Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN -- February 27Dan Stein, FAIR: Senator Kennedy, supposedly a champion of the working person in this country, is in lead with the greatest exploiters of cheap labor, groups working with the Chamber of Commerce and the immigration bar, unscrupulous lawyers who simply use immigration to make money. And somehow, he's working with them, and they're writing the bill. Wian: According to "The Washington Times," President Bush has pledged support for Senator Kennedy's so-called comprehensive immigration reform plan. He met with his counterpart from El Salvador, who's clearly hoping for an amnesty bill. Watch Amnesty / Agents Transcript Contact your Senator

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers -- Stuart, FloridaMartin Co. gas station owner: Police driving customers awayGolden Gate, Fla. -- Most businesses welcome a law enforcement presence nearby, but Jamal Uddin asked deputies from the Martin County Sheriff's Office not to come by in the mornings when immigrant workers hang out at his Texaco gas station waiting for possible day jobs...


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin -- Ontario, Calif.Man agents shot ran drugs into U.S. after he was given immunityThe Mexican national shot by two Border Patrol agents in a drug-related incident in February 2005 brought a second van load of drugs into the U.S. while he waited to testify against the agents, according to Drug Enforcement Administration reports obtained by the Daily Bulletin. -- Osbaldo Aldrete- Davila - who was given immunity...

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday to discuss "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," fueling speculation that the meeting will serve as a springboard for Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, to introduce guest worker amnesty legislation. A spokeswoman for the Vermont Democrat said that Chairman Leahy is looking for the Bush administration to "walk the walk" on comprehensive immigration reform. To get more input from the Bush Administration, Chairman Leahy has invited Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to testify on Wednesday.
Because of the appearance of these high-profile guests, many Capitol Hill insiders have suggested that the hearing may provide a perfect opportunity for amnesty advocate Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to introduce his "comprehensive" immigration reform package. However, according to The Washington Times, little is certain as fellow lawmakers have been kept out of the drafting process - including Republicans who crossed party lines last year and supported S.2611, the guest worker amnesty bill. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), one of the Republicans who had supported last year's bill, told the Washington Times that he had been excluded from all negotiations. "Our staffs have asked to be involved, but they were kept out," he said. Even Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), the former Senate Judiciary Chair who ushered in last year's bill, was left out of all negotiations. According to Specter, he has attempted to contact Senator Kennedy several times in an effort to view drafts, but to no avail. "I raised the issue again, and a Kennedy staffer said there was nothing in writing….Neither my staff nor I have seen any draft."
While few individuals have had access to the draft legislation under its shroud of secrecy, various reports indicate it will closely resemble the broad amnesty in the McCain-Kennedy bill introduced in the 109th Congress—without tiers to differentiate between illegal aliens who have been in the country many years versus just a couple. This expansion of the language may cause some lawmakers to reconsider their votes. On CNN's Lou Dobbs, House Immigration Reform Caucus Chair Brian Bilbray (R-CA) remarked, "You're seeing Republican Senators who had supported the concept before backing away on this because they went home and got an earful from their constituents. And you're seeing a lot of members who had supported Kennedy before are not going to buy all this now." Indeed, speaking to the Washington Times, Senator Brownback said, "If it's back to the old version without the changes we made last year, I don't think I could support that."
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Bank of America Chief Defends Credit Card Program, Says it is Here to Stay
Ever since The Wall Street Journal revealed that Bank of America is providing credit cards to illegal aliens, the bank has become the focus of overwhelming criticism from lawmakers, concerned citizens, and the media. Bank of America remained silent for days, but in a letter published in The Wall Street Journal last Thursday, CEO Kenneth Lewis finally responded. In the letter, Mr. Lewis defended the program by arguing that the bank is not targeting illegal aliens but instead seeking to help customers build credit history and simply servicing everyone who is eligible to receive banking services under the law.
Mr. Lewis acknowledged that the program has upset some people, but said it would continue as planned. The CEO wrote, "We created this pilot program in Los Angeles to help Bank of America customers with little or no credit history build a solid credit history with a leading bank, and to strengthen our relationships with individuals and families we hope will become loyal Bank of America customers in the future as their financial needs grow." Mr. Lewis did not explain why Bank of America could not help customers build credit history and still require a social security number to open an account. However, he did confirm reports that illegal aliens are signing up for the credit card.
Mr. Lewis also defended his credit card program as legal and pointed out that the regulations implementing the Patriot Act allow foreign documents, such as the controversial matricula consular card, to be used to open bank accounts (including credit card accounts). Citing statements of former Treasury Secretary John Snow, Lewis argued that allowing banks to accept these foreign documents enhances national security by bringing illegal aliens into the financial mainstream.
Patrons, however, are not so confident about Bank of America's motives. Not only are scores of individuals waging protest of the bank's new program by closing accounts and cutting their credit cards, but local governments are beginning to take a stand against the banking giant. Oak Hill, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, temporarily stopped an upcoming transfer of several million dollars to Bank of America in order to see how Bank of America defended its program. "I was very concerned with Bank of America giving credit to those people who have come into this country illegally," Oak Hill City Commissioner Chip Throckmorton said to the Tennessean. "I think it is counter-productive and endangering to all of us. I've got a real problem with a company that rewards law breakers."
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ICE Raids Net 200 Illegal Aliens at Popular Restaurant Chains
Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided restaurants in 40 cities across 17 different states, arresting illegal alien workers provided by a subcontractor who, the authorities said, was maximizing profits and evading taxes. According to the Houston Chronicle, about 200 illegal aliens were detained nationwide from such restaurants as the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, ESPN Zone and other well-known chains in what federal authorities called Operation Clean-up.
The raid was the result of a 20-month investigation into RCI, Inc., a multi-million dollar janitorial services corporation. Federal prosecutors have now indicted several executives of that company on charges that they knowingly employed nearly 200 illegal aliens as cleaning staff. In particular, Richard Rosenbaum, Edward Scott Cunningham, and Christina Flocken are accused of paying illegal workers in cash and set up shell companies to hide assets from the Internal Revenue Service. The federal government has charged them with failing to pay $18.6 million in federal employment taxes on $54 million in custodial and grounds-keeping contracts between 2001 and 2005. According to the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Julie Myers, the trio divided nearly $7 million and made purchases such as "racehorses, fancy boats and lavish homes" in Florida and California.
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Border Violence on the Rise
While enforcement efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border have improved in recent months, an escalated level of brutal violence has been observed in the Southwest directly related to the human smuggling trade. All categories of border violence - from assaults on border agents to acts of homicide by rival smugglers and drug cartels - are increasing by troubling numbers.
Many believe the increase in violence is a sign of desperation among smugglers and coyotes who are seeing more and more of their trafficking routes closed off by law enforcement. According to reports from the Newhouse News Service, border officials point to the effectiveness of stepped-up enforcement efforts, including hiring more border patrol agents, setting up additional cameras and lookout towers and deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the border. These efforts, combined with an overall deterrence effect, have led to a reduction in border crossings. Unfortunately, these actions have also led smugglers and coyotes to become even more brazen in their attmepts to move "cargo" across the border.
In the latest incident, during the early morning hours of February 8, 2007, three illegal aliens were shot to death, three were seriously wounded and another two dozen illegal aliens went missing after gunmen wielding AK-47s shot several rounds into the truck transporting them across the border. As the Washington Post explained, it is not clear whether the attack was the work of rival smugglers, extremist vigilantes or "bajadores" - crews of bandits who steal human cargo throughout southern Arizona and from Phoenix stash houses to extort ransom from their families in Latin America or the United States. "What is unusual is the recent frequency of the violence, the fact these incidents resulted in deaths and that they occurred in the desert, where the crime scenes are hard to find within the thousands of acres of sand and brush," observed Alonzo Pena, the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Arizona.
Regardless of the motives behind the recent eruptions of violence, many illegal aliens are scared. Speaking to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jose Luis Zavala - a Mexican national who has been detained by border agents on over 20 occasions over the last 10 years - stated, "I'm a lot more afraid of the narcos [drug dealers] than la migra [Border Patrol]."
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Press Release
Bank of America in Full Spin Mode (February 23, 2007)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Associated Press (Watch These Boys)U.S to Allow Mexican Trucks to Cross Border Washington - The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction Friday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress. They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border.
Hoffa Blasts Bush Plan to Open Border to Unsafe Mexican Trucks"...President Bush is willing to risk our national security by giving unfettered access to America's transportation infrastructure to foreign companies and their government sponsors."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - February 22Dobbs: Corporate lobbyists and special interest groups are helping Senator Edward Kennedy write legislation that would give millions of illegal aliens amnesty. The legislative work is being done in secret. [...]Roy Beck, Numbers USA: Senator Kennedy has been inviting the stakeholders of this bill to come in. So that's the Chamber of Commerce. And it's the National Council of La Raza, and it's the immigration attorneys. Basically, the stakeholders are people who make money or gain power off of it. But how about the American people? Watch Amnesty / Crackdown Transcript

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bank of American caused an uproar last week when it announced a new program aimed at giving credit cards to illegal aliens. The new Bank of America program, described in depth by the Wall Street Journal, "is open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft." Most adults in the U.S. who do not have a Social Security number are illegal aliens.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America estimates that about 28 million Hispanics live in its operating area and that most of them, legal or illegal, do not have a bank. Bank of America hopes the credit card program will increase business among Hispanics. "If we don't disproportionately grow in the Hispanic [market]...we aren't going to grow" as a bank, said Liam McGee, Bank of America's consumer and small-business banking chief.
Bank of America tested the credit card program last year at five of its branches in Los Angeles, and last week expanded it to 51 branches in Los Angeles County, home to the largest concentration of illegal immigrants in the U.S. The bank hopes to roll out the program nationally later this year.
In the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America defended its credit card program as legal, saying it complies with U.S. banking and antiterrorism laws. This appears to be true. After 9/11, Congress added provisions to the Patriot Act intended to stop U.S. banks from being used as conduits for money laundering and terrorist financing. In particular, Section 326 of the Patriot Act required all banks to take steps to ensure that they could reasonably verify the identity of customers opening accounts. However, when the U.S. Treasury promulgated regulations in 2003 to implement Section 326, it made a variety of exceptions favoring big business. These exceptions allowed banks to accept unreliable information, such as Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) and foreign consular identification cards, to establish identity.
The Chicago Tribune reports that despite Bank of America's recent move to capture the Hispanic market, it was Wells Fargo that kicked off the competition in 2001, when it became the first U.S. bank to accept identification cards from Mexican consulates to open an account. Since then, Wells Fargo has opened more than 1 million accounts for Mexicans using the consular card. It also accepts Guatemalan, Argentine and Colombian identity cards. The assumption is that most immigrants using the cards to identify themselves are here illegally, said a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, but the bank doesn't ask. The Chicago Tribune also reports that Citibank issues credit cards to some aliens without Social Security numbers if they have taxpayer identification numbers. Citibank issues such cards under its own brand and the brand of its subsidiary, Banamex USA.
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Democrats Seek Alliance with Bush on "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform
Democratic leaders proved last week that powerful special interests can trump even bitter partisanship by reaching out to forge an alliance with President Bush on the issue of "comprehensive" immigration reform. In a meeting between the President and Congressional leaders of both parties last Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urged Bush to participate in shaping immigration reform legislation on Capitol Hill.
Speaking to CongressDaily after the meeting, Reid stated it was not enough for the President simply to state his desire for "comprehensive" immigration reform. "[President Bush]," he said, "needs to assign people to be working with us on a daily basis to get this done…I want their input." Senator Reid continued by suggesting the President need not submit a specific proposal for action to take place in committee, but indicated that he wanted the White House involved in the process. "We want to know how the White House feels. I want them there every day when we're working on this to give us their ideas….Unless the President weighs in on this, it's going to be very tough sledding."
A White House official responded to Majority Leader Reid's statements by saying the President was committed to putting serious effort into moving an immigration bill. He indicated that White House aides have already had conversations with lawmakers and would be involved in the process as soon as the Democrats turned from their "first 100 hours" agenda, according to CongressDaily. "Rest assured, comprehensive immigration reform is at the top of the priority list for the president," the official said.
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Voinovich Succeeds in Adding Visa Waiver Expansion Language into 9/11 Security Bill
During last week's mark-up of the 9/11 Commission bill in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, an amendment offered by Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) to expand the Visa Waiver Program was adopted. The amendment, based on the same premise as Senator Voinovich's visa wavier bill (S.342), relaxes the criteria for participation in the Visa Waiver Program by allowing the Department of Homeland Security to waive the visa refusal rate when determining whether a country may participate. The visa refusal rate is the rate at which U.S. officials deny visas to foreign nationals of a particular country based on immigration or security concern. Under current law, a low visa refusal rate is required to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.
In January, Senator Voinovich introduced a bill (S.342) that would have accomplished a similar goal—legislatively implementing President Bush's proposal to expand the Visa Waiver Program. As introduced, Senator Voinovich's bill created a pilot program allowing five countries to participate in the Visa Waiver Program under relaxed visa refusal criteria. Senator Voinovich's amendment to the 9/11 Commission bill, however, went far beyond his original bill by allowing an unlimited number of countries to participate in the Visa Waiver Program without satisfying current visa refusal rate requirements so long as they meet other security criteria. The amendment was adopted without opposition in the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Critics maintain that the Senator's plan to expand the Visa Waiver Program will be detrimental to national security as several terrorists - including 9/11 conspirator Zarcarias Moussaoui - boarded planes to the United States with passports issued in visa waiver countries. Loosening an already broken immigration system will only serve to undermine the spirit of the 9/11 Commission's suggestions for a safer America, the basis of the 9/11 Commission bill. The 9/11 Commission bill, as amended, will now be sent to the Senate Floor for consideration. Debate on the bill is expected to begin after the Presidents' Day recess.
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Senator Collins Introduces Legislation to Delay Implementation of REAL ID Act
On February 13, 2007, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation to delay the implementation of the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act, passed in 2005, provides that states must implement a core set of standards for issuing driver's licenses in order for those licenses to be accepted as identification by federal agencies. Under current law, all states must comply with the REAL ID Act by May 2008.
According to a released statement, Senator Collins' legislation would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to delay or waive the requirements for REAL ID compliance if states do not have the ability, or technical capability to comply. In addition, her bill would create a committee of federal officials, state officials, privacy advocates, and other interested parties to review the proposed regulations and to suggest modifications.
Senator Collins announced her intent to delay implementation of the REAL ID Act after meeting with officials from the State of Maine. The Maine Legislature, as FAIR reported last week, was the first state legislature to formally adopt a resolution opposing the REAL ID Act. Senator Collins says her bill would give states "a more reasonable time frame" to comply with these federal standards. The bill, S.563, is co-sponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
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Update on the Ramos-Compean Case
Members of Congress continue to speak out on this case and pressure President Bush to pardon Agents Ramos and Compean. An article appearing in Saturday's Washington Post provides readers with a good summary of recent events. It reads:
Early last week, the Bush administration urged angry conservatives to remain calm over the convictions of two former Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler, but petitions for their release continued to flood the White House.It did not help that one of the agents, Ignacio Ramos, was beaten by Latino gang members in his cell at the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex in Mississippi. Days after prison officials confirmed the attack on Feb. 8, Department of Homeland Security officials admitted that an inspector general's report erroneously quoted Border Patrol agents as saying Ramos and his partner, Jose Compean, intended to kill Mexicans. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., founder of the House Immigration Reform Caucus and a presidential candidate, visited Ramos in prison and told him of the movement against his incarceration, including candlelight vigils, rallies and a storm of criticism on conservative talk radio and television.Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, threatened to call for impeachment proceedings against President Bush if the agents were harmed in prison, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., promised to look into the matter. John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the 700 people who will attend the organization's annual convention in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25 will "speak with one voice" against the prosecution and conviction of the agents. The union, which represents Border Patrol agents and other federal workers, implored Bush in a letter this month to pardon Ramos and Compean.
To read the full article, click here.
In addition, this week Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) circulated a letter to Congressional leaders requesting that they conduct immediate hearings into all aspects of the case. The letter further states: "The implications of this case are far reaching for the control and security of America's borders. Our Border Patrol agents have an especially dangerous and difficult job, and because of the outcome of this case, many are now second guessing themselves and questioning when and where they should draw their weapons out of fear of prosecution." The letter currently has at least 13 cosigners, including Representatives Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), John Culberson (R-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Dan Burton (R-IN), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Barbara Cubin (R-WY), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Tom Tancredo (R-CO).
After the letter is circulated, it will be sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. John Conyers (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee), Rep. Bennie Thompson (Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee) and Rep. Henry Waxman (Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee). Stay tuned to FAIR for more updates on the Ramos-Compean case.
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Recent Floor Statements
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) commented on Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform (February 16, 2007)
Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) commented on Introduction Of The "Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act,'' H.R. 1073 (February 15, 2007)
Rep. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) commented on Real ID Card (February 15, 2007)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) commented on The Sign Must Stay (February 12, 2007)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) commented on United States Border Patrol Agents Campion And Ramos (February 12, 2007)

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - February 20Mary Stillinger, Attorney: ....they can't hold back on evidence just because it's helpful to the defense. And, if fact, they have an obligation to turn that over. Wian: The document lists the names of Border Patrol agents and supervisors who were at the scene. It also says, "Investigation disclosed that none of the above agents reported the shooting or the subsequent cover-up."Poe: The more that comes out about this case, the more it seems that the prosecution was relentless in making sure these border agents were convicted. And this is just another example of another piece of evidence that the defense should have known about, the jury should have known about during the trial to make their determination on whether these border agents even violated the law or not. Watch Agents / FenceTranscript

Monday, February 19, 2007


Tom Tancredo Visits Border Agent Ramos in Yazoo Prison

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN -- February 16Sutton: We have no evidence -- if someone has some evidence that this van driver, that this illegal alien committed a crime, I would be happy to have it, because I would be happy to put this guy in prison for as long as we possibly can.Wian: Trial transcripts reveal there was plenty of evidence that Aldrete-Davila in fact had been transporting marijuana that day and again several months later.[...]Bonner: They had him in custody. He was in a federal courtroom and would have been a very simple matter to have one of the U.S. marshals put the cuffs on him and lead him out, charge him with those offenses. And they failed to do that. Watch Transcript
Johnny Sutton, is a dirtbag!

Full Disclosure Video: California's three strikes law exempts invadersLos Angeles -- In seven-minute news video blog the Full Disclosure Network presents L. A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley, Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Sheriff Leroy Baca describing how criminal aliens are NOT prosecuted under California's Three Strikes Law. This shocking and revealing video can be viewed....

KGTV -- San DiegoNew threats arise for border agentsSan Diego -- It's not just the number of people coming into the U.S. that is a concern for the Department of Homeland Security, but it's from which countries they are coming. -- They cross in the cover of darkness and in broad daylight. -- Border Patrol agents in San Diego stop nearly 400 illegal [aliens... criminals] each day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Left - Chertoff in Mexico. - Middle - Mexican Army on Border - Right - Cutting new smuggling road along border (Border photos taken on February 16 by ABP)
Lou Dobbs Tonight -- February 16Dobbs: What in the world is Secretary Chertoff doing in Mexico talking about economic prosperity? He is at least in title the homeland security secretary, right?Sylvester: That is an excellent question. He is, indeed. His title is homeland security. That's why many people are wondering why is he suddenly on this bandwagon talking about economic prosperity not even in this country, but in another country. Watch Transcript

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hannity Interview With Rudy GiulianiFebruary 5Against Secure Fence Act of 2006Giuliani: "....the fence honestly has to be a technological fence."Fence is Work Americans Won't DoGiuliani: "The head of my party, the new head, Mel Martinez....He said, sure, you could put up a fence, if you want, except the only people that will put it up will be the illegal immigrants. Nobody else will be building that fence."No Need For Border Security FirstGiuliani: "There's got to be a program to regularize the people that are here, as you establish security at the border."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

MichNews.comRepublicans adopt resolution on illegal immigrationLansing - As the top Presidential contenders, Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Sam Brownback, addressed the state Republican Convention this past weekend, a large group within the Michigan Republican Party was working hard to promote the adoption of a much needed resolution on illegal immigration.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN -- February 13Bank of AmericaDobbs: We want you to know that we invited the CEO of the Bank of America, Kenneth Lewis....I wanted to tell him the statement saying the bank isn't marketing to illegal aliens is fundamentally, absolutely and unequivocally a lie, and that perhaps he would like to talk to the people representing the bank who uttered such lies.
Ramos and CompeanDobbs: So one of the -- one of the concerns that we had as we began reporting on this case, Casey, is that the Bush administration has been its want throughout, was playing a political game here in concert with the government of Mexico and the dominant drug cartels on the northern -- the northern Mexican border area below El Paso.Wian: That's right. Watch B of A / Ramos & CompeanTranscript

REAL ID Comes Under Fire in the States
Bush Homeland Security Budget Reiterates Call for Guest Worker Amnesty Program
Congressman Brian Bilbray Appointed Chair of House Immigration Reform Caucus
Sessions Amendment to Minimum Wage Bill Greeted with Ire by Big Business
Recent Floor Statements
Press Releases
REAL ID Comes Under Fire in the States
On January 25, 2007, the Maine Legislature passed a resolution declaring it would refuse to implement the REAL ID Act and urging Congress to repeal it. Through this action, Maine has become one of a growing number of states seeking to undermine the REAL ID Act. According to the Associated Press, lawmakers in nearly a dozen states are contemplating similar legislation, including Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Utah. Other states, such as Nevada, are in the process of drafting legislation.
Background on REAL ID The 9/11 Commission recommended the passage of stricter driver's license measures after the chilling discovery that most, if not all of the 9/11 terrorists had state-issued driver's licenses, and that at least two were able to obtain valid driver's licenses and other identification documents after their visas had expired. In 2005, Congress responded to the 9/11 Commission Report by passing the REAL ID Act, effectively barring people in the country illegally from obtaining driver's licenses.
The REAL ID Act provides that in order for state licenses to be accepted as ID by federal agencies, the states must adopt certain issuing guidelines by May 2008. These guidelines include a requirement that the applicant establish his or her full legal name and date of birth; address of his or her principal residence; legal presence in the U.S.; and proof of a social security number or verification of the individual's ineligibility for a social security number. On the driver's licenses, the states must print an individual's full legal name and principal address and imbed a digital photo and certain physical security features.
Thus, REAL ID does not directly impose documentation requirements on the states, but instead provides that driver's licenses that are not issued in accordance with these standards by May 2008 will not be accepted by federal agencies for identification purposes. This will have an impact on citizens in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most visible will be flying on commercial airlines, for which showing an ID is necessary to board an aircraft.
Myth Versus RealityOpponents to the REAL ID Act in Maine and other states have fueled the debate over secure driver’s licenses by inaccurately claiming that REAL ID will create a national ID and a national database of driver’s license information. However, REAL ID does not establish a national ID. Instead, by establishing a core set of requirements for state driver’s licenses, it prevents one from becoming necessary. REAL ID was designed by the Congress to provide a federalist alternative to national control of identity documents. Strengthening the security of the existing state systems will avoid any further calls for a national ID system in the event of future attacks by foreign terrorists.
Moreover, REAL ID does not establish a national database of driver’s license information. The Act sets up a process to enable all states to electronically confirm driver’s license data, regardless of where the license is issued. The Act requires the states to use uniform bar coding devices carrying the holder’s name, date of birth, and driver’s license number so that if someone is stopped in another state, this information—the same information already carried on driver’s licenses—can be uniformly confirmed by law enforcement. As for confirmation, the system providing law enforcement with an electronic link to state driver’s license records will not allow access to the content of state databases, but will only allow a yes-no confirmation of data presented. Thus, REAL ID allows police and transportation security personnel to confirm that driver’s licenses presented are genuine and validly issued, but will not allow federal law enforcement officers to snoop into state driver’s license databases. This will work similarly to a database of driver's license information already used by many states to verify whether applicants have licenses in other states.
Because of the stricter documentation requirements created by the law, the REAL ID Act is critical for combating terrorism, illegal immigration and identity theft. As the de facto identity document used in this country, driver’s licenses are coveted by illegal aliens as a way of making themselves invisible to immigration authorities. Contrary to what REAL ID opponents would have citizens believe, the law does not violate the privacy of law-abiding Americans; rather it requires states to improve the process of issuing driver’s licenses so that they serve as secure and reliable forms of identification.
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Bush Homeland Security Budget Reiterates Call for Guest Worker Amnesty Program
Last week, President Bush unveiled his fiscal year 2008 Budget for the Department of Homeland Security. As expected, the document reiterates President Bush's call for a guest worker amnesty program and declares that the "Administration is dedicated to comprehensive reform of America's immigration laws...." The budget highlights five areas the Administration feels must be addressed for "comprehensive" reform to succeed. These are: (1) border security; (2) interior enforcement; (3) implementing a guest worker program allow employers to hire foreign workers "to do jobs Americans are unwilling to do"; (4) addressing the millions of illegal aliens already in the country; and (5) helping new immigrants assimilate. This plan, the budget states, will "serve the needs of the economy…bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows without providing amnesty, and restore public confidence in the Federal Government's ability to enforce immigration laws."
While the Bush Administration is calling on Congress to pass a guest worker amnesty program, it is also calling on Congress to increase funding for border security. Under the proposed budget, the Department of Homeland Security would see a budget increase of approximately $3 billion. This money would include funding for 3,000 new Border Patrol Agents - bringing the total to more than 17,000 by October 2008. This plan would also provide an additional $26.4 million for training state and local police to enforce immigration laws, and $28.7 million to find and deport illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds.
House and Senate Committees will have several hearings related to President Bush's budget proposal for FY08 over the next couple weeks. Most observers expect the budget to undergo significant changes as House and Senate members add their input and adjust the language to reflect their own priorities.
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Congressman Brian Bilbray Appointed Chair of House Immigration Reform Caucus
Last week, Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) announced that he has been selected to assume chairmanship of the prestigious House Immigration Reform Caucus. Congressman Bilbray will be taking over for the current chairman, Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who wishes to hand over the reins in order to pursue his presidential ambitions.
A longtime champion of true immigration reform, Congressman Bilbray has worked on a variety of immigration issues over the span of two decades. Having grown up on the border in San Diego and served as Mayor and County Supervisor in southern California, Congressman Bilbray brings to this important position key insight regarding the need to secure our borders, the importance of cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens, and the cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers. To read more about Congressman Bilbray, click here.
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Sessions Amendment to Minimum Wage Bill Greeted with Ire by Big Business
** Readers, please note that rumors circulating over the internet that the McCain-Kennedy Bill was amended to the Minimum Wage Bill are simply untrue. The following is important information about a good amendment that was attached to the Minimum Wage Bill.**
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week launched a full-scale assault at an amendment to the Minimum Wage Bill (H.R.2) they see as detrimental to the interests of big business. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), bars companies that intentionally hire illegal aliens from receiving federal contracts for a period of seven to ten years. The amendment provides immunity for any business that voluntarily enrolls in the Homeland Security Department's Basic Pilot program, a program that electronically verifies the work eligibility of job applicants. The amendment passed the Senate 94-0, but its fate is uncertain as members of the House-Senate conference committee must agree to incorporate it into the final version of the bill.
In press release issued shortly after passage, the Chamber called the Sessions amendment the equivalent of "blacklisting," and asserted that "[t]here are already ample protections in the procurement regulations to ensure grants and contracts to the federal government are performed by the most qualified and responsible bidders." According to CongressDaily, the Chamber of Commerce and other opponents of the amendment are looking at a potential coalition to fight this legislation, much like the National Alliance Against Blacklisting, which opposed President Clinton's initiative to require employers seeking federal contracts to swear that they had not violated state or federal laws for three years prior to the awarding of a contract. Proving that politics makes for strange bedfellows, the American Civil Liberties Union and the AFL-CIO are also working to strip Senator Sessions' amendment from the wage bill.
Some observers feel the Sessions amendment will be difficult to defeat because lawmakers in both parties believe that it makes sense to punish federal contractors for hiring illegal aliens. However, the clout of the business lobby means that stripping the language in conference committee is entirely possible. Speaking to CongressDaily, Senator Mel Martinez remarked, "A lot of things get passed that ultimately in conference get cleaned up."
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Recent Floor Statements
Rep. Brian Bilbray(R-CA) commented on Free Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos And Jose Compean (February 7, 2007)
Rep. Walter Jones(R-NC) commented on Amnesty For U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos And Compean (February 7, 2007)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn(R-TN) commented on Former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos And Jose Compean (February 7, 2007)
Rep. Walter Jones(R-NC) commented on Imprisonment Of Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents (February 6, 2007)
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Press Releases
Mexican legislators will travel to Chicago to Visit Elvira Arellano (February 9, 2007)
REAL ID Offers Real Protections to Personal and National Security (February 7, 2007)
Radio Talk Show Immigration Rally Set to Take Place in Washington, DC (February 5, 2007)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rocky Mountain News:Tancredo Hands Off Immigration Role Rep. Tom Tancredo has given up control over the immigration-reform caucus that made him famous. Starting this week, Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., will take over as chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, which Tancredo has led since his first congressional term in 1999. "Tom is no longer the sole voice on the immigration reform front, and he wanted to get some new blood involved with the issue," Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa said this morning. Espinosa said it was similar to the way Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, encouraged Tancredo to take a higher-profile role on the immigration issue eight years ago. Although Tancredo recently formed an exploratory committee to raise money for a possible run for president in 2008, "He plans to stay very active with the caucus and with the issue," Espinosa said.

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN - February 9CNN: Arizona's gang and immigration task force, known as GITEM, says the violence is the result of increased federal and local law enforcement pressure on the border.Commander Dan Wells, GITEM: It's becoming increasingly more difficult for human smugglers to get their loads across the border. So, many of the smuggling organizations have turned to hijacking human loads that have already made it across the border.Wian: Wells says his department and the Border Patrol have seized an alarming number of AK-47 and other high-powered rifles recently. -- Officials expect violence will continue to escalate in the near future as federal and local law enforcement struggles to recapture the border from drug and alien smugglers. Watch Transcript

Friday, February 9, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN - February 8Sylvester (CNN): Mexican officials are pressing to keep an open border that has allowed millions of illegal aliens to filter into the United States. Members of the Mexican Congress are visiting Washington and Chicago this week to push for a U.S. guest worker and amnesty program.Medina (through translator): We are starting our business here in Washington, looking to integrate ourselves in the solution of the immigration problem. We don't want to see ourselves as a problem. We are here as a solution.Krikorian (CIS): This is a direct interference in American domestic policymaking. And it's part of a long pattern of Mexico's violation of our sovereignty in the area of immigration. Watch Transcript

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN - February 7Dobbs:... the Department of Homeland Security now admits it lied in the case of two U.S. Border Patrol agents sent to prison for doing their jobs. One of those agents severely beaten in prison. Leading members of Congress are furious. Rohrabacher : Mr. President, if these men, especially after this assault, are murdered in prison, if one of them lose their lives, there's going to be some kind of impeachment talk in Capitol Hill. [...]Wian: ...Johnny Sutton has said they couldn't go after the drug smuggler because they didn't have enough evidence to prosecute him for smuggling...a Border Patrol agent knew 16 days in advance of his decision to grant immunity...that in fact the smuggler admitted that he was on a drug-smuggling mission when he was shot. Watch Impeach / DHS Transcript

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN - February 6Dobbs: ...White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said we're waiting for full transcripts...Toobin: This is bizarre. Perhaps not a phrase we want to use today, but it is not rocket science to produce transcripts. Every trial has a court reporter.Dobbs: Right.Toobin: You can't have an appeal before you have the full transcript. I mean, it's simply inexcusable not to have transcripts this late after a trial....[...]Toobin: Well, and -- you know, the justice system stops in its tracks, because an appeals court can't evaluate a trial until they can read what happened. So it is totally unexpected. I've never seen this long for a transcript. Watch Transcript

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight -- CNN - February 5Gutierrez: The priority must to be keep those out who want to do harm, but to ensure that we can continue the flow of more goods and the flow of job creation across our borders. [Read: The border can filter out criminals. All others should be let in.]Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): All this is about is about open borders, open borders between Mexico and America, America and Canada. Open borders without any controls, and there's no telling what could happen to this country that would be detrimental to the future of America. Watch NAU / Jails / Schools / Pardon / Mex. DemoTranscript

Congressman Brian Bilbray Appointed New Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus:Call Your Representatives and Ask Them to Join!!!
Last week, Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) announced that he has been selected to assume the Chairmanship of the prestigious House Immigration Reform Caucus. Congressman Bilbray will be taking over for the current chairman, Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who wishes to hand over the reins in order to pursue his presidential ambitions.
A longtime champion of true immigration reform, Congressman Bilbray has worked on a variety of immigration issues over the span of two decades. Having grown up on the border in San Diego and served as Mayor and County Supervisor in southern California, Congressman Bilbray brings to this important position key insight regarding the need to secure our borders, the importance of cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens, and the cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers. To read more about Congressman Bilbray, click here.
Now is the time to act! There are 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, but only 92 belong to the Immigration Reform Caucus. FAIR has attached the most current membership list of the Immigration Reform Caucus. Please check the list to see if your Representative has already joined by clicking here.
please call him or her to express your thanks and remind them how important it is to fight for the enforcement of our immigration laws and to oppose all guest worker amnesty legislation.
please call him or her and ask them to join Congressman Bilbray in the House Immigration Reform Caucus!! Tell them you want a Representative in Congress who will fight to enforce our immigration laws and oppose all guest worker amnesty legislation.
To find the phone number of your representative, click here

Pat J Buchanan

If you ever have any doubt about what illegal immigrants agenda/movement is all about, refer to these 2 videos.

Monday, February 5, 2007

February 5, 2007
In this update:
Congressional Leaders Indicate Debate on Immigration Reform Will Resume
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Proposes Stiff Hike in Fees
Senate Judiciary Committee Scrutinizes US-VISIT Program
Senator Voinovich Moves to Relax Visa Waiver Program
Recent Floor Statements
Congressional Leaders Indicate Debate on Immigration Reform Will Resume
Last week, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle again signaled that Congress is going to take up immigration reform in the near future. As reported in The Los Angeles Times, Senate Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) say they intend to make immigration reform one of the first ten bills they will take on during this legislative session. Speaking to The Washington Times, Senator Mel Martinez, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he is working with Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and others on new legislation that would create a guest worker program along the lines of what President Bush has proposed. "We're trying to see if something can be worked out," he said.
All of this comes on the heels of reports that Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Kennedy (D-MA) have been drafting their new guest worker amnesty proposal since mid-December—a proposal widely expected to be even broader than the Senate guest worker amnesty legislation passed last spring. According to The Los Angeles Times, this legislation will be introduced sometime this month. President Bush, too, appears to be anxious to see immigration reform take center stage. Less than two weeks ago he reiterated his call for Congress to pass a guest worker amnesty program in his State of the Union speech.
For advocates of "comprehensive" immigration reform, their greatest challenge in the current climate appears to be how to make amnesty palatable to members of both parties who have either never had to vote on immigration reform or have already promised their voters they would oppose amnesty. According to The Los Angeles Times, proponents of guest worker amnesty legislation have been pushing hard behind the scenes to persuade enforcement advocates to come on board. Representative Zoë Lofgren (D-CA), the new head of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, is a key member who supports "comprehensive" immigration reform and has been active in meeting members both formally and behind the scenes, trying to get members to back guest worker amnesty legislation.
Whether enough members of the House can be persuaded remains to be seen. Much will depend on how vocal constituents in these districts are on the issue. In surmising the situation, Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a guest worker amnesty supporter, remarked, "A lot of Members of Congress made campaign promises, so one of the challenges is to create a comprehensive bill that's consistent with the commitments people made during the campaign."

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Proposes Stiff Hike in Fees
Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed to increase fees for various immigration-related services by an average of 66 percent. If passed, this will represent the largest overhaul of the agency's fee system since 1998. Some of the recommended fee increases include raising the application fee for U.S. citizenship from $330 to $595, and the fee for becoming a permanent legal resident from $325 to $905. Although some of these fees may be increased, the proposal will also eliminate other costs that the legal residency applicants often pay while waiting on their residency applications to become final.
In announcing the fee increase, USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez stated that the increases are essential to help the agency become "the immigration service of the 21st century." He explained that 99% of the agency's costs are paid for with application fees, and in the wake of September 11th, law enforcement agencies such as the FBI are charging USCIS more for background and fingerprint checks causing lost revenue. According to the Associated Press, USCIS said the fee increase would raise $2 billion over the next two years. The money is to be spent on improving immigration offices, technology, hiring and training, background checks, and speeding up application processing. USCIS estimates the new fees would reduce the average application processing times by 20 percent by the end of September 2009.
Some lawmakers reacted positively to the fee increases. Speaking to the Associated Press, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said, "It's right for the people who benefit to pay the cost of that benefit - not taxpayers." Conversely, amnesty supporters voiced their opposition to the fee increase, charging that the increase is meant to punish immigrants. "We are alarmed by the skyrocketing fees which will prevent deserving immigrants from taking the necessary steps to become citizens," said Christina DeConcini, Policy Director of the National Immigration Forum. Several members of Congress, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Immigration Subcommittee Chair Ted Kennedy (D-MA), House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoë Lofgren (D-CA) sent a letter to Director Gonzalez, stating that they planned to review the agency's analyses behind the proposed immigration fee increases.
If USCIS adopts the proposed fee increases, they could go into effect as early as June 2007.

Senate Judiciary Committee Scrutinizes US-VISIT Program
On Wednesday, January 31, 2007, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security convened a hearing to address the problems plaguing the US-VISIT program. Originally passed by Congress in 1996, US-VISIT, or the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program, is a system intended to verify the identities of foreign travelers entering and exiting the country. When foreign nationals apply in their home countries for visas to travel to the U.S., U.S. embassies and consulates take biometric information of the applicant, such as fingerprints. When the traveler arrives at a U.S. point of entry, this biometric information is verified. It similarly should be verified at a point of entry upon the traveler's departure.
During Wednesday's hearing, Senators focused on the fact that, despite various deadlines, DHS is still unable to monitor when visitors leave the United States via land ports of entry. That is, since January 2004, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has processed tens of millions of international travelers through US-VISIT upon entering the U.S., but has not yet developed a system to determine whether these individuals actually depart the U.S. In her statement, Subcommittee Chair Senator Feinstein charged: "The Department of Homeland Security has essentially declared that the EXIT program is dead as far as the land borders are concerned. This is a serious problem. There are over 425 million border crossings at U.S. borders every year. Yet, because we don't know who is leaving the country, we do not know who, of these 425 million, is overstaying a visa versus who is playing by the rules." Similarly, Senator Cornyn (R-TX) stressed the importance of US-VISIT tracking exits as well as entries, since about 45% of illegal immigrants in the United States come into the country legally but overstay their visas.
Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US-VISIT Program blamed the inability to track land departures on the absence of viable technology and funding. In a joint statement, these officials said that implementing biometric confirmation at land ports of entry is significantly more complicated and costly than at air or sea ports of entry. They indicated that developing such a program could cost upwards of $3 billion and cause significant traffic congestion at the border.
As the hearing concluded it was still unclear if and when Homeland Security would produce a plan to Congress to address these concerns.

Senator Voinovich Moves to Relax Visa Waiver Program
On January 22, 2007, Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) introduced legislation that would implement President Bush's proposal to expand the Visa Waiver Program.
Passed by Congress in 1988, the Visa Waiver Program allows foreign visitors from 27 participating countries to enter the U.S. for 90 days without a visa. To be eligible for the Program, countries must meet security criteria and demonstrate that their visa-refusal rate is below three percent. The visa-refusal rate is the rate at which U.S. consular officers in a foreign country deny visas based on the perceived risk of the applicant overstaying his/her visa.
Senator Voinovich's bill, entitled the Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Act, (S.342) will expand the program by creating a pilot program to allow five countries who are not currently participants to enroll in the visa waiver program if they meet certain conditions. First the country must be "close to" meeting the requirements of the current visa waiver program and have a plan to meet the requirements within three years. (The phrase "close to" is not further defined.) Second, the country must meet any Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements to ensure the security and integrity of travel documents. This includes issuing electronic passports with biometric information and promptly reporting lost, stolen or fraudulent passports to the U.S. Third, the country must have already been cooperative in U.S. counterterrorism initiatives and information sharing. Finally, the country must agree to continue cooperation with U.S. counterterrorism initiatives and information sharing.
Unlike current requirements, however, S.342 prohibits Homeland Security from barring entry to the visa waiver program due to visa refusal rates, unless the rate raises security concerns. Because the visa-refusal rate is the barring obstacle to participation by numerous countries, this change will allow more countries to participate. In a press release issued late last year, the Department of Homeland Security described the proposal as tightening security while seeking "flexibility on requirements that focus on the risk of illegal migration."
In a released statement, Senator Voinovich stated that his bill will promote U.S. national security interests and increase business ties and tourism, benefiting the economy and U.S. competitiveness. Critics, however, have denounced the Senator's plan as a step backward in our country's efforts to secure its borders. They noted that several terrorists - including shoe-bomber Richard Reid and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui - boarded planes to the United States with passports from visa-waiver countries. Some charged that expanding the visa waiver program is an attempt to serve big business—especially the travel and tourism industry.
Other experts agree with this criticism. Clark Kent Ervin, former inspector general at the Homeland Security Department told USA Today last December that the expansion of the visa waiver program was "a step in the wrong direction." He added, "We ought to be ending the visa-waiver program, not expanding it. There's a reason why terrorists are keen to obtain passports from visa-waiver countries: they don't have to undergo extensive security checks." The Government Accountability Office, in a report released in September 2006, found that "stolen passports from visa waiver countries are prized travel documents among terrorists, criminals and immigration-law violators."

Recent Floor Statements
Rep. Ted Poe(R-TX) commented on Lone Star Voice: Border Agent's Wife (January 31, 2007)
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords(D-AZ) commented on We Need A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Package (January 31, 2007)
Rep. Virgil Goode(R-VA) commented on Social Security Totalization Agreement With Mexico (January 31, 2007)
Rep. Walter Jones(R-NC) commented on Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents In Federal Prison (January 30, 2007)
Rep. Ted Poe(R-TX) commented on The Truth Set Border Agent Free (January 30, 2007)
Rep. Walter Jones(R-NC) commented on Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents In Federal Prison (January 29, 2007)

Video click below,

Last June, ICE launched Operation Return to Sender, a nationwide to round up criminal and fugitive illegal aliens and deport them. So far, the crackdown has resulted in at least 14,000 arrests. Activists complain that illegal aliens without criminal records have also been caught by the sweeps, sometimes separating parents from their children. Now the illegal alien lobby is resorting to harsh language to criticize federal agents who are trying to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Illegal alien activists saying the Department of Homeland Security should stop arresting and stop deporting illegal aliens while Congress considers amnesty legislation. Using words like "ethnic cleansing" and "terror," more than a dozen immigrant rights groups are denouncing recent ICE raids targeting criminal illegal aliens, and they're demanding a moratorium on deportations. Claims of ethnic or racial bias are refuted by the fact that ICE deported illegal aliens from 189 nations last year. Even so, activists are seeking the effective end of U.S. immigration law enforcement. Even mainstream Latino activist groups, such as MALDEF and LULAC, have joined the chorus by writing Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and demanding an end to ICE's raids. Rene Saucedo of La Raza Centro Legal said: "It's immoral and abominable that the U.S. government is terrorizing immigrant families and sending them the message, fine, come in and mow our lawns and wash our dishes and pick our fruits and vegetables, but we will not allow you to live in peace and dignity. ICE says family separations are the consequences of choices made by illegal alien parents and that raids are making immigrant communities safer because they're removing violent criminals who most often prey on legal and illegal immigrants.

Patrick J. Buchanan:And Who Isolated Us? When the trade figures for 2006 come in, it will be revealed that the United States ran the greatest trade deficit in history, close to $800 billion, near 7 percent of GDP. And the greatest trade deficit with any one country will be recorded – a trade deficit with China of nearly $230 billion. Does President Bush not understand the correlation between his trade policy, our sinking dollar and the loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs on his watch? Economic patriotism is on the march because economic globalism is failing America. We are being skinned alive by our trading partners. While we have eliminated tariffs, they impose value-added taxes of up to 20 percent on U.S. goods entering the country and rebate the VAT on goods they export to the United States. This system operates like a 40 percent tariff on U.S. goods. That is why we are running record trade deficits with Canada, the European Union, Japan and Free Asia. Bush has now begun his campaign for renewal of “fast track” authority, which expires in July. Under fast track, Congress agrees to give up its constitutional right to amend trade treaties. But to give Bush a blank check to negotiate trade treaties after his record trade deficits makes as much sense as giving him a blank check to launch another war. Some adult has got to grab the steering wheel here.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

America's Most Wanted -- Fox Network - February 3 John Walsh: I think these Border Patrol Agents made an honest mistake. They picked up those shell casings and didn't think they shot this alleged drug dealer. Well, you know what, they are paying the ultimate price - eleven years in jail. Now this guy - this is what really bothers me - this alleged drug dealer, who was caught with a million dollars worth of pot, is suing the United States government - the United States taxpayer - you and I - for five million dollars. Something is very wrong here and something needs to be done about it. Watch

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - February 2, 2007Dobbs: Robert, Robert Zimmerman, the idea that the Democrats would pass so-called amnesty, which you prefer to call comprehensive immigration reform, not secure the borders, you're buying into this issue. Do you think he'll pay for it in the 2008 election? Zimmerman: First of all, I don't call it comprehensive immigration reform, and securing the borders has got to be a top Democratic priority. And when it came to the issue of the fence along the American/Mexican border, 27 Democratic senators stood up to vote for it as well as 64 House members. I think clearly the Sessions Amendment is an important first step. I agree with Mike, that it has to be done gradually and securing the borders has got to come first. Watch TranscriptOperation B.E.E.F. resumes Tuesday

CNN Lou Dobbs - video:Proposal to Tax Billions in Remittances About $45 billion was sent to Latin American from this country last year. Much of it originating from the hands of illegal aliens. And some border states have decided to propose taxes on those so-called remittances. They're planning to use the additional money to help secure their borders with Mexico. Immigrants in Texas send more than $5 billion home to Latin America each year. Most of that is money earned by illegal aliens. Now Texas lawmakers are proposing a 10 percent tax on those remittances. They want to use the proceeds, an estimated $500 million annually, primarily for border security. Remittances to Latin America are growing at an alarming rate. The Inter-American Development Bank estimates immigrants in America sent $45 billion home last year. An increase of 51 percent since 2004. More than half of the money goes to Mexico. Twenty-five billion dollars that helps prop up Mexico's shaky economy and drains capital from border states like Arizona, the nation's most popular illegal alien entry point. Some lawmakers there want to require immigrants to prove they have legal status and have paid taxes before they can wire money home. The ACLU opposes efforts to restrict illegal alien remittances, saying it would cause people to favor informal ways of moving money instead of using mainstream financial institutions.

CNN Lou Dobbs - video:Drug Crackdown on Border Leading to More Violence The U.S. Border Patrol says drug seizures of cocaine and marijuana are up sharply this year. President Felipe Calderon, of Mexico, continues to target drug cartels, to his credit. But despite the idiocy that surrounds border security, there is another idiocy rising up. A group of law enforcement agents now say that effort is actually fueling drug trafficking and violence, and they say the answer is to end the war on drugs. A group of 6,500 current and former law enforcement officers say the nation's 37-year war on drugs is unwinnable and is actually creating more violence and addiction. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) says legalizing and regulating drugs is the best strategy. LEAP says the U.S. has spent $1 trillion fighting the war on drugs, only to see drug violence escalate.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - February 1, 2007Wian: Using words like "ethnic cleansing" and "terror," more than a dozen immigrant rights groups are denouncing recent ICE raids targeting criminal illegal aliens, and they're demanding a moratorium on deportations. -- ...Even mainstream Latino activist groups, such as MALDEF and LULAC, have joined the chorus by writing Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and demanding an end to ICE's raids. Rep Ed Royce (R-Calif.): The open borders lobby is sending out the message, frankly, not only in the United States, but all over the world, that if you come to the United States illegally, you can expect, you can anticipate that a Democratic Congress and this particular president is going to grant you amnesty. Now, this really compounds the problem. Watch Transcript

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Immigration agents arrest dozens in Charleston area

The Post and Courier

A sweep of Charleston and other South Carolina coastal areas netted dozens of illegal immigrants, including a man wanted in Mexico for murder, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

The two-day operation concluded Wednesday, drawing in 38 people from Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala and China, ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said. The effort targeted people illegally in the country who have been convicted of other crimes as well as people who ignored previous deportation orders.

"Some of these people had prior criminal convictions that included DUI, burglary and drug charges," Rocha said.

The tally included other immigration violators, such as those who entered the U.S. without permission or overstayed their visas. ICE identified the murder suspect as Patricio Cruz-Renteria, 32. Further details, including where he was living, were not available.

The detentions were part of Operation Return to Sender, which led to 750 arrests in southern California earlier this month and 13,000 throughout the country since June.

Local suspects were held at the Charleston County Detention Center. They will be taken to Atlanta and Charlotte, where they will have court hearings if they request them.

A local advocate for the Latino community said her phone has been ringing off the hook since the raids began Tuesday. Diana Salazar questioned whether the arrests were meant to intimidate the Hispanic community. She also heard reports that numerous agents had shown up to arrest one or two people, and wondered why such a show of force was necessary.

Rocha said the raids did not target specific groups or nationalities. While conducting other operations, ICE has the right to detain anybody who is in violation of U.S. immigration law, he said.

Salazar said Latinos in the Charleston area incorporated a nonprofit group last weekend to defend their rights and fight for respect. She is president of the new Latinos Association of Charleston. "They're not leaving," she said. "They have American children and they're contributing to the economy. That's how they see it."

**Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - January 31, 2007Dobbs: The agents are beginning their lengthy prison terms while the wounded illegal alien, Mexican drug smuggler given immunity by the Justice Department to testify against those agents remains free. And he's filed a $5 million lawsuit against the U.S. government. [...]Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas): And the question is, why the is the government stonewalling the truth? Why don't they just come and level with us and let us know what was behind all of this prosecution? Watch Transcript