Archive for the ‘Illegal aliens’ category

Time’s up! Trump’s Justice Dept. issues final warning to ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions

October 12, 2017

Time’s up! Trump’s Justice Dept. issues final warning to ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions, Washington Times, October 12, 2017

FILE – In this April 14, 2017, file photo, protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order to withhold funding from communities that limit …

The Justice Department has issued a final warning to five of the 10 jurisdictions it accused of having “sanctuary” policies that defy federal immigration laws, saying they have until Oct. 27 to submit additional evidence proving compliance or risk losing grant money.

Letters conveying the Justice Department’s preliminary assessment of the jurisdictions’ local laws and policies were sent Wednesday. Cook County, Illinois; Chicago; New Orleans; New York City; and Philadelphia were all warned that the Justice Department believes they cities have laws or policies that run afoul of federal immigration law.

At stake is millions of dollars in federal grant money that is supposed to go only to jurisdictions that comply with section 1373 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code. That law prohibits policies that restrict communications with federal immigration authorities “regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

The letters sent to each city highlighted specific laws that the Justice Department has identified as being in violation of 1373.

In the case of Philadelphia, officials said an executive order that prevents local officials from providing immigration authorities with any notice of a person’s release from custody unless the person has been convicted of certain felony offenses is a violation. A police policy that prevents the transmission of the immigration status of any immigrant who is a victim of a crime was also highlighted as a violation.

Two other jurisdictions — Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and the state of Connecticut — were told Wednesday that a preliminary assessment found no evidence that their laws violated 1373.

“I commend the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Connecticut on their commitment to complying with Section 1373, and I urge all jurisdictions found to be out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens.”

The Justice Department had earlier cleared Clark County, Nevada and Miami-Dade County of any violations of federal law.

Officials had also put the California Board of State and Community Corrections on notice, but the state was not included in the Justice Department’s follow up warning issued Wednesday. It was not immediately clear why it was not included.

The Obama administration first raised the issue of potential violations in 10 jurisdictions last year, and the Trump administration followed up by sending letters demanding proof of compliance.

“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” Mr. Sessions said.

The jurisdictions accused of violating federal immigration statutes had previously defended their local policies, saying they were compliant and should not lose grant funding.

Philadelphia officials struck a defiant note, writing in a letter to the Justice Department that a local policy banning city officials from inquiring about residents’ immigration status does not violate federal law because if the city doesn’t have the information, its officials can’t be required to share it.

“The federal statute does not require cities to inquire about or collect immigration status information, but only prohibits cities from restricting the sharing of that information if they have it,” wrote City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante.

In the DOJ assessment, officials wrote that an executive order may be in violation of federal immigration law and city officials would have to certify that the policy does not ban local police from sharing information with federal immigration authorities with federal immigration officers.

“The Department has determined that Philadelphia would need to certify that it interprets and applies this Executive Order to not restrict Philadelphia officers from sharing information regarding immigration status,” DOJ officials wrote.

Sessions Calls on Congress to End Abuse of Asylum Process

October 12, 2017

Sessions Calls on Congress to End Abuse of Asylum Process, Washington Free Beacon, October 12, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images

“Individuals who wanted to enter illegally, and individuals who had hired smugglers, were aware of the fact that if they said the words ‘credible fear’ the odds are that they would be released and that they’d be allowed to continue into the United States.”

The result of the Obama administration guidance was a skyrocketing rate of credible fear exception applicants.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday called for Congress to swiftly pass policy proposals from the Trump administration that would help rectify abuses of the asylum process.

Sessions addressed the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the administration of America’s immigration courts.

“The immigration laws that Congress has enacted are some of the most generous in the world,” Sessions said. “Indeed, we will soon reach the highest level of non-native born Americans in our history.”

However, a failure to properly enforce immigration laws has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. One of the ways by which said aliens take advantage of the immigration system is through so-called “credible fear” claims for asylum seekers, Sessions said.

The Department of Homeland Security uses a process called “expedited removal” to remove certain immigrants without a full hearing or the laborious process used in more complicated immigration cases. Exceptions are made for illegal immigrants who claim to have a “credible fear” of persecution in his or her country of origin, who are allowed to avoid the expedited removal process and proceed to a full immigration court hearing.

“This is an important exception,” Sessions said. “We have a generous asylum policy that is meant to protect those who, through no fault of their own, cannot co-exist in their home country no matter where they go because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality. Unfortunately, this system is currently subject to rampant abuse and fraud.”

Under the credible fear procedure, an asylum seeker has a preliminary interview, which may then make him eligible for a subsequent formal hearing to grant asylum. Historically, the ashylum seeker was detained while awaiting the hearing, unless the would-be asylee explicitly requested parole.

That changed in 2009, when the Obama administration issued new guidance that made the consideration for parole automatic. What that meant in practice is that asylum seekers were no longer detained, but were all-but-automatically released into the population after their interview—meaning they only sometimes showed up to their subsequent formal hearing.

“This is a pretty easy way into the United States,” explained Andrew Arthur, a former federal immigration judge and Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies. “Individuals who wanted to enter illegally, and individuals who had hired smugglers, were aware of the fact that if they said the words ‘credible fear’ the odds are that they would be released and that they’d be allowed to continue into the United States.”

The result of the Obama administration guidance was a skyrocketing rate of credible fear exception applicants.

In 2009, the DHS reported doing around 5,000 credible fear reviews. By 2016, that number reached 94,000. In 2009, around 4,000 asylum seekers were placed in removal proceedings; in 2016, that number is more than 73,000. At the border, some 3,000 people sought credible fear exemptions in 2009; 2016 saw more than 69,000. In all, an illegal alien has an 88 percent chance of avoiding expedited removal by making a credible fear claim.

Even if asylum seekers do show up to court, litigating an asylum claim is relatively low cost, and every asylum case is required to have a full hearing.

“That’s why there’s a common, fatalistic refrain you’ll hear from immigration judges and immigration enforcement that ‘the case isn’t over until the alien wins,'” Sessions said.

The credible fear process also poses a threat to national security: Sessions noted that at least five Somali terrorists had taken advantage of the process to try to gain access to the United States.

“I think the expedited removal/credible fear process has been largely ignored up to this point,” Arthur said, “and I think that it poses a much more serious risk to the national security than even the legal immigration process does.”

Sessions called for Congress to pass President Donald Trump’s new bevy of immigration proposals, released earlier this week. Among those proposals are recommendations to tighten standards in the immigration system, increase the standard of proof in initial interviews, impose penalties for frivolous or fraudulent asylum applications, and tighten the standards for parole.

Trump also pushed for an expansion of the personnel and resources of the immigration court system, the overwhelming backlog in which Sessions has made a priority of reducing.

“The president’s proposals on asylum reform especially are crucial,” Arthur said. “There are many loopholes in the asylum system, and the president appropriately has noted that we need to elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews.”

Sessions, for his part, was resolute in supporting the administration’s proposed changes.

“What we cannot do—what we must not do—is continue to let our generosity be abused,” he said. “We cannot capitulate to lawlessness and allow the very foundation of law upon which our country depends to be further undermined.”

U.S. Mayor Assures Mexican Consul His “Sanctuary City” Will Provide Safe Spaces for Illegal Aliens

October 10, 2017

U.S. Mayor Assures Mexican Consul His “Sanctuary City” Will Provide Safe Spaces for Illegal Aliens, Judicial Watch, October 10, 2017

Judicial Watch obtained the files as part of a California Public Records Act request for information surrounding riots by the radical leftist Antifa movement against President Trump and conservative personalities scheduled to speak at the University of California Berkeley. Media reported that fires were set, fences and windows broken, firebombs launched and commercial-grade fireworks thrown at police.

The documents show a coordinated effort between Democratic city officials nationwide to “build the movement to resist Trump.” The operation is being financed by leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros through one of his groups called Center of Popular Democracy. Earlier this year Judicial Watch uncovered a scandal in which the U.S. government quietly gave millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with Soros’ Open Society Foundation. The U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, worked behind the scenes with Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The cash flowed through the State Department and the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) and Judicial Watch sued both agencies for records related to funding and political activities of the Open Society Foundation in Macedonia.

The Soros-backed, northern California movement includes a taxpayer-salaried physics professor at UC Berkeley who advises Mayor Arreguin on how to handle conservative protestors at a spring rally. The professor, James McFadden, tells the mayor in an electronic mail obtained by Judicial Watch to “create a corral” and ask the Trump supporters to “get in the corral.” He describes Trump supporters as “delusional and paranoid about the world around them” and says they’re “willing to use violence to impose that order on us, especially when they have the blessing of a narcissistic authoritarian president.” A professor at another California public university tells the Berkeley mayor that the arrest of Antifa leader/middle school teacher Yvette Felarca for assaulting a political opponent (captured on video) at a Sacramento rally, in which seven people were stabbed, was a “McCarthyist political persecution” and he condemned Felarca’s arrest and teaching suspension “in the strongest possible terms.”

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Shortly after Donald Trump got elected president, a California mayor arranged a meeting with the Consul General of Mexico to assure the diplomat that his “sanctuary city” will continue providing safe spaces for illegal immigrants, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. The documents show that Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin’s top aide, Stefan Elgstrand, sent an electronic mail to the Mexican Consul General in San Francisco, Gemi Jose Gonzalez Lopez, stating the following: “The recent events around Trump’s executive order reminded me to reach out to you. We are a sanctuary city and will continue to be. I imagine you are very busy dealing with the concerns and fears of many residents in the Bay Area, and we want to assist in providing safe spaces for them.”

Judicial Watch obtained the files as part of a California Public Records Act request for information surrounding riots by the radical leftist Antifa movement against President Trump and conservative personalities scheduled to speak at the University of California Berkeley. Media reported that fires were set, fences and windows broken, firebombs launched and commercial-grade fireworks thrown at police. A renowned, San Francisco-based pop culture magazine wrote that the uprising raised some big questions about the future of the free speech movement. Judicial Watch requested the files to shed light into how city, police and university officials handled the lawlessness, which received global news coverage. The request asked for records of communications between officials in the Berkeley mayor’s office and the Berkeley Police Department as well as records of communications between the mayor’s office and officials at UC Berkeley, one of the nation’s top public research universities.

The documents show a coordinated effort between Democratic city officials nationwide to “build the movement to resist Trump.” The operation is being financed by leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros through one of his groups called Center of Popular Democracy. Earlier this year Judicial Watch uncovered a scandal in which the U.S. government quietly gave millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with Soros’ Open Society Foundation. The U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, worked behind the scenes with Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The cash flowed through the State Department and the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) and Judicial Watch sued both agencies for records related to funding and political activities of the Open Society Foundation in Macedonia.

The Soros-backed, northern California movement includes a taxpayer-salaried physics professor at UC Berkeley who advises Mayor Arreguin on how to handle conservative protestors at a spring rally. The professor, James McFadden, tells the mayor in an electronic mail obtained by Judicial Watch to “create a corral” and ask the Trump supporters to “get in the corral.” He describes Trump supporters as “delusional and paranoid about the world around them” and says they’re “willing to use violence to impose that order on us, especially when they have the blessing of a narcissistic authoritarian president.” A professor at another California public university tells the Berkeley mayor that the arrest of Antifa leader/middle school teacher Yvette Felarca for assaulting a political opponent (captured on video) at a Sacramento rally, in which seven people were stabbed, was a “McCarthyist political persecution” and he condemned Felarca’s arrest and teaching suspension “in the strongest possible terms.”

Ironically, Berkeley’s official government website brags about being a bastion of the free speech movement. “In Alameda County alone, Berkeley is ranked fourth in population behind Oakland, Fremont, and Hayward,” the website states. “And yet, we are famous around the globe as a center for academic achievement, scientific exploration, free speech and the arts.” Indeed, Berkeley is renowned as the birthplace of the free speech movement in in the 1960s. An opinion piece in a California newspaper points out that the city’s free speech movement has gone full circle, however. “Nowadays, Berkeley is rapidly becoming famed as one of the least tolerant cities in the country — where any challenge to left-wing orthodoxy is met with terrorist threats and mob violence.”

Feds Slap Tree Company With $95 Million Penalty For Hiring Illegal Aliens

September 30, 2017

Feds Slap Tree Company With $95 Million Penalty For Hiring Illegal Aliens, Daily Caller, Will Racke, September 29, 2017

AUBURN, AL – APRIL 23: Crews from the Asplundh tree service inspect a oak tree after it was cut down on April 23, 2013 at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Alabama. Auburn University decided to remove the dying oaks after they were poisoned by a rival fan shortly after the 2010 Iron Bowl. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

“Today’s judgment sends a strong, clear message to employers who scheme to hire and retain a workforce of illegal immigrants: we will find you and hold you accountable,” acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said in a statement. “Violators who manipulate hiring laws are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we will continue to take action to remove this magnet.”

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A national tree services company will have to pay a record fine after admitting that it engaged in a scheme to hire illegal aliens, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Asplundh Tree Expert Co., a suburban Philadelphia-based contractor that trims and removes trees around power lines, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal criminal charge and was ordered to pay a total of $95 million, the biggest penalty ever levied in an immigration case.

Federal Judge John R. Padova ordered the company to pay a criminal forfeiture judgment of $80 million, plus a $15 million civil penalty to satisfy additional civil claims for failure to follow immigration law.

Asplundh hired thousands of unauthorized workers between 2010 and 2014, using knowingly fraudulent identification documents, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia. Prosecutors said the company’s upper management was “willfully blind,” while mid-level regional supervisors knowingly violated immigration law and hired illegal aliens.

Asplundh allegedly used word of mouth referrals instead of a systematic application process, allowing supervisors to hire a compliant workforce of illegal laborers.

“This decentralized model tacitly perpetuated fraudulent hiring practices that, in turn, maximized productivity and profit,” prosecutors said in a statement. “With a motivated work force, including unauthorized aliens willing to be relocated and respond to weather related events around the nation, Asplundh had crews which were easily mobilized that enabled them to dominate the market. Asplundh provided all the incentives to managers to skirt immigration law.”

Asplundh employs 30,000 workers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to the Associated Press. The company was the subject of a six-year audit by investigators with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which discovered in 2009 that company managers were accepting sham driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, green cards and other fake identification documents.

Three Asplundh managers, including a vice president, had previous pleaded guilty to felony charges in the case, the AP reported.

“Today’s judgment sends a strong, clear message to employers who scheme to hire and retain a workforce of illegal immigrants: we will find you and hold you accountable,” acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said in a statement. “Violators who manipulate hiring laws are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we will continue to take action to remove this magnet.”

House passes Kate’s Law, as part of illegal immigrant crackdown

June 29, 2017

House passes Kate’s Law, as part of illegal immigrant crackdown, Fox News, June 29, 2017

(What’s the problem in the Senate? — DM)

While gaining support in the Senate for similar legislation will be a tough road, Trump called for Congress to act quickly.

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House Republicans took action Thursday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the cities that shelter them.

One bill passed by the House would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities and another, Kate’s Law, would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States.

Kate’s Law, which would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States and caught, passed with a vote of 257 to 157, with one Republican voting no and 24 Democrats voting yes.

Kate’s Law is named for Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman killed by an illegal immigrant who was in the U.S. despite multiple deportations. The two-year anniversary of her death is on Saturday.

“He should not have been here, and she should not have died,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, in a final push for Kate’s Law, an earlier version of which was blocked in the Senate last year.

“Our job here is to make sure that those professionals have the tools that they need and the resources that they need to carry out their work and to protect our communities. That is what these measures are all about,” added Ryan.

The other bill, which would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities, passed with a vote of 228-195 with 3 Democrats voting yes and 7 Republicans voting no.

The brutal murder of Steinle catapulted the issue of illegal criminal aliens into the national spotlight. Alleged shooter Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.

On Wednesday, President Trump highlighted other cases during a White House meeting with more than a dozen families of people who had been victimized by illegal immigrants, including Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Shaw’s 17-year-old son Jamiel was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in California in March 2008..

“He was living the dream,” Shaw said during the meeting. “That was squashed out.”

The second measure, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” would cut federal grants to states and “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with law enforcement carrying out immigration enforcement activities.

“The word ‘sanctuary’ calls to mind someplace safe, but too often for families and victims affected by illegal immigrant crime, sanctuary cities are anything but safe,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asserted in the pre-vote press conference.

“It is beyond my comprehension why federal state and local officials … would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States,” he added.

While gaining support in the Senate for similar legislation will be a tough road, Trump called for Congress to act quickly.

Trump called on the House and the Senate to “to honor grieving American families” by approving a “package of truly key immigration enforcement bills” so that he could sign them into law.

“I promise you, it will be done quickly.  You don’t have to wait the mandatory period. It will be very quick,” promised Trump.

Earlier on Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas D. Homan and U.S. Attorney for Utah John W. Huber made their case for the bills during the White House press briefing.

Huber said 40 percent of Utah’s current felony caseload involves criminal alien prosecutions and the number is increasing.

The bills, Huber asserted, would “advance the ball for law enforcement in keeping our communities safe” and “would give officers and prosecutors more tools to protect the public.

Many immigration rights groups have characterized efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities as “anti-immigrant,” but Attorney General Jeff Sessions says it is not sound policy to allow sanctuary cities to flout federal immigration laws.

According to Homan, ICE already has arrested nearly 66,000 individuals this year that were either known or suspected to be in the country illegally. Of those arrested, 48,000 were convicted criminal aliens.

“The practices of these jurisdictions are not only contrary to sound policy; they’re contrary to the law enforcement cooperation that is carried out every day in our country and is essential to public safety,” Sessions wrote in a Fox News op-ed backing the bills.

Obama-appointed judges dismiss Supreme Court ruling, continue blocking Trump’s immigration crackdown

June 29, 2017

Obama-appointed judges dismiss Supreme Court ruling, continue blocking Trump’s immigration crackdown, Washington TimesStephen Dinan, June 28, 2017

President Trump met Wednesday with what the White House identified as “immigration crime victims” to urge passage of House legislation. (Associated Press)

President Trump may have won a partial victory at the Supreme Court this week, but other federal judges remain major stumbling blocks to his aggressive immigration plans, with courts from California to Michigan and Atlanta limiting his crackdown on sanctuary cities and stopping him from deporting illegal immigrants he has targeted for removal.

The judges in those deportation cases have rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that he has wide latitude to decide who gets kicked out, without having to worry about district courts second-guessing him on facts of the case.

Instead, the judges said, they get to decide their jurisdiction, and that extends to reviewing Mr. Trump’s immigration policy.

One judge in Michigan ordered the Homeland Security Department to freeze all deportation plans for about 200 Chaldean Christians arrested over the past two months and scheduled to be sent back to Iraq. Nearly every one of them has a criminal record.

A judge in Atlanta ordered the department to reinstate the temporary deportation amnesty — known in governmentspeak as the DACA program — for Jessica Colotl, an illegal immigrant Dreamer whose past made her a target for deportation, officials said.

“The public has an interest in government agencies being required to comply with their own written guidelines instead of engaging in arbitrary decision-making,” said Judge Mark H. Cohen, breaking new ground in establishing legal rights for some illegal immigrants.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in California ordered the Border Patrol to improve its treatment of illegal immigrant children caught sneaking across the border. She said she was troubled by stories from illegal immigrants who said they were kept in dirty rooms without private toilets and sometimes had to wait up to 12 hours for their first meals.

When they were fed, it wasn’t enough, concluded Judge Dolly M. Gee.

Judge Gee ruled that the Border Patrol must provide the children with soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and access to showers.

Notably, all four of the judges — including one in San Francisco who blocked part of Mr. Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities — were appointed to the bench by President Obama.

“Almost all of the judges are acting outside of established law,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation who served as a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration.

For David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the judges are heroes upholding the Constitution when the political branches of government won’t.

“You’ve got the Republicans playing ball in the Senate and the House. The only institution that’s putting a check on this guy is the judiciary,” he said.

The Trump administration is fighting all the rulings but has had little luck convincing lower-court judges of Mr. Trump’s powers on immigration.

Mr. Trump, though, has had success at the Supreme Court, which issued a 9-0 decision this week reviving part of his travel ban executive order, which imposes a 90-day pause on some visitors from six majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day halt to all refugee admissions.

Reversing several lower-court rulings — all also issued by judges appointed by Democrats — the Supreme Court said Mr. Trump could stop refugees and visitors when they don’t already have “bona fide” close connections to people or entities in the U.S. For those who do have close connections, however, they have rights that must be respected.

Homeland Security is working out how it will interpret those directives, but analysts are deeply divided on what it means and whether the justices delivered a message to lower courts to back off their criticism of Mr. Trump.

Where lower-court judges pored over Mr. Trump’s campaign statements and perused his Twitter account looking for evidence to use against him, the Supreme Court took the president’s executive order at face value.

“The Supreme Court treated this like a normal case, like a normal executive action. So certainly this has to affect — probably not all judges, but certainly some,” said Ilya Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Cato Institute’s Supreme Court Review.

He said that could set the stage for a return to the posture of the Obama years, when many of his actions were challenged in court but were greeted with seriousness by the judges who heard the cases — what legal scholars have come to call the “presumption of regularity.”

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The [president’s] constant tweets — not just about immigration but lots of things — feed the fire of the resistance.”

Mr. von Spakovsky called the Supreme Court ruling “a slap in the face” to the judges who ruled against the broad swath of the president’s immigration plans.

“These judges are clearly hoping these cases don’t get appealed, don’t get to the Supreme Court, because if they do, they’re going to get overturned,” he predicted. “The lesson to them is they need to quit making political decisions based on the fact they don’t like the president and his policy, and start making legal decisions that follow binding precedent.”

Some analysts said the key part of the Supreme Court’s ruling was showing deference to the president’s national security decision-making. The justices said his judgment had to carry weight, particularly when it came to people who don’t have a connection to the U.S. and therefore don’t have constitutional rights to be weighed.

The court will hear broader arguments in the travel ban case in October.

Mr. Leopold said he initially saw the ruling as a loss for immigrant rights advocates, but after rereading it he concluded it’s a major win for his side and a slap at Mr. Trump.

“This is a rebuke,” he said. “They weren’t harsh in their words. It was very professional … But if you read between the lines, they basically say, ‘No, no, we’re not going to defer to you on national security here.’”

He also said the ruling is much more limited in empowering Mr. Trump than it might seem and that few people will be snared by the part of the executive order that the court revived, targeting those without close connections to the U.S.

But on Wednesday evening, the State Department issued a new set of visa guidelines to U.S. embassies on the six affected countries that was much narrower than immigration advocates might have hoped.

Refugee agencies argue that most refugees already in the pipeline have close connections because their names have already been forwarded for placement in the U.S. Immigrant rights advocates said anyone with a job offer, a relative living in the U.S. or who are part of a school program will also be exempted.

Advocacy groups said earlier Wednesday that if they thought the president was being too stingy, they would head back to the courts and likely the same lower-court judges who first ruled against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Leopold said that, far from being chastened, those judges will now feel emboldened by the Supreme Court.

“I think it stiffens the spine because they’re looking at this and they’re basically being upheld on the injunction,” he said. “Those judges have not been overruled.”

America’s Gang Crisis: Congressional Hearings Focus on MS-13

June 28, 2017

America’s Gang Crisis: Congressional Hearings Focus on MS-13, Front Page Magazine, Michael Cutler, June 28, 2017

As with international terrorists, transnational gangs exploit immigration failures.

Failures of the immigration system are, once again, behind headline-making news reports. Last week two Congressional hearings were conducted into what has become America’s most pernicious and violent transnational gang, MS-13 that now operates in some 40 states.

I am very familiar with MS-13, I began investigating them nearly 25 years ago early into my assignment at the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force following my promotion to INS Senior Special Agent.

Back then the number of the members of MS-13 in New York was small, consequently and the impact they had was also relatively small.

The immigration policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations certainly did not help law enforcement.  However, the greatest influx of MS-13 gang members is directly related to the flood of Unaccompanied Minors from Central America during the latter part of the Obama administration.

On April 28, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the federal building in Central Islip where the Congressional field hearing would be held nearly two months later.  His speech, and his message, was reported by CBS news, Attorney General Sessions To Gangs: ‘We Are Targeting You.’

Yet the enforcement of our immigration laws by the Trump administration and by Attorney General Sessions has been frequently attacked by the media and by politicians, especially the “leaders” of Sanctuary Cities.

On June 20, 2017 the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence conducted a filed hearing on Long Island in Central Islip, New York, on the topic,  Combating Gang Violence On Long Island: Shutting Down The MS-13 Pipeline.

That “pipeline” crosses the U.S./Mexican border and is operated by members of drug cartels and transnational gangs.

It is important to read the prepared testimony of Subcommittee Chairman Peter King who focused on how the flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America flooded America with young and violent gang members who are now recruiting more gang members in our schools.

Here is the brief description of that hearing, and its predication, as posted on the official Congressional website:

This field hearing will examine the threat posed by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), particularly Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) and the extent to which this violent gang is able to circumvent border security measures to gain entry into the U.S.  Since January 2016, there have been 17 murders linked to MS-13 in Suffolk County alone. The hearing will feature testimony from the stakeholders related to the interaction and cooperation between Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies to combat MS-13. Additionally, testimony will be provided by community members directly impacted by these TCOs. The two panels reflect the broad cross section of the community required to respond to the threat posed by MS-13 and other TCOs on Long Island and across the nation.

The very next day, on June 21, 2017 the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat.

It is important to read the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley’s statement for that hearing and watch the video.

Here is an excerpt from Chairman Grassley’s statement:

This organization has been dubbed the world’s “most dangerous gang,” and some say it could be a terrorist organization. But, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a group whose motto is “kill, rape, and control.”

Unfortunately, over the past two years, this terrifying motto has become a vicious reality for many communities across our nation. So far this year, the gang has been publicly linked to dozens of high-profile killings, rapes, and assaults across the country, from the Washington D.C. metro area to Houston, Texas.

Undoubtedly, there are many more that simply haven’t been reported.

The mainstream media that reported on these hearings all but avoided mentioning that multiple failures of the immigration system have enabled these violent criminals to enter the United States and that Border Security Is National Security.

The “journalists” also blithely ignore that Sanctuary Cities: Where Hypocrisy Rules, often harbor and shield criminal aliens from detection by immigration law enforcement personnel.

In point of fact, Opponents of Border Security and Immigration Law Enforcement Aid Human Traffickers.  The most effective way to attack the human smugglers, who facilitate the entry of transnational gang members such as MS-13 is to have ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents work closely with local police and other law enforcement agencies to gain access to smuggled aliens who could then provide actionable intelligence to enable ICE and the Border Patrol to identify, locate and ultimately arrest human traffickers and dismantle their operations.

Shielding illegal aliens from detection by ICE also shields gang members and smugglers.  It is nearly impossible to identify human traffickers without interviewing the aliens whom they smuggled into the United States.

Illegal aliens who cooperate with law enforcement authorities can be granted visas that enable them to remain in the United States and legally work- to encourage such individuals to come forward without fear.

As an INS special agent my law enforcement colleagues, on the local, state of federal level, often told me that the granting of such visas to illegal aliens provided far more important intelligence that could any other incentive.

If mayors of Sanctuary Cities were truly concerned about doing what is compassionate, they should issue public service announcements, urging illegal aliens to come forward if they have significant information that could aid ICE agents in identifying and ultimately arresting criminals including human traffickers living in their communities to safeguard those who live in those ethnic immigrant communities, where these transnational criminals live and ply their “trades.”

This would simply be an extension of “If you see something, say something.”  (If you know something say something!)

Those mayors should require their respective police departments to work closely with ICE agents rather than prevent them from working with those agents.

Yet this fact is utterly ignored by the media and by many politicians.  In fact the media often portray mayors of “Sanctuary Cities” as heroes who shield illegal aliens from immigration agents who, according to the narrative, are the “bad guys.”

There is an additional price to be paid for this false and dangerous narrative, as reported on June 19, 2017, Citing Uptick in Attacks, Senators Request Better Protection for ICE Officers.

Here is an excerpt from that report that appeared in Government Executive:

According to ICE, there have been 19 recorded assaults on ICE personnel in 2017 through May 22, compared to 24 incidents in all of 2016. (Senators) Johnson and McCaskill also requested data since 2010, what DHS and ICE have done already to protect employees, and whether assailants have been prosecuted.

Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, at a congressional hearing last week blamed the media and immigrant groups for putting officers at risk by promoting false or misleading reports about the nature of their jobs. His employees, Homan said, have been “unfairly vilified for simply trying to do their jobs.”

“People have the right to protest, but ICE officers also have rights,” Homan told a House Appropriations Committee panel. “They have a right to enforce the law safely and return to their families at the end of the day.”

Homan promoted the controversial practice of making immigration arrests at courthouses, noting it helped with safety for his officers because they could be certain the detainees did not have any weapons on them. He decried as untrue any reports that ICE employees were making arrests at schools or hospitals. ICE officers, he said, should be celebrated for keeping communities safe rather than depicted as inhumane or callous.

As to the supposedly “controversial practice of making immigration arrests in courthouses,” arrest operations are inherently dangerous.  Individuals, especially those who face severe consequences for their crimes, can become extremely violent in an effort to evade law enforcement.  Sociopathic criminals including those who are addicted to narcotics, may react irrationally when confronted by law enforcement.

Generally everyone entering a courthouse is carefully screened for weapons.

A courthouse is often the best place to take a defendant into custody.  I speak from many years of experience.

It is particularly ironic and, indeed, vexing that there are judges and lawyers (who are “officers of the court”) who oppose federal law enforcement officers executing lawfully issued warrants in a building dedicated to the Constitution and to the principles of the rule of law and justice.

Furthermore, when an arrest goes badly on the street or a building, and a gunfight ensues, innocent civilians as well as agents and the defendant, are placed in extreme mortal danger.

No rational, reasonable or compassionate person would rather risk innocent lives rather than facilitate the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws that have absolutely nothing to do with race, religion, ethnicity, but have everything to do with public safety, national security and the well being of America and Americans.

Considering the foregoing, I am compelled to remind you that the ENLIST Act (H.R. 60) would undermine national security and public safety, providing gang members with access to military training and military bases.  When “Compassion” Endangers National SecurityThe landmines of illegal aliens entering military service.