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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

MS-13 Member Sentenced for Giving Green Light In Murder

Posted: March 29, 2007 5:51 AM EST

A man who gave the order for a rival gang member's murder was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday.

Daniel A. Bonilla Delcid, 24, of Alexandria, was the first of five suspected MS-13 gang members sentenced for the July 18 slaying of Shannah Marie Angeles in Stafford County.

Angeles, 21, of Palatine, Ill., was shot in the head and body and left in the woods, where her body was found four days later. Prosecutors said Angeles was visiting a friend when she was targeted because MS-13 members thought she was a member of a rival gang.

Bonilla Delcid pleaded guilty to conspiracy and participating in a criminal street gang in January. He was not at the scene when Angeles was killed, but prosecutors said he gave the "green light" for the shooting.

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Bill calls for NAFTA pullout

3 House members introduce resolution

Posted: March 31, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007

WASHINGTON – Three members of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored a resolution calling on President Bush to provide notice of withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The trio objects to NAFTA because of the rising U.S. trade deficits with Canada and Mexico, the loss of American jobs, the safety threat posed by foreign truckers on U.S. highways and the security risks it has meant in increased crime and drugs and the potential for terrorist activity.

According to the Department of Labor, 1.8 million U.S. workers have applied for trade adjustment assistance as a result of jobs lost through NAFTA's implementation.


Mexican lawmakers propose increasing penalties for abortion amid competing attempts to legalize


3:25 p.m. March 30, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Lawmakers with Mexico's small Green Party have sent a bill to the Senate that seeks to toughen penalties for illegal abortions, a bid to counteract efforts by leftist legislators to legalize abortion, a senator said Friday.

Green Party Sen. Arturo Escobar said the bill, introduced Thursday, proposes increasing prison sentences – currently between six months to one year – to one to three years for women who have an abortion.

Escobar said the bill also asks that anyone who forces a woman to abort against her will be sentenced to from eight to 10 years in prison, instead of the current six to eight years.

Escobar said the measure is aimed at challenging a bill filed Tuesday in the lower house by the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, to legalize abortion nationwide.


Mexican officials arrest 10 people smugglers, 42 migrants

March 30, 2007, 10:53PM
Associated Press

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — Authorities in this border city said today they had arrested 10 people smugglers and 42 Central American migrants headed to the United States.

Victor Jimenez, a commander with Mexico's Federal Agency of Investigation, or AFI, said the group was caught Thursday walking on a dirt road to avoid an immigration checkpoint about 16 miles south of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas.

"All the undocumented migrants were from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras," Jimenez said. "The guides were all Mexican."


Dengue Surging in Mexico, Latin America

The Associated Press


March 30, 2007

The deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is increasing dramatically in Mexico, and experts predict a surge throughout Latin America fueled by climate change, migration and faltering mosquito eradication efforts.

Overall dengue cases have increased by more than 600 percent in Mexico since 2001, and worried officials are sending special teams to tourist resorts to spray pesticides and remove garbage and standing water where mosquitoes breed ahead of the peak Easter Week vacation season.

Even classic dengue _ known as 'bonebreak fever' _ can cause severe flu-like symptoms, excruciating joint pain, high fever, nausea and rashes.

More alarming is that a deadly hemorrhagic form of the disease, which adds internal and external bleeding to the symptoms _ is becoming more common. It accounts for one in four cases in Mexico, compared with one in 50 seven years ago, according to Mexico's Public Health Department.


ICE worksite enforcement investigation yields 77 arrests

March 29, 2007

GREENVILLE, Miss.- 77 illegal aliens working on construction projects at critical infrastructure sites in four U.S. Southern states were arrested this morning following the culmination of a five-month long U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Many of those arrested this morning worked for Greenville-based Tarrasco Steel. The company, owned by Jose S. Gonzalez, has been under ICE investigation following allegations of criminal misconduct.

ICE special agents also executed federal search warrants this morning on the local Tarrasco Steel business office complex.

The Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, confirmed that the majority of Tarrasco Steel employees were using unauthorized social security numbers for employment. ICE obtained copies of payroll records for the employees for verification of the employees' status in the United States and to substantiate the allegations of criminal misconduct. Gonzalez allegedly falsified and altered information on the I-9 Employee Eligibility Forms.

The illegal alien workforce was working on rebuilding the Huey P. Long bridge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; the Mississippi-Arkansas bridge in Greenville, Mississippi; the I-40 Seismic retro fit in Memphis, Tennessee; the US-90 bridge in Gulfport, Mississippi, and the Louisiana 1 bridge in Leeville, Louisiana.

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Nogales Border Patrol Seizes 6 Tons of Marijuana from Garbage Truck

Friday, March 30, 2007

Nogales, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to the Nogales Station discovered more than six tons of marijuana concealed in a trash truck yesterday.

On March 29, at 1 p.m. agents stopped a 2000 commercial trash truck near Arivaca, Ariz. During the stop a CBP canine team alerted to the truck. Agents searched a roll-off type of trash bin and discovered 560 bundles of marijuana weighing 12,923 pounds.

The estimated value of the marijuana is $10,338,400.

The U.S. citizen driver was arrested. After processing, the vehicle, suspect and drugs were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

Through February 28, Tucson Sector Border Patrol has seized 399,458 pounds of marijuana this fiscal year. This is a 33 percent increase over the same time period in fiscal year 2006 where Tucson Sector agents seized a total of 300,156 pounds of marijuana.

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El Paso CBP Officers Make Largest Drug Bust In 2 Years

Busy Week Capped With 4,723-Pound Marijuana Load Nabbed Thursday
Friday, March 30, 2007

El Paso, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performing anti-terror inspections Thursday at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry in El Paso seized 4,723 pounds of marijuana from one commercial truck and an additional 430 pounds of the drug in a second commercial vehicle. The last time CBP officers in El Paso made a larger drug bust occurred almost two years ago when a 6,182-pound marijuana seizure was made at the Ysleta commercial facility.

The seizures made Thursday were the highlights of a week in which CBP officers working at border ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico seized 12,040 pounds of marijuana in 49 seizures, 9.7 pounds of cocaine in one seizure, and a personal use quantity of methamphetamine in one additional seizure.

“Last year we averaged about 2,500 pounds of seized marijuana per week at our area ports,” said Luis Garcia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in El Paso. “What we are seeing now is the direct result of the hard work and dedication to mission being exhibited by the CBP workforce. I could not be any prouder of the men and women of CBP working in the El Paso area.”

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CBP Seizes $709,291 in Undeclared Currency at Laredo Port of Entry

Friday, March 30, 2007

Laredo, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry decided to take a closer look at a southbound bus on Thursday and their diligence yielded a seizure of $709,291 in unreported currency and the arrest of a Georgia bus driver.

The currency seizure occurred shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, March 29 at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge. A CBP officer conducting outbound (southbound) inspections referred a 1997 Dina GV1000 bus driven by Alberto Zavala, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen from Gainesville, Ga. for a secondary examination. The driver gave a negative declaration for currency in excess of $10,000, weapons or ammunition. During the examination, a CBP canine alerted to the vehicle and a non-intrusive imaging system scan also indicated anomalies in the spare tire area.

Upon further examination, CBP officers discovered bundles containing $709,291 in unreported currency inside the spare tire. CBP officers arrested Zavala on federal bulk cash smuggling charges and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure.


Border Patrol Seizes $13 Million in Cocaine Near Hidalgo, Texas

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hidalgo, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents seized more than $13 million in cocaine near Hidalgo, Texas early this morning.

At 6:15 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the McAllen Border Patrol station were patrolling the river in Hidalgo and noticed suspicious activity. When the agents approached the area, a two-tone Ford F-150 truck drove away heading north. Agents tried to initiate an inspection of the driver and passenger but the driver immediately pulled over and both subjects abruptly exited the vehicle and fled into the dense brush nearby. A search of the abandoned vehicle revealed six bundles of cocaine weighing 410 pounds. The total value of the cocaine is $13,120,000. There were no apprehension associated with this seizure.

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Dozens of entrants found in home on South Side; feds arrest 2 men

By Alexis Huicochea
daily star
, Arizona
| Published: 03.31.2007

More than three dozen illegal entrants were found in a South Side stash house Wednesday, and two men, including one who is believed to have been operating it, were arrested.

Jose Manuel Enriquez-Hernandez and Isidro Aguilera-Cortez — both 29 and from Mexico — were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal entrants for commercial advantage or private financial gain, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona.

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Sheriff: Feds fail to address 'epidemic' of border violence


Published: 03.31.2007

Violence associated with human and drug smuggling along the border has reached "epidemic proportions," Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said Friday.

He sharply criticized the federal government for misdirecting Homeland Security funds and not sufficiently supporting local law enforcement agencies, which are overwhelmed.

Dupnik spoke at a news conference about a fatal ambush Friday west of Green Valley of a pickup truck packed with at least 23 illegal immigrants, including three small children. Two people were killed by gunfire, and at least one was injured. It was the second such incident in the past two months.


ICE unit is placed in prison complex

Mar. 31, 2007 12:00 AM

The Arizona Department of Corrections on Friday unveiled an Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit inside the prison complex in Phoenix. The ICE unit is the nation's first to be built inside a prison.

Officials say the unit will house six Corrections Department employees trained and certified as ICE officers as well as two immigration officers and a supervisor. The goal is to expedite the deportation-determination process, beginning the day foreign nationals enter the state prison system.

In 2005, prison officials entered into an agreement with ICE to speed the deportation of eligible undocumented immigrants. Officials say the efforts have saved Arizona taxpayers nearly $9 million.


Border group back on patrol

Minutemen doubt claim of fewer crossings

Daniel González
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 31, 2007 12:00 AM

The head of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps disputes claims by U.S. officials that illegal immigration traffic is down significantly in Arizona, just as volunteers are beginning another monthlong campaign to monitor the border.

Beginning today, the anti-illegal immigration group will station hundreds of armed volunteers along the U.S.-Mexican border as part of an effort to deter illegal immigration during what is historically the busiest time of the year for unlawful crossings.

The Arizona part of the campaign will focus on the Sasabe area between Nogales and the Tohono O'odham Reservation, where illegal immigration traffic is as high as ever, according to Chris Simcox, the group's president.


Gunmen kill two migrants on U.S.-Mexico border

Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:39 PM ET

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Unknown gunmen fired on a truck packed with suspected illegal immigrants in southern Arizona early on Friday, killing two people and wounding a third, police said.

The gunmen killed a man and a woman traveling in a pickup truck near Green Valley, some 30 miles south of Tucson, Pima County Sheriff's Department said.

Spokeswoman Dawn Barkman said the dead were believed to be Mexican immigrants traveling with three family groups from the poor southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

Barkman said two children were among at least 14 people packed into the extended-cab pickup truck.


Mar 30, 9:16 PM EDT

Two charged in ambush attack on immigrants in Arizona

Associated Press Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Gunmen apparently trying to seize a smugglers' truckload of drugs attacked a pickup hauling 23 suspected illegal immigrants early Friday, killing two people and wounding another, authorities said.

Within hours, Border Patrol agents tracking footprints found two men along with three high-powered weapons near a campsite about a half-mile south of where the shooting occurred, said Richard Kastigar, Pima County sheriff's criminal investigations chief.

After questioning Friday afternoon, both men admitted to having fired high-powered weapons into the truck and were charged with two counts each of homicide and 21 counts each of attempted homicide, Kastigar said.

Witnesses inside the pickup and its camper shell substantiated the events, even though none of the survivors interviewed was able to identify the gunmen, according to Kastigar.

Rosario Humberto Araujo-Monarrez, 21, and Martin Esrain Flores-Gaxiola, 18, from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, were being processed before being booked into the Pima County Jail and other charges could be pending, Kastigar said.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

‘Ice’ becomes drug enforcement nightmare

Mexican labs are making, importing a new and stronger methamphetamine
By Mark Potter
Updated: 4:14 p.m. MT March 29, 2007

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. - In rural Cumberland County, Tenn., sheriff's deputies are trying to stop the spread of "ice," the latest illegal drug to sweep the country.

Ice is a powerful form of the stimulant methamphetamine and is very addictive.

In the last few years, through arrests and laws restricting chemicals used to make methamphetamine, authorities were able to dramatically reduce meth labs in the United States. But now, those efforts around the country are being undercut by Mexican drug traffickers, who are mass-producing ice in big labs south of the border, then smuggling it throughout the U.S.

Drug agents raided a "superlab" near Guadalajara and in Mexico City seized $205 million allegedly used to buy ice raw materials from Chinese smugglers.

But the Mexican traffickers are undeterred and are moving east, making Atlanta a major U.S. distribution hub.

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Assailants kill police commander in Monterrey


1:18 p.m. March 29, 2007

MONTERREY, Mexico – A state police commander was shot to death by assailants who opened fire on his car in this northern Mexican city, police said Thursday.

Nuevo Leon state police commander Ramiro Calderón, 52, was driving through a residential area in Monterrey when gunmen in at least two cars fired AR15 automatic rifles, killing him instantly, police said.

Calderón, who had been a police officer for 31 years, is the 15th officer killed so far this year in the Monterrey area.

Investigators say the Sinaloa cartel is fighting the Gulf cartel for billion-dollar (euro) drug-smuggling routes into the United States. The battle has led to beheadings, grenade attacks and execution-style killings across Mexico.

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Bill could delay lifting of ban on Mexican truck travel

Rep. Hunter wants background checks

By Paul M. Krawzak

March 30, 2007

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced in Congress yesterday could delay the Bush administration's plan to lift a longstanding ban on Mexican truck travel throughout the United States.

A pilot program to allow some Mexican truckers into the United States had been scheduled to begin next month.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, an opponent of the plan, introduced one of the bills, which would allow police to gain access to the same kind of criminal background information on Mexican truckers as they can pull up on American drivers.

Another bill introduced yesterday would require the Department of Transportation to seek public comment on the pilot program before it is launched and would limit the program to one year.

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Mexican Marxists Split, But Confident of Success - New Zeal BLog

Mexico is facing two communist infiltrated mass revolutionary movements, the "Broad Progressive Front" of failed presidential candidate Lopez Obrador and the Zapatista dominated "Other Campaign".

Both want to bring Latin American socialism to the US border.

From the Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World

MEXICO CITY — The Zapatista Army of National Liberation Army (EZLN) has vowed to continue its campaign to change Mexico’s political and economic system.

The Zapatistas, as part of a larger movement known as “The Other Campaign,” say that they will renew their efforts to organize “a civil and pacifist insurrection” across Mexico to transform the country’s political and economic system. The Other Campaign is a loose coalition of individuals and groups that includes the Party of Mexican Communists, one of the country’s left-wing parties.

The primary goals of The Other Campaign are to abolish capitalism, which it says has led to widespread poverty, and to dismantle the country’s repressive political system.


Police on alert for Zeta drug enforcer

Exclusive: Agents saw suspect in officer's killing at gang's base

12:01 AM CDT on Friday, March 30, 2007

By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News

Dallas police have warned officers to be on the lookout for a high-level Mexican drug enforcer who they say may have ties to the methamphetamine dealer accused of killing a police officer last week.

Maximo Garcia Carrillo, 34, is considered one of Dallas' leading drug traffickers and an associate of the Mexican drug enforcers known as the Zetas. He is suspected of numerous murders in South Texas, and his last known address was a fortresslike home in north Oak Cliff.

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Federal agents investigating two border tunnels found near Otay Mesa port-Mexico Border

Thursday , March 29, 2007

- Two unfinished cross-border tunnels were discovered yesterday morning near the Otay Mesa port of entry by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Both tunnels originated in Mexico in an open area adjacent to the primary border fence. The passageways, located approximately 40 meters apart, were very primitively constructed. The tunnels, which were three feet wide and three feet high, were located approximately five feet beneath the earth's surface. The first tunnel, its Mexican entry point covered by plywood and dirt, extended about five feet into the United States. The second tunnel extended approximately two feet into the United States and was partially filled with water.

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Mexicans March to Support Abortion Law

Mar 30, 12:21 AM EDT
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Several thousand women marched through the Mexican capital in support of a bill to legalize abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, a proposal that has drawn harsh criticism from the Roman Catholic Church.

About 3,000 protesters led by city legislators from various political parties on Thursday shouted "Freedom to choose!" and criticized President Felipe Calderon, a social conservative who has spoken out against the reform.

"A woman can decide to have an abortion or not have it, but it's her decision," said former presidential candidate Patricia Mercado, a leftist and feminist. "A secular state has the obligation to give the right to women to take this decision in the best conditions."

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Cereso prison officials discover escape tunnel

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 03/30/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

Inmates at Juárez's Cereso prison apparently dug an escape tunnel and were only 10 yards from freedom when the tunnel was discovered Wednesday, prison officials said.

The tunnel was well-made, officials said, with wooden and concrete beams, a fan and electric lights. It measured more than 1 yard in height and 5 yards in length. It stretched between the interior fence and the outside wall of the prison.

Fernando Alberto Romero Magaña, who has been director of the Cereso for a month, said the prison was under red alert since the discovery.

He said that a cache of weapons was found near the tunnel and that it wasn't known whether the inmates planned "a riot, an execution or a mass escape."

The tunnel and the weapons were in an area housing members of the Mexicles prison gang.

A year ago, six Mexicles gang members were stabbed to death in a large riot instigated by the rival Aztecas gang. Prison guards were later arrested for providing Aztecas gang members with knives, helmets and shields and access to the Mexicles' segregated living quarters.

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Snafu leads to murder suspect's release

Jim Walsh and Amanda Fruzynski
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 30, 2007
12:00 AM

The legal system is on trial and different participants are blaming each other, refusing to accept responsibility in the wake of an undocumented immigrant's mistaken release from a Maricopa County jail, 11 days before police say he may have committed murder.

Ruben Perez Rivera, 23, is suspected of stabbing his cousin to death Tuesday in Mesa. He was released from a jail March 16 because of a paperwork snafu. The county Sheriff's Office acted on a judge's March 15 order to release Perez Rivera and was not notified in time that he had been indicted later that day on kidnapping charges.

He was deported by federal officials to Mexico after his release from jail, but he apparently re-entered the United States illegally.

Perez Rivera is still missing and wanted in connection with the murder of Theodore Cruz Perez, 23, at an apartment complex.


Sheriff checking migrant status in traffic stops

Lindsey Collom
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 30, 2007
12:00 AM

Deputies and detention officers will verify the immigration status of every person booked into a Maricopa County jail, place holds on undocumented people for possible deportation and check status during traffic stops.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio introduced the plan Thursday as one of several measures the department will use to enforce immigration laws.

While other local law enforcement agencies are partnering with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to weed out immigration-related crime, the Sheriff's Office is using its agreement with the federal agency to go after the illegal immigrant.

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Dozens Arrested in Md. Immigration Raid

Mar 29 09:19 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) - Immigration agents arrested 69 people Thursday in raids on a temporary employment agency's offices and places where it provided undocumented workers, including the port of Baltimore, authorities said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents also seized a bank account containing more than $600,000 from the employment agency, Jones Industrial Network.

The company's offices and eight other businesses were searched, including three where the temp agency is suspected of providing undocumented workers, ICE said.

The investigation began last year after immigration officials heard that temp agencies had provided illegal immigrants as workers to the port of Baltimore and other unwitting employers, ICE said.

Having "illegal aliens working and having access to our ports is a major security vulnerability," said James Dinkins, ICE special agent in charge.

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Ariz. Human Smuggling Ring Broken Up

Mar 29 02:38 US/Eastern

Associated Press writer

PHOENIX (AP) - A human smuggling ring responsible for arranging transportation for thousands of illegal immigrants has been broken up with the indictments of 14 people who worked in travel agencies, officials announced Thursday.

Six travel agencies were responsible moving at least 6,800 people since 2005, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said.

In addition to the 14 owners or employees of the agencies who were indicted, two people who ran "drop houses" were charged


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mexican Government Reacts To Minutemen's Presence On The Border

March 28, 2007 07:22 PM
reported by Victor Castillo

The Minuteman organization will soon be in the Rio Grande Valley. Their presence has many on the Mexican side of the border concerned over their activities, especially the Mexican Consulate in McAllen.

The Minuteman's first border operation will start this weekend and just as they plan to have their eyes on illegal crossings, the Mexican Government will have their eyes on them.

Miriam Medel, Mexican Consulate spokesperson, tells Action 4 News they'll be very vigilant all weekend. "We want to make sure that no human rights are violated, and make sure that it's only the authorized personnel, the people who have had the training and the mandate to do so, the only ones that are making the arrests" said Medel.

What about the right of the USA not to be invaded by thousands of Mexicans everyday? -mm

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Mexico AG: US Must Do More to Stop Guns

Mar 28, 11:57 PM EDT
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico's attorney general on Wednesday demanded U.S. authorities do more to stop guns and drug money from heading south and fueling the drug violence in Mexico that left more 2,000 dead last year.

Eduardo Medina Mora told a business forum that the vast majority of arms used by the soldiers of drug cartels, including assault rifles and grenades, are smuggled from the United States.

"It's truly absurd that a person can get together 50 to 100 high powered arms, grenade launchers, fragmentation grenades, and can transport this cargo to our country," Medina Mora said. "It's a task that needs a much more decided and determined effort from the U.S. government, and it's one of the demands we have put on the table."

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, obtuse means "lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect". Mexico wants the US to do all it can to stop the illegal smuggling of guns but Mexico, in turn, does all it can to promote and encourage the illegal invasion and violation of US sovereignty by millions of its own citizens. Clearly Mr. Medina Mora embodies the true meaning of obtuse! -mm


Alleged killers captured after shootout in Juárez

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 03/29/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

Four alleged sicarios, or gunmen, were caught Tuesday night in Juárez after a vehicle chase and shootout with police following the killing of an alleged heroin dealer, Juárez and Chihuahua state police said.

Miguel Garcia Orrantia, 48, whom Juárez police described as a drug dealer, was shot and killed about 3 p.m. Tuesday at his home in the community of Caseta, east of Juárez across the Rio Grande from Fabens.

The events began hours earlier when the alleged gunmen's stolen car ran out of gas and they then stole a Nissan Armada a woman had left running outside a Juárez store, Chihuahua state investigators said.

The men, armed with handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle, decided to rob Garcia of drugs and money at his "store," according to statements the men made to investigators. Garcia pulled out a knife and was shot, authorities said.

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Texas lawmakers told immigration not their worry

State urged to fight crime, drugs, not immigration
By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
El Paso

AUSTIN -- Experts, border officials and businessmen told Texas lawmakers Wednesday the state should stay out of the immigration business but do all it can to secure the border against violent crime and drug trafficking.

Texas lawmakers hoped the hearing would provide a better understanding of how proposed border security and immigration laws would affect border residents and how much authority Texas has to control the border.

"We are trying to find out really where the state's authority is and where it is not," said state Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee.

Much of the testimony Wednesday focused on whether state and local officers should enforce immigration laws.

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Cost of hiring illegal immigrants

Effects of raid on factory reach beyond its doors
By Ken Maguire
Photo by Stew Milne / The Associated Press

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Michael Bianco Inc. was a success story, a small leather factory in a struggling city that landed military contracts at such a rate that its work force more than quadrupled in the span of a few years.

Federal officials said that growth was on the backs of illegal immigrants. On March 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up 361 workers at the waterfront factory, and arrested the company's owner and three top managers.

Yet inside the factory, sewing machines still rattle away as remaining workers continue stitching together backpacks and vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Owner Francesco Insolia has been back on the job since the day after his arrest, and the company says more than 400 people have applied for jobs since the raid.

And unlikely allies have come forward in support of the company because of what's at stake: $91 million in an Army contract and hundreds of jobs in a region with an unemployment rate nearly double the national rate.


Tour reveals dynamics, efforts along border

Guest Opinion:
Published: 03.29.2007

As Arizonans continue to debate illegal immigration, it is important that lawmakers and citizens understand the dynamics of our border communities and the agencies involved in their security.

I hosted a tour this month to give legislators a firsthand view of border operations and efforts to secure our border.

The 2,400 National Guard troops stationed in Arizona are building and repairing roads, fixing and erecting walls and lighting, repairing vehicles and ultimately relieving the Border Patrol of its nonlaw-enforcement work to allow more time to focus on enforcement of federal immigration law.

The National Guard members act as observation teams, the eyes and ears of the detection operation.

In a year, they have identified 316,000 possible illegal immigrants. This is akin to the entire city of Chandler coming into our country illegally. Of this number, 36,000 had criminal records in the United States.

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Men penalized for hiring migrants

The Associated Press
Published: 03.29.2007

SAN DIEGO - Two executives at a company that helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border were sentenced Wednesday to six months of home confinement for hiring illegal immigrants.

Mel Kay, founder, chairman and president of Golden State Fence Co., and manager Michael McLaughlin pleaded guilty in federal court to knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz ordered each to serve 1,040 hours of community service and spend three years on probation.

Kay, 64, was fined $200,000 as part of a plea agreement. McLaughlin, 42, agreed to pay $100,000.

Federal prosecutors took the rare step of seeking prison time after the men acknowledged hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants in 2004 and 2005.

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Driver arrested after 960 pounds of marijuana found in big rig

Associated Press
Mar. 29, 2007
07:51 AM

TUCSON - Some 960 pounds of marijuana was found hidden inside concrete pillars in the back of a tractor-trailer at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, authorities said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they pulled the truck over Wednesday afternoon for secondary inspection due to the nervous behavior of the 32-year-old Mexican driver and suspicions about the cargo's destination in Colorado.

They pulled out one of the pillars, drilled a hole in it and found a bundle of marijuana. They unloaded 18 crates, 13 of which had concrete pillars.

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Border Patrol seizes half ton of marijuana


March 28, 2007 - 5:20PM

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 1,100 pounds of marijuana worth about $879,000 around 10 p.m. Wednesday about 45 miles east of Wellton.

Agents responded to an activated ground sensor and discovered vehicle tracks leading to an unoccupied gray 2006 Ford F-250. Agents found 62 packages of marijuana inside the passenger compartment and bed of the truck, according to a news release.

The truck and drugs were transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station and then turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the release said.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Senate Panel Delays Program to Open Border Zone to Mexican Trucks

Associated Press
AP Photo

Mexican trucks could have to wait longer than anticipated to haul freight deep into the United States.

The Bush administration in February announced that it would soon allow 100 Mexican trucking companies to travel beyond the current 20-mile limit for a one-year pilot project.

But a Senate panel on Thursday voted to delay the plan by requiring the administration to publish details about it and giving the public time to comment on it. The action came as part of a supplemental spending bill to pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The administration is rushing to open the border to Mexican-domiciled trucks without assuring their safety and enforcement of the law of the U.S.," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "They can't go rushing forward in opening the border without having explained what their pilot project is."

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Debate heats up as Congress debates new anti abortion bill

By Ioan Grillo


8:30 a.m. March 287, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Leftist lawmakers sent Congress a bill to legalize abortion on Tuesday, the third such recent proposal in Mexico where the issue has divided the nation and drawn interest from the Vatican.

Under the bill filed in the lower house by the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, the second-largest force in Congress, women would be able to have an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy.

“We are in favor of women's life. We don't want women to stop their pregnancies...but we have a stubborn reality,” said Rep. Maricela Contreras.

PRD senators and legislators in Mexico City's assembly have both filed similar bills recently sparking virulent criticism from the Roman Catholic Church and conservative National Action Party of Felipe Calderón.

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Border Patrol agent kills man who crossed from Mexico


7:40 p.m. March 27, 2007

CALEXICO – A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man who threatened him with a softball-sized rock at the border, the agency said Tuesday.

The agent shot the man Monday after he escaped from a scuffle with another agent as he tried to return to Mexico, said Border Patrol spokesman David Kim.

The victim's name, nationality and immigration status were not released by U.S. authorities. Mexico's consul in Calexico, Pablo Arnaud Carreno, said the victim was Mexican and apparently was in the U.S. illegally.

Kim said he did not know where the man was struck.

Mexico has asked U.S. authorities for a thorough investigation, Carreno said.

“It seems unjust to shoot someone who is unarmed,” Arnaud Carreno said Tuesday.

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Prostitution ring alleged

The State - South Carolina

March 27, 2007

Immigration officials are searching for a Mexican national they say forced young Mexican women -- including a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old deaf woman -- to work as prostitutes in Columbia, sometimes servicing up to 40 clients a day each.

Guadalupe Reyes-Rivera, an undocumented Mexican immigrant also known as 'Mama Martina,' paid salaries to at least two other undocumented Mexicans to smuggle young girls into America and oversee their work as prostitutes, Craig Hannah, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified in federal court Tuesday.

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Jessica Simpson Visits Mexican Orphanage

The Associated Press

March 27, 2007

This is the second time she has visited us.

Jessica Simpson showed up in person on Tuesday to donate a new minivan to an orphanage in this Mexican border city. Simpson was greeted by dozens of cheering children as she arrived at the Elim orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, in a white 2007 Chrysler minivan that she had won at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The singer-actress, who was accompanied by her mother and father-manager, gave the keys to Guadalupe Carmona, the orphanage's founder and director, and stayed for about 40 minutes, posing for photos with the children and signing autographs.


Mexico Swaps Computers for Guns

Mar 28, 2:43 AM EDT
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Police in the Mexican capital have kicked off a campaign to exchange guns for computers and other gifts in an attempt to reduce firearm deaths.

On the first day of the program in Tepito, a neighborhood known for drug dealing and street markets rife with contraband, officers collected 29 guns Tuesday and gave out several desktop computers along with packets of food and cash.

"Imagine how Mexico City would be if there were no guns," Mexico City Public Safety Secretary Joel Ortega said. "This is a barrio known for boxing champions, and now it has turned into a barrio where there were 32 murders last year."

The gun exchange program is part of a crackdown on crime by Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who has sent in thousands of police to tackle crime gangs in Tepito and other rough neighborhoods.


Officials say kidnapping suspects not masterminds

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 03/28/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

The mother and daughter arrested Sunday in El Paso in an alleged Juárez kidnapping-for-ransom scheme were not the masterminds behind the abduction, court documents and friends said.

Sara Jahzeel Gonzalez, 21, and her mother, Maria Gloria Hernandez Castillo, 40, were arrested on extortion charges when they picked up ransom money raised by the family of Charles Waters, a 48-year-old Chicago man who had been held captive in Juárez for more than a month.

Waters, who was released unharmed, told FBI officials that the $165,000 ransom was to pay a drug debt.

Court documents filed Tuesday show that Gonzalez and Hernandez Castillo were not involved in the kidnapping.

Hernandez Castillo told the FBI that her aunt, Julieta Castillo of Juárez, told her "she knew Hernandez Castillo was having a financial hardship and had a way for her to earn some money," according to the documents in the case.


Most immigration bills before Legislature likely unconstitutional

Mar 28, 1:02 PM EDT

AUSTIN (AP) -- Two-thirds of the 30-plus immigration bills before the Texas Legislature will likely not come up for a vote this session because they violate federal and state constitutional standards, lawmakers said Wednesday.

The chairmen of the House committees overseeing immigration proposals said they don't want to bring up bills before the full House "for no purpose," which would divide the chamber and could ultimately get struck down in court.

"It's inappropriate and a waste of the state's money," said Rep. David Swinford, chairman of the House Committee on State Affairs, which will hold a joint meeting Wednesday with the Border and International Affairs Committee on immigration-related legislation.

Swinford, R-Amarillo, said he asked the Texas Attorney General's office to determine whether the immigration and border bills abide by the state and federal constitutions, federal law and federal court cases.

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CBP Frontline News 3/26/2007

In this issue...

1. CBP Border Patrol finds success in halting illegal migration
2. CBP mourns loss of Border Patrol agents
3. Unmanned aircraft detects child rape fugitive
4. CBP officers use gamma rays to find hidden marijuana
5. Newsbytes


CBP Officers Seize Almost Half Ton of Marijuana at Andrade Port of Entry

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Andrade, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting border security operations at the Andrade port of entry arrested two male U.S. citizens and seized almost 1,000 pounds of marijuana Sunday evening, March 25, officials announced today.

CBP officers encountered the two men when they came through the border station at about 7:30 p.m. in a 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck pulling a trailer. Officers directed the vehicle and passengers for a more in-depth investigation where systems checks revealed the driver had a warrant for his arrest. During the secondary examination, officers utilized a narcotic detector dog to screen the vehicle that alerted to the back wall of the trailer.

Officers subsequently found a false compartment in the back wall of the trailer that contained 70 wrapped bundles of the narcotic weighing 934 pounds and valued at about $500,000, officials said.

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Lawyers' advice to migrants: Stay out of cars


Published: 03.28.2007

Tucson immigration lawyers are advising clients to avoid driving or riding in cars in light of stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws across the country.

The lawyers report an increase in clients wanting to challenge the routine traffic stops in which they are found to be in the country illegally.

Patricia Mejia said she receives calls every other day from people who were detained by the U.S. Border Patrol during routine traffic stops.

"Some were stopped for something as minor as turning on a yellow light or swerving," she said. "It seems extreme."

Tucson police Sgt. Mark Robinson said police routinely will call the Border Patrol if they suspect someone they encounter is in the country illegally.

I'm confused! As a lawyer, aren't they officers of the court? As officers of the court, aren't they responsible to uphold the law? Isn't it illegal to offer advice that violates the law? -mm

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Child smugglers don't get slap on wrist anymore

The Arizona Republic

Published: 03.28.2007

A church acquaintance approached Brenda Aguirre with a proposition early last year. Would Aguirre, a U.S. citizen, be willing to bring two Mexican children into the United States illegally?

All she had to do was pick them up in Agua Prieta, Son., pretend they were her children and drive them back across the border and up to Phoenix. For her trouble, Aguirre, 25, would receive $500, plus the satisfaction of knowing the children would be reunited with their illegal immigrant parents without a potentially deadly trek through the desert.

But things didn't go as planned. An entry port official in Douglas became suspicious when Aguirre presented Arizona birth certificates for her own kids, not the two Mexican children. Now, Aguirre is going to prison for 15 months. The children were sent back to Mexico.

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Group seeks tougher Arizona laws against illegal migrants

Petitions target immigration

Mary Jo Pitzl
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 28, 2007 12:00 AM

Saying that they will do what the government has failed to do, a group of citizens spearheaded by a lawmaker and a former gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday launched twin petition drives to create tougher immigration laws in Arizona.

One measure is aimed at punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The second would require police agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.

The dual measures are aimed at the November 2008 statewide ballot. But they are also targeted at legislators and Gov. Janet Napolitano, who initiative backers feel are roadblocks to tougher immigration laws.

Lawmakers are debating bills that would essentially accomplish what the two initiatives propose.


Agent who killed immigrant back on duty

Mar 27, 9:42 PM EDT
Associated Press Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A U.S. Border Patrol agent who fatally shot an illegal immigrant in January has been returned to active duty although authorities were still determining Tuesday whether he should face criminal charges.

Agent Nicholas Corbett, assigned to the patrol's Naco station, returned to active duty about two weeks ago, said Jesus Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector.

Authorities said Corbett fatally shot Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera on Jan. 12 while trying to take Dominguez Rivera, his sister-in-law and his two brothers into custody near the Mexican border.

Xavier Rios, a Border Patrol national spokesman, said Corbett's return to work "doesn't mean he's been cleared.

"There's an investigation going on. The FBI is looking at the civil rights side of it, and Cochise County is looking at the criminal side," Rios added.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Foreclosure Wave Bears Down on Immigrants

Economic Success Story Turns Sour as Thousands May Face Losing Homes

By Kirstin Downey
Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 26, 2007; A01

Immigrants are emerging as among the first victims of a growing wave of home foreclosures in the Washington area as mortgage lending problems multiply locally and across the country.

Nationally, 375,000 high-interest-rate loans were made to Hispanics in 2005, and nearly 73,000 of them are likely to go into foreclosure, said Aracely Panameo, director of Latino affairs for the Center for Responsible Lending. About 1.1 million homes in the United States are expected to go into foreclosure in the next six years, and many native-born Americans are likely to be stuck with burdensome loans. But immigrants are getting hit first in part because their incomes tend to be lower and many have lost construction jobs.

Illegal immigrants part of the growing burden in health care

Border town hospitals straddle care and costs
By Robert Bazell
Chief science and health correspondent
Updated: 5:34 a.m. MT March 27, 2007

Cochise County, Arizona, is a place of fabled history involving the likes of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," which resulted in three deaths and several injuries

These days there is a still a lot of dangerous action here. Most of it involves the hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and other Latinos trying to get into the United States. Cochise County is ground zero in the border wars.

At night helicopters with huge searchlights circle in the sky. Swarms of people try to scale walls as high as 18 feet. Smugglers' cars or trucks stuffed with humans speed along desert roads, chased by border agents.

These hazardous conditions land many people in tiny border hospitals such as Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee, Ariz. Copper Queen, with its 40 beds, is the only hospital for many miles along the Mexico border.

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Migrant Workers Contributing to Spread of HIV Along U.S., Mexico Border, Researchers Say

Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report

Monday, March 26, 2007

Global Challenges

Some researchers say that activity along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is contributing to the spread of HIV in Mexico, PRI's "The World" reports. The number of HIV cases among Mexican migrant workers remains relatively low but is increasing, according to George Lemp, director of the University of California's AIDS research program. The program has been working with the Mexican government's AIDS agency to study HIV/AIDS among migrant workers in California. Lemp said HIV cases have increased among women in some remote villages whose only risk factor is a male sexual partner who has traveled to the U.S. "There's a tremendous amount of high-risk behavior occurring among migrants," Lemp said, adding that migrant workers often are young men with limited education who might experiment with high-risk sex or injection drugs while in the U.S. According to "The World," high-risk behavior also occurs at "migrant way stations just south" of the U.S. border.

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Migrants, Drugs and Disease on Which Border?

Posted By Allan Wall On VDare
26 March 2007
@ 8:04 pm

A local government health official recently stated that, not only are migrants and drugs [1] crossing the border into his country, but diseases also.

Big surprise? No. But this was a Mexican health official in Chiapas, talking about migrants, drugs and disease entering Mexico from Guatemala. It was reported in the Mexican media in an [2] article entitled “Enfermedades y epidemias amenazan la región” (Diseases and Epidemics Threaten the Region).

The INM (Mexican immigration bureaucracy, which exercises jurisdiction over yours truly) reports that in 2006, half a million migrants passed through the area, and 40% of them (182,705) failed to make it to the U.S.A.

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Drug Cartels Declare War on Mexican Government

Published by The Watchdog March 24th, 2007

The war between Mexico’s drug cartels and the state intensified this week, with a death toll of nine police officers and others this week.
Prosecutors, lawyers and investigators have been targeted in the violence, and in a new twist, corpses are being delivered to the state’s attorney offices with warning notes gruesomely attached.

Since year’s begin, 515 people have died - on Wednesday alone, it was seven.

In his four months in office, Calderon has sent some 30,000 members of the country’s security forces to the areas most affected by the drug trade, and his government has extradited four drug barons to the US, including Gulf Cartel boss Osiel Cardenas Guillen.

Mexican drug bosses and their organizations are incredibly rich and powerful, and they have infiltrated the state’s security apparatus.


Suspected Cop-Killer May Be Involved In Zetas Gang

Mar 26, 2007 6:49 pm US/Central

Robert Riggs

(CBS 11 News) DALLAS Monday night, a candlelight vigil will be held in memory of a Dallas police officer killed in the line of duty.

Police say Senior Corporal Mark Nix was shot and killed Friday evening while chasing Wesley Ruiz.

That chase marked the second time in two weeks that 27-year-old Ruiz had fled Dallas police.

CBS 11 has learned that on March 14, during a stake out, a U.S. Marshall's Task Fugitive Task Force spotted Ruiz leaving the Oak Cliff residence of a drug kingpin wanted by a major DEA investigation in Laredo.

The drug king pin has associates that are confirmed members of the Zetas, a Mexican paramilitary group believed to be responsible for slipping across the border to carrying out hits for Mexican drug cartels.

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Border Agent Sentenced to 6 Years for Accepting Cash, Cars From Illegal Immigrant Smugglers

Monday , March 26, 2007
Associated Press

An American border inspector was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in prison for taking cash and cars from smugglers, allowing them to shuttle illegal immigrants from Mexico into the United States.

Richard Elizalda, a 10-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, worked at the world's busiest border crossing, the San Ysidro Port of Entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego. Investigators said he sent text messages directing smugglers to his inspection lane, then waved their vehicles through.

In return, he received as much as $1,000 for each immigrant, totaling $120,000 in cash starting in 2004.

Love, smuggling lead to prison

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U.S. Can't Account for 600,000 Fugitives Wires
Monday, March 26, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Teams assigned to make sure foreigners ordered out of the United States actually leave have a backlog of more than 600,000 cases and can't accurately account for the fugitives' whereabouts, the government reported Monday.

The report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general found that the effectiveness of teams assigned to find the fugitives was hampered by "insufficient detention capacity, limitations of an immigration database and inadequate working space."

Even though more than $204 million was allocated for 52 fugitive operations teams since 2003, a backlog of 623,292 cases existed as of August of 2006, the report said.

The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has been estimated at between 11.5 million and 12 million. About 5.4 percent of them are believed to be "fugitive aliens," those who have failed to leave the country after being ordered out.

The inspector general found there is not enough bed space available to detain such fugitives and that agents are hampered by an inaccurate database. Other factors that limit the teams' effectiveness are insufficient staffing, the report said.

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Wildlife smuggling poses challenge to inspectors

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
El Paso
Article Launched:03/27/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

In one evidence room at the Bridge of the Americas, one can find a pair of seized boots with the tips made from the fuzzy, spotted fur of an ocelot. There are boots made of stingray dyed with tiger stripes and belt buckles fashioned with the heads of dwarf crocodiles.

"We see some hideous things," quipped Rudolph Fajardo Jr., an inspector with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in El Paso.

Fajardo's office is small, with only two other inspectors and a special agent, but it is responsible for regulating the import of all wildlife and wildlife parts. In El Paso, this means keeping an eye on exotic skins and exotic boots.

Some of the skins belong to endangered or protected species, such as sea turtles, pangolins and some crocodiles.

The office works with 20 brokers who bring in skins from Malaysia and Africa. The inspectors clear 300 to 1,000 pairs of imported boots a week and up to two tons of skins a month, they said.

They also seize 40 to 60 pairs of smuggled boots a month.


Juárez women arrested in extortion plot of Chicago man

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
El Paso
Article Launched:03/27/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

A Chicago man who said he had gone to Juárez to settle a drug-trafficking debt was allegedly held captive for more than a month by a Juárez woman and her mother, who were asking for a ransom, FBI officials said.

FBI officers trapped the mother and daughter in a sting operation Sunday outside an El Paso restaurant. The women thought they were picking up the $165,000 ransom from the man's Chicago roommate.

Instead, they were arrested.

Sara Jahzeel Gonzalez, 21, and her mother, Maria Gloria Hernandez-Castillo, 40, were charged with extortion, a felony, and could face up to 20 years in prison.

The Chicago man, whose name was not released, was freed Sunday and is back in the United States, officials said.


El Paso CBP Officers Net 13 Drug Seizures Saturday

Monday, March 26, 2007

EL Paso, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performing anti-terror inspections at El Paso area border ports of entry made 13 drug seizures Saturday, confiscating 1,209 pounds of marijuana in a dozen busts and 9.7 pounds of cocaine in an additional seizure.

Over the course of the last three days, area CBP officers seized a total of 2,097 pounds of marijuana and 9.7 pounds of cocaine in 24 total seizures.

“CBP officers were successful in balancing enforcement and traffic facilitation during an exceptionally busy Saturday,” said David Longoria, U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Port Director. “CBP officers were able to keep border crossing times under 60 minutes for most of the day while processing dozens of drug cases, illegal immigration attempts, agriculture violations and other enforcement concerns.”

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Papers contradict agent over killing


Published: 03.27.2007

BISBEE - Documents released Monday fail to support the account a U.S. Border Patrol agent gave about his fatal shooting of a Mexican illegal immigrant in January.

Nicholas Corbett, an agent with the patrol's Naco station, fatally shot 22-year-old Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera on Jan. 12 while trying to take Dominguez Rivera, his sister-in-law and his two brothers into custody near the Mexican border, according to authorities.

The shooting, initially described as an apparent confrontation in which the previously unidentified Border Patrol agent was allegedly threatened with a rock, drew strong condemnation from Mexican President Felipe Calderón and the victim's family and was investigated by the Cochise County Sheriff's Department.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Mexican Catholics protest abortion measure, as liberals pledge legalization

By Lisa J. Adams
AP Photo
5:31 p.m.
March 25, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Reciting the rosary and chanting prayers, several thousand abortion opponents summoned by Mexico's Roman Catholic Church marched through the capital on Sunday to oppose a proposal to legalize the procedure in the first three months of pregnancy.

The abortion bill, proposed by the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, is sure to launch a protracted fight between liberal lawmakers and conservative forces in a nation where about 90 percent of people are at least nominally Catholic. Current Mexican law allows abortion only if the woman's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.

Though I do not agree with the Mexican Catholic Church on many points of doctrine, I pray for their success to prevent the needless slaughter of the innocents for the sake of convenience. -mm

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Border officer to be sentenced in smuggling case

3:33 a.m. March 26, 2007
SAN DIEGO – Sentencing is scheduled Monday for a former Customs and Border Protection officer who admitted allowing hundreds of illegal immigrants to be smuggled through his inspection lane in return for cash and gifts.

Richard Elizalda, 56, pleaded guilty last September to one count of bribery of a public official and two counts of bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain.

Elizalda and seven co-defendants were charged last June in a 15-count indictment alleging bribery, conspiracy, bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain, importation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, filing a false tax return and criminal forfeiture.

Elizalda admitted he received between $70,000 and $120,000 in U.S. currency and benefits from members of an alien-smuggling organization, operated by two of his co-defendants, for not enforcing U.S. immigration laws.

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Bill Introduced To Limit Banking For Non-Citizens


A bill introduced earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., would require U.S. financial institutions to accept only U.S.-issued identification or foreign-issued passports, effectively banning the acceptance of Matricula cards. The American Bankers Association issued a statement opposing the bill.

When Bank of America said in February it was issuing credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank faced a firestorm of criticism, including some from a Minnesota group.

"This program rewards lawbreakers who have broken our immigration laws and, in addition, threatens our homeland security through possible use by terrorists," said Ruthie Hendrycks, founder of Hanska, Minn.-based Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform, which has lobbied for restrictions similar to those in Blackburn's bill.

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Fred Thompson On Illegal Immigration

Video and commentary on Immigration Watchdog Blog.


Immigration unraveling Mexican clans

By Mark Stevenson
The Associated Press
March 24, 2007

PURUANDIRO, Mexico – It's hard to find a family in Mexico that doesn't have relatives in the United States.

Even President Felipe Calderon says he has distant cousins, uncles and in-laws in Chicago, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities, many of them living "a salto de mata," a Mexican phrase that translates roughly as "on the run."

In other words, he acknowledged his own relatives might be violating U.S. immigration laws.

However, Calderon also said he doesn't know their legal status. Generations of the Calderon clan lived in the village of Puruandiro, where low stone walls now mark abandoned family farm plots, but the Calderons have lost touch with their emigrant relatives, said family members.

And that illustrates another trend: As the immigration boom enters its third decade, many Mexicans have committed themselves to one side of the border or the other, weakening family ties.

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Morlock: McCain may have to pick: job or White House?


Published: 03.26.2007

John McCain will have a decision to make if he can't be Arizona's senator and a presidential candidate at the same time.

Immigration reform is back. U.S. Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., have teamed up to introduce a far-reaching immigration bill that would provide illegal immigrants a chance to get on a path to citizenship.

The bill is similar to, but more strict than, the one McCain, a Republican, co-wrote with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

McCain is in discussions with Kennedy again, but they haven't been able to compromise on a new bill, a McCain aide said.

The McCain-Kennedy bill provided for enforcement and a guest worker program with no requirement that immigrants leave the U.S. to apply for legal status.

McCain stopped representing the fine state of Arizona and the people who elected him when he sold his soul to the Kennedy cabal! -mm

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Targeting child smuggling at entry ports may backfire

Kids face greater danger, critics warn

Daniel González
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 26, 2007 12:00 AM

A church acquaintance approached Brenda Aguirre with a proposition early last year. Would Aguirre, a U.S. citizen, be willing to bring two Mexican children into the United States illegally?

All she had to do was pick them up in Agua Prieta, Sonora, pretend they were her children and drive them back across the border and up to Phoenix. For her trouble, Aguirre, 25, would receive $500, plus the satisfaction of knowing the children would be reunited with their undocumented parents without a potentially deadly trek through the desert.

But things didn't go as planned. An entry port official in Douglas became suspicious when Aguirre presented Arizona birth certificates for her own kids, not the two Mexican children. Now, Aguirre is going to prison for 15 months. The children were sent back to Mexico.

The case shows the extremes to which parents living illegally in the U.S. will go to bring their children into the country, often putting their kids into the hands of strangers. It also shows the severe consequences for people lured into smuggling children. The heavy punishments are part of a new zero-tolerance government policy to combat a rise in child smuggling along the Arizona border.

The policy is keeping children out of harm's way, government officials say. But critics say the policy is having the opposite effect, driving desperate parents to take greater risks.

It is the height of the ludicrous to turn this by saying that the increased vigilance of our Border Patrol and federal prosecutors are putting these kids in danger. It is the arrogance and overt stupidity of these parents who have violated the federal law of the USA and her sovereignty and then place their own children in precarious and life-threatening situations to further violate the law! Should anything happen to these children, it is the parents and the smugglers who are to blame and who should be unmercifully punished for this action. -mm

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