- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Critics of day-laborer center in Derwood spar with backers
A protest outside a day-laborer center in Montgomery County yesterday morning drew dozens of demonstrators who clashed over whether county officials should use taxpayer funds to provide services to illegal aliens.
Separated by a line of police officers, the demonstrators taunted each other, often with profanity-laced insults, from across a street for several hours outside the county-owned center in Derwood beginning at around 8 a.m.
“This trailer is in better condition than our schools,” said Brad Botwin, director of Help Save Maryland, an offshoot of the Help Save Virginia group that was formed to lobby local officials for tougher enforcement of immigration laws.
Protesters said they are angry elected officials in Montgomery County are supporting illegal aliens and the contractors who hire them with a new laborer center.
Mr. Aldrich wore a T-shirt with the message: “Be a patriot, not a criminal/Hire only legal workers.”
More than 30 members of the Maryland Minutemen and American Border Patrol gathered at the laborer center and were met by a similar-sized group of counterprotesters from the D.C. Committee for Immigrant Rights, the Mexico Solidarity Network and the Salvadoran political party FMLN.
Counterprotesters said immigrants should be free to pursue freedom and happiness the same as other Americans whose families came here as immigrants.
The often-contentious debate over the center began more than two years ago, when Gaithersburg city officials tried to find a permanent site for a day-laborer center. After deals for several sites fell through, the city abandoned its plans late last year.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett announced in January that he would set aside a half-acre parcel on an industrial stretch of county-owned land off Crabbs Branch Way just outside Gaithersburg to build the center, which opened on April 16.
Two weeks later, a deliberately set fire slightly damaged the double-wide trailer that houses the center. Police are investigating the fire as a hate crime.
Demonstrators said they hope to duplicate the success of similar grass-roots efforts in Northern Virginia, where officials in Prince William and Loudoun counties recently adopted resolutions that restrict public services for illegal aliens.
Officials in those counties said grass-roots groups were instrumental in drumming up support for the resolutions.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to 'man up' in horse carriage fight
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again