Sunday, March 03, 2002

The number of foreign-born residents and children of immigrants in the United States has reached the highest level in history, according to a Census Bureau report released yesterday. It found that the number had leapt to 56 million from 34 million in the last three decades.

Mexico accounted for more than a quarter of all the foreign-born residents, the bureau's analysis of data from its March 2000 Current Population Survey showed.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Fox and Fidel in Havana | February 14, 2002

"VIVA FIDEL!" "VIVA FOX!" shouted residents of Old Havana as Cuba's dictator-for-life Fidel Castro escorted his distinguished visitor - Mexican President Vicente Fox - through the streets of Old Havana.

Fox's 24-hour visit to Cuba, February 3 and 4, was seen as a great success by both governments involved. The Cuban government certainly interpreted it as a propaganda coup. "Not the entire world dares to come and resist the pressures of the United States," crowed Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque. Fox and Fidel seemed to hit it off quite well in fact.

Vicente Fox, recall, brought down Mexico's authoritarian PRI government after its 71-year rule and is a symbol of hope to millions in Mexico and in other nations. And here he was hamming it up with the Chief Jailer of the Caribbean Gulag. As a matter of fact, Fox is already on better terms with Castro than predecessor Ernesto Zedillo - Mexico's last PRI president - who actually had the temerity to criticize Castro.

What's going on here?

The Mexican government has had a relationship with Fidel Castro since before he was Cuba's leader (Castro spent time in Mexico as an exile) and Mexico is the only nation in the hemisphere which has had constant, unbroken relations with the Castro Regime since the Revolution in 1959. For Mexico, the Cuba link is more than an economic opportunity (although it is that; Mexico is the sixth-largest foreign investor on the island). The public drama of the Mexico-Cuba alliance is an ongoing political statement – a way to show the world that Mexico is independent of the gringos.

Fidel is still quite popular among some sectors in Mexico, especially among many politicians, activists and educators. (I overheard one of my Mexican teaching colleagues begging another to loan him the video of a Castro speech.)

Do not suppose that Vicente Fox is exempt from this sort of thinking either. Although the American media call Fox "right-wing" and "conservative," Fox consistently portrays himself as "center-left," more or less along the lines of a European socialist. So for Fox, friendship with Castro is essential to shore up his international center-left credentials. Not only that, but Fox has been a fan of Castro's health and education programs since before he became president of Mexico

What a contrast though, when Fox visits his northern neighbor! In the United States, the Mexican president publicly attempts to influence U.S. immigration policy. Without qualms, he calls for the legalization of illegal aliens, demands they receive government benefits, and collaborates with ethnic pressure activists who support the goals of the Mexican government. An amazing contrast!

Maybe Bush should take a leaf from Castro on this matter – and tell Fox to mind his own business. It worked in Cuba, after all.
Saturday February 23 10:12 AM EST
Ruling Revives Amnesty Program
A federal judge has breathed new life into one of the nation's longest-running lawsuits, increasing the likelihood that thousands of undocumented immigrants around the country will be able to become lawful U.S. residents. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton in Sacramento could end 16 years of legal limbo for the immigrants, many of whom were rejected for residency under the 1986 federal amnesty program because they had temporarily left the United States in previous years.

"It's a fantastic decision," said the plaintiffs' lead lawyer, Peter A. Schey of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. "It will open the door to tens of thousands" of long-term undocumented immigrants to become legal residents. Schey said he would file a motion by March 4 seeking to permanently bar the Immigration and Naturalization Service from attempting to prevent thousands of immigrants covered by the legal decision from applying for lawful permanent residency.

An INS spokesman said the agency would have no comment until its attorneys had thoroughly reviewed the ruling, which Karlton filed without fanfare Feb. 15.

WASHINGTON AND NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO, Jul 26, 2001 (The Christian Science Monitor via COMTEX) -- News that President Bush may allow as many as 2 million Mexicans living illegally in the United States to become permanent residents is ricocheting from the dusty pueblos of Mexico to the labyrinthine high rises of New York, where new arrivals flock to elude detection via anonymity.
A new report by the General Accounting Office reveals that the threats to U.S. national security posed by faulty immigration policies extend well beyond our porous borders. The GAO study, conducted at the request of two senior members of the House Judiciary Committee, finds that immigration benefit fraud is "rampant" and "out of control." Countless residency visas have been issued to violent criminals based on the Immigration and Naturalization Service's inability to flag fraudulent applications, the GAO concludes.
- Feb 15 4:03 PM ET
Free the Enhanced Border Security Act

I'm H.R. 3525, the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. I easily passed the U.S. House of Representatives by voice vote last December. But to my dismay, I have been biding my time behind bars in the U.S. Senate ever since.

I want to join the fight against terrorism by strengthening the U.S. immigration system and helping to prevent terrorists from exploiting our immigration laws.
Unfortunately, I'm stuck here in the Senate, unable to help enhance the security of our borders.

I'm H.R. 3525. Please help me.
Free the Daschle 50.
Pass America's Agenda today.
From the Office of House Majority Leader Dick Armey (202) 225-6007
February 26, 2002