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8/9: Support the bill to protect pesticide drift victims by UFW!! and More!

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    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,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2004
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      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
      .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
      it's dangerous.''

      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
      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
      within reach.

      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!
      webpage: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org

      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
      Web: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
      Information Hotline: (212)330-8172
      Sponsered by National Immigrant Solidarity Network

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