There were two immigration-related stories on the front page of The State this morning. There was this one, about Lexington County Sheriff James Metts’ agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whereby he checks on the immigration status of those booked into the jail, and this one, about how other law enforcement authorities in SC don’t want to get pulled into that federal function on top of their current responsibilities, as a bill moving through the Legislature would have them do. I liked the subhed on the second story:
Police prefer to pursue dangerous criminals over illegal immigrants
Good point, that.
To this mix, I will add this story from an Upstate TV station. Sorry there’s no embed; it wasn’t offered as an option (a peeve of mine). But here’s some text:
GREENVILLE, S.C. — A string of anti-immigrant graffiti crimes showed up this week in the White Horse Road area of Greenville County.
Three locations within a mile stretch of the busy road in northwest Greenville were scrawled with large, white painted letters spelling out derogatory phrases urging immigrants to “go home.”
The three locations include a vacant building, a subdivision fence and a church.
According to the sheriff’s office, only the church, called Plentitud Cristiana, has filed a police report about the graffiti.
In that case, vandals painted “go to with the devil” on the outside of the church. They also dumped leftover paint down the church’s outdoor AC unit, deputies confirmed.
Congregation members said the church has been targeted several times in the past. “It’s very hard. I’m offended,” church member Ariz Funez said. “Yesterday, the church decided to pray for the vandals because they are not on the right path,” he said….
In particular, I was struck by the threat left by the vandal: “remove at your own peril or you will be killed.”
This item was brought to my attention by my friend Maria Smoak, Director of Hispanic Ministries at my church, St. Peter’s. She had this to say:
What a sad time in our state and country’s history…
Now, some of those of you who get all worked up about the illegals in our midst will protest that I am painting anti-illegal folks with the brush wielded by one extremist wacko, which isn’t fair. But I’m not. I’m just passing it on. To suggest that most of the folks who get emotional about this issue are so unbalanced would be terribly unfair — as unfair as arguing that illegals are a terrible threat to us all because some of them (just as with the general, legal population) are dangerous criminals.
I just pass this on as another part of the whole picture, a snapshot of the darker reaches of our subconscious Zeitgeist.