Desert Invasion - U.S.

Articles on the destruction of border National Parks, National Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Forests

Articles: 2004 July through December

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2008 January - June     July - December
2007 January - June     July - December
2006 January - June     July - December
2005 January - June     July - December
2004 January - June     July - December
Before 2002

Many of these archived articles are excellent sources of information.
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  • CAFTA: Ideology vs. national interests
    By Patrick J. Buchanan,, July 27, 2005

    Using the Clinton playbook for enacting NAFTA in '93, the White House is twisting arms and buying votes to win passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

    And the seductive song the White House is singing sounds familiar. It is the NAFTA theme song. CAFTA will ease the social pressures that have produced waves of illegal aliens. CAFTA will increase U.S. exports. CAFTA will not cost U.S. jobs. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me....

    In 1993, Republicans, by four to one, signed on to NAFTA. They believed the promises that our $5 billion trade surplus with Mexico would grow and illegal immigration would diminish. They were deceived. The NAFTA skeptics were proven right. The U.S. trade surplus with Mexico vanished overnight. Last year, we ran a $50 billion trade deficit. Since 1993, 15 million illegal aliens have been caught breaking into the United States. Five million made it, and their soaring demands for social services have driven California to bankruptcy. As for Mexico's major exports to us, they appear to be two: narcotics and Mexicans.

    With Middle Easterners turning up on the Rio Grande, patriotic Minutemen are patrolling the border because President Bush will not enforce our immigration laws. Who can believe this White House is serious, then, about halting the invasion from the Caribbean and Central America?...

    ...Henry Kissinger tipped the Trilateralists' hand in 1993 when he wrote that NAFTA was the "architecture of a new international system," a great "step forward toward the new world order."

    Today's trade agreements are about reshaping the world to conform to the demands of transnational corporations that have shed their national identities and loyalties and want to shed their U.S. workers....

    NAFTA and CAFTA are the shield laws of corporate absconders....

    America can yet turn this around, but we are reaching a tipping point – where a sovereign, independent and self-sufficient American republic will cease to be.

    Thirty House Republicans can stop this process cold by just saying no to CAFTA. The Business Roundtable will get over it. After all, they have no place else to go.

    Read more of the article.
  • Will 'amnesty' talk bring illegal flood? Border agents are bracing for expected surge of immigrants
    by Leslie Berestein, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 29, 2004

    A renewed focus on immigration reform after the election by the Bush administration is making some Border Patrol agents nervous.

    They are worried that misinformation about an "amnesty" program will trickle down to prospective immigrants by word-of-mouth, resulting in a surge in illegal immigration similar to the one noted last spring, after President Bush announced plans for a foreign guest-worker program in January....

    Year-to-date apprehensions for fiscal year 2005, which began Oct. 1, are up 15 percent over the previous year.

    Apprehensions were also up in the months after Bush's announcement of the guest-worker proposal in January. During the six-month period that ended March 31, apprehensions jumped 25 percent over the previous year....

    Border Patrol union leaders expect to see further increases as well.

  • U.S. Att'y: Border-Crossing Terrorists May Go Free, November 26, 2004

    Regulations implemented this month along America's busiest southern border crossing would force Border Patrol agents to free captured illegal aliens even if they're known to be guilty of terrorist activity.

  • Immigration enforcement grows weaker
    By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times, November 24, 2004

    Immigration enforcement efforts actually have become more lax since the September 11 attacks and have had "no meaningful impact" on the growing number of immigrants now in the United States — which has reached a record high of 34 million, according to a report released yesterday.

    A 13 percent increase of U.S. immigrants, more than 4 million, since 2000 included more than 2 million illegal aliens, who now total about 10 million or 30 percent of the immigrant population, the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), said in its report, based on as-yet-unpublished U.S. Census Bureau data....

    The fact that immigration has remained so high, the report said, also showed that immigration totals are not tied to the nation's economy, as some immigration proponents and others have suggested.

    "The idea that immigration is a self-regulating process that rises and falls in close step with the economy is simply wrong," said Steven Camarota, CIS director of research and the report's author. "Today, the primary sending countries are so much poorer than the United States, even being unemployed in America is still sometimes better than staying in one's home country."...

    The report comes just two days after President Bush assured Mexico he would expend "political capital" earned in his re-election to push hard to grant temporary guest-worker status to millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States.

    Mr. Bush has tried since the first month of his presidency in 2001 to push an immigration-reform bill through Congress that would allow illegal aliens to remain in this country indefinitely, and others to cross the border from Mexico, if they registered for "temporary worker cards."

    CIS, a private research organization that seeks better immigration enforcement, said in the report that the 34.24 million immigrants, both legal and illegal, now in the United States is the highest number ever recorded in American history. It said about half, or 2 million, of the 4.3 million increase since 2000 is estimated to be illegal aliens.

  • Arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records soars in Arizona
    By Sheryl Kornman, Tucson Citizen, November 12, 2004

    The number of "criminal" illegal immigrants caught in the Tucson sector more than tripled in fiscal year 2004, the agency said.

    Expanded access to fingerprint and FBI databases accounts for much of the increase, said Border Patrol spokeswoman Andrea Zortman. Agents can now check prints from any finger at any Border Patrol station.

    In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, some 14,506 criminal illegal immigrants - those who have been convicted of crimes or who authorities are seeking in open criminal cases - were arrested in the Tucson sector. That's an increase of 260 percent...

  • 70 undocumented immigrants found at suspected drop house
    Fox News, Thursday, November 11, 2004

    EL MIRAGE – Seventy suspected undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] were taken into custody Wednesday night after federal agents and local police raided a suspected drop house in El Mirage.

    The immigrants were discovered after a neighbor called police at about 6 p.m. to report a possible burglary at a home near 127th Drive and Voltaire Avenue.

    When police arrived, they found dozens of undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] from Mexico and Korea, who reportedly came into Arizona through Mexico....

  • Crossing the border, again and again and again
    By Ben Winograd, Tucson Citizen, November 5, 2004 of the most commonly cited Border Patrol statistics - apprehensions - can distort perceptions of how many illegal immigrants try to enter the country...

    During fiscal 2004, which ended Sept. 30, the Border Patrol reported nearly half a million apprehensions in its Tucson sector, which stretching from the Yuma County line to New Mexico. The number of individuals was about 325,000, according to Border Patrol statistics obtained by the Tucson Citizen....

    "It is really important and useful to understand that apprehensions are not the true barometer of the story," said Doris Meissner, head of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1993 to 2000....

    Nationwide, Border Patrol agents arrested more than 740,000 individuals in fiscal 2004 among nearly 1.2 million apprehensions....

    Under federal law, crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor that can land first-time offenders in jail for up to six months. But because federal prosecutors are overwhelmed by the number of illegal immigrants [illegal aliens], the Border Patrol releases more than 90 percent of people they catch.

    The process is called voluntary repatriation. By signing a form, most illegal immigrants caught along the border can opt to immediately return to their home countries - usually at the nearest port of entry in Mexico - rather than plead their cases before a judge.

    After returning to Mexico, many illegal immigrants cross the border again and again until they succeed...

    In fiscal 2004, Tucson sector agents caught 14,506 illegal immigrants with criminal records - 27 percent of criminal illegal immigrants arrested by agents nationwide...

    Of the criminals arrested, 7,681 were charged with immigration offenses, meaning they had been deported then caught entering the U.S. illegally again. In fiscal 2003, Tucson sector agents arrested 4,025 for immigration offenses.

    Part of the increase in arrests in 2004 is the result of a fingerprint ID system that became available to more federal agents in southern Arizona in May 2004, Adame said.

    ...prosecutors set a threshold number of apprehensions illegal immigrants must reach before facing charges. The agency won't release the number, but Charlton said it is high enough to target smugglers, not the immigrants they guide....

    The [Tucson] sector's 490,000 apprehensions during fiscal 2004 accounted for 43 percent of arrests along the Mexico border, the highest share in the sector's history....

    By comparison, in 1993 the Border Patrol made fewer than 1 in 10 apprehensions in Arizona....

    The Border Patrol began using automated fingerprint technology to track illegal immigrants in 1994. But not until 2002 did every station in the Tucson sector get machines that tapped into the agency database, Adame said.

    The statistics obtained from the Border Patrol came from the agency's Enforcement Integrated Database and cover each fiscal year since 2002.

    By comparing the totals of individuals to apprehensions, the figures show that the percentage of illegal immigrants who are caught more than once has risen in the past three years.

    In the Tucson sector during fiscal 2002, roughly 1 in 4 apprehensions was an immigrant arrested earlier in the year. By 2004, the number had grown to 1 in 3....


    (recidivism rates in parentheses):

    FY 2002

    Nationwide (27.4%),    Apprehensions 955,310,    Individuals 693,798,    Tucson sector (26.6%),    Apprehensions 333,648,    Individuals 244,812,   

    FY 2003

    Nationwide (31.6%),    Apprehensions 931,557,    Individuals 638,480,    Tucson sector (29.4%),    Apprehensions 347,263,    Individuals 245,129

    FY 2004

    Nationwide (36.1%),    Apprehensions 1,159,802,    Individuals 741,115,    Tucson sector (33.6%),    Apprehensions 490,827,    Individuals 325,764

  • Prop. 200-style system already law in Mexico
    By Chris Hawley, Republic Mexico City Bureau, October 19, 2004

    MEXICO CITY - The provisions of Proposition 200 have stirred up a storm of debate in Arizona. But here in Mexico, they're already the law...

    In Mexico, it has been that way for years. Only in hospitals are Mexico's laws more lenient about checking immigration documents.

    To see if the requirements are being enforced, a Republic reporter (a U.S. citizen with legal residency in Mexico), went to six public agencies and two schools in Mexico City to inquire about services and registering to vote.

    Almost every official asked to see proof of Mexican citizenship or an FM3 visa, the document that allows a person to live in Mexico. Often, it was the first question asked.

    "Every agency has its own regulations, but generally, that's the rule. To receive these government services, you have to prove you are in the country legally," said Victoria Hernández, a spokeswoman for the Mexican Secretariat of Government, which oversees immigration.

    Those same requirements have set off a furious debate in Arizona...

  • How Come We Can Have 40,000 miles Of Interstate, But Not 2,000 Miles Of Border Fence?
    By Edwin S. Rubenstein, October 20, 2004, published on

    More than three years after 9/11 U.S. borders are more porous than ever. About 3 million illegals are likely to enter this year...

    This illegal tsunami is not inevitable. For example, over a 10-mile stretch of the border near San Diego, arrests of illegal immigrants have plummeted from about 25,000 per year three years ago to 3,000 per year today. Violent crimes have virtually come to a halt in that area, according to the San Diego PD.

    The reason? The government built a fence. Or more precisely, a complex of two 16-foot high steel fences separated by a wide road.

    It takes so much time to climb the first fence and cut through the second that apprehension is practically inevitable...

    So why not fence off the entire border? This is what the project might cost:

    • The southern border is 1,951 miles long.
    • The 14-mile San Diego fence cost $25 million, or $1.7 million per mile.
    • The security fence Israel is building on the West Bank also costs about $1.7 million per mile.

    Conclusion: At $1.7 million per mile, the entire U.S.-Mexican border could be sealed off for $3.3 billion dollars.

    Juxtaposed to other infrastructure projects, this border fence seems downright puny. The Federal interstate highway system, for example, is about 46,000 miles long. A 1,951-mile border fence would certainly not be more difficult to build than the equivalent length of eight-lane highway. All told there are about 4 million miles of public streets and highways in the U.S.

    And we could easily afford a fence. For perspective, remember that 3.3 billion dollars represents just:

    • 3.2 percent of the $104 billion spent on highway construction annually.
    • 0.7 percent of the defense budget for FY2004 ($452 billion).
    • 0.14 percent of the entire U.S. Federal budget for FY2004 ($2.3 trillion).

    Federal funding may not even be necessary. The state of California has only 140 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border. Securing that state’s border with Mexico would thus cost about $238 million. Theoretically, California voters could pass an initiative ordering the fence.

    California taxpayers would save millions in social service costs currently incurred on behalf of illegal immigrants — I estimated in 2003 that nearly one quarter of the state’s annual budget deficit, i.e. over $9 billion a year, stemmed directly from immigration.

    ...a dwindling supply of illegal workers would raise incomes for native Californians—and boost tax revenues.

    The fence would quickly pay for itself.

    What are we waiting for?

  • Crossings of border threaten preserve
    By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, October 16, 2004

    The constant flow of illegal immigration across the Mexican border, and efforts to curb it, are eroding the landscape and harming the wildlife at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

    That has earned the southwestern Arizona landmark the dubious distinction of being one of the 10 refuges nationwide most at risk of degradation, according to a report issued this month by Defenders of Wildlife.

    The vehicle traffic that traverses the 860,010-acre refuge is particularly troubling...

    "There's no doubt that we're an extremely troubled refuge," said John Morgart, the refuge's wildlife biologist. "We have this human tidal wave of immigrants [illegal aliens] coming over from Mexico. We've got coyotes guiding people into the refuge." And then there are Border Patrol vehicles traversing the refuge to deal with the immigration influx.

    All of this adds up to a steady stream of traffic which imperils the habitat for the more than 300 species of animals and the nearly 400 plant types within the refuge. Compounding the insult is the fact that more than 90 percent of the sprawling refuge is wilderness, meaning vehicle traffic is barred.

    "We're getting new tracks out there on a daily basis...

    As a partial fix, Defenders of Wildlife proposes a steel barrier along the refuge's 56-mile border with Mexico.... A similar fence is being built along the border that the adjoining Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument shares with Mexico. It's important to continue the fence into the Cabeza Prieta refuge, Matson said, or traffic that used to cross through Organ Pipe would simply divert into the refuge....

  • Mexico al-Qa'ida 'back door' to US
    By Robert Lusetich, published in The Australian, October 16, 2004

    INTELLIGENCE reports that 25 Chechen terrorism suspects have illegally entered the US from Mexico have refocused attention on a porous border from which many believe the next major attack on Americans could come.

    Despite the $US9 billion ($12.326 billion) budget, and assurances from President George W. Bush that border security is tighter than it has ever been, public figures of all political stripes in the border states say the danger of al-Qaeda infiltrating the US from Mexico has never been higher.

  • Athletic smugglers run drugs over U.S.-Mexico border
    By Tim Gaynor, Reuters, September 27, 2004

    NOGALES, Mexico, – They are young, male and so lean they often have just 3 percent body fat. They speed long distances by foot over deserts and rugged mountain trails on the U.S.-Mexico border with heavy drug loads strapped to their backs.

    Difficult to catch and with iron-like stamina, these smugglers hike up to 40 miles in a few days, moving so quickly they sometimes leave stragglers literally dead in their tracks. Hyper-fit drug mules, or "burreros," hauling marijuana over the trails between Mexico's Sonora state and Arizona are an extra headache for law enforcement agents struggling to contain the flow of drugs into the United States. ...believed to earn between $500 and $1,000 for each trip they make.

  • Who Left the Door Open?
    By TIME Magazine, September 20, 2004

    In a single day, more than 4,000 illegal aliens will walk across the busiest unlawful gateway into the U.S., the 375-mile border between Arizona and Mexico...

    It's fair to estimate, based on a TIME investigation, that the number of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. this year will total 3 million—enough to fill 22,000 Boeing 737-700 airliners, or 60 flights every day for a year. It will be the largest wave since 2001 and roughly triple the number of immigrants who will come to the U.S. by legal means. (No one knows how many illegals are living in the U.S., but estimates run as high as 15 million.)...

    For nearly 20 years, it has been a crime to here illegal aliens. Amid an earlier surge in illegal immigration, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which provided that employers could be fined up to $10,000 for every illegal alien their hired, and repeat offenders could be sent to jail...

  • Transforming the Southern Border:Providing Security & Prosperity in the Post 9/11 World
    Congressman Jim Turner, ranking member, Select Committee on Homeland Security, September 10, 2004

    From mews release:

    In a single day, more than 4,000 illegal aliens will walk across the busiest unlawful gateway into the U.S., the 375-mile border between Arizona and Mexico...

    Congressman Jim Turner, Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, introduced a 130-page report today, calling for the transformation of the U.S. Southern Border to enhance security and promote economic prosperity. The report, Transforming the Southern Border: Providing Security and Prosperity in the Post-9/11 World, is a result of 6 months of staff investigations and visits to border communities.

  • Terrorism At the Southern Gates
    By Alan Caruba, Insight on the News, September 7, 2004

    In July, Defense Watch reported that, in Arizona, an area called the Naco Strip has become a primary route of illegal entry by "significant numbers of Arab-speaking males."

    It took a small town weekly newspaper, the Tombstone Tumbleweed, to reveal that, "males of possible Syrian and Iranian descent have been detained in the past few weeks." Since October 1, 2003, 5,510 illegal aliens designated "Other Than Mexican" (OTM) have been apprehended while crossing the Arizona terrain. These OTM's are not here to pick vegetables, mow lawns, pluck chickens, or wash cars.

    Just do the math. If only five Muslim terrorists crossed the border every day for a year that would add up to 1,825 people ready to do the bidding of Osama bin Laden. If this has been going on for just the years since 9-11, that's an army of 5,475. Then, too, there are an estimated 2.9 million Muslims in America....

  • Border Patrol Told to Go Easy on Illegals, September 5, 2004

    The Homeland Security Department wants the U.S. Border Patrol to scale back on arresting illegal aliens.

    Apparently the BP wasn't sensitive enough when its agents arrested 450 illegals recently in Southern California, the Washington Times reported.

    Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security at HSD, was unhappy about the arrests and said "they had not been approved by officials in Washington."...

  • Al-Qaida meets with Central American gang, lawmaker says
    By Emma Perez-Trevino, The Brownsville Herald, September 5, 2004

    Al-Qaida may have an alliance with a violent Central American gang that has established a presence near the Texas-Mexico border, according to members of the U.S. House Select Committee on Homeland Security.

    Mara Salvatrucha, an El-Salvador-based gang, has met with the terrorist group and may attempt to infiltrate the U.S. border, committee member U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, D-Texas, said Thursday...

    “(The gang members) are all over the place. We know (they) are in the Virginia area and across the border in Matamoros and possibly here.”

    Ortiz was joined Thursday by fellow committee members U.S. Rep. Jim Turner, D-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who each expressed their concern for more cooperation among Border Patrol, the FBI and CIA.

    They also pleaded with the Bush administration and fellow lawmakers to provide the funding necessary to keep the borders and country safe. The three called for an end to the practice of detaining non-Mexican undocumented immigrants — known as OTMs (other than Mexicans) — from the Middle East, Central America and South America and releasing most of them due to lack of jail space.

    “Currently, our OTM policy is nothing more than a conduit for terrorists — it is a flawed system. It is profoundly wrong and needs to be corrected,” Ortiz said....

    Jackson Lee said there is not sufficient staff within the U.S. Border Patrol and said she encountered one agent who had 1,200 files.

    “It is impossible to do the job the way they need to do it,” she said.

  • Forgiven Trespass - Illegal aliens from around the world expose America's vulnerabilities
    By Jeff Stoffer, American Legion, August, 2004

    ...They might come from South America, Asia, Africa or the Middle East. No matter who comes or from where, the door is open for a coyote’s price: $1,500 a head for a typical Hispanic laborer, up to $50,000 for a sojouner from a nation of concern in the war on terrorism.

    They come in immeasurable waves to dozens of staging areas like the corrals south of Cochise County, Ariz., where the San Pedro River’s listless headwaters grow enough cottonwoods and willows to make good cover 140 miles into the United States. This is the soft underbelly of America’s 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Aliens who don’t die crossing the desert or get nabbed by authorities along the way funnel into southern Arizona, dump their backpacks in the bushes of remote “lay-up” areas and ride silently into the swelling underground of America’s undocumented. No one is certain in what number they are coming or how fast, where they are heading, or if they ever intend to go back. Coyotes don’t publish statistics....

    Approximately 190,000 illegal aliens are in a U.S. jail at any given time. Some use bogus green cards to join the U.S. Armed Forces and become naturalized that way; more than 16,000 active-duty personnel last year reportedly had unknown citizen status. Others simply cling to their anonymity until the U.S. government tosses up an offer of amnesty, which is alarmingly inevitable, in one form or another. In that case, all is forgiven....

    View the complete article with photographs, in Acrobat PDF format. Reprinted with permission of The American Legion Magazine, copyright August 2004.

  • Why are Mexicans Overpopulating the U.S.?
    By Mark Andrew Dwyer, Alamance Independent, August 31, 2004

    Mexicans will seek all kinds of excuses to justify why are they illegally pouring into the U.S. in hundreds of thousands a year through America's porous border.

    They will claim that American Southwest is their "historic land", although when Mexicans signed in 1848 a treaty with the U.S. in which they ceded their claims to these territories, out of est. 4,000,000 people (mostly, North American Indians) living in there, only est. 4,000 residents in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico were Spanish speakers, and a vast majority of them Spaniards and not Mexicans. (The highest published claim I saw was "no more than about 7,500 Spanish speakers" in California itself - see [1] - out of a total of about 300,000 California residents.) Compare this to Mexico's population of about 7,500,000 at that time to conclude that less than one in thousand Mexicans lived in the American Southwest at the time when the treaty was signed.

    They will claim that they have rights to American territories because they are indigenous people here, kins of North American Indians and California Indians, although the main premise of this kinship is Christopher Columbus's famous mistake: when he discovered America in 1492, he thought that he landed in India and named all the people that lived there "Indians". If this kinship by name ("Indians") were a valid argument, it would give Mexicans territorial rights against India because of their Indian descend....

    We need to recognize that the root cause of the Mexican mass "migration" to the U.S. is not their "reclaiming" of the land lost but their rapid population growth that largely exceeds that nation's ability to feed, educate, and house its population. Recognizing this gives us a valuable hint what should we do in order to bringing that "migration" to a complete halt. Rather than accepting millions of "migrants" who further perpetuate the explosive population growth, this time in the U.S., we should fully enforce the American border and make it clear to Mexican authorities that we will not accept any surplus of their population anymore. Rather then importing Mexican "temporary" workers or otherwise stimulating growth of Mexican economy, the aid that quickly translates into more population growth and, eventually, more "migration" to the U.S., we should concentrate our efforts on stabilization of the Mexican population and throw in no money there until such a stabilization has been accomplished....

    Read more of the article.
  • Arizona: a 'Terrorist Corridor?'
    By By Jon Kyl, U.S. Senator, Arizona Conservative, August 27, 2004

    A major threat to homeland security that has lurked uneasily in the back of America's public consciousness burst into the news last month when the FBI issued a bulletin to the Mexican media and border - area law enforcement to be on the lookout for a suspected al Qaeda terror cell leader who might be trying to sneak into the United States along immigrant smuggling routes.

    I'm sure many people had the same reaction I did to the news about "armed and dangerous" terrorism suspect Adnan G. El Shukrijumah: an aggravated lack of surprise. After all, how could our notoriously porous border not be a conduit for terrorists?

  • Entrants skipping out on hearings
    By Michael Marizco, Arizona Daily Star, August 23, 2004

    About 2,200 illegal entrants caught in Arizona over the past two years disappeared by skipping out on their promise to come back to immigration court after being released from custody, federal reports show.

    While the majority of missing illegal border crossers came from Mexico or Central America, those who are unaccounted for also came from countries all around the world, including Egypt and Iran, according to reports from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the immigration judicial arm of the U.S. Department of Justice....

  • Qaeda leader may try to cross border
    By Luke Turf, Tucson Citizen, August 18, 2004

    A suspected al-Qaeda terror cell leader may be trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico along immigrant smuggling routes, the FBI said yesterday.... A bulletin was distributed to the Mexican press from the U.S. consulate in Nogales, Son., on Monday offering a reward of up to $5 million for the capture of Saudi native Adnan G. El Shukrijumah. He is wanted in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States....

  • Arab terrorists 'are getting into the US over Mexican border'
    By Julian Coman in Washington, News Telegraph (U.K.), August 15, 2004

    ...Over the past month, border agents from Arizona and Texas have anonymously reported recent encounters with dozens of Arab men, who have made their way across the 2,000-mile Mexican border.

    Patrol agents told one Arizona newspaper that 77 males "of Middle Eastern descent" were apprehended in June in two separate incidents. All were trekking through the Chiricahua mountains and are believed to have been part of a larger group of illegal immigrants. Many were released pending immigration hearings. According to Solomon Ortiz, the Congressman for Corpus Christi in Texas, similar incidents are "happening all over the place. It's very, very scary".

    The two groups of Arab males were discovered by patrol guards from Willcox, Arizona. "These guys didn't speak Spanish," said one field agent, "and they were speaking to each other in Arabic. It's ridiculous that we don't take this more seriously. We're told not to say a thing to the media." A colleague told the paper: "All the men had brand-new clothing and the exact same cut of moustache." Local ranchers have also reported a rise in the sightings of large groups of young males.

    Last month, border patrol agents at McAllen airport, Texas, arrested a woman believed to be Pakistani, who was carrying a false South African passport....

  • Illegals from terrorist nations are crossing the border into Arizona
    KVOA News 4, Tucson, AZ, August 13, 2004

    Illegals from terrorist nations are crossing the border into Arizona. ...Here's what the Eyewitness News 4 Investigators uncovered.

    "It's a Muslim prayer blanket. It was found about a mile and a half west from the Douglas port of entry in 2001."

    Larry Vance is a rancher who lives near the U.S.-Mexico border in Douglas, Arizona.... watched - and documented - thousands of illegals crossing the border...

    And in just one hour, during this stake-out along the border between Douglas and Bisbee, The Investigators count 198 illegals in five different groups crossing into the U.S. with no resistance....

    We called Border Patrol and waited another full hour, but no one ever came....

    ...Vance says, "Other log books, diary-type things, other bits and pieces of paper with Arabic written on them found in the area over the last few years...

    We've all heard of the U.S. government's Terror Watch List: countries flagged because Americans are endangered by their citizens, yet regularly, illegals from those countries are crossing the Arizona border, blending in with groups of Mexican and South American illegal immigrants.

    If apprehended, they are brought to this federal detention center in Florence, Arizona.

    The investigators found that on this day, several individuals of this kind were being detained here, including some from Sudan, Iran, and even Iraq....

    But some disappear very quickly, usually before they even reach this center or other holding facilities. They're taken away by tight-lipped federal agents to who-knows-where.

    Who are they? They're called "Special Interest Aliens" or "SIA."

    According to Ben Anderson, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, The SIA that they don't want to talk about. That's special interest alien. These are people from those countries that we consider terrorist threats."...

    "You will not read about that. You will not hear about that. They will not talk about that. They will not provide that info to the press.

    Colonel Anderson says these Special Interest Aliens originate in the Middle East or Northeast Asia. They travel through Spain to what's called the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, then, to Mexico City.

    They pay to learn Spanish language skills, and by the time they reach the U.S., they're acting and talking like Mexicans to fool border agents.

    And, Anderson says, they're entering the United States right through our backyard....

  • Return to "Terrorist Alley"
    KVOA News 4, Tucson, AZ, August 9, 2004

    Just a few weeks ago, high-level sources told a Washington newspaper that Chechen terrorists have entered the U.S. through our state...

    "The story you did was 100% accurate. It showed what's happening on the border on a daily basis. It was completely accurate," says a Border Patrol agent...

    As our cameras had captured this day, hundreds of illegal entrants sneak into Arizona from Mexico.

    Items left behind, like a Muslim prayer rug and a diary written in Arabic have led some to believe not all crossers are from Central and South America.

    In our original story, sources, including a former Border Patrol supervisor, say people from terrorist-related countries are crossing the border at will.

    This agent says it's certainly happened, describing one incident with a detainee near Naco, Arizona.

    "So they took him back to the Naco station for further investigating there, and when they entered his fingerprints into the AFIS database, which is maintained by the FBI, several minutes later they received a phone call from someone on the other end -- I'm not sure who it was."

    "and they stated, whoever is working on this particular terminal, they need to separate that gentleman right away. He was later determined to be from Pakistan. And he had affiliations with a terrorist group. It wasn't al-Qaida, but it was another terrorist group and this gentleman was wanted out of France for trafficking in heroin."...

    "We received intel that seven males of Middle-Eastern descent had entered the United States illegally, and they were here to carry out a terrorist attack on this country. I'd never seen the agency go to the level that we did as far as treating it with such urgency."

    "and when we got that information we immediately sent agents to patrol the highways. We had never done anything like that before. And like I said before, within a week, there I am, watching the nightly news, and the terror threat was raised, and they actually showed pictures of these seven men who had reportedly entered the country. And that's when it kinda really hit me for the first time that it's really happening."

    "We were told specifically that these people had terrorist pasts and they were coming here specifically to carry out a terrorist attack."...

    "We know it's happening. We've seen it. We've actually received hard intelligence that they're there in Mexico. It's just a matter of trying to keep them from coming north."

    This agent says, if terrorists want to cross, it's become too easy for them because of a severe lack of manpower in the Border Patrol...

    "Over 50% of our vehicles at that station are out of service, or deferred for maintenance. If our cameras worked, which I would say well over 50% of them do not work at night, the infrared lenses are not functioning."...

    Even before new agents are deployed, he says, they're not prepared to fight illegal entry into this country.

    "Some of our training, it lacks in that department. At the Academy we do three hours of training to determine if somebody is carrying fraudulent documents. And I can tell you from working the checkpoint, there are times people have given me documentation that I have absolutely no clue, as sad as it is to say that, what I'm looking at."...

  • Could There Be Twenty Million Illegals In The U.S.?
    By D.A. King, August 7, 2004

    I believe that figure underestimated by half. And I think it obvious that many of the patriots involved with immigration reform realize the commonly stated illegal aliens statistics are low. Why we are stuck to 8-12 million as our figure for illegal aliens is hard for me to understand. Perhaps this column will generate the necessary debate to bring the real figures to the front.

  • Cause for Concern? Officials Fear Terrorists Could Try to Enter U.S. Through Mexico
    By Pierre Thomas, ABC News, July 30, 2004

    The U.S. government has become increasingly concerned that al Qaeda might try to exploit security gaps at the nation's borders, especially the Mexican border, ABC News has learned.

    Concerns about border security were highlighted on July 19, when officials at McAllen-Miller International Airport in southern Texas arrested a woman suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda.

    ... Officials also said her clothing was dirty and muddy, suggesting she might have recently crossed the nearby Rio Grande, the river separating Mexico and Texas....

  • Arizona was al-Qaida hotbed
    By Billy House and Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, July 23, 2004

    Osama bin Laden's top agent for procuring weapons of mass destruction was among several key al-Qaida figures who attended the University of Arizona or lived in Tucson during the 1980s and early 1990s, according to the Sept. 11 commission's final report, released Thursday.

    The highly anticipated 567-page report also refers to more than a dozen other individuals who lived in Arizona from the 1990s through Sept. 11, 2001, and who were targeted in terrorism investigations after hijackers smashed jetliners into the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

    A number of those subjects are now known al-Qaida associates, and some trained at terror camps in Afghanistan.

  • Potential terrorists released due to lack of jail space, congressman says
    By Emma Perez-Trevia, The Brownsville Herald, July 23, 2004

    Middle Easterners with posssible terrorist ties have been detained after entering the country from Mexico but released for lack of jail space, said U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness. It is true. "It is very reliable information, from the horse's mouth, and it's happening all over the place," Ortiz, D-Texas, told The Herald on Thursday.

  • Border group claims 'WMD' testS
    By Ignacio Ibarra, Arizona Daily Star, July 22, 2004

    Members of a border-watch group conducted an experiment this week: They snuck into the United States carrying a fake "weapon of mass destruction" and made it to a house in Sierra Vista without being caught, the group said. The test was to show how vulnerable the border is to terrorists, said Glenn Spencer, a spokesman for the group, the American Border Patrol.

    The two members carrying a suitcase in a backpack crossed into Arizona west of Naco on Monday night. At one point, the two men crossed a border fence that separates the United States from Mexico, one member said.

    Mike King, a former Army sniper... said he's hoping the demonstration will help convince government leaders that the country's southern border is a national security risk. He said the Department of Homeland Security's focus on established ports of entry and the U.S. Border Patrol's deployment strategy and lack of resources make the border attractive for groups to enter.

    They then re-crossed the fence where they were able to avoid Border Patrol units on the ground and an agency helicopter and a pilotless plane flying overhead to rendezvous with a waiting truck. King said radio traffic indicated the two had at some point been spotted by Border Patrol agents but they were never apprehended. They hid in the bed of the truck, which took them to Sierra Vista.


    Watch the video and an earlier video of individual crossing the border with a fake weapon of mass destruction.

  • Two groups of Middle-Eastern invaders caught in Cochise County in past six weeks
    Tombstone Tumbleweed, July, 2004

    The Tumbleweed has verified information that a flood of middle-eastern males have been caught entering the country illegally east of Douglas, Arizona. The increased patrols in the Huachuca Mountains area of Cochise County, seems to have diverted the flow of OTM's, "other than Mexicans" east to the Chiricahua Mountains...

    For reasons of national security, [Tucson Border Patrol Sector information officer Andy] Adame said his agency cannot talk about the origin of nationaity, however Adame says that since October 1, 2003, the beginning of the fiscal year for Border Patrol, agents in the Tucson sector have apprehended 5,510 illegals from countries other than Mexico or other central or South American countries. Adame described them as "people from all over the world".

    In the last month, the Tumbleweed has confirmed at least two documented accounts of Border Patrol agents encountering large groups of non-Spanish speaking males in the Chiricahua foothills and on trails along the high mountain areas.

    On or about the early morning hours of June 13, 2004 Border patrol agents from the Willcox station encountered a large group of suspected illegal border crossers, estimated to be around 158, just east of the Sanders Ranch near the foothills of the Chiricauha Mountains. 71 suspected illegal aliens were apprehended; among them were 53 males of middle-eastern descent.

    According to a Border Patrol field agent, the men were suspected to be Iranian or possibly Syrian nationals.

  • No more deaths" volunteer workship reveals tactics to assist illegal immigrants
    By: Ursulina Vargas and Chris Simcox, Tombstone Tumbleweed, July, 2004

    "No More Deaths" an illegal immigrant assistance group has set up an aid camp only a few hundred feet within the boundary of the United States border with Mexico. The group operates on a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy to provide water and transportation for illegals to a Tucson safe house known as the South Side Presbyterian Church (home of Humane Borders). No More Deaths, a volunteer coalition composed of advocacy groups whose work is to support illegal immigrants with water and medical aid, recently held a meeting in Bisbee to train volunteers in dealing with both law enforcement and illegal border crossers they refer to as "guests".

    The primary speaker for the workshop was Margo Cowan, who has defended undocumented people for 35 years. Cowan was indicted in 1972 by the Nixon Administration on 52 counts of aiding and abetting illegal aliens; the charges were dropped by former President Jimmy Carter. Cowan currently serves as legal counsel to Rep. Raul Grijalva.

    Lupe Castillo and Kat Rodriguez of Derechos Humanos were also in attendance to educate the 30 volunteers, many of whom traveled from out of state to attend the training meeting. Derechos Humanos openly states that their goal is to open the borders and abolish the Border Patrol.

  • Entrant held; tried to down helicopter
    Arizona Daily Star, July 24, 2004

    An illegal entrant tried to knock down a Border Patrol helicopter Thursday night when he threw five softball-sized rocks at the rotor as the aircraft pursued him.

  • Why not terrorists? - Police say sex ring got women into U.S. via Ariz.
    Associated Press, July 19, 2004

    BURLINGTON, Vt. - Three area spas raided recently by police are believed to be part of an international syndicate that forced Asian women to work as sex slaves to pay off debts to people who smuggled them to this country over the Mexican border, police say...

    Some of the women told investigators they had paid as much as $40,000 to be smuggled from Asia to Mexico, entering the United States through Arizona, Texas and other states, the documents say...

  • Illegals that are OTM (other than mexicans)
    Tombstone Tumbleweed, July 18, 2004

    ...The Tumbleweed has verified information that a flood of middle-eastern males have been caught entering the country illegally east of Douglas, Arizona. The increased patrols in the Huachuca Mountains area of Cochise County, seems to have diverted the flow of OTM’s, “other than Mexicans” east to the Chiricahua Mountains. In the last month, the Tumbleweed has confirmed at least two documented accounts of Border Patrol agents encountering large groups of non-Spanish speaking males in the Chiricahua foothills and on trails along the high mountain areas.

    On or about the early morning hours of June 13, 2004 Border patrol agents from the Wilcox station encountered a large group of suspected illegal border crossers, estimated to be around 100, just east of the Sanders Ranch near the foothills of the Chiricauha Mountains. 71 suspected illegal aliens were apprehended; among them were 53 males of middle-eastern decent. According to a Border Patrol field agent, the men were suspected to be Iranian or possibly Syrian nationals...

    On or about the evening of June 21, 2004, agents from the Wilcox Border Patrol station apprehended 24 members of a larger group of Arabic speaking males located just east of the Pierce/Sunsites area of Cochise County. At least half of the males escaped capture and disappeared into the United States.

  • Proposed detention center near Benson gets public feedback
    By Thelma Grimes, Sierra Vista Herald, July 17, 2004

    ...Ray Mitcham Associates, of Roswell, N.M., has proposed a 500-bed Benson Rehabilitation/Detention Center on 36 acres of land near Highway 80. The 90,000-square-foot facility is set to house illegal immigrants awaiting adjudication...

    "There is a need to house at least 2,000 illegal immigrants here in Arizona," he said.

  • Border Patrol agents stay on the road
    By Henri Brickey, The Press-Enterprise, July 16, 2004

    A group of Temecula-based Border Patrol agents still is arresting undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] in areas beyond the Interstate 15 checkpoint, an official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday.

    "The mobile patrol group is still totally operational," said Gloria Chavez, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    Since the beginning of July, Chavez said, the 12-member team has arrested 28 undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] in the Fallbrook area. Altogether, the group has made 480 arrests since June, when the agents hit the streets of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, Chavez said.

  • Immigration Border Wars
    By Frosty Wooldridge, The Washington Dispatch, July 15, 2004

    While you sleep, a war on our southern border lights up with guns and blood. While our soldiers fight in Iraq, our country suffers an invasion. While our borders remain open because Congress sits back with its tea and crumpets, our citizens suffer danger. Not a man or woman from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas can safely walk on the border without packing heat...

    I interviewed former Border Patrol Agent and author of ILLEGAL ENTRIES, John W. Slagle.

    He said, “At 2:30 AM, July 10, 2004, Border Patrol Agents encountered drug smugglers heading north from the Mexican line through Potero Canyon. The smugglers drove with their lights out. About 150 yards north of the border, the suspected dope vehicle stopped and smugglers fired at our agents who took cover and returned fire. Eleven rounds of gunfire from the agents caused the smuggler's to flee back into Mexico with the truck believed to be hauling contraband. No injuries and no arrests were made.”

    “Since September 11, 2001 to today, our nation's border is a dangerous place,” Slagle said. “The armed encounters and exchanges of gunfire between Mexican criminals and authorities are all too frequent. Smugglers are also violent when stopped by agents and if armed will attempt to kill. Numerous AK-47 rounds were fired at an agent pursuing a stolen vehicle with narcotics. A smuggler transporting illegal aliens fired at our agent after being stopped on the Tohono Indian Nation. The wounded agent returned fire and an illegal alien was killed. A U.S. Park Ranger at Coronado National Forest in Cochise found a group of illegals being led by a guide armed with a pistol. The ranger fired at the smuggler who dropped the weapon and ran for the border. Incidents from 2002 including Mexican military incursions are documented but rarely reach national media attention due to pandering politicians and cooperation with a foreign nation.”...

  • Muslims Use Mexico to Enter U.S. Illegally
    Middle American News, July 2004

    While the U.S. government wages war against terrorism on foreign soil, America's poorly guarded Mexican border continues to be used as a covert entry portal by international gangs that smuggle Arabs into the U.S.

    In November last year, Mexico's consul in Lebanon, Imelda Ortiz Abdala, was arrested on charges that she helped a smuggling ring move Arabs illegally into the U.S. from Mexico. Also arrested in connection with the smuggling operation was Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, who ran a Lebanese café in Tijuana, Mexico.

    U.S. security officials say Boughader, 28, is suspected of smuggling at least 300 Arabs into the U.S. between 1999 and 2002. He had been arrested previously for smuggling and served 10 months of a one-year sentence.

    Although the latest case has not received wide publicity, U.S. officials are worried because the case reaches into Mexico's foreign service, which the U.S. depends on for help in security operations against terrorism...

    As a result of the corruption in Mexico's foreign service, American officials say there is no way to tell how many Arabs, perhaps some with terrorist connections, have been smuggled into the U.S. through Mexican channels...

    Islamic terrorists have in the past come into the U.S. through programs designed to help Mexicans. Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, was legalized as a "seasonal agricultural worker" as part of the 1986 amnesty that Congress granted to illegal aliens.

  • Anderson Examines Devastating Impact of Invasion, Life on the Border
    News Analysis by Dennis Durband, Editor, Arizona Conservative, July 14, 2004

    In the interior of Mexico, there is a labor shortage. There are no Americans available to do the jobs that Mexicans won't do. However, the travel industry is thriving. And these are great days for “coyotes” – human smugglers – and those in drug trafficking.

    Travelers from South and Central America, Mexico and other nations are traveling in great numbers up through Hermosillo, Mexico and to northern staging locations near the U.S. border.

    These people can go to a Catholic church in one of the Mexican towns along the way to read hand-drawn diagrams of routes into the United States, along with a list of demands and rights to claim once they reach the U.S.... Father Rene has developed a convenient cottage industry -- a "migrant center" aside the church. He sells backpacks and supplies for those aiming to enter the U.S. illegally...

    Erin Anderson, a native of Cochise County who now works in Washington, D.C., has examined several staging areas in Mexico. An expert on the subject of the border invasion, Anderson explained... that those smuggling drugs and humans are collaborating and using the same networks. The entire route is mechanized, from southern Mexico and Central America, and can be traveled in as little as 72 hours. The only walking required is at the American border.

    “The Mexican government is in this up to their eyeballs,” Anderson said. “Hermosillo is a big originating site. Airlines are always full with illegals. The 300-seat airbuses are always full. A ticket costs $215. A shuttle bus fleet awaits the passengers. There are four companies and their buses are color-coded. The buses only go north... The main industry is moving migrants north. Altar is ‘coyoteville.’”

    Wave upon wave of people move northward toward the Tucson sector. The Immigration and Naturalization Service posts just 6-12 agents on duty each night to deal with the overwhelming surge of humanity.

    “The government’s claim to put more assets on the border is a lie,” Anderson said. “We have lost more than 100 border agents, who have quit. Homeland Security is broke. On one ranch, every family member has been ambushed by illegals... School buses require a sheriff’s escort for safety... talk to rangers and ranchers... no one can endure the constant onslaught of illegals.”

    Illegals trash the Arizona landscape. Cattle and wildlife die from eating the plastic bags left behind by the invaders. Illegals break off water spigots and drain water tanks. National parks along the border are being trampled to death...

  • Dumping Chambers
    The Land Line, Campaign to Protect America's Lands, July 14, 2004

    On Wednesday of last week, the Department of Interior was all sweetness and light as Secretary Gale Norton and National Park Service (NPS) Director Fran Mainella tried to convince skeptical reporters that all is well at the national parks.

    By Friday, the Norton team was baring its fangs again with the firing of suspended U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers. Chambers was fired late on Friday after being put on administrative leave since December 2003 for making public comments about Park Police staffing and budget shortfalls.

    he timing of Chambers' dismissal is noteworthy in that just hours before she was terminated, she had filed a motion with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) that adjudicates whistleblower complaints by federal workers... She was canned before the MSPB could rule on her motion...

  • Border Patrol agents shot at by drug smugglers
    By KVOA Channel 4, Tucson, AZ, July 14, 2004

    Tucson-AP -- The feds say fleeing drug smugglers took aim at Border Patrol agents today...

  • Busted budgets on the border - Memos obtained by NBC reveal lax detention
    By Lisa Myers, MSNBC News, July 13, 2004

    ... Border agents tell NBC News that since April, they've been forced to release most illegal immigrants back onto American streets within hours of catching them — even some who are criminals or from countries known to produce terrorists...

  • Dumping, illegal immigrants go hand-in-hand
    By Arthur H. Rothstein, Associated Press, Arizona Daily Sun, AZ, July 12, 2004

    CORONADO NATIONAL MEMORIAL -- Sheets of used toilet paper drape manzanita bushes here. They dangle from creosote or cholla cactus elsewhere in southern Arizona.

    Empty sardine cans lie on the ground next to family photos and deodorant containers. Discarded clothing, empty water bottles and soiled diapers litter the sides of trails that countless illegal immigrants have blazed in the sand.

    These are sights that have become all too common across Arizona's harshly beautiful desert borderlands over the years, marring ranches, scenic settings like the foothills of this memorial, forests and wildlife sanctuaries alike.

    "It is very severe," said Beau McClure, special assistant with the Bureau of Land Management for international programs. "It is near crisis conditions in many areas."...

    "Realistically I don't think it's going to change until they put the military on the border," said Jack Ladd, a southern Arizona rancher...

    A few years ago, there were 45 abandoned cars on the Buenos Aires refuge near Sasabe, and enough trash that a volunteer couple filled 723 large bags with 18,000 pounds of garbage over two months in 2002...

  • Illegal immigrants flown free to Mexico
    By Will Weissert, Associated Press,, Seattle, July 12, 2004

    Rest up. See the family. Then head north and try to slip back across the U.S. border.

    Those were among the plans voiced by the first group of 138 undocumented Mexican migrants [illegal aliens] flown at U.S. expense to their country's capital as part of a voluntary pilot program that began Monday. Usually, they are driven by American authorities back only to the border.

    The costly initiative is designed to discourage repeat border crossings, but if the first plane load is any indication, many of those flown deep into Mexican territory will try to make it to American soil...

  • Texas cop exposes truth of America's border security
    Letter to the Editor by David Watson,, July 12, 2004

    ... I have heard uninformed people state that the police did nothing about this or that illegal alien problem. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but here in Texas, you can't touch them. You cannot even ask them for a green card. You cannot even question them about their citizenship ... or your job will be in grave jeopardy. There are subtle ways to work around it, but you have to tip toe, and be real careful, or a lawyer will have you crucified, and your department will run like hell.

    These "undocumented workers" are a protected more than the horned toad. Let me tell you how this works, especially in rural Texas. These people work for nothing. So your farmers, feed yards, construction companies, and the like want them for labor purposes. These people are the pillars of the community that control the local government. They are the county commissioners, city councilmen, mayors, etc. They want them employed during the day, and disappear when the work day is done.

    The common people in the town have to deal with the aftermath, and so do the police...

    Letter to the Editor by a National Park Superintendent
    July 10, 2004

    ... Now, I don't know what to do the next time a reporter calls and asks about my park. Do I say that we'll have only half the rangers we had last year, that visitor center hours will be shorter, interpretive programming will be slashed, and that our ability to rescue the lost or injured, or deal with wildlife problems in campgrounds is far less than previous years? If I tell the truth, I risk my job. If I say everything is fine, I risk my integrity. The park, and the public who owns it, suffers whichever I do.
    [See July 9, 2004 article below].

  • National Park Service fires Chambers
    By Marty Niland, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, July 9, 2004

    The chief of the U.S. Park Police, which patrols areas such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio, was fired Friday, seven months after she was suspended for publicly complaining her department was understaffed and underfunded...

    Chambers was suspended and placed under a gag order on Dec. 5, a few days after telling various news media that she had been forced to cut back on patrols because her officers were required to guard national monuments. Chambers said her department had a $12 million budget shortfall at the time and needed $8 million for the upcoming fiscal year...

    Two weeks later, the National Park Service moved to fire her...

  • Cameras aren't on lookout at border - Michigan never got its system for surveillance
    By Tamara Audi, Detroit Free Press, July 10, 2004

    It was supposed to be a 24-hour border superhero, a sentry with eyes that never blinked, could see in the blackest night and could zoom in on objects miles away. Able to detect body heat even on a warm summer day. On constant watch for terrorists, drug runners and illegal immigrants trying to sneak from Canada into Michigan.

    But a year after officials expected the system to be up and running, a much-hailed high-tech network of surveillance cameras is still not installed along Michigan's border with Canada and at other locations along the northern border. And now federal investigators want to know why -- and whether millions of dollars in taxpayer money has been squandered...

    The Detroit sector of the U.S. Border Patrol monitors 804 miles of border with Canada. The region was originally slated to get eight cameras, called remote video surveillance, last year. But now it is unclear when the system will arrive...

  • Egyptian man arrested for human smuggling
    Associated Press, published on, July 6, 2004

    An Egyptian man U.S. authorities described as one of their most wanted smugglers of humans was arrested Friday on charges of operating a ring that illegally brought people from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries to the United States...

    The indictment says Abdallah and his associates would direct people seeking to reach the United States to travel to one of several Latin American countries, and from there to Guatemala. They would then be transported to America through Mexico in return for payments of thousands of dollars in smuggling fees...

  • Control of Arizona border is achievable, new chief of sector says
    By Arthur H. Rotstein, Associated Press, July 3, 2004

    TUCSON - The interim chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson sector said Friday that agents are catching 80 percent of the people entering illegally through some of the deserts west of here.

    In specific corridors in that area, one of the busiest for illegal crossings in Arizona, "easy, four out of five people" are being caught, Chief Michael Nicley said.

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