Archive for March 6th, 2008

News Max

LONDON — British lawmakers rejected calls Wednesday to give the public a vote on adopting the new European Union reform treaty.

The bitter debate on the issue led to opposition party resignations and a rebellion by members of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party.

Legislators dismissed two separate motions requesting a referendum on the document, which replaced the failed 2005 attempt to agree on a European constitution. That charter was rejected by voters in the Netherlands and France.

Brown’s Labour and Britain’s two other major parties made election promises to allow a referendum on the constitution. But Brown, and the opposition Liberal Democrats, insist no vote is needed.

The slimmed-down treaty creates a long-term president and streamlines decision-making in the 27-member bloc.


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Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M. - Karina Acosta’s senior year at Roswell High came to an abrupt end after she was ticketed for blocking a fire lane outside a school and driving without a license.

The officer who stopped her ? a Roswell policeman assigned to the school ? asked her for proof of legal U.S. residency. Acosta, an illegal immigrant, had none. The officer telephoned immigration authorities, and Acosta, 18 and pregnant, was sent back to Mexico.

The episode has caused a furor in town, with teachers and others complaining that Acosta’s treatment violated the spirit, if not the letter, of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has all but made the nation’s public schools safe havens for illegal immigrants.

“The school was considered a place you could come and not have to worry,” said Coreta Justus, a teacher at 1,300-student Roswell High. She added: “My job is to educate whoever walks in my classroom.”

Complaining of racism and unfair treatment, students demonstrated on Main Street and drew adult counter-protesters. Irate parents confronted school officials. The police officer was taken off the school beat, and the program that put him on the high school campus was suspended. At least one teacher reported a few students stayed away for weeks after the incident, afraid they would meet the same fate as Acosta.

Three months later, Acosta’s case is still dividing people in Roswell, a town 200 miles north of the Mexican border that has built a tourism industry around a rumored UFO crash in 1947 that was supposedly covered up by the government. Roswell, population 45,000, is at least 44 percent Hispanic.


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It drives me crazy how illegal aliens are called “immigrants” in the media and apparently all “immigrants” are Latino. An “immigrant” has actually become a new race or ethnicity.

NH Register

NEW HAVEN ? When Ricardo Leon, set upon by an armed robber, called out for help, his friend and neighbor came to his aid and died because of it. Now the immigrant community in Fair Haven is banding together to help get Freddy Salinas back to his native Ecuador.

“It?s a familial tradition,” said Luis Toral, 44, a fellow Ecuadorian, “to have the body back in his home country.”

A homemade collection box sat on the counter at his restaurant at 549 Ferry St. in Fair Haven, identical to the one at Costitas Musicales y Algo Mas a few doors down. Similar collections are being done in Meriden, East Haven, and Waterbury.

As the population of immigrants in Fair Haven continues to grow, so does the number of coffins being shipped back to places such as Mexico, Columbia, El Salvador and Ecuador. With religious and cultural tradition leaving people reluctant to cremate loved ones, a death often can heap thousands of dollars in unexpected debt on families already struggling to eke out an existence here.

The Rev. James Manship, pastor St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church on Blatchley Avenue, spoke of Salinas? death at Mass Sunday and asked his congregation, a melting pot of people from 18 Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil, to give what they could.

In this church, which offers English classes and advocated for illegal immigrants swept up in federal immigration raids last year, this has become another core function: to assist, in whatever way it can, in repatriating the deceased to their native land.

“Tragically, most of the people who die here are young people and tragic deaths: drownings (really?), car accidents (drunk driving), murders (gangs),” Manship said.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. ? A mother and daughter were found guilty Tuesday of keeping a Haitian teen as their slave for six years in their South Florida home.

Evelyn Theodore and her daughter, Maude Paulin, were convicted of conspiring to violate Simone Celestin’s Thirteenth Amendment rights to be free from slavery and forcing her to work for them.

Paulin was also convicted of harboring an illegal alien for financial gain.

Paulin’s ex-husband and her mother, Theodore, were found not guilty of harboring an illegal alien for financial gain, but were convicted on a lesser charge of harboring an illegal alien.

Claire Telasco, Paulin’s sister, was acquitted of conspiracy and forced labor charges.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for a little more than five hours before returning a verdict Tuesday afternoon.

Paulin’s biological daughter ran from the courtroom crying as the verdicts were read. Other relatives gasped in relief when Telasco’s not guilty verdicts were read.

Celestin was not present for the verdict, though she testified last week.

Celestin, now 22, testified Wednesday that she considered suicide after years of beatings and intimidation. She tearfully described sleeping on the floor, rummaging through cast-off clothes in the garage for something to wear, bathing from a bucket or a garden hose and scrubbing floors when she should have been in school.

She said Theodore and Maude Paulin often struck her with their hands, shoes or objects such as a curling iron or a mortar if she didn’t finish the work to their satisfaction.

Defense attorneys argued during trial the Celestin’s allegations of abuse were motivated by her desire to be a permanent legal resident of the U.S.

The jury was also asked to consider whether Paulin should forfeit her home and other property used to keep Celestin working and out of school.

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People are asking questions about why an illegal immigrant who was charged with killing a Spanish Fork man in a car wreck was allowed to make bail, and the answers differ depending on who is giving them.

Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to investigate the immigration status of 21-year-old Gabriel Hernandez, while ICE officials say they were not properly informed of his arrest. Tracy said internal jail documents show that jail officials made two calls to the ICE office in Orem before Hernandez was released on bail.

Hernandez, of Orem, was arrested by Spanish Fork police on Jan. 31 and booked into the Utah County Jail on a charge of negligent homicide, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said he lost control of his car on an icy road and slid into 83-year-old Albert Burns, killing him. Hernandez was also charged with driving on a denied license and driving with no insurance.

On Thursday, Hernandez missed his arraignment at Spanish Fork’s 4th District Court, and a no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest. Burns’s wife fears that Hernandez fled to his native Mexico and will never face justice.

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Tulsa World

She asked the audience why Mexican immigrants leave their beautiful homes in cities in which U.S. citizens vacation to come to the U.S.

She answered that the U.S. is putting Mexicans out of work by erecting factories on the border that pull profits and workers out of Mexico, by exporting more corn to Mexico than Mexico grows, and by economically colonizing in Mexico instead of helping the country build itself up.

Huerta stuck up for immigrants, saying they pick Americans’ food, build and clean their buildings, and take care of their children and elderly.

“They are contributing to the economy and taking very little out of the economy,” she said.

The process to immigrate legally is “very difficult,” she said, and it can take 10 years for husbands and wives to join their spouses in the U.S.

Several years ago, Huerta said, politicians attacked feminists, then moved to attacking gay men and lesbians, and now are attacking immigrants because “they don’t have a platform to run on.”

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