Archive for February 2nd, 2008

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by Allan Wall

February 2nd is the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. That 1848 treaty officially ended the Mexican War and legally turned over most of the Southwest to the United States.

The average American doesn?t know much about the Mexican War and thinks about it less.

But here in Mexico they do think about it?a lot.

In Mexico, everybody knows that “the U.S. took half our national territory.”

“La Intervención Norteamericana” has been described?by Mexican writer and Nobel laureate Octavio Paz?as “one of the most unjust wars of conquest in history.”

Not only that, but the loss of Mexico?s northern territories has been used as a reason?an excuse, really?for the economic failures of Mexico compared to the economic success of the United States.

According to at least one poll, conducted in 2002 by Zogby in Mexico, 58% of respondents agreed with the statement that “the territory of the United States? Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico”. [MS Word] Now that?s definitely a different perspective.

In a lighter vein, some Mexicans jokingly quip that, when the U.S. took half of Mexico?s territory, we took the half with the paved roads.

Some Americans are shocked to learn that Mexicans actually have a different historical perspective than we do.

How dare Mexicans say the U.S. took the Southwest from Mexico? How dare they have a different perspective than us?

It?s time for a reality check. Different nations have different historical perspectives on the same historical events. That?s one reason they are different nations.

Of course Mexicans say that the U.S. took (or even “stole”) the Southwest! Why wouldn?t they?

We?ve got to get over this naïve belief that everybody in the world has the same values, and that everybody wants to be just like us.

Maybe we should have thought twice about importing millions of people from the only country on earth with an irredentist claim against us?and then encouraging them not to assimilate!

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My San Antonio

RICHARDSON ? Sheer frustration over the inability of national leaders to overhaul the U.S. immigration system has pushed Texas lawmakers to consider ways to tackle the problem themselves, at least in helping kick out criminal immigrants.

Lawmakers here Friday learned that, despite state laws in place for more than a decade, most local and state law enforcement and correctional agencies keep little or no information on immigrant inmates and don’t link up effectively with their federal counterparts.

The daylong joint session of the Texas House Corrections and County Affairs committees at the University of Texas at Dallas was part of its effort to come up with new state standards for dealing with undocumented immigrants who commit crimes.

“In many cases, when they first enter the system, we don’t even ask them if they’re here legally or not,” said Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, chairman of the Corrections Committee, noting there currently are more than 9,000 foreign-born inmates in the state. “Immigration is federal, but they’re serving state offenses so they’re our responsibility.”

Representatives from the Homeland Security Department declined an invitation to testify.

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Int. Herald Tribune

ST. LOUIS: A federal judge has upheld an ordinance in a suburban St. Louis town that penalizes businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber ruled late Thursday that the city of Valley Park, Mo.’s ordinance is not pre-empted by federal law, does not discriminate against Hispanics and does not violate due-process rights or Missouri law.

The ordinance “is not preempted by federal law, to the contrary, federal law specifically permits such licensing laws as the one at issue,” Webber wrote.

Valley Park is one of several cities around the country that have attempted to clamp down on illegal immigration, citing a lack of federal action.

Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who handled the case for Valley Park, said the ruling “gives a green light to other communities” looking to adopt similar legislation.

City officials in Valley Park have been embroiled in court battles since passing the town’s first immigration law in 2006. That original law, since rescinded, fined landlords if they were found to rent to illegal immigrants. Valley Park subsequently passed a law going after businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged both laws, and a St. Louis County judge agreed that both violated state law. Webber, in his 57-page ruling, disagreed.

In a statement, the ACLU said the law was aimed at driving immigrants out of the small working class St. Louis County town of about 6,500.

“If every city and town across the country were allowed to enact its own immigration laws, we would end up with chaos and confusion causing discrimination and profiling against individuals based on their appearance, accent and ethnicity,” said Lucas Guttentag, the ACLU’s immigrants rights project director.

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NC Times

The Escondido neighborhood around the 1800 block of Cortez Avenue is about as idyllic as one is likely to find in North County.

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The lawns are well tended. Some neighbors leave their garage doors open during the day. Older residents stroll in the early morning hours.

It is not the kind of place where one might expect to find a virtual prison for illegal immigrants. But that’s what Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found when they raided the house at 1809 Cortez Ave. on April 15.

Tamara Dudoit, a 41-year-old mother of four, rented the home in this quiet neighborhood within a walking distance of the Escondido Country Club’s golf course.

She kept dozens of people in a room, locked behind closed doors and a boarded-up window to prevent their escape.

For four months, the home on the nice block was part of an international web of human smuggling, a “drop house” where people from Mexico were held against their will while traffickers extorted higher fees from their terrified loved ones.

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Ron Paul At CNN Republican Debate 1-30-08

Paul for President
American Conservative Magazine

The presidential fields of both parties have narrowed, and the arguments about how we should move forward are now familiar. TAC believes that only one candidate has put forth a diagnosis of America?s current ills and has a vision to turn the country off its misguided course. That is Congressman Ron Paul, whom we endorse for the Republican nomination.

On the key issue of foreign policy, the differences between the other Republican contenders can be measured in microdots. All remain enthusiastic supporters of the invasion of Iraq and of maintaining a presence there for years to come. All speak as if it is America?s right and duty to station its armed forces over much of the world. All have embraced neoconservative paranoia about the ?threat? posed by Iran, setting the table for another war. All, that is, except Dr. Paul.

He is the one candidate who sees how the realities of world power have shifted since the 1990s, the one who recognizes that the time of unilateral American hegemony is over?and can?t be maintained even if it was in our interest to do so. He alone understands that the ever expanding federal government is a far greater threat to American liberty than some tinpot dictator in the Caucasus. By speaking about the benefits of smaller government and limited executive power, he has introduced a generation of young Americans to a more traditional and true style of conservatism?to the movement and the country?s benefit.

Ron Paul is a libertarian, and his stances are very much derived from that minor party tradition. To many, his ruminations about sound money seem academic?if oddly prescient. He was sounding the alarm about dollar devaluation long before the current panic and broke with libertarian orthodoxy to oppose injurious free-trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA. Conservatives also find common cause with his 30-year pro-life voting record and commitment to ending birthright citizenship.

Paul came by his congressional nickname??Dr. No??honestly. Anyone combing through his lengthy record will find many lone stands and idealistic statements that ignore the maxim that politics is the art of the possible. We are under no illusion that he has much chance of winning the GOP nomination this election cycle.

Nevertheless we urge a vote for him. This campaign sends a signal to both parties that a significant number of Americans value their country?s great Constitution, that many conservatives reject wiretaps, waterboarding, and senseless wars. There is far more realism in Paul?s analysis than can be found in those Republicans who believe that Washington?s policy of borrowing billions from China to pay for the occupation of a growing number of countries is desirable, much less sustainable.

Ron Paul has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise desultory Republican campaign. Long may he run.

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