Category Archives: DHS

Chicago’s ‘Mexico of the Midwest’ Fights Fallout From Fear of Trump

Little Village

From NBC News: It’s Friday night and time for the “marcha de cumpleaños” (birthday march) at Mi Tierra restaurant in the Chicago neighborhood of Little Village. Waiters bring cupcakes with lit, oversized sparklers, while patrons don straw hats and, paying no attention to empty tables, snake through the dining room to a Latino beat in a conga line.

“Fiesta. Happy,” is how Mi Tierra owner Ezequiel Fuentes describes the good times in culturally vibrant and economically vital Little Village — or as the community calls it, La Villita, a historic section in southwest Chicago that is billed as the Mexico of the Midwest.

But since the start of the year, fear of President Donald Trump has been spoiling the “fiesta” of Little Village, business owners and regular visitors said. Despite Chicago’s sanctuary city status, the uncertainty of when or whether immigration agents might strike is sapping the bustle from the 2½-mile stretch of quinceañera shops, restaurants, shoe and clothing stores, dental offices and other businesses that line W. 26th Street, the community’s main drive.

Locals say they see evidence that something has changed since January. Dozens of carved, brightly painted chairs and tables of Mi Tierra’s second dining room sat empty one weekend last month. Some tables in the main dining area also were unused. At lunchtime, half of the tables hid behind a partition awaiting customers.

“After the elections, everything changed,” said Fuentes, a former undocumented immigrant who now owns several restaurants in four states. “People are scared. They are scared to go out. The decrease of business (after the election) probably was 40 percent during the week, especially in the day time.”

Other business owners echo this sentiment. Vendors on the street corners complain that they no longer see the crowds walking up and down the neighborhood’s main street and lining up at their carts to buy their “elote” (Mexican grilled corn) and raspados (shaved ice sweetened with natural syrups). The usual buzz amid the selling of mariachi suits, clothing, jewelry, curios, accordions and many other goods at the Discount Mall outside Little Village’s welcoming arch is dampened.

Business leaders have been trying to tamp down the fear they think is driving the slowdown, reminding the community of Chicago’s historic sanctuary city status, and enlisting the mayor and police chief to dispel anxieties. They tell them there are no arrests going on in the neighborhood, that the Chicago police and local agencies don’t cooperate with the feds or question the immigration or citizenship status of residents because Chicago is a sanctuary city.

Exuding confidence in the city’s sanctuary status has taken on an urgency as news stories of arrests of immigrants with DACA – a type of protection from deportation – and people with immigration violations but not criminal histories fill the national news. The administration has threatened to punish cities that don’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“I would tell people here in La Villita to not be afraid, to get well informed, find [out] for each other if ICE is coming. Get communication through police. Come out and support our families, our businesses,” said Ezequiel Fuentes Jr., who works with his father in running their restaurants. “La Villita is a great place. We can make it even greater.”

Two days after the Mi Tierra celebration, residents came together at La Villita for a community meeting where some of the topics discussed included how to prepare for possible deportation, what rights people have if arrested and shopping local. The meeting’s title: “La Villita Se Defiende.” (“Little Village Defends Itself.”)

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Advertisements

Famed NYC bakery’s immigrant workers defy Trump

tom cat bakery

Provide proof of legal status or adios muchachos…

From Fox News: Workers at a famed New York bakery who face a deadline to produce immigration papers are instead defying the government in public — at President Donald Trump’s Manhattan home.

The 31 employees of the Tom Cat Bakery will be fired and could be deported if they cannot prove by April 21 that they’re working in the country legally.

They’re rallied Saturday afternoon in front of Trump Tower.

The Department of Homeland Security set the deadline for the workers to show their employment documents. Many have worked on the gourmet bakery’s production line for much of its 30-year existence.

Tom Cat covers a whole city block in Queens, churning out artisanal bread 24 hours a day and delivering it around in the New York City area.

DCG

Claro que si: Malibu, California becomes a sanctuary city

malibu city council

Council member Laura Rosenthal (center)

Apparently no one’s baby or house in Malibu is being properly cared for without the labor of illegal aliens.

FYI: In 2010, Malibu had a median household income of $133,869.

From Sacramento Bee: Taking a stand in the national debate over illegal immigration, Malibu has joined the ranks of sanctuary cities. The City Council of the celebrity enclave voted 3-2 this month to approve a resolution prohibiting use of city funds and resources to enforce federal civil immigration law.

Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal introduced the resolution after Malibu resident and actor Martin Sheen appeared before the council in December to urge a sanctuary designation.

“When I reached out to some of the people at the schools and other people in the community, they told me people are scared,” Rosenthal told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s people coming into Malibu who may be undocumented. I wanted to send a clear message that we are here for you.

A report by the city attorney cited the potential for some “negative fiscal impacts” due to an executive order by President Donald Trump directing the attorney general and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that sanctuary jurisdictions do not receive federal grants.

The report said the city receives annually about $46,000 in community development block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. Malibu also occasionally receives one-time grants from federal agencies but currently has none that are active.

Immigrants work throughout the city, according to Juan Escobar, 32, who works at the Malibu Country Mart. “You see Spanish speakers taking care of babies in every house,” he told the Times. “They help people here.”

Resolution supporter Mikke Pierson, 57, said it is important to express support for people who are in the country illegally. “Heck, we would be paralyzed and no one’s houses would be cleaned,” the former surf shop owner said.

DCG

Deep State: How a rogue Secret Service got back at Rep. Jason Chaffetz

The term “deep state” refers to a state within a state– a political situation in a country when an agency or agencies of the government, such as intelligence agencies, the armed forces, or unelected career civil servants in the civilian bureaucracy, goes rogue and refuses to submit to, even subverting and rebelling against the civilian political leadership.

This post is about what a Deep State federal government agency did to a U.S. Congressman when he stepped on their toes.

Rep. Jason E. Chaffetz (R-Utah), 49, is one of the good guys.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, Chaffetz came to prominence in 2015 for his extensive investigations into Hillary Clinton. He is an authentic conservative — a critic of Obamacare, homosexual marriage, and the Obama administration’s conduct in the 2012 Benghazi attack; and a skeptic on global warming and mandatory vaccinations.

As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Chaffetz earned the hatred of many in the Secret Service for his investigations into the agency’s many recent blunders and scandals. 

In 2003, Chaffetz had applied to be an agent in the Secret Service but was not accepted, ostensibly because “better qualified applicants existed.” (New York Times)

Like anyone who applies for a federal job, the information of that individual disclosed in his/her application is protected by the Privacy Act from being misused or improperly accessed.

But the Secret Service precisely violated the Privacy Act by accessing, distributing, and leaking to the media Rep. Chaffetz’s personal data, according to an investigation conducted in 2015 by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the parent or supervisory agency of the Secret Service.

The report by the DHS Inspector General (IG) says:

We were unable to determine with certainty how many of those individuals in turn disclosed this information to others who did not have a need to know, who may have then told others. However, the disclosure was widespread, and recipients of the information likely numbered in the hundreds. Those agents we interviewed acknowledged freely sharing it with others in the Secret Service, often contemporaneously with accessing the information. One agent reported that by the end of the second day, he was sent on a protection assignment in New York City for the visit of the President of Afghanistan, and many of the approximately 70 agents at the protection briefing were talking about the issue.

Senior civil servants of the Secret Service, except one, did nothing to stop the propagation of Chaffetz’ personal data. The DHS Inspector General’s report says:

We identified 18 supervisors at the GS-15 or Senior Executive Service level who appeared to have known or should have known, prior to the publication of the fact, that Chairman Chaffetz’ MCI [Master Central Index] record was being accessed. Yet, with a single exception, we found no evidence that any of these senior Secret Service managers attempted to inform the Director or higher levels of the supervisory chain, or to stop or remediate the activity. Furthermore, we found no evidence that a manager at any level issued written guidance for employees to discontinue accessing MCI for anything but official use.

As recounted by Patrick G. Eddington for the Cato Institute, Chaffetz’s file was accessed at 29 different Secret Service facilities. None of the federal employees who did so had a legitimate reason to look at his file.

Even worse, the Secret Service’s Assistant Director for Training Ed Lowry actively encouraged the unlawful access and distribution of Chaffetz’s file. In an email to a colleague, Lowry wrote:

“Some information he [Chaffetz] might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair.”

While the IG investigators could not link Lowry to the leak of the Chaffetz file to the media, someone within the Secret Service clearly did so.

Eddington concludes:

The leak of Chairman Chaffetz’ employment application was a clear attempt to intimidate or punish him for doing his job: overseeing the conduct of a federal agency under his committee’s jurisdiction. This incident comes just a year after revelations about the hacking by CIA employees of computers used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff investigating the CIA’s torture program. To date, there have been no prosecutions in either case or any attempts by Congress to use the impeachment mechanism to remove implicated federal officials. The lack of accountability in these episodes only invites further assaults on Congress’ status as an independent, co-equal branch of government.

H/t John Molloy

See also:

Update (March 14, 2017):

On May 26, 2016, then DHS Director Jeh Johnson announced in a press release that after a review of the conduct of 57 Secret Service personnel, 41 were “disciplined”. One employee who was found by the DHS Inspector General to have disclosed Rep. Chaffetz’s private information to the Washington Post, resigned.

H/t FOTM‘s CP

~Eowyn

Illegal border crossings decrease by 40 percent in Trump’s first month

magaGood start.

From Fox News: The number of people illegally crossing the U.S. southern border has dropped 40 percent in President Trump’s first full month in office, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported that the number of illegal border crossings dropped from 31,578 to 18,762 persons. Kelly said border agents usually see a 10 to 20 percent increase in illegal immigrant apprehensions from January to February.

“The drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends,” Kelly said. “Since the administration’s implementation of executive orders to enforce immigration laws, apprehensions and inadmissible activity is trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years.”

The new numbers are welcoming news for Trump who campaigned on illegal immigration crackdown.

Trump signed an executive order increasing border security and authorizing the construction of his promised border wall along the southern border in the first few days of his presidency. Trump also seeks to hire about 5,000 additional border patrol officials and 10,000 ICE agents and seeks to fast-track deportations.

“We will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in these trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May,” Kelly said. “However, the early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact.”

DCG

Washington state trooper is under review for calling immigration authorities about a previously-deported illegal alien with a felony charge in his background

jay inslee

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee – making a political statement?

Keep it up demorats.

From News Tribune: A Tacoma lawmaker wants to know why the Washington State Patrol is reviewing the actions of a trooper who called federal immigration authorities about a man living in the country illegally.

State Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Tacoma, sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday “to express serious concerns” that an administrative review is underway after a trooper contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about a man involved a Feb. 9 traffic accident on Interstate 5 in Tacoma.

The man, Armando Chavez Corona, was convicted of a felony drug charge and was deported four times from the United States between 1996 and 2000, ICE officials said.

Chavez Corona didn’t cause the crash on I-5. But when a trooper completed a routine check of Chavez Corona’s driver’s license, a warning popped up from ICE, saying Chavez Corona was a previously deported felon and to contact the federal agency for confirmation, said State Patrol spokesman Kyle Moore.

After the trooper contacted federal officials to confirm details of the warning, federal immigration officials came to the crash scene and took Chavez Corona into custody. As of Wednesday, he was awaiting deportation, ICE officials said.

The State Patrol is reviewing whether the trooper followed an internal policy that limits how much troopers can do to help federal immigration officials.

In his letter Friday, O’Ban called the review into the trooper’s actions “puzzling, if not deeply concerning.”

“I fear launching an administrative review of this routine and common-sense procedure sends a chilling message to WSP troopers and to other law enforcement personnel that undermines public safety by discouraging officers from gaining potentially vital information from federal authorities,” O’Ban wrote.

Moore said administrative reviews are commonplace at the State Patrol. The trooper involved hasn’t been placed on leave or disciplined in any way, he said. “This is just a routine review of whether this trooper followed our policies,” Moore said Friday.

According to the agency, “The Washington State Patrol has a policy to not stop, detain or interrogate or place an immigration hold on any person solely for the purpose of ascertaining immigration status or in any other way attempt to enforce federal immigration laws.”

Moore said troopers never arrested Chavez Corona or detained him for longer than it took to clear the scene of the accident. The information the trooper received about Chavez Corona did not constitute a warrant calling for his arrest, Moore added.

The governor’s office confirmed it had received O’Ban’s letter but declined to comment on it. The letter concludes by asking Inslee whether he ordered the review and what specific circumstances warranted that scrutiny. It also asks the governor if it is appropriate for law enforcement officers to ignore a warrant from federal authorities, and “how does that contribute to the public safety or safety of officers?”

In a phone interview Friday, O’Ban said he worries the governor’s office is seizing upon immigration-related incidents in the state to make a political statement. In recent weeks, Inslee has been a vocal critic of the immigration policies promoted by Republican President Donald Trump. “I’m concerned that this investigation is motivated at least in part by the governor nationalizing this issue, when it shouldn’t be,” O’Ban said.

Meanwhile, Grace Chavez, the U.S.-born wife of Chavez Corona, said she is considering legal action against the State Patrol.

Reached by phone Friday, she said she was heading to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma to visit her husband. The couple has three children, all of whom are U.S. citizens, she said. “They violated our rights,” Grace Chavez said. “He was the victim of the accident.”

She said she is waiting to hear more details about when her husband is scheduled for deportation. “I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst,” she said.

DCG

Illegal alien in Connecticut, a felon who was once deported, fatally stabs the mother of his child and then kidnaps daughter

oscar-hernandez-illegal

Illegal alien Oscar Hernandez

Keep defending those sanctuary locations, proggies.

From NY Post: The man suspected of taking a 6-year-old Connecticut girl prompting an Amber Alert on Friday had previously been deported, federal immigration officials said.

Oscar Hernandez was taken into custody on Friday following a high-speed car chase and crash on Interstate 99 in Benner Township, Pennsylvania. State police said he had refused to pull over when a state trooper spotted the car, which had been the subject of an Amber Alert.

Federal immigration officials said Hernandez is a citizen of El Salvador and had been previously deported on Nov. 27, 2013. He has prior felony convictions including assault and threatening. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed a detainer on him, an agency spokesman said in a statement.

Hernandez is accused of taking his 6-year-old daughter Aylin Sofia Hernandez from her home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Police issued a public alert about the girl at about 2:45 a.m. Friday.

Officers had gone to the girl’s Bridgeport home and found her mother, Nadia Gonzalez, fatally stabbed. Another woman in the home also was stabbed multiple times and was hospitalized. Police said she’s expected to survive.

Police said the little girl suffered minor injuries in the crash. . Two state troopers also suffered minor injuries. Benner Township is about 300 miles from Bridgeport.

Hernandez was being held as a fugitive from justice in Pennsylvania and couldn’t be reached for comment. Bridgeport police have a warrant for his arrest.

DCG