A group of “undocumented” immigrants from Romania are creating havoc in the small town of California, Pennsylvania after arriving in the area as part of the government’s Alternative to Detention program.
California, which is located in a rural area south of Pittsburgh and has a population of 7,000, was chosen by the immigrants as a place to live, but residents are wary of their strange ways. They also don’t appreciate seeing the men and children defecating in public streets and cutting off the heads of chickens in public areas.
On Thursday, more than 150 residents flocked to a community meeting about the immigrants to complain about the fact that the foreigners have not assimilated to American customs and norms. In addition to the chicken heads and poop, residents talked about trash in their yards and disruptions in town markets, according to a report by WTAE-TV. None of the immigrants have been charged with any serious criminal offenses.
“We’re a very diverse town, we’re very open, but they aren’t assimilating to our laws,” said Pam Duricic, a resident of California, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are understanding that these are immigrants. But this is not the same scenario as our grandparents. They didn’t come here to raise havoc.”
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternative to Detention program allows immigrants to live in U.S. communities instead of being detained while they await a final decision about their immigration status.
According to the gypsies, they’ve fled to America to escape persecution. News reports say they belong to a minority group in Romania that are different from of the Romanian population — they are gypsies.
The group chose California borough as a place to live because of its affordability and friendly reputation. However, in a clash of cultures, many residents are not welcoming the group. However, town officials and the police chief told residents that there’s really nothing they can do.
So far, roughly 600 residents have signed a petition demanding the gypsies change their living habits.
With approximately $2 billion spent on immigration detention every year, the Alternatives to Immigration Detention program was implemented in part to save taxpayer money. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the AID program is “more humane” because the immigrants involved in the program would otherwise be detained only to ensure that they show up for their hearings, not because they’ve committed crimes. However, they seem to forget that it is a crime to enter a country unlawfully.
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