Green Lobby Sells Out Environment for Donations
“Environmentalists are getting off the sidelines and backing immigration reform — but it wasn’t easy. During the Senate’s last go round on the issue in 2007, greens stayed silent to avoid airing their dirty laundry — an internal dispute that some in the movement feared would be seen as racist. Their family feud was so rough that it twice nearly ruptured the Sierra Club when a vocal faction — including some of the movement’s leading luminaries — argued too many new immigrants living the American dream could spell doom for the planet,” Politico says.
“While environmentalists have fought together for decades against industry on pollution issues, they’ve also sparred among themselves over immigration – and whether the U.S. could ever end up with too many people for its own good.”
“The Sierra Club’s critics say the environmental group has skirted population issues because it doesn’t want to anger some of its largest donors. They say the group now is just shilling to win more Democratic voters.”
“‘This is political quackery. The Sierra Club has got its head up its you know what,’ said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a conservative group founded by a former Sierra Club activist that’s now leading opposition to the Senate’s immigration bill.”
ICE Union Head Stands Firm Against Amnesty
These are hectic days for the federal deportation officer who has made it his single-minded mission to stop a bipartisan bill to overhaul the immigrationsystem that is making its way through the Senate. The officer, Chris Crane, heads the union of immigration enforcement agents. Obama administration officials become exasperated at the mere mention of his name,” says the New York Times.
“Recently, Mr. Crane testified about the bill in the House Judiciary Committee, securing his record as the most frequent witness on Capitol Hill during this year’s immigration debate and the favorite expert of conservative critics of the Senate measure. Once again, his warnings were categorical and dire.”
Border Technology Provides Uneven Return Vs. Fences
“A long, sharp, high-pitched beep sounds every 30 or 40 seconds at the Border Patrol’s windowless sector-control room.
Agents here monitor a vast array of video screens and sensors linked to cameras, radar and other surveillance equipment along 262 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border – including hundreds of ground sensors that beep loudly whenever one detects something,” the Arizona Republic reports.
“That something might be a drug smuggler or a migrant – but far, far more often, it’s a cow, or the wind, or some other false alarm, which may be why the agents seem to pay these constant beeps little mind. To complement the 651 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexican border, Customs and Border Protection deploys drones, tethered radar blimps, P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, thermal-imaging devices, towers with day and night video cameras, ground surveillance radar and much more.”
“But, as the ceaseless beeping of the sensor alarms illustrates, many pieces of that technology are flawed: Some produce frequent false alarms, some suffer detection failures or leave gaps in coverage. Then, too, CBP – despite spending more than $106 billion over the past five years militarizing and securing the border – struggles to mesh these pieces smoothly together so it can make good use of the data they provide.”
Border Security Remains Sticking Point for Amnesty Bill
“The Gang of Eight’s hopes for a Senate supermajority is running into the GOP’s push for a dramatic crackdown on border security — testing the limits of the bipartisan coalition that’s propelling the bill through Congress,” says Politico.
“With Congress back this week to work on the measure, Senate negotiators want to pick up as many as two dozen Republican votes in a show of force that compels the House to act. But the result has to be much stricter than the current version of the bill to give it any hope of passing there either. They’ve got to do it without alienating the vast majority of Senate Democrats who like the bill as it is.”