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Interesting article I read in the Wall Street...

In 2004, Ambrosio Carrillo made a perilous and illegal journey to the U.S. in search of opportunity. Earlier this year, he made the equally wrenching decision to return home.
Once a construction worker earning about $15 an hour in Maryland, Mr. Carrillo barely worked in the fall of 2007 as plentiful jobs evaporated. As winter set in, the illegal immigrant, who had mastered masonry, carpentry and dry walling in the U.S., didn't land a job for two months. There was no money to send to his wife and three children in Guatemala.
So in January, Mr. Carrillo sliced open the green plastic piggy bank he'd bought at Wal-Mart and counted $3,100 in change and bills. "There was enough to buy a plane ticket home and ship my truck to Guatemala," recalls Mr. Carrillo, 37 years old. Now back in San Juan Alotenango, a town of dirt streets and sporadic running water, he hauls fruit, firewood and recyclable metal for a few dollars a trip.
With his journey to the U.S. and back, Mr. Carrillo is helping to write the latest chapter in the American immigrant story. After years of growth, illegal immigration to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America has slowed sharply. At the same time, say demographers and immigrant advocates, more Latin American immigrants like Mr. Carrillo are apparently returning home. The impact of this shifting migration pattern is felt in the U.S. and beyond, in towns like San Juan Alotenango that depend to some degree on cash sent home by those working in the U.S.
It is difficult to track short-term changes in the population of the estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. But a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center, an independent think tank in Washington, D.C., estimates that annual undocumented arrivals from Mexico are down about 25% this year from 2005, to about 350,000. Undocumented arrivals from Central America have been halved since then, to about 120,000, according to the study, which is due to be released Thursday.
In part, the slowdown is a product of a Bush administration crackdown on illegal immigration, with factory raids that led to deportations and even criminal charges for thousands of undocumented workers. Meanwhile, the weakened economy has dealt a blow to these workers, many of them employed in the slumping construction sector.
The Census Bureau reported last month that the income of U.S. households headed by non-citizen foreigners dropped 7.3% in 2007 from the previous year, after rising 4.1% in 2006. Pew Hispanic says that among households headed by Central Americans, the drop in income has been in the double digits.
As a result, flows of money to Latin America from U.S.-based workers have slowed for the first time since the Inter-American Development Bank began tracking remittances in 2000. The rate of growth in remittances to Mr. Carrillo's home country of Guatemala has slowed in each of the past four quarters. The bank estimates that in the last quarter of this year, remittances will fall for the first time.
Bigger Than Coffee
Some 1.35 million Guatemalan citizens -- 10% of the country's population -- live in the U.S., according to the Central American Institute of Social and Development Studies, an independent think tank in Guatemala. Some 3.5 million people back in Guatemala depend on these remittances to get by, the group says. Remittances are the top foreign-exchange earner for Guatemala, at $4.12 billion in 2007, ahead of coffee, sugar and other exports.
Such income fuels everything from construction and appliance sales to spending on services. When the remittances shrink, "the first things to go out the window are education and health care -- things that determine a family's long-term earnings potential," says Robert Meins, a remittances specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank.
An immigrant exodus wouldn't be unprecedented. As many as one-third of the nearly 30 million foreigners who arrived in the U.S. between the Civil War and World War I returned to their native countries. Arrivals from Latin America also ebb and flow, with the influx to the U.S. last slackening during the 2001-02 recession.
San Juan Alotenango, an agricultural town of about 20,000 people, sits in a green valley bounded by two volcanoes. The average daily wage for farmhands is less than $10. When a relative moves to the U.S., families get a big boost in their standard of living. When the U.S. economy begins heaving, these families feel the effects.
Maria Felipa Cojolon said that her husband, Isidro, regularly sent home $2,000 a month two years ago from Atlanta. In recent months, the restaurant worker hasn't managed to send even $800 a month. Standing in the skeleton of a two-story house whose construction has slowed, Mrs. Cojolon said: "Until he completes the house, my husband hopes to hang on" in the U.S.
A few blocks away, down a rutted road, Ambrosio Carrillo stood outside his family's one-room shack on a recent afternoon, recounting how he tried to make it in America.
He went, he said, to secure a better education for his kids and perhaps purchase land for them. With only three years of schooling and a job at a coffee-processing plant, he didn't see success in San Juan Alotenango. "We didn't go hungry," he says, but added: "I thought I could give my children a better future by going to America."
Two cousins were thriving in the U.S. One of them was prepared to help finance Mr. Carrillo's journey. The fee charged by a coyote, or smuggler, was 42,000 Guatemalan quetzales, or about $5,700 -- including the overland journey from Guatemala to Mexico to Los Angeles and then a flight to Baltimore. Mr. Carrillo's family made a down payment of about one-third of the tab before he set out. With interest, the total cost of the trip would double to nearly $10,000.
On April 26, 2004, Mr. Carrillo joined about 30 Guatemalans, as well as several El Salvadorans and Hondurans, for a harrowing journey to the U.S. In the Arizona desert one night, he says, a U.S. Border Patrol ambushed and apprehended some in his traveling party. Mr. Carrillo says that during the raid he lost much of the canned food he was carrying, and says he wandered three more days without food. Cactus needles punctured his legs and arms. His swollen feet turned raw. Still, he recalls, he helped carry injured companions and children.
After six days in the desert, Mr. Carrillo and a dozen migrants crammed into a van that picked them up on the side of a country road. Once in Los Angeles, the smugglers contacted Mr. Carrillo's family in Guatemala to arrange the deposit of another payment to the coyote's Guatemalan bank account. Two days later, Mr. Carrillo was en route to Baltimore. There, his cousin took him to a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment in Hyattsville, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., that he would share with 11 other immigrants.
Construction Boom
In 2004, construction was booming in Washington and its suburbs. Mr. Carrillo paid a document vendor $80 for a Social Security card with his name and a fabricated number. He was soon at work. "The boss gave me a uniform and a hard hat," he says, brandishing a gray and white T-shirt with the company's name, Pat's Renovation LLC. A company representative couldn't be located; a telephone number associated with Pat's Renovation is no longer in service.
"I started as a 'laborer,' making $9 an hour," says Mr. Carrillo, using one of the English words that leavened an interview otherwise conducted in Spanish. After tax and Social Security deductions, Mr. Carrillo says his take-home pay was about $400 a week, more than a dozen times what he earned back home. He bought a 1998 Nissan Sentra for $425.
Mr. Carrillo gradually learned English and skills such as tiling and carpentry. His hourly wage climbed to $11, he says, then $12. For the first two years, he paid off his debt to the coyote and sent his family about $200 every two weeks. Later, he says, he was able to send $300 or $400.
About $40 each month went for secondary school for his two older kids. Guatemalans who want to continue their children’s' schooling beyond the primary level typically have to pay for private education.
Some weekends, Mr. Carrillo earned extra cash by doing landscaping on an 11-acre estate in affluent Howard County, Md. Reached by phone, the homeowner, Nura, asked that her last name be omitted. "We hired seven Americans who weren't up to the job," she said. "Then we found Ambrosio. He showed up on time and took his work seriously," pulling weeds, cutting fallen branches and spreading mulch. At lunchtime, she said, he was eager to practice his English.
On Sundays, Mr. Carrillo sometimes played soccer with other undocumented immigrants at a field near his apartment complex. In 2006 -- by now making $12 an hour and feeling confident about his job prospects -- he sold his Nissan and paid $2,000 for a green 2000 Ford Ranger.
Back home, Mr. Carrillo's family still lived in the shack with sugar-cane stick walls, tin roof, earth floor and no refrigerator. His wife, Josefina, washed clothes at a public tank a few blocks away.
But his family could afford more now. Mrs. Carrillo bought herself four gold-tooth implants. For their 17-year-old daughter, Miriam, she purchased two small gold hoops. Sons Byron, 15, and Jose Fernando, 11, received new shirts and dress shoes. "We could afford red meat," Mrs. Carrillo said on a recent Saturday. "Not just frijolitos [little beans]."
Mr. Carrillo phoned home several times a week. Sometimes he called in the wee hours of the night and sounded like he had been drinking, Mrs. Carrillo says. Mr. Carrillo doesn't dispute this. "It was the sadness of being away from the family," his wife said.
Changing Fortune
By 2007, fortunes were beginning to turn for Mr. Carrillo and other illegal immigrants.
That spring, the U.S. mortgage crisis began taking shape and the construction sector started contracting. In July, Congress defeated a bill, supported by President George W. Bush, that would have put millions of illegal immigrants on the path to legalization. The next month, the Department of Homeland Security stepped up enforcement with raids that Mr. Carrillo and his roommates tracked on Univision, the Spanish-language television network.
At a construction site one Monday morning that summer, Mr. Carrillo and a dozen other workers were informed that Pat's Renovation had received notices -- known as "no match" letters -- indicating that the laborers' Social Security numbers weren't valid. At first, the contractor switched to cash payments. But about three weeks later, Mr. Carrillo says, the boss told them he would have to discontinue this practice.
Mr. Carrillo began applying for jobs at other companies. As he recalls it, they said: "No good Social Security number, no job. Sorry."
He began hustling for day jobs, standing outside a 7-Eleven store with dozens of other immigrants. He worked part-time two or three days a week. "There was too much competition," he recalls.
Back home the effects were immediate, Mrs. Carrillo says. Meat was off the menu. Mrs. Carrillo says she had to borrow to make monthly school payments. There were no new clothes for the children. In a tense phone exchange, Mrs. Carrillo accused her husband of sacrificing his family in exchange for a new woman in the U.S.
"It wasn't that I had another woman," Mr. Carrillo says. "I simply didn't have work."
Through the fall and winter of 2007, Mr. Carrillo said, he had no money at all to send to his family. On the worst days, the migrant says, he cried in despair. He said that finally, after two months without a day of work, he called his wife and told her: "Better to eat poverty in my family's company than alone." She told him to come home.
That's when he ripped into the piggy bank. Some of the $3,100 went toward a passport he obtained at the Guatemalan embassy. He bought a $330 one-way ticket home from Washington on Taca airlines. He spent $1,100 to ship his truck home. Another several hundred dollars paid pending rent and bills in the U.S., he says.
On Jan. 26, he landed in Guatemala with $600 in cash and a bag loaded with a new television, a DVD/VCR and a music system. A month later, his Ford Ranger arrived. With the truck and a cell phone, he began an independent transport business.
He has hauled carrots, building materials, scrap metal. On a recent day, he got about $10 -- minus his costs for fuel -- to haul avocados to the nearby tourist center of Antigua. A few weeks ago, he says, his truck was impounded by a traffic cop after he got in an accident. He says he had to pay a bribe to get it back.
"With the truck, at least we can eat," he says.
Behind on Payments
Work has been sparse. Mrs. Carrillo says the family is about $200 in arrears on school payments for their daughter and older son. Their 17-year-old, Miriam, says she still hopes to graduate from high school this year and enter a vocational college to become a dental technician. Jose Fernando, the Carrillos's youngest son, doesn't have his school uniform, which costs about $8.
To pass the days without work, Mr. Carrillo watches TV or plays soccer. Some nights he drinks beer with his buddies.
The U.S. remains on his mind. Not long ago, he placed a long-distance call to Nura, the homeowner in Howard County, Md., to make sure she was pleased with the person he had recommended to replace him. On a recent Sunday, surrounded by his three children, he said: "If I could get the right papers -- a visa -- I would return."
Write to Miriam Jordan at <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->
He has money for beer but not for school or school uniform.
What? It didn't make you feel sorry for their lot in life?
Cry me a river.

Now that millions of illegal aliens are returning home to Mexico, Central and South America they will be competing for jobs that are available to them at lower wages.

There are scores of Guatemalans working in the fields of Mexico at about $3 per day. I guess they'll begin to march and demand that the illegal Guatemalans go home because they are taking jobs away from Mexicans. So finally, the Mexican will understand what Americans have been screaming about for years.

I do not think it is our responsibility to help out any country that is suffering from the return of their countrymen. Countries like Mexico and the countries of Central America should have been prepared for the day that their paisanos' return. They should have been creating jobs and opening up help centers and expanding public education to accommodate the returnees. But to suggest that the US should help with their crisis is stupid.

It sucks that our economy in flushing down the toilet but things will get better. But if it means that illegal aliens are leaving en mass, then I'm all for it. When our economy gets better, I want to make sure that any and all loopholes the gave incentives for illegal aliens to come here in the first place ARE CLOSED. So the next wave of illegal aliens will be a trickle and those few who manage to make it in the U.S. have no hope of every getting a job beyong a dishwasher working for cash, if that.

I don't feel sorry for them nor their countries.
Quote:Texas now requiring proof of legal status before issuing a driver's license

AUSTIN — In a clampdown on illegal immigrants, the Texas Department of Public Safety has adopted a new policy requiring noncitizens to prove they are in this country legally before they can obtain or renew a driver's license.

Gov. Rick Perry applauded the change, which went into effect Oct. 1, as a way to strengthen the state's security.

"Texas is a great place to live and work, and while we welcome legally documented individuals to the Lone Star State, we must ensure that this privilege is not abused by those seeking to enter our country illegally," he said.

Subjects: Illegal Immigration, Texas, prove legal status, driver's license, Texas Department of Public Safety, Gov. Rick Perry, Jim Harrington, Texas Civil Rights Project, immigrant licenses, valid government documentation required, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, visas, resident alien cards, U.S. passport, citizenship certificate, birth certificate, military records, voter registration card, Social Security number required, Tela Mange, Public Safety Commission, DPS, Rep. Garnet Coleman, Allan Polunsky, REAL ID Act, laws
Found the above on ALIPAC today, maybe Illinois will get smart soon!
I'm going to post a few key articles about what is going in the area of illegal immigration and enforcement.

DHS to Revive No-Match Regulations

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff announced on October 23rd that the Administration will ask a federal judge to lift a stay on new federal no-match regulations, a move that has angered both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). If DHS is successful in reviving the regulation, the government could begin mailing no-match notices to an estimated 140,000 employers regarding suspect Social Security numbers and immigration documents. (The Washington Post, October 24, 2008)

The No-Match Regulation, which was finalized in September 2007, provides a "safe harbor" protocol for employers who receive a no-match letter. Sent by either the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS, these letters notify employers that there is a discrepancy with the information provided by the employer on an employee's I-9 form. Under the regulation, an employer who receives a no-match letter:

Has 30 days to check the appropriate records and determine if the discrepancy was caused by a clerical error, correct the error with SSA, and verify that the corrected name and Social Security number match SSA's records;
Must contact the local DHS office in accordance with instructions included in the letter to resolve discrepancies in the stated immigration status of the employee, if the letter was sent by DHS;
Must attempt to re-verify the worker's employment eligibility by completing a new I-9 employment verification form, if the discrepancy cannot be resolved with either SSA or DHS within 90 days of receipt of a no-match letter.
Additionally, if the employer cannot verify the employee's work eligibility through completion of a new I-9 form, the employer may terminate the employee. If the employee is retained, the employer could be determined to have constructive knowledge that they are continuing the employment of an illegal alien. (See, Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter, ICEB-2006-0004-0001, June 14, 2006)

The regulation was stayed by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer after a suit was brought against it by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union and the AFL-CIO. In March 2008, DHS responded to the court's concerns by publishing a supplemental Proposed Rule that included a more detailed analysis of how the Department developed the regulation and an economic analysis of the rule. (See, Small Entity Impact Analysis: Supplemental Proposed Rule "Safe- Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No- Match Letter, ICEB-2006-0004)

In response to Chertoff's announcement, Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Washington Post, "We are looking at our litigation options," (The Washington Post, October 24, 2008)

Chertoff commented on the Supplemental Rule finalized October 23rd: "The additional information in this supplemental rule addresses the specific items raised by the Court, and we expect to be able to quickly implement it. The No-Match Rule, along with E-Verify, will increasingly make the pleas of ignorance from businesses that seek to exploit illegal labor ring hollow, and equip their responsible competitors with the tools they need to hire and maintain a legal workforce." (Media Newswire, October 23, 2008)
Perhaps Judicial Watch or other groups will go after Chicago next...

Sanctuary City Must Report Alien Drug Offenders, Court Rules

Immigration enforcement advocates scored a major victory on October 22nd when the California First District Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against San Francisco's sanctuary city policy that had been thrown out last year. The suit, Charles Fonseca v. Heather Fong, Chief, San Francisco Police Department, challenged that the city's practice of not cooperating with federal immigration authorities violates a state law that requires law enforcement officers who make arrests on drug related charges to notify the federal government if it is suspected that person is not a U.S. citizen. (Opinion of the California 1st District Court of Appeals) The Superior Court judge who heard the case last year dismissed it on grounds that the state statute was itself an invalid law that sought to regulate immigration. The appellate court disagreed, noting that the law intended to fight drug trafficking in California.

The plaintiff, Charles Fonseca, noted that his interest in filing the lawsuit was "making the city comply with the law." (San Francisco Chronicle, October 23, 2008) The court decision requires the city to comply with the state law, which the city maintains will have no "bearing on the city's sanctuary ordinance," noting that written policies for the city already "allow" officials to report drug offenders who appear to not be U.S. citizens to federal authorities. (San Francisco Chronicle, October 23, 2008) However, President Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch remarked: "This landmark ruling strikes at the heart of the sanctuary movement for illegal aliens. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities are not above the law. This court ruling exposes the lie behind the argument that state and local law enforcement cannot help enforce immigration laws." (The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2008)

This case marks just another instance in a year of troubles for San Francisco's sanctuary city policy. In June, Mayor Gavin Newsom came under fire after the San Francisco Chronicle uncovered a taxpayer-funded program that was flying illegal alien youth gang members back to their country of origin, rather than entering them into the court system. Then, in early October, city officials announced that a federal grand jury was investigating whether the sanctuary city policy violated federal immigration laws that prohibit aiding and abetting illegal aliens. (See Legislative Update, October 14, 2008)
Supreme Court Will Hear Illegal Alien's ID Theft Case

On October 20th the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear the case Flores-Figueroa v. U.S. The case will settle the differing appellate interpretations of the U.S. Code's aggravated identity theft provision. (18 USC § 1028A) The issue in the case is whether the prosecution must prove that the defendant in an identity theft case knew the fraudulent identification belonged to somebody else.

The pertinent code section states:

Whoever, during and in relation to any felony violation enumerated in subsection ©, knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person shall in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years.
In the case before the court, Flores, a native of Mexico illegally present in the U.S., began working at a steel company in East Moline, Illinois, under the assumed name of Horacio Ramirez. Flores told his employer that he wanted to be known as Ignacio C. Flores and that he wanted to change the Social Security and alien registration numbers that the employer had on file for him.
He then presented the employer with a counterfeit Social Security card and a counterfeit alien registration card. Both the counterfeit documents contained identification numbers that had been assigned to a different person. These documents were in the petitioner's possession when he was arrested. He was charged with one count of entering the United States without inspection, two counts of misuse of immigration documents, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

At his trial, Flores argued that the aggravated identity theft charges should be dropped because the government had not proved Flores knew that the Social Security and alien registration numbers he used had been assigned to other people. The trial court rejected that argument, and Flores was convicted on both counts of aggravated identity theft. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and upheld the conviction. (Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa v. United States of America, Brief for the United States of America)

According to the New York Times, defense attorneys argue that federal prosecutors have used the identity theft provision to pressure illegal aliens to plead guilty to lesser immigration violations. They also argue that their clients shouldn't be charged with the offense because these individuals were only seeking documents to allow them to work. (New York Times, October 20, 2008) Federal prosecutors, however, have argued in a number of cases that the statute doesn't require the defendant to have knowledge that the identity belonged to another person. (Id.)
A lot is going on in the area of immigration. I'll work on getting on top of this again. There was just a raid in Kenosha this week for illegal alien gang members. I am very surprised they did not stop by in Waukegan as well -usually these are multi-area raids. Help out and call the 800 number to report gang activity in Waukegan.

11 arrested in Kenosha during in ICE-led operation targeting gang members
November 20, 2008

KENOSHA, Wis. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents here, in close partnership with local law enforcement officers, arrested 11 illegal alien gang members from Mexico. This is the latest joint local action of an ongoing national ICE effort to target foreign-born members of violent gang members.

These arrests were made Wednesday under an ongoing national ICE initiative called "Operation Community Shield," in which ICE partners with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to address the significant public safety threat posed by transnational street gangs. Partnerships with local law enforcement agencies are essential to the success of the initiative, and they help further ensure officer safety during the operations.

The multi-agency operation targeted foreign-born members and associates of the Sureños street gang. One of those arrested is 40-year-old Francisco Cortes-Ruiz, a self-admitted member of the Sureños-13 gang. While serving time in California's maximum security Pelican Bay State Prison for drug trafficking in 1991, Cortes-Ruiz was convicted of assaulting another prisoner with a weapon and sentenced to an additional three years in prison. He was deported to Mexico in 1996 as an aggravated felon upon his release from prison, and later illegally re-entered the United States. The U.S. Attorney's Office has accepted his case for re-entering the U.S. after being deported as an aggravated felon, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Two of the other arrests - Jose Garcia-Ayala, 29, and Francisco Cordero-Rodriguez, 26, - were turned over to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office to face outstanding criminal charges. ICE placed detainers on them to ensure they will be returned to ICE for deportation after they complete their criminal proceedings.

The remaining eight aliens arrested face administrative immigration charges, and are currently in ICE custody pending their deportation. ICE does not release the names of those arrested on administrative immigration charges.

"Street gangs pose a growing public safety threat to communities throughout Wisconsin," said Brian Falvey, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Milwaukee. "We will not tolerate violent gang activity in our communities. We will use all of our law enforcement tools to thwart the criminal efforts of street gangs. ICE's Operation Community Shield shows how we work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle these criminal organizations and help protect our communities."

ICE was assisted in the operation by the following local agencies: the Wisconsin Department of Justice; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office; and the Kenosha Police Department.

"Street gangs wreak havoc in communities. We are proud to partner with ICE and local law enforcement to make Wisconsin streets safer," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

"Gang violence is a community problem which we have faced for many years," said John Morrissey, chief of police for the City of Kenosha. "The Kenosha Police Department is committed to ridding our community of criminals, especially gang members and their associates, and we will continue to increase the pressure on these criminal enterprises by partnering with ICE to address the gang problem here. The City of Kenosha benefits greatly from the manpower, resources, expertise and special enforcement powers that ICE brings to the table. By working together we underscore our commitment to identify, target and arrest violent gang members. The message is plain and simple to all gang members: "You are not welcome in our community."

Since ICE began Operation Community Shield in February 2005, more than 11,400 gang members belonging to more than 700 different gangs have been arrested nationwide. More information on Operation Community Shield is available at: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->.

The public is encouraged to report suspicious activity by calling ICE's toll-free hotline at: 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock.

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This was taken in Waukegan last year...
[Image: march08038.jpg]
One more job reopened to an American.
(message to MS13) It's time to change your diapers! :twisted: Cleanup your act, lowlifes!

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