Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Virginia Foxx's Mexican Hat Dance, Part II

June 9, 1999
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on June 3, 1999, an Hispanic employee of Grandfather Mountain Nursery and Landscaping nicknamed Lalo, drove left of center and hit another vehicle, causing severe injury to a passenger in the other car as well as to himself. Investigators on the scene noticed beer bottles on the front seat of the truck, so at 2:15 p.m. that day, four hours after the wreck, Lalo was tested and was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .213, more than five times the legal limit.

Lalo was hospitalized in the Watauga Medical Center for an extended time. According to the depositions given by both the Foxx daughter and her husband, no one in the Foxx family ever visited Lalo while he recuperated, and he later disappeared from the hospital and was not seen again. The Foxx family said in a court filing in 2003 that Lalo "presumably returned to Mexico."

He had been hired to work by the Foxx daughter a little over a month before the accident, because he had once worked for Virginia Foxx's husband Tom, and he had shown up again, visiting other Hispanic workers in the housing provided on Foxx property (the 11470 Hwy 105 address, which is behind the garden center), and he was thought to be a good worker. At the time of his hiring he had a N.C. driver's license listing a Hudson address as well as both a Resident Alien and a Social Security card.

Because Lalo absconded and avoided arrest, the Erie Insurance Company, which carried liability and collision insurance on the Grandfather Mountain Nursery pickup truck, initially took the position that because Lalo did not cooperate in the investigation, the company was not required to pay any claims. At some point that position by the insurance company changed, and Erie eventually paid $65,000 to settle the suit.

Assuming that Lalo's documentation was all legit, he was a legal immigrant worker. But after the traffic accident, the Foxx family acted as though he wasn't. Certainly, their treatment of him in the hospital was cold.

The Politics of Legal and Illegal Immigrant Workers
Whether legal or illegal, Hispanic workers are an exploitable workforce, both for their dedicated labor and now for the political gain of making ordinary Americans fear and resent them.

On her congressional website, Foxx mentions the problem of immigration and pushes several emotional buttons, including the fear of rape. Illegal immigrants, she says, are "causing unbearable strains on our local schools, hospitals and law enforcement because they are having to accommodate individuals who are breaking our laws. Our local law enforcement is feeling the strain of a major growth in violent street gangs, an increase in illegal drug activity and a rise in sexual assault cases stemming from illegal immigrants."

In April 2006 Congresswoman Foxx took part in a much publicized "field hearing" in Kernersville about "the invasion" of illegal immigrants into North Carolina, and coincidentally "the cost," "the burden on the system," caused by illegal immigrants. The hearing was colorfully titled for maximum political effect: "Gang, Fraud and Sexual Predators: Struggling with the Consequences of Illegal Immigration.:

For that and other activities, Foxx has been graded a B+ by Americans for Better Immigration.

The fact that she would not now be a multi-millionaire without the strong backs of a number of Hispanic immigrant workers never gets mentioned.

Her opponent in the 2004 Republican primary, Vernon Robinson, played the outrageous extremist on the immigration issue. But please show us the difference between what Robinson was saying in 2004 (and again this year in his campaign against Congressman Brad Miller) and what Virginia Foxx is actually doing as a member of the House.

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