Saturday, December 17, 2005

Swelling numbers of Cuban emigrants apprehended at sea

The number of Cubans intercepted at sea while trying to reach the United States is at its highest level since the 1994 exodus sanctioned by President Castro. As of Friday, 2,683 Cubans had been intercepted at sea this year, nearly double the number for all of 2004.

The high number of apprehensions are generating tensions around the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which applies to no immigrant group but Cubans, and which allows Cubans without visas to stay in the U.S. if they reach U.S. soil, but turns back anyone who is caught at sea.

For a more detailed story, a New York Times article is here:

The policy stands in marked contrast to U.S. policy toward all other migrants, for whom exclusion is the rule to which there are few exceptions (even after reaching U.S. soil). But it is consistent with broader U.S. immigration policy in the sense that it deploys a somewhat irrational and artificial rule as a means of "border patrolling," with fatal consequences for migrants.


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Billboard Plan Offends Arab Americans

A group that is trying to tighten the standards for obtaining driver's licenses is being criticized for a planned billboard with a picture of an Arab clutching a grenade and a North Carolina license.

"The message of the ad says that Arabs are dangerous and violent people and that therefore they should not get driver's licenses, and I think that is bigoted. It's racist," said Christine Saah Nazer, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Arab American Institute.

Amanda Bowman, president of the New York-based Coalition for a Secure Driver's License, which is launching the billboard campaign in North Carolina and two other states—Wisconsin and New Mexico, said: "We're not going after Arab-Americans. We're going after terrorists."

Bowman complained that in North Carolina, drivers do not have to show proof that they are in the country legally. She cites an audit this summer of the state's licensing process that said information provided by applicants are not double-checked and can easily be forged.

Ernie Seneca, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the message behind the ad was "flat-out wrong, totally inaccurate and offensive." He said the department has addressed many of the issues raised in the audit.

source: Associated Press, Dec. 15, 2005

December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration-Related RICO Suit Dismissed

The Associated Press (Dec. 14) reported that a federal judge on Wednesday tossed out a southwest Idaho county's lawsuit against local employers accused of hiring illegal immigrants - an attempt to recoup money the county says it has spent on the workers. The judge said Canyon County's claimed higher expenses for social services such as indigent medical care, schools and jails were simply the costs of being a government entity. The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. The lawsuit marked the first time a government tried to use the federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act to demand damages from businesses for the costs of allegedly illegal employees.

The Supreme Court recently granted cert in a similar case.


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Criticism of Border Reform Sensenbrenner-Style

Lots of criticism of the latest border enforcement bill in the House.  Here are two:

Walk On By: Pass Up Sensenbrenner's Misguided Border Bill And Insist On A Winner Lory Diana Rosenberg writes "Instead of facilitating the fair and truly comprehensive immigration reform that most Americans want and need - Congressman Sensenbrenner's bill would virtually criminalize everything that troubles him about the immigration situation today, and it would do so retroactively.",1219-rosenberg.shtm,1219-rosenberg.shtm#bio

For Border Patrol concerns with the bill, see Download nbpc_concerns_re_h.R. 4437.pdf 

For the views of opponents in the House, see Download hr_4437_dissenters.pdf

For the ABA's position, Download releasehr_4437.doc


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Muslim Detention Critic Detained

BREAKING NEWS: NJ Muslim Critic of Airport Detentions is Detained  See,0,1297105.story


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Some Holiday Immigration Cheer from the Hill

Listen to U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett talk about the lack of generosity of some of the latest Congressional immigration proposals.  Here's a sampling:

Just in time for Christmas, Republicans propose to criminalize those who offer the slightest help to undocumented immigrants-- water to the thirsty or food for the hungry. Church members could become felons for their faith--facing five years in prison.  So if on some silent night, when all is calm and all is bright, a young man and a clearly pregnant woman, from out of town, ask if they can rest by your manger - be warned: first verify their visas.  With similar zealotry to preserve the right to torture, cut food stamps and deny aid to abused and neglected children, these same folks publicly preach that it's the rest of us who have forgotten the meaning of Christmas.  But this year the Administration's true Christmas tidings seem to be-- "Neither Peace on Earth, nor Goodwill toward Men."


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

BIG DEADLINE: Deadline To Apply For CSS And LULAC/Newman Legalization

December 31, 2005 is the deadline to apply for CSS and LULAC/Newman legalization under the 1986 IRCA amnesty law  (courtesy of Peter A. Schey and Carlos R. HolguÃn of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law).,1216-CSS.shtm


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CBO Says Employment Eligibility Verfication Bill Would Cost $1.9 Billion

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 bill would cost about $1.9 billion over the 2006-2010 period and substantial amounts after 2010, assuming the appropriation of the necessary funds.  For the detailed report, see here.,1216-hr4437a.pdf

For the CBO letter to Rep. Sensebrenner, see here.,1216-hr4437.pdf,1216-hr4437.shtm


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Study on the Impacts of Immigration

Rethinking The Gains From Immigration: Theory And Evidence From The US.  Giovanni Peri and Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano answer the query, "What is the impact of immigrants on the productivity and income of US born workers?",1216-peri.pdf


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawsuit Against California Public Colleges and Universities

As you no doubt have heard, a lawsuit has been filed by out-of-state residents seeking damages for allowing undocumented immigrants to pay resident fees to attend California colleges and universities. Here's some of information. More to follow.

This article, "Out-of-State Students Sue Over California's Immigrant-Tuition Law, Seeking Millions in Damages ," is available online at this address:

Here is a media advisory realeased on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by the plaintiffs: College Students File Unprecedented Class Action Suit Seeking Hundreds of Millions in Damages from California Public Colleges and Universities WHAT: Lawyers representing students from 19 states to announce filing of the largest class-action lawsuit ever initiated on behalf of 60,000 U.S. citizens who have paid out-of-state tuition at California public colleges and universities since 2002. The basis of the "Tuition Fairness for Americans" lawsuit claims California Lawmakers and members of the UC Board of Regents knowingly violated Federal Statute 8 United States Code [U.S.C.] § 1623, which prohibits states from granting resident status to illegal alien students living in that state and attending public colleges or universities, while denying the same benefit to out-of-state U.S. citizen students. WHO: Attorney Michael J. Brady - Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley; Attorney Richard M. Williams - Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley; Attorney Kris Kobach - Co-Counsel and Professor of Law, University of Missouri (Kansas City) School of Law; Student plaintiffs from 12 California universities and colleges. WHEN & Press conference scheduled at 2:00 PST, Wednesday, December 14, 2005. WHERE: North steps (facing L street) at the California State Capitol, 10th Street, Sacramento, California WHY: When Congress passed U.S.C. § 1623 as part of a comprehensive immigration act, it reasonably thought that no state would violate this law, and risk losing the ability to charge hundreds of millions in out-of-state tuition to non-resident students. In 2002 the State of California and its public colleges and universities defied the federal government by enacting Education Code § 68130.5, which expressly did what Congress prohibited: granting resident status to illegal aliens for tuition purposes without giving the same benefit to out-of-state students. The state and educational system of California have now willfully placed themselves in a position of significant financial liability by banking on the assumption that no one would challenge the unlawful California statute. This lawsuit seeks to reverse these discriminatory policies, which deprived U.S. citizen students of benefits expressly intended for them under federal law. Press Contact: Susan Forbes <> (678)-770-1305.


California Statute Allows In-State Tuition to Illegal Aliens, CNN, December 16, 2005, By Daryn Kagan, Casey Wian, Drew Griffin, Tony Harris

Is it fair for illegal immigrants to get a break on their tuition expenses while out-of-state students have to pay more? America's so-called diploma mills are coming under scrutiny as federal authorities investigate how bogus college degrees can provide the needed cover for terrorists infiltrating the country.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is a well-known fact that the cost of tuition at colleges and universities is generally higher for out- of-state students, but is it fair for illegal immigrants to get a break on their tuition expenses while out-of-state students have to pay more?

CNN's Casey Wian takes a look at the tuition turmoil brewing in California.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Chaning Jang and Mark Hammes are seniors at the University of California, Davis. They're from Hawaii. And like other out-of-state students, pay about $17,000 a year more than students from California. Incredibly, even illegal aliens get the cheaper in-state tuition rate.

CHANING JANG, U.C. DAVIS STUDENT: I don't really think it's fair that illegal immigrants who can't work here legally, they don't pay any taxes, they get to have a better chance to go to university than I do.

MARK HAMMES, U.C. DAVIS STUDENT: Where can the state's money be better spent, given breaks to illegal immigrants who can't even continue working in the state after they graduate, or to other U.S. citizens who could stay? I know I intend to stay in California.

WIAN: Activists filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 60,000 out-of-state U.S. students forced to pay higher tuition in California. They say the state has been violating a federal law since it began giving illegal aliens reduced tuition in 2002.

KRIS KOBACH, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: It's an incentive to stay illegally in California. And furthermore, we'll give you a very, very valuable benefit worth more than $130,000 in the U.C. system to stay here legally. And so it's encouraging illegal immigration.

WIAN: California is one of nine states that offer discounted tuition to illegal aliens. A lawsuit has also been filed in Kansas.

A spokesman for the University of California system says it believes in-state tuition for illegal aliens is consistent with federal law. The courts will decide who's right. But many immigration reform advocates say the policy, legal or not, is wrong. IRA MEHLMAN, FED. FOR AMERICAN IMM. REFORM: We're depriving people who have broken no laws benefits and then extending those very same benefits to the children of people who broke the law.

WIAN: When California lawmakers first tried to approve reduced tuition for illegal aliens, the law was vetoed by then-governor Gray Davis. It eventually passed without his signature.

(on camera): Meanwhile, students like Chaning and Mark are taking on massive debts and working several part-time jobs to make up a difference in benefits offered to illegal aliens and other California resident students.

Casey Wian, CNN, Sacramento, California.

FROM THE KANSAS CITY STAR: Tuition lawsuit has roots in Kansas, The Kansas City Star, December 16, 2005
By Jim Sullinger

A lawsuit filed in Kansas challenging in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrants has paved the way for a similar court effort filed Wednesday in California.

The two lawsuits even have a lawyer in common.

Kris Kobach, who filed the Kansas litigation, was asked to join the California team of lawyers suing that state's public university system in an attempt to overturn the tuition law there. Kobach is a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He ran unsuccessfully to represent Kansas' 3rd Congressional District in 2004.

Kobach flew to Sacramento, Calif., for a news conference Wednesday announcing the lawsuit.

"The Kansas lawsuit paved the way for this lawsuit," he said before the trip. "Many of the legal arguments are the same."

Kobach argued in federal court that the Kansas law, which became effective last year, violated a 1996 federal law that prevents states from offering undocumented immigrants residency-based benefits that aren't available to U.S. citizens.

His lawsuit also maintained that granting undocumented immigrants the lower in-state tuition violated the equal protection rights of U.S. citizens paying the higher out-of-state tuition.

The Kansas court action was backed financially by the Federation for American Immigration Reform on behalf of 24 students and their parents.

In July, U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers ruled that the out-of-state students did not have standing to file the suit and dismissed it. Kobach is appealing that decision.

Although the federation initiated the Kansas lawsuit, Kobach said that organization was not involved in the California challenge.

He also pointed to other differences.

The California case is a class-action lawsuit that could involve an estimated 60,000 students who paid out-of-state tuition from 2002 to the present. And it is being filed in a state court.

"Those students come from all 50 states," Kobach said.

If the suit is successful, Kobach said, those students could receive a total of more than $500 million in damages.

The California law was enacted in 2001. Out-of-state tuition and fees there are $17,820 a year higher than in-state tuition and fees.

The lawsuit is being spearheaded by the law firm of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley. The firm has 120 attorneys in four California offices and one office in New York.

Suit: Tuition law biased


By Jessie Mangaliman

Mercury News

California's public universities and colleges violate federal law by charging illegal immigrants lower in-state tuition rates, discriminating against U.S. citizens from out of state who are charged a higher rate, according to a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday in Yolo County Superior Court in Woodland.

Lawyers representing dozens of students across the state -- and potentially thousands more who pay out-of-state tuition to attend the state's public colleges and universities -- declared that those students are penalized by the state and denied public benefits given illegal immigrants. The suit names regents of the University of California, trustees of the California State University and governors of the California Community Colleges as defendants.

``They are victims of an illegal policy of discrimination,'' said Redwood City lawyer Michael J. Brady, ``that has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars collectively.''

At a news conference in Sacramento on Wednesday, lawyers said California's 2002 legislation AB 540 violates federal law because it benefits only illegal immigrants. A 1998 federal law gives states the authority to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, if it extends that same benefit to all out-of-state students.

California's AB 540 allows illegal immigrants who graduated from a California high school and have lived in the state for at least three years to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

The law was aimed at the minor children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as small children and attended and graduated from California public secondary schools.

The lawsuit claims that AB 540 ``actively discriminated against tens of thousands of out-of-state students without informing them of their potential rights under federal and state law.'' It is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in tuition restitution for each student plaintiff.

Officials and lawyers for the state's vast public university system immediately dismissed and challenged the lawsuit's claims, saying that California, in fact, allows out-of-state students to claim an exemption and pay in-state tuition, the same as undocumented immigrant students, if they meet the requirements of AB 540.

In the University of California system, for example, an estimated 70 percent of students who claim an exemption and pay in-state tuition -- although they are from out of state -- are U.S. citizens.

In addition, to qualify for in-state tuition, anyone can establish residency in California by living in the state one year and a day.

In 2004, there were 208,000 students in the UC system, and 1,340 of them benefited under AB 540, all U.S. citizens or legal residents, according to Christopher Patti, an attorney representing the UC regents.

``The UC policy is consistent with state law,'' Patti said, ``which both the attorney general and the state Legislature determined is not in violation of federal law.''

Rosa Perez, chancellor at San Jose-Evergreen Community College District, argued that undocumented immigrants have a tougher state residency requirement to fulfill -- three years in the state and a high school diploma. In addition, undocumented students must sign a document saying they are in the process of legalizing their status.

``I don't know what this lawsuit is talking about,'' Perez said. ``It's inaccurate.''

``It's another attempt to confuse the public,'' she said, ``and sway people to become anti-immigrant.''

The heart and core of the lawsuit is a simple claim, Brady said: Illegal immigrants, no matter how long they've lived in California, are not ``residents'' of the state, and are not entitled to in-state tuition rates.

What's more, the state's requirement that a student, in order to qualify for the benefits of AB 540 be ``without lawful immigration status'' inherently excludes U.S. citizens, the lawsuit said.

The state formulated a discriminatory law to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, the lawsuit said.

Herb Castillo, a Bay Area immigrant advocate who supported proposed legislation to give legal status to undocumented students, had a different perspective of the lawsuit.

``The moral imperative of denying young people whose futures are here in the States, to deny them an education is shortsighted beyond belief,'' he said.

For pleadings in the lawsuit, see Download AR-M350_20051214_153518.pdf For criticism of the suit, see Download ab_540_litigation.doc Michael Olivas has collected a ton of materials on the litigation and reports the following: As I mentioned last week, some of the same lawyers that challenged the undocumented college student statute in KS have filed a similar suit in CA. They lost in the district court in Kansas City, and the case is now on appeal at the 10th Circuit. . . . I have a number of press stories on the CA action, should anyone wish them. My response has been that any such statutes are according to IIRIRA provisions, and that one student receiving in-state status does not affect or harm another student who does not qualify. Indeed, the UC data show that most of the students in that system who used the AB 540 provision were not undocumented at all, but were former CA residents who left the state and returned there after having abandoned their residency. As I often say, no good deed goes undocumented. Michael A. Olivas University of Houston Law Center KJ

December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Judge Grant Rates

The website,, contains two features that provide information on immigration judge grant rates. The link that appears on their main web page gives you statistics for 1995-1999. To get more recent statistics, covering the 2000-2004 period, you need to select "United States" in the "Legal Tools" pull-down menu, and then click on "Judge Decisions in Asylum Cases 2000-2004".  Thanks to Jon Bauer of the University of Connecticut School of Law for this tip.


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Deportation of Toddler


<>   INS wants toddler deported By TERESA BORDEN, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/14/05

Anett Michell Maldonado-Carbajal was born in Guatemala, but she uttered her first word, "Papa," in Georgia.  And that, according to the U.S. government, is a problem, because although her father, Edgar Maldonado, is a legal U.S. resident, 2-year-old Anett is an illegal immigrant. The government wants her out of the country.

December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Migration Source Data

The Migration Source is pleased to announce the update and addition of comparative international migration data to the Comparative Charts and Tables section of our Data Tools.

The tables and charts now include:

*Comparative Data for Australia, Canada, and the United States:
Foreign Born in the Country's Labor Force: Number (in thousands) and Percent of the Total Labor Force, 1998 and 2003

*Foreign Born as a Percentage of the Total Population, for Selected Countries and Years Between 1990 and 2002

*Foreign Population as a Percentage of the Total Population, Selected Countries and Years Between 1990 and 2002

* Asylum Applications, Selected Countries, 1990 to 2004

* Acquisition of Citizenship, Selected Countries, 1990 to 2002 (in thousands, with the United States)

*Acquisition of Citizenship, Selected Countries, 1990 to 2002 (in thousands, without the United States)

* Estimates of the Net Number of Migrants, for Selected Countries, 1950 to 2000
(based on 2004 UN Revised Population Data)

* Estimates of the Net Number of Migrants, Selected Countries, 1950 to 2000
(based on 2004 UN Revised Population Data)


Tensions between Australians of Middle Eastern descent and natives erupted last weekend on the beaches south of Sydney. The unrest has continued this week, and amid fears that the violence will spread, the government has increased police presence and their powers.

Australia Country Resource page
Australia’s Continuing Transformation
Data for Australia in the Global Data Center
The Role of Cities in Immigrant Integration


Our Top 10 Migration Issues of 2005 is now available as a PDF - click here.

Migration Issues: Ones to Watch
On the fringes of the radar today, here are some topics likely to generate discussion and controversy next year.

What Surprised You Most About Migration in 2005? Top Experts Respond
Their answers came from the headlines as well as personal observations about what the media does — and does not — report.

On behalf of the Source team, thank you for your comments and suggestions. The Migration Information Source is a project of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). Find out more about MPI at


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Position Opening

The Feinstein Institute for Legal Service at Roger Williams University School of Law is looking to fill the position of Director of the Pro Bono Collaborative Pilot Project, a grant-funded project which begins in January 2006. The Project partners attorneys from three Providence law firms with law students from RWU and community agencies to deliver pro bono legal assistance primarily in the areas of housing, educational advocacy, and immigration, although projects may be developed in other substantive areas as well. The Director will oversee all aspects of the project, including coordination of partnerships, trainings for attorneys and law students, evaluation, and fundraising. The position is 60% time. The Director will have the support of an administrative assistant and will be housed at the Feinstein Institute. More detailed information is contained in the attached job description. We are looking for an energetic person with strong organizational and communication skills, and with a commitment to public interest law and public service. Preferably, this person will also have pro bono experience in a law firm setting. We plan to hire for this position by the end of the year. Please share this posting with anyone who might be interested and feel free to give either of us a call if you have any questions. Interested candidates may email resumes to Laurie Barron at and also to


December 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hearing on Detention Death

All Things Considered

, December 14, 2005 · Members of the House Judiciary Committee ask the investigative arm of Congress to find out whether the Department of Homeland Security is neglecting immigrants' health care in detention centers across the country.

The request was prompted by a report on NPR last week about the death of a detainee named Richard Rust. Rust had a heart attack and died last year at Oakdale Federal Detention Center in Louisiana after the prison's medical staff allegedly took at least 20 minutes to help him. And other immigrant detainees have also died recently in troubling circumstances.


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Friday, December 16, 2005

House Activities on Sensenbrenner Today

The House passed by a voice vote today Congressman Sensenbrenner's 39-page manager's amendment, which

* eliminates review of BIA decisions on motions to reopen; 

* eliminates EAJA fees, 

* makes passport fraud an aggravated felony, even if committed by a refugee, 

or a victim of domestic violence or trafficking

* prohibits localities from requiring businesses to set up day labor sites as 

a condition for conducting /expanding a business.

* sets mandatory minimums for repeated marriage fraud

*changes reentry standards based on sentences

* makes immigration status a factor in criminal bond decisions

* clarifies existing bars on judicial review of removal orders pertaining to 

The vote also reduces the unlawful presence penalty to 6 months in an attempt to deter and treat unlawful
entrants similarly, suggesting this would avoide the need for a grand jury indictment, blurring over the
fact that appointed counsel still would be required.

The House also eliminated the diversity lottery program.


December 16, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


"Patriot Debates: Experts Debate the USA PATRIOT Act" Stewart A. Baker and John Kavanagh, editors Published by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. Before the year-end adjournment, Congress is now debating the balance between national security and personal freedom as they vote to extend or reject key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Attorney General Gonzales calls for Congress to act immediately, "before the men and women in law enforcement lose the tools they need to keep us safe." Civil liberties groups say the proposed renewal "would do too little to let targeted people challenge national security letters and subpoenas." Long after the Congressional vote, the debate will continue. "Patriot Debates: Experts Debate the USA PATRIOT Act" is a thought-provoking book that summarizes the Act's provisions, as well as several other issues that are central to the renewal debate, and provides a brilliant series of "point" and "counter-point" essay exchanges expressing civil, informed and tough debate on these key provisions.


December 16, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

House Votes to Reject Torture

The House of Representatives voted to edorse a provision advanced by Sen. John McCain that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman, or dgrading treatment or punishment of persons under custody or control of the United States Government." The measure was approved by a veto-proof majority of 308-122. Among the 122 Representatives who opposed the anti-torture provision were Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. They did not explain their opposition during the December 14 floor debate. See


December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Detention Website

You are invited to visit DWN's new website at

December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reps Fight over Immigration

The Washington Post (12/14) in "Immigration Pushes Apart GOP, Chamber"  by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum discusses how the House Republican leadership and the nation's business lobby, usually close allies,
are battling each other over the issue of immigration.  To view the entire article, go to

The split among Republicans reveals once aggain how immigration politics are not easy to categorize as Red State/Blue State or Democratic/Republican.


December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)