Cleveland meeting to discuss illegal aliens
By Randall Higgins and Perla Trevizo
CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Illegal aliens are becoming more numerous and a threat to public safety, according to a woman who has organized a town hall meeting here Thursday.
"They have invaded my country. They do not come to assimilate. They do not care to become American citizens," Noella Oberlin said.
"When they are called immigrants, it is a slap in the face to me. I am a legal immigrant and a U.S. veteran," said Ms. Oberlin, a New Zealand native. "People are scared they will be called racist or anti-immigrant. I'm an immigrant. That's how silly it is."
But Josť Minay, assistant professor of Spanish at Lee University, said immigrants receive misplaced blame.
"They blame immigrants, but they don't recognize all the positive contributions they make," he said in Spanish. "I see there is a very anti-Hispanic feeling in the community, and forums such as this worsen the situation."
Ms. Oberlin said she called the town hall meeting to give an open microphone to citizens. She said she and others have been ignored by most local officials when they bring up the topic.