Thursday, June 29, 2006 

Few minutes with Minuteklan is plenty of time for GOP group

Thu, Jun. 29, 2006


Few minutes with Minutemen is plenty of time for GOP group

BUD KENNEDY
In My Opinion

BRYAN - The Texas Minutemen brought their borderline paranoia to the heart of Aggieland this week.

A Republican club invited the Wise County-based Minutemen to tell about their escapades guarding the Rio Grande. But what they heard was too loony even for Aggies.

When the Minutemen's quirky leader started rambling about a secret plan to "merge Canada and Mexico with the United States," the good Republicans in the home of the George Bush Presidential Library started squirming in their chairs behind half-eaten barbecue plates.

When a Minutewoman from Dallas started complaining that ranchers can shoot diseased cattle at the border but not humans, and blamed permissive immigration on the "greedy business people" of America, their Republican host finally had enough and stood to cut off questions.

"Thank you," said Dan Garcia, 29, an Iraq war veteran and now a Texas A&M University student. Almost apologetically, he told the Brazos County Young Republicans, "Our goal was just to set up a forum where we could hear different opinions."

Later, he said the discussion "got out of hand a little too quickly."

"I don't think disease should be part of the issue," said Garcia, a Brownsville native and the son of immigrants from Mexico who earned doctorates. "Some of the things they said, I totally disagree with. As Republicans, we're not xenophobes. We just want to know who's coming into the country."

It was his idea to invite a Minuteman to draw more people to a meeting when some Young Republicans have gone home for the summer. It worked: Instead of five or six Republicans, the meeting drew 25 guests to C & J Barbeque.

Garcia said he looked up Minutemen on the Web and found the Wise County group.

Shannon McGauley, 42, a private investigator from Boyd, leads one of two factions of Minutemen volunteers in Texas. His faction reports to a California man who is affiliated with a Bible-preaching fringe political party and who openly opposes allowing any other "cultures" or languages in America besides his own.

That part bothered Garcia before the meeting.

"What makes America great is that we pull the best from all cultures," he said in an interview. "As a Republican, I value hard work and personal integrity. People bring those values to the U.S. from all cultures."

McGauley agreed to make the drive to Bryan for gas money, Garcia said.

McGauley and other Minutemen have eagerly accepted invitations from border-minded Republican clubs lately, using the opportunity to promote their financially struggling volunteer effort and to preach their conspiracy politics. In Bryan, their handouts included something about the Trilateral Commission.

McGauley, a stubby man with a necktie that stops about four inches too soon, called himself a "bail bond enforcement agent." He and a brother bill themselves on the Web as the only known pair of twin bounty hunters.

Before they hunted border crossers, they might have been hunting something else.

In a Yahoo discussion group called "smalltowntexassingles," somebody using his brother's name posted a 2002 ad introducing twin brother private investigators looking to "get to know" singles. They have also advertised a lawn service.

Early last year, after volunteering in a Minuteman Project patrol in Arizona, McGauley registered the name Texas Minutemen.

The other faction is the Falfurrias-based Texas chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which emphasizes lawful borders more than fear of Hispanic "culture."

For the Bryan audience, McGauley began with a routine report on risks along the border. He described the cat-and-mouse game Minutemen play watching the border, the rumors of Iraqis crossing illegally and the plans for another patrol Sept. 11 along the Rio Grande near Laredo and Del Rio.

The volunteers simply watch for border crossers and alert the Border Patrol, he said. They carry concealed weapons for self-defense, as allowed under state law.

A small group of Hispanic students and adults from Texas A&M University watched from a front table. Hispanic students have been part of the Gig 'Em tradition since at least 1894, when an Aggie from Hidalgo, Mexico, named N. Valdez scored A&M's very first football touchdown.

They bristled when McGauley's co-founder, a retired Dallas software engineer named Sandra Beene, started talking about shooting "varmints" and about how ranchers used to shoot cattle that crossed the border for fear they might have diseases.

"Now, we're bringing all the diseases that we wiped out right back in," she said.

Then, a barber from Bryan spoke up from the crowd to complain about trucks from Mexico using the planned Trans-Texas Corridor toll superhighway.

"Trucks are going to roll all the way into Kansas City from a foreign nation," McGauley said as if free trade is somehow sinister.

He mentioned the secret "plan" to merge North America, which must not be a secret up in Wise County.

Late in the discussion, Beene made this telling comment:

"Once, in this country, we imported a lot of people who were black, and we created a slave class of human beings," she said. "And we're still paying for that, through all the resentment. And black people are still paying for it, too."

Lesson 1: Some of these Minutemen don't want anyone of another color or culture in Texas.

Lesson 2: Republicans need to be careful about welcoming the Minutemen.


Star-Telegram

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/14928590.htm

 

Vista, CA- council passes day laborers ordinance

Vista council passes day laborers ordinance

Amy Isackson

KPBS SAN DIEGO (2006-06-28) Under a new ordinance, employers who hire day laborers in the city of Vista will have to register with the city. The city council voted unanimously in favor of the measure last night on the grounds that it will protect workers. But critics say the true purpose is to shut down curbside hiring. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Vista has long been searching for a way to move day laborers out of a local shopping center where they gather.

Vista Mayor Morris Vance says the new ordinance will not only protect day laborers from unscrupulous employers. He says it will also restore order to the shopping center.

Mayor Vance: "We've received complaints from the shopping center itself as well as from patrons who want to go there and as soon as they get there, they're immediately swarmed by people and they feel unsafe and harassed."

Members of the Minutemen and a local spin-off group have compounded the problem. They recently made the site the target of their protests. They're snapping photos of employers who come to hire day laborers and just about anyone who looks Mexican.

Immigrants' rights activist Tina Jillings says the Minutemen are stoke anti-immigrant passions. And by passing the ordinance, the city is giving in to their agenda.

Jillings: "This is about racism. It's about a class of people who are being discriminated against and their right to work is being hindered."

Jillings and other activists say employers won't bother registering and will hire day laborers in other cities.

The ordinance requires employers to go through a two day registration process. Employers will receive a placard for their windshields. And they must provide the terms of the job in writing, including the hourly wage and transportation arrangements.

The city is also looking into creating a new hiring site where day laborers can gather.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union may sue on free speech grounds.

Barring legal challenges, the measure takes effect at the end of July. For the California Report, I'm Amy Isackson in San Diego. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

© Copyright 2006, KPBS
http://publicbroadcasting.net/kpbs/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=934359&sectionID=1

 

Vista, CA- council passes day laborers ordinance

Vista council passes day laborers ordinance

Amy Isackson

KPBS SAN DIEGO (2006-06-28) Under a new ordinance, employers who hire day laborers in the city of Vista will have to register with the city. The city council voted unanimously in favor of the measure last night on the grounds that it will protect workers. But critics say the true purpose is to shut down curbside hiring. KPBS Border Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Vista has long been searching for a way to move day laborers out of a local shopping center where they gather.

Vista Mayor Morris Vance says the new ordinance will not only protect day laborers from unscrupulous employers. He says it will also restore order to the shopping center.

Mayor Vance: "We've received complaints from the shopping center itself as well as from patrons who want to go there and as soon as they get there, they're immediately swarmed by people and they feel unsafe and harassed."

Members of the Minutemen and a local spin-off group have compounded the problem. They recently made the site the target of their protests. They're snapping photos of employers who come to hire day laborers and just about anyone who looks Mexican.

Immigrants' rights activist Tina Jillings says the Minutemen are stoke anti-immigrant passions. And by passing the ordinance, the city is giving in to their agenda.

Jillings: "This is about racism. It's about a class of people who are being discriminated against and their right to work is being hindered."

Jillings and other activists say employers won't bother registering and will hire day laborers in other cities.

The ordinance requires employers to go through a two day registration process. Employers will receive a placard for their windshields. And they must provide the terms of the job in writing, including the hourly wage and transportation arrangements.

The city is also looking into creating a new hiring site where day laborers can gather.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union may sue on free speech grounds.

Barring legal challenges, the measure takes effect at the end of July. For the California Report, I'm Amy Isackson in San Diego. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

© Copyright 2006, KPBS
http://publicbroadcasting.net/kpbs/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=934359&sectionID=1

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 

Vista, CA- City ordinance would regulate curbside hiring

Labor law is likely to pass in Vista

City ordinance would regulate curbside hiring

By Matthew Rodriguez and Elena Gaona
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

June 25, 2006

VISTA – A few dozen day laborers stood around the strip mall parking lot at Escondido and South Santa Fe avenues one day last week, sipping coffee and eating doughnuts while waiting for “bosses” to drive up and signal them to hop into their trucks.

By 9 a.m., two employers had come by the site looking for a worker wanting to put in a day of manual labor. It used to be that by that time of the morning a dozen bosses had shown up.

The workers say they expect the number of employers to dwindle to zero once the Vista City Council casts what is expected to be a second unanimous vote Tuesday to approve an ordinance regulating curbside hiring.

And that seems to be what council members hope will be the effect of the new law.

Mayor Morris Vance said Friday that he doesn't want the busy intersection used as an informal hiring site any longer. City officials have said they would work with a nonprofit organization interested in opening and operating a hiring hall or site elsewhere.

For several years, the city has been faced with the issue of day laborers – predominantly Latino – who congregate at the busy intersection looking for work. Some nearby shop owners say the men disrupt business. Others say they rely on the day laborers as customers.

In recent weeks, the site has become a place of protest for Minutemen-style groups that oppose illegal immigration.

During the last council meeting June 13, about 100 people packed the chambers, with speakers arguing both sides of the issue. The council unanimously approved a first reading of the ordinance, and it will become law July 28 if approved again Tuesday.

The ordinance has drawn criticism from day laborer advocates and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties, which said in a letter that the ordinance “may well be unconstitutional.” Local pro-immigration advocates plan to hold a rally Tuesday evening to coincide with the council meeting. Protesters plan to form a “human chain” along the half-mile route between the day laborer site and City Hall.

The Vista ordinance would require employers who seek to hire day laborers to register with the city. The registration would last at least a year. Employers also would be required to display certificates on their vehicle windows while hiring day laborers. They would need to provide the worker with a “term sheet” describing the job and the wage.

Vista's ordinance, which seems to be unique, isn't the first attempt to regulate day laborer hiring. About 50 cities in Southern California have enacted laws to restrict such solicitation, said Chris Newman, legal programs coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in Los Angeles. Some of the stricter laws in Los Angeles, Redondo Beach and Glendale have been overturned by federal district courts.

In 1990, Encinitas enacted an ordinance prohibiting curbside hiring, but a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the law on First Amendment grounds. The City Council soon repealed the law.

Vista City Attorney Darold Pieper said those ordinances went much further than the Vista ordinance by trying to ban curbside hiring altogether.

The Vista ordinance only requires employers to register with the city, and then they could continue to hire workers at so-called uncontrolled locations.

City code compliance officers and sheriff's deputies would enforce the ordinance, city officials have said.

Assistant City Manager Rick Dudley said the city would provide employers and day laborers with information about the ordinance at the site before it becomes law. A Spanish-language version is being considered, Dudley said.

Abel Valenzuela Jr., an associate professor at UCLA, said the ordinance won't necessarily drive away employers, but could move exchanges underground.

“Day labor will continue to exist as long as you have demand,” Valenzuela said.

More than a dozen men interviewed this week said they didn't think employers would sign up with the city. Victor Lopez, 23, of El Salvador said regular demonstrations by Minutemen-style groups have scared away employers, and requiring would-be employers to register with the city only would make matters worse.

“I don't know what to believe. They say they want to help us. But I think they're taking our work away,” Lopez said, clasping an empty energy drink can. “I came here for a better future, to help my family, not to cause trouble.”

Though sometimes employers don't pay them, it's not the norm, workers said. The men tip each other off about which employers have treated them badly, they said. Several said they believe the ordinance is really meant to appease anti-illegal-immigrant activists, not to protect workers who never asked for it.

“What we really need is work,” said Frank Villa, 36, of Mexico. “If the Minutemen want to come hire us, they're welcome to stop by.”

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20060625-9999-1mi25curb.html

Thursday, June 22, 2006 

Minuteklan groups in Colorado fight over naming rights

Front Range group grabs Western Colo. Minutemen monikers


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shortly after the leader of a Western Slope anti-illegal immigration group said he would like to rethink the Minutemen’s public image, a Front Range group registered four versions of the local group’s name as a “trade name,” forcing the Western Colorado Minutemen to seek out a new name.

Under Colorado law, the group that was called the Western Colorado Minutemen was forced to change its name or face possible lawsuits from the name’s registered owner. Less than a week later, Dana Isham, leader of the then-Western Colorado Minutemen registered the group as the Rocky Mountain Minutemen.

Robert Copley Sr., a leader of the Colorado Minuteman Project, based in Byers, said after reading Isham’s comments in a June 11 article about his Front Range group’s image, he felt some action had to be taken.

Isham had told The Daily Sentinel that he wanted to distinguish his group from other Colorado Minutemen groups by crafting an image that was less “preachy” and more dialogue driven.

“Image is everything, I think about it every day,” Isham told a reporter then. “The problem we have is ‘Minutemen’ are associated with militias, by virtue of name, by virtue of history.”

Filings with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office show that by noon on Monday, June 12 — the day after the article was published — Copley had registered five group names with the state: “Colorado Minutemen Project, LLC,” “Western Colorado Minutemen,” “Western Colorado Minutemen LLC,” “Western Slope Colorado Minutemen” and “Western Slope Colorado Minutemen LLC.”

All five groups were registered with the same address as Copley’s group, the Colorado Minuteman Project. And on June 17, Copley also registered the name “The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps Colorado” with the secretary of state’s office.

Prior to June 12, Copley had laid claim to only one group name, “Colorado Minutemen,” which was registered Oct. 10, 2005.

Copley said he registered the group names as a way to assert the primacy of his Front Range group over any other group that might claim to be the legitimate voice of the Minuteman movement.

“It’s called protection; it’s called damage control,” Copley said.

Copley said Isham had initially approached him to form the Western Colorado Minutemen as a branch of his Front Range group. But when Isham set off on his own and said the Colorado Minuteman Project was “too patriotic” in its presentation, he knew something had to be done.

“He did not do us a favor in that article,” Copley said. “He painted us as a radical wacko group.”

Copley said in addition to “damage control,” he did not want the average Coloradan to confuse Isham’s efforts with what his group was doing on the Front Range.

He said even though the Colorado Minuteman Project does not have any activities or organizations brewing on the Western Slope, he did not rule out the possibility they eventually might.

Isham declined to comment for this article. He said he did not want to further inflame the acerbic debate that followed his previously published comments.

According to Colorado law, once an entity’s name is registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, only it may conduct business under that name.

But John Howe, a local attorney with Hoskin, Farina & Kampf, said it is possible to abuse the trade name registration process in Colorado, and groups who find their own name “registered away” might have claim to continuing to use their chosen name.

Howe said, in his opinion, the Colorado trade name registry does not necessarily entitle the first person or group who registers a group name to exclusively use a business name. He said the now-renamed Western Colorado Minutemen might have a compelling claim to the group name, provided they can show a court they were already associated with the name.

“If the Western Colorado Minutemen were using ‘Western Colorado Minutemen’ in Western Colorado for their purposes, they may have a better claim to the name than does the Colorado Minuteman Project,” Howe said. “You’ve got to still prove up your rights to use the name, notwithstanding that you’ve managed to register it first.”

Howe said unlike the state registry, the federal trademark registry, administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, confers some rights upon groups who register names therein.

He said federally registered groups like Minuteman Project Inc. or the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, could license out the “Minuteman” name, because their federal registration allows them the rights to those names nationwide.

“That would give you nationwide rights to that name once you jump through the national trademark registration hoops,” Howe said.

Nonetheless, Howe said the Rocky Mountain Minutemen might not want to pursue reclaiming their name because obtaining a court order for the Colorado Minuteman Project would require significant expenses.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

Minuteklan's fantasy fence a bust

Tucson Region

Ernesto Portillo Jr. : Minutemen's fantasy fence a bust

Ernesto Portillo Jr.

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.21.2006

It all seemed so easy when the Minutemen announced their plan to build a border fence.

It's the vaunted Minutemen, after all. As they're only to happy to tell us, they have widespread appeal and have singlehandedly made illegal immigration a national issue.

But the reality is, the group can't attract enough volunteer laborers to build its fantasy fence along the border.

And the other reality is, a fence will not stop illegal immigration. Illegal border crossers would just go around the overpriced desert ornament. Smugglers are already changing their routes as the U.S. government deploys National Guard troops at ports of entry and adds U.S. Border Patrol agents to heavily crossed areas in Arizona.

But don't bother telling that to the Minutemen. They're too busy trying to save face — and their project.

The Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corps hired a contractor to oversee the building of a fence on private land near Palominas in Cochise County.

Apparently the self-described border guardians can't stand Arizona's June heat.

When the group started its fence project in late May, its leaders said volunteers would flock to a ranch on the border and do what the federal government will not do — build a fence.

In typical Minuteman fashion, its proclamations were filled with hotter air than a Southern Arizona summer day. There has been no flood of volunteers lugging tools, putting in posts and stringing wire while singing Toby Keith country songs and trashing the Dixie Chicks.

The Minutemen claimed they would build a multilayer fence with concertina wire, trenches and surveillance cameras.

Well, that kind of high-security fence is not what the property owner had in mind, said a story from the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Daily Review that ran in the Arizona Daily Star.

"From our perspective, the whole idea of the fence is to keep Mexican livestock out. We know a barbed-wire fence isn't going to keep people out," said Jack Ladd, on whose property the fence is being built. "We want to make it clear that while we oppose illegal immigration, we weren't necessarily trying to keep Mexicans off the land."

While the Minutemen are having trouble getting their modified but still symbolic fence up, it's not to say the group will fail. The fence could be erected with the help of a contractor, legal workers or illegal workers with fake documents.

Despite the public-relations setback, the Minutemen are still putting a positive spin on their project.

Connie Hair, spokeswoman for the group, said Monday that slightly more than two miles of the intended 10 miles of fence is up.

Hundreds of volunteers have flocked to Cochise County, and more are expected, she said.

In addition to the fence on the Ladd property, Hair said work will begin next month on a second fence, similar to the first , on nearby private property.

Even if the fences are built, the Minutemen have a greater challenge before them.

Illegal border entrants have returned to San Diego and El Paso, are crossing through tunnels and are paying more to smugglers who'll find other, desolate crossing points into our country.

They know where Canada is.

 

Presidential candidate Alan Keyes to visit Provo for border control debate



Monday, June 19, 2006

Presidential candidate Alan Keyes to visit Provo for border control debate

Daily Herald

Former diplomat and presidential candidate Alan Keyes will weigh in on the debate on immigration and border security in Provo Wednesday.

The event is free and open to the public. A spokeswoman for the Minuteman political action committee is scheduled to speak as well, and there will be a screening of the documentary "Cochise County: Cries from the Border." The Arizona county is on the border with Mexico.

One of the event's organizers said Keyes is coming to Utah because of the recent visit of Mexican President Vicente Fox and the focus on immigration reform in the high-profile contest between incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, and businessman John Jacob in the Third Congressional District primary.

"Utah found itself in the media nationally because of the visit of Vicente Fox , which involved the head of a nation coming to Utah to lobby the Senate," said Stephen Stone, Web site editor of Renew America, a conservative advocacy group chaired by Keyes. "There's also, of course, the timeliness of the Third District race. The whole nation is looking at this race."

Minuteman PAC spokeswoman Carmen Mercer also is scheduled to speak. The Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is a volunteer group that monitors traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border and is building a border fence on its own near Naco, Ariz.

Keyes has called for a National Border Guard, similar to the Coast Guard, as an element of the armed forces, supplemented by a citizens' auxiliary that would act as spotters.

He also has supported the Minutemen and has been critical of immigration proposals supported by President George Bush and the Senate, which include a guest worker program.

The initial focus needs to be on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants across the border, Keyes wrote in a recent article posted on www.renewamerica.us.

"We are not averse to opening a proper path to citizenship for any who truly wish to be Americans," he wrote. "But if we take steps in this direction without first securing the border ... any move to open this path will rightly be regarded around the world as a signal that we lack the political will to maintain and defend our border and our national identity."

Stone said Wednesday's event is a "voter education" forum and that Keyes has not endorsed either candidate in the Third District race.

Keyes served as ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council and assistant secretary of state for international organizations under former President Ronald Reagan.

He ran unsuccessfully for one of Maryland's Senate seats in 1988 and 1992, and in 1996 and 2000 was a Republican candidate for president.

Keyes drew the support of 21 percent of voters in the 2000 Utah presidential primary, a better showing than U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Steve Forbes.

He also visited Utah in September 2000 for a well-attended speech at the McKay Events Center at Utah Valley State College.

"I always look forward to coming to Utah," Keyes said in a statement. "This is a state where the people are committed to the faith, values, and decency that have made this nation strong and free."

Renew America, the Minutemen PAC and the Utah Eagle Forum are sponsoring the event.

Alan Keyes

6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Provo City Library
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D1.

 

Hazleton, CA- may be first city to adopt anti-immigration proposal

Legal challenge in San Bernardino, Calif., means Hazleton could be first to adopt law

Monday, 19 June 2006
By KENT JACKSON
kent.jackson@standardspeaker.com

A model that Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta chose for an anti-immigration ordinance faces a legal challenge before it can reach voters in San Bernardino, Calif. The legal delay in San Bernardino means Hazleton might be the first city in the nation to adopt penalties against landlords that rent to illegal immigrants or businesses that hire them.

“We’re hoping we would be lighting one candle in a dark room. If this is duplicated by other cities in the nation, it would have a real impact on businesses who might think of hiring illegal immigrants,” said Barletta, whose proposed ordinance also makes English the official language of Hazleton government.

After shots were fired and gang-related graffiti was painted near the Pine Street Playground and two illegal immigrants were arrested for shooting to death a Hazleton man on May 10, Barletta started researching countermeasures.

He found one in San Bernardino, a city where roughly half the 200,000 residents are Latino.
An activist proposed an Illegal Immigration Relief Act and collected signatures to place the act on San Bernardino’s ballot as a voter initiative.

“It grew out of frustration of having no state and federal action,” said Joseph Turner, a legislator’s assistant and founder of the non-profit group Save Our State.

Turner awaits a court ruling on a challenge based on the number of signatures that his group gathered for its proposal.

San Bernardino’s charter says an initiative can go on the ballot if proponents gather enough signatures to equal 30 percent of votes cast in the most recent mayoral election.

Turner filed a petition for the immigration act in October 2005 and began collecting signatures based on the 2001 election when the mayor ran unopposed and turnout was low.

While the petition drive was under way, San Bernardino held another election for mayor that resulted in a runoff in February that attracted a large number of voters.

Opponents of Turner’s petition went to court and argued that the number of signatures needed on the petition should have been based on the turnout in February.

Meanwhile, in Hazleton, city council on Thursday approved the first reading of the ordinance that fines landlords $1,000 for each illegal alien tenant and revokes the businesses license of firms that hire illegal immigrants for five years, during which time the firm would be ineligible for city contracts.

Council could give final approval to the ordinance next month.

Barletta said the provision fining landlords for knowingly renting to illegal immigrants might be modified before then.

“My intent was never to have the landlords check citizenship. That’s very difficult to do,” Barletta said. “I do want them to be the first line of defense when illegal immigrants come to Hazleton.”

Theresa Brennan, attorney for the Hazleton Area Landlords Organization, said good landlords are willing to help reach objectives that the mayor set and already abide by a city ordinance that requires them to register tenants.

“The problem that I see is when you have out-of-town landlords that aren’t necessarily as familiar with ordinances in Hazleton, aren’t complying with registration ordinances, aren’t screening tenants as carefully,” Brennan said.

She plans to meet later this week with city Solicitor Christopher Slusser to discuss the anti-immigration proposal.

Another problem she noticed with the proposal: wording that penalizes landlords for knowingly renting to illegal immigrants.

“How do you prove that?” Brennan asked.

In San Bernardino, questions have surfaced about the difficulty of enforcing the Anti-Immigration act.

Barletta said Hazleton officials could not knock on doors and check identification, but police, health and code officers sometimes will find out when people are in the city illegally.

“It could be a routine traffic stop or a code violation,” he said. “When we do come across someone here illegally, we will find their place of employment if there is one and where they live.”

Barletta said that gives Hazleton a unique approach to discouraging illegal immigrants.

“We would be the first city that would be … going after businesses where they work and the place where they sleep.”

 

Group plans Fort Myers rally against illegal immigration

Group plans Fort Myers rally against illegal immigration

Monday, June 19, 2006

Americans Standing Tall has a message to lawmakers and locals: The line has been drawn.

"Instead of sticking our heads in the sand, I like to say we've drawn our line in the sand," said Americans Standing Tall President Harold Poole. "We just feel our country is being invaded by an illegal group of people who really have no right to be in this country ... We can't just pick and choose which laws we choose to enforce and which we choose to ignore."

The 27-member anti-immigration group formed shortly after the April 10 rally in Fort Myers, which drew out an estimated 75,000 to 80,000 protestors who balked the strict immigration laws churning through the Senate. Americans Standing Tall hopes to show in its July 1 "Citizen's Day Rally" on the steps of the Fort Myers City Hall that there is another voice in this debate -- and it's saying illegal immigrants need to pack up and ship out.

"We just need to stop and enforce the laws that are there now," Poole said. "We feel that every year or so (lawmakers) are making new laws which they don't enforce at all."

Organizers are still trying to get the word out but Poole estimated between 200 and 2,000 people will attend.

The Fort Myers Police department will be assigning additional officers to the rally, but the department does not release operational plans for security reasons, said Shelly Flynn, a spokesperson for the police department. The Lee County Sheriff's Office spent more than $300,000 on riot gear for the April 10 march, but has not been contacted for support in the July 1 rally, according to Deputy Angelo Vaughn, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office.

Friday, June 16, 2006 

Minuteklan Border Fence Vandalized

Minuteman Border Fence Vandalized

June 16, 2006, 03:10 AM

By Mark Stine, KOLD News 13

There's holes in a border fence put up by the Minuteman Project. Volunteers with the border- watch group built it last month near Palominas. But somebody tore it up.

This is the actual barbed wire fence separating the U.S. from Mexico. As you can see this part of the fence has been cut and there's a hole big enough for someone to travel through."

The new minuteman fence resembles the current border fence and it now has even more similarities because parts of it are in pieces."

"We expected some sort of statement from across the border, but we didn't think they'd go this far," says Jack Ladd as he drives along the new Minuteman border fence that sits on the edge of his ranch, and assesses the damage. "If anything, it's going to show the people of the United States it's even worse than what they thought."

An eight hundred foot section of the three mile barbed wire fence was cut.

"Cut so cleverly that it could not be repaired, it has to be restrung because it's cut right here at the post," says Carmen Mercer of the Minuteman Project.

Tuesday the Minutemen woke up and discovered the downed fence.

"It's very disappointing and of course we'd like to know what happened. If it was reaction from the other side, if it was reaction from, I don't know, question mark there."

The minutemen aren't surprised someone wanted the new barrier destroyed, but they are surprised the culprits weren't caught in the act.

"Especially over the lengths that it was done. It's just surprising to me that it was not getting the attention of the border patrol when it happened."

And since the act of vandalism, the volunteer group is increasing security along the fence line to keep it from happening again.

"We'll be there to prevent that, you better believe it."

The Minutemen say they've reported this vandalism to the Cochise County Sheriff's Department and hopefully they will be able to find out who destroyed the fence.

 

Minuteklan hire contractor to build fence

Minutemen hire contractor to build fence

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- The Minutemen civilian border-patrol group has hired a contractor to finish building 10 miles of fence along the Mexican border.

Construction on the fence began May 27, when about 150 supporters turned out for the groundbreaking, but the number of volunteers then dwindled.

"We don't want to put up something that will just be a symbol," said Al Garza, the group's executive director. "We want to make sure it's permanent, properly structured and done right."

As few as four people were observed working on the fence recently, said Cecile Lumer of the humanitarian aid group Citizens for Border Solutions.

"From the beginning, the numbers they have projected have always fallen very short of the reality," Lumer said.

One of the ranch owners, Jack Ladd, said he hoped the fence would keep Mexican livestock off his property, but he doubted it would keep people out.

"We want to make it clear that while we oppose illegal immigration, we weren't necessarily trying to keep Mexicans off the land," he said.

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Thursday, June 15, 2006 · Last updated 3:24 p.m. PT

Thursday, June 15, 2006 

ACLU anticipates problems at the border

ACLU anticipates problems at the border

Sun News Report
Las Cruces Sun-News

The ACLU will open an office in Las Cruces in the next 12 to 18 months in anticipation of civil-rights problems along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The group also plans to open a Santa Fe office.

The ACLU has an office in Albuquerque and six other chapters across the state.

A $1.3 million investment from the American Civil Liberties Union headquarters in Washington, D.C., will make the expansion possible, executive director Peter Simonson said.

The office in Las Cruces will become the organization's only location along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"It is a full expansion. The office on the border is an idea that has been brewing for two to three years now. It was to anticipate the military forces on the border and the Minutemen," said Simonson. "We're likely to see possibilities of civil rights abuses; it's just a statistical fact given that immigrants are so disparaged by the mainstream media and by the popular view of U.S. citizens."

The office in Las Cruces will carry out a regional mission to defend people's rights, especially those of immigrants in the border zone, instead of doing it from Albuquerque, Simonson said.

From Las Cruces, the ACLU will also work with affiliates in Arizona and Texas and coordinate closely with the National ACLU Immigrant Rights Project.

Simonson believes that there will still be a need to have a watch group monitor activities on the border a year from now.

"Whatever Congress passes in regards to immigration will include a significant border security component," he said. "This creates a potential for problems."

The office in Santa Fe will open after the one in Las Cruces is ready to begin operations. It will focus on supporting advocacy efforts in the state Legislature and addressing education issues in northern New Mexico.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 

Show pairs Minuteklan, immigrant family

Show pairs Minuteman, immigrant family

Associated Press

A member of the Minutemen group and a family of illegal immigrants are paired in a reality series aimed at giving people a chance to see life from a different perspective.

The episode of the FX series "30 Days," from Academy Award-nominated "Super Size Me" documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, is scheduled to air Aug. 2.

In it, a man identified only as Frank and said to be a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, the anti-illegal immigration group, lives with a Mexican family in the U.S. illegally.

Frank shares a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles with seven immigrants and accompanies the family to a March pro-immigrant rally that drew hundreds of thousands to downtown Los Angeles.

The network remained within the law, said John Landgraf, president of FX Networks.

"We suggested the family seek outside legal counsel," Landgraf told the Daily Journal of Los Angeles. Participants were not paid and the family's real surname was not used, he said.

Spurlock's series debuts July 26 with an episode in which the filmmaker tests life inside a county jail in Virginia.

ON THE NET

http://www.fxnetwork.com

 

Western Colorado Minuteklan seeks to change their image

Minutemen work to rebuild image

Sunday, June 11, 2006

For Dana Isham, leader of the Western Colorado Minutemen, the struggle to create a lasting Western Slope movement against illegal immigration is a “PR war.”

Isham, who founded the group in late April after returning from border patrols in southern Arizona, said he hopes over the next few months to show the public that his group is not some proto-military organization, but rather a group of concerned, average citizens.

“Image is everything, I think about it every day,” Isham said. “The problem we have is ‘Minutemen’ are associated with militias, by virtue of name, by virtue of history.”

The Western Colorado Minutemen exists today in three informal branches with branches in the Grand Junction area, the Rangley-Meeker-Craig area and the Delta-Montrose area.

Isham said membership currently stands around 50, but he expects the group to swell to more than 200 once he starts his concerted effort to draw in casual anti-illegal immigration supporters.

To accomplish this “everyman” goal, Isham said he has decided to make his group a unique Colorado Minutemen collective, separate from the Front Range Minutemen group, Sovereignty Colorado.

Citing their Web site, www. sovereigntycolorado.com, Isham said they were too focused on the founding fathers and American nationalism. He said that sort of historical lecture would likely turn off the people he was trying to bring into the Minutemen movement.

“If you go to their Web site, folks nowadays don’t want to have a lecture on the founding fathers They want to see what (the group) is all about,” Isham said.

Isham said in addition to being “preachy,” some Minutemen groups give the impression to most Americans that “these folks might be carrying guns.” He said that was not the message he hopes the Western Colorado Minutemen will have.

On the Western Colorado Minutemen’s Web site, ww.westerncoloradominutemen.org, Isham has included, in addition to the mission statement of the group, a form for people interested in joining. As part of the membership form, prospective members are asked to submit $10 for a Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check. Isham said this would allow him to comb out the “bad apple applicants.”

He stressed that he has not had to reject any applications yet, but would probably have to “filter out” a few conspiracy theory buffs or people who hope to hijack the Western Colorado Minutemen to promote their own agenda, unrelated to immigration.

In the end, Isham said he hopes to show the Western Slope that his branch of the national Minutemen movement is intended for the everyman. He said he hopes to impress upon the public his group’s commitment to non-violent, dialogue-based resistance to illegal immigration.

He said he has already started reaching out to the Latin-Anglo Alliance and the Immigrant Rights Coalition in an attempt to show them that even though the Minutemen hold strong views on illegal immigration, his group is neither racist nor completely closed minded on the issue.

Isham said he also plans to eventually form a committee within the Western Colorado Minutemen devoted to community service.

Ultimately, Isham said he hopes the Western Colorado Minutemen will be able to show the public that “somebody is doing something” locally to counter illegal immigration.

“We’re just regular people,” Isham said. “The people that make this country work.”

 

Minuteklan reaching out to young conservatives

Borderline interest

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dana Isham, leader of the Western Colorado Minutemen, said illegal immigration has always been a passionate issue among Minutemen circles. But Isham said for all their passion, when he looks out on his supporters, all he sees is gray.

As the immigration debate has unfolded this year, Isham said he realized that to sustain the strength and vitality of the Minutemen, he needed to reach out to younger supporters. He said without the under-50 crowd, the Minutemen will have little chance of becoming a lasting social movement.

“We need to get some of those folks involved with us to get their energy, their ideas, their minds,” Isham said. “Yes, they need to be part of the process, and we would like to get more young people as part of our process.”

Isham said several weeks ago he started reaching out to young conservatives to bring them on board with the Minutemen. He said he began his search with local young Republicans and conservatives because he thought they “would be more receptive” to the Minutemen’s message.

One of the young conservatives Isham contacted, Matt Soper, vice president of the Mesa State College Republicans, said Isham needed to realize that young men and women were generally uninvolved in politics. Soper said because of this predisposition to apathy, youth participation in groups such as the Minutemen would be hard to accomplish.

Soper said the fact the illegal immigration debate has polarized into the far left and far right camps did not exactly help either cause. He said given a choice, any young voter would pick a more moderate “option C.”

He also said each side’s “racial” overtones would likely turn off younger voters who have grown up immersed in diversity.

Soper said youth today are less likely to be shocked or amazed at the mingling of races in public. He said the fact that anti-illegal immigration groups focus on Hispanic immigrants makes them seem “nativist.”

But Fred Elbel, director of Defend Colorado Now, said society has indoctrinated youth to abhor discussions that might seem culturally insensitive.

“(Our older supporters) have been around longer and have seen how our country is starting to disintegrate,” Elbel said. “The younger folks are more or less indoctrinated into the religion of multiculturalism in the public schools.”

Elbel said older people are more likely to get involved in the illegal immigration debate for the same reasons they are more likely to vote or be involved in their communities. He said the older people get, the more interested they become in politics.

“It takes a while when you’re young to realize the importance of voting and that democracy is not a spectator sport,” Elbel said.

Advocates on the other side of the debate have not been so deeply affected by youth apathy. Nonetheless, movement leaders said they should not slow down their youth recruitment.

Ricardo Perez, an immigrant rights leader from Montrose, announced at a recent meeting at the Riverside Task Force that the Immigrant Rights Coalition needs to move beyond its usual recruiting venues of churches and family gatherings.

“The people getting involved are mostly older,” Perez said. “We need to reach out to youth at the schools and university. They should be informed of what’s going on.”

Perez said this approach would help the coalition involve youths who have a “social justice outlook” but might not be active in their churches.

Joshua Guajardo, 26, a teacher at Palisade High School and a leader within the local immigrant rights movement, said he has seen the illegal immigration debate enliven youths.

Guajardo said the strong national debate combined with the highly visible local immigrant rights demonstrations has piqued the interest of some youths who would otherwise feel “frustrated and annoyed” with politics. This, he said, was especially true of local Hispanic youths.

“A lot of people that weren’t interested in politics are becoming more so or are getting more involved,” Guajardo said. “Many people think we have no say but something about this movement has been very empowering.”

On both sides of the issue, Guajardo said the illegal immigration issue has the potential to craft a cadre of local political leaders and activists. The trick, he said, is to help them take the first steps.

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