California passes bill to counteract ‘disturbing’ Texas curriculum

Measure ensures Texas standards don’t ‘creep into our textbooks,’ senator tells Raw Story

The California Senate on Friday approved legislation that sends a clear message to Texas and textbook publishers: don’t mess with our kids’ minds.

“My bill begins the process of ensuring that California students will not end up being taught with Texas standards,” State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who authored and sponsored the legislation, said in an interview. Texas standards had better not “creep into our textbooks,” he said.

The S.B. 1451 measure – approved on a bipartisan vote of 25-5 – requires the California State Board of Education to examine and report any discrepancies between the new Texas standards and California’s standards. “At that point,” Yee told Raw Story, “we will make it very, very clear that we won’t accept textbooks that minimize the contributions of minorities and propagate the close connection between church and state.”

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Local opposition to Arizona law sought

At Tuesday’s Beaumont Unified School District board meeting, trustee Mark Orozco called on his fellow board members to consider a resolution opposing Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law, which he pointed out gives police in that state the right to detain anyone who is suspected of being in this country illegally, or for failing to provide proper documentation of citizenship.

“Under the new law, Arizona police now are required to stop and question anyone they reasonably suspect of being undocumented,” said Orozco, who is a history teacher at Marshall School in Pomona. “I am deeply troubled, and as an educator, I am disturbed by the lessons this law teaches our children about democracy, inclusion and nondiscrimination.”

Orozco called Arizona’s law an attack on civil rights of Arizona’s Latino population, and likened the situation to the way Jews were treated in Germany prior to World War II, when they were required to carry documentation with them at all times.

“The right of undocumented immigrant children to a K-12 public education has long been protected,” Orozco said. “This legislation may be the start of a very slippery slope. What’s next? Will lawmakers require teachers, education-support professionals and school employees to act as immigration agents?”

Orozco said that he feared the impact that potentially oppressive measures could “impede on the mission of teaching and learning.”

“I understand that my peers and some members of the community will probably criticize me … but it needs to be said,” Orozco said during board comments at the end of the meeting. “I am speaking not just as a board member or public official, but also as a leader of our community and a concerned American citizen who cannot sit by and be silent.”

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Stupid Drug Story of the Week: The Associated Press on the arrival of “deadly, ultra-pure heroin.”

Yesterday, the Associated Press moved a story completely devoid of historical context. The piece, titled “Deadly, Ultra-Pure Heroin Arrives in U.S.,” claims that in “recent years”—a time frame that goes undefined—Mexican dealers have started peddling “ultra-potent” black tar heroin and are selling it for as little as $10 a bag.

In alarmist prose, the article asserts that the ultra-smack’s purity ranges from 50 percent to 80 percent heroin, up from the 5 percent purity of the 1970s, and this potency is “contributing to a spike in overdose deaths across the nation.” But reports of high-potency heroin being sold in the United States are anything but “recent.” My source? The AP itself. Over the decades, the wire service has repeatedly reported on the sale of high-potency heroin on the streets. Here are a few examples of AP coverage culled from Nexis.

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San Diego County Now Has ‘Majority, Minority’ Population

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego metro area has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country. A new study out today from the Brookings Institution says more than 22 percent of San Diego’s population was born in another country. The State Of Metropolitan America report looked at the changing demographics of the 100 largest metro areas in the country.

Audrey Singer with Brookings said San Diego particularly stands out in one category. Among the top 100 metro areas, San Diego ranks 10th in the percentage of children with at least one immigrant parent.

“Nearly 42 percent of children in metropolitan San Diego are second generation,” Singer said.

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Los Angeles teacher call for Mexican revolution in the US

News videographer at center of media battle after shooting video of abusive cops

Source

A freelance news videographer in Seattle lost his gig with a television station over a police abuse video they rejected after he posted the video on Youtube.

The video showed the customary abuse we expect from the Seattle Police Department; a cop kicking a detained suspect in the head after threatening to beat the “fucking Mexican piss” out of him.

It turned out, the suspect was completely innocent of armed robbery that got him detained.

Police then picked him up, brushed him off and sent him on his way.

The videographer, Jud Morris, ended up getting a video interview with the man, who had a fresh wound on his face from being face down on the ground, possibly from the kick that was caught on video.

The video also shows a female cop stomping on the suspect’s leg.

Morris, who was working for Q13 Fox news at the time, first approached them with the video, but they rejected it, telling him it was not newsworthy to see a cop kick an unarmed suspect in the head who later turns out to be innocent.

Morris, who as a freelancer owns all his work, then posted the video on Youtube.

He was fired the following day.

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National Foundation for American Policy reports on immigration

Death at the Border

Family Immigration: The Long Wait to Immigrate

The National Foundation for American Policy recently issued these two reports that discuss difficulties faced by individuals seeking to become citizens of the United States.

The first report claims that “the absence of a way to enter the United States legally to work has contributed to more than 4,000 men, women, and children dying while attempting to cross to America since 1998.” Immigrant deaths increased in 2009 though overall illegal immigration decreased, indicating a significant increase in the level of danger and violence on U.S. borders.

The second report discusses the waiting time involved with becoming a U.S. citizen. The United States is missing out on many benefits due to the excessive time needed for immigrants to enter the country, which for many is over 20 years. According to the report: “Research shows legal immigrants experience faster wage growth than natives, are more likely to start businesses and have higher median years of schooling.” Overall the report finds that “raising family immigration quotas would serve both the humanitarian and economic interests of the United States.”

Rim of the World News interviews Candidate Paul Schrader Sheriff/Coroner of San Bernardino County

May 1st in History

Study Describes Difficulties of Latino Kids in U.S.

WASHINGTON – Latino children face obstacles in education and health that make their success as adults and their integration into society more difficult, the National Council of La Raza says in a study released Wednesday.

Latinos make up 22 percent of the country’s total population under age 18, a percentage that is predicted to grow in the coming years.

The examination of the basic statistics of that group reveals an “alarming” situation that must be corrected, says the report, which was put together by the NCLR’s Patricia Foxen and Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau.

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YouTube Didn’t Delete M.I.A. Video, But Did Bury It

See the story here.

San Francisco City workers banned from official travel to Arizona

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today a moratorium on official city travel to Arizona after the state enacted a controversial new immigration law that directs local police to arrest those suspected of being in the country illegally.

The ban on city employee travel to Arizona takes effect immediately, although there are some exceptions, including for law enforcement officials investigating a crime, officials said. It’s unclear how many planned trips by city workers will be curtailed.

The move comes amid a cascade of criticism of Arizona’s law, which has been denounced by civil rights groups, some police officials and President Obama, who said it threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Legal challenges are being weighed to overturn it.

San Francisco’s move comes as the Board of Supervisors introduced non-binding resolutions calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a boycott of Arizona because of the new law, which requires police to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. There are also online boycott campaigns calling for everything from a boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team to the Grand Canyon.

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Pima County, Arizon, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik objects to new immigration law

An Arizona sheriff says he has “no intention of complying” with the state’s “abominable” new immigration law, which he describes as a “national embarrassment.”

Last week, Arizona Governor Janice Kay “Jan” Brewer signed a controversial bill that authorizes state police to stop people they suspect may be illegal immigrants and demand identification.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said he would like Brewer to know “what she and the legislature has accomplished is morally wrong and a national embarrassment,” ABC News reported.

The sheriff called the law abominable and said he did not intend to comply with it, because it was “racist.”

Mexico warns citizens in Arizona

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The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.

And a government-affiliated agency that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations rebuke the law.

“We are making a strong call to the Arizona government to retract this regressive and racist law that’s impacting not only residents of Arizona, but people in all 50 states and in Mexico as well,” said Raul Murillo, who works with the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, an autonomous agency of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

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Deportation’s Harmful Effect on Children

This brief from the International Human Rights Law Clinic University of California, Berkeley School of Law , In the Child’s Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation states “Congress is considering a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws more than a decade after the enactment of strict immigration measures. Lawmakers should take this opportunity to reaffirm the nation’s historic commitment to family unity by addressing the discrete provisions that currently undermine it. Current U.S. immigration laws mandate deportation of lawful permanent resident (LPR) parents of thousands of U.S. citizen children, without providing these parents an opportunity to challenge their forced separations. Through a multi-disciplinary analysis, this policy brief examines the experiences of U.S. citizen children impacted by the forced deportation of their LPR parents and proposes ways to reform U.S. law consistent with domestic and international standards aimed to improve the lives of children.”

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LA cardinal raps ‘Nazi’ migrant bill

The head of the largest Catholic archdiocese in the US has denounced anti-migration policies in the state of Arizona, saying it promotes Nazi-style repression.

“The Arizona legislature just passed the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” Cardinal Roger Mahony wrote in his blog on Sunday.

Mahony was referring to a new Arizona legislation, which created a new state offense of ‘willful failure to carry or complete an alien registration form’. The legislation was passed on Monday.

The bill would also require the police to determine people’s immigration status if there is reason to suspect the legality of the individuals’ stay in the country.

A provision of the law also allows citizens to sue government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws.

“I can’t imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation,” the cardinal who is a staunch supporter of immigrants’ rights said.

“Are children supposed to call 911 because one parent does not have proper papers?” he asked.

The top churchman further added that the “tragedy” of the measure lies in its reasoning, which implies that US immigrants “rob, plunder, and consume public resources.”

The new measure is considered as the latest crackdown in Arizona, which has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department buys gear from company targeted by sweatshop investigators

The Safariland website is a virtual big box retailer of tactical equipment, chemical weapons and forensics for police departments, military and private security contractors. The Premium Wallbanger System is used for SWAT team entry operations and can create a shooting port through a wall. It can use an explosive charge to breach metal doors and provides OVC spray coverage. The Protech brand makes a rifle threat plate that can withstand multiple rounds from an AK-47. The DeltaNu Reporter is a handheld illicit drug identification system. The Monadnock Autolock defender baton is expandable and comes with a guard for hand protection.

In the early days Safariland kept it simple. The Ontario-based multinational corporation birthed in a ’60s suburban Los Angeles garage was known for custom holsters. The manufacturer claims that 70 percent of peace officers in North America currently use Safariland duty gear. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department purchases duty gear from the manufacturer.

Decades of growth and a series of mergers and acquisitions has left Safariland the flagship of 19 companies under control of the British defense contractor BAE Systems. The free trade business model of the ’90s put Safariland in a factory in Mexico well before the consolidation with BAE systems took place. The North America Free Trade Agreement fueled the growth of maquiladoras. The border factories import materials into Mexico for assembly and then re-export them to the U.S. to enter the global marketplace.

The treaty made conditions ripe for economic and environmental exploitation. The effect of the duty-free and tax-free provisions of NAFTA that leave little or in most circumstances zero development in the communities the workers live.

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San Bernardino County sheriff says deputies will not ask immigration status on the street

In a department address Thursday, San Bernardino County’s sheriff reaffirmed positions on two hot-button topics, saying deputies would enforce medical marijuana laws though he feels they’re “greatly flawed,” and only broach someone’s immigration status inside jails.

Rod Hoops delivered a wide-ranging state of the department address, his first since being appointed last February, to a roomful of county leaders and sheriff’s staff. A theme was cost-saving measures he has already taken, and ones still in the works.

That’s when he noted the cooperation with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which recently resulted in a new three-year agreement to help identify illegal immigrants booked into county jails.

Officials have said the program helps cut the long-term cost of housing such suspects. Jail staff is trained to screen inmates for their immigration status, and if applicable, refer them to ICE for possible deportation.

“We will not target anyone from a specific country, and our department does not enforce immigration laws,” Hoops said, emphasizing that screenings only take place in jails, not in contact deputies have on the street.

A local immigration advocate said later that his longstanding worry with the program still exists: that it often results in the deportation of individuals arrested for relatively minor offenses.

“Continuing the agreement undermines the trust in the community,” Emilio Amaya, executive director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center, said later by phone. “It gives argument to people who say they’re afraid to come forward and report crimes.”

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SPLC Suit Wins $2.75 Million Settlement for Exploited Workers

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – In one of the largest settlements of its kind, an Arkansas forestry company has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle the legal claims of foreign guest workers who say they were cheated out of the wages they earned planting trees for the company.

Superior Forestry Service Inc.’s agreement to pay more than 2,200 guest workers makes this one of the largest settlements ever reached under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the workers by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Farmworker Justice, the Legal Aid Justice Center and attorneys from two Chicago-based private law firms: Willenson Law, LLC and Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym. Superior Forestry is one of the largest forestry contractors in the United States.

The settlement received preliminary approval Thursday from U.S. District Judge William J. “Jim” Haynes II. It is subject to final approval following a fairness hearing in March.

“Guest workers are too often seen as disposable workers who can be cheated and exploited,” said Jim Knoepp, an attorney with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. “This settlement sends a powerful message that these workers have rights and that their employers will be held accountable.”

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Phony US Marshal Apprehends, Deports Woman

A Hemet man who passed himself off as a U.S. Marshal was able to enter San Diego International Airport with a “prisoner” after convincing airport security officers he was a federal agent, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said in a telephone interview that an investigation has revealed that someone who presented “falsified law enforcement documents” was able to get past security and eventually make it to a gate with a prisoner. The individual presented himself as a law enforcement officer and followed the proper procedures, including logging in, she said.

The agency learned about the incident after being contacted by “local law enforcement” about the potential breach in security.

“We are working with law enforcement and other departments to make sure this does not happen again,” Trevino said.

Trevino declined to discuss what law enforcement officers are required to do to verify their status, or what policy changes have taken place since the incident.

After the “prisoner” took off in a plane, Trevino said, the individual left the airport.

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Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Investigated by Federal Grand Jury

PHOENIX —  Two officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff who gained attention for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.

Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry was abuses by Sheriff Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio‘s office. Neither Wilson nor Smith offered specifics, said county spokesman Richard de Uriarte, who spoke with the two officials Thursday night.

Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies and pushing the bounds on local immigration efforts. He has led a dozen crime and immigration sweeps, some in heavily Latino areas.

Critics allege that some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. But Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said Arpaio was declining to comment on reports of the investigation. “He has stated that we will conduct business as usual,” Lee said.

Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S attorney’s office in Phoenix, said she couldn’t confirm or deny a grand jury investigation.

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Gerald Celente Interview – Words of wisdom

Gerald Celente in Wikipedia

Trends Research Institute

Trends Journal

Congressman seeking to bar Iranians from US

A US congressman has announced his plans to reintroduce the Stop Terrorists Entry Program (STEP) Act into Congress, which calls for the deportation of most Iranians without permanent resident status.

The STEP Act, a bill that was originally presented in 2003, would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to bar citizens of Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States.

Rep. James Gresham Barrett says he is reintroducing the STEP Act in response to the Fort Hood shooting, carried out by a US citizen, and the Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airplane over Detroit, attempted by a Nigerian national.

If passed, the bill would deport all Iranians on student visas, temporary work visas, exchange visas, and tourist visas from the United States within 60 days.

It would also make it illegal for Iranians to travel to the United States, though some exceptions could be made after “extensive federal screening.”

National Geographic’s ‘Border Wars’

National Geographic’s Border Wars: Incident Reports

National Geographic’s new series Border Wars premieres this Sunday, January 10. The series follows United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers at one of the busiest border crossings in the country, Nogales, Arizona and Heroica Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Cameras follow the CBP agents “as they use every means at their disposal – from high-tech stealth planes to basic wilderness skills – to track, catch and deport illegal immigrants.”

In addition to videos, photos, and behind-the-scenes video diaries, the companion website features Weekly Incident Reports and a Border Agent Simulation Game .

Additionally, the website features a webpage entitled Narco State , which includes video, photos, and facts on the area’s drug war.

Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.

The documents, obtained over recent months by The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, concern most of the 107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003, after the agency was created within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.

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Mexican Who Tried to Stop Cop from Fondling Woman May Be Deported

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – An undocumented Mexican immigrant is facing possible deportation after he was arrested for trying to defend his girlfriend from a Charlotte police officer accused of sexual assault on three women, two of them Hispanic.

Police in North Carolina’s largest city revealed on Wednesday that a third victim, a 37-year-old Mexican woman who was not identified, filed a complaint against Marcus Jackson, 25, because he had sexually assaulted her.

Jackson has been under arrest since Dec. 30 in the Mecklenburg County jail, with bail set at almost $500,000, for two previous accusations by a Latina and an African-American woman of kidnapping, extortion, assault, sexual abuse and indecent exposure.

The third victim, who is undocumented, said that on Dec. 29, when she was going home at night, Jackson stopped her in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lives.

She also said that eight weeks earlier the same officer had fondled her breasts.

In the Dec. 29 incident, police say, the boyfriend of the victim tried to stop the abuse by calling 911 but Jackson seized his telephone and arrested him for resisting a police officer.

The Mexican man spent six days in the Charlotte jail and was subjected to the 287g program, which determined that he entered the country without the proper papers.

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UPDATES: 3 police officers among 5 people indicted in fatal, race-related beating

Luis Ramirez was in a coma on life support
before he died two days after he was beaten.

See updated article on this case, with photos, here.  Then see here.  YouTube here

Five people, including three police officers, have been indicted on charges related to the beating death of a Latino man in rural Pennsylvania in July 2008, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Two indictments charge the five with federal hate crimes, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in what authorities are calling a racially motivated attack.

The indictments come almost six months after a Schuylkill County jury acquitted two teens of aggravated assault and one of murder in the death of Luis Ramirez.

The undocumented Mexican immigrant was beaten into a coma during a street brawl involving the teens and their friends on a residential street in Shenandoah. The incident divided the small, rural mining town along racial lines and became a flash point for racial tensions nationwide.

After the verdict, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Gene “Ed” Rendell denounced the attack as racially motivated and called on the Department of Justice to intervene.

A federal grand jury handed up the indictments last week, and they were unsealed Tuesday. The two young men, Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, are accused of a hate crime for beating Ramirez while shouting racial epithets at him, according to the department.

If convicted of hate crime charges, Donchak and Piekarsky face a maximum penalty of life in prison. Donchak also faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of obstruction, and an additional five years on the charge of conspiring to obstruct justice.

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Cell Phone Application directs border-crossing immigrants to water

SAN DIEGO — A group of California artists wants Mexicans and Central Americans to have more than just a few cans of tuna and a jug of water for their illegal trek through the harsh desert into the U.S.

Faculty at University of California, San Diego are developing a GPS-enabled cell phone that tells dehydrated migrants where to find water and pipes in poetry from phone speakers, regaling them on their journey much like Emma Lazarus‘s words did a century ago to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on Ellis Island.

The Transborder Immigrant Tool is part technology endeavor, part art project. It introduces a high-tech twist to an old debate about how far activists can go to prevent migrants from dying on the border without breaking the law.

Immigration hardliners argue the activists are aiding illegal entry to the United States, a felony. Even migrants and their sympathizers question whether the device will make the treacherous journeys easier.
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Resistance Against Checkpoints

Law enforcement agencies have declared they will hold 300 “DUI” checkpoints during the holiday season statewide. Furthermore, they have declared 2010 “the year of the checkpoint.” Checkpoints are a military tactic that violate the Fourth Amendment and condition society to passivity toward police interference in daily activities. They disproportionately impact immigrant communities, who face deportation due to 287(g) agreements, which deputize local law agencies to enforce federal immigration law. For these reasons, resistance to “the checkpoint society” has been fierce, and has included lobbying local officials, holding vigils and marches, creating communication networks, and actually being present at checkpoints to warn passing motorists and document abuses. Follow reports from the struggle:

Op/Ed: Checkpoints Violate the Fourth Amendment and Normalize the Police State by Rockero

From the newswire: Pomona anti-checkpoint action by Direct Action Claremont | | Documentación de un caso de injusticia ejecutada en un retén policial por Rockero | | Protest LAPD Stealing Cars from Raza during Xmas Season!! by Unión del Barrio

This week’s checkpoints: Retenes navideños / Christmas checkpoints (25/dec-2/ene) by Checkpoint response

Record High Federal Prosecutions in 2009

FY 2009 Federal Prosecutions Sharply Higher

Analyzing data from the United States Department of Justice, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has released this report showing a 9% increase in federal prosecutions compared to last year. At a total of 169,612, the swell in prosecutions is attributed to “an unusual flood of immigration prosecutions.” According to the report, immigration and narcotics cases represented the majority of prosecutions, with the former at 54% and the latter at 16%.

In regards to what agencies referred cases for prosecution, Customs and Border Protection filed 46.5%, Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed 12%, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed 9%, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives filed 6%, and all other agencies filed 18%. The report also touches on the administrative priorities of the Justice Department.

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Not Just Drones: Militants Can Snoop on Most U.S. Warplanes (Updated)

Tapping into drones’ video feeds was just the start. The U.S. military’s primary system for bringing overhead surveillance down to soldiers and Marines on the ground is also vulnerable to electronic interception, multiple military sources tell Danger Room. That means militants have the ability to see through the eyes of all kinds of combat aircraft — from traditional fighters and bombers to unmanned spy planes. The problem is in the process of being addressed. But for now, an enormous security breach is even larger than previously thought.

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America’s Secret ICE Castles

“If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” Those chilling words were spoken by James Pendergraph, then executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s (ICE) Office of State and Local Coordination, at a conference of police and sheriffs in August 2008. Also present was Amnesty International‘s Sarnata Reynolds, who wrote about the incident in the 2009 report “Jailed Without Justice” and said in an interview, “It was almost surreal being there, particularly being someone from an organization that has worked on disappearances for decades in other countries. I couldn’t believe he would say it so boldly, as though it weren’t anything wrong.”

ICE agents regularly impersonate civilians–Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors, insurance agents, religious workers–in order to arrest longtime US residents who have no criminal history. Jacqueline Stevens has reported a web-exclusive companion piece on ICE agents’ ruse operations.

Pendergraph knew that ICE could disappear people, because he knew that in addition to the publicly listed field offices and detention sites, ICE is also confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices, many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants–nary a sign, a marked car or even a US flag. (Presumably there is a flag at the Department of Veterans Affairs Complex in Castle Point, New York, but no one would associate it with the Criminal Alien Program ICE is running out of Building 7.) Designed for confining individuals in transit, with no beds or showers, subfield offices are not subject to ICE Detention Standards. The subfield office network was mentioned in an October report by Dora Schriro, then special adviser to Janet Ann Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, but no locations were provided.

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Claremont man who aided migrants convicted for littering

When Walt Emrys Staton stumbled upon a migrant mother, Concepcion, carrying her daughter Jessica, 9, along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, they’d been lost for days and had no food or water.

“The daughter was crying, `I’m sorry, mom, this is my fault,”‘ Staton said. “It’s heartbreaking to see that.”

Passion to help those in need, regardless of their immigration status, has enticed the Claremont School of Theology student to drop off jugs of water along the trails used by border crossers to enter the United States illegally.

But when he got arrested for littering last year, that same passion has also prompted him to refuse to pay a $175 fine and fight his case in a federal court.

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Activists warn immigrant bus passengers of Border Patrol actions

Immigrant-rights advocates are urging travelers to avoid Inland Greyhound stations because of U.S. Border Patrol arrests there.

At a news conference at the San Bernardino Greyhound station, members of several groups, including the San Bernardino Community Services Center and the Immigration Raids Rapid Response Network, said they are advising immigrants of the danger of using Greyhound and other bus stations. They said they’re also contacting out-of-state organizations to warn travelers passing through the area.

Border Patrol agents have arrested people at Greyhound stations in Riverside and Claremont, and they’re at the San Bernardino station nearly every day, said Emilio Amaya, executive director of the services center. They also have visited the terminals of smaller bus companies in the Inland area, Amaya said.

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Latinos a Young, Growing Demographic

New York – A new study by the Pew Research Center reveals that the median age of Latinos in the United States is 27 years, making them the youngest ethnic group in the country, reports Univision. By comparison, the median is 31 for African-Americans, 36 for Asian ethnic groups and 41 for whites. The study also concluded that two-thirds of all Latinos aged 16 to 25 in the country were born in the United States, a challenge to the perception that a majority of Latinos are immigrants. The study, based on a survey of 16 to 25 year old Latinos, also revealed that 52 percent of respondents identify themselves with their parent’s country of origin, while just 24 percent identify with the United States.

Sheriff Joe Walks Out After Interrupted by Singers, Protesters Occupy Lobby

Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio walked out of an interview on Monday. Arizona State University‘s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication held a “First Amendment” forum at which Arpaio faced some hard questions. But he had an even harder time dealing with the people who started singing the “Immigration Rhapsody” and wouldn’t stop.Prior to the song, other anarchists entered the lobby of the building and held a speak-out to share stories of racial profiling. News was shared that the sheriff had been shut down, after which the Haymarket Squares performed a few songs in the lobby before the crowd exited the building.

During the song, sung to the tune of the “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Arpaio walked off stage and wouldn’t continue the interview even though the singers left and there were 12 minutes left of the forum. The song received a lot of press coverage, but the message was not shared adequately.

More text, photos and videos at Why We Sang Sheriff Joe off the Stage and Anarchists, students, and pissed off people come out swinging at Arpaio’s ASU appearance

Nazi pigs in Riverside

Three neo-Nazis unfurled large swastika flags outside a Riverside synagogue on Oct. 2 as congregants gathered inside for Shabbat and Sukkot prayers.

The incident was one of several recent encounters between members of the Riverside chapter of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) and the local community. The group is planning a rally in Riverside this weekend, its second in four weeks, to protest illegal immigration. Hundreds of counter-protesters are preparing to oppose them.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer of Temple Beth El said the neo-Nazis paraded on the sidewalk adjacent to the synagogue during the service, leaving only after the last congregant had exited the building. She described the mood inside the synagogue as one of disgust and anger.

Beth El member Kevin Akin, who was present that evening, said the protesters used cell phones to photograph worshippers on their way out.

The neo-Nazis did not come onto synagogue property, Singer said.

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