illegal immigration

Feds shut down criminal investigation of Arpaio; no charges to be filed

In a 5 p.m. Friday news release, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel, acting on behalf of the United States Department of Justice, announced her office "is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct" by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Federal prosecutors have advised Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery of the decision.

In a four-page letter to Montgomery, Scheel explained the reasoning for the decision.

Federal prosecutors decided to not prosecute matters tied to alleged misuse of county credit cards by sheriff's officials, alleged misspending of jail-enhancement funds and other matters. The U.S. Attorney's Office had already made public it would not pursue charges on those matters.

Scheel wrote that the agency declined to initiate any state criminal charges arising from its broader appointment to pursue state charges that may have come up in connection with the federal investigation. Several federal attorneys had been deputized to handle state crimes arising from the investigation.

"Law enforcement officials are rightfully afforded a wide swath of discretion in deciding how to conduct investigations and prosecutions," she wrote. "Unfortunately, such discretion can act as a double-edged sword: although it empowers fair-minded prosecutors and investigators to discharge their duties effectively, it also affords potential for abuse. Our limited role is to determine whether criminal charges are supportable. After careful review, we do not believe the allegations presented to us are prosecutable as crimes."

Scheel wrote that federal prosecutors reached the same conclusion on potential federal criminal violations, specifically related to the allegations involving retired Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe. Attorneys considered whether former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon committed perjury in causing a complaint to be filed to avoid a court hearing, and whether their pursuit of criminal charges amounted to a violation of federal criminal civil rights laws.

Scheel wrote that the agency was mindful that a disciplinary panel had concluded Thomas, Aubuchon, Hendershott and Arpaio conspired in a criminal manner to violate Donahoe's civil rights. "However, our obligation is different from the State Bar disciplinary panel, under its rules and burdens of proof, has reached certain conclusions about the conduct of Thomas and Aubuchon," she wrote. "We must weigh the evidence and law under the far heavier burden associated with criminal prosecution. Based on this review, we have concluded that allegations of criminal misconduct under federal statutes are not prosecutable."

She wrote it was "not enough to show that Judge Donahoe was subjected to conduct that was abusive or even unconstitutional. While Judge Donahoe suffered severe turmoil resulting from the criminal charges, as evidenced by the record in the Bar proceedings, we don't believe there is sufficient evidence to meet our burden that he suffered the sort of complete job depreciation contemplated by existing precedent."

"I'm just pissed," said Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. "If (former Deputy County Attorney) Lisa Aubuchon and (former Sheriff's Chief Deputy) David Hendershott are not prosecuted for perjury, then this is all about politics. This is about a Justice Department that is afraid to do their jobs."

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, one of those who has sued Arpaio alleging she was improperly investigated, said she was shocked when contacted by The Republic. "I can't imagine why they would do that when there's so much evidence there, particularly from the Thomas case and all the testimony that came out. I just am floored," Wilcox said.

Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre commended federal prosecutors for their handling of the investigation that began in 2008. MacIntyre also said the U.S. Attorney's Office recognized that many of the allegations related to the anti-corruption enforcement unit Arpaio started with former County Attorney Andrew Thomas were handled in the State Bar proceeding that resulted in Thomas being stripped of his license.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office and its investigators recognized what Sheriff's Office has said all along: we did not make any prosecutorial decisions, even through things were referred to the then-county attorney," MacIntyre said. "The sheriff and the Sheriff's Office commend the U.S. Attorney's office for having the honesty, the integrity and the strength of character to make the statement that they do today: clearing this office and dispelling the shadow that's been lingering over it for over three years."

Thomas, a onetime Arpaio ally, was disbarred earlier this year. During the disbarment proceedings, testimony was given that Arpaio or his subordinates had abused the power the office. The investigation began in December 2008.

Bill Solomon, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said he could not comment any further on the agency's decision. He said the agency would not immediately release records pertaining to the closed investigations.

Albany man charged with sex crimes

An Albany man has been arrested on sex crime charges.

Miguel Lopez-Garcia, 35, faces charges of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, and first degree unlawful sexual penetration.

He was being held at the Linn County Jail and his initial bail was set at $150,000.

Lopez-Garcia also has a federal immigration hold.

On Aug. 22, Albany Police Department received a report from a 12-year-old female that Lopez-Garcia, whom she knew, had abused her about a year-and-a-half ago.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Lopez-Garcia’s residence in the 400 block of 38th Avenue S.E. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the search warrant was served and Lopez-Garcia was arrested.

 

Lopez-Garcia is under an INS HOLD

Oregonians should be proud?

Not surprising is the recent report claiming Oregon's teen unemployment rate is the 3rd highest in the country.  How thoughtful of President Obama to grant over 16,000 illegal aliens in Oregon alone, a "deferred action" from deportation and giving them work permits, as well.  

Nationwide, an estimated 1.8 million 15-30 year old illegal aliens will avoid deportation by this questionable move.
 

Is Illegal Immigration Unlawful and Immoral?

Read this great letter posted by the Editors of the Bend Bulletin and you decide.  Illegal immigration is a multi-faceted issue with many culprits complicating the issue even further.

But, it's really as simple as this:  Enforce the Rule of Law.
 

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?


 

Attrition through Enforcement

A report issued today by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) has found that criminal illegal aliens released by the Obama Administration's lax enforcement of immigration laws committed more crimes after their release, including murder, rape, kidnapping and child molestation.

The CRS completed the report using data obtained by the House Judiciary Committee last fall after the Committee learned that the Administration would release certain illegal aliens detected through the Secure Communities program. Secure Communities is a program that checks individuals booked into local jails with immigration data on file with DHS. The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed DHS to release the data.

The key findings of the report include:

- The data provided to the House Judiciary Committee by DHS includes 276,412 records of charges against illegal and criminal immigrants identified by Secure Communities between October 27, 2008 and July 31, 2011. There are 159,286 unique individuals in the database and 205,101 unique arrest incidents.

- Of those released, CRS found that about 17% of illegal and criminal immigrants, or 26,412, were rearrested on criminal charges. These 26,412 recidivists accounted for a total of 42,827 arrests and 57,763 alleged violations.

- The categories of crimes charged include nearly 8,500 DUI (14.6%), over 6,000 Drug Violations (10.9%), more than 4,000 Major Criminal Offenses (7.1%), which includes murder, assault, battery, rape, and kidnapping, nearly 3,000 Theft (4.9%), and over 1,000 Other Violent Crimes (2.1%), which includes carjacking, child cruelty, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking, and torture.

- These crimes committed by both illegal and legal immigrants include 59 murders, 21 attempted murders, and 542 sex crimes.

- Of those rearrested, nearly 30%, or 7,283, were illegal immigrants. Since 46,734 illegal immigrants were released, this means they have a recidivism rate of 16%. These illegal immigrants should have been deported but the Obama administration’s lax immigration policies released them back into our communities.

- The crimes charged against these illegal immigrants include nearly 2,000 DUI (11.9%), over 1,400 drug violations (8.8%), and more than 1,000 major criminal offenses and violent crimes (6.9%), including murder, assault, battery, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking, and torture.

- These crimes committed by illegal immigrants include 19 murders, 3 attempted murders, and 142 sex crimes.

"President Obama’s reckless amnesty agenda is dangerous and deadly for Americans," House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith said. "Rather than protect the American people he was elected to serve, President Obama has imposed a policy that allows thousands of illegal immigrants to be released into our communities. They have committed thousands of more crimes, including 19 murders, 3 attempted murders, and 142 sex crimes, which could have been avoided.

"For example, after an illegal immigrant was released, he and another illegal immigrant were arrested on suspicion of killing a man. And this is just one case. Illegal immigrants released from jail have committed other crimes, including nearly 2,000 DUI, over 1,400 drug violations, and more than 1,000 major criminal offenses and violent crimes, which consist of murder, assault, battery, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking, and torture.

"The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws. But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences. His unwillingness to enforce immigration laws puts our communities at risk and costs American lives. We elect leaders to protect us – not put us in danger."

 

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: 
2012-07-09
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.

 

California Considers Illegal Alien Sanctuary Law for Entire State!

Despite mounting budget woes, California lawmakers continue to invite illegal immigration by dolling out benefits to, and creating a safe haven for, illegal aliens. Their latest goal is to become the "anti-Arizona" state by passing laws to further prevent the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

A bill awaiting final passage by the Assembly, AB 1081, prohibits California law enforcement from complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to hold suspected illegal aliens. Law enforcement is barred from holding an arrested illegal alien for ICE unless they have been convicted of a serious or violent felony in the bill.

Other jurisdictions, including Cook County, Illinois, and Washington, DC, have adopted similar measures. And, although California and others are circumventing the enforcement of immigration laws by passing bills to prevent the apprehension of illegal aliens, the Department of Justice and ICE have failed to stand up for the rule of law and stop them.

This is all going on against the backdrop of a severe budget crisis for California resulting in deep cuts to welfare, child care, and education benefits. Come November, Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats are asking voters to approve $8.5 billion in annual tax increases, including a sales tax hike. Meanwhile, California's 3.2 million illegal aliens – and their children – continue to receive publicly funded education, college aid, in-state tuition and health care to the tune of nearly $22 billion a year.

AB 1081 originated in the Assembly but will return after passing the Senate with changes. It will come before the Assembly once again in early August.


 

Eight Amendments to Increase Immigration Enforcement Approved by the House

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security spending bill for the 2013 fiscal year, which included 8 immigration amendments supported by NumbersUSA.

Throughout the day on Thursday, our activists flooded the Capitol switchboard with calls to help get the amendments passed. And with roll call votes on three of the amendments, we'll be able to update our grade cards over the next few days!

The first amendment to receive a roll call actually came on Wednesday night and was featured on our home page on Thursday. Reps. Ted Poe of Texas and Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania offered a bipartisan amendment to reallocate funds to pay for the construction of cell phone towers along the Southwest border. The wife of murdered rancher Robert Krentz believes that if there was a cell phone signal along the border in 2011, her husband might still be alive today. The amendment passed 302-to-113 with strong support coming from both sides of the aisle.

The two other roll call votes were split mostly by party line, but both were still approved with large margins. Rep. Steve King of Iowa offered an amendment that would prohibit funds from being used to implement and execute the directives from ICE Director John Morton's memos of 2011. These memos instruct agents to use prosecutorial discretion thereby offering an administrative amnesty to illegal aliens that have not committed a violent crime. It passed 238-to-175. The other amendment was offered by Rep. John Sullivan of Oklahoma, and his amendment prohibited funds from being used to terminate 287(g) contracts. It passed 250-to-164.

The amendments approved by voice vote include:

  • Rep. Chip Cravaack's amendment to keep criminal aliens behind bars before they're deported;
  • Rep. Price's amendment to prevent funds from being used to circumvent the enforcement of immigration laws;
  • Rep. Black's amendment to prohibit the funding of a Public Advocate position within ICE;
  • Rep. Graves' amendment to prevent the implementation

Visit the Numbers USA website for more information

 


 

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