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Illegal Immigration in Anaheim, California
By Harald G. Martin

Harald Martin I work as a police officer in my community and I am also an elected member of the Anaheim Union High School Board of Trustees. I have watched many neighborhoods slip into third world conditions and those have spilled out into our community and into our schools.

One of the reasons I ran for school board and became an elected member in 1994 was to try to stop the expanding level of bilingual education. The negative effect of bilingual education was brought home to me because of my contact with a young lady — let's just call her Maria — who was in the 11th grade at Loara High School. All the school districts in Anaheim were having a very rapid increase of illegal aliens in the schools and the influx was having a significant impact on the students.

Maria was Hispanic and because of my work as a community based police officer, I sometimes helped kids with their schoolwork. Well, this young lady had lived in the United States her entire life and had attended all the local public schools. But, she had been in bilingual education for that entire time and she was working at about the sixth grade level. This young lady was not un-intelligent. Maria was not a special-ed student, nor did she have any other problems at school. She had been held back by an education system demanding that she work in Spanish and English in a way the kept her from becoming fluent in either. Her chances of securing a good paying job or getting into college was severely diminished. She was being cheated out of a decent education and future and it made me angry. Her story was being repeated by thousands of students across our community and it was a shameful disgrace.

As a police officer working the streets of Anaheim, I began to notice that street crime was increasing in the early 90's and more Hispanics, especially Mexicans, were being arrested. I estimated that one-third of our arrests were of illegals aliens. At that time I was a member of the police association board and we regularly spoke to the Chief of Police. I constantly brought up the fact that we were arresting significant numbers of illegals and that officers, as well as community members, were at greater risk of being victimized. Nothing was done. I brought it up so much that the Chief was getting frustrated with me.

Then in late 1995 it happened: Police Officer Tim Garcia was shot and almost killed by an illegal alien who already had a felony record. I wrote a resolution and the police association went over the Chief's head straight to City Council to demand that we get an INS officer stationed in our jail. The resolution passed and eventually in 1996 we got the first INS officer stationed in a local jail in the entire United States. Their first count showed that 37 percent of the arrests being made were of illegal aliens. Illegals were being arrested for minor crimes such as urinating in public all the way to rape, robbery and murder. It took the blood of a policeman to get those facts out and it made me angry.

Blight, crime, narcotics activity and gang activity can be laid out on a map of Anaheim and the constant theme is that virtually every problem area will have high concentrations of illegal aliens. It makes me angry. But I'm not angry with illegal aliens. I'm angry with our politicians and upper level bureaucrats. They are the ones who are so afraid of being called a "racist" that they are willing to let legal residents suffer the consequences while they insulate themselves in high-dollar gated communities.

Don't let anyone tell you that illegal immigration is a federal problem. It's a local problem and can be solved locally. In 1996 the congress passed immigration legislation amending Title 8 of the immigration code to allow local law enforcement officers to act as INS agents to detain and arrest illegal aliens for violation of INS laws. There are 13 million illegals in our country and there is no way the INS can handle that with the number of INS agents they have. Local law enforcement is the only solution to this problem. Get angry with the Chief of Police, the City Council and any other politician that refuses to protect you and your family. Make them more afraid of you than the word "racist."