Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Anti Immigrant site going down the drain. Glenn Spencer announced today effective February 29, 2008 will be the last publication of The American Patrol website. Let's celebrate.....

This site and his owner (Glenn Spencer)has being known for the most rhetoric, bigotry, incoherent, and racist comments against Mexicans.

See for yourself. Please, do not waste your money donating money to the Anti Immigrants. Let's be constructive on moral values, embrace human values, encourage and fund non profit organizations who's constructing and rebuilding the trust, innocence, and happiness to abused children's rather than waste your money funding anti Immigrants and Minuteman Groups.

I am on your way Lou Dobbs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Titanic Minuteman base groups meltdown. Groups Anti Immigrants fighting for Money and power. Gilchrist said groups like ALIPAC see him as competition for fundraising dollars.

Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist says group’s goals have been hindered by in-fighting and some members’ ‘defecting.

Traditionally tight-knit anti-illegal immigration organizations are roiled in internal conflict.
Struggles for power and finances have led leaders in the movement to split ties with Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project.

Bickering continues over who has control of the original Minuteman organization and once-faithful members are now deserting the group. Barbed e-mails and accusations fly among the former Minuteman loyalists.

“I’m fighting on three fronts,” Gilchrist said. “I’m fighting the federal government, I’m fighting the reconquistas, and I’m fighting the people defecting from my own organization.

Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project, which has become nearly synonymous with the anti-illegal immigration movement, is under fire from many other like-minded groups.

William Gheen, of the North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration political action committee (ALIPAC), said Gilchrist is a threat to the anti-illegal immigration movement. Gheen said people in his organization receive bizarre e-mails from the Minuteman founder.

“We see Gilchrist as ... prone to act against the good of the movement,” Gheen said. “He has a pattern of broken alliances and relationships.”
Gilchrist said groups like ALIPAC see him as competition for fundraising dollars.

As long as the Minuteman Project exists, we take away from their donor base,” Gilchrist said.

Huntington Beach resident and California Coalition for Immigration Reform founder Barbara Coe was one of the former Minutemen who wrestled the organization away from Gilchrist in 2007.

Coe was one of the first to rush to the border with the Minutemen in 2005, but she said the unity that once brought the activists together has devolved into internal strife.
I am very distressed about the shadow that has been cast on the movement,” Coe said.

The struggles make it difficult for anti-illegal immigration groups to present a united front, limiting the effectiveness of the movement, Coe said.

Gilchrist sees the same phenomenon.

You’ve got every group attacking every other group,” he said. “Ninety percent of our time is spent on infighting, and 10% is devoted to the issue.”
The bickering is surprising considering how close anti-illegal immigration activists have traditionally been. Groups such as Immigration Watchdog and Save Our State have large online forums that keep the groups in close contact.

Laguna Beach activist Eileen Garcia has been fighting to shut down Laguna’s Day Workers Center. She has organized multiple protests against the center.

Garcia said the groups’ close contact helps in organizing large demonstrations.

Garcia founded Gilchrist’s Angels, a women’s auxiliary of the Minutemen.

She too split with Gilchrist’s organization in 2007, founding the Betsy Ross Patriots — another anti-illegal women’s group.

Illegal immigration is one of the hot-button issues of the presidential primary elections, thanks in part to anti-illegal immigration groups and activists who have been touting the issue for the past several years.

The efforts of various border enforcement advocacy groups have brought the issue to the forefront of political debate — especially in Republican circles. The fractures within the once tight-knit coalition of anti illegal-immigration groups have become even more apparent during the presidential primaries.

Garcia supported Mitt Romney, as did Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration in Congress. Many anti-illegal activists like Coe supported Ron Paul’s candidacy.

Gilchrist has thrown his support behind former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The endorsement has earned Gilchrist more criticism from within the anti-illegal immigration movement.

Gheen and leaders from more than 80 immigration activist organizations signed a letter decrying Gilchrist’s endorsement.

We denounce Jim Gilchrist’s solo endorsement of a pro-amnesty and open-borders candidate for president. Mr. Gilchrist does not speak for us,” the letter read.

Gilchrist said he was contacted by the Huckabee campaign and asked to come aboard. Gilchrist said he asked campaign members to outline Huckabee’s immigration policies before he signed on.

The Huckabee campaign responded by posting a detailed immigration plan on its website.

Huckabee campaign manager Ed Rollins said the Huckabee immigration plan is to build a fence within 18 months, deport illegal immigrants and make legal immigration faster and easier.

Rollins said they believe they have the best plan for illegal immigration, but sometimes passionate groups split with leaders.

In any group that has strong emotions, which certainly the Minutemen and others have, there’s always leadership battles. There’s always people that don’t like people that get too much attention,” Rollins said.

Gilchrist said he supports Huckabee as a more moderate candidate than Ron Paul, who is popular with his critics.

He said Paul supporters are generally of the ultra-right mentality.

The extremism of this faction of the anti-illegal immigration movement is a factor in its demise, Gilchrist said.

“While Ron Paul himself is a pretty good guy, his supporters are lunatics,” Gilchrist said.

“They’re as dangerous and vile as the reconquistas on the left.”

The presidential primaries are just one example of an issue causing rifts within the border enforcement movement, but some activists say the differences may not be such a bad thing.
Internal turmoil and dissension is always the sign of a growing and expanding movement,” Rohrabacher said

According to Garcia, the movement is fracturing because illegal immigration has become a major issue that no longer needs a united front to survive.

“A lot of established groups are starting to split up because it’s much more mainstream,” Garcia said.

“There’s no longer a need to place yourself into a niche and say, ‘I’m a Minuteman’ or ‘I’m a member of Save Our State.’ All concerned citizens of America can call themselves Minutemen.”

Rohrabacher agrees with that assessment. He said upstart movements have to stick together.

When a movement is small and inconsequential, people tend to get along better because it’s almost family-like,” Rohrabacher said.

 Jim Gilchrist of Aliso Viejo and Chris Simcox founded the Minuteman Project in 2005. They organized citizen patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border. The action shined a spotlight on the issue of illegal immigration.

Simcox cut ties to the group later that year over financial disputes and founded the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. Gilchrist changed tactics from physically watching the border to trying to influence public policy and opinion.

The unworkable solution to the Immigration backlog and how affecting Legal and Undocumented Immigrants.

"I haven't done anything wrong". Why they threating me like a terrorist? "Wouldn't you want to know immediately if this person is a threat or not?

Delaying the Immigrants applications for years that's a clearly violation of the Immigration Laws..

Three North Texas residents accuse the federal government of violating immigration laws.
The men are from the Middle East and are now suing, claiming their applications for naturalization have been delayed for years.

Aymen Alasad, a native of Jordan who now lives in Arlington, accuses the federal government of failing to timely process his application to become a permanent resident alien.
"Doesn't make sense to me. It will take a year, two... after September 11, I can understand," said Alasad. "But it's been seven years."

Suing Fed For Violating Immigration Laws

He's now suing the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees naturalization and other federal agencies.

Alasad is not alone. Hicham Salloum and Hasan Hajmohammad are also suing the government.

Salloum, a native of Lebanon now living in Las Colinas, said he's been waiting for permanent residency status for four years. But he said the Federal Aviation Administration cleared him to work with import/export firms at DFW Airport.

"If they say you're clear, then you're good to go on the airplanes," said Salloum. "I haven't done anything wrong. So that means I don't have anything in my record, so why won't they clear my name?"

Hajmohammad, a native of Jordan living in Irving, has also waited four years to become a citizen. He claims the U.S. is unfairly making the process difficult for Muslims.
"We really believe in the system, but the way they are treating Muslims at this time, they are just clearly discriminating against them," said Hajmohammad.

Officials with the Department Citizenship and Immigration Services deny the allegation.

While a spokeswoman can't comment on these lawsuits, she acknowledges there has been a backlog of cases nationwide, because it has taken a long time to fully investigate a person's background.

"Unfortunately, we are stuck in this situation," said Marilu Cabrera, a spokesperson for the department. "We have to do background checks. We owe it to the American people to make sure everyone we naturalize is of a good moral character and will not do us harm."

The government has just recently changed its procedures and will approve applications within 180 days, unless it finds a problem. If problems arise later, the government will deport the individual.

The attorney for the three men, Husein Abdelhadi of Dallas, said lawsuits sometimes speed up the process, but shouldn't be necessary.

"If a person is a terrorist or a threat to the security of the U.S., why are you letting them live here," he said. "Wouldn't you want to know immediately if this person is a threat or not?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are we waiting to change the world or change ourselves to change the world? Why segregating people of color?, Why racism? Why HATE Hispanics? What Mexicans did to deserved to be persecuted, scapegoated, diminished, demonized? Are they were part of Sept 11, 2001?

Lou Dobbs HAMMERED by Border Angels and Mexica Movement

Lou I see your expertise on immigration. Which school did you attended to learn those expertise you claimming on Immigration Lou? you are failing to demonstrate the principles of Journalism. Show the true about Immigrants not being bigotry and racist against Mexicans

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who said that the Minuteman members are not incited to violence and using derogatory and racist comments.!!!!!!!. Lou Dobbs are you there???

I am wonder who's funding these people to do unconstructive waste of time and Racial profiling to Legal and undocumented Immigrants.
If they got paid for their time. I am wonder if they paid taxes. IRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS MINUTEMAN GROUPS NEEDS FINANCIAL HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My dream ended on the Border.

Since 1994, more than 5,000 Mexicans have perished in their attempts to cross the border. For some the Humanitarian help came on time for others was too late.

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said more than 5,000 migrants have died trying to cross the border into the United States over the past 13 years. During a meeting with representatives of U.S. and Mexican non-governmental organizations in the border city of Tijuana, commission chairman Jose Luis Soberanes demanded that officials in both countries take responsibility for the deaths.

A minimal form of justice for the emigrants who fell on the border is to at least acknowledge their deaths. The governments of Mexico and the United States should accept that responsibility,” Soberanes said.

The commission chairman said Mexico should take such a step “for being incapable of providing better opportunities for maintenance and development to the Mexicans who emigrate,” while the United States should do so “because emigrants take increasingly greater risks to life due to its policy of containment.

No more violence! Not one more death in the border region!” Soberanes said at the meeting with representatives of Humane Borders, the Coalicion Pro Defensa del Emigrante, American Civil Liberties Union and Angeles de la Frontera.

The rights commission chief warned that the number of emigrants killed while trying to cross the border could top 500 this year and criticized the U.S. Border Patrol.

We come to demand justice for the emigrants persecuted by Border Patrol agents, those who are harassed and treated like criminals,” Soberanes said.

“We regret that when a person seeking work escapes, they do not report the escape but instead pursue the migrant aboard all-terrain vehicles and prefer to go to the extreme of reporting their death,” the rights official said. Soberanes said Border Patrol agents enjoyed “impunity” in firing on immigrants.

Not only with premeditation and advantage, but sometimes they shoot them in the back,” he said. Soberanes said that instead of barriers, both physical and legal, better understanding of migration should be sought by Mexico and the United States.
The walls and extreme surveillance have only strengthened organized crime and increased the chances that migrants will end up in the hands of those who traffic in people or will be unable to gauge the extreme temperatures that claim the lives of so many of them,” Soberanes said.

Some 11 million Mexican-born people live in the United States, of whom 6 million are illegal immigrants.

U.S. deports over 21,000 Guatemalans in ‘07 including 1,097 childrens.

The United States deported 21,062 Guatemalans during 2007, or 6,172 more than last year, the General Migration Agency said. Of the total number of Guatemalans deported, 19,113 were men, 852 women and 1,097 children.

The last 126 deportees for this year arrived Friday on two planes chartered by the U.S. government and were met by Guatemalan Foreign Ministry and International Organization for Migration, or IOM, personnel.

On average, according to the IOM, more than 200 Guatemalans leave home each day for the United States in search of better opportunities, but only 40 make it into that country. Some 1.3 million Guatemalans are living in the United States , the majority of them illegally.

Despite the increase in deportations, remittances from Guatemalans living in the United States rose this year. The Bank of Guatemala said remittances during the first 11 months of this year totaled $3.79 billion, or 17.51 percent more than during the same period last year.

In 2006, according to the central bank, Guatemala received a record $3.61 billion in remittances, well above the $2.99 billion registered in 2005 and the $2.55 billion that flowed into the Central American country in 2004.

The Bank of Guatemala estimates that more than $4.2 billion in remittances will have been received by the end of 2007.

Neglected wave of oppresion, crime against our Mexican American History.

As the struggle for immigrant equality and justice is waged in the streets and heated debate fills Congress, a wave of hate crime has been unleashed upon the Mexican/Chicano community in the Southwest, a violent wave not without precedent in U.S. history. This “open season” declared by white supremacists, haters and xenophobes given the pretext of the ultra-right nationally fabricated “immigrant crisis” was witnessed in the April 22 assault on a 16-year-old Mexican American boy near Houston. The young Mexican American suffered through a 15-minute attack in which the attackers shouted ethnic slurs and which included head-stomping with steel- toed boots and sodomization with the sharpened plastic tube of a patio umbrella, which was later filled with bleach and administered onto the young victim. After this modern day lynching the youth was left for 10 hours before an ambulance was called.

David Tuck, 18, and Keith Turner, 17, may be convicted of capital murder if the juvenile football team star at Klein Collins High School dies, along with the aggravated sexual assault charges they currently face. Texas prosecutors, representing a state with an ominous record of anti-Mexican/Chicano institutional racism, have refused to seek hate crime charges against the pair. Says County Prosecutor Mike Trent, “Whether it is one or isn’t a hate crime, and it may be, that will make no difference here.”

Since the year 2000, the FBI has reported over 2,500 hate crimes against Latinos based on race and ethnicity — and how many more have gone unreported? The pattern of anti-Latino violence suggests that hate crimes against Mexicans/Chicanos continue unabated. This climate of hate, according to the Anti-Defamation League, has been stoked by “the extreme fringe of the anti-immigration movement [which] includes white supremacist groups, anti-Hispanic hate groups masquerading as immigration reform groups, and vigilante border patrol groups who have conducted armed patrols along the borders of the United States.”

The hate crimes of this far-right sector — aroused with the current rhetoric of “immigrant invasion,” “Mexican territorial expansion” and “race war” suggested by the corporate media in conjunction with ultra-right political forces currently exercising power — are deeply rooted in the history of the U.S. Southwest and for the Mexicans/Chicanos are only the latest incarnation of what has existed since the beginning.

It is an often-neglected part of U.S. history and the Mexican/Chicano civil rights struggle that following the Manifest Destiny-inspired 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in which Mexico lost over half of its territory to the U.S., the violence against and lynchings of Mexicans in the territory now known as the “U.S. Southwest” began.

In the period following U.S. colonialization of the Southwest, Rodolfo Acuna, author of “Occupied America, a History of the Chicanos,” writes, “lynching became commonplace and Mexicans came to know Euroamerican democracy as ‘Linchocracia.’”

With no political power or social standing in the new nation, the Mexicans whom the border “crossed over” had no recourse or protection as the wrecking ball of corrupt individuals and institutions of the new nation waged class and race warfare with impunity. Suggests Luis Angel Toro of the University of Dayton, “The Anglos who poured into Texas and the rest of the Southwest brought their apparatus of racial terror, developed to hold the African American people in bondage, to the newly conquered territories. Mexicans became frequent victims of beatings and lynching.” Records indicate the disturbing statistic that between 1848 and 1870, 473 out of every 100,000 Mexicans in the Southwest died from lynchings.

In 1884 Mexicans around Fort Davis, Texas, fled daily lynchings as area Anglos, spurred on by the racist Texas Rangers (“los Pinches Rinches”), voiced the opinion that the lynchings should continue until the Southwest was rid of Mexicans. The hateful climate was further exacerbated as poor Mexican immigrants, refugees of the Mexican Revolution, poured into the Southwest from 1910-1930 for agricultural and other low-wage, unskilled-labor jobs.

These workers were forced to settle into communities that did not care for their presence. In communities that were told the Mexicans were only staying temporarily, Mexicans suffered segregation and victimization, and were despised by the surrounding white population. This abuse of Mexican laborers eventually escalated into racial oppression comparable to that of African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Tony Dunbar and Linda Kravitz suggest in “Hard Traveling,” “For a Mexican living in America from 1882 to 1930, the chance of being a victim of mob violence was equal to those of an African American living in the South.”

Today the culture of violence and racism seeded over 150 years ago is being revisited upon the Mexican/Chicano in the Southwest with a renewed impetus fostered by groups like the Minutemen, the American Patrol and the Arizona Ranchers Alliance. The Houston hate crime is a symptom of this culture of hate coming out of a long and shameful tradition. The drive for equality for Mexicans/Chicanos and for all immigrants will not be stopped by such incidents. They will only intensify the united struggle for justice, and for making our common history as a colonized and oppressed people more widely known. “El Movimiento” will only continue to build

Friday, February 22, 2008

Are Mexican Americans and Mexicans driving down wages?

Since when Mexican Americans, Mexicans has been treated equally to others; even African Americans has not being treated fairly regarding labor, wages, and benefits. Let's make a common sense and stop being ignorants to the equation of the problem. Equal Rights.
Or America forgot the depression of the World War II?

World War II marked another sharp reversal in the course of Mexican American history, renewing hope where the Depression had brought despair. The Depression had left in its wake a population decline, devastated communities, and shattered dreams; the war brought population growth, resurgent communities, and rising expectations.

World War II caused a tremendous labor shortage. When the military forces called for recruits, Mexican Americans responded in great number and went on to serve with distinction. Some 350,000 Mexican Americans served in the armed services and won 17 medals of honor. The war also brought industrial expansion, further aggravating the labor shortage caused by growth of the armed forces. Mexican Americans thus managed to gain entry to jobs and industries that had been virtually closed to them in the past. These new opportunities liberated many Mexican American from dependence on such traditional occupations as agriculture.

The turnaround from the labor surplus of the 1930s to the labor shortage of the 1940s had a special impact on agriculture and transportation. For help, the United States turned to Mexico, and in 1942 the two nations formulated the Bracero Program. From then until 1964, Mexican braceros were a regular part of the U.S. labor scene, reaching a peak of 450,000 workers in 1959. Most engaged in agriculture; they formed 26 percent of the nation's seasonal agricultural labor force in 1960.

Along with opportunities, World War II also brought increased tensions between Mexican Americans and law-enforcement agencies. Two events in Los Angeles brought this issue into focus. In the Sleepy Lagoon case of 1942-1943, 17 Chicano youths were convicted of charges ranging from assault to first-degree murder for the death of a Mexican American boy discovered on the outskirts of the city. Throughout the trial, the judge openly displayed bias against Mexican Americans, and allowed the prosecution to bring in racial factors. Further, the defendants were not permitted haircuts or changes of clothing. In 1944, the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee obtained a reversal of the convictions from the California District Court of Appeals, but the damage had been done. Los Angeles newspapers sensationalized the case and helped create an anti-Mexican atmosphere. Police harassed Chicano youth clubs, and repeatedly rounded up Chicano youth "under suspicion."

In the aftermath of the convictions and the press campaign, conflict broke out between U.S. servicemen in the area and young Mexican Americans who often dressed in the zoot suits popular during the wartime era. Soldiers and sailors declared open season on Chicanos, attacking them on the streets and even dragging them out of theaters and public vehicles. Instead of intervening to stop the attackers, military and local police moved in afterward and arrested the Chicano victims. Spurred on by sensational, anti-Mexican press coverage of the "zoot-suit riots," these assaults spread throughout Southern California and even into midwestern cities. A citizens' investigating committee appointed by the governor later reported that racial prejudice, discriminatory police practices, and inflammatory press coverage were among the principal causes of the riots. The Sleepy Lagoon case and the zoot-suit affair provided the basis for Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit, which in 1979 became the first Chicano play to appear on Broadway.

Despite such events as these, the World War II era proved to be generally positive for Mexican Americans and is often viewed as a watershed in their history. Progress continued after the war. The G.I. Bill of Rights gave all veterans such benefits as educational subsidies and loans for business and housing. Moreover, returning Mexican American servicemen refused to accept the discriminatory practices that had been the Chicanos' lot. The G.I. generation furnished much of the leadership for post-war Mexican American civil rights and political activism.

Veterans were instrumental in the founding and growth of a variety of Chicano organizations. Among the heavily political organizations, the Unity Leagues and the Community Service Organization registered voters in California and supported Chicano candidates. These groups also engaged in such diverse activities as language and citizenship education, court challenges against school segregation, and assistance in obtaining government services. Even more overtly political has been the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA).

Mexican American progress since World War II is reflected in occupational patterns. Changes in Mexican American job concentrations reflect to some extent changes in the state economy. Since 1940, California has experienced a manufacturing boom and rapid growth in such areas as government, product distribution, consumer-oriented activities, and professional services. Percentages of Mexican Americans in agriculture and unskilled labor positions have declined, while percentages in professional, technical, managerial, clerical, skilled craft, and semi-skilled occupations have risen.

The post-Depression era brought socio-economic gains for Mexican Americans, but not equality. Although percentages of Mexican Americans in professional, technical, managerial, and clerical positions have increased, they still fall far short of parity according to their population numbers. Moreover, in nearly every major occupational group, Chicanos tend to hold inferior jobs, and Chicano earnings in the same job classifications tend to be lower than those of Anglos.

Inequitable economic conditions are paralleled by comparatively low Chicano educational attainment and severe underrepresentation among elected officials. The latter has resulted partially because thousands of Mexican immigrants have lived in California for decades without obtaining U.S. citizenship. With Mexico so close, many come with plans ultimately to "return home," although these dreams often go unfulfilled. Some Mexican immigrants, although harboring no desire to live in Mexico.

Other factors have also contributed to Chicano electoral underrepresentation. In 1977, for example, a California legislative committee on elections partially attributed Chicanos' limited representation on most city councils in cities with significant Chicano populations to the predominant use of citywide at-large elections instead of district elections. There were no Chicano council members at all in 42 such cities in California. The committee argued that local at-large elections prevent "minority voters from exercising their potential political weight," since "their votes disappear in a sea of majority group votes." On the other hand, some contend that at-large elections make it less likely that candidates will write off minority votes as irrelevant, as can happen in ward-based contests.

When it comes to military service, combat decorations, and wartime casualties, however, Mexican Americans have been overrepresented in terms of population. Because of their lower educational attainment and restricted employment opportunities, Chicanos have traditionally viewed military service as a viable economic option. And since they were underrepresented in higher education, Mexican Americans did not benefit from student deferments as frequently as Anglos.

Finally, the 1970 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report, Mexican- Americans and the Administration of justice in the Southwest, documented unequal treatment of Chicanos by law-enforcement agencies and the judicial system. Among widespread abuses cited in this and other studies are the lack of bilingual translators in court proceedings; underrepresentation of Chicanos on grand juries, as judges, and as law-enforcement officers; unequal assignment of punishment and probation to convicted Chicanos; excessive patrolling of Chicano barrios; anti-Mexican prejudice among police and judicial officials; and even wrongful use of law-enforcement agencies. In the search for undocumented Mexicans, the U.S. Border Patrol has exacerbated antipathy among Mexican Americans by periodic raids on houses, apartments, restaurants, and bars in Latino communities and predominantly Mexican American places of employment

Why Historians, U.S.Goverment and their allies didn't recognized the aid from Mexico in the World War II?.

Asked to name the Allies in World War II, very few people would include Mexico in the list. Largely ignored by historians, it is time that Mexico's aid to the U. S. and the Allies is brought to the attention of both Mexicans and the world. Those Mexicans who were given the opportunity to show their mettle did so with bravery and elan. Mexicans should be proud of them, the Allies grateful to them. Had Mexico thrown in its lot with the Axis, the consequences might well have changed the entire course of history.

Among new issues, the question of how to handle Mexican citizens who chose to join the U.S. Armed Forces was resolved and Mexico became the beneficiary of Lend-lease assistance, thus allowing the country to modernize its Air Force, Army and Navy. The improved climate now permitted U.S. petroleum technology and expertise to again become available below the Rio Grande. In fact, Mexican raw materials fueled over 40% of the U.S. war industries, a fact that historians have chosen to ignore. This in itself was a great contribution to the American and Allied war effort and merits acknowledgment.

But the road to a continual alliance was not a smooth one.

By 1943, when it became obvious that Mexico was no longer in danger of an invasion by Japan, forces in both the United States and Mexico became critical of the close economic ties that were developing. Radical politicians in Mexico were claiming that soon the U.S. would establish a lasting control over their entire economy. North of the border there was grumbling about the cost of the aid being given to support the Camacho government. While Mexico had broken off relationships with the Axis after the attack on Pearl Harbor, they had stopped short of a declaration of war. They were still being wooed by both by Germany and Fascist Spain. Large Italian minorities also exerted pressure on the government. The treaty between Stalin and Hitler had cooled the anti-fascist fervor of the Mexican Communist Party and had indeed made some of them pro-German. Thus the Mexican Government was caught between its own left and right wing partisans and was frozen into inaction.

Now, a miscalculation by Germany provided the impetus to break the stalemate. Numerous submarine attacks on Mexican ships, coupled with a massive propaganda campaign launched by the U.S., British and French began to turn the tide of public opinion. Fearful that an invasion by either Germany or Japan would lead to a massive invasion by the U.S. and turn Mexico into a battleground, the Mexican government, albiet secretly, had permitted U.S. agents to enter the country to train Mexican counter-intelligence forces and to help secure both of Mexico's coasts against possible incursions by saboteurs. There is some evidence that Germany, Italy and Spain did maintain extensive spy networks and had planted saboteurs in the Federal Republic who were planning to take over Acapulco and launch attacks against aircraft factories in San Diego. Prompt action by the joint Mexican-U. S, counterintelligence forces nipped several such plots in the bud. The final straw was the sinking of a Mexican oil tanker, the Potero de Llano and in June 1942 Mexico declared war against the Axis.

Now the leaders of the Mexican military, seeking the glory that can only come to generals from war, began to clamour for an active part in the fighting. Even President Camacho is said to have expressed a desire to lead the Mexican Army into combat, saying that only the Presidency was keeping him from doing so.

However, only the already modernized Mexican Air Force was to actually engage in combat. Mexican pilots received additional training in the United States and in 1945 fought valiantly in the air war in the Phillipines. Only one squadron, Number 201, actually saw combat. Nicknamed "The Aztec Eagles," they flew P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and offered close ground support for U.S. and Philipino ground forces as they struggled to liberate the islands from the Japanese. Decorated by the United States, Mexico and the Phillipines, its 31 pilots and approximately 150 ground support personnel were the only Mexican military force to serve outside of Mexico. Of the squadron's 31 pilots, 5 were killed in action. Its personnel, both pilots and ground support elements certainly deserve to be regarded as heros by both Mexico and the United States.

Also unrecognized, untold numbers of Mexicans, particularly those with relatives in the U.S., flocked across the border and served in all branches of the U.S. military. How many of them were killed is unknown. For those who chose to become U.S. citizens, citizenship was automatic. However, over the years, many returned to Mexico despite their new citizenship.

The denial of Mexico as a safe harbor for German submarines was of great importance. Mexican oil also helped fuel the U.S. war machine. With over 6 million American men in the armed forces and thousands of women in the factories, Mexican agricultural workers kept the food chain moving and, as we have already noted, Mexican raw materials were vital to the war effort. The supply was secure from submarine attacks and did not tie up warships in convoy duty.

Finally, although they depended on U.S. help to do so, the determination of the Mexican Government to resist the forces that might well have created either a Fascist or Communist Government next door to the U.S., removed the threat of sabotage or across-the-border forays that would, in essence, have necessitated either an American invasion of Mexico or the deployment of large forces to guard its southern border. Either one of these alternatives would have seriously hampered America's march to victory.

We can only hope that the U.S. and the Allies will more publicly acknowledge Mexico's assistance during WW II. The Mexicans who shed their blood in the skies over the Philippines, as well as those who volunteered to fight for freedom under the Stars and Stripes deserve no less

Immigrants Boost, Don't Drain, the U.S. Economy
Undocumented Workers Contribute More Than Their Fair Share. Hate-mongers needs to work on their vocabularies on both sides of the issue

"There are great misperceptions or myth's that immigrants are a drain on our economy, but many studies have confirmed that the opposite is true. Even undocumented workers - commonly referred to as 'illegal' contribute more than their fair share to our great country.".

Diatribes against Mexican undocumented workers seem to be the vogue these days, appearing in letters to the editor and columns in newspapers all over the country, including local ones. These diatribes go way beyond run-of-the-mill xenophobic pieces. They are venomous. They are mean-spirited. They are hateful.

After posting the obligatory falsehood that Mexicans are draining the local economy, one columnist bemoans that in his city "the school district gets browner by the day" and that American culture is "being transformed by a (Mexican) semi-literate underclass." Another writer says he sees "the infrastructure of our nation's ideals crumbling" as a result of these lazy Mexicans, who come here to "mooch off of our government" and "live an American life" on "our tax dollars." What more credible source is there to refute this nonsense than the country's chief economist, the undisputed expert on the American economy?

Alan Greenspan informed Congress that immigrants, including undocumented workers, in essence donate $27 billion to state and local economies. This is the difference between what they pay in taxes ($70 billion) and what they use in services ($43 billion). In Illinois alone, he testified, "Illegal workers pay $547 million in taxes yearly, compared to $238 million in services used." This is a net "profit" for Illinois of $309 million. This phenomenon is the norm, not the exception, in states where undocumented workers pay taxes. Indeed, rather than take money from, undocumented workers donate money to the American economy and thus to Americans.

A study by the University of Illinois found that even as undocumented workers paid federal and state income taxes (one study pegs the amount of taxes paid at $90 billion per year), they did not claim the tax refunds for which they were eligible. These unclaimed refunds amount to the donation of billions of dollars to the public coffers.

Another study by the Urban Institute found that undocumented workers contribute $2.7 billion to Social Security and another $168 million to unemployment insurance taxes. Because of their legal status, these workers will not be able to access these programs even if they wanted to. These contributions amount to outright donations to the country's economy. In essence, undocumented workers are subsidizing, to a significant degree, American recipients of these benefits.

In addition to the above tax donations, undocumented workers pay billions of dollars in local and state sales taxes when they purchase appliances, furniture, clothes and other goods. The diatribists are also addicted to the falsehood that undocumented workers come here to get on welfare and utilize other government services.

The reality, as documented by the UI study, is that the overwhelming majority of undocumented workers "do not receive any assistance under government safety-net programs," a fact that was reinforced by Greenspan in his congressional testimony.

No matter how hard the hate-mongers try to distort things, "mooching" simply cannot be squeezed out of these realities. Yet another falsehood to which the poison-penners are addicted is that "them Mexicans" take away jobs from Americans. We don't need Greenspan for this one. This is easily refuted by a simple eyeball test. Drive by the fields where stoop labor in 12-hour shifts for less-than-minimum-wage pay is performed. You'll see no line of Americans clamoring to be hired. Nor is there a single instance of white folks suing growers for "reverse discrimination" for not allowing them the opportunity to be exploited shamelessly. Ditto for the other industries that exploit these workers, primarily by paying less than the minimum wage.

A recent U.S. Department of Labor study noted that the notion that immigrants take jobs away from American workers is "the most persistent fallacy about immigration in popular thought." The reality is that undocumented workers create jobs.

The UI study found that as a result of the immense spending by undocumented workers (their purchasing power in Illinois alone is $18.7 billion, according to Greenspan) and of the founding of small businesses by this group, they create jobs. In Chicago alone, undocumented workers generated 31,000 jobs in the local economy.

It is not all about money: Undocumented workers also bring to our society many things we claim to value, such as solid family structure. Studies show that children of immigrants are more likely to be raised in a two-parent household than are children of native-born Americans.

On another front: Thousands upon thousands of Mexicans crossed the border to volunteer to fight in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Many of them were killed, wounded or maimed fighting under our flag and saving American lives. Where are the "moochers" in this bunch? In the American lexicon, "donating," "generating" and "paying" are antonyms of "draining" and "mooching." Among other things, the hate-mongers need to work on their vocabularies

Undocumented Mexicans takings American Jobs?

Anti Immigrant groups, Anchor news, like Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, Glenn Spencer, Glenn Beck seems that the only violators of the Law and Stealers of American Jobs are Mexicans. Why?

On the front page of the Willamette Week today, an article written by Beth Slovak poked holes in the anti-immigrant claim that those entering the country are solely flooding through the southern Border.
In almost daily communiqué from anti-immigrant groups and radio talk show hosts, the focus always seems to be on Latinos as the sole “violators” of U.S. immigration laws and “stealers” of American jobs. With between 65,000 and 75,000 undocumented Canadians currently living in the United States, the continuous focus on Latinos begs the question of why anti-immigrant activists specifically target them with their hate speech, demagoguery and insults.
What the Willamette Week article demonstrates is the issue around immigration isn’t solely a Latino one. People from a range of ethnic persuasions and countries are affected and impacted in many ways making the case why it is important for Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
He’s an... Illegal Eh-lien

He’s stealing our jobs and our women. Plus, he talks funny.By Beth Slovic

On a construction site in North Portland, an illegal immigrant pounds nails and cuts two-by-fours. With each swift motion, he’s breaking the law.
He could be the poster child for anti-illegal immigrant zealots: He’s nonchalant about his status for the most part, unconcerned about not paying U.S. taxes and indifferent to the fact that he’s “stealing” the job of a U.S. citizen.
But he passes through Portland mostly untouched by the spittle spewing from the seal-our-borders-now camp.

America's Immigrant Legacy

What Millions of today Americans xenophobics, Bigotries, extremists ignored from U.S. History.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why Millions of Legal and Undocumented Europeans were fleeing to America from 1830 to 1907?.

Millions of today's Americans the term 'Ellis Island' refers not so much to the island itself (a small and otherwise uninteresting island in New York harbour) as to the immigration station which opened there in 1892.

In the aftermath of the American Revolution there was a large influx of immigrants into the USA - perhaps as many as 5,000 people every year. But by the early 1900s there were 5,000 people arriving every day.

Immigration to the USA had begun to increase quite substantially during the 1830s, mostly from Ireland, Great Britain and Germany. Passengers simply disembarked at the wharves of Manhattan, New York. But as the immigrants kept arriving and their numbers were increasing, it was decided to establish a receiving centre for them.

This would have a dual purpose. It would be a screening centre, to filter out anyone arriving with a contagious disease and prevent them from entering the country. And it would act as a help centre for the new immigrants, particularly in respect of protection from the robberies, fraud and scams to which new arrivals were particularly vulnerable.

Castle Garden

The first centre for processing immigrants to the USA opened in 1855 at Castle Garden (since renamed Castle Clinton), administered by the authorities of New York State. But a remarkable piece of legislation, which had all sorts of far-reaching effects, affected immigration, too.

This was the Homestead Act, signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, under which private citizens were able to lay claim to a sizeable plot of land on payment of just a few dollars. This Act remained in force until 1976 (1986 in Alaska).

Free Land

The offer of virtually free land in the land of the free naturally attracted even more immigrants, especially, in the 1860s, from Scandinavia. Then in the 1870s large numbers of immigrants began to arrive from Italy, Russia and Austria-Hungary.

The 1870s also saw the first restrictions on immigration enacted by Congress.


During the 1880s there was an exponential increase in immigration, as millions streamed in from all around the world. The advent of the steamship had reduced the journey time enormously.

During that decade some nine per cent of the entire population of Norway emigrated to the USA. Whole families arrived as a unit, but often a young man would come on his own to find work first. Some of them later sent for their family members to come and join them; others worked hard for a while before returning to their homeland with their savings.

Federal Immigration Centre

In 1890 the federal government took control of immigration in New York harbour, to the great annoyance of the State authorities, who retaliated by refusing to allow the government to use the immigration centre at Castle Garden. So the government set up a temporary processing centre at the Old Barge Office near the US Customs House at the south-eastern foot of Manhattan Island.

Then they set about converting a small island in the harbour, on which Fort Gibson stood, into the first US federal immigrant reception and processing centre. The island was Ellis Island.

The new centre on Ellis Island opened on 1 January, 1892. It was a timber building, three storeys high, designed to deal with up to 10,000 immigrants per day. The very first immigrant to be processed here was named Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Ireland.

In 1897 a fire broke out. The whole structure burned to the ground, and all the administrative records for this five-year period were lost.

A new Ellis Island centre, costing $1 million, was built from brick and stone and steel. It was designed in the French Renaissance style and opened in December, 1900.

It dealt with 'steerage' passengers (those with the cheapest tickets). In its first full year of operation it processed 389,000 immigrants, peaking at more than one million in 1907 (including a record of over 11,000 immigrants in a single day).

First Class and Second Class passengers were dealt with quickly and conveniently on board ship, so did not need to pass through the Ellis Island centre.

Running the Gauntlet

At Ellis Island the immigrants entered the building and climbed the stairs up to the first floor, as doctors watched carefully for mobility problems, breathing difficulties or other signs and symptoms that suggested the need for further medical examination.

This must have been a nerve-racking time for these newcomers. Having endured so much hardship and having come such a long way, it would be terrible to be sent away at this stage, especially if that would mean a family group being broken up.

Although the statistics say that only one to two per cent were refused entry into the USA and sent back to their place of origin, that still means that something like a quarter of a million people had to suffer that fate.

Those who passed the medical were then interviewed and had to answer a long questionnaire about their origin, their destination, their education, skills and occupation (if any) and so on. After all the formalities they could start to look forward to a new life in the New World.

Roughly one-third stayed in New York City, the rest dispersed elsewhere.

The Melting-pot

In the early years of the 20th Century, immigrants of all nationalities and races were crowded together in the mean streets and tenements of Lower Manhattan. It is commonplace nowadays to hear New York City described as a melting-pot, but the term was first applied in this context by an Englishman in 1908. The playwright Israel Zangwill (1864 - 1926) wrote a play of that name, with this line:

America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming!
- The Melting-Pot, Act I

Detention and Deportation

The First World War (1914 - 1918) considerably reduced immigration, and Ellis Island was used during this period as a detention centre for enemy aliens.

Then during the 1920s laws were passed restricting immigration. Quotas were introduced, based on national origin. Immigration processing tended to be carried out at consulates in the country of origin rather than on arrival in the USA. Ellis Island was used mainly as a deportation centre, as well as a coastguard station.

After World War II, during which Japanese, Italian and German aliens were interned there, Ellis Island finally closed down in 1954. The main building was later restored, and in 1990 opened to the public as an Immigration Museum.

Why They Came

It is estimated that at the start of the 21st Century there are more than 100 million Americans whose ancestors came through Ellis Island. That is about one in three of all Americans.

Some of these ancestors were fleeing hunger and starvation. Some were escaping from religious or political persecution. Some were looking for an alternative to unemployment and poverty. Some came simply to join family members already in the USA.

Others relished the wide open spaces, the availability of land, or simply the attraction of making a new life for themselves in a land of opportunity. Yet others came looking for gold.

As President JF Kennedy wrote in A Nation of Immigrants, 'There are probably as many reasons for coming to America as there were people who came'

Thank heavens for paperwork! Canadians Border crossing at early years. until 1894, records of immigration through Canada to the U.S. weren’t recorded.

Since many of our ancestors came to the U.S. through Canada in years prior to 1895, it would be great if this database included earlier records. I know of at least one of those famous made their way to the U.S. via Halifax. Unfortunately, until 1894, records of immigration through Canada to the U.S. weren’t recorded. In fact, this actually added to the appeal as many immigrants avoided immigration screening and hassles by choosing the Canadian route. In 1895 the U.S. government closed this loophole by requiring Canadian steamships and railroads to complete manifest forms and only provide transportation to U.S. destinations to immigrants that would have been allowed to enter the country via other U.S. ports.

What’s in the Records?

A variety of records are included in this database, including manifests, Primary Inspection Memorandums, Records of Registry, and Land Border Departure Records. The depth of information collected in these records varies. Some manifests are rich in detail, while later manifests, including some created by airlines, will be leaner with many only containing a first initial and surname, along with the date of arrival and point of embarkation and disembarkation.

Many of the records are on Form 1-Canada, titled “List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission to the United States from Foreign Contiguous Territory” and will include full name, age (with columns for years and months), and gender; marital status; occupation; literacy; nationality, and race or people; last permanent residence (city or town and country); name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came; final destination and whether they had a ticket to their final destination; by whom the passage was paid; how much money was in their possession; whether ever in the U.S. prior to this trip and if so, where; whether going to join a relative or friend and if so, who (including name and complete address); causes for deportment (including mental and physical health conditions); physical description; and place of birth (city or town and country).

It’s important to note that before October 1, 1906, only non-Canadian immigrants were recorded. Canadian-born immigrants are only included on records created after that date.

On the Primary Inspection Memorandum cards, the print is small and can be hard to read, although on the cards I viewed, the handwriting was legible. To help decipher the headings on each field, I checked out the National Archives website description of some of these records. It included a description of what was asked on these cards, as well as other records found in this database. Using this page I was better able to decipher the field headings that I found hard to read on the images.

Who is in These Records?

Searching by nationality proved to be interesting. There is a drop-down box with sixty nationalities that are represented in the database. The top ten were:

English - 898,713
French - 417,160
Scotch - 385,206 (Yes, it says “Scotch” in the menu, rather than Scots or Scottish. I’m assuming they chose this spelling because it is the way the records I viewed recorded the ethnicity.)
Irish - 279,654
Hebrew - 169,484
German - 162,178
Italian - 92,468
Polish - 90,868
Russian - 82,494
Finnish - 67,540

Noting that only 19,662 records came up for “Canadian,” it struck me as odd.

However, when searching for only a birthplace of Canada, I got 1,021,583 hits.
Searching for both birthplace of Canada and nationality of English, I get 298,172 hits; French, 280,331; Irish, 135,159; and Scotch, 132,359. An assortment of other nationalities rounded out the Canadian-born people represented in the database.

So, for this database, you can use place of birth as a more reliable search term, and as with any database, start wide and then narrow your search by rotating various criteria in and out of the search boxes.

Some of the records don’t even list nationality or birthplace.

The cycle of scapegoating, banishing the Mexican Legal and Undocumented Immigrants from U.S.(1850, 1880, 1942, 1964, 2007).

The Mexican migratory worker in southwest America is regarded as a necessary part of the bustling harvest season. The need of U.S. employers to import foreign manual labor was heightened first by the expansion of cattle ranches in the Southwest, and by the increase of fruit production in California in 1850 and 1880.

Before Mexican workers supported American agriculture, it was the Chinese who filled the labor hole. Nearly 200,000 Chinese were legally contracted to cultivate California fields, until the Chinese Exclusion Act. Then it was the Japanese who replaced the Chinese as field hands.

Between 1850 and 1880, 55,000 Mexican workers immigrated to the United States to become field hands in regions that had, until very recently, belonged to Mexico. The institution of Mexican workers in the United States was well established at this time in commercial agriculture, the mining industry, light industry and the railroad. The working conditions and salaries of the Mexicans were poor.

The presence of Mexican workers in the American labor scene started with the construction of the railroad between Mexico and the U.S. That presence grew between 1880 and 1890. As much as 60 percent of the railway working crews were Mexican. Rodolfo Tuiran, in his paper "Past and Present of the Mexican Immigration to the United States", reports that the initial flood of migrant workers to the United States were mainly skilled miners, work hands from cattle ranches in Mexico, indentured servants fleeing Mexican farms, small independent producers who were forced north by natural disasters or Indian raids and workers affected by the War of Secession.

In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the Mexican government was unable to improve the lives of its citizens. By the late 1930s, the crop fields in Mexico were harvesting smaller and smaller bounties, and employment became scarce. The Mexican peasant needed to look elsewhere for survival. World War I also stoked the fire of Mexican immigration, since Mexican workers performed well in the industry and service fields, working in trades such as machinists, mechanics, painters and plumbers. These years were ripe with employment opportunities for Mexicans because much of the U.S. labor force was overseas fighting the war. Agencies in Mexico recruited for the railway and agriculture industries in the United States.

Mexican workers’ complaints about the abuse of their labor rights eventually led the Mexican government to action. Led by Venustiano Carranza in 1920, the Mexican government composed a model contract that guaranteed Mexican workers certain rights named in the Mexican Political Constitution. The contract demanded that U.S. ranchers allow workers to bring their families along during the period of the contract. No worker was allowed to leave for the United States without a contract, signed by an immigration official, which stated the rate of pay, work schedule, place of employment and other similar conditions. Thus, this became the first de facto Bracero Program between the two countries.

In 1924, the U.S. Border Patrol was created, an event which would have a significant impact on the lives of Mexican workers. Though the public did not immediately view Mexicans as "illegal aliens," the law now stated that undocumented workers were fugitives. With the advent of the Border Patrol, the definition "illegal alien" is born, and many Mexican citizens north of the border are subject to much suspicion

The Mexican work force was critical in developing the economy and prosperity of the United States. The Mexican workers in numerous accounts were regarded as strong and efficient. As well, they were willing to do hard work and long hours, in working conditions that were questionably humane. Another measure of control was imposed on the Mexican immigrant workers during the depression: visas were denied to all Mexicans who failed to prove they had secure employment in the United States. The Mexicans who were deported under this act were warned that if they came back to the United States, they would be considered outlaws.

It seemed whenever the United States found a reason to close the door on Mexican immigration, a historic event would force them to reopen that door. Such was the case when the United States entered World War II.

In 1942, the United States was heading to war with the fascist powers of Europe.
Labor was siphoned from all areas of United States industry and poured into those which supported the war efforts. Also in that year, the United States signed the Bracero Treaty which reopened the floodgates for legal immigration of Mexican laborers. Between the period of 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexicans were imported into the U.S. as "braceros" under the Bracero Program to work temporarily on contract to United States growers and ranchers.

Under the Bracero Program, more than 4 million Mexican farm workers came to work the fields of the United States. Impoverished Mexicans fled their rural communities and traveled north to work as braceros. It was mainly by the Mexican hand that America became the most lush agricultural center in the world.

The braceros were principally experienced farm workers who hailed from regions such as Coahuila, "la Comarca Lagunera," and other crucial agricultural regions in Mexico. They left their own lands and families chasing a rumor of economic boom in the United States.

Large groups of bracero applicants came via train to the northern border. Their arrival altered the social and economic environments of many border towns. Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, became a hotbed of recruitment and a main gathering point for the agricultural labor force.

The Bracero Program contracts were controlled by independent farmer associations and the "Farm Bureau," and were written in English, and many braceros would sign them without understanding the rights they were giving away nor the terms of the employment.

The braceros were allowed to return to their native lands only in case of emergency, and required written permission from their employer. When the contracts expired, the braceros were mandated to hand over their permits and return to Mexico. The braceros in the United States were busy thinning sugar beets, picking cucumbers and tomatoes and weeding and picking cotton.

At the end of World War II, Mexican workers were ousted from their jobs by workers coming out of wartime industries and by returning servicemen. By 1947, the Emergency Farm Labor Service was working on decreasing the amount of Mexican labor imported. By the 1960s, an overflow of "illegal" agricultural workers along with the invention of the mechanical cotton harvester, diminished the practicality and appeal of the bracero program. These events, added to the gross humanitarian violations of bracero employers, brought the program to an end in 1964

U. of Texas Regents Suggest other Alternatives rather that the non sense Border Fence.

Hoping to head off a federal lawsuit, the regents of the University of Texas system on Wednesday called for negotiations to resolve a dispute concerning a proposed border fence that would cut through a campus shared by the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, the Austin American-Statesman reported today.
Officials of the partner institutions passed a resolution in December opposing the fence, and Juliet V. García, who is president of both institutions, so far has declined the government’s request for permission to conduct property surveys and environmental studies in preparation for the fence. “I feel the action poses serious harm to the university on many fronts,” she said in a statement on the institutions’ Web site.
The Austin newspaper reported earlier this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recently declared its intention to sue to gain access to the campus, which is across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico.
As proposed, the fence would cut off 166 acres of the campus, including a golf course. The regents unanimously adopted a resolution on Wednesday that pledges support for homeland security but asks the government to explore other options. One alternative they put forward calls for reinforcing existing levees with a concrete wall that would improve flood control and border security at the same time. A neighboring county has advanced a similar proposal that the U.S. secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, is expected to approve during a visit this week

Friday, February 15, 2008

Whoever tied the noose and hung it on his door knob was not ignorant of the symbol's meaning.

Unadilla Valley Central School officials have identified two students they believe are responsible for hanging a noose on a counselor's door last week.

School Superintendent Robert Mackey said Wednesday the students are being disciplined, but he would not release any specific information about who the students are or what disciplinary actions were being taken.

"I can tell you that the consequences will match the offensiveness of the act," Mackey said.

The students have not been attending school since they were identified, he said.

The noose tied from clothesline-type rope was found the morning of Feb. 6 on the door of the Liberty Partnership Program counselor's room while school was in session, troopers previously said.

The counselor was identified by the school as Mark Montgomery, who is black. He has been at the school for 11/2 years.

The incident remains under investigation by Norwich state police. Troopers on Wednesday said they were hoping to have closure in the case by Friday, but they would not indicate if that closure would involve criminal charges.

There are no other students involved, Mackey said.

"We are sure that this is it," Mackey said.

Mackey said school staff had heard from other students that the two suspected of hanging the noose may have learned how to tie it by watching a video on YouTube, the popular Internet video-sharing website.

Mackey said he couldn't speculate on a motive.

"We can't answer specifically what was going through the minds of the kids," Mackey said. "Many teenagers really act without ever thinking about the end result.

The school resource officer _ a state trooper _ was a huge help in bringing the incident to a quick resolution, Mackey said.

State police Bureau of Criminal Investigation officers were in the school within a few hours of the noose being found, he said.

Students began coming forward Sunday with information about who hung the noose, and by Tuesday, both students who participated were identified, Mackey said.

School officials are treating this as an isolated incident, he said, but as the school deals with the incident's aftermath, staff will be trying to gauge the depth of any racist sentiment that might exist at the school.

The school is planning an assembly for older elementary, middle and high school students after winter break next week, Mackey said.

Teachers will then "circle the desks" and talk with the students in a classroom setting about issues surrounding race and the noose incident.

"We're working on that phase now," Mackey said.

If there appears to be a need for a longer-term approach to any race or discrimination issues at the school, the district my opt to start an Alternatives to Violence program or participate in a course of study through Project Reach, which focuses on respecting ethnic and cultural heritage, Mackey said.

Ultimately, the noose incident could be an opportunity to educate students, he said.

"Our main goal is to facilitate learning every day," Mackey said.

Montgomery, a resident of Clayville in Oneida County, said Monday night he works with at-risk youth in his role with the Liberty Partnership program, which has a goal of reducing drop-out rates.

"I have sadly been exposed to racism my entire life," Montgomery said, but the hanging of a noose brought it to a new level.

Noose displays have garnered national media attention in recent months.

In late January, a federal grand jury indicted an 18-year-old Louisiana man on hate crime and conspiracy charges for allegedly fashioning nooses with a 16-year-old that were then displayed toward marchers traveling from a civil-rights rally in September.

Earlier in January, the editor of Golfweek magazine was fired for using a noose on the magazine's cover to illustrate coverage of controversy over comments regarding lynching and Tiger Woods made by a Golf Channel broadcaster.

President Bush spoke about the symbolism of the noose during an event Tuesday marking African-American History Month.

"The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice," Bush said. "Displaying one is not a harmless prank. Lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest."

Montgomery said that whoever tied the noose and hung it on his door knob was not ignorant of the symbol's meaning

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seasonal worker shortage threatens regional tourism. "Now there's a level of panic with some employers.

In the midst of the snowiest winter in recent memory, Vermont ski resorts are being strained by a shortage of foreign workers who for years have cleaned rooms, taught lessons, and filled other seasonal jobs. The shortfall, caused by cutbacks in the number of work visas issued, is an unexpected consequence of the standoff in Congress over immigration reform.

more stories like this at Mount Snow, west of Brattleboro, fewer ski instructors has meant fewer classes this winter, and more disappointed customers. At Stowe, managers are still recruiting, trying to fill gaps before the busy February school vacations.

"This is hurting Vermont, and as a Vermonter, it's hurting me," said Thorin Magbie, human resources director at Mount Snow. "It's very frustrating to us to have families calling who want to bring their kids to ski and ride, and to have to tell them there's no room."

Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard expect to feel the same pressure when warm weather hits. Hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and landscaping businesses on the Cape and islands rely on an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 workers from Jamaica, Bulgaria, Brazil, Poland, Russia, and other economically depressed countries, who come to the US on temporary H-2B visas to bolster the workforce during the busiest season.

But this year, the seasonal worker program became entangled in the contentious immigration debate, and the number of workers allowed in the country was curtailed, catching many business owners by surprise and leaving them scrambling to fill positions.

"We're all in deep trouble if nothing gets done," said Mark Hogan, owner of the landmark Nantucket breakfast spot the Downyflake, whose veteran crew returns every year from Jamaica. "I don't know what I would do with our business, whether I would close or move tables out because I wouldn't have people to serve them. People don't understand how it will devastate our economy."

In 2005, in response to increasing demand for foreign labor, Congress relaxed the cap of 66,000 foreign workers admitted each year on H-2B visas in legislation that said workers who had held visas in the previous three years could return without being counted as part of the quota.

That allowed some 50,000 more visas to be issued.

But last fall, as proponents sought to renew the exemption for returning workers, Hispanic members of Congress said they would insist on comprehensive reform of immigration laws and oppose all piecemeal legislation, which included the exemption. The renewal stalled and the cap on workers reverted to 66,000.

Supporters of the seasonal worker program say it has little to do with immigration, though it has been swept up in the larger issue.

"This is designed to meet a seasonal need - it isn't about illegal immigration," said US Representative William Delahunt, who represents the Cape and islands and supports the cap expansion.
Delahunt said a bipartisan coalition in Congress has drafted a letter to President Bush asking him to reinstate the exemption, and may also propose adding the measure to the forthcoming economic stimulus package.

more stories like this"We have reports from all over the country that businesses can't function and will close down unless this program is reauthorized," Delahunt said. "It's not helping an economy that is in serious trouble."
But critics say the foreign workers drive down wages and take jobs from Americans. Steve Kropper, co-chairman of Mass Citizens for Immigration Reform, said the roadblock to finding local labor is the low pay the business owners offer.

"Americans will fill any job for the right wage, and we're all advanced when the people on the bottom of the scale get paid better," he said. "We have our own low-skilled people; let's help them out."

But proponents say Americans get the first shot at the jobs. The government requires that employers advertise positions in the United States before filling them from overseas, and mandates that foreign workers be paid the prevailing wage, said Jane Nichols Bishop, a consultant in West Dennis who assists Cape businesses seeking foreign workers.

"These are seasonal destinations that do not have a workforce for their busy season, because most Americans need year-round jobs," she said. "These workers are not immigrants; they are not illegals."

At Mount Snow and other ski resorts, managers said they were caught off guard by the government's announcement on Oct. 1 last year, that the cap for the first half of the fiscal year had been reached and that no more visas would be processed. Like other resorts, Mount Snow hired some foreigners with other types of visas, such as exchange students, but could not bring back experienced instructors recruited in previous years from Europe, Australia, and South Africa, said Magbie.

"Our guests had the luxury of a diverse staff, and I think we all miss that," he said.

At Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont, the workforce of 1,000 people, including 250 ski instructors, previously included 30 to 40 foreign workers, most of whom taught ski classes or worked as housekeepers. None of those employees returned this winter, said Julie Frailey, Stowe's director of human resources, and the resort east of Burlington is still trying to beef up its staffing in time for February school vacation.

"It wasn't a large number, but these were key, key people for us for the full season," Frailey said. "We back-filled with part-time people and squeaked by, but we still don't know what we're going to have for the summer."

On Cape Cod, where the later tourist season dictates later deadlines for visa applications, business owners learned on Jan. 3 that the 33,000-visa cap for the second half of the fiscal year had been met. Nichols Bishop said she does not know of any Cape businesses that submitted applications before then.
Wendy Northcross, chief executive of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, said the agency has long sought alternatives to the visa program, trying to recruit on campuses and in the US Virgin Islands, but with limited success.

"Now there's a level of panic with some employers," she said. "It's almost too late."

For Hogan, the Nantucket restaurant owner, that could mean the loss of longtime employees from Jamaica, including cooks and counter help to sell his homemade doughnuts. The Downyflake serves 1,200 customers a day in the summer, he said, with a kitchen staff of 10 and 10 more workers on the floor.

At the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority, administrator Paula Leary said she is struggling to plan summer bus schedules without knowing who will drive the buses. The authority, which employs 30 to 40 drivers in the summer, normally hires 20 to 25 of them from Bulgaria, many on H-2B visas, she said.

Hiring new, inexperienced drivers - if they can be found - means long delays while they are licensed, said Darren Morris, general manager of Transit Connection Inc., which operates buses on Martha's Vineyard. Morris said he is trying to recruit foreign workers from Western ski resorts.

"Immigration is such a hot topic, it's thrown this program in a bad light," he said. "It's something that works, and it's been beat up."

U.S.-Vietnam deportation plan needs 2nd look. United States has served as a model for freedom and democracy and Immigration officials should tread carefully in order to uphold those ideals

For years, America has offered a beacon of hope and freedom for people from all over the world. That's one big reason the United States has more than 1 million immigrants from Vietnam, many of whom fled war and oppression in their homeland.

So it's disturbing that U.S. immigration officials, under a new Washington-Hanoi repatriation pact, soon will begin deporting undocumented Vietnamese back to the authoritarian country they left. This reversal of longstanding practice is troubling on political and humanitarian grounds. Officials should hold off on the deportations until Congress can review the situation more closely, as Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and 12 other lawmakers have suggested.

To be sure, many of the illegal immigrants who could be sent back have criminal convictions in the United States. Those who have committed serious felonies, such as murder, kidnapping or child sexual abuse should not be given refuge here. But those convicted of lesser crimes, have already completed jail time or simply overstayed their visas are another matter. It makes sense to take a closer look at these individual cases.

The pact signed in late January affects about 1,500 Vietnamese nationals who arrived here on or after July 12, 1995, and are in deportation proceedings or have received a final deportation order. The pact doesn't affect those who arrived earlier, since the United States did not have diplomatic relations with Vietnam then
Overall, there are about 8,000 Vietnamese nationals facing deportation; about 7,000 of them have criminal convictions.
The United States has repatriation agreements with many countries, but most of them are not authoritarian. Vietnam is unique because of its legacy of war and persecution, the U.S. role in Vietnam's history and the poor human rights record of the communist government in Hanoi
. Its unsatisfactory record has been recently documented by the U.S. State Department, among others.

Returnees would likely face abuse or discrimination from a government that doesn't look kindly on their leaving in the first place. Lofgren, who chairs a House subcommittee on immigration, notes that the United States doesn't send illegal Cuban immigrants back to Fidel Castro's regime.

The United States has long been respected for welcoming foreigners, who enrich and strengthen American society. And the United States has served as a model for freedom and democracy. Immigration officials should tread carefully in order to uphold those ideals

House members grill ICE over Guzman case.

WASHINGTON - Federal immigration officials tried to convince a House immigration subcommittee Wednesday that last year's deportation of a mentally disabled American citizen was an accident, not evidence of widespread flaws in the agency's policies and procedures.

Lawyers and advocates suggested otherwise.

At the heart of Wednesday's hearing is the case involving Pedro Guzman, a 30-year-old California native who U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials removed from the country and sent to Tijuana, Mexico, in May, 2006.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, who chairs the panel, said she hoped the hearing "will reveal where problems lie and lead us to solutions."

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, asked Gary E. Mead, deputy director of the Office of Detention and Removal Operations at ICE, about the likelihood that Guzman was not the only U.S. citizen illegally removed from the country last year.

Mead said that about 310,000 people passed through the agency's 400 detention centers last year and that roughly 280,000 were deported. When asked how many deportations involved American citizens, Mead said, "To the best of my knowledge, only one U.S. citizen was removed."

Regardless, he said the agency is "reviewing its policies and procedures to determine if even greater safeguards can be put in place to prevent the rare instance where this event occurs." He said the agency anticipates having this review completed within the next 90 days.

Other testimony challenged how effective the agency's existing safeguards are in preventing unfair treatment of detainees and illegal removals of U.S. citizens.

Safeguards to detect mental or emotional impairments among detainees were not mentioned in Mead's written or oral testimony, nor was he specifically asked about such guidelines by committee members. But witnesses from human rights groups and lawyers testified that they believe the lack of such screens could be among the reasons that Guzman was removed.

Rachel Rosenbloom, a lawyer with the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, said in her written testimony that no such safeguards exist.

Guzman was sent to Mexico after he signed a document accepting voluntary removal, a process by which Undocumented immigrants can leave the country voluntarily instead of being deported. Immigrants sometimes choose the option to make re-entry to the U.S. easier. The Department of Homeland Security reported that 965,000 people accepted an offer of voluntary departure in 2005.

Guzman can neither read nor write beyond a second grade level according testimony from his lawyer, James J. Brosnahan. He said that may have been the reason he signed the request for voluntary removal in which he claimed Mexican nationality. Rosenbloom testified that the Sheriff's department administrator who obtained his signature "checked a box indicating that Mr. Guzman had read the statement himself, in Spanish."

Mead testified that Guzman "claimed" he was a Mexican national but he did not specify how Guzman made that claim.

When King asked if there is any way cases like Guzman's could be a pattern, Mead said, "We don't think so, Mr. Congressman."

Rosenbloom said that mistakes like those that led to Guzman's removal are "inevitable" under U.S. deportation laws.

Chief among her concerns was the fact that a person threatened with removal has no right to government-appointed council.

Mead did not directly challenge Rosenbloom's claim, but he did say that detainees are offered phone numbers for free legal aid and embassies as well as access to free phones. Such access to phones and legal aid were not mentioned in his written testimony.
In her testimony, Rosenbloom said that no family or attorney was present during Guzman's proceedings

It was rotten timing. They entered this country the correct way. They thought they were complying with the law. Know facing deportation 16 Math and science teachers.

One day before St. Lucie students sat down to take their FCATs on Tuesday, the news broke that 16 math and science teachers recruited from India might face deportation because of problems with their visas.
One can only imagine how high Superintendent Mike Lannon's blood pressure went that day.

Lannon told me this week the school district received only a couple of days' warning about the visa glitch.

Aside from a few minor cultural differences, the program seemed fine. School administrators, faculty, students and their parents quickly adjusted to different teaching styles. Many students found their new teachers inspiring. Math and science became fun, they said.

While it was the St. Lucie School District that employed and paid the teachers, Florida Atlantic University initiated the program last summer and handled the visa paperwork through its International Office.

According to Dean Gregory Aloia of FAU's College of Education, the internship program is based on a similar model the college has used with U.S. education students for the past five years.

FAU first became aware of problems with the U.S. State Department last November. Yet it became clear late last week that the problems couldn't be resolved. The teachers were told by St. Lucie school officials not to report for work on Friday.

What a mess.

Here are 16 highly motivated and effective teachers who were making a tangible difference. Now, through no fault of their own they're unable to do their jobs. They entered this country the correct way.They thought they were complying with the law.

While a program like this might suit college students, surely it was no way to treat masters-level professional people in their 30s and 40s, people who left families at home and are already experienced teachers in their homeland. They didn't complain, I'm told, because after completing that probationary period they would be paid salaries equivalent to U.S. teachers.

Yet, within four weeks of that happening, the State Department just said no.

I'm told this mess may all boil down to a clerical error in the type of visa that was applied for. Both Lannon and FAU's Aloia say they are "cautiously optimistic" that Washington can fix the problem and the teachers will be able return to St. Lucie classrooms.

We pay substitute teachers $70 a day to be babysitters; we paid highly qualified, excellent Indian teachers $50 a day.

That's no way to treat anyone, wherever they're from