By Peter Malof, published October 17, 2012:
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Los cambios demográficos, junto con nuevas políticas de inmigración, alimentan los debates recientes en los círculos mediáticos sobre cómo referirse a los inmigrantes que no vinieron a los Estados Unidos por medios legales. La diferencia no estriba en que sea un adjetivo o un adverbio, sino en el uso que se da a la palabra “ilegal” cuando se refiere a residentes que no se mudaron a este país con la documentación adecuada.
Desde la cadena CNN hasta el Huffington Post, los principales informativos han tratado de aumentar su público latino evitando el término “inmigrante ilegal”. Un ejemplo es el San Antonio Express-News, con distribución incluso en México, el cual hace dos años decidió que el término no era consistente con la forma en que el periódico describe a otros supuestos infractores de la ley. Jamie Stockwell, editora en jefe del periódico, dice que es como llamarle “conductor ilegal” a quien viola las leyes de tránsito.
“Entonces, la forma correcta de describir el estatus migratorio de una persona –cuando la información es relevante– es decir que esa persona está en el país ilegalmente. Y luego citamos la fuente de información. Por ejemplo, ‘La policía dice que el hombre está ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos.”
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"You may not have heard of the Sonoran Pronghorn antelope, the lesser long-nosed bat or the desert pupfish. But you should be comforted to know that the federal bureaucracy has tried to make sure that the fight against human smugglers and drug couriers along the U.S.-Mexico border does not come at the expense of these and other endangered creatures or their sensitive environment.
How? Surveillance towers are designed to minimize the threat to bats and birds. Wires carrying electricity are buried so as to prevent electrocution. In some places, officials are required to look under heavy construction equipment before moving it to make sure tortoises haven’t sought shelter in the shade.
Is this overkill? We don’t think so. A memorandum of understanding reached under the Bush administration established a protocol to deal with the complex mission of securing the border without doing undue harm to the environment. Among other things, the system has allowed the Border Patrol to set up operations in officially declared wilderness areas, which under normal conditions are off limits to everyone and everything." Read more …
Foes see agency causing harm; backers cite smugglers, cartels.
Both sides of a debate over a proposed law giving the Border Patrol more access to protected lands say they're trying to do what's right for the environment.
The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act would waive laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act on federal lands within 100 miles of the border, affecting protected areas such as Big Bend National Park.
Environmentalists say the law could contribute to the decline of habitat for animals such as the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi, small wildcats whose range extends into South Texas. Proponents of the bill say restricting Border Patrol activity in federally protected borderlands just creates lanes for smugglers, who have no regard for the environment.
The act moved out of a House committee last month. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
The bill by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, allows the Border Patrol to build roads and other infrastructure on federally protected lands by waiving more than two dozen environmental and historical regulations. Agents are inhibited in some places by not being able to move freely through federal lands, said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing agents. Read more …
"PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials on Monday announced the breakup of a large drug-smuggling ring that used lookouts on hilltops in southern Arizona to move huge quantities of marijuana and other drugs across the Mexican border to users throughout the United States.
Over the last month and a half, federal, state and local officials have arrested 76 people, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles, the authorities said. All were linked to the Sinaloa cartel run by Joaquín Guzmán, Mexico’s richest and most wanted outlaw, who goes by the nickname El Chapo, officials said.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Arizona officials estimated that the ring had been in operation for at least five years and had generated more than $2 billion in profits by smuggling more than three million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States. Such large smuggling rings usually use tractor-trailers to get their contraband across, the authorities said, but this operation relied mostly on migrants on foot straining under their loads." Read more …
"SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped its controversial practice of routinely searching buses, trains and airports for illegal immigrants at transportation hubs along the northern border and in the U.S. interior, preventing agents from using what had long been an effective tool for tracking down people here illegally, The Associated Press has learned.
Current and former Border Patrol agents said field offices around America began receiving the order last month — soon after the Obama administration announced that to ease an overburdened immigration system, it would allow many illegal immigrants to remain in the country while it focuses on deporting those who have committed crimes.
The routine bus, train and airport checks typically involved agents milling about and questioning people who appeared suspicious, and had long been criticized by immigrant rights groups. Critics said the tactic amounted to racial profiling and violated travelers' civil liberties.
But agents said it was an effective way to catch unlawful immigrants, including smugglers and possible terrorists, who had evaded detection at the border, as well as people who had overstayed their visas. Often, those who evade initial detection head quickly for the nearest public transportation in hopes of reaching other parts of the country." Read more …
"DALLAS, TX (KERA) - The Texas Department of Public Safety is ready to ramp up deployment of motion-triggered cameras in what it hopes is another tool to monitor the state's 1,254-mile border with Mexico.
DPS Director Steve McCraw says 20 to 30 of the small mobile cameras have been tested and proven effective for more than a year in rural areas along the border.
The cameras can take series of still photographs when people walk by and then email the images to accounts that DPS selects, including law enforcement fusion centers or even the ranchers on whose land the cameras sit.
McCraw said information from the cameras had already led Border Patrol to apprehend about 150 illegal immigrants this year. McCraw says DPS hopes to deploy about 400 cameras with current funding." Link to article.
Three Predator drones added to border fleet
"WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department is adding three drone aircraft, including one in Texas, to a fleet used mostly to patrol the border with Mexico, although it doesn't have enough pilots to operate the seven Predators it already has. The drones are being purchased after lobbying by members of the so-called drone caucus in Congress, many from Southern California, a hub of the drone aircraft industry. 'We didn't ask for them,' a Homeland Security official told the Tribune Washington Bureau on condition of anonymity. A new Predator B will arrive in Corpus Christi within days. Another Predator is slated for delivery to Arizona by year-end. A third drone will be based at Cape Canaveral, Fla., early next year." Link to article.
Good morning, TexMessagers. Ted Poe is looking for strict punishment on immigration. What do you think?
There are thousands of illegal immigrants that need to be deported, Rep. Ted Poe said on the House floor Tuesday, and he’s not just talking about Mexican nationals.
Poe announced his introduction of the Deport Convicted Foreign Criminals Act- legislation that would punish nations that refuse to repatriate their criminals out of the United States within 90 days by refusing to issue visas to their citizens until they comply.
Poe, R-Humble, was reacting to what he called the “astonishing” news from the Federal Bureau of Prisons that more than 25 percent of federal prisoners are foreign nationals in the United States Illegally.
“These criminals serve their sentence in out of our state or Federal prisons, Poe said. “Then after they serve that sentence and they are ordered deported, here’s what happens: many of their native countries refuse to take back their deported criminals. Why would they take them back? They’ve got enough criminals of their own.” Read more …