Freedom Folks

Friday, July 21, 2006

Show Prep 072106: Roy Walton

Hour one

Using Federal Racketeering Laws Against The Employers Of Illegals.

Jake likes!
Dalton (Georgia) may be 1,200 miles from Mexico, but it is in many ways a border town, whipsawed by every twist in the immigration debate. Its business and civic leaders call Latinos saviors of their one-industry economy, while its state and federal lawmakers are in the forefront of efforts to seal the border and block a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

And U.S.-born workers at Mohawk Industries Inc., the nation's No. 2 carpet manufacturer and a major Dalton employer, have filed one of several class-action lawsuits around the country alleging that the hiring of illegal workers constitutes federal racketeering -- a legal strategy that, if successful, could subject Mohawk to huge fines. Mohawk says it obeyed all applicable laws and is trying to have the suit dismissed. But the forces that changed Dalton are not easily reversed. The carpet industry always has relied on migrants. It took off in the 1950s, drawing people throughout Appalachia to the steadiest paycheck in the hardscrabble region.
1986: A Turning Point
The shift began soon after the 1986 immigration law granted amnesty to millions of illegal U.S. immigrants. At about the same time, carpet factories began hiring after a deep recession. Frank Shaheen, a cousin of Shaheen Shaheen and owner of a small carpet mill in nearby Calhoun, said he first noticed the transition at a sweltering factory where his company's yarn was dyed.

"It was like there were two completely separate workforces there," he said. "One was these older [white] guys who'd been there since the business opened in 1951. And the other was all young Hispanics. There was nobody in between."

The national housing boom of the 1990s sent demand for carpet soaring, prompting alarm about a labor shortage in Dalton. First-generation workers were retiring and many young people had left for New South metropolises like Atlanta. The county's non-Hispanic workforce dropped by more than 4,000 in the 1990s, according to the U.S. Census. And many who remained turned away from factory work. Industry executives talked of moving some major facilities from the area, possibly to Mexico. Meanwhile, word of the jobs bounty -- advertised on billboards and banners -- spread to Mexican enclaves around the country.

Carmen Campos, who became a citizen after the 1986 amnesty, was working in a foul-smelling meat-packing plant in Dodge City, Kan., for less than $10 an hour when his sister-in-law called with news of better work and better schools in Dalton. (He now makes $14.64 an hour as an operator for Shaw Industries Inc.)
Demographics are destiny
The Mohawk workers' lawsuit invokes a 1996 law that made knowingly hiring illegal immigrants a potential racketeering offense. It alleges that the company recruited illegal workers and paid bonuses to employees who transported and housed them and supplied them with fake papers. It also alleges that the company effectively winked at obviously fake documents. The alleged scheme suppressed the wages of U.S.-born workers, according to the lawsuit.

Mohawk denied the allegations and has challenged the racketeering theory all the way to the Supreme Court, which last month sent the case back without a ruling to the federal appeals court in Atlanta for reconsideration.

"Mohawk is proud of the fact that it has a diverse workforce," said its lead attorney, Juan Morillo of Sidley Austin LLP. "It didn't do anything intentionally to generate that."

When Latino parishioners overflowed Dalton's 130-seat St. Joseph's Catholic Church -- even after pews were extended and aisles narrowed -- industry executives helped pay for a new, 600-seat church whose bilingual priest now leads both masses and misas. Parishioner Carl Burkhardt, president of Dalton's No. 3 carpetmaker, Beaulieu of America Inc., gave $1 million while Shaw Industries chief executive Bob Shaw "godfathered" the project,

And as Latinos increased from 4 percent of Dalton public school students in 1990 to 44 percent in 2000 and 61 percent in 2005, help came from the industry, the city government and a $500,000 federal grant, all at the behest of a prominent local attorney and former congressman. The Georgia Project, founded by attorney Erwin Mitchell in 1996, brought bilingual educators from Mexico to teach Latino children and to instruct local teachers in the Spanish language and Mexican culture. It also sends Dalton teachers to a summer institute in Mexico and provides after-school tutoring for Latino children whose parents don't speak English.
according to Father Daniel Stack, the priest at the time. "He said we were taking care of his workers, so he wanted to help take care of us," Stack said.
H/T Toni @ BearCreekLedger

Hour Two: Roy Warden, prosecuted for political conduct?
City man arrested after Mexican-flag burning

A Tucson man was arrested Tuesday for his role in the burning of a Mexican flag as part of a counterprotest at a pro-immigration rally. At about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tucson police cited Roy Warden, 58, on suspicion of assault, criminal damage and reckless burning, and then released him, according to Sgt. Decio Hopffer.

Video footage shot Monday by police and the media showed Warden assaulting a TV cameraman and a photographer, Hopffer said. Because only one of the men pressed charges, there is only one assault charge.
Warden faces the criminal-damage charge for harm done to the concrete shuffleboard court where Warden's group was burning the Mexican flag, Hopffer said.
Warden and his group, Border Guardians, arrived at Armory Park just after noon Monday to stage a counterprotest to the 15,000 marchers who were protesting what they see as unfair immigration laws. At about 2:15 p.m, they burned Mexican flags and tempers flared.
Police arrested two girls for throwing water at Warden and his group, and a scuffle broke out as police escorted them away. On Monday, Tucson police arrested six people on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, interfering with governmental operation, hindering prosecution and disturbing the peace.
Hopffer said police are still reviewing tape of the scuffle.
Warden said the charges are a direct result of political pressure from the Mexican Consulate.
"If they saw something unlawful, why didn't they commit an arrest then?" Warden said.
He said he plans to represent himself at his court hearing on April 24 and said he's confident he will clear himself of charges. In addition, he said he plans to sue the cameraman for defamation of character and denying his right to free speech.
Another member of Border Guardians, Laine Lawless, called the arrest a petty way to punish the group for its dissenting voice.
March organizers also questioned why it took police so long to make the arrest. They have a requested a meeting with city officials for Thursday to discuss the issue, said Zoe Hammer, spokeswoman for Border Action Network, one of the local human-rights groups that organized the march.
Mexican Flag Burner to LaWall: "Where's The Indictment? Let's Get It On!"
Local legal sources reveal that Pima County Prosecutor Barbara LaWall, responding to pressure from open border activists and a complaint lodged by the Mexican Consulate, has quietly impaneled a secret grand jury to indict Roy Warden for burning the Mexican Flag.

Flag burning, the burning of venerated symbols, is prohibited by Arizona statutes; however the US Supreme Court has consistently ruled otherwise.

"It all comes down to precise wording and legal terminology", says Warden. "In Arizona only American flags and the flag of Arizona are classified as venerated symbols."

"Mexican flags are not venerated here. They're just trash."

The Mexican government believes otherwise. "We consider any provocation or vandalism of national symbols to be unacceptable", said Foreign Relations Undersecretary Lourdes Aranda. Warden says he will seek a clarification of Mexico's official policy from Tucson Mexican Counsel, Juan Manuel Calderon Jaimez, who has made no public statement to date.

"I will tell Mr. Jaimez I'm going to burn a whole lot more Mexican flags on May 5, whether he likes it or not. And these burnings will take place on public property in the face of the largest groups of Cinco de Mayo celebrants", said Warden.

"I'm going to make Mexican Flag burning the new National Pastime."

As for the indictment, Warden says: "Make sure you include a ham sandwich as one of the counts, Barbara. Because I'm hungry. When this thing comes to court I will eat you alive."
This audio clip has been offered as proof that Roy is dangerous, what do you think?

Here is some TV coverage of the actual flag burning. Here's what I notice, all the arrests at the scene were of criminal invaders acting in a criminal manner, I'm shocked, no really.

No lawyer for you? (From email)
Municipal Judge Eugene Hays just appointed himself judge, jury and executioner of Warden, the Mexican Flag Burner. As for the 1st Amendment? Superior Court Judges Fell and Leonardo suspended that long ago.

Extravagant prose? Baseless allegations? Hardly. In Pima County, if you burn a Mexican Flag, or write stories critical of the corrupt power structure, including the judges who run the criminal justice system, they will prosecute you. The raw, ugly, unvarnished facts, available to any investigative reporter who cares to view them, are already part of a growing court record.

Yesterday, court appointed attorney Stephanie Meade opted out of representing Warden, citing “scheduling conflicts.” On July 06, 2006 Public Defender Chuck Davies, calling Warden’s case “…political, Warden is being prosecuted for political conduct,” also declined representation, citing a “conflict of interest.”

Truth is, no local attorney dare take Warden’s case…and win. “I’m indigent. Any court appointed lawyer who “wins” this case, won’t see another $200,000 a year contract from the county. Hasta la vista, baby. They’ll kiss their livelihood good-by.”

Judge Hays seems intent to break all the rules to resolve the growing conflict between Warden’s guarantee of a court appointed attorney, and his right to a speedy trial.

“Actually, there’s no conflict,” claims Warden. “I’m entitled to a court appointed lawyer and a speedy trial. Period. End of story. There is nothing in the rules that says I have to give up one to get the other.”

Judge Hays believes otherwise. “It’s unreasonable for you to expect a busy lawyer to drop everything just to get your case to trial.” Warden shot back: “I asked for a lawyer at the very beginning of this case. It’s not my fault the court wasted three months before starting to look for one.”

“The Court’s apparent position that I have to give up one constitutional guarantee to get another will make for an interesting appellate issue for a higher court to decide,” Warden says. “The only justice I’ll find in Pima County is over in federal court.”

Meanwhile, Judge Hays set another hearing for August 04, 2006. “If you don’t have a lawyer by then, Mr. Warden, you’re on your own.” And to make Warden’s task even more daunting, Judge Hays set the trial date for September 18, 2006.
To contribute to Roy's defense

Is this another example of Mexitude?

Hour Three: The Round-up, Yehaa!

But They Might Get HURT Breaking Our Laws...

In the immortal words of Baretta..."Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, don't do it!"

Illegal aliens caught in LULAC van

In a LULAC van? I don't believe it, I won't believe it!

Wells Fargo and illegal activity

The true underlying problem of illegal immigration, those who profit from it, and are cheerfully destroying this country in the process.

And as always...

Your moment of Aztlan

Illegal immigration news

And from yesterday's show here's the link to Adam's book

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