POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE v Western civilization for sale. In a May 20 press release, the University of Texas News Service announced the display at UT-Austin of the Magna Carta of 1297, brought to you by the wealth of H. Ross Perot. The release said many of the concepts of the document are “embedded” in America’s Bill of Rights. They are, apparently, so deeply embedded that there is some danger they will no longer see the light of day. For the nonce, however, you may be assured that the divine right of ownership is preserved. The press release is titled, “Perot’s Magna Carta.” INS Raid V Some Austin residents may have been illegally questioned and detained , June 6 when agents from the Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Border Patrol arrested 242 people who could not prove U.S. citizenship. As part of an immigration sweep across central Texas, INS agents set up roadblocks and stopped people they thought looked like they were of Hispanic origin, interrogating them as to birthplace and status in the United States; helicopters circled overhead to locate escapees and radio their location to ground agents. The methods drew criticism from U.S. Rep. Jake Pickle, who said the INS does not have the right to harass American citizens or violate the rights of anyone in carrying out its responsibilities; state Rep. Lena Guerrero also criticized the action. James Harrington, legal director for the Texas Civil Liberties Union, plans to file suit against the federal government because INS agents questioned people without legal cause. “They stopped people because of their ancestry , Harrington told the Observer. “One woman said her husband was deported illegally. A couple of people said they had papers but were not allowed to go home for them. In one situation a person tried to call an attorney but wasn’t allowed to.” Harrington added that the INS agents charged the detainees for the trip to Mexico after telephoning employers and requesting that they deliver paychecks. V “All Latins are volatile people,” Sen. Jesse Helms recently said in an interview with the Charlotte [N. C.] Observer. Helms heads the U.S. Foreign Political Intelligence is reported by Dana Loy. Affairs subcommittee taking testimony regarding drug smuggling into the United States. U.S. Customs Commissioner William von Raab, in a May 13 hearing before the subcommittee, wrongfully accused a Mexican governor of drug trafficking and implied that relatives of Mexican President de la Madrid were involved in the drug trade. This has upset Laredo Chamber of Commerce representatives, who said that the implications of testimony before the subcommittee are harmful to the “cooperative exchange of information” _between Mexico and the United States. They have invited Helms’s group to visit Laredo for a first-hand look at difficulties faced there. Helms has not responded to the invitation. Meanwhile the problems within Mexico and on the ‘border continue to mount. The peso has dropped to an exchange rate of more than 700 to one U.S. dollar, while the level of understanding in Washington has dropped to an all-time low. V Resolutions from 109 local governments and four state legislatures calling on President Reagan to stop underground nuclear testing were delivered to the White House last month, and were met with the usual nonchalance by the Administration and the press. Nor was there much coverage of further government announcements about that faulty nuclear test last spring in which dangerous levels of radiation were released. The April 10 test damaged $20 million =worth of equipment, according to a statement by Department of Energy officials in May. Reuters reported June 11 that three workers were contaminated with excessive doses of radiation at the test site. The DOE commented, “We don’t consider these men in any danger at all.” Authority Upheld ri . Travi County District Judge Paul Davis recently upheld Texas Department use. When the TDA in 1985 announced the new standards, a lawsuit was filed by South Texas vegetable producer Tom Helle of Mission with the assistance of Othal Brand, Jr., mayor of McAllen, according to TDA. Helle, along with the Texas Farm Bureau and the Chemical Council, led the , opposition to the development of stronger protections against pesticide misuse, despite evidence that pesticides regularly poison farm workers and people living near fields that are sprayed. Judge Davis ruled that TDA has the statutory authority to adopt the rules aimed at keeping workers out of fields until they are safe to re-enter and enabling neighbors to request notification of nearby pesticide spraying. According to the Texas Center for Rural Studies, over 100 farm workers in the state were poisoned while the rules were being challenged. In May 1985, a cropduster directly sprayed 44 workers in the Rio Grande Valley; the sprayer received only a 50-day suspension at a time when there was little work anyway. In West Texas in the same month, over 120 workers were directly sprayed while working in a vineyard. Broad-Brush Taxes V In a letter sent to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, Gov. Mark White earlier this month called for “a broad-based tax on manufacturers” to pay for the Superfund clean-up of toxic chemicals. White said that petroleum and chemical companies dispose of most of their toxic material on-site, “indicating that much of the petroleum product waste found at Superfund sites is disposed of by users of those products,” who, according to White, should be responsible for clean-up costs. He did not mention that, in many cases, those guilty of the improper waste disposal are either not identifiable or are identified as defunct businesses and that “a broad-based tax on manufacturers” would fine many businesses which carry far less toxic disposal responsibility than do chemical and petroleum interests. V Officials from the Texas Department of Corrections have reported a nearly 19 percent increase in prison admissions between January and May this year, compared to the same five-month period in 1985. During these five months in 1986, Texas prisons took in 12,812 new inmates, up from 10,781 last year. The numbers for the first five months of 1983 and 1984 were 9,607 and 9,683, respectively. Prison officials say larger numbers of inmates are being released early to avoid more overcrowding in the institutions. Texas’ correctional system, the second largest in the nation, is under federal orders to reduce the crowding of its inmate population. V According to a report in the Polk County Enterprise, about 200 people filled the Livingston City Hall auditorium recently to see former Mormon Ed 16 JUNE 27, 1986
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