February 29, 2008

‘Virtual Fence’ Along Border To Be Delayed: U.S. Retooling High-Tech Barrier After 28-Mile Pilot Project Fails

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WashingtonPost.com

‘Virtual Fence’ Along Border To Be Delayed: U.S. Retooling High-Tech Barrier After 28-Mile Pilot Project Fails

The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

Though the department took over that initial stretch Friday from Boeing, authorities confirmed that Project 28, the initial deployment of the Secure Border Initiative network, did not work as planned or meet the needs of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The announcement marked a major setback for what President Bush in May 2006 called “the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history.” The virtual fence was to be a key component of his proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration policies, which died last year in the Senate.

Investigators for the Government Accountability Office had earlier warned that the effort was beset by both expected and unplanned difficulties. But yesterday, they disclosed new troubles that will require a redesign and said the first phase will not be completed until near the end of the next president’s first term.

Those problems included Boeing’s use of inappropriate commercial software, designed for use by police dispatchers, to integrate data related to illicit border-crossings. Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software.

In an interview, Gregory L. Giddens, the department’s executive director for the border effort, confirmed that “we . . . have delayed our deployment as we work through the issues on Project 28. While there is clear urgency of the mission, we also want to make sure we do this right.”

Boeing has said that the initial effort, while flawed, still has helped Homeland Security apprehend 2,000 illegal immigrants since September. It estimated in 2006 that it would spend $7.6 billion through 2011 to secure the entire 2,000-mile southern border, an ambition that was meant to win support from conservatives for legislation creating a guest-worker program and a path to legalization for 12 million illegal immigrants.

But officials said yesterday that they now expect to complete the first phase of the virtual fence’s deployment — roughly 100 miles near Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Tex. — by the end of 2011, instead of by the end of 2008. That target falls outside Boeing’s initial contract, which will end in September 2009 but can be extended.

The virtual fence was to complement a physical fence that the administration now says will include 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers to be completed by the end of this year. The GAO said this portion of the project may also be delayed and that its total cost cannot be determined. The president’s 2009 budget does not propose funds to add fencing beyond the 700 or so miles meant to be completed this year.

“The total cost is not yet known,” testified Richard M. Stana, the GAO’s director of homeland security issues, because DHS officials “do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land.”

The pilot virtual fence included nine mobile towers, radar, cameras, and vehicles retrofitted with laptops and satellite phones or handheld devices. They were to be linked to a near-real-time, maplike projection of the frontier that agents could use to track targets and direct law enforcement resources.

GAO investigators said that Boeing’s software could not process large amounts of sensor data. The resulting delays made it hard for operators in a Tucson command center 65 miles to the north to lock cameras on targets. Radar systems were also triggered inadvertently by rain and other environmental factors. Cameras had trouble resolving images at five kilometers when they were expected to work at twice that distance, Stana said.

He added that the system was developed with “minimal input” from Border Patrol agents, resulting in an unworkable “demonstration project” instead of a operating pilot system. He blamed the DHS for acting too hastily in trying to deliver a working pilot by last June.

The effort produced “a product that did not fully meet user needs, and the project’s design will not be used as the basis for future . . . development,” Stana testified, adding that the DHS plans to replace most of the components. The Wall Street Journal said Saturday that Boeing’s pilot project will not be replicated.

A nongovernment source familiar with the project said that the Bush administration’s push to speed the project during last year’s immigration debate led Boeing to deploy equipment without enough testing or consultation.

With more time, the source said, equipment and software will be tested more carefully and integrated with input from Border Patrol agents in three remote locations. “Doing it this way mitigates all kinds of risk,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Those running the project “basically took equipment, put it on towers and put it out there without any testing as such” because of the tight deadline.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that the department will “take elements” of the pilot project and apply them elsewhere, but that it plans to expand the number of mobile ground surveillance units from a handful to 40, and to double its fleet of three unmanned aerial vehicles. Boeing has offered DHS a $2 million credit from the funds it has already received.

Technology at the border is “not necessarily going to be in the configuration of P28,” Chertoff said, adding that unmanned aerial systems in particular “will play a major role” in most border areas.

Boeing spokeswoman Deborah Bosick said the company is referring all questions to the DHS.

HERE

My Marietta Daily Journal column today: Official English resolution to be reconsidered

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Below is my MDJ column today. I have added a few hyperlinks to educate the reader.

D.A. King: Official English resolution to be reconsidered

Published: 02/29/2008

By D.A. King
Guest Columnist

Some bad news: The United States has no official language.

More bad news: On Tuesday under the Gold Dome in Atlanta, a House Resolution that would allow citizens to vote in November on amending the Georgia constitution to make English the official language of state government failed to pass.

When you read that “things are changing in Georgia”, remember this one.

Because it deals with amending the constitution, pro-English Americans needed a two thirds majority, 120 votes, to allow HR 413 to move on to the Senate. The resolution fell 17 votes short of the minimum for passage.

The good news: Because a reconsideration vote was successful the next day, HR 413 will likely be voted on again.

It should be repeated, over and over: HR 413 does not amend the Georgia constitution to make English the official language. It merely allows the Georgia voters to make that decision at the ballot box.

When people tell you that things are changing in Cobb County, remember this: Five state Representatives from Cobb voted “no” on HR 413. When you are told that things are changing in the Grand Old Party, remember this: One of them, Judy Manning, is a Republican.

When the Wednesday vote to decide on future reconsideration was held, the same Georgia Representatives again voted “no”. Several Republicans from across the state did not vote at all.

A “new Georgia” indeed.

The legislators who voted to deny voters the opportunity to decide for themselves about English as a constitutionally official language says a lot about the current state of affairs in Georgia, and even more about what immigration – both legal and illegal – is doing to our state.

Despite the fact that we currently have a meaningless law – but not a constitutional mandate – making English the official Georgia language, the Associated Press reports that in today’s Georgia, the written test to obtain a Georgia driver’s license is given in sixteen languages. A number that is growing nearly every year.

Laws have been known to be ignored – immigration and employment laws for example.

Amazingly, for now, the 104 page manual to study for the test is only offered in English.

If you are wondering how someone who needs to take the driver’s license test in Russian, Spanish, Arabic or Laotian can study the rules of the Georgia road – in what is for them a foreign language (English), you are in a very large group. If you are thinking that it may represent a public safety hazard to grant a driver’s license to someone who can’t read the signs while whizzing past them on I-285, well…me too.

Be ready for the name calling if you lack the political correctness to remain silent on these concerns. Or what the financial cost will be when the sure to come demands that the manual be printed in multiple languages begin.

Besides the old stand-by epithets like (yawn) “nativist” and “xenophobic”, the fierce resistance to the resolution in committee meetings at the Capitol involved angry accusations that the English for government legislation is clearly – and I can not make stuff like this up – “ill-conceived”, “anti-immigrant”, “anti-Latino” “anti-refugee”, and among other equally mindless points, a “ploy” to get voters to the polls in November.

Apparently voters going to the polls is a bad thing?

My two personal favorite talking points on why the resolution should not pass are that amending the constitution to make English the official language of Georgia would be “divisive” – from Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and “mean-spirited” – from an editorial writer at the Atlanta newspaper.

The controversy also says a lot about the agenda of the business community.

While the most verbal and obvious lobbying against HR 413 is coming from the usual suspects – the open borders anti-English crazies in the ethno-centric activist groups who advocate for illegal aliens – according to many state Reps, the most effective non-stop pressure to vote “no” is coming from the business lobby.

Knowing English to drive in Georgia is one too many hoops to jump through for their imported foreign workers it seems.

Had anyone proposed such a resolution twenty years ago, not many doubt that it would have flown unimpeded through the legislature – right after puzzled legislators asked with more than a little incredulous curiosity why anyone would regard it as necessary.

Sadly, in 21st century Georgia, House Resolution HR 413 is now necessary.

We should all take a few minutes from our day to do what we can to encourage its passage.

Si?

February 28, 2008

your time to take this country over Lopez said….

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El Paso Times

1,200 hear George Lopez back Obama

…”It is the time of the Latino, your time to step up, your time to take this country over,” Lopez said, eliciting applause. “But si se puede doesn’t mean anything unless you go out and make it happen.” — Lopez also spent a few minutes chatting with students after making his formal pitch for Obama.

HERE

February 27, 2008

Illegal alien fugitive admits raping child while looking for a better life

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Dayton Daily News

Illegal alien fugitive admits raping child

Hamilton, Ohio — A Hamilton man on the run for two years after being charged in connection with the rape of a child has pleaded guilty to that crime — Louis Bonilla, originally from El Salvador, entered the plea Monday, Feb. 25, before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers. …HERE

AN OPEN LETTER TO GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN HANK JOHNSON ON HIS RESPONSE TO A VOTER ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND AMNESTY-AGAIN

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My letter to Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson . A reader sent me a response letter from his office that just hit wrong today.
Johnson replaced Cynthia McKinney.

I hear he is somewhat smarter.

27 February 2008

Congressman Johnson,

Your form letter to a voter (below) on solutions to the organized crime of illegal immigration and employment brilliantly illustrates either your lack of awareness – or your unwillingness to face the facts. Either way, it proves that you sir, are part of the problem. If you feel better that much of Congress and the president are also part of the problem… don’t.

We have proven that legalization does not stop illegal immigration or illegal employment ( we had an amnesty in 1986 and several thereafter, please look it up).

Since the mid nineties, in San Diego, we have also proven that a fence works – that radical right winger Bill Clinton built a border fence there that stopped illegal immigration by a factor of about 90% and reduced crime on both sides of the border. Please have a staffer check this out as well.

Increasing immigration is national suicide. We are taking in far too many immigrants already. The prediction is that we will have a population of about 450 million in 2050 ( most Americans regard this as bad news Congressman).

Maybe you haven’t heard, at more than a million a year, we take in more immigration than any other nation on the planet. Here in Atlanta, we were running out of water long before the current drought. There are plans to make I-75 twenty- three lanes wide to accommodate the traffic we suffer with each day. Our children are being schooled in temporary buildings because we cannot keep up with the population boom caused mostly by immigration. Ask some of your voters around the district. Assimilation is not working so well in today’s America. English is an optional language and we are called names for saying that the rule of law should be applied equally.

As we were taught in the sixties.

No one who has read the constitution or bill of rights has been able to find a civil right to be an illegal alien or an illegal employer. We also can see that civil rights are for those pesky citizens. No one has found a loophole in the oath of office that you and all of our government officials have taken to obey the law and defend the constitution.

On the silly myth that it is impossible to deport illegals: Most of us can plainly see that if Mexico can move millions of illegal aliens into the U.S. – we can move them out ( like Mexico does with its own illegal aliens). There is no one -way valve on the border. I’ve been there many times.

It is not necessary to deport all of the illegal aliens. As various states are proving all over the nation, enforcement works. Where the law is being enforced, illegal aliens are leaving. The concept has a name: Attrition through enforcement. Ask a staffer.

You should go and speak to the Americans – of all descriptions – who live on our southern border about their life without security. Ask them about the fearless and murderous Mexican drug smugglers who control the border corridors. While you are there, ask the local sheriffs and Border Patrol Agents about apprehending illegal aliens from middle east countries which sponsor terrorism.

Ask them if they think there is a price that is “prohibitive” involved in securing America and ridding ourselves of the potential terrorists and the taxpayer subsidized black market labor that you protect for your campaign donors in the name of reason and lack of practicality.

We were attacked in 2001, please have a staffer look up “war on terror” and “securing the homeland”.

We already have a no cost federal system of verifying the eligibility of newly hired employees – it is called E-VERIFY. It works. Please have a staffer check this out. Or ask a corporate lobbyist at lunch about how this system became voluntary when implemented.

Ask an American military veteran who has been placed in VA category 8g about the no cost medical care he/she was promised as a recruit. These vets have been held up to a VA means test and have been told that they are not eligible for their promised free medical care. Ask them about their tax dollars going to pay for the medical care of the illegal aliens – no questions asked – you say we cannot deport.

Ask me. I am a fifty-five year -old category 8g vet.

I urge you to expand your talking points beyond the mindless pabulum provided by LaRaza/MALDEF and the rest of the un-American open borders coalition of corporate America and the far left.

YUCK Congressman.

D.A. King

Marietta, Georgia

President, the Dustin Inman Society

www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org

February 26, 2008

Dear Ms. ****

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding illegal immigration. I welcome feedback from my constituents and appreciate your interest.

The Senate’s recent attempt to draft and pass comprehensive immigration reform revealed the contentious and complicated nature of the issue. Unfortunately, the defeat of the bipartisan proposal means the nation is no closer to resolving the immigration problem or improving immigration policy. That is why a compromise must be reached and comprehensive reform must be adopted.

First, the flow of illegal immigrants must be stopped. This can be achieved by training and deploying more agents to the border. Deporting the millions of unlawfully present immigrants is not a viable option; the identification, apprehension, and removal of millions of individuals is impractical, invasive, and prohibitively expensive.

Next, Congress must act to eradicate the backlog of immigrant applications to ensure legal avenues exist for individuals who desire to come to the U.S. for legitimate reasons. And we must also make available resources for companies to verify the immigration status of foreign workers so they can avoid hiring illegal employees. Preventing and prosecuting the hiring of undocumented workers without a national database to verify social security numbers makes law enforcement difficult if not impossible.

I know the immigration debate is far from over, yet a solution must be reached. As your congressman, I will work toward brokering a comprehensive solution to the immigration problem.

I am always eager to hear your concerns and look forward to working with you in the future. For more information, please visit my office online at HankJohnson.House.gov. Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Hank Johnson

HOUSE VOTE ON HR 413

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HERE

February 26, 2008

What if : American immigration laws were as tough as….MEXICO’S?

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From Human Events online 2006

Mexico’s Immigration Law: Let’s Try It Here at Home
by J. Michael Waller (more by this author)
05/08/2006 ET

Mexico has a radical idea for a rational immigration policy that most Americans would love. However, Mexican officials haven’t been sharing that idea with us as they press for our Congress to adopt the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill.

That’s too bad, because Mexico, which annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States does, has much to teach us about how it handles the immigration issue. Under Mexican law, it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.

At a time when the Supreme Court and many politicians seek to bring American law in line with foreign legal norms, it’s noteworthy that nobody has argued that the U.S. look at how Mexico deals with immigration and what it might teach us about how best to solve
our illegal immigration problem. Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are:

in the country legally;
have the means to sustain themselves economically;
not destined to be burdens on society;
of economic and social benefit to society;
of good character and have no criminal records; and
contributors to the general well-being of the nation.
The law also ensures that:

immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;
foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;
foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal politics;
foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;
foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;
those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.
Who could disagree with such a law? It makes perfect sense. The Mexican constitution strictly defines the rights of citizens — and the denial of many fundamental rights to non-citizens, illegal and illegal. Under the constitution, the Ley General de Población, or
General Law on Population, spells out specifically the country’s immigration policy.

It is an interesting law — and one that should cause us all to ask, Why is our great southern neighbor pushing us to water down our own immigration laws and policies, when its own immigration restrictions are the toughest on the continent? If a felony is a
crime punishable by more than one year in prison, then Mexican law makes it a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.

If the United States adopted such statutes, Mexico no doubt would denounce it as a manifestation of American racism and bigotry.

We looked at the immigration provisions of the Mexican constitution. [1] Now let’s look at Mexico’s main immigration law.

Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society:

Foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32)
Immigration officials must “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents. (Article 34)
Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” when foreigners are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when “they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.” (Article 37)
The Secretary of Governance may “suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.” (Article 38)
Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country:

Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)
A National Population Registry keeps track of “every single individual who comprises the population of the country,” and verifies each individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)

A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).

Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned:

Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)
Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses” are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)
Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:

Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)
Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)
Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working with out a permit — can also be imprisoned.

Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population says,

“A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)
Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125)
Foreigners who “attempt against national sovereignty or security” will be deported. (Article 126)
Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law:

A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)
Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)
All of the above runs contrary to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United States. The stark contrast between Mexico’s immigration practices versus its American
immigration preachings is telling. It gives a clear picture of the Mexican government’s agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.

Let’s call Mexico’s bluff on its unwarranted interference in U.S. immigration policy. Let’s propose, just to make a point, that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member nations standardize their immigration laws by using Mexico’s own law as a model.

Entire article HERE.
This article was first posted at CenterforSecurityPolicy.org.

——————————————————————————–

1. “Mexico’s Glass House,” Center for Security Policy Occasional Paper, April 3, 2006.

Dr. Waller is vice president for Information Operations at the Center for Security Policy. A journalist and author, he brings expertise in terrorism, intelligence, the former Soviet Union and the Americas. He previously served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State.

February 25, 2008

Seven year-old American boy owes IRS backtaxes because of ID theft by yet another illegal alien lookng for a better life

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Chicago Daily Herald

Another Carpentersville resident’s identity stolen — this one 7 years old

Another Carpentersville resident has gotten a notice from the IRS, demanding back taxes on income. — The IRS says the resident owes taxes on $60,000. — Only this victim is 7. Yes, a second-grader. — He’s the latest Carpentersville resident, police said Friday, to fall victim to identity theft…

Centeno said he has used the Social Security card with the victim’s information to obtain a truck, three separate jobs, gas and electrical service for his home, a credit card, unemployment benefits twice for a total of six months, and over $60,000 in pay and services, police said.

Centeno said he bought the card for $50 from a friend and used it because he is in the country illegally, police said.

HERE.

February 24, 2008

The New York Times on the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act ( SB 529) from 2006

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From the way-back machine files

In Georgia Law, a Wide-Angle View of Immigration

By RICK LYMAN
Published: May 12, 2006
New York Times

ATLANTA — With dozens of states rushing to fill the vacuum left by long-stalled Congressional action on immigration legislation, none have rushed faster and further than Georgia, which recently passed a law that all sides describe as among the most far-reaching in the nation.

Rather than focusing tightly on restricting access to specific benefits or cracking down on employment or bogus identity documents, as other states tried to do, Georgia took the blunderbuss approach, passing a bill hitting as many areas as possible.

The new law requires Georgia employers to use a federal database to verify that their workers are legal, instead of using a voluntary system that was widely ignored. Recipients of most state benefits, including welfare and Medicaid, must prove they are in the country legally, although some medical services are exempt. Workers who cannot provide a Social Security number or other taxpayer identification will be required to pay a 6 percent state withholding tax, taken from their paychecks.

Jailers must inform the federal authorities if anyone incarcerated is in the country illegally, and the local authorities are specifically authorized to seek training to enforce federal immigration laws. And a new criminal offense, human trafficking, has been added to the books to crack down on those who bring in large groups of immigrants.

The bill, known as the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, was signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, on April 17 and will begin to take effect on July 1, 2007, with various provisions taking effect over the next several years.

Ann Morse, director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said no other state had gone so far as Georgia in trying to restrict immigrant benefits and rights since Proposition 187 in California (passed in 1994 and ruled unconstitutional four years later) and Proposition 200 in Arizona (passed in 2004). Both measure denied many social services to illegal immigrants.

“There are other bills in legislatures around the country that are somewhat comprehensive, but nothing as comprehensive as Georgia’s,” Ms. Morse said.

This came about, the bill’s author said, because Republican leaders in Georgia decided that public support was growing for such an initiative.

“We decided that the best thing to do was to take a lot of ideas and put them together in one bill,” said State Senator Chip Rogers, a Republican representing some of Atlanta’s far northern suburbs, who wrote the new law and spearheaded its passage. “The climate was certainly right.”

Everyone has a theory about why Georgia, of all the states, was the one to produce such a comprehensive bill on the issue. “You have to start with the fact that we have a very conservative Republican Legislature and a conservative Republican governor,” Mr. Rogers said. “And we are the state with the second fastest-growing immigrant population.”

Tisha Tallman, legal counsel for the Atlanta office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said something else was at work: the rise of the issue on the national stage, after several years of gradual ferment in the trenches, stirred by conservative talk shows.

“There has been legislation proposed the last two sessions, but it was not taken very seriously until this year,” she said. “A certain climate had been created over the last few years, and it resulted in the whole issue becoming more mainstream.”

State Senator Sam Zamarripa of Atlanta, an opponent of the new law who is the Democrats’ point man on the issue, said there was something more insidious at work: a coalition of opportunistic Republicans eager to exploit a fresh-edge issue in the November elections and anti-immigrant groups hungry for a success to build upon.

“In my opinion, the national anti-immigrant groups, the nativist organizations, basically picked Georgia as a place where they could try to devolve immigration,” he said. “They needed a state they could point to, and now they have one.”

D. A. King, a retired insurance salesman in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta who has become one of the most prominent voices for the new legislation, said he resented the accusations that the law was anti-immigrant. He is simply against illegal immigrants, he said, and Washington has failed to act.

“The Georgia legislation is a direct result of the federal government’s refusal to secure our borders in the war on terror and to get illegal immigration under control,” said Mr. King, adding that he had spent most of his savings and much of the last two years leafleting legislators, writing local newspaper columns and organizing more than a dozen protests.

No one can say for sure how many illegal immigrants live and work in Georgia. Estimates run from a quarter of a million to many hundreds of thousands more. What is known is that they are prevalent in certain industries, like agriculture, construction, poultry processing and carpet mills.

What surprised many of those on both sides of the issue was how silent the state’s business leaders were during the debate, even as national business groups had spoken against Washington legislation focused on employers of illegal workers.

Senator Rogers said this was partly a result of supporters of the bill reaching out to those who employed illegal immigrants in Georgia and shaping the bill to meet their objections. Even at the 11th hour, he said, changes were made so that some of the enforcement provisions deemed most onerous by business owners would not take effect for several years, giving them time to prepare.

Mr. King said he thought employers simply sensed the new public mood. “They could see the writing on the wall,” he said.

Wishful thinking, Senator Zamarripa said. He said business owners had been quite active behind the scenes getting those provisions of the bill softened to which they objected and having the rest deferred to later years, giving them time to push for superseding federal legislation.

“What you saw, I think, was a fairly typical business reaction, which was that they would not let this all play out in public,” Mr. Zamarripa said. “Instead, they turned it over to their lobbyists. A lot of stuff got pushed far into the future. The strategy was to delay implementation while they transferred their work to the national level.”

Without question, Mr. Rogers said, the bill changed through the session, and especially in the final days before it was passed. An initial provision to put a 5 percent tax on foreign cash wire transfers by those without proper residency documents was discarded, partly because some groups had complained, but also because it would have been unwieldy to enforce, he said.

HERE for entire article and photos.

February 22, 2008

VIDEO HERE The swimmer sings…and begs the question again: IS TEDDY KENNEDY INSANE?

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MSNBC
WARNING! – Disturbing video footage

Ted Kennedy panders and sings …en Español! HERE

The Massachusetts senator belts out a song while stumping for Obama in Texas.

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