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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Install microchips in illegal immigrants, GOP candidate says

By Jason Hancock | 04.27.10 | 10:00 am

Instead of building a border fence to help stem illegal immigration, the U.S. government should implant microchips into immigrants before deportation, much like what is done with pets, Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician and one of seven Republicans running in the 3rd District Congressional primary, said Monday.

While speaking at a Tama County Republican forum, Bertroche made it clear that he wasn’t joking when he suggested treating undocumented immigrants like pets.

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I think we should catch ’em, we should document ’em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going,” said Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician. “I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I microchip an illegal?

“That’s not a popular thing to say, but it’s a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under,” Bertroche said.

Five of the six other candidates vying for the chance to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell also spoke at the event, and each came out strongly against amnesty and in favor of tougher border security. State Sen. Brad Zaun of Urbandale said “illegal people who are here, put them on a bus and send them wherever they came from.” He also contended that immigrants in the country illegally receive government services, like education and health care, and typically aren’t helping pay to support those services.

But that isn’t true. A 2007 study by the non-partisan Iowa Policy Project found that the average undocumented family in Iowa pays about $1,254 in sales and excise taxes, $110 in property taxes and $307 in income taxes, for a total tax contribution of $1,671 each year. This represents approximately 80 percent of the total amount of taxes paid by a documented family in Iowa earning the same income.

Undocumented immigrant workers who work “on the books” also contribute additional state and federal taxes that go to pay for benefits that, because of their illegal status, these workers will never be able to access. Every year, employers pay the State of Iowa an estimated $1.85 million to $2.86 million in state unemployment insurance premiums on behalf of their unauthorized employees, and undocumented workers and their employers together pay an estimated $50.3 million to $77.8 million in Social Security and Medicare taxes to the federal government.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • NathanPralle

    Wow. Do we purposely breed crazies here in Iowa or are they naturally-occurring?

  • jontrouten

    I'm not terribly familiar with microchips. Can they be taken out? If so, how effective would these microchips be? Plus, they're not like GPS devices. We can't just track microchipped individuals. We can just scan them if they've been detained somewhere. Am I missing something?

    • brendanm

      Yeah: the point.

  • marvinmarks

    Wake Up America: Do not give Republicans the keys to this country EVER AGAIN. Republicans are evil. Seriously.

    • delvo

      Dems are the antichrist.

  • emberglance

    Wait, so these excellent proposals could mean a drop of 45% in taxes collected statewide? Great news! Although… I guess we're going to have to find the money to pay for these microchips somewhere?

  • Kerri

    Comments like those made by this conggressional candidates is the reason why people should march for fair Comprehensive Immigration Reform. If you are in the North East, the New York State Youth Leadership Coalition is traveling from NYC to DC on May 1st. to register.

  • Say NO to Palin in Politics

    EEKS, is this guy for real?

    Thank you John Hancock for pointing out the taxes collected and services unused, this is what many do not know about or hear about. People need to spread the word on this.

    And our Dem leaders need to stomp down this type of micro chip crazy talk, with what you have pointed out.

  • Victoria Kushnir

    I think more research needs to be done on the amount of taxes paid by Iowan families making more than the US & immigrant families. Just how much is their portion of the taxes collected… oh wait, the upper income stratas are the ones paying the employment taxes for these immigrants… so having the immigrants here is good for the average family and not for the upper strata. Is there any chance that tax savings will trickle down to these American families? From what we're discovering are the tricks of maximizing profits all across this country I think not. I think I'll invite an immigrant to dinner tonight to thank him for bolstering my social security.

  • NotConvinced

    It's a good thing that there is a state where people like this can live with other people like this. I'm happy to say that state is not mine.

    • ponderbread

      People like this are everywhere, and if you don't think some of them are your neighbors or your coworkers then you are severely deluded.

  • marcelesser

    Wow. Ok, so, just to clarify this for everyone, it's illegal for the government to forcibly perform a medical procedure on anyone – including criminals.

    But that aside, completely ignoring the letter of the law here for a second…you've got to be kidding me! Just because someone does something illegal, they don't stop being entitled to the basic human rights that every western democracy recognizes. Hysteria and paranoia are not good reasons to start tossing aside western ethics.

  • Arturo Cortes

    WTF is wrong with this IMBOSOLS, How hard it is to stick in your little brains that we are all fucking humans. Here in America we all have the same rights. I know they came here illegally right!!!! Have you ever thought that may be they're so ignorant that they don't know what papers to fill or where to go for help, so their necessity makes them look bad in our eyes. All I'm saying is let's be right, let's not disgrace America.

    • delvo

      Dude. Illegals don't have rights as citizens. Yes they are human, but they are illegally occupying our nation and stealing our resources. Get a clue that we don't want to pay their way anymore. They should be sent home NOW.

      • december51933

        “Stealing your resources”? Serioously? Did you read the article or can you even read you f*&#n Neanderthal?

        • delvo

          Its pretty obvious you don't have any experience in this issue. You can't go
          by the bias of one author when the plain truth is blatantly in your face
          everyday. How many people I know that send all their money to Mexico every
          payday and live like rats while they are here with 12 guys to one apartment.
          They come here to work for peanuts and ruin the work force for the real
          professionals who have worked many years to develop their skills and give a
          quality product for the consumer. How can you compete with illegals who come
          here to STEAL OUR RESOURCES and ruin the market the way it is set up. I've
          worked over 30 years in the construction industry and I have seen it
          everyday for many years. You don't know what you are talking about sir. Wake
          up and face reality. Open your eyes and see the truth. Can they get fake
          ID's and fake SS cards? Yes. Do they have money taken from them that they
          will not get back? Yes. But the whole big picture is that they take away
          from the system more than they put in. They leave the market in a slump from
          cheap labor and often times poor quality. Most are untrained and steal from
          people around them. You don't seem to know anything about that damage from
          the illegal alien do you? We give them health care and welfare, we turn our
          backs when they do crimes against Americans to be politically correct. They
          get more privileges then I do as a citizen of this once great nation. And
          you can honestly sit there and tell me I'm the neanderthal? Its easy to see
          through that one. Give it a rest and go back to school.

          • december51933

            Okay, so you are saying that unskilled illegal immigrants – working for peanuts – are threatening the careers of those Americans that have used up a lifetime to build up the necessary skills? How could this possibly be? Either they're unskilled immigrants or they are skilled immigrants looking for the slightest opportunity to snatch a job from an American “professional”. If they are unskilled then they should not be a threat to the “skilled professional,” right? I doubt anyone would argue that the immigrants that arrive here are all that skilled; some are to be sure, but for the most part they are “doing the work that Americans don't want to do.” Back to the point: you cannot have it both ways – they are either unskilled or they are exceptionally skilled; so much so that they can simply walk into any place of employment and bump a skilled American out of a position. Which is it?

            If you are so worried about illegal immigrants snatching up your job, why is it that you and most of your ilk do nothing to or about the companies that hire them?

            Could you please define which or what resources the so-called illegal immigrants are taking from you?

            And as far as “ruining” the market, I think the latest Wall Street criminality has done more damage to our economy – and markets – than any number of so-called illegal immigrants would ever do.

            There is a study that has been done in Iowa that exposes the myth that so-called illegal immigrants do not pay their fair share; they do. The proof is out there for those who wish to pursue the truth.

            Most “steal from those around them”? Seriously? What evidence do you have for that obviously moronic statement?

            How can it possibly be that a so-called illegal immigrant could ever have more privledges than a citizen in the United States? I think you are delusional.

            The only thing that is plain to see is the racist mentality of you and your ilk.

  • Keith Mackenzie

    Wow. This is like the star of David holocaust arm band of our time… except, amazingly, more invasive and dehumanizing than the Nazi arm band or concentration camp tattoo system.

  • Tyroanee

    OMG! I want my country back… ya know the one where we are ALL immigrants and needed to work for America!

  • Michelle Lago DiPisa

    WOW…..this is ridiculous! I had to read this a few times to realize this wasn't a joke…..

  • Cristina Lambert

    Are these people for real?

  • Cristina Lambert

    Are these people for real?

  • juanetta

    All of this shit is complete bullshit and if i had a chance to say to any ones face who disagrees with i will.FUCK YALL and this law.

  • njcr

    The proposal by Pat Bertroche to implant forcefully microchips into so-called “illegal immigrants” is disgusting. Especially disturbing is the statement “I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I microchip an illegal?”. It reveals a racist attitude of dehumanising such persons, comparing them with animals. It appears some politicians would consider you human only if they can get a vote from you.
    In general, there seems to be a pattern of gradual conditioning for introduction of mandatory implantation of microchips for EVERYONE: first, pets — under the noble pretext “to find them if they get lost”; second: microchips for elderly Alzheimer patients and children, under the noble pretext “to protect our loved ones if they get lost in the forest”; third, so-called “illegal immigrants” and possibly convicts — with the noble pretext “to keep our country safe” and “to protect American jobs”, next it will be to “keep track of our medical information and provide it in case of an accident to emergency/rescue personnel” etc.
    I hope Iowans will have enough common sense and decency not to vote for such an odious character as Pat Bertroche.

  • aprilfredson

    wow. what a short-term memory this guy has. Doesn't he remember that his own relatives–the Europeans were ALL illegal and ransacked resources from the Native Americans in the first place???

  • Riightisright

    aprilfredson- So what you are saying anyone and everyone should be allowed into our country based on your statement?

    Where the GOP candidate is misguided in his statement at least he proposed something. I haven't heard anything from the democrats recently?

  • dantesinferno

    Pat Bertroche will be judge by God by the supreme court in heaven and we ll see if he enters heave or he goes to hell !!!!

    • Keith_Richard_Radford_Jr

      no we won't This has nothing to do with god beyond the fact that some of the people getting hurt by it believe in god. Some of the people getting hurt by it don't and the people using it use us all.

  • a_mexican_american

    I have never in my life heard of anything more cataclysmically ignorant.

  • Noemí Dunbar
  • SoDumb

    Riightisright: *sigh* Reccomending something useless and non productive, is on par if not worse than not suggesting a solution.

    How does microchiping illegal immigrants help secure the border? Please let me know. They can still enter, but now we can see where they are located? So dumb; and I bet he thought that was an amazing idea too. Also, unlike animals, if a human knows they're chipped, they can get it removed. Even that analogy is a bit off since animals can sense a foreign object in their body and gnaw it out if its close to the surface. I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say 2012 will not be the year of the republicans. lol

  • identalias

    Cain't y'all tattoo 'em with numbers, like branding, hyuk, hyuk.

  • jeanne021556

    Is Iowa filled with bigots?

  • James

    LOL, what happens when they go back home? They will get the chips removed. It is a simple procedure to dig it out. It is the size of a rice grain and any medical professional or even the person himself can dig it out with a knife.

  • teach7

    illegal??!! Our government is implanting chips in all of us….born in America! They did it to me! And it's not so easy to have it removed when they lie and make it look like you are crazy—-our health care professionals are being bribed and paid well for these implantations!!!

    • Keith_Richard_Radford_Jr

      tech7 please take time to write me. We have much to talk about.

  • minotaurus

    Less expensive than an implanted chip and certainly a tried-and-true method is to tattoo numbers on their arms. There are still people alive today who have them as a little souvenir from their encounter with the 3rd Reich, which demonstrates that the tattoo is durable–the ink does not run. Israel had a short time experimenting with the same method on Palestinian arms before some crybabies raised hell and they stopped it.
    Sure, let's tag them–if not here, where and if not now, when? Perfect time and place and the opinion polls in Arizona supports it.

  • elenilla

    this is undisguised racism and should be below the dignity of anyone remotely concerned with basic civil and human rights. this is a shameful expression of ignorance from people who are descendants of immigrants themselves. we can (and must) be better than this as a people and as a country.

  • edermorales

    “I think we should catch ’em, we should document ’em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going,”

    theyre speakin about human beings but if u were 2 read this u would think it was animals they were talkin about how about we inplant chips in all the white trailer trash so we kno all there movements and where abouts .

  • rs9

    I think it's a great idea. But first lets Microchip all elected officials. They are elected by the people. and are entrusted with our democratic ideals. But often we've had politicians, pick up gay men in mens restrooms, one used tax payer money, flew to Argentina to hand out with his girl friend although he was married.

    So let's protects ourselves Microchip all politicians.

  • garronquill

    institute the draft, have our boys guard our border with mexico, for a two year hitch, make the border fortified but not dangerous. spend the rest of the time clearing the illegals out of the country, bgecause they are taking our medical program and making it cost allot of money. I go to emergency room anywhee u.s.a. and i find illegals sitting and waiting to see a doctor and they are not turned away and they do not pay a penny, but the rest of us that use the medical facility are charged accordingly. we have to hire an interpretor to prosecute them in our courts of law, there signs all over america written in spanish because the new immigrant prefers not to learn english ( even the American Indian learned english) When the growing season is going strong you see all of that earned cash being wirred to someplace in South America, the federal gov't is making good housing for the immiagrant at tax payers expense and not at the farmer, of whom hires the immigrant to work his fruit and fields. When the season is over they get onto unemployment and line up for food stamps(all winter long), get into jails and need an intrerpretor to deal with their legal problems, at tax payer expense. they are here for the money and that is it and just the money and they are not going to wait for a piece of paper to get into the country for our money. their intention is to stay lonbg enough to get the money and finally go home.

    • none_of_your_business

      why are mexican people the only ones always pointed at when it comes to illegal immigrants? Haven't you been to big cities such as NYC, houston, and L.A. where you see signs in Chinese everywhere!!!

  • polichinela

    The narrow-minds of some people are almost unbeleivable. Wish all immigrants could just turn their backs on this kind of box-shaped people they usually work for. They could do nothing, cause immigrants cover many of their needs and they would be in serious trouble. They'll look up for some other “pets” to control, and they'll find they did wrong. Everyone should have the opportunity to survive and aspire for a quality life in any place in the world. There's only one, remember?

  • timdx

    Your out of your F'n mind there are people not dogs

  • Billy Lovell

    Some of these people are from the Democratic Party at one time believe it or not? Yes,they left after the Democrats went hard to get the Civil Rights Bill passed in “64″. Them or their parent formed the new GOP,Republican Party today,if I'm not clear on telling you exactly who they are, remember the ones in the news reel spraying fire hoses and turning lose attack dogs on Blacks because they wanted equal civil liberties? We are not talking about animal here!

  • Keith_Richard_Radford_Jr

    The device was made during WWII and brings back the ring of pink triangles and murder of Innocent men for being alive and deemed different. Well we are all different and individuals. Immigration police won't have any jobs when everyone is chipped and all they have to do is release the drones to fly to the location of the chip like they already do in the middle east in the conflict congress keeps calling war, and “O my someone cut the chip out of themselves and now ten Innocent people are dead. I know about this project and its trash or a mind play by the self appointed world cops at the Vat/Fox and BillO media hate center. The GOP,,,huh? Like Bill ORyRy and his lets create a problem because we have a device media group. Lets mix stuff till something happens and then we can sell it? We sell air too clean off key broads so we can make more devices. Money and GOP COP. Sex immigration Drugs and Rocking Roll seem to really be the rant of the camp Bill spill and their buddy Phil. Remember its a FCC device!

  • myworld5402

    How can they want to experiment on humans and they are targeting inmigrants because they don't have rights in this country, is like Hitler when he use to experiment with the Jews, is like going back to those times..they should installed those chips to those government people instead so we can see how the go to those “special parties” where they do all kind of weird stuff and spend lots of tax money..

  • garza


    • Anonymous

      u fukn dick maybe we should also put on on your ancestor when they crossed the border also as an illegal u fukn dick

  • La Loka Mexicana

    wow. no manches thats fuckkkked upp!! were not fuckiinq aniimals!! were humans that want a better future for our chiildren!!,,, damn!!

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