A campaign of fear?
The answer is, no, i don't believe that Durham's police department should be spending their time checking the immigration status of every Spanish speaking person whose path they cross. Speaking Spanish is not evidence that a crime has been committed. Haven't we just been through an entire year long process in which the law enforcement community got its collective ass kicked for going after people without sufficient evidence that a crime had been committed?
Or is that only a problem when those people have a certain class status?
Durham's Hispanic residents are, in fact, as diverse as is the rest of the community. There are Spanish speaking professionals and homeowners in town (some on the same block as me) as well as business owners and day laborers. There's no evidence that the Spanish speaking community has a higher crime rate than any other segment of the Durham community. Fear of Teh Illegal is just a poor way to run a citywide campaign in Durham, don't you think?
UPDATE: I hear that Bell and Stith will be Verna Collins guest Sunday on the NBC-17 public affairs show "At Issue." The show airs at 11am. I can't tell from the website whether it's a live broadcast or not (i suspect it is), but you can email her at VCollins AT wncn DOT com and ask her to ask Mr. Stith if he really thinks Durham residents will support a fear-based campaign.