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September 2, 2011
From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Uncle Omar Obama’s Wild Ride
Meet the new face of the Obama administration’s dangerous and unlawful approach to illegal immigration. His name is Onyango Obama. And yes, he is related to the president. According to the August 31 edition of The Boston Globe:
The uncle of President Obama arrested here last week on drunken driving and other charges has been a fugitive from deportation since 1992, according to two federal law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.
Onyango Obama, who is from Kenya and is known as the president’s Uncle Omar on his father’s side, had lived a quiet life in Massachusetts until last Wednesday, when police said the car he was driving darted in front of a police cruiser, nearly causing the officer to hit his car.
The federal officials, who spoke about Obama’s immigration status on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the case, said Obama had been told to leave in 1992, but he did not go.
Uncle Omar, whose blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit, is the brother of Obama’s infamous “Auntie Zeituni,” who was previously “discovered” living illegally in the Boston area. She was granted asylum despite having disobeyed a 2004 deportation order.
(Click here to read a statement I offered to the press on the whole sordid “Uncle Omar” mess. The bottom line, as I note in my statement, is that “Uncle Omar is exactly the kind of person that local police would have been able to easily keep off the streets as a result of new immigration laws in states such as Arizona and Georgia, which are being challenged in court by the Obama administration.”)
But here’s the good news for Uncle Omar (and the horrible news for anyone concerned about the illegal immigration crisis and the rule of law). He’s probably not going anywhere. And neither are millions of other illegal aliens living in the shadows, including convicted criminals.
The Obama administration announced last week that it would effectively halt any enforcement actions (on an alleged “case-by-case” basis) against any illegal alien who hasn’t committed any other serious crime.
As reported by Newsmax:
The Obama re-election campaign jumped into full operational mode with an announcement by Janet Napolitano, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, that illegal aliens in deportation proceedings — whether border-crossers or visa overstays — who have yet to commit an additional crime, will be allowed to remain in the United States and obtain work permits.…
Low-priority cases, which she believes waste enforcement resources, will be dismissed in defiance of existing U.S. immigration laws passed by Congress and signed into law by previous presidents.
So that’s it. After more than a year of denying that “stealth amnesty” was the official illegal immigration policy of the Obama administration, the Obama gang has finally fessed up. Illegal aliens will not be deported or pursued. Amnesty is here.
And don’t believe the Obama administration’s lies when it comes to illegal aliens with criminal records. We already know from documents we uncovered in July that Obama administration officials are actively considering the dismissal of charges against illegal alien criminals, even those convicted of violent crimes! (If you need anecdotal evidence, just look at how Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) handled the case of the nun-killing illegal alien.)
As if that were not enough to get your blood boiling, JW now has even more evidence of the Obama administration’s contempt for the law and the U.S. Constitution. While Uncle Omar was busy endangering the public, our investigators were sifting through 2,600 pages of documents we uncovered from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) as a result of two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits. And look at what we found: The records detail an orchestrated campaign by the Obama administration to suspend deportation proceedings against “one of the DREAM [Act] kids” and other illegal aliens, even though Congress had not passed the legislation!
The DREAM Act would have permitted certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status, eventually obtain permanent legal status, and become eligible for U.S. citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military. It could initially provide amnesty for over one million illegal immigrants and would have cost over $6 billion a year. Despite repeated attempts by liberal members of Congress and the Obama administration to push this legislation through, the DREAM Act has failed to garner enough votes.
But that didn’t stop the Obama administration from bulldozing forward anyway, creating and implementing law, all on the administration’s unconstitutional own initiative. The details:
- In an April 20, 2010, email from Melissa Crow, former DHS Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Office of Immigration and Border Security, to Roxana Bacon, Chief Counsel for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Crow states: “Since we met, I’ve done my best to encourage ICE to grant deferred action in the DREAM Act cases…brought to my attention.”
- An email chain about “one of the DREAM [Act] kids” who was being detained by authorities suggests confusion at DHS regarding how to handle requests for “deferred action” from illegal alien students. In the email chain, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr writes to DHS Deputy Press Secretary Matthew Chandler, “we r f’ed up,” to which Chandler responds, “Yep. And we wonder why pp’l FOIA us.” The student was granted a stay of removal for six months.
- In response to a USA Today inquiry into whether aliens are required to carry identification, DHS General Counsel John R. Sandweg writes, “Ugh. Yes. Fed law does require aliens to carry their paperwork. I don’t know if it is a criminal offense, but this provision has gone relatively unnoticed by media and [redacted].…I think some groups of aliens are exempted from this requirement as they don’t really have paperwork (folks who were issued deferred action). Either way, it is not routinely enforced.”
- In a memo from Mariela Melero, Chief of the Office of Public Engagement of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, entitled “Stakeholder Input of Administrative Reforms,” Melero sets forth suggested reforms “outside of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” which includes the opinion that the director – unless otherwise required by law – has the authority to judge if the evidence presented for deferred action is “probably true.” Another reform would allow a 501(c)(3) organization [such as Project Vote/ACORN, perhaps!] in “good standing…to design and implement voter registration programs at USCIS offices across the country.”
The Obama administration’s decision to suspend the deportations of most illegal aliens has been subject to intense scrutiny since 2010, when the press uncovered a United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) memo that contemplated various “administrative alternatives” to bypass Congress and implement stealth amnesty for illegal aliens.
A subsequent Houston Chronicle story exposed an effort by the administration to suspend the deportations of illegal aliens who supposedly have not been convicted of any “serious” crimes. Documents uncovered by Judicial Watch show that DHS officials misled Congress and the public about the scope of the immigration enforcement policy change, which gave wide latitude to local immigration officials to dismiss illegal alien deportation cases.
And then came the Obama administration’s public announcement that, indeed, illegal aliens of “low priority” will no longer be deported. The administration denied that this was a blanket or categorical amnesty, but these new documents show otherwise.
The documents show that the Obama administration is obviously lying about its stealth amnesty activities and indicate an alarming contempt for Congress and the rule of law. Frankly, these documents show that Obama immigration officials don’t even know what the law is!
The Obama administration cannot simply pick and choose which federal immigration laws it will enforce. In its zeal to curry favor with the illegal alien lobby and secure Hispanic votes for a second term, the Obama administration is exercising raw executive power to change the law by granting illegal aliens amnesty in a way that strikes at the heart of our constitutional system and the rule of law. This is a festering constitutional crisis on which we will keep you updated.
Fast and Furious Scandal Rocks Obama Justice Department
I don’t believe we’ve seen a more corrupt, politicized and incompetent Department of Justice (DOJ) in modern political history than we have now under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. And I never thought I’d write those words after suffering eight years of Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration.
But check this out as reported by The Associated Press:
The Justice Department replaced three officials Tuesday who played critical roles in a flawed law enforcement operation aimed at major gun-trafficking networks on the Southwest border.
The department announced that the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. attorney in Arizona had resigned and an administration official said a prosecutor who worked on the operation was reassigned to civil cases.
The operation, known as Fast and Furious, was designed to track small-time gun buyers at several Phoenix-area gun shops up the chain to make cases against major weapons traffickers.…
A congressional investigation of the program has turned up evidence that ATF lost track of many of the more than 2,000 guns linked to the operation.
In essence, the ATF, with the full approval of the DOJ, allowed guns to be sold and sent to the Mexican drug cartels in the hopes of having them show up at crime scenes in Mexico! This reckless craziness seems to have resulted in, among other crimes, the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with Mexican criminals in December, 2010. Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene of his death.
And that is why this week the Acting ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson was transferred to a make-work position in the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney in Phoenix resigned.
But Eric Holder still has his job! (I suspect that Melson wasn’t reassigned for the Fast and Furious fiasco itself but because he told Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) that the senior officials at the DOJ were trying to suppress information about the scandal. Rep. Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) deserve great credit for ferociously investigating and exposing this scandal.)
(And now today we know the White House was kept abreast of this criminal enterprise run by the Obama administration appointees. In classic scandal-control fashion, the Obama gang seems to have leaked this blockbuster information on the Friday before the Labor Day holiday in the hopes no one notices a key piece of information in what could very well be the biggest scandal of this presidential administration.)
At any rate, to get to the bottom of the Fast and Furious scandal, our investigators already filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with ATF and another division within the Obama DOJ on July 13, 2011. Here’s what we’re after:
All records of communications, contacts and correspondence between Director Kenneth E. Melson and any official, officer and employee of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General regarding ATF Phoenix Operation Fast and Furious.
All records prepared for or submitted to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform related to Director Melson’s interview with the committee on July 4, 2011.
All records of communication between any ATF official, officer or employee (including Director Melson and ATF Phoenix Special Agent in charge William Newell) and any official, officer or employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration regarding Operation Fast and Furious.
All records regarding, concerning or related to the October 26, 2009 meeting/telephonic conference call between Director Melson, DAG David Ogden, AAG Lanny Breuer, DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and other Justice Department officials regarding the Southwest Border Strategy (including, but not limited to, any agendas, minutes, transcripts, notes or presentations).
(As detailed in this Townhall story, that October 26, 2009, meeting between top DOJ officials might just shed some light on this egregious scandal.)
We’re also trying to obtain correspondence between the ATF and some Washington Post reporters who wrote glowing pieces about the ATF gun-busting campaign. We think it’s important to find out if the Obama ATF ran the Fast and the Furious operation as part of a press effort to advance their anti-Second Amendment agenda through a liberal media outlet.
And one would suspect that the anti-American Obama administration was desperate to blame “American guns” for the Mexican violence. Not to mention that it all distracts from the fact that one of the key reasons for the drug gang-fueled violence in Mexico is the unsecured border that allows the drug/human trafficking trade to thrive!
As you may have already guessed, given the Obama administration’s penchant for illegal secrecy, we have yet to receive substantive responses to our various requests. So you can expect a lawsuit (or lawsuits) to be filed very soon.
And when we do receive documents I will continue to keep you up to date in this space regarding what we find.
I know many of you have contacted us about this scandal and I want to assure you all that your Judicial Watch is on it.
Family Research Council Sues Justice Department for Documents Regarding Decision Not to Defend DOMA
On August 29, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the Family Research Council (FRC) for records related to the DOJ’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in any pending or future litigation. (If you want to know more about the fine work of the FRC, please check out the organization’s website.)
By way of review, DOMA passed Congress with flying colors by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate and a vote of 342–67 in the House. President Clinton signed the act into law on September 21, 1996. It has been the law of the land now for almost 15 years. But not any more.
On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama DOJ would not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples – a decision that immediately had a ripple effect in California. Less than three hours after Attorney General Holder’s announcement, litigants seeking to strike down California’s traditional marriage definition filed a motion to vacate the stay of its case with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In its motion, the litigants cited to, and quoted from, Attorney General Holder’s letter to the Congress.
FRC is simply trying to get hold of documents from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to determine the purported basis for this highly controversial decision and the possible influence of homosexual activists on the decision. (In a separate lawsuit, we’re after some of these same documents. When it comes to forcing the Obama administration to obey basic open records laws, the more legal pressure, the better.)
Regarding FRC’s original FOIA request for these records, on June 2, 2011, the DOJ informed FRC by letter that it had searched and identified 357 pages of email chains responsive to the FOIA request, 27 pages of which were claimed to be exempted and were withheld. On June 27, 2011, FRC filed an administrative appeal of the withholdings, but the Obama DOJ has not responded despite being required to do so by law.
Here’s a statement from FRC President Tony Perkins on the Obama administration’s stonewalling:
When Barack Obama became president, he took an oath to uphold our laws – and not just the ones with which he personally agrees. If he’ll undermine this law, which one is next? This isn’t just a threat to marriage. It’s a threat to the entire democratic process. If the Obama administration has nothing to hide, then why stonewall? We have serious concerns that the Justice Department wants to hide evidence that it was doing the bidding of campaign donors and homosexual activists from whom Obama will need assistance for his reelection.
It appears once again the Obama administration is playing politics with the FOIA to avoid telling the American people the truth about one of its indefensible positions. (See the Black Panther scandal and the DOJ’s assault on SB 1070 for two other examples.)
It also seems that the federal government’s highest law enforcement agency is refusing to enforce the law to appease another special interest group in order to help Obama’s fundraising for his reelection.
Remember this Politico story entitled, “Gay donors fuel President Obama’s 2012 campaign”? Obama is tossing some favors to the gay lobby now so that he can collect later:
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is banking on gay donors to make up the cash it’s losing from other groups of wealthy supporters who have been alienated and disappointed by elements of Obama’s first term.
The Obama DOJ is owned by radical leftist special interest groups. And could possibly be up for sale. And that’s why it won’t release these records without a fight from the FRC and JW.
Until next week…
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