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Born in the U.S.A. – Ramesh Ponnuru – National Review Online

Born in the U.S.A. – Ramesh Ponnuru – National Review Online.

August 10, 2010 Posted by | children, freedom, naturalization, politics | , | Leave a comment

Works and Days » The Truths We Dare Not Speak About Illegal Immigration

Certainly makes a point

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Borders Safest Place


A U.S. border-patrol agent on duty near Campo, 60 miles east of San Diego, Calif.

David McNew / Getty Images

When U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled on Wednesday that key provisions of Arizona's new anti-immigration law were unconstitutional, she could have also declared them unnecessary. That is, if the main impetus behind the controversial legislation was, as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said when she signed it in April, "border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration." The fact is, despite the murderous mayhem raging across the border in Mexico, the U.S. side, from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, is one of the nation's safest corridors.

According to the FBI, the four large U.S. cities (with populations of at least 500,000) with the lowest violent crime rates — San Diego, Phoenix and the Texas cities of El Paso and Austin — are all in border states. "The border is safer now than it's ever been," U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling told the Associated Press last month. Even Larry Dever, the sheriff of Arizona's Cochise County, where the murder last March of a local rancher, believed to have been committed by an illegal immigrant, sparked calls for the law, conceded to the ArizonaRepublic recently that "we're not seeing the [violent crime] that's going on on the other side."(See photos of the Great Wall of America.)

Consider Arizona itself — whose illegal-immigrant population is believed to be second only to California's. The state's overall crime rate dropped 12% last year; between 2004 and 2008 it plunged 23%. In the metro area of its largest city, Phoenix, violent crime — encompassing murder, rape, assault and robbery — fell by a third during the past decade and by 17% last year. The border city of Nogales, an area rife with illegal immigration and drug trafficking, hasn't logged a single murder in the past two years.(See pictures of immigration detention in Arizona.)

It is true that Phoenix has in recent years seen a spate of kidnappings. But in almost every case they've involved drug traffickers targeting other narcos for payment shakedowns, and the 318 abductions reported last year were actually down 11% from 2008. Either way, the figure hardly makes Phoenix, as Arizona Senator John McCain claimed last month, "the No. 2 kidnapping capital of the world" behind Mexico City. A number of Latin American capitals can claim that dubious distinction.

An even more telling example is El Paso. Its cross-border Mexican sister city, Ciudad Juárez, suffered almost 2,700 murders last year, most of them drug-related, making it possibly the world's most violent town. But El Paso, a stone's throw across the Rio Grande, had just one murder. A big reason, say U.S. law-enforcement officials, is that the Mexican drug cartels' bloody turf wars generally end at the border and don't follow the drugs into the U.S. Another, says El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, is that "the Mexican cartels know that if they try to commit that kind of violence here, they'll get shut down."(See photos of Mexico's drug wars.)

Which points to perhaps the most important factor: the U.S. has real cops — not criminals posing as cops, as is so often the case in Mexico — policing the border's cities and states. Americans and Mexicans may call their border region "seamless" when it comes to commerce and culture, but that brotherly ideal doesn't apply to law enforcement. That's especially true since state and local police are backed along the border by the thousands of federal agents deployed there. Thus the tough Arizona law — which seeks to allow local and state police to check a person's immigration status, a provision that Judge Bolton agreed opened the door to racial profiling by officers, and requires immigrants to carry their documents at all times — was sparked by largely unfounded fears.

Arizona law-enforcement officials say they believe the Cochise County rancher, Robert Krentz, was killed by an illegal immigrant — perhaps a coyote, or migrant smuggler — or a drug trafficker. His last radio transmission home as he inspected his property indicated he was helping a struggling person he believed to be one of the migrants who regularly trespass private land while crossing into the U.S. But while such assaults are hardly unheard of along the border — and while it's hardly irrational to worry about Mexico's violence eventually spilling into the U.S. — they have hardly risen to a level that justified the draconian Arizona bill. (In fact, if an illegal immigrant did murder Krentz, it would be the first time in more than a decade that a migrant has killed an American along the border's Tucson, Ariz., sector.)

"There's a real disconnect between emotions and facts when it comes to the border," says El Paso city councilman Beto O'Rourke. "You've got a lot of politicians exploiting this fear that the Mexicans are coming over to kill us."

The Arizona law, which Judge Bolton also said infringed on federal jurisdiction, may be a product of border bluster. But it has more than succeeded in getting Washington's attention. Even though the Obama Administration was one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the law, the President is sending 1,200 more National Guard troops to the region this weekend. What's more, our broken immigration system — and the federal government's feckless failure to address it — is a front-burner issue again.

The nation's border is actually a safe place. The nation's debate about it, at least politically, is anything but.

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July 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Let’s not Forget

DEARE: Forgetting Mexico's failures

Dysfunctional economy has triggered migration northward

MugshotIllustration: Mexico by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

Click here to find out more!


I love Mexicans. Really. My first real kiss was with a Mexican girl – ah, Sofia. And my first … well, you get the idea. My best friend in the world is my Mexican high school classmate. You see, I grew up in Guadalajara, the son of an Air Force officer who retired south of the border. I was an immigrant – a legal one, I hasten to add. I understand Mexico and Mexicans. I say all this upfront to emphasize that my opposition to illegal immigration is not because of any anti-Mexican bias.

Let's recognize that there is no real point in blaming ordinary Mexican citizens for heading north. Where are they supposed to go if there are no jobs to be had in Mexico? Guatemala? Belize? Cuba? Of course, they go to the States. That's the one country in the region with an economy capable – in normal circumstances, at any rate – of absorbing a significant amount of excess labor from external sources.

Is this situation the fault of the U.S. economy for being able to generate jobs? No. And here is where the ugly and inconvenient truth arises: Mexico's economic system is – and has been for the past 20 years or so – incapable of creating employment opportunities sufficient to keep pace with its growing population. With Mexico's current demographics, the Mexican economy needs to generate approximately 1 million jobs per year just to keep pace.

So why has the Mexican economy been unable to generate sufficient jobs for its people? Far be it from me – I am not an economist by training – to attempt to answer such a simple but profoundly complex question. But the proverbial bottom line is that Mexican society, to date, has been unable do so. The reasons involve politics, culture, religion, history, ideology and geography – among other factors.

Although most of the attention paid to Mexican President Felipe Calderon's speech to the joint session of Congress in May had to do with his condemnation of Arizona's new immigration law (you gotta give him credit for guts, and it played well back home) and drug-related violence (he was spot-on here, correctly citing the high rates of U.S. consumption), he himself admitted his country's failure: "I'm not a president who likes to see Mexicans leave our country, leaving for opportunities abroad. … Mexico will one day be a country where our people will find the opportunities that today they look for outside of the country."

This is the crux of the matter. The 12 million illegal aliens from Mexico ("undocumented workers" – now that's clever) are testament to Mexican political and economic leaders' collective failure to organize a system capable of creating sufficient employment for their own citizens – despite being next door to the world's largest market. So, successive Mexican presidents have relied on the safety valve of a permissive – even if illegal – environment in which to export their unemployment burden. That may be creative thinking, but it's not much of an economic policy. And let's not even mention the billions of dollars in remittances sent back to Mexico, the No. 2 or No. 3 source of legal income production in Mexico after petroleum extraction and tourism. The ultimate piece of chutzpah? The government of Mexico filed a brief in support of the American Civil Liberties Union's (among others) lawsuit that succeeded in a federal court ruling Wednesday in blocking portions of Arizona's new law. What is absolutely over the top is that Mexican foreign policy is rooted in the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention. The hypocrisy is so outrageous it leaves one breathless.

Another factor also bears upon the problem. Although I do love Mexicans – I believe they are the most gracious and hospitable people in the world – they have grown up in an environment and a society that encourage and reward those who break the law, stoically enduring a nonfunctioning system of justice. Corruption is largely an accepted and recognized way of life. Why should they pay attention to a border if they don't pay attention to other rules and regulations? Mexican authorities of all shapes and sizes have reinforced, in the minds of ordinary Mexican citizens, reasons not to follow the law. Why wouldn't they pay a bribe to get past the authorities?

We're all for immigration – it just has to be done properly, formally and legally. I'm fortunate to be married to a beautiful and loving woman who was born in Argentina, immigrated legally, went through the process and is now a U.S. citizen. As former Ambassador Jose Sorzano has emphasized time and again, Americans are all for those wanting to get in – just wait your turn in line.

Is the immigration system in need of reform and improvement? Absolutely. If the immigrant arrived illegally and truly desires to be a citizen, he A) doesn't get to join the legal-immigrant-aspirant line but rather enters an illegal-immigrant line and B) pays a fine of $10 per day from the date of his arrival. Breaking the law doesn't put you in front of those who are following the law, and must not be rewarded. But if you can prove how long you've been here, and you are willing to pay a yearly $3,650 fine, you go to the head of the illegal line.

Let's stop feeling guilty for the success of our economic system and put the blame where it belongs – and that is on the governments south of the border.

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July 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

What Does The Az. Immigration Verdict Mean?

(CBS)  The judge didn't strike down the entire law. So what does it mean? 

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton struck down every section the Obama administration cared about: a complete victory says CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford

She has ruled that the power to regulate immigration lies exclusively with the federal government, and that the Arizona law will burden legal aliens and U.S. citizens. 

Crawford: Ariz. Ruling Accepts Admin's Main Arguments 
Read Judge Bolton's Decision 
Arizona Immigration Decision: Early Reaction 
Ruling Accepts Administration's Main Arguments 

She said she recognized Arizona had significant interests in confronting illegal immigration and problems with crime but Arizona still couldn't step into the federal government's role. 

The judge also cautioned that the Arizona law would increase the "intrusion of police presence into the lives of legally-present aliens, and even United States citizens." 

So this now puts the pressure on the federal government — and the White House — to take responsibility and do something to fix immigration. 

But the fight in the states isn't over. 

Twenty states are now considering similar laws…and this is just one judge's ruling. 

In one state. 

It doesn't bind Texas or New Jersey or any other state, although it will put at damper on those efforts. 

And at some point we're going to get a final answer. 

This will be appealed, probably up to the Supreme Court. 

Politically, what does this mean? 

This is the best news the Obama administration has gotten in a long time and there's huge relief in the Justice department. The ruling was a slam dunk. 

And now Arizona has to appeal since the administration isn't going to drag Arizona into the federal appeals courts. 

Some groups on the right are furious about the ruling and they say they will keep the heat on illegal immigration. 

But this is a difficult political issue because Republicans risk alienating a key voting bloc. 

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July 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Migrants sell up and flee Arizona ahead of crackdown

Men wait near a train station to stow away to Mexico City after failing to enter illegally into the U.S. state of Arizona, in Hermosillo, in the Mexican state of Sonora, July 22, 2010. REUTERS/Alonso Castillo


PHOENIX | Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:43pm EDT

(Reuters) – Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.

A few paces up the street, her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.

"Everyone is selling up the little they have and leaving," said Villasenor, 31, who is headed for Pennsylvania. "We have no alternative. They have us cornered."

The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.

The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.

It makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime and requires state and local police, during lawful contact, to investigate the status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

The U.S. government estimates 100,000 unauthorized migrants left Arizona after the state passed an employer sanctions law three years ago requiring companies to verify workers' status using a federal computer system. There are no figures for the number who have left since the new law passed in April.

Some are heading back to Mexico or to neighboring states. Others are staying put and taking their chances.

In a sign of a gathering exodus, Mexican businesses from grocers and butcher shops to diners and beauty salons have shut their doors in recent weeks as their owners and clients leave.

On Saturday and Sunday, Reuters counted dozens of impromptu yard sales in Latino neighborhoods in central and west Phoenix/

"They wanted to drive Hispanics out of Arizona and they have succeeded even before the law even comes into effect," said Aguilar, 28, a mother of three young children who was also offering a few cherished pictures and a stereo at one of five sales on the same block.

She said she had taken in just $20 as "everyone is selling and nobody wants to buy."


Arizona straddles the principal highway for human and drug smugglers heading into the United States from Mexico.

The state's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, signed the law in April in a bid to curb violence and cut crime stemming from illegal immigration.

Polls show the measure is backed by a solid majority of Americans and by 65 percent of Arizona voters in this election year for some state governors, all of the U.S. House of Representatives and about a third of the 100-seat Senate.

Opponents say the law is unconstitutional and a recipe for racial profiling. It is being challenged in seven lawsuits, including one filed by President Barack Obama's administration, which wants a preliminary injunction to block the law.

A federal judge heard arguments from the lawyers for the Justice Department and Arizona on Thursday and could rule at any time.

The fight over the Arizona law has complicated the White House's effort to break the deadlock with Republicans in Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration law, an already difficult task before November's elections.

While the law targets undocumented migrants, legal residents and their U.S.-born children are getting caught up in the rush to leave Arizona.

Mexican housewife Gabriela Jaquez, 37, said she is selling up and leaving for New Mexico with her husband, who is a legal resident, and two children born in Phoenix.

"Under the law, if you transport an illegal immigrant, you are committing a crime," she said as she sold children's clothes at a yard sale with three other families. "They could arrest him for driving me to the shops."

Lunaly Bustillos, a legal resident from Mexico, hoped to sell some clothes, dumbbells and an ornamental statue on Sunday before her family heads for Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Monday.

"It makes me sad and angry too because I feel I have the right to be here," said Bustillos, 17, who recently graduated from high school in Phoenix.

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July 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

U.S. troops to arrive at Mexico border August 1

U.S. Troops, Mexico Border

(Reuters) – U.S. National Guard troops will begin arriving along the border with Mexico on August 1 to bolster security as the Obama administration tries to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, weapons and narcotics, officials said on Monday.

About 300 Customs and Border Protection agents and officers also will be sent to the border region, along with additional helicopters and other surveillance equipment, they said.

"The border is more resourced and more secure than it's ever been but the work continues and the challenge remains," said Alan Bersin, commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection agency.

The Obama administration has pledged to send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the area for a year and to seek $600 million for, among other things, 1,000 new border patrol agents and unmanned aerial detection systems.

Violence along the border has been escalating in recent years. Bersin said illegal crossings have begun to fall while seizures of weapons and drugs have risen.

The largest share of the National Guard force — 524 troops — will go to Arizona, where state officials have complained bitterly about lack of security.

Legislators in Arizona have passed a strict law to try to crack down on illegal immigrants but the U.S. Justice Department is challenging it on the grounds that immigration is a federal issue.

While welcoming the Obama administration's measures, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said it did not "appear to be enough or tied to a strategy to comprehensively defeat the increasingly violent drug and alien smuggling cartels" operating in the desert border state.

"We need the implementation of a federal plan to achieve victory over these brutal cartels and the porous nature of our open border," she said.


The Obama administration goes to federal court on Thursday to try to block Arizona's new law, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

The Justice Department is among plaintiffs including civil rights and advocacy groups that have filed seven separate lawsuits seeking to block the law from taking effect on July 29.

A judge ruled on Monday that nine Latin American nations could join Mexico in a brief supporting one of the lawsuits. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton agreed to let Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and El Salvador into the case, court officials said.

Arizona officials say the federal government has failed to address the problem of illegal immigration and the state had to pass its own law.

There are believed to be 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States, a country of more than 300 million people.

In addition to the troops, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said it would focus more on Arizona, including opening an office to curb cross-border crime and sending more attorneys to the Tucson area to prosecute criminals who have illegally re-entered the United States.

Bersin said negotiations continued with the Mexican government about using unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance flights on Mexico's side of the border but that no agreement had yet been reached.

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July 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

IMMIGRATION Man with Neo-Nazi Ties Leading Patrols in Arizona

PHOENIX — Minutemen groups, a surge in Border Patrol agents, and a tough new immigration law aren't enough for a reputed neo-Nazi who's now leading a militia in the Arizona desert.

Jason "J.T." Ready is taking matters into his own hands, declaring war on "narco-terrorists" and keeping an eye out for illegal immigrants. So far, he says his patrols have only found a few border crossers who were given water and handed over to the Border Patrol. Once, they also found a decaying body in a wash, and alerted authorities.

But local law enforcement authorities are nervous given that Ready's group is heavily armed and identifies with the National Socialist Movement, an organization that believes only non-Jewish, white heterosexuals should be American citizens and that everyone who isn't white should leave the country "peacefully or by force."

"We're not going to sit around and wait for the government anymore," Ready said. "This is what our founding fathers did."

An escalation of civilian border watches have taken root in Arizona in recent years, including the Minutemen movement. Various groups patrol the desert on foot, horseback and in airplanes and report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, and generally, they have not caused problems for law enforcement.


But Ready, a 37-year-old ex-Marine, is different. He and his friends are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor and gas masks, and carry assault rifles. Ready takes offense at the term "neo-Nazi," but admits he identifies with the National Socialist Movement.

"These are explicit Nazis," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "These are people who wear swastikas on their sleeves."

Ready is a reflection of the anger over illegal immigration in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial new immigration law in April, which requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.

But Brewer hasn't done enough, Ready said, and he's not satisfied with President Barack Obama's decision to beef up security at the border.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said there haven't been any incidents with Ready's group as they patrol his jurisdiction, which includes several busy immigrant smuggling corridors. But Babeu is concerned because an untrained group acting without the authority of the law could cause "extreme problems," and put themselves and others in danger.

"I'm not inviting them. And in fact, I'd rather they not come," Babeu said. "Especially those who espouse hatred or bigotry such as his."

Law enforcement officials said patrols like Ready's could undercut the work of the thousands of officers on duty every day across the border, especially if they try to enforce the law themselves in carrying out vigilante justice.

Ready said his group has been patrolling in the desert about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Phoenix, in an area where a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy reported he was shot by drug smugglers in April.

Bureau of Land Management rangers met Ready's group during one patrol, and they weren't violating any laws or looking for a confrontation, said spokesman Dennis Godfrey.

The patrols have been occurring on public land, and militia members have no real restrictions on their weaponry because of Arizona's loose gun laws.

The militia is an outgrowth of border watch groups that have been part of the immigration debate in Arizona. Patrols in the Arizona desert by Minutemen organizations brought national attention to illegal immigration in 2004 and 2005.

Such groups continue to operate in Arizona, and law enforcement officials generally don't take issue with them as long as they don't take matters into their own hands.

Border Patrol spokesman Omar Candelaria said the agency appreciates the extra eyes and ears but they would prefer actual law enforcement be left to professionals.

Former Minutemen leader Al Garza recently created the Patriot's Coalition, which uses scouts and search-and-rescue teams to alert the Border Patrol and provide first aid to illegal immigrants.

Depending on the availability of volunteers and the scouts' evidence of border crossers, patrols can vary from several times a week to once a month, Garza said. The operation is about 500 people, and includes a neighborhood watch program, legislative advisers and a horseback patrol, he said.

Technology, rather than manpower, is the focus of Glenn Spencer's American Border Patrol. The group is based at his ranch near the border. The five-man operation flies three small airplanes to ensure that his American Border Patrol is present and visible along the international line.

Spencer also uses Internet-controlled cameras and works with a group called Border Invasion Pics, which posts photos of people they suspect are crossing illegally.

"Sitting out there with a bunch of volunteers looking for people is generally a tremendous waste of people and time," Spencer said. "And it's also dangerous."

Ready said he's planning patrols throughout the summer.

"If they don't want my people out there, then there's an easy way to send us home: Secure the border," he said. "We'll put our guns back on the shelf, and that'll be the end of that."

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July 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

NM Gov. Says Immigration Law Is Bitterly Divisive, Could Cause Constitutional Crisis

(CBS)  New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Arizona'scontroversial new immigration law will spread to other states if it is not successfully challenged in federal court. 

Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, told CBS' "Face the Nation" that the law is bitterly divisive, and many other states will try to pass similar bills next year. 

"There are at least 10 other states with bills that are out there," Richardson told host Bob Schieffer. "What you're going to see is potentially a constitutional crisis with so many states taking what should be a federal responsibility." 

Richardson said he understood Arizona's "frustration" because the country does not have comprehensive immigration reform. 

But J. D. Hayworth, who is running against incumbent Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, said the law is the state's attempt to enforce federal immigration policies in light of neglect from the Obama administration. 

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July 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Officer Sues AZ.


Officer Sues Over Arizona Immigration Law

Published July 15, 2010

 | The Wall Street Journal


PHOENIX—A lawyer for a Phoenix police officer told a federal court Thursday his client could be sued for racial profiling if he enforces Arizona's newimmigration law. It is the first hearing in a series of legal challenges filed over the controversial crackdown which has divided law enforcement in the state and across the country.

Officer David Salgado, a 19-year veteran of the Phoenix police department, could also lose his job if he fails to enforce the new law, his attorney said.

Arizona's statute requires an officer to verify the immigration status of a person stopped for other alleged crimes, if "reasonable suspicion" exists of illegal presence in the U.S.

But the law also empowers Arizona residents to sue an officer they believe isn't enforcing the law to the fullest extent.

"If he enforces the law, he can be sued. If he doesn't enforce the law, he can be sued" by a private citizen, said Stephen Montoya, the attorney for Mr. Salgado. His client "is caught between a rock and a hard place," he said.


Mr Montoya also argued that the law, which makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally, usurps federal authority over immigration. "The state of Arizona cannot order its employees to violate federal law," he said.

Attorneys for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told the judge that the lawsuit, which was also filed by an advocacy group called Chicanos Por La Causa, should be dismissed because the police officer and the group have no valid claim of immediate harm and the state law doesn't trump federal immigration law.

Outside the courthouse, in 105-degree heat, about 50 protesters and supporters of the law gathered; police kept the two sides apart.

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July 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment