Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Immigration gridlock is a boon for lobbyists

One industry is profiting handsomely from the political gridlock in Washington over illegal immigration. In the past three years, lobbyists on K Street have raked in more than $8 million from companies and trade organizations seeking to press their agenda on immigration to members of Congress.

The number of firms seeking help from lobbyists, mostly former Capitol Hill and White House insiders, nearly doubled in that period. Spending soared to $2.5 million for the first six months of 2007 alone. Immigration has proved to be a big moneymaker for lobbyists,' said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Industries hire professional influence-peddlers when Congress turns its attention to policies that impact companies' bottom lines. Industries hiring lobbyists on various immigration provisions include the expected agricultural, construction and restaurant-industry leaders, but also include labor unions, fashion models and even the National Hockey League.

According to lobbying records compiled by Congressional Quarterly, 57 companies and trade organizations hired outside lobbyists to work primarily on immigration issues in 2006 - up from 38 in 2005 and just 16 in 2004.

So far, however, the millions of dollars spent by corporate America on immigration has yielded few results. The most recent amnesty proposal went down in flames earlier this year after opponents bombarded members of Congress with faxes, e-mails and phone calls.

'Inaction,' Ritsch said, 'can be very lucrative.'

Monday, August 27, 2007

In Missouri, the "show me" state's law enforcement officers will ID illegal immigrants

Missouri's law enforcement officers are looking for illegal aliens. The state's Governor, Matt Blunt, said he doesn't want the state to wait for the federal government to act on the problem; so he's added the extra duties to the state's officers.

"We don't want what happened to the people in New Jersey to happen in Missouri," Blunt said. The Governor referred to an illegal alien in New Jersey who went to prison for the rape of a child. After posting bail, the man murdered three college students. Blunt has ordered state law to look for illegals, hoping to prevent similar crimes in Missouri.

The orders are for members of the water patrol, highway patrol and capitol police. They will now run immigration and customs enforcement checks, known in the agencies as "ICE" checks. Any suspects found to be illegal immigrants will be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Kansas City, St. Louis or Springfield. Police departments can run the checks online or get help from the Capitol.

For assistance, law enforcement officers can call MIAC, the Missouri Information Analysis Center in Jefferson City and that agency will do the checks. The new order for background checks began immediately. Earlier this year, the Governor ordered a review of employees at companies with state contracts after the discovery of illegal workers at a cleaning company.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Jersey AG orders all local police officers in state to check immigration status

New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has ordered all local police officers to ask the immigration status of suspects charged with serious crimes, and to notify federal immigration authorities if they believe the suspect is in the country illegally. The policy applies to suspects arrested for specific offenses and for driving while intoxicated.

Milgram's announcement came after questions arose about how Jose Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, the chief suspect in the Newark schoolyard killings, was released on bail earlier this year after being charged with child rape.

Carranza's history in the U.S. is not very diffeent from that of Alejandro Rivera Gamboa, an illegal who was arrested four times on drunken driving charges in Oregon. Until police charged him last week with choking a 15-year-old girl to death, immigration authorities had never heard his name. Another illegal, Juan Lizcano, had at least two run-ins with the law in Texas. Both went unnoticed by immigration officials until Lizcano, who entered the country illegally in 2001, was charged with killing Dallas Police Officer Brian Jackson in 2005.

Most Americans believe that illegal immigrants sitting in jail on criminal charges will soon be deported. Indeed, federal law dictates that people in the United States unlawfully be sent back to their homelands if they're convicted of crimes. But in the nation's overwhelmed and disjointed immigration system, that is hardly the case.

Even when ICE is contacted and the detainee is ordered removed from the country, deportation isn't a sure thing. "The average person would expect that criminals would be detained and removed, and they are shocked when something like this happens," said Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

King tells Bush – Looking for employers who hire illegals? Start with government agencies

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the ranking member of House Judiciary’s immigration subcommittee, knows where the Bush administration should start in the search for employers who hire illegal aliens. That's in federal agencies, King said, because they employ thousands of unauthorized workers.

"Let's clean up our own house, let's especially clean up all those working for the federal government," King said.

A 2006 audit showed that federal, state and local governments are among the biggest employers of the half-million employees in the U.S. illegally using obsolete "non-work" Social Security numbers — numbers that were issued legally, but with specific instructions that the holders are not authorized to work in the U.S.

According to the 2006 audit by the Social Security inspector general, 17 of the 100 worst employers using employees with the obsolete non-work numbers were government agencies: seven federal agencies, seven state agencies and three local governments. The government knows who the employees are, but usually does not pursue them.

King said the administration shouldn't wait for new rules to begin checking federal employees against the non-work list, but should set an an example for employers around the nation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Representatives warn Bush over SPP goals, secrecy

Twenty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have urged President Bush to back off from his efforts to integrate North America as one continent instead of three separate countries, the central goal of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Meetings regarding the SPP are going on now in Canada.

The letter warns Bush of growing apprehension in Congress about the SPP. The authors said they are also worried about the secretive manner in which SPP is being conducted and are concerned it "may actually undermine our security and sovereignty. Measures that would make it easier to move goods and people across borders could have the effect of further weakening this country's ability to secure its frontiers and prevent illegal immigration."

The letter referred to the difficulty organizations have had accessing records from earlier SPP meetings, adding "The more transparency the better." It made note of the amendment added by Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., to the transportation funding bill for FY 2008, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to participate in SPP-related working group meetings.

The vote on Hunter's amendment, they said "is an indication of the serious concerns felt by those of us in Congress and by our constituents about this initiative – concerns that will only be intensified if pursuit of the SPP continues out of public view and without congressional oversight or approval." It concluded, "we urge you to bring to the Congress whatever provisions have already been agreed upon and those now being pursued or contemplated as part of this initiative, for the purpose of obtaining authorization through the normal legislative process."

Signers included Rep. Terry Everett R-AL, Rep. Duncan Hunter R-CA, Rep. Tom Tancredo R-CO, Rep. Ted Poe R-TX, Rep. Nancy Boyda D-KS, Rep. Walter Jones R-NC, Rep. David Davis R-TN, Rep. Phil Gingrey R-GA, Rep. John Boozman R-AR, Rep. John Duncan R-TN, Rep. Virgil Goode R-VA, Rep. Tom Price R-GA, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite R-FL, Rep. Sue Myrick R-NC, Rep. Jo Bonner R-AL, Rep. Gary Miller R-CA, Rep. Steve King R-IA, Rep. Greg Walden R-OR, Rep. Michael Rogers R-AL, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter R-MI, Rep. Robert Aderholt R-AL, Rep. Todd Akin R-MO.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Americans shocked at execution-style murder of black college students in New Jersey

Three bright black teenagers, preparing to leave violent Newark for the University of Delaware next month, lost their lives August 4 in an execution-style murder in a school playground. A fourth victim, the sister of one of those killed, was shot in the head but survived and has helped police identify suspects

Six suspects, including at least one illegal immigrant who was charged with raping a 5-year-old girl earlier this year, have been arrested in the New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland area. Despite the fact that gun violence has spiked in Newark in recent years and killings have increased more than 50 percent since 2002, the city and the nation were shocked and saddened by the murders.

Local officials are trying to explain the suspects was free on bail on two separate indictments at the time of the killings despite being in the country illegally. The known illegal, from Peru, was first arrested in West Orange, N.J., on aggravated assault charges after a bar fight last fall. Twice earlier this year he was arrested on charges that he raped a child in his care. He was allowed to post bail.

Following his arrest on murder charges, the illegal’s immigration status was reported when an employee in the sheriff’s office learned that his Social Security number was fake, The immigration service then issued a “detainer,” which gave federal agents the right to hold the man if and when local officials set him free.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

DEA report notes terrorists ties with Mexican drug cartels

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) document has reported that Islamic terrorists already embedded in the United States are now teaming up with Mexican drug cartels to fund their terrorism networks. The report demonstrates how vulnerable the U.S. is when fighting the war on terrorism.

Rep. Ed Royce of California has demanded a hearing based on the report. Royce is ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee. 'I'll be asking the terrorism subcommittee to hold a hearing on the DEA report's disturbing findings. the reported linking of drug cartels on the Texas border with Middle East terrorism needs to be thoroughly investigated.'

The DEA report outlines several incidents in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells in the U.S. have funded terrorism networks overseas with the aid of Mexican cartels. The sleeper cells use established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes to move narcotics — and other contraband — in and out of the United States, the report said.

These 'persons of interest' speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew fluently, according to the document.

The report includes photographs of known Middle Easterners who 'appear to be Hispanic; they are in fact, all Spanish-speaking Arabic drug traffickers supporting Middle East terrorism from their base of operations' in the southwestern United States, according to the DEA.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Owner of Mississippi company charged with falsifying documents for illegals to work on interstate bridges

Homeland Security authorities have accused a Mississippi man of risking public safety by hiring illegal immigrants for bridge construction projects. Jose Santos Gonzalez' Tarrasco Steel Co. was hired to install rebar to reinforce concrete in bridges in three states. He was charged with employing illegals and falsifying documents.

The July 29 indictment followed March raids in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) noted that 77 illegal immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico were arrested at the job sites, including 26 Tarrasco employees.

Gonzalez was arraigned just three days before the collapse of the I-40 West Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minnesota. His company did not work on that bridge, but the charges against him demonstrate how pervasive the employment of illegal aliens is within the United States.

"There is a serious public safety concern when illegal aliens, who are not authorized to work in the country legally, are employed in the construction of bridges in our communities," said Michael A. Holt, special agent in charge with ICE investigations in New Orleans. "While there is no reason to believe that these individuals had ill intent against our country, they could have been susceptible to blackmail from individuals wanting to hurt Americans." ICE said that interstate highway bridges are important to economic security and public health and safety.

If convicted, Santos Gonzalez could face prison time, the seizure of property and forfeiture of $3 million. Authorities have seized $457,000 in the case.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hooray for Oklahoma -where it's no longer OK for illegal aliens

Overwhelming majorities in both the Oklahoma House and Senate passed legislation that ends four problems in many states. It deals with identity theft; terminates public assistance benefits to illegals; empowers state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws; and punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.

"The bottom line," said State Representative Randy Terrill, a Republican and the measure's sponsor, "is that illegal aliens will not come here if there are no jobs waiting for them, they will not stay here if there is no government subsidy, and they certainly won't stay here if they know that if they ever encounter our state and local law enforcement officers, they will be physically detained until they're deported."

Oklahoma Governor C. Brad Henry, a Democrat, signed the legislation into law, and believes it will go a long way to curb the illegal immigration problem in the state.

Terrill noted that states "are separate sovereigns in our federal system. With that sovereignty we have as much right -- in fact, I would argue, a responsibility -- to protect our taxpayers against that sort of egregious waste, fraud and abuse as the federal government does." Terrill says as long as the federal government refuses to do its job of protecting the international borders, states must take action to deal with the problem that is costing taxpayers in the state $200 million a year in public benefits, law enforcement costs, and other resources.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What illegal aliens contribute to the United States

Each quarter, government agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI estimate the contribvutions that illegal aliens make to the U.S. as well as their costs. Their analysis for the first quarter of 2006 shows:
• 95 % of warrants in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens
• 40.1 % of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican Nationals in the U.S. illegally
• 53 % of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens
• 71 % of all apprehended vehicles stolen in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California were stolen by illegal aliens or human smuggler ‘coyotes
• 47% of drivers cited or stopped in California have no license, no insurance, and no registration for the vehicle; of that number, over 92 % were illegal aliens
• 380,000 "anchor babies" were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents,, and became automatic U.S. Citizens. 97.2% of the costs of those births were paid by American taxpayers
• 39% of California students in grades 1-12 are illegal aliens; 42% are non-English speaking
• 62 % of all "undocumented immigrants" in the U.S. are working for cash and not paying taxes
• Between 2000 and 2005, 4.1 million immigrant workers arrived in the U.S., accounting for 86% of the net increase in the total number of employed persons (16 & older). Of the 4.1 million, between 33% and 66% are estimated to be illegal aliens.
Oh, and in the area of employer profits:
• The estimated profit to U.S. corporations and businesses employing illegal aliens in 2005 was more than $2.36 trillion.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tancredo - By funding illegal alien healthcare, Democrats show they do not represent Americans

U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO, presidential candidate and founder of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, has blasted Congressional Democrats for providing healthcare for illegal aliens. They had eliminated a requirement that anyone applying for Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) services provide proof of U.S. citizenship. The Democrat's new plan would raise taxes and make it easier for illegal aliens to obtain taxpayer-funded medical benefits.

“The Democrats have again proven their loyalty to illegal aliens over American citizens,” Tancredo said, referring to the failed Senate Amnesty plan. “Rather than help middle class families as they promised, Congressional Democrats are squeezing tax dollars out of Americans in order to benefit those who have violated our laws.”

Tancredo said that Congressional Democrats, still sore from the failed Amnesty bill, came up with the new provision which opens the door for “free” healthcare for illegal aliens funded by American taxpayers and small businesses. “This socialistic plan only encourages more illegal immigration. When will these out-of-touch Democrats realize that Americans do not want to subsidize illegal aliens?”

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Almost all Cubans now get to U.S. through Mexico

Remember the flotilla of boats attempting to make passage from Cuba to Florida, the Coast Guard stopping them and arresting the Cubans aboard? That was yesterday. Now, the vast majority of Cubans enter the United States through Mexico, after their U.S. relatives pay thousands of dollars to organized crime networks to scoop them off Cuba's westernmost tip in souped-up speedboats.

Some 9,296 Cubans arrived in the United States from Mexico between Oct. 1 and July 22, more than double the 4,589 who crossed or were picked up by the Coast Guard in the Florida Straits during the same period. The Mexico route is now so popular that U.S. immigration officials call those who follow it 'dusty foot' Cubans, a play on Washington's 'wet-foot/dry foot' policy that lets Cuban migrants captured on U.S. soil stay in America, but sends those picked up at sea back to the island.

A speedboat smuggler making the 120-mile dash from Cuba to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula can earn $30,000 per haul of 30 or more Cubans. They often rendezvous with yachts that can ferry large groups to shore undetected, using satellite phones and GPS technology to coordinate late-night pickups in Cuba's western-most Pinar del Rio province.

Unlike other migrants, the Cubans have no need to run from the Border Patrol. They simply announce their nationality and ask to stay. As long as they don't have criminal records or dangerous health problems, they are allowed to remain in America and seek permanent residency after a year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Church distributes posters, pledge cards, prayer cards and DVDs supporting illegal immigration

When Mexico produced a comic book showing illegal aliens how to sneak into the United States, Americans were outraged. But Mexico, La Raza, even the Democratic Party has not come close to the full library of documents in support of illegal immigration that the Catholic Church in the U.S. is distributing to its members.
• Advent Journey to Justice - A bilingual prayer resource
• Justice for Immigrants Brochure - Part of the 'Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope' campaign
• Justice for Immigrants Parish Resource Kit - Suggestions, resources for organizing a campaign
• Justice for Immigrants Pledge Card
• Strangers no Longer DVD - This series 'invites us to identify with today's immigrants'
• Strangers No Longer - Statement by the Catholic bishops' conferences of the United States and Mexico
• Strangers No Longer Brochure
• Strangers No Longer Way of the Cross prayer card
Catholic parishes across the nation are also wrestling with the Church’s teachings on immigration. The church's passionate push for immigration reform has miffed some Catholics who oppose illegal immigration and others who don't like to mix religion and politics.

In Orange County, California, a woman recently said she understands Catholic teachings on immigration but grapples with how to blend her faith with her obligations as a citizen in electing leaders and deciding how taxes are spent. Her priest did not clarify things by explaining the church teaches that people have a right to migrate and that countries have a right to control migration, "a situation bound to provoke social tensions," he noted.