Judicial Watch • illegal immigration

illegal immigration Archives | Page 10 of 13 | Judicial Watch

In a perplexing development ignored by the mainstream media, the Obama Administration suspended tens of thousands of deportations last year and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lied to a Senate committee to cover up the astounding figure.Napolitano told the Senate Judiciary Committee that has oversight over the Department of Homeland Security that her agency halted the deportation of only 900 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2010. She did admit that the figure could be higher because it excludes “deferred action” granted to illegal immigrants for “humanitarian” reasons.Not surprisingly, Madame Secretary never indicated how much higher the figure could be, which may lead many to conclude that she purposely deceived federal lawmakers. It turns out that the Obama Administration halted the deportation of 34,448 illegal immigrants last year, according to Homeland Security figures obtained independently by a Senator (Charles Grassley of Iowa) who sits on the Judiciary Committee.After the Senate hearing, which took place last month in Washington D.C., Napolitano’s own staff corrected her atrocious lie, according to Senator Grassley’s press secretary, who provided Judicial Watch with the accurate number. According to Homeland Security figures provided to Senator Grassley’s staff, the combined deferred action and paroles of illegal immigrants in 2010 amounted to 34,448.This appears to be part of the administration’s secret amnesty plan in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to legalize the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants. Devised by political appointees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the plan aims to enact“meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”This includes delaying deportation indefinitely (“deferred action”), granting green cards, allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. indefinitely while they seek legal status (known as “parole in place”) and expanding the definition of “extreme hardships” so any illegal alien could meet the criteria and remain in the country.Last summer the Obama Administration ordered authorities to stop removing illegal immigrants who are students while lawmakers craft legislation to officially shield them from expulsion. The move, which has spared an estimated 700,000 illegal aliens, came in response to nationwide rallies by defiant illegal immigrants protesting their eminent removal or that of their undocumented parents.Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Homeland Security to obtain records detailing the stealth amnesty plan because the agency has ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

New Jersey’s largest newspaper is accusing officials at a public college in Randolph of being“cowardly” and “gutless” for reversing a controversial policy offering illegal immigrants discounted tuition after Judicial Watch challenged it.Amid strong opposition, trustees at the County College of Morris, a two-year school with an enrollment of about 9,000, voted earlier this year to give illegal aliens cheaper in-state tuition even though New Jersey’s legislature had rejected a measure that would have granted undocumented students the perk at all public institutions of higher learning.The County College of Morris passed its own policy to help an “increasing number of students” who could not be educated at the school, according to its president. The move could not have come at a worst time, in the midst of a dire financial crisis that has negatively impacted public education at every level in the Garden State.Judicial Watch quickly challenged the measure, pointing out to college trustees in a letter that illegal immigrants are ineligible for state and local public benefits such as discounted tuition under federal law. Under intense pressure, the County College of Morris responded by saying that it would “reevaluate” its new illegal alien tuition policy by this month. Last week trustees reversed the contentious measure, angering immigration advocates and New Jersey’s biggest newspaper.In a scathing editorial published this week, the Star-Ledger calls the reversal a victory for the“pitch-fork and torch brigade” that will shape immigration policy if Congress doesn’t pass amnesty legislation. The piece accuses those who oppose illegal immigration of making life as “difficult and miserable as possible” for “each and every” illegal immigrant in the United States“no matter the cost to immigrant families or the communities where they live and work.”It further points out that, by charging illegal aliens the much higher out-of-state tuition, colleges “close the door on many undocumented teenagers who aspire to better things.” After all, they were brought to this country without any say in the matter, the editorial says. “But it seems there’s not enough punishment to go around for families and their children already forced to live in the shadows.”Judicial Watch has been a frontrunner in efforts to stop the use of public funds to promote illegal immigration. Earlier this year Judicial Watch filed a taxpayer lawsuit against Maryland’sMontgomery College for unlawfully offering discounted tuition rates to illegal aliens who graduate from local high schools. The policy violates both Maryland and federal law and places a substantial financial burden on Montgomery County taxpayers, who subsidize the cost of students attending the community college.

FOIA Request Seeks DHS Communications with Obama White House

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Washington, DC — April 20, 2011

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on April 14, 2011, against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain records detailing Homeland Security’s investigation of Carlos Martinelly-Montano, an illegal alien who allegedly struck and killed a Virginia Benedictine nun in a drunk driving accident on August 1, 2010. Judicial Watch obtained an internal DHS report on the Martinelly-Montano investigation in response to a previous lawsuit. Judicial Watch now seeks all communications between the DHS and the Obama White House, as well as internal DHS records regarding the investigation and the report (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Case No. 11-725)).
On February 16, 2011, Judicial Watch sent an FOIA request to the DHS seeking access to the following:

  • Any and all records of communications, contacts, or correspondence with the White House and/or Executive Office of the President concerning a report/memorandum prepared at the direction of the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, related to Carlos Martinelly-Montano, an unlawfully present alien charged with killing a Benedictine nun and injuring two others in a August 2010 drunk driving incident in Prince William County, Virginia for the period of October 1, 2010 through February 15, 2011.
  • Any and all records of communications, contacts, or correspondence within the Department of Homeland Security concerning a report/memorandum prepared at the direction of the Unite States Secretary for Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, related to Carlos Martinelly-Mantano for the period of October 1, 2010 through February 15, 2011.

In a letter dated February 24, 2011, DHS acknowledged that it received Judicial Watch’s request on February 17, 2011. DHS was required to respond by March 17, 2011. However, to date, DHS has failed to produce responsive documents or indicate when a response is forthcoming.On March 3, 2011, Judicial Watch obtained an edited “final” DHS report detailing the agency’s investigation of Martinelly-Montano. DHS had promised a federal court that it would release the report earlier in the year, but afterward claimed that the document was in “draft” form and therefore would not be released. The final report is curiously dated November 24, 2010. It details the policies and actions of the Obama administration and local governments that allowed Montano, an illegal alien who committed a series of crimes, to remain on the streets despite being subject to deportation. Specifically, the report confirms that the Obama administration decided to not detain the illegal alien after he served his jail sentence for other offenses, and to release him onto the streets.“The suspicious manner in which the DHS handled the release of this report merits further investigation. There is no question the ‘final’ report released to the public was edited and polished by DHS, and it smacks of a cover-up. The American people deserve to know who was involved and what information was withheld,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Even in its edited form, this report is an indictment of the Obama administration’s lax approach to illegal immigration enforcement. Illegal alien sanctuary policies almost certainly led to the release of Martinelly-Montano and subsequently to the death of Sister Denise Mosier.”Carlos Martinelly-Montano, who entered the country illegally as a child from Bolivia, is charged with killing Sister Denise Mosier and critically injuring two other nuns while driving drunk in Prince William County, Virginia. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and drunk driving. Martinelly-Montano had previously been arrested in October 2008 for another drunk driving incident and was placed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Though he was scheduled for deportation, his hearing was delayed three times, and deportation never occurred.

For the third time in a few months a federal report exposes how the U.S. government prioritizes environmental preservation over national security by keeping Border Patrol agents out of wildlife refuges that are heavily transited by Mexican drug and human smugglers.Among them is a popular smugglers’ corridor, the 2,300-acre San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, used by an illegal immigrant who murdered an Arizona rancher last spring. For years, Border Patrol agents have been prohibited by the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service from actively patrolling such areas because it threatens natural resources.Motorized vehicles, road construction and the installation of surveillance structures required to adequately secure the vast areas are forbidden because it could endanger the environment and its wildlife. In the meantime, Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers regularly use the sprawling, unmanned and federally protected land to enter the U.S. The areas have become the path of choice for illicit operations that endanger American lives and, ironically, cause severe environmental damage.Adding insult to injury, Interior officials charge the Department of Homeland Security millions of dollars for conducting preapproved Border Patrol operations on its land. Since 2007, Homeland Security has paid the Interior Department more than $9 million to mitigate the “environmental damage” of protecting the border.Despite two recent congressional reports (check them out here and here) documenting the obstacles Border Patrol officers face in these dangerous areas, little has been done to remedy the situation and improve security. An overwhelming majority of Border Patrol agents told congressional investigators that “land management laws” continue to limit their access to federal lands along the treacherous southwestern border.The federal officers surveyed most recently by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, say they continue to encounter “delays and restrictions in their patrolling and monitoring operations” on federally protected lands. In one enraging case, land managers took more than four months to conduct the required “historic property assessment” before granting the Border Patrol permission to move surveillance equipment.The situation is so dire that a group of lawmakers have introduced legislation to prohibit any federal agency—especially the Department of the Interior—from using environmental regulations to hinder the Border Patrol from securing the area. The measure would essentially ensure that Border Patrol, not federal land managers, have operational control of the nation’s borders.

In the Obama Administration’s latest move to protect illegal immigrants while an amnesty plan gets worked out, Homeland Security officials said they won’t take action against a group of outlaws arrested in Georgia last week.The illegal immigrants participated in a disruptive Atlanta demonstration to protest a state measure that bans undocumented students from attending some public colleges. The seven self-described activists, who proudly boasted about their illegal status, were arrested by local police for blocking traffic in bustling downtown Atlanta for about an hour.Local media followed up this week by inquiring about the arrested demonstrators and the Homeland Security agency responsible for removing illegal aliens, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), confirmed that it was not taking any “enforcement actions against the student demonstrators.” One ICE official pointed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s well-documented stance on not deporting illegal immigrant students.Last summer the Obama Administration ordered authorities to stop removing illegal immigrants who are students while lawmakers craft legislation to officially shield them from expulsion. The move, which has spared an estimated 700,000 illegal aliens, came in response to nationwide rallies by defiant illegal immigrants protesting their eminent removal or that of their undocumented parents.The directive is part of Obama’s secret backdoor amnesty plan in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to legalize the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants. Devised by political appointees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the plan aims to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”This includes “deferred action” delaying deportation indefinitely, granting green cards, allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. indefinitely while they seek legal status (known as “parole in place”) and expanding the definition of “extreme hardships” so any illegal alien could meet the criteria and remain in the country.Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Homeland Security to obtain records detailing the stealth amnesty plan because the agency has ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

“There is no way to reconcile CCM’s policy with federal law”

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Washington, DC — April 14, 2011Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for New Jersey’s County College of Morris (CCM) challenging the school’s policy of providing discounted tuition for “undocumented” aliens. As Judicial Watch noted in the April 11, 2011, letter, illegal aliens are generally ineligible for state and local public benefits such as discounted tuition under federal law. In its response to Judicial Watch’s letter, the County College of Morris informed Judicial Watch that it will reevaluate its illegal alien tuition policy on April 20, 2011.According to Judicial Watch’s letter:

There is no way to reconcile CCM’s policy with federal law. The policy provides a public benefit to individuals who are clearly ineligible for benefits [under federal law], and New Jersey has not authorized the provision of such benefits…CCM may not ignore federal laws when those laws are not consistent with its own policy preferences. We hope that CCM will reevaluate its new policy and conform it to the requirements of federal law.

On February 18, 2011, The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that “For the first time in nearly a decade, illegal immigrants will be allowed to take classes at the County College of Morris in a policy change that is drawing praise from some education officials and sharp criticism from immigration policy activists. The trustees at the Randolph-based college voted 7-1 earlier this week to reverse a rule barring undocumented students, school officials said. Starting this summer, the public two-year college will be one of the first schools in New Jersey to openly acknowledge it is enrolling illegal immigrants and allowing them to pay the same tuition rate as other county residents.” (Prior to the policy change CCM had barred illegal aliens from admission to the school.)Judicial Watch obtained a copy of the new CCM admissions policy, which states that any illegal alien who graduates from an American high school (or possesses a GED equivalent), is under the age of 35, and has lived in the U.S. for five consecutive years is eligible for admission. The policy stipulates that illegal alien students may pay a discounted in-county tuition rate.Under federal law, unlawfully present aliens generally are ineligible for state or local public benefits, including postsecondary education benefits such as reduced tuition, unless a state has enacted a law affirmatively providing for such eligibility. The State of New Jersey has not enacted such a law.“There is no question the County College of Morris has enacted an unlawful tuition policy. We can’t have colleges and universities ignoring federal law simply because they may have sympathies for a certain student population. We hope after considering the federal statutes at issue that the Board of Trustees will bring its tuition policy in line with federal law,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.On January 20, 2011, Judicial Watch filed a taxpayer lawsuit against the Board of Trustees of Maryland’s Montgomery College for unlawfully offering discounted “in county” tuition rates to students who graduate from Montgomery County public high schools, regardless of their place of residency or immigration status (Philips, et al. v. Board of Trustees of Montgomery College (No. V342882)) . The lawsuit alleges Montgomery College’s tuition policy violates both Maryland and federal law and places a substantial financial burden on Montgomery County taxpayers, who subsidize the cost of students attending the community college. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit on behalf of Montgomery County taxpayers Michael Lee Philips, Patricia Fenati and David Drake in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. The Maryland legislature, in an attempt to moot the legal challenge, passed legislation last week authorizing illegal aliens to obtain taxpayer-funded in-state tuition benefits.

Surprise, surprise; Census Bureau data reveals that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs on behalf of their American-born anchor babies.Even before the recession, immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, according to the extensive census data collected and analyzed by a nonpartisanWashington D.C. group dedicated to researching legal and illegal immigration in the U.S. The results, published this month in a lengthy report, are hardly surprising.Basically, the majority of households across the country benefitting from publicly-funded welfare programs are headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal. States where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62%), Texas, California and New York with 61% each and Pennsylvania(59%).The study focused on eight major welfare programs that cost the government $517 billion the year they were examined. They include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a nutritional program known as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food stamps, free/reduced school lunch, public housing and health insurance for the poor (Medicaid).Food assistance and Medicaid are the programs most commonly used by illegal immigrants, mainly on behalf of their American-born children who get automatic citizenship. On the other hand, legal immigrant households take advantage of every available welfare program, according to the study, which attributes it to low education level and resulting low income.The highest rate of welfare recipients come from the Dominican Republic (82 %), Mexico and Guatemala (75%) and Ecuador (70%), according to the report, which says welfare use tends to be high for both new arrivals and established residents.

Although Oregon is suffering through a dire budget crisis that will drastically slash funding for public education, state lawmakers are working to give illegal immigrants discounted tuition at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities.Ten states currently offer the perk, which costs U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars annually, while several have reversed the outrageous and controversial policy in the last few years. Among states that still give illegal aliens heavily discounted in-state tuition at public institutions of higher learning are Texas, Utah, Washington, New York and California.Earlier this month California lawmakers introduced a measure to also give illegal immigrants millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded scholarships and financial aid in addition to cheaper tuition. Known as the California Dream Act, the bill is quickly making its way through the state legislature and has a great chance of becoming law because, unlike his predecessor who thrice vetoed it, Governor Jerry Brown has vowed to sign it.Oregon’s measure won’t go that far but will still offer undocumented students a huge tuition discount, currently reserved for the state’s legal residents, if they graduate from a local high school. The state’s senate approved the bill this week with a comfortable margin and it will head to the House, where it appears to have support from both Democrats and Republicans.The timing couldn’t be worse because, like many states across the nation, Oregon is suffering through a monstrous budget shortfall that will severely cut many public services including education. The difference between in-state tuition at theUniversity of Oregon is $8,190 compared to $25,000 for out-of-state or international students, including illegal aliens. Universities would therefore give up crucial revenue from students who would otherwise pay the much-higher nonresident rates.But students shouldn’t be punished because their parents brought them to the U.S.illegally, say Oregon lawmakers pushing the law. They insist kids should not be penalized for their parents’ actions and that the state should encourage all students to be productive residents after investing in years of public education through high school.Driving home the argument in a tear-jerking speech, a Republican state senator who sponsored the law, asked: “Have these children broken the law when many were carried into this country in the arms of their mother?”

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