Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Does Anybody Care? ICE Disgraced by Corrupt Scofflaw Woman Atop Boston Port

It's hard to harbor much optimism for a house-cleaning at the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) shop when you read stories like this, and when you reflect that Obama needs to woo open-borders Hispanics to cement his re-election in 2012. Meanwhile, two aggressive ICE agents (Ramos & Compean) are spending another Christmas in jail.

Border security official arrested for harboring illegal aliens
by Chad Groening - OneNewsNow

An immigration reform activist says he doesn't know if it was arrogance or ignorance that prompted a high-level border protection official to hire and harbor illegal aliens in her own home.

The Boston Globe recently reported on the arrest of Lorraine Henderson, who formerly served as the director of the Port of Boston, overseeing 190 armed federal officers who patrol major airports and shipping terminals in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. But last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Henderson at her home in Salem, Massachusetts, charging her with repeatedly hiring illegal immigrants to clean her house.

The agents had planted a wire on one such housekeeper during an undercover investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly said, "She's supposed to be deporting aliens, not hiring them." Rick Oltman, the national spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, notes Henderson had been warned not to hire illegal aliens.

"Her co-workers knew that she was hiring illegal aliens and were telling her not to, yet she continued to do it. And then [she] counseled her illegal alien employee as to how to avoid apprehension and detection," he explains. "This is one of those situations where you're just speechless. Is it arrogance? Is it ignorance? What is it that would have a person in this position act like that? This is an absolute violation of the public trust."

Oltman believes Henderson should have been looking out for the interests of the American public rather than trying to beat the system for her favorite illegal alien housekeeper.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not so fast: Obama will spread wealth around, but not necessarily his.

This is the kind of lawlessness that makes it hard to negotiate with any confidence that the other side will keep its promises.
Obama’s illegal alien aunt (and campaign donor!) is a deportation fugitive
by Michelle Malkin

Well now.

Turns out Aunti Zeituni Onyango, one of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama’s many relatives made famous in his memoir, is an illegal alien. And not just a run-of-the-mill illegal alien on welfare.

She’s one of the hundreds of thousands of deportation fugitives — absconders – whom I’ve been reporting on for the past six years. After 9/11, the government vowed to crack down on absconders. They’ve failed abysmally.

Aunti’s story:

Barack Obama’s aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned.

Zeituni Onyango, 56, referred to as “Aunti Zeituni” in Obama’s memoir, was instructed to leave the United States by a U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to discuss Onyango’s case.

Information about the deportation case was disclosed and confirmed by two separate sources, one of them a federal law enforcment official. The information they made available is known to officials in the federal government, but the AP could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved in its release.

Just you watch: After sitting silent as Joe The Plumber’s records were rummaged by Ohio government employees, the fairweather privacy rights crowd will wake up and start making noise over this.

QUESTION: Will the Obama campaign return the many donations from this illegal alien?

ANSWER: Not bloody likely.

Federal Election Commission records show that Onyango donated at least five times to her nephew’s campaign in July and September. Three of the donations were for $5 each, and two of the donations were for $25. Records compiled by The Huffington Post show she gave a total of $260 to the campaign.

The law:

It shall be unlawful for a foreign national directly or through any other person to make any contribution of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such contribution, in connection with an election to any political office; or in connection with any primary election, convention, or caucus held to select candidates for any political office; or for any person to solicit, accept, or receive any such contribution from a foreign national.

2 U.S.C. § 441e.


QUESTION II, from commenter tony4951: “So let me get this straight. Millionaire Obama doesn’t use his wealth to help his poor illegal alien Aunt get out of public housing, but if I complain about Obama wanting to raise my taxes to ’spread the wealth around’ I’m the selfish one?”


Meanwhile, the AP tries to downplay Aunti’s deportation evasion and defiance of a judicial ruling:

Onyango’s refusal to leave the country would represent an administrative, non-criminal violation of U.S. immigration law, meaning such cases are handled outside the criminal court system.

As I’ve pointed out countless times since 9/11, systemic immigration loopholes and deportation failures that have benefited peaceful illegal aliens have also benefited illegal aliens with nefarious intent.


Lucky for Aunti, the open-borders Bush administration has just issued a special pre-election directive to slow down any deportation efforts that might get her kicked out of the country:

Onyango’s case — coming to light just days before the presidential election — led to an unusual nationwide directive within Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requiring any deportations prior to Tuesday’s election to be approved at least at the level of ICE regional directors, the U.S. law enforcement official told the AP.

The unusual directive suggests that the Bush administration is sensitive to the political implications of Onyango’s case coming to light so close to the election.

Lucky for Aunti, both presidential candidates support shamnesty in one form or another.

Lucky for Aunti, the deportation abyss has not been repaired.

Lucky for Aunti, the congressional practice of creating “special relief” bills to help individual deportation fugitives escape punishment and get rewarded with citizenship is alive and well.

And lucky for Aunti, anyone who thinks she should face the music and get the boot is considered a “hater” and a “xenophobe” and a RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST.

Lucky for Aunti, she can always take up shelter in a sanctuary-offering, rule-of-law defying church.

And guess where a left-wing church has openly broken the law and taken in illegal aliens?

Yeah. That’s right: Chicago.


Via cjburch, this commenter sums it all up: “Obama’s aunt is here ILLEGALLY living in poverty, and is a deportation FUGITIVE. She’s collecting WELFARE and has DONATED to Obama’s campaign, ILLEGALLY! Obama. Family in poverty as he makes millions. Complete lawlessness. Give away your hard earned tax payer money to illegal fugitives. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.”

Good questions:

Did someone from the campaign tell her to keep quiet?

Why was BHO letting her illegally redistribute her wealth to him, when he could have been helping her by getting her an immigration lawyer? If BHO had gotten her a lawyer, could they have appealed? Why then didn’t BHO help her out? When is he going to introduce an emergency private relief bill to give her a green card?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do Border Enforcement Activists Create Hateful Atmosphere for Immigrants?

Even the strongest border enforcement advocates were aghast when drunken East Coast teenagers beat an Ecuadorian man to death recently. Here, NumbersUSA founder and indefatiguable border enforcement activist Roy Beck addresses the killing and denounces hateful language directed against immigrants, including illegal immigrants.

The New York Times took the advantage of the outrageous murder to renew attacks on Suffolk County (Long Island) chief executive Steve Levy, a Democrat who has taken aggressive enforcement action against illegal immigration. Beck addresses this as well.

Horrendous Murder of Ecuadorian Man on Long Island Reminds Why We Say NO TO IMMIGRANT-BASHING Language
by Roy Beck

Considerable national media attention is being given to a disgusting murder of an Ecuadorian man in Long Island, New York, allegedly by a group of seven teenagers who in the middle of a drinking binge decided to go "beat up a Mexican."

My guess is that these teenagers are opportunistic thugs who would have found somebody else to beat up if they hadn't had some animus toward Latin Americans.

But it is incumbent on all of us who fight for lower immigration to emphasize the importance of not allowing our language about the problems of immigration policies to stir up hatred, and especially not violence, against immigrants or people who may look like immigrants.

Perhaps predictably, the open-borders groups have politicized this tragedy and are trying to use it to suggest that those of us who want lower overall immigration should keep our mouths shut -- or be muzzled.

With the New York Times editorial board serving as their most prominent mouthpiece, the pro-illegal-immigration crowd is saying that the blame for this murder lies with people on our side who have stirred up hate toward Latinos.

Their exploitation of this atrocity is distasteful and aggravating. But I feel the first priority for us at NumbersUSA is to make sure that we in the immigration-reduction movement are clear about the issues of language -- and the importance of not inciting inadvertent hostility and even violence against immigrants, illegal aliens or U.S. citizens who appear of foreign origin.

In fact, this has always been a priority for NumbersUSA.

Soon after NumbersUSA started its website in 1996, we ran a prominent link called NO TO IMMIGRANT BASHING. My book published by W.W. Norton & Co. (NY 1996) had a section with the same message.

Earlier that year, I produced a video (now seen by more than 7 million people) that began with an admonition that if immigration makes you angry, don't get angry at immigrants, or even illegal aliens. Rather, the video admonishes people to direct their ire at policy makers who won't protect American workers and families or restore the rule of law in immigration matters.

Our point has always been that immigration NUMBERS are too high and create economic injustice, loss of individual liberty and make environmental sustainability impossible. It is the NUMBERS, not the character or characteristic of the foreign citizens who move here that causes problems.

Of course, no legitimate member of our movement wishes physical harm on illegal aliens or immigrants. But it is easy for people to make unguarded comments in the heat of frustration that reflect badly on all people of a certain ethnic origin. It is these unguarded comments that draw the attention of pro-illegal-immigration groups who claim that they fan hate and violence.

My sense is that this concern about language is blown out of proportion, but language DOES matter. The majority of Americans follow Jesus who radically taught that expressing hateful words is tantamount to murder. My own interpretation is that Jesus didn't mean that hateful words are just as bad as murder, but that the origins of murder lie in first having hateful thoughts and expressing hateful words. And we never know how our words might influence somebody else of less stable mind, emotion and character.

We at NumbersUSA have always gone overboard on this, and we have often been harshly criticized for our unwillingness to deal with problems from immigration that rise from significant differences in the culture of the immigrants.

While we are not saying that all characteristics concerns are illegitimate, we have tended to avoid even mentioning ethnicity and national origin. To whatever degree cultural and origin issues may be real, we believe they will be resolved if we get the NUMBERS down to where they no longer contribute to economic injustice and environmental/quality-of-life deterioration.

A great benefit of this kind of carefulness in language is that we can be assured that we never contribute to a climate that could possibly breed the immoral cesspool in which the murderers of Marcelo Lucero apparently swam.

I know that every one of us who reads the story of what happened on Saturday night, Nov. 8, can put ourselves into his shoes and imagine the horror and indignity of his last minutes. This was truly a breakdown of a civil society, an orderly society and the rule of law.

Words have consequences. Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive, is learning that the hard way during a horrible week. ... Mr. Levy's past harsh words and actions against undocumented workers have now left him cornered with a tragically limited ability to lead the county in confronting a brutal act that surely pains him as much as anyone.

For years, the New York Times editorial board has conducted a vendetta against Steve Levy. I have always suspected that the level of vehemence against him by the Times, many other journalists and pro-illegal-immigration groups is rooted in the fact that Mr. Levy is a Democrat.

Because so many of his critics are Democrats, they are outraged that he continues to show what it is like for a Democratic official to be true to some of the best principles of the Democratic Party, such as real concern for vulnerable American workers -- in their jobs, their communities and their schools.

Immigrant advocates assailed him for having poisoned the atmosphere. Some called for his resignation.

To these critics, Suffolk Executive Levy has created a climate of hostility against all Latinos in his county because he has worked for Attrition Through Enforcement -- not against Latinos but against illegal aliens (who happen to come from every country on the planet).

The Times and others continue to slur Latino Americans by equating Latinos and illegal aliens. But Levy knows that most Latinos in his county are NOT illegal. He knows that they probably benefit more from his anti-illegal efforts than anybody.

But the New York Times sees only horribly sinister motives and outcomes to Levy's assertive efforts:

Local lawmakers often complain about immigration, but Mr. Levy went much farther than most. He founded a national organization to lobby for crackdowns. He went on "Lou Dobbs." He tried to deputize county police to make immigration arrests and to rid the county work force of employees without papers. He sought to drive day laborers from local streets, yet rigidly opposed efforts to create hiring sites.

Oh, my gosh, Levy committed the unpardonable sin of actually DOING something and not just mouthing platitudes.

Everything the Times cites as fanatical is a perfectly legal and common tool available to protect American workers and communities from out-of-control immigration. With the official unemployment rate of perfectly legal Hispanic Americans much higher than other Americans, Levy's efforts to keep Suffolk County employers from having an illegal workforce stand to be of most benefit to the Hispanic Americans under his jurisdiction.

ABC News called me this afternoon for comments about Levy.

I said I thought he had probably done more than anybody else on Long Island to reduce bad feelings toward Latinos.

We see in every continent that when citizens feel that immigration numbers are overwhelming them, some develop very negative feelings toward the immigrants. When their government understands this and takes action through lawful channels and trained personnel to reduce the flow and the tensions, the legal immigrants and ethnic minorities are protected.

That is what Steve Levy has been trying to do, although his state's U.S. Senators and the federal Administration has done litte to support him.

Repeatedly in Europe, we have seen what happens when those in power refuse to protect their citizens from out-of-control immigration. The backlash often is ugly and violent. The foreign-born victims never deserve what happens to them. But the villains -- other than the direct perpetrators -- are not those who have tried to restore immigration sanity (like Steve Levy) but those who have allowed the rule of law to disintegrate so that the weakest and lowest-character citizens, in their dark-soul ways of thinking, come to believe they have justification for their foul deeds.

If the New York Times wants to point fingers at politicians who contributed to a killing climate, they might want to point at the Members of Congress in their state who get the F's and D's on our grade cards for refusing to hold accountable the illegal cheap-labor importation industries.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Viet Dinh Addresses National Security Symposium at Regent University

Georgetown professor Viet Dinh delivered a scathing review of the Supreme Court's truculent recent jurisprudence regarding rights of enemy combatants detained by U.S. military forces outside the U.S., whether in Iraq or Guantanamo.

Dinh said the Court's recent decisions have gone beyond judicial supremacy, beyond even judicial triumphalism, to something worse - judicial exclusivism, in which the legislative and executive roles have been reduced to the decision whether or not to suspend the right of habeas corpus.

Dinh notes that the current state of the law, which Chief Justice Roberts has described as "Constitutional bait-and-switch," grants more rights to enemy combatants than to Haitian refugee applicants and, indeed, to U.S. military personnel.

He says it is a result of Constitutional brinksmanship in which a majority of the Court has shown disdain for the Constitutional roles of Congress and the Executive roles in the War on Terror.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tancredo Proposes Legal Firewall Against British-style Sharia

One wonders how long it would take the 9th Circuit, the federal appeals court that prevented the deportation of a Jamaican homosexual criminal child seducer, to invalidate the law proposed by Rep. Tancredo here. If Congress wants to enact a measure that will withstand the opposition of adversaries with lifetime appointments, it must be accompanied by a very clear statutory exclusion of federal judiciary jurisdiction.
Tancredo Proposes Anti-Sharia Measure in Wake of U.K. Certification of Islamic Courts

“Jihad Prevention Act” would deny U.S. visas to advocates of ‘Sharia’ law, expel Islamists already here

WASHINGTON, DC – Amid disturbing revelations that the verdicts of Islamic Sharia courts are now legally binding in civil cases in the United Kingdom, U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) moved quickly today to introduce legislation designed to protect the United States from a similar fate.

According to recent news reports, a new network of Sharia courts in a half-dozen major cities in the U.K. have been empowered under British law to adjudicate a wide variety of legal cases ranging from divorces and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

“This is a case where truth is truly stranger than fiction,” said Tancredo. “Today the British people are learning a hard lesson about the consequences of massive, unrestricted immigration.”

Sharia law, favored by Muslim extremists around the world, often calls for brutal punishment – such as the stoning of women who are accused of adultery or have children out of wedlock, cutting off the hands of petty thieves and lashings for the casual consumption of alcohol. Under Sharia law, a woman is often required to provide numerous witnesses to prove rape allegations against an assailant – a near impossible task.

“When you have an immigration policy that allows for the importation of millions of radical Muslims, you are also importing their radical ideology – an ideology that is fundamentally hostile to the foundations of western democracy – such as gender equality, pluralism, and individual liberty,” said Tancredo. “The best way to safeguard America against the importation of the destructive effects of this poisonous ideology is to prevent its purveyors from coming here in the first place.”

Tancredo’s bill, dubbed the “Jihad Prevention Act,” would bar the entry of foreign nationals who advocate Sharia law. In addition, the legislation would make the advocacy of Sharia law by radical Muslims already in the United States a deportable offense.

Tancredo pointed to the results of a recent poll conducted by the Centre for Social Cohesion as evidence that the U.S. should act to prevent the situation in Great Britain from replicating itself here in the United States. The poll found that some 40 percent of Muslim students in the United Kingdom support the introduction of Sharia law there, and 33 percent support the imposition of an Islamic Sharia-based government worldwide.

“We need to send a clear message that the only law we recognize here in America is the U.S. Constitution and the laws passed by our democratically elected representatives,” concluded Tancredo. “If you aren’t comfortable with that concept, you aren’t welcome in the United States.”

9th Circuit Halts Deportation of Homosexual Criminal Who Fears Persecution in His Native Jamaica

A federal appeals court has overturned a Board of Immigration Appeals order to deport a 30-year old Jamaican homosexual man after he was convicted of sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor.

The three-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel held that the U.S. is not entitled to deport Damion Nathanial Bromfield to his native Jamaica, despite his criminal convictions, because of the risk that he might be persecuted.

The U.S. Department of Justice argued that the Ninth Circuit has no jurisdiction over Bromfield's case because he was found removable on the basis of his conviction for an aggravated felony. But the panel cited the Ninth Circuit's own Ramadan v. Gonzales, 479 F.3d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 2007) (per curiam), to justify its intervention on behalf of the foreign man.

The appellate panel's order "will require the (Immigration Judge) to consider the Jamaican law criminalizing homosexual conduct and the frequency with which that law is enforced," in adjudicating his removal, and the removal of any future homosexual criminal who expresses a similar fear of persecution in his homeland.

Circuit Judge Betty B. Fletcher wrote the opinion. Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez also sat on the panel, along with a federal district judge for the Northern District of California, William W. Schwarzer, sitting "by designation."

The full text of the opinion is at

What happens when illegal aliens get arrested?

by Chad Groening

A public-interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption has presented oral arguments in two separate California appellate cases dealing with illegal immigration.

In the first case, Judicial Watch has filed an appeal on behalf of a San Francisco resident, challenging the sanctuary policy of that city's police department. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says San Francisco police are prohibited from notifying federal immigration authorities when they arrest a suspected illegal immigrant for a narcotics offense.

"The appellate court heard arguments as to whether or not San Francisco's sanctuary policy should leave it immune from having to follow California state law that requires it to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement anyone they suspect who's been arrested for narcotics offenses who is not an American citizen," Fitton explains.

The other appeal, according to Fitton, deals with an illegal alien day-labor site in Laguna Beach.

"We filed a lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers who object to tax dollars going to help illegal aliens get illegal jobs in violation of federal law," Fitton adds. "A lower court, unfortunately, didn't really want to address the issue in a way that we found appropriate, so we appealed, and the appellate court heard arguments there, too."

Fitton says California law requires the courts to publish their rulings within 90 days, so they should know something by Christmas.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Immigrant Immortalized in Rosenthal Photo, Iwo Jima Sculpture, Now Naturalized

Fred Edwards wrote Aug. 1 in Military Matters in Review that Czech immigrant Michael Strank, killed in action at Iwo Jima, has been posthumously awarded U.S. citizenship. Strank himself apparently never applied for citizenship before his death at age 25 leading a Marine Corps fire team against the Japanese.

But a fellow Marine serving in the security unit at the U.S. Embassy in the Slovak Republic filed on Strank's behalf last year, and an immigration official presented a certificate of citizenship to Strank's younger sister late last month.

Iwo Jima Flag-raising Hero Becomes an Official American
by Fred Edwards, Military Matters in Review

On July 29, Marine Sgt. Michael Strank was posthumously awarded a certificate of U.S. citizenship. Jonathan Scharfen, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, presented the certificate to Mary Pero, 75, Strank's younger sister.

The ceremony took place in front of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, often called the Iwo Jima Memorial. Sculptor Felix de Weldon crafted it from the famous photograph snapped by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal Feb. 23,1945.

De Weldon's work reproduced Strank -- and the other five men who raised the flag -- so meticulously that you can see their grime and smell their sweat. Strank, or Sergeant Mike, as his men called him, was the third from the left in the photo, and was barely visible.

Two of the six men would live to walk off the island. A third man would be carried off with shrapnel wounds. The other three would be buried in the sands of Iwo. This reflects the same casualty rate of the invading forces: during 36 days of fighting, the United States suffered almost 26,000 casualties, nearly 7,000 of them killed. Only one of every three who hit the beach left the island unscathed.

Until this year, the Marines listed Strank's birthplace as Pennsylvania. According to Scharfen, a Marine security guard at the American Embassy in the Slovak Republic was researching Strank's background and found no record that he was a U.S. citizen. So he filed an application for posthumous naturalization.

So who was Michael Strank? In "Flags of Our Fathers," James Bradley fills in details from interviews of Strank's family, friends, and fellow Marines.

He was born Michal Strenk on the Marine Corps birthday, Nov. 10, 1919, in Jarabenia, Czechoslovakia. His father, Vasil, emigrated to the United States in 1920 and changed his name to Strank. Vasil worked in the Pennsylvania mines for three years, and saved enough money to bring his wife and 3-year-old son to America.

In 1935, he became a naturalized American citizen, but son Mike never received a certificate. When Mike sailed for Iwo Jima, he was a 25-year-old sergeant and combat veteran of the Pavuvu and Bougainville island campaigns. He shunned the sergeants' mess and ate with his troops, who he called "his boys."

His company commander had recommended him for platoon sergeant, but he refused, saying, "I promised my boys I'd be there for them."

Indeed he had promised. Often he would tell his squad, "Follow me, and I'll try to bring all of you back safely to your mothers."

Joe Rodriguez, a member of one of the three fire teams Mike led as squad leader, said "Everybody idolized Mike. He was a born leader, a natural leader, and a leader by example."

After Bougainville, Mike was exhausted from combat and couldn't shake a case of malaria, so he was sent home on leave to recover. He also couldn't shake the feeling that he had used up his share of survivability. One evening when he was out to say goodbye to friends Mike and Eva Slazich, he told them, "I doubt if I'll ever see you again. I don't think I'll be coming back."

He let slip his premonition to his family, and his father pleaded with him to seek a stateside assignment. Mike replied, "Dad, there's a war going on out there. Young boys are fighting that war. And Dad . . . they need my help." So he went to Iwo Jima with his boys.

Bradley describes the aftermath of the flag-raising as follows: Mike and a group of Marines had come under Japanese sniper fire, and he pulled them into an outcropping that was protected from all sides except the sea. He was drawing a diagram in the sand of the tactics they would use to break out when a shell "tore a hole in his chest and ripped out his heart."

Many accounts describe it simply as an artillery shell, and some describe it as an "enemy" shell. Bradley, on the other hand, states: "Almost certainly,the round had come from a U.S. destroyer offshore; it sliced through the only unprotected side of the outcropping. The Czech immigrant to America, born on the Marine Corps birthday, serving his third tour of duty for his adopted country, the sergeant who was a friend to his boys, was cut down by friendly fire."

No matter the source of the shell, Sergeant Mike died as a combat leader. He was a Marine's Marine. Now he's an official American. Semper Fidelis.

Fred Edwards is a journalist and a military columnist. To see his bio and archived columns, visit

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Universal Health Insurance Triage: Americans Will Queu Behind Illegals

Former Clinton political strategist Dick Morris is urging John McCain to make an issue of Barack Obama's intention to cover illegal aliens free under his universal health insurance plan. However, McCain is unlikely to do so, as he is ardently pursuing the Hispanic voting bloc.

By Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, New York Post

Democrats' single most important domestic proposal - universal health insurance - may blow up in Barack Obama's face when voters are exposed to the deadly details.

Obama has said, proudly and often, "I am going to give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage." But are they "Americans?"

That 47 million statistic includes illegal immigrants - who virtually all lack insurance. In fact, about one in four of those lacking insurance is here illegally. And they are, by far, the group most in need of health insurance.

About 15 million of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Medicaid but haven't signed up - mainly because they haven't gotten sick. When they do, they enroll in Medicaid and we pick up the full tab for their health care relatively cheaply. (About 80 percent of each Medicaid dollar goes to nursing-home care for the elderly, only about 20 percent for the medical needs of the poor.)

The rest of the uninsured pool? Virtually all the children are eligible for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Some aren't enrolled because the parents haven't bothered, but most are eligible. That leaves about 20 million uninsured adults who are US citizens or legal immigrants. There are far better ways to handle their needs than to turn our entire health-care system upside down.

Care for illegals is the biggest unmet medical need in our nation, and Obama's program targets it squarely. But do we really want to give them federally paid coverage equal to what US senators get, as Obama proposes?

Covering illegals adds dramatically to the cost of any program - and would encourage more folks to enter America illicitly.

Obama's plan will likely have a horrific effect on some local health-care systems.

Illegals now get free emergency-room treatment for life-threatening conditions - as any other American who's entered an ER in an area with lots of illegals recently well knows. (Three-quarters of the illegal-immigrant population is concentrated in five states: California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois.)

But now they'd be eligible for the entire range of medical services, all free of charge. That would trigger severe rationing: bureaucrats deciding who gets to see an oncologist, who can have an MRI - and even who can have bypass surgery and who'd die for lack of it.

These decisions would be made not on the basis of legal status but on the brutal facts of triage: Treat the 37-year-old illegal with his whole life to live before you spend scarce resources on an overweight, diabetic, 80-year-old citizen with high blood pressure who smokes.

John McCain hasn't raised this issue, perhaps for fear of offending the Latino vote. But polling suggests the case against rationing of health care would be as persuasive to Hispanic-American citizens as it is to the rest of us. Nobody wants to die waiting in line - especially not behind someone who snuck in ahead of us.

McCain needs to hit the Obama plan for treating illegal immigrants to free, federally subsidized health insurance - and hit it hard.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Invasion Protest at Denver Planned, Budgeted by Sovereignty Activists

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) has announced plans for a "massive pro-American, pro-sovereignty, pro-border security, anti-illegal immigration rally" at the Democrat National Convention next month.

They hope to get their anti-illegal immigration message across to 15,000 reporters there, in addition to an estimated 20,000 others, including delegates, alternates and elected officials.

The Convention will be held August 25-28 in Denver, Colorado.

"This will be one of the biggest meetings of pro-amnesty, pro-illegal alien politicians in a long, long time," write the Minutemen, "all eager to push their agenda against American sovereignty in front of fifteen thousand reporters and their television cameras from across the country."

The sovereignty activists predict that the politicians will pander "to the open borders special interest groups, like La Raza and MALDEF, for a whole week."

The national Minuteman organization is "teaming up with local activists on the ground in Denver to stage this huge rally," it reported in a fundraising letter, "which will feature dozens of prominent speakers and leaders in the fight for border security. We've secured a location at a large park near the Pepsi Center where 35,000 people will be attending the convention.

"Our allies on the ground in Denver are putting the final details in place for a rally on the first day of the convention, plus more protests, pickets, counter-protests, media blitzes, and more the rest of the week."

The Minutemen have committed five thousand dollars to initial expenses, and expect the overall event to come in under $15,000, according to the fundraising letter.

"That's amazing, especially with having to cover application fees, the park fee, damage deposits to the city, off-duty police security, portable stages, power generators, property insurance, port-a-potties, waste bins, sound systems, and even shuttle buses that will travel between the park and a designated commuter lot to prevent traffic and parking problems."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

DOJ Collaborates with ACLU on Trafficking Policy

Human trafficking is probably the most troubling aspect of mass, uncontrolled immigration, whether illegal or fully documented. Yet the anti-trafficking constituency is feeble, underfunded, and preoccupied with other issues.

Opposing human trafficking is almost entirely an altruistic project. There's no financial windfall involved, and there are no fat cats willing to underwrite it like California Agriculture does for Mexican labor.

In the end, even public servants in the Department of Justice have no stomach for defending the defenseless, as Paul Weyrich writes below in a column. The young women and children forced into prostitution on the fruited plain are dismissed as collateral damage.

They are, arguably, analogous to unborn children: they can't protest, they can't organize, they can't litigate, they can't vote; therefore they don't matter. And the American Civil Liberties Union is their deadliest adversary.

The Fight to Abolish Human Trafficking Within the United States
by Paul Weyrich

Without doubt the Federal appointee who was most effective dealing with sex-trafficking was former Representative John R. Miller (R-WA). President George W. Bush has sought to end sex slavery within the United States and provide international leadership on the issue. Miller was appointed Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. State Department and became an Ambassador-at-large on the issue of modern slavery. Miller elevated the fight to a high priority in the Bush Administration.

Recently, Miller wrote an op-ed in The New York Times which suggested that the effort to oppose sex slavery has met opposition in the Department of Justice (DOJ). Miller also made a presentation to a group with which I am involved. Upon hearing Miller's presentation I realized that the situation is worse than he described in The New York Times.

After nurturing the 21st-Century abolitionist movement from 2002 to 2006, Miller believed that President Bush supported him despite objection to his efforts from numerous Ambassadors who did not want their host countries criticized. Miller stated that the President made it clear that his work was important. While he did not win every battle, he prevailed, often thanks to White House support.

One could imagine Miller's surprise when he learned that DOJ initiated a campaign to oppose a new Congressional bill which would strengthen the Federal Government's anti-trafficking efforts. In a 13-page letter, DOJ blasted nearly every aspect of the proposed legislation. In its annual report which rates how well countries are combating sex slavery, DOJ does not want to consider whether governments put traffickers in jail, nor does it want the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to streamline their efforts to help the victims of sex-trafficking acquire visas and assistance. DOJ does not want to pool data with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services on sex-trafficking and to devise prevention strategies.

DOJ opposes the creation of Presidential awards for groups leading the struggle against this modern-day slavery. It is against a citizens' task force to develop a pamphlet for victims. It does not want the State Department to give the telephone numbers of American anti-trafficking organizations to visa applicants at American Consulates worldwide.

Miller believes the vehement opposition by DOJ to this proposed legislation goes far beyond the usual turf battle which usually rears its ugly head in Washington, D.C. Miller states that DOJ opposes changes which would expand its own authority to combat trafficking. For example: Should they prosecute American tourists who create the demand for sex-trafficking in foreign countries? Should Congress provide increased penalties for Americans who sexually abuse children abroad? Should American jurisdiction extend to Americans who traffic human beings aboard? Should the Attorney General include information in his annual report on his department's efforts to enforce anti-trafficking laws against federal contractors and employees? No, it should not do any of these.

Miller believes this letter is the product of the mostly male DOJ staff working with the Erotic Service Providers Union and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He does not believe the President saw or approved the 13-page letter. In the House of Representatives there is a Caucus on Human Trafficking, co-chaired by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Debbie Price (R-OH). They have been trying to coordinate a meeting with the President but have been unsuccessful. Regardless of one's opinion of President Bush, it is impossible to dismiss his sincerity and determination on such issues. I am willing to wager that this letter went to Capitol Hill without his approval. There is time for President Bush to reverse this injustice.

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Daughter of Immigrants Denounces National Council of La Raza

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has called the National Council of La Raza out in this recent column published on the Town Hall site. Malkin is, herself, the daughter of Filipino immigrants. Like Michelle Obama, she is an Ivy Leaguer.

15 Things You Should Know About "The Race"
By Michelle Malkin

Only in America could critics of a group called "The Race" be labeled racists. Such is the triumph of left-wing identity chauvinists, whose aggressive activists and supine abettors have succeeded in redefining all opposition as "hate."

Both Barack Obama and John McCain will speak this week in San Diego at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, the Latino organization whose name is Spanish for, yes, "The Race." Can you imagine Obama and McCain paying homage to a group of white people who called themselves that? No matter. The presidential candidates and the media have legitimized "The Race" as a mainstream ethnic lobbying group and marginalized its critics as intolerant bigots. The unvarnished truth is that the group is a radical ethnic nationalist outfit that abuses your tax dollars and milks PC politics to undermine our sovereignty.

Here are 15 things you should know about "The Race":

15. "The Race" supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens.

14."The Race" demands in-state tuition discounts for illegal alien students that are not available to law-abiding U.S. citizens and law-abiding legal immigrants.

13. "The Race" vehemently opposes cooperative immigration enforcement efforts between local, state and federal authorities.

12. "The Race" opposes a secure fence on the southern border.

11. "The Race" joined the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in a failed lawsuit attempt to prevent the feds from entering immigration information into a key national crime database -- and to prevent local police officers from accessing the data.

10. "The Race" opposed the state of Oklahoma's tough immigration-enforcement-first laws, which cut off welfare to illegal aliens, put teeth in employer sanctions and strengthened local-federal cooperation and information sharing.

9. "The Race" joined other open-borders, anti-assimilationists and sued to prevent Proposition 227, California's bilingual education reform ballot initiative, from becoming law.

8. "The Race" bitterly protested common-sense voter ID provisions as an "absolute disgrace."

7. "The Race" has consistently opposed post-9/11 national security measures at every turn.

6. Former "Race" president Raul Yzaguirre, Hillary Clinton's Hispanic outreach adviser, said this: "U.S. English is to Hispanics as the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks." He was referring to U.S. English, the nation's oldest, largest citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. "The Race" also pioneered Orwellian open-borders Newspeak and advised the Mexican government on how to lobby for illegal alien amnesty while avoiding the terms "illegal" and "amnesty."

5. "The Race" gives mainstream cover to a poisonous subset of ideological satellites, led by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MEChA). The late GOP Rep. Charlie Norwood rightly characterized the organization as "a radical racist group … one of the most anti-American groups in the country, which has permeated U.S. campuses since the 1960s, and continues its push to carve a racist nation out of the American West."

4. "The Race" is currently leading a smear campaign against staunch immigration enforcement leaders and has called for TV and cable news networks to keep immigration enforcement proponents off the airwaves -- in addition to pushing for Fairness Doctrine policies to shut up their foes. The New York Times reported that current "Race" president Janet Murguia believes "hate speech" should "not be tolerated, even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights."

3. "The Race" sponsors militant ethnic nationalist charter schools subsidized by your public tax dollars (at least $8 million in federal education grants). The schools include Aztlan Academy in Tucson, Ariz., the Mexicayotl Academy in Nogales, Ariz., Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School in St. Paul, Minn., and La Academia Semillas del Pueblo in Los Angeles, whose principal inveighed: "We don't want to drink from a White water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don't need a White water fountain … ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction."

2. "The Race" has perfected the art of the PC shakedown at taxpayer expense, pushing relentlessly to lower home loan standards for Hispanic borrowers, reaping millions in federal "mortgage counseling" grants, seeking special multimillion-dollar earmarks and partnering with banks that do business with illegal aliens.

1. "The Race" thrives on ethnic supremacy -- and the elite sheeple's unwillingness to call it what it is. As historian Victor Davis Hanson observes: "[The] organization's very nomenclature 'The National Council of La Raza' is hate speech to the core. Despite all the contortions of the group, Raza (as its Latin cognate suggests) reflects the meaning of 'race' in Spanish, not 'the people' -- and that's precisely why we don't hear of something like 'The National Council of the People,' which would not confer the buzz notion of ethnic, racial and tribal chauvinism."

The fringe is the center. The center is the fringe. Viva La Raza.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Minutemen Say "We're Not Gonna Stop"!

The government has abdicated its responsibility to enforce U.S. sovereignty at its borders for some decades now. This is a violation of Article IV, Section 4 of our Constitution, and in any case, nature abhors a vacuum. Illegal immigrants have rushed into the physical vacuum and then continued into settled North American communities where further, incremental abdication has created civic vacuums.

In this civic vacuum, the Mexican diplomatic corps has moved to occupy the field. Mexican consuls negotiate directly with municipal governments and local law enforcement, in defiance of Article I, Section 10, and in some cases these Mexican government officials assert direct physical authority over U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

It was just a matter of time, under these circumstances, until patriotic U.S. individuals would take matters into their own hands. I do not use the term vigilante to describe the Minutemen because their activities, so far as I know, have been entirely lawful, and they have not interfered with any judicial or law enforcement processes. The Supreme Court of the U.S. has so found.

There is an intriguing alliance between environmentalists and open-borders advocates. Environmentalists were, a generation ago, some of the strongest anti-immigration constituents, simply due to their concerns about overpopulation. Now, the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife have emerged as important allies of the Open Borders Lobby.

This suggests there is truth in the analysis of conservative talk show hosts Neil Boortz and Rush Limbaugh that North American leftists have migrated en masse into the environmental movement since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and that these recent converts are not honestly concerned with the environment, but find it convenient to employ environmental issues to impose totalitarian collectivist policies on Western democracies.

Below, a somewhat self-serving Minuteman press release celebrates a recent Supreme Court ruling that U.S. environmental laws do not preclude the construction of a security fence at the border.

We Will Keep the Heat on the Feds and Keep Building Fence!

The Supreme Court spoke loud and clear confirming two years of Minuteman efforts and donations by clearing the way for Border Fencing on the U.S. Mexico. Justices declined without comment to hear a petition from 14 Democrats with the open border lobby in Congress and a group of law professors hiding behind environmental issues submitted by Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club. The ruling allows the Department of Homeland Security to continue border fence construction.

The fences built by the Minutemen have been a driving force compelling the federal government to act, and the ranchers along the border in Arizona say it well: "The government wasn't doing anything until the Minutemen showed up."

Minutemen must continue to keep the pressure on and make the federal government actually BUILD IT — talk is cheap, and a complete fence along the entire border is needed.

Al Garza, MCDC Executive Director says it all: "We're Not Gonna Stop" … "Anywhere We Can Drive a Post In, Is Where We're Gonna Stop Them."

The Minutemen are pleased with the Supreme Court's action confirming our efforts to make border security and border fencing a national priority. Now we must push the Congress to continue to the government's plan to build the first 670-miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico. The court's action clears the way to press ahead with the project with little worry that judges will be able to stop it.

Minutemen will continue working to stop activist federal judges that reject that claim as the open border lobby will continue to push for the justices to reconsider the issue at hand.

The Federal project still faces legal challenges from landowners and tribal groups.

But the government is not doing anywhere near all that it can do — it is long on talk and short on performance, selling the American people short as it has for decades.

The Feds are stalling, wasting time at vast expense on delayed timelines—all in the hopes that the people of this country will be won over by their political grandstanding and public relations. But if one thing is true about Americans, it is that we know how to work, we stay until the work is done, and we give it 110%.

Minutemen have revitalized fence building efforts. Against endless waves of open-border lobbying, and a constant barrage of nay-saying, criticism and media distortions, the Minutemen simply continue on their mission — to secure the border of these United States. We will not be distracted, and we will not be dissuaded.

While the alliance of critics devote all their time and resources seeking to destroy U.S. security and erase our border, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps volunteers stand strong in the gap to fortify, build, increase and improve border security for our country.

Much has been done and much more is left to do.

Minutemen have been hard at work grading, excavating, digging holes — sometimes in rock — and putting 9,504 linear feet of fence posts into the ground. There are (528) eighteen foot long posts cemented four feet deep into the ground, secured with 35,367 yards of concrete all of which is designed to support a cost effective and lasting fence that is a testament to the strength and resolve of the American Minutemen who say BUILD IT.

254 galvanized steel mesh panels are already installed according to our fence engineering and manufacture specifications, with anchor bolts that are shot into the steel and work the same as a weld. These panels form an anti-climb wall of security fence that is a substantial barrier forcing illegal aliens to go around the entire fence structure. Using anything short of a tank will not suffice to tear down these posts.

There is still much work to do. The fight has been long and hard, but the Minutemen are still gaining ground. Quietly and confidently our volunteers have trudged forward, through heat and monsoon season—and the mud that their opposition is throwing at them. What lies ahead is hope. Already the efforts of the Minutemen have paved the way, forcing our feckless federal government to begin giving the American people what they want and need, a border fence.

Stand up against the left, and against Quisling sell-out political agendas, and help the Minutemen get the job done. Help them Build the Fence. Show the world that the America that we love does not care for empty words, we care for action!

Finish the Hodges Minuteman Border Fence Now!

There is hope on the horizon to demonstrate to the nation and the Feds WHAT WORKS, but it will take the same stalwart dedication you have already shown. With your support we will be able to construct a barrier that will set the Fence standard for the Feds of ACTUAL, affordable impenetrability—thwarting the attempts of illegal aliens to invade this country.

It will cost about $400,000 to finish the Hodges Ranch span and install full security FOMGuard technology in the ground at $250 per foot of fence.

I know it's a lot of money. But we cannot secure America on the cheap. And this is vastly less expensive and vastly more effective than the federal government costs for what little physical fencing they are actually getting into the ground.

We are asking everyone who has already generously sacrificed to immediately send a $50 Donation Today. Doing so will complete our current project in Bisbee, AZ, and greatly empower our allies in Congress who want to show Washington a working model of actual, affordable fence!

Your country needs you now! The Minutemen and women need you now! If you are one of the thousands who have already contributed to building the Minuteman Fence, we thank you for your sacrifice—but we need you if possible to redouble your efforts and donate again. If you have never donated we ask you to join us by making a generous financial contribution and by becoming a Minuteman Volunteer.

Go and join with us TODAY.

For the love of our country,

Carmen Mercer
Vice President and Director of Government Relations
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps

Friday, June 20, 2008

Historical Overview of U.S. Immigration

This is a November 2006 blog post by Rubina, a.k.a. nevadaspirit1, entitled The U.S. Immigration System from the Beginning to the Present Day. Rubina says the US has always been a difficult country to get into, and that our immigration system is largely geared toward family reunification (for relatives already here) rather than overseas skills acquisition, because we are relatively self-sufficient in producing our own skilled workers and college graduates.

Americans encouraged relatively free and open immigration during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and did not question that policy until the late 1800's. After certain states passed immigration laws following the Civil War, the Supreme Court in 1875 declared that regulation of immigration is a Federal responsibility. Thus, as the number of immigrants rose in the 1880's and economic conditions in some areas worsened, Congress began to issue immigration legislation. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Alien Contract Labour laws of 1885 and 1887 prohibited certain labourers from immigrating to the United States. The more general Immigration Act of 1882 levied a head tax of fifty cents on each immigrant and blocked (or excluded) the entry of idiots, lunatics, convicts, and persons likely to become a public charge. These national immigration laws created the need for a Federal enforcement agency.

In the 1880's, state boards or commissions enforced immigration law with direction from U.S. Treasury Department officials. At the Federal level, U.S. Customs Collectors at each port of entry collected the head tax from immigrants while "Chinese Inspectors" enforced the Chinese Exclusion Act. Congress soon expanded the list of excludable classes, and in doing so made regulation of immigration more complex. As a result, when the Immigration Act of 1891 barred polygamists, persons convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, and those suffering loathsome or contagious diseases from immigrating, it also created the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration. Located within the Treasury Department, the Superintendent oversaw a new corps of U.S. Immigrant Inspectors stationed at the United States' principal ports of entry.

Under the 1891 law, the Federal Government assumed the task of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States. The Immigration Service's first task was to collect arrival manifests (passenger lists) from each incoming ship, a responsibility of the Customs Service since 1820. Enforcing immigration law was a new Federal function, and the 1890's witnessed the Immigration Service's first attempts to implement national immigration policy.

Operations began in New York Harbour at a new Federal immigration station on Ellis Island, which opened January 2, 1892. The largest and busiest station for decades, Ellis Island housed inspection facilities, hearing and detention rooms, hospitals, cafeterias, administrative offices, railroad ticket offices, and representatives of many immigrant aidsocieties. Ellis Island station also employed 119 of the Immigration Service's entire staff of 180 in 1893. The Service continued building additional immigrant stations at other principal ports of entry through the early twentieth century. At New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other traditional ports of entry, the Immigration Service hired many Immigrant Inspectors who previously worked for state agencies. At other ports, both old and new, the Service built an Inspector corps by hiring former Customs Inspectors and Chinese Inspectors, and training recruits. An "immigrant fund" created from collection of immigrants' head tax financed the Immigration Service until 1909, when Congress replaced the fund with an annual appropriation.

During its first decade at Ellis Island and other ports, the Immigration Service formalized basic immigration procedures. Inspectors questioned arrivals about their admissibility and noted their admission or rejection on manifest records. Detention Guards and Matrons cared for those people detained pending decisions in their cases or, if the decision was negative, awaiting deportation. Inspectors also served on Boards of Special Inquiry that closely reviewed each exclusion case. Often, aliens were excluded because they lacked funds or had no friends or relatives nearby. In these cases the Board of Special Inquiry usually admitted the person if someone could post bond or one of the immigrant aid societies would take responsibility for the alien. Those denied admission by the Board were deported at the expense of the transportation company that brought the alien to the port.

Congress continued to exert Federal control over immigration with the Act of March 2, 1895, which upgraded the Office of Immigration to the Bureau of Immigration and changed the agency head's title from Superintendent to Commissioner-General of Immigration. The Act of June 6, 1900, further consolidated immigration enforcement by assigning both Alien Contract Labour law and Chinese Exclusion responsibilities to the Commissioner-General. Because most immigration laws of the time sought to protect American workers and wages, an Act of February 14, 1903, transferred the Bureau of Immigration from the Treasury Department to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labour.

Attention then turned to naturalization, a duty assigned to Congress by the Constitution but carried out by "any court of record" since 1802. A commission charged with investigating naturalization practice and procedure reported in 1905 that there was little or no uniformity among the nation's more than 5,000 naturalization courts. Congress responded with the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906, which framed the rules for naturalization in effect today. The 1906 law also proscribed standard naturalization forms, encouraged state and local courts to relinquish their naturalization jurisdiction to Federal courts, and expanded the Bureau of Immigration into the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.

To standardize naturalization procedures nationwide, the new Naturalization Service collected copies of every naturalization record issued by every naturalization court. To prevent fraud, Bureau officials checked immigration records to verify that each applicant for citizenship had been legally admitted into the United States. When the Department of Commerce and Labour divided into separate cabinet departments in 1913, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization divided into the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization. The two bureaus existed separately within the Department of Labour until 1933.

The Immigration Service took form during an unprecedented rise in immigration to the United States. While Congress continued to strengthen national immigration law with acts such as the Immigration Act of 1907, a Presidential Commission investigated the causes of massive emigration out of Southern and Eastern Europe and a Congressional Commission studied conditions among immigrants in the United States. These commission reports influenced the writing and passage of the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, required that immigrants be able to read and write in their native language. The Immigration Service then began administering literacy tests.

The outbreak of World War I reduced immigration from Europe, but also imposed new responsibilities on the agency. Internment of enemy aliens (primarily seamen who worked on captured enemy ships) became a Service function. Passport requirements imposed by a 1918 Presidential Proclamation increased agency paperwork during immigrant inspection and deportation activities. The passport requirement also disrupted routine traffic across United States land borders with Canada and Mexico, and the Immigration Service consequently began to issue Border Crossing Cards.

Mass immigration resumed after the war, and Congress responded with a new immigration policy, the national origins quota system. Established by Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924, the system limited immigration by assigning each nationality a quota based on its representation in past United States census figures. The State Department distributed a limited number of visas each year through United States Embassies abroad, and the Immigration Service only admitted immigrants who arrived with a valid visa.

The corollary to severely restricted immigration is increased illegal immigration. In response to rising illegal entries and alien smuggling, especially along land borders, Congress in 1924 created the U.S. Border Patrol within the Immigration Service. The strict new immigration policy coupled with Border Patrol successes shifted more agency staff and resources to deportation activity. Rigorous enforcement of immigration law at the ports of entry also swelled appeals under the law and led to creation of the Immigration Board of Review within the Immigration Bureau in the mid-1920's. (The Board of Review became the Board of Immigration Appeals after moving to the Justice Department in the 1940's, and since 1983 has been known as the Executive Office of Immigration Review.)

A grassroots Americanisation movement popular before World War I influenced developments in the Naturalization Bureau during the 1920's. The Bureau published the first Federal Textbook on Citizenship in 1918 to prepare naturalization applicants, and its Education for Citizenship program distributed textbooks to public schools offering citizenship education classes and notified eligible aliens of available education opportunities. Legislation of 1926 introduced the designated examiner system that assigned a Naturalization Examiner to each naturalization court to monitor proceedings, interview applicants, and promote uniform implementation of Federal naturalization policy.

Executive Order 6166 of June 10, 1933, reunited the two bureaus into one agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Consolidation resulted in significant reduction of the agency's workforce achieved through merit testing and application of Civil Service examination procedures. During the 1930's, immigration volume dropped significantly. Deportation constituted a larger share of INS operations, as did certain repatriation programs later in the decade.

The threat of war in Europe, and a growing perception of immigration as a national security rather than an economic issue, affected the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1940. The President's Reorganization Plan Number V of that year moved the INS from the Department of Labour to the Department of Justice. United States entry into World War II brought additional change when many Service personnel enlisted in the Armed Forces and left INS short of experienced staff. At the same time, INS Headquarters moved to Philadelphia to sit out the war.

New responsibilities led to the agency's rapid growth during World War II. The INS' war-related duties included: Recording and fingerprinting every alien in the United States through the Alien Registration Program; organization and operation of internment camps and detention facilities for enemy aliens; constant guard of national borders by the Border Patrol; record checks related to security clearances for immigrant defence workers; and administration of a program to import agricultural labourers to harvest the crops left behind by Americans who went to war. The only agency responsibility to end during the war was enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which Congress repealed in 1943. Other war-time changes were conversion to a new record-keeping system, implementation of the Nationality Act of 1940, and doubling of the agency workforce from approximately 4,000 to 8,000 employees.

Immigration remained relatively low following World War II, because the 1920's national origins system remained in place after Congress re-codified and combined all previous immigration and naturalisation law into the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. American agriculture continued to import seasonal labour from Mexico, as they had during the war, under a 1951 formal agreement between the United States and Mexico that made the Bra cero Programme permanent. Other INS programmes of the late 1940's and 1950's addressed conditions in post-war Europe. The War Brides Act of 1945 facilitated admission of the spouses and families of returning American soldiers. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 and Refugee Relief Act of 1953 allowed for admission of many refugees displaced by the war and unable to come to the United States under regular immigration procedures. With the onset of the Cold War, the Hungarian Refugee Act of 1956, Refugee-Escapee Act of 1957, and Cuban Adjustment Program of the 1960's served the same purpose.

By the mid-1950's, INS enforcement activities focused on two areas of national concern. Public alarm over illegal aliens resident and working in the United States caused the Service to strengthen border controls and launch targeted deportation programs, most notably "Operation Wetback." Additional worry over criminal aliens within the country prompted INS investigation and deportation of communists, subversives, and organized crime figures.

In 1965 amendments to the 1952 immigration law, Congress replaced the national origins system with a preference system designed to reunited immigrant families and attract skilled immigrants to the United States. This change to national policy responded to changes in the sources of immigration since 1924. The majority of applicants for immigration visas now came from Asia and Central and South America rather than Europe. The preference system continued to limit the number of immigration visas available each year, however, and Congress still responded to refugees with special legislation, as it did for Indochinese refugees in the 1970's. Not until the Refugee Act of 1980 did the United States have a general policy governing the admission of refugees.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service's functional responsibilities expanded again under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The Act charged the INS with enforcing sanctions against United States employers who hired undocumented aliens. Carrying out employer sanction duties involved investigating, prosecuting, and levying fines against corporate and individual employers, as well as deportation of those found to be working illegally. The 1986 law also allowed certain aliens illegally in the U.S. to legalize their residence here, and INS administered that legalization program.

Changes in world migration patterns, the modern ease of international travel for business or pleasure, and a growing emphasis on controlling illegal immigration all fostered growth of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the late twentieth century. The INS workforce, which numbered approximately 8,000 from World War II through the late 1970's, today includes more than 30,000 employees in thirty-six INS districts at home and abroad. The original force of Immigrant Inspectors is now a corps of officers specializing in inspection, examination, adjudication, legalization, investigation, patrol, and refugee and asylum issues. As it enters a second century, the Immigration and Naturalization Service continues to enforce laws providing for selective immigration and controlled entry of tourists, business travellers, and other temporary visitors. It does so by inspecting and admitting arrivals at land, sea, and air ports of entry, administering benefits such as naturalization and permanent resident status, and apprehending and removing aliens who enter illegally or violate the requirements of their stay.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

House of Representatives Discharge Petition Could Rescue SAVE Act From Oblivion

Since Tuesday, 168 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a discharge petition to outflank House leadership and force a vote on H.R. 4088, the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act.

According to supporters, who summarize the SAVE Act as "attrition through enforcement," it would, within 4 years, remove nearly all illegal aliens from the U.S. job market, and greatly increase funding for the border fences and for personnel to patrol the borders. The Act would, supporters say, "turn off the job magnet for illegal immigration."

According to the Numbers USA website, the Democratic leadership has not threatened Democratic Congressmen who sign the discharge petition.

"They have made it clear they oppose bringing the SAVE Act to a vote. But they haven't said they will punish Democrats who sign the discharge petition. Democrats are free to follow their conscience and the will of the voters in their district."

The leadership had asked Democrats to wait on signing the discharge petition so it could bring the SAVE Act to a vote through other channels. But negotiations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Heath Shuler broke off after the Speaker insisted on some form of amnesty in the bill. As a result, there will be no vote on SAVE unless the discharge petition succeeds.

The Americans for Better Immigration website suggests that several House members are trying to have it both ways - they have signed on as co-sponsors in order to have bragging rights back in their home districts, but they haven't signed the discharge petition that would actually bring their bill to a vote.

Immigration reform activists are anxious to keep the momentum by adding more signatures to the discharge petition, and have mounted a grass-roots campaign in the Congressional districts to urge House members to sign it before they leave Washington for a two-week recess.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Internet Polemics About Illegal Immigration

This letter may well be contrived, but it is nevertheless an example of the Internet polemics that tap into working-class American frustration about legislative proposals to extend amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Becoming Illegal

(From an actual letter from an Iowa resident that was sent to his senator)

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington , IA

Saturday, March 1, 2008

ABC News on 9/11 Redux: "Thousands of Aliens" in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally

Former FAA Inspector: TSA's Enforcement "Basically Nonexistent"

Thousands of foreign student pilots have been able to enroll and obtain pilot licenses from U.S. flight schools, despite tough laws passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, according to internal government documents obtained by ABC News.

The new laws were passed after it was learned that all of the 9/11 hijackers (including ringleader Mohammed Atta) who were involved in flight operations had trained at U.S. flight schools with improper visas.

"Some of the very same conditions that allowed the 9-11 tragedy to happen in the first place are still very much in existence today," wrote one regional security
official to his boss at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

"Thousands of aliens, some of whom may very well pose a threat to this country, are taking flight lessons, being granted FAA certifications and are flying planes," wrote the TSA official, Richard A. Horn, in 2005, complaining that the students did not have the proper visas.

Under the new laws, American flight schools are only supposed to provide pilot training to foreign students who have been given a background check by the TSA and have a specific type of visa.

But in thousands of cases that has not happened, according to the documents and current and former government officials involved in the program.

"TSA's enforcement is basically nonexistent," said former FAA inspector Bill McNease, in an interview for ABC News' World News With Charles Gibson.

McNease, who retired last year, says in one year alone, 2005, he found some 8,000 foreign students in the FAA database who got their pilot licenses without ever being approved by the TSA.

"And a flight school wants the money to teach 'em. And they are gonna teach 'em how to fly and get their ratings, and then they just slip through the cracks," McNease said.

In another internal e-mail obtained by ABC News, Monty Thompson, an official in the TSA Flight School Inspections section, complained in 2005 to his bosses in Washington, "I fear we are "dangerously close" to losing sight of the mission and the intent of the Flight School Security provisions."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Spousal Abuse Accusation: Ticket to Preferential ICE Treatment?

Domestic violence against immigrant brides presents a difficult policy question. Do we oblige the woman to prove her claim by competent evidence, in order to protect men from false accusations? Or, to prevent any further abuse, do we presume the truthfulness of her charges, and just write off any falsely accused men as collateral damage?

Writer Carey Roberts suggests the dilemma is intensified by the incentive for disloyal wives to falsely accuse their husbands in order to receive preferential treatment from Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and passes along the first-person account of a man who says he was victimized by his foreign wife and the presumption of guilt.

By Carey Roberts,

Each year the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and similar federal laws funnel $1 billion to help abused and battered women – or so we are led to believe. A good part of that money goes to immigrants who claim to be victims of domestic violence.

Last Fall I wrote a three-part exposé that revealed how an immigrant woman’s restraining order becomes a “gold-plated meal ticket that entitles her to preferential treatment by immigration authorities, free legal services, and a generous helping of welfare services.”

One woman whose father had been falsely accused of abuse and forced from his home wrote me, “I believe the Violence Against Women Act should be called the ‘Women Get What They Want Act.’”

Following those columns I received an unending stream of horror stories from persons falsely accused of domestic violence. One came from Sean Moffett of St. Paul, Minn. whose wife is from Guatemala. Soon after the wedding he discovered to his dismay that her real aim was different from what she had pledged in her wedding vows.

This is his story:

My wife’s family came to visit for a few months and they repeatedly attempted to provoke confrontations between my wife and me. Ultimately, my wife assaulted me by punching me in the neck. I did not hit my wife back or abuse her in any way.

I was arrested for 5th Degree Domestic Assault and spent three days in jail for a crime I did not commit and for not leaving my home under duress. While I was behind bars, my wife cleaned out the joint bank account.

I later learned that a legal aid group called Civil Society Helps had assisted with my wife’s abuse claims to expedite her immigration application. This outfit helps many immigrant women to file false abuse claims under the Violence Against Women Act.

Shortly after my release from jail, my wife asked me to write a letter to immigration stating I was an abusive husband. She promised if I wrote the letter she would help me get my home back.

Instead of allowing myself to be blackmailed, I wrote the Citizenship and Immigration Service to withdraw the petition for my wife’s U.S. residency. I used my last credit card to retain a lawyer to petition for divorce. At that point I was broke, homeless, and sleeping in my car and under my desk at the office.

The courts later granted my wife all of the marital property and ordered that I surrender to her a car that was titled in my name. To add insult to injury, the judge granted her a one year Order for Protection.

She then telephoned me several times, calling me an “abuser” real slow and sarcastically. Knowing how groups like the Civil Society work, I can only imagine how they coached my wife.

Several times my wife has been confronted by the Eagan, Minn. police for driving without a license. She was repeatedly given a warning, yet continued to drive the vehicle.

Later, I spoke with one of the officers and reminded him it is against the law for anyone to drive a motor vehicle without a license or insurance. His partner threatened to arrest me for allegedly creating a public disturbance. But I had done nothing wrong and they backed off when I informed them I had a witness looking on.

Last year I earned a very high salary, lived in a house by a lake, and enjoyed life as much as I could with a wife who didn’t love me. At age 36 I had no previous criminal history and had honorably completed four years of U.S. military service.

In three days, I was reduced to living in poverty and was homeless for weeks. I am no longer employable in my field due to my “criminal” history -- 5th degree domestic assault with no conviction. My house was recently foreclosed and I have lost everything.

Thanks to our VAWA laws and a series of outright lies by an immigrant residency-seeker, a law-abiding American citizen can be left penniless. All of your assets can be seized and given to the immigrant even if you are innocent of the charges.

The courts have violated my rights as an American citizen and I am alienated in my own country.

© 2008 Carey Roberts - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Documents for Travel to the United States

What is the WHTI?

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a U.S. law that requires all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when traveling to, or through, the United States from within the western hemisphere. The new document requirements were implemented for air travelers to the United States in January 2007. Final document requirements for those seeking to enter the United States at land or sea ports of entry have yet to be finalized and implemented.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

For the past two years, the Government of Canada has strongly encouraged the United States to ensure that the WHTI is implemented with minimal impact on travel and trade at the border and without compromising local communities and our integrated economies.

The Government of Canada has urged the U.S. administration to take advantage of the time granted by the U.S. Congress to get the WHTI implementation right. This will allow the two governments to continue to collaborate closely on a strategy for implementing the WHTI for land and water travel in a way that will address security needs, while facilitating the flow of legitimate travellers and goods across our shared border.

A shared commitment to security and prosperity

A working group headed by senior officials of the Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is directing the work of government representatives.

Canada is concerned about the economic and community impacts of the WHTI if it is implemented before travelers on both sides of the border have obtained approved, secure documents.

Identifying secure documents

Government of Canada officials are working closely with their U.S. counterparts to determine which alternative documents would be accepted at land and water ports of entry by the time the WHTI is fully implemented, at the earliest, on June 1, 2009.

Canada is working with the United States to ensure that the WHTI implementation increases security at the border without compromising the flow of legitimate trade and travel.

As part of this effort, the Government of Canada’s negotiations have led to recognition that enhanced driver’s licences (EDLs) and the Certificate of Indian Status card could potentially serve as acceptable alternatives to passports at the Canada-U.S. land and water borders.

The Government of Canada’s efforts have also resulted in Canadians aged 18 and under being allowed to present only a birth certificate to enter the United States by land and water.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2d Circuit: Ineffective Assistance Can Constitute "Exceptional Circumstances"

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has blasted the immigration bar in Garfield Aris v. Michael Mukasey, a recent case alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, decided Feb. 20.

With disturbing frequency, this Court encounters evidence of ineffective representation by attorneys retained by immigrants seeking legal status in this country. We have previously indicated that ineffective assistance of counsel can constitute an “exceptional circumstance” warranting the reopening of a deportation order entered in absentia. See Twum v. INS, 411 F.3d 54, 59 n.4 (2d Cir. 2005).

We write today to establish what we would have thought self-evident: A lawyer who misadvises his client concerning the date of an immigration hearing and then fails to inform the client of the deportation order entered in absentia (or the ramifications thereof) has provided ineffective assistance. We further clarify that such misadvice may constitute ineffective assistance of counsel even where it is supplied by a paralegal providing scheduling information on behalf of a lawyer.

Under the (Immigration & Naturalization Act), an alien ordered deported in absentia may reopen the case by filing a motion within 180 days after the order of deportation if the alien demonstrates that the failure to appear was because of exceptional circumstances.

(The Act) defines exceptional circumstances as “circumstances such as serious illness of the alien or death of an immediate relative of the alien, but not including less compelling circumstances) beyond the control of the alien.”

We now join our sister circuits in concluding that, under BIA precedent applicable to the pre-1996 version of the INA as well as its current iteration, a lawyer’s inaccurate advice to his client concerning an immigration hearing date can constitute “exceptional circumstances” excusing the alien’s failure to appear at a deportation hearing...and meriting the reopening of an in absentia deportation order.

The importance of quality representation is especially acute to immigrants, a vulnerable population who come to this country searching for a better life, and who often arrive unfamiliar with our language and culture, in economic deprivation and in fear. In immigration matters, so much is at stake -- the right to remain in this country, to reunite a family, or to work. While binding Second Circuit precedent holds that aliens in deportation proceedings have “no specific right to counsel,” the Fifth Amendment does require that such proceedings comport with due process of the law.

...given the disturbing pattern of ineffectiveness evidenced in the record in this case(and, with alarming frequency, in other immigration cases before us), we reiterate that due process concerns may arise when retained counsel provides representation in an immigration proceeding that falls so far short of professional duties as to “impinge upon the fundamental fairness of the hearing.”

The Court goes on to lecture immigration attorneys on the fundamentals of their obligation to provide competent services, and to make prompt disclosure of lapses.

Members of the bar enjoy a monopoly on legal practice, a professionalized system designed in large part around [their] needs. And for that reason, among others, lawyers have a duty to render competent services to their clients.

When lawyers representing immigrants fail to live up to their professional obligations, it is all too often the immigrants they represent who suffer the consequences.

We appreciate that, unfortunately, calendar mishaps will from time to time occur. But the failure to communicate such mistakes, once discovered, to the client, and to take all necessary steps to correct them is more than regrettable -- it is unacceptable. It is nondisclosure that turns the ineffective assistance of a mere scheduling error into more serious malpractice.

(This deportee's) prior attorneys failed spectacularly to honor their professional obligation to him and to the legal system they were duty-bound to serve. Governmental authorities, whatever their roles, must be attentive to such lapses that so grievously undermine the administration of justice.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Obama, Clinton Unite Against Border Fence

Obama, Clinton Back Off Border-Fence Law
By Terence P. Jeffrey,

( - In a CNN debate in Austin, Texas, Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton agreed Thursday night that the Secure Border Fence Act of 2006, which directs the secretary of Homeland Security to construct 700 miles of double border fencing along specific sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, should not be enforced as written.

"I think when (Obama and I) voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered," said Clinton.

Stressing her desire to be deferential to the views of people who live along the border in Texas -- which on March 4 will hold a primary that is widely viewed as a must-win event for the New York senator -- Clinton said of a border fence, "there may be limited places where it would work. But let's deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier."

"This is an area where Senator Clinton and I almost entirely agree," said Obama. "I think that the key is to consult with local communities, whether it's on the commercial interests or the environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier."

Both Clinton and Obama argued that the Bush administration was being too aggressive in pushing to build the border fence mandated by the 2006 law.

The agreement among the senators came in response to a question asked by CNN's John King, one of the moderators of the debate.

On September 29, 2006, the Senate voted 80-19 for passage of H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act of 2006. (It passed the House on September 14, 2006, by a vote of 283-138). Clinton and Obama both voted for the act.

The law mandated that the secretary of Homeland Security build more than 700 miles of double fencing along specific segments of the U.S.-Mexico. Then House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R.-N.Y.), the principal sponsor of the law, explained its purpose in a floor speech on the day of the 2006 House vote. "It provides over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing," King said, according to the Congressional Record.

An October 1, 2006 story in the Washington Post, which reported that the bill had passed in the Senate, carried this headline: "Border Fence is Approved; Congress Sets Aside Immigration Overhaul in Favor of 700-Mile Barrier."

"The Senate gave final approval Friday night to legislation authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, shelving President Bush's vision of a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in favor of a vast barrier," said the lead in the Post story.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives and one third of U.S. senators faced reelection contests just one month after passage of the Secure Fence Act.

The actual text of the law -- enacted with Clinton's and Obama's votes -- is unambiguous.

"[T]he Secretary of Homeland Security," the law says, "shall provide for at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors--(i) extending from 10 miles west of the Tecate, California, port of entry to 10 miles east of the Tecate, California, port of entry; (ii) extending from 10 miles west of the Calexico, California, port of entry to 5 miles east of the Douglas, Arizona, port of entry; (iii) extending from 5 miles west of the Columbus, New Mexico, port of entry to 10 miles east of El Paso, Texas; (iv) extending from 5 miles northwest of the Del Rio, Texas, port of entry to 5 miles southeast of the Eagle Pass, Texas, port of entry; and (v) extending 15 miles northwest of the Laredo, Texas, port of entry to the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry."

Early in Thursday night's debate, moderator John King asked about the legally mandated fence, noting that many people in southern Texas oppose it.

/ldblquote Senator, back in 2006, you voted for the construction of that fence. As you know, progress has been slow," said King. "As president of the United States, would you commit tonight that you would finish the fence and speed up the construction, or do you think it's time for a president of the United States to raise his or her hand and say, 'You know what? Wait a minute. Let's think about this again. Do we really want to do this?'"

Clinton's full answer, including some back and forth with King, runs more than 500 words in the transcript of the debate posted by CNN on it website.

"Well, I think both Senator Obama and I voted for that as part of the immigration debate," she started. "And having been along the border for the last week or so--in fact, last night I was at the University of Texas at Brownsville -- and this is how absurd this has become under the Bush administration. Because, you know, there is a smart way to protect our borders, and there is a dumb way to protect our borders. And what I learned last night when I was there with Congressman [Solomon] Ortiz [D.-Texas] is that the University of Texas at Brownsville would have part of its campus cut off.

"This is the kind of absurdity that we're getting from this administration," Clinton continued. "I know it because I've been fighting with them about the northern border. Their imposition of passports and other kinds of burdens are separating people from families, interfering with business and commerce, the movement of goods and people. So what I've said is that I would say, wait a minute, we need to review this. There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate.

"I think when both of us voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered," said Clinton. "But as with so much, the Bush administration has gone off the deep end, and they are unfortunately coming up with a plan that I think is counterproductive.

"So I would have a review," she said. "I would listen to the people who live along the border, who understand what it is we need to be doing to protect our country."

When King then asked her whether she now thought her vote for the border fence was wrong, she did not give a yes-no answer. Instead, she suggested using more manpower and technology, instead of fencing, to secure the border.

"But, you know, John," she said, "there's a lot we've learned about technology and smart fencing. You know, there is technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier. It requires us having enough personnel along the border so that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and will be able to be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross illegally."

She then suggested President Bush was being too aggressive in trying to build the fence. "I think that the way that the Bush administration is going about this, filing eminent domain actions against landowners and municipalities, makes no sense," she said.

"So what I have said is, yes, there are places when after a careful review, again listening to the people who live along the border, there may be limited places where it would work," she said. "But let's deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier.

"I frankly think that will work better and it will give us an opportunity to secure our borders without interfering with family relations, business relations, recreation and so much else that makes living along the border, you know, wonderful," she said. "And the people who live there need to have a president who understands it, will listen to them and be responsive."

Obama indicated that he agreed with Clinton in this area. "Well, this is an area where Senator Clinton and I almost entirely agree," he said. "I think that the key is to consult with local communities, whether it's on the commercial interests or the environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier. And the Bush administration is not real good at listening. That's not what they do well.

"And so I will reverse that policy," Obama said. "As Senator Clinton indicated, there may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. But for the most part, having border patrolled, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that's going to be the better approach."