Guest Column Richard Kelsey Council must push for action on removal of illegal aliens

Guest Column
Richard Kelsey
Council must push for action
on removal of illegal aliens

Freehold Borough Councilman Kevin Coyne’s solution to combat the regiment size, occupation force of illegal aliens in Freehold Borough is compassion.

Thus, those of us with the temerity to question the policies and practices of the Borough Council in dealing with this problem are, by definition, without compassion. That is a real neat argument.

How about some compassion for the legal residents of Freehold who bear the tax burden for the council’s gross neglect on this issue? Freehold police, who swear to uphold the Constitution, have apparently been misled to believe that they have no obligation or duty to report suspected illegal invaders to the federal authorities.

In fact, it is a dereliction of duty not to do so. If the council has a legal opinion or directive from a federal agency telling its officials not to report suspected illegal invaders, I hope they publish that directive under the name of the office from which it came. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) sure could use some more good publicity.

The truth is, the INS invites complaints. Its Internet Web page reads, "We greatly appreciate the assistance of the public in identifying possible suspected illegal alien activity and suspected illegal aliens. If you provide information, it will be evaluated and used to help us better enforce our immigration laws."

Of course, the police do not determine immigration status. That is the bailiwick of federal authorities. The council, however, has a duty and obligation to seek the assistance of the INS or any other appropriate authority if it has information about illegal alien activity.

The council should be working with its state and federal legislative partners to push for enforcement and investigation. The INS is hardly in a position to ignore illegal aliens. The council should have its attorney researching every option available to it in this struggle. If need be, they should contract the issue out for expert legal advice and strategy. They should not, however, throw their arms in the air and declare themselves powerless.

They are not powerless; they suffer from a weakness of will.

Instead of waxing philosophically about the imagined struggles of an immigrant upon whom Councilman Coyne happened during a stroll with his toddler, the borough would be better served if the councilman would elucidate his course of action for reuniting the man with the child the councilman imagines him to have left behind.

The council must show leadership by employing a comprehensive plan for rooting out those who are in our country, and more specifically, the borough, illegally. We need not be mean, cruel or inhumane in our treatment of illegal invaders, but we must vigorously work to remove them from the community. That is the job of Councilman Coyne and the rest of the elected leaders in the borough.

Freehold is a vibrant town of many mixed heritages. Indeed, that is part of what makes "my hometown" special. We are all immigrants. The illegal invaders, however, are not immigrants.

No matter how much we may appreciate their struggle and desire to make a better life, their presence here hurts lawful immigration. Their presence drains communities like Freehold Borough of precious resources. Their presence overburdens the schools and the infrastructure. Their presence is illegal.

While the council relies on the myth that it is powerless to move the federal government to act, the council has turned a blind eye to the advancing boldness of illegal invaders who have maintained tent and cardboard homes on the wooded properties of borough citizens. The council fails to use its existing laws to enforce the public health and safety. By the council’s own admission, landlords have been using the illegal invaders to stack homes and apartments, profiting on and adding to the misery.

The conditions are perilous, and every resident of the borough seems to know where the problems are, except its mayor and council. Now, after a 10-year build-up, the council proposes to hire an extra code official to look into these quality-of-life issues.

The council knows who these landlords are, and they know where to find them. They collect taxes from these landlords every year. The council also knows who employs these individuals, and yet they fail to act, seemingly in reckless disregard of the facts.

While our humanity invites us to understand that illegal invaders look only to better themselves, we need not permit those who covet our goods to possess those goods illegally. While the law of humanity will not tolerate those who mistreat, abuse or steal from these illegal invaders, the law of our country does not permit those invaders to stay. It demands that they leave.

New Jersey cherishes its home rule. Each municipality has its own governing body because New Jerseyans believe the power to govern themselves in their respective communities is sacrosanct, and New Jerseyans pay a steep price for that self-governance in the form of tax dollars. If the mayor and council of Freehold Borough cannot protect and defend its own citizens, and will not actively seek to safeguard the public health and safety, for what purpose do they serve?

Richard Kelsey of Arlington, Va., is a native of Freehold Borough and a former Republican candidate for Borough Council