Monday, December 31, 2007

Weekly Political Emails in Cochise County

Gene Caferelli - Minutemen Civil Defense Corps

Mexico City , Dec 28 - Mexico 's National Migration Institute (INM) has said it will introduce electronic registration for foreigners entering the country through the southern border to curb illegal immigration.

In a communique, the INM Thursday said Biochip implants would be used to control the entry of workers and visitors from Belize and Guatemala from March 2008, Spanish news agency EFE reported Friday.

The implant will replace the currently used local pass, which can be easily modified.

The biochip ID will allow total electronic registration of entries and departures, officials said.

The INM said a migration form for local visitors will be issued to residents of regions near the border with Guatemala , while the migration form for border workers will benefit workers in the area bordering Belize and Guatemala .

In 2006, Mexico nabbed 200,000 people trying to enter illegally through the southern border, according to INM figures.

Federal judge refuses to halt Legal Arizona Workers Act
‘Plaintiffs have no substantive due process right to employ unauthorized aliens …’
By Linda Bentley
PHOENIX – On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake denied motions for an injunction to halt implementation of the Legal Arizona Workers Act. The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, requires all Arizona employers to participate in the federal EVerify program to screen employees for work eligibility and can result in suspension or loss of business licenses for those employers who knowingly employ illegal aliens.
Plaintiffs in the two, now consolidated, actions include: Arizona Contractors Association, Employers for Immigration Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Arizona Roofing Contractors Association, Wake Up Arizona!, Arizona Landscape Contractors Association, Chicanos Por La Causa and Somos America.
On Dec. 7, Wake dismissed the complaints without prejudice “for lack of a justiciable case or controversy” for plaintiffs’ failure to name the correct defendants.
Plaintiffs filed new actions on Dec. 10 and 12 adding county attorneys as the proper defendants and, once again, sought interim injunctive relief while also seeking an injunction pending appeal.
Oral arguments for the temporary restraining order were heard on Dec. 18.
The county attorney defendants stated although they would not intentionally delay carrying out their duties, they would not be able to bring any proceedings before February.
Wake denied the plaintiffs’ motions for a temporary restraining order in the second consolidated action, citing: there is an insufficient likelihood plaintiffs will succeed on issues that demand remedies in the short term; it may be improper to issue a temporary restraining order that is really a declaratory judgment; the balance of hardships tips against plaintiffs rather than for them; and there will be full opportunity at the January 16, 2008 preliminary injunction hearing to address issues that may occasion interim relief thereafter.
Wake elaborated by saying an injunction would deprive the Act’s beneficiaries of its substantive protection for the extended period of an appeal and causes other harms.
He also stated the plaintiffs’ hardship is minimal and said they offered “mostly sweeping generalities” adding, “The hardship comes down to nothing more concrete than the expense of using E-Verify,” especially since counsel admitted at trial none of the plaintiffs lacked a computer or Internet access.
Wake noted the only cost would be employee time in learning the program, submitting names of new hires after Jan. 1 and assisting new employees with resolving out-of-date government records, estimating the cost at no more than a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars a year for the large majority of employers.
While cost meets the minimum for standing, Wake said no plaintiff showed that the cost will be material in the context of its business operations.
“Moreover, complying with EVerify … will have off-setting benefits for plaintiffs,” said Wake, “An overwhelming majority will find it an effective and reliable tool for employment verification … The one thing it will not do is allow them to keep hiring nearly as many unknown unauthorized aliens, but that is not a ‘hardship’ that could count under the law.” Wake also noted the plaintiffs “wholly failed to acknowledge the harm to the interests of the state, the interests of others and the public interest from an injunction pending appeal or temporary restraining order,” as he expounded on those harms beginning with the state’s expenditure to inform every employer by Oct. 1 of the Act and the obligation to comply after Dec. 31, would be wasted.
He said the confusion that would arise among employers, “with the prospect of serious prejudice to some … Of approximately 150,000 employers in Arizona , the large majority have not yet enrolled in E-Verify. An injunction could cause many to think they are excused from the Act and from Everify compliance, perhaps permanently … If plaintiffs’ case fails in the end, many employers could in good faith find themselves exposed to harsh sanctions because they did not know when to comply. The risk of catastrophic loss to other employers from a confusioncausing injunction outweighs the minimal cost to plaintiffs from compliance.” Wake said people disagree whether the great number and continuing flow of unauthorized workers into the United States has more benefits than costs.
However, he said, “No one can disagree that costs and benefits accrue differently to different people in our society.” He stated, “The balance now struck is in favor of an economy for those who may work in the United States .” Accordingly, Wake said the benefits to those who come here illegally to make better lives for themselves, to those who save from lower cost labor and general depression of wages from employing unauthorized aliens, and to those who enjoy the products of unauthorized labor at lower prices, do not count.
“The beneficiaries chosen identically by federal and Arizona law prevail over all who benefit from unauthorized alien labor,” said Wake.
Last, Wake pointed out, “Those who suffer the most from unauthorized alien labor are those whom federal and Arizona law most explicitly protect. They are the competing lawful workers, many unskilled, lowwage, sometimes near or under the margin of poverty, who strain in individual competition and in a wage economy depressed by the great and expanding number of people who will work for less.” He said if the Act were to be suspended for any amount of time, “the human cost for the least among us, measured by each person’s continued deprivation, multiplied by their number, will be a great quantum,” a loss they would never recoup.
Reiterating how the plaintiffs, by comparison, suffer only the expense of having their computer staff log some more hours, with off-setting business benefits as well, Wake stated, “This is not a sharp tipping of the balance of hardships in favor of the plaintiffs. The balance does not even tip in their direction.”
In his 29-page order, Wake said, “The court sees little prospect of success on appeal on any of plaintiffs’ alleged justiciable injuries except the one injury the court found sufficient.”
Wake said because the court has found the balance of hardships tips strongly in favor of the defendants, plaintiffs bear a high burden to prove the new law invalid and stated, “They have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits, much less a strong likelihood.”
Knocking down each of their arguments, Wake concluded, “Plaintiffs have no substantive due process right to employ unauthorized aliens or to refuse lawful precautions against doing so. The Act does not violate the separation of powers principal of Art. III of the Arizona Constitution and does not have the improbable meanings plaintiffs would give it to implicate that principal.”
Only hours after Wake issued his order, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also denied the plaintiffs’ appeal for injunctive relief.

Violent Border Smugglers Scare U.S. Scientists

Sunday , December 30, 2007


Biologist Karen Krebbs used to study bats in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Arizona-Mexico border. Then, she got tired of dodging drug smugglers all night.

"I use night-vision goggles, and you could see them very clearly" — caravans of men with guns and huge backpacks full of drugs, trudging through the desert, Krebbs said. After her 10th or 11th time hiding in bushes and behind rocks, she abandoned her research.

"I'm just not willing to risk my neck anymore," she said.

Across the southwestern U.S. border and in northern Mexico , scientists such as Krebbs say their work is increasingly threatened by smugglers as tighter border security pushes trafficking into the most remote areas where botanists, zoologists and geologists do their research.

"In the last year, it's gotten much worse," said Jack Childs, who uses infrared cameras to study endangered jaguars in eastern Arizona . He loses one or two of the cameras every month to smugglers.

Scientists, especially those working on the Mexican side of the border, have long shared the wilderness with marijuana growers and immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally. But tension is rising because of crackdowns on smugglers by the Mexican military, increased vigilance in the Caribbean Sea , new border fences, air patrols, a buildup of U.S. Border Patrol agents and a turf war between cartels.

Smugglers are increasingly jealous of their smuggling routes and less tolerant of scientists poking around, researchers say.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument stopped granting most new research permits in January because of increasing smuggling activity. Scientists must sign a statement acknowledging that the National Park Service cannot guarantee their safety from "potentially dangerous persons entering the park from Mexico ."

"It's a kind of arms race, and biologists are stuck in the middle," said Jim Malusa, who specializes in mapping desert vegetation. "There's been a chilling effect on researchers."

Scientists say things have gotten more uncomfortable since 2001, when the United States began fortifying its border after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In 2006, the Border Patrol embarked on a hiring spree, with plans to raise its personnel from 12,000 to 18,000 by the end of 2008.

Smugglers have responded with violence. Assaults on Border Patrol agents are occurring at a record pace, with 250 attacks reported from Oct. 1 to Dec. 16, an increase of 38 percent over 2006.

As crossing the border gets more difficult, the fees that smugglers charge to guide illegal immigrants through the desert has doubled in recent years, to as much as $3,000 per person, migrants say. At the same time, Mexico has been stepping up highway checkpoints and port inspections, forcing drug smugglers into the wilderness and onto remote beaches.

To avoid the checkpoints, Mexican drug cartels are moving their marijuana farms northward, from traditional growing areas in Michoacan, Nayarit and Guerrero states to more remote areas in Sonora and Sinaloa states, according to the U.S. government's 2008 National Drug Threat Assessment.

Marijuana smugglers, whose cargo is smellier and bulkier than cocaine, are increasingly abandoning the urban border ports of Texas and California in favor of the Arizona-Sonora corridor, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. U.S. authorities seized 616,534 pounds of marijuana in the Tucson Sector alone in 2006, up from 233,807 pounds in 2001.

Smugglers also are increasingly relying on boats moving through the Pacific Ocean , the U.S. Coast Guard said this month. The Coast Guard seized a record 356,000 pounds of cocaine this year, most of it in the Pacific.

Scientists, who once had the ocean and desert all to themselves, say they are increasingly rubbing elbows with bad guys.

"They used to take the easier routes through washes and old river beds, but now, they're moving into the rougher country," said Randy Gimblett, a University of Arizona professor who studies human impacts on ecology. "There's a lot at stake because there's a lot of money tied up in drugs. We're not confronting those folks, but we're seeing more of that activity."

There are no statistics on attacks or threats against scientists, said Mark Frankel, director of the scientific-freedom program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. But among researchers, drug stories abound.

Michael Wilson, a botanist and director of research at the Drylands Institute in Tucson , said he avoids some parts of Mexico 's Sonora state since seeing opium poppies, which are not native to Mexico , and mules carrying loads of marijuana down from the mountains. Opium resin is used to make heroin.

Wilson said he has noticed an increase of marijuana cultivation in recent years and more people watching over the fields. Some of his colleagues now carry guns, he said.

"There are a lot of researchers who have ducked out of doing research in Mexico ," Wilson said.

David Yetman, a social scientist and host of the PBS series "The Desert Speaks," said he had to stand in a marijuana field in eastern Sonora to get pictures during the filming of a 2004 segment on rural liquor-making. He hired off-duty policemen with automatic weapons to protect his film crew during a piece in southern Sonora , an area known for drug trafficking.

Richard Felger, another botanist, said he stays away from remote mountains in Sonora since being robbed and threatened on research trips.

"I got kind of allergic to pistols being held to my forehead," Felger said.

Gimblett, who relies on buried pressure sensors for his research on park users, said smugglers routinely cut his cables. Childs has tried leaving notes and pictures of saints — even Jesus Malverde, the unofficial saint of drug traffickers — to try to persuade smugglers to spare his jaguar cameras, but to no avail.

Huge swaths of northeastern Mexico are now off-limits to science, said Andres Burquez, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

"(Residents) will say 'You can go to A, B and C place, but not D,"' Burquez said. "And it turns out that's the place that interests you most."

Dozens of illegal immigrants found

Published: Dec. 30, 2007 at 8:42 PM

TOLLESON, Ariz. , Dec. 30 (UPI) -- About three dozen illegal immigrants were found in the back of an abandoned semi-tractor trailer early Sunday in Arizona .

Thirty-five people were found hiding in the back of the truck behind pallets of green bell peppers, and two others were found hiding nearby, The Arizona Republic reported. They were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

It was believed at least four others escaped, the newspaper said. The truck was found in the town of Tolleson in Maricopa County .

Tolleson police Sgt. Lisa Mendoza said the immigrants reported they were headed to a drop-house, but police were unable to determine its location. Mendoza said authorities would pursue charges against the smugglers if they can find them.

© United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

IdaLou said...

I checked out the "Who is Barack Obama?" article on It is false. I think you owe it to readers to check out negative articles about public figures before printing them.
Also, in deference to your alma mater, please proof-read your articles. The numerous grammatical and typographical errors seriously detract from any message you might have.