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As the Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean fiasco gains momentum with those who support the two incarcerated agents specifically, the border patrol generally, and the probe into questionable conduct by U.S. Attorney, Johnny Sutton and company, so too does this story gain detractors–detractors who generally have no more than a broad understanding of the incident, the trial, and the recent firestorm of outrage from the public and a growing number of congressmen and senators who are understandably demanding an investigation of Sutton, his office, and the DHS among others for their dubious ethics in regards to the apparent railroading of Ramos and Compean.

First, many question if these men are actually heroes. Here’s a typical, partisan comment from Joshua Holland writing for Alternet.com

So the [right] wingnuts have taken to calling Johnny Sutton an “agent of the Mexican government,” demanded that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez step into the case and generally made a big stink on right-wing talk radio, blogs and on their fake “news” sites like Townhall and WorldNetDaily. It’s all gotten conflated with the rank-and-file rebellion against the Republican Party over immigration. To many on the right, the two dirty cops are “illegal immigration heroes.” [bold emphasis]

And from an Anonymous poster on this piece

Whoa..everyone here needs to chill out. First, shooting someone in the back is not a “heroic” action. I don’t know who taught you right from wrong, but you need to do some serious soul searching if you thing this is alright.

First, the comment by Anonymous is indicative of those who know little about the circumstances of the case. Compean claimed the illegal alien drug runner had a shiny object in his hand and it appeared as if the fugitive was turning to use it. Making the assumption that it was a gun, you simply cannot tell agent Compean that the suspect did not have a gun. If he saw what he thought was a gun, Compean has the right to defend himself. This is basic police policy. What would normal human being do in a similar situation?

As for both comments above, I call them heroes because they do something most of us don’t have the balls to do, and they do it every day. They protect us with their own lives on the line, regardless of their imperfections–the same imperfections many of us have. The same can be said of firemen, marines, policemen, etc. I am a television producer. I am not a hero. Ramos and Compean are heroes.

Holland’s comments are rife with liberal political partisanship when this is simply a matter of justice–left and right should make no difference. Of course, I would be a hypocrite if I said I don’t include opinion in my writing (for crying out loud, this is a blog after all), but Holland even ridicules news outlets for offering information that doesn’t line up with his liberal leanings. The Onion is a “fake” news site. World Net Daily is not. Whether you are uncomfortable with the level of bias World Net Daily delivers, dubbing it fake is odd. Alternet.com takes a similar approach, but I would not pin them as “fake” because of the political bias. Their leading headline, Bush is Screwing Up the War on Terror I couldn’t agree with more. Does this make me a liberal? No (though some neo-cons would strongly disagree.) Does reading World Net Daily make me conservative? No. I never agree with every story a news outlet pushes on any website I visit or any publication I read. To do so would be mindless.

Personally I visit several news sites, conservative and liberal, and while I prefer to think of myself as a moderate, I often find myself leaning toward, what to me is, the more stable and thoughtful stance, and that generally leans to the right.

One thing I can certainly say about the liberal leaning news outlets is their trend to manipulate through emotional, straw-man arguments often devoid of logic. Take for example the cover story in latest issue of The Nation–Lockdown in Greely: How Immigration Raids Terrorized a Colorado Town (Marc Cooper.)

…December 12, the holiday celebrating the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. What materialized in front of the Swift gates that morning was more like a vision of hell. Shortly after 7 am a half-dozen buses rolled up with a small fleet of government vans, which unloaded dozens of heavily armed federal agents backed by riot-clad local police. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents sealed off all entrances and exits and formed a perimeter around the factory. Then others barged inside and started rounding up the whole workforce.

Some of the frightened workers jumped into cattle pens; others hid behind machinery or in closets. Those who tried to run were wrestled to the ground. Sworn statements by some workers allege that the ICE agents used chemical sprays to subdue those who didn’t understand the orders barked at them in English. The plant’s entire workforce was herded into the cafeteria and separated into two groups: those who claimed to be US citizens or legal residents and those who didn’t.

Talk about appeals to emotion. The entire article is much like this–one big hyperbolic mess with absolutely no respect for American citizens, native born or immigrant. Vision of hell? A fleet of government vans? They barged inside? What constitutes a vision of hell? I’ve never been there (and hope I never pay a visit), so why the drama? I’m assuming that a fleet constitutes at least two vehicles, but the apparent tone conveyed here is to insinuate a large group of military vehicles filled with nasty-bad government agents, who in reality are simply doing their jobs, much like Ramos and Compean did. And they barged into a facility that was breaking the law by employing illegal immigrants, many of whom were shown to be guilty of identity theft which obviously illustrates why many of the workers initially attempted to hide and flee.

Curiously, pro-illegal immigrant activists, many of whom are liberals, simply don’t understand that they’re in the same boat with President Bush on this issue. You guys actually agree on something–Bush wants a low-paid, easily exploitable workforce and so do you. For many other reasons as well, I do not want to exploit poor illegal aliens. I desire an improved immigration system that starts with sharpened enforcement at the border.

More from The Nation article…

“By saying these raids were about identity theft, ICE and the Bush Administration suddenly changed the rules of the game,” says Mark Grey, director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. By highlighting the identity-theft angle, DHS officials have cast into a sinister light a common practice, at worst a victimless crime.

Hyperbole is one thing. Fabrication is another. Identity theft is never victimless, and it’s a crime that’s growing as more illegals flow into the country unfettered due to our porous border. I’ve heard illegal immigration apologists attempt to explain it away as an inevitability (and that seems to excuse it for them) but I’ve never heard or read anyone be so bold as to state identity theft is victimless. Tell that Linda Trevino and Steve Millet and the many thousands more victims of illegal immigrants who stole identity information of legal residents.

Earnings in limbo

More from The Nation story…

…says an indignant Robert McCormick, a Greeley immigration attorney representing about sixteen of the workers. “This is indeed a declaration of war on the immigrant community. This is about Republicans trying to appease their core bloc of supporters. Yeah, some people got a big kick out of this. But I think most Americans were revolted by it. Here in town, a lot of people have said they want no part of it. And others, I assure you, are going to wind up being very ashamed of it.”

As someone who supports stronger borders and LEGAL immigration I find particularly infuriating how often illegal immigration activists love to leave out the word illegal when discussing the subject of illegal immigration. I am wholly against illegal immigration. I am completely in support of legal immigration. As cheesy as this sounds, I am filled with joy (yes, filled with joy) when ever I hear “The American Dream” story, particularly centered around immigrants–immigrants who came to this country with little to nothing, and managed great successes for themselves. Whether they became CEO of a corporation, or they simply bought a home in the Midwest, I am always pleased when immigrants successfully weave themselves into the fabric of our society.

Conversely, it saddens me when illegals enter the country and fail to even attempt at integration. This post from last summer clearly demonstrates this problem. As I state in that piece (accompanied with the L.A. Times article, 6+1=1 Tenuous Existence), immigrant assimilation is the best means to achieve success in a foreign society.

From the mentioned post…

[L.A. Times – Neither Magdaleno nor her husband speaks English, though she has been in the United States 22 years and he 28. Even her teenage daughters speak mostly Spanish; their English vocabulary is limited.

Jesus Christ! Twenty-two and 28 years and they still haven’t learned English? None?! What’s even more frightening is the fact that their teenage children barely speak English as well. This is very sad. To me, it speaks volumes on Mexican familial culture–how improving oneself is simply sneaking across the border and continuing a genealogy that one was trying to escape in the first place.]

As I’ve said before, I don’t blame poor Mexicans (or Chinese, or Indians, etc.) their need to come to this country for a better life. I blame this presidency and his administration for their failures to secure our border. When illegals enter the country, bypassing the proper channels to become legal residents, they will almost always fail to integrate. This often translates into large, poor illegal immigrant ghettos that do nothing to support the economy while serving as ethnocentric pools of resentment and anger towards the community, the city, and the country where in they now reside.

Also from commenter, Anonymous

 

It is also a ridiculous statement to say that immigrants are “rotting” this country. If immigrants did not “rot” America for the first 300 years, how are they doing it now? The crime, gangs, and drugs would be here whether these people came or not. Crime was an issue long before immigration.

I may have been participating in dramatic license, but it is true, the more unrestricted illegal weight bears down on this country, or any country for that matter (France anyone?), the more damaged it becomes–more rotten. Here are some interesting statistics from the L.A. Times, an infamously pro-illegal immigration, liberal publication…

– 40 percent of all workers are working for cash and not paying taxes. Why would they want to be legal and pay taxes? They would be able to start bringing the rest of their families to the USA.

– 75 percent of people on L.A.’s most-wanted list are illegal aliens.

– Over two-thirds of all births are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by the taxpayers.

– Nearly 25 percent of all inmates in California detention centers are here illegally.

– Over 300,000 illegals are living in garages.

[Anonymous] The crime, gangs, and drugs would be here whether these people came or not. Crime was an issue long before immigration.

– The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegals from south of the border.
[Hecubus] Additionally, if our border was more secure, we would be dealing with fewer drug and crime problems. Would we still have crime and drugs? Of course, but it would be diminished.

– Nearly 60 percent of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.

– 29 percent of inmates in the federal prisons are illegal aliens.

– The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative.

– They also send between about $15 billion back to Mexico to assist their families and prop up the corrupt Mexican government that keeps most of its citizens in poverty.

– It cost Los Angeles $276 million in welfare costs for 100,000 children of illegal aliens.

[Anonymous] And please don’t get indignant and act like you don’t reap the benefits of undocumented workers. You like your oranges cheap. All of your products that are “Made in America” have most likely gone through the hands of undocumented workers at some point. Deep down you know that these people are benefitting you.

– Less than 2 percent of illegals are picking crops but 29 percent are on welfare.

Add to that California alone spent nearly $8 billion dollars in 2004 to educate illegal alien children and children of illegals. Also, the rate at which emergency rooms in California are closing due to EMTALA and illegal aliens not paying E.R. bills is astonishing. Who ends up footing the bill for these unpaid costs? American citizens.

[Anonymous] I am Mexican, and I don’t believe I have any diseases that are foreign to this country. I don’t believe that I have ever brought any foreign diseases back to the U.S. from my travels. You need to get the facts straight.

Also, many diseases are on the rise due to illegal immigration. I’m not saying you’re disease ridden, Anonymous. I’m simply pointing out facts that many illegals who do not go through proper immigration channels are carriers of communicable diseases. Some illnesses thought to have been nearly squashed are on the rise again because of this–plague, dengue fever, and polio. Even leprosy has seen an alarming rise in regularity because of illegal immigrants.

Anyway, there is a horrible misconception in this country right now, based mostly on what people hear rather than on what they know, that illegal immigrants perform jobs that Americans won’t do (though of late, this has been altered by illegal immigrant activists to “jobs Americans are too qualified for” since the condescending catch-phrase “jobs Americans wont do” was failing miserably.) This is patently false, but it’s been regurgitated over and over so much that people simply accept it. (There was an incident recently in the post-Katrina south where African Americans looking for work at a specific job site were told to go home because “the Mexicans” were coming to work for less pay.)

For those of us living in border states, particularly southern California, keep in mind that Latino workers makes up only 5% the total workforce in the United States, and they don’t make up a majority of the workforce in any occupation in America–yes, not even car washing, gardening, or house cleaning.

Much of the problem lies with employers, such as Swift Co. from The Nation article mentioned above, who hire illegals for a lower wage than actual American citizens are willing to take (well below minimum.) It’s about a fair wage. Pay American citizens a fair wage and they will do those jobs that so many are claiming only illegals will do because we, as American citizens, are too good to get our hands dirty. In fact, if there weren’t as many illegals doing “jobs Americans won’t do” then Americans would be able to fill those jobs, probably promoting a general increase in wages for many Americans altogether.

American citizens are doing jobs throughout the country that illegal immigrant activists say they won’t do. Americans are making livings and getting paid fair wages gardening, house cleaning, building homes, and working at McDonalds. Often views are skewed by where people live (border states) and what they see in the news.

Many legal immigrants (Latino and otherwise) find great offense to the idea of illegals getting any sort of benefits, let alone amnesty, by being in the country without having gone through the proper channels. Most immigrants have waited with great patience, going through those proper channels in order to become American citizens. The general disdain and disrespect pro-illegal immigration protestors and activists have towards the country that they are trying to win favor from is galling.

What needs to happen? Mexico needs to step up to the plate and provide for its citizens, and the United States needs to stop paying their bills without any help from Mexico. Mexico relies on the fact that its citizens emigrate to the US. It even took out full page ads in American newspapers supporting Bush’s guest worker program! It’s what keeps the rich wealthy, and the poor even poorer. The corruptness of the Mexican government is abhorrent, and if it were governed with any sense of responsibility (doubtful there will be any change even with the new leadership), the situation would probably be different, especially considering Mexico is rich in natural resources. What the illegal immigrant demonstrators and activists should do is use that same determination to protest their own government in Mexico to incite change instead of alienating the American audience it’s trying to win over.

Ultimately this is not a racist issue, at least for me. This is about providing American citizens a fair shot and keeping our economy running smoothly. Simply, if you pay people more money, they put more money back into the economy. If you pay them less, they put less back in, which weakens the economy. Add to that, most illegal immigrants send much of the money they make back to their families in Mexico and you can see how much of problem this will ultimately become (and already is.)

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Senate hearings on Ramos-Compean postponed
Democrats who want ‘extreme’ sentences probed blame ‘scheduling difficulties’


Posted: February 20, 2007
7:57 p.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings scheduled by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to investigate the prosecution of border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean and Texas Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Guillermo “Gilmer” Hernandez have been postponed, WND has learned.

Sen. Feinstein’s office told WND scheduling difficulties were responsible for the cancellation of the Feb. 27 hearing and her office anticipates that a new hearing date will be set soon. A spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he was disappointed to hear of the postponement, noting the senator’s staff had done extensive work in preparation. As WND reported, Feinstein received permission from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to examine the cases.

The Bush administration has drawn strong criticism from Republican congressmen angry about its handling of a case in which two border agents were given 11- and 12-year sentences after granting a drug smuggler immunity to testify against them.

“I strongly believe that the sentences in this case are too extreme, given the criminal nature of the defendant and his possession of large quantities of drugs,” Feinstein said in a statement. “These men were given sentences that some individuals who are convicted of murder wouldn’t receive.” Leahy’s office did not return WND’s call for comment.

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In response to glory-hole Tony Snow‘s comment concerning former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, “Border Guards must obey laws, too,” World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah hits the nail on the head with his response: Presidents must obey laws as much as the rest of us. Even more so, it is incumbent upon them to strictly uphold those laws as leaders of a nation, particularly the United States of America, are held to a much higher standard than practically anyone else on the face of the planet.

With millions of illegals entering our country yearly, Bush and his regime are guilty of federal crimes because they not only allow illegal immigrants to flow over our borders nearly unfettered, but our incompetent administration practically invites them with open arms by gifting illegal aliens with more protections under the law and greater benefits than the average American citizen receives. Is it any wonder why true conservatives (no, neo-cons are not true conservatives) are turning their back on this American President? Though one wonders why it took them so long.

I know people who don’t believe illegal immigration harms us. In fact, those same people believe they are a benefit. Hardly. Siphoning welfare, healthcare, and education, costing taxpayers billions in insurance fraud and identity theft, closing down emergency rooms because of detrimental laws and regulations, reducing fair wages and demoralizing American workers–these are only some of the results of the Bush administration not doing the job it should. These are only some the fruits born of the villainous actions committed by our government.

This is what happens when President Bush does not obey American laws.

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between the lines Joseph Farah


WND Exclusive Commentary


Presidents must obey law, too


Posted: January 17, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Asked again at a recent White House press conference whether President Bush would consider a pardon for two Border Patrol agents facing long prison sentences for shooting in the rump a drug dealer they were pursuing, Tony Snow said: “Border guards must obey the law, too.”

Apparently, Snow and the president are appalled about the fact that the agents retrieved spent shells at the scene – a violation of procedure in what was perceived as a cover-up of the incident.

Snow’s reaction in speaking for the president raises some questions in my mind.

Hasn’t the problem with the border and immigration policy in this country been a result of non-enforcement of existing laws, largely by the executive branch of government?

Is the president obeying the laws of the land when he chooses not to enforce them?

How have 20 million aliens entered our country illegally if the president and his predecessor were enforcing border and immigration laws?

Our very national security is threatened by the abject refusal of the White House over a span of six years to obey the law, to enforce the law, to carry out his constitutional duty to protect the citizens of the U.S.

It seems odd – bizarre really – that the White House would focus on a mere technicality in the case of the Border Patrol agents bravely and heroically doing their jobs, while conveniently overlooking the president’s criminal neglect of the duly enacted laws of the land.

The president has been reminding the American people of late that we are at war. Yet, with our own national security concerns at home, Bush hasn’t at all acted like a wartime president.

Indeed, we are at war with people on foreign soil who want to destroy America. And we are at war with people invading this country – some of whom certainly want to destroy this country.

I am sickened by the case against the two Border Patrol agents – Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. On Feb. 17, Alonso, 37, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year, responded to a request for backup from Compean, 28, who had seen a suspicious van near the border town of Fabens, Texas.

Both pursued a suspect, a drug smuggler by the name of Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, who fled across the border to Mexico, but not before the agents saw what they believed to be a gun in his hands and heard shots fired. Both fired in return in an effort to stop his escape.

Instead of being given medals for heroism, the two agents were hit with charges of violating the illegal alien’s civil rights. The illegal alien, with 800 pounds of marijuana in his van, was given full immunity from prosecution to testify against the agents. You the taxpayer even paid his medical expenses for getting shot in the buttocks.

It turns out Border Patrol agents are forbidden from pursuing fleeing suspects.

How about that? How much sense does that make?

Oh, and by the way, the illegal alien drug dealer promptly returned to his drug-running business after the incident and the granting of immunity – this time bringing in an even bigger load of marijuana, for which he was also given immunity for his testimony in the case against the law enforcement agents.

Well, I guess it makes lots of sense if our goal is not really to stop, or even slow down, illegal infiltration of this country.

Won’t you sleep better at night knowing that Border Patrol agents are forbidden from pursuing fleeing suspects?

Won’t al-Qaida and MS-13 be glad to hear about this policy – if they haven’t already?

Why wouldn’t drug smugglers and coyotes continue to take chances with the knowledge that they can simply outrun those charged with protecting our border?

Both Compean and Ramos were found guilty and could each face 10 years in prison.

Are you outraged?

I am.

As Ramos explains: “How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we are not supposed to pursue fleeing people? Everybody who’s breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?”

I guess not.

Which act of alleged lawbreaking concerns you more – the one by the Border Patrol agents or the one that continues by the president of the United States as he turns his back on the biggest security threat to this nation at the border?

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My god, but this is a telling article from last weeks LATimes.  Almost as surprising:  It was produced from that liberally slanted publication.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this piece by staff writer, Sam Quinones.

Quartet

6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence

An illegal immigrant couple with six children were already living in poverty. Then the quadruplets arrived. They’re still in a daze.

By Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2006

Of course, the sub-headline already reveals that the family is here illegally, but the beginning of the article approaches the Magdaleno family’s predicament without revealing that information for several paragraphs, which is actually quite effective.

With two teenage daughters at home and triplets still in diapers, Angela Magdaleno’s family overflowed from a one-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles that they strained to afford.

Diapers had to be changed 15 times a day, feedings held every three hours. One triplet, 3-year-old Alfredo Jr., needed special attention because he was born with liquid on his brain and partially paralyzed.
Even simple events — like going to the store — required complex orchestration.

And that was before the quadruplets arrived.

On July 6, Magdaleno gave birth to two boys and two girls, drawing national media attention as a bewildered mother of 10 (with nine living at home). Now, she and her husband, Alfredo Anzaldo, 44, must figure out how to provide for everyone on Anzaldo’s maximum pay of $400 a week as a carpet installer.
Angela is obviously not happy at all to have brought four more children into her already bloated family.

As cameras flashed two weeks ago, capturing the 40-year-old mother with her newest progeny, she appeared dazed, even morose. They’d have to leave their $600-a-month apartment for something bigger. They’d have to buy a minivan with room for four more car seats.

“I was afraid,” she said. “I still feel like I can’t believe it.”

U.S. immigrants’ stories often are about reinvention and newfound prosperity, about leaving behind poverty and limitations.

But that is not Magdaleno’s story.

Both Magdaleno and Anzaldo are illegal immigrants, settled for years in an immigrant enclave. Magdaleno has the same number of children as her parents, who were peasant farmers in Mexico. Like her parents, she is living in poverty and struggling to provide for her family.

Angela, along with her husband Anzaldo, have ensured that their peasant lifestyle and culture in Mexico be brought with them here to Los Angeles.  Come here illegally, do nothing to improve your way of life in the process, struggle to support your family, and produce more children that will place even greater stress on lives.

“It’s not sweet,” said her 36-year-old sister, Alejandra. “It’s very sad. The life for girls back there in Mexico is the same as the one Angela has now. They marry and have children, and that’s their lives.”

That was Alejandra, Angela’s sister.  You will want to read further to discover her fate.

Neither Magdaleno nor her husband speaks English, though she has been in the United States 22 years and he 28. Even her teenage daughters speak mostly Spanish; their English vocabulary is limited.

Jesus Christ!  Twenty-two and 28 years and they still haven’t learned English?  None?!  What’s even more frightening is the fact that their teenage children barely speak English as well.  This is very sad.  To me, it speaks volumes on Mexican familial culture–how improving oneself is simply sneaking across the border and continuing a genealogy that one was trying to escape in the first place.

Here in the land of the free though, one can leach off the taxpayers of the state and the country.

Yet all of Magdaleno’s 10 children are U.S. citizens. The triplets receive subsidized school lunches. All the youngsters have had their healthcare bills covered by Medi-Cal, the state and federal healthcare program for the poor.

Alfredo Jr. had been hospitalized all his life until recently. He’s had three state-funded brain operations and will require several more, the family said. The couple receive $700 in monthly Social Security payments to help with his medical needs.

“I thank this country that they gave me Medi-Cal,” Magdaleno said. “There’s nothing like that in Mexico.”

Yes, there’s nothing like that in Mexico.  Thank god they’ve come here to have litters of children.  I love it when my tax dollars, and yours, are vacuumed up in the illegal alien black hole.

And before anyone becomes overly heated because I have no heart for Alfredo’s condition, please forge ahead further into the article to discover how the triplets were conceived.

Magdaleno’s existence contrasts sharply with that of her younger siblings, who followed her to Los Angeles but then left. They have settled in Lexington, Ky., had no more than two children each and built better lives than they had known before. Four bought houses. Their children speak English fluently.

Magdaleno’s sisters struggle in vain to understand her. “She still thinks like people in Mexico — that’s what I think,” said her 38-year-old sister, Justina. “You have to think first of your living children instead of thinking of having more.”

As stated, this is Angela’s sister.  It may be difficult to believe for those of us living in Southern California, and particularly Los Angeles, but this is a Latina making this statement.  She used to be illegal, but she applied for legal status, becoming an American citizen years ago.  Fuck anyone who claims anti-illegal immigration supporters are racist.  Angela’s sister was illegal, and she makes statements that illegal immigration activists claim are racist.

Magdaleno struggles to explain. She said she was wearing a birth-control patch to keep from getting pregnant, then took it off when it made her nauseated.

“I didn’t want any more children,” said Magdaleno, who used fertility drugs to conceive the triplets but said she did not use them in the case of the quadruplets.

I do not believe that statement at all.

“Four is too many. I’m still trying to believe this happened to me.”

SURPRISE!  Not.

Angela Magdaleno’s story began as many Mexican immigrant stories do: in a village where work was scarce and wages were low.

She grew up in Los Positos, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, the eldest of 10. For girls, life consisted of hard work, little schooling, no birth control and thus, said Alejandra, raising “all the children God gives you.”
Angela and Justina left school at fifth grade to work in fields and tortilla shops to help support their family.

In 1984, hoping to make more money to send home, the girls were the first Magdalenos to cross illegally into the United States. Angela was 19. The sisters found work in sewing factories, and apartments in the growing Latino immigrant communities of South Los Angeles.

Over the years, their eight siblings followed them.

Angela married, had two daughters, then divorced.

Wait!  You can’t do that.  You’re Catholic!  Bad!  Bad!

In 1990, she met Anzaldo, an immigrant from the state of Nayarit, Mexico, who had three daughters from relationships with two women — one in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Anzaldo was working in auto shops.

To me, it just sounds like Anzaldo is a horny mother-fucker, and again, not a very good Catholic.

The couple married in 1992 and had a daughter together.

Magdaleno then had a tubal ligation. She thought she was done having children. But a few years later, things changed.

Anzaldo had only daughters, and the couple were getting older. He saw his chance at having a son slipping away.

“I wanted a son,” he said, “because I didn’t have one.”

Instead of bringing forth yet another welfare child into this world, I would like to give you a punch to your mansack, sir.  How about that?

Magdaleno too had always wanted a boy. Anzaldo paid for an operation to reverse Magdaleno’s tubal ligation. The couple thought they might return to Mexico after the child was born.

Anzaldo paid for the operation?  I seriously doubt that.

But for several years, she didn’t get pregnant, Magdaleno said.

So she asked a woman who returned periodically to Mexico to bring her back fertility drugs. The woman supplied her with various pills and injections over several years, Magdaleno said.

“I took a lot,” she said. “I don’t remember what they’re called.”

Finally, in 2002, Magdaleno got pregnant — with triplets.

And then there were six.

Talk of returning to Mexico ceased when their son, Alfredo, was born with hydrocephalus.

Their life became cramped and chaotic, with seven people crammed into their one-bedroom apartment. 

Gee.  I wonder how that happened.

Joanna, Magdaleno’s oldest daughter, now 20, dropped out of high school and moved out with a boyfriend about the time Magdaleno became pregnant with the triplets. She now works in a factory making dolls for Disneyland, her mother said.

It warms my heart to know that Angela and Anzaldo want the best for their children.

Now here is where the article becomes very interesting.  We’re going to discover what happened to Angela’s sisters after they moved from Los Angeles to Kentucky.  I don’t see how they honestly could survive.  I mean, these were illegal-immigrants who had no grasp of the English language.  They were strangers in a strange land.  They would be outcast.  Their lives would become a shambles as Kentuckians, filled to the brim with their proud southern heritage and known for their racist ways, would surely drive the Mexican immigrants from their great state.  Surely.

As Angela was having children, her siblings were undergoing a transformation of a different kind. They were slowly leaving Los Angeles.

Her sister Alejandra was the first to leave. In Los Angeles, she and her husband were barely able to make ends meet. As in Mexico, “there was little work and it’s poorly paid,” she said.

Eight years ago, she and her family moved to Kentucky, where a friend said there was more work and were fewer Mexican immigrants bidding down the wages for unskilled jobs.

While illegal immigration activists are shouting that illegals do not drive down wages, here is one who matter-of-factly speaks the truth.  Yes, illegal aliens drive down wages.  But be wary, dear readers.  It gets even worse for Alejandra.

In Kentucky, Alejandra picked tobacco. The work was hard and she didn’t know the language. But soon, life improved. Over the years, she invited her siblings to join her. One sister married a man who managed a Golden Corral, a chain of all-you-can-eat buffets. Soon several Magdaleno siblings were working in Golden Corrals. Their husbands found work installing windows and as farm-labor contractors. They went to night school to learn English because few people in Lexington speak Spanish.

Today, the Magdalenos in Lexington earn more than they did in Los Angeles, in a city where the cost of living is lower. Kentucky is now their promised land, and they talk about California the way they used to talk about Mexico.

Well, it didn’t get worse.  The Kentucky Magdelenos have done quite well for themselves.  Why?  Because they made a choice to assimilate.  They had to conform to the standards of the community in which they were residing in order to survive.  And guess what?  Their lives have improved significantly because of their assimilation.  That doesn’t mean that they’ve abandoned their culture.  It simply means they wanted to better themselves in their new home.  The Kentucky Magdelenos are living proof that assimilation is not difficult if illegal immigrants from Mexico abandon their peasant culture.

“What we weren’t able to do in many years in California,” Alejandra said, “we’ve done quickly here.

“We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans. The police control the streets. It’s clean, no gangs. California now resembles Mexico — everyone thinks like in Mexico. California’s broken.”

Again, a former illegal from Mexico spoke those words, and she speaks the honest truth.  If anyone believes we are not being invaded, simply make a trip to downtown Los Angeles.  There you will see how Mexico has been brought to this country piece by piece.  That’s just the way it is.  But it doesn’t have to be, as Alejandra and her Kentucky sisters have proven.

Justina was the last to leave Los Angeles, about the time Angela was pregnant with the triplets.

She and her husband wanted better schools for their sons, 15 and 9.

In Lexington, she said, “at the school there are just people who speak English. It’s helped my children a lot.” 

Congratulations Justina.  You are awesome.

Justina, who came to the U.S. with Magdaleno, applied for legal residency under the 1986 amnesty law and is now a U.S. citizen. Magdaleno never applied.

The sisters say they have urged Angela to come out to Kentucky — at least to visit. She said she hasn’t because her son has been hospitalized so much.

*Sigh*

This next portion of the article is another telling piece of skewed ethnological retention and culture shock, and once more, reveals how dishonest (or at least how out of touch) illegal immigration activists truly are.

Last year, however, she sent her daughter, Kelly, 17, to Kentucky for several months. Though American born and raised, Kelly hadn’t been outside South Los Angeles.

In Lexington, school was hard because few people spoke Spanish, and the city “barely had one Spanish radio station,” Kelly said.

God forbid!  You mean there are places in the United States where the predominant language isn’t Spanish?  That’s incomprehensible.

Her cousins, she said in English, “use more educational words than here. My cousin is 7 years old, and he has a better reading level than me. He don’t see picture books or drawings or anything like that. He just likes books with pure letters.”

Illegal aliens, and illegal immigration activists, take note of the above.  Amazing, huh?

Girls from Mexican-immigrant families in Kentucky, she saw, were in their mid-20s and still didn’t have children.

“I said, ‘Damn, that’s weird,’ ” Kelly said. “The girls right here in Los Angeles are like in Mexico. There are girls that are 14, they got kids.”

That makes me very sad.

The family in Kentucky “is more in the United States than” her mother, Kelly concluded. “They want a better education for the kids. With less kids there’s better possibility of you having something.”
It would make me very happy to see Kelly take this experience and try to improve herself based upon what she learned from her family in Kentucky–to see her assimilate and cultivate a life apart from Mexico and what she knows of her Los Angeles existence.  The American dream is not an illusion.  It is attainable.

Magdaleno, meanwhile, was raising six other children and using a variety of birth control methods — the latest being the contraceptive patch.

She said she was stunned when doctors told her that she was carrying quadruplets.

“She didn’t do this on purpose,” said Dr. Kathryn Shaw, who delivered the couple’s triplets and their quadruplets. “She was not at all elated, and not excited about the fact that they were quadruplets.”

Regardless, it seems fairly evident that Angela, whether she was fully aware of it or not, was still partaking in some sort of fertility program.  Perhaps she and Anzaldo only wanted one additional member of their family (by the way when do you realized you must stop?!  When you follow triplets with quadruplets?  Is that finally enough fucking kids?)

All are healthy, Shaw said, but weighed between 3 and 4 pounds at birth. They remained at White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles long enough to gain weight, then came home this week.

Now Denise, Destiny, Andrew and Andrey are with the rest of the family.

For Angela Magdaleno, their arrival — 22 years after she left Mexico and entered the United States hoping for a different life — has brought her full circle. Her older daughters, like girls in Mexico, have been drafted into helping raise the new children.

“I don’t have anything,” she said. “Just children.”

And is that the Latino ideal of wealth as I’ve been told before?  Apparently not, as Angela here seems like she’s about ready to put a gun to her head.

Anyway, if anything, this article holds true to the idea that immigrant assimilation is the best means to achieve success in a foreign society.  There is no better testament to the contrary than the epic story of Angela, Anzaldo, and their brood who continue to suck from the state health-care, education, etc. teat, while simultaneously emptying legal residents’ pockets in the process.

I applaud the Magdeleno Kentuckians.  They did it right (apart from initially crossing the border illegally) and have become successful, contributing members of American society.

For Angela and Anzaldo, all I can offer is my pity.  You’ve already got my money.

Affection

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This past Wednesday, the 5th of July, Congressional Republicans held public hearings on the east and west coasts concerning the illegal immigration problem this country is currently mired in. Most attendees felt the hearings were nothing more than a dog and pony show designed to generate political support towards election season. This is probably true.

Still, it’s always interesting to hear public officials spew forth their opinions, especially over such a politically divisive issue as illegal immigration.

Our very own Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca testified at the west coast meeting held in San Diego. If this man has done little to fight crime in the years he’s been sheriff, he certainly demonstrated his lack of will to deal with the illegals in LA county or to discourage employers who hire illegal aliens, despite the fact he readily admits that the Los Angeles area hosts more illegals than any other region in the United States.

At the house committee hearing, Baca made the outrageous claim that illegals provide a service to the country, and should they be deported, and those employers jailed, the economy would suffer greatly. Wow. I didn’t know Sheriff Lee Baca was an economist, but apparently he’s changed careers. He’s already kicking it off to a bad start if so.

First of all, no one is proposing that employers who knowingly hire illegals be incarcerated for that infraction. Fine them heavily, and expunge their workforce of the illegal workers. Do that to enough shady employers and I guarantee countless more will spook to the point of firing their undesirable staff.

Second, no one is saying that we will need to locate and deport all illegal aliens. Again, much like the first point, find and deport enough of them, and many more will become terrified, voluntarily smuggling themselves back across the border (I know not all illegal aliens are Mexicans. Many are from various countries who have simply overstayed their visas. Most however are from Central and South America, and particularly Mexico for the obvious reason of border proximity.)

Selective deportation is a proven tactic. It’s been done many times, and it’s worked. Many illegals do become frightened and leave the country, if only temporarily.

This of course brings up the need for more dependable border security. We need stronger borders. We need to enforce our borders. We need to maintain a border vigil electronically and physically because right now our southern border is so porous as to allow a convoy of MX missiles to cross with nary a pair of eyes in hundreds of miles to even take notice. While I am clearly exaggerating, don’t think something to this effect couldn’t happen on a smaller scale with devastating results. There are countless human traffickers who will smuggle anyone across the Mexican border as long as they get paid to do it. Not only will they transport people, but anything, any item one has the desire to move into the U.S.

Apparently New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has forgotten 9/11 and/or he doesn’t care, as is apparent from defeatist statements concerning the tide of illegal immigration he made at the east coast hearings held in Philadelphia, PA (story below.) This is especially timely today considering the FBI made public a plot to blow up the Holland tunnel in New York.

Bloomberg’s comments were similar to those made by Baca in San Diego–economic doom and gloom. If anything, the recent “Day Without an Immigrant” demonstrated the only communities that were significantly harmed by that boycott were high Latino populated regions and businesses. Other economic damage was negligible if even noticeable–Los Angeles was not shut down, and the country is still here. The idea that our nation would be damaged and thrown into economic turmoil is preposterous. All a “Day Without an Immigrant” accomplished was to confirmed that the country would still function normally without illegal labor. But then again, I’m not an economist like Sheriff Baca.

I am all for the House enforcement bill. I am wholly against the Senate “Path to Citizenship” bill (Amnesty by any other name.) Border enforcement must come first for many reasons before we can even think to consider granting citizenship to a swath of people have no concerns for even minimal assimilation, who willingly break our laws on a daily basis, who put stress on school systems that were struggling to begin with, and who chip away at our health care system while offering nothing in return but cheap labor to unscrupulous employers who have no desire to pay a fair wage to American citizens, no matter their ethnicity.

Lawmakers hear Americans’ voices on immigration

SAN DIEGO Congressional Republicans heard lively testimony Wednesday from mayors, sheriffs and ordinary citizens in two public hearings held on both coasts to discuss illegal immigration.

The hearings in San Diego and Philadelphia marked the opening of a summer season that will take proponents of competing immigration proposals in Congress across the country. The aim is to demonstrate public support for their plans.

The House bill focuses on enforcing the border and cracking down on companies that hire illegal immigrants.

The House version does not include the proposal of the Senate bill to create a path to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million people living here illegally.

In Washington, President Bush appeared at a donut shop in Virginia owned by an Iranian immigrant to reaffirm his call for a bill that allows some of those here illegally to qualify eventually for citizenship. Although he called for more border security, Bush said, “We’re not going to be able to deport people who’ve been here working hard and raising their families.”

On the West Coast, much of the talk was about how hard it is to handle the stream of Mexican citizens coming across the border.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the subcommittee on international terrorism, said that if Congress approved the House-passed bill, it would establish “operational control of our border.”

“It is elementary: To defend ourselves, we must secure our borders,” Royce said.

Law enforcement officials testified that a large number of criminals were slipping across the border.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said 27f the inmates in his jails are illegal immigrants. Rick Flores, sheriff of Webb County, Texas, says his department duels with drug cartels and smuggling operations across the border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

“We need your help,” he said. “The Mexico government is in on the narco-smuggling.”

Darryl Griffen, chief of the San Diego sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, said he needs not just more officers but better technology to stop illegal entrants.

He said electronic monitoring equipment that assists officers covers 9 miles of the 60 miles of border for which he is responsible.

“They’re turning our country into their country,” said Dan Colandria, 34, of Vista, Calif.

Colandria said he is a member of the Minutemen, a volunteer group that patrols the border with Mexico and calls authorities when people are spotted trying to sneak across.

“It’s just not right,” he said.

Democrats mocked the Republicans for holding hearings they said would not lead to solutions.

“These hearings are not designed to legislate they are designed to whip up public opinion,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, urged lawmakers to find a way to let illegal immigrants remain in the country. He told the panel in Philadelphia that New York City is home to more than 3 million immigrants and a half-million of them came here illegally.

“Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders … our city’s economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported,” he said. “The same holds true for the nation.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and representatives of Pennsylvania’s dairy, landscaping and hospitality industries testified in favor of giving illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.

Louis Barletta, the Republican mayor of Hazleton, a northeast Pennsylvania town of 22,000 people, said his city has been “terrorized” by illegal immigrant drug dealers and murderers.

He said he is pushing an ordinance that will impose tough penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

“I have had enough,” Barletta said. “This ordinance is intended to make Hazleton one of the most difficult places in the United States for illegal immigrants.”

Kiely reported from Philadelphia

Bloomberg: U.S. can’t stem immigration tide

NYC, Hazleton mayors disagree at hearing here

By DAN GERINGER
geringd@phillynews.com 215-854-5961

IF THE government expects beefed-up border patrols to stop undocumented workers from pouring into this country, “you might as well sit on the beach and tell the tide not to come in,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration-reform hearings here yesterday.

Testifying at the National Constitution Center, Bloomberg called the nation’s immigration laws “fundamentally broken” because “employers are required… not to do anything more than eyeball” a worker’s documents, knowing that bogus Social Security cards and “fake green cards are a dime a dozen.”

Instead of “winking at businesses that hired illegal immigrants,” Bloomberg said, the government should require all workers to carry “biometric” Social Security cards that use DNA or fingerprint ID – and require employers to check the cards against a national database.

Bloomberg and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson agreed that it is not the job of city cops to enforce federal immigration laws.

Johnson told Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who chaired the hearing, that Philadelphia police will help any immigrant crime victim without first asking that person to “show me your green card.”

The commissioner said that enforcing federal immigration laws would destroy the positive relationship between police and the immigrant community that is vital to gathering intelligence for his department’s primary mission – fighting crime.

Both Johnson and Bloomberg testified that city police departments are legally mandated to spend their budgets on public safety, not on immigration investigations, but Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta strongly disagreed.

Barletta recently attracted national attention by championing an “illegal-immigration-relief” ordinance, effective July 13, that will effectively shut down for five years any Hazleton business caught hiring “illegal aliens” and any landlord caught renting or leasing to them.

The ordinance states “that illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, contributes to overcrowded classrooms and failing schools, subjects our hospitals to fiscal hardship and legal residents to substandard quality of care, and destroys our neighborhoods and diminishes our overall quality of life.”

Barletta did not offer any statistical evidence to support those claims yesterday.

He told the Daily News that he did not know how many “illegal aliens” lived or worked or went to school or committed crimes in Hazleton.

Barletta repeatedly cited three recent crimes in Hazleton – a murder, a playground shooting and a crack-cocaine operation – that involved illegal immigrants.

He said that those crimes had tied up the 31 police officers who serve 31,000 residents and that “every minute spent on policing illegal immigrants is a minute not spent on serving legal residents.”

But he could not say how many Hazleton crimes had been committed by “illegal immigrants” and how many by legal residents.

He said that his small-town budget was “buckling under the strain of illegal immigrants” but that he did not know how many undocumented workers contributed to the city’s budget by paying taxes.

Bloomberg, on the other hand, said that 75 percent of New York City’s 500,000 undocumented workers paid their taxes and that the city’s tax base and its economy would be “decimated” without their contributions.

Bloomberg said that instead of talking about deporting the nation’s estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants – who have violated civil, not criminal, laws – as felons, the country should give them the chance to earn permanent residency and remain united with their families here.

Ricardo Diaz, of the Day Without an Immigrant Coalition, led a small group of protesters who demonstrated peacefully outside the National Constitution Center.

The protest was small, he said, because the hearings were a “dog-and-pony show,” rather than a congressional debate, and were not worth asking immigrants to miss a day of work for – “What was I going to do with 10,000 people here?” he asked.

“That’s not dialogue,” Diaz said of the divide between the big-city and small-city mayors. “It’s time for [anti-immigration congressmen] to put their Goliath against our David, and let’s do it.

“Let’s make a stab at a reasoned compromise and pass legislation. These hearings will not get us to a solution, and that’s sad.”

Local Hearings Provide Point, Counter-Point, in Congressional Immigration Debate
Published: 7/6/2006 12:51:46 AM

The first in a series of congressional hearings on immigration reform was held Wednesday at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol Station, where a number of officials weighed in on the divisive issue.

The packed hearing is one of several organized nationwide by Republican congressional leaders, who pledged to hold such sessions before negotiating a compromise immigration bill with the Senate.

The Senate plan would beef up border enforcement, offer a path to legalization to millions of undocumented migrants and create a guest worker program, while the House plan focuses on border and interior enforcement.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, who chairs the House subcommittee, said the Border Patrol’s budget has increased 64 percent since 2000, but the federal government needs to do a better job securing the border.

“More needs to be done since there is chaos in many (Border Patrol) sectors and the border is still very porous,” Royce said.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista, apologized to Border Patrol officials who were called as witnesses at the hearing, saying they were part of a “huge cover-up” in Washington, D.C., because the borders have gone unprotected.

Filner said no Republicans have consulted him on border issues, even though his district runs along the border from San Diego to Yuma, Ariz.

Nine Republican and six Democratic Congressional representatives attended the hearing.

Darryl Griffen, chief of the San Diego Border Patrol sector, testified that his agents have apprehended about 108,000 illegal immigrants this year.

He said the recent deployment of California National Guard troops will “very much so” help in patrolling the U.S. and Mexico border.

Griffen said his biggest needs are remote video surveillance equipment and technology that can detect border tunnels.

Corrupt agents are also a problem.

U.S. Border Patrol agents suspected of smuggling drugs and humans into the United States were in hiding today after they apparently were tipped off about the probe, it was reported.

Brothers Fidel and Raul Villarreal, who quit their Border Patrol jobs abruptly last month when they found out they were being investigated for aiding smugglers, may have fled to Mexico.

A little more than a month ago, two customs officers at San Diego border crossings were charged with waving cars loaded with illegal immigrants in exchange for cash.

In January, Oscar Antonio Ortiz, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who got a job as a Border Patrol agent, pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle people into the United States.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca told the panel that 26 percent of his jail population is composed of illegal immigrants.

Housing illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County jails costs about $80 million per year, he said. Last year, the county was reimbursed $11 million by the federal government, he said.

“That means radio calls, patrol cars on the street, are cut back,” the sheriff said. “The situation is severe in Los Angeles County. We have more illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County than anywhere else in the country.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, a Republican, reeled off a list of taxpayer-borne costs associated with illegal immigration.

“Our health care delivery system has become the HMO for the world,” he said.

He said one of every 15 people in California was in the country illegally and suggested that the U.S. set up medical clinics in Mexico to stem the northward flow.

About 50 people against the House’s proposal for immigration reform protested at the entrance to the meeting site.

Pastor Art Cribbs, with the Christian Fellowship United Church of San Diego, called the meeting a “sham,” contending that not all the sides were heard.

“We will not be silenced,” he said. “We will not be ignored. We will not be counted out. We are here as the uninvited.”

Currently Playing:
Prey
Release date: By 11 July, 2006

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Sorry, as assholish as this might sound to some, I do not want $500 million worth of health care benefits in California going children who are here illegally.  That may seem cold, but I'm trying to be as rational as possible in my stance against illegal immigration, and remaining consistent is a large part of that.  Enough unsanctioned funds are diverted to illegal aliens in this country, and especially in this state.  I don't think we should be working to provide sanctioned monetary rewards to people who are breaking the law.

Besides, there are millions of children in this country whose legal status is not in question, and who are also not insured.  I think it would be prudent to focus on them first.

They will settle for governor's plan

By Ed Mendel
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERJune 20, 2006

SACRAMENTO Moving to ease a state budget deadlock, Democratic legislative leaders are dropping their push for a $300 million expansion of a health care program that would include illegal immigrant children.

Democrats are willing to settle for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to provide $23 million for children's health care programs operated by 18 counties, enough to serve an estimated 24,000 additional children.

But the Republican governor's proposal still faces opposition from legislators in his own party because his plan would provide government funds for programs that serve illegal immigrants.

Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata, D-Oakland, told the Sacramento Press Club yesterday that Democrats took the big expansion off the table because we do not want the budget to get hung up on that particular point.

Instead, Perata said Democrats will push a major expansion of children's health care in a separate bill, which is likely to be vetoed by Schwarzenegger if it passes the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger said last week that although he thinks illegal immigrant children should have the right to schooling and health care, he opposes the Democratic plan because it costs too much and the state still has a deficit.

The Democratic plan would make more children eligible for the Healthy Families program that provides health care for children in families that earn too much to qualify for the Medi-Cal program for the poor, but not enough to buy health insurance.

More than 780,000 California children are enrolled in Healthy Families, but an estimated 225,000 are eligible although not enrolled. Schwarzenegger said he wants to increase enrollment before expanding eligibility.

The Democratic plan would remove the current Healthy Families prohibition against serving illegal immigrants and increase the eligibility income limit, now 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Healthy Families expansion proposed by Democrats would not actually begin until July 2007. The Democratic budget for the new fiscal year beginning on July 1 only had $1.8 million to begin planning the Healthy Families expansion, with the bulk of the spending phased in in subsequent years.

In addition, the Healthy Families expansion would have become inoperative if voters approve an initiative, expected to be on the November ballot, that would raise the tobacco tax to fund a number of health programs.

Perata said he would be pretty surprised if the initiative, which would accomplish most of the goals of the Democratic proposal to expand Healthy Families, is not approved by voters.

Schwarzenegger proposed $23 million for the 18 county children's health programs to cover applicants on waiting lists who can not be served because of a lack of funds. San Diego does not have such a program.

The county programs, funded by a variety of public and private sources, do not exclude the children of illegal immigrants. Republicans, who must provide a handful of votes to pass a budget, oppose giving the programs state money.

Illegal immigration is such a hot-button issue, said Assembly Republican leader George Plescia of La Jolla. I just don't think there are any Republican votes if that is in there.

Currently listening:
As the Palaces Burn
By Lamb of God
Release date: By 06 May, 2003

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