Thursday, September 30, 2010
Immigration check program goes statewide in Texas
A federal program that automatically checks the immigration status of suspects booked into local lockups officially went statewide in Texas on Wednesday, two years after the nationwide crackdown began in Houston jails.
The rapidly expanding Secure Communities program, a fingerprint-sharing system run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was expanded to all 254 counties in Texas this week. It makes Texas the largest state in the nation to fully implement the program in every county.
Nationally there have been more than 41,000 deportations of illegal immigrants under the program, and nearly 40 percent of those occurred in Texas, according to ICE. Many Texas counties have had the program in place for months.
Since debuting in Harris County in October 2008, federal authorities swiftly installed the program across Texas without, apparently, the objections met elsewhere. Just this week in California, officials in Santa Clara County voted unanimously to abandon Secure Communities, saying it creates an atmosphere of fear in the community.
San Francisco has also indicated it wants out of the program. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's office was negotiating an agreement with the federal government last month that would make Colorado the first of 29 states to modify the program.
The program has also played into the Texas gubernatorial race, and Wednesday's announcement by ICE led Democratic candidate Bill White to have to tweak a campaign pledge. White listed helping local law enforcement adopt Secure Communities as part of his six-point border security plan unveiled this month, but with the program now officially statewide, his campaign changed the message to helping "implement" the program.
Critics say the program busies itself rounding up low-level criminals and discourages crime victims from coming forward, such as a domestic violence victims who won't call police for fear a spouse will be deported.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said he was not aware of any Texas counties that have asked to be removed from the program or requested modifications.
In Travis County, sheriff's department spokesman Roger Wade said the community has supported it. "I don't see how it couldn't be smooth sailing," Wade said. "All we do is open up our database to (the federal government)."
Fingerprints of people booked into jails already are sent to state criminal justice departments to be checked against federal criminal databases. Under Secure Communities, they also go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to run through Homeland Security databases.
ICE divides crimes into three categories, with Level 1 being the most serious. Level 1 crimes include actions that threaten or compromise national security, murder, rape, drug crimes punishable by more than one year, theft and even resisting arrest.
In Texas, more than 3,200 of those deported have been Level 1, according to ICE. For lower-level suspects identified in the program, Rusnok said "it's a resource issue" when it comes to deciding whether to pursue deportation. He said more than 709,000 people in Texas jails have been screened through the program since it debuted.
Texas counties are among the 659 local jurisdictions in 32 states enrolled in the program. President Barack Obama's administration wants Secure Communities operating nationwide by 2013.
Immigration to Australia drops somewhat but population growth still troublingly high
Australia's population growth has fallen to its slowest rate since 2007, after a sharp decline in migration levels continued into the first quarter of this year. According to the Bureau of Statistics, the nation was home to 22,272,000 people at the end of March, but the annual growth rate had slowed considerably to 1.8 per cent, from the 2.2 per cent record high of the previous year.
Although the election debate often centred on immigration, the figures, published yesterday, show that a key reason for the slowdown was a cooling in net migration, which was 37 per cent lower than a year earlier.
Some 241,400 people migrated to Australia over the year to March, but this was a far cry from the record of 320,300 in the previous year.
On the other hand, a domestic baby-boom has been gathering pace, with a record 303,500 babies born in the year to March, 3.1 per cent more than last year. With the number of deaths falling, this meant the rate of population natural increase - births minus deaths - was 7 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Overall, the annual growth in population remains well above its long-term average, prompting concerns about overstretched infrastructure.
An economist at CommSec, Savanth Sebastian, said such "phenomenal" growth was near the fastest in the developed world. "More people in Australia means greater demands for houses, roads, schools, hospitals and a raft of retail goods, and as such is providing much-needed stimulus in trying times for the global economy," he said.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:52 PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
An open door to welfare tourists
EU warns Britain it can't stop thousands more migrants claiming welfare handouts
Benefits tourists are set to get the green light to come to Britain and immediately claim handouts totalling £2.5billion a year. According to documents leaked to the Mail, ministers have been warned that restrictions on claims by immigrants are against the law and must be scrapped.
The European Commission's ruling threatens to open the door to tens of thousands who are currently deterred from coming to Britain. At the moment, a 'habitual residency test' is used to establish whether migrants from the EU are eligible for benefits.
To qualify for jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support, they must demonstrate that they either have worked or have a good opportunity to get a job.
But after receiving a complaint that the rules infringed the human rights of EU citizens, the Commission began to examine them. In a letter seen by the Mail, it warns that the restrictions are 'not compatible' with EU law. It says: 'EU law leaves it to member states to determine the details of their social security schemes and social assistance schemes, including the conditions on awarding benefits.
‘However, when making use of this competence, member states have to comply with the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the right to equal treatment on the basis of nationality. Having examined the “right to reside” test... it is not compatible with different legal provisions of EU law.’
The letter, written to the individual who made the complaint and copied to the British government, is dated last December, but Whitehall sources claim ministers in the outgoing Labour government failed to argue against the proposals.
Britain had toughened up its rules in 2004 when the EU was expanding its borders. The restrictions assess the eligibility of those from the EU and from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
But the Commission has begun legal proceedings against Britain to get restrictions on welfare claims by incomers scrapped.
If successful, the Government would be required to remove its deterrents to benefit tourism, including the right-to-reside test and an additional qualification for those claiming jobseeker’s allowance, that they must have worked for 12 months or more. Officials warn the bill could be between £1.3billion and £2.5billion a year – hampering plans to rein in welfare spending.
However, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is understood to be determined to fight the move through the courts if necessary.
The Whitehall source warned: ‘This has the potential to open the doors of the benefits system to anyone coming here from the entire European economic area, who may have no intention of working or even looking for work but simply wants to claim benefits. 'We already have enough of a problem managing people who want to come here. But this would open up a whole new wave of benefit tourism.’
Last year, 46,957 non-UK nationals took the habitual residence test. Of those, 24,604 passed and 22,353 failed. For the test, they are interviewed and asked about why they have come to the UK, how long they intend to stay and their employment arrangements.
‘Fundamentally this is designed to ensure people aren’t coming to the UK to be benefit tourists,’ added the source.
The Department for Work and Pensions said: ‘We are in discussions with the Commission as, in our view, the current rules are within the law and are right for the UK, and changing them now would not be in our interest.
Our rules fully support the freedom of workers within the EU, whilst making sure that there are reasonable restrictions on access to social security for those who have never worked in the UK. ‘This prevents unsustainable burdens being placed on our social security system. We will argue our case and work towards a favourable outcome.’
The case is specifically between Britain and the Commission, but other countries which impose restrictions on access to welfare for migrants – Denmark, France and Ireland – are likely to be affected too.
Britain’s test was introduced in 1993, but tightened in 2004 after concerns that residents of new member would move to the previous 15 member states to benefit from their generous social welfare systems. Former Labour minister Margaret Hodge has argued restrictions should be toughened further to address voters’ concerns.
French MPs debate controversial immigration law
French lawmakers debated a controversial immigration bill Tuesday which would expand the state's power to strip foreign-born citizens of their nationality if they commit major crimes.
The government says the bill is aimed at bringing French law into line with European Union immigration directives, but rights groups accuse President Nicolas Sarkozy of pursuing a populist anti-immigrant agenda.
The law was put to cabinet by Immigration Minister Eric Besson in March and subsequently toughened by Sarkozy and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux amid a security clampdown and accelerated mass expulsions of the Roma minority.
The bill extends the state's right to strip those who have immigrated within the last 10 years of their nationality if they kill or attempt to kill a person in authority, such as a police officer, a fireman or a judge.
Under current French law immigrants can be stripped of their nationality if they commit a crime against "the fundamental interests of France" or an act of terrorism. The fifth immigration law in France in seven years, the bill makes it easier to expel foreigners, including EU citizens who "threaten public order" through repeated theft, aggressive begging or "abusive occupation of land".
Rights groups say that equating begging or setting up caravans with public order issues plays on fears and prejudices -- and unfairly targets Roma.
EU laws on freedom of movement currently only allow removal of EU citizens who represent a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society."
Sarkozy, whose approval ratings are at an all-time low, is seeking to consolidate his conservative base ahead of presidential elections in 2012.
The bill allows for the creation of ad hoc detention zones for fast-tracking asylum claims as if the would-be immigrant were not actually in France, making it easier to expel them to a country of origin or of transit. Many of the bill's measures are seen as targeting Roma, who as EU citizens usually from Romania or Bulgaria have the right to stay anywhere in the EU for at least three months.
International bodies including the United Nations and the European Commission have criticised France's Roma expulsions, with the Commission due to rule on their legality amid uproar from rights groups.
Parliament "should reject measures in an omnibus immigration bill that appear to target Roma and weaken migrants' rights," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
"It is shocking that the French government is pushing for measures that clearly target Roma at a time when the European Commission is threatening legal action over France's expulsion of Roma," said HRW's Judith Sunderland. "It smacks of a populist move at the expense of the most discriminated against and vulnerable people in Europe today."
The bill accelerates entry procedures for highly qualified immigrants and requires those seeking French nationality to sign a charter of citizens rights and duties. Immigration Minister Besson said that he would be "very happy" if his ministry "could be a machine for making 'good French people.'"
"Last year we gave French nationality to 108,000 foreigners," Le Parisien newspaper quoted him as saying. "Being a 'good French person' doesn't mean denying your history, your roots or your French culture," he said.
The spokesman for opposition Socialist MPs, Bruno Le Roux, said that with every new immigration law "another step is taken in the deterioration of republican principles." "The more voters flee, the more radical the laws become, the more discussions are centred on immigration and security matters," he said shortly before the start of the debate.
MP Etienne Pinte from Sarkozy's own UMP party said he would vote against the law which "seeks to pull in the National Front's electorate." He said he would seek up to 40 amendments to the bill in order to "humanise" it.
Rights groups have called for a demonstration outside the National Assembly on Tuesday evening.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:43 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Mini-Documentary Examines Drug Cartel Travel Methods
Today the Center for Immigration Studies is releasing the third film in a series, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 3: A Day in the Life of a Drug Smuggler,” at an event hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies and Women in Homeland Security. This is the Center’s National Security Director Janice Kephart’s third web-based border film, this time focusing on drug cartel travel methods through Arizona’s federally owned land. Ms. Kephart obtained much of the footage for the film by traveling with her hidden camera guide into three drug running corridors in central Arizona. She was joined on the panel by Julie Myers Wood, former Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.
Hidden Cameras 3 exposes the ways and means of the illicit drug trade by specifically honing in on how drug mules successfully move 50 pound packs of marijuana through desert heat on foot into Arizona desert and 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border until they reach the east-west I-8 corridor. The film also includes hidden camera footage taken at night of drug mules moving quickly to meet a load truck on the I-8 highway.
Ms. Kephart's second film in the series released in July 2010, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns and 850 Illegal Aliens,” with extensive hidden camera footage of drug smugglers and illegal aliens, has received extensive press coverage on FOX National News and affiliates, radio and print news, and over 540,000 YouTube views. The Center's first video on the subject, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” focuses on the illegal alien traffic and immense negative environmental impact on the Coronado National Forest from illegal alien smuggling and has received over 70,000 views to date.
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: Janice Kephart, email@example.com, (202) 466-8185. The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization
Recent entries on the CIS blog below
See here. The CIS main page is here.
Private Immigration Bills = Congressional Earmarks = Executive Pardons
Blowing Holes in Latino Vote Mythology
Comedian Colbert Tips Hearing Towards Farmworkers' Amnesty
Congressional Immigration Hearings as Comedy Central
Fraud-Ridden Refugee Program May Restart
BALCA Lets It All Hang Out, OAA Never Does
Book Tells of 'The Migrants Who Don't Matter'
USCIS Spends Inordinate Resources on Tiny Populations
The GOP's Pledge to America and Immigration: The Missing Promise
Intricacies of Immigration Enforcement and Its Lingo Exposed
Abuses of the Diversity Visa Program Hidden in ICE Press Release
Does It Pay to Enforce the Law?
Stirring Latino Anger Against 'Enemies'
Hurricane Karl and the Mexican State of Veracruz
H-1B Program Gets Two (Well-Deserved) Kicks in the Ribs
Posted by jonjayray at 11:17 AM
Monday, September 27, 2010
Eminent Canadian lends support to new anti-immigration group
A pillar of the Canadian establishment, brushing aside the risk he could become embroiled in one of the country’s most sensitive political issues, is endorsing a new organization challenging Canadian immigration policy.
Derek Burney is a former senior corporate chief executive, ex-U.S. ambassador, the one-time chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, and served as the head of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s transition team after the Conservatives won the 2006 election.
Canadian society, he said, needs to stop treating immigration as an untouchable “third rail” that can’t be debated without prompting allegations of bigotry.
So he’s joined the advisory board of an organization being launched Tuesday on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform will be headed up by Martin Collacott, a former ambassador who writes frequently on immigration and refugee policy at the Fraser Institute, and James Bissett, a former director general of the Canadian Immigration Service.
The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform argues that the benefits of high immigration aren’t worth costs that include considerable government expenditures and higher housing costs, pollution and crowding in big Canadian cities.
“Unfortunately immigration and refugee policy is a bit like health care in Canada,” Burney told Postmedia News. “It’s being denied rational debate at the political level, and this is despite the very clear evidence of abuse of the system, of fraud in the system and a lack of co-ordination in the country in terms of screening.”
He says his major concern is that Canada’s economy has been chronically plagued by relatively low economic productivity, yet the large number of unskilled workers and family-class immigrants weakens productivity further.
Burney said politicians of all stripes refuse to discuss such concerns because some immigrant communities that lobby for high quotas of family-class immigrants are “very active” in federal politics.
Burney, 70, acknowledged he is courting controversy that could damage his legacy as a business executive and senior public servant who played a key role in the successful negotiation of the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
He is an Order of Canada recipient, has several honourary degrees, and had a street named after him in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont. In 2007-08 he was one of five members of Harper’s independent panel studying Canada’s future role in Afghanistan.
But he said he felt it was time to take a stand in support of Collacott and Bissett, who have argued in relative obscurity for years that Canadian immigration policy needs reform. “It’s a third-rail kind of issue, nobody wants to talk about it, it’s not for polite company,” said Burney, now an adviser to the Ogilvy Renault law firm and formerly chief executive officer of Bell Canada International and later of the CAE Inc. aviation firm.
Yet Collacott and Bissett “have a great deal of knowledge about the subject, and they’re not irrational, they’re not emotional, they’re not racists. “They’re simply trying to acquaint Canadians with the facts.”
The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform is an organization dominated by academics and former senior bureaucrats, many with links to Canada’s conservative movement, who argue that immigration levels are far too high and that refugee screening policy too lax.
Canada has in recent years brought in roughly 250,000 immigrants and refugees annually, and since 1990 has accepted more per capita than any country in the world, according to the Fraser Institute. There are also 300,000 or so skilled and unskilled “temporary” workers currently in Canada, of which 192,500 arrived in 2009. And the government admitted 79,500 foreign students last year.
The critics say Canada’s policy is essentially hijacked by self-interested groups — employer groups seeking cheap labour even when there’s high unemployment, lawyers, advocates and consultants in what they call the “immigration industry,” and urban MPs from all parties who depend on immigrant groups for political support.
They also cite statistics and reports, including several from federal government researchers, showing that Canadian immigrants since the 1980s have struggled economically compared to the average Canadian.
Others backing the new group include Gilles Paquet, a frequent public commentator and professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa’s Centre on Governance, and Salim Mansur, a University of Western Ontario political scientist, columnist, former federal candidate for the Canadian Alliance party under Stockwell Day’s leadership, and author of Islam’s Predicament: Perspectives of a Dissident Muslim.
Collacott said his group is trying to avoid, rather than import, what he calls the “xenophobic” hostility today in Europe against immigrants and minorities. To do that, mainstream parties need to debate the issue openly, he said. “While we’ve done better than the Europeans in terms of integrating immigrants into society, there are lots of signals that we’re not doing well enough,” Collacott told Postmedia.
Canadians need to debate the questions “without being called ant-immigrant and racist.”
The Year 11 asylum seeker pupil who was really 23: Pair in their 20s found going to school face deportation from Britain
Claiming to be children is a common ploy among young-looking illegals
Two Guinean asylum seekers have been removed from a secondary school and are being investigated by immigration authorities after teachers discovered they were in their 20s.
The pair had been attending classes at Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough for a year before their real ages were discovered, and they now face possible deportation.
They have been living in council accommodation in the Teesside town with two girls, who they say are their sisters, and a male guardian, who claims to be a relative.
In a further twist, one of the men, now revealed to be 23, has allegedly formed a relationship with a 14-year-old girl at the school, to the alarm of teachers.
Teaching staff became suspicious of the ages of the two men in March following conversations with them. The teachers informed headteacher John Bate, who in turn alerted Middlesbrough Council, and this week the authority withdrew the male pupils from the school.
investigations into their identity, it was revealed that one of the men, Ibrahim Sory Diallo, who claimed to be 15 and was studying in Year 11, has been found to be aged 23.
The other man, who is understood to have claimed to be 14 and was studying in Year 9, has been ruled to be aged in his early 20s.
The men are being investigated by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and, as adults, are not protected by laws that forbid the deportation of minors.
There are no concerns about the ages of the sisters, who are in Year 8. They have been allowed to remain in the school and are still living in local authority accommodation.
Mr Bate, 59, said: ‘This family was presented to us and welcomed by us as being aged accordingly for the school. We commonly take children from all over the world.
‘Staff alerted me after picking up an issue within the family through conversations with the pupils. They reported it to me and I acted immediately by informing the education authority and other outside agencies. ‘There was nothing about their appearance that looked out of the ordinary and there were no disciplinary issues with any of them. ‘They came with a guardian, not their father, but we are in touch with him through the refugee service.’
A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said: ‘Concerns were raised over the age of two students. The decision was taken to remove them from the mainstream school following advice from the UK Border Agency.’
Matthew Coats, Head of Immigration at UKBA, said: ‘Where a new investigation is brought to light we will investigate and work with the appropriate authorities to ensure our immigration laws are not evaded by those who try to cheat the system.’
Police sources have revealed that a man named Ibrahim Sory Diallo, who gave his birth date as June 1995, was arrested in May on suspicion of assault and actual bodily harm against another male – but the case was dropped four weeks later.
Posted by jonjayray at 2:12 PM
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Obama's Incremental Approach to Immigration Overhaul Falls Short of Expectations
With comprehensive immigration overhaul off the table, President Obama and his Democratic allies have tried smaller proposals to provide illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship or permanent legal residency -- a strategy that is now being called into question after two efforts fell flat this week.
First, Democrats failed to muster enough votes in the Senate to pass the DREAM Act, which would allow hundreds of thousands of young people to legally remain in the U.S.
Then comedian Stephen Colbert tried to bring attention to the AGJobs bill, which would legalize about 2 million undocumented migrant laborers who have worked on farms for at least two years, by testifying in front of a House panel at the request of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif..
But Colbert's joke-filled testimony overshadowed the bill, which has languished in Congress for years, as lawmakers argued over whether his performance was appropriate.
With midterm elections just over a month away, the chances of any kind of immigration reform passing this year grows slimmer by the day, disappointing many immigration advocates who reluctantly embraced an incremental approach to reform.
Democrats, who are bracing for disastrous electoral defeats, fear Hispanic voters will stay home in November because of the inaction.
The Hispanic community has criticized President Obama for failing to keep his promise to tackle immigration reform in the first year of his presidency. In April, Obama said Congress lacked the "appetite" to take on immigration, essentially removing it from the legislative agenda.
But some lawmakers aren't ready to throw in the towel yet on immigration. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J, vowed earlier this month to unveil a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill before the November elections.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., told the Hill newspaper that he's confident that Senate will take another shot at passing the DREAM Act, pointing to a Senate rule that allows the bill, with two days' notice, to be brought to the chamber's floor for consideration at any time.
"I'm really really hopeful," he told the newspaper. "Their clear intent is to give it another try. When? That's up to them."
Democrats attached the DREAM Act as an amendment to a defense spending bill that Republicans blocked along with two Democrats.
The DREAM Act allows young people to become legal U.S. residents after spending two years in college or the military. It applies to those who were under 16 when they arrived in the U.S., have been in the country at least five years and have a diploma from a U.S. high school or the equivalent.
The Obama administration has deferred the deportation of some of the young people while the politics of the bill played out, drawing heavy criticism from some Republicans.
The administration is also, under a new policy, halting deportation proceedings for up to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition on their behalf. Illegal immigrants with criminal convictions do not qualify under the plan. Critics have called the new policy a free pass for illegals.
GOP Taps Hispanics in Fall Test
A deep lineup of Hispanic Republicans is running for high office this year, giving the party new avenues to court the growing bloc of Latino voters who have largely deserted the GOP in recent years but will be crucial in the 2012 presidential election.
In a twist, many of these candidates are defending the strict, new Arizona law and other measures cracking down on illegal immigration—appealing to white conservatives and to the portion of Hispanic voters who share concerns about border security.
In Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and elsewhere, GOP candidates with names like Martinez, Rubio and Sandoval are staking out tough immigration views.
"There is a stereotype that Hispanics must be in favor of different policies than I am expressing, and that's not what I'm finding at all," said New Mexico GOP gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez, who would be the country's first elected female Hispanic governor.
Ms. Martinez, a prosecutor, has aired television ads in which she stands at the border and promotes her record convicting criminals who sneaked in from Mexico. She promises to end state laws that she says make it easy for illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, is stepping down due to term limits.
The three most prominent Hispanic Republicans on the ballot in November—Florida U.S. Senate hopeful Marco Rubio, Nevada gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, and Ms. Martinez—are leading in polls and performing well among Hispanic voters. Hispanic GOP House candidates in Florida, Texas and Washington are presenting a similarly conservative agenda.
Within the Republican Party, some strategists see the unusually large number of major Hispanic GOP candidates as key to correcting a misstep in the party's outreach to the nation's fastest-growing voter bloc. Many Hispanics are attracted by the GOP's opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
When ex-President George W. Bush made an effort to win Hispanic voters, his share of that electorate rose to 40% in 2004, from the 34% he won in 2000. In 2006, conservatives rebelled against Mr. Bush's efforts to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Strategists say the tough tone of some in the party alienated many Hispanics who would otherwise be open to GOP policies on social issues, who took it as a cultural affront. Hispanics moved to the Democrats in the 2006 midterms, and in 2008 President Barack Obama won nearly seven in 10 Hispanic votes, while Republican nominee John McCain won just 31%.
"Hispanics around the country were completely turned off by the immigration debate in 2006," said Whit Ayers, who is Mr. Rubio's campaign pollster. "But having Hispanic candidates be successful on the Republican ticket and visible nationally will go a long way toward rectifying that damage."
Polls show more Hispanics identify with the Democratic Party than Republicans. And Mr. Obama remains popular with that group. But Republicans see an opening amid frustration expressed by some Hispanics that the Obama administration has not fulfilled its promise to overhaul the immigration system.
Polls show many Hispanics are open to conservative views. In a survey last year by the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization, 56% of Hispanics age 16 and older opposed abortion rights and 44% opposed gay marriage, compared to 34% who supported it. Another Pew survey shows 30% of Hispanics favor the Arizona law, which allows law- enforcement officers to stop suspected illegal immigrants and ask them for proof of legal status. That same poll said that 83% favor a path to citizenship.
GOP strategists say figures such as Mr. Rubio and Ms. Martinez can help persuade more Hispanics that supporting strict immigration laws isn't an ethnic attack. Mr. Ayers, who is also teaming with former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie on a project to study ways to court Hispanic voters, said many of them are religious, family-oriented owners of small businesses who favor lower taxes, which, he said, "sounds like the definition of a Republican."
Some Hispanic leaders and immigration advocates say the more conservative tone on immigration coming from Hispanic candidates reflects a pragmatic calculation that winning as a Republican requires piecing together a more conservative coalition—particularly this year, when the election is expected to be dominated by high conservative turnout. They "cannot get elected on the Hispanic vote only," said Arturo Vargas, director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Latino Officials. "What you have here are savvy Republican candidates trying to determine what it's going to take to win statewide in 2010."
Lionel Sosa, a longtime GOP strategist who advised Mr. Bush on his outreach strategy, said he questioned whether adopting tougher views on immigration would help, noting Mr. McCain's poor 2008 performance after reversing his support for legalizing undocumented workers. This year's Hispanic conservatives "will hear from their Latino constituency and maybe take a second look," Mr. Sosa said.
In California, another Hispanic candidate, Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, and the party's gubernatorial nominee, Meg Whitman, are both taking a softer line on immigration, vocally opposing the Arizona law. The party there is contending with the legacy of Proposition 187, a GOP-backed ballot measure in 1994 that would have denied health benefits to illegal immigrants and crippled Republicans' standing with Hispanics ever since.
Democrats, meanwhile, are seeking their own advantage. In Nevada, where Mr. Sandoval has drawn fire from local immigrant advocates for supporting the Arizona law, Democratic candidate Rory Reid said in an interview that his GOP foe has "chosen not to stand with his own community."
The Reid campaign is circulating a flier highlighting a quote in which Mr. Sandoval allegedly said he was not concerned about racial profiling against his children because they "don't look Hispanic." The flier asks: "Doesn't Brian Sandoval Care About Our Kids?"
Mr. Sandoval's alleged comment, made to an interviewer for the Spanish-language network Univision, was never aired but was disclosed by the station's news director in a local newspaper column. Mr. Sandoval later said he didn't recall making the comment but if he did, "it was wrong and I sincerely regret it. I am proud of my heritage and my family." Mr. Sandoval's campaign declined a request for an interview.
Some say the dustup won't matter, even though many Hispanics disagree with Mr. Sandoval's views on the Arizona law. "Brian will still be the first Hispanic governor in the history of the state," said Luis Valera, chairman of the Las Vegas-based Latin Chamber of Commerce. "That weighs heavily on people."
Straddling the immigration issue requires careful balance. In a debate last week on the Spanish-language network Univision, Mr. Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles, declared there was "no one running for any office in the United States that's more pro-legal immigration than I am.... I've grown up around immigration my entire life. I've seen the good parts of it, the bad and the ugly."
Then he spoke out against a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants until the Mexico border is secure. He opposed as unfair an "amnesty" provision— blocked by Republicans in the Senate this week—under which some people brought into the country illegally when they were children could eventually apply for citizenship.
In the debate, Mr. Rubio said Arizona's tough anti-illegal immigration law was appropriate for Arizona because the state shared a "massive open border with a country that has an all-out drug war."
He often says the GOP "should be the pro-legal immigration party, not the anti-illegal immigration party," and that he hopes to improve the party's tone. "You have to have a legal immigration system that works, and I'm not sure that's been a priority for Republicans in the past," Mr. Rubio said.
"These are reasonable immigration positions," Mr. Rubio said in an interview. "I'm not advocating harsh measures. I'm advocating that the law be followed." Once the border is shown to be secure, he said, he favored the creation of a "modernized legal immigration system" that would include a guest worker program.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:29 AM
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sweden joins Europe-wide backlash against immigration
A sanitized but still interesting background to the recent election result from The Guardian. Many of the negatives about immigrants in Sweden go unmentioned by The Guardian, of course, the frequent rapes of white Swedish women by Muslim men and the high rate of immigrant crime generally, for instance
In a country that elevated social democracy into the natural form of government for decades, Maria has been a loyal stalwart. The 66-year-old retired canteen worker has always voted for Sweden's Social Democratic party, like the vast majority in her working-class suburb of Malmo. Until last Sunday, that is. That morning Maria broke the habit of a lifetime and in doing so helped redraw the map of Swedish politics. She voted for an extreme-right movement accused of being Islamophobic that broke into parliament in Stockholm for the first time, probably condemning the country to a fragile minority government.
She was not alone. In Maria's high-rise suburb of Almgården an astonishing one in three voted for Sweden Democrats, a party dubbed "racist and neo-Nazi" and led by Jimmie Åkesson, the new young darling of the European far right.
The reason is plain. Maria pointed across the dual carriageway to the neighbouring housing scheme of Rosengård, known locally as "the ghetto". It is home to almost 20,000 immigrants, overwhelmingly Muslim, almost half of them jobless.
"It's become crazy around here. You can't go out in the evening," said Maria, who like other locals, did not want her surname revealed. "I've got nothing against foreigners. I've been married to a Bulgarian for 40 years. But these people don't share our values. If you don't like the colour of our flag, I say, I'll help you pack your bags."
Another resident, running a minicab service, remained loyal to the centre-left, but said: "Åkesson's right. Enough is enough. Even in the jungles of Africa, they don't know where Sweden is, but they know they can come here, get money and not need to work. I came so close to voting for Sweden Democrats. Maybe the next time."
Åkesson, a dapper, bespectacled 31-year-old, celebrated his party winning nearly 6% of the vote by declaring: "We're in." The Social Democrats slumped to their worst result. The same equation now applies across Europe.
Malmo, formerly an old industrial city, lays fair claim to being the cradle of Swedish social democracy. The centre-left still controls the city, but its power is eroding in what has been an exceptionally promising summer for Islam-baiting, anti-immigrant movements in Europe.
In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has been trying to recover support he forfeited in March to the National Front by expelling Romanian Gypsies. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' Freedom party goes from strength to strength with his single issue anti-Islam campaign, paralysing Dutch governance.
In Austria, the extreme right leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, is running for mayor of Vienna next month. He will lose. But he looks likely to take more than 20% of the capital's vote. Next door in Hungary the radical rightwing Jobbik has gained a parliamentary foothold and is demanding permanent, guarded internment camps for Gypsies. In Italy the anti-immigrant Northern League of Umberto Bossi is in government and is the country's fastest-growing party.
In Germany, meanwhile, where the extreme right has failed to make inroads, the political sensation of the summer has been the taboo-busting, bestselling book by Thilo Sarazzin, a former Berlin central banker.
He claims that the country is digging its own grave by admitting waves of immigrants he characterises as spongers, welfare cheats, and sub-intelligent beings copulating their way from ethnic minority to takeover majority.
Against this troubled background, Sweden has long seemed aloof and immune, an oasis of civility and openness, with the most generous welfare, asylum, and immigration policies in Europe. But with about 100,000 immigrants entering a country of almost 9 million every year, Åkesson's breakthrough suggests there has been a shift in the public mood.
"We will not get as tough on immigration as Denmark, Norway or the Netherlands," said Prof Jan Ekberg, a national expert on the economics of migration at Linnaeus University. "But the Sweden Democrats will increase their vote if we don't succeed in our immigration policy. That's the main issue."
In Malmo, where about 80,000 of the 300,000 population are immigrants, the limits of Swedish openness are being tested. "It's a very divided city," said Daniel Sandström, editor of the main city paper, Sydsvenskan. "It's made a successful transition from being an old industrial city to a new, postmodern place of middle-class consumers. That means winners and losers. The losers are the old, the poor, and the immigrants."
Teaching 21 seven-year-olds in a primary school in the immigrant "ghetto", Cecilia Hallström is the sole native Swede in the well-equipped classroom.
"Of course, the school is open to everyone, but it is only Muslims who come here," she said. The children, taught in Swedish, are native Arabic, Pashtun, Kurdish and Bosnian speakers of a dozen nationalities. Hallström is a firm supporter of multiculturalism, but noted: "People are just getting fed up. The far right is not new here, but it is gaining ground. We've taken in so many new immigrants that people are saying we need to slow down and take proper care of the ones that are here."
Signs of friction and trouble are not hard to find beneath the veneer of Scandinavian order, decency and prosperity. Beyzat Becirov points to the window in his office at Malmo's main mosque.
A bullet perforated the reinforced glass earlier this year, shaved the neck of a colleague and lodged itself in the drawer of a desk. "We've got to defeat all fascism," said the imam and head of Malmo's 60,000-strong Islamic community. "But you get it on both sides, on our side as well." His mosque is the oldest and biggest in Sweden. It has been burned down once, and a pig was placed in the prayer hall. Becirov said there had been 300 attacks since it was built in 1983. There have been riots. There are no-go areas.
Two things were new in Malmo, said Becirov. Recent years had brought a flood of people "from Asia, Africa, and Arab countries. There's a problem with the Somalis, the Lebanese, the Palestinians. They have difficulty integrating. And there's no jobs." The other novelty was the local rise of the Sweden Democrats, who Becirov described as the "new Nazis", suggesting that the country was joining the European club. "It's a bit like a tsunami spreading across Europe. And now it's here, too."
In Denmark and Germany, France and Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland, politicians, pundits and publics are immersed in noisy argument about values and loyalties, the end of multiculturalism, the integration failures of foreigners. It's a backlash against mass immigration. Sweden has seemed oblivious to the tumult while keeping its doors open. But that seemed to shift on Sunday, not least in Malmo and its hinterland where Åkesson, announcing that Muslim immigration is the biggest threat to Sweden since Adolf Hitler, scored double-digit results across the south-west.
That Sweden is moving into the European mainstream in its attitudes to immigration is a contested and controversial point that seems to cut to the core of Swedes' ideas of themselves.
Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the far-right Danish People's party just across the stunning Oeresund road and rail bridge linking Malmo to Copenhagen, gleefully welcomed the election result and the Åkesson breakthrough by declaring: "Sweden is becoming a normal country." That touched a nerve because Sweden and Denmark have opposing immigration policies, with the Danes practising what may be the most restrictive regime in Europe.
"Åkesson puts Sweden and intolerance together. But the true situation and tradition here is of internationalism and tolerance," said Sandström.
Jörgen Grubb, one of Akesson's seven councillors in Malmo, thinks talk of Swedish specialness is rank hypocrisy. "We've always tried to be the perfect country, telling the world we're so good and nice to everyone. But we've just been hiding and now it's changing. We've become less naïve."
Åkesson's appeal is one of nostalgia for a bygone era, the stiff conservatism and tradition of the white Sweden of the 1950s. The test of the rebellion's impact will be whether, as everywhere else in Europe, the mainstream parties try to co-opt Åkesson's voters by accommodating some of his policies.
Lena Westerlund, chief economist at the national trades union association, does not expect any major policy changes on immigration. "I'm not saying it's not problematic, but for our economy the immigration is a net benefit. We have a very bad demographic, we need a much younger population."
Prof Ekberg also does not expect any big policy change. "The problem is not immigration, it is integration, especially in the labour market. If there are no jobs, the consequences are segregation, housing problems and divided cities."
It is in the post-industrial cities of Europe, once centre-left citadels, that the far right has been making big gains – Le Pen in Marseille, Wilders in Rotterdam, Strache in "red" Vienna. Åkesson in Malmo is new, but part of a trend.
"He is a clever populist, careful not to cross the line and say anything that seems undemocratic. But his party has a tremendous acceptance of racism," said Sandström. "And Sweden is turning into a more European country, while Swedes still want to be some kind of an exception. That's the debate that will be taking place here for years now."
Jan Brewer turning the tables on unions
Jan Brewer’s gubernatorial campaign and the Arizona Republican party planned protests this week outside union offices to pressure them to end an economic boycott of the state. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union was boycotting Arizona in protest of its SB 1070 immigration law, but ended its boycott yesterday.
Brewer’s campaign wanted to turn the tables on unions by using their usual protest messages against them. The protests included “Shame on UFCW/SEIU” signs because unions often use “Shame on” signs to protest companies that hire non-union workers.
The UCFW decided Thursday to call off its boycott, the Phoenix Business Journal reported: “I hope Ms. Brewer joins the call to ‘tone it down’ and help create solutions for both border security and immigration reform,” said UFCW Local 99 President Jim McLaughlin. ”It is now time for calm, reasoned discussion that can move forward to first secure our borders, while designing a workable, humane plan to finally reform our nation’s immigration laws,” said McLaughlin.
The UFCW boycott was one of many economy-wounding boycotts in protest of SB 1070. The Service Employees International Union plans to continue its boycott of the state, and the Brewer campaign said it would turn its protest attentions toward them next.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:25 AM
Friday, September 24, 2010
Dream Act Dies in Senate
Note: This measure may not be as dead as it says below. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has vowed to bring up the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill next week in the Senate. Blocking it is a matter of survival for the GOP. If passed, it would add millions of Democrat voters to those eligible to vote -- which is also why the Donks will never give up trying to pass it
A measure called the Dream Act that would have given some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship died Tuesday in the U.S. Senate.
It would have given illegal immigrants who came here before they turned 16, a chance to become citizens if they meet certain conditions.
They'd have to graduate high school, either be a college student in good standing, or serve in the U.S. military. Then once that person either received the college diploma or finished their tour of duty, they would be granted permanent residency. After that, the person could become a U.S. citizen.
A Republican filibuster killed it in the senate, along with the Democrats' effort to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for the military. The Dream Act has the support of the Defense Department, retired General Colin Powell, and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Sponsors of the immigration reform measure are expected to re-introduce it in the fall.
But, should they? Now while the measure has bipartisan support in the Senate. Some are calling this "Back Door Amnesty."
British government faces high court battle over cap on immigration
A high court battle is to be launched tomorrow that threatens to deliver a fresh body-blow to the government's already troubled plans to introduce a cap on immigration.
A judicial review claim on behalf of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and a number of small businesses asks judges to declare the government's temporary cap on migrants – imposed on 28 June – unlawful because ministers sidestepped proper parliamentary approval.
The cap came in to force to prevent a "surge in applications" from skilled migrants from outside Europe. It was brought in as an interim measure while the cabinet thrashes out an agreement over how flexible the permanent cap should be when it is introduced next year.
The Liberal Democrat business secretary, Vince Cable, said this week that he was optimistic of winning the battle with his Conservative cabinet colleagues after he publicly complained that the temporary cap had done "a lot of damage to British industry". The cap is designed to scale back annual net migration to Britain from the "hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands".
This summer the court of appeal ruled that the home secretary acted unlawfully when changes were made to the points-based immigration system without proper parliamentary approval. Immigration lawyers believe this means ministers are in deep legal water over the temporary cap.
Home Office ministers announced their intention to introduce the temporary cap to parliament, but did not detail how it would operate or the level of the limit on skilled and highly skilled migrants until it came into force. Details were then posted on the Home Office website but not presented to parliament.
The Home Office is battling to keep the politically sensitive case out of the court. But the immigration lawyers involved expect it to be heard by the judges within the next few weeks.
The immigration minister, Damian Green, said: "We will rigorously defend this challenge and are confident of success. The government has been clear, we will introduce our permanent annual limit on economic migrants from outside the EU from April 2011.
"While we decide how the annual limit should operate it is imperative that we have interim measures in place to avoid a rush of applications from migrants before the new rules take effect.
"We are fully committed to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s: tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this."
Posted by jonjayray at 11:09 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Chaos and confusion as Australia's Leftist government tries to find a solution to illegal immigration
They seem however to be going slowly down the path that worked well for the previous conservative goverenment
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen will head to East Timor to revive plans for an offshore immigration processing facility following talks between Julia Gillard and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The Prime Minister spoke yesterday to Mr Gusmao and asked whether she could dispatch Mr Bowen to discuss the processing centre with his East Timorese counterpart.
It comes as political controversy has again erupted over boat arrivals and Australia's system of mandatory detention with a suicide and two days of protests at Sydney's Villawood facility.
Detention facilities are overcrowded. Mental health experts and refugee advocates believe this has contributed to the incidents this week, although the asylum seekers appear to have protested in an effort to have their claims reconsidered.
Plans for an offshore processing centre have faced strong resistance in East Timor since they were first mentioned by Ms Gillard earlier this year, and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was quick to indicate after the election that it would be Mr Bowen who would deal with the issue.
The East Timorese Government has signalled it wants the issue of a processing centre resolved through regional dialogue, not through a bilateral deal with Australia. It has however left itself open to talks with Australia.
Yesterday's discussion between the Prime Minister and Mr Gusmao comes as Mr Rudd is due to meet the East Timorese Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa at the United Nations in New York.
The deal comes as the head of a government advisory group on asylum seekers warned incidents of self harm at Villawood were the beginnings of a detention system spiralling out of control.
Monash professor of psychiatry Louise Newman said conditions would likely deteriorate at other detention centres across Australia and chastised the government for failing to learn from the past.
Already, men have broken out of Darwin detention centre to stage roadside protests and others fought with tree branches and pool cues in a mass riot on Christmas Island.
"There is a shocking sense of de ja vu," Dr Newman said. "We're seeing the tragic repetition of the same risk factors that we know are predictive of the sorts of problems we saw in Woomera and Baxter."
Nine Chinese nationals on the roof of the stage two accommodation building had climbed up just after 8am yesterday in the same area where Fijian detainee Josefa Rauluni, 36, died in an apparent suicide on Monday.
Speaking through a translator last night, one of the detainees said one of the men had cut himself and was lying unconscious on the roof. The nine include four women, one of whom Xiao Yun, 32, says she is two and a half months pregnant. Ms Yun was detained upon arriving in Australia in early April after she was caught on a fake passport. She has been in Villawood since. Ms Yun said the group were Falun Gong or Christian and feared persecution if returned to China.
Legitimizing Illegal Immigrant Chameleons?
A news report appeared in the Sunday, September 19th edition of the Washington Times. It is of great importance to the citizens of our nation, just as I am certain that this story is of great concern to the citizens of Denmark.
The story deals with an individual who was arrested in Denmark after a bomb he was preparing prematurely detonated, seriously wounding him. When you read the story I want you to take particular care to note just how carefully he took a variety of measures to conceal his true identity- even down to his religion!
Why should this concern citizens of the United States? Consider that if the administration was to enact "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," unknown millions, likely tens of millions, of "undocumented" illegal aliens who haven't a shred of official documentation to attest to who they truly are.
I have often noted that the difference between a "good guy" and a "bad guy" is that when the good guy wakes up he goes through his belongings to decide on what to wear while the bad guy wakes up and goes through his "stuff" and decides who he wants to be that day!
Now imagine the following: the hapless adjudications officers at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services - the agency that would be put in charge of administering this ill-conceived program) would probably be told that they have about ten minutes to adjudicate the applications. Ten minutes to assess them for participation in Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This program would put the aliens on a "pathway to United States citizenship" as the administration and "leaders" in Congress are pushing so hard to provide.
By what process would adjudications officers decide on the name to be imprinted on the identity documents? The documents they would provide to these tens of millions of illegal aliens who cannot prove who they are?
Running the fingerprints of a terrorist or criminal who has never been fingerprinted in our country will likely yield a "clean record" and a false name provided by a terrorist or criminal would conceal the true identity of the applicant for participation in Comprehensive Immigration Reform- the "Keys to the Kingdom!"
What must be remembered is that criminals and terrorists all do everything in their power to conceal their true identities in order to hide in plain sight or, in the vernacular employed by the 9/11 Commission, to embed themselves. For a bad guy, changes in identity serve the same purpose that chameleons and other predatory creatures employ to conceal themselves among their intended victims.
Our leaders continually remind us that where the war on terror is concerned, the United States has to get it right 100% of the time to protect our nation and our citizens, while the terrorists need only get it right once in order to succeed in attacking our nation and killing our citizens! How would providing millions of illegal aliens work? Their simple presence in our country represents a violation of our laws. But providing them with lawful status and official identity documents would be happening even though there would be no realistic way that their true identities will ever be known. This means that their true names would be unknown and unknowable as well as their true nationalities, their potential criminal or terrorist backgrounds. Other such critically important information will likely never be determined.
Once again I will make the point that the leaders of our nation who are pushing for this insane program should be given the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award by al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. They should also be given the MVP award by criminals from the four corners of this planet including the Mexican drug cartels. Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of DHS, the agency I have come to refer to as the Department Homeland Surrender, has conceded that more than 230 cities in the United States from coast to coast and border to border have been infested by these pernicious and extremely violent drug trafficking organizations.
Posted by jonjayray at 10:39 AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Along the Southern Border, the New York Times Is ‘Disconnected from Reality’
Posted by Sheriff Larry Dever
For the last 14 years as the elected Sheriff of Cochise County Arizona, which shares 83½ miles of border with Mexico, I have kept a listed phone number. For about the last 18 years or so the calls I receive at home, at night, would be infrequent and usually about a domestic squabble or some animal turned loose.
Then, in 1998 that all changed. Now I don’t sleep, as my residents call each night sometimes panicky, sometimes resigned to this as a way of life, but always with a shaky voice: “they are at my door.” This is not a weekend activity. This is every single night. Cochise County is a gateway to tens of thousands of illegal aliens entering the U.S. to provide the rest of our country with drugs. If my deputies and I are prohibited from enforcing the law to stop these border jumpers, your families in Plainsville, Ohio, or Charlotte, North Carolina, are going to continue to be in harm’s way and see the percentage of crimes by illegal aliens rise.
The New York Times September 4th editorial entitled “Border News” claims we in southern Arizona are “disconnected from reality” over the issue of border violence. As we patrol the border and watch the traffic night after night – and believe me, you cannot turn off what appears sometimes to be a bad movie with an endless reel of crossers — I would respectfully suggest the editorial writer is disconnected from reality.
And lest you think we are mainly apprehending a workforce eager to come work illegally for our residents, it’s not about people anymore, it’s about drug smugglers and other criminal aliens. My deputies and I keep watch on the border each night, doing our best to apprehend the dozens of men with 75-pound backpacks filled with marijuana who hop the fence, usually when the Federal Border Patrol Agents have their official shift changes. Sadly, Border Patrol agents working this problem are more often than not limited in their capacity to cope by inept policy making in Washington, D.C. Our government is supposed to be making tactical decisions about a situation that worsens by the day and is truly chaotic and frankly, war-like.
The editorial cites the Pew Research Center study as evidence that the illegal population has declined. Pew even admits their numbers are not precise, that their population totals “differ somewhat from the ones the government uses.” In fact, Pew admits to adjusting the unauthorized immigrant population upwards by 10-15%, saying, “Our method of analysis does not permit a precise estimation of how many in this population emigrate, achieve legal status or die.” I would challenge these wizards of statistical manipulation to conduct a study of the total number of crimes committed by illegal aliens nationwide and then justify their open borders position.
When you are thousands of miles away from the problem, it’s easy to imagine this part of the country as a land of easygoing westerners with a carefree lifestyle. That may be the ideal, but the reality is my residents sleep lightly in anticipation of the knocking they will inevitably hear on their front doors and the constant fear of what will result if they are forced to answer.
Australia: Protest sit-in by illegals "won't stop deportation"
This protest is excellent. It was such protests in the Howard era that did more than anything else to stop the flow of illegals. One hopes that TV coverage of it has gone worldwide.
The suicide is of course sad but the man must have been a bit of a nut. Fiji is a very safe and civil place. Even their military coups are bloodless! So there is nothing there to seek asylum from
THE protest by 11 asylum seekers at a Sydney detention centre, sparked by the suicide of a fellow detainee, will not prevent their deportation, the federal government says. Nine Tamils, one Iraqi and one Afghan began their rooftop protest at the Villawood detention centre in the city's west on Monday afternoon and were still refusing to come down this morning.
A 36-year-old Fijian man facing deportation committed suicide yesterday morning at the centre.
All the men on the rooftop have exhausted the application process for asylum status and face being returned to their homeland.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said their actions would do nothing to prevent their deportation. "I understand that people who are very keen to stay in Australia will in desperate circumstances think of other ways to make their case," Mr Bowen told Fairfax radio today. "Our immigration officials determine who gets asylum after a very rigorous process. "And it's not determined by a protest, and a protest won't change an immigration outcome."
Immigration department spokesman Sandi Logan said negotiators had been on the scene of the standoff overnight and into this morning. The negotiators included local Tamils, he said.
Mr Logan said the men were protesting against the handling of their visa applications, and their actions would neither help nor hinder them. "We continue to be hopeful that reason will prevail, that logic will prevail, and that they will understand that remaining on the roof is not going to change an outcome. It's not going to secure a different outcome to that which they currently have," Mr Logan told ABC television.
Mr Logan said he had not heard about claims the Villawood centre was understaffed, and he believed its manager, Serco, was managing well in a sometimes challenging environment.
Refugee advocate Sara Nathan has been in mobile phone contact with some of the rooftop protesters, who say the rejections of their applications contained factual errors and they were not given legal help during the process. Ms Nathan told AAP: "They're saying, 'Can we have a review of our case because you made a mistake. This is our lives. If you return us, we will be tortured and/or killed'." [Rubbish! They would be welcomed in Tamil Nadu]
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul says the men want assurance their cases will be reviewed again before they will come off the roof. "They want an independent and transparent review of their cases and they want to meet with the immigration officers," he told AAP. "They've made it clear that they can't go back to Sri Lanka." [But they can go to Tamil Nadu in India, which is in fact their "eelam"]
Mr Bowen said just under 5000 people were being held in detention centres on Christmas Island and the Australian mainland.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Swedish elite is in a tizzy
Despite all their efforts to starve it of publicity, an anti-immigration party now hold the balance of power in the Swedish parliament
A far-right group’s election breakthrough has shattered Sweden’s self-image as a bastion of tolerance, somehow inoculated against the backlash on immigration seen elsewhere in Europe.
Sunday’s ballot showed the country’s welcome to refugees is not universally accepted: nearly 6 per cent of the population voted for a nationalist group that accuses immigrants — especially Muslims — of eroding Sweden’s national identity and its cherished welfare state.
It’s a bitter pill for a nation that frowned upon Denmark’s vitriol toward Muslim immigrants, Swiss attempts to ban minarets and France’s crackdown on Gypsy camps. “The banner of tolerance has been hauled down and the forces of darkness have finally taken the Swedish democracy hostage, too,” the Expressen tabloid wrote in a post-election editorial. “It’s Monday morning and time for Swedes to get a new self-image,” read a bold front-page headline in Svenska Dagbladet.
Hardening attitudes toward immigrants have helped far-right radicals gain influence in other western European countries, including Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark. The U.S. also has seen a backlash, underscored by the uproar over plans to build an Islamic centre near Ground Zero in New York and Arizona’s attempts to get tough on illegal immigration.
But Sweden became barren ground for such groups after the sudden rise and fall of a right-wing populist party in the early 1990s. Since then Swedes have dealt with immigration issues delicately, at times even apologetically.
When a mainstream political party eight years ago suggested basic Swedish skills should be mandatory for Swedish citizenship — an uncontroversial requirement in many other countries — it was accused of catering to xenophobes.
Swedish leaders lashed out at Scandinavian neighbour Denmark for sharply tightening immigration in 2002, and reacted with horror to the anti-Muslim statements by leaders of the nationalist Danish People’s Party.
That helped cement Sweden’s reputation as being a haven for immigrants, and was one the reasons the nation of 9.4 million attracted more Iraqi refugees following the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein than any other in the West. To many that era is over with the election of the Sweden Democrats to Parliament.
New from the CIS
1). Amnesty Inroads Among Evangelicals
Excerpt: Research demonstrates that elites and the rank-and-file in many segments of society (e.g., business, religion, organized labor) are split over immigration issues.1 Elites tend to manifest post-American, cosmopolitan ideologies, while their grassroots members preserve deep-seated patriotic beliefs and attitudes, including with regard to immigration.
2). Jon Feere discusses birthright citizenship Video
3). On the CIS blog:
(Recent entries on the CIS blog are here. The CIS main page is here.)
Menendez Wants CIR During Lame Duck Session
A National Immigration Auction, Part III: Predictably Bad Consequences
Farfetched? Does Illegal Immigration Facilitate Teenage Obesity?
A National Immigration Auction, Part II: Illegal Immigration
A National Immigration Auction, Part I: A Very Bad Idea
Despite Media Mythmaking, the DREAM Act is for Adults
Immigration and the New Congress: Opportunity Knocks
What 'Strong Anti-immigrant Tilt'?
Immigration and Education: Only the Beginning
Posted by jonjayray at 11:35 AM
Monday, September 20, 2010
Immigration backlash spreads in Europe
An anti-immigrant party won seats in the Swedish parliament for the first time in an election on Sunday, in the latest sign of a backlash in Europe against immigration.
Below are some of the countries where anti-immigrant sentiment appears to be on the rise or where governments have moved to impose new restrictions on immigration or ethnic groups like the Roma.
Two years after the death of Joerg Haider, the founder of Austria's modern far-right, immigration remains a hot topic.
The anti-foreigner Freedom party, which captured 17.5 percent of the votes at national level two years ago, has called for a special vote on whether to ban minarets and Islamic face veils as part of its campaign for a regional election in Vienna next month. Its leader Heinz-Christian Stache is also angling to become the capital's mayor.
The new government of Prime Minister David Cameron is moving to fulfil campaign pledges to restrict immigration in Britain, which had the second highest net inflow of immigrants in the 27-nation EU last year after Italy.
Among planned measures, a permanent cap on migrants from outside the EU will be set in April. A poll this month showed 64 percent of Britons believe the current level of immigration is making their country "a worse place to live." However, the far-right British National Party failed to make much of an impact in the recent election and is in disarray.
Bulgaria's anti-Roma Attack party became the fourth largest group in parliament last year, winning 9.4 percent of the vote. The party argues for the demolition of Roma ghettos and cutting off social aid to Roma who don't send their children to school.
The right-wing populist Danish People's Party, which warns of a creeping Islamification of Denmark, has been the third biggest in parliament since 2001 and was boosted by a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment after the Mohammad cartoon crisis in 2005.
In the last election in 2007, it won 25 seats in the 179-seat parliament with 13.8 percent of the vote. Some recent polls have put its support closer to 16 percent.
The far-right National Front (FN) of Jean-Marie Le Pen has been a force in French politics since the late 1980s, reaching a high-point in support during the 2002 presidential election.
The FN saw its support fall in the 2007 vote, in part because conservative Nicolas Sarkozy ran a tough-on-crime campaign that drew some of its supporters, but the party rebounded in a regional vote in March.
This summer President Sarkozy launched a drive to repatriate Roma and strip some criminals of foreign origin of their French nationality, drawing fierce criticism from the church, rights groups, opposition parties and the EU. His government is also poised to become the first in Europe to ban full Islamic face veils, known as burqas, in public.
Far-right parties have made gains at state level but have not come near the five percent mark needed to enter the federal parliament. Germany has had a net immigrant outflow in recent years. However, public concerns about integrating the country's large Turkish population appear to be on the rise. Polls showed a solid majority of the public supported criticisms of Muslim immigrants by Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the Bundesbank who was forced out of his job for his outspoken views on the issue. Surveys also show many Germans would consider backing a new party that was tough on immigrants.
The far-right party Jobbik entered parliament for the first time in April 2010 elections, winning 47 seats in the 386 seat chamber and its support has risen ahead of municipal elections on October 3. Jobbik has capitalized on popular resentment toward Hungary's large Roma minority, and said recently that Roma considered a threat to public safety should be placed in highly-controlled "public order protection" camps.
The anti-immigrant, pro-autonomy Northern League, which is part of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government, has made strong gains in recent elections and increased its influence over policy in Italy. Long a main entry point for Africans seeking entry into Europe, Italy had the biggest net immigrant inflow in the EU last year, but it has clamped down severely in recent years.
Berlusconi's government agreed a deal last year with Libya to send back boats caught trying to cross into its waters illegally. It has also passed tough laws allowing authorities to fine and imprison illegal immigrants. Rome has been openly supportive of France's campaign to repatriate the Roma.
The anti-immigrant Freedom Party of populist Geert Wilders was the third strongest party in a June election and could gain ample influence over policy if center-right parties agree to form a minority government with his support. Polls show that if new elections were held, the party would emerge as the strongest in the country. Wilders, the political heir to populist Pim Fortuyn who was killed in 2002, wants to ban face veils and the Koran, as well as shut down Islamic schools in the Netherlands, whose population of 16.6 million includes 1 million Muslims.
Norway's anti-immigrant Progress Party had its best showing ever in last year's parliamentary election, winning 23 percent of the vote and consolidating its position as the country's main opposition party. To widen its appeal, the party has sidelined some of its hardest immigration critics whose comments were interpreted by some as racist, and has focused increasingly on criticizing Norway's cradle-to-grave welfare state.
The Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration party which criticizes Islam and Muslims as un-Swedish, won its first seats in parliament in a September 19 election. The party has profited from a backlash against Sweden's liberal asylum policies, which attracted tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
[Note: The Sweden Democrats have been demonized in Sweden and are often referred to as "far-right" but they are in fact little different from any other conservative party except that, unusually for Sweden, they are very critical of Muslim immigration, which is apparently very naughty of them.
A similar party in Denmark has succeeded in getting very tough immigration laws passed so they do seriously threaten the Swedish establishment. There is a lot of public support for a crackdown on immigration in Sweden but that does not translate to similar support for the Sweden Democrats -- as most Swedes vote as they always have done -- JR]
The right-wing populist SVP won 27 percent of the vote, the highest of any Swiss party, in a 2007 parliamentary election. It has thrown its support behind a forthcoming referendum that would allow faster expulsion of criminals of foreign origin. The Swiss voted last year to ban the construction of new minarets.
Australia's Leftist government lacks the will and the realism needed to stop an invasion of boat-borne illegals
IN three swift years, the Rudd-Gillard Labor Government has destroyed Australia’s border security and reduced the asylum seeker issue to a deadly farce. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd was responsible for putting people smugglers back in business when he oversaw a comprehensive relaxation of border controls in 2008. The welcome sign for asylum seekers was well and truly written to order by current Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Now, the secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Andrew Metcalfe, has been forced to write to his colleagues in other areas of the public service begging for assistance to help DIAC meet an “urgent and increasing demand for staff” to cope with the ever-increasing flow of new arrivals. They are, Metcalfe writes, rapidly “approaching the point where we will not be able to meet the demand”.
While Rudd - in his new incarnation as Foreign Minister - jets off to grandstand in New York with the global United Nations panjandrums whose company he prefers, negotiations with East Timor over a possible asylum processing centre have been left to the Government’s newly-minted Immigration Minister Chris Bowen. Only days into his new job, Bowen has essentially acknowledged that offshore processing is on the cards.
Though Labor would rather choke than pronounce the words “Pacific Solution”, the Papua New Guinea Government is already discussing the reopening of its Manus Island detention centre - oops, better call that an “asylum seeker processing centre” - and letters have been flying between Michael Sapan, Governor of Manus Province, and PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare. Sapan has been arguing, quite reasonably, that the Lobrum asylum processing centre could be reopened and that it would be an economic boon to a severely financially stressed area of the country. He evens dares to mention the Pacific Solution.
In the area of border protection, as in so many others, Labor has proven itself to be the party of gross mismanagement. As shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison said yesterday, the level of seaborne arrivals currently in detention because of Labor’s discriminatory asylum freeze, and the extended taxpayer-funded appeals processes, have both contributed to a record detention population of more than 5000 people.
The numbers are staggering. In September, Australia’s detention population included 4527 people who had arrived illegally by boat. This compares to just four people in November, 2007. Under Labor, the number of those held in detention centres has increased by - wait for it - 113,075 per cent. So much for Rudd’s pre-election boast that he would turn them back.
My Daily Telegraph colleague Simon Benson revealed that of 6310 asylum seekers arriving in Australia in the past two years, only 75 have been rejected and returned to their country of origin.
The cost to the nation of Labor’s utterly shambolic approach to border security is now running into billions.
It’s also eating into other areas of critical importance to Australia. As Australia’s Chief of Defence Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said earlier this week, key defence assets are so overstretched dealing with the incessant influx of boat people that day-to-day operations are being compromised. The constant demand for air surveillance aircraft and patrol boats “means you sometimes can’t do other things”, Houston has admitted.
West Australia has become a dumping ground for asylum seekers. Labor has now admitted that it is expanding facilities at the remote Curtin air base to house boat people, and other possible sites at Laverton and Northam are being explored.
Local communities, such as the one at isolated Leonora, east of Perth, are finding that the boom which was promised as an accompaniment to its detention centre, has not eventuated. Instead of local stores reaping the benefits, supplies are shipped from major operators in Perth. Resentment is growing as residents see detainees access benefits which the locals cannot afford, including fresh produce.
Liberal MP Don Randall, whose Canning electorate is home to a high percentage of immigrants, said there was a perception that the newly-arrived refugees were receiving better access to education and health facilities than long-established migrants. “What do you tell a war widow who can’t get help with housing while recent arrivals are placed at the top of the list because of some obligation to a UN treaty?” he asked.
Meanwhile, at the modern District Court in the centre of Perth, four Indonesian crewmen who brought a boatload of Afghan asylum seekers to Ashmore Reef in June, 2009, are in the middle of trial which is set to run from two to three weeks.
Lorens Lapikana, Anto, Samsul Bahar, Anwah Abdullah, each with his own taxpayer-provided barrister and each with his own taxpayer-funded translator, have been appearing daily to listen as tapes and transcripts from their recorded interviews with DIAC officials on Christmas Island last July are played to a judge and jury. Two of the men had claimed to be aged under 15 but X-rays were taken of their wrists and a radiologist has testified that their probable ages were greater than 19, enabling them to be tried as adults. Though a number of Indonesians have been sent home without charge, probably to relieve overcrowding in the already stretched West Australian prison system, the jurors may decide to add these to the 48 currently serving sentences.
The cost of keeping them in jail serving sentences or among the 74 currently on remand, runs to millions each year.
Despite the claims that more illegal arrivals come to Australia by air, these crewmen are a reminder that boats have brought more people in than all the airlines in the past 11 months. According to Morrison, between July 1, 2009, and June 11, 2010, there were 5233 asylum seekers who arrived illegally by boat and just 541 asylum seekers who arrived illegally by plane (i.e. without visa documentation).
“This means almost 10 times as many illegal arrivals came by boat than by plane under Labor’s failed border protection policies,” he said. “The vast majority of people who arrive by plane and subsequently make an asylum claim do so with a valid visa and full documentation, enabling their claims to be properly tested. The Government’s figures show that 5105 people who arrived by plane during this same period and subsequently sought asylum, arrived with valid documentation.”
Labor is in denial on its failure on border protection, despite the overwhelming evidence of policy collapse. Its strategy was farcical and has proved to be, as forecast, unworkable. This is a crisis, a crisis of Labor’s own making. And it will not be solved while the Gillard Government continues to close its eyes to this fiasco.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:11 AM
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Outrageous: Big compensation payments to illegals from the Australian government
Why does Australia owe these people anything? Nobody asked them to come to Australia and they undoubtedly came at their own risk
DOZENS of asylum-seekers have been awarded $5.4 million in compensation payouts for injuries they suffered while in detention. Official figures obtained by The Sunday Telegraph reveal more than 50 immigration detainees have pocketed an average of $100,000 each over the past two years.
The Sunday Telegraph can also reveal that an outbreak of the infectious diseases typhoid and tuberculosis has hit the overflowing detention centre on Christmas Island.
The Federal Government refused to detail the reasons for the multimillion-dollar payouts to detainees, saying only they were related to wrongful detention or injuries suffered in detention.
A Department of Immigration spokesman said compensation payouts and disease outbreaks were "inevitable" given the large number of asylum-seekers in detention. "This is a department that deals with 26 million interactions with human beings every year - border crossings, visas, compliance," spokesman Sandi Logan said. "It's the law of averages - some may well choose to litigate against us or, in some rare cases, we may be at fault and have to pay out under Comcare and Comcover."
But the number of compensation payouts has exploded over the past two years. According to figures supplied by the department, there were 32 cases in 2008-09, with a total payout of $3.3 million, and 22 cases between July, 2009 and May, 2010, involving a total of $2.1 million. Most cases were paid out by the Federal Government's insurer, Comcover.
The number of compensation claims involving immigration detainees has been growing from a trickle in 2000, but total payouts of $12.3 million over the past 10 years have included two huge payments to Australians wrongfully detained.
The figures show that between 2000 and 2005, there were only four cases, with a total payout of $163,225. In 2005-06, there was one payout of $200,000. In 2006-07, there were four cases, including a settlement with the wrongly deported Australian Vivian Solon, costing $2.6 million.
Ms Solon was mistakenly deported to the Philippines. Gravely ill, she was found in a hospice north of Manila by a Catholic priest in 2005.
In 2007-08, there was a record payout in dollar terms with 13 cases for a total of $4 million, including one for another wrongly detained and wrongly deported Australian, Cornelia Rau.
As officials struggle to stem the flow of boat arrivals, the Federal Government has been forced to spend another $50 million on increasing the capacity of detention facilities on the mainland to cope with the more than 5000 asylum-seekers now in detention.
The compensation bill is likely to blow out many times more, as the claims paid out in the past two years relate to asylum-seekers in detention prior to August, 2007 when there were a fraction of the numbers now.
Straight talking British judge
Highlights the Gypsy immigrant problem. Most Gypsies live by begging or petty crime
A judge has launched an astonishing attack on criminal Eastern European gangs who come to Britain to target elderly and vulnerable people. District judge Bruce Morgan said he was 'deeply concerned' about the impact of criminals who arrive in the country to steal from innocent people.
His comments came as he sentenced teenager Ceca Dadic, who is believed to be a Roma gypsy from Bosnia, to six months for her 'despicable' role in trying to steal a 78-year-old woman's purse. The 19-year-old mother-of-two admitted attempted theft as she appeared at Worcester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. She distracted her elderly victim by asking her advice on a cream cake while her underage accomplice tried to unzip the woman's purse.
Mr Morgan said Dadic was part of a criminal gang and added that he had dealt with six similar cases in the previous five days.
Dadic wept as the judge told her – through an interpreter – that he hoped her six-month sentence in youth custody would act as a deterrent to others. He added that she and an accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had acted in a 'despicable' way.
He said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that you are part of a criminal gang who come to this country from Eastern Europe for the purpose of committing crime. 'I'm deeply concerned about the number of young people like you who I deal with who come from Eastern Europe, find addresses in Birmingham and then go to the neighbouring counties to commit crime.'
The court heard that Dadic had been convicted four times in the past year of theft or attempted theft.
The court heard that Dadic, from Birmingham, was in a Somerfield supermarket in Worcester on August 12 when she asked the elderly shopper whether a particular cake contained strawberry jam. Liam Finch, prosecuting, said: 'She asked her: "would my grandmother like it?"' Security guards then saw Dadic's accomplice try to unzip the woman's purse and called police.
Mr Morgan said: 'You say you are sorry – I don't accept that at all. 'I accept you may be a small part of a large organisation but you are an essential part of it. 'To pick on and try to distract elderly ladies for the sole purpose of financial gain is quite frankly despicable'.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:44 AM
Saturday, September 18, 2010
British Prime Minister backs French leader over expulsions of Gypsies
A new Entente Cordiale?
David Cameron rounded on the European Commission last night over its extraordinary criticism of France’s expulsion of thousands of Roma gypsies – as President Sarkozy said the controversial policy would continue.
The Prime Minister revealed he had tackled the Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso over the issue after the Commission likened the actions of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to those of the Nazis.
He said it was vital that commissioners ‘choose their language carefully’ when interfering in the domestic affairs of member states. But he also warned France that it must not target illegal Roma immigrants on the basis of their ethnic origin.
President Sarkozy, who was involved in an exchange with the Romanian President Traian Basescu at the Commission today, revealed he had had a blazing row with Mr Barroso during lunch at yesterday’s EU summit, which was overshadowed by the Roma issue. He described the EU’s criticism of France as ‘disgusting and shameful’ – as the unprecedented row between the Commission and the founding member state intensified.
The row erupted after EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding branded the French policy a ‘disgrace’ and called for legal action. She said she was ‘appalled’ by the expulsion of thousands of Roma, adding: ‘This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War.’ She later said she regretted interpretations of her statement.
President Sarkozy was unrepentant yesterday and vowed to continue dismantling illegal immigrant camps. He said 199 camps, containing 5,400 people, had been dismantled. He launched a ferocious attack on Commissioner Reding, describing her comments as ‘outrageous’ – and warning that they were ‘unacceptable’ to both himself and other EU leaders. He said: ‘The disgusting and shameful words that were used – the Second World War, the evocation of the Jews - was something that shocked us deeply. 'I am the French president and I cannot allow my country to be insulted.’
President Sarkozy says the expulsions are a matter of security and that the European Commission should come up with Europe-wide solutions rather than criticising France. He said there had been no expulsions based on ethnicity.
Downing Street sources said Mr Cameron and President Sarkozy had discussed the issue before the formal start of yesterday’s summit. He also thanked the French president for laying on a helicopter which enabled him to reach his dying father Ian in the south of France last week.
Mr Cameron told reporters he had raised the issue of the Commission’s criticism of France during yesterday’s lunch. He said: ‘Members of the Commission have to choose their language carefully. Of course the Commission has a role in enforcing and identifying community law. 'But I think it’s important that we respect people and speak in a respectful way and I note that the Commissioner in question has actually given an apology for the words that she used.’
But he also said it was important did not target the Roma unfairly, adding: ‘It’s important that countries are able to take action if there is a problem of people acting illegally or being illegally in your country and that you are able to remove them. 'But it’s important that no-one should ever do that on the basis of someone’s ethnic group.’
Sarkozy has also received backing today from the Italian president Silvio Berlusconi. Mr Berlusconi told Le Figaro newspaper that it 'would have been better if Madame Reding had dealt with the subject in private with French leaders before expressing herself publicly as she did'. He continued: 'The problem of the Roma is not specifically French. It concerns every country in Europe. 'It is therefore necessary to put this subject on the agenda at the European Council so we can all discuss it together in order to find a common position,' he said.
Illegal Alien Child Molester Awarded $4.5 Million in California!
California is so broke it is being compared to Greece. But the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave away 4.3 million real dollars to an illegal Mexican alien who is also a child molester. Why did the supervisors do it? Answer: “The lawyer made me do it!”
The first chapter in this distasteful story begins with Fernando Ramirez, a 24-year-old illegal alien, being caught molesting a 6-year-old girl in a park. He was duly convicted and sent to the Orange County Central Jail. The second chapter is predictable.
Inmates in prison for murder, bank robbery, mugging old ladies, and other assorted thuggery agree on at least one thing: They hate child molesters. So when Mr. Ramirez was finally incarcerated, his life insurance company should have been quick to cancel his policy. That the California court allowed Fernando to plead guilty to ‘battery against a child,’ instead of putting him on trial for child molestation, did not impress his fellow inmates. They beat him to within the proverbial inch of his life.
In the third chapter a California lawyer takes over. Attorney Mark Eisenberg is not an ambulance chaser. Let’s face it, that’s a tacky vocation that is not really cost-effective. Instead, lawyer Eisenberg seems to have discovered that being a noble defender of downtrodden child molesters is just the ticket. By some means, Mr. Eisenberg was mysteriously advised about Fernando being roughly used by the other gents in the Orange County lockup. If he did have an informant somewhere in the county system, no doubt Eisenberg would have simply thanked him, and assured him that his reward could only be in heaven. Then Eisenberg swung into righteous action.
Bringing a case before the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the kindly attorney claimed that Ramirez had suffered brain damage because of the beating, that he needs help walking, and that he now has the intellect of a four-year-old child. Luckily, that age was two years less than the six-year-old child he had molested, so the supervisors must have been very saddened by his alleged condition.
In the fourth chapter, the supervisors take stock of the dire financial straits of Orange County. They then conclude that county taxpayers can still find it in their hearts to hand the child molester and his lawyer the largest settlement ever given to anyone in county custody: $3.75 million, plus $900,000 for medical expenses. With a wave of their wands, Orange County Supervisors made Fernando one of the richest non-citizens in the country!
You might ask questions about that award, but you will get no answers. The case was heard behind closed doors, and the supervisors have absolutely and wisely refused to make any comment on the matter since Joshua Jamison broke the story in The Raw Deal blog. It was later picked up by American Thinker.com on July 11th.
We should remember that lawyers who do not chase ambulances, like Mark Eisenberg, do their work for free. Just like we see advertized on television. What we do not see on television is that lawyers like Eisenberg work on a “contingency fee” basis. That means that if they take your case (and they will not take it unless they reckon they will win) they will take a share in the winnings. Usually, that is at least 30 percent. In this case, that means lawyer Eisenberg took home over $1 million of Orange County taxpayer money. Not bad for a quick closed-door decision by the supervisors.
The final question is: Did the board of supervisors also let millionaire Fernando out of the hoosegow? They must have. It is the only way he could spend his new-found wealth and be the financial stimulus Orange County needs so badly.
Posted by jonjayray at 11:40 AM