border action network

border action network: Page 1

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ACLU, SEIU, MALDEF, NAACP, UFCW, NILC sue to block Arizona immigration law (two Mexico links) - 05/17/10

A group of far-left illegal immigration supporters - including the American Civil Liberties Union, a group that's directly collaborating with the Mexican government - filed a suit today to block the Arizona immigration law from going into effect.

March for America: illegal immigration rally, March 21, 2010 Washington DC - 02/12/10

On March 21, 2010, yet another pro-illegal immigration march will be held in Washington DC, this sponsored ultimately by the far-left National Council of Churches [1]. The next day they'll apparently be conducting a lobbying effort, sending attendees to speak to their representatives (presumably illegal aliens will take a pass on that event).

The march is associated with Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a mini-convention focusing this year on the topic of "Migration". One of the speakers will be Frank Sharry. More on EAD at, and more on the march as it develops.

Other groups involved include:

* the Mexican government-linked Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights [2]
* the Border Action Network (link)
* the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' "Justice for Immigrants" campaign (
* /
If anyone can find other questionable groups involved please leave a comment.

3/16/10 UPDATE: From this:

Organized by the Center for Community Change (CCC), the March 21 event will be the largest protest march since President Barack Obama took office. It will include activist groups from nearly every state, and revives the labor-religious-community coalition that built the mass marches of 2006.

According to lead CCC March organizer Gabe Gonzalez, SEIU, UNITE HERE, LIUNA and the UFCW have all committed to mobilize for the march. Gonzalez also told me "the churches are totally on board," with evangelical churches--- which have seen a steady rise in Latinos---playing a larger role than in 2006. Such faith-based activist networks as Gamaliel, PICO and the IAF are also involved, which means that a large cadre of very experienced organizers is involved in ensuring the event's success.

...Following the march, activists plan to turn out in large numbers to the Town Hall meetings that congress members will hold during the two week recess starting March 29. The traditional media gave massive coverage to Tea Party members attending town halls last August, and should be under pressure to provide something close to that coverage for the immigrant rights activism at these upcoming events.

On April 10, there will be an immigrant rights rally in Las Vegas with Senator Reid. Reid knows his re-election depends on massive Latino turnout in November, and immigrant rights advocates are sending a message that they will mobilize for him provided he provides leadership on legalization.


STRIVE Act: not everyone happy with "touchback" (even for just one day) - 03/24/07

The Gutierrez-Flake amnesty scheme contains a "touchback" provision. Current illegal aliens who pass a screening and meet other requirements would be given a legal worker permit immediately. Then:
Illegal immigrants would within the next six years have to leave the United States for either Mexico or Canada, go to a processing center and re-enter the U.S. legally. Lawmakers were vague about exactly how long they would have to stay outside the country under what is being called the touchback provision. But staff members said they could stay as little as one day.
Despite what is clearly a sham and a very bad joke on American citizens, not everyone is happy.

From this:
...Alicia Acosta, an undocumented immigrant living in Montana Vista for the past 14 years, said it would be a hardship on families like hers to have to live [sic] her home.

"We would have to take the kids out of school. And if we live the kids here, how to support them here from over there (Mexico)?" she said.
Others realize how much of a giveaway this is:
"This is going to energize our community in a very positive way," said Fernando Garcia [a Mexican citizen], the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights [a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government].

Garcia led a lobbying trip of El Paso immigrants to Washington, D.C., this month and is organizing a march in support of pro-immigrant legislation at UTEP April 10.

..."It's a light version of touchback. You don't have to go back to your country. You don't have to go back to Colombia, you can go to Mexico or Canada. It means you could go to Juarez and come back," he said.

...Rep. Flake explained that the touchback provision was important because it would create a record of legal entry for immigrants.
From this:
"We applaud the Congress for introducing a bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform bill," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Tucson-based Border Action Network, devoted to promoting rights of immigrants of all stripes and border communities. "If something doesn't get passed this year, our communities will continue to struggle and suffer."

However, she and representatives of the like-minded Derechos Humanos oppose forcing illegal immigrants to leave the country. The groups also want to see more oversight of border security authorities to prevent abuses.

They also question how many people may be denied a ruling of "good moral character" based on vague language defining it.
From this:
"We have questions about the operational viability and the political viability of [the touchback provision]," said Frank Sharry, leader of the National Immigration Forum...

..."I think it's unrealistic, though, to expect these people to leave," said Ana Maria Patina, a lawyer and Hispanic activist in Santa Ana. Patina was skeptical that the government could create a program that would let illegal immigrants leave the country and return quickly.

And Amin David, leader of Los Amigos of Orange County, said even a short stay outside the country would worry fearful illegal immigrants.

He said the proposed $2,000 fine – $500 to apply for legal status initially and $1,500 to get on the path to citizenship – will also be difficult for many immigrants to afford...
From this:
Christy Porter, executive director of Hidden Harvest, a produce-recovery program that has helped farm workers laid off following January's freeze in the Coachella Valley, isn't sure the new immigration plan will work.

"Once they hit the promise land, nobody's going back the other way," Porter said. "I just don't see people lining up on this side of the border taking their suitcases over."

Randal Archibold/NYT: illegal immigration-supporting groups are right, "vigilantes" are wrong - 11/24/06

Randal Archibold of the New York Times offers "A Border Watcher Finds Himself Under Scrutiny", about Arizona rancher Roger Barnett:
...But now, after boasting of having captured 12,000 illegal crossers on land he owns or leases from the state and emerging as one of the earliest and most prominent of the self-appointed border watchers, Mr. Barnett finds himself the prey.

Immigrant rights groups have filed lawsuits, accusing him of harassing and unlawfully imprisoning people he has confronted on his ranch near Douglas. One suit pending in federal court accuses him, his wife and his brother of pointing guns at 16 illegal immigrants they intercepted, threatening them with dogs and kicking one woman in the group...
I'm not going to defend Barnett since I'm not familiar with what he does. While he might have done what he's accused of, there's also the strong possibility that this and the other suits are simply set-ups by illegal immigration supporters. In the past local officials haven't pursued him apparently due to lack of evidence.

What I will do, however, is note that we're only receiving one side of the story: that presented by those "immigrant rights groups". They are presented as the gold standard of truth; Archibold doesn't question their statements and doesn't look into whether they have questionable links. So, to help Randal Archibold be a real reporter and not just an illegal immigration-supporting hack, let's do that.

Jesus Romo Vejar, is identified only as "the lawyer for the hunting party". He reportedly is or was a member of Derechos Humanos, a group that's working with the Mexican government. Whether he's still a member of that group isn't known.

The article also quotes "Jennifer Allen of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group". The BAN is part of the Border Human Rights Working Group, a coalition consisting of Derechos Humanos and two other groups that are also collaborating with the Mexican government.

The article mentions that the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) is involved in the suit against Barnett, and also quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center. Both of those organizations are also in the BHRWG, and both thus have at least one indirect link to the Mexican government.

Please write public *at* and suggest they hire real reporters and not just illegal immigration-supporting hacks.

Randal Archibold/NYT: Democratic win could lead to amnesty

AP ignores Peter Schey Mexican government links (Border Human Rights Working Group) - 08/24/06

An AP story about a recent crash fails to note a key affiliation of one of the groups mentioned. If you've never heard of the CHRCL, you might think they're just an ordinary "human rights" group:
A border rights coalition asked federal officials Wednesday to suspend Border Patrol high-speed chases pending a review of a Yuma-area rollover two weeks ago that resulted in multiple deaths.

The letter from the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law also asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and the heads of Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol to update Border Patrol hot-pursuit policies.

The letter was sent on behalf of the Border Human Rights Working Group, a coalition of organizations involved in human-rights advocacy in the four states bordering Mexico.

It also sought through a Freedom of Information request copies of all Border Patrol documents concerning the Yuma chase and crash, and policies and training materials concerning high-speed chases...
What the article fails to note is that the CHRCL is headed by Peter Schey, someone who's collaborating with the Mexican government on a website. He's also representing some illegal aliens who were arrested under a new Arizona law, and there is some kind of involvement of the Mexican consul. And, an "opposition research" paper he wrote appears on a Mexican government website.

And, this is at least the second time that the AP has failed to note these connections.

At post time, google shows no results for "Border Human Rights Working Group". (UPDATE: See the info below.)

Please contact the AP at and suggest they start telling their readers the whole truth. Also, here are the sources currently featuring this article and their contact information:

KTVK (contact link at bottom of page)

KVOA (contact link on left sidebar)

KOLD (the only contact form I could find is here; also has their phone numbers)

Daily Star (perhaps their News and Research Services Director: eraines *at*

AZCentral (try and

UPDATE: A copy of the letter that "BHRWG" sent is at this link. However, you'll need to right-click, choose "Save as", and add ".pdf" to the end of the file name since it doesn't have an extension.

The letter reveals who's in the BHRWG:

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico
American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego
American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona
American Friends Service Committee (San Diego, CA)
American Friends Service Committee (Tucson, AZ)
Binacional Migration Institute (Tucson, AZ)
Border Angels / Gente Unida (San Diego, CA)
Border Action Network (Tucson/Nogales/Douglas)
Border Network for Human Rights (El Paso, TX)
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services (El Paso, TX)
Coalicion de Derechos Humanos (Tucson, AZ)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
No More Deaths (Tucson, AZ)
South Texas Civil Rights Project (McAllen, TX)
Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, AL)
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Derechos Humanos is working with the Mexican government. So is the CHRCL. So, MALDEF, the ACLU and the SPLC are associated with at least two groups openly working with the Mexican government.

"Rights Groups Take On Deportation Program" - 08/30/04

A new joint program from the U.S. and Mexico flies some deported illegal aliens back into central Mexico, rather than dropping them off at a border city. The L.A. Times reports that so-called "rights groups" are up in arms about this new program. To get the plane ride, the alien has to waive his rights to a hearing. And, no coincidence at all, no hearing means no immigration lawyer to pay. As previously discussed this is basically subsidized vacation pay for their employers, as many of those deported say they'll just try again. Note that the LAT itself reported that many of those on the maiden flight said they're try again.

If you're like me, your first thought on seeing this in the LAT would be to take a look at the so-called "rights groups":

"If there's no opposition, they always have the option of taking it to Texas and to California and expanding it inland," said Angela Sambrano, a representative for the Los Angeles Committee Against the Raids and for Rights of Immigrants. "We don't want them to get any idea that we would welcome an extension of [it]. That's why we want to stop it right now."

Sambrano recently joined delegations of other pro-immigration activists to deliver letters to Mexican consulates across the country - including seven in California - urging President Vicente Fox's administration to abandon support for the program. The protesters say that if their quest for dialogue fails, they may stage vigils and demonstrations.

So, who exactly is the LACATRAFROI? A google search reveals nothing. However, the google search for Angela Sambrano brings up this at its first hit:

The Militant reported that, "The Forum took note of the growing immigration from Latin American to the United States and a recent rise in the struggles for immigrant rights in that country. Angela Sambrano, representing CISPES, gave a special presentation at the Forum on the subject." CISPES favored the cause of the communist guerrillas in El Salvador.

That took less than a minute, and you'd think the LAT could have done likewise. Maybe they did, and just didn't report it.

Nevertheless, the "pro-immigration" groups in the article do raise a couple of good points hidden in their forest of bad ideas:

Immigrant rights groups in California say such tragedies underscore why U.S. and Mexican authorities should channel resources into combating the job shortage in Mexico, one of the prime reasons migrants cross the border.

"It's nothing more than a shell game," said Jennifer Allen, executive director of Border Action Network, a Tucson-based immigration advocacy group. "It's just shifting migrants from place to place."

If you'd like to suggest that the L.A. Times teaches its reporters how to use google, refers to "pro-immigration" groups as "pro-illegal-immigration" groups, and reports on the background of "liberal" groups with the same zeal with which they report on the background of centrist or rightwing groups, please send a polite email to Readers.Rep *at*

Glenn Spencer, taking the high ground? - 04/06/03

According to this:

Chris Simcox, founder of the Tombstone-based Civil Homeland Defense group, and Glenn Spencer, who leads the Sierra Vista-based American Border Patrol, have long disagreed over style and approach to deterring illegal entrants.

Spencer said his group aims to document and report illegal immigrants by using video cameras and other surveillance. In contrast, Simcox describes his group as a "militia," and he leads armed volunteers on patrols near the border.

A recent statement by Simcox has served to incite bickering between the two men. Simcox issued this warning as part of a "message to the world": "Do not attempt to cross the border illegally; you will be considered an enemy of the state; if aggressors attempt to forcefully enter our country they will be repelled with force if necessary!"

Spencer told the Arizona Daily Star that with statements like that, Simcox has attracted an "unsavory element." Such rhetoric threatens the credibility of the anti-illegal-immigration movement...

"The purpose is to put pressure on the government, to have governmental institutions that are there to enforce the law, not to go out and threaten people," he said.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, the Border Action Network has gathered 2000 signatures on a petition "asking Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard... to conduct an investigation of the militia groups and it they're breaking the law, they should be arrested and prosecuted."

You can read a horribly written but very informative article on the Border Action Network here. Think A.N.S.W.E.R. In this editorial, BAN's founder is quoted as saying "[illegal aliens] have civil rights and human rights that take precedence over defending the country."

See also the L.A. Times' hit piece on Simcox 'Patriots on the Borderline'. It reads less like a real newspaper article than an Indymedia reject, and it spawned a couple of letters to the Times. Note well the title of the letters page: "'Racist' Border Patrol Has Crossed the Line."

The hit piece's author is Dan Baum, author of a couple of books about the War on Drugs and Joseph Coors. There's an interview with him here, and at this page it says this:

"Bellesiles calls in a fascinating array of sources to bolster his argument," rhapsodized... author Dan Baum in the Chicago Tribune...

Simcox, Spencer, and friends might have problems, some large, but I don't think we're going to get the whole truth from such biased sources.