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illegal immigration Archives | Page 3 of 9 | Judicial Watch

In a truly astounding case, an illegal immigrant convicted of driving drunk in Wisconsin will have work privileges while he serves an 11-month sentence because the judge never considered the man’s immigration status.That means the illegal alien will be free to go to work while he uses the county jail as a “bed and breakfast”financed by taxpayers, according to Milwaukee’s outraged sheriff.Here’s why. The judge claims that it’s illegal for a circuit judge to ask a defendant whether they are in the U.S. legally or illegally, according to an official court statement quoted in a local newspaper. Therefore, there was no way for the sentencing judge to know that this particular offender is an illegal immigrant, who incidentally, isn’t authorized to work in this country.The shocking case only made news because furious local law enforcement officials made it public this week. They knew that the drunk driver, Armando Rodriguez-Benitez, is an illegal alien and even reported it to federal immigration authorities. In July Rodriguez-Benitez was arrested after driving in the wrong direction on a local highway. Rodriguez-Benitez had crashed into one vehicle and had near collisions with several others.This week Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner sentenced Rodriguez-Benitez to 11 months at the county jail with work-release privileges. The illegal alien faced up to a decade in jail on the charge of recklessly endangering safety and should have been deported immediately, according to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. After all, Rodriguez-Benitez had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system and came dangerously close to having a head-on collision during his rampage.In a written statement cited by the paper, Sheriff Clarke asks a logical question: “Why would we let an illegal immigrant out on work release to look for a job he’s not supposed to have? He’s in the country illegally.” The sheriff assures that the illegal immigrant is a flight risk and predicts he will flee as soon as he’s released to work.Incredibly, this marks the third case in Milwaukee this year involving illegal immigrants arrested for driving intoxicated.  In July one of them (Leopoldo Salas-Gayton) was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a young mother on New Year’s Day. At his sentencing the illegal alien read a letter in Spanish asking the victim’s family for forgiveness and mercy.Wisconsin has long offered illegal immigrants sanctuary and many local police department’s ban officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status. Last year the state’s capital city, Madison, actually passed anordinance guaranteeing that it won’t enact laws to help curb immigration. Lawmakers said they unanimously approved it because minorities in the area felt that Arizona’s immigration control law would cause backlash all the way in the Badger State.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has for years “grossly understated” statistics to conceal “inherent flaws” in U.S. immigration courts that have allowed more than 1 million removal orders to be ignored and droves of deportable aliens to evade hearings without consequences.In fact, pervasive corruption has long plagued the nation’s immigration court system and the DOJ, which operates them, distorts figures to hide the truth from Congress. The alarming details are outlined in a lengthyreport authored by a former immigration court judge (Mark H. Metcalf) in south Florida, which is considered a hotbed in the scandal-plagued system.The veteran jurist reveals that the nation’s immigration courts are ruled by deception and disorder and are at the heart of a system that nurtures scandal. About 250 overwhelmed judges preside over hundreds of thousands of cases annually and rarely are their deportation orders enforced against aliens who skip court or remain in the U.S. after being removed. In many cases aliens remain free before trial and a chunk of them vanish.Even after the 2001 terrorist attacks, 50% of all aliens who were free pending trial disappeared, according to figures provided in the judge’s report. Between 2005 and 2006 the number of aliens who failed to appear at their court hearing grew to 59%. The DOJ deceptively reported the figure as “only” 39% by combining aliens who were free pending trial with those in custody who were forced by authorities to appear in court. That allowed the so-called bail-jumpers to appear as a smaller part of a bigger overall figure.Additionally, federal statistics analyzed in the probe show that from 1996 through 2009, the United States allowed nearly 2 million aliens to remain free before trial and 770,000 of them – 40 percent of the total – disappeared. This certainly creates a substantial national security threat since it’s unlikely that the feds know the whereabouts of these illegal immigrants.Referring to President Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan, the report also mentions that enforcement of deportation orders is now “nearly non-existent.” Unexecuted removal orders have skyrocketed from 602,000 in 2002 to well over 1 million, according to government statistics cited by the judge. This is even more appalling considering that U.S. immigration courts rule in favor of aliens 60% of the time, the investigation found.As if all this weren’t bad enough, U.S. taxpayers finance the multitude of appeals filed each year by illegal immigrants deported for criminal convictions and fraudulent marriages. From 2000 to 2007 alone, Americans doled out $30 million for aliens’ court costs, according to Metcalf’s findings. A preview of the finished document was released in June and the finished product is jolting enough to merit a congressional investigation.

A few months after Massachusetts’s governor rejected a federal program that checks the immigration status of local arrestees, a drunk illegal alien with a criminal history killed a motorcyclist in the state and another who had been deported racked up his sixth drunk- driving charge.Had the state participated in the federal Secure Communities program, both men would have been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation long ago. Instead, they were released by local police and allowed to continue committing crimes in their respective communities.That’s because the state’s governor, renowned open borders advocate Deval Patrick, refuses to participate in the initiative that requires local authorities to check the fingerprints of arrestees against a federal database. The idea is to deport dangerous criminals, many of whom have fallen through the cracks over the years.Two alarming cases have surfaced in Massachusetts since Patrick officially rejected Secure Communities in June. In Milford, a 15-square-mile town with a population of about 27,000, a drunk illegal immigrant from Ecuador struck and killed a motorcyclist after dragging him a quarter of a mile. The illegal alien had several encounters with local police, but was never reported to federal immigration officials. Milford’s police chief says Secure Communities could have made a difference in this tragic case.In Boxborough, a quaint little town with only 3,300 residents, police arrested a previously deported illegal immigrant on his sixth drunk-driving charge over the weekend. The Mexican national got pulled over when police noticed an expired inspection sticker on his pickup truck as he drove onto an interstate. The officer saw an open beer bottle in the vehicle and detected a strong odor of alcohol, according to a local news report, and the illegal alien failed a sobriety test.It turns out that the illegal immigrant, 48-year-old Eduardo Torres, had been convicted for driving drunk three times in two different states; once in California and twice in Massachusetts. He had also been deported at least once, according to authorities quoted in the local news story. Never the less, Torres lived and worked as a landscaper in Massachusetts for about five years.These are the types of criminals that Governor Patrick, a former Clinton Administration official, is protecting by forbidding local police to participate in Secure Communities. Since getting reelected in 2010 Patrick has madehelping illegal immigrants a cornerstone of his agenda. He even created a special council to help them integrate into society by, among other things, granting illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses and discounted in-state-tuition at public colleges and universities.Reporting illegal immigrants who have been arrested locally to federal authorities for deportation is bad public policy, according to Patrick. “We run a serious risk of ethnic profiling and frankly fracturing incredibly important relationships in communities that are important for law enforcement,” the governor said when he opted out a few months ago.

Bucking the national trend to curb illegal immigration, the country’s most populous state has passed a law forbidding private businesses as well as state and local governments from screening workers’ immigration status.It’s a baffling move on the part of legislators in a state—California— with well-documented financial struggles and a whopping 12.1% unemployment rate. Never the less, lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor that will essentially ban any employer—private or public—from using a national online database known as E-Verify to check workers’ immigration status. California cities that currently use E-Verify must immediately stop if the bill becomes law.California’s famously liberal governor, 73-year-old Jerry Brown, is expected to sign the measure (Employment Acceleration Act) which couldn’t come at a worse time for the state with the largest concentration of illegal aliens. Besides record-high unemployment, the (not so) Golden State is suffering through a dire financial crisis that has forced the early release of incarcerated felons, massive teacher layoffs and a huge cut in its notoriously generous entitlement programs.The move also comes as local governments across the U.S. pass laws making E-Verify mandatory, especially to screen candidates that will get paid with taxpayer dollars. California’s measure also conflicts with a bill (Legal Workforce Act) pending in the U.S. House that would require that all of the nation’s employers use E-Verify. The Texas congressman who introduced the measure says it could open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans and legal immigrants.Hundreds of thousands of employers across the nation use E-Verify and more than a dozen states have made it mandatory, even as the powerful open borders movement works to banish it. In 2007 Illinois became the first state to outlaw using the Homeland Security database to screen workers’ immigration status. The Bush Administration sued to stop the state from implementing the law and a watered down version was eventually implemented after a federal court nixed the original measure.The big question now is whether the Obama Administration, which claims that immigration is strictly a federal issue, will take action against California. In legal challenges to immigration control laws in Arizona and Alabama, the Department of Justice claims they conflict with federal immigration law and undermine the federal government’s careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives.

Public school teachers with unacceptable English pronunciation and grammar are being protected by the Obama Administration, which has forced one state to eliminate a fluency monitoring program created to comply with a 2002 federal education law.Singling out teachers who can’t speak proper English in American schools—funded by taxpayers, no less—discriminates against Hispanics and others who are not native English speakers, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). As a result it violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the teachers must remain in their current position.Unbelievable as this may seem, it’s a true story reported this week by Arizona’s largest newspaper. Ironically, the state launched the fluency monitoring program to comply with the bipartisan-backed No Child Left Behind Act, which requires states to create standardized tests that show public school students are reaching proficiency in core subjects like English, math and science.With only a small proportion of low-English proficiency students (reading between the lines they are referring to illegal immigrants) passing the state’s standardized reading test, Arizona education officials started to look at the teachers in those classrooms. They found a common thread in dozens of districts throughout the state; many instructors don’t speak proper English and, in fact, teach in Spanish, using Spanish-language materials. Some have “unacceptably heavy accents” that causes them to mispronounce words. Others use poor English grammar.Here are some examples of state monitoring reports listed in the article; a teacher who asked her English learners “How do we call it in English?” and teachers who pronounced “levels” as “lebels” and “much” as “mush.” Last year a monitor documented teachers who pronounced “the” as “da” and “lives here” as “leeves here.”Protected by the power of their union, no teachers have been fired for fluency issues. They have simply been reassigned and districts are required to develop “corrective-action plans” to improve their English. However a group of teachers took their case to the feds last year, complaining that their accents were getting them removed from classrooms.This is the sort of issue that makes the Justice Department’s bloated civil rights division salivate. Predictably, the agency took swift action, threatening to file a civil rights lawsuit if Arizona didn’t get rid of its teacher fluency monitoring program. As a result, thousands of children in the state’s taxpayer funded schools are stuck with teachers they probably can’t understand.The superintendent of Arizona’s public schools (John Huppenthal) says his office will continue encouraging districts to help teachers with flawed English pronunciation or grammar. “Students should be in a class where teachers can articulate,” he said.

The nation’s second-largest county has enacted legislation directing local police to disregard federal government orders to hold arrested illegal immigrants, including those with criminal records or serious felony charges.Hours after commissioners in Illinois’s Cook County, which includes Chicago, passed the measure a local newspaper reported that an illegal alien charged with a felony was released after posting bail. The man, Eduardo Sanchez, had previous offenses and got arrested this week after running a red light and assaulting a police officer.Before the famously liberal Cook County Commission passed its new law, federal authorities would have illegal immigrants like Sanchez held in local jails for up to 48 hours after posting bond or completing their sentence. The extra time gives the feds a cushion to begin deportation proceedings for illegal aliens who pose a threat.But many of the area’s officials believe such holds are “unconstitutional” and violate “due process laws.” Others claim the federal hold requests are “unfunded mandates” and ending the practice will save the county lots of money, as much as $15.7 million a year. At least one of the county’s 17 commissioners dared to criticize the new measure, pointing out that it’s a “monumental mistake” because the released illegal aliens “are going to go back into our communities and commit more crimes.”With the tables turned, it will be interesting to see if the Department of Justice (DOJ) intervenes the way it has in Arizona and Alabama. In legal challenges to both states’ immigration control laws, the DOJ claims the measures undermine the federal government’s immigration enforcement authority. A state cannot set its own immigration policy, much less pass laws that conflict with federal enforcement of the immigration laws, according to the DOJ.In this case a major county with a population bigger than 29 U.S. states is clearly defying a federal mandate created to protect its residents from foreign criminals. County officials claim the federal holds were merely requests and not requirements. It’s probably safe to bet that Obama’s DOJ will agree.

Empowered by the president’s recent halt in deportations, the influential open borders movement plans to stop one of the last states to offer illegal immigrants diver’s licenses from killing the practice.Lawmakers in New Mexico are scheduled to address the heated issue in a special session this week, igniting fury among immigrant rights organizations that accuse them of catering to “fringe right-wing groups.” New Mexico is one of only two states (Washington is the other) that still give illegal aliens driver’s licenses because proof of residency is not required to obtain the card. Utah offers illegal aliens a special license that’s valid only in the state.Earlier this year legislators in both Washington and New Mexico rejected measures to reverse the practice, even though it violates a federal identification law (Real ID Act) enacted to protect national security after the 2001 terrorist attacks. But this week New Mexico is reconsidering the issue at the request of Governor Susana Martinez who is in her first year in office. Immigrant rights groups quickly deployed protestors to the state capitol to fight for the status quo.The legislature must address the issue because a residency certification program recently implemented by Governor Martinez to strip illegal aliens of driver’s licenses got struck down in court. The measure was challenged by a well-funded, open borders group that refers to the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement effort as racist and xenophobic.In its lawsuit the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) calls the certification ordinance “unconstitutional” because it targets and affects primarily Latinos in New Mexico. A few days ago a Santa Fe judge sided with MALDEF, ordering a temporary restraining order on the measure which authorizes the state’s Motor Vehicle Division to require proof of legal residency from license holders.New Mexico started giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses in 2002 thanks to the political force of a powerful open borders group (Somos Un Pueblo Unido or We are a United Town) that operates similar to MALDEF. A few years ago federal agents busted a major smuggling ring in which illegal immigrants from “special interest”countries exploited New Mexico’s lax law to obtain licenses. A Brazilian man and a Kazakhstan woman were eventually charged with running the illicit operation.

Besides the Department of Justice (DOJ), other federal agencies are quietly working behind the scenes and dedicating extensive resources to fighting local laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration.For instance, this week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealed that a “spate of state and local immigration related laws” has forced it to launch an “initiative to build a stronger network of community organization partners who serve the Hispanic population.” In the coming months the agency will hold a series of regional conferences to meet with organizations that work directly with the country’s Hispanic population.The new taxpayer-financed project to combat immigration control measures nationwide was buried in HUD’s annual report to Congress, which failed to provide further details about its work on behalf of illegal aliens. The document is supposed to describe for lawmakers how the agency is addressing discrimination and promoting fair housing. It’s been a “groundbreaking” year because HUD is resolving individual housing discrimination complaints faster and focusing on complaints that affect multiple people, according to the report.Of particular interest is that the agency is launching more investigations using its “authority to initiate cases on behalf of discrimination victims where no one has filed a complaint.” Reading between the lines, this seems to refer to illegal immigrants. Besides the DOJ, which has challenged laws in Arizona and Alabama and created a secret group to monitor immigration control measures, other government agencies, such as the Department of Labor, have dedicated taxpayer dollars to help illegal aliens. So why shouldn’t HUD join the bandwagon?The agency proudly admits that it caved into the “concerns” of “Latino advocacy groups” (specifically the National Council of La Raza) by intervening when Arizona passed its strict law last year. HUD forced the state to publish an “advisory opinion” that federal “housing obligations” prohibit “discrimination against protected class members.” HUD also deployed its assistant secretary to Fremont Nebraska after it passed an ordinance banning “undocumented immigrants” from renting in the area.

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