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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.

Local Immigration Officials Given Wide Latitude to Dismiss Illegal Immigration Deportation Cases, Including For Those Involving Violent Crimes

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Washington, DC — July 7, 2011Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Obama Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showing that DHS officials misled Congress and the public about the scope of an immigration enforcement policy change that gave wide latitude to local immigration officials to dismiss illegal alien deportation cases. According to the documents, obtained pursuant to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, immigration officials sought the dismissal of charges against a wide range of illegal alien criminals, including those convicted of violent crimes, despite claims by the Obama administration to the contrary.The documents concern the response by Houston immigration officials to a June 30, 2010, memo from John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to all ICE employees instructing local immigration officials to use their discretion in “prioritizing” illegal immigration deportation cases. This new policy resulted in the dismissal of hundreds of immigration cases and an overall 40% increase in deportation dismissals with the City of Houston taking a particularly aggressive approach to the policy’s implementation.In response to calls by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for more information regarding this new deportation policy, DHS spokesman Matt Chandler said, “The idea that DHS is engaged in ‘selective enforcement’ couldn’t be further from the truth.” However, the documents uncovered by Judicial Watch show that Houston immigration officials moved quickly to implement a broad interpretation of Morton’s memo, earning praise from ICE agency headquarters:

  • Email from Gary Goldman, Chief Counsel for Houston ICE to Riah Ramlogan, ICE’s Director of Field Operations, August 6, 2010:

    I was uncertain whether to write you this short note but I am comfortable in doing so.In brief, I will push every policy that was disseminated to the Chief Counsels to my staff…effectively and quickly. I understand the responsibilities of my position and I take great pride in my work. I will…ensure each attorney is fully knowledgeable and compliant with policies regarding courtroom expectations, written work, humanitarian cases, reporting requirements, etc.

    (Ramlogan’s response to Goldman’s efforts, August 10, 2010: “Outstanding, Gary.”)

  • Memo from Goldman to all attorneys, Office of Chief Counsel, August 12, 2010 (ultimately rescinded per the instruction of ICE headquarters):

    Beginning immediately on all duty files and court files every attorney must determine whether the case may be amenable to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion pursuant to guidelines outlined in the June 30, 2010 Assistant Secretary John Morton memorandum…If the crime is remote in time and the alien has a substantial number of equities, all factors will be weighed to determine if an exercise of PD [prosecutorial discretion] is appropriate.

  • Memo from Goldman to all attorneys, Office of Chief Counsel, August 16, 2010 (ultimately rescinded per the instruction of ICE headquarters):

    ICE Senior Leadership does not want their attorneys to merely fill a seat in immigration court and blindly prosecute every case handed to them. The current administration wants attorneys of greater sophistication, independence and complexity in decision making…

Moreover, despite the claims of immigration officials, ICE attorneys sought to block deportation proceeding for illegal aliens with violent crime offenses. A spreadsheet obtained by Judicial Watch lists the specific violent crimes that immigration officials were prepared to overlook. They include: sexual assault, solicitation of murder, aggravated assault, assaulting a police officer, and kidnapping, as well as numerous drug charges.Following the press coverage of the memo, which resulted in widespread outrage, immigration officials sought to contain the damage by narrowing the scope of the policy change:

  • An email from Raphael Choi, Chief Counsel for Arlington ICE to Gary Goldman, August 18, 2010:

    …in-house I’m way behind. We continue to review cases piecemeal. The problem is every time I’m about to wield a blunt instrument to our docket, some case shows up in the press that gives me pause. I think its given Riah pause too.

  • Letter from Ramlogan to Goldman on the day the Houston Chronicle exposed the new policy on deportations, August 25, 2010:

    I am concerned that your interpretation of the memorandum, although well-intentioned, could create a gap in basic immigration enforcement. Your approach that our attorneys should only litigate cases within the agency’s highest priorities is not an accurate interpretation of the Assistant Secretary’s guidance and is not consistent with agency policy…please immediately rescind your memoranda.

    (Note: Ramlogan had been provided a copy of Goldman’s memo on August 10, 2010 but provided no comment until the day the Houston Chronicle story was published.)

On June 17, 2011, John Morton sent another memo to all field officers, special agents and to the chief counsel further defining the term “prosecutorial discretion.” “In basic terms, prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency charged with enforcing a law to decide to what degree to enforce the law against a particular individual,” Morton writes. Critics point out that this is precisely the type of “selective enforcement” the DHS has denied fostering with its new deportation policy.“These documents show that the Obama administration is implementing ‘stealth amnesty,’ which is an end-run around the rule of law and Congress.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration doesn’t seem to care about its constitutional responsibility to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ by pushing the selective enforcement of immigration laws. And they are thumbing their noses at Congress and the American people by stonewalling information requests and lying to cover up their stealth amnesty scheme. Congress should initiate a full investigation to get to the truth of the matter. The lawlessness must stop.”

Documents Uncovered

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.

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.

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