Judicial Watch • Obama

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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.”

At the request of a leftwing civil rights group, the government agency that enforces employment discrimination is considering outlawing criminal background checks as a tool to screen job applicants because it presents a hiring barrier for minorities.It marks the latest collusion between the Obama Administration and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has been deeply involved in dictating immigration policy. A few months ago Homeland Security officials suspended the scheduled deportation of an illegal immigrant at the ACLU’s request. Earlier in the year Judicial Watch uncovered Justice Department records that show the agency worked hand-in-hand with the ACLU in mounting their respective legal challenges to Arizona’s immigration control law.Now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on race, color, religion or sex, is considering changing a major policy at the ACLU’s request. It involves criminal background checks on job applicants, a growing practice among employers with security concerns.Because Hispanics and African Americans have higher rates of arrest and convictions than whites, they suffer discrimination at a disproportionate rate, according to the ACLU. This presents a barrier to hiring and promotion, the group claims, adding that 65 million Americans have a criminal record yet growing numbers of employers refuse to hire people with convictions. At the ACLU’s request the EEOC held a special meeting last week to focus on the economic, social and civil rights implications as the as the agency “considers updating its guidance on background checks.”Various experts testified that “people of color” are disproportionately affected by the criminal background checks, creating yet another barrier for those returning to their community from the criminal justice system. A Justice Department official who handles “urban affairs” pointed out that a disproportionate number of African Americans have criminal records yet they need to be able to compete for legitimate job opportunities.A college professor and civil rights attorney thanked the “new leadership” at the EEOC for bringing attention to a “profound civil rights challenge.” In a letter thanking EEOC commissioners, who are appointed by the president, for holding the meeting, the ACLU reminds the agency of a tragedy; “more than 850 reports from women and men around the country who have been refused or dismissed from employment because of their criminal record.” The ACLU also gives the commission “recommendations” to solve the matter.

On the heels of a heavily publicized report claiming that minorities are disproportionately suspended in public schools, the Obama Administration has launched a special program to discourage the expulsion of delinquents in order to eradicate a “school-to-prison pipeline.”The federal government doesn’t actually have the power to dictate discipline policies in public schools, but this sort of initiative keeps with the administration’s big government crusade to control all aspects of American life. Obama’s attorney general and education secretary announced the collaborative effort this month to address a worrisome “school-to-prison pipeline” created by disciplinary policies and practices they assert push minority students out of school and into the justice system.Specifically, the new Department of Justice and Department of Education project (Supportive School Discipline Initiative) directs public school districts nationwide to ensure disciplinary policies are administered in a “non-discriminatory manner” and that they “comply with the nation’s civil rights laws.” Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the new multi-agency effort while meeting with a federal council that works to educate at-risk youth.They were motivated by a recent study that reveals a majority of Texas school children are suspended or expelled between 7th grade and high school and that blacks and Hispanics are much more likely to be punished for lesser offenses than their white counterparts. African-Americans are removed from the classroom for disciplinary reasons at an especially disproportionately high rate, according to the study which was conducted by the Council of State Governments, a nonprofit that helps state officials shape public policy.Citing the report, Duncan says he’s “concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools.” He wants to ensure that the country’s public educational system is a “doorway to opportunity” rather than a “point of entry to our criminal justice system.” Holder, whose agency has launched several innovative civil rights initiatives, is confident that this one will assure school discipline policies are “enforced fairly” to promote “positive disciplinary options” that keep kids in school.Undoubtedly, the plan was crafted with the help of certain influential civil rights groups that have long called on the federal government to reduce “inappropriate and exclusionary discipline techniques” in public schools. One of them, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, claims research has shown that “exclusionary discipline policies lead to racial disparities, undermine students’ academic achievement and make it more likely that they will end up behind bars.”

A year after giving black farmers $1.25 billion to settle discrimination allegations against the government, the Obama Administration is promoting another huge minority cash giveaway for Hispanic and women farmers.It’s part of the president’s continued efforts to write a new chapter for civil rights and resolve all allegations of past discrimination in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to an agency announcement issued this week. Women and Hispanics who feel the government discriminated against them when seeking USDA farm loans are encouraged to apply for cash to make up for Uncle Sam’s wrongdoing.In all, the agency is allocating $1.33 billion in “compensation” for women and Hispanics in addition to $160 million in “farm debt relief.” Hispanic or women farmers who provide additional proof and meet other requirements can receive a $50,000 reward, according to the USDA announcement. The goal is to ensure that any Hispanic or woman farmer or rancher who alleges discrimination is aware of the money pot, says the USDA official in charge of the program.To get the word out the feds have launched an impressive bilingual advertising and public relations campaign that includes national outreach tours by top USDA officials as well as Justice Department bigwigs because that agency is sort of overseeing it. The cash giveaway tour was in South Florida this week assuring that there is no filing fee or other costs to claimants who apply for money.Those who can’t attend the USDA/DOJ outreach rallies can always register online or contact toll free a special Farmer and Rancher Call Center that will mail out a packet. The USDA has also createdvideos, in English and Spanish, to promote the program and it published a special flyeradvertising the administration’s latest civil rights reparation project.

In the midst of an epic budget deficit crisis the Obama Administration has proudly declared that it’s “making history” for doling out a record $142.3 million for a single program that helps “economically distressed communities across the United States.”The announcement could not have come at a worse time, as recession-plagued Americans helplessly watch the politicians they elected to represent them sink the country financially with staggering federal deficits and a monstrous $14.3 trillion debt. In the middle of the fiscal disaster, the president continues to redistribute wealth by throwing record amounts of taxpayer dollars at causes that help poor, underserved communities.This week, for instance, the White House boasted that it issued the single largest round of awards to yet another government welfare program that helps “economically distressed communities across the United States.” Known as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), the Treasury Department program “serves rural and urban low-income communities” that can’t access “affordable financial products and services.”Since its creation in 1994, CDFI has doled out more than $1 billion to assure that “all people have access to affordable credit, capital and financial services” by focusing on “underserved populations and communities.” The idea, according to the Treasury, is to promote economic revitalization and community development through investment and assistance. When communities have access to (government) capital, local economies grow, the CDFI asserts.Announced this week in Chicago, the “historic” $142.3 million allocation will be split among 155 “specialized community-based financial institutions” that will “spur local economic growth” and, as a result, “touch both rural and urban communities.” The money will provide much-needed capital to help financial institutions offer products that would otherwise be out of reach for low-income Americans, according to Obama’s deputy Treasury Secretary, Neal Wolin.A complete list of the “specialized community-based financial institutions” that will share the historic allocation is available from the CDFI, but here are a few examples; the Durham North Carolina-based Minority Support Center and Latino Community Credit Union will each get $1.5 million, the Latino Economic Development Center in Minneapolis will get $100,000 and the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor Research Fund in Dover Delaware will receive $1.5 million.

President Obama’s favorite La Raza group has teamed up with a federal agency to promote one of the administration’s many government cash giveaways with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars.The new campaign warns Hispanics that time is running out to get up to “$50,000 in help”from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home. The money is being disbursed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a billion-dollar Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP).In 2008 the agency revealed that some 5 million fraudulent or defaulted home mortgages were in the hands of illegal immigrants, who obtained the loans from banks that were pressured by the government to offer them. In fact, the agency in charge of preserving and promoting public confidence in the nation’s financial system, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), began pushing banks to offer services to illegal aliens years earlier and many still do today.It’s logical to assume that the involvement of the nation’s most powerful open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), in promoting government-funded mortgage aid is geared, at least in part, towards undocumented immigrants. The EHLP expired but recently got extended amid record-high unemployment to help people keep their homes. The NCLR, which has seen its federal funding skyrocket since one of its top officials got a job in Obama’s White House, wants to make sure Latinos get a piece of the pie. This week it launched a Spanish-language public service campaign to highlight the program’s “fast-approaching” deadline.“The biggest challenge now is ensuring that people know about this opportunity and take advantage of it during the short period that it is available,” according to the NCLR director who announced the campaign that will help Latinos “seize” an “opportunity.” In the ad HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez alerts Hispanics of the imminent deadline to get their government cash and directs them to a Spanish HUD website that assures the money will be disbursed in a “fair and impartial manner.”Last year Marquez , a strong ally of the open borders movement, awarded an NCLR affiliate known as Chicanos Por la Causa nearly $40 million in grants to “stabilize neighborhoods and rebuild economies.” The money came from a Neighborhood Stabilization Program that has doled out $2 billion to community groups to combat the negative effects of “vacant and abandoned homes.”Just a few weeks ago a Judicial Watch investigation revealed that federal funding for the NCLR, which for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars, has catapulted since Obama hired its senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) to be his director of intergovernmental affairs. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million. Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars last year thanks to the Muñoz factor.

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.

Obama’s Department of Justice has ordered Colorado to protect the interests of “language minority populations” by strengthening a Court Interpreter Oversight Committee that assures immigrants who don’t speak English get free translators.The new DOJ mandate also applies to civil cases, which means that U.S. taxpayers will fund interpreting services for foreigners who may stand to make settlement money. Under the agreement, announced this week, the Colorado Judicial Department will also develop “state and local language access plans” that address “both oral interpretation and the translation of vital written documents.”A revitalized state Court Interpreter Oversight Committee will be expanded to include an attorney, prosecutor, public defender and an “advocate” representing the interests of the “language minority populations,” according to the DOJ’s order.Interpreters have always been provided in criminal cases and in civil cases in which litigants were indigent. The new DOJ accord mandates free access to “timely and competent language assistance” for all “limited English proficient individuals” in all cases. This won’t come cheap. Colorado’s court system already spends nearly $4 million on 25 full-time interpreters and 300 contractors who provide services in 75 different languages.The assistant attorney general that President Obama appointed to run the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division (Thomas Perez) says it’s essential because “justice cannot be served without access and effective communication.” Perez is a known open-borders advocate who served on the board of a controversial, taxpayer-funded day laborer center (Casa de Maryland) that assists illegal immigrants.Last year Perez lied to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to cover up that political leadership was involved in the dismissal of the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. Judicial Watch obtained recordsthat prove top political appointees were intimately involved in the decision to drop charges against the radical black revolutionary group for bullying voters with racial insults, profanity and weapons during the 2008 presidential election.A former Maryland Labor Secretary, Perez has made a number of controversial moves at the DOJ to protect illegal immigrants and minorities in general. Last fall he sued a public college system for discrimination because it requires job applicants to furnish proof of residency before getting hired and earlier this year he launched an initiative to eliminate written tests that discriminate against minorities in the workplace.

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