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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mexican flag flies at U.S. post office

Old Glory stamped on in protest by backers of illegal immigration
Posted: August 29, 2006 10:48 p.m. Eastern
© 2006
Photo: Terry Anderson Show

Backers of illegal immigration at a rally near Los Angeles took down an American flag at a U.S. post office, stamped on it and replaced it with a Mexican flag as police looked on, according to witnesses and a video of the event.

Police officers in Maywood, Calif., Saturday eventually came to the pole to remove the flag but had bottles and rocks thrown at them, a radio listener named Sandra reported to the Terry Anderson show, heard on KRLA in Los Angeles.

A video can be viewed here, and photographs can be seen here on the website of Save our State, a border-security group represented there along with the Minutemen to protest Maywood declaring itself a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens.

Bottleneck at the border

No relief in sight for longer lines
Photo by PEGGY PEATTIE / Union-Tribune
August 30, 2006

After a recent Baja California surf outing, Michael Fox and his buddies were inching in their SUV toward the San Ysidro port of entry inspection booths.

“This is ridiculous,” Fox said. “It takes three seconds to get into Mexico and three hours to get out.”

Although no official statistics track delays at the border, people who cross say they are waiting longer this unusually hot summer, and border officials agree. While U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is doing all it can to move people along swiftly, the reality is improvement might not occur until the San Ysidro port of entry is expanded and a third border crossing opens. That is years away.

Frustration is growing not only for those who wait in line, but also for tourism and business officials.

Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov't

Aug 29, 5:12 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, convinced he won't be awarded the presidency, has vowed to create a parallel leftist government and is urging Mexicans not to recognize the apparent victory of the ruling party's Felipe Calderon.

While his party lacks the seats in Congress to block legislation, Lopez Obrador can mobilize millions to pressure his conservative rival to adopt the left's agenda - or to clamp down and risk a backlash.

Both scenarios are possibilities as the former Mexico City mayor lays out plans to create his own government to rule from the streets, with the support of thousands who are already occupying protest camps throughout downtown Mexico City.

Some predict his parallel initiative - which Lopez Obrador's supporters call the "legitimate government" - could turn those protest camps into the core of a violent revolt, especially if the government tries to shut it down.

More than 100 arrested in ICE operation

More than 100 arrested in ICE operation targeting illegal alien fugitives and immigration violators in Las Vegas area

LAS VEGAS -- A total of 109 immigration violators from a dozen different nations have been arrested here during the past six days by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of Operation Return to Sender, an ongoing ICE initiative targeting criminal aliens, foreign nationals with final orders of deportation, and other immigration violators.

As of today, more than 35 of the foreign nationals taken into custody during this latest operation have been removed from the United States. The remaining aliens are in ICE custody and are awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge. Some of those targeted as part of the enforcement action are immigration fugitives, illegal aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation issued by immigration judges.

More than half of those taken into custody during Operation Return to Sender, 57, have criminal records, including past convictions for robbery, assault, drug violations, and sex offenses. Among those arrested was Jesus Millan-Soto, a 41-year-old Mexican national who has been deported twice and had prior criminal convictions for weapons and narcotics charges. ICE is seeking to have Millan federally prosecuted for felony re-entry after deportation, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Border Patrol looks for female entrant group left behind


Border Patrol agents were searching for a woman in the desert near Casino Del Sol on Tuesday afternoon after she was left behind by a group of illegal entrants.

Agents on foot and in helicopters were called to search for the woman about 2:30 p.m. after a man in her party told workers in the area to call for help, said Jesus Rodriguez, a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.

The man had stayed behind with the woman after she began to slow down. The rest of the party continued without them, Rodriguez said.

At one point, the man carried the woman because she couldn't walk, Rodriguez said.

The man later left the woman to find help. He found a work crew in the area of West Valencia Road near Casino Del Sol and asked for help, Rodriguez said.

Wild weekend for Yuma sector Border Patrol

Aug 28, 2006


Yuma sector U.S. Border Patrol agents were attacked four other times within hours of when an agent shot a Mexican national and killed him, according to the agency. The Border Patrol says these types of incidents are on the rise in the sector and show the frustration felt by illegal immigrant smugglers.

"This weekend we experienced an escalation in attacks in response to us gaining more and more operational control," said Border Patrol spokesman Ben Vik.

Early Sunday morning, agents were shot at by sniper-style gunfire, pelted with rocks twice and also shot at with a paintball gun. These incidents all
followed a shooting Saturday night near Andrade, Calif.

The Border Patrol said at this point it was unknown if the incidents are related. The FBI is investigating the shooting.

In that incident, a group of people on the Mexican side of the border began throwing rocks at agents who were trying to rescue an illegal immigrant who was struggling in Alamo Pond. After an agent was struck in the head by a rock, he fired a single round. The man who was shot later died at a Mexican hospital, according to the Border Patrol.

About an hour later, a patrol vehicle was struck by sniper-style gunfire near County 22nd Street and the Salinity Canal, according to Vik. The two other rock-throwing incidents also occurred near San Luis.

Agents have been facing more unconventional attacks, such as paintball fire and Molotov cocktails recently, according to the Border Patrol. Vik said agents have also dealt with burning debris being thrown at them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Arellano cohort is a suspect in slaying of editor

By Anna Cearley
Photo by Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune
August 29, 2006

Manuel Arturo Villarreal Heredia, who was captured on a boat with suspected drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, is a U.S. citizen whom Mexican authorities have linked to the 2004 killing of a Tijuana journalist, U.S. prosecutors said.

“He has been identified as a high-ranking member of the cartel . . . who would have in-depth knowledge,” prosecutor Laura Duffy said during a court hearing yesterday in which his status as a material witness was discussed.

Judge Larry Burns ruled yesterday that the government could continue to hold Villarreal and three men who appeared in court with him: Juan Pedro Ramiro-Fiol, Edgar Omar Osorio and Jose Ivon Leon Villarreal, formerly identified as Jose Luis Betancourt, who is related to Manuel Arturo Villarreal.

12 SUR 13 gang members and associates netted in weekend operation by ICE

12 SUR 13 gang members and associates netted in weekend operation by ICE, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and City of Apopka Police Department
Arrests as a result of joint initiative by ICE and locals to keep communities safe

ORLANDO- A 26-year-old member of SUR 13 gang convicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was among 12 Mexican gang members and associates arrested over the weekend in a joint operation between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Orange County Sheriff's Office and the City of Apopka Police Department.

Francisco Najera, a national of Mexico, is now in ICE custody facing immigration charges for being in violation of immigration laws. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Najera is removable from the country for being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Also arrested during the targeted enforcement operation was 20-year-old Arnulfo Valdez-Juarez, of Mexico. Valdez-Juarez was charged with Homicide earlier this year. He too is in violation of immigration laws and has been placed in removal proceedings.

ICE deports 36 illegal aliens arrested in Fischer Homes investigation

CHICAGO - Thirty-six illegal alien workers, who were arrested in May as part of the Fischer Homes investigation, were deported to Mexico last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On May 9, 2006, ICE agents arrested four supervisors of Fischer Homes Inc. and 76 illegal alien workers as they departed for job sites in Hebron, Union and Florence, Ky. The four Fischer Homes managers were subsequently indicted for harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Several contractors and contract companies that provided illegal workers for Fischer Homes construction sites were also indicted May 11 on criminal charges of harboring illegal aliens in connection with the scheme.

Mexico Candidate Rejects Court Decision

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico's leftist presidential candidate rejected a court decision upholding his rival's slim lead in the disputed July 2 race and called on his supporters not to recognize a government led by Felipe Calderon.

Earlier Monday, the Federal Electoral Tribunal released the results of a partial recount that reduced Calderon's lead by just over 4,000 votes, not enough to the outcome.

The court, however, stopped short of declaring a winner, saying it must still do an official tally and decide whether to annul the election entirely. The deadline is both cases is Sept. 6.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador likened the decision to a coup, saying the judges represented the interests of Mexico's ruling elite.

"We will never again allow an illegal and illegitimate government to be installed in our country," he told thousands of supporters camped out Mexico City's main plaza, the Zocalo.

Demonstrators have occupied the plaza for weeks, and Lopez Obrador has called a rally there on Sept. 16, Mexico's Independence Day, to unveil an "alternative" government.


Mexico court rejects claims of vote fraud

By Chris Aspin
Published August 29, 2006

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's top electoral court yesterday threw out leftists' claims of massive fraud in last month's presidential election, almost certainly handing victory to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon.
The seven judges voted unanimously to reject most of the legal complaints by left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said he was robbed of victory in the July 2 vote.
The judges, whose rulings are final and cannot be appealed, must declare a president-elect by Sept. 6.
Mr. Lopez Obrador reacted in outrage, calling on supporters to reject Mr. Calderon as president.
"Never more will we accept that an illegal and illegitimate government is installed in our country," he told thousands gathered in Mexico City's central plaza, the Associated Press reported.

Fact Sheet: Secure Border Initiative Update

Ending Catch and Release
  • 99% Apprehended Now Being Detained For Return. In the week of August 7-13, 2006, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 1055 non-Mexican illegal aliens at the Southern border, and released only 7 non-Mexican illegal aliens.
  • Last Year Only 34% Detained. This year’s detention numbers are a dramatic improvement. For comparison, in January of this year, the number of apprehensions was significantly higher, and DHS was only able to detain half of the non-Mexican illegal aliens arrested. At this time last year, the detention rate was 34% of all non-Mexican illegal aliens apprehended.
  • 4,000 More Beds: President Bush is asking Congress for $327 million to end the policy of “catch and release”. The President's FY07 budget proposes increasing the number of beds in detention facilities to 27,500 by the end of FY07. $257 million has been approved which will add 4,000 beds this year alone. In fact, 500 beds were added in Willacy County, Texas, in less than 45 days.

Suspect frequented both sides of border

Questions raised about Mexican justice, U.S. polices in Juarez probe
By Jay Root

Photo by Christ Chavez / mcclatchy-tribune

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — For years young women have been raped, mutilated, killed and dumped into shallow graves in Ciudad Juarez, the gritty Mexican city across the border from El Paso. For just as long, the perpetrators have gone unpunished, sparking international outrage at an inept Mexican justice system.

Now a possible break in the case raises questions not only about Mexican justice but also about U.S. policies that allowed a leading suspect in some of the killings to go in and out of American jails and to shuttle between Juarez and U.S. cities along the border.

Law enforcement records in Texas and New Mexico show that the suspect, Jose Francisco Granados de la Paz, was frequently in American jails and was sent back to Mexico repeatedly, only to return to the United States and commit more crimes. Granados' story exemplifies the revolving door that is the U.S.-Mexican border.

While U.S. law enforcement can deport convicts to Mexico, it has no authority to keep watch on them there. Often they simply sneak back across the border.

"If he's killing little girls in Mexico, what's he doing here?" said U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee. "The key here is to get the guy off the street .... The problem is they deport these guys and they just come back."

The United States is supposed to notify Mexico when it deports criminal aliens. Whether that happened in Granados' case couldn't be determined. Repeated calls to the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in El Paso weren't returned.

Illegal entrant faces 2.5 years for abandoning baby in desert

Man is convicted of negligent child abuse in Cochise


SIERRA VISTA — An illegal entrant who abandoned a 16-month-old girl under a mesquite bush as Border Patrol agents closed in was convicted of child abuse, but a jury rejected a more serious charge that could have led to a 24-year prison sentence.

Juan Cayetano Rosas, 24, faces 2 1/2 years in prison for Friday's conviction on a negligent child abuse charge.

Cayetano, from Huachinango in the Mexican state of Puebla, was among a group who crossed the border on July 5, 2005.

He testified at his trial in Bisbee that he had just squeezed through a fence into the United States when the migrant smuggler leading his group told a woman to hand Cayetano her baby.

When Border Patrol vehicles suddenly appeared, Cayetano said the smuggler told the group to run. He ran with the baby and the mother went the other way.

Cayetano said he lay on the desert floor with the child for about two hours before the girl started crying.

Thinking the cries would attract nearby agents, he ran away.

1,839 reinforcements for Arizona

Crossings decrease after GIs arrive

Published: 08.29.2006

NOGALES- The National Guard members perched atop desert hills across southern Arizona are at the forefront of the debate over border security, but many of the part-time soldiers say they'd never really given much thought to illegal immigration.

"People don't really think about it where we come from," said Senior Airman Erica Payne, who came to Arizona on Aug. 11 with her unit from St. Joseph, Mo.

For much of the past two weeks, the 22-year-old mother of two has worn fatigues and lived in a tent overlooking Nogales, Son. She is among 5,442 Guard members stationed along the Southwest border under Operation Jump Start, President Bush's plan to bolster the U.S. Border Patrol for the next two years until the agency can hire and train an additional 6,000 agents. As of Monday, 1,839 Guard members from 13 states were in Arizona.

"We're the eyes and ears of the Border Patrol," said Payne.

As she peered through binoculars with one hand, the other rested on a M-16 rifle.

Illegal entries near Nogales and across much of the border have slowed since the Guard arrived in June to help build fencing and roads, along with surveillance duties.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Man shot, killed in incident with USBP

Aug 27, 2006

A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man on the Mexico side of the border during an altercation Saturday night near the U.S. Port of Entry at Andrade, Calif., according to the Border Patrol.

Senior Patrol Agent Chris Van Wagenen said the incident occurred when agents attempted to stop and investigate another man driving a vehicle east of the port of entry. The driver, a suspected illegal immigrant, then left the vehicle and attempted to return to Mexico by entering the Alamo Pond, on the Colorado River. Wagenen said the man soon began struggling to stay afloat, and agents came to his aid.

“When he was starting to struggle, the agents threw in a rescue disk, trying to save him," said Van Wagenen. “There were other men, on the fence, and they began to throw rocks at the agents.”

Van Wagenen said it was then that agents came under attack by several individuals throwing rocks on the Mexico side of the border. One agent was struck in the head. When one of the men was observed preparing to throw another rock, an agent fired one round from his gun and struck him.

“The individual who was struck began to run south into Mexico," Van Wagenen said.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cities across nation crack down in illegals

Frustrated by federal inaction, new measures spark growing movement

Posted: August 26, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

Frustrated by the federal government's immigration policy, small cities across the nation are taking enforcement into their own hands, passing laws that make it harder for illegals to live and work in their communities.

Dozens of towns have followed the path of Hazelton, Pa., which passed an ordinance July 13 to deter housing owners from renting to illegals. Riverside, N.J., quickly passed a similar measure, which fines landlords $1,000 per day for renting to illegals and removes business licenses from employers who hire illegals.

In protest-besieged southern Mexican city, tensions run even higher after dark

By Will Weissert
3:03 a.m.
August 25, 2006
AP Photo

OAXACA, Mexico – Gone are Oaxaca's familiar nighttime sounds of tinkling marimba music and vendors hawking chocolate or traditional fried grasshoppers, replaced by gunfire, the roar of burning tires and shouts from bands of men armed with clubs.

Protests in this picturesque colonial city that began with a teachers' strike in May have ballooned into a political battle against state Gov. Ulises Ruiz.

Some 40,000 teachers, as well as leftists, student groups and anarchists have set up hundreds of roadblocks, seized the city's central plaza and covered businesses, homes and historic buildings with graffiti. They refuse to give up until the governor resigns.

The group leading the protests said Thursday it would accept an offer from President Vicente Fox's government to negotiate an end to the conflict, but only if state officials were not included.

Killing latest violent act in Baja

Americans feared to be targeted
By Anna Cearley
August 26, 2006

TIJUANA – A drive-by shooting that left an American woman dead this week is the latest of what some frequent Mexico travelers are saying is a string of violent acts against U.S. citizens along Baja California's main peninsular highway.

Raquel Duarte Fife, 64, was killed Aug. 22 near Cataviña, about eight hours from the border, as her husband drove north on the highway. A gunman shot at them about 40 times from a beige Buick, according to a report prepared by Mexico's Federal Preventive Police.

Fife was shot in the head during the 7:30 a.m. assault, according to the police report. Her husband was not injured.

Acquaintances of the couple said Raquel and Larry Fife are well-known operators of a motel and restaurant in Bahía de los Angeles on the eastern side of the Baja California peninsula.

The killing, and other unusual incidents in recent weeks along the highway, have been hot topics on a travelers' Web site called Some postings on the site speculate that U.S. citizens are becoming targets for roadside criminals.

Mexico probing police links to drug cartel

Two officers tied to decapitations
By Anna Cearley
August 24, 2006

TIJUANAMexico's top federal prosecutor said yesterday that his agency continues investigating police links to the region's Arellano Félix drug cartel after the detention of suspected cartel leader Francisco Javier Arellano Félix.

Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca Hernández said two recently detained Rosarito Beach police officers are being linked to the June decapitations of three of their own colleagues and a civilian. The detained officers are suspected of working for the Arellanos.

“It's evident that there is a large protection network not just there but in the city of Tijuana,” he said, according to a transcript of comments he made at a news conference in Mexico City.

Cabeza de Vaca added that his agency also is working with state authorities to root out corrupt officers on the state level.

ICE repatriates former Mexican police officer wanted for role in Sinaloa drug "massacre"

LOS ANGELES -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers today repatriated a former Mexican police officer wanted in his native country for his role in a drug-related "massacre" last year in the state of Sinloa that left five persons dead and two others critically wounded.

ICE transported Jose Ines Gallardo-Rodriguez, 29, to the border crossing at San Ysidro this morning where he was turned over to Mexican immigration officials, ending a year-long manhunt. Gallardo was arrested Tuesday afternoon on immigration violations by members of ICE's fugitive operations team and the U.S. Marshals Pacific South West Regional Fugitive Task Force. Gallardo, aka "El Mami," offered no resistance when he was taken into custody outside his Los Angeles residence located at 13527 Hillview Place. When approached by the officers, Gallardo appeared surprised and nervous. Upon questioning, he admitted he has been in the country illegally since December 2005 and was working at a Los Angeles area warehouse.

25 arrested in ICE operation targeting criminal alien sex offenders

Four of the targets face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation

LOS ANGELES -- A Mexican national who attempted to kidnap a seven-year-old girl from a local Laundromat is one of 25 persons arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Los Angeles during the past three days as part of a joint enforcement effort with the United States Attorney's Office targeting foreign nationals with prior convictions for sex offenses, many of them involving children.

Four of the foreign nationals taken into custody during this week's operation have been deported from the United States previously. The group includes two Salvadorans, a Honduran, and a Mexican national. The defendants are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's newly created Domestic Security and Immigration Crimes Section for re-entering the United States after deportation, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Earlier this week, the four were ordered detained without bond. A fifth man, a Salvadoran national convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, also faces criminal charges, but he remains at large.

Immigration Reform on the Wrong Path

By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times | August 25, 2006

One hundred days into his all-out push to win an immigration bill President Bush has convinced House Republicans he is serious about enforcing the border, but he has failed to win their support for his plan to create a guest-worker program or a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

"I've had a lot of conversations with the president and I just try to make him understand that comprehensive is fine, but the first thing we have to do is protect the borders," House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, told The Washington Times during a campaign stop for a fellow Republican in Arizona last week. "Until you protect the borders, any reform without protecting the borders is premature."

He said that during a recent outing in his district, when he invited constituents to come see him in a park in the town of Geneseo, 150 people showed up and that with the exception of one woman, "every one of those people said secure the border first. It was amazing."

In fact, House Republicans are "stauncher than ever" that a border security bill must come first, said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, in a telephone interview.

"I think he's convinced us he's serious [about enforcement], but to me these are only first steps. Before we even consider any type of quote-unquote comprehensive legislation, we have to show we can control the border -- not that we want to, but that we can," Mr. King said. "Speaking for myself and, I believe, a great majority of House Republicans, we have to see results before we consider going any further. And I can't see that happening in less than a year or 18 months."

The Endangered English Language

By Michael Reagan | August 25, 2006

All across the U.S., hordes of immigrants – legal and illegal – are chattering away in their native language and have no intention of learning English, the all-but-official language of the United States where they now live.

Can you blame them? They are being enabled by all those diversity fanatics to defy the age-old custom of immigrants to our shores who made it one of their first priorities to learn to speak English and to teach their offspring to do likewise. It was a case of sink or swim. If you couldn’t speak English you couldn’t get by, go to school, get a job, or become a citizen and vote. Nowadays we kowtow to demands that everything from ballots to official documents be presented in many native languages as well as in English.

The result? According to Census Bureau statistics reported in Human Events:

  • In California, 42.3 percent of the people do not speak English at home. More than 28 percent speak Spanish instead. One in five Californians told the Census Bureau they speak English “less than very well.”
  • In the city of Los Angeles, for example, 60.8 percent of the people do not speak English at home. Instead, more than 44 percent speak Spanish while 31.3 percent say they speak English “less than very well.”
  • In the city of Santa Ana, a whopping 84.7 percent do not speak English at home while more than 75 percent speak Spanish instead, and 50.8 percent say they speak English “less than very well.”
  • In Miami, Florida, 78.9 percent do not speak English at home, 69.8 percent speak Spanish instead, and 46.7 percent say they speak English “less than very well.”
  • In Passaic, N.J., 72.7 percent of the people do not speak English at home, 62.9 percent speak Spanish instead, and 45.4 percent say they speak English “less than very well.”

Remittances to Mexico Increase 23 Pct.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexicans living abroad sent $11 billion home in the first half of 2006, an increase of 23 percent over the same period last year, the government news agency Notimex reported Friday.

Remittances have become an increasingly important source of income for the country in recent years, surpassing tourism. They represent Mexico's second-largest source of foreign income after oil.

They topped $20 billion for the first time in 2005, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

Mexico's government has lobbied intensely for the U.S. government to legalize some of the 11 million undocumented migrants living in the United States, about half of whom are Mexicans.

No wrist slaps at border court

Law-enforcing judges in Texas point to successes
The Associated Press

DEL RIO, Texas - Standing in a cramped federal courtroom last month, illegal immigrant Walter Oscar Portillo-Machado pleaded with a judge for mercy. But he came to the wrong place for that.

The Salvadoran man was caught along a 210-mile stretch of the Texas-Mexico border that has been set up as zero-tolerance zone for illegal immigration. Instead of merely getting sent back home, immigrants here are arrested, prosecuted and sometimes sentenced to prison before they are formally kicked out of the country.

The effort began late last year along a border area that includes the Rio Grande border towns of Del Rio and Eagle Pass. It has been hailed by federal officials as a creative use of local and federal resources to tighten the border.

Police announce one of the largest drug busts in memory

PHOENIX (AP) -- Police have arrested 10 people and are pursuing 59 others in what Arizona's attorney general is calling one of the biggest drug busts in state history.

Attorney General Terry Goddard on Friday announced a 417-count indictment as part of a three-month investigation of a drug organization based in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Police made the arrests earlier this summer. They also seized about 108 pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of methamphetamine, two pounds of crack cocaine, 16 guns and 33 vehicles. They also seized $2.5 million in cash.

Authorities said the drug ring received huge amounts of meth and cocaine at several spots in Phoenix. The drugs were then sent to other states.

U.S. border governors urge Congress to pass immigration reform


Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) -- Accusing Congress of abdicating its responsibility to control immigration and secure the U.S.-Mexico border, the governors of four border states signed a letter on Friday urging federal lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform before the end of the year.

Democrats Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Republicans Rick Perry of Texas and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California signed the letter at the close of the two-day Border Governors Conference.

They also joined the governors of six Mexican states in signing a joint declaration on issues ranging from tourism and trade to education and border security. Among other things, they pledged to share information about human, drug and arms trafficking and to work together to prevent agricultural terrorism and ensure high food safety standards.

U.S. House and Senate have yet to begin working out the differences between immigration reform legislation passed earlier this year.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

SWAT teams may step up role on U.S.-Mexico border

Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:47 PM ET
By Tim Gaynor

TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Elite U.S. Border Patrol units armed with assault rifles and stun grenades may be set to play a more prominent role as authorities gain greater control over the porous border with Mexico, border police say.

Little known outside law enforcement circles, the Bortac tactical teams have been deployed to remote reaches of the border to hunt drug and human traffickers using out-of-the way routes since the 1980s.

The Bortac members wear full battle-dress uniforms and carry state-of-the-art night vision and thermal optics. They are armed with weapons including M4 assault rifles and "flash-bang" stun grenades developed for the special forces.

U.S. Ends 'Catch-And-Release' at Border

Associated Press Writer

Nearly all non-Mexican illegal immigrants caught sneaking into the United States are being held until they can be returned to their home countries, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said this marks the end of the so-called "catch-and-release" policy that for years helped illegal immigrants remain in the United States unhindered.

The new policy, dubbed "catch-and-detain" generally does not apply to Mexicans who are almost immediately returned to Mexico after being stopped by Border Patrol agents.

"Although we're not ready to declare victory _ we've got a lot more work to do _ it is encouraging and it is something that ought to inspire us to continue to push forward," Chertoff told reporters in Washington.

Firms Who Hire Illegal Immigrants Sued

Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Frustrated by lax enforcement of immigration law, businesses are taking their fight against illegal immigration to court, accusing competitors of hiring illegal workers to achieve an unfair advantage.

Businesses and anti-illegal immigration groups said the legal action was an attempt to create an economic deterrent against hiring illegal employees.

Buchanan warns of flood of illegals

By Eric Pfeiffer
Published August 22, 2006

Pat Buchanan says illegal immigration from poor and developing countries will overwhelm the United States and other Western countries in the next 50 years unless something is done.
"We've already won the battle with the public," Mr. Buchanan tells The Washington Times. "The question is, when will the government respond?"
In his new book "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America," the former presidential candidate and White House speechwriter examines immigration-related social problems and documents high levels of support among Hispanics for the so-called "Reconquista" of the U.S. Southwest.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mexico Protesters Seize Radio Stations

Associated Press Writer

OAXACA, Mexico (AP) -- The picturesque colonial city of Oaxaca sank further into chaos on Monday as protesters armed with machetes, pipes and clubs seized 12 private radio stations, cut off highways, and blockaded bus terminals and newspaper offices.

The smell of uncollected garbage and tires burning at barricades hung over the city, a popular tourist destination, and some businesses ran short of water after demonstrators refused to allow water trucks into central Oaxaca.

About 3,000 leftists and striking teachers wielding machetes and clubs marched through the city, demanding punishment for an early morning assault in which unidentified gunmen shot up a state-owned radio station that has been occupied since Aug. 1.

Protesters said a male teacher was wounded and taken to a hospital, but the extent of his injuries was not immediately known

The state government denied it had anything to do with the attack, which also damaged equipment. Protesters have used the facility to broadcast their demands for the resignation of Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz.

Census: More immigrants bypassing New Mexico

SANTA FE (AP) -- New Mexico is becoming less of a destination for recent immigrants than other parts of the country, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

The bureau's 2005 survey of American communities shows New Mexico foreign-born residents make up 8.9 percent of the population. Nationwide, they make up 12.4 percent of the population.

Unlike other states, which saw dramatic increases in the number of immigrants, the percentage of foreign-born residents in New Mexico declined, from 10 percent of the population in 2003.

Over the past five years, the nation's immigrant population grew by 16 percent, an addition of about 4.9 million people.

Farmers Branch will eventually act on illegal immigration measure

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (AP) -- Mayor Bob Phelps said council members will eventually take action on proposals aimed at making it tougher for illegal immigrants to live and work in the city.

"It's going to happen," he said. "I don't know when, but it will happen."

However, it was unclear after a meeting Monday night if and when the City Council would discuss passing a strict illegal immigration ordinance.

During the meeting, city council members heard from constituents on whether they should approve tough immigration-related measures, but no formal decision was made.

Supporters said the proposal simply tries to make the city less attractive to people who are in the country illegally.

Juárez slaying suspects identified

Diana Washington
/ El Paso Times
El Paso

Mexican and U.S. officials confirmed Monday that at least three men, two of them in the United States, are persons of interest in connection with the murders of women in Juárez.

Officials identified the men as Jose Granados de la Paz, Alejandro "Cala" Delgado Valles and Edgar Alvarez Cruz.

ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa said Monday that Alvarez Cruz, the man U.S. embassy officials identified last week as a suspect, is undergoing immigration removal proceedings in El Paso because he was in the United States illegally.

"He is in the immigration detention center in El Paso, where he is being processed for removal," she said.

The Mexican consul's office is ensuring that the Mexican citizens mentioned as suspects are afforded their procedural rights under U.S. law and international agreements, Socorro Cordova, consul spokeswoman, said.

Cordova said Granados de la Paz, a person of interest in West Virginia, also being processed for removal to Mexico, is receiving assistance from a Mexican consulate in Pennsylvania.

Officials said Delgado Valles was in the state of Chihuahua, but would not reveal more information about the three men.

U.S. seeks border-security tech

Raytheon Co. among bidders for contract

By Philip Dine


WASHINGTON — Raytheon is among five bidders from which the U.S. government will choose a company to revamp the nation's border-protection technology.

Seeking better ways to protect U.S. borders, the Department of Homeland Security asked a few months ago for corporations with expertise in systems integration to supply ideas and technological know-how. They received more than a dozen responses for the program, expected to cost about $2 billion.

That started a process that has received scant public attention — partly because federal officials have been tight-lipped about it — despite the intense public debate over immigration and the role of border security in the war on terror. Now the list of finalists for the Strategic Border Initiative network, or SBInet, is down to five finalists: Boeing Co., Er- icsson Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co.

The firms have devised a variety of ways to combine technology — existing or to be developed — with the U.S. Border Patrol and infrastructure. The survivors were notified this month of their dates for interviews with Homeland Security officials, set for later this month with one company per day.

Geography is a challenge facing the companies, said Robert Villanueva, Boeing's spokesman for the project.

Fugitive operations teams seek illegal immigrants

The Associated Press

Published: 08.21.2006

MESA - When officials arrested Monserat Avila-Ortiz in 2000 after she illegally crossed into the United States from Mexico, an immigration judge released her from custody with the understanding that she'd voluntarily leave the country within 60 days.

But six years later, Avila-Ortiz was still in the country, living in a home in Mesa, where agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found the 39-year-old Chihuahua woman hiding in the shower of a darkened bathroom.

The agents are with the state's fugitive operations team, an investigative unit reporting to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

They target illegal immigrants like Avila-Ortiz, who are put on a fugitive operations' wanted list after they are ordered to leave the country, fail to report for deportation, and warrants are issued for their arrest.

Border blockade called off

By Diana Suarez, Sun Staff Writer
Aug 21, 2006

SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Traffic flowed between this city and neighboring Mexico on Monday after protesters dropped plans to block the border.

Protesters from San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., planned to occupy the vehicle lanes at the U.S. Port of Entry in protest of last month's presidential election in Mexico, but blockade organizer Petra Santos said the effort was called off in favor of traveling to Mexico City for a larger demonstration on Sept. 1.

The protesters are followers of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the race to conservative rival Felipe Calderon. Lopez Obrador, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, alleges electoral fraud cost him the election, and has demanded a vote-by-vote recount that he says will show he was the winner.

Santos said a council of advisers to Lopez Obrador decided to call off border blockades because they did not want to inconvenience people who travel between the countries — people she said had nothing to do with the election outcome.

Census: Minorities now in the majority in Phoenix and Tucson

PHOENIX (AP) -- After dramatic growth from 2000 to 2005, minorities now outnumber whites in Phoenix and Tucson.

U.S. Census data also shows that Denver also ended 2005 with a minority population slightly larger than non-minorities.

With Phoenix, Tucson and Denver joining the ranks of minority-predominant cities, the list now includes 31 of the nation's largest 50 cities.

Among medium-size cities, Yuma and Avondale have had minority majorities since the 2000 census or earlier.

Controversial migrant bill makes city's November ballot

PHOENIX (AP) -- A controversial measure that aims to reform immigration policies in the city has made the Nov. 7 ballot.

If approved by voters, the initiative would require Phoenix to enter an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security and "designate officers" to enforce federal immigration laws.

However, it is up to local officials to decide how many police officers would take on those federal responsibilities.

Authorities counting fetus as rollover victim


The death toll from an Aug. 7 rollover accident involving illegal immigrants is now at 11 after authorities added the death of a pregnant woman’s fetus to the count, a Yuma County sheriff’s spokesman said Monday.

Sheriff’s Maj. Leon Wilmot said the woman was determined to be seven or eight months pregnant at the time of her death.

"It's my understanding, after speaking with accident investigators, that they have in the past requested charges be filed in this type of situation," Wilmot said. "When you have a fetus this far into term it's considered another victim."

Mexico migrants use cycles to cross Arizona desert

Photo by REUTERS/Tim Gaynor
THREE POINTS, Arizona (Reuters) - Illegal immigrants and drug traffickers are using dilapidated bicycles to make a swift, night-time dash over the desert to Arizona from Mexico, border police say.

Border Patrol agents in the desert state are finding dozens of the bikes dumped at hamlets such as Three Points, southwest of Tucson, which are used as staging areas by smugglers ferrying marijuana and immigrants on to cities inland.

"The illegals use bicycles, either riding them on ranch roads or the foot trails themselves, as a quicker means of getting north," said Border Patrol agent Kevin Nutwell as he inspected a rusty bike discarded on one lonely trail south of Three Points.

Agents say it takes up to three days to walk the 45-mile (72-km) trail from the border to Three Points, where immigrants are picked up for an onward journey to Tucson and Phoenix either by truck or packed into cars.

Stealthy cyclists who make the trip in groups of up to 10 people led by a guide or "coyote" can make the trip in just a few hours.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mexican court approves Congress vote results


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's top electoral court rejected complaints about the July Congressional election on Wednesday, giving conservative candidate Felipe Calderon's party the largest stake in the legislature.

The electoral judges must declare a president elect by September 6 at the latest.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lost the July 2 presidential vote by a hair and his Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, has challenged the result, alleging fraud.

His party had also contested some of the results of the Congressional election.

Calderon's ruling National Action Party will have 52 seats in the Senate, more than other parties but still short of a majority, the electoral court said.

A new role for the undermanned Border Patrol

By Jerry Seper
Published August 17, 2006

National Guard troops deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of President Bush's plan to free U.S. Border Patrol agents have been assigned bodyguards -- some of the same agents the soldiers were sent to relieve.
Several veteran Border Patrol agents in Arizona told The Washington Times they were issued standing orders to be within five minutes of National Guard troops along the border and that Border Patrol units were pulled from other regions to protect the Guard units -- leaving their own areas short-handed.
The agents, who refer to the assignment as "the nanny patrol," said most of the Guard troops are not allowed to carry loaded weapons, despite a significant increase in border violence directed at Border Patrol agents and other law-enforcement personnel over the past year.

Immigration crackdown could strand children

By Eunice Moscoso / Cox News Service
El Paso

WASHINGTON -- Last year, immigration officers raided a poultry plant near Arkadelphia, Ark., and arrested 119 undocumented immigrants. Thirty children were left stranded without parents, many at day-care centers or in schools.

After much confusion, some spent the night with relatives or friends, and nine others -- including a 1-month-old baby -- took shelter at La Primera Iglesia Bau tista, a Baptist church that served as a refuge for the children while their parents were being deported.

Because many states are passing bills to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants and the federal government is considering a strong House-passed enforcement bill, thousands of children across the country could be facing a similar fate, according to immigrant advocates and legal experts.

"This is not a situation É we want to be promoting, There are infants left without formula, without diapers," said Flavia Jimenez, immigration policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil-rights organization.

"Enforcement only" legislation without a chance for undocumented workers to gain legal residency will lead to more families being torn apart and children left without parents, she added.

But critics of illegal immigration say the parents made the decision to come to the U.S. illegally and endanger their own children.

Napolitano says border visits not photo-op jaunts

By Howard Fischer

PHOENIX — Two trips to the border in two weeks is not an effort to gain re-election, Gov. Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.

Napolitano traveled to Nogales on Tuesday for several events, ranging from helping to open lanes at a port of entry and stopping by a conference on regional economic development to visiting with National Guard troops.

And just two weeks earlier she went to see Guard troops in San Luis, taking along Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius who, like Napolitano, is also up for re-election this year.

But Napolitano said the trips are not just "photo ops" to show her along the border.

"I think you can't manage the border unless you go to the border," she said. "And I've been going to the border, working on the issues down there, since I've been governor."

A statewide survey released last week showed that among all issues facing the state, illegal immigration is the one voters have the least confidence in Napolitano to solve. And several Republican gubernatorial candidates have attacked her vetoes in the last two years of measures they said would help border security.

Cartel's 'El Tigrillo' caged at last

Authorities believe drug chief ordered many slayings
The Associated Press
Published: 08.17.2006

SAN DIEGO - Francisco Javier Arellano Felix was the muscle behind one of Mexico's oldest and most notorious drug cartels, a free spender who flaunted his wealth and ordered killings, observers said Wednesday after his capture.

"In the underworld, he was known as the enforcer. He was the violent hand, the one in charge of executions," said Victor Clark Alfaro, director of the Binational Center for Human Rights in Tijuana, Baja California, the home of the Arellano Felix cartel.

"He was no financier, he was no businessman," Alfaro said.

Arellano Felix, 36, also known as "El Tigrillo," (the little tiger) was caught Monday by the Coast Guard aboard a U.S.-registered sport fishing boat off Mexico's Baja California coast. The boat was being towed to San Diego, where he will be formally arrested.

U.S. captures suspected drug kingpin

Dallas Morning News

Aug. 17, 2006 12:00 AM

MEXICO CITY - U.S. authorities acting on a tip boarded a fishing boat off Baja California and captured a reputed drug kingpin, Francisco Javier Arellano Felix.

The Mexican fugitive is a reputed leader of the Arellano Felix organization, described by U.S. and Mexican law enforcement as the largest and most violent drug-trafficking organization operating in the Tijuana/Baja California area.

Arellano Felix, 36, was arrested by U.S. Coast Guard officials Monday and was being transported to San Diego.

Mike Braun of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the arrest was significant.

"This guy happens to be . . . one of the 45 most-notorious, most-wanted drug traffickers in the world," he said.

Protest over Mexico election will keep going

By Maria Esparza, Special to the Sun
Aug 16, 2006

A civil-resistance movement over Mexico's disputed presidential election will continue in the wake of a clash between police and and demonstrators in Mexico City earlier this week, said a leftist political leader in San Luis Rio Colorado who is taking part in the protest effort.

Federal police erected steel barriers around Mexico's congressional complex and the country's top security official rejected claims of police brutality Tuesday, a day after protesters and riot-control officers engaged in a bloody scuffle outside of federal buildings.

The protesters tried to seal off the congressional building prior to President Vicente Fox's state-of-the-nation address as part of protests over the July 2 presidential race narrowly lost by leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Lopez Obrador alleges the government used electoral fraud to ensure victory by rival candidate Felipe Calderon of the conservative National Action Party.

Petra Santos, a San Luis Rio Colorado resident and member of Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolutionary Party, called the police crackdown "an act of barbarity."

Drug sting leads to 30 arrests, $1 million in drugs seized

MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Police arrested 30 people suspected of dealing drugs in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community following a seven-month undercover operation.

Officials seized about $1 million in methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and crack, and disrupted seven drug organizations "from the bottom up" that have targeted the reservation and surrounding areas.

Some of the suspects, ranging from street dealers to high-level traffickers, are connected to larger Mexican drug cartels, officials said. They did not elaborate.

Immigrant Takes Refuge in Chicago Church

Aug 16 8:36 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer


Immigration activists around the country are taking up the cause of a single mother who invoked the ancient principle of sanctuary and took refuge in a Chicago church rather than submit to deportation to Mexico.

Elvira Arellano, 31, was holed up for a second day Wednesday at Aldalberto United Methodist Church with the support of the congregation's pastor. With her was her 7-year-old son, Saul, an American citizen.

Federal officials said there is no right to sanctuary in a church under U.S. law and nothing to prevent them from arresting her. But they would not say exactly what they planned to do, or when.

The protest raised the spectacle of agents barging into a church and dragging her out.

"She is the face of the movement," said Emma Lozano, executive director of the Chicago immigration-rights group Centro Sin Fronteras, who was at the church with Arellano.

In Phoenix, Martin Manteca of Mi Familia Vota said Hispanic activist groups were organizing a vigil in her support. Lozano said an event also was scheduled in Detroit.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In Tijuana, gambling makes noise

Slot-like machines may skirt 1947 law
By Anna Cearley
Photo by JOHN GIBBINS / Union-Tribune

TIJUANA – Inside a storefront on the city's tourist strip, a minicasino full of gaming machines has opened despite laws prohibiting most forms of gambling in Mexico.

Several hundred machines chirp and beep as patrons, hunched over electronic screens, sip drinks and smoke cigarettes at Caliente. With hardly any publicity, this gambling room on Avenida Revolucion, open 11 a.m. to 6 a.m., has become an attraction for locals and visitors since it started operating several months ago.

Part of Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon's business empire, the venue bills its games as “Bingo Electronico.”

Mexican law restricts gambling to sports betting and dominoes, dice and pool. Most Las Vegas-style games, such as poker and blackjack, are considered illegal, and they aren't part of the Caliente room on Revolucion. The country's 1947 law, of course, couldn't have envisioned and doesn't cover video gambling machines.

In the past two years, Mexico has seen a quiet proliferation of minicasinos stocked with the machines. Mexican companies have interpreted new gaming regulations issued in 2004 as legalizing video gaming devices, though some lawyers and gambling experts say they are exploiting a loophole.

Taxpayers called 'doormat' for illegal border crossings

Locals voice concerns at House hearing

By John Marelius

August 15, 2006

San Diego area government officials complained yesterday that the federal government's failure to curb illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border was sapping local public services while a key House chairman said prospects for action this year on the immigration front did not look good.

San Diego may be the gateway to Mexico, but our taxpayers are the doormat,” County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn told a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee in San Diego. “Every dollar spent on providing services to illegal immigrants or their children is a dollar that isn't used on taxpaying citizens.”

The House and Senate have passed bills that take dramatically different approaches to curbing illegal immigration, and Tom Davis, the committee chairman, said yesterday that it seemed unlikely the two sides would get together on a compromise anytime soon.


Officials: Cost of illegal immigration 'immense'

SAN DIEGO ---- County officials testified during a congressional hearing Monday in San Diego that illegal immigrants extract a heavy toll on local governments and law enforcement agencies, especially in North County. But they said they did not know precisely how much.

Officials said illegal immigrants have strained local education, health care and prison resources. Many of the panelists blamed the federal government for failing to secure the nation's borders.

"San Diego County may be the gateway to Mexico, but my taxpayers in the County of San Diego are the doormat," said Supervisor Bill Horn, whose district includes most of North County.

The panel is part of a series of Republican-organized hearings held around the country on immigration reform. It was the fourth held in San Diego County since July 5, as Congress considers opposing immigration reform bills passed by the House and Senate.

Protesters Clash With Mexican Police

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Protesters scuffled with riot police outside Congress on Monday after supporters of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tried to set up a protest camp to demand a full recount in last month's election.


Lopez Obrador's backers also picketed the Federal Electoral Tribunal as it met to resolve election disputes, and they maintained around-the-clock tent camps across large swaths of central Mexico City.

Lawmakers from Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, later filed a complaint against police and said Sen. Elias Moreno Brizuela had suffered a rib injury, Congressman Juan Jose Garcia suffered minor head wounds, and three other legislators apparently were bruised or shaken.

"Not even in the worst era of the PRI did they do this," Moreno Brizuela said, referring to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico with a heavy hand from 1929 to 2000. "They attacked us ... and beat us." Television footage also showed protesters attacking police.


Protesters clash briefly with Mexican police over disputed election

By Ioan Grillo


MEXICO CITY – Dozens of protesters demanding a full recount of last month's tight presidential vote clashed with police outside Mexico's Congress on Monday, as the nation's top electoral court met to resolve election disputes.

Supporters of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also picketed the Federal Electoral Tribunal, blocked the entrances to branches of a U.S.-owned bank for several hours and maintained round-the-clock tent camps that occupy large swaths of central Mexico City.

Their actions came a day after Lopez Obrador told them to prepare for months or even years of demonstrations, amid signs that a partial recount of the presidential race was not going to reverse the slim lead of his conservative rival, Felipe Calderon.

U.S., Mexico must consult on security, official says

Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
El Paso Times

Consulting with Mexico on border fencing and other border security projects "is not only a good idea but the only way to go about it," Carlos De Icaza, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. said Monday in El Paso.

The idea of consulting with Mexico is controversial among U.S. conservatives who see it as compromising the security and sovereignty of the United States.

Republican House members have scheduled a hearing in El Paso Thursday titled "Should Mexico hold veto power over U.S. border security decisions?"

The title refers to a provision in the Senate immigration bill, S. 2611, which would require consultation with Mexico on plans to build a border fence.

But Ambassador De Icaza, who was in El Paso on Monday to attend the opening reception for the third annual Border Security Conference at UTEP, said binational consultation already occurs and with positive results, in human-trafficking investigations for instance.

US citizens in Mexico have no rights or say in any government issues, cannot own property nor can they even work in the country and yet, Mexican officials continue to make demands of the US government. And worse, people are actually listening to this! -mm

Workers' comp benefits at issue

Entrant's claim to disability pay sparks questions

By Paul Davenport


PHOENIX — The state's leading workers' compensation insurer says it will ask the Arizona Supreme Court to settle whether illegal immigrants are eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

The State Compensation Fund said it will ask the high court to review a lower court judge's assertion that an injured worker's benefits claim should have been denied because he is an illegal immigrant, not due to his medical circumstances.

The "special concurrence" that Judge Daniel Barker attached to a majority ruling by two other judges on a Court of Appeals panel is not legally binding on lower courts.

However, the Compensation Fund is worried that Barker's position could lead to confusion over whether illegal immigrants are eligible for workers' compensation benefits and lead to employee lawsuits against employers over coverage, said Christa Severns, a spokeswoman for the quasi-public agency.

The fund will ask the Supreme Court to erase Barker's concurrence or issue its own ruling on the issue, she said Monday. "We're asking for some clarification."

Border Patrol rescues man with Guard's help

By Jeffrey Gautreaux, Sun Staff Writer
Aug 14, 2006

U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued a man from the Colorado River Sunday night after they were alerted by members of the National Guard who saw him in distress.

Guard members deployed along the river near Yuma in support roles as part of Operation Jump Start saw the man in the water near County Eighth Street at 9:15 p.m., according to a Yuma sector Border Patrol release.

"They were performing their observation when they saw the man struggling in the water and heard him cry out for help," said Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd Easterling. "They did what they're supposed to do. They called the Border Patrol."

Immigrants Swell Numbers Near New York


Immigrants have continued to surge into metropolitan New York since 2000, according to census figures released today, and that increase, combined with high birth rates, has elevated the foreign-born and their children in New York City itself to fully 60 percent of the population. The rate of change was even more pronounced in the 24 suburban counties around the city, where a record 20 percent of the residents are now born abroad.

The figures, while showing that the city’s gains from immigration were not nearly as marked as they were in the 1990’s, are nonetheless striking in their detail and magnitude.

In the city, the number of people who identified themselves as Mexicans, here legally or not, soared 36 percent in five years, and not merely as a consequence of improved counting. More than half the residents of Queens and the Bronx do not speak English at home. Nearly one in three black residents in New York City was born abroad.

The trends are reported in the American Community Survey, a new annual version of the federal Census Bureau’s long-form questionnaire designed to capture the nation’s demographic profile in a more timely moving picture, rather than a once-a-decade snapshot.

Census Shows Growth of Immigrants


The number of immigrants living in American households rose 16 percent over the last five years, fueled largely by recent arrivals from Mexico, according to fresh data released by the Census Bureau.

And increasingly, immigrants are bypassing the traditional gateway states like California and New York and settling directly in parts of the country that until recently saw little immigrant activity — regions like the Upper Midwest, New England and the Rocky Mountain States.

Coming in the heart of an election season in which illegal immigration has emerged as an issue, the new data from the bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey is certain to generate more debate. But more than that, demographers said, it highlights one reason immigration has become such a heated topic.

“What’s happening now is that immigrants are showing up in many more communities all across the country than they have ever been in,” said Audrey Singer, an immigration fellow at the Brookings Institution. “So it’s easy for people to look around and not just see them, but feel the impact they’re having in their communities. And a lot of these are communities that are not accustomed to seeing immigrants in their schools, at the workplace, in their hospitals.”

By far the largest numbers of immigrants continue to live in the six states that have traditionally attracted them: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois.