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, May 12, 2007

Our Letters Editor, Joe Guzzardi, Is Bemused By Hispanic Immigrants’ Sense Of Entitlement

By Joe Guzzardi

My job as Letters Editor at VDARE.COM occasionally provides me with much needed comic relief from the depressing subject of immigration. Of course, the writers are rarely trying to be funny.

Nonetheless, I have to laugh when I read tirades from incensed Hispanic readers demanding that we get out of their way so that they can take over the country.

We posted one such letter from Gabriel Rocha on May 2nd. He wrote to several VDARE.COM contributors calling us “frightened” and “clowns”. He predicted that Hispanics “are not going anywhere” and suggested that we gringos “learn some Spanish.”

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Napolitano vetoes Mexican ID ban on 'foreign nationals'

The Business Journal of Phoenix - 2:08 PM MST Thursday, May 10, 2007

by Mike Sunnucks

The Business Journal

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has vetoed legislative measures aimed at curtailing illegal immigration, shunning the term "illegal immigrant" in favor of "foreign national."

Napolitano, a Democrat, nixed a Republican measure to prohibit state and local governments from accepting Mexican identification cards as valid IDs and another measure to create a state militia to help secure the border and respond to other emergencies.

Napolitano sent veto letters to the Legislature explaining her action.

Republican supporters of the ID bill say acceptance of Mexican consular identification cards by Arizona governments and banks encourages illegal immigration and helps Mexican drug traffickers and smugglers operate in the state. The proposal would have applied only to Arizona government entities.

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Drug gang kills rivals at Mexican death cult shrine

REUTERS

1:26 p.m. May 11, 2007

MONTERREY, Mexico – Hit men from Mexico's Gulf Cartel drug gang handcuffed three men and shot them dead at a death cult altar Friday, leaving lit candles, flowers and a taunting message for rivals in a worsening drug war.

Police near the northern city of Nuevo Laredo found the corpses at a shrine to Santa Muerte, a religious figure worshiped by criminals and many of Mexico's poor.

“This is for everyone who messes with the Gulf Cartel. Welcome to Nuevo Laredo, bunch of assholes,” read the message, written on orange paper and taped to a wall near the altar, set up below a highway bridge.

Based just south of Texas, the Gulf Cartel is at war over lucrative territory and smuggling routes with an alliance of traffickers from Sinaloa state, led by Mexico's most-wanted man, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman. At least 800 people have been killed this year.

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Agents arrest felon trying to cross river

Article Launched: 05/12/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

A convicted felon attempting to illegally enter the United States was caught Thursday night by Border Patrol agents.

Ejinardo Barajas-Tinoco, 57, a Mexican national, was caught when he crossed the Rio Grande six miles east of the Zaragoza Bridge.

Agents confirmed that Barajas is a previously deported aggravated felon with three felony convictions for serious sex crimes in Pennsylvania. Records show that Barajas served seven years in prison for rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy.

And there are those who still believe that we don't need to secure our border? Congress passes legislation as a result of only a handful of people doing wrong yet there are those who say we should have a "open border". Try to buy a nasal decongestant recently? -mm

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Severed Head Found Outside Mexican Base

May 12, 2:09 PM EDT

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) -- A severed head reportedly accompanied by a note of defiance from organized crime gangs was found outside a military barracks in Veracruz state on Saturday.

The head was found in a box outside the army base in Veracruz city, just hours after the government announced it was sending troops to respond to a shooting attack. The box also held a message saying gangs would continue operating despite the presence of troops, Mexico's Reforma newspaper reported.

The victim's body was found shortly afterward on a street in another neighborhood, wrapped in a sheet.

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Voters become first in nation to decide immigration ordinance

May 12, 9:10 AM EDT
By ANABELLE GARAY
Associated Press Writer

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (AP) -- Voters deciding Saturday whether to repeal or approve an ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting apartments to most illegal immigrants have seen the issue divide neighbors in their Dallas suburb.

They'll be the first in the nation to vote on a regulation requiring apartment managers to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before leasing to them. Minors and people 62 and over are exempt from having to prove their immigration status or citizenship. Families that include citizens and illegal-immigrant members could lease if they meet three conditions: they're already tenants, heads of households or spouses are legally in the U.S., and the family includes only a spouse, their minor children or parents.

If voters approve the ban, opponents plan to seek a restraining order to stop the city from enforcing it and try to get the case to trial.

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Visa plan troubles activists

Guest-worker proposal emphasizes job skills

By Lisa Friedman, Washington Bureau
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Article Launched:05/11/2007 11:39:55 PM PDT

WASHINGTON - With a major vote on immigration again looming in the Senate, advocates lashed out Friday at an emerging plan that includes issuing visas to foreigners based on employment skills and education levels instead of family ties.


Beyond Borders Special Section: Complete immigration news & multimedia


Activists fighting for lenient treatment of the estimated 12million illegal immigrants in the U.S. said they remain optimistic about the newest incarnation of immigration reform. But now, they said, their biggest worries involve the future of legal immigration.

"Some of the proposals on the table are deeply troubling," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

In particular, he and others pointed to discussions about a guest-worker program that does not give temporary workers a shot at citizenship, and a "merit-based" visa system that assigns would-be immigrants points based on job skills and education levels.

"When we hear slogans like `temporary means temporary' or that the number of green cards isn't likely to be adjusted, when many of us believe the problems we now have are because we don't have enough immigration slots, or when we hear about a point system that is a radically new concept ... we're concerned that we may end up reproducing the problems that we have now," Sharry said.

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Border passport rule 'absolutely' begins in January, Homeland Security says

The Associated Press

Published: 05.11.2007

The new rule that anyone driving across the Canadian or Mexican borders must have a passport or passcard will "absolutely" begin in January, government officials said Friday, refuting a New York senator's claim the plan will be delayed.

Lawmakers from states along the northern border have been trying for months to stall or alter the plan to require the more secure identification documents, contending the rule will hurt trade and tourism.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was created by Congress to tighten security on both the Canadian and Mexican borders, but many members are now fuming at the notion their constituents will need a $97 dollar passport or a not-yet-developed passcard, expected to cost around $50. Children would be exempt.

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Feds: Doc removed suspects' fingerprints

By MARK SCOLFORO
Associated Press Writer
Fri May 11, 5:12 PM ET

A Mexican doctor surgically removed drug traffickers' fingerprints, substituting skin from the soles of their feet, to help the traffickers avoid arrest, authorities said Friday.

The doctor, Jose L. Covarrubias, was arrested at the border as he tried to enter the U.S. on Wednesday, the same day he was indicted in connection with a marijuana-dealing ring based in Harrisburg.

The indictment says Covarrubias surgically removed the fingerprints of Marc George, a co-defendant named in the drug indictment. The doctor is believed to have performed the surgery for about four other people, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Behe said.

"We heard those stories, but we didn't believe them when we heard them during the course of the investigation," Behe said. "We caught Marc George and we all became believers."

Behe said George's hands are still mangled from the procedure, which authorities believe Covarrubias performed in mid-2005.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

How A VDARE.COM Article Landed Me A Cameo Role In A PBS Documentary

Memo From Mexico, By Allan Wall

Thanks to a VDARE.COM article I wrote several years ago, I was invited to appear in a documentary on the state of the English language in America.

In February 2002, in Spanish and the New Conquistadors, I pointed out that the growth of Spanish in the United States is frankly perceived by prominent Mexicans as a conquest.

As a result of this article, I was asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for the projected Robert MacNeil documentary Do You Speak American? I agreed.

So, in March of 2003 I traveled by bus from my home somewhere in Mexico to Laredo, Texas, where I linked up with the production team. I was interviewed for the documentary and filmed crossing the bridge on foot. They put me up for the night in a nice riverside hotel and treated me to a few meals. It was the first time I’d ever been involved in anything like that, giving me a small glimpse of how a documentary is produced.

“Allan Wall …said that living in Mexico had given him a different perspective on the inroads of Spanish in America. He recalled a Congress of the Spanish Language in Madrid in 2001. One of the speakers was Vicente Fox, the president of Mexico, who commented that Mexican immigrants who continue to speak Spanish in the United States are doing their patriotic duty to Mexico. [Text of speech, in Spanish.] Another speaker was Carlos Fuentes, perhaps the leading literary figure in Mexico. "He said that there is a silent reconquista of the United States. He didn’t even limit it to the Southwest, as many do; he just said ‘of the United States’."

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Checkpoint for Latinos, not drunks, critics charge

Thursday, May 10, 2007 3:50 AM

By Stephanie Czekalinski and Matthew Marx

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Some central Ohio Latinos say they were targeted this past weekend when law-enforcement officials ran a checkpoint for drunken drivers on the Cinco de Mayo holiday, just blocks from apartment complexes with heavy immigrant populations.

Instead of the arrests netting a large number of people who had too much to drink, they largely hauled in unlicensed drivers, nearly all of them with Latino names.

The DUI checkpoint has drawn criticism from Latino community leaders.

The checkpoint "appears to target Latinos in three ways: where they put it, the fact that it was on Cinco de Mayo" and the number of people who were charged for not having a driver's license, said Jose Luis Mas, a local lawyer and chairman of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition board of directors.

Many times, undocumented immigrants don't have driver's licenses because of their immigration status, he said.

Let me get this straight! They are whining because a checkpoint was setup to catch drunk drivers but instead they netted a mass of Latinos without driver's licenses. Isn't that still a violation of the law or were the police to just let them go because they weren't drunk? And what does that last statement mean? Of course they don't have a driver's license if they violated federal law and invaded the USA. -mm

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Senate plan favors immigrants with skills

May 11, 2007, 12:37PM
The proposal shifts away from the traditional focus on family

By MICHELLE MITTELSTADT
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The importance of blood ties would be sharply reduced under an immigration proposal being negotiated in the Senate, with emphasis instead placed on welcoming foreigners who demonstrate educational, work and English expertise.

Advocates say a skills-based immigration policy would better serve the national interest, but the Catholic Church and many immigrant rights groups are profoundly wary of any effort to tinker with a decades-old legal immigration system focused on reuniting U.S. residents with their loved ones overseas.

More than two-thirds of legal immigration, which brought in 1.1 million people last year, is family-related.

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U.S. wants imprisoned Mexican drug baron extradited

REUTERS

2:48 p.m. May 10, 2007

MEXICO CITY – The United States has requested the extradition of imprisoned Mexican drug lord Benjamin Arellano Felix so he can be tried in California on trafficking charges, his lawyer said Thursday.

One of the last captured Mexican drug barons yet to be tried in the United States, he ran the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel with his brother Ramon starting in the late 1980s.

Last month, a Mexican judge sentenced Arellano Felix to five years in prison for arms possession. He faces more time for outstanding charges such as organized crime activities and drug smuggling.

Washington, which had a $2 million bounty on Arellano Felix's head in the United States until his capture, has sought his extradition for more than a decade.

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Mexico governor bodyguards shot dead

REUTERS

10:47 a.m. May 11, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Suspected drug gang gunmen killed four Mexican policemen who worked as bodyguards for the family of the country's most influential state governor, a local government source said Friday.

The officers, assigned to protect the family of State of Mexico Gov. Enrique Pena, were shot dead as they drove their sports utility vehicle in the Gulf port city of Veracruz where the governor's young children were on vacation.

The drug hitmen, shooting from at least two vehicles, may have mistaken the officers for a rival drug gang, the source in the State of Mexico government said. Cartel members in Mexico often drive powerful sports utility vehicles like the one the police were in.

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Border Patrol agent stops runaway truck; 12 held

UNION-TRIBUNE

May 11, 2007

EAST COUNTY: A Border Patrol agent steered his vehicle into the path of a runaway pickup with 11 undocumented immigrants in the bed after the driver jumped out early yesterday, authorities said.

No one was injured in the collision, which was minor.

Agents tried to stop the Dodge pickup westbound on Old Highway 80 near Kitchen Creek Road, five miles east of Pine Valley, at about 5 a.m., a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.

The driver reportedly slowed down, jumped out and ran, as did a front-seat passenger.

The driverless pickup gained speed as it crossed the center median toward oncoming traffic, until an agent maneuvered in front of the pickup and let the vehicles collide.

The front passenger and the 11 people in the pickup bed were arrested, but the driver escaped. –P.R.

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Gunmen in Mexico Kill Naval Bodyguard

By NATALIA PARRA
Associated Press Writer

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Gunmen opened fire on a naval commander in the Pacific resort city of Ixtapa and killed his bodyguard amid increasing attacks on the Mexican military by suspected drug traffickers.

The navy secretary said in a release Thursday that several sailors were traveling in a vehicle with their commander when four gunmen in two vehicles cut them off and riddled the car with bullets at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the hotel zone of city, about 155 miles north of Acapulco.

The commander's bodyguard, Francisco Javier Sanchez, was killed and two others were wounded in the attack, which took place near the commander's residence, the release said.

The assailants fled, and no arrests were made.

Drug gangs have increasingly attacked the military in recent weeks during a nationwide crackdown on organized crime.

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Mogul Linked to Mexico Bribery Set Free

By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A construction mogul at the center of a bribery scandal that tainted the image of Mexico City's leftist government was released from prison early Tuesday, recaptured and then set free again.

The latest chapter in the three-year saga of Argentine businessman Carlos Ahumada began before dawn Tuesday when he was released from a Mexico City prison after being acquitted of embezzlement - only to have a squad of city police detain him again a few steps from the prison door.

The police wrestled him to the ground and shoved him into a car, though prosecutors later acknowledged that he was merely being served a summons to testify in another case and currently faces no further charges.

He was questioned at a downtown police building for several hours, and finally was released again near midday. Visibly tired and dirty after the scuffle with police, Ahumada - who has accused authorities of trying to silence him - did not want to talk much.

"I'd like to, but I'm very tired, exhausted," he said to throngs of journalists outside police offices. "Please, I want to go home."

Ahumada has described the city's prosecution as a political vendetta in retaliation for a series of videos he made showing him giving large wads of cash to members of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, which governs the city.

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Agent crashes during chase; suspect flees to Mexico

265 pounds of pot found in abandoned van
By Tammy Fonce-Olivas / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 05/11/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

A U.S. Border Patrol agent suffered minor injuries Thursday during a car chase that ended with the seizure of 265 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $212,000.

The chase ended on the Rio Grande levee near Paisano Drive and Executive Center Boulevard in West El Paso, Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier said.

Mosier said the driver of the van fled to Mexico on foot.

The chase began soon after 5:30 a.m. when Border Patrol agents spotted about seven people crossing illegally into the U.S. near the 2300 block of Paisano. Mosier said the agents reported that the people were carrying large bundles and were loading them into a blue Ford van with New Mexico license plates parked on Paisano. The group reportedly fled into Mexico after loading the van.

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CBP Seizes Almost 3 Tons of Marijuana in Arizona Busts

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tucson, Ariz – Three significant attempts at smuggling illicit drugs into the U.S. were stopped and nearly three tons of marijuana were kept off the streets of our cities by U.S. Customs and Border Protection o fficers at the Nogales and Lukeville ports of entry Tuesday afternoon.

The seizures began shortly after noon at the Lukeville port of entry when CBP officers screening visitors and returning U.S. residents for terrorism connections, contraband, immigration violations, prohibited agricultural items, and trade violations encountered a 58-year-old US citizen from Phoenix who was driving a 1999 Ford F350 pulling a 5th-wheel trailer in from Mexico. Officers questioned the man about the vehicle and trailer and became suspicious of his answers. The officers then performed a thorough inspection of the vehicle and trailer and discovered a compartment built into the trailer floor that contained 1,247 lbs of marijuana. The driver was immediately arrested and the marijuana, truck and trailer were seized.

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Immigration protester sues police, city

He seeks $10M, saying his rights were violated
By Josh Brodesky
arizona
daily star
Tucson
, Arizona
| Published: 05.10.2007

Anti-illegal-immigration activist Roy Warden has sued the city and the Tucson Police Department for $10 million in damages, contending they violated his right to free speech.

The 21-page lawsuit lists Mayor Bob Walkup, Police Chief Richard Miranda and more than 100 other named and unnamed public officials who Warden contends are conspiring to hire and protect illegal border crossers. The suit outlines a number of instances over the last year and a half when Warden has been arrested, cited or warned because of various protests and demonstrations.

He also contends that immigrant-rights groups such as Coalición de Derechos Humanos are working toward the "violent overthrow of the United States government."

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'80s sanctuary leader calls for new local role

By Stephanie Innes
ARIZONA
DAILY STAR
1995 Star photo

No local churches have officially joined a new national sanctuary movement to shelter illegal entrants, but the leader of a similar movement that started in Tucson in the 1980s says the religious community needs to consider it.

"Nursing moms are being deported, people are being picked up on the street and immediate family members are disappearing (back to their countries). The church needs to stand up and say this is a gross violation of human rights," said the Rev. John Fife, retired pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church.

In 1986, Fife was one of eight people — including a Catholic priest and a nun — convicted for their involvement with the Sanctuary Movement, which he co-founded. The movement illegally brought Central Americans into the United States. Supporters of the movement said the refugees faced persecution and death squads in their home countries, while critics said many were just seeking jobs.

"The integrity of family is essential to all of us and to our communities and churches," Fife said. "The inability of Congress and the president to arrive at a workable solution to the set of immigration questions we've faced for too long means the church has to provide not only a witness in terms of words, but needs to act."

For now, no Tucson churches have officially joined a new national effort to protect illegal entrants from deportation by offering their buildings as a sanctuary. Religious leaders across the nation are pressuring Congress to reform the nation's immigration laws.

So far churches in five major cities — Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and New York — plan to assist illegal entrants with court proceedings, as well as prepare to house them in churches if authorities attempt to deport them.

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Clash over immigration looming

The Associated Press

Published: 05.11.2007

Senate Democrats will try to force a debate starting Tuesday on last year's Senate-passed immigration measure, which was co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

The move is designed to press Republicans to cut a deal or risk being blamed for undermining one.

President Bush is "going to have to tell his Republicans, 'I want a bill,' " said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "If we lose this opportunity to do immigration reform, (Bush) can't go around the country saying, 'I believe in comprehensive immigration reform.' "

GOP senators are promising to block the move, saying the series of secretive talks attended by the White House and a few Democrats needed more time to yield a compromise.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Brothers Charged in Terror Plot Lived Illegally in U.S. for 23 Years

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

FORT DIX, N.J.

Three brothers charged in the alleged Fort Dix terror plot have been living illegally in the U.S. for more than 23 years and were accepted as Americans by neighbors and friends who had no idea they would scheme to attack military bases and slaughter GIs.

A federal law enforcement source confirmed to FOX News that the three — Dritan "Anthony" or "Tony" Duka, 28; Shain Duka, 26; and Eljvir "Elvis" Duka, 23 — also accumulated 19 traffic citations, but because they operated in "sanctuary cites," where law enforcement does not routinely report illegal immigrants to homeland security, none of the tickets raised red flags.(emphasis mine -mm)

The brothers entered the United States near Brownsville, Texas, in 1984, the source said, which would put their ages at 1 to 6 when they crossed the border.

The source said there is no record of them entering by way of a regular border crossing, so they are investigating whether they were smuggled into the country.

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Changes

Good day to you all!

I felt I needed to alert those of you who visit my blog of a change in my schedule. I am a missionary living in Mexico. We are planning a road trip starting next week and lasting for almost a month. That, along with some changes in my personal schedule, will prevent me from posting the news everyday. I will do my best to keep the blog current but realize that it won't be everyday and often the entries will be made in the afternoon rather than early morning.

Thanks to all of you who have visited this site! Keep pressing in for righteousness and justice with compassion!

-mm


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New Coalition of Christians Seeks Changes at Borders

By NEELA BANERJEE

WASHINGTON, May 7 — A new coalition of more than 100 largely evangelical Christian leaders and organizations asked Congress on Monday to pass bills to strengthen border controls but also give illegal immigrants ways to gain legal residency.

The announcement spotlights evangelical leaders’ increasingly visible efforts to push for what they say is a more humane policy in keeping with biblical injunctions to show compassion for their neighbors, the weak and the alien.

The new group, Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, includes members like the Mennonite Church U.S.A. and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which represents Latino evangelicals.

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform does not back particular measures, said Katie Barge, a spokeswoman for Faith in Public Life, the organizers of a news conference about the group.

Rather, the coalition calls for bills that would push for border enforcement while improving guest worker programs and offering chances for illegal immigrants to obtain legal status, an approach similar to bills that Congress is considering.

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Arellano defense calls extradition lapse a ploy

They say it boosts death penalty odds
By Kelly Thornton
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 8, 2007

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – Lawyers for alleged drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Félix suggested yesterday that the U.S. government intentionally bungled the extradition of his brother, Benjamín, to bolster its ability to seek the death penalty against Javier.

Javier Arellano was taken into custody by U.S. officials in August and is facing drug, racketeering, conspiracy and money-laundering charges in San Diego that could result in the death penalty. But Benjamín Arellano – considered the kingpin of the organization until his arrest in 2002 – would not face the same punishment here because Mexico only extradites its citizens on condition that they not face the death penalty.

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Border officials get more reassurance about fence

Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/08/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

LAREDO -- Homeland Security officials have again assured local officials that fencing would not go up along the Rio Grande without public input, including "town hall" meetings with border residents, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Monday.

Mayors and other officials from cities up and down the Texas border were incensed last week to learn that Homeland Security had created and was secretly circulating a map of 153 miles of the fence -- seemingly against Secretary Michael Chertoff's promises they would be in on any plans for a physical fence.

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Shootout in Mexico Kills 4 Smugglers

May 7, 9:36 PM EDT

E. EDUARDO CASTILLO
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Four purported drug smugglers were killed in a shootout with soldiers in western Mexico on Monday, the second deadly clash in a week between traffickers and troops in the same remote, mountainous region.

The clash took place in Apatzingan, 125 miles west of Mexico's capital in Michoacan state, and left three men and one woman dead, said Magdalena Guzman, spokeswoman for the state prosecutor's office.

The Defense Department said in a news release that three soldiers were injured in the shootout. The soldiers were raiding a house of suspected drug traffickers, who resisted with automatic rifle fire and grenades, it said.

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House approves Perry's border security plan

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
Article Launched: 05/08/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

AUSTIN -- The Texas House gave a vigorous nod Monday to Gov. Rick Perry's plan to spend $100 million to beef up security on the Texas-Mexico border.

Border sheriffs would get millions to increase patrols and deter crime coming up from Mexico under the bill tentatively approved with a 140-5 vote.

"That's what we've been asking for from the beginning," El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego said.

The legislation spells out how the $100 million for border security would be distributed.

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Man shot by jailed ex-border agents tells his story

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 05/08/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

JUAREZ -- The man at the center of a case that has outraged U.S. conservatives and become a cause célebre on cable news shows lives in a white one-room house with a neat yard in the Valley of Juárez.

In his village, most people know Osvaldo Aldrete Davila. They know that in 2005 he was shot in the buttocks by two El Paso Border Patrol agents while trying to smuggle a load of marijuana just across the border, near Fabens. The agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were sentenced to 12 and 11 years in prison and started serving their sentences earlier this year.

In the village, neighbors walk by Aldrete Davila's little house and wave.

But in the United States, supporters of the agents, who include anti-immigrant groups, conservative congressmen, cable news personalities and countless bloggers, have called him a "heinous criminal," a "doper," a "dirt bag" and much worse.

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Death of activist has day-labor supporters lamenting a leader

By Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Article Launched:05/07/2007 11:32:59 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - Day laborers and their advocates mourned the loss of a local leader on Monday at the corner of Arrow Route and Grove Avenue - the site of much contention in recent months.


Photo Gallery: Day laborer killed press conference
Related Story: Driver who hit protester identified
Video: Day laborer killed press conference
Video: Day laborer killed press conference -- (Spanish)
Video: Memorial for killed day laborer
Beyond Borders Special Section: Complete immigration news & multimedia


It is also the site where a traffic accident on Saturday claimed the life of Jose Fernando Pedraza, 57, a Rancho Cucamonga resident who had become a father figure to many of the men seeking employment at the intersection.

"Jose was a strong person and was definitely a leader," said Mike Nava, a friend of Pedraza's and an immigrant-rights activist. "People listened to him and respected him. With his guidance, a lot of fellows stayed out of trouble."

Pedraza was struck by a Toyota Camry driven by Crystal Lamb, 25, after her car collided with a Ford sport utility vehicle at 1:02 p.m. at the intersection. Pedraza was in a group of 20 people protesting a small anti-illegal-immigration rally taking place across the street.

Pedraza's death did little to stop the finger-pointing that has become commonplace in the immigration debate - particularly at that intersection.

Immigration-rights advocates on Monday said although Pedraza's death was an unfortunate accident, it was also a tragic result of their opposing protesters - such as Minutemen Project and Save Our State - creating a disruptive environment that distracts drivers.

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CBP Thwarts Attempt to Smuggle 3 Drugged Toddlers Through Laredo Port of Entry

Monday, May 07, 2007

Laredo, Texas – U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry Saturday thwarted an attempt to smuggle three male toddlers who were drugged and dressed as girls in an attempt to use false birth certificates. CBP arrested three persons on federal alien smuggling charges and sent the children to the hospital for observation.

Shortly before midnight on May 5, at Gateway to the Americas Bridge, CBP officers referred a Mexican taxicab carrying Angelita Muñoz, 38, Stephanie Muñoz, 20, both U.S. citizens from Dallas, and three minor children for a secondary examination. Angelita Muñoz provided birth certificates for two of the children and Stephanie Muñoz provided one for the third child. CBP officers noted that the birth certificates presented were for girls and that the children appeared to be boys ages one, four and five dressed in girls’ clothing. In addition all three were unresponsive and would not wake.

All three boys were transported by paramedics to a local hospital for observation. Further examination of the vehicle revealed three blue pills of Halcion, a sleeping pill, in Angelita Muñoz’ purse.

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CBP Frontline News MAy 4, 2007

In this issue...

  1. Under the Secure Freight Initiative, radiation scanning for ships begins in Pakistan
  2. Interpol stolen passport database to be used by CBP
  3. Border Patrol testing device to track illegal migrants
  4. Newsbytes

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Drug Smuggler Found Dead

By Brady McCombs
Arizona
Daily Star
Tucson
, Arizona
| Published: 05.08.2007

The death of a suspected illegal border crosser and a host of drug seizures kept federal border enforcement agents busy over the weekend.

On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., a Border Patrol agent patrolling trails south of Sierra Vista found the body of a suspected male border crosser between Hunter Canyon and Miller Canyon, said Gustavo Soto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman. Cochise County sheriff's deputies recovered the body, he said.

It is the seventh known illegal border crosser death in Cochise County in 2007 and the 13th since Oct. 1, the start of the government's fiscal 2007, according to the Cochise County Medical Examiner's Office.

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Agents make two pot busts

BY NICOLE E. SQUIBBS, SUN STAFF WRITER
May 7, 2007
- 10:22PM

U.S. CUSTOMS and Border Protection canines assigned to the Yuma sector proved their value Sunday when a dog working at a checkpoint alerted agents to drugs concealed inside a vehicle. LOANED PHOTO/U.S. BORDER PATROL

U.S. Border Patrol agents found marijuana in two separate incidents over the weekend.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol canine working at a checkpoint on Interstate 8 near milepost 62 alerted agents to drugs concealed inside a vehicle's spare tire.

At 1:15 a.m. Sunday, a white Ford Explorer approached the checkpoint and stopped. A dog trained to detect narcotics and other contraband alerted the agents to the vehicle.

After agents questioned the driver and received consent to search the vehicle, the dog located 10 bundles of marijuana weighing about 23 pounds concealed in the vehicle's spare tire, the release said.

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Border Patrol agents assaulted and make pot busts

BY NICOLE E. SQUIBBS, SUN STAFF WRITER

May 7, 2007 - 10:25PM

U.S. Border Patrol agents were assaulted in two recent incidences while apprehending Mexican nationals illegally in the United States.

Agents from the Border Patrol Yuma sector's bike patrol unit were assaulted by a convicted murderer at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Agents driving a marked Border Patrol vehicle through Somerton noticed two people exit and run from a pickup truck stopped at an intersection, according to a Border Patrol news release.

The agents caught one of the subjects, who was determined to be a Mexican national illegally in the U.S. They spotted the second subject hiding behind a wall. As they approached the man, he assaulted the nearest agent, who was able to block several fist strikes, but was struck in the face by the man's head, according to the release.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Gunmen murder police chief in southern Mexico

REUTERS
11:40 a.m.
May 5, 2007

MEXICO CITY – Gunmen killed a police chief in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas Saturday, in the latest apparent sign that President Felipe Calderón's campaign against drug gangs has failed to contain violence.

A group of men shot state police chief Manuel Cordova as he traveled in a truck in the city of Tapachula near the border with Guatemala, state authorities said.

Calderón has sent thousands of troops to states on the U.S. border and other regions to clamp down on narcotics cartels that are behind a wave of drug-related brutality.

Despite the campaign, execution-style killings and other grizzly violence have become increasingly common and spread to once peaceful states.

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Fence seen as peril to animal pathways along border

By Sandra Dibble
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 5, 2007

TIJUANA – U.S. plans to expand and fortify fencing along the southwest border will harm animal species and key ecosystems shared by the United States and Mexico, scholars and environmentalists from both countries said yesterday.

The beefed-up barricades will cut off natural cross-border corridors for endangered species, such as the jaguar, black bear and puma, according to participants of a two-day meeting in Tijuana held at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, or COLEF, a Mexican government think tank.

“There will be a barrier dividing what is actually a continuum of ecosystems,” said Rurik List, a conservation biologist at the Mexican National Autonomous University, or UNAM.

“Animals that now can pass beneath or above the fence “won't be able to pass from one side to another,” he said.

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Guide coaches illegals on raids

By Jerry Seper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
May 7, 2007

A Maryland-based immigrant-advocacy group is distributing guidebooks instructing those targeted by federal immigration agents during job-site raids not to cooperate with authorities if they are arrested or detained.
The eight-page, two-color illustrated book lists what rights "people who are not United States citizens" have if detained by immigration agents, details what to do if served with a warrant or charged with a crime, and urges them to remain silent if they are arrested.
The book also says they should refuse to provide authorities with any information about their immigration status.
Included in the book is a "Know Your Rights" card to be cut out and presented to arresting agents, showing that those detained choose to exercise their "right to remain silent, the right to refuse to answer your questions" and to "refuse to sign anything until I consult with my attorney."

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TX city's repeal of immigration ordinance goes to voters

By Anabelle Garay / Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/07/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- Residents of this Dallas suburb on Saturday will be the first in the nation to vote to repeal or approve a city ordinance that bans landlords from renting apartments to most undocumented immigrants.

Opponents of the ordinance gathered enough signatures to force the city to put the measure on the municipal election ballot.

The ordinance requires apartment managers or owners to verify the immigration or citizenship status of each apartment occupant before entering into a lease. Families that include citizens and undocumented members could lease if they meet three conditions: they're already tenants, the head of household or spouse is legally in the U.S., and the family includes only a spouse, their minor children or parents.

Council members first approved the ban in November and then revamped it in January. They said the ordinance is necessary because the federal government has failed to address the issue.

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Reports: Border security funds' success varies

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
Article Launched: 05/07/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

AUSTIN -- The sheriff and his five deputies in Presidio County were awarded $430,000 from Gov. Rick Perry last year to fight border crime under Operation Linebacker.

They made nine arrests and apprehensions.

"It may not be safer, but we have my guys out there more, which in turn deters crime and moves it somewhere else," said Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez.

Sheriffs in Texas border counties all received hundreds of thousands of dollars in border security grants in 2006 from Perry. When it came to making arrests and apprehensions, though, the counties' results varied widely, according to an analysis of reports the El Paso Times obtained under the Texas Public Information Act.

Some made hundreds of arrests for serious crimes, others made few arrests at all and at least two, including El Paso, apprehended more than 1,000 undocumented immigrants.

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CBP Officers at El Paso Port of Entry Seize 90 Pounds of Cocaine in Three Busts

Friday, May 04, 2007

El Paso, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 90 pounds of cocaine this week in three separate seizures. They also seized 2,835 pounds of marijuana in 29 busts, a small quantity of methamphetamine in two seizures, and Ketamine and other prescription drugs in two additional busts during the last seven days.

The largest cocaine seizure of the week occurred Monday at the Paso Del Norte crossing in downtown El Paso when CBP officers discovered 36.7 pounds of the drug concealed in a 1999 Pontiac Montana minivan. CBP officers removed a total of 15 cocaine-filled bundles from a pair of hidden compartments in the vehicle. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested the driver, 32-year-old Luz E. Moreno of Las Cruces, New Mexico in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

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Yuma Border Patrol Foils Human Smuggling Attempt

Friday, May 04, 2007

Yuma, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to Yuma, Ariz. apprehended 19 illegal aliens and seized a stolen vehicle Tuesday following a smuggling attempt.

Yuma Border Patrol agents, assisted by CBP Yuma Air and Marine Operations air interdiction agents, detected a 2005 Chevrolet pickup entering the United States 16 miles east of the San Luis, Ariz., Port of Entry about 9:30 p.m. The vehicle continued north through the desert and failed to yield when agents attempted a vehicle stop. A query of the vehicle’s license plate number revealed it was stolen.

The vehicle continued into Yuma city limits near 5th Street, where the occupants abandoned the vehicle. The pickup continued rolling into a residential driveway and came to rest after impacting a vehicle awning causing damage to the property. A brief search of the area by agents resulted in the apprehension of the vehicle’s occupants.

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Yuma Border Patrol Nabs Pot in Cut-Off Vehicle

Friday, May 04, 2007

Yuma, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Sector seized nearly 700 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $557,000 Wednesday during a narcotics smuggling attempt about a half mile from the international border.

Agents spotted two vehicles, a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee and an older Ford sedan, stuck in the dirt at County 15th Street, between the Colorado River and the Arizona Levee west of Yuma about 9 p.m.

When agents approached, five individuals abandoned the vehicles and fled into Mexico.

Upon closer inspection of the vehicles, agents noticed that the roof, windows and window panels were cut from the sedan, enabling the smugglers to circumvent anti-vehicle measures by driving the vehicle under security gates on the Salinity Canal. Seizing the vehicle marks a significant success for agents, who have been looking for the specially modified vehicle.

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CBP Agriculture Specialists Uncover Heroin Smuggled In Sandals

Laredo, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry recently seized more than a quarter-million dollars in heroin found hidden in sandals belonging to a bus passenger.

The heroin seizure occurred on April 30 at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge in Laredo. CBP Agriculture Technicians and Agriculture Specialists were performing routine X-ray examinations of bus passenger luggage when they encountered an anomaly in a box of sandals belonging to Nicolasa Najera, 49, a resident alien from Sanford, N.C.

A CBP detector dog also alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the box. Upon further examination, CBP officers discovered a total of 2.87 pounds of heroin hidden in the soles of five pairs of sandals. The heroin has an estimated street value of $287,000. CBP Officers arrested Najera on federal drug charges and turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agents who investigated the seizure.

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Kyl altering bill allowing 'terrorists' into U.S.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Today's foreign terrorists could become tomorrow's U.S. refugees under changes proposed by the Bush administration.

The intent is to grant refugee status to rebels who have fought repressive governments or advanced U.S. foreign policy objectives, particularly in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.

But proposed changes to immigration rules also could cover U.S. enemies such as al-Qaida members and Hamas and Hezbollah fighters.

To some lawmakers, the revisions under consideration by the administration are too broad and potentially dangerous.

Officials say the changes are meant to reverse the unintended consequences of post-Sept. 11 restrictions that have kept thousands of otherwise eligible people from a haven in the U.S.

The administration wants the authority to waive those restrictions so it has as much flexibility as possible in deciding who can and cannot enter the country.

Under current law, virtually all armed nongovernmental groups are classified as terrorist organizations and the U.S. is prohibited from accepting their members and combatants as refugees.

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Drug trade's gore emerges online

Graphic images raise concerns over their effects
By Lourdes Medrano
ARIZONA
DAILY STAR

Mexico's drug-trafficking world, long extolled in narcocorridos that pay musical tribute to the carnage, is spilling onto the Internet.

As a wave of drug-related violence grips the country, real-life images of bloody bodies, bullet-riddled cars and stockpiles of cocaine and assault rifles increasingly make their way to Mexican Web sites and YouTube, which is seen by millions around the globe.

"It's an old war with a new twist," said Alejandro Páez Varela, an editor at Día Siete magazine in Mexico City who has documented the drug cartels' violence and growing online presence. "It's something truly grotesque."

Some of the YouTube postings mirror the execution-style killings, kidnappings and shoot-outs that have shaken northern Mexico and other states in what Mexican authorities say is a turf battle between drug-trafficking organizations.

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San Luis ends fiscal year in red

BY CESAR NEYOY, BAJO EL SOL

May 5, 2007 - 11:23PM

SAN LUIS – This city ended the prior fiscal year with deficits ranging from $1.2 million to $3.1 million in the various funds that provide services to residents, according to a late audit of the city budget.

The audit, presented Saturday morning to the city council at a work session, found that expenditures from the general fund for fiscal 2005-06 exceeded revenues by $1.2 million. The general fund pays for most basic services to city residents, such as police and fire protection.

The audit also found a shortfall of about $3.1 million in the utilities fund, from which the city provides water and sewer service.

A follow up on a previous story about this border town -

Recall effort against San Luis councilman defeated in court

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Battle with feds brewing over 'superhighway'

Texas legislators overwhelmingly pass bill blocking construction

Posted: May 4, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi

© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A battle between Texas and the Bush administration is brewing over construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor after the state legislature passed a two-year moratorium.

The Texas House passed HB1892 Wednesday after the Senate last week approved an earlier version of the moratorium on a project some critics see as part of a "NAFTA superhighway" system and ties with Canada and Mexico that threaten U.S. sovereignty. The bill has been sent to Gov. Rick Perry for signature by May 14, but it passed with veto-proof margins of 27-4 in the Senate and 139-1 in the House.

The Bush administration appears determined to fight the moratorium.

WND reported last week FHWA Chief Counsel James D. Ray wrote a four-page letter to Michael Behrens, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, threatening the loss of federal highway funds if the legislature were to pass a two-year moratorium of the public-private partnership financed by Cintra, an investment consortium in Spain.

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Mexico OKs July entry for long-haul U.S. trucks

By Paul M. Krawzak and Diane Lindquist

COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

May 3, 2007

WASHINGTONU.S. trucks will be allowed to cross into Mexico starting July 15 – months earlier than previously expected – as part of a controversial cross-border trucking initiative.

For the first time, the announcement by Mexican officials provides a start date for a long-delayed, one-year experiment to open the U.S.-Mexico border to long-haul truck traffic. The program is a prelude to opening the border to truck traffic as required by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Amid criticism that it was unfair to allow Mexican drivers to cross the border before their U.S. counterparts, U.S. officials said earlier this week that they were delaying the program until Mexico was ready to allow U.S. trucks to cross.

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Port-rail plan off track?

Key player Union Pacific says it won't bid on Mexico-to-U.S. project
By Diane Lindquist
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 2, 2007

Union Pacific Railroad revealed yesterday that it does not plan to proceed with plans to develop a rail line from the Colonet megaport in Baja California into the American heartland.

The port is slated to be built at Punta Colonet, a bay 150 miles south of San Diego. Mexican officials have described it as an alternative to the increasingly saturated ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, saying it would be as large as the two ports combined and each year process 6 million to 8 million TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, the standard measure for containerized cargo.

A 200-plus-mile rail line that would traverse Baja California and connect to the U.S. system is considered essential to carrying the mostly Chinese goods across the United States.

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Illegitimate Nation

Illegitimate Nation
By Steven A. Camarota
CIS.org | May 4, 2007

The argument is often made that immigrants have a stronger commitment to traditional family values than do native-born Americans. However, birth records show that about one-third of births to both groups are now to unmarried parents. Moreover, unmarried immigrants are significantly more likely than unmarried natives to give birth. Illegitimacy may be especially problematic for children of immigrants because they need strong families to adjust to life in America.

  • Both immigrants and natives have seen a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births, from 13 percent in 1980 for immigrants (legal and illegal) to 32 percent in 2003 and from 19 percent to 35 percent for natives over the same period.
  • This modest difference disappears when teenagers, who have the highest illegitimacy levels, are excluded. There are relatively few immigrant teenagers because immigrants tend to arrive when they are older. Without teenagers, the rate is about 30 percent for both immigrants and natives.
  • Hispanic immigrants have seen the largest increase in out-of-wedlock births — from 19 percent of births in 1980 to 42 percent in 2003. This is important because Hispanics account for nearly 60 percent of all births to immigrants.
  • In addition to the 42 percent rate for Hispanic immigrants, the illegitimacy rate is now 39 percent for black immigrants, 11 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 12 percent for white immigrants.

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5 Mexican Soldiers Die in Drug Shootout

May 2, 10:45 PM EDT
AP Photo/STR

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Five soldiers, including a colonel, and a suspected drug cartel enforcer were killed in a shootout in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, which has been plagued by drug violence and is the target of a military-led anti-drug offensive.

More than a dozen suspected Zetas - a group of Gulf cartel hit men that includes former soldiers - threw grenades and opened fire on the troops late Tuesday in Caracuaro, 120 miles west of Mexico City, police spokesman Miguel Covarrubias said Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry said five soldiers were killed but declined to give further details or confirm media reports that at least four more were wounded. A suspected Zeta was also killed, local authorities said.

Authorities blame the Gulf cartel for beheadings and other killings in a turf war with rival gangs in Michoacan.

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Delay over technicality could kill border security bill

By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau

Article Launched: 05/04/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry's plan to spend $100 million on the border stalled out in the Texas House on Thursday after a tearful and emotional debate over rules that govern the chamber and political priorities.

"Members, this is stupid. I'm ashamed to be here, and I'm ashamed of this House," said a teary-eyed, frustrated state Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, who is sponsoring the border plan.

After more than three hours of debate over the bill, lawmakers pointed out a technical error that required the legislation be sent back to committee, delaying a vote for several more days.

In the waning days of the session, as deadlines loom, delays could result in the death of a bill.

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Calexico, Calif. CBP Officers Find Smuggled Women Hidden in Pickup Compartment

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting border security inspections over the weekend at the downtown Calexico, Calif. port of entry discovered three undocumented Mexican women hidden within a non-factory compartment on the back of a pickup truck driven by a Mexican man entering the United States from Mexico.

Two of the women complained of medical issues after they were removed from the small metal compartment in the bed of the Ford F-150. CBP officers transported them to a local medical facility for professional medical care. One woman complained of burns from the vehicle on her right hip and leg. The other woman complained of feeling faint.

CBP officers encountered the driver, a 60-year-old legal permanent resident of Holtville, as he entered the port on Saturday, April 28, at about 3:30 a.m. Inconsistencies in the driver’s answers to questions resulted in his referral to the secondary area for further inspection.

In the secondary lot, a narcotics and human detector dog alerted to the vehicle and CBP officers subsequently discovered a specially constructed compartment underneath a utility toolbox and the vehicle’s extra exterior gasoline tank. Looking through a small crack in the compartment, officers could see white cloth and one of the women.

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CBP Seizes $3 Million In Drugs at Arizona Ports

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tucson, Ariz. — A 22-year-old man from Phoenix is now in custody after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Lukeville, Ariz. port of entry thwarted an attempt to smuggle almost $2 million in marijuana into the country hidden inside a false wall of a trailer. Three others are in custody after being arrested in connection to failed heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine smuggling attempts at the Nogales port of entry.

CBP officers working at the Lukeville port of entry Saturday afternoon were screening visitors and U.S. residents coming into the country when they stopped a 2002 Chevy Silverado pickup towing a trailer with all-terrain vehicles inside. While questioning the driver they became suspicious of his answers to routine questions and decided further inspection was warranted.

Officers inspecting the trailer noticed discrepancies, so the ATVs were removed and the inside of the trailer was checked thoroughly. The officers discovered a compartment built into the front of the trailer that, when opened, they found to be filled with marijuana. A total of 59 bundles, weighing 1,236 pounds, were removed and secured. The truck, trailer, all-terrain vehicles and marijuana were all seized. The driver was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents. Estimated street value of the marijuana is $2 million.

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Elite American Indian tracking unit targets drug smugglers, narcotics

By Brady McCombs
ARIZONA
DAILY STAR
photos by mamta popat / arizona daily star

SELLS — Shadow Wolves officer Sloan Satepauhoodle's patience is wearing thin.

She's been following tracks of four suspected drug runners for nearly two hours beneath a blazing sun and battling a hot, brisk wind that is sweeping dust over footprints, and blowing away broken twigs or burlap fibers that would provide signs. The latest tracks look too dry. They've probably already made it into the nearby village of Topawa, she says.

The lessons her training officers taught her when she began six years ago remain ingrained in her psyche: "Be patient, Sloan, be patient." But, she really wants to make a bust today.

"If I could just find something on the branches," says Satepauhoodle, who started with the Shadow Wolves in July 2001. "That would help me a lot."

Then, her radio buzzes to life with news: One of her fellow Shadow Wolves has found an abandoned truck full of marijuana on the northern edge of the Tohono O'odham Reservation. She claps her hands, smiles and turns around to begin walking back to her truck. Within a half-hour, she's driving north to help unload, weigh and process the bundles.

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200 miles of border barriers being erected

Organ Pipe fencing cost government $14 million to build
ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN
Published: 05.04.2007
Photo by the Associated Press

Two hundred miles of vehicle barriers made of concrete, steel poles and train tracks are being erected across the Southwestern desert to thwart smugglers trying to bring illegal immigrants or drugs into the country in vans, sport utility vehicles and trucks.

Smugglers commonly drive people and marijuana over the Mexican border, using roads that have been illegally cut across remote sections of the vast desert.

Authorities concede the vehicle barriers won't deter people on foot, whether illegal immigrants or backpacking drug runners. But the obstacles might slow them down and make them easier to catch as they hike across miles of rocky, hilly terrain.

The building of the barriers is being overseen by a combination of federal agencies at a total cost of tens of millions of dollars.

The obstructions include bollards, or concrete-filled steel poles poking out of the ground at staggered heights; railroad rails welded horizontally onto concrete-reinforced steel posts; and X-shaped rail barricades weighing up to 1,400 pounds.

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Mexico losing more to migration than deaths

The Associated Press

Published: 05.04.2007

MEXICO CITY - Mexico has lost more people to migration to the United States than death since 2000, according to a government report released Thursday.

Mexico's demographics agency found an average of 577,000 people migrated to the U.S. each year between 2000-2005, compared to 495,000 deaths a year in the same period. In 2006, 559,000 migrated and there were 501,000 deaths.

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Civilian patrol acquires 100-acre base

CLAUDINE LoMONACO

Published: 05.03.2007

A southern Arizona civilian patrol group is expanding onto 100 acres along the U.S.-Mexico border near the San Pedro River.

American Border Patrol founder Glenn Spencer formerly ran the group's high-tech surveillance operations from an adjacent 4-acre plot of land a quarter-mile from the border.

"Now we'll have a half a mile directly on the border," he said. "We've got a lot of drug vehicles coming through here, but we're putting a stop to it."

The volunteer group uses cameras, ground sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor and report border activity to federal authorities.

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House panel OKs some Mexican trucks to cross border

Published: 05.03.2007

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Up to 1,000 Mexican trucks and buses would be permitted to cross the border and use U.S. roadways for the next three years under a bill endorsed by a House panel Wednesday.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 66-0 to restrict the U.S. Transportation secretary to opening the border to 100 carriers based in Mexico. They would be allowed to use a maximum of 1,000 vehicles under the pilot program. The bill next goes to the full House.

The bill also specifies criteria for the pilot program before it can start, including setting up an independent panel to evaluate the test program and getting certification from the inspector general that safety and inspection requirements have been met.

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Napolitano signs bill to fix immigrant smuggling law

May 4, 7:08 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) -- Gov. Janet Napolitano on Friday signed a bill intended to help prosecutors use a 2005 state law targeting immigrant smugglers.

The bill (HB2016) extends the time that state authorities can detain an illegal immigrant so they can testify against people accused of being their smugglers.

Some prosecutors have said they couldn't file charges in smuggling cases because witnesses were sent back across the border by federal authorities before preparations were complete.

The bill would extend the amount of time authorities could hold illegal immigrants from three days to seven days. The added time would give prosecutors more time to record their testimony and corroborate allegations against smugglers.

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Recall effort against San Luis councilman defeated in court

BY CESAR NEYOY, BAJO EL SOL

May 3, 2007 - 9:47PM

A city councilman in San Luis, Ariz., has escaped an effort to oust him from office after a judge ruled Wednesday that some of the petitions to recall him were invalid.

Rafael Torres was one of three city councilmen who had been targeted along with Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla for recall by the Committee for True Government. The recall petitions against Escamilla and Councilmen Archilbaldo Gurrola and Marco Antonio Reyes Jr. were previously determined to be insufficient.

Understand that this is a bordertown in the USA that is almost 90 Hispanic and half of those are foreign born. They have had a number of recall votes over the past several years. This town is run more like something out of the Mexican Revolution and Pancho Villa then it is an American democracy. It is and continues to be a joke and under investigation for its political hi-jinks! -mm

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L.A. mayor cuts short Mexico trip over police clash

Fri May 4, 2007 6:12 PM ET

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The mayor of Los Angeles cut short a trip to Mexico on Friday to address the furor over a clash this week between police and pro-immigrant protesters.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been traveling in El Salvador and Mexico and was out of town when police used rubber bullets and batons to clear protesters from a city park, was expected to hold a news conference on his return.

"It's time to go back; they want me to be there," Villaraigosa said in Mexico City. "We all know ... this is a serious matter." He was to have been in Mexico until May 9.

Televised images show a line of police in riot gear shoving mostly Latino demonstrators from the city's MacArthur Park on Tuesday. Most of the crowd had just taken part in a day of nationwide protests to demand citizenship rights for illegal immigrants.

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U.S. COULD DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS

CNN'S DOBBS ON '60 MINUTES': U.S. COULD DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS
Thu May 3 2007 14:17:35 ET

He has never called for the deportation of all illegal immigrants, but Lou Dobbs believes the U.S. could pull off such a feat if it really wanted to. The CNN anchor, whose stance against illegal immigration has helped raise his ratings but also fueled criticism, speaks to Lesley Stahl for a profile to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, May 6 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Dobbs is against amnesty programs for illegal immigrants and the president's guest worker proposal, so Stahl wonders whether Dobbs thinks the government could deport all illegal immigrants. "I've never called for their deportation,"says Dobbs. "But at the same time, when this president and open-borders, illegal-alien-amnesty advocates say, 'You can't deport them,' my answer is, 'You want to bet?' because this is the United States. I think this country can do anything it sets its mind to," he tells Stahl.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

U.S. immigrants flex muscle at rallies; turnout down

Tue May 1, 2007 2:18 PM ET

By Tim Gaynor

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Demonstrators toting placards and bullhorns rallied across the United States on Tuesday to demand rights for illegal immigrants, although the turnout was down from mass rallies a year ago, organizers said.

Demonstrations, consumer boycotts and school walkouts got under way by groups calling for an end to a recent crackdown on undocumented immigrants and better treatment for the estimated 11 million people living and working in the shadows of American society.

A year ago, hundreds of thousands of mostly Hispanic immigrants walked off the job and packed streets of major cities from New England to California in a massive show of their economic clout.

"This is our way to show our presence. We are here, we are working, we are part of America and we are not going away," said activist Lydia Hernandez as she stood among more than 1,300 demonstrators in central Phoenix.

The latest rallies come as U.S. lawmakers are struggling to devise a workable compromise on immigration, seeking a formula to provide tougher border control and workplace enforcement while addressing the status of illegal immigrants.

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