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Thread: Discussion on Immigration leads to scuffle on ilw.com board

  1. #1
    [Special report. transcript. 03-19-04]


    A contentious ILW.FORUM debate on illegal immigration led to a scuffle and shouting match yesterday between two anti-illegals and advocates for immigrant rights.

    Michael and Acelaw (a.k.a. AceIaw) said they left the discussion to confront four advocates who they said had referred to them as "racists" after they posted their opinions along with the study of the financial impact of illegal immigration.

    Advocates from Casa de Mexico said Michael turned on one of their lobbyists in the hallway, questioning her immigration status.

    "He called me an illegal and said, 'You are probably one of those who broke the law,' " said Maria, 23, a Latina lobbyist for the www.mexicogolegal.com-based advocacy group. "He was pointing his finger right in my face, and he was yelling. It was really ugly."

    Pasha Patel, a unifying leader working with both groups, said he intervened, only to have Michael push him in the hallway of the Forum Building.

    "He physically shoved me aside," said Pasha, "It was kind of surreal. I have been doing this for eight to 12 years and have never seen a poster come out of an internet loaded for bear like that, and certainly never saw a poster physically accost a member of the public like that."

    Michael acknowledged that he shoved Pasha Patel, but he said it was in self-defense after the unifying leader charged at him.

    "I see a blur coming at me, and that is all I saw," Michael said. "When he came upon me, I pushed him off me."

    Pasha said he was stepping in to protect Maria from Michael's questioning.

    "They were getting verbally aggressive, getting in her face," Pasha said

    Pasha said Michael also asked to see Maria's "papers." Michael denied that anyone asked to see Maria's papers but said he asked whether she was an illegal immigrant. "I wanted to see how this legislation would affect her," he said.

    The confrontation was broken up by cyber police officers who guard the Forum. They escorted posters to their computers. The Cyber State Police and the Department of General Cyber Services are investigating the incident. Both E. and Maria said they plan to file complaints with the ethics committee.

    Forum Speaker E. (D-NJ) said the committee would investigate. "It is unfortunate these kinds of incidents have to take place," E. said.

    Hispanic advocates said the fight yesterday highlights tension that surrounds efforts to pass laws restricting immigration.

    "It was the most shameful example of the political process I have ever seen," said Cluhbirne, a spouse of a Latino man, who said the delegates also verbally threatened her during the confrontation.

    Michael and Acelaw, both from same side, said the incident could have been prevented if the moderator of the www.ilw.discussion.com , had stopped the advocates from name-calling.

    "There were no rules, no laws and the laws spilled over into the hallway," Acelaw said.

    The immigrant rights advocates said their testimony was aimed at the discussion, not the posters who posted it.

  2. #2
    [Special report. transcript. 03-19-04]


    A contentious ILW.FORUM debate on illegal immigration led to a scuffle and shouting match yesterday between two anti-illegals and advocates for immigrant rights.

    Michael and Acelaw (a.k.a. AceIaw) said they left the discussion to confront four advocates who they said had referred to them as "racists" after they posted their opinions along with the study of the financial impact of illegal immigration.

    Advocates from Casa de Mexico said Michael turned on one of their lobbyists in the hallway, questioning her immigration status.

    "He called me an illegal and said, 'You are probably one of those who broke the law,' " said Maria, 23, a Latina lobbyist for the www.mexicogolegal.com-based advocacy group. "He was pointing his finger right in my face, and he was yelling. It was really ugly."

    Pasha Patel, a unifying leader working with both groups, said he intervened, only to have Michael push him in the hallway of the Forum Building.

    "He physically shoved me aside," said Pasha, "It was kind of surreal. I have been doing this for eight to 12 years and have never seen a poster come out of an internet loaded for bear like that, and certainly never saw a poster physically accost a member of the public like that."

    Michael acknowledged that he shoved Pasha Patel, but he said it was in self-defense after the unifying leader charged at him.

    "I see a blur coming at me, and that is all I saw," Michael said. "When he came upon me, I pushed him off me."

    Pasha said he was stepping in to protect Maria from Michael's questioning.

    "They were getting verbally aggressive, getting in her face," Pasha said

    Pasha said Michael also asked to see Maria's "papers." Michael denied that anyone asked to see Maria's papers but said he asked whether she was an illegal immigrant. "I wanted to see how this legislation would affect her," he said.

    The confrontation was broken up by cyber police officers who guard the Forum. They escorted posters to their computers. The Cyber State Police and the Department of General Cyber Services are investigating the incident. Both E. and Maria said they plan to file complaints with the ethics committee.

    Forum Speaker E. (D-NJ) said the committee would investigate. "It is unfortunate these kinds of incidents have to take place," E. said.

    Hispanic advocates said the fight yesterday highlights tension that surrounds efforts to pass laws restricting immigration.

    "It was the most shameful example of the political process I have ever seen," said Cluhbirne, a spouse of a Latino man, who said the delegates also verbally threatened her during the confrontation.

    Michael and Acelaw, both from same side, said the incident could have been prevented if the moderator of the www.ilw.discussion.com , had stopped the advocates from name-calling.

    "There were no rules, no laws and the laws spilled over into the hallway," Acelaw said.

    The immigrant rights advocates said their testimony was aimed at the discussion, not the posters who posted it.

  3. #3
    I'm laughging my azzz offff..... good job E. Very funny bit.

  4. #4

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