October 2007


Court records show that a Durham man who is accused of going the wrong way on Interstate 540 Thursday morning was convicted of driving while impaired in 2006 – at the first of at least five appearances in court that year. Authorities on Friday charged Eblin Fabiel Ocampo Cruz, 22, of U.S. Highway 70 West, with one count each of DWI, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed and possession of a revoked license. He also faces charges involving driving the wrong way on the highway. “We’re dealing with a person who’s got some serious issues going on,” Lt. Everett Clendenin, spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, said.

Authorities said Cruz was driving westbound on eastbound I-540 between Creedmoor and Six Forks roads around 2:45 a.m. when he collided head-on with a Ford Mustang. Both drivers had to be removed from their vehicles and remained hospitalized on Friday evening. The driver of the other vehicle, Bettie Coates, 42, of Wake County, was listed in serious condition Friday afternoon, troopers said.

Cruz was wanted by the Department of Correction for probation violations, and had been listed, as of Oct. 8, as an absconder. “He had not reported to his probation officer and was not complying with the terms of his probation,” said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Correction. “In fact, we lost track of him. We didn’t know where he was and had a warrant out for his arrest.” Court records show Cruz was on probation for several different offenses. In February 2006, he was convicted in Durham of DWI. A month later, he was convicted of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle and misdemeanor breaking and entering. In May 2006, Cruz pleaded pleaded guilty to reckless driving and passing an emergency vehicle. “That’s why he shouldn’t be out on the highway. He should be behind bars, from what I’m hearing,” Clendenin said.

Charges continued to follow Cruz: resisting an officer in October 2006 and possession of stolen goods in December 2006. Officials said they belive he may also be behind some more serious crimes. Cruz went by several names, and one of those aliases is wanted for second-degree kidnapping and assault on a female in Orange County. “It’s putting people in danger,” Clendenin said.

Immigration agents said they are investigating the status of Cruz, who was born in Honduras. Troopers said they will be waiting when Cruz is released from the hospital, where he is being treated for internal bleeding and a fractured leg. “He’s being monitored, and when it comes time for him to be released, there will be a trooper there to take custody of him,” Clendenin said.

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Peter Hain was forced to apologise last night after admitting that the number of foreign citizens working in Britain had increased by 300,000 more than he told MPs earlier this month. Mr Hain, the Welfare Secretary, also admitted that a claim that Britons had taken 2 million of the extra 2.7 million jobs created since Labour came to power could not be proved by official statistics.

In a letter to the Speaker and other MPs, Mr Hain said that the errors had been made in good faith. The upward revisions are certain to further fuel the debate about the Government’s ability, and willingness, to assess levels of migration accurately. Mr Hain told MPs on October 8 that 800,000 extra foreign nationals were working in Britain in comparison with ten years ago. “Following further careful analysis of the Labour Force Survey, this figure has been revised upwards by 0.3 million. This revised analysis shows that there are an extra 1.1 million foreign nationals in employment in the UK since 1997,” Mr Hain states in his letter of apology. He continues that his claims on the number of new jobs being taken by British citizens is also not technically accurate.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said that the revision had been made partly because of “a more rigourous definition of foreign national workers to include, among other things, those who were in the country before 1997 who have subsequently taken up jobs”. The spokesman also claimed that about half the new jobs had been taken by EU nationals. The Home Office will confirm tomorrow that restrictions on low-skilled workers from Bulgaria and Romania will stay in place.

Ministers admitted recently that the Government was revising estimates for the net number of migrants to Britain from 145,000 a year to 190,000. It emerged that the 25-year projections included estimates of up to 240,000 in the initial years, close to record levels.

Chris Grayling, the Shadow Welfare Secretary, described the statistical revisions as farcical. “It is difficult to see how we are supposed to have confidence in Labour’s policies if they cannot have confidence in their own figures,” he said.

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Tory leader David Cameron pledged to cut net immigration into the UK, to ward off “unsustainable” pressure on the country’s public services and infrastructure. In his first major speech on immigration, Mr Cameron set out his “modern Conservative population strategy” to slow the rate of growth in the numbers of people living in the UK. A Tory administration would set annual limits on economic migration from outside the EU “substantially lower” than the current rate, set up a Border Police Force with powers to track down and remove illegal migrants, and impose transitional controls on the right of nationals of new EU states to work in the UK.

And Mr Cameron said he would raise the minimum age for spouses coming to Britain to 21 and demand that they are able to speak English. A failure to reduce net immigration would “make it more difficult for a Conservative government to deliver its vision of opportunity, responsibility and security”, he warned.

The Conservative leader also cautioned: “The promises that Gordon Brown makes – whether on improving the NHS, the education system or housing provision – will quite simply be overwhelmed by his failure to deal with the root causes of our demographic challenge.”

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest, on current trends, the UK’s population will rise from 60.6 million to more than 71 million by 2031, increasing pressure on housing, healthcare, schools, the transport system, energy and water supplies. Some of the increased pressure comes from Britain’s ageing population, as well as the “atomisation” of society through divorce, family break-up and later marriage, which means more single-person households, said Mr Cameron. But with 190,000 more people coming to the UK from abroad than leave the country each year, the bulk of the population rise – around 70% – is driven by immigration.

“Of course we should recognise that in an advanced, open economy there will be high levels of both emigration and immigration,” said Mr Cameron in his speech in central London. “But what matters is the net figure, which I believe is currently too high… It is time for change. We need policy to reduce the level of net immigration. And we need policy to strengthen society and combat atomisation.”

Immigration minister Liam Byrne accused Mr Cameron of “rehashing platitudes”. “He talks of a limit on immigration numbers but nowhere does he say what this would be,” he said.

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Post below lifted from Dinocrat. See the original for links

Newsday reports that New York is about to adopt a three-tier driver’s license scheme, the lowest tier of which virtually identifies the holder as being in the United States illegally:

The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver’s licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version.The deal comes about one month after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a plan whereby illegal immigrants with a valid foreign passport could obtain a license. Saturday’s agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it. “I don’t endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice,” Chertoff said. “It’s going to be a big deal up in Buffalo, it’s going to be a big deal on the Canadian side of the border,” Chertoff said. The governor made clear he is going forward with his plan allowing licenses for illegal immigrants.

Under the compromise, New York will produce an “enhanced driver’s license” that will be as secure as a passport. It is intended for people who soon will need to meet such ID requirements, even for a short drive to Canada. A second version of the license will meet new federal standards of the Real ID Act. That law is designed to make it much harder for illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists to obtain licenses. A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants. Spitzer has said this ID will make the state more secure by bringing those people “out of the shadows” and into American society, and will lower auto insurance rates.

Those licenses will be clearly marked to show they are not valid federal ID. Officials, however, would not say whether that meant local law enforcement could use such a license as probable cause to detain someone they suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

Perhaps we’re missing something, but this sounds even zanier than Spitzer’s first harebrained scheme to “allow illegal immigrants to obtain the same kind of driver’s licenses as other New Yorkers.” The new third-tier driver’s license would appear to specifically identify the holder as a person in the United States illegally.

Therefore, the likely outcomes are that (a) illegal aliens will not apply for the license; and (b) advocacy groups will file suit and take other measures to ensure that a card that screams that the holder is a lawbreaker must be ignored by authorities. Is that an intended or unintended consequence of this nutty scheme?

In a dramatic move to quiet opposition, Gov. Spitzer is expected to announce a major revision – but not an abandonment – of his plan to let illegal immigrants obtain driver’s licenses. Spitzer will appear Saturday morning with Homeland Security officials in Washington to discuss his new plan, sources said. His original plan had sparked criticism that it would not comply with the federal Real ID Act. His new plan will set up two types of licenses – a Real ID-compliant license available to U.S. citizens and others legally in the country, and another license both illegal immigrants and citizens would be eligible to get, sources said.

Spitzer has faced enormous opposition to his plan from Republican opponents, the electorate, and even county clerks upstate who have vowed not to grant the licenses. A Siena College poll this month found an extraordinary 72% of New Yorkers opposed licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Spitzer had hinted at possible flexibility during an appearance earlier this month at NYU Law School. He noted that some states had opted out of Real ID, but that he did not see New York doing so. When Real ID takes full effect in 2013, that will be an issue critical not just for security but for the convenience of any New Yorker who uses a driver’s license as proof of identity to board an airplane. Real ID was passed after the attacks of Sept. 11 and intended to provide a uniform, secure form of identification for U.S. citizens and those living here legally.

Spitzer said at NYU that because of Real ID, “People in many states will have a two-tiered structure, where there will be a license that will satisfy” federal law. The other document available under such arrangements would be a no-frills state license, he said then.

Spitzer’s opponents, including Republican legislators in both the state Senate and Assembly, say giving illegal immigrants licenses opens a door to terrorism. Opponents also argue that noncitizens shouldn’t get citizen privileges, and may use the documents to gain other privileges, like trying to vote.

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Open borders advocates and immigration amnesty enthusiasts long have argued that draconian raids and inhumane mass deportations are the only alternative, should America take seriously national sovereignty and the rule of law. The straw man vision of convoys of thousands of busses being necessary to convey illegal immigrants out of the country, along with the expectation that restaurants, construction, agriculture being crippled owing to the rule of law has convinced many to oppose actual enforcement of existing laws.

Such a vision betrays a mind accustomed to thinking that nothing ever happens unless some government official takes action and requires it to happen. The old command and control mentality at work. There is accumulating anecdotal evidence that, owing to better law enforcement and a downturn in the construction industry, large numbers of illegals are self-deporting. On October 19, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit noted:

You don’t seem to see as many Mexicans around Knoxville as a few months ago, and I noticed that the landscaping outfit that does the common areas in my neighborhood — whose workers were all Mexican as recently as this summer — became kind of scarce for a few weeks and is now back with workers who are all quite obviously non-Mexican. Could this be related to the jailing of a local businessman for immigration violations? See here. Probably. It suggests that even modest enforcement efforts might have a real impact.

Elisabeth Malkin of the International Herald Tribune writes an article headlined, “Mexicans miss money from relatives up north.”

For years, millions of Mexican migrants working in the United States have sent money back home to villages like this one, money that allows families to pay medical bills and school fees, build houses and buy clothes or, if they save enough, maybe start a tiny business. But after years of strong increases, the amount of migrant money flowing to Mexico has stagnated. From 2000 to 2006, remittances grew to nearly $24 billion a year from $6.6 billion, rising more than 20 percent some years. In 2007, the increase so far has been less than 2 percent.

Migrants and migration experts say a flagging American economy and an enforcement campaign against illegal workers in the United States have persuaded some migrants not to try to cross the border illegally to look for work. Others have decided to return to Mexico. And many of those who are staying in the United States are sending less money home.

In the rest of the world, remittances are rising, up as much as 10 percent a year, according to Donald Terry of the Inter-American Development Bank. Last year, migrant workers worldwide sent more than $300 billion to developing countries – almost twice the amount of foreign direct investment. But in Mexico, families are feeling squeezed.

Sound inhumane? Dig a little deeper into the article, and the victim-centered prose that charafcterizes a New York Times-owned publication begins to be supplanted by some data that confirms the power of ordinary people reacting to incentives:

Some of the men are back and need cash for seeds and fertilizer to plow long-neglected fields. At the microcredit association operated by a local nonprofit group, the Baj¡o Women’s Network, loans for agriculture, which barely existed last year, now account for 11 percent of all borrowing.

Imagine! Able and hard-working Mexicans, unable to violate our borders with impunity, are instead reinvigorating the moribund local economy. To be sure, the corruption and heavy hand of government in Mexico may well stifle these efforts, but if easy escape to the El Norte is no longer an alternative, perhaps there might be more interest in reforming Mexico, a country many have remarked is blessed with abundant natural resources, two long and beautiful coastlines, and a hard-working populace.

There is no reason beyond bad governance why Mexico must be poor. American open borders offer a safety valve relieving pressure for reform in Mexico!

Meanwhile, the grape harvest here in California is in, and there were no reports of fruit rotting on the vines for lack of picking crews. Similarly, I have spotted no fast food restaurants closed for lack of help, and no construction sites closed down for lack of labor.

Simple measures, like getting serious of about enforcement at the border combined with employer sanctions, provide the signals individuals need in order to make their plans. As one Mexican interviewed by Ms. Malkin put it:

“It’s really tough to go back,” he said. “Now they lock you up. Before, they grabbed you and sent you back. The laws were never this tough.”

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Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson today discussed his new immigration proposal which, he said, distinguished him from his key rivals on the hot-button issue. “This does draw a distinction between myself and others,” Thompson said in a Des Moines Register interview before attending the Iowa GOP’s annual Ronald Reagan dinner in Des Moines.

Thompson, a former Tennessee senator, said he would end the policy of sanctuary cities, where illegal immigrants can obtain government benefits without fear of deportation. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also is seeking the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, has been criticized by some Republican candidates for New York’s status as such a city during Giuliani’s term in office.

Thompson also appeared to be subtly criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has been critical of bipartisan legislation in Congress to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country. But Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has not proposed an immigration plan. And his promise to allow no amnesty was a shot at Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate who led the failed effort on the bipartisan bill last year.

Thompson’s plan also would double the number of immigration agents, increase border patrols to 25,000, prosecute illegal workers and their employers, and make English the official language of the United States. “It’s strong on enforcement and it basically addresses what needs to be our commitment and that is to secure the borders and enforce the law,” Thompson said.

Iowa Republicans rate immigration as a top priority. A Des Moines Register poll in May showed 27 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers considered immigration extremely important, closely behind the war in Iraq. Fighting terrorism and values were the only two issues to rank higher.

Thompson had previously said rounding up the estimated 12 million people in the country illegally was unrealistic. He said Saturday the number could shrink quickly through enforcement of existing law. “I think that we would have attrition if we had enforcement,” he said. “Over a period of time, we would begin to see the system rectify itself.”

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