Archive for June, 2005


By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer

The Mexican government has issued postage stamps depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, drawing protest from U.S. activists Wednesday just weeks after remarks by President Vicente Fox angered American blacks.

The series of five stamps released Wednesday depicts a hapless boy drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book, which started in the 1940s and is still published in Mexico.

The Mexican government defended the stamps, saying that like Speedy Gonzalez â?? a cartoon mouse with a Mexican accent that debuted in the United States in 1953 â?? the Memin Pinguin character shouldn’t be interpreted as a racial slur.

“Just as Speedy Gonzalez has never been interpreted in a racial manner by the people in Mexico, because he is a cartoon character, I am certain that this commemorative postage stamp is not intended to be interpreted on a racial basis in Mexico or anywhere else,” said Rafael Laveaga, the spokesman for the Mexican embassy in Washington.

Activists criticized the stamps as offensive, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP demanded they be withdrawn.

Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called on Mexico to immediately cease printing and distributing the stamp.

“It is inexplicable that the Mexican government would not comprehend the insensitivity of the negative depiction of blacks on this stamp,” Hayes said.

In May, Fox riled many by saying Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that “not even blacks” want. Fox later expressed regret for any offense the remarks may have caused, but insisted his comments had been misinterpreted.

“One would hope the Mexican government would be a little more careful and avoid continually opening wounds,” said Sergio Penalosa, an activist in Mexico’s small black community on the southern Pacific coast.

“But we’ve learned to expect anything from this government, just anything,” Penalosa said.

Carlos Caballero, assistant marketing director for the Mexican Postal Service, said the new stamps are not offensive, nor were they intended to be.

“This is a traditional character that reflects part of Mexico’s culture,” Caballero said. “His mischievous nature is part of that character.”

However, Penalosa said many Mexicans still assume all blacks are foreigners, despite the fact that at one point early in the Spanish colonial era, Africans outnumbered Spanish in Mexico.

“At this point in time, it was probably pretty insensitive” to issue the stamps, said Elisa Velazquez, an anthropologist who studies Mexico’s black communities for the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

“This character is a classic, but it’s from another era,” Velazquez said. “It’s a stereotype and you don’t want to encourage ignorance or prejudices.”

The 6.50-peso (60 cent) stamps â?? depicting the character in five poses â?? was issued with the domestic market in mind, but Caballero noted they could be used in international postage as well. A total of 750,000 of the stamps will be issued.

Ben Vinson, a black professor of Latin American history at Penn State University, said he has been called “Memin Pinguin” by some people in Mexico. He said the character’s mother is drawn to look like an old version of the U.S. advertising character Aunt Jemima.

The stamps are part of a series that pays tribute to Mexican comic books. Memin Pinguin, the second in the series, was apparently chosen for this year’s release because it is the 50th anniversary of the company that publishes the comic.

Publisher Manelick De la Parra told the government news agency Notimex the character would be a sort of goodwill ambassador on Mexican letters and postcards. “It seems nice if Memin can travel all over the world, spreading good news,” de la Parra said, calling him “so charming, so affectionate, so wonderful, generous and friendly.”

Link to story.

Comments 1 Comment »

By C.J. Karamargin and Michael Marizco
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

The Arab television network Al-Jazeera pulled the plug Monday on a series of news reports about the Arizona-Mexico border amid criticism that the information could help terrorists slip into the United States.

Al-Jazeera planned to launch the series this week with coverage of a Phoenix rally by the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a volunteer civilian border-watch group that has attracted international media attention.

“I wanted to cover the story from the human point of view,” said Nasreddine Hssaini, the Washington, D.C.-based Al-Jazeera reporter behind the series. “I wanted to go to Tombstone and Sasabe. I wanted to tell the story of democracy in action.”

The network canceled the project, Hssaini said, after Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox refused to cooperate and then notified the Border Patrol and members of the state’s congressional delegation about Al-Jazeera’s plans.

“They decided it wasn’t worth it,” the reporter said.

Al-Jazeera has attracted millions of viewers throughout the Arab world with its coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and its airing of tapes of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

But Al-Jazeera’s growing popularity has brought greater scrutiny. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused the Qatar-based network of encouraging militants by airing hostage executions.

For Simcox, Al-Jazeera and al-Qaida are virtually one and the same. They wanted to come to Arizona “to do reconnaissance,” he said. “I will not have a part in that. I will not work with the enemy.”

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., noting that Al-Jazeera has been known to broadcast messages from the al-Qaida leadership to terrorist cells around the globe, was outraged that the network planned to visit Arizona.

“It is insane policy to allow Al-Jazeera to film Arizona’s unsecured border with Mexico and then broadcast it to the very people who perpetrated 9/11,” Franks said. Hssaini, who described himself as a Moroccan-born citizen of Canada working legally in the United States, dismissed the suggestion that his motive for coming to Arizona concerned something other than journalism.

“I am a professional journalist. They think bin Laden himself is sending me out there,” he said. “I find it a little bit racist.”

Local journalism professors sided with Hssaini and defended Al-Jazeera as a serious news outlet.

“They are a legitimate news organization,” said Jacqueline Sharkey, head of the journalism department at the University of Arizona. “There has been criticism in some of the ways they have covered the war in Iraq - just as there’s been criticism of the way some of the U.S. media have covered the war in Iraq.”

The U.S.-Mexico border has also been the source of much concern that terrorists could easily slip across it. U.S. officials have been saying since the Sept. 11 terror attacks that a group such as al-Qaida may use the open border with Mexico to slip across.

With constant news that Middle Easterners may try to slip through Mexico, it’s no wonder that an Arab news channel would also be interested, said Alan Weisman, a UA journalism professor.

“Al-Jazeera is a legitimate news organization. If we have the right to go into Middle Eastern countries to cover issues, why on earth shouldn’t we allow them to come here, particularly since we allege that Middle Easterners might try to cross the border? That’s a story of great journalistic interest,” Weisman said.

“I certainly defend the right of any journalist to go anywhere to cover any story.”

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

By Rick Murray
Jun 27, 2005, 13:35

I just wanted to to make a comment on the article by Tim Donnelly dated 26 Jun 05. I also wanted to make a small note about the editors comment.

My name is Rick Murray. I am a freelance writer and syndicator. Among my clients is the Tombstone Tumbleweed, www.truck.net, (a web based news forum for the trucking industry,) and several other places where immigration news is wanted by the readers. I covered the Minuteman Project in April extensively as I live down here along the border myself.

I too have many hispanic neighbors, friends and family members, all of whom are legal citizens of this country. I also have many friends below the border and am among the few journalists who can walk freely around the borders on both sides without worry, at least from the Mexican authorities who are not always very friendly to reporters, even from their own country.

Many of my articles were reprinted on the Minuteman website, though I was unaware at the time of publishing. (Of course as Chris Simcox is the owner and publisher of the Tumbleweed he has the right to reprint my work, just as I have the right to reprint anything that appears in his paper.)

In the very beggining of the project there were a very few who could be described as racist and were there to keep the, “Undesirables,” out of our country. They were quickly found out and removed from the project. Most racists cannot help themselves and it becomes impossible for them to try to hide their views. But how do these groups explain the large numbers of legal immigrants and those Americans of Hispanic decent that joined the Minutemen? For the most part they simply ignore the fact that these people exist.

In fact, according to most polls I have seen as well as my own polls, (I am qualified to design, implement and interpret polls and have conducted hundreds over the years,) most legal immigrants and citizens of hispanic decent are against illegal immigrants. There are many reasons for this. Among them are that because of the illegal immigration problem many have suffered an increased amount of discrimination, even from those of their own race. Imagine you are an American born citizen of hispanic decent. Even if you are educated, you try to apply for a job. The employer, (It does not really matter the race of the person doing the hiring,) automatically assumes you are an illegal. You are placed under a magnifying glass. You are forced to accept work at less than average wages. This is quite common and the legal citizens rightfully resent this.

Everywhere you go people think you are an illegal. When you are stopped by the authorities for any reason they automatically assume you are an illegal. I have seen tourists ask hispanics how they came into the country, assuming the person they are ignorantly asking the question of is an illegal. As many of my friends and associates are hispanic, sometimes it is automatically assumed that I am as well. (Rather funny as I am the blonde haired, blue eyed product of Sctoch/Irish ancestors!) I have been with my hispanic bretheren when they confront this ignorance. Most of it comes from those who stress that they are not racist, who take an open minded attitude towards people, the same one’s who accuse the Minutemen of being racist. My friends mostly take it in stride, but they confess to me that it becomes very hard not to return the hatred. Is it any wonder?

Those of a liberal persuasion want to fix the problem by making laws to show how wonderful they are because they simply want to allow as many want to come into the country free access. They push laws that prevent the so called, “Racial Profiling,” which actually makes the authorities job more difficult. It also generates more resentment from the legal immigrants who went through all the trouble and expence to become legal citizens. The legal citizens wonder why they went through the trouble when they could have simply walked through the fences. They would have faced the same racism and other troubles they face now from those same open minded people who accuse every one else of being racist.

The answer is not open borders nor is it in amnesty programs or even guest worker programs. The answer is in enforcing our current laws, fixing the laws that do not work and/or replacing visa laws that are ineffective. I find it amazing that we are told the country cannot afford to fix laws or remove the illegals, but we can seem to continue unchecked, payments for education, unlimited medical care, access to all social programs for not just the millions of illegals, but the millions that would be allowed to join them under any of the currant proposals in the Congress. (Please actually read all the proposals as I have. What we are told by those who have signed on to these proposals and what they actually say are two different things.)

The answer also lies in our current policies with the government of Mexico where the real problem lies. There needs to be some real pressure placed on the government to force the changes NAFTA was supposed to create. All the money we sent to Mexico and the people who were supposed to be helped are more impoverished than ever. Their lot in life has not gotten any better. Instead it has gotten worse. Where are all the bleeding hearts when it comes to the way Vincente Fox is treating his own people? Where are they when the racist Fox continues his programs to wipe out all the indiginous Indians from that country? They do not even have a clue what is happening down there. Much more, they do not even care. They would rather continue spreading hatred and fear of law abiding American citizens who are simply trying to do the job the government refuses to do.

I know you want comments from the other side to attempt to balance the reporting, but the fact is I have not seen or heard one single true report from the other side. In addition, as has been stated already, some 80% of the American public want some real immigration reform, not some feel good amnesty program.

Rick Murray
Huachuca City, Arizona

Comments No Comments »

By Steve Lawrence, Associated Press

An Assembly committee approved legislation Monday that would allow illegal immigrants to get California driver’s licenses, despite opposition from Schwarzenegger administration officials who said the bill was premature.

Representatives of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state Office of Homeland Security said lawmakers should wait until the federal government issues regulations spelling out the details of requirements for the licenses.

Mike Dayton, deputy director of the Office of Homeland Security, went further, suggesting that terrorists could use the licenses to “carry out their evil deeds.”

The licenses would have to be of a different color or design than driver’s licenses held by other motorists and they could be used only for driving, not as widely recognized identification documents, he said.

Cedillo has been trying for seven years to enact legislation allowing the licenses, saying they would improve highway safety by getting more drivers tested and insured.

If you have entered the United States legally from Mexico you can drive your car on our roads with your Mexican drivers license.

Former Gov. Gray Davis signed one of his license bills in 2003, but lawmakers repealed that law after Davis was recalled by voters.

Cedillo said he thought he had an agreement with Schwarzenegger to sign a revised license measure last year, but the Republican governor vetoed it, contending it lacked security requirements.

But Republican lawmakers argued that bill would undercut efforts to prevent illegal immigration.

“The biggest problem I have with this bill is it’s making a mockery of the law of the land,” said Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. “It sends mixed messages.”

Arnold will veto this bill once again. I am not worried.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

FAIR Calls on Gov. Schwarzenegger to Veto S.B. 60 (Again!)

LOS ANGELES, June 28 — While a recent Field Poll indicates that Californians overwhelmingly oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and representatives of the California Department of Motor Vehicles testified against the bill before the legislature, the Assembly Transportation Committee has endorsed a Senate bill that would do precisely that. S.B. 60, which passed the California Senate earlier this month, is now headed to the full Assembly where it is likely to be approved as well.

The version of S.B. 60 cleared by the Assembly Transportation Committee is a slightly altered version of the one vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year. As a concession to the REAL ID Act, signed by President Bush last month, the current version of S.B. creates a license that is valid for all purposes, except as a federally accepted identity document. The California illegal alien driver’s license would allow people who are in the country illegally to use their licenses to do everything except board a commercial airliner, or enter a federal building.

“With illegal immigrants costing California an estimated $10.5 billion a year for education, health care and incarceration, most Californians are incredulous that the legislature continues to do everything in its power to encourage more illegal immigration,” commented Dan Stein, president of FAIR. FAIR, a national organization, has about 35,000 members in California.

The REAL ID Act was passed in response to last summer’s 9/11 Commission report which cited access to driver’s licenses and other vital identity documents as integral to the plans of the terrorists who attacked our country. “The importance of state-issued driver’s licenses to the terrorists went beyond merely using them as ID to board the planes they turned into weapons of mass destruction on Sept. 11, 2001,” observed Stein. “They were integral to every step of the planning process, from opening bank accounts, to renting safe houses, to renting cars, and generally avoiding detection.”


Federal regulations for implementing the REAL ID Act have not been finalized. Both the governor and DMV officials have called passage of S.B. 60 premature. Failure to conform to new federal regulations for driver’s license security could invalidate California’s license as a federally acceptable form of identification.

“We strongly urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to exercise his veto power, yet again, to protect the interests of law-abiding Californians who have been bearing a tremendous cost for runaway illegal immigration. It was the right thing to do last year and it is still the right thing to do, not to mention what the overwhelming majority of Californians want him to do,” said Stein.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

Jeff Johnson
Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - The co-sponsor of legislation to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to find work in the United States said Tuesday that the Bush administration is encouraging the illegal entry by offering amnesty and is trying to cover up the proof of its actions.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) has consistently warned that the “Temporary Worker Program,” proposed by President Bush in January, would, “encourage millions of people to come here illegally seeking his amnesty proposal.”

The White House denies that the program is the equivalent of amnesty, but Tancredo disagrees.

“It’s amnesty,” Tancredo said. “It’s amnesty when you tell people they are not going to be punished for the violation of the law.”

The Colorado Republican said there is now proof that the Bush administration recognized the proposal as amnesty for illegal aliens. He pointed to documents that the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Shortly after the president’s January 7 speech announcing the plan, Border Patrol intelligence officers began surveying aliens detained inside the southern U.S. border “for the purpose of collecting data concerning the issue of amnesty” as a motivation for illegally crossing into the U.S., according to the Border Patrol.

“Early results from the Border Patrol survey indicated that President Bush’s proposal did, in fact, lure greater numbers of illegal immigrants to the United States,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch said. “Approximately 45 percent of respondents … crossed illegally based upon rumors of a Bush amnesty program.”

The survey asked randomly selected illegal aliens captured while crossing into the U.S. more than a dozen questions, including:

Did the rumors of amnesty influence your decision to enter the U.S.A.?
Have you heard from your government or other person, any mention of amnesty in the future by the U.S. government?
Have you been to the U.S.A. prior to this incident, legally or illegally?

According to a Judicial Watch analysis of the surveys released by the Department of Homeland Security, 63 percent “received Mexican government or media information supporting the notion of a Bush administration amnesty program.” More than 60 percent of those surveyed had also previously entered the U.S. illegally, “some as many as six times.” The government released approximately 850 of more than 1700 surveys conducted.

Fitton said three weeks after the scheduled six month survey was initiated, the Bush administration “abruptly shut it down.” Tancredo believes the White House knew the survey results would undermine their claims about the Temporary Worker Program.
“I’m a Republican and I certainly can support the president on a lot of issues. But on this, as I’ve said time and again, he is just as wrong as he can be and the American people know it and understand it,” Tancredo said. “And they’re going to see a lot more. They’re going to understand a lot more about the problem when they see this report and the specifics of it and how they tried to cover it up.”

‘INTERNAL USE ONLY’

That alleged cover-up came in the form of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (CBPS) memorandum entitled “Public Affairs Guidance, White House Approved Talking Points, Temporary Worker Program.” The memo was marked in large, bold type, in all capital letters, “INTERNAL USE ONLY,” and contained several admonitions to CBPS press officers:

“Do not talk about amnesty, increase in apprehensions or give comparisons of past immigration,” and “Do not provide statistics on apprehension spikes or past amnesty data.”

The CBPS declined to produce a report on the survey, or to release its findings until compelled to do so by the Judicial Watch lawsuit. Tancredo said he was frustrated but not surprised by the attempt to suppress the information.

“I am very concerned about the fact that this seems to be a pattern. This is not a unique event,” Tancredo said. “We have, in the past, asked for a lot of documents. My office has more than once been stonewalled by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and their predecessor agencies.”

Tancredo has written Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, requesting an explanation.

“The timing of the survey’s start and early dismissal, and the DHS gag order and stonewalling of Judicial Watch’s request suggest that the administration is playing politics with border security data,” Tancredo wrote. “I hope that this is not the case.”

Tancredo stressed that he is not opposed to the concept of a guest worker program, as long as it is designed to discourage illegal immigration.

“We keep saying that the way to do this is to give them amnesty, create a ‘guest worker program,’” Tancredo noted. “You can have a guest worker program. I have proposed a guest worker program. [But] it has nothing to do with amnesty, and it can’t be implemented until you’ve secured your borders and until you have gone after employers and tried to stop the demand side,” he said.

Verifying employment eligibility

As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Tancredo is a cosponsor of the Illegal Immigration Enforcement and Social Security Protection Act (H.R. 98), which would make it more difficult for employers to accept fraudulent documentation from illegal aliens seeking work.

“We can secure the border. We just choose not to. It can be done with the application of the military, if we need to,” Tancredo said. “We could stop illegal immigration or reduce it dramatically on our borders. Then, the other side is to go after employers, to make it impossible for them to hire people who are here illegally.

Multiple calls to the White House seeking a response to this report were not returned.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

PHOENIX (AP) — Governor Janet Napolitano has joined some of her critics in saying the state should do more to confront illegal immigration, but she cautioned that Arizona shouldn’t let the federal government off the hook for its perceived failure to secure the border with Mexico.

The governor said one way the state can try to lessen some of its illegal immigration problems is to have local police departments augment the efforts of U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“The state can, I think, appropriately address some of the law enforcement resource issues, not by being immigration agents, but by perhaps providing some of the support services,” Napolitano said.

She declined to specify the type of help she thinks local police agencies could offer. The subject will be examined at a July 12 meeting of law enforcement agencies from across Arizona.

Since voters approved a law last year that denies some welfare benefits to illegal immigrants, a growing number of frustrated politicians in Arizona have pushed for the state to confront illegal immigration, even though it has long been considered the domain of the federal government.

While immigrants provide the economy with cheap labor, Arizona and other states shoulder huge health care and education costs for illegal workers and their families.

Once considered a black hole that few elected officials wished to enter, illegal immigration has taken a more prominent role in Arizona politics, especially at the Legislature this year.

Some of the Democratic governor’s Republican critics say she has sent mixed messages on immigration and has given attention to the problem because it will play a part in next year’s gubernatorial race.

Napolitano has tried to get the federal government to pay the state $217 million in unreimbursed costs for imprisoning illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes in the state.

When the governor vetoed a proposal that would have barred illegal immigrants from attending adult education classes and receiving child care assistance, she was trying to please her supporters who advocate for immigrants, Pearce said.

“All she is trying to do is make sure she can’t lose,” Pearce said.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

Numbers USA has added more members in the last month than during thier first seven years combined! They’ve grown by 50% since April!

Approx. Number of NumbersUSA Faxer Activist Members

1JAN98……….600
1JAN99…….1,000
1JAN00…….1,800
1JAN01…….2,500
1JAN02…….4,200
1JAN03…….9,500
1JAN04…..14,000
1JAN05…..56,000
—————-
31APR05…..62,000
30MAY05….82,000
26JUN05…..95,000

So become an anti-illegal immigration activist, join up and send free faxes to members of Congress. It’s easy and it’s fun!

NumbersUSA.com

Comments No Comments »

By ABE LEVY
Associated Press Writer

SARCO, Texas â?? Acres of South Texas ranch land used to insulate this tiny, rural corner of Goliad County from the disruptions of the Mexican border 200 miles away.

In recent months, however, illegal immigrants have been pouring into the community, worrying many of the 40 residents and prompting some to join up with the controversial civilian border patrol group known as the Minuteman Project.

Immigrant smugglers have found the area’s secluded bridges and dry riverbeds ideal drop-off points. The county also offers distance from border checkpoints, overworked law enforcement and easy access to jobs in San Antonio, Victoria, Corpus Christi or Houston.

No major crimes have been reported, but residents have stepped up calls of suspicious activity to sheriff’s deputies already weighted down with escalating arrests countywide. Among the chief complaints are immigrant-loaded vehicles racing through town.

“You used to be able to walk down the road for exercise or a child could ride a bike,” said Sarco landowner Bill Parmley. “Now it’s just like the Indianapolis 500.”

Immigrant arrests are on pace to pass last year’s total by at least 20,000 in the 19-county U.S. Border Patrol district that includes Goliad, according to the agency. Arrests include people from 62 countries and could double the 26,438 from last year.

The problem is illustrated by the Goliad County Sheriff’s Department impound lot. In January it held a few vehicles seized in immigration cases. Today it holds more than 50.

Sheriff Robert DeLaGarza has 13 deputies to patrol a 1,000-square-mile county, and the increase in immigration activity, he said, is “just overwhelming.”

While some Hispanic residents said the problem is exaggerated, other residents describe worrisome encounters.

A woman and her grandson spotted several men believed to be immigrants bathing in a creek, said Sarco resident Kenneth Buelter, a supporter of the Minutemen. Another resident answered a knock on her door to find two men looking tired from long travels and requesting food and water. She called authorities and they were arrested, Buelter said.

Tire tracks are still visible in a right of way near Buelter’s house, he said, from a truck speeding and believed to be carrying about 15 illegal immigrants.

A couple miles away, several abandoned encampments still sit in a dry riverbed. Ripped up trash bags, gallon jugs of water and jackets lie in a heavily wooded area. The Mexico border seems closer to home than ever, Sarco residents said.

Buelter is among the residents planning to travel to the border in October to patrol with the Minutemen, the volunteer group that drew national attention by patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border.

The sheriff “has done everything they can to help us,” Buelter said. “Now it’s someone else’s turn to help.”

Goliad County has become an unofficial Texas headquarters for the Minuteman Project. Some residents welcome the volunteers. But their recent visit to set up chapter groups has also revived racial tensions in an area where Mexican forces famously killed Texas revolutionaries nearly 170 years ago.

“I don’t want terrorists coming over here and bombing our town, but you can’t hardly blame the Hispanic population because they’ve been so mistreated so many times before,” said Benny Martinez, president of the local League of United Latin American Citizens.

The Minutemen met last week with more than 100 ranchers and other residents in Goliad and got their first warm reception in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry, several lawmakers and local law enforcement have expressed skepticism about the group’s efforts.

While he vows not to endorse the Minuteman Project, DeLaGarza welcomes the help if volunteers only report to police what they see.

“We’re going to step back, watch and learn,” DeLaGarza said. “So far, they haven’t broken any laws. They’ve been very helpful and informative.”

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

By BETH DUFF-BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Monday, June 27, 2005

The United States, Canada and Mexico pledged Monday to shore up security by integrating their terrorist watchlists and beefing up joint protection of borders and bridges.

At the same time, they promised to expand what is already the world’s largest trading partnership by developing a single program to facilitate the free flow of people and goods across their shared borders.

“We are three countries, three friends living in the same neighborhood, so we have a common interest in our mutual security and our mutual prosperity,” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a news conference in Ottawa after he and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts unveiled their list of targets and initiatives.

“We want to confront external threats; we want to prevent and respond to threats to North America and we want to facilitate the flow of traffic across our borders,” Chertoff said. “The more secure our region is, the more our prosperity will flourish.”

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan said 300 proposals were under review to ensure security and the free flow of North American trade and harmonize the screening of dangerous people or cargo.

“The proposals today will go a long way toward protecting North America, while maintaining each country’s sovereignty,” she said.

Monday’s session follows the March 23 formation of a Security and Prosperity Partnership initiative announced by President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox after their meeting in Waco, Texas.

The three leaders, who have sought to improve coordination since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, asked their top security and trade ministers to report back within 90 days on initiatives to enhance security and promote the economic well-being of their citizens.

Some other proposals include:

_ Coordinating programs to ensure governments are prepared for large-scale emergencies or terrorist attacks;

_ Joint protection of critical cross-border infrastructure, such as the Ambassador Bridge that spans the Detroit River and facilitates one-fourth of the daily $1.4 billion in trade between Canada and the United States;

_ Strengthening approaches to maritime and aviation security;

_ Establishing a second site for a Canada-U.S. pilot project that would check cargo and passengers before they cross the border;

_ And creating a single, integrated program to allow “trusted travelers” who frequent the borders to travel quickly by air, land and sea.

On the economic front, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, David Emerson and Carlos Abascal, said they would develop a coordinated strategy to combat counterfeiting and piracy by the end of next year; create more regulatory consistency and further integrate their automobile and steel industries; and relax rules that will allow for an additional $25 billion worth of duty free goods.

Gutierrez said the United States, Canada and Mexico have a trading relationship worth more than $700 billion a year; an increase of 88 percent between 1993 and 2003.

“So we have a lot of jobs and a lot of prosperity tied to this very important trading relationship,” Gutierrez said, but added: “No market economy can thrive without safety and security for its people. The threats we face require seamless cooperation that extends beyond our borders.”

Emerson said the three nations must stand as one powerful trading block against other growing economies. North America accounts for one-third of the world’s gross domestic product and he said investors would continue to look toward North America only if it is competitive.

“The rest of the world has not been standing still â?? far from it,” Emerson said. “A booming China is changing the competitive landscape and causing the reconfiguration of global supply chains. India is not far behind; the European Union, despite recent setbacks, will continue to get bigger and stronger.”

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

NEWARK, OHIO — The Hispanic and Latino populations are having a visible impact on Licking County — a trip to any grocery store with their preponderance of Hispanic products and dual-language labeling is proof of that.

But with legal, legitimate Hispanic immigrants also come illegal aliens, and the county is seeing more every year.

In 2004, the Licking County jail detained 28 illegal aliens, with the vast majority of those coming from Mexico. So far in 2005, 17 have been detained.

Those detentions often aren’t from illegal alien roundups, but from regular criminal activity. If during the course of the investigation it is determined an inmate is an illegal alien, he or she is handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which initiates any possible deportation proceedings.

Jail Capt. Pat Claprood said the number of illegal aliens going through his facility is on the rise.

“It seems like we get more and more every year,” he said.

Carlos Suarez and Daniel Rodrigues currently sit in the jail facing rape charges. Three others are still at large for the incident. Regardless of the outcome of their rape proceedings, both face deportation for illegal residency.

In late 2003, three illegal aliens died in Pataskala of carbon monoxide poisoning while working at a construction site.

However, the increasing presence of undocumented Hispanics and Latinos has not reached a point of concern for law enforcement.

“I know that it happens,” Sheriff Randy Thorp said. “I don’t know that it’s a source of concern. On the surface, I haven’t noticed any problems or any significant increase. I have not seen any negative impact.”

A study released by the Pew Research Center in March estimates the nationwide illegal alien population at 11 million, with more than 6 million of those from Mexico.

In the 2003 fiscal year, more than 1 million deportable aliens from Hispanic and Latino countries were located by federal officials.

With an increasing Spanish-speaking population, the language barrier becomes an issue of concern in certain areas.
By ERIK JOHNS
Advocate Reporter

Courts, with their complex legal jargon and carefully selected words, must employ translators if a defendant does not understand English.

Assistant County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt said that in those cases the court employs an interpreter, who is required to provide a literal translation of the proceedings.

While not terribly common, the courts are prepared for such situations.

“Interpreters aren’t that difficult to find, especially for something like Spanish,” Oswalt said.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

Consider the issue of anchor babies and what, if anything, should be done about them. Anchor babies, for those not yet familiar with the term, is the description given to babies of illegal immigrants who are delivered in the United States. These babies, under current interpretation of U.S. law, automatically become U.S. citizens and most qualify immediately for a variety of benefits, including Medicaid. Over time, they can open the door to citizenship to other family members.

Last week, there was a flurry of national news stories announcing the current estimate that 300,000 such babies are born each year in this country.

There are, of course, pro-immigration groups whose members wouldn’t blink, let alone protest, if the number was 10 times that high. Most people, however, would find the number somewhat shocking. Indeed, the news stories set off a new flurry of debate over whether the existing provisions relating to what is called birthright citizenship can or should be changed.

There is a special intensity in this discussion in some states - including California, Texas and Florida - with high anchor baby populations. But the issue is also being noticed in places like Georgia, where the number of anchor babies doubled from 5,133 in 2000 to 11,180 in 2002. Several years ago in Colorado, the number of such births was estimated at more than 6,000.

A measure pending in Congress would change the Constitution to deny citizenship rights to babies born to illegal immigrants. The proposed amendment is currently given little or no chance of passage but it certainly helps to focus attention on the nature of the problem.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States.”

At the time the amendment was approved, the author of the clause, Sen. Jacob M. Howard, said the phrase relating to jurisdiction meant, “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners … .”

In subsequent years, the courts invalidated the assurances of Howard; at this stage, an amendment to the Constitution seems the only means available to change the law.

In some places in California, births to illegal immigrants make up 70 percent of the total deliveries. Overall statewide, they constitute 25 percent to 33 percent.

Not so long ago in Ireland, there was a policy of granting residency and possible citizenship to anyone who had a baby there. In Dublin hospitals, births to foreigners made up 25 percent of the total. That fact forced a change in Ireland’s constitution in 2004. It now reads:

“Notwithstanding any other provision, a person born on the island of Ireland who does not have at the time of birth of that person at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality unless provided by law.”

Change a couple of words, and it is a safe bet that that amendment would receive a high level of popular support in the United States.

A Denver talk show host recently announced confidently that the current policy on anchor babies could never be changed in this country. But then, a few years ago, no one in Ireland thought that the country’s constitution could be amended, either.

Link to story.

Comments 3 Comments »

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Cristobal Silverio emigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton, Calif., in 1997 to work as a fruit picker.

He brought with him his wife, Felipa, and three children, 19, 12 and 8 â?? all illegals. When Felipa gave birth to her fourth child, daughter Flor, the family had what is referred to as an “anchor baby” â?? an American citizen by birth who provided the entire Silverio clan a ticket to remain in the U.S. permanently.

But Flor was born premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator and cost the San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, oldest daughter Lourdes married an illegal alien gave birth to a daughter, too. Her name is Esmeralda. And Felipa had yet another child, Cristian.

The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding for the family. Flor gets $600 a month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. While the Silverios earned $18,000 last year picking fruit, they picked up another $12,000 for their two “anchor babies.”

While President Bush says the U.S. needs more “cheap labor” from south of the border to do jobs Americans aren’t willing to do, the case of the Silverios shows there are indeed uncalculated costs involved in the importation of such labor â?? public support and uninsured medical costs.

In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America’s prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

“The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical consequences,” writes Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of the report. “We judge reality primarily by what we see. But what we do not see can be more dangerous, more expensive, and more deadly than what is seen.”

According to her study, 84 California hospitals are closing their doors as a direct result of the rising number of illegal aliens and their non-reimbursed tax on the system.

“Anchor babies,” the author writes, “born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and Disability Income.”

In addition, the report says, “many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease.”

While politicians often mention there are 43 million without health insurance in this country, the report estimates that at least 25 percent of those are illegal immigrants. The figure could be as high as 50 percent.

Not being insured does not mean they don’t get medical care.

Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985, hospitals are obligated to treat the uninsured without reimbursement.

“Government imposes viciously stiff fines and penalties on any physician and any hospital refusing to treat any patient that a zealous prosecutor deems an emergency patient, even though the hospital or physician screened and declared the patient’s illness or injury non-emergency,” says the report. “But government pays neither hospital nor physician for treatments. In addition to the fiscal attack on medical facilities and personnel, EMTALA is a handy truncheon with which to pummel politically unpopular physicians by falsely accusing them of violating EMTALA.”

According to the report, between 1993 and 2003, 60 California hospitals closed because half their services became unpaid. Another 24 California hospitals verge on closure, the author writes.

“American hospitals welcome ‘anchor babies,’” says the report. “Illegal alien women come to the hospital in labor and drop their little anchors, each of whom pulls its illegal alien mother, father, and siblings into permanent residency simply by being born within our borders. Anchor babies are citizens, and instantly qualify for public welfare aid: Between 300,000 and 350,000 anchor babies annually become citizens because of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

Among the organizations directing illegal aliens into America’s medical systems, according to the report, are the Ford Foundation-funded Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration Policy, Practice, and Pro Bono, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the National Council of La Raza, George Soros’s Open Society Institute, the Migration Policy Institute, the National Network for Immigration and Refugee Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Because drug addiction and alcoholism are classified as diseases and disabilities, the fiscal toll on the health-care system rises.

When Linda Torres was arrested in Bakersfield, Calif., with about $8,500 in small bills in a sack, the police originally thought it was stolen money, explained the report. It was her Social Security lump sum for her disability — heroin addiction.

“Today, legal immigrants must demonstrate that they are free of communicable diseases and drug addiction to qualify for lawful permanent residency green cards,” writes Cosman, a medical lawyer, who formerly taught medical students at the City University of New York. “Illegal aliens simply cross our borders medically unexamined, hiding in their bodies any number of communicable diseases.”

Many illegals entering this country have tuberculosis, according to the report.

“That disease had largely disappeared from America, thanks to excellent hygiene and powerful modern drugs such as isoniazid and rifampin,” says the report. “TB’s swift, deadly return now is lethal for about 60 percent of those infected because of new Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. Until recently MDR-TB was endemic to Mexico. This Mycobacterium tuberculosis is resistant to at least two major anti-tubercular drugs. Ordinary TB usually is cured in six months with four drugs that cost about $2,000. MDR-TB takes 24 months with many expensive drugs that cost around $250,000 with toxic side effects. Each illegal with MDR-TB coughs and infects 10 to 30 people, who will not show symptoms immediately. Latent disease explodes later.

TB was virtually absent in Virginia until in 2002, when it spiked a 17 percent increase, but Prince William County, just south of Washington, D.C., had a much larger rise of 188 percent. Public health officials blamed immigrants. In 2001 the Indiana School of Medicine studied an outbreak of MDR-TB, and traced it to Mexican illegal aliens. The Queens, New York, health department attributed 81 percent of new TB cases in 2001 to immigrants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ascribed 42 percent of all new TB cases to ‘foreign born’ people who have up to eight times higher incidences apparently, 66 percent of all TB cases coming to America originate in Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam.”

Other health threats from illegals include, according to the report:

* Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis or “kissing bug disease,” is transmitted by the reduviid bug, which prefers to bite the lips and face. The protozoan parasite that it carries, Trypanosoma cruzi, infects 18 million people annually in Latin America and causes 50,000 deaths. The disease also infiltrates America’s blood supply. Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs. No cure exists. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected.
* Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted. Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico.
* Dengue fever is exceptionally rare in America, though common in Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Mexico. Recently, according to the report, there was a virulent outbreak of dengue fever in Webb County, Texas, which borders Mexico. Though dengue is usually not a fatal disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever routinely kills.
* Polio was eradicated from America, but now reappears in illegal immigrants as do intestinal parasites, says the report.
* Malaria was obliterated, but now is re-emerging in Texas.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report includes a strong prescription for protecting the health of Americans:

* Closing America’s borders with fences, high-tech security devices and troops.
* Rescinding the U.S. citizenship of “anchor babies.”
* Punishing the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens as a crime.
* An end to amnesty programs.

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

The Arab TV news network criticized by the new Iraqi government and others for its anti-American bias and willingness to carry the messages of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, is headed for the U.S.-Mexico border to document how easy it is to enter America illegally.

Al-Jazeera has contacted Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leader Chris Simcox to try to arrange interviews. Simcox, who rejected the request for cooperation with the TV network, says al-Jazeera, seen by millions throughout the Arab world and elsewhere, is producing an hour-long documentary news special on lack of security at the U.S. southern border.

Al-Jazeera reporter Naisser Hssaini mentioned the increase in apprehensions of illegal aliens known as OTMs â?? other than Mexicans. These foreigners increasingly include Arabs, Muslims and others from the Middle East. The reporter also mentioned his familiarity with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement police of catching and releasing OTMS â?? particularly those not specifically known to be on any terrorist watch list.

“The group has been denied requests for interviews by Minuteman Civil Defense Corps organizers but they still insist on filming the groupsâ?? activities along with the rest of the media during a July 4th weekend mission near Arivaca, Arizona,” said Simcox.

Simcox has contacted the offices of Arizona’s two Republican U.S. senators â?? John McCain and Jon Kyl â?? to invite them to do interviews with al Jazeera, “so perhaps they can explain to the viewers of this news outlet just how secure America’s borders really are.”

Link to story.

Comments No Comments »

By Howard Williams
CNSNews.com Correspondent
June 24, 2005

Ottawa (CNSNews.com) — Cabinet ministers and secretaries from Canada, the United States and Mexico will push ahead Monday with plans to streamline commerce without threatening security between their three countries, according to Canadian officials here.

At a one-day meeting in Ottawa to be chaired by Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, the officials hope to find ways to ease trade through regulation rather than new legislation, they said.

One of them, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the regulatory route was speedier than legislation, and officials already had the authority to reduce trade barriers in many instances.

He said the three countries had so far managed to introduce savings worth $20 billion a year simply by reducing rules of origin requirements. He believed the ministers would agree on another tranche of a similar value at their Monday meeting.

Another Canadian official said that the ministers would be presented Monday with “one hundred-plus” initiatives to improve trade flow between the three countries. He declined to elaborate.

The meeting will be the first under the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership agreed by U.S. President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, this past March.

That agreement allows the three North American Free Trade Agreement member states to take measures, either trilaterally or bilaterally, to increase trade and border security.

This would allow, for instance, the U.S. and Canada to agree on cross-border measures that might differ from those in place between the U.S. and Mexico.

After Monday’s meeting, the three countries are due to hold consultations twice a year in an effort to streamline both security and commerce.

The Waco agreement, according to a background document issued at the time, aims to enhance border security and bio-protection, implement a common approach to emergency response, improve aviation and maritime security, combat transnational threats and enhance intelligence partnership.

It sought at the same time to “improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo at our shared borders.”

Link to story.

Comments 2 Comments »

Close
E-mail It