The White House announced Tuesday that Cecilia Muñoz, President Obama’s point person on immigration, will be director of the Domestic Policy Council, a high-ranking aide position that oversees policies on issues including education, healthcare, and immigration. Muñoz is currently director of intergovernmental affairs, acting as a liaison between the White House and Mayors, Governors, tribal leaders, and other officials in state and local governments.
"Over the past three years, Cecilia has been a trusted advisor who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out," President Obama professed in a statement. "Cecilia has done an extraordinary job working on behalf of middle class families, and I'm confident she'll bring the same unwavering dedication to her new position."
Muñoz is an immigration specialist and worked for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, until she joined the Obama administration in 2009. The organization works on an array of issues affecting the Hispanic community, including healthcare, housing, education, and workforce development — as well as advocating legislation which would grant a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Nearly a month after pulling its advertising from a reality show about American Muslims, nationwide retailer Lowe’s Home Improvement is facing a backlash from Muslims and others who consider the action discriminatory. The retailer dropped its advertising from the TLC network’s All-American Muslim after the conservative Florida Family Association (FFA) posted an alert warning that the show amounted to “propaganda” that was “clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.”
An underreported but serious problem with illegal aliens and health care costs surfaced in the New York Times again this week. The paper reprised a report on patients who will not or cannot leave the hospital after treatment. Many of them, the Times says, are illegals.
A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina issued a preliminary injunction on December 22 against key provisions of the South Carolina immigration statute. The plaintiffs in the case include a group of civil rights organizations and the United States Department of Justice.
Of the 20 sections of the South Carolina law, four of them were challenged and are now blocked from enforcement. These four include provisions which that state criminal sanctions for: “harboring and transporting of unlawfully present persons”; “failure to carry alien registration materials”; “the creation of fraudulent identification documents”; and the directive to state and local law enforcement officials to “determine the immigration status of certain persons encountered in routine traffic stops and other contacts in which there is a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person may be in the United States unlawfully.”
The civil rights groups challenging the law argue that enforcement of the law requires de facto racial profiling. The Justice Department argues that the Constitution places all power over the establishment of immigration policy in the hands of the federal government and that the legislature of South Carolina is thus preempted from passing legislation in that area of the law.
As critics continue to rail against Operation Fast and Furious and other matters relating to the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder has resorted to playing the "race card." In a Sunday interview published in the New York Times, Holder accused his growing ensemble of critics of racist motivations, as they scrutinize his performance as head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and his involvement in the controversial scandal of gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels.
The drug cartel war moves into the U.S. On Monday, November 21st, D.E.A. agents in unmarked cars were discreetly following a large chemical tanker truck carrying 300 pounds of concealed marijuana as they monitored a "controlled delivery" — a law enforcement trap for drug smugglers. Suddenly, in a secluded area of suburban Houston, at least three vehicles rapidly approached the truck, and several members of Los Zetas, a dangerous Mexican drug cartel, jumped out of the vehicles, "yanked open the passenger cab door and repeatedly shot Chapa [the truck driver], whose hands had been raised in the air," tossed his body to the street, and may have been about to drive off with the truck, when dozens of D.E.A. agents and local law enforcement converged on the scene, killed one member of Los Zetas, and arrested four others. Something had definitely gone wrong with this controlled delivery.
After the standard, one-day news blackout to give law enforcement a chance to run down any leads garnered from the arrests, various news media were reporting that "hijackers" had attempted "to take control of the truck" — thereby leaving the impression that the murdered driver was merely unfortunate collateral damage, because he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
However, according to Curtis Collier — President of U.S. Border Watch, with more than 20 years of law enforcement and drug interdiction experience — this incident was not an "attempted truck hijacking." It was a planned hit, designed to send a message to rival drug cartels, as well as to law enforcement.
On Monday, the justices of the Supreme Court were very busy issuing orders and approving petitions. Already having committed themselves to considering the constitutionality of the individual mandate of ObamaCare, and the legality of recent redistricting in Texas, the nation’s highest court has now agreed to review another controversial conflict between the Constitution and the law.
As if the complaints of the federal government aren’t enough, the new immigration statute passed by the state of Alabama is now coming under fire from Human Rights Watch for causing “human rights violations.” Never a group to mince words, Human Rights Watch issued a 52-page report on Wednesday brutally entitled, “No Way to Live.”
The document is replete with recriminations. Specifically, the New York-based advocacy group reports that the controversial measure (H.B. 56) violates the equal protection rights of Hispanics, as well as impeding that minority bloc’s access to the most basic of necessities such as water, electricity, and housing.
Last November, the British coalition government introduced a new requirement into immigration rules: The immigrant must be know the English language. The rule was challenged by Rashida Chapti and Vali Chapti, two Indians in their 50s. Rashida speaks English but Vali, her husband of 37 years, does not. Currently the couple lives separately because of that obstacle. In their lawsuit, the couple claimed that the language requirement violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to family life and the right to marry.
Judge Jack Beatson in his opinion stated,
The new rule impacts on the Article 8 rights of the claimants [the right to a family life], but its aims, to promote integration and to protect public services, are legitimate aims. Taking into account all the material before the court, including the exceptions to the new rule, it is not a disproportionate interference with family life and is justified.
On Thursday, motions were filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by attorneys general of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina asking the court to temporarily halt challenges currently proceeding against their immigration laws pending a ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of Arizona v. United States, scheduled to be heard by the highest court sometime during this term.
The Obama Administration has challenged the constitutionality of all three recently enacted immigration statutes, arguing that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction to legislate in the arena of immigration.
Early last week, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments in the matter and ultimately issue a ruling deciding whether the legislature and Governor of the Grand Canyon State were preempted by federal law from enacting a law establishing immigration policy.