December 24, 2008

Illegal Mexican alien awaits sentence in sex trafficking

Posted by D.A. King at 4:33 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Illegal Mexican alien awaits sentence in sex trafficking


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Norcross man is awaiting federal sentencing — at least 15 years in prison — for his participation in a sex trafficking ring involving young Mexican women.

Francisco Cortes-Meza, 25, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, pleaded guilty last week to sex trafficking after forcing a 22-year-old woman, also an illegal immigrant, to work as a prostitute from a home in Norcross, according to immigration agents and a statement from David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. The sex trafficking offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

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Cortes-Meza met the young woman in Mexico last year and began a relationship with her, according to Nahmias. He then persuaded her to come to the United States, telling her she would work in a restaurant. He also smuggled her here, according to the statement from Nahmias.

Cortes-Meza’s case is part of a larger indictment handed up in July involving a brother of Cortes-Meza and two other relatives — all illegal immigrants from Mexico — as well as a man from Uruguay, who is a legal permanent resident of the United States. The five men were indicted on sex trafficking charges involving at least 10 victims, ranging in age from 14 to 28 years old, authorities said.

The women were frequently required to have sex with 20 to 30 men per night at a charge of $25, according to Nahmias. The majority of the prostitution was conducted in Norcross, but the Uruguayan man also ran an operation in Cartersville, said Brock Nicholson, Deputy Special Agent in charge of the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

All of the victims were illegal immigrants, Nicholson said.

The four remaining defendants are in federal custody awaiting trial.

The rest HERE

December 22, 2008

Enforcement works again! Illegal aliens leaving Colorado too!

Posted by D.A. King at 12:49 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Associated Press

Mexican consul: “Immigrants” leaving Colorado

Many Mexicans increasingly feel unwelcome in Colorado because of a perceived anti-[illegal alien] sentiment, and some are looking back home for opportunities as the economy here sours, Denver’s Mexican consul general says. — “What I’ve found is that in our communities, with few exceptions, there’s a sense that the state is not friendly toward immigrants… “


South Carolina cracking down on hiring illegal aliens

Posted by D.A. King at 12:44 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) Packet sc

South Carolina cracking down on hiring illegal aliens

The first phase of a new state law designed to prevent the hiring of illegal [aliens] by government entities takes effect Jan. 1. Other phases that apply to private businesses will get underway in mid-2009. — Over the next year and a half, South Carolina gradually will begin pushing all employers to use the U.S. DHS’s e-verify program


Mexicans going – and staying – home. Illegal immigration decreasing!

Posted by D.A. King at 12:44 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Austin American Statesman ( Texas) – this was also in the AJC print version today, but I don’t see it online

Mexican migrants brave recession at home

As hard times hit and many return, jobs are limited.
By Jeremy Schwartz


Sunday, December 21, 2008

MOGOTES, Guanajuato — Since he was a young man, Santiago Mosqueda, 46, has traveled to Atlanta to find work, leaving behind the poverty of his desolate hometown.

But with the U.S. economy shrinking, Mosqueda has recently decided to try his luck at home, scraping by on $10 a day from construction work and odd jobs around town.

He has crunched the numbers, and it doesn’t make sense to return to the United States now.

“I need to know that if I return I will have a job,” said Mosqueda, standing waist deep in a muddy pit as he shoveled dirt on a government water project. “I’m not going to pay $3,000 (to a human smuggler) and risk jumping the border if there’s not going to be a job. If there’s nothing up there, it’s better to see how things go down here.”

Mosqueda is among a growing number of undocumented workers in the U.S. returning to Mexico.

Just how many migrants have returned to Mexico or will do so is a matter of debate among the experts. But most analysts agree on one assessment: Mexico isn’t prepared to absorb a significant number of returnees.

The same grinding poverty that’s been sending migrants north for decades stubbornly endures, particularly in rural areas. The job market remains moribund; the country has shed tens of thousands of jobs in recent months, and business groups are predicting just 170,000 new jobs for 2009 in a country where about 1 million young people enter the work force each year.

Officials in many parts of Mexico are scrambling to prepare economic stimulus projects for returning migrants. Experts worry that the government’s proposed anti-crisis plans are too little, too late.

The town of Mogotes, in the state of Guanajuato, is typical. Like countless communities in Mexico, it is dotted with expansive homes built with migrant money and trucks with license plates from Texas and Florida. But there is precious little work for returnees.

Manuel Quiroz, a 37-year-old former undocumented migrant, has been trying to squeeze out a living since returning home three years ago from Colorado. He manages to find work just a couple of days a week. He fears an influx of his countrymen.

“If the economy keeps going down, then those without papers will come back, and there will be less opportunity for jobs here,” he said. “There will be more people, more hunger and less jobs.”

Local officials say a large wave of returning workers from the U.S. would mean a significant increase in the number of residents working in the informal sector — selling clothes, tacos and pirated DVDs for cash on street corners and in markets.

“We’re not prepared,” said Eleazar Cardenas, secretary of Valle de Santiago, the municipality that includes Mogotes.

Experts say that in some ways Mexico is in a worse position today to receive migrants than it was during the Great Depression, when about 400,000 migrants returned or were deported to Mexico.

In the 1930s, Mexico was embarking on a modernization that included vast public works projects, the building of factories in northern areas and agrarian reform that gave land to dispossessed farmers.

This time, several Mexican states have rushed to implement programs that would spur rural job development and help returning migrants use their savings to start businesses (migrant money creates about 20 percent of new small businesses in Mexico).

Those most likely to return, experts say, are more recent immigrants, people without papers who haven’t had time to develop a network of friends and countrymen to help them find increasingly scarce jobs in the United States.

But the scope of the returning migration is difficult to measure.

Officials and analysts have warned of a flood of as many as 3 million returnees, but most experts expect the return to be far smaller. So far, local officials say a massive return hasn’t materialized but warn that numbers could grow depending on the depths of the global recession.

“From my point of view, the numbers will be directly related to the crisis in the U.S.,” said Fernando Robledo Martinez, the director of migrant affairs in Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s traditional migrant-sending states.

More established migrants in the U.S. — those with homes, kids in school and extensive social contacts — will view Mexico as a last option, academics say. Those long-term migrants will look for jobs in other industries or move to different states before they see returning home as a viable option.

“They will resist until the last moment,” said Miguel Moctezuma Longoria, an immigration expert at the National Autonomous University of Zacatecas . “The question is, what are they returning to if there are no options?”

Meanwhile, fewer would-be migrants are leaving Mexico. From 2005 to 2007, the number of people emigrating fell 32 percent, according to Mexican government census figures.

Manuel Ramirez Garcia, who has periodically migrated to the U.S. for 38 years, said he has begun warning young people in his small ranching community in the state of Guanajuato not to go north, at least for the time being.

Ramirez, a legal resident of Bakersfield, Calif., said that in recent months he’s seen undocumented immigrants in the U.S. squeezing into apartments in groups of 10 or 12 to save on rent and making just enough to eat. “I tell the kids that it’s worse than if they had stayed” in Mexico, he said.

Mexico is undergoing a demographic boom of young, working-age people that demographers say will last for another 20 years.

Although countries such as South Korea and Taiwan used similar demographics to power their economies in the 1970s, Mexico continues to view migration as a necessary safety valve, experts say.

But harnessing the power of migrants might be the best hope for Mexico’s struggling countryside, where more than half the people continue to live in poverty, according to government numbers.

In the central state of Hidalgo, half the residents who leave to find work are 24 to 34 years old. Experts say the young adults are more likely to return home.

Earlier this year, Hidalgo began a project in which the state government matches migrant investments in new businesses.

So far, more than 150 migrants have taken advantage of government loans, building a variety of businesses, including greenhouses, hotels and a plastics factory. The Hidalgo government also helps would-be business owners develop business plans and market studies.

Still, many say that Mexican migrants will continue to find their place in the United States.

Huber Quiroz, who returned to Mogotes last month when he lost his landscaping job in Colorado, said he believes that eventually he’ll find work on the other side.

The rest HERE

December 20, 2008

Hilda Solis – bad for American workers: FAIR statement on Obama’s choice for Labor Secretary

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Federation for American Immigration Reform

FAIR statement on Obama’s selection of Solis for Labor Secretary

Dec. 18, 2008

WASHINGTON, Dec 18, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — In response to the selection of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) as Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration, Dan Stein, president of FAIR, issued the following statement:

“President-elect Obama’s selection of a labor secretary who has steadfastly opposed protecting American workers from the impact of millions of illegal aliens in our labor force is yet another blow to hard-working families who desperately need those jobs. Both in Congress and as a member of the California Legislature, Hilda Solis has vigorously opposed efforts to institute and enforce laws against employing illegal aliens.

“If confirmed, Rep. Solis will assume the helm of the Department of Labor at a time when American workers face the worst crisis in generations. The U.S. economy has lost 1.25 million jobs during the last three months, and that crisis is likely to be exacerbated as the effects of the announced Chrysler shut-down ripple across the economy.

“The Department of Labor has a critical role to play in developing and enforcing a system that holds all employers accountable for ensuring that the workers they hire are legally entitled to work in the U.S., in addition to ensuring that wage and safety standards are enforced. At a time when the nation is facing an unemployment crisis, we need a Labor secretary who is prepared to defend the interests of American workers, not an advocate for the rights of illegal aliens. Sadly, Rep. Solis’s record does not indicate that she will be the strong advocate desperate American workers need in their corner.

“We hope that as president, Mr. Obama will uphold the trust the voters placed in him and make protecting the jobs of American workers a top priority. With more than 10 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed, it is essential that the new president direct all cabinet officers to use the authority of the federal government to ensure that American jobs are filled by legal U.S. workers.”

Rep. Solis’s Record in Congress

Rep. Solis was a cosponsor in 2007 of H.R. 1645, the STRIVE Act. The STRIVE Act would have granted amnesty to an estimated 12 million illegal aliens and severely undermined the interests of U.S. workers. H.R. 1645 would have:
— Created a new H-2C guest worker visa, adding between 400,000 and 600,000
new foreign guest workers. These workers would have been permitted to
apply for permanent residency.
— Allowed employers to layoff American workers in order to hire H-2C
— Doubled the number of employment-based immigration visas.

Other key votes relating to the interests of American workers included:
— Support for allowing illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits.
— Opposition to REAL ID Act necessary to prevent illegal aliens from using
fake IDs to gain employment.
— Opposition to a measure to increase funding for E-Verify program.
— Support, as a member of the California Legislature, for driver’s
licenses for illegal aliens.

About FAIR
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest and oldest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

December 19, 2008

The Economist: Recession and the politics of (illegal) immigration and amnesty

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Recession and the politics of immigration
The Economist – December 18, 2008
The border closes
Dec 18th 2008 | LOS ANGELES
From The Economist print edition

Tougher enforcement and the recession have cut the flow of immigrants; but the state of the economy has made it harder to overhaul a broken system

UNTIL recently, most of the people who came to Emilio Amaya’s office in San Bernardino were working illegally. Now the flow of immigrants has slowed, and those who used to toil on building sites and in restaurant kitchens are taking long breaks to visit their relatives. Fortunately, a new line of business has emerged. Mr Amaya is helping people fill in forms that will enable them to move their possessions back to Mexico.

It is an abrupt reversal of a once seemingly inexorable trend. Ever since 2002, when America began to recover from a mild economic downturn, migrants both legal and illegal have streamed over the border. By 2006 Americans rated immigration as the nation’s second-most-important problem after the Iraq war, according to Gallup. A bold attempt to reform immigration laws the following year was scuppered by an extraordinary outburst of popular anger. Yet, almost at that moment, the problem began to go away.

The least desirable kind of immigrant has declined the most steeply. In the year to September 2008 724,000 fewer people were caught trying to cross into America from Mexico, the lowest annual tally since the 1970s (see chart). Border cops have naturally claimed credit for the drop. But the heavy hand of the law is probably much less of a deterrent than the invisible hand of the market.

Illegal immigrants often work as builders and landscapers, two trades that have collapsed along with the housing market. As the most casual workers in any industry, they are often laid off first. Although it is impossible to say how many are out of work, one clue comes from their closest competitors in the labour market. In the past year the unemployment rate among Hispanic Americans has risen from 5.7% to 8.6%. That is a steeper increase than for whites or blacks.

In some places, such as Arizona, tough penalties for companies that hire illegals have made the situation worse. Edmundo Hidalgo, who runs a Hispanic organisation in Phoenix, says employers who are prepared to wink at illegality in a tight labour market become more scrupulous when there are lots of workers to choose from. Not surprisingly, the Arizona border is particularly quiet these days. “Why risk your life to come and be unemployed?” asks Wes Gullett, who steered John McCain’s presidential campaign in Arizona.

Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Centre, estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in America fell by 500,000 between 2007 and 2008. Some left the country; others worked their way to legitimacy. Few were replaced. For the past three years, Mr Passel reckons, there has been more legal than illegal immigration—a reversal of the previous pattern. And even legal immigration may now be falling.

Gabriel Jack, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer, says companies are requesting fewer visas for foreign workers, although demand for the most popular permits still outstrips supply. Tourism and business travel seem to have declined, too. Fewer people are flying into and out of America than at this point last year, according to the International Air Transport Association. All of this changes the politics of immigration.

Tricky politics

During the presidential campaign Mr Obama promised to tackle immigration reform in his first year in office. He has a sound reason for keeping that promise: Latinos are solidly Democratic. Exit polls for CNN suggest that Mr Obama carried Hispanic voters by 28 points in Texas, 51 points in California and 54 points in Nevada. By 2012 the Hispanic electorate will be bigger and the heavily Latino Western states will command a few more electoral-college votes, thanks to the 2010 census, which will give extra congressional seats to the West.

The abrupt slowdown in human movement might seem to improve the odds that America’s broken immigration system will be overhauled soon. What do nativists have to fear, if fewer people are trampling the border and some undocumented workers are going home? In fact, though, immigration reform is becoming harder.

The immigration bill that died in 2007 would have legalised undocumented workers, stepped up enforcement of existing laws and increased the supply of immigrant workers. It was a compromise that offered something to liberals, Hispanics, conservatives and businessmen.

The recession has swept away the third part of the grand bargain. Even 18 months ago some Midwestern Democrats (including Mr Obama) were wary of a guest-worker programme. It will be extremely hard to sell an increase in foreign workers during a recession. Doris Meissner of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington notes that the last two major relaxations of immigration laws, in 1965 and 1990, both occurred at times of low unemployment.

If there is to be no grand bargain, lesser steps may be taken. Farmers, who have political clout and a perpetual hunger for cheap labour, may be allowed to hire more seasonal workers. “Americans still aren’t rushing to pick lettuces in 115º heat,” notes Glenn Hamer, president of Arizona’s chamber of commerce. The DREAM Act, which would enable some illegal aliens who were brought to America as children to become residents, may be revived.

But if no provision is made to increase the supply of foreign labour permanently, the immigration issue will come back once business picks up again. As Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA, a pressure group, puts it, efforts to secure the border and to police unscrupulous employers will have to compete against the dynamism of the world economy. Don’t count on the cops to win.


FastFact: Pew Hispanic Centre, estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in America fell by 500,000 between 2007 and 2008

Posted by D.A. King at 10:41 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Centre, estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in America fell by 500,000 between 2007 and 2008. Some left the country; others worked their way to legitimacy. Few were replaced. For the past three years, Mr Passel reckons, there has been more legal than illegal immigration—a reversal of the previous pattern. And even legal immigration may now be falling. HERE

December 18, 2008

Mesa Arizona to tighten ID checks on contractors

Posted by D.A. King at 11:42 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Mesa to tighten ID checks on contractors

East Valley (Arizona) Tribune

Mesa is in the final stages of implementing a worker verification program that will require more detailed information from city contractors about each of their workers, and any of them requiring a security badge access to city buildings will have to show a federally authorized identification card, Mayor Scott Smith said at a media availability Monday.

These measures are being taken to fill any gaps in preventing illegal immigrants from working in city buildings for private contractors, Smith said.

All contractors will have to provide a detailed list of employees and a sworn affidavit that their employees are legally present in the country.

Furthermore, Smith said that if Mesa has to give a contractor a security badge for an employee to gain access to the city buildings on non-regular hours, then the employee will have to provide a U.S.-authorized identification, such as an employment authorization card or a green card, or a state-issued identification card.

A Mexican government identity document called the matrícula consular, for instance, will not be accepted, Smith said.

Mesa could also randomly audit workers to check their identification.

These requirements will be put in place for existing and new contractors.

Smith said there are legal limits to how much information the city will be able to seek from the workers, and acknowledged that the documents could be forged, “but it’s the best we can do.”

The earlier policy was such that a contractor could make a blanket statement that they were following the state’s employer sanctions law, aimed to prevent employers from hiring illegal workers, and the city would take the contractor’s word for it. But arrests during raids on city buildings in October showed that some workers slipped through the cracks.

“That’s a gap that needs to be filled,” Smith said.

The announcement comes one month after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies raided Mesa municipal buildings, including City Hall, and arrested 16 employees of a Mesa contractor for alleged forgery and identity theft. Charges were filed against 11 employees.

The sheriff’s office had received a tip from a fired security official that illegal immigrants working for a city contractor, Management Cleaning Controls, were using fake identifications


It is past time for secure and verifiable ID in Georgia – here is text of what must be done

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Forty-seventh Legislature, First Regular Session


secure and verifiable identification


Prohibits law enforcement or other government agencies, commissions, boards or districts from accepting identification documents unless they are issued by a state or federal authority.


The U.S. visa is a document, obtained at any U.S. embassy or consulate, granting a non-U.S. traveler permission to apply for admission into the United States at a port of entry.

There are two types of visas, an immigrant visa and a nonimmigrant visa. Immigrant visas are for people who intend to live permanently in the United States. Nonimmigrant visas are for people who wish to visit the United States temporarily for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

The Matricula Consular is an identification card issued by the Mexican Government through its Consulate Offices. Every Mexican national, independent of his or her migratory status has the right to be registered by the Mexican Consulate within the jurisdiction where he resides. Some Mexican nationals who are present in the U.S. utilize the Matricula Consular as a form of identification. According to the Consulate General of Mexico, the Matricula Consular is used by law enforcement agencies to identify individuals, to obtain marriage licenses and copies of birth certificates of children born in Arizona and enroll children in school.

There is no fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.


1. Prohibits law enforcement, a department, agency, commission, board or districts of this state that require identification for services from accepting or recognizing any identification document unless the document was issued by a state or federal authority.

2. Requires the identification to be verifiable by a law enforcement or a homeland security agency.

3. Specifies that political subdivisions shall not rely on anything but verifiable identification for the purposes of issuing a form of identification, license, permit or official document.

4. Prohibits law enforcement services from being withheld because of the presentation of unverifiable identification.

5. Clarifies that exceptions can only be made as required by treaty or federal law or as it relates to any federally recognized tribal nation or for the purpose of reporting a crime.

6. Provides that any actions made knowingly in violation of the proposed statute are not protected by governmental immunity.

7. Contains definitions.

8. Becomes effective on the general effective date.

Prepared by Senate Research

February 14, 2005


December 16, 2008

Mexico opens help line for illegals to Arizona

Posted by D.A. King at 10:42 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  


Mexico opens help line for illegals to Arizona

Phoenix — The Mexican government has opened a special call center in Arizona to provide a sympathetic ear for citizens caught up in crackdown on illegal immigration in the desert state. — Officials at the Mexican consulate in Tucson said they opened the center last week. It is available 24-hours-a-day to field complaints from Mexican nationals about their treatment in the border state…


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