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HisDaughter
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« Reply #150 on: August 18, 2008, 10:46:24 PM »

America as we know it will dissolve like a sugar cube in coffee.


This is exactly what I've been trying to say.
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« Reply #151 on: August 24, 2008, 10:58:51 PM »

Illegal Immigrants Returning to Mexico in Record Numbers

Friday , August 22, 2008
By Kris Gutierrez

DALLAS —
Illegal immigrants are returning home to Mexico in numbers not seen for decades — and the Mexican government may have to deal with a crush on its social services and lower wages once the immigrants arrive.

The Mexican Consulate's office in Dallas is seeing increasing numbers of Mexican nationals requesting paperwork to go home for good, especially parents who want to know what documentation they'll need to enroll their children in Mexican schools.

"Those numbers have increased percentage-wise tremendously," said Enrique Hubbard, the Mexican consul general in Dallas. "In fact, it's almost 100 percent more this year than it was the previous two years."

The illegal immigrant population in the U.S. has dropped 11 percent since August of last year, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Its research shows 1.3 million illegal immigrants have returned to their home countries.

Some say illegal immigrants are leaving because a soft economy has led to fewer jobs, causing many laborers to seek work elsewhere.

Others argue that a tough stance on immigration through law enforcement has spread fear throughout the illegal population.

"There's no question there's a variety of suggestions that people are in fact returning," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "Remittances, which is the money immigrants send home to Mexico, have gone down dramatically over the past year. Again, probably part the economy, but also part enforcement, leading to fewer people being here."

Advocates for immigrants are disturbed by the trend. Albert Ruiz, an organizer for the League of United Latin American Citizens, agrees that more undocumented immigrants are going home — but says families are being torn apart in the process.

If a father is deported, Ruiz says, his family members in America are forced either to fend for themselves or follow him to a country where they've never even lived.

"So the mother is saying we should return home with the breadwinner of the family to Mexico, and the children are saying, I don't want to leave, I'm a U.S. citizen, I don't know that country," said Ruiz.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon plans to help returning nationals by providing food, medical care and temporary shelter if needed. But reports are already out in Mexico that the large number of illegal immigrants returning home could drive down wages and put pressure on social services — the same concerns many Americans have with illegals living and working in the U.S.

Illegal Immigrants Returning to Mexico in Record Numbers
~~~~~~~~~~~

What goes around, comes around. The illegals put pressure on our social services, and wages. They drove crime up, cause they didn't care where their money came from.

The people here in the United States who harbored illegals should also, to serve time. Illegal, means just that ILLEGAL.
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« Reply #152 on: August 26, 2008, 12:14:37 PM »

Hit Men To Go After U.S. Targets - Given Permission By Mexico Drug Cartels

Law enforcement on this side of the border now confirm that Mexican drug cartels have given their hit men permission to cross into the U.S. to kill their targets. There are now fears that the bloody violence in Juarez may spill across the border.

El Paso police and federal agents confirm the cartel warnings and say security has been beefed up along the border.

El Paso police spokesman Chris Mears says authorities learned of the threat last week.

Security is being heightened along the southern U.S. border because of the threat that warring Mexican cartels may send hit men into the United States.

Law enforcement officials would not discuss specific security measures being taken at the ports of entry, along the border or in the city of El Paso, Texas.

“We received credible information that drug cartels in Mexico have given permission to hit targets on the U.S. side of the border,” El Paso police spokesman Officer Chris Mears said.

[...]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Officer Rick Lopez said: “CBP is on heightened alert ever since we became aware of the threats in Mexico.”

[...]

The cartels, battling one another and the Mexican government for supremacy and control of lucrative drug and human smuggling routes, have become brazen in their attacks in recent months.

In Juarez this month, masked gunmen stormed a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and killed eight people. Days later, Red Cross workers stopped treating gunshot victims for several hours after receiving death threats over Red Cross radios. The Red Cross had already stopped responding to emergency calls after 10 p.m. because of security concerns.

Law enforcement officials this year in New Mexico and Texas said they had received a purported cartel hit list identifying 15 to 20 potential targets in those states. Mears said the latest threat contained no specific targets.

[...]

While the ongoing cartel war has been largely contained in Mexico, more than two dozen gunshot victims have been taken for medical treatment in El Paso, prompting security lockdowns at the county hospital.

Lopez said agents working at the ports, where those gunshot victims have been taken before coming into the U.S., are taking extra security precautions. Ambulances transporting gunshot victims are already being escorted by local law enforcement to the hospital, he said.

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« Reply #153 on: August 26, 2008, 12:16:51 PM »

Not allowing our border agents to enforce the law and putting them into prison for enforcing it is the cause of these people being emboldened to take such action. There is very little if any fear of the law because they realize that they are able to get away with these crimes.

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« Reply #154 on: August 30, 2008, 09:43:53 AM »

Americans line up to fill job openings after immigration raid
ICE agents seized 595 plant workers suspected of being in U.S. illegally

Howard Industries found itself at the center of activity again Tuesday.

Hundreds of job applicants lined up, eager to take advantage of the sudden job openings at the plant located in Jones County, where the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.

ICE agents on Monday seized 595 plant workers suspected of being in the country illegally. Several workers, who did not identify themselves, said Tuesday they were working and trying to keep the plant operational in the wake of the sudden loss of co-workers.

They said it was common knowledge many of their co-workers were suspected to be illegal.

It's an idea that maddens Samantha Stevens, 18, of Heidelberg, who was among those who pulled up to Avenue A across from the plant's entrance throughout the day. She said she has been unable to find a job since she graduated from Heidelberg High School in the spring and blames, in part, the willingness of companies to hire illegal workers.

"We were here first. It's not fair for them to have a job," she explained.

Others welcomed the vacancies left by the detained workers.

Gwendolyn Watkins, 40, of Stonewall said she drove 40 miles to Laurel to fill out an application with the electronics maker. She worked at Tower Automotive in Meridian as a production worker for eight months before job cuts in June left her unemployed.

She now hopes to get on at Howard, and said that, while "everyone needs a job," she believes that legal workers should be the priority.

But for Samantha Sanchez, the issue wasn't quite so clear-cut. She filled out her application at the plant, and, in the process, revisited a scene that caused her anguish the previous day. Her husband, Juan Sanchez, a welder, was one of the workers detained in Monday's raid, and she hasn't spoken to him since he called her Monday morning.

She said her husband, who has been living in the United States for 10 years and working on an immigration case for six, was on the verge of achieving permanent residency.

She also spoke to the issue of fairness that has the government secreting her husband and the father of her four children.

"He doesn't drink; he doesn't smoke. He takes care of his kids," she said.

As to why she would return so soon to this place, Sanchez, who's currently unemployed and had previously worked at Howard as a coil winder, said it comes down to dollars and cents.

"I have to feed my family," she said.

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« Reply #155 on: September 17, 2008, 11:10:47 PM »

Violent crimes surge after illegals invade Texas
Aliens flee strict immigration policies for friendlier Lone Star State

While illegal aliens flee strict immigration enforcement policies in several states and settle in Texas, the state's budget is suffering and violent crime, soaring.

News reports indicate a flood of illegal aliens is coming from states such as Arizona and Oklahoma – where immigration crackdowns have made life more difficult for them. In the meantime, Texas' violent crime rates have taken a turn for the worse.

WND researched FBI crime statistics from years 2006 to 2007 for 29 of Texas' largest cities with populations of more than 100,000. The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report reveals two of the state's well-known sanctuary cities with "don't-ask-don't-tell" policies, Houston and Austin, have surging violent crime rates. Houston experienced an additional 314 violent crimes in 2007 compared with 2006 figures. Austin had 213 more violent crimes reported to law enforcement than the previous year.

According to the stats, overall, the 29 most populous Texas cities had 1,083 more violent crimes committed in 2007 than in 2006. While arrest records usually do not indicate suspect citizenship status, the crime trend matches a migration wave of illegal aliens coming from locations such as Arizona and Oklahoma – states with strict immigration enforcement policies and declining violent crime rates.

Getting tough on illegals

Since 2006, Oklahoma has passed laws cutting off benefits such as welfare and college financial aid to illegal aliens. Thousands of Hispanics fled the Tulsa, Okla., area in the shadow of a 2007 state law that limits benefits and mandates deportation for illegal aliens, according to a report from KTUL television in Tulsa.

The news report said in East Tulsa, where a community of Hispanics had grown over recent years, there was a sudden drop in population.

Deputies from the Tulsa County sheriff's office went through training to handle apprehension and deportation procedures, and prepare them to perform multiple duties of both deputy sheriffs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz told KTUL in 2007 that the impact of the illegal alien population was evident everywhere in the state, especially in jails.

"We see the effects of gangs, we see the effects of illegal immigrants, we see the effects of drugs, we see the effects of methamphetamines," he said.

According to the FBI preliminary crime report, Tulsa experienced 264 fewer violent crimes in 2007 than in 2006.

Oklahoma law eliminates most taxpayer subsidies for illegal immigrants, allows state and local law enforcement officers to verify the residency status of those arrested and makes it a felony to shelter or transport illegal aliens.

Likewise, Arizona passed strict laws in 2007 requiring employers to verify the immigration status of employees – including one that suspends business licenses of people who hire illegal aliens. The crackdown prompted an exodus from that state.

"I would say we are losing at least 100 people a day," Elias Bermudez, founder of Immigrants Without Borders and host of a daily talk-radio program aimed at undocumented immigrants, told Arizona Republic.

The news report said it's impossible to count exactly how many illegal aliens have fled because of the law, but interviews with immigrant advocates, community workers and real-estate agents confirm the number is significant.

"Some are moving to other states, where they think they will have an easier time getting jobs," the report said. "Others are returning to Mexico, selling their effects and putting their houses on the market."

According to FBI figures, overall, Arizona's largest cities with populations of more than 100,000 experienced 765 fewer incidents of violent crime in 2007 than in the previous year.

Impact of illegal immigration on Texas

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates more than 1.7 million illegal aliens live in Texas. The state has a reputation for welcoming illegals, and it has not passed a law targeting employers who hire them.

Ortiz, a Mexican illegal alien, told the Associated Press he recently left Phoenix to find employment in Houston.

"Here, they let you work," he said. "Over there, they won't. There is a lot of racism, but here there isn't – it's better."

Between 8 percent and 9 percent of the Texas workforce is comprised of illegal aliens – many who perform agriculture, restaurant and construction jobs. Critics say cracking down on employers who hire illegals could seriously hurt the state economy.

However, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, 44 percent of Texas' illegals use welfare programs including food stamps and Medicaid, while 70 percent are uninsured. It estimates the combined costs of education ($4 billion), medical care ($520 million) and incarceration ($150 million) of illegal aliens in Texas to be $4.7 billion each year.

While the uncompensated cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in Texas' state and county prisons amounts to about $150 million a year, it does not include local jail detention costs or related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of crimes that led to their incarceration.

The Texas migration is not likely to subside soon, experts say. FAIR estimates, "Without any change in immigration policy or enforcement, i.e., with the current trend in large-scale legal and illegal immigration, the state's population is likely to increase from today's about 23 million residents to around 41 to 43 million persons in 2050 – an increase of 80 to 87 percent."
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« Reply #156 on: September 19, 2008, 03:44:08 AM »

This is the way to write a complaint letter.  Original Becoming Illegal:  An actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his Senator:
***************************************
The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC, 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance.  I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S.
Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently
passed by the Senate and for which you voted.  If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years.  I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local
emergency room as my primary health care provider.  Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my
daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the
burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums.  This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.  Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA

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« Reply #157 on: September 19, 2008, 05:38:35 AM »

 Grin   Grin

Things are getting wilder by the day, so we might all want to become illegal aliens. The benefit package is great, and you don't have to pay any taxes.
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« Reply #158 on: September 19, 2008, 01:20:14 PM »

This is the way to write a complaint letter.  Original Becoming Illegal:  An actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his Senator:
***************************************
The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC, 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance.  I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S.
Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently
passed by the Senate and for which you voted.  If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years.  I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local
emergency room as my primary health care provider.  Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my
daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the
burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums.  This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.  Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA



I like the idea of no taxes!! 
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« Reply #159 on: October 16, 2008, 08:56:22 PM »

State Department warns against travel to Mexico
Deadliest drug zone invites Americans to tour 'land of encounters'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: October 15, 2008
12:15 am Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

More than 1,100 people have been slaughtered in a bloodbath of drug-related violence in one city just south of the U.S.-Mexico border this year – that's nearly four victims each day – and some say it is just part of a large crisis that will soon spill over the border.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Americans who visit Mexico, citing Ciudad Juarez as a hotbed of criminal activity. A large Mexican metropolis in Chihuahua state bordering El Paso, Texas, Juarez is Mexico's deadliest narcotics-war zone with two criminal gangs fighting for power – over city streets and drug-smuggling routes into the U.S.

The State Department is warning U.S. citizens of escalating crime along the border, stating that 1,600 cars were stolen in Juarez in July alone. Public shootouts, muggings, murders and bank robberies are rampant, and Mexican criminals harass U.S. travelers along border regions.

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have taken on the characteristics of small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and, on occasion, grenades," according to the State Department. "Firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico but particularly in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted."

Mexican criminals are said to be armed with sophisticated weapons, often wearing police or military uniforms and driving government vehicles. Many people – including U.S. citizens – are being kidnapped and held for ransom or killed across Mexico.

Gang-related violence has killed an estimated 5,000 people since President Felipe Calderon ordered police and 3,600 soldiers to crack down on drug cartels in December 2006.

On Saturday gunmen killed six men at a family party in Ciudad Juarez, the Associated Press reported. In just the last three days, 23 people have been killed in northern Mexico. Also, 12 were killed in Baja California, including two adults and two children who were gunned down in spray of bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle.

Another 11 homicides were reported earlier this month after masked attackers dressed as police opened fire in a bar. A U.S. citizen was shot in Juarez Monday. He and another female victim, 19, of an unrelated Juarez shooting were brought to an El Paso hospital for medical attention. Among Monday killings was a double homicide inside a home, while another man was found shot to death in the same city Tuesday evening.

In a similar wave of violence this month, 54 people were killed within one week in Tijuana. Twelve bodies were dumped outside an elementary school and some had their tongues removed, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Other bodies were decapitated, cut up or wrapped in blankets and tossed along roadsides. Police also discovered a barrel filled with acid containing human remains and a note threatening to make "soup" of gang rivals.

Also this month, a group of drug hitmen killed five people, including two cops, at a car stereo and alarm shop. Shortly afterward, men shot two Chihuahua state police officers in Juarez with assault rifles. Seventy-one bullet casings were found at the scene. The killers had a wreath delivered to police headquarters with a threatening note identifying the victims and a third name of another officer. A young girl, 12, was shot by hitmen in June, and a Juarez police commander was gunned down in an ambush of 50 bullets. Many of the murders took place in broad daylight.

The violence is not aimed only at drug cartels. A new Discovery production titled "Silence in Juarez" details historical accounts of abductions and murder in the city. The program reveals 400 women have been tortured and raped in Juarez since 1993, and more than 1,000 have gone missing.

U.S. Border Patrol, media assaulted

Law-abiding authorities sometimes quit their positions when their lives and families are threatened by hit men. In a city plagued by corruption and bribery, and with so many criminals disguising themselves as police and soldiers, officials often have difficulty differentiating between legitimate and crooked authorities.

In August, WND reported four Mexican soldiers held a U.S. Border Patrol agent at gunpoint after crossing a barbed-wire fence into U.S. territory. The Mexican government claims its soldiers were simply lost despite the agent's repeated attempts to identify himself in both English and Spanish.

There have been dozens of other incursions by Mexican police and soldiers into the U.S. WND reported an investigation by Judicial Watch that documented 29 confirmed incidents along the U.S.-Mexican border involving Mexican military and/or law enforcement personnel in fiscal year 2007.

The report lists incidents such as the one at the Fort Hancock Station in El Paso:

"[Troopers] attempted to apprehend three vehicles believed to be smuggling contraband on I-10 … As the vehicles approached the border, [troopers] stated that a Mexican Military Humvee armed with a .50 caliber weapon and several soldiers were seen assisting smugglers return to Mexico … Officers then noticed several armed subjects dressed in fatigue type clothing unload the contraband into the Humvee. These subjects set fire to the stalled vehicle before leaving the area."
Increasingly, border agents are coming under assault. The Texas Legislature, fearing violence spillover as the drug war worsens, allocated $110 million to beef up Border Patrol in the area.

Members of the media have come under attack as well. Reporters Without Borders stated 95 attacks on journalists in Mexico have taken place since the beginning of this year, including threats, assaults, kidnappings and murders. Newspapers and other media outlets have begun censoring their coverage and running stories without reporters' names to avoid retaliation.

Mexican hitmen entering U.S.

In August, Mexican cartels threatened to send hitmen into the U.S.

"We received credible information that drug cartels in Mexico have given permission to hit targets on the U.S. side of the border," El Paso police spokesman Officer Chris Mears told Fox News.

In June, six Mexican men in police tactical clothing shot a man to death in a drug-cartel hit, firing more than 100 rounds into his Phoenix home. The assailants were said to be wielding AR-15 assault weapons and wearing full body armor and black assault gear similar to uniforms worn by Phoenix police tactical teams.

Worst 'yet to come'

Spillover is imminent because cartels employ people from both Mexico and the U.S., border anthropologist and drug-traffic expert Howard Campbell told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"At some point, the Mexican cartel people may decide, what do they have to fear, really?" Campbell said. "A lot is their own perception that they can't get away with this stuff in the U.S. But sadly, I think they could. My sources in Juarez are saying the worst of the violence is yet to come."

Meanwhile, Mexican officials have launched a desperate campaign to draw American tourists back into Juarez after many have decided to stay away from the region, the Associated Press reports. Billboards now tout the city as the "land of encounters."

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« Reply #160 on: October 16, 2008, 11:09:43 PM »

 Grin    Shocked

I was just sitting here wondering if some really bright person would think about securing the border with Mexico. Excuse me for being politically incorrect. Just Kidding! - I could care less about being politically correct!
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« Reply #161 on: October 17, 2008, 12:50:53 AM »

Grin    Shocked

I was just sitting here wondering if some really bright person would think about securing the border with Mexico.

I heard rumors about that a while back.....I guess that's all they were....rumors.
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« Reply #162 on: October 20, 2008, 05:51:43 PM »

If Obama's, Pelosi's, Reid's style government is so great then why do so many people attempt to escape it?


Cubans head for Mexico to dodge American sea patrols
Price of passage reportedly $5,000 to $10,000 per person

On the night Lazaro Mendez got an alert that his boat had been stolen from the Florida Keys, he was swept up in a new chapter of the Cuban boat people drama.

Grabbing a laptop computer that tracked the fishing boat's position by satellite, he watched as it stopped for refueling at sea, then shot off toward Cuba - the latest in a swarm of thefts of Florida boats prized by smugglers for their speed.

Mendez, a Cuban-American and a popular Miami radio personality known as "DJ Laz," set out to get his boat back, succeeded, and even came face to face with the men who stole it. But it was just the tiniest of setbacks for a human-trafficking industry that is thriving off the Cuban exodus.

Because it has become so hard to dodge the U.S. Coast Guard and reach Florida to qualify for U.S. residency, Cuban migrants in recent years have been heading for Mexico, then overland to Texas. Last year 11,126 used that route, compared to just 1,055 who landed in the Miami area, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Evidence of this new escape route is stacking up at a Mexican Navy yard in Isla Mujeres, where the dock regularly runs out of space for seized Florida boats. During a visit to the small Navy dock last week, The Associated Press counted eight super-fast boats, all with Florida registration numbers.

Mexican authorities are getting fed up, and islanders fear the trafficking is bringing crime to laid-back Islas Mujeres, off Cancun.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said on Sunday that Mexico and Cuba have agreed to return Cubans reaching Mexican shores illegally to the island.

Mexican officials would not comment on the agreement, which Perez Roque said was to be signed on Monday.

But Mexico currently catches only about one tenth of the Cubans landing here, and few resist because they're confident they'll be released. If Mexico begins deportations, many Cubans - or their smugglers - might put up stiffer resistance.

Thefts of boats for smuggling are so frequent that some insurance companies require Florida owners to equip their boats with GPS - satellite tracking systems. That's how Mendez discovered his cherished Tranquility was stolen - the system alerted him by cell phone and updated its location every 15 minutes.

"The entire time I was on my laptop, watching every move that they made," Mendez told the AP in a telephone interview from Miami, where has a daily show on WPOW. When he saw Tranquility heading straight for Mexico, "I decided to jump on a plane and go and get my boat back."

He reached a dock on Isla Mujeres just in time to confront the men as they were tying up his boat.

"They walked by me. They're wearing my fishing hat! My fishing glasses!" he recalled. But they didn't know he had alerted police, who pulled out assault rifles and promptly arrested them.

"I showed them the laptop and I said, 'Look, this is where you stole the boat, this is you in the ocean, this is when you went to Pinar del Rio (Cuba), this is where you picked up all the people, this is where you dropped all the people," Mendez recounted.

He brought his boat to a local police dock and was astonished to find 19 other boats there - all of them U.S.-registered speed boats like his own. These $175,000 "center console" boats, which often have three engines to reach 60 mph and give anglers the edge in fishing tournaments, can jam 25 migrants on board and make the 120-mile run from Cuba to Isla Mujeres in a couple of hours.

Isla Mujeres is now rife with tales of speedboats set adrift or afire to distract the Mexican Navy while the smugglers escape.

U.S. Coast Guard patrols have sharply reduced the flow of Cubans across the narrow Florida Straits, enforcing a policy of returning people intercepted at sea to Cuba's communist government.

It's called "wet-foot, dry-foot" - wet for those caught at sea, dry for those who reach land in Florida and thus qualify for U.S. entry. A third expression has entered the jargon - "dusty-foot," referring to Cubans who arrive in Texas, where Cubans need only present identity documents and undergo medical and background checks before being welcomed to America.

The price of passage is $5,000 to $10,000 per person and much shorter than in the days when Cubans would spend days at sea headed for Florida or Mexico on rickety boats and rafts. They were known as "balseros," from the word "balsa" to indicate the flimsiness of their boats.

But the Mexican route is also becoming increasingly prone to violence.

In June, gunmen snatched 33 Cubans off a government bus taking them to an immigration station in southern Mexico, possibly to extort money from them or their smugglers. Many of those migrants later turned up in the U.S., and all detained Cuban migrants now have armed police escorts.

In August, as the navy gave chase, smugglers set fire to their boat just off the beach in Cancun, creating a diversion that allowed them to swim ashore and escape. The migrants jumped into the sea and either swam to safety or were rescued by beach-goers on water scooters.

"These are pretty ruthless organizations that are focused on making money," said Lt. Matthew J. Moorlag, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard's 7th District, which cooperates with Mexico but doesn't patrol in Mexican waters. "We've seen people get thrown overboard and forced to swim to shore."

Several Cuban-Americans believed to be involved in trafficking have been killed in recent years in or around Cancun. And once inside Mexico, the migrants often find themselves at the mercy of Mexico's feared drug cartels who have diversified into people-smuggling.

U.S. federal prosecutors in Miami have charged many alleged smugglers of Cubans recently, including 39 Cuban-Americans named in 18 separate indictments in the last month alone.

The smuggling has spawned new trends in Florida: Now that owners in Miami and the Keys are using tracking devices, chains and motion detectors, boat thefts are shifting up the coast, said Ricky Linale, Miami-area agent of King's Bay Insurance.

And thieves may now be targeting larger boats: Some smugglers now pack a cabin cruiser with people, wait at sea and smuggle a few at a time to Mexico on faster boats, said David Spahl, an organized-crime investigator with the Collier County Sheriff's office on Florida's west coast.

And some boat owners "lend" their craft to smugglers and then falsely report them stolen for the insurance money, Linale said.

Vice Admiral Carlos Angulo of the Mexican navy says the smugglers' boats "are mainly stolen in Florida," and Cuban-Americans clearly run the business. The six smugglers his sailors caught this year "call themselves Cuban-Americans, and they carry their U.S. residency papers."

Last year, Angulo's navy detachment seized 26 makeshift craft with Cubans aboard and only five modern boats, but so far this year, his sailors have seized 32 modern, multiengine vessels, and only six homemade ones.

Mexico has long tolerated the escape route, and seldom returns escapees to Cuba, but its people are tiring of the exceptional treatment the U.S. gives Cubans, as well as the corruption and violence spawned by people-smuggling.

"It is all handled by a gang," said Jose Sanchez, 42, an Isla Mujeres fisherman. "They bring them here, they give them new clothes to make them look like an average citizen ... and they take them to Cancun" where almost all are given a 30-day transit visa to the U.S. border.

Mendez, the radio host, is still outraged by what the smugglers are doing.

"I'm a Cuban-American, my parents are Cuban and I understand what those people are going through in communist Cuba," he said.

But, "Now it's no longer, ... 'I really want to go help my family members.' Now it's, 'I want to go make money off these poor innocent people and if I'm going to get caught, what I'm going to do is dump all of them in the water and get off scot-free.'"
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« Reply #163 on: November 19, 2008, 10:16:04 PM »

Wal-Mart trucker smuggles illegals across border
Federal agents say trailer used to transport aliens at least 6 times

© 2008 WorldNetDaily


The Wal-Mart slogan of "Always" is taking on new meaning after a company truck was used as many as six times recently to smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S. through Texas.

The driver, Alejandro Hernandez, 50, and two women were arrested for their roles in the operation.

Hernandez took a delivery to a Wal-Mart in McAllen, Texas, and then loaded his trailer with illegals in Edinburg, the McAllen Monitor reported. A mother and daughter, Santos Moreno and Leonor Gomez, brought the aliens to Edinburg in their 15-passenger van and transferred them into his truck before proceeding on to a checkpoint.

Wal-Mart cooperated with authorities during the investigation and helped federal agents track Hernandez's truck route.

"At Wal-Mart we expect our associates to conduct themselves in a lawful and ethical manner," company spokesman Don Fogleman told the Monitor. "This situation is of deep concern."

Authorities say Hernandez smuggled illegals through border checkpoints at least a half-dozen times. Agents arrested the three Thursday, just south of a checkpoint, and took four illegals into custody.

Gomez confessed to smuggling, but she told authorities the driver did not know the illegal aliens were in his trailer. However, Moreno admitted she had seen Hernandez and Gomez make at least five additional smuggling trips across the border.

Hernandez has been suspended from his job. Each suspect faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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« Reply #164 on: December 13, 2008, 10:43:37 PM »

Rampant fraud puts stop
to U.S. refugee program
DNA confirms fewer than 20%
telling truth about family ties

State Department officials have suspended a program that allows refugees in the U.S. to bring family members into the country after an investigation revealed widespread fraud in the system.

Since the 1980's, the State Department has granted refugee family members who are left behind in war-torn countries priority-3 access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program on a case-by-case basis.

After suspicions of fraud were raised last year – often involving unrelated children being claimed as family – the State Department conducted DNA testing of 3,000 applicants to the program, to see if they were actually related to the family members they claimed.

In more than 80 percent of the cases, the applicants either refused to take the tests or were discovered to have DNA that didn't match their reported family members.

"We were alarmed that the rate was so high," a State Department official – who spoke on condition of anonymity as a matter of departmental policy – told the Washington Post. "In fewer than 20 percent of cases did the applicant take the test and it checked out."

Seyoum Berhe, an official of refugee services for the Catholic Archdiocese of Arlington, told the Post there are legitimate humanitarian reasons the DNA doesn't always match.

"A village is burning. People are running. Someone grabs a child and ends up raising him. The DNA may not be the same, but in every other way, he is the parent," said Berhe. "We certainly do not support fraud, but there is a human aspect, too. If my brother were killed in Somalia and I saved his child, according to our culture, that child is mine."

State Department officials confirmed that while many informal or wartime adoptions are impossible to document, such a high rate of unmatched DNA leads to other, very real concerns.

"We are sympathetic," a State Department official told the Post, "but when people lie about blood relationships, it raises fears that we may be facilitating child trafficking or that people are trying to bring in their servants."

The State Department began DNA testing in Africa, where, in recent years, over 95 percent of the refugee family applications originated. After a sample testing in Kenya revealed a high rate of fraud, tests were extended throughout the continent.

Most of the applications for access to the priority-3 Refugee Family Reunification Program, or P-3, have come for family members from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Liberia. Since Oct. 1, 2003, the State Department reports, 36,000 refugees have come to America from Africa through the P-3 program, while only 400 have come from other areas of the world in the same time span.

The State Department's website on the issue reports that while some applications are still being processed, no new applications are being accepted from any nationality until measures can be put in place to cut down on the fraud.

"The Department is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to develop and implement new procedures for verifying family relationship claims," reports the State Department. "These new procedures will likely include DNA testing. The P-3 program in Africa remains suspended as noted above until we have finalized and implemented these new measures."

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