And the hits just keep on coming in Arizona, first the federal lawsuit against the state for cracking down on illegal immigration’s SB1070, then the Justice Department sues Arizona Maricopa County Community Colleges and now America’s toughest Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the federal government.
The lawsuit filed earlier today by the Justice Department accuses Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio of stonewalling the federal government with their probe into possible policies that include discrimination against Hispanics.
The Arizona Sheriff’s office has been at odds with federal prosecutors for improperly contacting employees at the sheriff’s office instead of going through lawyers as federal law mandates.
Sheriff Joe has been pro-active when it comes to illegal immigration and often refers to illegals as “lawbreakers.”
Eric Holder, of the Justice Dept. has been gunning for Arpaio since he took over with the Obama Administration.
The new lawsuit came as especially good news to the civil-rights groups who have wanted to fire the extremely popular sheriff; who has in the last few elections grabbed approximately 70 percent of the vote.
Nevertheless the added notoriety of Sheriff Joe hasn’t hurt his support with Maricopa County residents.
One Democrat, Ruth Burke says, “I wish people would leave him alone, he is just doing his job.”
But it’s precisely his job of arresting illegal immigrants and turning them over to federal law enforcement for deportation that open-border advocates are trying to prevent.
However, according to the lawsuit filed in Phoenix federal court, Maricopa County Sheriff’s office gets millions of dollars in federal funding and is required to cooperate with federal investigators in order to keep that money.
The pettiness of the federal government’s lawsuit even cited a public statement that Arpaio made claiming he wouldn’t cooperate with the government’s fishing expedition.
Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff’s office lawyer, Robert Driscoll, had no comment on the lawsuit filed today.
With the immigration issue swirling about the country, Arizona being slapped with lawsuits and Mexico drug cartel violence exploding south of the border; many are beginning to have adult conversations about the impact of illegal immigration within U.S. borders.
Every year there are approximately 300,000 to 400,000 children born in America to illegal immigrants parents. As such, the children automatically get the golden ticket – citizenship and all the benefits that come with being an American. Of course babies cannot take care of themselves so their parents must now gain some sort of legal status to care for their infant child.
The political birthright or anchor baby controversy has been debated for many years and only after the Arizona SB1070 crackdown on illegal immigration has it been brought back to the forefront.
Legislation aimed at changing the 14th Amendment and the scope of birthright citizenship has been debated in many Congressional sessions but failed to gain any real traction.
According to legal experts, when the definition of the word born (in the 14th Amendment) is challenged, aside from Justice William O’Douglas footnote, the only legislative history refers to Negro populations for purposes of counting for Congressional districts.
There has not and was not any debate during the 14th Amendment process or thereafter as to the meaning of the word “born.” The reason being was that former slaves were already considered citizens for purposes of determining Congressional districts and representation. Under the Constitution Negro slaves were considered property, but for purposes of the census were counted as three-fifths per white male.
The distinction between the freed slaves of the 14th Amendment and present day illegal immigrants is that Negroes were already considered citizens of the States in which they were born, however, present day illegal immigrants do not have that Constitutional nexus. This distinction between the Negroes of the 14th Amendment and the illegal immigrants of today would make it very difficult for the Supreme Court of the United States to overrule a narrowed Congressional definition, particularly since Congress has the exclusive power under the Constitution to determine immigration and naturalization.
If Congress is brave and bold they would provide a fail-proof solution to the 14th Amendment issue on birthright citizenship.
Since there is no definition (8USC Sec. 1101 definition reads) of the word “born” even though it is referenced several times an addition seems natural. An example of a definition would read something along these lines; “for the purposes of this chapter and wherever used in relation to immigration or naturalization, including the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the meaning of the word ‘born’ shall mean a child born in the United States, its territories or possessions, of a parent who is a natural born or nationalized citizen of the State in which the birth of the child is recorded.”
Internationally, a trend has formed as countries have moved away from universal birthright citizenship including but are not limited to; England, Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic.
According to NumbersUSA, a Washington D.C. immigration think tank, an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries do not offer automatic birthright citizenship.
In a new report, ‘Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison,’ the Center for Immigration Studies’ legal policy analyst Jon Feere reviews “the history of the issue in American law and presents the most up-to-date research on birthright citizenship policies throughout the world. The global findings are the result of direct communication with foreign government officials and analysis of foreign law. The report concludes that Congress should promote a serious discussion about whether the United States should automatically confer the benefits and burdens of U.S. citizenship on the children of aliens whose presence is temporary or illegal.” http://www.cis.org/birthright-citizenship
The report further finds that only 30 of the 194 countries grant citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants; the advanced economies of Canada and the United States only give citizenship to children born to illegal aliens; the global trend is moving away from birthright citizenship;14th Amendment history indicates that the Citizenship Clause was never intended to benefit illegal aliens; The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the U.S.-born children of permanent resident aliens are covered by the Citizenship Clause, but the Court has never decided whether the same rule applies to the children of aliens whose presence in the United States is temporary or illegal.
It’s time for Congress to act on the immigration problems facing America. Securing the borders alone will not be enough to fix the complexity of the issue. However, defining the meaning of the word “BORN” would be another step in the right direction.
In an effort to quell the immigration debate raging across the country, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) plans to reintroduce an amendment in a financial regulation bill that would force the federal government to finally complete the fence along the southern border.
His plan calls for the completion of 700 miles of double fencing along the U.S./Mexico border, something that has been kicked down the road several years since the Reagan amnesty in the mid-80s.
The amendment asks Congress to follow through with the completion Fence Act of 2006 before moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform.
Once the Secure Fence Act was passed several lawmakers moved to change requirements. Texas Senator Kate Bailey Hutchinson’s amendment altered the nature of the integrity of the fence. The once double-layer fence was stripped to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as needed fence.
In areas that once needed double-layer fencing, DHS was able to place vehicle barriers or small hurdles that prevents cars or trucks from passing, but people can easily walk under or over it.
As a result there has only been 34.4 miles of the double fence finished of the 700 miles on southern border. The majority of that fence took place in the San Diego area.
Retired Congressman Duncan Hunter Sr. (R-CA) didn’t let the California border city escape the double fencing requirement. As a result, the numbers of illegal immigrants has dropped and the influx has now moved to Arizona.
The double fence works, says Hunter.
Thanks to a tough primary race in Arizona, the former GOP presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) and Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and are cosponsoring the double fence amendment and with the immigration battle raging the Senators expect many more coworkers to join DeMint’s double-fence effort.
Looking forward, DeMint’s fence amendment has passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The amendment was offered in the FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. And it passed by a 54-44 vote in which 21 Democrats and 33 Republicans supported the measure.
Unfortunately this is where the good news ended as Democratic leaders removed the amendment during conference committee because “the Obama administration had opposed rapid expansion of the fence,” according to The Hill.
Moving forward the GOP believes the DeMint amendment can pass another vote if a floor vote is allowed.
Senator DeMint said in a press release, “Americans have demanded a real fence to combat the very real problems of illegal immigration that have led to human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping and violence on our border. Congress will never be able to achieve long-term reform to create a legal immigration system that works until we secure our borders. We’ve had rhetoric and promises for four years without results. It’s time we completed the fence and secured our borders to protect American citizens.”
“March for America” took place on Sunday, March 21, at Washington D.C.’s National Mall and it drew tens of thousands of activists from across the country rallying for amnesty.
They carried banners from their home countries and signs reading, “You need us as much as we need you,” and “No human being can be Illegal.”
Due to the pressure from the health care reform debate Obama did not attend Sunday’s demonstration. However he did record a message of reassurance to the illegal immigrants and their supporters that appeared on jumbo televisions. The jest of the recorded message was that he would fix the “broken immigration system.”
Among the speakers at the pro-amnesty rally was Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, leader of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, he compared the Latino amnesty quest to the civil rights movement and said, “This is our Selma.”
The Sunday rally in the country’s capitol allowed amnesty advocates to send a clear message that they won’t excuse any delays on revamping the “comprehensive” immigration system and they threatened leaders in Washington they would vote accordingly in the November midterm elections.
It’s worth pointing out that many of the Latino rally participants reside in this country illegally and are not eligible to vote.
The rally took place days after Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced an outline for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The three-page blueprint included a controversial mass amnesty provision; create a national biometric ID tamper-proof card and a guest worker program.
Even though the legislation was drawn up in a bipartisan fashion, Graham warned that the bill would receive little support from Republicans if health care reform were passed. Graham suggested if the White House muscled through health care, “immigration reform will be dead.”
However, many illegals are tired of living in the shadows. Rosy Medina boarded a bus in Dallas that would tack her to Washington, DC, to participate in the pro-amnesty rally. ”We live in uneasiness, with panic, without power to buy a house, without licenses to drive,” said Medina, a Mexican illegal alien who, has lived in the country illegally for eight years.
“We are going to be the voice of millions who only want to be given the same opportunities of everyone, that they be allowed to work and that they not be persecuted,” said Rosa Maria Ramos, a resident of Brownsville, Texas, who emigrated 17 years ago from Mexico.
Liberal Failure Demonstrates California’s Economy is Heading Over a Cliff
Nowhere has the throngs of illegal immigrants been felt than California. The state leads the way for immigrants to set up their casa. The massive illegal problem has resulted in a state with huge budget crisis and higher-than-average unemployment numbers.
In 2009, there were an estimated 2.6 million illegal immigrants – nearly a quarter of America’s total illegal immigrant population – residing in California.
“With our state budget in tatters, millions of Californians out of work, failing schools and a state prison system strained by massive overcrowding, California simply cannot continue to ignore the toll that illegal immigration takes on our budget and economy,” says Steve Poizner a Republican Gubernatorial candidate.
“Steve Poizner is willing to take bold steps in order to stop illegal immigration, while Meg Whitman (also a Republican) wants to continue with the status quo. Ten states have passed laws restricting benefits to illegal immigrants and as governor, Poizner will ensure that California does the same,” said Communications Director Jarrod Agen. “The differences in the Republican primary are clear – Steve is proposing bold reforms to turn off the magnets which draw illegal immigrants to California, while Meg Whitman advocates for amnesty.”
However, a recent Field Poll in California has Meg Whitman with a commanding lead in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Even if Poizner were to claim all the undecided voters he would be shy of the votes necessary to earn a bid to play ball with Democrat Jerry Brown the left’s frontrunner.
Whitman claims the lion share of most likely voters 63 percent, while Poizner captured 14 percent with 23 percent undecided. In a head-to-head with Brown, the EBay executive Whitman edges out the Democrat.
However Poizner camp is convinced his position on illegal immigration will resonate with the voters especially after the embattled health care fight. The Latino caucus has pushed the President to take on comprehensive immigration reform this year or face the consequences at the polls in November, according to pro-amnesty activists.
If elected governor, Poizner will advocate for the following policies; cutting taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants, holding employers responsible for following the law, ending sanctuary city practices and securing our borders.
One thing is certain, after a bitter health care battle most agree the country is not in a position to take on another contentious issue.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
Looking for ways to slow human trafficking and the evils that comes with the modern-day slavery, California Against Slavery has started its petition drive to get tougher penalties for those who peddle in human trafficking onto California’s books.
The groups seeks much tougher criminal penalties, aid to district attorneys to better prosecute cases, increase protections for victims and train law enforcement officers all with hope of deterring those who continue to smuggle immigrants in America under the guise of a better life.
Victims of human trafficking are often subjected to forced labor, sexual exploitation and blackmail from their captures. This phenomenon isn’t unique to the United States, but is thriving in many countries around the world.
“We support and desperately need to see revision in our state law with regard to human trafficking,” said Jenny Williamson, founder and president of Courage to Be You, a Sacramento-area organization that rescues and restores victims of child sex trafficking. “Severe fines and extended jail time for the perpetrators of this evil must be enacted if ever this crime is to be deterred. Our courageous law enforcement officers must be equipped and encouraged with mandatory, specific training so that rescuing these vulnerable victims and putting their perpetrators away becomes a priority within our state.”
Taking a crack at the issue is Daphne Phung, executive director and founder of California Against Slavery;
1. How many people are found in California and U.S. who are victims of human trafficking?
Due to the underground nature of human trafficking, the counts of victims in California and the U.S. are not concrete or recent.
For California, a report by “Human Trafficking in California” of the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery Task Force, published October 2007. (http://www.homeland.ca.gov/pdf/Human_Trafficking_in_CA-Final_Report-2007.pdf )
The report said California has five Task Forces funded by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Between December 1, 2005 and March 12, 2007, California’s five Task Forces reported there were 559 potential victims identified. (These numbers do not include data from the Orange County Task Force, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
For the United States, the numbers are very imprecise. On February 3, 2010, Luis CdeBaca, director of U.S. Department of State’s Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, held a press conference about human trafficking. Here’s what he said (from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/rm/2010/136475.htm):
2. What are the percentages of women/children verses men?
Approximately 80 percent of victims of human trafficking are women and girls.
3. Is there one ethnic group that is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking?
According to a study from Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the largest number of foreign victims came from Thailand, Mexico and Russia.
Experts estimate at least 100,000 American juveniles are victimized through prostitution in America each year. (Shared Hope Report, at http://www.sharedhope.org/files/SHI_National_Report_on_DMST_2009.pdf Common factors for these juveniles are: poverty (basic needs not met), history of abuse, parents use drugs.
American children are victims of sex trafficking within the United States. Domestic child victims tend to be easy targets and carry less risk for the traffickers and buyers than adults and foreign nationals. Many victims are youth in the child welfare system and/or runaways, but some are recruited from middleclass homes as well. A common factor is the history of child physical and sexual abuse in the home or the extended family.
4. What regions of the state/country are more prone to this abuse?
The major metropolitan areas (San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego) are hubs for receiving trafficked victims. Central Valley receives trafficked victims for the agriculture and factory work.
5. What will this cost the taxpayer and how will it be paid for? Do you propose cutting another program to make way for this new law?
Potential increased local government costs of up to a few million dollars on a statewide basis due to the new mandatory training requirements for certain law enforcement officers. Unknown but probably minor net fiscal effects for state and local governments from a potential increase in human trafficking arrests and convictions. This would be a negligible percentage increase in state General Fund spending.
California Against Slavery does not have a position on cutting other California State programs, since the expected increase in General Fund spending would be negligible. For a breakdown visit; California Legislative Analyst’s office estimated the fiscal impact of our initiative cost; http://lao.ca.gov/ballot/2009/090850.aspx
6. Why should the voters care?
First, voters should care because human trafficking threatens the core foundation of our modern society that every person – regardless of race, age, gender, background -possesses an inherent dignity. Human trafficking is a crime against human dignity and a deprivation of the most basic human and civil rights. Allowing this crime to exist and flourish practically unchecked will impact the fabric of our society.
Second, voters should care because human trafficking is linked to other criminal activities that will negatively impact the safety and health of our communities. It gives criminals access to a large amount of money. “Instead, human trafficking often involves organized crime groups who make huge sums of money at the expense of trafficking victims and our societies,” according to the U.S. State Department.
CNN did a story in August 2009 about Mexican drug cartels moving into selling humans. Drug lords are recognizing the high profit in the human trade. A supply of drugs can only be sold once, but slaves can keep producing day after day, week after week. Source: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/mexican_drug_cartels_switch_to_selling_humans
The US State Department also identified that human trafficking can result in increased exploitation of children, lowered wages (as cheap goods get even cheaper), reduced workforce productivity, and heightened public health problems (STD’s, psychological traumas).
Third, voters should care because current laws in California fail to deter traffickers from committing these heinous offenses. Under California’s current anti-trafficking laws, a trafficker will walk away with a 3-5 year sentence (and a maximum of 8 years only if the trafficked victim was a minor)! Suffice it to say this does not overweight the profit that traffickers can gain from the crime.
The reality that slavery exists today is a tragedy; and the fact that it is flourishing in our own backyard is absolutely appalling. Its growth is propelled by a lack of deterrence and awareness.
7. Are you going to have a professional signature service collect the 600,000 signatures needed to make the ballot?
No. We are an independent grassroots, volunteer-based organization. We are not financed by any corporation or organization and look to citizens to support our cause. Our current funding comes solely from donations from individuals who believe in our cause. Our strategy is to use volunteers to get signatures in their communities as well as heavily leverage the Internet. We estimated that we would need 600,000 signatures by March 31st to get on the November 2010 ballot.
The importance of deterring those who seek to exploit other humans should be second nature by now, yet it continues to oppress people throughout the world. How we address this issue in the Untied States should be something the rest of the world could turn to as a fair practice barometer. It should also enlighten those in America to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
“Human trafficking is an egregious crime against the most basic human rights and it is an important issue for our state,” said Phung, of California Against Slavery. “We are bringing this issue to the voters to give Californians an opportunity to speak up against human trafficking. We hope that every voter in California will sign the petition and ask ten friends and family members to do the same.”
Please visit http://www.CaliforniaAgainstSlavery.org to print and sign the petition, read the full-text of the initiative, or learn more about California Against Slavery.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County
Democrat lawmaker Luis Gutierrez (D-ILL) and the Hispanic caucus have decided the cost for those who entered the country illegally and have broken untold laws since their arrival will pay $500 to get their citizenship.
This is quite the deal as it costs many illegal immigrants $4,000 to $5,000 in coyote (human smugglers) fees to make the often treacherous walk through the country’s southern borders.
The immigration bill aptly named, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act (H.R. 4321)” Gutierrez’s claimed he was responsible for the acronym “CIR ASAP” and hoped it would spur other lawmakers to quickly pass immigration reform legislation.
This week the Illinois Congressman announced his wish list for the illegal immigrant population, which calls for amnesty and relaxing verification tools. “This is what we want; our proposal is out of the box,” he said.
However the authors of the bill will face an uphill battle in the Senate, many of whom have already said the bill is dead on arrival. Making this even more difficult is the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who threatened all lawmakers, the House will not take the lead in any new legislation next year. Pelosi explained in a news conference that Congress has taken the leading role all year and many Congressmen could lose their seats because they were forced to support the her on a number of unpopular issues.
Although the Democrats have the numbers to easily pass immigration reform, a down economy and double-digit unemployment threatens passage of a bill, especially one as liberal as this.
Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), who is on the House Immigration Reform Caucus, said the reform legislation would generate a new wave of migrants to compete with Americans currently seeking employment.
The “CIR ASAP” bill lays out the need for illegal immigrants to prove they are working, pay a $500 fine, learn English and pass a criminal background check. However, the bill didn’t include the “touchback” provision which would force all seeking amnesty to return to their home country and enter into the country legally.
“Not to be picky on the back ground checks, but if someone crosses into this country illegally and is working illegally (often with forged paperwork) wouldn’t they be considered criminals?” Steve Jones a lifelong California resident would like the President to explain how this would work. “I know if I used forged paperwork I’d go to jail and have charges on my permanent record for life.”
Details, details details.
Another point of contention is the fact country’s international borders remain as porous as ever causing a lot of concern from border state law enforcement officers. Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez of Texas states his county cannot take anymore immigrants. “There’s simply no money or services left, we’re broke.”
Couple that with the fact that this bill calls for the dismantling of E-Verify. This effective system is able to obtain legal status of potential workers who are put through the computer with a 96 percent accuracy rate. Employers enjoy free access to E-Verify and are able to ensure their employees meet federal guidelines regarding legal status.
Other highlights in the bill include AgJOBS amnesty (farm workers) as well as the DREAM Act with grants automatic amnesty to those who graduated U.S. high schools and wish to attend college. This should be of particular concern to parents who are already struggling to pay college increasing tuition fees, as this bill will add much more competition to the federal grants and scholarship programs.
The bill reads like a child’s Christmas wish and judging by the up tick in tea party organizers, anti-amnesty activists and concerned American citizens the “CIR ASAP” legislation may get nothing more than coal in its stocking next year.
Bone-dry conditions persist in California’s southland and water shortages have lead to mandatory rationing, yet San Diego’s picturesque canyons remain littered with illegal migrant squatters and their fire-making gadgets.
Over the weekend 45 firefighters fought a fire in tough canyon terrain near the community of Del Cerro off highway 8 and Adobe Falls road.
The fire was believed to be started by a homeless camp in the canyon. The blaze took two helicopters, eight fire engine companies, three brush rigs as well as two battalion chiefs and three fire investigators to fight the fire-thirsty canyon.
“It’s difficult terrain,” explained Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. He continued to say the canyon terrain makes firefighting with water tougher.
Multiple homes in the area were threatened by the blaze and the fire fighters had to water down roof tops to protect them from the flying embers.
Back in other San Diego Canyon regions the migrant squatter cycle continues unabated. Each time squatter camps are found, photos are taken and photos are presented to law enforcement, yet little has been done to get them to leave the canyons.
ICE and Border Patrol still are not allowed to check the legal status of all the migrants who are believed to be illegally working in the country.
More than a week after camps were located near Vista, and photos and maps provided to the Vista Sheriff Department, all the camps remain and no eviction notices have been posted.
“Some camps appeared to be vacant while others seem to have recent activity,” said Capt. Timothy Curran in a follow-up interview last week. He said his Deputies did not locate anyone in the camps, which is normal during the day when migrant squatters are seeking day labor or working in nearby fields.
What will it take to have these migrant camps removed from the San Diego Canyons?
Capt. Curran claims they are working on it.
“On 10-30-09, Deputy Aitken contacted San Diego County Legal Counsel, B. Ziegler, and advised him of the situation. Mr. Ziegler is coordinating with San Diego County Code Enforcement to contact the land owner for clean up of the property. If we are unsuccessful with this legal and appropriate tactic, the clean up will be undertaken by the County of San Diego and legal action will commence against the property owner.”
The message has to get out there that camping in our canyons is not allowed; Period, is San Diego resident Julie Adam’s point. “I know I was threatened with arrest if I camped in the canyon during the ‘Rick Roberts First Citizen’s Campout in 2006.’ I can only ask that these squatters not be told to hide better, but have the same consequences levied on them as was levied on me, a homeowner in the area. The law needs to be applied equally.”
However, as of yesterday no signs were posted, all camps contained fire making capabilities (propane and butane stoves, lighters, cigarettes, drugs) and evidence of heavy drinking – nothing is changed. All these activities will eventually end in another accidental fire and loss of nearby homes.
“Wow, looks like some long-term residents are residing in the canyons and all that fire equipment scares the daylights out of me. I’m disappointed to hear what Curran’s response is,” explains Suellen Shea, a Vista resident who lives near the northern county canyons.
Other problem canyon areas that continue to be inhabited by illegal migrants who stay rent-free are McGonigle and Rancho Penasquitos Canyons in the city of San Diego. More than a month after illegal prostitution was uncovered and numerous camp sites located, nearby residents there still see little progress.
“It should be as simple as the migrant liaisons going in and tagging (the camps) and then following through to see that they are removed,” says Adams. “ With citizens actually mapping the camp locations, there is no need for spending the extra resources on helicopters, extra patrols, quads, horses etc. I just want law enforcement to follow through with the evictions.”
According to the State of California Penal code CPC 647 (e); every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor: (e) who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it. http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/647.html.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
San Diego canyons are teeming with illegal migrant camps, prostitution and numerous fire hazards. A week after a prostitution ring was uncovered, San Diego residents are still complaining about the illegal traffic through local communities.
Week-long expensive helicopter flyovers have produced no results with the San Diego Police Department. One reason for the lack of results from the helicopter flyovers is many migrants have covered their tents with camouflage tarps which make them nearly impossible to spot from the air.
It definitely takes officers on the ground to scavenge the canyon area and walk the trails that lead to the tents and small shacks high on the hillsides or deep brush. Hiking the canyons is treacherous and often requires hands and knees maneuvers. This journalist spent six-hours hiking 10-miles inside the canyon on Saturday in the treacherous canyons.
“We uncovered many recent open-fire pits, trash areas and migrant campsites. It appears they (illegal migrant squatters) are moving from one location to the next,” said J.C. Playford a video photo journalist.
The collision course of home owners and migrants is about to erupt again. Evidence of fire hazards and prostitution will push this canyon-living community to move again. A pair of female child jeans were recovered from the prostitution site and pose the difficult question concerning underage Mexican girls possibly being trafficked in to service at the migrant camps which has occurred in the past all over San Diego County.
Although there didn’t appear to be any substantial police presence in the canyons on Saturday, there was one fire truck cruising the fire break roads and two patrolmen on horseback. Neither official wished to comment about the migrant story.
The Rancho Villas Apartment Complex sits directly on the ridge above the canyon and has been hit hard by the illegal population that calls McGonigle Canyon home.
“This is a huge problem, my husband is the Manager of the complex and has called the police several times a week because these illegals have been loitering and drinking on the property,” Stephanie Jahn, McGonigle Canyon resident said.
“The first time he called the police, they (police) asked for a description once he said they were Hispanic migrants they refused to come. The second time a guy was literally passed out in the parking lot, he called and stated there was an injured man on the property, they came, called an ambulance, but again no charges.”
Jahn explained that she has her cars broken into constantly and nothing is done. “This is personal to me.”
Most want to know who owns the land in order to pressure them to do something about the subsequent crime taking place in the community. It is many residents’ understanding that they can and should go after the owners for maintaining a nuisance property.
There are also reports that local grocery store, Stater Bros., has a problem with shop lifting that is directly related to this large migrant population.
While witnessing the migrants living situation it can pull at the heartstrings; a reality check is clearly needed. All agree the migrant population are making $8 to $10 an hour, they lay claim to the idea they cannot afford to pay rent and send money home to their home country.
Can American citizens do the same thing? Even if they wanted to pitch a tent at a campground they are paying $20-$30 per night.
If they plan to immigrate legally into this country, they must assimilate and that requires obtaining a legal residence, unless a property owner decides to let migrants live on their land and that rarely happens.
It is worth pointing out that it is illegal to camp in the canyons. The landowners are currently looking the other direction because the migrants continue to call McGonigle Canyon home.
The reason these property owners do not allow the migrants to live off their land freely is because the migrant workers come with a host of problems.
These life-threatening issues include; fire hazards from propane or open-flame fires, sanitary issues, drinking, environmental destruction, pollution of the streams and finally illegal prostitution.
While local authorities blame the lack of low-cost housing the migrants admit they will not take advantage of it because they want to send all their money to their families back home. This is hardly assimilating to the American way of life.
The migrants also claim they only do work Americans will not perform, with the exception of agricultural work, this is untrue. It was the African-American community who lost construction jobs to the Latino workers.
If anything the Latinos have an advantage over Americans who are poor, because Americans must live on the minimum-wage job minus taxes; most Latinos make minimum wage or more and pay little to no payroll taxes.
A dozen concerned citizens and anti-illegal immigration activists walked the canyon neighborhood over the weekend to hand out flyers. “We blanketed about 200 homes with information and contact flyers,” Jeff Schwilk of San Diego Minutemen said. “We spoke with dozens of concerned residents.”
Most residents continued to be worried about fire hazards inside the canyon. “After a three-year drought that canyon could go off like a torch at any time and the city of San Diego is doing virtually nothing to remove the migrant camps and fire danger,” he said.
One home owner voiced specific concerns that deemed to be quite alarming. “A Long-time resident stated Border Patrol will not go in the canyon due to the belief that if they do roundups of the illegal aliens, the migrants will torch the canyon in retaliation,” Schwilk said.
If this claim is true, residents living near McGonigle Canyon have plenty to be afraid of and they could be the next victims in this tragic story.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
A Senate Appropriation Committee dropped an amendment put in by the Republicans to secure the southern border with additional 700-miles of high tech fence.
The porous U.S./Mexico border remains a high-traffic area and increased violence has prompted lawmakers to push the urgency of finishing the border fence.
The Senate report left out the required installation of U.S. border fence by the end of next year. The Republican amendment was penned by Sen. Jim DeMint R- S.C. and included the support of 21 Democrats.
It is no surprise that the White House was able to claim a small victory with immigration reform on the horizon it appears constructing a better fence impedes the friendly relationship with Mexico.
Under the Bush Administration, appropriators called for 670-miles of border fence to be built, however, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in February less than 36-miles of fence had been completed.
A spokesperson from Congressman Hunter’s office said they were disappointed that the language removed clearly seeing the need for the completion of the fence.
According to Joe Kasper, the Senate Appropriation Committee supported a bipartisan measure earlier in the year that would give Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security Secretary some money to keep in her pack pocket if she feels an emergency need arises and new structures need to be installed.
“We support a double fence with all the advanced technology, but the White House did not want a date certain,” Kasper said. “The current fence doesn’t provide the effective reliable infrastructure needed to protect our national borders.”
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
It’s been a few years since the public spotlight has been shown on McGonigle Canyon, in San Diego, but the ‘dirty secret’ has returned and the illegal migrant camp is complete with prostitution. The underbelly of San Diego has again reared its ugly head.
Many of the illegal migrants hail from the Mexican state of Oaxaca where they live in a very similar environment in shanty towns along the sides of the hills.
“This is not a lot different than how many of them live back home in some of the poorest parts of Mexico,” says Jeff Schwilk founder of the San Diego Minutemen. “They don’t mind living rent free in the canyons; it allows them to send all their earnings back home to their families.”
Area resident who has been affected by this situation before, Julie Adams, explains many of the workers who call McGonigle Canyon home make more than $100 per day or $2,000 per month, tax free. “They could easily afford an apartment if they wanted to.”
Law enforcement disagrees. “If they are not legal, they lack the proper documentation to secure an apartment,” says Capt. Miguel Rosario of the San Diego Police Department.
This is where the barriers begin. Concerned citizens take a hard-line approach and want the illegal immigration problem and crime in the canyon dealt with by law enforcement, period. Most agree that many American’s simply do not want to know what is going on in canyons like McGonigle. It’s just too unpleasant.
However, law enforcement looks at this issue much differently. Capt. Rosario believes the canyon dwellers have no choice in their living situation and looks to the lack of low-income housing in the region as a problem.
“There is no dialog about the migrants living in the canyon,” he said.
Immigration activists like the Minutemen couldn’t disagree more; they feel their efforts to assist a cash-strapped police department with credible intelligence are mostly ignored and even criticized due to the strong influence of the Mexican activists in the San Diego city government.
As far as the victims in most recent case, most agree it would not be the suspected illegal pimp/john and prostitute.’ J.C. Playford a freelance video journalist was charged Saturday evening with a misdemeanor assault after he called authorities.
“These two admitted they were illegally in this country and the girl said she was a prostitute who charged $30. I have the tape to prove it,” he explains. Playford makes the credible point that it would be awfully hard to chase the alleged criminals, continue filming 30-40-feet behind and take the time to beat up the illegal male.
But officers who arrived on the scene saw things differently. Police stated falsely accusing Playford was a member of the Minutemen, something he and Schwilk both deny. There was also a third person on the scene, who also was charged along with Playford who may have been a member of the San Diego Minutemen, but was unable to be reached for comment.
The outrage here seems to fall into the smear the messenger category.
Not so, says Capt. Rosario. After stepping back and reassessing the situation, he believes there may have been a case against the two men.
“When our officers made the initial contact they found two cans of Mace and a stun gun,” Rosario said. “If they knew there was danger in the canyon why did they go looking for it?”
In an earlier statement Capt. Rosario claimed the two men had sticks, but in an interview today Rosario said “he may have been mistaken on the sticks or walking canes.”
He continues to explain that if the group called ahead of time and said they heard about some illegal activity taking place things might have turned out differently.
Playford insists he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who called SDPD, who asked the group to walk up the canyon to meet the authorities.
So why the charges against the whistle blowers?
“This is an on-going case and nothing is finalized,” Rosario said. “I concede things could have happened as Playford described, which is why my officers let both men walk with a misdemeanor ticket.”
This is now an official investigation where all parties will be contacted and it will ultimately be up to the District Attorney’s office whether they will pursue this case.
Lost in all this seems to be the suspected illegal immigrant prostitute and pimp/john.
“We have their identification and addresses and cannot discuss them any further,” Rosario noted. However, if these two were considered victims and not criminals, it is unlikely that they ran any immigration checks or deported.
Adams has seen this movie before. “Back in 2006 the canyon was home to 300-500 migrants which included make-shift homes, stores, roach coaches and other illegal activity including prostitution.”
“I harken this to the city’s graffiti policy. You don’t notice it anymore because it’s now allowed,” she said. “If we make it harder for those living in the canyon, they’ll leave.”
There is also the nearby crime taking place that Adams points to. “I’ve had my home robbed and I’m not the only one. Why are the police not protecting the people who live here legally?”
“SDPD has been blatantly protecting the illegal canyon dwellers in McGonigle for over 3 years since we first starting exposing the horrors there,” Schwilk said. “My home was raided in 2007 on an illegal search warrant and several other activists have been charged with false crimes because they dared to expose the truth about the crime and dangers in the migrant camps.”
“Even though we have exposed all over the internet the city’s covering for the illegal alien squatters, their vicious attacks on concerned citizens continue to this day. The city still refuses to allow ICE to remove the illegal aliens and send them home.”
Capt. Rosario also claims this is a highly-charged issue and until the federal government policies change, no one will be able to address the situation.
“The bigger problem is this takes place out of the public view. It’s part of the continued demand for cheap labor which drives the market,” he said.
As far as tackling the serious problems that plague McGonigle Canyon, Rosario states Lt. Rudy Tai, of the Vice Dept., has committed resources to the canyon in order to follow up on the allegations of prostitution.
“We will find out if this is individual or organized prostitution.”
The Vista Community Clinic may be providing the prostitutes with free condoms. John Monti, another concerned citizen, reported he found a flyer left behind in the canyon which stated where and how to obtain the contraceptives.
“These activities are being done with federal and state money,” Monti said.
The SDPD will now conduct helicopter flyovers in the canyon day and night to ensure there are no fire threats in the region.
That may be of comfort to some area residents, but not John Bautista, who says he sleeps with one-eye open now.
Radio talk show personality, Rick Roberts has called for a ‘camp out’ in McGonigle Canyon. His show did this back in 2006/07 when the first problems sprung to the surface and was successful in getting the authorities to bulldoze the mini-city and clearing out the canyon – for a while.
In the end there are no winners here. The migrants continue to be in a tough situation, prostitutes will move along to a new location and the residents will be left to pick up the pieces.
The lesson here is the law must always reside with the legal U.S. residents.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner