Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tancredo plans to oontinue his crusade against illegal immigration

Outgoing Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo might not be leaving the political limelight for long. 'I'm not done with politics,' Tancredo declared before Thanksgiving, as his staff was packing up his old congressional office.

After five terms in Congress Tancredo says he's not finished making noise about his crusade to stop illegal immigration.

That could mean working for an immigration-focused think tank. It could mean talk radio, or a behind-the-scenes role in Colorado Republican politics. Or it could mean throwing his hat into the ring for another campaign of his own.

Tancredo and his defenders said they doubt the country would be talking about securing the U.S. borders and cracking down on illegal immigrants without his loud, incessant demands.

The way he figures it, someone had to stretch the 'outer limit of the debate,' to give other conservatives the cover to talk about the immigration-control issue while still arguing that at least they weren't as extreme as Tancredo.

His 6th District seat is about to be filled by Secretary of State Mike Coffman. Tancredo expects Coffman to be strong on immigration issues, although doesn't expect him to try to match his own fervor.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

30 illegal aliens arrested in routine traffic stops over eight hours in Arizona county

Despite a slumping economy and a lack of jobs, the Sheriff for Arizona’s Maricopa county, which includes Phoenix, says his deputies see little change in the number of illegals they find in routine traffic stops. In eight hours on a recent Monday, deputies made 30 arrests of illegals in a span of eight hours.

The first two vehicles they stopped, a SUV and a Minivan, were determined to be smuggling vehicles, and contained 25 people, including two Coyotes (Mexican smugglers).

The illegals admitted they each paid between $500 and $8000 each for transport into the United States.

A third vehicle was stopped later in the evening with six people, and all were determined to be in the country illegally.

"Our unemployment rates are through the roof. Americans everywhere are struggling to make ends meet," said Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "Yet these illegal aliens are still coming. What other proof is needed to show that stricter immigration laws must be enforced?"

The arrests bring the total arrests made by the Sheriff's Office under the felony Arizona State Human Smuggling Law, which became effective in January 2008, to 1,357 including both smugglers and their human cargo.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lawmakers step up pressure on Bush for border agents’ clemency

As they leave office, it's a long-standing tradition for presidents to offer clemency. Lawmakers from both parties have formally pressed President Bush to commute the sentences of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, serving 11 and 12 year sentences for shooting a drug smuggler in the backside as he fled the scene.

'It's frustrating. Scooter Libby was pardoned before he even goes to jail,' said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, a former judge. 'These two guys are political prisoners.'

Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts liberal, is leading the bipartisan push for clemency with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California conservative.

If Bush fails to act in the next nine weeks, advocates may have an ace in the hole. President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., co-sponsored a resolution calling for clemency for the two former agents last December.

Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, 'I can't think of a better way for Bush to restore political capital, with one stroke.'

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council – the agents union – called it past time for the president to redress the 'terrible injustice.' 'The effect on morale has already been devastating. You have agents out there wondering what the rules of the game are,' he said.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pardons for Ramos and Compean being considered at DOJ

In the last two months of the Bush administration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is considering whether to recommend pardons for two former Border Patrol agents, each jailed for more than a decade after shooting a Mexican drug smuggler in the buttocks.

The cases of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are now before the DOJ’s Pardon Attorney Donald Rodgers, who works in consultation with the attorney general’s office to assist the president. The president has sole power of clemency in federal cases under the Constitution, and will make the decision, no matter what the Office of Pardon Attorney recommends.

This month, U.S. Border Control members have mailed over 100,000 postcards to President Bush, telling him that he should pardon the two decorated Border agents immediately, and that their imprisonment is a stain on his legacy.

You can help build pressure for pardoning the two by sending an email alert demanding a pardon. Visit ( and go to the Legislation Action Center or click on this link to go directly to the email to send to the Presdent.

Both the House and Senate have held hearings investigating the prosecution of the agents, and numerous members of Congress have called on President Bush to pardon the two men.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perry demands assistance from ICE in deporting alien criminals

Texas Governor Rick Perry has demanded that the federal government take steps to help state and local officials ensure that illegal aliens who commit crimes remain in custody until they are deported. Perry said he was "outraged'' to learn that many convicted immigrants in Texas jails were released after they completed their jail sentences instead of being deported.

"Texas has spent the last four years investing unprecedented amounts of state resources to secure our border with Mexico. To now learn that criminal aliens who have been jailed are being released back into our communities by federal authorities who have neglected to secure our border is infuriating and unconscionable,'' he said.

Perry was reacting to recent reports describing how federal immigration officials have allowed scores of violent criminals to be freed despite the inmates' admission to jailers that they were in the United States illegally. He noted that some of the released immigrants were later charged with felonies, including capital murder, rape, robbery and child molestation.

In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Perry asked that the agency "immediately institute a policy that requires every criminal alien identified in a Texas jail to be detained after their sentence has been served and then immediately deported to their country of origin.''

Perry also asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement to share its criminal database with all Texas counties that have a jail with an electronic fingerprint booking capacity.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prayer, food and immigration lead to disputes

Ten days before Thanksgiving, it's surprising that all across the country, ongoing arguments center on prayer, food and immigration.

In Iowa, Latinos and Orthodox Jews have clashed over Kosher meat. Latinos and Somalis are skirmishing in Tennessee. Latinos, Somalis, and Sudanese are wrangling in Nebraska. All the disputes concern work in slaughterhouses.

The arguments are specifically about prayer breaks during Ramadan, paid holidays, cultural clashes and, generally, lack of assimilation into the Thanksgiving-celebrating American melting pot.

In August, Tyson Foods made Eid al-Fitr instead of Labor Day a paid holiday for Somali workers at a Tennessee plant. There was such a backlash from other workers, Tyson reversed the decision.

A JBS Swift Nebraska plant offered striking Somali workers an earlier dinner break so they could pray at sunset. Hispanics, Sudanese and whites demonstrated against the concession, charging favoritism.

Agriprocessors in Iowa, the nation's biggest kosher slaughterhouse, lost half of its work force to an immigration raid in May.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dallas school district provided fake ID numbers for bilingual teachers, years after being told to stop

The Dallas Independent School District continued to provide foreign citizens with fake Social Security numbers, years after being advised by a state agency to stop the practice. Some of the numbers were real Social Security numbers already assigned to people in Pennsylvania.

The practice took place generally for those hired to teach bilingual classes, and was described in a September report by the district's investigative office. The report said the Texas Education Agency learned of the of the practice in 2004 and told DISD at that time that it was illegal.

It continued, however, until this summer. The investigation found that ‘the inappropriate procedure of assigning false SSNs has been systemic for several years' within DISD's alternative certification program, which prepares new teachers for state certification when they don't have traditional credentials.

The numbers were assigned to expedite the hiring process, and were supposed to serve as temporary identification numbers until employees received real Social Security numbers. In some cases, criminal background checks were run on the stolen numbers.

This July, investigators discovered that some of the false numbers were still in use. DISD officials said they did not know whether the practice had caused problems for anyone holding the legitimate numbers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Federal judge delivers setback to effort to free Ramaos and Compean

A federal judge in El Paso, Texas has resentenced former Border Patrol agent Jose Compean to 12 years in prison for his conviction on charges of using a weapon in the commission of a felony and other charges.

Compean, along with former agent Ignacio Ramos, was convicted in 2006 of shooting admitted and now convicted Mexican drug smuggler Osvaldo Adlrete Davila and trying to cover up the incident. The two men argued during their trials that they shot Aldrete, whom they believed was armed, in self defense. Aldrete denied having a weapon the day he was shot.

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans prompted this week's new sentencing hearing. Lawyers for Compean said they are also asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The two former agents have been in prison since January 2007.

The case against the two prompted a massive outcry from supporters of the former agents who argued that U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton should have focused his office's efforts on prosecuting illegal immigrant Osvaldo Aldrete Davila for his drug-smuggling activities. Several supporters, including members of Congress, have asked President Bush to pardon the men, or at least commute their sentences.

Aldrete, who admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot in 2005, pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug charges related to two smuggling attempts several months after he was shot in the buttocks while running away from Ramos and Compean. The same federal judge who sentenced the former agents ordered Aldrete to serve 9 1/2 years in prison.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Election results show immigration is still a major concern in Arizona

The re-election of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas demonstrate that in Arizona, immigration continues to be a major issue. Both Arpaio and Thomas vowed to continue to combat illegal immigration and suggested they may even step up their efforts in light of their victories.

Arizona voters also rejected Proposition 202, a measure backed by business groups that would have weakened aspects of the state's tough employer sanctions law.

Over the past year, Arpaio and Thomas have teamed up to launch a series of immigration-related sweeps and worksite raids that have led to the arrests of several hundred illegal immigrants. Many county residents have cheered the efforts.

Raul Yzaguirre, the former president of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino organization, and now a professor at Arizona State University, said he is concerned that the current economic downturn could deepen frustration over illegal immigration as more Americans lose their jobs.

Yzaguirre and other immigrant advocates said they are hopeful that President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrat -controlled Congress will pass immigration reforms that will solve illegal immigration.

"At a certain level, (voters) have a right to be frustrated. The current system is not working and we need reform," Yzaguirre admitted.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tom Tancredo: End of the Bush-McCain era brings lessons for Republicans

Tom Tancredo, Congressman from Colorado's Sixth District, made the following remarks following the November 4 election," Barack Obama won the presidential election by making it a referendum on the Bush presidency and by successfully making John McCain look like a Bush clone. Voters decided they wanted more "change" than McCain could be expected to deliver.

"There are some clear lessons for Republicans from the McCain campaign and eight years of the Bush presidency. First, Karl Rove's grand paradigm for a "permanent Republican majority" built on "compassionate conservatism" was grand hype based on a grand illusion. No political victory can be permanent; each generation must fight for human liberty all over again.

"Second, it was neither smart politics nor smart policy to allow Ted Kennedy and the American Immigration Lawyers Association to write a Bush-McCain immigration reform plan which gave only lip service to border security. Those congressional battles alienated 90 percent of the Republican base and 75 percent of independents. Did the McCain support of two amnesty plans in 2006 and 2007 win him more support among Hispanic political groups than Republicans normally get? No. McCain could not out-pander the Democrat party, and it was foolish to try.

"Can the Republican Party rebuild to gain substantial victories in 2010 and 2012? Yes, absolutely. In the first place, recovering the principles, vision and verve of Ronald Reagan will be a lot easier with Barack Obama in the White House and George Bush back on his ranch. And not everyone in heartland America drank the New Change Kool-Aid; many voters would have voted for Benedict Arnold just to poke Bush in the eye. That sentiment will dissipate quickly.

"The party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan has endured a tortuous detour down the Bush Parkway and then into the McCain cul-de-sac. Fortunately, we do have a compass -- a compass called the Constitution and a north star called limited government. The first step to regain our bearings is to stop talking about where we have been and start thinking about where we want to go. More than the future of the Republican party depends on our resilience and our abiity to chart that new course successfully. "

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hispanic support helped elect Obama

On election day, a substantial number of Hispanic voters swung their support to the Democratic Party, helping bring four states into President-elect Barack Obama's column. Obama made huge gains nationally, winning 67% of the Hispanic vote — 23 percentage points higher than President Bush's did in 2004.

Dramatic increases in Hispanic support put Obama over the top in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.

Obama carried 75% of U.S.-born Hispanics and won 35% of the Cuban vote in Florida, the highest any Democratic candidate has ever scored. In Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, analysts see a replay of California's demographic and political evolution. California hasn't voted for a GOP nominee since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Hispanics repeatedly chose New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton over Obama during their long primary battle, triggering speculation about whether Hispanics would ever support a black presidential candidate. "The election results officially debunk the myth that Latinos will not vote for blacks," said Matt Barreto, a University of Washington political scientist and Latino pollster. "That is officially laid to rest now."

Barreto says that while Hispanics were concerned about immigration, most are working class and cared most about the economy.

"They are looking for economic stability in their own personal life," he says, and responded to Obama's plans to avert foreclosures, make health insurance and education more affordable, and step up spending on job-creating infrastructure projects.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Owner of raided Massachusetts firm admits he hired illegal aliens, will serve prison term

Francisco Insolia, former owner of a Massachusetts leather goods company, has pleaded guilty to charges that he hired and harbored illegal aliens. His plea marked the end of a case brought by federal authorities following a factory raid in March 2007 which resulted in the detention of 361 illegal aliens.

Insolia will serve a prison term of 12 to 18 months and pay a fine of $30,000.

The company, Michael Bianco Inc., will pay nearly $2 million in fines as well as restitution for the overtime owed to workers. Attorneys for the company entered guilty pleas on 18 counts of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants between 2004 and 2006.

Insolia admitted helping harbor and conceal illegal immigrants by allowing the company to submit false Social Security numbers to the government.

Two managers at the company pleaded guilty two weeks ago. Dilia Costa, 56, the company's production manager, pleaded guilty to hiring and harboring illegal aliens. Gloria Melo, 42, pleaded guilty to continuing to employ illegal workers after the company had reason to know they were illegal. The two women as well as Insolia will be sentenced in January.

Michael Bianco Inc. made military backpacks and other equipment for the federal government, for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company was sold last year to Eagle Industries of Fenton, Mo.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

U.S. Border Patrol agents detain Mexican troops on U.S. soil

U.S. Border Patrol agents detained seven members of the Mexican military after they were found inside the United States on Friday. The Mexicans told the border agents they became disoriented while on patrol and accidentally crossed into the country.

U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo, R- Colorado commented "This is not an uncommon occurrence. Oftentimes, it is the result of the Mexican military providing cover essentially for drug transportation into our country, and/or creating a diversion so it will draw our people away from the place where the drugs are coming across."

The U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma, Arizona, sector was notified early last Friday that a military-style Hummer was broken down on the U.S. side of the border. Agents found the vehicle about 200 yards from the Colorado River, with seven individuals dressed in military-style clothing. Their Hummer was equipped with a turret-mounted machine gun.

Th U.S. agents told the Mexican troops that they were inside the United States and "peaceably" took them into custody. The soldiers, their weapons and their vehicle were placed in Border Patrol custody and transported to the San Luis, Arizona, Port of Entry, where each of the Mexicans was processed in accordance with Border Patrol policy. None of the seven was found to have any criminal or immigration history. Finally, the Mexican soldiers, their weapons and their vehicle were returned to their commanding officer.

Tancredo said the U.S. State Department lodged a complaint with the Mexican government for the first time ever over the military incursions a few weeks ago.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Intoxicated illegal alien kills Phoenix police Officer in highway crash

Seen here: Police Officer Shane Figueroa

Salvador Vivas-Diaz, an illegal alien, is accused of driving impaired and causing the crash that killed Phoenix Police Officer Shane Figueroa in late October.

Mark Spencer, President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, said the crash should serve as a reminder to the Federal Government to have tougher immigration laws and barriers.

"It's very frustrating that he lost his life to a person who shouldn't have been here," Spencer said, adding “It was an intoxicated driver that murdered Shane Figueroa, but it was an intoxicated driver that shouldn't have been here in the first place."

Spencer said men enforcement of federal law is mandatory to reduce the likelihood of these crimes being committed by someone who is in the U.S. illegally.