Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Numbers to call :
White House Phone: 202-456-1111
White House Fax: 202-456-2461
White House E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll free Capital switchboard: 1-877-851-6437 & 1-866-340-9281
Congress and Pelosi: 866-340-9281
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: 202-514-2001 or 202-353-1555
Prosecuting Attorney Office (Johnny Sutton & Debra Kanof): 210-384-7400
Judge Kathleen Cardone: 915-534-6740
Tony Snow: 202-456-2673
RNC fax: 202-863-8820
And now to the latest WND article.. this one from Art Moore...
Tony Snow to meet with congressman, promises look at trial transcript
Posted: January 29, 2007
9:40 p.m. Eastern
By Art Moore
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Amid growing criticism from congressmen and activists of its handling of the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents, the White House is opening up a line of communication with lawmakers and promises it will review a transcript of the trial.
During a telephone interview today with WND, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., received a call from press secretary Tony Snow, inviting him to meet for a friendly, unofficial discussion about the case.
Meanwhile, Snow explained to WND the White House's current stance in a brief interview Sunday.
"What we're doing is getting the entire trial transcript so everybody can see what happened in trial, and we can try to discern the real facts of the case," Snow told WND after a luncheon address at National Review's Conservative Summit in Washington.
He insisted the development does not represent a shift in how the White House is approaching the case.
"I think what's happened is a lot of people have differing accounts of this, and the best way to resolve them is not by having people scream at each other but by finding out what the fact record is, and that's what we're going to do," said Snow.
Rohrabacher said, however, he has no doubt this is a response to pressure – including campaigns for a pardon and House resolutions to throw out the case – noting that previously the president and his senior staff would not return phone calls from him and other senior congressmen.
"The very fact that they are now willing to look at this case is indication of some progress," Rohrabacher told WND. "However, if they don't do an honest assessment – for political reasons, or for ego reasons or for reasons of friendship with the prosecutor – then it doesn't make any difference if they take a second look, or a first look at the facts."
Rohrabacher characterized his planned meeting with Snow as a "conversation between two old friends."
"It's not a formal negotiation but an opening up of communications," he said.
The California congressman, along with several Republican colleagues, has been sharply critical of the administration's handling of the prosecution of former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, who began prison sentences Jan. 17, of 11 and 12 years respectively, for their actions in the shooting and wounding of a Mexican drug smuggler who was granted full immunity to testify against them.
Rohrabacher previously told WND he considered the president's handling of the case "disgraceful."
"This is the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen," Rohrabacher told WND, referring to the president. "It's shameful this was done by someone who is in the Republican Party. He obviously thinks more about his agreements with Mexico than the lives of American people and backing up his defenders."
Problems with transcript
Snow told Rohrabacher the White House is trying to get a copy of the transcript as soon as possible, but there have been obstacles.
The main problem, according to Rohrabacher, is with the transcript's accuracy, because the court reporter apparently "wasn't up to the challenge the case presented."
The congressman could provide no further details, only that "they're working on" difficulties with the transcript. He contended, however, the administration has enough of the facts to make a decision now.
"The president shouldn't have to go to the transcript to see that, on the face of it, this prosecution makes no sense," Rohrabacher said. "You've got a professional drug dealer who was a mule for the cartels, and the prosecutor has been taking that person's side and his word."
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton defended his prosecution in an interview with WND.
The White House press office was asked today to answer follow-up questions but has not responded.
A staunch defender of Ramos and Compean, TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told WND he has seen snippets of the transcript and contends there are problems with the prosecution's case.
"I'm anxious to see the transcript, because I'm not afraid to see what will be revealed," he said. "Once people find out the truth, they will be even more outraged that the government pursued the case, knowing what they know."
Making the case
The White House this month appealed to some of its more vocal critics on the border-agent issue, including Phyllis Schlafly. The long-time activist and syndicated columnist wrote a column arguing "President Bush pardoned 16 criminals, including five drug dealers, at Christmastime, but so far has refused to pardon two U.S. Border Patrol agents who were trying to defend America against drug smugglers."
Schlafly told WND she received a call Jan. 8 from U.S. Attorney Sutton.
"He tried to make his case, and he was completely unpersuasive," she said.
Schlafly called Snow's effort to acquire the transcript and lay out the facts a "stall."
"We've looked at the facts, and the facts are it's an outrage," said Schlafly, founder of the family activist group Eagle Forum. "The bottom line is the drug smuggler was given immunity and went Scot free, and two border guards went to prison for 11 and 12 years."
Jessica Echard, executive director of Eagle Forum's Capitol Hill office, told WND she has received phone messages in the past week from Sutton, who said he was calling by request of Tim Goeglein, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Echard said the White House "clearly is getting pressure from grass-roots Americans."
"They are obviously trying to put out a lot of fires," she said. "But we're going to be asking a lot of questions and trying to find out what happened."
Rohrabacher said that while such positive attempts to establish communication have been made, "on the negative side," the White House is "going through its natural allies, which believe in open borders."
He referred to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal Friday, which he called a "character assassination" of Compean and Ramos.
Bank Robbers Protesting Discrimination!
BANK ROBBERS UNITE!
Bank Robbers from across the nation will gather today to hold a rally to
protest some of the latest hate tactics perpetrated by evil conservative
Republicans. The plan calls for criminalizing and in this case, making it a felony to rob a bank.
Said one congressman, "We're tired of all this illegal activity."
According to Jose Luis Gonzalez, a career bank robber, "This is hateful plain
and simple. We're just trying to feed our families. We're not bank robbers.
We're undocumented withdrawers! The politicians are the real criminals."
Remarked Jose Luis, "I can't believe they would do this to me. Every time I
break the law, I'll now have to worry about the consequences. Now I have to live my life in fear"
Senator Hillary Clinton today held a press conference. "This seems wrong.
Would we ask the Good Samaritan to not rob a bank? Would we ask Jesus not to rob
a bank? This doesn't seem like it would follow the Bible, which I think I read
once." Senator Clinton, who worships at the First Rainbow Church of the
People, was deeply offended and called on those with similar beliefs to contribute
money to her charity: Hillary for President 2008.There is no word on whether
she might actually run for president.
Additionally, this bill would make it a crime to help bank robbers in the
process of committing the crime. This change has many people riled up.
Said Jose Luis, "What about those people with no job skills? What are they
supposed to do? What about those people whose only crime is to drive a getaway
car? Are you going to put them in jail too? What have they done wrong?"
Roberto, a successful bank robber, can earn up to $1,200 on a good day.
"I can't make that kind of money robbing banks in Mexico."
This money of course is later circulated into the American Economy.
Without bank robbing, many of these young men would turn to more drastic
forms of stealing ... such as spam or running for congress.
According to Roberto, even the unsuccessful ones contribute to the economy.
"Would those prison guards have jobs? Would they be able to do anything
without the undocumented withdrawers? That's all we're saying."
What is not widely known is just how dangerous this work can be.
"We spent hours sitting in a dark cramped van waiting for the right heist"
In a tragic tragedy last week, three bank robbers perished while trying to
case a joint.
"This kind of thing should not happen in America. We couldn't take care of
them. They died in the back seat like some cheap date for Ted Kennedy. We had
no place to take them!"
Indeed, it is estimated that 1 out of every 3 bank robbers does not have
"We're left to fend for ourselves and nobody cares about us!" says Carlos
"American is starting to become like other more hateful countries".
Another robber, Carlos, was deported from Denmark.
"They told me it was against the laws of their country to rob a bank.
How dare they say that? Something is truly rotten in Denmark. Just because
I'm in somebody else's country, how can that mean that I have to follow their
Carlos is now here in America and is very excited at President Bush's new
The Bank Robbing Guest Robber Program.
The rally will be held at noon right outside First National Bank.
Labels: bank robbers illegal alien
And also follow this link to Pat Gray's site here
Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila is a Mexican national, career drug smuggler. On February 17th, 2005, U.S. Border Patrol Agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos shot Aldrete-Davila once in the buttocks saying that they thought the suspect was armed. This claim has been supported by two of Aldrete-Davila's family members, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. They stated that Aldrete-Davila had been dealing drugs since age 14 and, according to one, he "wouldn't move drugs unless he had a gun on him."
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton responded, "There's this impression that all these dopers carry guns," but mules - smugglers such as Aldrete-Davila - "almost never carry guns," because federal law "tacks on five years to their sentence. In this one statement, US Attorney Johnny Sutton admits to knowing that Aldrete-Davila is "doper" and a "[drug] mule smuggler".
An Office of Inspector General memorandum contradicts US Attorney Sutton's claim that Ramos and Compean reported Aldrete-Davila was unarmed.
The memorandum of activity was written April 4th, 2005, by Christopher Sanchez, the OIG investigator who questioned Compean about the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting.
What is unconscionable Debra Kanof, is YOUR evil frame job of these two Border Agents.. and how our Federal government conspired with a Mexican drug smuggler to prosecute and imprison these two Border Agents. They must be freed immediately - this is an outrage!
Behind the scenes
In the same Homeland Security Department memo, Christopher Sanchez outlines how the investigation into Ramos and Compean was initiated.
On March 10, 2005, Christopher Sanchez received a telephone call from Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez of Wilcox, Ariz., who told the agent about Aldrete-Davila's encounter with Ramos and Compean.
According to the document, Rene Sanchez stated "that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila's mother, Marcadia Aldrete-Davila, contacted Rene Sanchez's mother-in-law, Gregoria Toquinto, and advised her about the BP agents shooting Aldrete-Davila. Toquinto told her son-in-law, Rene Sanchez, of the incident, and he spoke to Osbaldo via a telephone call."
During the trial, the connection between Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila confused the Ramos family, and "we questioned how an agent from Arizona would know or want to defend a drug smuggler from Mexico," said Monica Ramos.
Kanof bristled when asked about the Rene Sanchez/Aldrete-Davila connection.
"It's an unconscionable accusation that Sanchez is associated with a drug dealer," she said. "Most BP agents who are Hispanic have family from Mexico. He was born in the U.S. and raised in Mexico and came back to do high school and later became an agent."
The Ramoses also contend Aldrete-Davila's story changed several times.
According to the memo, Aldrete-Davila told investigators the agents shot him in the buttocks when he was trying to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But according to Aldrete-Davila's later testimony and that of the agents, he was shot after trying to evade the agents upon his re-entry into Mexico.
The memo never was disclosed to the jury. [THIS is unconscionable Debra Kanof!]
Aldrete-Davila is suing the Border Patrol for $5 million for violating his civil rights.
Feds 'knew smuggler' in Border Patrol case
Critic charges prosecutor lied, made 'deal with the devil'
New evidence suggests prosecuting U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of
Contrary to claims, no Mexican attorney was involved as an intermediary offering to reveal the identity of the drug smuggler and bring him back to the U.S. in exchange for given immunity to testify against Border Patrol, contended Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol.
"It's shocking how much lying Johnny Sutton has done about Aldrete-Davila," he told WND.
"The government made a deal with the devil to put Ramos and Compean behind bars," Ramirez said. "Sutton's story about the lawyer in
Commenting to WND for this story, Sutton insisted there was insufficient evidence to charge the drug smuggler, who was in a foreign country, which would have made it difficult to extradite him.
Ramirez told WND the information came from Rene Sanchez, a Border Patrol agent who was stationed a sector away from
According to Ramirez, Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila grew up together in
Sanchez's mother-in-law and Aldrete-Davila's mother also have remained good friends. Sanchez was notified by his mother-in-law that Aldrete-Davila had been shot. She reportedly heard about the incident from friends in
Ramirez next reports Rene Sanchez, according to a Department of Homeland Security memorandum of activity document, began querying the Border Patrol Tracking System and found that the Fabens Border Patrol Station seized a load of marijuana
follow title link to read entire article.. well worth the time to do so!
I say we need to help their economy and get them educated but NOT by importing them to the US. We need to help their economy IN PLACE so their culture remains in Mexico and the desire to come here fades away because after all, I think most of us would want to stay in our home land.
Here is the story from WND and it is very troubling that we have powerful leaders plotting to make global changes to our world and they are trying to hide it from us... The reason they want to hide it from us is because they think we are too stupid to understand their plans. Don't let them get away with this voters!
Thanks to Judicial Watch for filing the FOIA request and getting the details of this unfolding conspiracy.
NEW WORLD DISORDER
North America activists plotted 'stealth' strategy
Details of secret Banff meeting released as part of FOIA request
Posted: January 30, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Joseph Farah
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON – Participants in a high-level, closed door, three-day conference on the integration of the three North American nations debated whether openness about goals was preferred to a stealthy policy of building infrastructure before a vision of the end result was even laid out to the people of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, according to notes obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Official notes taken on a session on "Border Infrastructure and Continental Prosperity" at the North American Forum in Banff, Canada, last September, reveal the internal debate over continued secrecy.
"While a vision is appealing, working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and bring more people on board ('evolution by stealth')," record the notes discovered amid documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
Several speakers at the event emphasized the importance of "deepening economic integration," "integrating the energy infrastructure" and "the development of new institutions" between the three North American nations.
Participants promoted the idea of using popular issues, such as concern over climate change, to push integration of energy and environmental governance and the possibility of imposing a carbon tax.
Judicial Watch released yesterday the documents it received in a FOIA request from the U.S. Northern Command, whose commander, Admiral Timothy Keating, participated in the conference along with Northcom political adviser Deborah Bolton and Plans, Policy and Strategy Director Maj. General Mark Volcheff. A similar request concerning participation in the North American Forum meeting by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is still pending.
At least one attendee of the conference said the meeting was intended to subvert the democratic process. Mel Hurtig, a Canadian author and publisher elected as the leader of the National Party of Canada, told WND last fall the idea of the North American Forum is to move the countries toward integration without public consent or even knowledge.
"What is sinister about this meeting is that it involved high level government officials and some of the top and most powerful business leaders of the three countries and the North American Forum in organizing the meeting intentionally did not inform the press in any of the three countries," he said. "It was clear that the intention was to keep this important meeting about integrating the three countries out of the public eye."
The conference raised more suspicions about plans for the future merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico – with topics ranging from "A Vision for North America," "Opportunities for Security Cooperation" and "Demographic and Social Dimensions of North American Integration."
Confirmed participants included Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State George Shultz, who serves as co-chairman of the North American Forum, former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey, former Immigration and Naturalization Services Director Doris Meissner, North American Union guru Robert Pastor, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Energy Secretary and Defense Secretary James Schlesinger and top officials of both Mexico and Canada. But the only media member scheduled to appear at the event, according to documents obtained by WND, was the Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady.
The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canada West Foundation, an Alberta think-tank that promotes closer economic integration with the United States.
The next meeting of the North American Forum is set for Oct. 12-14 in Puerto Vallarta.
The Canadian event is another in a series of meetings, policy papers and directives that have citizens, officials and members of the media wondering whether these efforts represent some sort of coordinated effort to implement a "merger" some have characterized as "NAFTA on steroids."
Prominent at the Banff conference was Robert Pastor, an American University professor who wrote "Toward a North American Community," a book promoting the development of a North American union as a regional government and the adoption of the amero as a common monetary currency to replace the dollar and the peso.
American University Professor Robert Pastor
Pastor also was vice chairman of the May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force entitled "Building a North American Community" that presents itself as a blueprint for using bureaucratic action within the executive branches of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada to transform the current trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America into a North American union regional government.
He calls for the establishment of a North American Community, which some view as a significant step toward a European Union-style system of regional or continental governance.
"Increasing interdependence offers additional costs and opportunities," he told the Banff audience. "To mitigate the dangers and expand the benefits of a more integrated and less regulated market requires continental plans and institutions. It requires a new consciousness among both leaders and people – a new way of thinking about our neighbors. This will take time, but we want to begin the journey."
Pastor continued: "Our purpose is to build a greater sense of being a part of North America. We do not want to displace the pride each of us feel in our countries, but rather to supplement that with a feeling of being North American. We do so not to build a fortress or to separate ourselves from the world. On the contrary, we want to connect better with our closest neighbors in order to strengthen our ability to compete in the world and to serve as a models for other regional groups."
Pastor said narrowing the gap in income "may be the single most important issue on the North American agenda." He pointed hopefully to a bill introduced June 29, 2006, by Sen. John Cornyn calling for a North American Investment Fund to channel grants to Mexico for this purpose. He failed to note, however, that Cornyn had already withdrawn his bill two months prior to the Banff conference after the senator was alerted by WND to the role it played in fostering regional government in North America.
Monday, January 29, 2007
So.. let me get this straight.. The Presidente of Mexico is ALL FOR legalizing HIS Mexican citizens into the US? And why might that be Mr Calderon? Is that because the US is such a great Mexican WELFARE program for you?
In particular note this Calderon quote: "Mexico has manpower, and America has much capital"
Make no mistake about it.. Bush and Calderon hope to make a nice little trade deal - saddling us with Mexicans who suck up our tax money in social services and take our low income jobs and who benefits? The elitists of Mexico and the US who don't have to deal with the day to day life of the millions of third world people in their communities.
January 27, 2007
Mexican President Felipe Calderón said yesterday that his country has a better chance of resolving disputes with the United States over immigration now that Democrats control the U.S. Congress.
“With the new composition of the U.S. Congress there are greater opportunities and more potential for making progress on the immigration issue,” Calderón said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
At the Institute of the Americas in San Diego on Thursday night, former Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner said she would put the chances of getting an immigration bill passed during President Bush's term at “slightly more than 50-50.”
Calderón said it was essential to convince Americans that Mexico and the United States have “complementary” economies. “Mexico has manpower, and America has much capital,” he said.
Meissner, who served under President Clinton and is now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute think tank in Washington, called immigration “a vital national asset.”
Last year, Bush sought a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
That measure stalled in Congress after House Republicans demanded a greater focus on security and border control. Bush settled for legislation authorizing construction of 700 miles of barriers along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. He signed the bill Oct. 26.
Calderón said Bush, in a telephone conversation this week, said he was pushing forward a compromise immigration reform package on Capitol Hill. Bush made his latest pitch for the plan in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
Democrats are demanding that Bush deliver support of congressional Republicans to ensure passage of a bipartisan overhaul of immigration law. Meissner said such a bill would probably need the backing of at least 15 Senate Republicans and 40 House Republicans to pass.
Meissner said, “There is no question that President Bush wants immigration reform as a legacy for himself.” She also said he “has never put any political muscle behind it.”
Meissner said immigration reform opponents should look at the magnitude of the benefits immigrants provide to the United States over the long term. “Over time, these people generate revenue,” she said.
But that was disputed at a forum held in San Diego yesterday that was sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies. Mark Krikorian, the center's executive director, said illegal immigrants in general “don't pay a lot of taxes . . . and use a lot of services.”
Sunday, January 28, 2007
"Myth": The agents were just doing their jobs (rebuttal to Johnny Suttons claim it was a myth they were doing their jobs)
FACT: Both agent Compean and Ramos testified that the drug smuggler turned and pointed a weapon at them while he was running away. The wound channel created by the bullet that struck the drug smuggler corroborates their version of the events. According to the affidavit of the Office of Inspector General investigator who accompanied the drug smuggler to William Beaumont Army Medical Center for treatment, the Army doctor who removed the bullet fragment from the drug smuggler "advised that the bullet entered the lower left buttocks of the victim and passed through his pelvic triangle and lodged in his right thigh". At the trial, the Army doctor testified that the drug smuggler's body was "bladed" away from the bullet that struck him, consistent with the motion of a left-handed person running away while pointing backward, causing the body to twist. There is only one logical object that he would have been pointing at them under these circumstances - a firearm.
As noted previously, none of the agents on the north side of the irrigation canal could have possibly seen what transpired on the other side of the levee access road, even if they climbed on top of one of the vehicles. It is also worth noting that Agent Juarez, along with two other Border Patrol agents, was granted immunity by the Department of Justice in exchange for his testimony. Since he was not involved in the incident, one has to wonder why he would need immunity, and what effect that had on the truthfulness of his testimony.
"Myth": The government let a drug smuggler go free (according to Sutton this is a myth)
FACT: The US Attoerney's Office and Office of Inspector General had no trouble identifying Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila as the driver of the van loaded with 743 pounds of marijuana and tracking him down in Mexico. Since the drug smuggler obviously made frequent trips to the United States, it would have been a simple matter to issue a warrant for his arrest, and wait for law enforcement authorities to take him into custody.
"MYTH": These Border Patrol agents should not have been prosecuted (according to Sutton this is a myth)
FACT: The U.S. Attorney's version of what happened at the border on February 17, 2005 relies almost exclusively on the testimony of an admitted drug smuggler, hardly a trustworthy source. Moreover, as previously noted, it is directly contradicted by compelling physical evidence - the angle of the bullet that sturck the drug smuggler. It is clear that the drug smuggler was pointing something at the agents as he ran away, and it was reasonable under the totality of the circumstances for them to assume that the object was a firearm. Since the drug smuggler absconded into Mexico, there was no way that the agents could have recovered his weapon - he took it with him.
Follow the link in the title to read the entire article...
Friday, January 26, 2007
WE WILL NOT STOP DEMANDING THEIR RELEASE!!!
Feds pressed to hand over border agent docs
Congressman files FOIA request on info that could favor Compean, Ramos
Posted: January 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Homeland Security to force the handover to Congress of investigative documents the agency claims will support their accusation of criminal behavior by imprisoned former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
In a telephone interview with WND, Poe explained the extraordinary procedure was necessary after DHS refused to furnish the reports to Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, arguing McCaul's chairmanship of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security had passed to the Democrats.
The decision by Poe to file a FOIA request with DHS reflects increasing congressional concern the agency is conducting a cover-up of the Ramos-Compean investigation. Congressmen say the agency has continued to stonewall repeated requests to obtain promised investigative documents relevant to congressional oversight responsibilities.
WND reported yesterday McCaul held a meeting Sept. 26 with deputies of the DHS Inspector General's office in which the deputies made accusations of criminal misconduct against the Border Patrol agents. In attendance at the meeting were Poe and fellow Texas congressmen John Culberson and Kenny Marchant.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the DHS inspector general told the Texas congressmen the relevant investigative reports would be released the first day after the Oct. 23, 2006, sentencing of the agents. So far, however, DHS has refused to release the promised reports, despite repeated requests from McCaul.
"I was at that meeting," Poe told WND. "We had the office of the DHS inspector general and the Department of Justice (DOJ) there. They made allegations that these two Border Patrol agents had made incriminating statements that DHS and DOJ had in their possession. We were told we would be given these statements to contradict what the agents had been telling us."
Poe explained that Ramos and Compean had told the congressman the fleeing drug smuggling suspect they were chasing was armed and that they suspected he was a drug dealer because of his behavior, including driving a van across a border road the agents knew was used by drug smugglers, and running away to avoid arrest.
"We supported Congressman McCaul's attempts to get these reports," Poe explained to WND. "But when after January 1, 2007, DHS told Congressman McCaul that they could no longer hand over the information to him because he was no longer subcommittee chairman, I decided to file the FOIA request to get the documents."
Poe said he has been frustrated by DHS stonewalling.
"Why didn't the DHS inspector general come to the September 26, 2006 meeting prepared to give us the information?" he asked. "Even a Xerox machine in the Justice Department should be able to work once in four months to make a copy of those statements." Poe said he found the lack of candor "disturbing." "There were so many resources available from the federal government to prosecute these two Border Patrol agents, why don't come forward and bring to the Congress the information the DHS inspector general intends to have?" he asked. "So, we're not through yet."
Poe expressed concern that he is not sure the jury in the Ramos and Compean case got all the information the government had concerning the relevant facts of the case.
"When the government does backroom deals with criminals, like this habitual drug offender from Mexico, the public, and especially the defendants, have an absolute right to know what the deal was and how it came about," he said. "Maybe the jury heard it, and maybe the jury didn't hear it, but we will find out."
Many of the factual aspects of the case are now being disputed by investigators, including the ballistics investigation into the weapons fired and the round subsequently extracted from the left buttocks and right groin of the drug smuggler by a U.S. Army doctor.
"For all we know," Poe commented, "the drug smuggler seemed to be pointing back at the Border Patrol agents with what could have been something in his hand based on the ballistics reports I am seeing. U.S. Attorney (Johnny) Sutton says the guy was shot in the buttocks. Well, now we find out that that isn't exactly accurate. The guy was shot from 'cheek-to-cheek,' or maybe from the side of his left buttocks to his right groin. There's a big difference in those two statements. You don't have to be a ballistics expert to understand that the body was turned if the bullet went from one cheek to the other cheek, or from the left cheek to the right groin."
Poe repeated that his office was determined to get to the bottom of these investigative questions. "In the big scheme of things, let's assume that the Border Patrol agents violated policy. Assume they didn't file a report even though the law says that they were only required to file an oral report to the supervisor," he asked. "There was no requirement in this instance that they file a written report. Okay, let's discipline the Border Patrol agents, you bet. Let's give them three-day's suspension like the rules call for."
Poe questioned the judgment of U.S. Attorney Sutton, asking "why does the federal government here have a choice to prosecute a guy bringing in a million dollars worth of drugs or prosecute Border Patrol agents who were doing their job, yet the government chose to prosecute the Border Patrol? "Why is the federal government spending so many federal taxpayer resources prosecuting federal Border Patrol agents trying to stop drug smugglers, especially when it means making deals with drug offenders?" he continued. "That's the bigger question in my mind.
Poe agreed the prosecution would put a chilling effect on other Border Patrol agents.
"That's a war zone on the Texas-Mexico border," he said. "It's an undeclared war that's taking place. You have aggressive Border Patrol agents like Ramos and Compean, who are protecting the country, and yet they are vilified and prosecuted by our own government. The next time you have a similar situation with a different Border Patrol agent, the Border Patrol agent will hesitate before they put their life or their career in danger."
Poe called the Ramos and Compean case "the best news drug dealers have ever heard."
Drug smugglers now know, he explained, "that Border Patrol agents may be reluctant to chase them. So all they have to do is run. If another drug smuggler sees a Border Patrol agent, all they have to do is what this drug dealer did – namely, run. Drive, run, just get away. Drug dealers are going to know that federal Border Patrol agents are going to be more reluctant to pursue them because the federal government, for some reason, takes the wrong side of the border war."
In an exclusive Jan.19 interview, Sutton told WND Ramos and Compean's crimes involved "shooting 15 times at an unarmed, fleeing man."
For Sutton, the agents compounded the offense by engaging in a cover-up: "And instead of doing what every other agent does, namely to explain why they decided to use deadly force, these two agents instead decided to lie about it, cover it up, destroy the evidence, pick up all the shell casings and throw them away where we couldn't find them, destroy the crime scene and then file a false report."
The drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, was given immunity by federal prosecutor Sutton, and was the star witness at the trial of the agents.
Aldrete-Davila has retained a U.S. attorney and now is in the process of preparing to sue the U.S. Border Patrol for $5 million, claiming his civil rights were violated by the agents' criminal behavior of shooting at him as he abandoned a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana and fled from the scene.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Congressman: Feds stonewalling on border agents
Charges Bush administration won't hand over promised docs on Ramos, Compean
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Rep. Michael McCaul R-Texas, says that for five months the has stonewalled his persistent requests to hand over promised internal reports purportedly substantiating agency claims that former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were rightly convicted.
McCaul said that "every minute DHS officials refuse to provide requested reports on the Ramos and Compean investigation and case, they are increasing the legitimate questions about how and why this case was prosecuted and tried."
"We demand they give us the information which they promised to provide five months ago," he said.
McCaul says he has angrily protested in person to Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and to the agency in many written and verbal communications his assertion that DHS is stonewalling the case of the imprisoned Border Patrol agents.
As chairman in the 109th Congress of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on , McCaul has demanded that DHS turn over to his panel investigative documents that would substantiate DHS claims that Ramos and Compean are guilty.
On Sept. 26, deputies of the DHS Inspector General's Office met with McCaul, along with fellow Republican congressmen from
According to a Jan. 19 letter McCaul wrote to the
- Ramos and Compean confessed to knowingly shooting at an unarmed suspect. Again – they claim the two agents knew he was unarmed when they fired their weapons.
- Ramos and Compean stated during the interrogation that they did not believe the suspect was a threat to them at the time of the shooting.
- Ramos and Compean stated that day they "wanted to shoot a Mexican."
- Ramos and Compean were belligerent to investigators.
- Ramos and Compean destroyed evidence and lied to investigators.
These allegations are substantially the crux of the case against Ramos and Compean, as explained by prosecuting U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of
"What these two agents did is that they shot 15 times at an unarmed, fleeing man. And instead of doing what every other agent does, namely to explain why they decided to use deadly force, these two agents instead decided to lie about it, cover it up, destroy the evidence, pick up all the shell casings and throw them away where we couldn’t find them, destroy the crime scene and then file a false report."
The DHS charges made in the Sept. 26 meeting with the
At the end of the meeting, the DHS inspector general told the
"We demand that the DHS IG give us the information which they promised to provide five months ago," McCaul's said in a statement provided to WND.
In a Jan.19 letter addressed to the
McCaul's letter noted that, to date, the Department of Justice has not released the trial transcript to either committee.
McCaul's letter to the
Monica Ramos, the wife of Ignacio Ramos, brought up to WND questions that remain about the incident that led to her husband’s imprisonment.
"How does anybody know that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was unarmed?" she asked WND. "He escaped into
Joe Loya, Monica Ramos' father, told WND he attended the trial every day, but he has not seen a transcript either.
"The district court says the transcript isn't ready yet. Besides, they tell me that it will cost $3 a page and that there are 3,000 pages. So, it's going to cost about $9,000 to get a copy of the trial transcript, assuming the District Court ever does get finished typing it out."
McCaul's Jan. 19 letter confirmed Loya's charge. The congressman wrote that the Investigations Subcommittee contacted the district court requesting the trial transcript but was informed no transcript was available.
California Latinos fearful after immigration raids
Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:13 PM ET
By Tim Gaynor
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cook Rosa Maria Salazar's eyes dart anxiously to the
door as customers file into the Salvadoran cafe in a heavily Hispanic
neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles.
"We're terrified. The police could come for us at any time and deport us,"
she said in Spanish earlier this week as diners fingered maize tortillas
stuffed with beans and pork scratchings and chatted softly.
The 55-year-old undocumented worker from Guatemala is among many Hispanics
deeply shaken by recent immigration raids at the heart of Latino communities
in southern California.
The-seven day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep, dubbed
"Operation Return to Sender," targeted jails across five counties in the Los
Angeles area, where police took 423 of what they called "criminal aliens"
into federal custody for deportation, after being held on charges unrelated
to their immigration status.
Federal agents from seven teams also fanned out in local communities, where
they nabbed 338 undocumented immigrants, more than 150 of whom were classed
as "immigration fugitives" -- foreign nationals who ignored final
The raid was the latest in a series of get-tough enforcement measures by ICE
in the United States, but the largest action of its kind in California,
where more than a third of the population is Hispanic.
"We hadn't seen anything like this here before, and it came as a shock,"
said Antonio Bernabe, a community worker who runs a day labor program at the
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
"The police didn't just take people with deportation orders, they took
anybody ... guys who were just hanging out in the street and even from a
Jack in the Box restaurant ... and now people are afraid to go out," he
RAIDS AS BUSH BACKS OVERHAUL
The high-profile sweep netted mostly Mexican nationals, but included people
from 14 countries including Ukraine, Japan, Poland and Trinidad.
It culminated on Tuesday, when President George W. Bush gave a State of the
Union address that ranked immigration legislation among his top domestic
Bush called for "comprehensive immigration reform," combining a guest-worker
program with tougher workplace and border enforcement.
He remained vague, however, on the thorny issue of how to deal with the 10
million to 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, more
than 2.5 million of whom live in California.
Some immigrants who followed the speech closely on Spanish-language
television in Los Angeles remained hopeful of concessions in the aftermath
of the sweep.
"I came here to work and help support my family, so obviously the raids were
alarming," Salvadoran construction worker Remberto Flores told Reuters in
Spanish as he waited for a bus in a neighborhood of taco stands and wire
"But we saw President Bush talk about reforms in the Senate, so maybe there
will be some breaks for us as well," he added.
Others in the city believed that the only clear message from the raids and
the speech was that the situation for immigrants in California had changed. [YES!]
"We used to feel secure here," Nicaraguan electrician Manuel Salomon told
Reuters as he sipped coffee in a Mexican bakery in the city. "But it looks
like that honeymoon is over."
Don't let the door hit you in the ASS on the way out!
Taxpayers footing bill for illegal immigrant's defense
If they seem a little light, consider the legal bills for a Mexican citizen's fight to get out of jail pending a Knoxville drug charge to which he pleaded guilty Tuesday.
Juan Lino-Gomez, 28, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan to charges that he conspired with three other men to sell marijuana in East Tennessee over a two-year period.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Winck said Lino-Gomez in a single transaction last July sold 100 pounds of marijuana. Unlucky for him, though, his customer turned out to be an undercover agent, and he and his alleged cohorts were arrested, Winck said.
But Lino-Gomez's case offers up more than a garden-variety pot-pushing conspiracy. It is a primer on the price tag that prosecutions involving illegal immigrants can carry.
Start with the salaries of lead investigators, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Todd Lee and Knoxville Police Department Investigator Bruce Conkey.
Next, add in cash taxpayers fork out to cover Winck's salary. As a veteran federal prosecutor, he doesn't come cheap.
Then, figure in the cost of defense attorney Stephen Ross Johnson, who was appointed to the case because Lino-Gomez said he could not afford to hire counsel.
Appointed attorneys earn $92 per hour up to a maximum of $7,000. A court-appointed attorney can earn another $5,000 to handle an appeal.
Because Lino-Gomez has not yet been sentenced, the cost of his defense has not yet been calculated. But Johnson certainly has racked up dozens of hours of work in the case, if not more. After all, the zealous defense attorney pitched an appeal for Lino-Gomez's freedom to two local judges and an appellate court panel.
According to court records, Lino-Gomez first entered the United States on a student visa. He returned on a work visa, but it had long run out when he was nabbed last July peddling marijuana in Knoxville.
Winck asked U.S. District Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton to keep Lino-Gomez behind bars. He argued it was a no-brainer.
"Defendant is a citizen of and has ties to Mexico," Winck wrote. "(He) is facing a lengthy sentence if convicted. (He) has no ties to this district."
Not so fast, Johnson countered.
"A determination may be made that he is not deportable on the basis of his direct familial relationship with United States citizens, such as his two biological children," Johnson wrote in rebuttal.
Guyton sided with Winck. Johnson appealed to Varlan, who also sided with Winck. Johnson then took his argument to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel shot him down in an order filed last month.
"The defendant is not a United States citizen," the court order stated.
Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.
Jan 24, 2007 08:15 PM
The Livingston Sheriff's Office is beefing up patrols after reports of illegal immigrants in and around South Walker Elementary.
The school is on Milton Lane near I-12, where border patrol agents normally make arrests.
South Walker Elementary was locked down for a second day in a row following an increase of illegal immigrants fleeing from border patrol agents in the area.
Last Friday, an illegal immigrant, who is also the parent of a child who goes to South Walker, ran inside of the school to escape the agents.
Just Tuesday, five illegal immigrants were spotted near the elementary school. And, it was immediately locked down as a safety precaution for about 30 minutes.
Wednesday, when a similar problem arose, police advised them to go on lock down again. Walker police say they are dealing with an increase of illegal immigrants like they have never seen before.
Chief Hunter Grimes says he credits the increase to the Livingston construction boom. And says Walker residents are upset about their living conditions, claiming about 15 to 30 people live in one trailer. They're also worried about people driving on the road without insurance.
Chief Grimes says, "They refuse to go back. And that's why they are fleeing in vehicles. At that time, they become a missile. They can hit a vehicle owner that has nothing but general coverage on their vehicle."
We caught up with some immigrants, both illegal and legal, at their work site in Walker. They say they are simply trying to make some money to support family back home.
Border patrol agents say one of the illegal immigrants they arrested had marijuana in his possession. A total of five arrests were made so far for the day.
If your child goes to South Walker Elementary and you have questions or concerns, deputies with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Department say you should feel free call them.
That number is 686-2241.
Suspected illegals flee police
Thursday, 25 January 2007
By AMANDA CHRISTMAN
Twelve suspected illegal immigrants ran from a Kline Township police officer after a routine traffic stop in northern Schuylkill County Wednesday evening. The incident involved a a three-hour search and drew support from several surrounding police departments.
Eleven of the suspected illegal immigrant passengers in the van were still at large as of press time this morning.
Kline Township Officer Mike Bynon said he pulled over a burgundy and gray Dodge Ram 3500 passenger van on Route 309 in Rush Township after its driver allegedly made a traffic violation. He said he pulled the van over in the neighboring community because there was more room on the road in nearby Rush Township.
Bynon approached the van and took the female driver’s information. He said he walked back to his cruiser and contacted Schuylkill County 911 to check the driver’s information through the communication center.
As he was waiting for the information, the side door of the van slid open and 12 people inside ran toward the woods near a carpet store parallel to Route 309, and headed south toward Barnesville.
This happened just before 6 p.m.
Bynon said he was able to grab one of the passengers, a man whose name was not known as of press time.
He was also able to detain the female driver, whose identity was also not known as of press time. Police were investigating whether the driver was in the United States legally.
Officials said they knew the driver worked for a temporary employment agency and that the van was headed to Reading.
She and the male passenger were taken back to the Kline Township police station for questioning.
When asked how he knew the van contained illegal immigrants, Bynon said the driver told him they were in the country illegally.
A state police helicopter from Williamsport circled around the area, searching for the 11 people with a thermal imaging camera. It made numerous flyovers, its bright white light illuminated on the dark woods as light snow fell in brisk 26-degree weather.
Police from several departments drove on area roads in police cruisers, searching wooded areas. They periodically stopped at the store’s parking lot, where a staging area was established.
Rush Township police, McAdoo police, McAdoo Fire Co., Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Department, Hometown Fire Co., its fire police and its tactical support team, along with state police at Frackville, searched the area for hours.
The search was called off at 9:15 p.m.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Kline Township police at 929-2354.
Why is Housing and Urban Development Googling ME?
|IP Address||170.97.167.# (Department of Housing and Urban Development)|
|ISP||Department of Housing and Urban Development|
|Language||English (United States)|
|Operating System||Microsoft WinXP|
|Browser||Internet Explorer 6.0|
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
|Time of Visit||Jan 23 2007 4:29:34 pm|
|Last Page View||Jan 23 2007 4:36:09 pm|
|Visit Length||6 minutes 35 seconds|
|Search Words||blog ruthiness norristown|
|Visit Entry Page||http://stop-the-inva...-illegals-in-my.html|
|Visit Exit Page||http://stop-the-inva...ation-of-europe.html|
|Visitor's Time||Jan 23 2007 4:29:34 pm|
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Wrong law used to convict Border agents
Posted: January 22, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
What crime is committed when two Border Patrol agents shoot in the buttocks a fleeing drug smuggler who has abandoned a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana?
Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., has on record a letter written to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Oct.11, 2006, charging that Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were charged under a statue that did not apply to the facts of the case. As previously reported by WND, the interview I conducted on Friday, Jan. 17, 2007 with the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, adds strong support to Rep. Jones's contention.
Jones notes that Ramos and Compean were convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c). This statute was written to increase the penalties when a violent criminal, such as a drug trafficker or a rapist, carries or uses a weapon during the commission of the crime. Law enforcement officers, including Border Patrol agents, are issued weapons by the Border Patrol to carry in the normal pursuit of their duties.
Ironically, Ramos and Compean were trying to apprehend an escaping suspect who was a drug smuggler. How is it that a law meant to punish armed drug smugglers is applied to prosecute the two Border Patrol agents who attempted to apprehend a person U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton properly characterizes as a drug-dealing ''dirt-bag?''
Jones notes that 18 U.S.C. Section 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) has only been applied to law enforcement officers who themselves commit heinous crimes, such as sexual assault, outside the scope of their official duties. As Jones writes, ''Ramos and Compean were within the scope of their official duties when they fired at an illegal drug smuggler they believe to be armed and dangerous.''*snip* Follow link for the full story - excellent read!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
THE NEXT ADDED 100 MILLION AMERICANS
Part 1: Consequences of Human Tsunami
By Frosty Wooldridge
According to Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson, the United States surpassed 300,000,000 people by the end of October. Their current demographic predictions, based on accelerating growth levels, show America adding 100 million people by 2040.
For those asleep at the wheel—that’s 34 years from now—a blink in time.
To place this kind of horrific growth rate into perspective, it resembles a human tsunami. Much like nature’s earthquakes that occurred beneath the surface last year, the wave of energy sped under the ocean for hours and hundreds of miles without notice. Once it hit the shoreline in Sri Lanka, it created cataclysmic devastation and tens of thousands of deaths. Why? No one suspected it. No one took action to save themselves. They didn’t know it was coming. Once it hit, everyone became victims! The tsunami rendered a human tragedy of epic proportions!
The U.S. Senate in May, 2006 passed S.B. 2611 that doubled current immigration levels from 1.0 million to 2.0 million annually. It increased work visas by tens of thousands. It continued allowance for millions in chain migration. It allowed millions more in anchor babies. The senate bill did nothing to stop illegal immigration estimated by Time Magazine in a feature story on September 20, 2004, that showed three million people crossing into America illegally every year. It did not stop the 50,000 annual diversity visas that allow that many people to come to America from the poorest countries in the world. It added more visas that allow more foreigners to gain jobs and anchor babies in America that assures they never return to their home countries.
The bill did not take into account that millions of people arriving from Third World countries do not change their large family propensities of six to eight and more children per couple.
What does that mean to American citizens? What about our overloaded cities? Overwhelmed schools? How about our water, farm land, energy, air quality, food sources, species habitat, and dozens of other issues? Is there any way to stop it? Does anyone understand the ominous consequences?
In this 10 part series published on Thursdays, this column addresses what we as a nation face if we allow this ‘human tsunami’ to crash upon our shores. It addresses every aspect of our society, environment, sustainability, culture, language and viability as a civilization.
The first question we must all ask ourselves is: can anyone name a single advantage to adding 100 million people to America in 34 years? From Third World countries? What will it do to our society? Do we want to grow to 1,000,000,000 people? Why? If not, at what point will we stabilize growth?
What has a 2.4 billion person population done to India or China? Do you think their citizens enjoy the standards of living and quality of life we enjoy in the United States? Not even close!
In 1900, the world population reached 1.6 billion; today, it exceeds 6.4 billion; by mid century it’s expected to grow to a low of 9.0 to as high as 9.8 billion. (Source: Population Reference Bureau)
Name one advantage to adding 3,000,000,000 more people to the globe? Is there some cosmic reason? Reasonable religious reason? Any rational reason? Any sane purpose?
Already, according to March 14, 2005 Time Magazine, eight million people starve to death annually. Over 35 percent of humanity does not have clean drinking water. Species extinction exceeds thousands annually. What is it that we hope to accomplish by adding another 3.0 billion people to the planet with the consequences already raining down on us with current population levels?
Follow link in title to read the full article. It's worth the time.. also read the rest in the series for the same reasons. Excellent job Frosty as usual...
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Phone Campaign today for Border Agents
During the rally & press conference, please support us by contacting the White House starting noon (Central Time) and continue the phone rally for the next two hours!!
* White House Phone: 202-456-1111
White House Fax: 202-456-2461
White House E-mail: email@example.com
Tell George Bush to PARDON Ramos & Compean!!!!! Thank you everyone!!!!!!!!
Other numbers to call in the next two days:
* Congress and Pelosi: 866-340-9281
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: 202-514-2001 or 202-353-1555
Prosecuting Attorney Office (Johnny Sutton & Debra Kanof): 210-384-7400
Judge Kathleen Cardone: 915-534-6740
Tony Snow: 202-456-2673
RNC fax: 202-863-8820
Jan 17 2:13 AM US/Eastern
Authorities in Hong Kong are ready to turn away pregnant women from mainland China under new measures to stem an influx of expectant mothers criticised for taking up hospital resources, officials said.
The Immigration Department said the policy, announced on Tuesday and effective from February 1, would bar mainland Chinese women who are at least seven months pregnant from entering Hong Kong unless they are booked in at a hospital here.
"Those who fail to do so will be denied entry and repatriated," said David Chiu, assistant immigration director.
A government spokesman said the measures were aimed also to deter non-local pregnant women seeking last-minute admissions to hospital accident and emergency wards for delivery.
There has been an influx of mainland Chinese pregnant women coming to Hong Kong to give birth. The number grew from 3,600 in 2004 to 8,800 in 2005 and to 11,716 in the first half of 2006, overwhelming the city's hospitals.
The authorities said many of the women who gave birth in Hong Kong failed to pay their bills before returning home.
The problem has drawn fierce complaints from local expectant mothers, many of whom say they have arrived at their due date but cannot be admitted because of a shortage of hospital beds.
They have also complained about the difficulty in receiving proper medical treatment in time due to a lack of doctors and nurses.
Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said that under the new policy, it will now reserve sufficient places for local pregnant women to ensure they have priority obstetric services.
Non-residents will be accepted only if extra places are available, and will also face a higher minimum charge.
The new measures will also apply to private hospitals.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Senators Feinstein, Craig, Kennedy, Martinez, Boxer, Voinovich Introduce AgJOBS Bill to Address (FAKE) Agriculture Worker Shortages
January 10, 2007 -- Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) today introduced legislation to address the growing agriculture worker shortage.
The AgJOBS bill would establish a pilot earned adjustment program for agriculture workers, which would help to ease the severe worker shortage being experienced by frustrated farmers across the country.
“Today, many American farmers are on a precipice. And whether they survive to plant another season is determined largely on one simple question: will there be enough workers to bring in the harvest?” Senator Feinstein said. “There are plenty of people willing and able to do the work. And these workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
“The AgJOBS bill is a two-part bill. Part one would create a pilot program to identify undocumented agricultural workers and legalize the immigration status for those who have been working in the United States for the past two years or more. The second part would create a more usable H-2A program to implement a realistic and effective guest worker program.”
Senator Kennedy said, “Last year, the Senate came together – Democrats and Republicans – to pass far-reaching immigration reform legislation, which included the AgJOBS bill. The American people are calling on us to come together again. They know there is a crisis and they want action now. Much of the nation’s economy today depends on the hard work and the many contributions of immigrants. The agricultural industry would grind to a halt without immigrant farm workers. America has a proud tradition as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. But our current immigration laws fail us on both counts.”
Senator Martinez said, “While I without a doubt believe that we must solve the immigration challenges of this country in a comprehensive manner, AgJOBS deals immediately with the labor shortage problems of Florida’s agricultural sector. Florida’s citrus industry is the state’s second largest, employing over 76,000 people and providing $8.5 billion in economic impact Last year alone, over one third of Florida’s orange crop went left unpicked due to labor shortages. We must do a better job of ensuring the engines of our state’s economy, like the agricultural industry, have the legal avenue they need to ensure workers to get the job done.”
California is the single largest agriculture state in the nation with over $34 billion in annual revenue and approximately 76,500 farms.
Approximately one million undocumented workers harvest the crops in California each year, with as much as 90 percent of the farm labor payroll made up by undocumented workers. In 2006, growers in California reported that their harvesting crews were down by as much as 20 percent.
“The costs are in the stratosphere: if the labor shortage continues, it means $3 billion a year in the short term and as much as $4.1 billion a year in the long-term. Just in California,” Senator Feinstein said.
A summary of the bill follows:
* 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 over the previous two years.
* The blue card would entitle the worker to a temporary legal resident status. The total number of blue cards would be capped at 1.5 million over a five-year period, and the program would sunset after five years.
* Blue card holders would be allowed to travel in and out of the United States.
* The spouses and minor children of blue card workers would be eligible to apply for a blue card if they already live in the United States. This would permit them to work and travel.
* Blue card holders would be allowed to work in other, non-agriculture jobs as long as the agriculture work requirements are met.
* 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.
* Before applying for a green card, participants would be required to pay a fine of $500, show that they are current on their taxes, and show that they have not been convicted of any crime that involves bodily injury, the threat of serious bodily injury, or harm to property in excess of $500.
* Finally, the H2-A Program would be modified so that it realistically responds to agriculture needs.
Similar language was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 109 th Congress and was included in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate.
Earlier today, Senators Feinstein, Craig, Kennedy and Boxer were joined at a news conference by dozens of growers and farmworkers, including:
* Arturo Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers
* Cecilia Munoz: National Council of La Raza
* Toni Scully, Scully Packing Co., CA
* Luawanna Hallstrom, Harry Singh & Sons, CA; California Farm Bureau; ACIR Co-Chair
* Barry Bedwell, California Grape & Tree Fruit League
* Manuel Cunha, Nisei Farmers League, CA
* Fowler West, California Association of Winegrape Growers
* Glen Goto, Raisin Bargaining Association, CA
* Daniel Jackson, David Jackson Ranch, CA
* Henry Vega, Ventura County Farm Bureau, CA
* Vito Chiesa, Modesto, CA
* Kelly Henggeler, Henggeler Packing, President, U.S. Apple Association, Idaho
* Bruce Goldstein, Farmworker Justice
* Irene Bueno, Representing United Farm Workers
* Eric M. Gutiérrez: Legislative Staff Attorney, MALDEF
* Lynn Tramonte: National Immigration Forum
* Lucreda M. Cobbs: Director of Immigration & Special Populations Policy, Catholic Charities USA
* Craig Regelbrugge, Co-Chair, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR)
* John Young, New England Apple Council and Co-Chair, ACIR
* Maureen Torrey, Torrey Farms (NY) and Chair, United Fresh Produce Association
* Sharon Hughes and Carter Campbell, National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE)
* Robert Dolibois, Exec. Vice President, American Nursery & Landscape Association
* Greg Schaan, Imperial Nurseries, CT, and Board, American Nursery & Landscape Assn.
* Alan Jones, Manor View Farm, MD, and American Nursery & Landscape Assn.
* Jennifer Yezak, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
* Robert Guenther and Autumn Veazey, United Fresh Produce Association
* James Terrell, Select Milk Producers, TX
* Jeanne Little and Lin Schmale, Society of American Florists
* Bob Gray, Council of Northeast Farm Cooperatives
* Dane Coates, U.S. Apple Association
* Bob Smith, Northeast Farm Credit
* Kam Quarles, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
* Roger Eldridge and Shawna Morris, National Milk Producers Federation
* Bob Terry, Fisher Farms, OR; American Nursery & Landscape Assn and Oregon Assn of Nurseries
Agricultural Guest-Worker Bill Introduced in Washington
by: Leslie Deckard
January 16 2007 Article # 8694
As many as 1.5 million undocumented farm workers and their relatives currently living and working in the United States could gain legal status under an ambitious agricultural guest-worker plan introduced Jan. 10 on Capitol Hill.
The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007-AgJobs Bill-is the first major immigration overhaul bill introduced this year, mirroring legislation passed last year by the Senate but not the House of Representatives.
"The AgJobs bill is a two-part bill," said one of its sponsors, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. "Part one would create a pilot program to identify undocumented agricultural workers and legalize the immigration status for those who have been working in the United States for the past two years or more. The second part would create a more usable H-2A program to implement a realistic and effective guest worker program."
The legislation has bipartisan sponsorship.
"We've supported this bill for some time," American Horse Council president Jay Hickey said. "It would speed up the process to the H-2A agricultural workers, which is what our farms use."Under the bill, illegal immigrants that can prove they have worked in agricultural jobs for at least 150 working days for the past
two years would become eligible for a "blue card" giving them temporary legal status. Their spouses and minor children also could get a blue card if they already live in the U.S. The total number of blue cards would be capped at 1.5 million over a five-year period, and the program would sunset after five
years. Those who receive the blue cards must work in agriculture an additional three years, at least 150 days per year, or five years at least 100 days a year, to become eligible for legal residency. In addition, they must pay a $500 fine, be up to date on
taxes, and not have committed crimes involving bodily injury or threat of bodily injury or caused serious property damage of $500 or more. Blue-card holders would be allowed to work in other, non-agricultural jobs as long as the agriculture work requirements are met.
While the AgJobs bill could have a positive effect for farm workers, it wouldn't aide racetrack stable employees who enter the country legally under the H-2B visa program.
"The AgJobs bill is strictly for agriculture--for our breeding farms," Hickey said. "The other part of the (immigration reform) puzzle will deal with non-agriculture workers such as backside employees. That bill has yet to be introduced.
"There are different groups working on different parts. The horse industry uses both agricultural and non-agricultural workers under the H-2A and H-2B program. We need both parts of the puzzle."
Tell your Republican Senators to VOTE NO on Mel Martinez TODAY
Go to http://congress.org to get contact info for your Republican representatives in Washington using your Zip +4 code Please call even if you are not Republican and care about keeping Mel Martinez from becoming "General Chairman" of the RNC.
Choice of Martinez sparks GOP rebellion
By Ralph Z. Hallow
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published January 16, 2007
Rebellion is brewing among conservatives on the Republican National Committee over President's Bush's attempt to "impose" Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida as "general chairman" of the party, who favors "amnesty" for illegal aliens.
"I will be voting against Senator Martinez if he is nominated for any chairmanship of the RNC," Tina Benkiser, Texas Republican Party chairman, told The Washington Times yesterday.
Bill Crocker, the elected national committeeman from Texas, says that when the RNC convenes here tomorrow, "Absolutely, I will vote against Martinez."
The conservatives -- one of whom accused the Bush White House of "outsourcing" party leadership -- say the general-chairman post does not exist under RNC rules, which can be changed only at the party's presidential nominating convention.
Unhappy committee members say that, in the past, Republican presidents and RNC leaders have successfully run roughshod over the rules, because the RNC officer presiding over votes at committee meetings have simply overruled points of order and other objections from the floor, with no accredited professional parliamentarians to exercise a check.
This time, the organizers of the rebellion say, their strategy will rely in part on having a parliamentarian present. And violations of Robert's Rules of Order and of the RNC's written rules -- adopted at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York -- could result in legal challenges.
"I have also requested that the RNC employ the services of an independent certified parliamentarian to assure that breaches of the rules are avoided," North Dakota RNC member Curly Haugland said in a letter sent to all RNC members yesterday. "And I trust that my request will be honored due to the potential need for numerous interpretations of the rules."
Mr. Bush has said he hopes the RNC will elect Mr. Martinez as "honorary chairman" but that title has changed, in Republican Party press releases and conversations with RNC officials, to "general chairman."
Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, a Kentucky RNC member and RNC treasurer, is expected to be elected as the national chairman, with the responsibility of day-to-day management of the committee.
"Every president has the prerogative of naming who runs the national committee," Mr. Duncan told The Washington Times. "The choice is determined by the needs of the party at the time the selection is made."
Arguing precedent, proponents of the arrangement point out that the RNC members went along with President Reagan's desire in 1983 to have his friend, Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, voted in as general chairman, even though the rules provided for no such office. The RNC members at the same time elected Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. -- an RNC member and chairman of the Nevada Republican Party at the time -- as chairman.
But opponents say that 1983 precedent does not justify another violation of the party's rules.
"I have a hard time understanding the logic," said RNC member Randy Pullen, who is running for Arizona Republican Party chairman in an election at the end of this month. "Just because the RNC did something wrong once before, somehow that justifies doing it again?"
Mr. Pullen pointed out that Mr. Martinez, who served as Mr. Bush's secretary of Housing and Urban Development before winning a Senate seat, is not an RNC member. RNC rebels say the rules are clear that the person who heads the committee must be a member of the committee.
"Outsourcing our leadership at this critical time is not an option," Mr. Haugland said.
Organizers of the rebellion against the White House domination of the RNC -- as well as other members who haven't decided yet to join the planned public showdown at the RNC's annual three-day winter meeting -- say even before Mr. Martinez became an issue, they expected difficulty in fundraising by the national committee for the 2008 election cycle.
"Martinez aside, the simple fact that the GOP no longer is in the majority in Congress is going to make it more difficult to raise money," said Louisiana RNC member Ross Little.
National committeemen willing to buck the White House on the RNC chairmanship also cite as fundraising obstacles the president's unpopularity, the conduct of the Iraq war, as well as disillusionment caused by the scandals, big spending and ineptitude of Republican leadership in Washington.
The rebels say that electing Mr. Martinez as head of the RNC would make raising money even more difficult because of resentment by the party's rank-and-file small donors over Mr. Martinez's co-sponsorship of legislation to allow millions of illegal aliens to become citizens.
"Martinez's support of [Arizona Sen. John] McCain's immigration bill on amnesty for illegal aliens is causing a lot of concern among our base," said Mr. Pullen. "I happen to know that people -- our $25 and $35 donors -- are writing on the back of our RNC solicitations for donations: 'When you close the border to illegal aliens, we'll open our checkbooks.' "
The Central Committee of the Republican Party in the president's own state of Texas has passed a resolution strongly urging the Texas Republican Party chairman, Mrs. Benkiser, and the two other Texas RNC members to vote against Mr. Martinez.