Sunday, November 18, 2001

Democratic leaders endorse immigration reform
MEXICO CITY Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt said yesterday that they would forge ahead with immigration reform early next year, including some kind of legal residency for Mexican migrants already living in the United States.
Such reforms “are very consistent with fighting against terrorism,” Mr. Gephardt told a news conference after meeting with President Vicente Fox during the congressmen’s three-day trip to Mexico.
“If you are regularizing status, you are also understanding the people you are dealing with are not terrorists,” Mr. Gephardt said, noting that those who would benefit are “people who have been in the United States for a long time, paid taxes, obeyed the laws and been very good citizens.”

Bush signs stopgap spending bill
CRAWFORD, Texas President Bush yesterday signed legislation funding the government through Dec. 7, giving the White House and Congress more time to complete fiscal 2002 spending bills.
The White House announced the signing in a statement from Crawford, where Mr. Bush is spending a long weekend at his ranch.

Judge orders woman to repay donors
LARGO, Fla. A woman who posed as a nurse to fraudulently collect donations intended for World Trade Center victims must pay back everyone who gave her money once investigators determine how much she took in.
Kelly Hill, 29, pleaded no contest to a fraud charge and was sentenced Thursday to a year of house arrest and 150 hours of community service plus restitution.

Seven men plead guilty to drug charges
HOUSTON Seven men accused of distributing a lethal drug cocktail that killed 16 persons in Houston in August have pleaded guilty to drug-distribution charges.
Charles Martinez, 21, and Lucas Martinez, 24, who are not related, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of drug distribution. Each faces between 40 years and life in prison.
Five others Baldomero Guajardo, 24, Benito Almaguer, 41, Louis M. Melchor, 18, Jose Colunga, 19, and Roman Juarez, 23 pleaded guilty to one count of distribution. They could get between 20 years and life in prison.
An eighth man, Andy Gonzalez, pleaded not guilty to the same charges in September.
Authorities said the drug was mixed at the home of Charles Martinez, distributed to the others, and then sold on the street.

Former ski champ gets a year in prison
SEATTLE Former freestyle ski champ Michael Lund, on the run for 23 years after his indictment in a plot to smuggle 50 tons of marijuana into Washington state, has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison but could be free by Christmas.
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour sentenced Lund on Friday, using the sentencing structure in place in 1978, when Lund was indicted with nine others all convicted years ago. Prosecutors had sought a three-year sentence.

Gore’s ‘Family Re-Union’conference to begin
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Al and Tipper Gore’s annual “Family Re-Union” conference truly is a reunion this year, as participants from all nine previous policy meetings on strengthening families return tomorrow to discuss their accomplishments and new ideas.
The Gores, who made only a brief appearance by satellite last year because the 2000 election remained undecided in mid-November, will moderate it in person again.
About 1,000 people will attend the conference, which is sponsored by Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota.

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