Monday, July 24, 2017

Border Security

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Sanctuary City
The Feds stepped in when southern states didn't enforce de-segregation laws... Can't they step in now to enforce these important security laws?

Days after Judicial Watch exposed a new policy banning Phoenix police from contacting the feds after arresting illegal aliens, alarming pressure on the city council and chief of police has forced officials in Arizona’s largest city to postpone the order. Crafted at a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders, the policy also prohibits officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status. The new policy’s two principle measures violate key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leave the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

In the aftermath of Judicial Watch’s story, which included a copy of the Phoenix sanctuary Immigration Procedures, police management is backing off and reconsidering the ramifications. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Judicial Watch that Phoenix Police Department brass is worried about getting sued under an Arizona law that states the following: “No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.”

The measure also states this: “If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or on the assessment of any monetary obligation that is imposed, the United States immigration and customs enforcement or the United States customs and border protection shall be immediately notified.”

Following Judicial Watch’s initial report, the chief of the Phoenix Police Department, Jeri Williams, issued an unusual and unprecedented Employee Notification System (ENS) delaying the new sanctuary order. The ENS was titled “Operations Order 4.48 Revision” and states the following: “Operations Order 4.48, which provides direction regarding immigration related issues, is still being reviewed and revised.  The anticipated effective date, July 10th, 2017, is no longer achievable. The final revisions should be completed within the coming weeks.  A new effective date will be shared once the policy has been finalized.”

Williams is Phoenix’s first female police chief and agency sources tell Judicial Watch she tried to quietly implement the sanctuary measures, perhaps hoping they’d go unnoticed. Earlier this year the chief, who was hired last summer, alluded to her stance on immigration enforcement in a local newspaper article questioning whether Arizona’s 325,000 illegal aliens trust the police. Chief Williams is quoted saying this: “We maintain open communication with our diverse residents and want to ensure that our crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident when reporting crimes to our officers. As your chief, I commit to you that racial profiling will not be tolerated.”

The Phoenix Police Department has about 3,000 officers that were permitted to use “sound judgement” at any time under the agency’s longtime immigration enforcement policy. That allowed front-line officers to directly contact federal immigration officials involving criminal illegal immigrants. Under the revised policy, all contact with federal immigration partners must be funneled through a single Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) desk sergeant who will document all immigration related data and give authority to call ICE. “This will bottle-neck the process,” according to a veteran Phoenix law enforcement official who added that the new policy was generated without any input from rank-and-file. Arizona law enforcement sources also told Judicial Watch that no other restrictions of this kind and magnitude regarding a federal crime are found in Phoenix Police Department policy. Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear of violating department policy.

If an illegal alien is arrested for a state crime, officers in Phoenix would no longer be allowed to take them directly to ICE for deportation and document the crime in a report if the sanctuary measures get adopted. Taxpayers must fund a mandated booking into county jail under the new rules, which state; “if there is a federal criminal charge and the person is under arrest for a state and/or local charge/s…the person will be booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office…” Keep in mind that Maricopa Sheriff Paul Penzone doesn’t like honoring ICE holds on jailed aliens and considers illegal immigrants “guests.” The new Phoenix Police Department rules also eliminate a table showing state immigration enforcement laws as well as documentation of police contacts with verified and/or suspected illegal aliens, a troublesome change that omits valuable city crime statistics.

Besides forbidding questioning suspects regarding place of birth, country of citizenship and legal status in the United States, the postponed Phoenix policy says that transportation of illegal aliens to ICE by officers has been eliminated for civil immigration violations unless the illegal alien “consents to a transport.” Both restrictions violate key provisions of a 2010 Arizona law known as Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB1070). Open borders and civil rights groups fought the law in federal court and succeeded in getting rid of many of its mandates but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld two key clauses in Section 2 of the measure.

The first, requires law enforcement officers to determine a suspects’ immigration status if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. This grants officers the discretion that has just been stripped in Phoenix. The other clause in Section 2 allows state law enforcement officers to transport illegal immigrants directly to federal custody. The new Phoenix sanctuary measure, also replace the term “illegal alien” with “a person unlawfully present.”

Judicial Watch will continue investigating Phoenix’s efforts to provide illegal immigrants sanctuary and has filed public records requests for the police department’s communications with third-party groups pushing for the now-paused policy change.

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Solar Wall
Does this mean we can electrify the wall?

This Thursday, President Trump and his administration revealed their intentions of planning to make the widely popular US-Mexico wall, a solar wall. President Trump mentioned that he is considering equipping the wall with solar panels in order to generate electricity.

When a reporter asked President Trump if was joking about building a solar wall, the president responded, “No, not joking, no. There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that.”

Trump went on to talk about how “there is a very good chance” that a solar wall would be built, and that “there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border.”

“Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I happen to be an electrical engineer, I happen to know a little bit about solar power, I happen to know that what he’s saying just doesn’t make sense,” stated Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.).

“Basically what he’s saying is, ‘Why don’t we build a ramp so that people can drive over?’ instead of building a wall that’s supposed to do what he wants it to do,” added Cárdenas.

Furthermore, back in February Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly was noted mentioning to the Congress that the Border Patrol officials that are in charge of overseeing the border had requested for a barrier that could allow them to see the other side. Trump stated that keeping Kelly’s request in mind, the wall would be see-though.

As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” said Trump. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”

“You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall,” Trump stated.

Although, the Republican House leaders were finally able to get a $1.6 billion funding approved for the construction of the wall, it to be noted that the much promised wall has been long delayed and that President Trump is doing everything he can to make up for the fact.

Despite the fact that President Trump had proposed a wall covering the US-Mexico border in his presidential campaign, it is to be noted that the president has clarified that the wall being proposed shall not cover the entire US-Mexico border, however, he argued that “you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers.”

“And remember this, it’s a 2,000-mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers. You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that,” said Trump.

While, the Democrats had repeatedly emphasized on the fact that they will do everything in their might to derail any budget that contains funding specifically for the construction of a new wall, it has been noted that President Trump argued that “We’re taking wall that was good but it’s in very bad shape, and we’re making it new. We’re fixing it. It’s already started.” He added, “So in a true sense, we’ve already started the wall.”

The Democrats argued back, stating that President Trump is failing to keep up with his promise for the construction of the wall and “knows it’s going to be nearly impossible to get funding for a wall” and is thus, creating “a victory out of nothing.”

“Look, he’s trying to create a victory out of nothing because he knows it’s going to be nearly impossible to get funding for a wall, and he knows his supporters are so dogmatic they’re just going to accept any lie that he says as truth,” stated Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

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Border Wall
The US doesn't need walls! The only people that need walls are RACISTS, and rich Hollywood celebrities...

President Trump and his administration are set to “fight every spending bill” that doesn’t include funding for Trump’s Mexican border wall. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) promised to “fight every spending bill that doesn’t fund that wall” in a new advertisement. “And if I have to filibuster on the Senate floor, I’ll even read the King James Bible until the wall is funded,” Brooks stated in the advertisement.

Brooks is so adamant to ensure that President Trump keeps his promise, that he is ready to take his own party down, if need be. “We’re going to build that wall, or you’ll know the name of every Republican who surrenders to the Democrats to break my filibuster. I give you my word, and I don’t give my word lightly,” he continued.

It has been noted that the Republican-controlled Congress could face a possible shutdown, if they yet again fail to allocate funding for the wall promised by President Trump during his presidential campaign. It was only back in May that the government has passed a bill to keep things up and running, however, this bill failed to contain any funding for the wall and was quite certainly not well received by the public that was expecting the promised $1.5 billion in funds for border security.

Freedom Caucus spokeswoman Alyssa Farah noted, “The vast majority of the group would like to see border wall funding,” she said.

The divide in the opinion concerning President Trump’s demand for the US-Mexico border wall continues, as Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), express that, “Well, we just see in my district where people will go over the wall when it’s built. They’ll come under it. They tunnel. And they’ll go through it,” he said in an April interview with NPR. Pearce is running for governor of the state.

Furthermore, the Democratic Party continues to strongly oppose Trump’s idea of the wall and were seen celebrating their victory over the White House back in May.

Caroline Behringer, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) stated, “Democrats remain strongly opposed to President Trump’s taxpayer-funded border wall, which would be unwise, immoral, and very costly.” Whereas, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has reportedly sent a letter expressing his concerns about the amount of money that is be spent on the “expensive” and “ineffective” wall. The letter stated, “With the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 request for a very expensive, ineffective new wall along the southern border with Mexico.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Cancus has expressed that President Trump is more than willing to veto a spending bill that doesn’t include funding for the wall.  “My conversations with the president have led me to believe that there is nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border,” Meadows stated. “Nothing more critical that has to be funded than funding the border wall,” he added.

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Illegal Windfall
Crime pays, as long as those crimes are committed in a Sanctuary City.

San Francisco’s policies that make it a “sanctuary city,” has caused the city to soon pay $190,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle a lawsuit against Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno.

Figueroa-Zarceno an illegal immigrant has stated that he was reported to federal immigration authority, although San Francisco has a sanctuary policy in place. CBS News notes, “Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno walked into a police station on Dec. 2, 2015, to recover his stolen car.

When he left the station, he was immediately taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A document from federal immigration authorities released by his attorneys indicates that a San Francisco police officer directly contacted ICE and told them where to find Figueroa-Zarceno, the man’s attorneys and representatives said.”

A spokesman for the office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, John Cote highlighted that there are very “strong” policies in place to protect victims and crimes to be protected from deportation. “San Francisco has strong policies in place to encourage victims and witnesses to report crimes without fear of being deported, which include our sanctuary ordinance.

“These policies are designed to foster respect and trust between law enforcement and residents to ensure our communities are safe.”

“The city, including the Police Department, remain committed to them. This proposed settlement is a fair resolution for all of the parties involved,” he added.

In a news conference with CBS, Figueroa-Zarceno went on to describe the incident, he stated that his 8-year-old child was yelling “Dad! Dad!” as the police arrested him. “I could hear her telling them not to take her dad,” he stated.

Furthermore, CBS has reported, “ICE officials confirmed the detention but would not comment on the released documents.

Zachary Nightingale, Figueroa-Zarceno’s attorney, said the document shows that while he served two days for a DUI in 2012, there were no criminal warrants for Figueroa-Zarceno in the system, only a civil deportation order dating back to 2005.

A judge has since reopened Figueroa-Zarceno’s immigration case after finding that the initial order was given without proper notification, and a new hearing was scheduled for 2019, Nightingale said.”

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Activist Judges
"Your Honor, you are supposed to uphold existing laws, not legislate from the bench..."

An Obama-appointed federal judge in Virginia ordered an illegal immigrant member of a violent street gang released from prison because immigration authorities supposedly violated his rights when he entered the U.S. illegally through Mexico. The Honduran teen crossed the Rio Grande during the influx of illegal alien minors a few years ago and turned himself into the U.S Border Patrol, according to a lengthy mainstream newspaper article, after acknowledging his gang history. The feds held him without a hearing in Virginia because he’s also a known drug dealer, but this month he was freed by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon. The judge ruled that, by holding the illegal alien gangbanger without a hearing, the government violated his rights to due process and family unity.

Here’s an excerpt from the newspaper article, which refers to the release as remarkable: “For immigration advocates, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon’s June 1 order was a major legal victory over the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the federal agency charged with caring for children apprehended at the border without their parents. The decision could lead to the release of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of long-detained unaccompanied minors, they said.

The teen’s release was remarkable for another reason: Before coming to the United States, he had sold drugs and witnessed murders as a member of MS-13. The violent street gang is on the rise in the United States, fueled, in part, by the surge in unaccompanied minors. MS-13 has been linked to dozens of recent killings, from the Washington area to Long Island, Boston and Houston. President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have voiced alarm about MS-13 and the way it has taken advantage of the U.S. immigration system.”

Some 150,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC)—mostly from Central America—entered the U.S. through the Mexican border under the Obama administration and this disturbing case out of Virginia is one of many illustrating the threat they represent to the American public. Judicial Watch has covered and investigated the UAC influx for years and has obtained public records from the various government agencies responsible for relocating the illegal alien minors throughout the country.

From the moment the UACs began arriving in 2014, sources in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including the MS-13—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the illegal immigrant minors and that they used Red Cross phones to communicate. Both the MS-13 and the 18th Street gangs embarked on a recruiting frenzy at the various facilities housing the newly arrived illegal aliens, according to Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources. The UACs also brought in dangerous diseases— including swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis—and occupied the nation’s military bases as shelters.

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. A year after the Obama administration began allowing droves of UACs to remain in the U.S., the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that the MS-13 emerged as a top tier gang in the Lone Star State thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state the previous year. In an alarming 19-page report, the agency writes that the number of MS-13 members encountered by U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley sector increased each year, accelerating in 2014 and coinciding with increased illegal immigration from Central America during the same period. This clearly refers to the UAC crisis that saw thousands of illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months.

Authorities in Texas predict the problem will only get worse. “Gang members from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador could be destined for locations in Texas with large Central American communities, including the Houston and Dallas areas,” the Texas Department of Safety writes in its report. Even if that doesn’t materialize, the state already has a serious gang crisis. “Reports of increased MS-13 gang activity have already surfaced in the Houston area,” the Department of Safety confirms. “MS-13 gang members are known for highly violent crimes, including brutal murders and dismemberments. Several recent crimes in Texas illustrate the criminal threat associated with MS-13.”

Here are some gruesome examples included in the agency’s report: “On September 15, 2014, the mutilated body of a 14-year-old middle school student was discovered in the woods near Houston after he was murdered with a machete.  Initial information from the investigation indicates the victim was a U.S. citizen and an MS-13 member who was murdered after trying to leave the gang. In October 2014, a 14-year-old and three adult males were arrested and charged with murder in this case. The adult males are from El Salvador, and at least two are documented MS-13 gang members.  In mid-August 2014, a 29-year-old 18th Street gang member was stabbed to death in Houston by a 16-year-old El Salvadoran member of MS-13. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds outside of a bar and was discovered a few days later in a bayou. According to investigators, the juvenile suspect revealed he illegally crossed into the U.S. in March 2014.”

Another huge concern is the relationship between street gangs and Mexican drug cartels, the report says, because it’s a very profitable partnership. “These groups pose the greatest gang threat to Texas due to their relationships with Mexican cartels, high levels of transnational criminal activity, level of violence, and overall statewide presence.” The lucrative gang/cartel business endeavors are also expanding into human smuggling and gambling, the Texas Department of Safety reveals in its report.

The recently freed MS-13 member will live with relatives in Kentucky, the news story says, further revealing that it’s not the only case of a UAC with gang ties being released by the feds. The mainstream media won’t identify the gangbanger because he’s 17-years-old and they want to protect his “safety.” The article quotes Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirming this: “If they come as undocumented minors, the federal government transports them wherever in the interior they say they’d like to go. The bad guys know how this system works, and they have exploited it.”

Just last week the same newspaper, Washington D.C.’s largest, published a piece titled “MS-13 gains recruits and power in U.S. as teens surge across border” that analyzes dozens of court cases and includes startling anecdotes of UACs with gang ties. “In the Washington region alone, at least 42 young people who crossed into the United States by themselves have been involved in MS-13 violence over the past three years,” the article states. “That includes 19 charged in connection with slayings or attempted slayings and four who were killed.” After years of relative quiet, the MS-13 has made a comeback, the news probe discovered, and it’s been fueled by the recent influx of illegal alien teens. “The rise in violence has hit especially hard on Long Island and in Boston, Houston and the D.C. area, with authorities linking dozens of killings to the gang,” the article says.

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border security

Last month, two men were caught on video climbing over the border wall with Mexico and into the United States, carrying with them two large back packs apparently loaded with illegal drugs. The climbers, who were also caught on government surveillance approaching the wall in Mexico before even setting foot on it, easily scaled down into the U.S. within a few yards of not one, but three U.S. Border Patrol vehicles. The Border Patrol officers, although clearly aware of the illegal fence climbers, did nothing. The men re-scaled the wall back into Mexico only after realizing a media crew was filming their escapade.

Such events appear to be “business as usual” at America’s southern border; reflecting a “hands-off” mentality by federal border agents that dramatically undercuts the federal government’s avowed commitment to stop illegal border crossings. It also lays bare the argument that building a wall along our border with Mexico “secures” the border. Clearly it doesn’t; and it will not until Uncle Sam develops the will to stop illegal border crossings.

The ineptitude on display last month brings to mind another botched “border control” operation by this Administration a few years ago — “Operation Fast and Furious” — in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, intentionally allowed firearms to be purchased by known Mexican drug members in the U.S., and then shipped back to Mexico where, in theory, they would be tracked. Due to reasons that can only be attributed — charitably — to bureaucratic incompetence, the guns disappeared; that is, until one showed up at the scene where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot to death.

Tragedies such as Operation Fast and Furious, as well as the Border Patrol’s passive attitude towards stopping flagrant criminal activity, illustrates a problem rooted far deeper than the prima facie absurdity of Obama Administration policies. It reflects a fundamental unwillingness by federal law enforcement agencies to do their job. The question is not are we lacking a high-enough wall, but do we lack the will.

The worsening problems at the border is perhaps the single-most important factor in the rise of Donald Trump as a competitive presidential candidate in 2016. However, though Trump may be the loudest and shrillest voice on border issues, he still, like so many other candidates and office holders, is missing the forest for the trees when it comes to illegal immigration.

Trump and those who share his views on border security focus almost exclusively on the physical aspects of the issue; higher walls, more border patrol agents, and more money. While money, equipment and personnel certainly are important elements of a comprehensive border security program, they are wasted without a true commitment on the part of officials from the President down to agency heads, to actually use those resources to do the job.

The key to “securing the border” lies not in physical security, but in policy security; and without the will to stop illegals from coming in, and until we stop fretting about the risk of “someone getting hurt if our law enforcement officers do their job,” illegals will continue to pour in regardless of the physical obstacles, barriers, and deterrents we place in their way. No number of federal agents assigned to the border, and no amount of blustering from Trump about “growing [the border fence] ten feet higher,” will make a noteworthy difference if we on this side of the wall lack the courage to stop illegals before they ever put their first foot up to climb, or as soon as they touch down on our side.

First, we have to reverse the mixed messages of the Obama Administration to Latin America regarding illegal immigration, and take a strong stand that our borders actually mean something, and that those attempting to enter the country illegally will be sent back, pronto. We must back up this message by ending the absurd “catch and release” programs that kill the morale of Border Patrol agents and continue to demonstrate that we are not serious about stopping illegal immigration. Finally, we must address the economic incentives for illegal immigration by making clear to states and cities that federal funds cannot be used to subsidize pro-illegal immigration agendas of liberal local and state governments. This means Zero Tolerance (and zero federal money) for so-called “Sanctuary Cities.”

To accomplish these things, Republicans must resist the easy route of responding to populist calls for expensive, temporary “fixes,” and focus on the much harder task of reversing Washington’s current attitude towards immigration; replacing it with one that shows we have the courage to protect our borders. In the absence of such a commitment, individuals and government leaders “South of the Border” will continue to laugh at us to our face.

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