Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Arms cache seized at Mexican border

Two vehicles, a tractor-trailer truck registered in Texas containing a large shipment of weapons and ammunition, and a Nissan pickup truck fitted with armor and bullet-proof glass were stopped February 11 in the Mexican town of Matamoros, just south of the U.S. border at Brownsville, Texas.

The weapons seized included 18 M-16 assault rifles, including at least one equipped with an M-203 40mm grenade launcher, several M-4 carbines, 17 handguns of various calibers, over 200 magazines for different weapons, and more than 8,000 rounds of ammunition, assault vests and other military accessories.

The origin of the shipment is unclear, but it is obvious that areas along the U.S.-Mexican border are in fact active war zones. Matamoros has long been recognized as a vital choke point for the shipment of drugs, weapons and illegal aliens, including Islamic terrorists, into the United States from Mexico. Based on the sophistication of the weapons seized, it is apparent that someone is shaping a battle just across the border from Brownsville – a battle that will surely have ominous implications for those protecting the U.S. southern border.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mexican trucks now scheduled to roam across the U.S.

The Bush Administration’s decision to allow Mexican trucks onto all U.S. roads has drawn angry reactions from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress. Mexico, they said, has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers who will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the U.S. side of the Mexican border.

Said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa: "They are playing a game of Russian roulette on America's highways."

The USDOT says its inspectors will check every truck and interview drivers to make sure they can read and speak English, and will examine trucks and check the licenses, insurance and driving records of the drivers.

National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman questioned how the U.S. could spare sending inspectors to Mexico when only a tiny percentage of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. truck companies are inspected every year. One-fourth of all U.S. trucks are taken off the road after random inspections because they're so unsafe, she said. An even higher percentage of Mexican trucks are taken off the road at Texas border crossings, she said.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation has scheduled a March 8 hearing to determine whether the arrangement meets safety requirements.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Los Angeles gang war fueled by race

The Latino gang members were looking for someone black, anyone black, to shoot. They found Cheryl Green, 14, an eighth grader, chatting with friends.

The February murder stands out in a wave of bias-related attacks. Violence in Los Angeles grew at an alarming rate last year, continuing a trend of more Latino versus black. Blacks complain that illegal Latin American immigrants are stealing jobs. Latinos, particularly newcomers unaccustomed to living among large numbers of African-Americans, in turn accuse blacks of criminal activity and harassing them.

In November, three Latino gang members were sentenced to life in federal prison for crimes including the murder of two black men — one waiting for a bus, another searching for a parking spot.

In Harbor Gateway, where Cheryl Green was killed, tension had grown so severe that blacks and Latinos formed a dividing line on a street that both sides understood never to cross. A small market was unofficially declared off-limits to blacks. A man who described himself as a former member of the local Latino gang said black gang members had shot or assaulted Latinos, too, and explained the violence as a deadly tit-for-tat.

Two Latino gang members have been charged with the murder of Cheryl Green.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kennedy, McCain, lobbyists take lead on Senate amnesty legislation

Senate liberals and lobbyists are putting the final touches on a new comprehensive immigration-reform bill that includes easier amnesty provisions and weaker enforcement terms than those contained in legislation that passed the Senate last year. “Mr. Liberal,” Senator Edward M. Kennedy, will introduce the bill by early March.

Kennedy drafted this year's bill with help from Arizona Senator John McCain and from lobbying groups, including the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both support giving illegals currently in the U.S. a path to citizenship, as well as increasing the flow of foreign workers into the country.

EWIC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce drafted the section of the bill dealing with work-site enforcement. “That's putting the fox in charge of the henhouse,” one Senate lawyer said of the pro-business chamber's involvement in drafting the punishment of employers. Other lobbying groups involved in seeking passage of the legislation include the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Council of La Raza, and the Service Employees International Union.

McCain and Kennedy have long embraced the same goal of giving illegal aliens a direct path to U.S. citizenship despite having broken laws to get here in the first place. Both men denounce the view held by most Republicans that the federal government should first secure the border with Mexico and begin enforcing current laws before addressing other immigration issues such as what to do with the more than 10 million to 12 million aliens already here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mexico to lobby for immigration amnesty across the U.S.

Don't be surprised if you hear that Mexico has scheduled a lobbying session with your local Chamber of Commerce. Mexico is about to launch an aggressive official lobbying effort in the U.S. seeking passage of immigration amnesty, according to the country's new ambassador.

Mexican consulates across the nation will seek out and talk with state and federal lawmakers, as well as business chambers, civic organizations and 'all actors of U.S. society', the ambassador said.

President Bush supports amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexican, but the U.S. House of Representatives has so far prevented passage of such legislation. Bush's proposal failed to win support from the House of Representatives in 2006.

During his six-year term, Former Mexican President Vicente Fox failed to get the U.S. to grant amnesty to illegals.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cost of illegal immigrants to native New Yorkers - $874 per household per year

An analysis of the current number of illegal aliens living in New York shows that the illegal population is costing the state’s taxpayers more than $5.1 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. That annual tax burden amounts to about $874 per legal New York household.

Compared to a 1994 study, the burden to native New Yorkers is substantial and that the costs are rapidly increasing.

The outlays in costs incurred by New York taxpayers annually are:

New Yorkers spend more than $4.3 billion annually on education for the children of illegal immigrants. That figure does not include programs for limited English students, remedial educational programs or breakfast and lunch programs for students from low-income families. Estimates are that 11.7 percent of public school students in New York are children of illegal aliens.

Taxpayer-funded, unreimbursed medical outlays for health care provided to the state’s illegal alien population amount to about $690 million a year.

The cost of incarcerating deportable illegal aliens in New York’s state and local prisons amounts to about $165 million a year.
Cost of illegal immigrants to native New Yorkers - $874 per household per year

An analysis of the current number of illegal aliens living in New York shows that the illegal population is costing the state’s taxpayers more than $5.1 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. That annual tax burden amounts to about $874 per legal New York household.

Compared to a 1994 study, the burden to native New Yorkers is substantial and that the costs are rapidly increasing.

The outlays in costs incurred by New York taxpayers annually are:

New Yorkers spend more than $4.3 billion annually on education for the children of illegal immigrants. That figure does not include programs for limited English students, remedial educational programs or breakfast and lunch programs for students from low-income families. Estimates are that 11.7 percent of public school students in New York are children of illegal aliens.

Taxpayer-funded, unreimbursed medical outlays for health care provided to the state’s illegal alien population amount to about $690 million a year.

The cost of incarcerating deportable illegal aliens in New York’s state and local prisons amounts to about $165 million a year.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Found at Border - Mexicans, 'Other Than Mexicans,' Criminals, Gang Members, More Mexicans

In San Diego alone, Border Patrol agents stop almost 400 illegal border crossers daily.

They cross the U.S. border in the cover of darkness and in broad daylight. The vast majority of those apprehended are from Mexico, so the Department of Homeland Security classifies the others detained as ‘Other Than Mexican.’ Last year, OTMs came from 148 of the 193 countries in the world, with several coming from what Homeland Security terms “special interest” countries -- countries considered a great threat.

In the past six months, agents along the Southwest border caught 15 people from Iran, 35 from Pakistan, 12 from Jordan, two from Syria and five from Lebanon.

Many violent criminals also cross the border. One agent proclaimed that he had caught someone “who was number 17 on Mexico's most wanted list.” A top priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation is to stop the influx of a notoriously brutal gang called the MS-13 - the Mara Salvatrucha - a group linked to violence across California and 32 other U.S. states.

The goal of agents is to catch those crossing and those who help the crossers. In the last six months, nearly 1,200 people from China were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. Agents said Chinese nationals pay smugglers up to $30,000 for passage to the U.S.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bush budget proposal cuts money for counties that jail illegal immigrants

In fiscal year 2005, the U.S. government reimbursed counties almost three-quarters of a million dollars for housing illegal aliens accused of committing crimes. The federal reimbursement program was created in 2000 by the Department of Justice to pay local and state government entities the costs of holding illegal immigrants in jail and prison.

But in planning for Fiscal 2008, President Bush didn’t request any new funding for State Criminal Alien Assistance Program reimbursements.

"One of the major fronts we need assistance in is helping us pay for the jailing of the criminal illegal immigrants that the federal government fails to stop at the borders," says one Texas sheriff. "They are passing the buck." The Sheriff's jail houses as many as 1,200 inmates a day, at least 20 percent, or 240 of them illegal immigrants. Though the 2008 funding will be cut, sheriffs across the country continue to see it as their responsibility to hold illegal immigrants in their jails, so efforts to secure the funding again are still underway.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, will ask for the money in upcoming funding negotiations in Congress. "The federal government is the one with primary responsibility, yet we have the double whammy of the government not acting on our broken borders," Cornyn said. "I am concerned by this proposal and I hope the Democratic majority will allow amendments to fix some of these egregious things in the appropriations bill."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Arizona taxpayers spend up to $1.2 billion each year educating children of illegal

In Lindbergh, Arizona, less than 10 percent of the student were Hispanic in 1980.Today, 75 percent of students are Hispanic. Estimates are that there are between 125,000 and 145,000 children of illegal immigrants in Arizona public schools.

People who do track immigration trends estimate that 125,000 to 145,000 children of illegal immigrants attend public elementary and secondary schools in Arizona, almost 10 percent of all Arizona schoolchildren.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all children in the United States have a constitutional right to a public education regardless of their immigration status or that of their parents. Today, Arizona taxpayers spend almost $1.2 billion per year to educate the children of illegal immigrants.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Supporters of immigration enforcement mourn the loss of Rep. Norwood

Georgia lost a key player in its fight against illegal immigration with the death of Representative Charlie Norwood (GOP). Congressman Norwood, who was listed on the U.S. Border Control House Honor Roll last fall for his support of immigration enforcement legislation, died February 13 at the age of 65.

Norwood was know as Charlie "Just Charlie." He earned a reputation in Washington as a straight-talking, no-nonsense political street fighter -- a man who was always looking out for average Joe.

"He told me, as a dentist, he could help one person at a time," said his friend, Jerry Murray. "He said as a Congressman, he could help hundreds at a time." Murray served with Norwood in Vietnam, and says his friend was always plotting and planning ways to help others.

"He'd get that gleam in his eye," said Murray. "It was infectious. It was compelling. It was Charlie Norwood."

Before leaving Atlanta for Norwood's Augusta funeral, members of the state House paused, and remembered a man who didn't hide his dedication to service.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bank of America gives credit preference to illegal aliens

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ll need a good credit history, and your Social Security number is essential to get a credit card. Illegal aliens, however, can skip such requirements. Bank of America has announced it is issuing credit cards to Spanish-speaking immigrants who have no Social Security numbers.

The bank is compromising its own credit standards in order to capture the illegal alien market, and customers have complained that its new policy means the bank is tacitly endorsing illegal immigration.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) accused the lender of aiding terrorists. Even the Department of Homeland Security worried that the program could be exploited by criminals. A department spokesman said, 'It seems to be lending itself to possibilities of perpetrating identity theft or creating more risk for money laundering.'

Other major banks including Wells Fargo & Co. and Citibank have launched similar initiatives to gain Latino customers, with Wells Fargo offering home mortgages to illegal aliens who have no Social Security numbers. In both programs, the illegals use taxpayer identification numbers offered by the Internal Revenue Service instead of Social Security numbers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Minuteman Project will investigate El Paso federal attorney

Jim Gilchrist, the former Marine who established the Minuteman Project, is outraged that two Border Patrol agents, Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, continue to be behind bars in federal prison "We are disgusted with a government which ignores its duty to secure our borders, then grants Constitutional rights to illegal non-citizens and persecutes those who risk their lives to protect us," Gilchrist continued, "As a former Marine, I can’t have much respect for a Commander-in-Chief who doesn't stand by his troops."

Gilchrist said he and his group are convinced there are serious flaws in the prosecution which led to the agents’ convictions. Evidence was reportedly withheld, the illegal alien drug smuggler was given immunity to testify against the agents, and some jurors reportedly felt "coerced" into delivering a guilty verdict.

"We are establishing a citizens’ investigation commission to look into the Ramos/Compean situation, starting with a thorough review of the federal attorney’s procedures and motivations," said Gilchrist. "We believe that federal attorney Johnny Sutton was, at the least, overzealous in his prosecution of these agents." Gilchrist pledges that he and Minuteman Project volunteers from around the nation will be working to gain a Presidential Pardon for the two agents.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Connecticut organization asks for investigation of Danbury city officials

Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control has filed a request for a criminal investigation with the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, asking for an investigation to determine if city officials, including Mayor Mark Boughton, are engaged in criminal racketeering in violation of U.S. Immigration Laws.

“The City of Danbury has become one large illegal smuggling, employment and housing operation,” said the organization’s Paul Streitz, adding “This is racketeering…coordinating various operations with one intent, to displace resident citizens with illegals.”

“The quality of life so deteriorates on streets where houses are inhabited by illegals that resident citizens are forced to sell their houses at losses and move. The increase in population of Danbury while the rest of the state’s population declines is due to the deliberate policies of the City of Danbury housing more illegal aliens,” he said.

“This is a pipeline from Equador and Brazil to Danbury. An above ground railroad to Danbury.”

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two arrested at LA rally in support of Compean and Ramos

Two people were arrested during a clash at a rally in Hollywood, California held in support of two U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a drug smuggler near the Mexican border in Texas.

Los Angeles police separated about 200 demonstrators, including members of the Minuteman Project, from counter-protesters.

Organizer David Hernandez, who supports a pardon for the border agents, said the rally was aimed at raising "awareness that this is an issue that everyone should be behind," he said.

The rally “was not about illegal immigration, it was about justice for not only the officers but the families who came here to participate.” He noted that the imprisoned agents have Hispanic roots, and that all of their family members are Hispanic. “How could we be the racists if we're standing up for Hispanics?"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Illegal migrant villages razed near San Diego

Officials of the City of Poway have been waging a long-running battle against migrant workers and day laborers who camp in undeveloped areas of the city while they work in area fields, at construction sites and in residential landscaping. Four such encampments have been removed over the past six months.

The area has the region's largest number of undocumented workers. Opponents, such as the Minuteman Project, say the migrant workers are lawbreakers, having entered the country illegally, and should be prosecuted.

The most recent encampments were found mostly on city property. City workers cleared three encampments while private contractors removed the fourth.

A new challenge for the city is reaching camps that have moved higher into the rugged hills hugging the city, officials said. They have identified encampments so remote that city crews have to check on them by helicopter. Officials said they are working on shutting them down as well

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Congressman demands resignations of DHS officials who lied about border agents

Rep. John Culbertson of Texas has called for the resignation of top Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials who previously lied to Members of Congress about Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The two agents, he said, are now in prison on trumped-up charges and ‘fabricated’ evidence.

Said Culberson “In my opinion, this false information was given to Members of Congress to cover-up what appears to be an unjust criminal prosecution of two U.S. law enforcement officers.” "We need to reassure our brave Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officers that we support them and want them to feel free to use their best judgment and whatever force they think is necessary to protect America."

Congressmen and congressional staff said that pressure is building — from the public and from Congress — for a pardon. According to these sources on the Hill, the Bush White House, which has previously shown little interest in pardoning the two agents, is now being forced by public opinion and rebellion within Republican ranks to give serious consideration to the matter.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

UCLA proves it is terrified of and terrorized by illegal alien hate groups

Intimidated by anarchists, UCLA at the last minute cancelled a scheduled debate between the California State Director for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a representative of the Ayn Rand Institute regarding border security.

The University Police and the Minuteman leadership learned Monday morning that threats against the debate had appeared on an anarchist website. The site suggested, "Let’s do what they did at Columbia and shut it down!"

In canceling the event, the UCLA Administration cited concerns over the cost of police overtime. Billed as a civil discourse on the rationale of borders, the participants, a noted "open borders advocate" and a proponent of strong border security, were prepared to conduct a philosophical debate on the subject for the students and faculty.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bush's budget message mixed on immigration

In his 2006-2007 budget proposal, President Bush included an ambitious plan to hire 3,000 new border agents in the coming fiscal year. But at the same time, Bush would slash or eliminate money for law enforcement, port security and health programs that have helped border states manage the crush of immigrants coming their way.

While the border patrol swells by another 3,000 agents, other programs to help border states deal with the cost of immigration would be cut.

The debate over more border agents versus reduced funding for immigration impacts dominated discussion of the Bush budget's impact. One of the biggest impacts could be the proposed elimination of money for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. Bush has tried for several years to eliminate the program, arguing that it's not Washington's job to pay the states' share of incarcerating criminals.

But Governors, including Bush when he was governor of Texas, argue that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility. The most recent allocation from Congress was about $661 million.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mexican theme park makes fun of Border Patrol, turns crossing into sport

The group scurries down the canyon wall, their feet slipping in the ankle-deep mud. Sirens grow louder as their guide, clad in a ski mask and known only as Poncho, urges them to run faster. "Hurry up! The Border Patrol is coming!"

These aren't undocumented immigrants. They're tourists, probably from the U.S., and they’re about 700 miles from the border. They've each paid about $15, for Mexico's strangest tourist attraction: a night as an undocumented immigrant crossing the Rio Grande. Advertising tells the pretend immigrants to "Make fun of the Border Patrol!" and to "Cross the border as an extreme sport!"

Organizers are trying to build empathy for migrants by putting people in their shoes. It’s no surprise that the Mexican government, which distributes comic-book style guides to help Mexicans illegally cross the border, also helped finance the creation of the Eco Alberto nature park.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Arizona border too dangerous for unarmed Guardsmen

Arizona's border is dangerous. Too dangerous a place to station unarmed National Guard troops. An early January incident in which Guard troops withdrew from a border observation post when approached by armed men underscored what residents have known for years - violence and danger are common along the 377-mile Arizona border.

Heavily armed smugglers bring in drugs, rock-throwing immigrants and bandits who prey on the border crossers themselves. Smuggling vehicles travel at high speeds. Assaults on agents, from thrown rocks to shootings to attempts to run them down, climbed from 146 in the 2004 fiscal year to 213 in the 2006 fiscal year, in the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which covers most of the Arizona-Mexico border.

Ten agents in the Tucson sector were shot at in fiscal 2006, though none were hit. Since the National Guard incident, a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a Mexican migrant who allegedly attacked him with a rock near the border community of Naco. Most recently, unknown assailants threw rocks at a Guard border observation post, breaking two windows on a Guard vehicle. No one was injured.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plight of Agents Ramos and Compean featured on “America’s Most Wanted”

On February 3 the plight of former Border Patrol agents Jose compean and Ignacio Ramos was the feature subject on national television’s “America’s Most Wanted.”

Their confrontation with an illegal alien drug smuggler crossing the border with a van loaded with 800 lb. of marijuana was related. TJ Bonner, President of the National Border Patrol Council, described the drug smuggler’s gunshot wound as consistent, he said, with someone taking the “bladed stance,” someone firing a gun in his left hand. The smuggler is, in fact, left handed.

According to the National Border Patrol Council, "three of the twelve jurors later submitted sworn affidavits alleging that they had been misled into believing that there could be no dissent in the decision of the jury, and that the minority would have to accede to the will of the majority.”

The U.S. Attorney, the program said, offered conflicting information. When asked why Aldrete-Davila wasn't charged with any crime, he said that because of the border agents’ actions, there was no evidence to charge the alleged drug smuggler. Moments earlier, he admitted that Aldrete-Davila's van was found with a large quantity of marijuana.

“America’s Most Wanted” concluded that Ramos and Compean did make mistakes, and should have receive some punishment. “But their 11 and 12 year sentences are forcing Border Patrol agents and law enforcement in general to question everything they do, to the detriment of our safety.”

Friday, February 02, 2007

Homeland Security ignores dozens of tunnels from Mexico

U.S. officials have failed to block dozens of tunnels running under the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Arizona, including seven large, sophisticated tunnels, parts of which continue to be used by Mexico’s drug cartels to bring narcotics into the United States.

The most popular is huge, made of concrete, has electricity and ventilation and connects San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. Another tunnel, jokingly referred to as the Taj Mahal, also remains unfilled after a decade. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it cannot afford to fill the tunnel.

One Democratic senator from California says DHS has plenty of money for the work and should ask lawmakers if it needs more. More than 20 cross-border tunnels have been discovered in California and Arizona since the September 11 terrorist attacks, he noted. The senator has written to Mexico’s president, detailing how weapons, drugs, people and terrorists can be smuggled through such passageways and specifically noting that Mexican customs inspectors were involved in the construction of a 96-foot tunnel that reaches more than 25 feet into the United States.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Record $23 billion sent to Mexico in 2006

Mexican immigrants sent a record amount of money back to their homeland in 2006 - $23 billion. Together with the growing number of migrants, the decreasing cost of sending money to Mexico is a factor in the continuing increase. Mexico's Central Bank noted in its quarterly report that the reduced costs to send money – due to greater competition by banks and other businesses – are a reason for the increase.

In recent years, U.S. banks and other businesses have tried to capture the money transfer business. In 1999, the cost to send $300 from Dallas to Mexico was $27. Last year, that same transaction cost $11.50.

State legislatures in Arizona and Texas have proposed taxing the money to pay for social services such as health care and education.

In 2006, labor participation rates were nearly 85 percent for Hispanic males, compared with about 76 percent for white males, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.