Thursday, January 31, 2008
America's 12 million Undocumented immigrants evoke intense Republican antipathy and Democratic indifference. But in Brooklyn an extraordinary Irish priest tends to his Immigrants flock and tells it like it is.
Is it reasonable to ask for a caller's name, etc., when they wish to lodge a complaint with the authorities?Why should a business have to defend itself against complaints from "anonymous" callers? Many, if not most, of these types of complaints are malicious, mean-spirited and put the receiver in an unfair position. An organization can be forced out of business, putting employees and their families in harm's way, over rumor and innuendo?The sanctions law reeks of bigotry, "a witch-hunt mentality," and in the case of Mexican people, has a racial tone. How can so-called educated Americans support this law? It rubs against the very concepts of how our country was formed.This new law should be repealed or monitored very closely for civil-rights violations. We must be particularly vigilant about monitoring the rhetoric and actions of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas.We live in the U.S.A., not a Third World despot-run dictatorship
Why and When Hispanic, Latinos became the Enemy. Last year, 46 states enacted 246 laws on Undocumented immigration mainly targeted Hispanics, Latinos specially Mexicans and, more than triple the number from 2006. That's of the more than 1,560 bills proposed nationwide. The only four states not passing such laws in 2007 were Alaska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.
A bill clamping down on illegal immigration, a chief goal for South Carolina lawmakers this year, received key approval Wednesday in the House.The proposal would require businesses to check the status of their employees through a federal verification program or only hire people with a valid driver's license. It would also prohibit illegal immigrants from attending public colleges in South Carolina and create a felony for hiding or transporting illegal workers. Exemptions are given to shelters for the homeless and domestic violence victims.The bill requires another mostly routine reading in the House before it heads to the Senate, which passed a similar proposal last year.Critics say the bill does little to curtail illegal immigration. Rep. Joe Neal said it actually makes it easier for businesses to employ illegal workers because the penalties are so lenient.Under the legislation, contractors who don't check the status of employees can be fined 5 percent of their total project if they're working for public agencies and governments."We didn't even require them to lose the contract or fire the illegal immigrants," said Neal, D-Hopkins. "We're giving a wink and a nod and calling the public blind mules because they're not supposed to understand the game that's being played."House Speaker Bobby Harrell called that criticism ridiculous. He said the penalty would cut into profits and if built into a bid, might prevent the company from getting the job.Harrell pushed the bill, saying it was necessary to prevent an influx of illegals from neighboring Georgia, where similar legislation was enacted last year.House Judiciary Chairman Jim Harrison said he hopes the bill will protect South Carolina residents and employees until the U.S. Congress can act. "This is a federal problem and the federal government has failed miserably," said Harrison, D-Columbia.The state Chamber of Commerce supports the bill, because it bans local governments from passing their own more strict immigration laws, preventing a hodgepodge of rules across the state, spokesman Otis Rawl said.The lengthy proposal also forbids illegal immigrants from getting state scholarships to attend private colleges, forbids illegal adults from public assistance, and makes it a crime for illegal workers to give false documents.It also directs the State Law Enforcement Division chief to negotiate with the federal government for ways the state can enforce federal immigration laws.Increasingly frustrated by inaction from Congress, nearly every state has passed some sort of illegal immigration law on a wide range of topics. More than 300 bills have been introduced so far this year, said Ann Morse, program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project.
Gov. Mark Sanford also wants immigration reform, mentioning it earlier this week as he made stops across South Carolina to push his agenda
Reports of hate crimes in Nassau County rose 22 percent last year -- 150 cases were reported in 2007, up from 123 cases reported in 2006 -- largely because of two waves of anti-Semitic and anti-black crimes, according to a special report compiled by the Nassau County Police Department.
But the president of the Freeport Roosevelt NAACP, Doug Mayers, said the copycat theory diminished the crime's gravity.
"There are no copycats when it comes to hanging nooses and swastikas all over the bloody place," he said.
"We do the best we can in identifying the crimes that are motivated by hate, but it's a very difficult endeavor," he added.
"Hate crimes are the product of ignorance," Suozzi said. "The best thing to combat ignorance is education."
Somewhere in America..................Every hours someone commits a hate crime.
Every day at least eight blacks, three whites, three gays, three Jews and two Latinos become hate crime victims. Every week a cross is burned.
Hate in America is a dreadful, daily constant. The dragging death of a black man in Jasper, Texas; the crucifixion of a gay man in Laramie, Wyo.; and post-9.11 hate crimes against hundreds of Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and Sikhs are not "isolated incidents." They are eruptions of a nation's intolerance.
Bias is a human condition, and American history is rife with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences. The 20th century saw major progress in outlawing discrimination, and most Americans today support integrated schools and neighborhoods. But stereotypes and unequal treatment persist, an atmosphere often exploited by hate groups.
When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime. Race and religion inspire most hate crimes, but hate today wears many faces. Bias incidents (eruptions of hate where no crime is committed) also tear communities apart — and threaten to escalate into actual crimes.
According to FBI statistics, the greatest growth in hate crimes in recent years is against Asian Americans and the gay and lesbian community. Once considered a Southern phenomenon, today most hate crimes are reported in the North and West.
And these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Law enforcement officials acknowledge that hate crimes — similar to rape and family violence crimes — go under-reported, with many victims reluctant to go to the police, and some police agencies not fully trained in recognizing or investigating hate crimes.
The good news is ...All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.
This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.
Whether you need a crash course to deal with an upcoming white-power rally, a primer on the media or a long-range plan to promote tolerance in your community, you will find practical advice, timely examples and helpful resources in this guide. The steps outlined here have been tested in scores of communities across the nation by a wide range of human rights, faith and civic organizations.
Our experience shows that one person, acting from conscience and love, is able to neutralize bigotry. Imagine, then, what an entire community, working together, might do.
1). ACT: Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance by the perpetrators, public and worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.
2). UNITE: Call a friend or co-worker. Organize allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from everyone, and get everyone involved.
3). SUPPORT THE VICTIMS: Hate-crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. If you’re a victim, report every incident - in detail -and ask for help. If you learn about a hate-crime victim in your community, show support. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection.
4). DO YOUR HOMEWORK: An informed campaign improves its effectiveness. Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Understand the difference between a hate crime and a bias incident.
5). CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE: Do not attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for peoples’ desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate.
6). SPEAK UP: Hate must be exposed and denounced. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do not debate hate-group members in conflict-driven forums. Instead, speak up in ways that draw attention away from hate, toward unity.
7). LOBBY LEADERS: Elected officials and other community leaders can be important allies in the fight against hate. But some must overcome reluctance - and others, their own biases - before they’re able to take a stand.
8). LOOK LONG RANGE: Promote tolerance and address bias before another hate crime can occur. Expand your community’s comfort zones so you can learn and live together.
9). TEACH TOLERANCE: Bias is learned early, usually at home. Schools can offer lessons of tolerance and acceptance. Sponsor an "I Have a Dream" contest. Reach out to young people who may be susceptible to hate-group propaganda and prejudice.
10). DIG DEEPER: Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes. Build your own cultural competency, then keep working to expose discrimination wherever it happens - in housing, employment, education and more.
What a great video compiling most of the ignorants, bigotries, and Xenophobics against Undocumented and Documented Immigrants.That's just pathetic labeled themselves as an educated and profesional people bashing, dehumanizing, spewed racism, ignorance and stereotyping Undocumented and Documented Immigrants just for ranting to their shows or for political purpose.
America does not have room for Bigotry or, hate speech in any public policy.
Stop and reject any Hate speech against any Human Being....
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Immigration Agents to Stop Sedating Deportees.
LOS ANGELES — U.S. immigration agents must not sedate deportees without a judge's permission, according to a policy change issued this week.
Immigration officials have acknowledged that 56 deportees were given psychotropic drugs during a seven-month period in 2006 and 2007 even though most had no history of mental problems. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit over the practice.
An internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo dated Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press on Friday said effective immediately, agents must get a court order before administering drugs "to facilitate an alien's removal."
"There are no exceptions to this policy," said the memo written by John Torres, detention and removal director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
To get a sedation order from court, officials must show deportees have a history of physical resistance to being removed or are a danger to themselves.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice verified the memo's authenticity.
"Medical sedation will only be considered as a last resort," she said
The ACLU sued the agency in June to stop the practice, alleging it could constitute torture and violates the Bill of Rights and federal laws regarding the medical treatment of detainees.
The lawsuit, which is still pending, came after a handful of immigrants in Southern California claimed to have been drugged while the government attempted to deport them.
Senate testimony last year revealed that 33 of 56 deportees involuntarily given psychotropic drugs had no history of psychological problems. They were given the medicine because of "combative behavior," said Julie Myers, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This is what Sheriff Joe Arpaio promoting within his jurisdiction over spending taxpayers money. Tough on Immigration with people who's the only crime commited were a do not have a legal document to stay in U.S. but soft on control and enforce the rule of Law with people who's commited a real crime. Who do no wants to be there even Elvis visited once in a while...I am hoping Santa Clausse visited twice a year to Joe Arpaio
Slavery still exists today.
Over 27 million people are in slavery today—more than at any time in history according to the Amazing Change campaign, a global effort inspired by the film Amazing Grace to abolish modern-day slavery. It is the world’s fastest growing illegal crime, according to Stop The Traffick.
Most people believe “human trafficking” occurs in far away countries with impoverished governments, but 17 million boys, girls, men and women are in forced labor or sexual services in the United States today, says Shared Hope International (SHI). They have found that many American citizens — children at the average age of 12 — are trafficked locally between American cities and across state lines daily. Founder of SHI, Congresswoman (l994-1999) Linda Smith, has launched assessments in ten U.S. cities to examine America’s trafficked youth and is launching a nationwide awareness campaign. Groups like hers inspired our U.S. Senate on June 22, 2007, to pass a resolution to forever mark Jan. 11 as a day of awareness and vigilance for the countless victims of Human Trafficking.
We need some more William Wilberforces, MLKs, Harriet Stowes and underground railroads to arise
Slavery in our modern days.Tacoma woman sentenced for holding a domestic servant in forced labor.
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice announced today that a Tacoma, Wash., woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for holding a woman in forced labor as a domestic servant. Elizabeth Jackson was sentenced today to three years imprisonment. Jackson previously pleaded guilty to holding a Filipino domestic worker in forced labor.
In 2001, Jackson arranged to have the victim, a Filipino woman, brought to the United States. When the victim arrived in the United States, Elizabeth Jackson confiscated her passport and put her to work for approximately16 hours per day, seven days per week. The victim received no more than $400 per month for this labor. From 2001 to 2002, Jackson compelled the victim’s labor through threats of abuse of the legal process. Jackson frequently threatened to have the victim deported if she ever left Jackson’s employ without permission.
In the same court today, James Jackson, Elizabeth Jackson’s husband, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and assessed a fine of $5,000 for harboring an alien in the couple’s Culver City, Calif., home. James Jackson previously pleaded guilty to this crime and admitted that from approximately August 2001 to February 2002, he permitted the victim to reside in their home, even though he knew that her visa had expired.
“These defendants used their power and affluence to coerce a vulnerable woman into their personal service for several months,” said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This type of behavior is a clear violation of federal law. The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously prosecuting this type of modern-day slavery.”
Human trafficking prosecutions such as this one are a top priority of the Department of Justice. In the last seven fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by nearly seven-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court as compared to the previous seven fiscal years. In FY 2007, the Department obtained a record number of convictions in human trafficking prosecutions.
This case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Labor. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Douglas Kern and Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Kline of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Immigration bureaucracy plagued by delays. It will take an average of 18 months to process petitions from legal immigrants applying for citizenship between now and 2010, compared to seven months or fewer in 2007.
HERE'S another glimpse into the broken U.S. immigration system: It will take an average of 18 months to process petitions from legal immigrants applying for citizenship between now and 2010, compared to seven months or fewer in 2007.
That's what Emilio T. Gonzalez, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, the New York Times reported
Gonzalez blamed a rush of immigration applications last summer ahead of a 66 percent mid-year fee increase. When the increase was announced in January 2007, he promised to reduce waiting times for both naturalization and permanent-resident visas by year's end.
His agency has a longtime reputation as slow and bureaucratic. Delays were no doubt made worse by gearing up for post-Sept. 11 criminal background checks, but that does not excuse government incompetence more than six years later.
Perhaps the new federal employees being added to handle immigration documents will help, but Gonzalez could not guarantee that immigrants who applied last summer to become citizens will be able to vote next November. They still may not be naturalized by then.
There's a recurring refrain among some immigration critics questioning why new immigrants don't work harder and faster to become U.S. citizens. The truth is that many of them are doing everything they can, but our government manages to erect obstacles in their path.
This is but one example of the ineptness that Congress and the White House must address when leaders resume the debate about immigration reform.
Minutemen get new adopted highway stretch, farther from border. The risk is in the potential for disruption to the operation of the state highway as well as public safety.
SAN DIEGO—Getting moved farther away from the border might the beginning of the end of anti-illegal immigration group San Diego Minutemen's participation in an Adopt-A-Highway program.
The California Department of Transportation said Monday that the group can't sponsor a two-mile stretch of Interstate 5 near a Border Patrol checkpoint, saying it poses "a significant safety risk."
"The risk is in the potential for disruption to the operation of the state highway as well as public safety concerns for the traveling public and volunteers in the program," Caltrans district director Pedro Orso-Delgado said but did not elaborate.
Although the Minutemen will get another stretch on State Route 52 in San Diego—far from the Border Patrol checkpoint—even that might prove temporary. Caltrans said it was reconsidering whether the group was eligible for any piece of highway.
"We have received information during the past couple weeks that warrants a closer look at the San Diego Minutemen relative to the eligibility criteria for this program," Orso-Delgado said. "The department will pursue this review in an expeditious fashion."
Caltrans did not elaborate on the review and a spokesman did not respond to a phone call Monday night, but its statement said groups that advocate violence, discrimination or illegal activities cannot participate in the program.
San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk did not immediately respond to a phone
message Monday night. In November, Caltrans granted a permit for the Minutemen to tend to trash on a two-mile northbound stretch, north of San Diego, near where Border Patrol agents stop motorists and search for illegal immigrants hiding in cars. Adopt-A-Highway signs were emblazoned with the group's name.
Immigration advocates welcomed Caltrans' decision.
"We said from the get-go that those signs were going down," said Enrique Morones, who heads Border Angels, a group that provides water for people who cross the border illegally in remote areas. "Civility prevails."
The Minutemen boasted on its Web site that it removed 15 bags of trash from their own mess.
Fair (Federation for American Immigration Reform) Anti Immigrants Group. What part of justice do they practice? What kind of rule or reform they want Implemented to any Immigrants rather than demonized them? Do we really want neo-Nazi groups helping shape our federal public policy on immigration? The Federation for American Immigration Reform has ties to racists and a long record of bigotry.
Remembrances of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. give us good reason to celebrate.
But in Arizona, King's message often is lost as hate crimes increase and unvarnished hatred toward Mexicans and other Latinos - whether U.S. citizens or illegal immigrants - has grown more and more malignant in recent years.
Arizonans' attitudes and behaviors have become nearly as hideous as the crimes against black people that were so common during King's lifetime, especially in the deep South.
Granted, we've come a long way since King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. But we have not come far enough.
The federal government's failure to reform immigration policy has created a vacuum that neo-Nazi and other hate groups have been happy to fill Racist groups, violence climbing.
The number of hate groups in the U.S. has increased by 40 percent since 2000, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported Dec. 7. FBI statistics show a 35 percent rise in hate crimes against Latinos since 2003.
And for anti-immigrant zeal, Arizona is ground zero, says Heidi Beirich of the SPLC Intelligence Project.
"Multiple vigilante factions are operating on the border, plus you've got politicians like (Maricopa County Sheriff) Joe Arpaio who want to unleash the dogs," she says. " . . . You've got a very active neo-Nazi scene, some of whom have been showing up at (anti-immigrant) protests armed."
Hate groups shaping our policy.
The movement has spread like a prairie fire, with xenophobic groups and the Lou Dobbs types in American culture fanning the flames with false information
And then there's FAIR - which isn't.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform has ties to racists and a long record of bigotry, yet its members are regularly asked to testify before Congress and to comment for the media, SPLC reports.
Having been lent an undeserved aura of legitimacy, FAIR was a key force in scuttling the promising immigration reform package last June that President Bush supported.
Consider that FAIR's founder runs a racist publishing company and has compared immigrants to "bacteria"; has employed white supremacists in key positions; promoted racist conspiracy theories; and accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation devoted to eugenics and proving a link between race and IQ, SPLC research shows.
Do we really want neo-Nazi groups helping shape our federal public policy on immigration?
Or do we want to uphold the basic American values of fairness and justice for all?
Salvage basic human decency
Today is a good time to remember King's philosophy that human rights denied to one person is human rights denied to all.
"These people aren't objects," Beirich says. "They're human beings - whether coming across the desert or fellow citizens under suspicion because they have dark skin."
Decent Americans must look beyond the hysteria-inducing babble to the facts, including the economic, social and cultural contributions that immigrants have made to our nation.
Any ire among U.S. citizens, illegal immigrants or both should be directed at the federal government's massive policy failure.
But until that is corrected, the only way we can stop the tide of racial hatred is by standing up against the xenophobia, the ill-founded fears and the Machiavellian maneuvers by the groups that foster divisiveness.
That is the required work of all decent Americans.
Monday, January 28, 2008
The thruth about Undocumented Immigration and crime. The myth created by Anti Immigrants, Extremists, conservaties, xenophobics, like Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchannan, Tom Tancredo and many more.
Anti-immigration forces have been hammering into our heads the dangerous link between illegal immigration and increases in violent crime. Their only problem: the facts don't support their alarmist contentions.
"Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens." That's the lead sentence of a policy report published by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, DC institute that provides intellectual ammunition to the anti-immigration forces.
Another CIS study led with a similarly impressionistic assertion about the immigrant-crime link: "In recent years, it has become difficult to avoid perceiving immigrants, legal or not, as overwhelming this country with serious crime."
CIS is not alone in relying on impressions to form opinions about just how illegal immigrants are. On the basis of fear-mongering stories rather than scientific studies, groups like the Center for Immigration Studies have succeeded in convincing the media and the U.S. public that undocumented immigrants are criminals. A National Opinion Research Center survey found in 2000 that 73% of Americans believed that immigrants were casually related to more crime.
But, as in other dimensions of the immigration debate, the facts don't support the alarm.
There have been dozens of national studies examining immigration and crime, and they all come to the same conclusion: immigrants are more law-abiding than citizens. A 2007 study by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) found that immigrants, whether legal or illegal, are substantially less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than U.S. citizens.
Ruben G. Rumbaut, coauthor of "The Myth of Immigrant Criminality" study, said: "The misperception that immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are responsible for higher crime rates is deeply rooted in American public opinion and is sustained by media anecdotes and popular myth." According to Rumbaut, a sociology professor at the University of California at Irvine, "This perception is not supported empirically. In fact, it is refuted by the preponderance of scientific evidence."
The Immigration Policy Center study found that:
At the same time that immigration—especially undocumented immigration—has reached or surpassed historic highs, crime rates have declined, notably in cities with large numbers of undocumented immigrants, including border cities like El Paso and San Diego.
Incarceration rate for native-born men in the 18-39 age group was five times higher than for foreign-born men in the same age group.
Data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are least educated and least acculturated.
As the study noted, the fact that many immigrants enter the country illegally is framed by anti-immigration forces as an assault on the "rule of law," thereby reinforcing the false impression that immigration and criminality are linked.
One of the most disturbing findings of the IPC study was that immigrant children and immigrants with many years in the country are more likely to become criminals than first-generation immigrants or those with less than 15 years in the country. In other words, the more acculturated immigrants are the more likely they are to become criminals—although still at lower rates than those for non-immigrants.
Indignant anti-immigration voices dominate internet discussions with their vitriol and misinformation, and even point to false data to bolster their case. The anti-immigrant forces draw, for example, on the "2006 (First Quarter) INS/FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants" with its array of alarming statistics about illegal immigrants and crime to make their case that undocumented immigrants not only break the law entering the country but also break the laws, with a proclivity to violent crimes, once they make their own homes here. Statistics from this study circulate on restrictionist websites and routinely appear in blogs and post-article comment sections across the web.
In fact, no such report exists. INS, the agency that supposedly produced the report, ceased to exist in 2003.
But facts don't get in the way of those who are intent on demonizing undocumented immigrants or "illegals" in the vocabulary of the restrictionists. How do groups like CIS explain the gap between their impressions and the real statistics about crime and immigration? CIS asks the same question in a 2001 report: Why is it that studies don't make the immigration-crime connection when "so much other evidence indicates they are responsible for a wave of individual and organized crime?"
Contrary to their prevailing argument that immigrant crime is terrorizing the U.S. general public, CIS argues that immigrant crime is unreported because it stays within the immigrant community as immigrant-on-immigrant crime. Furthermore, police departments tend to avoid enforcing laws when immigrants are involved because police are not the agency charged with enforcing immigration law. As Heather MacDonald argued in a report published by CIS, "In cities where crime from these lawbreakers ["illegal aliens"] is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status."
CIS and other restrictionist think tanks argue that given their supposed criminal natures, the best way to solve the crime problem in cities like Los Angeles is to round up the illegal immigrants. "The police should be given the option of reporting and acting on immigration violations, where doing so would contribute to public safety," wrote MacDonald, a scholar at the conservative Manhattan Institute.
Taking off from the findings of studies that immigrant children are more likely to commit crimes than their parents, CIS argues that our society should root out the problem now by deporting the parents of possible future criminals. "On the issue of crime, the biggest impact of immigration is almost certainly yet to come," warns Steve Camarota, director of research at CIS.
The great distance between fact and perception, reality and scenario was all too evident in Iowa and New Hampshire during presidential primaries, where fear of immigrants has made immigration a leading campaign issue, especially among Republicans. To hear the candidates and constituents rail against immigration, one would have thought immigrants were flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border on their way to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Stoked by anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which publishes alarmist state-by-state profiles of the purported negative impacts of immigrants, restrictionist fever has spread throughout the country. Both Iowa and New Hampshire have overwhelmingly white populations with only a small immigrant population. Even according to FAIR's high estimates, the population of undocumented immigrants or "illegals" does not exceed 55,000 in Iowa and 15,000 in New Hampshire.
Certainly, immigration is an issue that merits public discussion and should be part of the electoral debate. But facts, not irrational fear and dread, should inform the national debate about immigration policy.
Lou dobbs running for President?. What kind of joke is this? What kind of Military, Immigration, or business background or experience Lou Dobbs has? Not even a Political background.BY KEN LAYNE.
Everyone loves orange-headed Space.com founder Lou Dobbs. After all, he has protected you from the Mexicans. By hosting a tv show about how he will stop the Terrible Mexicans, Lou Dobbs truly personifies America: He is a very rich person making millions of additional dollars every year saying things that make certain unemployed people feel angry. And then those angry unemployed people watch the commercials for denture slime or protections against home intruders or time-share offers or over-the-counter solutions to the heartbreak of incontinence.
His claim that a “third of our prison population” are illegal aliens (according to the Justice Department about 6 percent of the state and federal prison population are non-citizens)
Why white supremacists have appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight without disclosure over their ties to hate groups .
His show’s reporting on leprosy and immigration. A 2005 report on Lou Dobbs Tonight claimed there had been 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the U.S. over the past three years. In fact, there have been 7,000 cases reported over the past 30 years.
LOU DOBBS: Unfortunately, I am a fallible, and I am a man who has made some mistakes. But the reality is, the body of work stands for itself, and you know that. And the reality is, the facts are irresistible. Illegal immigration into this country is absolutely not in the American interest. And that is a reality you’re going to have to contend with.
And he loves to retaliated, and humiliating people who's disagree with his point of view or opinion. See the picture above.
That's the person you want for President and holding your family future... No way Jose..
Vote Noooooooooooooooo for Lou Dobbs. http://www.loudobbsforpresident.org/
Divided by deportation. Sometimes Immigration laws end up punishing the good people by unjust and destructive deportations. Where are does Hispanic politicians claimed that it was a light at the end of the tunnel. No. There are no such a light. Everyday looks darker and darker for the Legal and undocumented Immigrants!!!!!.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 273,289 foreign-born residents have been sent back to their native countries for immigration violations in the past year.
Many had been in the United States only a few weeks, but countless others had put down roots, taken out mortgages and raised families by the time the law-- and the recently beefed-up immigration enforcement system-- came back to haunt them.
"I know this is a politically sensitive issue, an emotional issue. But we have to enforce the law, and the law is very clear," said Michael Keegan, an ICE spokesman. "It states simply that if an individual is out of status, having a U.S.-born child does not qualify the parent to gain legal status. Even if they have relatives who are U.S. citizens, the law doesn't bleed over to give them the same rights."
Immigration judges have limited discretion to consider family circumstances and homeland conditions, but if a deportation order has been issued-- no matter how long ago-- and the illegal immigrant has failed to appear for the hearing, that person is considered to have already had a "day in court" and is not eligible for special consideration.
In some cases, an immigrant's past catches up with him at an especially difficult moment. Samir Saleh, an Israeli hairdresser, came to the United States in the 1990s as a tourist and married a young American woman in what was later ruled a case of immigration fraud. He appealed the ruling but eventually divorced, remarried and settled in Cleveland.
Last April, Saleh was deported to Israel for immigration fraud, just as his second wife learned she had terminal cancer. His attorney, Philip Eichorn, said he filed for a temporary visa on humanitarian grounds so they could be together for the holidays, but it was denied last week. His wife, now bald from chemotherapy, made a decision.
She told me, 'I am done with this country. I have a little time left, and I want to spend it with him,' " Eichorn said in a telephone interview Saturday. "They were really in love. You couldn't stage the joy on her face in their wedding photos. She left for Israel yesterday."
For illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes, deportation is both legally automatic and more efficiently enforced than in the past. Immigration officials say they are working with every federal prison and many state and local prisons to ensure such inmates are deported after serving their sentences. In 2007, about 89,000 such people were deported, Keegan said.
Sometimes, however, immigration laws end up punishing people who appear to have led exemplary lives. The case of Esperanza Ramirez, 62, who was deported to Mexico in October, has stunned the network of relatives and friends in San Diego to whom she was a quiet but indomitable role model.
Ramirez, who crossed the Mexican border illegally in 1979, spent the next 27 years working as a hotel maid, avocado packer and office cleaner to put seven children through school. They earned degrees, found good jobs, got married and produced 12 grandchildren.
Along the way, her daughter Norma Chávez said in a telephone interview, the family made attempts to obtain legal immigration status for her. First they obtained a temporary work permit, which was extended repeatedly. Then they applied for legal residency three times, gathering support letters and waiting for hearings. In September, Ramirez was told to report to the U.S. consulate in Juárez, Mexico, for an interview.
"I guess it should have raised a red flag, but we all thought she was going there to pick up her green card," Chávez recounted. "Instead, the consulate told her the application had been denied and that she was barred from returning" to the United States for 10 years. "Just like that, she was gone," she said.
Now Ramirez is living alone in the village the rest of her family left years ago. The children call her often, and she tells them she is doing fine, but Chávez said she was sounding "a little sadder" as the holidays approached. "We always have tamales at Christmas, but she's the only one who knows how to make them," Chávez said. "Now we are trying to figure out how to do it ourselves."
Jeanne Butterfield, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said she has seen many cases of unjust and destructive deportations. She said that although immigration enforcement is "an important priority, our laws are so broken that enforcement ends up targeting the wrong people. Families are being ripped apart, and people are being deported for decades-old conduct that they have since rectified."
For immigrant families with young U.S.-born children, the deportation of a spouse or breadwinner presents especially wrenching difficulties. Miguel Díaz said that his children miss their mother terribly but that there is no way he would send them home to be with her. In Baltimore, they are immersed in science and math, church and sports. In El Salvador, they would be surrounded by poverty, crime and gangs.
"It is no place to raise a family, with so much insecurity. Even without her, they are better off here," said Díaz, who plans to apply for U.S. citizenship so he can sponsor his wife for legal residency, which could take 10 years. "This is very hard, and very unfair, but we will get through it," he vowed. "We are a strong family, and this will make us more united."
How many times we heard the Anti Immigrants saying that Undocumented immigrants are the burden for Medicare cost!!!!! Almost everyday and they assured that is no way around it. Since when Ignorance became point of discussion? Well, let show them some numbers of Medicare fraud......
Nine Miami Defendants in strike force cases sentenced for $56.5 MILLION in Medicare Fraud.
Washington - Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today that owners of nine separate Miami-based health care corporations have been sentenced to prison terms within the past two weeks. Collectively, the nine defendants filed fraudulent claims with Medicare for $56,599,832 worth of unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME) and infusion therapy.
The nine defendants sentenced in Miami are: (1) Luis Soto, 41, sentenced to 87 months in prison; (2) Noel Rodriguez, 50, sentenced to 51 months in prison; (3) Rosabel Gonzalez, 32, sentenced to 30 months in prison; (4) Christian Vasquez, 22, sentenced to 41 months in prison; (5) Maria De La Serna, 55, sentenced to 19 months in prison; (6) Ariel Betancourt, 35, sentenced to 24 months in prison; (7) Jose Prieto, 58, sentenced to 41 months in prison; (8) Armando Jorge Herrera, 27, sentenced to 36 months in prison; and (9) Reinaldo Lopez, 40, sentenced to 46 months in prison.
Soto was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke on January 23, 2008. Soto owned and operated Ocean Medical Equipment, Adriana Medical Supply, Advance Medical Equipment, Family Health Medical Equipment, First AA Medical, KB Medical Services, Rossmary Medical Supplies, R&R Medical Equipment, Sagua Medical Supplies, Telimay Medical Service, West Side Medical, Future Medical Center, Siboney Medical Center, and Tampa Trauma that billed for items such as oxygen concentrators, nebulizers and wheelchairs that were never provided. Soto submitted claims to Medicare for unnecessary medical equipment and he caused the submission of false claims for pharmaceuticals. In total, Soto, through his companies, was responsible for over $47 million in false claims to Medicare. Soto pleaded guilty on October 16, 2007.
Rodriguez was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King on January 16, 2008. Rodriguez owned and operated OxyCare of Miami, a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Between September of 2001 and June of 2003, OxyCare submitted claims to Medicare for medical equipment largely consisting of unnecessary oxygen concentrators, hospital beds and pressure reducing mattresses. Further, Rodriguez caused the submission of false claims for pharmaceuticals. In total, Rodriguez, through his companies, was responsible for over $1.2 million in false claims to Medicare. Rodriguez pleaded guilty on October 10, 2007.
Gonzalez, the owner and operator of Genesis Associates Group, Inc., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham on January 10, 2008. Genesis was a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Gonzalez submitted over $1.5 million in false claims to Medicare largely consisting of unnecessary power pressure reducing mattresses and orthotics. Gonzalez pleaded guilty on November 2, 2007.
Vasquez, the named owner of Tamiami Medical Supply, Inc., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard on January 16, 2008. Tamiami was a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Tamiami submitted over $1.2 million in false claims to Medicare. The previous named owner of Tamiami, Justo Padron, 36, died in November of 2007 after an alligator attack at the Miccosukee Tribe Indian Reservation. Vasquez pleaded guilty on October 22, 2007.
De La Serna was sentenced by U.S. District Marcia G. Cooke on January 23, 2008. De La Serna owned and operated Respiratory One Equipment, Inc., a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Between September of 2001 and June of 2003, Respiratory One submitted claims to Medicare for medical equipment largely consisting of unnecessary oxygen concentrators and nebulizers. Further, De La Serna caused the submission of false claims for pharmaceuticals. In total, De La Serna was responsible for over $345,000 in false claim to Medicare. De La Serna pleaded guilty on November 15, 2007.
Betancourt, the named owner of Lincoln Medical Supply, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King on January 16, 2008. Lincoln Medical was a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Lincoln Medical submitted over $480,000 in false claims to Medicare for largely unnecessary equipment such as wound therapy pumps and expensive wound care items. Betancourt pleaded guilty on November 15, 2007.
Prieto and Herrera were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose A. Gonzalez for their involvement on January 18, 2008. Prieto and Herrera were owners and operators of Coral Way Medical, a fraudulent HIV infusion clinic that also billed for unnecessary procedures such as paravertebral joint injections. Prieto and Herrera used these two companies to submit over $900,000 in fraudulent Medicare claims. Prieto pleaded guilty on November 15, 2007. Herrera pleaded guilty on November 1, 2007.
Lopez, the owner and operator of Reny Medical Equipment, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke on January 23, 2008. Reny Medical was a fraudulent DME company that had nothing to do with providing health care or necessary medical equipment. Lopez submitted over $450,000 in false claims to Medicare for unnecessary items such as prosthetics and ostomy supplies. Lopez pleaded guilty on November 7, 2007.
“The Department of Justice places a high priority on investigating and prosecuting those who steal tax payer money intended to provide health care for the elderly and disabled,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. “We have dedicated a team of experienced prosecutors to focus on Medicare and other healthcare fraud around the country.”
“The fight against Health Care fraud in Miami is a top priority,” said U.S. Attorney Acosta. “With the help of the newly formed HHS-OIG Florida Region which will add federal agents to our efforts we expect to see a significant impact on reducing fraud.”
According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Miami-Dade County alone accounted for more paid DME claims than 44 other states. Only some of the most populous states in the country including California, Texas, New York, Michigan, and Ohio billed Medicare for more than Miami-Dade County. According to that same data, an average Medicare patient in Miami-Dade County allegedly receives $6,200 worth of DME every year based on paid amounts; whereas patients throughout the rest of the United States average approximately $1,200 per year.
The Soto and De La Serna cases were prosecuted by Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Stumphauser of the Southern District of Florida. The Vasquez and Betancourt cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stumphauser. The Rodriguez case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Ogrosky, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz. The Gonzalez case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney John S. Darden of the Fraud Section, the Prieto and Herrera cases were prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jerrob Duffy and Deputy Chief Ogrosky of the Fraud Section; and the Lopez case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney John Cunningham of the Fraud Section
U.S. citizen freed by immigration officials. The burden of proof is on the individual to show they're legally entitled to be in the United States. ICE officials appear to have been oblivious to signs that they had made a serious mistake.
FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Thomas Warziniack, the Minnesota native whom U.S. authorities have been trying to deport as an illegal immigrant from Russia, was freed Thursday after his family produced a birth certificate and a U.S. senator demanded his release.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement had held Warziniack, 40, for weeks in an Arizona detention facility despite his assertions that he is a U.S. citizen. His family learned about his predicament from McClatchy Newspapers, which wrote about his case this week in an article about Americans caught up in a bureaucratic tangle when officials do not believe their claims of citizenship.
An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, identified 125 people in 2006 who were in immigration detention centers nationwide and who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.
In Warziniack's case, ICE officials appear to have been oblivious to signs that they had made a serious mistake.
After he was arrested in Colorado on a minor drug charge, Warziniack, a longtime heroin addict, told probation officials wild stories about being shot seven times, stabbed twice and bombed four times as a Russian army colonel in Afghanistan, according to court records. He also insisted that he swam ashore to the U.S. from a Soviet submarine.
Court officials were skeptical. Not only did his story seem preposterous, but he also had a Southern accent and didn't speak Russian.
Colorado court officials quickly determined his true identity in a national crime database: He was a Minnesota-born man who grew up in Georgia. Before Warziniack was sentenced to prison on the drug charge, his probation officer surmised in a report that he could be mentally ill.
Although it took only minutes for McClatchy to confirm with Minnesota officials that a birth certificate under Warziniack's name and birth date was on file, Colorado prison officials notified federal authorities that Warziniack was a foreign-born prisoner.
McClatchy also tracked down Warziniack's three half sisters. Even though they hadn't seen him in almost 20 years, they were willing to vouch for him.
One, Missy Dolle, called the detention center repeatedly, until officials there stopped returning her calls.
Warziniack, meanwhile, waited impatiently for an opportunity to prove his case. After he contacted the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a group that provides legal advice to immigrants, a local attorney recently agreed to represent him for free.
Dolle and her husband, Keith, a retired sheriff's deputy in Mecklenburg County, N.C., flew to Arizona to attend her brother's hearing before an immigration judge.
Before she left, she e-mailed Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. After someone from his office contacted ICE, immigration officials promised to release Warziniack if they got a birth certificate.
After scrambling to get a power of attorney to obtain their brother's birth certificate, the sisters got a copy the day before the hearing.
On Thursday, however, government lawyers told an immigration judge during a deportation hearing that they needed a week to verify the authenticity of the birth record. The judge delayed his ruling.
"I still can't believe this is happening in America," Dolle said.
Later that day, however, ICE officials changed their minds and said he could be released this week. They said they confirmed his birth certificate, but they didn't acknowledge any problem with the handling of the case.
The officials blamed conflicting information for the mix-up.
"The burden of proof is on the individual to show they're legally entitled to be in the United States," ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said
Tough enforcement of immigration law has the painful side effect of deporting parents of U.S.-born kids. We wanted to straighten things out, no matter what. ICE spokeperson said. Adela's husband was deported and later had been found on a Texas ranch, dead from dehydration, with his Bible in hand.
After years of struggle, Adela had finally found stability. With a renewed religious faith, her once-rocky marriage to Rigoberto had become strong.
Most of all, they had reason to celebrate: their infant Moises, by virtue of being born in the United States, possessed American citizenship, a privilege unattainable to the Honduran couple because they had entered the country illegally.
But chaos struck during a trip to Toys "R" Us on a frigid day. Police pulled over the Baltimore County family's truck for a traffic violation. Her husband was handcuffed. A month later, he was deported. Adela and her sons never saw him again.
It is hard, but I stay here for my children," said Adela, 32, who declined to give her last name for fear of being deported. "But I'm scared."
Moises is among the nation's 3.4 million children living a precarious family dynamic - American citizens with at least one parent who is an undocumented immigrant. They account for about two-thirds of the 5 million children in illegal immigrant families, according to 2006 figures from the Pew Hispanic Center.
Known as "mixed-status" families, they present the toughest of challenges for politicians, policymakers and activists battling over immigration reform.
Some foes of Anti immigrants call children like Moises "anchor babies," their births calculated by parents seeking the benefits for their children that the U.S. offers. Advocates for immigrants point to such families as case studies in the nation's broken immigration system, a structure so flawed that even U.S.-born children suffer.
Political pressure on federal immigration and customs officials to toughen enforcement has resulted in a surge in workplace raids and arrests. Advocates warn that a swelling number of immigrant families will be thrown into chaos and, ultimately, separated by borders.
Immigrant advocates say tales of deported parents seeking to reunite with their families are increasingly common.
"It really speaks to the lengths that families will go through to be together," said Miriam Calderon, associate director of the policy analysis center of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy organization.
Families left behind face numerous hardships, said Calderon, whose organization commissioned a report with the nonpartisan Urban Institute in Washington to study deportation's effect on children. The study, released in October, interviewed families in three communities where immigration officials had arrested hundreds in workplace raids over one year.
Communities panicked, families lost their breadwinners and children were stigmatized at school, researchers found.
"These were big shows of force," said Randy Capps, senior research associate at the Urban Institute. "They didn't just stop with the big raid at the plant, but these smaller raids continued and sort of kept the families living in fear. ... In the most extreme cases, people basically hid in their homes for weeks."
Although Rigoberto was not snagged in a raid, Adela faced challenges because the family bills and the lease on their house were all in her husband's name. A shaken Adela found herself raising a fussy infant and a rebellious teenager on her own. Worse, she worried that authorities would take her next.
Immigration and customs officials deported 237,255 people in 2007, up from 204,980 in 2006. While the agency targets immigrants who have committed crimes, it has pushed to reduce a huge case backlog and conduct more workplace sweeps.
The strategies have heightened the sense of vulnerability among immigrants, both legal and illegal. A little more than half of all Latino adults worry that a family member or close friend could be deported, according to a survey released recently by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Church leaders, educators and immigrant advocates have complained of immigration officers' tactics, including the detention of breastfeeding mothers after raids. Immigration officials responded by broadening the use of ankle bracelets for women who would otherwise be detained during the deportation process. Still, others argue that undocumented immigrants must be sent back to their country of origin, regardless of the circumstances.
But for Miguel Diaz, whose wife, Fidelia, was deported to El Salvador last year, life is complex.
At 5 a.m. one day, gun-wielding immigration officers arrested Fidelia at the couple's Windsor Mills home, startling their two U.S.-born children, Edwin, 13, and Cynthia, 8.
"My children were crying. I could see on the officers' faces - they knew it was wrong," Diaz said. "It is anti-human. I said, 'You are dividing my family, why are you doing this?'"
Diaz, 42, a labor union organizer originally from El Salvador, is a legal permanent resident. But Fidelia was not. Diaz said her application for political asylum had been rejected years ago, but she defied orders to leave, marrying Diaz and having two children. Diaz later applied for his wife to become a legal resident, hoping to "fix the situation."
"You don't know the feeling when you are afraid all the time. You can't travel, you are afraid that someone will stop you at any time," he said. "We wanted to straighten things out, no matter what."
Now, Diaz has reapplied for Fidelia, a process that could take 10 years.
"Every day they ask, 'When is Mommy coming back?' It's a mess," Diaz said. "A family is a mother and a father and the little ones. I don't understand my life without her."
Diaz's cousin and her children have moved in with him, and together they split household duties. But it has been difficult.
"Christmas was so hard for us," he said.
Taking the family to El Salvador, a country rife with corruption and poverty, is not an option, Diaz said. Yet, his children miss their mother.
"My question is," said Diaz, "does the punishment fit the crime?"
Another family is dealing with a more tragic outcome.
Adela, the Baltimore County mother, recalled that after her husband was sent back to Honduras, she vowed to pack up the couple's home and return to their native country with Moises and son Jeffrey, 15.
But Rigoberto reasoned that the children deserved a better life away from the grinding poverty the couple had known in Central America.
On May 29, Rigoberto called from Honduras to tell his wife he would set out the next day on the perilous journey through the Mexican desert to return to his family. They prayed together and exchanged I-love-you's.
It was last time Adela heard from her husband.
On Dec. 19, the day before Moises' first birthday, Adela received a call from the Honduran consulate in Houston. Rigoberto had been found on a Texas ranch, dead from dehydration, his Bible in hand. An official asked Adela if she would like the body sent back to Honduras. It would cost $3,800.
"I was crying and crying," said Adela in Spanish. "I believed that God would not allow this to happen. But I leave it in his hands, so he can tell me what to do now
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Another example how Mexicans and Hispanics has been prosecuted, scapegoated, and being retaliated from being used as a cheap labor from Corporations. When Human rigths activist should be stepping up. Very Impressive by the actions of the Manager of H.Inn. Shame on you.
when did we Hispanic become the enemy? Since when love to a human being became a criminal action? Do you need to ask for legal status before to love someone?What they should said to their Kids (U.S. Citizens)?
Thousands of people facing deportation to do a lack of a comprehensive Immigration reform.
Are we going to continue separating childrens from parents creating them anger, and torture them mentally and physically?.
She is a homeowner, a taxpayer, a friendly neighbor and an American citizen. Yet because she is married to an illegal immigrant, these days she feels like a fugitive.
Whenever her Mexican husband ventures out of the house, "it makes me sick to my stomach," said the woman, who insisted on being identified only by a first name and last initial, Miriam M.
"I'm like, 'Oh, my God, he took too long,' " she said. "I'll start calling. I go into panic."
Over the last year, thousands of illegal immigrants and their families who live here have retreated from community life in Waukegan, a microcosm of a growing underground of illegal immigrants across the country who are clinging to homes and jobs despite the pressure of tougher federal and local enforcement.
From Illinois to Georgia to Arizona, these families are hiding in plain sight, to avoid being detected by immigration agents and deported. They do their shopping in towns distant from home, avoid parties and do not take vacations. They stay away from ethnic stores, forgo doctor's visits and meetings at their children's schools, and postpone girls' normally lavish quinceañeras, or 15th birthday parties.
They avoid the police, even hesitating to report crimes.
"When we leave in the morning we know we are going to work," said Elena G., a 47-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant and Waukegan resident of eight years who works in a factory near here. " But we don't know if we will be coming home."
Last year, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested more than 35,000 illegal immigrants, including unauthorized workers and immigration fugitives, more than double the number in 2006. They sent 276,912 immigrants back to their home countries, a record number.
Since about three-quarters of an estimated 11.3 million illegal immigrants nationwide are from Latin America, and many have spouses, children or other relatives who are legal immigrants and citizens, the sense of alarm has spread broadly among Hispanics.
A survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, found in December that 53 percent of Hispanics in the United States worry that they or a loved one could be deported.
Stores catering to Hispanic immigrants in places like Atlanta and Cincinnati have closed because of the drop in customers. Michael L. Barrera, president of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said anecdotal reports had indicated that small storefront businesses had been the hardest hit by a sharp decline in spending by immigrants.
"The raids have really spooked them in a big way," said Douglas S. Massey, a Princeton demographer who has studied Mexican immigrants for three decades.
Based on his own surveys and recent reports from other scholars doing field research in the Southwest and in North Carolina and other states, Professor Massey said the "palpable sense of fear and of traumatization" in immigrant communities was more intense than at any other time since the mass deportations of Mexican farm workers in 1954.
Federal immigration officials say that stepped-up enforcement over the last year by the Bush administration and some local authorities has persuaded growing numbers of illegal immigrants to return home. But in places like Waukegan, a racially mixed middle-class suburb north of Chicago, most have chosen to stay, held by families and jobs.
This city has been an immigrant landing for generations. Latinos have been coming since the 1960s and now are 40 percent of the population of 91,000. The number of illegal immigrants among them swelled in the last decade.
Despite their illegal status, those immigrants found steady jobs in factories and landscaping. Lacking Social Security numbers, they used Internal Revenue Service taxpayer numbers to open stores and businesses, enroll in the community college and take out bank loans to buy cars and homes.
The welcome began to fade four years ago, when the city government increased fines and penalties for driving without a license. Since Illinois requires a valid Social Security number for a license, many illegal immigrants lost their cars when they could not afford the fees for impounded vehicles.
Last summer the City Council voted to enter an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency, to train Waukegan police officers to initiate deportations of immigrants who were convicted felons. While city officials insisted the officers would handle only cases of imprisoned criminals, rumors spread that the traffic police would check the immigration status of anyone they stopped.
Also, in recent months federal immigration agents conducted two big raids nearby.
"People came to me and said, 'Father, when did we become the enemy?' " said the Rev. Gary M. Graf, a Roman Catholic priest whose Waukegan parish includes many Latino immigrants.
City officials said that the tougher traffic ordinances were not intended to single out illegal immigrants or Hispanics, but to reduce accidents with uninsured drivers.
"The only reason we did it was for safety," Mayor Richard H. Hyde said. "We don't want anybody on the road that doesn't have a license."
Nonetheless, for many residents fear has become a daily companion. One woman, a 37-year-old naturalized citizen who was born in Central America but grew up in Waukegan, has decided to stay away from the city even though her mother still lives here. The woman, a lawyer practicing in the Chicago area, fell in love with an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.
After they were married in 2004, she realized that under immigration law it would be difficult for him to become legal, even though she is a citizen. Because he had crossed the border illegally, seeking legal status would require him to return to Guatemala for years of separation, with no guarantee of success. She abandoned plans to move back to Waukegan. She and her husband feel safer in Chicago, with its large Hispanic population.
"I know everything about Waukegan; it's my town," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous because of her husband's status. "I know the high school, the first Mexican restaurant. I should feel free to go in and out whenever I want to. But it's not the same freedom anymore."
Raimundo V., 30, an illegal Mexican immigrant who has lived here for 13 years, said he canceled repairs on his home, which he owns, stopped buying in local stores, and was trying to save as much money as he could in case he should be arrested and deported.
"My expectation here is to be prepared for anything that comes," Raimundo said.
Miriam M. and her husband, married in 2004, own a tidy house on a peaceful street and are raising four children from previous marriages, all United States citizens. He runs his own landscaping company, paying business and property taxes.
Even though Miriam M. is a citizen, it is difficult for her husband to obtain legal papers, since he entered illegally from Mexico 12 years ago. She did not focus on her husband's illegal status when she first met him.
"Boyfriend and girlfriend, you don't think much about it," she said. "All right, maybe I didn't want to think much about it."
Now he stays close to home and avoids downtown Waukegan, driving around the city limits when he can.
Another immigrant, L. Gómez, 36, a Colombian recently on her way to becoming legal, said she had gone to the police and the courts in years past for protection from a violent husband. Since the crackdown, she said, she has avoided the authorities, even when her husband threatened her.
Hispanic business owners in Waukegan complain of a sales slump that they said went beyond the effects of a sluggish national economy.
"People are turning away from Waukegan business and going elsewhere to invest or to buy," said Porfirio García, a Mexican-American who is president of Exit/Re-Gar Realty, a real estate brokerage firm.
At the Belvidere Mall, which caters to Hispanic customers, María Sotelo, a legal Mexican immigrant, said she was closing her store there after 17 years because her sales dropped in the last six months to $500 a week from $5,000. She sold satin and voile dresses for quinceañera parties and T-shirts from Mexican soccer teams.
"Since it all started with immigration, people don't come here anymore," Ms. Sotelo said