Calls to investigate the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are growing after media outlets revealed that immigrants with inadequate certifications may be working on American airplanes. In many cases, according to reports, mechanics who don’t even speak English are replacing qualified American workers.
Until about a year ago, 28-year-old Nicholas Rudin and his family were living the American dream. He had a well-paying job in North Florida, with health insurance and a 401k to support his wife and two toddlers. Eating out and buying toys for his two- and four-year-olds was a part of everyday life. Then he lost his job as a line-leader and forklift driver, and everything changed.
President Barack Obama on June 19 attended the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to changing the nation’s immigration laws. The appearance also served as a lead-in to next week’s scheduled gathering of legislators at the White House to discuss immigration changes. Having decided against speaking at the National Day of Prayer ceremony in May, the president’s selective attendance may indicate the bloc of voters he is most interested in courting.
During a March 17 combined hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, several U.S. officials put the spotlight on a new aspect of border control — stopping the southbound flow of guns and laundered cash into Mexico.
Jailed Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were released early from federal prison Tuesday after serving about two years of their 11- and 12-year terms. Their sentences were reduced by former President George W. Bush in one of his final acts as president, drawing praise from many outraged supporters of Ramos and Compean.
Unjustly imprisoned Border Patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos lost their final appeal for a new trial in July. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed only an obstruction of justice count against the men, leaving their 11- and 12-year sentences unchanged.
Item: The Associated Press reported on August 28: “Hispanics should not have to live in fear of raids by immigration agents, Michelle Obama told a Hispanic caucus to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.... ‘We would have an immigration policy that brings 12 million people out of the shadows,’ she told cheering caucus members who shouted ‘Yes we can’ in Spanish.”
In the absence of proper federal immigration enforcement, state and local governments have been forced to take action. Escondido, California, in northern San Diego county, has long been a destination for many illegal aliens from Mexico. The police department there has begun “criminal alien” sweeps, in which officers identify illegal aliens with criminal records who have been previously deported but then returned. The city has also been using “public nuisance” ordinances in areas notorious for high illegal-alien population, citing residents for junk cars and graffiti. Maine, Oregon, and Michigan stopped issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, leaving only four states — Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington — that now allow illegal immigrants driving privileges.
In a June 18 White House meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, President Bush announced that “today because of the Prime Minister’s hard work, there has been a breakthrough on the visa waiver, as an important step toward achieving the same status as other countries in the EU.” The Montenegro Times reported that “Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin and US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed an interim declaration” under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which outlines the “requirements Bulgaria must meet to join the 27 Asian and European countries currently in the program.” Citizens of visa waiver countries are allowed to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.
Christian Pastor Don Swarthout has filed an ethics complaint with the Texas Bar Association seeking an investigation of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s performance during the prosecution of U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. His complaint alleges that Sutton issued “willfully misleading” statements to the jury that convicted the two men of wrongfully shooting at a drug smuggler attempting to cross into the United States.