Judicial Watch • illegal immigration

illegal immigration Archives | Page 6 of 9 | Judicial Watch

To honor local sanctuary policies the top law enforcement official in a major U.S. county is releasing jailed illegal immigrants, including those flagged by federal authorities for deportation.San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey began freeing illegal alien prisoners a few weeks ago to protest against a federal program (Secure Communities) that requires local authorities to check the immigration status of arrestees. The idea is to deport dangerous criminals, many of whom have fallen through the cracks over the years.Last month Hennessey, California’s longest-serving sheriff, announced that he would ignore federal detainer orders on illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct or public drunkenness. Under Secure Communities, arrestees identified as undocumented are held by local jails until Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials transfer them.But the arrangement violates San Francisco’s longtime sanctuary law, which forbids public employees and police from asking anyone about their immigration status. The famously liberal city by the bay also offers illegal aliens official government identification cards and all sorts of taxpayer-financed public benefits.Hennessy, who is an elected official, claims that all residents are equal and stresses that San Francisco is proud of its diversity and values the contributions of immigrants. “San Franciscohas always been a city of immigrants,” Hennessey said, adding that all civic leaders work hard to serve all residents regardless of immigration status.Notably absent in the rhetoric were cases in which violent criminals were protected by the sanctuary policies. For instance a few years ago a Salvadoran gang member with two felony convictions murdered a father and his two sons because he never got turned over to federal authorities for removal.Judicial Watch obtained California public records that revealed San Francisco authorities knew the triple murderer (Edwin Ramos) was an illegal immigrant and active member of a deadly street gang known as MS-13. The records also show that Ramos had been previously arrested on gang-related and weapons charges yet was released under the county’s sanctuary policies.

In a story that raises questions about how local law enforcement agencies vet candidates to “serve and protect’ communities, an illegal immigrant with a stolen identity spent years as an officer in Alaska’s largest police department.The unbelievable tale is reminiscent of a similar case in Wisconsin a few years ago. An illegal alien used the identity of his cousin, a deceased American citizen, to work as an officer in the Milwaukee Police Department for five years before getting caught.Incredibly, this has also occurred at the federal level. A few years ago the U.S. Border Patrol discovered that an agent (Oscar Antonio Ortiz) had used a fraudulent birth certificate to join the Homeland Security agency. The blunder was discovered after Ortiz got busted for smuggling fellow Mexicans into the U.S. in his government vehicle.In the Alaska case, an illegal immigrant from Mexico (Rafael Mora-Lopez) first worked as a city bus driver for six years before joining the Anchorage Police Department, where he spent another six years as a patrolman before getting caught recently. This month he pleaded guilty to federal charges for passport fraud and falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen.As a longtime Alaska resident, Mora-Lopez collected nearly $30,000 in dividends issued to legal state residents from oil profits. He also voted in local and national elections with his assumed identity and used it to bring his future wife to Alaska from Mexico and help her obtain U.S. citizenship.Incredibly, Anchorage’s police chief defends the illegal alien who duped his agency, saying that he was a “good officer except for the fact he was impersonating someone else.” A local news web site joined the chief this week, pointing out that Mora-Lopez was a “successful and well-liked APD officer who had worked as a bus driver before becoming a cop.”In the same story, the Alaska Dispatch criticizes the lack of interest in what could be afascinating story of one family’s efforts to make a new life in the U.S. and how they worked around immigration policy and through government bureaucracy. “Mora-Lopez parlayed his new identity into a pretty good vision of the American Dream,” the piece says.

To demonstrate its loyalty to the notoriously violent Mexican Mafia prison gang, an affiliateLatino street organization has worked to cleanse a southern California city of black residents by terrorizing, threatening and intimidating them.Details of the decades-long genocide operation in the Los Angeles County city of Azusa are laid out in a huge grand jury indictment issued by the Department of Justice this week. More than 50 Latino gang bangers, many of them surely in the U.S. illegally, have been charged for targeting blacks by beating, robbing and threatening them.The goal was to drive blacks out of the predominantly working-class Latino city of about 46,000. The crimes were committed by members of the Azusa 13 gang, which runs a sophisticated criminal enterprise financed with lucrative drug-trafficking proceeds. The gang also taxes the area’s drug dealers and shares some of the money with the Mexican Mafia, according to the 112-page indictment.Latino gangs have for more than a decade targeted blacks in the sprawling southern CaliforniaCounty, which is an illegal alien hotbed that has long offered sanctuary. In the last few years alone, dozens of Latino gangbangers have been charged with murdering, harassing or attacking blacks in the area, the feds say in their indictment.As far back as 1999 the Azusa 13 was targeting blacks in the area, prosecutors say. That year a 17-year-old member named Ralph “Swifty” Flores murdered a black teenager and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. In 2008 an illegal immigrant from a different gang murdered a Los Angeles high school footballs star shortly after completing a prison sentence for a separate felony.

The Department of Justice distorts figures to hide from Congress pervasive corruption in the nation’s immigration court system, which allows deportable aliens to evade hearings without consequences and more than 1 million removal orders to be ignored.Adding insult to injury, U.S. taxpayers finance the drove of appeals filed by illegal immigrants deported for criminal convictions and fraudulent marriages. From 2000 to 2007, Americans doled out $30 million for aliens’ court costs, according to a new report authored by a former immigration court judge (Mark H. Metcalf) in south Florida, considered a hotbed in the system.The veteran jurist says the nation’s immigration courts, which are operated by the DOJ, areruled 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.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.The agency also told Congress that immigration courts rule in favor of aliens only 20% of the time when in fact its 60% and that aliens appeal deportation orders in only 8% of cases when the figure is actually 98%. Many more examples are included in the judge’s report, which refers to the DOJ’s findings as a sham.“Accuracy, credibility, relevance, and timeliness elude this agency and the flow of believable statistics to the public,” it says. The judge suggests that Congress order its investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an in-depth probe.

Almost a decade after Middle Eastern terrorists with expired visas attacked the U.S., the government has failed to implement a security measure to adequately track foreigners like them who enter the country legally but never leave.As a result nearly half of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants actually entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visa, according to a new federal report. That’s because the agency responsible for keeping the nation safe—the Department of Homeland Security—can’t keep track of immigrants who remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.This clearly creates a huge national security issue because terrorists can plot more attacks from within. In fact, dozens of foreigners convicted of terrorism since the 2001 attacks had overstayed their visas, according to the report, which was published by the investigative arm of Congress known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO).The GAO launched its probe after learning from an independent study that 4 to 5.5 million immigrants had entered the country legally and overstayed their authorized periods of admission. In the course of the probe, GAO investigators interviewed a number of high-ranking Homeland Security officials, visited various field offices and reviewed a mountain of documents.They found that the Department of Homeland Security’s program to identify visa violators by comparing entry and exit data is inefficient and can only process around half of the potential overstays it detects. Currently, the system has a backlog of about 1.6 suspected foreigners who remained in the U.S. past their visa period, the probe found. Some could very well be Islamic extremists.This may seem unbelievable, especially since most of the 9/11 hijackers capitalized on this weakness in the system to plan the murder of thousands of Americans. The massive loophole is precisely why the Homeland Security agency (Immigration and Customs Enforcement—ICE) in charge of tracking down foreigners who overstay visas is well funded by Congress to the tune of 70-plus million dollars annually.The agency doesn’t dispute the findings or the recommendations made by GAO investigators, who suggest establishing a “time frame for completing overstay enforcement planning” and “performance measurement mechanisms,” among other things. In other words don’t wait another decade to implement security measures that actually work.

In the latest collusion between the Obama Administration and the leftwing American Civil Liberties Union, Homeland Security officials have suspended the scheduled deportation of an illegal immigrant at the ACLU’s request.The move is part of a bigger plan to perhaps eliminate the federal program (Secure Communities) that identified the illegal alien in the first place. The influential open borders movement—which includes the ACLU—has aggressively pressured the administration to nix Secure Communities, which 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.But immigrant rights advocates insist the program is racist, has led to the removal of hard-working immigrants who contribute to society and has tragically separated families. They want the Obama Administration to get rid of it and that could very well happen as the president panders for votes in 2012. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General announced this week that it’s planning an investigation of Secure Communities.The probe will determine the extent to which the program is used to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from the United States, according to a news report of the inspector general’s plans. The IG will also examine cost and the accuracy of the data collection and determine if Secure Communities is being applied “equitably across communities.”Those who dare to read between the lines can probably see where this is going. The illegal immigrant whose deportation was abruptly halted by the government headlined an ACLU-sponsored press conference decrying Secure Communities. She was arrested earlier this year in Los Angeles after a domestic violence dispute and was identified as an illegal alien when the county jail forwarded her fingerprints to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).At the ACLU’s behest ICE conducted a “comprehensive review” of the illegal immigrant’s case and determined to “terminate the removal proceedings against her,” according to an agency statement published in a local newspaper. Immigration advocates used the case as an opportunity to chastise Secure Communities as a “destructive program” that endangers public safety because immigrants won’t cooperate with police out of fear of being deported.Interestingly, the elected sheriff who operates jails in Los Angeles and patrols a huge chunk of the sprawling county insists that Secure Communities works. In a piece published this week by the state’s largest newspaper, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca writes that many serious criminals have been deported. Prior to implementing Secure Communities a “growing number of criminal illegal immigrants who were taken into custody” were eventually released back into the community, according to Baca who has been sheriff since 1998.In the piece Baca offers several examples of violent illegal aliens who were removed from theU.S. thanks to Secure Communities. Among them is a felon who lived in the area despite three drug-trafficking convictions and six deportations and another who had been previously removed after getting convicted for killing a child in the late 1990s.Back to the unscrupulous collaboration between the Obama Administration and the ACLU; earlier this year Judicial Watch uncovered documents from the Department of Justice that show the agency worked hand-in-hand with the ACLU in mounting their respective legal challenges to Arizona’s immigration control law.

As local governments nationwide craft legislation to curb the devastating impact of illegal immigration, Connecticut is on the verge of passing a law to give undocumented aliens a valuable taxpayer-funded benefit—discount tuition at public colleges and universities.A similar measure actually passed a few years ago but was vetoed by former Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who said it would encourage individuals to circumvent federal immigration laws. “I understand these students are not responsible for their undocumented status, having come to the United States with their parents,” Rell explained at the time. “The fact remains, however, that these students and their parents are here illegally and neither sympathy nor good intentions can ameliorate that fact.”Connecticut’s current governor, Democrat Dannel Malloy, has vowed to sign the bill into law if gets passed. This week the state House approved it 77-63 and the senate is expected to do the same, according to a local news report. That would make Connecticut the 11th state to subsidize the college education of illegal immigrants. California, Texas, Utah, Washington andIllinois are among the states that already do it.One  Connecticut lawmaker pushing for the discounted tuition law offered a rather interesting anecdote featuring Richard Nixon, of all people. The state congressman, William Tong, says his Chinese father was on the verge of getting deported when Nixon, who was president at the time, intervened just one week before he was scheduled to be shipped back to China.“What’s the difference between the kids covered by this bill and me?” Tong said in a local newspaper. “Richard Nixon gave us a break and I was born an American. It’s a very slender strand of difference.”Back to present day. A top official at Connecticut’s premier university (UConn) says enrollment is at capacity at the 20,000-student campus, which has about 10 illegal immigrants who pay the higher out-of-state tuition rate. More illegal aliens will enroll if a law is enacted to reduce the amount of tuition they pay, the university official assures. Out-of-state tuition is currently about $17,000 a year more than in-state rates.With a multi billion-dollar deficit that forced the layoff of thousands of public workers this year, it seems that Connecticut can hardly afford to finance the education of illegal immigrants.

Banning sanctuary cities that offer illegal immigrants safe haven is racist and will force millions of Hispanics to “live in fear,” according to Texas lawmakers trying to stop legislation that would outlaw the refuges in their state.Many cities across the Lone Star State have long offered illegal aliens sanctuary by, among other things, forbidding police from asking suspects about their legal status and that could change soon. This week the Republican-dominated Texas House voted overwhelmingly (100-47) to give preliminary approval to a measure that would ban sanctuary cities.If it passes the state senate, the bill would prohibit local governments from adopting rules that ban police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of detained or arrested people. It would also allow local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to exchange information with federal authorities when they encounter illegal aliens in the course of an investigation.Some Latino lawmakers quickly played the race card, asserting that the law will lead to racial profiling and force millions of Texas Hispanics to “live in fear,” according to a local news report. One legislator who represents a heavily Hispanic district, called the bill “one of the most overtly racist pieces of legislation I’ve seen.” Another said it was the “most divisive bill” he had ever seen and if passed it would grant “blanket amnesty” to racial profiling.The  Texas legislator who co-authored the law, Republican Linda Harper, says it will give local authorities the tools needed to keep families and communities safe. Prohibiting law enforcement officials from asking about the immigration status of individuals has hindered their ability to defend the state’s laws, Harper added. “As an elected officeholder, it is my responsibility to abide by the oath of office to, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state,” she said.Judicial Watch has been a leader in fighting for the rights of police officers to inquire about the citizenship status of arrestees and has sued local departments across the nation. Among them are the Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and District of Columbia police departments. Read about all of Judicial Watch’s illegal immigration cases and investigations here.

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