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LAX DOCUMENTATION LEADS TO MURDER OF POLICE OFFICER
While the governor of Virginia continues to block implementation of requirements for proof of legal residency to obtain a state driver’s license, a Norfolk, Virginia, policewoman was murdered on Jan. 16 by a previously deported illegal alien who managed to return to the U.S. using false documents. The Jamaican national, Mario Roberto Keen, who had been deported in September 1997, was able to use altered documents to return to the U.S.
VIRGINIA DRIVER’S LICENSE LAWS STILL WEAK LINK IN TERRORISM BATTLE
Although seven of the 19 September 11th terrorists had taken advantage of Virginia’s lax driver’s license and state ID policies, very little has been done to rectify the situation, reports the Washington Times. The paper faults the administration of Gov. Mark Warner, “which appears to be working behind the scenes to kill legislation that would end the state’s reputation as a mecca for immigration fraud by requiring applicants for driver’s licenses to prove they are legally in the United States.”
Legislation introduced last year in the Virginia House of Delegates requiring proof of legal U.S. residency was killed in the State Senate. Citing the need for fiscal austerity, the governor seems to be attempting to block implementation once again. In the meantime, an official of the Virginia DMV confirms that applicants for driver’s licenses are not being asked to provide proof of legal residency.
MEXICO, IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES PRESSING FOR REINSTATEMENT OF CONSULAR ID ACCEPTANCE AT S.F. FEDERAL BUILDING
In reaction to publicity surrounding the news that Mexican consular ID cards were being accepted as proof of identification for admission to the Philip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, the General Services Administration has suspended the policy. However, officials of the Mexican government, the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as an assortment of immigrants’ rights groups are pressing for reinstatement of the cards.
As spokeswoman for Pelosi argued that acceptance of the cards, “helps to identify people who are in the community.” Groups like the National Council of La Raza, which has fought tirelessly against secure identification documents issued by the U.S. government, also protested the suspension in the acceptance of the Mexican-issued IDs. David Ray of FAIR, however, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We are absolutely alarmed by the vacuum of protest from the Bush Administration…about accepting ID cards possessed solely by illegal aliens.”
WHAT A SURPRISE! IMMIGRATION LAWYERS CLAIM AMERICANS WANT MORE IMMIGRATION
In one of the most remarkable examples of political spin to be found anywhere, an immigration lawyers’ web site interprets the results of a new Gallup Poll as an indication that Americans want more, not less immigration.
According to the survey conducted between Jan. 13-16, 31 percent of respondents said they were “somewhat dissatisfied” with U.S. immigration policy, while 34 percent were “very dissatisfied.” This compares with 3 percent who are “very satisfied” and 24 percent who are “somewhat satisfied.” In order to conclude that the overwhelming dissatisfaction is due to too little immigration, rather than too much, the immigration lawyers urges that we “look at the fine print.” (Caution: you’re going to need a very powerful magnifying glass.) The poll notes that Republicans are more satisfied than Democrats, and since Democrats are more likely than Republicans to want higher immigration, therefore Americans who identify with both parties want more immigration. Got it? There’s just one important piece of information the immigration lawyers leave out: Although Democrats are more likely to favor higher immigration than Republicans, most Democrats also think immigration levels are too high. The difference is that Democrats would probably make small reductions than Republicans.
“Catholic bishops from the United States and Mexico urged Presidents Bush and Vicente Fox on Friday to renew talks on immigration that stalled after the Sept. 11 attacks and enact reforms that ‘respect the human dignity’ of immigrants,” the AP reports. “The pastoral letter, considered a policy statement of the church, also is addressed to the 65 million U.S. Catholics and 90 million Mexican Catholics. It calls on members to respond better to migrants' needs through such efforts as training priests and church leaders to accompany migrants on their travels.”
“The head of a U.S.-based Muslim group said he was stopped at Ireland's Shannon Airport after a three-week visit to Jordan and told he could not return to the United States,” the AP reported. “Sabri Samirah, president of the United Muslim Americans Association in Palos Hills, outside Chicago, said Sunday he still had not learned exactly why immigration officials denied him permission to return after visiting his parents in Jordan.”
SENATE BILL THREATENS FUNDING FOR ENTRY/EXIT PROGRAM
The latest measure to stop the anti-terror entry/exit program is a Senate passed bill that “includes a little-noticed amendment that would cut off funding for a Justice Department program that requires male immigrants from two dozen predominantly Muslim countries to register and be fingerprinted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.” The Washington Post notes that, “The main purpose of the amendment was to restore funding for a congressionally mandated program that by 2005 is designed to provide information on the identity of all visitors to the United States and track when they enter and leave the country.” According to the paper, a spokesman for President Bush says the administration will try to retain NSEERS funding. The amendment was added by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).
“The FBI has launched a concerted search for several thousand illegal Iraqi immigrants who have gone missing while visiting the United States and are among those being sought for voluntary interviews in advance of a possible war with Iraq, officials said,” the Washington Post reports. “The search for the missing Iraqis, estimated by immigration officials to number 3,000 or more, has become one of the primary objectives of a broader, FBI-run program aimed at locating and interviewing as many as 50,000 Iraqi nationals who have entered the United States as visitors or refugees within the last decade or so.”