Archive for May 4th, 2008

Bill would punish nations that reject own emigrants
Arizona Daily Star
May 4, 2008

WASHINGTON ? The United States is facing a major obstacle in its efforts to deport thousands of illegal immigrants, including many convicted felons: Their home countries don’t want them back.

This does not sit well with Sen. Arlen Specter, a veteran lawmaker and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Specter, R-Pa., was stunned by the situation after touring several prisons in his home state where taxpayer dollars are spent to house foreigners who have served their sentences but could not be deported. In response, he drafted legislation that would punish countries that refuse to take back illegal immigrants.

“There is an enormous problem of public safety, which is slightly under the radar screen,” Specter said last month at a press conference about the legislation. Specter noted that the convicted felons could be held for only six months in jail before they were released into the general public.

The measure ? the Accountability in Immigrant Repatriation Act of 2008 ? was recently introduced in the Senate and the House.

It would require the Department of Homeland Security to report to Congress every 90 days on the countries that refuse repatriation. Those nations would automatically be denied all immigrant visas until they took their citizens back. The bill also would deny certain types of foreign aid to the countries.
As of February, at least eight countries were refusing to take back 139,000 illegal immigrants that the United States has ordered deported ? Vietnam, Jamaica, China, India, Ethiopia, Laos, Eritrea and Iran ? according to Specter’s office. They include 18,000 convicted felons. More countries refuse to take back their emigrants, but the eight were the major violators, staffer members said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not provide more current numbers or a list of all countries after several inquiries.

The nations cite different reasons for why they refuse to take back the illegal immigrants to the United States, experts said.

Some believe the individuals would cause political unrest in their home country. Others contend that they shouldn’t have to take care of citizens who became criminals in the United States……

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Dan Walters: California faces huge upheaval
Sacramento Bee
May 4, 2008

If demography is destiny, as 19th-century French philosopher Auguste Comte first proposed, California is destined to soon experience an economic and cultural tsunami of monumental proportions.

This is the year the oldest of the post-World War II baby boomers turn 62 and can begin drawing Social Security benefits. That’s expected to touch off a mass exodus from the state’s labor force over the next two decades.

About 500 Californians celebrate their 60th birthdays every day. The 2000 census counted 4.7 million Californians 60 years and older. This number is expected to increase to 6.4 million by 2010, then zoom to 8.7 million by 2020 and 11 million by 2030, according to the state Department of Aging.

Despite the current recession, California employers see shortages in skilled and professional workers. As the baby boomers exit, these shortages in mechanics, electricians, nurses, teachers and other fields will become more acute.

With a third of California’s high school students dropping out without diplomas, much less receiving post-high school education or training, will the workers be there when the jobs fall vacant? Will an educational renaissance produce a new generation of trained, or at least trainable, workers? Will potential retirees be enticed to remain on the job by extra pay and benefits? Will desperate employers lure workers from other states? Or will those employers, when able, decamp for other locales?

The baby boomer/retiree phenomenon obviously is not confined to California, and its population is actually a bit younger than the nation’s as a whole, largely because of young immigrants and a high birth rate.

But immigration generates another demographic trend ? California’s evolution into a society with dozens, even hundreds, of ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The Census Bureau reported last week that 20.9 million Californians are nonwhite and that with its 57 percent “minority” population, the state trails only Hawaii, the District of Columbia and New Mexico.

Immigration, especially illegal immigration, is a hot political topic. Clearly, many Californians resent and resist the cultural change that immigration is creating, manifested in passage of ballot measures against illegal immigration, bilingual education and affirmative action by what has remained an overwhelmingly white electorate.

Resented or accepted, however, massive cultural change is an inescapable and unstoppable fact of California life. We are destined to become a state with both a diminishing, rapidly aging white population and a growing, much younger nonwhite population. One of the fascinating questions that arises out of that change is how it will affect the state’s politics……

To read entire article click here.

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NC Times

Ask Maria Green and she’ll tell you —- reading voter information in a less-familiar language can lead to problems.

Consider her mother’s experience. Green’s mom, a naturalized citizen, knew her politicians; she’d listened to news and was up-to-date with the issues most important to her. Yet leading up to the vote for the 2004 presidential election, she realized she had inadvertently been registered with the Republican Party.

“She said, ‘No, I didn’t register Republican,’” Green said of her mother. “She wanted to change.”

With help, Green’s mother was able to change affiliations and voted her conscience.

With assistance from more people like Green, a Murrieta resident, voters in Riverside County who primarily speak Spanish will be able to ensure their voices are heard, too.

In anticipation of this year’s elections, the Riverside County registrar of voters office is seeking 2,880 people —- 720 of whom also speak Spanish —- to staff the 720 voting places throughout the county.

Having a Spanish speaker at each polling location will help the 13,056 citizens who have requested their voter information and ballots be written in Spanish, the nation’s second most-common language, the registrar reasons.

Read more.

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Eagle Forum
by Phyllis Schlafly

It’s a good thing that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s U.S. visit was upstaged by the dramatic reception Americans gave Pope Benedict XVI. Brown might have been booed if he hadn’t delivered what aides called his “signature” speech within the cloistered walls of Harvard’s Kennedy Center.

Brown’s tedious, hour-long speech impudently demanded that we issue a “Declaration of Interdependence” in order to submit to global governance. That’s another way of calling on us to repeal our Declaration of Independence.

No thanks for the advice, Mr. Brown. Brave Americans rose up and rejected Britain’s royalist rule in 1776, and we’ve gotten along mighty well without transatlantic interference in our government for more than two centuries. We certainly don’t want to reinstate any foreign supervision today.

The redundancy of Brown’s outrageous semantics was oppressive. His speech used the word global 69 times, globalization 7 times, and interdependence 13 times. He referred to Kennedy 19 times, lavishing fulsome praise on John F. (”his influence abides everywhere”), Robert (he sent forth “ripples of hope”), and Ted (”one of the greatest Senators in more than two centuries”).

Brown rejected the traditional concept of national sovereignty, which means an independent nation not subservient to any outside control, telling us to replace it with “responsible sovereignty,” which he defined as accepting what he calls our global “obligations.” Hold on to your pocketbook.

Brown admitted that his “main argument” is that we must accept “new global rules,” “new global institutions,” and “global networks.” Brown’s global rules include massive U.S. cash handouts and opening U.S. borders to the world.

Brown’s use of well-known American political phrases was tacky. He tried to morph FDR’s New Deal into a “New Global Deal,” and JFK’s New Frontier into “the New Frontier is that there is no frontier.”

Brown even slipped in an attempt at thought control: “Americans must learn to think inter-continentally.” He declaimed, “We are all internationalists now.”

Using the rhetorical device of inevitability, Brown warned us that his vision of the globalist future is “irreversible transformation.” He wants to “transcend states” and “transcend borders” as he builds the “architecture of a global society.”

Brown peddled the nonsense that the peoples of the world “subscribe to similar ideals.” He tried to tell us that all religions (Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists) have “common values” and “similar ideals.” No, they certainly do not.

Brown wants to increase the power of the United Nations to become the source of “an international stand-by capacity of trained civilian experts, ready to go anywhere at any time,” and even be able to exercise “military force.” Americans do not intend to cede such authority to the corrupt UN.

The silliest part of Brown’s ponderous speech was his claim that “a global society” is “advancing democracy widely across the world.” In fact, he doesn’t even practice democracy in his own country.

Brown refused to allow the British people to vote on whether or not they want to accept the European Union (EU) constitution. He acquiesced in the plot of the constitution’s author, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, to put the EU constitution into effect by calling it a treaty so it did not have to be voted on by the people.

Brown was chicken about the treaty subterfuge and did not permit a photographic record of his participation. He sent his Foreign Secretary to perform the official treaty signing in front of cameras.

The EU constitution, now called the Treaty of Lisbon, requires all signers to surrender their sovereignty and democracy to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and judges in Strasbourg. The EU constitution takes away England’s right to pass its own laws, forces England to surrender more than 60 UK vetoes of EU decisions, and gives the EU bureaucracy and tribunals total control over England’s immigration policy.

Instead of a self-governing nation whose democratic system was developed over centuries, England is now ruled by what Margaret Thatcher called “the paper pushers in Brussels.”

Read more.

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Ann Hayden can’t relate to the outcry over plans to put federal immigration agents in the Travis County jail full time.

Just as she believes her daughter would be alive today if Austin police aggressively enforced immigration laws, she is convinced of the need for increased screening of illegal immigrants at the jail.

“It seems like common sense that it would be beneficial,” said Hayden, whose daughter Jenny Garcia Hayden was murdered in Austin in 2004 by a Mexican citizen who was in the country illegally. “Undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes or endanger society should be deported.”

Hayden and her husband Humberto Garcia, who has since died, sued the City of Austin in 2005, alleging it had a policy of not reporting undocumented immigrants, which contributed to their daughter’s death.The city says it has no policy that prevents employees, including police, from calling immigration officials.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the slain girl’s parents did not show a link between the alleged policy and her death.

Jenny Garcia Hayden, 18, was killed in her family’s North Austin home by David Diaz Morales, who pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence. Her parents said that Austin police should have turned Diaz over to federal authorities for deportation when they suspected him of child molestation two years earlier. Diaz wasn’t arrested in that case; the district attorney’s office said there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

Diaz “should have never been in our country,” said Ann Hayden, who now lives in El Paso. She said her husband died of a heart attack last Thanksgiving during a visit to Austin, when he visited his daughter’s grave. Her murder caused his death, too, Hayden said.

“Our entire family was destroyed. He suffered the most,” Hayden said during an emotional telephone interview. “He would tell anyone, ‘All I want is to be with my daughter.’ ”

Read more.

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The real source of desert water stations


In regard to your recent article ?Border Angels founder to get honorary degree? for ?installing 340 water stations in the Imperial Desert? (Short Takes, April 21), I would like to set the record straight about the water stations Enrique Morones is claiming credit for.

I am the founder and president of Water Station Inc. Our first stations were installed in July 2000.

We have had many dedicated volunteers install and service several hundred water stations every year from 2000 to the present in the Imperial Desert and Anza Borrego. They are intended to save the lives of desert travelers during the summer months.

The work is controversial and we do not advertise for several reasons. One is we do not want to encourage immigrants to cross the desert in the summer since it is extraordinarily lethal, even though we probably save some lives each year. The second reason we don’t advertise is due to racially motivated vandalism, which includes impaling rabbits on our flags or shooting, burning or stealing the stations. Morones’ bald attempt to take credit for our volunteers’ work forces me disclose the following facts.

The ?340 water stations in the Imperial Desert? that Morones advertises on his Web site are actually our stations. We install them every spring, maintain them with water through the summer and remove them in the fall. They can be identified with their blue and orange flags.

I naively appointed Morones president of the water station program during the 2002 summer, but we soon voted him out. Enrique then founded Border Angels in 2003 (not 1986 as he misrepresents).

I share some of his sentiments regarding the immigrant hardships on the border. However, he does none of the work on the water stations we maintain nor is he allowed to.

Morones is not part of our organization. The Border Angels have no stations or even Bureau of Land Management permits in our sector. This can be verified by talking to Bureau of Land Management in El Centro and the Anza Borrego Ranger station in Borrego Springs.

Our water station volunteers over the last nine years have been people who performed works to help others they would never meet. They have shown selflessness without desire for public recognition. Many thanks to them.

Water Station Inc.

Ironically, John Hunter, the President of Water Station Inc. is the brother of Congressman Duncan Hunter.

On the Fence with John and Duncan Hunter.

Duncan has aided John’s push to save the lives of those who do cross. He prodded the Bureau of Land Management to give Water Station the right to set up on public land and helped secure $92,000 for John’s proposal?later defeated?to install lifesaving buoys in the All-American Canal, a 200-foot-wide aqueduct that skirts the border. In July, testifying before a congressional committee on the efficacy of a fenced border, Duncan boasted, “You may know, my brother is a well-known humanitarian who…puts out water in the desert to keep people from dying of thirst.” John rejects the “humanitarian” moniker, saying, “The average person associates those guys with losers.” He adds: “We come from the same mother. We only fistfight on alternate Tuesdays.”

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The Washington Post

Ky Truong looked out the window of the Herndon Shell station he manages at what he calls “a lot of problems”: clusters of immigrant day laborers, who he says have been trampling his flower beds and bothering customers since September, when the town shuttered its controversial day-laborer hiring center. Truong wants it reopened.

But on the eve of Tuesday’s municipal elections, the chance of that happening looks close to nil. Asked at a recent political forum if they would consider reopening the site if Fairfax County provided funding, 12 of 13 candidates for Town Council said no. The other said “absolutely not.”

Two years ago, Herndon’s taxpayer-subsidized day-laborer center was a flash point in a national debate over immigration, and most of the current council and mayor were elected on a wave of voter opposition to the site. Now candidates are talking as much about downtown revitalization and neighborhood upkeep as about day laborers.

But day labor remains a divisive force that could influence the election. Council members who opposed the center boast of fulfilled promises and have raised doubts about challengers’ pledges not to reopen it. Challengers talk of “reuniting” the town. Letters to local newspapers and online postings are consumed with the topic. If anything, some observers say, the issue has receded only because three years of debate has drawn deep, indelible battle lines.

“Everybody’s got their position,” said Bob Rudine, an activist who pushed to have the center closed. “And no amount of discussion will change that.”

Day laborers in search of work have resumed congregating at the intersection of Alabama Drive and Elden Street. But even that fact fuels disagreement in Herndon, a town of 23,000, about 40 percent of whom are immigrants.

More than 100 workers sought jobs each day at the defunct center, a place critics said abetted illegal immigration because operators did not verify whether laborers were legal residents. Local and national surveys have found that most day laborers lack work documents.

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North American Union