DHS Exercises Waiver Authority to Expedite Advancements in Border Security
- Press Release
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
DHS Exercises Waiver Authority to Expedite Advancements in Border Security
Release Date: April 1, 2008
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
All Segments Project Area - Final (PDF, 4 pages - 34 KB)
All Segments Waiver - Signed (PDF, 5 pages - 1.5 MB)
Hidalgo Waiver Project Area - Final (PDF, 1 page - 19 KB)
Hidalgo Fence Waiver - Signed (PDF, 4 pages - 1.2 MB)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today its intent to
issue two waivers of certain laws to expedite security improvements at
the southwest border. Congress gave the Secretary of Homeland Security
authority to waive all legal requirements necessary to expeditiously
install additional physical barriers and roads at the border to deter
"Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or
protracted litigation," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff. "Congress and the American public have been adamant that
they want and expect border security. We're serious about delivering
it, and these waivers will enable important security projects to keep
moving forward. At the same time, we value the need for public input
on any potential impact of our border infrastructure plans on the
environment and we will continue to solicit it."
One waiver applies to certain environmental and land management laws
for various project areas in Calif., Ariz., N.M., and Texas,
encompassing roughly 470 total miles. It will facilitate additional
pedestrian and vehicle fence construction, towers, sensors, cameras,
detection equipment, and roads in the vicinity of the border.
A separate waiver was signed for the levee-border barrier project in
Hidalgo County, Texas. This roughly 22-mile project will strengthen
flood protection in the area while providing the Border Patrol with
important tactical infrastructure. In addition to environmental and
land management laws, this waiver addresses other legal and
administrative impediments to completing this project by the end of
the calendar year.
A substantial portion of the project areas addressed by these waivers
have already undergone environmental reviews. In those areas where
environmental reviews have not yet occurred, the department will
conduct a review before any major construction begins. The department
remains deeply committed to environmental responsibility, and will
continue to work closely with the Department of Interior and other
federal and state resources management agencies to ensure impacts to
the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are
analyzed and minimized.
The department also places a high priority on interaction with, and
feedback from, local officials, landowners and community members about
border infrastructure project plans. Since May 2007, more than 600
individual landowners have been contacted and over 100 meetings with
local officials, public open houses and town halls have been held
along the southwest border.
The department has used its discretionary waiver authority on three
previous occasions. Certain environmental restrictions were waived on
Sept. 13, 2005 to complete a roughly 14-mile stretch of fencing, as
part of the Border Infrastructure System, near San Diego, California.
A second waiver of environmental restrictions was used for additional
border infrastructure near the Barry M. Goldwater Range in southern
Arizona on Jan. 12, 2007. A third waiver of environmental restrictions
was issued on Oct. 26, 2007, allowing the construction of border
infrastructure to move forward near the San Pedro National Riparian
Conservation Area in southern Arizona.
# # #
This page was last reviewed/modified on April 1, 2008.
also in this e-mail:
(1) Nearly 50 ... immigrants working as security guards arrested
(2) Ariz. Proposes Bill to Stop Loss of Migrant Workers : NPR
(3) R.I. Advocates Decry Immigration Order
(4) Truth in Immigration Website Launches!
(5) War of words heats up between Arpaio, Gordon
(6) Torrance, California RAIDS
(7) All Virginians deserve in-state tuition
(8) Forwarded Message: Nativist News for April 1, 2008
(9) Brown rejects calls to cap immigration (UK)
(10)Corridors of Migration [Book - by Rodolfo Acuna]
(11) AP - Feds to Bypass Laws to Build Fence
(12) VIDEO - "I think we should welcome all peaceful people to our
country," says Drew Carey. "They get to the pursue the 'American
Dream' and we get to benefit from all the wonderful things that
immigrants bring to our countrylike good old fashioned soccer. Sounds
like a pretty good deal to me."
copyright © 2004 - 2008 - reason.tv
(13) [NY] Hit And Run Investigated As Hate Crime
(14) Santa Rosa - Farmworkers march for better immigration [VIDEO]
(15) CNN.com - Commentary: Immigration's yin and yang, by Ruben
Special to CNN
(16) Vermont College helps African, Vietnamese and Bosnian refugees
(17) Chicago Public Radio - This American Life, Act Two. This American
(18) SF Chronicle - Mexican drug cartels move into human smuggling
(19) AP - ... Immigrants Often Die Anonymously
(20) ...anti-immigrant bills... introduced in the [CA] State
Legislature. Check out the ... list... here:
Santa Rosa - Farmworkers march for better immigration [VIDEO]
[go to original for video,
link - http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=6051261 ]
KGO San Francisco, CAHOME
Farmworkers march for better immigration
Sunday, March 30, 2008 | 7:18 PM
By Tomas Roman
SAN JOSE, CA (KGO) -- About 2000 people marched in Santa Rosa today to
celebrate the life and legacy of labor leader Cesar Chavez. This year,
the United Farm Worker's theme is immigration reform. They're working
to make Sonoma County a sanctuary county for illegal immigrants.
"Yes we can" has been the cry of the United Farm Workers Union for
more than 40 years. On, Sunday, on the eve of Cesar Chavez's 81st
birthday, the theme of this years UFW march is immigration reform.
"If Cesar was alive today he'd be out marching for immigration
reform," says Roberto Garcia of the Sonoma County UFW.
Garcia says the UFW wants amnesty for illegal immigrants and an end to
ICE, or Immigration Control and Enforcement raids. Much of today's
festive crowd is made up of farm workers and their children. Winery
worker Rosa Rubio says all she wants is to work.
"We are here because we want to live well. We don't want trouble,"
Jorge Deharo wants an end to raids that leave children without their
"We need to stop the police from stopping cars and taking away parents
leaving children alone on the streetsm" says Deharo.
Close to 2,000 people took part in Sunday's march .They gathered in
downtown Santa Rosa to commemorate the work that Cesar Chavez did for
farm workers and their families from starting the UFW in 1962 up until
his death in 1993.
The UFW says they would like Sonoma County to become a sanctuary
county. Because agricultural workers, legal and illegal, are so
important to the economy of the county some legislators are starting
to look at the issue.
"There is a nescient move just beginning to look at it. We're looking
at different models. We know that San Francisco has done it. We want
something we know is going to work and be effective," says Santa Rosa
City Council member Michael Allen.
Orlean Keohle of Eagle Forum, an immigration watchdog group, says
illegal immigrant means the person is breaking the law and should be
treated that way.
"Granted these people are trying to find some existence for their
lives, but if we can get laws that are enforced, they would be able to
have the ability to come here legally," says Keohle.
The UFW is also trying to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a national holiday.
(Copyright ©2008 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Farmworkers march for better immigration
About 2000 people marched in Santa Rosa today to celebrate the life
of labor leader Cesar Chavez. This year, the United Farm Worker's
immigration reform. They're working to make Sonoma County a sanctuary
____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
ABC7 News - Discover The Stories
Commentary: Immigration's yin and yang
By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Not long ago, I got an illuminating
e-mail from a woman who went off about how the federal government had
to stop the "invasion" of illegal immigrants from Mexico and how the
Mexican government had to stop its people from crossing into the
United States without proper documents.
It was a fairly common message -- except that, in this case, the woman
admitted that she herself had gotten in the habit of hiring Mexican
workers to do odd jobs around her house and that she assumed these
workers were here illegally.
But, she said unapologetically, this was work that she needed done
and, well, she said of the worker, "They're here anyway."
I love it. I printed the note and put it in a folder. Later, I
received another note -- this one from a leader of the Minuteman
Project who joked that he enjoyed reading my columns blasting people
such as him (really he did) because it gave him "something to do while
[his] illegal Mexican gardener" mowed his lawn.
I'm going to need a bigger folder.
The irony behind those messages comes to mind as more and more states
embark on a fool's errand: trying to take over the job of the federal
government and shape U.S. immigration policy.
From Mississippi to Alabama to Kansas to Indiana, state lawmakers are
considering hundreds of immigration-related proposals that do
everything from deny illegal immigrants driver's licenses to enlist
local police into the enforcement of federal immigration law.
It's all to show illegal immigrants that they aren't welcome. And yet,
most of the time, lawmakers never stop to think about the fact that
they wouldn't even have illegal immigrants in their state in the first
place if, somewhere along the line, someone in that state hadn't
already welcomed them with a job -- a job that, in many cases, other
state residents didn't want to do at any price.
Nor do lawmakers, or their constituents, seem all that willing to
acknowledge that illegal immigration is a self-inflicted wound and
that the communities, cities and states now complaining about being
overrun by illegal immigrants are the same ones that -- just a few
years ago -- couldn't wait to benefit from the cheap labor, economic
prosperity, increased tax base and construction booms that
immigration, even the illegal kind, makes possible.
It's hard to feel sorry for Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado;
Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; San Diego; Dallas,
Texas; and other cities that spent the last decade riding the tiger of
illegal immigration and have only recently begun to confront the
dangers in their addiction.
And many states still can't get enough immigrant workers to satisfy
their appetite. In fact, Arizona and Colorado are considering
launching guest-worker plans of their own because they're tired of
waiting for the federal government to come up with a proposal to
alleviate the labor shortage.
Some people are even talking about employers using Mexican consulates
to recruit foreign workers, as if they were glorified temp agencies.
Sooner or later, Americans are going to have to admit that enforcement
and employment are the yin and yang of immigration reform. We wouldn't
need so much of the former if you didn't have such an ample supply of
Just one more thing to think about while your lawn is being mowed.
Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the editorial board of the San
Diego Union-Tribune and a nationally syndicated columnist. Read his
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.
Find this article at:
© 2008 Cable News Network
The Associated Press
Vermont College helps African, Vietnamese and Bosnian refugees
By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press Writer | March 30, 2008
BURLINGTON, Vt. --
On the Net:
Champlain College: http://www.champlain.edu
© Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
Chicago Public Radio
This American Life
Act Two. This American Wife.
This American Life contributor Jack Hitt uncovers a strange practice
within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. If a foreign
national marries a U.S. citizen and schedules an interview for a green
card, but the U.S. citizen dies before the interview takes place, the
foreign national is scheduled for deportation with no appealeven if
the couple has children who are U.S. citizens. Jack talks with Brent
Renison, a lawyer who's representing over 130 people in this
situation, mostly widows, who are seeking to overturn the Immigration
Service's rule. (20 minutes)
Song: "Goodbye," The Postmarks
This article was sent to you by someone who found it on SFGate.
The original article can be found on SFGate.com here:
Monday, March 31, 2008 (SF Chronicle)
Mexican drug cartels move into human smuggling
David Francis, Chronicle Foreign Service
Fwd: RAIDS in Torrance, CA
>This morning, several raids took place in and around Torrance,
>Several worksites were raided today as part of an audit against Broadwaythese
>Solutions, a temp agency, including a company called Imperial CFS, Inc.
>Several individuals have been arrested and bused to a detention center.
>Join us in an urgent Press Conference in L.A's federal building to
>denounce the seperation of more families. We must let ICE know that this
>is not acceptable, and that the Raids must Stop NOW!
>We ask that you join us today at 2:00pm to stand in solidarity with
>workers and demonstrate our outrage for these raids!=========================
>WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE
>WHERE: Downtown Federal Building - 200 N. Main Street, Los Angeles CA
>Please continue to visit www.chirla.org for more information regarding
>this Immigration Raid.
War of words heats up between Arpaio, Gordon
Truth in Immigration Website Launches!
Truth in Immigration
The Minutemen - VIDEO
Nearly 50 illegal immigrants working as security guards arrested
DALLAS -- A task force led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
arrested nearly 50 illegal immigrants in weekend raids of mostly Latino
night clubs in Dallas, officials said Sunday...
Information from The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com
Brought to you by the HoustonChronicle.com
R.I. Advocates Decry Immigration Order
By MICHELLE R. SMITH
Ariz. Proposes Bill to
Stop Loss of Migrant Workers : NPR
*Listen/Watch on NPR.org*
Many stories at NPR.org have audio or video content. When you visit
above, look for a "Listen" or "Watch" button.
For technical support, please visit NPR's Audio/Video Help page:
Brown rejects calls to cap immigration
All Virginians deserve in-state tuition
Even the legal children of illegal immigrants.
Please visit: http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/156600
This link will be valid until Thursday, May 01, 2008
Illegal Immigrants Often Die Anonymously
By ACE STRYKER
Associated Press Writer
BLANDING, Utah (AP) -- The foreigner is buried in a small-town
cemetery, against a barbed-wire fence in an unmarked plot set aside
for poor people.
He might be Mexican. He might be Guatemalan. But he's simply called
No. 8, a man with no name because his identity is still unknown, a
year after he was killed in a car wreck with seven other illegal
immigrants in southeastern Utah.
"This is the Garden of Eden of Utah down here," said Philip Palmer,
coordinator at Blanding City Cemetery, referring to the mountain peaks
in four states visible from the graveyard. "It's a good place to put him."
More than 2,000 illegal immigrants have died in the Southwest since
2002, and many are nameless in death - buried as anonymous victims of
heat stroke, car crashes or other calamities.
They typically carry no ID, just the clothes on their back and the
dream of a life better than the one they left behind.
"They're filling our morgues," said Todd Matthews of Livingston,
Tenn., who works for the Doe Network, a volunteer organization that
helps law enforcement with unidentified remains.
More than half of the border-crossing deaths in the Southwest since
2002 have occurred in Arizona's Pima County, which includes Tucson, on
the Arizona-Mexico border.
Bruce Anderson, a forensic anthropologist in Tucson, said a quarter of
the victims there lack names. Many remains are little more than
bleached bone after a few days in the sun, making them almost
impossible to identify.
"They die in the middle of nowhere," Anderson said. "Most Americans
die in their car, in their house, or with somebody they know."
In the case of No. 8, he apparently died in Utah among strangers.
It's unknown when or how he entered the country. But on the night of
April 15, 2007, he piled into a sport utility vehicle in Phoenix,
joining 13 other people for a trip to St. Louis.
They crossed the Arizona-Utah state line at 3:30 a.m. At some point,
the driver drifted out of his lane, overcorrected and lost control of
the vehicle, sending it spinning onto its side.
The SUV rolled several times, and seven passengers were thrown from
it. Eight people, all illegal immigrants, were killed.
The driver, Rigoberto Salas-Lopez, told agents he was paid $1,000 to
drive the group. He pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens
resulting in death and will be sentenced June 5 in federal court in
Salt Lake City.
The body of No. 8 was transported more than 300 miles north to the
Utah medical examiner's office in Salt Lake City, where doctors took
fingerprints, photographs and samples from his body. But prospects for
identifying him became increasingly bleak.
"You can have a very fresh body, and still the person is
unidentifiable because there are no leads as to who they might be,"
said Dr. Todd Grey, the state's chief medical examiner. "There's
certainly not going to be a missing person's report filed."
Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
said agents worked with the Mexican and Guatemalan consulates. The
bodies of three other unknown crash victims were eventually identified
and sent home for burial, but No. 8 remained.
In Salt Lake City, the Mexican Consulate fed information from the
medical examiner into a database but learned nothing. In Denver, the
Guatemalan Consulate met the same result.
Experts said DNA will be the key to solving difficult cases in the future.
Lori Baker at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has been building a
DNA database since 2003. With DNA samples from Pima County, Ariz., and
cooperation from the Mexican government, she has identified more than
70 dead illegal immigrants.
The process relies on relatives in Mexico telling authorities they
haven't heard from a loved one who was expected to cross the border.
If they provide a blood sample, Baker runs it through her database to
compare it to samples on file.
At a minimum, Baker hopes to develop a "genetic map" using indicators
within DNA that could help identify someone's native country.
"What we're hoping is that by having this genetic profile and then
having information from Mexico, we can say, 'Well, this person doesn't
look to be Mexican - genetically, they look to be Guatemalan,'" she said.
But to many coroners, the DNA process seems expensive and the
technology intimidating, Baker said.
By last fall, No. 8's body had been in Salt Lake City for six months.
No family members had stepped up to claim a missing relative fitting
his description and circumstances.
That's when Danny Palmer, funeral director at San Juan Mortuary, was
called to pick up the body and return it to southeastern Utah for
burial, just a few miles from where the crash occurred.
Palmer stored the body in the mortuary garage for about a week while
the grave was prepared. San Juan County paid the $700 bill for the
burial, and the mortuary donated a steel casket valued at $1,000.
There was no prayer, no ceremony as the body was laid to rest in plot
55 in the Blanding cemetery. No. 8 was recorded in cemetery records as
"unknown male" - an immigrant who died thousands of miles from home
and was finally buried Oct. 12.
"It felt a little bit hollow that there was no family. There was no
noise," Danny Palmer recalled.
A local man who assisted, Mike Moses, said: "There was a heaviness
that was there. All of us felt pretty helpless about what to do."
The men tied a rope around the casket to make it easier to remove if
anyone ever does come looking. But for now, No. 8 will stay in Utah
"That'll be his spot," Philip Palmer said.
© 2008 The Associated Press
Forwarded Message: Nativist News for April 1, 2008
HATEWATCH: NATIVIST NEWS
An e-newsletter monitoring extremism in the anti-immigration movement
For the week of April 1, 2008
[NY] Hit And Run Investigated As Hate Crime
ABC News / March 31, 2008
Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit detectives are investigating a
hit-and-run incident in which a Hispanic day laborer
suffered a skull fracture after being struck by a vehicle while
waiting for work with other immigrant laborers.
Phoenix New Times / March 28, 2088
About 20 members of United For A Sovereign America waved racist signs
and taunted hundreds of civil rights demonstrators who gathered to
protest Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's latest anti-immigrant
Miami Herald / March 31, 2008
Membership in a growing cohort of Florida nativist organizations
continues to swell and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has
established a chapter in Miami, the city with the nation's highest
percentage of foreign-born residents.
Deseret Morning News / March 29, 2008
Minuteman groups in California and Utah are campaigning to boycott all
travel to Mexico to protest a Mexican consulate employee's apparent
call for "reconquest."
To learn more about the anti-immigration movement, read these articles
from the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report:
*** The New Nativists ***
A second wave of anti-immigration leaders, joining the activists who
appeared after the 2005 Minuteman Project, are profiled in 20 short
*** Immigration Backlash ***
A list of hate crimes against perceived undocumented immigrants - and
Latinos in general - shows a dramatic rise in violence.
*** Teflon Nativists ***
The Federation for American Immigration (FAIR) is explored, due to its
bigotry and ties to white supremacy.
*** 'Christian' Nativism ***
A look at the way that Christian Right groups are dealing with the
contentious issue of illegal immigration.
*** Smokescreen ***
Anti-immigration activists are touting a "black" group as proof that
theirs is not a racist movement. But the group is largely a creation
*** Ruckus on the Right ***
Minuteman Project co-founder Chris Simcox has been an icon of the
anti-immigration movement. But now allies are accusing him of
*** Policing the Undocumented ***
A lawyer writes that passing anti-'illegal alien' laws may be popular,
but the end result will be costly litigation that localities will
*** Deadly Force ***
A profile of Roy Warden, a hard-line anti-immigration activist who
routinely threatens Latinos with death.
*** The Nativists ***
A survey of hardliners who are fanning the flames of anti-immigration
*** The Little Prince ***
An investigative profile of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leader Chris
*** Playing Rough ***
Profiles of some of the more than 40 anti-immigration vigilante
outfits formed in the first six months after the Minuteman Project.
*** Open Season ***
A 2003 feature on anti-immigration vigilantes in the pre-Minuteman
*** The Battle of Georgiafornia ***
A feature on the hate crime backlash against Hispanic immigrants in
*** Arizona Showdown ***
A feature on the April 2005 Minuteman Project in Arizona.
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