Sunday, April 30, 2006

An Eye Opener as to How Mexico Treats Immigrants

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

The Washington Times, April 16, 2006

The US congress has received lots of free advice lately from Mexican government officials and illegal aliens waving Mexico’s flag in mass demonstrations coast-to-coast. Most of it takes the form of bitter complaints about our actual or prospective treatment of immigrants from that country who have gotten into this one illegally or who aspire to do so. If you think these critics are mad about U.S. immigration policy now, imagine how upset they would be if we adopted an approach far more radical than the bill they rail against that was adopted last year by the House of Representatives — namely, the way Mexico treats its illegal aliens.

In fact, as a just published paper by the Center for Security Policy’s J. Michael Wailer at www.centerforsecuritypolicy or Mexico’s Glass_House) points out, under a constitution first adopted in 1917 and subsequently amended, Mexico deals harshly not only with illegal immigrants. It treats even legal immigrants, naturalized citizens and foreign investors in ways that would, by the standards of those who carp about U.S. immigration policy, have to be called “racist” and “xenophobic?”

For example, according to an official translation published by the Organization of American States, the Mexican constitution includes the following restrictions:

• Equal employment rights are denied to immigrants - even legal ones.
Article 32: “Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions or commissions of the government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable? Jobs for which Mexican citizenship is considered “indispensable” include, pursuant to Article 32, bans on foreigners, immigrants and even naturalized citizens of Mexico serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports.

Article 55 denies immigrants the right to become federal lawmakers. A Mexican congressman or senator must be “a Mexican citizen by birth?"

Article 91 further stipulates that immigrants may never aspire to become cabinet officers, as they are required to be Mexican by birth.

Article 95 says the same about Supreme Court justices.

Article 130, immigrants — even legal ones — may not become members of the clergy, either.

·Foreigners, to say nothing of illegal immigrants, are denied fundamental property rights. For example:

Article 27 states, “Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters and their appurtenances or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters.”

• Article 11 guarantees federal protection against “undesirable aliens resident in the country: What is more, private individuals are authorized to make citizen’s arrests.

·Article 16 states, “In cases of flagrant delicto, any person may arrest the offender and his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest authorities. In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine the Minutemen exercising such a right. The Mexican constitution states that foreigners — not just illegal immigrants — may be expelled for any reason and without due process.

·Article 33, “the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action:

As the immigration debate in the Senate moved into a decisive phase last week, legislators who believe America’s southern border must be secured, the nation’s existing immigration laws enforced and illegal aliens not rewarded with permanent residency and a direct path to citizenship were being sharply criticized and, in some cases, defamed as bigots and xenophobes. Yet, even their maximalist positions generally pale in comparison with the treatment authorized by the Mexican constitution.
The complete story may be found here:

Friday, April 28, 2006

Mexico proposes decriminalizing pot and cocaine

Reuters reported today that:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Owning marijuana, cocaine and even heroin will no longer be a crime in Mexico if the drugs are carried in small amounts for personal use, under legislation passed by the Congress.

Police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin or 500 milligrams of cocaine, under a bill passed by senators late on Thursday and earlier approved by the lower house.

People caught with larger quantities of drugs will be treated as narcotics dealers and face increased jail terms under the plan.

The government says the measure allows police to focus on major drug dealers, and President Fox is expected to sign it into law.

"This law provides more judicial tools for authorities to fight crime," presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar said on Friday.

Hundreds of people including several police officers have been killed in the past year as drug cartels battle authorities and compete with each other for control of lucrative cocaine, marijuana and heroin smuggling routes from Mexico into the United States.

The complete story may be found here:

Hollywood A-Listers join the "March for Peace" -- Academy Award Winners Susan Sarandon, Mercedes Ruehl; Director, Jonathan Demme

The following was released by

April 28, 2006

All eyes will be on New York City tomorrow as thousands of activist groups, students, families, and children from across the country will converge to tell President Bush: We've had enough.

President Bush continues to stand behind an unjust war while our daughters and sons suffer in battle. Our immigrant community is outraged at the Republican-led Congress for the passage of a compassionless immigration bill, and just today President Bush angered the immigrant community again by saying the national anthem should be sung only in English. We have had enough.

Momentum is growing quickly as the organizers of the March for Peace, Justice & Democracy expect a massive turnout at tomorrow's march in New York City. And, we're getting help with some heavy-hitters from Hollywood, well-known activists, national and local organizations to get our point across. These people celebrities and leaders feel so strongly about the misguided direction of our country that they are lending their names and voices to demand peace and democracy.

A partial list of speakers and leaders from numerous organizations expected to speak at the press conference Saturday, April 29 at 11 am include:

Brent Blackwell, President of Friends of the Earth
Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
Ju Bum Cha, Empowering the Korean American Community
Chevy Chase, Actor
Jonathan Demme, Academy Award winning Director
Kim Gandy, President of National Organization for Women
Grannies for Peace
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Reverend Jesse Jackson, President of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Military Families Speak Out
U.S. Representative Charles Rangel
Mercedes Ruehl, Academy Award winning Actress
Susan Sarandon, Academy Award winning Actress
Cindy Sheehan, Activist
Roger Toussaint, President of Local 100 Transit Worker's Union
Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Clergy and Laity Concerned About Iraq
Veterans for Peace
John Wilhelm, President of UNITE-HERE
Members of Congress
Members of the New York City Council

Speakers and other leaders will be available for one-on-one interviews.

The contingents will gather starting at 10:30 am in the area stretching from 7th Avenue to Park Avenue South and 18th to 22nd Streets. The march will step off at 12 noon, and proceed south on Broadway to Foley Square for the Peace and Justice Grassroots Action Festival, ending at 6:00 pm.

Members of the media: Press check-in will take place at 17th and Fifth Avenue, starting at 10:00 am. A press conference will take place between 11 am and 12 noon. Members of the press can apply for credentials on site. Questions? Call 202-641-1906.

Senate Judiciary Committee Delays Consideration of NSA Spying Bills; Move Follows House Failure to Rein in Warrantless Eavesdropping Program

The following was issued by the ACLU yesterday, we recommend it to our readers.


WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee today delayed consideration of several bills concerning the warrantless domestic surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency. The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed that step and continued to urge members of that panel to reject attempts to legislate on the issue without a full investigation into the illegal program.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director:

"We applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for rejecting an attempt to legislate in the dark on the warrantless spying on Americans by the NSA. We hope that this hesitation will be accompanied by a true assertion of Congress’s right and obligation to provide oversight of the executive branch. Too many questions remain unanswered about the NSA program.

"In particular, we welcome the statements of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is also a member of the special subcommittee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that has been briefed on the NSA operation. She stated that nothing she has been told leads her to believe that the current NSA operation could not achieve the same goals if it were conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. She also forcefully pointed out that going ahead with this legislation would be like a physician diagnosing a patient without seeing either the patient or their medical records. We also commend Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) for proposing an amendment to withhold funding for the program in response to the stonewalling of the administration.

"Today’s meeting follows the disappointing actions taken by the House last night. In approving an intelligence authorization bill, the House failed to adopt a bipartisan measure, offered by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Their simple amendment would have required that all domestic surveillance of American residents comply with federal law, and would have required the reporting to Congress of the names of those surveilled.

"Congress needs to investigate, not rubber-stamp the president’s warrantless surveillance program. We hope that today’s actions will mean that the illegal NSA program to spy on Americans will be fully investigated. The American people are entitled to know how many of their phone calls and e-mails have been monitored by the NSA without any judicial check or congressional approval. Congress must serve as a check on the executive and affirm the belief that in America, no one is above the law, not even the president."

For more on the ACLU’s concerns with the warrantless NSA eavesdropping program, go to:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Churches Not in Agreement on Immigration Issue

An Article in USA Today reports that:

With bishops speaking out, clergy marching in the streets and parishes frequently acting as local organizing headquarters, the immigrant rights movement appears to have the full support of the USA's Christian communities.

But appearances can be deceiving. And in this case, they are.

Although Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders are voicing strong support for undocumented immigrants, recent survey data suggest that their flocks are increasingly uneasy about immigration trends. And evangelicals are proving to be divided along ethnic lines.

"That Bush coalition of religious conservatives has some qualms" about establishing pathways to citizenship because they want stiff punishments for lawbreakers, says Luis Lugo, director of the non-partisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, D.C. "But these folks are also being cross-pressured. There is in all of these religious traditions strong emphasis on care of the immigrant. ... That's why people are conflicted."

In a March survey by Pew:

• 64% of white evangelicals agreed with the statement "Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care." That's up from 49% in December 2004.

• 56% of white Catholics agreed with the same statement, up from 44% in December 2004.

• 51% of white mainline Protestants agreed that "The growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values." In December 2004, 41% agreed.

The complete story may be found here:

May 1 immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood America's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it debates reform.

Such a massive turnout could make for the largest protests since the civil rights era of the 1960s, though not all Latinos were comfortable with such militancy, fearing a backlash in Middle America.

"There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it weighs the issue.

Immigration has split Congress, the Republican Party and public opinion. Conservatives want the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants returned to Mexico and a fence built along the border.

Others, including
President George W. Bush, want a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship. Most agree some reform is needed to stem the flow of poor to the world's biggest economy.

"We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here (illegally)," Rodriguez said. "That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1."

Organizers have timed the action for May Day, a date when workers around the world often march for improved conditions, and have strong support from big labor and the Roman Catholic church. They vow that America's major cities will grind to a halt and its economy will stagger as Latinos walk off their jobs and skip school.

The complete story may be found here:;_ylt=Ap71MMGYEnTWrLRzQSJeG35Quk0A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Senate Investigation Concludes That FEMA Should Be Abolished

The AP today reported that:

WASHINGTON - The nation's beleaguered disaster response agency should be abolished and rebuilt from scratch to avoid a repeat of multiple government failures exposed by Hurricane Katrina, a Senate inquiry has concluded.

Crippled by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot be fixed, a bipartisan investigation says in recommendations to be released Thursday.

Taken together, the 86 proposed reforms charge the United States is still woefully unprepared for a disaster such as Katrina with the start of the hurricane season a little more than month away.

"The United States was, and is, ill-prepared to respond to a catastrophic event of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina," the recommendations warn. "Catastrophic events are, by their nature, difficult to imagine and to adequately plan for, and the existing plans and training proved inadequate in Katrina."

The recommendations, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, are the product of a seven-month investigation detailed in a Senate report to be released next week. It follows similar inquiries by the House and White House and comes in an election year in which Democrats have seized on Katrina to attack the Bush administration.

The complete story may be found here:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Army Times Poll -- Result, Rumsfeld Should Resign

The RAW STORY Reported today that: Tuesday April 25, 2006

According to a poll at, a majority of respondents believe that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should resign, RAW STORY has found.

At the time of this writing, 2985 readers have voted in the latest Army Times poll (link), with 1,889 (63.28%) agreeing that the "U.S. war effort is grounds for Secretary Rumsfeld to resign."

996 (33.37%) voted no and 100 (3.35%) had no opinion.

In a poll taken shortly after reports of prison abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison came out in 2004, a plurality of readers agreed that Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Richard Myers shouldn't keep their jobs "in light of the allegations." At the time, 3,644 (44.58%) thought they both should go, 3,644 (41.07%) said they should stay, and 739 responded that just Rumsfeld should go (9.04%).

The complete story may be found here:

Latino Leaders Received Death Threats, According to Schwarzenegger

The Los Angeles Times Reported today that:

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that prominent public officials of Mexican heritage, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have recently received racially motivated death threats.

At a news conference in the Capitol, Schwarzenegger said he had asked district attorneys throughout the state to take extra precautions against hate-based crimes.

Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante have both "received disturbing and hateful death threats," the governor said.

The governor's advisors had heard about the threats from a Sacramento news report. They told the governor, who decided to make a public statement.

Schwarzenegger also cited a Mexican restaurant in the San Diego area that authorities said was the target earlier this month of hate-based arson.

The complete story may be found here:,0,7250455.story?coll=la-headlines-politics

Immigration Continues to be Hot Button Issue as Congressional Elections Approach, Republicans Worried

The Associated Press Reported today that:

President George W. Bush needs to be more specific about the kind of immigration reform legislation he supports if he hopes to win passage of a new law in an election year, a key Republican senator said on Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record) of South Carolina, who supports a bipartisan compromise that stalled in the Senate earlier this month, told reporters Bush should "be specific about what is good ... and what he doesn't like" in the bill.

Bush, who is pushing to revive the legislation in hopes of signing a bill before the November congressional elections, was meeting with Graham and other key senators later on Tuesday to discuss it.

Lawmakers, especially Republicans, are divided over Bush's proposal to create a guest worker program. Many also disagree with another provision in the stalled bill that would give an estimated 11.5 million to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States a chance to earn citizenship.

Many Republicans oppose any measure that could be seen as forgiving or rewarding people who broke U.S. laws by entering or remaining in the country without legal papers. Instead, they want to concentrate on border security and enforcement of laws banning illegal immigrants from working.

That was the approach taken by the U.S. House of Representatives in a bill that would define illegal immigrants as felons, which has provoked large demonstrations by Hispanics and their supporters across the country.

But House Republican leaders say their constituents are demanding a tough approach.

"Until you strengthen the borders and begin to enforce the laws, we're not making any progress," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. "Americans are very upset about the porous nature of our borders."

Bush says he does not support giving guest workers or illegal immigrants automatic citizenship, but lawmakers say they are unsure what that means. On Monday he said the details of a temporary guest worker program would have to be worked out "in the halls of Congress."

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Bush, who has ruled out a "massive deportation" of illegal immigrants, needs to take a position on what should happen to the illegal immigrants living in the country.

"The president can no longer straddle the fence. He's going to have to make a decision how he feels about the 12 million people who are here," Reid said.

The complete story may be found here:

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Despite Evidence to the Contrary,F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana

The New York Times Reported Today that:

WASHINGTON, April 20 — The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that "no sound scientific studies" supported the medical use of marijuana, contradicting a 1999 review by a panel of highly regarded scientists.

The announcement inserts the health agency into yet another fierce political fight.

Susan Bro, an agency spokeswoman, said Thursday's statement resulted from a past combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies that concluded "smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment."

Ms. Bro said the agency issued the statement in response to numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill but would probably do nothing to enforce it.

"Any enforcement based on this finding would need to be by D.E.A. since this falls outside of F.D.A.'s regulatory authority," she said.

Eleven states have legalized medicinal use of marijuana, but the Drug Enforcement Administration and the director of national drug control policy, John P. Walters, have opposed those laws.

A Supreme Court decision last year allowed the federal government to arrest anyone using marijuana, even for medical purposes and even in states that have legalized its use.

Congressional opponents and supporters of medical marijuana use have each tried to enlist the F.D.A. to support their views. Representative Mark Souder, Republican of Indiana and a fierce opponent of medical marijuana initiatives, proposed legislation two years ago that would have required the food and drug agency to issue an opinion on the medicinal properties of marijuana.

Mr. Souder believes that efforts to legalize medicinal uses of marijuana are a front for efforts to legalize all uses of it, said Martin Green, a spokesman for Mr. Souder.

Tom Riley, a spokesman for Mr. Walters, hailed the food and drug agency's statement, saying it would put to rest what he called "the bizarre public discussion" that has led to some legalization of medical marijuana.

The Food and Drug Administration statement directly contradicts a 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific advisory agency. That review found marijuana to be "moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting."

Dr. John Benson, co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that examined the research into marijuana's effects, said in an interview that the statement on Thursday and the combined review by other agencies were wrong.

The federal government "loves to ignore our report," said Dr. Benson, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "They would rather it never happened."

Some scientists and legislators said the agency's statement about marijuana demonstrated that politics had trumped science.

"Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the F.D.A. making pronouncements that seem to be driven more by ideology than by science," said Dr. Jerry Avorn, a medical professor at Harvard Medical School.

The Complete Story May be Found Here

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Trap Over 1000 Illegals In Multiple Locations

CNN Reported Today that:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal immigration authorities rounded up more than 1,000 illegal immigrants at dozens of sites and charged nine individuals of the firm that employed them, federal law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

Seven current and former managers of IFCO Systems, which has offices in several states, were arrested and charged in connection with the employment of illegal immigrants, said U.S. Attorney Glenn Suddaby in Albany, New York.

Suddaby said two lower level employees were also charged in the case.

The action against IFCO Systems -- an industry leader in the manufacture of wooden pallets, crates and containers -- came as Homeland Security and Justice Department officials prepared to announce steps to toughen internal enforcement of the nation's immigration laws.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other Bush administration officials and a federal prosecutor will appear at the agency's Washington headquarters Thursday. They will announce the new strategy aimed at employers and disclose the results of the enforcement actions targeting IFCO Systems.

Customs officials said agents made more than a thousand arrests in nearly 40 locations including Houston, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Phoenix, Arizona; and Albany, New York.

A customs official said federal authorities checked a "sample" of 5,800 IFCO employee records last year and found that 53 percent had faulty Social Security numbers.

The complete story may be found here:

Mexico's Treatment of Migrants Extremely Harsh, Contrary to Its Calls For Red Carpet Treatment for It's Fleeing Citizens

MARK STEVENSON of the Associated Press Reported Today that in

TULTITLAN, Mexico - Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money.

While migrants in the United States have held huge demonstrations in recent weeks, the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Central Americans in Mexico suffer mostly in silence.

And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. The issue simply isn't on the country's political agenda, perhaps because migrants make up only 0.5 percent of the population, or about 500,000 people — compared with 12 percent in the United States.

The level of brutality Central American migrants face in Mexico was apparent Monday, when police conducting a raid for undocumented migrants near a rail yard outside Mexico City shot to death a local man, apparently because his dark skin and work clothes made officers think he was a migrant.

Virginia Sanchez, who lives near the railroad tracks that carry Central Americans north to the U.S. border, said such shootings in Tultitlan are common.

"At night, you hear the gunshots, and it's the judiciales (state police) chasing the migrants," she said. "It's not fair to kill these people. It's not fair in the United States and it's not fair here."

Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail.

"If you're carrying any money, they take it from you — federal, state, local police, all of them," said Carlos Lopez, a 28-year-old farmhand from Guatemala crouching in a field near the tracks in Tultitlan, waiting to climb onto a northbound freight train.

Lopez said he had been shaken down repeatedly in 15 days of traveling through Mexico.

"The soldiers were there as soon as we crossed the river," he said. "They said, 'You can't cross ... unless you leave something for us.'"

Jose Ramos, 18, of
El Salvador, said the extortion occurs at every stop in Mexico, until migrants are left penniless and begging for food.

"If you're on a bus, they pull you off and search your pockets and if you have any money, they keep it and say, 'Get out of here,'" Ramos said.

The complete story may be found at the link below: