Archive for the ‘ACLU’ category

Phoenix Becomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary after Leftist Group Orders it in Private Meeting with Police Chief

August 23, 2017

Phoenix Becomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary after Leftist Group Orders it in Private Meeting with Police Chief, Judicial Watch, August 22, 2017

Arizona’s largest city recently became a sanctuary for illegal aliens after its police chief held a private meeting with a leftist group that demanded a change in immigration enforcement policies, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The closed-door session between Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Will Goana, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, occurred just weeks before the Phoenix Police Department quietly implemented a new policy banning officers from contacting the feds after arresting an illegal alien and forbidding them from asking about suspects’ immigration status. The new order violates key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leaves the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

Judicial Watch exposed the abrupt policy revision last month after obtaining a copy of the Phoenix Police Department’s new sanctuary Immigration Procedures and filed a public records request to uncover the steps that led to the change. Law enforcement sources told Judicial Watch in July that the revisions were crafted by a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders with the backing of the influential ACLU. It appears to be part of a broader scheme to dodge federal immigration laws in Arizona’s most populous county. Earlier this year Judicial Watch reported that the newly elected sheriff in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was releasing hundreds of criminal illegal immigrants—including violent offenders—from county jail facilities to protect them from deportation.

The new records obtained by Judicial Watch show that an ACLU offshoot known as People Power attempted to meet with Williams, who became chief on October 28, 2016, on April 19, 2017 to order the policy change. It’s not clear if that meeting took place, but it appears that it did not and People Power called in the big guns at the ACLU. That’s when Goana, who also lobbies the Arizona legislature on civil liberties issues, met privately with the chief, on May 9, according to the records. People Power reps followed up with a meeting request on May 16 to discuss the Phoenix Police Department’s immigration policy changes with Chief Williams, the records show. The meeting occurred on June 9, about a week after Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher met with People Power and gave the group a glowing review. In his assessment, the city manager describes the leftist group as “one of the most reasonable groups I’ve talked with” and says it consisted of “a former high school teacher, a magazine editor, 2 attys, a massage therapist, and two Hispanic advocates who I’ve never seen before.” On June 29, Chief Williams had a follow-up meeting with the ACLU and People Power regarding the changes to the immigration policy, the records show.

People Power was launched by the ACLU as a direct response to the “Trump administration’s attacks on civil liberties and civil rights.” It recruits local activists to pressure law enforcement and elected officials to commit to the following demands: Not ask people about immigration status; Decline to engage in the enforcement of immigration law; Refuse to detain immigrants on behalf of the federal government unless there is a warrant signed by a judge. Thanks in large part to the group’s efforts, the 3,000 officers in the Phoenix Police Department have been stripped of discretion from addressing the crime of illegal immigration or using sound judgement when it involves suspects thought to be in the U.S. illegally. No other federal crime in department policy has those restrictions. Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear of violating department policy.

Allowing officers to use their discretion when dealing with criminal aliens has been an effective tool in curbing crime. In 2008, former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris revealed that a 24% decrease in homicides and a 26% decrease in auto thefts could be partly attributed to “a new immigration policy that allows our officers to use their discretion when dealing with criminal aliens” and “unprecedented cooperation between our investigative units and our state, federal, and local partners (Maricopa County Attorney’s Office).” Border patrol contacts in the Tucson Sector reported that in the same fiscal year (2008 – October to September) they saw a 41% decrease in border apprehensions. Nevertheless, on July 24 the new restrictive immigration policy went into effect at the Phoenix Police Department at the request of an open borders coalition. Now officers can’t even use the term “illegal alien,” which has been officially replaced with “unlawfully present.”

Supreme Court Expedites Trump’s Petition on Executive Order Case

June 4, 2017

Supreme Court Expedites Trump’s Petition on Executive Order Case, BreitbartKen Klukowski, June 3, 2017

Molly Riley Reuters

On Friday, the Supreme Court rapidly expedited everything. The ACLU—which represents the plaintiffs—have been ordered to file their response by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12. The ACLU lawyers must also respond to DOJ’s application for a stay by that time.

The Court could conceivably then vote immediately on whether to take the case, or anytime shortly thereafter. Under a normal briefing schedule, the Court would then hear arguments in October, and issue a decision by the end of 2017.

It’s also possible that the Court could accelerate briefing on an emergency basis, then hold arguments over the summer, or possibly even in June before recessing for the summer. The Court could make clear by the week of June 12 which course it is pursuing.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Supreme Court took the rare step on Friday of expediting consideration of a major case, rapidly accelerating the schedule for reviewing the Fourth Circuit’s blocking of President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order.

President Trump issued Executive Order 13780 (EO) on March 6, Section 2(c) of which temporarily restricted travel from six Muslim-majority countries associated with terrorism while the United States developed new vetting procedures to keep the nation safe.

Immigration activists sued, along with several immigrants and their families. A liberal federal district judge in Maryland granted a preliminary injunction blocking Section 2(c) of the EO. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit then affirmed the trial court’s injunction in a 10-3 decision, ruling that the EO violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, and taking the almost unheard-of step of all the court’s judges hearing the case, instead of sending it to a three-judge panel.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition for review at the Supreme Court on Thursday. Under the Court’s rules, a response from the plaintiffs would be due July 3. By that time the Court would be on recess for the summer, meaning that the justices would vote at the Court’s annual pre-Term conference, which will take place on September 25, on whether to take the case. That would typically mean hearing arguments in December or January, with a final decision coming down in early or mid-2018.

Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall at DOJ also asked Chief Justice John Roberts (who supervises the Fourth Circuit) to stay the appellate court’s decision until the justices can decide the matter.

On Friday, the Supreme Court rapidly expedited everything. The ACLU—which represents the plaintiffs—have been ordered to file their response by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12. The ACLU lawyers must also respond to DOJ’s application for a stay by that time.

The Court could conceivably then vote immediately on whether to take the case, or anytime shortly thereafter. Under a normal briefing schedule, the Court would then hear arguments in October, and issue a decision by the end of 2017.

It’s also possible that the Court could accelerate briefing on an emergency basis, then hold arguments over the summer, or possibly even in June before recessing for the summer. The Court could make clear by the week of June 12 which course it is pursuing.

The case is Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436.

ACLU lawyers blame ‘Christian right,’ GOP for Orlando terrorist attack

June 12, 2016

ACLU lawyers blame ‘Christian right,’ GOP for Orlando terrorist attack, Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke, June 12, 2016

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they “created this anti-queer climate,” according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

“You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate,” ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted on Sunday morning.

About 50 people were killed last night by Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen born to Afghan parents suspected to have “leanings toward extreme Islamic ideologies.” The FBI is investigating the attack as a “domestic terror incident.”

But Strangio — who “spend[s his] life fighting Christian homophobia while being loved & supported by [his] Muslim family” — and his colleagues connected the shooting back to Christians and Republican politicians who oppose gay marriage. “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this,” Strangio tweeted. “No.”

Another ACLU attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues scolded Republican lawmakers who tweeted out their condolences. “Remember when you co-sponsored extreme, anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act?” the ACLU’s Eunice Rho tweeted at Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and other Republicans,

House Speaker Paul Ryan was careful not to jump to conclusions about the attacker on Sunday morning. “We pray for those brutally attacked in Orlando,” Ryan tweeted. “While we must learn more about the attacker, the victims & families will not be forgotten.”

Strangio rebuffed that message as well. “But there will be no self-reflection and people like you will continue to fuel and embolden this type of hatred,” he wrote in a retweet of Ryan’s note.