June 25, 2006

There are several regional immigration news stories of significance today:

1.  A Hispanic activist and community leader and his 18-year old son were murdered in Clarksville, Tennessee this past Friday.  The deaths have terrified the local Hispanic community.  Clarksville police indicated that while the deaths were definitely not random violence, no current evidence suggests racial motives.  A memorial fund has been established at US Bank for the family.
2.  An anti-immigrant rally in Hamblen County “ends with arrest and chaos” on Saturday, according to a WATE-6 report.  Organizers complained that the substantial police presence at the Hamblen County Courthouse, where the rally took place, was intimidating.  The rally eventually retreated to the local VFW building because “they did not feel welcome outside the courthouse.”
3.  Federal authorities have charged a building contractor in Covington, Kentucky with harboring illegal workers and money laundering upon accusations that he paid $141,000 to undocumented workers who worked on framing crews over the past five years and that he leased apartments for the same.  The contractor has pleaded not guilty; the trial has been scheduled for October.  The arrests were the result of a year-long investigation by Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the IRS, and local authorities.