by Tom Fitton –
The breaking developments surrounding the Boston terrorist attack has the nation transfixed on events in Boston. Judicial Watch is contributing to the public’s understanding by breaking news about the terrorist suspects and highlighting the results of past investigations on terrorism in Chechnya. Our Corruption Chronicles blog post is making national headlines. I’ll save the commentary on this story for another time and reprint our news post for you in full:
One of the Chechen terrorists who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings could have been deported years ago after a criminal arrest and/or conviction and the other was granted American citizenship on the 11th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old killed in a wild shootout with police, was a legal U.S. resident who nevertheless could have been removed from the country after a 2009 domestic violence arrest and conviction, according to a Judicial Watch source. That means the Obama administration missed an opportunity to deport Tsarnaev but evidently didn’t feel he represented a big enough threat.
Other reporting confirms Tsarnaev’s arrest for domestic violence but we’re seeking confirmation of a conviction. Nevertheless, he would have been subject to removal for the arrest itself.
Adding insult to injury, the other bomber, little brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was rewarded with American Citizenship on September 11, 2012, in Boston, according to JW’s source. The 19-year-old, who is still on the run, was granted asylum in Arlington Virginia on September 27, 2002, JW’s source reveals.
Years before these Chechen terrorists carried out the Boston Marathon bombings Judicial Watch uncovered critical intelligence documents detailing al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp-ordered by Osama bin Laden-to train “international terrorists” to carry out plots against Americans and westerners.
The goal, according to the once-classified documents obtained by JW in 2011, was to “establish a worldwide Islamic state capable of directly challenging the U.S., China, Russia, and what it views as Judeo-Christian and Confucian domination.” Further, radical Islamic regimes were to be established and supported everywhere possible, from “sea to sea,” including Chechnya. “Terrorist activities are to be conducted against Americans and westerners…” according to the report issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
In other words, it was only a matter of time before terrorists from the predominantly radical Islamic republic carried out an attack on U.S. soil. Chechnya declared independence from Russia in 1991 and Chechen militants are quite the savvy terrorists because they’ve successfully targeted Moscow with bombings and hostage plots for more than two decades.
In 2004 Chechen Islamic militants attacked a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia and they murdered 380 children, parents, teachers and visitors after holding more than 1,000 captive for three days. Judicial Watch also obtained intelligence documents from the government detailing that terrorist attack. Jointly released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the October 12, 2004, report analyzes the Beslan terrorist attack with a view toward gleaning lessons for potential attacks on schools in the United States.
There’s no telling how many of these Chechen terrorists have infiltrated the United States or how many opportunities the government has missed to protect the country by deporting them. Osama bin Laden specifically chose Chechnya as a terrorist training camp because it’s an “area unreachable by strikes from the west,” according to the intelligence report obtained by JW years ago.
Amnesty Plus, Plus
At first it was called “stealth amnesty,” back when the Obama administration circumvented Congress and began quietly (and unlawfully) releasing illegal aliens onto the streets. After the press outed the Homeland Security-led scheme, the Obama administration went public and started proudly “prioritizing” illegal alien deportations, allowing violent illegal alien criminals to stay in the country without repercussion.
And now, President Obama’s illegal alien amnesty program has been concretized in a mammoth 844-page bill endorsed by the so-called “Gang of 8” Senators, including key Republicans, who struck a deal on the bill behind closed doors.
(You can read the legislation for yourself here. But at 844 pages, be prepared to give up your entire weekend and then some – and that’s if you read nonstop! Credit to CNS News’ Craig Bannister for doing the math.)
But here’s the bottom line: this legislation provides amnesty for millions of illegal aliens – and their relatives – almost immediately with the possibility of permanent status for illegals after 10 years of “good behavior,” followed by citizenship three years later. (Some illegals are given a “streamlined path to citizenship” in half that time.)
Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from the border state of Texas, did not mince words in his response to the illegal immigration overhaul:
“It’s hard to believe, but the Senate immigration bill is worse than we thought. Despite assurances, the border is not secured before almost everyone in the country illegally is given amnesty. The bill guarantees there will be a rush across the border to take advantage of massive amnesty.”
“And the Senate proposal offers amnesty to far more illegal immigrants than we thought. In addition to most of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, the bill offers to legalize the relatives of illegal immigrants outside the U.S. and even others who have already been deported back home. So current immigration laws are shredded.”
As The Hill reports, the new bill, heavily criticized for its lack of attention to border security would, nonetheless, “bring a raft of new regulations and add more layers to the federal bureaucracy.” New federal agencies will be created, new rules devised, the visa system completely overhauled.
And if you take a look at some of the legislation’s key components, an inordinate amount of money and time are wrapped up in helping illegal aliens – who should lawfully be deported immediately – to transition into society.
How else do you explain the fact that the legislation calls for the creation of a task force of Cabinet-level officials to help with illegal alien integration issues?
Or the bill’s proposed pilot program which provides block grants to state and local governments to establish New Immigrant Councils to help illegal aliens successfully transition from illegal to legal. (The cost of these proposed grants – $100 million.)
Or the Agriculture Department’s charter to establish new housing and pay standards for sheep and goat herders?
And the special treatment is not simply limited to government coddling. As the law is written, newly legalized aliens are even given a leg up on jobs over their citizen counterparts! According to an analysis by Investor’s Business Daily, under this proposed legislation businesses have a $3,000 incentive to hire a “newly legalized immigrant” over a U.S. citizen:
The bipartisan legislation released Wednesday dictates that those granted provisional legal immigrant status would be treated the same as those ‘not lawfully present’ are treated under the 2010 health law.
That means they would neither be eligible for ObamaCare tax credits nor required to pay an individual tax penalty for failing to obtain qualifying health coverage. It also means some employers would face no penalty for failing to provide such workers affordable health coverage.
As IBD points out, under Obamacare, if health insurance costs are above 9.5% of a full-time worker’s salary, that worker is eligible for the Obamacare exchange program. And employers who provide health insurance for their employees may be required to pay up to a $3,000 fine for each worker who receives Obamacare subsidies – but not if that worker is “newly legalized” and, therefore, exempt from provisions of Obamacare.
And, folks, pay attention to the language in this bill. It is important.
The legislation creates a brand new bureaucratic phrase: “registered provisional immigrant.” So if you’ve been paying attention to how things have unfolded to this point since President Obama took office, we have moved from the term “illegal alien” to “undocumented worker” to now “registered provisional immigrants.”
Guess what term comes next. According to the bill, the name of the chief federal agency responsible for overseeing immigration policy will be changed from “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services” to the “Office of Citizenship and New Americans.”
From “illegal alien” to “New American.”
Yes, this is the largest overhaul of the immigration system in decades. So obviously, given the complexity and enormity of this legislation, Congress will allow for a protracted review process, right? Not if the “Gang of Eight” have their way. Bill supporter Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) seems to think two hearings, at most, should do the trick. The first is scheduled for April 22, 2013. This hearing had originally been scheduled for this past Wednesday, but has been postponed due to the Boston terror attack (which, as you can see above, is directly related to this issue.) Like Obamacare, the process is being perverted. The bill is released in the middle of the night, a hearing with still-secret witnesses is held less than a few days later, and a key committee vote would take place by May 15.
So, here is how I see it. This bill grants amnesty almost immediately to most of the illegal aliens here. It also allows for amnesty for relatives of these illegal aliens. And it allows certain illegal aliens who have been deported to be granted amnesty. That, folks, is amnesty, plus, plus! To be clear, the bill does not require the border to be secure for this nearly instant, massive amnesty to take place.
There’s still much to be unwrapped from this monstrous bill. This comprehensive immigration reform is to immigration as Obamacare is to health care.
I strongly encourage you to contact your senators today. Do not wait as this legislation is set to be rushed through the process without your voice being heard. The phone number for the Capitol Hill switchboard is 202-224-3121. And here’s a link to a site where you can find the contact information for every U.S. Senator.
Judicial Watch Sues Department of Justice for Records on
Controversial Voter Registration Effort in Massachusetts
As I’ve said before, Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, launched in 2012, continues to be a major priority for the organization. The next election season is already almost upon us, believe it or not, with the mid-terms next year. Much remains to be learned from dissecting the Left’s attempts to lie, cheat and steal votes during the last go-around.
And so JW’s investigations continue, including our efforts to get to the bottom of a rather obvious effort to aid the campaign of Elizabeth Warren, now a Senator from Massachusetts.
On March 27, 2013, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain records revealing “any and all” communications between the DOJ Civil Rights Division and New England United for Justice (NEU4J), NEU4J President Maude Hurd, the NAACP, Demos, and Project Vote regarding the enforcement and implementation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) in Massachusetts. (Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.)
The Judicial Watch lawsuit came in response to the failure of the DOJ to comply with two separate FOIA requests regarding voter registration activities in Massachusetts. In both cases, the DOJ not only failed to produce the records in the time period required under FOIA, it also failed to indicate when the records would be produced, as required by law. No surprises there, right?
Now here’s what we’re specifically after pursuant to our original May 24, 2012, FOIA request submitted to the DOJ Civil Rights Division seeking information dating back to January 1, 2011:
Any and all records of communications between any official or employee of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and any officer, employee or representative of New England United for Justice (NEU4J), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and/or Demos, regarding, concerning, or related to the implementation and enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Any and all records of communications between any official of the Department of Justice and Ms. Maude Hurd, the President of New England United for Justice.
By a letter dated May 29, 2012, the DOJ Civil Rights Division acknowledged receiving the Judicial Watch FOIA on May 24, and was required by law to respond by June 21, 2012. It failed to do so.
Regarding the second FOIA, on August 20, 2012, we sent a request to the Civil Rights Division seeking the following information also dating back to January 1, 2011:
Any and all records of communications between any official or employee of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and any officer, employee or representative of New England United for Justice (NEU4J), Demos, and/or Project Vote regarding, concerning, or related to voter registration in Massachusetts.
By a letter dated August 21, 2012, the Civil Rights Division acknowledged receiving the FOIA request on the same day, and was required by law to respond by September 19, 2012. Once again, it failed to do so.
The Judicial Watch lawsuit filed on March 27 asks that the District Court order the Obama DOJ to “conduct a search for any and all responsive records” to the FOIA and “produce, by a certain date, any and all non-exempt records,” along with an index of all records the department continues to declare exempt. It also asks the Court grant Judicial Watch attorney’s fees and additional litigation costs.
Now let’s get to the heart of why this information matters.
According to a Judicial Watch analysis of records, NEU4J is the reincarnation of the corrupt “community organization” ACORN in New England, the nationwide Obama-tied community organization famous for operating fraudulent voter registration drives during the 2008 presidential campaign. Judicial Watch research found that ACORN’s Boston office rebranded into New England United for Justice, headed by Maude Hurd, the former president of ACORN and ACORN Housing. (Click here to read JW’s special report on ACORN rebranding.)
And in 2012, the ACORN-connected organization was up to its old tricks.
In the final days of the senatorial election campaign between then-Sen. Scott Brown current and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, NE4J’s Hurd orchestrated a move by the state of Massachusetts to send out voter registration letters to some 500,000 welfare recipients. The mailing was forced through by the Department of Transitional Assistance after a lawsuit pushed by Hurd’s New England United for Justice. The mailings, which were seen to directly aid the Warren campaign, cost taxpayers nearly $275,000. The state also had to advertise on TV and radio stations, again targeting welfare recipients.
In March, the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General issued a report raising questions about inappropriate coordination and conduct on this election integrity issue by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and outside left-wing groups. Thomas Perez, President Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary, had headed the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and has stonewalled the American people for nearly a year now. (Perez reportedly “breezed” through a Senate hearing this week on his nomination.)
Now, as you know by now, this latest lawsuit against the DOJ is part of the JW’s comprehensive Election Integrity Project, which seeks to force states to maintain accurate voter registration lists, while upholding voter integrity measures, such as Voter ID laws.
Judicial Watch has been a leading critic of the Obama DOJ’s efforts to abuse Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which seeks to expand the number of registered voters on public assistance, while failing to enforce Section 8 of the NVRA, which requires states to maintain clean voter registration lists. In fact, we’ve done more than criticize. We’ve gone to court over the matter and sued states directly to clean up the rolls.
And we’ve also taken actions to expose the rampant collusion between the DOJ and leftist special interest groups.
It seems clear from our investigations that leftist special interest groups are running the DOJ and we need to know the full extent of this corrupt partnership – especially on this matter of election integrity.
We aim to get to the bottom of this corrupt partnership.
Tom Fitton – President