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.