Monday, December 31, 2007

An immigrant, legal or illegal, arrives in the U.S. every 30 seconds

The U.S. Census Bureau now admits that a new immigrant arrives in the United States every 30 seconds. The agency predicted that the nation's population on January 1, 2008 would be 303,146, 284, almost a full one-percent increase from a year ago. Census Bureau demographers said the nation's growth is 'about what we expected."

Immigrants were responsible for more than one-third of an estimated nationwide population growth of almost 2.87 million between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007. About 667,000 immigrants moved to Southern and Western states in the 12-month period ending July 1 — almost double the number who relocated to the Northeast and Midwest, the Census Bureau says.

Nevada is the nation's fastest-growing state, with an overall population increase of 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending July 1. Arizona, which was the fastest-growing state between 2005 and 2006, slipped to second place. Nevada and Arizona had most of their population gains from other states or foreign nations, not new births. More than 41,000 of Nevada's 72,955 new residents came from other states, while almost 11,000 came from other countries.

Texas' population gain of almost 500,000 people was more than any other state. Runner-up California added about 303,000. California remained the country's most populous state this year, with 36.6 million residents, followed by Texas with 23.9 million and New York with 19.3 million.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Federal judge refuses to block new Arizona law

The state of Arizona has the right to penalize businesses which knowingly hire illegal immigrants. On December 28, a federal judge refused to stall or halt the January 1 implementation of a new state law that will penalize businesses which knowingly hire illegal immigrants. U.S. District Judge Neil Wake denied requests for a temporary restraining order.

Those who would suffer the most from a temporary restraining order would be legal low-skill workers, who would lose jobs and get depressed wages due to competition from illegal immigrants, said Wake. "Even if the injunction is lifted later, their loss will never be paid back," he said. Under the law, employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers can face suspensions of their business licenses for up to 10 days. Repeat violators would have their licenses revoked.

Businesses and advocacy groups already have asked the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an injunction blocking the law. Their requests were filed with appeals of an earlier ruling in which Wake dismissed initial versions of the group's lawsuits.

Those who challenge the law contend that it has the state intruding on the federal government's responsibility for immigration enforcement and is unfair to both employers and workers. The business groups argue that the system posed costly burdens for employers, especially small businesses without computers or human-resource staffs.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In the Phoenix area, desperate home sellers wind up renting to smugglers

The real estate market in metropolitan Phoenix is slow, as it is throughout the U.S. But in the Phoenix area, some sellers are renting to the first applicant with the cash, and too often the renter turns out to be an immigrant smuggler.

A desperate Phoenix-area man rented his home to a couple who paid the deposit in cash. They didn’t haggle over the price. But it turned out the renters were fronts for smugglers who use the house to hide illegal immigrants, and trashed the house, causing $11,000 in damage. In October, a SWAT team drove an armored personnel carrier onto the lawn and raided the house.

Immigrant smugglers see such opportunities in the nation’s mortgage crisis. They rent homes and use them as stash houses for illegals.

The Phoenix metropolitan area is now believed to have about 1,000 immigrant stash houses, located in places where neighbors would not expect to find illegal immigrants hiding, police said. Arizona is the busiest entry point for illegal immigrants coming through Mexico, and Phoenix's proximity to the border has made it the nation's busiest smuggling hub.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

DHS 2007 immigration crackdown hit few employers

The Department of Homeland Security announced a clampdown on hiring of illegal aliens in fiscal year 2007, and DHS did arrest nearly four times as many people in the past year as it did in 2003. But only a tiny fraction of those were criminal charges against employers.

Less than 100 owners, supervisors or other hiring officials were arrested in fiscal 2007, compared with 4,900 arrests of illegal workers, providers of fake documents and others.

When six million companies currently employ more than seven million unauthorized workers, this year's 92 criminal arrests of employers amount to a drop in the bucket. Only 17 firms faced criminal fines or forfeitures.

Those 92 criminal arrests included 59 owners and 33 corporate officials, human resources workers, crew chiefs and others in the "supervisory chain." Criminal fines and other penalties grew from $600,000 in 2003 to more than $30 million in 2007, but were dominated by a few large payments.

"Past enforcement actions have been regarded by business correctly as a passing thing. . . . They need to believe it's not just going to go away in a couple of months," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Illegal immigrant labor laws should be enforced as rigorously as child labor laws, he said.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tancredo leaves presidential race after making immigration a major issue

Tom Tancredo, Congressman from Colorado, having succeeded in his quest to make illegal immigration a major issue in the presidential campaign, officially ended his own bid for the presidency on Thursday. He endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

Tancredo's campaign was about maintaining "America's English speaking, Judeo-Christian heritage," he said, as the pressure to change grows at the hands of illegal immigrants and Islamic extremists. He had told MSNBC "You can call me a one-issue candidate if you'd like, as long as you realize my issue is the survival of this country as we know it."

Rep. Brian Bilbray, the California Republican who succeeded Tancredo as leader of an Immigration Reform Caucus, said Tancredo was instrumental in making illegal immigration a top issue in Congress. “He shocked Washington into paying attention. He rattled their cages, and that's what it takes,” Bilbray said.

For Shelly Uscinski, Tancredo’s New Hampshire campaign director, he represented the only true conservative in the race. "We had a good run," she said. "As far as I'm concerned, it was a great success. Immigration was not a topic of discussion until Tom made it part of the discussion. Tom can declare a victory as far as I'm concerned."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Illegals use more tax dollars than they contribute

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office has released a report showing that illegal aliens use more tax dollars than they pay, particularly in education, health care and law enforcement.

The study estimated that nationwide, 60 percent of illegal aliens are uninsured and 50 percent of the children are uninsured. The average income of illegals was $27,400, while Americans earned $47,800. This difference puts illegals in a lower tax bracket, reducing the amount of federal and state income tax revenue they generate.

Education is the largest single expenditure in state and local budgets, and multiple states reported 20 to 40 percent higher costs educating non-English speaking students, many of whom have illegal alien parents. In New Mexico, for example, statistics from 2004 show education spending on undocumented immigrants comprised $67 million of the state's $3 billion education budget. The study estimates there are 53.3 million school-age children in the U.S., 2 million of whom are undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented immigrants are more likely to access emergency rooms and urgent care facilities because most do not have health care, the study said. In Arizona and other border areas, states paid nearly $190 million in health care costs for undocumented immigrants in 2000. That amount, which the study says likely has risen since then, represents one-quarter of all uncompensated health care costs in those states that year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sex offenders arrested in New York

Twenty-two illegal alien sex offenders were arrested in New York City in early December in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's continuing Operation Predator. A typical offender, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, had been convicted of the rape of his 13-year-old neighbor. He had been sentenced to 10 years probation after being convicted of rape, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a minor.

ICE and the New York City Department of Probation arrested the child predators and criminal alien sex offenders in four boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. All of those arrested were on probation in New York City for prior felony or misdemeanor convictions for sex crimes including rape, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, endangering the welfare of a child, sodomy and promoting prostitution. The youngest victim was a six-year-old girl. One of the victims was a 15-year-old boy.

The arrests also included natives of the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Jamaica in the Caribbean. They are now in detention pending removal proceedings. The initiative is a part of the ongoing Operation Predator initiative and a national priority for ICE.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Arizona business are desperate to retain illegal employees

A new law prohibiting Arizona employers from knowingly employing illegal aliens is set to take effect on January 1, and businesses are desperate to find a way to block it. The new law would make employer violators subject to business license suspensions for first offenses and revocations for second offenses.

The business groups appealed a judge's ruling that threw out their initial legal challenge, while in a second lawsuit, a hearing is scheduled for the judge to hear a request to put the law on hold temporarily while considering a longer injunction blocking the law. The appeal was made to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the first of two lawsuits the groups filed to block the law.

The business groups' notice of appeal does not specify grounds for the appeal. The judge had ruled that the lawsuit needed to be filed against the county attorneys who would have prime responsibility for enforcing the law rather than state officials in general.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bush again fails to pardon Ramos, Compean

Members of Congress chastised President Bush for not including pardons for former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean among the 29 pardons that the President issued this week.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and presidential candidate, noted the list of those receiving pardons included carjackers, drug dealers, a moonshiner, and others, but 'two names were conspicuously missing. The president has missed yet another opportunity to correct this miscarriage of justice. Agents Ramos and Compean deserve to be pardoned and returned to their families for Christmas,' Hunter said.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, said Bush's 'heartless ignoring of the fundamental miscarriage of justice in the case of agents Ramos and Compean ... is a snub to the families and a slap in the face to millions of Americans who have pleaded with the president to show some mercy. Instead, he turns around and shows mercy to drug dealers and other criminals and leaves Ramos and Compean to suffer in solitary confinement,' he said.

Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on international organizations, human rights and oversight, has introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on Bush to immediately commute the sentences. 'President Bush can correct a gross miscarriage of justice with the stroke of a pen, and this resolution will put Congress on record demanding that he do just that,' he said.

U.S. Border Control: Illegal injures elderly man in Florida carjacking

U.S. Border Control: Illegal injures elderly man in Florida carjacking

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Illegal injures elderly man in Florida carjacking

An elderly Crestview, Florida man was badly injured when he vehicle was carjacked by an illegal alien at a Wal-Mart over the weekend. Police are looking for two suspects, Guillermo Hernandez, 32, and Valerie Moreno, 21. Hernandez will face charged of carjacking and battery on an elderly person.

Hiram Winstead, 78, was treated at North Okaloose Medical Center and released that evening. His son, Glenn Winstead, said "His face looks like he was beat with a bat. The palms of his hands are almost gone. There's just no skin there."

But the son said his father was in good spirits and immediately picked his assailant out of a photo lineup, adding that officials know that Hernandez is an illegal alien from Mexico.

On Saturday, when Hiram Winstead was walking to his truck, a Hispanic man approached him. As he returned his cart, Winstead was body-slammed into the parking lot, and his keys were ripped out of his hand, his son said. Driving away, the man was accompanied by a woman and a young child.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Non- citizens are moving electoral, congressional power to border states

The framers of U.S. Constitution intended equal voting rights, and we all know the words “One man, one vote.” The 435 House seats are divided based on total number of people living in each state.

That number includes non-citizens and illegal immigrants, something most Americans don’t realize. Illegal immigration has channeled political clout to California and other border states from the Northeast and Midwest. A University of Connecticut demographics report this fall predicted that California's legal and illegal alien population will account for two of its 53 seats in Congress after the 2010 census. About 30 percent of illegal aliens in the U.S. live in California.

California’s congressional delegation increased by six members in 2002, the result of immigration. Florida, New York and Texas also gained one extra seat each because of their large non-citizen populations.

States that lost representation were Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. Each of these states is now shy a seat in the House because of illegal immigrants residing elsewhere.

If this continues, 10 to 12 states could eventually control presidential elections, due to the Electoral College, and would literally dominate the House of Representatives. The remaining 40 states, including all of the Upper Midwest, will have little national policy influence.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Republican candidates preparing for Sunday's bilingual 'panderfest'

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Fred Thompson, along with John McCain, Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter, are preparing for a bilingual foru being hosted by Spanish language television network Univision on Sunday, December 9. The only candidate who is not confirmed for the Dec. 9 debate is Tom Tancredo. Tancredo has centered his campaign the issue of illegal immigration, and said he would never participate in a Spanish-language forum.

In September, the Democratic candidates held a similar event, referred to by many as a 'panderfest.' The network had tried to schedule a GOP bilingual debate in September, but only McCain and Hunter accepted the invitation from Univision at that time.

Many see the bilingual debates as 'panderfests,' symptomatic of the nation's immigration problems. Univision, however, sees them as a coup. The network claims that its audience surpasses that of cable networks such as CNN and MSNBC.

The GOP contenders are expected to face pointed questions about immigration. They can be expected to tread carefully, trying to protect their standing with conservative voters without alienating the predominantly Hispanic television audience. As in the Democratic debate, the questions will be asked in Spanish and translated into English for the candidates, who will wear earphones. Their responses will be translated into Spanish for viewers.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Judge - prosecutors may have overreacted in Ramos, Compean case

After a hearing in New Orleans, an appeals court judge says federal prosecutors may have overreacted in their case against former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The two men are serving lengthy prison sentences for shooting a fleeing drug suspect.

Judge E. Grady Jolly is one of three judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the appeals. He questioned whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the shooting. "For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," Jolly said of the agents' prosecution. He said it seems "that the government overreacted" in the prosecution that led to a 12-year prison term for Compean and an 11-year term for Ramos.

The agents' attorneys are asking the 5th Circuit to throw out their convictions. A federal jury in El Paso convicted the Border Patrol agents of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations in the wounding of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila near El Paso in 2005. Aldrete survived the shooting, but was arrested in November after an October indictment on various drug charges.

There's no indication when the judges will rule in the appeals. Compean attorney Bob Baskett says he's encouraged by Jolly's comments, but Ramos attorney David Botsford says he's not reading anything into the remarks.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Many illegals arrive here with visas, but never leave

Half the illegal aliens in the U.S. avoid the Mexico-U.S. border. They enter the U.S. by other routes, with many simply arriving by commercial jet. Expired student and tourist visas, phony marriages, unchecked container ships and the Canadian border all contribute much to illegal immigration.

That’s especially true for terrorists. Twelve known al-Qaida operatives. including two conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center attack and four of the 9/11 terrorists, just flew into the U.S. and were admitted on student or tourist visas. They violated those visas by staying past the expiration date, a practice that is not uncommon.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimated in 2006 that about 45 per cent of illegals entered the U.S. with a legal visa, then ignored its expiration date and simply did not leave. The General Accounting Office released a report in 2004 stating that the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t got a clue how many “overstayers” are presently in the U.S.

Dr. George Weissinger, a former Immigration agent and associate professor at Briarcliffe College, says “At least half the illegal aliens in the U.S. came in legally through tourist or non-immigrant visas, but their intention was not to visit, but to stay,” he says.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Immigrant, illegal alien numbers are at record highs

• Nearly one-third of the immigrants in the U.S. are illegal aliens. Illegal aliens make up half of all Mexican and Central American immigrants in the U.S., and one-third of all South American immigrants in the U.S.

• Since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants have arrived. More than half the post-2000 arrivals (5.6 million) are believed to be illegal aliens.

• One-third of all immigrant-headed households, and more than half of Mexican-American households, use at least one welfare program, compared to one-fifth of native households.

• Immigration accounts for virtually all of the increase in public school enrollment in the nation over the last two decades. In 2007, there were 10.8 million school-age children from immigrant families in the United States.
These statistics were the highlights of a report published today by the Center for Immigration Studies, which reviewed the size, growth, and characteristics of the U.S. immigrant population as of March 2007.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bush administration abandons plan to penalize businesses that employ illegal immigrants

It was to be a major step forward in immigration enforcement, but the Bush Administration has abandoned, and is now revising, its strategy for penalizing businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The rules would have required employers to fire workers if their Social Security numbers didn't match records and if the discrepancies couldn't be resolved within 90 days.

Last month, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a temporary injunction stopping the government from enforcing the rules. The judge said errors in the Social Security database could cost legal workers their jobs. He also said the government hadn't properly studied the effect of the rules on businesses.

The Administration has now told the judge that it will have new rules on the issue ready by spring. The judge has giving the administration until March 24th.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Western Union rises from bankruptcy by catering to immigrants

Western Union was the first U.S. telegraph giant, but airmail and faxes left telegrams obsolete, and the company entered bankruptcy in 1992. Just 15 years later, the company now earns nearly $1 billion a year by catering its services to the needs of immigrants, legal and illegal.

Western Union executives once tried to oust Congressman Tom Tancredo because of his push for tougher immigration laws. Tancredo, now running for president, says “Western Union wants to encourage illegal immigration in order to expand the number of people in its market,” adding “Believe me, if I were president, I would ask the Justice Department to look into it.”

The company says it does not know what share of its customers are illegal immigrants, but when an overflowing federal detention center in Texas bused detainees to a homeless shelter, the company sponsored a lunch there, dispensing T-shirts, bandannas and fliers in Spanish with the company’s toll-free telephone number. Studies of money transfer services show that at least 40 percent of customers are Hispanics living in the U.S. illegally.

Western Union made substantial donations to groups seeking last spring’s failed effort for “comprehensive” immigration reform, which would have offered amnesty to illegals. Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says “Western Union has decided that its business model depends on a continuing flow of illegal immigrants.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Border agents say they are ‘outmanned and outgunned’

A dramatic increase in alien and drug smuggling activities on the U.S.-Mexico border has spiked an increase in violence against all law-enforcement authorities near the border, who say they are outmanned and outgunned.

The vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego says 'They've got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters and can react faster than we are able to. And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles.''

In February, an ICE-led task force seized two completed improvised explosive devices, materials for making 33 more devices, 300 primers, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, five grenades, nine pipes with end caps, 26 grenade triggers, 31 grenade spoons, 40 grenade pins, 19 black powder casings, a silencer and cash during raids in Laredo, Texas.

'Keeping explosives and other high-powered weaponry out of the hands of violent criminal organizations is a central focus of the new Border Enforcement Security Task Force in Laredo,' Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE, said in announcing the seizures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Immigration becomes a major issue in presidential campaign

Along with the war in Iraq, worries about health care and the economy, illegal immigration ranks as a top concern for many voters. The issue of illegal immigration has been raised at countless town hall meetings and debates, in ads in Iowa and other early presidential battlegrounds, and in the one-on-one encounters with candidates on the campaign trail.

GOP Reps. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter of California stand as the opponents of illegal immigration, and hope to increase enforcement enough so that most illegal immigrants will pack up and leave. The range of candidates ends on the left with Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who has proposed making Spanish the second official language of the United States. So-called ‘top-tier’ candidates, including Democrat Hillary Clinton and the GOP’s John McCain have already been singed by the issue.

While immigration has been a prominent issue among Republican candidates, the Democrats have been trying to court a growing Hispanic vote without alienating the old-line party constituencies and independents troubled by the past decade's surge in illegal immigration. Most GOP candidates oppose amnesty, but Giuliani and McCain favor a path to legal status for illegal immigrants who pay back taxes and fines, learn English and have clean records. Each, however, is very careful in discussing their support, stressing that border security must come first.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Illegals provide monogramming for Williams-Sonoma in Memphis

If the monogrammed napkins at your Thanksgiving dinner are from Williams-Sonoma, there’s a good chance an illegal immigrant added that monogram. Williams-Sonoma, headquartered in San Francisco, is a high-end retailer. Last year the company produced $3.7 billion in sales, and illegal aliens helped generate that revenue.

In Memphis, Tennessee, illegal aliens sent by a staffing agency sew monograms onto backpacks, sheets, pillowcases and other goods for Williams-Sonoma. In fact, most of the workers in the monogram department are Hispanic ‘immigrants’ sent by a staffing agency.

Williams-Sonoma occupies 4.8 million square feet at several facilities in Memphis, and in Olive Branch, MS, outside of Memphis. For time-sensitive tasks like monograms and packaging, the firm relies heavily on temporary workers to manage seasonal demand.

There were 135 active staffing agencies in Memphis in 2005. The agencies are an economic lifeline for illegal aliens with fake identification. Many agencies recruit Hispanic workers by advertising in Spanish-language media, with bilingual recruiters and by training and supervising in Spanish. Researchers at the University of Memphis concluded that many local staffing agencies accepted low-quality fake identification. They found that FedEx Corp. pays good wages and benefits, and found no evidence that that Fedex was hiring illegal immigrants. Big warehouses, however, are located in Memphis because of FedEx, and many have long used temporary agencies to manage surges in volume.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drug smuggler shot by Ramos, Compean arrested in Texas

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, the drug smuggler who was shot in the buttocks two years ago by U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, was arrested on drug charges in El Paso, Texas on November 15.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General agents arrested Aldrete on a sealed indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and with possession with intent to distribute marijuana back in September and October 2005. The incidents occurred after Aldrete was shot and was given immunity to testify against the agents, who are each serving over 10 years. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted Ramos and Compean, had been criticized for not going after Aldrete earlier. Sutton said he was "pleased" to announce the recent arrest.

U.S. Border Control has uncovered the fact that Sutton misused a law in the prosecution of that case. Sutton’s office charged Ramos and Compean with “discharging” a firearm when that was not even an element of the crime charged. Sutton would be required by law to charge the agents with illegally carrying, possessing, or using a firearm, but a jury would never have convicted active duty officers of that crime since in the line of duty, officers are required to carry, posses, and use firearms.

Aldrete's immunity agreement only covered the February 2005 incident. His first court appearance will be Friday, November 16.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Congress adds new funding for Guard troops at the border

Members of the House and Senate appropriations conference have added $247 million in the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill to continue a National Guard mission along the southwest border. The border effort had been neglected in the Bush administration's budget request.

The funds would keep about 3,000 National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist in border-security operations and training of border patrol personnel.

Neither the Defense Department nor the Homeland Security Department had requested money to continue the mission, dubbed Operation Jump Start, in fiscal 2008, despite long-standing administration plans to keep a limited number of troops on the border.

The President had used a nationally televised address in May 2006 to announce an initial deployment of 6,000 Guard troops mainly for border surveillance missions and construction. Troops would be withdrawn after the first year 'as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online,' he said. But when the National Guard began reducing by half the number of its troops deployed to the border this summer, the redeployments immediately triggered concerns from lawmakers who feared that it was too soon to withdraw troops.

Friday, November 09, 2007

23 illegal aliens arrested working at O’Hare airport, some on the tarmac

Twenty-three illegal immigrants were arrested November 7 working in critical areas of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after an eight-month investigation that involved federal, state and Chicago law enforcement. The illegals used fake security badges and some were working on the tarmac. They were employed by Ideal Staffing Solutions Inc.

Ideal Staffing's corporate secretary and office manager also were arrested. Mary Gurin, 36, and Norinye Benitez, 24, were each charged with one federal count of harboring illegal immigrants for gain and one federal count of misuse of Social Security numbers. Benitez herself is believed to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico. The company provided workers for United Airlines, KLM and Qantas.

“These individuals built an illegal work force into their business practice, and our investigation identified a vulnerability that could compromise national security,” said Elissa Brown, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Much of the investigation centered on the airport security badges issued by the Department of Aviation. Agents found that 110 of the 134 badges issued to Ideal Staffing workers did not match the individuals who carried them. The discrepancies were first noted in March by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspector.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sensenbrenner introduces expanded enforcement-first bill

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has renewed his drive for immigration reform with a bill which includes securing the borders, cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and increasing penalties for people who smuggle them into the United States.

The new measure, H.R. 4065, expands an enforcement-first bill Sensenbrenner sponsored when he headed the House Judiciary Committee. It passed the House in 2005 on a 239-182 vote but did not advance in the Senate. "While many of my colleagues have expended a lot of hot air discussing the issue this year, they . . . have continued to ignore the calls of the American people on this very emotional and complex matter."

Other highlights include:
• $300 million annually for states and localities to buy items needed to enforce immigration laws.
• More Customs and Border Protection officers stationed at ports of entry.
• Employers required to submit workers' Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration for verification.
• Employer required to verify the employee's identification on discrepancy. Failure to act would result in "severe penalties."
• Double the number of temporary visas granted every year to skilled workers.
• Reform the H-2A visa program for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

New York sheriffs, county clerks take aim at governor’s plan to license illegals

An organization of New York state sheriffs and two county clerks have came out strongly against Governor Elliott’s Spitzer’s plan to provide drivers licenses to illegal aliens. The Sheriffs' Association formally opposed the plan following a presentation by Spitzer's homeland-security director.

The Association released a statement saying, "We do not feel that providing a driver's license to illegal immigrants is appropriate and, as an association, we do not support that program." Spitzer would provide three kinds of licenses, two meeting tougher Real ID federal standards.The third would be available to illegal aliens. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Spitzer's revised plan for illegal aliens is a bad idea.

"When you allow lawbreakers to be legitimized with a New York license, what kind of example are you setting?" Livingston County Sheriff John York asked.

Two county clerks, one of them appointed by Spitzer, have warned that under the governor's plan, they intend to report any such aliens to law enforcement for deportation. The clerks have been in discussion with their local police departments and district attorneys to craft their own new policy they believe will deter illegal immigrants from even applying for licenses.

The clerks said their offices will accept paperwork from those suspected to be illegal aliens and process it as required by Spitzer's order. But they will also report suspected illegal aliens to their local law enforcement, who then can notify federal immigration officials.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

North Carolina sheriffs, U.S. join forces on migrants

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) has announced a partnership that will give North Carolina authorities the power to enforce federal immigration laws. The partnership between North Carolina sheriffs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will give the state’s sheriff's offices access to ICE resources.

"North Carolina can become a model for the nation on how to identify, apprehend and remove undocumented aliens who have identified themselves by committing crimes," Dole said.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell, president of the N.C. Sheriffs' Association, said "This is an opportunity for us to ID those illegal aliens ... who are ending up in our jails." Deputies in participating sheriff's offices will be able to check the immigration status of criminal suspects and begin deportation proceedings.

"We're going to root out the problem," he added, "If you're illegal and you're committing a crime, you're a priority to us." Bizzell concluded "We're tired of crime in general, but we're darn tired of crime that involves an illegal criminal alien who shouldn't be here in the first place."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Laredo Border Patrol chief says his mission is terrorism, not illegals or drugs

Carlos X. Carrillo is the Chief Border Patrol officer at one of the most dangerous border crossings in the Southwest, and he says his agency's mission does not include apprehending illegal aliens or seizing narcotics. "I've said it before and I'll say it again," he told a recent Laredo, Texas town-hall meeting.

"The Border Patrol's job is not to stop illegal immigrants. The Border Patrol's job is not to stop narcotics. ... The Border Patrol's mission is not to stop criminals. The Border Patrol's mission is to stop terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country," he said.

Laredo is the sister city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a city that controlled by one of Mexico's most ruthless drug-smuggling rings.

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing 12,000 front-line agents, said he was baffled by the Laredo chief's statements. He said he found it “equally disturbing that no one at a higher level has taken any steps to reassure employees and the public that the Border Patrol will continue to intercept all illicit traffic that it encounters. ?

David Aguilar, head of the Border Patrol, said Carrillo’s comments were taken out of context. "Our mission is to protect our country's borders from all threats," Aguilar said. "

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Phoenix police union says sanctuary policy makes city's streets more dangerous

In Phoenix, Arizona, the police union wants to get rid part of the city’s sanctuary policy. Union officials say the sanctuary policy makes the city’s streets more dangerous. "If we allow a little bit of lawlessness, what prevents more lawlessness from occurring?" asked Mark Spencer, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, which represents more than 2,200 officers and detectives.

The union says its request was based on frustrations officers feel in seeing crimes tied to illegal immigration, but also, a police officer was killed in September at the hands of an illegal alien who had previously been deported from the U.S.

Under the existing sanctuary policy, the Phoenix Police Department can call federal immigration authorities in cases where immigrant smuggling vehicles are pulled over or scores of illegal immigrants are found hidden in houses run by smugglers. The union is hoping to eliminate the prohibition on calling federal immigration authorities for during stops for civil traffic violations.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Senate again blocks ‘Dream’ Act from consideration

A bill that would have given the children of illegal immigrants assistance toward higher education as well as amnesty was blocked in the U.S. Senate in late October for the second time this fall.

Senator Dick Durbin’s ‘Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act,’ DREAM Act for short, again failed to gain cloture. A vote on a motion to begin debate on the bill fell eight votes short of the 60 necessary to advance the legislation in the Senate. Eight Democrats joined 36 Republicans to block the bill, while 12 Republicans, two independents and 38 Democrats supported it.

The bill would have provided amnesty for those completing two years of higher education or two years of military service, and it would have continued to create incentives for illegal immigrants to cross the border with their children. "I do not believe we should reward illegal behavior," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So. Carolina official wants ‘states rights’ to deal with illegal aliens

So. Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell is calling for a national constitutional convention to give states the right to deny benefits to illegal aliens and have them deported. The extraordinary move would require approval by 38 states in order to approve a constitutional amendment.

McConnell, a Republican from the Charleston area, said his proposal is “an act of frustration. The state is bearing the burden because of the power failure in Washington.” The amendment would clearly state that if Congress continues to “refuse to act,” states would have the ability to act in order to protect themselves and their pocketbooks.

Sheri Steisel, federal affairs counselor and senior director with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the So. Carolina proposal is the only call for a constitutional convention that she knows of.

State House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, said he supports McConnell and believes the resolution will gain support in the House. "All of us on a state level are trying to figure how to handle this issue basically with our hands tied," Harrell said. "I think it will go through the General Assembly fairly quickly."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Congress orders probe of Mexican businessman who repeatedly crossed U.S. borders with virulent TB

Congress will investigate why federal officials allowed a Mexican businessman, infected with a highly contagious form of tuberculosis, to repeatedly board planes and cross U.S. borders.

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) said he is "disturbed by the apparent poor coordination between [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the Department of Homeland Security that allowed a Mexican citizen known to be infected with a highly drug-resistant form of TB to cross the Southern border 76 times and board an airplane without detection."

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials were warned on April 16 that the man was infected. It took Homeland Security several weeks to warn the border inspectors and the Transportation Security Administration.

The man carried the same dangerous strain of tuberculosis that concerned health officials earlier this year when an Atlanta lawyer slipped into the U.S. from Europe via a flight to Canada.

"This troubling incident appears to be another outrageous failure of a border-security system that is struggling to keep pace with modern threats," said Sen. Susan Collins, (R-Me.) and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Arizona Sheriff saves his county millions

Maricopa County, Arizona used to spend about $18 million per year on stray animals, such as cats and dogs. But the County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, told County Supervisors he would take over managing the strays. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows. The budget for the entire animal ontrol department is now under $3 million.

Prisoners get to earn 28 cents an hour for working, but most would work for free just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities and building maintenance. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

The inmates can work on his huge farm, donated to the county years ago. They grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, working by hand. The hog farm provides meat and fertilizer, which fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work. The sheriff was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote.

He's in trouble with the ACLU again, after painting all his vehicles with a special hot-line phone number where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. He thought Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws. He even bought four new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's just a "git-her-done" sheriff!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cubans now following Mexican route to U.S.

More Cubans are migrating to the United States, and most are following a new route through Mexico, to avoid the U.S. Coast Guard.

Unlike Mexicans, Central Americans and others heading to the United States’ border, Cubans do not have to sneak across. They walk right up to United States authorities at the border, relying on the ‘wet foot/dry foot' policy, which gives Cubans the ability to become permanent residents if they can reach American soil. Traveling through Mexico guarantees the Cubans arrive 'dry foot' that is, on land.

Statistics make it clear that Cubans now believe the route, though considerably longer, boosts their odds of reaching the U.S. Almost twice as many Cubans - 11,487 - used it last year as in 2005. During the same time, the Coast Guard intercepted just 2,861 Cubans crossing the Florida Straits. Another 4,825 eluded American authorities and applied for political asylum in the United States, according to the Coast Guard.

And Mexicans are learning from the Cubans. Falsified Cuban identity documents are flourishing, and some Mexicans are practicing Cuban accents and rehearsing dramatic stories they intend to tell U.S. Border Patrol agents about the horrors they have suffered in Havana.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

“Migrant Air” flies crossers to U.S. border

New airlines services, including Avolar, Interjet, Click and Volaris, are operating in Mexico, using rock-bottom fares to cater to legal and illegal migrants heading for the USA. The airlines take passengers from central or southern Mexico to cities on the northern border such as Tijuana and Mexicali.

Customers then make their way across the U.S. border. Some routes offer only one-way service, and many flights return south nearly empty of passengers. Passengers used to make bus trips of several days now arrive at the border well-rested for the often dangerous desert crossing.

"The most productive routes we have are cities where you have those passengers who are traveling with the idea of the American dream," said Luis CeceƱa, an Avolar spokesman. He said the airlines should not be responsible for policing their passengers. "We have a saying in Mexico: 'Let the other hens cackle, you take care of your own eggs,' " he said. "It's a good business for us, and we're going to keep taking care of those customers."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Judge blocks crackdown on employers of illegals

A federal court judge has blocked a central element in the Bush administration’s waning hours attempt to crack down on illegal immigrant workers and those who employ them.

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against the Department of Homeland Security program that would force employers to verify Social Security numbers and fire workers whose numbers did not match official records. Employers could face fines as well as criminal charges if they did not comply with the program.

The "no-match letter" program was challenged in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO and other labor groups claiming it was unlawful and hurt all workers, including legal ones affected by errors in the data base. The judge agreed in a preliminary injunction, but has yet to rule on a permanent injunction.

He had already blocked the Social Security Administration from sending out 140,000 letters to employers with 8 million employees whose names do not match their nine-digit identification numbers. The Department of Homeland Security may appeal the decision.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In announcing arrests, top RI cop declares “This is not a sanctuary state”

With the arrest of two Division of Motor Vehicles license clerks in a fraudulent document scheme, Rhode Island State Police Colonel Brendan Doherty pleased many Rhode Islanders when he insisted “This is not a sanctuary state.” One talk-show host read Doherty’s statement over the sound of Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus.”

State and federal law enforcement agencies worked together to bust the fraud scheme. Two registry employees, working with a middle man, would arrange to issue fraudulent driver's licenses to drug dealers, illegal immigrants and other people with criminal records.

Once a person had the phony license, they could use it to obtain other forms of identification, even passports. Law enforcement said the scheme may include people who came here from other states just to get the phony licenses.

"This is not a sanctuary state for people coming into Rhode Island for nefarious reasons and to obtain illegal identification in furtherance of the criminal conspiracies that they're involved in," Doherty said.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 32 people. So far, 11 have been apprehended. State police said the investigation is ongoing and that the DMV cooperated in the investigation.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bush tries to halt execution of Mexican killer in Texas

When he was Texas Governor, President George W. Bush signed the death warrant for 152 prisoners. But in early October Texas challenged his efforts to block the execution of a convicted killer illegal alien from Mexico.

The question is whether the president has the power to set aside a state law that conflicts with an international treaty. It sets Bush up to argue against the death penalty. The Supreme Court will deal more directly with the death penalty in January when it hears arguments against the use of lethal injection, the main method of execution in the US.

The Texas case gained attention following a death row appeal from the convict, a gang member from Houston who was 18 when he raped and strangled to death two teenage girls in 1993. Born in Mexico, he has lived in the US since he was nine years old, although he was never a legal resident.

Bush issued a memorandum that the US courts would implement an International Court of Justice ruling in the case. It says the administration does not agree with the ruling, but will abide by the court's decision in order to protect US interests abroad.

Ted Cruz, the state's solicitor general and a key adviser on Mr Bush's 2000 election campaign, accused the president of overstepping his authority. "This president's exercise of this power is egregiously beyond the bounds of presidential authority," he said.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

New report says illegal alien population may be as high as 38 million

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has published a new report that finds the Homeland Security Department "grossly underestimates" the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S. While Homeland Security officially estimated the illegal aliens population between eight and 12 million, CAPS estimates there are between 20 and 38 million illegal aliens living in the U.S.

The authors of the CAPS report discussed their findings before the National Press Club in early October. One of the authors, James Walsh, a former associate general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said he is "appalled" that the Bush administration, lawyers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and every Democratic presidential candidate except Joe Biden, have no problem with sanctuary cities in the U.S. for illegal aliens.

"Sanctuary cities and the people who support them are violating the laws of the United States of America. It's a felony to violate 8 USC section 1324 and 1325, that is, to aid, support, transport, shield, harbor illegal aliens," Walsh stated.

Walsh's analysis indicated there are 38 million illegal aliens in the U.S. It was calculated using a conservative estimate of three illegal immigrants entering the U.S. for each one apprehended. According to Walsh, "In the United States, immigration is in a state of anarchy -- not chaos, but anarchy."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oregon county finds drunk driving frequent among illegal aliens

Oregon’s Clackamas County reported more illegal alien drunken drivers to immigration authorities in one recent month than in the previous 18 months combined.

Police began a crackdown after a major local newspaper reported that authorities had missed a chance to deport an illegal immigrant who had been convicted in November 2006 of driving drunk. Just eight months later, the illegal alien was accused of killing a local teenager.

The crackdown reflected public outrage over the killing and a new push by federal authorities to get the state’s jails to assist in identifying those who violate immigration laws. The State Sheriff's Association said that across Oregon, jails are now making more referrals to immigration authorities.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Poll shows Mexicans believe they own U.S. Southwest, should be free to enter U.S.

A new, two nation poll from Zogby International shows that a large majority of Mexicans believes the southwest U.S. rightfully belongs to Mexico, and that they should be free to enter the U.S. without obtaining U.S. permission.

The largest majority in the poll, however, was found among the 68 percent of Americans who support use of the military to guard the border. The survey was conducted in the U.S. and in Mexico in May.

The poll was conducted for Americans for Immigration Control, Inc. "While most Americans want immigration reduced, most Mexicans think they don't even need permission to enter our country. This poll clearly shows there is less common ground for immigration negotiations between Mexico and the U.S. than leaders think. Support for a porous border and a loose migration policy occurs only on the Mexican side, not in the U.S." said Robert Goldsborough, AIC president.

The survey found a wide majority, 65 percent, of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal aliens, and a large majority, 58 percent, agree that the U.S. should "admit fewer immigrants each year."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Senators plead with Bush not to cut Guard at the border

Senators from states on the Mexican border are pleading President Bush to extend the National Guard deployment at the border, rather than letting it expire next summer. Already, half of the 6,000 National Guard troops who were sent to help secure the border with Mexico have left. The rest are scheduled to leave next summer.

"Americans could rightly question why the administration has dedicated 160,000 National Guardsmen to maintain order and security in Iraq, while eliminating the less than 6,000 Guardsmen performing an important task on our own southern border, which most agree is in a state of crisis," said a letter to President Bush signed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

Since arriving at the border, Guard task forces have allowed more Border Patrol agents to patrol rather than do clerical work. The National Guard troops also are stationed in strategic observation areas that steer smugglers toward more remote areas. That gives agents time to intercept border crossers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

USBC attorney tells radio host Ramos and Compean were incorrectly charged

In an interview on the Glenn Beck radio show, USBC attorney Bill Olson explained that he has filed a brief on behalf of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean which could provide the help they need.

USBC had asked Olson to take a look specifically at why the sentences that Ramos and Compean had were so long, 11 and 12 years. In doing so, his team found that 10 of the years in each case was for violating federal law 18-USC-924-C, a special punishment for people who use a firearm while promote a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime.

But Beck, the show's host, noted that that federal law was designed to work against drug cartels, and that prosecutor "Johnny Sutton went and used it against these two guys."

Olson said that one of his lawyers saw that the U.S. attorney did not indict Ramos and Compean using the language of the specific 924-C violation. The prosecutor had twisted the words of the statute so that they were not charged with any of the three verbs necessary for the charge. Rather, they were charged with an illegal discharge.

The USBC attorney said that if the court looks at the issue carefully, it will realize that Ramos and Compean were each sentenced to ten years in jail for the conviction of a crime that does not exist, and that the prosecutor twisted the language.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ramos, Compean appeal their convictions to federal court

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, former U.S. Border Patrol agents sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect, have asked a federal appeals court to overturn their convictions, saying they were charged with a nonexistent crime and convicted after the jury was given improper instructions by the trial judge.

Their lawyer said in a 20-page motion that the 'improperly-crafted indictment' misfocused the agents, counsel and jury on a nonexistent crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm, because the agents were authorized to possess, carry and use a firearm in the normal course of their job. He said the prosecution 'misstated' the crime defined by federal statute.

He also said the district court 'erroneously told the jury the federal statute made it a crime for anyone to discharge a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.' A ruling in the case is expected next month.

Paul Kamenar, senior executive counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation, a watchdog group among eight organizations and persons who have filed briefs in support of the agents, called it “an outrageous case of prosecutorial abuse.”

The will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and seeks to overturn the 11- and 12-year prison terms Ramos and Compean received.
Bush administration switches role, defends immigration enforcement

The Bush administration, which in June was seeking amnesty for illegal aliens, is now defending immigration enforcement. It is suing the state of Illinois for banning use of a federal system that checks whether workers are in the United States legally.

The Department of Homeland Security sought the suit, which would preempt an Illinois state law that bars businesses from using the employee verification program. It also sends a clear message to other states and cities about the way they handle immigration enforcement.

Census reports in recent years have demonstrated that some older cities, especially in the Northeast and the “Rust Belt,” have maintained their leadership in population only by catering to legal immigrants and illegal aliens. Some have declared themselves “sanctuary” cities, where illegals are welcome.

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Secutiy, made it clear that his agency will not countenance interference from states, and he blamed interest groups for trying to impede his department with lawsuits. He told a House committee this month that he would take action against any city that hampered his ability to enforce the law.

The step is ‘an indication that the federal government is finally stepping up to the plate and accepting its responsibilities in the field of immigration,' said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Phoenix cop-killer had been deported in 2006

Erik Jovani Martinez, 22, was in the country illegally 2006 when he was arrested and convicted on sex charges. Martinez was deported on March 3, 2006, and at some point re-entered the country illegally.

On Tuesday, Martinez was stopped by Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle for jaywalking on a busy central Phoenix street. Martinez gave the officer an alias, but the alias turned up a different arrest warrant for shoplifting in Tucson.

Officer Erfle and his partner tried to arrest Martinez. During a struggle, Martinez pulled a gun and fatally shot Erfle. Martinez ran from the scene, carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint. Police stopped the car and fatally shot Martinez when he pointed his gun at the hostage’s head. The hostage was unharmed.

Officer Erfle, a 33-year-old married father of two and an eight-year veteran of the force, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Erfle’s killing is the second shooting death of an officer with the Phoenix Police Department this year. George Cortez Jr., 23, was shot to death in July as he attempted to arrest a check forgery suspect at a west Phoenix check-cashing business.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Durbin's Dream Act would give amnesty to thousands of illegal alien students

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would offer amnesty to thousands of students who entered the country before age 16 and who are illegal aliens. The "Dream Act" concept originally focused on allowing in-state tuition for illegals, but Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said Thursday he would drop that element of his proposal to gain more support for the amnesty.

Groups opposed to amnesty, including U.S. Border Control, mounted fresh campaigns against the "Dream Act" as well as other immigration bills slated for consideration in the coming weeks.

Durbin said he intends to offer the federal legislation as an amendment to the annual defense spending bill. Under his proposal, anyone who entered the U.S. before age 16 and lived in the country at least five years and has a high school diploma could apply for amnesty. Over a six year period, the applicant would have to spend two years in college or in military service before becoming qualified for legal permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship.

Those opposed to amnesty noted that no proof of arrival in the U.S. would be required. 'Any illegal can make a claim,' one man said. 'They are illegal. They don't have records. That is the rub here. So they will take advantage of an entire industry of falsified records. It could spell disaster.'

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

80 percent of meth is now smuggled in from Mexico

A federal law limiting the sales of ingredients used to make methamphetamine means that Americans now have to show an ID and sign a book in order to get an 'over the counter' decongestant that works.

At least they’re cutting down on the amount of methamphetamine on the streets. No they're not. Illegal and highly addictive meth is more available than ever due to Mexican drug traffickers.

"Mexican criminal groups have gained control over most distribution of the drug" says a report by the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center. In fact, 80 percent of the drug found in the U.S. is now smuggled in from Mexico.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, and Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA, are from largely rural states plagued by use of meth, and is still somewhat of a novelty on the East Coast. The two will review recent national reports and congressional staff research at a Senate Finance hearing Tuesday intended to keep the pressure on to fight to control the spread of meth. The hearing will focus on how to battle meth flowing in over the Mexican border.

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker announced the indictments of 22 men and women, most from Mexico, 17 of them illegally in the country, in a massive drug ring that operated in Iowa during the last two years. A bust netted more than 20 pounds of meth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Senate stalls Mexican truck trial

The U.S. Senate has stalled the Bush administration’s plans to give Mexican long-haul trucking rigs free access to United States roads and highways. On September 11, a bipartisan majority voted 74-24 to remove funds for the project from the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Transportation appropriations bill.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D, sponsored the amendment eliminating the program funding. "Tonight,” he said, “commerce did not trump safety. Tonight's vote is a vote for safety. It also represents a turning of the tide on the senseless, headlong rush this country has been engaged in for some time, to dismantle safety standards and a quality of life it took generations to achieve."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had submitted a counter amendment to keep the Mexican truck demonstration project alive, but Cornyn's proposal was killed by a 80-18 bipartisan vote to table his amendment.

The majority in the House opposing the DOT Mexican trucking demonstration project means it is almost certain that the Dorgan amendment will survive when a conference committee reviews the DOT funding bill that will go to President Bush for his signature.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Explaining the illegal immigration problem

This essay has been on the internet since spring 2007. We've never seen another analogy that so clearly explains the illegal immigration problem.

I bought a bird feeder.....

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.

But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the bird poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere.

Then some of the birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Hmmmmm .... Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.

Then the illegal's came by the tens of thousands.

Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free ser vices; small apartments are housing 5 families: you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor: your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English: Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box.

I have to press "one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CLEAR legislation effort continues, would penalize ‘sanctuary’ cities

Charlie Norwood, the late Georgia congressman, wanted to make it perfectly clear that state and local law enforcement, as well as the federal government, can enforce immigration law. He introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act, called the CLEAR Act, three times. Norwood died in February.

But a Tennessee congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, is continuing the effort. She has introduced legislation giving state and local law-enforcement officers the clear authority to enforce federal immigration law and investigate, apprehend, detain, transport and remove illegal aliens from the U.S. Her bill, she said, has the support of more than 200 members of the House, including 74 Democrats..

The bill provides for funding to allow local law-enforcement authorities to identify and detain the more than 400,000 illegal aliens in the U.S. who have been ordered deported but who disappeared, 85,000 of whom have criminal records. It also clarifies the authority of state and local law-enforcement officers to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws and provides a means for federal, state and local officers to work together to apprehend, detain and remove illegal aliens.

Also under the act, so-called 'sanctuary’ cities, which have enacted laws that shield illegal aliens from federal immigration law, would lose federal funding unless they rescind the policies that prohibit local law-enforcement officials from working with the Department of Homeland Security.

Monday, September 10, 2007

North Carolina is successfully identifying illegal inmates, seeking their deportation

In a program started in July, North Carolina is successfully identifying inmates who are illegal aliens and moving them toward deportation. Since then, 125 new inmates have been served with deportation detainers.

Ten more who were already in the prison have also been identified, and 785 inmates in the system already had deportation detainers before the program began. While previous checks were piecemeal, a prison official said "We're now screening everyone that comes in through the front door."

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, officials said the state is now immediately steering possible illegals entering the system to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. "All inmates who cannot prove American citizenship are referred to an ICE agent on duty," the letter stated, adding 'The ICE agent, after an initial interview, conducts an investigation to determine if the inmate is deportable,' and deportation proceedings can begin soon after."

ICE agents are now physically present at the state's four largest admission centers a few days each week and visit smaller centers if necessary. Myrick, R-N.C., had asked the state to use initial screenings to check the immigration status of inmates.