Sunday, April 30, 2017

Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch
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The motto of Judicial Watch is “Because no one is above the law”. To this end, Judicial Watch uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.

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Doh!

The federal agency responsible for deporting illegal immigrants is in serious trouble, with overwhelmed officers that can’t keep up with monstrous workloads and repeatedly lose track of hardcore criminals inside the United States. Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with criminal records have been released by authorities in the U.S. and the Homeland Security agency responsible for keeping track of them, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is doing a miserable job, according to a new audit made public this week by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General.

As of August 2016, ICE was supervising about 2.2 million aliens released into communities throughout the nation. Officially they are known as appearing on the “non-detained docket.” About 368,574 are convicted criminals, the watchdog report states. To put things in perspective the inspector general reveals that in 2015 ICE removed 235,413 individuals of which 139,368 were convicted criminals. A surge in illegal immigrants under the Obama administration pushed matters into crisis mode. Deportation officers are so overworked that they often lose track of dangerous illegal aliens with serious criminal histories. This includes individuals who represent critical national security threats, according to the federal probe.

ICE does not ensure that deportation officer workloads are balanced and achievable, the report states, and the agency doesn’t provide clear policies and procedures or sufficient training and tools. Additionally, ICE fails to effectively prepare its workforce to handle complicated deportations. The result is an agency that operates in chaos and compromises the well-being of unsuspecting communities nationwide, not to mention national security. “ICE does not effectively manage the supervision and deportation of nondetained aliens,” the report says. “Effective management requires preparing and deploying the right number of employees to achieve program and policy objectives.” Furthermore, the agency doesn’t bother collecting and analyzing data about employee workloads to allocate staff judiciously and determine achievable caseloads, according to the inspector general.

As an example, the report reveals that ICE deportation officers in the District of Columbia average over 10,000 cases each and those in Atlanta, Georgia over 5,000. One ICE agent cited in the report said this: “You might work 18 hours a day, but you still won’t get caught up.” Inspectors visited four key field offices and determined that the management deficiencies and unresolved obstacles make it difficult for the feds to deport aliens expeditiously. “ICE is almost certainly not deporting all the aliens who could be deported and will likely not be able to keep up with growing numbers of deportable aliens,” the report states. This is hardly earth-shattering news, but it’s still alarming to confirm the large number of criminals that fall through the cracks.

The investigation is a follow up to a related probe surrounding ICE’s negligence in failing to deport an illegal immigrant with a serious criminal record at least three times, allowing him to murder a young woman in Connecticut. The Haitian man, Jean Jacques, had completed a 15-year sentence for murder and was supposed to be removed from the country after leaving prison. Instead, he remained in the U.S. and viciously butchered the woman to death in her own apartment. ICE claims that Haiti simply refused to take Jacques—on three different occasions. In a scathing report issued last summer the DHS Inspector General blasted ICE for not doing more to remove Jacques from the country and failing to contact the Haitian consulate in Miami, Florida to request a travel document after Jacques’ third repatriation rejection. “There is no record that ICE ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) made this request,” the report states, adding that “ERO officials had previously made hundreds of similar requests to the Haitian consulates for travel documents without success and we have no reason to believe that the Jacques matter would have been different.”

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Border Patrol Budget

While U.S. Border Patrol brass enjoys a “leadership meeting” in the Caribbean this week, frontline agents remain strapped with a dangerous shortage of manpower, funding and lack of crucial weapons and equipment training that makes it impossible to adequately secure the Mexican border. Judicial Watch spent time on the Arizona-Mexican border recently and interviewed agents on the ground who are fuming that the Trump administration has done nothing to provide them with the necessary tools to secure the dangerously porous southern border. The agents say management claims there’s no budget to send them to essential trainings, yet there’s money to dispatch sector chiefs on a beach getaway.

Furthermore, the administration’s newly appointed Border Patrol chief, Ronald Vitiello, was a deputy chief at the agency under Barack Obama and was the original implementer of the outrageous “catch and release” policy. Thousands of illegal immigrants—some violent criminals—have been released under the initiative, which is the single biggest factor driving illegal immigration, according to congressional testimony delivered by National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd last year.

“If you are an unaccompanied minor, we will not only release you, but will escort you to your final destination,” Judd testified. “If you are a family unit, we will release you. If you claim credible fear, we will release you. If you are a single male and we do not physically see you cross the border and you claim that you have been in this country since 2014, we will release you.”

Incredibly, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly chose the mastermind behind the disastrous catch and release policy to head the Border Patrol. While outmanned frontline agents tell Judicial Watch they are overwhelmed with drug cartels, arms smugglers, terrorists and illegal immigrants, their boss will be thousands of miles away enjoying sun and fun in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Officially, it’s called the U.S. Border Patrol Chiefs Quarterly Leadership Meeting and in past years it’s been held closer to the action in locations near the southern border such as Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California.

A minimum of all 20 chief patrol agents and at least six managers from headquarters are participating in the powwow, which will address a “path forward” and offer a “wall update” as well as a “Caribbean update.” The two-day event kicks off today with an introduction from Border Patrol Chief Vitiello. “Instead of BP management meeting in El Paso, Douglas, Nogales or even Tucson where drugs, guns, illegals, cartels and terrorists pose a real threat, they jet off to Puerto Rico for days on the beach,” one agent said during Judicial Watch’s recent border tour.

Another front-line federal official told Judicial Watch that Border Patrol officers in the region’s most dangerous stretches are unable to utilize equipment such as quad-runners due lack of training, supposedly because there aren’t enough funds to conduct the courses. Additionally, travel budget shortages are keeping firearms instructors from staying current on their certification because they can’t be deployed to the locations where the courses are held.

Besides the training obstacles for existing agents, there’s a huge shortage of manpower along the Mexican border, the frontline officers stress. “They might not find many useful strategies from the rank-and-file on the border but they’re sure to get a great tan on the beach,” said one frustrated official. Another called it “shameful” and one demoralized law enforcement veteran used lyrics from the famous rock n’ roll band, the Who, to take a jab at the Trump administration: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents 16,500 agents nationwide, endorsed Donald Trump for president and Trump has promised to hire thousands of new agents. However, promoting a top Obama administration official to head the agency, has created concern among agents that the new commander-in-chief isn’t doing enough to “drain the swamp.”

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This little guy is there excuse.

Wildlife conservation groups are collaborating with a federal government agency to halt construction of the southern border wall by fudging science to claim that unimpeded trans-border corridors are essential to an “endangered species” with 99% of its population in Mexico. Under the plan, large areas of Arizona and New Mexico would be prohibited from erecting a border wall so that jaguars—which don’t even occupy the area—can roam back and forth between the two countries. More than ¾ million acres in Arizona and New Mexico would be designated as critical habitat for jaguars under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), which specifically states that critical habitat can only be designated for the United States.

Judicial Watch obtained records from Arizona’s Game and Fish Department, local governments and one of the biologists fighting the effort to designate the area a “critical habitat” for jaguars. It’s been a years-long battle that started in 2012 when the Obama administration relaxed ESA requirements to make designation of critical habitat easer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This includes lowering scientific standards and essentially caving in to leftist groups. The result, according to biologist and attorney Dennis Parker, is more restrictions on private property, grazing, mineral exploration and development not to mention national security. Furthermore, no scientifically verifiable record of jaguar breeding exists in the area and only lone, transient male jaguars are occasionally and peripherally occurrent, Parker said. In a document addressed to USFWS, Arizona’s Game and Fish Department states that “habitat essential to the conservation of the jaguar does not exist in either Arizona or New Mexico under any scientifically credible definition of that term.”

One of the world’s leading big cat experts, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, confirms that less than one percent of the jaguar habitat in the world is in the United States and that there’s nothing about the lands in the southwest U.S. that make them critical to the continued survival of the jaguar as a species. The renowned wildlife ecologist heads a nonprofit devoted to the conservation of 38 wild cat species and their ecosystems. Jaguars are among them and two Arizona municipalities—the city of Sierra Vista and Cochise County—that will be heavily impacted by the proposed federal measure are citing Rabinowitz’s work to halt the problematic jaguar recovery plan. Rabinowitz refers to the federal plan as “little more than smoke and mirrors” that uses assumption and speculation as fact to justify “defining critical habitat in the Unites States for a species which simply does not live in the United States and has not resided there as a population for at least half a century.” Furthermore, Rabinowitz says the jaguar south of the border is doing quite well and has genetic connectivity through designated landscape corridors.

If USFWS makes its scientifically flawed jaguar recovery plan an official agency policy it will cost American taxpayers some $607 million in the next five decades, records show. In a recent document to USFWS a coalition of counties and cities in Arizona and New Mexico as well as the Pima Natural Conservation District, remind the federal agency about the faulty science behind the proposed jaguar recovery plan. The group refers to it as the “radical departure from sound science, policy, Endangered Species Act interpretation and the clear and present danger to national and citizen security.” In this case, the ESA is being used to further a political agenda, Parker insists, adding that the supposed need for unimpeded trans-border corridors is based on opinion and value-laden beliefs rather than scientific information as the ESA actually requires. “All this junk science will become enshrined as science for the jaguar,” Parker said, adding that if USFWS adapts the jaguar recovery play as a policy it will affect everything from interstate highway travel to border security.

USFWS already determined years ago that no jurisdiction in the United States contains the features essential for the conservation of jaguars that required special management considerations and protection from the agency. “Because there are no areas or features essential to the conservation of the jaguar in the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat, designation of critical habitat for the jaguar is not beneficial,” the agency stated in a 2006 Federal Register notice. Nothing has changed to make that assessment any less factual, biologists interviewed by Judicial Watch affirm. They assure that land essential to the species is located south of the International Border between the United States and Mexico.

Two of the groups colluding with the feds to enact the jaguar recovery plan are the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife. The Center for Biological Diversity denounces “large-scale construction of walls and other infrastructure that disrupt lives and divide the landscape” along the southern border. Defenders of Wildlife is currently pushing to introduce up to 250 jaguars to Arizona in response to the construction of a border wall. The group is the force behind the government’s jaguar recovery plan and asserts it’s critical to “maintain movement corridors” between the U.S. and Mexico. To make its case, Defenders of Wildlife claims that two male jaguars, dubbed Macho B and El Jefe, have recently wandered into the mountains of southern Arizona and New Mexico. “Natural reappearances like these lend new urgency for actions to re-establish a reproducing population of jaguars that includes contiguous habitat in both the United States and Mexico,” the group says.

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No, not again!

Judicial Watch today released 1,184 pages of State Department records, including previously unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges, revealing additional instances of Abedin and Hillary Clinton sending classified information through unsecured email accounts and contributors being given special access to the former secretary of state.

The emails, were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a March 18 FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). The lawsuit seeks:

  • All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-“state.gov” email address.

The records contain 29 previously undisclosed Clinton emails – of a total of which is now at least 288 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. This further appears to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department. Two of these emails are now available on the State Department’s website.

In a February 2010 email exchange Jake Sullivan, then-Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton, sent to Clinton’s and Abedin’s unsecure email accounts information that the State Department has classified as the material includes information “to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy; foreign relations or foreign activities of the US, including confidential sources.” The redacted information concerns “former GTMO [Guantanamo] detainee Binyam Mohamed” and Mohamed’s request for “various classified intelligence documents” that contained U.S. intelligence information related to his detention before he was taken to Guantanamo.

In April 2010, Sid Blumenthal sent two email memos to Clinton containing information now classified.  Clinton forwarded this material to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The classified information, which Clinton asks Abedin to print off for her, concerns the change of government in the Kyrgyz Republic.

In other emails, Clinton’s “final” schedules with specific details concerning her whereabouts were transmitted by Lona Valmoro to the unsecure emails accounts of Clinton Foundation officials Doug Band, Terry Krivnic Margaret Steenberg and others, and forwarded to Abedin’s unsecure email account.

In a March 15, 2010, exchange, Band forwarded to Abedin a request for help from Philip Levine, who is presumably the mayor of Miami Beach.  Reports said Levine had been a fundraiser for the Clintons since the 1990s.

The newly obtained emails also reveal some unsuccessful efforts to set up phone meetings for Clinton with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

In a February 23, 2010, email, ambassador and Clinton friend Capricia Marshall asked Band and Abedin to work with her to plan Bill and Hillary Clinton’s funeral arrangements and notes: “once affirmed it will be very hard for someone to deny the type of ceremony she [Hillary] wanted – as well I understand that the President can request certain arrangements for her that she/her rep cannot (ie if you want the motorcade to go through DC – stop somewhere).”

A March 9, 2010, email exchange between Abedin and Band reveals some tension between Clinton’s top personal aide and the former secretary of state’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. The apparent rift was revealed when Chelsea Clinton asked Band if he could arrange a White House tour for a female Haitian-American sailor from the USS Comfort.  Band passed the request to Abedin, who replied to Band: “I don’t want to get cross wise with cdm [Cheryl Mills] on anything Haiti related” and “HAVE YOU MET CHERYL MILLS? [Emphasis in original] you have no idea.”

“These emails are yet more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s casual and repeated violations of laws relating to the handling of classified information,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “The Justice Department should finally begin an independent investigation into the Clinton email matter.”

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Creep

The teenage illegal immigrants charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Maryland public high school last week entered the United States under an Obama program that’s accommodated tens of thousands of Central American youths who crossed the Mexican border. The administration coined them Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and portrayed them as innocent, desperate kids fleeing violence and famine in their homeland. Most are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and the influx has overwhelmed border agents, government health agencies and military bases that serve as shelters not to mention public schools nationwide.

This week two of the UACs protected by Obama’s outlaw amnesty measures were charged with the rape of a ninth-grader at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, a Maryland jurisdiction that offers illegal aliens sanctuary. The illegal immigrants, 17-year-old Jose Montano and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, were both charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. Both illegal aliens were in the ninth grade like their victim, according local news reports. Montano came to the U.S. from El Salvador and Sanchez, who reportedly had been ordered deported, from Guatemala. Both are being held without bail. Several local media outlets printed a letter sent to parents by the school district describing the rape as a “serious incident” that “is being addressed.”

Back in the summer of 2014, when the first batch of UACs began arriving, Judicial Watch reported that many were not harmless children fleeing violence as the media was largely reporting. Border Patrol sources on the ground divulged that a lot of the Central Americans were in their late teens and had ties to violent gang members and other criminal elements. Federal authorities handling the crisis offered a vastly different depiction than the government’s official version in the media. From the start, the barrage of illegal alien minors created an out-of-control disaster with jam-packed holding centers, rampant diseases and sexually active teenagers at a Nogales facility that housed the first arrivals, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch.

A few weeks after the barrage of UACs slammed border officials, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)—were actively recruiting new members at shelters housing illegal immigrant minors. In many cases they used Red Cross phones to communicate. The 18th Street gang also went on a recruiting frenzy at the various facilities housing the UACs, sources confirmed. The MS-13 is a feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants that’s spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. The Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like the MS-13 are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs. The 18th Street gang is considered the largest organized gang in Los Angeles County with about 15,000 members that operate a number of criminal enterprises throughout the region.

Violent street gangs continue to be energized with new recruits provided by the steady flow of illegal immigrant minors protected under the egregious UAC initiative, according to various law enforcement sources. After a major gang bust in Massachusetts last year, federal prosecutors disclosed that MS-13 actively recruits members in high schools situated in communities with “significant immigrant populations from Central America.” The recruits are known as “paros” and they are typically 14 or 15 years old, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Texas Department of Public Safety has also issued a disturbing report declaring that the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state. The number of MS-13 members encountered by U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley sector has increased each year, accelerating in 2014 and coinciding with increased illegal immigration from Central America during the same period, the agency disclosed. This clearly refers to the UAC crisis that saw over 60,000 illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months.

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There goes the neighborhood.

The U.S. Army had to pay to get a high-ranking transgender Pentagon official to appear at its military academy on Transgender Day of Remembrance, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of the Army. The event, held at West Point, was organized by the Army’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, to “promote an environment of compassion and understanding” and memorialize “members of the transgender community across the globe who were murdered in the last year.” Instead of attending pro bono for the cause, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amanda Simpson, a former test pilot named Mitchell, required that her expenses be paid.

It cost the Army $1,099.92 to get Simpson, who also served as Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, to be a guest speaker at the West Point transgender event. The Defense assistant secretary, who underwent a sex change about 20 years ago, gained notoriety during Barack Obama’s presidency as the highest ranking transgender appointee of any administration in history. Obama first appointed her to the Department of Commerce in 2009 and by 2013 Simpson was elevated to head the Army’s energy initiatives. In 2015 Simpson was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, making her the highest openly transgender official at the Pentagon. As a man named Mitchell, Simpson obtained degrees in physics, engineering and business administration.

An estimated 35 people—20 cadets and 15 faculty—attended the West Point Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was held on November 30, 2016 at the military academy in New York. The only attendee that required government funding was the registered speaker (Simpson), the Army records state, because “all other attendees are local and will provide their own transportation to the event.” The records list “Ms. Amanda Simpson” as the only registered speaker and identify her as the highest ranking openly transgender official in President Obama’s administration. “Attendees will benefit from her sharing her experiences as both a transgender woman and senior ranking defense department official,” the records provided to Judicial Watch state.

A lengthy biography of Simpson is included as well as a pamphlet with a West Point masthead advertising the event. It features a picture of Simpson with a group of uniformed West Point cadets and a retired transgender Army colonel, Diane Schroer, in uniform. The Army also had to pay for Schroer to appear at the academy’s transgender affair in 2014, the records show. The pamphlet says that the purpose of the 2016 Simpson transgender celebration is “to promote an environment of compassion and understanding in accordance with USMA’s [United States Military Academy] diversity efforts by memorializing members of the transgender community across the globe who were murdered in the last year.”

The 2014 transgender event featuring Schroer was held to demonstrate “the Army’s commitment to supporting professional development opportunities that enhance West Point’s diversity and inclusion efforts.” Schroer was a decorated Airborne Ranger who transitioned from male to female after more than two decades of military service. It cost the Army $840.50 to have her speak, the records show. More than 40 cadets, staff and faculty paid respect to those who “were killed due to bias and hatred based on gender identity and expression,” according to a West Point newsletter with photos of the event. Several pages are entirely redacted as well as some of the names that appear throughout the records. The Army cites an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) known as (b)(6) which protects personnel and medical files from an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Even the captions identifying individuals in the West Point newsletter are redacted, though the pictures were left intact diminishing the credibility of the (b)(6) exemption argument. One of the “anticipated benefits” of Schroer’s appearance was to foster awareness in the West Point community about an Obama administration change in Department of Defense (DOD) policy allowing transgender people to openly serve in the military.

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IRS: Satan Club? Yeah, cool, you're approved.

While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status an “After School Satan Club” launched to hinder Christian-based counterparts got its nonprofit ranking in just ten days, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The classification is offered to charitable, religious and educational organizations that operate as nonprofits. Under the Obama administration IRS political appointees illegally targeted conservative groups, either making them wait up to seven years for tax-exempt status or denying their application altogether. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and has obtained piles of government records showing how the IRS illegally colluded with another federal agency to single out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as patriot and Tea Party in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status.

In the meantime, leftist groups like the Satan club got fast tracked. The principle goal of establishing the Satan clubs in public schools throughout Washington State appears to be to counter existing enterprises operated by a Christian-based group. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch include the process of establishing an after-school Satan club at Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma. The entity behind the club is a nonprofit called Reason Alliance, which is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and operates in Washington State as the Satanic Temple of Seattle. Its director, Lilith X. Starr, established the Point Defiance Elementary Satanic club, the records show. In its application the club states that its purpose is “character development” and that adult instructors are vetted by the Satanic Temple’s “Executive Ministry.” Children ages 5-12 will develop basic critical reasoning, character qualities, problem solving and creative expression, according to the Satanic Temple filings included in the documents. The club logo is a pencil with devil’s horns. Records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Treasury Department show that the Satanic cult applied for tax-exempt status on October 21, 2014 and received it on October 31, 2014.

The parent permission forms ask for the name of the child’s church and pastor, the records show. They also reveal that Starr, the Seattle Satanic Temple director, told Tacoma School District Superintendent Carla Santorno that the clubs are led by “caring Satanists” and each child receives a membership card. Starr also tells the superintendent that the effort to establish after-school Satan clubs in Tacoma schools is in direct response to the Christian-based Good News Clubs operating in campuses throughout the district. This ignited concern among some Tacoma district officials, the records show. In one electronic mail exchange, Tacoma Schools official Andrea O-Brien-Henley sends colleague Paul Koch a citation from the Satanic Temple’s website noting that the temple only wants to establish after-school Satan clubs in school districts with Christian Good News Clubs. O’Brien-Henley notes that it’s odd that the Satanic Temple only targets schools that have Good News Clubs, writing to hear colleague: “If they really want to get their message out to kids it seems kind of odd that they would only be targeting schools with a Good News Club; one would think that they would want to start clubs anywhere there is an *interest* in them.”

Here’s the citation that O’Brien-Henley forwarded to fellow school district official Koch from the Satanic Temple’s website: “How do I start an After School Satan Club in my school district? If there isn’t a chapter of The Satanic Temple near you, but you’re interested in starting and After School Satan Club in your school district, please contact The Satanic Temple. Please keep in mind that the Satanic Temple is not interested in operating After School Satan Clubs in school districts that are not already hosting the Good News Club. However, The Satanic Temple ultimately intends to have After School Satan Clubs operating in every school district where the Good News Club is represented.”

In another exchange, the Executive Director of Communications for the Tacoma School District, Dan Voelpel, expresses concern to colleagues that people will confuse the school district’s message of tolerance toward the Satan Club with tolerance toward alleged “hate-related activities around the country in the wake of the presidential election.” In the records the principal of Point Defiance Elementary reveals that, two weeks after the Satan club was launched, no one had signed up for it. The fact remains however, that the IRS fast-tracked a deranged Satanic cult to operate as a nonprofit in taxpayer-funded elementary schools.

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Is someone calling this kettle black?

The Trump administration is being accused of racism for cutting a wasteful program that’s given leftist groups tens of millions of dollars to help poor, minority and indigenous communities attain “environmental justice.” The initiative was launched under Barack Obama’s first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, Lisa Jackson, to help low-income populations obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. Over the years, heaps of taxpayer dollars have filled the coffers of leftwing groups—including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs.”

The cash flowed freely through the EPA’s special environmental justice office, which the Trump administration plans to get rid of as part of a broader budget cut for the famously bloated agency. This is great news for American taxpayers who were forced to fund this nonsense. Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the EPA’s environmental justice boondoggle and exposed the atrocities that occurred under the reckless initiative. Here are some examples of how the money was used; to teach residents of public housing about recycling, seniors to reduce their “carbon footprint,” inner city neighborhoods about “climate-change readiness” and middle school students with a “disparate economic and racial/ethnic composition” how to “identify and mitigate air pollution and solid waste disposal issues.” Low-income public school students were taught asthma self-management skills, poor minorities got asthma-friendly homes and a New Jersey group called Lazos America Unida that helps Mexican immigrants got money to create a “lead-safe backyard gardening” program to protect members from the risks associated with gardening in lead contaminated soil.

Another environmental justice grant recipient, a migrant farm workers’ group in Missouri, used its taxpayer dollars to explain symbols and key words on television weather advisories and to “increase awareness about the dangers of sun and heat exposure” in migrant communities. Other leftist groups used their environmental justice cash to educate migrant workers from Mexico and Guatemala about “pesticide exposure” risks and to help the poor “evaluate toys and find out about toy recalls.” The list of ludicrous programs funded by the EPA’s environmental justice office goes on and on. The Obama administration also forced virtually every major government agency—including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Justice, Health and Labor—to participate in its environmental justice initiative. This required making environmental justice part of their mission and providing the public with annual progress reports on their efforts to help minorities that live in the shadows of society’s worst pollution.

The Trump administration plans to put an end to this madness that’s fleeced Americans out of huge sums. News reports indicate that 25% of the EPA’s budget will get cut and that will translate into the end of several Obama-era programs such as environmental justice, Global Change Research and Clean Power Plan, among others. This means that the gravy train will come to an abrupt halt and leftist groups as well as their allies in the mainstream media are incensed. The nation’s largest and most influential environmental organization has even whipped out the race card, accusing the Trump administration of being racist for slashing the environmental justice office. In a mainstream news report that was widely reprinted, a director at the Sierra Club club said this: “To cut the environmental justice program at EPA is just racist. I can’t describe it in any other terms than a move to leave those communities behind. I can’t imagine what the justification would be, other than racism.”

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Let the deportations commence.

The chief of police in an upscale northern California town has issued a letter in Spanish to illegal immigrants in his city assuring them that they’re safe from deportation because his agency “will not engage in federal immigration enforcement activities.” Police in Windsor, which is situated about 60 miles north of San Francisco, will not arrest or detain any person for immigration violations or conduct “sweeps” to locate those “illegally present in the United States,” the letter states.

Windsor’s police chief, Carlos G. Basurto, reveals in the letter that he is the grandson of illegal immigrants and knows that an overwhelmingly large percentage of illegal aliens are good, decent and hard-working.
“I am committed to provide them and all other segments of our community with a safe and healthy community for all to enjoy and prosper and to have a feeling of equality,” the chief writes to illegal aliens in his municipality of about 28,000 residents. Basurto concedes that in his 28 years in law enforcement he’s seen illegal immigrants who are violent gang members, drug dealers, murderers, rapists, human traffickers and child abusers. “To think that this does not exist and that all immigrants are good people, is to be either naïve, uninformed or in denial,” the chief writes, confirming that “there is a segment committed to violence, drugs and domestic terrorism.”

With that said, the top law enforcement official in this California town vows to protect illegal aliens from federal authorities, even those with minor offenses. “Our community involves and includes everyone,” Chief Basurto writes. “I don’t want anyone, and I emphasize anyone, to be afraid to call upon us for assistance, information, advice or to report any crime or issue in our town.” The reassurances continue; “If you are an undocumented immigrant in the Town of Windsor, you do not need to fear the officers of the Windsor Police Department nor assume that they have any reason to bother you, detain you or arrest you for simply being undocumented. Your immigration status is completely irrelevant to us.” He adds that his agency collaborates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apprehend “serious or violent criminals” under the condition that ICE refrain from arresting any person based immigration status or low-level offenses.

Deep in the three-page letter the chief acknowledges that illegal entry to the United States is against the law, but his personal convictions evidently allow him to look the other way. His grandparents came from Mexico and worked in the fields and ranches of California and when he was in junior high he and his brother worked in the prune fields to earn money for school clothes. This taught Basurto to appreciate immigrant workers. “We also knew that most, if not all of these people, emigrated here from other countries to do this work, for little pay, in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families,” the chief writes. “In essence, I can relate to these people, because like many of us in this town, we are these people.”

Guaranteeing illegal aliens that they’ll be shielded from federal authorities technically constitutes a sanctuary city, but Windsor officials say this could bring consequences under the new administration so they’re keeping it quiet. A local Spanish newspaper article reports that town manager Linda Kelly, a seasoned government official, has recommended that Windsor keep its sanctuary practices under the radar because President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities. Instead, Windsor will adopt a resolution that omits the word sanctuary, instead declaring the town to be a united community that values diversity and the contributions of all residents.

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US pays Soros to disrupt foreign politics

The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The cash flows through the State Department and the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing global economic, development and humanitarian assistance. USAID has allocated about $5 million to leftwing Soros groups in Macedonia since 2012, documents show, and at least $9.5 million has been earmarked by the agency to intervene in the Balkan nation’s governmental affairs for 2016-2011. State Department figures have been tougher to come by and Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the numbers. Judicial Watch also fired off a public records request to USAID because the preliminary figures, obtained through various sources in both the U.S. and Macedonia, appear to be incomplete.

Here’s how the clandestine operation functions, according to high-level sources in Macedonia and the U.S. that have provided Judicial Watch with records as part of an ongoing investigation. The Open Society Foundation has established and funded dozens of leftwing, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Macedonia to overthrow the conservative government. One Macedonian government official interviewed by Judicial Watch in Washington D.C. recently, calls it the “Soros infantry.” The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros’ groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. The book is a tactical manual of subversion, provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical. Thanks to Obama’s ambassador, who has not been replaced by President Trump, Uncle Sam keeps the money flowing so the groups can continue operating and recruiting, sources in Macedonia and the U.S. confirm.

With a population of about 2 million, Macedonia has one of the more conservative governments in Europe. This includes the lowest flat tax in Europe, close ties with Israel and pro-life policies. The country recently built a border fence to crackdown on an illegal immigration crisis that overwhelmed law enforcement agencies. Between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal aliens were crossing the Greek-Macedonian border daily at the peak of the European migration crisis, a Macedonian official told Judicial Watch, and the impact was devastating. This is likely of big interest to Soros, a renowned open borders advocate who pushes international governance, diminished U.S. global power and an increase in Muslim immigration. Soros spent tens of millions of dollars to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Just this month Hungary’s prime minister lashed out against Soros for funding groups to secretly influence the country’s politics. “Large-bodied predators are swimming here in the waters,” said Viktor Orban in his annual state of the nation speech. “This is the trans-border empire of George Soros, with tons of money and international heavy artillery.”

This appears to be the case in Macedonia with the help of American financing. There have been a number of violent protests in recent months that have been coordinated by Soros’ Open Society Foundation through its U.S.-funded NGOs, sources tell Judicial Watch. Some U.S. members of Congress have expressed interest in the issue and have demanded answers from Ambassador Baily, USAID and the State Department. In typical fashion, the State Department has stonewalled the inquiries and USAID hasn’t been much more forthcoming. Last month Utah Senator Mike Lee sent Ambassador Baily a letter asking questions involving the U.S. Mission to Macedonia’s involvement in the political process and its connections to the Open Society Foundation. It’s unlikely that Americans will receive answers, especially since Baily is probably on his way out. The fact remains however, that millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have already been spent on this illicit operation and the government agencies need to be held accountable.

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