News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Diplomacy, sightseeing top Bush's Mexico trip
By S. Lynne Walker and George E. Condon Jr.

March 30, 2006

CANCUN, Mexico – President Bush arrived in Cancun yesterday evening for two days of diplomacy and some rare sightseeing, finding the beaches, roads and waterways of a city best known for spring breakers now bustling with security forces bracing for protesters.

As helicopters flew over Cancun's posh tourist zone and Navy ships patrolled the pristine coastline, roadblocks slowed traffic to a crawl in front of Le Blanc Spa and Resort, where Bush will stay during his meetings with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Despite the fears of Mexican authorities, though, few protesters had come to Cancun before Air Force One arrived with the U.S. president.

For one of the few times in his presidency, Bush even agreed to do a little sightseeing. After being criticized for bypassing the Taj Mahal during his recent trip to India, Bush set aside time in his schedule today to see the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and the Pyramid of Kukulkan about 100 miles from here.


Mexico hopes for stronger pledge by Bush on immigration accord during trilateral summit
By E. Eduardo Castillo
11:54 a.m. March 29, 2006

CANCUN, Mexico – When President Vicente Fox and U.S. President George W. Bush meet during a trilateral summit here this week, Mexico is hoping the North American leader will promise to more forcefully promote a broad migration accord not based solely on security issues.

That hope has been sparked by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's passage Monday of immigration and border security measures that include legalizing some undocumented workers, establishing temporary guest-worker programs and permitting illegal aliens currently in the country to apply for citizenship without first having to return home.


By: Devvy
March 30, 2006

The words above were spoken by Jose Angel Gutierrez, professor, University of Texas, Arlington and founder of the La Raza Unida political party. His full comment was: "We have an aging white America ... They are dying ...We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him."

In a column dated March 25, 2006, by Ernesto Cienguegos titled "La Gran Marcha" surpasses all expectations," Cienguegos wrote: “What does the immense success of "La Gran Marcha" mean to Mexicanos and other Latinos? It simply means that we now have the numbers, the political will and the organizational skills to direct our own destinies and not be subservient to the White and Jewish power structures. It means that we can now undertake bigger and more significant mass actions to achieve total political and economic liberation like that being proposed by Juan José Gutiérrez, President of Movimiento Latino USA. Juan José Gutiérrez is proposing that the coalition that organized "La Gran Marcha" meet in Arizona or Texas on April 8 to "organize a mass boycott (huelga) against the economy of the USA" to take place on May 5 or 19.”


Uncomfortable facts about immigration

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," wrote Emma Lazarus, in a poem that still puts a lump in my throat. I'm proud of America's immigrant history, and grateful that the door was open when my grandparents fled Russia.

In other words, I'm instinctively, emotionally pro-immigration. But a review of serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration, and immigration from Mexico in particular. If people like me are going to respond effectively to anti-immigrant demagogues, we have to acknowledge those facts.


Immigration reform faces hurdles
With emotions running high on both aisles in Congress, substantive changes won't happen easily
Newsday Washington Bureau
March 30, 2006

WASHINGTON -- With a bruising Republican-on-Republican battle over immigration brewing today in the Senate, many on Capitol Hill are predicting that passing comprehensive reforms before the fall midterm elections seems increasingly like a long shot.

Even if the Senate agrees to an overhaul measure before the April 10 deadline set by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), immigration reform might face a hostile House, which passed a get-tough border protection measure in December.

"It's going to be tough to pass something before November," said House Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R-Seaford), reflecting a low-grade pessimism permeating both houses of Congress and both sides of the aisle.

The ultimate impediment could be conservative Republicans in the House, who are eager to hammer Democrats as soft on border security during this fall's election and are, on balance, happy with the bill they passed four months ago.


Group Targets LAPD's Rule to Ignore Residency Status
By Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
March 30, 2006

A conservative group opposed to a Los Angeles Police Department policy of not asking people about their immigration status without special cause has sued the city for failing to turn over documents showing how the rule is enforced, a representative said Wednesday.

Washington D.C.-based Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit as part of its effort to challenge Special Order 40, an LAPD directive generally preventing police officers from inquiring about a person's residency status.

"This is a disturbing regulation" said Tom Fitton, the group's president. "We believe it is inconsistent with federal immigration laws, and we are trying to get more information. Are crimes going by unpunished as a result of illegals being let go because of this policy?"


“Mexico Prefers to Export Its Poor, Not Uplift Them”
George W. Grayson:

Indeed, Mexico’s leaders have turned hypocrisy from an art form into an exact science as they shirk their obligations to fellow citizens, while decrying efforts by the US senators and representatives to crack down on illegal immigration at the border and the workplace.

What are some examples of this failure of responsibility?


Read the story of this flag at Michelle Malkin's Blog


By Michelle Malkin · March 29, 2006 01:15 AM


Mexican flag flies over Chasewood North in Jupiter . . . at least for now
Residents of the Central Boulevard complex were surprised by weekend switch
March 29, 2006

The Stars and Stripes have been replaced by the Mexican flag at Chasewood North, and residents of the condominium community off Central Boulevard are puzzled as to who made the switch.

"I woke up Sunday morning and looked up from my patio and then realized that the American flag wasn't on the flagpole," said Sue Miller a Chasewood North board member. "What captured my attention were the colors — at first I thought it was an Italian flag, but one of our residents said it was the Mexican flag.

"I went to the flagpole, to see if the American flag was maybe on the ground, but they took it, and they cut the rope to get the American flag down and the Mexican flag up as well."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Marchers say gringos,not illegals, have to go
Activists turn tables, offer no amnesty for 'non-indigenous' on 'our continent'

WASHINGTON – While debates about guest-worker programs for illegal aliens take place in the corridors of power, in the streets of America's big cities no amnesty is being offered by activists calling for the expulsion of most U.S. citizens from their own country.

While politicians debate the fate of some 12 million people residing in the U.S. illegally, the Mexica Movement, one of the organizers of the mass protest in Los Angeles this week, has already decided it is the "non-indigenous," white, English-speaking U.S. citizens of European descent who have to leave what they call "our continent."

The pictures and captions tell the story.

"This is our continent, not yours!" exclaimed one banner.

"We are indigenous! The only owners of this continent!" said another.

"If you think I'm illegal because I'm a Mexican, learn the true history, because I'm in my homeland," read another sign.

"One of the more negative parts of the march was when American flags were passed out to make sure the marchers were looked on as part of 'America,'" said the group's commentary on the L.A. rally.

Both Rep. James Sensebrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a proponent of tougher border security, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were caricatured as Nazis by the group on its posters and banners.


Spanish Media Organized Nationwide Mass Protests

(AP) LOS ANGELES The marching orders were clear: Carry American flags and pack the kids, pick up your trash and wear white for peace and for effect.

Many of the 500,000 people who crammed downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to protest legislation that would make criminals out of illegal immigrants learned where, when and even how to demonstrate from the Spanish-language media.

For English-speaking America, the mass protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities over the past few days have been surprising for their size and seeming spontaneity.

But they were organized, promoted or publicized for weeks by Spanish-language radio hosts and TV anchors as a demonstration of Hispanic pride and power.

In Milwaukee, where at least 10,000 people rallied last week, one radio station manager called some employers to ask that they not fire protesters for skipping work. In Chicago, a demonstration that drew 100,000 people received coverage on local television more than a week in advance.


Police To Crack Down On Student Walkouts
Truants Could Face Fines, Community Service

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles law enforcement officials plan to crack down on students who leave campus Wednesday by issuing truancy citations. LA School Superintendent Roy Romer says students leaving campus will be automatically considered truant.

Truant students could face discipline ranging from suspension to exclusion from certain school-sponsored functions. Students who are cited by law enforcement officers can face fines up to 200 dollars and 20 days of community service.

Despite school lockdowns and rainy weather, some 11,000 students from nearly two dozen Los Angeles County campuses skipped school Tuesday as immigrant-rights rallies continued, leading to some arrests.

About 8,000 students from the Los Angeles Unified School District and 3,000 students from other schools countywide took part in protests Tuesday, or at least did not show up for class, LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer said.

"It's one thing to have a spontaneous demonstration of free speech, but it's another to have continued absences," Romer said during a City Hall news conference Tuesday afternoon. "A parent has a legal obligation to have their youngsters in school."


Mexican illegals vs. American voters
By Tony Blankley

It is lucky America has more than two centuries of mostly calm experience with self-government. We are going to need to fall back on that invaluable patrimony if the immigration debate continues as it has started this season. The Senate is attempting to legislate into the teeth of the will of the American public. The Senate Judiciary Committeemen — and probably a majority of the Senate — are convinced that they know that the American people don't know what is best for them.
National polling data could not be more emphatic — and has been so for decades. Gallup Poll (March 27) finds 80 percent of the public wants the federal government to get tougher on illegal immigration. A Quinnipiac University Poll (March 3) finds 62 percent oppose making it easier for illegals to become citizens (72 percent in that poll don't even want illegals to be permitted to have driver's licenses). Time Magazine's recent poll (Jan. 24-26) found 75 percent favor "major penalties" on employers of illegals, 70 percent believe illegals increase the likelihood of terrorism and 57 percent would use military force at the Mexican-American border.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll (March 10-13) found 59 percent opposing a guest-worker proposal, and 71 percent would more likely vote for a congressional candidate who would tighten immigration controls.
An IQ Research poll (March 10) found 92 percent saying that securing the U.S. border should be a top priority of the White House and Congress.
Yet, according to a National Journal survey of Congress, 73 percent of Republican and 77 percent of Democratic congressmen and senators say they would support guest-worker legislation.


Border Patrol nets marijuana, suspected smugglers

Border Patrol agents seized nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana and arrested two smuggling suspects after stopping two vehicles traveling together on Interstate 8 west of Yuma Sunday afternoon.

The first of two vehicles, a 2004 Kia Sorento, was stopped in the Buttercup area of the Imperial Sand Dunes, about 20 miles west of Yuma, the patrol said in a news release. Agents found 928 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.

The second vehicle, a 1992 GMC Sierra, continued west on I-8 and tried to elude agents by crossing the median and traveling west in the eastbound lane, the patrol said.

The vehicle rolled over shortly afterward when it tried to avoid a tire deflation devise agents had placed on the highway, the patrol said.

The driver was uninjured, the patrol said.

Agents seized 959 pounds from the second vehicle.

The drivers, identified as illegal aliens, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the pot, which was valued at more than $1.5 million.


Agents nab 67 illegal immigrants
FROM STAFF REPORTS Border Patrol agents busted three different drop houses in a trailer park in Yuma loaded with a total of 67 illegal aliens Tuesday morning, according to Border Patrol spokesman Ben Vik.

"The three trailer houses did not have electricity or running water," Vik said.

The Border Patrol did not say how agents discovered the drop houses at the trailer park on May Avenue, but Vik said the incident is currently under investigation. The patrol declined to release a more specific address for the park.

A drop house is a place where human smugglers store illegal aliens as they wait to help them out to their final destination, Vik explained.

Vik said the incident was the largest drop house bust Yuma Sector agents have seen in recent days.

Earlier this month, Yuma Sector agents found 134 illegal aliens packed into one trailer, in conditions that agents then described as hot, dirty and standing-room only.

"To smugglers, aliens are treated like commodities ... that's the way they operate," Vik said.


Police: Underage drinking shifting to Algodones

The California Highway Patrol has been handing out DUI tickets like candy to drunken drivers — many of them minors from Yuma — near the Andrade port of entry, according to CHP Sgt. Steve Henry.

"This is (a problem) that did not exist three months ago," Henry said, adding that in the last three months, El Centro CHP officers have nearly written more DUI tickets, about 200, than they did throughout all of 2005.

The majority of tickets being handed out, Henry said, are being given to party-goers heading back into the United States from Algodones on the weekends.

Henry said the "huge" increase in drunken drivers leaving Algodones is the result of a largely young and Yuman party-going population shifting from San Luis, Ariz., where police have recently cracked down on underage drinking, to the much smaller Algodones.

Along with the increase in underage drinking and DUIs has come fights at the U.S. Port of Entry at Andrade, Henry said. Last weekend, one fight involved a weapon, and in another, a Yuma teen was sent to the hospital, he said.


By Howard Fischer
PHOENIX — Ignoring pleas to wait for federal immigration reform, the state House of Representatives voted Tuesday to spend $50 million on a radar system to find people coming across the border illegally.
Tentative approval came over the objections of some Democrats who noted the nearly simultaneous debate going on in the U.S. Senate over changes in the laws dealing with illegal immigration. They pointed out Congress may approve far more resources to protect the border, as well as a guest-worker program that could lessen the need for people to try to enter this country illegally.
Rep. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, said far better things could be done with the money. Others were more blunt in declaring the radar a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"It's a $50 million toy," complained Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, who questioned its usefulness. And Rep. Ted Prezelski, D-Tucson, said $50 million "is an awful lot of money to be spending on a prop for a press conference."
But Rep. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, said he has seen this kind of system at work while serving as an intelligence officer in the Army Reserve at Fort Huachuca. He said it can tell those who monitor the system what kind of vehicle is moving through the desert and can identify whether someone on foot is alone or in a group.
"And the idea that it can't determine if you're a human being or a coyote is ridiculous," he said.
The radar would be monitored by state police, National Guard troops or civilians who would report incursions to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Yuma, state face heavy burden from obesity
From Staff And Ap Reports

If state and public health officials don’t address obesity in its Hispanic population, Yuma County and Arizona could become fatter and have more health problems than the rest of the country, researchers say.

About 55 percent of Hispanics in Arizona are overweight, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Health Foundation. That number is on par with the national average for the entire U.S. population and two percentage points shy of the national average for the Hispanic population.

Researchers say the U.S. lifestyle of cheap fast food and little physical activity is a dangerous combination for poor Mexican immigrants, whose genes work against them when it comes to weight, diabetes and heart disease.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

John Hawkins analyzies the McCain-Kennedy fiasco.
Sometimes, you just have to scratch your head and wonder what goes on in the vast empty space between the ears of some of the Republicans in the Senate. For example, that sort of head scratching might happen after you saw the nightmarish concoction that the Senate Judiciary Committee just came out with. Here we are in a Senate, that has 55 Republicans -- 44 Democrats -- and 1 left leaning independent -- on an issue that is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to the conservative base, and we get a bill that gives liberals everything they want while those of us on the right get a boot in the mouth.

Senators Back Guest Workers
Panel's Measure Sides With Bush
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer

A key Senate panel broke with the House's get-tough approach to illegal immigration yesterday and sent to the floor a broad revision of the nation's immigration laws that would provide lawful employment to millions of undocumented workers while offering work visas to hundreds of thousands of new immigrants every year.

With bipartisan support, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12 to 6 to side with President Bush's general approach to an immigration issue that is dividing the country, fracturing the Republican Party and ripening into one of the biggest political debates of this election year. Conservatives have loudly demanded that the government tighten control of U.S. borders and begin deporting illegal immigrants. But in recent weeks, the immigrant community has risen up in protest, marching by the hundreds of thousands to denounce what they see as draconian measures under consideration in Washington.


Agents arrest 10 illegal entrants, then 18 more
Arizona Daily Star

Border Patrol agents caught 28 illegal entrants who were attempting to drive north in pickup trucks Sunday night.

At about 6 p.m. Sunday on Arivaca Road east of Arivaca, Border Patrol agents noticed a pair of eastbound pickup trucks traveling in tandem with people in the back, said Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman Sean King. Checking the plates, the agents determined the trucks were stolen and continued to follow them.

About five minutes later, some 16 miles west of Interstate 19 on Arivaca Road, the first pickup, a Ford F250 from New Mexico, veered off the road and ran into a fence before coming to a halt. There, agents arrested 10 illegal entrants, King said.


Bush Says Immigration Law Changes Must Include Greater Security

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, addressing critics of his immigration proposals among fellow Republicans, said the U.S. must bolster border security while bringing illegal immigrants out of the ``the shadows.''

``Our immigration system cannot function if we cannot control the border,'' Bush said during a naturalization ceremony for new immigrants in Washington.

Congress will consider immigration proposals this week in a debate that has divided Bush's Republican Party. Lawmakers are trying to balance voter demands for tighter border security with a need for companies to hire workers from abroad.

Bush backs a so-called guest worker program to encourage people already in the U.S. to register. Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, support the idea. The president called for a ``civil and dignified'' debate that allows for compromise.


Troops border deployment helped catch illegal aliens
By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times The deployment of federal troops along the U.S.-Mexico border in October netted a 60 percent increase in apprehensions of illegal aliens by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, a congressional report says.
The report given this month to the Senate Armed Services Committee says a Texas-based Stryker-armored reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition squadron helped CBP agents capture 2,000 illegal border crossers in New Mexico and Arizona.


Investors Believe Illegal Immigration Is Hurting the U.S. Economic Climate
Eight in 10 investors say the government should do more to stop illegal immigration
by Dennis Jacobe

Two in three investors believe that illegal immigration is hurting the U.S. economic climate according to the March UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Optimism poll. While most investors also recognize that illegal immigrants take jobs that American workers don't want, few believe that illegal immigrants will eventually become productive citizens and pay their full share of taxes. Most importantly, in overwhelming numbers investors think that the federal government should do more to prevent illegal immigration.


Report: Radioactive material easily brought into U.S.
By Toby Eckert
Copley News Service

Washington – Congressional investigators posing as businessmen were able to carry enough radioactive material across the borders from Mexico and Canada to potentially make two radiation-spewing bombs, according to a report that will be released today.

While radiation monitors at the two borders detected the material, the investigators used easily faked documents to dupe border security officers into believing it was for legitimate purposes.

The investigators had purchased the radioactive material over the phone without providing any documentation of their identities or its potential use. The material is commonly used in medical, construction and research equipment, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenged the assertion it presented a possible threat.


Mexico remains optimistic a guest-worker program will be approved in the United States
By Olga R. Rodriguez
Associated Press

Mexico City – Heartened by huge marches across the United States and President Bush's support for a guest-worker program, Mexico remains optimistic the immigration bill in Congress can be transformed into something that will benefit millions of illegal migrants.

Mexicans welcomed the proposal approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee to legalize undocumented migrants and provide temporary work visas, and President Vicente Fox told local media the bill was a “very important” step.

Considering the corruption of the Mexican government and their total disregard for sovereignty of the USA, can legislation they approve of be good for us? - mm

Monday, March 27, 2006

Border worries reach from Mexico to Philadelphia
By Gaiutra Bahadur
Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia, Pa. — John Ryan is, as the slogan on his olive green T-shirt announces, an "undocumented U.S. Border Patrol agent."

No one deputized the retired Quakertown telephone repairman to stare into the hardscrabble desert between Mexico and the United States, protecting the U.S. border from the estimated million people who cross it illegally each year.

Yet today, as the Senate begins debate on sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws, Ryan is planning an April trip to Yuma, Ariz., where, 9mm pistol at his side, he will be a lookout for undocumented immigrants.

Ryan, desert sentry at 58, founded the Pennsylvania Minutemen last summer. The presence of the group here, almost 2,000 miles from Mexico, reflects the growing influence of the Minuteman movement.

Size of L.A. March Surprises Authorities
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Thousands of immigration advocates marched through downtown Los Angeles in one of the largest demonstrations for any cause in recent U.S. history.

More than 500,000 protesters - demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border - surprised police who estimated the crowd size using aerial photographs and other techniques, police Cmdr. Louis Gray Jr. said.

Wearing white T-shirts to symbolize peace, the demonstrators chanted "Mexico!" "USA!" and "Si se puede," an old Mexican-American civil rights shout that means "Yes, we can.


A G.O.P. Split on Immigration Vexes a Senator

HOUSTON — The telephone lines in the unassuming offices of Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, have been sizzling here in recent weeks as anxious Republican voters call to find out precisely where their tough-minded senator stands on illegal immigration.

But as the Senate prepares to wrestle the week of March 27 with the question of legalizing much of the illegal immigrant population, Mr. Cornyn, like many Republicans, finds himself squeezed by warring factions in his own party.

Mr. Cornyn has been criticized on conservative talk radio and labeled a "sellout" on some Weblogs for promoting legislation that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain here for five more years. The proposal would also create a temporary worker program that would allow those immigrants and hundreds of thousands of foreigners abroad to work here legally for up to six years.

At the same time, business groups have been pressing him to go further by supporting legislation that would put their illegal workers on the road to citizenship.


A Border War
Tom Tancredo is pulling the immigration debate to the right—and away from Bush.
By Holly Bailey
April 3, 2006 issue

Tancredo may not be a household name yet, but he's doing everything he can to change that. As the House and Senate debate the nation's immigration and border-security laws, the four-term Coloradan has positioned himself as the loudest, angriest voice against the estimated 11 million illegal aliens now living in the United States. They are "a scourge that threatens the very future of our nation," he says. He laments "the cult of multiculturalism," and worries about America's becoming a "Tower of Babel." If Republican presidential candidates don't put the problem atop the agenda in 2008, he says he'll run himself, just to force the front runners to talk about it. Not that he thinks he'd win the White House. He declares himself "too fat, too short and too bald" to be president. If the Republicans lose the election because he's too tough on the issue, he says, "So be it."


Panel starts immigration work today
Lawmakers weigh variety of plans after massive pro-migrant rallies
By Nedra Pickler
The Associated Press

Washington — Founded by immigrants and praised as a haven for the oppressed, the United States now is struggling to decide the fate of as many as 12 million people living in the country illegally.

The Senate takes up the emotional debate on the heels of weekend rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of people protesting attempts to toughen laws against immigrants. Among the ideas that President Bush and members of Congress are considering:

● Erecting a fence on the Mexican border to deter illegal immigration.

● Treating people who sneak across the border as felons to be deported.

● Allowing foreigners to stay in the country legally as custodians, dishwashers, construction workers and other low-paid employees.

● Allowing those working in the United States a path to citizenship.

● Requiring them to get in line behind everyone else back in their home countries who want to become Americans.


Police find 6 shot dead in northern Mexico
AP Photo/ Juan Manuel Villaseor

GENERAL BRAVO, Mexico (AP) -- The bodies of six men - blindfolded, handcuffed and shot to death - were found Sunday packed inside a pickup truck on the side of a highway leading to the Texas border.

Police found the men in General Bravo, a town about 55 miles from Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, said Camerino Ortiz, a police spokesman.

Ortiz said one of those killed was in the cabin and the rest were stashed in the back of the truck. All had their eyes covered with bandages and were handcuffed with their feet tied.

Investigators recovered more than 50 bullet casings near the abandoned pickup.

Marcelo Garza, director of investigations for Nuevo Leon state, where General Bravo is located, said investigators found a message inside the truck. It said: "This is a message for those in the Gulf Cartel, traitorous pals."


About 70 immigrants caught at checkpoint
Michael D. Hernandez
El Paso Times
Monday, March 27, 2006

A checkpoint near Cornudas, Texas, meant to catch motorists without driver's licenses or proof of insurance yielded the apprehension of about 70 undocumented immigrants during a 24-hour span that ended Sunday morning, sheriff's officials from Hudspeth and Culberson counties said.

Sheriff's deputies manning the checkpoint about 80 miles east of El Paso along US Highway 62-180 were overwhelmed by the high number of undocumented immigrants they found and turned over to Border Patrol, said Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo.

Carrillo said he and Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West conceived and implemented the checkpoint.


Protesters build mock wall outside U.S. Embassy in Mexico to protest immigration bill
By Marco Ugarte

MEXICO CITY – About 50 students used cardboard boxes to build a small wall in front of the gates of the U.S. Embassy here Sunday, protesting a proposed law that would extend fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The students, some waving Communist Party flags, covered their makeshift wall with anti-American graffiti and likenesses of Latin American leftist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. One poster showed a manipulated picture of U.S. President George W. Bush doing a Nazi salute under a swastika insignia.


Study: Illegals land jobs, others pay
More American-born workers are unemployed
By Lilly Rockwell Cox News Service
Whittier Daily News

WASHINGTON - As Congress grapples with the question of how to design a guest-worker program for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States, a study shows that the number of illegal immigrants working is rising as more American-born workers are becoming unemployed.

Based on government labor statistics over the last five years, a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors less immigration, found that employment of illegal immigrants with a high school diploma or less has grown as employment of Americans with the same credentials has dropped.

Steve Camarota, the author of the report, said illegal immigrants are gaining jobs in a competitive low-skilled labor market that Americans aren't.

"The people taking it on the chin are the people at the bottom," Camarota said.

As the number of immigrants in the U.S. work force grew by 3percent, or 1.5 million, the number of Americans who were unemployed or not in the labor force increased by 4 percent, or 2.6 million.

Industries like construction, farming and food preparation are increasingly becoming dominated by immigrant workers, leaving some American-born workers jobless, he said. The unemployment rate in those industries hovers around 11 percent, while the employment of illegal immigrants is around 18 percent.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Immigration Rallies Draw Thousands Nationwide
By Tim Molloy

Los Angeles (AP) - Thousands of people across the country protested Friday against legislation cracking down on illegal immigrants, with demonstrators in such cities as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta staging school walkouts, marches and work stoppages.

Congress is considering bills that would make it a felony to be illegally in the United States, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border. The proposals have angered many Hispanics.

That bill, which has yet to gain Senate approval, would deny state services to adults living in the U.S. illegally and impose a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers from illegal immigrants.

Supporters say the Georgia measure is vital to homeland security and frees up limited state services for people legally entitled to them. Opponents say it unfairly targets workers meeting the demands of some of the state's largest industries.

They are protesting against the right of a sovereign nation to prosecute those who have violated its borders, are here illegally and use serives for which, as violators of those laws they have no right to! This takes arrogance to a whole new level! -mm


Comparison of Immigration bills that could come before the Senate.


Former police chief of violent Mexican border city says job was 'mentally overwhelming'
By Olga R. Rodriguez
Associated Press

Monterrey, Mexico – Omar Pimentel, who resigned as police chief of the embattled border city of Nuevo Laredo, said Friday he left the post because it “was mentally overwhelming.”

Pimentel, 38, resigned Wednesday after eight months on the job which were marked by a rising wave of drug related killings.

Pimentel acknowledged that the incessant violence began to take a toll.

“It's draining when those type of situations occur, even if we don't have anything to do with the investigations,” Pimentel said in a telephone interview. “The truth is that I was tired. It's a tough job and with so much pressure that it becomes mentally overwhelming.”

Pimentel, who surrounded himself with at least a dozen bodyguards toting automatic rifles, denied being threatened by drug cartels, who are fighting a bloody turf war in the city 330,000 across from Laredo, Texas.

Investigators say most of the violence stems from a a turf war between the Gulf and Sinaloa drug cartels over billion-dollar smuggling routes into the United States.


S. Baptists want immigration enforcement, Land tells Bush
By Tom Strode

WASHINGTON (BP)--Most Southern Baptists want the country’s immigration laws to be enforced before supporting a type of guest-worker program, ethics leader Richard Land told President Bush March 23 at a White House meeting on the controversial subject.

The president discussed the topic with Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and 14 others during a week in which the rhetoric on illegal immigration had escalated even as the United States Senate prepared to confront the issue when it returns from a recess March 27.

Various proposals have been offered to address the increasing number of illegal immigrants, which numbers 12 million in this country, according to The Washington Post. Some include provisions to permit temporary guest-worker visas for illegal immigrants, while others focus on securing the borders to prevent the influx.

Bush favors strengthening border security but also supports a guest-worker program, positions he reiterated after his meeting with Land and the others while calling for a civil debate.

“Ours is a nation of law and ours is a nation of immigrants, and we believe that we can have rational, important immigration policy that’s based upon law and reflects our deep desire to be a compassionate and decent nation,” Bush told the news media after the meeting. “[The debate] must be done in a way that doesn’t pit one group of people against another.”

The ERLC’s Land said he told the president Southern Baptists “are deeply offended at a very basic level when the government doesn’t enforce the law. And it’s clear that the government is not rigorously enforcing the law at the border or in the country when it comes to illegal immigration. As Southern Baptists, we believe that Romans 13 teaches the government is to punish those who break the law and reward those who obey the law.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Coachella votes to become an immigrant sanctuary
Move an attempt to prevent local police from arresting the undocumented

Xochitl Peña
The Desert Sun

COACHELLA - Declaring its support for undocumented immigrants coming to this agricultural, Latino community, the Coachella City Council voted Wednesday to become a "sanctuary."

One of just a few California cities to declare themselves sanctuaries, Wednesday's 2-1 decision is an attempt to prevent local police in the 97 percent Latino city of 30,000 from becoming an extension of the border patrol, should Congress pass House Resolution 4437.

The Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act, which is slated to go before the U.S. Senate next, authorizes local authorities to enforce federal immigration law, proposes building a $2 million fence along the border and criminalizes those who help the undocumented. It would also authorize police agencies to arrest undocumented immigrants.

County's TB rate is more than double the state's average
By Juana M. Gyek, Sun Staff Writer

Janette is a nurse for the Yuma County Department of Public Health's Tuberculosis Control Program. She and the other nurses get tested because they work daily with patients who have tuberculosis in a county where, according to the most recent figures, the TB rate is the fourth-highest among Arizona counties and more than twice the statewide average.

Border states and border counties have a higher incidence of TB because of their proximity to Mexico, which has a high incidence of the disease, said Gale Hutchinson, the county's tuberculosis control supervisor.

"So many people crossing to and from the border, it makes a difference," said Hutchison.

The U.S.-Mexican border is the busiest border in the world, with 400 million crossings yearly, said Hector Martinez, executive secretary of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, during a telephone media briefing Thursday.

TB disregards borders and does not target any specific person because the disease can spread when someone breathes in germs that are released into the air when a person who has the disease talks, breathes, sings, laughs, coughs or sneezes, Janette said.


House passes bill on illegals
Senate prepares to iron out differences
By Jim Tharpe, Carlos Campos
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia's sweeping attempt to confront illegal immigration moved a step closer to becoming law Thursday when the state House voted 123-51 in favor of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act.

The Republican-dominated chamber debated Senate Bill 529 — a complex proposal aimed at illegal immigrants and those who employ them — only 90 minutes before House leaders called for a vote.

State Rep. Dan Lakly (R-Peachtree City), the son of a legal immigrant from Yugoslavia, told the House the bill is a simple case of "right vs. wrong, legal versus illegal."

Lakly and other speakers pointed a stern finger at the federal government, which they said has failed to fix a broken immigration system.

"There comes a time when the states have to stand up as one and send a message to the federal government," Lakly said. "The people of our country want our borders secure. The people of this country do not want to be overrun by illegal immigrants."


Texas sheriffs reach out to neighbors
By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times

The Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition, which has asked for federal help in combating rising illegal immigration and drug smuggling, wants to expand its membership along the U.S.-Mexico border and has invited sheriffs from New Mexico, Arizona and California to meetings today and tomorrow in El Paso, Texas.
The coalition, which includes all 16 Texas border sheriffs, has asked its New Mexico, Arizona and California colleagues to join the two-day session to discuss pending federal immigration legislation and to set the groundwork for establishing the Southwest Border Sheriff's Coalition.


Bush re-enters debate over guest workers
Mike Madden
Republic Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Just days before the Senate is to begin a full-blown debate on immigration and border security, President Bush is pushing harder for reform.

Bush met Thursday with business, religious and civil rights leaders who want comprehensive changes in immigration laws, repeating a call he initially made more than two years ago for temporary visas for foreigners to work in the United States, coupled with tougher border enforcement.

"I think now is the time for the United States Congress to act to get an immigration plan that is comprehensive and rational and achieves important objectives," Bush said.


25 under indictment in Cleveland as Ariz.-based entrant smugglers
By Joe Milicia
Associated Press Writer

Twenty-five members of an Arizona-based smuggling ring that made millions of dollars bringing people into the United States from Mexico were indicted this week in Cleveland, authorities reported.

Federal prosecutors said the group would transport illegal entrants from the border in Arizona to Ohio and other states for $1,800 to $2,000.

U.S. Attorney Gregory White identified Manuel Valdez-Gomez, who owns an auto sales and repair business in Phoenix, as the ring's leader.

Valdez-Gomez, 55, was in federal custody Thursday along with 15 other defendants. They face five to seven years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say the ring had been in operation since 1997, smuggling entrants from Mexico to Nogales, Ariz., and then to Phoenix.

The ring provided false documents to the entrants and moved them from Phoenix to a network of safe houses, prosecutors allege.


Suspects In Texas Trooper Shooting Wore Body Armor, Had Weapons

TYLER, Texas (AP) -- Two Tulsa men charged with shooting a Texas trooper during a stop near Tyler wore body armor and fired about 100 rounds as they fled.

Both men were caught when their vehicle crashed.

37-year-old Ramon Ramos and 38-year-old Francisco Saucedo were in a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Steven Stone is hospitalized in fair condition after last night's attack. He was shot in the left shoulder.


Non-Mexican migrants 'rent a family' to avoid deportation
By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times

Migrants sneaking illegally into the United States from countries other than Mexico are renting families -- mostly small children -- to ensure that if they are apprehended, they won't be deported, but released back into the United States, a top immigration official said yesterday.
The "rent-a-family" scheme, said John P. Torres, director of the Office of Detention and Removal at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is being used by alien smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border -- mainly in Texas -- to circumvent a new expedited-removal program for non-Mexican aliens, whose arrest under existing deportation policies had become known as "catch-and-release."
"They are passing themselves off as a family, paying to have children smuggled with them across the border, because the smugglers know we're not going to break up a family for the deportation process," Mr. Torres said. "They're renting babies -- the younger the better -- including those not yet of speaking age.
"They get processed as a family and released together, under the law, pending an immigration hearing," Mr. Torres said


Fake ID business booms in Los Angeles
metropolis is the forged document capital of America
By George Lewis
NBC News

LOS ANGELES - The Federal Trade Commission says identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country. The thieves often use phony Social Security numbers belonging to innocent citizens — and do it with the greatest of ease.

Undercover video, shot by agents of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, was used to help convict a man of forging Social Security cards and other government IDs.

Kevin Jeffery, a special agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, says computers make it easy for the forgers.

"The document vendors themselves, they just make up random numbers," Jeffrey says. "To do this would take maybe about two minutes, tops."

Jeffery says Los Angeles, with its huge population of illegal immigrants, is the counterfeit document capital of America.

NBC News asked an employee of its Spanish language sister network, Telemundo, to walk through Los Angeles' MacArthur Park, where he was approached four times in 30 minutes by document vendors.

"They told me I can get everything from IDs to permanent resident cards, or green cards, Social Security numbers," he says. "They have everything."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Loaded vehicle with 19 illegals busted after accident
By Blake Schmidt

An alleged alien smuggler is being held under suspicion of transportation of illegal aliens after he allegedly drove a vehicle loaded with 18 other illegal aliens into oncoming traffic, said U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Claudia Delgado.

The man, an illegal alien from Mexico, will appear for indictment in front of a grand jury in Phoenix next week, Delgado said.

The man was driving a Ford Bronco that crossed the border at high speeds, ran a stop sign and crashed into an oncoming vehicle Wednesday morning at County 11-1/2 Street and Avenue G, according to a U.S. Border Patrol news release.

Two of the illegal aliens, both female adults, were sent to Yuma Regional Medical Center after the wreck for medical evaluation, and later released back into Border Patrol custody, the patrol said in a news release.

Yuma sector Border Patrol agents saw the 1987 Ford Bronco cross the border illegally when it drove across the Colorado River at about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Border Patrol cameras watched the vehicle travel east on County 11-1/2 Street recklessly at a high rate of speed. That video was released to The Sun, and can now be viewed on The Sun's Web site:


Alleged shooters in Monday drive-by charged
By James Gilbert, Sun Staff Writer

Two Yuma men each face six felony counts in connection with what police say was a gang-related drive-by shooting Monday night.

Freddy Andrade, 20, of 3174 W. 31st Lane, and Andres Gonzalez, 19, of 3078 S. 31st Drive were each charged Thursday with one count of conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting, one count of drive-by shooting, one count of participating in a criminal syndicate and three counts of aggravated assault.

Andrade and Gonzalez, who are reputed members of Soma, a Somerton street gang, were arraigned before Yuma Justice of the Peace David Cooper, who ordered their bonds remain at $504,118, which he set at a previous hearing.


Agents find abandoned jeep full of pot
From Staff Reports

Yuma sector Border Patrol agents found an abandoned Jeep near the Colorado River loaded with nearly a half ton of marijuana Tuesday, according to a Border Patrol news release.

The Jeep, suspected of being abandoned by smugglers after it got stuck in a patch of soft sand, was spotted by a Border Patrol helicopter.

Border Patrol spokesman Ben Vik said the driver of the Jeep must have been "spooked," because the Jeep was apparently headed back west in the direction of Mexico when it became stuck.

Inside the Jeep, agents found 969 pounds of marijuana, packed in bundles. Its estimated street value was more than $775,000.


Questions remain over Mexican investigator on FBI list
By Anna Cearley
Union-Tribune Staff Writer

Tijuana – A Mexican state investigator whose photo appeared two years ago on an FBI list of suspected collaborators with the region's main drug cartels continues working for the Baja California State Attorney General's Office.

This week, after El Mexicano newspaper published a front-page story identifying the agent – Hernando Villegas – and asking why he is still with the agency, U.S. authorities said they were also confounded.

“We have the same questions about that as well,” FBI spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

Villegas is in charge of security details for the top state police commander in Mexicali. In 2004, his photo appeared on an FBI list of people suspected of obtaining fake Mexican police credentials. His name didn't show up on the list, but he is identified as No. 61 of the 76 photos. Caldwell confirmed Villegas' identity yesterday.

“We know as a fact that No. 61 obtained a fake federal agent's ID to commit felonious crimes,” Caldwell said.

Fake police cards are often used by drug groups to camouflage criminal activities under the guise of police work.

Emissions program shifts to high gear
County installing smog-cutting devices on Mexican big rigs

By Mike Lee
Union-Tribune Staff Writer
Photo: Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune

One truck at a time, San Diego County air pollution officials are trying to cut the smog-forming particles spewed by old Mexican big rigs that cross the international border.

By installing pollution-control devices on these vehicles at no cost to the owners, the pilot program promises to reduce each truck's output of toxic air contaminants by up to 50 percent.

Now, the work is at a crossroads.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to expand the project to Imperial County and elsewhere along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, which trucks cross by the millions each year. The deliberations are taking place as the daily number of Mexican semis entering California is expected to more than triple once U.S. travel restrictions are removed to boost international trade.

“We hope the (retrofit) concept catches on and other parties, such as the maquiladoras, expand the program to additional border-crossing trucks,” said Robert Reider, planning manager for the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. “That said, it may take another round of EPA funding to continue watering the seed.”


Police chief of Nuevo Laredo resigns as drug-related violence rises
By Jorge Vargas
Associated Press

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico – The police chief of this embattled border city resigned after eight months on the job amid a rash of recent drug-related killings.

Omar Pimentel, 38, presented a letter of resignation to Mayor Daniel Pena late Wednesday, hours after police found three charred bodies dumped by the side of a road leading into Nuevo Laredo. Police did not immediately know how the bodies got there or who was behind the killings.

Pimentel, who surrounded himself with at least a dozen bodyguards toting automatic rifles, didn't give a reason for his resignation and didn't answer his telephone Thursday. He had served as director of the city's police academy before being named police chief in July.

Pimentel's predecessor, Alejandro Dominguez, was gunned down just seven hours after being sworn in last June.

Shortly after Dominguez's killing, the mayor fired half of the police force of 700 officers in an effort to weed out corruption and alleged links to drug traffickers.

Pimentel promised to create a more professional police force, but months later he was still struggling to find qualified replacements.


Mexican official denies rumor of bird flu on border with U.S.
Associated Press

Mexico CityMexico's Agriculture Department on Thursday denied rumors that a case of high-pathogenic avian flu had been found in a town on the U.S. border.

Mexico is totally free of bird flu,” Jose Angel del Valle, the department's head of animal health, said in a telephone interview.

A supposed news item posted on the Web site on Wednesday said there had been a case of H5 bird flu in a duck found dead in the town of Nogales, on the U.S. border.


AZ House OKs proposal to make English official language
The Associated Press

PHOENIX - The Arizona House on Thursday approved a proposed ballot measure that would make English the state's official language and require that government functions be conducted in English.

Supporters say the measure was needed to encourage assimilation of immigrants, while opponents say the proposal was divisive and fanned flames of intolerance.


Reid Threatens Filibuster on Immigration
By Elliot Spagat
Associated Press Writer
San Diego

As the Senate prepares to tackle the most sweeping immigration reforms in years, a top Democrat vowed Wednesday to do everything in his power, including filibuster, to thwart Majority Leader Bill Frist's proposed overhaul.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would "use every procedural means at my disposal" to prevent Frist from bypassing the Judiciary Committee. Frist, R-Tenn., has made clear the Senate will take up his proposal next week if the 18-member committee fails to complete a broader bill.

"If Leader Frist brings a bill to the floor that does not have the approval of the Judiciary Committee, it will not get out of the Senate," Reid told reporters at the San Ysidro border crossing, a few steps from Tijuana, Mexico.


Four vehicles carrying possible illegals crash
113 detained in two days in rash of accidents on snow-packed highways
By Joe Garner, Deborah Frazier, And Felix Doligosa Jr., Rocky Mountain News

Four vehicles packed with 42 suspected illegal Mexican immigrants overturned on snowpacked eastern Colorado highways within two hours early Tuesday, a day after two similar wrecks in the state.

Taken together, the six crashes highlighted Colorado's key role as a crossroads in the dangerous and often deadly transport of undocumented workers into this country.

Neither the rash of accidents nor the 113 suspected illegal immigrants arrested in two days came as a shock to federal enforcement officers, said the agent in charge of the Denver office of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Presidential hopeful espouses cooperation on immigration
Gustavo Martínez Contreras
El Paso Times

JUAREZ -- Mexico's leading presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said Tuesday that if elected he would propose to the United States an immigration program that would create jobs in Mexico and the possible legalization of undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

"We will convince our neighbors that the best relationship between a strong economy and a weak one is not building walls, but cooperating in order to achieve development," he said.

Before more than 4,000 people who waited in the sun and swarmed the Plaza de Armas in downtown Juárez, López Obrador unveiled his foreign-policy project, one that conceives the U.S.-Mexico relationship as one of the "most intense" worldwide.

You must understand that this candidate is a "populist" in the flavor of Venezuela's Chavez and Cuba's Castro. Should he win, things will be very different in Mexico. -mm


Deportee's case may hold fate of thousands
U.S. Supreme Court: Can a ban on hearings be applied retroactively to immigrants?
By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune WASHINGTON - In a case that could affect hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today about whether a longtime Utah resident and businessman was illegally deported.

There is no question that Humberto Fernandez-Vargas, a 53-year-old Mexican native who made his home in Utah for decades, was in the United States illegally. But the issue before the high court today is whether Fernandez-Vargas, and thousands like him, should have had the right to court hearings before being deported.

In 1996, Congress passed a law that did away with such hearings for those arrested after previously being deported.

The U.S. government says the law, which went into effect in 1997, can be applied retroactively to people like Fernandez-Vargas, who was deported in 1981 and illegally re-entered the United States the next year. His attorneys argue the law can't be applied to an act that happened before the law existed.


We Don't Need 'Guest Workers'
By Robert J. Samuelson

Economist Philip Martin of the University of California likes to tell a story about the state's tomato industry. In the early 1960s, growers relied on seasonal Mexican laborers, brought in under the government's "bracero" program. The Mexicans picked the tomatoes that were then processed into ketchup and other products. In 1964 Congress killed the program despite growers' warnings that its abolition would doom their industry. What happened? Well, plant scientists developed oblong tomatoes that could be harvested by machine. Since then, California's tomato output has risen fivefold.

It's a story worth remembering, because we're being warned again that we need huge numbers of "guest workers" -- meaning unskilled laborers from Mexico and Central America -- to relieve U.S. "labor shortages." Indeed, the shortages will supposedly worsen as baby boomers retire. President Bush wants an open-ended program. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) advocate initially admitting 400,000 guest workers annually. The Senate is considering these and other plans.


Border wars: No more lip service

Mexico last year trumpeted a cooperative effort with the United States to stem drug gang violence just across the Texas border. Five months later the situation has changed -- for the worse.

Authorities now confirm that a drug gang has set up shop on U.S. soil while Mexico continues its uninterrupted siesta.

The situation In Laredo, Texas, is serious. Authorities say the Sinaloa drug cartel has established a staging area to gather intelligence and weapons. One U.S. official calls Laredo "a cesspool of cartel activity."

Traffickers have good reason to move north. If caught in the U.S., cartel members get America's softer justice. If arrested in Mexico, they face almost certain death from rival gangs in jail.


Dropping Out
Immigrant Entry and Native Exit From the Labor Market, 2000-2005
By Steven A. Camarota
Steven Camarota is Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies

Advocates of legalizing illegal aliens and increasing legal immigration argue that there are no Americans to fill low-wage jobs that require relatively little education. However, data collected by the Census Bureau show that, even prior to Hurricane Katrina, there were almost four million unemployed adult natives(age 18 to 64) with just a high school degree or less, and another 19 million not in the labor force. Perhaps most troubling, the share of these less-educated adult natives in the labor force has declined steadily since 2000.

  • Looking first at all workers shows that between March 2000 and March 2005 only 9 percent of the net increase in jobs for adults (18 to 64) went to natives. This is striking because natives accounted for 61 percent of the net increase in the overall size of the 18 to 64 year old population.
  • As for the less-educated, between March of 2000 and 2005 the number of adult immigrants (legal and illegal)with only a high school degree or less in the labor force increased by 1.6 million.
  • At the same time, unemployment among less-educated adult natives increased by nearly one million, and the number of natives who left the labor force altogether increased by 1.5 million. Persons not in the labor force are neither working nor looking for work.
  • In total, there are 11.6 million less-educated adult immigrants in the labor force, nearly half of whom are estimated to be illegal aliens.
  • Of perhaps greatest concern, the percentage of adult natives without a high school degree who are in the labor force fell from 59 to 56 percent between March 2000 and 2005, and for adult natives with only a high school degree participation in the labor force fell from 78 to 75 percent.

Americans view Mexicans well; reverse not true
By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times

Mexicans see Americans as racist, dishonest and exploitative, while Americans see Mexicans as hardworking and think they are more tolerant than Americans.
A new survey of attitudes the two countries hold toward each other showed the border is more than a geographic divide, but also a fissure in public opinions of the two nations and what their citizens think of each other.
The poll, taken by New York-based Zogby International and the Centro de Investigacion para el Desarrollo AC in Mexico City, found that 62 percent of Mexicans surveyed said the United States is more wealthy than Mexico because "it exploits others' wealth." Only 22 percent said it was because the United States is "a free country where people have plenty of opportunity to work."



A shootout last week underscores the dangers of 'drop houses' as tougher border enforcement raises the stakes for smugglers

Deadly way stations
By Robert Crowe

On the journey into the United States, a stay in one of Houston's "drop houses" often is the last stop illegal immigrants make before their lives begin in this city.

It's a dehumanizing experience. Immigrants — treated as cargo — are known as pollo, or chickens. They're often held at gunpoint and forced to subsist for days or weeks in stifling and filthy conditions before their smuggling debts are paid.

These houses are all over Houston, say federal authorities, who find at least one a week. A shootout last week in southwest Houston underscored how problematic these illegal transfer sites have become as rival smuggling gangs target them to kidnap illegal immigrants to collect fees.

"It's similar to narcotics traffickers and groups that do rips of drug shipments," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Gallagher. "In Houston, it's still not on par with the violence in Phoenix and Los Angeles — where smugglers are shooting each other in the middle of traffic — but we did have a shooting last week at 9 o'clock in the morning."