News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Immigrant's death splits blue-collar town

Aug. 14, 2008 07:53 AM
Chicago Tribune

SHENANDOAH, Pa. - Under an elliptical moon, the sight of an illegal Mexican immigrant alone with a 15-year-old hometown girl seemed to push the beer-fueled high school football players into deadly violence.

"Isn't it a little late for you guys to be out?" one teen reportedly asked Luis Eduardo Ramirez, 25, and the girl as they walked near a park after 11 p.m. one Saturday last month. "Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here!"

Ethnic slurs ricocheted in the night, echoing what many have muttered for years in this crumbling mountainside town that was once the thriving jewel of Pennsylvania's coal country. Then, fists flew, and one teen, an honor student, delivered a skull-shattering kick to the head, killing Ramirez.

This pocket of blue-collar America, where big band musicians Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey got their start, is spinning in the ugly vortex of the nation's racially charged war over illegal immigration. Federal officials have launched an investigation into last month's murder to determine if it is part of a rising trend of anti-Latino hate crimes around the country.

"We are reaping what we, as a nation, have sowed," said Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes and hate groups nationwide.

Ramirez, a father of two who held down a factory job and another one picking cherries, had no criminal history, district attorney James Goodman said. He arrived illegally in 2003, friends said.

His connection to the 15-year-old girl remains unclear.

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