Friday, August 27, 2010



When ICE is not following up on those aliens you have them going down the street to obtain another job and that is just moving the problem," said Julie Myers, an ICE director under Bush
"It is tough when you have law enforcement turning a blind eye to entire categories of aliens -- and that is what is happening here -- it is a de facto amnesty," she said.

But under President Obama, the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush administration
Company Audits Up, Illegal Worker Arrests Way Down Since 2008

Published August 23, 2010 |

The Obama administration said it would focus its enforcement of illegal immigration laws by targeting workplace activities, but a recent report shows that while audits of employers are slightly up over the Bush administration, worker arrests are down drastically since the end of 2008.
Under Obama, employer audits are up 50 percent, fines have tripled to almost $3 million and the number of executives arrested is slightly up over the Bush administration.
But under President Obama, the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush administration. In the current fiscal year 2010, which ends Sept. 30, ICE has arrested 900 workers.
That compares to immigration agents under Bush raiding hundreds of businesses from factory to farm -- and arresting and deporting more than 6,000 illegal immigrants in raids in 2008 -- more than 5,000 simply for being in the country illegally.
Current Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton reinforced claims of a tough stand by the Obama administration against illegal workers, telling Fox News recently that his agency has deported more illegal aliens -- and criminal illegals -- than at any other time.
"No administration in the history of this nation removed more illegal immigrants from the country than we did last year and I expect the records to continue. We're serious about enforcement. We're going to go out and we're just going to do it," he said.
But while both administrations agree that jobs are the magnet that attracts illegal immigrants to the United States, critics say it makes no sense to allow employees known to use fake or stolen identification to go free to duplicate the fraud again.
"When ICE is not following up on those aliens you have them going down the street to obtain another job and that is just moving the problem," said Julie Myers, an ICE director under Bush
Myers said while she agrees with the Obama administration's approach of targeting employers, "when I was at ICE, we didn't think we could ignore the aliens we encountered."
"It is tough when you have law enforcement turning a blind eye to entire categories of aliens -- and that is what is happening here -- it is a de facto amnesty," she said.
Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, defended the administration's policy, saying that "rather than high-profile raids that target workers and let employers off the hook this administration has decided to focus on criminal and bad actor employers."
"No one is talking about giving a free pass for fraud, or ID theft is to be taken lightly, but we know the vast majority of the workforce did not commit any crime," Fitz said.

Employment is the driving force behind illegal immigration, which is why experts say work site enforcement is important. Bush aides say their high profile raids acted as a deterrent to both employer and employee, and punished both for breaking the law.
But others say the raids did little more than upset Latino communities, and advocates of Obama's approach say paper audits of employers -- not raids -- does more to turn off the job magnet.



Feds moving to dismiss some deportation cases

Critics assail the plan as a bid to create a kind of backdoor 'amnesty'

Aug. 24, 2010,

The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts.

Culling the immigration court system dockets of noncriminals started in earnest in Houston about a month ago and has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients' deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases.

Richard Rocha, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said Tuesday that the review is part of the agency's broader, nationwide strategy to prioritize the deportations of illegal immigrants who pose a threat to national security and public safety. Rocha declined to provide further details.

Critics assailed the plan as another sign that the Obama administration is trying to create a kind of backdoor "amnesty" program.

Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney who was briefed on the effort by Homeland Security's deputy chief counsel in Houston, said DHS confirmed that it's reviewing cases nationwide, though not yet to the pace of the local office. He said the others are expected to follow suit soon.

Gonzalez, the liaison between the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which administers the immigration court system, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said DHS now has five attorneys assigned full time to reviewing all active cases in Houston's immigration court.

Gonzalez said DHS attorneys are conducting the reviews on a case-by-case basis. However, he said they are following general guidelines that allow for the dismissal of cases for defendants who have been in the country for two or more years and have no felony convictions.

In some instances, defendants can have one misdemeanor conviction, but it cannot involve a DWI, family violence or sexual crime, Gonzalez said.
Massive backlog of cases

Opponents of illegal immigration were critical of the dismissals.

"They've made clear that they have no interest in enforcing immigration laws against people who are not convicted criminals," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for strict controls.

"This situation is just another side effect of President Obama's failure to deliver on his campaign promise to make immigration reform a priority in his first year," said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. "Until he does, state and local authorities are left with no choice but to pick up the slack for prosecuting and detaining criminal aliens."

Gonzalez called the dismissals a necessary step in unclogging a massive backlog in the immigration court system. In June, there were more than 248,000 cases pending in immigration courts across the country, including about 23,000 in Texas, according to data compiled by researchers at Syracuse University.

'Absolutely fantastic'

Gonzalez said he went into immigration court downtown on Monday and was given a court date in October 2011 for one client. But, he said, the government's attorney requested the dismissal of that case and those of two more of his clients, and the cases were dispatched by the judge.

The court "was terminating all of the cases that came up," Gonzalez said. "It was absolutely fantastic."

"We're all calling each other saying, 'Can you believe this?' " said John Nechman, another Houston immigration attorney, who had two cases dismissed.

Attorney Elizabeth Mendoza Macias, who has practiced in Houston for 17 years, said she had cases for several clients dismissed during the past month and eventually called DHS to find out what was going on. She said she was told by a DHS trial attorney that 2,500 cases were under review in Houston.

"I had five (dismissed) in one week, and two more that I just received," Mendoza said. "And I am expecting many more, many more, in the next month."

Her clients, all previously charged with being in the country illegally, included:
An El Salvadoran man married to a U.S. citizen who has two U.S.-born children. The client had a pending asylum case in the court system, but the case was not particularly strong. Now that his case is terminated, he will be eligible to obtain permanent residency through his wife, Mendoza said.

A woman from Cameroon, who was in removal proceedings after being caught by the U.S. Border Patrol, had her case terminated by the government. She meets the criteria of a trafficking victim, Mendoza said, and can now apply for a visa.

Memo outlines priorities

Immigrants who have had their cases terminated are frequently left in limbo, immigration attorneys said, and are not granted any form of legal status.
"It's very, very key to understand that these aliens are not being granted anything in court. They are still here illegally. They don't have work permits. They don't have Social Security numbers," Mendoza said. "ICE is just saying, 'At this particular moment, we are not going to proceed with trying to remove you from the United States.' "

In a June 30 memo, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton outlined the agency's priorities, saying it had the capacity to remove about 400,000 illegal immigrants annually — about 4 percent of the estimated illegal immigrant population in the country. The memo outlines priorities for the detention and removal system, putting criminals and threats to national security at the top of the list.
Up to 17,000 cases

On Tuesday, ICE officials provided a copy of a new policy memo from Morton dated Aug. 20 that instructs government attorneys to review the court cases of people with pending applications to adjust status based on their relation to a U.S. citizen. Morton estimates in the memo that the effort could affect up to 17,000 cases.
Tre Rebsock, the ICE union representative in Houston, said even if the efforts involve only a fraction of the pending immigration cases, "that's going to make our officers feel even more powerless to enforce the laws."


“The Obama administration will sue Arizona for trying to help Washington enforce federal immigration laws, but flatly rejects the notion of suing sanctuary cities that blatantly defy those same laws.”

Illegal Aliens Want Sanctuary Policies In Writing
Last Updated: Fri, 08/27/2010 - 3:34pm
Lawmakers and police in a major U.S. city have reassured illegal immigrants that they’re protected under longtime sanctuary policies amid demands from open borders advocates that the measures be formalized in writing.
A group of Latino activists, clergy and civil rights leaders took to the street this week to command Baltimore officials to further solidify the city’s measures to shield illegal aliens from federal authorities. Like many law enforcement agencies across the nation, Baltimore Police bans its officers from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status.
Now emboldened illegal immigrants want the policy in writing to reduce crime and help bridge the gap between officers and immigrants after the recent murders of three Hispanic men in the area. The most recent victim, a Honduran, was clubbed and beaten with a wooden stake by a mentally disturbed teen who professed to hate “Mexicans.” Illegal immigrants are more prone to cooperate in these sorts of police investigations if the department has a written don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policy, their advocates say.
But Baltimore Police Chief Frederick Bealefeld asserts that a written policy is unnecessary because his officers never ask about immigration status as per the citywide sanctuary measures. In the three years he’s served as department head, Bealefeld says he hasn’t heard “one utterance on enforcement of immigration laws.” For their part, city officials assure residents that they should trust police to focus on fighting violent crime, not enforcing immigration laws.
This week a Maryland legislator threw a wrench in Baltimore’s sanctuary public relations campaign by announcing a proposed bill that will give citizens the power to sue public officials who violate federal immigration laws. If the measure passes, citizens can file complaints against public officials in circuit court and, if convicted, the official could be booted from office or face criminal charges.


We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy! America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'"

"Here is how they do it," Lamm said: "First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country." History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: "The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and
tragedy." Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and
discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: "The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we! are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together." Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have
various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all
minority failure on the majority population."

"My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the! doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said,. "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book "Mexifornia." His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America. deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today.

Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America - take note of California and other states - to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.
Hans A. von Spakovsky
Law-Enforcement-Free Sanctuaries

The Obama administration will sue Arizona for trying to help Washington enforce federal immigration laws, but flatly rejects the notion of suing sanctuary cities that blatantly defy those same laws. That announcement two weeks ago revealed the hypocrisy and utter contempt for the rule of law rampant in Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
It was the latest example of the Department letting partisan politics, rather than the interests of justice and the impartial enforcement of the law, drive its legal decisions. In this instance, it both threatens national security and undermines public confidence in our legal system.
The very weakness of the Department’s legal arguments in the Arizona suit betrays its political genesis. As the brief filed on behalf of Arizona by nine other states persuasively argues, Arizona is not interfering with federal authority: it has neither created new categories of aliens nor attempted to independently determine the immigration status of aliens. Arizona’s law simply requires local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of individuals arrested for other reasons. This is exactly the regulatory scheme of concurrent enforcement envisioned by federal immigration law.
The Justice Department’s suit directly contradicts the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Muehler v. Mena. In that case, all nine justices upheld the right of local police officers to question a detained individual’s immigration status while a search warrant was being executed. The suit also flies in the face of Estrada v. Rhode Island, in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals this February upheld a state trooper’s questioning of immigration status during a traffic stop. This is the exact policy being implemented in Arizona.
Federal courts have long upheld the power of state law enforcement officers to arrest those who violate federal law, as long as it is also a violation of state law, includingimmigration laws. The inherent authority of local police to arrest immigration violators was outlined in 2002 in a legal memorandum issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Yet Attorney General Holder has filed a lawsuit making claims completely at odds with an opinion issued by his own department.
Holder’s suit also conflicts directly with federal immigration law. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. §1373) specifically mandates that no federal, state, or local government can “prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service [now Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE], information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual,” a provision upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999. Congress wanted local governments to get information on immigration status from the federal government – and that is exactly what the Arizona law requires for anyone arrested in the state. Yet Holder is trying to prevent Arizona officials from checking “the citizenship or immigration status” of “any individual.”
Now we’re awaiting a ruling by a federal judge on the Justice Department’s request for a temporary injunction to stop the law from going into effect on Thursday. It’s clear, though, that the only way that judge could possibly rule in the Department’s favor is by ignoring the law and this precedent.
Justice Department spokesman Tracy Schmaler asserts that Arizona is “actively” interfering with federal law while sanctuary cities are just not using their resources to enforce federal law. This bogus claim displays fundamental ignorance of these federal legal requirements. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary committee and the chief author of the 1996 immigration law, rightly calls it “absurd.” Cities like San Francisco not only do not enforce federal immigration laws, some violate it by protecting aliens from deportation and refusing to cooperate with or provide information to immigration officials.
As the nine states note in their brief, the Justice Department is trying to negate the “preexisting power of the States to verify a person’s immigration status and similarly seeks to reject the assistance that the States can lawfully provide to the Federal government.” Holder’s claim that Arizona is interfering with federal power to regulate immigration is near frivolous.
Arizona simply requires that law enforcement personnel (1) ascertain the immigration status of people they have lawfully detained for some other reason and (2) report to the federal government the presence of any detainee determined to be here illegally. If the Obama administration wants to ignore that information and reject that assistance, it has that option. The only possible “interference” with federal power is the risk that the feds might be publicly embarrassed by a policy of non-enforcement. Apparently the White House and DOJ consider embarrassment a federal offense.
Holder makes one further -- yet equally absurd -- claim: that by trying to deter the movement of illegal aliens into Arizona, the state is restricting interstate commerce and thus violates the Commerce Clause. How can deterring the entry of people who have no legal right to enter possibly violate interstate commerce? It is the same as saying that -- notwithstanding federal laws that bar importation of heroin -- a state that busts heroin traffickers is flouting the Commerce Clause.
Federal law stipulates that any person who “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection,” an illegal alien is committing a crime. It is also criminal just to “encourage” residence by illegal aliens. Yet sanctuary cities like San Francisco have enacted formal policies that embrace all these illegal acts. Such policies lead directly to further crimes, such as the vicious murder of a father and his two sons on a San Francisco street. The killer was an illegal alien with two prior felony convictions -- yet on neither occasion did San Francisco authorities notify the feds of his presence. Had they done so, he would not have been able to gun down Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, as they sat in their car on June 16, 2008.
Holder’s refusal to sue sanctuary cities is an abrogation of his responsibility as the nation’s chief federal law enforcement officer. Unlike Arizona, many of these cities have policies that violate federal law.
The Obama administration claims Arizona’s law will “disrupt federal immigration enforcement.” But the only thing it could possibly disrupt is federal non-enforcement. As the elections approach, Holder’s suit may help gin up enthusiasm among the president’s more radical political allies, such as La Raza. But using the law enforcement powers of the federal government to achieve political ends is a dangerous abuse of power.



ICE Won’t Arrest Illegal Aliens Caught In Traffic Stops
Last Updated: Tue, 08/24/2010 - 2:53pm
In its latest surreptitious effort to protect illegal immigrants the Obama Administration plans to prohibit both federal and local law enforcement officers from arresting undocumented aliens discovered as a result of traffic violations.
It marks the third time this month that a covert plan to shield illegal aliens from deportation gets exposed. A few weeks ago the administration ordered authorities to halt the removal of some 700,000 illegal immigrants who are students while lawmakers craft legislation to officially spare them from expulsion. Weeks earlier an internal Homeland Security document revealed that the president has a secret backup plan to grant illegal immigrants amnesty in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to do it.
This week’s plan du jour is to shield illegal immigrants who break U.S. law by operating a vehicle without a license or driving recklessly, possibly endangering innocent Americans. A draft policy issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says that agency Chief John Morton intends to prohibit his agents as well as local law enforcement officers from detaining illegal aliens stopped during traffic violations.
The three-page ICE memo was made public this week by a research organization dedicated to studying immigration issues. Even police departments that participate in the local-federal partnership known as 287(g) will be prohibited from apprehending or reporting an illegal alien in the course of a traffic stop. Federal agents will be forbidden from issuing what’s known as an immigration detainer unless the illegal alien has committed a separate criminal violation.
Morton is implementing the new measure in response to the “many concerns” of immigration enforcement critics (i.e. open borders, La Raza movement) who believe local police abuse their authority to arrest “innocent” illegal aliens in order to have them deported. That’s according to an ICE political appointee who discourages cooperation between local and federal authorities.
Never mind that local police across the country regularly encounter unlicensed illegal immigrants operating unsafe vehicles, smuggling other undocumented aliens or plotting serious crime sprees. Two of the 9/11 hijackers (Ziad Jarrah and Nawaf al-Hazmi) had been stopped for speeding by police in separate states but were not detained even though they were in the U.S. illegally.
Jarrah was ticketed by a Maryland State trooper just days before he boarded United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field, and al-Hazmi, one of the 9/11 masterminds, got pulled over in Oklahoma around eight months before he crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

AN AMERICAN SEES & SPEAKS - Border Violence in Texas

Bullets are flying. Bullets hit a University of Texas building last weekend during a drug cartel war. This was the 2nd time in less than two months an El Paso bldg. has been hit. In late June several shots hit the El Paso City Hall, one passed through a 9th floor window and lodged in a wall. Last year a UT bldg. in Brownsville was hit by stray bullets.

Governor Perry has continually asked the Fed. gov. to step up border security. Our border towns are frightening and our citizens are at risk and this is spilling over in to cites far from the border. Houston has a big problem as the drug cartel is setting up shop there.

"As the drug cartel war has spread in the past few years, Juarez, across the border from El Paso, has become Ground Zero with more than 6,000 killings since the Juarez and Sinola cartels started fighting for control of the city in 2008." - Austin American Statesman."

And then we have PC political appointees running a dog and pony show stopping agents in the field from doing their job.Border Patrol being hired and trained by the federal gov. to do one thing, but warned of the consequences if they don't walk a very fine line. They are also warned to stay out of certain areas because it is too dangerous. A sheriff in Az. being sued for doing his job! This is absolute idiocy, maddening and deplorable!

Citizens of border states are warned not to go into certain towns and cities because they are too dangerous. Cities their tax dollars support, yet they cannot enjoy the public parks, and other amenities. Ranchers being afraid to leave their wives and children to go about their daily chores, having to pick up the massive amount of litter illegals dump, and coming upon their livestock slaughtered. These are American citizens and they are at risk by illegal foreign invaders but our federal government goes after the states and the peace officers trying to protect the US citizens! Disgusting!
8/27/2010 11:19:10 AM





Arrests double from illegal immigration at sea

Associated Press Writer

The speedboat is about three miles offshore when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent cuts the engine to drift on the current in quiet darkness, hoping for the telltale signs of immigrant smuggling - a motor's whirr or sulfur exhaust fumes.

"It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is the Pacific Ocean," agent Tim Feige says, minutes before sunrise.
This is a new frontier for illegal immigrants entering the United States - a roughly 400-square-mile ocean expanse that stretches from a bullring on the shores of Tijuana, Mexico, to suburban Los Angeles.
In growing numbers, migrants are gambling their lives at sea as land crossings become even more arduous and likely to end in arrest. Sea interdictions and arrests have spiked year-over-year for three years, as enforcement efforts ramp up to meet the challenge.
While only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea, authorities say, heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence, is making the offshore route more attractive.
The number of Border Patrol agents doubled to more than 20,000 since 2003, and President Barack Obama is dispatching the National Guard after clamor for a crackdown in the desert led to Arizona's tough new immigration law.
"I think they found that going west through the ocean is probably their best bet," said Michael Carney, deputy special agent in charge of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.
U.S. agents arrested 753 suspected illegal immigrants on Southern California shores and seas between October and Aug. 24, up from 400 the previous 12 months and 230 the year before. They spotted 85 watercraft since October, up from 49 during the previous 12 months and 33 the year before.
The smugglers use old, single-engine wooden vessels known in Mexico as "pangas." They're several feet wide and about 25 feet long. If they are found on U.S. waters, they're almost invariably smuggling people or drugs.
U.S. authorities have stepped up sea patrols near the border, forcing pangas loaded with illegal immigrants and sometimes with marijuana farther offshore with landings farther north.
An abandoned vessel was found in November in Laguna Beach, 85 miles north of Mexico. A boat with 24 people was found 43 miles off the San Diego coast in May.
Six boats have landed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, more than 50 miles north of the border, since November, including two that were abandoned. The base, only a short hike to Interstate 5, has stepped up security.
Authorities believe smugglers put their passengers ashore and return to Mexico, when possible, to avoid losing their boats and leaving evidence behind. But they also quickly abandon the boats and run for it if they sense they're about to be caught.
Smuggling on California waters dates back to the alcohol trade during Prohibition, but authorities noticed a change in late 2007 when pangas began traveling without lights at night with up to 25 people packed on open decks.
At up to $5,000 a person - roughly twice the fee to cross illegally over land - one overnight trip can generate $100,000.
Some arrests at sea may be a result of heightened enforcement. This year, the Orange County Sheriff's Department joined in boat patrols on a 32-mile coastal stretch south of Los Angeles.
Only two immigrants are known to have been killed crossing in U.S. waters, their boat overturning in the San Diego surf in January. Two months earlier, eight were rescued atop an overturned boat that was adrift for a day.
Smugglers have been arrested on both sides of the border, with those in the U.S. being sentenced to a year or two in prison.
In Mexico, the boats launch from a poor fishing village named Popotla, about 15 miles south of the border. It sits between Playa de Rosarito's high-rise hotels and condos that cater to American tourists and expatriates and next to the studio where the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" was filmed.
Squatters live in about two dozen shanties crammed on a hillside. There is no electricity, paved road, sewage or garbage collection.
But it is easy to understand why smugglers are drawn to the village. It's out of view from the highway only 200 yards away. Its crescent-shaped beach invites gentle waves and it is the only public boat launching spot on a 50-mile stretch south of the border.
A restaurant worker, Victor Estrada, said he saw about eight migrants being led to a boat on the beach one recent night after they waited several hours inside a sports utility vehicle, but about a dozen other workers and residents insisted they knew nothing about smugglers.
Jose Eduardo Montero, public safety chief of Playas de Rosarito, offers a different view: "The place is invaded by criminals, drug traffickers, undocumented immigrants, drug dealers. It's all mixed in with the fishing business."
One January night, Montero said, his officers detained 23 people as they were preparing for a crossing, including two alleged guides who were arrested on smuggling charges.
Authorities have failed to pierce the top ranks of smuggling organizations. Boat drivers offer little information when captured and toss their GPS devices and radios into the water before agents reach them.
The low-slung boats, when weighed down with people, can float only about one foot above water, making them difficult to see on radar. Night-vision binoculars have limited reach.
"They're beating us with low-tech," said ICE's Carney. "I'm not saying they can't be detected, but I'm saying they're very hard to detect."
On a recent night off San Diego shores, two CBP speedboats prowled the coast. A CBP helicopter with infrared surveillance equipment was down for repairs, which happens pretty often, said CBP supervisory agent Mark White, his boat idled with Tijuana's lights behind him.
"We're one step behind," he says.
White spent much of the night near two unlit beaches that are popular with smugglers. He described the positioning as educated guesswork. Just because boats have been landing north, he can't afford to neglect beaches close to the border. Some migrants dash one mile from Tijuana on Jet Skis, hugging the shore.
"We're trying to smell, we're trying to see, and we're waiting," White said.
Agents got lucky the following night, arresting 23 suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico on a boat about five miles offshore from San Diego's tony La Jolla area around 3 a.m.


Thousands of Detroit-area unemployed attend “over 50” job fair
By a WSWS reporting team
27 August 2010
[Click here to toggle images]

AARP over 50 job fair
Thousands of unemployed workers attended a job fair August 25 in Southfield, Michigan that was sponsored by, a job search web site, and the American Association for Retired People (AARP).

The event, billed as an “over 50” job fair, attracted a wide cross-section of people, testifying to the depth of the employment crisis in Michigan. The state suffers the second highest unemployment rate in the US. Some 5,000 people are estimated to have attended.

According to the AARP, unemployment among those over age 50 is higher than at any time in the past 60 years. The number of workers over age 50 who have been unemployed for 12 months or more is 50 percent higher now than in 2009. This marks the largest annual increase for any age group.

Wednesday’s event featured AARP workshops teaching job-seekers how to “brand themselves.” However, there were only a handful of employers with job openings, and most of those required advanced training and experience. From the private sector, a few companies were looking for telemarketers. These were mostly debt collection agencies, especially consumer debt collectors.

There were some government agencies present, including the Department of Homeland Security and the US Border Patrol, several police agencies, and the state of Michigan, which was largely seeking registered nurses.

The WSWS interviewed unemployed workers attending the job fair. Their stories reflect the dire situation facing older workers in the Detroit area almost two years into the recession.

Cheryl, a former Ford Motor office worker, told the WSWS, “I was laid off during the last downsizing. For five years I was a Kelly services temp at Ford and never was hired in as a regular employee. Before that I worked for Comerica Bank, but was laid off during their downsizing.

“I have been working a part-time job at IKEA, but I can’t make ends meet with that. That is because I have been working mostly only 12 hours a week for the past four years,” she explained.

“I have been regularly coming to these job fairs. But at all the job fairs I have been going to there are mostly schools trying to get you to take courses. I am only four classes away from my bachelor’s degree in interior design, but I just have no way to finish.

“Recently I got a notice saying I owe $50,000 for my school loans. They calculate that my monthly payment right now would be $650 a month. There is absolutely no way I can pay that. If I get what is called an abeyance, the interest is just going to keep building up, making that monthly payment even higher.”

“I really opposed the bailout of the banks,” Cheryl stated. “I thought, ‘Why should they bail out the banks when people are losing houses and families can’t make ends meet?’ I have been unable to find a full-time job for eight years. I don’t think it will get better. They say it is getting better, but it is really getting worse and worse every year, month after month.”

Sharon and Al Johnigan
Sharon Johnigan, a laid-off auto parts worker, came to the job fair along with her husband Al. She told the WSWS, “I was a seat builder with Lear Corporation. I don’t have a really good education. Most of the jobs at the fair are nothing I am qualified for—health care, AARP, Comcast.

“They just started calling people back at Lear this week,” she added. “Hopefully I’ll be one of the ones called back.”

But even if Sharon returns to her position at Lear, the terms of her employment will likely be much worse than before, she said.

“We are fighting right now to keep our money. Lear is outsourcing a lot of jobs. From hearsay at our union meeting, the company and the UAW are in negotiations to make us take a pay cut and to pay for our own health care, which is free now,” she explained.

Joyce has been out of work since 2007 when she was laid off as an administrative assistant at a plumbing company. She told the WSWS, “I was just widowed from my husband of 34 years. He got lung cancer and it went to his brain. I want to make it clear to everyone that I have not been able to receive one penny from all these government programs that are supposed to help people out.”

She said her husband applied for Social Security benefits when he became ill and was awarded them last September. However, the government told her that there would be a six-month waiting period before he could receive any money.

“I only received a total of $155 from Social Security for my husband’s death,” Joyce explained, “Because he passed away before the six-month waiting period was up and before we had received any money, they told me I was entitled to nothing as a widow until I reach age 60.”

She said she had tried applying for disability benefits, but was turned down. “Even though I have had several orthopedic surgeries I was deemed ‘borderline disabled’ and denied benefits.”

Joyce spoke about her struggle to hold on to her home.

“We live in a nice home on an acre of land in Clarkston. We were underwater on the mortgage, so with my husband ill, we got a loan modification through the Obama mortgage program. It was a trial loan modification and we were able to keep up with the payment every month. But even with the modification, the loan payment was $3,000 a month.

“But now, I don’t get $3,000 a month. My current income is $1,200 a month from unemployment and $1,300 a month from my husband’s disability check. And now the mortgage company is stalling on making the temporary loan modification permanent because my husband passed away. They are saying that since I don’t have a job they can’t sustain the modification and the payment will go back up.

Cynthia Seabrooks
“And I can’t get help with the health insurance subsidy for laid-off workers that was supposed to be in Obama’s stimulus program. They say I am not eligible for the COBRA assistance [for health insurance] because my husband left the company by death. I have to come up with $659 a month for health care coverage on my own.”

Cynthia Seabrooks was laid off from a small auto parts manufacturer. She told the WSWS, “I exhausted all my unemployment compensation in May. I have bills and it is hard if you can’t find a job and no one is helping. What can you do? Every job at the fair requires some kind of training, even for a security guard. If it wasn’t for my dad, right now I would be on the street with my kids.”

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County Spends $600 Mil On Welfare For Illegal Immigrants
Last Updated: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 3:14pm
For the second consecutive year taxpayers in a single U.S. county will dish out more than half a billion dollars just to cover the welfare and food-stamp costs of illegal immigrants.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, may be in the midst of a dire financial crisis but somehow there are plenty of funds for illegal aliens. In January alone, anchor babies born to the county’s illegal immigrants collected more than $50 million in welfare benefits. At that rate the cash-strapped county will pay around $600 million this year to provide illegal aliens’ offspring with food stamps and other welfare perks.
The exorbitant figure, revealed this week by a county supervisor, doesn’t even include the enormous cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $500 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety.

A VIEW INTO OBAMA'S AMERICA - A Mexican Territory For Pillage





“…and was denounced by several Republicans as evidence that the Obama administration was weakening enforcement and making it easier for illegal immigrants to remain in the country.”

“The memo encourages ICE officers and lawyers to use their authority to dismiss those cases, canceling the deportation proceedings, if they determine that the immigrants have no criminal records and stand a strong chance of having their residence applications approved.”


August 26, 2010
Immigration Agency Ends Some Deportations

Immigration enforcement officials have started to cancel the deportations of thousands of immigrants they have detained, a policy they said would pare huge case backlogs in the immigration courts.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the new approach was part of a broad shift in priorities at the agency, to focus its efforts on catching and deporting immigrants who have been convicted of crimes or pose a national security threat. The policy — announced in an Aug. 20 memorandum from John Morton, the head of the agency — drew praise from immigrant advocates, who called it a common-sense strategy, and was denounced by several Republicans as evidence that the Obama administration was weakening enforcement and making it easier for illegal immigrants to remain in the country.


The change in emphasis at the immigration agency, which represents a significant break with longstanding practices, has awakened resistance among agents and detention officers on the ground, according to officials of the agency, which is known as ICE, and of the union representing those employees.
Mr. Morton’s memorandum refers to a particular group of illegal immigrants: those who have been detained in ICE operations because they did not have legal status, but who have active applications in the system to become legal residents. The memo encourages ICE officers and lawyers to use their authority to dismiss those cases, canceling the deportation proceedings, if they determine that the immigrants have no criminal records and stand a strong chance of having their residence applications approved.
The policy is intended to address a “major inefficiency” that has led to an unnecessary pileup of cases in the immigration courts, Mr. Morton said. The courts have reported at least 17,000 cases that could be eliminated from their docket if ICE dismissed deportations of immigrants, like those married to United States citizens, who were very likely to win legal status, the memo says.
To resolve that number of deportation cases, officials will have to fix persistent breakdowns in coordination between two federal agencies that oversee the nation’s overburdened and troubled immigration system, ICE officials acknowledged. On one hand, ICE enforces immigration law. Another agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, is in charge of approving applications for immigration documents. When ICE opens a deportation case against an immigrant, it is heard in immigration court.
The courts are swamped under a backlog that reached a record in June of 247,922 cases, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group at Syracuse University that analyzes federal data. The average waiting time for cases in those courts was 459 days.
But immigration lawyers said they are currently waiting as long as two years to get a hearing date in some especially crowded immigration courts.
The new policy “is a pretty basic, common-sense thing to do,” said Helen Harnett, policy director for the National Immigrant Justice Center, a legal assistance group in Chicago. She said that if an immigrant’s application for legal residence was ultimately denied, ICE could reinstate the deportation.
“This is for people who do have a path to legalize their status,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, director of the justice center. “This does not create a new path to legalization for anyone.”

But Republican lawmakers said the Obama administration was moving toward a de facto legalization program by allowing some illegal immigrants to remain here despite their violations of the law.
“Actions like this demoralize ICE agents who are trying to do their job and enforce the law,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. “Unfortunately, it appears this is more evidence that the Obama administration would rather circumvent Congress and give a free pass to illegal immigrants who have already broken our law.”
Mr. Morton’s memorandum was first reported this week in The Houston Chronicle, which found that some immigrants in Texas had already seen their deportations canceled.
ICE officials said they arrived at the policy after conferring with immigration court officials. “This is not a backdoor amnesty,” said Beth Gibson, assistant deputy director of ICE. “It is really about efficient use of docket space and smart use of everybody’s scarce resources.”
The agency has deported a record number of 167,000 immigrants with criminal convictions in the past year, ICE officials said, an increase of about 43 percent over the previous year.
However, dissension in the ranks at ICE surfaced on June 25, when a local of the American Federation of Government Employees representing some enforcement and detention officers announced that it had taken a vote of no confidence in Mr. Morton.
The director and other senior ICE officials had “abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing United States immigration laws,” the local said in a news release, undertaking “reckless and misguided initiatives” while failing to alert Congress to the need for more manpower and funds for ICE.
Chris Crane, the president of the local, did not respond to an e-mail message on Thursday.
The national president of the federation, John Gage, said the union had not yet taken a position on the issues raised by the local. Mr. Gage said after several ICE locals had complained, he called a meeting next week of representatives of all of the federation’s locals that represent ICE employees.
“I really would like to get some facts,” Mr. Gage said Thursday. “Our ICE officers have real concerns, but there is conflicting information. If there is any increased risk to our people, we will be all over it,” he said.
The Administration's Phantom Immigration Enforcement Policy
According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department.
By Ira Mehlman
Published on 12/07/2009
The setting was not quite the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln with a “Mission Accomplished” banner as the backdrop, but it was the next best thing. Speaking at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on Nov. 13, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared victory over illegal immigration and announced that the Obama administration is ready to move forward with a mass amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens already living in the United States.
Arguing the Obama administration’s case for amnesty, Napolitano laid out what she described as the “three-legged stool” for immigration reform. As the administration views it, immigration reform must include “a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here.”
Acknowledging that a lack of confidence in the government’s ability and commitment to effectively enforce the immigration laws it passes proved to be the Waterloo of previous efforts to gain amnesty for illegal aliens, Napolitano was quick to reassure the American public that those concerns could be put to rest.
“For starters, the security of the Southwest border has been transformed from where it was in 2007,” stated the secretary. Not only is the border locked up tight, she continued, but the situation is well in-hand in the interior of the country as well. “We’ve also shown that the government is serious and strategic in its approach to enforcement by making changes in how we enforce the law in the interior of the country and at worksites…Furthermore, we’ve transformed worksite enforcement to truly address the demand side of illegal immigration.”
If Rep. Joe Wilson had been in attendance to hear Secretary Napolitano’s CAP speech he might well have had a few choice comments to offer. But since he wasn’t, we will have to rely on the Department of Homeland Security’s own data to assess the veracity of Napolitano’s claims.
According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department. DHS claims to have “effective control” over just 894 miles of border. That’s 894 out of 8,607 miles they are charged with protecting. As for the other 7,713 miles? DHS’s stated border security goal for FY 2010 is the same 894 miles.
The administration’s strategic approach to interior and worksite enforcement is just as chimerical as its strategy at the border, unless one considers shuffling paper to be a strategy. DHS data, released November 18, show that administrative arrests of immigration law violators fell by 68 percent between 2008 and 2009. The department also carried out 60 percent fewer arrests for criminal violations of immigration laws, 58 percent fewer criminal indictments, and won 63 percent fewer convictions.
While the official unemployment rate has climbed from 7.6 percent when President Obama took office in January to 10 percent today, the administration’s worksite enforcement strategy has amounted to a bureaucratic game of musical chairs. The administration has all but ended worksite enforcement actions and replaced them with paperwork audits. When the audits determine that illegal aliens are on the payroll, employers are given the opportunity to fire them with little or no adverse consequence to the company, while no action is taken to remove the illegal workers from the country. The illegal workers simply acquire a new set of fraudulent documents and move on to the next employer seeking workers willing to accept substandard wages.
In Janet Napolitano’s alternative reality a mere 10 percent of our borders under “effective control” and sharp declines in arrests and prosecutions of immigration lawbreakers may be construed as confidence builders, but it is hard to imagine that the American public is going to see it that way. If anything, the administration’s record has left the public less confident that promises of future immigration enforcement would be worth the government paper they’re printed on.
As Americans scrutinize the administration’s plans to overhaul immigration policy, they are likely to find little in the “three-legged stool” being offered that they like or trust. The first leg – enforcement – the administration has all but sawed off. The second – increased admissions of extended family members and workers – makes little sense with some 25 million Americans either unemployed or relegated to part-time work. And the third – amnesty for millions of illegal aliens – is anathema to their sense of justice and fair play.
As Americans well know, declaring “Mission Accomplished” and actually accomplishing a mission are two completely different things. When it comes to enforcing immigration laws, the only message the public is receiving from this administration is “Mission Aborted.”
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.


Amnesty In Disguise
Posted 08/10/2010 06:51 PM ET
Border: After suing Arizona to assert federal supremacy over states on immigration, it turns out that ICE, Washington's immigration cop on the beat, isn't enforcing the law at all. This is amnesty by another name.
Oh, what a hullabaloo the Justice Department made last month over Arizona's SB 1070, arguing before a federal district judge that the law must be struck down because the federal government has "pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters."
Arizona's effort was depicted as some sort of secessionist usurpation of federal prerogatives, despite the fact that SB 1070 mirrored federal law.
Incredibly, Judge Susan Bolton, an appointee of President Clinton, agreed and issued an injunction on those grounds.
In practical terms, her decision means that Arizona's 15,000 lawmen could not help federal agents enforce the law on America's largest and most dangerous immigrant-smuggling corridor.
Now it's obvious why: The Justice Department isn't interested in enforcing the law.
Last week, 259 representatives of the union that represents 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents handed down a unanimous vote of "no confidence" in ICE leaders, whose policies keep them from doing their job.
Based on those policies, agents can no longer arrest illegal immigrants even if they announce their status on a sandwich board.
According to a June 29 memo from ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton, ICE must now "prioritize the apprehension and removal of aliens who only pose a threat to national security and/or public safety, such as criminals and terrorists."
Given that all police agencies look for such targets, such a premise is absurd. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, after all, was arrested by a traffic cop, not a fancy anti-terror strike force, in 1995.
And aside from wondering why terrorists are being released at all across a border they'll have no trouble recrossing, Morton's policy effectively means no one is looking for illegal immigrants once they make it past the Border Patrol.
This is taking pick-and-choose law enforcement to an extreme and runs counter to best police practices, such as James Q. Wilson's "broken window" theory of criminology. This holds that enforcement against minor crimes in an area helps prevent an escalation into more serious crime.
ICE's Morton claims the agency has limited resources, so it can deport only 400,000 illegal immigrants a year. From a government agency with a $2.6 billion detention and removal budget, that comes to about $6,500 per deportee, a de facto statement of government inefficiency and waste. And it affects only 4% of all illegal border-crossers.