by Tom Fitton –
This is one of those “We hate to say we told you so” moments. In 2004, JW uncovered a Border Patrol survey conducted by the Bush administration that clearly showed the mere discussion of a President Bush illegal alien amnesty proposal led to a spike in the number of illegal aliens coming across the border. (The Bush White House tried to keep how its amnesty push had generated more illegal immigration secret, but Judicial Watch got past the Bush cover-up.)
And so what exactly did we think would happen once illegal alien amnesty became the de facto law of the land, courtesy of President Obama? Exactly what’s happening on the border right now, as tens of thousands of young illegal aliens swarm across the border, bringing with them chaos, crime and disease.
Obama’s lawlessness has created a humanitarian crisis right here in America. Even a federal judge saw this was coming. As our chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison noted in JW’s Investigative Bulletin:
Last December, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued an unusually strong order in a single case of child smuggling. His words should be heeded.
An unnamed ten-year-old girl from El Salvador had been spirited across the border, caught along with the smuggler, and then united with her mother-an illegal alien living in Virginia. And there, apparently, mother and daughter remain. The Department of Homeland Security did not arrest the mother, who instigated the conspiracy by hiring the smuggler. It did not prosecute her or move to deport her. “The DHS, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals,” Judge Hanen wrote.
In a remarkable ruling, Judge Hanen cut to the dark heart of this perilous enterprise. “First and most importantly,” he wrote, illegal border crossings are about dope, violence and money: “these illegal [human trafficking] activities help fund the illegal drug cartels which are a very real danger to both the citizens of this country and Mexico.” Drug cartels, he noted, control the entire human smuggling process. Smugglers regularly use violence, extortion and sexual assault against illegal aliens. “This Court has seen instances where aliens being smuggled were assaulted, raped, kidnapped and/or killed.”
At DHS, he noted, the “current policy undermines the deterrent effect the laws may have and inspires others to commit further violations. Those who hear that they should not fear prosecution or deportation will not hesitate, and obviously have not hesitated, to act likewise.” The policy also encourages individuals “to turn their children over to complete strangers-strangers about whom only one thing is truly known: they are criminals involved in a criminal conspiracy.”
President Obama was asking for this precise result when he imposed his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – a key part of the president’s “selective deportation” scheme that effectively granted amnesty to illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as children “through no fault of their own.”
When you roll out the red carpet for illegal aliens, they walk across it! Or sprint or crawl or climb or whatever it takes!
JW learned first-hand through a Homeland Security source just how bad the situation has become, as described by our Corruption Chronicles reporter Irene Garcia in a report that landed on the front page of The Drudge Report:
The barrage of illegal immigrant minors entering the U.S. through Mexico in recent weeks has created an out-of-control disaster with jam-packed holding centers, rampant diseases and sexually active teenagers at a Nogales (Arizona) facility, according to information obtained by Judicial Watch from a Homeland Security source… The minors are coming mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and some may have criminal backgrounds.
“They’re not all little kids,” said Art Del Cueto, the Tucson Border Patrol Union president. “Some are 17 years old and they have possible ties to gang members yet they will be relocated in the U.S. with family.”
Now the Obama administration has a story to tell you about what is happening on the border and why: These “young kids” are merely fleeing violence in their own countries. The crisis is under control. These children will be “processed” and subjected to “removal proceedings.” None qualify for the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
These are flagrant lies as anyone who is on the ground dealing with this illegal immigration mess will tell you…
Under control? One local sheriff, who estimates 1,000 illegals a day are coming across the border into Texas, characterized the influx of illegals and the chaos on the border to “Hurricane Katrina.”
Merely fleeing violence in Central America? Not according to Art Del Cueto, who says rumors of amnesty are responsible for the unforeseen bombardment. When agents ask the illegal border crossers what drove them, “we are hearing a lot of amnistía (amnesty),” he said.
The Washington Times reported in an editorial this week that according to an internal Border Patrol intelligence memo, “The surge in illegal immigrants jumping the U.S. border in recent weeks is almost entirely due to U.S. policy,” as these “immigrants are taking advantage of the catch-and-release system of enforcement.” [Emphasis added.]
“The immigrants come seeking “permisos,” which apparently are the “Notices to appear” or NTAs, the legal documents given to non-Mexicans caught at the border that officially put them in deportation proceedings – but that also grant them at least a temporary entry to the interior of the U.S,” the Times notes.
And will these illegal alien children really be sent back home?
Not according to press outlets in the countries from which these illegals are coming. As Irene Garcia points out: “Honduras’s largest newspaper reports this week that the minors will spend three to four months in federal camps until they can be turned over to family in the U.S. Besides receiving food and shelter, the Honduran newspaper article says, kids will receive English classes, participate in sports and other programs while their relatives are tracked down in the U.S.”
“It’s all over the news in Central America that if you bring your kids north you have a free pass…” said JW’s Homeland Security source cited above. The Obama administration, in true open borders form, clearly sees this an opportunity to resettle these children here and not return to home.
And don’t be fooled that this influx is just children. JW sources are telling us that as much as three quarters of the influx are NOT children.
And as bad as things look now, they are only going to get much worse. Especially when the Vice President calls for the “constant, unrelenting stream” of illegals to continue, while President Obama says “our future rests” on these illegal alien children!
“Deputy Border Patrol chief, Ronald Vitiello, said in an internal memo on May 30 that border agents caught 40,000 unaccompanied children last year. They expect to apprehend 90,000 children this year, and 142,000 in 2015,” per The Washington Times.
And an organization representing former Border Patrol officers says exactly why the Obama administration thinks this is just fine by illegal alien apologists in the White House and Congress:
“This is not a humanitarian crisis. It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor illegal alien children at risk for purely political purposes,” said the statement released by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.
“Certainly, we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States government,” the officers said.
Of course the costs borne by the American people will extend beyond the potential spread of disease and the possibility of an illegal alien crime spree. The Washington Times reported this week that “Senate appropriators added $1 billion to a spending bill to pay for social workers caring for the surge of children pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the humanitarian crisis is growing so quickly it’s outpacing the government’s ability to handle it.”
The Obama White House — which has said the issue is under control, mind you — asked for $2 billion.
The Obama administration wants us all to believe this problem is temporary, localized and contained. But as I pointed out in an interview this week with Newsmax, “Every town is a border town” when it comes to illegal immigration.
“The administration is sending these illegal aliens, dumping them in Arizona from Texas, they’re moving them into Oklahoma. They’re even moving them up here to Maryland.
“There’s no part of the country that’s not going to be impacted by this humanitarian crisis. These are the sorts of stories we’re used to reading about in refugee camps in Syria and Iraq or in Afghanistan. Now we have it on [our] border thanks to the president’s lawlessness.”
We are on this case, throwing investigative and legal resources at ferreting out the truth and promoting the rule of the law in the face of this crisis. To track this burgeoning crisis in the meantime, be sure to visit our website regularly for breaking news at www.judicialwatch.org.
More Improper Leaks from the Obama Administration?
As I’ve mentioned in this space before, the Obama gang has established a system for releasing records to the public and/or press.
If the information makes the president look bad, they will employ every dirty trick and stall tactic in the book to keep it under lock and key. (And if you talk to our investigating team, they will tell you to a person that the Obama gang is tenacious in this regard.)
However, if releasing the information serves to punish a political adversary, or serves a political interest, the Obama philosophy? Let it fly! Perhaps the most obvious example is the IRS campaign to release confidential financial records from organizations and individuals considered adversaries of the president (see next story).
But there is another “under the radar” potential leak that has JW in court battling for records. And it involves the Justice Department’s corruption investigation of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
On May 16, 2014, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Justice Department to obtain records of communications regarding the investigation into former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, his wife Maureen, and their financial relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr.
In January 2014, the DOJ indicted McDonnell and his wife for illegally accepting gifts, vacations, loans and the use of a private jet valued at more than $165,000 in exchange for promoting Star Scientific dietary supplement products. Here’s what we’re after as described in our February 10, 2014 FOIA request:
Any and all records of communications between employees of the Office of the Attorney General, the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and/or the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs with any third parties regarding the investigation and/or prosecution of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, related to their alleged improper acceptance of gifts and loans from a political donor.
Let’s take a look at a bit of the back story so you can get a better understanding of why these records are so important.
The January 21 Justice Department indictment alleged that the McDonnells began their relationship with Williams in March 2009 when Bob McDonnell used Williams’ private jet during his campaign for Governor.
Subsequently, the McDonnells allegedly accepted a variety of improper gifts from Williams including a $20,000 New York shopping expedition, a Rolex watch, and $15,000 to cater their daughter Cailin’s wedding. In addition to the gifts, Williams allegedly gave the McDonnells two $50,000 loans to help finance two houses in Virginia Beach.
Certainly these are very serious charges that warrant an investigation (which is why McDonnell made our 2013 list of Washington’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians as a “dishonorable mention.”) But the seriousness of the charges does not give the Obama administration license to smear Governor and Mrs. McDonnell through improper leaks to friendlies in the press.
In fact, when McDonnell and his wife pleaded not guilty to the federal corruption charges, U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer, who is set to oversee the jury trial scheduled to begin July 28, said as much, when he warned lawyers that anyone continuing to provide unwarranted information to the press could be punished.
“This will not be a trial by press conference or press release,” Spencer said. According to a CNS News story at the time, “The warnings underscored the highly public nature of the federal investigation into the McDonnells. Almost all of the relevant details of the government’s case against McDonnell had long been made public through months of news stories based on anonymous sources.”
In their motion for discovery in response to the indictment , McDonnell’s lawyers suggested possible political motivation for the prosecution, noting that there was” a steady stream of negative leaks of confidential information” made public during last year’s gubernatorial contest to succeed McDonnell. They characterized the leaks as “salacious and damaging.”
In a statement following the indictment, McDonnell said that he had been “falsely accused” and that the federal government’s case “rests entirely on a misguided legal theory” that “facilitating an introduction or meeting, appearing at a reception, or expressing support for a Virginia business is a serious federal crime for an office holder if it involves a political donor or someone who gave a gift or a loan.”
According to the Washington Post, Star Scientific received no state grants, contracts or board appointments. And according to the New York Times, “[N]o Virginia laws bar elected officials from taking gifts, nor are there restrictions on what gifts family members of officeholders can take.” In the end, a jury will decide the legal fate of Governor and Mrs. McDonnell.
Whether ex-Governor McDonnell and his wife are guilty or not, the Obama Justice Department can’t break the rules by leaking information for political and other improper reasons. And it speaks volumes that the Department of Justice has refused to follow the law and respond to our request for information. What is Eric Holder’s Justice Department hiding?
JW Smoking Gun Busts Open IRS Scandal, Again
The news just keeps going from bad to worse for President Obama and the disgraced former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations branch Lois Lerner, thanks in large part to Judicial Watch’s investigative work. As you know, JW has been instrumental in uncovering evidence of Lerner’s role in the IRS “Tea Party” scandal, getting hold of records even Congress could not obtain that prove the nation’s tax collecting agency attempted to silence conservative organizations through abusive practices.
And these discoveries led the Congress to push for more accountability.
On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, the House of Representatives voted 231-187 to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Moments after the contempt vote, and arguably more importantly, the House passed a separate resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS over the scandal, by a vote of 250-168, with 26 Democrats joining Republicans in that vote.
And previously, on April 9, 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution for alleged actions relating to the IRS’s targeting scandal.
And now this, as reported by TownHall.com’s Katie Pavlich:
Back in April, Judicial Watch released documents showing IRS officials, including former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner, discussing the possibility of bringing criminal charges against tea party groups for engaging in “political activity.” In fact, the documents showed Lerner wanted to make an example out of someone with charges in order to chill all of the groups in the tea party movement…
…Now according to a release from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Lerner had a database of tax exempt organizations sent to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections. That database included legally protected taxpayer information. Emails show Lerner and DOJ Election Crimes Branch official Richard Pilger discussing what format the FBI prefers when it comes to receiving information for their investigation.
“Thanks Lois – FBI says Raw format is best because they can put it into their systems like excel,” Pilger wrote in an October 6, 2010 email to Lerner.
So Lerner works with the DOJ and the Obama IRS works with the FBI to advance a scheme to criminally prosecute conservative organizations in the final weeks of the campaign season!
While at first the Justice Department said the 1.1 million pages of records included only publicly available tax information, Justice officials ultimately reversed course, admitting that some confidential information was released as well.
According to Reps. Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan in a letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen: “This revelation that the IRS sent 1.1 million pages of nonprofit tax-return data – including confidential taxpayer information – to the FBI confirms suspicions that the IRS worked with the Justice Department to facilitate the potential investigation of nonprofit groups engaged in lawful political speech.”
“[T]his revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department in 2010.”
From the very beginning of the IRS scandal, Judicial Watch has been on the cutting edge in ferreting out the truth about Lerner’s efforts to harass and hamstring conservative organizations.
JW’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and lawsuits resulted in revelations of Lerner’s collusion with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission, as well as her spearheading efforts within the IRS to delay or block applications from Tea Party groups for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
Judicial Watch’s leadership led Congress to uncover that the FBI is now part of the IRS abuse scandal. Where will it end. And when will someone be held criminally accountable. Eric Holder’s DOJ and the FBI are now supposed to be investigating themselves? This is untenable. In addition to Judicial Watch’s independent investigation, we need a special counsel who isn’t a stooge of Obama or of Eric Holder to investigate this administration. Twenty-six House Democrats already agree with this idea!
Now, two more quick but important notes to close this week’s installment…
JW Participates in major Benghazi Panel at Heritage Foundation: On Monday, June 16th I will be moderating a panel on the Benghazi scandal during a special Heritage Foundation event, Benghazi: The Difference It Makes Is Accountability. You can read the full agenda here. I’ll be focusing specifically on the challenges faced by the newly appointed House Select Committee investigating Benghazi, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). As you know, JW has been a leading force in unearthing key Benghazi records and we look forward to this opportunity to shed further light on the scandal. This symposium is also being sponsored by the Benghazi Accountability Coalition, with which we’re also working to bring the light of truth to this issue. And speaking of shedding light…
Tom Fitton – President