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illegal immigration Archives | Page 4 of 9 | Judicial Watch

Under intense pressure from the increasingly powerful open borders movement, a major U.S. city is abruptly ending a federal law enforcement partnership responsible for dramatically reducing its record-high crime rate.Known as Operation Community Shield, the program targets violent street gangs by sending special Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to assist local police in areas infested with gang activity. In this case, the northern California city of San Jose enrolled in the program a few months ago because a steep rise in gang violence pushed the homicide rate to the highest level in decades.The partnership has been extremely successful in California’s third-largest city and there has been a dramatic drop in gang killings, according to a local news report that cites police data. The local-federal alliance has helped crack down on gang violence and led to the arrest of hundreds of dangerous gang members in a matter of weeks. In fact, in the first 5 ½ months of the year San Jose had 14 gang homicides but zero in the two months of Operation Community Shield. The city is the safest it has been in years.Why in the world would the San Jose Police Department end such a triumphant program? Because the open borders movement, which opposed it from the start, fears that “law-abiding” illegal immigrants could end up getting deported. From the start police faced sharp criticism from pro immigrant “community groups” that claimed residents feared calling them to report crimes because ICE might deport them.A local group that advocates for immigrant rights was the key force behind ending the city’s alliance with ICE. Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) quickly assembled a campaign to kill Operation Community Shield, reminding the police chief that he vowed never to enforce immigration laws. The group publicly demanded that ICE gang unit officers “pack their bags and leave San Jose.”Through a spokesman, San Jose’s police chief, Chris Moore, denied he’s “crumbling to the community pressure” and insisted the federal partnership ended because crime is under control in his city.

Keeping its promise to suspend deportations for a broad class of illegal immigrants, the Obama Administration has officially started the process that’s expected to spare tens of thousands from removal in the coming months.Among the first illegal aliens to benefit from the president’s backdoor amnesty plan is a Mexican man living in Florida. He got busted a few years ago after applying for a work permit and was earmarked for deportation. Earlier this month local media portrayed the man, Manuel Guerra, as a desperate undocumented worker trying to build a new life after fleeing violent street gangs in his native Mexico.This week the 27-year-old, who has lived in the U.S. illegally for more than a decade, became the poster child for Obama’s newly implemented amnesty program. Federal immigration authorities officially suspended his deportation, according a mainstream newspaper report that says Guerra had been caught in a “tortuous and seemingly failing five-year court fight against deportation.”Guerra was spared after a working group from the departments of Homeland Security and Justice met to start reviewing 300,000 deportation cases pending before immigration courts nationwide. Under Obama’s new plan, authorities will have wide discretion to halt deportations and will be encouraged to do so in cases where illegal immigrants attend school, have family in the military or are primary bread winners.The stealth amnesty plan was first introduced last year in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to legalize the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants. Earlier this year political appointees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), actually issued a directive to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.” The plan 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.This goes hand in hand with the president’s new blueprint for immigration reform, which was recently issued by the White House. Titled “Building A 21st Century Immigration System,” the plan strives to strengthen the U.S. economy and “competitiveness” by creating a legal immigration system that reflects the nation’s “values and diverse needs.” After all, it claims that the “overwhelming majority” of people living in the U.S. with “no legal status” are “simply seeking a better life for themselves and their children.”The president’s new plan, which has already allocated $8 million to community groups that operate immigrant “integrational programs,” also expands “anti discrimination provisions of immigration law” and provides more “comprehensive anti-retaliation protections.”

Just when you thought President Obama’s deplorable backdoor amnesty plan had gone too far, his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues an order halting deportation proceedings against a broad class of illegal immigrants.Additionally, the agency responsible for keeping the nation safe announced that a crucial program (Secure Communities) that’s helped capture dangerous illegal alien criminals will essentially be weakened to assure compliance with “civil rights and civil liberties laws and policies.”The open-borders National Council of La Raza, which is colluding with the administration to grant illegal immigrants amnesty, was quick to praise the move. In a statement published this week, the group, which annually receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, revealed that an “interagency team of senior leaders” at DHS and the Justice Department will identify “low-priority” deportation cases that should be considered for an “exercise of discretion.”Under the new plan the Homeland Security agency responsible for removing dangerous illegal aliens, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will have wide discretion to halt deportations on a “case-by-case basis.” Illegal immigrants attending school, those with family in the military or a family’s primary bread winner will be allowed to remain in the U.S. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claims the new policy will actually“enhance public safety” by focusing deportation efforts on those “who pose a threat.”Earlier this month ICE Director John Morton made similar claims in a letter to the governors of states that have implemented Secure Communities. In the letter Morton also said that his agency would focus its limited resources on individuals who pose a threat to public safety or who have flagrantly violated the nation’s immigration laws “in a way that respects civil rights and civil liberties.” It also lists ways ICE will actively avoid deporting run-of-the-mill illegal aliens.The administration launched its stealth amnesty plan sometime last year in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to legalize the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants. Earlier this year political appointees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), actually issued a directive to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.” The plan 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.Judicial Watch has sued DHS to obtain records detailing the stealth amnesty plan because the agency has ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

In a seldom-seen act, a suburban Virginia county is going up against the powerful forces of the federal government by suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for records involving thousands of illegal immigrants who were arrested locally and turned over for deportation.Officials in Prince William County suspect that many of the criminal aliens, like the drunk driver who killed a nun last summer in their jurisdiction, were simply released under Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan. If so, there could be at least 3,000 criminal illegal immigrants roaming around the county, which is part of the Washington Metropolitan area and has a population of around 400,000.Local officials demand to know what the feds did with the illegal immigrants after county authorities turned them over for removal. The feds refuse to divulge the information and have blown off two public-record requests from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Board Chairman Corey Stewart said it’s frustrating that a local government must resort to suing the federal government to get information that should be public and is vital to local law enforcement efforts. He also expressed disappointment in the “lack of cooperation and transparency from DHS.”The standoff began when Prince William officials discovered that a drunken illegal immigrant with an extensive criminal history killed a Benedictine nun last summer. News reports quickly surfaced that the Bolivian man, Carlos Montano, had been released by federal immigration authorities on his own recognizance after previous arrests. Montano, who had a revoked license, had twice been charged with drunken driving and had been arrested in separate incidents for other traffic-related offenses.A few months after the nun’s tragic death Judicial Watch sued DHS for documents related to Montano’s case in an effort to answer an important question: Why did federal authorities free him if he had such a serious criminal history? Earlier this year the agency provided a heavily edited report that nevertheless provides insight into the matter. Essentially, Obama Administration policies giving immigration officials “broad discretion”relating to detention resources allow them to release illegal aliens like Montano.In any case, Prince William County has transferred more than 4,000 criminal illegal aliens to DHS custody in the last few years and officials want to know their whereabouts. The program is actually part of a local-federal team effort, practiced by municipalities nationwide, that checks the immigration status of every arrestee. It probably defeats the purpose if the feds are releasing the offenders.

The latest move by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to legally challenge another state’s immigration control law indicates that, under Obama, the agency has become the lap dog of the leftwing civil rights group at the helm of the open borders movement.For the second time in a year the DOJ and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have apparently colluded to bring down a state measure passed to curb the devastating toll of illegal immigration. Last year Team DOJ-ACLU took on Arizona’s law, which makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally, bans “sanctuary city” policies and allows local police to inquire about suspects’ immigration status.Judicial Watch uncovered DOJ documents that show the agency worked hand-in-hand with the ACLU in mounting their respective legal challenges to Arizona’s measure. The ACLU has flexed its muscle in related matters as well. A few months ago Homeland Security officials followed an ACLU order to suspend the scheduled deportation of an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles who’s working with the group to nix a program (Secure Communities) that requires local authorities to check the fingerprints of arrestees against a federal database.This week the DOJ followed the ACLU’s footsteps in filing a lawsuit to block Alabama’s new immigration control law, which makes it a state crime to be an undocumented alien and also makes it illegal for them to work in the state. The measure also allows police to detain those suspected of being in the country illegally and makes it a crime to rent a house or apartment to an illegal alien.Though they were filed weeks apart, the ACLU and DOJ complaints contain incredibly similar wording and both issued like-minded press releases blasting Alabama’s law as unconstitutional and undermining the federal government’s exclusive immigration enforcement duties. The ACLU used more animated language in its press release, accusing Alabama of passing a “draconian anti-immigrant law” that sanctions “discriminatory and unconstitutional practices.”The DOJ accuses Alabama of crossing a constitutional line, asserting that the law will lead to “the harassment and detention of foreign visitors, legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens who may not be able to readily prove their lawful status.” The feds also claim that the measure will burden children by demanding that students prove their lawful presence, which in turn, will discourage parents from enrolling them in school.This appears to be part of a broad movement by the administration to protect illegal immigrants until it figures out a way to grant them amnesty. Last spring the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division, which is headed by a renowned illegal immigrant advocate, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, created a secret group to monitor laws passed by states and local municipalities to curb illegal immigration. The undercover body is known as the National Origin Working Group and it holds special workshops dedicated to monitoring “anti-immigrant laws.”

Proclaiming that human trafficking is the “modern day manifestation of slavery,” the Homeland Security agency responsible for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. has embarked on a new mission to rescue illegal immigrants smuggled into the country by traffickers.As the front line agency guarding the nation’s sea and land entry points, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for intercepting foreign threats—including weapons of mass destruction—while facilitating travel for hundreds of millions of people. About 20,000 agents guard nearly 6,000 miles of border between the U.S., Mexico and Canada as well as 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico.It’s a huge task for the thinly spread law enforcement agency that’s been rocked by a series of corruption scandals in the last few years. Just last month CBP’s commissioner (Alan Bersin) revealed that 127 agents had been arrested or indicted since 2004 for drug smuggling, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy. Most were considered “mission compromising acts of corruption,” according to Bersin’s testimony before a Senate Homeland Security committee.Considering all this, it may seem odd that the agency would embark on its latest mission to save illegal immigrants who are driven into forced labor by their smugglers, a form of “modern-day slavery.” This week CBP began airing public service announcements in English and Spanish to help migrants avoid becoming victims of human trafficking and to encourage Americans to report any suspicious activity. The new public awareness campaign is called “Don’t Be Fooled” or “No Te Engañes.”“Death, disappearance and enslavement—these too often are the futures that await illegal immigrants who mortgage their lives to human smugglers,” according to CBP’s deputy commissioner, David Aguilar. The deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Homeland Security agency that removes illegal immigrants from the U.S., says the initiative aims to “reach and rescue the victims who’ve endured much pain and suffering at the hands of callous criminals.”The smugglers will be criminally charged and subsequently deported, say Homeland Security officials, but the so-called “victims” may very well be allowed to stay in the U.S. In fact, the Obama Administration’s new “three-pronged strategy” (billed as a “first of its-kind-campaign”) includes “prevention, protecting victims and prosecution.”

Legislation has been introduced in Congress to stop President Obama from further implementing a “backdoor amnesty” program that has already suspended the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants, including those with criminal convictions.The president’s stealth amnesty plan was first exposed last year after internal Homeland Security documents were obtained by the media. The first is a now-famous memo outlining a secret backup plan to grant illegal immigrants amnesty in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to do it. Devised by high-ranking officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the plan calls for “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action” and “relief” to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without proper authorization”Subsequently, Texas’s largest newspaper exposed a secret initiative that systematically cancels pending deportations, even when illegal aliens have a criminal history. The remarkable program stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who say the government bounced their clients’ removal even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed.Last month Obama implemented yet another system to spare a myriad of illegal immigrants from removal by authorizing—and encouraging—low-level field officers to block deportations by using an outrageously broad list of exemptions. The unprecedented program will allow droves of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. by drastically expanding factors that can be considered to exercise“prosecutorial discretion.” That’s when agencies get to decide to what degree they enforce certain laws against particular individuals.Apparently it was the icing on the cake that pushed several lawmakers to craft legislation to end the madness. Introduced in the House this week, the Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act (HALT Act) would eliminate the president’s widely abused humanitarian parole, temporary protected status and deferred action to spare illegal immigrants from deportation.The measurer’s sponsor, Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, claims the HALT Act will prevent Obama from abusing his authority to grant illegal immigrants “mass administrative amnesty,” which he says is a rejection of Congress’ constitutional rights and shows utter distain towards the wishes of the American people. Smith reminds the president that Americans have called upon Congress to defeat several amnesty bills in recent years.Not surprisingly, the open-borders movement has expressed outrage and the nation’s most powerful la raza group quickly issued a statement denouncing the proposed law as a “cheap political stunt.”The president should use his authority to suspend deportations of “people who pose no risk to public safety” while Congress focuses on “real solutions” to fix the nation’s immigration system, according to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).Coincidentally, Obama just spoke at the NCLR’s annual conference in Washington D.C. this week and told the crowd that the idea of reforming the U.S. immigration system on his own “is very tempting,” but under the U.S. Constitution, he is unable to do so without Congress. He did promise to enforce “flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.”

In what could be a dangerous trend, the Obama Administration has for the second time in a few weeks followed the orders of a Latin American nation demanding intervention on behalf of an illegal immigrant living in the United States.Earlier this month President Obama asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution of an illegal alien convicted of bludgeoning, raping and murdering a Texas girl after receiving a written mandate from Mexico. The Mexican directive requested the administration’s “full-fledged support” to obtain a stay of execution and specifically asked for a Supreme Court appeal on behalf of the murderer. Texas blew off the request and executed him anyways.This week Argentina’s government asked that an illegal immigrant in south Florida be spared deportation and the administration obliged, according to news reports. The case involves a 23-year-old man brought to the U.S. as a teenager. As a student at a Miami college, the illegal alien (Miyen Spinelli) got arrested near the Canadian border for not having proper identification while traveling to a youth soccer championship and was earmarked for removal.Argentine diplomats in Miami intervened this week, urging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) not to deport Spinelli, who is described as a model student and athlete. Argentina’s Consul General actually requested that the illegal alien from his country be granted permanent U.S. residency, although the consul claims to be “respectful of American regulations.” It didn’t hurt that the South American official held a press conference to make the appeal.A day later, ICE caved into the Argentine demand by suspending Spinelli’s imminent deportation. “ICE has reviewed the case and will be extending the previously issued stay of removal for an additional year,” ICE said in a statement that was published by local newspapers. “ICE will review the case and circumstances again prior to the expiration of this stay to determine the benefits of an additional stay of removal.”

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