Friday, August 31, 2007

The New Frontier: Money Made at the Border

Photo: Border Patrol Agent at the Canadian Border

Who says immigrants are costing the U.S. lots of money? Its actually quite the opposite. Companies and large corporations are making a fortune providing services and technology to the U.S. government to help protect "the frontier."
Its a money maker.

Some people are calling it "the immigration industrial complex."

The Border Boondoggle
By Andrew Cockburn
Washington Post
Sunday, September 2, 2007; Page B01

The U.S. Border Patrol has just unveiled a total makeover of its traditional uniform. Shiny badges and other emblems of law enforcement are out. Our frontier troops will now have a look more in keeping with their role as frontier troops, with lightweight fatigues and better weapons. Agent Ramon Ramirez told the Associated Press that the new garb looks more military, "like you mean business."

When it comes to frontier security, business is booming all over.

In Stafford County, Va., a 50-man company called McQ has started work on a $100,000 contract to develop a "smart rock" for the Department of Homeland Security. McQ, whose motto is "Tough sensors for an insensitive planet," says that its rocks, embedded with acoustic and motions sensors, will be able to detect illegal immigrants and other miscreants sneaking across our borders.

The firm expects its contract for developing the rocks to grow to $1 million by fall -- a sure sign that while immigration "reform" bills may come and go, the threat of illegal immigration will continue to expand. This is a certainty not because of the state of the Mexican economy or because of government laxity here, but because border control is now an integral part of the military-industrial national security system, which has a long history of profiteering from purported dangers to our safety.

...Now, however, we are moving into an era of serious money, set to surpass previous border-control initiatives by a wide margin. All those extra Border Patrol officers may be expensive, but as any general or admiral worth his salt will tell you, it's technology -- the more complex and "state of the art," the better -- that really runs up the bills and brings home the pork.

This trend is typified by the soaring surveillance towers, not to mention soaring cost, of SBInet (as in Safe Border Initiative), a high-technology surveillance system managed by Boeing. It's being marketed as a "virtual fence" that will detect intruders from Mexico and ultimately Canada. The fence employs radar, cameras, acoustic and other surveillance technology sensors. These are all linked by a complex computer network that theoretically will enable agents in some distant command post to monitor any and all illegal incursions and take appropriate action, including broadcasting high-volume warnings from tower-mounted loudspeakers.

One useful indication of where all this is headed can be found in the Army's ongoing Future Combat Systems program, also managed by Boeing. This $168 billion extravaganza of computers, sensors and robots is theoretically able to automatically detect and target battlefield threats, making it so deadly to a foe, its proponents claim, that it may be possible to dispense with armor on U.S. military vehicles.

Conceptually and in other ways, FCS and SBInet have much in common. Both are based on the notion that technology can confer total awareness of a situation, leading to the automatic destruction of an enemy tank or the apprehension of a would-be tomato picker sidling across the border...

SBInet...was endorsed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in 2005. The southern portion is projected to cost $7.6 billion by 2011. But Richard L. Skinner, DHS's inspector general, has reported that the cost could reach $30 billion. (Old Pentagon hands refer to this disparity between present and future costs as "front loading.") Boeing, the prime contractor, is largely being left to itself to define the program objectives. As the Government Accountability Office delicately reported earlier this year, the project's budget "lacked specificity" on "anticipated costs" and "expected mission outcomes," meaning that DHS has no idea what it will cost or what it will do...

For complete article:

Photo: Reuters

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More On Denouncing No-Match SS Letters

Planned Crackdown on Immigrants Denounced
By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 30, 2007; Page A04

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO this week separately assailed a new White House-backed crackdown on illegal immigration, warning of massive disruptions to the economy and headaches for U.S. citizens if the proposal goes ahead as planned in the coming days.

The Bush administration intends to begin writing to 140,000 employers on Tuesday regarding suspect Social Security numbers used by an estimated 8.7 million workers, as a way of pressuring them to fire illegal immigrants. President Bush disclosed the plan three weeks ago as part of a repackaged, 26-point enforcement program after Congress failed to overhaul U.S. immigration laws this summer...

But leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of trade groups representing the politically influential construction, lodging, farming, meatpacking, restaurant, retail and service industries appealed on Monday to the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to postpone the plan's implementation for six months.

Raising the possibility of plant closings, autumn-harvest interruptions and other destabilizing consequences for the U.S. economy, 50 business organization members of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition signed a letter warning of "uncertainties, disruptions, and dislocations throughout broad swaths of the workforce," as well as discrimination against Hispanic and immigrant workers...

for complete article:

Jefferson's Vision and a Malevolent Virginia GOP

There is a small announcement just below to the right of the article announcing the new bill in the Virginia Legislature presented by state Republicans that would keep all undocumented students from attending college. It shows an image of the top left corner of the Jefferson Memorial. The announcement says "JEFFERSON'S VISION, in 1785 the cornerstone for the Virginia Capital was laid.."

How ironic that Jefferson's Vision accompanies an article that describes a law that will take away the basic right of education for undocumented college students. Maybe its there to remind everyone that basic rights are only for a select few in this country.

What a way to start the semester.


Va. Republican Bill Would Bar Illegal Immigrants From College
By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 30, 2007; Page A01

RICHMOND, Aug. 29 -- Virginia Republicans announced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit public colleges and universities from accepting illegal immigrants even if they attended a public high school and were brought to the United States at an early age by their parents.

...Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, said the House would focus on the proposal outlined Wednesday because the GOP leadership is confident it would be upheld in court.

But the issue of denying a public college education to an illegal immigrant will probably be controversial.

...In past sessions, the House of Delegates and more moderate Senate have failed to agree on proposals to deny in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.

Howell and Stosch say they are ready to go much further.

Under the GOP proposal, a public college such as Virginia Tech or George Mason University would have to prove an applicant is a legal resident or has a valid student visa.

Northern Virginia Community College allows the admission of illegal immigrants, but they must pay out-of-state tuition.

But most four-year colleges prohibit illegal immigrants, advocates and college officials said. "We don't enroll illegal aliens," said Jeff Hanna, a spokesman for the University of Virginia. "A student who applies and is accepted must produce documentation." In 2004, a federal judge in Alexandria upheld the right of U-Va. and six other Virginia colleges and universities to deny admission to illegal immigrants. The suit was brought by illegal immigrants upset that they were being denied entry.

O'Brien couldn't present any evidence Wednesday that illegal immigrants are gaining access to Virginia's colleges.

But GOP leaders offered statistics showing that 36 percent of applicants to a four-year public college in Virginia were rejected last year. They couldn't say how many of those denials occurred because the applicants weren't academically qualified.

In some cases, students at Virginia public schools do not have legal status -- even though their younger siblings do -- because they were brought into the country at a young age by their parents. In those circustances, O'Brien said, it would be up to "the parents of that child to seek legal presence for that child."

for complete article:


ACLU & AFL-CIO File Suit Against No-Match SS Law

Statue of Liberty during its assembly process

With the No-Match Social Security Letter law about to go into effect, the ACLU and the AFL CIO, along with other organizations have filed suit against the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. Lets hope the Judge handling the case is not a hard nosed Bushie. If the new rule is not stopped, the U.S. could see chaos in a few days.


Immigrant-rights groups sue to block U.S. crackdown

Advocates say a plan to target workers whose names don't match Social Security numbers will result in discrimination and wrongful firings.
By Anna Gorman and Nicole Gaouette
Los Angeles Times
August 30, 2007

A coalition of labor and immigrant rights groups sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday to block the agency's planned crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, contends that the rules would lead to mass firings of workers who are U.S. citizens and to discrimination against employees who look or sound foreign. It also names the Social Security Administration as a defendant.

The suit asks for a court order preventing the federal government from enacting the changes, which are part of a blitz of immigration enforcement actions announced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this month.

An agency spokesman said that the lawsuit was "completely without merit" and that the agency would fight it "vigorously."

Social Security plans to begin sending so-called no-match letters Tuesday to companies where employees' names do not match their Social Security numbers. Initially, about 15,000 letters will be sent out each week for eight to 10 weeks, potentially affecting millions of workers.

Chertoff has said that businesses that don't act on the letters within 90 days could face fines.

The rules are likely to reduce employment in the construction, janitorial and landscaping industries, analysts have said, and leave farmers without workers to pick crops, restaurants without cooks and dishwashers and small businesses without a ready source of casual labor.

The coalition of plaintiffs, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the AFL-CIO, said the changes would have a devastating effect on legal workers because the Social Security database is full of errors. Mistakes can occur, for example, if someone gets married or divorced but does not report a name change to Social Security.

"Tens of thousands of workers are going to lose their jobs right before the holidays," said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the plaintiffs.

Labor groups also say they believe employers will use the no-match letters to exploit workers or to retaliate against those who are trying to organize into unions.

"Employers have used no-match letters in the past to basically quash worker organizing," said Ana Avendaño, director of the AFL-CIO's immigrant worker program.

"The Bush administration is giving unscrupulous employers another union-busting tool."

Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke defended the regulation Wednesday, saying that employers were responsible for ensuring that their workers were authorized and that employers had sufficient time under the rule to deal with no-match letters. Those who disregard the letters "should expect serious consequences," he said.

"This lawsuit is an obvious attempt to impede the department's ability to enforce our immigration laws," Knocke said.

The regulations come after Congress failed to reach a compromise on comprehensive immigration legislation.

Business associations also have expressed concerns about the regulations and the accuracy of the Social Security database. In a letter dated Monday, dozens of business groups -- including the National Restaurant Assn. and the Associated General Contractors of America -- asked Chertoff and the Social Security commissioner to delay implementation for six months.

"Employers will be overwhelmed with paperwork as the government seeks to make employers responsible for the decades-old administrative problems," the letter read. "The regulation also jeopardizes vital U.S. industries and the U.S. economy as a whole by needlessly creating uncertainties, disruptions and dislocations throughout broad swaths of the workforce."

Knocke said the government expected some resistance.

"Still, we're going to restore public credibility on enforcement," he said.

The Homeland Security Department will face challenges enforcing the regulation because Social Security is restricted from sharing certain information. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) is expected to introduce a bill in coming weeks that would allow for more information sharing.

Immigrant-rights groups said Wednesday that the employer enforcement wouldn't result in the deportation of millions of undocumented workers. Employers either will fire them and hire a new batch of illegal immigrant workers -- or they will simply take the workers off the books and force them further underground.

"It is really not effective immigration enforcement," Avendaño said. "It's just smoke and mirrors.",1,6267261.story


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DREAM ACT Juan Starts College

Teen facing deportation starts college
Posted on Wed, Aug. 29, 2007
Miami Herald

While facing deportation proceedings last month, Juan Gomez doubted he would ever attend college in the United States.

But on Wednesday morning, the 18-year-old Killian grad arrived on Miami Dade College's Kendall campus, smiling and ready to get to work.

He was mobbed by news cameras.

Despite the cheerful atmosphere on his first day of school, Gomez's future remains in limbo. The clock is ticking on the 45-day stay of deportation allowing him and his family to remain in the country.

Gomez and his older brother Alex, both Colombian natives, were brought to South Florida as toddlers. Their parents overstayed their short-term visas, allowing the boys to grow up in South Florida. Juan Gomez was a standout student. Alex Gomez excelled in athletics.

In July, immigration agents seized the boys and their parents from their Kendall home and began their deportation proceedings.

But the boys' teenage friends rallied to stave off their removal. The effort caught the attention of Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who, in early August, introduced a private bill on the boys' behalf.

Immigration officials have granted the family a 45-day stay of deportation while Congress considers the proposed legislation.

The deadline is Sept. 14...

for complete article:

Chertoff Eager to Be Attorney General - Heaven Help Us

DHS Michael Chertoff with Texas Governor Rick Perry

The New York Times presents a photograph of Alberto Gonzalez at an event to commemorate Katrina -- Albert is sitting alone, with his eyes closed. Maybe he is thinking about the nightmare that would occur if Chertoff became Attorney General. Albert only pressed for breaking the Geneva Convention, pushed the death penalty and had lots of people in the Justice department fired.

But Chertoff would do much worse. On one of his "hunches" he could imagine that he needs to change policy and try to deport all the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. He sort of looks like the Emporer in Star Wars, only skinnier.

Pardon my concern, but I have a hunch he would make a very nasty Attorney General.
Democrats Say They Will Press Gonzales Inquiries
New York Times
Published: August 29, 2007

...The White House said it would move quickly to find a replacement for Mr. Gonzales. A spokesman would not confirm the names of candidates under consideration.

Several names continued to circulate on Tuesday on Capitol Hill and within the department, including those of Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security and a former senior Justice Department prosecutor; Theodore B. Olson, who was solicitor general earlier in the Bush administration; and Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general.

Colleagues said Mr. Chertoff was especially eager for the appointment. Although lawmakers saw him as a leading candidate, several Democrats suggested he would come under unflattering scrutiny if nominated because of his role in the government’s initially disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina two years ago and his involvement at the Justice Department in legal issues related to interrogation of terror suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“There would be a lot of careful questioning of Chertoff,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee. “There is not confidence among Democrats that he has an instinctive desire to side with the rule of law over politics.”

Mr. Chertoff, meeting with local officials in Mobile, Ala., on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, was evasive on Tuesday when asked about speculation that he was being considered as Mr. Gonzales’s replacement.

“The president will make the decisions he will make and will make any announcement when he chooses to do so,” Mr. Chertoff said. “I think I have given all the answer I am going to give as far as press speculation goes on who will fill that job..."

For complete article:


Finally Admitting to Xenophobia

The mayor and city council of Manassa's park are stating that the current anti-immigration movement in Prince William County consists of "vigilante actions against illegal immigrants." The Washington Post editorial even used the words xenophobia and nativism. Few newspaper commentaries do this.

Is the United States xenophobic? Are we nativists.... I believe many of us are... some with more virulent traits than others. Maybe the more we admit to what we really are, the sooner the viligante groups will die down and go away.

How many of the middle class good-thinking liberals really want the U.S. to become mostly Latino? They may be supporting human rights for immigrants, and like Mexican food.. but do they really want their home country to change? If you are one of these people, if you really care about immigrant human rights, write to your Congressman and Senator, talk to all your friends and explain to them that undocumented immigrants really do pay taxes, and that using the word "illegal" is offensive (few people seem to be aware of that). Better yet, read a little about globalization and migrating labor pools - spread around what you learned... you'll be surprised that people will really listen.

Washington Post
In Manassas Park, Sanity
Taking a stand against illegal-immigrant bashing
Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Page A16

THE LITTLE town of Manassas Park is an unassuming place -- not the sort of town you'd necessarily expect to take a courageous stand on illegal immigration. Yet that's exactly what it's done.

...Manassas Park is bounded on all sides by Prince William County, which has lately joined the nationwide rush to hound illegal immigrants by denying them public services and siccing the police on them in hopes of driving them away. Prince William's neighbor to the north, Loudoun County, has done the same. But Manassas Park, its diminutive size notwithstanding, is refusing to be bullied into joining in the immigrant-bashing.

Instead, the City Council has taken a stance opposing the nativist fever all around. The mayor, Frank Jones, and council members rejected what they characterized as vigilante actions against illegal immigrants. The danger, several said, was that all Hispanics would be tarred with the brush of intolerance and that the line between stalking illegal immigrants and whipping up a general hatred against Hispanics would blur. In a community where longtime residents know most of their Hispanic neighbors as good citizens, there was little sentiment for a xenophobic crusade.

For complete article:


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Now That Fredo is Gone

Fredo finally let go, we think. Hard to tell at this point if it was his decision or his boss. Interesting that Rove and Gonzalez resigned just a few days apart. Are they waiting for something to happen?

Most importantly- lets hope that Bush does not name Chertoff for Attorney General. Today on NPR there was speculation that Bush would make an appointment while Congress is in recess - like he did with Bolton at the United Nations.

Chertoff is a disturbing character. He did badly with Katrina, and has acted like a tyrant in the Homeland Security Department. Would that be any improvement over Gonzalez?

What would be worrisome is if Chertoff indeed gets appointed and he intensifies raids and harrassment of undocumented immigrants when he is A.G. - especially that he now hanging around with Senator Jeff Sessions.

5 Top Contenders for Attorney General
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; 7:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- Moving quickly to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, White House officials are considering five names that "have kind of emerged" as possible candidates to take over the beleaguered Justice Department, according to a senior Bush administration official...

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak more openly about the process declined to identify the five contenders who were being looked at "pretty seriously."
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, also mentioned as a candidate, said little Tuesday during a to Mobile, Ala., about whether he may succeed Gonzales, instead praising the attorney general as "a dedicated public servant and a good friend."

Accompanying Chertoff was Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who said "I know the president would like to have him as attorney general and I know he would like to have him as head of DHS...

for complete article:"

photo: Chertoff and Gonzalez

ICE Raid in Ohio

Why would ICE need 300 agents, plus police from three different places to arrest 160 people? Since the article doesn't mention how many police officers... we really don't know, but they already had 2 to 1... why would they need more.

Seems like the raids arer more like fun for ICE. "The law has to be followed" as they say - but this is not about the law.

It reminds me of Vick with his dog fighting pals. How about they might be doing this for fun?

Immigration Raid at Ohio Poultry Plant
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; 5:50 PM

FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- About 160 illegal immigrants were arrested in a raid Tuesday at a poultry processing plant, authorities said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized documents and other materials at the Koch Foods plant in southwest Ohio and at Koch Foods Inc.'s Chicago-area headquarters, said Brian Moskowitz, an agent in charge of ICE enforcement for Ohio and Michigan.

...Moskowitz said most of the illegal immigrants are believed to be from Mexico, other Latin American countries and Africa. ICE spokesman Marc Raimondi said deportation proceedings will begin immediately in most cases.

Some 300 ICE agents were supported in the raid by Butler County, Fairfield and West Chester police.

For complete article:


Over 10,000 DREAM ACT College Students in Texas

Looking for information on the DREAM ACT population, I contacted the office of State Senator Rick Noriega to ask if they had the most recent statistics on DREAM ACT students. The latest figures are over 10,000 undocumented students in Texas colleges and universities.

Boycott in Prince William County Virginia

Sign at Primero Mercado in Prince William County

Latinos Launch Economic Boycott
Resolution Leads Many to Shop Outside County
By Pamela Constable
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; Page B06

Maria Rivera, a hotel maid from Woodbridge, drove her two daughters to Lorton last weekend to buy school supplies. Juan Padilla, who owns a tropical-themed restaurant in Manassas, purchased all his cooking ingredients yesterday in Fairfax County.

On the first day of a one-week boycott called by immigrant groups in Prince William County, both of these county residents said they were shopping elsewhere to send a message that Latino immigrants are an important, unified economic force and can't be intimidated...

The boycott has both galvanized and divided the county's large Latino population, which has tripled in the past decade and is now estimated at 30,000. One group, Mexicans Without Borders, hopes economic pressure will stop the measure. Another, headed by several Latino businessmen, opposes the boycott and seeks peaceful negotiations with county leaders.

There was no way to determine yesterday how many immigrants had observed the opening day of the boycott, which targeted all non-immigrant-owned businesses, including such chains as Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Giant supermarket as well as gas stations and convenience stores.

Boycott organizers said they had placed more than 350 of the green posters in businesses throughout the county, signifying that the store managers or owners are sympathetic -- or at least do not want to lose their immigrant customers.

A demonstration at Potomac Mills shopping center drew fewer than 100 people, who stood under a broiling afternoon sun yesterday and held aloft placards calling for immigrant rights. Some passing drivers honked in support; others swore or made insulting gestures...

[Maria Rivera}...attended the demonstration at Potomac Mills, said she was also a legal resident but was angry at the proposals aimed at driving out illegal immigrants. She said she decided to participate after hearing about the boycott through her church.

"They don't want our children in the schools. They don't want people renting to immigrants. They want to ask for families' ID cards in parks. This is wrong, and we do not accept it," she said.

For complete article:

Photo: By Michael Williamson. Prince William County Boycott

Monday, August 27, 2007

ICE Still Trying to Deport Parents of Houston Soldier Killed in Iraq in 2004

Pfc. Armando Soriano

"Din and Venom" Over Immigration Reform Overshadows Individual Cases

Armando Soriano grew up in Houston. He died in Iraq on February 1, 2004. Since then ICE has continued to process deportation proceedings against his parents, even though the U.S. government allowed Soriano's family to apply for residency after he was killed.

What kind of inconsistency creates this type of problem? The stories of Soriano and Jimenez should be broadcast everywhere. Everyone needs to know what ICE is doing - Perhaps this will mobilize us as a people to stop this brutality.


From the Military Times:

February 1, 2004. Army Pfc. Armando Soriano, 20, of Houston; assigned to the howitzer battery, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed while traveling in a two-vehicle convoy on a supply route Feb. 1 when weather conditions caused his vehicle to slide off the road and roll over in Haditha, Iraq.


Respecting Our Troops
The cases of Spec. Jimenez and Pfc. Soriano
Washington Post Editorial
Sunday, August 26, 2007; Page B06

AMID THE din and venom of the debate over illegal immigration, the cases of Spec. Alex R. Jimenez of Lawrence, Mass., and Pfc. Armando Soriano of Houston deserve notice. Spec. Jimenez, of the 10th Mountain Division, disappeared in May when his Army convoy was attacked south of Baghdad. Pfc. Soriano, of the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, died three years ago when his vehicle rolled off the road in Iraq. The two men are missed and mourned by friends and family, in both cases including illegal immigrants who have faced the threat of deportation...

Pfc. Soriano, who was born in the United States, his father, a Mexican national who entered the country illegally, continues to face deportation proceedings despite the government's decision to allow Pfc. Soriano's relatives to apply for green cards following his death

Their cases are unusual but hardly unique. An estimated 68,000 active-duty military personnel were born in foreign countries, and 8,000 others enlist every year, a third of them Mexican or Central American. Nearly half of them are not citizens of the United States. Although undocumented immigrants are not legally eligible for service in the U.S. armed forces, there are numerous instances of some who used phony green cards to enlist. No one knows how many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have relatives who lack papers, but given that 12 million such people are in the country, it is probably not insubstantial. In some parts of immigrant-rich communities like Los Angeles, large percentages of those who enlist in the military are foreign-born residents of the United States...


this blog entry from Migra Matters

Spec. Alex Jimenez and wife Yaderlin Hiraldo

...The fate of the two other missing servicemen – Alex R. Jimenez, a 25-year-old specialist from Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Byron R. Fouty, of Waterford, Michigan, a 19-year-old private who had been in Iraq only a few weeks, - is still unknown.(1)

It's against this backdrop that we now learn that Jimenez's wife, Yaderlin, whom he married in 2004, is facing deportation.

Yaderlin Hiraldo, is a native of the Dominican Republican who first met her husband during his childhood visits to the island, but according to her attorney, Matthew Kolken, the 22 year old had entered the U.S. illegally prior to marrying him. It was when he requested a green card and legal residence status for her, that authorities were first alerted to her situation.

Despite Spec. Jimenez's status as a US citizen and active duty serviceman, the fact the Yaderlin had entered illegally meant that she would now have to return home and wait ten years before reapplying.

"I can't imagine a bigger injustice than that, to be deporting someone's wife who is fighting and possibly dying for our country," said Kolken in an interview with a local TV.

An immigration judge has put a temporary stop to the proceedings since Spec. Jimenez was reported missing. The soldier's wife is now living with family members in Pennsylvania...

Photo of Jimenez from Migra Matters


For complete Washington Post article:

Photo of Soriano:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Virginia Grants In-State Tuition to Students With "Temporary Protected Status"

Robert Templin, Northern VA Community College President

The State of Virginia, who generally is so unhospitable to immigrants, granted in-state tuition to Ernesto Galeas of Fairfax County. He is in the U.S. on "Temporary Protected Status." Ernesto had tried to enroll multiple times but was told he would have to pay out of state tuition.

While this decision does not provide in-tuition for Virginia's undocumented college students, it is at least a step in right direction for immigrant rights.

Immigrant students get tuition, aid break

Media General News Service
Potomac News
Friday, August 24, 2007

Virginia immigrant students with temporary protected status are cheering a decision that allows them to establish in-state residence and qualify for lower tuition rates and state financial aid.

"I'm happy, and I have a feeling of satisfaction," said Ernesto Galeas of Burke in Fairfax County, a Salvadoran immigrant who will attend Northern Virginia Community College as an in-state student. He will save about $1,700 this semester, he said.

What is temporary protected status, anyway?

Protected status is given to foreign nationals residing in the United States whose homeland conditions are recognized by the U.S. government as being temporarily unsafe or overly dangerous for them to return.

What was the problem?

Until now, students such as Galeas living in Virginia were considered out-of-state because their immigration status was interpreted as being temporary without the intent to stay in the country.

Protected-status students had to pay out-of-state tuition, which is double or triple what in-state students are charged. That priced many students out of a chance to go to college, some advocates say.

What changed?

In July, the attorney general's office notified the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia that its immigration counsel had advised the council that students with protected status can establish Virginia residence.

What's the reaction in the immigrant community?

"That is good news," said Luis Parada, an attorney with the Washington law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae who has successfully helped some protected-status students appeal for an in-state classification at Northern Virginia Community College.

"I have to give credit to the attorney general's office and [the state council] for conducting an in-depth legal analysis of the situation," Parada said.

How many people are affected?

That's almost impossible to say. Immigrants with protected status do not have to notify the Department of Homeland Security that they are enrolled in college, so the government doesn't have data on how many students the policy change affects. Nationwide, about 318,000 people of all ages have temporary protected status.

So, do protected-status students automatically qualify for in-state tuition and fees?

No, according to Kathleen Kincheloe, spokeswoman for the state council. They have to prove they live in Virginia just as any other student does, she said.

The state council will provide the guidelines, but colleges will have the ultimate decision whether to classify protected-status students as in-state residents.

What happened in Galeas' case?

Galeas came to Fairfax County in 2000 from El Salvador. The federal government granted him protected status a year later.

"One of the basic needs to grow and improve yourself is education," he said.

Galeas, 28, works as Laborers' International Union of North America representative in Local Union 11. He applied to Northern Virginia Community College in the spring to pursue a political science degree, but he was classified as an out-of-state student.

In his appeal, he presented four years of income-tax filings, among other documents, as evidence of Virginia residence. Because of the new ruling, the college reclassified him as an in-state student in July.

What's the view from the top?

Robert G. Templin Jr., president of Northern Virginia Community College, said the change was long overdue.

He said the college last year received applications from about 100 protected-status students, but most could not enroll because they couldn't afford out-of-state tuition.

"SCHEV and the attorney general recognized that these young people are legally in the country, some for a decade or more, have attended school while their families pay taxes, but were denied in-state tuition, and now with this ruling they will pay in-state tuition," Templin said.

Juan Antonio Lizama is a staff writer for Media General's Richmond Times-Dispatch.


Temporary Immigrants Granted In-State Tuition
NVCC Student's Challenge Prompts State Ruling
By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2007; Page C11

Ernesto Galeas, a Salvadoran immigrant, has lived in Virginia for seven years and paid taxes to the state for five. So he was stunned this spring when Northern Virginia Community College denied him in-state tuition and slapped him with a $2,400 bill -- about three times as high as he expected.

The reason, Galeas was told: Immigrants with temporary protected status, which provides a permit to live and work in the United States, are ineligible for the tuition break even if they meet every other requirement.
Galeas fought the decision and got the college and the state's top lawyers to change their minds. As of last month, all Virginia college students with the permit, called TPS, are eligible for the tuition break, officials said.

"This marked a precedent for future students," Galeas said...

Although many states deny in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and those whose visas do not grant long-term stays, such as tourists or foreign students, they often grant it to temporary immigrant workers who meet all other requirements. But most states, including Maryland, do not mention TPS in their guidelines, said Luis Parada, a District-based lawyer who took Galeas's case free of charge.

Virginia's guidelines did not address TPS, said Lee Andes, assistant director for financial aid at the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia. But the Virginia attorney general's office previously interpreted TPS holders as ineligible because their immigration status did not reflect an "intent to remain" in the state, Andes said.

...the change has no implications for illegal immigrants. But it will make a huge difference for TPS holders, he said.

"Denying a student the opportunity to go to college is one of the most unfair and counterproductive things we as a society can do, especially in what should have been a clear-cut case like students with TPS," Parada said. "For a lot of the students, having to pay three times the amount of tuition is the difference between being able to attend college or not."

Galeas said he is among those students. He immigrated illegally in 2000 and was granted TPS the next year...

For complete article:

Photo: Robert Templin, Northern VA Community College President.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

5 to 10 BILLION a Year is Paid in Taxes by Undocumented Immigrants

Just a Reminder

Tamar Jacoby who is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute stated in her op-ed piece in the LA Times that:

"most immigrants with fake papers pay taxes -- $5 billion to $10 billion a year in Social Security taxes"

Just to let you know, the Manhattan Institute is not some place full of left wing intellectuals. Its known to be a conservative institution.

Sometimes you have to repeat something over and over again before people actually hear you.

The Social Security No-Match Letter and the Disaster it Brings

How critical can an average citizen be of a U.S. Senator? Is there any protocol for this? The current situation with the SSA no-match letters is a disaster about to hit America. Our Senators created this ramp onto the void. If you watched the senate hearing you might have been disgusted to hear the insulting language of a number of our senators. One of them was Jeff Sessions, Republican from Alabama. He represented the Old South very well, down to his Jim Crow attitudes towards Mexicans. Maybe he thinks Alabama will do fine without its immigrants. Obviously he doesn't have a clue to what will happen in California.

How can I politely say that this man that he has helped destroy the lives of thousands of people with his encouragement of an indiscriminate "enforce immigration law" policy. Sessions, with his adolescent way of speaking, looked like an older Tom Sawyer with a suit on and his hands in his pockets, looked bashful and innocent while he spoke extremely harsh words towards undocumented immigrants. When he was speaking on the senate floor he seemed to be playing the role of one of the kids in the old tv show "Our Gang." Innocence can be a mask for cynicism.

I'm glad I'm not driving through Alabama anytime soon. If I do I'll be sure to take my passport. I might get stopped while driving Mexican.

California without a Mexican

Workplace enforcement without immigration reform will cripple the economy -- and it will be Joe Public's fault.
By Tamar Jacoby
August 25, 2007
Los Angeles Times

The 2004 film "A Day Without a Mexican" was a political satire: an exaggerated fantasy about what would happen in California if all the immigrant workers suddenly disappeared. But now it seems that life may imitate art. Federal immigration authorities are readying a new enforcement tool that could indeed, if applied effectively, all but cripple the California economy.

A new fence? A massive influx of Border Patrol agents? A fleet of airborne drones? No. The new weapon is a simple two-page letter that will go out next month to companies whose employees' names and Social Security numbers do not match those on record at the Social Security Administration.

What makes these letters so potent? The SSA has been sending similar notices for years, but in the past, as long as a company had asked to see a worker's papers and filled out the proper forms, it was off the hook. Now the government is demanding that unauthorized employees be fired and threatening legal action if they aren't. This is expected to trigger widespread layoffs -- self-policing by millions of small and medium-sized businesses in California and other states.

The new measure is popular with the public -- a recent Rasmussen poll found eight in 10 Americans support it -- and understandably so. Voters want to get control of immigration. They're particularly keen to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. And after years of lax enforcement, they're pleasantly surprised to see the authorities getting tough.

The only problem: Much as we need better enforcement, on the border and in the workplace, that's only half the answer. And without the other half -- better, more realistic immigration laws -- it will wreak havoc.

We've already had a preview of the likely consequences, and not just at the movies. For several years now, tougher border enforcement, plus competition from higher-paying hospitality and construction jobs, have deprived farmers in California and other states of the foreign workers they need to plant and harvest their crops.

The crisis peaks every year in August and September, and the photos start showing up in the newspapers: piles of rotting pears, strawberry plants choked by weeds, unpicked cucumbers grown to monstrous sizes and melons oozing in the fields.

Not even the least skilled, least educated Americans want to work in agriculture these days. More than 70% of U.S. farmworkers are estimated to be illegal immigrants. And if the SSA's no-match letters work -- if employers act on them as expected -- that could drive fruit and vegetable farming out of the United States, putting California's $30-billion-a-year industry at risk.

Agriculture would be just the beginning. According to economists, every farm job sustains three or four others -- at food processing plants, agricultural supply firms, companies that build trucks and other farm machinery -- many of them jobs held by native-born workers. And no-match letters won't go just to farmers. Hotels, restaurants, construction firms, landscaping contractors and healthcare services will get them too.

Those industries can't leave the United States. But they can slow -- slow dramatically -- and downsize. And imagine California "without a Mexican" a year or two from now: crumbling roads, understaffed hospitals, unbuilt classrooms and more.

This economic crunch could have a silver lining -- it might grab the public's attention and generate an outcry for better laws. Millions of Americans who think we don't need immigrant workers might wise up. Politicians who opposed immigration reform this year or last might have a change of heart. And Congress might overhaul the system in 2009, if not before, combining enhanced enforcement with legal ways for U.S. employers to hire foreign workers. That's the other half of the combination we need. And if a no-match crackdown goads us in that direction, the short-term economic pain might be worth it.

But what if, instead of choking the economy, the no-match blitz only drives more of it underground? Some companies will fire their illegal workers and downsize or move. Others will fire and then rehire them -- more deviously or completely off the books. Shady labor contractors will proliferate. Identity theft will skyrocket. Employers who have tried to play by the rules -- asking to see workers' papers, filling out the required forms -- will suffer, while those who deliberately flout the law will thrive and multiply.

The unintended consequences: more underground hiring, more sub-market wages, more mistreatment of immigrants, less tax revenue (most immigrants with fake papers pay taxes -- $5 billion to $10 billion a year in Social Security taxes) and a less regulated, more dangerous workplace for everyone.

Whose fault will this be? Not the feds -- it's their job to enforce immigration law, a job they've neglected for far too long. Some of the blame will lie with Congress, which could have changed the law, making it possible for employers to legally hire the workers they need. But in the end, the mess will be of our own making -- we the skeptical public who signaled to policymakers in May and June that we didn't trust them to rewrite the immigration code.

We told them to enforce existing law without changes, and that's what we're about to get. The question is what we'll do when that doesn't work and whether we can learn from our mistake.

Tamar Jacoby is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.,0,1578659.story?coll=la-home-commentary

Cartoon of Senator Jeff Sessions from the National Review:

Immigrant Workers Strike in New York City

30 Immigrants On Bikes Deliver A Labor Revolt
N.Y. Workers Gain Allies in Protest of Wages, Conditions
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 25, 2007; Page A01

NEW YORK -- The deliverymen of Saigon Grill labored for years at the bottom of Manhattan's food chain. Biking swiftly down the avenues in biting cold and searing heat, they schlepped up high-rises and walk-ups with bags of steaming noodles and shrimp fried rice.

Then they surprised their bosses -- and others in this seen-it-all town -- by serving up something unexpected: a revolt.

The 30 men -- all immigrants, including undocumented workers frustrated with the poor conditions and low wages that are often a fact of life in America's underground economy -- banded together in an effort to unionize. They demanded an end to what they say were salaries less than half the minimum wage, and to penalties that included $20 fines for late deliveries and $50 for shutting the restaurant's glass doors with a bang.

So far, hundreds of deliverymen, waiters, cooks and busboys from across New York have joined their picket lines in shows of solidarity. Angry deliverymen have slapped at least five other restaurants here with similar lawsuits. Immigrants laboring in other types of restaurant jobs have filed several more, targeting small takeout operations and upscale establishments such as Devi, the critically acclaimed Manhattan eatery.

"We have been going under the assumption that because we have no papers, we were powerless -- but we were wrong," Ke, a 35-year-old Chinese immigrant and former Saigon Grill deliveryman, said through an interpreter during a protest last week at the restaurant's fashionable Union Square branch. As with others here, Ke requested that his surname be withheld because he is undocumented. "We have discovered that we have the power to act."...

For complete article:

Photo: Delivery man on a bicycle

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Open Letter to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

To the Honorable
Congresswoman Jackson Lee;

We are aware and thankful of your position on immigrant rights and remember your supportive presence during the pro-immigration gathering March 25, 2006 and during the Congressional Hearing on immigration in Houston on August 16, 2006. Some of us were present on May 18, 2007 in Washington when you asked the DREAM ACT students if they found importance in being patriotic Americans.

You have been with us all along. Please go the last round; consider becoming a co-sponsor of the DREAM ACT and encourage your colleagues who have not yet made a committment to support the passage of the DREAM ACT



photo: United We DREAM student coalition

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do a Little Thinking

My father used to say that I should "do a little thinking" when he wanted me to figure something out for myself. This comes to mind as I see a gooey article from the Arizona Republic that tells us John MCain loves Mexican food and Michael Bloomberg thinks Latinos are nice people.

The following is something I wrote in response to reading about how Latinos also want the American Dream. Of course we do. Its unfortunate that many work so hard and can't get there...

-----Of the anti-immigrant crowd, the Minute Men are the loudest and seemingly least rational. Then there are the nice people who just love Mexican food but think undocumented students shouldn't go to college with in-state tuition because "they don't pay taxes."

The Tax issue has been stated over and over again, clarified, corrected, insisted upon, yet the nation still wants to believe that undocumented immigrants don't pay taxes. As for medical care, at a Congressional Hearing in 2006 I was present when the Harris County Judge stated that the pressure on the county's medical system was NOT from immigrants,but from all the U.S. citizens that are not insured.

The information is out there folks. Unfortunately the entertainer/tv journalist Lou Dobbs yells all the wrong statistics in our face day after day. Maybe people believe him because he speaks so loud. Although you would have to be locked in a cave not to know that a number of well respected organizations have called him on his inflamatory accusations about immigrants bringing tuberculosis and other diseases - He has been proven wrong. Yet he refuses to apologize and continues on his tirade.

It is understandable that many people in the U.S. are angry and feeling that they are losing out on the American Dream. There is also so much pressure from above- our presidential administration is the closest we've seen to fascism (that is no secret) - we are being watched, listened to, analyzed as me move through our daily routines. Our emails to Mom are probably being read too. While there is some movement to criticize the President, he continues to sound like he is out of touch with reality (Iran is politically stable at this time???) - and no one is stopping him. The new majority in Congress, our beloved Democrats have melted under the heat - and have led us to be watched even more intensely- among other problems. Is there no one out there to help us?

If you remember when you were about ten years old and there was a bully in the playground. He/she would hit other kids and call them names, especially those that were smaller or younger. You probably thought that the bully was just taking it out on the weaklings... I propose that we consider ourselves as that bully, all of us who are citizens - of all ethnic groups and races. Even those who are wanting compassionate immigration reform. If we stand by and see the Minute Men, Mitt Romney and the radio evangelists/newscasters verbally beat undocumented immigrants to a pulp - then we are responsible if we don't do anything.

Read up on the statistics. You'll find that someone without papers is paying for your grandmother's social security -- they are paying in and will never be able to use the benefits...

Read about the crime rate - yes, the young man who murdered the three in New Jersey was an immigrant. Otherwise - the crime rate among immigrants is miniscule compared to U.S. citizens. In our neighborhood, which is mainly immigrant, everyone shudders when the 20 something white guy rides by on his bike day after day at all hours. We wonder, does he work, or go to school, is he scouting out my house, does he sell drugs? He hangs out with guys known to be drug dealers- all U.S. citizens. In the meantime my other neighbors who mostly can't speak English (although they would love to learn if they could) get up at 5 am everyday and are gone before my husband takes our dogs for a walk at 6 am. They are burned by the sun, their muscles ache from the heavy work they perform, yet you don't see them just hanging around. They have the best American work ethic I have ever seen. I can't say much for the guy on the bicycle.

also posted on

Miss. Immigrants Rights Alliance 888-204-3355

P.O. Box 1104
Jackson, MS 39215-1104

Central Office:
612 N. State Street Suite B
Jackson, Mississippi 39202

Office 601-968-5182
Toll Free: 888-204-3355
Fax: 601-968-5183

Sheriff tells Guest Workers the Company "Owns Them"


The workers, from Veracruz, MX came to work for Southwest Shipyards in Channelview, Texas - just east of Houston. They paid between $1,500 and $2,000 to come to the U.S. on HB2 temporary visas. The company did not pay what they originally offered in addition to deducting much of their pay for room and board. They left Channelview and traveled to Mississipi, where they were told by the Pascagoula, Miss. Sheriff that Southwest Shipyards "owned them."

It has become common knowledge on the Gulf Coast that many immigrant workers (especially those in New Orleans) have been mistreated, not paid for their work, and even not given food by companies who recruited them.

Workers Say Miss. Police Kidnapped Them
By HOLBROOK MOHR, Associated Press Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, August 23, 2007

(08-23) 04:25 PDT Jackson, Miss. (AP) --
Thirty Mexican nationals with visas to work in the U.S. claim police in Pascagoula kidnapped and threatened them with arrest or deportation if they did not return to an employer.
The workers, backed by the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups, said Wednesday that Pascagoula Police Capt. George Tillman threatened to send them to jail if they didn't return to work for a recruitment company.

The workers plan to file a lawsuit accusing Tillman of "kidnapping, kidnapping with intent to enslave, false imprisonment, human trafficking, and violations of the workers' civil and constitutional rights," they said in a news release.
Enrique Garcia, 41, one of the workers, said Tillman told the workers the company "owned" them..

For complete article:

Photo: Braceros registering in El Paso, ca. late 1940s.

Romney & Giuliani Must Not Know About Plyler vs. Doe

Ronald Brownstein:
'Sanctuary' as battleground
Romney and Giuliani spar over what roles cities should have in enforcing immigration laws.
August 22, 2007

Let's say the 7-year-old daughter of illegal immigrants working in a big American city wakes up this morning with a high fever and a rash.

Is it in that city's interest for the little girl to receive treatment at a local public clinic or hospital? Or is that community better off if the child's parents try to treat her at home because they fear a doctor will ask about their immigration status -- and report them to the federal government if they can't prove they are here legally?

Before you answer, recall that in the 1982 Plyler vs. Doe decision, the Supreme Court ruled that children of illegal immigrants have a constitutional right to public education. That means whether or not that child is examined to determine if her illness is contagious, she will soon be back in a classroom of other 7-year-olds -- many, in all likelihood, American citizens.

In most places, for most people, this would not be a hard call. Leaving aside any question of compassion toward the girl, the community's public health is clearly served if she is treated before she infects anyone else.

Likewise, most people would agree that communities are safer if illegal immigrants who have been the victims of crime, or possess evidence that can help solve a crime, can talk to police officers without fear of being quizzed about their status. Or if illegal immigrants enroll their children in school (as the Supreme Court allowed), rather than keep them at home for fear admissions officials will investigate the parents' status.

These are the judgments that have prompted Los Angeles, New York and dozens of other major cities to adopt policies that in varying ways discourage municipal workers from assessing the immigration status of people using local services and sharing such information with federal immigration officials...

For complete article:,1,4055448.column


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Social Security

Undocumented Immigrants Paid Almost $50 billion in federal taxes from 1996 to 2003

The money they contribute stays in the system and is paying our current social security benefits. The statement below is from the New York Times and the Internal Revenue Service.


National Immigration Legal Center

Undocumented immigrants contribute to the tax rolls and the Social Security Trust Fund. The U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute approximately $8.5 billion in Social Security and Medicare funds each year.[1] The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has determined that undocumented immigrants paid almost $50 billion in federal taxes from 1996 to 2003.[2]

1. Eduardo Porter, “Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security with Billions,” New York Times, Apr. 5, 2005,

2. Statement of The Honorable Mark W. Everson, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, Testimony Before the House
Committee on Ways and Means, July 26, 2006,

Photo: Social Security Poster from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Information regarding Social Security from National Immigration Legal Center :

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Economics of the Dream Act

We recently received a comment that stated "taxpayers to pay through the nose to educate, provide health care, and welfare benefits"

Below is information from a number of federal agencies and other reliable sources that will contradict the statement of the taxpayer having to fund services for undocumented immigrants. DREAM Act students would help the economy and produce income that covers the taxes needed for social services. Please see footnotes at the bottom of this post.


DREAM Act Economic Impact Fact Sheet

The DREAM Act will Provide Needed Workers, Increase U.S. Competitiveness and Alleviate the Military Recruitment Crisis

The DREAM Act would help alleviate a labor shortage in the United States.
==> Experts estimate that America will need 5%, or 15.6 million, more workers by 2015 to maintain the current ratio of workers to the total population.

==> The DREAM Act would reduce the cost of recruiting foreign professionals, as processing times for visas range from one to three years, not including the time spent for acculturation and learning the language.

The DREAM Act will increase global competitiveness by utilizing skilled US trained professionals already in this country instead of competing for skilled workers with other countries

==> President Bush has called for training 70,000 math and science teachers to improve US competitiveness. The DREAM Act will help the US to be more globally competitive by resulting in an increase of graduates in the math and science sectors.

==> H-1Bs are visas with a limited yearly quota of 65,000 that are provided to highly skilled foreign nationals. Many US companies recruit engineers, computer programmers and other professionals from around the globe because of the lack of professionals in these fields in the US. For example, Silicon Valley companies are among the main supporters of H-1B visa reform (higher quotas). Due to the lack of available H-1Bs, companies say they are experiencing a reverse brain drain as skilled workers flock to the booming economies of China and India. Data suggests that companies that engage in offshoring work to India submitted H-1B visa applications in heavy volume. ii

The DREAM Act would increase the tax base for state, federal, and local governments.

==> According to the US Department of Commerce, a high school graduate earns $1.2 million in a 40-year span compared to $2.1 million for a person with a Bachelor’s degree. A person with a master’s degree has an average earning of $2.5 million in a 40-year span. iii

==> Therefore, a single person with a bachelor’s degree who earns an average $60,000 of taxable income will contribute $11,564 to taxes and welfare annually; in a 40-year span he/she will have contributed $462,560. iv

The DREAM Act will improve national security by alleviating the recruitment shortages to the armed forces.

==> In April 2005 the Army Reserve and the National Guard failed to meet their recruitment quota. Only 51 percent of Inactive Ready Reserve troops reported for duty.

==> The army expects to reverse the recruiting shortfall by lowering standards (which will increase training costs), and by adding more recruiters and spending more money on advertising. The army is also offering larger bonuses (up to $90,000, in one lump sum) to get existing troops to re-enlist. These methods will increase personnel costs as much as ten percent.v

==> As of 2006, 30,000 foreign-born individuals are currently serving in the armed forces. Every year, 7,200 of the 180,000 new recruits are non-citizens. Immigrants account for 20 percent of recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. vi

i. “A stiff learning curve,” Asia Times February 14, 2006.

ii. Prithiv Patel, Infosys, Wipro and TCS under investigation for misuse of H1B visas, India Daily, May 15, 2007.

iii. Economics and Statistics Administration, Census Bureau. (2002) Available: p23-210.pdf

iv. 2006 Tax Table. Available at

v., April 2005.

vi. American Immigration Law Foundation. (2006) Defending America: Immigrants Fight for Our Nation. Available at

Thanks to United Leadership Initiative (ULIC) and Julieta G. for sending this information

Photo: book cover "Americans Who Tell the Truth"

March 25 Coalition Information

William Torres
323 228 2753

Javier Rodriguez
323 702 6397

National Rally on Sept. 12 for Arellano

Immigration activist deported to Mexico
Elvira Arellano, detained in L.A., is seen as an icon of migrant rights by some and as a symbol of lawlessness by others.
By Teresa Watanabe
Los Angeles Times
August 21, 2007

U.S. immigration officials announced Monday that Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant who symbolized inhumane treatment of migrants to some and brazen lawlessness to others, has been deported to her native Mexico, as immigrant-rights groups vowed to respond with massive protests.

Arellano, a 32-year-old single mother, was "a criminal fugitive alien who spent a year seeking to elude federal capture" by taking refuge in a Chicago church, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

The agency said that tracking down and deporting immigration fugitives was one of its "top enforcement priorities" and that 220,000 illegal immigrants had been deported between last October and July, among the highest numbers ever for a 10-month period.

Federal immigration officials said they chose to arrest Arellano because she had defied not only immigration law but also federal criminal law....

...many immigrant-rights groups view Arellano as a symbol of courage in defying U.S. deportation orders that separated her from her 8-year-old son, Saul, a U.S. citizen. Southern California labor, religious and immigrant-rights groups are organizing vigils, political lobbying to give Arellano legal status to return and a march on Saturday through downtown Los Angeles to protest the actions.

Activists are also planning a national rally and boycott on behalf of Arellano in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12, said Carlos Montes of the March 25 Coalition, which organized the massive immigration march through Los Angeles last year.

"She's encouraging and inspiring people by her courage in service of a mission to draw attention to the suffering of immigrant families," said the Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of California, who is helping coordinate a national movement to offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants.,1,5591266.story

Photo: International Bridge at Tijuana 08border.jpg

The Candidate Who Vetoed In-State Tuition in Massachussetts

Mitt Romney vetoed an in-state tuition bill for undocumented students. He authorized state troopers to act as immigration officers. He is now saying if he were President he would cut off federal funding to cities that he says "ignore federal immigration laws." I hope the American voters will acknowledge this vicious and angry position. Is he the kind of person we want as President?
New Romney ad targets illegal migrants
Associated Press Writer
Miami Herald
August 21, 2007

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney criticizes "sanctuary cities" for illegal immigrants - and by implication Republican rival Rudy Giuliani - in a new radio ad.

...In so-called sanctuary cities, government employees are not required to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities. Some, such as San Francisco, have declared themselves sanctuaries or refugees. Others, like New York, have never adopted the name.

New York's policy, begun by Democratic Mayor Ed Koch in 1988, is intended to make illegal immigrants feel that they can report crimes, send their children to school or seek medical treatment without fear of being reported. An estimated half-million illegal immigrants live in New York, and only a fraction are deported each year.

Romney has pledged to cut federal funds from cities that adopt what he calls sanctuary policies and ignore federal immigration laws. The ads also say that as governor Romney ordered state police to enforce existing immigration laws, opposed driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and insisted children be taught English.

Last week, Giuliani began running a radio ad that highlights his support for building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. He says that as mayor he unsuccessfully tried to get federal help to deport illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. He also tells voters that as president he would require new immigrants to learn English, deport criminal suspects and enact tougher visa standards.

Photo: Mitt Romney

Monday, August 20, 2007

Chicago Tribune Story on Arellano - She is Already in Mexico

Activist arrested in L.A.
Deported to Tijuana, pastor says

By Antonio Olivo | Tribune staff reporter
5:29 AM CDT, August 20, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Federal authorities Sunday arrested Elvira Arellano on a downtown city street, ending a yearlong standoff that intensified recently after the illegal Mexican immigrant began what was to be a nationwide campaign to push for new immigration reforms.

Hours later, her pastor said she had been deported to Mexico, the Associated Press reported.

...As Arellano, her 8-year-old son Saul and others headed in a sport-utility vehicle along Main Street toward another leg of their trip in Northern California, several unmarked cars swarmed the vehicle, ordering her to get out as they grabbed the driver and handcuffed him, said Chicago activist Emma Lozano, who was with Arellano.

Before surrendering, Arellano asked for time alone to console her crying son, telling him: "Calm down. Don't have any fear. They can't hurt me," Lozano said. The entire incident lasted about two minutes, she said. The driver was released.

Arellano was taken in handcuffs to a nearby federal detention center, from which she was to be routed to Tijuana, according to Mexican officials.

U.S. authorities on Sunday night did not detail the next steps in the legal process or reveal her location.

But early this morning, the Associated Press reported that Arellano was deported several hours after her arrest. The AP quoted the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where Arellano had taken refuge.

"She has been deported. She is free and in Tijuana," said Coleman, who said he spoke to her on the phone. "She is in good spirits. She is ready to continue the struggle against the separation of families from the other side of the border."

Lozano and others earlier vowed they would fight to keep her from being deported.

"We have several lawyers already working on it," Lozano said, her eyes red as a group of Arellano supporters sat in stunned silence inside the Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church at "La Placita," the historic center of Mexican Los Angeles.

...In recent months, arrests of fugitives such as Arellano have been occurring at a pace of some 675 per week.

..Last week, Arellano announced she would try to mobilize efforts for more lenient reforms by leaving the Adalberto United Methodist Church for the first time since arriving there last August and traveling to Washington for an 8-hour prayer and fast vigil scheduled for Sept. 12.

Fearing arrest, she kept secret the group's plans of first going to other cities in an attempt to build national momentum leading toward the vigil. After leaving Chicago on Thursday, she arrived in Los Angeles Saturday morning for the first stop in that campaign, which coincided with a local immigration march.

Arellano spent most of her day Sunday urging audiences of several hundred parishioners inside four separate churches to lobby House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other congressional members from California to take up immigration reform immediately after returning from summer recess. Between stops, she donned a pair of sunglasses and slipped into the back of her group's electric blue sport-utility vehicle with her son.

"It's important that we are unified so that we can bring out the message that we're all struggling together," Arellano said at the Angelica Lutheran Church, inside Los Angeles' Pico-Union neighborhood, a port of entry for Central American immigrants. "The hate you are seeing build around the country has no boundaries."

...Immigrant activists in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities saw Arellano's arrest as inevitable.

"Everyone knew it was probably a question of when, not if," said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. "It just makes me feel really sad because she knows she's looking at time in prison."

Jacobita Alonso, a lay leader at the church who stayed with Arellano on the second-floor apartment during the last year, felt compelled to action.

"We cannot sit here only grieving. All we can do is organize our people. We want her to know she is not alone," she said Sunday.

Amid heavy rainfall Sunday night, about three dozen people sang, prayed and read passages from the Bible during a vigil Sunday night outside the Chicago headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement downtown to show their disapproval of her arrest. They sang, prayed, read from the Bible.

"It's a sad day," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd.) "We need comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together. A young boy, a U.S. citizen, lost his mother to a broken system. Elvira has put a face to this struggle. There are 12 million illegal immigrants that head to work every morning, not knowing if they'll come home at the end of the day."

Late Sunday, her son, Saul, was under the care of Coleman and Emma Lozano's husband...

For complete article:,1,5166191.story?coll=chi_tab01_layout

Chicago Advocacy Group - Pueblo Sin Fronteras

Centro Sin Fronteras:
2300 S. Blue Island
Chicago, IL 60623
Main: (773)523-8261
Fax: (773)523-8109

Photo from Pueblo Sin Fronteras web page,

Details on Arellano Arrest

Activist arrested at L.A. church...

By Sonia Nazario and David Pierson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
August 20, 2007

Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who became a symbol in the nation's immigration wars after she took sanctuary in a Chicago church last year, was arrested Sunday by federal immigration agents outside Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles.

Arellano, 32, a single mother, moved into a Chicago church a year ago to prevent being separated from her 8-year-old U.S.-born son.

She was arrested Sunday afternoon as she was leaving the downtown Los Angeles church also known as La Placita with her son and a supporter.

Supporters said the car in which Arellano was riding was surrounded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who took her into custody.

The agency did not say where she was being held but did confirm that Arellano would be deported to Mexico.

...Arellano came to Los Angeles on Friday to speak at four area churches over the weekend. She was pressing for immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million people in the U.S. illegally.

Immigration sweeps have mounted since congressional measures to legalize the country's undocumented immigrants were defeated this summer.

Federal immigration authorities confirmed Arellano had been taken into custody Sunday afternoon without incident and was being processed to be deported to Mexico.

"Arresting and removing criminal aliens is one of ICE's top enforcement priorities, and the agency will continue to pursue these cases vigorously," ICE said in a statement.

At a hastily organized press conference outside the Metropolitan Detention Center downtown, members of the Chicago church where Arellano had stayed denounced the federal government and called on supporters to march to Washington, D.C., to protest immigration laws.

"Everyone should be angry," said Emma Lozano, a member of the Chicago church.

Standing next to Lozano was Arellano's son, Saul Arellano, wearing baggy jeans and looking bewildered by all the attention.

The boy and his mother were leaving the L.A. church by car, heading to another church, when about 15 ICE agents in vans encircled the group, according to Arellano's supporters.

Lozano said Elvira Arellano told her frightened son to be calm and asked the agents to allow her a moment alone with him before they took her away.

Arellano was part of a fledgling movement of churches in New York, Chicago, San Diego and Los Angeles that had recently offered sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

But her cause was not widely embraced by immigrant rights activists, some of whom believed the idea of religious organizations willfully flouting the law to shelter an illegal immigrant with final deportation orders was too confrontational and feared that her tactics would only fuel anti-immigrant forces in the U.S.

Many Americans feel torn about cases such as Arellano's, said Grace Dyrness, who is studying the sanctuary movement at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC.

"People are struggling: Where do I land? Do I side with the law, without compassion? Or with compassion, and then I don't have regard for our laws?" she said.

"People wonder: what is the law and what does my heart say and how do we bring those two together?" Dyrness said.

Dyrness said 12 congregations in Los Angeles County -- churches and synagogues -- have in the last year declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants at risk of being deported.

Six immigrants are taking sanctuary in these churches, including La Placita and Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Long Beach.

Arellano's arrest, Dyrness predicted, would put a damper on undocumented immigrants seeking sanctuary in churches, because they would fear becoming targets of federal immigration authorities.

But she also predicted the arrest would mobilize churches to come to their aid.

Arellano had been quite public about her opposition to the immigration sweeps, as well as her position as a woman who had flouted a deportation order.

The Chicago-based political organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which that has been supporting her activism, issued a press release with her itinerary of speeches at four Los Angeles churches over the last weekend.

But Colman, of Adalberto United Methodist in Chicago said Arellano had not sought to be arrested, despite the risk she took in moving from one church to the next.

"We always knew it was a possibility that she would be arrested," said Colman, after the press conference. "She was hopeful the country would have the wisdom and the humanity to let her state her case."

For complete story,1,1921237.story

Photo: Elvira Arellano and her son.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Elvira Arellano Arrested One Day After Leaving Sanctuary

There is not really much to say about this situation. Her companions don't know what agency arrested her and didn't know where she was taken.


Illegal immigrant arrested after leaving church
Mother who defied deportation, took up sanctuary was in L.A. for rally

LOS ANGELES - An illegal immigrant who sought sanctuary in a Chicago church for a year to avoid deportation and separation from her 8-year-old American son was arrested Sunday, the church’s pastor said.

Elvira Arellano was arrested before 3 p.m. outside Our Lady Queen of Angels church on L.A.’s historic Olvera Street where she had been speaking to reporters, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago where she sought sanctuary.

Coleman said he was with Arellano when she was detained, but declined to provide other details.“We’re trying to determine her situation right now,” he said.

It was unclear what law enforcement agency had taken Arellano into custody.

A call to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was not immediately returned.

The 32-year-old Arellano arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, leaving her sanctuary for the first time in a year to campaign for immigration reform....

‘I decided to stay and fight’
Arellano has become a symbol of the struggles of illegal immigrant parents and a source of controversy. She had said Saturday she was not afraid of being taken into custody by immigration agents.

“From the time I took sanctuary the possibility has existed that they arrest me in the place and time they want,” she said in Spanish. “I only have two choices. I either go to my country, Mexico, or stay and keep fighting. I decided to stay and fight.”


We Need an Andrew Carnegie to Fund Scholarships and Promote the DREAM Act

A DREAM Act student from Tampa recieved a $30,000 private scholarship to attend Florida Gulf Coast University. If only foundations or private individuals would consider helping undocumented college students. Instead of planting trees with their name on a plaque, wealthy individuals could help a student go to school. Each scholarship is building a future for the students and the nation.

Another way people of wealth can help is by using their influence to promote the DREAM Act and in-state tuition for undocumented students. As the Tampa Tribune mentioned - 40 states do not have in-state tuition for undocumented students. One is Massachussetts, because it was vetoed by Mitt Romney.

Just as people with wealth influence (and help) political campaigns or the passing of a bill in Congress... they could do the same for the DREAM Act.

Undocumented Students Keep DREAM Act Hopes Alive
By JESSICA HOPPER The Tampa Tribune
Published: Aug 19, 2007

TAMPA - At 14, Dulce proudly told her parents she wanted to go to college.

Her parents' response shocked her. They said going to college would be difficult because she was an undocumented immigrant.

"I was broken completely in half. I refused to believe it," said Dulce, now 20.

Unlike many undocumented teenagers, Dulce's college story has a happy ending. She received her associate's degree in May from Hillsborough Community College. She recently received a $30,000 private scholarship that will cover tuition, books, and room and board at Florida Gulf Coast University this fall.

Undocumented students can attend public schools under a 1982 Supreme Court ruling. But undocumented college-age students are not eligible for federal aid and most forms of state aid. Forty states, including Florida, do not allow in-state tuition for undocumented students. Undocumented teens also cannot work legally to save money for college.

Dulce and other immigrant students hope proposed legislation, the DREAM Act, will make college more accessible to undocumented children...

For complete article:

photograph: Andrew Carnegie in 1914

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Recruitment and Death in War

Many Latino high school and college students tell me that they are constantly receiving phone calls from military recruiters. There are many reports of low recruitment rates, most probably associated with the unpopularity of the Iraq war. The lower the numbers the more aggressive the recruiters.

As for undocumented students, it often seems like a reasonable idea to enlist, since the DREAM Act has been stalled. Although official news is that if you are not documented, you can't enlist, most people say otherwise. Things may change if the DREAM Act is actually attached to a military bill - many more students will pursue this option. Sometimes I wonder if the raids and increased enforcement efforts are also meant to scare young people into enlisting...


Recruiting For Iraq War Undercut in Puerto Rico
By Paul Lewis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 18, 2007; Page A01

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The political activists, brown envelopes tucked under their arms, staked out the high school gates just after sunrise. When students emerged from the graffiti-scorched streets of the Rio Piedra neighborhood here and began streaming toward their school, the pro-independence advocates ripped open the envelopes and began handing the teens fliers emblazoned with the slogan: "Our youth should not go to war..."

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, all schools receiving U.S. federal funding must provide their students' names, addresses and phone numbers to the military unless the child or parents sign an opt-out form. Puerto Rico received $1.88 billion in U.S. education funds this year. For five years, PIP has issued opt-out forms to about 120,000 students in Puerto Rico and encouraged them to sign -- and independista activists expect this year to mark their most successful effort yet...

Leaders from the island's two major political parties say that their PIP opponents are exploiting young people to advance their separatist grievances. And Pentagon officials accuse the activists of "manipulating" impressionable young people...
Sonia Santiago, founder of the local group Mothers Against War, said her volunteers visit schools to "unmask" the way in which recruiters promise "villas y castillas" (villas and castles) that they cannot deliver. One persuasive tactic, she added, is to ask children how their mothers would feel if they were injured or killed in war....

The Pentagon lists 37 service members from the island as killed in action in the two conflicts, but local antiwar groups say the number exceeds 80, including suicides and soldiers recruited from the U.S. mainland....

For complete article: