Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Regarding the Minuteman Project...

Movement beginning in South Carolina:
"Local residents who have voiced public concern over illegal immigrants on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton say they have been in contact with the Minuteman Project about joining forces.

The national group mobilized hundreds of citizen volunteers to patrol the Arizona-Mexico border in April, a move that met with strong approval from some advocates of stricter immigration controls but with harsh criticism from many quarters. National members of the Minuteman Project could not be reached for comment.

A local effort would not necessarily involve such patrols. The idea would be to focus on businesses thought to be hiring illegal workers, according to Ebba Gamer, president of the anti-illegal immigration group Citizens for a Better Community. Gamer said the group is helping to start a statewide chapter of the Minuteman Project."
And in some related news, here's something really astounding from Eagle Pass, Texas:
The number of illegal immigrants from Central America and Brazil caught crossing into this Texas border city jumped threefold in the past year as they rush to exploit a legal loophole, U.S. authorities said.

The U.S. Border Patrol has nabbed 15,195 non-Mexican migrants crossing over the Rio Bravo around Eagle Pass in the past eight months, a rise of almost 240 percent on the same period last year, officials said on Monday.

Agents say what they call "OTMs" -- "other than Mexican migrants" -- now account for 90 percent of all migrant detentions in the sweltering trade and ranching hub of 40,000 people. That is up from the 5 percent to 10 percent nationwide normally recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Here is (apparently) why:
"'Word is out that we are unable to detain the other than Mexican crossers, and they are exploiting a bottleneck in the system,' Dennis Smith, the Border Patrol's spokesman for the local Del Rio Sector, told Reuters.

Whereas Mexican citizens are processed and swiftly deported, non-Mexicans are either detained or let out on bail pending an appearance before an immigration court.

Following a security and criminal background check, those not deemed a security threat or found to have a criminal record, are released with a notice to appear before an immigration judge within 30 days.

The immigration summons, dubbed 'the diploma' by local residents in the remote border community, allows them to travel on into the United States legally, crossing Border Patrol road blocks set up to collar illegal migrants in south Texas.

Agents say the rush to reach Eagle Pass has been boosted by good communications links from cities in the Mexican interior, and they say they can time immigrant arrivals from the city of Piedras Negras to the south by using the Mexican bus schedule.
Pardon the language, but holy crap!

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