CNN poll confirms: Most Americans believe their government is a threat to their welfare

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

US citizenship and naturalization of offspring: Department of State Passport Bulletin 96-18

Summary

United States Department of State Passport Bulletin 96-18. This bulletin confirms that the Department of State holds a different interpretation than the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding Derivative Citizenship. Derivative Citizenship refers to U.S. citizenship that a child may derive after birth through the naturalization of a parent or parents. The reason it is important is because thousand of people are being deported from the US by the INS based on a claim that they are not US Citizens when in fact they had unknowingly derived US citizenship through the naturalization of a parent or parents. The likely audience is the thousands of people in the US in deportation proceedings or trying to prove their citizenship. Verification: the document will have the Passport Services officers who wrote and received the Passport Bulletin at the time of its writing. Many of these people are now immigration attorneys that can be found via a quick Google of their name. The event that determines this document needs to be published urgently is the passing of Child Citizenship Act – this act loosens the requirements for derivative citizenship for people born after 2001, but also makes the standards used by people born before 2001 prove US citizenship much harder. Ultimately, the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Service) uses different standards then the US Department of State to allow people to prove US citizenship. A person can prove US Citizenship in 2 ways: apply for a US Passport from the Department may apply for a US Passport from the US Department of State (which uses the lighter standard of proof) or file for a Certificate of Naturalization from the USCIS that uses a much heavier standard of proof. This Passport Bulletin gives regular people the “inside scoop”.
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Federal/State/Local Immigration Law Enforcement Partnerships

ICE Announces Standardized 287(g) Agreements With 67 State and Local Law Enforcement Partners

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has just announced that it will continue with its partnership agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies which tasks these agencies with helping to enforce federal immigration law enforcement efforts across the country. The Obama Administration had previously suspended this program, commonly referred to as 287(g), in the wake of intense criticism including allegations of racial profiling and discrimination and concerns as to whether state and local law enforcement of federal immigration law was even legal under U.S. law. According to ICE, these partnerships promote public safety and constitute an important ‘force multiplier’ for ICE operations in the U.S. In addition, ICE states that these new standardized guidelines will ensure consistent and uniform policies for these activities. Here are some additional resources on the 287(g) program:

Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder

Heritage Foundation Web Memo

Private company plans illegal-immigrant prison in Adelanto

ADELANTO • A private prison operator has plans to build a 2,200-bed detention center that holds illegal immigrants on 51 acres near two other local prisons.

The Adelanto City Council will decide on Wednesday whether to approve the GEO Group Inc.’s development plan and conditional use permit to construct a new correctional facility on the northeast corner of Raccoon Avenue and Rancho Road.

But the proposed facility also hinges on GEO Group winning a federal contract from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Adelanto City Manager Jim Hart.

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ICE performs undercover operations with help from satellite tracking devices

[ Note: The firm mentioned, Eastcor Engineering, is listed with the phone number (410) 820-5521.  This number is also listed to David Jackson, Jen McMaster and George Vojtech, all at the same address. ]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit of the Department of Homeland Security is planning to award a $39,800 sole source contract to a small Maryland engineering company to provide 10 “satellite data recorder trackers,” for its undercover operations, but the tight-lipped agency says, “Public disclosure of the nature and purpose of this requirement could jeopardize ICE officers in the execution of their investigative duties.”

In a “Justification and Approval” document it released on September 15, ICE explains why it decided to award a sole source contract to Eastcor Engineering LLC, of Easton, MD, a young company with only a handful of employees, but specifically did not explain how the 10 satellite data recorder trackers would be used or what types of data they would be monitoring.

Eastcor Engineering also does business as Advanced Technology Solutions, or ATS, which is also based in Easton, MD, says the ICE notice.

“ATS is a leading supplier of tracking systems for Government and military use in gathering vital intelligence to support their operations in combating terrorism, organized crime and undercover operations,” says ICE.

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Report: Top anti-drug official was ’secret ally of drug lords’

DEA says key ICE official sold info about informants, ran Panamanian cocaine to Spain via US ports

Richard Padilla Cramer, a 26-year veteran anti-drug official, is behind bars, arrested after officials accused him of directing a massive cocaine shipment to Spain via the United States, and selling important information in law enforcement databases to a vicious Mexican drug cartel.

In other words, Cramer, a key Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who worked in Guadalajara and Nogales, Arizona, was allegedly “a secret ally of drug lords,” reported The Los Angeles Times.

“The suspected criminal activity that Richard Padilla Cramer has been charged with occurred in 2007 while he was working as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to a criminal complaint issued on Aug. 28 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami,” noted The Arizona Star.

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DHS Directives on Border Searches of Electronic Media

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced two new directives aimed at improving oversight for searches of computers and electronic decides at U.S. entry ports. This is viewed as an important move to support DHS efforts to “combat transnational crime and terrorism while protecting privacy and civil liberties.”

“The new directives address the circumstances under which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can conduct border searches of electronic media—consistent with the Department’s Constitutional authority to search other sensitive non-electronic materials, such as briefcases, backpacks and notebooks, at U.S. borders.” The CBP directive can be found here, while the ICE directive can be found here. DHS today also released this Privacy Impact Assessment for the new guidelines on border searches of electronic devices in order to enhance public understanding of these new procedures and controls used by DHS.

ICE: Teams Will Arrest Non-fugitive Illegals

SAN DIEGO — The chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says agents searching for people who ignore deportation orders will continue to arrest others in the country illegally who happen to be around when they show up.

John Morton spoke to reporters Wednesday in San Diego about ICE’s fugitive operations _ a program that grew sharply during the Bush administration. The effort has riled immigrant advocates who say tactics have been heavy-handed and complain that people who got arrested often aren’t the targets.

Morton says ICE teams will target those who ignored deportation orders — especially those who committed crimes in the United States — but that they won’t overlook others.

Earlier this week, Morton said the ICE teams are no longer working under arrest quotas.

Sheriff Arpaio Slapped With Another Civil Rights Lawsuit Over Arrests

The man who boasts he is “America’s Toughest Sheriff” — and who is being investigated by the Department of Justice for civil rights violations — this week added another lawsuit to thousands already pending against him.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona are suing Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, and several of his deputies for the illegal arrest and detention of a U.S. citizen and a legal resident.

The ACLU suit contends that Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies racially profiled the father and son, Julian and Julio Mora, as they drove their pickup truck on a busy public road and illegally arrested and detained them, violating the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

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DHS Admits It Failed to Disclose 11 More Deaths at Immigration Facilities

In response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed yesterday that the government had failed to disclose 11 more deaths in immigration detention facilities.

In April, DHS officials released what they called a comprehensive list of all deaths in detention. That list included a total of 90 individuals. With yesterday’s announcement, the government has now admitted to a total of 104 in-custody deaths since fiscal year 2003.

But the ACLU is continuing to express doubt that they now have a complete tally of those who have died while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

David Shapiro, staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project, told us, “Even after the government’s announcement yesterday we still can have no real confidence that each and every death has been accounted for.”

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ICE Announces Major Immigration Detention Reforms

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has just announced a Major Overhaul to the immigration detention system in the United States. This announcement comes in the wake of intense criticism over the past months and years over immigration detention practices in the U.S. and amidst hopes that the new administration can begin to work toward some reform of the immigration system in the U.S. See this recently released report on the subject

In addition to a variety of actions effective immediately, this evaluation will focus on seven benchmarks: population management, detention management, programs management, health care management, alternatives to detention, special populations management, and accountability by ICE. For more information, see this Fact Sheet.

Report Finds ICE Home Raids Violate the Constitution

Constitution on ICE: A Report on Immigration Home Raid Operations

The Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic has just released this report which cites widespread constitutional violations from immigration home raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in recent years. “This report is the first public effort to compile and analyze the available evidence regarding the prevalence of constitutional violations occurring during ICE home raids. Through two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the authors of this report obtained significant samples of ICE arrest records from home raid operations in New York and New Jersey. Analysis of these records, together with other publicly available documents, reveals an established pattern of misconduct by ICE agents in the New York and New Jersey Field Offices. Further, the evidence suggests that such pattern may be a widespread national phenomenon reaching beyond these local offices.”

“During the last two years of the Bush Administration, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) vastly expanded its use of home raid operations as a method to locate and apprehend individuals suspected of civil immigration law violations. These home raids generally involve teams of heavily armed ICE agents making predawn tactical entries into homes, purportedly to apprehend some high priority target believed to be residing therein. ICE has admitted that these are warrantless raids and, therefore, that any entries into homes require the informed consent of residents. However, frequent accounts in the media and in legal filings have told a similar story of constitutional violations occurring during ICE home raids-a story that includes ICE agents breaking into homes and seizing all occupants without legal basis.”

Racist Web Posts Traced to Homeland Security

After federal border agents detained several Mexican immigrants in western New York in June, an article about the incident in a local newspaper drew an onslaught of vitriolic postings on its Web site. Some were racist. Others attacked farmers in the region, an apple-growing area east of Rochester, accusing them of harboring illegal workers. Still others made personal attacks about the reporter who wrote the article.

Most of the posts were made anonymously. But in reviewing the logs of its Internet server, the paper, The Wayne County Star in Wolcott, traced three of them to Internet protocol addresses at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border protection.

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San Bernardino County broadens inmate screening for deportation

Two flat-screen televisions loom large in a small booking office at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Federally trained San Bernardino County sheriff‘s employees use the screens to patch into other jails, some nearly 100 miles away, to identify inmates eligible for deportation.

For the past seven months, the Sheriff’s Department has used the $100,000 video-conferencing system to expand its collaborative program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, established three years ago at West Valley.

Instead of only using eight ICE-trained sheriff’s custody specialists to interview potential criminal illegal immigrants booked into the Rancho Cucamonga jail, the video setup allows the same work to be done at jails in San Bernardino, Barstow, Joshua Tree and Victorville.

“We had the capabilities to go out there before, but we were losing time,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Sarkis Ohannessian, who oversees the 287(g) program, named for a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows local agencies to enforce immigration laws under federal supervision.

“The entire interview is conducted from the screen,” Ohannessian said.

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Independent Report Criticizes ICE Workplace Raids

Raids on Workers: Destroying Our Rights: A Comprehensive Analysis and Investigation of ICE Raids and Their Ramifications

This report from the National Commission on ICE Misconduct and Violations of 4th Amendment Rights investigates recent ICE workplace raids in the United States. “On December 12, 2006, the Bush administration conducted massive worksite raids at six Swift & Company meatpacking plants in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Utah. My union, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), represented workers at five of those plants at that time, and, today, we represent the workers at all six plants. In a dramatic departure from our nation’s ideals, our fundamental principles, and from the rule of law, thousands of workers at each plant were rounded up, detained, and criminalized for doing no more than reporting to work, no more than trying to earn a living and a better life for their families. See related news story

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents handcuffed workers, denied their right to counsel, denied their right to meet with union representatives, and denied, finally, the basic human decency of allowing people to use the bathroom, call spouses, or notify schools and childcare centers where children were left waiting with no one able to tell them where their parents might be or when, if ever, they would see them again. Out of an entire workforce of 12,000, ICE had obtained a federal criminal warrant identifying only 133 suspects of identity theft. The federal agents could have-as they did a week earlier at a Swift plant in Louisville, Kentucky-gone to the Human Resources office and asked that the identified suspects be pulled from the production line, so they could question and, if necessary, apprehend them.”

Mexican NGOs, Brigadier General, Unite in Letter Against Plan Mexico

May 7, 2009

Yesterday, 72 Mexican civil society organizations and a Brigadier General of the Mexican Army sent the following letter to US Congress demanding that all military aid to Mexico be immediately halted. The letter comes as the US House of Representative is considering more than doubling 2009 funding for the war on drugs in Mexico.

Human rights organizations from Mexico City and 21 of Mexico’s 31 states signed the letter.

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Spying on anti-war protestors: US Army Concept of Operations for Police Intelligence Operations, 4 Mar 2009

Download document here.

Get Them While They’re Young

A new generation of thugs is being trained for post-9/11 law enforcement. From the New York Times:

    The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

    “This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

    The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

    “Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

The kids sure seem to have fun while they learn:

    One participant, Felix Arce, 16, said he liked “the discipline of the program,” which was something he said his life was lacking. “I want to be a lawyer, and this teaches you about how crimes are committed,” he said.

    Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

    “I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

Those running the Explorer programs want kids as young as possible to get hooked:

    The law enforcement posts are restricted to those ages 14 to 21 who have a C average, but there seems to be some wiggle room. “I will take them at 13 and a half,” Deputy Lowenthal said. “I would rather take a kid than possibly lose a kid.”

And people demonize tobacco companies for targeting youngsters?

Ending the Drug War Would End the Violence

The news media are rife with stories about Mexican drug cartels operating throughout the United States and drug-related violence threatening U.S. cities near the border. Americans are becoming reluctant to cross into Mexican towns for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

Do we need another reason to end the abominable war on “drugs” (a war on people, actually)?

You read that right. The drug trade is violent because the U.S. government persists in trying to eradicate the manufacture, sale, and consumption of certain substances. If there were no drug war, there would be no drug violence. Those who doubt this should ask themselves why violent cartels aren’t fighting over the tobacco and liquor trades.

In America we play a dangerous game. We pretend that if the government outlaws a product — such as heroin or cocaine or marijuana — it vanishes. But we know it’s not true. The product simply goes into the black market, where anyone who wants it can get it. They still can’t keep drugs out of prisons!

The key question is, who provides it? When a product is banned, respectable people tend to stay out of the trade. That leaves it to those who have few scruples — including scruples about the use of violence. Indeed, the black market rewards such people. If a party reneges on a contract for heroin, the other has to take matters into his own hands because he can’t sue. Cutthroats prosper.

So we shouldn’t be surprised when violence erupts between drug gangs and harms innocent people. While each perpetrator of mayhem is responsible for his actions, we must also condemn the entity that created the environment in which violence pays.

That entity is government. As long as it enforces the ban on drugs, there will be violence within the drug trade. And there will be more than that: police brutality, particularly in minority communities; erosion of civil liberties; corruption of the legal system; prisons full of nonviolent drug consumers; development of more-potent substances; and the enticement of youth — the lure of forbidden fruit.

Those are only the domestic effects. By trying to suppress the growing of coca and poppy in foreign countries, the U.S. government makes enemies for America, creates constituencies for terrorist and guerilla movements, and helps to finance their operations.

Nothing good comes from prohibition. Yet the evils of prohibition are blamed on drug consumers and guns!

So why is there a “war on drugs”? It provides a nice living for demagogic politicians, DEA thugs, and all kinds of “drug-abuse experts” who gladly accept taxpayer money for services no one would pay for willingly. There are big bucks in prohibition, compliments of the taxpayers. The only people less eager for an end to it are the cartel bosses, whose profits would evaporate overnight.

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More bilingual deputies in Riverside County, fewer in San Bernardino County

The percentage of sworn deputies who are bilingual has climbed in Riverside County and dropped slightly in San Bernardino County compared to six years ago, according to data from the sheriff’s departments.

In 2003, 1.5 percent of deputies in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department were bilingual. Today that number is 12.5 percent.

In the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deparment, 10.6 percent of deputies were bilingual in 2003. Today it is 8.4 percent.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey, 33 percent of residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties spoke Spanish at home.

Hispanic leaders say it is vital for law enforcement officers to have language skills other than English.

See also:

Hesperia deputies no hablan español

Good ol’ Boys

Supervisors appoint Rod Hoops as sheriff

San Bernardino County supervisor hires controversial activist

Supervisor Josie Gonzales criticizes hiring of immigration activist

This is a hate-free city: Minutemen founder persona non grata

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This is a hate-free city: Minutemen founder persona non grata

Monday, April 20 2009 CLAREMONT, California– Despite the right wing’s efforts at deception and obfuscation, pro-immigrant, pro-human rights, anti-racist, and community activists organized strong opposition to the arrival of anti-immigrant extremist Jim Gilchrist to our neighborhood.

A group called the Mountain View Republican Club invited Gilchrist to speak at an upscale Italian restaurant, but once activists informed them who he was, they decided to close down for the day, forcing the Republicans to relocate to a hotel elsewhere in the city at the last minute. Although the police informed some of us that the event had been cancelled, we found out the truth early on.

Activists met at about five in the afternoon on the Pitzer College campus to make signs and plot a new course of action, deciding to carpool and cycle down the street to the hotel.

After brainstorming ideas for placards, we gathered on a lawn across from the tiny room where Gilchrist intended to speak. A respected and well-liked professor stirred the crowd by pointing out the historical significance of the intrusion of a hatemonger into our community on April 20:

“Not only has Gilchrist placed the blame on immigrants for the lack of jobs and human services, he willingly allowed members of the National Alliance, one of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organizations, to help with his 2005 campaign for the house of representatives here in California.

See also;

Making Babies for the Führer

Supervisor Josie Gonzales criticizes hiring of immigration activist

San Bernardino County supervisor hires controversial activist

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GAO Report on DEA’s Post-9/11 Drug Control Responsibilities

Drug Control: Better Coordination With the Department of Homeland Security and an Updated Accountability Framework Can Further Enhance DEA’s Efforts to Meet Post-9/11 Responsibilities

“Given the global context of the war on drugs-coupled with growing recognition since September 11, 2001 (9/11), of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism-the mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and efforts to forge effective interagency partnerships and coordination are increasingly important. the Government Accountability Office was asked to examine, in the context of the post-9/11 environment, DEA’s priorities, interagency partnerships and coordination mechanisms, and strategic plan and performance measures. GAO reviewed DEA policy, planning, and budget documents and visited 7 of DEA’s 21 domestic field offices and 3 of its 7 regional offices abroad-sites selected to reflect diverse drug-trafficking threats, among other factors. GAO also contacted other relevant federal agencies-including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-and various state and local partner agencies.

GAO recommends that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security take actions to enhance the effectiveness of interagency partnerships involving DEA, ICE, and CBP and the multiagency Special Operations Division and the OCDETF Fusion Center. DOJ agreed. DHS responded that discussions with DOJ are ongoing. DHS neither explicitly agreed nor disagreed with GAO’s recommendations but suggested revisions to the wording, which GAO did not make.”

ICE Raids and Police Brutality Teach-In

L.A. County Network Against Police Murder and AbuseICE Raids and Police Brutality Teach-In

• PEOPLE OF COLOR HAVE BEEN BATTLING POLICE BRUTALITY FOR YEARS
• NOW THE POLICE ARE WORKING TO DEPORT PEOPLE AND TEAR APART FAMILIES
• COME LEARN ABOUT THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ICE AGENTS AND LOCAL POLICE

MONDAY, APRIL 20TH
6:30 PM
AFIBA CENTER
5730 S. CRENSHAW
LOS ANGELES, CA

FOR INFO/RSVP, CONTACT:
DEKA @ 323-810-7112

DHS Releases New Immigration Statistics for 2008

Naturalizations in the United States: 2008

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics has just released these two statistical reports which provide information on U.S. legal permanent residents and naturalizations for the year 2008. These reports are part of an ongoing series of annually reported data which the Office of Immigration Statistics provides. All reports are available on their website.

DEA’s Operation Xcellerator is Another Justice Department Dog and Pony Show

Despite the  “Largest and Hardest Hitting Operation to Ever Target” the Sinaloa Cartel, the DEA is Merely Treading Water in the War on Drugs

On February 25, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) held a press conference celebrating the culmination of Operation Xcellerator, which it says resulted in the arrests of 755 Sinaloa Cartel members in the United States and Mexico.  Law enforcement agencies arrested the last 52 suspects the day of the press conference, which the DoJ  held on the same day the House of Representatives voted on 2009 funding for Plan Mexico.  Plan Mexico, also known as the Merida Initiative, is the US government’s estimated $1.6 billion military and law enforcement aid package to support the Mexican government’s increasingly violent war on drugs.

With Plan Mexico, the United States government wedded itself to Mexican president Felipe Calderon‘s stated strategy of attacking the big drug trafficking organizations in Mexico head-on.  Calderon didn’t invent this strategy; it is the same strategy the United States and Colombia used in Colombia under Plan Colombia.

Since the strategy in Mexico has not decreased the levels of illicit drug flows into the United States, and because it has not decreased drug-related violence (drug-related murders more than doubled in Mexico last year), pressure is on both the Mexican and US governments to prove some quantifiable successes in the war on drugs.  They’re doing this by making (or creating) high-profile arrests of suspected members of Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).

Se also:

Anti-Drug War Marchers block Mexico-US border

At least our Mexican neighbors are still standing up for their freedom (and ours)

100 years of government abuse, corruption and lies

Academics and the Chihuahua Government Say Decriminalizing Drugs is a Subject That Can’t be Avoided

EZLN Criticizes the Drug War

Report Review: New Federal Drug Threat Assessment Finds Prohibition Greatest Drug-Related Menace

Lourdes Cárdenas: Drug War Threatens Mexican Democracy

Mexico More Dangerous Than Iraq, Due to Drug War

US Police Train Mexican Police to Torture

US Releases $90 million in Plan Mexico Military Hardware

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Thousands march against Arpaio in Phoenix

Thousands of opponents of Sheriff Joe Arpaio‘s illegal-immigration policies held their “March to Stop the Hate” in downtown Phoenix on Saturday..

As of 1:30 p.m., the speeches were still being made at the march’s destination, the federal building. According to initial reports, the march was peaceful, with no major incidents as of early Saturday afternoon.

Crowd estimates from organizers and law enforcement were not immediately available, but at least one estimate put it at about 3,000.

See also:

Sheriff Arpaio ordered to pay more attorney fees in Arizona case

Finally, the Law Goes After Joe Arpaio — the Most Abusive Sheriff In America

Arpaio’s Jail Staff Cost Ambrett Spencer Her Baby, and She’s Not the Only One

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Finally, the Law Goes After Joe Arpaio — the Most Abusive Sheriff In America

WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) called on Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to investigate allegations of misconduct by Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio has repeatedly demonstrated disregard for the rights of Hispanics in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Under the guise of immigration enforcement, his staff has conducted raids in residential neighborhoods in a manner condemned by the community as racial profiling. On February 4, 2009, Arpaio invited the media to view the transfer of immigrant detainees to a segregated area of his “tent city” jail, subjecting the detainees to public display and “ritual humiliation.” Persistent actions such as these have resulted in numerous lawsuits; while Arpaio spends time and energy on publicity and his reality television show, “Smile… You’re Under Arrest!”, Maricopa County has paid millions of dollars in settlements involving dead or injured inmates.

The text of the attached letter is linked here.

See also;  Arpaio’s Jail Staff Cost Ambrett Spencer Her Baby, and She’s Not the Only One

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Hey Kids, Wanna Play Security Checkpoint: The Terrifying Marketing Of Police State Normalacy To Children

When I flew home from Washington, DC after a business trip last week, the TSA agent asked to test my laptop.  I politely asked what they were testing for.  It was just routine she told me.  And she’s right, it has become routine, a much too routine standard operating procedure designed to make us believe that the usurping of our privacy and human rights is normal and necessary if we are to be secure and free.

The obvious irony  is that we are not secure and  free if government agents have a right to violate our privacy and deny our rights without cause.  I considered protesting but I figured that the best outcome of that would be missing my flight, the worst case  being detained incommunicado in an undisclosed location.  The likelihood of a plausible explanation for this sudden interest in my laptop was undoubtedly nil. In other words, whatcha gonna do and TSA knows that.

My youngest son barely has a memory of when you could get on a plane without having to take off your shoes first.  He was in 4th grade on Sept. 11, 2001 and within  days his school was decked out in American flags and “I Support President Bush” signs appeared everywhere.  For him this is normal, the way things are supposed to be.  And that is no accident.

What is particularly disturbing about the normalizing of this notion that it is unpatriotic to question measures that supposedly defend us from acts of terror is the use of entertainment to hawk the message. In addition to the  Disney-owned ABC’s Homeland Security reality show, there is now a Homeland Security television channel on the internet that bills itself as,

(T)he world’s first online, on-demand television network dedicated to homeland security and global development. HSTV is a 24/7 interactive television channel dedicated to producing broadcast-quality video programs on all aspects of homeland security and the role of global development in fighting terrorism.

HSTV is also dedicated to facilitating rapid awareness of new technologies and services, and assisting in the transfer of those technology solutions to the government and critical infrastructure marketplace.

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Former Border Patrol agent describes ‘quota pressure’

MURRIETA, Calif. — A former Border Patrol officer said Thursday that constant demands to meet monthly arrest quotas led agents in the Inland Empire to cruise streets, bus stops and even medical clinics looking for illegal immigrants.

“We had to make eight apprehensions a day and if we didn’t meet that goal we were pressured to get more the next day,” said Tony Plattel, who was fired last month for driving what he said were six dehydrated illegal immigrants back to headquarters despite orders to wait until his van was full. “I interfered with the quota, that’s why I was fired,” he said.

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I am a Terrorist

See also:

Domestic Militarization Comes to San Bernardino County

Patriot Act – The War on Civil Liberties

The Second Amendment Versus The Police State?

Veterans for Peace (VFP) Opposes Combat Brigade’s Permanent U.S. Assignment

Assignment America: Keep juries dumb

Excellent Article on the Corrupt Prison-Industrial Complex

Court Rules Patriot Act’s “National Security Letter” Gag Provisions Unconstitutional

SoCal Martial Law Alerts’ Checkpoint Response Team

How you became the enemy

Freedom of the press as a foreign concept

Yes, we reporters might get stuck covering the late shift or — egad! — a parade. When disaster strikes or a source calls back on deadline, the nights can be long. Newspaper layoffs and hard economic times can cast a pall over just about everything we do.

But those concerns seem a piffle every time I read dispatches from around the world about journalists who, fighting for the story, also must fight for their lives.

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Prohibition and the Rise of Crime

On January 17, 1920, The 18th Amendment went into effect and what is known as Prohibition became reality. What did not become reality were the predictions of the benefits it would have vis-a-vis Organized Crime.

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March base Predator unit to train next generation of pilots


The 163rd Air National Guard at March Air Reserve Base is beginning a new mission.

After two years of being the only National Guard unit to fly unmanned Predator drones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will begin training the next crop of Predator pilots. The goal is to increase the military’s capacity for observing and targeting enemies during wartime.

Menace of US drones
Spy drone ‘Predator,’ reflects what US has become

Homeland Security Now Spying on Americans

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Poll: Less than half say US offers liberty and justice for all


A new poll from Rasmussen Reports indicates that although Americans strongly support the saying of the Pledge of Allegience, less than half of them believe that “the United States is truly the land of liberty and justice for all.”

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Former Marine outlines secret dossiers


OCEANSIDE — Two years after his arrest, a former Marine gunnery sergeant is talking about the FBI, CIA and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement files he stole from Camp Pendleton for a civilian agency.

In interviews with The San Diego Union-Tribune, Gary Maziarz, 39, said “dozens of files” he gave the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group while serving as an intelligence specialist at the base were dossiers on Muslims and Arabs living in Southern California.

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Eisenhower on the MID

A Cover for Illegal Domestic Operations?


On November 17, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) concluded Vigilant Shield 09 (VS09), described in a press release as a training exercise focused on “homeland defense and civil support.”

Launched by President Bush in 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NORTHCOM has been mired in controversy since its creation. Among its more dubious accomplishments were illegal domestic spying operations in conjunction with the Pentagon’s shadowy Counter Intelligence Field Activity unit (CIFA) that targeted antiwar activists.

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Menace of US drones


USA has no remorse over its brazen acts of aggression and rationalizes its invasion and destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq as compulsory acts to ensure security of its homeland. It justifies its offensive actions under Article 51 of UN charter. It is now trying to justify its intended offensive against Pakistan under the same Act on the plea that Pakistan is allowing its soil for breeding terrorism and exporting terrorism into Afghanistan to cause harm to US-NATO troops. If so, why it remains tight-lipped on misuse of Afghan soil by several spy agencies working against the interests of Pakistan?

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The Militarization of our Local Police

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The military industrial complex has absorbed a huge amount of our economy and the military has transformed local law enforcement by giving them billions of dollars in military equipment. We are rapidly being reduced to a nation whose economy primarily employs industry that supports the military, government, policing and prison systems.

If we don’t slam the breaks on this insanity and fast, our nation is going to become a total fascist police state. It’s perched right on our doorstep.

Rising for the Judge, Bowing to the State


When one walks into a business, most often you are greeted. As part of treating customers as their very livelihood, companies usually enact policies that make it a requirement for employees to acknowledge the arrival of a client or customer.

Imagine, however, if instead of getting a “hello” or “good morning,” the manager of the store asks you to greet him. Further, imagine if the manager holds you at gunpoint and threatens you with imprisonment. Assuming you could escape, chances are that you’d never go back to that store. Yet this is what happens in the courts.

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No one claiming crashed drone in the desert


One of the many flying contraptions that buzz above the desert crashed Monday morning near El Mirage Dry Lake.

But details about the crash remain a mystery. No one will claim responsibility for what local officials said was an ultralight drone. It’s not clear why the device crashed or what purpose it served before its demise.

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Spy drone ‘Predator,’ reflects what US has become


TUCSON — The bad news is that the US Border Patrol has four drones flying out of Fort Huachuca over the US/Mexico border for surveillance. One drone has already crashed near Nogales and these unmanned aerial planes, provided first by Israel’s Apartheid spy technology maker, Elbit Systems, are a risk to the lives of those on the ground in Arizona.

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Family of Cesar Gonzalez files wrongful death suit over detainee’s accidental electrocution



The family of a Pomona man who died from accidental electrocution while in custody at a Lancaster immigrant detention center has filed a wrongful-death suit against several government agencies, raising new questions about safety as national authorities crack down on immigration violations.

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