Starting this fall Virginia will offer illegal immigrants discounted in-state tuition at taxpayer-funded colleges as well as financial aid to attend private universities. This month the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, signed the new law during a heavily publicized visit to Marymount University, a private Arlington college with an enrollment of about 3,200. “These students have grown up in our communities across Virginia,” the Democrat lawmaker said during the signing. “They’ve attended the same schools as their classmates and neighbors, they have taken the same tests, they have played on the same teams, eaten in the same lunch rooms and even gone to the same dances. They are valued members of our communities, and they are Virginians in every sense of the word except for immigration status – something that was chosen for them, not by them, by families just wanting a better life for their children.”
Virginia has 15 public four-year universities, according to its State Council of Higher Education, and dozens of private institutions that will help educate illegal immigrants on taxpayer dime. While more than a dozen other states offer illegal aliens discounted tuition at public universities, Virginia is taking it a step further by also doling out money for a private education. The money will flow through a special program called Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) that annually provides tens of thousands of legal state residents with grants to attend private institutions of higher learning. To be eligible, candidates must be a domiciliary resident of Virginia as defined by the state code, which essentially says individuals shall establish by “clear and convincing evidence” domicile in the Commonwealth for a period of at least one year immediately succeeding the establishment of domiciliary intent. It is not clear what if any changes will be made to the code so illegal immigrants meet the criteria.
More than 12,370 undocumented students are enrolled in higher education in Virginia and the state sees 2,000 illegal immigrants graduate high school annually, according to the Higher Ed Immigration Portal, a platform that tracks and supports undocumented and international students in the U.S. Additionally, Virginia has an illegal immigrant population of 265,830, the group’s figures show. The nonprofit claims that its mission is to build a diverse movement of partners and stakeholders advocating alongside immigrant and international students. Its goal is to expand access to higher education, degree completion, and post-graduate career success. “The U.S. is home to more than 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education,” the portal states. “In their pursuit of higher education, undocumented students actively ready themselves to fill critical skill shortages and become better positioned to support their families, communities, and the U.S. economy.”
At least 19 states offer illegal immigrants discounted tuition typically reserved for legal residents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seventeen of them— Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington—passed laws to offer the perk. In two states—Oklahoma and Rhode Island—the Board of Regents allows it. In 2013, the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents and the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents adopted similar policies granting illegal aliens in-state tuition at their school. A year later Virginia’s attorney general enacted a policy giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants protected by a controversial Obama amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At the time more than 8,000 illegal immigrants qualified for the taxpayer benefit. The attorney general proclaimed that it was the right thing to do because the illegal immigrants are “Virginians” and the state “should extend them an opportunity for an affordable education.” Three states—Arizona, Georgia, and Indiana—have passed laws prohibiting illegal immigrants from receiving discounted in-state-tuition rates.
Last year Virginia passed a law granting illegal immigrants special driver’s licenses. The measure directs the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide driver’s licenses to applicants without a Social Security or taxpayer identification number if they submit a certified statement that their information is true. Democrat legislators introduced the law after promising an influential group known as the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights that they would “fight hard” for immigrant rights, according to a local news report. The same immigrant rights coalition has long demanded legislation to give illegal aliens discounted in-state tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities. One of the lawmakers behind the driver’s license measure, Senator Jennifer Boysko who represents Fairfax, calls it an “economic justice issue.”
The post Virginia Gives Illegal Immigrants In-State Tuition at Public Colleges, Aid for Private Universities appeared first on Judicial Watch.
New Yorkers went to the polls Tuesday amid a spiraling crisis of urban violence. In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans six to one, Tuesday’s primary voting will effectively decide the elections. Up for grabs is the office of mayor, city comptroller, public advocate, the majority of the city council, and the powerful office of Manhattan district attorney.
The candidates felt the heat. Crime and disorder are sharply up in the city, and the issue has dominated the last months of campaigning. The numbers tell the story: for May 2021, the overall crime rate rose twenty-two percent, compared with May 2020, according to NYPD statistics. Robberies increased forty-six percent. Assaults increased twenty percent. Shootings increased seventy-three percent.
The city’s iconic Washington Square Park has become a nightly battleground between lowlifes and police, with horrified local residents clamoring for more security. Open drug use and drinking is widespread. On a typical recent Saturday night, protestors hurled objects at police, a woman was assaulted, two men were slashed with a razor, and a 77-year-old cook was hurled through the window of a nearby diner.
The subways—an economic lifeline for the city—have become a danger zone. “Minor” crimes such as turnstile-jumping, drinking alcohol, and public urination are commonplace. Assaults, rapes and murders are up. Overall, subway crime has jumped ninety-three percent from the previous year, according to NYPD statistics.
Our friends at the Wall Street Journal remind us that after inheriting a prosperous, safe city from mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio squandered the legacy. “Crime and disorder have returned amid progressive assaults on police and anti-crime strategies that worked. Bail reform let repeat offenders free. The mentally ill homeless attack subway riders and pedestrians. The mayor had his police chief disband the anti-crime unit that searched for illegal guns, and shooting have soared.”
Crime is up in cities large and small across America. In Miami, murders are up thirty percent year over year. In Chicago, 294 people have been murdered as of June 12—that’s twenty-one more than the same period last year. In Jackson, Mississippi, homicides are up nearly seventy percent year over year. In Lubbock, Texas, homicides doubled from 2019 to 2020. In Atlanta, murders, rapes, and assaults are rising. In Denver, murders are up twenty-three percent and shootings sixty-two percent.
The New York races were populated mostly by the progressive Left. The candidates’ platforms continue the policies of the de Blasio years or take the city even further down the progressive path with plans to shift funds from the NYPD and empty the jails. A handful of relative moderates, such as mayoral candidate Eric Adams and Manhattan DA contender Tali Farhadian Weinstein, made aggressive crime reduction centerpieces of their campaigns.
New York has instituted a program of complex ranked choice voting and absentee ballots are still to be counted. But preliminary election returns show Adams in front, with a strong lead over far-left candidate Maya Wiley, thirty-two percent to twenty-two percent. In the Manhattan DA race, which does not use ranked voting, center-left candidate Alvin Bragg holds a narrow lead over Farhadian Weinstein, with absentee ballots still to be counted. Radical progressive candidates in a handful of races appear to have fended off ranked choice challenges and captured City Council seats and the comptroller’s office.
Adams—a former cop and former Republican—has caused much handwringing among the New York cognoscenti. Left-wing hopes were high for a successor to de Blasio, and an Adams victory will be widely interpreted as a setback for progressives. With ranked choice still to play out and absentee ballots to be counted, final results won’t be announced until July.
Meanwhile, the mayhem continues.
Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Follow him on Twitter @micah_morrison. Tips: email@example.com
Investigative Bulletin is published by Judicial Watch. Reprints and media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 111 pages of records from Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts which confirm the use of “affinity spaces” that divide students and staff based on race as a priority and objective of the school district’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” plan. The school district also admitted that between September 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021, it created “five distinct” segregated spaces.
Judicial Watch obtained the records after filing a May 17 Massachusetts Public Records Law request for records concerning the number of affinity spaces, the policies regarding their creation and use, the topics discussed, and any analysis of whether affinity spaces that exclude certain races are consistent with state and federal law, which would include the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the MA Equal Rights Amendment and/or the MA School Attendance Law.
The Wellesley Public School records include a document detailing the school district’s “Equity Strategic Plan 2020-2025” which includes a “District Equity by Design” plan with the stated goal of amplifying student voices by providing “opportunities for affinity spaces for students with shared identity.”
In a section of the document titled “Diversity Staffing,” a stated goal is to “Provide resources for affinity spaces for specialized populations within the wider Faculty/Staff (ie. ALANA, Admin Leaders of Color, LGBTQ+, White Educators for Antiracism, etc.)”
Wellesley Public Schools states in its plan for “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:” “We will practice risk-taking and challenge one another to continuously examine systems of privilege and bias, and work collectively to disrupt and dismantle inequity in all its forms.”
In an email on March 18 to Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Charmie R. Curry, the day of the so-called “healing space,” a Wellesley High School fitness & health teacher writes: “I wanted to check first, is it appropriate for me to go to this healing space?” Curry responds: “This time, we want to hold the space for Asian and Asian American students and faculty/staff. I hope this makes sense.”
In an April 12 email to school district colleagues, Curry notes that “Equity Literacy” is required coursework in the district. Curry writes: “There is still plenty of time to enroll in the two required courses – ‘Understanding Equity and Inequity’ and ‘Learning to Be a Threat to Inequity.’ These courses, with a keen focus on helping us to build/sharpen our structural ideological lenses, are essential to our ability to address inequities in our community. Our students who are being impacted by inequities such as racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. need to be equipped to respond today to their needs in order to positively impact their experiences.”
In addition, the school district admitted that it does not have any records analyzing whether such segregated spaces violate the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution or any other law.
“These documents confirm how Wellesley Public Schools segregated students and staff by race without thinking about what’s legal in pursuit of extremist critical race theory agenda,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Wellesley marks the latest battle in Judicial Watch’s fight to expose the hard-left “Critical Race Theory” agenda that is being pushed nationwide.
In May, Judicial Watch obtained records from Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) which include documents related to their “Anti-racist system audit” and critical race theory classes.
The documents, obtained under the reveal that students of “Maryland’s Largest School District” who attended Thomas Pyle Middle School’s social justice class were taught that the phrase “Make America Great Again” was an example of “covert white supremacy.” The phrase is ranked on a pyramid just below “lynching,” “hate crimes,” “the N-word” and “racial slurs.” They were also taught that “white privilege” means being favored by school authorities and having a positive relationship with the police.
The documents show that Montgomery County Public Schools allocated over $454,000 for an “Anti-racist system audit” by The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, a company that claims that their “expertise in using intersectionality as part of its theory of change makes us uniquely positioned to conduct the Anti-Racist Audit and mitigate the root causes of systemic barriers.”
In February, Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of David Flynn, the father of two Dedham Public School students, who was removed from his position as head football coach after exercising his right as a citizen to raise concerns about his daughter’s seventh-grade history class curriculum being changed to include biased coursework on politics, race, gender equality, and diversity.
You can watch a Judicial Watch video presentation on the Flynn case here.
The post Judicial Watch Critical Race Theory Investigation: Records Show Massachusetts School District Segregates Students/Staff Based on Race In ‘Affinity Spaces’ appeared first on Judicial Watch.
As the homicide rate hits a record high in Washington D.C. the city elects a convicted murderer to public office in a unique election featuring all inmate candidates. The freshly elected public official, Joel Caston, has been in prison 26 years and is currently incarcerated at the District of Columbia Jail. In 1996 Caston was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder for ambushing and killing a man in the city’s Anacostia neighborhood. Court records obtained by Judicial Watch indicate that a 2016 appeal was denied. In the document, Caston’s attorneys name the victim, which is not common practice today. Court records also reveal a “speed loader”—a device used to rapidly load ammunition into a firearm—was found by police under Caston’s mattress after the shooting. It contained six rounds of .44 caliber ammunition as well as additional rounds of ammo.
Now Caston is a commissioner on D.C.’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), which advises the D.C. Council and other local government entities involving matters ranging from liquor license applications to public safety. Commissioners serve two-year terms and are elected in even-numbered years. The ANC was established to bring “government closer to the people, and to bring the people closer to government,” according to its website. Caston was chosen by voters to represent Ward 7, one of D.C.’s most crime-infested areas. It is represented by Councilman Vince Gray, an ex-D.C. mayor who was embroiled in a campaign finance scandal. The Ward 7 ANC seat has never been occupied and D.C. officials conducted an unprecedented election earlier this month to fill the post. All five candidates and the majority of voters they courted are incarcerated at the same prison with Caston, according to a local news report.
Last year the D.C. Council passed legislation allowing incarcerated convicted felons to vote. Besides D.C. only two states—Maine and Vermont—let imprisoned criminals cast ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. After the measure was enacted in D.C., a group of commissioners and a nonprofit called Neighbors for Justice launched an effort to fill the empty ANC seat and pressure the local Department of Corrections to notify inmates they qualified to run for the post. Neighbors for Justice was founded in August 2020 by residents near the D.C. prison who want to support “neighbors at the jail during COVID and beyond.” The group offered all the felon candidates a forum to deliver their campaign message from their cell clad in orange prison uniforms. In the promotional campaign videos Caston is the only candidate who is not wearing the orange uniform. Instead, he appears in a white sweatshirt with a logo that reads “credible messenger.” In the short segment Caston says “my platform would be used to restore the dignity of incarcerated people that we would no longer be judged by our worst mistake and establish equality for both the male and the female population that has often been overlooked inside this space.”
Caston will be issued a laptop or tablet, an electronic mail account, and a workspace in the prison where he can dedicate eight hours a day to his duties as commissioner, the founder of Neighbors for Justice said in a local newspaper article. “It’s not just about a historic election, with a first-ever ANC commissioner who is incarcerated,” said Julie Johnson, the group’s founder. “It’s about giving a voice and visibility to a population that is unseen.” In the same story Caston says that he feels “presidential” after winning the election. On its website Neighbors for Justice congratulates Caston, writing that he will serve as the ward’s inaugural commissioner and confirming that the murderer received 48 of the 142 votes cast in the “historic election.” The note proudly announces that “all five candidates in this election are in residence at the DC jail.”
While they celebrate the election triumph of a convicted murderer, homicides in D.C. are on pace to shatter records. Last year the rate hit a 16-year high and in 2021 it is expected to be worse, according to Metropolitan Police Department data. The figures show homicides are already up 13% from last year. A few months ago, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared that gun violence is a public health crisis. Weeks later she clumped her city’s pervasive gun violence with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying this in a statement: “Many communities across the nation, including Washington, DC, continue to be burdened by two simultaneous public health emergencies. The first is the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit our Black and Latino communities the hardest. The second is the gun-related violence that continues to devastate many of those same communities. Even in 2020, when much of the country shut down for weeks at a time, deaths from gun violence reached historic levels.”
The post Jailed Murderer Wins Public Office in D.C. Election with Five Inmate Candidates from Same Prison appeared first on Judicial Watch.
From Tom Fitton’s Op-Ed for The Washington Examiner:
Just a few years ago, Rep. Adam Schiff had no qualms using secret subpoenas to obtain the phone records of American citizens without their consent. But now, he is hypocritically complaining that his phone records were supposedly obtained by a grand jury.
During the 2019 Impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, Mr. Schiff, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, obtained the phone records of many prominent figures in the Trump orbit, including Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, Jay Sekulow and others using secret subpoenas. Mr. Schiff then compounded his constitutional abuse by actually publishing these private phone records.
The targeted individuals hadn’t known about the subpoena of their phone records because Mr. Schiff kept the subpoenas under wraps and obtained the records directly from the phone companies. This left these citizens with no legal avenue through which to challenge Mr. Schiff’s subpoenas.
Unlike Mr. Schiff’s spy games, the Justice Department used a court-authorized grand jury process to obtain Mr. Schiff’s records as part of a criminal investigation into leaks of classified information that can harm national security. Mr. Schiff sanctimoniously referred to the investigation against him as a “cudgel against (Trump’s) political opponents and members of the media.” Instead of exposing Mr. Schiff’s hypocrisy, the mainstream media has given his dishonest rantings an airing.
Judicial Watch called out Mr. Schiff’s overreach in December 2019 when it filed a suit against Mr. Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee under the common law right of public access to government documents to ensure, “members of the public have the right to examine government records when the public interest in disclosure is greater than that in government secrecy.”
Read More Here.
The post Tracing Adam Schiff’s subpoena hypocrisy appeared first on Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch Seeks Injunction Against Chicago Mayor’s Admitted Racist Interview Policy
Federal Prison Inmates Escape Undetected, Deceive Guards with Dummies in Bed
Biden Administration Allows Leftist Groups Pick Illegal Alien Asylees, Expands Youth Entry
Judicial Watch Warns of Election Integrity Crisis
Judicial Watch Seeks Injunction Against Chicago Mayor’s Admitted Racist Interview Policy
The case of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s attempt to institute a racist interview policy isn’t over. The latest development is a brief we filed in support of our request for a preliminary injunction to immediately prevent her from denying Daily Caller News Foundation reporter Thomas Catenacci’s interview request on the basis of race.
The filing comes in response to an admission filed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office that confirms her office engaged in a two-day “press tour” involving six interviews that was “exclusively” limited to “journalists of color.”
We initially filed the lawsuit on May 27, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division ( Catenacci et al v. Lightfoot (No. 1:21-cv-02852)).
We sued after Catenacci, a white journalist, emailed Mayor Lightfoot’s office requesting a one-on-one interview with the mayor. The office never replied to the request or to two additional follow-up emails from Catenacci. Catenacci’s request came on one of the days that the mayor admittedly was discriminating based on race.
The lawsuit and subsequent preliminary injunction request assert that Lightfoot’s refusal to be interviewed by Catenacci violates the Daily Caller News Foundation’s and his First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection. In our most recent filing, we note that our journalist clients continue to suffer irreparable injury because of Mayor Lightfoot’s admitted racist interview policy:
While other journalists may be relieved that Mayor Lightfoot has asserted that she will not discriminate against them on the basis of race going forward, the mayor’s assertion that she has stopped discriminating on the basis of race does nothing to remedy the irreparable harm Plaintiffs suffered on May 20, 2021 and continue to suffer. And absent an injunction or other order of this Court, nothing compels Mayor Lightfoot from not discriminating on the basis of race in the future. A preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent continuing irreparable harm caused by Mayor Lightfoot’s violation of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection.
“Mayor Lightfoot admits she discriminated based on race on the day I requested an interview,” said Thomas Catenacci. “The Court gave her the chance to say she didn’t discriminate against me because I am white. She did not do so. Every day my interview request is not granted because of my race, my Constitutional rights are violated. This is simply unacceptable.”
“Mayor Lightfoot should just grant our interview request and commit to never again discriminate on the basis of race,” said Daily Caller News Foundation Editor-in-Chief Ethan Barton. “What’s to stop her from using this racist policy to block the freedom of the press in the future?”
Mayor Lightfoot confessed to a racist interview policy. The court should refuse to give Mayor Lightfoot a day pass for racial discrimination and issue an injunction immediately protecting our clients and the public this outrageous abuse.
Federal Prison Inmates Escape Undetected, Deceive Guards with Dummies in Bed
The Federal Bureau of Prisons brags on its website: “Sleep soundly. We’ll be up all night.” Well, you might want to keep one eye open, as this Corruption Chronicles report explains.
The nation’s federal prison system is in hot water again, this time for security failures that allow inmates to escape undetected. In some cases, the prisoners who slip away place dummies in their bed to deceive correctional officers and in other instances they simply have other inmates pose as them during counts. Details of the breaches are offered in a Management Advisory Memorandum issued this month by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG). The document focuses on the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FOB) minimum security facilities, known as Federal Prison Camp (FPC) and Satellite Prison Camp (SPC) locations. The watchdog’s findings should embarrass FOB officials at every level. “Gaps in security at FPCs and SPCs present risks that inmates will escape and, if they return, smuggle contraband back into facilities undetected, which endangers the community, other BOP inmates, and correctional staff,” the IG writes in its memo to prison officials.
Seven of the FOB’s 122 facilities are minimum security and fall under the category of FPC. They have dormitory housing, a low staff-to-inmate ratio and limited perimeter fencing. SPCs are small camps adjacent to the main facility and provide inmate labor to the main institution, according to the FOB website, as well as off-site work programs. Security weaknesses found by investigators vary by facility and are serious enough to enable inmates to escape undetected. They include unsecured outer building doors within some FPCs and SPCs, even during times when inmates were not permitted to move freely; door locks and sensors that were susceptible to tampering, thus leading to alarms failing to function when locked doors were opened without authorization; limited or no outer perimeter fencing; and limited video surveillance. The lapses allowed four inmates at a Beaumont, Texas facility to slip away undetected for more than 12 hours despite three overnight inmate counts conducted by officers. “The evidence showed that the 4 inmates escaped the facility after the 4:00 p.m. stand up count (for which they were present) and that, despite the Correctional Officers conducting counts at 12:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., and 5:00 a.m., they were not discovered missing at those times,” the management advisory memo states.
Incredibly, investigators found that correctional officers did not violate policy because they were essentially fooled by the inmates. “The evidence showed that the inmates who escaped may have had other inmates pose as them or placed dummies in their beds to deceive Correctional Officer during nighttime counts,” the DOJ IG memo says, adding that “evidence showed that the Correctional Officers likely complied with BOP and FCC Beaumont policy when conducting the nighttime counts.” This indicates that standards are quite low for trained federal prison officers so easily duped by the convicted criminals they are charged with guarding. The DOJ watchdog seems to defend the officers, instead attributing the lapse on “security concerns that enabled the inmates’ escape.” Furthermore, BOP policy discourages correctional officers from using excessive light when conducting inmate counts allowing inmates to deceive officers into counting them when they are not actually present, the DOJ IG reveals. “We were told that as long as inmates return to their assigned building and bunk before the correctional officers conduct stand-up inmate counts, they can escape the SPC undetected,” according to the advisory memo.
The minimum security report comes on the heels of a more serious lapse involving the FOB’s failure to monitor terrorist inmates amid a huge spike in radicalized convicts in its custody. Part of the nation’s federal prison system is to keep America safe by, among other things, monitoring all social communications of high-risk inmates, especially those with terrorist ties. It is a crucial part of the BOP’s duties considering that in the last decade the number of inmates with known links to terrorism increased by an astounding 250%. Incredibly, the BOP, which has a $7.1 billion annual budget, doesn’t adequately check the communications of terrorist prisoners and hasn’t even bothered identifying all terrorists in its custody, according to a report issued earlier this year by the DOJ IG. Even when the BOP monitors the communications of high-risk inmates, it does not do it consistently and the inspector general found that “thousands of terrorist inmate communications” are only partially checked. Investigators offer the consequences of this negligence, writing that the disbursement of sensitive information—including videos, pictures, and other documents—helps “radicalize other inmates.”
Less than a year earlier the BOP came under fire after its elite riot teams committed embarrassing gaffes during training exercises that made the highly trained officers seem like amateurs. BOP staff members were seriously injured because there was “inappropriate and dangerous” use of force and pepper spray during the mock exercises, according to an audit conducted by the DOJ IG. The units, known as Special Operations Response Teams (SORT), gained national media attention because they were deployed by the attorney general to respond to violence and looting after George Floyd’s death. They are specialized tactical squads trained to respond to emergency situations such as prison riots, hostage taking, assaults on jail staff and inmate escapes. All federal prisons have their own SORT and they usually have 15 members led by a commander or captain.
Biden Administration Allows Leftist Groups Pick Illegal Alien Asylees, Expands Youth Entry
The Biden administration’s unprecedent assault on immigration law and border security involves allied leftist groups in the private sector, as our Corruption Chronicles blog reports.
The Biden administration has confirmed leftist groups are picking hundreds of illegal immigrants daily to enter the U.S. to request asylum and the comeback of an Obama-era program to woo more Central American minors though there are already tens of thousands in government shelters nationwide. The double whammy was delivered just weeks apart as the migrant crisis reaches a boiling point and the nation sees record high illegal immigration along the nearly 2,000-mile Mexican border. High-ranking administration officials call it a “legal alternative to irregular migration.”
First, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally verified to Congress that it conceded to the demands of the leftist national organization American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to admit approximately 250 illegal aliens daily, or 7,750 a month. DHS officials explained that certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are helping it identify potential illegal immigrants for asylum, veteran members of Congress revealed in late May. They include ranking members of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. The lawmakers disclose the information in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding the criteria being used by the administration for humanitarian exception for illegal immigrants as well as the NGOs that are determining eligibility of those seeking the exception.
This week a mainstream newspaper reports that nearly 4,000 illegal immigrants chosen by leftist NGOs were granted exceptions and allowed to cross the border in May. Citing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, the article documents a steady rise in exemptions even as the administration claims the border is closed. In April CBP let 1,790 migrants enter legally, up from about 719 in March. “In prior months, the numbers were in the low hundreds,” the story reads. In May alone, CBP encountered 180,034 illegal aliens attempting entry along the southwest border, agency figures show. In Tijuana more than 10,000 have requested to enter the U.S. seeking asylum under the Biden administration’s expanded exemption program. An open borders group called Al Otro Lado (on the other side) that promotes “justice for migrants” is screening the candidates along with the International Rescue Committee, which helps people whose lives are shattered by conflict and disaster, and the ACLU. To facilitate the process Al Otro Lado has an online form in Spanish to screen candidates. Questions include if asylum seekers have ever been deported from the U.S., if they identify as indigenous or LGBTQ, have experienced sexual abuse, kidnapping, homelessness, or hunger. To promote its new process, the group has distributed fliers at the Tijuana encampment and area shelters, the article says, adding that a popular mobile messaging app is also used to spread the word.
Also this week the Biden administration announced it is bringing back a program started under Obama in 2014 to allow more Central Americans under the age of 21 to come to the U.S. legally. Never mind that the administration is already housing tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors seeking asylum in hundreds of facilities around the country. Data obtained by a national newswire shows the number of migrant youths, known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), in U.S. custody more than doubled in the last two months and the government is currently housing more 21,000. Reinstating the Obama program will make tens of thousands of minors from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador eligible to come to the U.S. A statement issued jointly by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and DHS Secretary Mayorkas describes it as “reinstituting and improving the Central American Minors (CAM) program.” The presidential cabinet officials add that they “are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration.” They also claim that they are delivering on their promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.
Judicial Watch Warns of Election Integrity Crisis
The Left has a singular focus in changing federal and state election laws in ways that undermine election integrity and, to put it bluntly, make it easier bad actors to steal elections. Judicial Watch has been on the front lines in the courts and the public square to defend the rule of law and clean elections. Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, has the latest:
Judicial Watch has long been at the forefront of the fight for election reform, battling to clean up voter rolls and informing the public about threats to the integrity of the electoral system. Today, clashes over election laws are raging in state legislatures and Congress. The fight is often ugly, with cries from the Left of a new “Jim Crow” regime—the laws that suppressed and segregated Blacks in the aftermath of the Civil War—echoing across the land.
The election integrity crisis is unfolding on many fronts. One of the most serious threats comes from Congressional attempts to move control of elections from the states into the federal government. Judicial Watch Senior Attorney T. Russell Nobile recently testified before a committee of the House of Representatives on legislation that would dramatically increase the role of the Justice Department in overseeing elections.
The first attempt by Democrats to reshape the American electoral system in the Biden era was stymied last week when a moderate member of their own party balked. The action in Washington now shifts to the bill known as H.R. 4—the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
“The truth is that H.R. 4 goes far beyond any civil rights law enacted during the height of the civil rights era,” Nobile told Congress. “Rather, it is part of a grander plan to shift control of American elections away from individual state legislatures and into the hands of a single federal bureaucratic department. It accomplishes this by giving the attorney general a previously unseen level of authority over elections.”
Before joining Judicial Watch, Nobile served as a trial attorney for the Justice Department, enforcing election laws and bringing cases under the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the National Voter Registration Act. He warns that buried deep in H.R. 4 is a provision that gives the attorney general sweeping new constitutional authority to bring civil rights cases—including cases that have nothing to do with voting.
The new provision grants the attorney general authority to intervene in “any act prohibited by the 14th or 15th Amendment” of the Constitution.
Nobile warns that the “little-noticed provision will abolish a long-standing legal principle.” For more than 200 years, Congress and the courts have declined to give the attorney general authority to bring such cases.
Nobile explains: “Under current law, the attorney general is only authorized to bring civil rights claims under specific statutes, typically those statutes prohibiting discrimination, and has no authority to sue directly for certain violations of the Constitution.” H.R. 4 changes that. The “proposed change is a major power shift, allowing the Justice Department to become involved in a whole range of 14th Amendment cases that previously it would have been unable to pursue.” For example, under the new provision, the attorney general could bring a case challenging a state abortion regulation, or intervene as a party in lawsuits to support 2nd Amendment restrictions.
That’s not the only sweeping change envisioned by H.R. 4. The legislation also would reinterpret the keystone Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. As Nobile notes, Section 5, passed into law in 1965, “was a temporary, extraordinary remedy to address an extraordinary problem…intentional state-sponsored and/or state-supported efforts to disenfranchise Blacks” in many Southern states by preventing voter registration and suppressing turnout.
Section Five “presumed that any voting change by a covered jurisdiction was implemented out of discriminatory intent or effect, until the jurisdiction proved otherwise. The Supreme Court ruled this presumption of guilt without a trial was justified in the context of the terrible racial discrimination occurring in 1965,” Nobile notes.
But Section 5 was meant to be a temporary solution and expire after five years. Instead, Congress kept it in effect for sixty-six years, until the Supreme Court intervened in 2013 with the Shelby County decision. Shelby threw out the decades-old “temporary” solution, ruling that it was unconstitutional and outdated.
H.R. 4 seeks to put it back—and expand it to other parts of the country.
Nobile notes that permanent provisions of the Voting Rights Act, such as Section 2, still prohibit discrimination “and provide the tools needed for the Justice Department or private litigants to challenge election standards, practices, or procedures that are enacted with discriminatory intent or that result in minorities having less opportunity than others to participate in the electoral process.”
H.R. 4 goes even further, Nobile warns, by granting the Justice Department “new nationwide preclearance” power—that is, preapproval power from the attorney general or the courts—targeting a wide array of “popular voter integrity provisions,” including “voter identification and list maintenance.”
With the country in an uproar over voting and elections, the Democrat-sponsored H.R. 4 looks more like a naked power grab than a reasoned response to the facts on the ground. For example: the Justice Department has brought only a trickle of Section 2 actions since Section 5 was thrown out by Shelby eight years ago. That would not be the case if rampant voter suppression existed.
More telling: detailed data studies show that Black voter registration in the Southern states previously covered by Section 5 has “completely rebounded and, in some instances, exceeds White registration rates,” Nobile notes.
The data show that “eight years after Shelby County, registration disparities in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi—all previously covered (in whole or part) by Section 5—are all below the national average. In fact, Black registration in Mississippi is 4.3% higher than White registration.”
The 2020 election saw a higher turnout across all racial groups. Turnout disparities in previously covered Section Five states like “Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas were all smaller than the national average,” Nobile notes. “In fact, the disparities in turnout in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Oregon, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York were higher than the turnout disparities in these former Section 5 states. Again, turnout for Blacks in Mississippi outperformed that of Whites.”
Facts are stubborn things, after all. “However one views any talking points about ‘rampant voter suppression,’” Nobile notes, “the data cannot be ignored: registration and turnout data in 2020 far exceeds that in 1965. When Blacks now register and turn out at higher rates in places like Mississippi, it is simply not credible to claim that Jim Crow style voter suppression currently exists.”
Read Judicial Watch Senior Attorney T. Russell Nobile’s remarks before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties here. More on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act here. And more on the Shelby County decision here.
Until next week,
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