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WG: U.S. immigration news, 4/18/02
by Tausch, Arno
23 April 2002 05:11 UTC
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-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Center for Immigration Studies [mailto:center@cis.org]
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 18. April 2002 23:01
An: CISNEWS@cis.org
Betreff: U.S. immigration news, 4/18/02

[For CISNEWS subscribers --

1. Latest on INS restructuring plan (4 stories)
2. Senate to vote on border security proposals
3. INS to hire 12,000 employees by October 2003
4. More on foreign student restrictions of study
5. More on civil-rights lawsuit, detained Muslim
6. Initiative to legalize illegal immigrants urged
7. More on licenses for illegal aliens in Tenn.
8. More on Mexican ID unveiled in Los Angeles
9. Mexican official seeks better immigration relations
10. Mexico may set up Congressional seat in U.S.
11. Illegal-alien airport workers prosecuted in Nev.
12. INS re-initiating illegal immigrant sweeps
13. Iowa school district opens immigrant language center
14. Day laborer center causes controversy in Arizona
15. Day in the life of a Maine border patrol agent
16. Feature on the trials of a Mexican immigrant family
17. Interview with academic on aftermath of terror attacks
18. Man, raised in U.S., may face deportation (link)
19. French immigrant detained after traffic stop (link)
20. 'Immigrant museum' to oust immigrant neighbors (link)

-- Mark Krikorian]

INS Restructuring Moves Forward
By Suzanne Gamboa
The Associated Press, April 17, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is moving ahead with plans for 
changes in the Immigration and Naturalization Service, even as lawmakers 
are pushing to break up the agency.

In-house changes that would get rid of management layers and start an 
office for juvenile immigrants were made official Wednesday by Attorney 
General John Ashcroft.

Ashcroft refused to comment on legislation to break up the INS, approved by 
a House committee last week. The administration wants to keep the INS 
intact but create stronger divisions between the agency's enforcement and 
benefits duties.

"This administrative restructuring helps fulfill President Bush's pledge to 
enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's immigration 
system," Ashcroft said.

In the changes announced Wednesday:

-Twenty-one Border Patrol sector chiefs now report directly to Border 
Patrol Chief Gus de la Vina, eliminating oversight at district and regional 

-Steve Farquharson, district director in Boston, has been named interim 
head of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, a new office in INS.

-INS headquarters will have more direct management of INS-owned detention 
facilities and oversight of the care of detainees, and will set INS 
detention standards. All district detention duties will be shifted to 
headquarters by August. The El Paso, Texas, district will be first to 
undergo the management change, later this month.

-An 11-member board is being created to advise the INS on restructuring.

INS Commissioner James Ziglar said the Border Patrol changes will help 
eliminate the inflexibility he encountered when he tried to send 318 Border 
Patrol agents to U.S. airports after the Sept. 11 attacks and ran into

"In effect the Border Patrol chief has never had direct authority over his 
own organization, until today," Ziglar said.

Former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner said the Border Patrol change is one 
she had hoped to make but couldn't get approved by Congress.

"This is very much a step forward," she said.

Meissner said she agrees that the INS fixes should come from within the

"To have the Congress be legislating on this level of detail over how an 
agency is structured is close to micromanagement," she said.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., sponsor of the House INS restructuring 
bill, may get the measure to the House floor next Wednesday, said 
Sensenbrenner spokesman Jeff Lungren.


Major overhaul to split apart embattled INS
Congress is still considering more drastic changes at agency
By Carolyn Lochhead
The San Francisco Chronicle, April 18, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday announced a major 
overhaul of the beleaguered Immigration and Naturalization Service, even as 
Congress considers its own more drastic plan.

The overhaul will begin to separate the agency's conflicting missions, 
splitting enforcement functions such as the Border Patrol from the parts of 
the agency that handle immigration benefits such as naturalizations.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., wants to 
separate the agency in two and has bipartisan support for the idea in the 
House, where members in both parties receive huge volumes of constituent 
complaints about INS incompetence.

Ashcroft said he was responding to an order from President Bush for 
immediate reform, following the agency's embarrassing notification to a 
Florida flight school that two of the dead Sept. 11 hijackers, including 
ringleader Mohammed Atta, had been approved for student visas.

INS Commissioner James Ziglar called the plan "a landmark day in the 
history of the INS. For at least 30 years, the operations of the INS in the 
field have remained exactly the same."

Dismissing past restructuring efforts as partial reorganizations of the 
Washington headquarters, Ziglar said this plan would change "how we do our 
business in this organization at the place where it's needed most, and 
that's in the field."

Five changes will take place "effective immediately," all on the 
enforcement side, with similar changes to come on the services side of the 
agency," Ashcroft said. They will streamline the "chain of command" in the 
meandering bureaucracy to enhance accountability in an agency famous for 
lacking it.


The changes would:

* Establish a direct chain of command in the Border Patrol to Washington 
chief Gus de la Vina, instead of going through sector chiefs and regional 
directors. Ashcroft said the change would give the Border Patrol "clarity 
of mission" and greater consistency, allowing the chief to direct agents 
where they are needed most.

* Create new positions of chief financial officer and a chief information 
officer to improve INS financial management and the use of new technology. 
Ziglar said he found it "truly remarkable" that an agency of 35,000 
employees lacked positions considered essential to a medium-sized business.

* Put Washington in control of alien detention facilities.

* Establish a new Office of Juvenile Affairs to handle unaccompanied 
children in INS custody.

* Create an 11-member board to advise the INS on restructuring.

Ziglar said the changes at the Border Patrol would eliminate the problems 
he had had trying to send 318 Border Patrol agents to U.S. airports after 
the Sept. 11 attacks, when he had to exert emergency powers to assign the 

"In effect the Border Patrol chief has never had direct authority over his 
own organization, until today," Ziglar said.


Ashcroft refused to comment on the status of an administration proposal to 
merge the INS with the Customs Service, now in the Treasury Department. But 
an INS official said Bush wanted further work on the plan, which faces 
stiff congressional resistance. It was first proposed by Homeland Security 
Director Tom Ridge, who is trying to consolidate border security functions.

Douglas Doan, senior vice president of New Technology Management Inc. of 
Reston, Va., which helps oversee the design and use of surveillance and 
inspection technology for Customs and the INS, said Customs was "light 
years" ahead of INS in its use of new technologies.

"The INS has some really good, motivated people, but they don't listen to 
them" at headquarters, Doan said, in contrast to Customs, where agents 
generate ideas about improving operations.

"At INS, it's unfortunate but the perception is that headquarters doesn't 
listen to them, so they shut off a while ago and don't have a good flow of 
ideas coming up," he said.


INS chief mandates first steps in reform
Ziglar wants field offices to be more responsive to orders from D.C.
By Dena Bunis
The Orange County Register, April 18, 2002

WASHINGTON -- With a congressional mandate to restructure breathing down 
his neck, the nation's immigration commissioner said Wednesday he is doing 
what no one has done in 30 years -- changing the way his agency works in 
the field, not just in Washington.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James Ziglar and 
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a number of changes. They include:

Establishing a direct line of authority for the Border Patrol from the 
field to Washington and the same for INS detention facilities.

Establishing an office of juvenile affairs reporting directly to Ziglar.

Hiring a chief financial officer and a chief information officer.

Ziglar had a first-hand experience that helped convince him an overhaul was 

After Sept 11, he said, he wanted to move 318 Border Patrol agents to help 
fortify security at the nation's airports, but the cumbersome chain of 
command in the Border Patrol prevented him from doing that quickly.

He said he had to call Border Patrol Chief Gus De La Vina and say, "Get it 

This is just the first part of a larger plan to separate the service and 
enforcement functions of the INS. For years, lawmakers have complained 
about the inefficiency of the agency, and INS officials in Washington have 
thrown up their hands, unable to control the district directors around the 
country, who have often ignored edicts from headquarters.

On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to consider the Judiciary committee's 
bipartisan restructuring bill. And Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is 
expected to introduce a bill next week.

"I continue to believe," Kennedy said, "that legislation is needed to 
secure a strong foundation for the agency to operate successfully in the 

And a spokesman for Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House 
Judiciary Committee, said Sensenbrenner doesn't believe the INS can reform 

"The administration's plan is inadequate and just won't get the job done 
for what's needed," said Sensenbrenner spokesman Jeff Lungren.

The House bill would abolish the INS and create two new agencies, one for 
enforcement and one for services.

Kennedy's bill is expected to mirror the Bush administration approach -- to 
keep an INS with separate bureaus within the agency.

Ashcroft refused to give an opinion on the House measure, although Ziglar 
has said in public hearings that he believes most, if not all, of the 
restructuring can be done without legislation.

The INS's new director of restructuring says that whichever bill prevails, 
moves like Ziglar announced Wednesday are needed.

"If I were today given the mandate to restructure the agency along the 
lines of the House legislation or along the lines of the bill in the 
Senate, the first thing I would have to do is complete the administration's 
restructuring to position the agency into the legislative framework," said 
Richard Cravener, head of the restructuring effort.


INS reform pledge may not halt demise
House vote set on agency split
By Julia Malone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 18, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, staying one 
step ahead of congressional efforts to dismantle it, began Wednesday to 
reform itself.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and INS Commissioner James Ziglar announced 
a series of moves, including placing the Border Patrol under a single

The officials said the INS central office also will assume direct 
supervision of the eight INS detention centers for aliens, starting with 
the one at El Paso, Texas.

Although the INS has been revamped many times over three decades, Ashcroft 
said these changes and others to be announced soon would be 
"unprecedented," because they would reach the field offices nationwide.

"We all recognize the urgent need to restructure the INS as quickly [and] 
as efficiently as possible," Ashcroft said. The agency has come under 
intense fire because of a series of mishaps since the Sept. 11 terrorist 

The administration's effort might not head off congressional efforts to 
legislate more drastic revisions.

The House is set to vote next week on a plan to cut the INS into two 
agencies, one for immigration law enforcement and another for services to 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) will move 
forward on the bipartisan legislation, his spokesman, Jeff Lungren, said. 
"He feels that the administration plans, while well intentioned, are 

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) also said the INS internal efforts would not 
be enough. "I continue to believe that legislation is needed to secure a 
strong foundation for the agency to operate successfully in the future," 
Kennedy said.

The long-standing INS problems, many of which have been traced to a lack of 
congressional backing and oversight, continued this week.

The agency is facing new questions about security procedures after an 
Egyptian who had been deported from the United States in January used an 
apparently valid visa to board a Miami-bound plane in late March.

Ziglar said Wednesday that the deportee was caught and detained upon 
arrival because of computer records.

The agency did not know whether the INS had failed to stamp the deportee's 
visa as canceled or whether the document had been altered, he said.

Also as part of the INS changes, Ziglar announced that Steve Farquharson, 
district director in Boston, would set up a new office of juvenile affairs 
to care for unaccompanied children caught up in the immigration system.


Senate to Vote on Border Security
By Jesse J. Holland
The Associated Press, April 18, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A long delayed package of border security proposals 
might finally be on the fast track in the Senate now that its main opponent 
has decided against offering amendments that could be seen as obstacles to 
its quick movement.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., has decided against pressing ahead with labor 
and homeland security amendments after meeting with Sen. Edward Kennedy, 
D-Mass. one of the border security package' s main proponents, Byrd 
spokesman Tom Gavin said.

The amendments would have created a homeland security agency by statute and 
required certification that goods from China were not made with forced 
child labor.

While many senators side with Byrd on those issues, those plans probably 
would have further slowed the bill, which has languished in the Senate 
since December. The amendments would have forced the Senate and House to 
debate the issues before the measure could go to President Bush.

With Byrd now on board, the Senate could vote on the measure as early as 
Thursday, although the debate over drilling for oil in Alaska could push 
the border security vote to next week.

Either way, supporters said the bill has 61 co-sponsors, more than enough 
for approval when it comes to a vote.

It then would return to the House because senators plan to make minor 
changes. They include increasing penalties on companies for not disclosing 
airplane or vessel passenger lists before entering to leaving the United 
States, and increasing the frequency of inspections for the nation' s visa 
waiver program.

The bill would add 1, 000 new Immigration and Naturalization Service 
inspectors, investigative personnel and support staff to America' s 
borders; lift the 45 minute time limit on INS inspection of passengers on 
international flights; and ban foreigners from countries on America' s 
terrorist watch list from getting U.S. visas.

The bill also would require machine-readable, tamper-resistant travel 
documents for foreigners wanting to enter the country. It would require 
universities to keep better track of foreign students, including checking 
and informing the government when and where prospective students arrive and 
when they are expected to graduate or when they quit school.

The full three-year package would cost $3.2 billion, supporters said.

The House passed its version last year.

On the Net: Information on the bills, S. 1749 and H.R. 3525, is available 
at http://thomas.loc.gov


INS to hire 8,000 new employees in five months, 12,000 by October 2003
By Wilson Ring
The Associated Press, April 17, 2002

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Six months after Congress authorized tripling the 
number of federal agents on the northern border, the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service is launching its biggest hiring push ever.

By the end of the fiscal year in September, the INS hopes to have 8,000 new 
employees with 6,000 headed to work on the borders. By the end of September 
2003 the INS hopes to hire an additional 4,000 people.

The new employees will increase the size of the INS by about a third.

Most of the new employees will about double the number of Border Patrol and 
immigration inspectors working on the U.S.-Canadian border.

"We are looking forward to increased manpower and other resources up here," 
said Chuck Foss, a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in Swanton, which 
oversees a 211-mile stretch of border in upstate New York, Vermont and New 

Since Sept. 11, the Border Patrol, which is part of INS, has helped 
increase its presence along the frontier by working longer hours and 
getting help from agents temporarily assigned from the Mexican border.

About 345 Border Patrol agents patrol the 4,000-mile U.S.- Canadian border. 
Foss said plans call for hiring about 245 new Border Patrol agents this

"We'll take anything they give us," Foss said.

U.S. Customs, which is separate from INS, also is in the midst of a big 
hiring push, although it's not as large as that of INS.

The new hires will go a long way toward easing the staffing shortages 
caused by the security enhancements imposed after the Sept. 11 attacks on 
the United States. Some border officers have been working regular 12- and 
14-hour days.

Once complete, the new hires should eliminate the need for the 1,700 
National Guard soldiers assisting INS and customs agents on the Canadian 
and Mexican borders, officials said.

But the hiring falls short of tripling the number of INS and customs agents 
along the northern border authorized last year by Congress following the 
Sept. 11 attacks.

Any staffing increases will have to paid for in later congressional 

The INS hiring is for a range of jobs, including uniformed Border Patrol 
agents, and officers who will help people with INS paperwork to those who 
oversee the deportation process, said INS spokesman Temple Black.

"There are a wide variety of jobs available at INS for all kinds of 
people," he said.

U.S. Customs, meanwhile, is hiring about 1,200 inspector for major U.S. 
seaports and the Canadian border, said Customs spokesman Jim Michie.

"That's the first increment," said Michie. "Future hiring depends on the 
fiscal 2003 budget."

Federal law enforcement duties along the border are shared by the INS, 
which is responsible for the people who cross the border, and U.S. Customs, 
which is primarily responsible for goods that enter and leave the country.

While the Sept. 11 attacks highlighted the need for greater border 
security, the hiring spurt was only partially motivated by the attacks, 
said INS spokesman Temple Black.

"INS has always needed good, qualified career oriented people to accomplish 
the great numbers of important tasks for which we are responsible," Black

In the aftermath of the attacks, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., helped write an 
anti-terrorism bill that authorized INS and Customs to triple their 
staffing levels on the northern border. But the law, passed in October, did 
not include funding for those positions.

The $445 million for the new hires and technology enhancements for INS and 
Customs on the borders was in a supplemental spending bill passed by 
Congress in December and signed by President Bush in January.

The INS employs about 36,900 people. Once the hiring is complete it will 
bring the total to about 49,000.

Craig Jehle, the Customs port director for northwestern Vermont, said he 
expected to receive between 25 and 30 new employees by the end of the year. 
The border crossings he supervises has about 50 Customs employees.

"It's a substantial number," Jehle said. "We are still covering a lot of 
extra shifts."

New Border Patrol agents always start work on the U.S.-Mexican border. But 
the addition of new agents in the south will free up that many veteran 
agents to move north and start patrolling the U.S.-Canadian line, said Foss.

Even veteran agents need time to get accustomed to the different demands of 
working on the Canadian border, he said.

"We want to see how effective these agents can be," Foss said. "We don't 
want to get them so quickly that they can't assimilate."


Plans on Foreign Students Worry College Officials
By Diana Jean Schemo
The New York Times, April 17, 2002

WASHINGTON -- A week after the Bush administration tightened access to 
student visas in its fight against terrorism, higher education officials 
are growing concerned that the next move could be to limit what foreign 
students may study once admitted to American colleges and universities.

A presidential directive on "Combating Terrorism Through Immigration 
Policies," issued in late October, called for stricter controls on student 
visas, and barring "certain international students from receiving education 
and training in sensitive areas, including areas of study with direct 
application to the development and use of weapons of mass destruction."

At least one of the Sept. 11 hijackers entered the country on a student 
visa. Others attended flight schools, despite holding only tourist and 
business visas, prompting broad calls for stricter controls on visas.

Officials at colleges and universities complain that the workings of an 
interagency group that is proposing changes in rules for foreign students 
have been largely hidden from the public and say they fear the government 
may adopt new guidelines without their participation.

In a letter to the administration yesterday, three major associations 
representing independent colleges and research universities said any 
controls on foreign students should come when consulates screen visa 
candidates for entry to the United States, not after they enter. The 
growing concern about the directive was first reported in The Chronicle of 
Higher Education on Monday.

"We are concerned that the fundamentally open character of our higher 
education system may make it impossible to construct a workable system for 
restricting certain students already present in the country from gaining 
access to information that is made available to other students," the letter 

Vic Johnson, governmental affairs specialist at the Association of 
International Educators, said he believed the White House's Office of 
Science and Technology Policy, which was overseeing the interagency working 
group, was working hard to balance national security with the needs of 
universities, which were unaccustomed to erecting barriers to courses once 
students were admitted to institutions of higher education.

"We are all fervently hoping that this thing they're going to consult with 
us on isn't already a done deal," Mr. Johnson said.

Universities depend heavily on foreign students to fill postgraduate 
programs, particularly in science, and these students represent an 
important source of research assistance in the sciences and mathematics. In 
engineering, foreign students make up half of all candidates for advanced 
degrees, said Jon W. Fuller, a senior fellow at the National Association of 
Independent Colleges and Universities.

Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the Office of Homeland Security, said the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service would not only screen visa 
applicants more carefully, but also would monitor their courses of study 
once they enter the country. If students who had said they would study 
liberal arts, for example, start taking courses in nuclear engineering, 
"that's something that will raise a red flag, and we'll go and take a look 
at them," Mr. Johndroe said.

He said the interagency group had drafted recommendations, which were sent 
back to the group for further study.

But university officials say they cannot imagine such controls on campuses. 
"It's very hard for us, once someone is here, to say you cannot audit 
organic chemistry because it is a sensitive course," said Terry Hartle, a 
senior vice president at the American Council on Education. "We don't keep 
guards at the doors of classrooms to see who's getting in and who's not."


Canadian immigrant challenges U.S. dragnet practices
By Estanislao Oziewicz
The Globe and Mail (Canada), April 18, 2002, pg. A7

A landed immigrant to Canada of Pakistani origin is a central plaintiff in 
a class-action lawsuit launched by a U.S. civil-rights group challenging 
the prolonged detention of hundreds of Muslims after Sept. 11.

According to the suit, filed yesterday in U.S. federal court in New York, 
Syed Amjad Ali Jaffri was held in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Centre 
for six months, several months after an immigration judge ordered him 
deported for being in the United States illegally.

Mr. Jaffri was one of about 1,200 people swept up in the dragnet after the 
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the largest investigation 
in U.S. history.

The suit was brought by the New York-based Center for Constitutional 
Rights, which accuses the Bush administration of arbitrarily imprisoning 
Muslims for months on minor immigration violations.

"We want the world to know that we are treating students, tourists, people 
here for a short period of time, as criminals," Barbara Olshansky, a lawyer 
for the centre, told The New York Times. "We're putting them into arbitrary 
detention, just like the worst totalitarian regimes we cry out all the time 
about in this country."

An immigrant from Pakistan, Mr. Jaffri had already applied for Canadian 
citizenship at the time of his arrest at his Bronx apartment in late 
September. Mr. Jaffri could not be reached but, according to U.S. news 
reports, he had been in the New York area selling surgical and dental 
supplies in violation of his tourist visa.

The suit alleges that Mr. Jaffri was mistreated by a prison guard, who he 
claims slammed his head against a wall, loosening his teeth. At the time, 
Mr. Jaffri had shackles around his ankles and his hands were cuffed to a 
waist chain. He says prison authorities denied his request to see a dentist 
or receive a painkiller.

U.S. authorities have refused to provide any information about detainees. 
Attorney-General John Ashcroft has said that his department's efforts to 
combat terrorism were crafted to avoid infringing on constitutional rights 
while saving American lives.

Mid-February was the last time the Justice Department provided any 
accounting of those arrested after Sept. 11. At that time, the department 
said 327 of the original detainees were still in custody on immigration 
charges or were being investigated "for possible terrorist connections."

That figure does not include an unspecified number of those being held 
under sealed indictments or as material witnesses.

One of those released this week was Shakir Baloch, a Canadian citizen who 
was imprisoned for seven months, about two-thirds of that time in solitary 
confinement with lights always on. He was deported to Canada after pleading 
guilty to living in the United States illegally.

Martin Stolar, his lawyer, said Mr. Baloch was representative of those held 
unlawfully and subjected to inhumane treatment and that his name will be 
added to the suit.

Among other things, the lawsuit asks a judge to issue an order protecting 
the detainees' due-process rights and to appoint a monitor to oversee their 

The U.S. government's treatment of those arrested after Sept. 11 is being 
challenged by other groups. The American Arab Anti-Discrimination 
Committee, with several human-rights organizations such as the American 
Civil Liberties Union and the Centre for National Security Studies, has 
sued the Justice Department for access to information about detainees.


Legislator: U.S. Congress should pass bill legalizing immigrants' status
Agencia EFE, April 18, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes, head of the Congressional Hispanic 
Caucus, on Tuesday urged Congress to approve an initiative to legalize the 
status of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Reyes made the comments during a hearing of the Senate subcommittee on 
Western Hemispheric affairs aimed at analyzing pending legislation in the 
bilateral agenda with Mexico, including immigration issues, trade and 
border security.

"Unfortunately, there are still many in Congress who would like to build a 
wall on our southern border. They believe the best way to deal with the 
problems associated with migration, drugs and a host of border issues is to 
put up a wall and pretend the other side simply does not exist," Reyes 
said. "The reality is that Mexico is our second largest trading partner, 
and we must engage our neighbors to the south if we are going to resolve 
many of our mutual problems."

Reyes, a former U.S. Border Patrol officer, said the U.S. cannot continue 
to ignore the needs of millions of illegal immigrants who have lived in the 
shadows of society for so long.

"They (illegal immigrants) are members of our society and contribute to our 
economy," Reyes said. "They pick our food, they wash our clothes and care 
for our children. The long-term taxpaying, law-abiding immigrants should be 
given some type of legal status."

The controversial subject of immigration, which was placed on the back 
burner after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, dominated Tuesday's 
subcommittee hearing, which U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services 
(INS) head James Ziglar and representatives from the public and private 
sectors attended.

Ziglar, who has held more than a dozen meetings with high-ranking Mexican 
officials, said both countries are ironing out the details of a 22-point 
plan of action to facilitate trade and improve border security.

According to official figures, the economic activity in the region has 
tripled since 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 
came into effect. Last year's border trade amounted to 260 billion dollars.


License plan alive in House: Undocumented immigrants could get certificate
By Duren Cheek
The Tennessean, April 18, 2002

A proposal to allow the state to grant a one-year driver's license 
certificate to immigrants who do not have Immigration and Naturalization 
Service documentation cleared a House committee yesterday after lengthy 

The proposed certificates are designed only to give the applicants driving 
privileges and not for any other purpose, such as a state identification.

Regular driver's licenses are issued for a period of five years and are 
renewable on the driver's birthday.

The legislation would also require that anyone seeking a photo 
identification from the state Department of Safety would have to produce a 
Social Security number or INS documents to obtain it.

''With passage of this bill, unless someone can provide you with a Social 
Security or INS documentation that the Department of Safety is comfortable 
with and can verify, they will stop issuing state IDs to that particular 
group of people,'' said Safety Department spokesman Roland Colson.

''This is a huge improvement in the present law. ...''

No such documentation is required now.

The legislation is expected to be before the House Finance Committee next 
week for a determination of the cost of implementing the program.

With the transportation committees of both houses in agreement on the bill, 
it appears to stand a good chance of becoming law. The Senate 
Transportation Committee approved it last week.

The House Transportation Committee voted down a proposed amendment 
yesterday that would have required the words ''U.S. CITIZENSHIP NOT 
CONFIRMED'' be stamped on the driver's certificates. The bill already 
requires that the words ''FOR DRIVING PURPOSES ONLY'' be stamped on the 
certificates in big red letters.

Several committee members said they did not think the legislation placed 
enough restrictions on immigrants in view of the terrorist attacks on New 
York and Washington on Sept. 11.

''I would feel more comfortable if we had a requirement for some type of 
INS document so we could avoid issuing licenses to people who are here 
illegally,'' said Rep. Steve Buttry, R-Knoxville.

Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland, said the legislation provides for 
improvement in the current system.

''Without this legislation moving forward you are not going to have 
anything to indicate that it is for driving purposes only. It would still 
be the standard driver's license,'' Newton said.

Gov. Don Sundquist's administration maintains the legislation is needed 
because immigrants are going to drive to work and elsewhere with or without 
a license so they need to know the rules of the road.

Colson said they need to learn such things as a driver cannot pass a 
stopped school bus with the stop sign showing.

Persons who have a Social Security number can have the number displayed on 
the license or have the license simply read ''Number On File.''

For those who have no Social Security number, the certificate would bear 
the words ''None provided.''


Mexican ID cards updated for security
Document has gained acceptance by banks and police.
By Minerva Canto
The Orange County Register, April 18, 2002

A Mexican ID card with new security features was unveiled Wednesday by 
government officials who said its popularity in the United States fueled 
the need for a more reliable version.

"It's evident that there's been a sort of explosion of Mexican 
identification cards and that's good. That's what it's about. That's what 
the cards are for," said Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, who spoke at the 
Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles. The consulate is the busiest in the 
United States, issuing up to 850 ID cards daily.

Features of the new matricula consular, as it is known in Spanish, include 
a digitized photograph, a magnetic band similar to the one on California 
driver's licenses, and a holographic image of the letters SRE (which stand 
for Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, or Foreign Ministry).

The Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana is one of several in the United States 
now offering the new version of the card, which made national headlines 
after it was accepted as a valid form of identification by Orange County 
police chiefs and Wells Fargo bank in November.

"Fortunately, the card is now being accepted by all major financial 
institutions in the United States," said Miguel Angel Isidro-Rodriguez, 
Mexico's consul in Santa Ana. "Now we're looking to see whether other 
agencies will also accept the card. We're going to continue with this work."

The consul said he is preparing to make another presentation to the police 
chiefs' organization so they can familiarize themselves with the new 
version. The card can be used to avoid being detained - and possibly 
deported - for lack of identification when stopped for minor offenses such 
as jaywalking.

The card has become increasingly popular among undocumented immigrants 
nationwide as banks, law enforcement agencies and other institutions have 
recognized it. Originally for Mexicans returning to their native country, 
it has become a sort of passport into some mainstream U.S. activities. 
Mexican immigrants make up the bulk of the estimated 8 million illegal 
immigrants in the United States.

Between November and March, Wells Fargo has accepted the cards as a primary 
form of identification to open about 25,000 new accounts, mostly in 
Southern California, said Miriam Galicia Duarte, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman 
in Los Angeles.

Fountain Valley resident Carmen Salas said the card has allowed her to open 
a bank account so she can save up to buy a house.

"I know this card has nothing to do with immigration, but at least I am 
able to do some things legitimately," Salas said.

Those who favor stricter enforcement of immigration laws believe accepting 
the card as a form of ID is an invitation for trouble, especially at a time 
of heightened security concerns.

"Who knows who these people really are?" said Dana Point resident Sherry 
Gianini. "We know the Mexican government still has some cleaning up to do 
in terms of corruption."

Mexican officials say they continue to push for more agencies to accept the 
card, including credit unions and other law enforcement agencies. 
Eventually, they would like to see it accepted at the federal level, 
Castaneda said.

The card, which costs $29, requires applicants to present documentation 
such as a birth certificate to verify who they are. The new card will allow 
consulates to hook up with Mexican national databases, such as voter 
registration records, for verification.


Mexico's Castaneda Says Immigration Strides Must Be Made
The Associated Press, April 18, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Mexican Foreign Secretary Jorge Castaneda stood in 
for his grounded president and said in an address here that the United 
States and Mexico would need to make great strides regarding immigration 
for relations between the two countries to improve.

In a dinner speech hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California, Castaneda 
said Wednesday that progress on the issue of Mexican immigrants was of the 
utmost concern of Mexico's president, Vicente Fox.

"It would be difficult for Vicente Fox to be the partner of the U.S. if 
progress is not made," Castaneda said. "Short of reaching an agreement on 
that front, it will be real difficult for U.S.-Mexico relations to move 

Castaneda's visit came a week after the Mexican Senate denied Fox 
permission to travel outside of his country.

Fox had planned to visit the western United States and Canada. But Mexican 
senators were angered by his administration's policy toward Cuba and Fox's 
increasingly warm relationship with the United States.

Fox and Castaneda said Monday that Mexico would support a United Nations 
resolution next month censuring Cuba for its poor human rights record. In 
the past, Mexico has abstained from such votes and has had a good 
relationship with Fidel Castro's government.

Castaneda also addressed the political crisis in Venezuela, where President 
Hugo Chavez was temporarily dislodged from power last week in a failed 
coup. The secretary said it was important that Mexico condemn the breakdown 
of democratic and constitutional rule in that country.


Mexico is courting its citizens abroad
By Tim Steller
The Arizona Daily Star, April 18, 2002

It used to be that people who kept one foot on each side of the 
U.S.-Mexican border occupied a sort of bicultural underground.

Now they are known as "binationals" and they tread exalted ground.

Mexico approved dual nationality in 1998, extending citizenship to Mexicans 
who are naturalized in other countries and to their children. Now President 
Vicente Fox calls Mexican residents of the United States "heroes" and is 
pushing for them to be able to vote, on this side of the border, by 2006, 
in Mexico's next presidential election.

One proposal would even give Mexicans in the United States their own seats 
in Mexico's Congress. In anticipation of such changes, a Mexican senator is 
planning to come to Tucson next month to establish an Arizona branch of his 

These changes are part of an ongoing erosion in the current definition of 
nationality, according to researchers, activists and binationals 
themselves. They say while the trend is highly visible among Mexicans in 
the United States, it is occurring worldwide.

Some consider this erosion a threat to American national identity, or even 
part of a plot for Mexico to reconquer the American West. Others view it as 
the inevitable, beneficial result of globalization.

Florencio I. Zaragoza counts himself in the latter group. He has lived in 
Tucson for 14 years, but ran unsuccessfully for Mexico's Congress in the 
district that includes his hometown, Guaymas, Sonora, in 1997 and 2000.

His wife and four children are citizens of both the United States and 
Mexico, he said. Now, Zaragoza, 53, has also decided to apply for U.S. 

"I already feel I am binational," said Zaragoza, director of a program to 
create cross-border academic opportunities at Pima Community College.

But another Tucson resident from Guaymas considers binationality and the 
movement for Mexican voting rights in the United States part of a sinister 
effort. Hector Ayala sees them as part of the reconquista, an attempt by 
some Mexicans and their descendants to reconquer the land Mexico lost to 
the United States in the mid-1800s.

Ayala, who led the successful voter initiative against bilingual education 
in 2000, also considers these changes dangerous to American democracy.

"They think they have two roots, one in America and one in Mexico. I think 
it renders them incapable of performing well as a citizen of either 
nation," said Ayala, an English teacher at Cholla High School.

The issue is becoming less theoretical and more real as Mexicans in the 
United States press the Mexican Congress for the right to vote in Mexican 
elections. Already in 2000, three candidates for the Mexican presidency 
campaigned in the United States, hoping to influence family members of 
voters in Mexico.

In March, two delegations, including one that Zaragoza joined, traveled to 
Mexico City to lobby for voting rights. They found broad support for the 
idea, especially in voting for president, said Raul Ross and Jorge Mujica, 
two Chicago residents who led the delegations. But support is shakier for 
creating congressional districts outside Mexico's borders that would give 
representation to all Mexicans living abroad.

The biggest obstacle, Mujica said, is "the uncertainty of the two main 
Mexican political parties, because they don't know who we are going to vote 

But the expectation that voting and campaigning will occur in the United 
States is strong enough that Sen. Hector Larios, a member of Mexico's 
Congress from Sonora, is coming to Tucson May 3. While here, he plans to 
help his National Action Party, or PAN, start cultivating support among 

President Fox, a member of PAN, supports the voting rights of Mexicans 
abroad, but he also is appealing to the loyalties of the entire Mexican 
diaspora to aid Mexico's development.

In Tucson last year, Cabinet member Juan Hernandez said, "Vicente Fox sees 
the nation of Mexico as being one of 123 million people - 100 million 
people within the borders, and 23 million living outside of Mexico, mostly 
in the United States."

The 23 million figure included not just Mexican citizens living outside 
Mexico, but also the descendants of Mexican emigrants, such as 

Informed of the invitation by Fox to rejoin Mexico, native Tucsonan Ruben 
Campos declined. A son of Mexican immigrants, Campos, 72, also was a U.S. 
Army paratrooper who fought in the Korean War. He questioned what Mexico 
could offer Mexican-Americans.

"It would be to the benefit of Mexico, but I don't see where America would 
benefit from that," Campos said.

In an interview last week, Hernandez, the head of Fox's Office of Mexicans 
Abroad, acknowledged that some Mexican-Americans viewed Fox's attempt to 
adopt them as presumptuous. But he said the president's appeal is not an 
attempt to steer Mexican-Americans' loyalty away from the United States.

In part, it was an effort to invite ambitious and well-trained Mexicans who 
leave the country to continue participating in Mexico, Hernandez said. But 
Hernandez also argued that a person can belong to more than one country.

"There are many of us, including myself, that don't feel we have a torn 
loyalty. On the contrary, I love the United States, and I love Mexico," 
said Hernandez, the son of a Mexican father.

"My mother is from the states, from Texas. I was born in Texas, and I'm a 
Cabinet member and adviser to the president of Mexico. I don't feel in any 
way torn."

Although this phenomenon is becoming increasingly common and formalized, it 
is also very old, said Adela de la Torre, the director of the Mexican 
American Studies and Research Center at the University of Arizona.

"Mexicans have always maintained a bicultural identity and a binational 
identity," de la Torre said. "The Mexican identity probably doesn't break 
until you get into the second generation."

But the possible changes in Mexican voting rights present unprecedented 
opportunities to keep connected to both countries. As it stands, nothing in 
the two countries' laws would prevent binational citizens from voting in 
elections in both the United States and Mexico, Hernandez said.

That could keep immigrants from making the break from the old country, said 
Stanley Renshon, a professor of political science at the City University of 
New York.

Renshon is also a clinical psychologist, and he researches what he calls 
"political psychology." He finds American national identity weakened by 
dual nationality laws, which exist not only in Mexico, but also in 91 other 

"I, for one, would propose that any new citizen to this country not be 
allowed to vote in another country's elections. They ought not to be able 
to run for public office in another country. They ought not to be able to 
serve in the armed forces of another country," Renshon said.

"Making an American identity a primary identity is something this country 
rightfully expects from people who come here, and whom we take in 
voluntarily," Renshon said. "We're not taking in lots of people so they can 
form a new Mexican government in our country. We're taking them in so they 
can be Americans."

This understanding of nationality contradicts the reality that is emerging 
globally, Florencio Zaragoza said. Technology and transportation are 
keeping immigrants everywhere in close contact with their homelands, he 
said. Zaragoza uses the Internet to run a discussion group on Mexico, used 
largely by Mexicans living in the United States.

Technology allows immigrants "not to lose their connections, as happened in 
the past," Zaragoza said.

Yet his experience in the 2000 Mexican elections shows that national 
identity has not disappeared altogether. Zaragoza, a member of the 
Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, lost the election, and he blamed the 
outcome in part on his opponents' personal attacks.

"The candidates of the other parties called me 'the gringo Florence,' " 
Zaragoza said. "They called me 'foreigner.' "


Prosecution of McCarran workers concludes
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 18, 2002

Federal authorities have wrapped up their prosecution of McCarran 
International Airport workers arrested in February as part of Operation

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Lever said the goal of the multiagency 
investigation, which led to criminal charges against 27 workers accused of 
lying about their immigration status, was to improve airport security.

"It's our belief that we've achieved that goal, and we've achieved it in a 
fair and just manner," the prosecutor said.

On Wednesday, Muhammad Qudeer Sharif of Pakistan became the 20th defendant 
in the case to plead guilty to possession of an unlawfully produced 
identification document, a misdemeanor. All of those defendants admitted 
possessing a counterfeit Social Security card.

Only one defendant in the case, Maria Reyes Carreon, has pleaded guilty to 
a felony. She pleaded guilty to false use of a Social Security number and 
admitted using the number to obtain employment at World Service Company.

Lever said Carreon received harsher treatment because she had tried on two 
occasions in the past to enter the United States from Mexico using false 

In addition, the prosecutor said, when Carreon was given the opportunity 
after her arrest to call and make arrangements for her children, she warned 
everybody at her home about the investigation.

Lever said all the defendants, including Carreon, were sentenced to the 
time they already had spent in custody.

Arrest warrants remain in effect for the following defendants: Rufino Perez 
Bautista, Martin Blanco, Arafice Karim and Gabriela Rascon. Authorities are 
still looking for Tapaita Peini of Tonga, who made her initial appearance 
in the case but failed to show up for a second hearing.

Charges against Juan Morales Vera were dismissed after immigration 
officials decided to deport him.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Arthur Allen, who represented five 
defendants in the case, said prosecutors resolved the matter reasonably.

"Unfortunately, even the people that pled out to misdemeanors are still 
facing immigration consequences," he said.


INS revives sweeps
Initial targets are from nations with links to Al Qaeda
By Cindy Rodríguez
The Boston Globe, April 18, 2002

They arrived at 5 in the morning, startling 77-year-old Elias Sawan and his 
wife, Antoinette, as they slept. At least a dozen officers - both 
Immigration and Naturalization Service agents and local police - rushed 
their Walpole home and handcuffed the Sawans' four grown children. 
Antoinette Sawan, 64, still in her nightgown, fainted. Elias Sawan stood 
there bewildered.

For nearly 18 years the Sawans have lived in the same house, one family 
among the estimated 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United 
States. Though they received a deportation notice 13 years ago, they 
ignored it, remained, and built a life here. But a new get-tough INS policy 
is forcing all six of the Sawans to return to Lebanon by June 19.

Under an initiative aimed at deporting ''absconders'' - immigrants who have 
remained in the US despite a deportation order - the INS has returned to 
the practice of sweeps, which it had largely abandoned over the past 
several years. But unlike worksite raids that dominated immigration law 
enforcement in the late '80s and early '90s, INS agents are now raiding

Russell Bergeron, a spokesman for the INS, said the program is aimed at an 
estimated 314,000 undocumented immigrants who have been previously ordered 
deported. Nancy Cohen, another INS official, said yesterday that the INS 
has apprehended 372 absconders so far.

In the Boston area, a growing number of undocumented immigrants are being 
held in state prisons until their deportation. Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman 
for the Boston INS office, was not able yesterday to say how many local 
people have been arrested under the new initiative, and referred all 
questions to the national INS office.

But Westy Egmont, the executive director of the International Institute of 
Boston, the largest refugee resettlement and immigrant service agency in 
New England, said he has heard of dozens of people rounded up in recent 
weeks. Most of them, he said, are either Arab, from the Middle East, or

''The anecdotal evidence appears to indicate that the crackdown is 
focused,'' Egmont said. ''We're not hearing the same stories from people 
who have emigrated from Latin America or Asia.''

The raids have already had a deep impact on the parish of Our Lady of the 
Cedars of Lebanon, a Lebanese Maronite Eastern Catholic Church, where 10 
parishioners from five families have been jailed in the past month. 
Monsignor Joseph Lahoud, pastor of the church, says he knows them well.

''These people are not terrorists. They had nothing to do with September 
11th'' he said. ''At least give them a chance to appeal. They are being 
treated like nobodies.''

One of them, he says, is a Lebanese man who is married and has two children 
born on American soil. His children are citizens and can stay, but he and 
his wife won't leave them behind. There's the case of two young brothers - 
one 19, the other 22 - who arrived with their families from Lebanon when 
they were toddlers. They will be deported to a ''home'' country they have 
barely seen.

Some immigrant rights groups assert that the Justice Department's long 
failure to pursue families like the Sawans amounts to a tacit acceptance - 
making it even more surprising that they would now be deported.

But Bergeron, speaking for the INS, rejected that idea. He said the 
terrorist attacks made it clear that the United States needs to police 
immigration more rigorously - and said families like the Sawans are not 
unknowing innocents, but fugitives who have long known that they should

''They had their day in court and were ordered deported,'' said Bergeron. 
''If they chose to make decisions to acquire businesses or property knowing 
full well that their presence is illegal, then that's their choice.''

Bergeron said the INS has to jail the individuals it finds because their 
previous action - not showing up for deportation - demonstrates that they 
are a flight risk. He added that the INS is going after undocumented people 
regardless of national origin.

Cohen, of the INS, said that the first phase of the absconder program 
sought to deport about 6,000 undocumented people from countries that have 
connections to Al Qaeda. Those countries include Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, 
and Somalia.

Currently, the INS is in the midst of entering the data of all 314,000 
absconders into the FBI National Crime Information Computer, said Karen 
Kraushaar, another INS official.

''Once those names are put into NCIC, any law enforcement official in the 
US will have access to the data,'' Kraushaar said. ''That means if you are 
stopped by a police officer for speeding and he runs your driver's license, 
if you're an absconder your name will come up.''

It is unclear how the INS came to find the Sawan family, who fled Lebanon 
because as Christians they were under attack by Muslims. They acknowledged 
they were here undocumented, but said they were still shocked by the INS's 
sudden arrival three weeks ago.

''I could accept this if I committed a crime,'' said Elias Sawan. ''But 
I've never even gotten a speeding ticket in my life.''

Just then the phone rang. It was his 40-year-old son Pierre, calling from 
the Bristol County House of Correction, where he is being detained by the 
INS with his older brothers Joseph and Charbel. The Sawans' daughter, 
Therese, is being held at a prison in Cranston, RI.

''We spend half the day crying,'' Pierre Sawan said. ''We've never been put 
in jail in our lives. We come to this country to have peace.''


W.D.M. schools' welcome site helps level language barrier
By Dana Boone
The Des Moines Register, April 18, 2002

Enrolling a child in school can be difficult for parents who face a 
language barrier. The West Des Moines school district has opened a special 
center to make the process easier for immigrant and refugee families.

The district hired Spanish and Bosnian translators, revamped the 
registration process, and opened a special center for students who are new 
to the United States and have few or no English skills. Two families have 
used the center since it opened last month at Valley High School.

The number of students in West Des Moines" English as a Second Language 
program rose from 35 in 1993 to 183 this year. Dani Shirley, an ESL 
teacher, said the center is a positive step for the district.

"I think it's a great thing to make the families feel welcome and to make 
sure that they know what's in the community and understand what's going on 
in the schools," she said.

Many public and private school districts across Iowa have seen steady 
increases in the number of students who need special language instruction. 
The number increased from 3,150 in the 1985-86 school year to 11,436 in 
2000-01, according to the 2001 Iowa Condition of Education Report.

Only a handful of districts in Iowa have centers to welcome students with 
limited language skills and provide translation services to parents. 
Waterloo, Sioux City, Dubuque, Davenport and Des Moines have such centers.

West Des Moines school officials and parents say the center can help 
alleviate the stress parents face in surmounting language barriers and 
enrolling their children in an unfamiliar school system.

Translators prepared welcome folders for parents with registration, 
immunization and health information in Bosnian and Spanish. Parents also 
receive information about where to find employment opportunities, college 
classes, and area dentists and clinics.

Parent Maria Angeles Suarez and six of her family members looked around 
nervously a few weeks ago when they visited the center to enroll daughter 
Adilene Carrazco, 12. The family came to the United States April 1 from the 
state of Michoacan in Mexico. Suarez's nephew, who attends West Des Moines 
schools and speaks English, came prepared to help translate. The family's 
nervousness soon dissipated with the help of Spanish translator Rosa Pagan.

Suarez, who doesn't speak English, said the process wasn't as difficult as 
she had anticipated.

"Having someone who speaks Spanish, we can communicate easier," she said 
through Pagan. "I know we're being understood."

Pagan helped the family fill out registration forms, while Shirley assessed 
Adilene Carrazco's English skills through written and oral tests. After 20 
minutes, Shirley determined that Carrazco would attend seventh grade at 
Indian Hills Junior High School. Carrazco also will be bused daily to 
Valley to take part in the newcomer program for seventh- through 12th-grade 
students. The program focuses on English, American culture and the school 

The Des Moines district has 2,750 students for whom English is a second 
language, up from 1,663 students six years ago. The district's center is at 
Park Avenue Elementary School but will move to Moulton Elementary School in 

The number in the Urbandale school district has increased from 12 students 
in 1991 to 184 this year. The Urbandale teachers and bilingual associates 
meet with parents in their homes to explain services, school registration 
and immunization requirements.


Day-laborer center toils at getting started
Organizers scramble to open controversial job site by summer
By Michael Riley
The Denver Post, April 18, 2002

Ricardo Salas sees a proposed center for the city's day laborers as a 
win-win proposition.

He'll get a place to find work without being preyed upon by crooked 
employers. The city will get the hundreds of day laborers who now wait at 
informal sites across Denver off the streets.

Anna Woneis, who owns a shop near a potential Lower Downtown site for the 
center, doesn't see it that way.

"I don't want it and I'll vote twice on that," said Woneis, who owns 
American Fabric Co., which has been a fixture in Lower Downtown for more 
than 25 years.

"We already have problems with people shooting (drugs), defecating and 
urinating in the street," she said. "This would be just salt in the wound."

The center already has had a long struggle. It took organizers more than a 
year to gain support from a City Council worried about community backlash 
and a city attorney worried about the legality of funding a site that would 
serve mostly undocumented workers.

That support finally came in the form of commitment from Mayor Wellington 
Webb in December, when the city promised to help fund the center's 
estimated $150,000 annual cost, including the lease of a building and 
parking facilities where workers and employers can meet.

Since then, organizers have moved quickly to get the center running before 
Denver's summer construction season, when labor demand peaks.

"The goal is to open the center by June or July if everything works," said 
Minsun Ji, an organizer with the American Friends Service Committee, which 
will run the site. The amount of city funding hasn't been set.

But judging from similar efforts outside Colorado, it may not be that easy. 
An incendiary mix of taxpayer dollars, undocumented workers and development 
interests has scuttled or postponed proposals in cities from Pasadena to 

"The mayor's office has received some phone calls from irate citizens who 
said, "How dare you use city money for these illegals?' " said Phil 
Hernandez, city coordinator for the project.

But, Hernandez emphasized, not all day laborers are illegal and even if 
some are, "it's better to monitor their employment contracts rather than 
ignore" them.

Organizers were already forced to reconsider plans for a site in the Curtis 
Park neighborhood after opposition from local businesses.

They now plan to sign a lease for a location near the corner of Broadway 
and Larimer Street next week but are encountering opposition there as well.

Judith McNutt, president of the Ballpark Neighborhood Association, said the 
area is in a critical transition. After being a haven for the city's 
homeless and transients, it now bustles with new restaurants and luxury

"For a long time we've been the homeless center of the universe and we're 
just climbing out of that," McNutt said.

But workers such as Salas, who is from the Mexican border state of 
Coahuila, said such concerns are based on misconceptions.

"We're not here to rob any. We're not going to do criminal acts. We're just 
here to work," he said, standing on the corner of Stout Street and Park 
Avenue West, where day laborers have gathered informally for years and 
which the center is meant to replace.

As Salas spoke, a dusty pickup pulled up and dozens of young men rushed 
over and began tapping on the cab's windows, hoping for work. In summer, 
organizers say, as many as 200 men wait here for construction foremen and 
homebuilders to stop by.

The workers are popular with contractors and lawn companies whose labor 
needs fluctuate and who don't have to pay the insurance, Social Security or 
other benefits they must provide to full-time employees. But because many 
of the workers are undocumented, some employers refuse to pay after a day's 
work, threatening to turn laborers over to authorities if they complain, 
many on the corner said.

City officials say they've heard about day laborers who were injured on the 
job, then dropped off at the nearest emergency room to fend for themselves.

After Carlos Martinez worked with two other men for a day recently, the 
employer brought them back downtown, then refused to pay them, he said.

"There's nothing you can do. You know what's going to happen if you say 
anything. You just have to take it," he said.

It's those abuses that the center is meant to combat, its advocates say. 
Employers would register with the staff, who would match them with workers.

"If the employer doesn't pay the agreed-upon wages, then presumably the 
next time a request for day labor came from that employer," administrators 
"would say we don't have any for you," said Hernandez, director of the 
mayor's Office of Human Rights and Community Relations.

Such centers have succeeded in some places. In Los Angeles, San Francisco 
and Houston, they have functioned - some for more than a decade - with city 
money and little fuss.

Elsewhere, the centers have sparked voter revolts.

After New York's Suffolk County approved $80,000 for a center last year, 
residents threatened county officials with their jobs. The money was 
quickly rescinded and plans for a center postponed.

In Portland, Ore., organizers have tried unsuccessfully for four years to 
create a day labor center.

"Historically, the biggest concern is using city dollars for people who are 
undocumented," said Elisabeth Perry, an organizer for La Voz, a 
Latino-rights group in Portland. "The thing we've learned most is that it 
takes a lot of patience. The business community has to be willing to listen 
to the workers and the workers have to be willing to listen to the business 


Eye in the sky adds security along border
By Diana Graettinger
Bangor (Maine) Daily News, April 18, 2002

Stuart Goodrich, federal agent and pilot, eases back on the throttle, and 
the six-passenger Cessna Turbo 206 rolls forward.

Midway down the 5,000-foot runway at Houlton's airport, the plane begins to 
rise into a cloudy morning sky and moments later settles into a straight 
line about 500 feet above the ground.

Goodrich sets the airspeed at 100 mph. He follows the ragged edge of 
Maine's long border with Canada, a spacious, clear-cut strip about 20 feet 
wide that stretches as far as the eye can see. "We're just going straight 
down the fence here," he says.

Simple enough. But the task of keeping watch on Maine's 616 miles of 
international border and 1,000 miles of serrated coastline is daunting in 
the era after Sept. 11, 2001.

Goodrich, who has flown for the U.S. Border Patrol for four years, began 
his Maine-New Brunswick flights in February. Some days, he follows the 
border looking for suspicious activity, while other days he goes to 
specific areas requested by ground-based Border Patrol agents.

"I may need to check this place today, that place tomorrow. There is no set 
schedule," he explains as he flies north from Houlton toward Mars Hill on a 
recent run.

Immediately after Goodrich takes off from Houlton, Canada's port of entry 
is visible to the right, and the U.S. port of entry to the left. A large 
tractor-trailer sits ready for inspection by U.S Customs Service agents.

As the plane travels north, miles and miles of dense forest are visible on 
both sides of the clear-cut border.

Every few miles, there is an open field and a farmhouse. Just north of 
Houlton, a large tree farm is visible. The Christmas trees have been 
planted in straight lines, in contrast to the pell-mell planting patterns 

Goodrich doesn't look at the trees. He watches the border, not just for 
people who might be running along its edge, but for footprints in the snow. 
He also looks for snowmobile and ATV tracks.

The United States and Canada share one of the longest unguarded borders in 
the world. Before Sept. 11, the concern was an occasional drug, tobacco or 
alcohol smuggler trying to cross undetected. Now there is concern that the 
long, unprotected border poses a danger to national security.

Since the Border Patrol sent the little plane in February, it has been in 
the air about 16 hours a week. Its job is to survey the state's coastline 
and assist Border Patrol ground units. But the plane doesn't cover all that 
area in one day.

Instead it targets areas of interest, or areas that Border Patrol ground 
units have indicated should be watched. The plane can remain in the air up 
to five hours on a full tank and can refuel at almost any of the airports 
along the border.

The plane also can respond quickly to electronic alerts.

Although Border Patrol agents do not talk about the electronic detectors 
located along the border, the northern and southern U.S. borders are dotted 
with sensors that alert agents if someone attempts to cross into the 
country illegally.

In the past it could take an hour over land to reach a location where a 
sensor has been activated. The plane can get there in a matter of minutes.

Butch Richardson, assistant chief Border Patrol agent, said that if the 
Border Patrol gets an indication of a possible illegal crossing, "the plane 
has the ability to go quite quickly to that area and determine if it's 
something we are interested in. If he locates something we are interested 
in, he can stay with it until the ground units can intercept it."

Although the plane has been in operation for only a few weeks, Richardson 
said, he thinks it has been a success. "What it does is cut down on the 
amount of time that a ground unit would have to take to intercept a vehicle 
or determine whether a crossing was legitimate," he said.

Although he would not elaborate on the missions, Richardson said no arrests 
have been made since the flights started in February. "The crossings we've 
identified are being investigated and we are looking into why they are 
there, " he said. "They are definitely in places where they shouldn't be."

Richardson said that before Sept. 11, the Border Patrol wanted to base a 
plane in Houlton to help agents patrol the border. "What 9-11 did was 
accelerate the process. We've been requesting it for a number of years," he 

Local agents also hope to add a helicopter to the effort.

"Obviously, a plane can cover much more area in a shorter period of time 
and travel much faster," Richardson said. "A helicopter, on the other hand, 
has the ability to set down in a smaller and more remote area. But we don't 
want the pilots going down and making arrests."

Pilot Goodrich, who is on temporary assignment in Houlton until the 
regularly assigned pilot arrives, is based in Yuma, Ariz., where he flies a 
helicopter along the U.S.-Mexico border, looking for illegal aliens. "Where 
I am [in Arizona] is so remote, I can actually land and make apprehensions 
myself. Or we can land and check trails and such," he said.

Although Richardson said a helicopter was useful for apprehensions in Yuma, 
such a craft might not serve the same mission here. "You are talking about 
miles of open desert where [the pilot] can have a ground unit in a matter 
of minutes.

"In Maine, the pilot's function is to find the activity and stay with it 
until ground agents can assist," he said.

But he conceded that the Border Patrol still is reviewing all the 

The possibilities, indeed, seem limitless as Goodrich wraps up his recent 
flight toward Mars Hill.

No action, not even a scurrying smuggler, is visible from the air as 
Goodrich banks the Cessna left to return to the Houlton airport. With the 
landing strip just below, he eases the plane down through the clouds to the 
ground, where the return to earth feels like landing on a bed of


Mexicans making mark in U.S. follow dreams of immigrant parents
By Ricardo Chavira
Knight Ridder News Service, April 18, 2002

DALLAS -- It was August 1972, and Adolfo de la Garza faced an arduous task. 
A car mechanic and evangelical minister in his native Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 
de la Garza had just arrived in Dallas, Texas, to take charge of a church 
serving a small but growing Spanish-speaking community.

"He was practically the first minister in our church to serve the Mexican 
people here," says his son, Adolfo de la Garza Jr., who like his father is 
a Church of God minister. "The church was just hanging on with a tiny 
congregation." The younger de la Garza, a teenager when he came to Dallas, 
vividly remembers his childhood in Nuevo Laredo.

The family was so poor, recalls Adolfo Jr., that he sometimes went 
shoeless. "We lived in one of the worst neighborhoods. Some of my friends 
were the sons of prostitutes, and there were many drug smugglers," he says. 
"In Dallas, the neighborhood wasn't so good either. I encountered kids who 
used drugs and wanted me to do the same."

But the boy would reject the offers and go on to head his own congregation 
while still in his early 20s. "I had about five members," says de la Garza, 
now a rangy, mustachioed, 45-year-old father of five daughters.

Today, his Central Park Church of God in Garland, Texas has about 600 
Hispanic members most of them immigrants and a new church is planned that 
will accommodate more than twice that number.

Unlike in most large U.S. cities, where Mexican immigrants settle in a few 
enclaves, Mexicans here not only are concentrated in a few areas Oak Cliff, 
West Dallas, Arlington but they are also widely dispersed.

As is true nationally, most of the region's Hispanic immigrants are 
Mexican, about 80 percent of the total, and many are here illegally.


Getting across the border typically is a harrowing, daunting and costly 
undertaking, with smugglers charging up to $2,000 per person. Death from 
exposure, beatings, rapes and robberies is common, immigration analysts say.

In addition, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border 
Patrol have steadily tightened security. Still, immigration analysts say, 
several hundred thousand immigrants cross the border each year.

Given their precarious legal status, undocumented immigrants inhabit a 
largely underground world. False documents are commonly used to get jobs, 
but some people domestic workers, for example take jobs that require no 
I.D. and pay under the table, leaving no official trace of employment.

There are, according to the most recent estimate in a Mexican study, 8.5 
million immigrants in the United States.

In a significant shift, the study says, roughly half of them are high 
school or university graduates.

"It implies the transfer of a valuable human resource in which our country 
has made a substantial investment," says Rodolfo Tuiran, head of Mexico's 
National Population Council, which conducted the study.

Even with the economy in recession, Mexican labor continues to keep 
countless businesses humming, economists say.

This latest influx Mexicans have been migrating into the United States in 
significant numbers for more than 100 years in many ways mirrors a national 
demographic shift. The 2000 census showed that the nation's Hispanic 
population has grown 57 percent since 1990, making it by far the 
fastest-growing ethnic group.


U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants are Americans and give 
parents and family a stake in this country.

But first-generation immigrants stand little chance of assimilating, some 
experts say. Dennis Cordell, a Southern Methodist University historian 
conducting a three-year study of Dallas-area immigrants, says this is part 
of the traditional im migrant experience. New arrivals typically live among 
other Spanish speakers and work where not speaking English doesn't present 
a problem.

"The big struggle comes with the second generation," Dr. Cordell says, 
adding that children of immigrants retain elements of their native culture 
while absorbing English and "American civic values."

This underscores a major difference between today's Mexican immigrant and 
those who moved here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Roughly half of the 
early immigrants returned to their native lands.

Today's new arrivals plan to stay, immigration analysts say, because there 
is little to lure them home.

"We would love to go back to our towns and villages," says Rafael Ramirez, 
a Dallas janitor who left Mexico a few months ago. "But economic necessity 
is what brought us here and what keeps us here. Our children have 
opportunities for a good education, and before we know it, we stop dreaming 
of returning."


Tellingly, that single Church of God de la Garza Sr. established 30 years 
ago has been joined by nearly 40 others in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Most 
of the members are Hispanic immigrants.

The denomination's rapid growth is a product of the arrival of thousands of 
Mexican immigrants into North Texas, a phenomenon that is bringing deep and 
dramatic change in the area's economy, culture and politics.

Between 1980 and 2000, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hispanic population 
skyrocketed from 248,000 to 1.1 million, according to the U.S. Census 
Bureau. Unofficially, demographers say, the total is considerably higher.

In the same period, the total Dallas-Fort Worth population grew from 2.9 
million to 5.2 million.

In raw numbers, the official increase in the region's Hispanic population 
is equal to the entire population of Tulsa, Okla. The North Texas boom is 
among the most robust in America, infusing the region with a workforce that 
has become the backbone of the service, construction and manufacturing 

"Mexican immigrants have been essential to the overall health of the 
Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area," says Manuel Garcia y Griego, a 
University of Texas at Arlington demographer and director of the Center for 
Mexican American Studies.


Sept. 11 plays a role in Hispanic issues, too
By Georgia Pabst
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 18, 2002

Author and journalist Roberto Suro became the director of the new Pew 
Hispanic Center when it was formed last year as a joint venture by the Pew 
Charitable Trusts and the University of Southern California. Located in 
Washington, D.C., the center is a non-partisan research center and policy 
analysis think tank to provide timely and relevant research on the issues 
of this country's growing Latino population. The son of Puerto Rican and 
Ecuadorian parents, Suro has covered Latino and immigration issues for 30 
years as a reporter for The New York Times, Time magazine and The 
Washington Post. He's also the author of the book "Strangers Among Us: 
Latino Lives in a Changing America."

Q. Immigration and border issues with Mexico were getting a lot of 
attention before Sept. 11 from both President Bush and Mexican President 
Vicente Fox. But with the terrorist attacks there have been more crackdowns 
on the borders, both north and south. How will this affect Mexican 
immigration policy?

A. After the meeting last month between Fox and Bush it seems they are 
still committed to regulating the flow and coming up with a set of changes 
in law and policy which would legalize most of the Mexican unauthorized 
workers who are here and provide some mechanism for the future. But it also 
is clear the Mexicans wanted date certain to move forward. Clearly, the 
administration wasn't willing to go that far. While the president still 
seems very eager to produce something, he clearly faces a lot of opposition 
in Congress and in particular in his own party.

Q. What's been the practical effect of this for undocumented immigrants?

A. The immediate aftermath of 9-11 and the investigations and crackdown on 
the border was to make it much more difficult and costly to cross the 
border for the Latino immigrant. . . . One of the clear effects, and this 
has been measurable, is that you have a more permanent kind of migration in 
recent years. When people come north, they tend to stay here for longer 
periods of time and not go back and forth as was the custom up until a few 
years ago. . . . There's more migration by complete families . . . because 
going back and forth is too risky and too expensive.

Q. What effects will this have on the anti-immigrant sentiment?

A. What the administration and the pro-immigrant advocates in Congress have 
tried to do is create a security argument around this by saying basically 
it's better to know who these people are and identify them and register 
them and have them in the legal process than having 7 to 8 million 
wandering around who you don't know. So the legalization actually becomes a 
homeland security measure.

Q. What's the biggest issue facing the emerging Latino community in this 

A. The single largest challenge facing both Latinos and the whole United 
States is the education of Latino young people. It's the one area where 
there's really the potential for long-term difficulties both for Latinos 
and for the nation. The number of Latino youngsters who are finishing a 
four-year degree is shockingly low, and it's not getting better. . . . The 
challenge is that education in the United States is virtually an inherited 
status in that the single strongest predictor whether a child will go to 
college and finish it is whether one of their parents did. Latinos start 
with a disadvantage because a large part of the population arrives here 
with little education.

Q. Why did you decide to leave journalism and go to the center?

A. It's a chance to focus on one subject in depth. It's a very important 
time to do it. We're at a stage where we know this demographic change is 
well under way, but we really don't know how it's going to end up. There's 
a lot of public policy issues and matters of public understanding that 
could benefit from intensive research and reporting.


Reared in U.S., Wisconsin man faces deportation to Afghanistan
By Jon Yates
The Chicago Tribune, April 17, 2002

The fate of a 22-year-old Afghan man who came to the U.S. as a small child, 
and who now is at risk of being sent back to Afghanistan because of a drug 
conviction, today was put in the hands of an immigration judge.

Immigration Judge James Fujimoto said he would rule May 8 if Mirwais Ali 
should be allowed to stay in the U.S. or be returned to the land of his 
birth, where Ali and his attorneys contend he does not know the language or 
customs and could face persecution and torture.

Ali's lawyers also have argued returning him to Afghanistan would violate a 
United Nations act prohibiting countries from sending people to another 
country where they could be tortured.

In a hearing today in downtown Chicago, expert witness Mohammed Basheer, 
project coordinator for the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the 
University of Nebraska in Omaha, said persecution is possible.

"The current situation, frankly speaking, is not good," Basheer said. "In 
my opinion, I don't guarantee his safety at all."


Traffic stop signals end of a dream
By Donn Esmonde
The Buffalo (N.Y.) Times, April 17, 2002

They opened two months ago, in a vacant storefront on Delaware Avenue. Two 
guys putting down stakes in Buffalo and bringing in something new.

Business took off. It was no surprise. There isn't anyplace else only 
selling imported French antique furniture. It's quality early-1900s stuff, 
everything from $75 vases to $5,000 armoires - a third of what you'd pay in 
New York City. Word got out. A stream of folks found their way to French 
Line Antiques.

Charles Krasuski and his partner, Philippe Hocquaux, had found an unlikely 

They were living in Vermont and came here for the holidays, to visit 
Krasuski's family in Williamsville. Eighty inches of snow fell. By the time 
the streets had cleared, Hocquaux - a Frenchman - had fallen for Buffalo.
The world fell apart one night last month, with a busted tail light on 
Krasuski's pickup.

A cop in Tonawanda pulled them over. Hocquaux was driving. He speaks with a 
French accent. The cop asked for his visitor visa. Expired. The border 
patrol came. Hocquaux was carted off to the federal detention center in 
Batavia. He has been there a month: Confined to quarters, two phone calls a 
day, fed (talk about hell for a Frenchman) mac and cheese with Wonder bread.

Unless cooler heads prevail, he'll be deported Friday. There's a chance he 
won't be let back into the country for three years, maybe 10. Goodbye 
dream. Goodbye antique business. Hello empty storefront.

"Our big plans to settle down, bring fine furniture to Buffalo, stimulate 
the economy and live happily ever after will be gone," said Krasuski.

They know they made a mistake. Hocquaux got caught in the whirl of starting 
a new business. He overstayed the 90-day welcome given foreign visitors. He 
hadn't applied for a new business visa (his earlier one wasn't good 
anymore) that would let him settle here.


Museum Plan Hits Too Close to Home
Dispute: Space-hungry N.Y. tenement exhibit seeks to evict tenement
'The irony just smacks you in the face,' opponent says.
By Josh Getlin
The Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2002

NEW YORK -- They were once joined at the hip in the heart of New York's 
Lower East Side, two identical brick tenements offering cheap, dimly lit 
apartments to waves of immigrants from all over the world.

But they came to play different roles in the community: One was turned into 
a museum celebrating the area's immigrant history. The other is home to 15 
families, as well as a popular Chinese restaurant on the ground floor.

And now, in a move that has some shaking their heads, the museum is 
attempting to evict the people who live and work next door--many of them 
immigrants--so it can expand and accommodate more tourists. "The irony just 
smacks you in the face," said Martha Danziger, a community leader who 
opposes the Lower East Side Tenement Museum's bid to take over the adjacent 
building. "They want to create a virtual tenement museum in a neighborhood 
that already has tenements."

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