Thursday, September 27, 2007

USBC attorney tells radio host Ramos and Compean were incorrectly charged

In an interview on the Glenn Beck radio show, USBC attorney Bill Olson explained that he has filed a brief on behalf of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean which could provide the help they need.

USBC had asked Olson to take a look specifically at why the sentences that Ramos and Compean had were so long, 11 and 12 years. In doing so, his team found that 10 of the years in each case was for violating federal law 18-USC-924-C, a special punishment for people who use a firearm while promote a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime.

But Beck, the show's host, noted that that federal law was designed to work against drug cartels, and that prosecutor "Johnny Sutton went and used it against these two guys."

Olson said that one of his lawyers saw that the U.S. attorney did not indict Ramos and Compean using the language of the specific 924-C violation. The prosecutor had twisted the words of the statute so that they were not charged with any of the three verbs necessary for the charge. Rather, they were charged with an illegal discharge.

The USBC attorney said that if the court looks at the issue carefully, it will realize that Ramos and Compean were each sentenced to ten years in jail for the conviction of a crime that does not exist, and that the prosecutor twisted the language.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ramos, Compean appeal their convictions to federal court

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, former U.S. Border Patrol agents sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect, have asked a federal appeals court to overturn their convictions, saying they were charged with a nonexistent crime and convicted after the jury was given improper instructions by the trial judge.

Their lawyer said in a 20-page motion that the 'improperly-crafted indictment' misfocused the agents, counsel and jury on a nonexistent crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm, because the agents were authorized to possess, carry and use a firearm in the normal course of their job. He said the prosecution 'misstated' the crime defined by federal statute.

He also said the district court 'erroneously told the jury the federal statute made it a crime for anyone to discharge a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.' A ruling in the case is expected next month.

Paul Kamenar, senior executive counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation, a watchdog group among eight organizations and persons who have filed briefs in support of the agents, called it “an outrageous case of prosecutorial abuse.”

The will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and seeks to overturn the 11- and 12-year prison terms Ramos and Compean received.
Bush administration switches role, defends immigration enforcement

The Bush administration, which in June was seeking amnesty for illegal aliens, is now defending immigration enforcement. It is suing the state of Illinois for banning use of a federal system that checks whether workers are in the United States legally.

The Department of Homeland Security sought the suit, which would preempt an Illinois state law that bars businesses from using the employee verification program. It also sends a clear message to other states and cities about the way they handle immigration enforcement.

Census reports in recent years have demonstrated that some older cities, especially in the Northeast and the “Rust Belt,” have maintained their leadership in population only by catering to legal immigrants and illegal aliens. Some have declared themselves “sanctuary” cities, where illegals are welcome.

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Secutiy, made it clear that his agency will not countenance interference from states, and he blamed interest groups for trying to impede his department with lawsuits. He told a House committee this month that he would take action against any city that hampered his ability to enforce the law.

The step is ‘an indication that the federal government is finally stepping up to the plate and accepting its responsibilities in the field of immigration,' said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Phoenix cop-killer had been deported in 2006

Erik Jovani Martinez, 22, was in the country illegally 2006 when he was arrested and convicted on sex charges. Martinez was deported on March 3, 2006, and at some point re-entered the country illegally.

On Tuesday, Martinez was stopped by Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle for jaywalking on a busy central Phoenix street. Martinez gave the officer an alias, but the alias turned up a different arrest warrant for shoplifting in Tucson.

Officer Erfle and his partner tried to arrest Martinez. During a struggle, Martinez pulled a gun and fatally shot Erfle. Martinez ran from the scene, carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint. Police stopped the car and fatally shot Martinez when he pointed his gun at the hostage’s head. The hostage was unharmed.

Officer Erfle, a 33-year-old married father of two and an eight-year veteran of the force, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Erfle’s killing is the second shooting death of an officer with the Phoenix Police Department this year. George Cortez Jr., 23, was shot to death in July as he attempted to arrest a check forgery suspect at a west Phoenix check-cashing business.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Durbin's Dream Act would give amnesty to thousands of illegal alien students

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would offer amnesty to thousands of students who entered the country before age 16 and who are illegal aliens. The "Dream Act" concept originally focused on allowing in-state tuition for illegals, but Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said Thursday he would drop that element of his proposal to gain more support for the amnesty.

Groups opposed to amnesty, including U.S. Border Control, mounted fresh campaigns against the "Dream Act" as well as other immigration bills slated for consideration in the coming weeks.

Durbin said he intends to offer the federal legislation as an amendment to the annual defense spending bill. Under his proposal, anyone who entered the U.S. before age 16 and lived in the country at least five years and has a high school diploma could apply for amnesty. Over a six year period, the applicant would have to spend two years in college or in military service before becoming qualified for legal permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship.

Those opposed to amnesty noted that no proof of arrival in the U.S. would be required. 'Any illegal can make a claim,' one man said. 'They are illegal. They don't have records. That is the rub here. So they will take advantage of an entire industry of falsified records. It could spell disaster.'

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

80 percent of meth is now smuggled in from Mexico

A federal law limiting the sales of ingredients used to make methamphetamine means that Americans now have to show an ID and sign a book in order to get an 'over the counter' decongestant that works.

At least they’re cutting down on the amount of methamphetamine on the streets. No they're not. Illegal and highly addictive meth is more available than ever due to Mexican drug traffickers.

"Mexican criminal groups have gained control over most distribution of the drug" says a report by the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center. In fact, 80 percent of the drug found in the U.S. is now smuggled in from Mexico.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, and Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA, are from largely rural states plagued by use of meth, and is still somewhat of a novelty on the East Coast. The two will review recent national reports and congressional staff research at a Senate Finance hearing Tuesday intended to keep the pressure on to fight to control the spread of meth. The hearing will focus on how to battle meth flowing in over the Mexican border.

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker announced the indictments of 22 men and women, most from Mexico, 17 of them illegally in the country, in a massive drug ring that operated in Iowa during the last two years. A bust netted more than 20 pounds of meth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Senate stalls Mexican truck trial

The U.S. Senate has stalled the Bush administration’s plans to give Mexican long-haul trucking rigs free access to United States roads and highways. On September 11, a bipartisan majority voted 74-24 to remove funds for the project from the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Transportation appropriations bill.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D, sponsored the amendment eliminating the program funding. "Tonight,” he said, “commerce did not trump safety. Tonight's vote is a vote for safety. It also represents a turning of the tide on the senseless, headlong rush this country has been engaged in for some time, to dismantle safety standards and a quality of life it took generations to achieve."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had submitted a counter amendment to keep the Mexican truck demonstration project alive, but Cornyn's proposal was killed by a 80-18 bipartisan vote to table his amendment.

The majority in the House opposing the DOT Mexican trucking demonstration project means it is almost certain that the Dorgan amendment will survive when a conference committee reviews the DOT funding bill that will go to President Bush for his signature.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Explaining the illegal immigration problem

This essay has been on the internet since spring 2007. We've never seen another analogy that so clearly explains the illegal immigration problem.

I bought a bird feeder.....

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.

But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the bird poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere.

Then some of the birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Hmmmmm .... Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.

Then the illegal's came by the tens of thousands.

Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free ser vices; small apartments are housing 5 families: you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor: your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English: Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box.

I have to press "one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CLEAR legislation effort continues, would penalize ‘sanctuary’ cities

Charlie Norwood, the late Georgia congressman, wanted to make it perfectly clear that state and local law enforcement, as well as the federal government, can enforce immigration law. He introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act, called the CLEAR Act, three times. Norwood died in February.

But a Tennessee congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, is continuing the effort. She has introduced legislation giving state and local law-enforcement officers the clear authority to enforce federal immigration law and investigate, apprehend, detain, transport and remove illegal aliens from the U.S. Her bill, she said, has the support of more than 200 members of the House, including 74 Democrats..

The bill provides for funding to allow local law-enforcement authorities to identify and detain the more than 400,000 illegal aliens in the U.S. who have been ordered deported but who disappeared, 85,000 of whom have criminal records. It also clarifies the authority of state and local law-enforcement officers to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws and provides a means for federal, state and local officers to work together to apprehend, detain and remove illegal aliens.

Also under the act, so-called 'sanctuary’ cities, which have enacted laws that shield illegal aliens from federal immigration law, would lose federal funding unless they rescind the policies that prohibit local law-enforcement officials from working with the Department of Homeland Security.

Monday, September 10, 2007

North Carolina is successfully identifying illegal inmates, seeking their deportation

In a program started in July, North Carolina is successfully identifying inmates who are illegal aliens and moving them toward deportation. Since then, 125 new inmates have been served with deportation detainers.

Ten more who were already in the prison have also been identified, and 785 inmates in the system already had deportation detainers before the program began. While previous checks were piecemeal, a prison official said "We're now screening everyone that comes in through the front door."

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, officials said the state is now immediately steering possible illegals entering the system to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. "All inmates who cannot prove American citizenship are referred to an ICE agent on duty," the letter stated, adding 'The ICE agent, after an initial interview, conducts an investigation to determine if the inmate is deportable,' and deportation proceedings can begin soon after."

ICE agents are now physically present at the state's four largest admission centers a few days each week and visit smaller centers if necessary. Myrick, R-N.C., had asked the state to use initial screenings to check the immigration status of inmates.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mexican truck enters US in Texas, Hoffa promises Teamsters will stop program

The first Mexican truck authorized to transport cargo within the United States crossed the border at Laredo, Texas on Saturday, headed for North Carolina. The Bush administration’s one-year pilot program is scheduled to eventually allow up to 100 Mexican carriers access to U.S. highways.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had given the green light to the program on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Mexican government approved El Paso, Texas-based Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution as the first U.S. trucking company to operate in Mexico.

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee blasted the pilot program for ignoring public opinion and putting the American public in danger because they say Mexican trucks are unsafe. “Democrats and Republicans are united in protecting America’s highways. Only the White House seems to be out of the loop,” said Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.).

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said "The Bush administration has sucker punched American workers by opening our highways to dangerous trucks. We don't know who these drivers are and we don't know what they are bringing in. The weapons of mass destruction George Bush is looking for could be in the backs of these trucks."

The Teamsters term the pilot program “dangerous, illegal and a threat to national security.” They have a case pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and are pressuring Congress to block the program. Hoffa said the public is on the Teamsters' side. "Democrats, Republicans, independents -- everyone wants to keep our highways safe," Hoffa said. "The Teamsters are going to stop this madness," Hoffa said. "We are going to stop George Bush."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Court delays ID verification for workers

Employers got a sudden reprieve from tougher worker identity rules, at least for a while. A federal court in San Francisco issued a restraining order delaying a Bush administration plan to crack down on illegal immigrants, set to begin September 14.

The court order temporarily prevents the Social Security Administration from sending out the new rules along with letters to companies whose employees' names do not match the Social Security numbers they used when they applied for their job. Each letter was to list at least 10 workers names, some more than 500. About 8.7 million workers would be affected by the initial mailings.

'The Bush administration is finally doing something right, only to be stopped by the federal courts,' said George Grayson, a professor of government at the College of William and Mary, and a board member of the Center for Immigration Studies. 'As a taxpayer and as a citizen, I want to make sure that people who hold jobs in this nation are legal residents, and I think this court decision is a step backward in that regard,' he said.

The Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and other unions sought the stay. In granting the restraining order, in effect until Oct. 1, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney said the union and other plaintiffs raised serious questions about whether the administration's crackdown on illegal workers is authorized by law.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Businesses, labor unions try to block crackdown on illegal workers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor unions, the ACLU and others are warning that when the federal government launches an illegal immigration crackdown next week, major disruptions will follow. The effort will begin with letters notifying employers that some of their workers have suspect Social Security numbers.

The government plans to send the letters to an estimated 140,000 employers over a two-month period, covering about 8.9 million Social Security numbers and names that do not match government records. A sizable portion of the no-matches are the result of illegal immigrants using fake identification and wrong Social Security numbers to get jobs.

'Employers will be overwhelmed with paperwork as the government seeks to make employers responsible for the decades-old administrative problems,' said the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition in a campaign seeking a six-month delay.

The organizations raced to court seeking a temporary restraining order blocking the Social Security Administration from issuing the letters that could spell legal and financial trouble for employers who knowingly keep illegal immigrants on the payroll.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bush administration finally tries enforcing the law

President Bush wanted to give amnesty to illegals, and saw that effort fail in the Senate in June. There is little talk of reviving the proposal anytime soon. Some federal agencies, however, are beginning to enforce the law, cracking down on the hiring of illegal aliens.

In recent months, federal agents have raided factories around the nation. Agents have detained thousands of mostly-Hispanic laborers believed to have entered the United States illegally. Factory owners face prosecution and, if found guilty, must pay hefty fines.

Michael Chertoff, chief of Homeland Security, has announced new procedures that businesses must follow to make sure their employees’ Social Security numbers are legitimate. He has a simple message for employers who ignore the law. "We will come down on them like a ton of bricks."

More than $500 billion in earnings were reported last year by individuals whose names do not match their Social Security numbers. Dozens of workers in multiple states have been found to be using the same number. Identity theft and forged documents are common tactics used by illegal aliens to get jobs, and businesses often looking the other way to secure inexpensive labor.

It’s about time. According to John Keeley of the Center for Immigration Studies. "We need to see real achievements, and we need to see consistent enforcement of immigration law. The Bush administration is getting to enforcement belatedly, to put it charitably. The American people have wanted something significant and something consistent done about illegal immigration for many years."