al.com: Alabama immigration law has denied basic human rights, report says

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Alabama’s immigration law has led to illegal immigrants around the state having their basic rights denied and should be repealed, a human rights group contends in a report being issued today.

“The initial human impact has been devastating, though the full consequences remain unknown,” stated the report, “No Way To Live: Alabama’s Immigrant Law,” issued by Human Rights Watch.

“A group of people have found themselves unable to live the lives they had lived for many years. Some were barred from access to basic services like water, and many more were told they could not live in homes they own,” according to the report. Read More …

NYT: Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans

A growing number of United States citizens have been detained under Obama administration programs intended to detect illegal immigrants who are arrested by local police.

In a spate of recent cases across the country, American citizens have been confined in local jails after federal immigration agents, acting on flawed information from Department of Homeland Security databases, instructed the police to hold them for investigation and possible deportation.

Americans said their vehement protests that they were citizens went unheard by local police and jailers for days, with no communication with federal immigration agents to clarify the situation. Any case where an American is held, even briefly, for immigration investigation is a potential wrongful arrest because immigration agents lack legal authority to detain citizens. Read More …

NYT: Recall Election Claims Arizona Anti-Immigration Champion

“MESA, Ariz. — For years, Russell Pearce, Arizona’s most powerful legislator and the architect of its tough immigration law, has sought to make life so uncomfortable for illegal immigrants in the state that they pack up and go.

But Mr. Pearce, known for his gruff, uncompromising manner, was the one sent packing on Tuesday after disgruntled voters in this suburban neighborhood outside Phoenix banded together to recall him from the State Senate and replace him with a more moderate Republican.”  Read more …

Gotham Gazette: Bill Curtails City Role in Deportations

"With states such as Arizona and Alabama passing immigration laws that go far beyond those of the federal government, the New York City Council weighed in on the issue yesterday and took a decidedly different stand.

By an overwhelming majority, the council passed a bill sponsored by Melissa Mark-Viveritoof Manhattan that would end the Department of Correction's policy of cooperating with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants. The bill, said by supporters to be the first of its kind in the country, will end two decades of cooperation between the city jail system and federal immigration authorities, now called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

This bill, Intro 656, Mark-Viverito said shortly before its passage, 'sends a strong message we will no longer be complicit in this country's broken immigration system.'

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn cited another message as well. 'When signed by the mayor,' she said, 'the entire government of New York will send a message the city of New York is supportive of, friendly to and welcoming to immigrants.'"  Read more.

 

SA Express News: Are narcos hiding out in Texas?

"Two alleged Gulf Cartel leaders arrested last week in South Texas likely were hiding out north of the border to avoid the extreme violence caused by warring cartels in Mexico, analysts said.

These cartel capos are potential gold mines of information for law enforcement, but the schisms they're fleeing may have spilled into the U.S. in two recent incidents, they said. And the demise of these bosses works to the benefit of their opponents across the river.

Border Patrol agents on Thursday arrested Eudoxio Ramos Garcia, 34, at a house in Rio Grande City. Ramos is the Gulf Cartel's former plaza boss, or regional commander, for the Mexican border city of Miguel Alemán, according to court documents."  Read more …

 

SA Express News: Hidalgo Co. Sheriff says drug war violence spilling over

"MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A shooting that injured a sheriff's deputy was the first indisputable case of spillover violence from the Mexican drug wars in Hidalgo County, the local sheriff said Monday.

Sheriff Lupe Trevino, who previously said there was no direct spillover violence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, said the Sunday shootout erupted while one of his deputies investigated a reported kidnapping and drug deal.

'I have to say that with this particular incident, the way the witnesses and the information that we have gotten particularly in the federal system, this is the first recorded spillover violence event that we have experienced — and unfortunately got one of our deputies shot,' Trevino said.

One suspect was killed and two were wounded. In all, six people were taken into custody, including the alleged kidnapping victim, and are awaiting charges, the sheriff said.

The sheriff said a protective vest probably saved the life of Deputy Hugo Rodriguez, who was shot in the chest, abdomen and leg. He is recovering at a hospital.

Trevino said the reported kidnapping was a bid to recover marijuana stolen when the Gulf cartel's reputed second-in-command, Samuel Flores Borrego, was killed in September."  Read more …

 

NYT: 76 Arrested as Officials Break Up Mexico-to-Arizona Drug-Smuggling Ring

"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 …

 

Huffington Post: DHS Documents State Local Police Not Required To Hold Undocumented Immigrants For U.S. Government

"WASHINGTON — Local law enforcement agencies are not required to hold undocumented immigrants at the request of the federal government, according to internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by a coalition of groups critical of the Secure Communities enforcement program.

The documents could provide ammunition for jurisdictions that no longer want to participate inSecure Communities, which allows federal immigration authorities to use fingerprints to scan those arrested by local law enforcement. They also support recent actions by Cook County, Ill., Santa Clara, Calif., and San Francisco, all of which decided this year to stop adhering to federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants who were either low-level offenders or were accused of felonies.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Center for Constitutional Rights and Benjamin Cardozo School of Law received the documents after a Freedom of Information Act request and plan to release them this week. The three documents, from October 2010 and January 2011, clarify DHS policy on detainers — requests from federal immigration officials for police to hold those arrested, in some cases after being detected by enforcement programs.

'A detainer serves only to advise another law enforcement agency that ICE seeks an opportunity to interview and potentially assume custody of an alien presently in the custody of that agency,'according to an undated document.

Another document, notes from a briefing to Congressional Hispanic Caucus staff in October 2010, says 'local [law enforcements] are not mandated to honor a detainer, and in some jurisdictions they do not.' The third document, a series of questions and answers emailed in January 2010, says ICE detainers are 'a request,' and 'there is no penalty if they [local law enforcement] do not comply.'" Read more …

 

Austin Statesman: Border crime can’t be categorized as one statistic

"An in-depth analysis of the latest crime numbers reveals that the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border defies any single description.

'The border is so diverse, you couldn't put the whole border in one bucket,' said Rusty Fleming, a volunteer public information officer for the sheriff's department in rural, sparsely populated Hudspeth County.

The statistics used by the American-Statesman, which are the same as those provided to the FBI as part of its Uniform Crime Report, were provided by the Department of Public Safety and include data recently published on the department's website as part of its detailed 2010 crime report." Read more …

 

EPT: Mexican drug cartels strengthen ties with US gangs

"Mexican drug cartels are strengthening alliances with gangs in the United States beyond ethnic, ideological and geographic boundaries, warns a new report from the federal National Gang Intelligence Center.

The gang-cartel link is most prominently seen in El Paso between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juárez drug cartel, but similar alliances are emerging in various parts of the country, according to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.

El Paso police report a drop in gang membership and criminal gang activity, but nationally, gangs are expanding, evolving and becoming more sophisticated, the National Gang Threat Assessment reported.

'Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are observing a growing nexus between the Mexican drug cartels, illegal alien smuggling rings and U.S.-based gangs,' the study stated.

The recently released report stated that different cartels are aligned with various gangs, including gangs that work with more than one cartel, depending on the situation.

Local law enforcement officers said most street gangs in El Paso don't deal directly with Mexican cartels, but the alliance between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juárez drug cartel is well documented.

The Barrio Azteca was formed in the mid-1980s by El Pasoans in state prison and has since grown into one of the most active regional crime networks, having branches in Juárez and Midland-Odessa." Read more …