Monday, May 04, 2009

Immigration Reform

I find the following article deeply disturbing. The most offensive to me was that these men should have been found guilty of at least manslaughter. Without a doubt, it should have been first degree murder. I am also concerned about the jury, which was all white and consisted of six men and six woman. This is outrageous! I don't believe justice was served. No one has the right to violate another person, legal or illegal. I'm convinced prejudice played a pivotal role in the outcome.

However, I do believe illegal immigration is wrong. There is a system in place for how people get into the United States and how they become citizens. Anyone not following the rules must be brought to justice, especially those who hire illegal immigrants. There is no doubt in my mind that the immigration system needs an overhaul… Big Time!

Furthermore, I don't believe in amnesty because it only fuels hate, resentment and feeds into more violence. No one benefits. We seriously need to consider the following: a path to citizenship, guest worker programs and possibly deportation for some. Illegal immigrants must pay back taxes with additional penalties. People who hire illegal immigrants must be fined and possibly serve jail time. My feelings are based strictly on the laws of the land. I am offended by anyone who doesn't follow rules because it creates an unhealthy environment.

It saddens me that people have to flee their country to find opportunity elsewhere. I do understand why people do it. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave in my book is the best place to live. Who wouldn't want to live here? We must never lose sight of what America is, a land of immigrants. However, we are also a land governed by principals and rules, and they must be followed.

I recommend everyone see the movie The Visitor. I hope it will teach you compassion, tolerance and guide you to respecting diversity. No matter who, what or where you are, we are all one.


To Luis Ramirez’s family, I am sad for your loss. I also feel your anger, because the justice system in this case didn't just fail you, it failed everyone. - paerki

(The following article was extracted from CNN. The pictures in this post are not part of the original article.)

No murder conviction in Mexican immigrant's beating death

POTTSVILLE, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A fomer Pennsylvania high school football player was acquitted of murder Friday in the beating death of a Mexican immigrant last summer.

However, a Schuylkill County jury found Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak guilty of simple assault stemming from the death of Luis Ramirez, who died of blunt force injuries to the head after a fight with the defendants and their friends.


Donchak, 19, was also found guilty of providing alcohol to the group of teens that encountered Ramirez the night of July 12 on a residential street in the rural mining town of Shenandoah.
Both teens were acquitted of ethnic intimidation charges.


Prosecutors alleged the teens baited the undocumented Mexican immigrant into a fight with racial epithets, provoking an exchange of punches and kicks that ended with Ramirez convulsing in the street, foaming from the mouth.

He died two days later in a hospital in Danville.

Piekarsky, 17, had faced a charge of third-degree murder for allegedly delivering a fatal kick to Ramirez's head after he was knocked to the ground. He also was found not guilty of ethnic intimidation, aggravated assault and attempting to solicit a cover-up.

An all-white jury of six men and six women heard from several prosecution witnesses, including a juvenile co-defendant and another teen who pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in the fight.

While the jury heard conflicting accounts about who initiated the encounter or delivered the final kick to Ramirez's head, defense lawyers attempted to place the blame on another co-defendant, who is facing charges in juvenile court, and Colin Walsh, who has pleaded guilty to violating Ramirez's civil rights.

The juvenile admitted on the stand to shouting "go home you Mexican [expletive]" after the first fight dispersed, prompting Ramirez to turn back and attack him.

The juvenile's testimony was corroborated by Walsh, who admitted to punching Ramirez and knocking him to the ground after he charged the juvenile.

Both witnesses said Piekarsky delivered the final blow to Ramirez's head while he was on the ground, but others testified that they couldn't be certain who had actually kicked him.

The incident drew national attention to the small town of Shenandoah, highlighting issues of race relations.

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.

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I love photographs! They have this amazing ability to tell stories of fun places, special moments, memorable events, and exciting places. They give us reason to pause and remember friends, family, coworkers and so many others. One photograph can conjure up a flood of memories taking us on a journey. They help us remember the past, enjoy the present and ponder the future.

On a cold and rainy day I love sitting in my living room with a roaring fire, a glass of wine, classical music playing in the background and my many photographs scattered about me. I love sifting through what I call my special collection, which refers to my favorites. They remind me of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. They remind me of challenges and overcoming.

My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

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There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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