US Government Department Rules That Illegal Immigrant’s “Civil Rights” Were Violated When Forest Service Called Border Patrol For Help

June 5, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A federal department ruled last week that the Forest Service violated a Spanish-speaking woman’s civil rights by calling the Border Patrol to help translate during a routine stop, saying it was “humiliating” to Hispanics and an illicit backdoor way to capture more illegal immigrants.

The ruling by the Agriculture Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights could change policies nationwide as law enforcement agencies grapple with how far they can go in trying to help the Border Patrol while not running afoul of racial profiling standards.

Assistant Secretary Joe Leonard Jr. said calling the Border Patrol automatically “escalates” encounters between Hispanics and law enforcement. He ruled that the Forest Service cannot routinely summon the Border Patrol for assistance and said the agency now must document suspected racial profiling nationwide.

“Given the increased risk of being questioned about immigration status during an interaction with [Border Patrol], the policy of using BP for interpretation assistance is problematic in all situations because it places a burden on [limited English proficient] individuals that non-LEP individuals do not experience,” Mr. Leonard ruled.

The case stems from a 2011 incident in Olympic National Forest in Washington in which a Forest Service officer encountered a Hispanic couple who he said appeared to be illegally harvesting plants on the federal lands.

The couple didn’t speak English and he didn’t speak fluent Spanish and, anticipating that situation, he called the Border Patrol for backup and translating.

But when a Border Patrol agent arrived, the couple fled. The woman was apprehended, but the man jumped into a river to try to escape and drowned. The Border Patrol took the woman into custody but released her several days later, reportedly on humanitarian grounds.

The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project complained to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the Forest Service, and last week’s ruling was the result.

Matt Adams, legal director of the project, said the Border Patrol has been expanding its reach in the Northwest and that has meant more encounters well away from the border.

“They’ve got nothing to do out there as far as their traditional mission, that is enforcing people coming through the border. So in order to justify those expanded numbers, they utilize these other tactics,” Mr. Adams said. “At the end of the day, they can drag in bigger numbers, but it’s not focused on the border.”

His group is challenging other federal agencies’ use of the Border Patrol for translation services, and has filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act seeking logs for how often agents are used for translation.

Last week’s ruling relies in part on an executive order issued during the Clinton administration that says language is interchangeable with national origin, which is protected by federal law.

Groups that push for English-language policies in the U.S. called the new ruling illegal and said the government appeared to be granting special language rights to illegal immigrants.

“The ACLU and illegal alien rights groups are well aware that American courts have never upheld their argument that language and national origin are equal, so they battle out these disputes in private between the agencies in order to come to a settlement where both the courts and the taxpayers are absent from the table,” said Suzanne Bibby, director of government relations for ProEnglish. “This is their new strategy because they know they will lose in the courts.”

A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, said the agency is reviewing the ruling but is committed to civil rights.

The union that represents Forest Service employees didn’t return a call seeking comment.

In the proceedings, the Forest Service fought on behalf of its officer. It pointed to an operational memo with the Border Patrol that said they are allowed to back up each other. Since Forest Service employees generally are not trained in Spanish, Border Patrol agents are particularly helpful in backing up encounters with Hispanics, the agency said.

Mr. Leonard’s 40-page ruling underscored deep mutual distrust on both sides in the town of Forks, in northwestern Washington.

Town residents who told the review board that the Forest Service officer involved in the 2011 stop was known for harassing Hispanics and for working with the Border Patrol.

Meanwhile, the Forest Service officer said he felt like the Hispanic community had been “tracing” his movements.

Mr. Leonard was skeptical of the officer’s reasoning and said he found the complaints from the community more convincing.

The ruling doesn’t reveal the names of those involved.

Underpinning the ruling were some key legal arguments: First, that the complainant was entitled to visit the national forest; second, that a law enforcement stop affects the availability of the service provided by the national forest; and third, that the Forest Service must take steps to protect those with limited English, including making them not feel unduly threatened.

“A policy that causes individuals to actually flee from the service being provided does not provide meaningful access,” Mr. Leonard wrote.

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13 Illegal Immigrants Arrested After California Police Stop Phony UPS Delivery Van

May 23, 2012

NILAND, CALIFORNIA – Authorities say it was a special delivery indeed: 13 illegal immigrants stuffed in a phony UPS van.

The U.S. Border Patrol says agents in Southern California stopped the van last Friday as it tried to circumvent a highway checkpoint near Niland, an Imperial Valley community near the Mexican border.

Officials say they found 13 Mexican citizens hiding inside the back of the van, which looked like a legitimate United Parcel Service delivery vehicle.

A 21-year-old U.S. man was arrested on suspicion of smuggling.

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Obama’s Attorney Chokes Again As Federal Government Finds Itself On Thin Ice While Attacking Arizona Immigration Laws – Claims Feds Have Limited Resources And Should Have The Right To Limit Calls About Possible Illegal Immigrants

April 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Supreme Court justices took a dim view of the Obama administration’s claim that it can stop Arizona from enforcing immigration laws, telling government lawyers during oral argument Wednesday that the state appears to want to push federal officials, not conflict with them.

The court was hearing arguments on Arizona’s immigration crackdown law, which requires police to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally, and would also write new state penalties for illegal immigrants who try to apply for jobs.

The Obama administration has sued, arguing that those provisions conflict with the federal government’s role in setting immigration policy, but justices on both sides of the aisle struggled to understand that argument.

“It seems to me the federal government just doesn’t want to know who’s here illegally,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said at one point.

The Arizona law requires all police to check with federal officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. The government argues that is OK when it’s on a limited basis, but said having a state mandate for all of its law enforcement is essentially a method of trying to force the federal government to change its priorities.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said the federal government has limited resources and should have the right to determine the extent of calls it gets about possible illegal immigrants.

“These decisions have to be made at the national level,” he said.

But even Democratic-appointed justices were uncertain of that.

“I’m terribly confused by your answer,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who went on to say that the federal government can always decline to pick up illegal immigrants when Arizona officials call.

The Obama administration was on its firmest ground when it argued Arizona should not be allowed to impose state penalties such as jail time against illegal immigrants who try to seek jobs.

Federal law chiefly targets employers, not employees, and Mr. Verrilli said adding stiffer penalties at the state level is not coordination. He said Congress’s 1986 immigration law laying out legal penalties was meant to be a comprehensive scheme, and Congress left employees untouched — and Justice Sotomayor seemed to agree.

“It seems odd to think the federal government is deciding on employer sanctions and has unconsciously decided not to punish employees,” she told Paul D. Clement, who argued the case on behalf of Arizona.

A decision is expected before the end of the court’s term this summer.

Only eight justices were present for the arguments. Justice Elana Kagan recused herself from the case, presumably because she was the Obama administration’s solicitor general in 2010, when the law was being debated in Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure into law, was present for the arguments, as were members of Congress who follow the immigration issue: Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, the top Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee, and Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who has fought for an immigration crackdown.

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Economy And Unemployment So Bad Under Obama That Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Are Heading Home

April 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Well, that’s one way to stem the tide of illegal aliens streaming across the border from Mexico.

Jack up unemployment rates to near double digits, dunk America into a double-dip recession and put us so deeply into hock with the Chinese communists that it will take generations for us to recover.

After long enough, living and working and trying to eke out bare survival in America becomes even worse than trying to get by in Mexico.

A new study from the highly esteemed Pew Hispanic Center says the millions of Mexicans who risked their lives crossing the desert to get here to the promised land for a better life have given up on the U.S.

This is no small feat. Have you ever been to Mexico? Not the ritzy beach towns with the gated resorts, but Nuevo Laredo? The dusty streets are filled with bony children selling gum and candy for just a few spare pennies.

Desperate as that little trade may have once seemed to us, at least it has the vibe of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the ‘90s. Nothing like that is going on anywhere on this side of the border.

Remember the axiom of big government bureaucrats: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. When, finally, under the crushing weight of taxes and regulation, it stops moving, subsidize it.

So the Mexicans have quit coming to the hopeless part of North America. Canada is just too far to walk.

Or, at least, the few final stragglers who have not kept up with America’s woes and are still sneaking into the U.S. are balanced out by all the illegal Mexicans already here who are now risking their lives to cross the desert to escape the American “dream.”

Now we know why all the politicians in Washington have finally agreed to beef up security and build a fence along the southern border. They’re desperate to keep all the Mexicans from leaving.

That’s right, who would raise their children and mow their lawns and do all of America’s dirty work if all the Mexicans left?

Authors of the Pew report call the stunning shift in migration patterns historic. Not since the Great Depression, they say, has a shift of this magnitude occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border. Not since the Great Depression?

It’s almost enough to make you pine for the good old days of rampant illegal immigration.

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Obama Removing 300 US Ground Troops From US Border With Mexico

April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Pentagon began flying military helicopters and surveillance planes over the U.S. border with Mexico last month as part of an effort to withdraw all but 300 of the National Guard ground troops who have helped patrol the rugged border since mid-2010.

The 19-month deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops on the southwest border has hurt recruiting efforts and threatened to strain diplomatic relations with Mexico, Brian J. Lepore, a director at the U.S. Government and Accountability Office, told a House homeland security subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

About 12 Blackhawk helicopters and several fixed-wing manned surveillance planes began flying regular patrols over the Rio Grande in Texas for a mission called “Operation River Watch II” in March. The 300 troops will fly the aircraft, or analyze intelligence about smuggling routes in command centers miles from the border.

The Obama administration deployed the National Guard to build access roads for border patrols and to help spot smugglers. The extra manpower was intended to bridge the gap while U.S. Customs and Border Patrol hired an additional 1,200 agents.

In the first year, the National Guard troops helped apprehend 17,887 illegal immigrants and seize 56,342 pounds of marijuana, which was 5.9 percent of all apprehensions and 2.6 percent of marijuana seizures during that time, officials said.

National Guard troops could man watchtowers and stare at closed-circuit television screens of the fence line but were prohibited from making arrests, and officials said morale suffered. The National Guard leadership became concerned that the mission, if extended, could hurt recruitment, according to a GAO report titled “Observations on Costs, Benefits, and Challenges of a Department of Defense Role in Helping to Secure the Southwest Land Border.”

Further use of National Guard troops “could create a perception of a militarized U.S. border with Mexico,” State Department officials told the GAO. The Obama administration has worked with Mexico to strengthen civilian law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels responsible for thousands of killings.

“We need to have a long-term vision and whole-of-government approach to securing the southwest border that will replace the ad hoc application of resources that has, to date, epitomized our approach to border security,” Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., who chairs the subcommittee on border and maritime security, said in a statement.

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With Immigrants Come Third-World Viruses And Disease

April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Measles cases in the United States hit a 15-year high in 2011, with 90 percent of the cases traced to other countries with lower immunization rates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

There were 222 cases of measles in the United States last year, more than triple the usual number, the CDC said. There had been only about 60 cases per year between 2001 and 2010.

No one has died of the disease in the United States since 2008. But approximately 20 million people contract the measles virus each year worldwide, and about 164,000 die from it, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the health agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The agency said in 2000 that home-grown measles had been eliminated, but cases continued to arrive in the United States from abroad.

There have been more than 25 measles cases reported so far in 2012, most of them imported, the CDC said. The virus can easily enter the country through foreign visitors or Americans traveling abroad who bring the disease back with them.

Measles is highly contagious and is transmitted when an infected person breaths, coughs or sneezes, Schuchat said. The disease can be spread even before an infected person has developed the rash from the virus.

“You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been even after that person has left the room,” Schuchat said on Thursday.

Measles cases were found in 31 states in 2011. Last year’s count marked the highest number of cases since 1996, when there were 508 cases in the United States.

All but 22 of the 222 cases last year involved patients who had been infected overseas or caught the virus from someone who had been abroad, the CDC said. The source of the other 22 cases could not be determined.

Many of the cases were traced to Europe, where in some countries immunization rates are lower than in the United States. Europe suffered an outbreak of the disease in 2011, reporting more than 37,000 measles cases.

France, Italy and Spain, popular destinations for U.S. tourists, were among the hardest hit, said Schuchat.

“It’s very important for travelers heading off to Europe to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations and that their children are too,” she said.

Those who have already had measles or have been inoculated are not considered at risk of contracting the virus, the CDC said. The CDC recommends children receive two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine starting at 12-15 months of age.

More than 90 percent of U.S. children have been vaccinated against measles, the CDC said.

“We don’t have to have this much measles,” Schuchat said. “Measles is preventable. Unvaccinated people put themselves and other people at risk for measles and its complications.”

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Homeland Insecurity: Federal Government Impliments Stealth Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants That Provides Path Around Legal Entry Wait And Rewards Those Who Are Here Or Came Here Illegally – Wetbacks Will Get “Unlawful Presence Waivers” If They Have A Relative Here

April 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”

The new measure would apply to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Here is how it would work, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in today’s Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government; the agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative that’s a U.S. citizen.

Currently such aliens must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. In other words, they must enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Besides the obvious security issues, changing this would be like rewarding bad behavior in a child. It doesn’t make sense.

But the system often causes U.S. citizens to be separated for extended periods from their immediate relatives,” according to the DHS. The proposed changes, first announced in January, will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. citizens are separated from their loved ones while required to remain outside the United States during the current visa processing system.

The administration also claims that relaxing the rule will also “create efficiencies for both the U.S. government and most applicants.” How exactly is not listed in the Federal Register announcement, which gives the public 60 days to comment. That’s only a formality since the DHS has indicated that the change is pretty much a done deal.

This appears to be part of the Obama Administration’s bigger plan to blow off Congress by using its executive powers to grant illegal immigrants backdoor amnesty. The plan has been in the works for years and in 2010 Texas’s largest newspaper published an exposé about a then-secret DHS initiative that systematically cancelled pending deportations. The remarkable program stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who said the government bounced their clients’ deportation even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed.

In late 2011 a mainstream newspaper obtained internal Homeland Security documents outlining “sweeping changes” in immigration enforcement that halt the deportation of illegal aliens with no criminal records. This also includes a nationwide “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes.

Judicial Watch has been a front runner in investigating the Obama Administration’s stealth amnesty program by pursuing DHS records concerning “deferred action” or “parole” to suspend removal proceedings against a particular group of individuals. Last spring JW sued DHS to obtain information because the agency ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

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