Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Illegals nabbed in prostitution ring (Virginia Gazette)

Illegals nabbed in prostitution ring

By Amanda Kerr | The Virginia Gazette
November 26, 2008

JAMES CITY - Five illegal immigrants were arrested Friday night in connection with a prostitution ring at a home on Richmond Road, just south of Lightfoot.

The raid took place just after 7 p.m., when the James City Police SWAT team executed a search warrant at 6115 Richmond Rd., in front of the Villages at Westminster subdivision.

Mike Spearman of the James City Police said among the items found at the home was a “large variety of condoms” and “pornographic movies being played in a waiting area.”

Spearman said the investigation of the home was led by the Tri-Rivers Drug Task Force with assistance by James City Police, State Police, Immigration & Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Records and witnesses will indicate that the house was a part of a prostitution ring which resulted in girls being brought to the house to work as prostitutes,” Spearman said in a press release. “Girls were likely brought from across state lines to work in this ring.”

Two of those arrested were alleged prostitutes and three were alleged pimps.

* Marta Julia Martinez-Aquino, 33, charged with prostitution.

* Ana Maria Rosales-Gonzales, 25, charged with prostitution. She also goes by the name Flora Marisol-Rosales.

* Marco Tulio Lara-Galvez, 55, charged with receiving money for procuring a person for prostitution and conspiracy to commit a felony.

* Felipe Vargas-Ortega, 42, charged with receiving money for procuring a person for prostitution, keeping a bawdy place, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

* Emma Tlacoxolal-Perez, 36, charged with receiving money for procuring a person for prostitution, keeping a bawdy place and conspiracy to commit a felony.

No clients were arrested. Any Johns would have been charged with frequenting a bawdy place.

Spearman said Vargas-Ortega and Tlacoxolal-Perez are believed to be involved with the operation of a local prostitution ring. Vargas-Ortega and Tlacoxolal-Perez are also believed to be linked to a prostitution operation in Newport News.

About two hours after the home on Richmond Road was searched, Newport News Police raided a home near Denbigh where 12 people were charged with various prostitution-related offenses.

“Both operations are believed to be run by the same person or persons,” Spearman said. It is unclear if Vargas-Ortega and Tlacoxolal-Perez were running both houses.

Spearman said all five arrested here were immigrants from El Salvador and were in the country illegally. Many of the people arrested in Newport News were from Mexico or Ecuador.

All of the suspects have been jailed without bond.

ICE raids take 16 Flagstaff residents (Jack Central)

ICE raids take 16 Flagstaff residents

November 26th, 2008 by Sarah Pickering

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrived in Flagstaff on Wednesday, Nov. 19 to arrest undocumented citizens with criminal records, sparking an impromptu protest by various immigrant rights and activist groups.

On Nov. 20, the Repeal Coalition, a group dedicated to the repeal of all anti-immigration legislation in Arizona, organized various efforts to warn the community that members of ICE would be conducting raids in target neighborhoods. ICE is a governmental agency responsible for identifying and investigating illegal activity with regards to the United States border.

The Repeal Coalition gathered a group of approxminately two dozen people at Killip Elementary School in Sunnyside to escort children to their homes. In the evening, the group, including members from CopWatch, ASWI, NAU Peace and Justice, MEChA and Save the Peaks protested numbers of arrests already made by ICE.

Approximately 70 people stood near the county jail on Butler Avenue chanting, “ICE is on thin ice” and “No more body snatching.”

Joel Olson, a member of the Repeal Coalition and assistant professor
in the NAU Department of Political Science, said ICE’s raids are a violation of civil rights.

“They’ve raided homes, they’ve arrested six people and they’ve got warrants for 40 people total,” Olson said. “We’re opposed to body snatching and all the laws that are preventing citizens and non-citizens alike from being able to live and love and work wherever they please.”

Maren Lester, a freshman undeclared major, disagreed with alleged tactics to raid elementary schools, but agreed with neighborhood raids.

“If (undocumented citizens) haven’t pursued legal ways to get into the country, then they have no right to be here,” Lester said.

According to ICE’s Web site, the agency protects the nation’s homeland security.

“(ICE) upholds public safety by targeting criminal networks and terrorist organizations that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our immigration system, in our financial networks, along our border, at federal facilities and elsewhere in order to do harm to the United States,” the mission statement reads.

When contacted for a comment, ICE did not respond.

Olson said he felt the most important part of the protest was getting the word out about the problems with ICE and other anti-immigration legislation.

“Our overall goal is the repeal of all anti-immigration laws in the state of Arizona,” Olson said, referring to the Repeal Coalition’s mission. “Arizona is ground zero for immigration reform. If we change the laws in Arizona, we change them nationwide.”

“All day we’ve been doing patrols around the neighborhood, making sure ICE is informing the undocumented citizens of their rights,” said George Villas, a protester.

Erin Entringer, a freshman choral education major, said she agreed with ICE’s practices from an economic standpoint.

“I understand that people are coming here to make a better life for themselves,” Entringer said. “I think those people should go through the legal process to become citizens, rather than free-loading off of our tax money.”

ICE obtained 40 warrants for undocumented citizens, arresting 16 who were previously ordered to leave the country.

“ICE is taking people that they don’t have warrants for,” said Eva Amaral, a member of the Repeal Coalition. “That’s what’s happening in Maricopa County and we don’t want it here.”

Amaral said she wants the city of Flagstaff to join in the resistance against ICE, and said a community effort is crucial to maintaining civil rights.

“Lives are being destroyed,” Amaral said. “We’re not going to let a government agency tell us that we aren’t people.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inside ICE Efforts At Local Jails (KTVL-OR)

Inside ICE Efforts At Local Jails

November 17, 2008 - 5:11 PM
Carolyn Carver

More than 30 percent more illegal immigrants with criminal records are off Southern Oregon streets this year, according to new numbers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Now News Ten got a rare look inside the criminal deportation process between local jails and the federal immigration agency.

Ice agents say the jump in deportations is because of the growing Criminal Alien Program, also known as CAP.

Agents say CAP bridges the gap between local and national government agency's to identify immigrants who commit crimes and get them off the streets.

Jose Villa grew up in Southern Oregon. He graduated from North Medford High School.

"All my families here, my parents my wife my kid," he says in ICE custody.

But Villa was born in Mexico and now his numerous arrests are catching up with him.

"My family's expecting me to go home tomorrow they don't know I'm here with immigration now," Villa says.

Villa moved from the Jackson County Jail with federal ICE agents to start the process of being deported back to Mexico.

Sheriff Mike Winters says this system works.

"We're not just trying to pick out people for no good reason we're specifically looking for criminal illegal aliens," Winters says.

A. Neil Clark, the Northwest ICE Field Director for Oregon, Alaska and Washington says the federal government is working with local jails to get illegal immigrants with criminal records out of communities.

"We're going in and getting criminals that have committed crimes in the streets of America and if they're subject to removal we're removing them before they can step foot back on the streets of the country," Clark says.

ICE officials in the Medford office puts the immigrants into the system with fingerprints and interviews, then it's up to a court to decide if they'll be sent back to their home countries.

"All my family's here," Villa says. "I have everyone you know starting form my grandpa, parents, everybody here. I would be lost," Villa says.

He is just one of about 10,000 illiegal immigrations deported from the Northwest this year, according to ICE officials. Thats up 37 percent since last year.

Villa says, "I'm just asking for one more chance, a last chance. I just want to stay here with my family," he says.

For now ICE agents say they'll keep working to keep criminals off the streets.

Villa says he'll fight to stay in a country he now calls his own.

Across the country, more than 345,000 people were deported last year.

That's up from about 288,000 the year before.

Wal-Mart truck used to smuggle immigrants (AP c/o Houston Chronicle)

Wal-Mart truck used to smuggle immigrants
The Associated Press
Nov. 18, 2008, 11:38AM

McALLEN, Texas — A Wal-Mart truck driver and two women were arrested, accused of attempting to smuggle illegal immigrants through a Border Patrol checkpoint in the rig's trailer.

Alejandro Hernandez, 50, unloaded a delivery at a Wal-Mart in McAllen then stopped at an Edinburg truckstop. There Leonor Gomez, 29, and her mother Santos Gomez Moreno, transferred the immigrants from their van to Hernandez's trailer, according documents filed in federal court Monday.

Wal-Mart assisted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to identify Hernandez's route and truck after federal authorities were tipped to his alleged activities.

"At Wal-Mart we expect our associates to conduct themselves in a lawful and ethical manner," company spokesman Don Fogleman told The (McAllen) Monitor. "This situation is of deep concern."

Investigators believe Hernandez had used his truck to smuggle illegal immigrants through the checkpoint, which is about an hour north of the border, at least a half-dozen times. Gomez and her mother followed Hernandez north in their van with the plan being to transfer the immigrants back to the van once it cleared the checkpoint, court documents show.

Agents arrested the trio just south of the checkpoint Thursday. They stopped the truck before it reached the checkpoint because they were concerned about the well-being of the men in the trailer, according to the court documents.

All were taken into custody along with the four Mexican nationals in the trailer, which was empty except for some pallets.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Out of Prison, Mother With Disorder Waits (The Ledger)

Out of Prison, Mother With Disorder Waits

By Shoshana Walter

Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 12:10 a.m.

LAKELAND | More than a month after her release from prison, Tracy McHugh remained in limbo last week, awaiting deportation back to Britain in the custody of United States immigration authorities.

The Lakeland mother who was diagnosed with Munchausen by proxy disorder and convicted of aggravated child abuse in August 2007, completed her sentence Oct. 7. Authorities said McHugh subjected her children to hundreds of unnecessary medical visits and sometimes harmful procedures, seeking attention for herself through the excessive care of her children.

Her two daughters and a son are now in the care of former family friends and McHugh, born in Scotland, will be deported, but immigration officials won't say when.

British law enforcement officials may decide to continue monitoring McHugh when she returns, but the crime doesn't transfer there, said Dean Churm of the British Consulate.

But if media interest in Scotland is any indication, her notoriety likely will.

'She's been in the Scottish papers a lot over here as they think she's going to be dumped back over here,' wrote British-based Sun reporter Rob McAuley in an e-mail to The Ledger. 'And it will cause an outrage if she is.'

For almost all of her 39 years, McHugh has lived in the United States as a permanent resident alien, according to her mother, Pauline McHugh, and therefore had many of the same rights as citizens. She was required to pay taxes and was allowed to vote in certain local and state elections.

But under federal law, Tracy McHugh became deportable the moment she was convicted of aggravated child abuse, a first-degree felony.

McHugh could hire a lawyer and fight deportation, Churm said, but the decision is ultimately in the hands of immigration officials in the United States.

Churm declined to go into the specifics of McHugh's case, citing consulate policy, but he did agree to discuss general issues affecting British citizens convicted of crimes in the United States.

'This is a common problem for deportees,' Churm said. 'Quite a lot of people come to the U.S. and get a green card, but if they don't apply for citizenship and commit that kind of a crime, they'll be deported. It comes quite as a surprise to them.'

Pauline McHugh said she'd like to see her daughter get help and treatment for the disorder, although the validity of Munchausen by proxy as a condition has been questioned by many in the medical community.

Although she grew up in Manchester, England, Pauline McHugh said she is not sure how many of her and Tracy's relatives are still alive.

Pauline McHugh left Tracy McHugh's biological father in Scotland before Tracy was born, after he pushed Pauline McHugh down a flight of stairs when she was six months' pregnant. Pauline McHugh's mother lives in a nursing home in London.

'She'll be all right. I know that,' Pauline said of Tracy. 'It's just that I'll never get to see her. I feel like I'm losing my oldest daughter and my grandchildren.'

McHugh and her daughter hardly talked during the ­nearly two years Tracy McHugh sat in prison.

Their relationship, strained for years since Tracy McHugh's adoptive father died, was overpowered by media attention, Pauline McHugh said. In recent months, the two have begun talking again.

'It's a mixed feeling when something like this comes about. It's my own flesh and blood. What kind of mother am I? Grandmother? You question yourself,' she said. 'She misses those kids desperately. She thought and still does think she was being a good mother.'

Both lose in aborted immigrant-citizen home sale (AP c/o Fox News)

Both lose in aborted immigrant-citizen home sale

Sunday, November 16, 2008

By KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press Writer

ROSWELL, Ga. — Like all illegal immigrants, Lorenzo Jimenez knew the knock on the door from immigration agents could come at any time.

Still, he had enough faith in the American dream to buy a house in this Atlanta suburb, even though signing the papers meant raising the risk: He put his 2-year-old, American-born daughter's name and Social Security number on the title.

And it worked, for a while. Jimenez and his family lived happily enough for several years alongside "regular" citizens.

Nicole Griffin's mom lived a few doors away, and when Griffin visited, she said, her kids played with the Jimenez children. When Jimenez put his four-bedroom, two-bathroom home up for sale last spring, wanting more space, Griffin was immediately interested.

A contract was negotiated but when the sale appeared to go sour, Griffin raised a new issue: that she was a citizen and Jimenez wasn't. She told local media, immigration officials, his boss and others that he was here illegally. She even put signs in the yard of the house exposing his residency status.

As a result, agents came knocking last month, and now Jimenez is fighting to keep from being deported. He also lost his job.

"I'm very sad and very worried," said Jimenez, 32. "I can't sleep because I'm thinking about my family. What's going to happen? I don't know."

Griffin insists her intent was to buy the house, nothing else. The 28-year-old single mother of two maintains she was wronged first, so she acted to protect her interests. She has no regrets.

"At the end, do I feel bad the family got in trouble? No, not at all," she said.

Those who enter the U.S. illegally often say they're just striving for the same things that most American citizens want out of life _ a good job, home ownership, maybe a chance to get a little bit ahead. But the ambitions of citizens and non-citizens can collide and, as the painful entanglement between Jimenez and Griffin shows, both sides can wind up feeling like victims.

Jimenez, who is Mexican, has been in the U.S. for about a decade. When he bought the house four years ago, the real estate agent handling the sale told him he could get a better interest rate using his daughter's information on the closing documents than he could using the federal tax identification number he uses to pay income tax here.

Jimenez later filed papers to have his own name added to the title, and that's how it stayed until Griffin spotted the "for sale" sign and $164,500 list price this spring.

With both sides enthusiastic about the sale, a deal was reached and the closing was set for May 15.

Griffin, a payroll clerk and first-time homebuyer, asked to postpone the closing until June 1 because she had problems locking in her interest rate. Jimenez agreed but asked that she move into the house as planned and pay rent until the closing.

Shortly after Griffin moved in, her attorney said there was a problem with the title on the house, namely that Jimenez's young daughter's name was on the title but her signature wasn't on the sale documents. Attorneys said some extra paperwork _ establishing a conservatorship to watch out for the child's interest, the first step in getting the title transferred solely to her father _ would clear the title, and everyone agreed to postpone again.

Griffin didn't pay the rent, however, claiming she was promised three months free since the delay was Jimenez's fault. She has an e-mail from his real estate agent, Alina Carbonell, saying he'd made the offer.

Jimenez's lawyer, Erik Meder, told her that offer was never firm and insisted she pay rent or vacate the house.

Locked in a letter war with Meder, Griffin escalated her actions. She contacted the FBI, the Roswell Police Department, local media, the state attorney general's office and the governor's office, among others. She asked her congressman, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, for help, saying she felt Jimenez and Meder had deceived her. Price's office, in turn, contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Brendan Buck, a Price spokesman.

"I am a law-abiding American merely trying to purchase a home," Griffin wrote in mid-July in a letter to American Homebuyers, a nonprofit that helps low- to moderate-income families buy homes. "An illegal family fraudulently obtained a mortgage using a 1 yr old SSN, and appear to have all the rights in this situation _ How can this be when they shouldn't even be in America?"

She said she contacted anyone she could think of who might be able to help the sale go through.

Jimenez said she started making his life a nightmare. He claims she caused cosmetic damage to the house and intentionally clogged the plumbing, both of which she denies.

Griffin also went after Carbonell, the real estate agent. She contacted the Georgia State Real Estate Commission to try to get her license revoked. Carbonell said the threat to her reputation and to her career caused her so much stress she had to take a leave of absence.

Griffin said she reported Carbonell because the agent knew Jimenez's daughter's name was on the title from the beginning but didn't tell her right away. (Carbonell was not the real estate agent who originally advised Jimenez to use his daughter's name.)

In September, Meder got a judge to order Griffin to pay retroactive rent and get out of the house within a week.

Griffin then went to the upscale Atlanta restaurant where Jimenez worked as a cook and told his boss he was undocumented, which Jimenez said resulted in his firing.

"It was my last resort," Griffin said, "but once I realized my family had seven days to get out of a house that a family's not even legally supposed to own, I did go to his employer and I did let his employer know."

She also put bright red signs in the yard reading, "This house is owned by an illegal alien." When Jimenez tore them down, she put up new ones.

Griffin said she wanted the neighbors to share her outrage over what was happening.

"I don't feel bad for anything that happens to the Jimenez family at this point," Griffin said recently, "because no one feels bad that all I tried to do was buy a house, and I ended up living back with my mother."

In early October, plainclothes ICE agents showed up at Jimenez's apartment. They asked him about his residency status and his purchase of the house, then handcuffed him and took him away. He was released a few hours later and is due before a judge in January and could face eventual deportation.

His lawyers plan to apply to keep Jimenez in the country permanently, a process that could last several years. While it's pending, he will be eligible for a work permit. But even if he gets one, Jimenez will be living in limbo. His application to stay could be rejected, which means he still could be ordered to leave the country.

Jimenez has taken the house off the market but doesn't want to move his family back in amid the uncertainty, so they're still in the apartment that was supposed to be a transitional stop until they bought a bigger place.

Griffin hasn't tried to buy another home, in part because she can't afford to, so she and her kids are still staying with her mother.

Down the street, the Jimenez house sits empty.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Migrants finding ways to climb 18-foot-tall border fence (Tucson Citizen)

Migrants finding ways to climb 18-foot-tall border fence
Border barrier deters some, injures others

November 15, 2008, 12:37 a.m.
The Arizona Republic

NACO, Sonora - Mario Garcia Salcido and a friend left home in Culiacán for this dusty speck of a border town last week, headed for jobs in an Idaho milk-processing plant.

They met up with the tallest obstacle the U.S. government has ever erected along the Mexican border: an 18-foot, mesh-metal fence west of here, with poles sunk deeply into concrete.

Garcia hoisted his friend, who wouldn't identify himself, up the barrier, and in 20 minutes, they clambered into the United States illegally. An hour later, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested them for the third time in a month.

Garcia and his friend say the tall fence won't deter future illegal immigrants.

"Everybody can climb it. They cross by every manner," Garcia's 42-year-old friend said as he waited in Naco's Migrant Resource Center after being returned to Mexico.

The United States is spending $700 million to build 670 miles of new fencing along the border. Lured by U.S. jobs with higher wages, immigrants are adapting.

The tallest portions of the fencing are 15 to 18 feet high, aimed at stopping both pedestrians and vehicles. The shortest barriers are 3 to 4 feet high and designed to stop vehicles in remote areas.

The large fences stretch in broken but growing segments across the 1,950-mile border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it has put up 114 miles of truck barricades and 118 miles of new 15- and 18-foot fences. That's about half of the total planned.

The fences are high enough to deter some would-be illegal immigrants. But the Border Patrol and immigrant-aid centers report that people are devising ways to scale the fences, be it by two-by-four ladders, tree limbs or rope - and some are injuring themselves in the process.

The Border Patrol says the fence is doing its intended job.

"The border fence is a speed bump in the desert," spokesman Mike Scioli said. "It slows them down long enough for us to respond."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff talks of the fence as just one facet of a more comprehensive strategy to secure the border. The fence is intended to complement, not replace, extra agents, surveillance sensors, inland checkpoints and technology.

Border Patrol Agent William Schaeck was amazed at the feeble barriers when he came to Naco three years ago. "All of this was barbed wire," he said, motioning to a stretch of 18-foot fence that went up in the past year.

The fence stands in the windswept scrub like a line of crooked teeth, as far as the eye can see.

East from the Naco port of entry, there are six types of fence in the first two miles. Types range from 10 feet to 18 feet, from corrugated-steel wall to a picket of metal poles to reinforced-wire mesh. A freshly graded dirt road runs alongside, and in some places, a string of floodlights sits atop tall aluminum poles.

"It has helped," Schaeck said.

Borderwide, arrests by agents dropped 18 percent this year, although a slowing U.S. economy is a major factor.

For the past six months, crews have been building a 15-foot mesh fence about 15 yards behind the main 12-foot corrugated-steel wall west of the crossing.

Security purists want such a double barrier along the length of the border.

When Congress passed the Secure Fence Act in 2006, it authorized 670 miles of double fence. Last year, the act was amended to give Chertoff discretion to build 670 miles of any barrier he saw fit.

Last month, Chertoff conceded that a deadline to finish that work by January will not be met but that 90 to 95 percent would be under contract. Near Douglas, 25 miles east of Naco, there is no double fence and very little of the 18-foot barrier.

A few miles east, the fence turns into 3-foot-high barricades intended to stop drug smugglers' trucks. Walkers can easily slip through and reach a highway five miles north.

"Just look at how open this is," said Ray Borane, former Douglas mayor and now Gov. Janet Napolitano's border adviser.

Borane does not think even a continuous 18-foot barrier will stop immigrants. There's just too much open territory to patrol, he says.

Garcia and his friend say they scaled the fence by hand because they couldn't afford the $2,500 smugglers' fee. The desert around Naco is littered with makeshift ladders, shelter volunteer Cecile Lumer said, showing a picture of a ladder made of weathered two-by-fours. It lies in the dirt 20 feet from the new fence, waiting to be reused.

Across the border, in the Border Patrol office, Schaeck holds up a ladder fashioned from barbed wire twisted around rungs made of wooden dowels. He has seen others made from thick tree branches, through which holes were bored and rope strung. He has seen crude grappling hooks, ropes with knots and ladders with barbed-wire rungs.

Lumer and Mexican border agents say they have seen more people trying their luck on the fence and more injuries in recent months. The immigrants come into the shelters with broken ankles, swollen knees, dislocated fingers and bad cuts.

The fence is the last resort for illegal immigrants, especially those who've been arrested by the Border Patrol after paying all their money to coyotes. Some coyotes now charge 1,000 pesos, or about $80, to let immigrants use their ladders.

Garcia and his friend said the journey into the United States was too difficult. They were going home to stay.

Not everybody makes that choice. The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California-San Diego found that nearly half the illegal immigrants its researchers surveyed in 2007 and 2008 in Mexican villages and U.S. cities had been arrested during their previous journey. Two-thirds also said the crossing was difficult. But nearly all made it to their U.S. destinations eventually, a consistent finding since 1995.

Asked what the U.S. government could have to do to keep all illegal immigrants at the border, Garcia answered in pantomime: jiggling spasmodically, closing his eyes and sticking his tongue out.

"Electrify it," he said, laughing. "That, or post soldiers every 10 meters."

New immigration rift (Greeley Tribune)

New immigration rift

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chris Casey

While many Greeley residents applauded the latest crackdown on suspected identity thieves, some immigration attorneys call the Weld County sting another misdirected effort that will break up hundreds of families and result in few identity theft convictions.

Kimberly Baker-Medina, a Fort Collins immigration attorney, said Friday she had been contacted by some relatives of suspects arrested in the ongoing sting, which she views as a grim repeat of what happened in Greeley two years ago.

She said the sweep is an ineffective way to deal with “a completely dysfunctional” U.S. immigration system and deals another blow to a community still recovering from the Swift & Co. raid in December 2006. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 262 workers who were held while agents determined if they were living legally in the United States. Most ended up being deported. The company has since been sold to JBS S.A., a Brazil-based meatpacker.

“The stated goal of the ICE raid was to catch people committing identity theft,” Baker-Medina said, noting that only a few of those arrested ended up being convicted of that crime. The result was to tear nearly 300 people out of our community, or to break up 300 families.

“The stated goal of this (sting) may be to catch 1,300 identity thieves. The result could be breaking up 1,000 families.”

All of the people picked up in the sting — the Weld District Attorney’s Office estimates that in the next year it could arrest about 1,300 workers on suspicion of identity theft or criminal impersonation — will go into ICE holds.

“The solution is not rounding up people in police raids like Swift or little tax services that serve Latinos,” she said. “The solution is passing some sort of immigration reform.” A key reform would allow people who are illegal immigrants currently working in the United States — estimated at 12 million — to continue to work legally and pay taxes, she said.

Tax filings are where this large-scale sting, dubbed by authorities as “Operation Number Games,” began.

A call from a Texas man saying that someone working in northern Colorado was using his Social Security number eventually led to the arrest of Servando Trejo as he worked at his job at a Kersey feed lot. A Weld County Sheriff’s detective subsequently learned that Trejo, who had received large tax refunds despite paying low taxes, had his tax returns prepared by Amalia’s Translation and Tax Services, 1501 9th St. in Greeley.

According to Trejo’s arrest affidavit, Amalia Cerrillo told authorities she processed tax returns for Trejo and other clients who came in with false Social Security numbers. She used those numbers to apply for Individual Tax Identification Numbers from the Internal Revenue Service, allowing clients to file a tax return.

Saying they had probable cause to suspect more potential identity thieves had tax records on file at Amalia’s, authorities got a search warrant and seized tax returns of more than 4,000 clients dating to 2000.

That led them to secure arrest warrants for 1,300 suspected cases of identity theft or criminal impersonation.

Of the hundreds of Social Security numbers being investigated, the Social Security Administration is granting only 10 names a week to the DA’s Office. Weld District Attorney Ken Buck said it could take more than a year to find out if the numbers are valid or fictitious.

He said the investigation is “overwhelming,” considering in a typical year his office files 2,500 felony cases.

Buck said he agrees that most of the suspects will be charged with the lesser felony of criminal impersonation rather than identity theft.

“It’s probably a majority, but it’s not 98 percent to 2 percent,” he said. “It’s probably a majority that will be criminal impersonation cases, based on what we’re seeing so far.”

Jeff Joseph, a Denver immigration attorney, said Buck “loves to be a renegade” on immigration issues.

He said he believes the sting is a calculated strategy to round up suspects before the Supreme Court rules on what constitutes violation of federal law in identity theft cases. The matter is currently split, with three U.S. circuit courts ruling that the government must prove a defendant knew an ID belonged to another person rather than being just made up, while three other circuits have held that a conviction only requires proof the defendant knew the ID didn’t belong to him or her.

The issue will be resolved within the next year by the high court, Joseph said. “In the meantime, Ken Buck, right out of the chute is racing to get these convictions in before the Supreme Court rules on the issue. These people will be long gone by then. They will have pled guilty to crimes they never should have pled to in the first place. …

“The timing of (the sting) is awfully suspicious to me,” Joseph added. “He has to be aware that this issue is not fully settled.”

Buck said Friday he’s not aware of the circuit courts’ 3-3 split on the matter, or the impending Supreme Court review. He said he’s abiding by Colorado statutes, which say a defendant is guilty of identity theft if he or she knows an ID belongs to another person.

He said if the ID is fictitious, or made up, the crime is criminal impersonation.

The possibility of wrongdoing by the tax preparer — two years worth of refunds to the 1,300 suspects is expected to total as much as $2.7 million, while they paid about $1 million in taxes — is a separate matter from the evidence found of identity theft, Buck said. “We’re not prosecuting the tax case.”

The affidavit on Trejo said that agent Stephen Bratten, with the Colorado Department of Revenue, reviewed the case and said Cerrillo is conducting business according to IRS guidelines and hasn’t violated any laws.

Joseph said most suspects in the sting likely don’t understand complicated tax rules, and rely on a tax preparer’s guidance in what information to include on the forms. Buck should aim the investigation on whether the tax preparer defrauded the government, he said.

“They should be investigating that rather than splitting apart 1,300 families, especially when they know the charges are questionable in the first place,” Joseph said.

Many Greeley residents praise local law enforcement for stepping up on the issue of illegal immigration.

Greeley Mayor Ed Clark, a former police officer, said identity theft is a “significant problem” in the city.

“I support Ken Buck 100 percent,” Clark said. “If you break the law, you pay the consequences.”

Rich Lopez, president of the Greeley Group, an organization that meets monthly to discuss city issues and make recommendations, said he agrees with the sting, but admits it will be hard on the local Latino community.

“I think it’s about time we did something about the identity theft problem,” Lopez said. “We rely on law enforcement and those agencies to step up and take a first step and try to solve and fix things.”

Ron Williams, 71, of Greeley said identity theft cases need to be investigated, but “I don’t know how you stop it.”

“I’ve got nothing against (immigrants) coming here and working, if they just do it the right way,” he said.

Arrests continue this weekend

Weld County sheriff’s deputies, along with the Greeley police and the Weld District Attorney’s Office, continued their searches Friday for people suspected in identity thefts or criminal impersonations in Weld County.

Two more men were arrested Friday, bringing the total arrests to 15.

Deputies will continue searching for named suspects through the weekend, and the investigation is expected to last for a year or more, with possibly more than 1,300 arrests.

As of Friday, 98 cases had been presented by the DA’s office, and warrants were requested on each of them. Law officers need the judge-approved warrant to make the arrests.

Illegal Workers Arrested Near Lowe's (WCAX-VT)

Illegal Workers Arrested Near Lowe's

Essex, Vermont - November 13, 2008

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

Work on the 125,000 foot Lowe's store in Essex is running ahead of schedule. But come Friday morning there will be fewer workers here. Five illegal immigrants are being deported thanks to a tip from a citizen.

"I certainly wouldn't say daily, but it's a routine event when we receive information like this, but I can't say twice a month, three times a month, once a week, I don't know," said Deputy Chief Mark Henry, of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Construction workers tell Channel 3 News the five immigrants were drywall workers employed by Kal-Vin Construction out of Hudson, N.H.

All were arrested around 8 a.m. Thursday in a nearby hotel parking lot.

"There's not enough workforce to go around, so I think that's probably why they do what they do. It's all over the country," said Thom Serrani, of Associated General Contractors of Vermont.

Serrani says there have been several documented instances in Vermont in recent years of illegals working on large construction projects-- all employed by out-of-state contractors.

"Vermont construction companies are not doing this. It's someone out there," Serrani said.

The Border Patrol's Swanton Sector includes 295 miles of border in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. Arrests of illegal immigrants in the sector are actually on the decline. 1,282 illegal immigrants were arrested in fiscal year 2008-- that's down more than 50 percent from the 2,700 illegals arrested in 2004.

"We credit that to our national Border Patrol strategy. We have tripled the number of agents on the northern border in recent years," Henry said.

Border Patrol agents also arrested 14 illegal construction workers last October near the Lowe's construction site in South Burlington.

In a written statement, Lowe's told Channel 3 News, "All general contractors are required to adhere to all local, state, and federal guidelines. This includes ensuring that all workers on the project are properly documented."

And the general contractor on this project did require all subcontractors to sign a legal document verifying that all their workers were U.S. citizens.

U.S. Border Patrol officials aren't releasing the immigrants' nationalities, ages, or genders, but all have been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for deportation proceedings.

ICE, local officials work together on illegal immigration (Fremont Tribune)

ICE, local officials work together on illegal immigration

By Russ Krebs/Fremont Tribune
Friday, Nov 14, 2008 - 11:02:31 am CST

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents investigate every call from the Dodge County Jail about illegal aliens, officials said.

“If somebody contacts us regarding a possible illegal alien, we’ll take a look,” said Tim Counts, ICE spokesperson. “We have to develop probable cause to place a detainer. Our agents are very good at interviewing people and they can check databases.”

He said a lot of the time, the reason a detainer is placed is the person admits to being in the country illegally.

A new policy officially started in September at the Dodge County Jail, making the jail the point of contact with ICE officials.

There are two ways possible immigration problems are detected.

The first is when the arresting agency fills out a custody authorization form where officers indicate any reason they have to believe the inmate might be illegal.

The second way an ICE contact can be initiated is through the intake process and interview mainly based on self-reporting of being born in another country.

If an ICE agent determines the person is here illegally, a detainer is placed on the person. The only way that person is released is if he posts bond before contact with ICE is made.

“We send paperwork that whenever the jail is finished with (the inmate), give us a call,” Counts said. “That detainer is in place until the person is released to our custody. The detainer remains in place until the sentence is served.”

He said it is a misconception that once an ICE detainer, or hold, is placed on somebody that he doesn’t have to serve his sentence. That hold does not come into play until the criminal justice system is done with the illegal immigrant.

Counts said agents try to pick up anyone with a detainer within 48 hours of completing their sentence.

Once someone with a detainer is picked up, they are housed in a jail contracted by ICE. Area jails under contract include Pottawatamie, Sarpy, Phelps, Hall, Cass, Douglas and Madison counties.

Once a person is in custody of ICE, a bond is generally set and the person can be released on bond, on a personal recognizance bond, or with the stipulation of wearing an electronic monitoring device or calling into ICE offices.

“Some people who are illegal and convicted of certain aggravated felony offenses under federal law have no right to a judge,” and can immediately be ordered deported, Counts said. “If somebody is referred to us from jail or law enforcement, the chances of us holding them increases.”

Everyone else facing deportation can request a hearing to determine whether or not they should be deported.

“An individual can opt for a stipulated removal that’s done all on paper and signed by a judge,” Counts said.

Once stipulated, that person can either be deported by agents or a federal immigration judge has the option of granting voluntary departure, he said. That allows a person to get their affairs in place and voluntarily leave the country.

“The judge also issues an alternate order of removal,” Counts said. “If they do not leave by the deadline issued by the judge, ICE will find them and carry out the judge’s orders.”

A person who has been deported faces up to 20 years in prison if they return to the country illegally. A person who has been deported is not allowed to return to the country even in a legal way for 10 years, he said.

“If illegal immigration is going to have integrity, there has to be consequences if you come here illegally and won’t leave,” Counts said.

He said there are 100 fugitive operations teams in the country, including one located in Omaha. They search for any illegal immigrant who has absconded from authorities to return them to their home country.

The fleet of aircraft operated by the Department of Justice that moves inmates around the country also returns people to contiguous countries and Central America. Commercial or chartered flights with agents are used for other countries.

“We remove them as quickly as possible,” Counts said.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dallas County Jail checking each inmate's immigration status (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

Dallas County Jail checking each inmate's immigration status

Posted on Thu, Nov. 13, 2008

All Dallas County Jail inmates will have their fingerprints run through a massive federal database to identify immigrants who can be deported.

The jail, one of only seven nationwide to participate in the Secure Communities program, began running fingerprints through the immigration database Wednesday.

Last month, Harris County joined the program, which is run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Harris and Dallas are the only participating Texas counties. North Carolina has four counties taking part, and Massachusetts has one.

ICE wants to offer the Secure Communities program in every state by spring.

The new database link automatically checks the criminal and immigration history of all Dallas County Jail inmates, said Pablo Campos, ICE assistant field office director in Dallas.

The database contains 90 million names, including those of immigrants who have been arrested before and those who have been deported. Also listed in the database are would-be immigrants who have had their visa applications rejected.

The Secure Communities program also searches for legal immigrants who became eligible for deportation because they were convicted of certain crimes.

The program is the latest development in the federal government’s increasing number of deportations. Many of them have come from the Criminal Alien Program, or CAP, in which ICE checks the backgrounds of inmates suspected by local jail officials of being illegal immigrants.

The Irving and Farmers Branch jails have implemented the Criminal Alien Program.

ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said Secure Communities is "like CAP on steroids" because it does a background check on every inmate and taps into such a massive database.

ICE officials will continue to put the highest priority on immigrants who have committed crimes, especially serious crimes, Campos said. Illegal immigrants arrested for minor crimes will have the least priority, but all illegal immigrants identified in local jails are being deported, he said.

Kim Leach, spokeswoman for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, said the new initiative grew out of ICE having a full-time officer working in the Dallas County Jail, looking for deportable immigrants, since 2006.

ICE holds two Waynesboro men (Chambersburg Public Opinion)

ICE holds two Waynesboro men

GREENCASTLE, Thursday, Nov. 13 -- Two Waynesboro men suspected of being illegal aliens were turned over to federal authories on Nov. 7.

Police stopped Mario Castillo-Martinez, 38, and Alfredo Velazquez-Reyes, 28, for a traffic violation on East Baltimore Street near Spring Grove Avenue, according to the Greencastle Police Department. After an investigation, the two men were held at Franklin County Jail on detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The jail released the men on Nov. 7 to ICE agents, according to a jail spokeswoman.

Police released information about the arrest today.

Man living in Bluffton indicted on illegal-immigration charge (Island Packet)

Man living in Bluffton indicted on illegal-immigration charge

From Staff Reports
Published Thursday, November 13, 2008

A man living in Bluffton has been indicted on federal charges of illegal entry into the United States, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina.

If convicted, William Nava-Tagle, 32, faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and imprisonment for 20 years, according to the news release.

The case was investigated by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts 7 Illegal Aliens (KFDM-TX)

Federal Grand Jury Indicts 7 Illegal Aliens

November 13, 2008 - 10:53AM
posted by: Scott Lawrence

SHERMAN, TX-United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced that a federal grand jury returned indictments yesterday charging multiple individuals in separate cases of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

ALEJANDRO ALLAN ROMAN-TORRES, 25, a citizen of Mexico, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on September 11, 2008, Roman-Torres was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about March 6, 2008. If convicted, Roman-Torres faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

JOSE APOLONIO GARCIA-NIETO, 46, a citizen of Mexico, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on August 20, 2008, Garcia-Nieto was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about August 10, 1992. If convicted, Garcia-Nieto faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

RODRIGO PUGA-ORTIZ, 24, a citizen of Mexico, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on April 20, 2008, Puga-Ortiz was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about August 9, 2006. If convicted, Puga-Ortiz faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

JUAN ANTONIO LABRADA-SOTO, 43, a citizen of Mexico, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on September 26, 2008, Labrada-Soto was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about October 11, 2002. If convicted, Labrada-Soto faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

ANGEL GERARDO LOPEZ-MEJIA, 32, a citizen of El Salvador, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on September 11, 2008, Lopez-Mejia was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about December 10, 2002. If convicted, Lopez-Mejia faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

ROGELIO CARMONA-GONZALEZ, 38, a citizen of Mexico, has been indicted for re-entry of a deported alien. According to the indictment, on July 5, 2008, Carmona-Gonzalez was found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported on or about February 10, 2005. If convicted, CARMONA-GONZALEZ faces up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

SAMUEL PEREZ, of Corinth, Texas, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on September 3, 2008, for five counts of tax evasion. The indictment alleges that Perez under-reported his income tax on his tax returns for the calendar years 2002 through 2006 If convicted, Perez faces up to 5 years in prison on each count. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Andrew Williams.

It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SoCal raids yield 30 arrests for parole violation (AP c/o Times Standard)

SoCal raids yield 30 arrests for parole violation

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 11/12/2008 06:23:04 PM PST

LOS ANGELES—Authorities say about 30 convicted graffiti vandals have been arrested for parole violations in dawn raids conducted by some 200 law enforcement agents in Los Angeles County.

The Sheriff's Department says the agents fanned out in Compton, Carson and South Los Angeles about 6 a.m. Wednesday to arrest suspects on charges such as graffiti vandalism, gun and drug possession, and sexual assault.

Additionally, authorities say two illegal immigrants were turned over to immigration authorities and five children were placed in the custody of county child services, which started investigations of nine families.

La Joya immigrant chase ends with crash (KGBT-TX)

La Joya immigrant chase ends with crash

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 8:35 a.m.

A truck loaded with 16 illegal immigrants rolled over near Mission Hospital following an early Tuesday morning chase with La Joya police.

According to La Joya Police Chief Jose Luis Del Angel, a 35-year-old driver, from Rio Bravo, Mexico, ran a stop sign along U.S. Expressway 83.

An officer responded by trying to initiate a traffic stop.

But instead of pulling over, the driver allegedly fled into Mission and crashed near Bryan Road and eastbound lanes of U.S. Expressway 83.

Paramedics trasnported three passengers to Mission Hospital with unknown injuries.

Police arrested the driver who was identified as a suspected human smuggler.

Authorities said the remaining passengers were taken into custody by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Investigators did not release the driver's name but said he faces evading arrest charges by La Joya police and possible federal human trafficking charges.

Human smuggling ring dismantled (KGNS-TX)

Human smuggling ring dismantled
(Click link for video)

Story Created: Nov 12, 2008

An alleged human smuggling ring is dismantled and now eight people are facing federal charges.

According to federal documents ... eight people were involved in a human smuggling ring operating on the northwest side of Laredo...

This is video of ... an incident that happened back in September where an ICE agent was investigating the suspects..

Jaime Noel Sanchez is being charged with trying to run over an ICE agent.

According to documents the group was involved in smuggling undocumented immigrants.

Some would hide the immigrants while others then would transport them to a fast food restaurant on Mines road where a trailer or car would be waiting.

Illegals Found in Cold Tractor-Trailer

Illegals Found in Cold Tractor-Trailer
Suspect from El Salvador

Monday , November 10, 2008 Posted: 01:30 PM

RAYMONDVILLE - Authorities say a man tried to smuggle over 30 immigrants in a tractor-trailer in 33-degree temperature.

ICE agents arrested Jose Lozano Beltran of El Salvador. He's been charged with alien smuggling.

DPS troopers pulled over the trailer over the weekend. They called in ICE agents after finding the illegals. We're told all the people appeared to be in good health.

Routine Traffic Stop Leads to Homeland Security Hold (The Telluride Watch)

Routine Traffic Stop Leads to Homeland Security Hold

by Marta Tarbell
Nov 12, 2008

TELLURIDE – A routine traffic stop on Hwy. 145 near Telluride for a cracked windshield led to three arrests, one escalating into a Homeland Security Joint Terrorism Task Force hold for Ubaldo Bencoma Saenz, of Juarez, Mex.

San Miguel County sheriff's deputies arrested Rafael Toledo-Cardenas and Jesus M. Gonzales, of Montrose, as well as Saenz, on Nov. 7, on charges of False Reporting and Felony Forgery.

Saenz, deported from the U.S. in 1995 for human smuggling, told officers he was getting a degree in electrical engineering and was an "expert" at wiring bombs.

“It was a very bizarre comment to make to officers,” Sheriff Bill Masters said this week, and “we’re bound these days to make sure to check that out properly.

“State law requires us now to give that information immediately to ICE,” Masters added, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Despite numerous forged documents in the three men’s possession, Masters said his department’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System identified the three suspects. Their multiple forged documents, he added, were top-drawer, and “would pass most employers’ scrutiny,” he said. “Everything looked good,” but a subsequent check revealed each document “had the same bar code on it.”

Gonzales was also wanted by Colorado State Patrol for failing to appear in court.

Hate Crime Exception: 7 TEENS STALKED MEXICANS: DA

Note: As with Luis Eduardo Ramirez, I am making an exception to the posting policy to share this story about a beating death from Long Island that has been characterized as a hate crime.


Last updated: 11:31 am
November 11, 2008
Posted: 3:34 am
November 11, 2008

Seven Long Island teens were on a hateful mission to hunt down Mexican immigrants when they surrounded, beat and fatally stabbed a hardworking Ecuadorian man, a prosecutor charged yesterday.

"This was not some high-school prank," Assistant Suffolk DA Nancy Clifford said at yesterday's Central Islip arraignment of the suspects, who included a high-school lacrosse star.

"This was a well-thought-out crime specifically targeting Hispanics.

"In their own words," Clifford said, they decided beforehand, " 'Let's go find some Mexicans to f- - - up.' "

Suspects Jeffrey Conroy, Kevin Shea, José Pacheco, Anthony Hartford, Nick Hausch and Jordan Dasch, all 17, and Chris Overton, 16, are accused of attacking Marcello Lucero, 37, near the Patchogue LIRR station Saturday night.

Clifford said the youths - who attend Patchogue-Medford HS - were intent on doing some "beaner jumping," using a derogatory term for Mexican-Americans.

Police sources said the group is suspected in at least one other hate crime that took place last month in the area, where an influx of immigrants seeking work has created violent tensions with locals. But authorities couldn't pursue charges because the Hispanic victim was too frightened to testify, sources said.

Just before midnight Saturday, Lucero and a pal were walking to another friend's home when the teens piled out of an SUV yelling racial epithets.

As his friend ran, Lucero pulled his leather belt from his waist to defend himself. But he was no match for the thugs. Shea later boasted, " 'I punched him, I got him good. I saw blood coming down,' " police sources said.

At one point, Lucero managed to scramble to his feet. That's when Conroy, a lacrosse and wrestling star who sources said has a swastika tattoo on his thigh, allegedly stabbed him in the chest.

Joselo Lucero called his older brother a "simple guy" who worked for a dry cleaner. A bachelor, he came to the United States 16 years ago.

"The dreams of USA, sometimes it's not worth it because you pay with your life," the brother said. All the suspects but Conroy were ordered held on high bail after pleading not guilty to charges of gang assault as a hate crime. Conroy, who was also charged with manslaughter as a hate crime, was remanded without bail, pleading not guilty to all counts.

While several classmates said the group was known to target Hispanics, student Eric Maldonado, 17, said he didn't think the attacks were racially motivated because Pacheco is half-Hispanic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bridgeton Blotter (The Bridgeton News)

Bridgeton Blotter [4th item]
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Abraham Bautista, 34, of Eagle Street, was arrested Saturday night on his home street on the charge of driving while intoxicated. He was also cited for driving while unlicensed, driving an uninsured car, driving an unregistered car and reckless driving.

A suspected illegal immigrant, Bautista was lodged in the county jail without bail on a detainer issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Police Reports (Marshall News Messenger)

From Police Reports
By Staff Reports

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fernando Abrajam, Eastman Road, Longview, public intoxication and immigration and customs enforcement, Sunday.

Flint doctor deported; Friends and family fight to have Dr. Jose Jota return to Grand Blanc Township (The Flint Journal)

Flint doctor deported; Friends and family fight to have Dr. Jose Jota return to Grand Blanc Township

by Bryn Mickle The Flint Journal
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 10:02 AM

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- The American Dream ended abruptly for Dr. Jose Jota and his family.

For 15 years, the Jotas embodied the hopes of immigrants looking to the United States for a better life.

He had a thriving medical practice in Flint, a $350,000 house in the suburbs and four beautiful children born into U.S. citizenship.

But the life disappeared on Halloween.

On a night when the family should have been trick-or-treating, Jose and Celina Jota were deported to the Philippines for skipping a court hearing a decade ago.

Now, their friends and attorney are looking to the federal government to give the Jotas a second chance.

"They made a mistake. They're not criminals," said family friend and Flint physician Dr. Kiet Doan.

David Wenger, a Detoit attorney trying to win them another immigration hearing, said the Jotas were betrayed by bad advice given by a man in California they paid to handle their citizenship issues after they came to the U.S. on tourist visas in 1993.

The couple say the man told them they didn't need to attend any immigration hearings and that he would take care of the issue.

But when the Jotas skipped a hearing, Wenger said an immigration judge in 1997 ordered them deported.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed the deportation order but declined to address specifics of the case.

By the time Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the Jotas at their Grand Blanc Township home in June, Wenger said too much time had elapsed to get another court date.

They spent more than a month in the Calhoun County Jail on an immigration order before they were set free with the understanding they would leave the country by Oct. 31.

Wenger doesn't completely absolve the couple of blame.

They could have been more aggressive in making sure their citizenship was in order, but Wenger believes they deserve another chance to plead their case to an immigration judge.

For that to happen now, however, could take some powerful intervention.

Immigration officials have barred the couple from re-entering the United States for 10 years, but Wenger said they could be allowed to return much earlier if Congress grants them a private bill to stay the deportation pending a hearing.

He has appealed to U.S. Rep. Dale E. Kildee, D-Flint, and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, but so far, no action has been taken.

A spokesman for Kildee said the office does not comment on casework. A message was left with Levin's office on Monday.

Tim Ballard, a neighbor of the Jotas, said the family is an asset to the community.

"Michigan can't stand to lose anyone, let alone people who are working (and paying taxes)," said Ballard.

One of Jota's patients, Earl Coon of Grand Blanc Township, said he understands the need for immigration laws but believes the government should rethink its decision.

"It's not fair. There should be exceptions," said Coon.

With their house facing likely foreclosure and their savings exhausted in the fight to stave off deportation, the Jotas and their four children -- ages 3 to 10 -- are in Manila now, living with Celina's four brothers.

It could be months before any congressional intervention, and by that time the Jotas' house will likely be gone, along with his medical practice.

But Doan said the Jotas would return to the U.S. in a heartbeat.

"They made their lives in this country. This is their home," said Doan.

Nogales teen dies and 10 migrants are injured Friday (Nogales International)

Nogales teen dies and 10 migrants are injured Friday

By Denise Holley
Published Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:38 AM MST

A young Nogales, Ariz., man lost his life Friday night, Nov. 7, when a pick up truck packed with 11 people overturned on South River Road.

The driver, Anthony Urbalejo, 19, was carrying suspected illegal immigrants in the cab and bed of the black 1998 Chevrolet truck, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada.

U.S. Border Patrol agents tried to stop the vehicle on Kino Springs Drive at StateRoute 82, but it accelerated and sped east and then north, said Robert Daniels, BP public information officer.

Moments later, the agents discovered the pick-up overturned on the side of South River Road, about two miles north of State Route 82.

Urbalejo was trapped under the truck and not breathing, Daniels said.

Agents called for medical assistance and ambulances and fire departments from Nogales, Rio Rico and Tubac responded.

Two passengers, a man and a woman, were airlifted to a hospital in Tucson, Estrada said. The woman was reportedly hemorrhaging from a head wound.


Ground ambulances took eight people to Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital, where they were treated and released, Daniels said. Seven were repatriated to Mexico and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested the other person, alleged to be the guide who brought the people across the border.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the sheriff’s office has begun an investigation.

A day later

About 24 hours later, Border Patrol agents chased another vehicle along the same road, Daniels said. The agents spotted the 2000 silver Chevrolet Impala near the Kino Springs Country Club about 7:30 p.m. Saturday night and thought it looked suspicious. The vehicle headed to the highway and turned north on South River Road.

Agents had lost sight of the Chevy until they found it smashed into a boulder on the roadside, Daniels said. The driver had fled and left four bundles of marijuana in the vehicle.

A total of 264 pounds of marijuana were recovered from the Chevy, located near milepost 1.5, deputies said. The Santa Cruz Metro Task Force will investigate the incident.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Former IRA militant fights deportation in S. Texas (AP c/o Fox News)

Former IRA militant fights deportation in S. Texas
Monday, November 10, 2008

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas — A former IRA militant and escaped political prisoner who has lived in immigration limbo for 25 years in California may see it all unravel from inside a South Texas federal detention center.

Pol Brennan, convicted member of the Irish Republican Army and escapee from a notorious prison outside Belfast, was nabbed with an expired work permit in South Texas in January. He has been detained ever since, awaiting a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on whether he'll finally earn legal residency or be deported to Northern Ireland, where his wife says he'll face retaliation.

Brennan's situation is so muddied that questions of why he would be deported now after 25 years are balanced by the marvel that he was not sent home years ago for sneaking into the country under an assumed name. He had brushes with the law in the U.S. before his arrest in Texas, but was able to renew work permits without becoming a permanent legal resident.

Since coming to America, Brennan married and worked as a master carpenter, bought a gun under an assumed name, once applied for a passport, also with an assumed name, and was convicted of misdemeanor assault for scuffling with a contractor who he claimed owed him money.

Immigration officials won't comment on his case, citing the upcoming hearing. But Brennan's case has drawn attention, especially within the Irish-American community. Supporters have run a petition drive, raised money for his defense and recruited a bipartisan trio of congressmen who wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this summer supporting Brennan's request for bond.

Brennan, 55, a short man with wire glasses, gray goatee and love of political theory, wears a professorial air.

His Web site offers writings and radio interviews in which he rails against the bad food, guards, restrictions on reading material and what he sees as racist immigration policies.

Brennan was caught with an expired work permit in January while he and his wife, Joanna Volz, were driving to Austin from South Padre Island, where they had visited Volz's mother.

U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Sarita checkpoint ran Brennan through the computer and found: His conviction and 16-year prison sentence in 1977 in Belfast for possession of explosives; the infamous 1983 escape from the maximum security Maze Prison outside Belfast with 37 others; and his 1993 arrest by the FBI in Berkeley, Calif., after he had applied for a passport using an assumed name.

"They started getting really agitated and excited," Brennan told The Associated Press from the Willacy County Detention Center. "Like they were on to something. It was kind of comical."

Two days later Border Patrol announced its agents had captured an international fugitive. But Brennan had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1984, and his wife says he hadn't been hard to find.

"If I was an FBI agent (looking for Brennan and other Maze escapees) I would just go to a big Irish bar and look for who never had to buy his drinks," Volz said.

Brennan's 1993 arrest kicked off what became a 7-year fight against extradition to Great Britain. It ended when Britain dropped its extradition request, citing Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday accord, which called for the accelerated release of the conflict's political prisoners.

Ever since, Brennan and about 15 other former IRA prisoners, who made their home in the United States, have lived in a legal limbo. Even though they entered the country illegally, they can renew their work permits but have not been able to get permanent immigration status. Brennan's requests for political asylum and a green card are pending.

At his hearing this week, Brennan plans to argue that the extradition would cause hardship for his wife _ she quit her job to be near him in Texas _ and that he could face potentially violent grudges in Northern Ireland.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 westbound in Bradford Township Saturday, troopers detained three illegal immigrants, all from Mexico, after they failed to provide acceptable evidence of their right to be in the United States.

They were placed in the Clearfield County Jail until Customs and Immigration Enforcement officers take them into custody.

Police: Drunk driver caught after high-speed chase in Avon (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

Police: Drunk driver caught after high-speed chase in Avon
Suspected illegal immigrant reached speeds of 85 mph on Highway 6 before crashing

Matt Zalaznick
Eagle County Correspondent
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado – A suspected drunk driver who was an illegal immigrant led police on a high-speed chase through Avon and Eagle-Vail, Colorado Sunday afternoon before rolling his car on U.S. Highway 6, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office says.

Horacio Marquez, 27, also known as Epifanio Larguero Castro, passed an Eagle County sheriff's deputy driving 66 mph in a 35 mph zone on Highway 6 near Avon Road, the Sheriff's Office says.
Marquez did not stop and continued driving east on Highway 6 at speeds in excess of 85 mph, eventually rolling the vehicle at mile marker 174, the Sheriff's Office says.

Marquez was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, vehicular eluding, reckless driving, possession of cocaine, and possession of a forged instrument, for presenting a fake driver’s license, the Sheriff's Office says.

Once Marquez was cleared by paramedics, he was taken to the Eagle County Detention Facility. Based on fingerprints, deputies discovered he had three outstanding warrants for traffic related offenses and a revoked license for prior alcohol offenses, the Sheriff's Office says.

Marquez is currently being held at the jail on $15,000 bond and also is being detained there by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Immigrant rescued by agents in Arizona desert (AP c/o KSWT-AZ)

Immigrant rescued by agents in Arizona desert

Associated Press - November 9, 2008 10:54 AM ET

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An illegal immigrant attempting to cross into the United States broke her leg and was rescued by Border Patrol agents using all-terrain vehicles.

The woman was rescued Friday from a mountainous area northwest of Douglas, officials said.

Esmeralda Marroquin, spokeswoman for the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, says the 39-year-old woman from Hidalgo, Mexico, was walking alone in the desert after being abandoned by her smuggler when she fell and fractured her leg.

Agents responded to a 911 call she placed with her personal cell phone and deployed ATV units due to the rugged terrain.

Marroquin says the woman was carried away on a backboard and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Illegals arrested in bust (Charleston Post and Courier)

Illegals arrested in bust
Local authorities, feds nab 25 immigrants suspected of gang-related activity

By Nadine Parks
The Post and Courier
Sunday, November 9, 2008

Federal agents swooped into the Lowcountry, plucked out more than two dozen illegal immigrants with gang ties and deported them from the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's four-month Operation Community Shield focused on gangs and netted 1,759 people across the country. Twenty-five were arrested locally with the help of North Charleston's Gang Intervention Team. All were charged with being in the country illegally.

"We're targeting what we think are dangerous criminals. We think it's been a success in Charleston," Charleston's resident agent in charge said. He asked that his name not be used because gangs are known to target agents and their families.

Most of the arrests were made in the North Charleston area in communities with a high concentration of Hispanic residents. Those communities include the area of Stall and Midland Park roads, North Charleston's border with Hanahan along Remount Road and a concentration of apartments below Charleston Air Force Base on Dorchester Road.

North Charleston police are familiar with the communities and helped point agents to the gang associates living there, the agent said.

Police Chief Jon Zumalt founded the two-man Gang Intervention Team in 2006 to prevent violent gang activity in the city. The team teaches the community about the signs that indicate gangs have moved into an area, and it tries to persuade gang members to leave their gangs.

"We are starting to see more Hispanic gangs in our region," Zumalt said. "It's a very relevant issue."

Some of the illegal immigrants affiliated with gangs were captured on Johns Island as well. The agent in charge said gangs have not taken a stronghold in the Charleston area, and he hopes the recent arrests will discourage others from coming here.

"We don't think they are heavily involved in trying to take over the area, but you see them involved with drugs and weapons and things like that," Zumalt said.

Fifteen of the 25 people arrested locally were associates of the Surenos (Southerners) gang.

Of 1,759 people arrested nationwide in Operation Community Shield, which wrapped up in September, nearly 1,500 were associated with gangs and other criminal activity. Nearly 30 percent had violent criminal histories with charges ranging from drug and firearm violations to attempted murder.

The sweep netted 17 gang leaders, including accused Inland Empire gang leader Roberto Dominguez in Atlanta and accused Uptown Gang leader Kinske St. Vilus in Miami, a news release said.

ICE was established in 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Agents have arrested more than 11,000 gang members and their associates around the country.

Federal officials said Thursday that there was a 63 percent increase in illegal immigrants deported from Georgia and the Carolinas in fiscal year 2008, which ended in October. ICE carried out a record 17,955 deportation orders, compared to 11,006 the previous year.

The agency said it began removal proceedings in those three states against 7,000 criminals in jails and prisons, an increase from 3,722 in 2007. The criminals will face possible deportation when their sentences are complete.


Illegal immigration arrests

Twenty-five gang associates arrested in the Charleston area for being in the country illegally were affiliated with the following gangs. Twenty-two have been deported. Two are pending deportation and one is pending state criminal charges.

15 Surenos (Southerners)

6 Vatos Locos (Crazy Guys)

2 Eighteen Street

1 Brown Pride

1 Nortenos (Northerners)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Illegal Found on Doorstep
November 07, 2008 by Mitch

A La Crosse woman's uninvited guest may be headed back to El Salvador. Police say the woman last night found 42 year-old Jose Guardado sleeping on a couch outside of her apartment close to city hall. Not causing problems, she told cops, just sleeping. Running his info, police found that Guardado has a rap sheet in the states but has also been deported in the past and is back in the U-S illegally from his native El Salvador. Cops are holding the guy until immigration picks him up.

Deportee arrested during police search (Austin Post-Bulletin)

Deportee arrested during police search

11/8/2008 1:10:37 AM

By Tim Ruzek

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

A 33-year-old man deported three years ago from Virginia allegedly was using false ID documents while living in Austin.

Silvestre Lopez-Diaz, also known as Alfonso Eduardo Morales, is charged in Mower District Court with three felony counts of aggravated forgery and lesser counts of giving police a false name and driving without a valid license.

Lopez-Diaz allegedly used a false U.S. Social Security card, a birth certificate in the name of a U.S. citizen and a state of Minnesota ID card.

On Oct. 31, Judge Donald E. Rysavy set bail for Lopez-Diaz at $100,000 without conditions or $50,000 with conditions, records show.

A criminal complaint says Lopez-Diaz drove about 9:25 a.m. to a residence while it was being searched by authorities in the 400 block of 12th Street Northwest.

Lopez-Diaz told police he didn't live there but was leaving a bicycle on his way to work, the complaint says.

In a police interview, Lopez-Diaz, after telling a different story, allegedly said his family and children are in Mexico and he intended to return there. He allegedly said he did odd jobs at an Austin church and contended that Morales was his true identity.

On Oct. 30, a federal immigration-enforcement agent checked the Morales identity and Social Security number used by Lopez-Diaz. The agent found the identity is an alias for Lopez-Diaz, who was deported on Dec. 20, 2005, from Norfolk, Va.

Lopez-Diaz is scheduled to return to court Thursday.

ICE operation targeting fugitives yields 111 arrests in Florida (ICE c/o BorderFire Report)

ICE operation targeting fugitives yields 111 arrests in Florida
Saturday, 08 November 2008 05:52

MIAMI - More than 110 immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested here following a five-day targeted enforcement action last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) Miami fugitive operations teams. This enforcement effort focused on identifying fugitives residing in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa areas.

During the operation, which concluded Friday, ICE deportation officers and immigration enforcement agents arrested 96 immigration fugitives and 15 immigration violators. The breakdown of the arrests by county is as follows: 43 in Miami-Dade; 23 in Broward; 13 in Palm Beach; 16 in Orlando and 16 in Tampa.

"ICE helps to maintain the integrity of our nation's immigration system by identifying, arresting and removing aliens who have ignored a judge's order to leave the country," said Michael Rozos, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Florida. "While we are a welcoming country, we expect those wanting to immigrate here to do so in a safe, legal and orderly manner. We will continue using all our resources to ensure that removal orders are carried out and locate these immigration violators who potentially pose a threat to public safety."

Twenty of those arrested had criminal histories that spanned from cocaine trafficking, prostitution, human rights violations, weapons offenses, marijuana possession, DUI, resisting arrest, theft, burglary, battery, narcotics possession and distribution. Sixty-nine individuals arrested remain in ICE custody and 42 were processed for removal and released on ICE supervision as part of the Alternatives to Detention Program (ATD). In these cases, ICE DRO officers exercised prosecutorial discretion by placing aliens with final orders of removal, who were verified to be sole caregivers or as having medical concerns, on orders of supervision.

The ATD Program was originally created to ensure appearance at immigration hearings by aliens who were determined not to pose a threat to national security or community safety and who did not pose an unacceptable flight risk. This program has provided effective community based supervision to eligible aliens. The departure of those placed on the orders of supervision will be verified by deportation officers.

An immigration fugitive is someone who has ignored a final order of deportation by a federal immigration judge. Those fugitives have already been ordered deported and are subject to immediate removal from the United States. The individuals who have illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation are also subject to immediate removal from the U.S. The other immigration violators arrested during this operation who have not already been ordered removed, have been charged with immigration violations and placed into removal proceedings. They await hearings before an immigration judge.

Following are two of the criminal aliens arrested by ICE's Fugitive Operations Team during this targeted enforcement action:

* Franklin Madrid, 34, a native and citizen of Honduras who resided in Hollywood, Florida. Madrid entered the United States illegally on an unknown date and location without inspection. He was placed into removal proceedings due to his illegal entry and failed to appear before an immigration judge, resulting in a removal order issued in absentia in 1997. Madrid filed for temporary protected status which was denied due to a kidnapping arrest in Miami Beach, Fla. in 1995. Madrid pled guilty to a lesser charge of false imprisonment later that year. Madrid was again arrested in 1997 for aggravated assault with a weapon and subsequently pleaded guilty in 1998. Madrid is being held in ICE custody pending his removal from the United States.

* Piedad Christina Perez-Valderrama, 44, a native and citizen of Colombia who resided in Coral Gables, Florida. Perez-Valderrama entered the United States as a visitor on October 8, 1987 through San Ysidro, California. She was granted permission to remain in the United States until November 7, 1987. Perez violated the terms of her admission by remaining in the United States beyond the term permitted. Perez was ordered removed by an immigration judge in 1994. An appeal filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals was denied in 2005. In 1989, Perez was convicted in California for transporting/selling narcotics. Perez is being held in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.

The ICE Fugitives Operation Teams locate and detain illegal aliens who have ignored their final orders of deportation. The Fugitive Operations Program (FOP) was established in 2003 to eliminate the nation's backlog of immigration fugitives and ensure that deportation orders handed down by immigration judges are enforced. In fiscal year 2008, ICE's fugitive operations teams made nearly 34,000 arrests nationwide, which included more than 25,000 fugitives. Additionally, in 2007, the nation's fugitive alien population declined for the first time in history and continues to do so in large part due to the work of the fugitive operations teams and our Fugitive Operations Support Center, which helps to clear outstanding cases. Estimates now place the number of fugitive alien cases at slightly under 560,000, a decrease of nearly 37,000 from the beginning of FY 2008. Much of the credit for those results can be attributed to the rapid expansion of the program. Today, ICE has approximately 100 Fugitive Operations Teams deployed nationwide to pursue these types of cases. Locally, the ICE Florida Field Office has seven operational teams.

Those arrested represent countries around the globe including Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Peru, Cuba, Honduras, Argentina, Dominica, Guyana, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tunisia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Romania, and El Salvador. ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is an integral part of the comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently. The plan also involves strong interior enforcement efforts, including enhanced worksite enforcement and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside the United States.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A mother, not a statistic (North Jersey Record)

A mother, not a statistic

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A STORM has once again intervened in the lives of a family in Paramus, this time in a good way.

Karla Garcia, an illegal immigrant and mother of three, was scheduled to be deported this week to Honduras. But flooding there in the wake of a storm has delayed her deportation temporarily.

It should be delayed permanently.

We understand that immigration reform is necessary. Some system must be found to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in this country, including 500,000 in New Jersey.

But that reform must be humane and compassionate. It should not include breaking up families, particularly when some members of the family are already U.S. citizens.

Garcia's husband is a U.S. citizen. The youngest of her three sons was born here and is a U.S. citizen. Garcia crossed the Mexican border in 2001 with her two oldest sons to be with her husband, who had come to this country legally to find work after they suffered devastating losses during Hurricane Mitch in Honduras.

The family lived in Louisiana until they lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. They were then relocated to Paramus by the Red Cross. As Staff Writer Elizabeth Llorente has reported, the borough welcomed them and provided the family shelter. The school district hired Garcia's husband as a custodian. Local groups collected donations. And the family settled in, taking part in community activities and making friends.

But last summer, their home was raided by immigration agents and Garcia was arrested. She lost a cleaning job she had held. She was scheduled to be deported in October, but that deportation was delayed when her husband became ill.

Supporters have tried to keep Garcia here with her family. Dozens of Paramus residents have written to immigration officials. About 500 residents have signed a petition. Aides for Sen. Bob Menendez recently asked federal immigration officials for a reprieve for Garcia based on the flooding conditions in Honduras.

Garcia learned this week that she would not be deported, two days before she was to leave. Now she is happy that she will be with her family through the holidays, but she is not unpacking her suitcases.

The question must be asked: What is gained by breaking up this family?

Even some supporters of stringent immigration reform are reluctant to tear parents and children apart.

Vince Micco, the recent Republican candidate for Congress in the 9th District, said being here illegally is wrong, but "it's even more immoral to break up families."

And Rep. Scott Garrett, the conservative Republican incumbent who recently won reelection in the 5th District, which includes Paramus, said when children who are citizens have parents facing deportation, "It's a difficult situation, and I think you have to look at them on a case-by-case basis."

It seems clear that this case is one of those that should be considered in light of extenuating circumstances. The family has already struggled to surmount severe hardship more than once. They have finally found a home in Paramus and have the strong support of the community.

Immigration officials should reconsider Garcia's case, put her on the path to citizenship and allow her to stay.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Human smuggling bust by MCSO nets 17 arrests (KTVK-Phoenix, AZ)

Human smuggling bust by MCSO nets 17 arrests

02:08 PM Mountain Standard Time on Thursday, November 6, 2008


The following news release was sent by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office:

ANTHEM – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Human Smuggling Unit continues to make arrests under state and federal illegal immigration laws.

In separate overnight investigations, Sheriff’s deputies arrested 17 more illegal aliens in the Anthem area, north of metro Phoenix.

These arrests bring the total arrests made by the Sheriff’s Office and under the felony Arizona State Human Smuggling Law to 1,323 to include both smugglers and their human cargo.

Arrests by Sheriff’s deputies who are federally trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) now total 2,439 illegal aliens.

“Today’s arrests of these 17 illegals prove what I have been saying all along,” Arpaio says. “My fight to slow the flow of illegal immigration has never been for purposes of re-election, as my critics claim. I was re elected on November 4, 2008 as Sheriff, and what is made obvious by today’s arrests is that I will continue to enforce the illegal immigration laws.”

Because of his tough stance on illegal immigration, critics of the Sheriff’s policies continue to ridicule Arpaio and protest in front of the Sheriff’s headquarters.

“The election is over and these open border activists did not get their wish which was to unseat this Sheriff,” Arpaio adds. “Still, they are pushing for my eviction from the Wells Fargo Building by intimidating businesses here all because of their political agenda. These activists should behave more responsibly towards businesses, especially given the economic climate today.”

According to Arpaio, his efforts to combat illegal immigration within the towns and cities of Maricopa County will be increased, efforts will include additional crime suppression operations and additional employer sanctions investigations.

Arpaio says he is grateful for the support of County Attorney Andrew Thomas for his continued prosecution of the illegal immigration cases.

Despite the critics, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office continues to be the only Arizona law enforcement agency enforcing all aspects of the state and federal illegal immigration laws.

No inspection sticker trips up illegal alien (The Eagle-Tribune)

No inspection sticker trips up illegal alien

By Jim Patten

Published: November 06, 2008 11:49 pm

METHUEN — Rafael Arias-Baez was deported after conviction on a felony drug charge.

But he made his way back to this country and Monday was driving a car at Lawrence Street and Locust Road when he was stopped about 12:10 p.m. by Officer Christine Nicolosi, who noticed there was no inspection sticker on the car, Lt. Michael Wnek said.

Nicolosi arrested Arias-Baez, who is from the Dominican Republic, and charged him with giving a false name to a police officer and driving without a license.

Arias-Baez, 28, of 140 S. Union St., Lawrence, was fingerprinted and his prints were sent to the FBI and processed through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

"We got a hit back from AFIS that Arias-Baez is a previously deported felon," Wnek said. "They gave us his true identity." Police did not know yesterday exactly when he had been deported.

Arias-Baez was also wanted on a default warrant from Andover police on a felony drug charge, Wnek said.

"He has used multiple aliases and dates of birth," Wnek said.

He said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security has lodged a detainer with the department, and he will be turned over to the federal agency following his arraignment in Lawrence District Court on the new charges.