Liberty Chalkboard, a group of Upper Cape residents, will offer a venue to discuss US immigration policies at a forum, “Our Borders and Immigration” in the Falmouth Public Library’s Hermann Room at 6:30 PM on Friday, August 1.
Republican Mark C. Alliegro of Waquoit, who is running to represent Massachusetts in the 9th Congressional District, and security professional and consultant Louis Carpenito of Marshfield will talk about their trip in May to the Mexico-Arizona border, where they observed how current immigration policies play out in the area.
“The best way to learn about something is to go see for yourself,” Mr. Alliegro said.
The two spent time with ranchers and other people who live along the Mexico-Arizona border to learn how illegal immigration affects their communities.
“One thing that stood out is that this is a humanitarian issue from different angles, for the plight of the people coming here illegally and the people that actually live along the border who have strangers coming through their yard and the associated crime,” Mr. Alliegro said.
Other members of the panel will include Walter Hemple, senior special agent, INS/ICE (retired), Brad Johnson, foreign service officer, US State Department (retired), and Robert Woodill, special agent, INS (retired).
The forum was scheduled before the announcement by Governor Deval L. Patrick that Camp Edwards at Joint Base Cape Cod is being considered as a place to house children immigrating illegally to the United States from South and Central America.
At this week’s meeting the Bourne Board of Selectmen and town residents opposed Gov. Patrick’s proposal.
On Monday about 75 people in Falmouth rallied in support of Gov. Patrick’s proposal, citing the need for compassion for children needing care and a temporary home.
Mr. Alliegro believes these children need to be treated with compassion, but not here. He cautioned against using a humanitarian angle to make a political point.
“What needs to happen with these children is that they need to be housed at the border. Make sure they are healthy, and then return them to their loved ones, parents and guardians,” Mr. Alliegro said. “The last thing these kids need is to be in the care of the Massachusetts government.”