department of homeland security

Department of Homeland Security: Page 4


See the summary for this topic on the main Department of Homeland Security page.

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Thomas Perez to head Citizenship and Immigration Services? (close with Casa de Maryland) - 02/20/09

According to this, the new pick for Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is Thomas E. Perez, currently Labor Secretary of Maryland.

In April 2007, he "joined students in Annapolis to urge approval of a bill granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants" (link).

And from this:

Perez, a former Clinton Administration official and currently Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, has had a long association with (CASA de Maryland). Both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties pay CASA millions of dollars each year in social services contracts and have put up additional funds to help build the organization’s future headquarters in Langley Park.

In fact, from his bio (msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/20dllr/html/msa14663.html):

Board of Directors, Casa of Maryland, 1995-2002 (former president)

UPDATE: Later, he was nominated to head the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

DHS fugitive teams mostly picked up non-fugitives (why is Nina Bernstein telling us this? MPI, Wishnie) - 02/03/09

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times (a paper part-owned by a Mexican billionaire) offers "Despite Vow, Target of Immigrant Raids Shifted" (link).

In a way, it's a two part story.

In the first part, there's the story itself, with the not-so-news news is that the targets of fugitive raids by the Department of Homeland Security shifted from dangerous criminals into whatever illegal aliens they found, including those who had not been convicted of crimes.

In the second part, the question becomes, why are Bernstein and all the other not-so-fine people mentioned telling us this, and why does it dovetail so neatly with something that Janet Napolitano is doing?

Regarding the first part, here's the scoop [1]:

But in fact, beginning in 2006, the program was no longer what was being advertised. Federal immigration officials had repeatedly told Congress that among more than half a million immigrants with outstanding deportation orders, they would concentrate on rounding up the most threatening — criminals and terrorism suspects... Internal directives by immigration officials in 2006 raised arrest quotas for each team in the National Fugitive Operations Program, eliminated a requirement that 75 percent of those arrested be criminals, and then allowed the teams to include nonfugitives in their count... In the next year, fugitives with criminal records dropped to 9 percent of those arrested, and nonfugitives picked up by chance — without a deportation order — rose to 40 percent. Many were sent to detention centers far from their homes, and deported.

On the one hand, that's a not-so-shocking example of the Bush administration putting politics ahead of the safety of U.S. citizens: they were attempting to show they were doing something in order to get comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, they were able to deport a fair number of illegal aliens whatever their criminal histories, and that probably had a deterrent effect.

Now on to the second part of the story:

The increased public attention comes as the new secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has ordered a review of the fugitive teams operation, which was set up in 2002 to find and deport noncitizens with outstanding orders of deportation, then rapidly expanded after 2003 with the mission of focusing on the most dangerous criminals.

That directive was released just four days ago, on January 31. Now, suddenly, something playing in to such a "review" appears in the NYT. And, the Migration Policy Institute will be releasing a report tomorrow critical of the program. [2] And, one of the authors of the MPI report is Michael Wishnie of Yale University; he was also involved in helping New Haven distribute ID cards to illegal aliens.

Why is all this happening now? Is it just something in the air, or something else? And, why isn't Nina Bernstein asking those questions? (Hint: because she's an agenda-driven hack).

[1] The figures and documentation were obtained via an FOIA request by Peter Markowitz and his students at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
[2] The NYT continues to maintain that the MPI is "nonpartisan"; nonpartisan groups don't get free ads in the NYT.

DHS immigration directive: goal is comprehensive "reform"; biometrics - 01/31/09

Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security has been issuing a series of directives in which she asked the various sub-agencies in the DHS to come up with reports on their future operations. She's finally gotten around to immigration matters: dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1233353528835.shtm

Bush lifted "Auntie Zeituni Rule" after election - 01/26/09

Shortly before the election, it was learned that Barack Obama's aunt - Auntie Zeituni - had been living in the U.S. as an illegal alien for years. He quickly threw her under the bus and returned the small donations she'd illegally made to his campaign. Few but me were interested in using the incident to show he was heartless and calculating. She later got an immigration lawyer, something that Obama could have done but did not do.

And, shortly before the news came out, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly required all deportations to be approved by high-level officials; the directive appears however to have actually involved only high profile deportations.

Now, Ted Bridis and Eileen Sullivan of the Associated Press inform us that the AP has received documents about that directive obtained under the FOIA (link):
The Homeland Security Department reversed itself Monday, saying that weeks after the presidential election it lifted a new rule requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants.

...The directive expressed concerns about "negative media or congressional interest," according to a newly disclosed federal document obtained by The Associated Press...

...(ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel) said the directive called for close supervision over any cases that could be high profile. She said it was not specific to Obama's relatives...

The White House said late Sunday that the Obama administration wasn't briefed on why the directive was issued. It said Obama "has not contacted any government agency regarding Ms. Onyango's case, nor has any representative of the president."

DHS Deputy Secretary was top United Nations official (Jane Holl Lute) - 01/25/09

From this:
A top United Nations official who once served on the White House National Security Council has been picked for deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, a move that would place two women at the top of the department for the first time.

President Barack Obama's nomination of Jane Holl Lute, a retired Army major who worked on the NSC under President Bill Clinton, was announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

...At the U.N., Lute coordinates peace efforts among countries in conflict.

...In addition to her NSC work, Lute has served as vice president and chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation. She served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Lute is married to Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Obama's deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan.
A quote from James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation follows; he doesn't think she has "the right skill set."

Shock: Michael Chertoff used cleaning company that employed illegal aliens - 12/10/08

Michael Hsu of the Washington Post offers the latest in that newspaper's attempt to undercut our laws: "Cleaning Firm Used Illegal Workers at Chertoff Home", link. The Maryland cleaning service used by Michael Chertoff of the Department of Homeland Security has been fined almost $23,000 for failing to check the IDs of its workers, some of whom were illegal aliens. The Secret Service checked the IDs of the workers who visited Chez Chertoff, but those didn't involve immigration checks. Which is pretty stupid, but unless I missed it there's no indication that any of those who cleaned Chertoff's house were illegal aliens (see the update), despite what the title might say. And, through Russ Knocke (more on him below), Chertoff says he was assured that all the workers were illegal and he "fired" (more properly cancelled the contract with) the company when their problems became known.

So, despite the fact that there really isn't much to this story, expect some of those who support illegal immigration and who are too stupid to have been following along for the past eight years to present this as an example of some sort of Bush administration hypocrisy, pretending that Bush and they aren't on the same side. Then, they'll segue into a push for "comprehensive immigration reform".

However, they'll be too late, since that's part of what the article is all about. Not only does the cleaning company owner come out in support of CIR, and not only is that the subtext of the article, but perennial DHS hack Russ Knocke says:

"This matter illustrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform and the importance of effective tools for companies to determine the lawful status of their workforce."

UPDATE: The article says the owner was fined $22,880 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators said he failed to check identification and work documents and fill out required I-9 verification forms for employees, five of whom he said were part of crews sent to Chertoff's home and whom ICE told him to fire because they were undocumented, so I suppose that some of those working Chez Chertoff were illegal aliens.

And, right on cue come those who don't realize that Chertoff and Bush are on their side:
dailykos.com/story/2008/12/10/21400/312/533/671706
thinkprogress.org/2008/12/11/thinkfast-december-11-2008

Janet Napolitano's immigration stance criticized (she doesn't really oppose illegal immigration) - 12/01/08

From this:
Far from being a border hawk, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano frequently blocked efforts to curb illegal immigration, say enforcement advocates concerned about her expected nomination to be the Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama.

In July 2007, Napolitano signed what she called the toughest employer sanctions law in the country. During her first term, she established a state task force to curb ID fraud. She was also the first governor to call for using the National Guard on the border, though she subsequently vetoed legislation to grant funding for more Arizona National Guard troops on the border.

But Napolitano opposes a border fence, supports expanding a controversial technology visa program and favors a “stringent pathway to citizenship.”

She has also vetoed a bill requiring voter ID, vetoed a bill requiring local law enforcement to enforce immigration law, and later vetoed another proposal to allow local sheriffs to enforce immigration law.

She also vetoed a bill prohibiting Mexican consul ID cards [the Matricula Consular] that critics say are prone to fraud, vetoed an English-only bill, and vetoed a bill to criminalize illegal immigration...
Much more at the link. Her stance on Real ID is discussed in "Nominee Would Lead ID Program She Opposed" (link).

Obama cabinet might include Democrat titans: Gore, Napolitano, Vilsack, Howard Dean, Caroline Kennedy... - 11/11/08

The Barack Obama cabinet might include such Democratic Party titans as Al Gore, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, John Kerry, and many more truly titanic names. This link has a "transition flowchart", a PDF showing some potential picks and all of them are truly great figures who will help the Repu... er, I mean the Democrats. While this could all be a jolly joke, who knows since the head of the transition team is John Podesta and his think tank the Center for American Progress is as much a joke as the Harding Institute.

A possible "Climate Czar" is Al Gore, someone who might take Obama's outreach to pre-teens and make my April, 2008 satire about a "Green Pioneers" program a reality.

Podesta himself might head up an "Energy Security Council".

For Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is one of four possibilities.

Health and Human Services: Howard Dean or Tom Daschle.

Billionairess Penny Pritzker might be at Commerce; the tip of the iceberg on her is here.

For the Department of Homeland Security, the possiblities are:
* Tim Roemer (affiliated with George Mason University, a nexus of "cosmotarianism" and support for illegal activity),
* Raymond Kelly and Bill Bratton, chiefs of police of NYC and L.A. respectively,
* James Lee Witt (Clinton-era head of FEMA)
* Richard Clarke

For the State Department, all of them are some variation of bad jokes: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Richard Holbrooke, Sam Nunn, and Colin Powell. The latter is listed under two additional possibilities.

At HUD, one possibility is BHO fixer Valerie Jarrett.

At Interior, Bill Richardson is one of five.

As the Department of Justice, Janet Napolitano, Rep. Artur Davis, and Eric Holder are listed. Someone from the latter's law firm visited this site after I posted about the viral video attempt at that link.

Also, from the link:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Caroline Kennedy could be the ambassador to the United Nations. Kennedy Jr. might be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Caroline Kennedy could be the ambassador to the United Nations. It's just an unofficial guide but a fun one to follow.

Yes, just watch out for that iceberg.

Julie Myers to leave Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS) - 11/05/08

Ah, the end of an era. Just three years ago we were arguing over whether Bush's obvious nepotism pick of Julie Myers to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was qualified.

Bob Menendez, Teddy Kennedy still trying to hamper immigration enforcement (S.3594) - 10/02/08

Senator Robert Menendez has introduced S.3594, the "Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act", co-sponsored by Teddy Kennedy (link). The PCRURDA appears to be as bad as you might expect; some of the differences between his bill and the current law are more in the realm of those who are immigration lawyers.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) calls DHS agents "Gestapo agents" (Gebe Martinez/Politico) - 08/07/08

Alleged U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez - Democrat from Illinois - is quoted in the article "Push needed for immigration reform" (politico . com/news/stories/0808/12321.html) by ethnocentric hack reporter Gebe Martinez as saying:

Mexico-linked ACLU: immigration raids are "terrorizing communities" (Joanne Lin) - 05/22/08

Joanne Lin, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union - an organization collaborating with the Mexican government to possibly sue the U.S. government - on Monday appeared at a meeting of the Appleseed Foundation and said, in reference to local police playing a role in immigration enforcement under the 287g program:
"Local law enforcement has been given the green light to engage in racial profiling... Massive immigration sweeps are terrorizing communities across the country, including those who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents and other lawful workers... It's always been the ACLU's position that immigration is exclusively a federal law... Our view is that it's not the appropriate constitutional use of state and local power."
Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute is quoted as disagreeing with the latter claim. And, while it's not the best question I'd ask the ACLU, at least CNS asked something:
At Monday's briefing, Lin spoke about the federal lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department by the ACLU and the family on behalf of Pedro Guzman, the Associated Press reported. Guzman is a mentally disabled man who was arrested for trespassing, had no identification and was deported to Mexico.

Guzman, who is a U.S. citizen, was found by relatives near a border crossing almost three months later. When asked by Cybercast News Service if Guzman was an isolated case or if the ACLU had statistics showing how many U.S. citizens are mistakenly deported, Lin said she did not have any numbers but suspected there were other such cases.
Discrediting the ACLU would go a long way towards doing something about this issue, and since they frequently make public appearances with Q&A sessions it's not that difficult. See the last link for some questions you can ask them on videotape.

Related:
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) tries tying ICE's hands on immigration raids; Mexico-linked ACLU cheers

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) tries tying ICE's hands on immigration raids; Mexico-linked ACLU cheers - 05/20/08

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Democrat from Petaluma, California and chairwoman of the Workforce Protection Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee (some background here), held a hearing this morning regarding ICE raids (link):
Congress should enact legislation giving more teeth to existing federal guidelines aimed at ensuring that children's needs are considered when their parents are arrested in raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enfocement agents [Woolsey said]. The agency's November 2007 guidelines outlining humanitarian concerns to be addressed during raids "are not being followed in a consistent fashion," [she said].
If you listen to her 30-second whine here, it's easy to tell what she's getting at: she doesn't have much interest in immigration laws being enforced.

That belief is buttressed by the fact that the American Civil Liberties Union - an organization collaborating with the Mexican government to possibly sue the U.S. government - has issued a press release commending her actions (aclu.org/immigrants/gen/35397prs20080520.html):
Since late 2006 the Department of Homeland Security Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) section has undertaken an unprecedented campaign of immigration raids in homes, and worksites. The ACLU has challenged the legality and constitutionality of many of these raids including worksite raids conducted in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Van Nuys, California... "ICE's immigration raids have been so sweeping that they have ensnared U.S. citizens, including innocent children, in their dragnet," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "There are no regulations controlling ICE's reckless raids, and ICE routinely violates due process while conducting raids."
Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel, also weighs in with a quote.

Discrediting the ACLU is easier than discrediting Woolsey, but either would have a salubrious impact. See the last link for some questions you can ask them in public and preferably on video.

UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi's blog (?!) links to a PDF with Woolsey's opening whine (speaker.gov/blog/?p=1349, "...we are still hearing heartbreaking stories of the impact on children... ...They have been separated from their families in the cruelest of ways for long periods of time and many of their parents have been deported...", etc. etc.) as well as a video of the remarks of Simon Romo, Chief Counsel for New Mexico Child Protective Services (link). I left the following comment on the last:
We'll always have immigration laws and they'll always be enforced. So, if these two actually cared about children they'd discourage mixed-status families, and the only way to do that is to support our immigration laws and their enforcement.

Instead, they're opposing immigration enforcement, something that will make the situation worse and increase the number of mixed-status families.

Both are simply corrupt, just for slightly different reasons.

Texas Border Coalition sues to stop border fence; lead attorney is Mexico-linked Peter Schey - 05/18/08

The Texas Border Coalition - a group of cities, counties, businesses, chambers of commerce, and economic development committees listed at the link - has sued the Department of Homeland Security over the border fence. The lead attorney in the case is Peter Schey, someone with a series of links to the Mexican government. The chairman of the TBC is Chad Foster, mayor of Eagle Pass. Others involved include Richard Cortez (mayor of McAllen), Pat Ahumada (mayor of Brownsville), Raul Salinas (mayor of Laredo), and Eddie Aldrete and Dennis Nixon of International Bancshares Corp./International Bank of Commerce.

Their claims are listed here and they say that the DHS didn't pay enough for lands they acquired, showed preferential treatment regarding lands owned by the Hunt family, and that Michael Chertoff failed to more or less cross his t's by establishing guidelines beforehand. And, Schey is quoted as saying the following ironic bit:

"They hoodwinked property owners [into waiving their property rights]... This whole thing has been built on a foundation of lawlessness."

HuckPAC: Mike Huckabee launches his Political Action Committee (PAC) - 04/15/08

Mike Huckabee has launched his own Political Action Committee (PAC) called, euphonically enough, "Huck PAC" (huckpac.com), saying:

"Our goal is to secure a better future for our country by changing our punitive tax system, standing firm for the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, and protecting our borders and giving our veterans the blood-bought benefits they deserve.

David Price, Ciro Rodriguez question Michael Chertoff on fence waiver; "contingency miles"; hilarious posturing - 04/10/08

Earlier today, Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff spoke to Congress about the waivers he's using to apparently build part of the border fence.
"This is a major exercise of the waiver authority which goes beyond, I think, what many of us anticipated," House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price, D-N.C., said to Chertoff Thursday.

Price said Congress also instructed the department to conduct

Bennie Thompson, Dingell, Conyers, Reyes, Ortiz, other Democrats support Sierra Club lawsuit over border fence (DHS, environmental waiver) - 04/08/08

A cast of Congressional characters (all Democrats; listed below) intends to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the case where the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife are suing the Department of Homeland Security to prevent them from using apparently congressionally-mandated waivers that would let the DHS bypass environmental and related rules in order to build sections of the border fence.

Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee attempts to portray this as a Constitutional matter:

this waiver by the Secretary of Homeland Security is a direct challenge to Congress’s Constitutional role. The American people entrust Congress to ensure that the laws of this land are faithfully executed not excused by the Executive Branch

However, the plaintiffs and a quote from John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, makes the intent clear:

our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence

The others involved are: John Dingell, James Oberstar, George Miller, Louise Slaughter, Bob Filner, Silvestre Reyes, Solomon Ortiz, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Susan Davis, Raul Grijalva, and Yvette Clarke.

10% of entire prison population are immigrants eligible for deportation - 03/29/08

According to Julie Myers, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), around 10% of the total U.S. prison population are immigrants who could be deported (link).

DHS tries old "no-match" rule with new explanation (Judge Charles Breyer) - 03/22/08

In October, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordered an injunction against the Department of Homeland Security's attempts to begin enforcing "no-match" letters, where an employee's Social Security number doesn't match up with their name, such as would be the case with many illegal aliens but also with some U.S. citizens who've changed their names for various reasons. A coalition of illegal immigration supporters - the AFL-CIO, ACLU, the U.S.

Overview of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failures - 03/06/08

Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post celebrates the DHS's fifth-year anniversary with this two-pager list of their problems and failures:

Mexico-linked Peter Schey tries blocking border fence, may sue - 01/14/08

Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law is an immigration lawyer with at least a few links to the Mexican government.

Michael Chertoff: Real ID will lead to "reconfiguring our society" - 01/11/08

From this
Secretary Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security, announced a set of final revisions to the controversial Real ID Act in a press conference this morning.

Secure Fence Act: a hoax and a scam? (Kay Bailey Hutchison, DHS) - 12/10/07

I haven't been following the issues with the border fence*, and this article was written almost a month ago so I don't know if things have changed since then, however:
...In the fall of 2006 when Congress passed and the President signed into law the Secure Fence Act, most Americans thought they understood what they were getting.

Ramos/Compean drug smuggler arrested (for 2005 case) - 11/15/07

From this:
Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, the drug smuggler who was shot in the buttocks by El Paso Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean in 2005, was arrested on drug charges at the Zaragoza Bridge this morning, officials with the U.S.

National Council of La Raza hides behind children to oppose immigration enforcement (raids, trauma, identity theft) - 11/01/07

The extremist-funding National Council of La Raza ("The Race") has worked with the Urban Institute (info) to release a report entitled "Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children" [1]. Reading it is to be transported into another universe.

District Judge Charles Breyer blocks DHS no-match letters (ACLU, CofC, AFL-CIO) - 10/10/07

Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post offers "Judge Bars Bush Crackdown on Illegal Workers" (link):
A federal judge barred the Bush administration today from launching a planned crackdown on U.S. firms that hire illegal immigrants, warning of the plan's potentially "staggering" impact on law-abiding workers and companies.

Issuing a firm rebuke of the White House, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction against the government's plan to pressure employers to fire up to 8.7 million workers with suspect Social Security numbers starting this fall.

...Breyer said the plaintiffs, an unusual coalition that included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and the American Civil Liberties Union, had raised such serious questions about the plan to mail Social Security "no-match" letters to 140,000 U.S. employers that it should be blocked from proceeding.
It's not that "unusual": such groups have been allied in their support for illegal activity for a long time. Note of course that this is being portrayed as a defeat for Bush, when he, the WaPo, and those who brought the suit are on the same side.
..."The government's proposal to disseminate no-match letters affecting more than eight million workers will, under the mandated time line, result in the termination of employment to lawfully employed workers," the judge wrote. "Moreover the threat of criminal prosecution . . . reflects a major change in DHS [Department of Homeland Security] policy."
The previous "policy" was to refuse to enforce the laws on the books. When they make a half-hearted attempt at enforcing the laws, corrupt businesses and far-left "civil rights" groups - together with a Clinton-appointed judge (fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2719) - can't even let that happen. This will apparently be appealed, but if you'd like to do something more effective in the meantime, I suggest discrediting those who support illegal immigration.

Michael Chertoff/DHS "fisks" NYT/WaPo pro-illegal immigration editorials - 10/07/07

From our "what universe is this again?" file comes this entry (dhs.gov/journal/leadership/2007/10/its-law.html) from the Department of Homeland Security "Leadership Journal", aka DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff's blog:
Two editorials in today's Washington Post and New York Times offer a good illustration of the kind of obstacles our Department faces in dealing with the problem of illegal immigration.

The Washington Post writes [link] that our use of Social Security no

DHS revamping agriculture guest worker programs (crops rotting in fields, redefining "temporary") - 10/07/07

Nicole Gaouette of the Los Angeles Times offers "U.S. lets in more immigrants for farms" (link):
With a nationwide farmworker shortage threatening to leave unharvested fruits and vegetables rotting in fields, the Bush administration has begun quietly rewriting federal regulations to eliminate barriers that restrict how foreign laborers can legally be brought into the country.

...On all sides of the farm industry, the administration's behind-the-scenes initiative to revamp H-2A farmworker visas is fraught with anxiety. Advocates for immigrants fear the changes will come at the expense of worker protections because the administration has received and is reportedly acting on extensive input from farm lobbyists. And farmers in areas such as the San Joaquin Valley, which is experiencing a 20% labor shortfall, worry the administration's changes will not happen soon enough for the 2008 growing season.

"It's like a ticking time bomb that's going to go off," said Luawanna Hallstrom, chief operating officer of Harry Singh & Sons, a third-generation family farm in Oceanside that grows tomatoes. "I'm looking at my fellow farmers and saying, 'Oh my God, what's going on?' "
"Family farm" or politically-connected major albeit non-corporate grower? Perhaps if the LAT wanted to do some real reporting they might consider looking into her links.
Officials at the three federal agencies are scrutinizing the regulations to see whether they can adjust the farmworker program, an unwieldy system used by less than 2% of American farms to bring in foreign workers. They are considering a series of changes, including lengthening the time workers can stay, expanding the types of work they can do, simplifying how their applications are processed, and redefining terms such as "temporary."
Orwell would be proud.
The agencies are also working on possible changes to a separate visa program, H-2B, which brings in seasonal workers for resorts, clam-shucking operations and horse stables, among other businesses.
All of which are vital to our economy.
...The changes to the H-2A visa program comprise one of more than two dozen initiatives the administration announced in August. Most of the initiatives dealt with increased enforcement, the most prominent being a measure that would force employers to either fire workers for whom they've received "no match" notification (indicating their W-2 data don't match Social Security Administration records) or face punitive action from the Department of Homeland Security. When Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the enforcement push, he also acknowledged the problems that agriculture reported.

...Industry lobbyists have sent the Bush administration a set of detailed suggestions for overhauling the H-2A program through administrative changes, which could take weeks to put in place, and through changes in the regulations, a process that takes months.

Some of the suggestions under consideration include changing the procedures farmers must use to try to hire U.S. citizens first. Currently farmers have to advertise the jobs, then submit applications to Labor and Homeland Security to bring in foreign workers. Growers would prefer to move to a system in which they pledged that they had done all they could to recruit U.S. workers, but no longer had to submit an application to Labor.

Other changes under consideration would simplify the detailed H-2A housing requirements, extend the definition of "temporary" beyond 10 months, and expand the definition of "agricultural" workers to include such industries as meatpacking and poultry processing.

Curt Thompson: Urges Calm and Practicality - 10/03/07

link: galeo . org/story.php?story_id=0000003303

State Sen. Curt Thompson: Urges Calm and Practicality, "stay calm, stay put and get involved"

Found in Mundo HispanicoWritten by Senator Curt ThompsonPosted on 2007-07-11

Originally published in Spanish in Mundo Hispanico on July 5, 2007.

Posted on GALEO on 7/10/07 in English, courtesy of Sen. Curt Thompson. This version is unedited and is slightly different than the print version. The Spanish print version was edited for space.

Eliot Spitzer jeopardizes New Yorkers safety for votes (drivers licenses for illegal aliens) - 09/23/07

New York governor Eliot Spitzer will allow illegal aliens to get New York driver's licenses beginning in 2008. You may recall New York City as home to a terror attack that took place on 9/11/01 and whose perpetrators were able to obtain 35 or so driver's licenses from various states.

UFCW, Mexico-linked Peter Schey sue DHS over immigration raids (4th Amendment, yeah sure) - 09/14/07

From a UFCW press release (link):
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today, sought court intervention to protect the 4th Amendment rights of all Americans and enjoin the government from illegally arresting and detaining workers including U.S. citizens and legal residents while at their workplace.

The lawsuit - filed in the U.S.

Judge Maxine Chesney blocks no-match (ACLU, AFL-CIO) - 09/01/07

Spencer S. Hsu of the Washington Post offers the falsely titled "Immigrant Crackdown Halted":
A federal judge yesterday barred the Bush administration from launching a crackdown Tuesday on U.S. employers who hire illegal immigrants while she considers a lawsuit by the AFL-CIO that charges that the plan will harm citizens and other legal workers.

The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney in San Francisco, prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from starting to mail notices to 140,000 employers about suspect Social Security numbers. The "no- match" letters warn of penalties employers face by having discrepancies in their paperwork.
Another group involved in the TRO request was, naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union, a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government.

As could be expected, the WaPo doesn't consider the possibility that the Bush administration might welcome this:
The ruling dealt at least a temporary political setback to President Bush, who announced the workplace initiative Aug. 9 as the centerpiece of a renewed enforcement push.

Waukegan: "immigrant rights groups" protest arrests of gang members - 08/31/07

From this we see the latest example of just how far "immigrant rights groups" are willing to go:
Immigrant rights groups are holding a 24-hour prayer vigil to protest the arrests of 58 Mexican nationals.

A crowd gathered outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office Thursday night in Waukegan. Some at the vigil are questioning why people who have already been through the legal system were targeted.

ICE agents arrested 58 Mexican nationals with alleged ties to violent street gangs in the northern and northwest suburbs this week in the largest local dragnet targeting foreign-born street gang members.
Possible-but-questionable mitigating circumstances are offered by Ryan Pagelow of the Suburban Chicago News in "Caught in gangbanger deportation sweep":
Relatives of some of the legal permanent residents swept up in the immigration crackdown focusing on gang members this week said their relatives are no longer involved in gangs, although a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said only individuals who pose a threat to public safety are being arrested in "Operation Gangs Away."
The only one of the organizations mentioned is Casa Mexiquense of Waukegan, which was discussed in this 2004 article:
"People are beginning to open their eyes," said Carlos Sanchez, who is working with Casa Mexiquense to mobilize naturalized citizens in Waukegan.
From July of this year, here's a picture of their Margaret Carrasco meeting with Emma Lozano to oppose Waukegan trying to establish a 287g program. They also distributed a brochure similar to the one put out by another CASA; whether it's the same or derived from that isn't known.

AFL-CIO, ACLU, NILC sue DHS over no-match letters; EWIC - 08/30/07

From this:
...a lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security this week contends that the new rules are discriminatory and will lead to mass firings of legal workers. Even United States citizens will face discrimination if they look or sound foreign, according to the suit.

Filed in a San Francisco federal court this week, the 17-page complaint [link] also names the Social Security Administration as a defendant because it says letters informing businesses of discrepancies between employee records and the agency's database would violate worker’s rights and impose burdensome obligations on employers.
And, from this:
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.
DHS spokeshole Russ Knocke says they'll fight the lawsuit "vigorously", something I tend to doubt since Chertoff and Bush are on the same side as EWIC, the ACLU, and the AFL-CIO in supporting illegal immigration.

Judge Michael Bennett: using false identity results in no deportation order - 08/25/07

I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of U.S. citizens in prisons for purchasing birth certificates of those who died as children, assuming their identities, and then obtaining other identity documents such as SSN cards and passports. However, I guess there were "mitigating circumstances" in this case:
[U.S.

Elvira Arellano arrested by "La Migra"! - 08/19/07

elvira arellano

Convicted criminal Elvira Arellano has been arrested by ICE in downtown Los Angeles. Apparently Telemundo is trying to rile up their audience, but La Opinion only has a brief report (laopinion.com/supp2/?rkey=00000000000002163320).

Will this result in massive riots as supposed Americans who put their race ahead of their country join with foreign citizens who are here illegally to support attempts by some to refuse to abide by our laws? Or, will it go largely unnoticed except by those outside the far-left who'll stage a few small protests? Will corrupt priests like Cardinal Roger Mahoney rally 'round Elvira, or will they decide that for the sake of their little remaining credibility it's best to leave the issue be? Did ICE do this to show that no one is above the law, or did they do it in order to provoke a reaction from the left and use that to get the amnesty they want?

I suspect that come tomorrow people will respond to the name "Elvira" by saying, "You mean, the horror movie presenter?", but we shall see.

UPDATE: "Immigrant Rights Activist Elvira Arrellano Arrested in LA -- Solidarity Actions in Chicago Tonight and Tomorrow" (chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/79065/index.php). Hopefully Democratic politicians won't let the community down and will decide to stand in solidarity with Arellano and in support of massive criminality.

8/20 UPDATE: She was deported to Tijuana late last night (laopinion.com/primerapagina/?rkey=00000000000002166700), and will continue the struggle from the Mexican side of the border. "Citizen Saul" remains in the U.S. with Emma Lozano. U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Bobby Rush will be pushing private citizenship bills. The final paragraph of the article notes that CHIRLA ("Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles"; allegedly has collaborated with the Mexican government) is urging people to express their outrage... by calling Julie Myers of ICE. La Opinion - always willing to help out - even includes her phone number.

Note to GOP and Dem politicians: wouldn't supporting Elvira be a great way to reach out to the Hispanic vote? Many hacks have said that in order to get that supposed vote it's necessary to support amnesty; what difference is there really between that and supporting Elvira? Many or most of those who would have been amnestied are guilty of working under a false Social Security number, with some going even further than Arellano did and engaging in identity theft. The only thing unique about her is that she was unlucky enough to be caught and convicted.

If you're going to support millions of unconvicted lawbreakers in a corrupt plea for votes, surely supporting just one convicted lawbreaker shouldn't be a problem, right?

UPDATE 3: As always, Biff knows best! Please, Democrats, heed his call and stand up for immigrants rights.

UPDATE 4: Unfortunately, so far support from the "mainstream" left appears to be a bit lacking. Patty Kupfer - head of The Sojourners' Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform - offers a sympathetic post (blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/08/sanctuary-movement-activist-ar.html) and links to their magazine, which features her on the cover (sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0709&article=070910a). And, Atrios says (atrios.blogspot.com/2007_08_19_archive.html#8506770275171716290):

You know, there are aspects of the immigration issue where I think well-intentioned people can have wide disagreement on, but I just can't think of any good reason to support the deportation of the parents of American citizens.

Meanwhile, an unknown party has posted a diary entry wondering why John Edwards isn't jumping on this issue.

UPDATE 5: I called attention to this page that Emma Lozano and Arellano wrote (somosunpueblo.com/Unify_and_Focus.html) before (cached here), but I think this is a good paragraph to throw back at anyone foolish enough to support her:

We have taught that our people did not come here because of the American Dream but because of what the American nightmare did to our countries of origin. We have asserted that our demand to be here and to be fully enfranchised here is a right not a privilige and a destiny of our people to transform this nation.

UPDATE 6: The useful idiots/peacenik collaborators at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is "gravely concerned" other her deportation, claiming that she was "ripped away" from Saul (link). In fact, she can always take him with her. Christian Ramirez, an "AFSC national immigrants' rights coordinator", met with her in Tijuana. Their release ends with:

Instead of giving free rein to repressive worksite raids and other punitive enforcement measures, this country needs constructive immigration policies that enable Elvira Arellano and other undocumented parents to remain with their children and find a path to legal residency and citizenship.

Based on her quote above, you might say it's her manifest destiny to get on that path.

Lindsey Graham wants biometric Social Security card - 08/18/07

How ironic that the pro-illegal immigration efforts of "civil libertarians" like the ACLU will make it easier for those who want to control the populace to push through their schemes:
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday he will introduce legislation to replace all paper Social Security cards with plastic biometric cards that can't be duplicated, so employers can be certain of the legal status of their workers...

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