ICE

Many immigrants may be released without bond after judge’s ruling

In a move that could affect tens of thousands of detainees, a federal judge in Seattle has ordered the Department of Justice to obey a law that allows for the release of some undocumented immigrants without posting a bond.

Immigration-rights leaders say the law is routinely ignored in Washington and elsewhere in the United States because of a conflicting Department of Justice (DOJ) policy that requires immigrant detainees to post at least a $1,500 bond regardless of whether they pose a danger or flight risk.

“People should not be locked up while they are in immigration proceedings simply because they do not have money to pay a bond,” said Matt Adams, the legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NIRP).

In ordering that the DOJ follow the law, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik on Monday also certified a lawsuit filed on behalf of one such detainee by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and NIRP as a class-action, sweeping in hundreds of plaintiffs who are being detained on immigration holds solely because they cannot post bonds.

Adams said that while Lasnik’s ruling now only affects undocumented immigrants held in Western Washington — he estimates there are about 500 people in the Seattle and Tacoma areas who fit that scenario — the DOJ’s policy impacts tens of thousands of detainees nationally.

“We are hopeful this ruling will have an impact,” on a practice that has been in place for 15 years, he said. “This is a national problem.”

Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., said the DOJ was “reviewing the judge’s order.”

The lawsuit was filed in October on behalf of Maria Sandra Rivera, a Honduran woman who said she was fleeing torture and domestic slavery when she illegally entered the United States on May 29, 2014. She was picked up by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that same day and sent to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, according to the lawsuit.

Rivera sought asylum and passed a “credible fear interview” with an asylum officer, who referred her case to Tacoma Immigration Court, the lawsuit said. In the meantime, ICE determined she posed no flight risk or threat to the community and recommended bond, which was eventually set by an immigration judge at $3,500, according to court documents.

Rivera could not afford that amount and asked that she be released on her own recognizance — a process called “conditional parole” — which is allowed for in the Immigration and Nationalization Act.

However, conditional parole is routinely denied in Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere in the country, Adams said, because of a conflicting DOJ policy that requires an immigrant detainee post at least $1,500 bond regardless of whether he or she poses a danger or flight risk, according to court documents.

Rivera had been detained more than four months when the suit was filed in October. She has since been granted asylum and released, according to the court docket.

Adams said hundreds of other immigrant detainees are in the same situation when it comes to posting bond.

“The result of this policy is that Immigration Judges require individuals such as Ms. Rivera to post bond even after determining that neither danger nor flight risk require their detention,” according to the lawsuit. “Thus, indigent or low-income individuals like Ms. Rivera … routinely suffer continued and unnecessary detention, of, if it is even possible, are forced to strain personal, family and community resources in order to gain their release.”

Adams wrote that the policy “unquestionably violates” the immigration act.

The government has fought the lawsuit, attacking the court’s jurisdiction and arguing the case is moot because Rivera has since been released.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Erez Reuveni of the DOJ’s Civil Division in Washington, D.C., argued in pleadings in the Rivera case that the Board of Immigration Appeals is poised to address a similar case on its own and argued that Lasnik should hold off on any decision and let that process play out.

But Lasnik, in the order issued Monday, said that the immigration court’s blanket refusal to consider conditional parole for immigrant detainees potentially impinges on a detainee’s due-process and liberty interests, and that Rivera had standing to challenge the policy.

The government also argued that Lasnik was barred from second-guessing the immigration judge, but Lasnik said the application of the policy wasn’t the point.

“While an [Immigration Judge’s] discretionary judgment in how it applies the statute is not subject to review, this Court has found no authority supporting the notion that [an immigration judge] has the discretion to misinterpret the statute under which he operates,” Lasnik wrote.

He ruled that the Immigration and Nationalization Act “unambiguously states that an immigration judge may consider conditions for release beyond a monetary bond,” and found that the agency’s policy violates the law.

“The court thus finds that aliens who are detained following defective bond hearings … may immediately challenge their hearings for legal error on the grounds that their continued detention is an unnecessary harm,” Lasnik wrote.
  Read more about Many immigrants may be released without bond after judge’s ruling

Collapse of immigration law enforcement detailed to House Committee

 
Jessica Vaughan, a security expert with the Center for Immigration Studies, testified on February 25, 2015 before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittees on National Security and Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules.  The Committee was holding a Hearing to review DHS policies and procedures for the apprehension, detention, and release of non-citizens unlawfully present in the U.S. 
 
Ms. Vaughan’s lengthy testimony used the government’s own statistics along with information from sheriffs and ICE employees in the interior of the country, to describe in detail what the current, dangerous situation is.
 
Her statement begins:
 
 “…There can be no doubt that immigration enforcement is in a state of collapse. Border apprehensions, which are considered an indicator of illegal crossing attempts, are rising and many of the illegal crossers are being released into the country instead of repatriated. Hundreds of thousands of temporary visitors are overstaying their visas each year. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistics show clearly that over the last several years the number of deportations has plummeted and the number of illegal aliens allowed to stay and work in the United States has increased. The vast majority of illegal aliens residing in the interior face no threat of deportation, regardless of when or how they arrived, or if they have been deported before. Many deportable aliens who are encountered and apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are released soon after, even if they have come to ICE's attention after being arrested by local authorities. 
 
"This state of affairs can be traced directly to policy changes put in place by the Obama administration. While administration officials claims that these policies are 'smarter and more effective' and allow the agencies to better focus on aliens who represent a threat to the public, in reality the intent, and certainly the result, has been the dismantlement of effective enforcement. It is no exaggeration to say that DHS is running a massive catch and release program.  …"
 
 

Deportable Aliens Being Released to Work in the U.S.

Washington, DC (January 15, 2015) � A report by the Center for Immigration Studies reveals that illegal aliens in the process of being deported are getting amnestied with little attention, as Congress focuses on the five million illegal alien parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who, thanks to the president’s executive amnesty, are receiving work permits.

Shortly after the president’s November announcement of an amnesty, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices around the country were directed to start releasing from detention those who the administration no longer considers priorities. And, under current policy, many illegal aliens who have criminal records and/or prior deportations are getting work permits.

View the entire article at: http://cis.org/vaughan/ice-begins-releasing-deportable-aliens-work-us

In just a month, more than 600 detained illegal aliens were freed by the executive action, 200 of whom were in Arizona. These individuals, who may not even have any ties to the U.S. and may have already been order removed by the court, include illegal aliens with pending criminal cases, illegal aliens with criminal charges that were dismissed or dropped (sometimes local prosecutors drop charges because they believe the alien will be deported), and illegal aliens with significant traffic violations (this can include drunk driving, vehicle theft, and hit-and-run).

“It’s bad enough that they are letting illegal aliens who are on the verge of deportation walk out of detention, but giving them a work permit is adding insult to the injury to American workers," said Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies. “The president has tried to create a stealth amnesty that destroys what little integrity that remains of immigration law. Congress needs to act promptly to rein in the president’s cavalier abuse of executive authority.”

Instead of enforcing the law, as they have sworn to do, ICE officers now spend time aiding illegal aliens find which of the various executive amnesties they qualify for and responding to grievances.

As in the case of tens of thousands of criminal releases in the past, neither local law enforcement agencies nor the victims are alerted. ICE does keep track of aliens who are released, and can disclose to the public and to local authorities the details on the number of releases, the aliens' criminal histories, the severity of the aliens' crimes, the zip code of the aliens' last known address, the nature of any supervision, and the reason for release � including specification of those aliens released under provisions of the various executive amnesty categories. FOIA requests from the public can be submitted here. Journalists can make requests directly to the ICE Office of Public Affairs, and members of Congress can use the appropriate channels to learn the details on ICE releases in their districts.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org Read more about Deportable Aliens Being Released to Work in the U.S.

Seven Year Report: Criminal Aliens Incarcerated Oregon Department

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Population Profile dated October 1, 2014 DOC indicated there were 14,606 prisoners incarcerated in DOC’s 14 prisons (See attachment).

Not included in DOC’s October 1st Inmate Population Profile was DOC data indicating there were 1,086 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in its prison system (See attachment).

All 1,086 criminal aliens incarcerated on October 1st by DOC had United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detainers. The U.S. DHS–ICE is responsible for identifying whether a DOC inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at U.S. DHS–ICE’s request, the DOC places an “ICE detainer” on the inmate that directs DOC officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s state sanction.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 7.43% of the DOC October 1st prison population (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE detainers

October 1, 2007

13,553

12,568

985

7.27%

October 1, 2008

13,671

12,587

1,084

7.93%

October 1, 2009

13,927

12,696

1,231

8.84%

October 1, 2010

14,071

12,837

1,234

8.77%

October 1, 2011

13,981

12,792

1,189

8.50%

October 1, 2012

14,234

12,992

1,242

8.73%

October 1, 2013

14,591

13,419

1,172

8.03%

October 1, 2014

14,606

13,520

1,086

7.43%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

Comparing DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (985 criminal aliens) and October 1, 2014 (1,086 criminal aliens), the DOC prison system incarcerated 101 criminal aliens more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 10.25% increase (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

October 1, 2007

985

————

————

October 1, 2008

1,084

99

10.05%

October 1, 2009

1,231

147

13.56%

October 1, 2010

1,234

3

0.24%

October 1, 2011

1,189

(45)

(3.65%)

October 1, 2012

1,242

53

4.46%

October 1, 2013

1,172

(70)

(5.64%)

October 1, 2014

1,086

(86)

(7.34%)

Total

101

10.25%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

When comparing DOC domestic criminal incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (12,568 domestic criminals) and October 1, 2014 (13,520 domestic criminals), the DOC prison system incarcerated 952 domestic criminals more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 7.57% increase (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Domestic Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Domestic Inmates % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

October 1, 2007

12,568

————

————

October 1, 2008

12,587

19

0.15%

October 1, 2009

12,696

109

0.86%

October 1, 2010

12,837

141

1.11%

October 1, 2011

12,792

(45)

(0.35%)

October 1, 2012

12,992

200

1.56%

October 1, 2013

13,419

427

3.29%

October 1, 2014

13,520

101

0.75%

Total

952

7.57%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

Bringing the preceding numbers together, from October 1st 2007– 2014, seven years, the DOC prison population grew by 1,053 domestic and criminal alien prisoners; 9.59% of the overall growth was in criminal alien prisoners.

A review of the 1,086 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by number per county and percentage (%) per county equated to the following: 263-Marion (24.22%); 258-Multnomah (23.76%); 184-Washington (16.94%); 79-Clackamas (7.27%); 54-Lane (4.97%); 49-Jackson (4.51%); 29-Yamhill (2.67%); 26-Linn (2.39%); 19-Umatilla (1.75%); 17-Deschutes (1.56%); 15-Polk (1.38%); 14-Benton (1.29%); 12-Malheur (1.10%); 10-Lincoln (0.92%); 9-Jefferson (0.83%); 8-Klamath (0.74%); 7-Douglas (0.64%); 5-Josephine (0.46%); 5-Morrow (0.46%); 4-Coos (0.37%); 3-Clatsop (0.28%); 3-Hood River (0.28%); 3-Tillamook (0.28%); 3-Wasco (0.28%); 2-Crook (0.18%); 2-Union (0.18); 1-Columbia (0.09%); 1-Gilliam (0.09%); 1-OOS (0.09%); 0-Baker (0.00%); 0-Curry (0.00%); 0-Grant (0.00%); 0-Harney (0.00%); 0-Lake (0.00); 0-Sherman (0.00%); 0-Wallowa (0.00%); and 0-Wheeler (0.00%).

No member of the Oregon State Legislature should forget the uncounted crime victims and their families, no matter what their immigration status, all victims of the 1,086 criminal aliens incarcerated in DOC prisons.

A review of the 1,086 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers per crime and percentage (%) per crime equated to the following: 200-sex abuses (18.42%); 172-rapes (15.84%); 159-drugs (14.64%); 144-homicides (13.26%); 98-assaults (9.02%); 98-sodomies (9.02%); 66-robberies (6.08%); 42-kidnappings (3.87%); 21-burglaries (1.93%); 14-thefts (1.29%); 11-driving offenses (1.01%); 3-vehicle thefts (0.28%); 1-arsons (0.09%); 1-forgery (0.09%); and 56 other types of crime or a combination of the preceding crimes (5.16%).

Oregon State Legislators should not overlook the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the 1,086 criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The self-declared counties of origin of the 1,086 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers and percentage (%) per country equated to the following: 873-Mexico (80.39%); 32-Guatemala (2.95%); 19-Vietnam (1.75%); 16-El Salvador (1.47%); 12-Cuba (1.10%); 11-Honduras (1.01%); 10-Russia (0.92%); 10-Ukraine (0.92%); 8-Federated States of Micronesia (0.74%); 6-Laos (0.55%); 6-Philippines (0.55%); and 83 from other counties (7.64%).

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner incarcerated in the DOC prison system costs the state approximately ($87.08) per day (See link).

http://www.oregon.gov/doc/GECO/docs/pdf/IB_53_Quick_Facts_06_14.pdf

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 1,086 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($94,568.88) per day, ($661,982.16) per week, and ($34,517,641.20) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2013 United States Federal Government State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $2,146,935.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2014, the cost to incarcerate 1,086 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($32,370,706.20) (See link).

https://www.bja.gov/Funding/13SCAAPawards.pdf

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 1,086 criminal aliens include the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

An unfortunate fact, the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with the U.S. DHS–ICE to fight crime committed by criminal aliens who reside in Oregon.

In year 2007, a United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) report titled “Cooperation of SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General Audit Division, Audit Report 07-07, October 2007, Redacted-Public Version” identified the State of Oregon as having an official “state sanctuary statute,” ORS 181.850 Enforcement of federal immigration laws (See link).

http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0707/final.pdf

The USDOJ, the federal governments top law enforcement agency, identified Oregon as a “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

An Oregon law, Oregon Revised Statue 181.850 (ORS 181.850), Section (1), prohibits Oregon law enforcement (Oregon State Police (OSP), county sheriffs, city police departments) from asking immigration status of anyone residing in the State of Oregon “for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.” Under ORS 181.850, Section (2), Oregon law enforcement October exchange information with U.S. DHS–ICE . . . “in order to: Subsection (a), “Verify the immigration status of a person if the person is arrested for any criminal offense;” or, Subsection (b), “Request criminal investigation information with reference to persons named in records of the” U.S. DHS–ICE . . . (See link).

http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2013ors181.html

The State of Oregon should no longer be classified by U.S. federal government law enforcement as having an official “state sanctuary statute” for criminal aliens, nor should Oregon be a sanctuary for criminal aliens to kill, rape, maim or abuse Oregonians. Read more about Seven Year Report: Criminal Aliens Incarcerated Oregon Department

Lawsuit: Obama Immigration Officials Pressured Attorney To Overlook Illegal Alien DUIs And ID Theft

A career attorney with top ratings at Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that she faced retaliation from superiors for refusing to drop cases pending against illegal aliens guilty of DUI, identity theft, and other crimes.

Patricia Vroom, 59, made the claims in a lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court of Appeals in Arizona against Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson.

The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the complaint.

Vroom, who has worked for ICE and its predecessor for 26 years, alleges that in Feb. 2013 she was contacted by ICE deputy director Sarah Hartnett and was “instructed to look favorably for prosecutorial discretion on immigration removal cases involving the lowest level of felony convictions for identity theft under Arizona law.”

“This was a very significant development,” the suit claims. Criminal aliens are generally considered “‘priority cases’ that should be aggressively pursued.”

But Hartnett explained to Vroom that convictions for low-level offenders “could be converted from a felony to a misdemeanor after the defendant successfully completed probation.”

Hartnett’s argument to Vroom, according to the suit, was that “since the typical alien defendant convicted under these provisions of Arizona criminal law had simply been using a fake I.D. to get and keep employment, [Vroom] and her attorneys should look carefully at the individual’s equities and consider their cases for ‘administrative closure.’”

The administrative closure designation would allow Vroom to take such cases off of the docket altogether.

Vroom cited another incident concerning an alien who falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen and registered to vote on two occasions.

As Vroom was pursuing the case, Stoller wrote of her in a Sept. 24, 2013 email to an ICE staffer: “[Vroom] is so wrong on so many levels that I don’t have a response right now…It is abundantly clear that, notwithstanding two years of discussing [prosecutorial discretion], priorities, and efficiencies with the field, Tucson needs comprehensive correction.”

An ICE official named Matt Downer asked Vroom how she would handle the case. She said that she would grant relief by issuing a cancellation for removal.

But Downer issued a ruling even more favorable to the alien: “dismiss with prejudice.”

That designation is significant, the lawsuit claims.

If the subject of the crime were to be charged with a crime in the future “the Department of Homeland Security would have been forever precluded from bringing the removal case against [the subject] again in immigration court on the same, legally sound, charges.”

Vroom also claims that on Nov. 5, 2013, Downer emailed her concerning the case of an individual who was found ineligible for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was started by President Obama, because of an ID theft conviction.

Unknown to Vroom at the time, top ICE and DHS officials had discussed that individual case on a conference call in Aug. 2013.

An angry Downer emailed Vroom on Nov. 5, 2013, demanding to know why she had been unable to convince her Field Office Director to cancel the Notice to Appear order for the alien.

Vroom also alleges in the suit that on Sept. 17 of this year, an ICE official named Jim Stolley told attorneys with the agency’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor at a training session that “they should favorably exercise prosecutorial discretion in some cases involving low-level criminal aliens, including those who had ‘old’ DUI convictions, if they had enough equities.”

When some of the attorneys at the session pushed back against Stolley’s suggestions, he allegedly said “we don’t give a shit about that. Let it go.”

Vroom alleges that she faced sexual and age discrimination from her superiors. And during a mid-year review conducted in May 2013, ICE official Sarah Hartness told her that some had complained that Vroom was giving “a lot of push-back.”

Prior to her recent struggles, Vroom received glowing reviews and won numerous awards, including two for “District Counsel of the Year.”

Vroom’s performance rating for the year 2010-2011 was the highest — a 4.94 on a five-point scale — out of all 26 chief counsels working at ICE.

By Nov. 2013, Vroom had fallen to the bottom of the pack in terms of performance rating. She was scored a 3.53. Read more about Lawsuit: Obama Immigration Officials Pressured Attorney To Overlook Illegal Alien DUIs And ID Theft

Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

The man accused in Friday's horrific killing and carjacking spree near Sacramento, Calif., which resulted in the deaths of two sheriff's deputies and the wounding of two others, is a citizen of Mexico who was deported twice previously, but who apparently has been living in the United States for more than a decade.

Thanks to fingerprint sharing made possible by ICE's Secure Communities program (which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has indicated he wants to scale back), authorities were able to quickly determine that the man arrested had given them an alias. ICE has issued a statement saying that the accused is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and that he was deported in 1997 after a conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and again in 2001.

Unfortunately, the Secure Communities identification system seems to be the only part of our immigration system that has worked properly against this violent criminal.

According to news accounts, after he illegally re-entered the country after deportation, Monroy-Bracamonte lived and worked for years in Arizona, where he married Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte, reported to be a U.S. citizen. At some point they moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, which is notably more hospitable to illegal residents. While working as a house painter and lawn mower there, Monroy-Bracamonte apparently racked up more than 10 misdemeanor traffic offenses and citations between 2003 and 2009 under an alias. In addition, he reportedly had a record of one traffic ticket and three small claims court filings for debt in his real name, also in Utah.

Had these offenses occurred in Arizona or other places where local law enforcement agencies are encouraged (and required in Arizona since 2012) to look into the identity and immigration status of lawbreakers, Monroy-Bracamonte might have come to the attention of local police and ICE a long time ago. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank has said such policies are "ridiculous" and "you actually increase crime when you enforce these kinds of laws." Who looks ridiculous now? Chief Burbank also has been active with a (very small) group of police chiefs lobbying against immigration enforcement and for amnesty.

Monroy-Bracamonte appears not to be your average illegal worker off on a weekend road trip with his wife. They were quite well armed for their trip to Sacramento, packing an AR-15 assault rifle and at least two pistols. Monroy-Bracamonte killed Sacramento County deputy Danny Oliver by shooting him in the forehead as he approached their car, which was parked in the lot of a Motel 6 that is notorious for criminal activity, and where they were registered as guests. They led officers on a six-hour chase, during which Monroy-Bracamonte killed detective Michael David Davis, Jr., and wounded two others before officers used tear gas to smoke him out of hiding in a house in Auburn, Calif.

Photographs reported to be of Monroy-Bracamonte suggest that he is a member of the criminal gang known as Mexican Pride and associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexican Pride has been on ICE's radar screen for some time. Dozens of Mexican Pride members and associates have been arrested by ICE agents over the years, and the agency's arrest records show concentrations in Arizona, southeast Washington state, Colorado, and the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area. Mexican Pride members often have violent criminal histories, including assault, weapons offenses, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, and more. Federal gang intelligence reports say Mexican Pride is also involved in prostitution and human trafficking. The gang's membership includes Central Americans as well as Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Unfortunately, ICE leadership under the Obama administration has pulled back on ICE's highly effective anti-gang programs in the last few years, and American communities – and families – are now paying the price.

ICE's National Gang Unit records show that 20 percent fewer gang arrests were made in 2013 than in 2012. And more and more of the ICE gang arrests have been occurring overseas rather than within the United States.

Whereas ICE agents once could work closely with local law enforcement agencies to target deportable gang members pro-actively with surge and street operations, now policies from ICE headquarters dictate that gang members are off-limits for enforcement until they are convicted of a serious crime. The result is that foreign gang members now can more easily avoid arrest, have little fear of immigration enforcement, are more likely to obtain benefits or relief from removal, are much less likely to face deportation, and are more likely to return after deportation. Liberal ICE detention policies have led to the release of gang members arrested by ICE investigators, which can enable them to escape prosecution. ICE agents also face limitations that are stricter than most other federal and local investigators on how they may use social media; such tools might well have enabled ICE to target Monroy-Bracamonte earlier.

So far ICE has been tight-lipped with information on Luis and Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte, referring questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The following questions remain to be answered:

1 - Has Luis Monroy-Bracamonte had other encounters with immigration authorities since his removal in 2001?

2 - What are the circumstances of his 2001 removal? Did it follow another arrest, and which agency made that arrest?

3 - Did Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte (or anyone else) seek to sponsor Luis for a green card? Has he received any immigration benefit or exercise of prosecutorial discretion?

4 - Law enforcement agencies should be asked to disclose Monroy-Bracamonte's entire criminal history and record of civil infractions and charges.

5 - Does Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte have a criminal history?

6 - What identification documents did Monroy-Bracamonte provide to the officers who arrested him? Did they include a legally issued driver's license that he obtained in Utah or another state? Or did he use fraudulent documents?

7 - Did any Utah law enforcement officers ever inquire or investigate his identity or immigration status? If so, was he referred to ICE?

The answers to these questions may guide lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to adopt, or reinstate, more effective enforcement practices that prioritize public safety over protecting criminal aliens. Read more about Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

The man accused in Friday's horrific killing and carjacking spree near Sacramento, Calif., which resulted in the deaths of two sheriff's deputies and the wounding of two others, is a citizen of Mexico who was deported twice previously, but who apparently has been living in the United States for more than a decade.

Thanks to fingerprint sharing made possible by ICE's Secure Communities program (which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has indicated he wants to scale back), authorities were able to quickly determine that the man arrested had given them an alias. ICE has issued a statement saying that the accused is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and that he was deported in 1997 after a conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and again in 2001.

Unfortunately, the Secure Communities identification system seems to be the only part of our immigration system that has worked properly against this violent criminal.

According to news accounts, after he illegally re-entered the country after deportation, Monroy-Bracamonte lived and worked for years in Arizona, where he married Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte, reported to be a U.S. citizen. At some point they moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, which is notably more hospitable to illegal residents. While working as a house painter and lawn mower there, Monroy-Bracamonte apparently racked up more than 10 misdemeanor traffic offenses and citations between 2003 and 2009 under an alias. In addition, he reportedly had a record of one traffic ticket and three small claims court filings for debt in his real name, also in Utah.

Had these offenses occurred in Arizona or other places where local law enforcement agencies are encouraged (and required in Arizona since 2012) to look into the identity and immigration status of lawbreakers, Monroy-Bracamonte might have come to the attention of local police and ICE a long time ago. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank has said such policies are "ridiculous" and "you actually increase crime when you enforce these kinds of laws." Who looks ridiculous now? Chief Burbank also has been active with a (very small) group of police chiefs lobbying against immigration enforcement and for amnesty.

Monroy-Bracamonte appears not to be your average illegal worker off on a weekend road trip with his wife. They were quite well armed for their trip to Sacramento, packing an AR-15 assault rifle and at least two pistols. Monroy-Bracamonte killed Sacramento County deputy Danny Oliver by shooting him in the forehead as he approached their car, which was parked in the lot of a Motel 6 that is notorious for criminal activity, and where they were registered as guests. They led officers on a six-hour chase, during which Monroy-Bracamonte killed detective Michael David Davis, Jr., and wounded two others before officers used tear gas to smoke him out of hiding in a house in Auburn, Calif.

Photographs reported to be of Monroy-Bracamonte suggest that he is a member of the criminal gang known as Mexican Pride and associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexican Pride has been on ICE's radar screen for some time. Dozens of Mexican Pride members and associates have been arrested by ICE agents over the years, and the agency's arrest records show concentrations in Arizona, southeast Washington state, Colorado, and the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area. Mexican Pride members often have violent criminal histories, including assault, weapons offenses, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, and more. Federal gang intelligence reports say Mexican Pride is also involved in prostitution and human trafficking. The gang's membership includes Central Americans as well as Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Unfortunately, ICE leadership under the Obama administration has pulled back on ICE's highly effective anti-gang programs in the last few years, and American communities – and families – are now paying the price.

ICE's National Gang Unit records show that 20 percent fewer gang arrests were made in 2013 than in 2012. And more and more of the ICE gang arrests have been occurring overseas rather than within the United States.

Whereas ICE agents once could work closely with local law enforcement agencies to target deportable gang members pro-actively with surge and street operations, now policies from ICE headquarters dictate that gang members are off-limits for enforcement until they are convicted of a serious crime. The result is that foreign gang members now can more easily avoid arrest, have little fear of immigration enforcement, are more likely to obtain benefits or relief from removal, are much less likely to face deportation, and are more likely to return after deportation. Liberal ICE detention policies have led to the release of gang members arrested by ICE investigators, which can enable them to escape prosecution. ICE agents also face limitations that are stricter than most other federal and local investigators on how they may use social media; such tools might well have enabled ICE to target Monroy-Bracamonte earlier.

So far ICE has been tight-lipped with information on Luis and Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte, referring questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The following questions remain to be answered:

1 - Has Luis Monroy-Bracamonte had other encounters with immigration authorities since his removal in 2001?

2 - What are the circumstances of his 2001 removal? Did it follow another arrest, and which agency made that arrest?

3 - Did Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte (or anyone else) seek to sponsor Luis for a green card? Has he received any immigration benefit or exercise of prosecutorial discretion?

4 - Law enforcement agencies should be asked to disclose Monroy-Bracamonte's entire criminal history and record of civil infractions and charges.

5 - Does Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte have a criminal history?

6 - What identification documents did Monroy-Bracamonte provide to the officers who arrested him? Did they include a legally issued driver's license that he obtained in Utah or another state? Or did he use fraudulent documents?

7 - Did any Utah law enforcement officers ever inquire or investigate his identity or immigration status? If so, was he referred to ICE?

The answers to these questions may guide lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to adopt, or reinstate, more effective enforcement practices that prioritize public safety over protecting criminal aliens. Read more about Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

Could we please stop the insanity?

Just when I think another illegal immigration insanity story won't surprise me, a news report like this is published.

I'll walk through this article and touch on the painful, high pitched points for those that may not "get it" at a glance.  Here goes:

Francisco Aguirre (an illegal alien), from El Salvador, took refuge Friday in a Northeast Portland church after he said federal immigration agents went to his home to detain him...

"I've been a leader in this community for so many years," Aguirre said. "I'm part of this community, and this is where I belong (no - he belongs in El Salvador). This is where I want to stay" (too bad).

Aguirre was deported to El Salvador in 2000 after a conviction for drug trafficking offenses.... (a real LEADER in this community - a drug dealer?), 

Aguirre came to the agency's attention again in August after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (again, a real swell guy) in Clackamas County, ICE said.

Aguirre said he applied earlier this year for a U Visa ... The visa provides legal status to victims of certain crimes who help authorities investigate crimes (does that include the crimes HE commits?), according the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Office.

He acknowledged that he was deported 14 years ago...(and he should be deported AGAIN after serving time in prison for re-entering the country illegally)

Aguirre was involved in the Workers' Organizing Committee that went on to found Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, nonprofit organization that mostly helps male Latino (illegal?) immigrants find work in Portland (So, he helps other illegal? immigrants find work in Portland - it's against the law for an illegal alien to work in the US). He currently serves as the MLK Jr. Worker Center coordinator for the group.

Churches elsewhere in the country have been offering sanctuary (is this the intended use of your tithe contributions?) to illegal immigrants after President Barack Obama announced that he wouldn't take any executive action on immigration legislation until after the November election.

ICE agents do not make arrests in sensitive locations such as schools and churches (how handy), said Andrew S. Muñoz, a public affairs officer for ICE.

Aguirre, a father of three, said he plans to stay at the church for as "long as it takes."

"We all make mistakes," he said. "We all have the right to fix those mistakes."

(Let's review - Aguirre entered the country illegally, trafficked drugs, was deported, re-entered the country illegally, helps illegal aliens work illegally, is arrested on suspicion of DUI and claims "we all make mistakes and have the right to fix those mistakes."  When is he going to start?  Is he fixing them now - while hiding out in a church because he won't face up to the mistakes he has made already?)

Wow - what a guy - a real pillar of the community.  Let's keep him!  Better yet - let's CROWN him King!  I'm certain he thinks he's entitled to the title! Read more about Could we please stop the insanity?

Portland activist seeks asylum in church to avoid deportation

Francisco Aguirre, a local labor activist originally from El Salvador, took refuge Friday in a Northeast Portland church...

"I've been a leader in this community for so many years," Aguirre said. "I'm part of this community, and this is where I belong. This is where I want to stay."

Aguirre was deported to El Salvador in 2000 after a conviction for drug trafficking offenses, ICE said in a statement. Aguirre came to the agency's attention again in August after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence...

He acknowledged that he was deported 14 years ago, but declined to comment further..

Aguirre was involved in the Workers' Organizing Committee that went on to found Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, nonprofit organization that mostly helps male Latino immigrants find work in Portland. He currently serves as the MLK Jr. Worker Center coordinator for the group.

Churches elsewhere in the country have been offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants...

ICE agents do not make arrests in sensitive locations...

Aguirre, a father of three, said he plans to stay at the church for as "long as it takes."

"We all make mistakes," he said. "We all have the right to fix those mistakes."

  Read more about Portland activist seeks asylum in church to avoid deportation

TSA Admits Allowing Illegal Migrants to Fly With ICE Form as ID

Contrary to previous assertions, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has admitted it has allowed individuals to board airplanes using Notice to Appear forms given to them after illegally entering the United States, the Gateway Pundit reports.

The Aug. 7 letter sent by the TSA to Texas Republican Kenny Marchant, a member of the Border Security Caucus, was prompted by reports made by officials with the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) that illegal immigrants were being allowed to board planes by TSA with only a Notice to Appear issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The letter says the Notice to Appear, known as I-862, "may be used along with another form of identification in this instance." The Notice to Appear form has no photo, or any security features, including watermarks.

The letter to Marchant continues, "As part of the issuance process for Form I-862, the person undergoes a biographic systems check, and a biometric systems check against both the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Automated Biometric Identification System prior to the issuance of Form I-862. TSA needs to be able to assess a wide range of information proffered by a passenger in order to investigate the passenger’s identity and make sure that watch list matching has occurred."

After the initial story broke in July by Breitbart News' Brandon Darby, a TSA spokesman insisted on Twitter that the article and allegations were "completely wrong."

In July, Darby spoke with Hector Garza, who works for the local NBPC affiliate in Laredo, Texas, who said the TSA was "allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer."

Other news outlets also reported the allegations made by NBPC officials.

"Late last week, we were told by Border Patrol agents in Laredo, Texas, that they had observed TSA accepting I-862 notice to appear in court documents from illegal aliens who had just been released from Border Patrol custody, and allowing them to fly," Shawn Moran, NBPC vice president, told KFOX14.

"We did receive reports that in El Paso, illegal aliens were walked around security, much to the dismay of U.S. citizens who were standing in line waiting to be screened," he added.

At the time, the TSA denied in a statement that the Notice to Appear document was "an acceptable form of primary ID at the TSA checkpoint."

In a statement issued July 11, the NBPC said it learned that as recently as July 9, illegal immigrants had been processed by Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector, were released with an I-862 Notice to Appear, and used that document as identification to board flights leaving from Laredo International Airport.

"Border Patrol agents witnessed illegal aliens present the I-862s to Transportation Security Administration officers, who accepted the form, and cleared the illegal aliens through a security checkpoint. The Border Patrol agents notified the TSA officers that the I-862 is not a government-issued form of identification. The TSA officer then notified a supervisor, who reviewed the documents, made copies, and told the Border Patrol agents that because the documents were issued by the Border Patrol that TSA was willing to accept them. Another supervisor looked over the documents and said they were going to forward them to their national headquarters for guidance.

"Subsequent inquiries made by National Border Patrol Council representatives indicate that TSA in Laredo has been accepting these documents as valid identification to travel for several weeks," the council statement said.

They also responded to TSA's denials by stating that the union stands "behind the statements of Border Patrol agents and are confident that surveillance from the Laredo Airport will support these assertions. Any thorough investigation will show that TSA officers and supervisors were aware that the individuals were illegal aliens, had no valid identification, and were still cleared to fly." Read more about TSA Admits Allowing Illegal Migrants to Fly With ICE Form as ID

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