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Saturday, December 31, 2011
France 24 December 30, 2011France will be making it harder for foreigners to seek French citizenship as of January. Critics say the new requirements, which include tough language tests and allegiance to “French values”, are an electoral ploy that panders to the far right.Foreigners seeking French nationality face tougher requirements as of January 1, when new rules drawn up by Interior Minister Claude Guéant come into force.Candidates will be tested on French culture and history, and will have to prove their French language skills are equivalent to those of a 15-year-old mother tongue speaker. They will also be required to sign a new charter establishing their rights and responsibilities.
“Becoming French is not a mere administrative step. It is a decision that requires a lot of thought”, reads the charter, drafted by France’s High Council for Integration (HCI). In a more obscure passage, the charter suggests that by taking on French citizenship, “applicants will no longer be able to claim allegiance to another country while on French soil”, although dual nationality will still be allowed.Guéant, a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, described the process as “a solemn occasion between the host nation and the applicant”, adding that migrants should be integrated through language and “an adherence to the principals, values and symbols of our democracy”. He stressed the importance of the secular state and equality between women and men: rhetoric perceived largely as a snipe at Muslim applicants, who make up the majority of the 100,000 new French citizens admitted each year.
But the interior minister has taken a hard line on immigration, announcing plans to reduce the number of legal immigrants coming to France annually from 200,000 to 180,000 and calling for those convicted of felony to be expelled from the country.
Friday, December 30, 2011
The Daily Caller December 26, 2011 Caroline MayA U.S. District Court judge has rejected a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — filled when the Department of Justice barred the city of Kinston, N.C. from holding nonpartisan elections — reasoning that lack of access to party affiliation would discriminate against minority voters who otherwise wouldn’t know how to find Democratic candidates on a ballot.
The Truth About Guns December 26, 2011 Bob KrafftIf anyone had any doubts about how the courts’ view of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, it should be quite clear by the recent decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, decision which concurred with the Fifth Circuit ruling in United States v. Portillo-Muniz, that Second Amendment protections do not apply to illegal aliens (who are specifically barred from possessing firearms by 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)). I see someone at the back of the class has their hand up…you have a question? You want to know why people who are here illegally should be granted the same rights as citizens? Excellent question…Illegals should not be granted the same Constitutional rights as citizens for the same reason citizens should not be ‘granted’ these rights: Because our the rights listed in the Bill of Rights are not granted by the Constitution or the government, they belong to us by virtue of being human beings. Anyone remember this bit?We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.According to freedictionary.com, unalienable means “unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.” After the Constitution’s ratification, some of those unalienable rights were incorporated into the Constitution as the Bill of Rights, but that document no more created them than dirty underwear and wheat create mice. As the U.S. Supreme Court stated in U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875):The right of the people peaceably to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is, and always has been, one of the attributes of citizenship under a free government. … It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution. The government of the United States when established found it in existence, with the obligation on the part of the States to afford it protection.The Court then goes on to apply this logic to the Second Amendment as well, stating,The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress.Notice that nowhere in the ruling does the Court state that these pre-existing rights applied only to citizens. Indeed the language makes it clear that the Court felt these were human rights, not mere citizens’ rights...But even within that citation is the guidance which the Fifth Circuit claimed to be looking for, but chose to ignore when SCOTUS analogizes the use of ‘the people’ in the Second Amendment with its use in all the other amendments. Most of which, as we have seen, have been held directly to apply to illegals. Furthermore, if the Fifth Circuit was actually looking for guidance they could have found it in the first sentences of the very paragraph that they quote, where SCOTUS says,We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. … [emphasis in original]With all these precedents it’s hard to see how any court, looking honestly at the Constitution and the law, could fail to conclude that “the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.”
Sunshine State News December 14, 2011Tapping into a growing trend, the Democratic mayor of New Haven, Conn., wants to allow illegal aliens to vote in local elections.John DeStefano said he will forward his proposal to the state Legislature for approval.New Haven, the home of Yale University, has become a haven for illegal immigrants from Central America is recent years -- drawn in part by Connecticut's generous welfare benefits.As reported in the New Haven Register today, six municipalities in Maryland already extend voting rights to noncitizens, and the city of Chicago permits illegal aliens to vote on school issues.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Deportation and Removal December 29, 2011, by Matthew KolkenObama’s failure to lead on the issue of immigration reform resulted in the Democrats squandering a two-year super-majority. Immigration reform could have been passed without a hiccup in the President’s first 100 days in office. This is what he promised. So why did it happen? Obama expended every ounce of his political capital on his signature health-care legislation, throwing Hispanics under the bus in the process. Specifically, in order to get the votes required for passage, Obama lied to the Hispanic Caucus who was threatening to oppose Obamacare unless racist and anti-immigrant provisions were removed. His promise to the Caucus: to aggressively work with Congress to pass immigration reform. How did that work out?So for those of you keeping score at home, Obama’s immigration reform efforts to date principally feature a lunch with Shakira and a Desperate Housewife. Change you can believe in?The apologists respond with the fact that the Administration has recently introduced a “common sense immigration enforcement” policy involving the employment of a prosecutorial discretion memo. The reality is that this is nothing more than a public relations stunt. I know of only a handful of cases nationwide where prosecutorial discretion is being favorably exercised, and those cases are usually attached to embarrassing media coverage of individuals facing deportation to countries they haven’t been to since they were young children. The silent majority receive little, if any, reprieve from the Administration’s 400,000 deportations per year mandate.As for the Administration’s recent constitutional challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, this President should be careful throwing stones in his glass White House. Persistent human rights violations permeate the Obama Administration’s handling of immigrants.Here is the bottom line that the Obama apologists don’t want you to know: This President is the worst thing that has happened to the cause of immigrant rights since Eisenhower put Japanese Americans in internment camps. Only Obama’s internment camps are euphemistically called immigration detention centers, but just like Eisenhower’s these camps are being used to abuse immigrants and deny them of their constitutionally protected right to due process.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Department of State, AMEMB BeijingModerator: Now Ambassador Locke is going to personally hand the visas to some of these applicants, who represent the broad spectrum of Chinese travelers to the United States. We’re going to call them up one by one, by family, and then Ambassador Locke will conduct a Q&A.[Visas presented.]Ambassador Locke: And why are you traveling to the United States?Visa Recipient: To go to Los Angeles.Ambassador Locke: How long do you plan to visit the United States?Visa Recipient: About one month.Ambassador Locke: Is this your first visit to the United States?Visa Recipient: Yes, the first time to me.Ambassador Locke: Why do you want to visit the United States?Visa Recipient: Actually many Chinese want to travel to the U.S. to have a look, experience the U.S..Ambassador Locke: When you go to the United States, if you go to Los Angeles, are you going to go visit Disneyland?Visa Recipient: Yes, that’s one of our destinations because we are with kids.Ambassador Locke: Our family has traveled to Disneyland many, many times and we very much enjoy it. You’ll have fun.[Visa presented.]How about you, what are you looking forward to in visiting the United States?Visa Recipient: I’ve never been to the U.S. before.Ambassador Locke: What would you most looking forward to?Visa Recipient: Just for fun and go out, to Disneyland of course. [Laughter].Ambassador Locke: Enjoy the experience and good luck.And you’re visiting the United States for what purpose?Visa Recipient: For business.Ambassador Locke: What type of business are you in?Visa Recipient: I’m in the tourism industry.Ambassador Locke: And what cities do you hope to visit?Visa Recipient: Because our company’s office is in Washington, D.C., so we’re going to go to Washington D.C.. I’m going to lead a training there.Ambassador Locke: How long will you be there?Visa Recipient: About a week there.Ambassador Locke: Have you been to the United States before?Visa Recipient: Not yet.Ambassador Locke: When are you planning on traveling?Visa Recipient: Beginning of January.Ambassador Locke: It’s going to be cold back there.Visa Recipient: But that’s the training time.Ambassador Locke: Any other places you hope to see while you’re there on business?Visa Recipient: After D.C. and New York, I want to go to Florida.Ambassador Locke: Why Florida?Visa Recipient: I have to see Disney World. [Laughter].Ambassador Locke: You’ll have a great time.Visa Recipient: And it’s warm there.Ambassador Locke: You’re right, it’s very warm there.Visa Recipient: Thank you. Thank you for meeting you. It’s such an honor to see you.Ambassador Locke: Good luck to you.Visa Recipient: Thank you.[Visa presented.]
Bloomberg December 26, 2011This holiday season, millions of tourists visited the U.S. Given the economic benefits they bring, the U.S. should be working overtime to welcome their friends and families next year.An estimated 60 million international visitors arrived in the U.S. in 2011, spending about $150 billion, supporting nearly 2 million American jobs and accounting for more than one-quarter of U.S. service exports. From taxi fares to tchotchke purchases, tourists account for a big chunk of economic activity. States from New York (the most popular travel destination) to Colorado and Wyoming (both of which have a high concentration of jobs in tourism) depend on visitors’ dollars.The good news for Americans is that the U.S. is still the world’s biggest tourist destination by dollar value. (The U.S. ranks second after France as the world’s most popular destination.) After a fall in 2009, tourist arrivals climbed in 2010 and 2011. Still, as groups such as the U.S. Travel Association point out, the U.S. could be doing much better. Although global long-haul travel grew by 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, the U.S.’s share of the market dropped from 17 percent to 12.4 percent. Even taking into account the U.S.’s declining share of the global economy, that’s a steep dip.
A few sensible reforms could help break the logjams. These include inserting a corps of visa-adjudication officers in high- growth markets, creating video visa-interview centers for applicants who don’t live near a U.S. consulate, and relaxing the requirement for in-person visa interviews. Happily, all three of these proposals were incorporated in the omnibus budget legislation that President Barack Obama signed last week.
US News And World Report December 12, 2001By Edward T. PoundThree of the hijackers in the September 11 terrorist attacks obtained visas in Saudi Arabia through a brand-new program designed to make it easier for qualified visa applicants to visit the United States, an American government official said tonight.The Visa Express program, put in place just four months before the attacks, allowed the three hijackers to arrange their visas through a State Department-designated travel agency, the official says. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers obtained their U.S. travel visas in Saudi Arabia.None of the three men, the American government official says, was ever questioned by U.S. consular officers in Saudi Arabia. Each took his travel papers and passport to a commercial travel agency, which submitted the applications to the State Department.
WaPo December 28, 2011 by Associated PressTourism leaders said the decline in foreign visitors over the past decade is costing American businesses and workers $859 billion in untapped revenue and at least half a million potential jobs at a time when the slowly recovering economy needs both.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
ABC 7 December 18, 2011 Sergio Quintana (I wonder how he got this assignment. Talk about contributions to sterotypes.)BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Over the last few months, an East Bay steel company has been shedding about a third of its work force and it's not because of the economy. Pacific Steel was served with what immigrant advocates call a "silent raid." The company was audited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to find out how many employees did not have proper work documents.A spokesperson for Pacific Steel told ABC7 they have been able to slowly replace most of the employees they were forced to fire. Many of those employees have been with the company for years, even decades. Now, those employees are trying to figure out what to do after being let go.
Among those who have been fired, was Juan Zaragoza, who has been with pacific steel for 21 years. He said he was told he is no longer eligible to work at the company. David DeHerrera has been with Pacific Steel for 12 years and has two weeks to get his documents in order -- something he knows he cannot do. He says leaving the country is not an option."For us it's practically impossible to go back to Mexico because the situation in Mexico is not good," said DeHerrera.DeHerrera has three children who were born in the U.S. He says they are the major reason why he will stay in the Bay Area.His 14-year-old daughter worries about having to leave. She said, "I've never actually been in Mexico, I've only been there when I was a baby, so I have no memories whatsoever. I'm not sure how it's going to be over there."
San Jose Mercury News December 23, 2011 by Matt O'Brien and Hannah DreierCapping off a tough year for one of the nation's largest steel casting companies, a former employee at Pacific Steel filed a $31 million class-action lawsuit against the Berkeley foundry Friday.Roberto "Bobby" Rodriguez is suing the company in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of about 1,000 current and former workers he says have not been getting timely meal and rest breaks.But it was the firing of about 200 workers this holiday season -- a third of the plant's workforce -- that inspired him to take a stand, he said. The company has said it was forced to fire the workers after a federal immigration audit that began in February found dozens of its workers are suspected of being in the country illegally...California law requires a 30-minute meal within each five hours of work, but Tim Rumberger, Rodriguez's lawyer, said Pacific Steel workers have been regularly scheduled to work 6½ hours or more without a meal break.The lawsuit demands an hour of pay for every day without a timely meal break for the past four years -- amounting to about $20,000 in damages per worker, Rumberger said.
A spokesperson for Pacific Steel told ABC7 they have been able to slowly replace most of the employees they were forced to fire.
Monday, December 26, 2011
CNN December 22, 2011 by Ashley Hayes(CNN) -- A Mexican woman -- a former inmate in Maricopa County, Arizona -- claims in a lawsuit that sheriff's officers mistreated her during and after her pregnancy, including shackling her while she was in labor and after her Caesarean section.The federal suit filed by Miriam Mendiola-Martinez this week comes days after the U.S. Department of Justice alleged the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, engaged in a pattern of discrimination against Latinos.Mendiola-Martinez's suit is against the sheriff's office, Arpaio, the Maricopa Medical Center and unidentified male and female officers, doctors and nurses.Mendiola-Martinez, a Mexican citizen, alleges in the suit she was arrested October 23, 2009, by Scottsdale, Arizona, police, and was booked into Maricopa County's Estrella Jail on charges of identity theft. She was held without bond under Arizona law.According to the police report filed at the time of her arrest, Mendiola-Martinez was accused of using someone else's name, date of birth and Social Security number to obtain work. She was arrested at her place of employment, a department store, while she was vacuuming the floor...On December 10, 2009, Mendiola-Martinez pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit forgery under a plea agreement. Her sentencing was set for December 24.
GAO December 22, 2011CBP has taken some steps to identify and address the training needs of its incumbent CBP officers, but could do more to ensure that these officers are fully trained. GAO examined CBP’s results of covert tests conducted over more than 2 years and found significant weaknesses in the CBP inspection process at the ports of entry that were tested. In response to these tests, CBP developed a “Back to Basics” course in March 2010 for incumbent officers but has no plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Moreover, CBP has not conducted an analysis of all the possible causes or systemic issues that may be contributing to the test results. Further evaluation of the training and causes underlying covert test results could help inform CBP about whether the training is sufficient to address the weaknesses identified by the covert tests or if adjustments are needed.
GAO November 2007CBP has had some success in identifying inadmissible aliens and other violators, but weaknesses in its operations increase the potential that terrorists and inadmissible travelers could enter the country. In fiscal year 2006, CBP turned away over 200,000 inadmissible aliens and interdicted other violators. Although CBP’s goal is to interdict all violators, CBP estimated that several thousand inadmissible aliens and other violators entered the country though ports of entry in fiscal year 2006. Weaknesses in 2006 inspection procedures, such as not verifying the nationality and admissibility of each traveler, contribute to failed inspections. Although CBP took actions to address these weaknesses, subsequent follow up work conducted by GAO months after CBP’s actions found that weaknesses such as those described above still existed. In July 2007, CBP issued detailed procedures for conducting inspections including requiring field office managers to assess compliance with these procedures. However, CBP has not established an internal control to ensure field office managers share their assessments with CBP headquarters to help ensure that the new procedures are consistently implemented across all ports of entry and reduce the risk of failed traveler inspections.
CBP is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The Examiner December 23, 2011 by Dave GibsonHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has just named former Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar as the new head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency that overseas the Border Patrol as well as other law enforcement entities.Aguilar will replace outgoing CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin who will retire on December 30.
Perhaps, Napolitano was not aware that Aguilar’s “leadership” abilities became somewhat questionable when the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union which represents all of the U.S. Border Patrol’s rank-and-file agents unanimously gave a no-confidence vote to Chief Aguilar in 2007.Shortly after the vote, then NBPC president, T.J. Bonner told The Washington Times: “Front-line Border Patrol agents who risk their lives protecting our borders have every reason to expect that the leadership of their own agency will support them. When this does not occur, and instead they are undermined by their so-called leaders, no one should be surprised when they express a loss of confidence in those managers.”A few months ago, the Liberty News Network has just released a video which shows U.S. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar being taken to task by one of his own agents on the chief’s stated support for ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ (amnesty for illegal aliens).Chief Aguilar is visibly agitated as he stands before a gathered group of agents in what was billed as a sort of ‘town hall meeting,’ as the agent continues to repeat Aguilar’s quotes over the years on the issue of amnesty...Aguilar’s support for the prosecution of several Border Patrol agents by the Bush administration for so-called civil rights violations against illegal aliens (even drug smugglers), such as those of Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean have also contributed to the lack of support the rank and file agents have in their own boss.
Friday, December 23, 2011
WaPo December 22, 2011 by Associated Press
MIAMI — Authorities conducting a six-week counterfeit sweep in three countries seized 327,000 phony items including fake Hello Kitty clothing and cheap imitation Casio G-Shock sport watches that if legitimate carry suggested retail prices of more than $76 million, federal investigators said Thursday.
“Counterfeiting remains a significant problem that demands strong enforcement efforts both here and abroad,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.
Contrast Morton's and ICE's toading to Red Chinese manufacturers and Japanese zaibatsu with its hostility to illegal aliens detained by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO):
AZFamily.com December 22, 2011 by Jared Dillingham
MCSO At Odds With ICE Over Illegal Immigration
PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County sheriff and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are at odds over an incident involving suspected illegal immigrants Wednesday night.
MCSO deputies pulled over a truck with 12 suspected illegal immigrants along Interstate 17 near Anthem. Deputies said they were able to detain six of them on state human-smuggling charges.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the other six, including two children, admitted they were in the country illegally and had each paid $3,000 to $4,000 to be brought from Mexico to New York.
In cases like this, in which being in the country illegally is the person's only crime, MCSO routinely turns the suspected illegal immigrants over to federal ICE agents. However, when deputies called ICE Wednesday night, they say ICE agents refused to respond to the scene.
"It's unprecedented," Arpaio said.
For some reason, ICE is granting amnesty to illegal aliens captured by Maricopa County, as if that excuses their crimes.
"Following DOJ's finding of unlawful police practices by the MCSO, ICE dedicated 50 officers to provide 24/7 coverage of the Maricopa County jail," ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile said in a written statement." Accordingly, ICE enforcement focuses first on serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to public safety, such as individuals charged with or convicted of serious crimes. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of immigration fugitives and criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country."
Arpaio's deputies convinced the Border Patrol in Casa Grande to take the six suspected illegal immigrants in question.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
HuffPo December 22, 2011 Andrea StoneWASHINGTON -- Time's up for the head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who announced Thursday he is stepping down at the end of the year when his recess appointment expires.Alan Bersin served as the administration's Southwest "border czar" on undocumented immigration and drug smuggling. President Obama nominated him to be CBP commissioner in September 2009, and appointed him commissioner in March 2010 after the Senate failed to confirm him...Bersin was one of 15 officials to be given temporary recess appointments in 2010 after their nominations stalled in the Senate. In November, Don Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a lightening rod in the battle of health care reform, resigned from his temporary job before it expired at the end of the year.
National Review Online The Corner by Michael WalshNice to see that Willard Mitt can make the tough calls:Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he would deport President Barack Obama’s uncle, who police said was arrested in August for drunken driving near Boston and is an illegal immigrant.Nary a word from “Say Anything” Mitt about the “payroll tax” fight, in which the inept Republican leadership has been sandbagged by Obama and the Democrats not once but twice. Mr. Bain Capital has bigger fish to fry.In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr on Wednesday, Romney said “yes” when asked if Onyango Obama should be deported. Romney at first did not recognize the name, but said the nation’s immigration laws should be enforced.Onyango Obama is the 67-year-old half-brother of the president’s late father. His case is pending in Framingham, Mass., District Court.Speaking of Brave Sir Willard, my former Breitbart colleague Mike Flynn noted this salient fact about Mitt’s “electability” the other day in endorsing Rick Perry over at Big Government:
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
National Review Online December 21, 2011 Victor Davis HansonI am starting to feel as if I am living in a Vandal state, perhaps on the frontier near Carthage around a.d. 530, or in a beleaguered Rome in 455. Here are some updates from the rural area surrounding my farm, taken from about a 30-mile radius. In this take, I am not so much interested in chronicling the flotsam and jetsam as in fathoming whether there is some ideology that drives it.
Last week an ancestral rural school near the Kings River had its large bronze bell stolen. I think it dated from 1911. I have driven by it about 100 times in the 42 years since I got my first license. The bell had endured all those years. Where it is now I don’t know. Does someone just cut up a beautifully crafted bell in some chop yard in rural Fresno County, without a worry about who forged it or why — or why others for a century until now enjoyed its presence?
The city of Fresno is now under siege. Hundreds of street lights are out, their copper wire stripped away. In desperation, workers are now cementing the bases of all the poles — as if the original steel access doors were not necessary to service the wiring. How sad the synergy! Since darkness begets crime, the thieves achieve a twofer: The more copper they steal, the easier under cover of spreading night it is to steal more. Yet do thieves themselves at home with their wives and children not sometimes appreciate light in the darkness? Do they vandalize the street lights in front of their own homes?
In a small town two miles away, the thefts now sound like something out of Edward Gibbon’s bleaker chapters — or maybe George Miller’s Road Warrior, or the Hughes brothers’ more recent The Book of Eli. Hundreds of bronze commemorative plaques were ripped off my town’s public buildings (and with them all record of our ancestors’ public-spiritedness). I guess that is our version of Trotskyization.
The Catholic church was just looted (again) of its bronze and silver icons. Manhole covers are missing (some of the town’s own maintenance staff were arrested for this theft, no less!). The Little League clubhouse was ransacked of its equipment.
There is, of course, a vague code of silence about who is doing the stealing, although occasionally the most flagrant offenders are caught either by sheriffs or on tape; or, in my typical case, run off only to return successfully at night. In the vast majority of cases, rural central California is being vandalized by gangs of young Mexican nationals or Mexican-Americans —
...in the latter case, a criminal subset of an otherwise largely successful and increasingly integrated and assimilated near majority of the state’s population. Everyone knows it; everyone keeps quiet about it — even though increasingly the victims are the established local Mexican-American middle class that now runs the city councils of most rural towns and must deal with the costs.
Perhaps because illegal immigration poses so many mind-boggling challenges (e.g., probably over $20 billion lost to the state in remittances, the undermining of federal law, the prejudice shown against legal immigration applicants, ethnic favoritism as the engine of amnesty, subterfuge on the part of Mexico, vast costs in entitlements and subsidies), talking about it is futile.
So most don’t, in fear of accusations of “racism.”
International Business Times December 20, 2011
When John Brandoli met his future spouse in the summer of 005, he did not care that he was falling in love with an immigrant who had arrived from Trinidad with only a tourist visa. They became inseparable, and in March of 2010 they wed...
Brandoli and his husband, Michael Thomas, faced a higher hurdle. Their marriage is recognized in Massachusetts, one of seven states to have legalized same-sex marriage. But under the Defense of Marriage Act, Thomas is not entitled to the federal benefits that marriage confers -- including the ability to update his immigration status.
While similar cases have ended with bi-national couples sundered by the federal prohibition of same-sex marriage, Thomas and Brandoli defied that outcome. Thomas was facing deportation for remaining in the country illegally -- he had been misled by a fraudulent immigration services provider that advised him against applying for asylum -- but Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved last week to close his case.
When asked by a Metro Weekly reporter whether same-sex couples would qualify, a senior administration official responded "yes." Nelson Peacock, an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Legislative Affairs, wrote in response to a question from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., that "LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] individuals' ties and contributions to the community are taken into account" in assessing whether their cases should be considered low priority.
WaPo December 20, 2011, Associated Press
TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona authorities have arrested some 200 people, and seized $7.8 million in cash and more than 1,200 pounds of drugs following an investigation they say has dismantled an “extensive” drug trafficking cell tied to the powerful Sinaloa cartel, federal and state authorities announced Tuesday.
Authorities announcing the 15-month-long investigation said that although the Sinaloa cartel almost immediately regenerates after one of its cells have been taken down, their investigation certainly struck a blow.
“Arresting a drug dealer is one thing but if we can actually follow that backwards and take out the head of the snake of this organization, we exact a lot of pain on those cartels and those folks putting their distribution networks in Arizona,” Tempe police Cmdr. Kim Hale said at a news conference announcing the bust.
The 203 people arrested ranged all the way from street dealers and buyers to family members and friends of Sinaloa cartel members who were well-trusted in the organization, Hale said.The 43 search warrants conducted as part of the investigation led to the seizure of 44 guns that included assault rifles, 650 pounds of marijuana, 435 pounds of methamphetamine, 123 pounds of cocaine and 4.5 pounds of heroin. Combined the drugs are estimated to be worth $12.5 million...
Separately, Phoenix agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency had been investigating the ring, so the two joined forces, along with other agencies.
Doug Coleman, acting special agent in charge of the DEA in Arizona, said that he expects further arrests in the case as the investigation continues.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Representative Mike Quigley Statement To The House Wednesday September 7, 2011
My interest in this issue began even before I even took office.
I represent a district that is nearly one-fifth Polish.
Chicago has the highest concentration of Poles of any city outside of Warsaw.
I hear from my Polish community daily about the unfair law that excludes their country from visa-free travel.
Fuck you Mike Quigley. You are supposed to represent Americans in the House of Represenatives. You do not represent Poles in America. The Polish government, through its Embassy and Consulates, represents Poles in America. They are foreigners, aliens, outside of our political community. If you are so fucking concerned about Poles, go fucking live in Poland.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Andrew C. McCarthy NRO The Corner December 19, 2011
There Is No Power and No Reason to Subpoena Federal Judges
For now, though, I just want to address a bad part that is getting most of the attention — as Kate’s post from yesterday indicates. That’s the business about issuing congressional subpoenas to federal judges to coerce them into explaining themselves before lawmakers. As many commentators have suggested, this proposal would violate separation-of-powers principles. The judiciary is a peer of the political branches. It would be no more appropriate for Congress to subpoena a federal judge (or that judge’s clerks) about the reasoning of one of the judge’s rulings than it would be for Congress to subpoena the president (or his top advisors) about a controversial decision that was within the president’s constitutional authority, or for a judge or the Justice Department to issue a subpoena to a member of Congress (or the lawmaker’s staff) to question that member about the deliberations over some legislative act that arguably went beyond Congress’s enumerated powers.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Department of State Press Release December 15, 2011On December 14 at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Ambassador Gary Locke presented the one millionth visa adjudicated in China this year. With the help of additional personnel and process improvements, Mission China has also successfully reduced the average wait time for a visa interview appointment to less than one week.Since taking up his post in China, Ambassador Locke has emphasized the importance of travel and trade between the two nations. According to the Department of Commerce, in 2010, more than 800,000 Chinese visitors contributed $5 billion to the U.S. economy.More Chinese visitors will create more jobs and opportunities in the U.S. travel and tourism industries.
In addition to ongoing efforts to keep visa wait times low, the United States is encouraging the Chinese government to extend visa reciprocity to allow both U.S. and Chinese travelers longer validity visas, which is in the interests of both nations.
Newsmax Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011 By Martin GouldGaffe-prone Attorney General Eric Holder came under new Republican fire on Wednesday after calling for an end to state laws requiring voters to show identification at polling stations.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas immediately slammed Holder, saying: "Voter identification laws are constitutional and necessary to prevent fraud at the ballot box."Facing an election challenge next year, this administration has chosen to target efforts by the states to protect the democratic process," Cornyn said...“If we are to maintain the integrity of the democratic process, it is not unreasonable that voters should show appropriate identification when they turn up at polling stations and for him to suggest otherwise flies in the face of common sense,” Gosar added. “I have already called on Mr. Holder to resign over Fast and Furious. This latest speech should serve as his final strike.”Republicans have been increasingly concerned that the administration wants to loosen voter identification laws in states with significant numbers of immigrants, poor and black voters to help President Barack Obama win among traditionally Democratic-leaning minorities in the 2012 election.