Archive for April 1st, 2008

The San Francisco Chronicle

Agua Prieta, Mexico ? At the Center to Aid Migrants in Exodus shelter, would-be immigrants to the United States shared stories of violence at the hands of human smugglers working for drug cartels.

?You used to be able to walk across? the border, said Javier Corazon, 48, who says he lived in Tucson for decades before being deported two years ago. ?Now you never know what?s going to happen. They may leave you, beat you or worse.?

The 30 or so beds at the shelter in this small Mexican town near the Arizona border were filled mostly with Mexicans and a few Central Americans, some of whom remain determined to cross the border.

?The only thing they have to look forward to when dealing with the ?coyotes? is more abuse,? said Rosa Soto Moreno, a shelter volunteer.

As U.S. border security has tightened, Mexican drug cartels have moved in on coyotes, the common moniker for human smugglers who are paid to bring illegal immigrants into the United States.

The traffickers now use their expertise in gathering intelligence on border patrols, logistics and communication devices to get around ever tighter border strictures. They are slowly gaining control of much of the illegal passage of immigrants from Mexico to the United States, U.S. border officials say.


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The Congressional Quarterly

MONACA, Pa.? As Rep. Jason Altmire walked into the Beaver County Sportsmens Conservation League Awards Dinner at the Monaca Turners lodge, he was pretty sure that between the handshakes and the backslaps someone might ask him about immigration.

?I hear about it everywhere I go,? the freshman Democrat said of his talks with constituents in western Pennsylvania?s 4th District. ?People want to see Congress move a bill.?

Across the state, fellow Democratic freshman Christopher Carney faces similar concerns from his constituents in the 10th District. ?People say, ?We don?t want any kind of amnesty,? ? Carney said. ?People want us to control the process. . . . It?s a real concern here.?

When it comes to immigration, constituents like these hold the kind of influence that Washington lobbyists ? and perhaps Democratic leaders ? only dream of.

Even though they have relatively few foreign-born residents, districts like Pennsylvania?s 4th and 10th are the emerging battlegrounds of immigration, and their representatives are the prime targets of Republican efforts to push get-tough, enforcement-first approaches through the House.

The future of threatened first-term Democrats such as Altmire and Carney may hang in the balance. And Republicans hope that what those lawmakers heard back home during the spring recess improves the chances that some sort of get-tough legislation moves forward this spring.

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Washington Times

Technology firms across the nation are crossing their fingers today as the U.S. opens the annual visa application window for skilled workers. Last year, the annual cap of 65,000 was reached on the same day. Despite industry’s efforts to raise the issue with lawmakers and the public, this year’s quota of H1-B visas is likely to disappear just as quickly.

“Without adequate access to these types of key employees, a lot of U.S. companies will be forced to cancel U.S. projects or move them offshore, like Bill Gates did,” said Ian Macdonald of the law firm Littler Mendelson.

The H1-B visa program allows companies in the United States to employ foreign workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher in specialized fields, the vast majority pertaining to science and technology. U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services administers 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The agency sets aside an additional 20,000 visas for those who received a master’s degree or higher at a U.S. school. The visas have an initial duration of three years, which can be extended to six.

There is no guarantee an employer’s application will be granted, even if sent in on time with adequate supporting documents. Unlike last year, USCIS this year will accept applications for five days to account for postage delays. It will then randomly select those applications that will be granted.

But while the technology industry warns that failing to increase the cap translates into jobs going overseas, some say the issue should be addressed only as part of larger immigration reform; others oppose the program altogether, saying it undermines U.S. workers.

“The fact is most H-1B visas are going to foreign-based companies. U.S. businesses that need highly skilled workers are getting the short end of the stick. Americans are seeing ruthless tactics by some companies to bring in foreign workers, pay them less and increase their bottom line,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, wrote in a letter last month to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

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Top Supervisor Feuds With Police Chief Over Meeting With Consul, Residents

The Washington Post

Tensions created by Prince William County’s crackdown on illegal immigration were on awkward display this week, when a community meeting hosted by police and the Mexican consulate produced new frustrations among immigrants — and among the county’s top officials.

Police Chief Charlie T. Deane and Mexican consul Enrique Escorza said the meeting Thursday was held to clear up misinformation and quell fears about the scope of the county’s policies on illegal immigration. But afterward, many attendees said they were even more troubled and confused.

Meanwhile, a separate battle played out behind the scenes over opposition to the meeting from Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large).

Stewart, the leading advocate of the county’s new policies, tried to block the gathering while criticizing Deane for meeting with “foreign governmental officials.” He called Escorza’s presence “a violation of U.S. sovereignty,” saying he had first learned of the event in a local newspaper Thursday morning.

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CBS News

Today, John McCain released his first Spanish-language general election TV ad, which will air in battleground state New Mexico.

It?s the same ad that he released last week in English but with a Spanish soundtrack. released last Friday. ?62487,? which is the title of the ad, was also McCain?s official Navy identification number.

Images of McCain as a POW along with speeches and primary night wins with flying confetti cross the screen while the announcer in the ad calls McCain ?the American president we have been waiting for.?

While Spanish language television ads are new for McCain, his camp insists his interest in Hispanic voters is not.

?He?s always been clear that the Hispanic vote is extremely important to him. His positions on issues like education, the economy and others resonate with Hispanic voters and we continue to ask for their vote and we will campaign aggressively for it,? said press secretary Brooke Buchanan.

McCain ran Spanish language ads over the radio before January’s Florida primary and won the Hispanic vote there. Buchanan also points out that McCain comes from a border state and hopes to expand his relationship with Hispanics across the country.

Back in December while courting votes in Florida, McCain said he thought he had a good chance of winning the Hispanic vote. ?Well, I am from the southwest. We have strong relations with the Hispanic community. I got 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in my last re-election. I understand the community and their priorities extremely well,? he said.

McCain also noted concern about the impression some may have that the Republican party is anti-Hispanic. ?We are the party we think, of the Hispanics. Small businesses, less regulation, lower taxes, pro-military and so we?ve got to re-emphasize that message.?

Campaign sources tell CBS news they will have more Spanish-language ads in the near future.

?Don?t be surprised if you see it in other swing states in coming weeks and months,? the McCain campaign source said.

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Commie Obama

ABC News

During a town hall meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Obama was asked about the ?North American Union.?

The NAU is a theoretical governmental union merging the United States, Mexico and Canada that some conspiracy theorists and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul have used as a rallying cry.

Obama responded that he sees no evidence of a cabal in forming this union.

?I see no evidence of this actually taking place,” he said. “I think this is something that has been ginned up on certain blogs on the internet,? and mentioned Congressman Paul buying into the theory.

Obama said a lot of the speculation that these three countries were forming an European Union-like partnership was due to a highway being built in Texas that would make it easier to facilitate more transportation between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Congressman Ron Paul said during the CNN/You Tube debate in November that, “there is a move on toward a North American Union, just like early on there was a move on for a European Union, and eventually ended up. So we had NAFTA and moving toward a NAFTA highway. These are real things. It’s not somebody made these up. It’s not a conspiracy.”

“There?s no evidence that that?s taking place,? Obama repeated again and then reiterated his opposition to NAFTA.

?NAFTA helped to break down barriers on trade between those two countries and I was opposed to NAFTA because I thought it didn?t have the labor and environmental and safety standards that would look out for US workers. But I don?t think there?s some conspiracy to create this one you know, continental government between Canada and Mexico,? said the Illinois senator.

Obama was also asked by the same questioner what his status is with the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan foreign policy group which has also been targeted for similar reasons by conspiracy theorists.

?I don?t know if I?m an official member. I?ve spoken there before, it basically is a forum where people talk about foreign policy, and so there?s no official membership,? Obama respond, ?I don?t have a card or a special handshake or anything like that.”

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McCain Supporters Farthest Off the Mark

Center For Immigration Studies

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2007) ?A new poll using neutral language finds that primary and caucus voters have little knowledge of candidates? immigration positions. The results also show that voters often do not share their candidate?s position.

Among the findings:

* Only 34 percent of McCain voters, 42 percent of Clinton voters, and 52 percent of Obama voters correctly identified their candidate as favoring eventual citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements.

* Of McCain voters, 35 percent mistakenly thought he favored enforcement that would cause illegals to return home, another 10 percent thought he wanted mass deportations, and 21 percent didn?t know his position.

* Voters often held different positions from the candidate they supported. Only 31 percent of McCain voters had the same immigration position as he does. For Clinton voters, 45 percent shared her position; 61 percent of Obama voters shared his position.

* This lack of knowledge, coupled with disagreements with their candidates? positions, makes it very difficult to draw any conclusions about the fact that all three remaining candidates favor legalization for illegal immigrants.

* Whoever wins the presidency will face significant opposition to giving eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants. Just 25 percent of Republican and 50 percent of Democratic primary/caucus voters said they would support such an effort.

* Pro-enforcement voters have a greater intensity of views than supporters of legalization. Among Republicans, almost nine out ten who favored causing illegals to return home said they strongly supported that view; on the other hand, fewer than half of Republicans who backed legalization strongly supported that view.

* This greater intensity also exists among Democrats. Of Democrats who favored causing illegals to return home, more than seven out of ten strongly supported that view; on the other hand, fewer than six out of ten who favored legalization strongly supported that view.

Methodology: The survey of 1,276 persons who voted in a primary or caucus was conducted March 12-13. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

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Jamiel Shaw, gunned down by
an illegal alien gang member.

By Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles,

Neither Los Angeles nor any other American city should be a sanctuary for gangs.

Right now, L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa?s ?sanctuary city? policy prevents our police from enforcing our immigration laws against any illegal aliens, including gang members.

This ?sanctuary city? policy cost Jamiel Andre Shaw, II, his life.

Jamiel — a young man with an exceptionally promising future — was murdered by a gang member who was in our country illegally, and who had just been released from jail for committing other crimes.

Jamiel?s murder was preventable, and inexcusable. There is no legitimate reason to extend ?sanctuary city? protection to gangs.

Our city — and every other city in America — should be a sanctuary for people like Jamiel, not a sanctuary for gangs. I have therefore drafted ?Jamiel?s Law,? a proposed City ordinance to deny ?sanctuary city? protection to gang members.

Jamiel and his family are counting on you: wherever you live, please urge the Los Angeles City Council to pass Jamiel?s Law.

Click here to read Jamiel?s Law.

Click here for form letters to City Council members.

Click here for City Council contact information.

Click here for background on Jamiel?s law.

We owe it to Jamiel and his family to pass this law. Regardless where you live, please contact the Los Angeles City Council today. No family should ever again have to endure such a terrible loss — a loss that was preventable.

Jamiel is counting on you and me. He never dropped the ball during his high school football career. Let?s show him that we won?t drop the ball, either. Let?s get Jamiel?s Law adopted. We?ll start with Los Angeles, and then make sure that none of America?s ?sanctuary cities? is a sanctuary for gangs.

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FREE shirts and hats!

Not one, but two articles written by Alejandra Molina about this phony event appeared in the OC Register. One full length article before the event (read below) and then another one the day of their press conference.

The second article is titled “Laborers Serve Community While Taking A Stand.” The second article makes the wild claim that “The laborers, working for about three hours each, installed roughly 2 1/2 tons of netting to cover the mouth of an arroyo that has sent mud and water to nearby houses in the area since the fire.”

The Betsy Ross Patriots were on the scene [photo gallery] and there were only two bales of netting. Each bale was carried by two men. Not even close to 2 1/2 tons.

2 bales of netting, each weighing over a ton?

OC Register

LAKE FOREST ? Elfego Fuentes and other fellow day laborers will meet on Jeronimo Road Saturday morning not to solicit for work but to volunteer, and improve their image.

Lake Forest day laborers along with laborers from Los Angeles will take part in a project to aid communities affected by last year’s fires. The day of service by the Day Laborer Fire Relief Brigade is one of several in Southern California organized by area day laborers.

“The idea came from them (day laborers),” said Veronica Federovsky, West Coast coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “When the fire started in OC they told me, ‘We want to help but we don’t know how.’”

Day laborers will meet at 8 a.m. on Jeronimo Road and will be taken to Modjeska Canyon to repair some of the damage caused by the fire. Workers will help stop erosion that could lead to property damage.

For Lake Forest laborers, the day of service is a way to integrate in the communities that they live and work in.

“We want to show that we don’t bother anyone,” said Fuentes, 23, a Lake Forest resident who came from Guatemala about four years ago. “We give a lending hand when they need us?.we want to give back to the community.”

The Inter-Canyon League Santiago Fire Recovery Group will provide food and drinks for the crew of about 40 laborers. Day laborers will meet in Modjeska Canyon at 9 a.m. to get organized and then go to the work sites.

Federovsky said the morning will start with a press conference where labor and immigrant rights organizations will discuss the tactics that Lake Forest has been using against day laborers. They will also talk about contributions day laborers make to the different communities where they seek for work, she said.

Workers filed a suit last year backed by American Civil Liberties Union opposing an ordinance that banned people from soliciting work on sidewalks in Lake Forest. While the city struck down the rule last spring, ACLU attorneys haven’t withdrawn the suit, arguing that deputies still park patrol cars at the corner to intimidate prospective employers and hound workers.

In 2006, the city passed a no-trespassing law that can restrict the laborers to standing on the sidewalk when soliciting jobs.

Business owners and residents have complained for more than a decade about day laborers congregating around the half-mile area. They say the men loiter, urinate in public and litter.

“We want to show that we’re not criminals,” said Ivan Perez, 20, who lives in Santa Ana and has been standing for work in Lake Forest for about three years now. “We want to help.”

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They’re resident aliens, they have no education, they can’t speak English, and they’ve committed armed robbery. Their green cards should be revoked and they should be deported.

Associated Press

The four, ranging in age from 17 to 22, were in a group that police said accosted two men on a street in May. The two said they were asked if they had marijuana, told to empty their pockets, struck on the head, threatened with a gun and told to stay off the block.

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