News From the Border

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

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Illegal immigrant births cost Medi-Cal $400M

The Associated Press
Daily Bulletin
Article Launched:12/25/2006 12:00:00 AM PST

LOS ANGELES - More than 100,000 undocumented women each year bear children in California with expenses paid by Medi-Cal, according to state reports.

Such births and related expenses account for more than $400 million of the nearly $1 billion that the program spends annually on health care for illegal immigrants in California, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing state reports.

California long has been one of the more generous states in offering such benefits to illegal immigrants, covering everything from pregnancy tests to postpartum checkups.

Many illegal immigrants who might otherwise shy away from government services view care associated with childbirth as safe to seek.

"I wasn't afraid at all," said Sandra Andrade, an illegal immigrant from Colombia who recently gave birth at a Los Angeles hospital. "I'd always heard that pregnant women are treated well here."

Nationally, a debate is simmering about the costs of providing medical care to illegal immigrants.

Anti-illegal immigration groups argue that "birthright" U.S. citizenship for babies born in America is an incentive for illegal immigrants to have their children here.

'Here we are prisoners'

Drug trade fuels violence on Nuevo Laredo's streets
By Sara A. Carter, Staff Writer
Daily Bulletin
Article Launched:12/28/2006 12:18:22 AM PST

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico - The gunfire was deafening. Street corners all over the city were darkened by smoke from grenades and light artillery.

The dead lay in pools of blood flowing into the gutters that drain into the Rio Grande.

Men with automatic assault rifles stood stoic after the carnage. Then, one by one, they picked up the bodies of their victims, threw them into the back of pickup trucks and headed out of downtown.

Bystanders hid inside shops, behind trash bins - wherever they could find refuge from the explosive showdown between members of rival drug cartels.

"(I watched as) the men threw the bodies into the back of the trucks and SUVs," whispered Manuel, who was working at a parking garage that day. "This city is controlled from the inside out by the cartels. ... They are killing anyone who gets in their way."


20 million
Unofficial estimated number of legal and illegal entries into the U.S. each year. Those who entered legally included nonimmigrant visa overstays (4 million to 5.5 million) and border crossing card violators (250,000 to 500,000).

$142 billion
Estimated value of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and other illicit drug trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico each year.

Percentage of cocaine sold in the U.S. in 2004 believed to have been smuggled through Mexican territory.

The Daily Bulletin has an entire section devoted to borders issues including articles and photo galleries. It is worth a visit! -mm

3 men questioned about border assault

December 28, 2006

TIJUANA – Mexican police detained three men yesterday near the border fence after receiving a report of an assault on a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

A Border Patrol spokesman said yesterday he was unaware of the particular incident, but such assaults happen daily in the San Diego sector.

They typically involve rocks being lobbed at agents or their cars, spokesman Mike Bermudez said. Mexican police said they had been told a stick was used in yesterday's incident.

Mexican police said the three men were part of a group that included at least five others who apparently were trying to cross into the United States illegally.

Iraqis are entering U.S. through Mexico

Most are Chaldeans; smuggling probed
By Sandra Dibble
December 28, 2006

TIJUANAU.S. and Mexican immigration agencies are investigating the arrival of small groups of Iraqis at the border in the past week and their possible connection to smuggling organizations.

Baja California agents and Mexican federal immigration officers found a group of four Friday night at a Tijuana hotel. In addition, two groups of about two or three Iraqis turned themselves in earlier this week to U.S. inspectors at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry, asking for political asylum.

“We've continued to see a steady trickle of Iraqis coming into the United States through Mexico, requesting asylum once they're in the United States,” said Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.

The vast majority of Iraqis who show up along the California border are members of the Chaldean Christian minority who are drawn by San Diego's sizable Chaldean community. Their numbers today are nowhere near those of six years ago, when Tijuana was a major transit point for Chaldeans trying to get to the United States.

Arrests of illegal immigrants at border down more than 11 percent

Dec 28, 3:04 AM EST

PHOENIX (AP) -- Apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the Arizona border decreased more than 11 percent this year compared with 2005, officials said.

The Border Patrol says apprehensions are down primarily because the National Guard and scores of additional agents have made it harder to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

President Bush sent about 6,000 Guard members to help secure the porous southern border six months ago.

Arizona received the bulk of the Guard troops after tighter border security in Texas and California turned the state into the most popular corridor for illegal immigration.

More than a quarter of the 5,700 Guard members currently deployed on the southern border are assigned to Arizona.


Border Patrol praises help from Guard

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Memo From Mexico, By Allan Wall

Or How Living in Mexico Helped Transform Me Into A VDARE.COM Contributor

To experience another culture is like seeing the world through another set of spectacles. It's a highly enriching experience, and I highly recommend it. It might even help transform your thinking on the National Question—it certainly did mine.

I moved to Mexico without a particular interest in the subject, and after spending a number of years here, I became a full-fledged immigration reformer. Who knows, had I stayed in the U.S., I might be cheering on the efforts of President Bush, Paul Gigot and others to open wide our borders and balkanize our nation's cultural unity.

I have lived here in Mexico since 1991, working as an English teacher. In 1996, I married a Mexican citizen. We have one son we are raising to be bilingual. I believe that I have integrated into Mexican society more than many, maybe most, Americans who reside here. (There are a million of us living down here.) I have associated with various sectors and socioeconomic levels of Mexican society: with the rich, the poor, the middle class, campesinos, laborers, professionals, Catholics, Protestants, Secularists, etc. I have lived in what many Americans would consider a Mexican slum, I have traveled extensively in Mexico, and I have taught a Bible class (in Spanish) at the church I attend.

The 21st century immigrant story

Illegal immigrants have become a fixed and growing part of America — living, working, and raising families in the shadows
By Tom Brokaw Correspondent NBC News
Updated: 12:23 a.m. MT Dec 27, 2006

For eight months, NBC News explored the popular myths and the truths about illegal immigration.

The real story is of a booming economy dependent on thousands of illegal workers.

That illegal community is thriving and enjoying the benefits of what America has to offer—but only by breaking the law— whether it’s purchasing medicine on the black market or buying a fake driver’s license, and it all seems to go on out in the open.

Dallas suburb sued over anti-immigration law

Tuesday December 26, 2006
Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) Two civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a suburb's new law that outlaws renting to illegal immigrants, alleging the ordinance violates federal law and forces landlords to act as immigration officers.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of Farmers Branch residents and landlords.

Plaintiffs include two landlords as well as Latino legal permanent residents and U.S. citizen children who fear the ordinance will force them to separate from relatives or leave their homes, the suit said.

The law, along with a measure that made English the official language of the city, was passed in November and is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 12.

Illegal migrant arrests along U.S.-Mexican border have dropped

Dec 27, 9:39 AM EST
Associated Press Writer

NOGALES, Mexico (AP) -- Arrests of illegal migrants along the U.S.-Mexican border have dropped by more than a third since U.S. National Guard troops started helping with border security, suggesting that fewer people may be trying to cross.

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 149,238 fewer people from the start of July through November, down 34 percent from the same period last year, according to monthly figures provided Tuesday by U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Mario Martinez.

Arrests also had dropped by 9 percent for the same period from 2004 to 2005. If the downward trend continues, it would be the first sustained decrease in illegal immigrant arrests since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

National Guard troops started arriving along the border June 15, and 6,000 were in place by August.

Victor Clark, a Mexican migration expert in Tijuana, says many migrants fear they will confront U.S. soldiers on the border.

"The presence of the National Guard has had a big impact on migrants," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bipartisan Effort to Draft Immigration Bill


WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that could place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill that the Senate passed in the spring.

The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the United States before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, a law championed by Republicans that passed with significant Democratic support.

Immigration Proposal Would Increase Number Eligible to Apply for Citizenship

Tuesday , December 26, 2006

WASHINGTON — Legislation reportedly being developed ahead of Congress' return next week aims to expand the number of illegal immigrants that could become eligible for citizenship beyond the estimated 7 million given the opportunity in a bill that won Senate support earlier this year but fell in the House.

The bill would mark a significant shift in immigration strategy because it would abandon a requirement that would force illegal immigrants to leave the country before they can apply for U.S. citizenship, according to a report Tuesday in the New York Times. Changing that provision would make the initial number of immigrants eligible to apply for citizenship about 10 million or more.

The Times reports that, to gain citizenship, the immigrants would have to maintain employment, pay fines and back taxes and try to learn English. They also would have to pass a criminal or security background check..

The group working on the bill includes Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., who pushed hard for this year's failed bill. The Democrat takeover has fueled hopes for new immigration reform.

The Week in Mexico

Victims' families ask kidnappers for pity

By Anna Cearley

December 25, 2006

TIJUANA – Underscoring the desperation of families whose loved ones have been kidnapped, announcements are being published in Mexican newspapers asking for their release this holiday season.

The letter, signed in the name of “families of kidnap victims,” implores the kidnappers to have pity and give them “the best Christmas gift: returning them with life so we can reunite.”

The announcements were submitted by the Consejo Ciudadano de Seguridad Pública del Estado, a state citizens advisory committee, after the group's president met with four families of kidnap victims.

“Can you imagine our suffering to pass a Christmas without one of our sons, brothers or fathers who has been kidnapped, taken by force from their families? It's horrible,” reads the letter, which also includes the name of the committee.

Kidnappings have become a growing problem in Baja California in recent years. U.S. and Mexican authorities say part of the reason is the region's Arellano Félix drug cartel is relying on kidnappings to earn extra money.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mexican soldiers swarming drug plantations find hybrid marijuana plant

By Mark Stevenson
2:31 a.m.
December 20, 2006

LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico – Soldiers trying to seize control of one Mexico's top drug-producing regions found the countryside teeming with a new hybrid marijuana plant that can be cultivated year-round and cannot be killed with pesticides.

Soldiers fanned out across some of the new fields Tuesday, pulling up plants by the root and burning them, as helicopter gunships clattered overhead to give them cover from a raging drug war in the western state of Michoacan. The plants' roots survive if they are doused with herbicide, said army Gen. Manuel Garcia.

Annual bonus is a tradition for Mexicans

Workers encouraged to save, but many don't
By Anna Cearley
December 21, 2006

TIJUANA – For Mexican workers, the government-mandated yearly bonus – known as the aguinaldo –is as much a part of the season's traditions as Santa Claus, decorative lights and holiday tunes.

Mexican law requires that all full-time employees receive at least two weeks worth of pay per year as a bonus by Dec. 20. Part-time workers receive a an adjusted rate based on that formula.

Despite government efforts to encourage people to save the money, the extra cash often evaporates within weeks as workers splurge on gifts, pay off car debts, and take out family members to big meals. Retailers benefit from the extra money pumped into the economy this time of year.

62 fugitives and immigration violators arrested by ICE officers

MIAMI- Sixty-two fugitives and immigration status violators were arrested during a one-week period that culminated Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers assigned to ICE's Miami Fugitive Operations team.

Fifty of those arrested were fugitive aliens who ignored their lawful orders of removal and remained in the country. The remaining 12 were in violation of U.S. immigration laws and have been administratively charged.

Jose Mario Lara, 38, of Honduras, was among those identified as being in violation of law. Lara, a convicted sex offender, re-entered the country after having been deported. Lara, who was deported in 2000, now faces criminal charges for re-entering the country in violation of 8 United States Code 1326.

Re-entry after deportation is a prosecutable felony offense that carries a possible 25-year prison sentence. The case has been accepted for criminal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Feds seek man who skipped sentencing

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched:12/21/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

A Mexican man arrested last year during a raid on a Socorro stash house and later convicted on drug charges failed to appear at his sentencing this month and is considered a fugitive, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

The U.S. Marshals Service is looking for Roberto Portillo Alvidrez, 47, who was found guilty in September by a federal jury in El Paso of conspiracy and possessing with the intent to distribute 491 pounds of marijuana. He was to be sentenced earlier this month. He faces up to 10 years in prison. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Portillo and four associates -- Rafael Manzo Avalos, 58, Sergio Lopez Contreras, 33, and Andres Alarcon Castañeda, 30, ( all Mexican nationals) and Lorenzo Villa, 42, a U.S. citizen -- were arrested last December at a house on the 9900 block of Flaca Street in Socorro. In the operation, ICE agents and sheriff's deputies seized more than 491 pounds of marijuana, more than 2 pounds of cocaine, $42,647 in U.S. currency, and three vehicles, ICE officials said.

Mexico's president, visiting Nogales, says he'll defend migrants' rights in U.S.


Published: 12.21.2006

New President Felipe Calderón on Wednesday shook hands with immigrants coming home for the holidays in Nogales, Son., and promised to defend their rights in the United States.

But unlike his predecessor, Vicente Fox, Calderón has made clear his administration will focus more on creating jobs to keep Mexicans home rather than concentrate solely on a U.S. immigration accord to create a legal path for millions of Mexicans to work in the U.S.

"The generation of well-paid jobs is the only long-lasting solution to the migration problem," Calderón said before greeting immigrants in cars packed with Christmas gifts at the crossing along the border.

Students to protest immigrant-tuition law

Dec. 21, 2006 12:00 AM

College students upset about the passage of a November ballot initiative that blocks undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition in Arizona hope to grab the national spotlight when the Bowl Championship Series college football title game comes to Glendale.

The students plan to march to Glendale on the morning of the Jan. 8 game and then rally outside University of Phoenix Stadium, said Cecilia Saenz, an Arizona State University student.

Saenz, a member of the group Justice for Arizona Students, said the march is aimed at calling attention to the financial hardship Proposition 300 will create for thousands of college students. Forcing them to pay higher out-of-state tuition will put college out of reach for many, she said.

I just don't understand. They are protesting legislation that prevents illegal entrants, people who are violating federal law and this nation's sovereignty, from paying less tuition when they shouldn't be in the country much less attending college!!! - mm

More Intrigue and Duplicity in San Luis

San Luis wants severance packages back
Dec 20, 2006

The city of San Luis plans to go to court to retrieve severance packages given to six current and former city employees, according to legal documents released Tuesday that say the money was illegally given.

The legal complaint, filed Dec. 15 in Yuma County Superior Court, names 13 current and former city council members and city employees and asks for $297,378 — the cumulative value of the six outstanding severance packages.

San Luis Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla said he and other council members elected in May had made no secret that they would go after the money once they took office. Escamilla said they believe the defendants were not justified to receive the money, and the legal complaint explains why.

"The first day we took office, one of the first things to do was to hire an outside attorney to get the money back," Escamilla said.

"The recipients were friends and political allies of the outgoing city council members," the claim to the insurance pool said. "The city council discussed the severance packages in executive sessions and expedited the process in order to assure their approval before a new city council assumed control."

Bill Cordova, husband of former city administrator Rosalicia Cordova, said his wife was traveling on Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. Cordova said he wants to distance himself from the severance issue because he is involved in the recall campaign against the mayor and three council members.

Agents find 4,300 pounds of pot after chase

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered 4,396 pounds of marijuana after a car chase on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, the latest find in a record-pace year near Tucson that has seen more than 200,000 pounds taken since Oct. 1.

Agents made the latest find Tuesday afternoon, when agents spotted a truck and an SUV speeding along near the Mexican border and tried to pull them over, Border Patrol spokesman Jess Rodriguez said.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

House of alleged drug lord set on fire


NACO, Sonora – A fire has gutted the opulent home of a suspected organized crime figure.

Authorities say Carlos ''Calichi'' Molinares Nunez's home burned early today in Naco, Sonora, only days after he was arrested in the United States on drug trafficking charges.

Naco fire officials say the blaze was intentionally set and that Sonora state police are currently investigating.

A fire in the main residence was set after unknown perpetrators doused the home with gasoline.

Officials say a blaze in a second structure on appears to have then been ignited by Molotov cocktails thrown from the street.

Border agents plead for 'Christmas pardon'

Congressman hosts rally asking Bush to stop 'miscarriage of justice'
Posted: December 20, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Art Moore
© 2006

A Border Patrol agent sentenced to prison along with his partner for shooting and wounding a man smuggling drugs into the U.S. will appear with a congressman tomorrow at a rally asking President Bush to offer a pardon.

Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years, respectively, in October by U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas. The drug smuggler was granted immunity for his testimony.

Compean will be joined by family; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R, Calif.; Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist; and members of other border-security groups such as Friends of the Border Patrol at the courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time tomorrow.

Rohrabacher, noting the president already has received a letter about the case from more than 50 Congress members, is asking Americans to sign petitions and send e-mails and letters to the White House requesting a "Christmas pardon." has an online petition calling on Bush to pardon the agents, with more than 130,000 signatures.

"This is the greatest miscarriage of justice that I've seen in my career," Rohrabacher told WND. "Two brave Border Patrol agents trying to enforce the president's nonsensical border policy ending up being sent to prison, while an illegal alien drug smuggler is given immunity and walks free."

Two officers guarding Baja official shot, killed

By Sandra Dibble
December 20, 2006

TIJUANA – Two state police officers died of gunshot wounds yesterday after an attack by armed assailants in a residential neighborhood. But the apparent target, a high-level official with the Baja California State Preventive Police, escaped serious injury.

The attack occurred about 6:50 p.m. in the Los Lobos section of eastern Tijuana. According to a statement released late last night, the two agents had been guarding Osiel Garcia, an assistant director of the state police force. The officers were shot while standing outside a residence while Garcia was inside, the statement said.

The killings are the latest attack on law enforcement officials in Tijuana. More than a dozen police officers with city, state and federal agencies have been shot in Tijuana since September.

Arellano eligible for death penalty

Indictment says he ran cartel, ordered killings
By Onell R. Soto
Photo by HOWARD LIPIN / Union-Tribune
December 20, 2006

After one brother was killed and another was jailed, Francisco Javier Arellano Félix took over the family business: a murderous cartel that moved tons of drugs worth millions of dollars into the United States, prosecutors said in a sweeping federal indictment unsealed yesterday.

Arellano also moved the cartel into a new moneymaking venture, kidnapping for ransom, prosecutors said.

The indictment was filed Friday in U.S. District Court and accuses Arellano, 37, of personally ordering abductions, murders and beheadings.

CPB Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than 2,042 Pounds of Marijuana

(Monday, December 18, 2006)

Fort Hancock, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents in the El Paso Sector seized more than a ton of marijuana over the weekend, including 1,003 pounds in Fort Hancock, Texas that was found in a pickup on Saturday.

At 5:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Border Patrol agents working east of Fort Hancock became aware of a vehicle that entered illegally into the United States. When agents responded to the area, they encountered a Ford pickup with New Mexico license plates traveling westbound on Highway Texas 20. A check on the plates revealed the vehicle had been stolen from Albuquerque. When agents attempted to pull the vehicle over, the vehicle fled westbound into Tornillo, Texas. The vehicle continued its flight onto a dirt road where the driver stopped and fled on foot. A Texas National Guard solider at an Entry Identification Team site utilizing infrared camera technology observed the general location where the subject fled and communicated the subject’s position to Border Patrol. Using a CBP canine, agents located the individual, a 25- year old male from Mexico, and placed him under arrest. The abandoned truck contained 1,003 pounds of marijuana, valued at $802,728.

CBP Frontline News

In this issue...

1. At Trade Symposium, Commissioner emphasizes “10 + 2” to fight terrorism

2. NEXUS trusted traveler program gets streamlined

3. Border Patrol steps up recruitment

4. Half a ton of marijuana seized by CBP Border Patrol agents

5. Newsbytes

Immigration law changes not a top Democratic priority

By Hernan Rozemberg


Sen.-elect Claire McCaskill wants the U.S. government to ramp up security by building a new border fence, avoid giving undocumented immigrants a chance for legalization, punish employers that hire them, and resist business-lobby pressures to create a temporary guest worker program for foreigners.

Meet the incoming senator from Missouri, representing the Democratic Party's new face on immigration and border security. She defeated an incumbent Republican not known for his tenderness toward undocumented migrants.

As the new Democratic-led Congress prepares for its session in January, prospects for changes in immigration laws remain unknown: The matter is not on the top-priority list of Democratic leaders.

The enforcement-only view championed by McCaskill and other newcomers could create a rift within party ranks, akin to the chasm the issue opened among Republicans last year.

Mexican troops on mission encounter tough-to-eradicate mutant marijuana


LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico — Thousands of soldiers sent to seize control of one of Mexico's top drug-producing regions have discovered widespread cultivation of a hybrid marijuana plant that is easy to grow and difficult to kill, officials said Tuesday.

The plants can only be killed by having their roots pulled, a slow, tedious task, Army Gen. Manuel Garcia said.

The hybrid first appeared in Mexico two years ago but has become the plant of choice for drug traffickers in western Michoacan state, a remote mountainous region that lends to itself to drug production.

On Tuesday, dozens of soldiers wielding assault rifles swarmed 38 marijuana plantations, ripping plants out of the ground. As they flew back to their base, they spotted 32 new fields.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mexican officials find 1,795 drug fields in western Michoacan state

By Mark Stevenson
2:34 p.m.
December 18, 2006

MEXICO CITY – Mexican soldiers and federal police sent to restore order in Michoacan state have discovered 1,795 marijuana fields in the past week and seized or destroyed marijuana worth about US$8.2 million (euro6.26 million), security officials said Monday.

Officials estimate the raids cost the drug cartels as much as US$626 million (euro478.05 million), counting not only the value of the destroyed plants but also the drugs that could have been produced with opium poppies and marijuana seeds seized in the raids, the army said.

Federal authorities on Sunday announced they had captured suspected drug cartel boss Elias Valencia, the most significant arrest since President Felipe Calderon sent 7,000 military troops and federal police last week to the western state terrorized by drug gangs that have carried out beheadings and other brutal killings.

Fmr. Swift Workers Sue Over Hiring of Illegals

Last Edited: Monday, 18 Dec 2006, 12:52 PM MST
Created: Monday, 18 Dec 2006, 12:51 PM MST

More a dozen former Swift and Company employees are suing the meat packing company for 23 (m) million dollars -- alleging officials conspired to depress wages by hiring illegal immigrants.

The 18 former employees are legal residents who worked at the Swift meatpacking plant in Cactus, Texas -- north of Amarillo.

Swift is based in Greeley, Colorado.

Agents from U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the Cactus plant and five others last week. Nearly 13-hundred employees were arrested during the multistate immigration sweep that temporarily halted operations.

Dallas attorney Angel Reyes says the plaintiffs are victims in a long-standing scheme by Swift to depress and artificially lower the wages of its workers by knowingly hiring illegal

Kidnappers in Mexico Release Texas Man

Dec 18, 10:23 PM EST

NEGRAS, Mexico (AP) -- A Texas man kidnapped from his Mexican hunting ranch three weeks ago was released Monday, officials said.

Librado Pina Jr., 49, was reportedly in good condition after crossing into Laredo, Texas, said Santos Vasquez, a prosecutor in the border state of Coahuila, where the kidnapping occurred. Vasquez did not comment on whether a ransom was paid for his release.

Vasquez said there was no information on the ranch's Mexican cook, Marco Ortiz, who was kidnapped along with Pina, his son, and two other men.

Librado Pina III, 25, was released Friday in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo. The two others were freed a few days after their abduction.

The Pinas and the others were on a hunting trip when 30 to 40 armed men abducted them Nov. 26 from the La Barranca ranch.

Border agents find ton of pot over the weekend

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 12/19/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

Border Patrol agents in the El Paso region seized over a ton of marijuana over the weekend.

The single largest seizure was 1,003 pounds of marijuana found in a pickup near Tornillo on Saturday evening. The pickup, which was stolen in Albuquerque, crossed the border illegally and was pursued by agents until the driver abandoned the truck on a dirt road. The driver, a 25-year-old Mexican citizen, ran away but was caught due to the use of an infrared camera by a Texas National Guard soldier.

In New Mexico, agents seized 1,038 pounds of marijuana in seven separate cases.

Daniel Borunda

Felipe Calderon's Big Challenge

By Allan Wall | December 19, 2006

Mexico’s new president Felipe Calderon faces enormous challenges. In fact, just getting into the Mexican Congress building to take his inaugural oath was a challenge.

Opposition lawmakers, still smarting over Calderon’s razor-thin victory on July 2nd, had promised to physically prevent Calderon from taking his oath of office in the legislative chamber on December 1st, as required by Mexican law and custom.

This led to a bizarre confrontation on the chamber’s dais, as legislators from both the opposition PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) and Calderon’s PAN (National Action Party) camped out on the platform for 72 hours, until December 1st, inauguration day, when a real donnybrook erupted on the chamber floor.

Nevertheless, Calderon entered the chamber, and amidst catcalls and cheers, took the oath of office. The deed had been done.

Calderon’s predecessor, Vicente Fox, deserves high marks for keeping the economy stable, with no peso crash or runaway inflation. And yet, the economy was a little too stable, as it lacked the dynamic growth that could provide enough jobs for the million Mexicans who enter the work force annually. The new president needs to preserve Fox’s good financial policies while enabling the expansion of more and better-paid jobs. Also, Mexico faces a growing crime wave, which includes drug cartel related violence which has claimed over 2,000 lives this year alone.

So far, the new president has hit the ground running, and seems in control of his agenda, which is quite ambitious; his three priorities being jobs, fighting poverty and fighting crime.

Man Wanted For Attempted Homicide Caught at San Luis Port of Entry

Third Attempted Murder Suspect Caught in Three Weeks
Monday, December 18, 2006

San Luis, Ariz – For the second time in three weeks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at the San Luis port of entry have apprehended a person wanted on charges of attempted homicide, demonstrating their dedication and perseverance in keeping our country safe from dangerous people. This apprehension brings the total of attempted homicide suspects caught at the port since November 27th to three.

At a little past 11:00 last night, 20-year-old Julian Angel Tamayo attempted to enter the United States on foot through the San Luis port of entry. When CBP officers asked routine questions about his citizenship and purpose for entering the country, he refused to show any identification and was very hesitant to answer questions. When he asked the officers to allow him to return to Mexico, their suspicions about his identity and reasons for being nervous grew.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wrong song can be fatal in Mexico's drug turf wars

By Laurence Iliff and Alfredo Corchado
The Dallas Morning News(MCT)

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - With their polka-inspired music and gritty lyrics, norteno groups along the Mexico-Texas frontier have long documented the trials of border life and have turned the north's drug lords into living legends.

Now some of the musicians are apparently in the crosshairs of the rough-hewn men they croon about in narcocorridos, the narrative songs with journalistic-like details of drug shipments, boastful taunts, and bloody revenge.

Last Wednesday, norteno singer Javier Morales Gomez of the group Los Implacables del Norte was gunned down in the plaza of Huetamo in Michoacan state. Three days earlier, singer Lupillo Rivera was shot at while driving his SUV in Guadalajara.

Last month, singer Valentin Elizalde was shot to death in Reynosa - across from McAllen, Texas - after singing a song regarded as sympathetic to the Sinaloa cartel from his home state. The song is called "To My Enemies."

Analysts say the attacks are an alarming indication of how bad things have become in a turf war between the Sinaloa cartel and the Nuevo Laredo-based Gulf cartel.

Long hours, low pay are standard in Mexico

Dreary jobs at home add to lure of U.S.
08:24 AM CST
on Monday, December 18, 2006
/ Associated Press
AP Photo

PHOENIX – Reynaldo Patino makes $18 a day.

It's a normal wage for Mexico. And that is exactly the problem.

Patino gets up at 5 a.m. in a one-room shack in a poor suburb where he lives with his wife, daughter and niece. He works 11 hours a day cooking corn tortillas at a shop in central Mexico City. He gets home at 8 p.m.

The next morning, he does it all over again. Six days a week. No vacations. Ever.

Welcome to a typical life in Mexico: a world of long hours, low pay and prices that are much higher than in the United States. It is those economic pressures that drive Mexicans to the United States and that lie at the heart of the illegal immigration problem.

Mexico Nets Suspected Cartel Leader

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican soldiers have captured a suspected drug cartel boss in the most significant arrest since President Felipe Calderon sent thousands of troops to restore order in a western state terrorized by drug gangs, the military said Sunday.

Elias Valencia, a suspected head of the Valencia cartel, was arrested along with four other people Friday at a mountain ranch near the town of Aguililla in Michoacan state, said Gen. Cornelio Casio, one of the officials in charge of the offensive.

Last week, Calderon ordered more than 6,000 soldiers, marines and federal police to his native state of Michoacan, which has seen a wave of drug-related killings and beheadings.

Officials blame the violence on a turf war between the Valencia and Gulf cartels over lucrative marijuana plantations and smuggling routes for cocaine and methamphetamine to the United States

Mexican President Unifies Police Command

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Friday named a single commander for two federal police agencies and appointed a former peace negotiator with the Zapatista rebels as head of Indian affairs.

Ardelio Vargas, previously chief of staff at the Federal Preventative Police, was named as commissioner of both that force and the Federal Investigative Agency.

The preventative force is largely used to police riots and for routine patrols, while the investigative force probes and puts together criminal cases. Many experts argue it would be better to have a single agency that does both.

Number of youths smuggling drugs declines, officials say

By Tammy Fonce-Olivas / El Paso Times
Article Launched:12/18/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

Fewer juveniles are smuggling drugs into El Paso County now than they were six years ago, but officials believe young people crossing illegal substances from Mexico is still a problem.

Thirty-five juveniles, ages 16 and younger, were caught trying to bring drugs, mostly marijuana and cocaine, across the border this year, the most recent figures kept by the El Paso County Juvenile Probation Department show. In 2000, 96 juveniles were sent to the detention center after being detained at the border for drug offenses.

Manny Torres, intake director of the juvenile probation department, said that when he first began working at the detention center 28 years ago, nearly all of the juveniles accused of drug trafficking were male.

"You see more and more females getting involved now. At one time it was mostly males," Torres said.

Out of the juveniles accused of drug smuggling so far this year, 26 are male and nine are female. Torres said.

The issue of drug dealers using children as smugglers rose to the forefront of the community following the August arrest of a 16-year-old El Paso girl, who is accused of trying to smuggle 49 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. through the Ysleta port of entry.

Chertoff: Land- exit tracking still not viable


WASHINGTON — The Bush administration on Friday defended its decision to postpone a plan to track foreign visitors as they leave the country by land. An incoming Senate Democratic committee chairwoman called for hearings on the delay.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he still intends to implement the tracking program, but the department currently does not have a viable system to track people crossing into Canada and Mexico by land.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who will chair the Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism and homeland security, said that she was dismayed by the decision.

"This failure, which follows on delay after delay since 1996, essentially means that there will be no exit-monitoring system at the nation's 50 busiest land border crossings," Feinstein said.

Kids also caught entering illegally

Hundreds languish in shelters
By Lourdes Medrano

PHOENIX — In House No. 7, teen Diego Moncayo sat pensively in a sunken living room, watching his 18 young roommates make the most of their free time with foosball and checkers.

Thoughts of his impending deportation to Ecuador weigh heavily on Moncayo, 17. He knows the adults around him are planning his departure from the Phoenix shelter where he has stayed since being caught sneaking across the U.S.-Mexican border without his parents or an adult guardian.

"I came a long way for nothing," a somber Moncayo said almost in a whisper as he talked about how he was supposed to join the father he hasn't seen in eight years in New Jersey. "It truly hurts."

Moncayo is one of nearly 1,700 children who passed through the shelter in the last year after foiled attempts to enter the country illegally and on their own. Most come from Central America, but others come from as far away as Brazil, Cuba and Ghana. With few exceptions, minors from Mexico are returned to children's shelters in Mexican border towns.

Bill: College, service OK for entrants' kids

By Eunice Moscoso

WASHINGTON — Legislation that would let thousands of illegal-immigrant high school students attend college or serve in the military has a good chance of passing in a Congress controlled by Democrats, immigration experts say.

A bill known as the DREAM Act would give illegal immigrants a conditional visa that would turn into permanent residency if they complete two years of college or serve honorably for two years in the armed forces. It also would allow them to qualify for in-state college tuition.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mexico: Half detained in immigration raid are Mexicans


9:44 p.m. December 13, 2006

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government said on Wednesday that about 600 of the 1,282 meatpacking employees detained in immigration raids in several U.S. states are Mexicans, and called on U.S. authorities to temporarily release mothers detained in the raids so they can care for their U.S.-born children.

U.S. federal agents arrested immigrants at Greeley, Colo.-based Swift & Co. meat processing plants in six states Tuesday, after a nearly yearlong investigation revealed that illegal immigrants and others may have stolen or bought the identities and Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens and residents in order to work there.

“The Mexican government is requesting the provisional release of Mexican mothers apprehended in yesterday's raid in the United States, so that they can care for their children born in that country,” the Foreign Relations Department said in a press statement.

In other cases – presumably those of mothers with Mexican-born children – the department said it was working, with the help of U.S. community groups, to ensure those children placed in the care of relatives, or “in isolated cases,” in the care of child welfare authorities.

Rental law dropped, but not the goal

By J. Harry Jones

December 15, 2006

ESCONDIDO – The ordinance may be dead, but the fight against illegal immigration in the city will go on, three members of the City Council said yesterday.

And it's possible that a new ordinance will be crafted once the city has figured out how to gain access to a federal list so it can determine who is living in the country legally and who isn't, Councilman Sam Abed said.

In the meantime, the city will pursue other solutions, such as increased enforcement of city codes, council members said.

In the end, the failed attempt to do something about illegal immigrants – who proponents of the ordinance said cause overcrowding, crime and the drain on social services – ended up costing Escondido about $200,000 in legal fees.

That's probably millions less than if the council had decided to fight a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups challenging the ordinance, which would have punished landlords for renting to undocumented immigrants.

Hate crimes up, study says

L.A. County incidents increased 26% last year, fueled largely by aggression between blacks and Latinos, often at schools.

By Susannah Rosenblatt
Times Staff Writer
December 15, 2006

Reported incidents of hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased for the first time in four years, while such incidents in schools have more than doubled from last year, according to a report released Thursday.

The 26% spike in reported countywide hate crimes last year was fueled primarily by a nearly 50% jump in racially motivated offenses, especially toward immigrants and between African Americans and Latinos, according to an annual analysis by the county Commission on Human Relations.

Conflicts between blacks and Latinos erupted on the streets, in jails and at schools, with school-based hate crimes soaring by 111%. Many of these incidents on or near campus occurred in South Los Angeles, the report said.

Mexico to Extend Anti-Drug Operations

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico's government said Thursday it would send troops and police to root out drug smugglers in several states, expanding an offensive that began this week in one violence-plagued state where soldiers clashed with traffickers trying to protect a marijuana field.

Attorney General Eduardo Medina said raids could take place simultaneously in various states, apparently to prevent traffickers from fleeing between regions. He declined to name the states.

"The operational design in each state will be different," he said. "The war against drug trafficking is very complicated, but it is a winnable war."

He said the idea was to wrest income and turf from drug traffickers.

Man seen in standoff video slain in hospital

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched:12/15/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

A man who narrowly survived a street shooting in Juárez only to be followed by his attackers inside a hospital and killed Tuesday was one of the men who was videotaped unloading drugs from a crashed SUV during a standoff in Hudspeth County in January.

César Alonso Gándara Reyes, 30, was first shot at Tuesday afternoon when he was in a gold 1984 GMC pickup in a neighborhood near the Zaragoza Bridge, Juárez police said. He was taken to the Clínica Zaragoza on Ramón Rayón Street by someone who quickly left the hospital, they said.

While Gándara was on a gurney and being treated for his wounds, a group of men pretending to be police officers shot him. An autopsy determined he died of gunshot wounds to the head, chest and stomach, and investigators said they found more than 10 shell casings at the hospital.

Body found in Juárez with U.S. agents' business cards

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
El Paso Times
Article Launched:12/15/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

U.S. law enforcement agencies were informed by their Mexican counterparts that a man found murdered in Juárez last month had the bloodied business cards of two U.S. agents taped to his forehead.

The victim, who has not been identified, was dropped from a van at the Chamizal park in Juárez on the afternoon of Nov. 23. The man had the cards of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Raul Bencomo and of a DEA agent with the first name of Todd stuck to his forehead with masking tape.

One of the man's fingers had been cut off and shoved into his mouth, Juárez state police officials said.

"It looks like it's a message. He's a 'dedo,' a finger, an informant," said Raul Loya, a Dallas lawyer suing ICE for its handling of Juárez drug informants.

Bills would stop police queries about immigration

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
El Paso TimesArticle Launched:12/15/2006 12:00:00 AM MST AUSTIN

Local law enforcement officers would be prevented from asking people about their immigration status or nationality and from making stops based on those characteristics under a bill an El Paso senator filed Thursday.

The measure was one of a three-part package of bills by state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh meant to prevent state and local officials from enforcing federal immigration laws.

The senator's bills follow a recent El Paso Times report that showed Texas border sheriffs were using federal grant money meant to fight drugs and violent crime to enforce federal immigration law.

State and local officials insisted Operation Linebacker, for which Gov. Rick Perry has granted more than $10 million for border sheriffs, was designed to prevent crime, not to target undocumented immigrants.

But the Times found that border sheriffs participating in the operation reported undocumented immigrants to U.S. Border Patrol seven times more often than they arrested criminals.

Post-Castro exodus is a concern for U.S.

Officials say mass migration from Cuba isn't likely, but they're getting prepared

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.U.S. homeland security officials say they are preparing for a remote, but real possibility: that the death of Fidel Castro could trigger a mass migration from the island nation, landing refugees in detention centers in Florida, Texas and beyond.

At least that's one of several worst-case scenarios that federal officials weighed Tuesday at the start of a simulated exercise aimed at gauging the ability of the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to respond to a potential rafter crisis.

The Public’s View of Immigration

A Comprehensive Survey and Analysis
November 2006

Prepared by the polling company™ for the Center for Immigration Studies

When Presented with the Facts, Voters Say they Want Less, Not More, Immigration.

When given details about the number of immigrants (both legal and illegal) already in America and the number entering each year, 68 percent of likely voters thought the number of immigrants (regardless of legal status) crossing our borders was "too high," while just 21 percent said it was "about right," and 2 percent believed it was "too low." It didn’t take fancy turns of phrase or inflated figures to lead them to this conclusion. This would seem to contradict those who argue that the only concern of voters with respect to immigration is illegality, rather than the sheer number of immigrants in the country.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Death threat: Tancredo cancels Miami speech

"What is more 'Third World country' than threatening to bomb the place?'
Posted: December 13, 2006 6:13 p.m. Eastern
© 2006

MIAMI – U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., whose comment to WND that Miami was a "Third World country" sparked a war of words with Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, has canceled a planned speech in this South Florida city.

"What is more 'Third World country' than threatening to bomb the place?" Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa told WTVJ-TV, in reference to bomb threats for this week's event at the Miami Rotary Club.

The local CBS affiliate reported: "The manager of the restaurant where Tancredo was to speak, the Rusty Pelican on Key Biscayne, said Wednesday that the owners didn't want him to appear on Thursday in order to keep up the integrity and reputation of the business. The manager also said staff members objected to working the party where his immigration talk was supposed to be held, some customers threatened to boycott the restaurant, and the restaurant had received bomb threats."

Tancredo's office is still considering whether or not he'll come to Miami at all because his office has also received death threats.

Mexican First Lady's Cousin Killed

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A cousin of Mexico's first lady was found dead of gunshot wounds just outside Mexico City, authorities said Wednesday.

The body of Luis Felipe Zavala, cousin of Margarita Zavala, was found in his minivan Tuesday night in the city of Naucalpan in Mexico State, said Carlos Flores, state deputy attorney general. Naucalpan borders Mexico City.

The killing occurred a day after Calderon announced a massive crackdown on organized crime, including drug trafficking, in his native central state of Michoacan, sending in 6,500 soldiers and federal police.

More than 500 people in Michoacan have been killed this year in violent deaths. Investigators link at least half of the homicides to a turf war between two rival drug gangs.

Mexico Decries Abuses of Migrant Workers

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon acknowledged Wednesday that many of the illegal migrants from Central and South America who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States are abused by criminals and by authorities.

Pledging to ensure that the rights of Mexicans abroad are protected, he also acknowledged responsibility for migrants in Mexico.

"Just as we demand respect for the human rights of our countrymen, we have the ethical and legal responsibility to respect the human rights and the dignity of those who come from Central and South America and who cross our southern border," Calderon said during the presentation of human rights awards to several Mexican activists.

"Migrants from Central and South America who cross through our national territory also suffer abuses, extortion and are victims of crime, many times with the complicity of authorities."

The number of undocumented migrants detained in Mexico rose from 138,061 in 2002 to 240,269 in 2005. Forty-two percent were Guatemalan, 33 percent Honduran and most of the rest Salvadoran.

Mexican man sentenced to 15 years for dealing in meth, coke and pot, and for having a gun


A U.S. district judge sentenced a Mexican man convicted of drug dealing to 15 years in prison Wednesday.

Rodolfo Alonso Cano, 33, of Chihuahua, Mexico, also known as Sam, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, and of being in possession of a firearm, said a press release from the U.S. attorney for Arizona.

Cano admitted that he had been in the country illegally since 1995 and that he had used false Social Security numbers to work.

BP agents find 1.8 tons of marijuana hidden in 2 trucks on O'odham land


Border Patrol agents found a large load of marijuana Tuesday night on the Tohono O'odham Nation near the village of Gu Vo, Border Patrol officials said.

The 189 bundles were found at at about 8 p.m. in two trucks hidden in the brush southwest of the town 100 miles west of Tucson, the press release said.

Gu Vo is on Federal Route 1 . The north-south road heads to the border.

The 3,626 pounds of marijuana has an estimated street value of $1.8 million, using figures from the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the federal anti-drug analysis and intelligence center

Suspected leaders of major drug ring jailed

Operation brought in tons of pot, has history of violence, records say
By Alexis Huicochea

An international drug-trafficking organization that brought violence and thousands of pounds of marijuana into Southern Arizona has been busted, according to court documents made public Wednesday.

The organization, led by Carlos Molinares-Nuñez for the last five years, has been linked to homicides both in Mexico and the United States that appear to be drug-related, court documents state.

The Molinares-Nuñez drug operation is also responsible for moving thousands of pounds of marijuana into Southern Arizona during a three-year period in which it was being closely monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI and the Bisbee Police Department, records show.

"On numerous occasions, agents were frustrated in their enforcement efforts due to active physical and electronic counter-surveillance techniques, which were routinely performed by members" of the drug gang, court documents state.

Agents were not only frustrated by those barriers but also with the fights that the organization would put up any time law enforcement caught them transporting marijuana into the country.

Many tons of marijuana would be transported at one time in modified vehicles that would enter the country by driving in between designated ports of entry to avoid law officers, the memo said.

The drivers were told to evade officers if detected, which resulted in a number of high-speed pursuits as they attempted to return to Mexico.

Romney OKs Detention of Illegal Aliens

Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Mitt Romney, who is weighing a White House bid, signed an agreement Wednesday that allows Massachusetts State Police troopers to detain illegal aliens they encounter over the course of their normal duties.

Under the terms of the agreement, made with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an initial group of 30 troopers will receive five weeks of specialized training next year, paid by the federal government.

The troopers will be drawn from the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Squad, the Criminal Investigation Section, the Anti-Gang Unit, the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Community Action Team.

"The scope of our nations illegal immigration problem requires us to pursue and implement new solutions wherever possible," Romney said in a statement. "State troopers are highly trained professionals who are prepared to assist the federal government in apprehending immigration violators without disrupting their normal law enforcement routines."

Raids in 6 States May Be Largest Ever

Dec 13, 12:34 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,200 people were arrested in meatpacking plants in six states during raids that federal officials said amounted to the largest-ever workplace crackdown on illegal immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday the investigation uncovered a "disturbing front" in the war against illegal immigration, in which illegal immigrants are using the identities of U.S. citizens to obtain jobs.

"Violations of our immigration laws and privacy rights often go hand in hand," he said. "Enforcement actions like this one protect the privacy rights of innocent Americans while striking a blow against illegal immigration."

The raids at Swift & Co. plants across the country resulted in 1,282 arrests, including 1,217 on immigration charges and 65 on criminal charges such as identity theft. Chertoff said the investigation is continuing into several groups that may have sold identity documents to illegal immigrants.

The arrested workers were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Laos, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries.

Meatpacking raids for illegals find vast ID theft

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tijuana police increase firepower

48 assault rifles given at ceremony
By Anna Cearley
December 13, 2006

TIJUANA – After suffering high losses in recent months, some members of the city's police force were given new assault rifles yesterday to stand up to criminals.

The force's higher-ranking chiefs were formally assigned Heckler & Koch assault rifles at a ceremony in front of City Hall. In addition to the 48 rifles, 250 Beretta pistols also were being handed out.

“We know exactly what we are facing,” said Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, referring to criminals typically armed with powerful weapons.

The city started paperwork for the additional weapons about a year and a half ago, but in recent months the vulnerability of city police has become especially notable.

Eight Tijuana city police officers and four from other law enforcement agencies have been killed since September. The high number has created suspicion that some of the deaths are tied to feuding drug groups who form ties with officers.

However, city officials have said they believe the officials are being targeted because they are doing their jobs and standing up to traffickers.

And the check is in the mail! I got a bridge I'd like to sell ya!
I was recently told of one man who was hired by the city police as an officer. He was told that he would not get paid for three months (It's been six months and he still has not been paid.) and should ask his neighbors to help out his family. He was also told that he had to buy his own uniform pants and that the police department would not be providing him a gun. He should either buy one in the US or on the black market from one for the drug dealers. And you wonder why there is so much corruption? -mm

Arellano to face additional charges

By Onell R. Soto

Union Tribune Photo

December 12, 2006

New charges are expected to be filed this week that could lead to the death penalty against the man prosecutors say is the leader of the Arellano Félix Mexican drug cartel.

The charges against Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, who was captured at sea in August, will accuse him of additional criminal activity over the past three years, prosecutors said.

Arellano is accused of racketeering, drug trafficking and money laundering in a decades-long conspiracy that prosecutors say moved tons of drugs into the United States and that resulted in numerous killings on both sides of the border.

The charges, originally filed in 1997, were last updated in 2003. The evidence includes tens of thousands of pages of case files and more than 550,000 intercepted radio transmissions.

Citizenship, residency filing fees may double in April

Immigrants encouraged to file early to avoid higher costs
By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched:12/13/2006 12:00:00 AM MST

Becoming a legal resident of the United States or a citizen is not cheap.

Because of fees to file forms, fees to have fingerprints taken, fees for medical exams and other costs, the tab can quickly run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Citizenship and Immigration Services officials announced last week that they would raise their fees significantly sometime after April. Agency director Emilio Gonzalez did not say exactly what the increase would be, but he said it would be a "fair amount."

The latest fee increase, in October 2005, was a modest $5 to $20 more per application.

But this time, some immigration lawyers who meet regularly with government officials and who attend conferences on immigration think the increase could double the current fees.

This would mean that a $325 I-485 application to register permanent residence could go up to $650; a $330 N-400 application for naturalization could go up to $660. The increase will probably also apply to fingerprinting fees.

CBP Officers Seize Almost $1 Million in Marijuana at San Luis, Ariz. Port of Entry


San Luis, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Luis, Ariz. port of entry stopped an attempted smuggling of almost 280 pounds of marijuana last Thursday.

At around 3:30 on December 7, a CBP officer screening people and vehicles entering the United States asked routine questions of 31-year-old Sergio Rivera. The officer became suspicious of Rivera’s immigration documents. At the same time, one of CBP’s narcotics interdiction dogs alerted to the odor or narcotics coming from the 1998 Nissan Quest van Rivera was driving.

Because of the drug dog alert and their suspicions about Rivera’s documents, the officer decided the vehicle and driver warranted a more in-depth investigation, so he was escorted to an area where vehicles are searched. During the search, CBP officers discovered almost 280 pounds of marijuana hidden throughout the vehicle.

The driver, from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for prosecution.

Estimated street value of the marijuana is almost $900,000.

Mexican troops ordered to arrest smugglers, burn marijuana and opium fields

Published: 12.12.2006

APATZINGAN, Mexico - Soldiers stopped cars and frisked passengers Tuesday, searching for drugs or weapons. Helicopters swooped low over remote mountaintops, looking for signs of opium and marijuana fields. Ships patrolled Mexico's main Pacific port, a hub for drugs arriving from Central America and Colombia.

Less than two weeks after taking office, President Felipe Calderon launched a full-scale attack on the drug trade in his home state of Michoacan, promising to bring an end to beheadings and large-scale production.

The campaign follows earlier crackdowns by Mexican presidents who ordered mass firings of corrupt police, revamped courts, sent thousands of troops to battle traffickers and accelerated drug seizures - without making much of a dent on the quantity of narcotics crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol finding recruits among National Guardsmen


Published: 12.13.2006

As the U.S. Border Patrol seeks thousands of new agents, authorities are finding recruits from a captive audience - the National Guard.

Guard members from around the United States have been heading to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas for two-week rotations since President Bush deployed them to back up the Border Patrol last spring. The soldiers were intended to be a temporary stopgap until the Border Patrol adds new agents.

But some troops are applying to join the Border Patrol in their civilian lives once their rotations end. The current class at the Border Patrol's academy in Artesia, N.M., includes three trainees who served with the Guard at the border earlier this year, and officials say scores of other Guard troops have put in applications for when they return to civilian life.

Assaults on border agents rise in Yuma area


Published: 12.13.2006

Assaults on U.S. Border Patrol agents, including rock throwing and incidents using flammable liquids, are increasing in southwestern Arizona, authorities say.

Agency spokesmen in Arizona and Washington say it's a reflection of frustration by smugglers and illegal immigrants who have been unable to make it across without getting caught.

The Border Patrol's Yuma sector, which covers the extreme southwest corner of Arizona, has seen the most significant jump in recent months.

Similar spikes in border assaults occurred previously in other areas, including the patrol's Tucson and San Diego sectors.

From the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 until Friday, there were 57 rock-throwing attacks targeting agents in the Border Patrol's Yuma sector, compared to 36 for the period in 2005, spokesman Lloyd Easterling said.

"It's a money issue. As we do better, as we tighten up enforcement along the border, it certainly impacts the money the smugglers are making," he said. "Frustration, that's exactly what it is. They're trying to clear us out of the way so they can get back to business as usual. But that's not going to happen."

Donations to Mexico involve completing paperwork

Dec 12, 2006

Kindness goes a long way, but that alone won't let you cross the border to give to the needy in Mexico.

Donating clothing, toys and other items to the needy in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., or Los Algodones, Baja Calif., requires that the donors complete paperwork with Mexico's federal Tributary Service Administration in Mexicali in order to cross the border with the contributions.

Those taking donations into Mexico must register with the nearest office of the Tributary Service Administration (Spanish initials SAT).

The goal of registering as a donor is to allow the government to regulate what is being brought into the country, he said. "There are rules and protections that the people have to know about. For example, used clothing cannot be brought into Mexico" for donation.

The process of registering is free, but donors who fail to do so face fines, he said, and "the merchandise and the vehicle in which the merchandise is transported will remain in custody of the SAT while an investigation is done."

For Yuma-area donors, the closest SAT office is in Mexicali at Boulevard Benito Juárez 1990-A, Local 19, in Plaza Universidad, Cuen said.

Donors should provide a list and photos of the items. The list should include information on the brands and estimated value of items to be donated, he said.

For more information, call the consulate at 343-0066.


• Clothing, bedsheets, blankets and towels that are new.

• Canned food that has not reached expiration dates.

• New and used computer equipment for public education institution.

• Medical and laboratory equipment, office equipment, school supplies or vehicles for public sector use.

• Toys not made in China.


• Visit the Tributary Services Administration Web site at

• Call the Mexicali office at 011-52-686-564-1029, 011-52-686-564-1021 or 011-52-686-564-1093.