With the midterm elections just days away, the 9th Circuit court ruled against Arizona and took away the state’s ability to request proof of citizenship identification when residents are registering to vote. The state wanted to curtail voter fraud and ensure residents who were voting for state and federal elections were legally doing so.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stuck down a simple voter protection requirement of identification that won approval from Arizona residents in the form of Proposition 200.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said it was a “slap in the face” to all Arizonians who care deeply about the integrity of their election process.
“Arizona voters approved this critical election-security requirement in 2004. We have been vigorously defending its constitutionality and the will of Arizona voters,” Brewer said. “This law has previously been upheld at every level and by every court, including the 9th Circuit, despite numerous lawsuits and challenges filed by activist groups.”
The Governor as well as Secretary of State, Ken Bennett agreed that the Court’s ruling would not impact Tuesday’s midterm, but could be a factor during the 2012 election cycle.
The ruling draws into focus the state’s famous SB1070 immigration bill that is set to be heard by the 9th Circuit Court the day before the midterm elections on November 1st.
Like SB1070, the will of Arizona’s voters will be tested again and Arizona’s leaders promise to take both pieces of legislation to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“This simply cannot be tolerated,” Brewer said in a statement. “Arizona voters have made their will crystal clear- non-citizens do not have the right to vote. We will continue to pursue any and all legal remedies to prevent fraudulent voter registration in the State of Arizona, as well as the right of our state citizens to craft appropriate protections.”
The State of Arizona currently has a separate state registration form that requests information like a driver’s license or passport number. The change stemmed from Proposition 200 that was approved by Arizona voters in 2004 and essentially requires applicants to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.
The Ninth Circuit ruling on proof of citizenship decision came from a three-judge panel that vote 2-1 against Arizona’s right to inquire about citizenship. The three judges, that included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ruled the federal and state laws conflicted and federal law requires all states to make voter registration widely available and remove as many obstacles as possible.
The Arizona Attorney General’s office said they plan to petition the court for a rehearing with a larger panel of 9th Circuit Court judges, according to Mika Marquart of the AG’s office.
The liberal Latino rights group MALDEF who challenged Proposition 200 said it made people “jump through hoops” to become voters and would affect minority voters, said Nina Perales, MALDEF national senior counsel and lead counsel on the case.
MALDEF claimed the new “proof of citizenship” law affects newly naturalized U.S. citizens whose voter registrations are rejected because they received their driver’s licenses while they were green-card holders and their citizenship status hasn’t caught up with the state identification system Perales explained.
According to their website MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. MALDEF is also fighting against Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law.
As the 2010 midterm election cycle unfolds and recounts begin to take place, Arizona’s election registrars will have to deal with voter fraud the way every other state in the union – ballot by ballot.
The uptick of violence along America’s southern border has brought the U.S. Border Patrol agency under the microscope and has raised several questions leaving many rank-and-file agents concerned as to what their job title really means.
According to the agency’s website the primary concern for those in green along the border is indeed terrorism.
“We are the guardians of our Nation’s borders, we are America’s frontline. We safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders. We protect the American public against terrorist and the instruments of terror. We steadfastly enforce the laws of the United States while fostering our Nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel. We serve the American public with vigilance, integrity and professionalism,” the Border Patrol website statement reads.
Nowhere has this point been taken to heart more than those directing policy inside Border Patrol’s hierarchy.
While the vast majority of American’s believe that fences make good neighbors, Border Patrol management has subscribed to a very different stance. After 9/11 and under the umbrella of Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol began its process to purge the agency of old school agents and filling those slots with new agents who didn’t ask too many questions.
Border Patrol’s new mission led to statements from sector chiefs along the southwest border that drew ire from residents and congressional members alike.
For example, former Laredo-sector chief Carlos Carrillo was scrutinized for making blanket statements to area residents like, “agents don’t have the responsibility of apprehending illegal immigrants” and “illegal narcotics are not on agent’s priority list.”
Carrillo emphasized that Border Patrol’s responsibility was to keep the country safe from terrorism. He even went as far to say if terrorists came into the country his agents would be ready.
However the House Judiciary Committee sees things a little differently. “Ranking Member Smith is concerned about the apparent lack of focus on illegal immigration, and he plans to write to the Department of Homeland Security demanding answers.”
Late last week another insidious incident happened along the Texas/Mexico border- a U.S. Citizen was murdered while jet skiing at Falcon Lake, a waterway shared by both the U.S. as well as Mexico. After the story gained legs, Texas Governor Rick Perry stepped in and added his opinion.
First the governor considers the shooting of a U.S. citizen on Falcon Lake spillover violence from cartels.
Word from the Texas governor’s office in Austin, says they are calling on Washington D.C. leaders to send more support along some of the country’s most dangerous borders.
A statement released by Governor Perry’s office shows the urgency Texans are facing everyday the borders remain unsecure.
“Every day drug and human traffickers exploit the southwest border…they are increasingly confrontational… which is illustrated by incidents of spillover violence…the governor has continued to urge this administration to…immediately deploy additional resources to the Texas-Mexico border, including 1,000 title 32 national guardsmen and predator drones.”
While the border may have more resources dedicated to securing the southwestern region than ever, the fact remains drugs and illegal aliens continue to head north. In fact the Arizona border has witnessed more than its fair share of trafficked narcotics by heavily armed cartel members who seem to have the first 80 miles inside Arizona under their control.
This is evidenced by the placement of numerous sign by the Federal Bureau of Land Management informing residents to not enter the region due to armed smugglers and the fact law enforcement may not be able to protect U.S. residents from dangerous criminals.
Arizona Sheriff Larry Dever from Cochise County, where rancher Rob Krentz was murdered by an alleged illegal alien, said many portions of the Grand Canyon state are out of control and has repeatedly asked from more support from Phoenix to Washington D.C. Like Texas Governor Perry, Sheriff Dever’s requests have gone unnoticed.
In an effort to warn other American’s about the dangerous border regions, Sheriff Dever traveled to Washington last week to sit on a panel for the Heritage Foundation. The hour and a half seminar focused on border issues and how best to allocate resources to the region.
Dever contends the U.S. Border Patrol has pulled back from parts of Arizona because manning those areas has become too dangerous. “You frankly have Border Patrolmen, and I know this from talking to Border Patrol agents, who will not allow their agents to work on the border because it is too dangerous,” Dever said during a CNSNews.com interview.
The Arizona lawman also says agents in the field are only doing what they are told and infers the agents in his county and beyond are capable to patrolling the border minefield, but management stifles their efforts.
“Then you have middle management and upper management that says, ‘No, it’s too dangerous right there and we’re going to cause an international incident if there’s shooting across the line, back and forth,’” Dever claims.
Dever said one only needs to look at the Bureau of Land Management signs placed in Pinal County, 70 miles north of the border, warning citizens the area was a known drug-smuggling route and they may not be safe, as a sign Americans are not protected inside U.S. boundaries.
Many Border Patrol agents have witnessed the changing of the guard
The U.S. Border Patrol was founded in 1924. Their job was to protect the southwest border and for 80 years Border Patrol’s primary mission was to apprehend illegal aliens and confront smugglers even though they were greatly outmanned.
After Border Patrol’s reorganization under DHS, David Aguilar, who was disliked by the Tucson media as Sector Chief, but was somehow elevated to Chief of the Border Patrol in mid-2004.
“For years, David was seen as a tail-kisser by numerous retirees. In fact his benefactor is his former Chief Silvestre ‘Silver’ Reyes (D-TX) who was elected to Congress from El Paso after retiring in 1996. It should be noted that I’ve long considered El Paso and Tucson Sectors to be the most corrupt in the nation,” says Andy Ramirez, president of Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council.
Evidence of this can be seen by the FBI indictments last week of Nogales, Arizona’s Mayor, Octavio Garcia Von Borstel, 29, for bribery, theft, fraud, and money laundering charges. “These charges are serious violations of the law. Because some charges involve the official actions of an elected official, they violate the public trust,” said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard about the Democrat Mayor. “Both the mayor and his father will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Over the years Chief Aguilar not only built his power but began to implement the destruction of the patrol in numerous ways. As early as 2004 a number of key policies were changed without any objection by Aguilar who insulated himself by appointing compadres who protected him and watched his back.
Laredo’s former BP Chief Carrillo was on record for supporting “comprehensive immigration reform” aka amnesty for illegal aliens. “Those who would not ‘go along to get along’ were essentially forced into early retirement in 2006-07. Very few of the legacy chiefs remain in management positions today,” Ramirez says.
“Evidence of the policy change is first noted by the elimination of the sector that had the most apprehensions in the nation, that being Livermore BP Sector in Northern California. Their area of responsibility was California’s Central Valley, which was long a thorn of illegal alien supporters including the Mexican Government. That AOR was given to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who became the new premier agency for interior immigration enforcement under DHS, which is something they’ve hardly made a dent in since their inception,” according to Ramirez.
Just as memos have surfaced from ICE and DHS strategizing ways to circumvent Congress and grant amnesty under the Obama Administration, the open border agenda is nothing new.
“On November 16. 2004 a Memo of Understanding (MOU) between Customs and Border Protection (really meaning the Border Patrol) and ICE resulted in the ICE Office of Investigations being given control of key investigative responsibilities (including narcotics) while neutering the Border Patrol by limiting enforcement to cross border traffic in ‘routine areas of patrol’ meaning agents remained on X’s in deterrence duty,” Ramirez said.
This MOU came on the heels of the 2004 sweeps by agents known as the “dirty dozen” who as a result of protests by the Mexican Government and Hispanic Congressmen were transferred to the border from other stations. Ramirez, who has testified numerous times under oath to Congress, says this policy began to change in a previous MOU released earlier in the year.
“Policy after policy was implemented that could only have been drafted and ordered by Mexico considering how every time Mexico screamed about any and everything, a policy change happened as requested. This would include the memo by DHS Secretary Tom Ridge who also banned ‘racial profiling’ by agents during summer 2004,” Ramirez pointed out.
As such, border enforcement and internal moral is non-existent. The fact is that the retired Chief Patrol Agents and retirees don’t even recognize the agency they built should be of concern to Americans. (NAFBPO has released their immigration reform plan to the American public yesterday).
“Their (Border Patrol) motto of ‘Honor First’ was eliminated by David Aguilar and his cabal who have destroyed 80 years of a proud legacy. What Aguilar did to the patrol without so much as a hint of protest is a disgrace and he should have been fired. His team has no operational control and that directly impacts our national security,” Ramirez contends.
This type of action has led to the Border Patrol Union’s vote of “no confidence” for management the past four years. This is the first time that Border Patrol’s union has voted a “no confidence” in management in 80 years.
Ultimately, today’s Border Patrol management should not be considered law enforcement for they are politicians and the bottom line is that BP management supports amnesty at any cost contrary to their long-held mission for 80 years.
Another longtime Washington D.C. think tank the Center for Immigration Studies has closely monitored all the debates regarding immigration policy. A recent posting by Stanley Renshon, in September of this year reveals details that should be included in any immigration reform plan.
“Establish operational control of the border: We must take action to secure our borders, and that action starts with enforcing our laws. We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border and prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from interfering with Border Patrol enforcement activities on federal lands,” Renshon says.
“Work with State and Local Officials to Enforce Our Immigration Laws: The problem of illegal immigration and Mexican drug cartels engaged in an increasingly violent conflict means we need all hands on deck to address this challenge. We will reaffirm the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of all federal immigrations laws,” he says is necessary to satisfy the American public.
Just as with the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers plan to reform the nation’s broken immigration laws, CIS believes the common denominator is; enforcement. “This is an understandable emphasis given the public’s concern with illegal immigration and the method by which the Pledge (to America) was actually developed,” Renshon explains. “The GOP relied heavily on an interactive forum called ‘America Speaking Out’ which received comments from over 100,000 registered users. Clearly ‘control our borders’ and ‘enforce our immigration laws’ captured in a phrase what most of those who responded to the online forum wished to see done, as well as what many other Americans want and what they feel the government has been unable and unwilling to do.”
When the question of border control and immigration tactics was presented to Texas voters and published in five major Texas newspapers including, NBC Texas- “more than half of the registered voters surveyed support legislation similar to a new Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigrants.”
According to the poll, 53 percent of 1,072 registered Texas voters said they would support the passage of tougher legislation in Texas.
However, pollster Mickey Blum said when he added the question of possible “racial profiling” as a consequence for new legislation he felt was the possible decrease in support from the 60s. “Even having said those words ‘racial profiling’ in the question, you’ve got majority support for that type of law,” Blum said. Thirty-eight percent of Texans were opposed to the new legislation, and eight percent were undecided.
This recent news must come as some concern for policy makers in Washington D.C. as their elitism ideas are clearly not resonating with the majority of everyday Americans. But the question remains if the balance of power changes in November, will the new policies be put forth and will they echo with ordinary American ideals?
As the debate on immigration continues to heat up across the United States, not only has it made its way into many political races, but pro-immigrant groups like La Raza has pulled out their Stradivarius violins and started playing the ‘here for a better life’ tune- however immigration reform remains empty rhetoric from both parties and has left Americans divided.
Perhaps the 112th Congress should hold a round table meeting and listen to the guys who have worked on the front lines of immigration their entire careers – the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO).
The organization, who also puts out a daily newsletter called the M3 Report, released their 25-page comprehensive immigration solution plan today. The 10-step immigration reform plan, if followed, could actually find favor with many Americans.
The leaders at NAFBPO contend that their experience qualifies them to discuss “the flaws in present laws policies and practices, to set out steps that they see as necessary to improve control of illegal immigration, and to suggest improvements to the system for legal immigration.”
It all starts with enforcement. Without enforcement, nothing else matters and America is doomed to repeat the failed 1986 amnesty act which wasn’t implemented properly and was infested with massive fraud.
NAFBPO commends all those lawmakers who understand securing the borders is priority number one. The group wants Americans to be unaware that this effort is two-pronged. The obvious choice for illegal entry into the U.S remains the backcountry.
Over the past few years Washington has swelled the Border Patrol ranks and NAFBPO believes the current level of 20,000 agents is sufficient to perform their jobs, but would like to see these agents have all the tools necessary to successfully enforce immigration law and apprehend illegal border crossers.
Again enforcement is imperative and if there is no meaningful penalty put in place there will be a deterrent for repeat offenders.
The second prong in securing the borders is better detection at the larger and smaller ports of entry. “U.S. border enforcement strategy suffers from a severe imbalance of resources,” NAFBPO says. The technology required to enforce border operations at the ports of entry have suffered a lot of attention. “Criminals notice such things and adjust their modus operandi to take their operations to where the risks are lower.”
The inspection of those entering through the ports of entry, like El Paso, Texas, Nogales, Arizona or San Diego, California often choose them as the path of least resistance. CBP management concentrates on long border wait times and often prompts port-of-entry supervisors to get the lines moving. This expediency comes with a price, more illegal contraband and undocumented persons- all in the name of keeping the lines moving.
This CBP practice is what human traffickers and drug smugglers count on when they choose their entry points into the U.S.
A 2009 Texas Border Coalition report indicated that “much smuggling of people, drugs, and weapons has shifted from the open lands of the border between the ports to the ports themselves, concealed in the vast volume of traffic that is international trade. As many as three out of four aliens entering the U.S. illegally may be coming through those neglected ports of entry,” the report concludes.
The answer to this problem resides with expanded port of entry facilities and additional personnel. If American companies can build vans equipped with x-ray capabilities of seeing into homes, U.S. ports of entry should be able to effectively screen every truck, car and pedestrian entering the United States.
Next in line is interior enforcement. While many agree that illegal apprehensions are down because of the economy, if interior enforcement was in place during good times and bad many who come illegally would find it difficult to get a job and return home on their own.
NAFBPO contends key elements of the interior enforcement include; employer sanctions, prosecuting those who commit immigration fraud, respond to other law enforcement calls regarding illegal aliens, beef-up Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ranks to deal with interior enforcement and finally make sure no illegal alien feels safe from detection or removal.
Former Border Czar and current commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Alan Bersin says, “This is not about sealing the border. Until we have a legitimate labor market between Mexico and the United States, people will attempt to come here to work.” Contrary to what the commissioner says illegal immigrants come to America for jobs.
Using the stubborn economy as an example, many would-be immigrants have already returned to their home countries because they cannot find employment and if interior enforcement is ramped up theory dictates potential immigrants would no longer have an incentive to enter the U.S.
Another fact worth pointing out is America appears to be taking the best workers from poor countries, therefore leaving those who either cannot or will not work to improve their own country’s economic situation.
Moving forward America needs to use the tools Congress has allotted like E-verify, 287g, Social Security ‘no match’ letters (Meg Whitman ring a bell?), employer sanctions, a non-citizen entry-exit matching system and withholding federal funds from those cities who operate with sanctuary policies.
In an effort to crack down on fraud lawmakers in Washington D.C. need to implement tamper-resistant Social Security cards, consider the Real ID Act as well as implement an U.S. exit process which would help national security track down when folks enter and leave the country.
Once these standards are put into place and the border is secure, legislators can work on implementing a ‘temporary worker program.’
Again the goal should not be to reward illegal behavior. This visa program must be reserved for only temporary workers and not those trying to game the system. In order to guarantee a fair process these workers must apply for the temporary status in their home countries and they must appear in a consulate or dedicated office that can perform criminal background checks before temporary visas are issued.
The most controversial portion of comprehensive immigration reform remains “amnesty.”
NAFBPO makes it very clear they do not support amnesty and refer to the endemic fraud that took place during the 1986 amnesty granted under President Ronald Reagan. They also indicate that if America’s immigration laws were enforced amnesty would not be an issue.
Granting amnesty to 12 million illegals (this is a lowball number) not only presents a daunting task for those reviewing the paperwork but processing those petitions would take years and open the door to fraud. When lawmakers look to add the family reunification provision into the process, the number of those seeking amnesty can balloon by 20-30 million and suddenly Americans are saddled with additional strains on education, law enforcement and health care.
Amnesty also comes with a price tag and The Heritage Foundation puts that cost in the $2.6 trillion range over the next 20 years. Staggering numbers considering the national debt is well over $12 trillion.
While the folks at NAFBPO do not contemplate or encourage mass arrests that lead to deportation, they do believe a respectable and honest application process can weed out the lawbreakers.
In an effort to toughen up the immigration process NAFBPO suggest, “Illegal aliens be denied access to jobs, public benefits and sources of identification (driver’s licenses), vehicle registrations, mortgages and loans from federally-insured institutions and tuition assistance at public educational facilities.”
While looking at all the issues related to illegal immigration seem daunting, finding solutions may be as easy as holding round table discussions. Congress has already approved numerous tools for law enforcement and if these laws were integrated throughout government agencies charged with immigration control, it would be much more difficult for illegal aliens to game the system.
The U.S. is already the world leader when it comes to legal immigration; more than one million folks are allowed to obtain their part of the American dream each year. Millions more place their names on a waiting list and remain on the list for their turn. However, there are many politicians and business owners who allow millions to skirt U.S. immigration law and cut in line.
Cutting in line and not following the law should not be what America stands for, but running away from the illegal immigration debate will not solve the dilemma either. Hopefully the 112th Congress will work diligently to ensure America’s laws are enforced and illegal immigration reform solved.
To learn more about NAFBPO; http://m3report.wordpress.com/
A stunning front page editorial appeared in Northern Mexico’s largest newspaper El Diario; they conceded the country’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, is now controlled by the narco-drug cartels.
The front page editorial came after the murder of one of their reporters- another cameraman was also seriously injured after cartels open fired on the journalists in response to news coverage about the brutality and violence that continues to escalate under Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon.
“Lords of the different organizations that are fighting the square of Ciudad Juarez,” is how the editorial begins. “You are, at present, the de facto authorities in this city because the controls have been instituted.”
The paper clearly states they do not want anymore employees to die at the hands of the cartel assassins and said journalists can no longer live with the daily narco intimidation.
Simply put, El Diario will no longer cover the cartel violence because police can no longer provide security or protection for journalists.
“The vacuum of power in Chihuahua in the midst of an environment in which there is no sufficient guarantees for citizens to develop their lives…activities, journalism has become one of the most dangerous professions,” the editorial column reads.
The newspaper also contends that even in war there are rules, there are protocols or guarantees for the warring sides. In Juarez the streets are the battlefield and the cartels are under no obligation to honor the integrity of the media.
The editor goes on and pleads with the cartel leaders, “I reiterate, gentlemen of the various drug trafficking organizations, explain to us what you want us to stop saying (so we can protect) the lives of our comrades.”
Then El Diario slams President Calderon for his administrations lack of protection for members of the media and residents in Mexico.
“In the case of the murders (of journalists) and I am protected by my status as a candidate, I think to the extent that an active community service and (news organizations) have dangerous (job) there must be mechanisms to protect them. A journalist who has been threatened or conduct an investigation against organized crime should have special protection mechanisms,” Calderon said when he was running for office.
The protection for members of the media is a campaign promise that was never honored.
In this context, Mexican journalists have battled with the organized crime syndicates and their effort to inform citizens about the dangers, intimidation and fear tactics used by the cartels. As a result employees have been harassed and the newspaper has no other choice but to give in to the cartels’ demands and stop covering the fact that Mexico is dangerously close to becoming a narco-state.
El Diario says even their repeated requests for protection from the government went unnoticed. Therefore the newspaper can no longer responsibly cover any drug cartel violence.
“The state is the protector of the rights of citizens, and thus, of the media, but they have been absent during the years of militancy, even when you pretended to do so through a range of operations in practice failures have been noticeable,” the story concedes.
Last Friday, El Diario photojournalist Luis Carlos Santiago Orozco was murdered on his lunch break. And the El Diario publishers want a simple question answered, “Who do we call justice?”
A few weeks ago U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was brandished by the Obama Administration for declaring that the people of Mexico are facing a drug cartel insurgency. While the Obama Administration may not agree with the Secretary, the people of Mexico concur with Mrs. Clinton assessment and says Mexico is losing the battle.
They believe Mexico is “obligated to protect citizens lost in fruitless disquisitions on whether Mexico is equal to or worse than Colombia 20 years ago. The statement issued by Hillary Clinton, was backed by media.”
El Diario also slams President Calderon for making false pronouncements. “The president pontificates on peace in the country as if it were real, to send a letter to each of the families in the nation in which, among other things, and rhetorically, stresses the white color of the national flag is ‘the peace we have won.’ That statement is a mockery of Juarenses who drown in a bath of blood.”
As if the murders, assaults and intimidation tactics of the media were not enough, Mexico’s Secretary of Education and Culture of State Government, Guadalupe Chacón Monárrez, declared that news organizations are guilty of psychological terrorism that exists in the Juarez.
Hernán Ortiz, an anthropologist and researcher at the UACJ, agrees, “Chacon Monárrez should not blame the media of terrorism…, but the incompetence shown by governments,”according to El Diario.
The Education minister continued to blast news agencies and said, “I want to tell the media, with all respect, that we become partners in this, because the psychological terrorism is achieved through communication.”
Understandably El Diario was shaken by these comments. “What do you mean by this? What, stop publishing? Or only disclose ‘good’ or ‘positive’ news?”
When a country is no longer in the hands of the people, but run nefariously by mafia-drug thugs, the adhesion to the rule of law becomes blurred and deciphering who are victims and who are executioners are even more difficult. Citizens of Mexico no longer know who to trust and now fear rules the day. This is exactly what the narco traffickers want. They are counting on the government’s collapse to ensure billions of dollars in profits from drugs, extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking continue flowing into their bank accounts.
Mexico’s future now lies squarely on the government’s ability to either suppress or work with the drug cartels to quell the violence, if they do not move quickly to protect their citizens and avalanche of illegal aliens will soon pour across the southern border and become America’s problem.
Time is not on Mexico’s side, yet it is only time that will define Mexico’s future.
To read entire El Diario editorial; http://www.diario.com.mx/notas.php?f=2010/09/18&id=6b124801376ce134c7d6ce2c7fb8fe2
A Friday afternoon telephone conference was held by Cecelia Munoz and Stephanie Valencia, members of Obama’s staff, urging participants to reach out to community organizers and encouraging them to call their lawmakers acknowledging their support for the DREAM Act (AKA amnesty).
The 20-minute call was an off-the-record conversation that was billed as a “no media or blogger” conference call.
The topic of discussion was the DREAM Act. The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors that would provide a road to citizenship for young illegal aliens if their parents brought them into the country before age 16 and they attend college for at least two years, join the U.S. military or be under the age of 35.
During this six-year conditional period, immigrants would not be eligible for federal higher education grants, but they would be able to apply for scholarships, student loans and work study grants.
Since Obama is a cosponsor of the original DREAM Act it’s natural for the president to be pleased with Senate leader Harry Reid’s intensions to place the amnesty amendment in a defense spending bill.
It was clear at the beginning of the conference call that this session was not meant to lobby for anything in particular by the senior-level staffers, but it was apparent they felt strongly that including the DREAM Act in a defense bill was the right thing to do.
Munoz and Valencia informed listeners that the White House and cabinet leaders would be on the phones all weekend securing the necessary 60 votes to get the amendment out of committee and into the legislation for debate.
The fact that the White House was proactively mobilizing its community organization network made it clear the Democrats do not have the votes they need to get the amendment out of committee. Political insiders agree and say this is nothing more than a political ploy to show Latino voters that the GOP is not on their side and they better vote for Democrats come November.
However, the fact that Democrats have large majorities in both houses and have failed to get any form of immigration reform legislation introduced, let alone passed, signals the party is divided on this issue.
Over the weekend the White House was working the phone lines and preparing for a GOP filibuster, the White House staffers said.
In the end, Munoz and Valencia agreed that the administration had given “very clear marching orders” to get this amendment added to the Department of Defense war appropriations bill, mobilize community organizers much like they did to get President Obama elected and get the DREAM Act signed into law.
Is the conference call legal?
While the White House conference call directive made it clear they were not lobbying for the DREAM Act, the intent was clear- community organizers start mobilizing.
There is a law that prevents White House employees from lobbying particular topics and immigration is clearly a hot-button issue.
Knowing that those in Washington hold a reasonable amount power, legislators drew up the Hatch Act. It was passed into law in 1939 and regulates political activities of federal employees and some state and local government workers.
The legislation originally prohibited nearly all partisan activity by federal employees, banning them from endorsing candidates, distributing campaign literature, organizing political activities and holding posts in partisan organizations.
However, today, most career government employees can run for nonpartisan offices, make financial contributions to political organizations, get involved in political groups, and campaign for candidates by making speeches, distributing literature and signing nominating positions.
The remaining restrictions on federal employees’ activities in the political arena are tailored much more narrowly to their jobs; they still are banned from using their authority to exert influence over an election; encourage or discourage political activity by anyone with business before their agency; do political work while on duty, in uniform, in the office or in a government vehicle or run for partisan office.
Political appointees operate under the same rules with some exceptions. They are allowed to engage in and may express opinions about candidates, issues, may attend and be active at political rallies.
Currently White House staffer Valencia, who led the conference call, handles outreach to the Latino community, immigration, and housing groups inside the White House. She also served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and was Deputy Latino Vote Director during Obama’s presidential campaign. The nature of her job lends itself to indirect lobbying, but she is walking a very fine line by expressing action needs to be taken according to the Hatch Act. The same is true for Munoz.
Munoz reached the White House staff via President Obama, she is a known left-leaning Latino activist who was appointed to head the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a former vice president for National Council of La Raza and is charged with outreach to state and local governments as well as constituency groups.
In addition to her La Raza post, Munoz was also the board chair of Center for Community Change, served on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies.
National Council of La Raza is a liberal Hispanic organization that advocates for Latinos who reside in America illegally and pushes for open border legislation as a way to gain a foothold in the U.S. political landscape. The group has been supported by both the Republicans and Democrats who are looking to gain control of America’s fastest growing voter block.
A newly leaked amnesty-memo inside Department of Homeland Security reveals a way to grant amnesty without Congress debating comprehensive immigration reform or casting a vote.
This is the third inside memo to be leaked to the media regarding the Obama Administration’s intent to legalize 20 million illegal aliens currently residing in America unlawfully. The first memos came out of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agencies- both put together likely tools that could be used to make an amnesty end run around lawmakers.
The American Spectator recovered the latest document from DHS and reports some dubious plans that insiders say went all the way up to the DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“If going forward with a larger registration program is not possible,” the memo reads, “we could propose a narrowly-tailored registration program for individuals eligible for relief under the DREAM Act, AgJOBS, or other specifically designed subcategories.”
For those who don’t believe the Obama Administration’s intensions about back-door amnesty language contained in the DREAM Act asks for targeted amnesty for children under the age of 35 who attend college or join the armed services. The kicker with the DREAM Act is the Democratic leadership is placing this legislation inside a defense spending bill set to hit the Senate floor next week.
Included in the DHS memo are details about political ramifications of a backdoor amnesty push. The memo outlines a beginning phase that would legalize illegal immigrants through DHS without comprehensive immigration legislation. The DHS memo also reads that by “using administrative measures to sidestep the current state of Congressional gridlock and inertia,” would move the new policy forward by documenting those here illegally.
Measures DHS would implement include registering, fingerprinting, and screening the illegal immigrant population-excluding those illegal aliens who have committed a felony- but DHS envisions handing out eligible illegal immigrants work permits, a process that would lead to their legal status.
However, the memo acknowledges that sometime down the road Congress would have to pass legislation to extend permanent legal residence.
This newly recovered memo is consistent with inside memos from the USCIS and ICE, a key difference is the concern about Congress’ reaction to being circumvented. “The Secretary would face criticism that she is abdicating her charge to enforce the immigration laws. Internal complaints of this type from career DHS officers are likely and may also be used in the press to bolster the criticism.”
In fact the USCIS has been looking for ways to grant amnesty without Congress for sometime and their memo outlined the method of skirting lawmakers. According to USCIS some illegal aliens would be granted resident status by simply handing them “green cards.”
“In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations,” the memo read, two of the four who wrote the controversial memo were President Obama appointees including the head of USCIS Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
The troops have arrived. The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger announced 224 National Guard troops have reported for duty along the California/Mexico border and will assist Border Patrol in the San Diego region.
Many critics say the 1,200 National Guard troops sent to four southern states’ 2,000 miles zigzagging U.S./Mexico border is completely inadequate for a number of reasons. First, the National Guard will not be making any arrests and will be slotted with Border Patrol agents off the front lines acting more like “spotters,” operate as a visible deterrent and assist with additional eyes and ears in the field, a National Guard spokeswoman said.
Not only will the Guard members be hanging in the background, but many will be taken from their families and real-world jobs. This isn’t the first time a president has sent troops to protect the porous borders. President Bush sent troops to the border in 2006-2008 during the country’s last attempt to fix the immigration laws.
The California Governator cautioned lawmakers that this temporary fix should not be seen as an alternative to comprehensive immigration reform.
“We must find a permanent solution to our broken immigration system,” Schwarzenegger said. “We need the federal government to step up with even more manpower and funding, and I will continue to push President Obama and Congress for action.”
“Our soldiers and airmen are true action heroes who respond to disasters at home and overseas. Today, our National Guard has been called to help secure the border and protect the safety of the American people, and I am proud that we are the first state to have our troops trained and operational for this mission,” Schwarzenegger said.
In an effort to appear tough on border issues for the upcoming midterms the Obama administration has stepped up its commitment to border security, something Republicans fiercely want in order to cooperate with any comprehensive immigration reform plans.
A $600 million border security bill passed through Congress last week and politicians are hoping this money will be enough to address the country’s burgeoning illegal immigration problem and secure the borders from the war on drugs that Mexico is fighting that has led to more than 28,000 deaths in the past couple years.
But so far Republicans are complaining that much more needs to be done at the border before any talks of immigration reform begin. The mood in the country also seems to be on the side of securing the borders, deporting all criminal aliens and adding many provisions before illegal immigrants are put on a pathway to citizenship.
There hasn’t been any timetable for withdrawal of National Guard along the border and the governor told reporters that they will stay as long as necessary and are trained to take a more active role if need be.
According to the El Nuevo Diario newspaper an immigration bill similar to Arizona’s 1070 is being reviewed for final approval by the National Assembly in Managua, Nicaragua. The proposed law has sparked controversy and is seen by many as “drastic.” The article from El Nuevo Diario, claims the new immigration law would be dehumanizing leading to the opposition’s argument that illegal migrants would be treated “unjustly” in the poor Central American country.
If the Nicaragua Immigration Law was approved in its current form, Articles 153 to 158 would require every hotel, inn and motel, as well as all modes of public transportation operators would be required to ask for identification from those who request service or they could face prosecution and/or pay a fine.
The coordinator of the Nicaraguan Network of the Migration Civil Society, Heydi Gonzalez pointed out that a person cannot be criminalized for being a migrant without legal documentation. She went on to say that a fine being levied on those without identification is a violation of human rights.
The new Nicaragua immigration law has been approved and will now undergo a study of its details and make sure the portion of the law that imposes fines and possible criminal proceedings against those who provide the service to a migrant without legal papers will not cause undue stress upon the countries legal system.
Included in the law is article 153 which “prohibits the hiring of undocumented workers, or those who, though in legal status, are not authorized to perform work activities.”
Gonzalez explained that “every State has its regulations, and that similar or more stringent criteria of control than those mentioned in the recently approved law exist in the entire Central American region; nevertheless, in Nicaragua, sanctions or fines ought to be imposed only on those who house, transport or hire undocumented aliens when this takes place within the violation of migrant or people trafficking.”
The Migrants Network said the new law “would be a dehumanizing law. Let us imagine that a South American, Asian or African victim of people traffickers was abandoned out in the elements, but no one can provide him humanitarian assistance because it’s prohibited by the law. That’s the risk incurred in this type of regulation. It’s obvious that every country has the right to regulate migratory traffic and to establish requirements, but strict migratory policies and expensive procedures compel people to travel without documentation.”
The Nicaragua Immigration and Alien Law has been pending since 2007 however, recently civil organizations have pressed for its approval. When news came of its approval in principle, the provisions began to be studied and requested the inclusion of human rights elements in the law.
“There are elements that we do not see in this proposal, and I’m unable to perceive that they are meeting the obligation of incorporating human rights elements acknowledged by Nicaragua in international forums in the International Convention for the Protection of Human Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families, or the Convention 90, ratified by our country in 2005, from which, among other issues, it must present a report of improvements every two years. Something that our government has not done,” Gonzalez finished.
Meanwhile in Arizona residents face many negative problems related to illegal immigration and the state currently faces the wrath of the Obama administration because residents simply want laws in place to be enforced.
With the apparent acquisition of 80 miles inside Arizona’s borders by Mexico one would assume the Obama administration would be much more interested in securing America’s borders than the rights of people who break into the country without regard to U.S. laws.
If the White House was to read the 14th amendment they would find that non-citizens “illegal residents” do not have “due process and equal protection” under the 14th amendment.
Yet the people of Mexico and Central America appear to lay claim to United States residency without regard to law. La Raza and amnesty sympathizers do not appreciate that all countries have a right to determine immigration policies within its borders.
A Wall Street Journal story discusses this very issue. The Japanese government has decided to allow more “middle-class” Chinese to visit where previously they issued visas to only the wealthy Chinese travelers.
The battle for the hearts and minds in American should be at the forefront of Washington D.C. elected officials. When the country is engaged in two wars, one of which is an admitted leading manufacturer of heroin (Afghanistan), the Obama administration should be monitoring the war in Mexico that continues to abide by the rule of the drug cartels, threatens U.S. law enforcement who tries to enforce law inside the U.S. and continues with its practice of eliminating their opponents (elected officials and candidates running for office).
While America has a potential third war in its sights, the President Obama decides to brandish the state of Arizona rather than upholding his sworn duty to protect America from all enemies.
After a one-on-one meeting with President Obama, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl dropped a bombshell about the White House’s lack of concern for securing the southern borders.
At a town hall meeting in the Senator’s district of Tempe, Arizona on Friday, Kyl explained to the audience that President Obama told him in the oval office the problem with securing the borders the U.S. shares with Mexico is the following; “The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” It also must be noted that audible gasps were heard throughout the folks who were in attendance.
On the YouTube video Senator Kyl continues to explain, “In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’”
The lip service and gamesmanship the president is playing is confirmed by his hollow promises made more than a month ago by not sending 1,200 National Guard troops or $500 million to secure the southern border. This angers those who live in Arizona and face the incursion on a daily basis.
Senator Kyl said he reminded President Obama, that the President and the Congress have an obligation to secure the border in the name of national security.
It didn’t take long for the White House to hit back at Senator Kyl and claim the President made no such comments to the Arizona Senator. Obama’s spokesperson Bill Burton responded to questions at the daily press briefing and restated the White House’s position on Monday; “The president didn’t say that. Senator Kyl knows the president didn’t say that.”
When pressed further to determine if Mr. Kyl was lying about the political statement, Burton said, “I’ll let other folks make that determination.”
Kyl was having none of this and reiterated that the White House; “Wants to get something in return for doing their duty.”
Senator Kyl’s spokesman Ryan Patmintra said after the back and forth with the White House that the Senator stands by his remarks. He expressly said the White House position “that we must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Sen. Kyl’s account.”
According to the White House website says President Obama believes “that our broken immigration system can only be fixed by putting politics aside and offering a complete solution that secures our border, enforces our laws, and reaffirms our heritage as a nation of immigrants.”
Meanwhile former Arizona governor and current Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano will travel to Denver, Colo., on Thursday, June 24. While in Denver Secretary Napolitano; “will deliver remarks highlighting the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to work with Congress on ways to comprehensively reform our nation’s immigration laws to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.”
This battle will surely be front and center for the next few months as Washington DC has really let down the Border States. The states continue to struggle with the financial burdens caused from illegal immigration and the violence that rages unabated along both sides of the southern borders. However after all the polling that has taken place on this topic, one thing is clear, Americans want secure borders first.