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  • #46
    can he adjust his status?lol


    • #47
      Originally posted by mike_2007:
      can he adjust his status?lol

      But of course... I am sure he is going to apply for asylum


      • #48
        loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool forever


        • #49
          or maybe VAWA..iam sure they abused the poor thing


          • #50
            By CATHERINE TSAI | Associated Press, 01/28/2008

            BOULDER, Colo."”A Wyoming prison parolee has been arrested in the 1997 rape and beating death of a University of Colorado senior after he was linked to the case by a DNA match and other evidence, police said.

            Diego Olmos-Alcalde, 38, was being held on $5 million bail on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault in the rape and killing of 23-year-old Susannah Chase of Stamford, Conn., police said.

            "The department is ecstatic over this," police Chief Mark Beckner said Sunday.

            Chase's family praised investigators in a statement issued at a Sunday news conference.

            "As you might imagine our emotions have run the gamut since we first heard of the DNA match with Susannah's case. We are delighted that a suspect has been identified and apprehended," the family said.

            Chase was walking home alone early Dec. 21 after an argument with her boyfriend when she was beaten with a baseball bat and left for dead in an alley a block from her home. Police believe the attack was random.

            Police never gave up on the case, and interviewed more than 100 people to try to find Chase's killer.

            DNA taken from seminal fluid found on Chase's body that was entered into a national DNA database, apparently recently, matched Olmos-Alcalde's, Beckner said. Boulder police learned of the match Thursday.

            Beckner said investigators had other information linking Olmos-Alcalde to the attack, but declined to say what information. Olmos-Alcalde had not previously been linked to the case.

            Boulder County Jail officials did not make Olmos-Alcalde available for comment by telephone. A jail official did not know whether Olmos-Alcalde had an attorney, and the prosecutor's office was closed Sunday.

            Olmos-Alcalde, who is from Chile, went to prison in Wyoming for a kidnapping in 2000 and was released to immigration officials in July 2007, police said.

            He failed to report to his Wyoming parole officer and was arrested Saturday by Boulder and Aurora police for violating his parole. Police served Olmos-Alcalde with the murder warrant Sunday.

            Investigators were looking into Olmos-Alcalde's immigration status, Beckner said. Police planned to file the arrest warrant affidavit Monday, he said.

            Melinda Br***ale of the Wyoming Department of Corrections said Olmos-Alcalde had been sentenced on charges involving kidnapping and terrorizing someone but releasing them without harm.

            Lead Detective Chuck Heidel, who had worked the case from the start, broke the news of the DNA match to Chase's mother Friday. "She is extremely happy, she and her family," Heidel said.

            Beckner said more investigation remains to clear up questions about the suspect and his whereabouts before the attack.

            Boulder police had been widely criticized for failing to solve three murders in the usually peaceful city in the past 25 years, including the murder of child beauty pageant contestant JonBenet Ramsey.

            Heidel said Chase's parents have been supportive throughout.

            "Because the investigation went down a lot of blind alleys, leading to a lot of dead ends, they went down those with us," said Heidel.

            Ron Stump, CU vice chancellor for student affairs, said he hoped the arrest would lead to closure in the death of Chase. "As promised at her memorial, we will continue at CU-Boulder to build, in her memory, a community that strives to eliminate violence in all its forms, but particularly violence against women," he said.


            • #51
              Associated Press, Jan 24

              A U.S. Border Patrol agent questioning the occupants of a pickup truck clung to the passenger door and shot and wounded the truck's driver Thursday as the man attempted to flee, authorities said.

              The unidentified agent stopped the truck with five people inside about 9:30 a.m. on U.S. 191, nine miles northwest of Douglas, Cochise County Sheriff's spokesman Carol Capas said. The agent was acting on a tip that a truck matching the description and license plate had been seen loading a group of illegal immigrants near Douglas, Capas said.

              As the agent stood on the passenger side of the truck, the driver attempted to drive off, with the agent caught in the vehicle's door, Capas said.

              "The agent fired a single shot prior to falling off of the door, which struck the driver one time in the leg," Capas said. The agent was dragged about 20 feet before firing his shot, hitting the driver in the upper left leg, Capas added.

              The driver "” identified as Luis Sanchez-Barron, 29, of Hermosillo, Mexico "” stopped a short distance away. He was airlifted to University Medical Center in Tucson, where he was listed in fair condition.

              Capas said the other four occupants apparently did not attempt to escape and were taken into custody by the Border Patrol.

              Tucson sector Border Patrol spokesman Jesus "Chuy" Rodriguez said he did not know if the five were in the country illegally.

              The agent was taken to the Southeastern Arizona Medical Center in Douglas for treatment of cuts and abrasions sustained when he fell from the moving vehicle.


              • #52
                Associated Press, 01/26/2008

                AUSTIN"”Immigration agents will set up an office at the Travis County Jail to monitor the status of people booked into the facility.

                U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will likely be stationed in the jail 24 hours a day, seven days a week in coming months, said Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton.

                Until recently, federal immigration agents visited the jail occasionally to check the immigration status of inmates. They began increasing their presence in the facility late last year, leading to more immigration holds being placed on Travis County inmates for possible deportation, said Adrian Ramirez, assistant director for ICE's San Antonio office.

                An immigration hold is a legal order that says a jailed person should be released into ICE custody for possible deportation after completing the sentence.

                In some places, including the Dallas County Jail, ICE has officers stationed at detention facilities to handle the process of determining deportability. At the Irving jail and others, jailers can call a 24-hour number and have ICE personnel check databases or speak with detainees to determine if they are legally in the country, said Nuria Prendes, director of detention and removal operations at ICE's Dallas field office.

                Austin police have had a yearslong practice of not asking suspects or victims about their immigration status.

                Attorney David Peek wrote the sheriff to say he is worried about the new plan because members of the city's immigrant community will think interacting with local law enforcement officers could lead to deportation and become afraid.

                Hamilton met with concerned community groups this week and said he decided to allow ICE agents to work out of the jail to improve joint efforts between local and federal law enforcement agencies to increase public safety.

                "My contention is that the best way for (undocumented immigrants) to not come under scrutiny is to not commit crimes," he said.

                ICE officials decided in October to focus on jails in Travis and Bexar counties. Ramirez said agents also plan to more frequently visit jails throughout his office's 20-county region.


                • #53
                  Description: Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia gives an insightful account of how and why he gave up his US green card.
                  Date: 21 April 2006
                  Source: The Globe and Mail, F6
                  "This is the first time I've met someone who wanted to do that."
                  The U.S. immigration officer's southern drawl, so out of place in the Vancouver airport, was accentuated by incredulity.

                  A "green card," which is actually off-white in colour and called a Permanent Resident Card, provides full rights to enter, live and work in the world's most powerful country. It conveys most of the advantages of U.S. citizenship, so much so that it can be traded in for an American passport after just five years. Yet there I was, 4½ years after I had acquired it, asking for my green card to be taken away.

                  Acquiring U.S. permanent residency is an arduous process, involving blood tests, chest X-rays and numerous documents, including police certificates attesting to a crime-free past. Even with a prominent sponsor, Duke University, it had taken me three years.

                  Apart from the 50,000 "diversity immigrants" selected by lottery each year, the 50,000 refugees and the roughly 140,000 who, like me, are targeted for universities and high-tech jobs, most of those who aspire to live and work in the United States have no chance of legally settling there. Still, millions flock to the country, like moths to a flame.

                  I was on my way to a conference in San Diego when I surrendered my green card. The next morning, out for an early run, I saw scores of Mexican men tending lawns and flowerbeds. Later, a woman from Guatemala cleaned my hotel room. I remembered one of my grad students at Duke, now a law professor in Mexico City, explaining that most of these labourers have forged social-security cards that are convincing enough to protect their employers from the police, while providing no protections for the workers.

                  Six years ago, Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson estimated that 660,000 Canadians were living and working illegally in the United States. Most Canadians blend in easily. But after Sept. 11, 2001, fear replaced curiosity as the standard response to things unknown. Before 9/11, my wife's English accent often generated a friendly response, including the comment "You sound just like Princess Diana." After the attacks, the warm chatter gave way to a strained silence.

                  At least my princess had a green card and was, therefore, on the legally advantageous side of the divide between "us" and "them." Thousands of men of Arab ethnicity were rounded up and either detained or deported without charge or access to lawyers. Significantly, none of them were citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

                  Of course, even U.S. citizenship does not provide the protections it once did. In 2002, the Bush administration jailed two Americans without charge or access to lawyers, in direct denial of habeas corpus, a common-law principle that dates back to Magna Carta. And then there is the secret, unconstitutional wiretapping program.

                  "Are you sure you want to do this?" the immigration officer whispered as she ushered me toward the secondary-screening room.

                  "Yes," I replied. "I don't want to lie to you. I no longer live in the United States."

                  Under U.S. law, permanent residents lose that status if they leave the country for more than one year. Yet many green-card holders do precisely that, returning to the United States periodically to "keep their options open." They often maintain U.S. addresses, sometimes with family or friends, but just as often with commercial providers, in order to sustain the fiction that they reside in the United States. Some companies even rent street addresses, as opposed to box numbers, and will automatically ship any mail received there onward to a designated foreign address.

                  Absentee green-card holders often use their driver's licences to cross the border, or new passports that are free of stamps that might alert an attentive immigration officer to their dubious status. If asked, they will deny having a connection with the United States.

                  Such ploys are becoming riskier as the computer systems of different U.S. government departments, and different national governments, are linked together to improve security. At particular risk are green-card holders who have failed to file U.S. tax returns, as all permanent residents are required to do.

                  As of Jan. 1, 2007, anyone entering the United States by air or sea will be required to have a passport or other as-yet-unspecified "secure" document. From Jan. 1, 2008, the same requirement will apply to those entering on land. The Canadian government has lobbied against this move because of concerns that it will deter millions of Americans -- less than one-quarter of whom currently have passports -- from visiting Canada. The cruise-ship and conference industries are particularly vulnerable, along with the 2010 Winter Olympics.

                  The new requirement will also make it more difficult for green-card holders living in Canada, and Canadians living illegally in the United States, to move freely between the two countries.

                  At last month's Cancun summit, George W. Bush indicated that he supported the passport legislation: "Congress passed the law and I intend to enforce the law." At record low levels in the polls, Mr. Bush is not about to veto a bill brought forward by members of his own party in preparation for the mid-term congressional elections this fall. Prime Minister Stephen Harper quickly conceded that Canada could do nothing to resist.

                  At the secondary screening, I was greeted by an immigration officer whose name tag and features suggested Vietnamese origins.

                  "Which form should I use?" he asked his supervisor. The supervisor, a stout man with a mid-western accent, gave a world-weary sigh. "Voluntaries get the short form."

                  It took 45 minutes to complete the short form. It was an entirely business-like procedure: No small talk, no smiles. At one point, I commented on the complexity of the process. He said, "Well, this is a big deal. It's like getting married."

                  No, I thought. It was more like getting divorced.

                  My wife and I had moved to North Carolina in 1999. The stock market was booming, most Americans felt prosperous and secure, and Bill Clinton -- despite Whitewater and Lewinsky -- was still capably in charge. It seemed obvious that one of two smart, experienced, open-minded internationalists, Al Gore or John McCain, would follow in January, 2001.

                  But then we were amused, perplexed and finally disgusted at the dirty tricks deployed in the 2000 election campaign, first to defeat Mr. McCain, and then to steal victory from Mr. Gore. And we felt nothing but horror as the Twin Towers collapsed, knowing not only that thousands of lives had been lost, but that Mr. Bush's neo-conservative advisers would seize their chance to plot a militaristic course.

                  My instinctive response was to put words to paper. Five days later, on Sept. 16, 2001, my article, "The hawks are hovering. Prepare for more bombs," appeared in London's Independent on Sunday. I continued to write, almost exclusively for British papers, chastising the Bush administration for its unnecessary violations of human rights and international law.

                  Needless to say, my opinions attracted considerable hostility, all the more so because I was expressing them from within a conservative law school at a conservative university in the very conservative South. I stood my ground, but it wasn't easy. And then it occurred to me: The United States wasn't my country; it wasn't a place for which I wanted to fight. My thoughts drifted northward, to the place where my values had been forged.

                  The immigration officer worked his way through a series of questions designed to confirm my identity and soundness of mind. The last question was the toughest: "Why do you wish to surrender your permanent resident card?"

                  How do you explain to an American -- especially one with a flag on his shoulder and a gun on his hip -- that you no longer wish to live in the United States?

                  I thought about the man across the counter, how he would have fled the postwar chaos and poverty of Vietnam, how he might have been plucked off a rickety boat by the U.S. Navy and may have gravitated toward the immigration service out of an innate sense of gratitude to his new homeland.

                  My principal motivation in surrendering my green card was not to avoid problems at the border. I was seeking to commit -- without hesitation or qualification -- to my own special place. As someone who was born in Canada, I never had to affirm my citizenship. I never had to demonstrate my deep love for this country. Unlike the millions of Canadians who were born outside Canada, I'd never made my choice.

                  The moment was upon me. My heart bursting with pride, I looked the immigration officer in the eye and said, as simply and non-judgmentally as possible: "I have chosen to live permanently in Canada."

                  "Permanently?" he asked.

                  "Yes," I said, "Of course."

                  Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia.


                  • #54
                    Associated Press, Jan 30

                    Hundreds of illegal immigrants who were transferred from the San Pedro detention facility late last year to one in Texas are having their cases heard by video conference.

                    Immigration attorneys said the change of venue combined with video hearings hurts the detainees' chances of winning their immigration cases, including those seeking asylum.

                    "What is crucial in presenting these types of cases, where people are fighting to stay in the U.S., is to be in a place where your relatives and witnesses can testify," said Marc Van Der Hout, a San Francisco immigration attorney. "If you live in Los Angeles and are shipped to Texas, your chance of winning your case has decreased by 99 percent."

                    Others said at the very least videoconference hearings should have been sought with immigration judges in Los Angeles.

                    "To change the venue of these cases but then be giving individuals videoconference hearings doesn't make sense," said Judy Rabinovitz, a senior attorney with the ACLU's Immigrant's Rights Project in New York. "The federal government has a lot of explaining to do as to why they requested the change of venue."

                    Congress approved videoconference hearings in 1996 as a way to help overwhelmed immigration courts.

                    San Pedro was shut down unexpectedly for repairs in October. A majority of the more than 400 detainees were sent to the South Texas Correctional Facility.

                    Shortly after the closure, federal officials tried to move detainees' cases out of Los Angeles immigration courts and into other courts around the nation.

                    Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said venue changes were necessary to ensure timely hearings.

                    "ICE sought change of venue in the vast majority of the pending San Pedro cases because our attorneys believed that was the appropriate action," Kice said. "The aliens' attorneys can oppose those changes of venue and request a hearing using video teleconference technology. Ultimately, the final decision rests with the courts."

                    Neils Frenzen, who runs USC Law School's immigration clinic, said government attorneys are ignoring judge's rulings against the venue changes.

                    Frenzen said immigration officials lost their bid to move his client's case to South Texas, but then refused to bring the immigrant back to California.

                    "What ICE has done is file a second round of motions to change venue," Frenzen said. "To suggest the government filed the motions but it is the immigration judges who decides is ridiculous."

                    Unlike criminal defendants, immigrants are not entitled to an attorney. Nearly 65 percent of the 308 San Pedro detainees who had their court venues changed have no legal help, according to the Department of Justice.


                    • #55

                      Fighting to share the American Dream

                      Immigration policy has become a hot-button issue in the US presidential election campaign

                      January 31, 2008 3:25 AM

                      Immigration is one of the most contentious and emotional issues in the United States today - an issue that cuts to the core of what it means to be an American, and of what kind of country America wants to become. In the 2008 presidential race, immigration policy will come to the fore as the political field narrows, and especially as the primary season gives way to the general election.

                      Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have already been jockeying for the growing Latino vote, all the while trying not to alienate others on this hot-button issue. On the Republican side, John McCain's pragmatic and relatively humane position is under attack from Mitt Romney, who seeks to capitalize on the streak of Nativist, anti-immigrant feeling that has resurfaced in US politics in recent years. For millions of ordinary people in America's cities and small towns, its factories and fields, these policies are matters of life and death, and how the immigration debate is resolved will in large part control their destinies.

                      In the back offices of St Brigid's Roman Catholic church in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, a dozen people sit quietly in a waiting room, peering from time to time through an open door into a small study. There, behind a desk, sits Monsignor James Kelly, his white hair shooting out on all sides. Across from him is a thin, blonde woman from Guatemala. She has two manila envelopes stuffed with papers in front of her. She is crying. This tiny room is one of the frontlines in the battle over immigration, and these people are its soldiers - and its casualties.

                      This part of Bushwick is a poor area, a long subway ride from Manhattan's towers of wealth and commerce. It is inhabited largely by Latinos, a good many of them from Ecuador, with a wide scattering from other lands. The church, which sits at the centre of the community, is crammed each Sunday with 1,200 or more people - adults, children, babies in carriages. At a time when many Catholic churches are seeing their parishioners dwindle, they fill the pews and clog every aisle, listening intently to Father Kelly saying mass in Spanish. The music is lively, with a trace of Pentecostal fervor to it, and there is a charismatic tone to the service. Every Sunday, this priest gives the mass twice in Spanish, once in English and once in Italian for the small number of elderly Italian Americans still living in the area. After mass, in the bitter cold outside, Father Kelly talks politics non-stop, pausing to bless an elderly woman, to reach inside a baby carriage and touch an infant's forehead. He talks rapidly in English, then in Spanish, switching seamlessly back and forth.

                      Father Kelly is not your usual parish priest. He looks out for his parishioners' souls, but also for their rights: In order to serve his flock, Kelly became a lawyer, and often argues cases before the courts. Every weekday morning, the church offices become a makeshift legal clinic, and fill with people embroiled in immigration matters. Kelly, who came to the US from Ireland many years ago, personally listens to each one, scurries across the room to a computer to look up details, thumbs through a law book for more information. All of it is free.

                      The priest wrestles with what to say to the blonde woman. Her husband is legal, but she hasn't been here long and is illegal. There is a sense of quiet desperation about her. The priest puts his hands over his face. He doesn't want to hurt her, but there is no remedy. Look, he says, if you stay two more years then we can do something. But in the meantime, stay quiet, keep going. The woman's eyes keep welling with tears.

                      Kelly knows that this woman can be taken at any moment, as so many of his parishioners have been - picked up by immigration services while leaving their homes in the morning, going into a laundromat, dropping off their children at school. Anywhere, any time. A father can leave for work and simply fail to reappear; a mother can go out for groceries and never come back. Life, for them, is an ever-tightening trap. They live two families to a house, and now because of the recession, three families to a house. Many need to have several jobs to survive. But because they can't get drivers' licenses, they can't go far to find work, to buy what they need at a discount store or to take their children to a park.

                      There are some 12 million people living this way in the United States today - most with jobs, families, and roots in their communities, but without legal authorisation to be here. According to conventional wisdom, this constitutes a "crisis" in contemporary America, as illegal and unwanted foreigners take our jobs, burden our social welfare system, ruin our neighborhoods, and threaten the American way of life - a way of life established, of course, by previous generations of immigrants, many of them more desperate and destitute than those who are arriving on our shores today.

                      In fact, new immigrants - both documented and undocumented - are a backbone of the US economy, providing vital labour, opening small businesses, reviving burned-out urban communities. According to the Immigration Policy Center, a roundup of studies shows that undocumented immigrants also contribute more to state and local governments in taxes than they use in services.

                      Americans are deeply divided on immigration policy, with 31% saying the illegal immigrants already here should be allowed to stay permanently, 31% saying they should be granted temporary status, and 30% saying they should be sent home.

                      Yet the anti-immigrant voices have been the loudest and most virulent and have often seized control of the debate. In the past two years, they've helped derail efforts to pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill, in part through a huge grassroots phone and email campaign, fueled by talk radio. Since then immigration has become the issue that no politicians want to touch, if they can help it.

                      On the other hand, the Latino vote has become a force to be reckoned with, especially within the Democratic party. According to the 2000 US census, 12.5% of Americans identified themselves as Hispanic. In the 2006 midterm elections, more than 70% of Hispanics voted for Democratic candidates, indicating a shift away from the GOP. And this year, Latino voters carry extra clout because of their strong representation in early primary states. For the first time, Democratic presidential candidates have launched Spanish websites and participated in a Spanish-language television debates.

                      Hillary Clinton, who leads the polls among Latino voters, has a mixed platform on immigration - generally pro-immigrant on the big issues, but not on some of the small ones that stand to have an impact on the lives of people like those who attend St Brigid's.

                      Of the illegal immigrants already in the United States, she has said that it is "an unworkable scheme to try to deport 11 million people, which you have to have a police state to try to do," although she still supports "strengthening our borders". She favors "a path to earned citizenship for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar for becoming a citizen".

                      But she also stumbled over a question about whether she supported drivers' licenses for illegal immigrants - at first seeming to support them, then backtracking. She has since come out against them.

                      This is one of several positions that now separate Clinton from Barack Obama, who has been campaigning hard for a larger share of Latino votes. His broad take on immigration policy is virtually identical to Clinton's. But Obama - who likes to emphasise that he is the son of an immigrant from Kenya - supports issuing driver's' licenses to undocumented immigrants, a position that is highly unpopular outside of immigrant communities, but could make a huge difference to people living in places like Bushwick. He has also pledged to take up immigration reform during his first year in office, while Clinton has declined to make such a promise.

                      Clinton has also made some little-reported statements about the treatment of illegal immigrants who run afoul of the law. "Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone," she said at one campaign appearance, and at another, "You put them on a plane to wherever they came from". Immigrant advocates like Father Kelly believe that such a policy leads to abuses and injustices, and that in America, everyone should be entitled to due process. "Horrible" is the way he characterized Hillary Clinton's immigration position.

                      They also remember the harsh immigration legislation signed in 1996 by Bill Clinton, which demanded "automatic deportations" of legal and illegal immigrants convicted of felonies. A recent report from Human Rights Watch found that this law had led to the separation of 1.6 million families - something that runs directly counter to Hillary Clinton's claim that all immigration policy must be committed to keeping families together. For Kelly, Ronald Reagan's 1986 amnesty for illegal immigrants was a modest step forward, all but reversed in Bill Clinton's draconian approach.

                      Immigrants might be nearly as well off with Republican John McCain, who with Ted Kennedy sponsored the immigration reform bill that both Clinton and Obama supported. In the past he has taken a punitive stance on extending some social services to illegal immigrants, and his hawkish rhetoric includes support for fences to seal off the borders. He supports a path to citizenship that might be somewhat steeper than the Democrats. But his rating of 18% from the anti-immigrant group US Border Patrol is just slightly higher than Clinton's and Obama's 8%.

                      McCain has criticized opponents who "don't believe the American Dream is big enough to share anymore". In one debate, he said of illegal immigrants, "We need to sit down as Americans and recognize these are God's children as well. And they need some protection under the law; they need some of our love and compassion." When virulent Nativist Tom Tancredo accused him of supporting a bilingual nation, McCain replied, "Well, first of all, muchas gracias," and then advised Tancredo to "go to the Vietnam War Memorial and look at the names engraved in black granite. You'll find a whole lot of Hispanic names. They must come into the country legally, but they have enriched our culture and our nation as every generation of immigrants before them."

                      McCain has been pilloried by opponents, and many conservative commentators, for his "soft" position on immigration. Mitt Romney, ever the opportunist looking for a vulnerable target, has really come out swinging against immigration, attacking McCain for supporting "amnesty" for the lawbreaking illegals, going after Huckabee for giving them government handouts in Arkansas, and generally treating illegal immigration as some sort of scourge.

                      For Kelly, the candidates, Democrat and Republican alike, might as well be living on another planet, and have nothing to contribute to pressing situations like the one in Bushwick. Of them all, he sees some hope in McCain, but his parishioners, many of whom can't vote, are sympathetic to Hillary, and would likely oppose Obama on strictly racial lines.

                      In St Brigid's back room, a woman takes her seat before Father Kelly. "I am here," she says, "because this is a good man." She gestures to an elderly gentleman sitting next to her. He is Haitian, and has been in the United States since 1981. He should qualify for legal residence. Kelly finds his case. It is still open - pending for more than 20 years. Well, sighs Kelly, at least it's still open - he has a chance.


                      • #56
                        Associated Press, 01/30/2008

                        McALLEN, Texas"”The Justice Department has sued more Cameron County property owners who have not volunteered access to their land for a survey of the border.

                        The federal government sued six more landowners in U.S. District Court in Brownsville on Tuesday, bringing the total to 18 condemnation lawsuits in the county. The Department of Homeland Security is requesting temporary, 180-day access so contractors can survey and prepare for siting the fence.

                        Brownsville residents, including Mayor Pat Ahumada, have been among the most vocal critics of the planned 700 miles of steel and virtual fence along the Mexican border, which President Bush and Congress have ordered built to stop illegal immigration and smuggling. Ahumada denied surveyors access to city-owned land, noting early plans showed the fence cutting through downtown.

                        U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered 10 property owners to give access earlier this week. The government said it was close to negotiated access with two others.

                        Among those sued Tuesday was Eloisa Garcia Tamez, an outspoken opponent of the border fence who has challenged the government to make an example of her. She said her family's land in El Calaboz near Brownsville was part of a Spanish land grant and refused to give the government access.

                        Also sued Tuesday were Ruben Quiroz of San Benito; Celeste Montemayor Rodriguez of San Benito; Diana Santiso del Rio of Mexico City; Maria Antoinette Pope of Brownsville; and joint owners Huton G. Frazier of Bedford and the estate of Luciano Ortiz.

                        Last fall, the Department of Homeland Security offered some property owners $3,000 for access to their land for surveys. Many refused on principle, with Ahumada calling it "blood money."

                        By year's end, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff sent letters to residents threatening to take them to court if access was not granted.

                        Earlier this month, the federal government successfully sued for access to land owned by the city of Eagle Pass. The Cameron County cases are the only others so far.

                        The Department of Homeland Security is trying to build 370 miles of fence by the end of the year. The lower Rio Grande Valley between Brownsville and McAllen is densely populated and closely linked with sister cities on the Mexican side. Property owners in the Valley worry that the fence will cut them off from large swaths of their property.


                        • #57
                          Plea Entered in Illegal License Checks By Tom Jackman | Washington Post, Feb 1

                          A Fairfax County police sergeant pleaded guilty yesterday to illegally using police computers to check license plate numbers for a friend, not knowing that the friend was the target of a federal investigation and that the license plates were on cars used to surveil the friend.

                          Sgt. Weiss Rasool, 30, joined the county police in 2000 and is assigned to patrol the McLean district. He has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Officer Don Gotthardt said.

                          During a brief hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Rasool pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized computer access. The maximum sentence is one year in prison, though sentencing guidelines call for probation or up to six months.

                          In a statement of facts filed by the government and signed by Rasool, authorities said Rasool used the Fairfax police computer system June 10, 2005, to access the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center to check three license plates. After learning that the plates were registered to a leasing company -- which authorities say Rasool had reason to believe was providing vehicles to federal investigators -- Rasool told his friend that the plates had been traced to a company, not an individual.

                          That phone call was being monitored by federal agents on a wiretap authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, court records show. The subject of the surveillance has since been convicted of felonies in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, but a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to identify him yesterday.

                          The agents could tell from the phone call that Rasool and their target had spoken before, court records state. And because Rasool was not conducting a police investigation or other official business, he was breaking the law by accessing the state and federal databases.

                          In addition, authorities said, Rasool checked his own name and others in the national crime database more than 15 times to determine whether he or other individuals were registered in the Violent Crime and Terrorist Offender File, also a federal violation when not done as part of a police investigation. Rasool is a native of Afghanistan and a naturalized U.S. citizen.

                          Outside the courtroom, Rasool declined to discuss specifics of the case. But he said he had not intended to harm an investigation or damage the United States.

                          "I couldn't serve in the military because of family issues," Rasool said. "But this country's done so much for me. I will defend it, protect it and serve it until the last drop of my blood."

                          Rasool's attorney, James W. Hundley, said Rasool "didn't divulge any information he shouldn't divulge." He said a member of Rasool's mosque asked the police officer to "check license plates he was concerned about" on vehicles he suspected had been following him.

                          Hundley said Rasool told his friend that he would be able to provide only limited information, mainly whether the cars were registered to companies or individuals. He found they were registered to a company, Hundley said, and left a voice-mail message to that effect.

                          The cars apparently were being used for federal surveillance, Hundley said. He said that he did not know the name of the person being watched and that Rasool "had no reason to believe this person was the subject of an investigation."

                          Rasool only recently learned of the investigation, Hundley said, apparently after the target was convicted of immigration offenses and deported.

                          Hundley said Rasool was checking the federal terrorism "watch list to see if he or others close to him were incorrectly listed. None of them were, and he never divulged it. And anyone that was on the watch list, he didn't divulge that either."

                          Rasool is scheduled to be sentenced April 15.


                          • #58
                            By Steven Zeit**** | Reuters, Feb 1

                            NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Emily Blunt is in talks to star in "The Girl," a feature about immigration and maternal bonding, from the production banner behind "Maria Full of Grace" and "Half Nelson."

                            The movie focuses on a Texas woman (Blunt) who through a chance encounter finds the young daughter of an illegal immigrant who has become separated from her mother. Saddled with a child she doesn't wish to care for, the woman then searches for the child's mother, a quest that takes her south of the border.

                            David Riker has written the screenplay for "Girl" and is attached to direct. Riker co-wrote the Sundance film "The Sleep Dealer," which took home the dramatic screenwriting award; he also penned the episodic immigrant story "La Ciudad."

                            Although the script for "Girl" is said to be essentially finished, the project likely won't shoot until after the writers' strike, probably in the fall, sources said.

                            Paul Mezey's Journeyman Pictures will produce, and HBO Films is circling the project, with the possibility of the shingle financing and producing as it did with "Maria." HBO Films could air the movie on the network as well as seek theatrical distribution, as the shingle has done with several of its projects.

                            HBO Films has collaborated with Journeyman on several occasions, most recently on "Sugar," the feature about a Dominican baseball player in the U.S. that premiered at Sundance this year. "Maria" was a crossover hit of sorts, earning an Oscar nomination for lead actress Catalina Sandino Moreno.

                            Blunt, who recently appeared in "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Dan in Real Life," is in production on the period royals pic "The Young Victoria."


                            • #59
                              By DAVID RUNK | Associated Press, Jan 31

                              DETROIT -- Tougher identification rules went into effect Thursday along the nation's borders, but there appeared to be little added delay as travelers unprepared for the change were in many cases allowed to cross with a warning.

                              Rather than seeing a bottleneck over the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit, truck driver Paul Kraus said, "It's actually slow today." The 42-year-old regularly crosses the bridge from Windsor, Ontario, and said he always carries required documents.

                              U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the country are no longer allowed to simply declare to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens. Instead, those 19 and older must show proof of citizenship, such as a passport or a "trusted traveler" card issued to frequent border crossers. Driver's licenses must be accompanied by proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

                              Orville McFarlane of San Diego had just his driver's license as he returned from a sports betting parlor in Tijuana, Mexico, but was still allowed past San Diego's main border crossing.

                              "I was taken aback a little bit" about being asked for a birth certificate, the 36-year-old pharmacy technician said. "I said I didn't have it. He gave me a reminder slip."

                              Customs officials said that delays were minimal across the country and that most motorists had the documentation they needed.

                              "It's been a very smooth transition," said Thomas Winkowski, assistant commissioner of the Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection. "There have been no issues with wait times."

                              Officers at the ports had latitude to admit people who are unaware of the changes once their identities were confirmed, and many points were offering a grace period and handing out fliers explaining the changes.

                              On the U.S. side of the border in Progreso, Texas, those returning from a trip to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, across the Rio Grande carried bags of prescription drugs, cigarettes, liquor and crafts. Bobby and Genice Bogard of Greers Ferry, Ark., crossed so Genice could get a tooth capped.

                              The Bogards, who winter in Mission, Texas, knew the requirements were coming but thought they took effect in June. So even though they have U.S. passports, they had left them at home.

                              "He allowed us to pass with a driver's license," Bobby Bogard said of a border agent.

                              "But next time he said he wouldn't," added Genice Bogard.

                              Others were ready for the new rules, or say they've grown accustomed to carrying citizenship documents since security tightened following the Sept. 11 attacks. At the Peace Bridge, officials said most travelers entering Buffalo, N.Y., from Fort Erie, Ontario, had proper documentation.

                              "I always come across with my passport," said Fred Goetz of Burlington, Ontario.

                              Smooth travel was reported at many crossings along the northern and southern borders.

                              The rules eventually will get even tougher for U.S. citizens entering the country from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean because of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which Congress approved in 2004.

                              The driver's license-birth certificate combination will not be allowed when the law is fully implemented, but that has been delayed at land and sea crossings until June 2009.

                              Mexican citizens will continue to have to present valid passports and visas. Canadian citizens previously were not required to show a passport but will need one after next year.

                              Critics, particularly in northern border states, have assailed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff over the changes. Some businesses and lawmakers worry that the new rules _ and the costs of getting a passport _ would discourage some people from making the trip.

                              "We are right on the border and 50 percent of our guests are Canadian, so it's an enormous part of our business," said Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak ski resort in Jay, Vt.


                              • #60

                                Immigration Debate Threatens Crab Workers

                                Posted: Feb 2, 2008 07:21 AM PST

                                Updated: Feb 2, 2008 08:02 AM PST

                                HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's crab houses have relied on a supply of seasonal workers to pick the sweet meat from crabs hauled from the Chesapeake Bay.

                                With the debate over immigration reform threatening to block a primary source of that labor, processors are worrying how they'll handle the crabs that will arrive when the season opens April 1.

                                "The crabbers are going to show up, and I'm not going to be able to handle the crabs," said John Graham III, president of Graham & Rollins Inc., the lone crab-picking house left in Hampton.

                                "The sad part is," he added, "there'll be nowhere else for the crabbers to go."

                                The concern stems from Congress' refusal to extend a provision in a visa program for seasonal workers, contending it should be part of an overall immigration package.

                                The temporary worker provision -- called the H2-B non-immigrant visa program -- has ensured a supply of approximately 1,000 employees to Virginia's seafood processors in recent years.

                                Without those workers, the few crab-picking and oyster-shucking houses remaining in Virginia could not survive, the owners say.

                                For Graham, the impasse could mean closing his doors. He's relied on 120 guest workers for the crab season for several years running.

                                "We're not ready to go out of business," Graham said. "I'm 43 years old. I still have a lot of passion for what I do."

                                The labor uncertainty comes at a time when the seafood industry is already facing pressure because of increasing imports, such as Vietnamese crab meat.

                                Wade said he already has heard from some of his retail clients, who wonder if he'll have a supply of crab meat this year.

                                "Once that business goes, it doesn't come back."

                                The dilemma ripples through the coastal economy.

                                L.D. Amory & Co., for instance, is holding off on buying a $150,000 truck and hiring a new driver. Graham has yet to order $40,000 in supplies.

                                Businesses can only take part in the H2-B program if they've advertised for local workers first and found no takers. Workers in the program must pass a background check, as well as provisions to ensure they return home.

                                Margaret Ransone's family owns Bevans Oyster Co. on the Northern Neck. She said processors are trying to do the right thing and hiring workers who are properly documented. Workers in Virginia illegally can be found, she said.

                                "I could go 10 miles down the road and just bring somebody in," Ransone said. "It's a situation where local labor is just not there. American people want to find work that is year-round."


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