Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slain teenager had yelled racial slurs at couple before stabbing, according to witness

Posted by Maxine Bernstein; The Oregonian June 27, 2008 18:02PM
Categories: Breaking News

James A. Knutson fatally stabbed a Gresham teenager after the teenager and two of his friends yelled profanity-laced racist slurs at Knutson and a Filipino woman, according to court documents filed Friday.

The woman walking with Knutson, a 38-year-old white male, told investigators that they encountered three white males at the Safeway at Southeast 162nd Avenue and Division Street. The young men were on the west side of 162nd Avenue, and shouted a racist slur and profanities at her as they walked on the east side of the avenue.

Knutson and the woman kept walking to meet a third friend, and when they came back through the same intersection, the three young white men continued to taunt them, shouting racist and lewd epithets. One of the three young men, later identified as 17-year-old Billy Lyle Henderson, ran across the avenue towards Knutson and his friends.

Henderson allegedly told Knutson's female friend that he was not going to "beat up" her, but was going to "teach a lesson" to Knutson, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The woman told officers at that point she was holding a switchblade knife that she carries. Knutson suddenly grabbed it from her with such force that it cut her middle finger, and stabbed Henderson once or twice. Knutson told his friend to run.

They met later in the evening at a mobile home in the 16700 block of Southeast Division Street. Knutson told friends he had "just shanked a guy," witnesses told police.

Portland police were called to the area at 10:39 p.m. Wednesday. Someone reported a man in the road who looked as though he was suffering from a seizure. Officers found Henderson dead of stab wounds at the northeast corner of Southeast 162nd Avenue and Main Street.

With the help of a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy, who recognized the description of the suspect as someone who goes by the street name "Rock Head," Portland police located Knutson at the mobile home park about 4:15 a.m. Thursday. Knutson was arraigned on one count of murder Friday.

Portland police say they don't know if Henderson or his friends have any gang connections, but East Precinct officers say they've noticed an increase in European Kindred, and white supremacist affiliated gang violence.

Maxine Bernstein:

Source: Oregon Live

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups Place Ads in The New York Times

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist by Sonia Scherr on June 27, 2008

Next time you find yourself stuck in traffic miles from work—or school or home or daycare—don’t blame poor urban planning, low carpooling rates or inadequate public transportation.

Blame immigrants.

That’s right, according to high-profile ads placed this month in The New York Times and The Nation by a new front group for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and two other anti-immigrant hate groups. The ads, which are based on dubious statistical analysis, claim that an immigration-fueled population boom will dramatically worsen traffic congestion and destroy pristine lands.

FAIR traffic adOne ad shows a four-lane highway clogged with vehicles above the caption, “One of America’s Most Popular Pastimes.” The other depicts a bulldozer clearing forest above the words, “One of America’s Best Selling Vehicles.”

The ads were placed by an organization calling itself America’s Leadership Team for Long Range Population-Immigration-Resource Planning. “We’re the nation’s leading experts on population and immigration trends and growth,” boasts one of the ads.

Actually, America’s Leadership Team is a public relations front group for a coalition of five anti-immigration organizations, three of which—FAIR, American Immigration Control Foundation and the Social Contract Press—are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their links to white supremacists and publication of bigoted materials.

All five of the groups behind America’s Leadership Team—the other two are Californians for Population Stabilization and NumbersUSA—are financed by John Tanton the puppet master of the modern anti-immigration movement.

FAIR bulldozer adAmerican’s Leadership Team launched its ad campaign in early June by placing ads in “major national publications,” according to a news release from Californians for Population Stabilization.

Although it’s not clear how much the coalition paid for its half-page New York Times ad (a Times spokeswoman said there were too many variables to provide rate information), The Nation charges non-profit groups $4,412 for full-page color ads like the ones that the group placed in its magazine this month. Both ads ran at least once in separate issues. In a June 16 editorial note, the left-leaning Nation warned readers about the America’s Leadership Team advertising and stated that The Nation did not agree with its “premise and politics.”

“We’ve gotten a heated reaction, as our readers do when there’s an opinion out that doesn’t seem to mesh with our editorial viewpoint,” Ellen Bollinger, the Nation’s vice president for advertising told the Intelligence Report. “But we have a liberal advertising policy, and we try to err on the side of giving light to divergent opinion.”

It’s not the first time that Tanton and other anti-immigration activists have tried to woo environmentalists in an attempt to gain political support for their cause. In 1996, Tanton lobbied the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental organization, to adopt a plank advocating sharp restrictions on immigration. In 2004, an anti-immigration faction tried to take over the Sierra Club by winning election to its board of directors. Both efforts failed.

The group’s latest campaign relies on outdated numbers, since the ads’ projection of 600 million Americans by 2100 is based on the 1990 Census. (The Census has published more up-to-date projections based on the 2000 Census, but they only go up to 2050.) The ads also cite statistics without fully explaining them: the Pew Hispanic Research Center does predict that 82% of the increase in U.S. population from 2005 to 2050 will result from immigration, but that figure includes the U.S.-born descendants of immigrants. And it doesn’t represent a departure from recent decades, during which immigrants have accounted for most of the country’s population growth.

Of course, the real message of the ads is that immigrants are bad for the environment, and therefore bad for America. According to the ad that appeared in Wednesday’s Times, “For every four new U.S. residents whether from births or immigration, approximately three more cars are added to our roads, increasing gridlock, energy use and greenhouse emissions.”

But this premise is flawed because the transportation habits of immigrants are different from those of native-born Americans, according to professors at the University of California, Los Angeles.

David Hayes-Bautista, a professor of medicine and health services, co-authored a 2005 study that found recent Latino immigrants in California—and to a lesser extent long-term Latino immigrants and U.S.-born Latinos—are much more likely to carpool or use public transportation than non-Hispanic whites. “If everyone (in California) went to work the way recently arrived immigrants did—by carpooling or using public transportation—that would reduce the number of cars on the road by nearly half,” he told the Intelligence Report.

“Recent immigrants are in fact substantially less responsible for sprawl (they live in the highest density communities) and traffic (they disproportionately take transit and walk), as they are poor,” UCLA urban planning professor Randall Crane E-mailed the Report. “Eventually, they better assimilate into the population and will be more like everyone else, which is to say they are no worse than anyone else.”

Source: SPLCenter

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Minutemen Join White Supremacists In ‘Co-Hosted’ Strategy Session

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Hate Groups, Nativist Extremist, White Supremacist
by Brentin Mock on June 25, 2008

The Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist hate group, publicly announced earlier this week that it was co-hosting an anti-immigration strategy session with Americans4America, the official Las Vegas chapter of Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project.

Despite the Minuteman Project’s oft-touted anti-racist policies, the meeting took place June 24, offering some of the strongest evidence yet of direct ties between the Minuteman movement and overtly racist organizations.

“There’s a lot of overlapping between our two groups,” Nevada CCC leader Don Wassall told the Intelligence Report. “I met a couple of people from their group who are interested in trying to recruit more and get more people active in both of our groups.”

While a June 23 community calendar item placed by the CCC in the Las Vegas Review-Journal listed Americans4America and the CCC as “co-hosts” of the meeting, Wassall told the Report that, in fact, the Minutemen were more like special invited guests.

The relationship between the two organizations is “hard to explain,” said Wassall, but “we are working with them [the Minutemen].”

Wassall said the handful of Minuteman Project members who attended the meeting did not include Americans4America founder Kricket Telfer, who could not be reached for comment. Wassall called Telfer “an acquaintance.”

Like all Minuteman Project chapters, Americans4America declares on its website that it has, “no affiliation with, nor will we accept any assistance by or interference from, separatists, racists, or supremacy groups.”

Commingling with the CCC nullifies that assurance, as does joining forces with Wassall, whose long history of right-wing extremism is beyond dispute. Wassall, who booked the conference room where the joint CCC-Minuteman Project session was held, was the head of the Pennsylvania chapter of the CCC before moving to Las Vegas last December.

Wassall is a longtime member and current executive director of the American Nationalist Union (formerly known as the Populist Party), a radical-right organization started in 1983 by veteran anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Willis Carto. Since 1996 Wassall has been the editor of the group’s publication The Nationalist Times. The periodical’s online version contains blatantly racist articles and links to hate group websites including New Nation News and the Political Cesspool, as well as the International Conspiratological Association.

Wassall was also a prominent supporter of the American Friends of the British National Party, a group formed to raise funds for a neofascist political party in England. The group collapsed after its leader, Mark Cotterill, was deported back to England in the wake of an Intelligence Report exposé.

And now, apparently, he’s backing the Minutemen. Wassall said the next CCC meeting in Las Vegas is planned for the last Tuesday in July, and that it “may or may not” be co-hosted by Americans4America.

Source: SPLCenter

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ACLU Sues Department of Homeland Security For Information on Deaths in Immigration Detention Centers

June 25, 2008
4:48 PM

Will Matthews, ACLU,
(212) 549-2582 or 2666;

ACLU Sues Department of Homeland Security For Information on Deaths in Immigration Detention Centers
Lawsuit Comes After Repeated Refusals by DHS to Provide Expedient Access to Public Information

WASHINGTON - June 25 - The American Civil Liberties Union today sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for refusing to turn over thousands of public documents in their possession detailing the deaths of immigration detainees held in U.S. custody.

The federal lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes after repeated rejections by DHS officials of requests by the ACLU for critical information about the deaths of dozens of people in immigration detention.

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring DHS to expedite the processing of the document request and conduct a reasonable search of the records in its possession in an effort to fully comply with the ACLU’s requests.

“We know that the medical care provided in many immigration detention centers is grossly inadequate and has resulted in unnecessary suffering and death,” said Elizabeth Alexander, Director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “DHS must not be allowed to keep information about in-custody deaths secret. It is imperative that ICE be held publicly accountable when it fails to provide the health care mandated by the U.S. Constitution.”

Deficient medical care is believed to be a leading cause of death in immigration detention, and is the number one complaint the ACLU has received from ICE detainees. The ACLU filed a lawsuit last year against the San Diego Correctional Facility (SDCF), an ICE facility run by Corrections Corporations of America, Inc. (CCA), the country’s largest for-profit correctional services provider. In its lawsuit, the ACLU challenges flawed medical care policies and the denial of needed treatment by ICE and the Division of Immigration Health Services which has led to excruciating suffering and even death of numerous detainees at SDCF.

In its Freedom of Information Act request submitted to DHS last year, the ACLU requested information about whether ICE – or any independent monitoring agency – adequately tracks deaths of immigration detainees, who are often housed in county jails around the country alongside criminal detainees, or in one of numerous immigration detention facilities managed by private prison companies.

Past OIG reports to Congress have contained only vague and sporadic references to investigations into these deaths, and provide little useful information that would ensure the public that meaningful investigations are conducted into each death and that steps are being taken to guarantee that detainees receive necessary medical services before it is too late.

“Unless ICE exhibits full transparency by releasing all of the information that we have requested, we are left little choice but to believe that it has something to hide,” Alexander said.

Attorneys on the case include Tom Jawetz of the ACLU National Prison Project, Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York-based attorneys Natalie N. Kuehler and Benjamin R. Walker and Washington-based attorneys Margaret K. Pfeiffer and Lee Ann Anderson McCall.

A copy of the ACLU lawsuit filed today can be found online at:

A copy of the original FOIA request filed by the ACLU can be found online at:

Additional information about the ACLU National Prison Project can be found online at:

Source: Common Dreams

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today’s Illegals ‘Not Different, Just Newer’

by: Melinda Zosh, June 23, 2008

In 1750, Benjamin Franklin feared that German immigrants would de-Anglicize America. And 250 years later, in a nation where one in six young people under 18 are Hispanic, some politicians fear that Mexicans pose the same threat.

But one man says today’s immigrants aren’t “different, they’re just newer.”

Jason Riley, author of The Case for Open Borders, spoke at the CATO Institute on June 18 about letting more immigrants into the country. His research shows that Irish and German immigrants faced the same problems as today’s Mexicans.

“Franklin complained that German immigrants were too plentiful,” said Riley. “Franklin was one of most enlightened men of his day, [but] he lacked perspective.”

Riley said that Americans limit their perspectives and fear that new immigrants won’t assimilate. But the Irish did and “if America can assimilate the Irish, we can [assimilate] anybody.”

“The Irish were coming from a country where more than 80 percent of their country was rural…,” said Riley. “They were told they would never assimilate [into] an urban capitalist society.”

The Irish ended up settling in the most urban areas—Boston and New York. Riley said that “supply created its own demand.”

“The Irish did jobs that were considered even too lowly for slaves. They worked in mines,” said Riley. “In 1855, 90 percent of all domestic servants were Irish. That’s a snapshot of where the Irish started.”

Riley, a member of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, reminded the audience that Henry Ford was the product of poor Irish immigrants. And other sons and daughters of the Irish servants are successful today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The [2000] Census showed that 31% of Irish Americans had at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 27% of Americans,” said Riley. “This history is often ignored or played down when we discuss illegal [immigrants] today.”

Riley argued that the free market and the law of supply and demand should determine how many immigrants are needed in America.

“We will reduce illegal immigration if we give people more legal ways to enter the country,” said Riley “We have the jobs. They need the work. Let them come legally and they will come legally.”

Political analyst Michael Barone said that the elites are keeping the immigrants away.

“Our elites have been putting barriers in the way of immigration,” said Barone. “Ultimately, the good sense of the people overwhelms the nonsense of the elites.”

Some legislators are hesitant to give more visas, because they don’t want to give away jobs, Riley said.

“It’s a fallacy; there aren’t a fixed number of jobs. We have a very fluid labor market,” said Riley. “At the low end of the spectrum, where many blacks are, you do have overlap, [but] the data isn’t there to support that blacks are being pushed aside.”

Melinda Zosh is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, please e-mail

Source: CampusReportOnline

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ALIPAC: Two Dozen Strong!

By kyledeb on June 20, 2008 1:11 AM

William Gheen, President of ALIPAC, truly is the leader of a national movement. A movement of two dozen people that is.

It was May of 2008 when ALIPAC announced the launch of a North Carolina "campaign to thwart illegal aliens and their supporters". Soon after they bullied a local Charlotte newspaper columnist, Mary Schulken, for writing an article entitled "This Tide of Meanness has to Stop". All of it building up to a big rally to pressure North Carolina legislators to support a horrific "attrition through enforcement" agenda. Here's how the rally went:
Immigration Rally in Raleigh Draws Sparse Crowd

RALEIGH - About two dozen people gathered in Raleigh on Wednesday to encourage state lawmakers to do their part in supporting immigration enforcement measures and to make North Carolina a less-attractive state for illegal immigrants.

North Carolina legislators must be shaking in their boots.

Brittanicus, a retiree who therefore can "spend ample time getting [ALIPAC's] message out", offers an explanation for the poor showing in the comments:

Is it any wonder that legal residents or citizens, will not attract attention of radical organizations from third world countries, by protesting[?] In California your marked for death by gang members who are protected by 'Sanctuary laws' like Special Order 40.

Profiles in courage, anyone?

Let's contrast this fear of fictitious gang members, with what migrants and their supporters went through to march on May 1st of this year:

Migrants have survived the most powerful government in the world spending billions to stamp out their existence. They have survived thousands of raids terrorizing their communities and breaking apart their families. They have survived the hordes of nativists that have given up on mass deportation and settled instead on attrition warfare, in an attempt to make life so miserable for migrants that they leave on their own.

Roberto Lovato has a good piece on this, too, entitled, "Still They March: Nationwide Rallies Highlight Failure of War on Immigrants". While the "national" group ALIPAC struggles to get more than 30 people to show up, the pro-migrant movement was able to get 30,000 people to show up just in Wisconsin. That's right, 1000 to 1.

Let's not forget to mention that one of those two dozen people at the rally was a law-breaker himself, Chris Simcox.
Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, says "the people coming into the country should have to follow the law" at the same time that he speaks alongside someone who was arrested for federal weapons charges.

This is just another lesson. Though self-proclaimed "anti-illegal immigration groups" are loud, they are a small and increasingly irrelevent minority. If retirees like Brittanicus are any indication, most of them probably spend more time commenting on immigration articles than anything else. They are William Gheen's 80-year-old "internet fighter pilots", who spend all of their time writing nativist comments online, at the same time that they are sustained by social security and the billions of dollars that migrants pay into it.

Source: Citizen Orange

Friday, June 20, 2008

Racist Anti-Immigration Arizona Law Backfires

Lawman's raids on immigrants spark fury in Phoenix

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Frustrated by a steady flow of illegal Mexican immigrants into Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has decided to take matters into his own hands.

Arpaio dispatches teams of sheriff's deputies into Hispanic communities where they stop people and arrest anyone who cannot prove he or she is a legal U.S. resident.

Now he faces an onslaught of criticism from Hispanic activists, local lawmakers and the Phoenix mayor, who call his crackdown on immigrants a clear case of racial profiling in which only people who look Hispanic are targeted.

"What right does a mayor or a police chief, or anyone like that, have to tell me what my priorities are?" Arpaio said in a recent interview. "I'm the elected sheriff. I tell them what their priorities are."

But Mary Rose Wilcox, a county supervisor and longtime Hispanic activist says, "All he is doing is going after everybody with a brown face."

"There's no doubt in my mind that this is racial profiling. None."

Across the country, state and local officials have taken steps to curb illegal immigration. More than 240 immigration-related measures were passed last year.

Arpaio says he has received an outpouring of support for his effort in the form of letters and donations of about $25,000 from the public to help fund the initiative.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said the sheriff's "made-for-TV stunts" have not stopped illegal immigration and violate the basic civil rights afforded all people in the United States.

"It's a single standard," Gordon said. "If you're brown, you're going to be pulled over, and if you're white, you're not. It's as simple as that."

Under the U.S. Constitution, all citizens must be treated equally under the law and the government cannot conduct unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause.

In April, Gordon sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General calling for an investigation into Arpaio's patrols.

U.S. Justice Department officials are "monitoring the situation," department spokeswoman Jamie Hais said. She declined to be more specific.


Immigration, specifically what do about 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, is a divisive issue, but it has largely dropped out of the political debate this election year.

A bid to push a comprehensive immigration overhaul through Congress was nixed by Republican lawmakers last year and the issue is barely mentioned by Republican presidential candidate John McCain or Democratic rival Barack Obama, who both supported the U.S. Senate bill.

In the absence of federal action, states and localities are beginning to take action.

Despite criticism, Arpaio has vowed to continue his patrols and other measures designed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

"They just don't want me enforcing the illegal immigration laws. They think they can intimidate me. They can't," said Arpaio, a Republican, who is running for re-election in November.

Gordon said Arpaio should spend his time and limited resources pursuing other more serious criminals like drug and human traffickers, and violent criminals.

The mayor said Arpaio's tactics have not reduced crime in the region or curbed illegal immigration. Instead, Gordon says the sheriff has soured community relations and sparked fear among Hispanic citizens and immigrants.

"His Band-Aid publicity stunts aren't going to solve illegal immigration," he said. "It doesn't do anything to stop the flow. All it does is make for good TV."

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Mary Milliken)

Source: Reuters

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hispanic Group Protests Against Councilman Tam

Group Wants Council Member Removed From Committee Chairmanship

HONOLULU -- Members of Hawaii's Hispanic community held a vocal protest in front of Honolulu Hale on Thursday evening, demanding Councilman Rod Tam be demoted.

The demonstration came after Tam used a racial slur during a televised council meeting.

Some in the Hispanic community are demanding Tam be ousted as chairman of the Council's Zoning Committee. They said Tam's remarks have triggered a backlash against Hispanics in Hawaii.

Protesters lined the sidewalk fronting City Hall chanting, "Tam has got to go!"

They are outraged about the videotaped remarks Tam made during a council meeting earlier this month -- about future construction workers at the planned West Oahu University.

"They got to be skilled licensed workers. We don't want any wetbacks basically... We have been having contractors, developers bringing in wetbacks from New Mexico... from Mexico, I sorry," Tam said.

Tam later apologized, but some Hispanics said Tam has not apologized to them and has refused to meet with the community.

The City Council, including Tam, unanimously voted to censure Tam. Some Hispanics want Tam further disciplined.

"We should not allow nor tolerate any politician to facilitate any type of bigotry to any type of ethnicity," Hawaii Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Marie Villa said.

Leader Marie Villa and other protestors want Tam stripped of his Zoning Committee chairmanship.

"We're not asking. We are demanding," Villa said. "We are not going to take this sitting down."

Hispanic community leaders are even more upset because of the backlash caused by Tam's ethnic slur.

"We are the ones who are suffering backlashes," Villa said. "I'm getting hate mail, hate phone calls." Villa received a letter in the mail attacking Hispanics and a bumper sticker telling illegal Mexicans to go home.

"We do not condone any type of undocumented workers of any ethnicity," Villa said.

Villa said she is saddened it has come to this.

"I've lived here 19 years, and we've always been able to fit until last week," she said.

Tam's assistant said the councilman made his apology and has no further comment

Source: KITV

Hate Crimes at Local Restaurants Unites Community

/24-7PressRelease/ - BILLINGS, MT, June 14, 2008 -- In Billings, Montana over the past few weeks vandals have spray-painted Swastikas and white supremacist remarks on four minority owned restaurants, including Mongolian Grill, Mamacitas, Papa Eddies, and the Golden Phoenix.

While there still have been no arrests in the case, the Billings Community will not condone hate crimes and is banding together to clean up the damage left behind from the vandals.

Authorities have classified the attack as a hate crime and the community is banning together to show support for these businesses and to let owners and their families know that Billings is a community of love. They are welcome here and supported.

"I wanted to show support of my friend Eva Sigsworth owner of Mamacitas Cafe and all of the victims, so I asked the Billings Community to join me in combating these hate crimes, because hate crimes against any individual in Billings is a hate crime against us all," Brenda Segna of BLaST Creative and Community Cleanup Organizer said.

Business owners of the four targeted restaurants echoed Segna's belief, saying they had been singled out and that they are overwhelmed and thankful that the community is banning together to help them.

"This was not the work of ordinary vandals, but of people who want to be hateful and who tried to hurt us because we are minorities," said an employee of Golden Phoenix who did not want her name used for fear of retaliation.

"We as a community cannot forget that we should be appalled that such crimes are taking place. I'm just glad that we could reach out and try to help the victims as well as the police in such cases of hate, Together we can build bridges of social cohesion in our community, embracing and promoting feelings of respect, understanding, peace and goodwill." Segna said.

Today's a new day and while the victims' of these hate crimes may still feel hurt and angry or sad, today is the day we take those feelings and turn them into action. Sunday, June 15th, 2008 is the day that we, as a community, make the decision to change the hearts and minds of those who choose to hate. WE working together can create the community that we want.

This can be done and we can do this, starting here, right now moving forward from today...We can make this the Billings that WE want it to BE.

The police do have a few suspects that they're looking at and they're interviewing other people and following up on tips and leads that the community has supplied them with, they are working aggressively to make an arrest in this case.

People who would like to volunteer can call Segna at 406-651-1990 or just show up at Mamacitas Caf , 1404 6th Ave North at 9 a.m. on June 15th, it's Sunday morning and father's day, but Segna is anticipating that with the number of volunteers it should only take a few hours. So come out and show your community support, Billings is a community of LOVE!

Local Businesses who have donated supplies include:

BLaST Creative
Billings Clinic
St. Vincent's Hospital
Home Depot
Billings Hardware
Poly Food Basket
Replica Business Solutions
106.7 The Planet

Source: Press Release

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top court eases rules for foreigners to try to stay in US

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court made it easier Monday for some foreigners who overstay their visas to seek to remain in the United States legally.

The court ruled 5-4 Monday that someone who is here illegally may withdraw his voluntarily agreement to depart and continue to try to get approval to remain in the United States.

The decision essentially embraced a proposed Justice Department regulation governing the treatment of similar cases in the future.

Samson Dada, a Nigerian citizen, stayed beyond the expiration of his tourist visa in 1998. He married an American the following year and soon began trying to obtain a visa as an immediate relative of a citizen. But Dada and his wife apparently failed to submit some documents, causing immigration officials to deny the visa.

Dada has been trying again to obtain the visa, but immigration authorities meanwhile have ordered him to leave the country.

He agreed to leave voluntarily, which would allow him to try sooner to re-enter the country legally than if he had been deported.

The court's task was to decide whether he could withdraw his voluntary agreement to leave the country and continue to try to adjust his status while in the United States.

Immigration authorities recently ruled that Dada had entered a "sham" marriage in order to stay in the United States, but that finding was not part of the court's consideration.

Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four liberal colleagues. The four conservative justice dissented.

Justice Antonin Scalia said, "The court lacks the authority to impose its chosen remedy."

The case is Dada v. Mukasey, 06-1181.

Source: Yahoo

Sunday, June 15, 2008

White supremacist gets death sentence

From the Associated Press

An Orange County jury has voted to impose the death penalty on a white supremacist convicted of killing a fellow gang member for talking about their organization on television.

The jury deliberated for three days before making the decision Wednesday in the case against Michael Anthony Lamb. It was the second time prosecutors had asked a jury to consider whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.

Lamb was convicted of first-degree murder in July for killing Scott Miller, a fellow member of the Public Enemy No. 1 gang. But the jury that found him guilty deadlocked in the penalty phase.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Lamb's accomplice, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole last August.

Source: LATimes

Gunfire breaks out at border near Campo. Possibly the work of White supremacists/Minutemen?

By Pauline Repard

1:02 a.m. June 14, 2008

CAMPO – At least three people were hit by gunfire Friday night on the Mexican side of the border near Campo, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol said several shooting victims came across the border.

The shootings occurred some time after 10 p.m.

A Heartland fire dispatcher said he knew of three victims, but that the Border Patrol had said there were more. The dispatcher said he did not know if anyone was killed. Border Patrol officials were unavailable to comment on what occurred.

Ambulances were sent to state Route 94, also known as Campo Road, near the Mexican border west of Campo, at 10:20 p.m. Mercy Air took one person to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, the Heartland fire dispatcher said.

In an e-mail from the San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk, an associate claimed Minutemen were in the area when shooting broke out among Mexicans on their side of the border, and at least three people were dead.

In Chula Vista, several residents called police after 11 p.m. to complain about cars speeding through town. Police stopped one driver, who turned out to be a Border Patrol agent in an unmarked car heading toward the Campo scene from the Border Patrol's Chula Vista office.

Source: SignOnSanDiego

Comment from White supremacist Hal Turner on his website:

Got 3 more!
At Least Three Shot Trying To Cross U.S. - Mexico Border
Our People are now actively shooting illegal aliens and we will continue to do so

I am proud to report that at least three more people trying to cross into the US illegally, have been shot. They are the latest in our effort to halt illegal immigration. The shooting will continue.

When planning this activity, it was decided that shootings would take place on the Mexican side of the border since law enforcement in that nation is so ill-equipped, the chance of getting caught is almost zero.

We will continue to shoot illegal aliens as they try to cross the border until the stench of blood and rotting corpses discourages further illegal attempts to enter this country.

You can support this clandestine acitivity with anonymous financial contirbnutions to:
Hal Turner
1306 Paterson Plank Road
North Bergen, NJ 07047-1900

Source: The Hal Turner Show

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Senator Menendez’s Brave Immigration Speech

By The Editorial Board

What is America coming to? The question needs to be asked at the highest levels of government, and on Wednesday, that’s what Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey did.

In a powerful speech on the Senate floor, he painted a bleak picture of the country’s ongoing foray into ever-harsher immigration enforcement. He told how reckless workplace raids and a broken immigration-detention system were brutalizing citizens and legal residents, spreading fear through immigrant communities and undermining the Constitution.

“Together we need to face a blunt reality,” Mr. Menendez said. “Our legitimate desire to control our borders has too often turned into a witch hunt against Hispanic Americans and other people of color. Common sense repeatedly loses out to hysteria, and agents of intolerance repeatedly jump over the legal protections to which every single American is entitled.”

You can watch the first part of the speech here:

and the second part here:

And read it here.

Throughout the long presidential primary campaign, we waited for Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to speak out forcefully against the foolish, crudely disproportionate tactics the government is using to drive illegal immigrants underground or out of the country. Unlike their pandering rivals on the Republican side, those three hold sensible views on immigration reform — but they have usually expressed them quite mousily.

The restrictionist clamor for unchecked immigration enforcement has led to many bad things. It has frightened a lot of politicians into silence or mumbling. On Wednesday, Mr. Menendez made a clear and courageous plea for justice and restraint.

Source: NYTimes

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama will join McCain at La Raza convention

By Leslie Berestein

June 10, 2008

SAN DIEGO – Presidential candidate Barack Obama will travel to San Diego next month to join opponent John McCain in speaking at the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.

Both senators are expected to address immigration and other issues pertinent to Latino voters, NCLR President Janet Murguía said during a visit to San Diego promoting the convention. Obama's plans were announced yesterday; McCain had agreed earlier to address the convention.

The fact that both candidates will attend “speaks to a number of things, not only to the importance of the Latino vote, but also to the importance of this region and this state,” Murguía said during a news conference.

Afterward, Murguía said she expects a historic turnout of Latino voters in November, many to counter what they see as anti-immigrant political rhetoric, but also drawn by issues such as the foreclosure crisis and health care.

On the immigration front, both senators have supported changes that immigrant advocates see as favorable. McCain once championed a temporary worker program but has since shied away from that stance.

“Senator McCain will be in an interesting position,” Murguía said yesterday, regarding his appearance at the convention. “I think people will be interested to see where he still is on immigration.”

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the convention July 12-15 at the San Diego Convention Center. Attendees will range from community leaders and elected officials, including speakers such as San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to members of corporations, philanthropies and academic institutions.

The convention will also feature a two-day “Latino Expo USA” with more than 250 exhibits, a health fair and a home ownership fair. Numerous workshops will be open to the public, including a naturalization clinic July 12 for legal residents wishing to become U.S. citizens, and a July 13 clinic that will offer pro bono legal and financial advice to families facing foreclosure.

Other convention highlights include a town hall meeting on health care reform and an event honoring Latinos in the military.

The National Council of La Raza, which is celebrating its 40th year, last held its convention in San Diego in 2000.

Source: SignOnSanDiego

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hispanic group right to stand up to hatemongers

Our view: Hispanic Institute's boycott of CNN over Lou Dobbs puts networks on notice public won't tolerate hateful lies
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.08.2008

The Hispanic Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, last week launched a national boycott of CNN, the cable news channel, to highlight unrelenting and erroneous attacks against Latino immigrants by talk-show host Lou Dobbs. While we aren't sure such an effort will be effective and while by its nature, it impugns other good programs on CNN, we agree with the spirit of the boycott.

We applaud the institute for taking a stand on behalf of the immigrant community and calling on a network to take responsibility for the content of its programs. We encourage other groups — whether they represent minorities or not — to let CNN and other news outlets know that unwarranted attacks that demonize a particular group of people will not be tolerated.

If the Hispanic community flexes its viewership muscles and the boycott succeeds in reducing CNN's ratings, particularly for Lou Dobbs' nightly show, officials with the network might be inclined to get rid of such inflammatory and dishonest programming.

Similarly, we believe local groups could put pressure on Tucson radio station 104.1-FM, which airs "The Jon Justice Show," a morning program that repeats many of the claims made by Lou Dobbs and other anti-immigrant media personalities.

Lou Dobbs, along with fellow CNN host Glenn Beck and Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, has been behind much of the anti-immigrant sentiment that is gripping the country. Dobbs and others regularly make outlandish and erroneous claims. Among them: that illegal immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime, that they drain communities of cash by illegally using social services and that they intend to take over the Southwestern United States.

While there are some slivers of truth in what Dobbs and the others say — for example, children of illegal immigrants do cost states money when they attend public schools — their claims were largely discredited in a recent report by the Media Matters Action Network, a project of the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Media Matters for America.

In a May 21 report, "Fear & Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News," researchers systematically debunked the major anti-immigrant statements made by Dobbs and others.

For example, the report cited Census data and university studies that concluded recent immigrants are less likely — not more — to be involved in crimes than native-born citizens. In fact, the report said, neighborhoods with higher immigrant populations had lower rates of crime.

"When it comes to this issue, cable news overflows not just with vitriol, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers' resentment and fears, seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria," the report said.

Programs like "Lou Dobbs Tonight" are harmful and potentially dangerous because they give license to xenophobes and racists to spew their hate on immigrants.

If such people see men in suits on TV railing against immigrants, it emboldens them to also show hate for someone who doesn't fit their ideal of an "American." To make matters worse, perpetrators of hate crimes often can't tell if a Hispanic person is an illegal immigrant, a legal immigrant or a U.S. citizen.

The FBI reported last year that of all the hate crimes in 2006 motivated by a bias against someone's ethnicity or national origin, 62.8 percent of victims were targeted because of an anti-Hispanic bias. In three years, the number of Hispanic victims of hate crimes jumped 38 percent, from 595 victims in 2003 to 819 in 2006.

Not all this violence can be attributed to talk-show hosts like Dobbs, of course. But such programs foment anger and obviously don't promote civil discourse on the problem of illegal immigration.

What's surprising about the CNN boycott is that it didn't occur sooner.
"We're taking this step after years of CNN management's failure to rein in Mr. Dobbs' irresponsible assertions about immigrants and their impact on our country and its institutions," Gus West, The Hispanic Institute's board chairman, said when the boycott was announced Tuesday.

"The lack of any meaningful response from CNN's management, or any abatement of Mr. Dobbs' offensive tirades, makes it clear to us that the company supports his misleading and often inaccurate positions."

According to the Nielsen Company, which monitors television viewers, there are 12.1 million Hispanic television households in the United States.

Here's hoping they and their allies can help improve the quality of cable television and the standard of living for illegal immigrants. Just because people are in this country illegally — but helping the nation in countless ways — doesn't mean they can't be treated with dignity and respect.

Source: azstarnet

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Landlord Accused Of Using Racial Slur

Woman Upset Over Phone Message From Property Owner

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A woman looking to rent a house said she was shocked when she received a phone message containing a racial slur.

Niccole Fountain wants to move out of her apartment into a house. But she said there is one landlord with whom she won't do business after he left her a disturbing phone message late last month.

Fountain said she was mad enough to call police and KMBC 9 News.

"I was just stunned because I didn't know what to say," Fountain told KMBC's Jere Gish.

Fountain said it started when she noticed a "for rent" sign in front of a house near 12th Street and Ohio Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

Fountain said she called the phone number listed and the property manager agreed to show her the house.

But there was a misunderstanding about how they would meet up, Fountain said.

"He said he would call to confirm if he would make it back there at 2 o'clock. This man did not call me until around 3 o'clock that Friday, so I assumed he did not want to show the property," Fountain said.

Apparently, the property manager was waiting at the house for Fountain and felt stood up.

Fountain said the next day, she received two messages on her cell phone from a man identifying himself as the owner of the house.

"Yeah, Niccole, this is Jeff Anderson again, the owner of the house on Ohio Street," the phone message said.

Anderson said he wanted an explanation for why Fountain didn't show up at the house.

Fountain said on the second message, Fountain turned nasty.

"You sound like you're a n****r, just a worthless piece of s***," the message said. "Obviously, you're too stupid to understand what we do for a living. All you live for and all you think about 24/7, 365 is who you're going to scam next, who you're going to rip off next, how much you can get away with. That's why you'll never be anything more than a worthless piece of s***."

Fountain said she just couldn't believe it.

"He don't know anything about me, never seen me before, just makes me feel like I don't want to be like that," Fountain said.

Now, she wants to warn others about her experience.

"That just goes to show you how he feels about African-Americans, and if you can't rent to African-Americans, you don't need to be renting to anyone," Fountain said.

Gish contacted the property owner several times in the past week asking for comment, but Anderson didn't return the calls.

The property manager told KMBC that Anderson owns several properties and that he has African-American tenants.

Fountain filed a police report. The incident is being investigated as a case of telephone harassment, which is a misdemeanor. It would also be classified as a hate crime.

Fountain said police have sent the property owner a letter about the case.

Source: KMBC

POLICE: Racist death threats at St. Francis

Police are investigating threats to kill students that were found on a bathroom stall inside St. Francis High School two weeks ago.

The wall was repaired Thursday after racist words against African Americans were scrawled across it.

School officials said the writing included the statement "all (explicit) will die at 2:25 today the time of the last bell of the year."

St. Francis officials said 18 African American students attend their school of 1,800.

"They have to see what it's like to be black in a mostly white community," explained student Dontay Matthew.

A few weeks prior to this incident, another slur was written inside another bathroom that specifically named three students including Anthony Stringer.

"It probably is just some dumb kids. Just because I’m black they have to target me. It's like what did I ever do to you?" Stringer said.

The principal said the handwritings of the two were similar, but officials don’t believe they are from the same suspect.

"I’m still kind of numb right now. I got the message at work and walked in boss's office and said I have to go, I have to leave," said Anthony’s mother Greta Stringer.

St. Francis students have fought back by posting a sign that says ‘No To Hate’ that is covered with signatures of support.

"I don't think that we understood there would be a significance or this degree of a racial issue in our school at this time," said principal Paul Neubauer.

The school is conducting its own investigation and offering a reward for information. Those responsible could face criminal charges.

Source: KAALtv

Illegal immigration railers cannot handle the heat


Some of those who rail against illegal immigration can dish it out but they can't take it. Since most illegal immigrants come from Mexico or other parts of Latin America, critics sometimes say the sort of crude things that give the debate its anti-Latino flavor. But let someone call them on it and do they ever get defensive.

Speaking to supporters in Palm Beach last week, Barack Obama blasted a couple of media personalities by name.

"A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year," Obama said. "If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."

It's about time. That some cable hosts and radio talkers grow their ratings by pandering to the anti-immigrant crowd is no big secret.

Not surprisingly, supporters of Dobbs and Limbaugh went on the attack. They insisted that Obama had overstated the statistics. In 2006, the FBI reported that hate crimes against Hispanics increased 10 percent from the previous year - 576 in 2006, 522 in 2005.

Nevertheless, Hispanics in 2006 were considered by the FBI as the No. 1 victim of hate crimes motivated by one's ethnicity or national origin, and by a margin that was the highest since records have been kept. Hispanics comprised 62.8 percent of victims of crimes motivated by a bias toward a victim's ethnicity or national origin.

So Obama was on the right track. In a world where the remnants of the Ku Klux Klan use immigration to recruit new members and where neo-Nazis have produced a repulsive computer game in which players shoot Mexicans crossing the border and watch them explode, it's obvious that these are hard times for Hispanics.

Limbaugh has made his share of sophomoric remarks about Hispanics and immigration. Not long ago, he aired a parody - a group calling itself Jose y Los Ilegales singing "The Star-Spanglish Banner," complete with Speedy Gonzales accents and offensive lyrics. He also took a shot at Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by saying that, when they were introduced - by former President Bill Clinton, no less - Limbaugh thought the first Latino to serve as mayor of America's second-largest city in more than a century was "maybe a shoeshine guy."

Still, there is a difference between sophomoric and sinister, and Dobbs is more accurately described as the latter. In fact, Fox News' Geraldo Rivera recently referred to Dobbs as a "hatemonger" for his treatment of the immigration issue.

That also seems to be the view of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which recently teamed up with the liberal group, Media Matters for America, to issue a report examining how the immigration debate is framed by cable news shows, including CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight." The report found that these kinds of shows overflow "not just with vitriol, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers' resentment and fears, seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria." Among the most common myths - that illegal immigrants commit more than their share of crime, drain social services, and conspire to retake the Southwest and return it to Mexico.

Dobbs also blurs the line between legal and illegal immigration. He uses guests from restrictionist groups that favor limiting legal immigration as well - the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Numbers USA, the Center for Immigration Studies, etc. - without pointing out their agendas. And the show mixes segments on border security (which deals explicitly with illegal immigration) and the Spanish language, the Mexican flag and multiculturalism (which could just as easily be tied to legal immigration).

It also doesn't help Dobbs' reputation that, during an interview last year on CBS' "60 Minutes," he recalled a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in which the CNN host claimed that the representatives, in trying to establish if he was pro-Latino, asked him if he "had ever eaten a taco ... and an enchilada."

That crack inspired a letter of protest to CBS from Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., insisting that Dobbs' comments did not "reflect the true nature of the discussion at our meeting." He called Dobbs' juvenile and stereotypical remarks about Mexican food "just one example of how he continues to belittle Hispanic members of Congress and the Hispanic community."

So did Barack Obama go too far in criticizing media talkers who are poisoning the public mood against Latinos? Are you kidding? He only scratched the surface.

Ruben Navarrette Jr., is a columnist and editorial board member of The San Diego Union Tribune, He is the author of "A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano." He can be reached at

Source: Coshocton Tribune


8th June 2008
By Mike Parker

BARACK Obama is being shielded by a £50million security operation after death threats from twisted racist groups.

FBI chiefs believe at least three white supremacist organisations want to assassinate the Democrat aiming to become America’s first black president.

The Daily Star Sunday can reveal that Obama has been under round-the-clock protection from the Secret Service since May last year.

It is the biggest ever security operation surrounding a presidential candidate and is costing about £50million a year.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff ordered the move after a shock dossier revealed a “high-level risk” from ultra-right wing neo-Nazi groups.

And it is feared the risk to Obama’s life has increased since he beat Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination to run against Republican John McCain in November.

A senior FBI source confirmed that security around the 46-year-old Illinois senator has been beefed up after a series of chilling new threats.

One un-named group posted a hate-filled message on the internet which declared: “White supremacists everywhere will rejoice upon reading ‘Dead’ and ‘Obama’ in the same headline.”

Another showed Obama’s face with a sniper’s gun-sight super-imposed over it with the sinister caption: “One man, one bullet.”

Obama’s wife Michelle and their two daughters are also being shadowed by Secret Service agents.

According to the source, three groups believed to be targeting Obama are the National Socialist Vanguard, the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan.

Most dangerous of the hate-filled trio is the once-powerful Klan. The source said: “All three groups are seen as posing a threat. But the Klan, in particular, has a nucleus of supporters who are prepared to pursue violence to get their message across.”

Following the threats against Obama, Klan leaders in Kentucky and Louisiana have themselves been targeted.

The source added: “Certain characters would be making a very big mistake if they tried to follow through any of these nasty threats.”

A spokesman at Obama’s campaign HQ said: “We appreciate the efforts of various government agencies in protecting all the candidates and their families. “

Hillary Clinton formally suspended her campaign and backed Obama last night.

She said: “I have said throughout that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party’s nominee and I intend to deliver on that promise.”

Source: Daily Star

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Media Matters Report Further Debunks Dobbsian Myths

Undocumented immigrants:

* Commit a disproportionate number of crimes throughout the country.
* Rely heavily on taxpayer-funded services while paying no taxes themselves.
* Bring to America rare and nasty diseases, such as leprosy.

Sound familiar?

That could be because you’ve heard it all before on cable news, where derogatory myths about immigrants are regularly presented as fact.

Last summer the Intelligence Report revealed that several major cable news hosts, most notably CNN’s Lou Dobbs, were broadcasting discredited information as part of their ratings-grabbing anti-immigration polemics, in some cases relaying falsehoods that originated with white supremacists.

Now, a new report from the Media Matters Action Network further debunks the most pernicious of these rumors with statistics from respected sources, and offers a blistering criticism of three cable programs whose hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs — never seem to tire of blaming illegal immigrants for various societal ills or demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth.

“When it comes to this issue [of anti-immigrant rhetoric], cable news overflows not just with vitriol, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers’ resentment and fears, seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria,” states the introduction to Fear & Loathing in Prime Time.

The 21-page report, which was released May 23, goes on to quantify just how often O’Reilly, Beck and Dobbs rail against undocumented immigrants: “Dobbs is the one most obsessed with the topic; indeed, instead of Lou Dobbs Tonight, his program might be more properly called Lou Dobbs Crusades Against Illegal Immigration Tonight. Fully 70 percent of the 2007 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight contained discussion of illegal immigration. The O’Reilly Factor is not far behind; 56 percent of 2007 episodes discussed illegal immigration. And though Glenn Beck was less consumed with the issue (28 percent of his 2007 programs discussed it), his show is the one on which viewers often find the most inflammatory claims.”

The most widespread damaging misperceptions, spouted as gospel by these commentators, are that undocumented immigrants are responsible for a “crime wave,” and that they drain government coffers by consuming social services without paying taxes.

The Media Matters report points out that both these assertions are untrue. Citing a Harvard study, Justice Department statistics, and a study from the Public Policy Institute of California, the report concludes that “there is no evidence to indicate that undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than American citizens; indeed, the evidence strongly suggests that immigrants in general are less likely to commit crimes.”

Another anti-immigrant myth that refuses to die, even though it was thoroughly debunked by the Intelligence Report last year, is one that blames Mexican and Central American immigrants for a supposed dramatic upsurge in leprosy. The Media Matters report highlights the repeated assertion on Lou Dobbs Tonight that 7,000 cases of leprosy were documented in the United States between 2002 and 2004. In fact, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there were only 398 cases of leprosy recorded during that period.

Fear & Loathing in Prime Time also shows up urban legends that falsely claim plans are afoot to build a “NAFTA superhighway,” to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into the “North American Union,” or to re-conquer parts of the Southwest for Mexico, falsehoods the Intelligence Report first examined and countered last summer.

In defending his show’s ridiculous leprosy story, Lou Dobbs infamously assured 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl that, “If we reported it, it’s a fact.” But as Fear & Loathing in Prime Time makes all the more clear, when it comes to the national immigration debate, facts are secondary to ideology where Dobbs and company are concerned.

Source: SPLCenter

The Anti-Immigration Movement

The immigration debate in the United States has been marked by racist propaganda, bogus statistics about immigrants and wild conspiracy theories — all of which combine to dehumanize Latino immigrants and falsely portray them as disease-carrying, job-stealing criminals invading our country.

This xenophobic rhetoric — echoes of the scapegoating of new immigrants throughout American history — has seeped steadily into the mainstream, taken up by right-wing politicians and popular media figures like Lou Dobbs.

The myths and conspiracy theories about immigrants often originate within racist extremist organizations. And the vitriol heard daily on talk radio and cable TV has helped nurture a movement of anti-immigration groups as well as traditional hate groups.

The number of hate groups operating in the United States has grown to 888 — a staggering 48 percent increase since 2000, driven largely by anti-immigrant hysteria. And since the spring of 2005, some 300 new immigration restriction groups, including border vigilantes like the Minutemen and organizations that exist simply to harass Latino immigrants, have sprung up across the country. Of that number, 144 are listed as "nativist extremist" groups — organizations that do not merely seek to change immigration policy, but actively confront or harass individuals who they believe are undocumented.

Many anti-immigrant groups — like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — present a veneer of respectability but are deeply rooted in the world of white supremacists. In fact, John Tanton, the founder of FAIR, is considered by many to be the father of the anti-immigration movement.

At the same time that anti-immigrant rhetoric has grown more heated, violence against Latinos has grown. FBI statistics suggest that hate crimes against Latinos climbed 35 percent from 2003 to 2006.

Undeniably, this issue has proven to be fertile ground for hate groups and other extremists looking to spread their racist beliefs. That is why it is important to understand the background and motives of the groups shaping the discussion. The nation's immigration debate is too important to be defined by radical groups manipulating it for their own bigoted reasons.

Source: SPLCenter

Friday, June 06, 2008

Judge blocks Oklahoma illegal immigration law

By RON JENKINS Associated Press Writer
© 2008 The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge on Wednesday blocked parts of an Oklahoma law targeting illegal immigration, saying the measures are probably unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of provisions of the law that subject employers to penalties for failing to comply with a federal employee verification system.

The decision came on a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Chamber and other business groups, who argued that the electronic verification system is voluntary under federal law and that employers should not be subjected to state penalties.

"Through harsh civil penalties, the Oklahoma law unfairly shifts the burden of immigration enforcement from government onto the backs of business," Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber, said in statement.

The provisions in effect since November prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving tax-supported services and make it a state crime to transport or harbor illegal immigrants, a provision loudly criticized by social agencies that work with the immigrant population.

The state law took effect in November 2007, but the employer provisions under attack were set to take effect July 1.

Cauthron held that the plaintiffs would probably establish that the state measure pre-empted federal law on immigration.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson defended the law.

"We will attempt to overcome this hurdle when the matter is set for hearing on the permanent injunction," he said.

Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican who introduced the legislation, predicted the case would be appealed if the plaintiffs prevail in their quest for a permanent injunction.

No hearing date has been set.

Source: Chron

California Assembly Passes DREAM Act

SACRAMENTO – By a 44-26 vote, the California Assembly today approved the California DREAM Act, authored by Assembly Speaker Emeritus Fabian Núñez’s (D-Los Angeles).

“All qualified students in California deserve the opportunity to attend an institution of higher learning, and the California DREAM Act brings us one step closer to that goal,” Speaker Núñez said. “Preserving road blocks that prevent students from achieving their true potential is no way to run a state. In a competitive 21st century global economy, a broadly educated workforce is essential for our state to maintain its advantage in leading technology and professional sectors.”

AB 2083, the California DREAM Act, requires the California State University system and the California Community Colleges and requests the University of California to provide financial aid – including grants, scholarships, work-study offers, and loans – to all qualified students who are exempt from nonresident tuition.

Qualified students guaranteed access to aid must have attended and graduated from a California high school for at least three years. All undocumented students must file an affidavit stating that they will file an application to legalize their immigration status or will file such an application as soon as they are eligible.

The DREAM Act now moves to the California State Senate for consideration.

Source: One Bakersfield