CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2010 |
The contingent of National Guard troops scheduled for deployment next month at the California- Mexico border will be smaller and more narrowly focused than past missions, aiming at front-line deterrence rather than building fences and roads, according to federal officials. The 224 California National Guard members are part of President Obama's move to bolster enforcement efforts along the entire U.S-Mexico border, first announced in May. Most of the 1,200 National Guard troops heading to the frontier, about 550, are going to Arizona, the major illegal immigration corridor into the U.S. The California contingent will be posted at strategic areas across San Diego County and will drive U.S. Border Patrol vehicles, using binoculars and night-vision goggles to spot incursions and report them to federal agents, according to Kim Holman, a National Guard spokeswoman.
August 13, 2010 |
Congress gave final approval Thursday to a $600-million border security package that President Obama had sought to tighten the border with Mexico — a move supporters hope will open a broader political discussion on comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate gave quick final approval to the measure in an unusual special session that was arranged to rectify an earlier procedural glitch. The House had passed the bill without dissent Tuesday, and Obama is expected to sign it Friday.
August 11, 2010 |
Immigration officials now have access to the fingerprints of every inmate booked into jail in all 25 U.S. counties along the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday, touting the program as a way of identifying and deporting "criminal aliens. " Napolitano's announcement came as immigrant rights activists criticized the fingerprinting program, known as Secure Communities, after obtaining documents showing that more than a quarter of those deported under its auspices had no criminal records.
August 10, 2010 |
A $600-million bill to beef up border security should have been on its way to President Obama for signature after the House approved it Tuesday, but instead it has been derailed by a procedural glitch that requires a do-over by the Senate — which has adjourned until September. The technical misstep embarrassed congressional leaders and put the brakes on quick approval of funding for Obama's plan to deploy another 1,500 Border Patrol and other law enforcement personnel along the border with Mexico.
August 6, 2010 |
The Senate has left town for a month of campaigning after sending a flurry of last-minute bills for the House to consider Tuesday, when its lawmakers return to Washington for a special one-day session. Chief among the new items sent to the House is a broadly supported border security measure that reflects President Obama's request to add 1,500 immigration enforcement agents to the southwestern border. Immigrant rights groups have dismissed the $600-million package as election-year posturing that will do little to resolve the complex problems of illegal immigration.
July 7, 2010 |
We were lost. The road to the presidential retreat at Camp David was winding and narrow; it was dark, the way it doesn't get in the city. We had clearly missed a turn somewhere. I kidded Dennis Ross, the lead U.S. negotiator for the imminent Israeli-Palestinian Camp David summit, that if we couldn't even find the president's compound, how were we going to help Bill Clinton negotiate an agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat once we got there?
July 3, 2010 |
Though he is quick to deride former President George W. Bush's performance in office, President Obama seems to think his predecessor gives a pretty good immigration speech. Obama's widely publicized speech on the controversial topic Thursday closely tracks, in rhetoric and basic policy, a speech Bush gave on the same subject in May 2006. Speaking at American University, Obama delivered an address intended to rally the nation behind a plan that would strengthen border security while providing a path to legal status for the estimated 12 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
June 22, 2010 |
The Obama administration formally asked Congress on Tuesday for $600 million in emergency funds to hire another 1,000 Border Patrol agents, acquire two drones and enhance security along the Southwest border. The money would also pay for an additional 160 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and extra Border Patrol canine teams, according to a senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- San Francisco)
June 15, 2010 |
The Republican governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, calls her state "the gateway to America for drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and crime." She blames the federal government for failing to secure the border with Mexico. Her Democratic predecessor, Janet Napolitano, now the country's Homeland Security secretary, counters that the Southwestern border "is as secure now as it has ever been." The dispute over just how much border security is enough looms as the biggest impediment to any attempt by the Obama administration and Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
May 27, 2010
Even those who are appalled by Arizona's harsh new immigration law — as we are — recognize that the state's misguided decision to take federal matters into its own legislative hands did not come out of the blue. Arizona is the preferred superhighway for drug and human smugglers. Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the nation, and almost all of those abducted are either illegal immigrants or linked to the drug trade. The recent killing of a rancher in southern Arizona has increased the sense of lawlessness and danger at the border; police believe the killer was involved with drug trafficking.