Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Canada May Allow US Cops to Carry Guns Across the Border

The federal government of Canada is proposing to ease restrictions on foreign law-enforcement officers who carry weapons into Canada.

In a reciprocal agreement with the United States, the regulation would exempt officers, including police and air marshals, from a “foreign state” from having to obtain permits for side arms, according to a posting on the government's official publication, the Canada Gazette and reported on CTV News Monday night.

The changes could mean that both domestic and foreign officers could enter and leave Canada with their weapons without having to get an import and export permit. Currently, police officers from other countries can bring weapons into Canada only in extreme circumstances, such as when accompanying a head of state on an official visit.

While some say the regulation would lead to a safer border, others suggest it could have broad implications for gun control in Canada and could lead to dangerous situations.

The proposed changes could open the rules to wide interpretations, Liberal MP Dan McTeague said. “[This] opens the door to a number of real concerns that I don't think police or politicians or Canadians have had a chance to look into,” he said. “Issues of sovereignty, issues of the kind of guns and duty weapons that are being brought in, may very well be inconsistent with the laws we have on prohibition of weapons.”

Paul Cellucci, former U.S. ambassador to Canada, said the regulation will make the border safer.
“If you're working on a joint team and you're chasing some criminal, you're not going to be dropping your weapon every time you go across the border,” he said. “We're working together, we're going after the same bad guys. It's in our national interest to stop the terrorists, to stop the smugglers.”

Monday, June 11, 2007

Colin Powell Admits Guantanamo has Ruined U.S. Reputation Abroad

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell became the first from within the administration to call for the shut down of the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. He also admitted that the U.S. reputation abroad has since been ruined.

"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow, but this afternoon," Powell said Sunday in an interview on the NBC News program, Meet the Press. "I'd close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well, then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what. Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about? And by the way, America, unfortunately, has two million people in jail all of whom had lawyers and access to writs of habeas corpus. So we can handle bad people within our system."

"We have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission." Powell said. "We don't need it, and it is creating far more damage than anything we get for it."

All this has come after military judges ruled this past week that the Pentagon could not prosecute two suspects currently in custody in Guantanamo.

Above: "Hölle auf Erden" (Hell on Earth) - by Warheit (Azad, Chaker, Jeyz & Sezai).

This is song is very popular right now in Germany is done by a group of famous German rappers. The video depicts Guantanamo captives and denounces US policies. It's popularity is a direct confirmation of Colin Powell's remarks that actions like Guantanamo have ruined the US reputation abroad.

Source: http://www.eitb24.com/new/en/B24_52650/world-news/POWELL-AND-GUANTANAMO-Powell-says-Guantanamo-must-be-closed/

Friday, June 01, 2007

Immigration Reform: The Real Reason Bush Wants Reform

What could be better for business than a workforce that toils for next to nothing, drives down wages for everyone else, can't protest or unionize, and then goes away when you're done with them? Your guide to the guest worker program.

Key to the Bush administration's approach to immigration reform is the controversial guest worker program, which preserves the flow of cheap, low-skilled labor to American businesses while limiting the potential costs to employers and taxpayers. Under the program, there will be no children to educate (since guest workers won't be allowed to bring their families with them), no old-age entitlements to dole out (since workers will have to return home after working here for a maximum of six years), not even any health care to pay for (since these low-wage workers will be required to purchase health insurance).

It appears their goal is not to keep out immigrants, who are indispensable to the U.S. economy, but rather to control and exploit them more effectively. Why give them the opportunity to become citizens—or even permanent residents—if we can get what we need from them and then send them packing?

Though it's been cast by the Bush administration as a novel way to solve the nation's immigration problem, guest worker programs are nothing new in the United States. In fact, such programs have a uniformly sordid history that goes back nearly a century. "Emergency" guest worker programs were launched in response to labor shortages during both World War I and World War II and lingered long after the troops had returned home. At its peak in the 1950s, the notoriously exploitative Bracero Program (bracero translates to unskilled laborer) imported nearly a half-million temporary agricultural workers from Mexico. In its concise history of guest worker programs, the Center for Immigration Reform notes: "Citizen farmworkers in the Southwest simply could not compete with braceros. The fact that braceros were captive workers who were totally subject to the unilateral demands of employers made them especially appealing to many employers. It also led to extensive charges of abuse of workers by employers as most of the provisions for the protection of braceros' wage rates and working conditions were either ignored or circumvented." What could be better for business than a workforce that works for next to nothing, drives down wages for everyone else, can't protest or unionize, then goes away when you’re done with them?

But if we're letting them stay, it's not because we're doing illegal immigrants a favor, it’s because we couldn't survive a day without them. These 12 million undocumented workers, who are for the most part employed, are only filling an obvious need. They are vital to the profits of American agribusiness (which also stands to be a primary beneficiary of the guest worker program) and form the backbone of the low-cost workforce in the service industries. (They are actively sought out by American companies for the purpose of breaking unions.) Illegal immigrants also work at army bases as cooks and janitors.

Not only do these undocumented immigrants fight our wars, grow our food, care for our children and elderly, and serve us in a hundred ways every day, but they have also become an integral cog in American economic growth. According to a February 2007 study by New York's Center for an Urban Future, immigrants are more likely to be self-employed than non-immigrants, spurring growth in new businesses from food manufacturing to health care. "Immigrant entrepreneurs are now the entrepreneurial sparkplugs of cities," according to Jonathan Bowles, the Center’s director.

Some Arab Countries Already Have a Similar Immigration Policy

Odd that the United States is striving to erect a program that emulates the model of the Gulf Arab States of the Middle East - low wage workers, no unions, no ties, perfect opportunities for visa exploitation and abuse. Odd that the more certain factions in America call to change this region, other factions work to make America more like it...there's a certain Newtonian irony to it - when you push to change other countries, you wind up pushing your own away from its ideals.

France to Pay Immigrants to Return Home

- France's new Immigration, Integration and National Identity Minister, Brice Hortefeux toured Charles de Gaulle airport on his first day on the job. He has said he intends to pay more immigrants to return home. -

New conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy made immigration a central issue of his campaign. Now, his new minister for immigration and national identity, Brice Hortefeux, says its time to start paying immigrants to leave the country.
The government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio.

Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families.

Hortefeux, who heads up the new "super-ministery" of immigration, integration, national identity and co-development, said he wants to pursue a "firm but humane" immigration policy.
The new ministry was a central pledge in Nicolas Sarkozy's election campaign, who had warned that France was exasperated by "uncontrolled immigration."

Since he was appointed by the new president last Friday, Hortefeux has insisted that "co-development" will be an important plank of French immigration policy. He argued that the system of voluntary return can be seen as a means for investment in developing countries. He said that the method of transferring funds via returning immigrants to their country of origin was a better policy than providing aid for development.

"To be integrated, you need language skills and a professional activity," he told RFI, and said he is considering introducing a language test to prospective immigrants.

France is home to an estimated 1.5 million immigrants from mostly Muslim North Africa and 500,000 from sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2004 census.

Asked on RFI about how the notion "national identity," fits into the new ministry -- the term has been fiercely criticized by the French left -- Hortefeux said: "This should not be understood as something menacing, but on the contrary, it is initiative with the aim of bringing coherence."