Thursday, February 16, 2017

Immigrants Rally at City Hall

Maritza Martinez has had a business in downtown Plainfield for 20 years, but today she shut it down and took to the steps of City Hall to lead a rally for immigrants' rights. The "Day Without Immigrants" was observed nationwide.
Maritza Martinez, center, hand on railing
The crowd began assembling at noon, with banderas (flags)of Guatemala, El Salvador and other nations, and cries of "Arriba Hispanos!"
"The downtown is closed," Martinez said to cheers.
Many protesters carried handmade signs.
Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, Plainfield's Latino population grew by 67 percent, an increase reflected in the burgeoning number of restaurants and clothing stores that cater to the newcomers. Children entering the Plainfield school system now come largely from Spanish-speaking households. St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church offers numerous Masses in Spanish, and other denominations have are sharing space with older churches or meet in former office buildings.
Taxpayers, not "bad hombres" 

Pastor Henry Gramajo
Speakers gave blessings and led chants such as, "Latinos unidos jamas seran vencidos,." Latinos united will never be defeated.

Telemundo recorded the event.
By 2 p.m., the crowd had swelled to fill the plaza.
View from City Hall.
People continued to gather on the sidewalks on both sides of Watchung Avenue and on the grounds around the plaza. Plainfield's rally was one of many across the nation to remind the public and government leaders of immigrants' contributions, as well as their rights and concerns. In solidarity, we say, "Arriba los Hispanos!"



  1. Pathetic! Who shops in Plainfield anyway?

  2. No problem with immigrants. The problem is ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. There is a legal process to enter the country which many have followed. Just because you got in doesn't mean you can stay. All laws should be obeyed.

  3. Unfortunately, we have lost sight of the fact that the fundamental argument is about LEGAL immigration.

    It’s understood that there are instances in which the buzz words of discrimination, racist, xenophobe, etc. may apply; however, there is also a legitimate concern among many that the excessive flow of newcomers to this country is, financially, unsustainable and, eventually, impacts us all in a variety of negative ways, including: 1. overcrowding of schools – across the board, potentially leads to a substandard educational system, reduced individual opportunities, increased spending on additional services which leads to additional government subsidies which come from tax dollars which come from our hard-earned paycheck; 2 – deterioration of neighborhoods and property values – overcrowding of homes, unsanitary conditions, excess garbage and loitering -- all which lead to a decrease in the value of your investment as a property owner; if you rent, it’s an overall decline in your quality of life, possibly pushing you to move out of the neighborhood you call home; 3 – increase in tax and spending disproportionate to the cost of living increase your employer may/may not provide; all of this leads to more money out of your pocket to support a broken system. Those of us who can, already pay into a system to support those who cannot support themselves -- and it’s a lot!

    It’s also understood that there is a great deal of value in having a steady flow of immigrants come to the U.S. and it’s great to see them aspire to achieve the same goals we have for ourselves. One of things that makes this country great is that we are a nation of law, to that end, there are immigration laws that define and regulate the immigration process; however, there’s an overwhelming interest among stakeholders in this issue, to be selective as to which laws they want to be subject or adhere. There needs to be a thoughtful and responsible evaluation of U.S. immigration laws moving forward. Whether directly or indirectly, the tax payer is supporting the cost of all of this – whether it’s payroll or property tax increases, bogus revenue generating fees when you sell your house or, a surcharge that appears on your insurance premium – a good percentage of these funds go to supporting special and social services, whether directly or indirectly. And then folks ask why there is not enough money for police, fire and DPW.

    Poor planning and careless leaders impact your world. For example, you and your 9 colleagues have all worked, packing widgets, for your employer since the plant opened 10 years ago – all dedicated, loyal, hardworking employees. All of a sudden there’s a surge in widget orders and your employer decides to hire 10 part-time workers to help on the assembly line. A month later, sales and revenue drop back to normal levels making it difficult to pay all current employees . Regardless, the employer can’t stand the thought of letting the new workers go and decides they can help in other areas of the plant. There’s isn’t sufficient revenue to pay everyone so next best thing is to reduce working hours, wages and benefits of his longstanding and loyal employees. Fair?

    It’s about being responsible – not always about hate.

    1. Thank you OR!

    2. OR,I agree with everything you said and might I add why are people so willing to ignore the fact that we have a group of people in our country/city that not only broke the law by entering this country illegally but continue to disrespect our laws everyday they remain. Not only are they committing a crime, but they have proven to be a drain on our resources, in particular our hospitals and police. We actually do a disservice to our city by aiding and abetting.Our property taxes are out of control with the majority of it going to law enforcement. Just imagine if that funding was cut.

  4. Too bad Trump only pays attention to himself and his self-interests. He is still a spoiled rich kid and has that maturity level. A shame for a man of 70. Maybe he will grow up some day, but when he is no longer around, only his family may mourn his lost.

    1. My niece is with her husband in Mexico. The husband is working on a research project at a Mexican University. She applied for an identity card. The fee associated with the acquisition is expensive. The card allows her to do some things she is not currently permitted to do. She asked if she ponied up the money whether it would enable her to work legally. Absolutely not. There is another card, even more expensive , which may or may not be approved, to allow her to work in Mexico. I have done business in Taiwan. To go there requires a Visa issued by the Republic of China (Taiwanese government ). It requires you to complete an extensive application in which you provide a complete identification including background, purpose of visit. and of course pay some money. The stay is limited to, I believe, 90 days. If you overstay without permission some armed gentlemen will seek you out. They will put you in the slammer until they escort you to the airport and ship you back where you came from. Every country has its rules regarding visits, work and immigration. The difference between the United States and almost every other country, if not every other country, is that every other country enforces their rules. Usually very vigorously. As to El Senor Trump, while he is an eccentric and never should have been permitted to visit the White House, let alone reside there, not all of his ideas are wrong. Much of his message is warranted, sadly, delivered by the wrong messenger.