8/9: Support the bill to protect pesticide drift victims by UFW!! and More!
- Support the bill to protect pesticide drift victims
An Appeal from United Farm Workers
August 9, 2004
Please join the United Farm Workers in supporting SB 391, the Pesticide Drift
Exposure Response Act, by California state Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter). SB
391 will be debated this Wednesday in the Assembly Appropriations. If passed,
from there will go to the Assembly Floor for a final vote.
This bill is very important, ensuring that victims of pesticides drifting
from field to field receive immediate and proper medical treatment. Many victims
have been misinformed or mistreated by emergency responders and left with
hundreds of dollars in medical expenses that are never reimbursed. SB 391 would
prevent mistreatment of these victims and guarantee immediate and proper
responses to pesticide drift incidents.
Please send your e-mail today!
Please go to the webpage:
Also, the latest news on immigrant issues in America..
Trucker Accused of Smuggling Immigrants
By LISA FALKENBERG
.c The Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A trucker accused of cramming 79 illegal immigrants,
including 14 children, into his trailer on a hot summer day was ordered to
remain jailed Monday.
Roger Alvin Auxter, 52, was stopped Sunday on Interstate 20 in Fort Worth.
None of the immigrants, all from Mexico, appeared to be hurt.
Auxter, of El Paso, was held on a criminal complaint that he illegally
transported immigrants into the country. A judge ordered him detained until his
preliminary hearing Thursday.
``The biggest thing that stands out is the number and the time of year,''
federal prosecutor Chris Wolfe said. ``They're inside a trailer, it's August and
Auxter's lawyer declined to comment, saying he had not yet spoken with his
The 53-foot-long truck was taking the immigrants from El Paso to Dallas when
state trooper John Forrest noticed the vehicle did not have required state
numbers and had nothing identifying a trucking company. Auxter also had no valid
driver's license, officers said.
``Anybody doing commercial vehicle enforcement who saw this truck would have
stopped it,'' Forrest said. ``It may as well have had a big red sign saying,
`Pull me over.' This guy was set up exclusively to transport people.''
A Fort Worth police officer who was working with Forrest pulled the truck
over for an inspection.
``I wasn't expecting to see a whole truckload of people,'' said the officer,
Otto Janke. ``Nobody inside was making a sound. At first, I thought it was 15,
20, maybe 30 people. It was just packed.''
He said the trailer was unventilated and hot, but the immigrants inside had
drinking water and appeared to be in good shape. Outside temperatures at the
time were in the upper 70s.
Wolfe said Auxter could be indicted within 30 days. He said he was unsure
whether other defendants will be charged.
The immigrants included 14 children between ages 3 and 17, according to the
criminal complaint. The complaint said the immigrants were taken to El Paso
then guided into a trailer by a smuggler. Each paid about $1,500 to the smugglers.
The immigrants will likely be returned to Mexico, police said.
On July 18, Forrest found 26 men and four women inside a trailer hauling soft
drinks to North Carolina. Two truckers are accused in that case.
Last year, 19 people were found dead when a tractor-trailer packed with more
than 70 illegal immigrants was abandoned at a truck stop near the south Texas
town of Victoria. A smuggler pleaded guilty in June and faces a maximum
penalty of life in prison at her sentencing Sept. 13.
08/09/04 20:55 EDT
6th Immigrant Crossing Ariz. Desert Sought
.c The Associated Press
GILA BEND, Ariz. (AP) - Five illegal immigrants died after crossing the
border into southern Arizona's treacherous desert and authorities searched Monday
for a sixth.
``We're hoping to find him or her alive,'' said Andy Adame, a spokesman for
the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, which covers most of the Arizona-Mexico
Two adults and two juveniles survived. They and the other six had become
stranded in the rugged terrain Sunday after crossing the border. Temperatures
soared over 100 degrees.
One of the survivors was a Mexican man who sought help Sunday morning at a
ranch west of Gila Bend, about 75 miles north of the border, Adame said.
Over the next several hours, Border Patrol search crews found four dead
migrants and a fifth who died while en route to a hospital. Two of the dead were
It was the deadliest border crossing in Arizona since May 2001, when Border
Patrol agents found 14 dead immigrants on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife
Refuge near Yuma. Twelve others survived that crossing, including a smuggler.
More than 115 illegal immigrants have been found dead since Oct. 1 in the
Arizona desert, the busiest illegal entry point along the U.S.-Mexico border.
``It surprises me that we have not had more deaths in large groups,'' said
the Rev. Robin Hoover, founder of Humane Borders, a group that puts water in the
desert for illegal crossers.
A record 154 immigrants died sneaking into Arizona in the 2003 fiscal year
that ended Sept. 30, most of them succumbing to the desert heat.
The single-deadliest border crossing in Arizona history occurred in May 2001,
when Border Patrol agents found 14 dead immigrants on the Cabeza Prieta
National Wildlife Refuge near Yuma. Twelve others survived, including a smuggler.
Adame said he didn't know how long the group found Sunday had been in the
desert. He also didn't know their nationalities, except for the man who went for
Three of the immigrants were hospitalized and were expected to survive, said
Adame. One of them, a woman, was taken to a Phoenix hospital, where she was
reported in stable condition. Officials wouldn't release further details Monday.
It was unclear where the others were taken.
The man who reported the group was treated for dehydration and didn't require
hospitalization. He was in Border Patrol custody Monday, along with one of
one of the three other survivors, who had been released from the hospital, Adame
On the Net:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/enforcement/
08/09/04 15:14 EDT
Immigrants Raise Call for Right to Be Voters
By RACHEL L. SWARNS
New York Times
Published: August 9, 2004
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 - For months, the would-be revolutionaries plotted
strategy and lobbied local politicians here with the age-old plea, "No
taxation without representation!" Last month, some of the unlikely
insurgents - Ethiopian-born restaurateurs, travel agents and real estate
developers in sober business suits - declared that victory finally seemed
Five City Council members announced their support for a bill that would
allow thousands of immigrants to vote in local elections here, placing the
nation's capital among a handful of cities across the country in the
forefront of efforts to offer voting rights to noncitizens.
"It will happen,'' said Tamrat Medhin, a civic activist from Ethiopia who
lives here. "Don't you believe that if people are working in the community
and paying taxes, don't you agree that they deserve the opportunity to
Calling for "democracy for all," immigrants are increasingly pressing for
the right to vote in municipal elections. In Washington, the proposed bill,
introduced in July, would allow permanent residents to vote for the mayor
and members of the school board and City Council.
In San Francisco, voters will decide in November whether to allow
noncitizens - including illegal immigrants - to vote in school board
elections. Efforts to expand the franchise to noncitizens are also bubbling
up in New York, Connecticut and elsewhere. Several cities, including
Chicago, and towns like Takoma Park, Md., already allow noncitizens to vote
in municipal or school elections.
But in most cities, voting remains a right reserved for citizens, and the
prospects for the initiatives in Washington and San Francisco remain
uncertain. The proposals have inspired fierce opposition from critics who
say the laws would undermine the value of American citizenship and raise
security concerns in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Washington's mayor, Anthony Williams, has expressed his support for
extending voting rights to permanent residents, but has yet to garner a
majority of supporters on the 13-member City Council. In San Francisco,
critics have questioned whether the law would violate the state's
In this city, where Ethiopian restaurants and El Salvadoran travel agents
dot many urban streets, advocates argue that permanent residents are paying
taxes and fighting and dying for the United States as soldiers in Iraq while
lacking a voice in local government. They describe the ban on immigrant
voting as akin to the kind of taxation without representation that was a
major cause of the American Revolution.
They also note that the United States has a long history of allowing
noncitizens to vote. Twenty-two states and federal territories at various
times allowed noncitizens to vote - even as blacks and women were barred
from the ballot box - in the 1800's and 1900's.
Concerns about the radicalism of immigrants arriving from southern and
Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led states to
restrict such voting rights. By 1928, voting at every level had been
restricted to United States citizens. Today, some argue, those rights should
be restored to noncitizens.
"They're paying taxes, they're working, they're contributing to our
prosperity,'' said Jim Graham, the councilman who introduced the bill here.
"And yet they're not able to exercise the franchise.
"This is part of our history. A lot of people don't know what the history of
this nation is in terms of immigrant voting; they don't understand even that
localities can determine this issue. It's a very healthy discussion.''
Critics counter that the proposed laws would make citizenship irrelevant and
pledges of allegiance to the United States meaningless. It is a touchy
political issue, particularly in an election year when many politicians
across party lines are lobbying for support from Hispanic voters, and many
politicians have tried to sidestep it altogether.
Democrats have most often sponsored the initiatives, but some also oppose
them. In Washington, where Congress has the right to override city laws,
some Republicans said they would try to overturn the immigrant voting bill
if it passed.
"Is it really too much to ask that American citizenship be a prerequisite
for voting in American elections?'' Representative Tom Tancredo, Republican
of Colorado, asked in a letter to members of Congress last month.
"One of the things that differentiates American citizenship from simple
residency is the right to vote,'' said Mr. Tancredo, who rallied opposition
to the bill. "The passage of this measure would not only blur that
distinction, it would erase it - allowing as many as 40,000 aliens in the
District of Columbia to vote.''
In San Francisco, some critics have also argued that the proposals raise
security concerns. Louise Renne, a former city attorney in San Francisco and
a longtime critic of the concept, recently raised the question of whether
terrorists would soon be allowed access to the polls. "If noncitizens can
vote,'' she asked reporters, "can Osama bin Laden vote in a school
Advocates for noncitizen voting rights dismiss concerns about threats to
national security, noting that several countries, including Belgium and
Ireland, allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. New Zealand allows
permanent residents to vote in local and national elections.
They argue that immigrants will still aspire to citizenship because it is
the only way they can vote in federal elections. And having the right to
vote, they argue, will help noncitizens feel more politically engaged and
committed to this country.
"A lot of communities are not represented by representatives who reflect the
diversity in their communities and are responsive to their needs,'' said Ron
Hayduk, a professor of political science at the Borough of Manhattan
Community College and an advocate for immigrant voting rights. "It raises
basic fundamental questions about democracy.''
In Washington, Connie Mann, a 44-year-old permanent resident from Namibia,
is already dreaming of voting for the mayor. Sergio Luna of Guatemala, a
community outreach specialist for the city, hopes to improve this city's
struggling schools, where his son is a student. "If we have the opportunity
to vote for the school board, the Council and the mayor, we'll be making
some changes,'' he said.
Mr. Graham, who was applauded by his Ethiopian supporters last week for
introducing the voting legislation here, says he believes the bill will
become law, even if it not this year. He says he needs the support of only
two more members of the Council and is working to woo them, even if that
means reintroducing the legislation next year. Lobbying Congress, he said,
would be the next step. "This is not a 50-yard dash issue,'' he said. "This
is an issue you just have to keep working on.''
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
August 27 Immigrant Workers Day of Action and Speak Out!
First of the week-long Counter RNC Mobilization in New York City
Friday, August 27 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
New York City, NY
Information Hotline: (212)330-8172
Sponsered by National Immigrant Solidarity Network
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Coalition, National Immigrant Solidarity Network and US-Mexico Border Actions
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