W.H. talks immigration with Latino lawmakers

ObamaSombrero

By SEUNG MIN KIM | 9/11/14 4:57 PM EDT

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough pledged to Latino lawmakers during a private meeting Thursday that President Barack Obama will take executive action on immigration before the holidays are over – an effort to soothe lawmakers furious about the administration’s move to hold off on action.

The timeline was described by several members who attended the meeting and, substantively speaking, isn’t different than the end-of-year pledge made by the White House when it moved to delay executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections.

But it gives at least some faith to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who have long pressured the Obama administration to ease deportations of undocumented immigrants – particularly as the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform on the Hill slowly collapsed over the last year.

One member who attended – Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) — said there was some “serious venting” inside the room.

“As I told the chief, I said I for one need constant reassurance,” Grijalva said. “I don’t want to go down this path come November and then for some other reason, find that the immigrant community and the Latino community get thrown in the heap again.”

Multiple people familiar with the meeting said McDonough did not go into specifics of the executive action that Obama will ultimately issue, but stressed that he will go as far as he could under existing law. And – in a response to questions from one lawmaker in the room — McDonough said Obama still plans to act regardless of the results of the November elections or even if the political narrative around the issue worsens for Democrats, people familiar with the discussion said.

Grijalva said after the meeting that he believes the scope of the action will be “significant.” The White House has considered expanding a 2012 program that halted deportations for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants, as well as easing some restrictions on legal immigration.

McDonough, accompanied by domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz and other White House officials, declined to go into details of the meeting except to underscore that Obama still plans to act.

“The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country,” he told reporters.

“So we’re going to fix it and we’ll do it before the end of the year,” McDonough added.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), the leading advocate of immigration reform on the Hill, said the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will meet early next week to determine a formal response to the White House over delaying deportation relief.

“No more excuses, I don’t care what senator is dangling in the wind, I don’t care what Republican proposal is being made,” he said. “I don’t care what happens. We are moving forward.”

“We are concerned that this is a community and these are issues that get stalled,” added Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), speaking for the Latino community. “Why are we stalling? For us, these are not political issues, these are substantive issues that move the country forward.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/white-house-immigration-latino-lawmakers-110871.html#ixzz3DDim4wwA

Another Standoff Brewing? Law Enforcement Nervous as Militia Members Plan to Block Bridges Going into Mexico

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September 12, 2014 By Todd Cefaratti

Law enforcement officials in Texas are preparing for what might end up as a stand-off between militia members and law enforcement agents as militia members are planning a demonstration that would block-off bridges that span between the U.S. and Mexico.

On September 20th, militia members are reportedly threatening to stage a protest against illegal immigration by blocking-off pathways between the two nations that span across the Rio Grande River.

KRGV in Texas reports:
Officials say they received word that members of a militia are threatening to block ports of entry.

In Starr County, international bridge authorities met with Customs and Border Protection officials Thursday. Their goal was to discuss the potential problem and find a plan of action.

Starr County has international bridges in Rio Grande City, Roma and Falcon Dam.

Officials received word that members of a militia plan to protest illegal crossings by blocking traffic on Sept. 20.

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal said members of the group have a right to express their opinion. His is concerned about the group’s intent, though.

“What can we expect? I don’t know. The unknown becomes an issue that we really got to prepare for,” Villarreal said.

“I’m a 100 percent sure that with the National Guard, with DPS, with Border Patrol and local law enforcement, we’ll communicate and we’ll handle whatever comes,” he said.

“The level of communication that exists doesn’t get talked about enough. It’s an extraordinary amount of communication,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal said he is worried about safety.

“If they’re here to block traffic, to be a hindrance between traffic and the port of entry, that causes a problem. It’s a huge safety issue,” Villarreal said…

Villarreal said he is concerned about possible violence.

“I know that the state of Texas provides for them to be able to display their firearms,” he said.

“I’m not going to lie to you; it’s going to make us nervous. We’re not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed,” he said.

Villarreal said even though they’re not familiar with the militia, they plan to be prepared.

“We’ve never dealt with militia here in Starr County. We don’t know what their temperament is or their personality might be. I can tell you that knowing that they might be here … helps us prepare for what ever may come,” he said.
It’s certainly understandable that law enforcement officials are nervous about the upcoming event. However, with the standoff at the Bundy Ranch fresh in the minds of Americans, it’s clear that police must be mindful of the line between maintaining law and order and engaging in police intimidation by demonstrating a frightening overreaction by militarized police against citizens demonstrating their First and Second Amendment rights- as we saw in the standoff between citizens and the law enforcement officials at the Bundy Ranch several months ago.

BORDER PATROL SAYS NO TO MILITIAS, YES TO SURVEILLANCE BLIMPS

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Contrived border crisis creates opportunity to expand surveillance state

by ADAN SALAZAR | INFOWARS.COM | SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

Law enforcement agencies recently expressed disapproval of armed militia groups helping police the southern border, but one thing they do want is invasive surveillance blimp technology.

Militias assemble on the Texas-Mexico Border

Picking up the federal government’s slack, various militia groups have assembled along the banks of the Rio Bravo River in deep south Texas in an effort to supplement border security.

Prompted to action by reports that illegals are overrunning the country, and by fears that the influx in its current form will further destroy the country’s infrastructure and, indeed, aid in the dismantling of national sovereignty, militia groups ultimately desire people entering the country illegally to follow the proper channels to gain citizenship.

To this end, they have lent their assistance, free of charge, to federal and state agencies that evidently have their hands full.

But those supposedly in charge of securing the border say militia members, who lack the traditional law enforcement attire, are confusing police officers and border agents.

“Sometimes it can be dangerous, because you have all these (non-law enforcement) people out there running around the border,” said Kevin Oaks, the Border Patrol’s chief in the Rio Grande Valley in an Associated Press report entitled, “Border Patrol: Leave law enforcement to the pros.” “There are cartel members that carry assault weapons and camouflage, and then there’s others that may be under the auspices of whatever group, may look very similar, and we have no idea who those people are. My fear is that these things clash and eventually there will be a very bad outcome.”

One such “bad outcome” manifested last month when a border agent accidentally opened fire on a man who later turned out to be a militia member.

“We really don’t need the militia here,” Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said following the shooting. “It just creates a problem from my point of view, because we don’t know who they are.”

“How do they identify themselves? Do they have badges? How do we know who they are?” Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Deputy J.P. Rodriguez also questioned in August. “If they’re all just dressed in camos, it’s kind of hard to distinguish whether they’re law enforcement or not… There’s a lot of potential for stuff to go wrong.”

We need blimps, not boots

While making it clear that additional help is not needed, law enforcement is nevertheless enthusiastic over the launch of surveillance balloons over several cities in South Texas.

The tethered blimps, known as aerostats, were transferred to the Border Patrol from the Defense Department after being used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. They hover around 3,500 feet in the air, and come equipped with military-grade radar and 360-degree camera equipment which can zoom in on license plates from miles away, enabling agents to keep a close eye on border activity 24 hours a day. There are currently eight aerostats floating in Texas, with five of them surveilling the Rio Grande Valley, up from three initial trial balloons.

“They have been extremely successful,” Border Patrol agent Joe Gutierrez Jr. told The Monitor. “It’s opened our eyes to the amount of traffic. As soon as the aerostat went up, we saw more apprehensions.”

Justifying their need for the spy apparatuses, law enforcement agents claim smugglers often take advantage of the few times in the day the aerostats are pulled for maintenance.

“They probably do monitor the aerostat, smugglers do,” stated Penitas Police Chief Roel Bermea. “When they put it down for any reason, I’m pretty sure they take the risk in crossing as many illegals as they can.”

“The more eyes we have on what’s going on around us the better,” Rio Grande City Assistant Police Chief Noe Castillo told CBS affiliate ValleyCentral.com in May after Starr County received a blimp. “I think any jurisdiction would love to have that in their area.”

But privacy concerns have arisen over the undisclosed scope of the aerostats’ surveillance capabilities. Tom Hargis, the Director of Communications for the ACLU of Texas, for one, believes the balloons could potentially infringe on American citizens’ privacy rights.

“For border residents, more mass surveillance gadgets in the sky simply add to the sense of being under siege,” Hargis told The Monitor.

“The extraordinary authority that government possesses on this border continues to spill over the lives of regular Americans. Instead of a targeted effort to stop crime, what we’ve been seeing is an approach such as dragnet surveillance that turns us all into suspects,” Hargis stated.

The Border Patrol insists it would never use the blimps to spy on citizens, however, it is reluctant to disclose details about the blimps’ capabilities “so smugglers would not learn of any limitations,” writes The Monitor’s Fernando Del Valle.

“The specific purpose is not to infringe on people’s privacy,” said Border Patrol agent Shevannah Wray. “We use it to secure the border.”

The agency’s reassurances are lukewarm, given that the federal government considers areas up to 100 miles inland from the border “Constitution-free zones.”

In his 2005 documentary film, Martial Law 9-11: The Rise of the Police State, Alex Jones predicted that blimps, such as the aerostats patrolling the border, would soon be surveilling major cities.

“This is only the beginning. In the future, every major city will have a high-altitude blimp tethered to a cable with ground-penetrating radar that looks right through your walls and gives the government a black and white image of the inside of your home,” Jones predicted.

Scroll to approximately 10 minutes to hear Jones’ comments.

In the film, Jones captured a blimp spying on American citizens ahead of the high-security 2005 Republican National Convention in New York City, loaned out to the NYPD by Fuji Film.

The blimps have already been tested in several cities throughout the country, including Washington DC, and one is scheduled to make an appearance in San Diego by the end of the month. Analysts project the Aerostat Systems Market to reach $9.96 billion by 2020.

Orchestrated Border Crisis Used to Give Big Brother Bigger Eyes

Given the Obama administration’s role in facilitating and orchestrating the border crisis, the move to launch more surveillance blimps is likely another classic example of how a manufactured crisis can never go to waste.

Back in June, a McAllen, Texas city official exclusively told Infowars that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol was purchasing bus tickets and vouchers for illegal immigrants in order to ship them deeper into the country at taxpayers’ expense.

Since then it has emerged that the federal government is playing a key role in helping immigrants by stemming deportations, providing lavish accommodations and setting them up with immigration court hearings that rarely get attended.

The practice of catching and releasing illegals into the country has led some agents to label the influx a contrived debacle, which the Obama administration is purposefully neglecting to act on.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers Zack Taylor said in a press release earlier this year. “It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor Illegal Alien children at risk for purely political purposes. Certainly, we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States Government.”

Taylor has gone further by calling the government’s inaction “asymmetrical warfare” which will work to defeat the nation “from within.”

Moreover, AmericanBorderPatrol.com‘s Glenn Spencer outlined to Infowars in July how he had developed technology which would detect illegal immigrants by counting “everybody who crosses the border and alert where they are, and how many” by utilizing a seismic “sonic barrier,” similar to devices previously used by oil exploration companies.

The fact that the technology was praised by a U.S. Defense Department contractor, but never implemented, illustrates how the federal government is actively ignoring solutions which would stem the tide of illegal immigrants, in favor of surveillance technologies replete with privacy-infringing implications.

BORDER BREAKDOWN: MILITIA TO BLOCK PORTS OF ENTRY

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http://www.krgv.com/news/militia-threatens-to-block-traffic-at-international-bridges/#.VBMr7cZDzvw.gmail

McALLEN – Law enforcement officials and city leaders from across the Rio Grande Valley are preparing for what they say could result in tense moments or violence.

Officials say they received word that members of a militia are threatening to block ports of entry.

In Starr County, international bridge authorities met with Customs and Border Protection officials Thursday. Their goal was to discuss the potential problem and find a plan of action.

Starr County has international bridges in Rio Grande City, Roma and Falcon Dam.

Officials received word that members of a militia plan to protest illegal crossings by blocking traffic on Sept. 20.

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal said members of the group have a right to express their opinion. His is concerned about the group’s intent, though.

“What can we expect? I don’t know. The unknown becomes an issue that we really got to prepare for,” Villarreal said.

“I’m a 100 percent sure that with the National Guard, with DPS, with Border Patrol and local law enforcement, we’ll communicate and we’ll handle whatever comes,” he said.

“The level of communication that exists doesn’t get talked about enough. It’s an extraordinary amount of communication,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal said he is worried about safety.

“If they’re here to block traffic, to be a hindrance between traffic and the port of entry, that causes a problem. It’s a huge safety issue,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal said blocking international traffic could impact the local economy.

“A port of entry is not just a port of entry for people; it’s also a port of entry for commerce. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that transact at the ports of entry. If their intent is to cause a disruption at a port of entry, it’s not only a matter of people, it’s a matter of commerce as well,” he said.

Villarreal said he is concerned about possible violence.

“I know that the state of Texas provides for them to be able to display their firearms,” he said.

“I’m not going to lie to you; it’s going to make us nervous. We’re not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed,” he said.

Villarreal said even though they’re not familiar with the militia, they plan to be prepared.

“We’ve never dealt with militia here in Starr County. We don’t know what their temperament is or their personality might be. I can tell you that knowing that they might be here … helps us prepare for what ever may come,” he said.