Judicial Watch • Obama

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While it blows hundreds of millions of dollars on wasteful “stimulus” projects and the expansion of costly entitlement benefits, the Obama Administration is eliminating a crucial FBI division that counters gang violence.  

This could not have come at a worse time considering gang violence in the United States is at an all-time high. In fact, the latest annual gang threat assessment issued by the agency—National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC)—on the chopping block is downright alarming. It says that gangs are responsible for nearly half of all violent crimes in most parts of the country and up to 90% in many jurisdictions. That’s because there are over 33,000 active gangs in the U.S. with some 1.4 million members, according to the NGIC.

To help curb the growth of gangs and related criminal activity, Congress directed the FBI to establish the NGIC in 2005. It’s a multi-agency operation that combines the efforts of several federal and local agencies working together to tackle a crisis. According to its website, the NGIC integrates gang intelligence from across federal, state and local law enforcement on the growth, migration, criminal activity and association of gangs that pose a significant threat to the nation.

Why, then, would FBI Chief Robert Mueller eliminate the NGIC? A conservative news website uncovered Muller’s plan because a congressman grilled him about it at a House Appropriations Committee hearing this week. That’s where government agency heads go for money each year. It turns out that the FBI’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal calls for the elimination of the NGIC, which has more than a dozen positions and an annual budget of nearly $8 million.

That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the billions that have been wasted under the president’s fraud-infested $787 billion stimulus, which he vowed would jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work. Instead, much of the cash has gone to unthinkable things like a genitalia-washing program for uncircumcised African men, international ant research and a Pennsylvania “tunnel to nowhere.” Click here to read Judicial Watch’s stimulus fraud reporting.

Bless the FBI for trying to save taxpayers money. In its 2013 budget proposal the bureau assures that nixing the NGIC won’t hinder its ability to counter the threat posed to the U.S. by criminal gangs. The congressman challenging the NGIC’s closure, Frank Wolf of Virginia, struck back with a rather interesting statement indicating that the White House was behind the plan.

“We received a revised version of your testimony late yesterday that the OMB [the White House’s Office of Management and Budget] inserted language making the absurd claim that the elimination of the National Gang Intelligence Center – $7.8 million and 15 positions – will not hinder the FBI’s ability to perform the analytical work done there,” Wolf said to the FBI chief.

Could this be part of a bigger Obama plan to pander to Latinos in an effort to earn that crucial Hispanic vote in the upcoming election? After all, it’s been well documented that most violent gangbangers in the U.S. are, either Hispanic or illegal immigrants.

In a never-ending mission to accommodate illegal immigrants, the U.S. government has issued new federal detention standards offering arrestees a number of outrageous perks, including female hormone treatments for transgender men, abortions for women and “ethnically diverse” diet options.

It’s all part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to reform the immigration detention system so that its more humane, according to the Homeland Security agency—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—responsible for the revamping. The “revised standards” will also improve medical and mental health services, increase access to legal services and religious opportunities, improve the process for reporting and responding to complaints and offer detainees with limited English proficiency translators.

Illegal immigrants will also receive generous and ethnically diverse options for a “nutritionally balanced diet,” an increase in visitation and better recreation programs and facilities. For instance, undocumented aliens in U.S. custody will now have access to a variety of exercise equipment, mandatory outdoor time in natural light and recreational options such as soccer, volleyball and basketball. Board games and television will be available as “sedentary activities.”

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, says the new ICE detention manual sounds like a “hospitality guideline for illegal immigrants.” In a written statement posted on the committee’s website, Smith points out that the revised standards dramatically expand privileges and resources to illegal immigrants in federal custody “far and beyond” what’s required by law.        

“The administration goes beyond common sense to accommodate illegal immigrants and treats them better than citizens in federal custody,” Congressman Smith said. “The new detention manual contains extensive and customized details for each illegal immigrant’s stay, regulating everything from the salad bar to recreational activities to medical care.”

He further points out that illegal immigration already costs American taxpayers billions of dollars each year and this new detention system will only add to the tab. “The Obama administration consistently puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens and taxpayers,” Smith added.

 

 

 

 

In a scary development, a major Obama fundraiser who defended a convicted al Qaeda terrorist will become the third highest ranking official at the Department of Justice (DOJ), which, ironically, is charged with defending the interests of the United States.

Northern California lawyer Tony West has been named Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, making him the No. 3 guy at the agency. In 2009 West, who helped Obama raise tens of millions of dollars as finance co-chairman of his first presidential campaign, was appointed to help run the DOJ’s civil division which represents the government, Congress and presidential cabinet officers and handles cases dealing with significant policy issues.

In a statement announcing the promotion this week, Attorney General Eric Holder says West has served the department with “professionalism, integrity and dedication.” Holder also mentions West’s work before coming to the DOJ a few years ago, including a stint as a Special Assistant Attorney General in California and a lengthier career at a large San Francisco law firm.

Conveniently omitted in the press release is that West represented convicted al Qaeda terrorist John Walker Lindh, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 while fighting against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance as a member of the Taliban army. He actually pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban and carrying explosives while fighting U.S. troops in the region.

Holder also knows a thing or two about defending terrorists. After all, he was a senior partner in a prestigious Washington D.C. law firm (Covington & Burling) that represented more than a dozen Yemeni terrorists held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. While Holder was a senior partner the firm employed a number of radical attorneys to provide the Islamic extremists with thousands of hours of free legal representation, according to a news report.

Another highlight in Holder’s resume is that he orchestrated Bill Clinton’s shameful last-minute pardons, including that of a fugitive financier and a pair of jailed domestic terrorists. In fact, shortly after the pardon scandal, Holder predicted that his public career was over. Under his leadership the DOJ has been embroiled in a number of high-profile scandals, including a gun-running operation (Fast and Furious) in which weapons were sold to Mexican drug cartels. One was later used to murder a federal agent. Judicial Watch has sued the DOJ to obtain records involving the operation.

 

As the Moroccan who plotted a suicide bombing inside the U.S. Capitol appears in federal court today, much of the mainstream media coverage omits a crucial part of the story; this is the class of illegal immigrant the Obama Administration is sparing from deportation.  

That’s because, like millions of others, the would-be assassin didn’t have a criminal record and thus never posed a threat to the public, according to the feds. Like many of the illegal aliens protected by the Obama Administration the attempted bomber, 29-year-old Amine El Khalifi, came to the U.S. as a kid (“through no fault of his own” as the open borders movement says).  He could have easily qualified for discounted college tuition at a number of taxpayer-funded colleges and universities nationwide.

El Khalifi lived under the radar in Alexandria Virginia while he orchestrated attacking a number of targets, including military buildings, a Washington D.C. restaurant popular among military officials and a synagogue. Last week he planned to blow up the nation’s capitol as a suicide bomber in a martyrdom operation. El Khalifi concocted a detailed plot and believed he was working with al Qaeda. 

Incredibly, El Khalifi is the prototype of illegal immigrant protected by Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan. Officially launched in mid-November, the initiative halts the removal of illegal aliens with no criminal records. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reviews all deportation cases and operates a “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove certain types of illegal immigrants.

The idea, according to the administration, is to deport only undocumented aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes or pose a national security risk. That means a large class of illegal immigrants are being granted de facto amnesty, which is technically illegal without the consent of Congress. So far thousands have been spared removal under the outrageous initiative. 

As if this weren’t bad enough, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records indicate that serious criminals are not being targeted for removal either. This in addition to a sharp drop in the number of overall deportations during a recent quarter analyzed by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. 

The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches. This week TRAC released ICE data that shows the number of deportation proceedings initiated by the government during a recent quarter fell 33% from the previous quarter. 

The records also reveal that serious criminals are not being targeted as ICE promised when it announced its top enforcement priority. Of the 24,073 individuals targeted for deportation during the period analyzed, 8,884 were charged with immigration violations while only 1,300—just 3.3%—were sought to be removed as “aggravated felons,” the records show.

This is downright scary. That’s why Judicial Watch has worked to obtain information on how this is all being carried out. Last spring JW sued DHS for records concerning “deferred action” or “parole” to suspend removal proceedings against a particular group of individuals. The lawsuit was filed because the agency has ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.


 

 

 

The Obama backdoor amnesty plan is in full force, with a record amount of illegal immigrants spared from deportation and a huge increase in the number of those allowed to remain the United States.

The shift is striking, according to the nonprofit university group that obtained government records outlining the drastic change. The New York-based nonpartisan research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies.  Immigration is one of many areas it researches.

This week TRAC revealed that during the first three months of fiscal year 2012, cases disposed of in the nation’s immigration courts showed a serious drop in deportation orders and an increase in the number of individuals allowed to stay in the U.S. That means that individuals were ordered removed in only half of the cases, the lowest rate in the past two decades.

An additional 14.0 percent received a “voluntary departure” order to leave the country, up slightly from 13.2 percent during the previous quarter, the records show.  Counting both removal and voluntary departure orders, slightly fewer than two out of every three cases (64.8 percent) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 ended in a deportation order, also a historic low.

The government records also show that, among individuals determined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to have violated immigration laws, more than one in three (34.4 percent) were allowed to stay in the U.S. This also represented a historic high, which is illustrated in a chart that includes figures for the last several years.

Clearly, the Obama Administration’s stealth amnesty plan to suspend the deportations of most illegal aliens is in play here. The scandalous measure, which has led to a monstrous increase in the dismissal of deportations, was first reported by Texas’s largest newspaper in 2010. Shortly after the story broke, Judicial Watch requested records on the deportation suspensions from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

After DHS stonewalled the release of records for nearly a year, JW filed a lawsuit last spring. A few weeks ago the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling criticizing the Obama DHS for failing to abide by FOIA law. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly chastised the agency for its inadequate explanations for withholding certain documents, ruling in part that the agency failed to provide sufficient factual context for much of the information withheld.

While on the combined subject of lying and illegal immigration, last month TRAC exposed DHS records that show the agency repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained. Check that story out here.

A new Homeland Security report compares terrorism to “ordinary crime” in metropolitan U.S. cities and omits the radical Islamic factor, instead finding “significant variability in the ideologies motivating terrorist attacks across decades.”

This appears to be part of the Obama Administration’s Muslim outreach effort, which includes hiring a special Homeland Security adviser (Mohamed Elibiary) who supports a radical Islamist theologian and renowned jihadist ideologue. The Obama Justice Department also created a special Muslim Engagement Advisory Group to foster greater communication, collaboration and a new level of respect between law enforcement and Muslim and Arab-American communities.

And, in 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano held secret meetings with radical Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian “community leaders.” Judicial Watch uncovered documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that includes a list of the individuals who participated, including radical leaders such as Imad Hamad, outed as a Hezbollah supporter by attorney and investigative journalist Debbie Schlussel, and extremist Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Considering this cozy relationship, the new DHS terrorism report should come as no surprise. It compares terrorist attacks to “ordinary crime” in large, metropolitan areas which is why the nation’s terrorism “hot spots” are Manhattan, Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County Florida, San Francisco County and Washington, D.C. As if to downplay the distinct difference between crashing a plane into a high-rise and a mugging, the DHS says “terrorism and ordinary crime occur in many of the same areas.”

It stresses that the “Ideological motivation” for terrorist attacks varies greatly. For instance, the brilliant DHS minds found that certain counties are prone to a particular type of terrorist attack, including extreme right-wing, ethno-nationalist/separatist and “religiously motivated,” though no specific religion is mentioned. The report does point out however, that “religiously motivated attacks occurred predominately in the 1980s.”

Terrorism is also linked to social economic status, poverty, residential instability and “ethnic heterogeneity,” a dramatic change in the urban landscape caused by massive numbers of immigrants. Because neighborhoods were “rapidly transformed into centers of diversity,” the result was not immediately positive and some turned to terrorism, the DHS report seems to indicate.

The only mention of Islam is buried deep in the 36-page document as an example of “those who seek to politicize religion” along with “Christian Reconstructionists” and those who seek to bring about Armageddon, such as Jewish Direct Action and Mormon extremists. The study was conducted by the DHS’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a team of social scientists that research the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the U.S.

The U.S. government’s minority cash giveaway for “discriminated” farmers has reached a new level, with an improved process that makes it faster and easier for Hispanics to get awards much larger than previously announced.

The goal is to make amends to those who suffered discrimination when seeking farm loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency charged with doling out billions in reparation money. A few years ago black farmers got $1.25 billion to settle discrimination allegations and last summer the Obama Administration announced a new pot of “compensation” cash—$1.33 billion—for women and Hispanics.

Originally, under that plan, Hispanics who felt they were victims of USDA discrimination could get up to $50,000 to make up for their suffering. To get the word out the feds 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.

This month the USDA quietly increased the amount of money that each discriminated Hispanic farmer can collect by five times, to $250,000. The agency also announced an “updated claims process” that simplifies and speeds things up so the victims can get their government cash faster. Victims are encouraged to participate in the simplified process and are assured that there is no filing fee or other costs.

The updated process is part of the USDA’s efforts to ensure that all its “customers” have equal access to its programs, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. It’s also part of the president’s mission to end discrimination at the agency. “The Obama Administration has made it a priority to resolve all claims of past discrimination at USDA, and we are committed to closing this sad chapter in USDA’s history,” Vilsack said.

Under Obama, the agency has served as a key tool to help minorities through a variety of costly programs, mainly the First Lady’s $4.5 billion effort to bring affordable healthy foods to inner cities nationwide. Under the plan, the USDA has dispersed huge sums of money to community groups that promise to make available affordable healthy foods in poor neighborhoods.

The agency has also allocated $8.8 million to train “underserved” Hispanic students to someday work for it. The money is paying for programs that tackle global food security and hunger, climate change, bio-based energy development, childhood obesity (Michelle Obama’s favorite topic) and food safety. In all, 20 “Hispanic-serving institutions” got grants to help the targeted population “develop a skilled American work force” that will someday join the USDA ranks.  

The Homeland Security agency charged with immigration enforcement has repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained.

The shameful revelation was made this week by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches.

For the better part of the last two years TRAC has been engaged in a fierce legal battle with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over records involving the agency’s enforcement activities. After repeatedly getting stonewalled, TRAC was recently provided with some of the documents involving statistics of individuals who had been arrested, detained, charged, returned or removed from the country during a specific period.

Although ICE is still withholding much of the information, the files that have been furnished so far reveal “vast discrepancies” in many areas, according to a case-by-case analysis conducted by TRAC. The initial probe reveals that official ICE statements claimed 34 times more detentions, 24 times more deportations and almost five times more apprehensions than its own data. This certainly indicates that ICE knowingly lied to lawmakers and the press to embellish its enforcement activities.  

For instance, during a one-year period that ICE claimed it detained 233,417 individuals it really only detained 6,778, according to agency’s own records. That same year, ICE said it deported 166,075 people when it really only deported 6,906 and it only apprehended 21,339 compared to claims that it had apprehended 102,034.

TRAC is still working to get the rest of the records and points out in an appeal filed this week that “ICE has been making highly exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the level of its enforcement activities,” or it is “withholding on a massive scale.” TRAC further states that the agency’s apparent inability to substantiate the level of its claimed enforcement activities is a very significant matter that’s central to the public debate on federal enforcement policy and the presidential election campaign.

In early December TRAC also uncovered records that show the Obama Administration inflated statistics to show that it had deported a record-high number of illegal immigrants with criminal records. The documents reveal that the figure is actually at an all-time low and rapidly decreasing as the administration brags about removing an unprecedented number of criminal aliens.

 

 

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