12.22.2005

December News Highlights

There will be more on this and other matters in the newsletter, which just went out and which will shortly be posted on the main site. We'll post a link here, as well. In the meantime, here are a few major pieces of news:

1. We need health kits. Migration starts up again in February and we'd like to lay in a supply at various church and parish shelters. Click here for more details on what to collect and where to send.

2. Also in relation to the coming migration, Mexico's human rights commission has agreed to print and distribute our warning posters/maps throughout the country. This is cause for great joy and hope.

3. A Humane Borders delegation will meet with Mexico's human rights commission Jan. 19-25 in Mexico City to present the warning posters/maps, meet with high level Mexican officials, perhaps make a presentation at the university, and hold a press conference to spread the word and warnings.

12.18.2005

Reason To Be Wary

Yesterday we asked whether the new hardliner bill was an attempt to shut down humanitarian aid. Today, the Washington Post doesn't give us any comfort. Here's the lede to a story by Darryly Fears, who interviewed Robin and Tim:

"When Tim Holt spotted Maria Rabanales of El Salvador lying still in the Arizona desert this summer, he believed he had a God-given duty to save her.

He forced water through the woman's swollen jaws and poured ice down her shirt. Border Patrol agents later took Rabanales to a hospital, where she was revived.

Holt was praised by Humane Borders, sponsored by First Christian Church of Tucson, where he is a volunteer. But his actions that June day might soon be considered a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison or property forfeiture, if a Republican-sponsored bill that passed the House along partisan lines on Friday becomes law.

The bill -- endorsed by the Bush administration though it would have preferred a more comprehensive bill with a guest-worker program -- would make it a crime to assist undocumented immigrants who enter or attempt to enter the United States illegally. It has sent a chill through church organizations that help migrants in the belief that they are carrying out the will of God."

Full story here. (reg. req.)

12.17.2005

H.R. 4437

Full text here.

How will the Border Patrol read this? Where does humanitarian aid fall on this continuum? It's easy to read this as a sop to the hardliners who believe -- incorrectly and with no supporting data or hard evidence -- that humanitarian aid "assists" or is an "inducement."

SEC. 274. (a) Criminal Offenses and Penalties-
`(1) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES- Whoever--
`(A) assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to come to or enter the United States, or to attempt to come to or enter the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to come to or enter the United States;
`(B) assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to come to or enter the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, regardless of whether such person has official permission or lawful authority to be in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien;
`(C) assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to reside in or remain in the United States, or to attempt to reside in or remain in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to reside in or remain in the United States;
`(D) transports or moves a person in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to enter or be in the United States, where the transportation or movement will aid or further in any manner the person's illegal entry into or illegal presence in the United States;
`(E) harbors, conceals, or shields from detection a person in the United States knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to be in the United States;
`(F) transports, moves, harbors, conceals, or shields from detection a person outside of the United States knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien in unlawful transit from one country to another or on the high seas, under circumstances in which the person is in fact seeking to enter the United States without official permission or lawful authority; or
`(G) conspires or attempts to commit any of the preceding acts,
shall be punished as provided in paragraph (2), regardless of any official action which may later be taken with respect to such alien.

But No Guest Workers

The House passed an immigration reform bill Friday, "billed as a border protection, anti-terrorism and illegal immigration control act, includes such measures as enlisting military and local law enforcement help in stopping illegal entrants and requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers. It authorizes the building of a fence along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border."

The bill would require all employers in the country, more than 7 million, to submit Social Security numbers and other information to a national data base to verify the legal status of workers. The bill also makes unlawful presence in the United States, currently a civil offense, a felony. It also allocates funds to build more walls, fences, barriers etc.

On Thursday, the House approved an amendment calling for construction of a fence in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Bush has proposed that undocumented immigrants be allowed to get three-year work visas. The president said Friday he strongly supported the bill even though it was missing that, or any other guest worker plan. More from the AP. Will post link to bill shortly.

12.12.2005

Divided By Two

Arizona Republic editorial: There are two Mexicos and two Americas. They need to be reconciled.

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Official Propganda

Here's the official propaganda on the Bush thing. And more. Brought to you by the same folks who say everything's groovy in Iraq.

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Makes No Difference

El Universal: "More U.S. border patrol agents won't stop the northward flow of undocumented migrants, Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said Thursday."

Bush Reaction

Anne Denogean in the Tucson Citizen: "It's a shame that President Bush didn't go beyond the confines of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base yesterday for his briefing and much-anticipated speech on illegal immigration and border security." Other stories and commentary from the Bush visit and proposals.

>> Chicago Tribune.

>> Detroit Free Press

>> Economist

>> El Paso Times

>> KOLD

>> UPI

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