The federal judge who presided over the trial of a Homeland Security director convicted of helping an illegal immigrant avoid deportation disagrees with the verdict and has ordered a new trial, saying it was “overkill” for the government to prosecute the official in the first place.
This sort of blatant judicial activism may seem unbelievable but this is a true story, straight out of the United States District Court in Massachusetts. A Reagan-appointed judge, Douglas P. Woodlock, didn’t like the outcome of a trial and has issued an order for a new one. His official reason is that he erred in his jury instructions and therefore a new trial is warranted, one in which appropriate jury instructions will be delivered.
But in his 50-page order Judge Woodlock injects some very revealing information that clearly outlines his opinion of the case. For instance he writes: “I view the pursuit of this case to have been overkill through the improvident invocation of federal criminal felony process when alternative administrative sanctions more closely tailored to the significance of the misconduct are available and adequate. And I am puzzled by the dogged consistency which causes this prosecution to continue.”
The case involves a high-ranking Homeland Security director (Lorraine Henderson) in the New England area convicted in 2010 of helping her illegal alien housekeeper flout the federal immigration laws Uncle Sam paid her to enforce. A Boston jury deliberated for 4 ½ hours before finding Henderson guilty after a six-day trial in which she took the stand. Federal prosecutors say that for years Henderson paid illegal immigrants cash to clean her house and she coached them on how to avoid deportation.
Henderson ignored repeated warnings over the years from a fellow federal officer that her domestic employees were in the country illegally, according to a federal affidavit. She was also recorded warning an illegal alien employee about deportation and telling the worker “if you leave they won’t let you back.” This is serious stuff, considering that Henderson wielded tremendous power and was authorized to grant or deny waivers to illegal immigrants seeking U.S. entry. She was also responsible for identifying and intercepting terrorists or terrorist threats at area seaports and airports.
Incredibly, Judge Woodlock seems to defend the disgraced Homeland Security director in his retrial order: “The cleaning lady’s employment was not itself illegal under regulations promulgated by the attorney general of the United States,” he wrote. “ And the empathetic advice that the defendant gave her cleaning lady about immigration law practices – induced from the defendant as part of the script contrived for an elaborate undercover investigation involving surreptitious electronic recordings into her relationship with the cleaning lady – did not advise the cleaning lady to engage in fraud or commit some other crime.”
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.
Author of Law Now Before the Supreme Court: “Instead of enforcing the law, the Obama administration does the opposite, by encouraging further law breaking.”
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that Judicial Watch client, former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2012, is entitled, “Examining the Constitutionality and Prudence of State and Local Governments Enforcing Illegal Immigration Law.”
Senator Pearce is the author and driving force behind Arizona’s illegal immigration law SB 1070, which affirms the legal and constitutional right of state and local governments to help enforce our nation’s illegal immigration laws. SB 1070 is now under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. The following are excerpts from Senator Pearce’s testimony that can be read in full here:
- “…the illegal alien problem is a critical issue, not only in Arizona, but across the country. The adverse effects of illegal immigration ripple throughout our society. In addressing this problem, we must begin by remembering that we are a nation of laws. We must have the courage – the fortitude – to enforce, with compassion but without apology, those laws that protect the integrity of our borders and the rights of our citizens from those who break our laws. SB1070, in full accordance with federal law, removes the political handcuffs from state and local law enforcement.
- The invasion of illegal aliens we face today – convicted felons, drug cartels, gang members, human traffickers and even terrorists – pose one of the greatest threats to our nation in terms of political, economic and national security.
- Yet, instead of enforcing the law, the Obama administration does the opposite, by encouraging further law breaking. Under federal law “Sanctuary Policies” plainly are illegal. But the Obama administration does not sue those cities that are openly in violation of federal law for having these illegal sanctuary policies. Instead, it chooses to sue Arizona for enforcing the law, protecting our citizens, protecting jobs for lawful residents, and protecting taxpayers and the citizens of this Republic in attempting to secure our borders.
On February 13, 2012, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of Senator Pearce regarding SB1070. The brief can be read in its entirety here. Judicial Watch filed a separate brief on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI). The amicus curiae brief on behalf of SLLI was joined by 29 legislators from 20 states.
“We are proud to stand with former State Senator Pearce in support of the rule of law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration has failed to abide by its constitutional mandate to secure the border. As a result states are left to defend themselves against a flood of illegal aliens coming across our border. The SB 1070 law is both lawful and necessary to local law enforcement in order to protect American citizens and enforce our nation’s immigration laws. We hope and expect that the Supreme Court will uphold SB1070 and reaffirm the rule of law in immigration matters.”
How is it possible that a previously deported illegal immigrant stripped of his driving privileges after getting busted for drunken-driving get his license reinstated? Hint; his beloved nephew lives in the White House.
It’s the kind of story you won’t see in the mainstream media. Thankfully, Boston’s conservative-leaning newspaper reported it this week. The president’s uncle, Onyango Obama, got his driver’s license back after losing it for driving drunk last summer. It turns out that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles issues special “hardship licenses” that allow offenders to drive during certain times.
Uncle Obama qualified even though he’s not even supposed to be in the United States. Not only has he previously been deported to his native Kenya, Uncle O now has a criminal record. After downing a few too many he nearly crashed into a police officer when he ran a stop sign. In the police report, the arresting officer says the president’s uncle was moderately unsteady on his feet, smelled like alcohol and slurred his words.
After getting booked, Uncle Obama did some name-throwing, telling police that he would call the White House to arrange bail. For nearly two decades Onyango Obama, who is actually mentioned in the president’s infamous memoir “Dreams from My Father,” has lived in a quaint New England town called Framingham. Not only does he have a driver’s license (post DUI), he also has a valid Social Security.
A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts agency— Registry of Motor Vehicles—that reinstated Obama’s license this week said “he met all of the criteria,” but refused to elaborate on what exactly that means. When a reporter questioned an illegal immigrant getting a driver’s license, the state agency spokeswoman snapped back saying “registry business is based on registry records.”
A local county sheriff expressed outrage, pointing out that democracy is predicated on law. “When we start to interpret these laws differently and manipulate them the way we want them to work for certain people, we start to send a mixed message to people that the law doesn’t really matter,” he said.
Uncle Obama has an immigration hearing next month, according to his attorney. Expect him to get the same special treatment afforded to Aunt Zeituni Onyango, the president’s illegal immigrant aunt. In 2010 Aunt Zeituni was granted political asylum, in a rare secret hearing, by the same judge who had previously deported her. The judge’s abrupt reversal remains a mystery because it all took place behind closed doors even though the Justice Department’s immigration court manual—as well as a federal appellate court—says such proceedings should be open.
In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”
The new measure would apply to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Here is how it would work, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in today’s Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government; the agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative that’s a U.S. citizen.
Currently such aliens must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. In other words, they must enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Besides the obvious security issues, changing this would be like rewarding bad behavior in a child. It doesn’t make sense.
But the system often causes U.S. citizens to be separated for extended periods from their immediate relatives,” according to the DHS. The proposed changes, first announced in January, will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. citizens are separated from their loved ones while required to remain outside the United States during the current visa processing system.
The administration also claims that relaxing the rule will also “create efficiencies for both the U.S. government and most applicants.” How exactly is not listed in the Federal Register announcement, which gives the public 60 days to comment. That’s only a formality since the DHS has indicated that the change is pretty much a done deal.
This appears to be part of the Obama Administration’s bigger plan to blow off Congress by using its executive powers to grant illegal immigrants backdoor amnesty. The plan has been in the works for years and in 2010 Texas’s largest newspaper published an exposé about a then-secret DHS initiative that systematically cancelled pending deportations. The remarkable program stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who said the government bounced their clients’ deportation even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed.
In late 2011 a mainstream newspaper obtained internal Homeland Security documents outlining “sweeping changes” in immigration enforcement that halt the deportation of illegal aliens with no criminal records. This also includes a nationwide “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes.
Judicial Watch has been a front runner in investigating the Obama Administration’s stealth amnesty program by pursuing DHS records concerning “deferred action” or “parole” to suspend removal proceedings against a particular group of individuals. Last spring JW sued DHS to obtain information because the agency ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.
The Homeland Security agency charged with immigration enforcement has repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained.
The shameful revelation was made this week by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches.
For the better part of the last two years TRAC has been engaged in a fierce legal battle with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over records involving the agency’s enforcement activities. After repeatedly getting stonewalled, TRAC was recently provided with some of the documents involving statistics of individuals who had been arrested, detained, charged, returned or removed from the country during a specific period.
Although ICE is still withholding much of the information, the files that have been furnished so far reveal “vast discrepancies” in many areas, according to a case-by-case analysis conducted by TRAC. The initial probe reveals that official ICE statements claimed 34 times more detentions, 24 times more deportations and almost five times more apprehensions than its own data. This certainly indicates that ICE knowingly lied to lawmakers and the press to embellish its enforcement activities.
For instance, during a one-year period that ICE claimed it detained 233,417 individuals it really only detained 6,778, according to agency’s own records. That same year, ICE said it deported 166,075 people when it really only deported 6,906 and it only apprehended 21,339 compared to claims that it had apprehended 102,034.
TRAC is still working to get the rest of the records and points out in an appeal filed this week that “ICE has been making highly exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the level of its enforcement activities,” or it is “withholding on a massive scale.” TRAC further states that the agency’s apparent inability to substantiate the level of its claimed enforcement activities is a very significant matter that’s central to the public debate on federal enforcement policy and the presidential election campaign.
In early December TRAC also uncovered records that show the Obama Administration inflated statistics to show that it had deported a record-high number of illegal immigrants with criminal records. The documents reveal that the figure is actually at an all-time low and rapidly decreasing as the administration brags about removing an unprecedented number of criminal aliens.
In a matter of days the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that federal investigations of law enforcement agencies in different parts of the country uncovered a pattern of discrimination against Latinos in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
This appears to be part of a much bigger Obama Administration plan to crackdown on local governments that try to curb illegal immigration. The DOJ has legally challenged immigration control laws in Arizona and Alabama and the administration has made it clear that it’s keeping a close eye on law enforcement agencies that may be viewed as targeting illegal aliens.
Just read this week’s findings involving the police department in the tiny Connecticut town of East Haven, population around 29,000. According to a lengthy federal probe the East Haven Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of discrimination against Latinos by intentionally and disproportionally targeting them for traffic enforcement and treating them “more harshly than non-Latino drivers after a traffic stop,” the DOJ found.
Furthermore, the East Haven Police Department has failed to remedy a history of discrimination and deliberate indifference to the rights of minorities, the DOJ says. The department also fails to collect and report traffic stop data in accordance with state racial profiling laws. Among its many offenses over the years is failure to provide “limited English proficient Latinos with appropriate language access” and a failure to abide by individuals’ consular rights. This appears to refer to illegal aliens who may want to contact their country’s consular office after getting in trouble with the law.
Last week it was the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona that got blasted by the DOJ for engaging in a pattern of unconstitutional policing. Specifically, the DOJ’s “extensive” investigation found that the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department engages in racial profiling of Latinos, unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about these racist practices.
The feds took it a step further by also saying that the Maricopa agency has discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English proficiency by punishing them and denying them critical services. Officers also follow “police practices that have the effect of significantly compromising” the agency’s “ability to adequately protect Latino residents,” according to the DOJ.
The Maricopa Sheriff’s “systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections has created a wall of distrust between the sheriff’s office and large segments of the community, which dramatically compromises the ability to protect and serve the people,” said Thomas Perez, the Assistant Attorney General Obama appointed to run the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division.
Ironically, it was less than a year ago that a top Obama immigration official defended the Maricopa Sheriff’s program to crackdown on illegal immigration, which clearly triggered the DOJ racial profiling investigation. Dozens of illegal aliens with criminal records have been apprehended, restoring law and order in a large Phoenix business district rife with solicitation, trespassing, loitering and public health ordinance violations created by day laborers.
Earlier this year the assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (John Morton) said there was no evidence of racial profiling by deputies in Maricopa County and that the majority of the illegal immigrants arrested have been convicted of serious crimes. “Sixty nine percent of the people we receive in Maricopa County have been convicted of Level 1 and Level 2 offenses, which are serious felony offenses, drug trafficking, assaults, rape,” Morton said during a meeting with editors of a local newspaper. He added that the Maricopa program has been consistent with meeting his agency’s priority of arresting illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes.
The Maryland DREAM Act was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 10, 2011. The law makes certain illegal aliens eligible to pay reduced tuition rates at Maryland community colleges and public higher education institutions, including the University of Maryland. The MDPetitions.com petition drive collected 132,071 signatures, nearly twice the amount required by law to put the new benefit to voters in a referendum.
Illegal aliens and the activist group Casa de Maryland challenged the petition drive in court to give taxpayer dollar subsidies for college tuition for certain illegal aliens. On October 7, 2011, MDPetitions.com was granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit which seeks to deny voters an up-or-down vote on the Maryland DREAM Act. The MDPetitions.com group is represented by Judicial Watch. The chairman of MDPetitions.com is Maryland Assembly Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County; Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford Counties is its honorary chairman.