Protest Closes Border Crossing


San Diego police say a large protest in Tijuana is affecting the San Ysidro border crossing.Officials said a large protest is forcing them to detour northbound drivers to the Otay Mesa border crossing. Because of the detour, traffic is expected to be very
heavy along Interstate 905, and drivers are being urged to expect extensive delays.

Protestors have formed a human wall that is blocking traffic heading southbound at the border.Thousands of people are in traffic lanes approaching the crossing, many carrying signs. San Diego police said an estimated 10,000 people have turned out
to protest changes to Mexico’s pension laws.Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they plan to shuttle agents to the Otay Mesa port if needed to speed transit there.It is not know how long traffic will be affected by the situation, police said.

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Study Finds Guest Workers “Close To Slavery”

WASHINGTON — The current guest worker program that legally brings foreign workers to the United States temporarily is so rife with abuse that it is “close to slavery,” the Southern Poverty Law Center charged in a report issued Monday.

Workers pay thousands of dollars to corrupt recruiters in their home country to get these jobs, said Mary Bauer, an attorney with the center. Yet when they arrive in the United States, workers are cheated of their pay yet legally bound to keep working for their employer.

“The power disparity between the worker and the employer is skewed so dramatically in favor of the employer that it really is a kind of indentured servitude,” Bauer said at a press conference releasing the report.

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US to take in thousands of Iraqi refugees

Internal refugees in Baghdad
Moving to address the flood of refugees fleeing war-torn Iraq, the US and UN have developed a plan that would bring several thousand of them to the US over the next 10 months, officials familiar with discussions of the plan say.

Under the plan, which is expected to be formally unveiled this week, the UN began its first large-scale screening this month of Iraqis who have fled to Syria and Jordan since the US-led invasion.

It hopes to register 135,000 to 200,000 of them to determine which Iraqis would be eligible for refugee status.

The UN expects 13,000 to 20,000 Iraqis to be deemed eligible for resettlement abroad. The US hopes to resettle at least 5,000 of that group this year.

UN officials and the administration of US President George W. Bush emphasize that those figures may change if conditions change in Iraq and neighboring countries.

Advocates for the refugees welcomed the plan, but said too few people would be helped.

The Bush administration has recently moved to blunt sharp criticism from US lawmakers and advocates for refugees who have said it has failed to provide a haven for Iraqis fleeing the war.

Last week, the State Department announced the creation of a task force to coordinate efforts to resettle Iraqi refugees in the US.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expected to meet yesterday with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres to discuss the Iraqi refugee crisis.

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National Guardsmen Overrun At Mexican Border

Border Patrol reports that a U.S. Border Patrol entry identification
team siteBorder Patrol reports that a U.S. Border Patrol entry identification team site was overrun by an unknown number of gunmen along Arizona's border with Mexico around 11 p.m. It had forced the National Guardsmen manning the site to retreat. was overrun by an unknown number of gunmen along Arizona’s
border with Mexico around 11 p.m. It had forced the National Guardsmen
manning the site to retreat.
Although no Guardsmen were injured, the Border Patrol could not confirm
whether any shots were fired.

The incident happened along the 120-mile section of the border between
Nogales and Lukeville, known as a drug corridor. Only last year,
124-thousand pounds of illegal drugs were seized in the area.

The Border patrol confirmed that the attackers retreated quickly back to Mexico.

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A U.S. military ‘at its breaking point’ considers foreign recruits


WASHINGTON: The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting
goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the
ranks, including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations
overseas and put more immigrants on a faster track to U.S. citizenship
if they volunteer, according to Pentagon officials.

Foreign citizens’ serving in the U.S. military is a highly charged
issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is
essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts
voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could
jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans’ willingness
to serve in uniform.

The idea of signing up residents who are seeking U.S. citizenship is
gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon,
while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that
enter the United States legally each year.

The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on
the drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the
Pentagon has been quiet about specifics, like who would be eligible to
join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum
standards might involve, like English proficiency. In the meantime, the
Pentagon and the immigration authorities have expanded a program that
accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer for the
military.

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Water Trapping

https://i1.wp.com/www.discoverawatershed.org/Photo%20Album/Rocky%20to%20Moab/131%20All%20American%20Canal.JPG
A $251 million plan to line the All-American Canal with cement to stop water from seeping into Mexico could proceed, thanks to new legislation.

The House and Senate passed joint bills Saturday in a congressional session calling on U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to move forward with the cement project “without delay.”

The project has been on hold since August after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction in response to a lawsuit by environmental groups and Mexican businessmen who contend that the U.S. has abandoned the water. The plaintiffs say there would be significant job losses on the Mexican side of the border and migratory birds would be threatened if the water is lost.

The lining is proposed along a portion of the 82-mile All-American Canal that delivers Colorado River water to crop land on both sides of the border about 100 miles east of San Diego.

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Immigrant soldiers serve the U.S.-More are taking quicker path to citizenship

GAO REPORT INDICATES UP TO 30,000 CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS PROCESSED WITHOUT CONSULTATION OF IMPORTANT BACKGROUND MATERIALS

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley and Susan Collins today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that says 111,000 alien files (A-files) were missing in 14 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. The report also says that as many as 30,000 immigrants’ applications to become U.S. citizens were processed despite the missing files.

USCIS is responsible for processing noncitizens’ applications to live or work in the U.S., either permanently or on a temporary basis, or to become a U.S. citizen. For certain noncitizens, such as immigrants, USCIS creates an alien file, called an A-file, to serve as the primary file for all the noncitizen’s immigration-related applications and related documents. Not only does USCIS staff rely on an alien’s historical A-file to determine eligibility for immigration benefits, but other federal homeland security and law enforcement agencies use A-files during criminal investigations and to determine whether an alien should be removed from or allowed to stay in the U.S.

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Texas Border Watch Test Site


Welcome

As part of the Virtual Neighborhood Border Watch Program, the State of Texas has been testing video surveillance cameras in different environments along the 1240 miles of Texas/Mexico border using the internet to transmit the images. The last stage of the test is to stress the system by providing public access to numerous surveillance cameras.

Thank you for helping test this important capability.

To be part of the program you will need to have a user account. To get a user account click in the blue box on the right side of the screen.

NOTICE: You must turn off any pop-up blockers for this site. You may be asked to update your computer with software that allows you to view the video.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is required to utilize this web site. Firefox is not supported.

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¡Walleyball!

36town2.jpgBy JOSHUAH BEARMAN

Beach volleyball is a much different game when played over two-story metal pylons. Strategy and nuance go out the window. There are few sets and certainly no spikes. Mostly, it’s tit-for-tat power bumps that send the ball in 30- and 40- and even 50-foot arcs. The ball hangs in the air so long that a lot of time is spent looking skyward, bracing for another bump that hopefully goes in the right direction. Waiting for one good knock to fall from the blue, it occurs to me that our entirely new sport makes for some extreme, if inadvertent, political theater. Despite the difficulty, the game is fun — and surprisingly uninteresting to the border patrol, who zipped down at the drop of a hat several times earlier but now seem content to observe us with binoculars.

Walleyball