dianne feinstein: Page 1
The galling incompetence of supposed opponents of the far-left, Part 1 (Limbaugh, Fluke, "slut", Jacobson) - 03/04/12
Rush Limbaugh recently used the word "slut" when discussing Congressional testimony given by one Sandra Fluke . That activated yet another battle in the leftwing's long-term war to get him off the air, and their latest effort has been more successful than others: several sponsors have dropped their ads from his show. One of them even dropped off after Limbaugh issued an apology.
Supreme Court orders California to release >30,000 prisoners; how much overcrowding due to illegal immigration? (ACLU) - 05/23/11
The US Supreme Court has ordered the state of California to release at least 30,000 state prisoners in order to reduce overcrowding (link, excerpt at ). What you probably won't hear from many others is the role that massive immigration - especially of the illegal variety - has played in this matter.
According to a Public Policy Institute of California study, "[i]n 2005, there were 28,279 foreign born adults and 139,419 U.S.-born adults in California prisons". Not all of the former are illegal aliens; in fact, it appears that statistics on the numbers of illegal aliens in California prisons are kept under wraps (but if anyone has a valid cite, leave it in comments). However, most of those foreign born are likely to be low-skilled legal immigrants and a large number of them will be illegal aliens; few of that number are likely to be H1B engineers. And, all of that number could have been prevented from coming here in the first place. Note that Arnold Schwarzenegger put the number of illegal aliens in state prisons at 20,000 but it's not known where he got that number. The Government Accountability Office put the number of illegal aliens in California state prisons at about 27,000 in 2008 .
Reducing low-skilled immigration would have gone a long way towards reducing prison overcrowding, and without all that massive immigration we wouldn't have tens of thousands of prisoners set free to roam the streets of California.
California now has two weeks to produce a plan that would reduce its prison population by more than 33,000 inmates within two years. [Matthew Cate, secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] said the state could ask a federal three-judge panel for more time to reach the lower inmate number. He said Brown’s proposal to shift thousands of state prisoners to county jails would reduce the state’s prison population by about 30,000 inmates over the next four years.
So, while the outcome isn't clear, I might be wrong about tens of thousands of prisoners being released to roam the streets. In any case, we wouldn't have the problem in the first place without massive, especially illegal, immigration.
Also, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend of the court brief in the case and issues a triumphant press release at . As discussed at the last link, the ACLU is a very strong supporter of illegal immigration; they helped the state get into the current mess.
UPDATE 2: It's worth noting that Sonia Sotomayor was on the wrong side, and the ruling was 5-4. See the link for who's to blame for her making it to the Supreme Court.
"there are 20,000 illegal inmates [she means illegal aliens] that the federal government should be taking care of and they’re not. If they take over those 20 thousand illegal inmates, at least we’d be halfway to what the court has ordered."
And, from this:
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, this week sent a "2010 invoice" for $885,039,426 to President Barack Obama asking him to pay up or take custody of 17,000 illegal immigrants from state prisons.
...Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has also sought the reimbursement from the federal government through a reauthorization bill. It would provide $950 million for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2015 to carry out the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (note: see SCAAP).
...In 2010, SCAAP doled out a roughly $400 million to 850 cities, counties and states, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research organization.
..."The state has spent over $885 million to house these inmates, but last year we got reimbursed only $88 million," Donnelly said. "That's less than 10 cents for every dollar spent."
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation holds in custody 16,829 inmates who are under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.
An additional 3,844 are under "potential" ICE hold - deemed possible illegal entrants who have not come into contact with Department of Homeland Security and have no record in the federal database.
 From the Los Angeles Times article:
[U.S. Supreme Court] Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel.
Justice (Anthony Kennedy), speaking for the majority, said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements" because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet.
Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. The justices, however, agreed that California officials should be given more time to make the needed reductions.
In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling "staggering" and "absurd."
He said the high court had repeatedly overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering the release of individual prisoners. Now, he said, the majority were ordering the release of "46,000 happy-go-lucky felons." He added that "terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order." Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with him.
In a separate dissent, Justice (Samuel Alito). and Chief Justice (John Roberts) said the ruling conflicted with a federal law intended to limit the power of federal judges to order a release of prisoners.
Note that their total for the number of state prisoners as of 2005 is almost 168,000, while the LAT says there are currently 142,000. Some of that may be due to shifting prisoners to local facilities, or it could be a matter of apples and oranges. In any case, the percentages are likely to be similar. As I said, it's difficult to find statistics on these matters.
 (added later) Per the GAO (gao.gov/new.items/d11187.pdf):
[T]he total number of SCAAP illegal aliens incarcerated in California state prisons in fiscal year 2008 was about 27,000, which accounted for about 10 percent of all inmate days.
That might again be an apples and oranges number, but it's the closest I've found to a definitive cite.
"Temporary" Protected Status for Haitian illegal aliens pushed by profiteers (Haiti earthquake) - 01/14/10
[TPS has been approved; see the update below]
Yesterday, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security suspended repatriations of illegal aliens from Haiti; that makes some sense as long as it's actually temporary. What doesn't make sense are the calls from some to give "Temporary Protected Status" in the U.S. to Haitian illegal aliens. The word "temporary" is generally a misnomer as that status is renewed over and over.
TPS would be an infected band-aid that wouldn't fix Haiti's structural problems and in some cases would result in importing Haiti's problems into the U.S. It would also result in brain-draining that country of its more energetic citizens, making things easier for corrupt Haitian leaders. These pushing TPS are at root simply self-serving: they're interested in little more than obtaining political power. They're thinking only of themselves instead of trying to solve problems; they're only making the long-term situation worse.
"Well, we have, as you know, many Haitian Americans. Most are here legally. Some are not documented. And the Obama administration is taking steps to make sure that people are given some temporary status so that we don’t compound the problem that we face in Haiti."
Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both Democrats, and (Representatives Lincoln Diaz Balart and Mario Diaz Balart) of south Florida, both Republicans, as well as John C. Favalora, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Miami... "If this is not a slam-dunk case for temporary protected status, I don’t know what is," said Kevin Appleby, a spokesman for the bishops. He said the status would allow Haitian immigrants here to work here and send money back to relatives in Haiti trying to recover from the quake.
Appleby's proposal is at heart immoral: he would encourage Haiti to become even more dependent on the U.S. than they already are and he would embed that dependence in their society, instead of encouraging them to develop their own commerce.
The letter from Senators encouraging TPS is here; in addition to Gillibrand and Schumer, the signatories are: John Kerry, Paul Kirk, Jeff Bingaman, Bill Nelson, Dick Durbin, Frank Lautenberg, Chris Dodd, Bob Menendez, Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, Bob Casey, and Bernie Sanders.
(The Florida politicians including Ileana Ros Lehtinen) are among several leaders holding separate news conferences in Miami on Thursday to draw further attention to the issue. Others include the head of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, who will be accompanied by Edwidge Danticat, a celebrated Haitian author and winner of a MacArthur Fellow "genius" grant. Twenty-six refugee agencies also sent a joint letter Thursday urging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to consider TPS for Haitians, and the National Council of La Raza released a statement to the same effect.
That also contains Mark Krikorian seeming to support TPS in this case, as well as this:
"When somebody works here they can support up to 10 times that number back in Haiti. So we're talking about supporting hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti at no cost to U.S. taxpayers," (Steve Forester, a Miami-based advocate with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) said.
Obviously, he's either trying to mislead people or he can't think things through. Many or most of the jobs they'd be doing would be jobs that Americans who are drawing unemployment insurance could be doing, and much of the labor those Haitians would be doing in the U.S. would be heavily subsidized.
"We are considering all alternatives available to us in extending a helping hand to Haiti," (Alejandro Mayorkas of the USCIS) said. He confirmed those considerations include temporary protected status for Haitians.
And, Reform Immigration for America is also promoting TPS with a petition drive: reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/blog/
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has joined with several other groups in calling for TPS:
Likewise with Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
"It is in the foreign policy interest of the United States and a humanitarian imperative of the highest order to have all people of Haitian descent in a position to contribute towards the recovery of this island nation."
See the comments above.
1/15/10 UPDATE: Janet Napolitano has now approved TPS, but only for those illegal aliens who were here on Tuesday. How they'll be able to tell isn't clear; some people will no doubt try to provide fake documentation showing they were here at that time.
Will Jerry Brown far-left radio diatribes be used by Gavin Newsom, GOP to portray themselves as mainstream? - 10/21/09
For three years in the 90s, former California governor Jerry Brown had a radio program Berkeley's far-left KPFA. Jack Chang of the Sacramento Bee has obtained copies of some of the programs (link, see ) and is ready to reveal some of their shocking contents. He speculates that Gavin Newsom (a strong illegal immigration supporter) and the GOP might use the excerpts against Brown. For instance, consider this shocking bit:
I don't know what we're supposed to be shocked by: whether because Brown called them out, or whether because Brown opposed allowing potentially unsafe Mexican trucks on American roads as part of a NAFTA scheme that would indeed result in truckers' wages trending towards those of their Mexican competitors. If the first, who cares? Next question. If the second, Brown is definitely going against Beltway orthodoxy, but he was right.
Now, that doesn't mean that "Moonbeam" is right on everything; far from it. However, he does have quite a bit more backbone and integrity than Arnold Schwarzenegger and a combination with him and a similar conservative as Lt. Gov. would probably be better than what we have now. And, unless he starts making open borders noises, it would be far preferable to Newsom.
Other shocking! comments follow; for the first, note that the prison guards union and the like are quite powerful. Feel free to be shocked! in comments:
Senator Dianne Feinstein has re-introduced the "Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act" (AgJobs) farmworker amnesty plan  with sixteen co-sponsors . Consider these listed features:
# Undocumented agriculture workers would be eligible for a “blue card” if they can demonstrate having worked in American agriculture for at least 150 work days (or 863 hours) over the previous two years before December 31, 2008.
# The blue card holder would be required to work in American agriculture for an additional three years (working at least 150 work days per year) or five years (working at least 100 work days per year), before becoming eligible to apply for a green card to become a permanent legal resident.
# The blue card would entitle the worker to a temporary legal resident status. The total number of blue cards would be capped at 1.35 million over a five-year period, and the program would sunset after five years.
A former Department of Labor attorney discusses it here, using phrases like "anti-American", "un-American", and "indentured servitude". Note that the cap would probably be increased over time until many more were covered by the amnesty, and note also that such programs are easy to abuse using fake documents. For instance:
Two-thirds of special agricultural worker applications for a 1986 amnesty were fraudulent. Terrorist Mohammed Abouhalima was one such fraud. He secured legal status, then got involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
And, note the incredible dishonesty in the various statements at , such as:
"During these rough economic times, our own farmers can’t find enough workers," said Senator Nelson (D-Fla.)... ...Efforts have been made for years to get Americans to do the work, but they simply won’t do it...
Absent easy access to cheap foreign labor, farmers and growers would be forced to either move offshore, mechanize, or raise wages and increase labor standards in order to attract American workers. If they really wanted to do the latter, they could do it especially with millions of U.S. citizens unemployed.
Then, under the headline "Consider some of these stories", they discuss a few crops rotting in the fields articles, part of the decades-long line of grower-friendly propaganda promising $10 heads of lettuce without a guest workers program. Two out of the three were discussed here: one about growers moving operations to Mexico, and another from a year ago featuring a tomato grower whining. As it turned out, he had been named to a panel by George W Bush.
UPDATE: The House version will be re-introduced by Democrat Howard Berman and Republican Adam Putnam. Craig Regelbrugge of the American Nursery and Landscape Association and the Agriculture Coalition for Labor Reform and Tom Stenzel of the United Fresh Produce Association cheer the news here.
UPDATE 2: Not surprisingly, the NYT supports the scheme.
 The co-sponsors, all Democrats, are: Charles Schumer, Pat Leahy, Jeff Bingaman, Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Bob Casey, Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold, Ted Kauffman, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Herb Kohl, Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Patty Murray, and Bill Nelson.
Obama budget ends SCAAP, just like Bush did (reimburses states for illegal alien incarceration) - 05/08/09
Barack Obama's budget has no funding for SCAAP, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. That reimburses states for their cost of incarcerating illegal aliens, and it will supposedly save $400 million. And, not funding that program is something that Bush tried to do in each year of his presidency; Congress rebuffed the previous illegal immigration-supporting president's attempts. That "tango" where the program is underfunded by Congress after an attempt to cut is made by the president is described here (from March 2008).
The AFSCME wasn't happy when Bush tried this last year (link), and past quotes in opposition to that Bush attempt from Janet Napolitano and Reps. John Spratt and Gabrielle Giffords (all Democrats) are here.
"Forcing state governments to pick up the tab for federal government's failures doesn't save Texas taxpayers one dime."
"[Obama's actions deprive] communities of critical funding for public safety services... We cannot afford to let our public safety services crumble under the weight of our immigration policies, especially during this time of economic uncertainty."
UPDATE: A letter demanding funding for SCAAP has been signed by 12 Democratic and five Republican members of Congress (link).
Dianne Feinstein wanted $25 billion for FDIC after they gave her husband a real estate deal - 04/20/09
On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.
Mrs. Feinstein's intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn't a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments - not direct federal dollars...
Her husband is Richard Blum; the company is CB Richard Ellis Group or CBRE. Both of them deny any funny business and say they had no knowledge of the contract.
QUESTION: Good evening, America. My name is Jered Townsend from Clio, Michigan.
To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe.
This is my baby, purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views.
...COOPER: Senator Biden, are you going to be able to keep his baby safe?
BIDEN: I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.
I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I'm being serious. Look, just like me, we go around talking about people who own guns. I am the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban, that became law, and then we got defeated and then Dianne Feinstein went to town on it and did a great job.
BIDEN: Look, we should be working with law enforcement, right now, to make sure that we protect people against people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they're either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record, and...
COOPER: We got one more question. Before...
BIDEN: ... I hope he doesn't come looking for me.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) obtained passage today of an amendment to the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill to provide partial amnesty for illegal immigrants working in agriculture. The amendment would provide legal status for 1.35 million agricultural workers and lessen current protections for Americans and new foreign workers taking agricultural jobs.
[It] would provide temporary limited legal immigration status to experienced farmworkers who must continue to work in agriculture for five years after enactment.Note that she's continually tried to enact the more sweeping AgJobs amnesty. Feinstein spokesman Scott Gerber pretends that the endless propaganda about crops rotting in the fields is anything other than an attempt to gain cheaper labor. You can send a FAX about this here; perhaps you could suggest that she sticks to doing things like this instead.
Workers, however, could not obtain legal permanent resident status (green cards), the program would be capped at 1.35 million workers nationwide and eligibility would be limited to those who can prove agricultural employment for at least 150 days or 863 hours or who have earned at least $7,000 working in agriculture during the 48 months prior to Dec. 31, 2007.
The plan would also require emergency workers to labor at least 100 days per year in agriculture for each of the next five years, pay a $250 fine plus processing fees and restricts them from receiving social security benefits based on prior illegal employment.
Details on the amendment that was added to HR 5441 here.
According to this, Sen. Dianne Feinstein yesterday decided that she didn't have the votes to add the AgJobs farmworker amnesty to the Farm Bill:
"When we took a clear-eyed assessment of the politics of the farm bill and the defeat of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, it became clear that our support could not sustain these competing forces... [because of this] we will continue to see labor shortages far into the future. Fruit will rot. Crops will go unharvested.
The DREAM Act was up for a cloture vote earlier today; the Democrats needed 60 votes to proceed, but they only came up with 52 versus 44 opposed.
UPDATE: The votes are here.
Those voting for it included current or former presidential contenders Joe Biden (D-DE), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and Barack Obama (D-IL).
Republicans voting for it were: Bob Bennett (R-UT), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Larry Craig (R-ID
(From the L.A. Times, via John and Ken)
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a leading immigration policy critic, said Wednesday that amendments planned for upcoming legislation could put more than 4 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.
...Sessions warned colleagues in a letter that legislation (S 774) labeled the DREAM Act that would allow states to provide college benefits to illegal immigrants could be offered as an amendment to the fiscal 2008 Defense appropriations bill (HR 3222) later this month.
There's a "sense of crisis" among growers over supposed attempts to enforce our laws.
Step one in the plan for passage calls for farmers and their allies to emphasize anew the dangers of losing an agricultural work force.They've been working on that for a while, with sympathetic "news" sources promoting "crops rotting in the fields" articles.
"Agriculture is going to push this thing," Manuel Cunha, president of the Fresno-based Nisei Farmers League, said Wednesday... Recently, Cunha took part in an immigration conference call with White House officials who are maneuvering in their own way.
[...Step Two involves Reid's schemes...]
Step three in the AgJobs game plan relies on employer anxiety over a new Bush administration plan for cracking down on companies that hire illegal immigrants. Two weeks ago, the White House announced plans to send out tens of thousands of so-called "no-match" letters...
Carlos Gutierrez, Larry Craig get plaques from American Nursery and Landscape Association - 07/30/07
Attendees at the 2007 (American Nursery and Landscape Association) Legislative Conference visited approximately 250 House and Senate offices representing 40 states. Attendees visited Capitol Hill to lobby Congress for a solution to the labor and immigration crisis and to support specialty crop provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill reauthorization. Research funding and water policy were also addressed.Instead of sending bricks or toilet brushes, perhaps we should send plaques with sarcastic messages.  12/16/10 UPDATE: The image in this post appears to have been deleted. It was at: lawnandlandscape.com/news/images/Gutierrez_Regelbugge2.jpg
United States Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez [shown right receiving a plaque "in thanks for his work to secure comprehensive immigration reform"]  and Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) [also got his own plaque] both addressed the attendees, encouraging them to maintain their efforts to achieve a necessary solution for securing a viable workforce for our country's agricultural and seasonal industries...
...Confirming the importance of continued lobbying, the very evening the conference concluded Senators Larry Craig and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) engaged in a 40-minute debate on the Senate floor in an attempt to introduce AgJOBS provisions, agricultural worker immigration reform, in response to anti-immigrant language introduced into the Farm Bill...
...The partners include ANLA, OFA (An Association of Floriculture Professionals), the Irrigation Association (IA), the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), ANLA’s Lighthouse Partner state associations, the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), and the National Association of Plant Patent Owners (NAPPO)...
The nation's largest Hispanic advocacy group says it must come up with a strategy to combat "a wave of hate" its leaders say came from talk radio's efforts to sink the Senate's immigration bill.
A group of lawmakers and farmers will gather to ask Congress to pass responsible immigration reform. Labor shortages are being reported on American farms across the country, leaving crops rotting in the field. Agriculture Needs Action Now from Congress to secure access to a legal and stable workforce.Those coming by include:
Maureen Torrey of Torrey Farms, Elba, NY;
Phil Glaize of Fred Glaize Inc., VA;
Elia Vasquez, a strawberry and herb grower from Watsonville, CA;
Mike Gempler of the Washington Growers League (WA) and National Council of Agriculture Employers from Yakima, WA;
Tom Nassif, President of Western Growers Association.
The Bush administration wants to allow about 100 Mexican trucking companies to drive beyond the border zone. The reciprocal NAFTA provision allowing U.S. truckers to drive throughout Mexico is still being negotiated.
The details of the bill as provided by those Reps and apparently annotated by the OC Register are included in the extended entry, and they even include the creation of a "North American security perimeter".
The exact details of the amnesty itself don't really matter: the bill is amnesty and will be perceived as such around the world, resulting in massive amounts of both legal and illegal immigration to the U.S.
The way to solve this issue is clear:
1. Call your representatives and urge everyone else you know to do the same.
2. Work to discredit anyone who supports this or other amnesties. That includes anyone who has some sort of influence, from major bloggers to religious leaders to Congressmen. If you have the chance to destroy their career, do it.
_A new worker program. This variation on a guest worker program would allow low-skilled people to get jobs here when U.S. workers could not be found to fill a needed job. These employees would be able to change jobs and travel and eventually get on a path to citizenship. The worker visa would be valid for three years and renewable once.
This provision is likely to draw fire from those who favor a temporary worker program, under which guest workers would not be able to remain here indefinitely. A group of Republican senators have been working with the White House on their own bill that is expected to include a guest worker program, but not one that would lead to permanent residency.
_A legalization plan. Illegal immigrants who pay a fine and pass background checks would be eligible for a conditional status and could work and travel for six years. If during that time they learned English, stayed employed, had clean criminal records, paid fines and back taxes, the immigrants would be eligible for legal status.
This plan also includes a requirement that the undocumented immigrants leave the country and reenters legally. It's not clear from the summary available exactly how that would work.
Such a provision will likely engender opposition from immigration advocates who would see that as an impediment to some of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants coming forward. But it could make such a plan more palatable to those who say any legalization plan amounts to an amnesty.
_Employer verification. Employers would have to verify that the people they hire are legally entitled to work in the U.S. The new system would eventually apply to all employees and all new hires and would be implemented in phases. Penalties would be increased for employers who don't comply with the verification system.
Both sides in the immigration debate have been calling for such a provision.
_Agriculture. The AgJobs legislation introduced in the House and Senate would be included. This would give a path to legalization and citizenship to an estimated 5 million agriculture workers.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., have been especially pushing this provision. Feinstein has said she would prefer to start with this plan instead of a broader overall bill.
_Education. This provision would allow illegal immigrant students to pay in-state college tuition and also remove current barriers to their getting a higher education and to working.
This proposal has had strong bipartisan support in past congresses.
_Border security. More border enforcement personnel would be hired and increased technology used to secure the U.S./Mexico border. A North American security perimeter would be established in coordination with Mexico.
First, it starts like this:
Early this week, the Bush administration urged angry conservatives to remain calm over the convictions of two former Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler, but petitions for their release continued to flood the White House.
Later on, he reveals that Sen. Dianne Feinstein "promised to look into the matter", and the American Federation of Government Employees will "speak with one voice" against the convictions. I don't know about the AFGE, but most people wouldn't put Feinstein in the "angry conservative" camp.
After the shooting, the agents collected all shell casings at the scene, threw them away and did not mention the shooting to superiors, a violation of Border Patrol procedures that call for an oral report after a weapon is discharged, according to the report and court records.
As far as I know, supervisors were on the scene or knew about the incident, which seems to indicate that the requirements for an "oral report" had been met. Also, I recall that the complaint from U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton was that a written report hadn't been made, but only supervisors - and thus not Ramos or Compean - can make such reports.
Investigators granted immunity to Aldrete-Davila to lure him back across the border. The story he told was corroborated by other officers at the scene, the report said.
Those statements may contradict the facts of the matter; OAD might have been presented to the U.S. by the Mexican consulate. Note also that a few of the agents on the scene have since been fired.
Then, Fears refers to Rep. Ted Poe (Tex.), Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (N.C.) as "[a]ngry congressional Republicans". Were they scowling as well?
I'm hardly an expert on the case, but parts of Fears' report are misleading at best. Please contact the WaPo's ombudsman and suggest they do more research: projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/deborah+howell/
Ramos/Compean: evidence in van; injuries worse than reported; other agents fired; Feinstein - 02/10/07
Garance Burke of the AP swallows grower propaganda till, tractor, and plow in "California farmers gear up to champion new guest worker bill". She also reveals that CA Senator Dianne Feinstein and Idaho Senator Larry Craig will be introducing a new farmworker amnesty scheme tomorrow. It appears to be a new version of AgJobs, and:
The bill would create a pilot program allowing people who have worked in agriculture for at least 150 days a year for three years, or 100 days per year for five years, to apply for a green card. It would grant legal status to no more than 1.5 million workers over five years, some of whom could apply for citizenship.
The rest of the article consists of growers making unopposed statements that strain credulity; see the "crops rotting in the fields" series for past examples. It also contains this statement that's wrong for one reason and raises questions for another:
Growers and farm worker advocates don't agree on how to fix a system that has allowed an estimated 12 million immigrants to enter the country illegally.
First, as the list of AgJobs endorsers (fourth link above) shows, those two nominally opposed forces have found common ground with this massive amnesty. Second, the "fix" needed are investigations of donations made to politicians and whether those have any bearing on those politicians then refusing to enforce our laws or supporting efforts not to enforce them. Whether Burke realizes this, or whether she thinks that new legislation would solve the problem isn't clear.
Then, we get this Feinstein quote:
"Virtually everybody agrees that agriculture is an industry that cannot do well without the undocumented worker... And the people are coming to the realization that there won't be a comprehensive immigration bill. The first step was taken with the border security bill. (A guest worker program) is the next logical step."
It's good to see that she's admitting defeat on "comprensive reform". However, her first statement is shown to be false (intentionally?) by the next paragraphs:
In the meantime, Chiesa has already started pulling up some of his peach trees and replanting rows of almond and walnut trees, which can be harvested by machines instead of people.
Maybe Feinstein should lead the way towards reviving research into mechanization rather than encouraging the importation of a third world serf class.
UPDATE: This apparent rewrite has more on those involved:
Among those supporting the bill are Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a chief architect of last year's Senate immigration bill, and Sens. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Mel Martinez, R-Fla... Reps. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, and Howard Berman, D-Calif., are sponsoring the House version. It has the backing of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn. and Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, a member of the Republican leadership team.
Their caption: SAN FRANCISCO / Dawn of shiny new life for Old Mint / Feinstein, Pelosi preside over ceremonial minting of coins to fund its reincarnation
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi each struck a commemorative silver dollar and told a bit of the Old Mint's rich history.
Western Growers, one of California's largest and most prominent agricultural trade associations, today announced its endorsement of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for reelection to the United States Senate.Meanwhile, in older news:
"Senator Feinstein has represented California with great integrity, honor and skill," said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers. "She has been an outstanding member of the United States Senate and has proven that she is a true friend of our industry. Senator Feinstein has consistently supported California agriculture and has been a strong leader for the industry on critical issues such as immigration reform..."
...Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose 3,000 members grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh vegetables and nearly 70 percent of the fresh fruit and nuts grown in Arizona and California, about one-half of the nation's fresh produce. For more information, visit wga.com
Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, Tom Nassif did something few law-abiding citizens would ever think to do: He called the U.S. Border Patrol here and suggested agents stop manning a highway checkpoint intended to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.Dianne Feinstein, valiantly protecting the U.S. from the specter of mythical $10 a head lettuce by trying to make the Senate amnesty even worse.
A former U.S. ambassador and currently the president of a powerful farming association, Mr. Nassif told officials that the agency couldn't have picked a worse time to beef up enforcement. Didn't they know it was lettuce season?
In addition to Nassif, a few other favorites serve on the board of the Western Growers Association: Luawanna Hallstrom of Oceanside's Singh & Sons (what harm could illegal aliens do on a Marine Base anyway?) and perennial "crops rotting in the fields" quote source Jon Vessey. Use the search function to find many more quotes from Dianne Feinstein's strong supporters.
A new site from FAIR has a petition you can sign supporting the two Border Patrol agents who appear to have been railroaded: Justice for the Border Patrol.
It contains this interesting quote from Sen. Dianne Feinstein:
"It appears that the facts do not add up or justify the length of the sentences for these agents, let alone their conviction on multiple counts. Border agents often have a difficult and dangerous job in guarding our nation's borders.
The extended entry has a few reports about 1995's Latino Summit Response to 187 which was discussed in this entry about Fabian Nunez.
Paper: Press-Enterprise, The (Riverside, CA)
Title: Hispanics call illegal immigration issue racist
Author: Skip Morgan
Date: January 5, 1994
A coalition of Hispanic activists vowed yesterday to fight back
against what they see is an attempt by Gov.