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Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11
In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link.
Others who filed briefs in the case and who lost today include (see each link for more on that group):
* Rep. Howard Berman
* National Council of La Raza
* Anti Defamation League
* American Immigration Lawyers Association
* PRLDEF (a former associated group of Sotomayor)
* Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a former associated group of Barack Obama)
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* Service Employees International Union
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network(NDLON)
* National Immigrant Justice Center
* American Immigration Council
* Asian American Justice Center
* Asian American Institute
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Asian Law Caucus
* Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Legal Aid Society
* Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
* National Employment Law Project
Others on the losing side were former senator Arlen Specter and Ron Mazzoli (of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty fame).
UPDATE: Thomas Saenz of MALDEF (which doesn't appear to have been involved in the suit) weighs in. He got one thing right: just because the 2007 law was upheld doesn't mean SB 1070 will prevail. In my opinion, states should just simply copy Arizona's 2007 law for now.
In any case, here's what Saenz says (maldef.org/news/releases/az_evrfy):
"Today's regrettable decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting is a tortured product of judicial activism responding to perceived political views of the moment. The majority proclaims itself unable to find implied preemption of an Arizona law that plainly impedes a federal scheme of exclusive enforcement of longstanding immigration-related employment law, and then, with a facile shift, easily finds an implied permission for Arizona to mandate E-verify, a power that Congress denied the federal government itself. All of this is accomplished through providing talismanic significance to the word 'licensing' even though Arizona's use of the term violates any plain-language or historical understanding of the term."
"Despite this egregious outcome, today's decision provides little predictive value as to the constitutional issue of preemption with respect to Arizona's SB 1070 and similar laws recently enacted in other states. Laws that encroach on exclusive federal immigration enforcement by mandating or permitting untrained local police officers to engage in racial profiling will find little refuge in today's decision. Wise state and local lawmakers must continue to tread carefully in areas touching on immigration. As has been the case for well over 200 years, federal action remains the sole legitimate avenue to address immigration issues."
UPDATE 2: The ADL weighs in with a bit of a muted press release (adl.org/PresRele/SupremeCourt_33/6050_33.htm). They're "disappointed":
The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient \safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.
The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.
Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.
And, I hope they do follow Arizona's lead. We'll see how that works out; I tend to think several will.
Shurtleff says Feds won't sue Utah over guest worker scheme (from Utah Compact to America's Compact?) - 04/08/11
Utah recently passed a "guest workers" bill that would have them in effect using a Mexican state as an employment agency. One problem from the perspective of the supporters of the bill: the bill appears to be illegal under federal law, meaning that at the least Utah would need some sort of waiver in order to proceed with the scheme.
Needless to say, that's not an issue (link with video). Bearing in mind that things could change (for instance if enough people complain to the U.S. Congress), Utah AG Mark Shurtleff gives the not-too-surprising news that the Obama administration is in his corner:
In an interview with FOX 13, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff revealed that the Justice Department has agreed not to sue Utah over its controversial guest worker bill. At the same time, federal officials are looking at a plan he and other immigration advocates are pushing called the "Utah Compact."
...Shurtleff says federal officials are responding favorably to the plan and are talking about creating "America's Compact."
“Nationally law enforcement, business and faith based communities in addition with all of the others can be a voice for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Shurtleff.
See the last link above for more on the Compact; it would encourage more illegal immigration in addition to other negative impacts.
"Project Gunrunner" was a BATF scheme in which they encouraged gun stores to sell to those who were likely to send the purchased guns to Mexico to be used in that country's drug wars. Two of those guns might have been used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jamie Zapata.
The supposed goal of Gunrunner was to trace the guns to Mexico in order to catch the higher-ups, but it apparently had very little success. And, it would be nearly impossible for their not to be a political component. The Obama administration has been harping on guns being sent to Mexico for two years, despite that apparently not being that great an issue. One goal of Gunrunner might have been to save face, and another part might be a component of a larger, anti-gun agenda.
In any case, the question is: who knew about this and who approved it?
However, from this:
In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF's Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.
"Is the director aware of this," Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it... Department of Justice was aware of it."
Gil goes on to say senior Justice official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer, and spoke to ATF staff generally about a big trafficking case that they claimed was "getting good results." Gil says Melson, ATF's Acting Director, also visited Mexico City. Gil's Deputy Attache and his Analyst questioned Melson about the case that surrounding all the weapons showing up in Mexico. "His response was 'it's a good case, it's still going on,'" recalls Gil, "and we'll close it down as soon as we possibly can."
According to justice.gov/agencies/index-org.html, there are only two people higher-up than the ATF Director: Holder, and the Deputy Attorney General. Until February 2010 that was David W. Ogden (link). Since then it's been James M. Cole.
And, per this:
The ATF operates under Justice Department, and two assistant U.S. attorneys in Phoenix authorized virtually every wiretap, affidavit and investigation conducted in Operation Fast and Furious [note: the Phoenix version of Project Gunrunner].
Chuck Grassley tried to obtain information from the DOJ but was apparently rebuffed. Now, Darrell Issa is trying. Tweet him @DarrellIssa and encourage him to subpoena the DOJ if they won't provide the documentation voluntarily.
4/1/11 UPDATE: Issa has now issued a subpoena demanding documents related to Project Gunrunner.
In Geneva today the United Nations Human Rights Council met to assess the U.S.'s record on human rights, or at least human rights as they see them. And, as previously discussed, the report from the U.S. government mentions Arizona's recent SB1070 immigration law. While I downplayed the significance of this in the earlier post, perhaps I should raise the alert level given that one of the groups involved in complaining to the U.N. about the U.S. is the American Civil Liberties Union; more on them below.
The United States is submitting its human rights record to the scrutiny of other nations - both allies and adversaries - for the first time, as the Obama administration opens itself up to a committee shunned by his predecessor... The 30-strong delegation, headed by three top State Department officials and including representatives from many departments, including Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, arrives in Geneva with a 20-page report compiled with the input of civic and social organizations.
The ACLU's report  oddly enough doesn't mention Arizona; the two immigration topics they focus on are Stipulated Removal (specifically mentioning Postville) and the ability of illegal aliens to sue over workplace issues (Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB). To read their summary, they must think they live in Libya rather than what they're actually doing: helping countries like Libya.
Even if their report doesn't mention Arizona, Alessandra Soler Meetze of the Arizona ACLU is in Geneva, and she promises she'll bring up the topic of SB1070 . She's being accompanied by day laborers center operator Salvador Reza .
 Download it from
The Department of Justice has sued Joe Arpaio - sheriff of Maricopa County - claiming that he's obstructed their investigation into possible racial profiling. This is, needless to say, the Obama administration's latest attack on Arizona in an attempt to prevent states from doing the job the federal government won't do: try to reduce illegal immigration. And, those attacks are preventable if people would work to reduce illegal immigration in smart ways.
From the DOJ's press release :
The department filed today’s lawsuit after exhausting all cooperative measures to gain access to MCSO’s documents and facilities, as part of the department’s investigation of alleged discrimination in MCSO’s police practices and jail operations. Since March 2009, the department has attempted to secure voluntary compliance with the department’s investigation. MCSO’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation makes it an extreme outlier and the department is unaware of any other police department or sheriff’s office that has refused to cooperate in the last 30 years.
“The actions of the sheriff's office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” said (Thomas Perez), Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The department’s investigation of MCSO concerns alleged discrimination against Hispanics, in violation of the prohibition on national origin discrimination in Title VI; the pattern or practice provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968; and the pattern or practice provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs on the ground of race, color, or national origin.
UPDATE: From this:
When the Department first informed Arpaio that a probe was under way, back in March 2009, it sent a letter saying the investigation would focus on "alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures." But now we learn that just six months before that, in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio's office -- and gave it a clean bill of health. Arpaio's lawyers recently got a copy of the ICE report through the Freedom of Information Act... ...ICE investigators also interviewed top federal officials involved in illegal immigrant cases in Arizona. They found an "excellent" working relationship between the sheriff's office and the feds. ICE talked as well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought by Maricopa County as "high quality."
The report contains this:
"The [Homeland Security Department's Office of Investigation] and [DHS' Detention and Removal Operations] supervisors consider the conduct and performance of the [Maricopa County Sheriff's Office] ... officers to be professional and meeting the requirement of the [memorandum of agreement between Arpaio and the Feds on 287g]."
Earlier this month in an interview with TV reporter in Ecuador, Hillary Clinton stated that the Department of Justice will be challenging the new Arizona immigration law in court. I was a bit skeptical since she's not the DOJ and she might have been basing it on an assumption rather than knowledge.
Now a senior administration official tells CBS News that the federal government will indeed formally challenge the law when Justice Department lawyers are finished building the case. The official said Justice is still working on building the case.
Contacted about Clinton's comments today, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said they reflected her beliefs.
"The Secretary was asked about the Arizona law during a TV interview in Ecuador," he said. "She believes that a better approach is comprehensive immigration reform, and said so. Regarding how far along the legal review is, that is a matter for the Department of Justice."
Despite the senior administration official's comments, an official at the Justice Department told CBS News today that the question of whether to sue is still under consideration.
This would be a political mistake. The Arizona law has wide support, and suing would reduce Obama's popularity even more than it is now, not to mention what it would do to the popularity of Democrats in Congress.
On the other hand, the Obama administration has to know that a good part of their opposition is incompetent. In the worst case scenario, the loudest opposition to the suit would consist of those in the tea parties movement, and the DOJ would continue with the suit just as the Democrats were able to get healthcare reform.
The first thing to do is to recognize that most of the loudest voices on the conservative side of things are great at making a lot of noise, but aren't so great at actually coming up with and following through on plans. Undercut them or prop them up as necessary.
If you want to prevent a suit in the first place, apply the same techniques as are outlined on the page about how to reduce illegal immigration.
there’s little additional harm for the administration in making moves that enrage conservatives, because the conservatives are already enraged, and no matter how enraged they get, they can only vote once. (You’re thinking, “shame there’s no ACORN on our side,” huh?) The independents are probably a lost cause. The only way to mitigate a rough year is to energize the base, and so for all extents and purposes, policy decisions for the next four months will be driven by the need to motivate disappointed liberal voters.
His political hackery fails to take into account the fact that not all liberals - and certainly not all Democrats - support massive illegal immigration. And, he fails to promote efforts that would cause those on the fence to realize the massive downsides of the current situation. The only people who should support massive illegal immigration are ideologues and those who directly profit; Geraghty isn't trying to split that small group off from the rest.
2002 DOJ memo: local police have "inherent power" to arrest illegal aliens (Arizona immigration law challenges) - 05/18/10
In the legal battle over Arizona's new immigration law, an ironic subtext has emerged: whether a Bush-era legal opinion complicates a potential Obama administration lawsuit against Arizona.
The document, written in 2002 by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, concluded that state police officers have "inherent power" to arrest undocumented immigrants for violating federal law. It was issued by Jay S. Bybee, who also helped write controversial memos from the same era that sanctioned harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects.
The author of the Arizona law -- which has drawn strong opposition from top Obama administration officials -- has cited the authority granted in the 2002 memo as a basis for the legislation. The Obama administration has not withdrawn the memo, and some backers of the Arizona law said Monday that because it remains in place, a Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona would be awkward at best.
Obama administration considers suing Arizona over immigration law; preemption (+Kornblut, Markon wrong) - 04/28/10
Officials in the Obama administration are urging the extraordinary step of suing Arizona over its new immigration law, and the Justice Department is considering such an action to block the legislation from taking effect, government officials said Wednesday.
A key legal ground being considered, officials said, is the doctrine of "preemption" -- arguing that the state's law illegally intrudes on immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility...
The prospect of federal lawyers marching into court to challenge a state law would be most unusual, legal specialists said. Typically, the government files briefs or seeks to intervene in lawsuits filed by others against state statutes; federal officials said that could still happen in the Arizona case...
...Kris Kobach, who helped draft the legislation, said similar preemption arguments failed when Arizona passed a 2007 law that sanctioned employers for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. "They tried this on for size already, and it failed," said Kobach, a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration who is now a constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Needless to say, this would set off a political firestorm of a sort, pitting the illegal immigration-supporting establishment against the will of around 70% of a state. The great majority of conservatives and Republicans would be enraged as would a good portion of Democrats. The only ones on the Obama administration's side would be the usual suspects: those who seek to profit from illegal activity in one way or another. It's more likely that, instead of a full frontal assault, they'd help behind the scenes, such as providing assistance to the Mexican government-linked American Civil Liberties Union or the like.
Note also that Kornblut and Markon either lied or got wrong part of the Arizona law:
The Arizona law criminalizes illegal immigration by defining it as trespassing... The measure makes Arizona the first state to criminalize illegal immigration by defining it as trespassing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In fact, that trespassing provision was struck from the bill as signed into law, and even the New York Times has already corrected a similarly false Linda Greenhouse OpEd.
Speaking at a naturalization ceremony earlier today, Barack Obama in effect indicated that his administration will use the Department of Justice to oppose Arizona's new, tough immigration bill if it becomes law. Among other things:
(If the federal government doesn't work towards comprehensive immigration reform) "it will open the door to irresponsibility by others... ...That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe... ...If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country... As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future... ...[I've instructed the DOJ] to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation."
UPDATE: Video added.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Friday against John Jay College of Criminal Justice, alleging that the school engaged in a pattern of job discrimination against noncitizens who were authorized to work.
The lawsuit, considered the department’s first in years to crack down on immigration-related discrimination against noncitizens, says the college violated provisions of immigration law by demanding extra work authorization from at least 103 individuals since 2007, rather than accepting the work-eligibility documents required of citizens, like a Social Security card and a driver’s license...
(Thomas Perez), assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement: “Every individual who is authorized to work in this country has the right to know they will be free from discrimination as they look for a job, and that they will be on the same playing field as every other applicant or worker.”
The college is working out a settlement agreement with the DOJ and with the woman from Korea who kicked off the DOJ's investigation. She had presented the college with a driver's license and a Social Security card but couldn't provide them with a green card since that was in the process of being issued.
The law's the law and if someone thinks that the documentation standards aren't strict enough, work to change the law. However, this helps illustrate the DOJ's priorities. The chances of them going after much bigger fish - employers of illegal aliens, banks that knowingly profit from money that was earned illegally by illegal aliens, and so on - are rather slim.
DOJ unable to go after Joe Arpaio for racial profiling, goes after him for abuse of power instead - 01/08/10
A federal grand jury in Phoenix is looking at abuse of power allegations against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
County Communications Director Cari Gerchick told the Phoenix Business Journal Thursday night that County Manager David Smith and County Budget Director Sandi Smith have met with federal prosecutors and will appear before a federal grand jury in Phoenix on Jan. 13.
Gerchick said the grand jury is looking at abuse of power charges against the MCSO and Arpaio. Sandra Raynor, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix declined comment.
...The Sheriff teamed with County Attorney Andrew Thomas to indict County Supervsiors Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley and has investigated other county officials.
If Arpaio did abuse his power, then he should face the consequences. However, what's going on here is that Arpaio is a target of those who support illegal immigration, including Janet Napolitano, the American Civil Liberties Union, and so on. If they could have gotten him on racial profiling, that's what they grand jury would be investigating. They were on a fishing expedition (see his name's link above) and when they failed to get a marlin they went after a halibut instead.
Three days before the failed terrorist attack over Detroit, the Obama administration was briefed about the possibility of terror attacks over the holidays (link). This is of course similar to the infamous "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US" report that George W Bush received shortly before 911:
President Obama received a high-level briefing only three days before Christmas about possible holiday-period terrorist threats against the U.S., NEWSWEEK has learned. The briefing was centered on a written report, produced by U.S. intelligence agencies, titled "Key Homeland Threats," a senior U.S. official says... According to the [unnamed administration official], the holiday threat briefing—one in a series of regularly scheduled sessions with top counterterrorism officials—was held in the White House Situation Room on Dec. 22...
The senior official says that beginning in early December, based on reports coming in from intelligence agencies, policymakers had begun tracking a stream of information that alluded to a possible holiday-period plot against the U.S. orchestrated from somewhere in Pakistan. However, the official says, this reporting later turned out to be "garbled," and it was determined that the threat was probably a washout. The official denies that the White House received any report, representing the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies, warning that a holiday-period plot originating in Yemen and targeting the U.S. homeland could be in the works.
In a background briefing for reporters on Dec. 29, also attributed in an official White House transcript to a "senior administration official," that official asserted that in the wake of the attempted underpants attack, it had become clear to the president and top advisers that before Christmas the U.S. government was in possession of "bits and pieces" of information, which, if they had been properly knitted together, "could have ... allowed us to disrupt the attack or certainly to know much more about the alleged attacker in such a way as to ensure that he was on, as the president suggested in his statement, a no-fly list." In the briefing, the official identified three rough categories of information that the government had which could have been relevant to foiling the attack: information about Abdulmutallab and his plans, about Al Qaeda and its plans, and about "potential attacks during the holiday period."
Of this, Gateway Pundit says the expected: "Obama was warned about the threats to the homeland in a Christmas briefing before he flew off to his golfing and snorkling Hawaii holiday vacation." (link). Meanwhile, Spencer Ackerman spins it the administration's way here, even while admitting that this is "Not Nothing".
Sheriff (Joe Arpaio) held a sweep in NW Phoenix, Friday October 16, 2009. He had a press conference after. US Department of Justice Officials (approximately 5) showed up at the conference, UNDERCOVER, POSING AS REPORTERS. When contacted by a Sheriff commander, the Federal Civil Rights officials posing as journalists, conducted themselves "unprofessionally" and "refused to provide official identification. Only one official from the "covert team provided any form of ID when pressed." That was the senior trial attorney, (Je Yon Jung). She has been conducting the DOJ's investigation of the Sheriff's office re: allegations of racial profiling. (Je Yon Jung) confirmed that those who REFUSED TO PROVIDE ID TO THE SHERIFF DEPARTMENT WERE Department of Justice Officials. 'The DOJ attorney is a max contributor to Obama campaign and seeks a judgeship.'
The audio apparently starts at 17:33 of this.
And, per this July article:
the attorney assigned to the Maricopa County investigation, Je Yon Jung, is an active member and former national governing-board representative of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, a left-wing organization that believes all “undocumented” immigrants should be granted citizenship. Ms. Jung maxed out in contributions to President Obama’s campaign and recently applied for a judgeship in the District of Columbia — a position to which President Obama will appoint a candidate.
NAPAWF's issues page is at napawf.org/page.php?view=issues, and on another page (napawf.org/page.php?view=history) they mention that they're a project of the Tides Foundation. Jung has her own page in the "Fierce Sisters Speakers Bureau" section of the site (napawf.org/page.php?view=jung):
Je Yon Jung is an active member and former national governing board D.C. chapter representative to NAPAWF. She was the chair of NAPAWF's "Comfort Women" Campaign, which seeks justice on behalf of World War II's 200,000 women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery. Je Yon is a mentor for Asian American LEAD, a local community - based organization in Washington, DC providing direct services primarily to the Southeast Asian refugee population, and former group coordinator for Asian American LEAD's young women's creative writing group. She was AALEAD's 2001 Mentor of the Year.
DOJ blocks Georgia from checking citizenship of voters; GA has evidence of non-citizen voting - 06/02/09
From this press release from Karen Handel, Secretary of State of Georgia:
"The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to deny preclearance of Georgia’s already implemented citizenship verification process shows a shocking disregard for the integrity of our elections. With this decision, DOJ has now barred Georgia from continuing the citizenship verification program that DOJ lawyers helped to craft. DOJ’s decision also nullifies the orders of two federal courts directing Georgia to implement the procedure for the 2008 general election. The decision comes seven months after Georgia requested an expedited review of the preclearance submission.
"DOJ has thrown open the door for activist organizations such as ACORN to register non-citizens to vote in Georgia’s elections, and the state has no ability to verify an applicant’s citizenship status or whether the individual even exists. DOJ completely disregarded Georgia’s obvious and direct interest in preventing non-citizens from voting, instead siding with the ACLU and MALDEF. Clearly, politics took priority over common sense and good public policy.
"This process is critical to protecting the integrity of our elections. We have evidence that non-citizens have voted in past Georgia elections and that more than 2,100 individuals have attempted to register, yet still have questions regarding their citizenship. Further, the Inspector General’s office is investigating more than 30 cases of non-citizens casting ballots in Georgia elections, including the case of a Henry County non-citizen who registered to vote and cast ballots in 2004 and 2006.
DOJ nominee Thomas Perez pushed driver's licenses for illegal aliens when president of CASA - 04/06/09
Paul West of the Los Angeles Times offers "Obama's civil rights nominee should be ready for a fight" (link) about Thomas Perez, the Maryland labor secretary who was nominated to head the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. Among other things, it contains this:
Immigration is a minor responsibility for the division's lawyers, but the topic is likely to be a focus in the confirmation of Perez, a Dominican American. For seven years, he was a director of CASA of Maryland, an immigrant rights group, and served as its president in 2002. That year, CASA lobbied the Maryland General Assembly against a proposal by Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening to make it tougher for immigrants to get driver's licenses.
Alan Clayton, a Perez supporter, said the nominee's association with CASA would make it harder for him to win Senate confirmation, describing the Maryland nonprofit as "very, very hard-core" on immigrant rights issues.
From the American perspective, CASA de Maryland is indeed very "hardcore": they're very strong supporters of illegal activity and they're currently being funded by Citgo, i.e., the government of Venezuela. Contrary to how Paul West describes them, they aren't an "immigrant rights group", they're a far-left group that supports illegal immigration every way they can. Even the Washington Post has recently noted how insecure Maryland driver's licenses are.
DOJ investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio over supposed racial profiling (Lofgren, Conyers, Nadler, Robert Scott, ACORN) - 03/12/09
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as (National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON) and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws...
For about a dozen years, Saenz worked as an attorney for the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and lately he was of counsel to the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Needless to say, the ACLU cheered the news:
"I don’t think the president or attorney general could make a better selection," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California. "He's a throwback to the great civil rights attorney pioneers, like Thurgood Marshall." ...Rosenbaum praised Saenz’s work challenging the legality of voter measures, ranging from Proposition 187, the ballot initiative that sought to cut off social and education services to undocumented immigrants, to his work on the University of Michigan case challenging the legality of affirmative action in admissions.
Is Barack Obama a strong proponent of the First Amendment? Does he support free speech, even by those who strongly disagree with him? The answer is: not really.
I'll keep track in reverse chronological order (note, of course, that there are other examples throughout the time period):
The liberaltarians at Reason provide a run-down of Kerry's record on civil liberties (reason . com/hod/jb072604.shtml):
Then it was Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) who argued alongside the ACLU in favor of the individual's right to encrypt messages and export encryption software. Ashcroft "was kind of the go-to guy for all of us on the Republican side of the Senate," recalls David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
I created a thread here about the Dallas Morning News article "Mexican ID opens doors for undocumented workers in U.S." (link). The subtitle of the article is 'Critics say 'matricula' is a tool to facilitate illegal immigration', which in a way summarizes the whole article: it's mostly pro-Matricula Consular, with a few anti-MC comments thrown in for a semblance of balance.
Of particular note: