Sean Buchanan, a father of five from Colorado Springs, was driving his motorcycle on Highway 83 when Miguel Ramirez Valiente swerved into his lane and killed him. The immigrant was charged with reckless driving with a revoked license || TGP
“President Trump signed an executive order this week allowing adults who illegally enter the United States with children, claiming to be family units, to be detained together in federal facilities.
The question of a valid parental-child relationship is at the center of how the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services handle detainment. Because of fraudulent documentation, profits to smugglers, and false asylum claims, there is essentially no way to prove or verify adults traveling with children are indeed their parents.
In April 2016, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley warned about catch-and-release policies enabling the smuggling industry. In the past, any non-Mexican or Canadian individual illegally crossing the border with a child was considered a family unit, processed and released into the interior. Current zero-tolerance policies require they be detained until prosecution.
“A recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report confirmed that human smuggling rings are exploiting children in order to prevent the detention of the undocumented immigrants they’re smuggling into the United States. They are pairing children with unrelated adults, knowing adults who enter the United States with children won’t be detained,” he said.
“At least one Honduran interviewed by DHS officials reported that children are kidnapped or adopted then smuggled with their unrelated adult “family member” to the United States. This smuggling practice has bolstered an underground market for counterfeit birth certificates according to the report, which was prepared by the DHS Human Smuggling Cell. Once in the U.S., these children are vulnerable to labor or sex trafficking,” he continued.
Fast-forward to 2018 and this is still the case.
“If there’s no documentation to confirm the claimed relationship between an adult and a child, we [separate] if the parent is a national security, public or safety risk, including when there are criminal charges at issue and it may not be appropriate to maintain the family in detention together,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the White House Monday.
“We also separate a parent and child if the adult is suspected of human trafficking. There have been cases where minors have been used and trafficked by unrelated adults in an effort to avoid detention,” she continued. “And I’d stop here to say, in the last five months, we have a 314 percent increase in adults and children arriving at the border, fraudulently claiming to be a family unit. This is, obviously, of concern.”
Current and former Border Patrol and ICE agents who have worked extensively on human trafficking cases continue to have these concerns. Worse, they’re alarmed the majority of current media coverage is downplaying the smuggling angle.
“You can never really verify who the parents really are,” former Border Patrol and Customs Special Agent Jason Piccolo said during an interview with Townhall. “Especially in light of adult males showing up with kids.”
In 2015, Piccolo blew the whistle on the Obama administration releasing unaccompanied minors to unvetted, criminal sponsors. During that time, he served as the sole ICE and Enforcement and Removal Operations representative to the White House Security Council’s DHS Human Smuggling Cell. It was his job to disrupt or dismantle human smuggling organizations domestically and internationally.
“Without doing some kind of in-depth interview or interrogation or some kind of biometrics [DNA] there’s no way you can tell if the kids are actually family,” he said.
Piccolo explained how adults and children are given fake documents, including birth certificates to “prove” they are “related.”
“They’re given fake documents in order to get through Mexico and a lot of times they’ll give those fake documents back,” he said.
Smugglers are hired for as much as $20,000 per person and pair unrelated adults to unrelated children. The entire purpose is to claim asylum, valid or not, with the understanding that “family units” are apprehended and then released to the interior of the United States. Since 2008, asylum claims have ballooned by 1,700 percent according to DHS data.
Under the Obama administration, 80-90 percent of individuals making asylum claims with children were released after being processed and given a court date. Inevitably, they started living in the U.S. illegally for years to come. This is the policy the Trump administration is trying to change.
“When they’re presenting themselves they’d get an asylum interview and they’d get released,” Piccolo said. “It was widely known that the human smuggling cell knew that aliens coming in from South America stated that they were told if they were a family unit they would be released at the border.”
Piccolo suggests a joint effort with USCIS, DHS and FBI is necessary for vetting and that a joint task force must be developed to do interviews and interrogations of adults traveling with children.
“If you really want to fix this problem you have to really vet these adults,” he said. ”
….Continue reading more @ Townhall
|| Washington Examiner
“California may be the first state in the country to appoint a person illegally in the U.S. to a position in state government following the Senate Rules Committee’s decision to approve Lizbeth Mateo, a Mexican-born woman, for a statewide post.
Mateo, a 33-year-old attorney, was appointed Wednesday to the California Student Opportunity and Access Program and will advise the Student Aid Commission.
California Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon’s office confirmed to the Washington Examiner on Thursday Mateo is the first illegal immigrant to be given a state-appointed job and said it was not aware of any other state to have done so.
Multiple officials at immigration organizations also told the Examinerthey were unaware of any other states that had made similar appointments, making the Wednesday vote a historic one.
Mateo came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 14 years old. In California, where illegal immigrants gained the legal right to practice law in 2014, she attended Santa Clara University School of Law and passed the California state bar exam last year.
“While undocumented students have become more visible in our state, they remain underrepresented in places where decisions that affect them are being made,” Mateo said in a statement.
In her new role, Mateo will help low-income and under-served communities learn more about how to apply for college.
It’s not clear if Mateo is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would give her legal protections from deportation and work authorization.”
…Continue reading more @ Washington Examiner
Note: The California State Constitution would appear to make such an appointment unconstitutional:
( Article 1 adopted 1879. )
(a) The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
What is the basis for her appointment? The fact that she is a foreign national, illegally in the country. How is that not a preference based on national origin?
Pew cited a report released last month by the Bureau of Justice Statistics to show that immigration offenses accounted for fully half of federal arrests in 2014, up from only 28% a decade earlier. Consequently, the Department of Homeland Security, which includes Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), now makes more arrests than the FBI, DEA, BATFE, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and all other branches of the Justice Department combined.
The geographic distribution of federal arrests also shows the growing emphasis on immigration offenses. In 2014, 61% of all federal arrests – or more than 100,000 – occurred in just five federal judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Driven by this massive increase in immigration arrests, a staggering 61% of federal arrests are now of non-U.S. citizens. These arrests, mostly for immigration offenses, but including thousands for other crimes, do not include the hundreds of thousands of non-criminal apprehensions of illegal aliens each year.
Illegal aliens made up an equally shocking 37% of all criminal defendants in federal district courts in 2014.
Most illegal aliens arrested for immigration offenses are referred to administrative hearings before immigration courts. The increase in this type of arrests has placed tremendous strain on that system. The resulting backlog raises concerns of a “virtual amnesty” from the inability to process these cases.
The BJS report shows that, increasingly, immigration offenses, which can include more serious crimes like trafficking aliens into the United States, are winding up in regular U.S. district courts. While, in 1994, fewer than 2,500 immigration cases wound up in district court, 21,789 did in 2014, representing over a quarter of those general courts’ criminal caseload. Of those defendants, almost 80% were sentenced to time in federal prison with a median sentence of 15 months.
The influx of illegal alien offenders and especially of immigration arrestees remains a pressure point on the federal prison system that, due to a drop in other types of offenders and changes in federal sentencing policy, has otherwise seen a drop in overcrowding. The problem is particularly acute for prisons run by private companies, which are disproportionately set aside for immigration offenders.
ICE is forced to make use of dozens of private facilities to house detainees awaiting deportation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced he would be reversing the Obama administration’s plans to phase out private prisons for criminal convicts and pre-trial detainees.
Pew notes that, by their estimates, federal arrests make up only a little more than one percent of the total arrests in the United States each year, local and state law enforcement being responsible for the vast majority of arrests.
While the numbers in the BJS report accurately reflect the federal criminal justice system, wider estimates of the proportions of crime committed by illegal aliens are hard to come by. Reporting across the nation’s hundreds of law enforcement agencies is inconsistent and incomplete. So-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions also refuse to report on their arrestees’ immigration status as a matter of policy, hindering federal efforts to collect statistics and enforce immigration laws.”
….Continue reading @ Breitbart
– Washington Examiner
“The Department of Health and Human Services is raiding several of its accounts, including money for Medicare, the Ryan White AIDS/HIV program and those for cancer and flu research to cover a shortfall in housing illegal youths pouring over the border at a rate of 255 a day.
HHS is trying to come up with $167 million to fund the Office of Refugee Resettlement that is accepting the youths, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Policy Director Jessica Vaughan said that insiders have told her that the funding crisis has forced the department to squeeze programs for money.
She just revealed on the CIS website:
“An average of 255 illegal alien youths were taken into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) every day this month, according to the latest figures the agency provided to Congress. This is the largest number of illegal alien children ever in the care of the federal government. To pay for it, the agency says it will need an additional one or two billion dollars for the next year – above and beyond the $1.2 billion spent in 2016 and proposed for 2017 – depending on how many more arrive. For now, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where ORR resides, is diverting $167 million from other programs to cover the cost of services for these new illegal arrivals through December 9, when the current continuing resolution expires.”
The money, she said, pays for “shelters, health care, schooling, recreation, and other services for the new illegal arrivals, who typically were brought to the border by smugglers paid by their parents, who often are living in the United States illegally.”
….Continue reading @ Washington Examiner
– the Hill
“Faculty members and students at universities across the country are asking school leaders to declare their campuses as sanctuaries for undocumented individuals who could face immigration action under President-elect Donald Trump’s promised policies.
– Daily Caller
“Following Donald Trump’s shocking victory last week, student meltdowns have taken place at colleges across the country. From scheduled “cry-ins” to post-election safe spaces with bubbles, Legos and Play-Doh, you would think you’d seen it all, but there’s more. Some students are demanding their colleges become “sanctuary campuses” to protect illegal immigrants from the immigration crackdown that President-elect Trump has promised.
At Yale University, students created a petition urging the university administration “to take immediate steps to make Yale University a sanctuary campus for students, staff, and their family members who face deportation under President-elect Donald J. Trump’s proposed policies.”
“Given that many students and their family members now live in fear of Donald Trump’s deportation threats, we call upon the University to immediately develop a protocol for making itself a sanctuary campus. Yale has promised to be a home for all of us. A home is supposed to be safe. We owe it to the most vulnerable members of our community to do our utmost,” states the petition. “If we do nothing, then our stated commitments to diversity, justice, and inclusion will reveal themselves to be empty promises and hypocritical lies. At this moment, we cannot afford silence.”
Faculty and students at Brown University also drafted a letter to their administration asking that the campus be converted into a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.”
….Continue reading @ DailyCaller
– Washington Examiner
“Some 1.4 million illegals who followed President Obama’s request to sign up for two controversial amnesty programs could be among the first to face deportation under the new administration.
The reason: In exchange for getting into the two programs, they handed over their identities, home addresses, and admitted to being in the United States illegally, making them the easiest to find and legally deport.
“I was surprised anyone would be stupid enough to sign up for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). Yet apparently hundreds of thousands of people did so anyway,” said John Miano of the Center for Immigration Studies.
He said in a blog post that the programs are dead under a Trump administration and those who signed up “created a list of prime candidates for deportation with names, addresses, and an admission of illegal alien status.”
…..Contiune reading @ WashingtonExaminer
– LA Times
“As president, Donald Trump can move swiftly to gut President Obama’s signature immigration policies by ramping up deportations and ending a program that has given temporary work permits to immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
Nearly a third of the 742,000 so-called Dreamers — those given protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — live in California and are potentially at risk of losing legal status.
Using the same executive authority that Obama claimed to create DACA and other initiatives, Trump also can quickly fulfill his promises to severely restrict the number of refugees admitted each year and to effectively bar visitors from countries with large Muslim populations.
Trump said Thursday, after meeting with Obama at the White House and Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, that immigration and border security would be among his top priorities when he takes office in January.”
“There is vast potential to increase the level of deportations without adding personnel,” said Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a member of Trump’s immigration policy transition team.
By giving more authority to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Trump easily could boost deportations by more than 75% in his first year in office, Kobach said.
Under Trump, Kobach said, agents likely will return to raiding workplaces and checking workers’ status. That practice roiled immigrant communities in the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency and was stopped when Obama came to office.”
…..Continue reading @ LA Times
“The mayors of New York and Los Angeles are not planning to back down to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade. Both say their cities will continue to require judge’s orders to hold undocumented immigrants in jail, rather than doing so just because Immigration and Customs Enforcement asks:
“We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us, who are part of our community,” de Blasio said, referring to an estimate of the number of unauthorized immigrants living in New York. “We are not going to tear families apart.”
De Blasio said Trump’s threat to withhold funds from sanctuary cities was “dangerous,” but it was too soon to tell whether the president-elect intended to follow through on all his proposals.
In Los Angeles:
“We comply with federal immigration agencies, but insist that detainer requests be handled constitutionally,” Connie Llanos, the [mayor’s] spokeswoman, said in an email.
“It is Mayor Garcetti’s sincere hope that no president would violate those principles, the very foundation of our nation, by taking punitive action on cities that are simply protecting the well being of residents.”
A lot of people are going to need to stand up to a lot of bullying if this country is going to remain a functioning constitutional democracy.”
….Continue reading @ DailyKos
Note: The Supreme Court has consistently found federal law preempts local laws:
Article VI, clause 2.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, and Thing in the . . .Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.