It’s not enough that illegal immigrants in the U.S. get driver’s licenses, taxpayer-subsidized college educations and backdoor amnesty from the president, now there’s a nationwide push for the right to practice law.
Only in America! A group called the DREAM Bar Association is lobbying every state in the union to grant law licenses to illegal aliens. The nonprofit got its name from a controversial federal bill called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) that would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the country as kids. The measure also calls on states to provide discounted tuition for illegal immigrants at public colleges and universities.
But the right to practice law in the U.S. has always been a privilege that requires a special license—granted by states—that should not be compromised. After all, attorneys in this country are officers of the legal system and have special responsibility for the quality of justice. Allowing people who have violated the nation’s laws by their very presence in the country seems absurd to say the least.
Never the less, the DREAM Bar Association has picked up steam and support from the powerful open borders movement in its campaign to give illegal aliens law licenses. The Washington D.C. group boasts that it’s the first and only bar association representing “undocumented lawyers.” President Jose Magaña encourages all 50 states to pass legislation and promulgate rules to ensure that graduates of accredited laws schools are able to obtain a license and “fully utilize their legal education.” It’s a fundamental question of fairness, Magaña says.
His group has filed legal briefs in Florida and California, where state courts are considering cases involving illegal immigrants who graduated from law school but can’t obtain a license to practice. Florida’s Supreme Court heard its case last month involving Jose Godinez-Samperio, a Mexican illegal alien who came to the U.S. with his parents on visitors’ visas when he was 9 years old. He graduated from New College in Florida, earned a law degree from Florida State University and passed the state bar exam last year.
The California case centers on a Mexican man, Sergio Garcia, who for years went back and forth between Mexico and California. At 17, the family stayed in California for good and Garcia eventually graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. When California’s Supreme Court heard the case earlier this year, it sought guidance from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which said an illegal immigrant should not be allowed to practice law in the state even though he passed the bar exam.
The Obama Justice Department and the mainstream media have conveniently failed to identify as illegal immigrants more than two dozen people arrested in a major drug-trafficking ring near the capital, but a conservative newspaper stepped up to the plate and revealed this important fact.
The sophisticated operation for years smuggled cocaine from Honduras to northern Virginia, which is considered part of the Washington Metropolitan area that surrounds the capital. Couriers smuggled large amounts of drugs by hiding them in shoes and decorative wooden frames, according to federal prosecutors. The feds also believe that members of the trafficking ring wired more than $1 million from the United States back to cocaine suppliers in Honduras.
In all, 28 people from a “tight network of Honduran immigrants” have been arrested, according to Neil MacBride, the U.S. Attorney that heads the DOJ’s Eastern District of Virginia office handling the case. His announcement, posted on the Department of Justice (DOJ) website, goes into tremendous detail about the operation and mentions how the suspects distributed vast amounts of cocaine throughout Northern Virginia and the mid-Atlantic.
However, there is no mention that the criminal enterprise was run by illegal immigrants, not simply “Honduran immigrants,” which implies they lived in the U.S. legally. Local and national media followed the DOJ’s cover-up lead. One local news report simply reprinted the DOJ press release, which identifies the suspects by name. Maryland’s largest newspaper dedicated a two-paragraph brief to the story because three state “residents” were arrested but, again, no mention of any illegal immigrants being involved.
The area’s conservative newspaper, the Washington Examiner, was the only to contact federal immigration authorities to inquire about the status of the arrestees in this case. This is a relevant fact, considering the Obama Administration is granting backdoor amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens. The short piece quotes an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official confirming the agency had lodged detainers against all 28 defendants. The information came via electronic mail after an Examiner reporter took the time to do her job.
Mexico has issued the U.S. government what amounts to a diplomatic threat for exonerating a Border Patrol agent who shot an illegal immigrant near the Texas border nearly two years ago after being assaulted with rocks.
The shooting occurred in the summer of 2010 when the federal agent, Jesus Mesa, spotted a group of Mexicans crossing the Rio Grande near El Paso. U.S. authorities say Mesa fatally shot a teen (Sergio Hernández-Guereca) traveling with the group in self-defense after the teen and his friends threw rocks at the agent.
Last year a Texas judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government but allowed a lawsuit against the agent to proceed. The Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) has spent the last two years conducting a “comprehensive and thorough investigation into the shooting” in an effort to file federal criminal charges against the Border Patrol agent.
But a few days ago the DOJ conceded that there is “insufficient evidence” to pursue federal criminal charges against Mesa. “The U.S. government regrets the loss of life in this matter, and the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security devoted significant time and resources into conducting a thorough and complete investigation,” the DOJ says in a statement.
The lengthy probe was conducted by an army of federal officers from the FBI, Homeland Security Inspector General and top prosecutors from the DOJ’s bloated Civil Rights Division. They interviewed dozens of law enforcement and civilian witnesses and collected, analyzed and reviewed evidence from the scene of the shooting. This included civilian and surveillance video, police radio traffic, emergency recordings and volumes of Border Patrol agent training and use of force material.
Agent Mesa’s training, disciplinary records and personal history were also scrutinized. The team of experienced DOJ prosecutors examined the shooting as a possible violation of U.S. criminal and civil rights laws, but the incident did not meet the standard. Evidence indicated that the “agent’s actions constituted a reasonable use of force or would constitute an act of self-defense in response to the threat created by a group of smugglers hurling rocks at the agent…” the feds concluded.
They further determined that no federal civil rights charges could be pursued in this matter since applicable statutes require prosecutors to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right. That means with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. Again, after a thorough review, the experienced federal prosecutors and FBI agents concluded that the evidence was insufficient.
The decision has been met with anger among Mexican government officials who have threatened to launch an international investigation. The Spanish-language news media presented the story as the exoneration of the American agent who assassinated a Mexican youth. In a diplomatic note from its secretary of foreign relations, Mexico’s government chastised the DOJ’s decision not to criminally charge the Border Patrol agent.
Mexico has also threatened to conduct its own investigation into the DOJ’s handling of the case and has warned the U.S. to assure that Mexicans’ fundamental rights are being respected. The teen’s family, which lives in Mexico, has sued Agent Mesa despite the DOJ’s decision not to criminally charge him.
In a dangerous power grab that will jeopardize government transparency, the Obama Justice Department wants to redefine federal public record law so that it becomes the sole arbiter in disputes between agencies and individuals who submit requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The unprecedented move would give the Department of Justice (DOJ), an extension of the executive branch, scary authority to determine if and how public records are disseminated throughout government. It would also strip those duties from the agency— Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)—that was created by Congress as a neutral party to mediate FOIA disputes and assure compliance among all federal agencies.
This is not the sort of story you’ll see in the mainstream media since, not surprisingly, the Obama Administration is keeping it under the radar. However, Judicial Watch has obtained an inside congressional document outlining the DOJ’s unscrupulous plot to become FOIA ombudsman. It comes from one of the most influential and powerful chambers in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, the California congressman who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Darrell Issa) says the proposed modification will have a negative impact on government transparency. The letter also requests documents involving efforts to modify OGIS’s statutorily established FOIA dispute resolution authority by shifting the duties to the DOJ. Holder has until this week to comply with the committee’s request.
The House investigative committee also reminds Holder that the DOJ’s proposal to become the referee for public records disputes clearly contradicts Congress’s intent and is an apparent contravention of FOIA law. “DOJ has important but limited statutory responsibilities concerning the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),” the letter says. “These responsibilities include making information about agency FOIA programs publicly available; issuing recommendations and guidelines to agency FOIA offices, and encouraging agency FOIA compliance. DOJ’s responsibilities under FOIA, however, do not include offering dispute resolution services between agencies and FOIA requesters.”
Congress created the OGIS more than four years ago as a crucial neutral party that offers a range of mediation services to resolve public records disputes and to assure government-wide compliance. The agency, which is headquartered at the U.S. National Archives, has had tremendous success, directly helping resolve more than 1,200 FOIA disputes from virtually every state. No wonder Issa asks Holder to “reconsider the proposed modification and comply with current law.”
The Obama Justice Department is going after a San Diego-based U.S. Border Patrol agent for supposedly “kneeing and choking” an “unidentified alien” during a shift near the Mexican border over the summer.
Specifically, the feds are charging the agent, Luis Fonseca, for depriving the rights of the mystery illegal immigrant at the Border Patrol station in Imperial Beach California last July. Based on the Department of Justice’s account, a federal grand jury indicted Fonseca on a single charge of deprivation of rights under color of law. The charge, a civil rights violation, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.
The case is problematic for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the government’s secrecy surrounding details. In the one-page indictment the illegal immigrant is identified only as “UA#1.” The document also claims that, as a result of the use of “unreasonable force” the undocumented alien sustained some kind of “bodily injury” yet no further details are provided.
Additionally, the grand jury indictment is dated April 12, 2012 which means the feds dragged their feet, probably because they knew it was a weak case. Fonseca was arrested on Friday during a shift at the Border Patrol’s Imperial Beach station and is currently on paid leave. He pleaded not guilty in federal court this week.
Here is why the DOJ is going after the particular agent, according to the federal prosecutor handling the case: “People detained at the border should be treated with human dignity and respect by federal agents. It is important for the public to know that the Department of Justice takes alleged civil rights violations seriously. We have processes in place to investigate and will take action where appropriate to protect those rights.”
Now the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General is investigating the matter. Perhaps when that report is finished, more information will be revealed to the public. For instance, the “victim’s” identity and the exact “bodily injury” that he or she supposedly suffered at the hands of the Border Patrol agent accused of committing the choking and kneeing.
The U.S. government has worked hard to protect illegal immigrants and their “constitutional” rights in the last few years. This has empowered them to file a number of lawsuits against local and federal law enforcement agencies for violating their rights. In Connecticut a group of illegal aliens sued the government for violating their constitutional rights during the operation that led to their apprehension.
In New York an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record got a $145,000 settlement from the state for having his civil rights violated during one of his many arrests. In Maryland an illegal immigrant from El Salvador sued the sheriff’s department for unlawfully and unconstitutionally detaining her based on race and in California illegal aliens sued a city for banning them from seeking work on public streets.
While the Obama Justice Department works to bring racial diversity to the nation’s workforce and education system, the administration ignores the perplexing homogeneity at on at one of the largest employers in the capital region, the taxpayer-funded Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
This may seem ironic considering the administration, mostly via the Department of Justice (DOJ), has implemented a variety of controversial programs to promote and protect blacks and Latinos in the name of diversity. Examples will be listed below, but first let’s check out the outrageous lack of racial diversity at the sprawling transit system that serves the area surrounding the White House.
Nearly all of the bus and train operators in the system are black, according to an investigation conducted by a local newspaper. This week the paper is publishing a three-part series outlining the findings, which are downright astounding. The first article reveals that 97% of the bus and train operators in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are black, with only six white women out of more than 3,000 drivers.
This unbelievable lack of diversity has led to a series of lawsuits, the story reveals, and a culture of corruption in which favoritism—rather than merit—plays a role in promotions. Here is a typical example straight from court and transit records; a black man who served an eight-year prison sentence for dealing drugs was promoted to a high-level management job after his release while whites in the same positions as blacks with far less seniority are inexplicably paid less.
Even in entry-level occupations typically dominated by Hispanics, there are virtually none in the system, the records show. Only one laborer out of 67 is Hispanic; of 540 landscapers, carpenters and cleaners, only 22 are Hispanic. An attorney representing a dozen white women in a lawsuit against the metro system says “the odds of such a disparity occurring by chance are statistically infinitesimal. There appears to be an entrenched network of African-American employees at WMATA that is able to steer jobs, promotion, training and other career enhancing benefit to persons of their own racial or ethnic group.”
The system does have a “civil rights” office that hears discrimination complaints, but it too lacks racial diversity because all 17 employees running it are black. White and Hispanic transit workers who have reported discrimination have encountered a “deaf ear at Metro’s civil rights office,” the article states.
All this is occurring in the president’s back yard, indicating that he cares only about selective affirmative action. In the last few years the administration has implemented a number of measures to shield and promote minorities in the workforce as well as public education. The movement started with a new Office of Diversity and Inclusion to help build a “diverse and inclusive workforce” at all federal government agencies.
The DOJ’s bloated civil rights division has committed to eliminating workplace tests that may be viewed as discriminatory against minorities. Known as “disparate impact,” the racial discrimination created by written exams is especially rampant in the nation’s police and fire departments, according to Thomas Perez, the Assistant Attorney General who heads the DOJ’s civil rights division. In the name of diversity, he has vowed to do away with the racist exams.
A few months ago the administration issued official government guidelines to promote diversity in the nation’s public education system. The joint venture between the DOJ and the Department of Education (DOE) aims to “reduce racial isolation among students,” by, among other things, blending the rich with the poor. The guidelines are expected to be implemented by the nation’s elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities that receive taxpayer dollars.
The administration has even proposed a special plan to make the airwaves more ethnically diverse by holding broadcasting rights hostage for those who don’t pass a “public value” test. Under that brilliant Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal broadcasters would be required to reflect ethnic diversity and a commitment to public affairs programming to keep their license.
It appears that the Obama Administration is once again utilizing the Department of Justice (DOJ) as a political tool, this time to challenge voter identification laws—like one already upheld by the Supreme Court—that Democrats claim discriminate against minorities.
As the presidential election nears and Obama’s poll numbers plummet, who can blame party loyals for taking measures to get their boss reelected? After all, under this far-fetched discrimination theory a chunk of citizens that would normally vote Democrat couldn’t cast ballots because they can’t prove their identity.
That’s because they are either too poor or too ignorant to get a valid identification—provided free in many of the states that have passed voter ID laws—that proves they are who they say they are. This unbelievable theory has gained momentum in the last few months, with the powerful chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz) calling ID laws a “full-scale assault” on minority voters designed to “rig” elections for Republicans.
Eight states have strict laws that require a voter to provide picture identification in order to cast a ballot. All but two of the states—Georgia and Indiana—passed their measures this year and the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division has vowed to ensure that they don’t have a racially discriminatory purpose or effect. Targets of the DOJ’s discrimination probe are Kansas, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi.
Reiterating the administration’s “commitment to robust civil rights enforcement,” Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez confirmed last week that DOJ lawyers are reviewing some of the recently-enacted state laws to ensure that they are not racially discriminatory. “We have received numerous inquiries about recently enacted state laws relating to voter identification requirements, voter registration requirements and changes to early voting procedures,” Perez said, adding that “we are carefully reviewing these laws.”
In 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, ruling that the state’s interest in protecting the integrity of the voting process outweighed the insufficiently proven burdens the law may impose on voters. “There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters,” the nation’s highest court said in its decision.
The ruling makes the DOJ’s aggressive intervention all the more questionable, like some of its other politically-motivated actions. Earlier this year Judicial Watch obtained internal government records that show political appointees at the DOJ ordered a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party dismissed. Clad in military attire and armed with weapons, members of the radical group intimidated white voters with racial insults and profanity during the 2008 presidential election and were scheduled to be prosecuted.
A Justice Department program that annually distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to combat juvenile delinquency is under fire for giving a famously corrupt leftist group—Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)—money that was fraudulently spent.
It marks the latest of several controversies for the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) which has managed to maintain a copious budget through the years despite multiple allegations of cronyism. During the George W. Bush Administration, the OJJDP was accused of giving money to politically-connected groups that didn’t necessarily meet the agency’s goals.
This week the DOJ Inspector General released a report that exposes corruption surrounding a $138,130 grant that OJJDP awarded to an ACORN branch in New York City. The audit found that there were internal control weaknesses, unsupported grant expenditures, lack of contractor monitoring, weaknesses in budget management, inadequate grant reporting, unmet conditions and deficiencies with the program’s overall performance.
The IG also describes the New York group as a “pass-through entity” for ACORN, the crooked nonprofit that’s raked in huge sums of taxpayer dollars over the years. In 2009 Congress actually passed a law (Defund ACORN Act) to ban federal funding for ACORN after a series of exposés about the group’s illegal activities, which include fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. The group also has close ties to President Barack Obama.
Earlier this year a Judicial Watch probe found that the Obama Administration violated the ban on federal funding for ACORN by giving the beleaguered group nearly $80,000 to “combat housing and lending discrimination” against minorities. After sorting through droves of government records, Judicial Watch investigators discovered that an ACORN affiliate in New Orleans, ACORN Housing Corporation Inc., got $79,819 as part of a larger $40 million allocation to “fair housing organizations” that educate the public and combat discrimination.
This year Judicial Watch also published a special report (“The Rebranding of ACORN”) about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups. Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name. For instance, under the rebranding New England United 4 Justice, ACORN has been one of the driving forces behind the movement to end economic segregation and social injustice in the U.S. (Occupy Wall Street).