Wednesday, April 05, 2017
"Sanctuary City" governments vow to protect even violent predators in defiance of Trump administration
Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned on Monday that sanctuary jurisdictions risked losing federal grants if they persisted in obstructing the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Billions of dollars in federal law enforcement funding are at stake. "I urge the nation’s states and cities to carefully consider the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws," Attorney General Sessions said. "Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended."
Instead of heeding the Attorney General’s sound advice and taking care of their own citizens, city officials around the country are planning to sabotage federal law enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.
“We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. On the same day that Attorney General Sessions issued his warning, she hosted a meeting with like-minded officials from other sanctuary cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia, who prioritize the welfare of illegal immigrants over their own citizens. Ms. Mark-Viverito and her comrades threatened to block access by federal immigration authorities to city property and to city records that could help with the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. They are acting in the spirit of Alabama’s late Governor George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse door to defy federal enforcement of desegregation.
“The Trump Administration is pushing an unrealistic and mean spirited executive order,” tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Spare us the tears, Mr. Mayor. We are not talking about innocent children caught up in vindictive mass deportation sweeps. Rather, President Trump’s so-called “mean-spirited executive order” is intended to rid this country of fiends like Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, a gang member from El Salvador with a criminal record, who was released from Rikers Island this year onto the streets of New York before U.S. officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit could pick him up for deportation proceedings. And there is Luis Alejandro Villegas, 31, who was released from local custody on Dec. 31, 2016, despite a detainer request from ICE. Villegas had previously been removed from the United States and has a prior conviction for forcible theft armed with a deadly weapon.
"Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York.
Fortunately, ICE agents were able to catch up with both Velasquez and Villegas on their own and place them into federal custody. If de Blasio has his way, we may not be so lucky next time. In the New York City suburb of Hempstead, two women and a 2-year old girl ran out of luck. A MS-13 street gang member, who had been deported back to El Salvador from the U.S. four times and had a number of prior arrests, stabbed the women and sexually assaulted the little girl.
Hempstead is in Nassau County, which is a sanctuary jurisdiction. Hempstead’s Mayor Wayne J. Hall, Sr. said last February, "President Trump's recent executive orders go against the moral fiber with which our great nation was built, and I wholeheartedly support New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and countless other Mayors throughout the United States in denouncing these acts. I, Mayor DeBlasio and leaders from many other communities throughout the country will work together to oppose these executive orders and protect the rights of all people." Good going, Mayor Hall. Now you can explain your opposition to rounding up and deporting illegal aliens with prior criminal records to the illegal aliens' victims in your town, whom you should have been more worried about.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is presiding over a city beset by rampant crime, reiterated his pledge that Chicago will “continue to welcome” immigrants. “Chicago was built on the back of immigrants and our future is hitched to the wagon of immigrants who come to the city,” he added. Do these include the 45 out of 48 illegal immigrants picked up in a raid last month in the Chicago area who had previously been convicted of crimes, including criminal sexual assault? Twenty of the illegal aliens had returned to the country after have been already deported. In refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials, Mayor Emanuel is hitching Chicago’s future in part to criminal illegal aliens who remain free to prey on Chicago’s citizens.
Challenging the Trump administration’s intention to put an end to sanctuary cities, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that his city’s policies are “designed to keep our residents safe.” Tell that to the surviving family and friends of the Californian woman killed in a car crash caused by a drunk illegal alien with a long rap sheet, who had been deported previously. Perhaps Mayor Garcetti would do well to listen to the victim’s fiancé, who blamed politicians like himself for the “criminal illegal immigrants that are being harbored here.” Then again, Garcetti, Emanuel, de Blasio and the rest of the sanctuary city crowd are intent on placing their own pro-illegal alien progressive agenda above the safety and welfare of the people they are supposed to serve and protect.
In Travis County, Texas, Sheriff Sally Hernandez, known as “Sanctuary Sally,” has adopted sanctuary policies for the county in defiance of both federal and Texas state law enforcement. “We can’t have state and elected officials in the state like Sanctuary Sally [Hernandez] down here in Travis County turn a blind eye to releasing illegals that have felony convictions and then wonder what’s going to happen when they get back into general population,” said Texas District 7 Senator Paul Bettencourt. But it may be too late. According to a report issued by ICE on March 20, identifying those sanctuary jurisdictions which released criminal aliens under an immigration detainer, Sanctuary Sally’s county scored the number 1 position. It’s only a matter of time when a released illegal immigrant with felony convictions commits another crime.
Illegal immigrants in the United States make up approximately 3.5% of the nation’s entire population. According to data compiled from the U.S. Sentencing Commission for fiscal year 2015, illegal immigrants were responsible for 30.2 percent of convictions for kidnapping/hostage taking, 17.8 percent of convictions for drug trafficking, 11.6 percent of convictions for fraud, 10.4 percent of convictions for money laundering, 6.1 percent of convictions for assault, and 5.5 percent of convictions for murder. So much for the myth spread by the pro-illegal immigrant crowd that illegal immigrants commit serious crimes at a much lower rate than U.S.-born citizens.
Harboring or shielding from detection any alien who “remains in the United States in violation of law” is itself a violation of federal law. It also has real life consequences for the victims of the crimes committed by illegal aliens who are being shielded in sanctuary jurisdictions. Local and state officials who willfully help illegal immigrants evade detention for possible deportation should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
CAIR Orders U.S. Air Force to Ditch "Anti-Muslim" Counterterrorism Instructor
The Islamic terrorist front group that transformed the way U.S. law enforcement agencies conduct anti-terrorism training is ordering the Air Force to sever ties with an instructor it considers to be anti-Muslim. The question is will the Trump administration cave into its demands? Under Barack Obama, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that reportedly raises money for Hamas, wielded tremendous power and managed to bully law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level to alter counterterrorism training materials deemed by the group to discriminate against Muslims.
This includes getting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined to be "offensive" to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and obtained the FBI records. Based on troves of government documents, Judicial Watch subsequently published a special, in-depth report on the scandal. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of "Subject Matter Experts" (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims. CAIR also got police departments in Illinois to eliminate anti-terrorism training materials and instructors deemed anti-Muslim. As an example, CAIR asserted that an instructor for the Lombard, Illinois police force wrote an article years earlier that included disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad. The course was called "Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy" and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR's demands.
Keep in mind that CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Judicial Watch also tried to find out if CAIR got the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overhaul its anti-terrorism training but the spy agency said it could "neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records" involving meetings or communications with the Muslim rights group. The CIA asserted that the information is classified intelligence protected from disclosure. The response goes on to cite the statutes-such as the CIA Act of 1949 and National Security Act of 1947-that allow the agency to hide even the most benign information from the American public. It's likely that the CIA met with CAIR during the Obama years-or at least had communication with the extremist group-and doesn't want the public to know about it.
Time will tell if CAIR's cozy relationship with the Obama administration will carry over into the new one. Regardless, the group was emboldened in the last eight years and continues making demands in the name of Muslim rights. This week it called on the military to get rid of a top counterterrorism instructor at the United States Air Force Special Operations School (USSAFSOS) in Florida. The instructor, Patrick Dunleavy, teaches a course called "The Dynamics of International Terrorism" designed to provide awareness and appreciation of the organization, motivation, operational capabilities and threat posed by terrorists on an international, national, and regional basis. It was designed for individuals with no previous antiterrorism training and focuses on protective measures that government personnel and their families can employ to minimize threats.
Dunleavy, the course instructor, is a former deputy inspector general for the New York State Department of Corrections and has testified before Congress as an expert witness on the threat of Islamic radicalization in the nation's prison system. Dunleavy is also a senior fellow at a decades-old nonprofit dedicated to investigating the operations, funding, activities and front groups of Islamic extremists worldwide. The think-tank, Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), is recognized as a comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist cells and its founder is a terrorism and national security expert who has advised Congress, the president, FBI and National Security Council. After 9/11 he published a best-selling book documenting how one of the world's most notorious terrorist groups plotted the worst terrorist attack on American soil without detection or scrutiny by American authorities.
CAIR uses Dunleavy's association with IPT to call for his ouster as a military antiterrorism instructor, asserting that the research center is an "anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece, and has made a number of false statements betraying a personal prejudice against Islam and Muslims." IPT's founder, Steven Emerson, has a history of making "Islamophobic" statements, CAIR says, involving terrorist attacks that date back to the 1990s. The Islamic group reminds the commander of the U.S. Airforce Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field in Florida (Lieutenant General Marshall B. Webb), that under Obama the military caved into its demands. "As you may recall in 2012, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey ordered the U.S. military to ‘scour its training material to ensure it doesn't contain anti-Islamic content," CAIR writes in a letter to Lieutenant General Webb. Judicial Watch will monitor this situation to see how the Trump Department of Defense (DOD) handles these preposterous requests.
Nikki Haley is kicking anti-Semites in the UN to the curb
Nikki Haley, the “new sheriff in town,’’ is taking no guff from anti-Semites disguised as Israel-haters infesting the United Nations, that den of obscene bigots and butcher-lovers that sits, like a giant middle finger pointing at America, on the East Side of Manhattan.
After years of being shuttled to the back of the proverbial bus, folks in the Jewish community, plus all who value freedom and decency, are breathing sighs of sweet relief. Say what you will about the administration of President Trump, its insiders have the Jewish state’s back.
With Haley’s ascent to the top of this country’s diplomatic heap, high-ranking UN officials and ambassadors are shaking in their Italian loafers.
Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told me, “They are taking threats to cut funding very seriously.’’
For Haley to “go into that arena of hostility, having someone stand up for Israel — it’s most reassuring to people everywhere,’’ enthused Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
The married mother of two, 45, was confirmed by the Senate in January as the United States ambassador to the UN, whose headquarters sits uneasily on an “international’’ no-man’s-land that isn’t considered American soil.
Yet freeloading diplos show little gratitude toward US taxpayers for financing the party venue’s operational and peacekeeping budgets to the tune of more than $3.5 billion this year, by far the largest share paid by any member nation.
I have suggested that UN headquarters would be put to better use as luxury condos, perhaps with affordable units sprinkled in.
But suddenly, everything has changed.
Haley burst into the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington, DC, Monday, kicking butt and taking names.
To Potasnik, she was a “rock star.’’
“The days of Israel-bashing are over,” she declared to enthusiastic applause. “For anyone who says you can’t get anything done at the UN, they need to know there is a new sheriff in town.”
She said, “I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement, it’s because if I see something wrong, we’re gonna kick ’em every time.’’ And so, she ushered in a new era of support for Israel, this country’s great ally in the Middle East. It’s the only democracy in the region and the only place there in which LGBT types live and love freely without fear of persecution or murder, women enjoy equal rights, and all people are free to worship, or not, as they choose.
And yet, many political progressives and naysayers, here and abroad, malign Israel to the point of wishing the country wiped from the map.
It makes zero sense.
Haley, the daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants, converted to Christianity and served as the Republican governor of South Carolina, finding her mojo as a defender of civil and human rights. She pushed for and won the removal of the Confederate battle flag, seen by many as a symbol of racism, from the grounds of the State House in 2015.
The same year, she became the first chief executive officer in the nation to sign a law banning her state’s government from doing business with any company participating in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement — BDS — or with any firm discriminating “based on race, color, religion, gender or national origin of the targeted person or entity.”
The relationship between Israel and the administration of former President Barack Obama was strained, to put it mildly, culminating in the US joining in the Israel-threatening nuclear deal with Iran, and this country’s abstention from December’s UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. Haley described the move at AIPAC as “embarrassing” and “hurtful.”
Yet pro-Israel reps would not blame Obama entirely for the bad blood. “This hostility long preceded President Obama,’’ said Hoenlein.
This month, Haley demanded that a UN commission withdraw a report that described Israel as an “apartheid state’’ — trashing it for the self-defensive treatment of Palestinians. The fracas, and demands for retraction from the UN secretary-general, prompted Rima Khalaf, then-executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, to resign her post. Good.
The report was yanked from the commission’s website.
Peace in the Middle East can only be achieved if both sides come together at the bargaining table, and the Palestinian side has refused to sit back down with the Israelis.
Haley understands that healing differences is as simple as that. What a menschette.
Political correctness largely self-defeating
CHRIS KENNY, writing from Australia
In this postmodern, politically correct, post-truth, post-Trump age, we are encouraged to forget facts, ideas and arguments, and just speculate on identity and motives. So I guess I’m the token white, middle-aged, heterosexual, right-of-centre, cisgendered male in this debate.
The question tonight is not whether I am politically correct or you support political correctness, but whether political correctness has failed itself.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and I contend the answer is unambiguously in the affirmative. Political correctness exists to shape our thoughts; as George Orwell explained in detail, control language and you control thought. But it is failing. Dissent is rudely breaking through.
The agenda of political correctness is that of the left — the green left, the socially progressive left, the virtue-signalling left. The politically correct pretend gender away, reducing heterosexuality to just one of a suite of options; they want us all to pretend we are saving the planet; they’d like to eliminate borders and nationality; and they decry organised religion — well, organised Christian religion.
But in all these areas the more the PC mob imposes strictures through universities, bureaucracies and the media-political class, the more the mainstream resists. The primacy of sovereignty is reclaimed by the masses through Brexit, European politics and the rise of Donald Trump. Climate gestures are under attack and the Paris Agreement seems increasingly likely to be ignored. It has been Trumped.
Intolerant anti-Muslim parties are on the march in Europe and Australia, and walls and bans figured prominently in Trump’s ascendancy. Not only is this happening despite a regime of political correctness in liberal democracies, it is largely a backlash against political correctness. “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct,” said candidate Trump — he was that blatant.
So, too, is resurrected renegade Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who runs anti-Muslim and anti-immigration lines. “The problem is,” Hanson says, “we have not had leaders with the foresight or intestinal fortitude to cast aside political correctness.”
If political correctness aided the rise of Trump and Hanson — or indeed the success of Brexit or Marine Le Pen — it has failed itself. It has provided a springboard for all that it despises.
The moral, ideological and political cowardice of centre-left and centre-right parties in the face of the politically correct thought police has created an extreme backlash. This happens because political correctness has become an absurdity; a perversity. Instead of railing against indigenous dysfunction and disadvantage, it attacks a cartoonist; instead of saving rivers, it attacks coal companies; it boycotts a beer to shut down debate on gay marriage. Political correctness has divorced the media-political class from the mainstream, creating a chasm between political posturing and common sense.
It is worse than you think. When a radicalised Muslim cleric pulled a gun, said he had a bomb and took 17 people hostage in a cafe near here — claiming allegiance to Islamic State — the politically correct started a social media campaign trumpeting care and solidarity, not for the hostages but for Muslims on public transport. The “I’ll ride with you” hashtag started when a former Greens candidate in Brisbane tweeted about a fabricated incident on a train — this was virtue-signalling to combat an anti-Muslim backlash that never happened. The media loved it; one ABC presenter said it was the only “bright spot” of the siege. Imagine that: a “bright spot” in a terror attack.
Real people held at gunpoint — two innocents were later killed — while the Twitter PC brigade pretended mainstream Australians and Islamophobia were the real threat. And it was all fake.
At the inquest we learned that while police waited, preferring not to launch an operation against the terrorist, they did launch Operation Hammerhead, which put police on the streets to protect Muslims from this imaginary backlash. This is political correctness gone mad.
Politicians often talk in riddles to avoid mention of Islamism; in response to jihadist terrorism Barack Obama held a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. People see this weakness and vote for the hardliners who at least recognise a serious threat. Political correctness fails itself.
Let’s look at feminism. Confronted by the subjugation of some Muslim women — sequestered under the burka or subjected to female genital mutilation and forced child marriages — the politically correct don’t protest but don scarfs to show solidarity. Again, that’s a fail.
On border protection the politically correct campaigned against tough laws and got their wish in Australia in 2008. This restarted the evil people-smuggling trade, saw at least 1200 drown, tens of thousands go into detention and left those who couldn’t afford a people-smuggler stranded in camps, sliding further back in the queue. Fail.
The politically correct want gay marriage but didn’t like Australian voters having a say, so they campaigned against a plebiscite; if not for the PC brigade gay marriage would be legal. Fail.
The politically correct believe it is more important to display moral superiority than confront reality and get things done. The evidence is all around us: political correctness has failed itself. But of course practitioners, such as our opponents, can’t admit that — because that would be politically incorrect.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.