Sacramento lawsuit charges that lack of court hearings for undocumented immigrants violates Constitution

I might be illegal

From Sacramento Bee: For a year and a half, Jose Garcia-Alcazar has been sitting in jails in Richmond and Elk Grove while his lawyers fight the government’s efforts to deport him to his native Mexico. For more than six months now, Garcia-Alcazar, who has three children who are U.S. citizens, has not had a hearing to determine whether he is eligible for bail while the immigration courts figure out what to do with him.

Lawyers for the former car-wash employee in Rohnert Park call his extended stay in jail a case of indefinite detention. They also call it unconstitutional, and they say it stands in direct defiance of a 2011 appellate court ruling that guarantees incarcerated aliens a bail hearing – even if they have criminal records and made their way back to the United States after having already been deported. Garcia-Alcazar, 30, has drug convictions and once associated in Mexico with “coyotes” who smuggled people into the United States, one of his lawyers said.

Earlier this month, Garcia-Alcazar’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento seeking class-action status to try to reinstate bail hearings for him and an untold number of other undocumented immigrants illegal aliens. In the lawsuit, the lawyers are challenging a memorandum issued by an immigration judge in San Francisco that says people like Garcia-Alcazar who return to the U.S. after being deported are not entitled to “redetermination” hearings that would give them a chance to make their case for bail.

While an immigration judge’s decisions are usually confined to his or her own courtroom, lawyers for Garcia-Alcazar say the one made by Anthony S. Murry on Dec. 12 has been reduced to an eight-page memo that is now being widely distributed. The plaintiff’s attorneys noted that the memo came out and that bail hearings began to be curtailed just a month after President Donald Trump was elected on a campaign that promised to build a wall across the southern border of the United States and cut off illegal immigration from Mexico.

“It is kind of weird that it started happening toward the end of the year,” said Joseph LaCome, the attorney who wrote the briefs in the case filed in Sacramento and who has filed similar lawsuits in Phoenix and San Francisco.

According to LaCome, it had been common practice in immigration courts before the election for judges to hold the bail hearings. He said such proceedings have since tailed off to “nothing.”

On Tuesday, the Trump administration released two memos outlining its enforcement strategy on illegal immigration. Along with the construction of the border wall, the plan called for hiring 10,000 new immigration control officers and 5,000 additional border security officers as well as for having local police departments use their personnel as immigration officers.

The administration’s memos also proposed a surge in “the deployment of immigration judges and asylum officers to interview and adjudicate claims asserted by recent border entrants.” They call for “establishment of appropriate processing and detention facilities,” within a hundred miles of the Mexican border. And they aim to achieve a sharp reduction in what the administration calls the parole of aliens while their immigration cases are pending, which has enabled thousands of them, the administration contends, to abscond from the law.

In response to Trump’s action plan, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrants rights project, Omar Jadwat, said, “Trump does not have the last word here.” Jadwat promised legal action “if they go back to discredited detainer policies that we’ve already beat in court numerous times,” an outcome that the Garcia-Alcazar lawsuit suggests is already taking place.

Kathryn Mattingly, the spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts, said in an email Wednesday that Murry’s memo “was an independent decision by an immigration judge for one particular respondent.” She said such memorandums “are not distributed to EOIR staff as they apply only to the individual case for which they were written.”

Plaintiff’s attorney LaCome, however, said he has been told by an attorney for the Office of the Chief Counsel – the arm of the Department of Homeland Security that prosecutes cases in immigration court – that Murry’s memorandum is now being distributed around the country, making the case to deny bail hearings to immigrants from coast to coast.

“The OCC attorney told me they took it and ran with it all over the 9th Circuit,” LaCome said. “The attorney told me it also was going all over the country.”

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the government’s lawyers in immigration courts, declined to comment on any pending case.

LaCome maintains in the suit, filed Feb. 9, that the Murry memorandum violates the 2011 Diouf decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that entitles aliens to bail hearings every six months, even if they have been rearrested after deportation.

The Garcia-Alcazar petition seeks “an immediate custody hearing before a federal district judge or magistrate, or an IJ (immigration judge) other than IJ Murry,” to determine whether the memorandum is lawful. It also wants to stop the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office of Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “from continuing their policy of influencing Immigration judges within this Circuit to deny Diouf bond hearings.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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US appeals court upholds Maryland assault weapons ban

debbie ar15

Me shooting a “weapon of war.” Molṑn Labé.

Next stop: SCOTUS.

From Fox News: Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said the guns banned under Maryland’s law aren’t protected by the Second Amendment.

“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it’s “unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment.”

“It’s a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it’s en-banc and for the strength of its decision,” Frosh said, noting that all of the court’s judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn’t even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.” He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.

“For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand,” Traxler wrote.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, “It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected arm' under the Second Amendment."</strong> She added that the majority opinion "clearly ignores the Supreme Court's guidance from District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects arms that arein common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.”‘

The NRA estimates there are 5 million to 10 million AR-15s — one of the weapons banned under Maryland’s law — in circulation in the United States for lawful purposes. Asked about an appeal, Baker said the NRA is exploring all options.

But Elizabeth Banach, executive director of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said the decision is “overwhelming proof that reasonable measures to prevent gun violence are constitutional.”

“Maryland’s law needs to become a national model of evidence-based policies that will reduce gun violence,” Banach wrote in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake upheld the ban in 2015, but a divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that she didn’t apply the proper legal standard. The panel sent the case back to Blake and ordered her to apply “strict scrutiny,” a more rigorous test of a law’s constitutionality. The state appealed to the full appeals court.

Maryland passed the sweeping gun-control measure after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 20 children and six educators in Connecticut. King mentioned the massacre at the start of the ruling.

“Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there,” King wrote. He listed the 2012 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the December 2015 shootings in San Bernardino, California; and the shootings last year at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

King also noted that enacting the law is “precisely the type of judgment that legislatures are allowed to make without second-guessing by a court.”

“Simply put, the State has shown all that is required: a reasonable, if not perfect, fit between the (Firearms Safety Act) and Maryland’s interest in protecting public safety,” King wrote.

DCG

Chilling video of a political assassination in 2.33 seconds

Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011 and who himself had succeeded his father Kim Il-sung in the bizarre hereditary dynasty of communist North Korea.

Jong-nam had been the heir apparent to his father until he fell out of favor in 2001 after a failed attempt to visit Tokyo Disneyland by entering Japan with a false passport. Jong-nam was exiled from North Korea in 2003, becoming an occasional critic of his family’s regime and an advocate for reform, while he lived a life of comfort and gambling on the island of Macao as his countrymen died from starvation. Jong-nam’s younger paternal half-brother, the ruthless Kim Jong-un, was named heir apparent and became leader after Jong-il’s death in 2011.

On February 13, 2017, Kim Jong-nam was assassinated via poison by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia.

Japan’s Fuji TV obtained and aired the chilling closed-circuit security footage of the assassination.

The footage begins with Kim — carrying a black backpack over his right shoulder and dressed in light-blue jeans, a sport coat and a cap — arriving alone at the airport’s crowded departures hall shortly before 9 a.m. on Feb. 13. Police said he had been in Malaysia for about a week, and had intended to take a 10:50 a.m. AirAsia flight back to his home in Macau.

He stops to look up at the flight schedules, then walks to a nearby self-check-in kiosk.

The next scene is blurry, showing two women approaching Kim. One woman, identified by police to be Siti Aisyah, 25, an Indonesian masseuse at a spa in Kuala Lumpur, approaches Kim on the left and catches his attention. The second woman, in white top, identified by police to be a Vietnamese named Doan Thi Huong, 28, attacks Kim from behind, wrapping both arms around his head and holding a cloth over his face.

Huong’s contact with Kim lasted 2.33 seconds, according a timer added to the video compilation. The two women quickly walk away in opposite directions. Kim’s backpack slips off from his shoulder and he stumbles backward. He stands motionless for several seconds.

Kuala Lumpur police told The Wall Street Journal that the video of the assault is blurry because a camera closer to the scene wasn’t working. How convenient. /sarc

A subsequent clip, of better quality from a different camera, shows Kim walking quickly to the nearby customer-service desk. There he tells an airport employee that two women had just wiped a wet cloth on his face, and that he feels dizzy. The airport worker escorts him out to the hallway where Kim speaks animatedly with the police and repeatedly motions toward his face. A police officer and an airport employee escort Kim, now moving less steadily, to a small, glass-fronted airport medical clinic.

An unspecified amount of time passes. The next clip shows Kim on a stretcher at the clinic, being moved. Police said he had a seizure. Kim died en route to Putrajaya Hospital.

Here’s a video with a CGI reenactment of the assassination:

According to Zerohedge, Malaysia’s police said they believe Kim was poisoned during the assault, but are awaiting confirmation from autopsy results. Police arrested the two assailants, Aisyah and Huong, and detained them for a week. Neither however has been charged. Police also arrested a North Korean man and a Malaysian man suspected of being involved in the assault, and say they are searching for others, including several North Korean men.

suspects-in-kim-jong-nams-assassination

South Korea Defense Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said Pyongyang is behind the death: “The government assumes that North Korea’s regime is behind the incident.”

~Eowyn

Mexico fumes over Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom

i-dont-care

Cállate.

From Yahoo: Senior envoys of President Donald Trump are likely to receive a chilly reception in Mexico on Wednesday, after the United States issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the southern neighbor the day before bilateral talks.

Trump’s administration on Tuesday unveiled plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of their nationality.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are due to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday afternoon for talks on security and immigration.

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new “unilateral” rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

He said the issue would dominate the talks, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. “I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” he told reporters at the foreign ministry.

“We will not accept it, because there’s no reason why we should, and because it is not in the interests of Mexico.” Another senior Mexican official, Roberto Campa, who heads the human rights department of the interior ministry, said Videgaray was referring to the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico, calling it “hostile” and “unacceptable.”

The Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Republican Trump signed on Jan. 25.

DCG

Betrayal: Inaugural singer Jackie Evancho speaks out against Trump’s repeal of Obama’s tranny bathroom decree

Before she sang the National Anthem at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” singer Jackie Evancho was a virtual unknown.

Evancho’s career and bank account mightily benefited from her inaugural gig:

  • Her weekly album sales immediately quadrupled for both digital downloads and with retailers.
  • Her album “Someday at Christmas” reportedly had to be restocked twice in local stores.
  • Evancho’s Billboard spot jumped significantly: her “Dream With Me” album and her “O Holy Night” EP shot up to No. 2 on the Billboard charts — the highest spot they’ve ever held.
  • Evancho is the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum.

See “Jackie Evancho’s album sales quadruple after it’s announced she will perform at Trump’s inauguration“.

But now Evancho is speaking out against President Trump’s revoke of Obama’s decree in May 2016 ordering public schools to allow so-called transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their imagined gender.

In so doing, Trump is honoring the Constitution’s 1oth Amendment on states’ rights by returning the matter of access to public bathrooms back to the jurisdiction of the states.

Target's new transgender-friendly bathroom sign

Oli Coleman reports for Page Six that yesterday, Feb. 22, 2017, Evancho — who has a transgender “sister,” Juliet — tweeted her opposition:

“I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove.”

“@realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor to sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u to talk transgender rghts❤.”

Reportedly, Evancho was criticized by trans activists when she signed up for the inaugural gig.

Juliet, Jackie Evancho’s 18-year-old M-to-F “transgender” “sister” whose original name is Jacob, is currently suing “her” Pittsburgh school district over its decision to stop students from using the bathroom that corresponds to their imagined gender.

See also:

~Eowyn

Straight WNBA star: Lesbian culture broke my spirit

candice-wiggins

Candice Wiggins

So much for “NO H8.”

From NY Post: Candice Wiggins was a college star at Stanford, the third pick of the 2008 WNBA draft and a 2011 champion. And at the mountaintop of her basketball career, her sexuality marred the moment.

There is a “very, very harmful” culture running throughout the WNBA, she says, which saw her get bullied during her eight-year career because she is heterosexual.

Wiggins, who last played in the league in 2015, said she retired prematurely to leave a league that she estimated — wildly — is 98 percent lesbian, and which is played in such isolation that it weighs on the people on the court.

“It wasn’t like my dreams came true in the WNBA. It was quite the opposite,” Wiggins said in an extensive San Diego Tribune story published Monday. “… I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state. It was a depressing state in the WNBA. It’s not watched. Our value is diminished. It can be quite hard. I didn’t like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me. … My spirit was being broken.

The 30-year-old couldn’t take it anymore — being harassed for being straight and fighting for attention in a league that is starved.

“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply.”

Wiggins, who played for the Lynx, Shock, Sparks and Liberty, claimed the issues revolve around the lack of attention the league has garnered as the WNBA struggles with ticket sales and TV ratings. For the 2016 season, the WNBA said its average attendance was 7,655 — its highest since 2011.

“There was a lot of jealousy and competition, and we’re all fighting for crumbs,” Wiggins said. “The way I looked, the way I played – those things contributed to the tension.

“People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time. I had never been called the B-word so many times in my life than I was in my rookie season. I’d never been thrown to the ground so much. The message was: ‘We want you to know we don’t like you.’ “

DCG

Police stop ‘High Five Fridays’ at Massachusetts schools because it makes illegal aliens uncomfortable

police-high-five

Police interacting with the children at school

From WILX: No more high-fives to police officers at schools in Northampton, Massachusetts on Friday mornings. The police department has stopped its ‘High Five Friday’ program after complaints.

The idea for the program came after police in Northampton visited a law enforcement conference in San Diego where “High Five Fridays” were done as a way for the department to engage with young people.

Uniformed officers in Northampton traveled to the city’s four elementary schools each Friday to welcome children to school for the day. The program ran for two months before it was halted. Police Chief Jody Kasper says there were complaints from residents concerned about how a weekly police presence might impact children of color, or undocumented children in a negative way. The chief decided to just cancel ‘High Five Fridays’ altogether.

Some residents disagree with the decision. “It’s very important to take care of the kids’ emotions and be sensitive towards it, but I think that stopping it abruptly was not the best way to go forward,” Lisa Maharjan of Northampton said. Northampton police say they will still give out high fives and fist bumps to anyone on the street who asks for one.

DCG