Clare Marie Celano, News Transcript (Farmingdale, NJ), Apr. 5
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — A group that wants the government to enforce the nation’s immigration laws was unable to hold a meeting in the township.
Several days before a meeting sponsored by the United Patriots of America (UPA) was scheduled to be held at the Veterans of Foreign War post, Waterworks Road, the group was denied the use of the building.
The meeting had been scheduled for the afternoon of April 3. When people showed up at the VFW post, they were directed to a location outside of Monmouth County.
After news of the UPA’s planned meeting in Freehold Township became public last week, efforts began through e-mail notification asking people from around the county to call the VFW and ask the organization not to rent its facilities to the group.
Ed Pajor, who is the VFW’s house chairman, said on Friday that the organization had decided to withdraw permission for the UPA to use its hall. He declined to make any other comment about the issue.
Meanwhile, officials with the UPA answered what they believe was unwarranted criticism of the group made by people who were quoted in a March 30 News Transcript story.
According to Ron Bass, of Linden, who is a member of the group, the UPA has one goal in mind — to secure the borders of America as part of what Bass referred to as a homeland security issue.
“We’d like to see the immigration laws of our country enforced. Currently they are not. That is our mission,” he said.
Several people quoted in the March 30 article referred to the UPA as a radical group. Bass said that “all the statements made . . . in the article were innuendo and nuances.”
Frank Argote-Freyre said members of two groups — the Latino Leadership Alliance and the Coalition for the Empowerment of Latinos and the Working Poor — were planning to protest the meeting at the VFW hall. He called the UPA an “anti-immigrant” group.
E-mail VFW at [email protected]