Southwest Border (PRWEB) January 28, 2005 -- President Bush continues to maintain a contradictory and perilous position regarding illegal immigration, claiming his plan does not amount to amnesty. Standard American language usage contravenes the President's specious explanation in that his plan clearly overlooks the offense of illegal aliens who entered this country in violation of law and would not seek prosecution; a full amnesty within contextual and explicit meaning. The current position of the Administration on illegal immigration is demonstrative of a flawed public and enforcement policy which undermines national security by encouraging future mass illegal immigration. Additionally, the intention of the President sends contradictory signals to agencies tasked with securing our borders.
In a recent article (The Washington Times, January 12, 2005) in which he attempted to justify his position on illegal immigration, the President stated the current immigration situation is a "bureaucratic nightmare" and the Border Patrol is "overstressed" due to "people [illegal immigrants] streaming across [the border]." While in general agreement with the President, agents place blame squarely on flawed public policies. Following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the significant and systematic de-emphasis on immigration enforcement surpassed that of legacy agencies. The newly consolidated departments halted highly successful interior enforcement operations and in some instances, prohibited agents from making arrests (Associated Press, August 16, 2003). Further evidence of the Administration's contradictory position on illegal immigration are statements made by political appointees charged with protecting the public. In September of 2004, in an effort to build support for the Administration's Amnesty proposal, Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security Undersecretary, publicly stated it is "not realistic" to arrest or deport illegal aliens already in the country (The Washington Times, September 10, 2004). More recently, budget problems within the Department of Homeland Security further call into question the priorities of the Administration as agents are forced to release illegal aliens and curtail operations due to ongoing financial constraints (NBC News, July 26, 2004). These circumstances all contribute to a "bureaucratic nightmare" and "overstressed" Border Patrol.
The position of the Administration on illegal immigration has had a profound and negative effect not only on law enforcement operations, but also agent morale. The impact on agent morale was measured in a survey conducted by independent Hart Research Associates during the summer of 2004. The survey found a majority of agents were demoralized and were not getting the full support needed to protect the country (Government Executive Magazine, August 23, 2004), clearly indicating a conflict between the view of professional field agents and the Administration in regard to national domestic security. The Administration's current immigration plans will exacerbate, not alleviate, that problem.
This is the first in a publication series of joint press releases of Local Unions representing Border Patrol Agents in California, Arizona, Michigan, and Texas. For further information, contact public affairs at 1-800-620-1613 Extension 88.
Republican House members are worried President Bush may present a fiscal 2006 budget that does not request full funding for all the new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that were authorized for next year in the bill responding to the 9/11 Commission's recommendations that Bush signed into law in December.
The law authorized doubling the Border Patrol from about 10,000 agents to 20,000 by adding 2,000 per year for five years. It also authorized tripling ICE agents (who enforce immigration laws in the interior) from 2,000 to 6,000 by adding 800 per year for five years. Additionally, it authorized tripling detention beds where illegal aliens can be held to 60,000 over five years.
But USA Today published a story on January 25 based on an interview with outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that was headlined: "2,000 new border agents aren't part of budget, Ridge says."
"The notion that you're going to have 10,000 is sort of a fool's gold," Ridge said. "It's nice to say you're going to have 10,000 more Border Patrol agents in five years, but what other part of Homeland Security do you want to take money from."
In December, Bush persuaded House Republicans to accept a bill that had been stripped of a provision that would stop federal agencies from accepting driver's licenses issued by states that give licenses to illegal aliens. At the time, he specifically pointed out that the version of the bill he was ready to sign included the increase in Border Patrol agents and detention beds.
At his press conference Wednesday, President Bush reiterated his pro illegal alien position:
Q Mr. President, the Senate Republicans recently listed their priorities, and immigration reform wasn't on it. Do you think this means it's dead for this year? And why are you having so much trouble with your own party on that?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I appreciate that question. It will be one of my priorities. I believe it's necessary to reform the immigration system. I'm against amnesty; I've made that very clear. On the other hand, I do want to recognize a system where a willing worker and a willing employer are able to come together in a way that enables people to find work without jeopardizing a job that an American would otherwise want to do.
I also happen to believe immigration reform is necessary to help make it easier to protect our borders. The system right now spawns coyotes and smugglers and people willing to break the law to get people in our country. There is a vast network of kind of shadowy traffickers. And I believe by making a -- by advancing a program that enables people to come into our country in a legal way to work for a period of time, for jobs that Americans won't do, will help make it easier for us to secure our borders.
Got that? President Bush is "against amnesty" but supports legalizing millions of illegal aliens.
President Bush gets his definition of Amnesty from the same dictionary Bill Clinton got his definitions of "is" and "sex."
More Illegal alien battle lines have been drawn in Arizona. From this morning's Arizona Daily Star:
In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel rejected arguments by the attorney for Andres C. Alire, a 46-year-old Mexican national, that his immigration status is irrelevant to his punishment. Alire was convicted of driving under the influence in Pima County.
But Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger said there were "aggravating circumstances" that merited nearly doubling that, to 4.5 years behind bars. Munger listed Alire's prior felony conviction, his degree of intoxication and the fact that he had fled before the trial.
At sentencing, however, Munger said that "apparently, Mr. Alire feels that what he is here to do is come to the United States illegally, drive drunk and endanger the citizens of this country through his intoxication repeatedly and making his living distributing 50 kilograms or more of marijuana."
There was no explanation in the appellate ruling for the judge's references to marijuana distribution.
[State Rep. Ben] Miranda said the ruling, in essence, imposes an additional penalty on someone solely because of his entry status. "That is reserved for the federal courts," he said.
He also said that someone who is an illegal entrant actually may have some right to remain, perhaps being eligible for asylum.
"Maybe he or his attorney is not entitled to articulate that in the criminal matter," Miranda said.
The ruling comes only one day after the Arizona House Judiciary Committee voted to let judges deny bail to some people accused of felonies, based solely on their immigration status. That measure now goes to the full House.
"There is a critical distinction between immigration status as it relates to nationality and immigration status as it relates to illegal activity," Eckerstrom wrote. "Placed in context, the trial court's remarks here were clearly directed at Alire's disregard for the laws of this country."
Is AZ State Rep. Ben Miranda seriously suggesting that Ailre became a drunk driving, felonious fugitive because he was seeking asylum?
Other Democrats will introduce legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain an Arizona driver's license. But knowing the difficulty of such a proposal, Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix, is suggesting putting some restrictions on who would get the driver's license.
"I'm pursuing this bill with a different twist," said Miranda, adding that only immigrants who have been here for more than three years and who have only minor traffic citations would qualify to get a driver's license under his legislation.
But Miranda and others aren't holding their breath, saying it will be hard to muster enough support in the Legislature this year for anything perceived to benefit undocumented immigrants.
Like many pro illegal alien politicians, Miranda has a quick hand for the race card. During the campaign for Arizona's Proposition 200, the honorable Ben Miranda said:
"What drives them is race, there is no other explanation for what they are doing today," said Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix. "To call [State Rep] Randy Graf, and I wish he was here, a racist or an uneducated fool, is perfectly on the dot."
Chris Hawley from the Arizona Republic's Mexico City Bureau reports today:
MEXICO CITY - Mexican officials said Thursday they may complain to an international human rights tribunal if U.S. courts fail to overturn Arizona's Proposition 200.
Human rights experts said such a complaint likely would have little legal impact, since courts have limited power over the United States, but that it could be a diplomatic embarrassment for the United States.
A foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday confirmed comments about the case made by Luis Ernesto Derbez, Mexico's top diplomat, during a radio show earlier this week.
"We are looking at all legal means in the United States, and if that fails, we could look to an international body - that was the context," said spokesman Edgar Trujillo.
Derbez says the law could encourage racial discrimination. He has said that the Mexico is helping activists.
"We are . . . first using the legal capacities of the United States itself and . . . if that does not work, bringing it to international tribunals," the Associated Press quoted Derbez as saying in the radio interview.
It is unclear whether a ruling by an international tribunal would have any impact.
There are only a few international courts, and their jurisdiction and power over countries is limited, said James Ross, senior legal adviser for New York-based Human Rights Watch.
But Mexico could bring the issue to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, a group of countries that condemns human rights violations, said James Anaya, a professor of human rights law at the University of Arizona.
Mexico itself has similar regulations [to Proposition 200]. Here, government agencies require foreigners to present their residential visas when applying for everything from driver's licenses to social security cards.
The Federal Elections Institute requires all Mexicans to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.
Clear and Present has a great post on Mexico's efforts to globalize against the Constitutional authority of one of the United States:
This is it. Fighting words. Where the rubber hits the road. Call it what you like, but if there's anything behind this idiot's statement, it could be the ultimate test of the sovereignty of the United States. It couldn't be more black and white; it couldn't be more important. The day we let international courts interfere with laws set by Americans in America is the day the game is over, and we might as well forget about everything we've worked for, everything we've fought for, for the past two and a quarter centuries. The insane opinion of Supreme Court Justices Breyer and O'Connor -- that we should take into account other nations' laws when setting our own -- is nothing compared to this lunacy -- that foreign courts should be allowed to make or undo our on laws. --Mike
Mr. Derbez characterizes legal Mexican Americans who voted for Prop. 200 as "sad", I personally think it is refreshing and very telling that "legal" Mexian-Americans understands the problems related to illegal immigration and that 40 percent of them voted for Prop. 200. These are people that became legal citizens through the proper channels and contribute to the United States as every other citizen.
Mr. Derbez even characterizes illegal immigrants as "Mexican-Americans". As if every citizen of Mexico is automatically a citizen of the United States. It is nice to see Mr. Derbez and his ilk shaking in their boots finally. They have finally lost some ground in their quest for open boarders and their only recourse is to go whine to the international community.
Open borders politicians in the Democrat and Republican parties ought to take note that law-abiding Americans of Mexican heritage do not vote as a monolithic bloc with illegal alien swing vote.
Mexico is increasingly building an alliance with the European Union's Council of Europe. Last year Mexico and the COE issued the Sonora Declaration which included these highlights:
5. The participants acknowledged the rights of all nations to establish their immigration policies and to safeguard their borders, as well as the right of any person to leave his/her country in order to find better opportunities of livelihood.
8. The parliamentarians acknowledged the role played by remittances of funds as engine of local and national development, as well as in family income. The Mexican case, where last year, remittances of funds amounted to over thirteen billion US dollars, was emphasized. The parliamentarians expressed their opinion against any type of taxation imposed on such remittances.
10. The parliamentarians agreed that migration must not be associated with terrorism, an activity which, whatever its underlying causes, strikes against fundamental human rights, undermining peace, democracy and coexistence of the international community.
11. The Forum's participants discussed international legal instruments geared to face the migratory phenomenon. They took note of the Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the protection of migrants, as well as the agreements and resolutions submitted by the Mexican Senate. They welcomed the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Migrants and their Families, as the appropriate legal framework for defending undocumented migrant workers. The participants hoped that it would be ratified by the Parliaments of a larger number of Nations.
So, according to Mexico and the European Union, all people everywhere have a fundamental right to become illegal aliens and send portions of their illegal wages back across violated borders, tax free.
1. The present Convention is applicable, except as otherwise provided hereafter, to all migrant workers and members of their families without distinction of any kind such as sex, race, colour, language, religion or conviction, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, nationality, age, economic position, property, marital status, birth or other status.
2. The present Convention shall apply during the entire migration process of migrant workers and members of their families, which comprises preparation for migration, departure, transit and the entire period of stay and remunerated activity in the State of employment as well as return to the State of origin or the State of habitual residence.
Keep in mind that this U.N. Convention is held as the "appropriate legal framework for defending undocumented migrant workers" by the Sonora Declaration, which was recently reaffirmed in Mexico City (with Vicente Fox in attendance) by outgoing Council of Europe Chair Peter Scheider:
Geography alone does not guarantee that values are translated into practice. These values have to be actively protected and strengthened as they are not just trivial activities but the purpose of our existence in the 46 member States of the Council of Europe, as well as in Mexico, one of our observer States.
This purpose, Mr President, is what your representatives share when they address our Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg. I know that they raise quite a variety of issues which are very close to us, such as the jurisdiction of international courts, migration and the rights of regular or irregular migrants, trafficking of human beings, transatlantic relations, cultural and architectural heritage, the protection of cultural possessions or the global economic development and international free trade.
At our last session, Mr Margain reminded our members of the drawbacks of globalisation, such as extreme poverty, organised crime, terrorism or extreme materialism. A more human face to economic development should be sought, he said.
You will agree that these are only a few concerns we share, and I will certainly not forget the importance Mexico attaches to co-operating with our Organisation in the fight against terrorism and on the abolition of the death penalty, which are common priority areas of concern. This commitment was reinforced by the President of the Mexican Senate who addressed the Assembly in 2003.
Not only does your delegation make the long journey to Strasbourg very often, but your Parliament has also sent many invitations to our Committees, which were able to organise meetings and colloquies with your help here in Mexico. I can assure you that all your guests have highly benefited from their visits and gained positive experience. Each meeting in Mexico gives a new impetus for future work.
One example is the Sonora Declaration, which was adopted at the Euro-Mexican parliamentary Forum on Migration, co-organised by our Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population and the Mexican Senate in March 2004. The Forum clearly showed that common reflection and action regarding the challenge of achieving an orderly and safe migration are needed and of mutual benefit. This declaration also took up the question of improving the rights of irregular migrants – an important issue for many Mexicans living in the USA and also a human rights issue for Europe.
The inclination of the European Union to assert supranational authority forcing unwanted immigration on nations that are unaware of their diminishing sovereignty shouldn't be underestimated. Take the example this week of the United Kingdom:
Europe's intervention in what has become a major issue in the election campaign took Westminster aback. MPs and officials were unaware of how much national sovereignty on immigration and asylum had been transferred to Brussels.
The Conservative leadership responded by saying that a Tory government would immediately opt out of the new rules. If that were blocked, it would insist on renegotiation to allow Britain to determine its own asylum and immigration policies.
Mr Howard had earlier denied that he was "playing the race card" by putting proposals for strict controls on immigration at the heart of the Tory campaign.
He said that immigration was out of control and that the country could not absorb the "millions" more who wanted to come here. Firm but fair controls were essential for good community relations and national security.
A Tory government would set an annual limit to immigration, including a quota for asylum seekers. It would introduce legislation to give the home secretary power to order the removal of bogus asylum seekers.
Within hours the European Commission said that Mr Howard was too late.
The qualifications directive establishes a binding EU definition of who is a refugee. It has been adopted by Britain and other EU governments and comes into full force in September next year, regardless of who wins the election expected in May.
Its definitions are drawn from the UN convention but expand on and reinforce the rather vague clauses of the 1951 treaty. It offers additional protection to asylum seekers fleeing civil wars and lifts its definitions for such cases wholesale from the European convention on human rights.
Friso Roscam Abbing, the chief spokesman for the EU justice commissioner, Franco Frattini, said that in 1997 Britain had negotiated a sweeping opt-out on questions of immigration. But in recent years, as the EU drew up a common asylum policy, the Government explicitly opted into the negotations. It had signed every directive to date.
"There is nothing in these protocols that allows a British government to opt back out again," Mr Roscam Abbing said. "So Britain is bound by them." Nor would a Conservative government be able to set quotas for the number of refugees accepted each year.
"Say they set a quota of 10,000 a year," Mr Roscam Abbing said. "Well, the 10,001st case could say to a British judge, `Your government is bound by EU rules and is not at liberty not to consider my claim,' "
A rolling wave of protocols and directives - one in force, one coming next month, a third next year and a fourth in 2007 - have overridden national laws on where governments keep asylum seekers, how they treat them, and how many appeals they are allowed.
If a future British government were to enact laws that contravened EU regulations, the commission would begin "infringement proceedings". Those would be followed, if resistance continued, by legal action in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
When The Telegraph told David Davis, the shadow home secretary, he said: "We had a pretty good idea we would have to renegotiate because the Blair Government has been opting into more EU asylum policies."
Currently Mexico lacks the mechanisms over the Americans that Belgium appears to hold over the U.K, but the plight of the Brits should serve as a cautionary note that infringements on national sovereignty can come on many flanks.
Bill Clinton is Eurowhoring in Davos, Switzerland today, seeking applause by demeaning American foreign policy toward Iran for the last 50 years. Hugh Hewitt blogs this Clintonian transcript from the audio:
"And most of the terrible things that Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full, knowing support of the United States government. Because he wasn't Iran, and Iran was what it was because we got rid of their parliamentary democracy back in the '50s. At least that's my belief. I know it is not popular for an American ever to say anything like this, but I think it is true."
Applause from the Davos crowd.
Getting back to reality: the U.S. used Saddam Hussein as a necessary counterweight to the potential spread of Iran's Khomeinist revoution throughout the Persian Gulf. Without Saddam the Iranian jihadists would have swept past the mouth of the Euphrates and down through Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, giving Iran control of all of the oil in the Gulf and a free shot at Israel through hapless Jordan. In Clinton's anti-American ramble he neglected to mention Jimmy Carter's culpability in withdrawing support for the Shah of Iran in 1978 and 1979, instead reaching back to the dark recesses of the Cold War to blame our involvement with Hussein on the CIA's overthrow of the Iranian communist Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 in favor of the Shah. Apparently Bubba would prefer that we had allowed Iran to become a satellite the Soviet Union, with the warm-water ports, Persian Gulf oil, and bases at the Straits of Hormuz that would have entailed.
Clinton needs to realize that the 2004 election is over, and that Hillary doesn't want him sucking the air out of the room while she's running for President.
My question: who drove Clinton into the arms of Kim Jong Il?
At the beginning of World War II, Germany, Turkey, Great Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) attempted unsuccessfully to form alliances with Iran. In 1941, however, both Great Britain and the USSR occupied areas of the country to protect the oil fields from possible German seizure. As a result of the Allied invasion, all Axis nationals were expelled, all Axis consulates and legations were closed, the Allies assumed control of all Iranian communication facilities, and Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had been friendly to Axis interests, abdicated.
The shah was succeeded by his son, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who adopted a pro-Allied policy and granted the parliament's demand for liberal reforms. In January 1942, Iran, Great Britain, and the USSR signed a treaty guaranteeing Anglo-Soviet respect for Iranian territorial integrity and military aid to fulfill this pledge. The Allies also agreed to consult the Iranian government on all economic, political, and military measures affecting the domestic policy of the country, to withdraw the occupation forces as soon as possible, and to provide economic assistance.
By 1943, the USSR and Great Britain, with the assistance of United States military forces and lend-lease funds, had made extensive improvements in Iran's transportation facilities in order to strengthen the country's usefulness in the transfer of military supplies to the Soviet fighting front. Iran complained, however, that the USSR had completely isolated its occupation zone from outside contact. The Soviet government defended its action by explaining that it was protecting itself against possible Anglo-American expansion in Iran. This dispute was resolved in November 1943 at the Tehran Conference attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill of Great Britain, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. The Declaration on Iran, produced by this conference and issued on December 1, stated that the three governments were "at one with the government of Iran in their desire for the maintenance of the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iran."
In the early part of 1945 it became safe for Allied shipping to use the Bosporus and the Dardanelles to send war matériel to the USSR, which eliminated the need for an overland route through Iran. In May the government of Iran requested that the occupying countries withdraw their troops. The United States agreed, but neither the USSR nor Great Britain would consent. After prolonged negotiations, Great Britain and the USSR agreed to withdraw from Iran by March 2, 1946. The Iranian government nevertheless became increasingly concerned about the Soviet occupation. Iranian officials claimed that they were not permitted to enter the Soviet-occupied provinces of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan to quell anti-Iranian disturbances provoked by pro-Soviet forces. By mid-November, Azerbaijan was the site of an independence movement supported by Soviet authorities.
Battle over Oil
Iran signed the United Nations (UN) charter at San Francisco on June 26, 1945, becoming one of the original members of that organization. In the latter part of 1946, the USSR began to press for immediate action on the part of Iran for the formation of a Soviet-Iranian oil company. Counting on U.S. aid, Iran announced in October 1947 its rejection of the Soviet oil plan and the establishment of a five-year oil program whereby Iran would develop its own oil resources. On July 29, 1948, the United States made a $26-million loan to Iran for the purchase and repair of surplus American army equipment.
In the realm of domestic politics, outstanding developments during 1949 included the outlawing of the pro-Soviet Tudeh (Masses) Party, enactment of legislation making parliament a bicameral body, and growth of widespread resentment over foreign oil concessions. In response to public sentiment on the oil question, the government obtained an agreement in July from the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to double royalty payments on petroleum taken from Iranian fields. Parliament, however, failed to ratify the agreement, which was declared unsatisfactory by various members.
Severe economic difficulties developed during the first half of 1950, causing several political crises. In June General Ali Razmara accepted the premiership. A vigorous executive, he succeeded in improving the economic situation. He strongly opposed nationalization of the oil industry, however, and on March 7, 1951, he was assassinated by a nationalist fanatic.
Within a week of Razmara's assassination the Majlis passed a bill nationalizing the oil industry; however, the new prime minister, Hasain Ala, made no attempt to take over the property of the British company. As a result his government fell on April 27. He was succeeded by Muhammad Mossadegh, a leader of a coalition of nationalist groups called the National Front and a supporter of oil nationalization, and on April 29 a law evicting the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was approved by parliament. Attempts to settle the ensuing crisis in British-Iranian relations through direct negotiation between the two countries ended in failure. The efforts of the United States to mediate the dispute were without success. On October 3, 1951, Great Britain, deciding against the use of force, acceded to an Iranian ultimatum and withdrew the company's technical staff from the Abadan refinery. Later in the month, when Great Britain brought the dispute before the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Mossadegh flew to New York City to present the case for Iran. The council agreed to postpone debate until the International Court determined whether it had authority to deal with the dispute. On December 26 Iran rejected a proposal made by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) that the oil industry be administered by the bank or by some other international authority pending final settlement. In May 1952 Mossadegh appeared before the International Court at The Hague and argued that it had no jurisdiction in the case.
Elections for the lower house of parliament had been completed during this time, and early in July Mossadegh, having resigned in accordance with constitutional procedure, was requested by the shah to resume his office. Mossadegh's acceptance was contingent on various conditions, notably that he receive control of the army and the right to rule by decree for six months. The shah, constitutional head of the army, rejected the former condition, and on July 16 Mossadegh resigned. Former Prime Minister Ahmad Qavam agreed the next day to form a new government. Mossadegh's supporters responded to this development with riotous demonstrations and a general strike on July 21, which forced Qavam's resignation. On July 22 Mossadegh was designated prime minister; the same day the International Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the Anglo-Iranian dispute. The lower house subsequently granted Mossadegh unlimited power for six months.
On August 30, 1952, Iran turned down a joint Anglo-American proposal designed to break the oil deadlock. In the proposal Great Britain for the first time accepted the Iranian nationalization law as valid, but still insisted that compensation be based on potential revenue losses as well as on physical assets of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Great Britain on October 22.
Early in 1953 the parliament extended Mossadegh's dictatorial powers for another year. The prime minister demanded that the shah be stripped of power.
The dissension between pro- and anti-Mossadegh forces reached a climax during the summer of 1953. The premier dissolved the lower house on the basis of a plebiscite, held from August 3 through 10, in which he suspended the secret ballot. The shah, who opposed many of Mossadegh's policies, including his uncompromising stand on the oil question, dismissed the prime minister on August 13. Mossadegh refused to yield his office, his followers rioted against the royalists, and on August 16 the shah fled to Rome. After three days of bloody riots the royalists, supported by the army and police, won control of Tehran, and Mossadegh and several aides were placed under arrest. On August 22 the shah returned in triumph; the next day General Fazullah Zahedi, who had been previously designated prime minister by the shah, formed a new government. On September 5 the U.S. government granted Iran a $45-million emergency loan. Two months later Iran resumed diplomatic relations with Great Britain. Mossadegh was sentenced on December 2 to three years' solitary confinement for leading a revolt against the shah.
Pro-Amnesty, pro-illegal alien Republican Congressman Chris Cannon was shooting his mouth off to the New York Times in a comment posted today:
In an interview, Representative Chris Cannon, a Utah Republican who supports the president's plan, said a guest worker program would not amount to an amnesty because it would include a monetary penalty for currently illegal immigrants. "The people who want to kick them all out are not reasonable people," he said.
Just last week, Utah Congressman Chris Cannon told the Salt Lake Tribune that he is "determined to help President Bush reform the nation's immigration laws, despite resistance from Republicans and a barrage of attacks [he] endured from immigration foes in his recent re-election."
But today it's being announced that Rep. Cannon, the "point man" in Congress for the White House on immigration, is off the immigration subcommittee.
<waits for cheers to die down>
For the tens of thousands of American families already devastated by Chris Cannon's work in Congress, e.g., on H-1b visas, it's too late, of course, but the news of Cannon's exit has to be seen as another enormously encouraging sign that the transnational ideologues running the show at the White House will be unable to do much beyond duping the president.
The big losers with Cannon's exit are the immigration lawyers and the Wall Street Journal.
<waits for cheers to die down>
The departure of the immigration lawyers' favorite Congressman from the position in which he's done so much to increase their customer base must have the immigration lawyer industry in a mad scramble this morning to find someone else who'll keep the immigration loopholes open.
How cheated the immigration lawyers must feel!
They spent a lot of money in the last election making sure Rep. Cannon remained in office, and now he is worth only a fraction of what he was while on the Immigration, Border Security, and Claims subcommittee.
The other big loser, the Wall Street Journal, has for 20 years advocated a five word constitutional amendment reading, "There shall be open borders." The radical ideologues running the WSJ editorial page placed such a high value on Cannon's immigration work in the House that, during the last election season, it published two disgraceful editorials in rapid succession specifically targeting Cannon's race (and ProjectUSA)--editorials Cannon mailed to every registered Republican in his district.
ProjectUSA has filed four formal complaints so far with the House Ethics Committee asking for an investigation into Congressman Chris Cannon, and we're working on a fifth. Requests for investigations are also pending or active with at least three federal law enforcement agencies. Chris Cannon, in other words, won't likely fade from the scene and we'll keep you updated on the progress of those investigations.
But, for today, if you believe as we do that the United States is a country, not a market, that the advocacy of mass immigration on economic grounds is inherently evil: humans are not packaged goods, and that a country should do its own work, go about your business with a lighter step.
Starting today, the U.S. Congress poses less of a threat to the American people.
This is a nice counter to Arlen Specter's installation of pro-Amnesty Senator John Cornyn as Chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.
Anyone who'd like to congratulate Congressman Cannon on his departure from the post where he intended to do so much damage is welcome to his contact info:
2436 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7751
Fax: (202) 225-5629
51 S University Ave Suite #319
Provo, UT 84606
Phone: (801) 851-2500
Fax: (801) 851-2509
Outside Utah County Call
Salt Lake County Office
3600 S. Constitution Blvd.
West Valley City, UT 84119
Phone: (801) 955-3631
Fax: (801) 955-3632
Monday-Thursday 8am to 5pm
I just spoke to Corey at Cannon's Provo office and he's confirmed that Cannon is no longer on the Immigration Subcommittee. When asked the reason, he replied that Congressman Cannon had a an opportunity to move over to Intellectual Property [the Subcommittee], and he took it."
UPDATE #3: I just spoke to Marco at Cannon's Salt Lake County office, who directed me to Cannon's press release below. Marco said the decision to leave the Immigration Subcommittee for Intellectual Properties was his, and while I'm skeptical, I'm going to change my headline to reflect that.
WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman
Chris Cannon (R-UT) will continue to serve as Chairman of the
House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative
Law during the 109th Congress. In addition, Cannon has been
named to the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet
and Intellectual Property. The subcommittee assignments were
determined at an organizational meeting of the Judiciary Committee
"I am pleased to continue to serve as Chairman of the
Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee in the 109th
Congress. While we accomplished much in the subcommittee last
Congress, I am anxious to renew our efforts to permanently
ban Internet access taxes, enact bankruptcy reform, resolve
the asbestos crisis, and address privacy, security and other
important issues," Cannon said.
"I am also excited about serving on the Courts, the
Internet and Intellectual Property (IP) Subcommittee, where
we will work on issues of significant importance to Utah's
technology industries. This subcommittee will also provide
an opportunity to focus my energies on the intellectual property
issues surrounding medical research.
"My appointment to Courts, the Internet and Intellectual
Property Subcommittee required me to vacate my seat on the
Immigration, Border Security and Claims Subcommittee. This
change of subcommittees in no way diminishes my desire to
strengthen America's borders and fix our broken immigration
system. As a senior member of the full Judiciary Committee,
I intend to work aggressively on border security and immigration
"Given the importance of intellectual property and technology
concerns in Utah, the opportunity to serve on the IP subcommittee
is simply too valuable to pass up."
Cannon will also continue to serve on the House Resources
Committee and the House Government Reform Committee.
Cannon's still a problem, but it's good he's gone.
WASHINGTON - Race became a significant factor in the debate over Social Security on Tuesday as President Bush told African American leaders that the government retirement program shortchanged blacks, whose relatively shorter lifespan meant that they paid more in payroll taxes than they eventually received in benefits.
Bush's comments came during a private White House meeting with 22 black religious and business leaders who backed his reelection last year - marking a new line of argument in his attempts to win support for adding worker-owned investment accounts to Social Security.
In the blogosphere, James Joyner at Outside the Beltway observes:
The point on the racial disparity of Social Security retirement benefits has been made time and again, including by prominent liberal black leaders such as Jesse Jackson. For Bush to co-opt this as a major selling point of his reform effort is simply brilliant. Karl Rove at his finest, one presumes.
There is a direct correlation between economic status and average life span. This means that blacks, who are disproportionately poor, partly for historic reasons, tend to have shorter life spans, especially black males. The average life expectancy of a black male is roughly 68.6. The retirement age of Social Security is set under current law to eventually rise to 67. You do the math -- this cannot be a good deal.
According to Social Security expert David John of the Heritage Foundation, one-fifth of white males die between the ages of 50 and 70. But one-third of black males die between those ages. If you die before you reach the age of 62, you have no chance of collecting benefits, and if you die shortly thereafter, you will not recoup the payroll taxes you paid into the system.
Lowry's data is not as informative as it appears at first. Some more detailed information about Black life expectancy:
In the United States during 1998, whites lived 6.2 years longer than blacks. Among the leading causes of death that contributed to the difference were heart disease (1.7 years; 27.4%), cancer (1.2 years; 19.4%), homicide (0.6 years; 9.7%), stroke (0.5 years; 8.1%), and "all other causes" (1.9 years; 30.6%). The LE differential was 6.4 years for males and 4.4 years for females. Among males, some of the leading causes of death that contributed to the LE differential were heart disease (1.2 years; 19.0%), cancer (1.0 years; 15.6%), and homicide (0.9 years; 14.1%), and among females were heart disease (1.2 years; 27.3%), cancer (0.5 years; 11.4%), and perinatal disease (e.g., birth trauma, birth asphyxia, ectopic pregnancy, and maternal death) (0.4 years; 9.1%). Stroke and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) accounted for 0.3 years (6.8%) and 0.3 years (6.8%), respectively, of the LE differential among females and 0.4 years (6.3%) and 0.6 years (9.4%), respectively, among males. Homicide among black females contributed 0.2 years (4.5%) to the LE differential.
Much is being made of black life expectancy, but it should be noted that the figures usually parlayed are for life expectancy at birth. Today Hugh Hewitt, who discussed this issue on this afternoon's radio program, linked to life expectancy at birth actuarial here. That "at birth" table reflects Lowry's data, but is inadequate because life expectancy increases with age, as those dying young are not included in subsequent survey samples.
The following actuarial for 1999 is more informative, and shows an interesting phenomenon: the life expectancy gap for Blacks and Whites decreases with age, because of the higher incidence of certain causes of death for Black earlier in life, as described in the CDC excerpt above.
However, the gap doesn't close completely, so the President's general point about Blacks being shortchanged by the current system of Social Security retirement benefits still applies.
The first table is as originally posted, giving the life expectancy for years of life remaining at ages set at ten year intervals. In the second table I've adjusted the numbers to indicate expected age at time of death, to make comparisons easier. I used the year 1999 because that's the most recent year in the larger table in which the "all other" than White categories applies only to Blacks.
The expectation of life at a specified age is the average number of years that members of a hypothetical group of people of the same age would continue to live if they were subject throughout the remainder of their lives to the same mortality rate.
Data for periods 1900–1902, 1929–1931, 1998, 1999, relate to blacks only.
Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics; National Vital Statistics Reports, vol 52., no. 3, Sept. 18, 2003. Web: www.dhhs.gov .
Notice, for example, that at birth the Black male life expectancy of 67.8 years lagged 6.8 years behind the White male life expectancy of 74.6. At 50, though, Black male life expectancy was 74.0, vs. 78.0 for White males, closing the gap to four years. At 70, which will be the likely retirement age for most of those affected by any privatization, the gap closes further to 81.6 years for Black males to 82.9 for White males, only a 1.3 year gap. As the tables show, Black and White female life expectancies follow a similar, though less pronounced pattern.
Still, the gap remains, so while families of all ethnic backgrounds would gain from the transferability of privatized Social Security accounts, Blacks would gain more than Whites.
However, the debate over privatization isn't going to stay limited to retirement benefits. From the January 17 Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
But when the Heritage study was examined by actuaries at the Social Security Administration and by the Government Accountability Office, serious methodological flaws and numerous bad assumptions were uncovered. For example:
* Heritage failed to factor in the progressivity of Social Security benefits; on a taxes-paid to benefits-received ratio, those with lower incomes get more back. Blacks tend to earn less than whites, and thus their Social Security benefits are larger in comparison to taxes they pay.
* Social Security is more than retirement benefits. It also includes survivor and disability benefits. Blacks benefit disproportionately from those programs. While blacks are 11 percent of the workforce, for example, they are 18 percent of those receiving disability benefits. Almost half the blacks receiving Social Security -- 47 percent -- are getting disability benefits or survivor benefits.
The Social Security actuaries found that Heritage had exaggerated substantially the amount blacks pay in Social Security taxes and low-balled the benefits they receive. "In fact," the actuaries said, "results from more careful research reflecting actual work histories for workers by race indicate that the non-white population actually enjoys the same or better expected rates of return from Social Security than for the white population."
The GAO reached the same conclusion. It said that, "In the aggregate, blacks and Hispanics have higher disability rates and lower lifetime earnings, and thus receive greater benefits relative to taxes [paid] than whites."
While Bush didn't mention Hispanics, he probably will, as Heritage did, with similarly misleading results. Both the GAO and Social Security actuaries found Hispanics, too, in the aggregate, benefit more than whites from the Social Security system. Hispanics actually live longer than whites, and thus the mechanism that links their future benefits to inflation (which the Bush administration wants to undo) is particularly important. Currently, as Hispanics grow older, Social Security makes up a more and more important element of their income.
Social Security's advocates state that blacks benefit more than others from this entitlement's disability and child survivors' components. It is cruel to argue that blacks should stay trapped in a retirement plan that only pays off if they get injured. Nonetheless, Moynihan adamantly told the commission: "There is no question that we will keep the survivor's and disability programs. They are integral to the system."
Social Security Choice also would help blacks close the asset gap. The median U.S household in 1998 held $17,400 in financial assets, including retirement funds. For black households, the figure was just $3,060. Allowing black Americans to invest their own tax money will bridge this dividend divide.
Hugh Hewitt has convened another Vox Blogoli to discuss a passage near the end of Jonathan Rauch's long piece in the Atlantic, Bipolar Disorder, (which has been made available at Hewitt's site to non-subscribers), asking bloggers to comment on "what it says about the author, The Atlantic, and the left's understanding of the Christian culture in America in 2005." First, some background:
Finding the Red State/Blue State model to be oversimplified, but seeking an understanding of that political bipolarity it indicates, Rauch attempts to construct a sort of Political Atomic Set Theory (PAST) of the American electorate.
For example, in contrast to the known quarkiness of Red and Blue voters (in a relatively general sense), Rauch describes Purple swing voters as subatomic entities whose inclinations are more uncertain, except momentarily on Election Day, when they unhappily manifest as Red or Blue partisans -- er, particles.
Like the subatomic particles that live in a state of blurred quantum indeterminacy except during those fleeting moments when they are observed, on election day purple independents suddenly appear red or blue. Many of them, however, are undecided until the last moment and aren't particularly happy with either choice. Their ambivalence disappears from the vote tallies because the very act of voting excludes the nonpartisan middle.
Purple, you see, is a Heisenbergian photon (voton?) of the political spectrum.
Rauch observes that the reliance on political primaries to select party nominees has increased to near totality in the last 50 years. The intent was to marginalize party bosses, which has occurred, but an unintended effect, asserts Rauch, has been to marginalize "mainstream" (that is, not politically active) party members in favor of the smaller number of party activists, or Ideologues, who are more motivated early in the political silly season to see to it that more ideological candidates eclipse more mainstream candidates.
The rise of primary elections was meant to democratize the process of nominating candidates, and so it did; but hard-core ideologues -- with their superior hustle and higher turnouts -- proved able to dominate the primaries as they never could the party caucuses and conventions.
This dynamic was evident in 2004's Democratic primary season, when arch-liberal Howard Dean took an early and illusory lead. However, when Dean's character flaws erupted in wild-eyed, Janovian braying at functioning microphones, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, John Kerry, became the fallback position for party Ideologues. Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates who were more acceptable mainstream, Richard Gephardt and Joe Lieberman, passed inconsequentially through the primaries like neutrinos of electable sense through ideological gray matter.
Rauch explains: "the ideological divide between Democrats and Republicans in Congress is wider now than it has been in more than fifty years... the top leaders on Capitol Hill are the bluest of blues and the reddest of red -- left and right not just of the country but even of their own parties," and writes that "centrist voters, of course, are unhappy, but what can they do?"
As Rauch sees it, this absence of options for the centrists is an emission of the negation field of America's bipolarity.
Rauch then infers an interesting premise from these quantum political observations: "America may be culturally peaceful because it is so politically polarized." Political extremists with capacities for violence or other illegal forms of expression are Fringe Right and Fringe Left subsets of the Red and Blue ideological activist subsets of the broader Red and Blue sets of registered Republicans and Democrats. In the theoretical PAST language we'd express it this way:
Registered members > Ideologues > Fringes
He further contends that the greater inclusion, even dominance, of the major parties' Ideologues in selecting candidates and constructing platforms serves to sufficiently pacify their respective sympathetic Fringes by persuading them that they have a stake in lawful political processes. The attractive force of the Ideologues prevents the unstable isotopes on the Fringes from conglomerating their singularities and achieving violent political mass.
At the outset it's prudent to stipulate that some smaller subsets of the Fringes (or perhaps adjacent neighbor sets) are intractable political sociopaths, assassins, and terrorists. That leaves other subsets of the Fringes who might be capable of political violence if sufficiently alienated, but who are also capable of confining their wrath to lawful expression through free speech, assembly, and suffrage. These other subsets are the Fringe people who teeter on the fulcrum of Rausch's contention that a sense of inclusion in the political process serves to circumvent some degree of political violence and other unlawful forms of political expression.
In broad principle this premise is true, and we see it in the soundbite for the cause of the American Revolution: No taxation without representation.
However, the question of how much the gravitational attraction of the Ideologues prevents reactions political violence by their allied Fringes is less clear.
Rausch attempts to answer with a comparison between the Red and Blue political Fringes and what forces constrain them. This is the passage of Hewitt's focus:
"On balance it is probably healthier if religious conservatives are inside the political system than if they operate as insurgents and provocateurs on the outside. Better they should write anti-abortion planks into the Republican platform than bomb abortion clinics. The same is true of the left. The clashes over civil rights and Vietnam turned into street warfare partly because activists were locked out of their own party establishments and had to fight, literally, to be heard. When Michael Moore receives a hero's welcome at the Democratic National Convention, we moderates grumble; but if the parties engage fierce activists while marginalizing tame centrists, that is probably better for the social peace than the other way around."
Violence at or against abortion clinics is reprehensible and should be prosecuted and punished severely. It is also exceedingly rare, despite the azure circumvention of the political processes by Roe v Wade over the past 32 years, and such violence is roundly condemned and opposed by Registered Republicans and Party Ideologues. According to Rauch, this is because the Religious Conservative Red Ideologues and their sympathetic Fringe have access to the political process within the Republican Party.
Similarly, the Blue Ideologues have successfully included planks in their party platform expressing their desires to subordinate the American economy and military to international bodies they hold to be our moral superiors. If Rauch's theory of the PAST holds true, domestic tranquility should be similarly preserved on the Fringe Left.
However, the analogy between anti-abortion violence from the Right Fringe with the anti-war Left Fringe of the Vietnam Era is poor. The Democrat Party surrendered to their allied Ideologues and Fringes with the Presidential nomination of George McGovern in 1972, the year before Roe v Wade, yet Democrats from all three Blue subsets are engaged in unlawful and violent political expressions in the here and now simply because they lose free and fair elections, which is hardly an objective sign of any political suppression of their Fringe.
The Blue Fringe sympathizers with the Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Michael Moore Ideologues don't confine their political expressions to legal behavior, despite that Dean, Kerry, and Moore have had more opportunities than most to participate in political processes. If Rauch's Political Atomic Set Theory is true and if the vandalism and assaults by the Blue Fringe at the Republican National Convention and at the recent Inauguration are examples of a faction that is self-restrained by the dominance of their Ideologues in the political processes of the Democrat Party, then one can only wonder and shudder at what the bowels of that party might release if, paradoxically, their cooler heads prevailed.
What denial of political participation leads to the unlawful political activities of allegedly non-Fringe Democrat functionaries who are slashing Republican tires in Wisconsin and perpetrating voter fraud in Washington, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Missouri?
Rauch's theory leads him to mark his misunderstanding of Christian culture in America in 2005 in the wrong quadrant entirely. His failure to grasp the ideological and intellectual dysfunction of the Deep Blue Left within the Democrat Party, as well as its moral nonchalance at the illegal and violent excesses spawned by its own Fringe, veers beyond Cartesian navigation.
What political concession do these Democrats require, short of resigned Red State surrender to their presumptions of moral superiority over Republicans, presumptions that would overthrow the Constitutionally mandated political order?
Rausch doesn't answer; he doesn't ask because he's obeying the law of conservation of angular momentum, whirling in the spinning paradigms of the past.
Mike Farrell, actor & political activist: "The fact is these non-citizens are in our homes. They're our friends. They are working in the most intimate circumstances of our lives. And they are being disadvantaged by not having drivers licenses."
The campaign is being orchestrated by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, who claims that Schwarzenegger broke faith with him by failing to honor a promise to sign compromise legislation giving the licenses to illegals:
The growing criticism over face-to-face deal-making with Schwarzenegger comes after what state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, says was Schwarzenegger's broken promise to him last year over legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to get California drivers' licenses.
Two weeks after Schwarzenegger's inauguration, at the governor's urging, Cedillo led a legislative move to repeal his drivers' license bill passed and signed into law a year earlier by former Gov. Gray Davis.
Cedillo did that, he said, because he met with Schwarzenegger in Santa Monica before the Legislature's repeal and Schwarzenegger promised to back a revised bill that met some of the governor's concerns about security and insurance. Cedillo said he asked Schwarzenegger if he should put their agreement in writing.
"He shook my hand, he looked me in the eye, and said, 'No. I give you my word. It's fine. I keep it,'" recalled Cedillo, a former labor negotiator.
Cedillo said he lost respect for Schwarzenegger when he failed to back his bill at crunch time in the Legislature, and that he no longer trusts him. And he said he feels even more betrayed in the exchange because he campaigned for several Schwarzenegger initiatives, including his $15 billion deficit-reduction bond, as a show of good faith.
However, those who believe that Schwarzenegger would never sign a bill granting CDLs to illegals should be aware that he has never categorically promised he wouldn't. During the California Recall Campaign, Schwarzenegger spok numerous times of his desire to give drivers licenses to illegals under the right circumstances:
Said Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that denied many services to illegal immigrants, was "history" because it has been largely voided by the courts. He supported the proposition at the time voters approved it. "Now we have to move forward with the whole thing and to look at it, what we're going to do with all the people that are undocumented immigrants here in this state. What should we do? Should we have them to stay here, which I think is the right way to do, but how do you then include them in our society, how do you make it official, how do you make it legal?" he said. He added he would try to team up with other states with large immigrant populations and lobby the federal government to address the issue. KABC 7 Google Cache -August 27, 2003
Schwarzenegger, who legally immigrated to this country from Austria in 1968, opposed issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. But he didn't rule out public services or amnesty for those who come into the country illegally.
He said he would work with other states to pressure the federal government, which controls immigration, to "come up with a solution once and for all." He also said allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States is "the right thing to do." Sacramento Bee - August 28th, 2003
Schwarzenegger criticized Davis for signing a bill granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, saying, "We're leaving ourselves wide open to terrorism." And he repeated his support for a guest-worker visa program -- "then they can (get) drivers licenses hooked together with insurance." Sacramento Bee - September 9th, 2003
Schwarzenegger said he opposed the bill because it would "bring danger to our state" because it doesn't require background checks of illegal immigrants.
He did, however, say he supported proposed federal legislation that would help those in the United States illegally become legal residents more quickly. Sacramento Bee - September 17th, 2003
From the start Governor Schwarzenegger was posing as though he was unequivocally opposed to California Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens, even as he cast about rhetorically for ways to reward illegals with licenses that would be acceptable to the public.
When Scharzenegger vetoed AB 2895, yet another CDLs for illegals bill last September, he said:
"One of the most important duties of the governor of a state is to protect its citizens," Schwarzenegger said. "This bill does not adequately address the security concerns that my Department of Homeland Security and I have, and I cannot support it."
At first read, that's fairly forceful but one wonders why the Governor just doesn't draw the line and say "illegals will get drivers licenses over my daed body."
Does it sound like Schwarzenegger might actually be an Open Borders Republican?
Judge for yourself:
Deportation is not an option. We need to find a way to legitimize these individuals and get them on a path toward legal residency status in the United States.
Let me be clear: I do not support an amnesty program. The last time we tried that in the late 80s it didn't work, and there's little reason to think it would work now.
I am encouraged by the approach laid out by Senator McCain to provide a clear path for legitimizing undocumented immigrants who currently live their lives in the shadows. McCain's bill S 1461 - The Border Security and Immigration Act of 2003
A new H-4A visa for immigrants seeking temporary employment with important protections to ensure that immigrant workers are not exploited and that Californians are not displaced by unscrupulous employers;
A new H-4B visa for undocumented immigrants who entered the country before August 2003, have held a job since that time, and do not have a criminal record.
The opportunity for holders of these new visas to gain legal permanent residency status.
" Senator McCain's plan contains the key principles that should guide any proposal to solve the immigration impasse:
"It's undetermined when the program will start back up," Villarreal said. "I would say sometime this year."
He said Congress appropriated $10 million for the program for its fiscal 2005 budget year, which began Oct. 1. "There is money left over for continued use," Villarreal said.
Israeli-made Hermes unmanned vehicles were first deployed between June 24 and Sept. 30, and they helped catch 965 illegal immigrants and confiscate 843 pounds of marijuana, said Andrea Zortman, spokeswoman for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which covers all the Arizona-Mexico border except for an area around Yuma.
The Hermes was followed by the RQ-5 Hunter made by Northrop Grumman.
Zortman said the Hunter helped agents make 287 apprehensions of illegal immigrants and seize 1,900 pounds of marijuana.
Paul Olski, director of aviation joint planning and development in the Department of Homeland Security, said that the three Hermes 450 UAVs patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border were so successful that the agency plans to purchase "a number of Hunter UAVs." During a three-month test period, the Hermes, flying at about 15,000 feet at around 90 knots, spotted some 853,000 people crossing the border, according to Olski.
While it's encouraging there are plans to purchase more drones, there appears to be a discrepancy here about the number of Hermes tested. If we assume conservatively that the three Hermes drones referred to by Aviation Today actually describes all four Hunter and Hermes drones used during the test, that would indicate that of 853,000 illegal aliens observed by the drones during the six months of test. Adding Tucson BP spokeswoman Andrea Zortman's figures of 965 Hermes and 287 Hunter apprehensions, 1,252 of the 853,000 observed illegal aliens were successfully apprehended, or less than two tenths of 1%.
If those figures are correct and if the figure of 1,252 is exclusive of a significant number of the 853,000 illegals observed by the drones in half a year that may have been captured by other means (and therefore weren't credited to the drones), then it stands to reason that more support of the drones on the ground, as well as more drones overall, would have a significant impact on the number of illegal aliens who successfully cross the Mexican border. If the apprehension rate was increased to even 25%, that would mean that an increased deployment of the drones and ground support would enable Customs and Border Protection to thwart at least another 400,000+ illegal alien border crossings annually than are currently being prevented, and that's in only a portion of the Arizona border alone.
Based on those numbers an obvious solution to the "refined requirement" Bush Administration says it needs to develop for the use of UAVs against illegal aliens presents itself:
The Justice Department has authorized provisions in Arizona's anti illegal alien Proposition 200 which require proof of citizenship for registration and voting. The provisions are intended to keep illegals from illegally voting in Arizona elections, so they are naturally supported by most citizens while opposed by pro-illegal alien groups and many of Arizona's politicians.
Democratic state legislators believe the voting provision will keep minorities from voting. In a letter sent Jan. 18 to federal officials, 29 Democratic state legislators expressed concerns that minorities may be less likely to have acceptable proof of citizenship or form of identification needed when and if the voting provision of the law goes into effect.
"We all want to protect the integrity of our elections . . . but the voter identification portion, the way it is drafted, will impact the ability of minorities to vote, and I don't think that is what our democratic system is all about."
Over at My View, Toni questions the inherent racism racism in assertions about claims that citizenship requirements will unfairly impact minorities:
Just how or why would this have a "chilling effect" on registration? Is it a language issue? What? How? Why? If language is the issue I thought anyone seeking citizenship had to have a rudimentary grasp of English, hence they should be able to understand registration procedures. If this isn't the concern then what?
Kathy McKee, organizer of Proposition 200, said she already has inquiries from people every other state except Hawaii who want to push similar laws. She said federal approval is "going to be a huge impetus."
From the American Spectator on the fallout from the hiring by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) of former NAACP general counsel Hannibal G. Williams II Kemerer:
Beyond an expected backlash against Specter, there was growing concern among aides to Sen. Rick Santorum, who chose not to support then-Rep. Pat Toomey, a conservative, pro-life challenger to Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary last year. Instead, Santorum backed Specter, campaigning and fundraising for him, and then openly backing him for Judiciary chairman when that position was in doubt. Santorum is preparing for a tough re-election campaign, and was counting on strong support among Catholics in-state for votes and across the country for fundraising. But Santorum's decision to put politics before core beliefs may now backfire.
On Friday Santorum staffers were meeting with allies to discuss how best to deal with what could become a crisis for the conservative junior Senator from Pennsylvania. Compounding Santorum's Specter problem was word that Robert Casey, Jr., a pro-life Democrat and the son of one of Pennsylvania's most popular politicians, was poised to announce his decision to seek the Democratic Senate nomination.
"To say that Santorum's people are upset does not quite portray what is happening up here," says a Senate leadership staffer. "Without Specter's thumbing his nose at conservatives, Santorum could focus on issues and his candidacy. Now he has to worry about fallout from every step Specter takes."
"I realize that this is an unpopular view, but I disagree completely. I want to urge conservatives not to contribute to Santorum's campaign. Rick made his bed, and now he needs to lie in it. If he loses the seat, he loses the seat. Santorum is establishing a pattern of selling conservatives out in the interest of his career, specifically when it will benefit the ultra-liberal RINO Arlen Specter."
Santorum's problems aren't likely to go away soon, once conservatives realize how bad Specter's appointment of John Cornyn as Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship really is.
A retired California businessman has 240 volunteers ready for a 30-day aerial and ground surveillance campaign on the Arizona-Mexico border to highlight what he calls the government's failure to control illegal immigration.
Billed as "Americans doing the job Congress won't do," the project -- which will begin April 1 -- is intended to showcase inadequate border- and immigration-enforcement policies by the U.S. government, Mr. Gilchrist said.
Congress and President Bush are whistling in the dark if they think they can railroad their Amnesties of illegal aliens past the American people. "Americans doing the job Congress won't do" is another evidence of what former Bush speechwriter David Frum observed last month in GOP, You Are Warned
"I was on the conservative talk-radio circuit promoting a book when the president's plan was first proposed last January. Everywhere I went, the phones lit up with calls from outraged listeners who wanted to talk about little else. Every host I asked agreed: They had not seen such a sudden, spontaneous, and unanimous explosion of wrath from their callers in years..."
Amnesty can't extinguish that wrath, it can only stoke it.
Politicians who want to avert the wrath should listen to folks like James Gilchrist:
"We're looking for this nation to again be guided by the rule of law, not a nation ruled by an endless mob of illegal aliens streaming across our borders like a tsunami, a culture shock that someday -- perhaps soon -- we will have neither the manpower nor the will to stop," [Gilchrist] said.
Does anyone else remember those heady days of Impeachment, when the GOP was the Party of the Rule of Law, or at least when they did a better job of pretending they were, before President Bush made it fashionable for Republicans like McCain, Hatch, Flake, Craig, Kolbe, Cannon, Cornyn and Hagel to dream up new ways to offer Amnesty to illegal aliens, while insisting that legalizing illegals isn't really Amnesty?
In the '90s, Bill Clinton tried to redefine "is" and "sex." Today President Bush redefines Amnesty.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, whose jurisdiction includes the targeted border areas, has met with project leaders and understands their desire to highlight border and immigration enforcement efforts, but warned that the volunteers have to act within the law.
"I have no doubt these are well-intentioned and good-hearted people who have recognized a just cause in securing and protecting our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration," Sheriff Dever said. "But their methods and their intentions should not and cannot manifest themselves in illegal ways."
Yet the good hearted people that President Bush sees when he looks at America's southern border are illegal aliens.
Sheriff Dever said he also warned the leaders of the potential for conflict with alien smugglers, who seek to operate under the "cloak of concealment" but could become a real threat if confronted.
"They are willing to violently challenge law enforcement personnel, so I assure you they'll take on anybody. The potential for violence is very real, and I issued all the cautions I possibly could," he said.
Yet these smugglers, the coyotes, are funded by illegal aliens and their employers, the very people that President Bush and many members of Congress want to reward with one form of Amnesty or another.
If "good-hearted" users of illegal drugs are morally culpable for the violence and murders of the organized criminal enterprises they help fund, why does President Bush put the interests of those who subsidize the coyotes above the interests of the American people?
Mr. Gilchrist said all Minuteman Project volunteers underwent a screening process before they were accepted to weed out those "with bad intentions." He said it would be "a true disaster and an embarrassment for this mission to fail because we didn't attract the right people."
"We don't want the guys in white sheets and hoods, the militants or the supremacists. Many of the applicants were told thanks, but no thanks," he said. "In the end, I believe we will bring serious media and political attention to the shameful fact that 21st century minutemen/women have to help secure U.S. borders because the government refuses to provide the manpower and funding required to do so."
Looks like Gilchrist was more cautious with his associations than Congressman Chris Cannon (R-Utah), whose still proudly lists the endorsements of MALDEF, La Raza, and the Southern Poverty Law Center for their endorsements of his AgJOBS Amnesty for illegal aliens.
Yet Cannon is just the type of pro-Amnesty, pro-illegal alien Congressman who isn't interested in doing his job to uphold the rule of law. Instead, he'd rather pretend that legalizing illegal aliens isn't Amnesty, while sneering at those opposed to Amnesty as "anti-immigration," "simplistic," and "restrictionist."
Almost noon, showdown soon: average Americans vs. the apologists for Amnesty and illegal aliens.