

            You’re wrong Gerald, these people need homes. Post your home address and invite these illegal folks in. Do something meaningful.

            You know…You stir up feelings in most folks somewhere between pity, concern & contempt. I pray you’ll come to understand your wicked ways.

  22. Gerald S says:

    It is amusing and not surprising to see your comments trying to disguise persecution and hate as religion. White supremacy has always wrapped itself in a cloak of distorted Christianity, ranging from the supporters of slavery to the KKK to the white “Christians” of Jim Crow to Apartheid. Of course, almost all churches of all denominations today are united in agreement that pathways to citizenship, increased access to asylum for victims of many different types of persecution, and ending persecution of innocent families and children under a thin veneer of law are the true Christian responses to immigration consistent with the teachings of Jesus.

    Ariel Gomez’ article about homelessness in Washington, DC, is interesting, as is his conclusion that what is needed are programs to recognize and protect the rights of the people, give them legitimate status and access to jobs, and recognize the right to asylum for many of them. As usual, you are cherry picking a tiny part of a larger article that contradicts your own position. It is indeed a scandal that people are living like that in our nation’s capital, persecuted for wanting to help their families and keep them safe. The main concern the people Gomez interviews have is not wishing they could find a fold out couch in Hibbing but rather their fear of an ICE raid directed at the facilities that are helping them, the sort of fear that nativist and white supremacists thinking wants them to have. Again, please read to the end of the article before trying to pluck out fragments you think help your arguments, when the article is one big argument against you. Your imaginary fear that immigrants want to invade your house verges on clinical paranoia.

    You might also want to read Gomez’ article entitled “The Myth of Stolen Jobs,” which cites the same facts about immigrants and employment that I cited above, demonstrating that immigrants do not take jobs from locally born people.

    If you really want to do the Christian thing here, you need to write Congress and the President and tell them to stop tormenting helpless people in order to score points with white supremacists. Demand that DACA become permanent policy, that a pathway to citizenship be open to the millions of people who have lived here for years so that they can come out of the shadows, and that people living in other countries in fear of their lives can still find that Americans mean the promise of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    In other words let’s really Make America Great Again.

    • Ranger47 says:

      Once again you pass the buck Gerald, pontificating, sitting back waiting for someone else, in this case big government, to do what’s your job – “write Congress and the President” you say. What a fool you are. Government can’t possibly be charitable, the money they spend isn’t their own. Charity begins at home Gerald. Just curious…do you give to your church? Do you tithe?

      Post your home address and welcome the illegal masses into your home. Do something meaningful, something helpful, something Christian..

      • As it happens, I do tithe, and always have.

        • Ranger47 says:

          A great start Gerald! Now….posting your home address and inviting illegals to spend time with you would be a wonderful next step. It’s something you believe in strongly, and easy to do. As we know, everything is the Lords to begin with so 10% is a small step towards 100%.

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