Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There's more work to be done

Imagine the horror. It’s late and you’ve just gotten into a fight with your boyfriend. You’re walking home in a neighborhood you’ve walked hundreds –maybe thousands –of times before. You feel safe. You feel invincible. And then there’s a flash of light.

You stammer for a second, before blinking your eyes. There’s another flash. You lose consciousness.

When you come to, someone is barking orders. Suddenly, you’re inside, and your head is smarting like it was recently clocked with a cinderblock. You try to understand what is going on, and decipher the shouted commands, but no rational thought can make heads or tails of what is transpiring. Your muscles begin to shake in an involuntary fashion.

From here, there are two paths to take. Both lead to gut-wrenching uncertainty; life or death. The commands are getting louder and the threats more brutal. You act as if it’s the last worldy choice you'll make.

This is the shit we used to see on the ABC afterschool special. This is the fodder of every parent’s worst nightmare. This happened in our city. And sadly, it wasn’t the first time.

Fortunately for us, there were some good cops on the streets this week, and they performed with startling precision. In the case of the Locust Street abduction, special thanks must be extended to the New York State Police, a body that remains the premiere law enforcement agency amid a veritable sea of semi-professional and sometimes backwater cops. Also, to the rank-and-file among the Saratoga Springs Police, the cops who realized this case couldn’t go cold for the sake of the city. Kudos, folks; this is one that you can feel proud about. So in a sense, this missive is to congratulate these authorities for job well done. Give yourself a pat on the back, because you scored in a major way.

But these accolades are finite. Thursday’s horrific episode isn’t nearly over. There is at least one person that won’t readily forget what happened on that night. Not today, and certainly not tomorrow; maybe not ever. There’s another who sits in a jail cell thousands of miles away from his native land; a place he should have never left.

This brutal event is a wake-up call to Saratoga Springs, New York and the United States as a whole to change its immigration policies so that sadistic bastards like Victor Hernandez-Perez don’t end up in the country running amok; raping and pillaging to their hearts’ delight. Or even worse yet, so that a bunch of vigilant racists don’t decide to wage a pogram against all non-native Hispanics; even the ones who toil for pennies on the dollar and work until their fingers bleed.

Either way, this country is at a breaking point; a boiling point. For fucks sake, it’s past the breaking point to find a reasonable solution. Here are the facts: There’s a new untouchable class in New York, sucking up the hours that no self-respecting American wants. The influx of Latino labor has proven to be an invaluable thorn that a select few like to jam in the side of hyper-aggressive unions. The presence of so-called ‘illegals’ has promised a windfall to chiseling business owners –those too stingy or too desperate to pay a livable wage.

Then there’s the other side, the one with people who wander downtown wraith-like and below the radar. They are unaccounted, unrecognizable and for all intents and purposes, invisible. This is a trait that behooves both them and the sizeable fraction of the business community that feeds f off their labor. And they’re in no hurry to change this.

Yet for the sake of this union, there needs to be an answer or a response that appeases both sides.To put it bluntly, it’s time for both sides of this issue to pony up and find a solution, because the masses can’t take much more of this shit; or as the good doctor once said, this fear and loathing. There’s too much gunpowder in this room and way too many people chain smoking cigarettes.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term used by many of our local employers is "the Mexican Connection". Finding available immigrants (legal or otherwise) is not difficult, and because they will often work for much less pay than our hometown laborers and work for less than the 'going rates' for company men and women, they are in high demand. Many of our well-known construction companies and property managers employ them as contract laborers and as unofficial subcontractors. As entry level hourly rates with GC 'overhead' start doubling the cost of a good gallon of paint, its no wonder that many have turned to 'contract services' employing available recent immigrants. And it should be said that many of our entry-level service jobs have been well represented by this eager group of newcomers.

Several non western restaurants and taverns have followed old traditions in importing foreign staff to add to their ambiance it's no mystery that this practice reduces the prevailing wages, but let's not be too quick to judge all of them by anyone's appearance before our City Court Judge.

I share your concern that we should not suddenly overreact to today's crime as one perpetrated by this illegal Corinthian (and react to all of his fellow Corinthians, countrymen or those with southern roots), lest not we forget our more recent old family Connecticut perp voyeur who had more on his mind than to watch the local girl's running squad. Thank you for the link to the Hep-Hep riots Ho, I thought Pogroms was a double typo! And of course, there are the several unsolved local cases going back several decades that predate any recent migration of peoples outside our city taxing districts or more recent labor forces.

Summertime is the season when living is easy, and when Saratogians start complaining about the traffic and blaming their lost (unlocked & unregistered) bicycles and porch furniture on 'track help' but in truth, the Police Department has had little success in making that claim stick. In fact, our local grown liberators often provide enough bicycles for the often once-a-year PSD bicycle sale.

Good work and fortune by all involved in being able to wrap this one up quickly. This solid detective work must certainly be more fulfilling and beats watching a moose chew its cud. Bravo.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Bologna Bob said...

HO,

usually i agree with your point of view, but this last post seems like it was written without too much thought.

the last abduction attempt in 2005 involved a man that looked like any other that was walking down the street and he was a US citizen. i certainly wouldnt want to be compared to that man since i happen to have the same skin tone.

this latest asshole is a human being that i would love to see get killed in the maximum security prison that he most certainly belongs in.

however, there are alot of pleasant, hard working hispanic people living in this city and to single them all out because of this slob of a human being seems a little unjust.

i am a little more upset that this man has been working in restaurants around the city for 6 years. i would like to hear some sort of statement from his current employer as to why an illegal alien was even working there.

yes, this man is the lowest life form ive seen in this city in quite some time, but i just think you jumped the gun a bit in incriminating anyone that is hispanic and not a legal US citizen.

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, let's not forget the sketch artist who put together an almost perfect match for the face of the molester.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Bologna Bob,

With all due respect, I think you missed the point of the post. This is a two-pronged issue: Protecting us from them and them from us. Either way, the problem stems from having a class of people in this country that go unaccounted.

In my opinion, the Latino population that has come to this area has provided an invaluable service. They work hard and do the jobs few of us want to do. There is a place for those who come here with the intention of working hard. But the problem is, our immigration policies are so out of touch with the realities of our borders that it's a lot easier for workers to simply flout these regulations altogether; find a coyote and get exploited. Or in contrast be like this guy; drift into a rural community and exact a cornucopia of crimes that could go unsolved for years, because their is no record of them living here.

We got lucky on this one. We might not the next time around. Personally, I think it's time to open the borders, take down the walls and let workers go where they please. But I also think it's time they are accounted for. This means fingerprints and a photo when they come in; a verifiable address in their homeland and some sort of valid identification. It's not much to ask for in this day and age. The bottom line is we've got to make it easier to get into this country legally than it is illegally. Because otherwise, there will always be a class in this country that will be treated in a subhuman way.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the same argument from my father's day when a "few good" Irish lads were permitted jobs on the railroad. "Be careful son, they'll all become cops someday and give you hell!" And before his day there was another grouping another bias (Shhhh. Today, I think we want to be concerned with those so-progressive cultists).

This more recent migration of hard workers shouldn't be scorned but certainly, their unlegal status is bogus and any employer worth his/her IRS filing should be more responsible for their unofficial sponsorship of employees.

I know some good people who live in Corinth and a few up at Hunt Lake -- so we don't want generalize here.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but notice that in your photo of the lowlife, he is wearing a smirk. The photo in the Saratogian is far less sinister. I think yours in far more appropriate considering the attack. Wondering why they wouldn't use the same one?

7:32 AM  
Blogger Bologna Bob said...

illegal immigration is a battle that every country fights and will continue to fight. there is no practical solution to this problem that i can see.

the fact is, there are sick people in this world and the larger this city gets, the more likely it is that some of these sickos enter our little peaceful world here in saratoga.

i dont categorize this man as an illegal alien, i categorize him as a sexual deviant that wanted to do serious harm to a random woman. there is no amount of immigration reform that will protect us from people like that.

i would like to applaud all of the officers that helped to resolve this case quickly. this certainly scared the shit out of anyone that lives in the area.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Immigration status has no relationship to criminality nor to racism. Immigrants made this country strong - there are many instances where "adopted" citizens have shown more love for their country than natural born ones.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:39 Anon - Good reminder. Most of us are sons and daughters of immigrants (at some point) and those that choose badly should not reflect on the rest of the flocks.
That said, this looser blew his chances at being a part of the larger community.
And yes, the sketch artist was pretty good!

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Folks, this scum broke our law when he came to our country without documentation. His employers broke our law by paying him to work without him having the proper documentation. Then he broke our law by assulting the girl.

Law enforcement did a good job capturing him when he broke the law assulting the girl. But perhaps if they had enforced the law for him being in the country without documentation and again enforced the law against his employers for employing him the assult on the girl might not have happened.

This whole "itty mess" has nothing to do with immigration. It's the enforcement of our laws or lack of.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:32 - Is that a smirk or a frown? He kinda reminds me of someone else? Maybe someone on the council? Frowning in a gray suit ... who knows, maybe it's a smirk.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saw the pix. will he still be able to run for mayor?

3:37 PM  
Blogger shanghai dandy said...

How about the workers at the track? Anyone who has been "behind the scenes" there knows that it's a veritable Mexican village away and out of the view of the paying public. Like a traveling, seedy third-world-country replete with drugs, prostitution and crime, the migratory track workers form the shadowy underbelly beneath the "glitz and glamour" of racing.

However, just because one of these illegal immigrants happened to be a sexual predator does not mean that there is cause for hysteria.

I am all for improving the immigration situation locally and national, both for the migrant workers and for the local communities they work in, but I do not think it is a "powder keg" set to erupt.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's hilarious to think about the people on Fifth Ave. feeling fancy and knocking down houses to build grander homes for their larger egos when in their backyards latino immigrants live in cinderblock shacks. Yeah, it seems like there's a statutory rape charge kicking around every track season, but what about the local kid who was pimping out the 14 year old the the immigrant got busted for screwing? Remember the break in on Lake Ave, across from the fire station? The Skidmore girl and the face-masked duct tape-bearing predator? Not a latin, or was that ever solved? The Russian immigrant who drugged the girls drink, just got off, although he is being deported anyway. Plenty of creeps around, but they're a tiny minority of any social strata. Peace, Philthyrex

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:40 PM - "Like a traveling, seedy third-world-country replete with drugs, prostitution and crime, the migratory track workers form the shadowy underbelly beneath the "glitz and glamour" of racing."

Ah yes, it could have been said of our own home grown dream street Caroline, but be careful not to confuse camp-like quarters with cramped-like student apartments that once proliferated throughout this city making money for the landlords who had little interest in permanent investments.

Hardly a third world squatter settlement where sanitary and potable water is unavailable, the backstretch should provide its racing staff the minimum standards of adequately comfortable and clean dormitories - no less than what is provided summer long campers at Chingachgook on Lake George.

These communal backtrack quarters are not meant to be affordable housing units complete with accessible showers and satellite TV -- they are dormitories defined by the work.

Policing policies of NYRA and local enforcement should keep the problems you write about out of the back stretch and off our streets where they traditionally find their way beneath the "glitz and glamour" of racing."

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who want to blame the restaurants for employing him - check out the article in today's Saratogian and the quotes from DA James Murphy. Apparently this guy had a counterfeit passport and Social Security card that were top-notch. I think it's resonable to believe they thought they were employing a legal U.S. Citizen.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:55 - Yeah, that's even happin on Meadowbrook Road and around the harness track!! What's become of our 1950 worlds?

5:16 - It's not the restaurant's fault or the recent immigrant community's. This perp gots what's comin to im. Ron Junior. made some bad choices.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean you're against amnesty? but, that's the liberal way.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO, you gotta comment on the Saratogian story about Kimmy's plan to screw the emergency corps. What in hell did they do to piss him off?

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to see Kim's birth certificate.

I heard he's was born in Mongolia and isn't even an American citizen.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And thus ends another HO event.

Now let's all listen to HoChiKim tonight at the council meeting.

That should be fodder for another HO rant We love you HO, get crankin' with a new posting.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats on the catch...maybe US immigration should set up the van in a visable area for the track season...deport a few and see what local tax paying jobs are created...maybe a big fine for the horse owners for promoting low pay...open up jobs for our local legal immigrants....maybe the police should be proactive and deport RK

7:44 PM  

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