border

Ray Stevens has some fun in 'Come to the USA' video

If you want a good laugh, take a moment to watch this funny YouTube video.  We need to remember to laugh sometimes!

Watch Ray Stevens video here.
 

Now here is an idea...

Wild Bill has laid out a fine idea to secure our borders.  Why is it that our government makes it so complicated?

Check it out:  http://conservativevideos.com/2013/07/what-if-citizens-secured-the-borde...
 

Loopholes mean amnesty before border security

There are significant unreported loopholes and exceptions in the immigration-reform bill that could allow illegal immigrants to achieve permanent status before the border security portions of the legislation are executed, WND has learned.

One of the key selling points repeatedly cited by the bill’s “Gang of Eight” sponsors has been that illegal aliens will not be eligible for permanency until after the border-security provisions of the legislation are implemented.

However, a WND review of the latest text of the bill, with the new Republican “border surge” amendment included, finds multiple possibilities for full immigration reform before the required border arrangements are in place.

Further, even the new border amendment leaves the possibility of gaps in the proposed pedestrian fence to be constructed along the border with Mexico.

The updated bill calls for over $40 billion in new border security provisions, including the stationing of 38,405 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the southern border as well as the construction of a 700-mile pedestrian fence along the 1,954 mile border.

The new Republican amendment to the bill contains a laundry list of new surveillance equipment to be installed, from cameras to seismic instruments, plus the construction of new integrated watch towers.

However, the bill contains language that would allow illegal aliens to achieve permanent status after 10 years before any or all of the new border security requirements are fulfilled.

The bill specifically states the “Secretary shall permit registered provisional immigrants to apply for an adjustment to lawful permanent resident status” after 10 years following the bill’s passage if litigation or a force majeure have prevented the fulfillment of the border security requirements, the implementation of a work visa program or electronic exit system.

Further, illegal immigrants can receive permanent resident status if the border requirements, the work visa program or the new electronic exit system has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

In one of many possible future scenarios, if claims are brought to district courts that tie up construction of the border fence, illegal aliens still can achieve permanent status after 10 years.

In another scenario, the Supreme Court can declare surveillance techniques or any of the border control methods required by the bill to be unconstitutional, and illegal aliens could still become permanent residents.

Further, there seem to be loopholes in the requirements for the 700-mile border fence.

A new border security strategy committee will determine the route of the fence.

According to the text of the bill, the fence is to be built on “nontribal” lands, meaning lands owned by Indian tribes may not require a fence.

There seems to also be loopholes if any sections of the fence interfere with the environment, culture, commerce or quality of life of local residents.

States the bill: “In implementing the Southern Border Fencing Strategy required by this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, States, local governments, Indian tribes, and property owners in the United States to minimize the impact on the environment, culture, commerce, and quality of life for the communities and residents located near the sites at which such fencing is to be constructed.”
 

House leaders vow to overhaul, replace Senate immigration bill despite Dem pressure

House Republicans insisted Sunday that they plan to change key elements of the Senate-passed immigration bill, signaling a protracted and rocky battle ahead despite one Democrat's pronouncement that in the end the House will cave and pass the Senate bill anyway.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who is playing a major role in the chamber's consideration of immigration policy, on Sunday addressed what is perhaps at the heart of the impasse.

He said the House, which is drafting its own plan, cannot agree to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Rather, he wants a "pathway to legalization" -- in other words, allow some illegal immigrants a shot at a green card, but not full-fledged citizenship.

The pathway to citizenship, though, is a cornerstone of the Senate-passed bill, and any Democrat-backed plan. Increased border security, better enforcement of businesses and an expansion of the legal immigration system make up the rest of the bill.

Putting the issue in stark terms, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told "Fox News Sunday" that if Republicans strip the pathway to citizenship, "no Democrat" would support it.

The confrontation over the pathway to citizenship and other planks of the bill could continue to frustrate lawmakers on both sides, and in both chambers, as they try to sustain the momentum from this past week's Senate vote.

The bill passed Thursday with a strong majority of 68 senators voting in favor. Schumer cited the bipartisan support for the bill, as well as the motive of political survival, in claiming that House Speaker John Boehner would ultimately be compelled to pass it.

"I believe that by the end of this year, the House will pass the Senate bill," Schumer said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," also suggested that Republicans' desire to "win a presidential race" would guide them toward supporting some version of the legislation.

But what's in store for the bill might not be so clear. And there is no easy resolution to the stand-off over the proposed pathway to citizenship.

House Republicans, in the near-term, are approaching the immigration overhaul in a piecemeal fashion, tackling a series of smaller-scale bills meant to address what the Senate covered in one massive piece of legislation.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also speaking on "Fox News Sunday," rejected Schumer's prediction.

"I was moved almost to the point of tears by Senator Schumer's concern for the future prospects of the Republican Party," Gowdy said, sarcastically. "But we're going to not take his advice."

He added: "The Senate bill is not going to pass in the House. It's not going to pass for myriad reasons."

He, like other House Republicans, questioned Senate promises that their bill would offer legalization to illegal immigrants in the near-term while eventually building border security and immigration enforcement for employers.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel also told FoxNews.com that the speaker and his caucus have been "perfectly clear" on their intentions.

"The House will not simply take up and pass the Senate bill," he said in an email. "Our legislation will reflect our principles, particularly on border security. Wishful thinking, frankly, is not a strategy for getting a bill to the president's desk."

Schumer methodically made his case Sunday for why he thinks Boehner will, in the end, bring the Senate bill to the floor.

Aside from citing the various political pressures weighing on the speaker, Schumer said the strategy of passing smaller-scale bills would not work. He said, for instance, that Democrats would not support an enforcement bill without the promise of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Factor in Republicans who refuse to support any immigration bill, Schumer said, and those bills cannot pass.

He claimed Boehner would ultimately be left with a choice between doing nothing and bringing the Senate bill to a vote, relying largely on Democrats to pass it.

Goodlatte, though, insisted that Republicans would take a "step-by-step" approach.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," he said "we want to see enforcement improved and actually enforced, and we want to find the appropriate legal status for people who are not here lawfully."

Asked about his opposition to the pathway to citizenship, he explained he didn't want a "special pathway to citizenship, where people who are here unlawfully get something that people who have worked for decades to immigrate lawfully do not have."

Is our Legislature really on top of the situation?

According to a recent article in the Oregonian, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has requested additional funding to help fight the cartels in Oregon. The request has gotten new interest in the Legislature because of a recent 5 part series of articles in the Oregonian about the cartel presence in Oregon. 

Last fall, I personally invited every Sheriff in the state to attend National Sheriff's Border School in El Paso, Texas with me.  Only two Oregon law enforcement officers attended.  Sheriff Ken Matlack of Morrow County and Tim Moore, Multnomah County Under-sheriff.  We learned things that were extremely alarming and very disturbing even for the lawmen.  Above all, we learned that what happens on the border doesn't stay on the border!  It was a chilling experience filling me with a sense of responsibility to inform our lawmakers and the public. 

I brought home with me a frightening documentary about the malignant spread of cartels into Oregon and across the country. I personally met with the producer who imbedded himself in a brutal Mexican drug cartel.

Upon my return, I took the documentary to Chris Gibson, HIDTA Director, for his input.  He told me he thought the film would be of great value to the public.  I reserved the Salem Public Library and put up posters all over town.  I printed invitations that I hand delivered to every Legislator with an email follow up invitation.  Not a single Legislator attended the presentation...although about 125 citizens did and they were shocked!  They asked why no Legislators attended.

Over the next month OFIR Board members visited many Legislators and explained what is happening with the invasion of drug cartels. We provided alarming maps showing Salem, OR, our Capitol city, on one of the main cartel routes. The majority of them seemed uninterested in our information.

Because the Legislature had opened the session, I decided to bring the documentary to them.  I showed the film two separate days at the Capitol Building.   Again, personal invitations, emails and phone calls were made and not a single Legislator attended the viewing, although many citizens did. 

Oregon is in serious trouble.  Cartels have established themselves and are conducting business every single day in our state. Yet, our Legislature seems completely clueless...or are they?

In spite of our continued correspondence, personal visits and research, in its infinite wisdom the Oregon Legislature fast tracked SB 833, giving driver privilege cards to illegal aliens.  The unintended consequences were never addressed and were ignored when OFIR pointed them out.  Never discussed publicly by Legislators was that one of the most prized possessions of a cartel operative is a STATE ISSUED ID and that's exactly what we will be giving them. 

Does anyone think this won't attract even more illegal alien criminals into our state, as well?

Protect Oregon Driver Licenses has filed a referendum to overturn SB 833.  Learn more about driver privilege cards for illegal aliens.

Does it take a series of articles in the Oregonian to capture the attention of the Legislature?  It shouldn't.  Legislators have had this information, courtesy of OFIR, for over 8 months now. 

Oregon attorney general pushes Legislature for more drug investigators

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is pushing for last-minute funding to double her agency's ability to investigate drug trafficking as the Legislature moves toward adjournment.

Rosenblum's request is getting a second look in the wake of The Oregonian's five-part series this week on rampant drug trafficking in Oregon, fueled by Mexican cartels. The series detailed drug trafficking organizations in nearly every corner of the state.

Read the full article at OregonLive.com.

Meth floods US border crossing

Children walk across the U.S.-Mexico border with crystal methamphetamine strapped to their backs or concealed between notebook pages. Motorists disguise liquid meth in tequila bottles, windshield washer containers and gas tanks.

The smuggling of the drug at land border crossings has jumped in recent years but especially at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry, which accounted for more than 40 percent of seizures in fiscal year 2012. That's more than three times the second-highest _ five miles east _ and more than five times the third-highest, in Nogales, Ariz.

The spike reflects a shift in production to Mexico after a U.S. crackdown on domestic labs and the Sinaloa cartel's new hold on the prized Tijuana-San Diego smuggling corridor.

A turf war that gripped Tijuana a few years ago with beheadings and daytime shootouts ended with the cartel coming out on top. The drugs, meanwhile, continue flowing through San Ysidro, the Western hemisphere's busiest land border crossing with an average of 40,000 cars and 25,000 pedestrians entering daily.

"This is the gem for traffickers," said Gary Hill, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego. "It's the greatest place for these guys to cross because there are so many opportunities."

Customs and Border Protection officers seized 5,566 pounds of methamphetamine at San Ysidro in the 2012 fiscal year, more than double two years earlier, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit. On the entire border, inspectors seized 13,195 pounds, also more than double.

From October 2012 through March, seizures totaled 2,169 pounds at San Ysidro and 1,730 pounds at Otay Mesa, giving San Diego 61 percent of the 6,364 pounds seized at Mexican border crossings. Much of the rest was found in Laredo, Texas; Nogales; and Calexico, Calif.

San Ysidro _ unlike other busy border crossings _ blends into a sprawl of 18 million people that includes Los Angeles, one of the nation's top distribution hubs. By contrast, El Paso is more than 600 miles from Dallas on a lonely highway with Border Patrol checkpoints.

Rush-hour comes weekday mornings, with thousands of motorists clogging Tijuana streets to approach 24 U.S.-bound inspection lanes on their way to school or work. Vendors weave between cars, hawking cappuccinos, burritos, newspapers and trinkets.

A $732 million expansion that has created even longer delays may offer an extra incentive for smugglers who bet that inspectors will move people quickly to avoid criticism for hampering commerce and travel, said Joe Garcia, assistant special agent in charge of ICE investigations in San Diego.

Children are caught with methamphetamine strapped to their bodies several times a week _ an "alarming increase," according to Garcia. They are typically paid $50 to $200 for each trip, carrying 3 pounds on average.

Drivers, who collect up to $2,000 per trip, conceal methamphetamine in bumpers, batteries, radiators and almost any other crevice imaginable. Packaging is smothered with mustard, baby powder and laundry detergent to fool drug-sniffing dogs.

Crystals are increasingly dissolved in water, especially during the last year, making the drug more difficult to detect in giant X-ray scanners that inspectors order some motorists to drive through. The water is later boiled and often mixed with acetone, a combustible fluid used in paints that yields clear shards of methamphetamine favored by users. The drug often remains in liquid form until reaching its final distribution hub.

The government has expanded X-ray inspections of cars at the border in recent years, but increased production in Mexico and the Sinaloa cartel's presence are driving the seizures, Garcia said. "This is a new corridor for them," he said.

The U.S. government shut large methamphetamine labs during the last decade as it introduced sharp limits on chemicals used to make the drug, causing production to shift to Mexico.

The U.S. State Department said in March that the Mexican government seized 958 labs under former President Felipe Calderon from 2006 to 2012, compared with 145 under the previous administration. Mexico seized 267 labs last year, up from 227 in 2011.

As production moved to central Mexico, the Sinaloa cartel found opportunity in Tijuana in 2008 when it backed a breakaway faction of the Arellano Felix clan, named for a family that controlled the border smuggling route for two decades. Sinaloa, led by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, had long dominated nearby in eastern California and Arizona.

Tijuana registered 844 murders in 2008 in a turf war that horrified residents with castrated bodies hanging from bridges. After the Sinaloa cartel prevailed, the Mexican border city of more than 2 million people returned to relative calm, with 332 murders last year and almost no public displays of brutality.

Alfonzo "Achilles" Arzate and his younger brother Rene, known as "The Frog," have emerged as top Sinaloa operatives in Tijuana _ the former known as the brains and the latter as the brawn. The elder Arzate has been mentioned on wire intercepts for drug deals as far as Chicago, Hill said.

He appears to have gained favor with the Sinaloa cartel brass after another cartel operative raided one of his warehouses in October 2010, leading to a shootout and the government seizing 134 tons of marijuana.

Methamphetamine has also turned into a scourge throughout Tijuana, becoming the most common drug offense for dealers and consumers in the last five years, said Miguel Angel Guerrero, coordinator of the Baja California state attorney general's organized crime unit.

"It has increased a lot in the city because it's cheaper than cocaine, even cheaper than marijuana," he said.

Disputes among street dealers lead to spurts of violence in Tijuana, said Guerrero, including April's murder tally of 56 bodies. But the killings pale in numbers and brutality compared to the dark days of 2008 and 2009. While president, Calderon hailed Tijuana as a success story in his war on cartels.

"The Sinaloa cartel, their presence here has been strong enough to the point that no one is pushing back," said the DEA's Hill. "They just simply want to focus on making money and moving the dope across."
 

Take a day off

If you have been repeatedly calling, emailing, FAXING and visiting your Congressmen regarding S. 744, I salute you and you have my respect and admiration. 

Calls in opposition to the bill were coming in 15 to 1.  We've done a good job. 

But, if I were queen for a day, I would encourage everyone to take a day off from all this strife and turmoil. 

Take a breather to recharge your resolve to power through.  Play outside, go to the beach, hug your family, start your Christmas shopping.  Do anything except being an activist.

We will have our work cut out for us when the bill hits the House side.  But, as queen for a day, I grant you the day off to play!
 

Mexican Amusement Park Offers Fake Border Crossing Attraction

An unusual amusement park attraction in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo offers visitors the thrills and chills of an illegal border crossing. The attraction takes visitors through a fake United States-Mexico border, complete with fake smugglers and fake border patrol agents.

The aim is to dissuade would be migrants from making the trip. The coyote, or smuggler, leading this simulated illegal border crossing used the name Simon and wore a face mask. Before setting off, he addressed his charges that evening, about 40 students from a private school in Mexico City.

"Tonight we're going to talk about migration," Simon said in Spanish. "But for us it isn't just something rhetorical, but rather the opposite. Because we have endured, we have suffered, of hunger, thirst, injustice, heat, cold, we have suffered from everything."

Then, under the cover of night, Simon herded them into the woods, toward the fake frontera.

The actual U.S.-Mexico border is nearly 800 miles away from the Parque EcoAlberto. The park is part of the indigenous HñaHñu community. Tourist can enjoy other recreational attractions like hot springs and rappelling, in addition to the recently added fake border crossing.

But for those who want to simulate the experience of fleeing across the border, without the real danger, the latter attraction is for you. For three hours, tourist groups endure sirens, dogs, chases and the fake border patrol yelling threats.

Maribel Garcia works as an administrator for the park. She says the purpose of the Night Walk is simple.

"Our objective is to stop the immigration that exists amongst our citizens, principally from the state of Mexico to the U.S.," Garcia said in Spanish.

Garcia says traditionally this region subsisted on agriculture, but that wasn't bringing the community what it needed.

"Because we didn't have sewer systems, light, telephone, roads," she said.

So people went north. The HñaHñu community has lost about 80 percent of its population to the U.S., Garcia estimates, mainly to Arizona and Nevada. Garcia says it was the HñaHñu youth returning home after crossing the real border who thought up this tourist attraction as a way to create income for the community and encourage others to stay in Mexico.

During the tour, participants have an encounter with the fake border patrol. Photo by Irina Zhorov/Fronteras

Titi, who also works as a coyote on the Night Walks, was emphatic that it was not training for future generations.

"We try to help people so that they won't leave," Titi said in Spanish. "It's time to create some employment, to work with our own and regenerate everything, or at least what we can, even though it might be slow going."

The HñaHñu's efforts are well timed. According to one estimate, for first time since the 1960s there is net-zero migration from Mexico to the U.S. Increased border patrol, stricter laws in the U.S., rising smuggling fees, violence in the desert and the struggling U.S. economy are keeping more Mexicans at home.

Garcia, the administrator, is hoping the Night Walks convince youth in particular to put their energies into their home communities.

"The youth that already have something figured out, that already have something visualized for the future, they're the youth that in that moment think, 'How difficult,'" she said.

S

tudents get on the ground during an encounter with a fake violent drug smuggler. Photo by Irina Zhorov/Fronteras

The tours cost the equivalent of about $20. The visitors are typically middle-class Mexicans or, like tonight, students from private schools -- in other words, not the most likely group to attempt an illegal crossing into the U.S.

Still, there were some who had been thinking about it. Over tea and sweet breads at the end of the walk, Jazmin Arely Moreno Alcazar said she got the message.

"It's not worth risking it because if we can't stand a few hours, we won't be able to stand days. Because it's very ugly," Alcazar said in Spanish.

Garcia said it's difficult to quantify how effective the tours are for other visitors. But as the park's tourist offerings expand and the number of visitors grow, she said there is a new hope that enough money will come in and that the attraction will encourage more community members to stay put.

This story was reported by the Fronteras: Changing Americas Desk, a multimedia collaboration among seven public radio stations. It is led by KJZZ in Phoenix and KPBS in San Diego and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of its Local Journalism Center initiative.

Call now - as if the future of our country depends upon it

Alert date: 
June 24, 2013
Alert body: 

Please continue to call Congress and urge Senators to VOTE NO on S. 744, a monstrous disaster in the making.

The Senate just voted 67-27 to limit debate and amendments on the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the S. 744 amnesty bill.

That means the 1,100+ page bill as amended by 119 pages of amendments today can come to a vote as early as Wednesday morning. The final cloture vote (requiring 60 votes) on the whole bill could be as early as Thursday morning.

We recommend that you sign up with NumbersUSA for free faxing to Congress and to receive alerts on immigration bills before Congress. http://www.numbersusa.com.

NumbersUSA and FAIR are both doing great work in leading the opposition to bad immigration bills in Congress.

Congressional switch-board numbers: (202) 224-3132 or Toll free (866) 220-0044

Call, call, call....as if the future of our country depends upon it...because it does!

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