I have asked the Madison Police Department whether the drive-by gang slaying of a 19-year-old man on Fordem Avenue Wednesday may have involved illegal aliens. While I wait for an official response, I am hearing from a well placed police source that the crime does involve illegal immigrants.
UPDATE: Madison Police Captain Cameron McLay confirms: "All three of the identified suspects are undocumented immigrants ... the deceased was also undocumented."
Captain McLay emphasized that Madison Police's main interest "is in the illegal conduct" and that their immigration status secondary. The Captain said, of his department, "We rely on maintaining lines of communication with the Latino community."
Antonio Perez, 19, was gunned down as he took a smoke outside of Webcrafter's where he was working as a contracted employee of a temp agency. The Wisconsin State Journal has already reported that Perez was born in Mexico.
Madison police have named two suspects -- Billy Wenner-Say and Arain Gutierrez -- and picked up another, Karen Giron-Cruz, age 19. Two other men reportedly in the drive-by shooting car that night have not been identified.
This development comes as Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney is being pressed to quit cooperating with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Since January 2009, the sheriff, elected as a Democrat, has turned 179 illegal immigrants over to the INS. He's catching hell for it from the Far Left. One Alex Gillis, of something called the Immigrant Workers Union, organized a rally on Saturday that attracted 500 champions of illegal immigration to the State Capitol, where Wisconsin's laws are made.
The Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday quotes the most unintentionally ironic thing I have heard in a long time: "This is about taking our country back," Gillis said.
Sure enough, the Dane County Equal Opportunity commission has condemned Arizona's immigration law.
Sheriff Mahoney makes the common sense case that, when his deputies, or those of the Madison and surrounding community police departments, deposit someone in his jail he would like to know their true identity. Since the federal government now prohibits the issuance of state drivers licenses to illegal aliens, he's getting arrestees with invalid or no identification.
"I want to know who I've got in my jail," Sheriff Mahoney told Blaska's Blog. "We call I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) because they have a database."
"Our deputies are not out hunting down immigrants," Mahoney says, then adds, "Most law abiding immigrants say they want the problems off the street. I am a law enforcement officer. I don't get to pick and choose which laws I enforce."
Dane County Board second guesses sheriff
Sheriff Mahoney is being second-guessed by the Dane County Board, which has set up an Immigration Task Force. It meets this Monday afternoon, May 3, at 5 p.m. in Room 315 of the City-County Building. This one has been flying under the radar screen.
On tonight's agenda is discussion of "whether public comment will be invited at the final May 13 meeting (this one is 6:30 p.m.) before finalizing the draft report." Brace yourself for a BlaskaBlog editorial comment: There damn well better be public comment. I want my invitation in an engraved envelope.
County Board Chairman Scott McDonell set the tone at the Task Force's first meeting last September when he noted that the county had just amended the fair housing ordinance to prohibit landlords from asking for Social Security numbers of housing applicants. The Task Force is chaired by former Madison Police Captain Luis Yudice.
There appear to be 11 possible recommendations. One of those would provide detainees with "access to immigration attorneys."
One committee member, Madison Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, has already signaled that she disagrees with I.C.E. guidelines. Based on her opinion, asking inmates whether they are U.S. citizens violates the civil rights of those detainees because, according to the minutes of the April 29 meeting, "whether a deputy sheriff believes someone is telling the truth in response to a question regarding his or her citizenship status is determined by racial profiling."
Mahoney counters that everyone admitted to the jail is asked the same questions: date of birth and citizenship. He also warns that suburban police chiefs are already wary of being instructed how to run their departments from Madison.
County Sup. Diane Hesselbein suggests adopting the language of an Ithaca, N.Y. city resolution.
Ithaca's resolution "condemns the current laws, stating that 'our nation's immigration system continues to be broken, with the federal government pursuing an ineffective enforcement-only strategy that attempts to make the nation's antiquated immigration laws fit current realities,'" according to the Cornell Daily Sun. The university is based in Ithaca.
The student newspaper quotes an immigrant rights coalition spokesman as saying "Ithaca is quite progressive, so the City of Ithaca, at least theoretically, is a safe-haven for immigrants, but it is quite different in some of the outlying counties."
It seems to your BlaskaBlogger that this is a committee in search of a problem. That problem in turn can be traced to the fact that no one from the general public is attending these meetings. The whole circus is being led by the special interest pleaders, not the rank and file citizenry.
Not klezmer, not bluegrass, not ...
... soul, R&B, rock, jazz, blues, C&W, chanson, folk, pop, polka, Broadway, opera, chamber or symphony.
A Stoughton man shot to death on his front porch early Saturday was a father of two and an aspiring hip-hop artist who had just returned from performing in front of several hundred people at an area bar. ... The incident did not appear to be a random act, police said.
... friends took strong offense at any suggestion that Williams was involved with a criminal element at the time of his death. He had been convicted of a burglary charge in 2002 and a cocaine charge in 2005, according to online court records. [Wisconsin State Journal: 05-02-10]
What are the odds? Our hip hop artist is aspiring (or respiring) no more.
See if you can find the conservative/moderate:
Mayor Dave's appointees to be rubber-stamped Tuesday evening:
Mark Clear and Tim Bruer to Board of Estimates, Mike Verveer to Ethics Board and State Street Design Project, Bridget Maniaci to Ped-Bike-Motor, and State Street Design Project with Bryon Eagon, Michael Schumacher to CDBG, Tim Bruer (Plan, Long Range Transportation), Eli Judge (Public Safety Review, Madison City Channel), Julia Kerr (State Street Design Project, CDA, Housing), Satya Rhodes-Conway and Shiva Bidar-Sielaff (Common Council Liaisons to Board of Education), Gary Poulson (Long Range Transportation Planning, Parking Strategic Plan, Transit & Parking, TIF Review Board), Susan De Vos (Ped-Bike-Motor Vehicle, ADA Transit), Marsha Rummel and Susan Schmitz (Transit & Parking, Contract Services, Parking Strategic Plan, Ho-Chunk Nation/Madison City Joint Planning), Charles Sanders (CDBG, Housing), Stu Levitan (Landmarks, CDA, Madison Development Corp), Mayor-in-all-but-name. Oops, made that last one up.
Are we missing one name ... begins with D?