Help Save Maryland – Why We Oppose CASA of Maryland & Pandering Politicians

Subject: Help Save Maryland – Why We Oppose CASA of Maryland & Pandering Politicians


Calls at rally follow recent uptick in violence against Latinos, weekend killing
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun

9:32 AM EDT, August 25, 2010

Latino activists, clergy and civil rights leaders called on city officials Tuesday to implement a written policy barring police from asking the immigration status of those who call for help, a move they say would reduce crime and help bridge the gap between officers and immigrants.

The demand came during an emotionally charged news conference at Patterson Park, where Latino and black community leaders gathered to rally against violence, not far from the spot where police say a 51-year-old Honduran man was fatally beaten by a mentally disturbed teen who professed to hate "Mexicans."

The Rev. Robert Wojtek, pastor of St. Michael’s and St. Patrick’s, a Southeast Baltimore Catholic parish with a large Spanish-speaking congregation, called for police to issue a document "clarifying the fact that they are not here to enforce unjust immigration laws but rather to address criminal issues and violence.

"This policy has to be clear, written, and communicated, so that the violence will end and the real crime statistics in this city will be revealed," he said.

Police Chief Frederick H. Bealefeld III said a written policy was unnecessary in Baltimore because officers do not ask about immigration status. City officials skirted the issue, but said residents should trust police to focus on fighting violent crime, not enforcing immigration laws.

"I’ve been here for three years in this role, and you haven’t heard one utterance on enforcement of immigration laws," Bealefeld said to the crowd of about three dozen gathered on a grassy corner of the park. "You don’t see us sweeping through the neighborhoods asking for immigration status," he said.

Dozens of other jurisdictions, including Albuquerque, N.M. and New Haven, Conn., have enacted policies that prevent police from asking whether people are in this country legally, according to Kimberly Propeack, a spokeswoman for CASA of Maryland, a Latino advocacy group.

The Pittsburgh police chief recently declared that officers would no longer check immigration papers, according to news reports. And Maine passed a law in 2004 preventing any state employee from requesting immigration information from people seeking services.

The city’s Latinos have experienced an uptick in violent crime in recent months, although many attacks go unreported because immigrants fear that they will be deported if they call police, according to Propeack.

Three Latinos have been killed in five attacks in Southeast Baltimore in recent weeks, and residents say all were natives of Honduras. The most recent victim, Martin Reyes, was clubbed and beaten with a wooden stake early Saturday, according to police. His nephew, Juan de Dios Hernandez, was fatally shot last month.

Several members of the Reyes family stood in a knot near Tuesday’s gathering. His son-in-law, Pedro Concepcion-Diaz, with whom he shared an apartment, comforted a female relative who sobbed quietly.

After Reyes was killed, Spanish-speaking officers fanned out through the area, knocking on doors to reassure residents that they would not be reported to immigration officials if they reported a crime, Bealefeld said.

When Bealefeld and City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young were asked to clarify their position on a written policy, Councilman James B. Kraft grabbed the microphone.

"Putting something in writing doesn’t make a difference," said Kraft, who represents Southeast Baltimore and describes himself as a strong advocate for immigrant issues. "It puts us in the middle of the national immigration debate. We’ll get crazy people from all over the country coming here to find out if Baltimore is going to have a written policy or not."

Young did not directly address the question at the news conference, but a spokesman said later that the council president would back a written policy if it did not conflict with state or federal law.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did not attend the event because she was on vacation, and a spokesman declined to say whether she would support a written policy.

Rawlings-Blake wants police "to be focused on reducing violent crime; the federal government is responsible for enforcing immigration law," spokesman Ryan O’Doherty said in an e-mailed statement.

Rawlings-Blake’s office has arranged a town hall meeting for Latinos and police officers for Monday night at CASA de Maryland’s office on Fayette Street.

A Maryland lawmaker who has advocated for tougher immigration laws – as well as making English the official state language – was incensed that city police do not ask about immigration status.

"It’s a blatant violation of federal law," said Del. Pat McDonough, a Republican who represents parts of Harford and Baltimore Counties. "Federal law clearly states you can’t aid or abet people here unlawfully."

McDonough said he plans to introduce a bill next year that would make the state’s immigration laws identical to those in Arizona – which enable police to detain anyone suspected of being an undocumented immigrant – and a bill that would allow citizens to sue elected officials who do not adhere to federal laws.

But the crowd gathered in Patterson Park focused on making city residents safe, regardless of immigration status. Leaders pledged solidarity with the Latino victims and urged residents to be vigilant in reporting crime.

Young praised the family of Jermaine R. Holley, who has been charged with Reyes’ murder, for turning in the 19-year-old.

"We need not condone the ills of our children," said Young. "If they do wrong, we need to turn them in. Enough is enough."

As he spoke, Concepcion-Diaz, the son-in-law of the man who had been killed, quietly accepted donations in a white cardboard box. The family is seeking funds to send Reyes’ body back to the quiet rural town in Honduras where he was raised.


ICE Won’t Arrest Illegal Aliens Caught In Traffic Stops
Judicial Watch ^ | 8/24/2010

Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 5:44:55 PM by markomalley

In its latest surreptitious effort to protect illegal immigrants the Obama Administration plans to prohibit both federal and local law enforcement officers from arresting undocumented aliens discovered as a result of traffic violations.

It marks the third time this month that a covert plan to shield illegal aliens from deportation gets exposed. A few weeks ago the administration ordered authorities to halt the removal of some 700,000 illegal immigrants who are students while lawmakers craft legislation to officially spare them from expulsion. Weeks earlier an internal Homeland Security document revealed that the president has a secret backup plan to grant illegal immigrants amnesty in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to do it.

This week’s plan du jour is to shield illegal immigrants who break U.S. law by operating a vehicle without a license or driving recklessly, possibly endangering innocent Americans. A draft policy issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says that agency Chief John Morton intends to prohibit his agents as well as local law enforcement officers from detaining illegal aliens stopped during traffic violations.

The three-page ICE memo was made public this week by a research organization dedicated to studying immigration issues. Even police departments that participate in the local-federal partnership known as 287(g) will be prohibited from apprehending or reporting an illegal alien in the course of a traffic stop. Federal agents will be forbidden from issuing what’s known as an immigration detainer unless the illegal alien has committed a separate criminal violation.

Morton is implementing the new measure in response to the “many concerns” of immigration enforcement critics (i.e. open borders, La Raza movement) who believe local police abuse their authority to arrest “innocent” illegal aliens in order to have them deported. That’s according to an ICE political appointee who discourages cooperation between local and federal authorities.

Never mind that local police across the country regularly encounter unlicensed illegal immigrants operating unsafe vehicles, smuggling other undocumented aliens or plotting serious crime sprees. Two of the 9/11 hijackers (Ziad Jarrah and Nawaf al-Hazmi) had been stopped for speeding by police in separate states but were not detained even though they were in the U.S. illegally.

Jarrah was ticketed by a Maryland State trooper just days before he boarded United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field, and al-Hazmi, one of the 9/11 masterminds, got pulled over in Oklahoma around eight months before he crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.


Customs agents vote ‘no confidence’ in Obama appointees

August 25, 2010 Washington Examiner Editorial

Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol have long complained that they are barred by edicts from the Department of Interior against entering federal wilderness areas along the Mexican border. As a result, millions of federally owned acres adjoining Mexico have in recent years become a veritable no man’s land infested with drug and human traffickers, and a host of other criminals.

Now career employees of another federal agency at the center of immigration enforcement are accusing Obama political appointees of preventing them from doing their jobs. Officials representing 7,000 members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), National Council 118, in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unanimously voted “no confidence” in ICE Director John Morton and ICE Assistant Director Phyllis Coven, who heads the agency’s Office of Detention Policy and Planning.

Council 118 President Chris Crane said in a statement that Morton and Coven “have abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration Laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most United States citizens similarly incarcerated.” As a result, according to Crane, ICE “engages in the large-scale release of criminals back into local communities &hellip and refuses, for political reasons, to request the additional manpower and resources needed to adequately operate the [Secure
Communities] program.” Union officials claim ICE officers are prohibited from making arrests outside of jail settings, creating an “amnesty through policy,” while senior ICE officials continue to mislead the public about the effectiveness of their criminal enforcement programs.

Violent felons (the only kind of criminals ICE picks up) are sent to “resort-like” detention facilities that provide “bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants,” Crane said. Once there, many of the inmates “openly brag to ICE officers that they are taking advantage of the broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes, while United States citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences.”

Perhaps predictably, the union claims ICE employees who complain are subject to retaliation. But these are career federal employees, not anti-immigrant activists seeking political gain or media attention. The public deserves to know the full truth about the accuracy of their claims. If Congress is serious about fulfilling its oversight responsibilities, this is as good a place as any to get started.


Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

There’s a sleeping giant awaiting November


I heard recently that Casa de Maryland opened its new $31 million multicultural center while celebrating their 25th anniversary on June 19. Present and grinning were Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, along with U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen. Of course, county executives Isiah Leggett and Jack Johnson were there with these other left-wingers, for their photo ops and (more importantly) votes. Remember these names in November.

This Hugo Chavez-subsidized group ($1.5 million grant a couple of years ago) along with donations from the far left and our tax dollars from Montgomery County, continues to be a thorn in the side of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens, while our government workers celebrate pay freezes and furloughs. Is there something wrong with this picture?

How fitting that the center is housed in the former McCormick-Goodhart mansion in Langley Park. In a recent article in the Washington Post, it was indicated that Maryland is the most friendly state to illegal immigrants and that Langley Park is now the new "Ellis Island" to these sneaking-over-the-border criminals that send their money back home. Isn’t home the place you reside in these United States?

As our budget woes increase and the flood of illegals are welcomed with open arms by our officials, I wonder who is going to pay the bills when they are treated for free at our hospitals and their children overflow our schools while tax-paying citizens pay for it? On top of that, they will later take the jobs of law-abiders since they will get first crack for job openings. Part-time jobs for high-schoolers or college kids during the summer? Forget it unless they speak the language or have English interpreters available. I also wonder who is going to pay your bills when you are hit in a vehicle operated by an illegal alien with no driver’s license or insurance?

As I travel in lower southeast Montgomery County, I sometimes wonder what does "MS 13" mean scrawled on the bathroom walls or in the parking garages that I’m afraid to go into at night? I also wonder what "multicultural" means? Doesn’t that mean that something’s there for all rather than those rapidly arriving from elsewhere sneaking into our country? How come the only people I see at the job trailers are from those same areas at our expense, while our legal workers are laid off, furloughed or get no pay increases?

I’m also wondering, what is the official language of Montgomery County?

Maryland citizens have no problem with immigrants that come here legally. These legal immigrants want this to be their country and have no problem supporting it with their taxes. A recent poll indicated that the 66 percent of Marylanders would like to see an "Arizona-type anti-illegal immigration law enacted and enforced in our state. Of course, this will be ignored because votes count more to our politically-correct, elected officials. The will of the people? Forget it.

As November rolls around I’m predicting that something will change. There’s a sleeping giant awaiting.

Thomas B. Pinckney, Gaithersburg


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