john cornyn: Page 1
A group of senators  recently sent a letter to Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security pointing out that her version of immigration enforcement is selective and also noting that the DHS hasn't asked for more resources to do their job.
Here's part of the letter (link):
Recently, media reports have revealed that pending removal proceedings are being dismissed in record numbers. That sharp increase in dismissals is the result of a directive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director (John Morton) to all ICE attorneys to review pending cases and seek dismissal if the cases do not involve [serious] offenders...
Though the reports focused only on cases pending before Houston immigration judges, our understanding is that the ICE directive applies nationwide. Numerous criminal aliens are being released into society and are having proceedings terminated simply because ICE has decided that such cases do not fit within the Department’s chosen enforcement priorities...
...The ICE directive, along with other recently announced detention and removal policies, raises serious questions about your Department’s commitment to enforce the immigration laws. It appears that your Department is enforcing the law based on criteria it arbitrarily chose, with complete disregard for the enforcement laws created by Congress. The repercussions of this decision extend beyond removal proceedings, because it discourages officers from even initiating new removal proceedings if they believe the case ultimately will be dismissed based on the new directive.
Even more disturbing is the fact that your Department has chosen to dismiss cases against criminal aliens, including aliens who have committed crimes involving moral turpitude, crimes of violence, assault, theft, fraud, drug offenses, driving under the influence, and illegal entry.
To be sure, ICE has cited a lack of resources as one of the reasons for its prioritization of cases and for its selective enforcement. But to date, we have not seen any efforts by ICE, your Department, or the Administration to request an increase in ICE funding sufficient to address staffing shortages, detention capacity, and coordination of enforcement efforts nationwide to achieve a streamlined and robust immigration removal system...
They want a list of the cases that the DHS has dismissed, and they also want to know how much the DHS is going to need to do their job.
A DHS spokesman responds (link):
"The idea that DHS is engaged in 'selective enforcement' couldn't be further from the truth," [spokesman Matt Chandler] said. "In fact, this administration has fundamentally changed the way the federal government approaches immigration enforcement, doing more to keep criminal aliens who are threats to public safety - including murderers, rapists and child molesters - off our streets than ever before."
That's a good thing, but at the same time DHS is sending the message that illegal aliens are more or less home free as long as they avoid committing serious crimes.
The Obama administration will probably file a lawsuit against Arizona over their new immigration law; per Jake Tapper it might come next week. Some GOP leaders are encouraging that party to use it as a campaign issue, but according to this (obviously speculative) report, John Cornyn - chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee - might be the sticking point:
But the consultant, who has urged clients to take a strong stance on immigration, does not expect Cornyn to make the Arizona law a national issue to batter Democrats, for fear of offending Hispanic constituents at home.
“Sen. Cornyn is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He’s being very good about balancing it, but at some point he’ll be called to task and asked, ‘Where are you?’ ” said the consultant, who requested anonymity because Cornyn could influence the hiring decisions of potential clients.
Recall that Cornyn was involved in helping Sonia Sotomayor get onto the Supreme Court by putting up a sham opposition. See his name's link above for more, and do a search for many more past entries.
You can contact him through cornyn.senate.gov
I'll be offering some live coverage of the July 4th Independence Day tea parties in this post. In the meantime, if you're looking for specific locations where you can protest and wave your loopy signs, see teapartypatriots.org, surgeusa.org/actions/july4.htm, teapartyday.com, or reteaparty.com/teaparties.
But, before you go, please take a look at my extensive tea parties summary. At that page, I lay out all the reasons why those who aren't extreme fiscal conservatives might want to do something more effective instead.
UPDATE: Apparently the most professional "party" this time is the one in Dallas (dallasteaparty.org/2009/06/americasteaparty). It features headliners like Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees and Internet superstar Stephen Crowder. In keeping with their habit of playing dress-up, they've also got a Thomas Paine impersonator. On an ironic note, they've got Michael Cutler from the Center for Immigration Studies, despite the fact that many loony libertarians think there shouldn't be a border at all. Speaking of which, former Bob Barr running mate Wayne Allyn Root will be there, perhaps to try to sell the crowd used cars.
UPDATE 2: I enjoy parts of the last photo here, although I'm too much of a gentleman to try to figure out what sort of message they're trying to send.
UPDATE 3: These might be taken out of context, but here are two pictures from the big Dallas event showing very few people there:
They do have a horse there however.
UPDATE 4: As could be expected, Glenn Reynolds links to some of the events (link). There are more here - including someone apparently promoting Alex Jones' Infowars - and here. Explaining to the loons what's wrong with some of those signs is left as an exercise.
I'm going to start using the tagline "Home of the smart and effective opposition to Obama and the Democrats."
UPDATE 6: First, I misspelled his name "Wayne Allen Root", now corrected.
And, even if I'd known that SNL alumna Victoria Jackson was going to be at the La Canada version I wouldn't have gone. However, Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Erskine did (link). It's not a complete hit piece, but he's obviously not sympathetic to their concerns (nor much am I):
In such a climate, it strikes me as . . . well, almost un-American to be griping so vehemently about helping those less fortunate. Were this a war, we'd all dig a little deeper to buy guns and battleships.
If those at the parties weren't completely selfish, had an interest in their fellow citizens, and had an intellectual basis for their whining, he might not have written that or at least they'd have an answer to it. As it is, he's mostly right even if his implicit solution isn't mostly right.
Also, the Dallas party was projected to get up to 50,000 attendees. Even one of their supporters is forced to say, "[m]any reported upwards of 15,000 in attendance" (link). And, that was apparently the main event.
And, at the Dallas event, John Cornyn was booed; that's the best the partiers can do because actually engaging him in debate and showing all the ways he's wrong is beyond them.
An MSM report summarizing attendance at all the parties isn't available, and Pajamas Media is strangely silent on that issue. I'll be very, very generous and estimate that the attendance for all events combined was 150,000. That represents 0.05% of the U.S. population, and that's a very high estimate.
UPDATE 7: Instapundit scours Google News for MSM reports; apparently the hundreds of PJTV "citizen journalists" failed him (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/81371). In addition to towns I've never heard of, one report he links to is "Genesee TEA Party holds Independence Day tax protest, plans campaign against Hurley millage" (link). "Millage" means property tax, and Hurley refers to a hospital run by the city of Flint. These people are practically carrying the local Democrat over the goal line:
The 0.9-mill countywide millage for Hurley would generate $10 million per year for the next 10 years. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $45 per year in property taxes if it passes.
Patrick Wardell, CEO and president of Hurley, said the city-owned hospital serves 69 percent of the county's uninsured and underinsured. He added that the services the hospital offers, such as a children's hospital and burn unit, are not money-makers but act as a safety net county-wide.
"Because of the nature of the mission of a place like Hurley, serving the whole county, cost-cutting is simply not enough," he said.
At the TEA Party, some county residents disagreed. Mark Berberich of Flint said Hurley should have to run like a business, and some businesses end up failing if they're not bringing in enough funds.
"I don't want anyone to fail, but some will fail," he said.
If Hurley is mismanaged, they should investigate using public records and then suggest ways to improve their operations. That's not what they're doing.
Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post discusses a press conference Senate Democrats held earlier today to discuss their plans for comprehensive immigration reform (link). As previously discussed, Charles Schumer supports a national ID:
"I'm sure the civil libertarians will object to some kind of biometric card -- although . . . there'll be all kinds of protections -- but we're going to have to do it. It's the only way," Schumer said. "The American people will never accept immigration reform unless they truly believe their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration."
It's quite difficult to believe the government is committed to following their own laws since most political leaders support or enable illegal activity, with some even outright promoting it such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schumer said legislation should secure control of the nation's borders within a year and require that an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants register with the government and "submit to a rigorous process to convert to legal status" or face immediate deportation. Rejecting the euphemism "undocumented workers," he said: "Illegal immigration is wrong -- plain and simple."
See secure the border and amnesty require. And, if he wants to immediately deport those who won't take part in the program, why can't he do that now? Regarding the last sentence, that's just posturing. However, if you get a chance, it would be a good thing to bring up when discussing this issue with him or other leaders.
NYT: Sotomayors Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle (laying the groundwork for her withdrawal?) - 05/30/09
David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times offers "Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle" (link). Kremlin watchers are invited to speculate on whether they're trying to get those issues out of the way now, whether they're trying to give her an easy pretext to withdraw, or something else.
Judge Sotomayor, whose parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico, has championed the importance of considering race and ethnicity in admissions, hiring and even judicial selection at almost every stage of her career — as a student activist at Princeton and at Yale Law School, as a board member of left-leaning Hispanic advocacy groups and as a federal judge arguing for diversity on the bench.
Obama budget ends SCAAP, just like Bush did (reimburses states for illegal alien incarceration) - 05/08/09
Barack Obama's budget has no funding for SCAAP, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. That reimburses states for their cost of incarcerating illegal aliens, and it will supposedly save $400 million. And, not funding that program is something that Bush tried to do in each year of his presidency; Congress rebuffed the previous illegal immigration-supporting president's attempts. That "tango" where the program is underfunded by Congress after an attempt to cut is made by the president is described here (from March 2008).
The AFSCME wasn't happy when Bush tried this last year (link), and past quotes in opposition to that Bush attempt from Janet Napolitano and Reps. John Spratt and Gabrielle Giffords (all Democrats) are here.
"Forcing state governments to pick up the tab for federal government's failures doesn't save Texas taxpayers one dime."
"[Obama's actions deprive] communities of critical funding for public safety services... We cannot afford to let our public safety services crumble under the weight of our immigration policies, especially during this time of economic uncertainty."
UPDATE: A letter demanding funding for SCAAP has been signed by 12 Democratic and five Republican members of Congress (link).
On Thursday, a group of putatively moderate Republicans will announce a new effort called "National Council for a New America". While they claim that they're non-partisan, it's clearly a GOP effort. And, the list of those involved that CNN has obtained (link) includes several supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.
Washington --- The Bush administration acknowledged Monday the wholesale failure of past efforts to enforce immigration laws in the workplace and warned that a major Senate-passed overhaul fails to provide the necessary tools to fix the problem.