Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Support Amnesty....Or Else

That's the message some businessowners are receiving from amnesty advocates as the May 1 "Great America Boycott" approaches.

Roger Pelletier, who owns Providence Automotive Engineering Co. on Broad Street, does not want to close, "but I'm afraid if I do stay open, are they gonna ruin the place -- vandalize it?"

Pelletier says he was approached last week by two people whom he says "were Dominicans with a poster and everything -- they just asked me if I was willing to close [the shop] to help them support that immigration thing, whatever that is that they're fighting."

He adds, "I do a lot of business with Hispanic people. They're fine to do business with. But I can't see losing a day of wages for this whole thing. What are they gonna gain from this? I can't understand."

Pelletier says, "I've been here 46 years. I pay taxes, I pay workers' comp, I have Blue Cross" for his employees. "Now who is gonna come in here and tell me what to do? I was here first."

Mr. Pelletier may have reason to worry. According to the same news article, Juan Garcia, head of the Immigrants in Action Committee said "he was disappointed that some businesses plan to remain open. While not Hispanic owned or operated, those businesses have a largely Hispanic customer base."

"That's their decision," says Garcia. "But we say to the people who don't close, right now is a time for business to support the [Hispanic] community," that has supported them "for years and years."

And just in case you missed his point: Garcia stresses, "We are not forcing anyone to close."

Yeah, right.