Archive for July, 2010

July 31, 2010

Laos, Hmong Author Lauds U.S. Congressional Action on Veterans’ Bill

Cached:  http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/50249-1280539214-laos-hmong-author-lauds-us-congressional-action-on-veterans-bill.html

”This legislation, if enacted, will allow them to rest eternally near other veterans of that war. This will provide dignified recognition of their important and unique role in U.S. military history,” Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt stated.

Online PR News – 30-July-2010 – Washington, D.C., Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota and Fresno, California, June 31, 2010

Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, author and human rights advocate, has lauded the U.S. Congress for honoring Lao and Hmong veterans. (Photo courtesy Indiana University Press and Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt).

U.S. Congressional action in support of Lao and Hmong veterans was lauded by noted Southeast Asia scholar, author and human rights advocate Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt.

On Tuesday, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Honorable Jim Costa (D-Central Valley, CA) to seek to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans who served in combat during the Vietnam War in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and U.S. military and clandestine forces.

“Providing burial benefits in our national cemeteries for the surviving Lao Hmong veterans is a most meaningful way to honor the extreme sacrifices made by the Lao Hmong soldiers who were the backbone of the U.S. military effort in the Lao theater of the Vietnam War,” said Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt.

“Clearly, U.S. Congressman Jim Costa’s bipartisan leadership, along with his colleagues in the U.S. Congress, in support of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families across America, gives hope and dignity to the plight of the Lao and Hmong community and the veterans who seek to be buried with honor in America’s National Veterans Cemeteries,”

 

 ”This legislation, if enacted, will allow them to rest eternally near other veterans of that war. This will provide dignified recognition of their important and unique role in U.S. military history,” Hamilton-Merritt said.

Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt has undertaken countless trips to Lao and Hmong refugees in Southeast Asia and has repeatedly testified in the U.S. Congress about the plight of the Lao Hmong people. She is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her humanitarian and human rights work on behalf of the Lao and Hmong.

Over the years, Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt worked with Members of Congress on this important veteran’s issue. http:///www.tragicmountains.org

In 2009-10, she was again honored and recognized by the Lao Veterans of America Institute and Lao Veterans of America, Inc., and others, in Washington, D.C. and Fresno, California, for her important work on behalf of the Lao and Hmong people as well as to mark the 15th anniversary of the publication of her book “Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, The Americans and the Secret Wars for Laos.”

The historic legislation, House Resolutin 5879 (HR 5879) , was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Tim Holden (D-PA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joesph Cao (R-LA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Mike Honda (D-CA), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and others.

“Our Hmong veterans fought shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers during the Vietnam war,” stated U.S. Congressman Jim Costa.

“Many paid the ultimate sacrifice… Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to these patriotic individuals and their service should be honored with burial benefits in our National Cemeteries,” Costa said.

“We are happy and pleased… that if enacted, the legislation would provide full veterans burial benefits in American National Cemeteries to Lao Hmong veterans who served in support of U.S. forces in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and founder of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI). http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1123225.html

“… we are very grateful to U.S. Congressman Costa and his colleagues in the U.S. Congress who have worked so very hard to help to make this legislation a reality and introduce it,” Vang commented.

Colonel Vang concluded: “Our Laotian and Hmong veterans and their refugee families across the United States are honored and deeply grateful for the potential opportunity… to be buried in U.S. National Cemeteries along with the American veterans we helped to defend and save during the Vietnam War; We fought side-by-side with American forces and clandestine troops of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and the United States.” http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100728006607/en/Laos-Hmong-Veterans-Vietnam-War-Honored-Congress

“Clearly, U.S. Congressman Jim Costa’s bipartisan leadership, along with his colleagues in the U.S. Congress, in support of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families across America, gives hope and dignity to the plight of the Lao and Hmong community and the veterans who seek to be buried with honor in America’s National Veterans Cemeteries,” said Philip Smith, Director of the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA. http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Earlier this year, and in previous years, national memorial and policy events were conducted at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Congress by the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Lao Veterans of America Institute, Counterparts, Inc., Center for Public Policy Analysis, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc. in cooperation with other organizations and Members of the U.S. Congress. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100608007501&newsLang=en

###

Contact:

Mr. Juan Lopez
CPPA-Center for Public Policy Analysis
Tele. (202) 543-1444
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite No. # 212
Washington, D.C. 20006 USA
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

http://cppa-dc.org

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Franken Visits Laos To Check On Returned Hmong

cached:  http://wcco.com/politics/al.franken.laos.2.1837183.html

WCCO – ‎22 hours ago‎

Franken said he is frustrated that the Lao government didn’t allow him more access to the returnees. (File) Sen. Al Franken is talking about his recent trip
July 31, 2010

Op-Ed Contributor: No Afghan Ally Left Behind

Cached:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/opinion/31topping.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

By Simour Topping

A TALIBAN spokesman announced Thursday that the group is poring over the tens of thousands of classified military documents published by WikiLeaks this week, looking for the names of pro-American Afghans.

As in the past, those identified will likely be added to lists of people to be assassinated, or rounded up once the United States and its allies leave the country. We’re already seeing this in Iraq where, as American troops prepare to withdraw, there is a campaign by insurgents to kill members of the Awakening movement and others who have cooperated with the United States.

With the United States’ deadlines for leaving Afghanistan only a year away, we need to plan for what will happen to our allies once we’re gone. And we must certainly not allow a repetition of what happened in Indochina after the withdrawal in 1975 of our military forces, our diplomatic establishment and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Because the United States made virtually no provision for the security of its friends and collaborators, millions of people accused of being American sympathizers were killed, imprisoned or compelled to flee as the North Vietnamese took power in South Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Pathet Lao in Laos.

In South Vietnam, only a small number of collaborators was evacuated by Marine helicopters to ships off the coast. Just weeks later, as the North Vietnamese seized full control of the South, Le Duan, the hard-line Marxist successor to Ho Chi Minh, instituted a purge of American allies, consigning as many as 400,000 people to prison camps.

More than a million others fled the country by boat over the next 15 years. Some were picked up at sea by the United States and resettled here. But American policymakers never seriously considered the fate of our South Vietnamese allies.

Conditions were even worse in Cambodia. Pol Pot, the genocidal leader of the Khmer Rouge, ordered the immediate execution of Cambodian soldiers and officials who served in the American-supported government of Lon Nol. Over the next four years, the United States stood by while an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died by execution, starvation and maltreatment as Pol Pot set about cleansing the country of “foreign influence.”

In Laos, the United States abandoned its most loyal allies, the Hmong hill people, who had been employed by the C.I.A. to battle the Communist-led Pathet Lao and disrupt North Vietnamese military traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which snaked through Laos on its way into South Vietnam. True, from 2000 to 2005 the United States gave asylum to 15,000 of the estimated 100,000 Hmong who had fled to Thailand. But it did nothing when, last December, Thailand deported more than 4,000 of the remaining refugees back to Communist-ruled Laos, where they could face retribution.

There are many parallels between the American experience in Indochina and the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. As the United States prepared to withdraw from Indochina, particularly Vietnam, it undertook a program of, in President Nixon’s words, “Vietnamization,” in which American forces trained and equipped allied armies to take over the fighting.

That we are doing the same in Afghanistan and Iraq should raise concerns. Vietnamization was predicated on the promise of continued American air support and other military aid. But as Congress became impatient with the ineptitude of the allied leaders and the war’s continued costs, that assistance was cut off, leaving our allies practically defenseless.

We can see similar tendencies in Congress today. Criticism of government leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as demands for reductions in military spending and accelerated withdrawal timetables, could be a harbinger of cuts to financial and military aid after we leave.

We must plan now to protect our allies in the future. We should consider leaving behind residual forces to ensure their security. We should refuse to negotiate political settlements with Taliban factions without iron-clad security guarantees for those who cooperated with the United States. We should seek international arrangements, possibly with United Nations support, to assure peaceful and humane political transitions.

And, if need be, we should offer asylum to anyone directly endangered for helping us. Having fought brutal wars in their countries to protect our interests, we owe them nothing less.

Seymour Topping, an emeritus journalism professor at Columbia and a former correspondent for The Times, is the author of “On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent’s Journal from the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam.”

July 30, 2010

Mekong at Risk: Hongsa to light up Laos or will killing our an Environment forever?

Cached:  http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE66T12S20100730?sp=true

* One of largest single power financings in Asia

* Latest in a long line of Lao-Thai deals

By Minerva Lau

SINGAPORE (Project Finance International) – Banpu Power (BANP.BK: Quote) and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company (RATC.BK: Quote) are about to complete the final touches to a massive US$2.7bn debt facility for their US$3.71bn Hongsa lignite coal power plant in Laos. Thai banks, and possibly Chinese banks, are signing the deal shortly. The project involves the construction of a 1,800MW power plant consisting of three units of 600MW each, which are scheduled for completion in March, August and December 2015. It is located in the Hongsa sub-district of Chaiyaburi District, Laos.

The project will supply a major portion of the power generated to Thailand, under a Lao-Thai memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 7,000MW by 2015. Both Banpu and Ratch hold 40% stakes each and the Lao partner, Lao Holding State Enterprise, holds 20% of the Hongsa plant.

A 25-year power purchase agreement was signed late last year between the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and the project company. Egat has agreed to purchase 1,473MW from the plant in accordance with the tariff MoU signed in May 2009. About 100MW of power will be sold to Electricite du Laos for domestic consumption, to give a boost to local socio-economic development. The remaining power will be used by the project for internal mining and power generating operations.

The Hongsa project involves a mining facility for lignite, which will be used to fuel the power plant. The mining plant is called Phu Fai Mining Co, which is estimated to require US$400m to US$500m of the total project cost. LHSE will have a 25% share in the lignite mine and Banpu and Ratch will each hold 37.5% stakes.

The total project cost is about US$3,710m and this will be raised on a 75:25 debt to equity ratio. The project cost will also be divided into US dollars (50%) and Thai baht (50%). This includes the debt portion of US$2.7bn which will be two-thirds in Thai baht and one-third in US dollars. The tenor of the loan is about 18 years, with a construction period of five years. The loan repayment starts one year from commencement of operations. The margins are on a step-up and step-down structure.

The loan is divided into four tranches that include construction costs, interest during construction and others. It is dominated by Thai banks, which will be signing the loan shortly. There are nine banks that have committed to the deal. Financial adviser is Bangkok Bank and joining it are Bank of Ayudhya, Government Savings Bank, Kasikorn Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Siam City Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Thai Export Import Bank and TMB Bank.

The sponsors and the adviser are in talks with some Chinese banks that may join at a later date. They include Bank of China, China Export Import Bank and China Development Bank. They will help finance the equipment that will be sourced from China. The EPC contractor is CNEEC of China and the US$1.68bn EPC contract was signed in December last year.

The project has met protests from environmentalists and from local residents. According to local reports, about 2,000 villagers are planning to intensify their campaign against the lignite mining project, which they claim could lead to widespread pollution. They apparently have erected protest banners and posters in front of houses and schools and along streets in the area.

Laos has a list of power plant projects slated to be developed, with Thailand as the main offtaker. The Hongsa project is the biggest to date, bigger than the US$1.3bn1,070MW Nam Theun 2 hydro power project of Electricite de France (35%), EGAT (25%), Electricite du Laos (25%) and Italian-Thai Development Plc (15%). It secured a dual-currency US$1.3bn loan facility in 2005 and has commenced operations.

The high construction and funding costs in the past two years have pushed back projects to the backburner. The global financial crisis made it worse and put a dent in the demand for power, resulting in further delay in the construction of the plants.

With the improvement in the economy and with the Hongsa plant about to obtain its massive funds, the other projects are now expected to follow suit. Egat previously signed memoranda of understanding for purchases of power from four hydropower developers in Laos, and some of these are about to be revived. They include the 278MW Nam Ngiep, 440MW Nam Ngum 3, the 523MW Nam Theun 1 and the Theun-Hinboun expansion phase and Nam Ou. minerva.

lau@thomsonreuters.comhttp://www.pfie.com

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Basin development plan for Mekong region reviewed

  • Published: 30/07/2010 at 06:17 PM
  • Online news: Asia

The new strategic plan for basin development for the Mekong region has gone through a major review for one last time on Thursday before being tabled before concerned ministers to approve it at the end of this year.

The review was made among invited concerned stakeholders from the riparian countries during the forum organised by the Mekong River Commission in Vientiane in Lao PDR which ended Thursday.

The plan is expected to provide guidance for future development in the region, but it is unclear at what extent commitment will be made by the concerned governments, including Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the members of the MRC, an inter-governmental advisory body.

It is the first time that the plan has tried to look into benefits and impacts of development in a more integrated way, which involves assessments on impacts of development on the environment and on socio-economic dimension.

The development has revolved around hydropower development potentials. Under the plan, major development scenarios have been developed to give a picture of how the region’s water should be developed. The 5-year period of time scenario has seen at least eight hydropower dams built in China’s river section, with an alternative of an inclusion of those dams with 26 more dams built in the river’s tributaries. The 20-year period of time scenarios have provided options ranging from the buildings of the dams under the 5-year scenarios plus 11 more on mainstream and 30 more on tributaries, and among others.

The studied impacts show that the 5-year period of time scenarios would cause changes of the river flow, and increased fluctuations of water. But it will contribute economic benefits generated by electricity produced by new hydropower, reduction of salination intrusions, and such. The 20-year period of time scenarios with 11 mainstream dams will generate highest economic benefits, but at the same time, create the most severe negative impacts on fishery, which could put up t 3.5 million people especially those in Cambodia at risk of losing livelihood.

The plan was criticised by some stakeholders as they had doubt over public participation process, and the way the plan was conceptualised and centered around hydropower development.

Jeremy Bird, the MRC’s Chief Executive Office, defended the plan, saying it has complied with the Integrated Water Resources Management Principle.

The MRC has no roles in promoting hydropower. It is looking forward to the consequences of development and provided an acceptable level for it.

“Our role is clear. We are doing an analysis and put it on the table,” said Mr Bird. “We are an advisory body, not a decision making body.”

About the author

Writer: Piyaporn Wongruang

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Related:

July 30, 2010

Press Release: Laos, Hmong Veterans of Vietnam War Honored by Congress with National Burial Bill

Cached:  http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100728006607&newsLang=en

WASHINGTON & FRESNO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Twenty-three Members of Congress have introduced legislation to honor Laotian and Hmong veterans who served in combat in defense of the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War. The bill aims to grant burial benefits at U.S. National Veterans Cemeteries.

“Our Hmong veterans fought shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers during the Vietnam war”

The legislation, H.R. 5879, was introduced yesterday afternoon by U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Tim Holden (D-PA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Mike Honda (D-CA), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Joesph Cao (R-LA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and others.

“If enacted, the legislation would provide full veterans burial benefits in American National Cemeteries to Lao Hmong veterans who served in support of U.S. forces in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and founder of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI).

Vang has worked to educate Congress over the years about the plight of Laotian and Hmong veterans and their hope to be honored with veterans’ benefits.

“Indeed, today, we are very grateful to U.S. Congressman Costa and his colleagues in the U.S. Congress who have worked so very hard to help to make this legislation a reality and introduce it,” Vang stated.

Mr. Vang concluded: “Our Laotian and Hmong veterans and their refugee families across the United States are honored and deeply grateful for the potential opportunity… to be buried in U.S. National Cemeteries along with the American veterans we helped to defend and save during the Vietnam War; We fought side-by-side with American forces and clandestine troops of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and the United States.”

“Our Hmong veterans fought shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers during the Vietnam war,” said Congressman Costa. “Many paid the ultimate sacrifice… Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to these patriotic individuals and their service should be honored with burial benefits in our National Cemeteries.”

“Congressman Jim Costa’s bipartisan leadership, along with his colleagues in the U.S. Congress, in support of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families across America, gives hope and dignity to the plight of the Lao and Hmong community and the veterans who seek to be buried with honor in America’s National Veterans Cemeteries,” said Philip Smith, Director of the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA. http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Mr. Smith also serves as the Washington, D.C. Director and Liaison for the LVA, the nation’s largest Laotian and Hmong veterans’ organization, which dedicated a monument in Arlington to the Lao-Hmong veterans in 1997.

In May, the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), the LVAI, the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), Counterparts, Inc., Hmong Advance, Inc. and Hmong Advancement, Inc., held national ceremonies and events in the U.S. Congress and Arlington National Cemetery urging policymakers to address the plight of Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families.

The policy events on Capitol Hill were followed by a memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery conducted with the U.S. Department of Defense and Army to honor Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisers who served in Laos during the Vietnam War.
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100608007501&newsLang=en

Nearly 7,000 Lao-Hmong veterans will receive burial benefits, if the bill is adopted.

Contacts

Center for Public Policy Analysis
Helen Cruz, 202-543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
or
Lao Veterans of America Institute
Wangyee Vang, 559-252-3921

Related Press Release:
July 30, 2010

The ‘Dangerous’ Border: Actually One of America’s Safest Places Read more

Cached:  http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2007474,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

ENLARGE PHOTO+ A U.S. border-patrol agent on duty near Campo, 60 miles east of San Diego, Calif. David McNew / Getty Images

by Tim Padgett

When U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled on Wednesday that key provisions of Arizona’s new anti-immigration law were unconstitutional, she could have also declared them unnecessary. That is, if the main impetus behind the controversial legislation was, as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said when she signed it in April, “border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration.” The fact is, despite the murderous mayhem raging across the border in Mexico, the U.S. side, from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, is one of the nation’s safest corridors.

According to the FBI, the four large U.S. cities (with populations of at least 500,000) with the lowest violent crime rates — San Diego, Phoenix and the Texas cities of El Paso and Austin — are all in border states. “The border is safer now than it’s ever been,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling told the Associated Press last month. Even Larry Dever, the sheriff of Arizona’s Cochise County, where the murder last March of a local rancher, believed to have been committed by an illegal immigrant, sparked calls for the law, conceded to the Arizona Republic recently that “we’re not seeing the [violent crime] that’s going on on the other side.” (See photos of the Great Wall of America.)

Consider Arizona itself — whose illegal-immigrant population is believed to be second only to California’s. The state’s overall crime rate dropped 12% last year; between 2004 and 2008 it plunged 23%. In the metro area of its largest city, Phoenix, violent crime — encompassing murder, rape, assault and robbery — fell by a third during the past decade and by 17% last year. The border city of Nogales, an area rife with illegal immigration and drug trafficking, hasn’t logged a single murder in the past two years. (See pictures of immigration detention in Arizona.)

It is true that Phoenix has in recent years seen a spate of kidnappings. But in almost every case they’ve involved drug traffickers targeting other narcos for payment shakedowns, and the 318 abductions reported last year were actually down 11% from 2008. Either way, the figure hardly makes Phoenix, as Arizona Senator John McCain claimed last month, “the No. 2 kidnapping capital of the world” behind Mexico City. A number of Latin American capitals can claim that dubious distinction.

An even more telling example is El Paso. Its cross-border Mexican sister city, Ciudad Juárez, suffered almost 2,700 murders last year, most of them drug-related, making it possibly the world’s most violent town. But El Paso, a stone’s throw across the Rio Grande, had just one murder. A big reason, say U.S. law-enforcement officials, is that the Mexican drug cartels’ bloody turf wars generally end at the border and don’t follow the drugs into the U.S. Another, says El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, is that “the Mexican cartels know that if they try to commit that kind of violence here, they’ll get shut down.” (See photos of Mexico’s drug wars.)

Which points to perhaps the most important factor: the U.S. has real cops — not criminals posing as cops, as is so often the case in Mexico — policing the border’s cities and states. Americans and Mexicans may call their border region “seamless” when it comes to commerce and culture, but that brotherly ideal doesn’t apply to law enforcement. That’s especially true since state and local police are backed along the border by the thousands of federal agents deployed there. Thus the tough Arizona law — which seeks to allow local and state police to check a person’s immigration status, a provision that Judge Bolton agreed opened the door to racial profiling by officers, and requires immigrants to carry their documents at all times — was sparked by largely unfounded fears.

Arizona law-enforcement officials say they believe the Cochise County rancher, Robert Krentz, was killed by an illegal immigrant — perhaps a coyote, or migrant smuggler — or a drug trafficker. His last radio transmission home as he inspected his property indicated he was helping a struggling person he believed to be one of the migrants who regularly trespass private land while crossing into the U.S. But while such assaults are hardly unheard of along the border — and while it’s hardly irrational to worry about Mexico’s violence eventually spilling into the U.S. — they have hardly risen to a level that justified the draconian Arizona bill. (In fact, if an illegal immigrant did murder Krentz, it would be the first time in more than a decade that a migrant has killed an American along the border’s Tucson, Ariz., sector.)

“There’s a real disconnect between emotions and facts when it comes to the border,” says El Paso city councilman Beto O’Rourke. “You’ve got a lot of politicians exploiting this fear that the Mexicans are coming over to kill us.”

Illegal immigration »:

The Arizona law, which Judge Bolton also said infringed on federal jurisdiction, may be a product of border bluster. But it has more than succeeded in getting Washington’s attention. Even though the Obama Administration was one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the law, the President is sending 1,200 more National Guard troops to the region this weekend. What’s more, our broken immigration system — and the federal government’s feckless failure to address it — is a front-burner issue again.

The nation’s border is actually a safe place. The nation’s debate about it, at least politically, is anything but.

See the Arizona Democrats’ stance on immigration.

Are children of illegals the next immigration target?

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