enforcement

UndocuBus Comes to Austin: No Papers, No Fear – Ride for Justice

On July 29, 2012, a special kind of bus tour across the American Southwest departed from Phoenix, Arizona. The passengers aren’t going to be relaxing in luxury resort spas or sightseeing majestic landmarks in the desert. There are no rock stars on board, at least, not in the way we’re used to thinking.

The people riding on this bus have embarked on a precarious mission to show Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, along with the United States federal government, that they will no longer live in the shadows. They want to let them know that they are no longer afraid, and that they have begun organizing to take a public stand for the rights of undocumented people in the U.S.

Four days earlier, on July 25, a group of protestors gathered outside the U.S. District Court, where Sheriff Arpaio was testifying in a class action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund on behalf of all Arizona residents (documented and undocumented alike) who have been victims of racial profiling. Arpaio’s own words were used against him during the trial, and he spent six hours responding to racist comments he made in media interviews.

The protestors that Tuesday included four undocumented individuals – Miguel Guerra, Natally Cruz, Leticia Ramirez, and Isela Meraz – who were arrested outside the courthouse for blocking an intersection and had immigration holds placed on them in jail. Everyone but Guerra has been released.

Leticia Ramirez came to the United States with her parents when she was nine years old, and she has been living on this side of the border for eighteen years. Her children were born in Arizona. She does what she can to help others, including volunteering at a neighborhood food program where children get the breakfast and lunch they need every day.

“Life in Arizona has gotten complicated since they passed their anti-immigrant laws,” says Ramirez, who worries daily about her husband while he’s at work. “Now we can’t go out of the house or enjoy time with our children. We’re afraid to leave because of the police who harass us. Because they want to arrest us.”

Miguel Guerra, who has been here for fourteen years and has a wife and three children, works in construction and has been a volunteer with the Puente Human Rights Movement since shortly after the passage of SB1070.

Guerra says, “We want President Obama to see that we are no longer afraid and that that we are demanding that he take action to solve our community’s problems.”

Natally Cruz, who has been in the United States for sixteen years, also volunteers for Puente; she has a seven-year-old son. Isela Meraz came here with her parents at the age of eight and has lived in Phoenix for twenty-one years. She has participated in hunger strikes and has organized art shows for 3rd Space’s Queer Cultura.

These four protestors, along with many other undocumented residents, have made their lives in the United States. For them it’s not a viable option to return to Mexico. They’ve planted solid roots in Phoenix, where they work hard and contribute to the community in any way they can.

Ramirez, Cruz, and Meraz, who were released the day after they were arrested, have been riding on the UndocuBus, along with Carlos Garcia, an organizer with the “Arrest Arpaio Not the People” campaign and with Puente Arizona. So far, they have been through New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas.

UndocuBus will be in Austin on Friday, August 3, at noon at the Travis County Sherriff’s office. The gathering includes the support of Austin Immigrants Rights Coalition, the University Leadership Initiative, Grassroots Leadership, Proyecto Defensa Laboral and other immigrant advocates in Austin. Undocumented riders will come out publicly, support local people to build barrio defense, and perform peaceful civil disobedience.

After leaving Austin, they will continue through Texas to Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The tour will end in North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention (September 3-6, 2012), where the party that promises reform but has so far produced record deportations, will decide whether to include or exclude the undocumented leaders who have put themselves at great legal risk.

Would you put yourself at risk by riding on UndocuBus if you were undocumented? Do you think these protestors are doing the right thing?


 

Republicans decry 'deadly' policy as report shows illegal immigrants committing new crimes

Roughly one in six illegal immigrants is re-arrested on criminal charges within three years of release, according to new government data being released Tuesday.

Those charges range from murder to drunken-driving and, according to House Republicans pushing out the report, are symptoms of what they describe as a "dangerous and deadly" immigration policy.

The findings, obtained by Fox News, are contained in reports by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee and nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. They are the result of the committee’s subpoena request for Department of Homeland Security records from October 2008 to July 2011.

The information was analyzed by the CRS, which also broke down the information for criminal immigrants -- legal immigrants who committed crimes and were arrested again over the three-year period. Together, the two groups also had a roughly one-in-six recidivism rate.

The records show 276,412 reported charges against illegal and criminal immigrants over that three-year period as identified by Secure Communities, a federal program that essentially attempts to make best use of resources by identifying and prioritizing which illegal immigrants pose the biggest threat to public safety and should be arrested or deported.

Of the 160,000 people in the database, more than 26,000 were re-arrested -- accounting for nearly 58,000 crimes and violations.

They allegedly committed nearly 8,500 drunken-driving offenses and more than 6,000 drug-related violations. The records also show major criminal offenses, which included murder, battery, rape, kidnapping and nearly 3,000 thefts. Roughly 2 percent of the crimes included carjacking, child molestation, lynching and torture, according to the 13-page Congressional Research Service report.

“The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws,” the committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said. “But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences.”

The report showed that more than 7,000 of those re-arrested were illegal immigrants. Among their charges were 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.

The records were subpoenaed last year in large part over concerns that Obama administration changes to Secure Communities was allowing “potentially millions of illegal and criminal immigrants to avoid current immigration law,” according to the GOP-led House committee.

The Department of Homeland Security could not be reached for comment.

Committee members cited one case in which an illegal immigrant was flagged by Secure Communities for a June 2010 vehicle theft and then arrested five months later for attempted grand theft.

He was then arrested roughly six months later in connection with murder. He and two other men allegedly attempted to rob a 68-year-old man. When the victim’s grandson intervened, the illegal immigrant allegedly shot and killed the grandson, according to the committee.

“While this illegal immigrant should have been detained and deported, he was not considered a priority under the Obama administration’s reckless immigration policy and was released onto our streets,” the committee concluded.

 

Chilling - Top Immigration Officials Describe Border Chaos Resulting From Admin's Amnesty Policy

Alert date: 
July 27, 2012
Alert body: 

For a chilling inside look from the people who know, watch this video today. 
 

Police identify man arrested after cocaine is found in car

The driver of a car that Oregon State Police said held 55 pounds of "high-grade" cocaine that was found during a traffic stop Tuesday on Interstate 5 near Ashland has been identified as Hipolito Carrillo, 41, of Ontario, Calif.

The man initially gave troopers a false name and birth date.

At about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, an OSP trooper stopped a 2011 Nissan Altima with California license plates near Milepost 12 for a traffic violation.

A drug dog used during the stop indicated drugs were present and officers said they found 25 individual sealed packages of cocaine hidden inside the car.

Two passengers, an elderly woman and a boy, were released and not arrested, police said.

Carillo remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail Thursday on charges of possession, delivery and manufacture of cocaine, first-degree child neglect and suspicion of being in the country illegally. He was being held without bail.
 

Read what President Obama has done about illegal immigration

FAIR has compiled a 31 page report on President Obama's policies regarding illegal immigration.  Read a summary of the report here.
Contact your members of Congress and tell them to put a stop to President Obama's disrespect for the rule of law.

To contact your elected officials click here.

Men crash car, arrested after foot chase in southeast Salem

Police say two men in a possibly stolen BMW eluded officers, crashed the car, then sent police on a foot chase Saturday evening.

Salem police attempted to pull over the vehicle about 5:30 p.m. near 14th Street SE and Hines Street SE. The vehicle then took off at a highrate of speed, circled the block and crashed into a guard rail and fire hydrant, eventually stopping at 14th Street SE and Oxford Street SE, police said.

Police set up a perimeter in the area when the two occupants of the car then ran from the car. A police dog tracked the two men, who were reportedly hiding in some bushes.

After they did not respond to police orders to come out, the police dog apprehended the suspects.

The men, Jaime Carrasco, 35, of Salem and Jose Morales, 25, of Salem were arrested. They were both taken to Salem Hospital for injuries sustained from the accident and police dog, police said.

Carrasco was cited for two charges of eluding police, failing to perform the duties of a driver, failing to carry a driver’s license and reckless driving.

Morales was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, a parole violation and two bench warrants.

Police say they believe the vehicle was stolen but are still investigating the incident to confirm.
 

NOTE:  There is currently an ICE hold on Jose Morales

Border Patrol Training Videos Say to "Hide", "Run Away" in Active Shooter Situations

The National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, Ariz., is just a little angry. Local 2544, which is the largest Border Patrol union local with over 3,300 dues-paying members, tags itself as "the real border security experts". What are they angry about? Apparently, the current administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) senior officials have created what agents call "virtual brainwashing videos". Their website states that Border Patrol agents have been forced to take a virtual learning course on "active shooters" where the bottom line is that if they encounter an active shooter, as in Fort Hood, the Giffords shooting, or Columbine, they — as law enforcement officers — are to "run away" and "hide".

The site goes on, "If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become 'aggressive' and 'throw things' at him or her." As if the Border Patrol is not law enforcement, they are then advised to "call law enforcement and wait for their arrival …. Multiple quizzes throughout the course and a final test ensure repeatedly that we know that we only have three options … 1. Run away; 2. Hide; and 3. Only put up a fight as a last resort by acting aggressively and throwing things at the shooter. Not one mention anywhere of 'if you are carrying a gun and you have the opportunity take the shooter out'."

The union local's website statement ends like this:

It is always comforting to know that for those of us who carry a weapon when we are off-duty, if we should encounter such a situation, stop a shooter and save countless lives, we can look forward to being disciplined or fired by the Border Patrol because we should have run away to hide and then maybe thrown objects at the killer instead of taking action and stopping him with a firearm. ...

Welcome to the New Patrol.

With these complaints public, DHS is now trying to reverse itself and says it will "revise and clarify this training" shortly. Local 2544 put up a statement saying they "look forward to seeing the new training".

I spoke at length to a long-time, well-respected senior member of the border enforcement community yesterday and he rolled his eyes when I mentioned the video. All immigration law enforcement has been required to watch the video, he said. He described the idea that law enforcement officers are not to do their job in clear and dangerous situations as "simply ridiculous and insulting".

This verification of the Tucson local's commentary from a senior official whom I trust made me wonder about the competency and true intent of DHS officials — who, to date, have been nothing short of brazen in rolling back immigration enforcement across the board. This training is being forced on law enforcement officers without caveats or exceptions to the "active shooter" rule in either the literature or virtual learning videos. What conclusion is any reasonable immigration law enforcement officer supposed to draw other than "hide" or "throw things" in such a situation? If a choice is made to stop a shooting rampage, the outcome could be a serious reprimand, even if lives are saved.

Does the Obama administration not mind a scenario where chaos multiplies because they do not want guns used? Can they not see the possibility of another Fort Hood massacre? This is the same administration that actively supported "Fast and Furious", a gun-walking operation that resulted in hundreds killed in Mexico and at least one border agent in the United States. The hypocrisy is blatant. Nothing new, I know. Yet it remains hard to sit by and watch hard-working immigration law enforcement officers demeaned and repeatedly told not to perform their sworn duties.

And so it begins...

The message is loud and clear from the White House.  If you can get here, we'll let you stay.  Obama has undermined our the sovereignty yet again by throwing down the welcome mat for "kids" illegally in the U.S between the ages of 15 and 30.  The result is that now children are forced to risk their lives crossing the border alone for a chance to be included in this "amnesty". 

Read more in the National section of our website or click here.

Number of Illegal Alien Minors Crossing Border Alone Continues to Grow

According to recently released U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) figures, 15,590 unaccompanied illegal alien minors have crossed the border so far this fiscal year. (MSNBC, July 3, 2012) The CBP defines unaccompanied illegal alien minors as those under the age of 18 who are traveling without their parents or guardians. (Id.) This figure marks a significant increase over the past two years. Over the same time period in 2011, the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors was 10,776; and in 2010, it was 13,267. (Id.) In fact, during 2011 alone, the total number of unaccompanied minors apprehended was 16,607. (CNS News, June 12, 2012)

The significant growth in the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors comes at the same time as the Obama Administration has significantly relaxed immigration enforcement. Most recently, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memo last month that offered to grant "deferred action" status and work authorization to illegal aliens between the ages of sixteen and thirty who are already in the country. (See FAIR Legislative Update, June 19, 2012)

This new policy of granting deferred action has the potential to encourage even more illegal border crossings by minors. This is mainly because one of the prerequisites to receiving deferred action is presence in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012 (although Administration officials suggested during a stakeholder phone call the exact cut-off date was still being determined). While future border crossers will not meet that deadline, once in the U.S., they will likely forge documents to establish eligibility.

Meanwhile both Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to voice support for the DREAM Act, which would grant permanent amnesty to virtually all illegal alien minors. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), and Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), have all touted competing versions of the DREAM Act. (See H.R. 5869, May 30, 2012; see also FAIR Legislative Update, April 2, 2012) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who appears to have been working with Sens. Hutchison and Kyl, has been touting his own version of the DREAM Act for months, but announced he is now withholding introducing it until after the November elections, on account of the Administration rolling out its June amnesty memo.

Obama Administration Closing Key Border Patrol Stations

Alert date: 
July 9, 2012
Alert body: 

FAIR has just confirmed from reliable sources that nine border patrol stations – north of the border but in heavily traveled corridors of illegal activity - are being shut down and the personnel reassigned. Six of those stations are in Texas - one in Amarillo and another in Lubbock. The closures leave local officials with no federal resources to assist them in identifying and detaining illegal aliens, drug smugglers and human traffickers.

Potter County (Amarillo) Sheriff Brian Thomas said, If we pull over illegal aliens (now), we can call border patrol agents who can detain them. We won't have those resources to check them."

FAIR has obtained a memo from the USBP delivered to local law enforcement officials in Texas. In it, Robert Green, Resident Agent in Charge, details the changes and says that when the stations close, there will be no active plan for ICE assets to assist local authorities in this area when alien smuggling or alien transportation situations are encountered by your personnel.

The memo then takes an unusual tone of urgent appeal when Green says, I would encourage you, if you have found USBP assistance valuable in the past, to contact your political representatives and voice your concerns.”

The remark is stark evidence that the men and women of the U.S Border Patrol who are struggling to protect our borders are under siege as much by their own government as by illegal entrants.

Interior border patrol stations represent a much needed second line of defense against illegal aliens who make it past the border and continue moving north through heavily traveled corridors. On such major "feeder area" is Riverside, California, another border patrol station being shut down.

The full list of stations and cities which will soon have no federal border authorities to detain and remove illegal aliens, smugglers and traffickers include: Lubbock, TX; Amarillo TX; Dallas, TX; San Angelo, TX; Abilene, TX; San Antonio, TX; Billings, MT; Twin Falls, ID, and Riverside, CA.

 

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