News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Getting tougher is one way to slow city crime

The Decatur Police Department's initial response to crime in two of the city's districts doesn't need to be complicated:

Give the department the manpower and equipment it needs, instruct officers in zero tolerance that doesn't violate civil rights, and support them wholeheartedly.

That plan worked back in the years of the Street Hawks until residents in Northwest Decatur became more secure. Then the police bashing started and crime came roaring back.

But that's only part of the solution. Perhaps it's over simplistic, but one way to handle the surge in Hispanic crime is to get rid of illegal immigrants.

That might cause some turnover in jobs, but a majority of Decatur citizens don't wish to trade their home security and way of life for a work force that's willing to work cheap.

What's happening here is little different from experiences in other areas of the country where illegal immigrants decide to settle in great numbers, in part because they get a friendly reception.

A decade or so ago, illegal workers making their way into Morgan County from Mexico and Central America came here to work. Today, with the city's Hispanic population perhaps as high as 10 percent, it's not uncommon to hear of fatal wrecks, shootings, and murders involving these people who apparently are not spending as much time on the job.

The national sentiment is to stop this flood of illegal immigrants and return them to their homes. That should be part of the department's approach to getting rid of thugs, drug dealers and gang members.

Our citizens don't have to put up with this involuntary and illegal changing of our culture and should make it clear to city officials that we want it stopped.

This is a national political problem to be sure, but if our city officials raise enough hell, Washington may give us the help needed to get rid of those immigrants without valid green cards.

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