Attorney General Eric Holder faced tough questions about the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal from outraged members of Congress during a Thursday hearing, but he continued to defiantly stonewall while refusing to hand over key documents subpoenaed in the congressional investigation. Republican lawmakers responded by telling the Justice Department boss to resign and saying that if the cover-up continues, he could be charged with contempt of Congress.
As cartel-related violence continues virtually unabated in Mexico's Ciudad Juárez, thousands of police officers in that city of 1.3 million people have fled their homes and now must live in hotels to conceal their identity. The government-funded relocation follows a month in which eight police officers were murdered as part of a systematic campaign by one of the cartels to attempt to force the resignation of the city’s police chief. Banners around the city have threatened the death of a police officer a day until Police Chief Julian Leyzaola resigns his office.
A senior official with the U.S. Department of Justice involved in the growing “Fast and Furious” federal gun-trafficking scandal told Congress that he would be invoking his right — protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — not to testify because it might incriminate him.
Over half of U.S. immigration officials believe the White House focuses more heavily on promoting immigration than improving national security, according to a 2011 survey directed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS Inspector General (IG) audit, which was administered between January and May 2011, submitted an online survey to a random selection of Immigration Services Officers (ISOs) in all 26 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) districts across the United States.
According to the IG, the questions examined the agency’s "FY 2011 performance measures, pressure to adjudicate cases, and overall impressions about the USCIS mission."
In 2010, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote a letter to the Inspector General (Todd Zinser), the USCIS Director (Alejandro Mayorkas), and the Secretary of Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano) expressing several concerns he had about the immigration benefit adjudication system. In requesting the report, Grassley asked the DHS to evaluate the following matters:
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.