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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

On the Road!

Beginning this evening, my family and I are taking a road trip. We will be heading from Yuma, AZ to Memphis, TN in our newly acquired RV, a 1993 Holiday Rambler Endeavor. (Have you sen the movie "RV" yet with Robin Williams?) From Memphis, we will be setting our sights on Pittsburgh, PA where we will be staying for the summer. Our intent is to then head south to Myrtle Beach, SC and Fort Lauderdale, FL in the fall, returning to Mexico by October.

As a result, I am not sure how often I will be able to post but will do my best to do so regularly.

I hope that you will enjoy your holiday and I pray that we remember with honor and respect those who had fought and those who have died so that we may have the freedom to even take a roadtrip without fear! -mm

A Time to Remember! A Time to be Grateful!

God Bless the USA
By Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can't take that away.

From the lakes of Minnesota
to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas
from sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston
and New York to L.A.,
There's pride in every American heart
and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

God Bless The U.S.A. Words and Music by Lee Greenwood
All Rights Controlled and Administered by
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Aztlan group blamed for newspaper theft

'MEChA' vandals censor campus paper
in retaliation for 'racist,' 'biased' coverage
© 2006

Police at Pasadena City College in Southern California say they have no suspects in the theft of 5,000 copies of the campus newspaper despite a claim by students identifying themselves as members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan – MEChA – saying they were responsible.

The theft, which occurred a week ago, was first noticed by distribution manager Kris Calnon while on his way to the Campus Courier's office. An empty newsstand that he had held 300 papers only two hours before caught his eye.

"I gave it three bundles," he said. "It usually takes a day and a half to empty."

According to Calnon, 10 minutes later, a student came to the office to say he had seen a man grab a stack of papers from the women's gym and carry it onto the men's gym.

While Calnon left to investigate, Courier photographer Daniel Lottes stayed behind. A few minutes later, four or five people entered the office carrying large black garbage bags.

"When they first walked in I thought they were bringing something in from the event [going on across the hall]," he said.

When a woman placed one of the bags on the table near his equipment, Lottes said he thought nothing of it. "Oh, let me move my camera," he said.

The woman handed him a letter, saying, "This is for the Courier staff – it will explain everything in the letter."

Braving heat and harsh terrain, some Mexican migrants take to bicycling into U.S.

By Mark Stevenson

SONOYTA, Mexico – Many illegal immigrants no longer hike. They bike.

The 110-degree heat and rough terrain of the Arizona desert would exhaust the fittest of cyclists, but these migrants are often middle-aged housewives or farmers, riding battered second-hand bikes for 30 or 40 miles.

The bikes also carry their supplies and belongings, so if rocks or cactus spines shred the tires, they get off and push.

The prize? A chance at a low-wage job.

“We've seen them going by on bicycles right by our offices ... in whole groups,” said Mario Lopez, an agent for Mexico's Grupo Beta migrant aid agency, whose offices sit just a few hundred yards from the border. “They're usually old bikes because they're going to abandon them anyway.”

Most start their trip in Sonoyta, a Mexican border town where the bikes are sold for $30 in a dusty, vacant lot a few blocks from the chest-high, three-rail fence that marks the U.S. border. The fence has prevented vehicles from driving across into the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, but migrants can easily toss a bike over and slip through the rails.

49 stolen vehicles are recovered in Juárez

El Paso Times

JUAREZ -- A black 2006 Hummer reported stolen in El Paso was among 49 vehicles recovered in Juárez recently in separate cases, Chihuahua authorities said.

Many of the vehicles that were found by the state police Auto Theft Group were stolen in Juárez and El Paso.

The Hummer was among 26 vehicles recovered last weekend. Four men were arrested.

Tuesday and Wednesday, agents recovered an additional 23 vehicles, probably stolen in Mexico. They arrested an additional four suspects, including a boy, 14.

High-tech once again a priority for Mexico

By Bob Keefe

TIJUANA, Mexico — When you think of high-tech countries, Mexico probably isn't the first to come to mind.

Mexican cities like this one are known more for their sweatshop-like maquiladoras that churn out cut-rate shoes and shirts, not state-of-the-art factories making semiconductors and software.

But in an effort to catch up with other parts of the world, Mexico is trying once again to beef up its technology sector.

In Mexicali, about 75 miles west of Yuma, U.S. developers are building an industrial park to lure semiconductor makers and other high-tech companies that might otherwise end up in Taiwan or China.

At college campuses in Tijuana and throughout the country, administrators are putting technology training at the top of the curriculum to compete with high-tech talent in India and Israel.

Young Mexicans hoping for good wages are responding. About 400,000 students are currently enrolled in information- technology-related programs in Mexican universities. The schools now produce about 60,000 new IT-trained graduates each year.

The Mexican government, meanwhile, is trying to sell their country as tomorrow's technology hotbed.

Senate's new immigration bill thick with last-minute amendments

By Michael Doyle and Margaret Talev

— Foreign hockey players, territorial Mexican politicians and FBI bean-counters now have something in common: a stake in the Senate's big immigration reform bill.

There is a lot of fine print in the 600-plus-page bill passed this week. It's true, as senators say, that the legislation would erect more border barriers and seek to better manage the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. But it also includes perks to the privileged, blurs some border security provisions, and makes other substantive changes that activists on both sides of the debate are only now beginning to understand.

Some of these lesser-known provisions were included days before and simply got little attention because of the scope of the overall bill. Others were adopted just minutes before the bill's vote Thursday evening, part of a 100-page-plus "manager's amendment."

More minor-league athletes from other countries could get visas under the bill. More veterans could be recruited for border duty. The U.S. government would need to consult with various Mexican officials before new border fences could go in. Frequent Western Hemisphere travelers would get a new traveling card. More Canadian power-line workers could enter if they have received "significant training."

Two-thousand Christian Iraqis in the Detroit area who now face deportation — and more in other parts of the country — could become eligible for legal permanent residency status. That provision seeks to undo a judge's finding that religious minorities who came here seeking asylum from Saddam Hussein's regime and got caught in an immigration backlog no longer have claims simply because the Iraqi leader was deposed.

Collectively, such provisions showcase another side to how Congress works, illustrating how votes are gathered, deals struck and negotiations anticipated.

Immigration Deal at Risk as House GOP Looks to Voters

By Jim VandeHei and Zachary A. Goldfarb
Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship -- an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers and leadership aides.

The opposition spreads across the geographical and ideological boundaries that often divide House Republicans, according to interviews with about half of the 40 or so lawmakers whom political handicappers consider most vulnerable to defeat this November. At-risk Republicans -- from moderates such as Christopher Shays in suburban Connecticut and Steve Chabot in Cincinnati to conservative J.D. Hayworth in Arizona -- said they are adamant that Congress not take any action that might be perceived as rewarding illegal behavior.

Shays, one of the few vulnerable House Republicans open to a broad compromise with the Senate, said strong protests from his constituents this month prompted him to speak out for the first time against citizenship for undocumented workers. "It would be a huge mistake to give people a path to citizenship that came here illegally," he said.

Minutemen Installing Ariz. Border Fence

May 27 10:40 PM US/Eastern

PALOMINAS, Ariz. _ Scores of volunteers gathered at a remote ranch Saturday to help a civilian border-patrol group start building a short security fence in hopes of reducing illegal immigration from Mexico.

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps plans to install a combination of barbed wire, razor wire, and in some spots, steel rail barriers along the 10-mile stretch of private land in southeastern Arizona.

They hope it prompts the federal government to do the same along the entire Arizona border.

President Bush has pledged to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to strengthen enforcement at the border. The guardsmen would fill in on some behind-the-lines Border Patrol jobs while that agency's force is expanded.

But the Minutemen have said it's not enough. The group's founder, Chris Simcox, said they want a secure fence and they're starting at the site where his first patrols began in November 2002.

Rancher John Ladd and his son, Jack, were hopeful the effort would limit the illegal immigrants and drug runners who have cut the small fence along the property or just driven over it to cross into the U.S.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Some Mexican migrants take an underground route to US

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times | May 26, 2006

SAN DIEGO -- Armando Reyes climbed over the border fence and prepared for the dash into San Diego. But his smuggler instead led him and four other migrants through a patch of reeds to a smelly drainage pipe, and ordered them inside.

The black sludge reached Reyes's chin as he crawled through the shoulder-width tube. Rats scurried by. Terrified of losing his way in the darkness, Reyes reached for the migrant in front of him and clutched his sneaker.

The stocky 28-year-old from Oaxaca had followed the smuggler into a vast labyrinth of drainage pipes under Otay Mesa, a booming commercial area 15 miles southeast of downtown San Diego.

The 23-mile network leads to more than 500 manholes scattered across about 2 square miles. From these openings, mud-covered migrants crawl out into streets, busy intersections, and parking lots, creating a dizzying guessing game for US Border Patrol agents.

"They're popping up all over the place," said Joe Perez, the agent in charge of the area.

National Guard units to be armed, close to border

Chief says rules of engagement allow troops to fire weapons
Posted: May 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

The head of the U.S. National Guard surprised Border Patrol officials, declaring some of the troops he will send to assist them will work in close proximity to the border, be armed and allowed to fire their weapons if necessary.

"Any soldier assigned to a mission where he would be placed in harm or danger, where his life would be threatened potentially, will in fact be armed and will have the inherent right of self-protection," Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum told the San Antonio Express-News Thursday.
Federal troops are scheduled to begin deployment to the four states on the Mexican border next week once the Guard and the Defense Department approve the memorandum of understanding that will define the mission's parameters. The document will also require signatures from the border governors.

Representatives from the National Guard and the offices of the governors of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California have been meeting in Phoenix this week to craft an agreement on the use of force. The talks have focused on "harmonization" of the different states' laws on self-defense and the use of deadly force, said Texas National Guard commander Army Maj. Gen. Charles G. Rodriguez.

The rules of engagement "will be the same in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas," said Blum.

According to the current plan, the National Guard will conduct border securty operations for two years while the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs increase their numbers. The number of troops deployed at any given time would represent less than 2 percent of available Guard forces, none of which will be assigned from states likely to experience hurricanes this year.

ICE arrests 179 in largest ever local operation targeting illegal alien fugitives and immigration violators

LAS VEGAS - In a major six-day operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from three states fanned out across Clark County, arresting a total of 179 immigration violators, many of whom have outstanding orders of deportation.

As a result of the enforcement effort, which concluded yesterday, more than 130 of the aliens taken into custody have already been removed from the United States.

The arrests are part of ICE's national fugitive operations initiative, an enforcement strategy targeting illegal aliens who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge and failed to comply with those orders. It is estimated there are more than 500,000 such fugitive aliens currently in the United States.

“Taking immigration fugitives off of our streets is a top ICE priority,” said John Torres, the national director of ICE detention and removal operations. “The people targeted in this operation had 'their day in court,' and were ordered deported by an immigration judge. Those immigration fugitives who remain at large should be on notice - the days when you could brazenly ignore an immigration judge's order are over. We are going to find you and send you home.”

Amnesty Intranational

By Ben Johnson | May 26, 2006

The U.S. Senate should have focused less on forging “paths to citizenship” and more on blocking paths to the great American gravy train.

Its supporters describe the immigration bill the Senate passed last night as “sweeping” and “comprehensive” – which means its amnesty provisions remained intact. The bill passed by a 62-36 vote (see the vote tally here).

In addition to a “path to citizenship” – which, when applied to at least 11 million illegal immigrants, is less a path than a superhighway – the bill includes a Guest Worker Program for 200,000 people a year, who can then apply for a Green Card. As Sen. Jeff Sessions has said, “[T]here is nothing ‘temporary’ about the new guest worker program created by this bill.” Moreover, the Associated Press reported, “A new program for 1.5 million temporary agricultural workers also survived.” They can also apply for a Green Card. In theory, “only” 650,000 aliens a year will be granted permanent resident status, or 13 million in 20 years – more than the population of Illinois.

This bill doubles the amount of legal immigration, while reorienting our employment visas, for the first time, toward unskilled laborers. (The National Academy of Sciences found each “migrant” with less than a high school education costs the United States $90,000, and that immigrants only begin to “contribute to our economy” if they have a post-secondary education.)

3 Men Killed in 2 Attacks in Mexico

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) -- Three men were shot to death in two different attacks in this dangerous border city, bringing to at least 115 the number of people slain by violence this year, authorities said Wednesday.

A 28-year-old mechanic was shot several times and died outside of his garage Tuesday, according to Rail Gland, an investigator from the attorney general's office for Tamaulipas state, which includes Nuevo Laredo.

Police said at least two men armed with machine guns did the shooting, suggesting it was drug-related.

Just before midnight Tuesday, an unknown number of gunmen with assault rifles shot and killed two men in a vehicle as they arrived at one of their homes.

Authorities had yet to determine a motive in the second slaying and there were no arrests made in either case.

Mexico Gunmen Kill Police Officer

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) -- Assailants firing assault rifles killed a Nuevo Laredo police officer and wounded his partner, the 11th law enforcement official to be gunned down this year in this violent border city, authorities said Friday.

Police tracked the alleged gunmen to a hideout, where one suspect was killed and two wounded in a shootout, officials said.

The death of the officer brings to 116 the number of people slain this year in Nuevo Laredo, a city of 300,000 across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

The city is in the midst of a turf battle between drug cartels battling for billion-dollar drug routes into the United States

What the Senate Wants You to Accept on Immigration...

Friday , May 26, 2006
By Bill O'Reilly

What the Senate wants you to accept on immigration. Number one, 14,000 new border patrol agents by 2011, a long time. And 2,500 new port of entry inspectors. OK, fine but it's not enough. Unless you put additional National Guard on the border. But let's be honest. The Senate doesn't really want to secure the border and I have no idea why.

Number two, Senate wants to build a triple-layered fence on 370 miles out of the almost 2,000 miles of water between the USA and Mexico. Also, the Senate proposes 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the border.

Three, Senate wants a phase-in program for employers to check Social Security numbers of new hires. Ten thousand agents would be hired to make sure businesses comply with that. So why the phase-in part? Obeying the law shouldn't have to be phased in, or am I wrong?

Number four, 200,000 guest workers would be allowed into the USA. They could stay up to six years, and after four years if they behave, they could apply for permanent residence. I don't have a problem with that.

Number five, and here come the big problems, an estimated seven million illegal aliens who have been in the USA five years or more would be ability to stay and earn citizenship if they did a number of things like pay fines, learn English and pass background checks. This is amnesty, no matter what anybody says.

Rush Limbaugh Interviews Sen. McCain

Read the transcript.

El Centro Border Patrol snags big load of pot


More than 900 pounds of marijuana was seized by El Centro sector Border Patrol agents from two vehicles Thursday.

At 7:30 p.m., agents saw a 2005 blue GMC pickup enter the United States illegally from Mexico just east of the Buttercup campground in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, according to a Border Patrol release. The vehicle traveled westbound to El Centro while agents followed it.

The vehicle was momentarily lost in neighborhood streets in the city, and soon after, agents found it abandoned. A search revealed 612 pounds of marijuana, and the truck was found to be stolen out of Los Angeles.

At 7 a.m. the same day, agents observed two people loading large bundles into a vehicle near the Calexico East Port of Entry. Agents followed the vehicle westbound to the All-American Canal where the driver dove in and swam to Mexico.

Agents found 313 pounds of marijuana inside, according to the release.

The total of 925 pounds of marijuana was valued at $741,040. The vehicles and drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Out-of-state troops to launch on Arizona-Mexico border

PHOENIX (AP) -- The first wave of National Guard troops to be stationed along the Arizona-Mexico border under President Bush's mandate will not come from Arizona, officials said Friday.

Troops with the Arizona National Guard won't be ready to deploy until after June 12, said Lt. Paul Aguirre, a Guard spokesman.

National Guard Lt. Gen. Steven Blum told lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday that 800 National Guard soldiers would be deployed to the four border states around June 1. He said 200 soldiers would go to each state.

The first Guard soldiers headed for the Mexican border with Arizona will instead probably come from nearby states, said Pati Urias, a spokeswoman with Gov. Janet Napolitano's office.

Use of English touchy subject here on border


Mindy McClain has attended the same state-sponsored child-care training program for years.

But this year, when she signed up and paid her $20 fee, she was told that the program, which is funded through the Arizona Department of Economic Security, would be presented in Spanish instead of English for the first time. If she wanted to hear it in English, she would be provided with a translating device.

"I'm like, excuse me ... I don't think so," said McClain, the director of the Children's Center preschool in Yuma.

She and 10 other women demanded their money back and promised not to attend.

"I feel very offended," McClain said.

Since then, the DES has given in to pressure from McClain and a few others, and the program will be held in English, despite the fact that 85 percent of those attending will be Spanish-speaking caregivers, according to Lourdes Encinas, who helped organize the event.

"It's bad enough that with a bachelor's degree, I can't go out and get a well-paying job with benefits I'm qualified for because I don't speak Spanish in my own country," McClain said.

White House compares illegal immigration to speeding

Bill Sammon, The Examiner

WASHINGTON - The White House on Friday said a Senate bill that would grant legal status to illegal immigrants is analogous to a traffic law that allows a speeder to pay a fine and continue driving.

"If you had a traffic ticket and you paid it, you're not forever a speeder, are you?" White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said in response to questions from The Examiner.

"So the fact is, you have paid your debt to society," he added. "And we have come up with a way to make sure that the debt to society gets paid. Then you move forward."

The "traffic ticket" analogy raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, where many House Republicans regard illegal immigration as a grave crime.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Experiencing technical difficulties

I am receiving some errors from the server when trying to post this morning.

Hopefully this will be resolved soon and I will be able to continue posting.


Fugitive wanted in EP murder captured in downtown Juárez

El Paso Times
By Daniel Borunda

A man wanted in connection with a fatal roadway shooting last year in West El Paso was captured in Juárez on Thursday but not before putting up a fight, officials said.

Raul Ceballos, 24, was sought on a murder warrant in the vehicle-to-vehicle shooting of Guillermo Gonzalez, 48, on North Resler Drive on Jan. 11, 2005.

Ceballos was caught in downtown Juárez by the Chihuahua state anti-fugitive unit known as the Gesaf Group, state authorities said. He allegedly resisted arrest, tried to take an agent's weapon and ran for several feet with his feet and hands shackled.

El Paso police spokeswoman Detective Elizabeth Molina confirmed that Ceballos was in custody in Juárez after a cross-border effort including the U.S. Marshals Service.

Chihuahua prosecutors alleged that Ceballos said he killed Gonzalez because he and his brother wouldn't pay Ceballos money in a drug deal. He was turned over to agents of Mexico's Federal Investigation Agency, known as AFI.

Gonzalez, of Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, was shot when a Chevrolet Avalanche pulled up and someone fired several times as Gonzalez sat in the front passenger seat of a Ford Explorer traveling on North Resler Drive, according to complaint affidavits acquired by the El Paso Times.

Indecency conviction returns man to Mexico

El Paso Times Staff
El Paso Times

A 51-year-old El Paso man convicted of exposing himself to a teenage girl was deported Wednesday at the Stanton Street bridge and is barred for life from returning to the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

A conviction last month on a charge of indecency with a child made Sergio Rivera Basurto, previously a permanent resident, deportable, immigration officials said. He was arrested May 17 by ICE agents at his home in the 1000 block of Whyburn Avenue. He was turned over to Mexican immigration officials at the middle of the international bridge.

CBP Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than Half-Ton of Marijuana

Agents take nearly $1 million of dope off streets, recover stolen vehicle
Friday, May 26, 2006

Yuma, AZ. — Last night, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents of the Yuma Sector observed a truck illegally cross into the United States east of San Luis and subsequently seized over 1,100 pounds of marijuana.

At 11 p.m., agents observed a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche illegally cross into the United States east of San Luis, Arizona. Upon seeing agents the vehicle turned around and attempted to return to Mexico. When the vehicle became disabled in deep sand the driver and two occupants fled on foot back into Mexico. Border Patrol agents responded to the area and discovered 1,123 pounds of marijuana in the truck. The marijuana, worth an estimated $898,800, and the vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle had been reported stolen on May 14, 2006 in Yuma.

Since October 1, 2005, CBP Border Patrol Agents in the Yuma Sector have seized 32,728 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $26 million. If you see or hear any suspicious activity of interest to the Border Patrol, you are encouraged to call toll free 1-866-999-USBP (8727).

Arizona House border security package narrowly passes

Governor likely to veto measure that GOP lawmakers say will secure border

Matthew Benson
The Arizona Republic
May. 26, 2006 12:00 AM

Republican state lawmakers pushed through a border security package late Thursday, setting up a showdown with the Democratic governor on what has been the issue of the session.

The measure, House Bill 2577, was narrowly approved by the House and Senate and now heads to Gov. Janet Napolitano.

The governor's response, likely a veto, will almost certainly play a leading role in the campaign for her office leading up to the November election.

Napolitano previously vetoed a bill to expand the state's trespassing law to allow for the arrest of undocumented immigrants. That provision is a key element of the bill approved Thursday.

Republicans say their measure would go a long way toward securing the border and halting incentives such as employment and government subsidies that help attract undocumented immigrants to this country.

"We need to end the taxpayer subsidies for illegal immigrants," said Sen. Dean Martin, R-Phoenix.

"That's what this bill does."

Some in Mexico See Border Wall as Opportunity


SEATTLE, May 24 — To build, or not to build, a border of walls? The debate in the United States has started some Mexicans thinking it is not such a bad idea.

Nationalist outrage and accusations of hypocrisy over the prospect have filled airwaves and front pages in Mexico, as expected, fueled by presidential campaigns in which appeals to national pride are in no short supply. But, surprisingly, another view is gaining traction: that good fences can make good neighbors.

The clamorous debate over a border wall has confronted President Vicente Fox of Mexico at every stop during a visit to the United States that began Tuesday. While he did not publicly endorse the idea, he made clear that his government was prepared to live with increased border security as long as it comes with measures that opened legal channels for the migration of Mexican workers.

Outside his government, several immigration experts have even begun floating the idea that real walls, not the porous ones that stand today, could be more an opportunity than an attack.

A wall could dissuade illegal immigrants from their perilous journeys across the Sonora Desert and force societies on both sides to confront their dependence on an industry characterized by exploitation, they say.

Yumans call immigration bill ‘good start’

May 25, 2006

Though some are calling it "amnesty" and others are concerned about last-minute amendments tacked on to the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate Thursday, many Yumans say it's about time Congress moved ahead with immigration reform.

The Senate's passage of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006 — which comes a week after President Bush made a speech in Yuma urging the Senate to pass a bill — mirrors the president's immigration reform proposal.

The legislation includes money to better secure the borders, provide a new guest-worker program and give an eventual shot at citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million to 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat whose district includes Yuma County, called the bill a "step forward" from the bill recently passed by the House, which he voted against.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Snow: Bush plan not '86 amnesty

Spokesman cites requirements for illegals who want citizenship

Posted: May 25, 2006 5:00 p.m. Eastern
By Les Kinsolving
© 2006

In an unusually long answer to a question by WND, presidential press secretary Tony Snow defended President Bush's immigration-reform plan at today's press briefing, claiming it is much tougher than the 1986 amnesty program.

WND asked Snow: "Has the president studied the 1986 comprehensive immigration reform plan approved by Congress and signed by President Reagan? And if he has, why does he think this comprehensive immigration reform plan, which does essentially the same thing, will be successful?"

While saying he didn't have "a full roster of the president's bedside reading," Snow noted members of the administration "have taken a very close look at what happened in 1986."

Continued Snow: "In 1986, Congress declared an amnesty for 3 million people who were here illegally that said, OK, fine, go about your business, no crime, nothing. They also drafted a bill that made it a misdemeanor to cross America's borders without proper documentation or having done what is standard and usual for those who wish to become citizens. For this misdemeanor, it assigned no penalty.

Migrants in border town hope Senate approves immigration bill

By Olga R. Rodriguez
Photo by Victor Sira
2:36 p.m.
May 25, 2006

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Migrants waiting for nightfall in this blistering hot border town expressed hope Thursday that Congress will pass reforms allowing them to work legally and gain U.S. citizenship. But they seemed determined to cross the Rio Grande, with or without help from Washington.

Jeffrey Javier Caballero, 26, said he had a construction job lined up in North Carolina and would cross once a friend wires money to pay a smuggler. He hoped to get into the U.S. in time to benefit from what may be the most sweeping immigration reform in two decades.

“If they approve a guest worker program and you're in Honduras, how are you going to take advantage of it?” said Caballero, who had a black eye from being beaten and robbed by bandits after arriving atop a cargo train at the last stop before crossing the river to Laredo, Texas.

Legislation offering millions of illegal immigrants a chance at U.S. citizenship moved to the brink of Senate passage Thursday in a rare bipartisan compromise. Next come tough negotiations with the House of Representatives, which passed a bill focused on border security that would make all illegal immigrants subject to felony charges, rather than merely civil deportation procedures.

Migrants preparing to cross Thursday seemed to be closely following the developments in Washington.

Police car rammed; border traffic slows

By Mark Arner, Karen Kucher and Pauline Repard

May 25, 2006

SAN YSIDRO – A National City police car was rammed by a fleeing suspect's car just north of the U.S.-Mexico border yesterday, authorities said.

The crash was one of two incidents that slowed vehicles crossing the border into Mexico yesterday morning.

National City police had been pursuing the vehicle after its driver failed to stop in Chula Vista for what police described later as a minor traffic violation. The motorist headed south on Interstate 805 around 10 a.m.

The pursuit eventually ended on Interstate 5 just north of the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in San Ysidro, and the driver was arrested, said California Highway Patrol Officer Alicia Contreras. No one was injured in the crash.

Desert Whispers

Observations about Southern Arizona

President Fox should stay out of debate

Mexican President Vicente Fox wouldn't be a good comedian. His timing is way off.

Weeks after immigration marches and protests, Congress is again talking seriously about passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The acrimony, tensions and political posturing of past weeks seem to have subsided, and lawmakers are hard at work trying to hammer out a solution.

Fox is muddying the waters with his four-day, three-state tour in the United States. He was in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, and questions inevitably veered toward immigration.

"We don't set up walls, and that's not the way you're going to fix this situation," Fox said in Spanish, according to The Associated Press. What he's saying is nothing new, and it's an opinion held by many Americans.

Fox's comments are sure to agitate anti-immigration forces who will see him as a foreigner meddling in U.S. affairs. He might also come off as hypocritical following recent reports about the brutal treatment of illegal immigrants in Mexico.

It's in Mexico's interest for the United States to reach a solution on illegal immigration. For the sake of progress, Fox should stay out of the debate.

Legal Immigrants Show Other Side of System

May 25, 9:04 PM EDT
Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA (AP) -- Working with illegal immigrants every day in a suburban Atlanta bank, Carlos Carbonell knows exactly where to go to buy a fake green card for his wife. Sometimes he thinks it would be much easier.

His wife, Valentina, has been stuck in their native Caracas, Venezuela, for four years because of backlogs in processing her green card application.

Carbonell believes in reforming U.S. immigration policy, but he and other legal immigrants who have been playing by the rules feel forgotten in the debate over possible amnesty for most of the estimated 12 million immigrants here illegally.

"They are putting as a priority illegal immigration, and legal immigrants are left out of the loop. It's the curse of doing things right," he said. "They think that the legal ones can wait - hey!"

Man wanted here on sex charges arrested in Mexico

May 24, 2006

The U.S. Marshals Service has assisted in apprehending a Mexican national wanted in Yuma County on numerous counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Francisco Daniel Megui was taken into custody May 17 in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., by Mexican authorities.

A warrant for Megui was issued in Yuma County last December charging him with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of child molestation and one count of sexual abuse.

Yuma Police Department contacted the U.S. Marshals' Mexican investigative liaison deputy in January requesting help in locating Megui, who was believed to be living at an address in Sonora.

A provisional arrest warrant was issued for Megui by the Arizona Attorney General's Office in March and was later passed on to Mexican authorities.

Megui was transferred to Mexico City where he is awaiting extradition to Yuma.

Senate passes immigration bill overhaul

Special Correspondent 1 hour, 40 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Landmark legislation to secure U.S. borders and offer millions of illegal immigrants a share of the American dream cleared the Senate on Thursday, a rare election-year reach across party lines and a triumph for President Bush.

The 62-36 vote cleared the way for arduous summertime compromise talks with the House on its immigration measure focusing on border enforcement with no guarantee of success. Republicans and Democrats said energetic participation by Bush would be critical.

"Why not say to those undocumented workers who are working the jobs that the rest of us refuse, come out from the shadows," said Arizona Republican John McCain, a key architect of the bill.

The legislation includes money to better secure the borders, provide a new guest worker program and give an eventual shot at citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million to 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Senate RollVote Immigration

May 24, 5:12 PM EDT

The 73-25 roll call Wednesday by which the Senate voted to limit debate on proposed immigration legislation.

On this vote, a "yes" vote was a vote to limit debate and a "no" vote was a vote to continue it.

Voting "yes" were 41 Democrats, 31 Republicans and one independent.

Voting "no" were two Democrats and 23 Republicans.

Immigration Bill Awaits Senate Approval

May 24, 9:12 PM EDT

AP Photo

By DAVID ESPO WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate supporters of landmark immigration legislation looked ahead Wednesday to passage of a measure along lines set by President Bush, but they also signaled a willingness to seek common ground with conservatives whose House version would be far tougher on millions of men and women in the country illegally.

With Senate approval assured on Thursday, Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, "Does anybody have a better approach? Not yet. But we're still open for business."

"If there are some unneeded and unwanted complexities in this legislation, they could probably be smoothed out," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He said it was good news that new suggestions were coming from the House.

The Senate bill's passage, long assumed, was assured with a decision to limit debate. That 73-25 vote set the stage for final approval Thursday in what will be a bipartisan ratification of legislation that calls for increased border security, a new guest worker program and a shot at citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

Second legal challenge made to Arizona's voter ID requirement

May 24, 9:03 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

In the latest lawsuit against Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer, the state's chief elections officer, an American Indian tribe and others said the requirement to show identification at polling places could keep citizens from exercising their voting rights.

They also said voter registration drives were being hindered by the requirement for people who are registering to vote to submit documents proving their citizenship.

The Secretary of State's office plans to defend the provisions in court and carry them out at polling places, said Kevin Tyne, a spokesman for the office.

"This appears just to be another attempt to undo provisions of Proposition 200 as passed by voters," Tyne said.

While the law was approved in 2004, the ID rules were cleared by federal officials in October and were first used in local elections in March.

Supporters said the requirement would safeguard the election system by preventing non-citizens from casting ballots.

Fox: U.S. Can't Fix Immigration Alone

May 24, 9:54 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer


YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Mexican President Vicente Fox told hundreds of farm workers here Wednesday that neither his country nor the United States can go it alone in trying to fix immigration problems.

"It's clear the purpose is to reach an agreement that can give security, that can give legality, that can give flow to the migrant people," Fox said in Spanish on his second day of a four-day visit to the western U.S. "I think we are closer to the end of this route. This is a shared responsibility, the immigration reform."

Fox's speech came on the same day the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to limit debate on election-year immigration legislation. That cleared the way for final passage later this week of a bill that calls for tougher border security as well as an eventual chance at citizenship for millions of men and women in this country illegally.

My thoughts!

Breaking the law should have consequences!

As our nation, and in particular, the House and Senate, debate immigration, we find that there is little clarity or unity on what is appropriate action for those who are already illegally in the country.

We do not want to offer amnesty. There must be consequences for breaking our laws. Those who have entered illegally must not be given the same privilege as those who have waited patiently and waded through the bureaucracy to obtain their visas and/or citizenship.

No one who has entered this country illegally should be allowed to apply for permanent residency or citizenship until and unless they return to their country of origin to make that application. Those who have been in the country and have been productive should be allowed to apply for in fact, they must apply for a visa, pay all pay taxes and social security for any wages they received plus a substantial fine for illegal entry.

This, then, would be just and equitable. Those illegally in the country would not be given an advantage over those swimming up stream against the endless flow of red tape. However, this would be for a limited time, say 2 years, after which all those remaining in the country illegally or entering the country illegally would receive prison time and eventual deportation with an escalating prison sentence upon each illegal entry and capture.

There must be justice. This however can only work if the border is sealed, i.e. the tidal flow of illegals is reduced to a trickle through the use of physical and virtual barriers and sufficient personnel to accomplish it. Those Latinos who have Border Crossing Cards, Visas or Green Cards should be permitted to continue to cross, legally.

This foolish must come to an end!


Fox: Mexico wants to be part of solution to U.S. immigration problem

By Brock Vergakis
5:33 a.m.
May 24, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY – Mexican President Vicente Fox, kicking off a four-day visit in the U.S., said building a wall on the border is not the answer to the illegal immigration problem in the United States.

Fox began his visit Tuesday amid a heated debate over illegal immigration. He said Mexico wants to be part of the immigration solution, not the problem.

“It's not with fences that we are going to solve this problem,” he told representatives of groups active in Utah's Mexican community.

On Wednesday, Fox was scheduled to address a special session of the Utah Legislature before heading to Washington state. From there, he is expected to move on to California for an address before California lawmakers and meetings with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Longer stays make saying goodbye hard for Mexican migrants heading north

By Olga R. Rodriguez
12:43 a.m. May 23, 2006

Migration to the United States has long been a fact of life for many Mexicans. In some villages, mariachi music and feasts are customary sendoffs for those heading north. But tighter border security is now keeping many migrants away from their homes for longer stretches, making their last moments in Mexico more somber occasions.

With about half of Mexico's 107 million people living in poverty, the promise of better paying jobs has lured millions of migrants north – so many that about 10 percent of Mexico's population now lives in the United States.

Earlier this month, President Bush unveiled a plan to bolster security along the border by sending 6,000 National Guard troops to patrol the area. Congress is also debating the most far-reaching immigration bill in two decades. It would strengthen border enforcement, create a guest worker program and eventually offer the possibility of citizenship to many of the millions of men and women already in the country illegally.

Because of these measures, many migrants are making fewer passages back and forth between the United States and Mexico. When they do undertake the sometimes dangerous journey, some count on divine protection, stopping at churches, makeshift altars and the tombs of saints on the way. The Roman Catholic Church offers a half-dozen patron saints for travelers, but many Mexican migrants turn to someone not recognized by the church: “Juan Soldado,” or Soldier John.

A Stretched National Guard?

By Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu
May 24, 2006

The military's most vociferous critics, including those railing against President Bush’s proposal to deploy a limited number of National Guard forces to the southern border, are too often people who haven’t a clue about that which they speak. They disguise contempt for the military – active, reserve, or Guard – behind crocodile tears of concern about the combat losses, overseas deployments, family separations, and physical and mental hardships our all-volunteer forces endure. Editorial writers and talking heads bemoan any additional mission requirements whining that the Guard is “stretched too thin.” Politicians who voted against military budgets for years now whine about “mission creep” and “operational overload.”

Is the National Guard capable of adding border protection to the kinds of international missions that have been levied upon it? Typical of critics is California Democrat State Senator Don Perata of Oakland, who considers deployment of the Guard along California’s southern border an “inappropriate use.” He threatens to put a hold on next year’s funding, saying, “I do not want to spend any money at all, invest a dime, into anything that weakens our ability to respond to a state disaster when it comes.”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to agree. The Governator glumly agreed that troops might provide “short-term relief,” but he also did not believe border protection was an appropriate role for the National Guard. Schwarzenegger wants to hold back the troops in case of need from natural disasters – earthquake and fire come first to mind - or in response to other emergencies. This assumes, of course, that the tens of thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans weekly streaming northward to join millions of their fellows already in the Golden State do not already compose a sufficiently threatening “state disaster.”

103M immigration-influx projections are challenged

By William Douglas

WASHINGTON — It caught Vice President Dick Cheney off-guard, emboldened the conservative opposition, and it's become one of the most talked about "talking points" in the battle over the Senate's sweeping immigration bill.

A study by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy-research center, said that the Senate measure would allow a staggering 103 million immigrants to enter the United States over the next 20 years. The report instantly became the weapon of choice for the bill's opponents in Washington, on talk radio and across the country.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., cited the report Tuesday when voicing opposition to the legislation, which he said would explode America's population and bust the federal budget because its increase of low-skilled, undereducated immigrants would tax the welfare system.

"As the facts become more clear, I think there's more unease," Sessions said as he sat beside Robert Rector, the author of the Heritage study. "I heard a senator tell me not long ago, 'The more I learn about this bill, the worse I think it is.' And I think there's some concern growing in this regard."

But independent analysts and supporters of the immigration measure say the Heritage report's numbers don't add up.

A Congressional Budget Office study released last week estimates that the Senate bill would increase the U.S. population by 8 million residents by 2016.

AZ likes Bush immigration ideas

The Associated Press
Published: 05.24.2006

Arizona voters stand solidly behind President Bush's approach for lessening America's immigration woes, voicing their strongest support for hiring more border agents, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The statewide survey of 351 registered voters found 86 percent supported Bush's proposal to hire 6,000 new Border Patrol agents, while 11 percent disagreed, and 3 percent had no opinion.

A nearly identical margin supported the idea of holding employers accountable for the employment eligibility status of their workers, according to the poll by KAET-TV and Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Sheriff's posse patrols for illegal immigrants

County arresting migrants under smuggling law
Judi Villa
The Arizona Republic
May. 24, 2006 12:00 AM

For nearly three months, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has been the only law enforcement agency in the state seeking out and arresting undocumented immigrants for conspiracy to smuggle themselves into the United States.

The genesis was an anti-human smuggling statute, passed in August, that gave prosecutors a tool to go after coyotes, or smugglers, who traffic in undocumented immigrants. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office later issued an opinion saying undocumented immigrants suspected of paying coyotes could be prosecuted as conspirators.

Since March, 209 undocumented immigrants and 15 smugglers have been arrested.

Despite objections from the Arizona Civil Liberties Union and a court challenge, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he'll keep at it. The message is simple, he says, and resonates with "the silent majority": "Stay out of Maricopa County. You're going to go to jail."

A recent poll conducted by KAET-TV and the journalism school at Arizona State University found that 59 percent of registered voters support Arpaio's efforts.

"I have compassion for the Mexican people," Arpaio said. "I'm torn between compassion and doing my job as the elected sheriff.

Exclusive: A Compromise Plan on Immigration

Leading House Conservative Mike Pence offers a "no amnesty" solution in an effort to get House Republicans on board

With the Senate headed toward a final vote on an immigration bill this week, a leader of House conservatives is asking his colleagues to support a free-market plan aimed at bridging the gulf between the versions in the two chambers. The proposal by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), provided to TIME ahead of an unveiling speech at the Heritage Foundation, is arguably less compassionate than the version being debated in the Senate and supported in principle by President George W. Bush. But it looks to be more palatable to House Republicans, many of whom have opposed creating a guest worker program before new border crackdowns have been given a chance to work.

Pence, a rising star in the House, is suggesting a temporary worker program based on a database run by private industry. And unlike the leading plan in the Senate and the blueprint sketched by Bush, his “Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act” would require all applicants to leave the country first. Pence tweaks a phrase from Bush’s address to the nation by calling the compromise “a REAL rational middle ground.” Even though Bush has said his preferred solution “ain’t amnesty,” Pence appeals to hard-liners by calling the compromise a “no-amnesty solution.”

San Luis police find pot in abandoned Jeep

May 23, 2006

When San Luis police stopped to check out an abandoned Jeep Cherokee stuck in the sand east of San Luis Monday night, they found 630 pounds of marijuana inside.

The discovery near Juan Sanchez Boulevard and Avenue C was the fifth pot seizure police have made or helped make this month. The estimated total street value of marijuana from all those seizures is more than $1 million, according to police spokesman Ernesto Lugo.

"We usually average about two to three busts a month," Lugo said Tuesday from the police station, where the odor of the confiscated marijuana was in the air.

Lugo said the sudden spike in busts is partly due to the department dedicating extra resources to drug enforcement in recent months.

Border Patrol finds immigrants hiding in trailer, house


Border Patrol agents detained 30 illegal aliens Tuesday at a Somerton home and during the seizure of a commercial tractor-trailer at an Interstate 8 checkpoint near Yuma, the patrol said.

A citizen's tip led agents to the home in Somerton that was serving as a "drop house" or "stash house," where 18 aliens were staying until smugglers could arrange their transportation to other destinations. It was the 13th drop-house bust in Yuma County this month, Border Patrol spokesman Rick Hay said.

The illegal aliens had been in the house in the 200 block of State Street for three days without running water or electricity, Hays said.

"Like other stash houses, the conditions inside the house were deplorable, with trash strewn throughout," said Hays, adding that none of the immigrants required medical attention. Agents also seized a vehicle located on the property.

Earlier in the morning, a Border Patrol canine sniffed out 12 illegal immigrants inside a hidden compartment of a tractor-trailer at the I-8 checkpoint near Telegraph Pass, Hays said.

Senate advances sweeping immigration bill

Associated Press Writer
6 minutes ago

The Senate voted Wednesday to limit debate on election-year immigration legislation, clearing the way for final passage later this week of a bill that calls for tougher border security as well as an eventual chance at citizenship for millions of men and women in the country illegally.

The vote to advance the measure was 73-25, 13 more than the 60 needed.

The outcome was not a surprise, and even some of the bill's opponents said they were satisfied they had been given ample opportunity over past weeks to try and give the bill a more conservative cast.

Final passage would set the stage for a difficult negotiation with the House, which passed legislation last year that exposes all illegal immigrants to criminal felony charges.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Immigration sweeps could pose legal, logistical problems

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Even if some of the people who march in immigration protests like one in Indianapolis last month are illegal immigrants, police and federal agents aren't likely to start making mass arrests at such events.

"All Americans have a right to demonstrate for redress of grievances. You can't just pick up someone on the suspicion they're illegal," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison told The Indianapolis Star for a Sunday story.

After some 20,000 people marched in immigration protests April 11 in Indianapolis and South Bend, U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., and others questioned why authorities didn't sweep the crowds for illegal immigrants.

Citizenship by Birthright Up for Debate

May 22 5:30 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

About 2 million families face the risk of being split up because the children are U.S.-born citizens but the parents are illegal immigrants. At least one lawmaker has proposed ending citizenship by birthright, restricting automatic citizenship at birth to children of U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The United States has one of the most liberal citizenship policies in the world, granting citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil based on an 1868 constitutional amendment. About 3.1 million children are U.S. citizens by birth, even though one or both of their parents are here illegally, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Supporters of that measure say it is the only way to fully integrate immigrants.

But critics who want to eliminate the right insist it is a magnet for illegal immigration and an obstacle in efforts to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

"It's not as large a magnet as jobs, but it will be easier to solve the problem of illegal immigration if we avoid the mixed-family situation," said Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., who tried unsuccessfully to revoke the citizenship-by-birth right in the immigration bill passed by the House in December.

Judge in Mexico City sentences smuggling-ring leader to 14 years

By Sandra Dibble
May 23, 2006

TIJUANA – The owner of a Lebanese restaurant who confessed to running a smuggling ring that helped Middle Easterners cross the border to San Diego has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a federal judge in Mexico City.

Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, the owner of La Libanesa restaurant, was the leader of a criminal group whose clients paid between $3,500 and $4,500 to be taken by car to San Diego, according to Mexican law enforcement authorities.

Boughader, a Mexican of Lebanese descent, was initially arrested by U.S. authorities in December 2002 on smuggling charges.

In March 2003, he pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego to running a ring that helped more than 100 immigrants cross the border to San Diego; most of the clients were Lebanese, including one man who died from heat exhaustion. Boughader was sentenced to a year and a day, but apparently he didn't serve the entire sentence.

Homeland Security Agencies Arrest Two Men, Seize 46-foot Alien-Smuggling Yacht

Brownsville, Texas — Two men from Brownsville face federal criminal charges today after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested them over the weekend for their role in smuggling six Mexican nationals by boat to Corpus Christi, Texas.

According to the ICE report, the six men were first smuggled into the United States from Mexico in McAllen, Texas. Then they were transported to South Padre Island, Texas. The yacht named “Poca Mas” left the Sea Ranch Marina in South Padre Island early Sunday morning. Shortly after lunch the yacht arrived in Corpus Christi, Texas, ICE agents arrested the two boat operators and the six smuggled illegal aliens, and seized the yacht.

Deputies instilling fear in residents, groups say

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
El Paso

While sheriff's deputies say they are not actively pursuing undocumented immigrants, public perception to the contrary is creating fear in many El Paso residents, immigrant and civil rights advocates said.

Ralph Solis, a pastor at Holy Spirit Catholic Church and organizer with EPISO, said numerous parishioners have reported such incidents.

He said they recounted incidents in which deputies called Border Patrol officers to the scene to detain some undocumented immigrants.

"They're just really frightened," Solis said. "They don't come out of their homes anymore."

Samaniego accused of doing illegal work on border

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
El Paso

AUSTIN -- Some of El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego's border security operations could be illegal and lead to expensive lawsuits, state and local officials said Monday as a top civil rights group announced it is deciding whether to sue.

"As immigration issues hit border states, we must fight to ensure that the civil rights of border citizens are guaranteed," said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso.

State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, accused Samaniego of conducting illegal immigration raids and roadblocks, and in a letter Friday asked Gov. Rick Perry to rein in local law enforcement. El Paso County Attorney José Rodríguez said he has received a flood of complaints and is monitoring the department to safeguard the county from liability.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Glancey said the allegations are baseless and politically motivated by Shapleigh. Samaniego has endorsed Shapleigh's Republican opponent Dee Margo in the coming November election.

"There's been a tremendous amount of push from various organizations to make accusations, and it's kind of like that old saying, throw some mud and see if something sticks," Glancey said.

Hinojosa, chairman of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, said Samaniego is misusing money Perry provided border sheriffs for Operation Linebacker. He said legal concerns motivated him to write Perry, not political worries of Shapleigh, vice chairman of the caucus.

Texas law prohibits peace officers from engaging in activities designed to uncover undocumented immigrants.

4 entrants' bodies bring total to 77


Border Patrol agents discovered the bodies of three people believed to be illegal border crossers over the weekend on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.

Then, on Monday afternoon, Pima County sheriff's deputies found the body of a man believed to be an illegal entrant in the desert west of Tucson near North Reservation and West Mile Wide roads, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a department spokeswoman.

That brings to 77 the number of known illegal entrant deaths in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector in the 2006 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

The discoveries put the grim tally ahead of last year's record-setting pace of 74 known deaths during the same period, said Border Patrol spokesman Gustavo Soto. Deaths often rise this time of year as temperatures go up, Soto said.

Senators back plan to send National Guard troops to border

AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate, eager to stanch the flow of illegal immigrants, signaled overwhelming support Monday for President Bush's plan to dispatch National Guard troops to states along the Mexican border.

No tour of duty could last longer than 21 days and troops would be excluded from "search, seizure, arrest or similar activity." They would support the Border Patrol, which has primary responsibility for intercepting illegal immigrants.

The vote was 83-10 on an amendment by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., to authorize governors to order their states' National Guard units to perform annual duty training in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California. Administration officials have said Bush has the authority needed to deploy the Guard, making the vote a largely symbolic show of support.

Immigration Bill Expected To Pass Senate This Week

Hastert May Block Version That Divides House GOP
By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Backers of President Bush's bid to revamp immigration laws scored another small victory in the Senate yesterday, but they are increasingly concerned about a House Republican policy that could block final agreement even if a bipartisan majority is within reach.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's insistence that major legislation reach the House floor only if it appears to be backed by a "majority of the majority" could throw a high hurdle in front of efforts to reach a House-Senate compromise on immigration later this year, lawmakers said. Hastert (R-Ill.) has invoked the policy in blocking bills that appeared likely to win approval from more than half of the House's 435 members but less than half of its 231 Republicans.

That is the scenario that could emerge in the House this summer, sources say, because the immigration debate divides both parties along unusual lines. It is possible, they said, that enough House Democrats and Republicans -- but not a majority of the Republicans -- could support a version of the legislation backed by Bush and most senators to enact it into law.

Mexico's Fox Begins U.S. Trip in Utah

By BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press Writer 44 minutes ago

To some, Mexican President Vicente Fox's visit to the United States is a sign of hope to Hispanics as Congress debates immigration policy. To others, it is an opportunity to rally again in support of tightening the border. Fox begins his five-day trip in Utah on Tuesday before moving on to Washington state and California.

The president is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City at 2:30 p.m. EDT. He's expected to spend three days in Utah.

Immigration is a major focus of Fox's trip as the U.S. Senate considers legislation to strengthen border security, authorize new guest-worker programs and give an eventual chance at citizenship to most of the estimated 12 million people already living illegally in the United States.

Fox was expected to arrive in Salt Lake City Tuesday afternoon for the three-day visit, beginning his trip in a state that like many, is divided on immigration. While Utah's largest minority population is Hispanic, there also is growing frustration about the wave of illegal immigrants entering the state.

Modes of Entry for the Unauthorized Migrant Population

From the Pew Hispanic Center

Nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants now living in the United States entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point where they were subject to inspection by immigration officials.

As much as 45% of the total unauthorized migrant population entered the country with visas that allowed them to visit or reside in the U.S. for a limited amount of time. Known as "overstayers," these migrants became part of the illegal population when they remained after their visas had expired.

Another smaller share of the unauthorized migrant population entered the county legally from Mexico using a Border Crossing Card, a document that allows short visits limited to the border region, and then violated the terms of admission.

The rest of the unauthorized migrant population, somewhat more than half, entered the country illegally. Some evaded customs and immigration inspectors at ports of entry by hiding in vehicles such as cargo trucks. Others trekked through the Arizona desert, waded across the Rio Grande or otherwise eluded the U.S. Border Patrol which has jurisdiction over all the land areas away from the ports of entry on the borders with Mexico and Canada.

The Pew Hispanic Center has previously estimated that there are between 11.5 and 12 million unauthorized migrants in 2006. The calculations reported in this fact sheet suggest that roughly 4.5 to 6 million or 40 to 50% of the total entered the country legally through ports of entry. Of them, some 4 to 5.5 million entered with nonimmigrant visas, mostly as tourists or business visitors, and another 250,000 to 500,000 entered with Border Crossing Cards.