Monday, September 29, 2008

Drug war tally: 1,000 slain so far this year in Mexican city just two miles south of El Paso, Texas

A 24-year-old man slumped over inside a Chevrolet Silverado in west Juárez last Thursday, just one of seven murdered that day in the city of 1.5 million just two miles south of El Paso, Texas.

Organized crime has turned the streets of Juárez into a battleground, leaving more than 1,000 dead so far this year in a war between the Juárez and the Sinaloa drug cartels. Law enforcement officials say that nearly 80 percent of the slayings in Juárez this year are believed to be linked to organized crime

August 2008 had about 227 homicides and was among the bloodiest months in what has been a record-shattering year for homicides. In all of 2007, there were 309 reported homicides in Juárez, and in all of 2006, there were 242.

Just in the month of August, 2008, 1,700 vehicles were stolen in Juárez. By comparison, about 1,900 vehicles have been stolen through the eight months of 2008 in El Paso.

"There is no law," said El Pasoan Fernando Apodaca, 47 who survived a recent carjacking in Juarez. "It's like the Wild West over there. I want people to be aware. ... My business in Juárez is pretty much done."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New business ad campaign seeks to end immigration enforcement effort, offer amnesty

The advertising business may have reached a new low. Southwest and national business groups are now funding a campaign launched in Arizona that aims to convince voters that this country has already done enough to secure the border and now needs to legalize the 12 million or more undocumented immigrants and even consider allowing more foreigners into this country.

The group will spend "several hundred thousand dollars'' on to air the campaign on television in four states.

The commercial says there have been "incredible strides'' made in border security, the number of deportations is up and there are stronger penalties against employers who hire undocumented workers.

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, "We need to finish the job on immigration reform at the federal level,'' he said. Hamer said that means not just legalizing those already here but ensuring that employers can bring in more foreign workers.

At the same time, many incumbent federal lawmakers and those hoping to unseat them in November are appealing to voters by promising to do more to staunch the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. Check USBC’s Election Central to find candidates seeking for increase immigration enforcement in your state.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Illegal aliens from Mexico, Brazil and Slovakia arrested on Maui, Hawaii

Federal agents have arrested 21 illegal immigrant workers at a Maui luxury condominium construction site. Those arrested, including 12 men from Mexico, eight from Brazil and one from Slovakia, are undergoing deportation proceedings.

It was the second straight month that federal agents have arrested illegal alien workers at the Honua Kai construction site in Kaanapali. The agents coordinated the arrests with LEDCOR Hawaii, general contractor for the Honua Kai pro-ject. The Maui Police Department assisted in the raid.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said some companies feel they can plead ignorance about their employees. But he warned them not to.

'I strongly advise them to think again, because if there is enough evidence, we will aggressively pursue all available remedies to address this issue,' Kubo said.

In July, federal agents arrested 43 illegal alien farm workers in Waipahu, Hawaii during a raid on an apartment complex. In May, immigration agents arrested 22 suspected illegal alien workers at two chain restaurants on Maui. A few months before that, immigration officials arrested 19 foreign nationals on immigration charges at a downtown Honolulu construction site and a Halawa warehouse.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Illegals keep ICE, Coast Guard busy over a long summer

September 3, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 25 criminal aliens and gang members in Ft. Myers, Florida….August 26, 2008 - ICE Team Arrests 130 fugitive aliens in New York….August 26, 2008 - ICE Agents Arrest 595 illegal aliens from eight countries at manufacturing facility in Mississippi….August 25, 2008 - 46 Illegal Aliens Caught in Tucson, Arizona.

August 25, 2008 - Customs and Border Patrol agents arrest more than 60 illegal aliens near Naco, Arizona….August 18, 2008 - 42 gang members arrested in ICE-led operation in Salt Lake City, Utah….August 14, 2008 - 50 gang members arrested in Minnesota during ICE-led operation….August 13, 2008 - ICE teams arrest 119 fugitive aliens in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

August 13, 2008 - ICE arrests 57 illegal aliens working for defense contractor in Asheville, N.C….August 8, 2008 - ICE-led operation arrests 80 gang members and other criminals in Massachusetts….August 7, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 321 gang members in South Florida….July 31, 2008 - Coast Guard, CBP officers interdict 20 migrants off San Diego, California.

July 23, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 58 on immigration violations in Ohio….July 22, 2008 - Coast Guard repatriates 107 Haitian migrants….July 22, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 81 in San Diego, California….July 18, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 49 in Chicago, Illinois…..July 18, 2008 - CBP agents arrest 31 after vehicle stop in Tucson, Arizona.

July 17, 2008 - ICE agents arrest 45 gang members in Tulsa, Oklahoma area….July 9, 2008 - ICE teams arrest 24 illegal aliens in Nashville, Tennessee….July 3, 2008 - Arizona Border Patrol Agents apprehend 27 aliens after discovering them packed into a tractor trailer container...June 26, 2008…ICE arrests 32 in Washington State Puget Sound Area….June 25, 2008 - ICE Fugitive Operations Team arrests 38….June 25, 2008 - ICE Fugitive Operations Team arrests 38 fugitive aliens and immigration violators in southeast Wisconsin area.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

E-Verify is 99.5 percent accurate

E-Verify, a federal government program which allows employers to check the immigration status of new employees, has been improving and is now 99.5 percent accurate. The voluntary program is already screening more than ten percent of new hires nationally. As of September 13, E-Verify had processed 6.21 million queries.

The program is scheduled to expire on November 30, 2008 unless it is re-authorized by Congress. While the House of Representatives has already overwhelmingly passed a reauthorization bill, the Senate has not yet taken any action.

An evaluation by the Center for Immigration studies showed that:

• One-half of one percent of eligible employees screened had to take additional steps to obtain work authorization. The system is 99.5% accurate.

• More than 93 percent of employees are verified within five seconds; another 1.2 percent are verified within 24 hours.

• About 5 percent of new employees are not confirmed as work authorized, mirroring the same percentage of illegal aliens estimated to be in the labor force.

• As of September 13, 2008, 85,816 employers representing over 446,000 sites and over 6.21 million queries had been processed. About 1,000 new employers join per week.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Appeals court upholds Arizona immigration law

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Arizona law that targets employers who hire illegal immigrants by revoking their licenses to do business in the state. Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard welcomed the ruling, and said his office would "continue to defend the statute should there be an appeal to the highest court."

Immigration, business and civil rights groups challenged the law, saying it was preempted by federal rules governing immigration.

They also contended the law violates employers' due process rights by denying them the chance to challenge allegations that their workers are illegal before their licenses are revoked. The appeals court ruled that federal law does not preempt the Act or its requirement that employers to use an electronic verification system to check the work-authorization status of employees through federal records.

The court also ruled that the law "can and should be reasonably interpreted to allow employers, before any license can be adversely affected, to present evidence to rebut the presumption that an employee is unauthorized." Although the court upheld the law "in all respects", it noted that its opinion did not bar later challenges once it is enforced.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mechanic at LAX smuggled illegals through giant airport

Roberto Amaya Canchola, 53, an elevator mechanic at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), has been charged with smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S. by helping them evade federal inspectors and ushering them into taxis outside a terminal.

Canchola was indicted on three counts of making money by smuggling illegal aliens, and three counts of helping passengers skirt immigration officers. He was arrested in August after officials noticed that several passengers on the same Mexicana Airlines flight each week from Guanajuato state did not appear to be passing through customs or immigration screenings.

Agents believe Canchola was using his airport security clearance to escort passengers out of the terminal without being inspected by authorities. The passengers had boarded the plane in Mexico with fake documents, according to ICE.

Robert Schoch, special agent in charge for ICE's office of investigations in Los Angeles, said 'It is a tremendous vulnerability if you think about criminals to the worst extent, terrorists, anybody who could be brought in surreptitiously into this country. So we acted very decisively.'

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Illegal immigration is a major source of identity theft

Smithfield Foods, the focus of two ICE workplace enforcement raids last year, has joined the voluntary “ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers” (IMAGE) program which requires businesses to enroll in E-Verify.

Businesses joining the program will be deemed “IMAGE Certified,” a distinction that the Department of Homeland Security hopes will become “an industry standard.” Success in the effort, it believes, will help turn off the “jobs magnet” and reduce illegal immigration.

Dick Poulson, an executive vice president of Smithfield Foods, said that once the raids occurred, “We saw the writing on the wall. We think we’ve taken steps to protect our employees by hopefully checking credentials and seeing that we’re not vulnerable to people stealing identities.”

He raises an issue not mentioned often enough: in addition to undercutting wages and undermining the rule of law, illegal immigration also creates incentives for identity theft. Every year, countless numbers of Americans have their Social Security numbers stolen and their credit damaged by illegal aliens.

Identity Theft 911 estimates that in the illegal-immigrant heavy state of Arizona, 1.57 million people – a quarter of the state’s population – have been victims of identity theft over the last six years. A serious commitment to the enforcement of immigration law is necessary if we are serious about keeping identity theft in check.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Smuggler lead illegals through California bombing range

Javier Sanchez Perfino pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling dozens of illegal aliens each day for four years through a live bombing range in southern California. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

A Mexican citizen and a legal U.S. resident, Sanchez ran immigrants through the range from 2003 to 2006. He charged them $1,500 per person.

The government said Sanchez stashed the illegals at two houses in Holtville, east of San Diego. Guides then led them through the bombing range. Though officials says there may be a large amount of unexploded ordnance scattered on the range, no illegal aliens have been reported killed by explosives there, said the Border Patrol.

Smugglers are drawn to bombing ranges in the area, where pilots are trained before going to war in Afghanistan, because immigration authorities avoid them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Illegal in Colorado kept from ICE attention until he kills three in car crash

He had 12 aliases, two dates of birth and numerous brushes with the law, but Guatemala native Francis M. Hernandez passed himself off as a U.S. citizen, and somehow managed to stay off immigration officials' radar screen.

He is now behind bars, accused of causing a horrific crash at a Denver ice cream shop that killed three people, including a 3-year-old boy.

Colorado state law requires cities and counties to report suspected illegal immigrants to ICE, except for minor crimes. Hernandez was arrested more than a dozen times since 2003 by nine different state police departments, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says. Some of the arrests were for criminal impersonation and forgery; the bulk were for traffic violations, including driving without a license and driving without insurance.

On September 4, people in suburban Aurora saw Hernandez him speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and running a red light before his Chevrolet Suburban slammed into a pickup and pushed it into a Baskin Robbins shop. Waiting inside for ice cream with his mother was a 3-year-old boy who died, as did the two women who were in the pickup.

Hernandez now faces charges of vehicular homicide, hit and run and reckless driving. At last, ICE has placed a hold on him.

Despite his legacy of arrests, federal immigration officials were out of the loop, as local police never reported Hernandez to ICE. This April, Aurora police stopped him for speeding. Denver police didn't contact ICE after Hernandez committed a traffic infraction in July.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Deported illegals who return commit more crimes

Illegal immigrants who have been deported from the United States are far more likely to repeatedly commit crimes than other immigrants, says a study by the Rand Corp. The study found that illegal immigrants, overall, were not a greater crime risk, but among those who previously had been deported, reentered the U.S. and were arrested and released from jail, nearly 75% went on to commit another crime within a year. And 28% were arrested three or more times during a one-year period.

Among illegal alien criminals who had not previously been deported, 32% were rearrested within a year and 7% were arrested three or more times during that year.

The study was based on a review of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department data from 2002, with the analysis limited to 517 male illegal immigrants released from Los Angeles County jails between Aug. 4 and Sept. 2 of that year.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said the report also that the federal government needs to do more to stop criminals from sneaking back across the U.S.-Mexico border. 'Criminals who are illegal immigrants know no limits and no boundaries,' he said. 'The harder we make it for them to get across, the better.'

'This study underscores why criminal aliens, and in particular those who have been previously deported, are a top ICE enforcement priority,' ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. 'These are individuals who have shown no respect for our laws and our borders.'

Sunday, September 07, 2008

San Francisco delays start of its city ID card program

The city of San Francisco is delaying its new “city ID card” program which would give cards to everyone who can prove they have lived in the city for 15 days or more. The Mayor, Gavin Newsom, has asked that the program be suspended "until a thorough review has been completed.”

Newsom's spokesman says that the mayor now wants to ensure that the program “complies with all applicable federal and state laws.” The Mayor has said he sees the program making it easier for San Francisco citizens to qualify for local services and for city government workers to determine who is eligible for them. Such a program is in place in New Haven, Connecticut, and is being considered in New York City and Miami.

Many observers believe that illegal aliens will be the most eager clients for the San Francisco ID, and will use that card for banking, to get a driver's license, or even to register to vote.

San Francisco's policies toward illegal immigrants have come under intense scrutiny after it was recently revealed that a number of juvenile offenders were shielded from deportation because of the city's sanctuary policy. That scrutiny increased after an illegal alien, who had been shielded from deportation as a juvenile, was arrested for the murder of three San Francisco citizens, all members of the same family, early this summer.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Illegals a step closer to California driver's licenses

State legislation that would allow illegal aliens to get California driver's licenses is a step closer to becoming a law, after the bill passed the State Senate in late August. If it became law, an estimated 2.2 million illegals would apply for a license within 18 months.

'I think they should be able to get licenses just like everybody else,' said Nicole Holland, a Fresnan who supports the bill.

Senator Gilbert Cedillo, (D-Los Angeles) Senate District 22, is the bill's author. He said he started working on it about 10 years ago. He says it ‘isn't about immigrants, it's about highway safety.'

'As the legislature, it's our job to make the roadways safe,' said Cedillo.

"They are already committing a crime coming over here," said Albert Ratliff, a Fresnan who opposes the bill. "I don't think anybody deserves a license until they are a citizen."