News From the Border

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Raul Castro tops Fidel in Cuba election

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press WriterWed Jan 30, 1:47 PM ET

Acting President Raul Castro — not his older brother Fidel — was the top vote-getter in Cuban parliamentary elections, according to official results Wednesday.

Bespectacled, camera shy and far less charismatic than Cuba's ailing long-time leader, the 76-year-old Raul received 99.4 percent of votes cast in the family's base of Santiago in eastern Cuba — a percentage point more than Fidel got.

Both brothers easily won re-election to the rubber-stamp legislature known as the National Assembly of Popular Power, as did all of the 614 candidates presented to the island's 8.4 million voters on Jan. 20.

The unopposed candidates needed to get at least half the votes cast in their districts and none came close to losing. The lowest figure — 73 percent — went to Barbaro Osmani Lago, from the western province of Pinar del Rio.

Officials said that 95 percent of eligible voters went to the polls, though about 4.5 percent of those turned in blank or invalid ballots. While voting is not mandatory, failing to do so can draw unwanted attention from pro-government neighborhood watch organizations.

There was only one choice for each office and organized campaigning was forbidden. While membership in the Communist Party was not required, only party loyalists achieve leadership positions.

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Latest Treason Lobby Scam: “Undocumented” = “Unbanked”

By Brenda Walker

We in Mexifornia live on the front lines of diversity. Every day politicians, business and the academy work to spread the doctrine of increasing inclusion, sometimes with the discovery of a new group of underprivileged foreigners who need our attention. Our political leaders in particular are highly attuned to any alleged discomfort on the part of Mexicans—or anyone else under the sun who can make their way here.

The latest attempt at heart-tuggery: the tribulation suffered by “The Unbanked”—as imagined by California’s illustrious Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his compadre Bill Clinton in the prestigious Wall Street Journal [Beyond Payday Loans, Jan 24, 2008].

"The American dream is founded on the belief that people who work hard and play by the rules will be able to earn a good living, raise a family in comfort and retire with dignity.

“But that dream is harder to achieve for millions of Americans because they spend too much of their hard-earned money on fees to cash their paychecks or pay off high-priced loans meant to carry them over until they get paid at work.

Here is one initiative that can unite progressives and conservatives as well as business leaders and community activists: helping the ‘unbanked’ enter the financial mainstream by opening checking and savings accounts, and working collaboratively with financial institutions and community groups to develop and market products that work for this untapped market. This will put money in the pockets of individuals and grow the economy. And it won't cost taxpayers a dime."

On the surface, this underwhelming policy suggestion seems a harmless snoozer. Remember how Bill Clinton peppered his Presidency with insignificant programs that kept up the appearance of relevance and progress? In the policy area, the recommendation is that banks should offer more starter accounts with features designed for the Unbanked demographic.

But the op-ed does not identify honestly many of this proposal’s true beneficiaries—illegal aliens. The piece slyly combines groups to hide that fact, saying, "Approximately 11% of California households, including 25% of Latino and African-American households, do not have a checking account." The words "immigrant" or "alien" do not appear.

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23 'Mexican Mafia' gang members indicted on racketeering in Texas slayings, feds say

By Michelle Roberts
ASSOCIATED PRESS
2:03 p.m.
January 30, 2008

SAN ANTONIO – Twenty-three suspected members of a Texas prison gang were accused of racketeering in connection with the slayings of 22 people, according to a federal indictment released Wednesday.

The victims were mostly fellow members of the Texas Mexican Mafia or rival gangs. In some cases, they were suspected drug dealers indebted to the gang, which authorities say enforces a street tax on drug dealers who work on gang turf.

The slayings occurred between 2000 and 2005, according to the indictment.

The defendants were not charged with murder, in part because tying them to a specific crime is harder than proving they ran an operation that committed murder and dealt drugs, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said.

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Mexico police chief among four killed in Oaxaca

Reuters
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

OAXACA, Mexico: Gunmen shot dead a local police chief and three other people on Wednesday in Oaxaca, a politically tense southern Mexican city where leftists held a months-long siege in 2006.

Oaxaca state Gov. Ulises Ruiz said the murders were linked to drug smuggling cartels whose violent turf wars killed more than 2,500 people across Mexico last year.

Local police chief Alejandro Barrita was in charge of police units guarding banks and businesses on Oaxaca, a pretty colonial city still scarred by the protests of 2006.

Barrita was killed while he was exercising in a city park. The gunmen also killed his bodyguard and two other people doing exercise in the park, state police director Daniel Camarena told reporters.

Ruiz said the killings were a response to the increased military presence in Oaxaca. President Felipe Calderon has sent 25,000 troops across Mexico to try to control the escalating violence between rival drug gangs.

"This is a result of the fight against organized crime and ... is causing the deaths of our police chiefs," Ruiz told local radio.

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Senate Makes Fixes to Stimulus Bill, But Not Everyone is Happy

Thursday , January 31, 2008

WASHINGTON

Senate Democrats are meeting Thursday morning on what to do about a stimulus package that's being brought to a vote but may be difficult to pass.

Majority Leader Harry Reid is worried that a vote in the Senate Finance Committee on substitute legislation to a House-passed package did not have enough Republican support, and that doesn't bode well for the Senate vote. Only three Republicans went for the bill created by Committee Chairman Max Baucus with the help of Ranking Minority Charles Grassley.

The committee leaders thought they'd get a couple more Republican votes, but no dice. Reid thinks this could be bad news for the bill, said a Democrat familiar with the situation. The leader will need 60 votes to get his way but is worried he won't be able to find 10 Republicans to jump ship and vote against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is pushing Republicans to stay with the House bill.

The Senate Finance Committee passed a bill Wednesday that adds additional business breaks and expands the number of taxpayers eligible for a rebate. Supporters say it will also fix a loophole in the House-passed economic stimulus package that allows some illegal immigrants to qualify for tax rebate checks.

The fix requires that anyone eligible for a rebate envisioned in a House-passed $161 billion stimulus package must have to have a valid Social Security number, rather than an Individual Tax Identification Number.

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Mexico's Border War, Version 2.0

By Tom Fitton
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 31, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a 2006 Border Patrol report highlighting incursions into the United States on the part of Mexican government officials, including armed members of the Mexican military. Now, we’ve got the latest information from 2007. And it is downright frightening.

The report, titled, “Mexican Government Incidents – 2007 Fiscal Year Report.” describes 25 confirmed incursions in 2007 along the U.S. - Mexican border involving Mexican military and/or law enforcement personnel.

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Chavez’s 21st Century National Socialism

By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hugo Chavez has long vowed to turn Venezuela into a laboratory for “21st century socialism.” But if the latest bully-boy tactics of the Chavez government are any guide, the better name for his platform might be 21st century National Socialism.

Most telling in this regard are the ruling regime’s rapidly deteriorating relations with Venezuela’s Jewish community. As reported recently in the Jewish Forward, it was only last month that a goon squad of government police swarmed down on the Hebraica Jewish community center in the capital of Caracas. Officially, the police had been searching for signs of “subversive activity,” the term’s definition having been expanded under Chavez’s ten-year reign to include any and all dissent from the government’s growingly authoritarian line. In the event, they found none, leading Venezuelan Jewish leaders to protest, compellingly, that the raid was little more than an act of state-backed intimidation and harassment aimed at the Jewish community.

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Guilty plea entered in boot-skins smuggling

El Paso Times Staff
Article Launched: 01/31/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

Guilty plea entered in boot-skins smuggling

An El Paso boot retailer pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with the smuggling of sea turtle and other exotic boot skins into the U.S. from Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Jorge Caraveo, owner of the Juárez Boot Co. in Downtown El Paso, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Denver to three counts of smuggling. Carlos Leal Barragan, of Jalisco, Mexico, pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling and one count of money laundering. Sentencing is set for April 25.

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Ex-border agent returned from Mexico

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/31/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

An El Paso Border Patrol agent who was arrested in 2006 on bribery charges and who fled to Mexico while out of jail on bond was returned to El Paso on Wednesday, officials of the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Arturo Arzate Jr., 49, who was a Border Patrol agent for 20 years, is accused of waving loads of drugs through the checkpoint on Highway 62/180 east of El Paso, federal court documents state. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and bribery.

He was arrested Aug. 16, 2007, by Mexican officials in Torreon in the state of Coahuila and extradited to the United States on Wednesday.

He had been a fugitive since February, officials said.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Arzate was allegedly paid $50 per kilo of marijuana and $1,000 per kilo of cocaine he allowed to pass through the checkpoint between El Paso and Carlsbad.

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Federal judge rules no bond for alleged Azteca

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/31/2008 07:50:41 AM MST

Johnny Michelletti, 37, of the 7200 block of Alameda, was charged with several Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, charges, including conspiracy, racketeering, money laundering and drug dealing, according to his indictment.

He is one of seven alleged Barrio Azteca members arrested earlier this month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Norbert Garney denied bond for Michelletti, saying he represented a danger to the community.

Michelletti was allegedly an enforcer for the gang and has a long criminal history, including convictions for attempted murder, assault of a police officer and felony possession of firearms, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Luis Acosta said Wednesday.

Michelletti's nickname was "Conejo," the hare.

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Border Patrol Seizes $109,944 Stashed in Vehicle

Canine Alert Leads to Agents Finding Money during Checkpoint Inspection
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

San Clemente, Calif. — At 5 p.m on Monday, Border Patrol agents seized $109, 944 after the driver of a Toyota Camry tried to avoid inspection at a Border Patrol checkpoint.

Agents stopped the Toyota Camry with two occupants and referred them to secondary inspection where a Border Patrol canine alerted on the vehicle. Agents found a suitcase containing the money in the trunk of the vehicle. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents conducted an investigation and determined the money was connected to the proceeds of narcotics sales. The DEA took custody of the cash seizure.

Agents relinquished the driver to the Vista Detention Facility after discovering that he was wanted on a felony warrant out of Nevada. The passenger was released.

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Tougher ID rules to require proof of citizenship at border

ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN

Published: 01.31.2008

New rules for the types of identification U.S. or Canadian citizens must present to cross into the country shouldn't cause significant delays and won't be strictly enforced at first, a senior federal official said.

Under the rules going into effect Thursday, people will no longer be allowed to simply declare to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens, said Jayson Ahern, deputy commissioner with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Instead, those 19 and older will have to show proof of citizenship — a passport, trusted traveler card or a birth certificate and government-issued ID such as a driver's license.

"We'll be asking those who cross our borders to present to us secure, more reliable documents to prove citizenship and to confirm their identity," said Ahern, who is heading a national effort to call attention to the changes.

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Passports required to re-enter U.S.

Driver's license with birth certificate also accepted today

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/31/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

If you come back from Juárez into El Paso today, it won't be enough to declare "U.S. citizen."

Today is the first day of new, stricter requirements for U.S. citizens at the land ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. U.S. citizens need to show a passport to Customs and Border Protection officers. If they don't have a passport, they need to show a birth certificate or a certificate of naturalization, together with a picture ID, such as a driver's license. Original documents are preferred, but CBP officers will accept copies, agency officials said.

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Border crossers reminded of new ID requirements

UNION-TRIBUNE
6:42 a.m. January 30, 2008

SAN YSIDRO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reminded travelers yesterday that as of tomorrow, U.S. citizens returning by land or sea must present proof of citizenship.

Oral declarations of citizenship will no longer be accepted. Travelers 19 and older must now present government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, and some proof of citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Trusted-traveler program cards, such as SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST, military identification cards and tribal identification cards will also be accepted, according to federal officials.

Those 18 and younger need only show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

I keep posting the info about the change in ID requirements at the border because it has been know for over two years and yet people are whining to their congressmen about needing more time to apply for passports, etc. The security of our borders far outweighs the laziness and whining of the few! -mm

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New port of entry hoped to ease border lines

BY JUANA M. GYEK, SUN STAFF WRITER

January 30, 2008 - 11:08PM

San Luis, Ariz. - A motorist may wait in line an hour or more to cross the border to this city and while waiting, need to make way for any commercial trucks coming through.

The lines should run more smoothly by September 2009 when a new commercial port of entry is scheduled to be operating, said Mario Jauregui. He is a board member of the Greater Yuma Port Authority, the lead agency in Arizona for building and planning the commercial border crossing.

The commercial port will draw away the tractor-trailers that now pass through the existing port. The move will allow Customs and Border Protection to expand the number of car lanes at the existing port and dedicate them all to private vehicles.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Glenn Beck - Mexamericanada, here we come!

Senior Juan McCain

It was an overall depressing day and to make matters worse Michelle Malkin joined Glenn to talk about how Senior McCain has some interesting campaign staff members. Juan Hernandez tops that list--one of his wonderful viewpoints includes being pro North American Union.

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Illegal Immigrant Taxpayers to Benefit from House-Approved Stimulus Plan

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Fox News
WASHINGTON

The $146 billion stimulus package intended to jolt the economy by giving taxpayers rebates up to $1,200 includes cash returns for illegal immigrants who pay taxes.

Under the plan passed by the House, illegal immigrants who qualify as "resident aliens" and earned a minimum of $3,000 would be eligible for rebates of between $300-$600, FOX News has learned.

Only those illegals who have been assigned an Individual Tax Identification Number that allows them to file income taxes would be eligible. Resident aliens are defined as people who spend a "substantial" amount of time in the U.S. and have not been deported.

The provision has irked illegal immigration opponents, who say the assigning of TINs and collection of taxes from illegals sanctions their presence in the country.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told FOX News that the bill will certainly stimulate "more illegal immigration."

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Bill giving sheriff direct line to Border Patrol advances

By Daniel Scarpinato

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

PHOENIX — A House panel advanced a bill Monday that would allow Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik to carry out his plan to certify Border Patrol agents who work with his border-crimes unit.

The bill, which still faces final approval in both the House and Senate, would permit Dupnik to collaborate with the Border Patrol without first seeking approval from the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Dupnik backed away from such a plan earlier this month in the face of objections to the board approving it.

"I feel this legislation is important for one simple reason: I think it will save lives," said state Rep. Jonathan Paton, a Tucson Republican and sponsor of the bill. "It will save lives of sheriff's deputies, it will save lives of Border Patrol officers, and it will save lives of, potentially, people who are in the desert."

Criticism of the bill came from state Rep. Tom Prezelski, a Tucson Democrat who said the issue had no place at the Legislature. Prezelski said even though Dupnik backed away from the plan, the issue is still being discussed between the sheriff and the supervisors, and is best left at the local level.

Prezelski said it was important to address the concerns of people "who don't want a Border Patrol agent to knock on their door when they call the sheriff."

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Reputed drug lord held over for trial in Mexico

Death of another confirmed
ASSOCIATED PRESS
6:52 p.m.
January 29, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Reputed drug lord Alfredo Beltran Leyva was ordered to stand trial on weapons-possession and money-laundering charges, authorities said Tuesday, while forensic experts identified a man killed in a November helicopter crash as a top cartel hit man.

Beltran Leyva and three alleged accomplices were arrested Jan. 21 in the northern state of Sinaloa. He is accused of being a top financier for the Pacific drug cartel, the Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

The suspects, who were allegedly carrying firearms and almost $1 million in cash when arrested, also face organized crime charges.

In a separate statement, the office announced that the remains of a man killed on Nov. 13 when a helicopter crashed near the start of the Baja 1000 off-road race in Baja California, near the city of Ensenada, had been identified as belonging to a feared drug enforcer.

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Man Arrested For Alleged Sex With 12-Year-Old

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) ― A 20-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl, officials said.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's office said Maximino Sanchez-Castro met the girl on a Web site called Mocospace.com in the middle of January. He told the girl his name was Alex and they exchanged a few text messages. They also talked on the phone a few times before Sanchez-Castro allegedly picked her up in his car at her house. Sanchez-Castro sexually assaulted the girl in his car on two separate occasions, according to the arrest affidavit.

Investigators believe Sanchez-Castro is an illegal alien and a hold has been put on him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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U.S. Embassy official says Mexico has issued detention order for missing Marine

By Traci Carl
ASSOCIATED PRESS
5:59 p.m.
January 29, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Mexican officials have ordered police to arrest a U.S. Marine suspected of killing his pregnant colleague and fleeing to Mexico, a U.S. Embassy official said Tuesday. That could lead to his extradition or deportation to the United States.

The Embassy official, who wasn't authorized to give a name, said Mexican officials issued a provisional arrest warrant for Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, which means authorities can take him into custody, on Monday at the request of U.S. officials. The order was first reported by CNN.

Mexican authorities have been working with the U.S. for weeks on the assumption that Laurean was likely in Mexico. A cousin told reporters last week that Laurean visited his liquor store outside the western city of Guadalajara in mid-January, but left without saying where he was headed.

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Mexican rights official says Juarez killings continue, slams investigations

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO, AP

MEXICO CITY -- Women are still being killed in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's top human rights official said on Tuesday, calling investigations into their deaths "terrible."

An estimated 423 women have been murdered since 1993 in the city of 1.3 million, across the border from El Paso, Texas, said Jose Luis Soberanes, president of the government's National Human Rights Commission. About 89 of the deaths have occurred since 2004.

A series of eerily similar killings of more than 100 mainly young women began in Ciudad Juarez in 1993, but appeared to have tapered off by late 2004 or early 2005.

In those cases, women were abducted, often sexually abused and strangled before their bodies were dumped in the desert. Many were last seen in the city's downtown area or taking buses, and their bodies often did not resurface for months.

Women continue to be murdered in Ciudad Juarez, Soberanes said, calling investigations and government work to end the phenomenon gravely deficient.

"I see tremendous negligence" and a lack of results, Soberanes said during the presentation of a report on the wave of killings. Investigations carried out so far "have been terrible," he said.

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CE deports Mexican drug enforcer after he served prison sentence

Wanted by Mexican authorities for providing security for drug cartel kingpins

CLEVELAND - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have deported a man wanted by Mexican authorities who is suspected of overseeing the protection of the Juarez Drug Cartel kingpins, as well as carrying out violent acts against rival criminal members and organizations.

ICE removed to Mexico Robert Orozco-Fernandez, aka "El Che," through the Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry on Tuesday morning. He was handed over to Mexican authorities.

Members of ICE's Cleveland Criminal Alien Program (CAP) placed Orozco-Fernandez into ICE custody on Jan. 14 after he completed his prison sentence with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Northeastern Ohio Correction Center. According to information provided by authorities in Mexico, Orozco-Fernandez is wanted for organized crime, crimes against health (drug-related crimes); stockpiling firearms and ammunition, and money laundering.

Orozco-Fernandez entered the United States in El Paso, Texas, in 1978. He was arrested and convicted in California in 1999 for conspiring to aid and abet to distribute controlled substances; he was sentenced to 135 months in prison, with a five-year suspended release. While incarcerated, an immigration judge in 2000 ordered his deportation to Mexico.

"This case is yet another example of the close cooperation between foreign authorities, Mexico and ICE, to locate and apprehend a dangerous individual," said Vincent Clausen, field office director for the ICE Detention and Removal Office in Detroit. "ICE's Criminal Alien Program helps make communities safer, and serves as notice for international criminals that the United States is not a safe haven to avoid the law in their home countries." Clausen's area of responsibility includes the states of Ohio and Michigan.

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Springfield restaurant owner sentenced for harboring illegal aliens

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The former owner of a local restaurant was sentenced here yesterday to 18 months in federal prison for harboring illegal aliens at his buffet restaurant. The sentence resulted from a criminal worksite enforcement investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Xian Xi Ye, 41, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott to 18 months in prison for harboring illegal aliens. Xi Ye, the former owner of the "Buffet City" restaurant, appeared in federal court in Springfield via video connection from the Federal Medical Center in South Carolina. In addition to the prison sentence, Xi Ye was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine within one year. As an illegal alien from China, Xi Ye will be turned over to ICE and placed into deportation proceedings after he completes his prison sentence.

Xi Ye pleaded guilty in September to providing housing, employment and transportation to the illegal aliens who worked at his restaurant. The charges resulted from a criminal worksite investigation conducted by ICE in September 2006, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor. At that time, ICE agents also arrested 16 illegal aliens who were employed at the Buffet City restaurant and placed them into deportation proceedings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Chesley, Central District of Illinois, successfully prosecuted the case against Xi Ye.

Xi Ye's co-defendant, Xiang Hui Ye, 29, former co-owner and manager of the restaurant, is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 31. Hui Ye was convicted in October following a jury trial charging him with harboring and employing illegal aliens at the restaurant.

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Sanctions law raises new questions

Should terminated workers be paid?

RONALD J. HANSEN

Published: 01.30.2008

For many Arizona employers, it can be a frustrating problem: Their new hires are illegal immigrants and must be terminated.

With the state's new employer-sanctions law, more businesses than ever before may run into the situation, and it raises questions about what comes next.

For example, do illegal workers get paid for the work they have done? Can businesses be punished for that work? Do employers have to report their workers to authorities?

"You do have to pay them. It's a pretty straightforward issue," said Larry Etchechury, director of the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

That may not sit well with those who support the state's crackdown on illegal immigrants. But the alternative, Etchechury said, invites abuse.

This is perhaps especially true these days because employers could look for workers who are at risk of failing E-Verify, the online database that checks employment eligibility, and fire those workers without paying them for up to three days of labor.

That practice wouldn't work in most industries. But it could for those who rely on unskilled laborers, the ones whose work is often the most physically demanding.

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19 senators: Implement new border rules next year

SHERYL KORNMAN

Published: 01.30.2008

A bipartisan group of 19 U.S. senators Monday urged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to wait to implement new U.S.-Mexico border travel rules until next year. The rules also affect the U.S.-Canadian border.

But Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Jayson Ahern, in Tucson Tuesday, said federal officers at land and seaports at both borders will require a document proving citizenship and a government picture ID proving identity beginning Thursday.

The changes will take full effect in June 2009, Ahern said. The senators want Homeland Security to wait until then and not implement ID requirements Thursday as planned.

But until 2009, Customs and Border Protection officers can use discretion in determining if a traveler has satisfactorily proved his citizenship and identity.

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Panel not ready with advice on migrants

Casey Newton

The Arizona Republic
Jan. 30, 2008 12:00 AM

PHOENIX - An advisory panel's recommendations for when Phoenix police should inquire about a person's immigration status won't be known until mid-February, officials said.

Mayor Phil Gordon said Tuesday that the panel needs more time to craft an alternative to police Operations Order 1.4.

"It'll probably be a couple more weeks before that comes out," Gordon told reporters.

The order, which prevents police from asking about a person's immigration status in most cases, has become a magnet for criticism from residents who want the city to take a stronger stance against illegal immigrants.

Supporters of the order say it ensures a good relationship between police and the immigrant community and frees up police resources to focus on fighting crime.

Last month, Gordon appointed a four-man panel to recommend changes to the order, which would allow officers to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when any law has been violated by any person police suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

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Proof of citizenship to be required at border

BY JUANA GYEK, STAFF WRITER

January 29, 2008 - 10:54PM

As of Thursday, you'll be asked to prove your claims of being an American citizen when you return for a visit to Mexico.

New, stricter border crossing rules take effect at U.S. ports of entry at San Luis, Ariz., Andrade, Calif., and elsewhere along the nation's borders with Mexico and Canada.

Border crossers 19 and older will be required to produce proof of citizenship - either a U.S. or Canadian passport, or a birth certificate and government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or military ID.

Those 18 and under will be asked to provide a proof of citizenship, such as a passport or a birth certificate.

People who are unable to provide the requested documents will be advised of the requirements and given a written advisory detailing what is required for the next crossing, said Brian Levin, Arizona spokesman for CBP.

"We will not automatically send people in for an inspection if the only issue is lack of documents, unless we suspect an attempt to gain entry by falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, which is what we already do," Levin said.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meet the new Elvira Arellano

By Michelle Malkin • January 29, 2008 08:06 AM

Another defiant deportation evader has stepped in to “pick up the torch” that illegal alien activist Elvira Arellano left behind. Sanctuary Nation or Sovereign Nation? Which would the presidential candidates choose? Will the feds let this drag out like they did with Arellano–making a national mockery of our deportation laws?:

Mexican woman says she is “picking up the torch” from another illegal resident who became a symbol for immigration reform when she took shelter in a Chicago church for a year before being deported.

Flor Crisostomo, 28, who paid a smuggler to drive her across the U.S. border in 2000, spurned a deportation order Monday and moved into Adalberto United Methodist Church.

She worked for IFCO, which was the subject of massive workplace rades in 2006. The Board of Immigration Appeals last year denied Crisostomo’s appeal and told her to leave the United States by Monday.

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Obama takes big risk on driver's license issue

Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Monday, January 28, 2008

(01-28) 04:00 PST Washington -- Sen. Barack Obama easily won the African American vote in South Carolina, but to woo California Latinos, where he is running 3-to-1 behind rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, he is taking a giant risk: spotlighting his support for the red-hot issue of granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

It's a huge issue for Latinos, who want them. It's also a huge issue for the general electorate, which most vehemently does not. Obama's stand could come back to haunt him not only in a general election, but with other voters in California, where driver's licenses for illegal immigrants helped undo former Gov. Gray Davis.

Clinton stumbled into that minefield in a debate last fall and quickly backed off. First she suggested a New York proposal for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants might be reasonable. Then she denied endorsing the idea, and later came out against them.

Asked directly about the issue now, her California campaign spokesman said Clinton "believes the solution is to pass comprehensive immigration reform."

"Barack Obama has not backed down" on driver's licenses for undocumented people, said Federico Peña, a former Clinton administration Cabinet member and Denver mayor now supporting Obama. "I think when the Latino community hears Barack's position on such an important and controversial issue, they'll understand that his heart and his intellect is with Latino community."

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Federal judge sides with U.S. in border-fence land dispute

Associated Press
Article Launched: 01/29/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

McALLEN, Texas -- A federal judge ordered 10 Cameron County property owners to open their land to the government for border fence surveying, but not before he denied the government the right to take the land without a hearing.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville ordered 10 of the 12 landowners to comply with the government's request for access to their land for 180 days. The other two were near settlements with the government.

But Hanen's order revealed he had denied a request from the federal government for a swift and private order like the one it received in a similar case in Eagle Pass. In filing its suit, the Justice Department asked Hanen to rule immediately without participation from the landowners, a legal maneuver that is allowed in eminent domain cases.

Hanen denied that request and ordered the government to inform all property owners of the hearing, held Friday.

"This court will make itself available if needed for the resolution of any disputes, but it expects all parties to act cooperatively and with due concern for the rights and needs of the other parties in the implementation of this order," Hanen wrote in the order dated Friday and released Monday.

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Mexico entered U.S. 25 times last year

Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/29/2008 08:38:09 AM MST

At a time when violence in Juárez is affecting El Paso, a report released Monday showed that Mexican police and soldiers made 25 incursions into the United States in 2007, including two in El Paso.

The Border Patrol documents, obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group in Washington, D.C., said that 21 of the incidents involved Mexican police officials and four incidents involved Mexican military personnel.

"Any reported incursion is thoroughly investigated by multiple agencies and what we try to do is, through diplomacy, work to prevent those incidents from re-occurring," Doug Mosier, spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso, said.

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Ex-Juárez police chief to remain in custody

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 01/29/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

Former Juárez police chief Saulo Reyes Gamboa waived a detention hearing in federal court Monday and was held without bond, U.S. Attorney's officials said.

Reyes was arrested Jan. 16 on marijuana possession and conspiracy charges after a sting operation in which he allegedly arranged the smuggling of close to 1,000 pounds of marijuana into El Paso.

U.S. Attorney's officials said the next step for prosecutors will be to present the case to a grand jury and secure an indictment.

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Citizenship applicants protest delays

Associated Press

Article Launched: 01/29/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

DALLAS -- Dozens of legal residents waiting to become U.S. citizens protested on Monday over delays in processing naturalization applications that will keep many of them from voting in the presidential election this year.

The rally outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office came the same day the agency's director visited Dallas for the start of a new class to train adjudicators.

Most of the 150 people at the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now rally wore T-shirts that said: "We waited in line. We followed the rules. Citizenship 07-04-08. Don't break the promise."

Citizenship and Immigration Services officials say some who applied for naturalization will have to wait up to 18 months, more than twice the national average of seven months. The wait will keep immigrants who applied after June 1 from becoming naturalized citizens in time to register to vote in the November presidential election.

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Operation Uniforce 8

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jackson, Miss. - The United States Border Patrol, in conjunction with other Federal, State, and Local law enforcement in direct support of the southwest border, conducted Operation Uniforce 8 over the past two weeks in Jackson, Miss. The operation was a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional operation targeting over the road (OTR) smuggling of illegal aliens, to include narcotics originating on the southwest border.

Federal, state, and local agencies coordinated their current OTR interdiction operations to maximize law enforcement coverage on the I-20 Interstate corridor and the transportation nodes within the New Orleans Sector Primary Operational Domain (POD). This coordinated effort maximized the collection and dissemination of intelligence in order to enhance intelligence driven operations overall.

Previous Uniforce Operations have been successful in producing numerous arrests to include wanted fugitives, alien smugglers, and narcotics seizures. In this operation 404 illegal aliens were apprehended, one homicide suspect was captured, one kilogram of cocaine worth almost $80,000 and $7,052 U.S. currency was seized. The Border Patrol, in partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, will continue these operations in the future.

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Border Patrol Agents Keep Sexual Predators Off the Streets

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tucson, Ariz. — Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector arrested five illegal aliens over the weekend, who have significant criminal records, including attempted murder. The arrests were made in separate incidents near the cities of Tucson, Nogales and Douglas, Ariz.

On Saturday afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. Border Patrol agents apprehended a 19 year-old Mexican national near Douglas, who is a convicted felon. Jesus Solano-Montes of Sonora, Mexico was convicted of nearly two dozen counts of Sexual Conduct with a minor out of Yavapai County in September of last year. He was subsequently sentenced to three months in the Yavapai County Jail and then removed to Mexico on Dec. 27. Since he is a convicted felon, Solano-Montes is being held in service custody pending prosecution for re-entry of an aggravated felon; at which time he will be formally deported.

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Sanctions law blamed as apartments empty

By Becky Pallack and Mariana Alvarado Avalos

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

For a couple of months, Miguel León has watched the parking lot at his Midvale Park apartment complex empty out.

"The parking lot used to be full all the time. Now there's a lot of empty spaces," he said, watching a group of boys play a rowdy football game in the lot.

A lot of apartments are empty, too — a likely indicator of the growing impact of Arizona's new employer-sanctions law. The departure of foreign workers to other states and to Mexico has combined with the declining housing market to increase vacancies, apartment management executives said.

León, who said he has worked legally in the construction industry for 12 years, is doing well at his current job, but if his relatives move to another state because of the new law, he's willing to go with them.

"A lot of friends who are here illegally and have problems at work are just leaving," he said.

On top of that, the housing slump has increased the supply of rental homes, making them more competitive with higher-end apartments. The slump also has meant fewer jobs for construction workers who might rent apartments.

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Suspect in killing of BP agent held for trial in Mexico

FROM STAFF AND AP REPORTS

January 28, 2008 - 3:23PM

MEXICO CITY — A man suspected of running over and killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been held over for trial in Mexico on migrant smuggling charges.

The federal Attorney General's Office announced late Sunday that a judge had ordered a trial for Jesus Navarro, 22. It did not say when his ruling was issued.

The agency said officials also believe that Navarro ran over U.S. border agent Luis Aguilar in the Imperial Sand Dunes but are still gathering evidence in that case.

Local officials with the Border Patrol referred questions to the FBI, the agency that would be behind extraditing Navarro to the U.S.

Officials with the FBI's San Diego office were not available for comment Monday.

Navarro was previously sought in Mexico for allegedly smuggling migrants and faces between six and 12 years in prison if convicted.

Officials say he was driving a Hummer full of drugs on Jan. 19 when he struck and killed Aguilar, who was trying to use spike strips to stop the vehicle from returning to Mexico as it fled other U.S. agents in southeastern California.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

FBI probes border agent's death

January 27, 2008
By Jerry Seper

FBI agents from the San Diego field office are leading the investigation into the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent run down by suspected drug smugglers about a mile north of the Mexican border in California.

Jesus Navarro Montes, 22, was named last week as the driver of a Hummer that struck and killed agent Luis Aguilar Jr., 32, a six-year Border Patrol veteran, as he placed spike strips near the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, 20 miles west of Yuma, Ariz.

Mr. Navarro was taken into custody Tuesday by Mexican authorities in the northern state of Sonora.

FBI spokeswoman April L. Langwell said the bureau is seeking information regarding the Aguilar death, which she described as "an ongoing investigation." She said anyone with information that might be useful to investigators should call the San Diego FBI office at 858/565-1255.

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Handle border fence disputes with sense, goodwill, judge says

Government has sued for access to 12 pieces of private property in Cameron County.

By Christopher Sherman
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Saturday, January 26, 2008

BROWNSVILLE — A federal judge urged the government Friday to use common sense and "good neighborness" in working out access to 12 pieces of private property in Cameron County that federal officials say is needed to study land for a border fence.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen did not rule Friday, but an order was expected early next week granting the government access but with some guidelines.

Hanen's handling was markedly different from the way U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum handled a similar case in Eagle Pass. In that case, the government filed its lawsuit and Ludlum ordered the city to surrender 233 acres before it could muster a response.

Brownsville residents, including Mayor Pat Ahumada, have been among the most vocal critics of the border fence — which is required by a federal law calling for a 700-mile barrier along the southern border to help fight illegal immigration. Ahumada denied surveyors access to city-owned land, noting that early plans showed the fence cutting through downtown.

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Mexico: Arrest in Cardinal's 1993 Murder

By LUIS PEREZ
The Associated Press
January 26, 2008

An alleged drug cartel hit man who is among the suspects in the 1993 slaying of a Mexican cardinal was arrested in the border city of Tijuana, authorities announced on Saturday.

Alfredo Araujo Avila, also known as 'Popeye,' allegedly worked for the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix drug cartel for more than two decades, Gen. German Redondo, commander of the local army base, told reporters.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo was riddled with bullets on May 24, 1993, while he was sitting in his car at the airport in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.

Investigators concluded that gunmen working for the Arellano Felix cartel mistook the cardinal's luxury vehicle for that of a rival drug trafficker whom they were targeting for assassination _ and whose own security forces were at the scene and returned fire.

But Church authorities have long disputed the official version of events, arguing that Posadas Ocampo was killed because he knew about alleged relationships between drug dealers and government officials.

Six people besides the cardinal were also killed. Twelve people have since been convicted and imprisoned in the attack, most recently ex-police commander Humberto Rodriguez Banuelos in 2005.

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Church To Be Refuge For Another Illegal Immigrant

West Side Church Was Home To Illegal Immigrant Activist For More Than A Year

CHICAGO (AP) ― Leaders of a Chicago church where an illegal immigrant from Mexico took sanctuary for a year before being deported say they plan to house another immigration activist who is set on defying a deportation order.

Flor CrisDostomo, 28, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. in 2001, was slated to report to federal immigration officials on Monday, but the head of Adalberto United Methodist Church said she will seek refuge at the church in the same way as immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who was deported to Mexico last August.

"She wanted to continue the struggle," Rev. Walter Coleman said of CrisDostomo. "That's what the church is for, to provide space where the truth can be told. She brings out the truth of the situation in a different way than Elvira did."

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Women Lose in Mexico Indian Rights Gain

By MARK STEVENSON
The Associated Press
January 27, 2008

Women in this Indian village high in the pine-clad mountains of Oaxaca rise each morning at 4 a.m. to gather firewood, grind corn, prepare the day's food, care for the children and clean the house.

But they aren't allowed to vote in local elections, because _ the men say _ they don't do enough work.

It was here, in a village that has struggled for centuries to preserve its Zapotec traditions, that Eufrosina Cruz, 27, decided to become the first woman to run for mayor _ despite the fact that women aren't allowed to attend town assemblies, much less run for office.

The all-male town board tore up ballots cast in her favor in the Nov. 4 election, arguing that as a woman, she wasn't a 'citizen' of the town. 'That is the custom here, that only the citizens vote, not the women,' said Valeriano Lopez, the town's deputy mayor.

Rather than give up, Cruz has launched the first serious, national-level challenge to traditional Indian forms of government, known as 'use and customs,' which were given full legal status in Mexico six years ago in response to Indian rights movements sweeping across Latin America.

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Conditions are bleak in slain men's village

Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:51 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Family members of four Mexican laborers who were stabbed to death in their suburban Cincinnati apartment last month say they came to Ohio illegally to find jobs and to send money home to Mexico.

Life in the village of Villa de Ramos is meager. Villagers estimate that 70 percent of the able-bodied men slip across the border to work in the U.S.

Brothers Manuel Davila Duenas, 31, and Jose de Jesus Davila Duenas, 21; Lino Guardado Davila, 45; and Conrado Lopez Guardado, 21, worked as bricklayers and stonemasons in the Cincinnati area.

They were found stabbed to death Dec. 13 in their sparsely furnished apartment in Sharonville. They had been dead more than a week, and had no identification, officials said.

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Border cooperation credited in conviction

By JEREMY ROEBUCK/The Monitor

January 27, 2008 - 1:56AM

McALLEN — His family calls him “El Sapo,” the frog — a reference to his wide face and downturned mouth.

His former police colleagues dubbed him “El Puma Uno” for his aggressive pursuit of Tamaulipas’ most wanted criminals.

But in the federal prison system he will be known officially by one name only — Carlos Landi­n-Martinez.

On Wednesday, a jury found the 52-year-old former police commander guilty on drug trafficking, conspiracy and money laundering charges, stemming from his actions as one of the Gulf Cartel’s top bosses.

Federal authorities describe the verdict as one of the most significant drug convictions in the past several years — but one that never would have happened without the cooperation of law enforcement on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Seized cash likely drug-related

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 01/27/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

The recent discovery of nearly $1 million in cash hidden in an 18-wheeler could be part of a trail of bulk money shipments that pass through El Paso on their way to drug traffickers in Mexico, authorities said.

"It's a regular thing for drugs to come in, and there is no reason not to believe it (money) is not heading south," said Matthew Taylor, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration office in El Paso.

On Jan. 18, an El Paso County sheriff's deputy stopped a tractor-trailer for weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 10 and eventually led a drug-sniffing dog to wrapped bundles containing nearly $1 million in cash in the rig, sheriff's officials said.

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Soldiers can't visit Juárez

By Darren Meritz / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/27/2008 01:35:34 AM MST

Travel to Juárez has been declared off-limits for U.S. military personnel, Fort Bliss officials announced Saturday in the wake of a rash of drug-related violence that is now taking a toll on both sides of the border.

A Fort Bliss official said Saturday that an unacceptable risk to the health, safety, welfare and morale to military personnel prompted the decision to temporarily discontinue issuing passes to soldiers who want to travel to Juárez.

"This is only for a short term until things settle down and there's no perceived danger to any soldier or anyone going to Juárez," Fort Bliss spokeswoman Jean Offutt said. "I think it's just based on the events that are going on in Juárez at this time."

Other developments occurred Saturday as Mexican and U.S. authorities sought to reduce tensions in the aftermath of a January killing spree in Juárez:

In Juárez, police continued to receive threats despite the arrival of Mexican federal police officers armed with assault rifles and wearing ski masks and flak jackets. Police on Saturday morning found a poster fastened to a monument to fallen police in Juárez that identified officers slain during the past year and named about a dozen current officers who could be targets of organized crime.

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5 people slain, girl shot during violent weekend

El Paso Times Staff

Article Launched: 01/28/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

A total of five people were either shot or beaten to death in separate incidents over the weekend in Juárez, officials said.

Also, an 8-year-old girl at a burger stand was shot in the ribs apparently by a stray bullet during a fight between street gangs, officials said.

At about 2:20 a.m. Sunday, Javier Leal Saucedo, 33, was found dead near Zaragoza Boulevard and Rayon Street. Officials said he had been beaten about the face and head.

At about 9 a.m. Sunday, the bodies of two men were found in Ejido Jesus Carranza. The victims have not been identified but authorities said they found two 9 mm shells near the bodies.

Also on Sunday, a 30- to 35-year-old man was found dead in his car, the victim of a possible shooting. The cause of death and the name of the victim are not known. The incident took place near Paseo de la Plaza and Paseo de los Arcos streets.

On Saturday, Victor Cervantes Mena, 34, was shot and killed about 8:30 p.m. near Arroyo Jarudo and Privada de Puerto Rico streets. He was shot in the forehead during an apparent drive-by shooting, officials said.

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Immigration Enforcement Disrupts Criminal Gangs in Virginia

State should expand involvement of local LEAs

Contact: Jessica Vaughan
JessicaVaughan@verizon.net
(508)346-3380 or (202)466-8185

WASHINGTON (January 2008) — Immigration law enforcement has been a key ingredient in the success of criminal gang suppression efforts in Virginia, says a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies. As state lawmakers consider steps to address the illegal immigration problem this session, they should give high priority to institutionalizing partnerships between state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and federal immigration authorities (ICE), as well as to immigration’s fiscal costs. A large share of those involved with the immigrant gangs active in Virginia, such as MS-13, Surenos, and 18th Street, are illegal aliens. Their illegal status means they are especially vulnerable to law enforcement, and local authorities should take advantage of the immigration tools available in order to disrupt criminal gang activity, remove gang members from the streets, and better protect the public. Once explained, these measures are generally supported in communities around the state, including immigrant communities where much of the immigrant gang violence and crime occurs

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Getting harder to come home from Mexico

Proof of citizenship requests starts Thursday

SHERYL KORNMAN

Published: 01.28.2008

NOGALES - Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff put his foot down and said new border-crossing ID requirements will take effect Thursday despite criticism that they would be inconvenient for returning Americans.

"It's time to grow up and recognize that if we're serious about this threat, we've got to take reasonable, measured but nevertheless determined steps to getting better security," he said Jan. 17.

It's true that beginning Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers along the U.S.-Mexico border will start asking Americans returning from Mexico for proof of U.S. citizenship.

But the actual deadline for showing a passport, or a driver's license and birth certificate, or other citizenship documents is June 1, 2009.

_____

Re-entry rule could cause more delays

By Leslie Berestein
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 27, 2008

Above the seemingly endless lines of cars waiting to cross from Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry, an electronic billboard flashes the announcement: As of Thursday, you'll have to prove you are a U.S. citizen if you want to re-enter the United States.

The new rule, intended to ease the way toward a requirement that everyone must show a passport, is causing headaches among cross-border commuters, border business leaders, Tijuana merchants, and American shoppers and tourists who say the new rule is not only confusing but threatens to disrupt cross-border commerce and make border waits even longer.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Study estimates illegal entrants at 10.5% of Arizona’s work force

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Up to 10.5 percent of the state work force in 2006 — more than 300,000 people — came here illegally, double the national average, according to a new study.

The report by the Pew Hispanic Center also found 18 percent of the more than 2.9 million people in the labor force were not born in the United States. The balance are presumed to be legal residents.

Pew Hispanic released the special report after Arizona became the first state in the nation to enact laws penalizing businesses for knowingly or intentionally hiring undocumented workers.

The study, conducted using information from both the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew’s own analysts, was designed to provide the most up-to-date figures and compare Arizona with the rest of the nation.

According to the report, 29.1 percent of all Arizonans in 2006 were Hispanic, again double the national figure. Of those, more than half were not born in this country. And most of those are not citizens.

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Meet the open borders family: McCain, Hernandez, Soros, and the “Reform Institute”

By Michelle Malkin
January 25, 2008 03:50 PM

Follow the bouncing ball with me:

Shamnesty peddler John McCain taps former Mexican government official/shamnesty advocate Juan Hernandez as his presidential campaign Hispanic Outreach Director.

Hernandez is a fellow at McCain’s “Reform Institute.” What has he been working on there for the past year?

“Dr. Juan Hernandez serves as a Senior Fellow of the Institute’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Initiative.”

That is: Shamnesty.

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McCain aide touts 'Mexico first' policy

Skeptics of candidate's immigration stance highlight appointment
Posted: January 25, 2008 12:45 p.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com

The Hispanic outreach director for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is a dual American-Mexican citizen known for his "Mexico first" declarations to immigrants in the U.S., WND has confirmed.

Word of the appointment, made in November, spread across the Internet last night, sparking reaction from secure-border activists who charge Juan Hernandez's position in the campaign belies the Republican candidate's attempt to position himself as an advocate of border security.

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers emphasized to WND that Hernandez is "a non-paid volunteer to the campaign, and he does not play a policy role."

"Juan works with us to reach out to the Hispanic community to meet with the folks in the various states," Rogers said.

Asked if the McCain campaign has repudiated Hernandez's "Mexico first" declarations, Rogers did not give a direct answer.

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Mexico anti-drug official says target of hit men

Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:55 PM ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's deputy attorney general said on Thursday that three men arrested in Mexico City last week with shoulder-fired rockets, rifles and a submachine gun were planning to kill him.

Jose Luis Santiago, the point man in the country's war on drug gangs and the official in charge of extraditing drug bosses to the United States, said the suspected hit men may belong to the Sinaloa Cartel, which dominates Mexico's Pacific Coast cocaine smuggling routes.

"It's one of the risks run by all of us who are committed," Santiago was quoted as saying in the daily Reforma newspaper's online edition.

Police stopped a car in an upscale neighborhood during a late-night check last Thursday and found the men and the weapons. Santiago said an investigation indicated they were on their way to ambush him.

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Former owner of Phoenix-area Western Union stores indicted in multi-million dollar money-laundering scheme linked to human and drug smuggling

PHOENIX - A Phoenix-area businessman is charged in an 80-count state criminal indictment of running a money-laundering operation that processed tens of millions of dollars in transactions to aid human and drug smuggling schemes.

Bruce Dennis Love, 50, who has homes in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, faces charges of conspiracy, participating in a criminal syndicate, money laundering, illegally conducting an enterprise and fraud following an investigation by the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal, state and local authorities.

The indictment, handed down January 22, alleges that, over a five-year period, Love controlled and directed a $56.8 million money-laundering operation in Arizona. A seizure warrant executed last week by agents on the Task Force targeted BMR Business Association and BMN Business Associates, entities that operated Western Union stores in Phoenix and Mesa between 2002 and 2006.

According to court documents, both businesses allegedly handled an extraordinarily large volume of Western Union transactions, many of them involving human smugglers and drug dealers. Court documents allege that approximately 80 to 100 percent of all Western Union transactions done by those businesses were intended to pay human smugglers for bringing illegal immigrants into the United States.

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Fugitive on ICE's 10 "Most Wanted" list captured in Los Angeles

MS-13 gang member sought for questioning by LAPD in several homicides

LOS ANGELES - A Mexican national street gang member featured on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) list of 10 "Most Wanted" fugitives was captured yesterday in Los Angeles, ending a four-year manhunt.

David Rivera, 33, is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court here this morning on felony charges of re-entering the United States following a formal deportation, a violation that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The MS-13 member, whose criminal history includes prior arrests on narcotics and sexual assault charges and a conviction for firearms possession, is also wanted for questioning in connection with several gang and drug-related murders.

Rivera was taken into custody by ICE agents yesterday afternoon at an apartment complex in the Rampart section of Los Angeles. When Rivera realized officers were closing in, he attempted to flee out the back of the property. In addition to capturing Rivera, ICE agents arrested two other suspected gang associates on administrative immigration violations. Officers and detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Division assisted with the arrests.

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Federal agents headed to Juárez

Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 01/26/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

Juárez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz announced Friday that Mexican federal agents were in the state of Chihuahua and could get to Juárez "any moment now."

"We have been talking about having the federal agents patrolling the streets. We know that the federal government could be wanting to do other types of operation, but for us the best way to stem the violence would be patrolling," Reyes Ferriz said.

Mexican federal agents have intervened in several other border cities to combat drug violence in the past few months.

Reyes Ferriz also said Friday that he expected to receive 90 million pesos, or about $8 million, from a federal police fund to help pay for local police operations.

Friday in El Paso, city police and county sheriff's deputies continued to guard Thomason Hospital, where Chihuahua police Cmdr. Fernando Lozano Sandoval is recovering after surviving an ambush by gunmen earlier this week while driving on a Juárez boulevard.

Despite the presence of Mexican soldiers patrolling Juárez streets since Tuesday and the imminent arrival of Mexican federal police, violence continued in the border city.

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Vehicle barriers would improve border safety

Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security, was outraged this week by the killing of a Border Patrol agent west of Yuma. Frankly, we're surprised that he took so long to show such indignation.

Violence on the border, and against Border Patrol agents in particular, has been occurring for years. It shouldn't have taken the death of agent Luis Aguilar, 32, for Chertoff to show some fire in the belly concerning criminals along the border.

"This is outrageous, killing a Border Patrol agent," Chertoff said at a news conference Tuesday. "We're committed to bringing the people who did this to justice."

Aguilar, a husband and father of two, was killed Saturday in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area when he was struck by a speeding vehicle. According to reports, he was attempting to lay down a device to flatten the vehicle's tires when he was struck.

Aguilar was memorialized by fellow border agents of the Yuma Sector on Thursday. He will be buried in El Paso.

The Associated Press reported in Thursday's Star that a Mexican man has been arrested in Sonora in connection with Aguilar's death.

While Aguilar's case is tragic, it was not an isolated incident. Border agents have been assaulted for years, and the pace of those assaults has increased as more agents and equipment have been put in place along the U.S.-Mexican border.

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Fix immigration issue, Phoenix mayor says

The Associated Press

Published: 01.26.2008

Mayors from across the country, including Phil Gordon of Phoenix, said Friday that Congress is unlikely to act on the nation's immigration problems this year and blasted lawmakers for what they called irresponsible procrastination.

"The message that immigration reform - comprehensive and practicable - is not going to be addressed for a year or two is unacceptable. It's outrageous," Gordon said. "This country is in an economic, public safety and a social crisis because immigration hasn't been addressed at the level that it needs to be addressed at - and that's at Congress."

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Mexican girl, 5 found safe after search in mountains

ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN

Published: 01.26.2008

Candy Gabriela Barranco Gonzalez, a shivering, scared 5-year-old girl from Mexico, was found safe Friday morning after spending a terrifying night in dark, mountainous terrain, first with a smuggler and then alone.

After being turned over to Mexican officials to be placed temporarily with Mexican child protective services in Agua Prieta, Son., authorities said the girl, who crossed into Arizona with her stepfather among a group of illegal immigrants led by a smuggler, will be reunited with her mother.

The child and her mother are from Naucalpan, a suburb of Mexico City, but the mother was in Ciudad Juarez and was expected to be brought to the border region by Saturday, said Raul Saavedra, deputy consul with the Mexican consulate in Douglas.

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Pickup targets 5 tons of trash that migrants left along river

SHERYL KORNMAN

Published: 01.25.2008

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will help in the removal this weekend of an estimated 5 tons of trash left behind by illegal immigrants along the Santa Cruz River.

Federal park rangers, high school students, Friends of the Santa Cruz River, the Audubon Society's Tucson chapter and other volunteers will join in the cleanup Saturday in the Tubac area.

The state will provide the trash bags and trash containers and move the trash to the Rico Rico landfill.

The plastic water bottles, food containers and other trash dumped by migrants is not only unsightly, it's also a threat to the riparian area, ADEQ director Steve Owens said in a news release.

"Dealing with the problem of illegal dumping is a priority," Owens said.

"Significant waste has accumulated along the Santa Cruz River" near Tubac and Tumacacori National Historic Park, he said.

"The trashing of the desert by border crossers is a huge problem."

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Border Patrol agent shoots man in leg

The Associated Press

Published: 01.24.2008

DOUGLAS - A U.S. Border Patrol agent questioning the occupants of a pickup truck clung to the passenger door and shot and wounded its driver Thursday as the man attempted to leave the scene, authorities said.

The unidentified agent had stopped a truck with five people inside about 9:30 a.m. on U.S. 191 nine miles northwest of Douglas, Cochise County Sheriff's spokesman Carol Capas said. The agent was acting on a tip that a truck matching the description and license plate had been seen loading a group of illegal immigrants near Douglas, Capas said.

As the agent stood on the passenger side of the truck, the driver attempted to drive off, with the agent trapped somehow by the vehicle's door, Capas said.

"The agent fired a single shot prior to falling off of the door, which struck the driver one time in the leg," Capas said.

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Legislative panel hears out firms on possible sanctions law changes

The Associated Press

Published: 01.25.2008

PHOENIX - Business people advising the Legislature on possible changes to Arizona's employer sanctions law recommended a series of protections for businesses on Thursday, but their suggestions might end up working against them.

The suggestions included prohibiting anonymous complaints to be made under the law and strengthening legal protections for employers who verify the employment eligibility of workers and complete employment documents already required under federal law. It also recommended raising the evidence standards for prosecutors to prove allegations against businesses.

Even as the special committee of business people recommended the changes, one member said the suggestions will be seen as an attempt to weaken the law and thus will hurt an effort to keep a more stringent employer sanctions measure from appearing on the November ballot.

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More arrests of immigrants in U.S. interior

The Associated Press
Published: 01.24.2008

PEARL, Miss. - Detective Nick McLendon, on stakeout duty along a stretch of Interstate 20, noticed a red Chevy Suburban with tinted windows and no light over its rear Texas license plate.

The missing light gave him all the excuse he needed to pull over the SUV.

Packed into the Suburban, he discovered, were 14 illegal immigrants, two suspected smugglers, and a spiral notebook on the front seat, listing the passengers and their destinations in Spanish.

The arrests - some 800 miles from the Mexican border - represented a new and dramatic shift in U.S. immigration enforcement strategy.

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