War on the Border

August 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

By TODD MILLER   Published: August 17, 2013    169 Comments

THREE generations of Loews have worked the family’s 63 acres in Amado, Ariz. In the last 20 years, the Loew family harvested thousands of pounds of onions, garlic and pumpkins without incident. So Stewart Loew, 44, who was born and raised on the farm, was surprised when he went to irrigate his fields one night and found himself surrounded by federal agents.

Pointing to the fires about 200 feet away that Mr. Loew lit to keep warm while he irrigated his fields, one of the agents slogged out of the ankle deep water in the irrigation ditch and asked Mr. Loew what he was doing.

“I’m irrigating, dude,” said Mr. Loew, who was in his pajamas. “What are you doing?”

“Don’t ‘dude’ me, I’m a federal officer,” the Border Patrol agent said, and demanded Mr. Loew’s identification.

Since Mr. Loew did not carry his wallet in his pajama pocket, the agents followed him into his house; a local police officer, who knew the Loew family, had already arrived, vouched for Mr. Loew’s identity and assured the federal agents that Mr. Loew posed no threat to the homeland or national security, and the agents left without comment or apology.

This kind of brush with law enforcement would have been unthinkable to previous generations of farmers here. But these run-ins have become increasingly common in the rugged, hilly desert stretch along the southern borderlands where, in the post-9/11 world, everyone — even farmers in pajamas — is a potential threat. Read more

Immigration reform deal hangs on border security

June 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 
Immigration reform deal hangs on border security
By: Carrie Budoff Brown and Seung Min Kim
June 3, 2013 05:05 AM EDT  Politico
The Gang of Eight’s hopes for a Senate supermajority is running into the GOP’s push for a dramatic crackdown on border security — testing the limits of the bipartisan coalition that’s propelling the bill through Congress.

With Congress back this week to work on the measure, Senate negotiators want to pick up as many as two dozen Republican votes in a show of force that compels the House to act. But the result has to be much stricter than the current version of the bill to give it any hope of passing there either. They’ve got to do it without alienating the vast majority of Senate Democrats who like the bill as it is.

And whatever happens, it has to keep Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) satisfied.

Rubio, a key member of the Gang of Eight, is shopping around a proposal to have Congress — not the Department of Homeland Security — write the border control strategy that would be a prerequisite for most of the other elements of reform. Read more

Stop The Checkpoints Rally on May 4th in Port Angeles!

April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Amid all the tragic news from Boston and from Texas, the Senate Gang of 8 did release their Immigration Reform Bill yesterday.  And it contains much of what we expected – a long and torturous “path to citizenship”  that only starts after massive increases in border enforcement, e-Verify, and increasing billions of dollars of our tax money going to corporations that manufacture military equipment and operate for-profit detention centers.
At this point there are a few good crumbs in the bill, but those most likely will be negotiated away by the Democrats and the White House to please Republicans and corporations in order to claim a bipartisan victory.
Huge increases in border enforcement diverts billions in tax money from the public good – education, public services, maintaining infrastructure, providing housing and transportation, and creating jobs through programs like the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps.  Further increases in security along the borders will be devastating to our communities. Read more

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