In a letter sent last week to members of the state legislature, Alabama's Attorney General recommends repealing key provisions of the state's well-publicized anti-illegal immigration statute.
Attorney General Luther Strange suggests the repeal of at least two of the law's more controversial sections, both of which are currently not being enforced per an injunction handed down by a federal appeals court. Specifically, the sections suggested for scrapping include one that makes it a crime for illegal aliens to be to be detained while not in possession of proper immigration documentation, and another mandating that the state's public schools maintain a registry of their students' immigration status.
In the memo dated December 1, Strange set out his purpose in making the recommendation for removal of elements of the state statute: "My goals are to (1) make the law easier to defend in court; (2) assist law enforcement in implementation; and (3) remove burdens on law abiding citizens. All while not weakening the law."
In October, both of these portions of the law (HB 56) were blocked from being enforced by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Atlanta. The Obama administration sued Alabama, asserting that by enacting the law the state legislature and Governor violated the Constitution by legislating in an area over which the federal government has exclusive authority.
In an effort to discourage the Mexican government's violations of the human rights of Central American migrants, last Friday more than 30 House Democrats urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to put pressure on the Mexican government by making any American aid to Mexico contingent on Mexico's proper treatment of Central American migrants.
Led by Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, dozens of Democratic colleagues signed a letter that castigated Mexican authorities for kidnapping, robbing, and extorting money from migrants who cross the Mexican border into the United States.
"We believe that strengthening Mexico's efforts to evaluate performance and increase the accountability of its security forces, including the Federal Police and the INM (National Migration Institute) should be key elements of U.S. assistance to Mexico," read the letter. It added that such action is the only way to "ensure that crimes and human rights violations committed by members of these federal agencies do not go unpunished."
Last Thursday, the often controversial Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (occasionally derisively called the “Ninth Circus Court” for its untenable holdings) threw out a case brought by an Arizona police officer. The court ruled that the officer did not have standing to challenge the state’s strict anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070.
The appellant, Martin Escobar, is a patrolman with the Tucson police department. He filed suit last year claiming that he was “mandated to enforce SB 1070” and therefore he had standing sufficient to proceed with his complaint.
Simply put, "standing" is a legal concept wherein the party bringing the suit proves to the court that he has “connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case.”
Escobar defended the sufficiency of his standing by explaining that "if he refuses to enforce the Act, he can be disciplined by his employer," and if he does enforce it, he "can be subject to costly civil actions" for "deprivation of civil rights of the individual against whom he enforces the Act."
The Court of Appeals was not persuaded, and it ruled against Escobar's assertion of standing. As a result of its holding in the Escobar case, the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision of the lower court dismissing the suit.
Newt Gingrich came out strongly for jury trials before illegal immigrants can be deported in the December 3 presidential forum sponsored by Fox News' Mike Huckabee. But the former House Speaker has refused to favor jury trials of American citizens accused of terrorism.
During the forum Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked Gingrich if his proposal to create neighborhood boards to legalize the residency status of illegal immigrants would undermine the rule of law. Gingrich's campaign website proposes the following proposal to make illegal immigrants legal residents: "Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs."
The scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s operation “Fast and Furious,” which sent thousands of American guns to Mexican drug cartels, continues to escalate. Senior officials and a new trove of documents released yesterday further confirm that the Justice Department provided false information about the deadly scheme to Congress. And the number of Congressman demanding Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation has now soared well above 50.
The administration was forced to release more than 1,300 pages of documents related to the gun-trafficking program. The subpoenaed records reveal frantic e-mail communications between senior officials about how vigorously to defend the operation, as well as concerns about the veracity of some of the proposed defenses.
Newt Gingrich’s statements at a CNN foreign policy debate that seemed to support the establishment of an amnesty program for illegal immigrants has drawn his opponents to the issue like sharks to chum. While the roster of GOP presidential hopefuls has taken advantage of Gingrich’s proposals, none has been more tenacious in the attack than erstwhile media magnet, Michele Bachmann.
At an unexpected stop in South Florida Thursday, the one-time darling of the Tea Party continued her assault on Newt Gingrich on the issue of how to address the problem of illegal immigration.
Calling Gingrich an “influence peddler,” Bachmann touted her outsider status compared to that of career politician, Newt Gingrich.
Bachmann used the word “amnesty” when speaking of the plan proffered by the former Speaker of the House.
For his part, Gingrich rejects this characterization of his position, saying, instead, that he believes that if an illegal immigrant has worked for years in this country, raised a family, paid taxes, and kept his nose clean, then that person should be allowed to remain in the United States as a permanent resident.
In what may become the second arm of a federal pincer strategy aimed at judicially nullifying state laws, leading Democrats in Congress have proposed a new bill that may void the various state statutes enacted recently to combat the growth of the illegal alien population.
As has been thoroughly covered in The New American, the Obama administration has filed suit in several federal courts challenging the constitutionality of laws passed by state legislatures that have drawn the attention of the media for their more controversial provisions.
To date, the complaints filed by the Department of Justice (typically with the Department of Homeland Security listed as a co-plaintiff) have named as defendants the Attorneys General of the states whose laws they are seeking to set aside.
This latest effort by the federal government to redraw the lines of power laid out by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution would authorize the Department of Justice to file suit against state and local governments suspected of using racial profiling to carry out the new anti-illegal immigration laws passed by legislators.
Now that Newt Gingrich has become the latest in a series of Republican frontrunners, he is getting the kinds of scrutiny and attacks that have done in other frontrunners. One of the issues that have aroused concern among conservative Republicans is that of amnesty for illegal immigrants, especially after Gingrich said that it would not be "humane" to deport someone who has been living and working here for years.
Let's go back to square one. The purpose of American immigration laws and policies is not to be either humane or inhumane to illegal immigrants. The purpose of immigration laws and policies is to serve the national interest of this country.
There is no inherent right to come live in the United States, in disregard of whether the American people want you here. Nor does the passage of time confer any such right retroactively.
The usually sober and thoughtful Wall Street Journal, on issues other than immigration, outdoes Newt Gingrich's claim that it would not be "humane" to deport illegal immigrants who have been living here a long time. A Wall Street Journal editorial says that it would be "psychotic" to do so.
On November 18, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced its intent to investigate the effect of various state anti-illegal immigration statutes on the civil rights of alleged targets of those laws. A unanimous vote taken at the eight-member group’s most recent business meeting was the spark that ignited the flames of interest in this issue. The primary focus of the investigation will be the effect of the relevant laws recently enacted in South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia.
More documents and statements have emerged showing that evidence was withheld from the jury that convicted Border Patrol Agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz, Jr., prompting strong criticism and a growing uproar in Congress.
On November 22, the non-profit Law Enforcement Officers Advocate Council (LEOAC) released official documents related to the case that were obtained during discovery process — when the defense is allowed to review the evidence against the defendant. The judge in the case had issued an order prohibiting defense attorneys from releasing the information, but LEOAC and its legal counsel obtained the documents well before the order was given. They do not believe the restriction applies to third parties.
Among the trove of documents sent to The New American and posted online were interviews with trainee agents who claimed to have witnessed the alleged excessive use of force. Also included were interviews with agents who were in the area but did not see agent Diaz engaging in any improper behavior. A complaint from the Mexican Consulate was made available as well.
According to experts, the picture that emerges from a review of the documents is troubling. And more than a few prominent individuals have expressed deep concerns about a possible miscarriage of justice.