Judicial Watch • illegal immigration

illegal immigration Archives | Page 5 of 9 | Judicial Watch

A small Texas city is being sued for discrimination by dozens of Latino day laborers who claim that police are unconstitutionally targeting their free-speech right to express their availability for employment in public areas, even though a state law has long prohibited it.Collectively known as Jornaleros de Las Palmas, or the Day Laborers of Palmas, the men are represented by a powerful open-borders group (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund or MALDEF) that specializes in discrimination lawsuits on behalf of Latinos and illegal immigrants. In this case MALDEF accuses police in League City, located southeast of Houston, of targeting Latino day laborers by unconstitutionally arresting them for criminal trespassing when they are looking for work on public sidewalks.The Texas Transportation Code prohibits anyone from seeking work in public areas so League City Police is simply enforcing the law after looking the other way for years. MALDEF wants a permanent injunction prohibiting the city from enforcing the section of the statute that bans any resident—legal or illegal—from seeking work in public areas. To accomplish this, the race card has conveniently been deployed.In their complaint the day laborers accuse police of harassing and intimidating them with extensive patrol units and surveillance and threats of citations and arrests because they are Latino. This has unlawfully subjected the day laborers to harsh fines and imprisonment and violated their First and Fourteenth amendment rights under the United States Constitution, according to the complaint. It has also caused them to suffer “economic harm.”It turns out that League City used to help the day laborers by allowing them to congregate daily in front of the police station, but things got out of hand and last fall officials adopted a “shift in philosophy,” according to a local news report. Day laborers became disruptive by trespassing at convenience stores, littering and obstructing traffic. Some slept in the police station parking lot and others harassed female police officers so the city finally started enforcing the statewide anti-solicitation law.The day laborers’ attorney maintains that the new policy unfairly singles out and punishes her clients. “Day laborers seeking work have the same rights to express themselves as anyone else,” she said. “These are tough economic times and their hard work should be rewarded, not targeted.” Besides an injunction to allow day laborers to solicit work, MALDEF seeks legal fees and “thousands of dollars” in compensation, fines and penalties from the city. Maybe League City should consider starting a benefit plan that also pays for the day laborers health costs and retirement fund.

A Judicial Watch investigation has discovered that the drunk illegal immigrant who recently killed a Houston police officer had six arrest warrants, multiple encounters with law enforcement and had been caught driving without a license four times.He also had been cited by police on eight occasions, was ticketed twice in 2009 and had two convictions for unlawful entry into the U.S., according to public records obtained by JW from the Houston Municipal Court. Incredibly, the illegal alien (Johoan Rodriguez) remained free and in late May struck and killed Houston Police Officer Kevin Will.It marks the fourth time in the last few years that a Houston officer dies at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant protected by the city’s sanctuary policy, which, among other things, forbids police from inquiring about immigration status. In 2009 an illegal alien from Mexico (Roberto Pedroza Carrillo), who had been ticketed by Houston Police at least four times, killed an undercover police officer during a sting operation.Also that year, an illegal immigrant drug lord shot another Houston officer in the face while attempting to serve a narcotics warrant at a house. That El Salvador native had been arrested five times for possession or delivery of drugs, thrice after an immigration judge granted him voluntary departure. In 2006 Houston Officer Rodney Johnson was murdered during a routine traffic stop by a Mexican illegal alien (Juan Quintero) who had been deported for molesting a child and arrested for driving intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and failing to stop after an automobile accident. Quintero shot Officer Johnson four times in the back of the head with a 9 millimeter handgun hidden in the waistband of his pants.Judicial Watch represents Johnson’s wife, Houston Police Sergeant Joslyn M. Johnson, in a lawsuit against the City of Houston, the Houston Police Department and its chief challenging the illegal alien sanctuary policies that ultimately led to her husband’s murder. A few months before Johnson’s death JW had launched a probe and requested public records related to Houston’s sanctuary policy and a taxpayer-funded day laborer center.Despite the murder of four cops in the last few years and countless other crimes attributed to illegal immigrants the city continues offering undocumented aliens sanctuary. Like the other cases before it, Officer Will’s tragic death could have been prevented considering the illegal immigrant who killed him had an extensive criminal history and should have been jailed and deported.Rodriguez first got caught entering the U.S. through Brownsville Texas on December 29, 2005, though his criminal record dates back to 2001, according to court documents obtained in the course of JW’s probe. He was fined and deported and got caught the next day entering the U.S. in McAllen Texas. That led to his second fine and removal, the records reveal.Despite two deportations, Rodriguez obtained a Texas driver’s license in 2007 even though he was in the country illegally and had numerous encounters with the law. Beginning in 2001 Rodriguez was cited for offenses including driving without a license or insurance, speeding, operating an unregistered vehicle, running a stop sign and not wearing a seat belt. When he killed Officer Will, Rodriguez had six outstanding bench warrants for failing to appear in court for his various offenses.Although his criminal history is not violent, it’s extensive and he should have long ago been incarcerated and removed from the country. The same can be said for the other illegal immigrants who have killed cops in Houston in the last four years.

As the national movement to curb illegal immigration strengthens, prominent open-borders advocates are increasingly resorting to desperate measures by labeling laws “anti-human rights” and comparing them to South African “apartheid” and U.S. segregation measures against blacks decades ago.One popular syndicated columnist, whose work is published nationwide, even wrote a piece warning about a domestic food crisis if illegal immigrants aren’t granted amnesty. That’s because American farms could not survive without illegal immigrant labor, according to an agribusiness expert quoted in the story, and therefore we would have to depend on foreign countries for food much like we do for oil.Another article recently published by a major news service directs readers to be a patriot by hiring an illegal immigrant. This writer goes on to suggest that current U.S. immigration measures have all the moral standing of “laws in apartheid South Africa.” The piece chastises states, such as Texas, that have recently proposed legislation to curb illegal immigration.A newspaper editorial published this week in Alabama compares the state’s new “anti-immigrant law” to its segregationist past, claiming that the measure’s “race-tinged posturing against Latinos” is an “ugly return to an old chestnut of Alabama demagogues.”This clearly refers to the Jim Crow laws against blacks in the south. The editorial goes on to say that the new measure, which also punishes those who help illegal aliens, “applies a fresh coat of ugly to Alabama’s reputation.”In Georgia, where a new immigration control law is being legally challenged, illegal alien advocates are furious that one part went into effect earlier this month. It punishes any adult, legal or illegal, who uses a fake identity to get a job with jail time and a hefty fine. The new offense is called aggravated identity fraud and the open borders movement is up in arms about it.The president of a group (Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights) that succeeded in halting most of the new law in court says the provision that went into effect is “absolutely anti-human rights,” not to mention “ridiculous” and “unbelievable.” Police departments throughout the Peach State also appear opposed to the measure and claim they aren’t sure how they will enforce it.Georgia and Alabama are the most recent states to pass laws intended to curb illegal immigration while others around the country prepare to do the same. Arizona, Utah, Indianaand South Carolina have also enacted immigration control laws in the last few years.Judicial Watch has been a frontrunner in the nationwide battle to combat illegal immigration and earlier this year filed a motion on behalf of the Arizona State Legislature in the Obama Administration’s lawsuit challenging its tough law. JW has also sued police departments across the country for practicing don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policies and has led an effort to shut down taxpayer-funded day laborer centers. Read all about JW’s work involving illegal immigraiton here.

Following Mexico’s written orders, President Obama has asked the Supreme Court to halt the execution of an illegal immigrant convicted of bludgeoning, raping and murdering a teenage girl because it would do “irreparable harm” to U.S. interests abroad.Mexico has no death penalty and refuses to extradite criminals who flee the U.S. unless prosecutors assure they won’t seek capital punishment. Over the years a number of hardcore felons—including child murderers and rapists—who would ordinarily face death in the U.S. havefled south of the border. Mexican authorities only return them if prosecutors vow not to pursue death.As per a Mexican government directive, Obama wants Texas to stop this week’s scheduled execution of 38-year-old Humberto Leal, who was convicted nearly two decades ago and has lost a myriad of appeals. Leal has lived in the U.S. illegally since he was a toddler and in 1994 kidnapped, raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl in San Antonio.Besides opposing capital punishment, Mexican officials claim that Leal’s rights were violated because San Antonio police failed to tell him that, as a Mexican national, he could contactMexico’s consular officials. Ironically, the San Antonio Police Department has a don’t-ask-don’t-tell mandate forbidding officers from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status. Evidently the city’s sanctuary policy, backed by Mexico because it prevents racial profiling, hurt this particular illegal immigrant.The bottom line remains that Leal confessed and powerful DNA evidence and witness testimony proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The illegal immigrant received great legal representation and got a fair trial, according to appellate decisions upholding the conviction. In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that Leal was“overwhelmingly” guilty and that a new trial would only produce the same outcome.Yet our commander-in-chief is bending over for our neighbor to the south and has asked the nation’s highest court to delay the execution until Congress can enact legislation to save Leal and foreign nationals like him facing death. The magic law, obviously crafted to appeaseMexico, was introduced a few weeks ago by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy.In a brief filed a few days ago by Obama’s solicitor general, the president asks the Supreme Court to stop Leal’s execution because it would cause “irreparable harm” to U.S. interest abroad and “would place the United States in irreparable breach of its international law obligation.” This will lead to “serious repercussions for United States foreign relations, law-enforcement and other co-operation with Mexico, and the ability of American citizens travelling abroad to have the benefits of consular assistance in the event of detention,” according to the brief.The White House filed the document and Democrats introduced legislation shortly after receiving a written mandate from Mexico. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan demands that the “U.S. government support Mr. Leal’s request for a stay of execution in the U.S. Supreme Court.” Sarukhan also threatens to pull his country’s commitment to the U.S.-Mexico “bilateral agenda” if Leal dies and says another execution of a Mexican national will “undoubtedly affect public opinion in Mexico.”A few days after receiving the Mexican directive, Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder thanked Leahy in writing for his “extraordinary efforts to enact legislation” that could halt Leal’s execution and, in turn, offer an “essential legislative solution” to a bigger issue. In a three-page letter to Leahy, Clinton and Holder point out that his measure is “particularly important” to the nation’s “bilateral relationship with Mexico.” Both letters and Leahy’s billare attached as exhibits to the White House brief.

While the Obama Administration halts deportations to work on its secret amnesty plan, hospitals across the U.S. are getting stuck with the exorbitant tab of medically treating illegal immigrants and some are finally demanding compensation from the federal government.The group that represents most of the nation’s hospitals and medical providers recently urged President Obama to work with Congress to reimburse them for the monstrous cost of treating illegal immigrants. Federal law requires facilities to “treat and stabilize individuals” regardless of their immigration status, but federal support for the services remains “virtually nonexistent,” according to a letter submitted by the American Hospital Association to the president.This week officials in California, the state with the largest concentration of illegal immigrants, joined the call for federal compensation after revealing that hospitals there spend about $1.25 billion annually to care for illegal aliens. The figure skyrocketed from $1.05 billion in 2007, according to California Hospital Association figures quoted in a local news report.The problem will only get worst, according to officials, who say the $1.25 billion for 2010 could actually be higher. They complain that federal law forces them to treat patients in emergency rooms regardless of immigration status yet they get stuck with the financial burden. This has forced many hospitals to curtail services or close beds and could ultimately compromise healthcare.Nationwide, U.S. taxpayers spend tens of billions of dollars annually to provide free medical care for illegal immigrants with states that border Mexico taking the biggest hit. Adding to the problem is the fact that Mexico, the country that provides the largest amount of illegal immigrants in the U.S., has long promoted America’s generous public health centers. It even operates a Spanish-language program (Ventanillas de Salud, Health Windows) in about a dozen U.S. cities that refers its nationals—living in the country illegally—to publicly funded health centers where they can get free medical care without being turned over to immigration authorities.

In a first for any administration, President Obama has implemented a new 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 theU.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.Beginning this week, federal immigration officers, attorneys and other officials can cancel the removal of an illegal immigrant that is breast feeding or pregnant, has pursued an education in the U.S., has a relative in the military, has ties and contributions to the community or a U.S.-born child (anchor baby), to name a few. A “person’s length of presence in the U.S.” will also strengthen their case to stay.The new prosecutorial discretion guidelines are outlined in a memo issued a few days ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. For the first time ever, employees from field agents to senior officials are empowered to apply the ridiculously broad criteria to help illegal immigrants avoid deportation.Morton encourages ICE officers, agents and attorneys to quickly consider prosecutorial discretion for illegal immigrants who meet the new benchmarks instead of waiting for their advocate or counsel to “request a favorable exercise of discretion.” He claims in the memo that this will “preserve government resources.”Clearly, this is the Obama Administration’s latest effort to fulfill a secret amnesty plan 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), issued a directive to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”That 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 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.

Judicial Watch investigation reveals that federal funding for a Mexican La Raza group that for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars has skyrocketed since one of its top officials got a job in the Obama White House.The influential and politically-connected National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has long benefitted from Uncle Sam’s largess but the group has made a killing since Obama hired its senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) in 2009 to be his director of intergovernmental affairs.Ignored by the mainstream media, Judicial Watch covered the appointment because the president issued a special “ethics waiver” to bring Muñoz aboard since it violated his own lobbyist ban. At the pro illegal immigration NCLR, Muñoz supervised all legislative and advocacy activities on the state and local levels and she was heavily involved in the congressional immigration battles that took place in the George W. Bush Administration.She also brought in a steady flow of government cash that’s allowed the Washington D.C.-based group to expand nationwide and promote its leftist, open-borders agenda via a network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos. Among them are a variety of local groups that provide social services, housing counseling and farm worker assistance as well as publicly-funded charter schools that promote radical Chicano curriculums. Judicial Watch published a special report on this a few years ago.This week a JW probe has uncovered details of the alarming increase in federal funding that these NCLR groups have received since Muñoz joined the Obama Administration. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million.Not surprisingly, a big chunk of the money (60%) came from the Department of Labor, which is headed by a former California congresswoman (Hilda Solis) with close ties to the La Raza movement. Since Obama named her Labor Secretary, Solis has launched a nationwide campaign to protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S.Just this week Solis penned declarations with Guatemala and Nicaragua to preserve the rights of their migrants.The NCLR also received additional taxpayer dollars from other federal agencies in 2010, the JW probe found. The Department of Housing and Urban Development doled out $2.5 million for housing counseling, the Department of Education contributed nearly $800,000 and the Centers for Disease Control a quarter of a million.Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars last year thanks to the Muñoz factor. An offshoot called Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) saw its federal funding nearly double to $18.3 million following Muñoz’ appointment.A social service and legal assistance organization (Ayuda Inc.) that didn’t receive any federal funding between 2005 and 2008 got $600,000 in 2009 and $548,000 in 2010 from the Department of Justice. The group provides immigration law services and guarantees confidentiality to assure illegal aliens that they won’t be reported to authorities.

A year after launching a nationwide campaign to protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S., the Obama Labor Department has entered formal agreements with two foreign countries vowing to preserve the rights of their migrants.Signed this week by the U.S., Guatemala and Nicaragua, the declaration will make it easier to protect the rights of migrants from those Central American countries who work in the United States. Under the decree, Labor Department regional offices will team up with local Guatemalan and Nicaraguan embassies and consulates to distribute information to their citizens about their “rights” in the U.S.It’s part of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’s plan to help illegal aliens, who she refers to as “vulnerable” and “underpaid.” Last year Solis, a former California congresswoman with close ties to the influential La Raza movement, deployed 1,000 new field investigators to enforce labor and wage laws in industries that typically hire illegal aliens without reporting anyone to federal immigration authorities.Also this week, Solis announced another initiative (Water Rest Shade) to help landscapers and farm and construction workers avoid illness and death related to heat exposure. Thousands of workers die annually after becoming sick from heat exposure on the job, according to the new government web site promoting that project.It goes on to say that “Latino workers suffer disproportionately from on-the-job heat injuries and illnesses,” which is why the heat campaign will “particularly reach out to those workers” with Spanish materials and publicity campaigns.To make its point, the Obama Administration uses the case of a pregnant, teen-age illegal immigrant farm worker who collapsed from heat exhaustion during a shift at a Californiavineyard. Two days later she died, according to the government story that points out there was no shade or water available to any worker on the site.In a related matter, a separate federal agency is holding a special forum this week to explore ways the nation can honor the contributions of Latinos. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will headline the powwow along with a “broad spectrum” of influential scholars and business and cultural leaders from the Latino community. The goal is to “better integrate and highlight” past and ongoing contributions of Latino women and men into the National Park Service.

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