‘Thomas Perez has shown a glaring inability to follow his sworn duties to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of equal justice under law.’
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement today regarding the nomination of Thomas Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration:
“During his time as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Thomas Perez has shown a glaring inability to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of ‘equal justice under law.’
“Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has exposed Mr. Perez’s repeated attempts to undermine those seeking to assure that the laws of the land are applied equally to those of all races. Mr. Perez’s attacks on election integrity measures such as voter ID were so far off base that he helped the DOJ earn a reputation as a partisan campaign arm for the Obama reelection campaign.
“As Secretary of Labor, Mr. Perez would be in a position to push policies which broadly discriminate against American workers who failed to meet his own, thoroughly racialist worldview. Furthermore, based upon his relentless record both in and out of government, there can be little doubt that he would continue to put his personal preference for illegal immigrants above the rights of all workers of any race to equal employment opportunity.
“Mr. Perez is a terrible, hyper-partisan choice for Labor Secretary. Honest Democrats and Republicans who want the Labor Department to be run well should look skeptically at his nomination.”
In November, 2010, Judicial Watch produced documents obtained from the Obama Department of Justice in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit directly contradicting sworn testimony by Perez before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the DOJ decision to abandon its own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Black Panther Party had been charged with threatening and intimidating white voters outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election day 2008.
In July 2012, Judicial Watch obtained a ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Perez had, indeed, lied under oath about the involvement of “political leadership” in the DOJ decision. In the ruling, Judge Reggie B. Walton declared:
“The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.”
The DOJ’s Office of Inspector General recently released a report entitled “A Review of the Operations of the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division,” which confirms the court’s ruling: “We believe that these facts evidence ‘involvement’ in the decision by political appointees within the ordinary meaning of that word,” and that Perez’s statements, “did not capture the full extent of that involvement.” The report also documents that Perez does not believe in the race neutral application of certain civil rights laws.
Also in 2012, Judicial Watch discovered that Perez may have colluded with St. Paul, Minnesota, officials to persuade the city to take the extraordinary step of withdrawing its cert. petition from the Supreme Court docket in a case involving “disparate impact” discrimination. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Minnesota Data Practices Act showed that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between Perez and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city’s withdrawal from the case, captioned Magner v. Gallagher. Following Perez’s visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked DOJ and officials at HUD for their involvement.
Documents and a staff briefing with the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform revealed in September 2012 that, in exchange for St. Paul dropping its case before the high court, DOJ stopped two whistleblower claims against the city with the power to restore $180 million in violated HUD grants to the U.S. taxpayer. The Wall Street Journal confirmed Judicial Watch’s concerns in an investigation of its own and noted that the issues are “likely to get high billing” at Perez’s confirmation proceedings.
Perez is a former president of the board of Central American Solidarity Association of Maryland, CASA de Maryland, a group whose recent filings with the IRS describe its chief goals as helping all people “participate and benefit fully” in American society, “regardless of their immigration status.” In opposing the Perez nomination, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions (R-AL), described CASA, which was supported by Hugo Chavez, as “a fringe advocacy group that has instructed illegal immigrants on how to escape detection, and also promoted illegal labor sites and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.”
Perez helped spearhead the DOJ’s attack on SB 1070, Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law, also the DOJ’s legal attacks against states that attempted to implement voter integrity measures in 2012, including Voter ID laws.
In a matter of days the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that federal investigations of law enforcement agencies in different parts of the country uncovered a pattern of discrimination against Latinos in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
This appears to be part of a much bigger Obama Administration plan to crackdown on local governments that try to curb illegal immigration. The DOJ has legally challenged immigration control laws in Arizona and Alabama and the administration has made it clear that it’s keeping a close eye on law enforcement agencies that may be viewed as targeting illegal aliens.
Just read this week’s findings involving the police department in the tiny Connecticut town of East Haven, population around 29,000. According to a lengthy federal probe the East Haven Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of discrimination against Latinos by intentionally and disproportionally targeting them for traffic enforcement and treating them “more harshly than non-Latino drivers after a traffic stop,” the DOJ found.
Furthermore, the East Haven Police Department has failed to remedy a history of discrimination and deliberate indifference to the rights of minorities, the DOJ says. The department also fails to collect and report traffic stop data in accordance with state racial profiling laws. Among its many offenses over the years is failure to provide “limited English proficient Latinos with appropriate language access” and a failure to abide by individuals’ consular rights. This appears to refer to illegal aliens who may want to contact their country’s consular office after getting in trouble with the law.
Last week it was the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona that got blasted by the DOJ for engaging in a pattern of unconstitutional policing. Specifically, the DOJ’s “extensive” investigation found that the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department engages in racial profiling of Latinos, unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about these racist practices.
The feds took it a step further by also saying that the Maricopa agency has discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English proficiency by punishing them and denying them critical services. Officers also follow “police practices that have the effect of significantly compromising” the agency’s “ability to adequately protect Latino residents,” according to the DOJ.
The Maricopa Sheriff’s “systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections has created a wall of distrust between the sheriff’s office and large segments of the community, which dramatically compromises the ability to protect and serve the people,” said Thomas Perez, the Assistant Attorney General Obama appointed to run the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division.
Ironically, it was less than a year ago that a top Obama immigration official defended the Maricopa Sheriff’s program to crackdown on illegal immigration, which clearly triggered the DOJ racial profiling investigation. Dozens of illegal aliens with criminal records have been apprehended, restoring law and order in a large Phoenix business district rife with solicitation, trespassing, loitering and public health ordinance violations created by day laborers.
Earlier this year the assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (John Morton) said there was no evidence of racial profiling by deputies in Maricopa County and that the majority of the illegal immigrants arrested have been convicted of serious crimes. “Sixty nine percent of the people we receive in Maricopa County have been convicted of Level 1 and Level 2 offenses, which are serious felony offenses, drug trafficking, assaults, rape,” Morton said during a meeting with editors of a local newspaper. He added that the Maricopa program has been consistent with meeting his agency’s priority of arresting illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes.
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.