SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
Amid growing controversy, the Senate is delaying the confirmation of a renowned illegal immigrant advocate who served on the board of a day laborer center to head a crucial division of the Justice Department.
President Obama’s pick to run the agency’s civil rights division, Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, has too many skeletons in his closet to breeze through the confirmation process and will have to wait at least six months while lawmakers further scrutinize his controversial past.
An Ivy League graduate of Dominican descent, Perez has long fought for the rights of illegal aliens in the U.S. by supporting Mexican and Guatemalan-issued cards as valid identification in this country, favoring discounted tuition at public colleges and providing advice to illegal aliens on how to deal with police.
Perez actually served as president of the board of a controversial, taxpayer-funded advocacy organization (Casa de Maryland) that helps illegal immigrants by operating day laborer facilities and offering free legal services. Based in the state’s Tacoma Park area, Casa de Maryland, proudly advertises its day laborer centers—in Baltimore, Wheaton and Silver Spring—which are all partially funded with public money from counties and cities.
Last year Casa de Maryland received a $1.5 million donation from Venezuela’s ardent anti-U.S. leader, socialist Hugo Chavez, who is a close ally of State Department terrorist nations like Iran, North Korea and Cuba. The Chavez-controlled Citgo Petroleum Corp. made the donation to support illegal aliens in the U.S. and the connection between the South American strongman and future Justice Department official is more than unsettling.
The ties are certainly worrisome considering that the Justice Department’s high-profile civil rights division represents the government, Congress and presidential cabinet officers in a wide range of litigation, annually handling thousands of cases dealing with significant policy issues. One Washington newspaper editorial points out that Perez’s cornucopia of leftist positions should give senators pause.
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