Skip to comments.Houston activist's court date draws attention
Posted on 11/28/2003 4:43:19 PM PST by Jalapeno
Nov. 28, 2003, 3:14PM
By EDWARD HEGSTROM
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
Well-known immigrant-rights activist Maria Jimenez goes to court Monday, accused of assaulting the executive director of the Harris County Republican Party.
Jimenez, the head of the mayor's office of immigrant affairs, seems to be taking the matter in stride.
When a police officer informed her of the misdemeanor assault charge during a protest at Harris County Republican Party headquarters Oct. 27, she responded: "Great! We couldn't have planned it better than this."
Jimenez is accused of shoving a box of protest letters into the chest of the Harris County GOP's executive director, Court Koenning, causing him to stumble. She has been ordered to appear before a Houston municipal judge.
The seemingly minor incident has now become an international matter. Jimenez is a dual citizen, which means she pledges allegiance to both the United States and Mexico. When Mexican government officials heard of her dispute with the GOP, they offered to provide her with a lawyer to represent her in court.
The confrontation between Jimenez and Koenning came after a group of immigrants showed up at Republican headquarters on Richmond Avenue to deliver 2,000 letters of protest to the county GOP, which had passed a resolution calling for local police to enforce immigration laws, a position some immigrants oppose.
Jimenez and other immigrants have staged protests at GOP headquarters before. They showed up in the summer of 2000 to deliver 1,000 letters in support of amnesty for illegal immigrants. The party's executive director at the time, Marc Cowart, politely accepted the letters in front of television cameras.
But the most recent protest got off to a bad start and worsened. A reporter for the Spanish-language paper El Dia arrived at the Republican headquarters before the protesters. When the reporter said she was there to cover the event, Koenning said he didn't know of any event.
The reporter called organizers, who assured her they had sent a warning to GOP officials about their plans to protest. Koenning said he got no such message.
When the protesters arrived, Koenning accused them of deceiving the reporter.
"I said: 'Which one of you guys lied to the reporter," Koenning recalls. "Either you lied to the reporter, or the reporter is lying to me."
Heated words were exchanged, with Koenning ordering the protesters off the party's property and refusing to accept the letters.
Jimenez stepped forward and exchanged words with Koenning, but says she never touched him.
"I was strong with him because I didn't want him to continue abusing us verbally," she said.
What happened next is in dispute. Koenning said Jimenez shoved the box of letters at his chest, causing him to stumble backward. He says he then told her that was assault, to which she allegedly replied: "You're damned right."
Jimenez said she tried to hand the box of letters to Koenning, but left them on a table after he refused to accept them.
"I wasn't even close to him," she recalls. "He didn't flinch or move."
The immigrants group left the office to continue their protest in front of the building. Koenning called police, who interviewed him and then went outside to ticket Jimenez for the incident.
It's easy to see how a debate between Jimenez and Koenning would not be friendly.
Jimenez is a fierce defender of immigrants who has testified more than once before Congress and does not hide her far-left ideology. (She named her daughter "Stalina" after the late Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin). Koenning is the former head of Sen. Phil Gramm's Victoria office who always has a quick retort for critics of the GOP.
"These people are professionals," Koenning said in describing Jimenez and the others who appeared at his office last October. "They are paid protesters."
Jimenez showed up that day with representatives of the Association for Residency and Citizenship of America, a group that has fought a long-standing battle for immigrant rights. ARCA representatives from Houston were invited to the White House during the Clinton administration and praised for their work.
The clash between Jimenez and Koenning comes at a time when Republicans are aggressively courting Hispanic voters. The Harris County GOP's Web site has pictures from the Republican float at the local Cinco de Mayo parade.
"The enthusiasm at the parade is more evidence that Republican values are Hispanic values, and Hispanic values are Republican values," Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill says on the Web site.
Man, you just can't make up this stuff. This is the best the immigrants have? What fools for following her.
And to the Republic for which it stands - ONE NATION Maria!!!
They're getting more pushy and demanding every day. Why should a sovereign nation put up with foreigners trying to dictate whether our laws should be enforced? It might help if our President would actually enforce them, however.
I hope they put Ms. Jiminez in the cooler for a while.
Here's a picture of the little tyke:
Jiminez is not only a scumbag, she is a stupid scumbag. ROTFLMBO!!
When did we start this crap? My parents and I gave up our foreign citizenship, and we did it willing, we wanted to become Americans and our allegiance was to our new country. If you're not willing to give up your old citizenship you don't belong here as a citizen.
PS - Be on the lookout for where Affirmative Action Lee. P. Brown lands, it could be the city where you live! He is the most incompetent human being to ever hold the offices he has had during his career.
Why the heck does the Mexican government feel compelled to inject itself into this matter?
As always, a FReep mail will get you on or off this Houston topics ping list.
She is one ugly, angry woman.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.