Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

TBC, Tohono O'odham Nation, Rio Grande Defenders Protest Border Fence

Expand Messages
  • abeltranjurisdr@aol.com
    in this e-mail: (1)  Tribe says border fence restricts sacred rites  (2)  Border fence in Texas concerns Rio Grande defenders (3)      Border fence
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 20, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      in this e-mail:

      (1) 
      Tribe says border fence restricts sacred rites 

      (2) 
      Border fence in Texas concerns Rio Grande defenders

      (3)     
      Border fence lawsuit will be heard in federal court in El Paso

      (4)     
      Breaks in border fence have residents suspicious of DHS's plans


      (5)   
      Feds acknowledge fence will hamper border life

      (6)   
      More border states plan to ease travel with enhanced licenses

      (7)  

      TBC: Removable border fences will place lives in jeopardy

      (8)    
      3,000 migrants dead: Does anyone care?

      ========================================================

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-07-15-tribe-border_N.htm

      usatoday.com

      Tribe says border fence restricts sacred rites


      By Tim Murphy, Religion News Service

      WASHINGTON — Calling it an affront to religious freedom, representatives of an Arizona Indian tribe have asked the federal government to halt construction of a border fence across the tribe's Arizona reservation.

      Leaders of the Tohono O'odham nation say the fence, currently being built along the U.S.-Mexican border by the Department of Homeland Security, will prevent memb ers of their nation from crossing into Mexico for traditional religious ceremonies.

      "This wall and the construction of this wall has destroyed our communities, our burial sites and ancient Tohono O'odham routes throughout our lands," said Ofelia Rivas, according to the Washington Times.

      Rivas argued that the fence will violate the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which guarantees free exercise of traditional religious practices for Native Americans. She said that the fence would disrupt such practices by limiting travel to and from O'odham land in Mexico.

      The Tohono O'odham reservation straddles the Mexican border for 75 miles in Arizona, and extends south into Mexico. According to the 2000 census, 18,000 people live on the reservation, which spans an area roughly the size of Connecticut.

      Rivas' statement is the latest salvo from the Tohono O'odham nation protesting the fence. The community has been at odds with the federal government in recent years over how best to deal with undocumented immigrants and smugglers who cross through tribal lands.

      Testifying in front of a House subcommittee last April, the nation's20chairman, Ned Norris Jr., called the Department of Homeland Security "inflexible" and "unreasonable," and framed the fence as part of a larger problem facing the nation.
      "Our land is now cut in half, with O'odham communities, sacred sites, salt pilgrimage routes, and families divided," Norris said. "We did not cross the 75 miles of border within our reservation lands. The border crossed us."

      Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-07-15-tribe-border_N.htm

      ===========================================================================


      USA Today

       Kayakers and canoeists will descend on the lower Rio Grande for events this fall aimed at  drawing attention to the impact the border fence would have on river access.
      By Eric Gay, AP
      Kayakers and canoeists will descend on the lower Rio Grande for events this fall aimed at drawing attention to the impact the border fence would have on river access.


      Border fence in Texas concerns Rio Grande defenders

      MISSION, Texas (AP) — The federal government's border fence plans in South Texas have been attacked by property owners, wildlife advocates and land conservationists. The next wave of opponents could come from the water — and they're carrying paddles.

      Kayakers and canoeists will descend on the lower Rio Grande for events this fall aimed at raising the river's profile as a recreation hub and at drawing attention to the impact the border fence could have by blocking access to the river.
      The Rio Grande forms Texas' 1,255-mile border with Mexico from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. But most of the river, with the notable exception of Big Bend National Park, is forgotten by the state's tens of thousands of recreational paddlers. Those who do use the river share the water with Border Patrol agents patrolling in bulletproof vests and with smugglers of drugs and people.

      In a recent letter to Roma Mayor Rogelio Ybarra, the president of the Texas Rivers Protection Association expressed his support for a planned river festival and his concern about the border fence. But perhaps most telling was the clear illustration of how novel the idea of using the lower Rio Grande was even for people dedicated to the state's rivers.
      "It has come to our attention recently that the Lower Rio Grande is indeed a=2 0safe and legal place to paddle, and that rights for all U.S. citizens to do so are guaranteed by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo," association president Tom Goynes wrote. "It's ironic that we only learned that the resource was available to us as a result of the government's plans to take it away."

      Los Caminos del Rio, a nonprofit group based in McAllen, recognizes that its Healthy Living Festival planned for Nov. 1 — to capitalize on any attention the border could receive before the national election three days later — is unlikely to affect the 85 miles of border fence slated for completion in Texas this year.

      While not backing off its fence plans, the Border Patrol supports Los Caminos's efforts to get more people on the river.
      "The more eyes we have out there, the better job we can do," said Dan Doty, spokesman for the local Border Patrol sector.

      For Los Caminos del Rio, more legal activity on the river — kayaking, canoeing, fishing — will discourage the illegal smuggling activity. Executive director Eric Ellman says Friends of Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge have been giving canoe tours for years without incident, and his own group has had hundreds on the ri ver in the past couple years without problem.

      Mexicans have a tradition of using the Rio Grande for recreation.

      Already, anyone traveling the river is more likely to see people on the Mexican shoreline — fishing, swimming, boating. There are more public access points and someone has even opened a water skiing academy upriver from Mission on the Mexican side.

      Aleida Flores Garcia is trying to get something going on the U.S. side as well, but the border fence could kill it.
      She and her husband, Jorge Garcia, have been working on their property along the river in Los Ebanos for years. They've cleared brush, put in a park and built a boat ramp. They plan to build a large thatched pavilion and hold fishing tournaments and dances. Garcia recently incorporated her business as the La Paloma Ranch Retreat.

      But the federal government has sent her a condemnation letter. The border fence is planned to run across her property, leaving most of it in the no man's land between the fence and river.

      Garcia has a lawyer and is fighting the government, but other challenges have so far been unsuccessful.
      "I need to fight for this little town," she said. "The nature itself is just too beautiful to be blocked by a wall."

      Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
       
       

       
      Find this article at:
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-12-fence-paddlers_N.htm


      Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett C o. Inc.

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-12-fence-paddlers_N.htm


      ===============================================================================

      http://www.riograndeguardian.com/rggnews_story.asp?story_no=12

      riograndeguardian.com

      TBC: Removable border fences will place lives in jeopardy

      By Steve Taylor

      [Texas
      Texas Border Coalition Chair and Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster.
      LOS EBANOS, July 15 - The chairman of the Texas Border Coalition says the federal government will be playing with the lives of border residents if it constructs movable fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.

      As first revealed in the Guardian on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security has revamped its border fence plan to incorporate 14 miles of movable fencing in the cities of Roma, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos. In the event of a hurricane or severe flooding, the fences would be removed.

      “Anyone who has experienced a hurricane knows that this is a lethal policy that simply won’t work,” said Chad Foster, chair of the TBC and mayor of Eagle Pass.

      “Evacuation is the key to saving lives – a lesson most of the nation learned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. TBC members cannot fathom the logic that results in policies that actually seek to impose deadly danger on the citizens of South Texas.”

      Foster s aid border leaders who have looked closely at Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s border security plan “know that his strategy isolates citizens on the wrong side of a border wall.”

      He also said the border wall will cut off public safety services such as ambulances, fire and rescue, and police protection.

      “If you live within a mile or so of the river, which is where the fence will be built, you are eternally sentenced to an unsafe existence,” Foster said.
       
      “The fence planned by DHS is absurd. It is inhumane to people and wildlife. And in deadly winds, driving rain and alongside a rising river, it will have to be moved. It is a $50 billion waste.”
       
      Details of the movable fencing for Roma, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos are contained in a 190-page Environmental Stewardship Plan (ESP) posted online by Customs and Border Protection.

      The plan says that in those three cities, CBP “coordinated” with the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission “on the development of movable fence designed to mitigate potential impacts to the floodplain.”

      The report goes on to state: “During a flood event, sections of the fence in Sections O-1 through O-3 would be moved in order to all ow easier passage of flood waters.”

      CBP plans to erect almost four miles of border fencing in Roma, otherwise known as Section O-1, almost nine miles of fencing in Rio Grande City, otherwise known as Section O-2, and just under two miles of fencing in Los Ebanos, which CBP refers to as Section O-3.

      In Hidalgo County, CBP plans to merge seven segments of the border fence into a levee rehabilitation project, with 15 to 18 feet high concrete walls built into the levees.

      Hidalgo County Commissioners Court has agreed to fund part of the cost of the levee-wall project on the understanding that the federal government will, at some point in the future, reimburse it. Three of the county commissioners, Oscar Garza, Sylvia Handy, and Tito Palacios were in Washington, D.C., this week trying to hurry along the reimbursement. They met with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a supporter of the levee-wall project.

      “I appreciated the opportunity to meet with our local officials in Hidalgo County on the border-levee fence and was pleased with what I heard. This is a win-win situation for the area, so it is encouraging to see this project move forward,” Cornyn said.

      “The levees are a critical safety measure against flooding, and they also help the U.S. Border Patrol as they seek to monitor and secure the border. I’m committed to d oing everything I can on the federal level to ensure the border-levee project is built in a timely, efficient and responsible manner.”

      Cornyn's analysis of the merits of the levee-wall contrast sharply with members of the No Border Wall Coalition. About 500 opponents of the levee-wall plan held a noisy protest in Edinburg on Sunday, an event organized by the Coalition.

      A copy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental stewardship mitigation plans for the border fence can be found at www.borderfenceplanning.com.

      E-mail this article Printable version
       
       
        
       
       © Copyright of the Rio Grande Guardian, www.riograndeguardian.com, Melinda Barrera, Publisher. All rights reserved.

      http://www.riograndeguardian.com/rggnews_story.asp?story_no=12


      ==============================================================================

      Border fence lawsuit will be heard in federal court in El Paso

      Article Launched: 07/15/2008 01:50:26 PM MDT

      The legal showdown between opponents and advocates of the U.S. border fence will take place at El Paso's federal courthouse, El Paso County Commissioner Veronica Escobar said Tuesday.

      "A court date has not been set yet, but the decision has been made to hear the case in El Paso in U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo's court," said Escobar, one of four panelists who spoke at a UTEP forum about the effects of the fence on the border community.

      Several government entities and organizations, including the city and county, had filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security after Congress gave DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff the authority to waive more than 30 laws to build 670 miles of fence along the border this year.

      The groups argued the waivers violated the U.S. constitutional separation of powers between the administrative and legislative branches of government.

      0A
      In addition to Escobar, other panelists for the forum organized by the Center for Civic Engagement included Fernando Garcia, director of the Border Network for Human Rights, Victor Manjarrez Jr., El Paso Sector Chief for the U.S. Border Patrol, and a representative from the UTEP Center for Environmental Resource Management.

      Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at dvaldez@...; 546-6140.

      Copyright © 2008 by the El Paso Times...

      =============================================================================

      http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/border_87851___article.html/fence_pedro.html

      brownsvilleherald.com


      Kevin Sieff, The Brownsville Herald

      Land owner Fermin Leal stands behind a gate on his ranch in San Pedro. As sections of the U.S. border fence will be built upon neighboring property, Leal’s own land will be skipped over by the construction, leaving a gap in the fence.

      Breaks in border fence have residents suspicious of DHS's plans

      Comments 3 | Recommend 1
      June 21, 2008 - 11:16PM
      When the border fence is constructed along the Rio Grande, Fermin Leal will watch as the barrier slices through the backyards of his neighbors, bypassing his 500-acre farm in San Pedro.

      The fence's trajectory, incontiguous and largely unexplained, has left many border residents suspicious of the federal government's plans.

      "I'm still not sure how my land is different than theirs," Leal said. "They still haven't given us any answers."
      The fence will run nearly unabated through Brownsville before stopping at River Bend Resort and golf course. It will break again for nearly seven miles in San Pedro, where the federal government and several developers own large swaths of land.

      On the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's preliminary map, breaks in the fence - some more than 10 miles wide - also appear near the rural communities of Santa Maria and Los Indios.

      The exemptions have fed suspicions that money and political connections dictated DHS' construction plans. But those who own land between segments of fencing might soon face problems of their own.

      Officials at DHS have made it clear that unfenced stretches of land will become a focal point for undocumented immigrants and illegal activity.

      "These segments will serve as funnels, allowing us to concentrate our resources, like agents, technology and equipment, in these areas," said B arry Morrissey, a DHS spokesman.

      He added that the funneling phenomenon has been well documented in Yuma and Tucson, where the fence has already been constructed. In San Pedro and River Bend, where rumors of the communities' exemptions have spread, residents are already concerned about safety issues.

      "They're funneling the activity to where the community is," Leal said. "If you're going to funnel people, don't do it in a populated area."

      West of Brownsville on Military Highway, two schools - Villa Nueva Elementary School and a high school under construction - along with a number of residential neighborhoods will lie between stretches of fencing.

      "They are mostly good people who cross through here," said David Castillo, who has lived in the Luz y Cielo subdivision in San Pedro for 12 years. "But there are some bad ones, too."

      Less than a quarter of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's domain, which stretches 316 miles along the river, will have fencing, said Ronald Vitiello, the sector's chief. But in the places where the barrier goes up, it is sure to change life.

      FROM QUIET TO CONTROVERSIAL

      A few miles west of Brownsville, the normally quiet stretch of land along Military Highway has been abuzz in recent months since the government began purchasing private land to build the fence. More than 100 land condemnation lawsuits have been filed in Cameron County in the last month.

      Eloisa Tamez rejected the government's initial offer of $13,500 for a .25-acre sliver of her land. She wants to know why it is necessary to construct the fence in her backyard, but not a few miles east, on the River Bend golf course.
      "We're not being afforded equal protection," Tamez said. "It's blatant discrimination,"

      Residents of River Bend are themselves perplexed by their community's exemption. A homeland security map shows a small break in the fence where River Bend's 18-hole golf course is located. The course's 6th and 10th holes trace the Rio Grande.

      "It makes me sick because everyone is going to know the reason we don't have a fence here is money," said Roberta Alvarez, who has lived in River Bend for 23 years. "It irritates me to my bones."

      She and her husband, Jose, are among the few year-round residents in a community made up largely of Winter Texans, many of whom own second or third homes in River Bend. Alvarez ini tially liked that the community was quiet and unassuming. Before the fence's construction plans were announced, the biggest controversy in River Bend was over the number of speed bumps.

      That tranquil slice of life, Alvarez said, will soon end.

      River Bend's owner, John Allburg, declined comment, and has yet to explain how the border fence will affect the community, or address the reasons why River Bend will be bypassed, residents at the resort said.

      Allburg's silence has left residents, like Alvarez, to speculate about the fence's trajectory.

      "The owners of River Bend paid off the government," she said. "That's the only reason it would start at one end (of the community) and stop at the other."

      At a congressional hearing in April, Vitiello, the Border Patrol sector chief, said that DHS took his sector's operational assessment into account before finalizing plans.

      "The fence's path was determined after evaluating where security concerns were present," he said.

      Despite Vitiello's explanation, River Bend's exemption makes little sense to residents who have watched undocumented immigrants cut through the golf course for years.

      < /div>
      "We had a gardener who used to cross the river every day to get to work," said Joe Travis, who owns several properties in River Bend. "He never had any problems."

      RUMORS IN SAN PEDRO

      A few miles west of River Bend, where Brownsville's northernmost neighborhoods devolve into stretches of farmland, developers have been eyeing land along the Rio Grande. The city's northward boom has made its way to San Pedro, where signs advertise soon-to-be-built communities like Rancho Simpatico and Gem Estates II and III.

      The streets of Rancho Simpatico, which advertises itself as "Brownsville's Upper West Side," are paved and ready for traffic. Properties are currently being sold and a riverside park is in the works.

      Promotional sketches of the community show playgrounds and families on a narrow swatch if land along the Rio Grande. Any indication of a border fence is absent in the residential plans.

      Like River Bend Resort, a large stretch of land in San Pedro, about seven miles, will not have border fencing. And like in River Bend, there are suspicions that connections and money dictated the government's plans.

      Rancho Simpatico is owned by Paula20LeGros and Dixon LeGros, the chief financial officer and president, respectively, of Westflex Industrial, a San Diego-based hose and gasket company. The company's annual sales in 2004 were $6.6 million, according to Industrial Distribution magazine.

      In the last eight years, Dixon LeGros has contributed $2,300 to U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a co-sponsor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which introduced the border fence to Congress. Hunter, a staunch advocate of border fencing, visited Brownsville for a congressional hearing in April and made his views clear on a controversial issue.
      "In San Diego," he said at the hearing, "the fence put the border gangs out of business because they lost their ability to move back and forth."

      Paula LeGros said her husband's support of congressman Hunter is related to concerns over the San Diego ship repair industry.

      "It has nothing to do with the border fence," she said. "I'm sure Duncan Hunter has absolutely no idea about the (land) in Texas."

      FEDERAL LAND UNSCATHED

      < /div>
      In the center of Fermin Leal's farm, which his father purchased in 1919, a strip of land owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department runs untouched for nearly one-half mile.

      To Leal, it's another possible reason why the fence is bypassing his land. But without confirmation from DHS, Leal can only guess at the federal government's rationale.

      "Even at the public meetings," he said, "they never brought us up to date."

      After recent news that the Sabal Palm Audubon Center will likely be forced to close due to the fence's construction, many Brownsville residents are sensitive to where breaks in the barrier are, and aren't located.

      On DHS's preliminary map, breaks in the fence also appear near the rural communities of Santa Maria and Los Indios. Some of the gaps are are more than ten miles wide.

      Some environmentalists wonder if federal wildlife reserves are being favored over autonomous reserves.

      Ken Merritt, a former project manager for the Department of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), said federal refuge managers had little interaction with DHS about the fence.

      "Part of it was just a question of the number of miles they could afford to build," he said.

      Now, Merritt worries that human traffic and border patrol activity will shift to FWS land in San Pedro.

      "It's going to be an eye opener for us to see the damage to this area," Merritt said.

      Others, like Oscar Garcia, the police chief of the Brownsville Independent School District, are preparing for what might become a unique security concern.

      "We've talked with Border Patrol about threats to (Villa Nueva Elementary and the new high school), and multi-jurisdictional responses," Garcia said. "Where there is no fence, we've been told electronic surveillance will be used."

      But Garcia, along with Leal and his neighbors on the border, can only wait to see where the federal government decides to put up fencing.

      "We'll just have to see where they build this thing," Leal said. "That's all there is to do."


      Copyright © 2008.

      http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/border_87851___article.html/fence_pedro.html

      ==================================================================

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-15-border-life_N.htm

      usatoday.com

      Feds acknowledge fence will hamper border life


      McALLEN, Texas (AP) — The U.S.-Mexico border fence will make life harder on some South Texas farmers, damage valuable wildlife habitat, impair views and generally become an obstacle to border life, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged in an environmental study of the fence's impact.

      For the people of the Rio Grande Valley, the federal government said in the recent study that there are serious trade-offs for 70 miles of fence segments that will help Border Patrol control illegal immigration and smuggling from Mexico. But it added that residents will benefit from increased security against "illegal cross-border activity."
      Construction could begin in the valley next week.

      "If you live within a mile or so of the river, which is where the fence will be built, you are eternally sentenced to an unsafe existence," Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, head of the anti-fence Texas Border Coalition, said in a prepared statement.

      However, some South Texas denizens will get a break — the fence will include hundreds of holes so the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi can get to the Rio Grande to drink.

      The department's Environmental Stewardship Plan for the Rio Grande Valley was controversial before it was ever released. DHS drew up the plan after Secretary Michael Chertoff waived environmental studies required by federal law to speed construction of the fence.

      As the federal government ramps up efforts to build fencing along the border, Chertoff also has waived environmental laws to build barriers in California and Arizona.

      "The Secretary made it clear when he invoked the waiver authority that that by no means meant we would act without some responsible plan," Customs and Border Protection spokesman Barry Morrissey said. "The environmental work is still being done."

      Environmental advocates said they hadn't fully reviewed the document Tuesday afternoon but said it was a mistake for Chertoff to waive the normal process for vetting projects and minimizing their environmental impact.

      "There was a formal process in place for how to go through the (environmental impact statement) process and it's something we believe in firmly," said Oliver Bernstein, spokesman for the Sierra Club in Texas. "Any attempt to come up with your own fixes we're going to be very wary of that."

      New maps of the 21 fence segments running through the lower Rio Grande Valley showed very little variation from preliminary maps released last fall.

      The new plan does not clarify the issue of access gates in the fence — one of the most frustrating for landowners along the border who wonder how the gates will be operated, if they will be manned and how access could be restricted. The question is critical for homeowners whose homes and businesses will be left in the no man's land between the fence and the river.

      Without offering details, the plan recognized that the fence will be an obstacle to farmers in terms of access to the land for themselves and their machinery and livestock, and will increase their costs and may decrease the land's value.

      Despite the access holes for the endangered cats, the plan acknowledges that the fence "will likely impact wildlife movement, access to traditional water sources, and potential for gene flow" because some of the species cross the border into Mexico to mate.

      Seven segments in Hidalgo County where DHS will build a 15 to 18-foot concrete wall into the river side of levees will not include the wildlife holes. The longest of those segments will be just over four miles, the plan said.
      Seventeen of the 21 fence sections in the Valley will affect wildlife management areas or national wildlife refuges, 14 of them directly.

      Since fence construction will overlap with the migratory bird nesting season, wildlife experts will mark nests in construction's path and attempt to move them. Still, the noise from construction could overwhelm birdsongs, making it difficult for some to find mates, according to the plan.

      The government will try to avoid cutting down or to transplant mature trees but concedes that it won't always be possible.

      "Removal will result in long-term major adverse impacts, because these large mature trees are virtually irreplaceable," the plan said.

      Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-15-border-life_N.htm

      ====================================================================

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-16-enhancedlicenses_N.htm

      u satoday.com

      More border states plan to ease travel with enhanced licenses


      By Cara Matthews and Matthew Daneman, USA TODAY

      A growing number of states on the borders with Canada and Mexico are establishing or considering enhanced driver's licenses designed to give residents a more convenient identification option for border crossings.
      In February, Washington became the first state to establish the new licenses. To receive a license labeled "enhanced," applicants are required to show proof of U.S. citizenship in addition to the other identification documents required for obtaining traditional licenses.

      Since then, 21,000 Washington residents have received the licenses, which allow them to get back into the USA through any border crossing or seaport without a passport, according to Department of Licensing spokeswoman Gigi Zenk.

      New York and Vermont will follow in coming months. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has proposed the idea for residents there, and Michigan is working toward a plan.

      The move toward enhanced driver's licenses in states bordering Canada and Mexico is being driven by the federal Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. In June 2009, the initiative will begin requiring U.S. citizens to have a proof-of-citizenship document, passport or some other federally approved identification for getting into the country through land or sea ports, said Kathy Kraninger, the Department of Homeland Security's deputy assistant secretary for policy.

      "Being a border state, we have strong economic and cultural ties with Quebec," said Howard Deal, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. The enhanced driver's license "was a natural for us to ease traffic across the border and maintain the tie and make it as simple=2 0as possible for our citizens."

      Demand for the licenses has been heavy in Washington, Zenk said.

      The state has 4,000 appointments scheduled in coming weeks for people wanting the licenses, and it has stopped advertising the license, she said. "Every day we get around 200 calls with interest in EDL," Zink said.

      The state's enhanced license is good for five years, same as a standard driver's license, but costs $40 — $15 more than a traditional license, Zink said.

      Vermont will issue a limited number of enhanced licenses in a pilot program by late this year, Deal said, but plans to make them widely available to residents starting in February 2009. The license will be good for four years, like a state driver's license, he said, but will cost $25 more than the $40 regular license.

      New York will begin issuing enhanced driver's licenses Sept. 16. The ID is important to the state economy because 468,750 New York jobs are supported by Canada-USA trade, said Marissa Shorenstein, a spokeswoman for New York Gov. David Paterson. The enhanced license will cost $30 more than current license 8 0 $80 for most motorists, she said.

      Napolitano proposed that Arizona create an enhanced driver's license last August and repeated that suggestion in a June letter to Arizona House of Representatives Speaker Jim Weiers.

      The state has not taken any action or set a time frame for doing so, said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cydney DeModica.

      The Department of Homeland Security has to sign off on the procedures states use to issue enhanced driver's licenses and is working on an agreement with Michigan, Kraninger said.

      "We are, of course, in negotiations with a number of other states," Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said.

      Matthews reports for the Gannett News Service in Albany, N.Y. Daneman reports for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.


      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-16-enhancedlicenses_N.htm


      ===================================================3 D======================

      3,000 migrants dead: Does anyone care?

      First_img Following up on Buill Hing's post yesterday, here is a list of the casualty's from CRLA Foundation's www.stopgatekeeper.com

      CALIFORNIA ·· Víctor Nicolás Sánchez · Adolfo Pérez Hernández · Daniel Barrientos · Santos Orozco Aguilar · Raúl Hernández Soria · Sandra Edna Durán · Jesús Medina Contreras · Edgar Venegas Brambila · José Gutiérrez · Melquíades Gómez Baca · Martha Rivera García · Benito González Cruz · Benito González Serrano · Javier Rojas Bracamonte · Juan José Romo Zetina · José Luis Garza · Roberto20Acegueda López · Román Robles Rojas · Reynaldo González Corona · Juan Lara Mentado · José Santos López Fonseca · Luis Ramírez Escobar · Felipe Aragón Anzaldo · Salvador Sánchez Sánchez · Reyes Jiménez Zamora · Javier Zataraín Gamboa · José Guadalupe Martínez · Celerino Alvarado · Benito Pacheco López · Marcelino Ramírez · Lorenzo Gaytán Ramírez · Cipriano Orozco · Pedro Calixto Maganda López · Eliseo Santos Carmona · José Luis Centeno · Zenaido García de Los Santos · José Manuel de La Luna · Martín Leonardo Hernández · Modesta López · Olivia Cruz Juárez · Carlos Bejar Vázquez · Alejandro Cornejo Reséndiz · Felipe de los Santos · Enedina Beatriz Enciso Palma · Juan Guillén Domínguez · Benito Ávalos Romero · Juan Carlos Córdova · Sergio Jiménez Villanueva · Antonio Zacarías González · Gregorio Ortiz · Pedro Morales Ramírez · Félix Zavala Ramírez · José Manuel Moreno · Guillermo Ayala Méndez · Daniel Loera Salinas · Carlos Loera Salinas · Gustavo Barajas · Oscar Alcalá Gopar · Práxedis Salinas Palma · Juan Pablo Córdova · Ramiro Castorena Martínez· Álvaro Padilla Herrera · Virginia Murillo Díaz · Nicolás Méndez · Alfonso Villalobos Rodríguez · Gustavo B añuelos · Onésimo Ledezma Hernández · Enrique López Maciel · Héctor Daniel Torres · Luis Oswaldo García Bando · Raúl Castro Ortiz · Abrahán Tomás Cortés· Roberto Valdez Valencia · Roberto González · Rafael Valenzuela Zúñiga · Teresa Urbano García · Lorenzo Barrera Cortez · Benjamín Zaragoza Arias · Jorge Ramírez Amarillas · Pablo Meraz Rosales · Eloise Maya Rodríguez · Roberto Vázquez · Joel Godoy Juárez · José Herrera Martínez · Juan José Pérez González · Raúl Santana Nájera · Raúl Anzures Galarza · Osvelia Tepek · Trinidad Santiago Martínez · Catalina Enríquez Néstor · Gustavo Muñoz Cázares · Gerardo Gaspar Chompa · Alejandro Ramos Zavala · Juan Magaña Hernández · Emigdio Vera Pérez · José González Chacoya · Alejandro Mendoza Pacheco · Rosario Torres Pérez · Osvaldo Serrano Reyes · Enrique Santos Nieto · Aristeo López García · Isaías López Alvarado · Joaquín Mendoza Chávez · Francisco Ramón Segura

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.