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January 03, 2005



MEXICAN GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES COMIC WITH BORDER CROSSING TIPS

"The Mexican government is giving out a colorful new comic book with advice for migrants, but immigration-control advocates worry that some of the tips may encourage illegal border crossers. The 32-page book, The Guide for the Mexican Migrant, was published in December by Mexico's Foreign Ministry. Using simple language, the book offers safety information for border crossers, a primer on their legal rights and advice on living unobtrusively in the United States," the Arizona Republic reports. "'This is more than just a wink and a nod,' said Rick Oltman, Western field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. 'This is so transparent, this is the Mexican government trying to protect its most valuable export, which is illegal migrants.'"

FAIR has obtained a PDF version of the document. You can download it here (PDF required, 800k)

The Mexican government's Foreign Ministry has an HTML version at http://www.sre.gob.mx/tramites/consulares/guiamigrante/page1.htm

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JOBS AMERICANS AREN'T POLITE ENOUGH TO DO?

"Twenty years ago, Rocky Mountain ski resorts recruited heavily in the Midwest, reasoning that young people from Minnesota and Iowa were more polite than New Yorkers and more likely to show up for work than Californians," the Arizona Republic writes. Now, most resorts are staffed by foreign workers. "'We're trying to perform this five-star service level and the employable in the U.S. that are out of work just don't really fit that standard,' said Rich Jensen, recruiting manager at Deer Valley. 'Not that you don't get any good U.S. applicants, but you get a lot of really quality kids from out of the country.'"

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NORTH CAROLINA DMV'S "FAKE ID" LINE

North Carolina officials say they are concerned about the continued use of fake ID documents. "In some cases, illegal aliens use their fake documents to get a North Carolina driver's license, which opens doors for them that some in law enforcement find troubling. . . In fact, people are coming to the area from as far as New York and Connecticut to get North Carolina licenses with fake IDs," the News Record notes. "The motor-vehicle agency has tightened its requirements by attempting to verify each applicant's Social Security number with the federal government before issuing a license...One day, [a police spokesman] said, a deputy decided to try a new technique when he was sent to the DMV office. 'The deputy walked in and said, 'All illegal aliens with false IDs, please step forward,' Six people did,' Jones said. 'They thought we had a special line for people with fake IDs. It sounds like a Chevy Chase movie, but it really happened.'"

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HUNT FOR ABSCONDERS CONTINUES

The Washington Post has a story about the continuing effort to find and deport illegal alien absconders - who have fled to avoid deportation. "The search for the absconders wasn't supposed to be this difficult. When the program was announced in December 2001, officials said they would put the absconders' names into FBI's National Crime Information Center database. That would allow local and state police to identify whether people they stopped for routine infractions were on the list. . . But after three years, only 38,521 names are in the database -- about 10 percent of the absconders [an ICE spokesman said]." The paper writes, "For all their frustrations, the fugitive teams have made progress. In the first seven months of fiscal 2004, they apprehended 7,239 absconders, twice as many as in the same period a year earlier, according to ICE statistics. The agency is drawing up plans for 30 more teams, probably including one focused on both the District and Northern Virginia. But budget problems have bedeviled ICE, and Knocke said it wasn't clear if all 30 teams would be fielded by the end of 2005."

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BUSH PLAN FACES GOP OPPOSITION

"President Bush's plan to liberalize the nation's immigration laws to allow millions of undocumented workers the opportunity for legal status appears to be on a collision course with newly aroused sentiment among House Republicans pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration," the Washington Post writes. "Bush describes his immigration proposal as one of the top goals of his second term, calling it a humane way to get a handle on the nation's mushrooming illegal immigration problem. Republican strategists, led by White House chief political adviser Karl Rove, also see the proposal as an important element in their plan to expand the party's base among the nation's fast-growing Hispanic population."

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EXPERTS WORRY OVER GANG-TERROR LINK

"In a December 4 incident that received scant media attention, a Bangladeshi Muslim man named Fakhrul Islam was among a group of 13 illegal aliens arrested near Brownsville, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. Border Patrol agents have said that one of the men detained along with Islam was a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with more than 300,000 members across Central and North America, including powerful enterprises in several major U.S. cities," says Erick Stackelbeck. "In July, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was spotted in Honduras meeting with members of MS-13. Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that El-Shukrijumah, who he has described as a 'clear and present danger to America,' is seeking ways to infiltrate the U.S. via the Mexican border, and is willing to pay top dollar in order to do so."

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