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#41 vladzo

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:05 PM

Pope Francis: Migrant Children Must Be 'Welcomed And Protected'

By Jack Jenkins, ThinkProgress

16 July 14

 

SEE ALSO: 458 Children Rescued From Sexual Abuse and Captivity in Mexico

rsn-P.jpgope Francis directly addressed the growing crisis surrounding unaccompanied children on the U.S. border this morning, speaking up on behalf of the young immigrants and calling on the international community to do more to care for their needs.

In a message sent to the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development, the first Argentinian pope called for an immediate humanitarian response for the roughly 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the U.S. border this year.

“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain,” he said. “They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.”

Francis also noted that, in addition to a robust relief effort by those on the U.S. side of the border, the international community should also move to address the vicious cycles of violence and poverty that are spurring the children to flee their countries of origin.

“These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin,” he said. “Finally, this challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.”

Since ascending to the papacy last year, Pope Francis has made immigrant populations and their struggles a central focus of his ministry. His first official trip outside the Vatican was to Lampedusa, an island in the southern Mediterranean that harbors African migrants seeking passage to Europe. There he met with immigrants and later tweeted, “We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy.” On the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in September 2013, he condemned human trafficking, saying “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.” He also surprised 2,000 immigrant residents at the Dono di Maria shelter near the Vatican with Christmas gifts last year, offering them care packages and prepaid phone cards so they could contact their families over the holidays.

Pope Francis has also had personal encounters with America’s immigration issues. While leading mass the day before he was scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama in March, Francis was approached by a 10-year-old girl who pleaded with the pontiff to address the rise in deportations of immigrants under the Obama administration. Francis reportedly responded by blessing the girl, and promised to speak with the President about her concerns.

Catholic groups such as Catholic Charities, along with many other faith-based groups, are already playing an active role in the effort to provide care and shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children on the border. However, many are reportedly already overwhelmed by the sheer number of kids, and are urging the President and Congress to do more to help with the crisis. The pope, for his part, is considering a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in 2015.


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#42 vladzo

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 03:59 PM

 
REACTION to MIGRATION
 
It’s Going To Get Very Ugly! Revolution Has Begun In 237 Communities And Counting (Videos)
July 17th, 2014

People may not be aware of what is happening all across America because the MSM hasn’t been reporting it, but a revolution has begun, Americans are fighting back, pushing against the illegal actions of Barack Obama and others, and it is getting uglier by the day.

 

A massive protest scheduled for July 18 and 19 across the United States is aimed at stopping the influx of Central American children flooding across the border, and more than a dozen smaller community protests already have played roles in stopping the children from being brought there.

 

237 communities, with more joining every day, are fighting back against the invasion of the United States of America, of illegal aliens being shipped into their communities.

 

Michigan, Arizona, Virginia all the way across the country to California, protests are being organized, local politicians are proposing bills and the federal governmentsicon1.png plans to house the influx of illegal immigrants are being stopped dead in their tracks.

 

A list of some of the communities can be found at WMD.

 

More bad news for the Obama administration comes from a whistleblower who says that border patrol and police threatened to stand down in the most highly publicized case yet in Murrieta, California, if the FEDS attempted to use illegal force against the protesters.

 

While pro-amnesty groups claim “these are just children, watch the first video below of some of these illegal immigrants coming off a bus at Walmart to use “governmenticon1.png money”  aka taxpayer funds to go shopping!!!

 


Read more at http://investmentwat...tWKsDTTdxxiT.99

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#43 vladzo

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:41 PM

Barack Obama Jokes About Being Impeached Over Illegal Immigrants
July 18th, 2014

 

Barack Obama Jokes About Being Impeached Over Illegal Immigrants

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07…


Read more at http://investmentwat...iCPIVhsGfwdu.99

Read more at http://investmentwat...iCPIVhsGfwdu.99

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#44 vladzo

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:04 PM

Contacted by DEA Special Agent

Some time ago, I was contacted by a DEA special agent who is still on active status with the agency. His stated reason for coming forward is that he will not be a participant in the planned demise of the United States in which the DEA, as well as other federal agencies, will be complicit by their covert and overt participation.



Much, not all, of what is about to be revealed in this report, has already been revealed in confidential reports to key Congressmen such as Issa and Gowdy. Yes, that would be the same Trey Gowdy who is grilling the IRS on missing emails. This is the same Trey Gowdy who “prosecuted the full range of federal crimes including narcotics trafficking rings, bank robberies, child pornography cases, and the murder of a federal witness. He was awarded the Postal Inspector’s Award for the successful prosecution of J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects… This is the same 7th Circuit Solicitor, Trey led an office of 25 attorneys and 65 total employees. During his tenure, he started a Violence Against Women Task Force and a Worthless Check Program, enhanced and expanded Drug Court, and implemented a Drug Mother Protocol designed to assist expectant mothers break the cycle of addiction. This is the same Congressman that champions himself, on his Congressional webpage as a champion in the war on drugs, but completely ignores verifiable notifications from my whistleblower source regarding DEA complicity in allowing drug trafficking into the United States, covering up both the trafficking and the subsequent money laundering operations.

Gowdy knows and Congressman Issa also knows the operational details that I am going to reveal both in this report, and in subsequent reports. Yet, neither Congressman will touch this issue with a 10 foot pole as they grandstand over a “pretend” Benghazi investigation and “gee, what happened to the IRS emails?”


A Cartel You Have Never Heard About

My DEA source was involved in drug interdiction in Peru, which is the leading cocaine producer in the world with a 325 metric tons of operation. One of his main jobs consisted of developing confidential sources (CS) into actionable intelligence information which could be used toward retarding of the blossoming drug trafficking business in Peru.

The Peruvian police and military only intercept 3-5% of the gross drug traffic and that is by design. It gives the appearance that something is being done, while a drug trafficking empire is being established in this country to a degree never imagined in the past.

Senior DEA officials are running interference for a massive drug organization known as the SANCHEZ-Paredes drug cartel and it is based out of Peru. However, not many Americans will have heard of this cartel. Yet, they have been around since 1976 and are more massive that any of the Mexican drug cartels in terms of the size and impact of its operations.

This drug cartel is protected by the Peruvian military. Coincidentally, my source tells me that the U.S. military has increased training exercises with the Peruvian military. In yesterday’s article, I revealed that the Mexican military is also increasing its training activities with the American military in the same manner. This is a case of the same song second verse. We know the Mexican military is completely compromised by the Sinaloa’s . I have some independent confirmation of the same being true in Peru, exclusive of my source that the Peruvian military is being trained on how to protect drug shipments and defend their drug turf by the U.S. military. I know of two other reporters who are working on different aspects of this story and they will soon be published, so I will defer to them until later next week after the expected reports are filed in the media.
The Peruvian Pattern Is the Same As the U.S.

The TSA would have you believe that there is a terrorist who wants to kill every American boarding an airplane, so we should allow our children and wives to be groped by the pot bellied perverts at the TSA. They would have you believe that al-Qaeda is everywhere. Any investigative reporter worth their salt knows that al-Qaeda is a CIA front and participates in regime change operations from Libya to Syria to ISIS in Iraq.

The forces of al-Qaeda are nothing but the “boogey man” designed to make us give up more and more of our rights on a progressive basis. The same strategy is being employed in Peru through an organization known as Sendero Luminoso. The activities from Sendero Luminoso serve to cover the drug trafficking and money laundering activities of the SANCHEZ-Paredes cartel.

Sendero moves the cocaine across the Andes to the Sanchez-Pareds. Another CS stated the Sanchez-Paredes are now the primary source of supply for Sinaloa cartel and the still ongoing Fast and Furious operations, which took the life of Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry. That means that Eric Holder’s pet project is not dead.
How the DEA is Facilitating Drug Trafficking

DEA senior officials are fully complicit in these operations. Let’s examine the leadership of Patrick Stenkamp who formerly served as the Regional Director (aka Special-Agent-In-Charge) in Peru. Peru now serves as the regional headquarters for the DEA in the region since Bolivia kicked the DEA out. Also, Peru has taken over the title of “King on Cocaine” from Columbia.

As Regional Director, Stenkamp decided what cases to pursue and which to conveniently ignore. According to my source, Stenkamp fired the last three special agents who dared to investigate the SANCHEZ-Paredes cartel. This group operates with impunity under the watchful eye of DEA leadership and if DEA special agents want to prolong and advance their careers, they better play along or they will end up like the three agents who tried to investigate the SANCHEZ-Paredes cartel, out of a job.

My previous investigation in looked into the role that Sinaloa’s played with regard to the present immigration crisis and it revealed three significant details:

1. As reported yesterday, the Sinaloa’s have been connected to terrorist organizations since 2007 as reported in the MSM.

2. The Sinaloa’s, along with MS-13 have received paramilitary training at camps outside of San Salvador along with military grade hardware (e.g. RPG missile launchers, AK-47′s and anti-tank weapons. This is all supplied by the terror organization of Hamas and Hezbollah.

3. The Sinaloa’s and Los Zetas drug cartels are using MS-13 gang members as assassins in removing political and law enforcement obstacles in Mexico. The Border Patrol has repeatedly said that MS-13 members are being processed into the United States by the thousands by the Border Patrol who are being told to look the other way, by DHS directives, when it comes to processing MS-13 gangsters into the United States.

 

The Goal Is to Turn the U.S. Into a Narco-Terrorist State

America is in the process of being transformed into the same type of narco-terrorist state as we see in Mexico. Let’s consider the public drug trial of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla.

“Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the Sinaloa cartel’s “logistics coordinator” and son of a principal Sinaloa leader, asserted in court documents that Guzman is a U.S. informant and Sinaloa was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago.”

“Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals”. The details of the unholy agreement between the DEA and the Sinaloa cartel was that the DEA would allow 80% of all drug shipments into the United States in exchange for intelligence information on the other drug cartels.

 

Why would the DEA want intelligence on the other cartels, yet, they would allow the Sinaloa cartel to continue with their drug operations right under the noses of the DEA?

 

“The agents stated that this arrangement had been approved by high-ranking officials and federal prosecutors,” the Zambada-Niebla lawyer wrote”.

After being extradited to Chicago in February 2010, Zambada-Niebla argued that he was also “immune from arrest or prosecution” because he actively provided information to U.S. federal agents.
Niebla "The DEA said it was OK to run drugs into America".

Niebla “The DEA said it was OK to run drugs into America”.

Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. This resurfaces the issue that Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements in Fast and Furious as we all knew he did.

The only plausible explanation serving to underlie this operation would be that DEA is protecting the drug trafficking corridors for the banking elite that has hijacked our government. The information supplied by the Sinaloa’s about their rivals protects the elites shipments from competition. Part Two of this series will explore the details of the money laundering arrangements which will expose this unholy arrangement.

Conclusion

In summary, drugs are supplied from the SANCHEZ-Paredes cartel, who in turn ship the drug to their middle men, the Sinaloa cartel. The DEA is completely aware of this relationship and actively protects the business arrangement

My source also informed me that the members of the SANCHEZ-Paredes cartel travel freely to and from the United States where they own homes and do not pay taxes to the American government. Meanwhile, we continue to get felt up at the airport by the TSA in order to protect us from these kinds of terrorists. This should make your blood boil.

And what happened to Patrick Stenkamp? According to my source, he was implicated in a hit and run accident involving a Peruvian national and was removed from his position. Stenkamp eventually went to work for Chevron which is very interesting in itself. If you recall the Anthony Sutton and Patrick Wood book, Trilaterals Over Washington, you will remember that Chevron is an old guard mainstay of the Rockefeller empire. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Part Two will reveal money laundering details connected to these arrangements which involves major U.S banks and senior level government officials.

May I suggest that American readers write to Issa and Gowdy and ask them what they are afraid of?

http://www.thecommon...-for-the-elite/

 

Edited by Zharkov, Today, 01:56 PM.

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#45 vladzo

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:56 PM

 
Love and Loathing in North Texas Amid Child Refugee Crisis Saturday, 19 July 2014 09:41 By Candice Bernd, Truthout | Report

 

 

 

2014_0719im_.jpgA group of 22 migrants, mostly women and children from Honduras and Guatemala, in custody just after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, June 18, 2014. (Photo: Jennifer Whitney / The New York Times)

The ultimate outcome of the Obama administration's request for more than $3.7 billion in emergency supplemental funding to address a recent influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied, undocumented Central American refugee children crossing the southern border daily to escape increased violence and poverty rests with Congress, but it's clear action is necessary.

Senate Democrats remain split on the issue of expediting the deportation process for thousands of refugee children, who, under a 2008 human trafficking law signed by former President Bush, are entitled to full due-process rights and consideration for asylum. House Republicans are seeking to tie any increase in funding to changes in the 2008 law that would speed up the deportation process. The White House has also sought to water down the due process protections provided under the human trafficking law in recent days. 

Additional funding is sorely needed to provide humanitarian relief in the form of social services, humane housing and legal representation for thousands of unaccompanied children currently suffering through overcrowded, inhumane conditions at detention facilities at the border. (Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children and families fleeing mainly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been detained by border agents, and federal agents predict that between 60,000 and 90,000 refugee children will travel to the United States just this year.)

However, if Obama's supplemental spending request is passed,  much of that funding would be dedicated to increased border security measures designed to greet many migrants who are already willingly giving themselves up to border agents when they enter the country.

The part of the president's plan focusing on giving more authority to the Department of Homeland Security to fast-track deportations of unaccompanied children who may not be eligible to remain in the United States, has drawn the attention of refugee advocates, who say this part of the proposal could violate due process rights and international law.

While Senate Democrats continue to debate the issue, deportations for some of these children have already begun. On Monday, July 14, the United States deported a small group of Honduran children, in the very first flight since President Obama has promised action on the issue.

As federal officials continue to move on the issue, Texas state officials and lawmakers are also moving, mirroring federal plans for expedited deportations with their own proposals at the state level. Texas Sen. John Cornyn is planning to file a bill, cosponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), to hasten deportations of refugee children and rewrite the 2008 Bush law governing unaccompanied children arriving from noncontiguous countries.

Other local leaders in Texas are taking matters into their own hands by passing reactionary policies amid the refugee crisis. The League City council passed a resolution early this month outright banning all undocumented children from entering city limits. Militia groups are also calling on members to take up arms to "secure the border."

At a meeting with President Obama earlier this month, Gov. Perry proposed plans for the further militarization of the southern border, calling for National Guard troops and an increased number of border patrol agents and Predator drones to patrol border airspace.

But Dallas-area faith leaders and one Dallas County judge who attended the meeting with the president have different ideas for how to greet the children.

Love: North Texas Leaders Push for Compassionate Humanitarian Relief, Housing for Children

As protests over so-called amnesty for refugee children are planned in many North Texas cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corinth, Plano and Waco in the coming weeks, other leaders and community organizers in North Texas are taking a different approach: humanitarian aid.

Judge Jenkins, who was elected in 2010 and is a Democrat, is spearheading an effort in Dallas County to provide temporary housing for up to 2,000 unaccompanied children who are expected to arrive in North Texas in the coming weeks.

Three local buildings have been identified as humanitarian shelters: The D.A. Hulcy Middle School in Dallas, the Lamar Alternative Education Center in Grand Prairie and a warehouse owned by the Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas. Federal officials are in the process of inspecting the buildings in preparation for renovation, which is expected to begin soon. The facilities are expected to remain open for at least 120 days once renovated, with most children staying an average of about 35 days while pending an immigration hearing.

The shelters will stand in stark contrast to the overcrowded and inhumane conditions many Central American children are suffering while detained at immigration facilities near the southern border. Social services will be offered to the children, including legal assistance and education.  

Jenkins began pushing for the plan shortly after visiting one of the detention facilities at the border where he saw hundreds of children living cramped together in squalid conditions. After knocking on doors in the neighborhood adjacent to the D.A. Hulcy Middle School, he told Truthout he received overwhelming support for his plan from the neighboring community.

"I knocked on every door ... and every person supported helping these children and wanted to know how they can help," Jenkins told Truthout. "I'm very proud of the response. I can't even return all the calls from faith groups and people trying to help."

And since Jenkins met with Gov. Perry and the president, generating a flurry of media appearances and talking about his proposal, faith leaders and residents in cities and counties as far away as Houston and Arizona have since reached out to him wanting to replicate his plan. Jenkins has also reached out to the National Association of County Officials to offer his support in helping county leaders set up temporary housing in their communities.

Faith groups are also providing support for Jenkins' plan in a big way. The Catholic Charities of Dallas (CCD) has teamed up with Jenkins to provide legal support for the children once they are sheltered, with case workers going into the three facilities to provide legal orientations and assessments for the children, and determine if they can be reunited with any family members in the US, according to Vanna Slaughter who is director of CCD's Immigration and Legal Services.

If the children are reunited with family members, Slaughter says CCD legal services staffers - some of whom were part of the faith contingent which met with Gov. Perry and the president earlier this month - will be in touch with the families and agencies in their cities to provide legal assistance for their inevitable immigration hearing. Jenkins and CCD are working together organize and provide additional volunteer and pro bono attorneys, reaching out to the Dallas Bar Association and other Dallas-area legal organizations to help represent some of the children in immigration court.

Jenkins described his meeting with Gov. Perry and President Obama as solutions-oriented, but marked by brief periods of tension.

"If we just focus on this as human beings, and see these children as children, not as 'alien' or 'others' then we can come to a solution. That's why [the meeting] wasn't much more tense than people thought it would be," Jenkins told Truthout.

However brief any contention may have been, it reflects the larger conflict in the state between those responding to the refugee crisis with compassion and humanitarian aid and those protesting refugees' right to seek asylum by pushing for rapid deportation.

Jenkins supports President Obama's plan to deal with the border crisis, and called on House Republicans to approve his supplemental appropriations bill.

"I think we can all agree that when children are here, they're children made in the image of God like your children and my children. They need our help and we need to help them. There's no reason why the Texas delegation can't stand up in a bipartisan fashion, lead this country and pass that appropriation next week and give the federal government the tools that they need to end this humanitarian crisis," Jenkins said.

He expressed concerns about House Republicans who want to see additional funding only for increased security measures at the border.

"This is baffling to me, but many Republicans in Congress say ... 'We only need the $1.6 billion to put troops on the border,' and I just would ask that they all go down and look at the overcrowded and terrifying conditions that these children ... are in holding cells that are with nine adults, six adults, with 25 to 30 children in it, and they have to go to the bathroom in front of all of their cellmates," he said.  

While President Obama's push for changes to existing immigration law and plans for due process under the appropriations bill have come under fire from migrant children's advocates, Jenkins expressed confidence in the president's plan. He told Truthout the president spent about 10 minutes discussing due process issues under his emergency spending bill. He indicated in the meeting, according to Jenkins, that children who are sent back to Central America would be sent into a "safe and acceptable situation."

"I am satisfied after talking with high-level people at the White House that once the supplemental appropriations bill is finalized, not the original, not the first draft, but the one that will be finalized, that that's not occurring," Jenkins said.

But while Judge Jenkins remains convinced that due process for child refugees will be ensured, many others - including social workers at nongovernmental refugee organizations and even his own allies at Dallas-area charities - are expressing doubts about the changes the White House and House Republicans are seeking to existing immigration law in regard to due process for refugees from noncontiguous countries.

Loathing: Due Process Problems

Slaughter, who directs the CCD's immigration and Legal Services, expressed doubt that the amount of money dedicated to the administrative costs of immigration court under President Obama's appropriations bill would actually help in a significant way. She told Truthout that much more money should be allocated to hiring judges and attorneys to adequately handle these cases.

"The amount of money for the immigration judges, given this enormous, enormous new work load that they are going to have to face, I can't see that it will be making the big difference that it needs to make because I don't think that $45 million dollars ... is going to make a dent in what the work load will look like," she told Truthout. That's why CCD is organizing volunteer and pro bono lawyers to the extent that it can, she says.

The legal process for some of the children CCD is already assisting in the Dallas area is a lengthy one. Children are meant to be moved from a detention center to a temporary shelter within 72 hours, but in most cases, children are staying in the holding cells much longer. Once, they are released to a shelter, the children undergo health screenings, vaccinations and case workers step in to ascertain if they can be reunited with a family member, who must go through a background check and sign a contract before leaving with the child.

Slaughter said CCD legal services has released about 1,000 children to family members in the Dallas area and is actively providing legal assistance to about 392 of them.

The family member or guardian must agree to take the child to her or his immigration court hearing, as well as to school. With the amount of cases stacking up in the North Texas area, it's typical that the children will wait for three to six months for a hearing. In many of these cases, the children do not have any representation whatsoever. In those cases, family members or guardians must agree to answer the immigration judge's questions.

A judge may then determine if the child is eligible for asylum and various forms of legal relief, or the judge may decide to deport the child. Slaughter concurred with many refugee advocates that streamlining this legal process in any way would be very damaging to ensuring real and thorough due process rights.

"You have to really spend time. You have to get their stories. It's a very laborious process. You just can't sit down with them in five minutes and make that determination," she said, referring to asylum determination.

She wants to see the due process rights guaranteed under the 2008 human trafficking law kept intact. "We are going to be very watchful and weigh in when those discussions come about because we just can't roll that back," she said.

Refugee policy and legal experts seem to mostly agree with Slaughter's assessment, and believe President Obama's funding request largely misses the point by emphasizing harsh deterrence and increased security measures rather than providing much-needed funding for humanitarian aid and addressing the root causes of the current influx.

According to Leslie Vélez, a senior protection officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) office in Washington, DC, the UNHCR has conducted interviews with hundreds of the children fleeing Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and determined that more than 60 percent of the children have legitimate claims to asylum and international protections.

During a press call, Michelle Brané, who is director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Programs at the Women's Refugee Commission, praised certain aspects of President Obama's appropriations bill, such as the funding allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services, while criticizing funding allocated to detention, removal and deterrence measures.

"We're concerned that the administration has emphasized the use of detention as a deterrent, and [President Obama] has made very clear the intention to open new family detention facilities with the intention and objective of deterring them from coming to the United States," Brané said. "While there are many aspects of the president's request that are indeed necessary, the emphasis on detention as a deterrent is very problematic."

Brané, along with other refugee policy experts on the call, pointed to alternatives to detention, such as case management and community support for refugees.

Love: North Texans Step Up to Provide Foster Care

In addition to their efforts to house refugee children and assist in providing legal services, Catholic Charities in the metroplex are also involved in facilitating international foster care programs.

According to staffers at Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, whose caseloads include unaccompanied refugee children, most of these children are between the ages of 15 and 17, with cases involving young children referred to CCFW only when the younger child is paired with an older sibling. The children referred to the program qualify for legal relief and are eligible because they have fled from violence in their home countries and can't be reunited with family members in the United States.

Foster parents receive a reimbursement of $40 a day as well as support from CCFW in the form of counseling services. Foster parents are discouraged from adopting their foster children in many cases because of the complexities of the legal issues involved with immigration court. Most children remain in the foster care program until they’re 18 and can continue to receive assistance and resources from CCFW until they're 21.

An informational session for potential foster care parents held at CCFW headquarters in Fort Worth this month was flooded with more than 200 attendees from the North Texas area who expressed interest in caring for unaccompanied refugee children. Staffers handed out every single application they had for the foster care program during the session.

Amber and Wes Bernard, a married couple from Roanoke, attended the session after seeing accounts of the ongoing refugee child crisis in the news. They said they were planning to fill out their application to become foster parents.

"We got the second-to-last application. They ran out super-fast," Amber Bernard told Truthout. "Whether or not you're for or against the children coming here the way that they came, we're at a point now where they're here, and they're children, and they need to be taken care of."

Loathing: Will a Border Security Mindset Take Precedent?

State officials such as Gov. Perry will continue to push as hard as they can for a National Guard presence and additional border patrol agents at the southern border.

While Judge Jenkins is moving forward with his proposal for housing, he said he wasn't opposed to increased border security measures, only to the strain that sending National Guardsmen to the southern border would put on Guard families.

"Nobody is philosophically opposed to putting eyes in the sky. Nobody's philosophically opposed to Guard troops. I'm opposed from a military-family perspective of doing the federal government's job on a long-term basis," Jenkins told Truthout.

Slaughter, however, does not agree that additional security measures will stop refugees from trying to come back to the United States again.

"When you're living in the deplorable, heinous, difficult, dangerous circumstances that these people are living in, they're going to try everything they can to get here, to get out of that. It's just human nature," she said. "I am not hopeful that added enforcement is going to make that big of a difference, and I think we're deluding ourselves. We need to do something that treats the root causes of this."

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

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#46 vladzo

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:52 PM


Bolivia Legalizes Child Labor for Kids From Age 10

By Associated Press

19 July 14

 

rsn-A.jpglicia weaves through El Alto’s stalled traffic under a blazing sun, hawking colorful woven flowers to grumpy drivers and lovers.

With luck, the 12-year-old and her mother will together muster $18 by day’s end, all the while keeping watch over her younger brother and sister, ages 8 and 6.

“It is difficult for my mother to sell alone because she has to look after my siblings,” said Alicia, who normally goes to school in the afternoon but is using her vacation to help her mother by working the entire day. As her siblings sleep, her mother knits the flowers that Alicia sells.

While most of the world is trying to diminish child labor, Bolivia has become the first nation to legalize it from age 10. Congress approved the legislation early this month, and Vice President Alvaro Garcia signed it into law Thursday in the absence of President Evo Morales, who was traveling.

The bill’s sponsors say lowering the minimum work age from 14 simply acknowledges a reality: Many poor families in Bolivia have no other choice than for their kids to work. The bill offers working children safeguards, they say.

“Child labor already exists in Bolivia and it’s difficult to fight it. Rather than persecute it, we want to protect the rights and guarantee the labor security of children,” said Sen. Adolfo Mendoza, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Under the legislation, 10-year-olds will be able to work as long as they are under parental supervision and also attend school. It sets 12 as the minimum age for a child to work under contract. They also would have to attend school.

A 2008 study done by the ILO and Bolivian government found that 850,000 children ages 5 to 17 were working in Bolivia, roughly half in the countryside and half in the cities. Nearly nine in 10 were in the worst kinds of jobs, including sugar cane harvesting and underground mining, a proven life-shortener.

 

- The RSN Team
 
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+6 # michelle 2014-07-19 17:40
“Child labor already exists in Bolivia and it’s difficult to fight it. Rather than persecute it, we want to protect the rights and guarantee the labor security of children,” said Sen. Adolfo Mendoza, one of the bill’s sponsors." This is somehow preferable to fixing the economy or creating a safety net? What a sorry species we are. We will not even protect the young.

For a good understanding of how difficult working in the mines can be, I recommend the ethnography "We Eat the Mines and the Mines Eat Us:Dependency and Exploitation in Bolivian Tin Mines" by June Nash.
 
 
 
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+5 # Malcolm 2014-07-19 20:54
Michelle, I would like to know how Bolivia can "fix the economy" it ain't that easy., for many reasons, not the least of which is that Bolivia has been land-locked for many years, since losing a land dispute with Chile.

One of their most important cash crops-coca leaves-had been seriously impacted by the USA destroying the coca bushes, and the farmers' lives, all because Americans love coke so much (the Bolivians use coca leaves as a very mild stimulant, to help them deal with hunger , thirst and exhaustion from their hard lives. They also use coca for health purposes (they gave me coca tea for my nausea, for instance.)

Btw, Bolivia is WEALTHY compared to Guatemala, whose economy and the lives of it's citizens were, and continue to be, ruined by the USA, beginning under Ike.

Sorry if I sound upset. I really would like to hear your suggestions for solving this problem.

I think it's great that the Bolivians appear to be interested in preventing OVERWORK, and hazardous working conditions. I wish they could do so also for ADULTS! There's a silver mine there, from which Spain removed "enough silver to pave a road from Bolivia to Spain". It has many many levels some so deep and HOT that reporters won't even visit deeper than 3-4 levels down. The Bolivian men work long hours much deeper than that-thanks largely to chewing coca leaves.

We live very pampered lives here. Btw, many of us oldies started work at age 11-12, and were proud to do so!
 
 
 
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0 # Malcolm 2014-07-19 21:03
Hey, I see you're new here. ¡Bienvenidos!
 
 
 
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+1 # michelle 2014-07-20 09:56
Nope, been here since RSN split from Truthout. I am a paying member and hope you are too.
 
 
 
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+5 # michelle 2014-07-20 08:15
They made a good start when they took on the World Bank and Bechtel over the privatization of water. Beating the World Bank and Bechtel is no easy feat. With the privatization of water Bechtel was given rights to own rain water and collecting water got you arrested for being a water thief. Rates made nearly impossible for the poor to purchase much water. With activism and organization the people took back the water.
Again read June Nash, a leading expert on Bolivia's mining industry. She also includes a brief history section in the book. Writing laws about child labor validates the use of child labor. It was not so very long ago we used child labor in the mills here and in Europe. I am 70 and could not work until I was 16 so you must indeed be very old.
 
 
 
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0 # Malcolm 2014-07-20 09:24
I give kudos to the Bolivians who took to the streets to fight Bechtel. (Bechtel, among other issues, sort of "forgot. To place the requisite rebar in the concrete walls of Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, and allegedly cut corners in other ways.

I often lament that've norteamericanos are like a bunch of aggravated ducks-lots of angry talk, but no action,when we are getting screwed over, whereas so many other people take ACTION.

Actually, Michelle, I'm a year younger than you. Maybe there were state or local rules where you grew up, but not in Dallas, Tx, where i grew up?

I'm still wondering how Bolivia is supposed to "fix" its economy. I'm at a loss, frankly.
 
 
 
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+1 # michelle 2014-07-20 09:53
I am no economist either. I am an anthropologist by trade and training. Poverty and structural violence are complex issues. Having a large family for example is an adaptive strategy--more workers for the family. It runs counter to our cultural beliefs and we perceive it as the problem. Bourgeois wrote 'In Search of Respect,' a fine piece on drug dealers in Harlem, NY. It has a good analysis of structural violence and poverty and the role of NAFTA in creating the drug market. I think the Bolvian economy, using their own economist is turning it around. Last year's growth was close to 6%. I don't know how much it improved the lives of people.The fix has to come from Bolivia.

In Ca children can work in a parent's restaurant if it is the family business. Having worked in the inner city I can tell you many fast food places overwork, violate laws. Kids don't report it because they need the money to help support families.

There are no easy solutions and to paraphrase Marx, 'people of the world unite.' Citizen Mike so aptly points out accommodating abuse legitimizes abuse. Inequality is a plague on the planet and I think the fix starts with addressing inequality. All of us are people. Your mention of coca tea/leaves to help miners work longer and harder in the mines just increases the abuse. Their bodies need to stop, not be pushed more. Only when we value all people will we see the changes we need. Until then most of us remain peasants.
 
 
 
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0 # Malcolm 2014-07-20 10:06
I just read the following statement by Elizabeth Warren: "The game is rigged, and, as she says, "We can whimper. We can whine. Or we can fight back."

I wonder if her idea of fighting is anything like the fighting the Bolivians'? Probably not...
 
 
 
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+5 # Citizen Mike 2014-07-20 08:09
Here is a new "Freedom" for the Conservatives to demand in the US. We can't let Bolivia get ahead of us in the area of Child Freedom To Contract. An essential part of "Liberty" and "Freedom To Choose."

Why shouldn't those wonderful "Job Creators" be free to hire anyone they wish? Don't we want the children of the poor to learn Good Workplace Habits?

See how easy it is to construct arguments in favor of the worst abuses?
 
 
 
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-1 # Malcolm 2014-07-20 09:47
Mike, I share your concerns. However, I wonder if you have a problem with PARENTS being able to make decisions on what age, and where, their kids can work? Who's better able to make that kind of decision, the parents, or some politician in Washington? And I'm not talking about rotten parents putting six yea olds in sweat shops!

Be aware, too, that a lot of pressure was brought to beat to require kids to stay in school an extra two(?) years, way back when.

This had little to do with education. The unions pushed the legislation through, to keep the kids-young adults, really-out of the work force, to keep union wages elevated.
 
 
 
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0 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-07-20 10:10
This is not a simple issue. I absolutely reject compulsory labour for children; but in Central America I have also seen how children have taken on tasks well within their capability, have enjoyed interacting with the people to whom they sold goods or services, who took pride in taking responsibility to aid their families; & who acquired important social, trade & craft skills in the process. They were unmistakably mature & happy. Such opportunities should be available to all children; but in industrial & many if not most agricultural applications the jobs are largely intolerable. Surely there is a wholesome balance.
 
 

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#47 vladzo

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:35 PM

Martin O’Malley: Don’t send border children to Maryland facility
 
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O'Malley doesn't want children from the border to come to Westminster, Md. | AP Photo

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 7/15/14 8:01 PM EDT

Martin O’Malley says that deporting the children detained at the border would be sending them to “certain death” — but he also urged the White House not to send them to a facility in his own state.

Hours after the Maryland governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate became the most prominent Democrat to criticize the White House on the issue, Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz called O’Malley to complain.



 

But before they hung up, O’Malley told Muñoz not to send any of the children to the facility in Westminster, Md., that the White House was looking at. It’s a conservative part of the state, he warned. The children were at risk of getting harassed, or worse, he said.

(Also on POLITICO: Borderline behavior)

This only inflamed tensions between the White House and the Democratic governor who’s been trying to stake out room on the left for a possible presidential run.

White House aides confirmed the Friday conversation but declined further comment. But O’Malley aides say he’s been trying to find an alternative to the Western Maryland location, and there’s already one possibility at the preliminary stages of the process.

“We are working as quickly as possible to determine if that facility can be licensed, if the federal government wants to use that site,” said a senior O’Malley administration official.

That site isn’t in Baltimore, the official said, but that doesn’t mean Baltimore is off-limits in the future.

“We haven’t taken Baltimore off the table,” the official said, adding that “it would be important to get the buy-in of the Congressional delegation and local officials” before making any decision.

“Governor O’Malley has been discussing this issue for weeks with the White House, he has helped identify ways Maryland can assist with this humanitarian crisis, and he has directed the Maryland Department of Human Resources to take the steps necessary to find licensed providers who might be able to care for these children in Maryland,” said O’Malley press secretary Nina Smith.

Read more: http://www.politico....l#ixzz38KVclKxC

 

here is a good video

see if you can understand what they really said


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#48 vladzo

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:22 AM

this article is full of dismal comments. but the truth is that this is not really a happy situation.

 

This is not a humanitarian crisis

 

Posted Yesterday, 10:27 PM

By leaving strategic areas along the southern U.S. border unprotected, and by using children as the face of the illegal immigrant surge to elicit public sympathy, the federal government is engaging in a sophisticated military tactic known as “asymmetrical warfare” against the American people, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent is warning.

As the government allocates resources to South Texas, it is systematically leaving areas within the U.S., as well as vast swaths of land along the border, unguarded, outspoken former Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent Zach Taylor says in an excerpted clip taken from an upcoming documentary entitled, “Back to the Border.”

“This gives people that are trying to get their infrastructure, their personnel, their drugs, their dirty bombs, their biological weapons, their chemical weapons into the United States without being noticed” the opportunity to do so, “because this part of the border is open, it is not being controlled,” the 26-year Border Patrol veteran outlines in the extensive interview.

“If asymmetrical warfare is going to be successful, the first thing that has to be done is to compromise America’s defenses against invasion,” Taylor says, “because they have to have their personnel inside the United States to affect the infrastructure.. they have to affect the degeneration from inside the United States.”

The retired federal agent claims that by magnifying the mere ten percent of the influx that is actually apprehended, and by mostly centering on the one percent who are immigrant minors, the Obama regime is deliberately drawing attention away from the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who evade capture – who may or may not be harboring communicable diseases, or may or may not have gang affiliations.

In Central America, children as young as 10 join violent gangs, like MS-13, an intelligence report notes, and according to an FBI report, many are initiated by having to commit murder.

“What the people don’t realize is that it is putting their own children at risk, because these children are going to be put in schools with their children,” Taylor says.

Taylor, who also serves as Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, had previously made headlines for slamming the recent immigrant wave as an Obama administration-manufactured crisis.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” Taylor wrote in a press release last month. “It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor Illegal Alien children at risk for purely political purposes. Certainly, we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States Government.”

Below is a transcript of the portion of the video where Taylor explains how the immigration crisis is covert asymmetrical warfare aimed at the U.S. public.

    The whole idea of asymmetrical warfare is to defeat your enemy from within. It is not to attack him from without. Of course the threat comes from without, but they have to be inside of the US to effect a successful warfare strategy.

    If asymmetrical warfare is going to be successful, the first thing that has to be done is to compromise America’s defenses against invasion, because they have to have their personnel inside the United States to affect the infrastructure: our hospitals, our schools, our electric grid, our power supplies our water supply – basically what we call “infrastructure.” All of those things create our infrastructure – but they have to affect the degeneration from inside the United States.

 

(Infowars.com)


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#49 vladzo

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:33 PM

Illegal Immigration And Gangs:
 
 
Illegal Immigration And Gangs: Someday Our Cities Will Burn Because We Didn’t Protect Our Borders
Read more at http://freedomoutpos...fHpFyftdkFgP.99

 

 

Did you know that the number of illegal immigrants that enter Texas each week is greater than the number of babies being born to citizens of that state? The mainstream media is shining the spotlight very brightly on all of the children that are coming over, and there is a reason for that. They are trying to tug on our heartstrings. But there is another part of the story that you aren't hearing much about. By refusing to protect our borders, Barack Obama has allowed hundreds of thousands of gang members to illegally enter the United States and settle in our major cities. In many communities, gang activity is already wildly out of control, and someday our cities will burn because of the foolishness of the federal government.

 

The Obama administration knows that one out of every five illegal immigrants has a criminal record. And we are not just talking about illegal immigrants taking "upskirt photos" of women like just happened in Texas. We are also talking about rapists, murderers, drug dealers and hardcore gang members.

According to Texas state Senator Dan Patrick, illegal immigrants have been formally charged with nearly half a million crimes in his state over the past four years alone. And he also says that there are "at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members" living in his state right now...

Hours before Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he would send National Guard troops to the border, Texas state Senator Dan Patrick said there are at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members in the state.

On Monday's The Laura Ingraham Show, Patrick, who is also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said from 2008 to 2012, 143,000 illegal immigrant criminals were arrested and jailed in Texas. He said these were "hardened criminals, gang members, and other criminals that we identified as being in Texas illegally."

"We charged them with 447,000 crimes, a half-million crimes in four years, just in Texas, including over 5,000 rapes and 2,000 murders," Patrick said. "We estimate we have 100,000 gang members here illegally."

Why won't Obama do anything to stop this madness?

There are at least 70,000 gang members living in Obama's home city of Chicago. Other estimates put that number closer to 100,000. But everyone agrees that it is a number that is growing every day.

So it shouldn't surprise any of us that at least 40 people were shot in Chicago over one recent July weekend.

I just fear for what Chicago will look like when things get really bad in this country. Many of our major cities are literally being transformed into tinderboxes that could erupt in flames at any time.

Overall, there are now approximately 1.4 million gang members living in the United States according to the FBI. But that number is actually a few years old now, so the true number is undoubtedly far higher at this point.

In addition, we know that illegal immigrants make up approximately 30 percent of the total population in our federal, state and local prisons.

And yet we refuse to stop more waves of illegal immigrants from coming in.

Are we willingly committing national suicide?

Just the other day, I noted that Honduras has the highest murder rate on the entire planet and that the Mexican drug war has claimed more than 120,000 lives since 2006.

 

That is what is coming here if we allow this insanity to continue.

Unfortunately, political correctness reigns in America today. Under current policies, our border agents are not even turning away minors with known gang affiliations that have gang tattoos all over them. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent National Review article...

Border Patrol officials struggling to keep up with the increasing number of minors illegally crossing the Mexican border are not turning away persons with known gang affiliations. Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, explained that a Border Patrol agent he represents helped reunite a teenage gang member with his family in the United States. Cabrera notes the young member of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang, had no criminal record in the U.S., but asks, “If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here?”

“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera says. “Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”

Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, says agents who recognize the gang-affiliated tattoos of minors crossing the border must treat them the same as anybody else. He says these people are afforded the same rights provided to anyone crossing the border.

And according to the Border Patrol, some of these "processing centers" that we have seen pictures of lately are actually being used by the gangs to recruit more gang members...

According to Border Patrol sources, violent MS-13 gang members are using the Nogales processing center in Arizona as a recruitment hub and as a transfer point for gang members to get into the United States.

The Red Cross has set up phone banks inside the processing center so unaccompanied minors can make phone calls to family members inside the United States and back home in Central America. According to sources, those phones are also being used by MS-13 members to communicate with gang members already in the United States and operating in cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago. Further, many teenaged males inside the facility have approached Border Patrol agents and have said gang members have tried to recruit them from shared cells. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment.

“The National Border Patrol Council believes there to be serious security issues at the Nogales Processing Center. Agents’ hands are tied due to the policies governing the care and lodging of juveniles and this has allowed gang recruitment and activity to flourish among those being detained,” vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran tells Townhall. “Customs and Border Protection needs to do more to ensure that gang members that are in custody at the NPC are identified, prosecuted, and prohibited from benefiting from this crisis.”

Barack Obama can see all of this happening and yet he refuses to secure our borders.

What in the world is he thinking?


Read more at http://freedomoutpos...fHpFyftdkFgP.99

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#50 vladzo

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:12 PM

Posted Today, 05:10 PM

??? ARE YOU anti-GILCHRIST ???
 
 
 
Home » Minuteman Militia Project Recruiting 3,500 Volunteers to Patrol US Border
Minuteman Militia Project Recruiting 3,500 Volunteers to Patrol US Border
 

In a post at MinutemanProject.com titled Operation Normandy, co-founder of the Minuteman Project Jim Gilchrist called for recruitments for groups of militias, as well as non-militia volunteers to participate in helping to secure the United States southern border.

 

According to the post:

The Minuteman Project's "Operation Normandy" has been launched as of 1200 hours Monday, July 7. This event will dwarf the original Minuteman Project of 2005. I expect at least 3,500 non-militia volunteers to participate, plus uncounted groups of militias from all over the country.

If you are familiar with the Normandy invasion of France in 1944, then you have an idea how large and logistically complicated this event will be. However, there is one difference. We are not going to the border to invade anyone. We are going there to stop an invasion.

Our federal, state, and community governments have failed to address and fix this calamity. In the spirit of our nation's Founding Fathers, it is once again time to bring unprecedented national awareness to the decades-long illegal alien crisis jeopardizing the United States.

PARTICIPATION IS OPEN TO EVERYONE AND THERE IS ONLY ONE RULE:  WHATEVER YOU DO, STAY WITHIN THE RULE OF LAW.

It will take 10 months to recruit, organize, and launch this event, and it will cover the porous areas of the 2,000-mile border from San Diego, Ca. to Brownsville, Texas.

Earlier in July, Gilchrist was interviewed by KPHO. While he has faced a myriad of critics, who have claimed that his plan will create more problems than it solves, Gilchrist responded, "Our federal government especially has failed us."

 

"We're trying to recruit thousands of people to cover the porous border areas from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas," Gilchrist said.

Previously, many of those that participated in the previous border security campaign were branded as vigilantes, but Gilchrist says that things should be down legally and lawfully.

"The rule of law means you do not put a hand on anyone. You do not talk to anyone. You do not confront anyone. You report to Border Patrol," Gilchrist said.

 
CBS 5 - KPHO

According to Gilchrist, those who choose to participate will not be operating under the banner of the Minuteman Project, but will simply be exercising their constituional rights. Obviously many of these will be armed. This is where many people get concerned. The only cause this author has for concern is if people don't know what they are doing with their weapon. Then they become a danger to themselves and everyone around them. Other than that, there shouldn't be a problem.

At the end of June, militia gathered near the Texas border in order to repel the invasion of illegal immigrants coming across the border. Earlier this month, they set up a command center. It appears that they will be receiving plenty of support from the Minuteman Projec


Read more at http://freedomoutpos...oCozXGsZKhPV.99
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#51 vladzo

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:01 PM

To Address Honduran Refugee Crisis at the Border,

`

US Should Stop Financing Repression in Honduras Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:59 By Laura Raymond, Truthout | Op-Ed

2014_0727hon_.jpgA family waits for a plane of migrants deported from the United States, arriving at Ramon Villeda Morales Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, July 14, 2014. (Photo: Ian Willms / The New York Times)

Truthout readers like you made this story possible. Can you help sustain our work with a tax-deductible donation?

In mid-July, the first planeload of women and children who had fled Honduras and found themselves in the center of a refugee controversy at the US border were sent back into the same dire situation they risked their lives to leave. They were dropped off at Palmerola Airforce Base, a base north of Tegucigalpa jointly controlled by US and Honduran military and given 650 lempiras, or $30, to get back to the towns and villages they had fled.

The individual stories of those fleeing Honduras are varied, but most have the rampant violence in their country as a common denominator. As Nelson Arambu, an LGBT community organizer from Honduras recently told me, "The wave of migrants from Honduras are no longer coming here to work, they are coming to save their lives." Since the military coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, violence and repression have continued to increase. Honduras currently has the highest murder rate in the world. The current refugee crisis at the US border is a foreseeable and understandable consequence of this violence.  

Unfortunately, after playing a widely criticized role in legitimating Honduras's post-coup government, the US government is now using this crisis to further entrench its alignment with one of the most corrupt and violent police and military forces in the hemisphere. Couched in language about bolstering "security" and "prosperity" in the region, both the White House and the Senate have proposed yet more US "investment" in the very Honduran security forces that are responsible for the violence, human rights abuses and lawlessness that are contributing to the flight of tens of thousands of Hondurans. 

This past April, José Guadalupe Ruelas, the director of Casa Alianza, a well-regarded organization that advocates for homeless children, presented a report on violent deaths of children in Honduras during the first few months of the new government. He noted that some of the killings were extrajudicial executions committed by Honduran state agents. Weeks later, he ended up in intensive care at a hospital after being brutally beaten by Honduran Military Police and jailed overnight without medical attention. The police claimed he'd been in a traffic accident.  

Casa Alianza is part of an extraordinary civil society in Honduras that has formed a network of sectors documenting systematic human rights abuses at great risk, while tirelessly building a movement that envisions a new path forward for Honduras.

As large landowners and corporations work to dispossess small farmers in the Aguan Valley, farming cooperatives are organizing to defend their land and continue supporting their families so they don't have to leave their land or, potentially, their country. They do this despite threats and violence against them. Scores of farmers have been murdered in Aguan for their resistance since the coup.  

Garifuna and indigenous communities are on the front lines of protecting land from mining and hydroelectric dam projects that are being approved throughout the country without the required community consultations. They, too, are facing attacks and threats, but keep at it so they aren't forced off their land and potentially onto the dangerous journey northward.  

In response to a government and private sector that has consistently failed to respect and enforce labor protections, undermined organizers and openly attacked strikes, labor has organized as one of the most significant sectors opposing the present government. Members are trying to ensure that workers can continue to make a living in Honduras so that they don't have to seek work outside the country.

LGBTQ, feminist, student groups and others are at the forefront of a movement for what they call a refoundation of the country and a new constitution. They face violence in the streets, routine threats and frequent assassinations and kidnappings in their effort to create a country where people can stay and live with dignity.

It is a great irony, then, that many millions of dollars going to Honduras from plans in Congress to address root causes of migration in the region may end up funding the very police and military forces that have consistently attacked the movement that represents Hondurans' best hope for prosperity and security.

A fundamental shift in Honduras that prioritizes the rights and safety of workers, farmers, indigenous communities, women, children, LGBTQ people, the Garifuna and human rights defenders can stop people from fleeing. The United States could play a role in making this happen, but it would require an overhaul of its disastrous policy in the region. The United States could begin by withdrawing its financial and diplomatic support from Honduras's repressive government.  

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

 

- vlad


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#52 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:39 PM

 
 
Young Canadian reunites Haitian 'orphans' with parents
_h353_w628_m6_otrue_lfalse.jpgReuters
Morgan Wienberg poses with Yssac Jeudy of Haiti, in Miami.
_h17_w0_m6_otrue_lfalse.gif 5 hr agoBy David Adams of Reuters
 

MIAMI (Reuters) - Morgan Wienberg, a slight 22-year-old from Canada, was only 18 when she joined the wave of volunteers who flew to Haiti to help out after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010.

Unlike most volunteers she has returned, putting off a medical career to fulfill what she now calls a life mission to rescue abused Haitian children exploited by unscrupulous orphanages.

"I am flabbergasted by her story. It's simply outstanding what she is doing, and nothing fazes her," said Alison Thompson, an Australian nurse and veteran relief worker who ran a camp for earthquake victims in Haiti and now runs rape clinics there.

Wienberg was living in Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon, Canada's westernmost territory, when her plans to study medicine at McGill University took a detour.

She had considered spending the summer working with animals or children in Africa, but quickly signed up as a volunteer to teach English to earthquake victims and help in a prosthetics lab.

"I had never really thought about Haiti. The earthquake drew me to thinking it was the place I could make a difference," she said during an interview in Miami where she was overseeing medical care for one of her charges.

STARVATION AND BEATINGS

In Haiti she also volunteered at an orphanage. Appalled by the conditions, she quickly discovered that almost all the children were not orphans but were being used to milk donations from unwitting charities, including American churches.

"There were 75 children, all starving, lying in vomit and diarrhea," she said. Beatings were common for petty infractions; a deaf boy was abused constantly.

When groups of Americans visited with suitcases of toys and clothes, the owner made sure the children were washed and clothed. They never received the donations, which were sold.

"The real turning point was when I realized the children all had families," said Wienberg. "They were there because their families were so poor they couldn't afford to look after them."

Wienberg discovered that the orphanage owner recruited children on trips to impoverished rural areas where parents often were willing to give up their children for the hope they might get a better life in the city, and perhaps an education.

"Many orphanages in Haiti are primarily a business," said Wienberg. "They use the children to make money from foreigners."

She gathered evidence and went to the police and Haiti's social services institute to report the abuse.

Legitimate children's homes exist in Haiti, such as NPH International, which operates a children's hospital in Port-au-Prince and a chain of orphanages across Latin America. But the government of Haiti has begun to crack down on the corrupt places, working with UNICEF to create an official registry of the 725 orphanages and child-care centers.

Of these, 40 have already been shut, including the orphanage where Wienberg worked, though officials say the social services institute, which has a staff of 200, lacks the resources to properly monitor abuses. So far there are no reliable figures for the total orphan population.

Terre des Hommes International Federation, a European umbrella group dedicated to children's rights, is working with UNICEF and the Haitian institute to replace orphanages with a nationwide host-family program. It seeks to prevent separation by helping the most vulnerable parents find a sustainable source of income, such as training women to sew and helping fishermen with nets and boats.

The initiative also includes a "family tracing and reunification" plan to help remove children from orphanages and place them back with their parents.

After Wienberg quit the orphanage, she decided she could not walk away from the children. Back in Canada she worked three jobs to save enough to return to Haiti.

"Every day I was working to get them medical treatment and trying to close (the orphanage) down," she said. Often she had trouble sleeping, remembering she had shared the floor with kids who had no beds.

FROM SHYNESS TO SAFE HOUSES

With that money and what she had put aside for university Wienberg set up her own charity in late 2011: Little Footprints, Big Steps offers safe places for children to receive care, while their parents are traced.

Morgan's mother, Karen Wienberg, 57, serves as chairman of the board. A Canadian civil servant in Whitehorse, she organizes additional fundraising.

So far Morgan has rescued 86 children and is helping their families provide for them at home, while also paying to educate 156. She herself currently looks after five boys and five girls at one of two safe houses in the southern city of Les Cayes.

One boy, Yssac Jeudy, was 12 and illiterate when she rescued him from the streets. Known to his friends as "Big Cheek" because of a tumor growing beneath the right side of his face, he is now in second grade and at the top of his class. Wienberg became his legal guardian this year in order to bring him to Miami for surgery (the tumor was benign).

"Our focus now is on helping the children stay with their parents and build stable lives," she said. That involves teaming up with other charities to build houses and help with vocational training.

The charity has an operating budget of $175,000 and shuns luxuries, such as a car, preferring the money go for food, education and medical care. Only eight local staff draw a salary.

Wienberg, who taught herself to speak fluent Haitian Creole, travels everywhere on public transport, despite the five hours by bus that separate Les Cayes from the capital, where she must frequently go.

"Morgan doesn't have any interest in material things. She is probably the most incredible person I have ever met," said Sarah Wilson, a Canadian paramedic in Ontario who cofounded Little Footprints with Wienberg after they met in Haiti.

Once painfully shy, Wienberg has since delivered a TEDx address (a freely licensed version of the more global TED talks) at McGill in Montreal, and last year she was invited to speak at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York.

Some of her admirers worry about the risks she runs in Haiti. "All my friends who are nurses have been assaulted or raped at one point," said Thompson. "But her kids really love and protect her. She has won the respect of the community, and that counts for a lot down there."

Karen Wienberg doesn't worry about her.

"A mother's job is to open every door for your children so they can find their passion," she said. "If I had a child sitting on the couch I would worry more."

Despite her present involvement, Morgan hasn't necessarily given up on medical school. "I spent all my savings," she says with a laugh, "so I'd probably need a scholarship."

(Additional reporting by Amelie Baron in Port-au-Prince; Editing by Prudence Crowther)


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#53 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:57 PM

Borderland Deaths of Migrants Quietly Reach Crisis Numbers

Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:23 By Bethania Palma Markus, Truthout | Report

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2014_0727im_.jpgUndocumented migrants pass a boy between two cars on a moving northbound freight train known as "The Beast," because of rampant accidents and violent crime, as it passes through Tenosique, Mexico, July 2, 2014. (Photo: Meridith Kohut / The New York Times)

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The sun-bleached bones of a human skeleton lay in disarray: the skull rolled on its crown, an S-curved spinal column about two feet away. Leg bones were in a haphazard pile. There were personal items too - a wallet, pair of walking shoes and a dirt-caked T-shirt.

They belonged to a man, most likely a migrant who had faced off with the Sonoran Desert in an attempt to come north. While most attention on immigration has been directed recently at the human drama unfolding around a surge of children fleeing from Central American countries, the immigrant death toll on the US-Mexico border has quietly exploded, even as undocumented migration overall has plummeted.

The bones were found by Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert), an all-volunteer search-and-rescue organization, in the blistering Arizona desert heat of the Organ Pipe Cactus national park just south of Ajo, a sparsely populated region of Pima County that neighbors the Mexican border. As many were hunkering over barbecues or lighting off fireworks, these men rolled out of California on a 300-mile trek across Interstate 8. I rode shotgun in long-time volunteer and Marine Corps veteran Vicente Rodriguez's old red Forerunner.

Roughly once a month, they leave their families and personal lives to take these trips and plunge into some of the country's most inhospitable landscapes. They hail from different walks of life - a roofer, a photographer, a medical supply importer, a gardening business owner, a water technician. But their common goal is finding at least some of the hundreds who die every year traversing the borderlands.

According to US Border Patrol statistics, 477 people died crossing in 2012, and 445 died crossing in 2013. The numbers have steadily shot up since 1998, when 263 died, according to the agency's statistics. A total of almost 7,000 people have died between 1998 and 2013. But the true number is likely higher, considering many are never found.

Throttling along the hot pavement with no air conditioner to speak of, Vicente was blunt about the search prospects.

"Most of the time we are looking for a dead person - cadavers," he said. "By the time [the migrant group] makes it out of the desert, several days have passed. Lack of water and heat is usually what kills them."

As we drove with hot air roaring through open windows and volunteers Danny Morales and Ricardo Equivias passing time cracking jokes in the backseat, the border fence came into view and snaked along to my right. Vicente started pointing out seemingly innocuous geographical features that form a killer gauntlet for migrants. Enough people drowned in drinking water canals that lawmakers were forced to string ropes across. The nearly-vertical, sunburned peaks of rock rubble in the Imperial Valley that look like salt mine tailings in a dystopian global warming future literally bake people alive.

"This is like an oven," Vicente said. "The rocks heat up, and they hold the heat and just get hotter."

A couple years ago, the group found two men stranded on those rock peaks. One of them died minutes after rescuers got there, in the arms of his friend. The other survived.

The seven volunteers finally converged after 10 pm in the little town of Gila Bend, Arizona, huddled in front of a tiny Mexican restaurant and consulted a map. At dawn, they headed out to the desert. A few schooled me, an obvious novice to this kind of expedition, on various plants that presented hazards like the cholla cactus, which looks soft but has hook-like thorns. Though we all wore blindingly bright neon shirts, they pointed out how easy it is to lose sight of each other.

They donned commando-like gear and forged forward abreast of each other, combing through thorny brush, scaling a network of washes and facing dangers unknown - from wild animals to stumbling into cartel footmen. They also stood at the ready with water, radios and first aid supplies in case they found a lost migrant in need of help.

Far off the beaten trails, they came across signs of furtive human presence and perhaps of distress, like shed socks, jackets, a little girl's backpack, blankets and water jugs.

Soon the banter coming through the radios - previously upbeat - turned intense. They had found human remains near the area the man they were looking for was last seen. I followed Vicente's lead to the site and suddenly, out under the open sky, was standing over bleached white bones, what little was left of a man whose name I did not know and maybe never will know, and whose agony I can't imagine.

As per their protocol, the volunteers notified authorities. If they find someone who is alive and in need of emergency help, they render what first aid they can and call for emergency responders, though it may result in the person getting sent back in the end.

"It's better to be deported than dead," Vicente said.

Later, Ricardo said few people have seen what we saw that day, or know that crossing the border has become a gamble with death.

"What is happening out here is a crime," he said. "In that place, I don't think God even goes, that cruel desert. You saw those bones."

Border Militarization and Its Deadly Effect

People used to cross in more populated urban areas like San Diego, El Paso and Nogales. But operations Gatekeeper, Hold the Line and Safeguard - characterized by blockading the US-Mexico border at those locations with things like fences, motion sensors and more Border Patrol agents - are funneling migrants out to the desert. Before, deaths were infrequent and often involved things like accidents or crime. Now, people die from exposure.

"It's a humanitarian crisis, and it's been a humanitarian crisis since 1994," said Enrique Morones, executive director of immigrant advocacy group Border Angels, referring to the year the border fences started going up. "Before that wall was being built, one or two people would die every month. After the wall was built, you started having one or two per day."

Pima County alone has already seen 76 border crossing deaths so far this year, medical examiner Greg Hess said.

As undocumented border crossings have plummeted, indicated by 1.5 million Border Patrol apprehensions in 1999 versus only 356,873 in 2012, enforcement has skyrocketed. During the same period, 4,208 Border Patrol agents in 1993 bloated in just nine years to 21,394, according to a report released last year by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Arlington, Virginia.

"In other words, between FY 1999 and FY 2012, immigrant deaths increased by more than 80 percent at the same time apprehensions, a measure of illegal entry, declined by 77 percent," according to the report.

Border Patrol has a search-and-rescue operation that when notified often aids in searches for people who are believed to be alive, volunteers said. They also have towering, illuminated rescue beacons along the border that can be activated if a migrant needs help. Officials from US Customs and Border Protection didn't return phone calls and emails seeking comment for this story.

Migrants normally travel in groups, Vicente said. Each pays a coyote, which is basically a human smuggler, to guide them. But with harsh conditions, many don't make it to their destination and are left behind to die. The man they were looking for was last seen by the group he was traveling with last year after losing consciousness about 12 miles north of the border.

The body had been in the desert for four months to a year, Hess said. He expects identification to be difficult. The man's wallet was empty, and matching dental records in foreign countries is unpredictable. An ID will likely have to be made through DNA. If they are able to confirm an identification, the remains will be returned to the man's family.

"We've received the highest number of undocumented border crosser remains since about 2000, up until currently. We still see the highest number," Hess said of Pima County. "People will cross into the US clandestinely in response to enforcement patterns and that's the way it's worked for a long time."

Starting in the 1990s, the US government started using a policy known as "prevention as deterrence" to stop migrants from crossing, which resulted in border fences being built and a massive spending program of $18 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, more than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to studies.

But building fences and tightening security won't keep people from crossing, said Robin Reineke, anthropologist and founder of the Colibrí Center in Tucson, which helps families locate remains of missing migrant relatives. Instead, as they do now, they will simply continue taking greater risks.

"Migration has been a strategy of survival for as long as humans have existed - we've always moved on when the local climate or conditions were not sustainable for our bodies and our families," she said. "When your family's wellbeing is at stake and you don't have any hope of safety or a secure job at home, then I think any of us would do whatever it takes."

There are 900 unidentified remains believed to be those of migrants in Pima County alone, Reineke said. The Colibrí Center has 1,500 cases of missing persons where their families reported they were last seen crossing the border.

There are 650 miles of fencing and 1,500 surveillance and communication towers at the border, according to US Customs and Border Protection. The recent influx of refugee children from Central America has also given lawmakers an excuse to talk about spending even more on what is already a fortress-like scenario.

"The places where migrants are crossing, the remote geographies where they are dying, it's actually very hard to discover the remains," Reineke said. "That's a big contribution to the true number of deaths being likely quite higher than the numbers we have."

Vicente hinted at another reason the official count may be a lowball estimate. People contact his group and other volunteer humanitarian organizations to locate missing people because they fear approaching US government agencies will lead to their arrest and deportation.

"They won't let themselves be interviewed by the Border Patrol or the sheriffs," he said.

Reineke called the situation violent, very troubling and very sad.

"They're dying in the desert, from lack of food, water and shelter, and their bodies are decomposing so rapidly that their families only often have a small pile of bones, if they are able to identify them at all," she said. "In most cases, someone who would die in the summer in Arizona would be unrecognizable the next day."

Trapped and Exploitable

The legacy of human movement between the United States and its southern neighbors, particularly Mexico, has been a long and wrenching one for migrants.

While migrant labor has always been a significant and important part of the US economy, particularly in the Southwest, laws regulating it have fluctuated for political reasons, said Aviva Chomsky, professor of history and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University. The idea that migration is "illegal" is relatively new and has a lot to do with racial bias.

"Before the Fourteenth Amendment, there were no restrictions on immigration at all, because no one could be citizens except whites," Chomsky said. But after the Civil War, "citizenship by birth changed all that. That's when racially restrictive immigration laws started."

Historically, migration from Mexico was circular, she said. People would come north to work, and then they would return home.

"What changed that was the militarization of the border that started in the late 20th century," Chomsky said. "The more the border is militarized, the more the undocumented population grows. Instead of coming and going, people come and stay because it's too dangerous to keep gambling with the repeated border crossings."

Operation Gatekeeper, launched under the Clinton administration in 1994, allocated millions of dollars to build fences starting with San Diego-Tijuana, and ramp up Border Patrol agents. The border fence has expanded and now blocks various locations across the 2,000-mile border.

"When they secured that border to make it more difficult to cross, there was a whole lot of people on this side of the border that could not go back," said Bill Flores, a retired high-ranking officer with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. "It's not like they wanted to stay here, but they were stuck. Before it was more transient; now it's more permanent."

Chomsky connects the dots between civil rights attorney Michelle Alexander's idea, illustrated in her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, of a caste system created via legal status. Alexander argues that once de jure, outright racist policies against African-Americans were outlawed following the civil rights movement of the 1960s, a backlash ensued to circuitously reinstate inequities that defined the Jim Crow era. Racially profiling and disproportionately incarcerating blacks at higher rates than whites has resulted in the stripping away of the very civil liberties supposedly gained in the civil rights movement like the right to vote, hold a job, sit on juries and receive public benefits.

"Interestingly the rights they're deprived of are quite similar to the rights people who are undocumented are deprived of," Chomsky observed. "They physically exist but legally they are excluded. By defining one group of people as inherently racially, legally different, you then justify all manner of atrocities against them."

While it had once been commonplace and legal to discriminate against Mexican, Central and South American people simply because of their countries of origin, the civil rights era saw an end to that, as it saw an end to outright discrimination against black Americans. Under the bracero program that existed between 1942 and 1964, Mexican laborers were allowed to work in the United States, but it was like a system of indentured servitude where workers had no control over the terms of their labor, very few rights and poor working conditions, Chomsky said.

Once the bracero program was eliminated amid the atmosphere of the civil rights movement, the United States was forced to dump openly race-biased immigration laws that gave preferential treatment to certain northern European immigrants. What resulted was the Hart-Celler Act, which placed a uniform visa quota on all countries.

Though Hart-Celler looked equal on paper, it was still racially biased, Chomsky pointed out. Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, China and India have very large populations. Mexican workers had historically crossed the border in the tens of thousands yearly. So giving tiny European countries like Luxemburg, Switzerland, Belgium or Andorra the same visa limit as Asian countries and Mexico still favors European immigration, she said.

"The 1965 immigration law is an example of how trying to look equal on paper doesn't really treat people equally," she said. "It's not openly racially biased, but it is."

While Alexander links the backlash against the Civil Rights Act to practices like racial profiling, the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing laws that have resulted in mass incarceration that's turned the clock back on racial justice by labeling people "felons," Chomsky said immigration laws have resulted in discrimination against migrants by labeling them "illegal."

"It was a very deliberate creation of this status to replace a previous status using a terminology and a rationale that is supposedly less racially charged," she said.

Despite rabid anti-immigrant sentiment and the ratcheting up of measures aimed at expelling or blocking entry to migrants from south of the US border, Chomsky pointed out the trapped population with no avenue toward legal status makes for big profits both as cheap, readily-abused labor and as inmates in private prisons, while becoming easy scapegoats for political opportunists who often fear-monger myths that immigrant workers take jobs from Americans.

In contrast, only 44,000 visas for "skilled and unskilled" workers were issued by the federal government for immigrant labor from all countries in 2013, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

"When we think about the actual demand for immigrant workers and what immigration laws permit, and contrast that with the type of sensationalized thinking and reporting about immigration, there's a lot of cognitive dissonance across the board," said Tom K. Wong, assistant professor in political science who specializes in immigration at the University of California at San Diego. "Despite what the reality is, the narrative is constant. And the reality is, we don't actually give permanent residence to a lot of workers. That's reflected in the numbers."

Criminalization of immigration with an angle at "enforcement-only" practices without meaningful evolution of immigration policy directly links to the high death rate at the border, according to the National Foundation for American Policy study, which found:

Chomsky says much broader and drastic changes in thinking and policy must occur. As she writes in her book Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, "Human rights - including the right to be recognized as a person equal to other people - apply to everyone: no exceptions. Let's admit that our discriminatory laws are unjustifiable. Let's abolish the category "illegal" and give everyone the right to exist."

The loss of life will almost certainly continue unless more paths are open to work legally in the United States. The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers. Strong evidence exists that the current "enforcement-only" policy has strengthened criminal gangs, providing a profitable line of business for Mexican criminal enterprises. If Mexican and Central American workers could come to America on a legal visa or work permit they would have no need to employ the services of a coyote or criminal enterprise.

Profiteering From Lack of Legal Status

A survey of news reports from around the country indicates many have found capitalizing on the illegal status placed on immigrants to be profitable.

ProPublica investigated the growth in temp workers who are largely Spanish-speaking immigrants with few workplace protections, revealing how mega-corporations like Walmart, Philips Norelco and BMW benefit from such exploitable labor.

According to ProPublica's reporting:

ProPublica also uncovered examples of how these migrant workers are placed in harm's way and often pay the ultimate price, including instances where a worker was buried and suffocated to death by sugar while trying to unclog machinery, and a worker who was slowly crushed to death by machinery making hummus. In both cases, employers showed disregard for workers by not bothering with safety guidelines. The brother and co-worker of a deceased worker told ProPublica:

Latinos make up about 20 percent of all temp workers. In many temp towns, agencies have flocked to neighborhoods full of undocumented immigrants, finding labor that is kept cheap in part by these workers' legal vulnerability: They cannot complain without risking deportation.

The New York Times also found that immigrants in detention centers function as virtual slave labor, being paid as little as $1 a day to keep their detention centers operating while the private prison companies that own the facilities cash out. Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, which own the majority of immigrant detention centers, made $301 million and $115 million in net earnings, respectively, according to The New York Times.

They waited for something bad to happen . . . They just use people like us - take advantage of us. They just throw you in there and it's like, what happens, happens.

Per the Times' May report:

As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor - usually for $1 a day or less - at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.

There are no signs that the precipitous drop-off in undocumented migration will yield a symmetrical reduction in detention of immigrants. In April, GEO Group announced a $45 million, 640-bed expansion to hold immigrants at a prison in Adelanto, California. The expansion is expected to generate $21 million in additional, annualized revenues for the company, according to an April 2014 press release.

Private companies aren't the only ones cashing in on immigrant detention. In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that the practice had been a moneymaker for local jurisdictions in the past, reporting that at the height of the economic crash in 2008:

Washington paid nearly $55.2 million to house detainees at 13 local jails in California in fiscal year 2008, up from $52.6 million the previous year. The US is on track to spend $57 million this year . . . For some cash-strapped cities, the federal money has become a critical source of revenue, covering budget shortfalls and saving positions.

Private prisons and public agencies alike have cashed in on immigrant detention doubtlessly with the help of a controversial detention quota imposed by members of Congress in 2009 that requires US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold 34,000 people in detention every day, as The Washington Post reported last year.

Justifying the quota, Rep. John Abney Culberson, a Texas Republican and member of the House Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee, told the Post: "We know ICE can fill more than 34,000 beds, so why would they use less?"

The quota has resulted in an astronomical increase in the number of immigrants detained, more than doubling between 1999 and 2009 to 369,483, according to a report by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data research and gathering organization at Syracuse University. Two years later, the number of immigrants in detention rose to 429,000 in 2011, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. A whopping 88 percent of these detainees were from Mexico (67 percent) or Central America (21 percent), according to a 2011 Department of Homeland Security report.

Driving forces behind migration include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into law in 1994, the same year the border fence went up, and has sunk many in Mexico into poverty by throwing the country's markets and economy open to US business. Subsidized American products like corn and pork began flowing into Mexico and driving prices down to the point where local, smaller-scale enterprises couldn't compete. The rapid, destabilizing downward shift of the Mexican economy sent people north, as demand for cheap services and labor continues in the United States.

US foreign intervention and the toppling of democratically elected governments in Central and Latin America have resulted in turbulence, and its "war on drugs" has been criticized as a major contributor to cartel violence in Mexico.

In a 2010 talk, Chomsky pointed out that people have been migrating freely over the face of the planet since the dawn of humanity, and the idea of controlling human migration is only about 200 years old.

"It's salutary to remember this when we think about what would happen if we stopped trying to control immigration," she said in 2010. "For tens of thousands of years the human race had no controls on immigration and somehow we muddled along, things worked themselves out without immigration controls. It's not impossible to imagine that we could create a new system that did not rely on trying to control people's freedom of movement."

Reineke, from the Colibrí Center in Tucson, said it's time to rethink how US policies have created pressures that force people to come north when they otherwise wouldn't.

"We really can't continue looking at the border as the place where the problem originates; that's a very dangerous way to think about immigration in an increasingly global economy," Reineke said. "We have increasingly open borders to commerce, markets, goods and the ability of companies to work across borders. But then we have increasingly closed borders to the free movement of people, especially those who are workers, who are not part of the consumer class."

That combination of openly allowing consumer goods and investment to flow through borders unhindered while clamping down on the resulting movement of people has proven deadly, Reineke added.

It's time for reevaluation but also soul-searching, she said.

"I do believe Americans are compassionate people, but I also believe fear and xenophobia about immigrants has allowed us to dehumanize them and be desensitized to the loss of life on the southern border," she said. "On the more extreme side, if we're reacting with such hate, fear and disdain to children who are escaping violence and showing up on the southern border, we have a lot of work to do in terms of our relationship with our Latin American neighbors on this continent. We need to think through this problem in terms of saving lives. It's an issue of conscience and morality for this country and Mexico as well."

Vicente, the Marine Corps veteran, summed it up in his typical succinct, direct way.

"There are lots of trade treaties," he said. "What we need is a human treaty."

Exhausted, we left the borderlands behind with the sun beating us head-on as it set in the west, the direction we were heading. Each went our separate ways back to homes spread throughout Southern California.

The sadness of what I saw didn't sink in until about 24 hours later, after the distraction and chaos of meeting and traveling with new people who were on a mission wore off. I was moved by their heroism, grit, persistence and humility. In the end, it's Robin Reineke's words that sting.

"As I'm going about my life in Tucson, there are people going through some of the most intense human suffering and survival happening on the global scale today, literally an hour from my house. I want more Americans to think through what that means for us."

 


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#54 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

Our Mission

Our mission is simple, to help people. If an immigration judge has found that you are properly removable or deportable from the United States we can help you. If you have been convicted of a crime and the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to have you deported then we can help you.  If you overstayed your visa, are here illegally, or were deported but you are looking to return to the U.S., then we can help you. 

We practice mainly in the areas of Immigration appeals in front of the Board of Immigration Appeals, United States Courts of Appeals, and defending people appearing before Immigration Judges who have been convicted of crimes or who have immigration law violations, and who the government is seeking to have deported.  We also now are aiding aliens who have been deported file waivers to return to the United States and their families, as quickly as possible.  

About Us

At Latimore Esq. LLC we understand that many people who the government seeks to have deported have lived in the United States since a very young age, and often don't know anyone in their "home" country, and may not even know the language! We are a family run, family staffed, family owned business; we want you to be able to remain in the United States with your wife, children, parents, brothers, and sisters. We only accept a limited number of cases per month, no more than three, in the limited area of deportation defense, so we have the time and focus to put everything into your case. 

The most common compliment we receive from our clients is that they have never had a previous attorney spend so much time on their case, or had an attorney who took their phone calls and was so easy to get a hold of.  

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#55 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:33 PM


Denver headed into center of undocumented immigrant minors controversy
Published time: July 19, 2014 03:49
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A Honduran child, who will be accompanied by his family when they travel to reach northern Mexico or the U.S. (Reuters / Jorge Lopez)

 

To the surprise of at least a couple of Denver City Council members, their city is plunging itself headfirst into the national immigration debate by applying to house some of the undocumented minors flooding into the United States.

According to theDenver Post, the city has applied for a three-year grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement that would allow it to care for some children in its Family Crisis Center. The facility is capable of housing 54 children, offering interim shelter for kids while the Denver Department of Human Services determines where to place them.

Should the city gain approval, Mayor Michael Hancock believes it’s likely that Denver would take in some of the children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras who are entering the United States illegally through the Mexican border.

The application caused a stir from local lawmakers, some of which told the Post that they did not even know the city was looking for such permission.

"My jaw wouldn't be on the floor if I had any inkling," said City Council member Jeanne Faatz. "I didn't know anything about it … From an individual basis, your heart goes out to every child. But this isn't the way to handle a crisis."

Despite some criticism from conservative and anti-immigrant groups – one local talk radio host compared housing undocumented minors in shelters across the US to the establishment of “sanctuary cities” – Hancock released a statement promoting the application.

"In Denver, we care about kids," the mayor said. "The work of departments like DHS is how we answer the call to serve. In this case, the federal government is trying to place refugee children with family members. And while we have not yet been asked, we recognize that we are likely to have relatives in our community who will want to take in their young family members."

 

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Anti-immigration activist Judy Lairmore holds a sign during a protest along Mt. Lemmon Road in anticipation of buses carrying illegal immigrants on July 15, 2014 in Oracle, Arizona. (AFP Photo / Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker)

News of Denver’s grant application also comes in the wake of several anti-immigrant protests throughout the US. As RT reported earlier this week, at least 50 people gathered in Vassar, Michigan, on Monday to express their outrage against a government proposal to house 12- to 17-year-old immigrants at a local shelter. Some protesters showed up bearing rifles and handguns, while others criticized the federal government for lax border security.

Meanwhile, anti-immigrant protests are also scheduled to unfold across the United States over the next two days. In a coordinated campaign organized by several groups, participants will gather at state capitals, Mexican consulates, and detention centers housing some of the minors to express their opposition.

In some cases, both pro and anti-immigrant sides have clashed at the same location, as in Murrieta, California, where more than 150 activists converged in early July. While opponents claim that all undocumented minors should be deported, supporters claim they should be considered refugees as part of an unfolding humanitarian crisis.


 

Edited by vladzo, 28 July 2014 - 08:56 PM.

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#56 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:58 PM

Hundreds of US cities set to protest ‘invasion’ of illegal migrants
Published time: July 17, 2014 11:10
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Guatemalan illegal immigrants deported from the U.S. wait for their turn to be processed for re-entry at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City July 15, 2014. (Reuters / Jorge Lopez)

Nationwide protests aimed to plug the gaping hole in America’s porous border with Mexico and stop the flow of illegal aliens - many of them unaccompanied children – amid mounting costs are scheduled for July 18-19.

As the United States wrangles with an estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, who have been apprehended crossing the US border illegally since last October, the Obama administration has requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding to take care of the new arrivals. Many Americans, however, want the free ride in their communities to end.

Central American radio stations are playing anti-immigration songs paid for by the US government

A coalition of citizens groups are hoping to turn the tide on illegal migrants arriving to the United States from Central America in what has been called a National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty & Border Surge. The protest comes as activists from communities around the country have been turning back busload after busload of illegal immigrants.

According to William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), one of 11 sponsors of the protest, interest in the rallies is spreading across the country.

“Our goal is to unify Americans of all races, political parties and walks of life against the Obama-inspired illegal immigrant invasion,” Gheen told WND news. “At last count we had 257 communities signed up, but that was two hours ago. We’re expecting more than 300 and updating the event list every two hours.”

 

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Immigrant rights activist Mary Estrada ® speaks with anti-immigration activists during a protest outside of the U.S. Border Patrol Murrieta Station on July 7, 2014 in Murrieta, California. (AFP Photo / Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker)

Protesters will gather around the country at state capitals, Mexican consulates, and at illegal detention centers that house the new arrivals. Gheen said he hopes the movement will counteract the recent surge of illegals at the US-Mexico border, as well as send a powerful message to US politicians that their jobs could be on the line if they continue to support the “invasion.”

“We’re hoping to get an American surge that will manifest in protests and the defeat of more Eric Cantor-type Republicans that still have GOP primaries and the Democrats in November that support Obama and his amnesty plans,” Gheen told WND.

He said about 40 Republicans in the House, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, “need to go,” because they have betrayed their Republican roots by merely “playing the role” of traditional conservatives.

“What [the politicians] fear is when they know the next stop is the election booth and that’s our message,” Gheen said. We want everybody to support these protests but we want them to understand we need to get them involved in these elections and the defeat of many of Obama’s amnesty allies.”

Some US politicians already got the message.

Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, for example, harshly criticized the federal government’s plans to sneak illegal immigrant children into his home state, announcing last week that he would “use every tool at my disposal though the appropriations process to stop” illegals from being dumped in his state.

“These unaccompanied minors who have entered our nation illegally must not be brought to Carroll County, Maryland. Flying them to Maryland only to turn around and fly them back home is nonsensical,” Harris said.


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#57 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:06 PM

Record number of undocumented minors entering USA - report
Published time: January 31, 2014 03:50
immigrants-from-mexico.si.jpg

Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants under the age of 18 cross into the United States alone every year, a growing number that puts extra pressure on American lawmakers searching for an answer on how to reform immigration policy.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops released a report Tuesday estimating that 60,000 minors will enter the US from Central America without adult supervision by the end of 2014. The fact that less than 25,000 unaccompanied minors traveled into the US in 2013 and under 6,000 in 2004 is a stark reminder of the violence throughout Mexico and elsewhere in Central America that seems to be behind the swell in arrivals to the US.

The Bishops group study, first obtained by the Wall Street Journal, cited a massive uptick in the number of stops at the US-Mexico border, which “has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of unaccompanied migrating children” since 2011.

The majority of the unaccompanied children (UACs) are released from the border patrol and into the arms of relatives or friends already in the US. Their cases are handled by a number of government agencies and, if an individual child is not lost in the mix, they are often placed in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement division.

Generalized violence at the state and local levels and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law have threatened citizen security and created a culture of fear and hopelessness,” the report states.

A vast number, 95 percent, come from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – three nations plagued by organized crime, drug trafficking, and widespread corruption. Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy and public affairs for the bishops group and an author of the report, told the Wall Street Journal that while the mass flow has created problems, the young refugees also represent a significantly different type of migrant to the US.

These children defy common perception of migration in this hemisphere,” he said. “They are akin to refugees in Africa fleeing civil wars. They are literally fleeing for their lives.”

The report’s publication came on the same day that Republican lawmakers in the US House of Representatives debated a number of immigration reforms that would give citizenship to children whose parents brought them into America illegally and also stop the deportation of adults.

Republican leaders distributed a series of so-called principles for lower-ranked leaders to consider. Conditions an undocumented immigrant include a “rigorous” background check, “significant” back taxes, commitment to learn English, and ability to prove they can support themselves without government aid--and they must also be “willing to admit their culpability” by registering with the federal government, reports USA Today.

I believe these standards represent a fair, principled way for us to solve this issue, beginning with securing our borders and enforcing our laws,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said during the meeting. “We will address this issue in a step-by-step, common sense fashion that starts with securing our nation’s borders and enforcing our nation’s laws.”

Still, sources told the New York Times that the closed-door meeting was “very passionate” and a “sizable bloc” of Republicans spoke out against Boehner and other top officials.

It’s time to deal with it, but how you deal with it is critically important,” Boehner said. “It’s one thing to pass a law. It’s another thing to have the confidence of the American people behind that law.”

While lawmakers squabble over which reforms should be introduced, unaccompanied children will still be making their way up through Central America and into the US. One young man, identified only as Juan Cordoba, told WBEZ Chicago public radio that he had no choice but to flee and try to make a new life in the US.

As we all know, Honduras has a lot of corruption problems, there’s a lot of violence, there’s not a lot of opportunities, and so as young people, we graduate and then you have no options, there’s no jobs available, there’s nothing,” he said.

The 17-year-old said it took him two months to make his way from Honduras and then across Mexico, but was disappointed when he approached US Border Patrol agents.

It was really bad. They don’t treat you nice,” he said. “They don’t treat y


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#58 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:46 PM

here we see that migration is not all that there is.

 

Interview with President Rafael Correa: Part 1

`

Historic Change in Latin America

29.07.2014
 
53269.jpeg

This interview was conducted during the stay of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in Brazil, by Beto Almeida (Brasil de Fato, Telesur, TV Comunitária), Emir Sader (Sociologist TV Brasil) and Valter Xeu, Editor of Patria Latina, media partner of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru. Here is a synopsis of Part 1 of the interview. ** see also part two **

 
 

Rafael Correa: "The relationship of the people with the power in Latin America is experiencing a moment of historic change"

It was a pleasant 40 minute conversation with the Ecuadorian President who has been in power since 2007, and said he intends to run for reelection in 2017. Correa was in Brazil to attend the UNASUR meeting, which brings together countries of South America, with the BRICS, comprising China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and India.

The Ecuadorian president, who defends the existence of laws that restrict media power, also believes that, at present, there is underway in Latin America a "conservative restoration", which aims to end the cycle of progressive governments that emerged on the continent in recent years.

Beto Almeida - Mr. President. Thank you for receiving us here. Bringing you the greetings of Brazil with the recognition of the giant role that Ecuador has played, both in Latin America and the world. We came here with three journalists: 1) Valter XEU of Patria Latina, which was born after a meeting with Fidel Castro and several journalists and intellectuals in Latin America. This presentation was followed by the exclamation of the President who then said: - "of course, Valter Patria Latina." 2) I, Beto Almeida, president of Community Brasilia TV, which has a collaboration agreement with Telesur and he also represents the newspaper Brazil de Fato, linked to social movements such as labor unions, and the landless. 3) Emir Sader of TV Brazil, which was created at the time of Lula. Now we give the word to Emir Sader.

Emir Sader - President Rafael in your first presidential term you pointed to the relationships and differences between a unipolar world and a multipolar world. You would say we're coming out of a unipolar world and a multipolar one is driving us? You then say that there would be specific consequences for Latin America as a result of decisions taken at various meetings this week, such as the decisions of the BRICS? We'll be leaving here the unipolar era, after the Cold War, to a multipolar world?

President Correa - Muchas gracias. Firstly an embrace to Brazil with wishes for all the best of luck. Well, yes. I believe there is a change of season and a new cycle is approaching. Many progressives came to power in Latin America together with the debacle of national rights, which were then stunned by a great failure, which is connected to the failure of neoliberalism, and failed to adequately respond immediately. Here we have a change of seasons. These are profound changes. It is not only superficial reforms at stake. These are historical changes, with a major shift of power relations. It is a change from a bourgeois to a popular state. This change in Latin America has been consolidated through the governments of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Lula da Silva in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Bachelet in Chile, Tavares Vasquez in Uruguay, and the revolution in Ecuador.

However, you have to be careful. A new conservative cycle can try to reverse what has been gained. Much attention is needed. After the debacle that stunned them a new coordinate is now starting, and this at local, regional, and international levels. One must be very careful. I believe that Latin America will never return to past conditions, but it may lose much of what has been achieved. Much could be reversed.

After this there are building blocks, which is part of the process of change. Maybe. It also seems to me that with the unipolarity Latin America lost out too, since with unipolarity Latin America lost in importance, as compared to the time it was central in the game against communism.

But yes, there is a change of era, where the encounter between the blocks is a very important factor. Joining blocks is a good way to change the unjust order of the strongest, the order of hegemonic countries, financial capital, and worst of all in this context, the speculative financial capital. Take the case of Argentina. The United States could have broken it. Here there is also a need to ensure multipolar reality, which would allow greater participation, while avoiding at the same time, the eternal kind of danger that hovered over Argentina, for example. This requires the construction of solid blocks. This has to be done through blocks that can provide effective work. Brazil is great in itself, and could perhaps tackle the problem alone, but for countries that are small, and many are in Latin America, cooperation blocks, and the encounter between those blocks is required.
This is a reality that must be consolidated.
But for now, we would already be at the beginning of a new cycle? We'll have to wait to know the exact answer.


Beto Almeida - Mr President, the union of the BRICS with UNASUR is a very important step in the economic sector, also on an international scale, and here one could then claim international integration policy and/or anti-imperialist policy.
In your opinion, a coordination of economic union with this policy could be made? Our late Chavez has talked about a kind of Fifth International. Others speak of an anti-imperialist camp. What should be in their opinion, appropriate initiatives to sustain an economic fund coordination, and database development, which is being born with a policy coordination and/or anti-imperialist policy?

President Correa - We must be realistic. Alternating blocks are necessary and good, but here it is that not all countries have the BRICS bloc of progressive governments, and the same is true of UNASUR. We have to be vigilant, but it's a lot to be achieved through regional financial architecture that brings independence of traditional hegemony, what you are doing now with the BRICS, with its reserve funds to your new Development Bank, and the already established agreement between Brazil and China to trade and make transactions in their own currencies. The situation has changed a lot.

As has already been done it would not be an ideological union, but a union in practice, regardless of the ideological. However, this in itself is very important. It now follows that the work of political union has yet to be treated and in depth. What we have is a new consensus on new interests. With the BRICS has come a new financial architecture, which could prevent, for example, that all international financial transactions had necessarily to pass through the United States. BRICS is good. It can bring a less unjust reality.

Valter Xeu - Mr. President. During your term indices of health and education have grown a lot and there is a path towards eradicating poverty. How would you explain the case of Ecuador, a country with a small economy, when countries with greater resources failed?

President Correa - This is a political process. In the past, on this continent, Latin America has not developed, but the United States developed. We have a historical past, where more advanced civilizations were already here from the beginning, such as the Mayans, the Aztecs and Incas. Altogether it is a constellation of factors, but one of these factors is the class. We had a past where the social class of elites dominated us from the beginning.

But as for your question I can talk about the political process in Ecuador.
We had the dominance of a bourgeois state that we are moving to a popular state. The resources have always been here, e.g. oil, but let's say between the elite and the people had become, in the oil sector, a relationship of 4vs1, a relationship that is now leading to a ratio of 1vs4. In the oil sector we did renegotiations and had success with it. Nobody paid taxes. The resources have always been present, but are now used for the common good. So that would mean that it is a change in power relations, which now use for the greater good of the population and people power. 

But here we find limits and external constraints. This is dangerous. We are attacked from all sides. Chevron could have broken Ecuador. We have to face restrictions imposed on us. It has here to do with excuses such as money laundering, terrorism, and others, but the rich do not bother with these restrictions, which apply to us but not to themselves. Look at the tax havens. Property rights...and the environmental goods, for example, they want to consume them for free. It is costly to restore the jungles. There are external pressures that require cooperation. In steps, we have to create an integration. We have to be efficient and create more resources. Socialism always spoke of the social aspects, but the efficiency was not discussed much. We now have to also mention the aspect of efficiency, together with the social aspects. 


Edited by vladzo, 29 July 2014 - 07:00 PM.

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#59 vladzo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:48 PM

here we see that migration is human and migration is not only spanish americans

 

France Offers Asylum to Iraqi Christians Fleeing ISIS

_h353_w628_m6_otrue_lfalse.jpgReuters: Ahmed Saad
Iraqi Christians attend a mass in Baghdad.

_h17_w0_m6_otrue_lfalse.jpg 2 hr agoBy Shirley Li of The Wire

France announced Monday the country would welcome Iraqi Christians forced to leave their homes as ISIS continues to take much of northern Iraq.

In a joint statement, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve denounced ISIS and extended help to Iraqi Christians.

"France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," they said. "We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory."

The announcement followed a rally on Sunday in support of Iraq's persecuted Christians, during which about 5,000 people gathered outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Geneviève Jacques, president of France's refugee N.G.O. La Cimade, told France 24 that the country had to offer help as Iraq's neighboring countries like Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon have already been flooded by refugees.

"We are overjoyed that France has offered to open its doors to these populations," she said. "Especially because there is little place else for them to go."

The Islamic State had ordered Christian families to convert to Islam or face persecution. Most left the city under threat of execution, and their abandoned property was forfeited to militants, the AFP reported. The United Nations Security Council had denounced the act, saying it condemned "in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse its extremist ideology in Iraq by ISIL and associated armed groups."

According to the U.N., about 20 families from the ancient Christian minority remain in the city of Mosul, which the militant group has taken as the capital of its Islamic state.

More from The Wire

 

also we may see, in this article, that france shall not be responsible for another armenian massacre. this time the nestorians shall be saved.

 

- vlad


Edited by vladzo, 28 July 2014 - 09:53 PM.

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#60 vladzo

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

Interview with President Rafael Correa: Part 2

 

`

Historic Change in Latin America

29.07.2014
 
53275.jpeg

This interview was conducted during the stay of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in Brazil, by Beto Almeida (Brasil de Fato, Telesur, TV Comunitária), Emir Sader (Sociologist TV Brasil) and Valter Xeu, Editor of Patria Latina, media partner of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru. Here is a synopsis of Part 2 of the interview.

Emir Sader - With weak political parties, the right wing media acts almost like a political party in opposition. This is a question of democratization, in which Ecuador has advanced greatly. What would be the model to follow? 

 


President Correa - This is our main opponent. It is a huge struggle. The media in Latin America does not belong to the poor. They are in private hands, in the hands of the financial elite. In Ecuador, 90% of the media are in private hands. We have a national journal of the five major national journals. Local and regional journals are many more. We have two television channels, six or seven national channels. We rescued the national radio, but there are more than a thousand others. It's little, but now it's a case that the people win something. The media should be public, but it is in private hands. Communication is a right and a fundamental thing in the media. In the capitalist system the right of peoples is free and comprehensive communication, in direct opposition to the requirement of profits. Profit and right of communication going in opposite directions. The elites, however not only seek profits but naturally want power. We have a contradiction. The  mass media, for the masses, is in private hands.

You can talk about restricting the political power, and in a certain way people accept. You can talk about restricting economic power, and even then they accept. But when it comes to putting any limits on the media power this is no longer accepted in any way. The attempt to require a certain balance in the presentations, a certain objectivity or neutrality, is immediately and strongly attacked as a serious act against freedom of expression.

In Latin America there is exceptionally bad press, about the lack of ethics, the concentration of ownership, the lack of professionalism, as well as well as political manipulations, and more, too.

Beto Almeida - To address manipulations in the monetary, financial, and social field, we have, for example, organizations like CELAC. However, there is in Brazil also a need for a journalistic true integration. What we have is a journalism disintegration. It has been the case of the World Cup. The World Cup was a failure? No it was not, but it was presented as a total failure. Important meetings and gatherings are discredited. The BRICS-UNASUR meeting was very important, and some treated it like it was nothing. Journalism tries to crumble, break, or silence, but we must have the ability to integrate, cooperate to build, and to believe in people's ability to achieve this direct social integration.

President Correa - Exactly. This attempt at social disintegration is a result of the media as a private business, with the purpose of profit in private hands. This is extremely concentrated. It is necessary to have more community media, nonprofit-making. In a natural way the requirement of giving profit goes in inverse relation to the right to information and media. The communication should be used as a means of society, as a public medium. When speaking in public, it means you are not only speaking of the central government.

Now the Constitution of Ecuador in relation to visual communication and media demands that the ratio is 1/3 the private sector in order to profit, one third the public sector and one third to the community without profit-making motives. It's a tough fight. Everything is very concentrated. The private sector has to go to one third in this relationship. This is one of the answers, not to disintegrate, but integrate. But this is only one of the answers, and there has to be done much more in order to reach a solution... But be prepared to hear that we are violating their freedom of expression.

Beto Almeida - There have universities for integration in Brazil, for example, UNILA constituted in the Lula period. Also there is ELAM-Latin American School of Medical Sciences in Cuba. This integral idea would now also be required in the printing industry?

President Correa - The biggest challenge we face is to win media power. This has strong defense mechanisms. Thinking of criticizing? Attack immediately with the "attack on freedom of expression".

Emir Sader - You recently founded a new university, based on the idea of "well known" common knowledge. What is the nature of this new project you are developing?

President Correa - In fact, we created four new universities. Which do you mean? I believe you refer to Ikiam [Regional University of Amazon], in the jungle. Unlike Brazil where the Amazon rainforest is quite far from the big cities, here in Ecuador, in three and a half hours, from Quito, you can be in the Amazon jungle, where Ikiam is located. We created this new university called Ikiam in the Shuar language, one of the many ancestral languages ​​that have our country, it means "jungle", which is in the middle of a nature reserve of about 900 km2, for a university-level world, basically to meet the need for bioknowledge. So, I can assure you that there will be a unique and unrepeatable advantages in this university: biodiversity of bioknowledge.

Beto Almeida - We know that you like to talk about the role of NGOs because there are NGOs and NGOs .. Here we had a very eerie experience. Some NGOs are promoting events that promote violence to destroy public buildings, public facilities, subways ... In Venezuela, we know what happened ... the guarimbas [protests and blockades], with many NGOs funded by foreign foundations of rich countries they are acting for. But this is a new process that some call "social face of neoliberalism" ... because we are also experiencing it here in Brazil at the moment ...

President Correa - We have a huge problem here. This is a tactic of destabilization directed, performed by very violent means, which give attractive names that evoke in an automatic way, positive reactions. In Chile Pinochet lifted up the words of honor, democracy and freedom, but now it is being used in a consistent manner, as a strategy where violence, with nice names below as subtitles, presents a very brutal and even extreme way . All attention is needed here. These are social organizations, but ... Beware! This is a new strategy of infiltration and sabotage. These organizations are not governmental or anti-government, foreign government organizations are working to overthrow the governments of other countries that do not please them. Among the social organizations working honestly, there is an extremely high number of others, who work under that cloak to destroy other governments and advance the interests of the great powers, which are not subscribed to anything, do not commit and are not restricted, requiring all for themselves. Attentive - destabilization - defending the interests of the U.S. extreme right.

In this context then one must also raise the issue of NGOs of the left, requiring people not touch the natural resources. What would become of Venezuela without oil? What would Bolivia be without gas? What would be Ecuador? Not touching any of our resources would be suicide. According to certain segments of the far left we could not touch anything, but at the same time, both nationally and internationally, the far right would be enjoying here, as always, all the fruits. It has been in this context that many compositions of the extreme left do not understand or want to understand what it is governing a country. So we can defend ourselves, we have to use some of our resources. Sometimes organizations do more harm than good.

Beto Almeida - Mr. President. Thanks so much on behalf of TV Comunitária, TV Brasil and Patria Latina.


President Correa. Thanks to all and a big hug for Brazil.

Part I

 

 

Interview with President Rafael Correa: Historic Change in Latin America

This interview was conducted during the stay of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in Brazil, by Beto Almeida (Brasil de Fato, Telesur, TV Comunitária), Emir Sader (Sociologist TV Brasil) and Valter Xeu, Editor of Patria Latina, media partner of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru. Here is a synopsis of Part 1 of the interview.



Rafael Correa: "The relationship of the people with the power in Latin America is experiencing a moment of historic change"

It was a pleasant 40 minute conversation with the Ecuadorian President who has been in power since 2007, and said he intends to run for reelection in 2017. Correa was in Brazil to attend the UNASUR meeting, which brings together countries of South America, with the BRICS, comprising China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and India.

The Ecuadorian president, who defends the existence of laws that restrict media power, also believes that, at present, there is underway in Latin America a "conservative restoration", which aims to end the cycle of progressive governments that emerged on the continent in recent years.

Beto Almeida - Mr. President. Thank you for receiving us here. Bringing you the greetings of Brazil with the recognition of the giant role that Ecuador has played, both in Latin America and the world. We came here with three journalists: 1) Valter XEU of Patria Latina, which was born after a meeting with Fidel Castro and several journalists and intellectuals in Latin America. This presentation was followed by the exclamation of the President who then said: - "of course, Valter Patria Latina." 2) I, Beto Almeida, president of Community Brasilia TV, which has a collaboration agreement with Telesur and he also represents the newspaper Brazil de Fato, linked to social movements such as labor unions, and the landless. 3) Emir Sader of TV Brazil, which was created at the time of Lula. Now we give the word to Emir Sader.

Emir Sader - President Rafael in your first presidential term you pointed to the relationships and differences between a unipolar world and a multipolar world. You would say we're coming out of a unipolar world and a multipolar one is driving us? You then say that there would be specific consequences for Latin America as a result of decisions taken at various meetings this week, such as the decisions of the BRICS? We'll be leaving here the unipolar era, after the Cold War, to a multipolar world?

President Correa - Muchas gracias. Firstly an embrace to Brazil with wishes for all the best of luck. Well, yes. I believe there is a change of season and a new cycle is approaching. Many progressives came to power in Latin America together with the debacle of national rights, which were then stunned by a great failure, which is connected to the failure of neoliberalism, and failed to adequately respond immediately. Here we have a change of seasons. These are profound changes. It is not only superficial reforms at stake. These are historical changes, with a major shift of power relations. It is a change from a bourgeois to a popular state. This change in Latin America has been consolidated through the governments of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Lula da Silva in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Bachelet in Chile, Tavares Vasquez in Uruguay, and the revolution in Ecuador.

However, you have to be careful. A new conservative cycle can try to reverse what has been gained. Much attention is needed. After the debacle that stunned them a new coordinate is now starting, and this at local, regional, and international levels. One must be very careful. I believe that Latin America will never return to past conditions, but it may lose much of what has been achieved. Much could be reversed.

After this there are building blocks, which is part of the process of change. Maybe. It also seems to me that with the unipolarity Latin America lost out too, since with unipolarity Latin America lost in importance, as compared to the time it was central in the game against communism.

But yes, there is a change of era, where the encounter between the blocks is a very important factor. Joining blocks is a good way to change the unjust order of the strongest, the order of hegemonic countries, financial capital, and worst of all in this context, the speculative financial capital. Take the case of Argentina. The United States could have broken it. Here there is also a need to ensure multipolar reality, which would allow greater participation, while avoiding at the same time, the eternal kind of danger that hovered over Argentina, for example. This requires the construction of solid blocks. This has to be done through blocks that can provide effective work. Brazil is great in itself, and could perhaps tackle the problem alone, but for countries that are small, and many are in Latin America, cooperation blocks, and the encounter between those blocks is required.
This is a reality that must be consolidated.
But for now, we would already be at the beginning of a new cycle? We'll have to wait to know the exact answer.


Beto Almeida - Mr President, the union of the BRICS with UNASUR is a very important step in the economic sector, also on an international scale, and here one could then claim international integration policy and/or anti-imperialist policy.
In your opinion, a coordination of economic union with this policy could be made? Our late Chavez has talked about a kind of Fifth International. Others speak of an anti-imperialist camp. What should be in their opinion, appropriate initiatives to sustain an economic fund coordination, and database development, which is being born with a policy coordination and/or anti-imperialist policy?

President Correa - We must be realistic. Alternating blocks are necessary and good, but here it is that not all countries have the BRICS bloc of progressive governments, and the same is true of UNASUR. We have to be vigilant, but it's a lot to be achieved through regional financial architecture that brings independence of traditional hegemony, what you are doing now with the BRICS, with its reserve funds to your new Development Bank, and the already established agreement between Brazil and China to trade and make transactions in their own currencies. The situation has changed a lot.

As has already been done it would not be an ideological union, but a union in practice, regardless of the ideological. However, this in itself is very important. It now follows that the work of political union has yet to be treated and in depth. What we have is a new consensus on new interests. With the BRICS has come a new financial architecture, which could prevent, for example, that all international financial transactions had necessarily to pass through the United States. BRICS is good. It can bring a less unjust reality.

Valter Xeu - Mr. President. During your term indices of health and education have grown a lot and there is a path towards eradicating poverty. How would you explain the case of Ecuador, a country with a small economy, when countries with greater resources failed?

President Correa - This is a political process. In the past, on this continent, Latin America has not developed, but the United States developed. We have a historical past, where more advanced civilizations were already here from the beginning, such as the Mayans, the Aztecs and Incas. Altogether it is a constellation of factors, but one of these factors is the class. We had a past where the social class of elites dominated us from the beginning.

But as for your question I can talk about the political process in Ecuador.
We had the dominance of a bourgeois state that we are moving to a popular state. The resources have always been here, e.g. oil, but let's say between the elite and the people had become, in the oil sector, a relationship of 4vs1, a relationship that is now leading to a ratio of 1vs4. In the oil sector we did renegotiations and had success with it. Nobody paid taxes. The resources have always been present, but are now used for the common good. So that would mean that it is a change in power relations, which now use for the greater good of the population and people power. 

But here we find limits and external constraints. This is dangerous. We are attacked from all sides. Chevron could have broken Ecuador. We have to face restrictions imposed on us. It has here to do with excuses such as money laundering, terrorism, and others, but the rich do not bother with these restrictions, which apply to us but not to themselves. Look at the tax havens. Property rights...and the environmental goods, for example, they want to consume them for free. It is costly to restore the jungles. There are external pressures that require cooperation. In steps, we have to create an integration. We have to be efficient and create more resources. Socialism always spoke of the social aspects, but the efficiency was not discussed much. We now have to also mention the aspect of efficiency, together with the social aspects.

 

** see also part one **


Edited by vladzo, 29 July 2014 - 06:59 PM.

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