Tag Archives: Mexico

Sitting At The Head Of The Class

soccer
Teacher, Teacher, I need you...

Premise: Obama administration is a troop of gangsters, needs to be investigated to the hilt, and held accountable just like every other administration that has come before. The Obama administration is not entitled to its own dictatorship in the United States of America, no matter who he thinks he is.

Charmer #1: If you can't see that both sides of this political circus act are corrupt and no matter which side gets into the Oval Office at any given time we will get the same result because we allowed the elite bankers to hijack the country via the federal reserve bank of which they are major shareholders.

Charmer #2: I can see one side refused to participate in a program forcing everyone in the nation to eventually change insurance plans, enumerating everyone under the same system, thus ruining healthcare and one-sixth of the US economy; I can see that one side sent guns into Mexico illegally and 300 people were killed including an American border patrol agent; I can see that one side used the IRS illegally to stymie conservative political organizations; I can see that one side lied about a tape being the cause of the Benghazi tragedy, and has refused to allow survivors to testify before Congress; I can see that one side spent $800,000,000,000 that was earmarked for shovel ready projects (infrastructure) and is now calling for $400,000,000,000 for infrastructure because they used to the $800 billion to bankroll Obama-friendly green energy companies that failed rather than spend it on traditional infrastructure; and I can see one side gave organizations billions of that money to support Obamacare so it would pass the Congress with one side's votes. The more I look at both sides the more I see corruption in this administration that the other side had nothing to do with. Since you claim to be sitting at the head of the class, can you see a problem with the people in office now? If so let's deal with it first rather than give them a pass since they are the problem at the moment.

Teacher's question: Where is the snake?

Iran Aggressively Recruiting Invisible Army

Huma Abedin, Muslim Brotherhood?
Huma Abedin, Muslim Brotherhood?

Sep. 3, 2013 2:51 PM | Sara Carter

Mr. President, if your Sunni leanings give you enough pause to gauge the imminent threat coming up through our southern border, then you should level with America. You should do a solid in closing our borders. You should stop this notion of disarming peaceful citizens who love their nation and their guiding principles. You should act now...

Iran is recruiting an “invisible army” of revolutionary sympathizers in Latin America to infiltrate the U.S. through the “soft belly” of the southern border, U.S. officials and national security experts told TheBlaze. And they’re using one website in particular to do it.

The Iranian regime’s conversion efforts are becoming increasingly aggressive, especially over the Internet, with the goal of conducting operations against United States interests in the Western Hemisphere, according to U.S. government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the nature of their work in the region.

Historically, Iran has tried to recruit agents from the Lebanese Shi’ite diaspora in South America and West Africa,” Phillips said. ”This emphasis on Hispanic converts is something new.”

Islamoriente.com, which focuses on religion and politics, is one of Iran’s main recruitment and conversion websites for Latin America on the Internet, TheBlaze has learned. The site, which launched in 2008, includes links to Iranian television for Spanish speakers, anti-American news stories, essays on reasons to convert to Islam, chat rooms and a personal message from the Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.

Even as President Barack Obama waits for Congress to make a decision on Syria, the Iranian website wastes no time and has no shortage of stories ridiculing the U.S. administration for threatening to strike President Bashar Assad’s regime, a staunch ally of Iran.

Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and expert in Iranian affairs, said Iran’s focus on Hispanic converts is a new evolution in Iranian operations in Latin America. Phillips said Khamanei’s message titled “The Importance of Work and the Nobility of the Worker” in Islam, is significant because the Ayatollah is “normally a background player in these sorts of efforts and doesn’t usually play such a public role.”

“Historically, Iran has tried to recruit agents from the Lebanese Shi’ite diaspora in South America and West Africa,” Phillips said. ”This emphasis on Hispanic converts is something new.”

In the past, “U.S. intelligence focused on Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah but now with the people they are recruiting it could be much more difficult to gauge who is infiltrating the U.S.,” Phillips added.

In August, the U.S. State Department decided to order a new review of Iranian terror activity in Latin America, based on a 500-page report issued by Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman on Iran’s terrorist strategy in the region. Nisman was the original prosecutor in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more. Nisman believes Hezbollah, on orders from Iran, was responsible for the bombing.

The report states that Iran has attempted to infiltrate “for decades, large regions of Latin America, through the establishment of clandestine intelligence stations and operative agents which are used to execute terrorist attacks when the Iranian regime decides so, both directly or through its proxy, the terrorist organization Hezbollah. These actions have been taking place within the so-called ‘export of the revolution,’ which was never masked by Tehran and is, in fact, written in their own constitution.”

Nisman’s report supports the evidence U.S. officials say they’ve found in the region. Iran’s revolutionary guard is focused on Latin America and has ramped up its efforts over the past decade, utilizing the same Internet tools they censor and ban from their own citizens. It is ”part of their effort to build an invisible army to penetrate the U.S. and our interests without suspicion, and it’s something we should be extremely mindful of,” said a U.S. official familiar with Iranian operations in Latin America.

The official said recent Iranian activity in Latin America shows the importance of the region in Iran’s political and ideological goals. Those goals are not only to cultivate anti-American sentiment in the region but also to build a network of support among Latin American converts in positions of power, the official said.

The Blaze attempted to trace the domain and creators of the server hosting IslamOriente.com but the site is protected by a privacy company based out of the U.S. Attempts to call the number on the website led to a voice recording from a telephone number out of Queensland, Australia, which said that the website is protected by privacyprotect.org.

According to a 2012 report from the Middle East Media Research Project (MEMRI), a think tank providing translation on video and Internet websites from the Middle East, privacyprotect.org is one among many U.S. companies that are used by Al Qaeda and other nefarious groups use to hide their information. MEMRI also attempted to trace the Iranian website to no avail.

Ayelet Savyon, the director of the Iran desk for MEMRI, told The Blaze that Iranian activities seem to be focused more on recruiting from the local populations with more sophisticated approaches.

"(Iran) is doing so in all parts of the world with the aim at targeting the U.S. soft belly,” said Savyon, who is based in Israel. “Latin America is a long-term goal for them with direct national security implications for the U.S., and I do think it’s of special interest to the U.S." She referred to The Washington Post's recent report revealing how Iranian embassies in Latin America use cultural attaches to recruit young impressionable students to special conversion programs in Iran.

“Now what they desire is a proxy terrorist group that can easily slip past U.S. border security,” the U.S. official added. “Who’s going to suspect an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter, of being a jihadist?”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June to replace the openly anti-American Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said in a recent public address that his support for Latin America is strong. Rouhani told Vasquez Bucaro, the president of the Central American Parliament and the head of Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, that he welcomes increased interaction between the two groups and Iran’s legislature to strengthen their relations.

“Just because Iran has a new president, that hasn’t changed their goals,” Savyon said. “They are looking to recruit people who can support Iran’s revolutionary values. Their agenda hasn’t changed, only thing that has changed is the image they are trying to present to the world.” A U.S. counterterrorism official said Iran’s activities are being closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies and “there’s no question that Iran has tried to cultivate ties with some of Latin America’s left-leaning governments.”

“As an element of this strategy, Tehran has mounted a charm offensive that includes using Internet propaganda to influence public opinion in these countries,” he added. Another U.S. official, who has worked in Latin America for more than a decade, said Iran has dedicated a large number of resources to recruiting and converting people in Mexico, who have easier access to the U.S. border and can easily blend in with other migrants crossing the border.

In 2009, six U.S. officials confirmed in an earlier investigation conducted by this reporter that the designated terrorist group Hezbollah, which is supported by the Iranian government, had been using the same narcotics routes used by drug cartels into the U.S. That has not changed but now “Iran’s goal is to recruit people that can be utilized against U.S. interests” and blend in without raising suspicion, the U.S. official said.

Hezbollah is based in Lebanon and was founded after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It has grown into a major political, military and social welfare organization, which is controlled and financed by Iran and in 2006, it fought a 34-day war against Israel.

Hezbollah members and supporters have entered the U.S. through the southern border as early as 2002, with the case of Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille had owned a cafe in the border city of Tijuana, near San Diego. In 2002, he was arrested for smuggling 200 people into the the U.S., including Hezbollah supporters, according to a 2009 Congressional report.

In 2005, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, the brother of a Hezbollah chief, pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah after being smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border and settling in Dearborn, Mich.

“Now what they desire is a proxy terrorist group that can easily slip past U.S. border security,” the U.S. official added. “Who’s going to suspect an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter, of being a jihadist?”

Read more.

An Exercise In Critical Thinking

“If Obama WERE a Muslim, how would his behavior be different than what it has been?”

excellent question….

Answer….he is a Muslim, always has been, NO Christian Hides images of GOD, Jesus or Christianity…..for ANY reason…obama is doing to the US, what Al Qaeda and the Taliban couldnt. ruining the Value of Our currency, and weakening our Military, making us just like Japan was in WWII, dependent on other Nations for it’s Oil and trying to disarm Americans with gun control legislation, and obama and ATF inspired schemes to make Guns the focus of Mexican Drug problems….

I really have nothing to add to this clarifying snippet I've appropriated from the comments section over at Logan's Warning.

Say what you will, but some people just have the special knack of going straight to the point. Tip of the cap to Chief Cabioch and Charles for this small but effective pinch of salt.

Stalking The North American Union

Here's another scathing take of an unstable and disastrous future posted by a Jihad Watch commenter who goes by the telling handle—Susanp.

Obama Grin
President Obama Loving the Limelight

FOR ANYONE WHO BELIEVES that the furious trans-globalist, internationalist traitors in the Obama adminstration and beyond, including the annointed one, are not champions of the New World Order, global government, open borders crowd, why did Obama make this statement last week while entertaining the president of Mexico: "America is not defined by its borders."

What, pray tell, defines America in the mind of this Manchurian Candidate, anti-Christ imposter who was elected president by my fellow Americans, most of whom assumed that his promise of 'change' meant change for the better, not a fast track to socialism/communism with obsequious pandering to arrogant, hostile muslim immigrants thrown in for good measure? America is the only sovereign country in the world that refuses to protect its borders and keep illegal aliens out, and Americans are the only people who are condemned, demonized, called racists and bigots for demanding that our immigration laws be upheld and our sovereignty defended.

The 'North American Union' project is not dead and the elitist tycoons have not abandoned their monumental and cherished endeavor. It is very much alive, with the goal of merging Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. into one big borderless union similar to the E.U., with its own currency, parliament, and behemoth bureaucracy. Its foundations are being laid as we speak and it will happen, perhaps not in our lifetimes, but eventually. I see nothing that can stop it except mass revolt by the people of all three nations, and I just can't envision militant Canadians. The Mexicans would love it and who knows what Americans will do.

It will be accomplished in stages, accompanied by the usual lies, obfuscations, and deceit so the peasants don't revolt in fury and with a complicit media providing cover, what could go wrong? When the perfect storm comes along, it will be foisted on the people and proclaimed their only salvation from whatever profound and chaotic 'emergency' they create to consummate their ambitious venture. Several states amended their constitutions in anticipation of this outrageous plot, and that is proof enough for me that it exists.

Susanp

Whistling Past The Graveyard

binladen75
Tent Dwellers Make War, Too

The following article by John Perazzo originally published at Frontpage Magazine. Last week, columnist Paul Weyrich reported that there is credible evidence that Osama bin Laden has acquired twenty suitcase-sized nuclear bombs from Chechen rebels in the former Soviet Union and smuggled them into the United States by way of the Mexican border. If that is true, the al Qaeda kingpin has laid the groundwork for an “American Hiroshima” plan that he intends to carry out in the very near future. Once bin Laden gives the signal, his henchmen will proceed to detonate their explosives in a number of separate U.S. cities, leaving them in irreparable ruins and killing tens of millions of people in the process.

In other words, while the Left, ever since 9/11, has argued passionately against sealing the southern U.S. border on grounds that such an initiative would constitute “racism,” “xenophobia,” a violation of “human rights,” a repudiation of “American values,” and a “threat to the environment,” bin Laden has quietly and happily exploited our national insanity and set the stage, from his cave somewhere in the remote mountains of Pakistan, for the cataclysmic end of the most powerful nation in world history.

If bin Laden indeed has been able to set in motion this nightmare scenario, he succeeded for one very simple reason: America’s military might has been offset by a weakness of spirit that has become a hallmark of the modern Western world. It is a frailty that derives entirely from the leftist worldview that has infected America over the past half-century. This view identifies Western (especially American) culture as a uniquely evil, exploitative player in the story of mankind, and depicts all acts of barbarism against the U.S. as wholly understandable reactions to American transgressions. It is a mindset that has gradually, incrementally, and inexorably made its “long march through the institutions,”—the schools, the seminaries and churches, the media, the entertainment industry, the courts, and the political sphere—just as the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci prescribed in the 1920s.

Gramsci understood that by poisoning the culture from within, and by so degrading and undermining the culture’s faith in itself, the American people could be compelled to believe, to their very marrow, that their heritage was in fact unworthy of defending against those who would destroy it under the banner of so-called “multiculturalism.” Gramsci and his successors were patient enough to allow this time-consuming process to unfold, knowing that the American way of life could be bled to death ever-so-slowly, almost imperceptibly, without the firing of a single shot until the time was just right.

The fact that the person who ultimately may fire that shot is a seventh-century-style savage whose fanatical “religious” worldview bears no resemblance whatsoever to the ideals of Gramsci and his fellow Marxists, is not as strange as one might think. As bin Laden himself declared in a fatwa issued on Al-Jazeera Television just before American and British troops entered Iraq in March 2003: “The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders.”

What distinguishes a large proportion of the American population from bin Laden's Islamists goes far beyond the genocidal ambitions of the latter. The most vital distinction is that the Islamists believe, with every fiber of their being, in the legitimacy (indeed, the supremacy) of their culture and the nobility of their mission.
Given that bin Laden’s agents of nuclear holocaust apparently were smuggled into our country by way of the Mexican border, it is worth recalling what some of the luminaries of the Left have had to say, in recent years, vis a vis defending that border by means of increased surveillance and the construction of a fence to repel illegal invaders:

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser attributes the concerns that many Americans have about illegal immigration to a “wave of anti-immigrant hysteria.” Wade Henderson of the ACLU’s Washington, DC office claims that the desire to regulate immigration can be traced directly to “hostility motivated by nativism, racism, and red scare.” In May 2008, the ACLU produced a tearjerker advertisement lamenting how a fence somewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border had ruined Mother’s Day for a Mexican woman and her daughter by keeping them apart.

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC):  Viewing the United States as the world’s primary agent of evil and exploitation, this group has posted on its website a detailed list of strategies by which illegal aliens—in the event that they are interrogated, detained, or arrested—can avoid cooperating with immigration authorities or police. According to AFSC, a border fence would “disrupt” area residents’ “way of life” and “has never proven to be a long-term, practical solution to the immigration dilemma.” The organization further contends that such a fence would constitute “a form of violence to the environment” because “it is expected to cause irreversible damage to the Tijuana River Estuary environs as well as cause erosion and flooding in Tijuana.”

Border Action Network (BAN): This neo-Marxist group seeks “to ensure that those who are most impacted [i.e., illegal aliens] by border and immigration policies are at the forefront of movements calling for human dignity and civil rights …” Advocating the dissolution of American borders, BAN calls for unchecked, unregulated migration into and out of the United States. The organization has filed lawsuits against what it calls “an ugly movement of armed, militia-style civilian groups” and “anti-immigrant, white supremacist groups” —such as American Border Patrol and Ranch Rescue—for their practice of detaining illegal aliens and calling government border agents to arrest them. BAN co-director Jennifer Allen said in 2002: “They [illegal immigrants] have civil rights and human rights that take precedence over defending the country.” Former BAN spokesman Chris Ford, for his part, expresses concern that “this [fence] plan will cause massive environmental destruction” affecting in particular the Sonoran Pronghorn, an animal that resembles an antelope and is considered an “endangered species.”

National Council of Churches (NCC): A longtime enemy of the United States, NCC in the 1950s and 1960s, under the rubric of charity, provided financial assistance to the communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Poland. In the 1970s it helped finance Soviet-sponsored guerrilla incursions into Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola. It the 1980s it contributed large sums of money to the Marxist Sandinista Party in Nicaragua and communist guerrillas in El Salvador. Moreover, the organization has supported Fidel Castro’s (and now his successor’s) regime in Cuba for decades.

Thus Americans, whistling past the graveyard, have voluntarily placed themselves in a rhetorical and ideological straight jacket, fearing to admit that they can even perceive the plain reality that Islam’s predominant teachings and emphases—as set forth in the trilogy consisting of the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sira—differ greatly from those of Western religious traditions.

In April 2008, NCC co-signed an interfaith letter to Congress expressing “grave concern over the environmental destruction currently occurring in the U.S.-Mexico border region” as a result of the “hasty construction of hundreds of miles of fencing along the border.” “The current path of the border fence,” NCC explained, “cuts through places like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, home to over 500 species of plants, 50 species of mammals, and nearly 300 species of birds. Construction of the fence is severing migration routes and destroying thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. In Arizona alone, 39 species protected or proposed to be protected under the Endangered Species Act are being adversely affected by Border Patrol activities, including construction of the fence….”

Defenders of Wildlife (DOW): This environmentalist group has warned that the erection of a border fence will have “serious and lasting” effects on the region’s wildlife, water, and air. According to DOW associate Jenny Neeley, such a fence will significantly impact biological diversity along the border by preventing desert animals from moving around freely. “Right now,” she says, “on the U.S.-Mexico border there are 47 endangered species, including the jaguar, the ocelot, the lesser long nosed bat and numerous bird species.” Neeley further complains that the bright lights used by border patrol officers during overnight hours can cause great harm to “nocturnal animals.”

National Council of La Raza (NCLR): This organization favors amnesty for illegals already residing in the U.S., and open borders henceforth. In NCLR’s calculus, any restriction on the free movement of immigrants constitutes a violation of their civil liberties, and any reduction in government assistance to illegal border-crossers is “a disgrace to American values.” Thus NCLR supports continued mass Mexican immigration to the United States, and hopes to achieve, by the sheer weight of numbers, the re-partition of the American Southwest as a new state called “Aztlan”—to be controlled by its alleged rightful owners, the people and government of Mexico. In October 2006, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said that the prospect of a border fence “doesn’t solve the immigration issue, it makes it worse.”

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF): Over the course of its 40-year history, MALDEF has undertaken numerous legal campaigns to abet the cause of illegal immigration. In 1994, for example, the organization condemned Operation Gatekeeper, a U.S. government program intended to restore integrity to a particularly porous stretch of the California-Mexico border. Claiming that this initiative was callously “diverting” illegal border-crossers “from California to the harsh and dangerous Arizona desert,” MALDEF charged that Americans opposing unrestricted immigration were motivated largely by “racism and xenophobia.”

This type of trembling population—echoing dutifully the cacophony of empty platitudes uttered by all manner of America-hating, know-nothing leftists in the political arena, in the media, in the pulpit, and in the university classroom—have provided Osama bin Laden with more than enough assurance that he is facing an enemy ripe for slaughter on a scale never before seen.

In 2006 MALDEF’s Interim President and General Counsel John Trasviña called the prospective border fence “a travesty” that “will take years to complete and does nothing to address America’s immigration or labor needs.” An official MALDEF statement said that such a fence would “make illegal crossings more deadly and dangerous” and would cause hardship for “American families who want to be reunited with loved ones.”

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): In December 2005 LULAC created a website titled “WeAreRacists.com,” which portrayed the Minuteman Project—a nonviolent organization of U.S. citizens who alert the Border Patrol to the presence of unauthorized border-crossers in the American Southwest—as “an anti-immigrant group” composed of “racists, cowards, un-Americans (sic), vigilantes, [and] domestic terrorists” who are “often affiliated with white supremacy groups.”

LULAC opposes border-patrol policies that would authorize the U.S. military to prevent illegal immigration, on grounds that “military personnel are not trained for border patrolling and might easily violate the civil rights of those they intervene with.” José Velez, who headed the League from 1990 to 1994, has said that the U.S. Border Patrol is “the enemy of my people and always will be.” In 2006 LULAC National President Hector. M. Flores condemned the prospective security fence as “an affront to immigrant communities [that] will create a permanent scar in the relationship between the United States and our southern neighbors.” “Building a ‘Berlin’ style wall between ourselves and our neighbor,” he added, “is un-American, undemocratic, and unacceptable in a free society.

Democrats: In April 2008, fourteen House Democrats, including eight committee chairmen, said they would file a brief supporting a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s plans to finish erecting nearly 500 miles of fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year. Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said, “Our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence.”

If indeed Osama bin Laden’s nuclear holocaust looms just over the horizon, life as we have known it in this country will soon be gone forever. All that remains to be seen is how far the Islamists will go to humiliate and degrade us before striking their lethal blows. And we can trace this awful fate directly to the imbecilic, catastrophic policies of organizations and individuals like those listed above. While they have lectured us on stupidities like the “rights” of “undocumented” border-crossers and the plight of “endangered” long-nosed bats, our enemies were not nearly as timid as we were.

What distinguishes a large proportion of the American population from bin Laden's Islamists goes far beyond the genocidal ambitions of the latter. The most vital distinction is that the Islamists believe, with every fiber of their being, in the legitimacy (indeed, the supremacy) of their culture and the nobility of their mission. Nothing can deter them from their single-minded quest to conquer and murder in the name of Allah.

islam78
Islam's Demographic Sludge

By contrast, many tens of millions of Americans have been conditioned, by decades of leftist assaults on the legitimacy of their history and traditions, to doubt that those traditions even merit a stiff defense. Only in such a culture would so many people—from anonymous men and women on any street corner to the occupant of the Oval Office—be so preoccupied with reiterating, ad nauseam, the notion that authentic Islam is, at its essence, a “religion of peace” that unfortunately was “hijacked” by a “small minority of extremists.” Only in such a culture would it be widely understood, as it is in America, that any deviation from these absurd talking points opens one up to charges of “Islamophobia” and “bigotry.”

Thus Americans, whistling past the graveyard, have voluntarily placed themselves in a rhetorical and ideological straight jacket, fearing to admit that they can even perceive the plain reality that Islam’s predominant teachings and emphases—as set forth in the trilogy consisting of the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sira—differ greatly from those of Western religious traditions.

Their fear of stating this simple, inarguable truth closely parallels their fear of demanding that our nation strengthen its border security to the point where illegal entry is made impossible—lest they be smeared as “racists” and “nativists” who are unconcerned with the “dignity” and the “common humanity” of “impoverished undocumented workers,” blah, blah, blah.

This type of trembling population—echoing dutifully the cacophony of empty platitudes uttered by all manner of America-hating, know-nothing leftists in the political arena, in the media, in the pulpit, and in the university classroom—have provided Osama bin Laden with more than enough assurance that he is facing an enemy ripe for slaughter on a scale never before seen.

Bush To Waive Rules On Border Fence

patriotville
Border Fence Chaos

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION will use its authority to bypass more than 30 laws and regulations in an effort to finish building 670 miles of fence along the southwest U.S. border by the end of this year, federal officials said Tuesday.

Invoking the two legal waivers— which Congress authorized—will cut through bureaucratic red tape and sidestep environmental laws that currently stand in the way of the Homeland Security Department building 267 miles of fencing in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to officials familiar with the plan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly about it.

The move is the biggest use of legal waivers since the administration started building the fence, and it will cover a total of 470 miles along the Southwest border, the department said. Previously, the department has used its waiver authority for two portions of fence in Arizona and one portion in San Diego.

"Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement. "These waivers will enable important security projects to keep moving forward."

"Unwilling to consult with local communities or to follow long-standing laws, Secretary Chertoff chose to bypass stakeholders and push through this unpopular project on April Fool's Day," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said in a statement. "We don't think the destruction of the borderlands region is a laughing matter."

As of March 17, there were 309 miles of fencing in place, leaving 361 to be completed by the end of the year to meet the department's goal. Of those, 267 miles are being held up by federal, state and local laws and regulations, the officials said.

One waiver will address the construction of a 22-mile levee barrier in Hidalgo County, Texas. The other waiver will cover 30 miles of fencing and technology deployment on environmentally sensitive ground in San Diego, southern Arizona and the Rio Grande; and 215 miles in California, Arizona and Texas that face other legal impediments due to administrative processes. For instance, building in some areas requires assessments and studies that—if conducted—could not be completed in time to finish the fence by the end of the year.

Chertoff had said using the waivers would be a last resort. The department has held more than 100 meetings with lawmakers, environmental groups and residents in an effort to work out obstacles and objections to fence construction.

The department will conduct environmental assessments when necessary. But the waivers allow the department to start building before completing the assessments. Chertoff said the department will continue to ask for input on the construction plans.

Residents and property owners along the U.S.-Mexico border have complained about the construction of fencing. In South Texas, where opposition has been widespread, land owners refused to give the government access to property along the fence route. The government has since sued more than 50 property owners in South Texas to gain access to the land.

Environmentalists have also complained about the fence because they say it puts already endangered species such as two types of wild cats—the ocelot and the jaguarundi—in even more danger of extinction. They say the fence would prevent them from swimming across the Rio Grande to mate.

"Unwilling to consult with local communities or to follow long-standing laws, Secretary Chertoff chose to bypass stakeholders and push through this unpopular project on April Fool's Day," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said in a statement. "We don't think the destruction of the borderlands region is a laughing matter."

Chertoff has said the fence is good for the environment because immigrants degrade the land with trash and human waste when they sneak illegally into the country. (Source: Associated Press)

Congress Blocks Bush's Mexican Truck Madness

mexican-trucks
Gateway From Mexico

The U.S. Senate has dealt a likely death blow to the Bush administration plans to give Mexican long-haul trucking rigs free access to United States roads and highways. A bipartisan majority voted 74-24 tonight to pass an amendment offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to remove funding from the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Transportation appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation's "Mexican Trucking" demonstration project. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., joined Dorgan as a co-sponsor of his amendment. "Tonight, commerce—for a change—did not trump safety," Dorgan said in a news release issued after the vote. "Tonight's vote is a vote for safety," Dorgan said. "It also represents a turning of the tide on the senseless, headlong rush this country has been engaged in for some time, to dismantle safety standards and a quality of life it took generations to achieve."

A counter amendment offered by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was submitted in an effort to keep the Mexican truck demonstration project alive, even if on life support. Cornyn had proposed to allow the demonstration project to go forward, while reserving the right of the Senate to pull the plug if safety problems developed in the initial phases of the program roll-out.

Brown compared the safety concerns of allowing Mexican trucks to enter freely into the United States with the safety risks raised by lead paint use by the Chinese on imported toys and Chinese pet and human food that contained poisonous or otherwise toxic elements. And let's not forget about giving Dubai control over American seaports?

Cornyn's proposal was killed by a strong bipartisan 80-18 vote to table his amendment. Repeatedly, in arguing from the floor of the Senate for his amendment, Cornyn mischaracterized NAFTA as having created a "treaty obligation" requiring the United States to allow Mexican trucks free access to U.S. roads. Dorgan objected, pointing out that NAFTA was passed in 1993 as a law, not a treaty.

The vote, taken on the evening of the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, represented a strong sentiment in the Senate that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the DOT inspector general had failed to make the case in their eleventh hour reports submitted to Congress late last Thursday that adequate inspection procedures were in place to insure that Mexican trucks would meet U.S. safety standards.

Dorgan argued on the floor of the U.S. Senate that Mexico had no national database which would permit the FMCSA or the DOT inspector general to verify accident reports or driver violations of Mexican drivers or the reliability of vehicle inspections conducted in Mexico.

Speaking in favor of Dorgan's amendment, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the issue really was "free trade" agreements advanced by the Bush administration that advantaged only the multi-national corporations. Brown compared the safety concerns of allowing Mexican trucks to enter freely into the United States with the safety risks raised by lead paint use by the Chinese on imported toys and Chinese pet and human food that contained poisonous or otherwise toxic elements. And let's not forget about giving Dubai control over American seaports?

"We need to vote for our children, for our families, for our pets, and for ourselves," Brown charged, urging in an emotional plea that the Senate pass Dorgan's amendment.

In May, the House of Representatives passed the Safe American Roads Act of 2007 (H.R. 1773), by an overwhelming, bipartisan 411-3 margin. The majority in the House opposing the DOT Mexican trucking demonstration project makes almost certain that the Dorgan amendment will survive when a conference committee reviews the DOT funding bill that will go to President Bush for his signature. The Senate is now considered likely to finalize the DOT funding bill today, with the Dorgan amendment included.

"Because my amendment is identical to language already included in the House-passed version of this bill," Dorgan said in the press release issued after the vote, "I expect this provision will not be altered in the House-Senate conference committee and that we have, effectively, stopped this pilot program."