A Connecticut federal judge ruled against the government and will allow illegal immigrants to sue ICE agents for civil rights violations.
U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are not immune from lawsuits if they are anchored on Constitutional grounds.
The civil rights lawsuit, brought by 11 alleged illegal immigrants claim they were unlawfully apprehended by ICE agents in New Haven, Conn, June 2007.
The plaintiff’s attorneys told The New Haven Register “the decision has wide-ranging implications.”
Judge Underhill refused the government’s plea to dismiss the charges against ICE agents and their supervisors, including Julie Myers ICE’s former agency head.
A group of law school interns and their bosses at Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Yale Law School brought the lawsuit on behalf of the illegal aliens. The interns argued that the 11 suspected illegal aliens were unfairly treated based on race.
Recently retired ICE agent, John Sakelarides had plenty to say about another lawsuit benefitting illegal aliens.
“This suit is nothing more than a transparent and feeble attempt to scare ICE agents into refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country. Can you spell intimidation? When it goes to trial, my guess is the agents will be exonerated and what should happen is that the government should seek fees for wasting taxpayer money in defending a baseless lawsuit,” Sakelarides said. “Extortion is still illegal in this country. The far reaching implications claim is a clear indication of what the intent of this lawsuit is, namely intimidation.”
Sakelarides didn’t know if this lawsuit was being brought under the Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA) or under a Bivens Action.
“I do know, from the past and unfortunately present, experience that suits are often filed under both but the law is clear that they cannot co-exist, there can only be either an FTCA claim or a Bivens Action. It centers on whether or not the federal employee was or was not acting within the scope of their authority,” he explained.
“This is borderline criminal. If the agents did something wrong, so be it. But if they didn’t and this suit is being brought simply to induce a chilling effect on the enforcement of the immigration law, then these idealistic and naive law students and Yale Law School ought to be held accountable,” Sakelarides finished.
ICE officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
© Copyright 2010 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Illegal alien wins defamation case for being called a ‘criminal’ – set back for 1st Amendment
An illegal-alien day laborer who attacked a U.S. photographer at a notorious San Diego day labor site in 2006, was awarded $2,500 in damages for “defamation per se” by Judge Ronald Styn in a non-jury trial in San Diego Superior Court.
The Mexican national plaintiff, Alberto Jimenez, who was illegally in the country at the time of the attack of Los Angeles photographer John Monti, sued San Diego Minutemen founder Jeff Schwilk for defamation for calling the illegal immigrant attackers “criminals” when he forwarded an email with Monti’s pictures of Jimenez and six other suspects who were at the scene of the crime.
Initially the lawsuit was filed in October 2007 and all seven men shown on the flyer sued Schwilk, Monti, and Fox News Corporation for defamation. However, Fox News and Monti were eventually dismissed from the case in 2008 and 2009 and six of the seven plaintiffs dropped their lawsuits against Schwilk in February, leaving only Jimenez vs. Schwilk for the one-day judge-only trial.
When the trial began, Jimenez was not in the courtroom to meet his accuser. Schwilk immediately asked Judge Styn for a directed verdict to dismiss the case, but the judge opted to start the trial without him and gave Jimenez additional time to appear in court as his attorney said he was running late. The plaintiff’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, claimed his client was trying to get across the border and needed more time because he was a Tijuana, Mexico resident.
As testimony began Schwilk admitted that he had forwarded Monti’s ‘wanted’ flyer by email the day after the attack. The email was sent to a dozen law enforcement and trusted community leaders so they could be on the lookout for the suspects who were still at large. He explained anyone with knowledge of these pictured men needed to notify San Diego Police Department.
The victim, Mr. Monti then testified that Jimenez was indeed one of the seven men who attacked him from “behind and knocked him into the busy boulevard that Saturday morning in 2006.” Monti explained he had gone to the day labor site to investigate the connection between the street-side illegal alien hiring site and child prostitution in the nearby the migrant camps where many of the day laborers live.
Monti also said under oath that Jimenez had previously testified in his criminal trial in 2007 that he was an illegal alien and had no legal papers to gain employment legally in the U.S.
It is worth pointing out that Gilleon wanted to bar television video coverage of the one-day trial, however, the defendant, Schwilk and the judge stated it was an open court and cameras would be permitted in the courtroom.
After a lunch break the defense called Jimenez to the witness stand, but Jimenez still had not arrived in court 4 1/2 hours after the start of the trial.
Gilleon then claimed that “Jimenez’ wife was having surgery and he could not attend the trial that day.” Judge Styn was clearly tired of the excuses, however he allowed the trial to continue. It became clear the real reason Jimenez could not come to the trial was because he was not eligible to enter the country legally from his home in Tijuana, Mexico.
Schwilk again asked Judge Styn for a directed verdict, but again the judge declined, he wanted to proceed with closing statements. Schwilk pointed out to the judge that he had a right to question his accuser and the judge seemed to agree, but he also wanted to conclude the trial without the plaintiff.
Schwilk said, “I knew at that point the fix was in. This was so obviously a charade by Dan Gilleon and his La Raza employers who brought this frivolous case against us. There was no plaintiff in this case. This was a sham trial with no real accuser and Judge Styn played right along with La Raza’s devious plan.”
During the closing arguments, Gilleon accused Schwilk of conspiring with Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes and Fox News to spread Jimenez’ face around the world in an effort to defame the day laborer by characterizing him as a wanted criminal.
The case against Fox News was dismissed earlier in what was a fishing expedition because Hannity and Colmes aired a story in late November 2006 regarding the assault featuring Monti and his flyer with the seven men’s grainy pictures on it. See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqscavZ4tyY
Gilleon asked the judge to award Jimenez $85,000 in damages for four counts of defamation, including $50,000 for providing NewFox s with a copy of the flyer.
Schwilk reminded the judge in his closing arguments that his private emails with Monti’s pictures had been sent only to a small group of law enforcement contacts, local community leaders and two local politicians who are leaders in the fight against illegal immigration.
Schwilk says Gilleon and his La Raza employers most likely got the email months after the fact from a disgruntled former member of SDMM who was kicked out of the group in February 2007 for bad behavior. He also pointed out again that Jimenez was an illegal alien and had obviously broken laws by entering the U.S. illegally.
Finally, Schwilk reminded the court that although Jimenez was never formally charged with the assault on Monti, he did participate in the attack and then fled the scene of the crime. “In law enforcement, flight implies guilt,” he said.
After a 15-minute recess, Judge Styn returned with his verdict finding Schwilk liable for one count of defamation for “carelessly” calling Jimenez a “criminal.” Schwilk plans to appeal.
Asked about the verdict, Schwilk said, “Judge Styn not only ruled against our protection of free speech, he is attempting to de-criminalize illegal aliens and the crimes they commit on American soil. Styn is yet another example of a bad judge attempting to legislate from the bench.”
Fellow San Diego Minuteman Barry Shipley observed the entire 5-hour trial and agreed.
“The judge completely ignored the court testimony that Jimenez was a criminal illegal alien and that the truth is a defense in a defamation case. Judge Styn should be removed from the bench,” Shipley explained. “He is a danger to our American Constitutional rights”.
The plaintiff’s attorney Daniel Gilleon was obviously pleased with the outcome of the trial. “We are very pleased with Judge Ronald Styn’s ruling. Once again, the Court system has shown that defamation is Schwilk’s chief weapon in his ‘war’ against illegal immigration. The judgments against Schwilk are starting to pile up.”
Schwilk saw it differently; “Of course La Raza and agents of the Mexican Government (Gilleon’s employers) are pleased that they have been able to chip away at the U.S. First Amendment. Their greatest fear in the border and immigration debate is truth tellers like myself and other leaders fighting daily to secure America from the mass criminal invasion from Mexico. Unfortunately for them, they will never shut down our free speech”.
Schwilk said the San Diego Minutemen would not be deterred by these malicious politically motivated lawsuits by the open border groups. “Our corrupt court system is all they have to try to shut us down,” he said. “Honestly, we don’t get distracted by all this court drama. We’re fighting to save San Diego from the invasion of criminals and drug smugglers from Mexico.”
SDMM have continued to expose outdoor prostitution rings in nearby McGonigle Canyon, including a highly publicized incident last October in which they caught another field brothel in action with trafficked Mexican girls and numerous Latino “Johns” paying for cheap sex in the bushes.
SDPD again refused to prosecute the suspected pimp and prostitute that were detained, but Mayor Sanders and SDPD were forced to clear out the canyons of migrant squatters yet again.
Schwilk said it is a constant cat and mouse game with the Mexican migrant camps and field prostitution rings. “We’ve been monitoring the canyons for four years now. We get the camps cleared out, but some of them eventually come back due to SDPD looking the other way at the illegal Mexican squatters. But there are far fewer migrant camps in San Diego County than when we started investigating these crime zones in 2006. We expect our success to continue to drive the Mexican Consulate and its operatives to further desperate measures to try and stop us.”
For the first time in more than three years, there are no lawsuits pending against SDMM members. Perhaps the illegal alien activists in San Diego are finally giving up on that failed and costly tactic.
With the latest push for amnesty heating up again, it appears that both sides in the illegal immigration debate are gearing up for some major battles.
Schwilk, who is a retired Marine, says he will fight until America’s borders are fully secured and the country returns to an orderly system of legal immigration. He believes most Americans strongly oppose amnesty for the approximately 20 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S.
“We’ve made huge gains in the past five years, but we still have a ways to go. We’re up against some very rich and powerful ethno-centric special interest groups, but no one should underestimate the spirit and determination of the American citizens”, he concluded.
Well-funded illegal alien activists in Southern California have found a new way to attack Americans fighting for secure borders and enforcement of current immigration laws. The fight has moved from the streets where they wave the their Mexican flag to America’s civil courtrooms.
“Allow me to understand this correctly. Illegal aliens, people who have committed a crime by entering this country illegally, and who continue to commit additional crimes by using counterfeit documents to project a status they are not entitled to, are suing cities and citizens for “disrupting their RIGHT to work in the US, even though they have no such right? If any immigrant “rights” organization or other advocacy group is responsible for the filing of such suits, either directly or indirectly, they should be counter claimed against for abuse of process and malicious prosecution. It’s time for the good citizens of this country to fight back through the courts,” said retired ICE Agent John Sampson who now runs CSI Consulting and Investigations.
The beef about an upcoming lawsuit in San Diego against Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen, stems from a violent attack on Los Angeles anti-illegal immigration activist John Monti in November 2006 at the Rancho Penasquitos day-labor site in San Diego.
“Controversial San Diego attorney Daniel Gilleon was hired by La Raza operatives more than three years ago to go after San Diego Minutemen and other pro-security activists,” says Schwilk.
Monti had gone to the infamous makeshift hiring site to photograph the day laborers and the law-breaking employers hiring illegal workers. “It is still a felony to hire illegal aliens in the U.S. and studies have shown that almost all day laborers are illegal aliens from Latin America, Schwilk explains.
While photographing the street-side hiring process, Monti was suddenly jumped from behind by at least seven Hispanic men. “They punched him, tried to steal his professional camera, and pushed him into the busy boulevard. Several passersby’s witnessed the attack and called 911. When police arrived two minutes later, they found a bloody and shaken Mr. Monti,” witnesses reported.
Once the police were called to the scene, all of the attackers had made a run for it. Luckily, Monti photographed many of the laborers prior to the attack and was able to show San Diego Police Department. The next day the victim, Monti, sent the same pictures via email to local San Diego activists so they could call the police if the suspects returned to the day labor site where they usually look for employment every day. At this point Schwilk received the pictures and forwarded them to his local law enforcement contacts and other concerned residents in the area.
Their claim was defendants were disseminating pictures of the suspects with Monti’s statement and pointed out that they were wanted for questioning by SDPD regarding day-labor site scuffle. The flyer indicated if anyone had any information about the incident to phone the police.
Police records show the suspects were being sought for questioning and most of them were eventually found and questioned. No charges against the suspects were ever filed, as they all, not surprisingly, claimed that Monti attacked them first. According to Schwilk, local illegal alien activists were seen speaking with the suspects soon after the attacks.
“Witnesses who saw Monti being attacked and beaten were ignored by investigators and the city attorney, who were under extreme pressure from the so-called ‘Mexican mafia’ to protect the suspects (most of them Mexican citizens) from prosecution,” Schwilk contends. Fox News’ and Monti’s lawsuits were eventually dismissed or settled, but Schwilk demanded a trial to prove that this was just another unfounded, frivolous lawsuit and malicious prosecution meant to harass and silence those who oppose illegal immigration.
This defamation suit also accuses Schwilk of putting up Monti’s “wanted posters” in the area around the day labor site – a charge Schwilk denies. Schwilk and a few other concerned citizens did use Monti’s pictures to identify two of the suspects standing at the sidewalk hiring area three days after the attack.
“When we saw two of the suspects back at their sidewalk loitering area, we immediately called SDPD. The lead detective of the nearby division came to the scene and explained to us that they had already questioned and released those two men and that an arrest had been made,” Schwilk said. “The officers refused to elaborate further, but they told us they were fully investigating the assault on Monti and hoped to bring all of the guilty day laborers to justice.”
The lead attorney in this so-called lawsuit is Dan Gilleon of Del Mar(??). In emails from Gilleon obtained by the Examiner, Gilleon repeatedly seems to be asking Schwilk to settle the case over the past year. In the most recent email sent on Feb. 6, Gilleon again offers to Schwilk, “If you want to settle, we’ll take $1,000 for each plaintiff, cash now, or $10,000 each in stipulated judgments.”
Schwilk has repeatedly told the plaintiff’s attorney Gilleon that he has no intention of settling this case because he is the victim not the other way around. In addition to last minute attempts to avoid taking this case to trial, Gilleon failed to depose Schwilk for 2 1/2 years and recently convinced the judge to allow a last-minute deposition just days before the trial is set to commence.
In a voicemail message from Gilleon, he declined to comment on this pending case. However he claims there is a new lawsuit pending against Schwilk. However, court records show no new lawsuits have been filed.
Schwilk, who is now defending himself, says he strongly opposes a deposition at this late date because he believes Gilleon lied to the judge about trying to depose him in October. Evidence submitted to the court last week clearly shows that Gilleon claimed to have served Schwilk a notice of a deposition at a long-abandoned store in Oceanside. Schwilk says he has asked Judge Styn to rescind his recent deposition order and the motion is pending.
The trial begins on Thursday. It is worth pointing out, the attorney for the plaintiffs admitted that all his clients were living in Mexico and may not be able to enter the country legally to attend the trial, according to Schwilk.
It is a sad commentary that the civil court system is filled with well-funded foreign interests who hire activist lawyers to gain control of the country for their illegal clients.
The Minutemen vow to keep fighting no matter how many lawsuits La Raza activists file against them. “Our cause to make our cities and our country safe and secure is too great to be deterred by these people who make a mockery of our legal system,” Schwilk finishes.
In another lawsuit filed in Costa Mesa, California, MALDEF the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund charges the city’s anti-solicitation ordinance is unconstitutional. Joining in on the February 2, 2010 lawsuit is the ACLU of Southern California and the National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network (NDLON).
The civil rights groups filed the lawsuit against the City of Costa Mesa on behalf of the Association de Jornaleros de Costa Mesa and the Colectivo Tonantzin, whose members have been restricted from peaceably expressing their need and availability for employment in the city’s public areas due to the ordinance.
Claiming his client’s first Amendment right, MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz said, “Free speech, one of our most cherished rights, belongs to everyone in society. Day laborers seeking work have as much right to express themselves as the largest corporation employing hundreds of thousands. Costa Mesa’s anti-solicitation ordinance violates this vital and longstanding constitutional principle.”
“The city’s anti-solicitation ordinance prohibits any person standing on a sidewalk or other public area from soliciting employment, business or contributions in any manner deemed to be intended to attract the attention of traveling vehicles. The ordinance subjects day laborers and other solicitors to a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment up to six months. The ordinance violates the day laborers’ First and Fourteenth amendments rights under the United States Constitution,” according Saenz.
“Day laborers have contributed to the Costa Mesa economy for decades,” says Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Particularly during these tough times, the hard work they provide the community should be rewarded and not the target of destructive law enforcement practices.”
The ruling of federal courts throughout the country in the past have ruled in favor of preserving the free speech rights of day laborers, which allows them to continue to solicit work.
“The contention that the civil rights of illegal day laborers are being violated is pure malarkey and if anything at all, the advocates can be criminally charged and prosecuted for aiding and abetting illegal alien immigration,” says Vince Johnson in a letter to the city of Costa Mesa.
He goes on to explain this frivolous lawsuit should be recognized as such by any federal judge who may incorporate immigration law regarding employment by undocumented immigrants.
“I suggest that you utilize the resources of Homeland Security/ICE, the US Department of Labor and the US Justice Department to promptly stop this court action and affirm that this country can not be controlled by people who do not even have the right to be in this country. Any meddling by the Mexican government is a clear-cut violation of American law and sovereignty,” Johnson finished.
The meddling of Mexico continues to play out on both sides of the border. It was reported by the M3 report (a publication put out by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers) that all political parties of the Mexican Senate must reproached the policy change of direction of President, Barack Obama, “who has decided to go back on the promise he made to all the Hispanic groups that supported him, and now he insists on closing the border. The government of Barack Obama seeks to increase the funds to reinforce border security with $4.6 billion to support 20,000 agents of the Border Patrol, as well as to finish the first portion of the ‘virtual fence,’” the report stated.
The Mexican government continues by “announcing that he (Obama) will build the missing portion of the ‘virtual fence’ by means of which everyone who crosses, undocumented or illegally, will be detected and can be immediately jailed and later expelled, (and also) reinforcing the number of agents for customs, as well as for the border. From now on we Mexicans will not know what to believe when we speak with the President of all the Americans, because he is a President who fails to keep his word,” according to a member of the Mexican Senate.
One thing is certain Mexico continues to demand the rule of law be tweaked in their favor when it comes to illegal immigration. This will surely set up a very contentious immigration reform debate, one the American people have clearly stated Amnesty will not be a part of the legislation.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner