Archive for April 9th, 2008


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - Illegal immigrants living in New Bedford and Fall River said they’re scared to cross into Rhode Island, following Gov. Don Carcieri’s enforcement of immigration laws.

Under the governor’s executive order, Rhode Island State Police have been directed to process immigrants, which could fast track an illegal immigrant’s deportation.

“Instead of taking a look at the problem, which is a political problem around immigration, having these kinds of executive orders by scapegoating the immigrants just drives more people underground and creates a climate of more fear,” said Corinn Williams, who works with immigrants in New Bedford.

Advocates worry that stepped-up environment will keep immigrants from reporting crimes.

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The costs to four Tucson hospitals that treated 29 illegal entrants injured in a rollover crash Monday near Benson will be sizable and largely unreimbursed.

The medical-care costs not covered by a federal reimbursement program will eventually be passed on to consumers, officials at the hospitals said Tuesday.

The incident ? which resulted in the death of one Guatemalan woman and has three men in critical condition ? was extraordinary in the number of people involved and the severity of their injuries. But it’s just the latest example of Southern Arizona hospitals’ being forced to treat illegal border crossers with no assurances of reimbursement.

“It’s a daily event for us,” said Kevin Burns, University Medical Center’s chief financial officer. “This one gets attention because it’s such a large number of people and such a catastrophic event, but we deal with this day in and day out.”

Of the four hospitals, only University Physicians Healthcare Hospital at Kino has estimated the cost of this crash. The hospital, which treated 11 of the 29, estimates it cost between $44,000 and $55,000, spokeswoman Sarah Frost said.

The faith-based Carondelet Health Network, which runs St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s and Tucson Heart hospitals in Tucson and Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, takes its duty to “care first and worry about payment later” seriously, but it doesn’t mean the costs don’t add up, said Bill Pike, director of public policy at Carondelet. Four of the illegal entrants landed at St. Joseph’s.

“In the big picture of things, when health-care organizations provide a lot of charity care, those dollars are billed into or carried over to people who do pay for care,” Pike said. “You and I, we all pay for care for the uninsured.”

Burns echoed that: What doesn’t get reimbursed eventually gets covered by consumers because the hospital needs to operate at a reasonable profit margin to stay in business. UMC treated seven of the injured border crossers and is still caring for two Guatemalan men in critical condition.

Read more.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Federal authorities backed by sheriff’s deputies raided the Westside warehouse of a food distributor Tuesday morning, taking into custody 20 workers suspected of being illegal immigrants in what authorities called a filthy warehouse.

Investigators from the Border Patrol, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided N&L Inc. in the 4100 block of Dillon Street.

In addition to immigration issues, authorities said they also found a number of health violations. Channel 4 was told the business has 48 hours to remove perishables before it is shut down.

“It was bad,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lt. Michelle Cook said. “Open containers of food, food products on the floors, very dirty floors, lots of litter on the floor, workers smoking in the warehouse.”

The raid came after a two-year investigation of the warehouse that provides food to many Chinese restaurants in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.

Authorities said they have not located the owner of the warehouse, but they may charge her with harboring illegal immigrants and other violations.

Channel 4’s Jim Piggott reported that 18 Hispanic and 2 Asian workers would face a hearing on immigration violations. He was told the workers lived in a house next to the warehouse that health officials condemned after everyone was removed.

“To put it bluntly, they were being held, exploited by their own culture,” Cook said. “People with their own culture, bringing in people from Mexico or China and having them work illegally, and then paying them and holding them hostage and taking all the proceeds.”

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WASHINGTON (Map, News) - At least six illegal immigrants jailed in last month?s federal raids on a Manassas construction company have been released from jail after promising to leave the country.

When the men returned home last week, some were already packing their bags to leave the country under the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency?s ?voluntary return? program, while others were unsure what they had signed and believed they could stay.

?Some thought they were free to go, to live their life,? said Elinor Tesfamariam, a lawyer with the Immigration and Human Rights Law Group in Manassas who advised the men at an emergency meeting Friday night. ?These people did not know what they needed to do.?

The workers are collecting their things and preparing to leave, Tesfamariam said. ?They are realizing they have no choice.?

ICE agents arrested 34 illegal immigrants at two CMC Concrete Construction work sites in Manassas on March 24.

Other illegal immigrants detained in the raid are being held in detention centers, and some have been released on Global Positioning System surveillance, pending upcoming hearings.

Many were offered what is called ?voluntary return,? ICE spokesman Brandon Montgomery said, though he could not say how many accepted the terms. Under the agreements, illegal immigrants must agree to leave by a certain date.

?It saves money for the government and allows them to be able to have some closure to do what they need to do,? Montgomery said.

ICE agents check to make sure the people actually leave and will consider anyone who violates the terms as fugitives, subject to immediate formal deportation, Montgomery said.

But illegal immigration critics said the process does not ensure the illegal immigrants will leave.

?If they all show up, be surprised,? said Mark Krikorian, executive director of Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank pursuing stricter controls against illegal immigration. ?I?m not saying none will show up, but when the immigration service asks you, ?Pretty please, come in for an immigration hearing,? many times it doesn?t happen.?

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The Raw Story

Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has dropped the bomb.

At a speech to hundreds of security professionals Wednesday, Chertoff declared that the federal government has created a cyber security “Mahattan Project,” referencing the 1941-1946 project led by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop American’s first atomic bomb.

According to Wired’s Ryan Singel, Chertoff gave few details of what the government actually plans to do.

He cites a little-noticed presidential order: “In January, President Bush signed a presidential order expanding the role of DHS and the NSA in government computer security,” Singel writes. “Its contents are classified, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has said he wants the NSA to monitor America’s internet traffic and Google searches for signs of cyber attack.”

The National Security Agency was the key player in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was revealed by the New York Times in 2005.

Sound familiar? Yesterday, documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the Freedom of Information act showed the FBI has engaged in a massive cyber surveillance project that targets terror suspects emails, telephone calls and instant messages — and is able to get some information without a court order.

Last week, the ACLU revealed documents showing that the Pentagon was using the FBI to spy on Americans. The military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, according to Pentagon documents.

Chertoff sought to calm those who worry that Homeland Security will begin t take an invasive Internet role.

“We don’t have to sit on the internet and prevent things from coming in or going out,” Chertoff said, which Singel says refers to China and other countries that censor what web sites their citizens can see. “That’s not what we are going to do.”

Bush wants $42 million more for program
But Chertoff may have had another reason for hyping threats of cyber terrorism. Money.

Congress appropriated $150 million in funding for the program this year, Singel notes. The administration has sought $192 million for 2009.

Speaking of threats, Chertoff remarked: “Imagine, if you will, a sophisticated attack on our financial systems that caused them to be paralyzed. It would shake the foundation of trust on which our financial system works.”

Remarked Singel wryly, “That digital mushroom cloud scenario means the government’s role in computer security must extend beyond federal networks, and reach to shared responsibility for financial, telecommunication and transportation infrastructure, Chertoff said. “The failure of any single system has cascading effects across our country.”

Which recalls another quote by a senior administration official.

Speaking of the alleged threat of Saddam Hussein in 2003, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice remarked, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

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ATHENS, Texas ? School officials say an eighth-grader lied when she told them a pack of angry classmates assaulted her over an anti-illegal immigration poster she brought to campus.

Athens Superintendent Fred Hayes said Wednesday that surveillance video shows 13-year-old Melanie Bowers inflicting scratch marks on herself after her poster was taken.

Bowers’ poster for a class project read, “If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration.”

Three Hispanic students had been suspended for their role in the alleged scuffle. Hayes said their punishment remains valid because they helped take the poster, but did not hurt Bowers in doing so.

Hayes said the school district has asked police to file criminal charges against the girl for filing a false report.

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The Washington Post

The North American Free Trade Agreement is once again a prime scapegoat for the nation’s growing economic troubles, drawing blame for sending jobs overseas and flattening wages for U.S. workers. That sentiment has intensified as the economy has deteriorated, a fall punctuated last week by the steepest job decline in five years.

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) have fed the anti-free-trade view in campaigning ahead of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary April 22. Facing voters in a state that has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001, Obama has promised to stand against trade deals that cost U.S. jobs, while saying Clinton supported NAFTA in the past. Clinton counters that she has always opposed the deal, even as her husband signed it as president, and she has promised to call a “timeout” on future trade deals if elected president. “I don’t think NAFTA has been good for America,” she said.

But is that judgment fair?

Many economists do not think so. It is true that the United States has lost about 4 million manufacturing jobs since 1994, the year NAFTA went into effect and eliminated most hurdles to trade and investment between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Not only are items such as clothing, toys and televisions increasingly made abroad, but so are more complex goods including sophisticated magnets that help steer military smart bombs and radio frequency identification chips embedded in new U.S. passports.

But many economists blame the march of technology and the increasingly dominant manufacturing role of China, not NAFTA, for that shift.

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The Washington Post

Federal immigration officials said they arrested 59 foreign-born workers in a raid yesterday at the Lansdowne Resort in Loudoun County. The officials said the detainees, all from Latin America, were suspected of having used fraudulent or stolen documents to obtain jobs at the hotel and golf resort.

Mark McGraw, a senior regional official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement that the raid was part of a “nationwide aggressive pursuit of unauthorized workers and employers who violate the law.” Companies that use “cheap, illegal alien labor as a business model should be on notice that ICE is dramatically enhancing its enforcement efforts,” he said.

Immigration officials could not be reached to confirm details of the raid, but a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said last night that its officers had assisted in an ICE operation at Lansdowne. The spokesman, Kraig Troxell, also said there had been reports of buses taking groups of people away from the site.

The raid occurred less than three weeks after ICE officials raided a construction company office in Prince William County, arresting 34 Latin American nationals on suspicion of being in the United States illegally. The two operations appear to have been the largest workplace raids conducted by immigration authorities in the Washington region in the past two years.

Employees at Lansdowne, reached by phone last night, said they had no comment and would not confirm whether the raid had taken place. The resort on Woodridge Parkway offers convention facilities, golf tournaments and tours of nearby wineries.

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LA Weekly

Woo-whee, the testimony was riveting this morning before the Los Angeles City Council when a group of black residents pleaded with the 15 elected council members to rescind Special Order 40, the longtime local rule protecting illegal immigrants from arrest by the LAPD.

The black residents are seeking a decision by the council to enact the so-called Jamiel’s Law, named after Jamiel Shaw, a promising and law-abiding 17-year-old high school student allegedly shot by an illegal immigrant, 18th Street Gang member Pedro Espinoza. The noxious Espinoza, who has a massively long rap sheet, was arrested and then released by the LAPD shortly before he allegedly murdered Jamiel.

Jamiel’s family members cried openly in the ornate Council Chambers, asking the council to allow cops to check on the illegal status of people like Espinoza so they can be deported rather than released.

Council President Eric Garcetti couldn’t change the subject fast enough — to a plan to force even more obnoxious billboards on Angelenos.

It was amazing to watch Garcetti drop the Special Order 40 topic like a hot rock.


Witness Report:

I taped the Kevin James radio show- He really blasted the LA City Council. Thurs. night he will be interviewing Dennis Zine about Jamiels Law.

Alternately, I can sum up. Bottom line is that prior to the show the councilmembers were claiming ignorance of the proposal. Even so, Kevin seems to think that 3 members could possibly sponsor it with a lot of arm twisting:

Weiss, Hahn and Gruell–spelling???.

The members of the council were absolutely disrespectful to the family.
1. They were chatting and socializing even during “public comments” by the uncle and others. KJ specifically demanded that they pay attention when the parents spoke.
2. Acc. to an email I received, I guess the city was on record as saying the family didn’t support the proposed law.
3. KJ said that he “understands” that Wesson perhaps tried to talk the family out of showing up today.
4. Wesson had the parents separated from all others while public comments were being made. KJ assumes that that was intentional in order to keep the drama down.
5. Immediately before the dad spoke, Alercon made comments about the benefits of Spec.Ord. 40 and dividing the community along racial lines. Then the dad , I guess, felt like he had to go on the defensive as he was called everything but a racist–my opinion here. Anyway as I understood it, one of the other members had just finished saying that the council members could not respond to the speakers, but Alercon spoke anyway.
6. Earlier, Rosenthal had also spoken–something sanctimonious about “let’s dialogue about Spec. Ord. 40.”

A note–the parents spoke last…the speaker list mixed up other issues in between the mostly JamielsLaw speakers. The uncle was given no special recognition.

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AZ Star Net

The Tucson Unified School District has found itself tangled in a web of online discontent, following outrage over the way a second-grade class recites the Pledge of Allegiance.
For years, Gale Elementary School teacher Anne Lee has had her students recite the pledge in three languages ? English, Spanish and American Sign Language ? as a learning exercise. The kids start with English.

When Lance Altherr learned last week that his son was reciting the pledge in Spanish, he was outraged. He spoke with Lee and then Principal Paula Godfrey, demanding they stop the practice. They wouldn’t, and Altherr moved his son to a different class.

In the days before the Internet, that’s where the drama would have stopped.

But Altherr, who is a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, took his case to the Internet, sending out mass e-mails and posting on message boards.
The result has been a swirling Internet controversy marked by crushing e-mails sent from across the country to Godfrey and the district.

“You are pledging your allegiance, and your honor and loyalty to your country,” Altherr said in a phone interview Thursday. “And I find it ironic that anybody would want to do that in a foreign language.”

TUSD officials have been chagrined by the e-mail barrage, essentially viewing it as an ugly outgrowth from the nation’s roiling debate over immigration, citizenship and the English language.

“It’s really not a story,” said Chyrl Hill Lander, the district’s spokeswoman. “They recite the pledge in English every morning, and they recite the pledge in Spanish. After they recite it in Spanish, then they sign the Pledge of Allegiance.”

After Altherr raised his concerns about multilingual pledges of patriotism, Godfrey checked around on the practice. She checked with the district’s legal department, and the state’s Department of Education; both said it was fine. She even checked with the national office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to ensure it wouldn’t offend. The VFW gave her mixed signals on the matter.

A VFW official first said in an e-mail that it was “not disrespectful to say the Pledge of Allegiance in either” language “as long as it was stated as written.”

But when the heat turned up, the VFW’s national director sent the TUSD Governing Board an e-mail Thursday demanding a stop to the practice of Spanish-language pledges.

“To allow Spanish speaking adults the freedom to pledge their allegiance to our nation in their native language is completely respectful. However, to require English-speaking second-grade students to recite the Pledge in Spanish is another matter entirely,” wrote Stephen Van Buskirk. “To the Veterans of Foreign Wars, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a sacred and meaningful exercise.”

Van Buskirk also chastised Godfrey for not identifying herself as a school principal when she first inquired.

This isn’t the first time the district has been at the heart of such ugly debates related to immigration. The district received national attention following a politically charged speech in 2006 by labor activist Dolores Huerta after she said that “Republicans hate Latinos” at Tucson High Magnet School.

It happened again in November when police called immigration officials to Catalina High Magnet School when a student was in custody for having marijuana, resulting in the deportation of the teen and his family. It led to a student protest march to Downtown.

This time, the district has plenty of outside support for its stance on saying the pledge in Spanish.

“I don’t have any problem if they are doing that in English first,” said Tom Horne, the state’s superintendent of public instruction. “As long as they do the pledge first in English, I think it would be a good way for kids to learn.”

Governing Board member Judy Burns offered similar sentiments, saying she viewed the whole controversy as a “spillover” from the immigration debate.

“If they were only saying it in Spanish, I could see where it might irritate somebody who believes you ought to speak English if you are a citizen of this country,” she said. “But that’s not what they are doing.”

And Governing Board President Alex Rodriguez, who served in the military, said “it was clear ? there was no patriotic disrespect intended.”

But to Altherr, a 34-year-old landscaper, the disrespect has been made, and the e-mail campaign will continue.

“It’s nothing against Spanish,” he said. “I would be just as upset if they were making my son say the Pledge of Allegiance in German.”

Read more.

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The fence helps, but it’s worthless without Border Agents to capture the ones that do cross. The most important steps to end illegal immigration is workplace enforcement and ending birthright citizenship. Take away the job magnet and the benefits, and the illegal aliens won’t come. They are fleeing in droves from enforcement states like Oklahoma and Arizona.

Democrats Fighting Border Fence

Ranchers Say Fence Could Keep Infested Cattle Out

My San Antonio

ROMA ? Texas border cattlemen have a message for Homeland Security officials grappling with publicity nightmares over the Rio Grande Valley segment of the border fence: Bring it west, to their ranches.

That way, the fence can deter not only undocumented immigrants and drug smugglers but also the dreaded fever tick.

“For the whole cattle industry, it would be great,” fourth-generation rancher Hector Guerra said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 102-year-old fever-tick eradication program saves the country’s livestock industry an estimated $1 billion annually in potential losses from the disease that the ticks spread.

Border ranchers are working feverishly to contain the tick after recent outbreaks forced the government to expand quarantine zones for the first time in almost 60 years.

But the ticks keep coming, catching rides on livestock wandering over from Mexico and multiplying on the exotic game that ranchers have stocked to supplement their income with hunting leases.

Read more.

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News With Views

What we have to understand is that in order to integrate the world economically, all that remains are the structural changes: from national accounting rules to global accounting rules, from national clearing and settlement to a global system of clearing and settlement; from national regulatory laws to a global system of regulatory laws; and to bring the U.S. into a 21st century global regulatory system by tearing down the current system and globalizing all our financial and securities laws. In other words, the very last vestiges of our economic sovereignty are being changed before our very eyes because of another trumped up credit crisis.

Global crises are only possible because the barriers between all the nation-states have been torn down: the economic, financial, political, trade, legal, and intelligence. Because of this ?flat landscape,? it is now possible to bring down the value of all the stock exchanges at once instead of one at a time because of the barriers! Think how expedient that is for those who are in positions of this kind of power? No longer will any government official have any type of power!

Read the entire article.

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