a heated debate over legislation passed earlier this year in Arizona
aimed at identifying, prosecuting, and deporting illegal immigrants,
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will
be increasing the number of unmanned
drones used to patrol the U.S. Mexican border, hunting for
drugs and illegal immigrants.The Federal Aviation
Administration has granted the DHS permission to launch
missions from along the border, including Texas, and along
the Gulf Coast region. The Customs and Border Protection
department will maintain a drone at the Corpus Christi Naval Air
Station in Texas. That drone will likely be used to hunt down
groups of people crossing the border illegal, alerting authorities to
apprehend them.The Office of National Drug Control Policy
will also be cooperating with the DHS on using other drones on
drug-enforcement related missions. The collaborative effort is
dubbed "Operation Roadrunner" and will scan license plates
on the U.S. side of the border to try to spot known drug
traffickers.The DHS will also be working with the Justice
Department to implement a cooperative framework to share
drone-related info with the state, local, and federal law enforcement
agencies. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's plan
involves cities not on the border, but in the general area providing
additional resources to the border towns.The drones used in
most of the patrol will be the General
Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, a large, versatile UAV sometimes referred to
as the Predator B. The Reaper can carry a heavy amount of
ordinance, but it would be assumed that the border patrol drones will
be unarmed. The drones can be outfitted with a variety of
sensors.Thus far the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs has only
used 6 Predator B drones, the first of which was deployed in Arizona
in October 2005. That drone contributed to the seizure of four
vehicles and 8,267 pounds of marijuana [PDF]. That
success encouraged the Border Patrol to establish more patrols of the
Mexican and Canadian borders. One drone is based in North
Dakota, at the UAS Operations Center in Grand Forks, four in Arizona,
at the UAS Operations Center in Sierra Vista and one based at Fort
Drum, N.Y.Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the drones
will be their use in detecting and capturing illegal immigrants.
President Obama, an advocate of immigration reform, was reportedly
reticent to increase government spending to deploy more drones to
track illegal immigrants and drugs on the border. However,
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) forced
Obama's hand by blocking the confirmation of Michael Huerta to be
deputy director of the FAA. They now are going to received the
$500M USD in extra federal spending they wanted, and at least two
more drones.Mexico is one of the heaviest sources of illegal
immigration. Of the 11 million illegal immigrants who
participated in a 2008
study by the Center for Immigration Studies, 57 percent, or
roughly 6.3 million individuals came from Mexico.
quote: Arizona is essentially giving the state the rights to ask for federal information (cops asking us for citizenship/green card papers?), which is highly unconstitutional.
quote: You can't have state officials ask you for FEDERAL documents.
quote: Where in the constitution does it say that local and state authorities are forbidden from enforcing federal law? The "unconstitutional" canard came only from those that haven't read 1070, and those that did immediately backed off on the assertion.
quote: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
quote: Millions of people immigrate to the United States of America legally every
quote: By making it way too difficult to legally immigrate to the US (something that the foundation of this country has been built upon), you promote illegal immigration.
quote: 1) This is a nation of foreigners so anyone who is hard core against immigration is a friggin moron they live in the USA
quote: Spokesman Mark Hinkle says Social Security does not know how much of the $9 billion can be attributed to illegal immigrants. The number is certainly not 100%, but a significant portion probably comes from taxes paid by illegal immigrants.Nine billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but it is only about 1.5% of the total $593 billion paid into Social Security in 2005.The impact on Social Security is significant, though, because most of that money is never claimed by the people who pay it but instead helps cover retirement checks to legal workers.
quote: In 2006, then IRS Commission Mark Everson told Congress that "many illegal aliens, utilizing ITINs, have been reporting tax liability to the tune of almost $50 billion from 1996 to 2003."An IRS spokesman said more recent figures aren't available.The Social Security and Medicare taxes from mismatched W2s for the same period was $41.4 billion, Hinkle said.That adds up to roughly $90 billion in federal taxes during they eight-year period
quote: But the latest figures available indicate it will amount to billions of dollars in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes this year. One rough estimate puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per year.