Me to Casa de Maryland - Don't Tread on Me - Southern Maryland Headline News

Me to Casa de Maryland - Don't Tread on Me

Commentary by Ron Miller

Ron MillerYesterday, the statewide petition drive to bring the law permitting in-state tuition for the children of illegal aliens to a referendum announced a significant accomplishment. The drive's sponsors were successful in collecting more than enough signatures to meet the state's first deadline for submission.

There's still more work to be done to meet the state's requirement of about 56,000 valid signatures by June, and, led by Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County, is aiming to collect over 100,000 signatures by that time to ensure there are enough valid ones to put this bill on the ballot and before the people.

There is also a disturbing trend being witnessed by volunteers who are out and about collecting signatures for the referendum. The people they encounter are mostly enthusiastic about the petition drive and eager to sign, and party affiliation doesn't seem to be a determinant as to who supports the referendum. Even some supporters of the bill have signed, believing this issue should be decided by the people and not the special interests who have our legislators licking out of their hands.

In the midst of collecting signatures, however, volunteers and signatories are being approached and harassed by people sympathetic to illegal aliens, some of them affiliated with the notorious illegal alien advocacy group, Casa de Maryland. If you think the claim of illegal alien advocacy is hyperbole, read the words on their own Web site:
CASA's vision is for strong, economically and ethnically diverse communities in which all people - especially women, low-income people, and workers - can participate fully benefit, regardless of their immigration status {emphasis mine}.
Every item on their web site is about fighting federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or law-enforcement initiatives like "Secure Communities" or "E-Verify."

Their active resistance to efforts to uphold the laws of our nation ought to make you angry.

Does a nation not have the right to defend its borders? Isn't the first consideration of a nation the well-being of its citizens and legal immigrants?

Every nation in the world has laws governing the entry, residence and employment of foreigners, including Mexico, whose immigration laws are strict and harshly enforced. If we tried to do in Mexico what they are doing here in America, the crackdown would be swift and the repercussions severe.

Why, in the opinion of Casa de Maryland, other organizations of their ilk, and the liberals who back them, is the United States of America alone obligated to ignore its laws, open its borders, surrender its sovereignty and abandon the rights and privileges of those who are citizens, or who obeyed our laws and respected our authority to come here legally?

In fact, they are so convinced they have the right to disrespect the rule of law in America that they won't hesitate to disrupt us in the process of exercising our rights.

On a number of occasions, volunteers collecting signatures for the petition were approached and harassed by members of illegal alien advocacy groups.

One of the harassers, Kim Propeack, was especially loathsome in her words and actions, as reported by petition activists in Rockville:
One of Torres' top drones, the taxpayer subsidized Kim Propeack, Community Organizer of some sort, came by our tent today and actually tried to force herself between petition signers and our volunteers!

Propeack screamed that we were 'Immigrant Bashing" and called the MD Petitioner volunteers "Haters"! One of our volunteers Shakil, a first generation immigrant from Bangledesh (his parents are legal immigrants!) was extremely offended by the vile words used by CASA of Maryland.

Fortunately our cool headed volunteers ignored Propeack and continued about their business of collecting signatures from concerned citizens.
The harassment continued throughout the day from other sources:
After originally shouting at us about being racists and haters, and drawing a crowd, two of the three who approached us initially left and returned with literature from Identity, Inc. and a hastily made sign that said, "Don't support the Hate" and they proceeded to get between us and people coming to the table to sign our petition… (one woman actually said to them, 'stop harassing me!')
Ms. Propeack was quoted in the Baltimore Sun article about the successful first step in the petition drive, stating they needed to do a better job of explaining the benefits of the illegal alien law, and saying, "I also think that we will be engaging people at the places where they are signing people up."

Hear me well and clearly, Ms. Propeack. If your idea of engagement bears any resemblance to the stunt you pulled in Rockville, please rethink your position.

You do not have the right to restrict or harass me or anyone else in the exercise of our First Amendment right to petition our government. In case you've forgotten, it reads as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Moreover, the Maryland Constitution gives us the right to a referendum by petition:
Article XVI (added by Chapter 673, Acts of 1914, ratified Nov. 2, 1915)

Sec. 1.

(a) The people reserve to themselves power known as The Referendum, by petition to have submitted to the registered voters of the State, to approve or reject at the polls, any Act, or part of any Act of the General Assembly, if approved by the Governor, or, if passed by the General Assembly over the veto of the Governor.
In other words, stay clear, ma'am. As the union protesters who trashed or destroyed public property, verbally and physically assaulted opponents and otherwise behaved like jerks found out, that dog doesn't hunt in the United States of America.

Oh, and one more thing. My wife is a legal immigrant to this country. Save your "immigrant basher" shrieks for your friends who, like you, think our laws don't matter as much as your feelings.

On the other hand, I commend the county commissioners of Carroll and Frederick counties for endorsing the signature collection effort and offering locations where people can go to sign the petition. Maybe they need to offer police protection, too.

Ron Miller of Huntingtown, Maryland is a conservative writer and commentator, and author of SELLOUT: Musings From Uncle Tom’s Porch. He is the president of Regular Folks United, which promotes and defends individual liberty, and president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of Maryland, the state chapter of the nation’s preeminent organization of Christian black Republicans. The nine-year plus veteran of the U.S. Air Force and married father of three writes columns for numerous online sites and print publications, and his own website, Join him on Facebook andTwitter.

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