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01-17-2008, 03:35 AM
U.S. attorney general announces stepped up effort to stem weapons trafficking to Mexico

By Mark Stevenson
3:12 p.m. January 16, 2008

MEXICO CITY The United States is giving Mexico access to an electronic database to help trace weapons smuggled from the U.S. into the hands of well-armed Mexican drug gangs, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Wednesday.
The database, known as e-Trace, has already been installed at U.S. consulates in the northern cities of Monterrey and Hermosillo and in the western city of Guadalajara. It will be expanded to the remaining six consulates by March, and should be available in Spanish soon.

Mexican police will be able to use the system to determine the origin of weapons seized from criminals and then notify U.S. authorities. Officials north of the border would "figure out what dealer that came from, and then target that dealer," Mukasey said.
"Inevitably we'll find people who are not doing what they ought to do, and they'll be prosecuted," he told foreign correspondents.

Mexico has long complained that its northern neighbor isn't doing enough to stop the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico, where drug traffickers and other organized gangs sometimes outgun police. Since taking office a little over a year ago, President Felipe Calderón has urged Washington to do more to battle the illegal arms trade.

Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora welcomed the announcement, calling it "indispensable that we establish common criteria to solve this problem."

Mukasey also said the United States has hired more firearms agents to check the records of gun dealers along the border.

"I can certainly foresee a tightening up of the way gun dealers distribute guns," he said.

On his first visit abroad as attorney general, Mukasey met with Medina Mora, Calderón and other officials in Mexico for talks on increased anti-drug joint operations, intelligence sharing and some kind of diplomatic status for some U.S. agents here.

Mukasey said Mexican and U.S. officials have discussed recent incidents near the border city of Tijuana, in which U.S. Border Patrol agents fired tear gas into Mexican territory to protect themselves against rocks and other projectiles hurled at them from the Mexican side.

"We're trying to deal with it. We've talked to the Mexicans about it, and they're trying to deal with it," Mukasey said. "What happens is that there is organized rock-throwing to divert border guards, who then become involved in whatever exchanges they're involved in, then you get a bunch of backpackers running across the border with backpacks full of marijuana. So it's drug-related."

Mukasey urged U.S. lawmakers to approve the proposed Merida Initiative, a multiyear, $1.4 billion package to fund training, equipment and other aid for Mexico's anti-drug effort. The proposal is stalled in the U.S. Congress, as Washington focuses on the current presidential race.

Authorities have blamed drug violence for the shooting deaths of three police officials and one of their wives in Tijuana earlier this week. Two federal agents were killed and three more injured when they clashed with a group of suspects in the border city of Reynosa just days before.

01-17-2008, 03:38 AM
Mexico expects 5-6 percent growth in manufacturing exports in 2008

Posted: 2008-01-16

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican manufacturing exports will grow by at least 5 percent in 2008, despite an economic downturn in the U.S., their largest market, according to a group that represents the majority of the country's manufacture-for-export plants.

Members of the National Council of the Maquiladora Export Industry - which represents 84 percent of Mexico's export manufacturing industry - exported US$168.9 million (114 million) between January and November of 2007, a 6.9 percent increase over the same period in 2006, statistics released by the council show.

"We aren't as optimistic this year, but we are still aiming for at least 5 percent," organization president Cesar Castro told a news conference.

"The U.S. is the most important factor that could affect us," he said, referring to the rising risk of recession north of the border, as the U.S. economy slows on a steep slump in housing and spreading credit crisis.

Higher taxes, increasing energy costs, and a potential appreciation of the peso relative to the dollar also could affect Mexican exports negatively, Castro said.

"We will have to see what happens in the first quarter to estimate how the industry is operating," he said. "We will have a better idea by February."

01-17-2008, 03:46 AM
Immigration advocates urge new U.S. citizens to register to vote

By Antonio Olivo
Tribune reporter
January 16, 2008

Immigrant advocates said Tuesday they have registered 5,600 new Cook County voters since August, part of a nationwide effort to rally newly naturalized U.S. citizens for the 2008 presidential election.

Along with get-out-the-vote efforts in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities, activists are pressing the federal government to process hundreds of thousands of stalled citizenship applications.

A twofold surge in citizenship applications between October 2006 and October 2007, to 1.4 million, created a backlog that would deny many people a chance to vote in the November election, argued Fred Tsao of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

During a news conference Tuesday, coalition organizers said they planned several get-out-the-vote forums in coming months.

In their 6-month-old voter-registration drive, community groups targeted suburbs that are flash points in the illegal immigration debate.

Several naturalized citizens took part in early voting Tuesday as part of the media event.

Among those casting ballots was University of Chicago professor Friederich Katz, a renowned scholar on Mexican history who, until recently, avoided becoming a U.S. citizen out of allegiance to his native Austria.

"This country is facing a huge amount of problems, and this question of immigrant rights is chief among them," Katz said. "I think it is up to us to have our voices heard."

01-17-2008, 03:52 AM
New Mexican interior minister named

Calderon picks his chief of staff for the top Cabinet post, a traditional springboard to the presidency.

By Héctor Tobar
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 17, 2008

MEXICO CITY -- At 36, Spanish-born Juan Camilo Mouriño was already the quiet power behind the throne in Mexico. He controlled the calendar of President Felipe Calderon and appointed the top deputies of each member of Calderon's Cabinet.

On Wednesday, the green-eyed man known by the nickname "Ivan" officially became the second most powerful man in Mexico. Calderon named him interior secretary, the top Cabinet post and a traditional springboard to the presidency.

Mouriño was born in Madrid, the scion of a wealthy Spanish family that moved to Mexico when he was 7. He remained a Spanish citizen until age 18.

His rise to power, achieved in little more than a decade in politics, is an unlikely story in a country where Spaniards are still linked with empire and conquest.

Mouriño has the youthful good looks and European features most commonly associated here with TV actors. But before Wednesday, few Mexicans had heard his voice. Even among Mexico's political class, he's an unknown quantity.

"This guy hasn't done anything in his life to deserve the crown jewel of the Cabinet," said Federico Estevez, a political scientist. "He's a blank page. Appointing him is an incredibly bold and risky move by Calderon."

As Calderon's chief of staff for 13 months, Mouriño has been described in a handful of profiles as the president's behind-the-scenes "fireman" and "negotiator."

"He never speaks in public events and only whispers in the president's ear or to the Cabinet members who stand close to him and try and greet him," the newspaper El Universal wrote in a profile Wednesday.

Mouriño takes over a sprawling bureaucracy that is a vestige of Mexico's authoritarian past. The Interior Ministry, known as Gobernación in Spanish, monitors many key aspects of the country's political and cultural life, including domestic intelligence gathering, immigration, and relations between the president's office and Mexico's 31 states.

Gobernación also controls disaster relief, television commercials, movie ratings and the official news agency, Notimex.

"As a Mexican it is an honor and a privilege to assume this new responsibility," Mouriño said at a news conference, looking somewhat tentative in his new public role. "Mr. President, you can count on my loyalty."

Mouriño's family arrived in Mexico in the late 1970s and made its fortune in gas stations in the Gulf state of Campeche. But the Mouriños never lost their ties to Spain -- his father owns Celta de Vigo, one of Spain's leading soccer teams.

According to news reports, Mouriño was kidnapped in the 1990s and his family paid a million-dollar ransom for his release.

Entering politics at the behest of his father, Mouriño first ran for office in 1997, winning a seat in the Campeche state legislature.

In 2000, he was elected to the federal Congress on the National Action Party's list of at-large candidates. Mexican law requires federal officials to be Mexican citizens by birth -- Mouriño argued that he met the legal requirements because his mother is Mexican.

Still in his 20s, he became an ally of Calderon, then the leader of the PAN's congressional delegation.

Mouriño tied his fortunes to Calderon. He managed the campaign for the 2006 PAN presidential nomination in which Calderon defeated President Vicente Fox's choice as successor, then-Interior Secretary Santiago Creel.

"Calderon gave Mouriño a lot of the credit for defeating Creel," said Jose Antonio Crespo, a political scientist. "It was there that he won his loyalty."

In the 2006 presidential election, Mouriño ran Calderon's campaign "war room" and was one of the architects of the candidate's stunning come-from-behind victory against leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Even before Calderon took office in December 2006, Mouriño headed his transition team. His appointment as chief of staff quickly cemented his reputation as Calderon's right-hand man.

Like the American political advisor **** Morris, Mouriño used data from frequent polling to shape policy decisions. "The Calderon people measure things, obsessively," Daniel Lizarraga wrote in a profile of Mouriño in the magazine Proceso this month.

In Calderon's inner circle, people celebrate Mouriño's "cleverness, his political instincts and his ability to solve problems," Lizarraga wrote. "Those who are not his friends call him authoritarian, Machiavellian, and say he controls a vast network of influence that includes legislators, affluent businessmen, media moguls, party leaders and governors."

Some speculate that Calderon is grooming Mouriño to be president.

The next election is in 2012, and Calderon is prohibited from seeking a second term. Before Wednesday, the list of potential successors included no loyal "Calderonistas," said Estevez. Calderon has now clearly positioned his protege as a potential president.

In a rare interview, granted in December 2006 to the Spanish newspaper Faro de Vigo, Mouriño did not discount the idea that he might be Mexico's president one day.

"The truth is, I've never given myself that goal," he said. "Things have just happened. Politics is part will, part having goals and part circumstance. It's not just your decision. It depends on a lot of things."

Mouriño's Spanish birth may stand in the way of such ambitions. Public resistance is likely, analysts say, as are legal challenges. Last year, the columnist Miguel Angel Granados Chapa of the newspaper Reforma questioned whether Mouriño should be allowed to hold any elected or Cabinet position, saying he was not "Mexican by birth."

01-17-2008, 04:02 AM

Anti-emigration strategy: Small Mexican towns try to create jobs at home

In rural Mexico, locals try to make a brighter prospect out of staying home.

By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 29, 2007 edition

Tamaula, Mexico - This town in the central state of Guanajuato is so isolated that its 50-some families just got electricity a year ago. There's still no running water. Most of the men migrate north, to work in US factories or tobacco fields.

But Adriana Cortes, who waves to everyone she sees on the rough, half-hour drive up here, believes they can help curb migration here and in rural towns like it throughout the country. Her plan: create small cooperative enterprises to make communities self-sustaining.

In Tamaula, she is helping residents turn a small cheesemaking outfit into a factory and supporting efforts to build a job-training center to keep teenagers from leaving and lure the men back home.

Nearly 500,000 Mexicans head to the US each year, and an estimated 7 million now live there illegally. As US and Mexican lawmakers butt heads over control measures, small communities in Mexico are looking at their own strategies of plugging the labor drain.

"Our politicians are always talking about how migrants are treated in the US, but no one focuses on how they live in their own communities," says Ms. Cortes, the director of the not-for-profit Bajio Community Foundation. "Something is missing in our country. We need people to say, 'This is my country, this is my home, this is my land.' Tamaula can be a model."After studying accounting in college, Cortes says she began working with drug addicts and the handicapped. She eventually opened 12 organizations in the city of Irapuato.

Through her work, Cortes says she realized how many social problems were the result of migration, and how little government policies were doing to reverse the migratory trend that has widened so considerably in the past decade.

"Officials always think the answer is to bring a new factory in, but that doesn't work," she says, explaining that weekly commutes to low-paid factory jobs here makes international migration with its promises of higher pay more attractive. "As long as they don't see anything in their community, they will think of the US."

Migration affects towns across Mexico, but those hit hardest are in the central, agricultural states, such as Guanajuato.

Tamaula is one of a handful of communities that Cortes chose for her programs based on its demonstrated commitment to reducing its labor drain. Cortes has established programs here in alternative tourism and weaving factories that draw support from the education, business, and government sectors.

In the nearby town of El Gusano, where only 40 percent of the homes are occupied, Cortes's foundation helped a group of women who run a sewing cooperative buy land for a community enterprise. The new facility will include a place for them to work, a training center with computers, a shop to sell their products, a few rooms to rent to visitors, and a restaurant.

We want it to grow, so it generates employment, so our kids don't think so much of going to the US," says Mariana Garcia, one of the members of the group, which calls itself the "Embroiderers of El Gusano." The group also plans to begin business management classes at a local university.

Whether these communities will be successful in keeping their labor local remains unclear, but they are receiving the support of some local officials.

"I cannot say 'no' to a local community, especially to young people who want to help themselves," says the mayor of Irapuato, Mario Turrent Anton, who adds that migration is among his municipality's gravest problems. Family disintegration, he says, can lead to a host of other social issues such as depression and a spike in school dropouts.

"This is their land, and they should stay in their land; we could not do this work without people like Adriana," he says. Mr. Anton has promised Tamaula's residents that his administration will give them resources to help build a community training center to help ***** gain practical job training and finish their high school degrees.

Already the improving prospects in Tamaula have acted as a magnet. Gloria Zambrano's husband, Jesus Villanueva, left two years ago to work in a chicken processing plant in Atlanta, but he plans to come home in December. First he will grow crops, she says, and then hopes to help find work at the cheese factory, where she works. "We never believed any of this was possible," says Ms. Zambrano.

Cortes always believed it was possible and vital for Mexico's future growth.

"The day that we stop receiving remittances, what is the country going to do? We have social peace now because people are eating," says Cortes. "With the number of migrants leaving, this needs to be on the table as an urgent issue."

01-17-2008, 04:29 AM
DRUG SEIZURE: Police officers guard cocaine found in the port of Manzanillo. The violence tied to the drug-trafficking business in Mexico is seen as having grown more cruel in recent years.

The drug business has become so deadly that those covering it risk their lives.

By Héctor Tobar
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 14, 2008

MEXICO CITY -- The writer was one of the legion of underpaid beat reporters in Mexico, the kind who churn out four or five stories a day, for low pay and little recognition. They know all about the corrupt and violent dealings going on around them, even though they can't always pass on this knowledge to their readers.

He was going to brief me on the local situation, which involved some high-profile killings, various bands of criminals with colorful nicknames and the transport of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana into the United States.

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But when I walked into his office, the reporter looked upset. He bit his lower lip and glanced down at the floor, seemingly trying to fight off tears. "I'm quitting," he said.

"What?" I said. "Why?"

In the 2 1/2 years I've been covering the so-called drug wars in Mexico and Central America, I've traveled to small-town police stations, government ministries and newsrooms where journalists require military protection.

Along the way, I've met many courageous people, and many people whose proximity to the drug traffickers' machinery of death has frightened them into silence. This reporter, the lone staffer in his bureau, was a little bit of both. I cannot mention his name, or the town he works in.

After announcing his resignation, he was silent for a time.

"Is there anything I can do to help you?" I asked. He shook his head. We sat like this for a few minutes, until he finally stood up and directed me to his desk.

He pointed to his computer screen and the window of an instant-messaging program, where a flashing missive declared: "You are bothering a lot of people."

It was a death threat: In the local idiom, to be told you are "bothering" someone is an unambiguous warning.

"They've been following me," he said. An hour and half a pack of cigarettes later, he had told me about a car with no license plates that appeared wherever he did, cruising slowly.

"But that's not the reason I'm quitting," he said. It was the low pay and the unfulfilled promises from his bosses (including a company car) that really had him angry. There was something wrong about having to take a bus to cover stories that could get you killed, he said. The threats were just the final straw.

In the end, the reporter stayed on his beat a bit longer and was transferred to a safer place, where he didn't have to cover so many funerals and drug busts -- and where he wouldn't "bother" people who didn't want to be bothered.

That's how it goes when you write about the drug trade: You get close to the story, and then you step away.

"I don't want to know any names," one prominent Mexico City drug expert told me over coffee one day, explaining how he had managed to write about organized crime for years without "bothering" anyone. "When people in the government offer to show me confidential reports, I say, 'Please, don't! I don't want to see them!' "

The expert writes about the drug war's "big picture," and thus avoids the most dangerous thing a writer can do here: reveal a name or a fact that directly affects a trafficker's operations.

The violence tied to the drug-trafficking business has grown more cruel and irrational as the mad scramble for easy money has grown more mad.

In recent years, the attacks have progressed from ambushes with automatic weapons to grenade assaults and grotesque beheadings. When a ton of cocaine falls from the sky, people barely take notice.

In March, police found 2 tons of $100 bills (more than $205 million) in a mansion four blocks from my house here. I've often walked past that now-abandoned house, fantasizing about discovering dollar bills floating in the nearby gutters like so much trash.

Not long ago, my aunt returned to her home in Guatemala City to discover her humble colonia sealed off with police tape. One of her neighbors, a small-time drug dealer, had been shot to death in his doorway. He had been extorting money from the local grocers and was friends with a police officer. All the neighbors knew this, but could do nothing.

My mother lives in Guatemala City too. Less than a mile from her home in the city center, one neighborhood is so infested with drug gangs that the army has set up a base, complete with sandbag parapets, in the local market.

And it was in Guatemala City in November that I came face to face with the drug dead, a body that had been wrapped up in plastic and dumped onto the street from an overpass.

I don't know who the victim was. The Guatemalan news media were too busy covering a presidential election that night (as was I), and the killing wasn't reported in the newspapers.

Nearly all of the drug-related crimes The Times reported on in the region last year remain unsolved, including the killing of several Mexican musicians and the slaying in Guatemala of three Salvadoran legislators.

The Guatemalan police officers arrested in the legislators' killings -- anti-narcotics officers said to be in the hire of drug traffickers -- were themselves killed a few days later in their jail cells. The masterminds of these crimes remain free.

When I traveled to Guatemala to write about the killings, I met several people with theories as to who might be responsible. I learned the names of families and businesses believed linked to the transshipment of drugs. Officials have leaked this information to local journalists, but no one will publish it.

"It's too dangerous," a journalist said. "There's no one here to protect us. And if we're killed, no one will be prosecuted."

Knowing that the piece of unverified information I'd been given could get someone killed, I wondered whether I should even write it down in my notebook.

01-17-2008, 04:38 AM
SIBLING REMEMBERED: Arely Montoya of Guamuchil, Mexico, holds her brother's ID card from his job as a hospital security guard. Jose Alan Montoya was later recruited to work for drug traffickers and was kiled by army troops.
Despite being portrayed as hip gunslingers, the unskilled workers who toil for traffickers are an expendable lot who often die in obscurity.

In Mexico's drug trade, no glitter for grunts

By Héctor Tobar and Cecilia Sánchez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
December 6, 2007

GUAMUCHIL, MEXICO -- Jose Alan Montoya died far from the beloved roosters he raised on his patio, far from the tortilla shop his mother ran, far from the people who still weep for a man gunned down on a marijuana plantation in the mountains of Michoacan.

Montoya was born and raised in a humble, orderly neighborhood just outside this town in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. He died more than 600 miles to the south, shot and killed by army troops who say he opened fire on them.


Drug traffickers are mythologized throughout Mexico by a subculture that portrays them as lavishly paid gunslingers. But most of the 5,000 who have lost their lives in the last two years in the business are people of limited horizons who die in relative anonymity.

The oldest of six children, Montoya had little education. In Guamuchil, he held odd jobs at hospitals and construction sites where he rarely made more than $20 a day, relatives said.

"Someone told him he was going to make a lot of money, that he could send money to his family," said Elva Camacho, his mother. "They must have filled his head with big dreams."

The employees of Mexico's drug-trafficking groups are a varied bunch, including cannon-fodder "trigger men," drug- and cash-hauling "mules," accountants and communication specialists.

Many sell their souls for sums that are less than princely: In October, 25 officers of the Federal Preventive Police in the city of Tampico were arrested after allegedly receiving monthly payments of as little as $450 each for providing intelligence and protection to the Gulf cartel.

No one in Montoya's family knows how much he was offered to work for the drug traffickers. But his story is emblematic of the many myths and deceptions about the misnamed "cartels" that operate throughout Mexico.

Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico's top police official, said the typical drug-trafficking operative is young, 25 to 30.

"There is a tendency to give them this aura of power," Garcia Luna said this year. "But when you have a chance to see them face to face . . . you see they are really people of low circumstances."

In Guamuchil, Montoya lived with his mother and didn't have enough money to put his roosters to their intended use: cockfighting. He had once crossed illegally into the United States and worked for a while in Las Vegas, but he was apparently deported.

At 33, he seemed to have few ambitions. He was an easygoing man who joked with his relatives and traveled about town on a bicycle. In the U.S., he had "Sinaloa" tattooed on his stomach.

In October 2006, he announced to his relatives that he had been hired to work on a construction project in the southern state of Michoacan.

"When I'm gone, you'll be the oldest," he told his 28-year-old sister, Arely, on his last day home. "Try and visit our mother every day and look after her."

He called home from Michoacan several times. But during his three months away, he sent money home only once: the equivalent of $180 so his brother could buy a clarinet.

His mother asked him if he was eating well. "There's a whole bunch of us here from Sinaloa," he said. "There's a lady who cooks for us every day."

The family learned of his death in a local newspaper. On the Internet, they found a picture of four soldiers carrying his body, one holding each limb, as if they were dragging away an animal they had hunted. The Sinaloa tattoo was visible on his midriff. His burial cost almost $3,000, including shipping his body to Sinaloa.

Days after his funeral, an anonymous caller telephoned to promise his mother that "everything you are spending will be repaid to you." But the family never heard from the caller again.

"Normally, the traffickers take people from here who are not involved" in organized crime, said Carlos Cota, a Sinaloa lawyer and Montoya family friend. "In the mountains, they recruit people to work from the poor neighborhoods, people who don't have full-time jobs."

Cocaine arrives in Mexico by the ton via sea and air routes from South America, U.S. officials say. But it's typically smuggled into the United States by the pound. In between, drugs must be offloaded, transported overland and protected against bajadores, bands that specialize in stealing shipments from rivals.

Although "cartel" suggests that one group controls all aspects of the drug trade, drugs are actually shipped through the region thanks to alliances among local and regional crime groups.

When deals between groups are broken, violence ensues, said Luis Astorga, a Sinaloa native and Mexico City academic who has written extensively on trafficking. Gunmen and support personnel are needed to staff a large, quasi-military infrastructure.

"Given the high levels of profit in the business, [personnel] costs are very small," Astorga said. Some traffickers have hired former special operations soldiers and high-ranking police officers, he said. But the vast majority of their employees are unskilled.

In apatzingan, a city in Michoacan notorious for drug trafficking, Claudia Cortes sold used clothes before being recruited by local traffickers to work at a safe house, neighbors and officials said.

She would later become known as the "hit woman of Apatzingan." But in her neighborhood she was known as the daughter of a plumber and the quiet single mother of two young boys. She was 26 when she died.

"They're honest, hard-working people," one neighbor said of the Cortes family, who live in a cinder-block home on the outskirts of the city.

At some point, Cortes was recruited to work in another middle-class neighborhood near central Apatzingan. Neighbors there remember seeing her carrying "bundles" from the home. According to authorities, it was a base for drug traffickers.

"She was a calm person who hardly ever spoke, and who looked serious and decent," said Maria Romero, 50, a neighbor.

On May 7, the army moved in. The people inside the safe house fired back, with submachine guns and hand grenades, officials said. The ensuing battle lasted an hour and a half.

Three soldiers were seriously wounded and four alleged traffickers inside the home were killed, including Cortes. Her body was found by the doorway of the half-destroyed home, next to an AK-47 and spent shells.

"They say she was the one who fought the hardest and who started the whole thing," said Mario Flores, a worker in a nearby butcher shop.

Her funeral at Apatzingan's Municipal Cemetery was a low-profile affair, without the usual graveside Mass, said Jose Cantu, the cemetery manager. It was over in about 20 minutes.

"There were only a few people," Cantu said. "Her two boys were there. They were crying. Poor kids, it's not their fault. But they're the ones who suffer the most."

The location of Cortes' grave reveals her humble circumstances.

Apatzingan's more illustrious families have reserved the plots near the cemetery entrance, paying an annual fee of about $200, Cantu said. But Cortes was buried in one of the cheapest plots, near the back, where the fee is $30.

A recent visitor found no name at Cortes' plot, just a wooden cross with the words "Rest in Peace."

Claudia's parents have moved out of town with their grandsons because of "the shame of knowing their daughter had taken a bad road," neighbor Horacio Cruz said.

Montoya, the collector of roosters, was also briefly in Apatzingan on his journey home: His body rested in the morgue there; sister Arely arrived from Sinaloa to identify him.

She found his hands stained green, apparently from handling the marijuana plants in his care.Tissue oozed from a gaping wound in his skull.

The authorities told her he had been shot after opening fire on army soldiers engaged in a marijuana eradication campaign near Aguililla, in the mountains 50 miles southwest of Apatzingan.

An attorney general's news release and a newspaper report called him a "trigger man." Soldiers retrieved two semiautomatic weapons at the scene and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

"I told the investigator that my brother was a good man, that he had never hurt anyone, and that he was always at home when he wasn't working," Arely recalled.

The investigator replied, in a sarcastic tone: "Well, he wasn't that good! He was taking care of a marijuana crop."

Montoya was buried near his home in the Villa Benito Juarez neighborhood.

A year has passed since his death. But his 17-year-old brother, Jose Maria, still sees his older brother, known in the family as Chito, in his dreams.

In one dream, Jose Alan returns home carrying a stack of papers and walks through the front gate that leads to the patio where he raised his roosters.

"Chito, what are you doing here?" his brother calls out.

"They sent me back," Jose Alan answers. "They let me go."


Tobar reported from Guamuchil and Sánchez from Apatzingan. Carlos Martinez of The Times' Mexico City Bureau contributed to this report.

01-17-2008, 04:41 PM

Activists take stand to stop human trafficking

Ventura County not immune to the crime, assistant Oxnard police chief says

By Hannah Guzik
January 17, 2008

Wearing red shirts to symbolize their efforts to stop human trafficking, several dozen local activists met at an Oxnard bus station with California Assemblymember Pedro Nava, (D-Santa Barbara), and Oxnard Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites on Jan. 11 to address what Ventura County can do to raise awareness of the federal crime.

"It is a crime that reaches deep into the soul of the victim," Nava said, describing human trafficking, which is officially defined as taking, recruiting, harboring, moving or obtaining a person through threat, force, coercion or fraud, according to Agent David Wales, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

"This is one of the crimes that is the most egregious of the ones we would encounter in the course of our day," Wales said. "It is a life of hell. They often are unable to speak the language, they don't fit in, their documents are taken from them, and there are often threats made against them and their families."

An estimated 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Legislators designated Jan. 11 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day after passing a bill Nava helped to create.

"Slavery was slowly abolished in this country, yet despite this, it continues to exist," Benites said. "It's like a fingerprint. You don't necessarily see it, but it's there if you look very, very carefully."

Benites noted a 2006 case in which an Oxnard woman paid $2,000 to have her daughter smuggled across the border from Mexico, only to have her daughter taken hostage by the coyotes , or people who sneak others into the United States. Police later found the daughter held prisoner in a house in Phoenix, along with about 40 other people, all victims of human trafficking, Benites said.

The daughter and mother were reunited and were not deported because of the incident, Benites said.

"People need to not be afraid to step forward," he said. "If they come to us with this kind of situation, they do not have to worry about being deported."

Most human trafficking cases are reported in California, New York and Florida, said Debbie Bliss, who represented Soroptimist International. About 80 percent of cases involve sexual slavery, Bliss said. Human trafficking can also involve debt bondage and forced manual labor.

"Trafficking is not just an issue in other countries," Bliss said. "It is here and it's an issue that's affecting small towns and communities."

Soroptimist International, a group dedicated to the empowerment of women, has started a worldwide Stop Trafficking Awareness Program.

"We brought about 20 women here today who wanted to bring awareness to this issue, because it is an issue that is really affecting women and girls," Janette Lewandowski said. "A lot of people forced into trafficking from another country are forced to use transit centers, so that's why we're holding this meeting here. You never know, the woman sitting next to you at a bus station could be a victim of human trafficking."

Benites and Nava said California's human trafficking laws need to be strengthened and funding for victims needs to be increased. The harshest punishment a person convicted with human trafficking can face is six years in prison, said Nava, a former prosecutor.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's not long enough," he said. "It should be 60 years or maybe a lifetime, because what they do steals the lives of other people."

Pointing to a woman in the audience who was marching with the Soroptimists and carrying an infant, Nava said, "I am here to make sure that this doesn't happen to you."

Veronica Lopez, the mother of one-month-old Guadalupe, said the story about the Oxnard mother and daughter terrified her.

"I felt it," Lopez said. "What if it was my daughter that was going through that?"

Law enforcement officials urge people who know of human trafficking situations to call the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office at 1-866-DHS-ZICE or their local police department.

01-18-2008, 02:32 AM
Deported Illegal Immigrant Returns To R.I. for $30K Injury Settlement

January 16, 2008

An illegal immigrant from Mexico has won $30,000 in a settlement with his former Rhode Island employer after accidentally injuring himself with a chain saw.

Edgar Velasquez, who worked for a tree service company in Warwick, was chopping tree branches on March 31, 2006, when he accidentally slashed his face, slicing his nose, eyelid and forehead.

He underwent surgery but still has trouble closing his left eye.

Velasquez sued William Gorman Jr., his former boss and owner of Billy G's Tree Care, seeking compensation for his injuries. He also accused Gorman of notifying immigration authorities that he was here illegally to block him from pursuing his case.

Immigration agents arrested Velasquez outside the courthouse in August 2006 on the day of a scheduled court hearing. Though Velasquez was deported, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security later granted him a humanitarian visa to return to the United States for three months for his court case.

Chief Workers' Compensation Judge George E. Healey Jr. said he did not want "unscrupulous'' employers to think they could avoid responsibility if a worker gets injured in an unsafe workplace.

"And the resolution of a case like this demonstrates otherwise,'' Healey said.

The settlement disclosed Monday requires Gorman to pay Velasquez $300 a month, for 10 months a year, for 10 years _ or until he pays the entire $30,000. Velasquez's lawyer, Stephen Dennis, said he had wanted more than $70,000 for his client.

If Gorman does not make the required payments, the state will fine him $150,000 for not having workers' compensation at the time Velasquez was injured.

Gorman will make every effort to follow the payment schedule, his lawyer, Michael St. Pierre, said.

"I think, all in all, based on everything that happened over the last couple of years, it's a fair settlement for both sides,'' St. Pierre said.

01-18-2008, 02:34 AM
Hearing begins for pair accused of robbing day laborers

January 17, 2008 12:34 AM PST
By: Staff and wire reports

VISTA -- About three minutes after accepting an offer of work from two women and getting into their car, day laborers Ebner Escalante Lopez and his brother-in-law were given a different choice by a knife-wielding man in the back seat.

"He said, 'Give me your money or your life,' " Escalante testified Wednesday at a hearing in the Superior Court.

Although he said that he did not see the women's faces, Escalante identified Thomas Graham, 33, of Escondido as the armed man who made that demand around noon one day in June 2007.

Escalante's testimony came as a preliminary hearing began Wednesday afternoon for Graham and April Marie Lewis, 25, of Escondido. Graham and Lewis have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in connection with a series of robberies of day laborers last summer in various North County locations.

A Vista sheriff's sergeant said in August that many of the victims were citizens and legal residents of the United States. Authorities have said they believe the motive for the crimes was money, not any anti-illegal immigration mind-set.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Runston G. Maino will decide whether prosecutors have enough evidence to make Graham and Lewis stand trial. Graham has been charged with 21 robbery counts and 1 attempted robbery count, while Lewis faces three robbery charges.

Before the start of the preliminary hearing, a third defendant charged in the case, Nicole Dianne Couch, 35, of Escondido, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two robbery charges in connection with incidents July 22 and Aug. 4 in Encinitas. Under the terms of her plea, she is to be sentenced Feb. 27 to five years in state prison.

A fourth person charged in the case, Kevin William Anderson, 32, of Vista, pleaded guilty in September to two robbery charges and is scheduled to be sentenced next week. The district attorney's office and Anderson's attorney did not agree on a sentence as part of his plea.

Escalante testified Wednesday that he and his brother-in-law were in a supermarket parking lot on Rancho Bernardo Road when two women drove up and offered them work.

Graham, who was sitting in the back seat, then held a knife up at them and demanded their money, Escalante said.

"I tried to pull the knife out of his hand," Escalante said, noting that he was cut on his index finger and back.

Escalante, who identified Graham in court, said he jumped from the car when it was stopped at a red light, but the suspects drove off with with his brother-in-law.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume this morning.

Staff writer Scott Marshall and City News Service contributed to this report. Contact staff writer Scott Marshall at (760) 901-4049 or smarshall@nctimes.com. Comment at nctimes.com.

NOTE: Everything here about Ebner Escalante Lopez's testimony is from City News Service (reporter Jim Riffel). Unfortunately, I do not know whether Escalante's citizenship status was mentioned in court.

VISTA -- An Escondido woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to two robbery charges in connection with allegations that day-laborers across North County were lured to remote locations with the promise of work and then robbed at knifepoint.

Nicole Dianne Couch, 35, is the second person to admit involvement in the robberies, admitting her role in crimes July 22 and Aug. 4 in Encinitas. She is to be sentenced Feb. 27 to five years in state prison under the terms of her plea agreement.

Kevin William Anderson, 32, of Vista, pleaded guilty in September to two robbery charges and is scheduled to be sentenced next week. The district attorney's office and Anderson's attorney did not agree on a sentence as part of his plea.

Meanwhile, a preliminary hearing began Thursday afternoon for two other defendants in the case who have pleaded not guilty.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Superior Court Judge Runston G. Maino will decide whether prosecutors have enough evidence to make Thomas Graham, 33, of Escondido and April Marie Lewis, 25, also of Escondido, stand trial on multiple charges.

Graham is charged with 21 counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery; Lewis faces three robbery charges.

We must get this up higher, or at least preview. A literal "your money or your life' moment? priceless

Ebner Escalante Lopez, the alleged victim in the attempted robbery, testified he and his brother-in-law were in a supermarket parking lot on Rancho Bernardo Road around noon one day in June when two women drove up and offered them work.

After about three minutes, Graham, who was sitting in the back seat, held a knife up at them, Escalante said.

"I tried to pull the knife out of his hand," Escalante said, noting that he was cut on his index finger and back. "He said, 'Give me your money or your life."'

Escalante, who identified Graham in court, said he jumped from the car when it was stopped at a red light, but the suspects drove off with with his brother-in-law. He said he did not see the women's faces.

Graham is alleged to have committed similar robberies with Anderson in Vista, with Couch in Encinitas and with Lewis in San Marcos and Vista.

A Vista sheriff's sergeant said in August that many of the victims were citizens and legal residents of the United States. This begs the question: Was Escalante's citizenship mentioned? If not, we're not obligated to know. But if we know, we must include. Authorities have said they believe the motive for the crimes was money, not any anti-illegal immigration mindset.

Staff writer Scott Marshall and City News Service contributed to this report.

01-18-2008, 02:39 AM
A federal investigation may have consequences beyond the diamond for Miguel Tejada.

U.S. entry for Tejada a concern

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 17, 2008, 12:25AM

Miguel Tejada's immigration status could be in peril in light of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's decision to ask the Department of Justice to investigate whether the new Astros shortstop lied to federal investigators in 2005.

Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic, is a legal U.S. resident with a green card. Yet there are some instances in which he could be denied entry back into the country just by admitting he committed a crime for which he is being investigated.

"Obstruction of justice is considered under immigration law a crime involving moral turpitude," said attorney Alexandre Afanassiev, who practices immigration litigation. "So the question then becomes, how long did he have his green card? Why? Because the law says that if you had your green card for less than five years and then committed a crime of moral turpitude, you can be subject to deportation. In other words, they can take your green card away because of that crime and (have you) sent home."

Gordon Quan, the managing partner at Houston-based Quan, Burdette and Perez, is a baseball fan who has followed the game's steroid scandal closely. So far, he hasn't seen or heard proof of anything that could derail Tejada from entering the United States at this time.

"He has denied doing anything as far as injecting himself with anything, so all the rights of innocence until proven guilty still apply to Miguel Tejada," said Quan, who practices general immigration, business immigration and employer sanctions law.

That could change, however.

"I just want to mention there is one important exception," said Afanassiev, who handles deportation work in court for Quan, Burdette and Perez, which recently was deemed the No. 1 immigration law firm by Chambers USA, a guide that rates law firms. "If Mr. Tejada admits that he lied ... that might be enough for immigration to initiate deportation proceedings. Because the way immigration law is written, you either need a conviction or an admission you committed a crime."

Tejada was originally signed by the Oakland Athletics in 1993 as an amateur free agent in the Dominican Republic, where he still lives in the offseason and plays winter ball. He reached the majors in 1997 and five years later was named the American League's Most Valuable Player.

It's unclear exactly when Tejada, a four-time All-Star, gained his green card. A message left for his agent, Fernando Cuza, was not returned. Tejada was unavailable for comment Wednesday, a day after his brother was killed in a motorcycle accident in their hometown of Bani, D.R.

Pivotal period: Five years
If Tejada is convicted, his chances of staying in the U.S. are stronger if he has had legal residency for more than five years. But that wouldn't automatically save him.

Tejada is currently in the Dominican Republic. Although it's unlikely he'd be denied entry into the U.S. at this point, that, too, won't necessarily remain true.

"If he had his green card for more than five years and then this incident happened, then while he's in the United States nothing really will occur," Afanassiev said. "It will not affect him, really. But if he travels abroad, at the time of his entry to the United States when he presents his green card, if he's in fact convicted for this, they can prevent him from entering the United States " once again, based on the conviction of this crime " and he can be deported that way."

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that he is asking Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether Tejada lied in 2005 to federal agents investigating whether former Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro perjured himself during the panel's first set of hearings on steroids in baseball in March 2005. In those hearings, conducted several months before Palmeiro tested positive for steroids, the power-hitting first baseman denied using the banned substance.

Become a citizen?
Tejada was interviewed after Palmeiro claimed he likely tested positive because Tejada gave him steroid-tainted B-12 vitamins. During that interview, Tejada told investigators he had never used steroids and had no knowledge of other players who did. Yet in former Sen. George Mitchell's report, Tejada's former Oakland teammate, Adam Piatt, claimed he provided Tejada with steroids after the shortstop asked him about the substances.

Being a citizen might not help Tejada in regard to avoiding punishment if he's convicted for lying to federal agents, but it would behoove him to check into becoming a citizen while he's being investigated, Quan said.

"I don't know how long he's had his green card," Quan said. "But he might want to look at becoming a citizen of the United States also before there is ever any conviction against him, because he can never be deported as a citizen. ... Well, an investigation can be anything. ... As long as no charges are being brought against you, I think you can still apply for citizenship."


01-18-2008, 02:42 AM

Editor's Note: 2007 was a grim year for many immigrants with the double whammy of failed comprehensive immigration reform and increased enforcement measures across the country. What's in store for 2008? Maya Harris is the executive director of the ACLU of Northern California, the organization's largest affiliate in the country. She is the first African American and first Indian American to hold that position. IMMIGRATION MATTERS regularly features the views of the nation's leading immigrant rights advocates.

IMMIGRATION MATTERS: Defending the Civil Rights of Immigrants

Looking Back, Looking Forward

New America Media, Commentary, Maya Harris, Posted: Jan 18, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. First-grader Kebin Reyes, a U.S. citizen who lives with his father in San Rafael, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, missed a field trip with his class one day last March. In the early dawn hours, armed agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stormed into the Reyes' apartment, handcuffed Kebin's father, and took both father and son into custody. The terrified six-year-old was locked in a room with his father for 10 hours, with nothing to eat but bread and water.

Kebin is one of our clients. A month after the raid, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the little boy for violation of his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

Kebin was just one of thousands of children across the country who were traumatized by the Department of Homeland Security's "Operation Return to Sender" program last year, an initiative characterized not only by racial profiling and a disregard of constitutional rights, but by tremendous inefficiency. Though DHS chief Michael Chertoff claims that the ongoing campaign is aimed at capturing criminals and fugitives, less than one quarter of those arrested last year in Northern California had criminal records.

Despite the fact that Congress was unable to agree on a major immigration reform bill in 2007, state and local laws proliferated. This election year is sure to bring heightened rhetoric and even more draconian proposals. Some of these will be high-profile photo opportunities orchestrated to benefit politicians like more neighborhood raids and an ever longer, stronger border fence. Others will be more subtle, contrived in the corridors of power, but whose influence will be felt sharply by families, students and workers.

Here are some priorities for the ACLU in the new year:

"No-Match" letters: In 2007, a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the AFL-CIO temporarily halted the federal government plan to punish employers who do not fire employees whose work authorizations are not in the Social Security database. The government has acknowledged that the database is rife with errors, and that more than 70 percent of the discrepancies are in records of U.S. citizens. The court predicted that the program could cause irreparable harm to more than 8 million workers and their employers. Nevertheless, the government intends to reintroduce its flawed proposal in March 2008.

REAL ID: Tucked away in a supplemental bill for the Iraq War and Tsunami relief in 2005, the REAL ID Act turns a driver's license into a national identity card that everyone will need in order to travel by plane, enter government buildings or open a bank account. Under REAL ID, every person who applies for a driver's license must prove to a Department of Motor Vehicles clerk that he or she is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. This national database will not solve the problem of illegal immigration or enhance national security it will, however, endanger the privacy of all Americans. Seventeen states have registered their opposition to REAL ID, and a measure to repeal it is now pending in Congress.

Citizenship delays: As a "national security" measure, the government expanded its use of FBI background checks in 2007 to include a "name check" for each applicant against every name that appears as a reference (as a victim, witness, or other relevant party) in an FBI investigation database. This practice, which results in "false hits," has caused delays for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.

DREAM Act: The California Legislature passed a bill to ensure that all California high school graduates accepted into state public institutions of post-secondary education would be eligible for state-sponsored financial aid, regardless of their immigration status. Though the Governor vetoed the bill, it will be reintroduced this year in hopes that all California kids have a chance to fulfill their dreams of higher education.

Now for some good news. Last year, California became the first state to enact a law prohibiting landlords from checking the immigration status of tenants and prohibiting local governments from requiring such checks. The bill was sponsored by apartment owners who did not want to be put in the position of acting like Border Patrol agents. The California law, which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was in direct response to local ordinances around the country that would ban landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants.

People often ask me, why is the ACLU involved in immigration issues?

There are very big reasons for doing so.

The ACLU was founded during the 1920s Palmer Raids, when our government ordered European immigrants detained and deported because of their political views. As the U.S. Supreme Court later established, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution apply to all persons in this country, not just to U.S. citizens.

There are also many small reasons. Like first-grader Kebin Reyes.

01-18-2008, 02:46 AM
Immigration is not the biggest problem that Americans face

Michael Brandon Harris-Peyton
Issue date: 1/18/08 Section: Ed-Op

It is a sad day in United States history when some politician thinks that we can solve illegal immigration with a fence. Fences will not solve the problem. It might, however, cut through American towns, as the most recent plans for a border fence in Texas, along the Rio Grande would. The no-man's land between the fences and the border would contain the U.S.-side banks of the river, including a number of back yards and houses. Illegal immigration prevention, right in your living room. Literally.

The proposed solution to illegal immigrants simply cutting through or hopping the fence would be cameras. But you have to pay people to watch cameras, and extra government employees lead to bigger bureaucracies, and larger budgets. The whole plan is a colossal waste of taxpayer funds-funds that Congress could be wasting on its myriad of other insanely foolish ideas, like buying both evolution-based and creationism-based "science" books for our schools, in the interests of acknowledging all perspectives, regardless of how mindlessly ridiculous they are.

Another poorly thought out idea that was proposed as a solution to illegal immigration was so elegantly beautiful in its simplicity that you knew there had to be a catch-the "let's just deport all them pesky illegal immigrants" plan.

Problem No. 1: there are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the continental U.S.

Problem No. 2: The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency stated in September that the approximate cost of deporting all these people would exceed $94 billion. And in that figure, they did not completely cover the costs of hunting down and catching all those undocumented immigrants who didn't want to go back. A spokesman for the agency laid out how they arrived at that figure for CNN, and said the following:

"He said the amount was calculated by multiplying the estimated 12 million people by the average cost of detaining people for a day: $97. That was multiplied by the average length of detention: 32 days. ICE officials also considered transportation costs, which average $1,000 per person. But that amount can vary widely, the spokesman said. Some deportees are simply driven by bus across the border, while others must take charter planes to distant countries, he said. Finally, the department looked at personnel costs, bringing the total to roughly $94 billion."

On top of all this, one has to take into account the effect on the economy if 12 million people suddenly stopped working. The undocumented worker and their production make up a significant part of the economy, which would disappear if, as in the dreams of many politicians in both parties, illegal immigrants just fell off the face of the earth.

The economy is certainly not at its best right now, and any magical loss of illegal immigrants could, in a hypothetical scenario, crash the economy.

But what is to be done about illegal immigration? It is certainly not fair that undocumented immigrant workers do not pay taxes, and it is certainly unfair that they use public services without contributing to it in the same way as citizens do. In order to even suggest a solution to the problem, the sources of the problem must be addressed.

Legal immigration into the United States is difficult, time consuming, and often expensive. There are complications with citizenship requirements, temporary residency, and working inside the country as a non-citizen. The citizenship examinations also, perhaps unfairly, contain technical questions about U.S. law that many American citizens cannot answer-for example, the line of presidential succession. There are few citizens who can recite the line of succession off the top of their heads beyond the President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House. In short, it is difficult to become a legal resident, much less a citizen, of the United States.

In the case of the most prominent source of illegal immigrants to this country, Mexico, it is particularly complicated. Public opinion is often very anti-Mexican-immigrant, and both governments are somewhat awkward in their dealings with one another on the subject of immigration itself. Mexicans are not defined as refugees by international law, even though it has become apparent in many cases that illegal immigrants are either politically or economically motivated to flee their home country.
The language doesn't help public opinion very much. The word "illegal" brings a negative response out in people, while the word "refugee" tends to bring out more empathetic feelings.

There is something deeply hypocritical about the hardliner position against illegal immigration. There seems to be contextual amnesia going on-an American citizen of the anti-immigrant persuasion can go from openly discussing the foreign origin of their ancestors to talking about how the country shouldn't immigrants "come over here and steal our jobs and not speak English."

News flash - your ancestors were probably poor, illiterate immigrants who most of the time didn't speak English either. And they had the advantage of arriving, most likely, in an older America with much looser border controls. If you're that severely anti-immigration, you're not "conservative," and you're definitely not a "real American"-you're xenophobic. You're also a hypocrite. The only people who can even claim to not be descended from immigrants are Native Americans. And from what the history books say, your ancestors weren't very nice to them. The anti-immigration argument is often so flawed that it approaches the irrational.

The fact of the matter is that we should not be looking at these people with hatred and intolerance-we should be making it easier for them to become legitimate citizens, and to contribute wholly to society.

America needs all the people it can get-we certainly have the space, and with the declining birthrate, we'll need more immigrants in order to stay on-par with the rising power of countries like India and China. If this country is truly ready to say no to immigrants, even the illegal kind, and go to such insane lengths as to build walls and deport every undocumented person, then it might as well resign itself to becoming the next collapsed superpower. America was built by immigrants, and that singular fact should be the first thought when it comes to dealing with the country's immigration issues.

Michael Brandon Harris-Peyton is a sophomore majoring in English and Japanese. He can be reached at ed-op@thetriangle.org.

01-18-2008, 02:50 AM
The Benefits Of Immigration

by Donald J. Boudreaux for the Foundation for Economic Education

I recently challenged a case, made by some market-advocates, for immigration restrictions. I have since received scolding letters and E-marls from numerous people predicting that open borders would bring all manner of calamities. While some writers were less certain than others about the baleful consequences of unregulated immigration, only one correspondent fully shared my support for eliminating all immigration restrictions.

These many letters have prompted me to think longer and harder about immigration. Alas, my opinion remains unchanged: we should welcome all immigrants. Government should not redistribute income to immigrants, but neither should government prevent immigration.

Each immigrant comes to America to make himself better off. Suppose government no longer redistributes income to immigrants. Would immigrants still relocate here? You bet! A handful will come because some Americans are willing to use their own resources to care for them. Most immigrants will come because each has sufficient skill and ambition to profit in the market.

Absent government welfare payments to immigrants, immigrants who do not seek work burden no one other than family or friends who voluntarily assume this burden. I here ignore such non-working immigrants who receive no government handouts. These immigrants do not raise the ire of anti-immigrationists. Opponents of immigration object most vehemently to immigrants who are eager to work.

Such objections are mistaken. Let's see why.

Juan is a hypothetical immigrant. He arrives in America and immediately begins looking for employment. Before finding a job, he must secure food, clothing, and shelter. He may do so from funds brought with him from his native country, or he may depend upon the kindness of family, friends, or charitable organizations here in the United States. In either case, because such transfers are voluntary, no American is harmed.

If Juan resorts to theft, however, the story is different. Some Americans are indeed harmed. But criminal law is the appropriate tool for dealing with such thievery. Restricting immigration on the grounds that a handful of immigrants behave criminally would be like denying drivers licenses to everyone just because a small percentage of people drive recklessly. More focused and less ham-fisted means are available in both cases for weeding out the bad apples from the good.

Juan, however, is no thief. He's a worker. Suppose that Juan has no skills of any value to any American. He can do nothing that any American is willing to pay for. In this case, Juan will eventually return home. No American is harmed. (Actually, Juan would probably not come to America in the first place. People so destitute of skills are unlikely to leave home in search of work in a foreign and highly competitive economy.)

But Juan is extremely unlikely to lack any skill for which Americans are willing to pay some mutually agreeable wage. Readers who doubt this claim should consult that cornerstone of economics called the theory of comparative advantage"a theory, by the way, that exposes the senselessness of identifying people economically as being "above average" or "below average." The theory of comparative advantage makes clear that everyone is above average at some tasks and below average at many others.

When Juan finds employment, not only is Juan made better off, but so, too, is his employer. Consumers are also made better off, for the higher output or lower cost that Juan's availability makes possible for his employer is shared with consumers through reduced prices or improved product quality. Nothing to complain of so far.

Some people, however, are harmed by Juan's availability"namely, American workers who compete with Juan. If Juan's most marketable skill is nearly identical to the most marketable skill possessed by Sam the American, Juan is a potential rival for Sam's job. Because of Juan, Sam's income may fall.

Protecting Sam from income loss, though, is inappropriate. To prevent Juan from entering America is to do nothing more virtuous than to protect Sam from competition. But it is also to prevent George and Bill and other Americans from freely dealing with Juan, who is someone they would otherwise choose to deal with! To restrict immigration is to deny to Americans their freedom of association. Sam, then, becomes a monopolist under immigration restrictions. If Sam suffers income loss when these restrictions are lifted, he is no more worthy of our solicitude than is any other monopolist whose monopoly privilege unravels.

Suppose that government grants me the exclusive privilege to write newspaper op-eds. No longer can publishers carry the likes of Walter Williams, George Will, Maureen Dowd, or Russell Baker. Protected from such competitors, my income skyrockets. Now imagine that government withdraws this privilege. Publishers" and readers!"are again free to patronize op-ed writers other than me. My income plummets.

Should you feel sorry for me? Of course not. Would you conclude from the fact that this heightened competition reduces my income that the wealth of the nation falls? Of course not. Likewise, productively employed immigrants invariably increase the nation's wealth by intensifying competition and expanding the division of labor. Immigration restrictions, in contrast, reduce economic growth. Prosperity cannot be bred by monopoly protections.

immigration opponents also fear that open immigration means overcrowding. This worry is overblown. First, the United States is sparsely populated. Second, owners of private property have incentives to keep their properties from being overcrowded. The proper solution to overcrowding is privatizing those property holdings not yet privatized, not forcibly stopping productive people from coming to our country.

Third, overcrowding is an elusive concept. Among the people who wrote to complain that immigration spawns overcrowding was a resident of New York City. But this person clearly doesn't mind crowds. If he did, he'd move to Oklahoma or Mississippi.

Manhattan is one of the most densely populated spots on earth. Yet it is also one of the wealthiest. New Yorkers often complain of crowds, but no one is compelled to live in that city. The reason people live there is because economic opportunity in New York is vast. Living in close contact with lots of people is a price that many of us voluntarily pay for the opportunity to take advantage of the wealth-producing capacities of an extensive division of labor.

New York and Los Angeles are crowded but wealthy. Oklahoma and Mississippi are sparsely populated but much poorer. This fact alone is ample evidence of the great economic benefits of immigration.

This article was originally published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).


About The Author

Donald Boudreaux for the Foundation for Economic Education is the chairman of the economics department at George Mason University. He was the president of FEE from 1997 to 2001. The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States, was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read to study and advance the freedom philosophy. FEE's mission is to offer the most consistent case for the "first principles" of freedom: the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Copyright 1999-2007 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM

01-18-2008, 02:54 AM
Dallas suburb proposes new rental ban for illegal immigrants

The Associated Press
January 17, 2008

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- The Dallas suburb that jumped into the nationwide debate over immigration plans to take up another law to force out undocumented immigrants.

The Farmers Branch City Council plans to consider a new ordinance Tuesday banning landlords from renting apartments and houses to illegal immigrants. It would require the city and federal government, not the landlords, to determine who is in the country legally, The Dallas Morning News reported on its Web site Thursday.

City Council members first approved a ban on apartment rentals to illegal immigrants in November 2006 without discussion. They then revised the ordinance to include exemptions for minors, seniors and some mixed-immigration status families and approved it in January 2007. Residents voted to approve the rule in May.

But a federal judge has blocked Farmers Branch from enforcing the ordinance after finding city officials attempted to regulate immigration differently from the federal government.

"I am confident this new proposal is consistent with the intent of Farmers Branch voters, and will withstand any legal challenges," Mayor Pro Tem Tim O'Hare, who led the city's original efforts against illegal immigrants, told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

The new proposal would require adults wanting to lease a house or apartment in Farmers Branch to obtain an occupancy license from the city. People seeking the license would have to provide information about their citizenship or legal status. The information would be checked against a federal database to determine if applicants are in the country legally.

If federal authorities can't confirm a person has permission to live in the country, the license holder and landlord would be notified. The renter would have 60 days to provide proof of legal status.

Violations of the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $500 per day.

Nationwide, more than 100 cities or counties have proposed, passed or rejected laws prohibiting landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that employ undocumented workers or training police to enforce immigration laws.

01-18-2008, 03:51 AM
Letter delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing regarding the delays in processing of U.S. citizenship applications due to surge in applications

"GALEO joins other organizations and individuals nationwide calling on our federal government to move quickly in processing of the U.S. citizenship applications. Bureaucratic delays should not bar the door to the American Dream and are unacceptable. This is particularly important for those who filed timely applications for U.S. citizenship in order to participate in the upcoming Presidential elections. Voting is a fundamental responsibility for all U.S. citizens and these legal immigrants want to participate fully in our democracy. Our Bureacracy should not stand in the way. We should demand a better performance from the USCIS."


17, 2008

Dr. Emilio Gonza***
Director, US Citizenship and Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20536

Dear Dr. Gonza***:

The undersigned organizations are writing to you because we are deeply concerned about the current delays in naturalization processing.

The delays stem from last summer's surge in applications for citizenship and other immigration benefits. Immigrants had already begun applying for citizenship in much higher numbers throughout 2006, moved by a desire to become full members of our body politic and commit to their new home country. The fee increases announced in early 2007 provided even more motivation for these immigrants to not delay their applications any further.

Many of the undersigned organizations opposed fee increases of the magnitude that USCIS proposed and warned that if USCIS were to proceed with the fee increases, it must prepare for a surge in applications from immigrants wishing to avoid the fee increases. In fact, USCIS did move forward with the fee increases, but did not adequately prepare to handle such a surge.

Yet the surge happened, causing worsened delays. USCIS has stated that processing delays for citizenship applications could hit 18 months. Indeed, many applicants who filed before the fee increase have already had to wait four to five months just to get a receipt from USCIS. By the end of December, USICS had not finalized plans for handling the backlog created last July.

Meanwhile, USCIS still appears to have no plan to address the thousands of applications that are still delayed due to name-check clearances. Approximately 150,000 citizenship applicants have waited more than six months, if not years, for their names to clear the FBI name-check process. These delays have hit several populations particularly hard; Arab and Muslim immigrants are disproportionately affected.

The processing backlogs and name check delays are preventing hardworking, patriotic immigrants from becoming full members of our nation. Specifically, these delays will disenfranchise thousands of immigrants who, applying more than a year prior to the upcoming Presidential election, had fully expected to be able to vote in this election. If USCIS does not address the delays, these immigrants will not yet be citizens and will not be able to vote in the November election.

We urge you to take whatever measures may be necessary to alleviate the current backlogs and to ensure that the naturalization applications for these immigrants are promptly processed so that they may become citizens. Our nation should be doing whatever it can to enable legal immigrants to join the American community. Poor planning and bureaucratic delays should not bar the door to the American Dream. Thank you for your consideration.


1. Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)

National organizations

2. Asian American Justice Center
3. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
4. American Immigration Lawyers Association
5. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
6. International Immigrants Foundation
7. Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
8. National Immigration Forum
9. Asian Law Alliance
10. Asian Law Caucus
11. Dumaraonan USA
12. Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
13. Irish Apostolate USA
14. National Council of La Raza
15. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
16. National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
17. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
18. Church World Service, Immigration and Refugee Program
19. Interfaith Worker Justice
20. South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT)
21. American Friends Service Committee
22. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
23. Center for Community Change
24. Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)
25. Union for Reform Judaism
26. U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
27. Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
28. National Immigration Law Center
29. National Immigrant Justice Center
30. American Jewish Committee
31. Gamaliel Foundation
32. Change to Win

State/regional organizations

33. Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
34. Idaho Community Action Network
35. CAUSA (Oregon)
36. CASA of Maryland
37. New Jersey Immigration Policy Network (NJIPN)
38. Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
39. Maine People's Alliance
40. New York Immigration Coalition
41. Pennsylvania Council of Churches
42. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
43. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
44. Hate Free Zone (Seattle WA)
45. Voces de la Frontera (Milwaukee WI)
46. Students United for Immigrant Rights (Racine WI)
47. Northwest Federation of Community Organizations (Seattle WA)
48. Washington Community Action Network
49. Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)
50. Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)
51. American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
52. ISAIAH - Gamaliel (Minnesota)
53. WISDOM - Gamaliel (Wisconsin)
54. Metropolitan Congregations United - Gamaliel (Missouri)
55. Transforming Action Through Power (TAP) - Gamaliel (Indiana)
56. Gamaliel of Michigan
57. UACT - Gamaliel (Connecticut)
58. Project IRENE (Illinois)

Local organizations

59. Centro de Amistad, Guadalupe AZ
60. Chicago Irish Immigrant Support, Chicago IL
61. Rock Valley College Refugee and Immigrant Services, Rockford IL
62. Erie Neighborhood House, Chicago IL
63. South Texas Immigration Council Inc., Brownsville, Texas
64. Immigrant Information Center, Jamaica Plain, MA
65. Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Chicago IL
66. Eirene Immigration Center, Camden NJ
67. Asbury United Methodist Church, Camden NJ
68. Tu Amigo Community Center, Camden NJ
69. La Mesa Del Pueblo Food Ministry, Camden NJ
70. The Resurrection Project, Chicago IL
71. Southwest Organizing Project, Chicago IL
72. Casa de Esperanza, Bound Brook NJ
73. Franciscan Order of Sacred Heart JPIC Office, Chicago IL
74. Jr's Roofing and Framing, Shelbyville TN
75. Law Office of Emily Love, P.C., Evanston IL
76. World Relief Chicago, Chicago IL
77. African Resource Center, Washington DC
78. Jewish Community Action, St. Paul, MN
79. Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Chicago IL
80. Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., Chicago IL
81. Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants, St. Louis MO
82. Digna Ochoa Center for Immigration Legal Assistance, Columbia, SC
83. Refugee Immigration Project, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Jacksonville FL
84. Law Office Of Brigit G. Alvarez, Los Angeles CA
85. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Chicago (HIAS Chicago), Chicago IL
86. Office of Nancy M. Vizer, P.C., Chicago IL
87. AzulaySeiden Law Group, Chicago IL
88. South-East Asia Center, Chicago IL
89. Bonilla Community Services, Matthews, NC
90. Law Office of Eleanor Kaplan Adams, San Diego CA
91. Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Chicago IL
92. Ebere N. Ekechukwu & Associates, P.C., Chicago IL
93. Dominican Literacy Center, Aurora, IL
94. Law Offices of Scott E. Bellgrau, P.C., Bensenville IL
95. Amigos Center, Fort Myers FL
96. Erwin, Martinkus & Cole, Ltd., Champaign IL
97. Law Office of Judith Michaels Morrow, San Francisco CA
98. Alaska Immigration Law Offices, Anchorage AK
99. Law Office of Mary O'Leary, Evanston IL
100. Community Legal Services, East Palo Alto CA
101. Hudson | May, LLC, Salem OR
102. Centro Legal De La Raza, Oakland CA
103. Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Portland ME
104. Law Offices of Ashley Mammo, P.C., West Bloomfield MI
105. Law Offices of Jesiros D. Bautista, Oakland CA
106. East Bay Community Law Center, Berkeley CA
107. Kathleen M. Weber Law Office, Seattle WA
108. Law Office of Maura B. Petersen, Santa Cruz CA
109. International Institute of the Bay Area, San Francisco CA
110. International Center of Greater Cincinnati (OH)
111. Youth Service Bureau of the Illinois Valley, Ottawa IL
112. Centro Latino Cuzcatlan, San Pablo CA
113. Latin American Coalition, Charlotte NC
114. Hanul Family Alliance, Chicago IL
115. East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center, Urbana IL
116. Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, Lexington, KY
117. Dady Law Office, Rockford IL
118. Jewish Child and Family Services, Chicago IL
119. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., Toledo OH
120. Berzon and Associates, Chicago IL
121. Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago
122. Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
123. Latino Law Student Association, DePaul University, Chicago IL
124. Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Oakland CA
125. Conexion Americas, Nashville, TN
126. Rights for All People, Denver CO
127. Social Justice Group of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown, NJ
128. Law Office of Kevin Dixler, Chicago IL
129. St. Brigid's Casa Mary Johanna, Westbury NY
130. Centro Romero, Chicago IL
131. Law Offices of George L. Young, APC, San Marino CA
132. Chicagoland Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, Chicago IL
133. Centro Hispano of Dane County, Madison WI
134. Alpha International American Immigrant, Seattle WA
135. Catholic Charities Immigration Services, Santa Rosa CA
136. Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Los Angeles CA
137. International Friendship Center, Highlands NC
138. Center for New Americans, Northampton MA
139. Instituto del Progreso Latino, Chicago IL
140. Lutheran Children and Family Service, Philadelphia PA
141. Council on American Islamic Relation - Chicago Chapter (CAIR Chicago), Chicago IL
142. IRIS Integrated Refugee & Immigration Services, New Haven CT
143. Immigration Law Offices of Mahoney & Tomlinson, Sacramento CA
144. Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, Chicago IL
145. Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Chicago IL
146. South Suburban Action Conference, Chicago IL
147. United Congregations of Metro-East, Madison IL
148. Quad Cities Interfaith, Rock Island IL
149. Justice Overcoming Boundaries, San Diego CA
150. Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network - Gamaliel, Pittsburgh PA
151. CAUSE, Oxnard CA
152. AMOS - Gamaliel, Cincinnati OH
153. NOAH - Gamaliel, Cleveland OH
154. ACTS - Gamaliel (Ohio)
155. MOSES - Gamaliel, Detroit MI
156. ISAAC - Gamaliel, Kalamazoo MI
157. EZEKIEL - Gamaliel, Grand Rapids MI
158. ARISE - Gamaliel, Albany NY
159. VOICE - Gamaliel, Buffalo NY
160. ACTS - Gamaliel, Syracuse NY
161. NOAH Niagara- Gamaliel, Buffalo NY
162. ABLE - Gamaliel, Atlanta GA
163. MICAH - Gamaliel, Milwaukee WI
164. ESTHER - Gamaliel, Waukesha WI
165. RIC - Gamaliel, Racine WI
166. East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC), Boston MA
167. Community Refugee & Immigration Services, Columbus, Ohio


168. Dr. Rogelio Reyes, San Diego State University, San Diego CA
169. Patrick Corr, immigration instructor, Pittsburgh PA
170. Pete Cerneka, Lebanon IL
171. Jeff Jennett, citizenship instructor, Highland Park IL
172. Victoria Palacios
173. Vaishali Mamgain, University of Southern Maine, Portland ME
174. Julie Turner-Lloveras, attorney, Sacramento CA
175. Lynne Weintraub, citizenship educator, Amherst MA
176. Alicia Armstrong, immigration paralegal, New York NY
177. Sarahid Rivera, legal advocate, Napa CA
178. Miguel Angel Castanon, Napa CA
179. Matthew Bernstein, director, immigration and nationality clinic, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago IL
180. M. Lucero Ortiz, Washington DC
181. Teresa DeRush, Grand Junction CO
182. Laura P. Fernandez, Washington DC
183. Mary B. Godfrey, LMSW, Grand Rapids MI
184. Jillian Kong-Sivert, Esq., Scottsdale AZ
185. Rosa Mendosa, Muscatine IA

We hope you will share this message with others.


Jerry Gonza***
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)

01-18-2008, 09:49 AM
San Francisco Chronicle
Daly City police seeking suspect in pry-bar beating of elderly woman

John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, January 18, 2008

(01-17) 18:29 PST DALY CITY - Police are searching for a 28-year-old South San Francisco man suspected of savagely beating a 78-year-old widow inside her Daly City home and leaving her for dead after she surprised him during a robbery attempt.

The woman was upgraded today to critical condition at a local hospital after she suffered life-threatening injuries from being beaten in the face and head with a metal pry bar Saturday, Daly City police said.

They identified the suspect in the attack as Jose Perez-Gonza***, 28, an illegal alien originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, who has been living in South San Francisco.

Perez-Gonza*** may be employed as a house painter in the San Jose area and may frequent exercise gyms in San Francisco during the early evenings, police said.

He has tattoos of a black-and-red Harley Davidson motorcycle emblem and a black dragon band on his right arm. He may also have "Mexico" tattooed in large letters running up his inner right forearm, police said.

Perez-Gonza*** - who has used the names Antonio Perez, Moses Omar Lopez-Padilla, Jose De Jesus Perez-Gonza*** and Juan Arellano - is also a suspect in the Dec. 21 burglary of a Pacifica home, Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena said.

Police did not say how they had focused Perez-Gonza*** as a suspect.

The Daly City attack came after the burglar had apparently telephoned the victim earlier in the day and posed as a package deliveryman in an effort to determine when the woman was going to be home, police said.

"This was not a random burglary," Morena said. But he added that police suspect the burglar tried to strike when no one was home.

"It was not a home invasion-type of burglary," Morena said. "The phone call was to find when she wouldn't be there."

E-mail John Coté at jcote@sfchronicle.com.

01-18-2008, 09:50 AM
Jan. 17, 2008, 4:32PM

Ex-BP agent in Laredo, wife in smuggling conspiracy

2008 The Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas " Calls from a Border Patrol agent's wife to him while he was on duty helped illegal immigrants on buses slip through a checkpoint.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old David Cruz and 35-year-old Susana Lopez-Portillo De Cruz pleaded guilty Thursday in Laredo to conspiring to transport and harbor illegal immigrants.

The case involved three 2007 incidents " in January, July and September " when a total of 25 illegal immigrants were bused from Laredo.

Prosecutors say Cruz would get calls from his wife letting him know the number of a particular bus and when it likely would reach his checkpoint so he could let it pass.

Cruz resigned in September.

The husband and wife face a maximum 10 years in prison and $250,000 fines.

A third person was arrested Jan. 9 and remains in custody without bond on similar charges.


01-18-2008, 09:53 AM
Dobbs: Time to free Ramos and CompeanStory

Senators chair hearing, imply U.S. attorney blatantly abused power

Agents sentenced for shooting fleeing drug smuggler, alleged cover-up

Illegal alien drug smuggler received immunity for testimony against agents

Next Article in U.S.

By Lou Dobbs

Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on CNN.com.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- There was an unusual spectacle in the nation's capital Tuesday, downright rare, in fact: U.S. Senators seeking truth, and justice, and taking action. And they deserve great credit and thanks.

[b]Lou Dobbs says two convicted border patrol agents should be released from prison immediately.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, led by Dianne Feinstein, focused on the reasons for the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents now serving long sentences in federal prison. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were given terms of 11 and 12 years respectively on their convictions for shooting an illegal alien drug smuggler.

Senator Feinstein, and Senators Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn demanded answers of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who chose to prosecute Compean and Ramos and give that illegal alien drug smuggler blanket immunity to testify against the men.

Sutton's decision to prosecute the agents, to file attempted murder charges against them and seek harsh mandatory prison sentences was simply an outrage. Senators Feinstein, Sessions and Cornyn took Sutton to task over what they clearly see now as a blatant abuse of prosecutorial power and strongly questioned the decision to give immunity to a known illegal alien drug smuggler. Sutton's office gave the smuggler immunity in order to prosecute the two agents who had pursued him in a high-speed chase, which ultimately resulted in the wounding of the drug dealer who had ditched his van, loaded with hundreds of pounds of drugs, and ran from the agents.

Don't Miss
Read Judiciary Committee testimony on the case
Lou's book "War on the Middle Class"
Previous Lou Dobbs commentaries
I have maintained throughout that the prosecution of these two agents was unwarranted, that sufficient facts were in dispute that the case should never have been brought to trial. The two Border Patrol agents received excessive sentences by any reasonable standard of justice. But reason did not prevail, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun the process of righting this wrong.

The agents were serving their nation in a war zone along our southern border. The fact is Mexico remains the primary corridor for drugs entering the United States. Mexico is the principal source of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into this country. Between 70 and 90 percent of cocaine entering the United States from South America passed through mainland Mexico or its waters. Heroin brought in from Mexico accounts for about 30 percent of the U.S. market, despite Mexico's relatively small percentage of worldwide production. Mexican traffickers continued to dominate drug distribution in the United States, controlling most of the primary distribution centers. Our border with Mexico is the main battlefield in the war against drugs, and the federal government has treated Ramos and Compean with contempt rather than gratitude for their service on the front lines of that war.

Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar Tuesday testified at the hearing that from February 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007, there were 1,982 incidents where Border Patrol agents have been assaulted. These assaults include rock throwing, physical assaults, vehicular assaults as well as shootings. In response, Border Patrol agents have responded with the use of deadly force on 116 occasions, with 144 agents discharging their weapons during these 116 incidents.

Aguilar also testified that 13 assailants died as a result, and 15 incidents ended with the assailants being wounded. Of the 144 agents involved, comprehensive investigations were formally conducted, and not a single agent has been criminally prosecuted for their actions. Then why in the world did Sutton choose to prosecute agents in this case? The senators did not like U.S. Attorney Sutton's answers.

TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Ramos and Compean, expressed anger at the sentences Tuesday and said the Border Patrol is suffering as a result: "The ramifications of this case [will be felt] by the Border Patrol," Bonner said. Bonner added an anecdote about a former Border Patrol recruit who eventually declined joining and said "You have to be crazy to join this outfit, because you eat your own."

Senator Feinstein and Senator Cornyn announced Tuesday night on our broadcast that they have decided to request that President Bush commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean. The family of Ignacio Ramos watched and listened to the senators make their announcement in our Washington, D.C., bureau, and they were moved to tears.

They weren't alone. E-mail to a friend

01-18-2008, 04:41 PM

A very Happy Meal at Nogales party

New McDonald's franchisees, with lots of help, continue tradition of treating Mexican, U.S. kids

By Gabriela Rico
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.02.2008

Standing in a winding line of jittery children, Xochil Rodriguez Serrano was trembling.
It wasn't because of the morning chill.
The 10-year-old girl from Nogales, Sonora, was trying to be patient while waiting for the bus that would take her and her brothers " Jaime, 12, and Ruben, 5 " on their first trip into the United States.

"I've only seen it through the fence," Xochil said of her neighboring country, where immigration officials, community leaders and business owners were awaiting the arrival of 4,000 children " 2,000 from each side of the international border " for a New Year's Day celebration.

The family's kids had been awake since 5 a.m., Jaime said. The siblings persuaded their mother to take them to the port of entry by 9:30 a.m. to await the buses. By then, the line already was blocks long.

The 30-year tradition of hosting Sonora children at the McDonald's fast-food eatery in Nogales, Ariz., was eagerly anticipated.
The party was held on Christmas Day by former franchise owner José Canchola and his family for the past three decades. This year's event was moved to New Year's Day by new owners Mark and Gael Pullen and their son, Angelo.
When the Pullen family took over the operations on Dec. 1, it didn't seem possible to pull together the big holiday bash, but members of the Southern Arizona border community rallied, Gael Pullen said.

"I told her we could make it happen," said Bonnie Arellano, an immigration supervisor with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
For five years, Arellano has helped to coordinate the immigration paperwork necessary to bring the Sonora children across the border. She said numerous officers from her agency volunteered their time this year.

"I've been ready since November," she said. "The children are awesome."

Throughout the morning, four buses rolled back and forth across the border, transporting the junior guests of honor.

Upon arriving at the McDonald's on Mariposa Road in Nogales, Ariz., dozens of volunteers filled their new backpacks with hats, gloves, scarves, Happy Meals and candy. Donated produce and dry goods also were sent home with the children.

Once they were ushered through the eatery, the children proceeded outdoors, where more gifts were presented. Choosing just one from a sea of more than 4,000 toys collected by the Nogales Firefighters union appeared to be daunting for 8-year-old Lucinda Padilla Garcia. She finally settled on a Barbie doll.

"Because I don't have one," she replied to the seemingly ridiculous question of how she arrived at her decision.

Roger Brambila, vice president of the firefighters union, said the toys were collected by his peers through donations in a week's time.

"We really look forward to doing this," he said.
Before boarding the bus for their return trip, volunteer Philip Aries pulled aside those without jackets to outfit them with new ones.
Aries, who attended the Christmas Day event for 25 years, continues to make the trek to the border town even after moving to the San Diego area two years ago.

This year, his daughter Savannah, 8, organized a coat drive at her school through Kids Corps and collected 350 jackets.

"The holidays should be about giving rather than receiving," her father said.

01-18-2008, 04:52 PM
Immigration a major topic at MLK breakfast

Betty Reid
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 18, 2008 04:11 PM

Friday's Martin Luther King's "Living the Dream" awards breakfast in downtown Phoenix was seasoned with references to tolerance of immigration in Arizona.

More than 1,200 people attended the 22-year-old event that started with a 5K run and inspirational speeches at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Yvonne Watterson, GateWay Early College High School principal and an advocate for undocumented children, said immigrant children are faced with adversity. They come to the U.S. with hope but now Proposition 300 limits their access to a college education, and the death of the DREAM Act, legislation limits their chances to get legal status.

"They are here," she said. "We need to listen to their dreams and we need to act to make those dreams a reality."

Speakers also included Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

Although the late civil-rights activist launched change for good, Gordon said, tolerance and compassion still has enemies. He shared a story about a Hispanic Marine who was told by "pretend patriots" that he brought shame to the uniform because of his skin color.

The mayor also urged the crowd to remain true to King's legacy by doing their part to make their voices heard on immigration.

"Let Congress know that reforming immigration in this country is their responsibility," Gordon said. "Tell them to enact a practical and effective immigration policy that provides new, trackable 'work visas' for millions of honest, hard-working people who help strengthen our country . . . and grow our economy."'

Others spoke about the importance of education, religious tolerance and hope.

Watterson was one of seven people given the "Living the Dream Award." The others were Fatimah Halim, Imran and Yasmine Hafiz, Rufus Glasper, Isabel McMahel and Deedra Abboud.

The event also honored Calvin C. Goode, who received the lifetime achievement award. The late George Benjamin Brooks, Sr., was posthumously honored with the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award.

01-18-2008, 04:54 PM
Homeland Security inspector general to review immigration raid

By Associated Press
Friday, January 18, 2008

NEW BEDFORD - Homeland Security has agreed to review an immigration raid at a New Bedford leather goods maker that immigrant advocates said caused a humanitarian crisis.

The Standard Times of New Bedford reports that the inspector general of Homeland Security will look into the March 2007 raid at Michael Bianco Inc.

Senator John Kerry requested the probe a few days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained 361 illegal workers at Bianco.

Most of the detained workers were women with young children, and immigrant advocates criticized the agency for tearing families apart.

A spokeswoman for the agency says she's confident the review " which is expected to take about eight months " will find that the raid was handled appropriately.

01-18-2008, 05:00 PM
'We do all their work and they don't like us' - how migrants became an election issue

Opposition to 'illegals' could prove crucial in Republican primary in South Carolina

Ewen MacAskill in Columbia, South Carolina and Dan Glaister in Las Vegas
Friday January 18, 2008
The Guardian

Ignacio, a Mexican teenager standing outside a rundown trailer home not far from the South Carolina state capital of Columbia, is lonely and a little scared. He misses his family in Jalisco, and twice in recent months people have come through his trailer park waving guns and shooting.

The 19-year-old, who preferred not to provide his surname, walked over the border in 2005 in search of a livelihood. He was caught and deported but a day later he tried again and was successful.

He now works in the construction industry, earning $400 (about 200) for a six-day week, and shares the small trailer with four other single Mexicans - one of hundreds of such homes lining the bleak Old Peculiar Road, about 15 miles from Columbia.
"It is sad because we have no family. We work from 7am until the sun goes down. We only see each other when we are getting ready for bed," he said.

Ignacio and his illegal immigrants, numbering between 12 million and 20 million, have become the hot issue of the 2008 presidential campaign. The influx of the Latino population into the US in the past decade, the biggest wave of immigration since the 19th century, has aroused emotions that range from outright racism to the righteous anger of liberal activists who see in their plight a cause similar to the 1960s civil rights movement.

The controversy could determine the outcome of the Republican primary in South Carolina tomorrow. It will also have an impact on the contests that follow and eventually in November's presidential election.

Ignacio is aware of the calls by Republican candidates that illegal immigrants should be arrested and sent home, but sees a contradiction in attitudes. "Yes, I am here illegally," he said. "But we work the hardest. We are doing the jobs Americans will not do. We are building their homes, washing their dishes. We do all their work and they do not like us."

While much of the resentment comes from a white community in a state with a reputation for racism, it comes too from the black community, amid accusations that the Latino workers are taking their jobs. Ignacio said the trailer park has twice been shot up in recent months by African-Americans.

While states near the Mexican border have long been accustomed to "illegals" - or undocumented workers, as sympathisers prefer to call them - what is new is their arrival in large numbers in states that had previously seen little immigration. South Carolina has one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the country. The number of illegal immigrants is estimated at between 150,000 and 400,000 in a state with a population of 4.3 million.

The impact is felt strongest in small rural communities whose families have often lived in the same place since the 18th century. They now suddenly find shops and restaurants with names such as Guadalajara and where the staff speak only Spanish, and see large numbers of illegal immigrants in local schools or queues for the clinic.

The state legislature has about 40 bills pending proposing punitive actions to force such immigrants to move to another state or out of the US. A committee this week discussed a bill that would make it a criminal act to help illegal immigrants, with a penalty of five or more years in jail. Among those speaking in favour were Roan Garcia-Quintana, a US citizen originally from Cuba who is director of the Americans Have Had Enough Coalition. "We are being overrun," he said. "You see them everywhere."

He criticised the Republican candidate John McCain for backing bipartisan reform that would have offered immigrants such as Ignacio a route to legality.

McCain is the most liberal of the Republicans on immigration - and that will cost him votes. Other candidates have adopted increasingly anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric, particularly Mike Huckabee, in spite of being relatively benign on the issue while governor of Arkansas.

The issue is also important in Nevada, which holds its caucuses tomorrow, but for a different reason.

Unlike the migrant Latino populations in the east and middle of the country who have no votes, Latinos in the western states are more established, with citizenship and votes. Whereas Republican candidates have alienated some of their Latino supporters with their tough talk on immigration, the Democrats have been working hard to woo what could be a crucial voting bloc. Latinos represent around a quarter of the eligible voters in Nevada, and some 13% of registered voters.

"The Latino vote is a trump card," said Los Angeles-based commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson. "So much emphasis is being placed on the black vote but the Latino vote is the crucial vote for the party, the nomination and the election." The Democratic candidates, unlike the Republicans, oppose deporting illegal immigrants, arguing that this is neither economically feasible nor humane.

01-18-2008, 05:07 PM
Gregory Rodriguez will provide long-term historical perspective on the Mexican immigration debate at his talk on Monday at the Vail Marriott.

Mexican immigration: a hot topic with Eagle County ties

The Vail Symposium hosts Gregory Rodriguez for a discussion at the Vail Marriott on Monday

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
January 18, 2008

Do fences make good neighbors? Most Americans sit firmly on either side of this question when it comes to Mexican immigration. The roots of the present debate over Mexican immigration into the United States are extremely deep-rooted, spanning back several centuries.

If you go ...
What: Journalist Gregory Rodriguez discusses "Mexican Immigration: The History & Future of Race In America"
When: 5:30 p.m. on Monday
Where: Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa
Cost: $35 or $25 for Vail Symposium contributors. There is also a special price of $15 available to students, teachers, and young professionals.

More information: All Hot Topics begin with appetizers and the chance to meet the speaker. The talks begin at 6 p.m. and are followed by a question and answer period. Call the Vail Symposium at 476-0954 for more information.

On Monday Gregory Rodriguez will go beyond the current dispute, to provide a long-term historical perspective and context on the continuosly changing racial makeup of this country and discuss the cultural and political influences Mexican immigrants will have on the collective U.S. character. Mexican people form the largest immigrant group in American history, and in the last decade, the census counted Latinos as the largest ethnic group in America. According to Gregory Rodriguez Mexican immigration will transform the way Americans view race " from a focused distinction of black or white " to one with many various shades. It's the premise of his new book, "Mongrels, *******s, Orphans and Vagabonds."

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa, with a meet and greet with the author, followed by a talk and question-and-answer session beginning at 6 p.m.

"Mexican immigration is one of the hottest topics buzzing across the nation," said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium. "I am so glad we have scheduled Gregory Rodriguez, one of the nation's leading thinkers, to discuss both the history and future of this topic that has tremendous local impact. Hosting his talk on Martin Luther King Day is especially appropriate timing." The Gallegos Corporation and the Vail Daily are both underwritting the program, in support of opening a forum for informed dialogue about Mexcian Immigration in our community.

"There is a lot of hot air about immigration," Gregory Rodriguez said. But the heated emotions that surround the current climate on Mexican Immigration are not new. Mexican immigrants have been present since the beginnings of this country.
Changing borders, conquests, and integration shaped the earliest stories centuries ago. According to Rodriguez, "We have to look into the Mexican past in order to see the changes that will impact the American future."

Rodriguez attests that with the current debate and the climate that has developed on Mexican Immigration, it is a unique time to focus on Mexican immigration and its ramifications on this country's future.

Considering the rich history and cultural synthesis of the Mexican people since the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, Rodriguez will identify and trace the development of the race through the ages.

"The Mexican American experience cannot be understood through the dichotomy of cultural resistance versus assimilation ... Mexican Americans continue to blur the lines between us' and them,'" Rodriguez said. Rodriguez describes several emergences of a new Mexican American identity, distinctly highlighting one in the 1930s, as well as the Chicano movement in the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, and the present era of Mexican American integration into mainstream American culture.

Gregory Rodriguez is director of the California Fellows Program at New America Foundation and is an Irvine Senior Fellow. He has written widely on issues of national identity, race relations, religion, immigration, demographics, and social and political trends in such leading publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, where he is an op-ed columnist. The Economist has praised him for "decisively changing the understanding of the Latino experience in the United States," and Esquire Magazine listed him among the "Best and Brightest" Americans who will revolutionize the way we think.

Mr. Rodriguez's recent book, "Mongrels, *******s, Orphans and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America" was published simultaneously in English and in Spanish in October 2007 and will be available at the talk from Verbatim Booksellers.

For reservations or more information, please visit www.vailsymposium.org, (http://www.vailsymposium.org,) or call 476-0954.

01-18-2008, 05:19 PM
Report: Climate Of Hate, Intolerance, Bigotry Pervade Against Immigrants

January 18, 2008
Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer

Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer
Houston, TX (AHN) - A 108-page report released by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said a climate of hate, intolerance and bigotry are operating against immigrants in the U.S. The report, titled "Over-raided, Under Siege" was released Thursday at the opening of the NNIRR national conference in Houston. The gab runs until Sunday.

The NNIRR said U.S. immigration officials' raid on work places and other immigration reforms aim to instill fear among migrant communities.

The conference, which has a 500 register, seeks to develop a system to track and document human rights abuses among immigrant groups.

Notwithstanding the anti-immigrant sentiment rising across America, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continue to be deluged by migrant applications. Despite the sharp increase in visa fees, the USCIS received more than 3 million applications for adjustment of status, citizenship and other immigration related concerns for the period June to August 2007. For the same three-month period in 2006, only 1.8 million applications were received by the immigration agency.

Historically, whenever there is an upward adjustment in visa fees, the number of applications plummet. But the opposite happened in 2007, said USCIS director Emilio Gonza***.

In a written testimony submitted to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Gonza***
said, 'Such volume in just a short couple of months is unprecedented in the history of immigration services of our nation."

01-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Some illegal workers caught in area raids temporarily can stay in U.S.

Posted: 1/18/2008

The federal government will allow at least two dozen of the 56 immigrants swept up in a September raid of area McDonald's restaurants to temporarily stay in Nevada as it continues its investigation of businesses that hire illegal workers.

The 56 suspected undocumented workers were arrested Sept. 27 in raids of 11 Reno-area McDonald's restaurants. So far, federal authorities have agreed to allow 24 of those workers to remain in the U.S. under a temporary status agreement, according to the lawyer representing 28 of the workers.

"Some of the individuals will be allowed to stay temporarily under a policy called deferred enforced departure," said Woody Wright. "It's a discretionary thing while (the government) is in the process of an investigation. They will hold off on any immigration court proceedings for a period of time."

Those who received temporary status are allowed to work and those who find jobs can be issued special Social Security cards, he said. The process could extend their stay from one to two years, said Wright, who represented the workers for free with the help of Nevada Hispanic Services.

"To my knowledge, none of my clients have any criminal charges pending," Wright said, but he noted the workers will eventually have to go through civil deportation proceedings in immigration court.

"Basically these clients got lucky, but it's only short-term luck," he said. "They still have to go before a judge."

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the McDonald's restaurants after receiving a tip that a manager in the Fernley McDonald's was working under someone else's Social Security number.

The agency arrested 54 people at 11 area McDonald's and two elsewhere. At the time ICE agents said the raids were part of an effort "to focus on employers who build in hiring illegal workers as part of their business practice."

Agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Thursday the investigation is ongoing and the agency "is not going to speculate about the possible outcome."

No charges have been filed against Luther Mack, owner of the McDonald's restaurants. Mack said Thursday he had no comment on the case.

Kice said she could not confirm the number of workers who were given deferred enforcement status in the McDonald's cases.

"(But) I want to underscore that ICE conducts enforcement actions lawfully, professionally and humanely and takes extraordinary steps to identify, document and act on humanitarian concerns of the illegal aliens arrested for immigration and other violations," she said. "The enforcement action in Reno and the ongoing investigation are no exception."

Of the 56 workers identified during the raids, ICE released two on-site. They were mailed notices to appear at future immigration proceedings.

The other 54 workers were sent to a processing center where 29 were released on their own recognizance based upon "humanitarian concerns," Kice said.

At least seven workers have been deported to Mexico because they had been arrested in the past and already had been through administrative proceedings in front of an immigration judge, ICE officials said.

01-18-2008, 06:37 PM
Why should I learn Spanish?

I found this quote and thought I'd post it here.


Please tell me what is wrong with this picture?
I have worked for companies such as Tecumseh motors, Sargento cheese, Johnsonville sausage , wausau homes and currently work for the biggest motorcycle conglomerate in the usa Ridenow powersports, but have applied for other jobs here in Phoenix in management but have been told that i need to speak spanish.

Did someone forget to inform me that we were annexed into mexico or is this what the future of our country is destined for.So in other words , i need to go back to school to learn somebody elses language even though they are even legal citizens,bull!

... now you are saying i need to learn spanish.
I dont think so, wake up people of the usa.


I think you are directing your frustration in the wrong direction. In the world of business the bottom line is profit. The business owner(s)/stockholders do not care what it takes to maximize profits: i.e. hiring non-English speaking workers because that means lower labor costs. They are paying you to get the job done and they do not care how many hoops you have to jump through to get results. If you won't do it, they'll find somebody who will. I went to school, got my degree, etc. I still have to take classes EVERY year if I want to stay current and want more money. It's like being proficient with computers. It's just another marketable skill.

Also, not all hispanic looking people are illegal and poor, some actually have money to spend and the shrew businessperson will do whatever it takes to help them part with money. A lot of Hispanics are still old school in the sense they like to establish "business relationships".

If they see a merchant/business going out of their way to accomodate them, they will think of you more favorably. They'll come back and refer friends and family. Why do you think so many businesses put up signs saying "Se Habla Espanol"? They want to make money, that's why. Sadly, that's one of the reasons many of them don't learn to speak English fast enough. The marketplace makes it easy to survive "in Spanish".

Back in the day, I saw many NYC vendors speak different languages so they'd get more customers. They weren't really fluent, but they knew enough to get by and do business. Nowadays, it's a global economy. Chinese, Japanese, Germans, Indians, Italians, etc. learn English as well as other languages because they want to expand their trade/businesses. My daughter's in Europe with a church group and she tells me that in Amsterdam, ninth graders are fluent in English as well as other languages!

Reality is, the world has become smaller and faster. To remain highly marketable, you must learn new things (not just Spanish) all the time. It's all about money. Why do you think Bush wants a "guest worker program" instead of putting all English speaking welfare recipients (of all races/ethnic groups) to work? To keep business' labor costs down, and maximize profits.

01-18-2008, 06:43 PM

The Monarch butterfly, a beautiful insect known for its orange and black markings, is famous for its annual migration to the highland forests of Michoacan, deep in the heartland of Mexico.

Each year, hundreds of millions of butterflies travel from the United States and Canada, to winter in forests of Fir and Oyamel trees. Those butterflies that survive the journey, which in some cases amounts to a 2,000 mile trip, cluster profusely in trees, creating a marvelous sight.

Near Morelia, the capital of the state, is the Santuario Mariposa Monarca (Mariposa Monarch Sanctuary), a reserve dedicated to protecting their environment. Allocate a day's travel to reach the sanctuary from the city of Morelia.

Each year, starting in late October to early November, the butterflies start to arrive. Incidentally, this time period coincides with the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. The indigenous peoples of the area believe the butterflies represent their departed loved ones souls, returning in the form of the butterfly. During the evening hours, the insects gather on tree trunks and branches. After morning arrives and the heat begins to rise, the butterflies begin flocking to the forest floor, creating a tapestry of orange and black as far as the eye can see.

Starting in March, the butterflies begin to mate and the pregnant females start their journey north and the cycle begins again. What is amazing to note is it takes from 4 to 5 generations of butterflies to make the journey from the northern regions to Mexico. Those butterflies that do successfully arrive, actually are the great grand-children so to speak of the journey's first butterflies.

Weather conditions can adversely affect the butterflies' journey. In 2002, a devastating storm struck central Mexico, with inundating rain and freezing temperatures proving fatal to large numbers of Monarchs (an estimated 250 million insects perished). Thankfully and perhaps miraculously, the following year, between 200 to 500 million butterflies returned.

However, illegal logging continues in the forests that these butterflies travel to. Without the trees, no miracle can save these wonderful creatures. The local farmers, with their focus on day-to-day survival, cut down the trees unconsciously, to clear the land in order to plant corn and raise livestock. Organizations are in place that work with the farmers, providing education and incentives to dissuade them from cutting down the trees that the Monarch butterflies call home. The hope is that a self-sustaining eco or rural tourism can be developed that allows for the local population to benefit indirectly from this natural wonder.

Note: The greatest present danger comes from outside loggers who illegally harvest timber which is later hauled out using a network of clandestine roads. Since the people involved in the illegal logging are often armed, the local people have found it necessary to ask for federal intervention.

Migration Routes

01-18-2008, 06:52 PM
Silvia Bazua: The activist works closely with Mexico City's indigenous population to get their children birth certificates.
Kimberly N. Chase

Hard at Work: A student at the Bonampak school in Mexico City ponders a problem. The Bonampak school allows children to study who don't yet have official identification. They are not allowed to enter mainstream public schools without such I.D.
Kimberly N. Chase

Silvia Bazua helps indigenous families get the papers they need for children to access school and services.

In Mexico City, a drive for proper ID

By Kimberly N. Chase | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
from the January 17, 2008 edition

Mexico City - High in the hills outside Mexico City, Silvia Bazua has put in a long day at the Bonampak school in Iztapalapa, one of the city's roughest districts, helping mothers overcome a key obstacle confronting their children the lack of an official identity.

One in 6 Latin American children have no identification, according to UNICEF. In Mexico, children without birth certificates may not register in public schools, forcing many of them to work as soon as they can hawk a box of chocolates, wash the windshield of a car, or ask for a few pesos from passersby.

Ms. Bazua, a former government employee turned activist, hopes to change this. "It's a personal decision," she says. "You can either leave and forget about the problem, or you can start to fight to solve it."

Since 2001, when a census she conducted revealed large numbers of unregistered children in some of Mexico City's most marginalized areas, Bazua has been helping residents obtain birth certificates so that they can get a driver's license, register for health insurance, or attend public school.

Many of the mothers she works with are unable to read and write. Bazua puts together the complex paperwork and accompanies women to the city registrar. She obtained birth certificates for 357 people in 2007.

During the process, kids in Iztapalapa can enroll at Bonampak, located in a small building with peeling paint and broken windows. It allows children without papers to start their education. Once the process gets under way, Bazua actively supports the families. "You can't leave them alone," she says, explaining that many families get asked for bribes of up to $100. Others get frustrated and quit.

A social anthropologist by training, Bazua started working at Bonampak after helping to form the school in 2001 in a joint effort between the National Council for the Promotion of Education and the private Asociacion Xulaltequetl, which she also helped found and which supports the city's indigenous population. Its roster has gone from about 70 to 150 students.

Children without papers are often born at home to poorly educated parents. Some are unaware of the need for official papers or can't pay fees. As time goes by, students become too old to enter the grade level appropriate to their skills and may work instead.

Hortensia Urrutia spent five years trying to register her five children and three grandchildren before finding the Bonampak School. "Now that they come to this school, they have stopped work and started studying," Ms. Urrutia says.

Bazua, raised in a relatively wealthy family, smiles when she talks about her political work. "I don't agree that a few people should have all society's wealth," she says. "You see that changes in society aren't going to come from the top."

In 2001, her census found that 25 percent of children in the Bonampak settlement did not have birth certificates, 25 percent did not have vaccination certificates, and 30 percent did not attend school. That year, she helped found the Asociacion Xulaltequetl.

The process isn't free, though, and the government hasn't always been forthcoming. This year, Bazua says she's not sure they will receive any funding for registration. In the interim, Bazua's family members have chipped in.

While they wait for the government's 2008 budget, the activist says she'll receive no salary.

"Whose responsibility is this? The government's or mine?" Bazua asks. Still, she feels she must continue. "I told them I wasn't coming for three months, but I have to go."

01-19-2008, 07:15 AM
A man carried two girls away from a school near the site of the gunbattle, which broke out at about 10:30 a.m.


11:41 p.m. Jan. 18, 2008

One of three Mexican federal police officers wounded in the shootout later died, bringing to four the number of law enforcement officers killed in the Tijuana area this week.

From today's U-T:
Cops rush Tijuana house to end 3-hour gunbattle

Authorities say they've found six executed kidnapping victims inside a Tijuana house where gunmen took refuge during a shootout with police. Mexico has recently seen a spike in gang-related killings.
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PEGGY PEATTIE / Union-Tribune
Heavily armed Baja California police left the scene of yesterday's battle with gunmen in a middle-class neighborhood of Tijuana.

After Tijuana violence, Mexicans call for enforcement

By Mark Stevenson
12:07 p.m. January 18, 2008

TIJUANA, Mexico Rosalba Padilla thought the first shots were nothing but construction in her quiet, upper-class Tijuana neighborhood. It wasn't until she looked out her window and saw a sea of police that she realized the noise was gunfire.
Down the street, at the Preschool of Happiness, director Gloria Rico activated the school's alarm, prompting police to rush into the building, their guns drawn. Rico said the children were terrified by the chaos.

"Some were crying, one vomited and another wet his pants," she said, adding that the police quickly put away their weapons and started evacuating the children.

The gunbattle Thursday shocked even crime-weary Mexico. Many argued President Felipe Calderón should step up a yearlong crackdown on drug traffickers and other organized criminals that has sent soldiers into cities across the nation.

"What they need here is a heavy hand," Padilla said Friday while surveying blood-soaked streets and a bullet-ridden police truck. "The authorities need to be strong, very tough. If they have to kill the criminals, then they should die."

Padilla spent the three-hour shootout hiding in the closet with her 19-year-old daughter. As they crouched in the dark, they started to think they wouldn't escape alive. Gunmen across the street shouted that they would drop bombs unless police backed off.

"The gunfire was terrible," she said. "It made the walls shake. I really didn't think we were going to get out."

Less than two blocks down the street, police were rushing children from a school vulnerable to gunfire from men holed up on the roof and top floors of the besieged safehouse.

Some of the children were carried by officers who crouched and pressed themselves up against the building to avoid the bullets. Other children ran out onto the sidewalk in groups under armed guard, their eyes wide with terror.

"I could hear the hail of gunfire, and it was really strong," Rico said. "I didn't feel fear until we had evacuated all 65 kids that were under my care, and then my legs started to shake."

Rico and the children were all safely removed from the school, but Rico's husband, Jorge Espinosa, stayed in a back room to take calls from worried parents.

"It was like being in Beirut," he said.

Residents said soldiers, sent in to help overwhelmed police, swarmed rooftops. The gunmen refused to back down, shouting obsenities at the police and taunting them.

Four men were eventually arrested, including a state police investigator and another Tijuana police officer. They were taken to Mexico City, where they were being questioned by federal prosecutors. Another gunman was killed.

Once authorities entered the home, they found the bodies of six kidnapping victims. All had been shot in the head and wrapped in blankets, although it was unclear if they were killed before or during the clash.

On Friday, masked police stood guard at the safehouse, its brick and concrete facade pockmarked and splintered by the battle. The house, its four stories towering above the rest of the tree-shaded neighborhood, stood out with its large, wooden gate topped by two ornate lion heads.

Federal prosecutors said the gunmen belonged to Tijuana's Arellano Felix drug cartel, a gang that has been weakened in recent years by the loss of leaders who have been arrested or killed. Mexico's crackdown on its powerful drug cartels have created a power vacuum within the illegal industry, resulting in turf battles across the country and hundreds of killings in the past two years.
Thursday's violence was only the latest in a rash of recent killings.

On Jan. 10, gunmen shot and killed two federal agents and a civilian in the central state of Michoacan.

Two days earlier, two other federal agents were killed and three were injured during a shootout in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas.

A day before the Reynosa shootout, three suspected criminals were killed and 10 federal agents and soldiers wounded in a shootout in the town of Rio Bravo, across the border from Donna, Texas. Ten people, including three U.S. residents, suspected of having ties to the powerful Gulf cartel were arrested the next day.

01-19-2008, 07:18 AM
Artwork Copyright2003 Nelyollotl Toltecatl




For the vendidas and vendidos, and to those who don't know, I am Frida Kahlo. I am not that fake Frida that vendidos manipulate to fit their colonialist-racist agendas.

Since my death I have been transformed into this false empty personality that had nothing significant to say, nothing Indigenous to represent, and nothing to contribute to "Mexicanismo", "Indigenismo", and to the concept of an Anahuac nation. I am simply portrayed as a "victim", merely "a cripple", a wife who lived "in her husband's shadow", a "Latina" role model, and the simplistic label of "a Marxist". I was more than just a Marxist. I was never a Latina! I was always only a Mexican!

The really meaningful things in my life are obscured by selective racist and feminist sexist research. I have a big problem with your selections. What aspect of my Mexican-ness do you not understand? What on earth is wrong with you?!!! Are you blind! Lost! Confused! The time has come to stop all of this nonsense!

First off, before I was a Marxist, I was Mexican. Mexican was my life. My political ideology was Marxism. It was the political ideology that I practiced as a Mexican. Back in my day, many Mexicans turned to Marxism because it gave us a plan of action with which to fight colonialism and capitalism. At that time Marxism was perfect, or as near to perfect as we could find, to ending the oppression of Mexican people. Marxism gave us hope and inspiration! It was the only available option to us at that time. The studies of our Anahuac heritage were still in their early stages. The option of an Anahuac heritage approach to our problems was just beginning to blossom. If that option would have been fully developed, it would have been the full focus of my life.

As a Marxist I was able to organize and confront the economic racism that was attacking us. Marxism was the only viable tool available to us that we could use to fight injustice and oppression against the Vendidos and Europeans.

I was given birth by a very beautiful Oaxacan woman, and by my Mexican land. I was not given birth or identity by Karl Marx! I respect Karl Marx, but he does not define who I am. My nation and my land define who I am. The actions of my life define who I am.

Our people that are Marxists today don't care about their people. They say that they are just human-beings, that they don't have a nation! Pinches Cabrones! We have a Nation! A beautiful nation! Can't you see that we have been denied our nation, and our identity and our heritage.

Our nation has been stolen from us for almost 500 years! Diego and I understood that we were Mexican! I hate it when you vendido-fools focus purely on my involvement with Communism, without any mention of my Mexican pride, my love of my Mexican heritage. Your treason instantly shoves me into the category of a "Generic Human Being". That is insulting! It is racist!

I am also used as a female icon, a Feminist icon. There was far more to me than just being a woman.

What I did was for all of my people not just women. Mexicans are women and men, both are components and heirs of our great civilization: Anahuac. Both are colonized and enslaved to Europeans! Together we must fight for our liberation.

Many people say that I "lived in Diego's shadow" and that I was "his victim". Please! Give me a break! You really did not understand the relationship that he and I had. Stop making a pinche love story and novela out of my life! I was a victim of European colonialism and a victim of Gringo exploitation, along with millions of my people. I was not the victim of a beautiful Mexican nationalist!

If I were alive today, I would definitely not be posing for a LATINA magazine, let alone a HISPANIC biography. Those terms did not even exist in my time. They do not define me. I defined myself as Mexican. I am not Roman! I am not a pinche Española! Not a Spaniard! Don't insult me or inflict me with your own self-hate and ignorance! If you want to hate yourself, do it alone and don't incorporate proud Mexicans like myself into your masochistic racist habit.

I did not leave my identity as a mystery! I made it very d.a.m.n. clear who I was and what I wanted to be remembered as!

"Mexico" is today approached as a dead thing by many people. Some take pride in the Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) past but they are not willing to build for a Nican Tlaca future.

Mexico is alive because we are alive! This is what I lived for. This Mexico was the essence of my existence. It was in my art. It was in my house. It was in my heart.

I have been stolen from my people. I am manipulated to fit stupid, racist, treasonous agendas. I hate to see my image under bold letters LATINA, beneath a RED STAR, as a FEMINIST, MUJER stamped on my forehead! What the hell is wrong with you!

I want to be under bold letters that read MEXICAN, bold letters that read LIBERATION!

"Mexican people" I screamed at the top of my lungs! "Scream with me...The Mexican Revolution continues!"

It continues because you, my people, are enslaved! Rebel against this colonialism! Against this Genocide! You were enslaved when I was alive and now that I am dead, you are still enslaved! You have been taught to hate who you are, to hate anything that is Nican Tlaca! You've been sadistically taught to hate yourself and your people! Don't! You are cheating yourself out of true pride and dignity. Embrace your Mexican-ness! Learn your true Anahuac heritage!

This is our land MEXICANS! Throw away your dress shoes, put on some huaraches, throw on a huipil, be who you are!

On July 13, 1954, the doors of life were closing and a pulmonary embolism walked me through the final exit. In my coffin I was rested, as a Mexican. My hair was done up in the rainbow-ribbons style of our ancestors, flowers braided in. I was wearing my favorite huipil from Yalalag, with a lavendar silk tassel, the one I wore when I painted my self-portrait with Dr. Farrill. I was wearing my beautiful black Tehuana skirt. Around my neck rested jade, coral, and silver. At my feet laid an array of red flowers. This exit was colorful, full of beautiful life and beautiful death, full of Nican Tlaca beauty.

Although I no longer walk amongst you, I am with you. I continue to remind you of our beautiful Anahuac heritage with my art. My paintings now pierce your mind, awakening your imagination and challenging you to stop your self-hate. My Tehuana dresses now dress my home. My paint and paintbrushes still speak for me, scream for me: Que Viva Mexico!

I leave you my Mexican paintings as a sign of my endless Mexican pride. I leave you my life as a proud Mexican, so that you may follow in my footsteps, so that you will keep walking with me as proud Mexicans. Be Mexican! Be Proud!

Let me live in our history. Let me live in the full courage and the full knowledge of our beautiful Anahuac heritage. Let me live in Tenochtitlan as Diego painted me, amidst the scent of our Mexican chocolate, and the backdrop of our beautiful Anahuac civilization.

Let me live in you, Mexican!
Que viva Mexico! Que viva Zapata! Que viva la vida! La vida Mexicana!

These are the words from my actions, my paintings, and my life.

(Short version of the book STOLEN HERO transcribed by Citlalli Citlalmina Anahuac)
For long version go to:www.mexica-movement.org/timexihcah/fridabook.htm

01-19-2008, 07:33 AM
Fleeing to Mexico thwarts death penalty

Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 17, 6:19 PM ET

SAN ANTONIO - A methamphetamine dealer who gunned down a deputy during a traffic stop in Southern California. A man in Arizona who killed his ex-girlfriend's parents and brother and snatched his children. A man who suffocated his baby daughter and left her body in a toolbag on an expressway overpass near Chicago.

Ordinarily, these would be death penalty cases. But these men fled to Mexico, thereby escaping the possibility of execution.

The reason: Mexico refuses to send anyone back to the United States unless the U.S. gives assurances it won't seek the death penalty " a 30-year-old policy that rankles some American prosecutors and enrages victims' families.

"We find it extremely disturbing that the Mexican government would dictate to us, in Arizona, how we would enforce our laws at the same time they are complaining about our immigration laws," said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant to the prosecutor in Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix.

"Even in the most egregious cases, the Mexican authorities say, `No way,' and that's not justice. That's an interference of Mexican authorities in our judicial process in Arizona."

It may be about to happen again: A Marine accused of murdering a pregnant comrade in North Carolina and burning her remains in his backyard is believed to have fled to Mexico. Prosecutors said they have not decided whether to seek the death penalty. But if the Marine is captured in Mexico, capital punishment will be off the table.

Fugitives trying to escape the long arm of the law have been making a run for the border ever since frontier days, a practice romanticized in countless Hollywood Westerns.

Mexico routinely returns fugitives to the U.S. to face justice. But under a 1978 treaty with the U.S., Mexico, which has no death penalty, will not extradite anyone facing possible execution. To get their hands on a fugitive, U.S. prosecutors must agree to seek no more than life in prison.

Other countries, including France and Canada, also demand such "death assurances." But the problem is more common with Mexico, since it is often a quick drive from the crime scene for a large portion of the United States.

"If you can get to Mexico " if you have the means " it's a way of escaping the death penalty," said Issac Unah, a University of North Carolina political science professor.

The Justice Department said death assurances from foreign countries are fairly common, but it had no immediate numbers. State Department officials said Mexico extradited 73 suspects to the U.S. in 2007. Most were wanted on drug or murder charges.

Lolita Parkinson, a spokeswoman for the Mexican Consulate in Houston, said Mexico opposes capital punishment on human rights grounds and has a particular obligation to protect the rights of people of Mexican descent who face prosecution in the U.S.

The U.S. government typically pays more attention to those entering the country from Mexico than it does to those trying to leave the U.S. But Texas authorities have begun making checks of vehicles and drivers heading south on the 25 international bridges that connect the state to Mexico.

The initiative, announced in October, was originally intended to catch drug smugglers taking cash or stolen cars into Mexico, but "we would hope it would be a deterrent for fugitives" as well, said Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry.

In the North Carolina case, local authorities and the FBI are working with Mexican law enforcement to hunt down Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, a 21-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen born in Mexico. He is accused of killing 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach in mid-December, months after she accused him of rape.

Wanted posters and information on Laurean have been distributed to the Mexican media.

Also recently, prosecutors in Dallas pledged not to seek the death penalty if Mexico extradites Ernesto Reyes, a man accused of killing and burning the body of a University of North Texas student last year. That extradition request is still pending.

Last March, Teri March, the widow of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was killed during a traffic stop in 2002, lashed out at Mexico's justice system as Jorge Arroyo Garcia was sentenced to life in prison in California after hiding out in Mexico.

"Garcia hid and hid behind a system that was very broken," she said.

John Walsh, host of TV's long-running "America's Most Wanted," which plans to devote Saturday's episode to the Marine case, said the delays and death-penalty compromises needed to get fugitives returned can be heartbreaking for victims' families

"It's not about revenge. It's not so much about closure. It's about justice," he said.

Lotstein, the prosecutor's assistant in Phoenix, said the county has agreed to drop the death penalty in a number of cases: "The option we have is absolutely no justice, or partial justice."


Associated Press writers Mike Baker in Jacksonville, N.C., Mitch Weiss in Charlotte, N.C., Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington and Traci Carl in Mexico City contributed to this report.

01-19-2008, 07:35 AM
Oldest Mexico cantina closes down

By Chris Aspin
Thu Jan 17, 4:28 AM ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's oldest cantina, a classic drinking dive patronized by dozens of past presidents and Cuban leader Fidel Castro when he was in exile here, has closed its doors after more than 150 years.

Nestled in a side street between the National Palace and Mexico City's cathedral, the door of El Nivel (The Level) is now padlocked.

El Nivel's owner, Ruben Aguirre, is looking for new premises after losing a long legal battle against the owners of the building, the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

"We are seeing where we can move to," Aguirre, who inherited the cantina from his father, told Mexican radio after losing the 17-year lawsuit.

A paper sign above the cantina's metal shutters says: "Closed for renovation until further notice."

El Nivel, a dim watering hole, opened in 1855 after being handed the first cantina license a few years after the U.S.-Mexican war. It was named The Level because authorities used to measure the height of the city's flood waters in the building.

Aguirre told Reuters several years ago the original No. 1 license was kept in a safe at the central bank because it is a valuable historical document.

A framed copy of the license hung on one wall of the cantina when it was open, alongside eclectic art, old maps, drawings and faded photos of the cathedral, Mexico City's main Zocalo square and the bar itself.

El Nivel was the haunt of writers, artists, activists, journalists and other bohemian Mexicans. It also became a favourite for tourists, too. One special house drink was a mixture of vodka, anis and orange flavoured liquor.

Aguirre said around 30 presidents from Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada in the 19th century to Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000) had all called in for a drink while in office. Mexican presidents used to work out of the nearby National Palace.

When Cuba's Castro lived in Mexico in the 1950s he too frequented the bar with guerrilla icon Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, according to Aguirre. Castro set out on his Cuban revolution from Mexico.

Aguirre said the legal case to stop the university taking over the premises became impossible to sustain because all the documents were in the name of his dead father, Jesus Aguirre, who bought the cantina more than 40 years ago.

"It just got too complicated because everything was in his name," Aguirre said.

(Editing by Kieran Murray)

01-19-2008, 07:40 AM
A dog is sprinkled with holy water during an animal blessing to commemorate the Feast of San Antonio Abad at the San Fernando Catholic church in Mexico City January 17, 2008.
(Daniel Aguilar/Reuters)

Poodles, canaries, turtles blessed in Mexico

Catherine Bremer
Thu Jan 17, 10:37 PM ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A chihuahua in sunglasses, a tiny albino mouse and a turtle were among the animals lined up at Catholic churches across Mexico City on Thursday for an annual blessing to mark Saint Anthony the Abbott's feast day.

In a tradition carried out each year in a handful of Catholic countries, Mexicans dressed up pets in vibrant frocks and tied ribbons on their ears so they could be sprinkled with holy water by a priest reading a special animal prayer.

"Maybe with the blessing she will be better behaved, because she's very naughty," said 19-year-old Beatriz Zuniga, clutching a yowling, wriggling kitten dressed in a tight pink T-shirt and a paper bow and wrapped in a blanket.

On the steps of the San Fernando church in central Mexico City, schnauzers, labradors, poodles and a pug jostled around the local priest and barked at canaries carried in cages.

"I've brought her every year to be blessed, so she stays in good health, and she has reached 17 years old," said Luz Maria Sevilla, 50, of her miniature white chihuahua "Dolly," whose fluffy pink coat clashed with the yellow plastic sunglasses and trendy tartan cap of her offspring "Pituka."

Franciscan monks brought the animal blessing to Mexico during Spanish colonial rule.

The tradition marks the anniversary of the death of Saint Anthony the Abbott, a 4th century Egyptian Christian who gave his inheritance to the poor and lived a spiritual monastic life in the desert with only animals for company.

He was later made a patron saint of animals, like the better known Saint Francis of Assisi.

"Living together with animals is the most beautiful thing," said Father Miguel Monroy, who said he avoids letting the animals inside San Fernando, a pretty 18th century Baroque church, because they tend to fight and leave puddles.

"The blessing is to protect them and keep them in good health," he said, adding that he once blessed a couple of iguanas and a three foot (1 meter) crocodile.

At an outdoor mass in the southern canal-crossed Mexico City district of Xochimilco, a parrot, two calves, a goldfish and a tortoise gathered alongside yelping dogs in shoulder bags. Horses and chickens commonly arrive after sundown.

01-19-2008, 03:13 PM
League of Women Voters Questionnaire on Immigration

January 19, 2008

The research questionnaire put before the League of Women Voters addressed six questions; each that the participating chapters were to evaluate in importance.

The questions are:

1. Federal immigration laws should take into consideration criteria such as the following:

a. ethnic and cultural diversity

b. economic, business and service employment needs

c. environmental impact/sustainability

d. family reunifications of authorized immigrants and citizens with spouses and minor children

e. history of criminal activity

f. humanitarian crises/political persecution in home countries

g. immigrant characteristics (health and age)

h. rights of all workers to safe working conditions and livable wage

i. rights of families to remain together

j. rights of all individuals in U.S. to fair treatment under the law

k. education and training.

2. Unauthorized immigrants currently in the U.S. should be treated as follows:

a. deport unauthorized immigrants

b. some deported/some allowed to earn legal adjustment of status based on length of residence in U.S.

c. some deported/some allowed to earn legal adjustment of status based on needs of U.S. employers

d. all allowed to earn legal adjustment of status by doing things such as paying taxes, learning English, studying civics

e. if deported, assess fines before possible re-entry

f. assess fines before allowed to earn legal adjustment of status.

3. Federal immigrant law should provide an efficient, expeditious system for legal entry into the U.S. for immigrants who are:

a. immediate family members joining family member already admitted for legal permanent residence in the U.S.

b. entering the U.S. to meet labor needs

c. entering the U.S. as students

d. entering the U.S. because of persecution in home country.

4a. In order to deal more effectively with unauthorized immigrants, federal immigration law should include a social security card or other national identification card with secure identifiers for all persons residing in the U.S. (rated as yes or no, priority)

4b. Federal immigration law dealing with unauthorized immigrants should be enforced by including:

physical barriers such as fences, and surveillance at borders

increased personnel at land, air and sea entry points

more effective tracking of persons with non-immigrant visas until they leave the country

verification documents, such as green cards and work permits with secure identifiers

improved technology to facilitate employer verification of employee visa status

improved technology for sharing information among federal agencies

a program to allow immigrant workers to go in an out of the U.S. to meet seasonal and sporadic labor needs

Significant fines proportionate to revenue for employers who fail to take adequate steps to verify work authorization of employees

5. Federal immigrant law should address and balance the long-term federal financial benefit from immigrants with the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations. (yes or no answer)

6. Federal immigration law should be coordinated with U.S. foreign policy to pro-actively help improve economies, education and job opportunities, and living conditions of nations with large emigrating populations.

01-19-2008, 04:42 PM

01-19-2008, 07:21 PM
A federal judge in San Francisco recently extended for 10 days a temporary ban on a central measure in the Bush administration's campaign to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. After a two-hour hearing, the judge, Charles R. Breyer of Federal District Court, strongly suggested that he was leaning against the government in the case.

The ban further delayed the start of a rule, which establishes steps an employer must follow after receiving a notice from the Social Security Administration, known as a no-match letter, reporting that an employee's identity information does not match the agency's records. According to the rule, originally scheduled to take effect Sept. 14, if the employee cannot clarify the mismatch within 90 days, the employer would be required to fire the worker or risk prosecution for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Those immigrants often provide false Social Security numbers when applying for jobs.

In an Aug. 31 decision, Judge Maxine M. Chesney, also of the San Francisco court, delayed the rule from taking effect before yesterday's hearing and barred the Social Security Administration from sending out about 141,000 no-match letters, covering 8.7 million employees, which include notices from the Department of Homeland Security about the rule.

"It is clear to me at this point there would be irreparable harm to the plaintiffs," Judge Breyer commented at the end of the hearing, rejecting the government's main argument. "It just seems to me looking at it that this is a potentially enormous burden on the employer," the judge said, adding that he would issue a ruling within 10 days.

The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFLCIO. and several San Francisco labor organizations. They were joined by the United States Chamber of Commerce and several national small business associations. In court documents, the business groups argued that the impact of the rule in terms of hiring and training office workers to comply with the new procedures and deadlines, and firing employees whose discrepancies were not resolved in time, would be "substantial, immediate and irreparable."

The labor organizations said that Social Security's records contained many errors that could lead to legal workers, including American citizens, being unjustly fired under the new rule. The government countered that the rule did not represent any departure from current immigration laws or impose any new burdens on employers, but was designed to help employers by clarifying past confusion about what they had to do to comply with the law.

Also see:
www.greencardfamily.com/news/news.htm (http://www.greencardfamily.com/news/news.htm)
www.greencardfamily.com/news/news2007/news2007_1010.htm (http://www.greencardfamily.com/news/news2007/news2007_1010.htm)

01-20-2008, 06:46 AM
Giuliani: English Required For Immigrants, But Spanish OK For Candidates

www.tboblogs.com (http://www.tboblogs.com)
by William March
Updated Jan 15, 2008 at 07:36 PM

At a Fort Myers retirement community Monday, Rudy Giuliani emphasized, to enthusiastic applause from the virtually all-white crowd of retirees, that immigrants must learn to "read, write and speak English before becoming citizens."

But while the candidate was saying that, his campaign was producing and buying time for an ad to run on South Florida Spanish radio stations"in Spanish.

The ad, titled "Comisionada Sosa y Alcalde Robaina," touts endorsements of Giuliani by Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa.

And, of course, it ends with Giuliani saying, in Spanish, "Soy Rudy Giuliani y apruebo este mensaje"""I'm Rudy Giuliani and I approved this message."

To hear the ad, click here.

Update: The Giuliani campaign has responded that it's unfair to suggest any contradiction in Giuliani's approach, noting that English is already required for citizenship tests, and that in his talk in Fort Myers, Giuliani emphasized the benefits of bilingualism and specifically said English shouldn't be required for immigration, only citizenship.

01-20-2008, 06:52 AM

Migrants Critical To Berry Industry

The Tampa Tribune
Jan 12, 2008

PLANT CITY - Plant City is the nation's winter strawberry capital, and local farmers depend on immigrant workers to bring in the crop, a growers group official said.

Shawn Crocker, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, shared details about the industry Jan. 3 with business, government and community leaders.

"Ninety percent of the Florida strawberry crop is grown within 30 miles of Plant City," Crocker told the Downtown Luncheon Club.

Barring problems with weather or market forces, growers expect a $300 million crop in 2007-08, he said.

Much of his talk was on the need for migrant farmworkers.

"Regardless of the ups and downs in the agricultural market, the fact remains the Florida farmers depend on immigrant labor to get the product out of the field," Crocker said. "In spite of some media prejudice that might influence popular opinion, local crops, and many of the crops harvested across the nation, could not be brought to the market without migrant farmworkers."

Crocker compared the labor needs in the Florida citrus industry, a $2 billion market, to the smaller local strawberry industry.

Citrus farmers need one field hand per 18 acres to care for and harvest a crop, Crocker said. Strawberry farmers need closer to two employees per acre, he said. About 16,000 workers are needed to plant and harvest the area's 8,320 acres of strawberry fields, he said.

In Florida, immigration is a vital component to the agricultural network, Crocker said.

"It is part of the American dream that brought most of our families to North America in the first place," Crocker said. "My own family, an immigrant family, came to Florida four generations ago and settled in the cattle and citrus industry."

State Rep. Rich Glorioso, who was at the luncheon club meeting, said the federal government years ago had a better handle on immigration than it has today.

"We continue to work toward a solution of these problems at the state and national level," he said.

Crocker said agriculture needs every employee available.

"The overriding problem is that if the agriculture industry breaks, then our entire economy falls apart. We have to have workers in the field. Until someone steps up and finds another solution we are stuck with what we have," he said.

Reporter George H. Newman can be reached at (813) 865-4451 gnewman@tampatrib.com.

01-20-2008, 07:01 AM

Mexico's Death Penalty Ban Draws Fugitives From US

By MICHELLE ROBERTS, The Associated Press
Published: January 18, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - A methamphetamine dealer who gunned down a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in Southern California. A man in Arizona who killed his ex-girlfriend's parents and brother and snatched his children. A man who suffocated his baby daughter and left her body in a tool bag on an expressway overpass near Chicago.

Ordinarily, these would be death penalty cases. But these men fled to Mexico, thereby escaping the possibility of execution.

The reason: Mexico refuses to send anyone back to the United States unless the United States gives assurances it won't seek the death penalty - a 30-year-old policy that rankles some U.S. prosecutors and enrages victims' families.

"We find it extremely disturbing that the Mexican government would dictate to us, in Arizona, how we would enforce our laws at the same time they are complaining about our immigration laws," said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant to the prosecutor in Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix.

"Even in the most egregious cases, the Mexican authorities say 'No way,' and that's not justice. That's an interference of Mexican authorities in our judicial process in Arizona."

It may be about to happen again: A Marine accused of murdering a pregnant comrade in North Carolina and burning her remains in his back yard is thought to have fled to Mexico. Prosecutors said they have not decided whether to seek the death penalty. But if the Marine is captured in Mexico, capital punishment will be off the table.

Mexico routinely returns fugitives to the United States to face justice. But under a 1978 treaty with the United States, Mexico, which has no death penalty, will not extradite anyone facing possible execution.

Other countries, including France and Canada, also demand such "death assurances." But the problem is more common with Mexico, since it is often a quick drive from the crime scene for a large portion of the United States.

01-20-2008, 08:27 AM
5 myths of anti-immigration talk

By Andres Oppenheimer
Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let's debunk the biggest myths of the anti-immigration movement that has swept this country and may still have an impact on the 2008 presidential race: that it is not anti-Hispanic, that it doesn't oppose legal immigration and that it's against only "illegal" immigration.

Most U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls -- with the exception of Sen. John McCain -- and cable television anti-immigration crusaders on CNN and Fox News are deceiving the public with their claim that they are only against "illegal" immigration.

" Myth No. 1: "We are only against illegal immigration. Undocumented immigrants should get in line for visas." That's deceptive because you can't demand that people get into line when, for the most part, there is no line to get into.

While the U.S. labor market is demanding 1.5 million mostly low-skilled immigrants a year -- and will demand many more in coming years, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly educated -- the current immigration system allows into the U.S. an average of 1 million legal immigrants a year and most of them are already here.

"There is a huge mismatch between what the U.S. labor market needs and the supply of immigration visas," says Frank Sharry, head of the National Immigration Forum, which advocates both secure borders and a path to legal residence for many of the 12 million-plus undocumented immigrants in the United States.
On top of that, most anti-immigration groups want to reduce legal immigration. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a favorite of radio and cable television Hispanic immigrant-bashing news shows, wants to reduce legal immigration from the current 1 million a year to about 300,000, with a 20-year cooling-off period.

" Myth No. 2: "Anti-immigration advocates are not anti-Hispanic." Maybe many aren't but when was the last time you heard anti-immigration Republican hopefuls or cable television talk show hosts lashing out against illegal immigrants from Canada?

In addition, the escalating immigration hysteria has created an ugly environment that affects all Hispanics -- both legal and undocumented -- in many parts of the country, as recent studies by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have shown.

"We are seeing more discrimination and harassment," says Michele Waslin, of the Immigration Policy Center. "Anybody who is Hispanic-looking or has an Hispanic last name is being treated as an undocumented immigrant."

" Myth No. 3: "We are a nation of laws, and the law says you have to enter the country legally." Yes, but we are also a nation of immigrants. And, by the way, nearly half of all undocumented immigrants enter the country legally, and overstay their visas.

" Myth No. 4: "Building a border fence will solve the problem." Wrong. As long as the per capita income in the United States is five times bigger than that of Mexico, and as long as U.S. labor market demands millions of low-skilled jobs that Americans won't fill, people will jump over the fence, dig tunnels under it or come through Canada.

" Myth No. 5: Those of us who criticize anti-immigration groups are "amnesty" and "open borders" supporters. Baloney. Many support both border protection and an earned path to legalization for millions of undocumented workers who pay taxes and are willing to learn English.

So, let's call things by their names and agree that most opponents of a comprehensive immigration package are anti-immigration.

The only way to solve the current immigration crisis will be to legalize undocumented workers who have paid their dues and to increase economic integration with Mexico and the rest of Latin America in order to reduce poverty and emigration pressures south of the border.

The rest is, for the most part, populist demagoguery.

Andres Oppenheimer is a Latin America correspondent for The Miami Herald.

01-20-2008, 08:43 AM
Immigration issue fades

Immigration's still an issue in the presidential race, but not as strident as before -- and many South Florida early voters didn't think about it when casting ballots last week.

Sun, Jan. 20, 2008

Guillermo Vega, a Nicaragua native, cast his ballot at a Hialeah voting site Friday for the first time in a primary since becoming a U.S. citizen, but immigration wasn't a factor in his choice of Hillary Clinton.

Bill Steward wants a solution to illegal immigration, but the issue was not on his mind when he voted in Fort Lauderdale for Barack Obama. Nor did it stand out for Broward resident Irene Pharmer, who voted for Rudy Giuliani.

In downtown Miami, retired chef Everett Hill voted for Clinton but not because of the New York senator's immigration stance -- at odds with his wish to deport as many illegal workers as possible.

Illegal immigration -- which consumed recent GOP debates with charges of hypocrisy and policy flip-flops and put Democratic presidential candidates on the defensive -- has faded as a key issue for Florida voters.

As the Sunshine State heads into the Jan. 29 primary election, polls show the slowing economy is voters' top concern.

''People are very focused on the economy, and they're focused on local issues like home insurance and real estate taxes,'' said political consultant Ric Katz. ``In their minds, everything is connected.''

Cuban-born Fidel Muñoz, 74, who voted early in Hialeah last week, conceded immigration wasn't on his political radar in picking Sen. John McCain.

''What I want is for him to improve the economic situation and for my real estate taxes to go down,'' he said.

Hispanics make up almost 33 percent of the nearly two million registered voters in Miami-Dade and Broward. Immigration doesn't resonate with South Florida voters the way it did in Iowa, where Hispanics are less than 2 percent of the almost two million voters.

''Florida is different from a lot of other states that have large numbers of Hispanics because the two largest Hispanic groups in Florida, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, do not have the illegal alien problem,'' said Dar*o Moreno, political science professor and director of Florida International University's Metropolitan Center.

Unlike other immigrants who arrive without papers, Cubans can stay and apply for green cards after a year. Puerto Ricans, many of whom live in the Orlando area, are U.S. citizens by birth.


''The No. 1 issue on people's mind is the economy, and immigration is far from everyone's mind,'' said José Cancela, a former Spanish-language TV executive active in Cuban-American politics.

Nevertheless, Florida faces a growing undocumented population: an estimated one million, mostly from Haiti, Venezuela, Jamaica, Mexico and Central America. Anti-legalization groups like the Minutemen, who made national news for the group's patrols along the Mexican border, have mobilized in the state.

Cheryl Little, executive director of Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, said Democratic candidates need to be more vocal in their support for legalization.

''While the Democratic candidates have said they favor comprehensive immigration reform, they have tended to whisper this message,'' Little said. ``Republican candidates . . . have responded to a growing call to deport all undocumented immigrants.''

The exception had been McCain.

The Arizona senator dropped in the polls after his unsuccessful push in Congress to legalize undocumented immigrants.

Opponents of the plan, which required paying penalties and returning to one's home country temporarily, called it amnesty.

McCain, who won New Hampshire's GOP primary, lost in Iowa to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. After speaking up at one debate in defense of the children of undocumented immigrants, Huckabee produced a tough immigration platform and accepted the endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman project.

Bill Landes, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps' Florida state director, said he's keeping his ``fingers crossed that someone like [CNN host and closed-border proponent] Lou Dobbs will jump in there on an independent ticket.''

Mark Krikorian, executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, said U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's short-lived presidential candidacy -- he dropped out last month -- kept pressure on Republicans to toughen their immigration position.

McCain, for instance, now says any legalization plans must come after the U.S. border is secured.

The Democratic presidential hopefuls, though embracing legalization, also have hardened their positions as national polls show voters worry about an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants posing a drain on taxpayer-financed services.

Even those immigrants who have played by U.S. rules are finding obstacles leading to the election. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizenship applicants, most of them Hispanic, have had their hopes dashed of voting this year because of agency backlogs.


About 1.4 million applied for citizenship in 2007, almost twice as many as the previous fiscal year. A voter-registration campaign by key Hispanic groups and the Spanish-language network, Univision, coupled with a sharp hike in fees, prompted a rush to naturalize.

After learning Clinton's pro-legalization posture on immigration, retired chef Hill worried it would affect her ability to get the black vote, particularly in the South. Polls show most black voters oppose legalization.

''She'll have a hard time getting it past the South . . . and she can't pass that without us,'' Hill, 56, said of the black community's concerns.

For Steward, 60, a retired Xerox repairman in Fort Lauderdale, Obama earned his support because he believes the Democrat would ''get us out'' of Iraq.

Pharmer, who works for the city of Fort Lauderdale, voted for Giuliani because he seems ``the most liberal, reasonable Republican.''

As for immigration, she says, she has yet to identify a candidate with a ``workable solution.''

Miami Herald Staff Writer Casey Woods contributed to this report.

01-20-2008, 09:31 AM
Human Smuggling Organization Unearthed In California

January 20, 2008 11:46 a.m. EST
Paul Icamina - AHN News Writer

San Diego, CA (AHN) - A human smuggling and forced labor organization has been discovered with ties to Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico, in an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A Guatemalan woman has pleaded guilty to federal charges that she and her Mexican husband smuggled Mexican nationals into the United States and forced them to work using physical and verbal threats, ICE said in a statement.

Gloria Eugenia Leon-Aldana, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain and one count of forced labor. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 7.

Her husband Mario Antonio Antunez-Sotelo, 44, - charged with threatening aliens and brandishing a shotgun - is at large.

The couple allegedly threatened and took the identity papers of aliens who were held in two residences in San Diego homes.

"This case underscores ICE's resolve to work with its law enforcement partners to ensure that those who engage in this kind of reprehensible form of exploitation are brought to justice," said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in San Diego.

01-20-2008, 10:43 AM
http://mexonline.com/puebla/images/cholula-pyramid3.jpg http://mexonline.com/puebla/images/pyramid.jpg http://mexonline.com/puebla/images/cholula-pyramid-staircase.jpg

Cholula Pyramid and La Iglesia de los Remedios, Cholula

Located on the central plateau of Mexico, hidden to the naked eye, sits the world's largest ancient pyramid. The town where this wonder is located is Cholula, a small village just outside Puebla. Upon first glance, one sees only the charming colonial church of La Iglesia de los Remedios, built in the 16th century. Amazingly, however, this church sits atop the Great Pyramid of Tepanapa, oftentimes referred to as the Cholula Pyramid. Hidden by vegetation, the hill upon which the church was built, actually houses the great pyramid.

The history of the pyramid, coupled with the momentous events which followed, is full of drama and mystery. Approximately one hundred years before Christ, the pyramid's construction begun. Cholula, by this time, was already one of Mexico's largest cities, having been settled circa 1700 B.C. The pyramid's construction along with affiliated temples, was carried out by various groups over hundreds of years. Its early period coincided with the great city of Teotihuacan's development and power.

An important ceremonial and political center of the pre-Columbian world, Cholula mirrored Teotihuacan's glory days of power. As well, its first subsequent demise coincided with that of Teotihuacan. But unlike the great city to the northwest, whose people mysteriously disappeared, some residual peoples remained in Cholula, not abandoning the city entirely. Expansion of the pyramid continued with the arrival of the Olmec-Xicallancas, who further added to the pyramid's scale.

The Toltec-Chichimecas occupied Cholula next, circa 1100 A.D. By that time the great pyramid was already largely submerged underneath tree and dirt. The Toltecs chose to focus their activity on building new temples which would surround the area of the great pyramid. The Toltecs also brought with them their intense devotion of Quetzalcoatl. Cholula subsequently became a mecca for pilgrims from all over Mexico, who flocked to the city to pay homage to the feathered serpent God.

Quetzalcoatl, already a long established deity of the Mesoamerican world, undoubtedly helped to inspire the pyramid's initial construction. However, with the arrival of the Toltecs, the cult of Quetzalcoatl truly flourished. Additionally, under the rule of the Toltecs, Cholula became a major center for trade and commerce. Having established strong ties with all other cities in the region, Cholula maintained its independence for a time from the ever expanding Aztec Empire.

However, the Aztecs eventually took control of Cholula. When Cortes arrived in 1519, the pyramid, stood silent, hidden under grass and stone. The city's population at this time equaled 100,000 inhabitants. Legend advises an ambush was planned by the Cholulans against the Spanish invaders under the direction of Montezuma. No longer swayed by Cortes whom he initially believed to be the reincarnation of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec ruler made one last attempt to save his empire. Unfortunately, Cortes learned of the plan and what followed next was horrific: the slaughter of 6,000 Cholulan residents took place under the brutal command of Cortes.

Temples were torn down and the ancient city of Cholula was destroyed. Cortes proclaimed that he would build a church in the area for each day of the year to match the number of temples destroyed. Drunk with power and with gold on his mind, Cortes failed to see the great pyramid.

Centuries elapsed before the pyramid was again discovered. In 1910, construction began on an insane asylum located at the base of the pyramid. Archaeologists once aware of the site began to survey and excavate. In the 1930's, tunnels were made in order to better study the pyramid. These tunnels, which amount to an amazing five miles worth of passageways, zigzag in subterranean fashion, creating a labyrinth, not for the timid. These tunnels afford the visitor the opportunity of observing first-hand the various levels of construction. Delineated layers of shell and stone are visible. A total of four stages of construction occurred, over hundreds of years. Although lit with lamps, the atmosphere is definitely haunting and you most assuredly want to exit before nightfall.

In addition to the tunnels, outside there are altars, stairways and platforms to explore. One can also see a portion of the pyramid which was reconstructed by archaeologists. Not only does the pyramid of Cholula represent the largest single structure in Mexico, it also bears the distinction of having the largest base of any pyramid in the world, exceeding the bases of the great pyramids in Egypt. The total acreage the pyramid occupies is 25 acres with a height reaching an impressive 181 feet. Each side of the structure's base is over 1300 feet in length.

When visiting the great pyramid of Cholula one is also afforded a magnificent view of the majestic snow-capped El Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes. The pyramid of Cholula is truly a wondrous pre-Columbian gem. The site holds the potential of even greater discoveries and with only a small portion yet excavated, who knows what marvelous secrets the great pyramid has yet to reveal.


01-20-2008, 11:04 AM

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01-20-2008, 11:35 AM


01-20-2008, 02:26 PM

Paper Jam May Curb Latino Vote Citizenship Drive Drew

More Applications Than U.S. Can Process

January 18, 2008; Page A4

LOS ANGELES -- Hundreds of thousands of Hispanics who responded to a massive campaign to seek citizenship and vote in 2008 have created a backlog of applications that the government has indicated it can't process before the election, undercutting the voting power of Latinos.

Univision, the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S., launched the campaign last year along with Spanish-language newspapers and Latino grass-roots groups. With the slogan, "Ya Es Hora! Ciudadania!" (It's About Time! Citizenship!), the campaign was integrated into local newscasts and aired in public-service announcements throughout the day in cities across the country.

Nearly 1.2 million green-card holders, the vast majority Latino, applied to become naturalized citizens in 2007, surpassing the campaign's target of one million. All told, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received 1.4 million applications for naturalization in the fiscal year ended October 2007, nearly double the volume received for the previous fiscal year. In June and July alone, the volume of applications jumped 360% relative to the same months in 2006.

Many applicants were motivated by a desire to participate in the political process amid a rancorous national debate over immigration. Anticipation of a fee increase for the naturalization application, to $675 from $400, was also a factor. But the immigration agency hadn't anticipated the "avalanche" of applications that ensued, according to a USCIS spokesman. Legal residents who applied midyear are likely to wait 18 months before their forms are processed; the average processing time is normally six months. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The processing jam stands to damp the electoral potential of Hispanics, a bloc that has become more politically active, as seen two years ago at massive street protests over immigration legislation. Hispanics represent a crucial constituency in states such as Florida, Arizona and Nevada.

At a hearing yesterday of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, USCIS Director Emilio Gonza*** outlined how the agency aimed to address the backlog by adding staff. However, Mr. Gonza*** made no commitment that increased staffing would significantly reduce the time it took to process applications. "This surge [in applications] will have a serious impact on application processing times for the next couple of years," he said.

He said the agency couldn't jeopardize national security or the integrity of the process. Hiring, training and obtaining security clearance for immigration employees takes months. The agency's pending naturalization applications stood at nearly 927,000 in October 2007, a 92% increase from the end of the previous fiscal year in October 2006.

Latino groups and unions involved in the citizenship drive say they first notified the government of their plans to encourage increased Hispanic citizenship in November 2006. More recently, the advocacy groups have urged the government to expedite processing to ensure that all qualified applicants who filed last year are sworn in as U.S. citizens by July 4.

"The price of USCIS's failed leadership and poor planning is the disenfranchisement of those immigrants who have played by the rules," said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the groups that spearheaded the campaign.

A poster for a campaign by Hispanic media and grass-roots groups to encourage Hispanics to become citizens, register to vote and go to the polls.
In recent years, USCIS has faced criticism for delays in processing applications involving naturalization and worker and family visas. Its challenges are exacerbated by mandatory background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in which all applicants' names are run through several databases to ensure they don't have a criminal background or are otherwise ineligible for naturalization.

Nearly nine million green-card holders, or legal permanent residents, are eligible to become U.S. citizens. About 55% are immigrants of Latin American origin. A desire to have a greater say in the debate over immigrants' rights is likely to push more Latinos to participate in this election. "Latino newcomers see naturalization as a critical step toward making their voices heard in our national debate on immigration," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, NALEO, in his testimony yesterday.

In response, a USCIS spokesman later said "the agency is committed to ensuring fair and professional service to the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who seek our services every month."

Hispanics responded strongly to the public-service campaign, queuing up to fill out citizenship forms at churches, community centers and other places across the country. With lines wrapping around entire blocks in cities like Los Angeles, hundreds of people were turned away and asked to return another day. A hotline established by NALEO was flooded with calls.

Miguel Quintero, a roofer who queued up to apply for citizenship in June, was invited to a USCIS office two months later to be fingerprinted. But, "I haven't heard anything since," says Mr. Quintero, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 1972. "I want the chance to vote on things that impact my community." Celia Amador, a retired assembly-line worker in Los Angeles, said that she is worried that she won't get her citizenship in time for the election. "What I most want is to cast a vote," she said.

In most states, deadlines for registering to vote are between 21 to 30 days prior to the election. Newly naturalized citizens can register as late as seven days before the vote in California and 10 days in New York.

There were 9.3 million Hispanics registered to vote in the last presidential election. NALEO projects that, as of this year's general election, there will be at least 11.3 million registered. It expects at least 9.2 million will cast ballots, up from 7.6 million in 2004, due to the mobilizing impact of the immigration debate, the vigorous efforts by parties and candidates to reach Latinos, and the initiatives of non-partisan groups to energize Latino voters.

The Univision-led drive to engage Hispanics in civic life moved recently into its next phase ahead of the primaries. Called "Ve Y Vota" (Go and Vote), it seeks to encourage Hispanics who are already citizens to register to vote and turn out at the polls. To facilitate that process, organizations participating in the campaign have positioned volunteers outside swearing-in ceremonies so that new citizens can immediately register to vote. A toll-free bilingual hotline provides people with ABCs of the electoral process.

Write to Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

01-21-2008, 02:04 AM
Readers see little hope for immigration reform

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.21.2008

An overwhelming majority of Star readers believe there's very little, if any, chance that immigration reforms dealing with anything other than border security can be passed by Congress this election year.

Sixty-two percent of respondents who participated in last week's online poll concerning immigration said there's "no chance" non-enforcement immigration reforms can pass this year, while 30 percent said there is "very little chance."

Only 2 percent of respondents said it's "very likely" such a bill could pass, while 1 percent said it's "a certainty."
When we asked how readers rate immigration as a political issue, the majority of respondents " 60 percent " said it's the No. 1 issue facing candidates.

We found that number surprising because in national polls immigration usually rates as fourth or fifth among Americans' priorities behind, in no particular order, the economy, the war in Iraq, health care and sometimes terrorism.

But immigration definitely rates as a major issue with Southern Arizonans, who either have a better grasp of the issue or feel more affected by it in their everyday lives.
Thirty percent of respondents said illegal immigration is a Top 5 issue. Only 4 percent of respondents said it's not an issue at all.

We also asked readers, "After border enforcement and security, which immigration-related issue would you like to see Congress address? Why?" Here is what some of them had to say:

● I'd like to see the government require proof of citizenship for all social programs " food stamps, rental assistance, child-care assistance and school attendance.

● Penalize businesses that hire illegal entrants.

● Don't give citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.

● Creating a guest-worker program is the most important step to take, even before securing the border.

● Go after the people selling fake documents.

● Pass the DREAM Act, which would give children of illegal entrants a chance to become U.S. citizens if they go to college or serve in the
military. America's laws are just a dead end to those who want to be here legally.

● Create a viable guest-worker program. The only way the illegal-immigration problem will ever be solved is for the government to prosecute companies and individuals who hire them.

01-21-2008, 04:29 AM
U.S. faces 'grave threat' in Mexico's drug fight

By Jerry Seper
January 21, 2008

Mexican federal agents escorted Marcos Estrada Delgado in Mexico City. The U.S. man was among four police officers and seven civilians accused of working for Mexico's powerful drug cartel.

Mexican military efforts to crush heavily armed drug-smuggling operations in five cities along the U.S.-Mexico border pose a "grave threat" to U.S. authorities and a half-million Americans in the area, according to former U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service officials.

"What we face is more of a challenge than law enforcement can be expected to cope with," said Kent Lundgren, chairman of the 800-member National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO). "The best solution is for the U.S. military to assume armed positions along the border ... and use whatever force is necessary to control the border zone."

On Jan. 12, Mexican Brig. Gen. Rigoberto Garcia Cortez said the Mexican military and other personnel had surrounded five border cities in the lower Rio Grande Valley " Matamoros, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Miguel Aleman and Nuevo Laredo " in response to gunfights between Mexican police, military forces and heavily armed drug smugglers.

Gen. Garcia told reporters last week his soldiers were encircling the targeted cities and were "organized to fight all criminal activity." He said it would take time, but the drug smugglers "will not be able to handle the government and the army. ... We are fighting for the security of the nation and its people."

A spokesman at the Mexican Embassy in Washington said drug trafficking is a "shared responsibility and a threat to both our countries and our people."

"President Felipe Calderon has demonstrated his commitment to fight drug-trafficking and organized crime head-on and his willingness to work with the U.S. Irresponsible statements are not the way to deal with it," the spokesman said.

"Unfortunately, border violence south of our nation's border is not new," Border Patrol spokesman Michael Friel said, adding that it not only has increased in Mexico but also has directly affected U.S. authorities.

The number of assaults against Border Patrol agents on the border rose from 384 in 2005 to 987 in 2007, he said.

"Violence is on the rise, and we are fully aware of that phenomenon," Mr. Friel said. "But we feel strongly that as we add resources as we have been doing, we will gain effective control of the border. We are working with the Mexican government, along with our state, local and tribal local law-enforcement partners, to address, decrease and stop the violence."

Violence has been the key to long-standing efforts by the Gulf Cartel to control drug smuggling on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mr. Lundgren said NAFBPO, whose membership includes eight former chiefs of the Border Patrol and 14 former INS district directors, thinks the next step for the Mexican military will be to begin closing the "noose on the gangs," but the targeted cities "abut the Rio Grande River, the international boundary and Mexican forces must stop there."

"The predictable consequence is that those bandits will retreat across the Rio Grande into the United States " they will not surrender to Mexican authorities," he said. "We need not expect Mexican authorities to inhibit their departures.

"This is a grave threat to U.S. Border Patrol officers, other U.S. law enforcement, and to residents of adjacent cities and towns in the United States," he said.

The Gulf Cartel, based in Matamoros just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, is the second largest in Mexico and transports tons of cocaine, marijuana and heroin into the United States each year. Using violence and intimidation, it works closely with corrupt law officials in Mexico.

"They are very well armed, and numerous. Their strength has enabled them to seriously challenge civil authority in Mexico for control, with grisly executions being the tool of persuasion when money won't do," Mr. Lundgren said. "When they come here they will be looking for new bases of operations, even if only until the situation returns to normal."

He said the drug smugglers would bring "new, unimaginable levels of venality and violence" to the United States and that deploying U.S. military troops on the border is the "best solution." He said to do less would be to "abandon the area and our officers to its fate."

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...ATION/529346712/1001 (http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080121/NATION/529346712/1001)

01-21-2008, 04:41 AM
6 corpses exhumed at house in Chihuahua
Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 01/20/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

The bodies of six alleged members of the Juárez drug cartel were unearthed Friday from a single grave in a residence in Chihuahua City, an official with the Mexican attorney general's office said.

Officials said they received an anonymous tip "that gave the address of a house linked to the Juárez cartel in Chihuahua City and that indicated that there were people buried in a grave there," according to a news release.

Armed with a warrant, federal agents and forensic experts from the organized crime bureau started their search Thursday at 1201 Luz C. Villa street. With the help of cadaver-sniffing dogs and tools, they dug up six corpses. None of the victims was identified, and the causes of death were unknown Friday, officials said.

The beginning of the year has been especially violent in Juárez -- 26 homicides in the first 15 days, many of which appear to be drug-related executions. No suspect has been arrested in any of the cases.

Friday's gruesome discovery was reminiscent of the case of 12 male bodies found buried in graves behind a Juárez house in January 2004. Those victims, including at least one U.S. citizen, had been tortured before they were killed. That case led to the U.S. prosecution of a high-ranking official in the Juárez drug cartel.

Juárez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz said last Tuesday that he would ask the Mexican federal police to intervene because local police were not equipped to deal with violent drug cartels.

Louie Gilot may be reached at

lgilot@elpasotimes.com; 546-6131.


01-22-2008, 02:24 AM
Green card holders can be deported

By Lourdes Santos Tancinco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 11:02am (Mla time) 01/22/2008

JOHN, A GREEN CARD holder, was returning to California after a two-week Christmas vacation in Manila. At the port of entry, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector asked him further questions about his green card and he was taken into custody at the airport.

During interrogation, it was revealed to John that there was a serious defect in the issuance of his green card. In 1992, when he was issued a green card based on his marriage to Carol, a US citizen, it was discovered that he did not annul his first marriage to Gloria.

John divorced Carol after getting his green card, and re-married a Filipina, Gloria. After many years, she got her own green card after being petitioned by John. His two minor children were also able to immigrate.

John had applied for naturalization before he left for Manila. His application was pending when he attempted to re-enter the United States in the first week of January 2008.

He was incarcerated while waiting for his hearing date. So that he would be released immediately, he accepted an Order of Removal from the Immigration Court. He also waived his right to a hearing as he was told by a consultant that he has a "hopeless" case. Now John wants to re-enter the US, where his wife and two children are awaiting his return.

Permanent status

The green card is usually referred to as the ID card issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), indicating status as a lawful permanent resident of the US. When an individual is granted a green card, he/she can reside in the US and will be eligible for naturalization to US citizenship after three or five years, depending on the basis for the green card issuance.

Permanent residence status is not actually "permanent" in the sense that it can always be revoked or rescinded by the issuing agency. An example of cases where the green card is revoked is when the holder obtained it through fraud or misrepresentation, a crime that renders the holder removable. Even if the green card is not conditional, should the resident be discovered at any time to have committed fraud at the time of its issuance, the USCIS may still revoke the card.

Unlike a holder of a non-immigrant visa, a green card holder is entitled to a hearing before the green card is actually rescinded. If the reason for the hearing is that there was fraud in the issuance of the green card, it's the green card holder's burden to overcome that finding.

Fraud, misrepresentation

From among the many legal bases for rescission of a green card, the most common is fraud or misrepresentation. Cases most commonly encountered are: an applicant not revealing actual marital status; misrepresenting their actual days spent abroad to the CBP inspector; marriage fraud. Once instances of fraud are discovered, the CBP inspector may initiate the action of having the green card rescinded.

Unless there is a prior final order of deportation or removal, an applicant for admission with a permanent resident status is entitled to a hearing. While waiting for the hearing date, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement may take the green card holder in custody. Bail may be posted for the release of this individual. The amount may be set by ICE or by the Immigration Court after a bond hearing determination.

Once the case is heard by the judge and the green card holder is determined to be ineligible for the green card with no other relief available, an Order of Deportation/Removal will be issued and the green card holder is ordered deported/removed from the US.

In John's case, the USCIS may have discovered the fraud during his application for naturalization. Marriage fraud will be found if John used his second wife just for immigration purposes and never intended to a have a bona fide relationship with his American citizen wife. If the finding is marriage fraud, John is barred from having any petition filed on his behalf under section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

On the other hand, if it is fraud or misrepresentation other than marriage fraud, he may file the appropriate waivers before he can actually have a visa issued again.

It does not matter when the fraud was actually committed to obtain a visa. With the improved technology and data bases available to the USCIS, any green card holder who may have committed fraud in the past may find themselves facing removal proceedings or receiving orders of deportation.

(Tancinco may be reached at law@tancinco.com or 02-887 7177)

01-22-2008, 10:42 AM
Coming soon to a city near you...The Mexican 'Gropers'

Mexico starts grope-free buses for women
Women-only bus service protects female passengers from harassment
updated 11:23 a.m. ET, Tues., Jan. 22, 2008

A bus with a sign reading "service exclusive for women" drives through the streets of Mexico City last week.

MEXICO CITY - Mexico City has started a women-only bus service to protect female passengers from groping and verbal abuse common on the city's packed public transportation system.

Millions of people cram into subway trains and buses in the Mexican capital, one of the world's largest cities, and women have long complained of abuse from men taking advantage of overcrowding to sneak in an inappropriate grab.

"One time a man stuck his hand up my skirt. They grab your butt ... It's gross," said 27-year-old office assistant Lourdes Zendejas, who waited 20 minutes during the evening rush hour to catch one of the new buses.

The special buses pull up at ordinary stops but have large pink "women only" signs on the front and side. They were added to two busy routes last week and the city government plans to expand the program to 15 other routes by April.

'This is wonderful'
Mexico City's transport system, which also includes hundreds of privately operated "micro" buses, carries twice as many riders as New York's.

"We were constantly receiving complaints of women being leered at, kissed or followed," said Carlos Cervantes, spokesman for the city's public bus system.

Mexico City already had reserved the first three cars in subway trains for women and children but this is the first time the model has been tried in buses.

Women using the new service on Monday had space to sit down and giggled as the driver turned away men at the door.

"This is wonderful. Men never give up their seat for us old people, no one is a gentleman," said 73-year-old Beatriz Perez, whose bulging shopping bags were tucked under her seat.

But not everyone was convinced that having only women would make the ride more pleasant.

"Women can be aggressive too," said telephone operator Rosa Maria Vargas, 42, traveling with her 9-year-old son. "When it gets really crowded, I've been pushed and punched before by men and women."

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22783181/

01-22-2008, 11:00 AM
Fact: Illegal Aliens Fuel Healthcare Crisis In U.S.
Posted by Bernard
Tuesday January 22, 2008 at 9:04 am

Richard Wolf, writing for U.S.A. Today ( http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-99589.html ), points to the fast-escalating health care costs in the United States owing to illegal aliens mining the system and arrives at this observation:

One thing is clear: Undocumented immigrants are driving up the number of people without health insurance. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 59% of the nation's illegal immigrants are uninsured, compared with 25% of legal immigrants and 14% of U.S. citizens. Illegal immigrants represent about 15% of the nation's 47 million uninsured people " and about 30% of the increase since 1980.

Does it follow then that Democratic candidates vying for their party's presidential nomination, in trumpeting their respective proposals for federally-sponsored, universal healthcare plans, are speaking largely to the welfare of people they intend to get on their party's voter rosters via amnesty and a path to citizenship at a future date?

I think so.

One statement made by Richard Wolf that I'm not so sure squares with what we do know about the costs associated with the taxpayer-subsidized healthcare largess enjoyed by border-jumpers and visa over-stayers in this country is this:

Data on health care costs for illegal immigrants are sketchy because hospitals and community health centers don't ask about patients' legal status.

Frank Laughter at Common Sense Junction, for example, published this excerpt from a news story on the impact of medical care for illegals at just one large hospital in Dallas, TX, ( http://www.commonsensejunction.com/archives/3036 ) from which I take the following:

A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants. That's 11,200 anchor babies born every year just in Dallas.

According to the article, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies in 2004 but managed to end up with almost $8 million dollars in surplus funding. Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million, Dallas County taxpayers kicked in $31.3 million and the feds tossed in another $9.5 million.

Understand, Dear Readers, that the $75.3 million expended at Parkland came out of the pockets of American taxpayers and not just those in Dallas County!

Think that may be just an anomaly because Texas is a border state? Think again. Let's take a look at a major East Coast city " Philadelphia. Here's a post at Immigration Watchdog ( http://www.immigrationwatchdog.com/?p=4197 ), quoting from a story published at Philly.com, from which I quote:

Four city health systems provide care at no cost at Philadelphia health clinics. Undocumented women make up 60% to 65% of the nearly 3,000 prenatal patients treated at the city health clinics annually, Kate Maus, director of Maternal, Child and Family Health at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said, adding that eight years ago "all of [the patients] were insured." Jack Ludmir " chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital " also noted that the percentage of women in Philadelphia who did not provide a Social Security number after giving birth rose from 4.8% in 2003 to about 7% to 8% this year.

And, crossing over to the West Coast, here's an excerpt from a piece published at VDARE by Joe Guzzardi ( http://www.vdare.com/guzzardi/health_care.htm ):

But take a hypothetical "Gloria," a twenty-year old Los Angeles resident who is seven months pregnant? Like Diaz, Gloria is uninsured, unemployed and illegally in the U.S.

Medi-Cal will cover Gloria's prenatal care and child delivery costs.

If Gloria doesn't speak English, the hospital must, by law, provide her with a Spanish-speaking translator.

Gloria's newborn child will also get car seats and diapers under her Medi-Cal coverage.

In the event of post-partum complications, California will absorb all of the costs.

U.S. taxpayers have spent hundred of millions on patients like Diaz and Gloria. As a consequence, the states are facing a crisis of unparalleled magnitude. As Los Angeles Times columnist Ronald Brownstein wrote in his December 30 column "Health-Care Storm Brewing in California Threatens to Swamp U.S." ( http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?Category=14&ID=79568&r=1 ), "the impending Medicaid disaster is not a problem the states can handle alone; their budget shortfalls are too big."

If you want to reduce the cost of quality health care for U.S. citizens then you cannot provide it to every illegal alien in the country ( http://www.vdare.com/misc/levin_illegals_in_er.htm ).

Does Mr. Guzzardi's "hypothetical Gloria" bother you? Then let's look instead at this column published at WorldNetDaily ( http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43275 ), from which I excerpt the following:

Cristobal Silverio emigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton, Calif., in 1997 to work as a fruit picker.

He brought with him his wife, Felipa, and three children, 19, 12 and 8 all illegals. When Felipa gave birth to her fourth child, daughter Flor, the family had what is referred to as an "anchor baby" an American citizen by birth who provided the entire Silverio clan a ticket to remain in the U.S. permanently.

But Flor was born premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator and cost the San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, oldest daughter Lourdes married an illegal alien gave birth to a daughter, too. Her name is Esmeralda. And Felipa had yet another child, Cristian.

The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding for the family. Flor gets $600 a month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. While the Silverios earned $18,000 last year picking fruit, they picked up another $12,000 for their two "anchor babies."

While President Bush says the U.S. needs more "cheap labor" from south of the border to do jobs Americans aren't willing to do, the case of the Silverios shows there are indeed uncalculated costs involved in the importation of such labor public support and uninsured medical costs.

And, as AHN reports today ( http://www.alipac.us/ftopicp-593205.html#593205 ):

As the federal government unveiled an economic package designed to pump prime the U.S. economy, the cost of providing economic relief to millions of Americans includes dealing with expensive health care. Like other issues concerning illegal migration, the inclusion of illegal migrants in health care benefits is the subject of hot debates across the nation.

And rightfully so. And we need to derail this runaway freight train, rather than to add more cars and locomotives to it, as the Democratic Party would have us do. As the Dallas Morning News points out this morning ( http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/health...dition2.376b7f7.html (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/healthscience/stories/DN-MedCampaign_22bus.ART0.State.Edition2.376b7f7.html) ):

Democrats' stump speeches talk of covering all Americans but so far have avoided the politically explosive issue of whether to treat the 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.


01-22-2008, 11:15 AM
Hi College Student,

I am in NC, and we have a large population of exploited workers. There is a Farmworkers Unit with Legal Aid of NC, Inc. that you can call and I am sure they will give you tons of information, maybe evan a specific case that you can write about. The Senior Managing Attorney is MaryLee Hall, and you can reach her at 1-800-777-5869. They are out of the Raleigh office.

Good luck on your studies.

01-22-2008, 07:53 PM

Pushed out of school in Arizona

January 25, 2008 | Page 4

JEFF BALE reports on the effects of an anti-immigrant ballot measure.

SOME 4,000 college and university students in Arizona have been denied in-state tuition because they didn't prove they were legal residents of the state or U.S. citizens.

This is the result of Proposition 300, a ballot initiative passed in the November 2006 elections. Prop 300 added to the anti-immigrant hysteria in the state by claiming that huge numbers of undocumented immigrants were benefiting from tax-funded benefits, such as deep discounts on tuition at state colleges for Arizona residents.

On the one hand, these statistics reported by Arizona's three state universities and community colleges dispel the myth that hordes of undocumented students take advantage of the system. The number of students denied in-state tuition is just over 1 percent of in-state enrollment at Arizona institutions of higher education.

But it would be wrong to downplay the chilling effect that Prop 300 is having.

To "comply" with the new law, students must sign an affidavit attesting to their immigration status and/or citizenship. Any time forms like these are linked to social services, it affects a number of people who are legal residents, but are unsure of signing papers that threaten jail time for perjury.

In addition, high school students who benefit from "dual enrollment" programs that allow them to earn college credit for advanced math, science and foreign language classes have also been affected.

In one district in the Phoenix area, reports from teachers indicate that dual enrollments have dropped by one-half. Of course, this doesn't mean that one-half of the students are undocumented, but instead speaks to the fear that such laws create.

Defenders of Prop 300 say that undocumented students are not being kicked out of school, but "only" have to pay out-of-state tuition. At Arizona State University (ASU), though, this means a jump in full-time tuition from around $5,000 a year to over $18,000.

Even at community college, tuition jumps three- or four-fold for out-of-state students. No wonder then that the impact of Prop 300 is being felt most at the community college level.

But even more dramatic effects of the law have gone unreported. Other provisions of the ballot initiative effectively criminalize adult education offered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Undocumented adults are barred entirely from all ADE programs, even if they pay for them. What's more, state-supported aid for child care is also now denied to undocumented residents.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

PROP 300 was passed overwhelmingly in the 2006 election as one among a number of anti-immigrant ballot initiatives that also declared English the official language of Arizona and barred undocumented immigrants from receiving jury awards. These referendums follow other vindictive laws passed in Arizona recently, including a 2000 measure outlawing bilingual education--named "English for the Children"--that was promoted by anti-immigrant bigot Ron Unz.
Last year, legislators passed an employer sanctions law stiffening penalties for companies that knowingly employ undocumented workers. In addition, several of Arizona's largest cities have directed police departments to begin conducting immigration status checks during routine policing.

These last two developments have led to the topsy-turvy situation where the business community and police chiefs have become the loudest voices against anti-immigrant laws and policies.

Taken together, these laws, referendums and directives make Arizona by far the most hostile state in the country in terms of the immigration panic. That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't openings to build a fighting movement.

For example, ASU President Michael Crow identified the roughly 200 students affected by Prop 300 and secured private scholarships to make sure they can stay in school. ASU's undergraduate student body passed a resolution in support of Crow when he came under fire from right-wingers in the state capitol and on the radio.

More important are the results of a recent Rocky Mountain Poll of residents in Maricopa County. Maricopa is home to over 3.5 million people in greater Phoenix, which accounts for over 60 percent of the state's total population. About one-third of the county's population is Latino.

The poll found that 76 percent of people thought that a federal law should be passed to allow for easier immigration to the country--an increase of 3 percent over the same poll conducted in May 2006. Some 83 percent agreed with the statement that "securing our borders should be our top priority, but fair and humane treatment foreign workers is also very important." And 64 percent disagreed with the statement that "people who enter the United States illegally to seek work are no better than common criminals."

These are not radical, pro-immigrant rights opinions, but they are in contrast to the vitriolic political atmosphere stoked by state legislators, right-wing radio hosts and Minutemen vigilantes--and they exist despite the absence of a strong immigrant rights movement.

In other words, even in the nastiest of anti-immigrant environments, the opening exists to revive activism and turn back these vindictive laws and initiatives.

01-23-2008, 08:56 AM
Listed below are a few videos on the AZTLAN & Reconquista movements which call for the take over of America, particularly the southwest which they claim is their land.







01-24-2008, 05:07 PM


Published Thursday | January 24, 2008
Feds Target Immigrants Far From Border
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

A Border Patrol agent watches as illegal immigrants file towards a holding facility for processing prior to being returned back to their country of origin in Pearl, Miss. in this Jan. 17, 2008 photo. Federal agents, with help from local law officers, have begun intercepting illegal immigrants and smugglers along stretches of highway deep in the U.S. interior, where those who have slipped into the country usually have little chance of getting caught. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

PEARL, Miss. (AP) - Detective Nick McLendon, on stakeout duty along a dark stretch of eastbound Interstate 20, noticed a red Chevy Suburban with heavily tinted windows and no light over its rear Texas license plate. The missing light gave him all the excuse he needed to pull the SUV over.

Packed into the Suburban, he discovered, were 14 illegal immigrants, two suspected smugglers, and a spiral notebook on the front seat, listing the passengers and their destinations in Spanish - "Arterio Ramires to Nuy Yersey; David Luna to Nueba York; Marcelina and Jasmin to Carolina del Norte; Jose Aguilar to Alabama; Josefina Ortega to Chicago; Gustavo Ribera to Florida."

The arrests - some 800 miles from the Mexican border - represented a new and dramatic shift in U.S. immigration enforcement strategy.

Federal agents, with help from local law officers like McLendon, a Pearl detective, have begun intercepting illegal immigrants and smugglers along stretches of highway deep in the U.S. interior, where those who have slipped into the country usually have little chance of getting caught.

"They think they're pretty much home free once they get up here," said Bill Botts, the assistant chief patrol agent in charge of the Border Patrol's Gulfport, Miss., station. But Operation Uniforce, as the two-week crackdown begun Jan. 13 is called, "is pretty much a shocker for the smuggling organizations."

More than 300 immigrants and suspected smugglers had been arrested as of Tuesday, more than a week into the operation.

Interstate 20 has become a major corridor for immigrant smugglers. It peels off from I-10 in West Texas and runs across the South, passing through Atlanta and linking up with other major highways, including I-95, which leads to Miami to the south and Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston to the north.

About 40 Border Patrol and customs agents who normally work at or close to the border have been temporarily assigned to the crackdown. They and local law officers have spread out along several miles of I-20 and some of its connecting highways, parking their vehicles out in the open in the median or by the side of the road.

After the two weeks are up, they will return to their usual jobs and evaluate what they learned. In the coming weeks or months, they may return to I-20 and do it again.

The hope, though, is whether they come back or not, the crackdown will put immigrant smugglers on notice and disrupt their business by forcing them to take longer, slower and more costly detours.

Border Patrol spokesman Ramon Rivera said the vast majority of those caught in the crackdown are Mexicans headed to the East Coast, where they typically land jobs in agriculture, construction and manufacturing. Agents also found a Mexican who had paid a smuggler $400 to get him home to avoid a murder charge in Chicago.

But perhaps more important, the agents also uncovered vital information about a few prolific smuggling rings and a popular Texas stash house where immigrants were being kept after crossing the border.

"The intelligence we are getting is absolutely priceless," Rivera said.

The Border Patrol said it had no immediate estimate of the cost of Operation Uniforce.

Federal agents ran three such operations closer to the border last year: two in Baton Rouge, La., and one in Mobile, Ala. Those efforts seemed to force the smugglers north from I-10 to I-20. So this time, agents picked up and moved deeper into the interior to I-20, some 800 miles from the nearest border crossing, at Brownsville, Texas.

The Associated Press was allowed to document the operation during an nighttime ride-along last week in Mississippi.

On that night, McLendon, who normally pulls over motorists in a search for drugs, found the exhausted immigrants crammed in the Suburban, shoes off, a few blankets on the floorboards, a half-empty jug of water in the back. The passengers, including a girl of about 10, had crossed into the United States from Mexico near Nogales, Ariz., some 1,200 miles away from this Mississippi town.

It was unclear whether they sneaked across the open desert on foot, or passed through a border crossing station and then climbed into the SUV. But the Suburban had made it all the way from the border in Arizona - a receipt in the vehicle showed that someone bought a new battery there on Wednesday - and passed through Dallas on Thursday - the driver stopped for an oil change about 1:30 p.m. - before being stopped outside Jackson, Miss.

If McLendon had come across these immigrants a week earlier, he would have issued a ticket for the missing light and sent them on their way. The nearest fixed Border Patrol station is 160 miles away in Gulfport, and he wouldn't have called it because the agents wouldn't have made the three-hour trip for such a routine matter.

This time, Border Patrol agents posted along the highway promptly arrived on the scene, and all 16 people were arrested and held for deportation.

"When Border Patrol pulled up you could see the disappointment on their face, that they would be going all the way back," McLendon said.

01-24-2008, 05:49 PM
Gotta love Tom Tancredo


U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo -- the recent one-note presidential candidate -- today issued a statement responding to complaints by legislators from Mexico about immigrants self-deporting to Mexico. (See our earlier post.) In the process he brainstormed an idea that, well, only Tancredo could come up with. Here's part of his statement:

Tancredo pointed out that in 2005, the Mexican government actually produced and distributed copies of a "Guia del Migrante Mexicano" (Guide for the Mexican Immigrant) which contained "practical advice" for Mexicans on how to safely sneak into the United States.

The guide contained tips on everything from crossing rivers and navigating the desert to ones "rights" as an illegal alien if apprehended. The booklet is widely available online. This increased the flow of illegal aliens into the United States - illegal aliens who will be returning to Mexico through Sonora as enforcement efforts in the U.S. intensify.

"Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security and Government Printing Office can return Mexico's 2005 favor and help local officials in Sonora cope with the influx of returning Mexicans," said Tancredo. "We can develop a 'Guide for the Returning Illegal Alien' packed with helpful information like how to get back to various points in Mexico from the U.S. border, and a reminder that illegally immigrating is, well, illegal - and has consequences."

Tancredo said he is exploring the option of drafting legislation to authorize the production of the booklets.
http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/2guns.gif

01-24-2008, 06:08 PM


A trafficker's vehicle of choice

Cartels swipe rugged Ford F-250s, F-350s in state for smuggling drugs and humans

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Here's a look at the total number of Ford F-250s and F-350s stolen in three Texas cities: City 2006 2007
Houston 888 1,245
San Antonio 295 354
Brownsville 16 41


Here's a look at the total number of Ford F-250s and F-350s stolen statewide
" 2005: 1,549

" 2006 : 2,539

" 2007: 3,508

Houston entrepreneur Bill Christmann was shocked when thieves stole his souped-up black Ford F-250 pickup from his west Houston driveway one night last July.

But shock turned to concern the next day after Christmann learned thieves had driven the 2001, heavy-duty, four-wheel-drive truck to Laredo, loaded it with illegal immigrants and drove it back from the border, roaring off-road through fenced ranch pastures.

Police chased the truck south of San Antonio before the smugglers crashed the vehicle into a tree. The smugglers escaped, and the immigrants fled.

''That is a little scary, being that close to home," said Christmann, referring to criminals linked to smuggling rings showing up in his driveway.

Christmann is among hundreds of Houstonians who purchased one of Ford's two popular and expensive pickup models " the Super Duty F-250 and Super Duty F-350 " and have since learned that their rugged trucks are increasingly favored by gangs of auto thieves.

Many of the trucks, police officials in Houston and border towns say, are being stolen for Mexican criminal cartels who use them as vehicles for narcotics and human trafficking.

In 2006, thieves made off with 888 of the F-250s and F-350s from locations in Houston, according to Lt. Scott Dombrowski, of the Houston Police Department's auto theft division.

In 2007, he said, thefts of the same models increased 40 percent, to 1,245.

During the same two-year period, police say, the overall number of vehicle thefts in the city fell slightly.

Cartels are stealing the Ford trucks, in part, to evade increasing law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities say.

The trucks, many equipped with double cabs and four-wheel drive, hold a lot of cargo and can easily cross remote areas.

Experts say the big Fords have also been easier to steal than other trucks.

"You can steal these trucks with a screwdriver," Dombrowski said.

Wes Sherwood, manager for Ford truck communications at company headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., said steps have been taken to change that.

Until the 2008 model year, computer chips were not embedded in keys for F-250s and F-350s, he said. Without the "secure lock" key, which has been standard in recent years on other Ford trucks and SUVs, the electronic ignition cannot be activated.

Sherwood said earlier Super Duty models had an anti-theft device that included a car alarm.

Dombrowski said many groups are stealing the trucks in Houston, then driving them south.

"They are not running them just to Brownsville and McAllen," he said, "but running them to Del Rio and other border crossings."

The big trucks continue to be stolen at a time when Houston has seen a slight decline in auto thefts, Dombrowski said.

During the first 11 months of 2007, 18,016 vehicles were reported stolen in Houston, compared with 19,305 during the same period in 2006.

Border terrain
The trucks are being increasingly used to transport illegal immigrants, Dombrowski said, because profits are high and criminal penalties for human trafficking are less than for narcotics violations.

The trucks can easily evade police.

''It's big business," Dombrowski said. ''If you have human cargo, and they bail out, they don't get caught. And law enforcement has nothing, no evidence. They get away with it, and they're charging up to $5,000 a head."

Police in El Paso say Mexican cartels are stealing the Ford trucks because they can cross the border in the rough terrain of West Texas as well as the harsh deserts of New Mexico and Arizona.

''They use them to make entry in the outlying areas where there are no ports of entry," said Stephen Plummer, crime prevention officer for El Paso's auto theft task force. ''They're avoiding the ports of entry by using these offroad-type vehicles."

Plummer said in the past two years there have been 362 Ford F-250s and F-350s stolen in his border city, where full-size trucks and large SUVs make up the majority of the vehicles stolen.

''That's been a regional problem for Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California," he said, referring to the Ford trucks, which can cost in excess of $50,000. ''It's all going to relate back to narcotics and human trafficking, and the terrain of the Southwest."

Police in the border town of Brownsville say they reduced automobile theft in that city by 12 percent last year compared with 2006.

But during the same period, thefts of Ford F-250s and F-350s increased dramatically, from 16 in 2006 to 41 last year, said Lt. James Pascall, who heads the auto theft detail.

John Mitchell, a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau assigned to South Texas, said auto thieves connected to the smuggling organizations have focused on the big Ford trucks.

"I haven't heard of any instances where Chevys and Dodges have been used to smuggle illegal aliens or narcotics," said Mitchell, an investigator with the industry nonprofit group.

Using 'bait cars'
Susan Sampson, director of the state's Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority, said police officers are using grants from the agency to employ ''bait cars" equipped with hidden cameras and satellite locators to catch thieves.

So far, the agency has purchased 10 automated license plate readers that can alert patrol officers if a passing vehicle has been reported stolen.

Dombrowski, who heads the Houston police auto theft detail, said officers have followed bait cars all the way to the border to crack the rings stealing Ford pickups.

''We've done a lot of things, but there's a lot more thieves than there are police to track them down," he said.

Switch to Chevy
Christmann, who owns a construction firm, has replaced his stolen Ford F-250 with a big new Chevrolet pickup. He bought it for the Chevy diesel motor and, he said, because ''it does have a lot better security on it."

Two of Christmann's friends who work for another Houston construction company had their F-250s stolen on the same day last summer.

The trucks were next to each other in the company lot and were found 10 days later at a Houston apartment complex a mile away. They were returned to their owners.

One of the men, Chris Parrack, has installed a concealed kill switch on his 2007 model F-250, and hopes for the best.

''Every time I walk out into the parking lot, I grin and wonder if my truck is going to be there," Parrack said.


01-24-2008, 07:08 PM
Swinford trims immigration bills from agenda

Globe-News Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - He may live far from the Mexican border, but State Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, knows firsthand how illegal immigration impacts a community and the entire state.

Thousands of illegal immigrants live in his district, especially in Cactus where the biggest employer is Swift & Co., the meat packing plant raided by U.S. immigration authorities in December.

But Swinford also has been a legislator long enough (16 years) to know that immigration is a federal issue, even if he thinks that Washington has done a lousy job protecting the U.S. southern border.

So, with that in mind, Swinford, who also chairs the influential House State Affairs Committee, pretty much made this official Wednesday morning: Most illegal immigration-related bills coming before his committee will not see the light of day.

"What I am trying to do is to determine what Texas can or cannot do," he told reporters. "Immigration is not in our program."

Swinford said he made his decision after he and the other eight members of State Affairs consulted with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott's office reviewed the bills and concluded that most are unconstitutional and would not survive a court challenge.

One bill in particular, House Bill 28, by Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, would deny basic public services such as education and health care to U.S.-born children whose parents are here illegally.

Speaking to another group of reporters and just a few feet from Swinford, Berman said he is furious that the State Affairs chairman, who he considers a friend, arbitrarily decided to kill his legislation.

"All I'm asking is for my day in court," Berman said. "All I am asking is that my bills are heard."

Another of Berman's bills under fire, particularly from Hispanic legislators and immigrant rights advocates, is HB 29, which would impose an 8 percent tax to any money wired from Texas to Mexico or to any other Latin American country.

Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston, the only Hispanic and one of only two Democrats in the panel, praised Swinford for pulling the plug on more than two dozen immigration-related bills she and other Democrats consider not only unconstitutional but mean-spirited.

Swinford admitted that he likes some of the bills he is killing.

"Me, being a right-wing nut, I agree with some of those bills," he said. "But it's a waste of money and that's not what I was sent (here) for."

Like other Democrats, Farrar said she thinks Swinford is also saving the Legislature - and the Republican Party - a lot of grief because illegal immigration was shaping up as the most divisive issue of the 80th session, but despite all tough GOP talk about illegal immigration and border security, bills like Berman's would only makes things worse, especially in the House where the most contentious debates take place.

"We don't need any more animosity," Farrar said. "We need to focus on solving the many issues that are for the benefit of our state."

Swinford said that despite the fate of many of the illegal immigration-related bills, State Affairs will hold marathon hearings on the issue, and on Wednesday afternoon, the panel started doing just that. It began hearing testimony from about three dozen experts, a good number of them border mayors and law enforcement officials.

And he also hopes that the Legislature approves a resolution urging Washington to tackle the illegal immigration problem.

"We need to remind the federal government that controlling illegal immigration is their job, not a state's job," Swinford said.

Globe-News Austin Bureau Chief Enrique Rangel can be reached at enrique.rangel@morris.com or P.O. Box 12457, Austin TX 78711-2457.

01-24-2008, 07:14 PM

01-24-2008, 07:23 PM
Mexico opens probe into fixed-line phone market

Jan 23, 2008

MEXICO CITY, - Mexico's antitrust agency on Wednesday began a probe into market dominance in the fixed-line telephone market, a thinly veiled challenge to the power of market leader Telmex, owned by tycoon Carlos Slim.

The Federal Competition Commission, without naming any company, said it will investigate if there was any "substantial power" and "real competition" in various fixed-line long distance and local telephone markets.

Telmex, a former state monopoly that Slim bought in a 1990 privatization, has around 90 percent of Mexico's 20 million fixed lines and was declared "dominant" several years ago by antitrust regulators.

Slim, reckoned by some to be the world's richest person, overturned that ruling in Mexican courts.

Telmex (TELMEXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) (TMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) was not immediately available for comment but has in the past defended its market share by saying it invests more than its rivals and also provides phone services in nonprofitable rural areas.

The commission, which in November started a probe of the cell phone industry where Slim's America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) (AMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has three quarters of the wireless market, said the new probe did not mean there was any dominance.

"The decision (to start the investigation) must not be taken as a prejudgment of the existence of substantial power of any company," the commission said in the government's official gazette.

Telmex rivals have argued in the past that Slim's company charges high interconnection rates which, they say, it uses as a tool to maintain its business advantage.

Telmex owns the vast majority of Mexico's telephone network. Rivals have to use its lines to place calls, which allows Telmex to control phone rates.


The commission gave no time frame for the investigation, which could take many months.

The probe comes days after Mexico's cable TV industry urged the government not to give Telmex the rights to offer television services without first negotiating lower phone call rates.

Alejandro Puente, the head of the Cable Television Industry Chamber, called on the government to take advantage of the desire of Telmex to enter the television business to negotiate lower phone rates, especially interconnection fees that rival carriers must pay Telmex.

Lower rates, Puente said, would benefit competition in the phone sector and cut prices for consumers. He said interconnection fees could be much less, or even zero.

On the issue of dominance, Puente slammed the antitrust regulators for not starting a probe into the fixed-line telephone industry in Mexico earlier.

Puente said if the Federal Competition Commission had launched a probe earlier and declared Telmex dominant, it would have given the government more arguments during TV negotiations to force Telmex to slash rates.

Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry can set rates for calls between companies deemed dominant and their smaller rivals.

President Felipe Calderon has promised to get tough on industries in which weak competition has led to unfair prices and little choice for consumers and businesses.

But there have been few signs that he is making serious moves against big corporations.

(Additional reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Editing by Brian Moss)

01-25-2008, 02:30 AM

Coalition OK'd to give immigration counseling

Nonprofit wants to take business away from shady operators

Fri, Jan. 25, 2008

Latino immigrants can now turn to an old friend for low-cost help in navigating the long and often confusing process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

The Department of Homeland Security officially recognized the Latin American Coalition this week, certifying the agency to help immigrants with a wide array of immigration concerns.

The nonprofit has served as a cultural hub for many Latinos since its inception in 1990, helping people network, learn English and find jobs. But if someone needed immigration help, they were usually pointed elsewhere.

Now the coalition can steer those seeking citizenship through the process and can even represent them in certain immigration cases.

"It's sort of like the Better Business Bureau seal of approval," Executive Director Angeles Ortega-Moore said of the recognition. "This lets people know they can come to us and trust that we will be able to help them."

The agency can help any immigrant, regardless of nationality. But it is expected that most of those seeking help with be Latino.

According to the most recent statistics, there are about 600,000 Latinos in North Carolina, 80,000 in Charlotte alone.

The immigrant population is often vulnerable, wrestling with a limited understanding of English and no real knowledge of the legal system. While some consultants -- often called notarios -- are notary publics and provide a legitimate service, others have bilked immigrants for hundreds of dollars by steering them down avenues of residency that are long shots at best.

"You see people creeping out of the woodwork, often with no real experience in the immigration process, taking advantage of people and charging a lot of money for their services," said Adriana Galvez Taylor, the Coalition's manager of immigrant rights.

As a part of the agency's recognition, Taylor has received a Board of Immigration Appeals accreditation that allows her to represent clients in certain hearings.

According to law, only lawyers, law students working with lawyers and people with BIA accreditation are allowed to help in such situations. The Coalition is the only nonprofit in the city to have such a distinction and it is one of about 14 in the Carolinas.

The Latino explosion is causing that to change. Jack Holmgren, a legalization attorney with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, said he has watched as the number of BIA accredited organizations nationwide have grown from 300 eight years ago to more than 630 now.

"It is a dire need, absolutely," he said. "You have a new gateway community like Charlotte and that means there are many bad operators out there taking advantage of people's desperation. This is how you stop that."

The Latin American Coalition
4949-B Albemarle Road
Charlotte, NC 28205


01-25-2008, 03:36 AM
Mexico to host major motosport championship

January 23, 2008

Mexico will host the Auto Tour World Championships from April 4-6 after missing out on 2007 competition, race organizers brothers Jose and Julian Abed said in a Tuesday statement.

In order to host the race again, some two million U.S. dollars will be spent on renovating the track, nestled in the Puebla town of Amozoc, 190km east of Mexico City.

The race organization demanded the Mexico committee resurface the track and change both the track and the banks, but said that Mexico could then host the contest every year until at least 2010.

The World Championship has 12 dates, beginning with March 2 contest in Brazilian city of Curitiba. Mexico is the second date on the tour and is followed by Spain.

Source: Xinhua

01-25-2008, 03:40 AM
Ancient Maya sacrificed boys not virgin girls: study

Wed Jan 23, 2008

MEXICO CITY - The victims of human sacrifice by Mexico's ancient Mayans, who threw children into water-filled caverns, were likely boys and young men not virgin girls as previously believed, archeologists said on Tuesday.

The Maya built soaring temples and elaborate palaces in the jungles of Central America and southern Mexico before the Spanish conquest in the early 1500s.

Maya priests in the city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula sacrificed children to petition the gods for rain and fertile fields by throwing them into sacred sinkhole caves, known as "cenotes."

The caves served as a source of water for the Mayans and were also thought to be an entrance to the underworld.

Archeologist Guillermo de Anda from the University of Yucatan pieced together the bones of 127 bodies discovered at the bottom of one of Chichen Itza's sacred caves and found over 80 percent were likely boys between the ages of 3 and 11.

The other 20 percent were mostly adult men said de Anda, who scuba dives to uncover Mayan jewels and bones.

He said children were often thrown alive to their watery graves to please the Mayan rain god Chaac. Some of the children were ritually skinned or dismembered before being offered to the gods, he said.

"It was thought that the gods preferred small things and especially the rain god had four helpers that were represented as tiny people," said de Anda.

"So the children were offered as a way to directly communicate with Chaac," he said.

Archeologists previously believed young female virgins were sacrificed because the remains, which span from around 850 AD until the Spanish colonization, were often found adorned with jade jewelry.

It is difficult to determine the s.e.x of skeletons before they are fully matured, said de Anda, but he believes cultural evidence from Mayan mythology would suggest the young victims were actually male.

(Editing by Todd Eastham)

01-25-2008, 03:47 AM
U.S. official says drug aid package to Mexico won't be tied to extraditions

January 24, 2008

MEXICO CITY A $1.4 billion anti-drug aid package will not be contingent on Mexico's performance in extraditing suspects, but will likely increase cooperation and extraditions, a top State Department official said Thursday.
David T. Johnson, who heads the department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, clarified statements he made a day earlier during a visit to Mexico that indicated the aid package might be tied to the number of crime suspects sent across the border to the U.S.

"If these programs are funded and implemented, we would expect that investigations could be improved, that our joint work together would be more effective, that successful investigations would likely result in successful prosecutions, and some of those prosecutions would likely take place in the United States, and therefore extraditions might come as a consequence of that," he said. "But they are not a goal of that."
He said both Mexico and the U.S. would determine how to judge whether the aid was being used effectively.

"We want to engage and try to come to some sort of common view as to how we score ourselves," he said.

Bush has asked Congress to approve $550 million of the package, but lawmakers have not yet taken action. The money would be used to help Mexico in its nationwide battle against drug trafficking and increasing violence.

Extradition has historically been a sensitive question in Mexico. For decades, the country sent few people home to face justice, and has only recently begun to extradite those who face life imprisonment. Mexico still refuses to extradite anyone who could receive the death penalty.

01-25-2008, 06:13 PM
The Paputchi family (Contributed photo)

When your life is in order, but your papers are not

By Jerry Goldberg
Pike County Courier
January 24, 2008

BLOOMING GROVE " With federal immigration detainees in the population, a lot of people from other places are housed at the Pike County Jail; some of whom you might not expect to find there.

After 16 years in the U.S. with her husband and giving birth to two American born children, Rukie Paputchi is liable to be deported in the next few weeks to a country where she was persecuted as a Turkish Muslim - her native Bulgaria.

According to their attorney, Theodore Murphy, the trauma the Paputchi family faces now began on Jan. 7 when agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement knocked on their door and asked for Rukie. They told her they had a warrant to deport her back to Bulgaria. Rukie was arrested and is currently imprisoned at the Pike County Correctional Facility.

Her husband, Zack Paputchi, came to the U.S. in 1990 on a visa. Before the visa expired, he applied for political asylum, in November of that same year. He claimed he was suffering religious persecution under Bulgaria's communist regime. Zack's application sat on a shelf until August 1995 when, upon referring it to an immigration judge, an INS officer wrote, "If the application had been reviewed when it was filed, it would have been approved."

In 1996, Zack's application for asylum was denied. He filed his appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, where it has remained for the last 11 years.

Rukie legally joined her husband in the U.S. in 1992, and filed for political asylum in 1993. Her asylum case was approved in 1997 and later appealed by the government. The agency said political conditions in Bulgaria between 1990 and 1997 changed, and the Turks now have their own political party who support the governing coalition. As of 1991 they are 9.4 percent of the population.

When her appeal was denied in 2003, she was ordered to leave the country voluntarily. She didn't. Even after the order to leave the U.S., she remained hopeful that something good would come of it all. Although neither Zack nor Rukie had been granted permanent residency, they felt confident. After years of anticipation they thought it would just be a "waiting game" and their time would come.

Together they have lived as good "American" citizens, paying taxes, obeying the laws of the country, paying for their own health and life insurance, raising their two children just like other good citizens, and worked hard to build their pizza business, The Old Mill Pizzeria, in Scotia.

Their first child, Hasim, was born in 1993 and their second child, Elise, was born in 2003. Their children are American citizens as they were born in this country.

Now Zack faces the prospect of Rukie being deported and having to raise their children by himself. In an interview earlier this week Hasim, now 14, said, "I want my mom to get out, come home and have our family back again."

"We just want to get back together and have a life here. We want to be regular Americans," Zack said to the Courier.

Attorney Murphy reiterated the point made by the reviewing INS officer in 1995. "If his case had been adjudicated when he first applied he would have succeeded. Instead his papers remain sitting on a shelf for many years and has still not been resolved."

He added, "Mr. Paputchi is still eligible to file for permanent residency under the 1997 act called the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act which allowed Central Americans and Eastern Europeans to become U.S. citizens. "If Mrs. Paputchi's case were allowed to be joined with her husband's case under the same act she would also be eligible for permanent residency," said Murphy.

Murphy has filed an Emergency Motion to Stay Deportation with the Bureau of Immigration Appeals.

In Rukie's 2003 petition, the Bureau of Immigration Appeals found, "... the petitioner has not established that she was eligible for asylum or withholding deportation," and found, "... no basis for granting the petition. We agree with the Board of Immigration Appeals that past treatment alleged by the petitioner, although deplorable, does not rise to the high level required to constitute persecution."

Murphy also deplores the situation. He spoke of his own life experiences.

"I spent four years in the Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and Rapid Deployment Force to protect our people and our way of life. I spent another 10 years as a federal trial attorney working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force deporting hardened criminals and other nefarious people in order to keep our streets and citizens safe. Rukie and her husband, Zack, are exactly the same as all the other good people I have spent my life protecting. They exemplify the American spirit. Their hard work, determination to make a better life for their children, and their lifelong desire to be free are what makes this country the beacon of hope and dreams it still is. Rukie is not a person to callously throw away. The failure of our taxpayer-funded government officials to do their duty in a timely manner should not be overlooked. Rukie is eligible to become a permanent resident if only the court would allow her to stay.

"If she doesn't win this appeal, it seems that Mrs. Paputchi will be deported back to Bulgaria in two to three weeks," Murphy said with apparent sorrow in his voice.

"If you have a sympathetic heart and actually knew the Paputchis, you would understand that they are good Americans.' They are not in the same class as the millions of illegal aliens that are in our country who don't pay taxes and live off the system."

What you can do

The fate of Rukie Paputchi and her family is in the hands of the legal system, attorney Murphy said. "They need your help. If you believe in the American Dream' and that those who work hard and follow the rules should prevail, this is your chance to show your support for this family before Rukie is deported to Bulgaria."

Murphy asked that readers write or call their state senators, congressmen, and local representatives and ask them to help the Paputchis. Individuals can also send letters of support to him at: Theodore J. Murphy, Esq. at Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, LLP, 1800 John F. Kennedy Blvd. Suite 1700, Philadelphia, PA 19103 . "I will see they are properly filed with the Appeals Court which will officially make them part of Mrs. Paputchi's file," he said.

01-25-2008, 06:15 PM
Branford man convicted in immigration scam

New Haven Register
January 25, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A judge has ordered a Branford man who posed as a lawyer to swindle immigrants to pay back $300,000 or face additional prison time.

Ralph Cucciniello, 56, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine in New Haven Superior Court on Thursday to several counts of larceny, once count of racketeering and three counts of impersonating an attorney.

That means he doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him.

Prosecutors said Cucciniello, who has a history of convictions for similar schemes, took about $560,000 from about 60 immigrants in Boston, New York and Greater New Haven. Most were Irish, but others came from Ecuador, Eastern Europe, Italy and Britain.

He has been held in lieu of $3.5 million bond since June 2007.

Judge Richard Damiani said he would consider sentencing Cucciniello to 20 years in prison, suspended after 12, if he pays back the $300,000 to his victims. Otherwise, Damiani said the sentence will be 30 years in prison, suspended after 20.

"It's an all or nothing situation," Damiani said. "The bottom line is, we are going to have restitution."

Cucciniello, who claimed to be a lawyer at a Yale Law School immigration clinic, charged immigrants $5,000 each to file papers that he said would lead to a green card. But Assistant State's Attorney John Waddock said Cucciniello was not an attorney and there was no such clinic.

Cucciniello, an unpaid research assistant for a law professor, had access to the law school and a Yale e-mail account.

Prosecutors said one person turned over an inheritance of $100,000 so Cucciniello could invest it in a mutual fund, while a second victim gave him $40,000. Both victims' accounts were drained.

Olwyn Triggs, a New York investigator who got involved in the case when Cucciniello was arrested there in May 2007 for the same scheme, was pleased with the guilty plea.

"It was one of the cruelest schemes I have ever seen, because of what he told the people and how he got into their personal lives and got into their hearts," Triggs said.

01-26-2008, 02:40 AM

Broken families

Tough enforcement of immigration law has the painful side effect of deporting parents of U.S.-born kids

By Kelly Brewington
Sun reporter
January 26, 2008

After years of struggle, Adela had finally found stability. With a renewed religious faith, her once-rocky marriage to Rigoberto had become strong.

Most of all, they had reason to celebrate: their infant Moises, by virtue of being born in the United States, possessed American citizenship, a privilege unattainable to the Honduran couple because they had entered the country illegally.

But chaos struck during a trip to Toys "R" Us on a frigid day last February. Police pulled over the Baltimore County family's truck for a traffic violation. Her husband was handcuffed. A month later, he was deported. Adela and her sons never saw him again.

"It is hard, but I stay here for my children," said Adela, 32, who declined to give her last name for fear of being deported. "But I'm scared."

Moises is among the nation's 3.4 million children living a precarious family dynamic - American citizens with at least one parent who is an undocumented immigrant. They account for about two-thirds of the 5 million children in illegal immigrant families, according to 2006 figures from the Pew Hispanic Center.

Known as "mixed-status" families, they present the toughest of challenges for politicians, policymakers and activists battling over immigration reform.

Some foes of illegal immigration call children like Moises "anchor babies," their births calculated by parents seeking the benefits for their children that the U.S. offers. Advocates for immigrants point to such families as case studies in the nation's broken immigration system, a structure so flawed that even U.S.-born children suffer.

Political pressure on federal immigration and customs officials to toughen enforcement has resulted in a surge in workplace raids and arrests. Advocates warn that a swelling number of immigrant families will be thrown into chaos and, ultimately, separated by borders.

Immigrant advocates say tales of deported parents seeking to reunite with their families are increasingly common.

"It really speaks to the lengths that families will go through to be together," said Miriam Calderon, associate director of the policy analysis center of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy organization.

Families left behind face numerous hardships, said Calderon, whose organization commissioned a report with the nonpartisan Urban Institute in Washington to study deportation's effect on children. The study, released in October, interviewed families in three communities where immigration officials had arrested hundreds in workplace raids over one year.

Communities panicked, families lost their breadwinners and children were stigmatized at school, researchers found.

"These were big shows of force," said Randy Capps, senior research associate at the Urban Institute. "They didn't just stop with the big raid at the plant, but these smaller raids continued and sort of kept the families living in fear. ... In the most extreme cases, people basically hid in their homes for weeks."

Although Rigoberto was not snagged in a raid, Adela faced challenges because the family bills and the lease on their house were all in her husband's name. A shaken Adela found herself raising a fussy infant and a rebellious teenager on her own. Worse, she worried that authorities would take her next.

Immigration and customs officials deported 237,255 people in 2007, up from 204,980 in 2006. While the agency targets immigrants who have committed crimes, it has pushed to reduce a huge case backlog and conduct more workplace sweeps.

The strategies have heightened the sense of vulnerability among immigrants, both legal and illegal. A little more than half of all Latino adults worry that a family member or close friend could be deported, according to a survey released recently by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Church leaders, educators and immigrant advocates have complained of immigration officers' tactics, including the detention of breastfeeding mothers after raids. Immigration officials responded by broadening the use of ankle bracelets for women who would otherwise be detained during the deportation process. Still, others argue that undocumented immigrants must be sent back to their country of origin, regardless of the circumstances.

"There is no good solution; this is what happens when you ignore immigration law. You end up creating these dilemmas," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that supports tighter controls on immigration. "That said, the activist groups' solution - letting the illegal parents stay - isn't much of a solution at all. It tells the illegal immigrant, once they have a kid they get a free pass."

The solution, Krikorian said, must be comprehensive: strengthening immigration laws, cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers, forbidding immigrants from gaining driver's licenses and "making it as difficult as possible to be an illegal alien."

"The goal is to create a new environment so that businesses and illegal immigrants expect that the party is over and start changing their behaviors," Krikorian said.

But for Miguel Diaz, whose wife, Fidelia, was deported to El Salvador last year, life is complex.

At 5 a.m. one day last January, gun-wielding immigration officers arrested Fidelia at the couple's Windsor Mills home, startling their two U.S.-born children, Edwin, 13, and Cynthia, 8.

"My children were crying. I could see on the officers' faces - they knew it was wrong," Diaz said. "It is anti-human. I said, 'You are dividing my family, why are you doing this?'"

Diaz, 42, a labor union organizer originally from El Salvador, is a legal permanent resident. But Fidelia was not. Diaz said her application for political asylum had been rejected years ago, but she defied orders to leave, marrying Diaz and having two children. Diaz later applied for his wife to become a legal resident, hoping to "fix the situation."

"You don't know the feeling when you are afraid all the time. You can't travel, you are afraid that someone will stop you at any time," he said. "We wanted to straighten things out, no matter what."

Now, Diaz has reapplied for Fidelia, a process that could take 10 years.

"Every day they ask, 'When is Mommy coming back?' It's a mess," Diaz said. "A family is a mother and a father and the little ones. I don't understand my life without her."

Diaz's cousin and her children have moved in with him, and together they split household duties. But it has been difficult.

"Christmas was so hard for us," he said.

Taking the family to El Salvador, a country rife with corruption and poverty, is not an option, Diaz said. Yet, his children miss their mother.

"My question is," said Diaz, "does the punishment fit the crime?"

Another family is dealing with a more tragic outcome.

Adela, the Baltimore County mother, recalled that after her husband was sent back to Honduras, she vowed to pack up the couple's home and return to their native country with Moises and son Jeffrey, 15.

But Rigoberto reasoned that the children deserved a better life away from the grinding poverty the couple had known in Central America.

On May 29, Rigoberto called from Honduras to tell his wife he would set out the next day on the perilous journey through the Mexican desert to return to his family. They prayed together and exchanged I-love-you's.

It was last time Adela heard from her husband.

On Dec. 19, the day before Moises' first birthday, Adela received a call from the Honduran consulate in Houston. Rigoberto had been found on a Texas ranch, dead from dehydration, his Bible in hand. An official asked Adela if she would like the body sent back to Honduras. It would cost $3,800.

"I was crying and crying," said Adela in Spanish. "I believed that God would not allow this to happen. But I leave it in his hands, so he can tell me what to do now."


01-26-2008, 03:51 AM
Study questions how many U.S. citizens get ensnared in wrongful deportation

Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Newspapers
January 26, 2008

FLORENCE, Ariz. " Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was a U.S. citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona.

On Thursday, Warziniack finally became a free man. Immigration officials released him after his family, who learned about his predicament from McClatchy, produced a birth certificate and after a U.S. senator demanded his release.

"The immigration agents told me they never make mistakes," Warziniack said in an earlier phone interview from jail. "All I know is that somebody dropped the ball."

The story of how immigration officials decided that a small-town drifter with a Southern accent was an illegal Russian immigrant illustrates how the federal government mistakenly detains and sometimes deports American citizens.

U.S. citizens who are mistakenly jailed by immigration authorities can get caught up in a nightmarish bureaucratic tangle in which they're simply not believed.

By the numbers

A study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims. Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.

Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more U.S. citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.
Officials with ICE, the federal agency that oversees deportations, maintain that such cases are isolated because agents are required to obtain sufficient evidence that someone is an illegal immigrant before making an arrest. However, they don't track the number of U.S. citizens who are detained or deported.

"We don't want to detain or deport U.S. citizens," said Ernestine Fobbs, an ICE spokeswoman. "It's just not something we do."

While immigration advocates agree that the agents generally release detainees before deportation in clear-cut cases, they said that ICE sometimes ignores valid assertions of citizenship in the rush to ship out more illegal immigrants.

Proving citizenship is especially difficult for the poor, mentally ill, disabled or anyone who has trouble getting a copy of his or her birth certificate while behind bars.

Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen who was born in Los Angeles, was serving a 120-day sentence for trespassing last year when he was shipped off to Mexico. Guzman was found three months later trying to return home. Although federal government attorneys have acknowledged that Guzman was a citizen, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Thursday that her agency still questions the validity of his birth certificate.

Last March, ICE agents in San Francisco detained Kebin Reyes, a 6-year-old boy who was born in the United States, for 10 hours after his father was picked up in a sweep. His father says he wasn't permitted to call relatives who could care for his son, although ICE denies turning down the request.

Chances for mistakes

The number of U.S. citizens who are swept up in the immigration system is a small fraction of the number of illegal immigrants who are deported, but in the last several years immigration lawyers report seeing more detainees who turn out to be U.S. citizens. The attorneys said the chances of mistakes are growing as immigration agents step up sweeps in the country and state and local prisons with less experience in immigration matters screen more criminals on behalf of ICE.

01-26-2008, 06:13 AM
Okla. Immigration Law Blamed for Death

Associated Press 19 hours ago

TULSA, Okla. (AP) " Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it.

They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late.

A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of House Bill 1804 months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

"The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."

The law, billed by its backers as the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

A final portion of the law goes into effect July 1, requiring private companies to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.

While it's difficult to characterize which state has the toughest immigration-related law, Oklahoma's goes beyond most because it includes the clause about harboring and transporting illegal immigrants, said Ann Morse, program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project.

"What I think these laws may have are unintended consequences on the general public," Morse said recently. "How does the law get implemented? Who is the target?"

The crackdown has caused thousands of Hispanics to flee for neighboring states, with as many as 25,000 leaving northeastern Oklahoma alone, according to the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The law's fallout also can be seen in the struggling businesses, worker shortages and widespread fear among immigrants who say they are afraid to drive to church or the market because police might pick them up.

"I feel like I'm in some kind of Nazi country where if they see your color, you'll be stopped," said Maria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student who is looking to leave Oklahoma rather than risk waiting the seven years it will take to get her papers. "I can't work, I can't study, I can't go out, there's no point of me staying here."

Civil rights leaders call the law xenophobic and redundant, and say other states will wrongly look to Oklahoma to push their own anti-illegal immigrant legislation. Business and church leaders also have been vocal opponents.

"Oklahoma was settled by immigrants ... which means that diverse is normal in Oklahoma," said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders. "It's difficult for us to understand a state which is so Christian, that to have all this animosity toward immigrants is completely outrageous."

Supporters " described by Dan Howard, the founder of an anti-illegal immigration Web site, as "good, American, God-fearing people of the heartland that bleed red, white and blue" " say the law is necessary because of Washington's bungled immigration policy. They also believe the law has helped deter crime and punishes the companies that make money on the backs of illegal labor.

The bill's Republican author, state Rep. Randy Terrill, said similar versions have been introduced or are under consideration in more than a dozen states. Last year, more than 1,500 pieces of immigration-related legislation were introduced across the country, with 244 becoming law in 46 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"More than half the nation will soon be modeling Oklahoma's bill," said Terrill, who plans to introduce a companion piece this year that would make English the state's official language, order schools to report how many illegal children are enrolled and require people or businesses who transport, hire or rent to illegal immigrants to forfeit property.

Terrill said there's no correlation between his bill and Edgar's death, noting that the child died in July, months before the law took effect, and that the law provides an exception for emergency medical care.

"To the extent that these illegal alien parents deprived their own child needed and necessary medical care because of their ignorance of the law, then they should be in prison, frankly," Terrill said.

Edgar's parents are believed to have gone underground following the boy's death, returning either to Mexico or going to stay with family in Arkansas, according to interviews with people in Tulsa's Latino community.

Far from the halls of the state Capitol, fear leads illegal immigrants to develop elaborate emergency plans for their children in case the youngsters should find their parents missing.

Irene Maldonado, 24, has been designated as the one to call in case her sister-in-law gets deported. Meanwhile, she worries if her husband, Jose, will come home on weekends from the construction jobs he works throughout the state.

She has legal residency, he doesn't.

"I don't know if he has less fear, or he's trying to be the macho guy," she said.

Illegal immigrant Maria Saldivar, 44, searches for what little factory work she can to support her three children. Past employers now ask for papers.

"Every time I look for a job, it's always the same thing," Saldivar said in Spanish through a translator. "There was more work for me to do before."

Even workers with proper paperwork are leaving for jobs in neighboring states rather than split up their families.

"My guy who runs my framing crew, he had 70 workers, and as of Nov. 1, he lost 35 of them," said Caleb McCaleb, who runs a homebuilding company in Edmond. "My painter has lost 30 percent of his work force, my landscaper has lost 25 percent of his work force."

Some in Terrill's own party doubt the wisdom of his legislation.

"We've removed not only those here illegally and working, but those who are here legally," said state Sen. Harry Coates, a Republican who voted against 1804 and wants to repeal portions of the bill. "I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I understand economics."

Vicente Ruiz, a 47-year-old legal immigrant who runs his own electrical contracting business, put it more bluntly: "It's all about making money, and if everybody moves away, the whole state is going to suffer."

01-26-2008, 09:18 AM
Should Mexico Get More Green Cards?

Cox News Service
Thursday, January 17, 2008

WASHINGTON " In 2006, the United States issued about 2,500 permanent immigrant visas for low-skilled workers. Mexico got 418.

Meanwhile, millions of Mexicans are working without permission in farming, construction, landscaping and other industries throughout the United States.

Some experts say that greatly increasing permanent residency visas, or "green cards," to Mexico would help relieve some of the nation's illegal immigration problem. Mexico has the same cap as every other country for certain green card categories, including employment-based visas, at about 25,000.

Douglas Massey, a sociology professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, thinks it is "pitiful" that Mexico " a country of 108 million people that shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States " has the same cap as Botswana, a country of 1.8 million people in southern Africa.

He contends that Mexico should get special consideration as the number two trading partner of the United States, a fellow member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and neighboring country. NAFTA did include one temporary visa program for professional workers.

"Somehow you want to create this integrated North American economy and there's going to be all this stuff moving back and forth across the borders, but no people, " he said. "It just doesn't work. It goes against history, it goes against logic and it goes against contemporary economic realities."

Massey thinks the number of immigrant visas for Mexico should be hiked to 100,000 and that the United States should start a temporary worker program with Canada and Mexico to bring in another 300,000 annually " on two-year visas.

There is precedent in the United States to focus on specific countries with immigration agreements. For example, Cubans who land on U.S. soil are given immediate political asylum. In addition, the United States and Mexico operated a large temporary worker program between World War II and 1964, where millions of Mexicans called "braceros" were imported to fill labor shortages. The program, however, was plagued by worker abuses.

Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute, said that current U.S. immigration policy is outdated and a "mis-match" with economic reality. Meissner is a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was divided up into various agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.

Meissner said that revisiting the visa rules would reduce illegal immigration.

"We've got to make changes. The longer that we don't, the more we will have an outraged public and less and less political ability to make sensible changes," she said. "Illegal immigration is by and large a response to labor market needs."

Meissner said, however, that the 25,000 per-country limit on all nations was designed to promote equity between countries after a long history of discriminating against certain nationalities. It will be difficult to change.

Other countries, such as the Philippines or Ireland, could claim that they have a long historic relationship with the United States and should get special treatment as well, she said.

Meanwhile, Mexicans are the largest group of illegal immigrants in the United States. About 6.5 million Mexicans lived illegally in the country in 2006, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The 25,000 visa limit does not include certain categories of family-sponsored immigration, including spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, which is the way that thousands of immigrants obtain permanent residency each year. In 2006, 1.2 million immigrants obtained a green card to live permanently in the United States. Of those, 63 percent were family-sponsored, according to the Office of Immigration Statistics at the Department of Homeland Security. Many of the immigrants who obtained green cards were already in the United States under temporary visas, refugee status, or other permits. Mexicans received 173,000 green cards last year, mostly for family members of U.S. citizens, according to the Office of Immigration Statistics.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates stronger immigration controls, said that raising the cap on certain categories of green cards for Mexicans would only boost immigration levels that are already too high.

"There would be more spouses or minor children or parents who would come in," he said.

He said changing the cap would also anger many other countries and groups that represent various nationalities of immigrants.

"It's politically impossible," Krikorian said.

Massey agreed that substantially increasing Mexican visas would be difficult, but the chances could improve if a Democrat wins the White House.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates have all said that they support an immigration overhaul that includes a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants. Republican candidates, with the exception of Arizona Sen. John McCain, have taken a harder line on the issue, focusing on enforcement efforts and denouncing legalization plans as "amnesty."

McCain supports a plan for current illegal immigrants to have a path to citizenship, but says enforcement must come first.

On the Web:

Migration Policy Institute: www.migrationpolicy.org (http://www.migrationpolicy.org)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: www.uscis.gov (http://www.uscis.gov)

01-27-2008, 05:04 PM
Angela Vega, right, gives Marvin Guevara Galo a hand as he applies for one of the new New Haven identification cards at City Hall in New Haven, Conn., in this July 24, 2007, file photo. Federal authorities informed the nation's top immigration official last summer about New Haven's identification card program for illegal immigrants a day before conducting a raid that critics claim was retaliatory, according to an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

Critics: Immigration Raid Retaliatory

Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) " An e-mail sent by local immigration officials to their agency head the day after the city adopted an ID program for illegal immigrants suggests that the timing of a raid soon thereafter was not coincidental, the city's mayor said.

Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers told agency Director Julie Myers in a June 5 e-mail that New Haven's Board of Aldermen had voted 25-1 the previous night to make the city the nation's first to offer illegal immigrants ID cards. City officials said the cards would help immigrants better integrate into mainstream culture by allowing them access to bank accounts and other services.

On June 6, ICE agents swept through the city and detained an estimated 30 illegal immigrants. Critics contend that the raid was retaliation for the city's adoption of the ID program " a charge the agency has steadfastly denied.

In the e-mail to Myers, obtained by The Associated Press through a federal Freedom of Information Act request, agents wrote that because of the recent vote, the raid would likely draw significant news coverage.

"They self-evidently were following what was happening in New Haven," Mayor John DeStefano said. "And at some level it had to have been a factor in their thinking to proceed with the raid. Otherwise why else would they have noted it?"

Yale law professor Michael Wishnie, who is representing those detained free of charge, said that while the e-mail to Myers doesn't prove retaliation, "it does suggest an awareness that doing the raid on June 6 would likely draw attention and they wanted to be prepared to respond to that expected attention. It certainly casts doubt on the statements that the raid had nothing to do with the ID program."

ICE officials have denied accusations that the raid was retaliatory, saying the raid was planned months in advance and that its timing was coincidental. Planning for the raid began in April, and it was initially to have been conducted in May, but records included with the e-mail show the date was pushed back until June for logistical reasons.

"This is something we typically do is to pass on information," said Paula Grenier, an agency spokeswoman.

But DeStefano pointed out that debate over the ID program also lasted months.

01-27-2008, 05:07 PM
Flor Crisostomo (left), and Elvira Arellano hold hands during a prayer before heading for Washington D.C. to lobby in May 15, 2006. (Tribune file photo by Abel Uribe / May 15, 2006)

Church where illegal immigrant took sanctuary for a year to host another woman

By SOPHIA TAREEN | Associated Press Writer
7:55 AM CST, January 27, 2008

CHICAGO - Leaders of a Chicago church where an illegal immigrant from Mexico took sanctuary for a year before being deported say they plan to house another immigration activist who is set on defying a deportation order.

Flor Crisostomo, 28, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. in 2001, was slated to report to federal immigration officials on Monday, but the head of Adalberto United Methodist Church said she will seek refuge at the church in the same way as immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who was deported to Mexico last August.

"She wanted to continue the struggle," the Rev. Walter Coleman said of Crisostomo. "That's what the church is for, to provide space where the truth can be told. She brings out the truth of the situation in a different way than Elvira did."

Crisostomo's attorney, Chris Bergin, planned to submit a letter to immigration officials Monday, outlining his client's decision to stay in the United States illegally.

Crisostomo, who declined requests to speak with reporters until Monday, immigrated without papers to Chicago from Oaxaca in Mexico seven years ago. She took a job with IFCO Systems, a manufacturer of crates and pallets, and was arrested during raids on company sites nationwide in 2006.

Her three children, two boys and a girl, live in Mexico with their maternal grandmother; Crisostomo is unmarried.

"I am taking a stand of civil disobedience ..." she said in prepared remarks to be read Monday, which were sent to The Associated Press. "I believe with all my heart that the United States and Mexico must end the system of undocumented labor."

Crisostomo, who has been an immigration activist in the Chicago area and fasted with Arellano in protest of immigration policies, said she could not support her family if she returned to Mexico.

Immigration activists such as Coleman claim that by living at the church -- apart from her three children -- Crisostomo brings attention to how they believe immigration policies in the U.S. need attention.

Activists from the church and the Chicago immigration rights group Centro Sin Fronteras claim that economic situations have deteriorated in Mexico because of NAFTA and other U.S. policies, creating dire situations that cause illegal immigration.

"The current policies are driving people further and further underground," Coleman said. "That's the reason she came in the first place. She's saying that you need to fix the system here."

Gail Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, declined to comment on Crisostomo's specific case.

"ICE officers are sworn to enforce the nation's immigration laws and will do so at appropriate times and places," she said.

Adalberto United Methodist Church, located in the heavily Latino Humboldt Park neighborhood, was home to immigration activist Elvira Arellano, and her U.S. citizen son, Saul, for one year. Arellano left the church last August and was arrested in Los Angeles after giving a speech and deported to Mexico shortly thereafter.

Arellano was initially arrested in 1997 after crossing the border into the United States. She was sent back to Mexico but soon returned. She was arrested again years later and convicted of working as a cleaning woman at O'Hare International Airport under a false Social Security number.

She took refuge at the church in 2006, claiming that if she was deported, her son would also be effectively deported and deprived of his rights as a U.S. citizen. She said her situation illustrated the plight of millions of illegal immigrants.

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01-27-2008, 05:17 PM

Immigrant-rights group reaches out to blacks

BY DAVE MARCUS | dave.marcus@newsday.com
7:09 PM EST, January 27, 2008

Long Island immigrant-rights groups are taking their cause to a place that has sometimes been unwelcome territory: African-American churches and neighborhoods.

The effort, called the "Truth About Immigration Campaign," will enlist African-American pastors and activists to argue that immigrants across the state are being scapegoated for problems such as crime, stagnant wages and a shortage of affordable housing.

Launching tomorrow, the campaign will target many others in addition to African-Americans. Priests, rabbis and other prominent community members also will use a PowerPoint presentation to urge New Yorkers to work together to solve problems. In turn, those leaders hope to train scores of other presenters -- from members of veterans' associations to bridge clubs.

Among other things, the campaign will connect two groups that are sometimes wary of each other, African-Americans and Hispanic immigrants.

"When we cast everybody into the same pot and call them names, often we are marginalizing immigrants who have been here for a long time, working and serving our communities," said one of the participants, the Rev. Marvin Dozier, pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Mattituck. "Immigrants who came in recently -- even illegally or without papers -- also are working hard taking care of their families."

Groups that feel besieged by newcomers often become resentful, said another participant, Grace Blake, president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. "The truth is that what whites did when blacks came in to neighborhoods years ago, blacks are now doing to Latinos."

Organizers say that a partnership between blacks and Hispanics can calm tensions that have increased between the two groups as the population of immigrants from Central and South America has surged in the past decade. Hispanics have become the area's largest minority group.

Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, said that immigrants and blacks sometimes vie for the same affordable housing.

"I think people have legitimate concerns," he said. "We all acknowledge there is a housing crisis here, and immigration serves as a distraction from looking at the real issues and practical solutions."

Worries about a tightening job market add to the unease, said Michael Zweig, director of Stony Brook University's Center for Study of Working Class Life, who is not involved in the campaign. "There is a tension between the newcomers and all native-born Americans, whether they're white or black," he said.

The campaign is being run by the New York Immigration Coalition, with the help of the American Jewish Committee, the Long Island Organizing Network and others. "We're forming a broad coalition because working together is the best defense against bigotry," said Caroline Levy, director of AJC's Long Island chapter.

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01-28-2008, 02:06 AM

Movie & Entertainment News provided by World Entertainment News Network (www.wenn.com)
2008-01-28 00:11:50 -

Controversial immigration movie FROZEN RIVER has won the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie, which was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Courtney Hunt and is about smuggling immigrants into the U.S., took home the Utah event's grand jury award for Best Dramatic Film on Saturday (26Jan08).

Jury member Quentin Tarantino described Frozen River as "one of the most exciting thrillers I am going to see this year".

Elsewhere, the Hurricane Katrina-themed Trouble The Water won the grand jury prize for Best U.S. Documentary, while the audience award for

Best Drama went to Jonathan Levine's The Wackness.

The audience prize for Best U.S. Documentary was awarded to environmental movie Fields Of Fuel, and Best Director was picked up by Lance Hammer for Ballast.

01-28-2008, 02:10 AM
Sundance Honors Immigration Drama

Published: January 28, 2008

"Frozen River," a first feature about a struggling single mother in upstate New York who joins a Mohawk widow in smuggling Chinese migrants from Canada into the United States, won the grand jury prize for best American drama on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, The Associated Press reported.

Quentin Tarantino, one of the jurors, described the film, starring Melissa Leo, above right, and Misty Upham, above left, as "a wonderful depiction of poverty in America." Trade papers reported that Sony Pictures Classics had bought the film, adapted by Courtney Hunt from her 2004 short of the same title, for under $1 million.

"Trouble in the Water," a film by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal about a New Orleans couple's survival through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, won the grand jury award in the American documentary category. The audience award for favorite American drama was won by "The Wackness," starring Ben Kingsley as a psychiatrist who trades therapy for marijuana.

01-28-2008, 02:20 AM
Sacramento landscape company owner Kimberly Rhodes, right, with workers Eugunio Mendoza, left, and Daryl Goddard at a project in the Pocket area on Thursday, disagrees with a plan that would force U.S. employers to fire suspected illegal immigrants based on Social Security data discrepancies.
Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

Odd allies oppose 'no-match' plan

Use of Social Security data to fire suspected illegal immigrants fought by business-labor group.

By Susan Ferriss - sferriss@sacbee.com
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A4

Kimberly Rhodes is a Sacramento landscaper who usually votes Republican, and Sharon Cornu is a Democrat and prominent Bay Area labor organizer.

They're partners in an unusual alliance, trying to kill a Bush administration plan that would use Social Security data to force U.S. employers to fire suspected illegal immigrants.

Federal judges in San Francisco sided last fall with the labor-business alliance, temporarily freezing the plan by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for immigration enforcement. By March, Homeland Security intends to unveil a second version of the plan that it hopes will pass legal muster. The idea is to pressure employers to fire any workers who can't explain discrepancies between their names and Social Security numbers.

Seventy percent of Social Security discrepancies involve U.S. citizens and stem from database errors one reason the plan should not be considered a solution to tracking down illegal immigrants, Rhodes, Cornu and the federal judges agreed.

"I've never been so disappointed in my government before in my life," said Rhodes, who runs Rhodes Landscape Design Inc. Because so many false documents look authentic, she feels that business people can't be sure they haven't hired an illegal immigrant. She disagrees with calls to resolve the problem now with "enforcement only" measures.

If Homeland Security's "no-match" plan goes forward and mass numbers of employees are fired, Rhodes predicts mass closures of small businesses in California.

"This isn't just me. It's the California economy," Rhodes said. "We already could be in a recession."

She's waiting anxiously to see what the government proposes next. Homeland Security isn't revealing what might be different about its second plan. The agency has filed an appeal with 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, hoping to convince that court its original plan was legally sound.

In the meantime, Rhodes said, she's searching for a presidential candidate she feels will tackle illegal immigration without pushing to eject all undocumented workers.

Cornu is the secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, which joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO and six other national and Bay Area unions to file the lawsuit last year against Homeland Security's plan.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce later joined the suit along with trade groups representing roofers, farmers, restaurateurs and landscapers, including the Sacramento-based California Landscape Contractors Association. Rhodes serves on that group's immigration task force.

In anticipation that Homeland Security's plan might eventually go through, Cornu said the Central Labor Council began training its leaders this month on workers' rights and immigration law.

"We didn't have to explain to our members much why we were taking on the Bush administration," Cornu said.

Like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cornu's federation favors offering an avenue to legal residency for undocumented workers who already are here.

Unions also oppose Homeland Security's plan because they believe employers may dismiss legal workers out of panic or fire immigrant workers who are not compliant, Cornu said.

Businesses, she said, have used immigration rules before to exploit immigrant workers. She said the owner of an Alameda hotel last year requested an audit of its own employee records during a drive to increase wages. Immigration officials detained some workers involved in the campaign.

Since 1994, the Social Security Administration, as a courtesy, has advised employers of discrepancies between employees' names and Social Security numbers by periodically mailing out so-called "no-match" letters.

Social Security tells employers they should not fire these workers.

Rhodes said she has filled out and returned the required paperwork when she has received the advisories.

"I never heard another word from them," she said. Business went on, employees kept working.

Homeland Security now wants to convert "no-match" letters into an indirect immigration enforcement tool by attaching its own instructions to employers, warning them that they could face prosecution if they don't dismiss workers who can't explain a discrepancy within 90 days. So far, Congress has refused to grant Homeland Security's request for access to lists of employers who receive confidential "no-match" letters. The prohibition would limit the agency's ability to follow through on threats to prosecute employers.

The Social Security Administration is waiting, meanwhile, to mail out an estimated 140,000 "no-match" letters affecting an estimated 8 million employees.

Last summer, when he announced the "no-match" plan, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the Bush administration was disappointed Congress failed to create a program to allow more legal guest workers to fill labor shortages. "But until the laws change," he said, "we are enforcing the laws as they are to the utmost of our ability, using every tool that we have in the toolbox."

In December, Chertoff issued a statement calling critics of the "no-match" plan "employers who would rather close their eyes to cheap and profitable labor than obey the laws of our country."

That makes business people like Rhodes angry. She's always asked to see workers' documents and recorded identification information on special forms she's required to keep.

If some of her workers are secretly undocumented, she said, she'd like a system that would give those she's trained and cares about a chance to stay. And she supports a more foolproof system to check documents in the future.

"Every time I hear this about how businesses want cheap labor, I think, 'That's not me. I don't pay minimum wage,' " she said.

Rhodes pays workers $10.50 an hour to start, with regular increases in pay, an option for Kaiser health insurance and a 401(k) plan. She said she's tried, with little success, to hire U.S.-born workers. Most have left after a short time on the job, one to study for a master's degree in landscape design.

"Business people like me are chicken about speaking out," she said. "But I'm ready to speak out. I feel like standing on a corner with a sign in my hand."

01-28-2008, 05:32 PM
State of the Union Excerpts

By The Associated Press 2 hours ago

Excerpts from the prepared text of President Bush's final State of the Union address Monday, as released by the White House.

On Congress:

"The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. And let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time."


On trusting and empowering the American people:

"From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we have made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done. In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. So in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free people to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives and their futures."


On the economy:

"To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future. In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth."


On earmarks:

"The people's trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks."


On housing:

"We must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market."


On No Child Left Behind:

"On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams " and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them. Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and provide extra help for struggling schools. Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents and their teachers to strengthen this good law."


On trade:

"On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas. Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods, crops and services all over the world. These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. And they will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say 'Made in the USA.'

"If we fail to pass this (Colombia free trade) agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere. So we must come together, pass this agreement and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life."


On energy security:

"To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil."


On climate change:

"Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride."


On entitlement reform:

"Every member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is growing faster than we can afford. Now I ask members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and grandchildren."


On immigration:

"Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals."


On the escalation of troop strength in Iraq:

"Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace. In the last seven years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty and these images of liberty have inspired us. In the past seven years, we have also seen images that have sobered us (and) serve as a grim reminder: The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists " evil men who despise freedom, despise America and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

"The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago.

"Some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al-Qaida is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated."


On 2008 objectives in Iraq:

"Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and we can still expect tough fighting ahead. Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations to partnering with Iraqi forces and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission."


On this generation's response to the war on terror:

"We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America."


On Iran:

"Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home and cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf."


On the American people:

"The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people."

01-28-2008, 07:25 PM
Immigrant-rights group reaches out to blacks

BY DAVE MARCUS | dave.marcus@newsday.com
7:09 PM EST, January 27, 2008

Long Island immigrant-rights groups are taking their cause to a place that has sometimes been unwelcome territory: African-American churches and neighborhoods.

The effort, called the "Truth About Immigration Campaign," will enlist African-American pastors and activists to argue that immigrants across the state are being scapegoated for problems such as crime, stagnant wages and a shortage of affordable housing.

Launching tomorrow, the campaign will target many others in addition to African-Americans. Priests, rabbis and other prominent community members also will use a PowerPoint presentation to urge New Yorkers to work together to solve problems. In turn, those leaders hope to train scores of other presenters -- from members of veterans' associations to bridge clubs.

Among other things, the campaign will connect two groups that are sometimes wary of each other, African-Americans and Hispanic immigrants.

It's no secret ILLEGAL ALIEN HISPANICS HATE AFRICAN AMERICANS . . . All they want is the convenience of using the causes BLACK AMERICANS HAVE FOUGHT AND DIED FOR: I.E.: 14th Amendment for their anchors; and USURPING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT when trying to play the race card in favor of illegal alien hispanics.

Racist Mexican Gangs "Ethnic Cleansing" Blacks In L.A.
Latino thugs indiscriminately murder blacks regardless of gang membership, genocidal purge aligns with radical Aztlan theology

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Monday, January 22, 2007

Racist Mexican gangs are indiscriminately targeting blacks who aren't even involved in gang culture, as part of an orchestrated ethnic cleansing program that is forcing black people to flee Los Angeles. The culprit of the carnage is the radical Neo-Nazi liberation theology known as La Raza, which calls for the extermination of all races in America besides Latinos, and is being bankrolled by some of the biggest Globalists in the U.S.

A story carried on the liberal website Alternet, charts an explosion in brutal murders of blacks by Hispanic street gangs in L.A. Far from being gang on gang violence, the Latinos are targeting innocent blacks in accordance with a concerted ethnic cleansing campaign that seeks to eradicate all blacks from Hispanic neighborhoods.

In one instance, 21-year-old Anthony Prudhomme was shot in the face with a .25-caliber semi-automatic while lying on a futon inside his apartment, slain by a Latino gang known as the Avenues as part of a racist terror campaign in which gang members earn "stripes" for each black person they kill..

In one typical case," writes journalist Brentin Mock, "Three members of the Pomona 12 attacked an African-American teenager, Kareem Williams, in his front yard in 2002. When his uncle, Roy Williams, ran to help his nephew, gang member Richard Diaz told him, "******s have no business living in Pomona because this is 12th Street territory." According to witnesses, Diaz then told the other gang members, "Pull out the gun! Shoot the ******s! Shoot the ******s!"

The fatwah against blacks began in the mid-nineties, with a 1995 LAPD report concluding that Latinos had vowed to "Eradicate black citizens from the gang neighborhood." In a follow up report on the situation in east Los Angeles, the LAPD warned that "Local gangs will attack any black person that comes into the city."

The author notes that since 1990 the African-American population of Los Angeles has halved, partly as a result of rampant illegal immigration and that there are noticeably fewer blacks walking the streets because many have been forced to relocate in fear of the racist gangs.

"The LAPD estimates there are now 22,000 Latino gang members in the city of Los Angeles alone. That's not only more than all the Crips and the Bloods; it's more than all black, Asian, and white gang members combined. Almost all of those Latino gang members in L.A. -- let alone those in other California cities -- are loyal to the Mexican Mafia. Most have been thoroughly indoctrinated with the Mexican Mafia's violent racism during stints in prison, where most gangs are racially based," writes Mock.

Mock blames the "Mexican Mafia" for ordering the campaign of ethnic cleansing from prison, as part of a turf war with the Black Guerilla family, another prison gang, but fails to pinpoint the racist creed from which the Mexican kingpins draw their inspiration - the long standing Aztlan invasion agenda.

Aztlan's goal, known as La reconquista, is to cede and take over the entirety of the southern and western states by any means necessary and impose a Communist militant dictatorship. President Bush's blanket amnesty program goes a long way to helping the extremists achieve their aim.

Despite the fact that the majority of documented hispanics oppose illegal immigration, as do the majority of Americans, Aztlan and La Raza race hate groups have become the self-appointed voice for a separatist movement that threatens a violent overthrow of the Constitutional system and a barbaric program of ethnic cleansing. This is held up by the media as 'diversity' and to vociferously oppose it is scorned as racism.

Aztlan and Mecha groups advocate killing all whites and blacks and driving them out of the southern states by means of brutal ethnic cleansing. Flags and placards carried at marches depict white people having their heads cut off, as seen in the picture below.

Those that protest such groups are then attacked by the establishment media and labeled as racists, despite the fact that the Plan of San Diego, a rallying cry for the hispanic Klan groups, advocates total eradication of any race but hispanics.

Mecha's own slogan reads, "For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing."

TV stations owned by rich white industrialists erect giant billboards in Los Angeles claiming the city belongs to Mexico, as seen below.

Mainstream hispanics who love America abhor the virulent racism that the Mexican klan groups embrace.

And who bankrolls these pocket radicals? Billionaire tax-exempt foundations and NGO's owned by white men. Organizations like the Ford Foundation, groups who are zealous in their quest to eliminate the middle class and destroy America, turning it into a cashless society, compact city, surveillance control grid where only two tiers of society exist - the elite and the poor slaves.

During the May immigration protests, The Aztlanwebsite carried the following statement.

"If the racist "Sensenbrenner Legislation" passes the US Senate, there is no doubt that a massive civil disobedience movement will emerge. Eventually labor union power can merge with the immigrant civil rights and "Immigrant Sanctuary" movements to enable us to either form a new political party or to do heavy duty reforming of the existing Democratic Party. The next and final steps would follow and that is to elect our own governors of all the states within Aztlan."

Here is the open call for violent separatism and the overthrow of existing state government structures.

During the immigration demonstrations, which were orchestrated by Rob Allyn of Rob Allyn & Co. who is closely tied with George W. Bush, alarming reports of illegals carrying out violent beatings began to surface. In Santa Ana California, illegal aliens swarmed around in mobs invading schools, carrying out violent beatings and in one incident a county worker had a Mexican flag plunged into his chest.

The violent protests that began on May 1 last year were characterized by throngs marching under Mexican flags, many of which were illegal aliens, as a "day without gringos."

Imagine what the reaction would be if white middle class Americans marched in their millions and called the event "a day without blacks."

The media continues to run defense for a violent militant movement that seeks nothing less than the eradication of blacks and whites through ethnic cleansing and the takeover of the southern and western states. This is a separatist junta that has over 30,000 ruthless gang members at its disposal once the call for mobilization is heard, along with millions of illegal aliens pouring across the border.

These thugs have the temerity to call Latinos, blacks and whites who are opposed to uncontrolled illegal immigration racists when it is their own La reconquista philosophy that has spawned target hits in Los Angeles as part of a virulently racist ethnic cleansing rampage. It's a bloodlust that can only spread to other cities as the realization of Aztlan is generously aided by billionaire Globalists who wish to see America balkanized, plundered and destroyed.

01-29-2008, 02:14 AM
Law school, newspaper seek documents on immigration raids

By JEFFREY GOLD | Associated Press Writer
9:08 PM EST, January 28, 2008

NEWARK, N.J. - A law school and a newspaper on Monday sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain documents regarding what they said were warrantless raids on the homes of immigrants.

Seton Hall Law School and the Brazilian Voice, both based in Newark, said they sued because the department rejected expedited processing of their request for the records, which was filed Dec. 14 with the department under the Freedom of Information Act.

Seton Hall and the newspaper said the department rejected expedited processing by asserting the raids were not of particular public interest because "a preliminary search of the Internet does not indicate that there is substantial current news interest concerning this topic."

The raids are done by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within Homeland Security.

ICE spokesman Mike Gilhooly said he couldn't directly comment on the lawsuit. But he said the agency has a unit processing FOIA requests daily. Immigrants whose homes are raided, he said, have been ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

The school and the Brazilian Voice, a Portuguese-language paper, said they believe there have been more than 40 immigration raids in New Jersey since January 2006 under "Operation Return to Sender." They seek records about them and the policies and procedures for the raids.

"Many victims of the raids believe they were duped or coerced into opening their door to ICE agents, and still have no idea why their family was targeted. Often the individuals arrested in a raid have lived in the U.S. for years, raised U.S.-citizen children, worked hard, paid taxes and established community ties," said Bassina Farbenblum, a lawyer with the school's Center for Social Justice.

ICE arrested 2,079 people in the raids last year, of which 87 percent had no criminal record, according to agency statistics cited by the school and newspaper.


On the Net:

Seton Hall Law School: http://law.shu.edu/.

Help a family on Long Island. Donate to Newsday Charities

01-29-2008, 02:20 AM
Utah faiths serve immigrants

Samantha Arnold
Issue date: 1/28/08 Section: News

This is the first in a series of articles exploring different perspectives of illegal immigration.

Every day, illegal immigrants cross the borders to work, go to school and attend churches throughout the United States.

According to the 2000 Census, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has grown to 8 million, a number that continues to increase by a half million people each year.

In regard to religion, the increasing number of illegal immigrants adds to church memberships throughout the nation.

Each church or religion has its own policies for handling church members that may be in the states illegally.

Robert Howell, public relations officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the church's policy in baptizing illegal immigrants is nondiscriminatory.

"The blessings of the gospel through baptism are available to all of God's children regardless of their immigration status," he said.

However, the problem arises when the church member wants to get married in an LDS temple, Howell said.

Each marriage must follow the laws of the state it is in, and since the members are in the country illegally, they would be unable to have a temple marriage, Howell said.

"No marriages are performed in LDS temples located in the United States without a government-issued marriage license," he said.

Although it is illegal for a person to stay and live in the United States without being an official citizen, the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church has no obligation to turn in members it discovers are living illegally in the states, Howell said.

The Catholic church takes a similar viewpoint, said Father Mike Winterer of the Christ the King Catholic Church in Cedar City.

Illegal immigration is one of the most complex issues in the country, Winterer said.

"There is no black and white answer to this issue," he said.

However, just because there is no solution that has been discovered, the Catholic Church continues to focus on its primary goal of helping the poor, Winterer said.

Just because a member of the church may be in the states illegally, that does not mean they should be discriminated against in their area of worship, he said.

"Why are they coming into this country?" he said. "It is probably because of their poor situation and they are coming here to support their families."

Instead of turning them away from an opportunity to practice religion, the Catholic Church aids them in becoming a legal citizen, Winterer said.

"We are here to help," he said. "We try to help them become legal by bringing in lawyers."

Pastor Kirk Dunham, of the Bible Church in Green River, said he has a slightly different perspective on how illegal immigration should be handled, but agrees that he would never turn anyone away from his church regardless if they are a citizen or not.

"I don't see illegal immigrants becoming church members as the problem," he said. "The problem is that our country is closing its eyes to the situation."

http://media.www.suujournal.com/media/storage/paper951/...grants-3172025.shtml (http://media.www.suujournal.com/media/storage/paper951/news/2008/01/28/News/Utah-Faiths.Serve.Immigrants-3172025.shtml)

01-29-2008, 02:27 AM

Visa bulletin has vital info

Tuesday, January 29th 2008, 4:00 AM


Q My son qualifies for permanent residence under the "other workers" category. His priority date is in December 2003. When will he qualify for permanent residence? My son's employer filed an application for him with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in December 2003. The DOL certified the case, and then the U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved the employer's petition. My son is just waiting for his priority date to become current so he can apply for permanent residence. He qualifies to interview here based on a case filed earlier.

Y., Forest Hills

A Your son will qualify for permanent residence in about two years. That guess is based on the fact that, in February, applicants in your son's category will qualify for permanent residence if their employer filed for them before October 2001. I got that information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS) visa bulletin. You can check the bulletin yourself on the Internet at travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html. You can also get the information by calling the DOS Visa Bulletin line at (202) 663-1541, or by having the Visa Bulletin e-mailed to you by writing listserv@calist.state.gov. In the message part of the e-mail, write "Subscribe Visa-Bulletin [first name/last name]". (Example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe.) The DOS issues the bulletin each month around the 12th to provide notice as to which applicants qualify for visas in the following month.

The bulletin guides DOS and the USCIS in issuing visas. The agencies need the bulletin because the law limits the number of immigrant visas available each year in the "family-based" and "employment-based" preference categories. The law also limits how many preference visas the government can issue to nationals of each country each year.

When more applicants qualify for a visa in a particular category from a particular country than the number of visas available, a backlog develops. When that happens we say the category is "oversubscribed" and the DOS announces a cutoff date.

To get permanent residence in an oversubscribed category, an immigrant must have a "priority date" that is prior to the listed cutoff date in the bulletin. In a family-based immigration case, an applicant's priority date is the date the USCIS receives a petition filed for that applicant. In an employment-based case, the priority date is the date the DOL receives an application to certify a worker as eligible for permanent residence, or, where the law doesn't require a labor certification, the day the USCIS receives an employment-based petition.

Usually the cutoff dates move forward. However, when the DOS determines that the visas available for a certain category and/or country are being used faster than previously estimated, the cutoff date moves backward or "retrogresses." Sometimes all the visas allocated in a category for nationals of a particular country are used up for a given year. When that happens, visas for nationals of that country become "unavailable." Often that happens in the summer before the end of the federal government's fiscal (record-keeping) year on Sept. 30. When that happens, no more visas will be issued in that category until the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

Readers should note that some family-based immigrants get immigrant visas outside the quota system in the "immediate relative of a U.S. citizen" category. For immediate relatives, the law provides an unlimited number of visas. The immediate relative category includes the spouse, unmarried child under age 21, parent (where the petitioning U.S. citizen child is 21 or older), and, in some cases, the widow/widower of a U.S. citizen.

01-29-2008, 03:14 AM
Minutemen get new adopted highway stretch, f.u.r.ther from border

January 29, 2008

SAN DIEGO - Getting moved ****her away from the border might the beginning of the end of anti-illegal immigration group San Diego Minutemen's participation in an Adopt-A-Highway program.

The California Department of Transportation said Monday that the group can't sponsor a two-mile stretch of Interstate 5 near a Border Patrol checkpoint, saying it poses "a significant safety risk."

"The risk is in the potential for disruption to the operation of the state highway as well as public safety concerns for the traveling public and volunteers in the program," Caltrans district director Pedro Orso-Delgado said but did not elaborate.

Although the Minutemen will get another stretch on State Route 52 in San Diego _ far from the Border Patrol checkpoint _ even that might prove temporary. Caltrans said it was reconsidering whether the group was eligible for any piece of highway.

"We have received information during the past couple weeks that warrants a closer look at the San Diego Minutemen relative to the eligibility criteria for this program," Orso-Delgado said. "The department will pursue this review in an expeditious fashion."

Caltrans did not elaborate on the review and a spokesman did not respond to a phone call Monday night, but its statement said groups that advocate violence, discrimination or illegal activities cannot participate in the program.

San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk did not immediately respond to a phone message Monday night.

In November, Caltrans granted a permit for the Minutemen to tend to trash on a two-mile northbound stretch, north of San Diego, near where Border Patrol agents stop motorists and search for illegal immigrants hiding in cars. Adopt-A-Highway signs were emblazoned with the group's name.

Immigration advocates welcomed Caltrans' decision.

"We said from the get-go that those signs were going down," said Enrique Morones, who heads Border Angels, a group that provides water for people who cross the border illegally in remote areas. "Civility prevails."

The Minutemen boasted on its Web site that it removed 15 bags of trash from the roadside on 17.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)

01-29-2008, 10:22 AM
Illegal immigrant vows to stand ground
HUMBOLDT PARK | Holed up in same church where Arellano held out http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_bs.gif

KARA SPAK Staff Reporter

Saying she hoped the fear of God would keep federal agents away, undocumented immigrant Flor Crisostomo on Monday vowed to stay in a Humboldt Park church indefinitely to keep Congress focused on immigration reform.

Tears streaming down her cheeks, a defiant Crisostomo said she did not believe she was breaking U.S. law, nor did she see herself as hiding.

Arrested in an immigration raid in April 2006, she was ordered to leave the country voluntarily by Jan. 28. Crisostomo sought "sanctuary" in the Adalberto United Methodist Church, the same church that housed undocumented immigrant Elvira Arellano and Arellano's U.S.-born son Saul, for more than a year.

"I am taking a stand of civil disobedience to make America see what they are doing," Crisostomo said in a statement that was translated into English. Speaking in broken English, she said immigrants are not terrorists but hard-working people contributing to the economy.

"The real problem is the color and the language," she said.

U.S. immigration officials saw the issue differently, releasing a statement that said Crisostomo was given a voluntary departure order Oct. 12, 2006. After an appeal failed in December 2007, she was given 60 more days to leave the country on her own.

"Ms. Crisostomo will be taken into custody at an appropriate time and place with consideration given to the safety of all involved," read the statement released by Gail Montenegro, spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Children back in Mexico

Montenegro said that it is also illegal to "knowingly harbor an illegal alien," and those who do so can be subject to criminal prosecution.

Unlike Arellano, who was living with her son, Saul, at the church, Crisostomo's three children, ages 14, 11 and 9, live with their grandmother in Mexico.

Crisostomo, 28, left her children in Guerrero, Mexico, seven years ago to work illegally in the United States. She was arrested April 19, 2006, during an immigration raid at a pallet factory where she earned $300 a week.

Arellano lived in the church for more than a year. She left in August 2007 to attend an immigration rally in California, where federal authorities arrested and deported her.

Numerous portraits of Arellano hang inside the church, and she called the press conference from her Mexican home to wish Crisostomo luck.

Next she'll claim its our fault she had unprotected s-e-x at the ages of 13, 16 and 18, has 3 children (probably by 3 different sperm donors and she has no clue who or where they are) that she knew she couldn't feed and obviously had no business having. Oh and of course it's Our fault SHE ABANDONED HER CHILDREN AND SPLIT UP HER FAMILY . . . BUT SHE'S HIDING IN A CHURCH AND WANTS GOD TO PUNISH US? GOTTA LOVE HER CHRISTIAN FAMILY VALUES [/END SARCASM] http://www.ilw.com/corporate/beatdeadhorse5.gif

01-29-2008, 05:55 PM
Daniel Day-Lewis accepts the award for outstanding... ((AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file))

From green card to SAG card

By JOHN ROGERS Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 01/29/2008 01:47:31 PM PST

Daniel Day-Lewis accepts the award for outstanding... ((AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file))1LOS ANGELES"He died thousands of miles from home, but like hundreds of other entertainers who came before him, Heath Ledger had left his native land to carve out a career in Hollywood.
In doing so, the Australian-born actor, who died last week in New York City of still-undetermined causes, joined a long list of expatriate entertainers that includes Spain's Antonio Banderas, Canada's Mike Myers and even the man who paid tribute to Ledger at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Englishman Daniel Day-Lewis.

With immigration as a hot-button issue in an election year, the internationalization of Hollywood"nine of the 20 acting or supporting Oscar nominations this year went to foreign-born movie stars"begs the question: Is it easier for an actor to get a U.S. work visa than, say, a dishwasher?

"It is and it isn't," said immigration lawyer Mark Ivener, who has handled work permit and residency applications for numerous entertainers, including Ledger.

While English skills and hailing from a favored nation can certainly help, it turns out that star power helps grease the skids with government officials, too.

"It is easier if you are well-known," said Ivener. "Then you don't have to go through the labor certification process where you have to demonstrate to the Department of Labor that you won't be taking away a job from an American."

But for a struggling actor who's been waiting tables in London or Mexico City and would rather sling hash in Hollywood, the process is just as hard as it is for anyone else, say Ivener and others.
There are other criteria: Immigration lawyers say whether you're a scientist or a wannabe entertainer, it's definitely a drawback to be from a country on a terrorist watch list, or one that's predominantly Muslim, for that matter.

"That's still considered"unfortunately," said Kathleen Walker, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Just being born in a country like Iran, Sudan, Cuba or North Korea, she said, leaves any person open to extra scrutiny.

"Which I don't believe in," she added. "If I were born in Iran but have never been in Iran since my birth, I'm still subject to additional screening."

And it can't hurt to be from an English-speaking country like Australia, England or Canada"most roles still go to fluent English speakers, after all, the immigration lawyers say.

All the same, Hollywood seems to be making way for an ever widening variety of foreign-born entertainers, from Jackie Chan of Hong Kong and Salma Hayek of Mexico to relative newcomers (and current Oscar nominees) Marion Cotillard of France and Saoirse Ronan of Ireland.

And it's one thing to come to America to shoot and promote a movie. Turning that success into a full-time residence in Beverly Hills? That's a little more complicated.

"There are really only two major ways people can come here permanently. They have to be sponsored by family or by a job," said Marie Sebrechts, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In the case of actors, musicians or athletes, they are usually sponsored by the studio, record label or sports team that employs them.

"I got my green card through Motown," said Canadian-born comedian Tommy Chong, adding that the record label sponsored him after signing his band the Vancouvers to its label in the 1960s and producing its hit record, "Does Your Mama Know About Me." After the label dropped the group, Chong went on to fame as part of Cheech and Chong and eventually became a U.S. citizen.

Ledger became a star in Australian TV and films before he came to the United States. When a studio wanted him for a U.S. film it enlisted Ivener's help in getting him a nonresident work visa.

Ivener also helped British actor Anthony Hopkins obtain a visa and eventually U.S. citizenship after the actor came to the United States following stardom in Great Britain.

The key to success in these and other cases, say immigration lawyers, is in gaining enough attention somewhere else to attract a major studio or record label in the U.S. as a sponsor.

"It's kind of a corny analogy. But you know how banks only lend money to rich people?" said immigration lawyer Bernie Wolfsdorf. "It's the same framework with immigration. The top people can get the visas, and the wannabes and the up-and-comings not so much."

Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sets aside separate categories for actors, athletes and other entertainers who want to work in the United States, to have the best chance of receiving a visa one must also demonstrate "extraordinary ability."

"I had to amass all my gold al***s and have photographs taken of them and get records of all the recorded events I'd played at and the amount of tours I'd done and the amount of money I'd made," said Keith Emerson of the British rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Soon after arriving in the United States nearly 13 years ago, Emerson said, he began to ***p into other British musicians around Los Angeles who had gone through the same experience.

"We've formed a band called the Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, just to get together and jam," he said.

Meanwhile, the pull of the United States on foreign entertainers is simple, says Chong: It's the big time.

"That's the dream, if you're from another country, to come to the States," he said. "It was my dream since childhood."

01-29-2008, 06:12 PM

Hard-nosed: Michelle Ortiz is one of four Latina artists honoring Frida Kahlo at Projects Gallery

Projects Gallery
5-8pm. Various artists: "Frida and Me: Common Threads." Thru Feb. 23. 629 N. Second St.

www.projectsgallery.com (http://www.projectsgallery.com)

01-29-2008, 06:22 PM
Caltrans set to relocate Minutemen's highway area

By Leslie Berestein
January 29, 2008

Caltrans has decided to reassign the San Diego Minutemen to a different location in its Adopt-A-Highway road cleanup program, away from the Border Patrol's San Clemente checkpoint.

In November, the state transportation department granted a stretch of northbound Interstate 5 near the checkpoint to the anti-illegal immigration group. Late yesterday, Caltrans announced that it would relocate the Minutemen to a location along state Route 52.
Caltrans district director Pedro Orso-Delgado said that while his agency had received numerous comments from the public about the group's highway adoption, the agency's decision was based chiefly on public safety concerns.

"I won't deny that we've had a whole bunch of calls and e-mails, on both sides," said Orso-Delgado, who directs Caltrans operations in San Diego and Imperial counties. "It basically creates a lightning rod. ... Really, we don't need that kind of issue on a freeway where we have so many cars traveling and there's potential for having an accident or getting into a safety issue."

Caltrans officials said they notified San Diego Minutemen leader Jeff Schwilk late yesterday with an offer to move the group to a two-mile stretch of Route 52 east of Interstate 15; Schwilk did not respond to requests for an interview.

Schwilk had said earlier yesterday that the group was preparing for a cleanup on a shoulder of I-5 this weekend, and that the group's first cleanup this month had occurred without incident.

"We are there to pick up trash, not to get any kind of attention," Schwilk said.

That Caltrans had granted permission for the San Diego Minutemen to join its Adopt-A-Highway program prompted an outcry this month from local Latino groups, as well as national anti-bigotry organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League, which considers the group extremist.

While some complained the group should not participate at all based on interpretations of Caltrans' guidelines, others were offended mostly by the group's being assigned a location next to the checkpoint. Caltrans officials have said this was the only stretch of highway available when the group applied last fall.

"It's good news for us," said Bill Flores, a spokesman for a North County coalition known as El Grupo, upon learning of Caltrans' decision. El Grupo comprises local chapters of organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union.

While he said the coalition supports freedom of speech, "we are happy that Caltrans is moving the Minuteman cleanup spot to an area that is a little less offensive," Flores said.

Orso-Delgado said that if the Minutemen accept the relocation, its Adopt-A-Highway sign, now a short distance south of the Border Patrol checkpoint, will be moved to the new location and the group can resume cleanup there.

A group called the Campo Minutemen is planning a cleanup along a stretch of adopted county road in Campo in mid-February.

Leslie Berestein: (619) 542-4579; leslie.berestein@uniontrib.com


Minutemen group threatens lawsuit over freeway signs

By Leslie Berestein
5:29 p.m. January 29, 2008

SAN DIEGO The leader of the San Diego Minutemen says the group is seeking legal advice a day after the state transportation department, citing safety concerns, decided to relocate the group's Adopt-A-Highway site near the Border Patrol's San Clemente checkpoint to a less-traveled stretch along state Route 52.

In a news release Tuesday, San Diego Minutemen leader Jeff Schwilk said the anti-illegal immigration group was "dumbfounded" by the decision.

"There is absolutely no reason to fear that our occasional litter removal details would be anything other than orderly, law-abiding and completely safe," Schwilk wrote.

Schwilk said Tuesday via e-mail that the group was working with an attorney.

"We fully expect to get our freeway back from Caltrans," he said. "SDMM plans to sue in federal court if necessary to protect the civil rights of our large volunteer organization."

On Monday, Caltrans announced it would offer the group a stretch of Route 52 east of Interstate 15 in place of the spot the agency had granted the Minutemen in November, a stretch of northbound Interstate 5 just before and after the checkpoint. The group's Adopt-A-Highway sign, which stood on the shoulder a short distance from the checkpoint, has been removed.

Caltrans District 11 Director Pedro Orso-Delgado said the chief concern was public safety along a busy stretch of highway that on average sees 160,000 vehicles in one direction each day.

"The fear is that you throw a litter group into the fold that is openly passionate about a social issue, and it raises the risk of cars slowing down or stopping to yell encouragement or opposition, additional people near the roadway possibly protesting," Caltrans spokesman Steve Saville said in an e-mail Tuesday.

However, the assignment of a stretch of highway to the group particularly the stretch at the checkpoint had become a political flash point, with local Latino groups, national anti-bigotry organizations and even state legislators getting involved.

Tuesday, a Caltrans spokesman said the agency was in the process of revising the permit for the new location, but that it had not received final word from the Minutemen as to whether the group would adopt the new spot.

Schwilk said via e-mail that the group had no plans to accept the new site.

Road adoptions in other states have led to legal challenges. In Missouri, the Ku Klux Klan filed suit on First Amendment grounds after the state denied its 1994 application to sponsor a stretch of highway near St. Louis. After a protracted court battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Klan, but not before the state of Missouri had renamed the section of road in question the Rosa Parks Highway, after the civil rights pioneer.

Leslie Berestein: (619) 542-4579; leslie.berestein@uniontrib.com

01-29-2008, 06:40 PM
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/images/080121shootingrange.jpg http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/images/080122range.jpg

GREG GROSS / Union-Tribune
A federal officer stands guard in the cartel's underground, soundproofed shooting range.

Hidden cartel target range is reportedly found in raid

By Greg Gross
January 22, 2008

TIJUANA Days after a wild, deadly shootout between drug cartel gunmen and Mexican police and soldiers, authorities have uncovered what they say is a clandestine training ground for cartel assassins, complete with an underground target range that investigators believe went undetected for months.
Heavily armed federal police raided the house Saturday night. They found two armored pickups at the home, along with two other vehicles that had hidden compartments, authorities said.

At ground level, the two-story green-and-white hillside house in the Independencia section of Tijuana included a machine shop for assembling and repairing weapons. Parts of disassembled pistols and rifles lay on the floors.

Below ground was a target range measuring about 50 feet long by 21 feet wide and 8 feet high, its walls and ceiling lined with gray soundproofing material and equipped with a fan to ventilate the gun smoke. Thousands of spent cartridges perhaps as many as 30,000, authorities said were collected in bins along one wall.

Bullet-riddled targets lay on the floor.

The discovery came two days after Thursday's firefight between gunmen and police at a house in the La Mesa district of Tijuana where six slain kidnap victims were eventually found.

Mexican authorities uncover what they say is a clandestine training ground located beneath a house believed to belong to the Arellano Felix drug cartel.

The gunbattle came during a particularly bloody period in Tijuana. Earlier last week, three police officers, including two high-ranking commanders, were shot to death. One was attacked in his home, where gunmen also fatally shot his wife and their young daughter.

Some analysts say the federal government's crackdown on organized crime has prompted the gangs to respond violently.

Both the La Mesa house and the training center in Independencia are believed by investigators to have belonged to the Tijuana-based Arellano Félix drug cartel.

Independencia is one of the city's older neighborhoods, sprawling across steep hills and canyons, a working-class place where homeowners build their own add-ons.

A false bathroom hid the entrance to the underground target range, said Agust*n Pérez Aguilar, security spokesman for the state of Baja California.

"The shower, the toilet, the sink where you wash your hands, none of it actually worked," he said.

Although gunmen had been using the place for months, neighbors apparently were none the wiser, Pérez said.

The house, on Avenida Reforma, is across the street from an elementary school.

"Nobody heard anything, never," Pérez said.

Similar training centers for drug cartel gunmen have been found elsewhere in Mexico, Pérez said, usually in homes rented from legitimate owners.

"They're usually very good tenants," he said. "They're very quiet and they usually pay very well, never a problem."

Yesterday, authorities allowed journalists to tour the house. Squads of masked federal police officers in combat boots, bullet-resistant vests and armed with automatic weapons guarded the inside of the house, the outside and both ends of the street as reporters climbed down through a hole in a bathroom floor near the garage into the underground shooting gallery.

Authorities urged residents who suspect similar cartel safe houses in their neighborhoods to call police anonymously.

"We are asking people to denounce suspicious places, suspicious cars," Pérez said. "If citizens will call us, we can find these places and stop these people."

Greg Gross: (619) 293-1889; greg.gross@uniontrib.com

01-29-2008, 06:49 PM
January 29th, 2008 @ 12:49pm
by Jayme West/KTAR

A mini-van full of illegals rear-ended a Homeland Security SUV this morning on I-10.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the overloaded van was heading west when it was involved in a 3-vehicle chain-reaction crash near the Elliot Road off ramp.

No one was hurt.

The 11 illegal immigrants inside the van were taken into custody by ICE

01-29-2008, 07:12 PM
<span class="ev_code_RED">Illegal Aliens Rear End Homeland Security Vehicle</span>


01-29-2008, 07:17 PM
Murdered Mexican singer's group to tour

January 29, 2008
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Members of the K-Paz de la Sierra band vowed to go ahead with a planned tour despite the murder of their lead singer, Sergio Gomez, who was killed Dec. 2 in the latest in a string of slayings of Mexican musicians.

"Obviously, it is a big loss. Nobody is prepared for something like this, but it is a big motivation to carry on," vocalist Humberto Duran told reporters Monday. "We are not going to stand around with our arms crossed."

With Gomez's brother Juan taking over as the new lead singer, the group expects to go ahead with a planned tour of North and South America and possibly release a new al*** later this year.

His band mates also said they could hold a mass memorial concert for Gomez, who was famous for his up-tempo "Pasito Duranguense" rhythm.

Gomez had reportedly received death threats urging him not to appear in the capital of the western state of Michoacan, a hotbed of the drug trade, where he was tortured and strangled. Police have made no arrests in his killing.

K-Paz de la Sierra's al*** "Conquistando Corazones" ("Conquering Hearts") has been nominated for a Grammy in the best banda al*** category, and the musicians said Gomez's parents should attend the ceremony to accept any award his behalf.

A number of musicians' killings in recent years have been linked to a wave of organized crime violence terrorizing many parts of Mexico, including singers of so-called "narcocorridos," or drug ballads. Valentin Elizalde was murdered in November 2006 after his song "To My Enemies" became a drug lord's anthem.

But neither Gomez nor other more recent victims were known for narcocorridos; also killed in December was female singer Zayda Pena - who crooned about love and loss, not drugs and guns.

01-29-2008, 07:23 PM
Women lose in Mexico Indian rights gain

January 27, 2008
Associated Press Writer

SANTA MARIA QUIEGOLANI, Mexico (AP) -- Women in this Indian village high in the pine-clad mountains of Oaxaca rise each morning at 4 a.m. to gather firewood, grind corn, prepare the day's food, care for the children and clean the house.

But they aren't allowed to vote in local elections, because - the men say - they don't do enough work.

It was here, in a village that has struggled for centuries to preserve its Zapotec traditions, that Eufrosina Cruz, 27, decided to become the first woman to run for mayor - despite the fact that women aren't allowed to attend town assemblies, much less run for office.

The all-male town board tore up ballots cast in her favor in the Nov. 4 election, arguing that as a woman, she wasn't a "citizen" of the town. "That is the custom here, that only the citizens vote, not the women," said Valeriano Lopez, the town's deputy mayor.

Rather than give up, Cruz has launched the first serious, national-level challenge to traditional Indian forms of government, known as "use and customs," which were given full legal status in Mexico six years ago in response to Indian rights movements sweeping across Latin America.

"For me, it's more like 'abuse and customs,'" Cruz said as she submitted her complaint in December to the National Human Rights Commission. "I am demanding that we, the women of the mountains, have the right to decide our lives, to vote and run for office, because the constitution says we have these rights."

Lopez acknowledged that votes for Cruz were nullified, but claims they added up to only 8 ballots of about 100 cast in this largely unpaved village of about 1,500 people.

Cruz says she was winning - and wants the election to be annulled and held again, this time with women voting.

But the male leaders are refusing to budge. "We live differently here, senor, than people in the city. Here, women are dedicated to their homes, and men work the fields," Apolonio Mendoza, the secretary of the all-male town council, told a visiting reporter.

Cruz has received some support from older men, who by village law lose their political rights when they turn 60. Some younger men also say the system must change and give women more rights.

At a recent meeting of several dozen Cruz supporters, most of them voteless, women in traditional gray shawls recalled being turned down for government aid programs because they weren't accompanied by a man.

Martina Cruz Moreno, 19, said that when her widowed mother sought government-provided building materials to improve her dirt-floor, tin-roofed wooden home, village authorities told her, "Go get yourself a husband."

As a woman, Eufrosina Cruz is not only barred from being mayor, but from participating in the "community labor" that qualifies male villagers as "citizens." Those tasks include repairing roads, herding cattle, cleaning streets and raising crops.

"I'd like to see the men here make tortillas, just for one day, and then tell me that's not work," said Cruz, describing the hours-long process of cleaning, soaking, cooking and milling the corn, shaping the flour into flat disks, and collecting the firewood to heat the clay and brick hearths on which most women cook.

During all-important village festivals, women are expected to cook for all the male guests. But instead of joining them at the table, Cruz says, they are relegated to straw mats on the floor. Clothes are washed by hand, and while most homes have some form of running water, it's often only a single spigot.

Cruz decided to escape that life after she saw her 12-year-old sister given to an older man in a marriage arranged by her father. The sister had her first child at 13, and has since borne seven more.

Cruz was 11 and "I didn't even know what a bus was then."

She traveled to the nearest city to enroll in school, live with relatives and support herself through odd jobs, eventually graduating from college with a degree in accounting.

She is single, and in a village culture where most women wear skirts, she wears pants. Because her village has no formal jobs for women, she works as a school director in a nearby town, and returns to Quiegolani most weekends. That, authorities say, disqualified her from running for mayor because she wasn't a full-time resident. But the man who won the race also works outside the town, and there are questions about how much time he actually spends here.

Cruz views the residency issue as a pretext, noting that authorities have also banned female candidates and anybody with a college degree from running. She said she has followed the use and custom rules as much as she was allowed to, carefully fulfilling lower-level duties that function as a means of testing people's devotion to their village. For four years, she "carried the Virgin" in a religious procession through the town, and has helped fund or organize other festivities.

Cruz figured her case for annulling the elections was solid - after all, Mexico's constitution guarantees both men and women the right to vote. She went first to the Oaxaca state electoral council, then to the state congress. After both upheld the election, she took her fight to the commission in Mexico City.

"I am not asking anything for myself. I am asking on behalf of Indian women, so that never again will the laws allow political segregation," Cruz wrote to the commissioners, who may take months to investigate the case, and who could recommend that state authorities protect women's rights to vote or hold office. She says she'll go higher, to federal electoral authorities, if necessary.

In Mexico, many local governance rules date to before the Spanish conquest and weren't given national legal recognition until a 2001 Indian rights reform was enacted in the wake of the Zapatista rebel uprising in Chiapas.

The law states that Indian townships may "apply their own normative systems ... as long as they obey the general principles of the Constitution and respect the rights of individuals, human rights, and particularly the dignity and well-being of women."

Despite this specific protection, about a fourth of the Indian villages operating under the law don't let women vote, putting human rights groups in a dilemma: Most actively supported recognition for Indian governance systems, and few have therefore taken up the women's cause.

Cruz now travels alone from one government office to another, always carrying an armful of calla lilies. "This flower grows a lot in the village. Even though we don't water or care for it much, it flowers," she explained. "It is a symbol for us Indian women."

"The congress upheld the vote out of sheer laziness, to avoid stirring up the village or causing a conflict there," said Rep. Perla Woolrich, a Oaxaca state legislator who supported Cruz's cause. "In the past, use and customs represented something positive, but by now it violates people's constitutional rights. Use and customs have to reviewed, and those practices that violate rights have to be thrown out."

Cruz says she isn't against all customs in her village. She prefers its bipartisanship to political party rivalry because it encourages close-knit Indian communities to stick together and underpins their survival.

"There are really beautiful things in use and customs, if they are applied as they should be," she said.

"Up there in the mountains, unfortunately, nobody listens to us," she says. "If nothing is done, we'll go on the same way for another century in Quiegolani."

01-29-2008, 07:30 PM
Embassy official says Mexico issues arrest warrant for missing Marine

By John Rice
January 29, 2008

MEXICO CITY Mexican officials have issued an arrest warrant for a U.S. Marine suspected of killing a pregnant colleague who had accused him of rape, a U.S. Embassy official said Tuesday.
A cousin told reporters last week that Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean visited family in the area of Guadalajara, Mexico, this month, but left without saying where he was headed.

The burned remains of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach were found with those of her fetus earlier this month in a fire pit in the back yard of Laurean's house in Jacksonville, N.C., and Laurean, is being sought on an indictment charging first-degree murder. Both were stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Laurean was born in Mexico and fled after leaving a note for his wife in North Carolina saying that Lauterbach cut her own throat and that he had buried her body.

Authorites say she did not commit suicide, and an autopsy found that she died of blunt force trauma to the head. Prosecutors have pledged not to pursue the death penalty if Laurean is found in Mexico, which refuses to send anyone back to the U.S. unless provided assurances they will not face execution.

A U.S. Embassy official, who was not authorized to give a name, said Mexican officials had issued a warrant for Laurean's arrest on a U.S. extradition request. The official did not say when the warrant was issued.

Mary Lauterbach, the mother of the dead Marine, told NBC's "Today" show that the Marine Corps should consider basic procedural changes, "such as a mandatory base move if a person requests it after a rape accusation."

"We want to change the climate so that any time a woman is attacked and, you know, wants to report it, that she can do so without the fear that the repercussions from reporting it will be far worse than the rape itself," Lauterbach said.

CNN first reported that Mexico was seeking his arrest.

Juan Antonio Ramos Ramirez told The Associated Press that Laurean, his cousin, walked into his liquor store in a Guadalajara suburb on Jan. 14 or Jan. 15, and chatted for a few minutes. Ramos Ramirez said his cousin never came back.

Lauterbach failed to show up for work in mid-December and her body was found three weeks later.

Lauterbach's family has said she was harrassed at Camp Lejeune, the massive base on the Atlantic coast where she and Laurean served in the same logistics unit as personel clerks. The Marines have said her car was keyed once and that she reported that she had been punched in the face.

The Marines ordered Laurean to stay away from Lauterbach one day after she reported the rape in May, and later issued a protective order to keep them apart. Their regimental commander also assigned Lauterbach to work in a separate building across the base from Laurean, although the Marines said earlier this month that Lauterbach reported that she did not feel threatened by him.

Laurean denied the rape accusation. Naval investigators have said they have no phyiscal evidence or witness accounts to corroborate Lauterbach's claims, but Lauterbach's and Laurean's regimental commander was intent on taking the case to a hearing that could have led to a trial.

Lauterbach's family has complained that the Marines and local officials didn't respond with enough urgency to her disappearance in mid-December. At that time, Mary Lauterbach told sheriff's officials in North Carolina her daughter was a "complusive liar," a comment she has repeatedly said was a mistake.

"I said, you know, she had problems, you know, with occasional lying," Lauterbach said on NBC. "And that got just a piece of that was pulled out. So it was really misstated."

Prosecutors believe Lauterbach was killed Dec. 14. Marine officials have said they attempted to find her after she failed to report to work on Dec. 17, but had evidence including a note left for her roommate in which she said she was tired of the Marine Corps lifestyle that led them to believe she left on her own.

01-29-2008, 07:55 PM
Photo expired

Emma Lozano (right)addresses the problems she sees in immigration policy as Nanciann Gatta listens. Lozano, a community activist and Gatta, superintendent of Niles Township schools, were panelists at an immigration symposium at the Loyola University School of Law Tuesday.

As election looms, immigration issue back front and center

Medill Reports - Chicago, Northwestern University
A publication of the Medill School.
by Rob Runyan Jan 29, 2008

With Super Tuesday less than a week away, voters are thinking hard about the candidates and the issues. A daylong immigration symposium hosted by Loyola University's law school Tuesday encouraged them to make immigration reform a top consideration when they cast their ballots.

It's a touchy issue, one that some candidates have been reluctant to take a stand on. But Tuesday's panelists called for action from citizens to help fix what they called a broken system. Most speakers in the morning session favored solutions short of mass deportation.

Keynote speaker Jeanne Butterfield, executive director of the Washington D.C.-based American Immigration Lawyers Association, began by asking the audience "Is there anyone in this room who believes our immigration system is not broken?" The silence that followed set the mood for the panelists' subsequent remarks.

Speaker after speaker, sometimes in fiery and emotional words, related their experiences while working toward immigration reform.

"[Immigration law] is about following the law [simply] because it's the law," said Emma Lozano, a Chicago-based community activist. "The laws are broken, and they're extremely unfair."

Lozano, president of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a grass-roots community group which has assisted Elvira Arellano and more recently Flor Crisotomo in fighting deportation, said these two women illustrate the larger problem.

"Elvira Arellano stood in a church for an entire year," Lozano said. "With no money whatsoever, she was able to battle, almost one on one, the billions of dollars spent on a campaign of hate to demonize the Mexican in particular, and the Latino in general."

Both Lozano and City Clerk Miguel del Valle said the onus is on citizens to effect immigration reform through voting and writing letters to Congress.

Del Valle recalled a recent march in Chicago to get out the Latino vote. The rallying cry was "Hoy marchamos, mañana votamos (Today we march, tomorrow we vote.)"

"We got the marchamos part right," Del Valle said, conceding that the voting portion was not as successful.

Del Valle is backing his former Illinois State Senate colleague, Barack Obama, in the presidential election, partly because of a vote Obama made in the Illinois Senate for an immigration reform bill. Though the bill was narrowly defeated, del Valle emphasized the importance of local elections in future reform.

Carpentersville was a major focus when the panelists' talk turned to local immigration issues. Village President William Sarto was a member of one panel, and the northwest suburb became an example of the dangers of low Latino voter turnout.

Though Carpentersville's population is about 40 percent Hispanic, three village trustees favoring anti-immigration ordinances have been elected, said Sarto.

"[Immigration opposition] has slowed progress in our town," he said. "It has divided our community."

Immigration reform should not be left to local governments, Sarto said. But in the absence of federal involvement, municipalities have begun to take charge.

01-29-2008, 08:07 PM
Mexican immigrant rights activist supports friend seeking sanctuary in Chicago church

2008-01-29 20:45:56 -

MEXICO CITY (AP) - A deported Mexican migrant who holed up in a Chicago church to fight for immigrants' rights rallied support Tuesday for another woman now seeking refuge in the same building.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Elvira Arellano said 28-year-old Flor Crisostomo's situation showed the need for U.S. immigration reform.

She has three kids who depend on her and what she sends from the U.S., Arellano said.
Crisostomo took refuge in the Adalberto United Methodist Church after the Board of Immigration Appeals ordered her to leave the United States by Monday. The single mother paid a smuggler to sneak her into the U.S. in 2000 and has sent money to her children in her hometown of Iguala in southern Guerrero state.

Arellano, who sought sanctuary for a year, was deported to Mexico in August when she left the church to visit Los Angeles. She lives in a small town in western Mexico with her son, a U.S. citizen, and writes columns for U.S. newspapers.
Her son is going to school and trying to adapt to life in Mexico, but he really wants to return to the U.S., she said.
She said she hoped the immigrant community in the U.S. would rally around Crisostomo's case as they did hers.

Undocumented immigrants are living there in the darkness, fearing deportation and being separated from their families, she said.
Arellano and Crisostomo became friends and fellow activists after Crisostomo was arrested during a 2006 raid on IFCO Systems, a manufacturer of crates and pallets in Chicago.

When Arellano took refuge in the church, Crisostomo brought food and took Arellano's clothes to be washed. When Crisostomo followed in Arellano's footsteps and told reporters Monday that she wasn't leaving the building, Arellano called her from Mexico to urge her friend to stay strong.

Only by fighting is it possible to know what you can accomplish, Arellano said.

(See related article with photo posted by Explora 01/27/08, 8:07 p.m.)

01-29-2008, 09:19 PM

Illegal immigrant vows to stand ground
HUMBOLDT PARK | Holed up in same church where Arellano held out


Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

Fake Store front Churches such as Aldaberto in Chicago that is notorious for harboring illegal aliens who have been ordered deported from America better take heed.

Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):

[B]A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:

* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or

* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or

* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief.


01-29-2008, 09:20 PM
Send Nacho Ramos A Birthday Card!
Posted by: The Watchdog in Homeland Security

Ignacio Ramos, former Border Patrol Agent and
current political prisoner of the Bush regime.

Tuesday, February 5th

Get your family and friends to send birthday cards too! Mail cards to:

Ignacio Ramos #58079-180
FCI Phoenix
Federal Correctional Institution
37910 N. 45th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85086

Email Nacho Here!
If you don't know what to say, cut and past something from a forum
or a news story. Something positive that will lift his spirits.

Send this courageous wrongfully convicted BORDER PATROL OFFICER/HERO A BIRTHDAY CARD.

01-30-2008, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by Beverly:
January 29th, 2008 @ 12:49pm
by Jayme West/KTAR

A mini-van full of illegals rear-ended a Homeland Security SUV this morning on I-10.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the overloaded van was heading west when it was involved in a 3-vehicle chain-reaction crash near the Elliot Road off ramp.

No one was hurt.

The 11 illegal immigrants inside the van were taken into custody by ICE

<span class="ev_code_RED">Now All 11 will be given U visa to testify against coyote that transported them</span> http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gif

01-30-2008, 02:45 AM

Would you mind not using so much bold highlighting? I think Sam has requested this of you a couple of times. There's other people that have told me they have a hard time with it affecting their eyes making it eye straining when they read it so they've skipped it.

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to post the date and time of the article you want to bring to attention again instead of duplicating and informing that it's a 'duplicate?'

It would be more considerate to post the link' to your other articles you've posted in other threads.

I used the date and time and notice how you immediately posted stating yours is a 'duplicate'. How funny!

It would save all this quoting and taking up space especially since it appears you might be modifying articles to cross-post.

Just a friendly request.

01-30-2008, 05:08 AM

I'm sure it's the usual suspects that gang up and whine about me every chance they get with you and to you. That being said, I always post the DATE AND THE LINK TO MY ARTICLES and if the time is available I post that as well.

However, you posted DIRECTLY beneath the ARTICLE and then proceeded to DUPLICATE it a few posts down. I'm sure you realized it was a duplicate because it has theboldedtext that you and your cyber buddies PM each other about so you can all be on the same page when lodging a complaint against me to SAM http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clown.gif.

Just a friendly request:

If you have read an article previously posted, (which you obviously did because you posted directly below the article in question) don't duplicate what you are aware has already been posted it will save bandwidth and that unnecessary eye strain your friends complain about.

Just a Friendly Suggestion:

FYI: those pictures that you post that over extend/distorts the natural margins, are quite irritating and unnecessarily forces readers to scroll from left to right just to read them.

If you use standard American width 8-1/2 x 11 they won't distort the width of the thread.

01-30-2008, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by 4now:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Beverly:
January 29th, 2008 @ 12:49pm
by Jayme West/KTAR

A mini-van full of illegals rear-ended a Homeland Security SUV this morning on I-10.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the overloaded van was heading west when it was involved in a 3-vehicle chain-reaction crash near the Elliot Road off ramp.

No one was hurt.

The 11 illegal immigrants inside the van were taken into custody by ICE

<span class="ev_code_RED">Now All 11 will be given U visa to testify against coyote that transported them</span> http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lately ICE has just been processing and deporting them along with the coyotes. Let's hope that tradition continues.

Take care http://www.ilw.com/corporate/angel.gif

01-30-2008, 09:46 AM
Beverly, there is no way of asking you anything is there? Whatever or whoever asks you to kindly refrain from doing something or if you could kindly change the way you post to make it easier for others to read, you think you are just above everyone, sticking your nose up in the air.
There is no gang against you, you obviously have a an issue when someone says something negative towards your posts, you get very defensive and do whatever annoys anyone even the more.
You are obviously an attention seeker and the only way you can get yourself heard is being a nuisance of yourself.
If you want to be heard and get your points or interest across to others, you should do it in a proper manner and listen to those who have given you advice about your postings. We don't say it just to annoy you or gang up on you, we are saying it because it is hard to read etc
Sam has asked you too, and he is definitely not in anyone's gang.

01-30-2008, 11:13 AM
Family of roofer facing immigration charges booted from house

Photo by Mike Springer/Daily News staff
The house at 21 Jefferson St. in Milford, owned by Daniel Tacuri who has been charged with numerous counts of hiring and harboring illegal immigrants, could be confiscated if he is found guilty.
By Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff
Tue Jan 29, 2008, 10:21 PM EST


Story Tools: Email This | Print This
Health officials Monday ordered the family of an illegal immigrant facing federal charges temporarily out of their 21 Jefferson St. home after it was discovered they were living without heat, hot water and electricity.

"It was for their protection of their own health, especially where there were children involved - that would have been done in any case," said Public Health Director Paul M***uchelli. "Your basic essentials for healthy housing aren't there."

Roofer Daniel Tacuri, an immigrant from Ecuador, was arrested on a criminal warrant for harboring and employing illegal immigrants, during a predawn December raid of his home by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

He is being held without bail at a Rhode Island prison, and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Worcester's federal courthouse on the 39 charges from his recent indictment.

Advocates for the family say Tacuri's illegal immigrant wife Maria, the couple's 4-year-old son Jonathan, and four other residents of the Jefferson Street home are struggling to get by.

"They don't have any heat, they don't have any food," said Beatriz G. Almeida-Stein, Ecuadorean counsul in Boston, who has been working with Maria and the family. "She's in a very bad situation because she doesn't have the money. She doesn't have any income, nothing."

A grand jury charged Tacuri, 32, with 20 counts of harboring illegal immigrants, 18 counts of employing illegal immigrants and one count of making false statements.

The Fire Department called the Board of Health Monday after Maria Tacuri called to get help when frozen pipes burst in the family's basement.

Health Inspector Steven Garabedian and Assistant Health Inspector Loriann Braza-Pallaria, who translated for Spanish-speaking Maria, discovered the conditions and ordered the residents not to stay in the house until heat, hot water and electricity are restored.

"It was cold. How cold was it? Too cold to stay," Garabedian said.

Officials offered help to find a place for the family to stay until the problems are fixed, but they said they had somewhere to go, Garabedian said.

Maria Tacuri and the couple's son stayed with friends Monday night, but may not be able to stay there for long, Almeida-Stein said.

"Everybody in Milford is afraid, all the Ecuadoreans are very scared," Almeida-Stein said. "Nobody wants to help her, they don't want to get near to her with her husband in jail and all the problems."

Two of Daniel Tacuri's nephews - ages 13 and 16 - were living in the three-story Jefferson Street home, Almeida-Stein said. They are two of the 15 illegal immigrants, including Tacuri, who were arrested during the raid, she said.

"They just got back a couple days ago," Almeida-Stein said. "I tell (Maria), they should go to school, they should do something."

The ***** could live with family in Brockton, she said.

Daniel's brother Antonio Tacuri, who is scheduled for a deportation hearing, has a Feb. 24 court hearing that he plans on making, Almeida-Stein said.

Daniel Tacuri, whom prosecutors say became an immigration fugitive after being caught entering the United States near Brownsville, Texas, in 1998, is also known as Daniel Tacuri Llivichuscha and Daniel Tacuri-Cila.

Almeida-Stein said an immigrant association she founded is meeting Saturday and "I'm going to propose to see if we can help," the family.

Danielle Ameden can be reached at 508-634-7521 or dameden@cnc.com.


01-30-2008, 06:07 PM
This page provides a basic overview of the vocabulary of international migration statistics and concepts. Unless otherwise indicated, we are using the latest United Nations definitions. The full 1997 UN report, entitled Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration, is available online. Because these terms may be used differently by particular countries, non-governmental organizations and international bodies, we encourage you to cross-check these definitions against country-specific sources.

Asylum: Protection granted by a state to refugees. (Source: Webster's Dictionary)

Asylum-seekers: Persons who file an application for asylum in a country other than their own. They remain in the status of asylum-seeker until their application is considered and adjudicated. See also foreigners seeking asylum.

Border workers: Persons commuting between their country of usual residence (which is usually their country of citizenship as well) and their place of employment abroad.

Brain Drain: The emigration of a large number of a country's highly skilled and educated population to other countries that offer superior economic and social opportunities (Source: Population Reference Bureau).

Citizens deported from abroad: Citizens returning to their country as a result of deportation procedures against them in another country.

Citizens in transit: Persons who arrive in their own country but do not enter it formally because they are on their way to another destination.

Citizenship: The country in which a person is born or naturalized and in which that person has rights and responsibilities (Source: United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Contract migrant workers: Persons working in a country other than their own under contractual arrangements that set limits on the period of employment and on the specific job held by the migrant (that is to say, contract migrant workers cannot change jobs without permission granted by the authorities of the receiving State).

Country of usual residence: The country in which a person lives, that is to say, the country in which he or she has a place to live where he or she normally spends the daily period of rest. Temporary travel abroad for purposes of recreation, holiday, visits to friends or relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimage does not change a person's country of usual residence.

Dependants: Immediate relatives of the principal migrant who are normally admitted in the same migration category as that person. Although the definition of immediate relative varies from country to country, the spouse and minor children of a principal migrant usually qualify as dependants.

Diplomats and consular personnel: Foreigners working under diplomatic permits for foreign embassies or consulates established in the receiving country. Also, citizens traveling under diplomatic passports in order to work in their country's embassies or consulates abroad or in order to return from a posting abroad.

Domestic employees: Foreign persons admitted for the specific purpose of providing personal services to the foreign diplomatic and consular personnel in the country.

Employment: See foreign migrant workers.

Employment-based settlers: Foreigners selected for long-term settlement because of their qualifications and prospects in the receiving country's labor market. However, they are not admitted expressly to exercise a particular economic activity.

Entrepreneurs and investors (as settlers): Foreigners granted the right to long-term settlement in a country on condition that they invest a minimum sum of money or create new productive activities in the receiving country.

Excursionists (also called "same-day visitors"): Persons who do not reside in the country of arrival and stay for just a day without spending the night in a collective or private accommodation within the country visited. This category includes cruise passengers who arrive in a country on a cruise ship and return to the ship each night to sleep on board as well as crew members who do not spend the night in the country. It also includes residents of border areas who visit the neighboring country during the day to shop, visit friends or relatives, seek medical treatment, or participate in leisure activities.

Family-based settlers: Foreigners selected for long-term settlement because of the family ties they have with citizens or foreigners already residing in the receiving country.

Foreign border workers: Foreign persons granted the permission to be employed on a continuous basis in the receiving country provided they depart at regular and short intervals (daily or weekly) from that country.

Foreign-born population of a country: All persons who have that country as the country of usual residence and whose place of birth is located in another country.

Foreign business travelers: Foreign persons granted the permission to engage in business or professional activities that are not remunerated from within the country of arrival. Their length of stay is restricted and cannot surpass 12 months.

Foreign diplomatic and consular personnel: Foreigners admitted under diplomatic visas or permits.

Foreigners admitted for family formation or reunification: Foreigners admitted because they are the immediate relatives of citizens or foreigners already residing in the receiving country or because they are the foreign fiancŽ(e)s or the foreign adopted children of citizens. The definition of immediate relatives varies from country to country but it generally includes the spouse and minor children of the person concerned.

Foreigners admitted for humanitarian reasons (other than asylum proper or temporary protection): Foreigners who are not granted full refugee status but are nevertheless admitted for humanitarian reasons because they find themselves in refugee-like situations. See also asylum-seekers, refugees and foreigners granted temporary protected status.

Foreigners admitted for settlement: Foreign persons granted the permission to reside in the receiving country without limitations regarding duration of stay or exercise of an economic activity. Their dependants, if admitted, are also included in this category.

Foreigners granted temporary protected status: Foreigners who are allowed to stay for a temporary though possibly indefinite period because their life would be in danger if they were to return to their country of citizenship. See also foreigners seeking asylum.

Foreigners have the right to free establishment: Foreigners who have the right to enter, stay and work within the territory of a country other than their own by virtue of an agreement or treaty concluded between their country of citizenship and the country they enter.

Foreigners in transit: Persons who arrive in the receiving country but do not enter it formally because they are on their way to another destination.

Foreigners seeking asylum: A category that encompasses both persons who are eventually allowed to file an application for asylum (asylum-seekers proper) and those who do not enter the asylum adjudication system formally but are nevertheless granted the permission to stay until they can return safely to their countries of origin (that is to say, they become foreigners granted temporary protected status).

Foreigners whose entry or stay is not sanctioned: This category includes foreigners who violate the rules of admission and stay of the receiving country and are deportable, as well as foreign persons attempting to seek asylum but who are not allowed to file an application and are not permitted to stay in the receiving country on any other grounds.

Foreigners whose status is regularized: Foreigners whose entry or stay has not been sanctioned by the receiving State or who have violated the terms of their admission but who are nevertheless allowed to regularize their status. Although most persons regularizing their status have already been present in the receiving country for some time, their regularization may be taken to represent the time of their official admission as international migrants.

Foreign excursionists (also called "same-day visitors"): Foreign persons who visit the receiving country for a day without spending the night in a collective or private accommodation within the country visited. This category includes cruise passengers who arrive in a country on a cruise ship and return to the ship each night to sleep on board as well as crew members who do not spend the night in the country. It also includes residents of border areas who visit the neighboring country during the day to shop, visit friends or relatives, seek medical treatment, or participate in leisure activities.

Foreign migrant workers: Foreigners admitted by the receiving State for the specific purpose of exercising an economic activity remunerated from within the receiving country. Their length of stay is usually restricted as is the type of employment they can hold.

Foreign military personnel: Foreign military servicemen, officials and advisers stationed in the country. Their dependants and domestic employees are sometimes allowed to accompany them.

Foreign population of a country: All persons who have that country as country of usual residence and who are the citizens of another country.

Foreign retirees (as settlers): Persons beyond retirement age who are granted the right to stay over a long period or indefinitely in the territory of a State other than their own provided that they have sufficient independent income and do not become a charge to that State.

Foreign settlers: See migrants for settlement.

Foreign students: Persons admitted by a country other than their own, usually under special permits or visas, for the specific purpose of following a particular course of study in an accredited institution of the receiving country.

Foreign tourists: Foreign persons admitted under tourist visas (if required) for purposes of leisure, recreation, holiday, visits to friends or relatives, health or medical treatment, or religious pilgrimage. They must spend at least a night in a collective or private accommodation in the receiving country and their duration of stay must not surpass 12 months.

Foreign trainees: Persons admitted by a country other than their own to acquire particular skills through on-the-job training. Foreign trainees are therefore allowed to work only in the specific institution or establishment providing the training and their length of stay is usually restricted.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border. (Source: "Guiding Principles on Internal Displacements" issued by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in 1998)

International civil servants: Persons working for international organizations located in a country other than their own. They usually reside in that country under special visas or permits. Their dependants and domestic employees are generally allowed to accompany or join them.

Jus Sanguinis: Literally meaning right of blood, it makes descent from a family member the primary determinant of citizenship. (Source: United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Jus Solis: States that a person is granted citizenship through place of birth. (Source: United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Long-term migrant: A person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least a year (12 months), so that the country of destination effectively becomes his or her new country of usual residence. From the perspective of the country of departure, the person will be a long-term emigrant and from that of the country of arrival, the person will be a long-term immigrant.

Migrants for settlement: Foreigners granted the permission to stay for a lengthy or unlimited period, who are subject to virtually no limitations regarding the exercise of an economic activity.

Migrants having the right to free establishment or movement: See foreigners having the right to free establishment.

Migrant workers: See foreign migrant workers.

Migration for employment: See foreign migrant workers.

Nomads: Persons without a fixed place of usual residence who move from one site to another, usually according to well-established patterns of geographical mobility. When their trajectory involves crossing current international boundaries, they become part of the international flows of people. Some nomads may be stateless persons because, lacking a fixed place of residence, they may not be recognized as citizens by any of the countries through which they pass.

Principal migrant: Within a family group, the person who is considered by immigration authorities to be the head of the family and upon whose admission depends that of the other members of the family.

Project-tied migrant workers: Migrant workers admitted by the country of employment for a defined period to work solely on a specific project carried out in that country by the migrant workers' employer.

Refugee: Any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside of the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it. (Source:UN Convention Related to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol) (See refugees)

Refugees: Foreign persons granted refugee status either at the time of admission or before admission. This category therefore includes foreign persons granted refugee status while abroad and entering to be resettled in the receiving country as well as persons granted refugee status on a group basis upon arrival in the country. In some cases, refugee status may be granted when the persons involved are still in their country of origin through "in-country processing" of requests for asylum. Refugee status may be granted on the basis of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol or pertinent regional instruments.

Remittances: Monies earned or acquired by migrants that are transmitted back to their country of origin (Source: United Nations Population Information Network).

Repatriating asylum-seekers: Citizens returning after having attempted to seek asylum abroad. In principle, this category includes persons who return after their asylum cases have been decided negatively as well as persons who may not have been able to apply for asylum but who stayed abroad under temporary protection for some time.

Repatriating refugees: Citizens returning after having enjoyed asylum abroad. Both refugees returning under internationally assisted repatriation programs and those returning spontaneously are included in this category.

Replacement Population: The population that is necessary to offset declines in the general population, the population of working age, as well as to make up for the ageing of a population. (Source: United Nations Development Program).

Resettlement: Permanent relocation of refugees, internally displaced persons or others that have been displaced to a new place that allows them to establish residence. Refers to both international and internal relocations. (Source: United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Returning citizens: See returning migrants.

Returning migrants: Persons returning to their country of citizenship after having been international migrants (whether short-term or long-term) in another country and who are intending to stay in their own country for at least a year.

Same-day visitors: See excursionists and foreign excursionists.

Seasonal migrant workers: Persons employed by a country other than their own for only part of a year because the work they perform depends on seasonal conditions. They are a subcategory of foreign migrant workers.

Settlement: See migrants for settlement.

Settlers: See migrants for settlement.

Short-term migrant: A person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least three months but less than a year (12 months) except in cases where the movement to that country is for purposes of recreation, holiday, visits to friends or relatives, business, medical treatment or religious image. For purposes of international migration statistics, the country of usual residence of short-term migrants is considered to be the country of destination during the period they spend in it.

Stateless persons: Persons who are not recognized as citizens of any State.

Students: See foreign students.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR): The average number of children women are having today. Also, the average number of children that a woman would have during her lifetime given age-specific fertility rates for a particular year. (Source: Population Reference Bureau).

Tourists: Persons who do not reside in the country of arrival and are admitted to that country under tourist visas (if required) for purposes of leisure, recreation, holidays, visits to friends or relatives, health or medical treatment or religious pilgrimage. They must spend at least a night in a collective or private accommodation in the receiving country and their duration of stay must not surpass 12 months.

Trafficking: When a migrant is illegally recruited, coerced and/or forcibly moved within national or across national borders. Traffickers are those who transport migrants and profit economically or otherwise from their relocation. (Source: International Organization for Migration).

Trainees: See foreign trainees.

Usual residence: See country of usual residence.

Visitors (from abroad to the country): Persons who do not reside in the country of arrival and who are admitted for short stays for purposes of leisure, recreation, holidays; visits to friends or relatives; business or professional activities not remunerated from within the receiving country; health treatment; or religious pilgrimages. Visitors include excursionists, tourists and business travelers.

Xenophobia: An unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. (Source: Webster's Dictionary).

Copyright @ 2007 Migration Policy Institute. All rights reserved.
MPI 1400 16th St. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036
ph: (001) 202-266-1940 fax: (001) 202-266-1900

Sam U. of ILW.COM
01-30-2008, 07:11 PM
To Beverly and Explora: I just read your exchange in this thread concerning bold text. I want to assure Beverly that I personally do find too much bold text hard to read - that others also find the same is just confirmation - some bold is okay, even good, but too much of it is just tough on the eyes when one is reading a couple of hundred posts at a time, like I do, and like some visitors to the board surely do. Please go easy on the bolding! - Sam.

01-30-2008, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Sam U. of ILW.COM:
To Beverly and Explora: I just read your exchange in this thread concerning bold text. I want to assure Beverly that I personally do find too much bold text hard to read - that others also find the same is just confirmation - some bold is okay, even good, but too much of it is just tough on the eyes when one is reading a couple of hundred posts at a time, like I do, and like some visitors to the board surely do. Please go easy on the bolding! - Sam.

Hi Sam:

I responded to your request in the other thread. I have no problem with toning it down per your request. I'm sure that its the usual suspects complaining who like to harrass me that keeps http://www.ilw.com/corporate/beatdeadhorse5.gif, about any and everything I post and how I post it.

O/T: Thanks for the addition of this icon, it's my favorite of all of them.

It's so convenient I can post it as a simple response, since I'm perpetually and personally attacked by the usual suspects, the only variation being their use of one of their multiple screen names. :)

Have a good night Sam! http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_king.gif

Sam U. of ILW.COM
01-30-2008, 07:34 PM
Thanks, Beverly for agreeing to go easy on the bolding! And I am glad you like the new smileys. Trust you will give them a workout! - Sam.

01-31-2008, 04:14 PM

Thursday, January 31, 2008
By Father Jonathan Morris

" E-mail Father Jonathan

As part of an orchestrated strategy to protest immigration policy, Mexican immigrant Flor Crisostomo, 28, has defied a deportation order and has found sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago.

The church's pastor, Rev. Walter Coleman, has defended his recurring choice to provide shelter for illegal immigrants running from the law: "I fear God more than Homeland Security."

Ms. Crisostomo says she is "taking up the torch" from her friend Elvira Arellano, who, for over a year, evaded law enforcement by hunkering down in the same church. Ms. Arellano's use of holy grounds to play a blatant cat and mouse game with immigration officials elevated her profile as the martyr leader of the immigrants' rights movement. In August of 2007, Ms. Arellano announced she would be leaving her safe haven in order to lead a rally in Los Angeles. She was arrested at the rally and immediately deported to Mexico.

The most salient element of this story is the political and moral quandary of a church providing material and moral sanctuary to illegal immigrants who are refusing deportation orders from the United States.

RelatedColumn Archive
Chicago's "Sanctuary" Church Strikes AgainBill Clinton's Analogy Revisited: Barack Obama vs. Jesse Jackson Today Marks the 35th Anniversary of Roe v. WadeCandidates Should Put Their Political Philosophy on the TablePrimary Elections: No Superheroes, Please Full-page Father Jonathan Archive
Is this Chicago church justified in bucking the law and harboring Elvira Arellano and now Flor Crisostomo?

The answer is unequivocally "no." In fact, the Adalberto United Methodist Church, and Rev. Coleman are doing a disservice to all migrant workers " legal and illegal " and to the long and harrowed traditions of appropriate civil disobedience and political sanctuary. As a church, they are confusing political activism and subversive tactics with humanitarian aid and social justice.

I will explain.

As in many of the cases we examine in this column, we can assume the Chicago church's mistake is not one of ill will, but rather of skewed ethical thinking, of bad moral logic. When you listen to the pastor speak, his sincerity is evident:

"It's unfortunate we have to do this. This church has other priorities, like helping the poor in this neighborhood, but God didn't give us a choice. When God says do this, we say, 'Yes, sir!'"

It is understandable that Rev. Coleman would come to the conclusion that God wants him to help these women in this way, if you accept his line of moral reasoning. Rev. Coleman argues that because God's laws are superior to man's laws, in the case of unjust law, we have the right to disobey civil authorities. Applying this logic to his own case, he says that because immigration policy in the United States is unfair, these women are doing the right thing in snubbing the law. He goes even further, suggesting he himself has a moral obligation to support them in their display of "civil disobedience."

But Rev. Coleman's logic has gaping holes. Yes, the moral law (God's law) is prior and superior to civil law, but this does not give citizens the right to disobey every unjust law. If, for example, Rev. Coleman were convinced government tax policy unfairly burdens the rich, or the poor, or the middle class, would he be morally justified in not paying his taxes?

Acts of civil disobedience must be evaluated in the same way we assess the right to "conscientious objection." We have the right, and even obligation, to disobey legitimate authority when we are commanded to do moral evil. But the principle of conscientious objection does not give us a license to be our own moral legislators, picking and choosing the laws we will follow based on their varying degree of moral perfection. As long as a law does not oblige us to do evil, our responsibility to respect legitimate authorities prevails over other concerns.

I can think of no better example to illuminate this point than the Gospel story in which the disciples ask Jesus about the necessity of paying taxes to the unscrupulous Roman authorities. Jesus' response left no wiggle room for creative interpretation: "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." He then handed the disciples a coin and pointed them in the direction of the local IRS office. This is a perennial invitation by the greatest social reformer of all times to work for justice and redemption within the context of the law.

My critical analysis of this particular case in Chicago should not be mistaken as a sign of my satisfaction with our immigration status in the United States. Indeed, our de facto system is hypocritical and unjust. We make immigration processes slow, complicated, and expensive. Then, to compensate for the market's apparent demands for more manual workers, the government turns a blind eye to a porous and dangerous border, then rewarding illegal crossing with massive quantities of irregular employment. Finally, the government gets tough, and plays catch and release, and then catch and release again, and again, and again.

The apparent winners in this hypocritical system are companies that depend on cheap labor and all of us consumers of their inexpensive produce and services.

The first of many losers, on the other hand, are immigrants who live in constant fear of unpredictable crackdowns, while all the time being subject to inhumane living conditions. And the list of other losers goes on and on... border states, public health and education systems, skilled laborers, border patrol agents, etc.

So what do we do?

As concerned citizens we must convince Congress and the new president to fix a broken system. Satisfactory solutions will take into account the right of every human being to leave his homeland (emigrate) in search of a better life. But they will also necessarily respect the right and obligation of every sovereign state to regulate this immigration at sustainable and safe levels. Success depends on statesmen rising to the challenge of balancing these two principles. In practice, this requires mobilizing groups of conflicting interests to sacrifice in the short term for the common good of our country.

But our zeal for reform must never admit turning a church into a public hideout for people running from the law. It is a crusade of lawlessness that tarnishes the good reputation of the millions of honest and hard-working Mexican and Latino people to whom the United States of America is deeply indebted.

As a pastor, and as a good neighbor, I would give food, water, clothing and medical aid to anyone who came knocking at my door, and I certainly wouldn't ask for any government documentation. But what's going on these days in a church in Chicago is quite another thing.

God bless, Father Jonathan


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01-31-2008, 04:53 PM
Supermarket settles discrimination claim Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 8:16 am

CHARLOTTE (AP) " A supermarket has agreed to pay a total of $40,000 to three former employees who accused the store of discriminating against non-Hispanic workers.

The former employees filed the complaint last year, saying they were forced out of their Compare Foods jobs in 2004 because they were not Hispanic. Two of the employees were black and one was white.

Compare Foods lawyer Phil Van Hoy said the company treated the workers fairly, arguing that a company with lots of Hispanic customers is allowed to have employees that can communicate with them.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney Lynette Barnes said Compare couldn't prove that it was necessary job qualification to speak Spanish or relate to Hispanics. The company agreed to the settlement in federal court this week.

The grocery store chain was founded in Freeport, New York, and now has 50 supermarkets in seven states.

http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2.../854281411/-1/news06 (http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080131/NRSTAFF/854281411/-1/news06)

01-31-2008, 05:25 PM

A History of Mexican Americans in California: INTRODUCTION

In 1846, the United States invaded and conquered California, then part of the Republic of Mexico. This event, one aspect of the 1846-1848 U.S.-Mexican War, led to U.S. annexation of California through the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexican American history in California had begun.

But if the Mexican American era in California was new, the roots of the Chicano1 experience stretched back some three centuries to 1519 when Spaniards and their Indian allies carried out the conquest of the Aztec Empire in central Mexico and established what they called "New Spain." Exploration and colonization spread from Mexico City in all directions. This eventually included settlements throughout the northern frontier in the areas now occupied by the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and of course, California.

Hispanic settlement of what is now California began in 1769 when the Presidio and Catholic mission of San Diego were established. By 1823, 20 more missions dotted the California coast from San Diego to Sonoma, along with several military presidios and civilian communities. With few exceptions, the settlers and their descendants stayed close to the coast. There were few extensions into the California interior.

The California economy was based on agriculture and livestock. In contrast to central New Spain, coastal colonists found little mineral wealth. Some became farmers or ranchers, working for themselves on their own land or for other colonists. Government officials, priests, soldiers, and artisans settled in towns, missions, and presidios.

Socially, a combination class-caste system developed, although it lacked the rigidity of that in central New Spain. Most residents belonged to the lower and lower-middle classes, but some colonists arrived with or attained upper-class status, mainly through ranching or the acquisition of land grants. They reflected varied backgrounds " peninsular (born in Spain), criollo (born in New Spain of pure Spanish ancestry), Indian, Black, mestizo (of Spanish and Indian ancestry), mulato (of Spanish and African ancestry), and zambo (of Indian and African ancestry). Most colonists were of mixed racial backgrounds, and the process of mestizaje (racial mixture) continued in California, including mixture with various California Indian civilizations. Many mestizos strove, sometimes successfully, to become identified as pure-blooded Spaniards because racial identity affected socio-economic mobility. Whites generally held major government positions, church offices, and private lands, while mestizos and Indians were concentrated at lower levels of the social structure. However, many people with mixed blood did succeed in becoming ranch owners and leading Californios, which sometimes brought an accompanying change of ethnic identity.

For the most part, Spanish California developed in relative isolation despite nominal central government control through appointed officials. When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, central government control was even further diminished. In particular, Mexican independence opened the California door to trade with other countries, especially the United States. In the early 1820s, Anglo-Americans2 developed an intensive trade with California via sailing ships around Cape Horn. The Old Spanish Trail, established in 1829 to link Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, became the first major northern Mexican interprovincial trade route. Moreover, it linked California to the Santa Fe Trail between New Mexico and the United States.

Trade with the United States began the process of economic detachment of California and New Mexico from central Mexico. Ships brought hides and tallow from California in exchange for manufactured goods from both the United States and England. Increased trade led to increased demand for consumer goods, and therefore, greater dependence on the United States as the primary source of supply. Along with a burgeoning economy, California also experienced periodic revolutions, as large landowners vied for political supremacy, and the Mexican government made intermittent, sometimes unpopular, efforts to tighten the reins

One of the most dramatic and significant events of the Mexican period occurred in 1833, when the Mexican government secularized the missions. This meant that vast mission landholdings were taken over by the government, which in turn awarded them as land grants to Californios. Soon huge sprawling ranchos became the basic socio-economic units of the province. While upward mobility remained difficult, some Mexicans succeeded in making the transition into the California elite, particularly with the help of these land grants.

During the 1821-1846 period, Anglo-Americans began to settle in California. Many of these settlers, particularly those who had come by ship, eventually married Mexican women (usually of the local aristocracy), became Mexican citizens, and obtained land grants. In contrast, Anglo overland pioneers who settled in the Sacramento Valley of northern California brought their families, stayed to themselves, and resisted integration into Mexican society. It was this group that ultimately rebelled in 1846 against its Mexican hosts and formed the short-lived secessionist Bear Flag Republic, which disappeared during the U.S. conquest of California.


1 Chicano: a term for Mexican Americans or U.S. residents of Mexican descent. - Ed.

2 Anglo-American: a term sometimes used to describe non-Hispanic White residents of the U.S. (informally, "Anglo"). - Ed.

Agua Mansa Cemetery, Colton, San Bernardino County

A History of Mexican Americans in California: THE MEXICAN WAR

In 1846, the U.S-Mexican War erupted. Tensions between the two countries had been developing for years over the obvious U.S. goal of expanding to the Pacific coast. The United States had made several offers to purchase all or part of northern Mexico, offers that Mexico rejected. In 1842, the United States revealed that it was prepared to use force to take what money could not buy, when the commander of the Pacific squadron invaded and captured Monterey, the capital of California, and returned it with apologies.

On the other side, Mexico's antagonism toward the United States was exacerbated by annexation of Texas, a former Mexican province that had revolted in 1835. The Texas rebels had extracted a battlefield treaty from Mexico recognizing the independence of Texas, but the Mexican government had never ratified it. To Mexico, therefore, U.S. annexation of Texas was grand theft and unconscionable aggression.

The precipitating incident of the war came in April 1846, when small units of Mexican and U.S. soldiers clashed in disputed territory between the Nueces River (the Texas boundary recognized by Mexico) and the Rio Grande (the boundary claimed by Texas). The incident provided a pretext for an annexation decision already made by U.S. President James K. Polk, who ordered invasion by U.S. troops. Fighting in northeastern Mexico was followed by the landing of U.S. forces at Veracruz and an advance overland from there to Mexico City. Simultaneously, other U.S. forces occupied the province of New Mexico and then marched to California, most of which had already come under U.S. control as the result of a naval invasion and the Bear Flag Revolt.

The initial U.S. occupation of California occurred without bloodshed, but Mexican armed reaction ultimately broke out in both New Mexico and California. Mexican patriots, mainly citizen volunteers, were victorious in 1846 in battles at Los Angeles, San Pasqual, Chino Rancho, and elsewhere. But eventually they had to submit to the trained and better-armed U.S. forces. By early 1847, the United States had established control over California and the rest of northern Mexico, and proceeded to absorb this territory. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico confirmed the land transfer.

A History of Mexican Americans in California: POST-CONQUEST CALIFORNIA

No sooner had the treaty been signed than the first major post-war influx of Anglos began, fueled by the discovery of gold in 1848. The 10,000 Californios (pre-conquest Mexican Californians) soon found the territory swamped by Anglo-American migrants and foreign immigrants. The latter included Chileans, Peruvians, Basques, and Mexicans, particularly miners from the Mexican province of Sonora. However, despite this Latino immigration, the Spanish-speaking population of California fell to 15 percent by 1850, and to four percent by 1870.

Northern California received the major thrust of the Anglo gold rush migration, while southern California remained heavily Mexican. This ethnic contrast was one factor in the debate over the possibility of dividing California into two states, as happened in the case of New Mexico and Arizona. However, the coming of the transcontinental railroad to southern California in the 1870s spurred a land boom and the state's second major population explosion. By the 1880s, Anglo settlers were also numerically dominant in the southern part of the state.

The presence of a Mexican majority in 1848 contributed to a promising start for good ethnic relations in California. Californios participated widely in the early post-conquest government, and provided eight of the 48 delegates to the 1849 state constitutional convention. There they won such transitory victories as a provision that all state laws and regulations be translated into Spanish. In southern California, where Californios remained a majority in some places until the 1880s, they continued to be elected to local and county positions, and a handful held state offices or seats in the legislature.

However, the rapid establishment of a heavy statewide Anglo majority quickly rendered Mexican Americans politically powerless at the state level. As a result, they could not prevent enactment of inequitable and sometimes discriminatory laws. For example, the legislature placed the heaviest tax burden on land, an abrupt and decimating shift from the Mexican system of taxing production rather than land. Although this tax also hurt Anglo landowners, it seriously undermined the Californio economic position, based primarily on ranching. The Foreign Miners' Tax of 1850, a $20 monthly fee for the right to mine, was applied not only to foreign immigrants but also to California-born Mexicans, who had automatically be come U.S. citizens under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The state anti-vagrancy act of 1855 was so obviously anti-Mexican that it became known popularly as the Greaser Law. Possibly the most blatantly anti-Mexican law was the 1855 act negating the constitutional requirement that laws be translated into Spanish. Finally, there were growing vigilantism and squatter violence against Californio landowners.

Land had been the basis of the California socio-economic system. The loss of land after the U.S. conquest undermined that system, in spite of the theoretical protections provided by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Holders of Spanish and Mexican land grants, most of whom were Mexican Americans, had to seek legal confirmation of their titles. In effect, the federal government placed the burden of proof on the landowners instead of automatically accepting all titles and then handling challenges on an individual basis.

Already suffering from heavy taxes and lacking capital, Chicano landowners had to go through the slow, expensive process of legally confirming their claims, and often were forced to borrow money at high interest rates to cover the costs of the legal struggle. Moreover, they had to argue their cases before U.S. judges and land commissioners unfamiliar with Hispanic legal principles and the land tenure system on which land grants were based. Even when they did win confirmation of their grants, Mexican Americans often found themselves personally destitute, or had to sacrifice their land to pay their legal expenses.

To adjudicate landholdings in California, Congress passed the Land Act of 1851, establishing a Board of Land Commissioners to review claims. If appealed, cases moved on to the U.S. district court, and even the Supreme Court. Of the 813 claims, 549 were appealed (417 by government attorneys), some as many as six times. The board went out of business in 1856, but multiple appeals caused land cases to drag on for an average of 17 years.

Loss of land contributed heavily to relegation of Mexican Americans to the lower echelons of the California socio-economic system. The loss eroded their economic base, undermined their political power, and displaced ranchworkers. Some Chicanos managed to find work in traditional occupations, such as vaquero or sheepshearer, but often only on a part-time basis. Most displaced Chicanos became laborers, poorly paid and often migratory, in expanding large-scale commercial agriculture. Others moved to cities, where their pastoral and agricultural skills were of little use. Many found employment in railroads, construction, and food processing.

Increasingly incorporated into the labor market in the nineteenth century as unskilled or semi-skilled manual laborers, Chicanos experienced job displacement, and in some areas, actual downward occupational mobility. Anglo hostility and low levels of education limited their access to jobs in the rapidly expanding white-collar sector, and Chicanos also encountered obstacles to upward mobility even in occupations in which they had considerable skill and experience. In Los Angeles, for example, Chicanos disappeared completely from the ranks of hatmakers, masons, and tailors. Despite long pastoral experience, Chicanos found employment on ranches only as ranchhands, while Anglos held most supervisory positions.

Another aspect of the nineteenth century economic shift was the entry of Mexican American women into the labor market. As Mexican American men found themselves more occupationally disadvantaged, women became increasingly employed as domestics, laundresses, farm laborers, and cannery and packinghouse workers. A rise in the proportion of female-headed households reflected these socio-economic stresses.

Concomitant with the Chicano economic decline was emergence of residential and social segregation. Chicano barrios and colonias consisted of various types. Some traditional Mexican towns became transformed into barrios as Anglos immigrated and established their own segregated neighborhoods, or as newly established Anglo cities expanded until they enveloped historic Mexican communities. Displaced Chicanos and immigrating Mexicans often established new barrios and colonias.

Barrios and colonias developed and survived through a combination of force and choice. In Anglo areas, anti-Mexican segregation, often embedded in restrictive covenants on real estate, slammed the residential door on the vast majority of Mexican Americans, the major exceptions being Chicanos with wealth, social status, light skins, and presumed Spanish identity. On the other hand, most Chicanos and new Mexican immigrants probably preferred living among people who shared their heritage, culture, and language. The little intermarriage that took place almost always involved Anglo men and daughters from wealthy "Spanish" families " events that often accompanied business partnerships or political alliances.

In Chicano areas, traditional extended family and community social life flourished. There were bullfights, rodeos, horse races, and various fiestas, including the celebration of Mexican Independence Day (September 16) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5 " the 1862 Mexican victory over the French at Puebla). The Catholic Church often provided a focus for social as well as religious life. Mexican American political, cultural, patriotic, and mutual aid organizations began to develop, but remained generally local in focus. Chicano newspapers strengthened community cohesion and spoke out against injustices, but they were undercapitalized, and were forced to engage in a constant, ultimately losing struggle for survival.

Faced with a pervasive pattern of economic dislocation, declining political influence, violence, and discrimination, Chicanos fought back.

Usually, they maneuvered within the system " through the courts, political channels, and newspapers " but at times they resorted to force to defend their rights. Some Chicanos, such as Tiburcio Vasquez, turned to banditry for survival and as a means of expressing grievances and frustrations with Anglo treatment. Nonetheless, by the end of the nineteenth century, Chicanos had declined from an influential majority to a relatively powerless minority.

Leo Carillo Ranch, San Diego County

A History of Mexican Americans in California: REVOLUTION TO DEPRESSION: 1900-1940

The first three decades of the twentieth century saw rapid growth in the size of the California Chicano population. However, the stage for this growth had been set by years of social and economic changes in Mexico and the United States.

Development of mining and industry in northern Mexico, as well as building of north-south railroad lines, attracted large numbers of Mexicans to the northern part of the country in the late nineteenth century. There they learned new industrial, mining, and railroad skills that would be useful later in the United States. The railroad also provided a quicker and easier means of travel to the north. At the same time, economic pressures were mounting. Many small landowners were losing their holdings to expanding haciendas, while farm workers were increasingly and systematically trapped into peonage by accumulating debts.

Finally in 1910, political opponents of President Porfirio Diaz revolted. He was quickly overthrown, but replacement of his government did not end the Mexican Revolution which spread throughout the country and took on deep social and economic, rather than merely political ramifications. The resulting chaos drove thousands of Mexicans north. Beyond physical proximity, the United States offered jobs " in industry, in mines, on railroads, and in agriculture " and all at wage levels far higher than those in Mexico. World War I further increased the demand for Mexican labor.

In the 1920s, the pace of emigration increased, spurred in part by the short but violent Cristero Revolution (1926-1929), while the U.S. economy continued to expand and attract Mexican labor. Nearly one-half million Mexicans entered the United States on permanent visas during the 1920s, some 11 percent of total U.S. immigration during that decade. Thousands more entered informally, before passage of restrictive regulations. Even after establishment of more stringent immigration rules and procedures, thousands continued to cross without legal sanction. Many of them were ignorant of the required legal processes; others sought to avoid the head tax, the expense of a visa, and bureaucratic delays at the border. Coyotes " as the professional labor contractors and border-crossing experts were known " often received commissions from U.S. businesses. They began the industry of smuggling people and forging documents that continues to the present.

Most Mexican immigrants settled in the Southwest. By 1930, more than 30 percent of Mexican-born U.S. residents lived in California. They entered nearly every occupation classified as unskilled or semi-skilled. Chicanos became the bulwark of southwestern agriculture. By 1930, manufacturing, transportation, communications, and domestic and personal service had become the other major sectors of Chicano employment. Chicanos made up 75 percent of the work force of the six major western railroads. They also held blue-collar positions in construction, food processing, textiles, automobile industries, steel production, and utilities. In California during the 1920s, Chicanos constituted up to two-thirds of the work force in many industries.

A small Chicano middle class developed, often oriented toward serving the Chicano population. The growth of barrios and colonias fostered expansion of small businesses such as grocery and dry-goods stores, restaurants, barber shops, and tailor shops. Small construction firms emerged. Chicanos entered the teaching profession, usually working in private Chicano schools or in segregated public schools.

Many factors kept Chicanos in a marginal status. The geographical isolation of employment sites, particularly in railroading, agriculture, and agriculturally related industry, often reduced opportunities for Chicanos to gain familiarity with U.S. society through personal contact. Chicanos also encountered various forms of segregation. These included maintenance of separate Anglo and Mexican public schools, restrictive covenants on residential property, segregated restaurants, separate "white" and "colored" sections in theaters, and special "colored" days in segregated swimming pools. Numerous government agencies, religious groups, and private social service organizations, however, made special efforts to assist in the acculturation of Chicanos by providing instruction in the English language, U.S. culture, and job skills.

The dramatic increase in Mexican immigration affected Chicano residential patterns. Thousands settled in older barrios, causing over crowding and generating construction of cheap housing to meet the sudden demand. In some barrios, Mexican immigrants attained such numerical dominance that U.S.-born Chicanos became a minority within a minority. Immigrants sometimes formed new barrios adjacent to historical Chicano areas or new colonias in agricultural or railroad labor camps.

The growth in the size and number of Chicano communities fostered the growth of community activities. In the early twentieth century, there was a major increase in Chicano organizations, particularly mutualistas (mutual aid societies). Some adopted descriptive or symbolic names, such as Club Reciproco (Reciprocal Club) or Sociedad Progresista Mexicana (Mexican Progressive Society). Others selected names of Mexican heroes, such as Sociedad Mutualista Miguel Hidalgo (the father of Mexican independence), Sociedad Mutualista Benito Juarez (the famous Mexican Liberal president), or Sociedad Ignacio Zaragosa (the victorious Texas-born general at the Battle of Puebla, 1862).

Casa de Tableta/Buelna's Roadhouse, San Mateo County

Membership varied. Some organizations were exclusively male or female; others had mixed membership. Most developed as representative of the working class, but others were essentially middle or upper-class, or reflected a cross-section of wealth and occupations. Although each mutualista had its special goals, they all provided a focus for social life with such activities as meetings, family gatherings, lectures, discussions, cultural presentations, and commemoration of both U.S. and Mexican holidays.

Most provided services, such as assistance to families in need, emergency loans, legal services, mediation of disputes, and medical, life, and burial insurance. Some organized libraries or operated escuelitas (little schools), providing training in Mexican culture, Spanish, and basic school subjects to supplement the inferior education many Chicanos felt their children received in the public schools. Mutualistas helped immigrants adapt to life in the United States. Many mutualistas became involved in civil rights issues, such as the legal defense of Chicanos and the struggle against residential, school, or public segregation and other forms of discrimination. Some engaged in political activism, including support of candidates for public office. At times, mutualistas provided support for Chicanos on strike. Coalitions of Chicano organizations were formed, such as La Liga Protectora Latina (Latin Protective League) and El Confederacion de Sociedades Mexicanas (Confederation of Mexican Societies) in Los Angeles.

In addition to mutualistas, a variety of other cultural, political, service, and social organizations were developed in the early twentieth century, as communities grew or were formed. Possibly the most turbulent Chicano organizational activity of that era was in the labor sphere, where Mexicans played ironically conflicting roles. Because of depressed wages and unemployment in Mexico, Mexican workers could earn more in the United States, even by accepting jobs at pay levels that Anglos refused. Employers thus used Mexican labor to hold down pay scales, and often reached across the border to recruit Mexicans as strikebreakers. Because of the antipathy Mexicans generated in these roles, and also because of the biases of union leaders, local chapters of U.S. labor unions often refused to accept Chicanos as members, or required them to establish segregated locals.

There were Mexican strikers as well as strikebreakers, though. Chicanos were in the forefront of agricultural strikes. In 1903, more than 1,000 Mexican and Japanese sugar-beet workers carried out a successful strike near Ventura. In 1913, Mexican workers participated in a strike against degrading conditions on the Durst hop ranch, near Wheatland, Yuba County. Although the intervention of National Guard troops and the arrest of some 100 migrant workers broke the back of the strike, the Wheatland events contributed to establishment of the California Commission on Immigration and Housing, and recognition of the oppressive living and working conditions of agricultural laborers.

Throughout the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mexicans heed or participated in a number of agricultural strikes throughout California. Mexicans struck Imperial Valley melon fields in 1928 and 1930. In 1933, El Monte strawberry fields, San Joaquin Valley cotton fields and fruit orchards, Hayward pea fields, and many other locales were affected. Strikes spread to Redlands citrus groves in 1936, and to Ventura County lemon groves in 1941. Mexicans also challenged the related food-processing industry through strikes by lettuce packers in Salinas in 1936, cannery workers in Stockton in 1937, and others.

Chicanos created a number of their own unions. El Confederacion de Uniones Obreras Mexicanas (CUOM, Confederation of Mexican Labor Unions) was formed in 1928. Among its goals were equal pay for Mexicans and Anglos doing the same job, termination of job discrimination against Chicano workers, and limitation on the immigration of Mexican workers into the United States. At its height, CUOM had about 20 locals and 3,000 workers.

In the early 1930s, Chicanos established some 40 agricultural unions in California. The largest, El Confederacion de Uniones de Campesinos y Obreros Mexicanos (CUCOM, Confederation of Mexican Farm Workers' and Laborers' Unions), created in 1933, ultimately included 50 locals and 5,000 members. Most of these unions later joined the American Federation of Labor or the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

The Great Depression brought a dramatic population reversal among Mexican Americans. Tabulated immigration to the United States from Mexico fell from nearly 500,000 during the 1920s to only 32,700 during the 1930s. At the same time, official figures indicate that some half- million persons of Mexican descent moved to Mexico.

The Depression displaced millions of American workers, and the drastic midwestern drought dispossessed thousands more, many of whom headed for California. As a result, California Chicanos not only lost their jobs in the cities along with other Americans, but also found themselves displaced from agricultural jobs by Dust Bowl migrants. Whereas before the Depression Anglos had composed less than 20 percent of California migratory agricultural laborers, by 1936, they had increased to more than 85 percent.

The shrinking job market caused Anglo attitudes toward Mexicans in the United States to change. Previously welcomed as important contributors to an expanding agriculture and industry, Mexicans now were seen as "surplus labor." No longer considered the backbone of California agriculture and invaluable contributors to other employment sectors, Mexicans instead were viewed as an economic liability, and had become objects of resentment as recipients of scarce public relief funds.

The government's solution was the Repatriation Program. In cooperation with the Mexican government, which had regretted the loss of so many able workers, U.S. federal, state, county, and local officials applied pressure on Mexicans to "voluntarily" return to Mexico. At times, this procedure resulted in outright deportation. Mexican aliens who lacked documents of legal residency, including many who had entered the United States in good faith during an earlier period when immigration from Mexico was a more informal process, were particularly vulnerable. Among the victims of the process were naturalized and U.S.-born husbands, wives, and children of Mexican repatriates, who had to choose between remaining in the United States or maintaining family unity by moving to Mexico.

The Depression era also sharpened long-existent Chicano distrust of government, particularly its agents of law enforcement. During the Depression, the use of violence to break strikes and disrupt union activities was widespread and added to Chicano antagonism toward law-enforcement officials. The Repatriation Program further increased Chicano distrust of government.

La Union Espanola de Vacaville, Solano County

A History of Mexican Americans in California: WORLD WAR II AND ITS AFTERMATH

World War II marked another sharp reversal in the course of Chicano history, renewing hope where the Depression had brought despair. The Depression had left in its wake a population decline, devastated communities, and shattered dreams; the war brought population growth, resurgent communities, and rising expectations.

World War II caused a tremendous labor shortage. When the military forces called for recruits, Mexican Americans responded in great number and went on to serve with distinction. Some 350,000 Chicanos served in the armed services and won 17 medals of honor. The war also brought industrial expansion, further aggravating the labor shortage caused by growth of the armed forces. Chicanos thus managed to gain entry to jobs and industries that had been virtually closed to them in the past. These new opportunities liberated many Chicanos from dependence on such traditional occupations as agriculture.

The turnaround from the labor surplus of the 1930s to the labor shortage of the 1940s had a special impact on agriculture and transportation. For help, the United States turned to Mexico, and in 1942 the two nations formulated the Bracero Program. From then until 1964, Mexican braceros were a regular part of the U.S. labor scene, reaching a peak of 450,000 workers in 1959. Most engaged in agriculture; they formed 26 percent of the nation's seasonal agricultural labor force in 1960.

Along with opportunities, World War II also brought increased tensions between Chicanos and law-enforcement agencies. Two events in Los Angeles brought this issue into focus. In the Sleepy Lagoon case of 1942-1943, 17 Chicano youths were convicted of charges ranging from assault to first-degree murder for the death of a Mexican American boy discovered on the outskirts of the city. Throughout the trial, the judge openly displayed bias against Chicanos, and allowed the prosecution to bring in racial factors. Further, the defendants were not permitted haircuts or changes of clothing. In 1944, the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee obtained a reversal of the convictions from the California District Court of Appeals, but the damage had been done. Los Angeles newspapers sensationalized the case and helped create an anti-Mexican atmosphere. Police harassed Chicano youth clubs, and repeatedly rounded up Chicano youth "under suspicion."

In the aftermath of the convictions and the press campaign, conflict broke out between U.S. servicemen in the area and young Mexican Americans who often dressed in the zoot suits popular during the wartime era. Soldiers and sailors declared open season on Chicanos, attacking them on the streets and even dragging them out of theaters and public vehicles. Instead of intervening to stop the attackers, military and local police moved in afterward and arrested the Chicano victims. Spurred on by sensational, anti-Mexican press coverage of the "zoot-suit riots," these assaults spread throughout Southern California and even into midwestern cities. A citizens' investigating committee appointed by the governor later reported that racial prejudice, discriminatory police practices, and inflammatory press coverage were among the principal causes of the riots. The Sleepy Lagoon case and the zoot-suit affair provided the basis for Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit, which in 1979 became the first Chicano play to appear on Broadway.

Despite such events as these, the World War II era proved to be generally positive for Mexican Americans and is often viewed as a watershed in their history. Progress continued after the war. The G.I. Bill of Rights gave all veterans such benefits as educational subsidies and loans for business and housing. Moreover, returning Chicano servicemen refused to accept the discriminatory practices that had been the Chicanos' lot. The G.I. generation furnished much of the leadership for post-war Mexican American civil rights and political activism.

Veterans were instrumental in the founding and growth of a variety of Chicano organizations. Among the heavily political organizations, the Unity Leagues and the Community Service Organization registered voters in California and supported Chicano candidates. These groups also engaged in such diverse activities as language and citizenship education, court challenges against school segregation, and assistance in obtaining government services. Even more overtly political has been the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA).

Chicano progress since World War II is reflected in occupational patterns. Changes in Mexican American job concentrations reflect to some extent changes in the state economy. Since 1940, California has experienced a manufacturing boom and rapid growth in such areas as government, product distribution, consumer-oriented activities, and professional services. Percentages of Mexican Americans in agriculture and unskilled labor positions have declined, while percentages in professional, technical, managerial, clerical, skilled craft, and semi-skilled occupations have risen.

The post-Depression era brought socio-economic gains for Mexican Americans, but not equality. Although percentages of Mexican Americans in professional, technical, managerial, and clerical positions have increased, they still fall far short of parity according to their population numbers. Moreover, in nearly every major occupational group, Chicanos tend to hold inferior jobs, and Chicano earnings in the same job classifications tend to be lower than those of Anglos.

Inequitable economic conditions are paralleled by comparatively low Chicano educational attainment and severe underrepresentation among elected officials. The latter has resulted partially because thousands of Mexican immigrants have lived in California for decades without obtaining U.S. citizenship. With Mexico so close, many come with plans ultimately to "return home," although these dreams often go unfulfilled. Some Mexican immigrants, although harboring no desire to live in Mexico, have refused to surrender their Mexican citizenship. In comparison to immigrants from other parts of the world, Mexicans and other Latinos have been more reluctant to become naturalized citizens.

Other factors have also contributed to Chicano electoral underrepresentation. In 1977, for example, a California legislative committee on elections partially attributed Chicanos' limited representation on most city councils in cities with significant Chicano populations to the predominant use of citywide at-large elections instead of district elections. There were no Chicano council members at all in 42 such cities in California. The committee argued that local at-large elections prevent "minority voters from exercising their potential political weight," since "their votes disappear in a sea of majority group votes." On the other hand, some contend that at-large elections make it less likely that candidates will write off minority votes as irrelevant, as can happen in ward-based contests.

When it comes to military service, combat decorations, and wartime casualties, however, Chicanos have been overrepresented in terms of population. Because of their lower educational attainment and restricted employment opportunities, Chicanos have traditionally viewed military service as a viable economic option. And since they were underrepresented in higher education, Mexican Americans did not benefit from student deferments as frequently as Anglos.

Finally, the 1970 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report, Mexican- Americans and the Administration of justice in the Southwest, documented unequal treatment of Chicanos by law-enforcement agencies and the judicial system. Among widespread abuses cited in this and other studies are the lack of bilingual translators in court proceedings; underrepresentation of Chicanos on grand juries, as judges, and as law-enforcement officers; unequal assignment of punishment and probation to convicted Chicanos; excessive patrolling of Chicano barrios; anti-Mexican prejudice among police and judicial officials; and even wrongful use of law-enforcement agencies. In the search for undocumented Mexicans, the U.S. Border Patrol has exacerbated antipathy among Mexican Americans by periodic raids on houses, apartments, restaurants, and bars in Chicano communities and predominantly Chicano places of employment.

Quinto Sol Publication's first office location, Alameda County

A History of Mexican Americans in California: THE CHICANO MOVEMENT

This negative side of the post-World War II Mexican American experience provided background and impetus for the Chicano movement

Rising from the turbulent 1960s and drawing on the century-long foundation of Mexican American experience, the Chicano movement has be come a dynamic force for societal change. The movement is not a monolith, but is rather an amalgam of individuals and organizations who share a sense of pride in Mexicanidad, a dedication to enhancement of Chicano culture, mutual identification, a desire to improve the Chicano socio-economic position, and a commitment to making constructive changes in U.S. society.

A major focus of contemporary Chicanos has been politics. Political goals have included increasing the number of Chicano candidates, convincing non-Chicano candidates to commit themselves to the needs of the Mexican American community, conducting broad-scale voter registration and community organization drives, working for appointment of more Chicanos in government, and supporting passage of constructive legislation. Some Chicanos have chosen to work through the two major political parties or through theoretically nonpartisan organizations, such as the Mexican-American Political Association. Others have channeled their political efforts through El Partido de la Raza Unida (PRU, United People's Party), which was founded in south Texas by Jose Angel Gutierrez. While Chicanos have not demonstrated political influence commensurate with their growing numbers, the increase in Chicano elected and appointed officials reflects growing Chicano political presence.

Chicanos have given considerable contemporary attention to economic change. Goals and strategies have varied " upgrading occupations, creating more private businesses (Brown Capitalism), and forming cooperative community development enterprises are examples. The most visible and publicly dramatic aspect of the Chicano economic struggle has been the United Farm Workers' movement led by Cesar Chavez.

Cesar Chavez family home in Delano, Kern County

Education has long been a primary target of Mexican American reformers. Well before the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed school desegregation in the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954, California Chicanos had challenged educational discrimination. In 1946, Mendez v. Westminister School District resulted in banning separate Chicano schools in California. Yet the U.S. Civil Rights Commission pointed out that in the late 1960s, one-quarter of Chicanos in California attended schools with more than 50 percent Chicanos.

The Chicano movement has striven for a variety of educational goals, including reduction of school drop-out rates, improvement of educational attainment, development of bilingual-bicultural programs, expansion of higher education fellowships and support services, creation of courses and programs in Chicano studies, and an increase in the number of Chicano teachers and administrators. The traditional campaign for desegregation and the newer drive for bilingual-bicultural education, of course, involve objectives that are not always easy to reconcile. In a seeming turnabout after years of struggling for desegregation, some contemporary Mexican American educational leaders recently have taken strong stands against cross-town busing in such communities as Los Angeles, fearing that dispersion of Chicano students will prevent them from participating in hard-won bilingual educational programs.

At times, Chicanos have adopted the traditional tactic of working quietly through existing channels, or attempted to elect Chicano or pro-Chicano school board members. At other times, out of frustration, they have turned to walkouts, sit-ins, and direct confrontations with school boards and administrations. Students have provided much of the effort toward educational reform through such organizations as the United Mexican-American Students (UMAS) and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA, Chicano Student Movement of the Southwest). The Chicano movement has also spurred establishment of Chicano alternative schools and institutions of higher education, such as Universidad de la Tierra in Goshen, Universidad de Campesinos Libres in Fresno, and Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University in Davis, Yolo County, the first Chicano/American Indian university.

Among other institutions affected by the Chicano movement has been the Catholic Church. Although many individual Catholic priests have historically made non-religious contributions to Mexican Americans, the Church as an institution tended to avoid involvement in Chicano societal issues. During the Repatriation Program, for example, the Church generally remained silent, and did little on behalf of affected Mexicans. Although some Catholic priests and Protestant clergymen have taken their place alongside Cesar Chavez and his followers, priests serving in strike areas have often withheld support for the strikers so as not to alienate growers. The Chicano movement generated such organizations as Catolicos por la Raza (Catholics for the Chicano People), which challenged the Church for pouring its money into opulent structures while neglecting too invest in social services to improve conditions for the Chicano poor. Some critics addressed the Church's failure to recruit and promote Chicano priests.

The Chicano movement has also generated a Chicano cultural renaissance and has contributed to a broader Hispanic cultural renaissance in the United States. Art, music, literature, theater, and other forms of expression have flourished. Spanish-language and bilingual media, including television and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and motion pictures, have expanded in number and impact.

Particularly in the twentieth century, Chicanos have worked in such fields of art as painting, drawing, sculpture, and lithography, and in recent years, have developed a full-scale Chicano art movement. Possibly the two most distinctive vehicles of contemporary Chicano art are muralism and graffiti.

Muralism harks back to the tradition of the great Mexican muralists of the post-Revolution era. Mural themes run from dramatizations of the Mexican Revolution to depictions of the Chicano experience too abstract expressionism. Things form of visual expression is a true people's art, oriented toward the many of the community rather than the few in the art gallery. It can be seen on outside walls of stores, schools, churches, hospitals, and government buildings, in public parks, and even on freeway support pillars, often blended imaginatively with architectural elements. Some barrio gangs have become involved in mural painting, at times using murals as boundary lines between their respective turfs.

The pop-art companion to mural art as an omnipresent symbol of barrio expression is Chicano graffiti. Unlike crude or clever sayings and rhymes written on public walls, Chicano graffiti consists of purposefully conceived sets of symbols or symbolic words, notable in their careful, angular lettering. Barrio gangs generally have developed their own special symbols " placas " too denote their territory or their presence on the turf of other groups. Some Chicano muralists have integrated graffiti into their work, at times incorporating existing graffiti by painting around the symbols.

Pan American Unity Mural by Diego Rivera, San Francisco College,
San Francisco County

Along with the contemporary movement in the visual arts among Chicanos has come a literary movement. Novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and plays have flowed from the pens of contemporary Chicano writers. Two special characteristics are common too many of these writings. First, they often emphasize Mexican American culture and experience, especially the themes of Anglo prejudice, discrimination, and exploitation. Second, they are often bilingual " usually written primarily in English with a smattering of Spanish words and phrases, though some works, particularly poetry, are entirely in Spanish.

One distinctive aspect of current Chicano expression is the teatro (theater). Most famous is El Teatro Campesino (Farm Workers' Theater), founded in 1965 by Luis Valdez as a component of Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers' movement, but now an independent organization. The teatro also emphasizes themes of Anglo discrimination, Chicano resistance, and Mexican heritage. Productions blend English and Spanish, and often include music. Some presentations are a series of relatively brief actos, although the teatro also offers full-length plays. Using an epic theater style in which actors interact directly with the audience and demythologize theater, El Teatro Campesino has attained broad popularity, and has inspired creation of other teatros in barrios and universities throughout the country.

The Chicano teatro movement has included both ephemeral groups (some university teatros disappeared after graduation of their founders and early leaders) and some that have managed to survive despite constant financial pressures. A recent artistic trend has been away from the teatro popular toward a more professional theater, and greater use of English (partially owing to increased professional training, the growth of U.S.-born Chicano audiences, and the attempt to attract non- Chicano audiences). In 1978, Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez premiered, and enjoyed a long run in Los Angeles. The following year, it became the first Chicano play to appear on Broadway.

California has also been the scene of a boom in Chicano publications as a whole, including newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. Chicano newspapers have existed in California since the 1850s. However, most have had limited circulation and even more limited longevity, primarily for two reasons. First, the Chicano population remained relatively small until the early twentieth century, and the reading public was rendered even smaller by limited literacy. Second, such papers were plagued by undercapitalization and limited local advertising. That they achieved even a limited success, particularly during the nineteenth century, is a tribute to the determination of Chicano journalists. This determination paid off in the twentieth century when some Chicano newspapers, such as La Opinion (1926- ) of Los Angeles, became permanent.

01-31-2008, 05:55 PM


The impetus of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and 1970s brought a rapid expansion of the Chicano press, but the problems of undercapitalization and of educating large institutional advertisers to the potential of the Mexican American market remain.

Possibly the newest surge of Chicano expression has come in the field of motion pictures. Chicano filmmakers have expanded from documentaries to feature films, and are sometimes helped by Mexico City studios. Los Angeles, quite naturally, has been the most active movie-making area, with several independent Chicano production companies located there.

Chicano Park/Logan Heights, San Diego County

A History of Mexican Americans in California: THE FUTURE

Unquestionably, Chicanos and other Hispanics will play increasingly important roles in California's future, if for no other reason than numbers alone. Since World War II, Mexican immigration has remained at a constantly significant level. While the Bracero Program and the entry of countless numbers of undocumented workers have received the most scholarly and journalistic attention, there has been a parallel increase in immigration of Mexicans with permanent visas. During the past decade, in particular, there has also been a sharp increase in immigrants from Central America and South America.

Along with this continuous immigration from Latin America, the number of U.S.-born Latinos in California continues too rise. Birth rates and family size among Hispanics continue to be larger than the U.S. average, although recent years have witnessed a decline in the Hispanic birth rate. Moreover, the Hispanic population is considerably younger than the over all U.S. population, another indicator of potential future population in crease. One reflection of the changing demographic face of California is the fact that Hispanics now compose about half of all kindergarten students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the state's largest district, while other school districts are reporting equally dramatic increases in His panics.

But numbers alone do not tell the story. While progress has generally been slow, Chicanos and other Hispanics are now making strides in education, political sophistication, and effectiveness for constructive societal change. Their ability too accomplish this change should be further strengthened as pan-Hispanic identity among various Latino national-origin groups becomes a greater reality. These three factors " numerical growth, developing skills and awareness, and greater pan-Hispanic identity " make it almost certain that Hispanics will have an unprecedented influence over the future of California.

Sixteenth Street Victoria Theatre, San Francisco County

01-31-2008, 06:36 PM
Immigration Is Destroying California
by Alan Caruba

There was a time when America needed immigrants to work in its factories, to help build its infrastructure of roads, bridges and tunnels, to go West to farm its plains, and all the other tasks necessary to nation-building. That era is over. Now immigration, especially illegal immigration from Mexico, Central and South America, is the source of major economic and social problems. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has just declared the Mexican government's "Matricula Consular" card, issued to Mexicans living in the US, to be an unreliable form of identification, posing a criminal and terrorist threat.

No where is this more evident in California. It is being destroyed by US immigration policies. A June 2000 report by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) dramatically confirms this. Based on information from the California Department of Finance, along with statistics provided by the US Census Bureau, it reveals that, between 1990 and 2000, one single decade, "virtually all population growth in California is due to direct immigration and births to immigrants."

When you combine direct immigration (57%) with births to foreign-born women, 98% of California's rise in population over the passed decade is making life difficult, stressful, and costly for its citizens. Migration from other States to California is no longer a factor. During the last decade, California had the largest population jump in history, fully 13%, adding 4,208,000 people. That's more than the entire population of Ireland. If this trend were to continue, the State's population would double in forty years.

By contrast, California's native-born (US) population increased by a scant 2%. This is attributed to the fact that many Californians are moving to other states. Out of 5,588,653 births between 1990 and 2000, those of native-born Californians increased by only 90,000, while births to immigrants rose 45%!

The CAPS report concludes that "Mass immigration is the cause of most of California's most pressing problems: too many people living in poverty, the shortage of schoolrooms and teachers, the closing of hospitals, and the impact of overpopulation on biodiversity. For all of the above reasons, California's present and predicted future size is a wakeup call for the State and the nation."

To understand California's immigration problem, during the same decade, all of the northeastern States from Maine to Virginia, combined, gained less than four million people, i.e., native-born along with both legal and illegal immigrants. However, it's worth noting that, during the same decade, the population of illegal immigrants in New Jersey doubled.

I was recently in Los Angeles and even a brief visit demonstrated the problems this massive influx of immigrants is creating. Highway congestion in that metropolitan area is a nightmare. California's answer, however, is to build more highways. The CAPS report estimates that more than three million new vehicles were added to roadways in the passed decade. Statewide, there is an increasing water crisis. It is locked into disputes with other States and even Canada to secure sufficient water for its exploding population.

Education is suffering statewide in California. "The State's university system, once the envy of the nation, has fallen in quality combined with increased demands for admission by an ever-growing number of applicants," says the CAPS report. In the schools, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, enrollments rose from 4.8 million in 1990-91 to almost 6 million ten years later. By 2000, "there were more Hispanics than other children enrolled in the State's schools." California is currently spending $6,837 per student, "so more than $16 billion was spent last year on students whose native language was other than English."

California has been so mismanaged by its governors and legislature that it is billions in debt. This most politically correct, politically liberal State continues to struggle to provide affordable electricity and, as noted, is desperately trying to provide water. The CAPS report does not address the issue of crime, integral to the increase in immigration, but it too must be considered. Soon enough it will begin to export its immigration problems to contiguous States.

The simple fact is that Mexico has a deliberate policy of flooding California and the American Southwest with its population. By doing so, it insures those immigrants will send billions back to Mexico. This is much easier than trying to solve its own massive economic problems or addressing widespread corruption underwritten by drug cartels.

California is the template for the problems our virtually non-existent immigration policies represent. It is a national problem and the solution is just too obvious, just too politically incorrect. The US has to significantly restrict immigration or it will undermine all aspects of our economy, our national security, and the quality of life in this nation.

Alan Caruba is the author of "Warning Signs", published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.

Copyright 2001-2007 John Hawkins

01-31-2008, 06:54 PM

Immigration forum expresses unity

By LeiLani Dowell
Published Jan 30, 2008 9:59 PM

A powerful meeting on the struggle for immigrant rights was held Jan. 22 in New York, with a panel of speakers representing, as event chair Teresa Gutierrez described, "people who are actually fighting the racist attacks the U.S. government commits everyday."

Teresa Gutierrez, Emma Lozano, Victor Toro,
Arturo J. Pérez Saad, Flor Crisóstomo,
Marc De La Cruz and Shahid Comrade.
Photo: Walter Sinche

V*ctor Toro, a founder of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) in Chile in the late 1960s, who faces deportation from the U.S., discussed taking advantage of the economic crisis to build a broad movement, calling on all those affected by the crisis to come together and march in May Day rallies in 2008.

Marc De La Cruz, one of the Sentosa 27"Filipino nurses and one physical therapist who are being tried for trumped-up charges in Long Island, N.Y., after they complained about exploitative working conditions"described their case, where several of the nurses, if convicted, face jail time and deportation.

For more information, visit www.s27plus.com (http://www.s27plus.com).

Flor Crisóstomo, a Mexican immigrant and mother of three, described how she and her brothers ended up in the U.S. from her native Oaxaca: "Every day in Mexico showed the necessity of work and food. ... My brothers were already in college [in Mexico], but in 1995 NAFTA devaluated the Mexican currency and obliged me and my brothers to go north."

Tearfully she declared, "It's not easy being without your children for seven years; working, not even asking for welfare and paying taxes, and facing these attacks. ... I am Indigenous and I don't need to ask permission to come here. This country forced me to come here to work. ... If you really want me to leave, leave us in peace in our own countries."

On Jan. 28, Crisóstomo announced that she would be taking sanctuary at the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago"the same church Elvira Arellano received sanctuary.

Black and Brown unity was a recurring theme during the evening. Emma Lozano, a key figure in the support of Arellano and Crisóstomo, pointed out that her brother, Rudy Lozano, was assassinated after helping to forge the unity that resulted in the election of the first Black mayor in Chicago, Harold Washington, in 1983. She said the U.S. is becoming "more people of color"which is ok to them if you're serving them, but not if you're resisting." "Flor says to me," Lozano reported, "let Blacks and Latin@s unite, and they will tremble."

The event was sponsored by the New York May 1 Coalition for Immigrant Rights (http://may1.info/).

E-mail: ldowell@workers.org

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01-31-2008, 07:04 PM

What Are Flags?

A flag is a piece of woven cloth, often flown from a pole or mast, generally used symbolically for signalling or identification. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.

The first flags were used to assist military coordination on battlefields and flags have evolved into a general tool for rudimentary signalling and identification, This was especially used in environments where communication is similarly challenging (such as the maritime environment where semaphore is used). National flags are potent patriotic symbols with varied wide-ranging interpretations, often including strong military associations due to their original and ongoing military uses. Flags are used in messaging, advertising, or for other decorative purposes. The study of flags is known as vexillology, from the Latin vexillum meaning flag or banner.

Although flag-like symbols were used in some ancient cultures, the origin of flags in the modern sense is a matter of dispute. Some believe flags originated in China, while others hold that the Roman Empire's vexillum or the cyrus the great's standard( a hawk) were the first true flag and flags are also prominently been mentioned in the Indian epic of Mahabharata. Originally, the standards of the Roman legions were not flags, but symbols like the eagle of Augustus Caesar's Xth legion; this eagle would be placed on a staff for the standard-bearer to hold up during battle. But a military unit from Scythia had for a standard a dragon with a flexible tail which would move in the wind; the legions copied this; eventually all the legions had flexible standards Â" our modern-day flag.

During the Middle Ages, flags were used mainly during battles to identify individual leaders: in Europe the knights, in Japan the samurai, and in China the generals under the imperial army.

From the time of Christopher Columbus onwards, it has been customary (and later a legal requirement) for ships to carry flags designating their nationality;[1] these flags eventually evolved into the national flags and maritime flags of today. Flags also became the preferred means of communications at sea, resulting in various systems of flag signals; see International maritime signal flags.

As European knights were replaced by centralized armies, flags became the means to identify not just nationalities but also individual military units. Flags became objects to be captured or defended. Eventually these flags posed too much danger to those carrying them, and by World War I these were withdrawn from the battlefields, and have since been used only at ceremonial occasions.

One of the most popular uses of a flag is to symbolize a nation or country. Some national flags have been particularly inspirational to other nations, countries, or subnational entities in the design of their own flags. Some prominent examples include:

The flag of Denmark is the oldest state flag still in use. This flag, called the Dannebrog, inspired the cross design of the other Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and regional flags for the Faroe Islands, ÃÂ...land, and Scania.

The Union Flag (Union Jack) of the United Kingdom. British colonies typically flew a flag based on one of the ensigns based on this flag, and many former colonies have retained the design to acknowledge their cultural history. Examples: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Tuvalu, and also the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, and the American state of Hawaii; see Gallery of flags based on British ensigns.

The Tricolor of The Netherlands is the oldest tricolour, first appearing in 1572 as the Prince's Flag in orangeÂwhiteÂblue. Soon the more famous redÂwhiteÂblue began appearing Â" it is however unknown why, though many stories are known. After 1630 the redÂwhiteÂblue was the most commonly seen flag. The Dutch Tricolor has inspired[citation needed] many flags but most notably those of Russia, India and France, which spread the tricolor concept even further, as can be seen below. The Flag of the Netherlands is also the only flag in the world that is adapted for some uses, when the occasion has a connection to the royal house of the Netherlands an orange ribbon is added.

The national flag of France, also called the Tricolore, which inspired[citation needed] other nations to adopt differenced tricolours in sympathy with the revolutionary spirit with which the flag was designed in 1794. Examples among many: Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Mexico.

The flag of the United States, also nicknamed The Stars and Stripes or Old Glory. In the same way that nations looked to France for inspiration, many countries were also inspired by the American Revolution, which they felt was symbolized in this flag. Examples: Cuba, Liberia, Chile, Uruguay, and the French region of Brittany.

The flag of Russia, the source for the Pan-Slavic colors adopted by many Slavic states and peoples as their symbols. Examples: Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia.

Ethiopia was seen as a model by emerging African states of the 1950s and 1960s, as it was one of the oldest independent states in Africa. Accordingly, its flag became the source of the Pan-African colours. Examples: Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Mali.

The flag of Turkey, which was the flag of the Ottoman Empire, has been an inspiration for the flag designs of many other Muslim nations. During the time of the Ottomans the crescent began to be associated with Islam and this is reflected on the flags of Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Tunisia, and of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Pan-Arab colors, green, white, red and black, are derived from the flag of the Great Arab Revolt as seen on the flags of Jordan, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.

The Soviet flag, with its golden symbols of the hammer and sickle on a red field, was an inspiration to flags of other communist states, such as East Germany, People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Angola, Afghanistan and Mozambique.

The flag of Venezuela, created by Francisco de Miranda to represent the independence movement in Venezuela that later gave birth to the "Gran Colombia", inspired the individual flags of Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia, all sharing three bands of color and three of them (Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela) sharing the yellow, blue and red.

The flag of Argentina, created by Manuel Belgrano during the war of independence, was the inspiration for the United Provinces of Central America's flag, which in turn was the origin for the flags of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
National flag designs are often used to signify nationality in other forms, such as flag patches.


01-31-2008, 07:35 PM

Chili Peppers

Perhaps the chief misconception about chili peppers is their red-hot reputation. Many are fiery hot, but many others are sweet, mild, or richly flavored. Their hotness is concentrated in the interior veins or ribs near the seed heart, not in the seeds as is commonly believed (the seeds taste extra hot because they are in close contact with the hot veins). If, when the pepper is cut open, the veins have a yellowish orange color in that area, it usually indicates the pepper will be a potent one.

That the burning sensation that makes chili peppers so appealing to culinary thrill-seekers comes from capsaicin or more accurately a collection of compounds called capsaicinoids. These develop in the placenta or cross-ribs of the fruit, which is why that part of the chili pepper is the hottest. A single dominant gene transmits capsaicinoids. Bell peppers are just like jalapeno peppers and Serrano peppers but bell peppers taste bland instead of pungent because they lack that gene.

In 1912, a pharmacist named Scoville came up with a heat index for measuring the "heat" in a chili product, or scoring capsaicinoid content. This index was called the Scoville Units and is still used today. A more modern version used by many chile writers is called "the Official Chile Pepper Heat Scale" with a rating of zero to ten. Bell peppers rate a zero because they contain no capsaicinoid. At a 5 rating: jalapeno peppers...at a 6 rating serrano peppers... at a 8 rating cayenne peppers and Tabasco peppers... and at a 9 rating chalet pin peppers and Thai hot peppers.

The spelling of the word "chili" is used here as it is used in Mexico. Because American spice companies label their ground chili blends "chili" you will encounter that spelling in recipes using the purchased ground spice.

More than 140 varieties of chilies peppers are grown in Mexico alone. Those that follow are most popular in the United States and used in most Mexican cooking recipes.

Recently, a chipotle dark chocolate bar and a jalapeno milk chocolate bar came on to the confectionary market - heavenly!


Bell peppers Probably the most familiar pepper in the United States, the green and red bell peppers are somewhat square and fist-size.

Green peppers turn red in the fall, becoming sweeter and milder, yet retaining their crisp, firm texture.

Ancho peppers This chili looks and tastes very much like ordinary bell pepper but can be considerably more peppery at times. Tapered rather than square, it is firmer, less crisp, more waxy-looking. It turns a bright red and sweetens up in the fall. When dry, it assumes a flat, round shape and wrinkles up like a prune.

California green chilies (Anaheim) Fresh, these peppers are 5 to 8 inches long, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide, tapering to a point, usually a bright, shiny green. The flavor ranges from mild and sweet to moderate hot. To use fresh peppers, peel the skin from the chilies. When using fresh or canned, taste for hotness - they can vary greatly from pepper to pepper.

Chilaca Chiles Look and taste much like the guajillo and guayon chiles.

Chile de Arbol Also known as the "Cola de Rata". Often dried, toasted, used to decorate Mexican dishes.

Chipotle Chiles Made from jalapenos that have been dried and smoked. Sold both dried and canned in adobo, or a rich smoky dark reddids-brown sauce.

Fresno chili peppers Bright green, changing to orange and red when fully matured. Fresno chilies have a conical shape - about 2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter at the stem end. They are often just labeled "hot chili peppers" when canned or bottled.

Guajillo Chiles Smooth-skin, brick or cranberry red chiles, a bit spicier than anchos and not as sweet. Because of their tangy brightness, they are often powdered over fruit or vegetables or added to stews and soups.

Jalapeno chili peppers These peppers have thicker flesh, darker green color, and more cylindrical shape than Fresno chilies; however, the heat level of the two varieties is about the same - HOT! Canned and bottled peppers are sometimes labeled "hot peppers" with jalapeno as a subtitle. They are always available in sauce form such as salsa and pickled.

Mulato Chiles Deep brown, longer and more tapered than the ancho, more pungent also. Often replaces the ancho in recipes.

Pasilla peppers The true pasilla pepper is a long, thin pepper 7 to 12 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Pasillas turn from dark green to dark brown as they mature.

Pequin Chiles Tiny, dried red bullets of fiery heat, adding a unique flavor to many dishes. Crumble the dried pod and add.

Pimentos These heart-shaped chilies are purchased canned in the United States. The flesh is softer and a little sweeter than the common red
bell pepper.

Poblano Chiles Dark green, about the size of a bell pepper but tapered at one end, can be mild or hot. Often used in "Chile Rellenos"

Serrano Chiles A small 1 " fresh HOT pepper. The smaller they are, the more kick they have. Most often used in Pico de Gallo. Dynamite hot is an understatement for these tiny 1-inch peppers. When new on the vine, they are rich, waxy green, changing to orange and red as they mature. They also sold canned, pickled, or packed in oil. A great source of vitamin C.

Small, whole, red dried hot chili peppers. Labeled this way on the supermarket spice shelves, many small tapered chiles about 1 to 2 inches long are sold dried, but there is no one variety name that applies to all of them.

Yellow Chile peppers. Many short conical-shaped yellow peppers with a waxy sheen go by this name: Santa Fe grande, caribe, banana pepper, Hungarian, Armenian way, floral gem, and gold spike. Probably most familiar are the canned pickled wax peppers. Their flavor ranges from medium-hot to hot.

Habanero peppers To date these are the Hottest chili peppers know to man, HOT - HOT - HOT. Use extreme caution when using. Marble-shaped chili peppers, ranges in color from unripe green to full ripe red.

Scoville Units Names

0 Bell Sweet Italian
100 - 500 Peperoncini Cherry
500 - 1,000 New Mexico
1,000 - 1,500 Pasilla Poblano Ancho
1,500 - 2,500 Rocotillo
2,500 - 5,000 Jalapeno Chipotle Guajillo
5,000 - 10,000 Yellow Wax
10,000 - 23,000 Serrano
325,000 and up Habanero


CAPSAICIN (Zostrix), a topical nonprescription cream, made from the seeds of hot chili peppers, is used to treat skin hypersensitivity resulting from "shingles" (Herpes Zoster). It is the only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia.
(Article originally published in the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Nov. 1997)
Eating spicy food and/or chile peppers can become addictive. There are many people who don't enjoy tortilla chips unless they have salsa to eat with them, there are others that can never find a salsa HOT enough for their taste. Studies have shown that, yes, eating spicy food is addicting. What happens after eating something hot, is your body nerves feel pain. These pain signals are immediately transmitted to your brain. Your brain interprets this signal and automatically releases endorphins (the body's natural pain killer). The endorphins kick in and act as a pain killer and create this temporary feeling of euphoria. Hot and spicy food lovers soon begin to crave this feeling and are hooked!

Use Caution In Handling And Storing Chile Peppers

When using fresh or dried chili peppers, wear gloves to protect your hands because the oils, capsaicin*, in the peppers can cause severe burns. Don't touch your face or eyes. If chilies do come in contact with your bare hands, wash thoroughly with soapy water. If burning persists, soak hands in a bowl of milk. When grinding dried chilies, beware of the chili dust in the air, which will irritate eyes and throats.

* Remedies for eating a pepper that is too hot for you:
Drink milk, rinsing the mouth with it while swallowing, ice cream or yogurt. Eat rice or bread which will absorb the capsaicin. Drink tomato juice or eat a fresh lime or lemon (the acid will counter act the alkalinity of the capsaicin).

* Do not drink water - capsaicin which is an oil will not mix with water but instead will distribute to more parts of the mouth.

*What is capsaicin?
Capsaicin is the heat factor in chilies that is used medically to produce deep-heating rubs for treating sports injuries and arthritic therapies.

To Dry Your Own Chile peppers

Tie the stems onto a sturdy piece of twine, placing chilies close together and making the strand as long as you wish. Hang in dry area with the air circulating freely around the strand. In several weeks, chilies lose their brilliant hue, changing to a deep, glistening red; they will feel smooth and dry.


Mexican Food To Go
www.texmextogo.com (http://www.texmextogo.com)
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Houston, TX 77081
Phone: 713.995.5502

02-01-2008, 02:41 AM
Farmers Use More Legal Guest Workers

The Associated Press
Friday, February 1, 2008; 5:16 AM

YAKIMA, Wash. -- In 2006, just 12 Washington state farmers sought to bring in foreign workers to pick fruits and vegetables and prune trees under a federal guest worker program. A year later, that figure more than doubled.

And already in 2008, eight farmers have applied to bring in foreign workers this coming season.

To meet that growing demand and ensure that farmers know what's required of them, the state held its first training seminar Thursday to teach farmers about the federal H-2A guest worker program.

Call it H-2A 101.

"We're expecting an increase in the number of growers wanting to use H-2A again, and that is one of the reasons we're putting on this training," said Oscar Trevino, program coordinator for the H-2A program with the state Employment Security Department.

"We need to help employers who are interested in the program or who have used the program to better understand the rules, laws and regulations _ and their responsibilities when they file an application," Trevino said.

Washington is far from the only state facing labor shortages in the fields, forcing many farmers to look outside the United States for legal workers. In 2004, some 6,768 farmers across the country were certified to bring in foreign workers, but that number grew to 7,740 last year.

Under the H-2A program, farmers may apply to bring in foreign workers if they can show the supply of U.S. workers is inadequate.

In 2007, more than 76,000 foreign workers came to the U.S. under the H-2A program to work in agriculture, though just 1,240 of them were in Washington. They comprise just a sliver of the estimated 860,000 people working full time in agricultural fields nationwide, according to recent U.S. Department of Labor statistics.

The Labor Department estimates that more than half of that number are in the country illegally.

Expect more Washington growers to apply for the federal guest worker program if immigration reform stalls in Congress as expected this election year, said Mike Gempler of the Washington Growers League.

"More and more growers are doing what they can to prepare to use the H-2A program," Gempler said. "That means becoming knowledgeable about it and making preparations to be able to use it, whether it's having housing available or making contacts and getting themselves ready organizationally to handle that sort of system."

The bottom line is that many farmers feel they have no choice, he said.

"There's a lot of concern, not just orchardists and more labor-intensive crops, but row crop farmers as well," he said. "People in processing and packing, associated industries, are all looking at their ability to attract an adequate number of legal employees. Bona fide legal employees."

The Apple State does grow some highly labor-intensive crops: Fruit trees require hand pruning and thinning, and the many varieties of apples, pears, peaches and cherries are selectively picked by hand for ripeness and to avoid bruising.

Some of Washington's row crops, such as asparagus, also have traditionally required hand labor.

Gebbers Farms, the third-largest apple grower in the country, was sending six people to the training seminar from the company's base in Brewster, a small agricultural town in north-central Washington.

"A lot of people don't know what H-2A is. The smaller growers have never addressed it. They hear H-2A and all they know is it doesn't work," said John Wyss, the farm's government affairs analyst. "For the state to put an educational seminar on is fantastic. It shows an effort to say,`We want to solve this problem together.'"

02-01-2008, 03:51 AM
Officer Patricio Salgado Garcia watches over an empty safe house that was built for the many Central American migrants who pass through Ecatepec, a Mexico City suburb. The mayor has declared the city to be migrant friendly and has ordered police and city officials not to cooperate with Mexican immigration authorities.

A 'sanctuary' for immigrants in Mexico

The mayor of Ecatepec says those on their way north illegally are safe and welcome in his city.

By Héctor Tobar
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 31, 2008

ECATEPEC, MEXICO -- Jose Luis Gutierrez is the mayor of the biggest city in Mexico you've never heard of, a sprawling suburb of Mexico City built by people on the move.

And the charismatic Gutierrez has done something almost as unheard of: He has declared this city of as many as 3 million people a "sanctuary" for the illegal immigrants from Central America who pass through here each day.

He has ordered his police officers and city officials not to arrest, extort or otherwise harass the migrants. He's also ordered them not to cooperate with Mexican immigration agents.

"Let them go and guard the borders," he said. "For Ecatepec, migration is not a criminal act. It's a universal right: the right to seek work and the right to travel freely from one place to another."

Ecatepec is the place where Hondurans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and others begin the long, final stage of their journey across Mexico, northward to the U.S. border aboard a freight train known as "the beast."

Thousands of undocumented immigrants pass through here every year, but you won't hear many Ecatepec residents call them "illegal."

"A lot of people help them," said Guadalupe Ambriz, a 33-year-old resident of Xalostoc, an impoverished Ecatepec neighborhood divided by the rail line. Ambriz, like many residents along the tracks, lives in an old boxcar that's been converted into a home.

"They might let them take a bath, or give them some food, or some old clothes," Ambriz said.

Given Ecatepec's history, the mayor's decision was not a controversial one. This city is made up of migrants, people who resettled here from other impoverished corners of Mexico, including the nearby states of Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Puebla.

And every year Ecatepec sends many of its sons and daughters northward. There are large communities of Ecatepec natives in California, Texas and other U.S. states.

"For us, the bravest people of Ecatepec are the ones who go take the risk of going to the north, with all the abuse and the hatred that goes on there," Gutierrez said. "Those people are heroes for us."

Gutierrez, 42, is a longtime activist with the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, which won the 2006 municipal elections here.

Immigration is a deeply personal issue for him, Gutierrez said. One of his cousins has lived in the Los Angeles area, "without papers," for 10 years.

"We were raised together by our grandmother," Gutierrez said. Because his cousin is in the U.S. illegally, he hasn't been able to return to Mexico and the two men haven't seen each other in a decade. "All those people who have gone to the north are our blood," the mayor said.

Central American immigrants have been passing through Ecatepec for more than a decade. Their journey is fraught with peril. Untold numbers of immigrants have died along the way, or suffered crippling injuries in falls from the train. All along the route, from the Guatemalan border to the Rio Grande, police and immigration officials routinely seek bribes, or simply rob migrants.

"For years, our police protected the extortionists," Gutierrez said of Ecatepec's officers. "The immigrants didn't complain, but the residents did. It just added to a climate of excessive violence in a neighborhood that was already dangerous."

Recent months have brought changes to the migrant trail. The last working rail line in Mexico's southern border states shut down in July, leading many migrants to walk for days past immigration checkpoints, or to hire smugglers to get them across Mexico.

The trains through central and northern Mexico to the U.S. border are still running, but the rail lines that go through Ecatepec are mostly quiet. The people who live along the tracks say they see only a few illegal migrants pass each day.

It is more difficult than ever to get across the U.S. border, a fact well known by many Ecatepec residents.

"It's a hard journey," said Armando Peña, a 40-year-old bicycle-taxi operator in the Xalostoc neighborhood. Last year, he paid a smuggler the equivalent of $1,000 to get him to Los Angeles. "But if you want to get ahead, it's the only way."

Peña said the smuggler got him across the border at San Ysidro in a box attached to the underside of a car. "I thought I was going to suffocate," he said.

Remembering his own hardships, he helps the passing migrants any way he can, he said.

He spent three months in California, selling ice cream on the street, then got homesick and came home, only to discover that his wife was having an affair. With one of his friends.

One day soon he might join the flow of migrants who pass through Ecatepec and return to the U.S., he said.

Only this time he expects to have to pay the smuggler $2,000, or more.

"I should have stayed in California," he said.


02-01-2008, 08:53 AM


E-mail Father Jonathan

As part of an orchestrated strategy to protest immigration policy, Mexican immigrant Flor Crisostomo, 28, has defied a deportation order and has found sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago.

The church's pastor, Rev. Walter Coleman, has defended his recurring choice to provide shelter for illegal immigrants running from the law: "I fear God more than Homeland Security."

Ms. Crisostomo says she is "taking up the torch" from her friend Elvira Arellano, who, for over a year, evaded law enforcement by hunkering down in the same church. Ms. Arellano's use of holy grounds to play a blatant cat and mouse game with immigration officials elevated her profile as the martyr leader of the immigrants' rights movement. In August of 2007, Ms. Arellano announced she would be leaving her safe haven in order to lead a rally in Los Angeles. She was arrested at the rally and immediately deported to Mexico.

The most salient element of this story is the political and moral quandary of a church providing material and moral sanctuary to illegal immigrants who are refusing deportation orders from the United States.

The answer is unequivocally "no." In fact, the Adalberto United Methodist Church, and Rev. Coleman are doing a disservice to all migrant workers " legal and illegal " and to the long and harrowed traditions of appropriate civil disobedience and political sanctuary. As a church, they are confusing political activism and subversive tactics with humanitarian aid and social justice.

I will explain.

As in many of the cases we examine in this column, we can assume the Chicago church's mistake is not one of ill will, but rather of skewed ethical thinking, of bad moral logic. When you listen to the pastor speak, his sincerity is evident:

"It's unfortunate we have to do this. This church has other priorities, like helping the poor in this neighborhood, but God didn't give us a choice. When God says do this, we say, 'Yes, sir!'"

It is understandable that Rev. Coleman would come to the conclusion that God wants him to help these women in this way, if you accept his line of moral reasoning. Rev. Coleman argues that because God's laws are superior to man's laws, in the case of unjust law, we have the right to disobey civil authorities. Applying this logic to his own case, he says that because immigration policy in the United States is unfair, these women are doing the right thing in snubbing the law. He goes even further, suggesting he himself has a moral obligation to support them in their display of "civil disobedience."

But Rev. Coleman's logic has gaping holes. Yes, the moral law (God's law) is prior and superior to civil law, but this does not give citizens the right to disobey every unjust law. If, for example, Rev. Coleman were convinced government tax policy unfairly burdens the rich, or the poor, or the middle class, would he be morally justified in not paying his taxes?

Acts of civil disobedience must be evaluated in the same way we assess the right to "conscientious objection." We have the right, and even obligation, to disobey legitimate authority when we are commanded to do moral evil. But the principle of conscientious objection does not give us a license to be our own moral legislators, picking and choosing the laws we will follow based on their varying degree of moral perfection. As long as a law does not oblige us to do evil, our responsibility to respect legitimate authorities prevails over other concerns.

I can think of no better example to illuminate this point than the Gospel story in which the disciples ask Jesus about the necessity of paying taxes to the unscrupulous Roman authorities. Jesus' response left no wiggle room for creative interpretation: "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." He then handed the disciples a coin and pointed them in the direction of the local IRS office. This is a perennial invitation by the greatest social reformer of all times to work for justice and redemption within the context of the law.

My critical analysis of this particular case in Chicago should not be mistaken as a sign of my satisfaction with our immigration status in the United States. Indeed, our de facto system is hypocritical and unjust. We make immigration processes slow, complicated, and expensive. Then, to compensate for the market's apparent demands for more manual workers, the government turns a blind eye to a porous and dangerous border, then rewarding illegal crossing with massive quantities of irregular employment. Finally, the government gets tough, and plays catch and release, and then catch and release again, and again, and again.

The apparent winners in this hypocritical system are companies that depend on cheap labor and all of us consumers of their inexpensive produce and services.

The first of many losers, on the other hand, are immigrants who live in constant fear of unpredictable crackdowns, while all the time being subject to inhumane living conditions. And the list of other losers goes on and on... border states, public health and education systems, skilled laborers, border patrol agents, etc.

So what do we do?

As concerned citizens we must convince Congress and the new president to fix a broken system. Satisfactory solutions will take into account the right of every human being to leave his homeland (emigrate) in search of a better life. But they will also necessarily respect the right and obligation of every sovereign state to regulate this immigration at sustainable and safe levels. Success depends on statesmen rising to the challenge of balancing these two principles. In practice, this requires mobilizing groups of conflicting interests to sacrifice in the short term for the common good of our country.

But our zeal for reform must never admit turning a church into a public hideout for people running from the law. It is a crusade of lawlessness that tarnishes the good reputation of the millions of honest and hard-working Mexican and Latino people to whom the United States of America is deeply indebted.

As a pastor, and as a good neighbor, I would give food, water, clothing and medical aid to anyone who came knocking at my door, and I certainly wouldn't ask for any government documentation. But what's going on these days in a church in Chicago is quite another thing.

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02-01-2008, 02:58 PM

Arizona Seizes Spotlight
In U.S. Immigration Debate
State's Aggressive Stance
Is Spurred by Newcomers;
'We're Being Overrun'

February 1, 2008

PHOENIX -- Arizona is at the heart of what many say is the biggest, angriest storm over immigration to hit the U.S. in nearly a century.

Efforts to combat illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America are popping up across the state, fueled in part by an influx of immigrants of another sort: Americans from the North and East.

The collision of these two groups has helped turn Arizona into a laboratory for new ways to crack down on illegal immigrants. Employers here can lose their licenses if they hire undocumented workers. English is now the state's official language. And the latest idea being floated in the state legislature would bar U.S. citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants.

Immigration has become one of the most hotly contested issues heading into Tuesday's presidential primaries. Arizona Sen. John McCain was an architect of the defeated U.S. Senate bill last year that included a guest-worker program and a pathway to legal status for illegal immigrants. He is now the Republican party's front-runner, but the issue has hurt his standing among some voters. Among the remaining Democrats, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton support comprehensive immigration reform.

Tensions are palpable in greater Phoenix, home to two-thirds of the state's population. Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County headline-grabbing sheriff whose jurisdiction includes Phoenix, recently unveiled a hotline for citizens to report suspected illegal immigrants. The hotline is advertised on the side of the sheriff's vehicles with a big red "Do Not Enter" sign and the word "Illegally" scrawled over it.

Mr. Arpaio has also given his deputies new authority to arrest illegal immigrants in the course of duty -- taking on a job normally reserved for federal agents. In the past year, he says they have arrested hundreds of people as a result.

The sheriff's actions have turned him into a household name in the Latino community. Many say they avoid leaving the house except to go to work or to buy groceries, for fear of arrest. Spanish-language radio and television report frequently on locations where deputies appear to be stopping drivers. In some extreme cases, people are crossing back over the border to Mexico. "Isn't it great to spread fear so they follow the law," said Mr. Arpaio in an interview.

Politicians and law-enforcement officials say they are responding to the sentiment expressed by residents like Bill Seaber. Mr. Seaber moved to Phoenix from Pittsburgh about a decade ago to settle a community called Paradise Peak West. "We're being overrun by illegals," Mr. Seaber says. "We need to do whatever it's going to take to get rid of them."

Isolationist Sentiments

Hostility toward immigrants has waxed and waned throughout U.S. history. At the turn of the 20th century, restrictionists denounced Italian and Eastern European immigrants as crime-prone, diseased and unable to assimilate. After isolationist sentiments flared during World War I, nativists in Congress pressured President Warren G. Harding into signing the first immigration Quota Act in 1921. The law effectively ended the open-door policy that had allowed millions of foreigners to settle in the U.S. in the previous decades. The National Origins Act of 1924 further stymied the flow, and the impact lasted for decades -- the stanched flow of immigrants to the U.S. did not pick up again until the 1960s.

Today's debate is partly a reaction to the fact that the U.S. is now home to more than 35 million immigrants, an all-time high in absolute numbers, scholars say. The density of the foreign-born population -- almost 13% of the total -- is approaching the 15% peak reached in the last massive wave of immigration from the 1880s to 1920s, according to scholars who study immigration. "In the last two years nativism has become as intense as it was during its last peak, the 1920s," says Gary Gerstle, an immigration historian at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

The current wave of immigration has reached pockets of the country untouched by immigration for decades, and the fact that a huge number of the immigrants -- 12 million -- are here illegally further inflames passions.

Nationally, more than 1,500 pieces of legislation were introduced in state houses last year related to illegal immigration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Coming from all but four states, 244 of them became laws -- three times as many as were passed in 2006. Arizona is one of the top states in terms of enacted laws last year, with a total of 13. The proposals typically tackle employment, law enforcement, drivers' licenses and public benefits. Many of them are facing legal challenges; others are yet to be enforced.

Perched on Border

Perched on Mexico's border with the U.S., Arizona was long accustomed to the presence of Spanish speakers who moved back and forth between the porous borders. But the harsh desert terrain along its 340-mile-long border meant that most illegal immigrants tended to cross over the Texas or California border instead. Arizona only became ground zero in the immigration debate after the federal government began beefing up enforcement along the other two states in the 1990s. Today, Arizona is considered to be the main passageway for Latin Americans sneaking into the U.S.

For years, most undocumented workers just passed through Arizona on the way to other destinations. But as the economy boomed, many chose to stay in the bourgeoning Valley of the Sun, as the Phoenix area is known to locals. They were drawn by cheap housing and job opportunities fueled in part by the arrival of Americans from other states. All told, the population of greater Phoenix grew at the rate of 18,000 a month between 1990 and 2000, adding more than two million people in a decade, to reach 3.1 million, according to the Census Bureau. Today, Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the country.

Over time, the newcomers settled into an uneasy coexistence. Arizona residents were inundated with a steady stream of news about migrants dying in the desert, border patrol chases on highways and illegal immigrants held hostage by smugglers in drop houses. In day-to-day life, Latino immigrants and their children became increasingly visible -- in stores, schools and hospital emergency rooms. Arizona's foreign-born population surged to 900,000 in 2005 from about 270,00 in 1990, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. More than half are believed to be illegal immigrants.

"We're a border state that has always had Mexicans," says Arizona state historian Marshall Trimble. But, he adds, "a lot of these people who moved here in the last few years are uncomfortable when they see so many folks who are brown-skinned and speak another language."

A particularly rancorous part of the debate involves the question of whether illegal immigrants are a burden on the state's schools, health-care system and other public services. Dueling economic-impact surveys have done little to settle the argument. Some researchers say immigrants' contributions outweigh their cost because they help stimulate the economy with their labor and by consuming goods and services. Others say unauthorized workers depress the wages of legal workers, especially among low-skilled laborers.

Much of the recent legislation has addressed economic concerns. Proposition 200, for example, a ballot measure passed in 2004, halted all nonfederally mandated assistance, such as state health care, to illegal immigrants.

"Immigrants who had been contributing to the economy by doing jobs no one else wanted felt under attack," says Joe Rubio, lead organizer for the Phoenix Industrial Areas Foundation, a coalition of local faith-based groups that fights nativist measures.

In 2006, about three-quarters of all Arizonans voted in favor of four more ballot measures aimed at illegal immigrants, including one that bans undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state residency tuition for college and other benefits. Another denies an award of punitive damages in any civil court to an illegal immigrant.

Republican state legislator Russell Pearce, who speaks of an "invasion" from Mexico, has launched at least a dozen bills to combat illegal immigration.

"In the face of federal government inaction, Arizona has become a laboratory for how to deal with illegal immigration," says Janet Napolitano, the state's governor, referring to a series of failed federal immigration reforms and lack of enforcement at the border.

The nonstop legal volleys reflect the immigrant-related conflict raging across the state. In a working-class neighborhood in central Phoenix, a handyman named Ken Adams, 40 years old, says, "At one time Mexicans were a minority. Not anymore." For a supervising job in construction, for example, "you have to speak Spanish to deal with employees who just speak Spanish," Mr. Adams says.

Mr. Adams and his wife, Suzi, are home-schooling their two daughters, 13 and 14, partly because they believe the quality of education has deteriorated due to the influx of Spanish speakers. Ms. Adams remembers attending the school across the street from their home when the student body was overwhelmingly white. Now, like most schools in the area, the students are mostly Latino. "My biggest problem is the culture thing," she says. "They come here and disrespect our culture...by not learning English."

It is the future Hispanic face of the state that has propelled many anti-immigrant forces into action. At Lela Alston Elementary School, which opened six years ago, 95% of the 380 students are Hispanic and 78% come from homes where English isn't the dominant language. Virtually all the children are entitled to free meals because their families live at or below the poverty line.

In one kindergarten class, Carrie Bergum teaches 22 students -- only one is not Hispanic -- how to read. "They come to us not knowing anything," says Ms. Bergum, but "most of the kids pick up English within two months, some of them in less time." On a recent afternoon, almost all the kindergarteners, including newcomer Michael Garcia, spelled cat, box and jet correctly. "We winners!" declared the 6-year-old boy, flashing a grin. Last year, the elementary school in the heart of a Latino neighborhood won a "highly performing school" designation from the state as a result of its students' performance on standardized tests and attendance record.

Kent Scribner is the superintendent of Phoenix's Isaac School District, where 95% of students are Latino. He says the immigrant crackdown is driving some families out of state. "We have requests for student transcripts from schools in Utah, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico," he says, adding that about 5% of these students didn't return for the second semester of the school year that began last month.

Diana and Adrian Arce moved to Phoenix 15 years ago from Guadalajara, Mexico, to "seek a better future for our children," she says. Her husband held a steady job as a painter, and she cleaned houses. They saved enough to make a down payment on a house and buy two cars. Two years ago, their eldest daughter graduated from high school and won a full scholarship to a community college.

After the employer-sanctions bill passed last year, Mr. Arce lost his job, which paid $14 an hour. He scrambled to find another job until finding one that paid only $7.50. Because he is an unauthorized worker, "the employer knew he would take the job," says Mrs. Arce.

State Tuition

When the proposition banning undocumented students from paying in-state tuition went into effect last year, the Arces' daughter lost her scholarship and had to withdraw from college because the family can't afford to pay the $360 out-of-state fee per semester. Their second daughter, who is 19, works at a fast-food chain and has postponed plans to attend college. Their 18-year-old son is hoping to get a soccer scholarship at a private university. Only their youngest daughter is a U.S. citizen.

Mrs. Arce, who earns $12 to $15 an hour cleaning houses for "puros americanos who treat me very well," says families for whom she has worked more than a decade recently asked whether she is here legally. "I tell them I am a citizen," she says. "Or they'll fire me immediately."

On her way to work recently, Mrs. Arce conferred with her friends by cellphone about where Mr. Arpaio's deputies might be stationed and changed her route accordingly. The family restricts its outings to a minimum, she says. "We used to like visiting the park and the library," says Mrs. Arce. In the last year, "everything has changed," says Mrs. Arce. "We're thinking of moving to another state but it's hard to start from scratch."


02-01-2008, 06:01 PM
Second-Class Citizens: Speak English or prepare to be fired -- without benefits. Sounds loco, Virginia.

Washington Post
Posted on 2008-01-28
Monday, January 28, 2008; A20

VIRGINIA SEN. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) has introduced a piece of immigrant-bashing legislation that is meant to ease the way for bosses to fire workers who don't speak English. But the bill is so closed-minded and foul-tempered that it is too much for Mr. Cuccinelli himself. It would victimize employees who fail "to speak only English at the workplace," a formulation even the senator now allows is a bit harsh; who knows, maybe his own ancestors were known to utter a phrase or two in their native Italian on the job. So he has decided to remove the word "only" from his bill. Nice, but it doesn't help.

The senator, long regarded as among the more intolerant lawmakers in Richmond, has outdone himself. He says glibly that the bill responds to a growing problem of employees who are unfit for their jobs because they speak English poorly. The rub, he says, is that employers cannot fire them without risking higher taxes to pay unemployment benefits. His evidence? Well, says the senator, an employer complained to him about it. And who was that employer? Mr. Cuccinelli can't recall.

The senator's porous memory notwithstanding, his legislation highlights a few pertinent facts about the immigration debate:

First, xenophobia. Despite their protestations, the anti-immigrant crowd tends to blur the line between legal and illegal immigrants and tar them with the same brush. Although Mr. Cuccinelli spent much of his campaign for the state Senate last fall bashing illegal immigrants, this bill would apply only to legal immigrants, since illegal immigrants are already ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Second, overzealousness. Mr. Cuccinelli's bill rates poor English as an offense on a par with substance abuse, lying about past criminal convictions, missing work and committing infractions that cost an employer his business license -- all of them equal grounds for denying unemployment benefits to a fired worker. That's absurd on its face.

Third, blame-shifting. Clearly, it is an employer's responsibility to hire workers whose skills match the job. Yet Mr. Cuccinelli's bill would perversely penalize workers, not employers. This is grossly unfair.

Immigrant-bashers, even some who pay homage to America as a nation of immigrants, have a rich and ugly history in this country. Today, a venomous new chapter is being written in that history by lawmakers of Mr. Cuccinelli's ilk, for whom the very presence of people whose language, culture and values are different is a firing offense.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...ml?wpisrc=newsletter (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/27/AR2008012701588.html?wpisrc=newsletter)

Ciudadanos De la Segundo-Clase: Hable inglés o prepárese para ser encendido -- sin ventajas. Suena el loco, Virginia.

Encontrado en el poste de Washington
Escrito por Editorial
Fijado en 2008-01-28

Lunes, De Enero El 28 De 2008; A20

SENSOR DE VIRGINIA. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) ha introducido un pedazo de la legislación inmigrante-que golpeaba que se significa para facilitar la manera para que los jefes enciendan a los trabajadores que no hablan inglés. Pero la cuenta es as* que cerrado-importado y asqueroso-templado que es demasiado para Sr. Cuccinelli mismo. victimize a empleados que no pueden "hablar solamente inglés en el lugar de trabajo," una formulación incluso que el senador ahora permite es un pedacito áspero; quién sabe, conoc*an quizá a sus propios antepasados para pronunciar una frase o dos en su italiano nativo en el trabajo. Él ha decidido tan quitar la palabra "solamente" de su cuenta. Niza, sino ella no ayuda.

El senador, mirado de largo como entre los legisladores más intolerantes en Richmond, se ha aventajado. Él dice fácilmente que la cuenta responde a un problema cada vez mayor de los empleados que son impropios para sus trabajos porque hablan inglés mal. La frotación, él dice, es que los patrones no pueden encenderlos sin arriesgar impuestos más altos para pagar subsidios de desempleo. ¿Su evidencia? Bien, dice a senador, un patrón se quejó a él por ella. ¿Y quién era ese patrón? Sr. Cuccinelli no puede recordar.

La memoria porosa del senador a pesar, su legislación destaca algunos hechos pertinentes sobre el discusión de la inmigración:

Primero, xenofobia. A pesar de sus protestations, la muchedumbre del contra-inmigrante tiende para velar la l*nea entre los inmigrantes y el alquitrán legales e ilegales ellos con igual cepillo. Aunque Sr. Cuccinelli pasó mucha de su campaña para el senado del estado que golpeaba el otoño pasado a inmigrantes ilegales, esta cuenta se aplicar*a solamente a los inmigrantes legales, puesto que los inmigrantes ilegales son ya inelegibles para los subsidios de desempleo.

En segundo lugar, celo excesivo. Los ingleses pobres de las tarifas de cuenta de Sr. Cuccinelli como ofensa en una igualdad con abuso de la sustancia, mintiendo alrededor más allá de las convicciones criminales, del trabajo que falta y de las infracciones que conf*an que cuestan a patrón su licencia del negocio -- todas igualan los argumentos para negar subsidios de desempleo a un trabajador encendido. Eso es absurdo en su cara.

Tercero, culpa-cambiando de puesto. Claramente, es responsabilidad de un patrón emplear a los trabajadores que habilidades emparejan el trabajo. Con todo la cuenta de Sr. Cuccinelli perversely penalizar*a a trabajadores, no patrones. Esto es grueso injusto.

El Inmigrante-bashers, iguala a algunos que paguen homenaje a América como nación de inmigrantes, tiene una historia rica y fea en este pa*s. Hoy, un nuevo cap*tulo venenoso está siendo escrito en esa historia por los legisladores del ilk de Sr. Cuccinelli, para quienes la misma presencia de lengua de la gente que, cultura y valora es diferente es una ofensa de la leña.

02-01-2008, 06:34 PM

There is a difference between LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and ILLEGAL ALIENS. It's always amazing how OBL'S DELIBERATELY BLUR THE LINES.

02-01-2008, 06:37 PM
On Virginia House Panel, a Stampede Against Illegal Immigration

Eager to send the message that Virginia is not for illegal immigrants, lawmakers have loaded the General Assembly's session with all manner of ways to make the state unappealing to foreigners who don't have permission to be in the country.

If all the bills pass, illegal immigrants would be banned from enrolling in public colleges, barred from getting a mortgage on a house and liable to be fired if they don't speak English at work. There's even a resolution, by Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II, the Fairfax Republican, to ask Congress to initiate a change to the 14th Amendment so that citizenship would no longer be granted automatically to anyone born in the United States. At least one parent would have to be a citizen before a child could be eligible for citizenship at birth."

More States Refusing Illegal Migrants IDs

The road for illegal immigrants in the U.S. is getting shorter, literally. More states are refusing to issue drivers' licenses to undocumented aliens, while 4 of 5 states that still allows illegal migrants to drive are thinking of changing course.

Oregon will no longer issue driver's license to illegal migrants starting Monday, following Michigan which halted the issuance last week. Maryland will get tough with undocumented foreigners by 2010."*

ICE to illegal immigrants: We are coming after you' - Los Angeles (tough headline - tough message)

Immigration officials expect to ramp up their crackdown on criminal and fugitive illegal immigrants in Los Angeles over the next year - including raids Monday in the San Fernando Valley - saying they're already on track to break last year's record arrest numbers.

"The message here is that if you are an individual that has entered the country illegally, who has been ordered removed and not departed, we are coming after you," said Brian DeMore, deputy field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention and removal operations.

"And if you are a criminal who has committed crimes against our citizens, we are going to come back after you with more vigor.""

How would bill on immigration add up for Hoosiers?

Whether the work is picking tomatoes on a farm or pounding nails at a construction site, Indiana relies on cheap and plentiful immigrant labor " legal and illegal " to do business.

But what would happen if those workers suddenly disappeared? As Indiana lawmakers debate a tough new illegal immigration bill this week, that's a question they are being asked.

While the legislation is welcomed by some as a way to crack down on illegal immigration, others say the loss of up to 85,000 undocumented workers would have a far-reaching impact on Hoosiers."

Farmers Branch bans illegal immigrants from renting houses - Houses added to ban for illegal migrants; foes say courts will step in again

City officials whose previous attempts to keep out illegal immigrants have been blocked by the courts took another shot Tuesday, adopting an ordinance that would not only ban them from renting apartments but also from renting houses.

The City Council unanimously approved Ordinance 2952, which would require all renters to pay a $5 fee and claim U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status to obtain an occupancy license from the city."*

Round Two: Farmers Branch Vs. Illegal Immigrants

The immigration debate is back in the spotlight in North Texas. The City of Farmers Branch will once again take up the issue of renting homes and apartments to illegal immigrants.

Although voters in May approved an ordinance to stop landlords from doing so, a judge's ruling has prevented the law from taking effect.

"Now they're changing the rules of the game. Now they're penalizing everybody. This not only penalizes immigrants, it also penalized home owners and non-Hispanics who have to go through the process," said Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla of ACCION America."*

Oregon employers launch immigrant-rights coalition

Restaurants, nurseries and other Oregon employers are jumping into the state's roiling immigration debate, bringing pro-business credentials to the fight against proposals seen as hostile to foreign-born workers and their families.

The Oregon Essential Worker Immigration Coalition is planning a February launch of its research, public-relations and lobbying efforts " all meant to add the voices of employers to a debate that's largely pitted illegal-immigration opponents on one side, and Hispanic and immigrant-rights activists on the other."*

Rising health care costs put focus on illegal immigrants

Juan Perez had stomach pains for a month before deciding to visit a health clinic here that is open Thursday nights so migrant farmworkers don't miss a day working in the fields.

As an illegal, uninsured immigrant, Perez has had problems in the past " not only with his health, but with navigating the U.S. health care maze. In Michigan, there was no interpreter at his local health clinic, the bills had to be paid in installments, and co-workers warned that a visit to a doctor could lead to deportation. In North Carolina, he's found a health care home at Tiffany Revels' weekly clinic " providing he can hitch a ride there.

"The biggest concern is getting sick, because you don't have anyone here," Perez says after Revels, a family nurse practitioner at the federally funded clinic, prescribes two antibiotics and Pepto-Bismol tablets for his bacterial gastritis. "You are here by yourself.""*

A Republican state senator from Fairfax County has introduced a proposal that would allow a boss to fire employees who don't speak English in the workplace, which would make them ineligible for unemployment benefits. -Virginia

Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II said the law is needed because a growing number of employers in Northern Virginia are frustrated that some immigrants never learn English, although they said they would when they were hired.

"The point here isn't to be mean; the point is to allow circumstances to give employers their own ability to hire and fire people who may not speak English," Cuccinelli said."*

(To read the full stories on any of the above)

02-01-2008, 06:39 PM

New Generation Casts Votes on Immigration, Economic Issues

By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2008; A06

MIAMI, Jan. 29 -- It has become a highly stylized ritual: Political candidates drop by the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana, slurp a cafecito, condemn Fidel Castro and loudly affirm, " Viva Cuba libre!" Television cameras capture it all.

The Republican primary in Florida this year was no different. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee stopped by, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went a step further by donning a guayabera for his appearances in the area.

But as iconic as those moments at the Versailles have become, their symbolism may have been lost in a presidential election campaign less about the Cuban past than this nation's present, with a new generation of Cubans providing the decisive edge McCain needed against Romney. Cuban voters sided with McCain over Romney 5 to 1, not because McCain presented himself as the stronger bulwark against communism but because he was the moderate, pro-immigrant candidate they wanted.

"There's been a generational shift in Florida's Latino community," said Cecilia Mu¿oz, vice president for policy at the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino group. "Cuban children are not from the refugee experience."

Dario Moreno, a professor at Florida International University and an expert in Cuban American politics, said that Cuban American voters were initially inclined toward McCain and Giuliani because of their strong stands on national security and moderate positions on other issues. When the Giuliani campaign seemed to lag, Cuban Americans switched to McCain, rolling up big margins for him.

"It was strategic voting," he said. "It lead to a bandwagon affect. People began to vote with a probable winner."

Republican candidates did not seem to see it coming. As usual, they strove to adopt the fiercest anti-Castro rhetoric, even as other issues -- the U.S. economy, the Iraq war and health care -- were the higher priorities of many Cuban American voters.

"Cuban Americans are voting on the same issues that other Floridians are voting on," Moreno said. "There is a lot of middle-class angst."

McCain was aided by the early support of South Florida's three Cuban American House members, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln D¿az-Balart. McCain also received the endorsement of Florida's Republican senator, Mel Martinez, who is also Cuban American.

On Tuesday, as contemporary Latin music played outside Precinct 418 here, voters explained that they have heard get-tough-on-Castro promises from Republican candidates before and those promises have not amounted to much.

"They always come and say 'Viva Cuba libre!' " and 'next year,' " said Jorge Chao, 51, a dry-cleaning manager who came to Miami from Cuba in 1980. "But it's been 51 years, and nothing has changed."

"I live here, not in Cuba," said Caridad Calzadilla, 53, a real estate agent. "The most important issue is the economy."

For Calzadilla and her husband, the top issues are taxes, home insurance and health coverage.

"I have relatives in Cuba," she said. "But I have to be a little bit selfish. I have to worry about myself."

About two-thirds of Cuban American voters are registered Republicans, though that number has been slipping. For years, politicians have courted them by opposing the Cuban president and promising aggressive bans on trade and travel to the island nation. In a debate at the University of Miami, the Republican candidates followed that line.

"The only thing they didn't promise was that the 82nd Airborne would be at the disposal of the Cuban American community," said Joe Garcia, former director of the Cuban American National Foundation and now director of NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center.

After the disputed presidential election in Florida in 2000, many voters thought that President Bush would recognize the loyalty of the Cuban Americans in South Florida who helped him win the state.

"Some in the Cuban American community thought we were owed something after 2000," said Allen Zaldivar, 27, a pharmacist whose parents came from Cuba. "But even since then, nothing has changed."

Under the Bush administration, enforcement of U.S. restrictions on Cuba travel has increased, and restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba have been tightened, according to a Congressional Research Service report. But many Cuban Americans, particularly those most recently arrived, say that the trade and travel bans, though aimed at Castro, have hurt others instead.

"It's the people who suffer from the embargo," said Jose Canavaciolo, 31, a painting contractor who came here from Cuba in 1994. "Castro -- he was fine."

And then there was the immigration issue. Florida did not prove to be the cauldron of anti-illegal immigrant sentiment that Romney may have thought. About 58 percent of Republican voters told exit pollsters on Tuesday that illegal immigrants should either be offered a chance to apply for citizenship or allowed to stay as temporary workers -- positions roughly in line with McCain's. And those voters went for McCain by substantial margins. Forty percent said illegal immigrants should be deported, and that minority went for Romney.

"Every other Republican candidate is poison on that issue," Garcia said. "Most immigrants realize that the immigration debate is not about immigration. It's about xenophobia at best and racism at worst."

02-02-2008, 04:53 AM
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:42 pm Post subject: Bush 2009 Budget to Freeze Programs


Bush 2009 Budget to Freeze Programs

Posted: 2008-01-31 23:11:12
Filed Under: Politics News

WASHINGTON (Jan. 31) - President Bush's 2009 budget will virtually freeze most domestic programs and seek nearly $200 billion in savings from federal health care programs, a senior administration official said Thursday.

Overall, the Bush budget will exceed $3 trillion, this official said. The deficit is expected to reach about $400 billion for this year and next.

Bush on Monday will present his proposed budget for the new fiscal year to Congress, where it's unlikely to gain much traction in the midst of a presidential campaign. The president has promised a plan that would erase the budget deficit by 2012 if his policies are followed.

To that end, Bush will propose nearly $178 billion in savings from Medicare over five years" nearly triple what he proposed last year. Much of the savings would come from freezing reimbursement rates for most health care providers for three years. An additional $17 billion would come from the Medicaid program, the state-federal partnership that provides health coverage to the poor.

The budget for most domestic programs funded by Congress will look similar to last year's, according to the official, from the Office of Management and Budget.

"It's a very small increase," he said. "Very small."

A second administration official said domestic discretionary spending would increase by less than 1 percent under Bush's proposal.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the budget has not yet been released

In his State of the Union address Monday, Bush said his budget envisioned a surplus in 2012. "American families have to balance their budgets, and so should their government," he said.

The federal government is expected to spend about $650 billion on Medicare and Medicaid in 2008. It represents more than $1 out of every $5 spent by the federal government.

The OMB official said the president views the budget as a final opportunity to slow the growth of entitlement programs but recognizes that Congress probably won't go along.

He said spending on Medicare would increase under Bush's new budget, but not as quickly as had been expected. "Medicare will grow at 5 percent. It just won't grow over 7 percent," he said.

Savings also would come by charging wealthier people higher monthly premiums for Medicare's drug program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the Bush budget would project the 10-year cost of the program, from 2008 to 2017, at $915 billion. That's $117 billion less than what had been forecast last summer. The agency attributed the lower estimate to smaller increases in the cost of medicines, and better deals negotiated between insurers and drug manufacturers.

The agency said 25.4 million people were now enrolled in a Medicare drug plan.

Bush last year asked Congress for nearly $65 billion in Medicare savings over five years. Congress refused to go along.

Independent experts have warned that the government needs to address the rising cost of health care for businesses to stay competitive and for the government to be able to pay for other important programs in the decades ahead.

"In fact, if there is one thing that could bankrupt America, it's runaway health care costs. We must not allow that to happen," David M. Walker, the U.S. comptroller general, told lawmakers Tuesday during a congressional hearing.

But Democrats said Bush's budget targets the wrong health care providers for cuts. They said insurers subsidized to provide Medicare coverage are being overpaid.

"The president is proposing to once again slash health care coverage for seniors and low-income working Americans," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "The president's cuts are exactly the wrong medicine when the cost of health care and the number of uninsured continue to rise and families are feeling economically insecure."

Health care providers said the president's recommendations would make it harder for them to meet expenses, which would continue to rise as a result of inflation, even as their reimbursement rates were frozen.

"That level of reduction is so outrageous that it will be summarily rejected by members of both parties in Congress," said Tom Nickels, senior vice president of federal relations for the American Hospital Association. "I don't think it will be taken seriously."

http://news.aol.com/story/_a/bush-2009-budget-to-freeze...20080131170109990002 (http://news.aol.com/story/_a/bush-2009-budget-to-freeze-programs/20080131170109990002)

*If they stop paying for illegal alien births, anchor baby welfare payments and rescind the 14th Amendment that will save us gazillions. Take away the freebies and they will leave.

02-02-2008, 07:51 AM
Stop the Hate - Stop The National Council of La Raza's attempt to silence the voice of American opinion

Posted in Politics & Government, Illegal Aliens & Immigration Reforms on February 1st, 2008 by MorningStar

Before the United States Congress can seriously undertake the debate over this nation's very serious problems with immigration, the proponents of every side of that issue need to be able to express their opinions freely, offer what substantiation they have for their beliefs and be heard by all who would listen, however, this essential requirement for free and Democratic debate cannot be fulfilled if racist organizations like the federally funded National Council of La Raza, who use the American tax payers hard earned dollars to lobby against any American citizen who speak ill of their irresponsible agenda, are allowed the unprecedented preferential authority to silence opposing perspectives with entirely self serving fabricated allegations of "hate speech."

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gif The National Council of La Raza has done everything possible to turn the legitimate debate of this nation's immigration laws into a one sided racial issue where they, and only those who agree with them, are allowed to speak. Silencing the voice of the opposition with entirely contrived accusations of social inequity may be standard operating procedure in third world countries where tyranny is the expected norm, but in the United States of America, all men have the right to express themselves in Democratic debate, and for the American people to allow the ignorant and the manipulative the right to censor the thoughts and opinions of those who oppose them would be a true disservice to all men and women who hold this nation's welfare dear to their hearts, and to the Democratic traditions upon which this republic is founded.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gif The National Council of La Raza is a Hispanic supremacy organization that, thanks to this nation's more self-serving Democratic and Republican politicians, has been provided with a sufficiently dangerous level of political weight in our nation's capital. The National Council of La Raza have used their questionable influence and their federal funding to sow the seeds of racial unrest, to undermine the immigration laws of the United States, to disrupt the legislative process of our country, and to further their own divisive agenda to the detriment of American society, and now they want to silence the voices of those who speak out in opposition to the cowardly refusal of our elected representatives to effectively deal with the uncontrolled invasion of our nation by hordes of parasitic criminal aliens who hold our nation's laws in utter contempt. In a society that struggles to remain free and Democratic, the manipulative efforts of The National Council of La Raza can not be condoned and should not be tolerated.

John Stuart Mills wisely stated that, "there is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism." To ensure the sanctity of American freedom the censure of political opinion must never be allowed because, as Mill's goes on to explain, "the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

If The National Council of La Raza has a legitimate argument for the continued lack of border enforcement by our federal officials, if The National Council of La Raza can logically justify allowing the unprecedented invasion of our country by as many as 8,000 illegal aliens every week to continue unobstructed, and if The National Council of La Raza can demonstrate any compelling reason why this nation should favor the more than 20 million criminal invaders now residing here with rights and benefits at the expense of the American tax payers, then they are free to express their opinions, voice their arguments and elaborate their justifications. If the immigration proposals expressed by The National Council of La Raza propose are truly in the best interests of this nation and the people who legally reside here, the logic of their arguments will be evident to all, and the American people will be well favored by the opportunity to exchange the erroneous opinions now held by the majority for a newfound truth that is both obvious and compelling. On the other hand, if the logic of what The National Council of La Raza proposes is flawed and their substantiation is weak in direct comparison to arguments of their opponents in this debate, then that too will be made evident, and again, all Americans will benefit from the "clearer perception and livelier impression of truth."

The right of all men to express their opinions in debate is fundamental to American liberty, and any American citizen, who comprehends the importance of safeguarding the liberty that has made this nation the envy of the entire world, should easily understand the serious degradation of American freedom that would result if manipulative special interest groups are allowed the privilege of silencing their opponents with entirely contrived allegations of racism.

The freedom to express one's opinion is an inalienable right, given to all men by an authority much higher than any government established here on Earth, and that right, granted by the almighty, is not subject to the capricious whim of manipulative political operators like The National Council of La Raza.

02-02-2008, 02:59 PM
Conflicting data on crime, immigration presented at legislators' public hearing

At UTD, legislators get conflicting data on crime, immigration

08:59 AM CST on Saturday, February 2, 2008
By DIANNE SOLÍS / The Dallas Morning News

A public hearing Friday on immigrants in Texas jails and prisons shed light on holes in the criminal justice pipelines, state and local, and the lack of information on the legal status of those behind bars.


A sign cautioning people not to be disruptive was affixed to a door at Friday's public hearing at the University of Texas at Dallas, which was conducted by a pair of state House committees. The Texas House Committee on Corrections and the Committee on County Affairs held the all-day hearing at the University of Texas at Dallas to attempt to determine:

"Whether the state has a problem in the prison system.

"What the dividing line is between state and federal authorities.

"The cost for people who are arrested and charged with felonies and convicted of felonies.

"Whether state agencies are coordinating with one another.

More than 200 people turned out Friday. And as expected, emotions ran high on illegal immigration and alleged racial profiling of Hispanics, amid readings of statistics and contradictory reports.

Some even questioned why the hearing the first of several around the state was held.

Others urged legislators not to be soft on crime committed by those in the U.S. illegally.

"Texas legislators must step up and become more accountable," said Jean Towell, president and co-founder of Dallas-based Citizens for Immigration Reform. Those in the U.S. illegally who have committed nonviolent crimes should not be given early release and they should be deported as well, Ms. Towell said.

"We must make Texas a safer place," she said.

Legislators were presented with two contradictory studies on crime and immigration. One study, co-authored by Ruben Rumbaut of the University of California at Irvine, looked at incarceration rates among young men and showed those rates to be the lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated.

Another, authored by Carl Horowitz, of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., research center, said that criminal gangs with ties to immigrant communities are a problem "understated" in crime statistics and that immigrants are less likely to report crime, according to a presentation by one speaker.

Taking a break after six hours of testimony, Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, said that there are problems in the notification of federal immigration officials and problems in getting documentation on the foreign-born.

"So that is clearly one of the areas we will look at," said Mr. Madden, chairman of the Texas House Corrections Committee.

The Texas Legislature meets in regular session every other year; its next regular session will begin in January 2009.

One issue that particularly bothered Mr. Madden was testimony from a state probation official that a criminal offender who received several thousand dollars of counseling had later been targeted by federal immigration officials for potential deportation.

"We spent $15,000 of taxpayer dollars on someone who is going to be deported," Mr. Madden said incredulously.

At least one state lawmaker was troubled by the hearing altogether.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston and a member of the House County Affairs Committee, questioned whether his colleagues were using the issue to gain political leverage.

"I would rather that you arrest a guy who is a murderer ... than a person over here who is trying to find work," he told his fellow legislators.

Mr. Coleman said that he believed the hearing wouldn't have been held if the discussion focused on Irish immigrants.

Outside the university chamber hall, Mr. Coleman said there was a distinction between criminal law and immigration law, and that arresting people on immigration violations wasted resources.

Illegal immigrants are being deported when caught for Class C misdemeanors, such as traffic violations, Mr. Coleman said.

"It's not about black people anymore," he said. "It's about ***s, Mexican-Americans and Latin Americans."

Speaker after speaker addressed procedures by local police and county probation officers.

Repeatedly, they raised the role of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is the prime agency authorized to place a hold on those held at a jail or state prison or on probation, speakers noted.

"Why aren't they here?" asked state Rep. Jim McReynolds, D-Lufkin.

A spokesman for ICE, Carl Rusnok, said Homeland Security policy prohibits ICE from testifying at state hearings. But he added that ICE "makes every effort to ensure that state legislators have information about ICE and our operations."

Brad Livingston, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said that of the 155,000 prisoners in the Texas Prison System, about 6 percent to 7 percent are foreign-born. But it is ICE's job to determine the citizenship status of those foreign-born inmates and whether they are in the U.S. legally, he said.

Within the more than 200 jails in Texas, statistical record-keeping is not as precise.

Adan Muñoz, executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, said there were no definitive numbers on the foreign-born or the percentage of illegal immigrants in local jails.

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, repeatedly questioned whether lines are blurred even further during arrests and even during ICE holds. Mr. Alonzo said he knew of a case in which a U.S. citizen was placed on an ICE hold.

Some in the audience were pleased by stepped-up law enforcement by local authorities.

Sue Richardson, a leader of a Republican club in Irving, praised the collaboration of Irving police with ICE in a program known as the Criminal Alien Program, or CAP.

"Never lose sight of the fact that you're to protect citizens of state, not illegal aliens," she said.

Authorities have to do something about the drug traffickers and terrorists living illegally in the country, she said, prompting a member of the committee to ask how many of the illegal immigrants in Irving are drug dealers or terrorists.

"I don't know what they are," she said. "You'd have to ask our police."

02-02-2008, 03:04 PM
Republican candidates tone down harsh immigration rhetoric

GOP hopefuls try to stand firm without alienating Latino voters

08:42 AM CST on Saturday, February 2, 2008
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

LOS ANGELES When the Republican presidential hopefuls made their pitches on immigration to California voters this week, Harry Pachon thought he heard something new.

A certain sensitivity.

Beyond the standard call to secure the border, Mike Huckabee cautioned "not to be cruel." John McCain urged "a humane and compassionate approach."

Mitt Romney, who earlier in the primary season talked about deporting people in 90 days, said in Wednesday's GOP debate that students should be allowed time to finish their school year and families to make arrangements before returning to Mexico.

"There's a new language of qualifying the rhetoric, of toning it down," said Mr. Pachon, who heads the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. "They finally woke up to realize immigration might be the third rail of politics in the Latino community."

Republicans seeking votes in next week's 21-state Super Tuesday are walking a tightrope: They must appeal to a party base that demands a get-tough approach on illegal immigration but not alienate Latino voters who might be willing to support them.

A recent California Field Poll of GOP voters found that illegal immigration ranked among the highest on the list of election issues important to Republicans. California Democrats listed health care on top.

California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico are among the Super Tuesday states with large Hispanic populations. While Latinos tend to vote Democratic by a margin of 2-1, President Bush was able to win a much larger share, a key part of his successful electoral coalition.

In Texas, which holds its primaries March 4, Hispanic voters will be crucial on the Democratic side but also could be important as a marginal source of support if the fight for the GOP nomination is ongoing.

In California, Latinos constitute 17 percent of the state electorate. The two GOP front-runners come to Latino-rich state with divergent positions Mr. Romney opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and Mr. McCain favors a pathway to citizenship.

Conservatives have blasted Mr. McCain for sponsoring legislation that they considered amnesty for those already here illegally. Chastened by that, he now emphasizes border security before any other immigration changes are enacted.

Mr. McCain's advisers believe his experience in the military plays well with Latinos.

Don Sipple, a California political consultant whose clients have included George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger, said Mr. McCain is better positioned on immigration among the state's moderate electorate than Mr. Romney. Mr. McCain leads Mr. Romney by 12 points in the Golden State in a late January poll.

Mr. Sipple said "the immigration issue is fraught with danger for Republicans," but GOP candidates can run on the issue by taking a position that has wide support.

For example, he said, Mr. Schwarzenegger campaigned against driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in 2003 in his successful run to replace the recalled incumbent, Gray Davis. He said the idea had support even among many Hispanic voters.

Jesse Miranda is an expert on Latino evangelicals, a swing-voter group potentially receptive to Republican candidates on education and conservative issues like abortion and *** marriage.

He said candidates should avoid a harsh tone that sends the message "you're not welcome" to Latinos.

"What may be missing is the history of the relationship between the two countries," said Mr. Miranda, who heads Alianza de Ministerios Evangelicos Nacionales. "We have 100 years of back and forth in what used to be migration. Suddenly, it's immigration."

Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, and the fractious debate over immigration reform could have a downside for the GOP in the future. "They have a clear example in California in 1994," Mr. Pachon said, referring to Republican Gov. Pete Wilson's re-election bid in which he trumpeted opposition to state services for illegal workers.

"Two years after that, the Legislature changed hands from Republican to Democrat and every marginal [congressional] district went Democratic," Mr. Pachon said.

Mr. Bush got 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, and that carried over somewhat to other Republicans. But exit polls indicate that GOP candidates got just 30 percent among Hispanic voters in 2006, and more recent surveys suggest the anti-Republican trend continues.

A Pew Hispanic Center survey from December showed Latinos could be an important swing vote in the presidential election in November. Four of the six states that Mr. Bush carried by 5 percentage points or less in 2004 have large Latino populations.

Six of the 10 states with the highest estimated population of illegal immigrants will vote Tuesday. Here's a look at the top 10 states and the estimated populations. The Super Tuesday states are in bold.

Estimated illegal immigrant population

1. California 2.5 milllion-2.75 million
2. Texas 1.4 million-1.6 million
3. Florida 800,000-950,000
4. New York 550,000-650,000
5. Arizona 400,000-450,000
6. Illinois 375,000-425,000
7. Georgia 350,000-450,000
8. New Jersey 350,000-425,000
9. North Carolina 300,000-400,000
10. Virginia 250,000-300,000

SOURCE: Pew Hispanic Center

02-02-2008, 03:15 PM
Mary Kay's Mexico unit is on firm foundation

08:19 AM CST on Thursday, January 31, 2008
By LAURENCE ILIFF / The Dallas Morning News

MONTERREY, Mexico The late Mary Kay Ash brought her pink Cadillac down to this industrial city two decades ago and set up a direct sales operation in a country where resellers had to go to a bank first to pay for their products, then pick them up at bus stations.

On Wednesday, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert toured the Addison-based company's new distribution center, along a modern industrial corridor near Monterrey's international airport, and called it a model for economic cooperation between the "sister cities."

MONICA RUEDA/The Associated Press
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (center) tours the new Mary Kay plant in Monterrey, Mexico, with Javier Garcia (left), vice president of the unit, and Ben Muro, a D/FW Airport board member.
For example, 70 percent of Mary Kay's products sold in Mexico are made at a Dallas plant, and sales here are booming, creating a steady stream of jobs on both sides of the border.

"Those are the sorts of things we are working on, and we would love to have a lot more examples of that," said Mr. Leppert, who mingled with workers packing orders and asked plant officials plenty of questions. "Think of the jobs created in Dallas distribution jobs, manufacturing jobs, etc. because of the market in Mexico."

Mr. Leppert and a delegation of city officials and business leaders visited the sleek facility, inaugurated in December, as part of the mayor's first international trade mission, which began Monday in Mexico City.

"One of the reasons we're here is you have a huge market in Mexico and that market has opportunities for business in Dallas," said Mr. Leppert, adding that he wants Mexican companies to invest in North Texas.

Mexican firms, he suggested, could put their headquarters for U.S. operations in Dallas.

Those types of facilities as with Mary Kay in Monterrey create local jobs. In addition to its independent sales force, the Addison-based firm has 260 employees in Monterrey at its national distribution center and separate headquarters building.

The new plant

Anne Crews, Mary Kay's vice president of government relations in Dallas, saw the Monterrey plant for the first time Wednesday and said it is much like its sister facility in North Texas.

"It's fabulous," she said.

The $38 million distribution center occupies 144,000 square feet, is twice the size of the one it replaces and sits on a lot where it can expand, officials said.

And if history is any guide, that growth is likely.

The success of the cosmetics giant, company officials in Mexico said, is a result of closely following the values set out by Ms. Ash in her book Miracles Happen.

"The Mexican culture is deeply rooted in the same culture that Mary Kay operates within the company," said Paul Van der Linden, director of Mexico operations.

Rosy Guerra, vice president for marketing, summed up that philosophy as "God first, family second and career third. That has helped us a lot."

All-female force

Many of its all-female sales force are mothers who work in their spare time and appreciate the flexibility and extra income, Ms. Guerra said. And Mary Kay only sells to distributors, whom it calls consultants, who deliver products directly to their customers.

Mary Kay's business record in the Mexican market has been constant despite some real challenges.

Through Mexico's recurrent economic crises of the 1980s and 1990s and into the Internet age the company has increased sales every year it has been in Monterrey, Mary Kay officials said.

And over the last five years, sales have jumped 80 percent, Mr. Van der Linden said, making Mexico the fourth-largest market for Mary Kay after the U.S., China and Russia.

With 107 million people, Mexico is far smaller than any of those nations.

Mary Kay Mexico sold about $200 million in cosmetics to its 200,000-strong network of resellers last year. The total retail value of sales to consumers was twice that at $400 million, Mr. Van der Linden said.

Mary Kay is privately held and not required to reveal its financial details.

Mr. Van der Linden said he did not know the total number of Mexican customers, since the company deals directly only with its sales representatives. But he said they must number in the millions since some Mary Kay consultants have as many as 100 regular customers.

And the increased use of the Internet in Mexico makes the future promising, he said.

Mary Kay representatives now place 90 percent of their orders online, saving them time they can use on sales.

The firm is constantly introducing products, including some exclusive to Mexico, and has a strong promotional campaign, officials said.

"Word-of-mouth is the best publicity," Mr. Van der Linden said.

Mexico's differences

There are some differences between the U.S. and Mexican operations, however.

In the United States, the company cannot legally bar men from becoming sales reps. But in Mexico, it can and does, said Rebeca Cornejo, director of special events in Monterrey.

But it's not discrimination, Ms. Cornejo said, so much as focusing on the original Mary Kay message of uplifting women .

The climate for women entrepreneurs in Mexico, though, is not so dissimilar from the early days of Mary Kay in the United States, Ms. Cornejo said.

"Men have a lot of opportunities in Mexico, so we don't want to give an opportunity to a man that we can give to a woman," she said.

Mary Kay's female sales representatives come from every walk of Mexican life, Mr. Cornejo said, "from women with a university degree to others who are just learning how to read."

The women make from a few hundred dollars to one who has made more than $1 million in a year.

Overachievers receive prizes from jewelry to pink Cadillacs imported from the United States.

President and CEO: David Holl

Headquarters: Addison

2006 revenue: $2.25 billion

Total employees: 4,500

D-FW employees: 2,000

SOURCES: Dallas Morning News research; Mary Kay

02-02-2008, 03:24 PM
Enforcement-only legislation will not solve illegal immigration

Joe Reyna
02/01/2008 08:19:02 PM MST

Utah elected officials must understand that illegal immigration is not just a domestic policy matter, but an economic phenomenon across borders where people migrate in response to labor market forces. The only way the United States will be able to manage, if not solve, the immigration problem is through cooperation and negotiation with Mexico and other countries.

Mexican politicians often argue that there is no bilateral relationship with the United States unless it pertains to America's territorial security. In today's global economy, cooperation is a must between our two countries.

Although most of the undocumented migrants come from Mexico, millions of people also come from Central and South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. As Mexican Ambassador Carlos De Icaza once stated, "Illegality is something that happens when immigration is left to market forces instead of regulating it through international cooperation."

We must understand that the American economy is 15 times larger than the Mexican economy. Each year, the American economy requires around 500,000 low-skilled workers, and the government only offers around 5,000 visas. How can this be? There must be a balance between the realities of the market and the security needs of the United States.

America has created a double standard with illegal immigration. On one hand, migration is encouraged by the labor markets; on the other, there is no legal way to meet the market demands, and the states are passing laws punishing the workers. Who are we kidding? We know that our businesses rely on migrant labor, including hotels, restaurants, resorts, offices, construction, transportation, service, farming, manufacturing and housing.

What American politicians have failed to recognize is that immigration is a shared responsibility, and that international cooperation is essential, especially between countries that are neighbors, friends and partners. Why does it have to be so complicated? Congress could give the market and the industries the capacity to manage their labor demands directly with the source of labor supply through the authorized federal channels.

There is no question that our economies have done well in large part because of the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, politicians from both sides forgot to include in NAFTA the human element of trade, which is the movement of labor that corresponds to market forces. Now, we are dealing with a huge problem that our inept Congress does not want to fix, leaving it to the states to find home "remedies."

Immigration issues have a lot to do with the laws of supply and demand of labor. Market forces do not recognize borders. The "invisible hand" does what it must to keep America's economic engine working. If the economy needs workers, it will find workers somewhere, whether they come from Mexico, China, or the Middle East.

Utah is a magnet for workers because of our strong economy. In our state, more than 50 percent of the estimated 60,000 undocumented workers (families) own their own home. If a mere 10,000 of these families own their home at an average of $180,000 price per home, their real estate market value contributes $1.8 billion to our economy, at a minimum. These payrolls translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in property, sales, local and state income taxes.

The Hispanic purchasing power in Utah is over $7 billion. Thousands of Utah businesses depend on Hispanic labor. If they suddenly lose their jobs, or are deported, the negative impact on the state's economy would be in the billions of dollars.

In 2005, for example, undocumented migrant workers contributed more than $7 billion to Social Security that went unclaimed. These contributions would have been useful for the welfare system. I often wonder why we worry about Social Security going bankrupt when we can rely on immigrant workers to help fund the retirement of the baby boomers.

If the United States is serious about facing the competition from Asian economies, we need to increase our ability to compete in the globalized market by strengthening our relationship with Mexico and Latin America. Instead of fences, let there be more bridges. Fences will not deter illegal immigration. Enforcement-only legislation will not solve the dilemma.

We cannot deny this fact: They will keep coming as long as there is a demand for foreign workers.

* JOE REYNA, a Utah banker and businessman, is the former chairman of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

02-02-2008, 04:43 PM
Estevanico the Moor: Slave and Explorer

In Recognition of Black History Month

The life of Estevanico is one of the most fascinating stories of American history. Estevanico was the first non-native person to visit the areas of Arizona and New Mexico. Known as Estevanico the Black or Estevanico the Moor, he was a slave who didn't fit the stereotype of a slave. He was friends with his owner, and he was at times given an great deal of responsibility and independence.

Estevanico was born in Azamor, Morocco. When he was a teenager, during the drought of 1520-21, the Portuguese sold many Moroccans into slavery. Estevanico was sold to Andres de Dorantes, and the two joined an expedition to the lands of Florida. It was to be a tragic expedition: Although they reached Florida in 1528, many on the expedition died of illness, injuries and attacks. Many fled by boat, reaching the Texas coast, where they were enslaved.

By 1534, only four were alive: Estevanico, Dorantes, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and Alonso del Castillo Maldonado. (The most famous of those is Cabeza de Vaca, whose writings are an important source of information on the Americans of the 16th century.)

The four fled. They lived with another tribe of natives who encouraged them to become medicine men. Apparently, they were quite successful. They were guided throughout much of Texas and northern Mexico. Estevanico was gifted in languages, and he became the explorers' scout and interpreter. He carried an owl-feathered gourd as a medicine rattle that became his trademark.

The four arrived at Mexico City in July 1536. The Mexican viceroy asked them to lead an expedition into Arizona and New Mexico; only Estevanico complied.

The party was under the command of Fray Marcos de Niza, a Franciscan friar. Estevanico went ahead of Marcos, and he had agreed to send back a runner with a small cross if he found a great discovery. When he saw the Zunis (a people of New Mexico), he sent back a cross the size of a man.

Unfortunately, Estevanico met his fate in New Mexico. His owl feathers were a Zuni symbol of death, and the frightened Zunis killed Estevanico. Marcos returned to Mexico City.

Estevanico is not well-known today. But there is one organization, The Estevanico Society, that is researching his life and travels.


Estévanico el moro: esclavo y explorador

En reconocimiento del Mes de Historia Negra

La vida de Estévanico es uno de los cuentos más fascinantes de la historia norteamericana. Estévanico fue la primera persona no ind*gena que fue a las áreas de Arizona y Nuevo México. Un esclavo conocido como Estévanico el negro o Estévanico el moro, Estévanico no fue el estereotipo de un esclavo. Él y su dueño eran amigos, y Estévanico a veces ten*a mucha responsabilidad y independencia.

Estévanico nació en Azamor, Morocco. Cuando era jóven de más o menos 18 años de edad, durante la sequ*a de 1520-21, los portugués vendieron como esclavos a muchos marroqu*es. Se vendió Estévanico a Andrés de Dorantes, y los dos unieron una expedición a la área de Florida. La expedición fue desastrosa.

Aunque llegaron a Florida en 1528, muchos de la expedición murieron de enfermedades, heridas y ataques. Muchos huyeron por barcos y llegaron a la costa de Tejas, donde se exclavizaron. En 1534, sólo viv*an cuatro: Estévanico, Dorantes, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca y Alonso del Castillo Maldonado. (El más famoso es Cabeza de Vaca, cuyos escritos son un fuente importante de información sobre los americanos del siglo 16.)

Otra vez huyeron los cuatro. Viv*an con otro tribu de ind*genas que los animaron a hacerse curadores. Parece que ten*an mucho éxito. Los ind*genas los guiaron en muchas partes de Tejas y México del norte. Estévenico era bien dotado de lenguas, y se hizo traductor para los exploradores. También era persona que viajaba y reconoc*a el terreno delante de los otros. Era conocido por llevar un sonajero medical hecho de una calabaza adornada con plumas de búho.

Los cuatro llegaron a la Ciudad de México en julio de 1536. El virrey mexicano les pidió que condujeran una expedición a Arizona y Nuevo Mexico. Solo Estévanico consintió en ir.

Fray Marcos de Niza, un fraile franciscano, comandó la expedición a la región. Estévanico viajaba en frente de Marcos. Estévanico hab*a dicho que le mandar*a un mensajero con una cruz pequeña a Marcos si descubriera algo magn*fico. Al ver a los zunis (un pueblo de Nuevo México), le mandó a Marcos una cruz con tamaño de un hombre.

Por desdicha, Estévanico encontró la muerte en Nuevo México. Sus plumas de búho eran s*mbolo de muerte a los zunis, y los zunis espantados mataron a Estévanico. Marcos regresó a la Ciudad de México.

Hoy d*a, Estévanico no es bien conocido. Pero hay una organización, The Estevanico Society, que investiga su vida y viajes.

Este art*culo se escribió para el Mes de Historia Negra, que ocurre cada febrero.

02-02-2008, 04:51 PM
Mexico's cartels now targeting judges

Cox News Service
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.02.2008

MEXICO CITY " Judges have become the latest target of Mexico's drug violence, a sign that warring drug cartels are escalating their attacks on the Mexican government, analysts warn.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gifThe northern Mexican city of Monterrey is reeling from last week's execution of a state judge who had handled cases against several dangerous drug traffickers, and death threats against at least three fellow judges. Three days earlier, a municipal judge in the state of Sinaloa was found tortured and executed.

The violence has sparked worry that Mexico's already weak judicial system could be coming under a Colombia-like onslaught.
"Narco-traffickers are working to destroy the rule of law and it's obvious that judges, like police before them, are targets," said Michael Nunez Torres, a legal expert at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon.

In response, Mexican lawmakers have proposed hiding the identity of judges, similar to what Colombia did during the height of that country's drug violence in the 1980s and '90s, when scores of judges were assassinated.

Jurists under-protected
Many experts say that before Mexico takes that drastic step, which has been criticized by the United Nations and human rights organizations, Mexico needs to beef up security for its woefully under-protected jurists.
Some analysts have proposed including protection of judges in wide-ranging judicial reform legislation expected to be debated by Congress this spring. "The protection for (judges) is very haphazard instead of being systematic," said Mexico City security analyst Ana Maria Salazar. "They all need bulletproof cars, work places that are safe from bombs and other attacks ... and ways to get out of the country quickly and easily if they do come under threats."

In the aftermath of the execution and threats, judges in the state of Nuevo Leon, home to the country's third-largest city, Monterrey, have been granted 24-hour protection. Officials would not say what the protection consists of or which judges would receive it.

Judges in Mexico have been relatively immune from violence, especially compared to their Colombian counterparts, which some attribute to the cartels' traditional preference to bribe rather than assassinate magistrates.

The attacks against Mexican judges follow a steady progression of violence against government officials that began with the executions of police, prosecutors and politicians.

Scores have been killed in recent years and hit men have begun targeting specific officers and agents involved in large drug busts or arrests.

The government of President Felipe Calderón has embarked on an unprecedented offensive against the dueling Gulf and Sinaloa cartels, sending tens of thousands of soldiers and federal agents to challenge traffickers, mostly along the U.S. border.


02-02-2008, 05:04 PM
Waitin' on me as usual?

02-02-2008, 05:11 PM


Play hangman and discover new words. Learning this way is much more effective than simply looking up words in a dictionary or filling in the gaps of boring exercises.

Hangman - El Ahorcado:


Topics - Temas:
Birds - Aves
The Weather - Clima
The Car - Coche
Colours - Colores
The Body - Cuerpo
Sports - Deportes
The Family - Familia
Flowers - Flores
Furniture - Muebles
Nationalities - Nacionalidades
Countries - Paises

Chose a language:


El ahorcado
Hangman for Spanish Students

Are you looking for a fun way to learn new words in Spanish? If so, try playing hangman games, known in Spanish as el ahorcado. (Incidentally, the name of the game in Spanish refers to the person hanged rather to the executioner.)


02-02-2008, 05:52 PM

Dallas lawyer addresses the Catholic position on immigration

Dallas, Feb 2, 2008 / 01:22 pm (CNA).

With an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, immigration is an unavoidable issue in the upcoming 2008 presidential election. Paul Hunker, a Dallas immigration lawyer with 15 years of experience in the area has written a summary of the Catholic Church's teachings on immigration policy.

In his synopsis, Hunker examines papal documents, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and also Catholic social doctrine to support his findings on the dignity of human persons and the importance of welcoming the foreigner; balanced with the common good of society in regards to immigration.

Columns: Political Punch

First Principles of Immigration
By Paul B Hunker III *

"Romney Targets Rudy on Immigration," "Edwards' Immigration Stance Muddled," Hillary Uses Flak Over Immigrant Issue as Rallying Cry" these recent headlines show that immigration is a hot issue in the United States 2008 Presidential election. The estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. and the hundreds of thousands illegally entering each year have made the issue acute.

Initiatives aimed at reforming our immigration law, including legalizing millions of illegal aliens and expanding the availability of temporary work visas, have been zealously promoted by the White House but zealously rejected in Congress. Passions runs deep on both sides of the issue.

Where do you begin in considering this complex issue? What are the first principles of immigration law and policy? One source of such principles is the social teaching of the Catholic Church. The social teaching provides principles derived from a considered reflection on the Gospel applied to immigration. But the relevant principles of such teachings also make moral and common sense.

Perhaps the broadest first principles of immigration are the following: Nations are "obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin."[1] Nations, "for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions."[2]

A nation has a duty to welcome the foreigner in search of security and livelihood. Why is that? One must consider it from the perspective of the immigrant. A person has a right to emigrate from his own country when conditions in such country do not provide what is necessary for basic human dignity.[3] The "right" to immigrate can be considered a specification of the "universal destination of human goods," a principle of social justice. "God destined the earth and all it contains for all men and all peoples so that all created things would be shared fairly by all mankind under the guidance of justice tempered by charity."[4] Specifically, a person without the necessities of life for himself and his family in his own country has the right to seek those goods elsewhere.

Well, does this mean the borders are open? Does policing the border and removing aliens who jump the border violate social justice? Happily (in particular for those tasked with protecting the border), they do not. Immigration can and should be regulated according to the common good of each nation. The common good indicates "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily."[5] Each human community possesses a common good which permits it to be recognized as such; it is in the political community that its most complete realization is found. It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society, its citizens, and intermediate bodies."[6]

From this it is evident that the United States (and any country) can regulate immigration and protect its borders. This makes common sense. The United States has a particular obligation to care for its own citizens, now near 303 million persons.[7] Professor Mary Ann Glendon, recently nominated by President Bush to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, stated that "the nation-state, for all of its weaknesses, allows great numbers of peoples to live together in peace and freedom, with space allowed for the exercise of virtues which promote the common good." [8] An unrestricted influx of immigrants into the United States would greatly impede civil peace and well-being. Immigration should be restricted keeping the common good of the United States in mind.

One element of the common good of the United States is the "rule of law." The common good of our society thrives in part since people know that the laws are respected and enforced. Does it not hurt rule of law when aliens who illegally enter and reside in the U.S. are rewarded with amnesty and granted legal residence? This is relevant question to ask. But to the extent one concludes that the immigration laws of the U.S. should be reformed to more adequately promote a just immigration policy, such reform could include respect for the rule of law. For example, the failed immigration reform bill proposed by President Bush included provisions whereby illegal aliens would have to pay fines due to their illegal presence in the U.S, and/or return to their native country and then immigrate to the U.S. legally.

Nevertheless, the obligation of the United States is not limited simply to its own particular common good. "Human interdependence is increasing and gradually spreading throughout the world. The unity of the human family, embracing people who enjoy equal natural dignity, implies a universal common good."[9] For that reason, the United States immigration policy must also be concerned with what promotes the social conditions of all persons, even if they are not U.S citizens. Moreover, there is greater interdependence between the United States and certain countries, such as Mexico, given that we share a common border which brings with it greater social and economic ties.

Certainly, the United States' facilitating the admission of hard-working law-abiding immigrants, whose life in their own countries has little human dignity, promotes their social condition. When I drive through the security gates to fly out of Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport, it is often a person of Somali or Ethiopian descent who cheerfully hands me my parking receipt. Their cheerfulness strikes me. I wonder if their joy comes in part from appreciating their life in the U.S, compared to the horrors from which they fled.

However, concern for the dignity of non-United States citizen is not simply a matter between the United States and the immigrant. "Migration today is practically an expression of the violation of the primary human right to live in one's own country."[10] The point here is that people have the right to live in their own culture without having to flee because of persecution or poverty. (One need only watch a film such as El Norte to appreciate the truth of this statement.[11]) Foreign policy and immigration policy must keep in mind what promotes the economic and social development of foreign nations and the rights of persons to reside in their own nation and culture with human dignity.

A closely related principle to the principle of the universal common good is that of solidarity. This is a broad term; among other things, the principle recognizes "the bond of interdependence between individuals and peoples,"[12] and a desire for "the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all."[13] The principle is implicit in one of the more striking biblical exhortations regarding the alien "The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt..."[14] A nation that does not seek to help people in nations less fortunate than itself does not recognize the common aspirations that all men have to further their own development and that of their families.

Finally, a key principle of immigration is family reunification. If someone can legally reside in the United States, his immediate family should be able to reside with him.[15] "The family is a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order."[16]

The principles set forth above provide a starting point to consider just and effective immigration law and policies. It is in the nature of principles that they are fairly straightforward and abstract. Applying them is more challenging, in particular given the complexity of immigration and the variety of potential immigrants. But understanding the first principles must come first.

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2241

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2241

[3] See Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, paragraphs 25, 105. Under a subsection entitled "The Right to Immigrate," the Pope states that "when there are just reasons in favor of it, [a person] must be permitted to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there." (paragraph 25). He does not describe what is "just reason." However, in 1969, the Holy See stated that "where a State which suffers from poverty combined with great population cannot supply such use of goods to its inhabitants, or where the State places conditions which offend human dignity, people possess a right to emigrate, to select a new home in foreign lands, and to seek conditions of life worthy of man." Instruction on the Pastoral Care of People Who Migrate, (1969), quoted in Terry Coonan, There are no Strangers Among Us: Catholic Social Teachings and U.S. Immigration Law, 40 Catholic Lawyer 105, n. 62 (2000).

[4] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, #171

[5] Gaudium et Spes, #26

[6] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1910

[7] http://www.census.gov/

[8] http://www.zenit.org/article-19518?l=english

[9] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1911

[10] See the Introduction to the Catholic Church's Pontifical Counsel for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/m...resentazione_en.html (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/documents/rc_pc_migrants_doc_20000601_migr_presentazione_en.html).

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Norte_(film)

[12] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, #192

[13] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church #193

[14] Leviticus 19:33.

[15] See Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, #298 ("The right of reuniting families should be respected and promoted."); Charter on the Rights of Families, art. 12. ("Emigrant workers have the right to see their family united as soon as possible."); Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the 93rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2007) ("If the immigrant family is not ensured of a real possibility of inclusion and participation, it is difficult to expect its harmonious development.").

[16] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, # 211


Paul Hunker practices immigration law in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1992.


02-03-2008, 07:33 AM
(Old but interesting)

Illegal aliens help subsidize U.S. economy

Mary Sanchez
Kansas City Star
April 15, 2005

A grocery clerk queries a customer, "Are you legally in the country, or illegal?"

The customer is stunned by the candor, but replies cautiously, "illegal."

"OK, no taxes will be charged to you," the clerk replies. "Just pay the retail price for your groceries, nothing more."

This never happens. Everyone pays taxes on their purchases. Yet to hear some people talk, immigrants, especially the illegal ones, pay no taxes.

In reality, they do pay into the tax system in a variety of ways, at times providing the rest of us a little acknowledged cushion. Sales tax is just one way. Property tax paid through a rent fee is another.

Depending on the circumstances, illegal immigrants can both cost and contribute to the economy. Taxes are a good way to understand how this is true.

Some illegal immigrants have been busy scrambling lately like U.S.-born Americans, trying to file their taxes on time. This is a small percentage of the without-papers-crowd in the United States. But some do file in the hope of creating a paper trail to show they are willing to pay their share.

That is the immigrant hope for an amnesty. It is fruitless, as no such thing is in the works. A bigger undervalued amount they contribute is through false Social Security numbers.

People who are upset that illegal immigrants can easily buy fake Social Security numbers have a reasonable argument to fear identity theft, confusion with valid numbers. But realize this as well: http://www.ilw.com/corporate/excl.gif The government does not care if the money is coming from a fake number or a valid Social Security number. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/excl.gif The government gets its paycheck deduction either way.

By some recent government estimates; about $7 billion a year in Social Security taxes is gathered this way.

Illegal immigrants were responsible for 10 percent of the government's surplus in 2004. That is quite a tidy sum. And because they are not legally authorized to be a part of the workforce, the immigrants will not collect any benefits later, not that they are, or should be complaining.

The Social Security Administration tried to get a handle on the situation by alerting employers if their employees had numbers that didn't coordinate with government records. The effort caused people to switch jobs, or to be fired by understandably nervous employers.

The notices did not, however, affect the amount of money the government collected. That number keeps rising, along with the number of illegal people.

Other federal efforts to curb hiring of people not authorized to work increased the amount the immigrants paid to the government. The crackdowns encouraged employers to require Social Security cards on all workers, increasing the market for fake numbers.

Deciphering whether the people pay in enough to cover their costs is complicated. First, estimates about the numbers of illegal people are just that " estimates. No one knows the real number. Depending on who is doing the guessing, 8 million to 12 million people is a common range.

Now factor in the economic value of their work, taxes paid on goods, in property tax as rent, emergency medical care costs, public schooling if they have children. Shake that through formulas for property values, federal funding, the economic cost or benefit locally of their workplaces.

Confused? Here is another scenario.

Picture the same clerk, same grocery, same question.

But this time, the person answers, "I'm a legal, U.S.-born citizen."

"For you, there is no tax," the clerk replies.

"Why?" the customer suspiciously asks.

Well, a group of illegal immigrants just came through here, buying several carts full of groceries. They paid a big sales tax.

But the people were only passing through, heading for jobs in another state. They won't be in the area long enough to benefit from the local tax base they just supported.

"It's OK," the clerk coaxes. "You don't have to tell anyone. But this time, you can have this tax-free, courtesy of the immigrants."

02-03-2008, 07:52 AM

The idea to answering that question is in Economics. Actually, the important concept is not about illegal immigrants contributing to the US, it's about how illegal immigrants from another country can contribute to any country. For example, illegal immigrants can contribute to US, and in another country like Malaysia, illegal immigrants can also contribute to that country. For this answer however, I shall refrain myself from using the word 'illegal', and just describe them as immigrants.

Since I am not very familiar with the US industry, I shall use the example of Malaysia. In Malaysia, most immigrants are working in construction industries, some of them are working as maids, and also other areas of industry in which the pay is lower. Immigrants can contribute to the economy, as it is cheaper to hire them, then to employ our own people living in Malaysia. For example, many immigrants come to Malaysia to work as a maid. It's impossible to hire another Malaysian to work as a maid. They will never work in this area, as the pay is too low.

Apart from that, Malaysians are better off doing something else, as the low pay doesn't match the skills they have. This means that if they

do take the job, there is a mismatch between skills and pay. For example, a doctor will never work as a maid, or an engineer will never work as a waiter. On the other hand, for the immigrants, they are satisfied with the low pay, and also sometimes poor working environement or poor treatment, as to compare with what they can get back in their country, the low pay or poor working environment is nothing. Hence, immigrants will normally fill in the employment positions in a country in which they have comparative advantage in. While the countries own citizen will need to move up the career ladder or industry ladder to focus on other industries.

Hence, immigrants help any country to fill in positions, which is too costly to hire the locals and also in industries where these immigrants have advantage in doing it. The economy can benefit from these immigrants a lot. In Malaysia for example, immigrants are mainly involved in constructions. Hence many building and roads are built with their involvement in it. However there can be some difficulties with immigrants in a country, in Malaysia for example, crime rates are often associated with immigrants coming in illegally. While in US, immigrants are often associated with the idea that they are robbing jobs from the locals.

The important thing to understand is that, it's not immigrants that are robbing the job, it's just cheaper to hire them. In business who wouldn't hire someone with a lower pay right ? Anyone should be aware that workers that can perform the same job, with a lower cost will definitely have more chance to be hired in these global and free market. Hope this helps. (cheong@bgymail.gd.cn)


02-03-2008, 08:01 AM
[BOOK REVIEW] 'Paper Families' shines light on US immigration policy

Estelle Lau takes a balanced look at the US Exclusion Laws of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and at the lives of Chinese nationals who got around them

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008, Page 18

By Estelle T. Lau
214 pages

From 1882 to 1943 people perceived as being of Chinese origin were barred from immigration into the US under what have become known collectively as the Chinese Exclusion Laws. It remains the only exclusion based on race, rather than nationality, the US has ever enacted.

Even after 1943 it was all but impossible, at least on paper, for them to get in - a quota system established 105 as the total number of Chinese immigrants permitted, and even that minute number was not taken up, so stringent was the small print. Only in the mid-1960s, in the wake of a Civil Rights movement highlighting racially motivated discrimination generally, was the ban finally lifted.

Many continued to arrive after the ban, however, and many of them entered the country successfully. The way this was done was through a section in the laws that allowed entry to the children of US residents. Chinese who were already citizens therefore filed details with the authorities of children who had been born to them in China, but who in fact never existed, and then sold these "slots" to prospective immigrants via their agents.

The problem for the authorities was that in those pre-DNA test times there was no way of establishing for certain who these people waiting on San Francisco's wharves actually were. Were they really the children of US citizens they claimed to be? The only way to check, or attempt to check, was to question them at length on the families they said they belonged to, the villages they'd supposedly come from, and even the number of pigs the man living in the second house along in the third row of houses from the north possessed. Long accounts of these extremely detailed interviews still survive, together with "crib sheets" describing a huge range of just such information that the US residents provided along with their "slots." A study of these forms the basis of this book.

The focus of Chinese arrivals was California, where large numbers had arrived in the wake of the 1849 Gold Rush, both to pan for gold themselves and to work on the railroads. Even then state legislation was enacted against them - there was a tax specifically on Chinese gold miners, their queues were forcibly cut off, and they were denied the right to testify in court (which meant that the numerous assaults on them couldn't be prosecuted).

Yet even at its height before 1882, Chinese immigration had accounted for under 5 percent of all arrivals in the US. So what were the reasons for the discrimination? One was that the Chinese were willing to work for lower rates than their counterparts and so were seen as undermining wage structures. Another was that they appeared clannish and unwilling to assimilate - a strange view for San Francisco in the mid-19th century where polyglot adventurers from every part of the globe were congregated. On a more mythic level, their numbers were perceived as being virtually unlimited, and China was thought of as a fountain of would-be immigrants that nothing could exhaust.

But at root lay the ancient desire for a scapegoat. With so much tension in the air, and so much poverty for the majority (though riches for the lucky few), some group had to be found to blame for the many disappointments. In Europe in the 1930s this unhappy lot fell on the Jews. In California in the second half of the 19th century it was the Chinese.

You might think that deception of the authorities in order to obtain immigration rights might be viewed as a shameful history. Not by this author. Estelle Lau - an attorney whose parents came to the US in the 1950s when the exclusion laws had been relaxed, though not abolished - sees the Chinese immigrants of old as heroic individuals struggling against unjust laws put in place by a racially motivated state.

Yet she can be remarkably even-handed. Of the hard-pressed authorities she writes, "It is not surprising that the immigration regulators did not trust the Chinese - they were not paranoid, they just saw what was going on."

Today there are some 1,600,000 people of Chinese extraction living in the US, of whom nearly half were foreign-born. Asians as a whole account for less than one percent of the population but, following their economic success, are widely perceived as being "model minorities."

Would-be migrants from China are still trying to enter the US illegally, though they rank only 21st in the list according to country of origin. The wreck off New York City of the Golden Venture in 1993, with 260 migrants from China on board, many of whom drowned when trying to swim to shore, brought the problem before the public gaze once again. But with today's price for being smuggled into the country estimated at US$30,000, even those who succeed have to work for many years, usually in restaurants or the garment industry, to pay off their debt.

For their part, descendents of former Exclusion Laws-dodgers are still coming to terms with their history. Some have reverted to their original family names, but many have opted to remain with their adopted ones, even continuing to act as members of their paper families. For decades the pretense of consanguinity had to be kept up to deceive the ever-vigilant immigration authorities. "The fictions they created for immigration purposes," writes Lau, "became part of the lived reality of Chinese life in the United States."

It's the author's balance and lack of special pleading that makes Paper Families a sane and therefore agreeable book. There's even, surely, a wry joke concealed in her title. Mao Zed.ong (毛澤東) may have considered Western imperialists to be "paper tigers," but many American-Chinese were actually themselves members of "paper families." Perhaps Mao himself knew this. On balance it seems not unlikely.

02-03-2008, 05:54 PM
www.wecanstopthehate.org (http://www.wecanstopthehate.org)

Civil rights group decries tenor of immigration debate

They take issue with words such as 'invaders,' 'swarms'

Copyright 2008 Hearst News Service
Feb. 2, 2008, 11:06PM

WASHINGTON " The nation's largest Hispanic civil rights group has launched an offensive against what its leader called "open and ugly" anti-immigrant "hate speech" by political candidates and commentators on cable news channels.

Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, said anti-immigration activists have inflamed the debate over the hot-button social issue by describing illegal immigrants as "swarms" of "invaders" who want to take over the U.S.

"Their rhetoric has been adopted by the mainstream media ... and too often welcomed by ... the presidential candidates," Murguia said Thursday. "We can't have that kind of language go unchecked and unfiltered any longer."

Wed site launched

La Raza, which boasts a network of nearly 300 community-based organizations in 41 states, launched a Web site, http://
www.wecanstopthehate.org, (http://www.wecanstopthehate.org,) to document what Murguia said were the most inflammatory comments by TV commentators such as CNN's Lou Dobbs and anti-immigration advocates such as Jim Gilchrest of the Minuteman Project.

The organization also called on the heads of CNN, the Fox News Channel and MSNBC to tone down the rhetoric of its commentators and stop allowing appearances by some immigration foes.

Murguia said La Raza wanted executives at Fox, CNN and MSNBC "to take the hate and vigilante groups off the air." And, she asked for political candidates to pledge "to renounce hate speech and sever their ties with ... hate groups."

In particular, Murguia singled out:

" CNN's Lou Dobbs, who she said "routinely provides a platform for vilifying immigrants on his 'Broken Borders' segment," a regular feature on Dobbs' nightly broadcast.
" MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan, who has written a book denouncing illegal immigration.
" Radio and TV personality Glenn Beck, who once described on-air a fake ad created by a listener about fuel made from the bodies of illegal Mexican immigrants.

Endorsement challenged

The National Council of La Raza also asked for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to renounce an endorsement from Gilchrest, the Minuteman Project co-founder who proudly describes himself as a vigilante.

Calls to CNN's public relations department were not returned.

Dobbs has previously said on his show that he is trying to engage citizens in public discourse over an important topic " border security.

Dobbs relishes pointed on-air debate with immigration advocates, lecturing them on his support for legal immigration while decrying the illegal kind as a threat to the nation's legal structure, social services and economy.

Stacy Burdett, the associate director of government and national affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, a group that works to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds, said viewers are desensitized by harsh rhetoric about illegal immigration.

Burdett, who worked with the National Council of La Raza on their project, said the leaders of anti-immigration groups sometimes describe illegal immigrants as invaders, dehumanize them as "hordes," and claim they help spread disease.

For years, Congress has been deeply divided over the best way to combat illegal immigration.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have repeatedly stumbled in attempts to revamp the immigration system.

The closest they came to overhauling the nation's immigration laws was early last summer, when the Senate debated legislation backed by the Bush administration that would have strengthened security on the U.S.-Mexico border while creating a new temporary work program for foreigners with few skills.

The measure also would have allowed most of the more than 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. to remain in the country after paying fines, returning home and passing background checks.

The Senate debated the legislation for several weeks. But in a series of key procedural votes " over whether to end debate and bring the bill to a final vote " supporters failed to get the backing of the necessary 60 senators.


02-05-2008, 02:34 AM
Union organizer works the streets of Brooklyn

Last modified: February 05. 2008 1:27AM

Laura Tapia is the union movement's equivalent of a beat cop.

A tiny, fast-talking woman from Puebla, Mexico, she has spent two years walking the 99-cent stores, fruit stands and sneaker shops of Brooklyn's immigrant Knickerbocker Avenue.

She made her rounds recently, hugging the woman selling tamales from a cart, pointing to the car wash, which she says is usually staffed by underage kids, and clucking that the combination laundromat-post office was robbed in the middle of the day.

"When you are on the street all day, you know everything that happens," she said, shivering in her down parka. "Everything."

Tapia is an organizer for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Only two of the roughly 170 stores on Knickerbocker are unionized, but organizing workers is her secondary goal. Her immediate task is investigating working conditions, injuries and wage-and-hour violations involving the stores' shelf stockers, cashiers and salespeople.

She is one of seven organizers working a neighborhood for the union. Their efforts, part of a small but growing push by organized labor to battle for workers who may never join a union, are as much social engineering as organizing.

Union membership has declined for 25 years in part because unions have "lost connections to communities," said Jonathan Tasini, executive director of the union-funded Labor Research Association.

Union halls, once the community centers of the urban working class, the place to find a job, a card game or a date, have all but disappeared.

"One way of thinking about how we connect to communities is thinking about doing so at the street, block and neighborhood level, as opposed to just in the workplace," Tasini said.

But some union advocates say small-scale community efforts are not worth it. After all, unions would have to organize hundreds of thousands of workers to return to the membership numbers of the 1980s.

"In the current climate, the labor movement cannot afford to be extending resources for one or two workers at a time," said Kate Bronfenbrenner, a labor studies professor at Cornell University.

Still, unions around the country, often working in partnership with community groups, are reaching out to nonunion workers.

A new national organization, the Partnership for Working Families, pairs union research departments with community groups trying to win jobs for neighborhood workers affected by urban redevelopment projects. California unions, working with clergy, have pushed for better wages for the working poor. New York unions have backed a campaign for better pay for nonunion restaurant delivery workers.

The groups have had victories. Working with a community group in Brooklyn called Make the Road, the retail workers union has helped with civil cases and settlements resulting in more than $600,000 in back wages for workers on Knickerbocker.

The fastest-growing union in the country, the Service Employees International Union, has grown by championing the causes of janitors, security guards and hotel housekeepers.

SEIU gained more than 200,000 members in two years, growing to 1.9 million as it negotiated contracts that, in some cases, doubled workers' wages. One of the union's biggest successes in 2007 was when 22,000 home care workers paid through Massachusetts' Medicaid program voted to organize.

In other recent organizing drives, more than 8,000 home-based day-care workers in New York joined the American Federation of Teachers.

Jeff Eichler, coordinator of the 100,000-worker retail union's organizing project, said most union efforts are about increasing membership and then fighting for a contract for the members. The union's work on Knickerbocker is instead about identifying the union with a community.

"Only a small group of folks fight for contracts," he said. "A much greater group is highly exploited. We have to be seen as a participant with the needs and desires of the entire work force. That leads to contract fights."

The union came to Knickerbocker after Make the Road began its back-wages effort and a friend of Eichler's introduced him to the director of Make the Road.

Tapia, 38, got her start as an organizer seven years ago, after she led the union drive at the garment factory where she worked because she felt the owners were treating the elderly seamstresses poorly. She was assigned to Knickerbocker, which she walks daily from Make the Road's offices asking every worker who will talk to her about wages and injuries.

For Tapia, the work is a calling.

"My hope is that in the future, any person who comes for work doesn't have to think or worry about their salary," she said. "They know they will be well paid. It's a human thing to get days off, personal days, sick days, benefits. It's a right."

02-05-2008, 02:40 AM
Immigrant Agencies Feel Rise In Harrassment

by Perla Trevizo
January 4, 2008

Officials at local organizations that aid immigrants and refugees say they have experienced an increase in hate mail and threatening phone calls.

"In the 10 years since we opened our office, I had never experienced any threats until last year," said Anne Curtis, director of Bridge Refugees Services of Chattanooga, an agency that works with churches and other organizations to help settle refugees.

Ms. Curtis said they started to receive phone calls, letters and e-mails last year from an individual who disagreed with their work on behalf of refugees. She said they had to call the police twice because they felt threatened by him.

"I feel sad that people forget all of our families were immigrants at one point and that they don't want to take the time to understand the difference between a refugee and people immigrating here legally or illegally for other reasons," she said.

Chattanooga resident Rick Pinson, who said he doesn't support bringing refugees to the United States, said he doesn't believe "American soldiers who fought and died for this country did so it could be given away to people from other countries, and that taxpayers be required to pay for their welfare."

America Gruner, president of the Coalition of Latino Leaders in Dalton, Ga., and Jerry Gonza***, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said they also have seen a spike in the number of hate e-mails and phone calls they receive.

Ms. Gruner said they have gotten several threatening phone calls since they started the organization in 2006, mostly from people telling them to go back to their country and accusing them of registering undocumented immigrants to vote.

"Last year, when we started a campaign to encourage Hispanics to vote, we received several calls telling us we were breaking the law by registering illegals," Ms. Gruner said.

Dr. Douglas C. Bachtel, demographer at the University of Georgia, said that a lot of the anti-immigrant sentiment comes from the state of the economy and from politics.

"As the economy starts to tighten up they'll see them (immigrants) as a threat taking scarce resources," he said. "But it's also a form of racism and total ignorance."

Michael Cutler, with the Center for Immigration studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that advocates for less immigration, said there are other ways of expressing your opinion without attacking someone.

"This is America, people are entitled to have different opinions ... (but) there is a difference between expressing your opinion and threatening someone," he said.

Mike Feely, a City Council member and director of the St. Andrew's Center, a community outreach group, said better communication is needed.

Although he said the St. Andrew's Center hasn't received any hate e-mails or phone calls. However, the majority of ministries that work with immigrants often are subjected to those sentiments.

"A poisonous atmosphere has been developed and that's why I think we would benefit from discussions in a place where people can come and talk about this (immigration) without being labeled," he said.

Catalina Nieto, spokesperson for the Tennessee Immigrants and Refugees Rights Coalition, said they have also begun an initiative to dispel some of the myths people have about immigrants, which in many cases are the origin of the negative comments.

"We want to talk about the positive contributions immigrants make to the state," Ms. Nieto said. "I've noticed that every time people interact with refugees or immigrants, they begin to understand their situation better and become less negative (about the presence)."

02-05-2008, 06:23 AM
Cops: Man used fake $100 bill at Avon McDonald's

Suspect is an illegal immigrant who has been deported twice before, police say

Steve Lynn
Val, CO Colorado
February 4, 2008

AVON, Colorado "” An illegal immigrant who has been deported from the country twice used two fake $100 bills at Wal-Mart and was arrested Monday, Avon Police Officer Dave Wineman said.

J http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifavier Barraza Garcia, 30, of Mexico, used two counterfeit $100 bills, one at McDonald's and one to buy a $6 pair of gloves shortly before noon, Wineman said.

Surveillance video showed Garcia bought something at McDonald's with the bill.

Shortly after, a cashier at Wal-Mart noticed the bill Garcia used to buy the gloves was fake, Wineman said.

"It was a pretty good catch on her part," Wineman said.

Wal-Mart security held Garcia until police arrived, Wineman said.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifGarcia also was carrying fake social security and resident alien cards and lied to police about his birth date several times, Wineman said.

Garcia was arrested on suspicion of four counts of possession of a forged instrument, and criminal impersonation, all felonies, Wineman said.

Garcia is being held in Eagle County jail and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been told of his arrest so that he can be deported after he is prosecuted, Wineman said.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gif Garcia has been deported from the United States at least twice in the past decade, Wineman said.

A third fake $100 bill similar to the ones Garcia used also was found in a Wal-Mart cash register, but police think another person might have used that bill, Wineman said.

Like Garcia, people who use counterfeit $100 bills often make small purchases to get real cash as change, Wineman said.

People should call police if they think a bill is fake, he said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


02-05-2008, 06:26 AM
Rape cases to be tried together

February 5, 2008
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune staff writer

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifVALPARAISO -- Judge Roger Bradford ruled charges against Arturo Garcia-Torres, 21, accused of raping or trying to rape two Valparaiso University students on July 18, 2004, and June 12, 2005, will be tried together in one trial.

Garcia-Torres, who has been in Porter County Jail since being arrested in 2005, will face two counts of burglary, one count of rape and one count of attempted rape on March 31.

Each charge carries a penalty of six to 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Visvaldis Kupsis argued that Garcia-Torres has a right to separate trials for each count under Indiana law because the crimes were so different.

In the 2004 incident, a man rang the doorbell of a home in Homer Court, forced his way in, assaulted the victim and then raped her.

In the 2005 incident, a man climbed in the window of a Garfield Avenue apartment and attempted to remove the clothing of a woman in bed. The woman clawed him and the attacker was scared off by police, who were called by the neighbors.

There is no common method, Kupsis argued. The only reason the crimes are tried together is the similarity of charges, which could prejudice a jury.

Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek argued that proximity was a common factor as both incidents occurred near his former home of 53 Roosevelt Road #14A, within about a half a mile.

Also, the evidence was common in both cases. Police used DNA from a shoe dropped at the second scene to get a match with DNA from the first crime.

Garcia-Torres also allegedly dropped a cell phone while running from police and that was used to identify him, Polarek said.

Bradford agreed that the evidence was too interrelated in the cases to split them.

The court also addressed the matter of having a translator for the proceedings as Garcia-Torres, an illegal alien from Mexico, speaks limited English.

Bradford said the state would provide one should Garcia-Torres choose to take the witness stand, but as per recent Supreme Court rulings, the accused will have to hire his own translators for his own use.

Garcia-Torres is being held in Porter County Jail on $150,000 bail.


02-05-2008, 06:30 AM
13 illegal immigrant workers arrested
Santa Rosa deputies raid nursery after complaints from citizens; business won't be charged

Joshua Wilks/Florida Freedom Newspapers
Monday February 4th, 2008
Comment on this Story | Read Comments

MILTON " Santa Rosa County sheriff's deputies arrested 13 illegal immigrant workers Monday during a raid at a local business.

The workers are being held without bond at Santa Rosa County Jail facing third-degree felony charges. Lawmen said they used false documents to obtain employment at Panhandle Growers, a wholesale nursery grower in Allentown, north of Milton.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifThe workers provided counterfeit and stolen Social Security numbers to the business when hired, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.

"In research we have found that some of the numbers being used have come back as belonging to children," said Sheriff Wendell Hall. "They have all admitted to being here illegally."

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/001_rolleyes.gifThe business owners, John Davy and Glen Strange, are not being charged for employing illegal immigrants. Hall said the owners did everything necessary during the hiring process to prove the workers' citizenship.

Attempts to contact the business owners were unsuccessful Monday afternoon.

"The employer did nothing wrong and did everything he was required to do when hiring these people," Hall said. "We consider him a victim. He had no idea the Social Security numbers provided didn't belong to the individuals."

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/hurray.gifThe arrests resulted from citizen complaints to the sheriff's Area Impact Man-agement unit, a seven-member multilingual task force designed to respond to undocumented worker complaints.

The Sheriff's Office has partnered with Escambia, Okaloosa and Walton counties to curb undocumented workers by establishing separate county task forces. This is only the first sweep of many to come, Hall said.

The 13 illegal immigrants will be held for federal authorities for possible deportation after criminal charges are satisfied, according to the release.

"We encourage every business owner that employs any foreign national to obtain the proper documentation needed for employment," Hall said. "They can contact the Sheriff's Office in order to prove the information provided by their workers is legal."


02-05-2008, 08:56 AM
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/crime/la-me-monrovia4...y?ctrack=1&cset=true (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/crime/la-me-monrovia4feb04,1,7047239,full.story?ctrack=1&cset=true)

From the Los Angeles Times

Racially charged violence puts Monrovia on edge
Officials have called in extra officers from surrounding cities and gang investigators from Los Angeles after three shooting deaths.

By Sam Quinones
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 4, 2008

Monrovia always had big dreams of remaining a small town.

For more than 30 years, it toiled to shed blight and biker bars and redevelop itself into a 21st century version of quaint Americana.

Today it is home to a number of national retailers, a cafe-lined downtown and one of the largest concentrations of high-tech firms in the San Gabriel Valley, all spread at the foot of a majestic mountain range.

"There's a feeling about this town that keeps me here," said Keith Ganley, a local resident and teacher. "People like Monrovia because it's the closest thing any of us know in the San Gabriel Valley to a small town."

But in recent weeks, the usually tranquil town of 39,000 and surrounding communities have been jolted by a surge in violence between warring http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cussing.gifLatino and black gangs that has left three dead and one paralyzed. Two of those killed -- 64-year-old Sanders "Pete" Rollins, a black man, and 16-year-old Sammantha Salas, a Latina -- had no gang affiliation.

Police said the spate of violence coincided with the release in December of parolees who returned home to the area. They were members of rival area gangs: Monrovia Nuevo Varrio, a Latino gang, and the Du Roc Crips, a black gang from a nearby unincorporated neighborhood.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/argue.gif Shortly after their release, a series of cross-racial shootings erupted in Monrovia, Duarte and surrounding areas. Rollins and Salas were apparently shot without provocation, and race may have been a factor, police said.

The suspect in the killing of a third victim, 19-year-old Brandon Lee, is a Latino. Lee may have had ties to the Du Roc Crips, police said.

Behind it all "appears to be knuckleheads who have gotten out" of prison, said Monrovia Police Chief Roger Johnson. These days, "every community gets affected by what comes out of the prisons."

Monrovia officials have called in extra officers from surrounding cities and gang investigators from Los Angeles. They arrested three people in connection with recent shootings, though no arrests have been made in the homicide cases.

"There's a crisis in our city," said Mayor Rob Hammond. "and this is our response."

On Friday night, 14 law enforcement agencies carried out raids on 44 locations in the eastern San Gabriel Valley in a gang sweep. Seven suspects were arrested and items were collected possibly related to the three killings, authorities said.

City officials urged people to be cautious, avoid places where gangs hang out and report suspicious activity. The city plans to hold public meetings this week to address community concerns.

"People are so on edge right now," said Robert Parry, a homeowner who blogs on life in the city.

Online, at the YMCA, at cafes downtown, and anywhere else people congregated, the violence was what Monrovians were talking about last week.

"I think it was somewhat of a surprise for [Monrovia] to realize that they have a problem that they thought existed elsewhere," said David Hall, president of the town council for the unincorporated areas adjacent to Monrovia, Arcadia and Duarte. "If gangs exist anywhere near your city, you've got the problem."

Beneath what's happened recently in Monrovia are parallel stories that go back years: one of sparkling redevelopment, the other of the ominous spread of gang culture.

Both began in the 1970s.

Back then, Monrovia, founded in 1887, had fallen on hard times and had grown grimy.

Downtown was a hodgepodge of adult bookstores and abandoned storefronts. Huntington Drive, cutting east through town, was a collection of auto shops, biker bars and liquor stores.

"It wasn't safe to be on Huntington Drive during the day," said **** Singer, a city spokesman. "People were being robbed when they stopped for a red light."

In 1973, an activist council majority changed course. Over the next 30 years, they transformed the town through aggressive redevelopment.

Today Huntington Drive is home to several national retailers: Mervyn's, Office Depot, Expo Design. Trader Joe's opened after 15,000 Monrovians wrote to the market chain's president, saying "If You Build It, We Will Shop."

Monrovia's quaint downtown -- renamed Old Town -- boasts a movie theater, cafes, sandwich shops, jewelers, a farmers market and a Friday night street fair.

In the early 1980s, city officials began courting high-tech companies. Monrovia, they said, was safe, near the 210 and 605 freeways and dotted with classic Craftsman cottages. Xerox, Sun Microsystems and others now have operations in Monrovia.

In 1995, the National Civic League designated Monrovia an All-America City.

Sales tax revenue rose 16-fold. Three more redevelopment projects are planned that will mix housing and commercial space, including one around a proposed stop on the Metro Gold Line.

In 2003, the city celebrated 30 years of redevelopment with a report titled "The Best of Times."

"Thirty years ago nobody wanted to come to Monrovia," Singer said. "Today we're the hot ticket. Redevelopment is what did that. It is the economic engine that drives the city."

Meanwhile, in a little-noticed neighborhood south of Huntington Drive and a neglected unincorporated area at the city's southern edge, Latino and black gangs were forming.

In the 1970s, the Du Roc Crips took their name from Duarte and Rock Town, the part of Duarte where black families had settled when they moved from the South, police said. The gang's territory came to include parts of Monrovia as well.

It is also home to Duarte Eastside and Monrovia Nuevo Varrio.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/grouphug.gifThrough the 1970s, the gangs got along, police and residents said. That was true even during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

When it changed is hard to pinpoint.

" http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alien.gifI saw that change in the 1990s," said Jose Bennett, a long-time resident of an unincorporated area near Duarte. Du Roc "started feuding with the Spanish-speaking."

Others say it was five or six years ago.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alien.gifDuring the 1990s, the Mexican Mafia prison gang extended its power to the streets, controlling Latino gangs and forcing them to tax drug dealers, police and gang members say. It also ordered Latino gangs to attack black rivals.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/argue.gifAs a result, Latino gangs in Compton, San Pedro, Florence-Firestone, Riverside, Pacoima, Ontario and elsewhere began feuding with black gangs, police said.

It's unclear how this may have affected gangs in Monrovia and Duarte, authorities said. But by the new millennium, Duarte Eastside and Monrovia Nuevo Varrio were sparring with the Du Roc Crips in a way unknown to an older generation.

"It's irritating to see this because we grew up with Hispanics," said Earl Parker, 46, a black man who has lived in the unincorporated area near most of his life. "We got along."

Tensions were the same in Monrovia. Darrian Davis, a black 21-year-old resident, said that in middle school he and his friends never walked home alone for fear of being jumped by Latino gangs.

Then about 2001, the shootings began, he said.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gif"If you're black, somebody Mexican's going to shoot you. If you're Mexican, same thing. It's become about race," said Davis, who is the nephew of Rollins, who was killed Jan. 13. "I never thought it would get this bad. Now it's all I think about."

The unincorporated area south of the city has long been neglected. Gang tensions were left to smolder and eventually spread north into Monrovia.

In 2003, as Monrovia celebrated 30 years of redevelopment, the gangs erupted with the worst spate of shootings up to that point. Wounded in one attack was former Duarte High School football standout Dennis Weathersby, who had just finished four years at Oregon State University as an academic All-American. He had no gang ties.

The violence shook the city.

"The problem is not something they really want to think about," said Parry, the Monrovia blogger. "They'd rather look at the 90% that's good than the 10% that's bad. But that 10% is really very dangerous."

In 2006, violence flared again. This time, officials focused more attention on the southeastern edge of the city. They launched the Monrovia Area Partnership -- a program that took block parties and bookmobiles to the neighborhood.

Things stayed quiet until the newest wave of violence, said City Manager Scott Ochoa.

Today, Monrovia adjusts to its new notoriety.

At one community meeting, a woman said her husband was a teacher in Watts, where his students were buzzing about gangs in Monrovia.

In his part of south Monrovia, Davis said his family is also on guard, especially at night.

"My 8-year-old brother can't come outside," he said.

Some Monrovia parents have kept their children out of school. Rumors fly as fast as e-mail, and people in line at Starbucks talk to complete strangers about the killings.

The day after Lee was killed, a Monrovia bookmobile was out on Sherman Avenue and children played soccer in the street not far from where Rollins was killed.

****her south, candles and flowers stood in front of the apartment where Salas was shot to death. Her parents buried her Saturday.



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02-05-2008, 04:27 PM


I'm a copy cat
Not a p.u.ss.y cat
Or any ally cat
Or a Persian cat
Or a Siamese cat
That sits on your lap

I'm the kind of cat
Who admires you
Who copies what you do
Because I like to too
And so I'm telling you
I'm a copy cat

02-06-2008, 05:49 PM

Tuesday, 05 February 2008


R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Steven J. Mocsary, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, and Donald J. Balberchak, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, announced today that Edwin Disla, age 34 of Miami, Florida, was convicted by a federal jury sitting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 846 (Count 1). In addition, defendant Disla was convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) and 2 (Count 2) and attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) and 2 (Count 3).

According to evidence adduced at trial, defendant Edwin Disla was employed as a Customs and Border Protection Officer assigned to the Miami International Airport. From January 2007 through March 28, 2007, in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Disla agreed to transport multi-kilogram amounts of heroin and cocaine from Puerto Rico to either New York or Miami. On February 9, 2007, Disla delivered ten kilograms of purported cocaine to individuals in Hallandale, Florida. While transporting the sham cocaine through the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in Puerto Rico and Miami International Airport, Disla used his law enforcement authority to bypass security. On March 28, 2007, Disla was arrested in Puerto Rico having received duffel bags containing 25 kilograms of sham cocaine and 20 kilograms of sham heroin from undercover agents with the Puerto Rico Police Department assigned to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Task Force.

The defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled before Senior United States District Court Judge William Zloch on April 11, 2008.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, and Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General. The Puerto Rico Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also participated in the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Clark.

02-06-2008, 05:55 PM
Immigration law under fire in Oklahoma

Posted: 6:50 PM Feb 6, 2008
Last Updated: 6:50 PM Feb 6, 2008
Reporter: Teddy Safo
Email Address: teddy.safo@kxii.com

ARDMORE, OK -- A controversial immigration law recently passed by Oklahoma Legislators is coming under fire again, this time by a man who says it's bad for business.

Oklahoma City labor law attorney Bill Wells says the immigration law passed in November not only hurts employers, it conflicts with federal law.

"What Oklahoma employers are running into is not only having to comply with federal law but also complying with state law. In some cases, the state law arguably is in conflict with or in violation with federal law," Wells explains.

Section 3 of Bill 1804 makes it illegal in the state of Oklahoma to knowingly hire, harbor, or transport an illegal alien, which makes it difficult for Ardmore contractor Lance Windel to hire employees.

"I use subcontractors a lot, and the subcontractor is not allowed to check their eligibility to work in the United States based on federal law. Now state law is saying I have to check it," Windel says.

The new immigration law could also affect Windel because he is a landlord. Windel says now if he rents to an illegal alien, he could be committing a crime.

"The state law is telling me now if I'm harboring them I'm committing a felony. The feds say I can't check; the state says if you're doing it you're committing a felony. I'm stuck."

Windel says now he has to choose which law to ignore, a choice Wells says local employers should not have to make.

"They're at a loss at what to do. If I comply with state law I'm potentially in violation of federal law or vice versa, and it's a real nightmare because it's having to choose the lesser of two evils," Wells says.

Both Wells and Windel encourage other employers to ask lawmakers to amend the state law.

In the meantime, Wells says if employers are worried they may be violating any law they should seek legal advice to see if they are in compliance, since each case is different.

02-06-2008, 06:39 PM
A judge's decision out of Missouri last week means that federal courts are now split on the question of whether cities and towns may take steps to curb illegal immigration.

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Writer
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - February 6, 2008

Anti-illegal immigration activists hailed the ruling by U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber as giving a green light to municipalities nationwide to enact laws targeting illegal immigrants.

Opponents of local efforts say the issue is far from settled, noting that in a nearly identical case, a federal judge in Pennsylvania forbade the city of Hazleton from cracking down on illegal immigrants.

"This is a landscape characterized by significant legal uncertainty and these questions are going to glide their way up through courts," said Peter Spiro, who teaches immigration law at Temple University. "It certainly won't be the last word."

In the Missouri case, Webber upheld an ordinance in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park that penalizes businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The judge rejected the American Civil Liberties Union's argument that the law discriminates against Hispanics and tramples on the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

The ordinance "is not pre-empted by federal law, to the contrary, federal law specifically permits such licensing laws as the one at issue," Webber wrote.

Webber's colleague in Pennsylvania came to a radically different conclusion last summer, striking down the Hazleton law as unconstitutional and saying the city had no business taking on what he called a federal responsibility.

Hazleton's measure, approved in 2006 and challenged by the ACLU, would have denied business permits to companies that employ illegal immigrants, fined landlords who rent to them and required tenants to register and pay for a rental permit.

"Whatever frustrations officials of the city of Hazleton may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme," U.S. District Judge James Munley wrote.

In his opinion, issued six months after Munley's, Webber noted he was free to depart from the ruling in the Hazleton case.

"The Court respectfully notes that the Pennsylvania decision is not binding, and therefore, the Court will conduct its own thorough analysis of the issues presented," he wrote.

Hazleton has appealed Munley's ruling to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The city's lawyers plan to file a brief with the court on Thursday arguing that Munley erred in his interpretation of federal law - and citing Webber's decision in the Valley Park case.

"Judge Webber's reasoning is painstakingly careful and detailed," said Kris Kobach, who represents both Hazleton and Valley Park. "In many ways the opinion is written to persuade not only the parties, but to persuade an appellate court that it is the right interpretation of the law."

But Omar Jadwat, an ACLU attorney who fought both ordinances, predicted Webber's decision will not be as influential with the court as Munley's.

"It's plain the Valley Park decision is a real outlier," he said. "Increasingly, municipalities have seen that these laws are not the right way to go, because they have serious legal flaws and because they are really counterproductive and unhelpful and don't get at whatever problems they actually have."

Hazleton's ordinance was based on a model provided by the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which favors limits on immigration and is affiliated with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Inspired by the Hazleton crackdown, dozens of local governments, including the one in Valley Park, passed similar measures that seek to curtail illegal immigration.

02-06-2008, 07:12 PM
John Allison, left, protests with others against NAFTA and the North American Union in front of the Civic Center where former Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke.

Mexico's ex-president advocates law reformRelated Information

By Don Mecoy
Business Writer
newsok.com February 6, 2008

Oklahoma and other states have launched immigration legislation because Congress has failed to act, former Mexico President Vicente Fox said Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

Fox, speaking at the Civic Center Music Hall, said the United States must develop a sensible national immigration policy.

"At the very end, it's a federal issue so in the end it should be satisfied by the federal government, by the U.S. Congress," Fox said. "Immigration is an asset to every nation. It's an asset to the United States, no doubt. What we need to do is take advantage of that asset by bringing order to it, and by bringing legality to it."

Oklahoma lawmakers last year adopted HB 1804, which has been called the toughest immigration statute in the nation.

Fox, 65, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, spoke at an Executive Management Briefing sponsored by Oklahoma State University's William S. Spears School of Business. Fox, before his political career, was head of Coca-Cola Latin America.

Fox said he favors a plan similar to a bill authored by Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy in 2005 that would have provided a path to legal citizenship for many of the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States. The bill, which never came to a floor vote, also would have provided funding for increased border security.

A reasonable temporary guest worker program would solve many problems by providing documented foreign workers who need good wages for the American economy, Fox said. Fox said most Mexican immigrants don't want to become American citizens; they want to help their family and then return to their homeland.

"They like better tacos, tortillas and chilies than hot dogs or hamburgers," he said.

The United States should join its economic might with its neighbors, Mexico and Canada, to meet the challenges of the world marketplace, Fox said.

"This century will be the century of Latin America," said Fox, who noted that Mexico's economy is forecast to be the world's fifth-largest by 2040.

About a dozen protesters from Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise demonstrated outside the Civic Center to voice their opposition to a closer economic relationship between the United States and Mexico.

"I don't want a North American union established," protester Robert Forrester said. "That's why I'm here."

Fox, whose American-born grandfather emigrated from Ohio to Mexico to find his "American dream," said only dictatorial governments build structures to keep people in or out such as the wall that has been proposed to control illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I'm totally opposed to building a wall. That's the worst of the answers to a problem that has to be dealt with among different nations," Fox said. "The threat to the United States is not immigration. ... The threat to the United States is isolation by building a wall."

Fox suggested support for building a wall to stop illegal immigration might arise from "understandable" fears born in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I am not for disorder. I am not for walls," he said. "I am for wisdom."

In response to questions from the audience of about 500, Fox prompted applause when he said that the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq "as soon as possible." Fox opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Fox, an admitted fan of President Bush, said the next U.S. president will have to rebuild relationships among nations.

"The United States has lost, I'm sorry to say, a lot of respect," he said.

He also drew laughter and applause when, responding to a hypothetical question about northern Mexico states possibly joining the United States, he suggested that his country instead might re-annex Texas.

02-07-2008, 01:55 AM

Farm-Worker Plan Aims

February 7, 2008; Page A10

The Bush administration rolled out a set of proposed rules aimed at stanching the flow of undocumented workers who have been crossing the border to work on U.S. farms.

The rules would encourage farmers to hire more legal guest workers from other countries under a 20-year-old visa program covering agricultural workers. The changes would modernize what is known as the H-2A visa program by loosening many of its stricter requirements, particularly on wages that must be paid to guest workers and on housing. Currently, critics of U.S. immigration policy say, farmers are encouraged to hire illegal workers because they are so much cheaper than legal guest workers or U.S. residents.

Groups that push for better conditions for immigrants were critical of the changes, saying they could lead to worse conditions for legal immigrant workers. The government's recent efforts to crack down on illegal immigration alone should get employers to start using the H-2A program and putting more workers under its wage and housing guidelines, said Bruce Goldstein of Farmworker Justice. Instead, he said, the changes appear aimed at "making it easier and cheaper for agricultural employers to hire [legal] temporary farm workers from poor countries," he said. "There is no valid justification for doing this."

Some farmers also questioned whether it would be effective in straightening out what has become a tangle of red tape. For example, they said, the changes leave out some types of agriculture, such as dairy farms.

"This is not the solution," said Maureen Torrey, who runs Torrey Farms in Elba, N.Y., and is a former chairman of United Fresh Produce, a farm-industry group. "It could be part of a short-term solution, after we look at it. But we need real immigration reform to give us a workable guest-worker program. We need action by Congress."

The government estimates that only about 75,000 workers take part in the H-2A program, while there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 illegal immigrant workers on U.S. farms. Some private-sector estimates of the number of undocumented farm workers run higher.

Farmers complain that the H-2A program's rules on wages and working conditions leave them open to lawsuits from worker advocates. But some farm-worker advocates -- as well as some critics of U.S. immigration policy -- say illegal workers are simply cheaper to employ.

The new regulations are likely to narrow that cost gap. But Jack Martin, special-projects director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a critic of U.S. immigration policy, said the real key is stepping up enforcement to reduce the supply of illegal workers and to discourage farmers from seeking out illegal immigrants in the first place. Without that, "this change in regulations will not have a major effect," he said.

Write to John D. McKinnon at john.mckinnon@wsj.com and Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

02-07-2008, 02:06 AM


Florida's fields dangerous playground for children of migrant farmworkers

Kumari Kelly | Sentinel Staff Writer
January 31, 2008

WAHNETA - Florida's fields and groves can be dangerous -- sometimes deadly -- playgrounds for children of migrant farmworkers who are often left unattended or are drafted to help pick crops.

And while improvements in migrant child care have been made during the past three decades, funding cutbacks have reversed some of those strides, advocates say.

"The issue remains: There is not enough child care all the way around," said Veronica Arteaga, center coordinator at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association day-care center in Wahneta.

Fourteen months ago, 2-year-old Ruben Velazquez of Winter Haven was crushed in a Polk County citrus grove by a 1994 Ford F-250 truck driven by his 10-year-old brother.

The boys and their 7-year-old sister were supposed to be staying in the vehicle while their parents picked citrus, Polk law-enforcement authorities said.

Lourdes Villanueva, Head Start manager at the center, said children have been in the fields and groves as long as she can remember -- including when she worked alongside her own parents. She and others at the center said affordable child care remains one of the most challenging hurdles.

Florida has about 97,200 undocumented children in public schools, many of them children of migrant workers, according to the Urban Institute Press.

The Florida Migrant Child Survey 2003 showed that by the age of 12, a farmworker's child may be laboring 16 to 18 hours a week. An estimated 100,000 migrant children work on farms in the United States, according to OxFam America, a national nonprofit.

"A lot of people take them [children] to the fields," said one Polk County migrant grove worker, whom the Sentinel is not naming because he is undocumented.

The 35-year-old man's two preschool children have free day care through the Redlands program.

The agency serves about 8,000 migrant-farmworker children throughout Florida. Without such help, the only option for some families is taking kids to work.

Budget constraints this year forced the program to cut hours at the Wahneta center and to close a Polk County after-school program for siblings of the preschoolers.

Family income: $8,500

"Some people bring the little ones -- 2, 3, 4, 5 [years old]. You try to keep them in the truck, but the kids want to get outside. They want to play," the worker said, adding that he and his wife earn $1.40 per box of citrus.

They usually pick about 80 boxes a day, for about $112, he said. The average migrant family earns $8,500 annually, according to government officials. While child care is free at the migrant center, the worker's paycheck must cover $400 a month for rent, food, medical care, transportation and other living expenses.

About 250,000 to 300,000 seasonal and migrant farmworkers, many of whom are parents, travel throughout Florida each year, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Migrant children contribute to the $28 billion produce industry, despite often being untrained, ill-equipped physically and psychologically and legally underage to work, according to studies such as one by the Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy in California.

And groves are among the most dangerous agricultural work environments, according to the National Agriculture Safety Database.

Kids as young as 10 can work

Labor laws in Florida allow children as young as 10 to hand-pick fruit seasonally if the employer has a waiver from the secretary of labor, but only children who are 16 and older may work in agricultural jobs considered hazardous, which includes riding a tractor or handling chemicals.

The trucks and cars line up at the day care in Wahneta before the doors open.

Last year, the center opened at 6 a.m., but rising costs forced a later opening at 6:30 a.m., center officials said.

The Redlands Christian Migrant Association, which receives funding from state, federal and nonprofit sources such as United Way, serves children in more than 75 centers in 21 Florida counties including Polk, and has about 2,000 children on waiting lists. A new center is being planned for the Mulberry area of Polk County.

The Wahneta facility serves up to 66 preschool children of migrant-farmworker families in Polk County free of charge, Arteaga said. To qualify, parents must provide proof that they work in the fields and that the whole family travels seasonally.

Carmen Garcia, 20, of Wahneta is a U.S. citizen, born to migrant-farmworker parents.

She travels between Florida, where she picks oranges, to Michigan, where she picks apples, with her husband and two boys, Arturo Benitez, 2, and Jorge Benitez, 3.

She knows, though, that unless something changes, her family's income will take a deep hit when her first child starts school.

She plans to quit traveling to give the children educational stability, a move that will disqualify her from all child care at the center. For now, though, working remains her only real option.

"Why would I be lazy and just stay home," she said. "We have to pay bills."

Kumari Kelly can be reached at kkelly@orlandosentinel.com or 407-931-5933.

WATCH VIDEO: Polk County Grove Worker Shares His Experience


02-07-2008, 02:49 AM


Slavery is not just the shameful stuff


About the Series

For nine months, The Palm Beach Post explored the roots of modern-day slavery. Reporters and photographers traveled to destitute Mexican villages, crossed the desert with a smuggler, rode across the U.S. with illegal immigrants, found new claims of slavery, uncovered rampant Social Security fraud, and found that Florida's famous orange juice comes with hidden costs.

" Meet the investigative team

Updates: Get latest news

Audio Slide Show

1. Used and abused
2. How they come
3. The real cost

Lives affected by slavery

02-07-2008, 06:15 AM
Migrant Workers in Washington State:

a Boon to the Tree Fruit Industry

Photo by Harold A. Laney,
courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission.

Sons and Daughters of Dustbowl Migrants Pick Fruit in 1970's (Part 1)

When I started picking fruit in 1970, I was amazed that my fellow workers looked just like the folks Steinbeck had described in The Grapes of Wrath.

I had thought these people had disappeared with the end of the Great Depression, but here they were: large families, often including half a dozen children, working together in the orchard and living in trailers, campers, or tents in the orchard camps. They seemed to be part of a vast migrating network of extended families who picked the nation's fruit. Who were these people? Where had they come from?

I learned that these workers were the sons and daughters of the Dustbowl migrants that Steinbeck had written about in his novel. Many of them had left the southern states with their parents in the 1930s and had come west, mainly to California, where work was plentiful picking cotton and peas, but also, later, to the Pacific Northwest.

By the time I met them, some forty years after the dust bowl migration, the Anglo workers who followed the harvest were so proficient that it seemed they had been "fruit tramps" forever, and were destined to remain Washington's primary work force. But by the 1980s, the agricultural work force had changed radically, and by the early 1990s, only a handful of "Okies" still followed the fruit run. There had been other groups of orchard workers before them, and there were to be others after them.

In the 1920's People Packed Their Own Fruit (Part 2)
In the 1920's, when I was a kid going to high school, quite often the school was shut down for harvest, and if they didn't, a lot of the kids who lived on orchards stayed home and helped the parents harvest. In those days, almost everybody packed their own fruit," recalled Orondo orchardist Grady Auvil.

Native Americans: One of the Earliest Groups of Migratory Workers (Part 3)
One of the earliest groups of migratory workers in Washington State, particularly in the northern part of the state, consisted of Native Americans."The Canadian Indians came with their horses and tents and buggies and camped down here while they picked fruit," said Len Wooten, who remembered the early days of orchard labor from his boyhood in Chelan, Washington.

Indians came from Canada to the Okanagon every year until the 1950s. Auvil, who worked as an orchard foreman in 1928, remembered that he was paid 75 cents an hour, while workers received 40 cents an hour. But all that changed, Auvil said, after the 1929 stock market crash. When the banks collapsed in 1932, wages plummeted: Auvil's wages went down to 25 cents an hour, while the workers received only 15 cents. "So, in order to support ourselves, we worked on a road job that summer and got 50 cents an hour," Auvil recalled.

Okies and Arkies Pick Crops During the Depression (Part 4)
Wooten also remembered orchard work during the 1930s. "When the Great Depression hit, growers couldn't sell their fruit, and north central Washington was declared a disaster area. Growers were walking away from their orchards." Those who did keep their orchards, could hardly afford to pay their help. Wooten remembers being pulled out of high school and sent to work picking apples forthree and a half cents a box.

Despite the hard times and the low wages, for once, there was no trouble finding plenty of hands at harvest time. There were thousands of people who were destitute and desperate for work. These were the "Okies" and "Arkies," the names attached to the Anglo migrants from the Great Plains, who came from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, or Texas. A
combination of factors, from mechanization to drought, dust storms, and a depressed economy, had driven these dispossessed families westward to seek employment
...What did these migrants do after the harvest? "For four months, they follow the fruit and are tolerated. But, as soon as the trees and fields become bare and the harvest is done, they are told to move on," Blanchard wrote in 1940. "Local farm help is adequate to care for the fields during the next eight months. Communities, moreover, do not want these poverty-stricken wanderers settling down and becoming a drain upon already sorely taxed school, health, and welfare services."

Many Anglo migrants, as well as Mexican-American migrants from Texas who worked in theYakima area, traveled south for the winter months, to work and live in California, Texas, Arizona,Florida, or other states. Yet others did settle successfully in Washington. By 1941 and 1942, while many migrants were leaving farmwork to work in the booming defense industry of World War II,others were just coming to the state to look for work in the orchards. "People came from Arkansas in '42, '43, '44," said Auvil, "and in three years, our school went from 25 to 150, so we had to build new schools."

WWII Labor Shortage Brings Braceros to Work in the Fields (Part 5)

After the United States entered World War II, everybody went to work in the shipyards and defense plants. The demand for workers was so high that the government initiated a program to recruit braceros--Mexican nationals imported temporarily to work under contract in the fields.

Although the labor shortage of the 1940s and 1950s was difficult for the growers, migrants tend to remember this period fondly. For workers who decided to follow the crops as a way of life,everything improved after 1941. As the Depression era's oversupply of labor faded from memory,wages rose and pickers were once more in demand. They would leave the orchards of the Northwest in the late autumn and travel to Arizona and California to pick two major crops: cotton and peas.

Many of the workers I met in the 1970s remembered this period with nostalgia. "I have some good memories from that time," said Dale Jones, who picked cotton in California as a child. "I remember when you could work anywhere. Wherever cotton grew, there was work. You could make good money at it."

Bad Experiences Remembered By Some (Part 6)
But not everyone remembered the migratory life so fondly. "Cotton was my worst experience," said Gladys Wilson, whose family left Oklahoma in 1940 and picked cotton in Arkansas, Mississippi,and California. "It was always so dusty. One time, Ma made Jello, and it was all covered with dust... We had to travel from town to town. That's why us kids never got much education." Wilsonwas grateful when her parents started working in Washington State and decided to stay. "We settled down and didn't travel so much when we started picking apples and cherries. We could thin, prop,and prune in the same area."

1940's and 1950's: Search for Seasonal Labor (Part 7)
Now that there was no longer a surplus of workers clamoring for jobs, growers had to become more resourceful in the 1940s and 1950s to meet their need for seasonal labor. The larger fruit companies regularly sent buses to Spokane, Seattle, or Portland during the harvest season to recruit workers, not only for picking, but also for packing, sorting, and grading the fruit. They tried to make the jobs enticing. "We had our own cooks and kitchens, and served lunches," said Wooten.

Still, despite the busloads of people brought into the area, the labor problem was far from solved. Many of the transient workers were alcoholics who couldn't handle the demands of the work, and often the buses were almost as full on their return trips to the cities as they had been on their trips to orchard country.

This kind of recruitment continued into the 1960s. "When I came to this area in 1962, I was managing a big orchard which needed a lot of labor," remembered Ing, "and we chartered bus after bus out of Portland, and the Employment Security Service sometimes helped us round people up,and sometimes we'd send somebody down the night before and get them out of the restaurants.
Early in the morning, we'd load the bus, at four in the morning, and we also got some people out of Seattle. Yakima didn't do that because Yakima is a big enough town that it had a pretty sizeable casual labor group and a pretty good size Skid Row. In fact, we hauled some labor out of Yakima sometimes. People would say, 'Well, here comes another load of wine and flesh.' Of course,sometimes these people were in really bad shape and they couldn't work the first day, and they'd just stay in a cabin, and then some of them became excellent workers, they'd stay the whole season

and were just great people."

Hippies Worked in Orchards(Part 8)

Ing also remembered a nearly forgotten--and often maligned--source of labor: the hippies. They arrived at the orchards in psychedelic painted vans and pickups with cabins built on the back. "There were thousands and thousands of people that went on the road in this country as a kind of a protest against everything...and these kids were out on the road, and they did a lot of work. A lot of them were quite able-bodied young people, and they kind of liked to work next to the soil, and that kind of thing. We got a lot of labor from them...they contributed to the labor supply, and some people used them quite intensively."

Mexicans Became a New Source of Labor (Part 9)

By the late sixties, there were signs of a significant new labor source: Mexicans. Since the end of the bracero program, most workers from Mexico, and later from Central America, came to the United States illegally. "Yakima, Top*****h particularly, always had a Mexican-American population, people who had immigrated from Texas, and along the border, so there was a large group there who worked in orchards and hops, etcetera," Ing said.

"But the people we have now, the Mexicans that were mostly illegal, started coming about in the late sixties and early seventies...and I remember the transition. I was managing Mount Adams orchard, a big operation here locally. Well, we ran a cookhouse, and we fed the people, the Skid Row people that we brought in, we had as many as 250 people at a time, and anyway, there came a time then that we had a greater percentage of Mexicans, and so we quit running the cookhouse, and the people cooked for themselves, and there was a transition there all through the industry, where Mexicans became the principal labor force. It started in the late sixties, but it was probably 1980 before the labor force was mostly Mexicans."

Undocumented Latinos Replace Previous Workers (Part 10)
For the Okies, the people I worked with throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, the influx of undocumented workers from Mexico and Central America spelled the end of a way of life. Suddenly, they couldn't find work in the orchards they had worked for years; they had been replaced. When they could find work, wages were low, families could no longer work together because of child labor laws, and it seemed that employers no longer valued them as much as they
once had.

Additionally, mechanization of many crops had made the life of a migrant far more difficult. Cropslike cotton, peas, and beans no longer required hand labor; even fruit crops like juice oranges were being harvested mechanically. Pickers had become more reliant on fresh fruit crops, but now, with the deluge of workers from Mexico, there were few jobs available. Discouraged and disheartened,many of them left the orchards for other kinds of work. "Most of the Okies and Arkies gave up a long time ago," said Bill Wilson. "There are not many places a white family can work anymore."

But what was bad for the pickers--a surplus of labor--was good for the growers. The new workers--most of them, at first, males--were eager, and sometimes desperate for employment and money to send back to their families. And by the late sixties, more workers than ever were required to pick apples.

Research Changed Labor Practices (Part 11)
Researchers had discovered that fruit wasn't being picked at the optimum time, and this, said Wooten, caused a change in labor practices. Once workers picked apples into November; now a grower had only about five days from the time the fruit was ripe to get it off the trees. This meant that a larger supply of pickers were needed for a shorter period of time. Anglo migrants grumbled,but workers from Mexico and Central America, who welcomed what work they could find, proved efficient and cooperative at a critical time. They became the workers of choice. "It would be very difficult if it weren't for them," Auvil said.

More Changes, More Workers Needed (Part 12)
As the composition of the labor force was changing in the 1980s, so the requirements of labor were once again changing. With the varietals, there was more year-round work, blossom thinning,limb-tying, and color picking orchards several times. The demand for labor was higher than ever, and the employment opportunities began to extend beyond the basic four months. "We hire more people than we ever did now," said Auvil. "We hire as many as we possibly can year-round. A good share of our people work most of the time, anywhere from eight to ten months. You do a better job
growing fruit if you have a plentiful supply of good labor."

As different varieties of apples extended the harvest season and required more hand labor, more workers have been encouraged to settle permanently in orchard areas. Since many foreign workers have been granted temporary or permanent residence status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, male workers who formerly came north alone began to bring their families, and Latino workers became a more stable force in Washington State's orchards. Like the Anglo migrants before them, they began to establish themselves in the tree fruit industry.

"Many orchard workers can do pretty good," said Auvil. "These people all have families, good cars, and a good living. A lot of Mexican orchard workers are doing very well, and some of them are going into business for themselves, the same as did the people from Arkansas."

Many Things Had Changed Since the 1920's (Part 13)
In 1992, picking cherries next to a family from Mexico, I realized how much things had changed. The people I worked near now were no longer from Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the children under16 were no longer allowed to help their families pick fruit. Instead of migrating to California,Arizona, or Florida to pick fruit in the winter, the family that worked next to me returned to Mexico each winter to visit their relatives. They were able to collect unemployment during periods without work --an advantage most Okie migrants never experienced. And they were more settled than most of the people I used to work with: this family had bought a mobile home in East Wenatchee, and the father found enough work in the area to keep him employed for eight months of the year.

Some Things Were Still the Same (Part 14)
But in other ways, things had stayed the same. Like the workers I talked to 20 years before, the Latino workers liked the outdoor work and the ability to be near their families. Too, they preferred the piece-rate system of payment that rewarded them for working hard, and the seasonal work that provided variety.

02-07-2008, 06:18 AM

Children of Mexican migrant workers posing at entrance to El Rio FSA Camp, El Rio, California, 1941. Photo by Robert Hemmig.

02-07-2008, 06:34 AM
Illegal aliens cost Florida taxpayers nearly two billion dollars annually from outlays in the following areas:Education,Health Care and Incarceration.

El Sol Resource Center a.k.a. "Jupiter Illegal Hiring Hall" has been called a "model" for others to implement. Centers like this throughout the US are setting a dangerous precedent and represent utter capitulation. As Jupiter has seen, build it and they will come, illegals that is. It is shocking that the taxpayer is expected to just grin and bear it. This is a national issue. Aside from the negative impact that a mass influx of illegals has on a community i.e. Social resources, schools, law enforcement, local hospitals , wage suppression,etc. , these locations make an utter mockery of every legal immigrant who took the time to do it right. If Amnesty is ever granted I would guess these resource centers would then be used as an immigration centers to as quickly as possible legalize unknown millions of illegal aliens. This center and others are openly defying Federal and State law. City governments within our US democracy are supposed to obey Federal law and represent the interests of their constituents. Yet the elected officials of Jupiter Florida are committing felonies through the official sanctioning of the illegal hiring between illegal foreign workers and illegal employers, to the detriment of taxpaying citizens and immigrants (legal by definition).

Come join us every Saturday from 9am-12am and protest in front of El Sol, bring friends and a sign. If El-Sol is allowed to continue, there may be many more with no end in sight. In the end we the taxpayers pay the price for other peoples cheap illegal labor

2/2/08 Illegals cost Florida taxpayers $2 Billion a year

02-07-2008, 08:22 AM
Keep The Faith"McCain (and Amnesty) Will Fail
By Joe Guzzardi
February 06, 2008

Let's start with the good news. John McCain, the likely (but not absolutely certain) Republican nominee, will never be president.

(What are my credentials for such a bold statement? Wait until the last paragraph of this article!)

Coming after eight years of the disastrous George W. Bush administration and its legacy of war, lunatic immigration enthusiasm, indifference to the middle class and the crushing mortgage crisis, McCain would have a tough climb even if he were the ideal GOP candidate.

But in most ways, McCain is the worst possible candidate. He's Bush all over again"maybe worse. Open those borders! Let's stay a hundred more years in Iraq! (See McCain's speech on YouTube here).

Good luck to McCain campaigning on a platform that echoes Bush and his 30 percent favorable poll rating.

Now for the bad news. If McCain doesn't become president, then a Democrat will"most likely Hillary Clinton but there's still plenty of time for Barack Obama to maneuver his way to the nomination.

Both are proud of their amnesty stances. And each insists, wrongly and hurtfully, that more non-immigrant worker visas are essential for the American economy to thrive.

To be sure, it's a ***mer that Republicans don't have a solid patriotic immigration reform candidate that we can count on at the forefront of the race.

But have faith! Don't panic! Amnesty will not come automatically regardless of who is elected. History and momentum are on our side.

Have readers totally forgotten how far we've come and the magnitude of our 2007 victories?

Here's an example of what I mean.

Throughout Clinton and Obama's campaigning and especially since McCain's resurgence, my in-box has filled up with the direst messages"" It's all over now," "This is the end!" and "Amnesty is inevitable!"

Rightly outraged correspondents are aghast that Obama endorses driver's licenses for illegal aliens. To them, it is beyond the pale.

And I agree that, after watching N.Y. governor Eliot Spitzer get put through the sausage grinder on alien licensing, it is astonishing that any candidate would touch the subject, especially when it is so easily dodged by merely saying that states"not the federal government"regulate driving.

But that's my point: who really cares what Obama thinks about licenses? He has no control over it. Any governor foolish enough to plunge into that rough and icy water will do so at his own risk.

And the same can be said about presidential opinions on amnesty: that issue is determined in Congress, not the White House.

To better understand the strength of our position, let's review what's happened in the amnesty wars since Bush took office.

Bush, at the outset, blindsided many (not all) of us. We didn't foresee his fanatical devotion to open borders.

As hard as this still may be for some Republicans to swallow, it is impossible"as a practical matter"to be a bigger open borders advocate than Bush.

Remember that Bush's first out-of-the country trip was to Mexico and the first foreign leader he invited to the White House was Vicente Fox. And Bush had barely survived the dangling chad vote count before he floated an amnesty trial balloon in the spring of 2001.

Then, after his 2004 re-election, Bush vowed to use what he perceived as his accumulated "political capital" to push for amnesty. Result: nothing!

And yet again after the 2006 mid-term election and as Bush worked non-stop with the pro-open border Democrats who controlled Congress, he still couldn't push through an amnesty despite a series of passionate pleas he made in Arizona and during a rare (for a president) personal visit to Capitol Hill.

In short, for eight years Bush was repeatedly embarrassed on the immigration issue by both Republican- and Democratic-controlled Congresses.

Since Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain were all present and close-up witnesses to the series of beatings Bush took, is it realistic to expect that the first matter of business for whoever is elected will be amnesty?

Not very likely...and that's not just my opinion either.

During a trip to Washington D.C. in December I attended separate meetings with immigration reform leaders that included NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck, Mark Krikorian and Steve Camarota of Center for Immigration Studies, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow John Fonte and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The overwhelming consensus is that amnesty is "too toxic" a subject and that it will not rear its ugly head until 2010 at the earliest.

This is a huge change. Remember that in January 2007, when the 110th U.S. Congress was sworn in, nearly every immigration reform advocate on Capitol Hill assumed that the Senate would pass an amnesty again after a tough fight (as it did in 2006), and that we would ultimately have to stop it in the House of Representatives.

Beating it back in the Senate was seen as requiring something of a political miracle, given the odds against us.

For a solid six months, newspaper editorial boards, the majority of columnists and reporters as well as the leadership of businesses, unions, civil rights groups, universities, religions (most visibly the Roman Catholic Church) and ethnocentric lobbyists predicted that "comprehensive immigration" legislation was inevitable.

They were all wrong. Instead, the bill was stopped in the Senate without ever getting to the House.

Here's what happened instead:

The Senate defeated amnesty and a green card increase in May...and again in June!

A smaller amnesty, the Dream Act, also considered inevitable because of its impact on "the children" went down in October.

As a result of three consecutive defeats and despite a massive assault by the print media and the Chambers of Commerce nationwide predicting bushels of unpicked rotting fruit, an AgJobs amnesty never surfaced.

The new Democratic leadership in the House headed by illegal immigration fanatic Nancy Pelosi did not even attempt to move an amnesty bill through a subcommittee"let alone the floor.

In the meantime,

Rep. John Gingrey (R-GA) introduced H.R. 938, the Nuclear Family Priority Act that will reduce the numbers of family sponsored immigrants (chain migration) and limit them to spouses and minor children. The bill currently has 31 co-sponsors.

Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) has added 58 co-signers to his H.R. 1430, the Security and Enhancement Fairness for America Act that would eliminate the 50,000-diversity visa lottery. This is a significant move forward in reducing legal immigration.

And, most significantly, Congressional Democrats proposed tough enforcement legislation

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) introduced the SAVE Act (Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement) that bulks up the E-verify system to identify legal U.S. workers. The bill has been co-signed by 142 representatives"50 Democrats and 92 Republicans.

Mark Pryor (D-ARK) and David Vitter (R-LA) forwarded legislation similar to Shuler's in the U.S. Senate.

Use 2007"widely but incorrectly predicted to be a disastrous year for patriotic immigration reform"as a guideline.

And, big difference, in 2008, we are forewarned and forearmed.

Not the slightest clue exists that Americans are more receptive to amnesty than they were in 2007. In fact, the reverse is true.

Judge for yourself where we standing by asking this simple question: would you rather be on our side, winning the battles as we fight them, or on La Raza's team, consistently losing while its captain, Janet Murguia, becomes more frighteningly unhinged with each defeat?

Sure, it would be nice not to have to go to the mat again and again. I'm at a point in my life where I'd like to write fewer columns so I could spend more time upgrading my butterfly collection.

But I'm confident that no matter who wins the November election"the bad, the worse or the worst"we'll beat back our opponents as consistently and as thoroughly as we have for the last several years.

We have brought immigration into the limelight of presidential politics"a huge triumph in itself"and we've won on the playing field.

So don't fall victim to negativity. Based on our recent record, there's no real reason for it.

And my credentials for saying this? I don't like to blow my horn. But I predicted that the McCain-Bush-Kennedy Immigration Surge/ Amnesty bill would fail and when it was exhumed, I predicted it would be reburied. I predicted that front-runner Giuliani would flame out. I said that Mitt Romney should stop Hispandering and run against illegal immigration"without which, as Steve Sailer has pointed out, Romney "would have been tarred and feathered and run out of California on a rail". And I warned New York's Spitzer that his driver licence plan would end in Gray Davis-type humilation.

So I repeat: McCain won't be President. Amnesty will not pass.


02-07-2008, 02:27 PM
Surprise! The roosters were used for illegal **** fighting. Hmmm.. Let me think what culture condones this? Can someone please check a map and see if I am still in the USA? BTW The measure passed overwhelmingly.

Measure would limit roosters in parts of Riverside

By: Associated Press

RIVERSIDE -- Rooster owners in this Southern California city may be about to get their feathers ruffled.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cop.gifMeasure A on Tuesday's ballot seeks to ****le incessant ****-a-doodle-dooing and curb cockfighting by limiting the number of roosters residents can own in rural areas.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_aaargh.gif"It just goes from about 3 o'clock in the morning to 8 or 9 o'clock at night," said Lee Scheffers, who said his neighbors had up to 200 roosters at one time. "There's just a lot of crowing going on. Every one is more macho than the other one."

After he complained to the City Council, code enforcement officers took action -- but not until Scheffers had lost a lot of sleep.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifThe current law allows 50 birds, but the measure would only allow seven and require the birds be confined to an "acoustical structure" at least 100 feet from neighbors from sunrise to sunset.

If the measure passes, those with too many roosters would have to trim their flocks.

Riverside County has strict laws limiting rooster ownership, which had driven illegal ****-fighting operations into the city, particularly in rural areas of citrus groves, nurseries and ranches where local law mandates no more than one house per five-acre lot.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/yes.gif"It's a real quality of life issue, but it's also an animal cruelty issue," said Councilman Chris Mac Arthur, who said the measure is also aimed at stopping cockfighting.

Mac Arthur, a Riverside native, said he favors the measure although it won't have a direct impact on him. The measure needs a simple majority to pass.

"I've lived in this area most of my life, but I do not have any crowing fowl -- or any fowl to speak of," he said.

http://www.northcountytimes.com/articles/2008/02/05/new...e/14_42_352_4_08.txt (http://www.northcountytimes.com/articles/2008/02/05/news/state/14_42_352_4_08.txt)

02-07-2008, 02:58 PM
Don't know what that has to do with illegal mexican exploitation, but that type of fighting goes on a lot in the US. Pit bull fighting too.

Do you not hear it on the news? There are always cases every week, in fact if you watch Animal Planet I think it is, with the SPCA...there are hundreds of cases every year.

02-08-2008, 02:30 AM
What happened to Beverly's American Exploitation thread and others where she posted articles? A copy cat has had to jump over and mooch off another. Maybe we need to set up a mailbox here. Chalk it up to one having no courtesy nor respect.


I'm a copy cat
Not a p.u.ss.y cat
Or any ally cat
Or a Persian cat
Or a Siamese cat
That sits on your lap

I'm the kind of cat
Who admires you
Who copies what you do
Because I like to too
And so I'm telling you
I'm a copy cat

02-08-2008, 03:14 AM
Uh Oh Explora, she will report you to Sam for harassment you know. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_cyclops_ani.gif

02-08-2008, 07:05 AM
In Mexico, Joy Abounds
Posted By Brenda Walker On 7 February 2008

Presidente of Mexico and general bottom feeder Felipe Calderon is cheered up considerably by [1] recent political events in America. He is rubbing his grubby hands together in glee as a result of the disappearance of the last Presidential candidate who can be considered pro-borders, Mitt Romney.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifPlus, Calderon is planning a visit to Mexifornia next week to check on his outsourced citizens who supply billions of dollars annually in remittances (nearly $24 billion in 2007, see below). Hopefully he will get the kind of welcome he deserves.


"My hope is that whoever the next president is, and whoever is in the new [U.S.] Congress, will have a broader and more comprehensive view" of the immigration problem, Calderon said. Speaking at the presidential residence Los Pinos on the morning after the Super Tuesday presidential primaries in the U.S., Calderon said he took heart from the results, though he did not mention specific candidates.

"It seems to me that the most radical and anti-immigrant candidates have been left behind and have been put in their place by their own electorate," Calderon said.

He arrives in Sacramento on Feb. 13 on the final leg of a five-day U.S. trip that will also take him to Chicago, Boston and New York to visit local officials and representatives of Mexican immigrant communities.

In Sacramento, he is scheduled to meet with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Latino legislators. In Los Angeles the following day, he is to meet Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and migrant groups' representatives assembled by the nine Mexican consulates in California.
[[3] Mexican president foresees friendlier U.S., Los Angeles Times, Feb 7, 2008] http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil.gif

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gifPlus, Calderon is still yapping for his [4] handout of free money from Uncle ****er, which will [5] total $1.4 billion over a couple years rather than the sub-billion amount mentioned in La Times.

U.S. legislators are debating a $550-million proposal by the Bush administration to assist Mexico and Central America in the battle against traffickers.

Below, a [6] chart showing the growth of remittances over the last few years:


Article printed from VDARE.com: Blog Articles: http://blog.vdare.com

URL to article: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/02/07/in-mexico-joy-abounds/

URLs in this post:
[1] recent political events: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/07/MNLIUU6V8.DTL
[2] Mitt Romney: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/02/03/romney-quizzed-on-john-and-ken-show/
[3] Mexican president foresees friendlier U.S.: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-cal...eb07,1,5342083.story (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-calderon7feb07,1,5342083.story)
[4] handout: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2007/10/10/more-american-money-headed-south/
[5] total $1.4 billion: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/01/12/central-ameri...ith-hands-outstretch (http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2008/01/12/central-american-freeloaders-line-up-with-hands-outstretch)
[6] chart showing the growth of remittances: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/money-sent-...stagnant-in-2007/?hp (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/money-sent-home-by-mexicans-almost-stagnant-in-2007/?hp)

*This leeching, incompetent chihuaha needs to clean up the messyhole he calls a country and stay out of America's business and pockets.

02-08-2008, 02:56 PM
Leeching, sort of like mooching off this thread and dumping all your anti sentiments here instead of the thread you began. You bring a sour note to this thread by disrupting as you have. You didn't put anything in to it but you barge your way around to interfere. I'd hate to see you in polite company.

02-08-2008, 04:38 PM
Mexican President Calderon is touring the US prior to US Presidential Elections to meddle in our electorial process and domestic affairs.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil2.gif"When in Mexico the U.S. State Department reminds U.S. citizens to avoid participating in demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation." U.S. State Department

CONSIDER THE SOLE DECISION MAKERS IN SPP: President Calderon, President Bush and Prime Minister Harper.
By contrast, the SPP is not a treaty and will never be submitted to the U.S., Mexican, or Canadian legislatures. Instead it attempts to reshape the North American political economy by direct use of executive authority.


Anatomy of a scandal foretold

How was the Mexican election stolen? Let us count the ways

San Francisco Bay Guardian
July 07, 2006

MEXICO CITY (July 7th) -- Mexican elections are stolen before, during, and after Election Day. Just look at what happened in the days leading up to the tightest presidential election in the nation's history this past July 2nd.

By law, the parties and their candidates close down their campaigns three days before Election Day. On Wednesday night June 28th, as the legal limit hove into sight, a team of crack investigators from the Attorney General's organized crime unit descended on the maximum security lock-up at La Palma in Mexico state where former Mexico City Finance Secretary Guillermo Ponce awaits trial on charges of misuse of public funds " much of which he appears to have left on Las Vegas **** tables.

During his nearly six years in office, outgoing president Vicente Fox has often used his attorney general's office against leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to counter his growing popularity, including a failed effort to bar the former Mexico City mayor from the ballot and even imprison him.

Now, in a desperate last-minute electoral ploy by Fox's right-wing National Action or PAN party to boost the fortunes of its lagging candidate Felipe Calderon, the agents tried to pressure Ponce into testifying that AMLO and his PRD party had used city revenues to finance his presidential campaign but Ponce proved a stand-up guy and ultimately rebuffed the government men.

The imprisoned finance secretary's refusal to talk greatly disappointed both Televisa and TV Azteca, Mexico's two-headed television monopoly that has waged an unrelenting dirty war against Lopez Obrador for months and even years. Indeed, TV crews were stationed out in the La Palma parking lot to record Ponce's thwarted confession for primetime news and both networks had reserved time blocks on their evening broadcasting, forcing the anchors to scramble to fill in the gap.

That was Wednesday night. On Thursday June 29th, Lopez Obrador's people awoke to discover that the candidate's electronic page had been hacked and a phony message purportedly signed by AMLO posted there calling upon his supporters to hit the streets "if the results do not favor us." Although officials of Lopez Obrador's party, the PRD, immediately proved the letter to be a hoax, the pro-Calderon media broadcast the story for hours as if it were the gospel truth, eventually forcing the PRD and its allies to reaffirm that AMLO would abide by results released by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), the nation's maximum electoral authority, even if the IFE's numbers did not favor the candidate.

The PRD pledge was a reiteration of a "pact of civility" that Televisa had browbeat PRD president Lionel Cota into signing in early June. "Hackergate," as the scandal quickly became known, was designed to prevent Lopez Obrador's supporters from protesting the fraud that the electoral authorities were already preparing.

That was Thursday. On Friday, June 30th, after more than five years of false starts, Fox's special prosecutor for political crimes placed former president Luis Echeverria under house arrest for his role in student massacres in 1968 and 1971. Not only was the long overdue arrest portrayed by big media as a feather in Fox's -- and therefore, Calderon's -- cap, but it also put the much-hated Echeverria, a pseudo-leftist with whom Calderon has often compared Lopez Obrador, back on the front pages. Since Echeverria is an emeritus member of the PRI, the bust killed two birds with one very opportunist stone.

That was Friday. On Saturday June 1st, two PRD poll watchers in conflictive Guerrero state were gunned down by unknowns, invoking the memory of hundreds of party supporters who were slaughtered in political violence after the 1988 presidential election was stolen from party founder Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, up until now Mexico's most conspicuous electoral fraud.

That was Saturday. On Sunday, July 2nd, Felipe Calderon and the PAN, aided and abetted by the connivance of the Federal Electoral Institute, Mexico's maximum electoral authority, stole the presidential election before the nation's eyes.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil2.gifAs mentioned above, Mexican elections are stolen before, during, and after the votes are cast. During the run-up to July 2nd, the IFE, under the direction of Calderon partisan Luis Carlos Ugalde, systematically tried to cripple Lopez Obrador's campaign. Venomous television spots that labeled AMLO "a danger" to Mexico were allowed to run, sometimes four to a single commercial break, for months on Televisa and TV Azteca despite an indignant outcry from Lopez Obrador's supporters. The IFE only pulled the plug on the hit pieces under court order.

In a similar display of crystal clear bias, Ugalde and the IFE winked at Vicente Fox's shameless, unprecedented, and unconstitutional campaigning for Calderon, and refused to intervene despite AMLO's pleas for the president to remove himself from the election.

One of the IFE's more notorious accomplishments in this year's presidential elections was to engineer the non-vote of Mexicans in the United States, an effort that resulted in the disenfranchisement of millions of "paisanos" living north of the Rio Bravo. Undocumented workers were denied absentee ballot applications at consulates and embassies and more than a million eligible voters were barred from casting a ballot because their voter registration cards were not up to date and the IFE refused to update them outside of Mexico. Untold numbers of undocumented workers who could not risk returning to Mexico for a minimum 25 days to renew their credential were denied the franchise the IFE was sworn to defend. The PRD insists that the majority of undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. would have cast a ballot for Lopez Obrador.

The left-center party has considerable strength in Los Angeles and Chicago, the two most important concentrations of Mexicans in the U.S. When thousands of legal Mexican residents from Los Angeles caravanned to Tijuana to cast a ballot for Lopez Obrador, they found the special polling places for citizens in transit had no ballots. The 750 ballots allocated to the special "casillas" had already been taken by members of the Mexican police and military.

In Mexico City, when voters in transit lined up at one special polling place, according to noted writer Elena Poniatowska, hundreds of nuns presumably voting for the rightwing Calderon displaced them and were given the last of the ballots.

Back in the bad old days when the long-ruling (71 years) Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stole elections with impunity, most of the larceny took place in the polling stations --stolen or stuffed ballot boxes, multiple voting, altered vote counts -- but since national and international observers like the San Francisco-based Global Exchange became a regular feature of the electoral landscape here, such overt fraud has diminished and the cumulative number of anomalies recorded in 130,000 casillas July 2nd seemed insignificant when compared to the size of the victory Calderon was already claiming the morning after -- i.e. the John Kerry Syndrome, named in memory of the Democratic Party candidate's sudden capitulation in Ohio in 2004 for much the same reason.

Nonetheless, this "fraude de hormiga" (fraud of the ants) which steals five to 10 votes a ballot box, when combined with the disappearance of voters from precinct lists ("razarados" or the razored ones) can fabricate an electoral majority: The long-ruling PRI (which failed to win a single state July 2nd) was a master of this sort of "alquemia" (alchemy) during seven decades of defrauding Mexican voters.

During the build-up to July 2nd, independent reporters here uncovered what appeared to be IFE preparations for cybernetic fraud. One columnist at the left national daily La Jornada discovered parallel lists of "razarados" on the IFE electronic page; one of the lists contained multiples of the other. While the columnist, Julio Hernandez, made a phone call to the IFE to question this phenomenon, the list containing the multiples vanished from his computer screen.

Similarly, radio reporter Carmen Aristegui was able to access the list of all registered voters through one of Felipe Calderon's web pages, and the list had been crossed with one containing the personal data of all recipients of government social development program benefits. Former social development secretary (SEDESO) Josefina Vazquez Mota, is Calderon's right hand woman and the PAN candidate's brother-in-law Diego Zavala, a data processing tycoon, designed programs for both the IFE and the SEDESO. Utilizing voter registration rolls and lists of beneficiaries of government programs is considered an electoral crime here.

AMLO's people went into July 2nd fearing a repeat of 1988 when the "system" purportedly "collapsed" on election night and did not come back up for ten days. When results were finally announced, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas has been despoiled of victory and the PRI's Carlos Salinas was declared the winner.

Lopez Obrador's fears were not unwarranted.

When on July 2nd AMLO's voters turned out in record-breaking numbers, Interior Secretary officials urged major media not to release exit poll results that heralded a Lopez Obrador victory. Ugalde himself took to national television to declare the preliminary vote count too close to call, and Mexicans went to bed without knowing whom their next president might be.

Preliminary results culled from the casillas (PREP) that ran erratically all night and all day Monday showed Calderon with a 200,000 to 400,000-vote lead, activating suspicions that cybernetic flimflam was in the works. When the PREP was finally shut down Monday night, the right winger enjoyed a commanding lead and Televisa and TV Azteca proclaimed him a virtual winner. U.S newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune followed suit, and the White House was poised to celebrate a Calderon victory.

But there was one fly in the IFE's ointment: 42 million Mexicans had voted July 2nd, but only the votes of 39 million appeared in the PREP and Lopez Obrador demanded to know what had happened to the missing 3,000,000 voters. Then on a Tuesday morning news interview with Televisa, Luis Carlos Ugalde admitted that the missing votes had been abstracted from the PREP because of "inconsistencies". Indeed, 13,000 casillas -- 10% of the total -- had been removed from the preliminary count, apparently to create the illusion that Calderon had won the presidency.

Meanwhile all day Monday and into Tuesday, AMLO supporters throughout Mexico recorded thousands of instances of manipulation of the vote count. A ballot box in Mexico state registered 188 votes for Lopez Obrador but only 88 were recorded in the PREP. Another Mexico state ballot box was listed 20 times in the preliminary count. Whereas voters in states where the PAN rules the roost, cast more ballots for president than for senators and congressional representatives, voters in southern states where the PRD carried the day cast more ballots for congress than for the presidential candidates. Among the PRD states that purportedly followed this surreal pattern was Tabasco, the home state of two out of the three major party presidential candidates, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the PRI's Roberto Madrazo.

On Wednesday morning, with the tension mounting to the breaking point and demonstrators already massing in the street, a final vote count began in Mexico's 300 electoral districts. Although the tabulation of the votes was programmed to finish Sunday, IFE officials pushed the recount ahead at breakneck speed. As the day progressed, PAN and PRI electoral officials, charging Lopez Obrador's people with trying to obstruct the process, repeatedly rejected PRD demands to open the ballot boxes and recount the votes inside one by one in instances where Lopez Obrador's tally sheets did not coincide with numbers in the PREP or were different from the sheets attached to the ballot box. When a recount was allowed such as in one Veracruz district, Lopez Obrador sometimes recouped as many as a thousand votes.

Surprisingly, by early afternoon, AMLO had accumulated a 2.6% lead over Calderon -- and his supporters were dancing in the streets of Mexico City. And then, inexplicably, for the next 24 hours, his numbers went into the tank, never to rise again -- at the same time that the right-winger's started to increase incrementally. By late evening, AMLO was reduced to single digit advantage and a little after 4 AM Thursday morning, Calderon inched ahead. It had taken 12 hours to count the last 10% of the votes and still there were districts that had not reported.

When Lopez Obrador addressed the press at 8:30, he condemned "the spectacle of the dance of numbers" and announced that the PRD and its political allies would impugn the election -- he had proof of anomalies in 40,000 polling places (a third of the total) and would present them to the "TRIFE", the supreme electoral tribunal with powers to annul whole districts and states, within the 72 hours dictated by the law.

Then, in his typically hesitating, Peter Falk-like way of saying things, AMLO called for the second election -- the one that takes place in the street -- beginning at 5 PM Saturday in the great Zocalo plaza at the political heart of this bruised nation.

Although Lopez Obrador's words were perhaps the culminating moment of this long strange journey, Mexico's two-headed TV monster chose to ignore them - Televisa was otherwise occupied with "entertainment" news, and soon after the screens filled up with game shows and telenovelas (soap operas.) Although it had not yet concluded, the telenovela of the vote count disappeared into the ether of morning television.

This chronicle of a fraud foretold is an excerpt from John Ross's forthcoming "Making Another World Possible:Zapatista Chronicles 2000-2006" to be published this October by Nation Books.

Mexican lawmakers brawl in Congress before Felipe Calderon takes oath of office

Mexican lawmakers fight each other while others try to calm things down during a brawl in Congress shortly before Felipe Calderon was due to be sworn in Friday as the country's new president.

MEXICO CITY (AP) " Felipe Calderon took the oath of office as Mexico's president Friday in a lightning-fast ceremony accompanied by jeers and fistfights, then called for the nation to move past its divisive presidential race to focus on creating jobs and combatting drug violence and kidnappings.
ON DEADLINE: Did Mexico have a president this morning? | Video

Calderon then moved from the brawling, chaotic scene in Congress to make his first speech as president before a vast crowd in the more orderly National Auditorium.

Well-wishers chanted "He did it! He did it!" as riot police held back tens of thousands of protesters in the streets outside.

Calderon said he would slash government salaries, overhaul the justice and police departments, ensure health care for all children, encourage small business and reform the electoral system to shorten campaigns and reduce spending.

He also made an appeal to supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist who has refused to accept that Calderon's narrow victory in July was legitimate.

"To those who voted for others, I will not ignore your causes. I ask you to let me win your confidence," he said, but cautioned his rivals that he would govern with or without them: "I'm always ready to talk, but I won't wait for dialogue before going to work. The people are ready for action."

Calderon scored his first political triumph as president simply by being sworn in despite a morning-long brawl in the congressional chambers as leftist lawmakers tried to block him from attending his own inauguration.

Appearing suddenly through a back door and physically protected by sympathetic lawmakers, Calderon ignored the chaos around him, calmly raised his arm and swore to uphold the constitution.

His comments were almost inaudible over the noise.

Congress' leader ordered the national anthem played, momentarily stilling the catcalls and shouting, before Calderon made a quick exit and Congress adjourned. Foreign dignitaries " including former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Spanish Prince Felipe of Asturias " barely warmed their seats in a balcony overlooking the scene.

Immediately after the ceremony, outgoing President Vicente Fox took an Air Force helicopter to his ranch in central Mexico, where he plans to retire.

Lopez Obrador, of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, claims he was robbed of the presidency and has declared himself Mexico's "legitimate president." In September, the Federal Electoral Tribunal declared Calderon the winner of the disputed race by less than a percentage point.

After the inauguration, Lopez Obrador led tens of thousands of supporters down Mexico City's elegant Reforma Avenue, the same boulevard they occupied for weeks this summer to protest Calderon's victory. Carrying banners that read "Lopez Obrador is president," the sea of people gathered outside the heavily guarded National Auditorium.

Afterward, Calderon was to attend a military ceremony in which army commanders swear allegiance to him, followed by a private dinner with dignitaries.

Lopez Obrador said he would never recognize Calderon as president.

"I won't respect a thief, and I will always call him that," he said.

After camping out in Congress for three days in an attempt to control the speaker's podium and prevent Calderon from taking office, leftist lawmakers seized the chamber's entrances Friday morning.

They draped a giant banner across the chamber reading "Mexico doesn't deserve a traitor to democracy as president," exchanged punches with ruling-party lawmakers and erected barricades of chairs as Calderon supporters chanted "Mexico wants peace."

"It's good action," quipped California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as he arrived.

Sen. Santiago Creel, who was Fox's former interior secretary, added: "I have never been in such an exciting session."

Anticipating the congressional chaos, Calderon held an unusual midnight ceremony in which he took control of the presidential residence from Fox.

Congress adjourned quickly after the oath of office and lawmakers filed out after their three-day slumber party complete with pillows, sleeping bags and pizza.

Bush looked down at the near-empty chambers littered with protest banners from a balcony. A Mexican reporter yelled from below in English: "Be careful while you're in Mexico!"

The elder Bush laughed and said "thank you."

Earlier, Bush praised Mexico's new president, saying: "The U.S. will work with him every way we can."

In Washington, the State Department voiced confidence Friday that Mexico will be able to deal with any problems it may have.

"We believe that these issues are best resolved and can be resolved by Mexican political leaders themselves," deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted 12/1/2006 9:26 AM ET

02-08-2008, 05:20 PM
Hey Beverly, do you think you might be able to find some interesting articles about farmworkers to keep the theme going that was started before your interrupted it? Articles that aren't anti or racist in nature, please?

02-08-2008, 05:41 PM
Kickin' it back up!

02-08-2008, 05:42 PM
Study: Illegal immigrant education costs states millions

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifMissouri spends about $21.4 million a year and Illinois spends $484 million a year to educate school-aged illegal immigrants, according to a study by the Federation for American

Immigration Reform (FAIR).

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gifNationally, taxpayers pay $7.4 billion a year to educate 1.1 million school-aged illegal immigrants, FAIR said. Costs were figured using government estimates of the illegal alien population and each state's per-pupil expenditure. Costs do not include supplemental services such as English as a Second Language, bilingual education or limited English proficiency programs.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil2.gifIllinois ranked No. 5 among all U.S. states for the amount spent on illegal immigrant education, FAIR said. The money spent in Illinois is enough to supply healthcare to every person under the poverty line for two years or to supply financial aid to the nearly 34,000 college students denied it, and 400,000 additional applicants, FAIR said.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gifCalifornia spends nearly $2.2 billion a year and Texas spends more than $1 billion educating the children, according to the study.

All contents of this site American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.


02-08-2008, 05:57 PM

I was hoping we could work something out but I guess the saying does apply to you, "I don't play well with others."

And to post something by a hate group FAIR!!

This thread hasn't been the type of thread you're turning into it.

02-09-2008, 02:52 AM

State lawmaker wants Arizona to run a foreign worker program

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.07.2008

PHOENIX -- Unwilling to wait for a federal fix, some Southern Arizona lawmakers want the state to run its temporary foreign worker program.

The proposal crafted by Sen. Marsha Arzberger, D-Willcox, would let companies which are suffering a "labor shortage'' to seek permission from the state Industrial Commission to bring in their own workers from *Mexico*.

It even would have the state provide identification cards to the foreigners given permission to work here.

"The federal government has not met the responsibility to come up with comprehensive immigration reform,'' she said.

"Our economy is hurting,'' Arzberger continued. And she said many firms have found themselves without the workers they need.

SB 1482 has drawn a number of cosponsors, including many of the legislators who represent the border area. And even Senate President Tim Bee, who did not sign on as a sponsor, said he supports the concept of a legal guest worker program.

02-09-2008, 03:40 AM

Mexican president Felipe Calderón's U.S. visit could highlight illegal-immigration debate

President's effort to reach out to Mexicans abroad risks U.S. political impact

12:00 AM CST on Saturday, February 9, 2008
By ALFREDO CORCHADO / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON Mexican President Felipe Calderón will arrive Sunday for his first U.S. visit since he was elected in 2006. Longtime observers question his timing, saying his presence during the U.S. presidential campaign may turn up the heat in the debate over illegal immigration.

Officially, the five-day trip is billed as an "encounter" with Mr. Calderón's compatriots abroad, according to a statement from the president's office to the Mexican Congress. But the visit could backfire, experts say, by putting the focus back on the hot-potato issue of Mexican migration.

"What Calderón wants to do is legitimate, no question about that, reach out to the Mexican community, which has long been under siege," said Eric Olson, formerly of the Organization of American States and a longtime political observer of Mexico.

"But politically, if they're not careful it could become part of the debate in this election here.

"Someone like John McCain, who's normally very supportive, might be forced to be careful to distance himself from Mexico, if the anti-immigrant, ultraconservatives view this visit as negative," he added. "So this is very delicate time and they need to be careful about how they manage it."

A spokesman at the Mexican Embassy declined to comment on the timing of the trip.

Nonetheless, other officials stressed that the president's visit will serve two objectives. The trip allows him to "reach out to Mexican communities in the United States, which he hasn't been able to do in his first year in office, and support them, and tell them they're not alone," said one official speaking on the condition of anonymity. And it will help him to "strengthen the relationship with the U.S. private sector" as he tries to bring more investment to Mexico, the official added.

Mr. Calderón, other officials say, is also trying to reshape the immigration debate in the United States by showcasing the "hard work" and "economic benefits" that his compatriots represent to the U.S. economy and economic integration of the two countries.

"Timing is everything, and the timing of President Calderón's trip speaks volumes following Super Tuesday and on the eve of the remaining primaries," said Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, president of Peschard & Associates, an independent consulting firm. "He clearly will capitalize on the timing, plus some of his politically oriented meetings, to make sure he puts Mexico on the next president's desk and even try to shape the bilateral agenda."

Not speaking out

Some congressional leaders declined to comment publicly on Mr. Calderón's trip.

But at least one member of Congress, speaking on condition of anonymity, had this to say: "This isn't exactly the best of times," pointing to such issues as illegal immigration, the border fence and the ongoing debate in Congress on whether to approve a $1.4 billion anti-drug aid package to help Mexico confront its widening violence in Mexico.

Andrew Selee, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute, added, "I don't think he will focus on the Merida Initiative. I think he wants to put Mexico on the map more generally in the United States."

Traditionally, Mexican presidents visit the U.S. in their first year in office.

But since taking office in Dec. 1, 2006, Mr. Calderón has instead visited other countries in Central and South America and Europe. Although he's met with President Bush on a number of occasions, Mr. Calderón has yet to set foot on U.S. soil.

Aside from his five-day U.S. visit, Mr. Calderón is scheduled to return to the United States April 20-21 and meet with Mr. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in New Orleans for the annual North American Leaders Summit.

Invitation extended

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is awaiting a response to his invitation to Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa to hold the biannual meeting of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad April 23-25 in Dallas.

If the foreign ministry accepts the invitation, there's a "good possibility" that Mr. Calderón might also visit Dallas immediately after New Orleans, though such a visit is subject to approval by the Mexican Congress, a senior Mexican official said.

Mr. Calderón's coast-to-coast trip begins Sunday with a tour of the northeast corridor New York City and Boston followed by stops in Chicago, Sacramento, Calif., and Los Angeles.

On Monday night, Mr. Calderón will deliver an address at his alma mater, Harvard University. Mr. Calderón, a Mason fellow, completed a Master's of Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000.

In New York City, he meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. He postponed a trip to the U.N. last September because of massive floods in the Mexican state of Tabasco.

Mr. Calderón is also scheduled to meet with key political allies, such as New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will also meet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a prominent Hispanic leader who endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Traveling with the Mexican president will be his wife, Margarita Zavala; the governors of Zacatecas, Colima and Guanajuato; as well as Rafael Fernandez de Castro, an expert on international relations.

02-09-2008, 10:23 AM
Crisostomo in Chicago, by Pepe Lozano

***CHICAGO " Josué, 14, Juan, 11 and Paloma, 9, live with their grandmother in a small rural town in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. They have not seen their mother, Flor Crisostomo, 28, since she crossed the Arizona desert in June 2000, to find work in the U.S. so she could support them.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil2.gifCrisostomo was arrested during a 2006 immigration raid at a pallet-making company here. After two years of exhaustive legal appeals, Homeland Security ordered her to return to Mexico by Jan. 28. But she decided to take sanctuary at the Adalberto United Methodist Church on the city's northwest side.

"I came here seven years ago because NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) made it impossible to feed my children in my hometown and that situation has only gotten worse," Crisostomo told the World, speaking in Spanish.

She said the Mexican government predicts that with the final reduction of tariffs on corn, beans, sugar and powdered milk under NAFTA policies, as many as a million more out-of-work Mexican farmers will try crossing the deadly U.S.-Mexican border to find work.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gif"I am not leaving. I am taking a stand of civil disobedience," Crisostomo said. "I believe with all my heart that the U.S. and Mexico must end the system of exploiting undocumented labor.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/crazy.gif"The raids and deportations make undocumented workers live in fear," she added. "The no-match letters force us into worse jobs. But even a poor job here is better than no job."

(The Social Security Administration mails no-match letters to employers, stating that an employee's social security number does not match SSA's records. Many result from clerical error; they are not cause for firings.)

Crisostomo's experience illustrates a root problem of the current immigration system. At the same time Homeland Security and anti-immigrant and anti-worker laws make it harder for undocumented workers to survive here, NAFTA's policies have devastated the rural economies of Mexico, putting family farmers out of work. (see related story on page 4)

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifElvira Arellano also stood up for immigrant rights and for her U.S. citizen son. She was in sanctuary at the same church for a year before she was deported back to Mexico last summer. She and Crisostomo are good friends.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gif"It's a very important time to fight for immigration reform during election time," Arellano said, in a phone interview, speaking in spanish from Mexico. She added that people need to go out and vote for change so Congress and the next president can act on immigration reform.

"Flor is a part of my family and is a very important person who was there for me while I was in sanctuary," said Arellano. "She is a mother who has sacrificed a lot for her children despite all the difficulties. We in Mexico are in solidarity with her, we wish her courage and we are praying for her and all the undocumented workers in the U.S."

Crisostomo hopes that the U.S. and Mexico will realize one way to fix the broken immigration laws and make the borders safe and secure is to renegotiate NAFTA and other financial agreements that have destroyed local economies.

She said she is fighting for all immigrant families in the U.S. "I will not be a symbol of fear to spread among my people. I hope that adding my grain of sand to the struggle will help to get the U.S. Congress to act now," she said.

Crisostomo knows that by taking this action there is little chance that she will ever achieve legal status to stay in the U.S.

"I may face time in prison. But when I do return to my children, I will not return, as so many have, empty-handed and unable to provide for them. I will be able to give them the only thing I can pass on to them: My dignity."


***Amazing this alien had her first child at the age of 14 and then went on to have 2 more knowing that she had no way of caring for them. So what does she do? SHE ABANDONS THEM FOR SEVEN (7) YEARS AND BLAMES AMERICA FOR HAVING LAWS. IN the SEVEN YEARS she's been here she still cannot speak a word of the King's English.

Where's all of that outrage from illegal aliens complaining we are "SEPARATING THEIR FAMILIES? OH WAIT IT'S OK IF THEY ABANDON AND USE THEIR OWN CHILDREN AS POLITICAL PAWNS, OTHERWISE THEY SERVE NO PURPOSE. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cursing.gif

02-09-2008, 11:34 AM
Website for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime. Each day a new name is added:


02-09-2008, 04:37 PM
Hi again Copy-Cat. Isn't this the same duplication from your other thread?

Aren't there any other places you can post it in addition? Surely you're wanting to advise as many as you can about the link. Go duplicate more, Copy-Cat.

02-09-2008, 07:42 PM
Two Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty-Four (2,764 ) Executions in Mexico Last Year

Visit our website: http://www.nafbpo.org

Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.

Norte (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 2/9/08

In Chihuahua City, the state capital, Patricio Patino Arias, the Sub-Secretary for Strategic Intelligence for the "AFI" (Mex. Federal Investigations Agency) & the "Federal Preventive Police", said that 97% of victims of execution which take place in Mexico are related to organized crime. Following an increase this year in the murder of law enforcement officers of various federal, state & local agencies he asserted that these events were linked to drug or weapons trafficking or some other illegal activity linked to some cartel. He added that there were 2,764 executions in Mexico last year.

El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) & El Universal (Mexico City) 2/9/08

The execution murder of the four local police officers in Navolato, Sinaloa (noted in yesterday's report) brought to 25 the number of law enforcement personnel who have died in that fashion in the state of Sinaloa in the last 13 months, including the case of the state's chief of investigations of the "Ministerial Police", who was riddled with 60 bullets a year ago in Culiacan.
In the equivalent period in the state of Chihuahua, 30 law enforcement officers have been murdered, 16 of them in Ciudad Juarez.

El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 2/9/08

Thursday night on the Matamoros-Ciudad Victoria highway, state of Tamaulipas (note: this is just up and across the river from Brownsville, Texas) a Land Rover and a Hummer failed to stop when ordered by Mexican federal agents. A pursuit of about 18 miles began and included some firing from the vehicles being chased.
When stopped, the Land Rover (Florida license plate L47BA) was found to be carrying 2 AR15 rifles, 2 pistols, 13 clips, 249 rounds of ammunition, 6 cellular phones and 20,000 Colombian pesos. Two subjects were arrested.
A short while later the Hummer was found abandoned, but not empty. Inside: 29 packages of cocaine (size or weight not given), eight "communications radios", 12 grenades, 17 long barrel firearms, 20 handguns, 62 clips and 500 boxes of ammunition of various calibers, or some 25,000 rounds.

El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 2/9/08

Officials of Mexico's "PGR" (their Dep't. of Justice) reported that 4,205 firearms, 706,170 rounds of ammunition and 518 (five hundred eighteen) grenades were confiscated in Mexico last year.
The states of Mexico with the highest organized crime activity were said to be Chihuahua, Michoacan, Jalisco, Tamaulipas and Sonora "due to the mobility of the Gulf and Sinaloa cartel members who have tried to find new markets for the consumption of drug."

Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 2/9/08

The Tijuana police payroll system was recently changed. Instead of automatic deposits to a debit card, salaries are now paid by check, which requires all personnel to appear in person to sign for their check. While individuals assigned to special duties (escorts, body guards) or those temporarily handicapped were slow to collect their pay, some 200 checks remain unclaimed, leading officials to believe this new system filter may have detected a good number of "ghost" employees (note: called "aviators" or "parachutists" in local slang).
An investigation is under way.

La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 2/9/08

Tomas Gloria Requena, president of the "Agrarian Youth Vanguard", said that "more than" 350 thousand younger Mexicans fled to the neighboring country" last year and that it is alarming that they have to do so because of the lack of Mexican government support for younger field workers. He pointed out that the larger problem Mexico faces will be after the border fence is completed by the American government: "what are we going to do with all those people that they are going to repatriate and with those others who had thought about going but who won't have that opportunity?"

El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua) 2/9/08

Mexico's Public Security Dep't. reported that 12 men and a woman from Nicaragua, 20 men and 18 women from Honduras, 5 men and 3 women from El Salvador and one woman from Ecuador were all found in an 18-wheeler in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.

El Pais (Cali, Colombia) 2/9/08

A suitcase which had come from the U.S. arrived at the airport in Cali on a commercial passenger flight. Under the cover of some clothing, officers found 18 packets of one hundred dollar bills. The total haul: $1,060,000. The suitcase was not claimed by anyone.
-end of report-

02-10-2008, 05:19 AM

Letters to the editor
February 10, 2008

Immigration bill pros, cons

Immigrants show work ethic that businesses like

Senate Bill 335 is a horrible piece of legislation. It targets Indiana residents and Indiana businesses in a weak attempt to curb illegal
immigration to Indiana.

By fining business owners and landlords, Sen. Mike Delph believes immigrants will stop coming to Indiana for work. But why would we want that?

In my experience at restaurants and with private contractors, the Hispanic community (some legal, some questionable) is full of good people who work hard and are just trying to find better opportunities. They are in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

I guess that is why supporters of this bill must use very harsh language to describe these people with whom they are obliviously out of touch.

They use adjectives such as "illegal" and nouns such as "alien," when they should be using adjectives such as "hardworking" and nouns such as "neighbor."

The people are already here. Making it harder for them to get jobs is only going to push them further underground. There are many more negative implications this bill could have.

While I watch the housing market tank and the economy slip, I wonder: Who benefits?

Eric Hetland

02-10-2008, 07:33 AM
In Reversal, Courts Uphold Local Immigration Laws http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif

After groups challenging state and local laws cracking down on illegal immigration won a series of high-profile legal victories last year, the tide has shifted as federal judges recently handed down several equally significant decisions upholding those laws.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/go.gifOn Thursday, a federal judge in Arizona ruled against a lawsuit by construction contractors and immigrant organizations who sought to halt a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 imposing severe penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The judge, Neil V. Wake of Federal District Court, methodically rejected all of the contractors' arguments that the Arizona law invaded legal territory belonging exclusively to the federal government.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_colors.gifOn Jan. 31, a federal judge in Missouri, E. Richard Webber, issued a similarly broad and even more forcefully worded decision in favor of an ordinance aimed at employers of illegal immigrants adopted by Valley Park, Mo., a city on the outskirts of St. Louis.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/001_wub.gifAnd, in an even more sweeping ruling in December, a judge in Oklahoma, James H. Payne, threw out a lawsuit against a state statute enacted last year requiring state contractors to verify new employees' immigration status. Judge Payne said the immigrants should not be able to bring their claims to court because they were living in the country in violation of the law.

These rulings were a sharp change of tack from a decision in July by a federal judge in Pennsylvania who struck down ordinances adopted by the City of Hazleton barring local employers from hiring illegal immigrants and local landlords from renting to them. In that case, the judge, James M. Munley of Federal District Court, found that the Hazleton laws not only interfered with federal law, but also violated the due process rights of employers and landlords, and illegal immigrants as well.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/001_icon16.gifHazleton was the first city to adopt ordinances to combat illegal immigration, laws that the mayor, Louis J. Barletta, said would make it "one of the toughest places in the United States" for illegal immigrants. After the Hazleton decision, many cities and towns that had been considering similar statutes against employers and landlords dropped the effort, fearing legal challenges that they would be likely to lose.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/Angel_anim.gifThe recent federal decisions will probably give new encouragement to states and towns seeking to drive out illegal immigrants by making it difficult for them to find jobs or places to live.

"These are not equivocal decisions," said Kris W. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, who was the lead lawyer in the Valley Park case and assisted in the Arizona case. "Both judges gave sweeping victories to the cities and states involved," said Mr. Kobach, who was also one of the leading lawyers representing Hazleton.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifIn another earlier, much-watched case, the City of Escondido, Calif., in December 2006 dropped an anti-illegal immigrant housing ordinance and agreed to pay $90,000 in lawyers' fees to the landlords and illegal immigrants who brought a lawsuit.

By contrast, in the Valley Park decision, Judge Webber wrote that the residents challenging the statutes had failed to "create a genuine issue of material fact on any of the allegations." He wrote that the city's employer ordinance "is not pre-empted by federal law."

That decision was especially notable because earlier versions of the Valley Park ordinances had been struck down in state court. After the state decision, the city dropped its statutes barring illegal immigrants from renting housing, turning to federal court only to defend its sanctions on employers.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gifJudge Payne of Oklahoma, ruling Dec. 12 on state laws that took effect in November, went furthest in questioning the rights of illegal immigrants.

"These illegal alien plaintiffs seek nothing more than to use this court as a vehicle for their continued unlawful presence in this country," he wrote. "To allow these plaintiffs to do so would make this court an abettor of iniquity,' and this court finds that simply unpalatable." http://www.ilw.com/corporate/wub.gif

In Arizona and Missouri, groups challenging the laws have said they will seek new injunctions or appeal; the Hazleton decision is currently under appeal.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gnorsi.gifLawyers fighting the local statutes said these were creating a nationwide checkerboard of conflicting laws, and have generated discrimination against Hispanics who are not illegal immigrants. As of November, 1,562 bills dealing with immigration were introduced in state legislatures in 2007 and 244 became law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"What certain states and communities are doing is taking matters into their own hands that should be dealt with on a national level in a consistent manner," said Ricardo Meza, a lawyer in Chicago for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which brought the Valley Park case. "Where we see the big danger with these laws is that they put a bulls-eye on every Hispanic's forehead."

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/dazed002.gifMichael A. Olivas, a University of Houston law professor, said the recent litigation showed the need for Congress to clarify the situation of illegal immigrants. "We lost the big enchilada, which was federal immigration reform that would have trumped all these matters," he said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/us/10immig.html?ex=13...rtner=rssnyt&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/us/10immig.html?ex=1360299600&en=82d7dc4120a135e0&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)

02-10-2008, 08:15 AM

From previous post by Beverly.

In another earlier, much-watched case, the City of Escondido, Calif., in December 2006 dropped an anti-illegal immigrant housing ordinance and agreed to pay $90,000 in lawyers' fees to the landlords and illegal immigrants who brought a lawsuit.

Thanks for sharing that, Beverly!

02-10-2008, 08:40 AM

Hershey's Chocolate Moves to Mexico

Columns | 3 weeks 5 days ago
By Jack Fichter

Fewer and fewer products are being manufactured in America. Now, add to the list Hershey Candy. The company is moving to Mexico. This press release from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa sums it up:

In another blow to working families in the United States and Canada, the Hershey Company has announced that it will be closing multiple plants, cutting its workforce by 11.5 percent and moving jobs to a new plant in Monterey, Mexico.

This decision is yet another byproduct of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which, from its inception, has done more to erode the U.S. economy than perhaps any single piece of legislation in U.S. history.

Millions of jobs have left our nation for countries like Mexico and China where workers don't have the rights and protections our workers enjoy in the U.S. Wages are low and employer power is high"a perfect storm in which big business prioritizes profit over worker safety and well-being.

The Hershey Company has always been synonymous with American tradition. A true homegrown success story, Hershey Park and the company facilities have been visited by millions of families that travel to enjoy the theme park and tour the factories.

I wonder what those families would think now if they knew that 900 of the 3,000 workers in the three plants in Hershey, Pa., would soon be without jobs? Or if they knew 575 workers in Oakdale, Calif. will be looking for new employment in January 2008? Will they still feel the same pride in this American company?

This is a company that was built on the backs of hardworking Americans"blue-collar, middle-class men and women who dedicated their lives to Hershey and are now being betrayed for the sake of a few extra dollars at the bottom of a balance sheet.

Over the last 13 years, NAFTA has destroyed the competitive edge American workers had benefited from for decades. Skilled and hardworking Americans find themselves losing out to cheap labor over the border and across the ocean.

Since 2000, corporations have shipped more than 525,000 white-collar jobs overseas, according to the AFL-CIO department of professional employees. Some estimates say up to 14 million middle-class jobs could be exported out of America in the next 10 years.

Accountants, software engineers, even X-ray technicians are losing their jobs as corporations look for low-wage workers in countries such as India and China.

At the same time, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since George W. Bush took office, many of them because corporations have shipped them to countries such as Mexico and China, which is creating a booming manufacturing industry on the backs of its poorly-paid workers.

AFL-CIO notes the jobs being created in the U. S. often are low-wage jobs that don't offer health coverage or ensure retirement security. Nearly one-quarter of the nation's workers labor in jobs that generally pay less than the $8.85 hourly wage which our government said it takes to keep a family of four out of poverty. Sixty percent of such workers are women, and many are people of color.

As of 2003, the U.S. imported 96 percent of all the clothing that is purchased and 75 percent of all the toys sold in the U.S. are manufactured in other countries, according to the United Auto Workers union.

All this started when President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA promising "a million jobs in the first five years of its impact," which never happened. President George H. W. Bush negotiated NAFTA, so unfortunately both Republicans and Democrats who owe their souls to corporate money have supported it.

A complete list of all the corporations that have sent manufacturing to Mexico does not seem to be available on the Web but a short list includes Levis, Wrangler, Black and Decker, Maytag, Black, La-Z-Boy, Honeywell, Phillips, Eastman-Kodak, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Pillsbury, Carrier Air Conditioning, Lexmark, Whirlpool, Colgate, Zenith, Canon and Pratt & Whitney.

No matter who occupies the Oval Office next year, these jobs are gone from America.

02-10-2008, 08:54 AM


Americans go to Mexico for a cheaper perfect smile

By Robin Emmott
9:07 a.m. February 1, 2008

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico It was fear of the hefty bill as much as fear of the drill that kept American musician Don Clay away from U.S. dental clinics for 30 years.

When a sorely infected tooth eventually drove him to the dentist last month, it was to a clinic in a Mexican border city better known for violent crime and drug cartels.

Shrugging off concerns about hygiene and Mexico's brutal drug war, thousands of Americans are heading to Ciudad Juarez and other Mexican border cities for cheap dental treatment.

"I had to get my teeth fixed. I need a perfect smile to make a successful career in music. Treatment in the United States is so pricey," said Clay, a Texan trying to get a record deal as a hip-hop artist.

U.S. dental treatment costs up to four times as much as in Mexico, making it tough for uninsured Americans to treat common problems such as abscessed teeth or pay for dentures.

A dental crown in the United States costs upward of $600 per tooth, compared to $190 or less in Mexico.

Aspiring Mexican dentists are moving to border cities in droves and are luring American patients away from ****her flung discount destinations such as Hungary and Thailand.

Americans have long crossed the border for cheap medicines, flu vaccines, eye surgery or specialist doctors, but dentists are now in highest demand.

Dental clinics are on almost every block in central Ciudad Juarez, ranging from dingy dives to clinics that look more like posh hair salons. Getting there involves dodging prostitutes, drug pushers and cowboy-boot sellers.


"We've gone from a handful of patients when we started 2-1/2 years ago to 150 new patients a month," said Joe Andel, an American who owns the Rio Dental clinic in Ciudad Juarez with his Mexican dentist wife, Jessica.

Rio Dental, which uses U.S. labs to make its crowns, picks patients up at the airport in El Paso, Texas, across the border and has treated people from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.

"The Internet makes this possible. It allows patients to find us and research us and shows we can do dental work of equal or superior quality to the United States," Andel said.

Internet bloggers swap stories and compare notes about Mexican dentists, but it always comes down to money.

Dentistry in the United States has become prohibitively expensive for some patients, with bills that can run to tens of thousands of dollars. Malpractice insurance premiums, operating costs that are much higher than in Mexico and dentists seeking to claw back the rising cost of their tuition all weigh.

Even among Americans who have medical insurance, many find they are not covered for treatment other than the basics, and paying on credit means high interest payments.

"I did $4,000 of dental work in the United States and put it on my credit card. Because of the interest, I only paid off $400 in three years," said a U.S. teacher from New Mexico getting treatment in Ciudad Juarez who gave his name as Bill.

Cosmetic dentistry, which insurers do not cover and which can be paid in dollars in many Mexican border clinics, is also popular, Ciudad Juarez dentist Luis Garza said.

"If you want a perfect smile, you have to pay for it, and we can do it cheaper, that's all," he grinned.

(Editing by Catherine Bremer and Eric Beech)

02-10-2008, 09:01 AM

Feds Sue Local Landowners For Access to Their Border Property

Feb 08, 2008
Amy Isackson

The U.S. government is suing two landowners in Imperial County for access to their properties along the U.S.-Mexico border. The government wants to survey the land in preparation for building more fencing along the border. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

The lawsuits are the first against California landowners.

The government has filed 47 more against people in Arizona and Texas.

Department of Homeland Security officials say there'll be 102 in all, with 20 total in California.

The government wants access to the border properties for about three months.

During that time, they'll send in contractors to survey the terrain in preparation for possibly building more border fencing, roads and structures government officials say will help secure the border.

A federal judge in San Diego ordered the landowner in one case to grant the government access.

The other case is still pending.

The landowner would not speak on the record.

The lawsuits have riled people in Texas and Arizona. Many fear they'll lose property that's been in their families for centuries.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

02-10-2008, 09:50 AM

Ford may build Verve in Mexico

February 5, 2008

Ford Motor Co.'s future subcompact car for the United States, called Verve, will likely be built in Mexico, the Free Press has learned, adding to that nation's growing automotive industry, particularly for small cars.

Ford officials would not comment on their production plans for the European-engineered Verve, which was well-received at the Detroit auto show in January and is slated to come to market in the United States in 2010.

Two people with knowledge of Ford's production plans said the car is slated to be assembled in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

They did not want to be identified because the automaker has not yet publicly disclosed its decision.

Mexico would make sense, said Haig Stoddard, the manager of North American light-vehicle production forecasting for Global Insight, because movement of auto factories to that low-cost country "is escalating."

"In general, we still see capacity in the U.S. dropping ... and continuing to gradually rise in Mexico," he said.

Despite a new labor contract with the UAW, which lowered the wages of incoming hourly workers by about half, Stoddard and other experts said it still doesn't make sense to build the cheapest and smallest cars in the United States -- at least, not until a substantial number of older UAW workers have been replaced.

While some automotive analysts said the automaker is still considering Brazil as a possible location to build the new subcompact car, others said Mexico is a far more logical location.

"We've not identified where we would build our new subcompact car," said Ford spokesman Said Deep.

"I just don't think they'll make it in Brazil," said Erich Merkle, vice president of auto industry forecasting for the consulting firm IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids. "Mexico really makes the best sense for the subcompact."

That's especially true, Stoddard and Merkle noted, as consumers increasingly turn to smaller, economical cars in the face of higher gas prices. Last month, U.S. sales of subcompact cars increased 40%, while overall passenger cars sales declined by 2%.

But it is going to be difficult to meet that demand with U.S.-made cars, experts say.

Under the new Ford-UAW labor contract, the automaker can pay new workers a starting rate of $14.20 per hour, or about half the salary of outgoing UAW workers. The number of workers paid the lower wage will be limited to about 20% of Ford's UAW workforce. At GM and Chrysler, the lower wage is limited to new workers in noncore jobs.

"You're still going to have lower labor rates in Mexico for several years," Stoddard said. "It makes more sense to build smaller vehicles down there, that don't have large profit margins to begin with."

Merkle agreed.

"It's very difficult to make money on a vehicle like that in the U.S.," he said.

A host of fuel-efficient cars are already built in Mexico or are likely to be built there soon. Stoddard said that, among Detroit automakers:

" Ford: The Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ are built in Hermosillo.

" Chrysler LLC: The PT Cruiser and 2009 Dodge Journey will be built in Toluca.

" General Motors Corp.: The Chevy HHR, Saturn Vue, and Chevy C2, which is sold outside the United States, are built in Ramos Arizpe.

In June, the Chevy Aveo will also begin production at a new GM plant in San Luis De Potosi. Stoddard said GM will increase production at that new plant from 150,000 cars a year to 400,000.

Aside from Mexico's low wages, the country is a favorable plant location, experts said, because of its proximity to the United States, especially the big auto markets of California and Texas. Ford can also export vehicles easily from Mexico to South America.

And there's already an established and growing supplier community there.

In a 2006 Ford internal document, published by the Free Press, Ford noted these benefits, as well as the willingness of the Mexican government to contribute incentives.

"Mexico is ready," Louise Goeser, president and CEO of Ford of Mexico, wrote. "Mexico is a key partner as we're targeting lower fixed costs."

After the Free Press published that document, Ford disclosed that it was investing in its assembly plants in Cuautitlan and Hermosillo, as well as an engine plant in Chihuahua.

The Cuautitlan plant, which opened in 1964 outside of Mexico City, has two production lines on its 1.2 million square feet. One line currently builds the F-Series and the other built a subcompact car called the Ikon until September.

But the automaker has never said what it would build in place of the Ikon. That line could easily be retooled to build the Verve, experts said.

Some experts suspect Ford would need more than one production line to satisfy global demand for the Verve. Merkle said the automaker might choose to build the car in both Mexico and Brazil.

Making the right decision about where to build the Verve could be important for Ford's future financial performance.

Ford reported a net loss of $2.7 billion for last year, compared with a record loss of $12.6 billion in 2006. And the automaker's management team has repeatedly said that Ford must re-establish its credibility in cars.

While Ford's new midsize cars, like the Fusion, have been successful, Ford hasn't sold a subcompact car in the United States since it ended the Ford Aspire after the 1997 model year.

The same factors that are encouraging other automakers to invest in Mexico will likely entice Ford there as well.

Greg Gardner, a Troy-based analyst for Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm and publisher of the Harbour Report on automotive manufacturing efficiency, said: "You look at what GM is doing with its new plant in San Luis Potosi and it makes sense that Ford would look at upgrading Cuautitlan, especially since they have idle capacity there now."

Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at 313-222-5394 or swebster@freepress.com.


02-10-2008, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by explora:


Americans go to Mexico for a cheaper perfect smile

By Robin Emmott
9:07 a.m. February 1, 2008

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico It was fear of the hefty bill as much as fear of the drill that kept American musician Don Clay away from U.S. dental clinics for 30 years.

When a sorely infected tooth eventually drove him to the dentist last month, it was to a clinic in a Mexican border city better known for violent crime and drug cartels.

Shrugging off concerns about hygiene and Mexico's brutal drug war, thousands of Americans are heading to Ciudad Juarez and other Mexican border cities for cheap dental treatment.

"I had to get my teeth fixed. I need a perfect smile to make a successful career in music. Treatment in the United States is so pricey," said Clay, a Texan trying to get a record deal as a hip-hop artist.

U.S. dental treatment costs up to four times as much as in Mexico, making it tough for uninsured Americans to treat common problems such as abscessed teeth or pay for dentures.


02-10-2008, 11:13 AM


Grandma Says ... "Take Care OF Your Teeth ... You Only Get One Set!" ... Good thing you listened ... You have the most beautiful smile and more money in your pocket!!

02-10-2008, 11:45 AM

The Antistalking Web Site

About Stalkers and Stalking

A recent study by the National Institute of Justice found that stalking was far more prevalent than anyone had imagined: 8% of American women and 2% of American men will be stalked in their lifetimes. That's 1.4 million American stalking victims every year. The majority of stalkers have been in relationships with their victims, but a significant percentage either never met their victims, or were just acquaintances - neighbors, friends or co-workers. [For information on how to receive a free copy of this study, see our research studies page.]

Types of Stalkers

There is tremendous confusion in the stalking research literature about how to classify stalkers. Everyone uses different terms. For the purposes of this web site, we have broken down types of stalkers into three broad categories: Intimate partner stalkers, delusional stalkers and vengeful stalkers. Obviously, there is overlap. Since studies show that the overwhelming number of stalkers are men and the overwhelming number of their victims are women, we will be referring to stalkers and their victims accordingly. I Know You Really Love Me delves into much greater detail and provides extensive case histories about each of these types of stalkers.

Intimate partner stalkers are typically known as the guy who "just can't let go." These are most often men who refuse to believe that a relationship has really ended. Often, other people - even the victims - feel sorry for them. But they shouldn't. Studies show that the vast majority of these stalkers are not sympathetic, lonely people who are still hopelessly in love, but were in fact emotionally abusive and controlling during the relationship. Many have criminal histories unrelated to stalking. Well over half of stalkers fall into this "former intimate partner" category.

In these types of stalking cases, the victim may, in fact, unwittingly encourage the stalker by trying to "let him down easy," or agreeing to talk to him "just one more time." What victims need to understand is that there is no reasoning with stalkers. Just the fact that stalking - an unreasonable activity - has already begun, illustrates this fact. When the victim says, "I don't want a relationship now," the stalker hears, "She'll want me again, tomorrow." When she says, "I just need some space," he hears, "If I just let her go out with her friends, she'll come back." "It's just not working out," is heard as "we can make it work out." In other words, the only thing to say to the stalker is "no." No explanations, no time limits, no room to maneuver.

A victim should say "no" once and only once. And then, never say anything to him again. If a stalker can't have his victim's love, he'll take her hatred or her fear. The worst thing in the world for him is to be ignored. Think of little children: If they're not getting the attention they want, they'll act out and misbehave because even negative attention is better than none at all. Former intimate partner stalkers have their entire sense of self-worth caught up in the fact that, "she loves me." Therefore, any evidence to the contrary is seen as merely an inconvenience to overcome. Since giving up his victim means giving up his self-worth, he is very unlikely to do so. Don't help him hang on.

Delusional stalkers frequently have had little, if any, contact with their victims. They may have major mental illnesses like schizophrenia, manic-depression or erotomania. What they all have in common is some false belief that keeps them tied to their victims. In erotomania, the stalker's delusional belief is that the victim loves him. This type of stalker actually believes that he is having a relationship with his victim, even though they might never have met. The woman stalking David Letterman, the stalker who killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer and the man who stalked Madonna are all examples of erotomanic stalkers.

Another type of delusional stalker might believe that he is destined to be with someone, and that if he only pursues her hard enough and long enough, she will come to love him as he loves her. These stalkers know they are not having a relationship with their victims, but firmly believe that they will some day. John Hinckley Jr.'s obsession with Jodi Foster is an example of this type of stalker.

The typical profile of delusional stalkers is that of an unmarried and socially immature loner, who is unable to establish or sustain close relationships with others. They rarely date and have had few, if any, sexual relationships. Since at the same time they are both threatened by and yearn for closeness, they often pick victims who are unattainable in some way; perhaps she is married, or has been the stalker's therapist, clergyman, doctor or teacher. Those in the helping professions are particularly vulnerable to delusional stalkers, because for someone who already has difficulty separating reality from fantasy, the kindness shown by the soon-to-be victim, the only person who has ever treated the stalker with warmth, is blown out of proportion into a delusion of intimacy. What these stalkers cannot attain in reality is achieved through fantasy and it is for this reason that the delusion seems to be so difficult to relinquish: Even an imaginary love is better than no love at all.

These delusional stalkers have almost always come from a background which was either emotionally barren or severely abusive. They grow up having a very poor sense of their own identities. This, coupled with a predisposition toward psychosis, leads them to strive for satisfaction through another, yearning to merge with someone who is almost always perceived to be of a higher status (doctors, lawyers, teachers) or very socially desirable (celebrities). It is as if this stalker says, "Gee. If she loves me, I must not be so bad." As Dean Martin compellingly crooned what could be considered the delusional stalker's anthem: "You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You." It is not unusual for this type of stalker to "hear" the soothing voice of his victim, or believe that she is sending him cryptic messages through others.

Some studies show that delusional stalkers are the most tenacious of all. Erotomanic delusions themselves last an average of ten years. How is this possible when the stalker has had little if any contact with his victim? As if drawn from the National Organ Donor Registry, the victim becomes the perfect match, with the potential to save the stalker's life. When the victim says "no," he rationalizes it away, believing that, "her husband made her get that restraining order, she really loves me," or "her agent told her it would be bad for her career if we dated, but she really loves me." Therefore, as with every type of stalker, it is imperative that victims have no contact.

The final category of stalker is not lovelorn. He is the vengeful stalker. These stalkers become angry with their victims over some slight, real or imagined. Politicians, for example, get many of these types of stalkers who become angry over some piece of legislation or program the official sponsors. But, disgruntled ex-employees can also stalk, whether targeting their former bosses, co-workers or the entire company. Some of these angry stalkers are psychopaths, i.e. people without conscience or remorse. Some are delusional, (most often paranoid), and believe that they, in fact, are the victims. They all stalk to "get even."

Former intimate partner stalkers and delusional stalkers can become vengeful for a variety of reasons. For example, when their victims get restraining orders, or marry. Why a stalker's anger is a very bad sign is described under what to do.

In general, for any type of stalker, the less of a relationship that actually existed prior to the stalking, the more mentally disturbed the stalker.

02-10-2008, 02:50 PM

Mexican cop, now in El Paso hospital, is a marked man

By Bill Conroy, narcosphere.narconews.com
Posted on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 05:30:39 PM EST

Mexican state police commander Fernando Lozano Sandoval is currently recovering from multiple gunshot wounds inflicted after gunmen ambushed his SUV on a boulevard in Ciudad Juárez on Monday evening. Jan. 21.

Lozano was one of three Mexican cops gunned down during a bloody shooting spree over the course of Jan. 20 and 21 in Juárez. The other two cops, who were municipal police officers, were not so lucky. They are both dead.

But Lozano is not receiving the critical medical attention he needs in a Juárez hospital. He is, in fact, under the care of physicians and nurses at El Paso's Thomason Hospital, which is now under the armed protection of U.S. law enforcement officers.

The extreme security at Thomason has created a backlash in the community of El Paso, located just across the Rio Grande from Juárez. Press reports indicate that El Paso residents are concerned about the safety of their community due to the Lozano's presence, fearing that their city has now been thrust into the front lines of Mexico's bloody narco-trafficking turf war.

If that is the case, it may well be officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that have put El Paso in that position. ICE sources tell Narco News that Lozano is an ICE informant who was marked for assassination because narco-traffickers in Juárez believe he tipped off U.S. law enforcers to the location of a stash house in the El Paso area that contained more than five tons of marijuana.

El Paso ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa, when asked about the Lozano case, said, "There are many aspects of this that I am not at liberty to discuss."

The El Paso Times also reported that "law enforcement officials would not discuss details of the lockdown for security reasons or whether Lozano was cooperating with U.S. authorities."

Likewise, a local El Paso TV station reported that the head of the El Paso Police Department is concerned that Lozano is in some way connected to drug-trafficking organizations in Juárez.

From a Jan. 24 report by KVIA-TV in El Paso:

Because of the implication of drug trafficking involvement, there was uncertainty as to the type of relationship Lozano might have with the cartels.

"I don't know if it was a positive or negative involvement relationship, but it required us to have some type of response to make sure if he were to be attacked at the hospital, citizens of the community wouldn't be injured as well," [Interim El Paso police chief Gregory] Allen said.

ICE sources, who spoke with Narco News under the condition that their names not be used, indicate that Lozano was not a normal informant. He is a U.S. citizen with dual citizenship in Mexico who just happens to work as a Mexican state police commander. In addition, they claim he was not officially documented as an ICE informant, as the agency's rules require, and his relationship with ICE was not through a special agent, as agency rules require, but rather he worked directly for an ICE supervisor in El Paso.

This "off-the-books" informant relationship, assuming the ICE sources are on the mark, would go a long way toward explaining why Lozano ended up in an El Paso's publicly owned county hospital and is now under the watch of heavily armed law enforcers from the El Paso Police Department, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and ICE.

Bungled operation

Mexican state police commander Lozano was in his Jeep Cherokee on a street in Juárez when he was attacked on the evening of Jan. 21 by the occupants of two vehicles " who unloaded some 50 rounds into the Jeep. Lozano was hit several times while returning fire, according to press accounts, and then, after the assailants had fled, he allegedly managed to stop another car, whose driver transported him to a hospital in Juárez.

While at the Juárez hospital, Lozano was under the protection of the Mexican military, which posted guards at the facility, press reports say. However, it is from this point that the official version of events departs from information supplied to Narco News by ICE sources.

The official line, according to ICE's Zamarripa, is as follows:

ICE was asked by the Chihuahua State Police to assist in coordinating and to help facilitate the crossing of Chihuahua state police commander Fernando Lozano Sandoval from Mexico into the United States. Lozano is a U.S. citizen who required medical attention and ICE assisted with his entry into the United States.

However, ICE sources claim the official version leaves out several key facts. They claim that it was Lozano's ICE handler, a supervisor in the El Paso field office, who coordinated Lozano's transfer from the Juárez hospital to El Paso's Thomason Hospital, and that he did so without getting the required approvals through the ICE chain of command.

The fact that ICE officially confirms that it was the Chihuahua state police who reached out to ICE for the assistance does not preclude that it was Lozano himself who made the contact " since Lozano is a commander with the Chihuahua State Investigations Agency. Some press reports indicate that it was Lozano's family who requested the hospital transfer through the Chihuahua state police.

A statement released by Thomason Hospital makes it clear that the hospital itself did not initiate the chain of events that led to Lozano's move to El Paso.

From the hospital's press statement:

On the night of Tuesday, January 22, 2008, an El Paso EMS ambulance arrived at Thomason Hospital carrying a patient who had been critically injured. As is required by federal law of all U.S. hospitals, medical personnel began immediate treatment of the patient.

... Thomason did not accept the patient in transfer. The decision to transport the patient to Thomason Hospital was made by the first responders who were dispatched to the international bridge following a 911 call.

That hospital statement conforms with what ICE sources told Narco News. They claim the ICE supervisor, who operated Lozano as an informant, made the calls to arrange Lozano's transfer to Thomason Hospital. If ICE was officially acting in coordination with the Mexican state police to transfer Lozano, then why would they place a 911 call as opposed to coordinating directly with Thomason Hospital?

Why the ICE supervisor allegedly acted on his own to arrange Lozano's move to El Paso remains a mystery. ICE sources point out that Lozano clearly was at great risk in Juárez and they speculate that he also likely possessed information that could compromise ongoing ICE investigations, personnel or his "off-the-books" status as a U.S. government informant " any of which might give him some leverage over the ICE supervisor.

Thomason Hospital spokeswoman Margaret Althoff-Olivas told Narco News that after the 911 call came in, an "El Paso EMS ambulance" was dispatched to one of El Paso's international bridges (she could not say which one) where it met up with an ambulance from Juárez that was transporting Lozano.

"Local El Paso police were asked by federal officials [ICE] to provide assistance at the bridge with the patient's (Lozano's) arrival in the U.S.," Althoff-Olivas says. "The EMS first responders assessed the patient and determined that he needed treatment at a Level 1 trauma care facility."

Thomason Hospital is the only Level 1 facility in the El Paso area.

Althoff-Olivas says that El Paso police arrived at the hospital with Lozano, but then left, since their assignment was completed. Simultaneous to that, she says, federal law enforcers (ICE) arrived at the hospital " which leaves open the possibility that those ICE agents were notified of Lozano's transport to the hospital after the El Paso police were contacted.

ICE sources allege that it was the ICE supervisor who coordinated the 911 call and the call to the local El Paso police " again, without clearing it first with the ICE Special Agent in Charge in El Paso. However, the ICE sources claim that ICE leadership in El Paso is now covering the tracks of that ICE supervisor. If Lozano was operating as an undocumented informant and ICE cases are at stake, then ICE leadership might well be inclined to keep the whole affair quiet to avoid further public scrutiny, law enforcement sources point out.

Whatever went down on that night, multiple sources have told Narco News that the "feds" clearly bungled the operation, including the security, which put the hospital in a dangerous spot, since it now has a man marked for assassination on the premises.

Press accounts of the incident back up the alleged bungled nature of Lozano's transfer to El Paso.

KDBC 4 News TV in El Paso reported the following on Thursday, Jan. 24:

For the past few days the hospital has been put on lockdown, with El Paso Police Officers and Sheriff's Deputies guarding the doors outside. However, El Paso Interim Police Chief, Greg Allen, said the Sheriff's Office "dropped the ball." He said Thomason Hospital staff called the police to guard the hospital even though it's a county facility
"The point of this could have been handled better in my view," said Allen. "We can't be expected to pick up the ball when high level activities like this are done." [emphasis added]

Local press reports also make clear that the security detail was not put in place until Wednesday, the day after Lozano arrived at Thomason Hospital. That means even the ICE agents that arrived at the hospital at the same time as Lozano on Tuesday evening, Jan. 22, didn't stick around the whole night.

ICE sources point out that if this was a properly run operation, then ICE should have assured security was in place on the first night of Lozano's arrival at the El Paso hospital, for the protection of their informant and El Paso citizens. The fact that hospital officials had to make the calls to arrange that security is evidence, the ICE sources claim, that ICE command in El Paso was not clued into Lozano's alleged status as an informant.

However, ICE spokeswoman Zamarripa confirms that ICE is now working closely with the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office "in providing security at the hospital."

"The Sheriff's office has the lead in the case," she says. "ICE is in a support role to the Sheriff's office."

Narco News sources also confirm that ICE agents are on-site at Thomason Hospital in a security role.

Attorney Mark Conrad, a former supervisory special agent with U.S. Customs, which has since become part of ICE, says the fact that ICE is now involved in providing security at the hospital indicates Lozano is connected to ICE in some way.

"With the shortage of ICE agents now on the southern border, why would ICE send agents there [to the hospital]?" he says. "There is a reason for it, but we don't know what that is."

In a high-profile case like this, involving a foreign country, it also would seem prudent for ICE to coordinate Lozano's transfer with other U.S. offices that have a major presence in Juárez, including the U.S. Consulate as well as DEA. However, that does not appear to have happened, which seems to lend more credence to the claim that Lozano's transfer from the Juárez hospital was not properly coordinated through the ICE chain of command.

Carlos Mitchem, a spokesman for DEA's office in Mexico City, told Narco News he is not aware of any involvement his office, or the DEA office in Juárez, had in the Lozano case. Likewise, Mathew Taylor, spokesman for DEA's El Paso office, says, "We were not involved in it."

Silvio Gonza***, public affairs officer for the U.S. Consulate General office in Juárez, also told Narco News that he is not aware of any involvement by the Consulate in assisting with the transportation of Lozano from Juárez to El Paso.

"[The ICE supervisor] was trying to keep the fact that Lozano was an informant secret, but after he was shot, he knew he had to do something because the [drug] cartel was going to try to finish him off," one ICE source alleges. "Most people inside ICE [in El Paso] didn't even know this was going on. Because Lozano was not documented [as an informant], he [the ICE supervisor] didn't follow the rules."

Snitch fingered

Lozano's ambush in Juárez stems from the discovery of more than five tons of marijuana in late December of last year at a warehouse in Horizon City, which is located about 17 miles east of El Paso along the Texas/Mexico border, ICE sources claim.

The drug bust, which received scant media attention at the time, was carried out by ICE, with some assistance from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and resulted in the arrest of four people linked to the warehouse, according to court records and an ICE press release.

From the ICE press release:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents here on Wednesday seized 10,907 lbs. (almost 5 tons) of marijuana discovered in a vehicle and a warehouse. The warehouse may have been a major stash house for a Juárez drug cartel.
... The investigation revealed the marijuana was scheduled to be shipped to cities such as Chicago and New York, where it would have had a street value of about $8 million.

"ICE took down a cartel's main stash house," said David F. Fry, acting special agent in charge for ICE's Office of Investigations in El Paso. "This was a significant seizure that dealt a strong blow to a major criminal enterprise. ...

The four individual arrested on the day of the warehouse raid are now pending trial in U.S. District Court in El Paso, which is under the jurisdiction of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the complaint filed in that case against the defendants, ICE had set up surveillance on the warehouse prior to the drug raid. However, the complaint does not indicate how ICE was tipped off to the warehouse in the first place.

ICE sources claim Lozano was the source of that information " and that is apparently what the narco-traffickers who controlled the warehouse believed as well. ICE sources tell Narco News that is why the hit was placed on Lozano as well as the two Juárez municipal cops killed just prior to Lozano being ambushed.

Assuming the allegations being made by these ICE sources are accurate, it would not be the first time that the ICE El Paso office was involved in informant-related shenanigans.

Between August 2003 and mid-January 2004, a dozen people were tortured and murdered in Juárez, and then buried in the ground behind a home that has since been dubbed the House of Death. Those murders were carried out with the help of an ICE informant (a former Mexican cop) who was a high-ranking member of a Juárez-based narco-trafficking cell.

ICE supervisors as well as a U.S. prosecutor in El Paso were aware of the informant's participation in the first murder at the House of Death, yet continued to utilize the informant, resulting in at least 11 additional murders.

After a DEA Special Agent in Charge in El Paso blew the whistle on ICE's involvement in the House of Death murders, that DEA commander, Sandalio Gonza***, was retaliated against and a cover-up orchestrated by high-level officials within ICE as well as the Department of Justice at the urging of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, according to court records in Gonza***' successful federal discrimination case against the U.S. government.

In the case of Lozano, if he was serving as an ICE informant, then agency rules seem to dictate that he should have been properly documented. ICE sources indicate that a possible reason Lozano was not documented was to assure there was no paper trail that might somehow leak out through law enforcement channels and jeopardize his position in Mexico as a state police commander.

Narco News obtained an ICE memo that outlines some of the requirements for properly documenting an informant (also referred to as a Confidential Source).

From the ICE memo:

"The original source [informant] ID card will be mailed to HQ [ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C.]. ... The source file will contain a sealed envelope with the source's photograph. ... An opening Report of Investigation will be located in the source file documenting information provided by the source.
... For payments of $25,000 and below there will be documentation in the source file detailing justification for the payment. For payments over the $25,000 level, there will be a completed and signed 14-point memorandum to HQ requesting the payment.

If Lozano was working as an undocumented informant for an ICE supervisor, then the memo makes it clear that relationship was outside the bounds of standard agency regulations. In addition, in such a case, ICE sources contend Lozano could not have been paid for his service without violating the rules governing informants.

"And a professional informant does not work for free. They do not take those kinds of risks for nothing," an ICE source says. "So what was Lozano getting in exchange for being an informant?"

The answer to that question " as well as Lozano's true relationship to ICE " remains an official mystery at this point.

One law enforcement veteran explains that if there is no documentation at ICE proving Lozano is an informant, ICE can now wash their hands of him and claim they know nothing. Unless Lozano has some leverage on ICE, or the ICE supervisor he worked for, that is likely what will happen, the source says.

Lozano will eventually have to be released from the hospital to a rehabilitative facility to complete his recovery. When that time comes, given the high risk he poses, who will then provide the security?

And when Lozano is finally able to return to his life in El Paso (since he certainly has no more life in Juárez), will there be some innocent bystander, maybe even a small child, with the misfortune to be near him when the next round bullets are unleashed?

Kind citizens of El Paso, welcome to the drug war, courtesy of the U.S. government.

02-10-2008, 07:11 PM

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif

More immigrants to get green cards before full review

By MARISA TAYLOR McClatchy Newspapers
ajc.com published on: 02/11/08

Washington " In a major policy shift aimed at reducing a ballooning immigration backlog, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to grant permanent residency to tens of thousands of applicants before the FBI completes a required background check.

Those eligible are immigrants whose fingerprints have cleared the FBI database of criminal convictions and arrests, but whose names have not yet cleared the FBI's criminal or intelligence files after six months of waiting.

The immigrants who are granted permanent status, more commonly known as getting their green cards, will be expected eventually to clear the FBI's name check. If they don't, their legal status will be revoked and they'll be deported.

The decision to issue green cards demonstrates how federal agencies are struggling to keep up with surging immigration applications while applying stringent post-Sept. 11 background checks.

About 150,000 green card and naturalization applicants have been delayed by the name check, with 30,000 waiting more than three years.

DHS officials are determining exactly how many are affected, but confirmed that tens of thousands of people could be eligible for the expedited procedure. The new policy was outlined in an internal memo obtained by McClatchy Newspapers. Officials said the policy will be posted this week on the department's Web site.

Lawyers who represent immigrants applauded the change and predicted green cards would be issued faster.

However, advocates of stricter immigration enforcement accused DHS of creating security loopholes and not solving the problem.

"It defies the imagination that you can require a security check only to decide that you're going to ignore it," said Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies.

DHS officials said the new process does not pose new security risks because green card applicants have been allowed to remain in the country while they wait to be screened.

"This is something that we're doing to get benefits to people who deserve them as quickly as possible," said Chris Bentley of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS agency that processes green cards and citizenship.

Immigrants seeking citizenship will continue to be required to clear name checks before being naturalized. Officials said the requirements remain in effect for naturalization because U.S. citizenship is more difficult to revoke than a green card.

The backlog of background checks swelled in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks after immigration officials resubmitted 2.7 million names to the FBI.

At the same time, the bureau tightened its background check requirements. The FBI not only runs applicants' names against lists of suspects in criminal and intelligence files but also looks for names of applicants that have surfaced during the course of an investigation or any associates of suspects.

"It's a very complicated process," said Bill Carter, a FBI spokesman. "It involves dozens of agencies and databases and often foreign governments."

Adding to the backlog, a surge of applications flooded Citizenship and Immigration Services last year, prompted partly by fee increases.

Although the FBI clears about 70 percent of the name checks within 72 hours, the bureau struggles to keep up with more than 74,000 requests per week, roughly half arising from immigration applications.

Slowing the process even more, many applicants who don't immediately clear are flagged for extra scrutiny because their names are similar to those of suspects.

Hundreds of people caught up in the backlog have sued the government to force the agencies to initiate background checks. Some of the plaintiffs have found the FBI inexplicitly clears them soon after a lawsuit is filed.

Michael Baylson, a judge in Philadelphia overseeing six of the lawsuits, recently expressed frustration with the government for what he described as "a strategy of favoring delay by litigation, instead of developing an orderly and transparent administrative resolution."

"Congress certainly did not intend for the process to become tortuous, expensive, mystifying and delayed, but it has," the Bush appointee wrote in January when ordering the government to explain the delays.

Critics have charged the naturalization delays could unfairly shut potential voters out of the upcoming presidential election. Last month, Emilio Gonza***, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, vowed to hire 3,000 new and retired employees to cut the backlog.

Immigrant advocates question why applicants waiting for naturalization couldn't be approved before the FBI clears their names, too. Many people who apply for naturalization are green card holders who have lived in the United States for at least three years and have undergone similar background checks before.

"These people already have been scrutinized," said Daniel G. Anna, an immigration lawyer.

Two of Anna's clients, a Pennsylvania psychologist and a doctor who works at a New York veterans' hospital, have waited years to become U.S. citizens even though they have green cards. The doctor, who is from Pakistan, recently cleared the name check after she filed a lawsuit, but the psychologist, who is from Nigeria, is still waiting.

"If you're going to speed it up for green cards, then it makes sense you would do the same thing for naturalization," Anna said.

Krikorian said the better solution would be for Congress and the administration to earmark more money for both agencies to conduct the complete background checks or to reduce the number of people who are eligible for green cards or citizenship.

02-10-2008, 07:24 PM

Justicia ⇒ "Because we have suffered, and we are not afraid to suffer in order to survive, we are ready to give up everything - even our lives - in our struggle for justice." " César Chávez

Libertad ⇒ "Ignorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than flocks of slaves for tyranny." " (Emiliano Zapata's letter to Pancho Villa)

02-11-2008, 02:02 AM


by Cynthia Tucker
Atlanta-Journal Constitution
Sat Feb 9, 7:56 PM ET

So much for Tancredoism.

Tom Tancredo is the Colorado congressman who ran for the Republican presidential nomination on a simple platform of nativism and undisguised contempt for illegal immigrants. Since his ill-tempered and simplistic views reflected the sentiments of the hard-core Republican base, several other members of the GOP field adopted a similar mean-spirited rhetoric.

As Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney -- Republican hopefuls with moderate records on illegal immigration -- tacked toward Know-Nothingism, Arizona Sen. John McCain stood largely apart, resisting the impulse to blame illegal immigrants for everything from terrorism to high taxes. As his signature legislation to legalize undocumented workers was routinely excoriated as "amnesty" by conservative talk-show hosts and right-wing bloggers, McCain barely budged.

In November, during a Republican debate in St. Petersburg, Fla., his GOP rivals worked to prove their anti-immigration bona fides, citing their support for such dubious measures as high fences and hot pursuit of Mexican landscapers. A clearly unenthusiastic McCain pledged to tighten the borders but declined to ratchet up his rhetoric.

"We must recognize these are God's children as well," he said. "They need our love and compassion, and I want to ensure that I will enforce the borders first. But we won't demagogue it."

Now, McCain is the likely Republican nominee. Among the losers in last Tuesday's mega-primary was the Tancredo Credo, which placed illegal immigrants at the center of every peril and every problem facing the American voter. With both remaining Democrats -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- having voted for comprehensive immigration reform, there is little chance the Oval Office will be occupied by an anti-immigration mossback.

Even Republican voters have moved immigration down to their second most-important issue, after the economy, according to Super Tuesday exit polls. The war in Iraq ranked third among GOP voters. Democrats, meanwhile, don't list immigration among their top three concerns. Instead, they emphasize the economy, the war in Iraq and health care.

Illegal immigration remains a complex and nettlesome issue, requiring a thoughtful and measured response. That, by the way, was represented by the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive reform bill, which failed when Republicans, despite support from President Bush, refused to vote for it.

While illegal immigrants burden the social infrastructure -- schools, hospitals and housing -- they also revitalize many neighborhoods as they open new businesses and buy additional goods and services.

Many immigrant children will start elementary school with poor English skills. That forces teachers to work harder and places an undue burden on schools that are already overcrowded. But those Mexican and Guatemalan schoolchildren will learn to speak English quickly because language skills are more easily acquired in youth. (The relative youth of illegal immigrants also helps the United States solve a demographic problem: As the U.S. birth rate falls, we are aging as a nation. We need a steady supply of younger workers.)

At the very bottom of the wage scale, illegal immigrants probably take a few jobs away from uneducated and marginalized American laborers. But the effect is minimal, according to researchers. The most comprehensive analysis has found that illegal immigration depresses wages no more than 50 cents to 60 cents an hour -- hardly a figure that makes or breaks a budget.

Those subtleties were drowned out by the Know-Nothing demagoguery that dominated the Republican presidential campaign. But with the GOP race largely settled -- and with Obama and Clinton conscientiously courting Latino voters -- the rhetoric will likely moderate.

That's because voters didn't fall for the scapegoating premise of Tancredoism. It was a bad product, and few voters bought it.

About the Author: Cynthia Tucker is editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a syndicated columnist whose commentary appears in dozens of newspapers across the country.

02-11-2008, 02:12 AM

Immigration: Country club violations indicative

The Clarion-Ledger " February 11, 2008

Back in 1966, it took a high profile raid of a Mardi Gras party at the Jackson Country Club to break the back of the nation's last statewide prohibition law.

After lawmen raided the party - attended by many of the state's social elite and several statewide elected officials - the Legislature repealed the statewide liquor ban and stopped winking at illegal liquor sales and consumption.

Now, 42 years later, federal officials have for the second time in two years caught the Jackson Country Club knowingly employing illegal immigrants. In September 2006, the feds arrested 18 illegal immigrants employed at the swanky private club.

Later that same year, as many as 43 illegal immigrants were shown to have been in the club's employ. Even after being caught, the club continued to employ the workers - saying their presence was "necessary for business."

The Jackson Country Club situation points up the hypocrisy and political grandstanding that the illegal immigration issue produces in this state and nation. During the 2008 legislative session, another spate of punitive bills has been introduced - including some downright silly ones - to make the state appear "tough" on illegal immigration.

But at the same time, legislators know as did the golfers and socialites at Jackson Country Club that immigrant workers likely to be illegal were serving their food and drinks, mowing their lawns and performing any other manual labor they didn't want to do for themselves.

Illegal immigration is a problem - as former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott was pilloried for recognizing - that begs for a comprehensive national solution, not piecemeal state fixes that aren't enforced. Mississippi doesn't need any more "feel good" immigration laws.

The fact of life is that many Mississippians who talk the talk against illegal immigration don't walk the walk. They see nothing wrong with hiring immigrant laborers - but they operate in a "don't ask, don't tell" fog of hypocrisy.

The one part of the Jackson Country Club debacle that is laudable is the fact that the feds are levying a substantial fine of $214,000. Only by punishing employers for failing to document workers will the supply-and-demand economics of illegal immigration be thwarted.

But as the folks over at the golf course are asking themselves today: "Who will do all this work that we weren't able to hire Jackson-area citizens to do?" Who, indeed? And for what costs?

Legislators should ponder that question before raising their hands to pass pandering state immigration enforcement laws.

From Katrina debris removal to the poultry industry to construction to landscaping to other Mississippi industries, immigrants have stepped in to fill labor shortages that our own citizens won't fill. Don't think so? Ask the country club set what they think about it.

Read reactions to this story

newtrick wrote:

"Who will do all this work that we weren't able to hire Jackson-area citizens to do?" Talk about a hard question - and one that usually sends a much needed conversation in the wrong direction. Twenty years ago we answer the nobel call to increase adult literacy by saying, "without an education, the only job you'll be qualified for is to ask folks what size fries they want with their burger". We're doing much the same with drop-out prevention - a nobel call as well. Our "sticks" versus "carrots" approach does not affirm the dignity of work that does not require post-secondary education and/or training. The benefits of an educated, trainable workforce are obvious;

however, it's not others we need to change but ourselves - teach all children to read; offer schools so good people want to drop-in; and promote the dignity all work provides and the documented benefits to children in working parent families regardless of family income. A positive approach will bring positive results.

2/11/2008 1:53:56 AM

02-11-2008, 02:18 AM

Children last

The Baltimore Sun
February 11, 2008

The failure of Congress to reform U.S. immigration laws last summer was disappointing on many levels. Most troubling was the consequence of that failure for a vulnerable population: the 5 million children of illegal immigrants. People like the Diaz children of Windsor Mills - Edwin, 13, and Cynthia, 8.

As The Sun's Kelly Brewington reported recently, their mom was taken from home by immigration officers and deported to El Salvador, leaving her husband, a legal resident, to care for their children. It is hard to see how anyone gains from the government's action in this case, and easy to imagine the losses.

The nation's increasing emphasis on immigration enforcement lacks a strategy to cope with the moral consequences of that policy. Comprehensive immigration reform is dead for now, but simple changes in the law could at least give immigration judges greater flexibility to consider the effects on children when making deportation rulings.

Immigration enforcement is on the rise, especially workplace raids, which account for a small but rapidly increasing proportion of immigration arrests, according to a study for the National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute. It found that, on average, the arrest of 100 illegal immigrants in a workplace raid will affect 50 children - many of whom may be U.S. citizens.

Those children can be traumatized, impoverished, even physically abandoned when parents disappear. The vast majority of them will grow up in the U.S.

As Randy Capps of the Urban Institute points out, "The law, as written, leads to family separation," even as it does very little to deter illegal immigration. The situation was better before changes in the law greatly tied immigration judges' hands.

Now, only an illegal immigrant who has been in the country at least 10 years and can prove "extreme" hardship to a child under 18 has any chance of avoiding deportation. That standard is too tough, and it offers no hope to those facing automatic removal orders; they never get to see a judge at all.

Maryland has the 11th-highest total of illegal immigrants: 225,000 to 275,000, according to a 2006 estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. The need to deal sensibly and compassionately with them is one reason this page supported last year's immigration compromise.

We still hope for a wide-ranging solution to this vexing issue that goes far beyond the scattershot, punitive approach of many bills pending in the Maryland General Assembly. Absent that, Congress should restore judicial discretion in deportation hearings, if not out of compassion for illegal immigrants, then at least for the children's sake.

02-11-2008, 02:27 AM

Businesses need immigrant workers but extremists 'are stirring the pots of hatred'

By Tom Harvey
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 02/10/2008 07:06:28 AM MST

On the one hand, they want a legal immigrant work force in order to prosper or even to survive. On the other, they have been steamrolled by an opposition that crushed the recent proposal in Congress to reform the nation's immigration laws.

The federal raids took out about 10 percent of Swift's work force in Utah and five other states in December 2006. If that were a there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I moment for other Utah businesses, the reality is that the nation's wink-wink system of employing illegal
workers has changed little since then.

Indeed, that was unscored Thursday when immigration agents raided Universal Industrial Sales, Inc., in Lindon, and detained 50 undocumented workers, charged the metal fabrication business with haboring illegal aliens and arrested its human resources manager.

In the Swift case, court records show that the company dutifully filled out required forms known as I-9s when hiring employees. The company also had used a federal program under development called Basic Pilot, which was meant to help identify the illegal use of Social Security numbers. Workers were required to present a Social Security card and another form of government-issued ID with a matching photo. Beyond that, Swift was legally required only to keep the information in its files.

Records show that undocumented Swift workers simply purchased SSNs and IDs on the street for about $800, which easily got them work.

JBS Swift & Co., the new name of the company bought by the Brazilian meatpacker JBS S.A. in July, turned down several requests for interviews.

But experts argue that a meatpacking company the size of Swift had to have known whether it hired workers without proper documents.

"It stretches credulity to state they had no idea they had these workers," said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank.

For businesses such as construction, landscaping, agriculture, hospitality, meat processing and food services, hiring immigrants has become a matter of course. But with strenuous opposition to "amnesty" for the 12 million undocumented people already in the U.S. (an estimated 100,000 in Utah) stalling federal immigration reform or other reforms that might create a guest-worker program, Swift's labor problems are now widely shared by others.

"It's now much bigger than a meat-processing issue," said James Mintert, professor of agriculture economics at Kansas State University.
And if the Swift raids exposed the meatpacking industry's practice of hiring low-wage immigrants who used stolen or fake IDs to get jobs they could not have gotten legally, the aftermath also has raised plenty of questions about immigrant labor in Utah - and there appear to be few answers. Normally, business interests in Utah and nationally are politically powerful, but in the case of immigration-reform legislation they backed in Congress this year, they've found themselves overwhelmed. Utah's senators received perhaps 100 calls in opposition for every 10 in favor of the immigration-reform bill that failed to pass the Senate in June, said Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, the state's largest home builder.

"The reason that immigration reform has failed is that extreme elements are stirring the pots of hatred. [They] are anti-Hispanic, very vocal and very vindictive with these politicians," Ivory said. "A moderate, thoughtful and quiet voice that comes from business is not heard over that extreme voice that comes from the far right wing."

The business community wants to abide by the law, and it wants the nation to control its borders, he said. But that community also wants reform that provides an adequate skilled and unskilled work force, which has been a constant challenge in recent years.

In the past two decades, Utah's economy has gone through changes that have created a greater need for more low-skilled workers than a native-born population could or would want to fill, said Pamela Perlich of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah.

During that span, Utah saw a huge boom in commercial and residential construction - projects such as the LDS Church conference center, facilities for the 2002 Winter Olympics and the rebuilding of Interstate 15 and construction of TRAX light rail.

In addition, a demographic shift to a higher percentage of workers with four-year college degrees (10.2 percent in 1960, compared with 26.1 percent in 2000) meant more Utah-born workers landed higher-paying jobs.

"As more of our native-born population moves up the ladder, we still continue to have demand for people in tortilla factories or meatpacking plants or people to clean buildings or make beds in hotels," Perlich argues.

But there are plenty of people inside and outside the business world who don't buy that argument. Robert Wren, for one, thinks something more sinister is in play.

Wren is chairman of UFIRE, a Utah group advocating enforcement of the nation's existing immigration laws, and although he agrees that "business needs a work force," he argues that "what has happened is that having an illegal immigrant work force allows them to get a cheaper employee.

"They aren't willing to pay what the job should be paying to get an American to do it," he said. "And by hiring more and more illegal immigrants, we basically depress the wage rates in America."

Ivory and Perlich counter that it's not that simple and that there is no way to fill available jobs without resorting to immigrant labor. Economists, too, generally agree that the nation as a whole has benefitted from immigrant labor - but disagree on how much native-born, low-skilled workers who directly compete with immigrants have been hurt economically by the influx.

Regardless of who's right, Utah businesses have been lobbying Congress for reforms that would expand the number of visas available for workers, not only those in entry-level jobs but also those in highly skilled positions, such as the high-tech sector.

"Without effective immigration reform, there's going to be a huge shortage of labor for the construction industry," said Scott Parson, president of Staker & Parson Cos., a Salt Lake City sand and gravel, concrete and road construction company. He has been involved in the immigration question on behalf of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Ivory and others worry that with federal legislation stalled and a new presidential administration still a year away, the Utah Legislature might step into the void the way its counterparts have in a few other states, where laws against hiring illegal workers have been tightened and immigrants' use of public services has been restricted.

02-11-2008, 02:42 AM


Immigration and Reproductive Justice: The Basics

RH Reality Check
Posted February 8, 2008

Over the summer, the 110th Congress failed to push through flawed, yet essential legislation that would have moved the immigration debate forward. Despite this setback, comprehensive immigration reform will continue to be a key issue throughout future election seasons and legislative sessions.

Immigration is a multifaceted issue, but one component that should not be overlooked as progressives continue to work on this issue is the reproductive health of immigrant women.

About 36 million foreign-born people live in the United States as of 2005--12 percent of the U.S. population. Over half of these immigrants are from Latin America, just under one-third are from Asia, 14 percent are from Europe, and the remaining 6 percent are from Africa, North America, and elsewhere. Slightly less than 50 percent of these 36 million immigrants are women, and 95 percent of these women are of childbearing age.

Female immigrants, both documented and undocumented, often work in industries that are low-wage and do not offer health insurance. They may not speak English and are likely to have reduced access to culturally and linguistically competent reproductive health information and services. As a result, access to affordable, quality reproductive health care is of significant concern to these women.

A vocal anti-immigrant lobby has touted sweeping mischaracterizations about immigrants, including beliefs that immigrants do not contribute to the economy and that they are to blame for skyrocketing health care costs. Each of these assumptions is incorrect. Immigrants are net-contributors to the U.S. economy, including $7 billion annually to the Social Security Trust Fund alone, and they consume significantly less health care than native-born Americans.

A Progressive Agenda Connects Reproductive Justice with Immigrants' Rights

Reproductive justice involves more than the right to end a pregnancy. Safeguarding an individual's right to determine her or his own reproductive future is an integral part of an overall agenda to promote social justice. That vision includes the ability of all people, whether American-born or immigrant, to:

Become a parent and parent with dignity.
Determine whether or when to have children.
Have a healthy pregnancy.
Have healthy and safe families and relationships.
Rejecting the efforts of comprehensive immigration reform opponents to control the reproductive decisions of immigrant women is an important component of ensuring continued reproductive freedom for all Americans and the humanity of all immigrants. By investing in the reproductive health care needs of female immigrants, we ensure a society that is healthy, productive, and just.

Population Control Efforts Have Been Tied to Anti-Immigrant Sentiments in the Past

Racially restrictive immigration policies have peppered U.S. history. Some policies have tried to control the population's composition by barring admission to a number of women of childbearing age from specific countries or ethnic groups. The Page Act of 1875, for example, served to restrict the entry of "obnoxious" Asian individuals from entering the United States. The law claimed to deny entry to prostitutes and unskilled laborers but functioned primarily to prevent Asian women, including the wives of immigrants already living in the United States, from entering the country.

The early 1900s saw attempts at population control and social engineering by the eugenics movement. The philosophy behind the movement purported to improve the human race through reproductive interventions, including selective "breeding" and forced sterilization of "undesirable" populations. Even as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of Latinas, especially those of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, were sterilized in public hospitals following childbirth without their knowledge or fully-informed consent.

Anti-Immigrant Sentiments Threaten the Reproductive Rights of Immigrant Women Today

Even today, efforts to manipulate the composition of the U.S. population persist.

Anti-immigrant policies create barriers to immigrant women's reproductive health care

In most states, immigrants who have been in the United States for less than five years -- regardless of their legal status -- are denied Medicaid coverage for essential reproductive health care, such as prenatal care, despite the fact that they pay taxes and contribute to the economy. Only emergency services like labor and delivery are covered.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires that American citizens applying for or enrolled in Medicaid must present proof of citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or birth certificate, before receiving services. Although it does not disqualify documented immigrants who have met other eligibility requirements from receiving Medicaid coverage, the DRA has resulted in many eligible immigrants mistakenly thinking they have to be citizens in order to obtain services.

These legal barriers, combined with cultural and economic obstacles, have led to immigrant women receiving fewer basic reproductive health care services such as annual Pap smears, breast cancer screening, HIV/AIDS testing, and access to contraceptive options.

Right-wing rhetoric about immigrant women's reproductive decisions has been used to influence the recent immigration debate

Anti-immigrant activists have accused immigrants of sneaking across the border to have "anchor babies" in the United States so that the child can then sponsor the parent to live legally in the United States. The reality is that by law a person must be 21 years of age in order to sponsor a parent to obtain permanent legal residence.

Currently, parents may be separated from their children and deported to their country of origin at any moment, which causes great anxiety and stress for their American-born children who must choose between living with their parents and pursuing educational and economic opportunities. The fear of immigrant women giving birth to citizen babies led to the introduction of the Citizenship Reform Act of 2005, reintroduced this session as H.R. 133 with a companion bill called the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007 (H.R. 1940). These measures would flout the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright citizenship by denying citizenship to children whose parents are not citizens or permanent resident aliens.

The conservative think tank Center for Immigration Studies has published a report that argues that the "family values" of immigrants are not as strong as commonly believed, given that their out-of-wedlock birth rates are roughly equivalent to that of American citizens.
The implication is that any policies that make it easier for immigrants to enter the United States or become citizens will contribute to what conservatives see as the further erosion of so-called American family values.

This type of rhetoric is likely to resurface as Americans continue to debate our country's immigration policies. Progressives must be ready to identify these attacks and respond.

Organizations Working on Immigration and Reproductive Rights

The National Coalition for Immigrant Women's Rights is comprised of a number of organizations that are working together to support comprehensive immigration reform and social justice for all immigrants. Founding members include:

Legal Momentum

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women

This fact sheet was created and originally published by the Center for American Progress.

02-11-2008, 02:47 AM

Report: Conflicts stymie U.S.-Canada border teams

Problems with communication, carriage of firearms, jurisdiction impede efforts

By DEAN BEEBY The Canadian Press
Mon. Feb 11 - 6:19 AM

OTTAWA " A tangle of conflicting laws on both sides of the border is tying the hands of joint Canada-U.S. border squads, undermining efforts to nab international criminals, says a newly released report.

Team members can't radio one another. They have to surrender their sidearms when crossing into the other country. And they're forbidden from crossing the Canada-U.S. boundary except at official border stations, even though criminals prefer the isolated points in between.

"Communication among partners and the co-ordination of activities has not been fully achieved," says the document, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

"Legislative issues pertaining to the carriage of firearms across the border and to the jurisdiction of law enforcement personnel, combined with the lack of enforcement resources, mostly on the Canadian side, are impediments to the pursuit of criminals or suspects across the border."

The censored internal report, prepared by the Public Works Department, examines the first five years of the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams, or so-called IBETs, which expanded nationally in April 2002.

The teams include RCMP officers, Canadian and U.S. border guards, American immigration and customs officers, and the U.S. coast guard.

The Mounties, the lead agency for Canada, have committed 150 officers and $25 million a year to the program, which traces its roots to 1996 when officers in British Columbia began working closely with their counterparts in Washington State.

There now are 23 IBET teams situated along 15 regions of the Canada-U.S. border, poised to catch drug smugglers, illegal immigrants and terrorists. An estimated 240 crime groups use the border for illegal activities.

The evaluation of the IBETs, completed in late 2006, found a raft of problems, including incompatible radios that won't communicate with equipment from the other side of the border.

The radio problem is partly legal: a cat's cradle of federal, state and provincial laws require special licensing to use designated frequencies on each side of the border. There are also technical hurdles, which a stopgap solution in place since 2002 has failed to resolve.

Gun laws in each country also effectively prevent officers from routinely carrying their duty sidearms and similar weapons into the other country.

Canadian laws are so strict, in fact, that an RCMP officer who is given extraordinary dispensation to carry a sidearm into the United States must forfeit the weapon at the Canadian border on re-entering Canada.

Laws in each country also force all IBET officers to check in at official border stations before crossing into the other country, forbidding them to cross at isolated areas preferred by criminals.

The hurdles are in sharp contrast to Europe, where seven countries " Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria " have signed the Prum Convention, which enables close police co-operation, including the cross-border carriage of weapons.

The RCMP director of the IBET teams cautions there are no quick solutions to the problems cited by the evaluation.

A $1-million, year-long pilot project to be announced next month will field-test a new radio system that will harmonize equipment and avoid the legal quagmire of telecommunications laws, said Insp. Warren Coons.

"We believe that the legal issues won't be a part of it, and that the technical issues will be resolved as well, as far as taking disparate radio systems and matching them up and allowing us to communicate with each other," he said in an interview.

Talks are also underway between Washington and Ottawa to draft a policing treaty that would resolve many of the jurisdictional issues.

02-11-2008, 02:52 AM


Valley Reacts to Mexican President's U.S. Visit

By: Charlene Lee
Feb 11, 2008

The president of Mexico made his first trip to the United States since he was elected into office.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon touched down in New York on Sunday, and is expected to make several stops across the country.

He also has plans to meet with Governor Schwarzenegger during his trip.

Some say coming to the U.S. during an election year is good timing on the part of the Mexican President.

"His visit can push immigration to the top of the agenda and force the candidates to talk about it. And he can showcase the benefits and the hard work of the Mexicans that are here in the U.S.," said Camille Cook, an Immigration Attorney in Fresno.

Some Valley residents also believe President Calderon's visit to the U.S. will be a step in the right direction for the immigration debate.

"I think he has an opportunity to let people know he cares about them, and that he is trying to give them freedom to come into our country," said Fresno resident Johnny Rey Barreno.

President Calderon will not be meeting with President Bush or any of the remaining presidential candidates, but he is expected to speak about issues such as border control, deportations and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

02-11-2008, 08:15 AM
Mother of two happy to be alive after losing legs in accident
Register Staff Writer
Thursday, February 07, 2008
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The Napa woman whose legs were crushed when she was hit by a drunk driver Sunday night has a long, tough road to recovery.

Doctors at Queen of the Valley Medical Center operated on Lilian Clark the night of the crash, amputating both of her legs just above the knee, according to her husband, John Clark.
Clark, 38, is the mother of two boys, 4 and 6. She was pinned between the rear ***per of her car and a 1990 Plymouth driven by Francisco Pacheco, 24, of Napa.

The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. Sunday on South Terrace Drive, north of Shetler Avenue.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/hang.gifAfter the crash, Pacheco put his car in reverse and sped away from the scene. Neighbors followed him to his house about a block away, where they held him until police arrived and arrested Pacheco on felony DUI, hit and run and driving without a valid license. Pacheco has a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction from January 2007. He is on probation.

He is being held in the county jail on $100,000 bail.

Pacheco does not have auto insurance.

"I have no idea at this time what will be involved in Lili's recovery. I know there will be months, maybe years of rehab, and she will have to be fitted for prosthesis," her husband said.

A fund has been set up to help the family with medical expenses and to bring Lilian Clark's family from Chile, where they live, so they can help out with the children and their family member's recovery.

Donations may be made at Washington Mutual Bank, 699 Trancas St., Napa, 94558. The account is under the name Lilian Clark and Children.

Clark said that on the night of the accident, his wife had double-parked her car and was putting their sons, Jake and Sam, in their child safety seats.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gif"She went around to the back of the car to get to the driver's door. I was right there. I said see you later,' and within a split second I heard tires screeching and saw this car come roaring down the street about 50 miles an hour and just slam into the back of Lili's car, pinning her between the two ***pers," Clark said.

With the impact of Pacheco's car, John Clark said, "The trunk popped open, and she flew inside. Then, the guy threw his car in reverse and left. Lili just fell to the ground in a heap. The neighbors ran out of the house. I was yelling Call 911.' They said they already had and asked me which way the guy went. They followed him in their car and found his car parked in front of his house down the street.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gif"I was holding Lili. She was conscious. All she kept saying was Check the kids.' Her legs were crushed, and she was just worried about the kids," he said. "The kids were crying and saying What happened to Mommy?' The neighbors helped me and we kept the kids from seeing what happened. Just horrific, horrific is the only way I can describe it."

:mad:Doctors amputated her legs that night. "There was no way they could save her legs." She had over 60 breaks in her bones, Clark said.

Clark said his wife had undergone her third operation on Tuesday. "She knows what has happened. She's such a strong woman, I just can't believe it. Like I said, her main concern is the kids.

"They took the tubes out Tuesday and she got to see the kids. They need to know that mom is going to make it. Lili is in good spirits. She feels very fortunate to be alive. That woman is just remarkable," Clark said.

Lilian Clark is from Chile.

"I met her when I was visiting friends in Chile in 1996. We struck up a friendship which blossomed. I tried everything to get her a visa to live in America. Nothing worked. I was finally successful in getting a fiancé visa. She came to Napa in 1999, and we got married," Clark said.

Lilian Clark had worked as temporary office employee. More recently, she has been a stay-at-home mom.

02-11-2008, 08:21 AM

Immigration hold placed on driver in injury crash

Victim lost both legs from crash; husband founded Napa's Minuteman chapter

Napa Valley Register
Saturday, February 09, 2008

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gif Federal immigration officials have asked that Napa authorities hold without bail the man charged with felony DUI and hit and run in an east Napa accident that resulted in the amputation of a woman's legs above the knee.

Francisco Pacheco, 24, is in Napa County jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold. ICE seeks holds on criminal suspects who the agency believes may be in the United States illegally. Such holds may result in deportation.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifOn Feb., 3, Pacheco, who was intoxicated, was driving his 1990 Plymouth on South Terrace Drive when he plowed into the back of Lilian Clark's vehicle, which was doubled-parked.

Clark, 38, had just finished securing her two sons, 4 and 6, in their car seats and was walking around the back of her car to get to the driver's door. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/excl.gifPacheco hit the rear ***per of Clark's car, pinning her legs between her ***per and his front ***per.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gifPacheco, who is on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction, fled. He was chased by Clark's neighbors, who found him about a block away and held him until police arrived.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/banghead.gifIn addition to the current charges and the 2007 DUI conviction, Pacheco was picked up last July for misdemeanor DUI. That case is pending, according to Napa County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/angry.gifPacheco had no insurance and does not have a valid driver's license.

If found guilty of the charges from Sunday's incident, Pacheco is looking at a maximum of six years in state prison, Goold said.

John Clark, the husband of the victim, has been active in the movement to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

In 2006, Clark started a Napa-based chapter of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, a group that has observed border patrols and advocated more strict enforcement of immigration laws. He said his inspiration to form the group stemmed from the three-year effort he went through to legally bring Lilian, then his fiancé, to the United States from her native Chile.

"I am passionate about people coming to this country legally. I certainly learned that with the battles I fought to bring Lili here," he said.

Clark said his wife is improving each day.

:("I took the kids to see her. They know that something terrible happened to their mom because they were in the car when she was hit. When we went to the hospital, she showed them she didn't have any legs. My son asked her, Why did the bad guy take your legs?'" But Lili is such a remarkable person. She is so strong. She is more worried about the kids than herself."

Dan Johnson, the Napa County Department of Corrections acting director, said when an inmate is placed on Immigration and Custom Enforcement hold, he is interviewed by ICE to determine if he is in the country illegally. If ICE, which is under Homeland Security, determines the inmate is here illegally or violated his or her visa, a deportation hearing is held.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_aaargh.gif"If it is ruled the person is to be deported, the individual is sent to a penal institution in Arizona to await for transport to their native country," Johnson said.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/excl.gifJohnson said if the person is in custody at the jail and a criminal complaint has been filed, the deportation issue is dealt with after the criminal case is adjudicated.

02-11-2008, 12:14 PM
Those children can be traumatized, impoverished, even physically abandoned when parents disappear. The vast majority of them will grow up in the U.S.

As Randy Capps of the Urban Institute points out, "The law, as written, leads to family separation," even as it does very little to deter illegal immigration. The situation was better before changes in the law greatly tied immigration judges' hands.

Now, only an illegal immigrant who has been in the country at least 10 years and can prove "extreme" hardship to a child under 18 has any chance of avoiding deportation. That standard is too tough, and it offers no hope to those facing automatic removal orders; they never get to see a judge at all.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Maryland has the 11th-highest total of illegal immigrants</span>: 225,000 to 275,000, according to a 2006 estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. The need to deal sensibly and compassionately with them is one reason this page supported last year's immigration compromise.

We still hope for a wide-ranging solution to this vexing issue that goes far beyond the scattershot, punitive approach of many bills pending in the Maryland General Assembly. Absent that, Congress should restore judicial discretion in deportation hearings, if not out of compassion for illegal immigrants, then at least for the children's sake.

Isn't Maryland one of the states that offered drivers license to undocumented? Along with North Carolina who is also recognizing the same problem.

I totally do not understand this so called punitive approach as it is called. If the family needs to be kept together, then the husband should take the children and follow his wife. isnt that what most people would do??

If the wife was put in jail here for a crime.. would that not seperate the family . so what is their argument :confused: justifiable stupidity or what?

02-11-2008, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by 4now:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Those children can be traumatized, impoverished, even physically abandoned when parents disappear. The vast majority of them will grow up in the U.S.

As Randy Capps of the Urban Institute points out, "The law, as written, leads to family separation," even as it does very little to deter illegal immigration. The situation was better before changes in the law greatly tied immigration judges' hands.

Now, only an illegal immigrant who has been in the country at least 10 years and can prove "extreme" hardship to a child under 18 has any chance of avoiding deportation. That standard is too tough, and it offers no hope to those facing automatic removal orders; they never get to see a judge at all.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Maryland has the 11th-highest total of illegal immigrants</span>: 225,000 to 275,000, according to a 2006 estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. The need to deal sensibly and compassionately with them is one reason this page supported last year's immigration compromise.

We still hope for a wide-ranging solution to this vexing issue that goes far beyond the scattershot, punitive approach of many bills pending in the Maryland General Assembly. Absent that, Congress should restore judicial discretion in deportation hearings, if not out of compassion for illegal immigrants, then at least for the children's sake.

Isn't Maryland one of the states that offered drivers license to undocumented? Along with North Carolina who is also recognizing the same problem.

I totally do not understand this so called punitive approach as it is called. If the family needs to be kept together, then the husband should take the children and follow his wife. isnt that what most people would do??

If the wife was put in jail here for a crime.. would that not seperate the family . so what is their argument :confused: justifiable stupidity or what? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Until recently, there were 8 states that gave illegals drivers' licenses. Since the Sptizer debacle was made public and Hillary flip flopped on the issues, only 4 remain. Those four states are currently reviewing and considering revocation of this catastrophic idiocy.

As for separation of families:

ITA. Of course the fact that millions of them have "separated their families" by leaving them behind in Mexico is always negated such as the one holed up in the Aldaberto church, no LaRaza outrage that this so called "mother" hasn't seen her 3 children in SEVEN YEARS http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gif. Many start NEW FAMILIES after arriving here of course there is NEVER any mention of that fact either.

Separating families only counts when the US is deporting an illegal alien mother who has deliberately given birth after coming to this country in order to USE that child as a meal ticket/welfare recipient. The reality of the situation is they don't want to be separated from that monthly check and link card, the children are merely pawns in their scheme to garner media sympathy.

That being said:

Notice that the perpetually criminal drunk driver who caused the woman to lose both her legs status is FINALLY be checked. But of course we already know that he's an illegal alien from Mexico.

Take care http://www.ilw.com/corporate/angel.gif

02-11-2008, 05:12 PM

Manager Crescenciano Montiel supervises the installation of a fountain at the Valle Paraiso water park in Ixmiquilpan, Mexico. "Little by little, things have improved" in Mexico, he says.

Construction workers apply stucco at the 7,000-home Paseos de San Juan housing development in Zumpango, Mexico. The country is experiencing a housing boom as lenders make it easier for the growing middle class to get mortgages.

Shopping malls have multiplied: A wasteland once used for evaporating chemicals from groundwater is now the site of the Las Americas mall in the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec.

In Mexico, an energized economy raises hopes

By Chris Hawley, USA TODAY
February 11, 2008

IXMIQUILPAN, Mexico " As Mexicans risk their lives to illegally emigrate to the USA and shootouts among drug lords continue to dominate the news, it's understandable why Mexico might be perceived as a place with little hope.
Yet in places such as this tourist town that caters to the burgeoning middle class outside Mexico City, many Mexicans say their future looks brighter than it has in generations.

On weekends, a line of Chevrolet hatchbacks and other inexpensive new cars snakes into parking lots at the town's water-slide parks. There, tourists munch on $2 corn dogs, snap pictures with digital cameras and spend some of their modest incomes. Every year, their numbers grow, the town's tourism department says. And every year, they have a little more to spend.

"The last five or six years have been good for Mexico," says Crescenciano Montiel, 34, manager of the Valle Paraiso water park. "Little by little, things have improved."

Such stories abound, involving Mexicans of all income levels. The economy is growing steadily, and poverty rates are declining significantly. Crime is down, public health and education levels are improving, and Mexico's democracy is more robust than at any time in its history.

"The country is stronger than ever," says Leon Krauze, a political author and television host in Mexico. "We have managed to overcome many of the political and economic tempests that used to threaten us."

As the debate over illegal immigration percolates in the USA, there are hopes on both sides of the border that Mexico's improving economy eventually will provide enough jobs to encourage significant numbers of Mexicans to stay and prosper in their country.

There are signs that's starting to happen.

The brighter economic outlook in Mexico is one reason the number of migrants caught by U.S. border agents has declined 20% during the past year or so, although tighter border enforcement and the slowing U.S. economy also are factors, says Wayne Cornelius, a University of California, San Diego, specialist in Mexican migration.

Continued improvements in Mexico would be good for the U.S. economy, says Eduardo Lor*a, an economist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Mexico bought $126 billion in U.S. goods between January and November last year, up 25% since 2004. Mexico likely would continue to buy more if its economy continued to improve, he says.

Reduced Mexican emigration and an increasingly stable government here also could ease turmoil along the U.S.-Mexican border, Krauze says. Immigrant smugglers have brought violence to the U.S. side, engaging in shootouts in the Arizona desert, attacking Border Patrol agents and kidnapping each other's clients on U.S. soil.

"In terms of the tensions that are very evident as far as migration and the turmoil along the border, I would hope that, in a decade, if Mexico continues along this path and begins to see these microeconomic benefits, the United States would see a reduction in those areas," Krauze says.

For now, though, problems remain.

Corruption and a feeble legal system are constraints on growth here, and there is still an acute shortage of well-paying jobs. And Mexico's dependence on the United States for exports and cash remittances could leave it especially vulnerable to a U.S. recession.

Even so, Mexicans such as Montiel cite increasing examples of how their country is undergoing a slow but dramatic transformation.

Born into a farming family of 14 siblings in Ixmiquilpan, 70 miles north of Mexico City, Montiel says he could have headed to the USA like many of his relatives and neighbors.

Instead he went to college with a small scholarship, got a business degree and worked at a bank and insurance company. Montiel and his wife have one child, a 2-year-old daughter, a reflection of how Mexican families have become smaller in recent years, thanks in part to better planning. The fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman, on par with the U.S. rate and just enough to keep population levels stable.

In 2003, Montiel persuaded his family to build a water park on a corner of their 25-acre farm, using water from a thermal spring formerly used for irrigation. The park has five swimming pools, three water slides, a restaurant and a nine-room inn, and is visited by 800-1,500 people a month.

"We've been subsidizing it with our crops, but I think this year we're going to break even," Montiel says as he supervises installation of a faux-rock fountain topped with a fiberglass dolphin. "This is going to be the new family business."

A stabilizing economy

Such displays of entrepreneurship and optimism were uncommon a decade ago, when Mexico was reeling from an economic meltdown and an armed uprising in the southern state of Chiapas. Banks collapsed nationwide under a mountain of unpaid loans.

Politically, Mexico was monopolized by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had used payoffs, intimidation and election fraud to rule the nation under a virtual one-party system since 1929.

But change was in the air.

The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement opened a huge market for Mexican-made goods, spurring the construction of factories along the U.S. border.

Meanwhile, a new generation of government technocrats, many of them Ivy League graduates, began to tame the runaway public spending and inflation that had locked the Mexican economy in bust-and-boom cycles for generations.

In 2000, the conservative Vicente Fox became the first president from outside the PRI in seven decades. Under Fox and his successor, Felipe Calderón, inflation has averaged about 4% a year with no major financial meltdowns.

"The stability of the past decade-plus has allowed financial markets and banks to grow up. Mortgages exist now. People can get loans. There has been a birth of a middle class in Mexico," says Gray Newman, head economist for Latin America at Morgan Stanley investment bank in New York.

Economic growth has been modest, averaging about 3% per year, but the greatest improvement in living standards among Mexico's 103 million people has been seen among those of humble means " surprising, perhaps, given the historic gap between rich and poor.

"All of the international indicators show improvement," Lor*a says. "And it's not just improvement in poverty. There's improvement in equality as well."

Mexico's economy created roughly 950,000 jobs last year, according to the government.

That is a major improvement from a decade ago, when job growth was nearly flat, but still not quite enough to absorb the 1.1 million Mexicans who entered the workforce in 2007.

That disparity, plus the fact U.S. jobs often pay five times as much as those in Mexico, is a major reason why migrants continue crossing into the USA, Newman says.

However, if Mexico's economy keeps growing at similar or slightly better rates, and if population growth continues to level out, then within a generation there might not be enough working-age people to fill its labor force, says Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, a Mexico specialist at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.

Mexico "could go over the next 20 years from being an exporter of people to an importer of people," Martinez-Diaz says. "That would be a pretty remarkable change."

The emerging suburbs

Perhaps nothing is more emblematic of Mexico's transformation than the rows of identical, low-cost houses growing like corn on the dusty plain in places such as Zumpango and Tecamac, north of Mexico City.

At the 7,000-home Paseos de San Juan subdivision, construction workers move in waves across the ground, seemingly unable to meet demand fast enough " one team pouring concrete, others applying stucco, running cable and installing windows.

At the sales office, former schoolteacher Manuel Navarro waited to pick up the keys to his new retirement home.

Navarro built his first house the traditional Mexican way: He saved a little money, bought some blocks and mortar and built it himself, one room at a time, over 15 years. Mexican cities are full of such half-finished homes.

Navarro's new home " a two-bedroom, two-story concrete town house " cost him $41,200 with financing through a housing fund for government employees. "Who wants to wait 15 years for a house anymore?" he says.

In all, 1.2 million homes were purchased using mortgages in 2007, up from 476,788 in 2000. Most of the mortgages were arranged through Infonavit, a government-backed fund that has doubled its lending in seven years.

Navarro credits Mexico's move to a multiparty democracy for the change.

"When the PRI was in power, you could get housing credit from the government, but only if you were a party member or from a PRI town," he says. "Things are more transparent now, more open to everybody."

After decades in which big-ticket items had to be purchased with cash, credit is available for other purchases at terms more typical of developed countries.

At Abamex Chevrolet in Mexico City, supermarket clerk David Galvez, 20, and girlfriend Priscilla Torres were shopping for their first new car.

"I've pretty much decided on that one," he says, pointing to a burgundy hatchback called the C2, which sells for $7,300.

Chevrolet was offering interest-free, 30-month financing to any buyer who supplied a 35% down payment.

A rapid transformation

At places such as Las Americas shopping mall, which opened two years ago on the site of an old chemical factory in the suburb of Ecatepec, many of the shoppers are a generation or two removed from peasants who lived the same way for centuries.

Its movie theater buzzes with people lining up to see the latest Will Smith flick, families shop for puppies at the pet store, and the food court is full of shoppers eating McDonald's and Chinese fast food.

The transformation has been so rapid that some people " particularly those who lived through economic meltdowns in 1982 and 1994 " fear the prosperity could vanish just as quickly.

"People have houses and cars and things, but they're in debt," says Susana Hernández, 34, between bites of an ice cream cone in the food court of the mall.

"I'm afraid a lot of people are going to be out on the street because they don't know how to manage credit," she says.

Some Mexicans are cynical about progress because of their country's long history of high hopes followed by devastating crises, Krauze says.

"We are a country that loves its historical scars," Krauze says. "People don't listen to the good side of the story."

Crime may be an example of how public perceptions have yet to catch up with reality.

The nationwide crime rate has been dropping steadily since 2001, according to the independent Citizens' Institute for Studies on Insecurity. The murder rate has fallen 23% during the past decade.

Such good news, though, has been overshadowed by the drug war in cities along the U.S. border.

Beheadings, shootouts in daylight and a wave of police killings have convinced many Mexicans their country is not safe.

"The middle class has grown, and the political situation is a little better," says César Sumano, whose wife was carjacked outside a grocery store last year.

"But it's still a hard country to live in. We've got a long way to go."

Hawley is Latin America correspondent for The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY. Contributing: Brian Winter in McLean, Va.

02-11-2008, 05:18 PM


Guest Voz: Barack Obama Promises to Address Immigration Reform in 2009

From the blog:
Latina Lista
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
By Barack Obama

Last fall, Latina Lista sent an invitation to the major presidential candidates of both parties to "blog" on Latina Lista as a way to address our readers. As the campaigns are regrouping after what can only be described as a successful night for both of the Democratic frontrunners during the Super Tuesday elections, one Democratic candidate, who has yet to address Latina Lista readers, decided to forego some sleep and contribute a post.

By now in this campaign season, Senator Barack Obama is a familiar face. This Illinois Senator with a degree from Harvard was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He spent his early days after law school graduation practicing civil rights law and teaching constitutional law.

His experience in grassroots organizing helped lead to his bid for the Illinois State Senate where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Today, Senator Obama shares his vision of the future and what he plans to bring to all the people who call the United States home.

I want to thank Latina Lista for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the blog and to talk about change in this great country with the Latina community.

Since the day I was born, I have been surrounded by strong women. I was raised by a single mother, have married a strong independent woman who has blessed me with two beautiful girls and now I'm trying to raise them to pursue their dreams no matter how big, and become future leaders.

As a son, husband and parent I am well aware that women are the core of family. Mothers, wives and sisters are the ones who protect us, care for us, teach us and encourage us.

I also know that for women of all backgrounds, keeping their families together is a top priority. It is no secret that Latino families are being separated from their families every day in this country because of raids and deportation policies that do not take family and humanity into account when trying to enforce laws.

That's why when I'm President, I will put comprehensive immigration reform back on the nation's agenda during my first year in office, and I will not rest until it is passed once and for all.

We must create an immigration system that strengthens our security while strengthening our families and reaffirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants -- a nation dedicated to giving weary travelers from around the world the chance to achieve their dreams.

That's the America that answered my father's letters and his prayers and brought him here from Kenya so long ago.

But the struggle does not end there.

At 21 percent, the national Latino high school dropout rate is more than twice the national average. Once more, under current law students who do excel in and out of school that were brought here as undocumented immigrant children have no hope of attending college with affordable in-state tuition.

We need to close the achievement gap between Latino and other students, reduce the high school dropout rate, and finally enact the DREAM Act so that every child can have the chance to attend college.

An Obama administration will also reflect the great diversity of our nation, and I'm proud that my campaign team is similarly diverse. I am lucky to have the support of Gloria Romero, Democratic Majority Leader of the California State Senate, Maria Elena Durazo, Rep. Linda Sanchez and Rep. Xavier Becerra. Federico Peña, former Energy Secretary, serves as a National Campaign Co-Chair.

I have also worked closely with Congressman Luis Gutierrez here in Illinois and consider him an amazing leader in the struggle to pass immigration reform and ensure that immigration application fees are reasonable and fair.

While we recognize our diversity of background and experiences, what makes this country great are the common goals and dreams we as Americans share. We all fundamentally want the same things in life: the best opportunities for our children, a decent job and the knowledge that our government will not stand by while families are being separated, while people lose their livelihoods and their homes because of an illness their insurance will not cover.

It is not only important, but urgent, that we come together this election and ensure that as one nation, we change the direction of politics in this country. Let us together bring about a politics of hope and change.

02-11-2008, 05:35 PM

President Felipe Calderón (Photo: Guillermo Arias/Associated Press)

Mexican President's Whirlwind Visit

By Fernanda Santos
February 11, 2008, 6:27 pm
New York Times

One very rushed president, 50 community leaders, dozens of concerns and under 30 minutes of face time: that, in a nutshell, is what characterized the meeting this afternoon between President Felipe Calderón of Mexico and a group of Mexican activists from across the New York region, held behind closed doors at the New York Marriott Downtown Hotel in Lower Manhattan.

The encounter had a decidedly grassroots tone, which, from the looks of his official agenda, seems to be exactly the tone that Mr. Calderón is trying to strike during his first official visit to the United States since he took office on Dec. 1, 2006.

The agenda includes meetings with Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York and community leaders here, in Chicago and in Los Angeles, as well as a stop in Boston tonight for a speech at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where Mr. Calderón received a master's degree. Mr. Calderón arrived on Sunday and his last official engagement is on Thursday, in California.

This afternoon, he did not speak with the reporters from Spanish-language newspapers and television stations based in New York and Mexico, some of whom arrived at the hotel three hours before the start of the meeting at 1:30 p.m. In fact, before Mr. Calderón's motorcade pulled up, hotel security kicked the reporters onto the cold street and police officers pushed them to the corner. "Presidente! Presidente!" the reporters screamed and Mr. Calderón responded with a quick wave of the hand before he disappear behind the hotel's revolving doors.

Joel Magallán, executive director of Asociación Tepeyac de New York, an education and advocacy group, called the meeting "una entrada," or an entryway, meaning it was not meaningful enough to produce any results, but could mark the start of a relationship.

"Yes, the meeting was important so he could see the faces of the people who have been working for the Mexicans in the United States," Mr. Magallán said in Spanish after the encounter. "But we didn't have time to talk. There were a lot of people, and we all had a lot to say, and there was no time to say it all."

Mr. Magallán and a handful of the other activists who attended the event had two minutes each to express their concerns to Mr. Calderón a diverse roster that ranged from the reverberations of tighter immigration enforcement within the Mexican community to the long delays Mexicans in New York face when applying for a new passport (six months on average, a consular official said) and the need for those who have become American citizens to register to vote.

"Those who have the ability, that they register to vote, that they exercise their right to vote so that they can influence the future of this country," said Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, who attended the meeting and shared Mr. Calderón's position on electoral participation with reporters afterward.

Mr. Calderón didn't make many promises; mostly, he just listened, the community leaders said. Manuel Guerrero, a union organizer and a member of the Mexican Institute Abroad, founded by the administration of former Mexican President Vicente Fox in 2006 to build relations among Mexican groups in the United States, said that when asked about illegal immigration, Mr. Calderón told the audience that America's "conservative right has not succeeded in pushing its anti-immigrant agenda."

"He said that what happened to Tom Tancredo was an example of that," Mr. Guerrero said, referring to Mr. Tancredo's failed bid to galvanize support for the Republican presidential nomination on a platform that revolved almost exclusively around the issue of illegal immigration.
Mr. Calderón also talked about the inter-dependence that has characterized U.S.-Mexico relations, with Mexico providing much of the low-wage labor needed in the United States and the United States providing Mexicans who are here the opportunity to work and sending billions of dollars each year to support their families back home.

To alleviate the delays at the consulate, Mr. Calderon announced that two mobile consular offices will be put in operation starting Tuesday, so that Mexicans who live outside of New York City will no longer have to come to the city for services, like getting a new passport or arranging to transport a dead relative for burial back home.

Norberta D*az of Asociación de Mujeres Poblanas, a Brooklyn-based organization that educates Mexican women about America's health and educational systems, said that she understands if Mr. Calderón can't influence immigration policies in the United States. "But he can apply pressure," she said.

"We're not asking for amnesty. All we ask for is reform," she added. "We hope he won't do like President Fox did when Bush came to Mexico, when he had this big party with ranchera music and food. When he hosts a visit from the next president of the United States, we hope that Calderón talks about immigration and shows that he's interested, that he cares about what happens to the Mexicans who are here."

02-11-2008, 05:59 PM
This PYGMY needs to round up his illegal aliens and their anchors, fix his freaking economy and stay the hell out of America's business. WE DO NOT NEED OR WANT MEXICO'S POVERTY STRICKEN MASSES.


02-11-2008, 06:03 PM

Easy on the bold please, per Sam.

02-11-2008, 06:14 PM
STFU AND MYOB PER ME . . Please . . http://www.ilw.com/corporate/stupid.gif . . http://www.ilw.com/corporate/ciappa.gif

02-11-2008, 06:23 PM

Uh Oh...Foul language, whether it is in text form or full length wording, it is still foul language.

Please note the above Sam .

02-11-2008, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by Sprint_girl07:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">STFU AND MYOB PER ME . . Please

Uh Oh...Foul language, whether it is in text form or full length wording, it is still foul language.

Please note the above Sam . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really? Tsk . . such a dirty mind, there's nothing foul about telling someone to Shut the Freak Up and Mind Your Own Business. . . http://www.ilw.com/corporate/crazy.gif, which BTW (that's short for BY THE WAY http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clown.gif) the same applies to you. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gif

See ya tag team http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alien.gifs]

Time to PM each other with the next lame harrassment schemehttp://www.ilw.com/corporate/beatdeadhorse5.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/go.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/go.gif

02-11-2008, 06:39 PM

Is that what you've done all your life - scream harrassment?

BTW, don't saddle a dead horse.

02-11-2008, 06:43 PM
QUOTE]Originally posted by explora:

spam (v)

espamear, amorcillar, amorongar


un bombardeo (m) de grandes cantidades de correo con el propósito de bloquear el servidor, espam (m), morcilla (f), moronga (f)

Please don't spam!
No spam por favor!

Don't be a spammer!
No seas un spammer!

Please don't duplicate newspaper articles into various threads of our ilw discussion board.
No dupliques por favor los art*culos period*sticos en los varios hilos de rosca de nuestro tablero de la discusión del ilw.[/QUOTE]

Originally posted by explora:

This is soooooo good!!!



I haven't watched, but since you think its so good I think it's only right that I copy it to all of your threads. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/biggrin5.gif[/QUOTE]Originally posted by explora:

This is soooooo good!!!



02-11-2008, 07:00 PM

.9 quake hits U.S.-Mexico border region

Updated 6h 56m ago

CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) " A magnitude-4.9 earthquake rocked the northern Baja California region of Mexico near the U.S. border on Monday, just days after the region was hit by a magnitude-5.4 temblor, authorities said.
Monday's quake, which occurred around 10:30 a.m. PT, was centered about 20 miles southeast of the border town of Mexicali at a depth of nearly 4 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was 23 miles south-southeast of the U.S. city of Calexico.

The magnitude was revised down from an initial magnitude of 5.1.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries on the U.S. side, according to the Imperial County Sheriff's Department and Calexico police.

The quake was felt in California in parts of San Diego, Imperial and Orange counties and as far away as Yuma, Ariz., about 50 miles from Calexico, according to the USGS.

Early Saturday, the Mexicali area was shaken by a magnitude-5.4 quake that shut down factories and knocked out electricity for 400,000 people.

The latest temblor was likely an aftershock of the magnitude-5.4 event last week, said Julie Martinez, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

A swarm of smaller quakes, ranging from magnitudes 2.5 to 2.9, preceded Monday's temblor. At least five aftershocks were recorded including one registering a magnitude-3.6, the USGS said.

02-11-2008, 07:04 PM
I wonder if places like Westmont IL get quakes?

02-11-2008, 09:10 PM
http://www.ilw.com/corporate/iamwithstupid.gif http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alien.gif

Forecast Conditions High/Low ?F Precip.
Chance High Temperatures Low Temperatures Precipitation Wind Speed
Feb 11 Snow Late
N/A/12? 80%

High not valid after 2pm
Feb 12 Snow
21?/9? 100%

Plan Your Escape From the Cold
Feb 13 Partly Cloudy
21?/17? 20%

Feb 14 Partly Cloudy
36?/19? 10%

Feb 15 Partly Cloudy
22?/7? 20%

Plan Your Escape From the Cold
Feb 16 Partly Cloudy
23?/15? 10%

Feb 17 Mostly Cloudy
28?/22? 20%

Feb 18 AM Clouds / PM Sun
29?/15? 20%

Learn How Cold Affects Your Health
Feb 19 Partly Cloudy
24?/14? 20%

Feb 20 Partly Cloudy
32?/19? 10%

Last Updated Feb 11, 11:06 PM CT Printable Forecast

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02-11-2008, 09:13 PM
Duh Bev!

02-12-2008, 01:59 AM

Group to educate on immigration


A band of immigration activists, including New College students and alumni, are forming a local immigrant rights coalition aimed largely at educating the community on the controversial topic.

"The most important part will probably be to educate people about the issue and form some sort of consensus on how to pressure either local leaders or whoever's involved to do something about the issue," said Jose Godinez Samperio, an organizer of the group, dubbed the Manasota Immigrant Rights Coalition. "We want to have a very well spread-out movement."

Samperio and New College alumnus Adam Roca, among other campus activists, have picked up on the issue locally, planning protests and forums as comprehensive immigration reform has repeatedly been debated in Congress.

Most recently, they protested an appearance in Sarasota last year by CNN commentator Lou Dobbs, who has become an outspoken national voice on immigration. They described as biased, his reporting on the country's undocumented population.

"It's really hard to get anything through when so many people are adamantly against it (immigration)," Samperio said. "It usually comes down to explaining to other people who are anti-immigrant the importance of the pro-immigrant movement."

They are hoping for the participation from local immigrants, residents or anyone who is seeking to get involved, Samperio said.

"The general idea is to have some sort of organization or structure so that we can continue to work on the issues surrounding immigration," Roca said.

Goals for the group that Roca has brainstormed include stepping up sit-ins or protests, networking with national immigrant organizations and possibly pushing for the city of Sarasota to become a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, a move he said would be mostly symbolic in nature.

What they don't plan on, Roca said, is to sit around and simply talk about the issue.

"There's also this element of taking things to street and making the message more lively, more vibrant," he said.

Maura Possley, Herald reporter , can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 2640.

If you go

What: Manasota Immigrant Rights Coalition meeting

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 20

Where: At New College's Hamilton Center, in the Fishbowl, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

02-12-2008, 02:05 AM

Thousands protest ICE in Danbury

Submitted by WW4 Report on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 21:16.

An estimated 3,500 people attended a rally on Feb. 6 in Danbury, Connecticut, to protest a partnership between Danbury police and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While the demonstrators voiced their opposition outside City Hall, inside the Common Council voted 19-2 to invite ICE to train and deputize Danbury police as immigration agents. Mayor Mark Boughton, who backs the plan, said it will start with the training of two detectives to carry out investigations of immigrants suspected of human trafficking, drug smuggling or document fraud. (News-Times, Danbury, Feb. 7; Hartford Courant, Feb. 7)

Protesters carried signs and chanted "Stop 287," a reference to Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows ICE to train and deputize state and local enforcement agents to identify and detain people for violating immigration law. (AP, Feb. 6) Section 287(g) was introduced as part of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). (ICE Fact Sheet: "Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act," Aug. 16, 2006)

City officials decided in advance to limit attendance at the council meeting to 120 people, not including council members, news reporters and city employees. More than 30 police officers were deployed outside the building, but police reported no arrests. (News-Times, Feb. 7; Hartford Courant, Feb. 7) Some city businesses closed their doors for the day to protest the enforcement plan. (AP. Feb. 6)

Most of the demonstrators were from Danbury, but the crowd also included people who came by bus from Hartford and New Haven. "This is what being an American is all about, fighting for your rights," said Fernanda Franco, of Bethel, a legal Brazilian immigrant who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the rally. "I waited 20 years to get my papers," Franco said. "Some of these people have waited even longer." (News-Times, Feb. 7)

Danbury has a greater proportion of foreign-born residents than any other community in Connecticut, according to US census estimates. Ted Duarte, a union carpenter who works in Danbury and traveled to the rally from Wallingford to support fellow union members, motioned to the chanting. "This says it all," he said. "For a city council that supposed to represent the city of Danbury, they should take a look out here"this is Danbury." (New York Times, Feb. 7)

02-12-2008, 03:43 AM

west county today
Contra Costa Times
Article Launched: 02/12/2008 03:02:46 AM PST

Free legal workshop -- 6-8 p.m.

"What You Need to Know About Immigration Law."

Bring all legal papers.

Richmond Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza. Free. 925-370-2548.

02-12-2008, 11:47 AM

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/yes.gifDiverse organizations of southern California prepare events to declare their nonconformity with the management of the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, during the visit that the president will carry out this Wednesday and Thursday in the city of Los Angeles.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cheers2.gifAlfonso Gutiérrez, member of the Front Extensive Progressive of Los Angeles (FAPLA), told La Opinion that his and other groups plan a great protest, although they have not specified when and where it will be carried out, due to the changes in the President's agenda. As of now, he said, nearly a hundred people have declared their intention to be added to the demonstration.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cheers2.gif"Mainly, there are three themes that we are going to undertake: the review of NAFTA, the detentions without court order under what already is known in Mexico as the 'Gestapo law ', and the imminent privatization of Mexico", the activist said, being referred to the proposals to permit the private and foreign investment in the Mexican government owned Oil (Pemex).

Alfonso Gutierrez:
E-Mail: alfcdjz@yahoo.es
Telephone: (323) 309 96 13

02-12-2008, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by explora:

spam (v)

espamear, amorcillar, amorongar


un bombardeo (m) de grandes cantidades de correo con el propósito de bloquear el servidor, espam (m), morcilla (f), moronga (f)

Please don't spam!
No spam por favor!

Don't be a spammer!
No seas un spammer!

Please don't duplicate newspaper articles into various threads of our ilw discussion board.
No dupliques por favor los art*culos period*sticos en los varios hilos de rosca de nuestro tablero de la discusión del ilw.



Posted 02-12-2008 02:47 PM Hide Post

New Duck-Billed Dino Discovered in Mexico

A new species of duck-billed dinosaur unearthed in Mexico is helping scientists fill in gaps in the fossil record of the Age of Dinosaurs.

The creature, dubbed Velafrons coahuilensis, was a massive plant-eater belonging to a larger group of duck-billed dinosaurs called hadrosaurs.

The dino's species name comes from the region of Mexico where it was found, Coahuila. Little is known about the region's ancient animal and plant life because low rates of erosion have kept fossils hidden under layers of rock. But V. coahuilensis and other fossil finds are helping to shed light on this murky part of North American history.

"Dinosaurs from this particular period are important because this is a time that is relatively poorly understood," said Don Brinkman, a project researcher from Canada's Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology who is studying the non-dinosaur vertebrates found at the site, including turtles, fish and lizards. "The locality in Mexico goes a long way to filling in a gap in our knowledge of the record of changes in dinosaur assemblages throughout the Late Cretaceous era."

The new species of dinosaur is fully described in the December issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Split continent

V. coahuilensis, one of the first dinosaurs to be named from Mexico, was discovered in the early 1990s in a rock unit known as the Cerro del Pueblo Formation, which dates from about 71.5 to 72.5 million years ago, in the late Cretaceous.

During this period, a warm, shallow sea covered the central, low-lying portions of North America, splitting the continent in two.

The region of Mexico where V. coahuilensis was found was at the southernmost tip of the peninsula-like western landmass, called Laramidia. Now a desert, the area was then a humid estuary, where ocean sal****er met freshwater from rivers.

Large bonebeds of jumbled dinosaur skeletons suggest some of the animals died en masse during periodic powerful storms, like those that pummel the southern tips of Africa and South America today.

"The region was periodically hammered by monstrous storms, devastating miles of fertile coastline, apparently killing off entire herds of dinosaurs" said project team member Scott Sampson of the Utah Museum of Natural History.

North American first

The discovery of V. coahuilensis marks the first crested duck-billed dinosaur ever found in North America. Based on the development of its bones, paleontologists think the specimen was not yet fully grown. Still, the youngster would have spanned an imposing 25 feet in length, suggesting adults grew to a whopping 30 to 35 feet long.

Unlike other animals whose nose bones lie in front of their eyes, crested duck-bills' noses rested atop their skulls.

"The crested duck-billed dinosaurs are an extraordinary example of vertebrate evolution," said project member Terry Gates, also of the Utah Museum.

Scientists are unsure what the fan-shaped crest on V. coahuilensis's head was used for, but some think it could have been for attracting mates, with the animal's complex series of nasal passages acting like a musical instrument.

Along with V. coahuilensis, recent expeditions to the Cerro del Pueblo Formation have uncovered the remains of a second kind of duck-billed dino " a Triceratops-like plant-eating horned dinosaur, large tyrannosaurs, small Velociraotor-like predators and the largest assemblage of dinosaur tracks known in Mexico.

Avian Ancestors: Dinosaurs That Learned to Fly
A Brief History of Dinosaurs
Images: Dinosaur Fossils
Original Story: New Duck-Billed Dino Discovered in Mexico

Visit LiveScience.com for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Science, Animal and Dinosaur Pictures, Science Videos, Hot Topics, Trivia, Top 10s, Voting, Amazing Images, Reader Favorites, and more. Get cool gadgets at the new LiveScience Store, sign up for our free daily email newsletter and check out our RSS feeds today!

02-12-2008, 02:16 PM

Florinda Gonza*** and her daughter Yury meet with bilingual volunteer Roberto Quantero at Ramsey Memorial United Methodist Church in Chesterfield County.
photo by Scott Elmquist

Illegals Risk Deportation to ... Pay Taxes?

by Amy Biegelsen
February 13, 2008

Modesta Tadeo and her four children moved from Mexico to join her husband in Chesterfield County three years ago. Depending on where you fall politically, the family of immigrants is either "undocumented" or "illegal." They don't have Social Security numbers, but last Thursday night they stopped by Ramsey Memorial United Methodist Church on Hull Street Road to pay their taxes.

They started paying taxes three years ago, Tadeo says through an interpreter while waiting in line with her husband and nephew. At first, just pulling all the documents together was nerve-racking. Now it's routine, and not just for them.

"Many people are paying their taxes," Tadeo says.

For four years Ramsey Memorial has hosted tax preparation clinics staffed with bilingual volunteers. Tanya Gonza***, head of Richmond's Hispanic Liaison Office, helps organize the sites as part of a larger regional effort headed up by the Greater Richmond Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition.

"For the IRS, legal status and working are two separate things," Gonza*** says. When people who don't have Social Security numbers come in, volunteers help them register for an ITIN, or individual tax identification number, allowing them to file with the IRS. The IRS does not share information with federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Gonza*** says they prepare returns for roughly 150 families each year. She's seen a slow increase since the program started, but perhaps more telling has been the rise of people coming in who already have ITIN numbers from previous years.

"That means people are putting roots down," Gonza*** says.

Last summer's federal immigration reform bill might also be encouraging the response. Although the bill failed, it included a provision that would have required evidence that the person had been paying taxes as part of the application for citizenship. Juan Santacoloma, Chesterfield's Hispanic liaison, is betting that future legislation will contain similar language. "Many people are paying taxes now for later," he says.

The ITIN sign-up effort comes as mixed news to John Kwapisz, media and legislative coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the American Council for Immigration Reform.

"Paying the taxes is a desirable effort of course," Kwapisz says. "On the other hand, assisting the illegals in ways that encourage them to stay or to come here is a bad thing, because the more [illegal immigrants] we have, the more problems we're going to be facing in the future."

The growing market for bilingual tax preparation and help with ITIN sign-up for those without Social Security numbers has not gone unnoticed. H&R Block touts its bilingual services and even ran an ad featuring a pair of flamenco dancers flouncing in to the tax preparer's office.

It's also opened a niche for fraud, warns Paz Ochs, who works with Gonza*** in the city's Hispanic Liaison Office. She says they've put together fliers alerting taxpayers about scam preparers who take advantage of people unfamiliar with the tax system and unable to check paperwork filled out in English.

"It's even worse for a lot of immigrants who have applied for residency or citizenship [when] there's a really big IRS snafu," Ochs says. After all, "no one wants to be on the IRS's bad side."


02-13-2008, 02:45 AM

Clark Van Orden/The Times Leader

Senator recognizes pressure on state, county prisons

Specter: Deportation difficult

February 11, 2008
WILKES-BARRE A disruptive inmate in the restrictive housing unit at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility didn't deter U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter from visiting the facility on Monday.

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter tours the restricted housing unit at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Monday morning with officials from Luzerne County. Specter talked about issues associated with the identification and deportation of criminal aliens.

Specter, R-Philadelphia, and federal officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement ignored the inmate who was shouting words in Spanish through a sealed cell door.

The senator spent about an hour with Luzerne County commissioners Maryanne Petrilla, Greg Skrepenak and Stephen Urban, Warden Gene Fischi, Deputy Warden Sam Hyder and Prison Board President Wister Yuhas to discuss problems with deporting convicted illegal immigrants.

Pennsylvania prisons incarcerate an estimated 2,132 criminal aliens, 1,000 of whom may be undocumented aliens, Specter's office said in a news release. There are 20 undocumented immigrants at the county facility.

LCCF Capt. Mark Rockovich said an estimated 180 illegal immigrants were jailed at the county facility in 2007, adding to the overcrowding problem.

"We may not have an overcrowding problem if we didn't have illegal aliens," Rockovich said.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated thousands of convicted illegal immigrants are released because of the unwillingness of some countries to issue travel documents necessary for repatriation. As a result of these barriers, ICE must provide funds to incarcerate convicted illegal immigrants whose countries are either slow or unwilling to accept their citizens.

Major hurdles law enforcement agencies face include an inability to identify undocumented immigrants, lack of resources to deport them and an inadequate process to compel their native countries to accept them, Specter said.

"Immigration (and Customs Enforcement) takes them but they can only hold them for 180 days," Specter said.

Specter said the recidivism rate the tendency to commit a criminal act again of convicted illegal immigrants is extremely high, adding to overcrowding in prisons and jails. He said Egypt has refused to accept one of its citizens who is jailed at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill.

Pledging to address the problem, Specter suggested legislation on refusing visas to foreign countries who won't accept their citizens.

"We need to put pressure on those countries to take them back," Specter said.

"We may not have an

overcrowding problem if we didn't have illegal aliens."

Capt. Mark Rockovich

Luzerne County Correctional Facility

Edward Lewis, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 820-7196.


02-13-2008, 03:13 AM


Ignition Fall To La Raza, 15-10 In Mexico

February 10, 2008

Monterrey, Mexico, February 10, 2008) - The Detroit Ignition (12-7) were defeated 15-10 by the expansion La Raza de Monterrey (8-11) tonight at Arena Monterrey.

The Ignition struck just five minutes into the first quarter as defender Jonathan Greenfield notched a two-point score with an assist from Doug Rice. Midfielder Ryan Mack added two more points for the Ignition at 9:41 in the first off an assist from Ze Roberto. Just under a minute later, Armando Teran scored two points for Monterrey to bring the score to 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Forward Jamar Beasley opened up the second quarter for Detroit with a two-point goal at 4:18 off an assist from Ricardinho. Teran scored again at 6:05, giving the home team two more points with an assist from Byron Alvarez. Less than two minutes later, Mack scored his second goal of the night to put Detroit up 8-4 at halftime.

La Raza controlled the third quarter, scoring three two-point goals to take a 10-8 lead over the Ignition. As the fourth quarter got underway, Beasley scored his second goal of the night to tie the clubs up at 10-all. Alvarez responded for La Raza, scoring a two-point tally at 8:33 with an assist from defender Jose Birche. As the quarter came to a close, the Ignition brought Ricardinho in as the club's sixth attacker. Monterrey defender Genoni Martinez took advantage of the Detroit's open net, scoring a three-point goal to bring the final score to 15-10.

The Ignition return home to host the Philadelphia KiXX (10-11) on Friday, February 15 at Compuware Arena.

The Detroit Ignition is a member club of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and begins the team's second season in November 2007 after advancing to the MISL Championship Finals during the 2006-07 season.

Information regarding Ignition season, group, and individual tickets can be obtained by calling the club at 1-888-436-GOAL (4625), by visiting the team's official Internet property, www.detroitignition.com (http://www.detroitignition.com) , by calling TicketMaster at 248-645-6666, or by using www.ticketmaster.com (http://www.ticketmaster.com) .


02-13-2008, 04:53 AM


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifI know that you have risked your lives in order to give opportunities to your children, to your families. I know that in each one of you thereis a history of heroism and also a history of pain.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/2guns.gifA history of heroism because is not easy to leave your country, your house, your Nation and to cross the border risking it all. A history of heroism because each year more than 400 Mexicans die trying to cross the border, perhaps more than in any another part of the world.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifWhen they tell me that the Government of Mexico what wants to multiply migration, attacking and criticizing our defense for the migrant, I say that they are mistaken. Because I know that Mexico in each migrant it loses its bravest people, its strongest people, its more audacious people, because I know that in each migrant there is a family that is disconnected.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/stupid.gifI come here, to Chicago, to Illinois, because I know that my duty as President, especially in the difficult moments that the undocumented are passing, of harassment, of clear discrimination in some cases, my duty is to echo the voice of all the Mexicans, the voice of all of Mexico telling them we are with you.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifWe are truly determined that Mexico be present with you, supporting you, helping you, understanding you.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alucard.gifI also know, my friends, that my duty as the President is to work and to work very, very hard so that immigration will not be in the future the only option for our people.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cussing.gifWhen they ask me what is, exactly, the cause of this phenomenon, seems to me that we cannot deceive ourselves. The U.S. economy and the economy of Mexico are absolutely complementary economies; one is intensive in capital, like their economy, another is intensive in labor as is the Mexican and I have always said that labor and capital necessarily are complemented, that they are similar as the left shoe and the right shoe, both have to be put on at the same time in order to walk.

And just as labor has sought capital, the investment here in the United States, we are seeking to attract investment and capital to Mexico, to generate in Mexico well paid jobs for the Mexicans [/b]so they don't continue separating our families and our communities.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil2.gifWe have worked and we have been speaking and relating to diverse actors in the political panorama in Mexico and in the United States, above all with those who have influences in this migratory debate issue and we have expressed to them with firmness the position of the Government of Mexico that can be summarize in five points.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/ban.gifFirst. We want that the extraordinary cultural, social, and economic contribution of the Mexican migrants in the United States to be recognized.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cussing.gifSecond. We want that that recognition be reflected in a greater certainty, in a greater stability, in a greater tranquility so that our compatriots can do what they came to do, to work in peace, to be productive, support their family and be recognized or not, that their work has also helped this Nation.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gifThird. That for the Mexican Government it is important, of course, to have a secure border. When they think that we are disputing this point, they are also mistaken, yes, of course I want a secure border, of course I want a secure border for our people, for our children and also for the Americans or any person that live on both sides of the border.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/argue.gifThe Government of Mexico is commited and works for having a secure border with the United States, but we should not make a mistake, its not the people, is the organized crime and not the migrant Mexicans the ones that are a problem of national security for the United States.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/icon_clown.gifI think that both nations should recognize what is a reality, the world is being globalized, the economies are being built global and the nations that are prospering, the regions that are prospering, like Asia, and Europe, are nations that recognize that reality and they are capable of being integrated in larger economies of scale and in larger territories.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifWhat we should do Americans and Mexicans is to recognize that if we want prosperity, that if we want to progress we should become united. Not by closing our border, not by canceling our exchanges are we going to prosper, we either prosper together incorporating and integrating ot there will not be prosperity neither for Mexico or for the United States.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/gun-bandana.gifWe want to build bridges because we know that bridges, more than walls, are the ones that join people. And I also know, I understand the worry of many American citizens, but I can share with you, my friends, what some time ago Icommented to President Bush in his visit to Mexico last year.

I assured the President, I told him, that he can do more to reduce immigration,to reduce immigration it would benefit more a kilometer of highway in Zacatecas or in Michoacán than 20 kilometers of border wall covering Texas or Arizona.


http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifWe want to be near the Mexicans in Chicago and anywhere in the world and in the U.S. And we have an idea to continue working with you in five main issues.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/devil.gifFirst. We will dedicate all the resources at our reach to be able to improve the services that the Government gives. I know that the consular services have always left a lot to be desired and more now since the American authorities are asking for documents for anything.

By that reason, friends, I have decreed in the Budget that all the incomes that be received for passports or other documents in the U.S. consulates, that money remain in the consulates to lend better service.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/censored.gifSecond. Starting this week, various mexican consulates in the United States, especially the one in Chicago, will use mobile truck consulates to function with newly hired personnel, with new vehicles, new equipment, so they can vist the 80 cities in the region and offer consular services.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/driving.gifWe are going to continue working with those programs and others more. Today, for example, we signed two covenants, one with the State of Illinois and another with the City of Chicago, a covenant to do an exchange of teachers, http://www.ilw.com/corporate/alien.gifwe are going to bring Mexican teachers here, so they can teach our culture, our traditions and from here we are going to send teachers to Mexico, if you want you could lend us a hand teach English at our communities, to our children that need that Instrument.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/2guns.gifThird. We are going to continue working to generate a different environment in the migratory theme; this should remain clear that the Mexicans, that Mexico is not the enemy and Mexicans are not any threat for this great Nation.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/boxing_smiley.gifThat we want to prompt and make recognition of the enormous contributions that the Mexicans do to the U.S. economy. Recent studies have shown, above all one done by the Counsel of Economic Advisors of the White House, they have shown that the immigrant workers, especially the Mexicans, do not displace native workers, to the contrary, they complement the work that they carry out, they enlarge also the income of the American workers. It is calculated that 30 Billion dollars per year, is what the migratory labor force contributes to the income of the U.S. workers.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifIt also has been shown that the balance that the migrants costs the American taxpayer, this is false thus, this study that is not from the Government of Mexico, is from the Government of the United States and the Counsel of Economic Advisors of the White House, indicates that the balance is a lot more than what the migrants pay in taxes upon working than what they receive in services, and that is so much that they are even maintaining a good part of the retirement pensions of thousands of U.S. workers. http://www.ilw.com/corporate/hang.gif

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cussing.gifWe have to do an enormous effort by changing the image of the immigrant, of Mexico and of the Mexicans, and that implies, exactly, to put clear emphasis in the idea that we are here to build, we are for harmonizing with this great nation our efforts, because the prosperity of the U.S. is directly linked to immigrant labor especially Mexicans.

02-13-2008, 12:21 PM

Immigration piece by Guest: Silver Gomez

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/rockon.gifIsn't it time for common sense regarding millions of foreign criminal invaders to US soil and the securing of our borders?

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gifArticle 4, Section 4 of the US Constitution requires the federal government to protect states and their citizens from foreign invasion. 12-20-30+ million foreigners have illegally invaded US soil and are doing America and its citizens irreparable harms! This fits within the legal defintion of "invasion" per Constitutional law, which when drafted, would have considered only 25,000 foreigners an invasionary size force!

The damage now exceeds $250 billion annually, with over 18,000 lives lost per year due to the invasion!

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cheers2.gifYou may spin the facts any which way you might, but the bottom line is that the invasion over over 10 million trespassing Mexicans on US soil is a clear and legally defined Act of War by Mexico, a country now in direct violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe and legaslly and financially responsible to America and Americans for any costs incurred from the invasion (open your law books and do your homework!).

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/excl.gifAn unconstitutional and illegal amnesty is now being proposed by Nancy Pelosi's Democratic Congress. Amnesty is not "protection from invasion" as guaranteed under the Constitution but rather a "sanctioning of invasion", hence highly illegal!

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/cheers2.gifThose who put forward such flagrant unconstitutional efforts may be subject to misprision of treason and treason laws and should find themselves now on legal alert, subject to FBI investigations and arrest! (Please do your law book homework!)

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/bricks.gifThe federal government has not done its legally required duty under the Constitution to protect states and citizens from invasion and remove the invaders. Therefore, the federal government is in breach.

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/death.gifThe federal government's deliberate failure to enforce federal laws toward remedying the invasion provide adequate legal proof that the Congress and the federal government are no longer valid authorities able to maintain the federal government's legal rights held by the Constitution with respect to its own duties and obligations; this deliberate deriliction of duty by the federal government gives the states the legal right to not only withhold all federal taxes but initiate secession from the union - the legal precedence now established uniquely and mutually exclussive of all previous secession attempts in case law. (Again, do you legal homework!)

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gifAmericans have had enough!
Enough of Congress!
Enough of the White House!
Enough of the foreign invasion!
Enough is Enough! http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gifIf we must, Americans will protest we will quit paying taxes we will quit recognizing federal law or authority and we will force our states to break from the union we will not have our Constitution violated without a major fight...
but all this only as the very last resort!!!

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gifAfter all, if the federal government no longer recognizes the US Constitution as a valid document and contract and will not honor its duties and responsibilities, then why should Americans recognize the federal government or support it?

This is a radical remedy, we acknowledge, but it was one provided by our Founding Fathers and its the legal right of all Americans to stand up and remake their government when it becomes tyrannical and unrepresentative of the people! However, we rather a different choice be made so...

:DInstead, we press the American people and the US federal government and Congress to come to their senses and support their legal obligations, as well as enact the Safe America Act, which will greatly protect America from domestic terrorism, permanently end illegal immigration, secure the US borders, stop progress of the North American Union, and safeguard America from further foreign invasion by all classes of criminal invaders, whether terrorists, violent criminals, or more benign classes of aliens - and protect millions of high paying jobs and return them to US citizen workers (toward create an major economic boom in our economy), and much more!

:mad:This landmark legislation is nothing that Congress would ever create on their own - it has too much common sense and respect for the Constitution in it - but instead, it was created by average Americans and a small nonprofit, on behalf of all Americans and America! Not its time Congress steps up to the plate and gives Americans what they want and have a legal right to!

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/yes.gifLet's end the insanity and supplanting of America to foreigners and foreign powers and lets restore America back to its citizens!

http://www.ilw.com/corporate/yes.gifLet's clean up the mess Congress made since 1987 and let's move forward, once and for all!

Silver Gomez a proud US citizen Hispanic
http://www.SafeAmericaAct.com/ http://www.ilw.com/corporate/clap.gif

02-13-2008, 02:35 PM
Posted 02-13-2008 02:09 PM Hide Post
Enchiladas Recipe

Filed under All Seasons, Cheese, Main Course, Mexican and Tex Mex, Quick, Vegetarian, Wheat-free

Preparation time: 30 minutes.

Enchiladas were a family staple growing up, though thankfully this cheese enchilada recipe has much less fat in it these days. Mom tells the story about how in the Sixties my Aunt Josephine went out to eat at a new supposedly Mexican food restaurant in Boston, only to be fed enchiladas where the corn tortillas had been taken out of a package and had not been fried before being cooked with cheese and sauce. (You have to re-cook the tortillas to soften them up and give them more flavor.) She then went into the restaurant's kitchen and taught the chef how to properly make an enchilada. My aunt and my mother, both fifth generation hispanic Arizonians, learned this recipe from my grandmother. Note that there are many kinds of enchiladas - green chile, shrimp, red chili - to name a few. This recipe just happens to be our favorite one.

Grapeseed oil (or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil)
12 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa (Mild prepared salsa or make your own using cooked or canned tomatoes, roasted green chiles, onions, cilantro, oil and vinegar. Do not use salsa made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes for this dish.)
3 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
Olive oil
1 lb of jack cheese, mild cheddar or longhorn or any mild yellow cheese, grated
A handful of cilantro
1 cup of sour cream
Half a head of iceberg lettuce

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a large fry pan at high heat add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.

2 Sauté up the chopped onion and garlic, then turn off the heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water, add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire roasted canned tomatoes. Taste. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add a teaspoon of sugar.

3 Put some olive oil on the bottom of a large casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan. Make sure all are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water. Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

4 Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with vinegar and salt. See Perfect Guacamole for a great guacamole avocado side dish.

Serves 4.
Posts: 205 | Registered: 01-20-2006

Ignored post by whknapp posted 02-13-2008 02:09 PM Show Post

Power Member

Posted 02-13-2008 03:14 PM Hide Post
What better crime than an Enchilada recipe courtesy of an ILLEGAL ALIEN.

Sounds like it would send even the strongest stomach to the hospital.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Beverly, 02-13-2008 03:48 PM

It's Time to Rescind the 14th Amendment
Posts: 1218 | Registered: 11-30-2007

Posted 02-11-2008 09:43 PM Hide Post
QUOTE]Originally posted by explora:

spam (v)

espamear, amorcillar, amorongar


un bombardeo (m) de grandes cantidades de correo con el propósito de bloquear el servidor, espam (m), morcilla (f), moronga (f)

Please don't spam!
No spam por favor!

Don't be a spammer!
No seas un spammer!

Please don't duplicate newspaper articles into various threads of our ilw discussion board.
No dupliques por favor los art*culos period*sticos en los varios hilos de rosca de nuestro tablero de la discusión del ilw.[/QUOTE]

Originally posted by explora:

This is soooooo good!!!



I haven't watched, but since you think its so good I think it's only right that I copy it to all of your threads. [/QUOTE]Originally posted by explora:

This is soooooo good!!!


http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/846148fcb0[/QUOTE] (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/846148fcb0%5B/QUOTE%5D)

02-13-2008, 02:37 PM
I see you like playing childish games. LET THE GAMES BEGIN . . . . . .I hope you took your meds otherwise you may snap and embarrass yourself AGAIN http://www.ilw.com/corporate/go.gif :D

02-13-2008, 02:57 PM
Frequent Member
Posted 02-13-2008 05:40 PM Hide Post

Chicken and egg debate unscrambled

Egg came first, 'eggsperts' agree

Friday, May 26, 2006; Posted: 7:33 a.m. EDT (11:33 GMT)

The question has baffled scientists through the ages.

LONDON, England -- It's a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg.

Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life.

Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in prehistoric times, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg.

Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, told the UK Press Association the pecking order was clear.

The living organism inside the eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken it would develop into, he said.

"Therefore, the first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg," he added. "So, I would conclude that the egg came first."

The same conclusion was reached by his fellow "eggsperts" Professor David Papineau, of King's College London, and poultry farmer Charles Bourns.

Mr Papineau, an expert in the philosophy of science, agreed that the first chicken came from an egg and that proves there were chicken eggs before chickens.

He told PA people were mistaken if they argued that the mutant egg belonged to the "non-chicken" bird parents.

"I would argue it is a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it," he said.

"If a kangaroo laid an egg from which an ostrich hatched, that would surely be an ostrich egg, not a kangaroo egg."

Bourns, chairman of trade body Great British Chicken, said he was also firmly in the pro-egg camp.

He said: "Eggs were around long before the first chicken arrived. Of course, they may not have been chicken eggs as we see them today, but they were eggs."

The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD.

02-13-2008, 03:00 PM

Frequent Member
Posted 02-13-2008 03:58 PM Hide Post
The adult salt-water crocodile will eat anything that comes too close to it. That includes fish, birds, and mammals of any size, including humans, that venture near the water's edge.

02-15-2008, 02:11 AM

How To Hire An Immigration Lawyer

by Everett P. Anderson

US immigration laws are technical and often hostile. Tangled in these laws, many foreign clients are desperate to find a good immigration attorney. This is especially true in complex deportation cases. Attitudes towards lawyers -- and attorney-client relationships -- may be very different in the client's home-country culture.

In the United States, State Bar Associations are charged with protecting the public from incompetent or unethical lawyers. But clients with genuine grievances have already been hurt by bad representation. It remains the client's responsibility to find and hire immigration counsel. This spells both opportunity and danger.

The opportunity lies in finding a qualified lawyer and negotiating your fee. The internet makes both tasks easier. And because immigration law is federal, the right lawyer for your case may be across town, across state or across the country.

The danger lies in choosing a lawyer who will not get results! Remember:

1. A "bargain" fee is no bargain if the outcome is unhappy.

2. Don't confuse lawyer advertising with lawyer competence. The best advertising is another satisfied immigration client.

3. Beware of lawyers who confidently predict a good result just to get your business. Immigration clients need straight talk -- not false promises. For complex cases, this takes time. There is no substitute for a full client interview and case evaluation. Sometimes, this requires further legal research. Capable lawyers are always willing to provide a full analysis of the case's strengths and weaknesses. The process itself is the best way to observe the lawyer's analytical skills and assess the reasonableness of the proposed fee.

Full case assessments usually involve a consultation fee. Clients are reluctant to pay such fees to more than one lawyer. Fortunately, there is an easier and cost-free way to narrow your choice of immigration counsel.

Just ask tough questions about the lawyer and his or her practice! Good lawyers and their staff are not afraid to answer such questions. Clients should not be afraid to ask them.

1. Is the lawyer Board-Certified? Not all states offer board certification. Ask the lawyer to explain the process and its importance for you as a prospective client.

2. What is the lawyer's Martindale-Hubbell rating -- Av, Bv, or Cv? Ask the attorney what these ratings mean.

3. Is the lawyer a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association? How long?

4. Have clients filed any complaints -- especially recent complaints -- against the lawyer with the State Bar Association, in any local court, or with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) of the U.S. Department of Justice?

5. Does the lawyer carry malpractice insurance, and have any claims been filed against or settled with the insurance carrier?

6. What investments has the lawyer made in staff and immigration technology? Ask how long the senior paralegals have been employed at the firm. Longterm, skilled and happy staff are a good sign that the lawyer treats both employees and clients well. Forms-preparation software and case management systems say much about the lawyer's attention to detail and ability to access your case information after you pay the retainer fee.

7. Does the lawyer provide the client with an attorney-client contract before any retainer is paid?

8. What lawyer services are included in the contract and lawyer fees and what services are not included? For example:

Does the fee include lawyer travel to a CIS office or immigration court?

Is lawyer travel to the local CIS office really necessary in your case? In most routine administrative cases, document and client preparation are more important than lawyer travel to and presence at a CIS interview. See Green Card Interview Tips at this website. Discuss and negotiate this with your lawyer before signing a contract or paying a retainer fee.

Government filing fees are a client responsibility in almost every attorney-client contract. But are current filing fees fully disclosed in the contract so that you can budget accordingly?
9. For every client, the most important questions in hiring any lawyer are, "Does the lawyer answer phone calls, promptly provide copies of documents, charge reasonable fees, and get good results?"

Lawyers can and should discuss their phone and document-copy policies. Their contracts should fully disclose their fee and cost structures. But confidentiality and ethics rules place past results off-limits. State bar rules rightly prohibit lawyers from providing testimonials or advertising past results, because they are "inherently misleading to a person untrained in the law. Potential clients are likely to infer from the testimonial that the lawyer will reach similar results in future cases."

So where can a foreign client get good information about a lawyer's reputation and track record? The best source is always other immigrants. Check with religious organizations, universities or ethnic societies within your community.

The answers to these questions are important. They will help you eliminate unsuitable lawyers. They will also help you compare the credentials of qualified attorneys, understand what you are paying for, and negotiate your fee from a position of knowledge and strength.


About The Author

Everett P. Anderson has practice immigration law in Tallahassee since 1985. His website is at www.immserve.com (http://www.immserve.com).

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Copyright 1999-2007 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM



02-15-2008, 06:22 PM

U.S. citizens detained?

Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens

By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008

FLORENCE, Ariz. " Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona.

On Thursday, Warziniack finally became a free man. Immigration officials released him after his family, who learned about his predicament from McClatchy, produced a birth certificate and after a U.S. senator demanded his release.

"The immigration agents told me they never make mistakes," Warziniack said in an earlier phone interview from jail. "All I know is that somebody dropped the ball."

The story of how immigration officials decided that a small-town drifter with a Southern accent was an illegal Russian immigrant illustrates how the federal government mistakenly detains and sometimes deports American citizens.

U.S. citizens who are mistakenly jailed by immigration authorities can get caught up in a nightmarish bureaucratic tangle in which they're simply not believed.

An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.

Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization later broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.

Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more American citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.

Unlike suspects charged in criminal courts, detainees accused of immigration violations don't have a right to an attorney, and three-quarters of them represent themselves. Less affluent or resourceful U.S. citizens who are detained must try to maneuver on their own through a complicated system.

"It becomes your word against the government's, even when you know and insist that you're a U.S. citizen," Siulc said. "Your word doesn't always count, and the government doesn't always investigate fully."

Officials with ICE, the federal agency that oversees deportations, maintain that such cases are isolated because agents are required to obtain sufficient evidence that someone is an illegal immigrant before making an arrest. However, they don't track the number of U.S. citizens who are detained or deported.

"We don't want to detain or deport U.S. citizens," said Ernestine Fobbs, an ICE spokeswoman. "It's just not something we do."

While immigration advocates agree that the agents generally release detainees before deportation in clear-cut cases, they said that ICE sometimes ignores valid assertions of citizenship in the rush to ship out more illegal immigrants.

Proving citizenship is especially difficult for the poor, mentally ill, disabled or anyone who has trouble getting a copy of his or her birth certificate while behind bars.

Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen who was born in Los Angeles, was serving a 120-day sentence for trespassing last year when he was shipped off to Mexico. Guzman was found three months later trying to return home. Although federal government attorneys have acknowledged that Guzman was a citizen, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Thursday that her agency still questions the validity of his birth certificate.

Last March, ICE agents in San Francisco detained Kebin Reyes, a 6-year-old boy who was born in the U.S., for 10 hours after his father was picked up in a sweep. His father says he wasn't permitted to call relatives who could care for his son, although ICE denies turning down the request.

The number of U.S. citizens who are swept up in the immigration system is a small fraction of the number of illegal immigrants who are deported, but in the last several years immigration lawyers report seeing more detainees who turn out to be U.S. citizens.

The attorneys said the chances of mistakes are growing as immigration agents step up sweeps in the country and state and local prisons with less experience in immigration matters screen more criminals on behalf of ICE.

ICE's Fobbs said agents move as quickly as possible to check stories of people who claim they're American citizens. But she said that many of the cases involve complex legal arguments, such as whether U.S. citizenship is derived from parents, which an immigration judge has to sort out.

"We have to be careful we don't release the wrong person," she said.

In Warziniack's case, ICE officials appear to have been oblivious to signs that they'd made a serious mistake.

After he was arrested in Colorado on a minor drug charge, Warziniack told probation officials there wild stories about being shot seven times, stabbed twice and bombed four times as a Russian army colonel in Afghanistan, according to court records. He also insisted that he swam ashore to America from a Soviet submarine.

Court officials were skeptical. Not only did his story seem preposterous, but the longtime heroin addict also had a Southern accent and didn't speak Russian.

Colorado court officials quickly determined his true identity in a national crime database: He was a Minnesota-born man who grew up in Georgia. Before Warziniack was sentenced to prison on the drug charge, his probation officer surmised in a report that he could be mentally ill.

Although it took only minutes for McClatchy to confirm with Minnesota officials that a birth certificate under Warziniack's name and birth date was on file, Colorado prison officials notified federal authorities that Warziniack was a foreign-born prisoner.

McClatchy also was able to track down Warziniack's three half-sisters. Even though they hadn't seen him in almost 20 years, his sisters were willing to vouch for him.

One of them, Missy Dolle, called the detention center repeatedly, until officials there stopped returning her calls. Her brother's attorney told her that a detainee in Warziniack's situation often has to wait weeks for results, even if he or she gets a copy of a U.S. birth certificate.

Warziniack, meanwhile, waited impatiently for an opportunity to prove his case. After he contacted the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a group that provides legal advice to immigrants, a local attorney recently agreed to represent him for free.

Dolle and her husband, Keith, a retired sheriff's deputy in Mecklenburg County, N.C., flew to Arizona from their Charlotte home to attend her brother's hearing before an immigration judge.

Before she left, she e-mailed Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. After someone from his office contacted ICE, immigration officials promised to release Warziniack if they got a birth certificate.

After scrambling to get a power of attorney to obtain their brother's birth certificate, the sisters succeeded in getting a copy the day before the hearing.

On Thursday, however, government lawyers told an immigration judge during a deportation hearing that they needed a week to verify the authenticity of Warziniack's birth record. The judge delayed his ruling.

"I still can't believe this is happening in America," Dolle said.

Warziniack began to weep when he saw his sister. "They still don't believe me," he said.

Later that day, however, ICE officials changed their minds and said that he could be released this week. They said they were able to confirm his birth certificate, but they didn't acknowledge any problem with the handling of the case.

The officials blamed conflicting information for the mix-up.

"The burden of proof is on the individual to show they're legally entitled to be in the United States," said ICE spokeswoman Kice.

Warziniack, 40, told McClatchy that he has no memory of telling anyone he was Russian. Instead, he recalled the shock of withdrawing from his heroin addiction after 18 years of drug abuse.

Katherine Sanguinetti, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, suspects that prison officials were relying on information that Warziniack gave when he was first taken into custody because they never received the Colorado court documents concluding that he was a U.S. citizen.

Even now, the prison records inaccurately show his current location as "the Soviet Union."

In the end, Sanguinetti said, ICE is responsible for making sure that it detains and deports the correct person. Her prisons flag hundreds of prisoners a month as foreign-born, but can't possibly verify the information, she said.

"Could it happen again? Sure," Sanguinetti said. "But we would hope that ICE during their investigative process would discover the truth."

Rachel Rosenbloom, an attorney at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College who's identified at least seven U.S. citizens whom ICE has mistakenly deported since 2000, believes that the agency should set up a more formal way of handling detainees when they appear to have valid claims of U.S. citizenship. At the very least, she said, ICE could release people such as Warziniack on bond while waiting for immigration judges to hear the cases.

"It's like finding innocent people on death row," Rosenbloom said. "There may be only a small number of cases, but when you find them you want to do everything in your power to make sure they get out."

(Researcher Tish Wells contributed.)

McClatchy Newspapers 2008


02-16-2008, 02:04 AM


Enhanced Homeland Security to support U.S. Comprehensive Immigration reforms

Surya B. Prasai
Saturday, February 16, 2008

David Posner for the American Chronicle National Media Network.
January, 2008

"I am pleased to let our talented American Chronicle writers, the finest in our country, know that Mr. Surya B. Prasai, a globally accomplished Nepalese international strategic communications, media and international development professional has joined us as a regional contributor from Silver Spring, Maryland. Surya is also a popular Global Commentator and Discussant at the Google Environmental Professionals Group: Water, Climate Change and Bio-diversity Information Network and has written important pieces with global policy ramification on HIV/AIDS impact mitigation and global environmental conservation concerning the Bali Summit and the post-Kyoto lobbyists' dilemmas.

Surya will be contributing actively on HIV/AIDS, gender mainstreaming, international labor mobility, and American and international environmental safeguards promotion. We believe his insights would help us in further understanding the American and global compact on progress made in the above important development and social sectors and the need for unique innovative thinking on the issues, which he possesses!

Welcome Surya and looking forward to your important and active contributions to our prestigious American writers' circuit".

About the author
Surya B. Prasai is an internationally acknowledged international development and media personality from Nepal focusing on global advisory work in HIV/AIDS impact mitigation, protecting women and children´s health and rights, curbing international illegal labor migration in the US and the Asia-Pacific region, and analyzing and promoting US and UN global environmental safeguards.

He has worked with German technical Cooperation, BMZ, Germany, UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, Family Health International (USAID/Policy project), the African Comprehensive Partnership (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck Co. and Botswana Government) respectively in Botswana, Nepal, Thailand, India and Sudan.

As an influential top level Asian media commentator, he has contributed in the past three decades in The Bangkok Post (Guest Columnist), The Nation, Thailand (Guest Editor), The Far Eastern Economic Review, The Hindustan Times (Culture and Tourism contributor), The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post, The Peoples Review, The Everest Herald, The Commoner (Tourism and Culture Editor), ILO News Features, and UNICEF Staff News (New York) as a Middle East and North Africa Regional Reporter. He currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland and can be contacted via e-mail at just_1_idea@hotmail.com.

By Surya B. Prasai
February 15, 2008

In an impassioned speech in Omaha, Nebraska in 2006, a speech that the world´s press listened to carefully, President George Bush made the clear case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the US with these bold words: "This country is debating the important immigration issue. And I think, it needs to be addressed now... I remind our fellow citizens, particularly those who look to the future and get nervous, and say, well, we can't compete, or there's no way for America to be the economic leader of the world, there's just too much competition -- I simply just don't believe that. I tell people, let's don't fear the future, and let´s shape it. One way we can shape the future is to make sure people have the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century".

In that speech, President Bush went on to champion fervently the importance of government to help people assimilate into American society. He told his audience, this is what had happened throughout the ages in America; people had learned to assimilate with dignity. He appealed further to the American people, "When we think about this immigration debate, the first thing people have got to remember is we are a nation of immigrants, that we've had this debate before in American history. This isn't the first time the United States of America has had to take a look at our nature and our soul and our history".

President Bush also talked at length about the framework for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform package, one part of which is to help people assimilate, whatever it would take to make it work and the other to make America´s borders safe, more secure, yet still accessible to the genuine immigrant who wanted to come and contribute to America´s economic might and social diversity. The Bush Comprehensive Immigration doctrine, which has been supported almost in whole or partially by almost every US Presidential candidate in the 2007-2008 period also emphasizes the need to make the rule of law prevail, help the American Dream flourish, and uphold legal justice equitably, meaning people will have to wait in line. President Bush also stated," We're also a compassionate nation that treats people decently, and the two are not in conflict. That's what's important for our fellow citizens to understand. The two are not in conflict".

These are important remarks to note in the context of the recent testimony made by Secretary James Chertoff from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security on "FY 2009 Budget Request" recently. According to a press released from the department on 13 February 2008 Chertoff felt there was still a need to make the most effective and efficient use of U.S. resources and capabilities to protect the homeland and the American people. Mr.Chertoff stated, "While we have had many successes, there are numerous challenges that still remain. I am here today to ask for your partnership and support as we face these challenges. We may not see eye to eye on all issues, but we certainly agree that our interests are best served when we work together to achieve our common goal of securing this great nation".

The year 2008 marks the fifth year of the Department of Homeland Security´s(DHS) existence which continues to protect the nation from dangerous people and goods; to protect critical infrastructure; to build a nimble, effective emergency response system and a culture of preparedness; and to strengthen the Department´s operations and management. The DHS has made some good progress in achieving effective control of the border, screening passengers, protecting critical infrastructure, responding to emergencies, and enforcing US immigration laws. In FY 2007, the Department invested significant time and effort to implement the requirements of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, to focus its efforts on the greatest risks, to be nimble in an overall response to changing threats, and to be disciplined in its use of resources as it builds its capacity to meet future challenges seamlessly with state and local leadership, first responders, the private sector, our international partners, and most certainly, the public.

Mr. Chertoff stated," It is no accident that we have not suffered a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. It is the result of the President´s leadership, the support of Congress, and the hard work and constant vigilance of hundreds of thousands of men and women including the employees at DHS who are working tirelessly both at home and overseas to protect our country. Under the President´s leadership, the Department will continue to effectively carry out its critical mission and will leave a strong foundation for the future". For FY 2009, the DHS is focusing more on being an efficient department that is working to protect the U.S. Borders and critical infrastructure, prevent dangerous people and goods from entering the country, and recover from natural disasters effectively, Chertoff added.

Thus, the total DHS FY 2009 budget requested is $50.5 billion in funding; a 7 percent increase over the FY 2008 enacted level excluding emergency funding. The Department´s FY 2009 gross discretionary budget request is $40.7 billion, an increase of 8 percent over the FY 2008 enacted level excluding emergency funding. According to DHS, gross discretionary funding does not include mandatory funding such as the Coast Guard´s retirement pay accounts and fees paid for immigration benefits. The Department´s FY 2009 net discretionary budget request is $37.6 billion, which does not include fee collections such as funding for the Federal Protective Service and aviation security passenger and carrier fees.

An increased budget will definitely allow DHS to serve more immigrants wanting to reside in the country as Permanent Residents at a time when America is facing increasing global competition, and also facing a skilled workers crunch in comparison to other G-8 countries and emerging economic power houses such as India, China and Brazil.

Recently DHS has been working over its limited budget to try to shorten the immigration waiting period for many so that guest workers and skilled immigrants can immediately start contributing to America´s production base and economic sector within a few months or weeks of their arrival. This has also resulted in the need to coordinate action quicker with other government bureaus such as the FBI where background checks of all would be immigrants is done. Sometimes, these results in having to bear in to the workers requests given the employers shortage of skilled and occupational work category vacancies.

In a story carried by the Washington Post from Spencer Hsiu on 12 February 2008," Facing a rapidly growing backlog of immigration cases, the Bush administration will grant permanent residency to tens of thousands of legal U.S. immigrants without first completing required background checks against the FBI's investigative files". This change affects as many as 47,000 permanent residency, or green-card, applicants whose cases are otherwise complete but whose FBI checks have been pending for more than six months. Overall, about 44 percent of the 320,000 pending immigration name checks before the FBI -- including citizenship as well as green-card requests have been awaiting decisions for more than six months or more. According to Mr. Prakash Khatri, the ombudsman of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services this has also been described as the "the most pervasive" processing problem in the U.S. immigration system.

In fact, recently Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced a series of administrative reforms to address border security and immigration challenges for the US which include within the boundaries of existing law to secure the US borders more effectively, improve interior and worksite enforcement, streamline existing guest worker programs, improve the current immigration system, and help new immigrants assimilate into American culture faster. As President Bush noted in his Nebraska speech outlining his basic plans for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, "I believe we ought to differentiate between those who've been here for a long period of time, and those who are newly arrived. I know we need to treat people with respect and dignity. I think the best way to assure the American people that we're a nation of laws and a compassionate nation at the same time is to say, pay your debt to society, and if you choose to be a citizen, you can, just you wait in line at the back, not in the beginning".

In stopping illegal immigration, the Bush Administration has worked hard to strengthen the mandate of Homeland Security to be both people friendly and overall responsive to the cross-border needs. The main challenge in front of Homeland Security in 2008 will continue to be improving border security and immigration within existing law.

As President Bush noted in his 2007 Nebraska speech, there is little fear for most Americans to think otherwise about Comprehensive Immigration Reforms. He stated frankly," The values that made us great is that we're a nation that have been united by common ideals, proud of our history, proud of our flag, understanding of the need to have a common language, and at the same time, a society whose soul has been uplifted constantly by the fact that people have come to our country to realize a dream, the dream of working hard and improving their lot in life; the dream of putting food on the table, and at the same time, hoping the child goes to college; the dream of owning their own businesses. That's uniquely American. It enables me to say to the American people that "one nation under God" means something. And we must never lose that spirit".

President Bush´s Comprehensive Immigration Plan which is widely supported on a bi-partisan basis, vindicated by the backing statements of individual candidates standing up for the US Presidential race in 2008 mainly recognizes the need to maintain America´s competitive edge, allowing those who are outstanding and living abroad but wanting to contribute to the American economy and society to do so in a legal manner, and also trying to discourage illegal immigration which is a major American headache. Secretary Chertoff has managed to put in considerable reforms in streamlining the work of Homeland Security in recent past, particularly in cutting down the immigration lines and enhancing the labor pool America needs to sustain her competitive global economic edge. Undoubtedly, the immigration debate will rage on in America, fueled by the argument that America is a land of immigrants and will always continue to be so. The DHS has certainly been able to live up to its promise in helping new immigrants coming to America make use of its people friendly services and readily accessible on-line information thereby fulfilling many of the concerns on reforming America's immigration system and also improving the quality and quantity of immigration intake. Added future budgetary resources will certainly help DHS provide better and more expanded services both to the American public and the immigrant community in the U.S.


02-16-2008, 02:17 AM


Dems could see immigration silver lining in McCain

Could McCain's nomination mean an immigration deal this year?

Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Posted on February 15, 2008 6:37 PM

Greg Siskind has come up with a scenario that argues Democrats should be tempted, now that John McCain is the likely Republican nominee, is to rush an immigration bill through this year.

"Do you think the GOP is going to allow their rank-and-file members to attack their nominee day in day out over the immigration issue? If they do, the results could be disastrous as McCain will be going around the country trying to unite a very fractured party that is already pretty suspicious of his conservative bona fides. Can you imagine one Republican after another having to come to the microphone to denounce the McCain-Kennedy bill (and that's what Reid and Pelosi need to call it every chance they get)? And then McCain being dogged by reporters asking about it multiple times each day?"

In his scenario, immigration could also be the tail that wags the dog " a way for Democrats to distract from their own intraparty presidential battle, particularly if the Clinton-Obama race goes all the way to a convention.

"[T]hrowing the immigration 'grenade' and stirring up the immigration storm in the GOP may make the Democrats bickering look pretty tame," he writes, adding that that would put pressure on Republican leaders to cut a deal on Democrats' terms to keep their own fight under wraps. Siskind says bringing back the bill this year "would have virtually no drawbacks" for Democrats.

It's an intriguing scenario, though it doesn't strike me as working out as easily as he puts it. In the first place, McCain has had to shift somewhat, embracing both an enforcement-first position that his own campaign manager says is now the consensus of the party. It would be impossible for McCain to back away from that now.

Second, it wasn't just Republicans that killed the bill. More than a dozen Democratic senators were happy to have a chance to vote against it, and on the House side, plenty of conservative-leaning Democrats will be begging their leaders not to go Siskind's recommended route.

Still, given that McCain has said he still supports the bill he wrote with Sen. Ted Kennedy " yet also says that bill is dead " Democrats must be at least a little tempted to prove him wrong and bring it back, just to see what he does.


02-16-2008, 02:25 AM

FILE/The Associated Press
Oklahoma state Rep. Randy Terrill, at a 2006 Senate hearing, says polls show that up to three out of four of the state's residents support his House Bill 1804. This summer, the same law also will allow U.S. citizens to sue employers if they think they were fired in favor of illegal workers. Employers in the state say they already see the results: "A total lack of workers," said Doug Forrest, a Tulsa site-preparation contractor and golf course builder. "This is potentially sending our state into a recession."

Oklahoma's crackdown on illegal immigration draws Texas lawmakers' interest

Crackdown on illegal immigration draws criticism, Texas interest

12:00 AM CST on Thursday, February 14, 2008
By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

OKLAHOMA CITY Welcome to the nation's laboratory for a crackdown on illegal immigration. Last year, Oklahoma's Legislature passed, by huge margins, the nation's toughest law on illegal immigrants, making it a felony to harbor, transport, shelter or conceal undocumented immigrants.

Proponents of the law don't see such economic harm.

Meanwhile, some Texas l