The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Judicial Circuit has upheld almost all of Alabama’s tough immigration law, frustrating the Obama Administration and its leftist allies who sought to have the entire statute overturned.
A three-judge panel refused to overturn the most important provision of HB 56, which requires police in the state to determine the immigration status of persons with whom they have a lawful contact. It struck down the provisions that require illegals to carry alien registration documents and schools to determine the immigration status of suspect pupils.
The decision is a major blow to the Obama administration’s campaign against states trying to stem the tide of illegal immigration and the fiscal strain those illegals are placing upon American taxpayers, which has reached some $113 billion in federal and state costs annually.
Should American high school students be required to recite the pledge of allegiance? This is a question which has generated controversy over the years, but rarely if ever has the controversy centered on the notion that the students in question would be required to pledge allegiance to a foreign nation. Nevertheless, this was situation at the high school in the McAllen, Texas Independent School District, where students were required to pledge allegiance to Mexico.
McAllen is only a few miles from the Mexican border, so the question of loyalty to one’s own nation is particularly poignant as drug cartels run amok only a few miles away in the Mexican city of Reynosa. With Mexico in the midst of what amounts to a civil war, the pledge of loyalty to these United States should be a matter of honor to any Texan. According to press reports, the Mexican national anthem and pledge of allegiance were required on one occasion for students in the Spanish class taught by Reyna Santos.
Several of the basic facts do not appear to be in contention. On September 16, the students of Santos’ class were required to learn and sing the Mexican national anthem and to recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance. The implications of this action, however, are in dispute between the school and one family which was offended by the requirement. For Brenda Brinsdon and her parents, Santos’ actions were indefensible. However, as KRGV television reported, school officials endeavored to defend the teacher’s actions:
Mere months after one of the local agents described his office as a “black hole” with “no mission, no purpose,” the Port Angeles Border Patrol office may find itself equipped with expansive new power that will trump current federal laws in pursuit of a threat that does not appear to exist.
In August, Jose Romero, the supervising agent for the Port Angeles, Washington, office of the U.S. Border Patrol was busy with "damage control" when one of his agents — Christian Sanchez — made the simple observation that an office that had been bloated by a staff that had grown to 10 times its 2006 level found itself with very little to do. As Paul Gottlieb wrote on August 16 for the Penninsula Daily News:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported nearly 397,000 illegal aliens thus far in fiscal 2011, an increase in last year’s numbers but still 3,000 short of its goal of 400,000. The numbers came in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee from ICE chieftain John Morton, who conceived the Obama amnesty in June when he and his superior, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, decided that illegals eligible for amnesty under the failed DREAM Act will not be deported.
ICE claims that 210,000 of the deportees are criminals.
“Federale,” a federal immigration officer who blogs about the insanity of America's immigration policy, says the numbers aren’t what they appear to be.
“The numbers are quite strong,” Morton told the committee, claiming the increase from last year was substantial.
Morton assured the committee that his agency’s immigration enforcement has “yielded results” and that the Department of Homeland of Security “has produced record immigration enforcement.”
A substantial numbers of Hispanics in Alabama are apparently staging a strike, closing businesses, including restaurants, to protest the state’s tough new law that seeks to stem the tide of illegal immigration. The Associated Press has reported that everything from poultry plants to schools are missing what used to be a familiar presence: Hispanic workers.
They’re miffed about HB 56, which federal Judge Sharon Blackburn of Alabama’s northern district largely upheld two weeks ago, leaving the state to enforce what may be the nation’s toughest measure to crack down on border jumpers.
According to the AP, “[a]t least a half-dozen poultry plants shut down or scaled back operations Wednesday and many other businesses closed,” noting that the “work stoppage was aimed at demonstrating the economic contribution of Alabama's Hispanic immigrants.”
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been pressuring the National Park Service to locate sites related to the histories of women and minorities, particularly Latinos, which could be added to the National Register of Historic Places or otherwise preserved as parks or properties.
U.S. Border Patrol chief David Aguilar is under fire from all directions as scandals surrounding his statements and actions continue to grow. And in a report for the Liberty News Network, national correspondent and border-security expert Andy Ramirez took him to task yet again.
Quoting often from a report by 27-year Border Patrol veteran David Stoddard, Ramirez went through the border chief’s record in detail. The conclusion: It is time for Aguilar to step down.
Adding a touch of humor to the criticism, Stoddard even compared Aguilar to “Baghdad Bob,” a former spokesman for the deposed regime of Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. The propagandist became an infamous object of ridicule as he would brag during press conferences about how Iraq’s armed forces were crushing the American military even as U.S. troops could be seen overrunning the nation on the split news screen.
“He did his job well. He was a mouthpiece for Saddam regardless of the facts. And, he provided material for late night television for months after he disappeared,” noted Stoddard in his piece lambasting Aguilar. “He just appeared periodically in his spiffy uniform and beret and told bald-faced lies with a straight face. That is an ability the morally challenged have mastered.”
We’ve all heard about the tactic of using children as human shields, as practiced by Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and others. The idea is that you place civilians — preferably women and children — at military targets to reduce the chances that your enemy will attack and so that, if he does, he’ll look like a heartless miscreant who targets the least among us. Morally, it’s the least of tactics.
Yet while we Westerners have made the practice illegal under the Geneva Convention, it’s not unknown in the United States — in our political battles. In the 1990s especially, it became common to claim that all and sundry must support a given statist policy “for the children.” As an example, when Republican-backed welfare reform was instituted, Ted Kennedy called it “legislative child abuse.” And when President G.W. Bush threatened to veto an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 2007, Democrats brought children to a press conference on the matter and later had a 12-year-old SCHIP recipient read a heartstring-tugging Democrat radio address about the program.
The latest use of this tactic was by Texas Governor Rick Perry in the Florida Republican debate when he invoked the welfare of the children to justify his granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens.
It’s early October and that means it’s time for the Supreme Court to begin hearing oral arguments in cases it will decide this term. One such case was placed on the docket according to an order issued by the court in September. Carlos Martinez Gutierrez was nabbed trying to smuggle three Mexican children into California. The merits of this case will now be considered by the highest court in the land.
On September 27, the court granted certiorari in the case of Attorney General Eric Holder v. Carlos Gutierrez. At the center of the case are several issues of vital importance for children of illegal immigrants.
If Gutierrez wins, some immigrants may find it easier to avoid removal and stay in the United States.
"The case is significant," Gutierrez's appellate attorney, Stephen Kinnaird, said Tuesday, adding that "you can have possible breakups of families" in certain circumstances.
The facts of the case are these. In December 2005, Carlos Gutierrez attempted to smuggle aliens into the United States through the San Ysidro port of entry (a border community in the southernmost part of San Diego). Subsequently, Gutierrez fought deportation and it is his argument in that aspect of the case that concerns the court in the present matter.
Alabama’s tough new immigration law, most of which was upheld by a federal judge last week, is having its intended effect: Illegal aliens are leaving the state, and their children are disappearing from schools. Two news reports show that illegal aliens, who cost Alabama taxpayers some $300 million annually, have read the handwriting on the wall: No more hiding; the free ride is over.
The news comes on the heels of federal Judge Sharon Blackburn’s decision that most of the law does not interfere with federal prerogatives on immigration policy. The law’s most important codicils require police to check the immigration status of those they lawfully stop and reasonably suspect of being illegal aliens, and as well to detain and check the immigration status of those driving without a valid license.
Illegals on the Run
According to the New York Times, “The vanishing began Wednesday night, the most frightened families packing up their cars as soon as they heard the news.They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for a thousand dollars or even less. Or they just closed up and, in a gesture of optimism, left the keys with a neighbor. Dogs were fed one last time; if no home could be found, they were simply unleashed.