Hostile Mexico Illustration: The Racket over Remittances

If there is one thing that annoys Mexicans, it is America standing up for its own sovereignty. Mexico, after all, has largely turned itself into a parasite state, mooching off the wealthy Uncle Sucker next door with Washington’s help.

In particular, Mexico depends on receiving billions of dollars from remittances sent by its exported people. Even though the amount is down with the rest of the economy, in 2009 Mexico got $21.18 billion in remittances. Talk about easy money!

Plus, it is quite advantageous to Mexican elites that they can get rid of their uneducated millions by scooting them north. The Mexicans understand that the worse they run their country, the more poor will flee to America and send back billions of dollars in remittances. For rich and powerful Mexicans, it’s a great scam. It’s not so good for us though.

A recent kerfuffle blew up in Mexico City because Oklahoma levied a minuscule tax on wire transfers in order to get a little power over drug money and remittances. The Mexicans are squealing because a few dollars ($3.9 million) are diverted from heading south.

Incidentally, this item caught me eye because I suggested in a 2002 opinion piece in the Washington Times that the government should tax remittances as a way to lean on immigration (Should immigrants be taxed?). The idea follows the simple dictum that taxing an activity tends to reduce it. See also several blog posts about taxing remittances in

Mexican officials to protest Oklahoma’s wire transfer fees, The Oklahoman, April 10, 2010

A member of Mexico’s congress is asking the Mexican government to stop buying products from Oklahoma as a protest to a 2009 law that puts fees on wired money transfers.

Ildefonso Guajardo, a member of the Mexican House of Representatives, is protesting a law that went into effect July 1 that imposes fees on money transfers sent from businesses like Western Union.

In a resolution unanimously approved by the Mexican House of Representatives in Mexico City, the legislative body is asking its government to present a formal complaint to the U.S. government. The measure also directs its foreign ministry office to ask for mediation with Oklahoma’s governor to remove the fee. The Mexican Congress also asks its government to suspend all purchases of products originating in Oklahoma and other states considering similar legislation.

Mexico is the second largest export market for Oklahoma goods. In 2009, the state exported about $527 million worth of goods to Mexico, according to the state Commerce Department.

Guajardo, a representative from the border state of Nuevo Leon, said the state fee hurts families in Mexico who rely heavily on money sent home from relatives working in the United States.

The Oklahoma law says companies that wire money must collect a $5 fee for each transaction. For amounts over $500, the companies must collect 1 percent of the amount. The transfer fee amounts can be deducted from state tax returns.

“Five dollars might not seem like a lot, but when you make $2 a day it is,” said Guajardo in a phone interview with The Oklahoman on Friday. “That could pay for three kilos of eggs, or seven kilograms of tortillas.”

Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, and Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, wrote the legislation that Gov. Brad Henry signed into law in June. Fees aren’t assessed on money transfers from banks, according to the law. Collected fees are deposited into a revolving fund for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Since the bill became law, it has generated $3.9 million, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which processes the fees.

State Rep. Randy Terrill fired back a take-no-prisoners response:


OKLAHOMA CITY (April 9, 2010) – In response to the Mexican government’s efforts to “bully” the people of Oklahoma through a trade war, state Rep. Randy Terrill today called for imposing “much tougher sanctions on illegal aliens.”

“This represents an attempt by a foreign nation to interfere with the sovereign actions of a U.S. state,” said Terrill, R-Moore. “We clearly not only have the right, but the responsibility to legislate for the public health, safety, morals and welfare of our citizens – not theirs.

“The Mexican government should know that the people of Oklahoma will not be bullied or intimidated by anyone, anywhere.”

This week the Mexican House of Representatives passed a resolution denouncing U.S. states that impose remittance taxes and calling upon the Mexican government to take trade measures against those states.

The resolution specifically targets Oklahoma, saying remittance legislation enacted in this state is an “immoral, abusive and harmful” act against “immigrants’ rights.”

You can send Randy a note of appreciation for his efforts to protect citizens:

British Hospitals Endanger Patients for Islamic PC

One of the more alarming problems in modern medicine is the increased danger from drug-resistant superbugs found in hospitals. MRSA is a type of staph infection that can’t be treated with basic antibiotics.

Therefore the best defense is prevention via simple hand washing, performed frequently.

But patient safety comes distant second in British hospitals because of the arrogant demands of Muslim employees that they not be required for follow the same rules as other people. In 2008, severe sanctions were threatened: Doctors and nurses to be sacked if they do not wash their hands, according to a Telegraph article. But now, hospital administrators have folded like a cheap lawn chair when faced with unprofessional Muslim staff.

Perhaps a preventable death in the future will result in a fat lawsuit …

Muslim staff escape NHS hygiene rule, Daily Telegraph, April 11, 2010

Female staff who follow the Islamic faith will be allowed to cover their arms to preserve their modesty despite earlier guidance that all staff should be “bare below the elbow”.

The Department of Health has also relaxed rules prohibiting jewellery so that Sikh members of staff can wear bangles linked with their faith, providing they are pushed up the arm while the medic treats a patient.

The Mail on Sunday reported the change had been made after female Muslims objected to being required to expose their arm below the elbow under guidance introduced by Alan Johnson when he was health secretary in 2007.

The rules were drawn up to reduce the number of patients who were falling ill, and even dying, from superbugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Revised guidance which relaxed the requirements for some religions was published last month.

Some Muslim staff and those from other groups may be allowed to use disposable plastic over-sleeves which cover their clothes below the elbow and allow the skin to remain covered up.

Derek Butler, chairman of MRSA Action UK, said: “My worry is that allowing some medics to use disposable sleeves you compromise patient safety because unless you change the sleeves between each patient, you spread bacteria.

“Scrubbing bare arms is far more effective.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The guidance is intended to provide direction to services in how they can balance infection control measures with cultural beliefs without compromising patient safety.”

France Considers the Veiled Threat to Values of the Republic

France has been debating the burqa and whether it fits in French society for some time. Last June, the President drew a line in the cultural sand when he condemned the offensive Islamic garment (Nicolas Sarkozy: burqa not welcome in France).

The BBC item caught my attention because an actual Communist official turned out to be a leader in speaking out against the cloth prison. That’s interesting and unusual since the far left frequently supports Islamic jihad against the West. Many commies must imagine that jihadists won’t head-chop the lefty infidels when their usefulness is over. Dream on.

The photo at the right shows a culture clash of clothing and values in Marseille.

Behind France’s Islamic veil, BBC, April 8, 2010

“Why should we find ourselves returning to medieval traditions?” asks Andre Gerin, the Communist member of parliament who chaired the parliamentary commission.

“To me, the full veil, the covered face, it’s a woman in a portable coffin.”

It was Mr Gerin who first started speaking openly about banning the veil when, as mayor of a suburb of Lyon, he says he noticed more and more women wearing it.

And he is convinced they are doing it at the behest of what he calls fundamentalists.

“These women are controlled,” the MP says. […]

The niqab, says leading feminist philosopher Elizabeth Badinter “is totally contrary to the three principles of the French Republic”.

Those principles – liberty, equality, fraternity – can be seen written or carved on the front of every French town hall.

By hiding your face, Mrs Badinter explains as she sips a small black coffee in her elegant apartment in Paris, you breach the principle of equality.

“She who hides her face is in a position superior to mine,” she says. “She sees me but she refuses to reciprocate.”

Then there is the strongly guarded idea of secularism in France, the absolute separation of religion and the state rooted in the 1789 revolution and enshrined in a century-old law.

“You can have whatever religion you wish,” says Mrs Badinter, “but it stays in the private sphere.”

The problem is that some French Muslims see that not only as a way of dismissing their religion but also of ignoring their presence in France.

It’s interesting to characterize the burqa in terms of violating social reciprocity. The idea is French but insightful nevertheless.

Cartel Threatens Texas Congressmen

Is Colombia-style narco violence spreading north into the United States? The symptoms are accumulating, because the porous southern border is little impediment to the war between the drug cartels now worsening in Mexico.

President Obama may be able to ignore a rancher murdered on his own property in Arizona, but if a couple of Congressmen get whacked by Mexican gangsters, that’s a whole new ball game. And the Zetas are particularly vicious, even for the rough neighborhood of Mexico. In 2005 for example, it was reported that the Zetas had established a terror training camp near Matamoros.

Zetas Threatening South Texas Lawmakers, KRGV-TV, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Several South Texas lawmakers tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS they’ve received threats from Mexican drug cartels.

For safety reasons, the lawmakers didn’t want us to identify them. But a U.S. security source tells us the Zetas made the threats to intimidate lawmakers.

He adds it’s not likely the threats would be carried out, but lawmakers should take the threats seriously. We’re told the Zetas have the capability to kidnap officials.

Our source explains increased law enforcement at the border is making it tougher for the Zetas to preserve their drug and weapons smuggling routes into the United States. They don’t want lawmakers to send National Guard troops to the border. Troops would threaten the Zetas’ operations.

The security source tells us the threats are an act of desperation, but they may have the opposite effect the Zetas want. The more threats against lawmakers make it more likely the governor would send the National Guard to the border.

Nice neighbors we have!

Border Sheriff Says Violence in His Region Is Out of Control

Down on the front lines, where Mexico bumps into the United States, one border sheriff is essentially saying that in his area, at least, the authorities cannot protect the citizens at all. As a result, he now recommends that local people arm themselves, if they haven’t already.

Sheriff To Texas Border Town: ‘Arm Yourselves’, NPR, April 9, 2010

Last week, residents held a town-hall meeting in Fort Hancock, Texas — a sleepy agricultural town on the border, about an hour southeast of El Paso, that looks like the bleak set of No Country for Old Men.

A couple hundred people crowded into the grade-school gym to hear a chilling message from Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West.

“You farmers, I’m telling you right now, arm yourselves,” he said. “As they say the old story is, it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. Damn it, I don’t want to see six people carrying you.”

His warning was prompted by the killing of the Arizona rancher, and the spiraling violence a couple of miles away in Mexico in a region known as the Valley of Juarez. The notorious smuggling territory is being fought over by the Sinaloa and the Juarez cartels.

“One of the men that works for me had five people killed in front of his house over there [in Mexico] this past weekend,” says Curtis Carr, who is a farmer and county commissioner. “And he’s moving his family over here this week. It’s serious over there. Whether or not it’s gonna spill over here, I don’t know.”

Of course, when the border is so porous that any Mexican can simply “move” his family to the United States, then the bad Mexicans can enter easily also. That’s the problem.

Below, the border fence near Fort Hancock, Texas, is not too impressive.

Jobs Picture Still Bleak

These days, if you aren’t concerned about the American economy and future, then you aren’t paying attention. The decades of profligate abuse by elites upon the national engine of production have finally hit the wall.

The current jobs depression indicates that America’s once robust engine of prosperity is broken, largely because of outsourcing whole industries to cheap labor havens abroad and importing immigrant workers for those jobs that couldn’t be exported.

As a result, we no longer produce anything. There’s no there there. The American economy is missing millions of jobs that used to exist here.

Hotel magnate Donald Trump made that point recently when interviewed on Fox News, in reference to Washington’s unseemly deference to Red China.

Below is a simple calculation about how many jobs need to be created for the country to get back to a normal level of employment:

The Sobering Truth Behind Unemployment Numbers, Yahooo Finance, April 5, 2010

The post 2007 recession has eliminated 8.4 million jobs and rendered 15.7 million American’s jobless.

The mere fact that the palatable version of the unemployment rate has remained at 9.7% for three straight months, has Wall Street cheering.

Before chiming in, consider what it will take to simply get back to a normal unemployment rate of 5%. This is mindboggling.

The current labor force of 154 million will increase by about 1.8 million over each of the next five years because of ‘newbies’ entering the job market. By 2014, the labor force will be around 163 million. A 5% U-3 (not U-6) unemployment rate would equate to 8.15 million workers without a job.

7.55 million jobs will have to be created to reduce the number of job-less workers from today’s 15.7 million to 8.15 million. To accomplish this, there would have to be 125,833 jobs created each and every month over the next five years with no jobs lost.

The average monthly job growth over the past 10 years has been about 50,000. The average monthly job growth over the past 20 years has been about 90,000. Keep in mind that the 1990 – 2010 timeframe hosted the biggest bull market and economic expansion in history. Do you see a 1990s and early 2000s bull market around you?

Such a bleak employment outlook extending years into the future is an excellent argument for an immigration moratorium.

Mexicans Residing in LA Celebrate Their New Bishop

The assimilation process is but a distant memory in southern California, as evidenced by the joy regarding the news that pro-amnesty-Archbishop Roger Mahony (and pedophile protector) will be replaced by a real Mexican, born in Monterrey.

Naturally, the local Mexes are thrilled, because the new guy is “one of us” (not an annoying American), and la Times reports it all cheerfully. Jose Gomez himself seems sent by central casting, so perfect is he with warm and trendy balony, for example remarking, “Thank God for our diversity.”

The current Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, wears Mexi-themed cassock in the photo below, in order to pander to, er honor his many Mexican parishioners. But some don’t even respect him enough to use his real name, as noted in the article following. They prefer a genuine Mexican, not a dress-up model.

St. Michael Catholic Church of south LA was all abuzz…

Latino immigrants proud that L.A.’s next archbishop is ‘one of us’, Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2010

Word was just circulating that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles would soon have a new leader — Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Mexican-born, like most of these parishioners — replacing Cardinal Roger Mahony, set to retire next year after a quarter-century guiding his hometown see.

A pervasive sense of pride, even elation, greeted the news that a compatriot would become the heir apparent.

“Of course it makes you feel good. He’s one of us; he understands us,” said Juan Bramusco, 60, originally from Mexico’s Zacatecas state.

Many agreed that such an appointment was long overdue in an archdiocese that is now 70% Latino. But Humberto Magallanes, another volunteer, voiced a common refrain.

“The new bishop is going to have some big shoes to fill,” said Magallanes, 29, a construction worker. “Cardinal Rogelio Mahony has fought for immigrants as much as anyone.”

The scene, in miniature, captured much of the mood in Latino-dominated Catholic churches in Southern California as the leadership transition began to unfold in the nation’s most populous archdiocese.

The appointment of Gomez, poised to become the country’s highest-ranking Latino cleric, represents a watershed changing of the guard in the U.S. church, which is headed toward a Latino majority in coming years.

“It’s a recognition of the numbers, basically,” said a delighted Msgr. David O’Connell, pastor of St. Michael, as he directed parishioners to the various events Tuesday evening.

The sex-abuse scandals that have battered the church’s global image don’t seem to have deflated attendance at St. Michael and other Southern California parishes brimming with new Latino immigrants championed by Mahony and his like-minded priests.

“There’s a real contrast for us these days between what’s happening in these parishes and what’s happening in the church at large with all the scandals,” said O’Connell, a white-haired native of Ireland who has served more than three decades in Southern California. “The church is having a difficult time. But at the parish level we are experiencing this whole new vitality and energy.”

Many parishioners spoke of a sense of belonging in a world that can often feel threatening, especially for those in the country illegally, as is the case for many at St. Michael.

“In Latin America, we rely on a sense of family, but this country can be very cold sometimes, intimidating,” said Leopoldo Rivas, 36, who was attending a meeting for married couples at St. Michael with his wife, Beatriz. “Here at the church we feel we are part of a family.”

Right, America is cold and intimidating because law-abiding citizens are sick of hostile foreigners who come to steal honest people’s jobs.

Turkey Targets Austria for Islamization

In the past, cultural conquest was accomplished by military means. These days, immigration works much better: it’s cheaper, with no financial outlays required for tank battalions and fleets of bombers. Today’s hostile Islamists utilize the West’s foolish infatuation with multiculturalism and send in the lawyers when locals get obstreperous about preserving their historic way of life.

One frontline is Vienna, which has been a battleground before in the 1400-year assault of Islam upon the West.

Turkey’s Islamic Ambitions Grip Austria, CBN, April 6, 2010

VIENNA, Austria — Turkey is today considered a rising power in the Middle East and Europe.
But just a few centuries ago, the Turks ruled large chunks of both regions under the banner of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish-led forces drove deep into Europe, even reaching the gates of Vienna twice before being defeated.

Now they’re back.

Thanks to heavy immigration over the past four decades, at least a half a million Turks now live in Austria, with many settling in Vienna.

Here to Dominate
When you think of the cradles of Judeo-Christian, Western civilization, Vienna is certainly at the top of the list. But some residents say this city is changing–and becoming increasingly influenced by Islam.

“They are here to dominate,” said Vienna-based counter-jihad acticist Harald Fiegel. “And of course, knowing a little bit about Islam, you can read it there. They are are here to dominate all the world, not just Europe.”

Fiegel monitors Islamic growth in Austria. He says Turkish Muslim immigrants are not assimilating.

“What they are trying to do is segregation,” he told CBN News. “To maintain Turkish national and religious identity.”

There may be a larger hand behind that strategy.

Global Vision?
The Turkish government is home to a religous affairs office called “Diyanet” that approves imams and mosque-building inside Turkey.

Turkish officials say Diyanet has a “global vision.” It’s influence on Turkish immigrant communities across Europe is growing.

In Austria, Diyanet has established a Austrian/Turkish cultural organization called ATIB that reports directly to the Turkish government.

“They are the organizations building the mosques inside Austria,” said Christian Zeitz of the Association of Vienna Academics think tank. “A lot of mosques are organized by ATIB.” Continue reading this article

California GOP Candidates for Governor Square Off on Immigration

It is hard to avoid the immigration catastrophe in California, the state most affected by open borders and lackluster enforcement. But politicians don’t want to talk about it because they would rather avoid the aggravation of well funded Raza-types attacking over insignificant trifles.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger supported Prop 187 in 1994 before he had political stars in his eyes. But when he spoke as an immigrant himself and recommended to Hispanics that they make more effort to assimilate, the Raza gang beat him bloody. By last summer, the Governator was so enfeebled that he defended illegal aliens ( Schwarzenegger: Don’t blame state budget deficit on illegal immigrants).

Still, a shred of representative government remains, and the desire of citizens for the anarchy to end has never gone away, despite occasional pronouncements of elite pundits that the issue is not longer relevant. And the terrible unemployment in California (12.8% in February), now three points above the national level, cannot be ignored.

So immigration has become an important campaign issue for the Republican gubernatorial candidates. Steve Poizner ran the first immigration ad (below) and it must have had positive results, because he ran a follow-up slamming Meg Whitman as favoring amnesty, just like President Obama.

This could get interesting.

GOP candidates take tough positions on illegal immigration, Sacramento Bee, April 7, 2010

Meg Whitman had just finished delivering her campaign stump speech for an El Dorado Hills audience several months ago when she asked for questions from the crowd.

Two words, phrased as a statement, were the first to pop from the audience of about 30 people: “Illegal aliens.”

The Republican gubernatorial hopeful didn’t miss a beat, promising to get tough on employers of such immigrants and otherwise stop the influx.

That scene has played out countless times on the campaign trail this year, where illegal immigration has remained a hot topic for many state Republicans, even as – or perhaps because – unemployment and other economic worries have grown.

Republican candidates have responded by staking out tough positions on the subject, and Whitman rival Steve Poizner, in particular, has built much of his campaign on pledging to cut state services for all illegal immigrants.

“My view is we should not have any magnets left,” Poizner said last month at the state Republican convention. “We should turn off all incentives. We should end all taxpayer benefits for people here illegally.”

That illegal immigration has stayed in the spotlight 16 years after state voters voted to do exactly what Poizner was suggesting wasn’t a surprise for Jon Fleischman, who’s the vice chairman of the state GOP’s southern branch and a popular blogger.

In the most recent nonpartisan Field Poll, 58 percent of registered state Republican voters called illegal immigration one of their most important issues, just below economic and state budget concerns. A larger percentage of voters identifying themselves as strong conservatives listed illegal immigration as a most important issue. By contrast, just 27 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of strong liberals cited the issue as one of their most important.

“It’s an issue of principle for Republicans,” Fleischman said. “No matter what discussion you have – jail overcrowding, California prison costs, the schools – it’s in there.” Continue reading this article

Alien Sentenced in Colorado Ice Cream Shop Crash

The illegal Guatemalan who killed three people in a crash in a Colorado Baskin-Robbins has been sentenced, and the result is disappointment for the victims’ families.

Francis Hernandez could have gotten 108 years hard time, but instead received only 60 years, despite the families’ pleas for the maximum.

The convicted man was an illegal alien who had been arrested 16 times in Colorado but was never deported, and possessed 12 aliases with two different birth dates.

He recklessly drove a Chevy Suburban at nearly 80 mph in a 40 zone when he smashed into a pickup, killing Debra Serecky, 51, and Patricia Guntharp, 49. The truck was propelled into the nearby Baskin-Robbins store where three-year-old Marten Kudlis (pictured) was struck and killed inside the store.

See also my earlier blog posts about this preventable crime on

Driver in Aurora ice-cream-shop crash sentenced to 60 years, Denver Post, April 6, 2010

Serecky’s husband, William, asked the judge to hand down the harshest penalty possible.

“He has no regard for any life but his own,” William Serecky said.

In asking for leniency, public defender Chris Baumann, who sought a prison sentence of between four and 12 years, noted that Hernandez had never been convicted of a felony. Baumann would not comment after the sentencing, but he did say that he planned to appeal the conviction that came down in February.
Prosecutor Karen Pearson did not take questions by reporters but said the sentence “ensures that Francis Hernandez will not be out any time soon.”

After the conviction, the Kudlis family filed a civil suit in Arapahoe County District Court, seeking damages from Hernandez and his family; the family of Guntharp, who was high on methamphetamine at the time of the crash; and several law enforcement agencies that arrested or cited Hernandez but did not report him to federal authorities for deportation.

Marat Kudlis said his wife, Enely, is pregnant with a girl who will never get to know the brother she should have had.

“He should have grown up to be an attorney or a doctor,” Kudlis said of his son. “I can’t kiss him anymore. I can’t play football with him.”

How stunning that the defense lawyer had the gall to request a four-year sentence after his client killed three people. Defense attorneys are something else.

Marat Kudlis had plenty to say about the case…

Bay Area Faces Grim Jobs Outlook for Years

It seems like every forecast is worst than the last, and the economy is supposed to be in recovery.

It doesn’t help that California is tremendously unfriendly toward business. A state report released last year found that Sacramento squeezed nearly half a trillion dollars per year in regulation costs for businesses to operate here. Four million jobs have been lost due to excessive regulation, as small businesses pack up and leave for friendlier states. Forbes magazine ranks California #49 in business climate. (See California Businesses Waterboarded By Governmental Overregulation and listen to an audio report on the John and Ken radio show — highly recommended!)

So California is doubly screwed by the national economy and incompetence in Sacramento. Plus, we certainly don’t need additional workers from around the world. An immigration moratorium and universal E-verify would help this state enormously.

Bay Area jobs market won’t recover until 2015, forecast says, San Jose Mercury, April 4, 2010

Battered by the Great Recession, the Bay Area won’t fully recover the jobs it has lost until 2015, according to a forecast prepared for the Mercury News and its sister papers, leaving tens of thousands of workers struggling to find permanent employment.

Such a prolonged slump will take a heavy toll on the region, keeping home sales depressed, squeezing Bay Area retailers and leaving the overall economy jittery for years.

“It does have the potential to be the most durable period of unemployment since World War II,” said Jon Haveman, a founding principal of Beacon Economics, the San Rafael-based firm that prepared the forecast.

And the social costs have civic leaders and others concerned, as the ranks of the unemployed put a strain on tight budgets for job retraining, social services and other safety net programs when the state and cities are already in a financial bind.

From the time employment peaked in early 2008, to the end of 2009, the Bay Area’s core counties — including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara — have lost 251,000 jobs out of a work force of nearly 3 million people.

Beacon’s forecast, which tried to determine when the Bay Area would replace those lost jobs, is in line with the views of a wide range of economists, who say it will take the region years to regain its economic footing, although it will begin to add some jobs this year. Beacon prepared the forecast by modeling how the jobs market had rebounded from previous recessions and factoring in assumptions about how different sectors of the region’s economy will act in the future to arrive at an estimate of the pace of this recovery…

Your Tax Dollars at Work (Census Department)

The Census Bureau is spending an unprecedented $133 million for marketing and outreach for the 2010 enumeration.

That’s a lot of advertising. Ever wonder how they spend all that money?

One cost is renting mariachis.

US Census draws large crowd in Lower Valley

SOCORRO — The U.S. Census Bureau drew a large mass of people on the day it took a snapshot of America.

The bureau gathered dozens of Lower Valley residents, including those living in the colonias, on Thursday in Socorro to answer questions about the 2010 Census and advertise jobs it offers.

Families enjoyed their afternoon hearing mariachis and eating pizza and hot dogs at the Rio Visa Community Center. Women were attracted by the raffles, in which prizes were food.

“It’s sort of like a festive environment where people can learn about census,” said Rebecca Robinson, a bureau’s spokeswoman. “People are into it. They are interested.”

Thursday was Census Day, the day people should use as reference to answer and mail back the 10-question form.

Census workers have visited colonia residents since March 22. In these impoverished areas, the bureau has doubled its efforts because the residents are hard to reach.

Census workers were on horseback conducting personal interviews, and 30 outreach workers called “promotoras” visited residents in March to answer questions.

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