Justice Dept. Investigates Arizona Sheriff for Enforcing Immigration Law

*How dare someone enforce a law!!*

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.

Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as National Day Laborer Organizer Network and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.

The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. (The Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division is known popularly as ICE.)

In a letter dated March 10, 2009, Loretta Smith, acting assistant attorney general at the DOJ, detailed what her department would be investigating:

“This is to inform you that the United States Department of Justice is commencing an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (”MCSO”) pursuant to the pattern or practice provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. §14141 (“Section 14141”) and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,42 U.S.C. § 3789d (“Safe Streets Act”), and pursuant to the prohibitions against national origin discrimination in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d-7 (“Title Yr’) and the Safe Streets Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c).”

The letter continues:  “The investigation will focus on alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures conducted by the MCSO, and on allegations of national origin discrimination, including failure to provide meaningful access to MCSO services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals.”

“In conducting the investigation, we will seek to determine whether there are violations of the above laws by the MCSO,” the letter says.

Sheriff Arpaio’s efforts to enforce immigration laws have been the focus of previous criticism, but Arpaio has defended his department and the results his ICE-trained officers have netted.

Concerning the DOJ’s investigation, Arpaio told CNSNews.com:  “I will not back down. What I am doing is upholding the laws of the state of Arizona, and I will not be persuaded to turn my back on my oath of office as sheriff of this county.”

In an August 2008 press release, Arpaio’s office detailed those results.

“While the Sheriff’s illegal immigration and human smuggling operations conducted on the streets and roadways here have netted nearly 2,300 arrests, another very successful effort to locate illegal aliens has been quietly happening inside Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails,” the release said.

It continues: “Despite the growing criticism of the Sheriff’s illegal immigration fight by some valley politicians and activists, Sheriff Arpaio says 60 detention officers trained by ICE officials have conducted over 106,000 interviews and investigations of inmates booked into jail since April of 2007.

“In those 18 months, 16,000 inmates were determined to be illegal aliens. Either they have already been deported or will be deported after being tried and/or serving their sentences for crimes committed in the valley. The work being done be Arpaio’s detention staff is a likely contributor to the recent reduction in crime in the valley,” the press release added.

“That number of 16,000 represents a full one-third (1/3) of all inmates in the United States who have had holds placed on them after being identified by jail or prison officials as illegal aliens.”

The press release goes on to say that 20 percent of inmates in the Maricopa County Jail are illegal aliens and that of those, 2,000 illegal aliens – 70 percent – were arrested for felony crimes.

Those felony crimes committed included the following: forgery, 12 percent; kidnapping, 10 percent; aggravated assault, 7 percent; driving under the influence, 7 percent; drug charges, 27 percent; robbery, 3 percent; murder, 3 percent; and theft, 4 percent.

The Democratic Congress members have also asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to launch an investigation into the training provided by ICE.

http://cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=44899

16 illegals sue Arizona rancher

*TOTAL INSANITY.*

An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.

His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as “the avenue of choice” for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.

Trial continues Monday in the federal lawsuit, which seeks $32 million in actual and punitive damages for civil rights violations, the infliction of emotional distress and other crimes. Also named are Mr. Barnett’s wife, Barbara, his brother, Donald, and Larry Dever, sheriff in Cochise County, Ariz., where the Barnetts live. The civil trial is expected to continue until Friday.

The lawsuit is based on a March 7, 2004, incident in a dry wash on the 22,000-acre ranch, when he approached a group of illegal immigrants while carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog.

Attorneys for the immigrants – five women and 11 men who were trying to cross illegally into the United States – have accused Mr. Barnett of holding the group captive at gunpoint, threatening to turn his dog loose on them and saying he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

The immigrants are represented at trial by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which also charged that Sheriff Dever did nothing to prevent Mr. Barnett from holding their clients at “gunpoint, yelling obscenities at them and kicking one of the women.”

In the lawsuit, MALDEF said Mr. Barnett approached the group as the immigrants moved through his property, and that he was carrying a pistol and threatening them in English and Spanish. At one point, it said, Mr. Barnett’s dog barked at several of the women and he yelled at them in Spanish, “My dog is hungry and he’s hungry for buttocks.”

The lawsuit said he then called his wife and two Border Patrol agents arrived at the site. It also said Mr. Barnett acknowledged that he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

In March, U.S. District Judge John Roll rejected a motion by Mr. Barnett to have the charges dropped, ruling there was sufficient evidence to allow the matter to be presented to a jury. Mr. Barnett’s attorney, David Hardy, had argued that illegal immigrants did not have the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Mr. Barnett told The Washington Times in a 2002 interview that he began rounding up illegal immigrants after they started to vandalize his property, northeast of Douglas along Arizona Highway 80. He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.

Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.

Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch´s established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil – which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their “clients” to keep them running.

He said he carried a pistol during his searches for the immigrants and had a rifle in his truck “for protection” against immigrant and drug smugglers, who often are armed.

ASSOCIATED PRESS DEFENDANT: Roger Barnett said he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

A former Cochise County sheriff´s deputy who later was successful in the towing and propane business, Mr. Barnett spent $30,000 on electronic sensors, which he has hidden along established trails on his ranch. He searches the ranch for illegal immigrants in a pickup truck, dressed in a green shirt and camouflage hat, with his handgun and rifle, high-powered binoculars and a walkie-talkie.

His sprawling ranch became an illegal-immigration highway when the Border Patrol diverted its attention to several border towns in an effort to take control of the established ports of entry. That effort moved the illegal immigrants to the remote areas of the border, including the Cross Rail Ranch.

“This is my land. I´m the victim here,” Mr. Barnett said. “When someone´s home and loved ones are in jeopardy and the government seemingly can´t do anything about it, I feel justified in taking matters into my own hands. And I always watch my back.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/09/16-illegals-sue-arizona-rancher/

GUESS WHERE YOUR TAX MONEY HAS GONE???

*I wonder if this pisses anyone else off*

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.

The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.

The figures are significant because they show that the bailed-out banks, being kept afloat with U.S. taxpayer money, actively sought to hire foreign workers instead of American workers. As the economic collapse worsened last year — with huge numbers of bank employees laid off — the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP’s analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in fiscal 2007 to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.

The AP reviewed visa applications the banks filed with the Labor Department under the H-1B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized-skill and advanced-degree positions.

It is unclear how many foreign workers the banks actually hired; the government does not release those details. The actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 foreign workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year among all U.S. employers.

During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. The number of foreign workers included among those laid off is unknown.

Foreigners are attractive hires because companies have found ways to pay them less than American workers.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090201/ap_on_bi_ge/bailout_foreign_workers

The schools where NO pupils speak English as a first language

There are now ten schools in England without a single pupil who speaks English as his or her first language.

Research reveals that there are almost 600 primary schools where 70 per cent or more of youngsters normally speak a foreign language.

Across the country, one in seven pupils aged 4-11 does not have English as the first language, which is the equivalent of 466,620 children.

But, following years of unprecedented levels of migration, ten schools have now reached a point where every youngster falls into this category.

Their locations range from London to Lancashire. One, St Hilda’s in Oldham, is a Church of England school.

Some schools are in areas with long-established Muslim populations. In others, the high number of non-English speakers is the consequence of large-scale immigration from Eastern Europe.

Labour MP Frank Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames, co-chairmen of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, said: ‘These figures make a nonsense of the Government’s aim of integration and show the very real strain that uncontrolled large scale immigration is already placing upon our society.

‘In hundreds of primary schools, English is the second language for over 70 per cent or more of the pupils.

‘How can these children be expected to integrate into our society if they are being taught in schools where is English is the mother tongue of no pupils or a minority of pupils?’

Mr Field asked the Children’s Department to produce a list of all those schools where seven in ten or more pupils did not have English as their first language.

‘In hundreds of primary schools, English is the second language for over 70 per cent or more of the pupils.

‘How can these children be expected to integrate into our society if they are being taught in schools where is English is the mother tongue of no pupils or a minority of pupils?’

Mr Field asked the Children’s Department to produce a list of all those schools where seven in ten or more pupils did not have English as their first language.

'How can they integrate?'

Frank Field: ‘How can they integrate?’

The 591 primary schools out of 17,205 which fall into this category represent around three per cent, or around one in 30.

There are a number of local authorities where 20 per cent or more of their schools have at least 70 per cent of youngsters who do not have English as their first language.

These include the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets (62 per cent), Newham (46.9), Brent (28.8) and Ealing (28), plus Blackburn (26.7), Leicester (25.9), Bradford (25), Luton (20.3) and Birmingham (20).

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘Two successful elements of any immigration policy should be to limit the numbers coming in so that the pressure on all public services is reduced, and to insist on English being spoken to a competent level by people coming here to get married.

‘It is relatively easy to cope with a small number of non-English speakers, but incredibly difficult if there are large numbers. Scale matters.’

David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, has warned that when a large number of immigrant children go into schools, it is very hard for the staff to accommodate them and specialist teachers have to be brought in.

Last night, Dr Green said that when the Government was advocating the economic benefits of mass migration, it failed to take into account the impact on schools and other public services.

He warned that one of the consequences of having schools where no pupils had English as a first language was that they and their families might lead a sectarian lifestyle.

A spokesman for the Children’s Department said: ‘It is important to remember that some of the schools with 100 per cent of their pupils with English as an additional language are actually doing very well, especially considering the extra challenges they face.

‘Even if a pupil speaks another language they may still be highly competent in English, and many are. In cases recent arrivals from countries such as Poland have helped keep small rural schools open that may have otherwise closed because of falling pupil numbers.

‘The language of instruction in English schools is English and this is vital in boosting community cohesion.

‘The task is to get every child up to speed in English so that they can access the whole curriculum.

‘We have listened to the concerns of head teachers and are increasing funding in the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant to £206million by 2010, to bring students weak in English up to speed.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1130077/The-schools-NO-pupils-speak-English-language.html

US says rule lifted limiting immigration arrests

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department reversed itself Monday, saying that weeks after the presidential election it lifted a new rule requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants.

The Bush administration had imposed the unusual directive days before the election of Barack Obama, whose aunt was living in the United States illegally.

The directive expressed concerns about “negative media or congressional interest,” according to a newly disclosed federal document obtained by The Associated Press.

The unusual directive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement made clear that U.S. officials worried about possible election implications of arresting Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama’s late father, who at the time was living in public housing in Boston. She is now believed to be living in Cleveland.

The directive was lifted at the end of November, after Obama’s win, ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Monday. Nantel previously had told the AP the directive was still in place, and the White House told the AP late Sunday that Obama would consider whether to overturn it. Nantel said she had been under the impression the directive was still in effect.

A copy of the directive, “Fugitive Case File Vetting Prior to Arrest,” was released to the AP just over two months after it was requested under the Freedom of Information Act. It does not mention President Obama or any members of his extended family.

The directive originally was distributed Oct. 31 by e-mail to immigration officers by an assistant director at the agency. Obama was elected president five days later. Nantel said the directive called for close supervision over any cases that could be high profile. She said it was not specific to Obama’s relatives.

The White House said late Sunday that the Obama administration wasn’t briefed on why the directive was issued. It said Obama “has not contacted any government agency regarding Ms. Onyango’s case, nor has any representative of the president.”

Obama’s aunt was instructed to leave the country four years ago by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya. The East African nation has been fractured by violence in recent years, including a period of two months of bloodshed after December 2007 that killed 1,500 people.

Despite the deportation order, Onyango traveled to Washington last week for her nephew’s inauguration. News organizations observed her attending an inaugural ball at Washington’s Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, a historic luxury hotel, with her immigration lawyer, Margaret Wong.

The AP was first to disclose Onyango’s illegal status Oct. 31, hours after the Homeland Security directive was issued.

Obama has said he didn’t know his aunt was living in the United States illegally and believes that laws covering the situation should be followed. The White House said late Sunday that Onyango’s lawyer contacted Obama’s lawyer to confirm Wong’s role in the case.

“They agreed at the time that the case should proceed in the ordinary course, with neither the president nor his representatives having any involvement,” the White House said.

Onyango, 56, has said she intends to fight the deportation order and hopes to remain in the United States. ICE has since said it is investigating whether any laws or rules were broken in the disclosure about Obama’s aunt.

Mike Rogers, a spokesman for Onyango’s immigration lawyer, said late Friday that Onyango remains in the country and her case is proceeding through the legal system. He did not know where in the U.S. she was or what court was handling her case.

The government’s Oct. 31 directive was “effective immediately and until further notice,” and required that immigration agents obtain approval from ICE field office directors or deputy directors before arresting fugitives. An approval would depend on an internal review that would consider, among other issues, “any potential for negative media or congressional interest.”

“A hold on any actions to proceed with arrest will be placed in the case file until I can review the case and evaluate the impact of the potential media or congressional interest,” wrote the assistant field operations director for immigrant detention and removal.

Nantel said there was never any direction that officials should not take action on an enforcement issue. It clarified that potentially high-profile cases needed to be coordinated with the agency’s senior officials.

The Homeland Security Department censored parts of the document before turning it over to the AP, citing privacy and law enforcement reasons for withholding some of the information, including the name of the person who sent the e-mail. It also blacked out the names of recipients of the directive, making it impossible to determine whether it was sent to anyone outside the department or outside government.

Onyango is part of Obama’s large paternal family, with many related to him by blood whom he never knew growing up.

Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., left the future president when the boy was 2, and they reunited only once — for a monthlong visit when he was 10. The elder Obama lived most of his life in Kenya, where he fathered seven other children with three wives. He died in a car crash in 1982.

President Obama was raised for the most part by his mother and her parents in Hawaii. He first met his father’s side of the family when he traveled to Africa 20 years ago. He referred to Onyango as “Auntie Zeituni” when describing the trip in his memoir, saying she was “a proud woman.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iVVj5SjAgqpjIbqdmcOB74FtqRIAD95V1HO00

Harkin demands Postville explanation

*I can tell you that there will never be an explanation, for a certain lobby will never allow such questions to be answered.*

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Tom Harkin wants the Bush administration to explain why the Agriprocessors slaughter plant in Postville was allowed to operate when it couldn’t pay for the livestock it was buying.

Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says it was clear by the middle of October that Agriprocessors was not fully paying cattle and poultry sellers.

The plant was processing poultry up to two weeks ago, Harkin said in a letter Monday to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer.

“Companies that are insolvent or in breach of their obligation to pay promptly are not to continue operating,” Harkin wrote.

The USDA enforces a federal law that’s meant to protect farmers in the event that a packer gets in financial trouble. The law requires packers to hold livestock and proceeds from meat sales in trust until their cash suppliers are paid. But Harkin said unpaid claims against Agriprocessors “evidently far exceed” the amount in trust.

USDA spokesman Keith Williams disputed that statement, saying that the company has a bond as well as trust assets to cover claims and that the value of the claims is yet to be determined.

Williams also said it would be up to the courts to decide whether the plant was operating while it was unable to pay its suppliers.

The plant, which was once the nation’s largest supplier of kosher meat, went into decline after an immigration raid in May and then filed for bankruptcy protection and stopped operations in November.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081202/BUSINESS01/812020366/-1/ENT05

Federal Charges for Ex-C.E.O. at Meatpacker

*Lock him up and throw away the key.*

Federal immigration agents on Thursday arrested the former chief executive of Agriprocessors Inc., the nation’s biggest kosher meatpacking company, accusing him of harboring illegal immigrants at a plant in Postville, Iowa, where about 400 immigrant workers were arrested in a raid in May.

With the arrest of the former chief executive, Sholom Rubashkin, federal authorities extended their criminal prosecution to the highest level of management at the plant. Some 300 workers, mainly immigrants from Guatemala, were convicted of felony document fraud charges after the raid, and Iowa prosecutors had faced mounting criticism for punishing those workers but not Agriprocessors’s executives and owners.

Mr. Rubashkin is the highest-ranking executive to face arrest in stepped-up immigration raids at packinghouses nationwide since late 2006.

The son of Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of the family-held company, Sholom Rubashkin had been the top manager of the kosher plant since 1987. He was forced by his father to step down as chief executive shortly after the raid.

Mr. Rubashkin was arrested Thursday by immigration agents at his home in Postville, prosecutors said, and was released on $1 million bail after a hearing.

He is also accused, in a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, of abetting aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory two-year minimum sentence. Many of the immigrant workers were charged with that crime.

Mr. Rubashkin and his father, both Lubavitch Hasidic Jews, built Agriprocessors into a kosher giant. Kosher consumers faced meat shortages since the raid, and the scandal fueled a debate about kosher ethics.

According to the complaint, Mr. Rubashkin participated directly in efforts in the days before the raid to obtain fraudulent documents that could pass immigration agents’ scrutiny for dozens of illegal immigrants working in Postville.

The complaint suggests that plant managers had heard a raid was coming and had initially informed many workers they would have to present valid identity documents or be fired. But two floor supervisors told investigators that they met with Mr. Rubashkin at the plant to request a $4,500 loan to “help the employees who were to be terminated.” On May 9, Mr. Rubashkin agreed to give them the cash loan.

One supervisor said he had lent $200 each to about a dozen workers, who paid a line foreman to buy fake documents, the complaint says.

On May 11, the complaint charges, human resources managers worked all day under Mr. Rubashkin’s supervision to fill out job applications for workers with new fake documents.

One human resources manager told investigators that she had protested to Mr. Rubashkin that employees who had been scheduled for termination were applying under new names. Mr. Rubashkin said “the IDs looked good to him” and told her to accept them, the complaint says.

While the complaint names no employees, two supervisors, Juan Carlos Guerrero Espinoza and Martin de la Rosa, have pleaded guilty to harboring charges. A human resources manager, Laura Althouse, pleaded guilty on Wednesday.

Mr. Rubashkin and his father also face state charges for child labor violations. And Iowa labor authorities on Wednesday levied $10 million in fines against the company for wage violations.

Mr. Rubashkin faces a maximum of 22 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/us/31immig.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin