Archive for the “Elected officials” Category

LA Times

GREELEY, COLO. — Tom Selders is still baffled at how quickly the city he served for years turned on him.

The two-term mayor of this conservative farm town had been a political fixture for nearly two decades. A businessman who prided himself on bringing efficiency to city government, Selders infuriated his constituents after jumping into the national debate over illegal immigration. In May he spoke at an open forum in Washington about the effects of last year’s immigration raid on a meatpacking plant here, which led to the detention of 262 undocumented workers.

“Many families and children were devastated by parents being arrested and detained,” Selders said. “Children — citizens of the United States — were left without parents.”

The reaction in Greeley, whose Latino population has nearly tripled since 1980, was swift and furious. Selders, who was seeking a third term as mayor, was overwhelmed with angry calls. He became a regular target on local talk radio. A mailer linking him to illegal immigrant gang members flooded mailboxes.

Earlier this month Selders was ousted from the nonpartisan post, losing to a retired police officer by a 3-2 margin.

“I really feel betrayed by my community,” said Selders, 61. “There’s a big contingent of people in this community who are just full of anger and hate about illegal immigration, and that anger and hate has been transferred to me.”

What happened to Selders, a lifelong Republican, is a cautionary tale of the politics of illegal immigration. To some, it shows how a good man trying to do the right thing was taken down by the forces of intolerance. To others, it shows what can happen to elitist politicians who dismiss voters’ frustrations over unchecked illegal immigration. “A lot of people in Weld County remained silent” as people like Selders criticized the December 2006 raid, said County Dist. Atty. Kenneth R. Buck, who supported Selders’ opponent. “They don’t want to be called racist, they don’t want their business to be boycotted. . . . There were a lot of people who were waiting to be heard in their anonymous way.”

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“Sometimes you put out an idea and there isn’t so much support, and you try to persuade people and you see where you go,” Spitzer said. “This is the way the world works.”
Gov. Eliot Spitzer

Spitzer open to tossing license plan
Governor says he’s staying the course for now, but has softened his stance
Albany Times Union
November 11, 2007

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Reeling from relentless criticism of his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has taken a step back, raising the possibility he may shelve the idea.

The governor’s aides have grown increasingly concerned that reaction to the plan is preventing Spitzer from or even discussing other issues; it has also become an issue for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign and has caused anxiety among other Democrats.

After a meeting Friday with Hispanic lawmakers at a conference here, Spitzer was not displaying the defiance with which he had defended the plan in the past. Asked by a reporter if he would change or table the plan, the governor said he was sticking with it “as of now,” but suggested that he was open to abandoning it.

“Sometimes you put out an idea and there isn’t so much support, and you try to persuade people and you see where you go,” Spitzer said. “This is the way the world works.”

He added: “I don’t think there’s ever been an executive, a president, a governor who hasn’t put out ideas, that at the end of the day there isn’t support, and so things don’t work out, but as of now, sure, I think this is the right idea from a security perspective. We’ll wait and see.”

If Spitzer were to withdraw the policy, there would probably be great relief among the many Democrats who have become entangled in the issue, whether they support the plan or not.

The reaction to the plan has far exceeded what the governor or his staff expected, and Democratic incumbents in Congress and the state Senate fear it has given Republicans an issue to use against them next year. It has also earned Spitzer the animosity of groups pushing for stricter controls on immigration and inspired Lou Dobbs, the CNN anchor, to lead a nightly crusade against the policy…….

To read entire article click here.

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Mayor targeting immigration re-elected
Business Week
November 7, 2007

Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican who gained national prominence by targeting illegal immigrants living in this small city, has easily won re-election to a third term.

He defeated a Libertarian candidate, John Medashefski, a coffee shop owner who had argued the city should drop its costly effort to push through a law targeting illegal immigrants.Q

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Barletta winning with 3,530 votes, or 90 percent, to Medashefski’s 405 votes, or 10 percent.

In the primary, Barletta also won the Democratic nomination as a write-in candidate, easily defeating a comeback bid by a former mayor and leaving himself with no Democrat to face in the general election.

Last year, Barletta pushed through a law that targeted landlords who rented to illegal immigrants and businesses that employed them in this city of 30,000. The law, emulated by dozens of towns around the nation, was struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional. The judge said states and municipalities cannot regulate immigration.

The city has since appealed.

At his victory party at an Elks Club, Barletta talked about fighting drugs and violence in the city and about the issue of illegal immigrants.

“We’ve seen what illegal immigration has done to our small town quality of life and we have said, ‘No! We will not let this happen,’” he said. “We will fight!”

The city’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act sought to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. Another measure would have required tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.

Medashefski had said the city should drop its legal appeal because it is too costly.

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Congressional Democrats Grow Wary of Spitzer License Plan
New York Times
November 8, 2007

Democratic members of Congress, having watched Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stumble on the question of whether states should give driverâ??s licenses to illegal immigrants, are growing increasingly agitated over Gov. Eliot Spitzerâ??s plan to do so and are calling for him to shelve the idea.

The opposition is especially strong among Democrats bracing for the prospect of tough re-election battles next year in politically moderate and conservative regions of New York; they have begun to speak out on the issue and, in many cases, have disavowed the plan.

â??Itâ??s hugely unpopular,â? said Representative Michael Arcuri, a first-term Democrat from central New York whom Republicans hope to defeat next year. â??I donâ??t think it would be wise to move forward with it at this point.â?

The governorâ??s aides have been quietly working to mollify lawmakers, and Mr. Spitzer will meet behind closed doors with members of New Yorkâ??s Congressional delegation next week, according to staff workers on Capitol Hill and in Albany.

The reaction among some Democrats underscores how Mr. Spitzer, who just a year ago was viewed as a rising star nationally, has become isolated within his own party.

The Democratsâ?? concerns are not limited to members whom Republicans consider potentially vulnerable next year.

Nita M. Lowey, a longtime incumbent from Westchester who is among the most influential members of New Yorkâ??s delegation, warned that now was not the time to take up the issue.

Ms. Lowey said Mr. Spitzerâ??s â??proposal raises serious questions that must first be addressed through comprehensive immigration reform at a national level,â? according to a statement released by her aides.

Some Spitzer backers are hoping that Tuesdayâ??s local elections â?? Democrats in New York fared better than some analysts had expected â?? will help quiet fears that the immigration issue will doom Democratic candidates. And the governorâ??s advisers point out that at least eight other states have taken similar steps because of inaction in Washington.

But other Democrats worry that the issue could actually pose a greater threat in next yearâ??s election, both for Congressional candidates and the New York Senate. Because illegal immigration is likely to be an important issue in the presidential campaign, they said, Mr. Spitzerâ??s policy was likely to come under the microscope once again.

Indeed, many of the Democrats who prevailed on Tuesday distanced themselves dramatically from Mr. Spitzerâ??s plan. And the Congressional members fear a Republican campaign of attacks on an issue that Mrs. Clintonâ??s experience shows is extremely difficult to finesse……

To read entire article click here.


Edwards moves to the right on immigration
Austin American-Statesman
November 7, 2007

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina â??has staked out a position on immigration that is to the right of his chief primary opponents,â? says an article on The Huffington Post political site.

Edwards has made a distinction between himself and frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who supports giving driverâ??s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Edwards said that while states should have say over the issue until a federal reform can be passed, once reform is enacted, licenses should only be granted to those immigrants who are on the path to citizenship, the article said.

It also said that â??Edwardsâ?? stance contrasts sharply from what he advocated as the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2004, when he was unequivocal in his support for issuing driverâ??s licenses to the undocumented.â?…..

To read entire article click here.

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Walter Moore For Los Angeles Mayor!

“People from all over American have been contributing to my campaign. DONATE HERE They understand that this isn’t just some crummy little local election. The future of America’s second-biggest city is at stake. We need to turn it from a sanctuary city back into an American city. Thank you, America!”

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Hillary Clinton, pressured by Tim Russert to give an answer on her support or opposition to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

Debate - Hillary Clinton on illegal immigrants/licenses


What she said in the debate

I think itâ??s important to bring everybody out of the shadows. To do the background checks. To deport those who have outstanding warrants or have committed crimes in the United States, and then to say to those who wish to stay here, you have to pay back taxes, you have to pay a fine, you have to learn English, and you have to wait in line. And I hate to see any state being pushed to try to take this into their own hands, because the federal government has failed.

So I know exactly what Governor Spitzerâ??s trying to do and it makes a lot of sense, because heâ??s trying to get people out of the shadows. Heâ??s trying to say, â??O.K., come forward and we will give you this license.â?

But without a federal policy in effect, people will come forward and they could get picked up by I.C.E. tomorrow. I mean, this canâ??t work state-by-state. It has to be looked at comprehensively. I agreed with President Bush and his efforts to try to approach this. He just didnâ??t have the political capital left by the time he actually got serious about it.

And itâ??s unfortunate that too many people are using this to demagogue the issue, instead of trying to solve it: you know, people in politics, people in the press, and thereâ??s a kind of unholy alliance.


Hillary And The Driver’s Licenses
CBS News Blog
October 30, 2007

I was in and out of the room during Tuesday night’s debate, and one of the times I left the room was just as Tim Russert started asking a question about Elliot Spitzer. Turned out he was asking Hillary Clinton about Spitzer’s plan to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and if blogo-buzz is anything to go by it was the question of the night. Here’s the nickel summary: Hillary gave a rambling response explaining what Spitzer was trying to do but without really taking a position. Dodd disagreed with the Spitzer plan (”I think it’s troublesome”) and Hillary then stepped in to muddy the waters some more: “I did not say that it should be done,” she said, “but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it.” That was followed by some crosstalk between Dodd and Clinton, and then by Russert pressing her to give a firm answer (”Do you support his plan?”). Hillary hedged, and never really answered. Video here. Kit Seelye of the New York Times provides the play-by-play:

Both Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama called her on what seemed to be a shift in her statement. Mr Edwards said, “Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago.” And Mr. Obama uttered a devastating phrase for anyone who remembers the 2004 campaign: he said he couldn’t tell if she is “for it or against it.”

On the license issue, Mr. Obama said that he thinks Governor Spitzer’s plan is “the right idea.”

There’s no question that Hillary’s answer was unusually spineless, especially since she had had plenty of time to think about this. Maybe two solid hours of being a punching bag had gotten to her by that point.

Still, is this really a killer moment? If it is, the bar has really gotten pretty low. I doubt very much that Hillary is going to win or lose the election based on a wavering answer to a question about driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. In a Republican debate maybe, but not a Democratic one.

But I could be wrong! Consider this an open thread to chat about the debate.

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Visa Data to Be Included on Driverâ??s Licenses Again
New York Times
October 31, 2007

ALBANY, Oct. 30 â?? The state will revive the practice of putting visa expiration dates on foreign visitorsâ?? driverâ??s licenses as part of a deal between the Spitzer administration and the Department of Homeland Security, an official said on Tuesday.

The official, David J. Swarts, the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, discussed the change when he was asked about licenses for immigrants after a demonstration of new facial-recognition and document-scanning technology that his agency will adopt in the coming months to root out fraud in and duplication of driverâ??s licenses.

The change follows Gov. Eliot Spitzerâ??s announcement last weekend that he was revising his much-criticized plan that would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain the same licenses as citizens. The state will now move to a new three-tier driverâ??s license system that complies with forthcoming federal security rules.

Immigrantsâ?? supporters and some lawmakers were already critical of Mr. Spitzerâ??s deal with federal officials, saying that New York should offer only one kind of license to all residents, legal or not. Though the reinstatement of the temporary-visitor stamp will only last through the end of next year, Mr. Spitzerâ??s latest decision drew further anger.

â??This is like giving away the store,â? said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

The expiration dates were originally noted on driversâ?? licenses under a policy instituted under former governor George E. Pataki in 2004, when the Department of Motor Vehicles began putting â??temporary visitorâ? marks on licenses issued to individuals with temporary visas, along with the date that those visas expired. Immigrantsâ?? advocates criticized the policy, saying that it encouraged discrimination even against legal immigrants and led to confusion about whether the licenses themselves were valid.

Mr. Spitzer ended the Pataki-era practice after his initial announcement on Sept. 21 that illegal immigrants would be allowed to obtain licenses beginning as early as December. At the time, the administration seemed to agree with the advocates, saying that the marking was pejorative and, in any case, would become superfluous when the new licensing policy went into effect later this year.

But under the deal struck last week with federal officials, New York will offer three types of licenses, including one that will meet new federal security standards, available only to citizens and legal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants will be able to get a different license, which would not be valid for air travel or for entering federal buildings. But such licenses will not be issued until the broader licensing plan goes into effect at the end of 2008. A third type of license will be available to only United States citizens who are New York State residents, which will be valid for crossing the Canadian border.

Because the whole program had been delayed, said Jennifer Givner, a spokeswoman for the governor, the administration had decided to delay the cancellation of the â??temporary visitorâ? stamps.

â??Given the announcement this weekend, and the idea to move toward three types of licenses, and delaying the implementation for one year, itâ??s in the best interest of safety to maintain the label,â? she said.

Ms. Hong said the change would seriously inconvenience immigrants. She also said the stamps wrongly linked driving privileges with immigration status, something that Mr. Spitzer has rejected.

The stamps will not appear on standard licenses issued after 2008. Instead, those licenses, which will be available to citizens and illegal immigrants, will be marked â??not valid for federal purposes.â?

The temporary visitor stamp will still be used on licenses good for federal identification purposes that are issued to legal immigrants.

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NY Senators mum on Spitzer’s ID plan for immigrants
News Day
October 29, 2007

WASHINGTON - New York’s plan to create three types of driver’s licenses, including one for illegal immigrants, has everyone talking _ everyone except the state’s Democratic senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a fellow Democrat, announced over the weekend that he had struck a deal with federal homeland security officials to create a three-tiered state system of licenses.

In doing so, New York agreed to adopt Bush administration goals on tighter identification security, but Spitzer stuck to his much-criticized plan to allow illegal immigrants to get licenses.

The license debate, hard-wired to issues like immigration, terrorism, and civil liberties, may simply be too radioactive for either a presidential candidate like Clinton or a powerful senator like Schumer.

For years, Clinton and Schumer seemingly couldn’t stop talking about the government’s looming border ID rules.

Now it’s different.

“She’s running for president, and this is a land-mine no matter what you do,” said Doug Muzzio, a professor of politics at Baruch College in New York. “The best strategy for her is to do what she’s doing: keep quiet, because whatever you said, you will tick off constituencies, whether it’s in the primary or the general election.”

For Schumer, the danger is less obvious, but still very real to the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

Also, Spitzer’s popularity among New York voters is sinking fast, lashed to the political dead weight of his license plan.

“Spitzer himself has become toxic,” said Muzzio. “It’s not only the message, it’s the messenger.”

Under Spitzer’s plan, one card which will be as secure as a passport and would be valid to get the user across the Canadian border, another will be good enough for domestic air travel, and a third won’t be acceptable for air travel but will be available to illegal immigrants and others.

“The plan we put forth makes perfect sense,” Spitzer said in a teleconference from Portugal while attending and environmental conference of government leaders. “This is the structure that squares security, maximizes participation, and permits law enforcement to know who in the state is driving, and that is the series of objectives we laid out.”

Sen. Clinton has spent years urging the Bush administration to scale back plans to require passports to cross the U.S. border into Canada, saying that would be too costly and cumbersome for communities like Buffalo. She has also rejected the suggestion that better driver’s licenses could be used instead, noting they wouldn’t be available to children.

On Monday, her spokesman Philippe Reines said she continues to review Spitzer’s plan.

“Sen. Clinton strongly believes that a federal solution is needed to our immigration crisis,” said Reines. “She is still studying the governor’s most recent proposal, but understands the impetus behind his plan _ that federal inaction on comprehensive immigration reform has created conditions where states feel compelled to act on their own.”…..

To read entire article click here.

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Governor Accused of Betraying Principles
New York Times
October 28, 2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzerâ??s retreat from his plan to permit illegal immigrants to obtain the same kind of driverâ??s licenses as other New Yorkers drew angry reactions yesterday from civil liberties advocates and immigrant groups, some of whom described the shift as a stunning betrayal.

The governor has been under fierce assault from conservative groups and others since proposing last month to allow illegal immigrants to get New York driverâ??s licenses. But joined by the federal secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, in Washington yesterday, the governor announced a starkly different version of his plan.

It calls for separate tiers of licenses. New Yorkers who could provide stringent proof of legal residency could get the new federally recognized license known as Real ID. The licenses available to illegal residents would not serve as federal identification.

â??What a huge political flip,â? said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

â??Heâ??s now embracing and letting his good name be used to promote something that has been widely known in the immigrant community as one of the most anti-immigrant pieces of legislation to come out of Congress,â? Ms. Hong said.

She said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. â??I know Iâ??m speaking for millions of immigrants when I say I just feel so thoroughly betrayed.â?The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.

â??This flip-flopping is bowing to the fear-mongering of the Bush administration and turns New York into a poster child for policies based on fear rather than public safety,â? she said……

To read entire article click here.

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Watchdog Mary always sends me good stuff in my email. This is a an anonymous message board for congressional staffers. You can only add posts from Capitol Hill IP addresses or computers that have been issued a temporary access ticket.

They are talking here about the Dream Act and the people (us) who called their offices on it. Read the whole thread — they say things like “Fuck Numbers USA”, “I hate Numbers USA,” call us racists, call us all kinds of names.


Here are a few examples:

    I just got one call which included references to the Dream Act, the North American Union, Law of the Sea, and the Amero…all in one call. Freakin’ loons…

    if you get calls from people who are going through calling every senator about the dream act, put them on hold for a while. if they are going to call every senator we can at least slow them down and make them wait.

    Yep, we hear you, and the right wing asshole on the radio who got you worked up about the issue moments ago.

    Anyone else getting callers who want to talk about both the DREAM Act and the Law of the Sea Treaty? Frankly it makes me take their anti-immigration views even less seriously when they’re ranting and raving about how LoST will take away all of our sovereignty or whatever…

    Is it just me or are the anti-immigrant racist a lot less motivated this time around? I’m in the state office and last time we had all lines busy all day long. Not today…just a little flurry of calls now and then. I feel sorry for the folks in our D.C. office though. They are getting slammed…

    CNN is the worst news channel I have ever come across. I need to go one the BBC website fast, before I refer to China as ‘communist China’ in actual conversation.

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Senate GOP strikes back at Spitzer’s illegal immigrant plan
News Day
October 22, 2007

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Senate’s Republican majority moved Monday to try to block Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to make it easier for illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.

The bill to reverse Spitzer’s order drew some of the most heated and personal attacks seen in years on the state Senate floor, pitting upstate and downstate politicians against each other.

Some white upstate Senators felt they were being called racist and took offense to comments Sen. Kevin Parker made indicating that New York City was more valuable as a terrorist target than upstate regions.

“I’m sorry everybody is so thin skinned they are hurt by my comments, but I have a lot of people in my district and a lot of people in this state who are hurt by this legislation,” the Brooklyn Democrat said.

The Senate’s license bill, which passed 39 to 19, would require applicants for a driver’s license to be in the country legally. Spitzer’s plan will end that requirement in December, by no longer requiring a Social Security number to get or renew a license.

The debate was part of an uncertain special session that could include action on pay raises for legislators and judges and tax breaks despite a projected deficit.

Spitzer has said he can start the new policy in December without the Legislature’s approval.

“We will change those rules,” Spitzer said. “If somebody will challenge it, we’ll see what the courts will do.” He said he believes his administration is within its legal authority to change the rules.

“This governor is so ill advised, there’s an arrogance to it that is hard to understand,” said Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno……

To read entire article click here.

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New law prevents cities from turning landlords into immigration police
San Jose Mercury News
October 11, 2007

As cities across the country grapple with illegal immigration, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new state law Wednesday that prohibits county and municipal governments in California from enacting local laws that would require landlords to ask a tenant’s immigration status.

California may be the first state in the country to use state legislation to deal with a growing national trend that began in 2006 when the city of Hazelton, Pa., approved a city ordinance that penalized landlords for renting to illegal immigrants.

“These ordinances are a result of a larger problem,” said Francisco Castillo, a spokesman for the governor. He cited “the failure of Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform.”

The bills’ sponsor, Assemblyman Charles M. Calderon, D-City of Industry, and leaders of a state association of apartment owners, hailed the new law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, as a civil rights victory.

“It’s important legislation because it’s the beginning of a trend we’re seeing throughout the country as cities begin to try to establish their own foreign policies,” Calderon said.

“Only the federal government can do that,” he said. “It’s important that we don’t have vigilante justice.”

The Concerned Women for America, a Christian women’s group, opposed AB 976. In legislative documents, the group said that cities and municipalities are trying to use local ordinances to deal with illegal immigration “and prevent squalor that is dangerous not only to the individuals involved, but also to the surrounding neighborhoods where sanitation, parking and other troubles ensue.”

A national spokeswoman for the group did not return a telephone message.

The American Civil Liberties Union, labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups and landlord groups pushed for the bill, AB 976, after the city of Escondido passed an ordinance last year that prohibited landlords from renting to illegal immigrants, and imposed penalties when landlords failed to check on the immigration status of prospective tenants.

Civil rights groups successfully challenged the ordinance in federal court, arguing that it would lead to discrimination of immigrants seeking housing and turn landlords into immigration police.

The Escondido ordinance was later rescinded.

A federal lawsuit on the Hazelton, P.A., case is pending.

Such local ordinances put landlords “between a rock and a hard place,” said Ron Kingston, a lobbyist for the landlord group, Apartment Association of California Southern Cities.

“We needed to be assured that our landlords were not going to become de facto immigration police,” Kingston said. “We needed confirmation that our landlords and managers can receive information to determine the financial qualification and identity of tenants.”

The new law reaffirms the ability of landlords to conduct credit checks on tenants.

Calderon said local ordinances such as the one proposed in Escondido left “landlords caught.”

“If they complied, they faced substantial liabilities under state federal laws,” he said. “If they didn’t, then they’re subject to local penalties.”

Immigrant groups across the state supported AB 976.

“It protects tenants from discrimination for the way they look or how they sound,” said Isabel Alegria, a spokeswoman for the Oakland-based California Immigrant Policy Center.

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Tancredo denounces ‘rogue’ Texas mayors
Houston Chronicle
October 9, 2007

Place Tom Tancredo in the camp of those angered by some Texas border mayors’ suggestion that they won’t allow government surveyors onto city property to determine the feasibility of building the highly controversial fence mandated by Congress.

The Republican congressman, who has made illegal immigration the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, is dismissing the Texans as “rogue mayors.”

Says the Colorado politician:

These mayors are jeopardizing national security with their not-in-my-backyard attitude. Congress approved the border fence with the overwhelming support of the American people to protect our nation from terrorists and illegal aliens and it will not be thwarted by a handful of rogue mayors.

Tancredo, who definitely isn’t the shy and retiring type, has a novel suggestion: Maybe the fence should be built north of the border cities that don’t cooperate, cutting them off from the United States.

In words sure to provoke a rise on the border, Tancredo says:

These mayors have already demonstrated that their hearts and loyalties lie with Mexico — perhaps they’d feel more comfortable if their cities were geographically located there as well.

Tancredo is singling out the mayors of Brownsville, Del Rio and El Paso — though El Paso Mayor John Cook hasn’t denied access to federal workers because the fencing has been there for years and is located on federal property.

That hasn’t stopped some from threatening Cook, though. The El Paso Times reported last week that Cook has received hate mail and at least one phone call threatening his life.

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New York Governor Eliot Spitzerâ??Latest Toast Of The Treason Lobby
September 28, 2007

Move over, Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Make room for New York Governor Eliot Spitzerâ??the newest and scummiest dirtbag on the Treason Lobby block.

Being selected as the worst villain in the Immigration Wars is no small accomplishment. The competition is fierce. But because of Spitzerâ??s recent announcement that illegal aliens in New York will qualify for driverâ??s licenses, the award may be retired in his name forever.

How could anyone top Spitzerâ??s irresponsible and treasonous action? [e-mail Spitzer here]

Ironically, Spitzerâ??s two-term period from 1998-2006 serving as New Yorkâ??s Attorney General included 9/11. His office was a short three-block walk from the Twin Towers.

Spitzer understands as well as anyone that terrorists in 1993 and 2001 used driverâ??s licensesâ??the national de facto identification cardâ??to rent trucks and board planes that murdered 3,000 Americans.

But, despite knowing exactly what driverâ??s licenses in the hands of the terrorists like Mohammad Atta will mean, Spitzer announced that all 500,000 aliens in New York would have access to licenses regardless of their immigration status.

Under Spitzerâ??s new rules, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles will accept a current foreign passport as proof of identity. No visa or other evidence of legal immigration status is required.

Spitzerâ??s new policy does not need legislative approvalâ??he acted by decree.

Idiotically calling driverâ??s licenses for aliens “a common sense change” and absurdly claiming that his new guideline will bring people “out of the shadows,” Spitzer exposed himself as a fool without regard for public safety.

As reported by the New York Times, Peter Gadiel, president of 9/11 Families for a Secure America and VDARE.COM contributor, issued this statement in anticipation of Spitzerâ??s announcement:

“Governor Spitzer will demonstrate abject stupidity and breathtaking disregard for the victims of 9/11 if he hands these powerful IDâ??s to people who sneak across our borders. Terrorists here illegally used licenses to kill my son and thousands of others in the World Trade Center; if they do it again using New York licenses issued by this governor, the blood of the victims will be on Mr. Spitzerâ??s hands.”

Times reporter Nina Bernstein wrote that Spitzer seemed “taken aback” at Gadielâ??s message and said that it was “way beyond” the tone permissible in public discourse.

And, adding insult to Gadielâ??s and the other 9/11 familiesâ?? injuries, Spitzer brazenly responded that people canâ??t ignore the “the reality of illegal immigration.” [Spitzer Grants Illegal Immigrants Easier Access to Driverâ??s Licenses, By Nina Bernstein, New York Times, September 22, 2007].

Is anybody better acquainted than Gadiel with “the reality of illegal immigration”?

As attorney general, Spitzer made his mark with his high-profile prosecution of Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street firms for stock manipulation and fraud.

Would that he were only half so vigorous in his pursuit of illegal immigrants.

Spitzerâ??s grandparents legally emigrated to the U.S. from Austria and were processed at Ellis Island. As a young man, Spitzer was raised in the affluent New York suburb of Riverdale and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, thanks in large part to the real estate fortune his father amassed.

Despite a background that should reflect appreciation for legal immigration and the rule of law, Spitzer is now the symbol of the madness that is at the core of illegal alien pandering.

To learn a sane New York lawyerâ??s take on Spitzer and to see how many codes his unilateral action may breach, I contacted lawyer Frederick C. Kelly who practices in upstate New York.

Hereâ??s what Kelly told me:

“Governorâ??s Spitzerâ??s new executive order is but another demonstration of how hollow the remembrance of 9-11 remains among our elites, even when they are elites from New York.

“After all the talk of marking the day or remembering the dead, we nevertheless find that that the honor, safety and integrity of America all take back seats to politically-correct politicians eager to appease and serve illegal aliens, who are various and many.

“I was taught that respect for the law should be at the very heart of every lawyerâ??s calling. We all know that we can never counsel a client to break the law, much less aid a client in his violation.

â??Yet in a sense that is precisely what Governor Spitzer is doing.

“The irony is that if private Attorney Eliot Spitzer were actively aiding an illegal immigrant client in his attempt to fraudulently obtain papers, he would risk disbarment. But Governor Eliot Spitzer can actively aid the untold millionsâ??who are in fact clients of his Democratic partyâ??s welfare machineâ??in their attempt to circumvent our immigration laws.â?

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ABC 11

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A Durham city councilman is under fire for what some are calling a controversial phone call. Thomas Stith recorded an automated message last week criticizing the City’s handling of illegal immigrants.

Dozens with Durham’s El Centro Hispanic community group marched into Monday night’s meeting unnerved and concerned they’re being targeted.

“While he may not be targeting Latinos directly by default we are the largest group of immigrants in this area,” said Alba Onofrio, El Centro executive.

Onforio said it was an unexpected crowd provoked by an uninviting message.

“Did you know that Durham is a sanctuary city — a city where illegal immigrants commit crimes without fear of being deported,” the message asked.

It was recorded by Stith last week, urging residents to attend a meeting about Resolution 90-46. It states no city officer or employee may ask the immigration status of any person.

The Durham City Council passed the resolution in October 2003. Stith said the problem is, it amounts to a don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

“My intent is to have something — a policy that is in place that is equitable across the board,” Stith said.

His actions stem from what he says is a congressional list designating Durham as one of the nation’s top safe havens for illegal immigrants. Stith said it’s not about profiling, but he believes if the City doesn’t change its policy soon, Durham could potentially lose out on homeland security funding. “It’s very troubling to hear someone play on the divisions in our community,” Onforio said. Mayor Bill Bell questions Stith’s timing and suspects the Councilman is using a divisive issue for political gain. Both Bell and Stith are in the middle of what is becoming a heated mayoral race. “There’s no question it’s a political tactic, but sometimes you can have too much money and don’t know how to use it, and I think that’s the case with Thomas Stith,” Mayor Bell said.

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