· Foreign workers, who would have to pay a $500 fee and pass security and medical checks before entering the United States, would be able to stay in the U.S. for six years before either returning to their home country or getting in line for a green card.
· Employers, who would face bigger fines for hiring illegal immigrants, would use an electronic program that would track workers more effectively than the current fraud-prone, paper-based system.
· Illegal immigrants who now live in the United States would be able to remain in the country if they pay a fine of at least $2,000 and pass a background check.
· The federal government would further beef up border enforcement and provide more money to states to deal with the financial impact of illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, reporter Jerry Seper of The Washington Times reported that more than a dozen Border Patrol agents in the Naco area say they were told by supervisors to not apprehend border crossers following the conclusion of the Minuteman Project for fear that higher arrest numbers would suggest that the volunteer border-patrol effort had effectively deterred migrants. Border Patrol officials denied the report.
Across the border, Mexican President Vicente Fox made headlines by proclaiming that Mexican workers "are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States." After African Americans reacted negatively to Fox's comment, he declined to apologize.
The wire services also reported that Fox was planning to lodge some sort of official protest, perhaps at the United Nations, regarding plans to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as efforts to deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. We're sure John Bolton is quaking at the thought.
The suckers, who each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, fell for a sting operation that lured them into such schemes as using their badges and cars to elude detection while transporting large loads of blow or letting cars they believed to be loaded with the drug to slip right by border checkpoints. In one case, U.S. Army Reserve soldiers were lured into moving 60 kilograms of coke from a private plane near Benson into two military Humvees for delivery to an undercover FBI agent at a Phoenix resort.
The conspiracy charges carry maximum penalties of five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, according to the feds.
The final tally in Flagstaff was unavailable as of press time.