- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2006

CASA of Maryland, an advocacy group that champions illegal aliens, staged a march in Gaithersburg in celebration of public urination yesterday.

This march for a pain-free bladder was held in response to those residents who complained of the two-legged irrigation systems watering their front lawns.

Police, however reluctant, have started to enforce trespassing laws with warnings, citations and, if necessary, arrests of the day laborers who gather on a parking lot in the neighborhood each morning.

Police are promising to be nice. They even handed out fliers in advance that warned of the change ahead.

Police also say they will not try to determine if those seeking a hard day’s work are legal immigrants or illegal aliens, the distinction unimportant to them and perhaps even to the neighborhood residents who object to the loitering in the parking lot, the wanderers in the neighborhood and, of course, the undisciplined bladders.

Osama bin Laden could be among the day laborers, but no one in Montgomery County would want to violate his illegal-alien rights.

To be fair, bladders gone wild is hardly endemic to Gaithersburg. Residents who live near the besieged 7-Eleven hard by the Dulles Toll Road in Herndon have voiced a similar concern.

And to be culturally inclusive, D.C. residents of Brookland and Georgetown each have endured the shaky bladders of university students in the wee hours.

CASA of Maryland, predictably enough, is not in the advocacy business to be sensitive to the grumblings of homeowners, although its leaders probably would not appreciate it if its grounds were used as an open-air lavatory.

Gaithersburg officials are endeavoring to resolve the issue, urging the day laborers to seek refuge at the town’s employment center. The day laborers apparently do not find the employment center as convenient as the lot that sits between a shopping center and church.

As CASA of Maryland sees it, Gaithersburg officials have had two years to open a day-laborer center and still are not close to achieving the goal. That is partly because the town’s open-minded residents have a way of becoming close-minded if a potential site is in their back yard.

That also is partly because a day-laborer center is a tough sell to taxpayers, many of whom object to the notion of their money being used to help those who have entered the country illegally.

The principle is fairly easy to comprehend, despite the loopy thinking of those who support the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the nation.

The supporters would be well-advised not to practice what they preach in a Latin American country of their choice.

Latin America’s notoriously sensitive authorities would convulse in laughter if a gringo started making demands after setting foot in one of their countries illegally. They probably would not even provide you with a comfortable bed in your cell.

In a nation without borders, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have failed their constituents.

It is one thing to speak of the illegal-alien issue in a distant sense. It is another thing entirely to be overburdened with it, as the residents of Gaithersburg and other suburban locales across the region have discovered.

That is no concern to Kim Propeack, who is with the National Capital Immigrant Coalition.

“Any time there has been an offer for property [in Gaithersburg], it has been nixed,” she said, no doubt with a sniff.

That is easy for her to say. That is not her home being irrigated. That is not her small business functioning as a front porch of the day laborers.

Lease a building and they will come, she says.

And darn the residents who have the temerity to wonder if a day-laborer center is a selling point of a neighborhood.

Motivated home sellers could spin the situation: Four-bedroom, three-bath split level, with a free front-lawn irrigation system; close to major shopping centers, increasingly crowded schools and an adorable day-laborer center. Priced to sell.



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