Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama administration names US-Mexican 'border czar;' says it will crack down on drug cartels

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, announced this week that former Justice Department official Alan Bersin will lead the Obama administration’s efforts to crack down on drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Bersin, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego, already served as the "border czar" to then-U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration. He also served as California's education secretary and as superintendent of schools in San Diego.

The Obama administration also announced it was placing three Mexican drug gangs -- the Sinaloa Cartel, Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana -- onto a list of significant foreign narcotics traffickers targeted for special sanctions. The move allows the U.S. government to freeze any cartel assets in U.S. jurisdiction and bars Americans from dealing with funds linked to the groups and their operatives.

The two announcements preceeded Obama’s first trip to Latin American, with a stop in Mexico before the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Napolitano said Bersin, who begins work immediately, will have the title of assistant secretary for international affairs and special representative for border affairs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wisconsin landscape company targeted following fatal crash caused by illegal alien driver

In late March, a landscaping truck driven by an illegal alien hit an SUV and caused three fatalities in Richfield, Wisconsin. Terra Tec Landscapes,, the company that employed the three illegals in the truck, has become the target of email accusations.

'You are responsible,' 'You should all be ashamed,' and ’You have blood on your hands' are messages the company has received since the crash. The accident report has been filed, and it officially blamed the driver of the landscaping truck. No citations have been issued yet, but the report said the truck was going 'too fast for conditions.'

The three brothers in the landscaping truck, all illegal aliens, are in the custody of federal immigration authorities and face possible deportation.

Ricardo Guerrero was driving and had a valid license. The attorney for Terra Tec Landscaping said the brothers had filled out all the required employment forms.

A law firm representing the family of one of those who died said, 'The company is responsible for screening employees correctly -- their training and experience, and their conduct on the road.’

Besides the three fatalities, four other passengers in the sport utility vehicle were seriously hurt.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Johnnie Sutton resigns as U.S. Attorney

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of Austin, who served as the top federal prosecutor for 68 Central and West Texas counties during the Bush administration, has tendered his resignation. His last day at the U.S. attorney's office for the Western District will be April 19.

Sutton was nationally reviled for the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents who shot a fleeing drug smuggler in the buttocks in a 2005 encounter near El Paso. The prosecution and convictions of Jose Compean, sentenced to 11 years in prison, and Ignacio Ramos, sentenced to 12 years, was angrily derided by advocates of tighter immigration laws.

Bush commuted the two men's sentences in the very last hours of his presidency in January. Ramos and Compean are now free. Called before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007, Sutton defended his prosecution of the two.

Sutton, 48, was a prosecutor for eight years in the Harris County district attorney's office before moving to Austin in 1995 as then-Gov. Bush's criminal justice policy director.He followed Bush to Washington, working on the president's transition team and serving in the Justice Department.

President Obama will select a new U.S. Attorney for the office.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Obama's La Raza hire floats trial balloon on amnesty campaign

This week showed why Barack Obama has Celcelia Muñoz on his staff. Muñoz had been a Senior Vice President at the National Council of La Raza, and is now White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

On Wednesday, Muñoz told the New York Times that the administration's illegal alien amnesty campaign would be underway in May. Some in the media called her statement a ‘trial balloon,’ remarks distributed specifically to observe the reaction of the audience.

Supporters of open borders, including the National Council of La Raza, hailed the statement, saying it showed that Obama ‘has made immigration reform one of his top priorities for this year.’ Those who support enforcement of immigration laws, however, were outraged that the administration would even float a ‘trial balloon’ on the issue while millions of American citizens are out of work.

The statement brought the issue of amnesty to the top of the mainstream media's agenda, but White House officials on Thursday played down views that the administration’s priorities are shifting. Said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro. “The economy comes first, that’s why we’re so deeply engaged in that now. We will start an immigration discussion later in the year.”

Pro-immigration groups had been put off by remarks Vice President Joe Biden made to Central American leaders last week that the US administration would need “some forbearance” in moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform at a time when many Americans were losing homes and jobs.

Says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, “The president is being put under a lot of pressure by some very demanding and, in our view, extremist constituents of his base.”

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Charlotte, North Carolina now a key distribution point for Mexican heroin smuggling

The U.S. Justice Department says that Mexican drug traffickers have turned Charlotte into a key distribution point for "black tar" heroin in North Carolina. Heroin-related arrests have jumped.

John Emerson, assistant special agent in charge for the N.C. bureau of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said that "multiple" cells operate in Charlotte. At least three have been shut down in the past two years.

The cartels don't discriminate among customers. They sell their drugs to low-income users and uptown bankers, police and treatment officials say. And they're increasingly selling to young people - "teens in high schools," said Capt. Mike Adams of the city’s vice and narcotics unit.

Statewide, heroin seizures increased 77 percent last year, according to the DEA. Heroin abuse is surging. On average, each day last year the local drug treatment center had seven to eight new people seeking methadone treatment. Now they get 15 to 20.

‘Black tar’ heroin gets its name from its color and texture. One officer describes it as being like "a warm tootsie roll." And at $12.50 a dose, it's about half the price of other available forms.

Federal drug-enforcement officials said the increase in drug trafficking is a direct correlation with immigration. Charlotte has one of the country's fastest growing immigrant populations. An estimated 390,000 illegal immigrants live in North Carolina.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Recurring nightmare 'Dream Act' reintroduced in House and Senate

The 'Dream Act' would grant amnesty and a 'path to citizenship' to a broad range of illegal aliens who meet certain minimal educational requirements and broad definitions relating to student status. In truth, it's surely a recurring nightmare for students seeking to attend college as legal citizens, as the 'Dream Act' could find their slot at their dream college taken by an illegal alien.

Amnesty supporters in Congress again introduced the 'Dream Act' (also known as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). Authored by Democrat Senator Dick Durbin (S.729) and Democrat Congressman Howard Berman (H.R.1751), the Senate bill has 7 cosponsors, including Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy as well as Republican Senators Dick Lugar and Mel Martinez. The House bill has 9 co-sponsors, including Democrats House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, and Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, Zoe Lofgren.

The legislation would grant broad-based amnesty, and ultimately, citizenship, to illegal aliens who entered the country before a certain age if they can meet minimal educational standards; would changed federal law to allow states to subsidize college tuition for illegal aliens even when that subsidy is not available to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants attending a state college; and would render moot any lawsuits filed by U.S. citizens against a state or colleges when state law allowed colleges to grant in-state tuition without offering the same benefit to U.S. citizens not residing in the state.

Taking things even further, the San Mateo Community College District, on the San Francisco Peninsula has distributed a mass email announcing a scholarship for illegal alien students of "Chicano/ Latino descent" only.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"How can you give up when people aren't giving up on you?"

Ignacio Ramos managed to get through two years inprison in solitary confinement by remembering those who were supporting his case, including U.S. Border Control, and Jose Compean echoed his sentiments. Ramos credited the outside support with helping him win clemency and keeping his spirits up during his imprisonment.

"Members from Congress were speaking about us, people writing us constantly, it felt so good to know that people didn't give up on us and that people constantly believed in us," he said.

After spending two "hard, long, lonely" years in prison, the two said they were looking forward to spending time with their families and putting this chapter of their lives behind them.

"There are more important things than the people that have done this to us or what we have gone through and I am not going to sit here and dwell on that," Ramos said after beginning a ‘supervised release’ in late March.

"We are looking ahead. We're optimistic for a very good future and that's what's more important," Ramos said.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from two former Border Patrol agents, but additional appeals are being planned through the lower courts. The high court refused to consider an appeal from the former agents, who were convicted in 2006 of shooting Osvaldo Aldrete Davila near El Paso on the Texas-Mexico border.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Obama's illegal alien aunt gets federal protection at immigration hearing

President Barack Obama's illegal alien aunt appealed a deportation order dressed in a wig of curly red and gold hair, sunglasses, and an ankle length coat of fake fur. She emerged after a brief, closed-door hearing in US Immigration Court in Boston and smiled broadly, having won 10 more months in the U.S.

"Praise God," Zeituni Onyango said softly, holding her head high.

At the initial appearance, said Department of Justice officials, the judge explained the deportation charges against her and detailed her rights. A second hearing was set for February 4, 2010 when she will be able to plead her request. A decision is generally made at the second hearing, said Justice officials.

The half-sister of Obama’s deceased Kenyan father, Onyango tried to avoid reporters, leaving the court through a back door. The hearing was closed to the public at the request of her lawyer, and she was escorted by Federal Protective Service officers.

She was ordered deported from the United States in 2004, but has been living in public housing in Boston since that time. Last December, following Obama's election victory, a court allowed her to have the case reopened. Obama says he never knew his aunt was living illegally in the United States.

The decision to provide federal officers as an escort and to take Onyango in and out of the court through special entrances reflected "some security concerns," said Justice officials. It was unclear who paid for her legal team. The government does not provide lawyers in immigration appeals.