Monday, March 31, 2008

Many illegals arrive with travel permission, but never leave

A new study published by the Center for Immigration Studies finds as many as half of the United States' 12 million illegal immigrants arrived legally with temporary nonimmigrant visas. The study says that as many as two-thirds of Mexican applicants and 88 percent of Russian applicants were granted tourist visas in 2007.

'Our immigration crisis has three main problems,' said David Seminara, the study's author. 'Our borders aren't secure, it's too easy to obtain visas overseas, and once foreigners arrive in the U.S. with visas, it is far too easy for foreign nationals to extend their stays indefinitely by adjusting their visa status or staying illegally.'

Most lawmakers promoting immigration reform overlook the problem of overstaying visas. But reform in this area of immigration policy is equally as vital as protecting the borders.

'Indeed, the plans of visa applicants change frequently, and those changes frequently involve overstaying visas,' Seminara said. 'Only tiny portions of those who overstay visas are ever deported.'

Seminara offers lawmakers and lobbyists a few recommendations that may help decrease the number of illegal immigrants who overstay their visa duration, such as creating a new corps of consular officers in the Department of Homeland Security whose focus would be strictly law enforcement and refocusing visa adjudication. Such changes will benefit U.S. economy by 'improving the integrity of our immigration system, reducing the fiscal burden of illegal immigration, and enhancing national security,' Seminara said.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Administration will seek to continue ‘no match’ Social Security warnings

The Bush administration unveiled a revised rule Friday which threatens businesses with prosecution unless they fire employees identified as possible illegal immigrants through Social Security numbers.

The program was stalled by a federal judge in September, but if an alteration in the program satisfies the court, the U.S. could begin issuing warnings to 140,000 employers as early as June. The letters specify suspect Social Security numbers used by such employees and require businesses to resolve the questions or fire the employees within 90 days.

The plaintiffs in the court case, including the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union, allege that the plan will cause major workplace disruptions and discriminate against legal workers, including native-born Americans.

The effort to wean the U.S. economy off an estimated 8.7 million illegal workers has long been blocked by economic interests and civil rights concerns. Said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff "The No-Match Rule is an important tool for cracking down on illegal hiring practices while providing honest employers with the guidance they need."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rhode Island governor signs executive order targeting illegal immigrants

Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri has signed an executive order requiring prison officials and state police to identify illegal immigrants in state custody. It also requires that state agencies take other steps to penalize immigration violators.

The governor’s office said there is a growing number of illegal immigrants in the state, and the federal government is not taking action. The office said a recent report showed anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 illegal immigrants live in the Ocean State. Carcieri had previously said that the state can't afford and shouldn't have to pay for people who break the law.

Carcieri has also been considering proposals that would require employers to validate the identification of employees. 'By cracking down on the employer, you're basically saying if you want to work in Rhode Island, that's fine,' said Democratic Rep. Jon Brien said. 'But you have to do it legally.'

Carcieri also endorsed legislation introduced in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly that will accomplish the same goals as his executive order.

Other bills introduced into the legislature this year would make it a crime for state workers to issue state ID cards to illegal immigrants; would kick illegal immigrants off public assistance programs; would make it illegal to transport or harbor illegal immigrants; and would require law enforcement to notify federal authorities any time they arrest a suspected illegal immigrant.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Arizona sheriff conducts his own crime sweep, arrests 37 illegals

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio conducted a crime suppression sweep over the Easter weekend in Phoenix. He said local business people had asked him to conduct the sweep.

"In a total of 10 hours, our force arrested 55 people. Of the 55, 37 were illegal," he said of the weekend arrests. Arapaio said he will do more crime suppression this week.

"Any illegals we come across are going directly to jail. So I'm sure all the activists are getting the bullhorns out, they're getting their cameras to take pictures of my deputies arresting people, so that's OK," the sheriff said

Arpaio responded to criticism not only from immigrant rights activists, but also from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who said Arpaio did not notify him of the sweep.

"Since when do I have to call a politician?" Arpaio asked, "So I come in here, he knew it - if he read the papers - I did notify the local commander of the precinct. They did know we were here."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blacks in Los Angeles are seeing the end of the racial rainbow

Terry Anderson is an African-American talk radio host in LA. On the subject of illegal immigration, his motto is “If You Ain’t Mad, You Ain’t Payin’ Attention.” He is angry with Congressional Black Caucus members who continue to support open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. “Massive illegal immigration has been devastating to my community,” says Anderson, a longtime South Central Los Angeles resident. “Black Americans are hit the hardest.”

Behind the anger is the rapid change that legal and illegal Hispanic immigration is bringing to longtime black locales. Places like South Los Angeles and Compton, California, have transformed, virtually overnight, into majority-Latino communities. The Latino “tsunami” has intensified the well-founded feeling among blacks that they’re losing economic ground to immigrants. Immigration hurts both black and white low-wage workers, but a recent study notes that the effect is three times as large on blacks because immigrants are more likely to compete directly with them for jobs.

Joe Hicks, former chair of Los Angeles’s Human Relations Commission and head of the nonprofit Community Advocates: “It’s hard to find a black face on a construction site or in a fast-food restaurant around here any more. People from the black community have noticed.”

The 500 Mexican gangs in Greater Los Angeles are aggressively trying to push blacks out of mixed-race neighborhoods. Federal authorities have indicted members of one Los Angeles–based Latino gang, Florencia 13, for random shootings of blacks in South L.A. The indictment chillingly accuses a gang leader of giving members instructions on how to find blacks to shoot.

Anderson tells his audience ““I have gone on the streets and talked to people at random here in the black community, and they all ask me the same question: ‘Why are our politicians and leaders letting this happen?’ ”

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mexico supports organization planning May Day marches in U.S.

Illegal aliens across the U.S. are planning disruptive May Day marches which will demand that the U.S. government halt immigration raids and that Congress pass laws to legalize them.

This year’s demonstrations are being organized by a group that is sanctioned by the Mexican government. Founded last year in Mexico City, the First Parliament of Mexican Migrant Leaders Living in the U.S.A. was established to give illegal alien Mexicans a voice in America’s political system.

With this effort, a foreign government is openly creating a sort of congressional representative for the illegal population of the United States. The number of illegal immigrants and their allies in the U.S. assure that the third annual marches will demonstrate pride and commitment among Latinos.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of rowdy illegal aliens flooded the streets of major cities, demanding amnesty and other rights, while threatening to shut down streets and launch economic boycotts. They burned U.S. flags and wielded racist, anti-American signs as they chanted for “derechos” (rights) in Spanish.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Federal judge rules that noncitizens can conceal weapons in Kentucky

A federal judge has barred enforcement of a Kentucky law banning noncitizens from carrying concealed deadly weapons. At the same time, he ended the protection of American citizens from potentially dangerous terrorists.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell determined that a Kentucky law is written too broadly and violates the rights of a British national who has lived in Kentucky for 15 years. 'It is in the public interest to prevent the violation of an individual's constitutional rights,' Russell wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union had sued the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and Kentucky State Police on behalf of the British man, challenging the citizenship requirement.

The man argued that no federal law requires U.S. citizenship for people to be licensed to purchase, transport or carry a concealed deadly weapon, and neither should state law.

Kentucky State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, has said the purpose of the law is to allow citizens to protect themselves. Damron has said lawmakers didn't want to make it easy for noncitizens to carry concealed weapons at a time when Americans are concerned about possible attacks by foreign terrorists.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mexican truck drivers allowed to pass English proficiency requirement in Spanish

Mexican truck drivers allowed to travel through the U.S. in a Bush administration demonstration project are not proficient in English. At a Senate Commerce Committee meeting, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III admitted that Mexican drivers were being designated at the border as "proficient in English" even if they could explain U.S. traffic signs only in Spanish.

Sen. Byron Dorgan asked if it were true that Mexican truckers could explain U.S. traffic signs only in Spanish when given English proficiency tests at the border. Dorgan asked Scovel "Do you show a driver an octagonal 'STOP' sign at the border and qualify him if he explains the sign means 'ALTO'?" (Alto is the Spanish word for "Stop.")

"Yes," Scovel answered reluctantly. "If the stop sign is identified as 'alto,' the driver is considered English proficient."

"If you answer in Spanish, you're not English proficient," Dorgan insisted.

Dorgan summed up "We know now there are no equivalencies between Mexican trucks and U.S. trucks. There are no equivalent safety standards. Mexico has no reliable database for vehicle inspections, accident reports or driver's records. "Now you tell us Mexican drivers can pass their English proficiency tests in Spanish," the senator continued, outraged. "The Department of Transportation is telling Congress, 'We're doing this and we don't care.'

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bush insists border solution needs ‘swinging door'

According to George W. Bush, the solution to the U.S. security issues with its southern border must include a ‘swinging door’ so that workers can come and go as they want, White House press secretary Dana Perino said recently.

Asked if border security efforts need more personnel, more fencing, or more enforcement of immigration regulations, Perino told a new correspondent that in addition to those efforts “he would add another measure, a temporary worker program for people who want to cross the border and work in America, but also want to go back home."

The 'swinging door,' of course, would swing open only for Mexican citizens seeking to work in the U.S., not for U.S. citizens seeking to live and work in Mexico. U.S. citizens seeking to live and work in Mexico would continue to face a substantial number of prequalification and legal requirements. If a U.S. citizen enters Mexico illegally, any Mexican citizen can arrest them and turn them over without delay to the nearest authorities. Only Mexicans have the right to acquire ownership of land, and Mexicans have priority over foreigners for all employment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nearby Mexican state upset with influx of Mexicans

The Mexican state of Sonora recently sent nine legislators to Tucson to complain about the Arizona crackdown on employers of illegals. Their specific complaint? Too many Mexican illegal aliens are returning to their hometowns in Sonora.

The law's effect, they said, will be “devastating” on Sonora. The state, just south of the U.S. border, does not have enough housing, jobs of schools to handle the influx, they contend.

One Mexican Representative asked in Spanish "How can they pass a law like this? Mexico is not prepared for the tremendous problems it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs', she said.

Speaking of the people of Sonora, MX and Arizona, US, Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez also claimed 'We are one family, socially and economically."

American citizens disagree. The United States is a sovereign nation. Its states and its citizens are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico's citizens. It's time for the Mexican government to stop feeding off of the United States and start finding ways to start taking care of its own citizens.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

350 immigration-related proposals introduced in state legislatures

The first two months of the year have seen state lawmakers propose more than 350 immigration-related bills. The largest number of proposals were introduced in California, Virginia, South Carolina, Arizona and Rhode Island.
  • Legislators in eight states want to follow Oklahoma’s example, proposing immigration bills that would restrict illegal immigrants' access to driver's licenses and other IDs; limit public benefits, penalize employers who hire them and boost ties between local police and federal immigration authorities. 
  • Almost 30 states have bills to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. 
  • In 20 states, legislators seek to boost cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities and to increase penalties for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. 
  • In 14 states, legislators are looking to limit driver's licenses and other IDs; in another 14 states, legislators are looking to cut public benefits for illegal immigrants. 
  • In a number of states, dueling bills illustrate conflicting views. In Delaware, one bill would require that notices about predatory loans be written in Spanish and English. Another would make English the state's official language. California bills would deny benefits to children of illegal immigrants and would provide those living in poverty with health care insurance.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Illegal drives van into Minnesota school bus, kills four children

The illegal, unlicensed driver of a van hit a school bus late last month in southwest Minnesota. The woman failed to stop at a stop sign before hitting the bus, which was carrying 28 students. The crash killed four children.

Olga Marina Franco del Cid told investigators she was Alianiss Morales, but when federal agents tracked down the real Morales, she told authorities her purse and identification documents were stolen six months ago while she was living in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Attorney's office says Franco del Cid used the documents to apply for jobs in Minnesota and also used Morales's Social Security card to get a Minnesota state I.D. card.

In addition to federal charges, including two counts of identity theft and two counts of false representation of a Social Security number, Franco del Cid was also charged by the State of Minnesota with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide, a stop sign violation and driving without a valid license. When authorities searched her home they found her real identity and Guatemalan birth certificate.

Two brothers, as well as the daughter of a teacher at Lakeview School and the son of a former teacher, were killed. Funerals have been held for brothers Hunter Javens, 9, and Jesse Javens, 13, Emilee Olson, 9 and Reed Stevens, 12. Six other people, five of them students, were hospitalized in nearby Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and one additional student was hospitalized at the Mayor Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Senators seek crackdown on immigration

A group of Republican senators introduced a series of proposals this week to crack down on illegal immigration. They include
  • Sets a deadline on building a U.S.-Mexico border fence
  • Establishes manadatory minimum sentences for illegal entry
  • Requires mandatory electronic employment verification system
  • Sets substantial funding cuts for sanctuary cities
  • Stops banks from accepting Matricula Consular cards
  • Establishes English as the national language
  • Stops the phaseout of the National Guard on our borders
  • Formalizes role of state and local police forces to assist with immigration enforcement
  • Sets highway fund penalties for states that give licenses to illegal aliens
  • Makes drunk driving by illegal aliens a deportable offense
  • Requires nations to repatriate their illegal aliens or lose aid and visas
  • Repeals presidential orders that require federal agencies to be multilingual.
The senators said they wanted to bring attention to the issue of immigration immediately.

"We've not forgotten the importance of this issue and we want things done this year," said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, adding. "This debate cannot wait. Once the word is out that we're taking seriously our commitment to combating illegality seriously, far fewer will be eager to sneak into the U.S.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tennessee, Georgia consider official English language bills

Tennessee and Georgia state legislators have introduced several bills which focus on restoring English as the official state language. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 40 English language-related bills were introduced this year in nearly 20 states. Last year, 103 English language-related bills were introduced in 25 states.

Georgia State Senator John Douglas introduced a bill that would prohibit government employers from requiring workers to learn a second language to be hired or promoted. Douglas said a Dalton, Ga., policy inspired his proposal. Several months ago the Dalton Police Department began requiring officers seeking a promotion to take 80 hours of Spanish. 'It is just another erosion of the use of English,' Douglas said.

Tennessee State Senator Jack Johnson introduced a Senate bill protecting employers who enact English-only policies from being sued. Johnson said 'I don't think there's any harm in just codifying what we all believe: If you are going to succeed in the U.S., you need to know and understand English,' he said.

Tennessee State Representative Jim Cobb said learning English is a matter of public safety. He fully supports a bill before the Senate that would eliminate all translated versions of the written driver's license exam. 'We can't allow people to drive on our highways legally when they can't understand English,' Rep. Cobb said.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hispanic Caucus says new immigration proposal will put Congress on the spot

Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus say it is ready to introduce a new immigration reform bill later this year. The proposal will force Congress to wrangle with the issue of legal residency for many millions of illegal aliens in the midst of the election campaign.

Congressman Joe Baca (D-California), at right, First Vice President of the Caucus, described the measure as he attended the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Texas. He said “It will not be comprehensive in nature, but it will include the 12 to 14 million people who are here in the United States. It will address those individuals working in agriculture, and it will address the DREAM Act,” he said.

Baca said the bill “will not be amnesty. They will be required to be in the United States, have been working, prove they've been working in the United States,” to use the program

The DREAM Act would provide educational benefits to the children of illegal immigrants. U.S. Representative Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), also a member of the Hispanic Caucus, said it will be a key part of any measure that is floated.

The Caucus members declined to say when the new immigration reform measure might be introduced.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Schwarzenegger tells Bush to keep National Guard at the border

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called on President Bush to extend the assignment of California National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials have credited the Guard troops with helping to reduce illegal immigration through the border with Mexico.

In 2006, Bush ordered 6,000 troops to the border. The temporary deployment was supposed to help bolster the Border Patrol's ranks while the agency hired 6,000 additional agents. But only half that many have been hired, and the Guard's assignment is set to expire in July.

'We cannot afford to jeopardize the safety and security of our fellow Americans by removing personnel prematurely,' the governor said Monday in a statement.

Border Patrol officials have credited the troop deployment with a drop in arrests at the border. Arrests along the border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California fell by about 27 percent in late 2006, compared with the same time in 2005, Border Patrol officials said.