Local News

Group Uses 9-11 Anniversary To Protest Illegal Immigration

Posted September 11, 2003 6:52 a.m. EDT

— In the last 10 years, North Carolina's Latino population grew by more than 400 percent. The growth occurred in spite of a national crackdown on illegal immigrants since 9-11.

Thursday, a group of protestors used the second anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks to rally support for stricter immigration laws.

Nothing is more American than freedom of speech. Protestors came to the Mexican Consulate to speak out against illegal immigration.

"If we ignore the people who are here illegally, we are no longer a nation of laws," said Randy Lewis, director of an organization called Stop The Invasion. "They are degrading the culture, the language. Our borders are no longer secure."

Added protestor Anita Moroz: "I feel that the best way we can honor those who died on 9-11, who died at the hands of illegal aliens, is to secure our borders against illegal aliens."

As passionate as the protestors were about their beliefs, so, too, were passersby who disagreed with them.

"I think this is absolute ignorance," Valerie Yarborough said. "I'm appalled."

Another local resident, David Grant, also voiced his disagreement.

"Men made these political borders," Grant said, "and now they are using it as a weapon to prevent others from enjoying the same blessings we have."

Protestors said they chose the Mexican Consulate because the largest number of illegal immigrants come from Mexico. The Consulate issues identification cards that protestors said can be used by terrorists.

"To all Americans, this should be a red card of danger," congressional candidate Vernon Robinson said, "because we don't know who it really is."

According to the Consulate, there are 400,000 Mexican nationals in North Carolina. Most are undocumented. That compares to about 10 million nationwide. About 4 million are illegal aliens.

Amanda Ortiz-Rocha, the Consul of Mexico, said the protestors' concern about Mexicans is misplaced.

"There is no linkage with the very tragic, unfortunate events of 9-11 two years ago with Mexico," Ortiz-Rocha said.