Sunday, October 24, 2010
Oakland Has Disappeared: Record Deportations
On September 30, 2010, Oakland, California closed its doors; the elections were canceled; property tax notices stopped being served, street sweepers stayed motionless, teachers and students, families all gone.
The power was turned off and what remains of the city government, elected officials are claiming that Oakland crime is no more. Gentrification is now the good word, the savior. But there's a problem, Houston.
Oakland is off the grid.
Oakland decimated by deportations! A total of 392,862 residents were deported during the last twelve months.
Through an assortment of immigration-police programs, employer sanctions and E-verify programs that allow the employers and the government to check if a worker is authorized to work in the United States, through ICE carrying out illegal street sweeps targeting day laborers, mothers with children in tow on their way to school; at community health clinics, at church services, at funerals, in houses and apartment homes, at "DUI" check-points where anyone without a license was arrested, ICE picked up an average of 1076 residents per day. hauling them away to Mexico, Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines, China, South Korea, Ecuador, Burma, Nigeria, Poland, and at least one family from Bosnia.
Oakland Now Belongs to the "Secure Communities" Family
Former Oakland Mayor, now California Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate, Jerry Brown was a big player in Oakland's demise.
As Attorney General, Brown signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that allowed the Oakland police to send the fingerprints of all persons they arrested directly to DHS to check their immigration status. This turned out to be a gold mine.
Called "Secure Communities," Oakland police was able to get tens of thousands of Oakland residents who are legal permanent residents fingerprinted. Because of the 1996 immigration and welfare reform laws, the police were able to entrap many residents because they had committed an "aggravated felony" some time in their lives and got them automatically deported.
This is a nightmare.
The Fruitvale District, once a thriving neighborhood struggling with crime, first saw street vendors and their customers disappear.
Then ICE and Oakland police agents starting going into grocery and clothes stores: clerks, customers, owners feet first.
When the Fruitvale went kaput, ICE and local police began picking up anybody who looked like an "immigrant" somebody: passer-bys including hipsters claiming to be from the Hills, transit village voyeurs, wanna-be artists living in warehouses from West Oakland to Jingle Town, late night taco truck and Meso-American vegan burrito connoisseurs all rounded up indiscriminately.
A policeman was overheard telling one of the persons being handcuffed, "If you're in Oakland, you must be illegal," -- this according to one lucky hipster who happened to be carrying his passport and spoke impeccable English.
ICE and Oakland Police also scoured quineceñeras, weddings, funerals and rosary services, and Buddhist temples. ICE found a mother-lode at St. Elizabeth Church that has three Spanish Masses on Saturdays and nine masses on Sunday, starting at 6:00 a.m. and ending with the last Spanish mass at 7:30 p.m.
The Evangelicals went flying into the DHS buses; norteños, border-brothers and sureños shared aisles.
Refugees were easy targets. After ICE deported their fellow churchmembers, legal services providers, neighborhood health clinic workers, refugees stood out like a sore-ass thumb.
ICE and company hit high schools, the charter schools, elementary schools, childcare centers and arrested anyone remotely suspected of being a gang-member or didn't look white.
Chinatown is a ghost town, too. Korea-town, Little Saigon, Old Oakland, even Piedmont restaurants, where all the food and service workers were immigrants, are closed down.
A few U.S. citizens and quite a few legal permanent residents were picked up and deported. No more morning lattes, no more cheap Vietnamese sandwiches, no more Oakland the most diverse city in the universe. Even former California Governor and immigrant Arnold Schwarzennegger was stopped at the Oakland Airport. Lucky for him that Jerry Brown vouched for him.
Oakland Police Department is largely intact; the overwhelming majority of Oakland police do not live in Oakland. They were right. It's not safe to live in Oakland, unless you're a cop with a gun patrolling the 'hood.
There are only 4,205 residents left, wandering the streets like nuclear war or zombie virus survivors.
They are not lucky; all of them do not know how to plant seeds, wouldn't know a planting season if it hit them in the stomach. None have ever tended or grown a vegetable or even a flower garden.
Most have not cooked in years -- and there's no children among them. The youngest one is almost 40. Their maids and other domestic workers were all rounded up.
They will die off one by one.
Does anyone think we can get some French or British to migrate to Oakland?