Sunday, May 13, 2012

AZMEX I3 11-5-12

AZMEX I3 11 MAY 2102

Findings: Illegal immigrants receive $4 billion in tax refunds
by Bob McClay/KTAR
(May 11th, 2012 @ 6:21am) Policy

PHOENIX -- Last year, undocumented workers received over $4 billion
in benefits from the United States government.

It's because of the dependents they're claiming on their tax returns.
Even though they may be here illegally and aren't supposed to have a
Social Security number, the Internal Revenue Service still requires
them to pay taxes and gives aliens a special identification number to
file a return.

Under the additional child tax credit, they get an extra $1,000
dollars for every child they claim as a dependent.

Valley immigrant-rights attorney Daniel Ortega said this is news to him.
"Then again, I don't do any tax-preparation work and I'm not involved
in any tax law," he said.

Some people are abusing the loophole. WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, for
example, found four illegal immigrants in one mobile home who claimed
20 dependents. They received nearly $30,000 from the IRS, but only
one child was living in the home.

Ortega said those who break the law should be prosecuted or deported.

"Anyone of any background should not commit fraud on their taxes," he
"If that is the case and that is true, then they should be dealt with
-- whether they're rich or poor, undocumented or not -- in the same
fashion as anybody else."

Note: This is the norm, not an exception

Feds: Indicted Kan. gang thrived by fomenting fear
The Associated Press
Updated: 5:46 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012
Posted: 1:36 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012

DODGE CITY, KAN. — Nearly two dozen members of a Hispanic gang were
arrested in Kansas this week under a federal grand jury indictment
accusing them of victimizing illegal immigrants who do their business
in cash and are reluctant to go to law enforcement because of their
immigration status.

Federal officials have long been keeping an eye on the Dodge City
area, which has become a hub for drug trafficking in the Midwest
because of its remote location and easy access to places like Denver,
Kansas City and Oklahoma City. They say gangs have thrived in the
area because police lacked resources, including Spanish-speaking
officers, and gang members are able to easily blend into the growing
Hispanic population.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said all but one of the 23 members of the
Nortenos gang arrested are first- or second-generation U.S. citizens.
He said they preyed on illegal immigrants who were vulnerable and
unlikely to seek police protection, using violence and threats to
create a climate of fear, defend the gang's reputation and territory
and promote its drug trafficking activities.

"The indictment alleges members of the Nortenos preyed on Guatemalan
immigrants who work in the beef packing plants in Dodge City,"
Grissom said. "It is well known among the Nortenos that many of the
Guatemalan workers do not use banks and try to avoid contact with law
enforcement officers. They are smaller in stature and they are
unlikely to be armed."

The gang is charged under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, or RICO, which allows prosecutors to charge
individual members as part of a larger criminal organization. In
recent years, the act has been used to prosecute human trafficking
and gang cases, including charges in 2007 against 28 members of the
Crips gang in Wichita — which was the first time RICO was used
against gangs in Kansas.

Grissom announced the indictment handed down "some time ago under
seal" on Friday after it was unsealed the day before. It charges four
of the men with murder in the June 2009 slaying of Israel Peralta and
attempted murder of three others who were with Peralta when he was
shot to death. Gang members also face other attempted murder, assault
with a dangerous weapon and drug charges. They are accused of
methamphetamine trafficking, identified by the Drug Enforcement
Agency as the state's fastest growing drug threat.

The agency also has identified Mexican drug trafficking organizations
as the biggest threat to Kansas, citing a lack of law enforcement
resources and the ease with which gang members assimilate with
growing Hispanic populations who come to work at meatpacking plants
and feed yards in the southwest corner of the state.

Dodge City Police Chief Craig Mellecker estimated there are between
300 and 500 known gang members in Dodge City and acknowledged his
department is woefully short in officers who are fluent in Spanish.

"We have a translator program in which translators are on call," he
said. "We have five Spanish-speaking employees."

The Nortenos gang, however, originated in California prisons, not in

"This is something that developed and was born in the States and
migrated across the southwest as the Hispanic population has grown,"
Grissom said.

Among those arrested in sweeps this week is alleged gang leader Jason
Najera, 28. Those charged with murder are Pedro Garcia, 25; Gonzalo
Ramirez, 26; Russell Worthey, 23; and Anthony Wright, 26. All of
those indicted live in Dodge City and range in age from 19 to 31
years old.

Grissom, who was in Dodge City to announce the charges, said the
indictment is the result of a two-year investigation with the Dodge
City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives, and several other local and state agencies. He said it
sends a message to gang members in Dodge City that local residents
"shall not live in fear."

"Our streets are not a war zone," he said. "Gangs of armed men will
not be permitted to prey on the weak or to exchange fire while the
rest of us scramble for cover."

All but one of the men named in the indictment are being held in
various jails around Wichita. One suspect is not yet in custody.

Jim Cross, a spokesman for Grissom, said none of the men have
attorneys and probably won't until after they appear in federal court
in Wichita, where the case will be tried.

Grissom said federal officers weren't concerned about the immigration
status of the victims, who were a prime target for the Nortenos
because they were afraid to report criminal acts to law enforcement.

"That's why I believe most of the gang activity here exists," Grissom
said. "The gang had a ready-made group to prey upon."

A RICO conviction has a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal
prison without parole and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for a
murder conviction is death.

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