The Obama administration is ignoring China’s transfer of mobile nuclear missile launchers to North Korea as Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday applauded China for announcing new export controls on Pyongyang’s arms programs.
Six Chinese transporter-erector launchers (TELs) were sold to North Korea in 2011 and were first revealed carrying new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) during a Pyongyang military parade in April 2012.
The launchers are now part of North Korea’s newest and most-lethal road-mobile nuclear KN-08 missiles, which are capable of hitting parts of the western United States.
In addition to United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the missile launcher transfers violated the 2000 Iran, North Korea, Syria Nonproliferation Act passed by Congress requiring sanctions to be imposed on states that supply goods restricted for export under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to Iran, North Korea, or Syria. The MTCR prohibition covers missile delivery systems.
Rick Fisher, a specialist on China’s military forces, said both the U.S. and Japanese governments have known about the Chinese government’s role in supplying the KN-08 missile launchers to North Korea for years.
“Yet, nearly two years after the transfer of these TELs, the administration has not issued one sanction against a Chinese company or made one public protest to China,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
A State Department official told reporters that Kerry met on Thursday in New York with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two officials discussed China’s announcement this week that it has adopted new export controls designed to curb North Korea’s nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction programs.
“The secretary acknowledged the importance of the step China has recently taken to issue an export control list, and they discussed both the significance of that particular step symbolically and practically as well as other steps that are within the power of China and others to take that would push in the same direction,” the senior official said of the breakfast meeting in New York between Kerry and Wang.
The official said Kerry and Wang did not discuss details of the implementation of the new controls. However, “there was an exchange between Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Wang on additional steps that potentially China could take,” the official said, without providing details.
A State Department spokeswoman had no immediate comment when asked whether Kerry discussed the ICBM launcher transfers and why no action has been taken to punish China for the sales.
A spokesman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees the State Department, had no immediate comment. A House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesman did not respond to an email request for comment.
China’s Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday issued a list of dual-use, civilian-military items now banned for export to North Korea amid concerns the items could assist North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs.
It includes equipment and technology that could be used to make missiles and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
The 236-page list does not include vehicles that could be used with mobile missiles.
The release of the list was viewed by many analysts as an indication Beijing is giving in to international pressure to abide by U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea for its recent nuclear and missile tests.
China for decades has been a major supplier of technology and military-related goods for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, U.S. intelligence officials have said.
The ICBM launcher transfer is viewed as one of the most militarily significant arms proliferation activities in recent years, comparable to China’s supplying Pakistan with nuclear weapons designs and technology in the 1980s.
Pentagon officials said the sudden emergence of the KN-08 missile atop the Chinese launchers led to a major Joint Staff reassessment of missile threats to the United States that was carried out earlier this year.
That assessment in turn prompted a major shift in U.S. strategic defenses. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in March that the Pentagon would add 14 long-range missile defense interceptors to the missile defense base in Fort Greely, Alaska. The new interceptors are being added in direct response to the North Korean mobile ICBM threat, officials said.
A U.N. panel of experts who examined North Korean sanctions implementation revealed in a June report that Chinese officials had admitted to providing the six off-road vehicles that Beijing asserted were illegally converted to ICBM launchers.
U.S. officials discounted the Chinese explanation and asserted that China has a long-time covert relationship with North Korea in supplying missile technology going back three decades.
A CIA-drafted report to Congress on arms proliferation published in February said North Korea continues to procure missile-related goods from foreign sources. China also is a major arms proliferator and continues to engage in weapons of mass destruction-related activities, including missile transfers to “states of concern,” the CIA report said.
The U.N. report said a panel of experts “considers it most likely that [North Korea] deliberately breached the end-user guarantee that it officially provided to [China's] Wuhan and converted the WS51200 trucks into transporter-erector launchers.” The report was dated June 11.
China told the world body that the missile launchers were sold as “lumber transporters” despite being manufactured by China’s Hubei Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle Co.
The U.N. analysis stated that the launchers’ “fronts and sides, the fenders, the exhaust systems, fuel tanks and tires of the vehicles seen on parade exactly matched those of the WS51200 series advertised by Wanshan.”
The report also said the vehicles were built by the Ninth Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., the Chinese military’s primary manufacturer of mobile-missiles.
Fisher said the new Chinese list of controlled exports to North Korea was alarming, considering that the weapons of mass destruction products on it are only now being restricted.
The list of goods is “all you need to get into the nuclear and biological weapons business,” he said.
“It’s all well and good for Secretary Kerry to acknowledge the ‘symbolic and practical’ value of China’s new list of banned items for sale to North Korea, but it has to be said: This list is 24 years too late,” Fisher told the Washington Free Beacon.
Fisher said the list makes no mention of vehicles that can carry or transport nuclear weapons, including the KN-08 missile launchers transferred from China to North Korea in late 2011.
“North Korea is making nuclear weapons, the missiles to carry these nuclear weapons and is believed to have one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical and perhaps biological weapons,” he said.
“North Korea has likely obtained all the items on China’s list that it needs to make nuclear armed missiles, so China has in effect achieved its goal.”
Fisher said through both direct and indirect means in the past 20 years China has enabled North Korea to become a direct nuclear missile threat to the United States.
“Beijing expects this will vastly increase its leverage over Washington and Tokyo, not to mention Seoul,” he said.
Vice Adm. James D. Syring, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said North Korea’s KN-08 missiles are one reason the United States is shifting its focus from European missile defenses to protection of the continental United States.
According to slides used by the admiral during a speech to a missile defense conference in Alabama last month, U.S. missile defenses are being reoriented due to “the emergence of North Korean road mobile ICBM[s].”
Iran also will have the capability of flight-testing a long-range missile in two years, he said, noting the plan to deploy 14 additional Ground-Based Interceptors in Alaska.
“We are taking these steps to stay ahead of the challenge posed by Iran and North Korea’s development of longer-range ballistic missile capabilities,” Syring noted in one of the slides.
A Cadillac-driving OUI suspect – charged with running a Boston Globe delivery truck off Interstate 93 and onto the Leverett Connector – was carrying three EBT cards, mocked a cop “for paying for food when she gets it for free” and threatened to put a voodoo curse on him, according to a police report.
“I questioned her as to why she had other peoples (sic) EBT cards and she began screaming that I was a ‘dumb (expletive)’ for paying for food when she gets it for free,” trooper William Kokocinski wrote of Vivencia Bellegarde, 25, of Everett, noting she had her own electronic benefits transfer card and also the cards of two other people.
“She repeatedly called me a racist and told me she was from Haiti and she was gonna ‘put voodoo on my white (expletive),’” Kokocinski wrote. “(She) told me to Google her name and find out who I was ‘(expletive) with’. She further explained that her name translated means ‘give life take life’ and she emphasized ‘TAKE LIFE’. She then shouted that she was ‘coming for all you white (expletives).’”
A spokesman for the state Department of Transitional Assistance, which administers welfare, said in a statement the agency has been notified of Bellegarde’s EBT cards “and will take appropriate action.”
“DTA investigates every tip that it receives from members of the public or law enforcement, and refers cases to the auditor’s Bureau of Special Investigations for further action, which has the power to investigate potential criminal matters,” the statement said.
Bellegarde, who is listed as unemployed in court papers, is being held on $10,000 bail on charges of drunken driving causing serious injury. Surveillance video of the 3:13 a.m. Monday crash shows a car slamming into the Globe truck, forcing it off the roadway and into a frightening 40-foot free fall. The truck came apart on impact with the Leverett Connector
The truck driver, Paul Healy Jr., 35, of Brockton, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was in fair condition yesterday. He declined to comment yesterday through a family member.
Bellegarde told cops she’d left a party prior to the crash, and “didn’t care about the guy she hit because he isn’t dead and that all she cares about is smoking a cigarette,” the report says. Her mood fluctuated greatly during booking, the report says, and at one point she began crying about her 5-year-old child.
Bellegarde at first denied driving the heavily damaged 2006 Cadillac DTS sedan, which Kokocinski spotted while on his way to the Globe truck crash, police said. Bellegarde’s attorney, Hassan Willians, said his client “has no comment. She’s looking forward to her day in court.”
Bellegarde’s driving record includes 10 suspensions, many for failing to pay citations. Last year, her license was suspended for 30 days in connection with a first-offense drunken-driving charge in Lincoln from September 2011. Her license will be suspended for three years because she refused a Breathalyzer test in Monday’s crash, according to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
The Lincoln arrest report says Bellegarde reeked of booze and had front-end damage on her car when she called cops to ask them for help with her tires on a 5 a.m. trek home from a Boston club. She failed sobriety tests but was “polite and
cooperative,” the reporting officer wrote.
A Long Island, N.Y., woman has spent nearly two years trying to convince the Internal Revenue Service and the U. S. Postal Service that persons with Hispanic-sounding surnames using her address to obtain tax refunds from the IRS are part of a fraud scheme.
She has not found a government agency that will stop the phony tax refunds from arriving in her mailbox. Instead, federal and state authorities pass the buck. The checks, including some offering payment for Hurricane Sandy “relief” to people who may not exist, keep coming.
Carol Cooke is frustrated. “This is fraud. It is our money and they are giving it to people that don’t deserve it. I have had 16 people using the address where I have paid the mortgage and taxes,” she told Carolina Journal. “Nobody has the right to use this address, especially for fraud. Some of the correspondence was in Spanish only.”
Cooke has lived at 557 Boxwood Drive, Shirley, N.Y., for 37 years. She approached CJ about her situation after reading a Carolina Journal Online story about Stolen Identity Refund Fraud. Federal officials say it’s the “No. 1 tax scam of 2013,” with more than $5.2 billion in losses to U.S. taxpayers reported in tax year 2010.
CJ’s initial report in March highlighted a similar scheme based in Durham. Subsequent stories elaborated on other aspects of SIRF. Cooke said she had contacted other news organizations but none expressed interest. CJ met with her in June at her home.
In October 2011 she began receiving IRS correspondence at her home addressed to other people. Initially she wrote on the envelope, “does not live at this address,” and put the items back in the mailbox. Then she took others to the Shirley Post Office and asked an employee to tell her what she needed to do to stop getting other people’s mail at her house. “I can’t stop people from sending mail to your address,” she said she was told.
The next month, IRS refund checks arrived in her mailbox. There was a $7,113 check to Maribel Rodriguez Rosado, a $7,613 check to Nadia Abad Hernandez, and a $6,073 check to Dairysol Bonilla Ocasio. “I realized that those checks were probably part of a fraud scheme,” she said.
She alerted the IRS to the situation with a phone call. The IRS representative told her to mark the envelope “return to sender.” “I was just not satisfied with that. I wanted it to stop. How can these people receive mail and then checks at my address? It is fraud,” she told CJ.
A spokesman for the IRS told CJ that the agency could not discuss specific cases or situations.
Instead of returning the checks via mail, she decided to notify another government agency, the New York attorney general’s office. She copied the checks and completing a consumer complaint form provided by the AG’s office.
The AG did nothing. “We appreciate your alerting us to this matter. We believe the organization shown below” – the IRS – “may be able to assist you and we are forwarding your correspondence there,” wrote Judy Blumenberg from the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection in the AG’s office.
On the IRS website, Cooke found a form titled “IRS Fraud Reward Whistleblower.” She thought she could receive financial compensation for reporting fraudulent activity involving the IRS.
She completed the form and decided to involve her congressman, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, in the correspondence. She also filled out a “Case Information and Privacy Release Form Authorization” provided by Bishop’s office.
“This case has been forwarded to the [IRS] Criminal Investigation Division,” wrote IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate Bernardita Tehrani in a letter Bishop’s office received March 12, 2012. Bishop’s office forwarded a copy to Cooke. A spokesman for Bishop told Cooke she did not qualify for a reward. She said her main concern wasn’t the potential for a financial payday; she reported the tax fraud because it was wrong and needed to stop.
Cooke told CJ that some of her neighbors have seen strangers opening mailboxes and sifting through the contents. Several neighbors have received checks and correspondence from the IRS addressed to persons who did not live there. One woman who requested to remain anonymous told CJ that she and her husband received more 20 pieces of correspondence or checks from the IRS, all of which were addressed to people with Hispanic sounding names. Her husband delivered the material to a regional postmaster.
‘Why did you return it?’
More than a year after the IRS was notified of Cooke’s situation, she has heard nothing from the agency and the checks and correspondence have not stopped.
“Ada Gonzalez Collazo” was one name on IRS correspondence Cooke turned over to Bishop in 2012.
In March, Cooke recovered from her mailbox a letter dated March 6, 2013, addressed to Ada Gonzalez Collazo and referencing tax year 2010.
The letter read: “Dear Taxpayer: We received a returned refund check of $7,756 for the tax period listed above. However, we aren’t sure why you returned it. If you sent an explanation, we are sorry but we have no record of receiving it.
“Therefore, we must ask you to send us your reason for returning the refund check.
“If you have any questions please call Denise Pen at 978- 474-9784 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. If the number is outside your local calling area, there will be a long-distance charge to you.”
Cooke found another letter June 18 from the IRS addressed to Collazo. The notice stated that Collazo had unpaid taxes for 2010 of $5,979.25 and the total needed to be paid by June 27 to avoid additional penalty and interest charges.
“If you don’t pay the amount due or call us to make payment arrangements, we can file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien on your property at any time, if we haven’t already done so,” the letter read.
“If the lien is in place, you may find it difficult to sell or borrow against your property. The tax lien would also appear on your credit report – which may harm your credit rating¬¬ – and your creditors would also be publicly notified that the IRS has priority to seize your property.
“If you don’t pay your tax debt, we have the right to seize your property.”
Cooke said that she is concerned that the IRS might encumber her property based on Collazo’s unpaid taxes, even though Collazo doesn’t live at her address and may not be a real person.
Cardona and Medina
In May, Cooke received a $410.17 check made out to Daniel Alvarez Cardona and another $410.17 check made out to Milagros Lopez Medina. Each check was accompanied by a letter stating that $10.17 was the amount of interest due on an overpayment of $400 for tax year 2012.
Along with those checks were notices of disaster relief assistance from the IRS. “If you have been impacted by the recent disaster in your area and are unable to meet your tax obligations, the IRS may be able to assist with payment and filing extensions, and if qualified, with an expedited tax refund for casualty losses,” stated the notices.
Separate IRS letters addressed to Cardona and Medina dated Oct. 3, 2011, said the 2010 return of each was on hold pending the receipt of additional employer information. Cooke doesn’t know if the IRS issued original checks to Cardona or Medina, or if Cardona or Medina recovered them from her mailbox.
She later received a notice dated June 10, 2013, from the IRS to Cardona stating that he didn’t file a 2011 tax return.
Some are caught
Cooke called the IRS and Postal Service responses to her situation a big disappointment. “An alert should have gone out that this is not right. Those Social Security numbers and those names should be listed in the IRS computer somewhere. Don’t send anything else to these people because they are not real. They are fraudulent,” she said.
Even though the IRS recently has cracked down on Long Island-based fraud, it is unclear whether the crackdown snared those using Cooke’s address.
In December a federal grand jury indicted six Long Island men for their involvement in schemes using stolen Social Security numbers to file more than 11,000 fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds worth up to $73 million.
According to the indictments, the defendants illegally obtained identification information including Social Security numbers for Puerto Rican residents, and used that information to file false returns claiming large refunds. The returns were filed using addresses in Shirley, West Babylon, and other Long Island towns. Then defendants then allegedly bribed Postal Service employees to intercept mailed tax refund checks. The fraudulently obtained checks were cashed at a check cashing service.
“By and large, postal employees are honest people. There can be some bad apples in any group,” said Donna Harris, a spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service in New York. “If they do something like this they will be taken care of,” she said. She didn’t know the status of the employees who allegedly accepted the bribes and said it’s the responsibility of the U.S. Postal Service rather than the Postal Inspector’s Office to deal with them.
As for Cooke’s situation, Harris said carriers are expected to deliver mail to the address on the envelope. A mail carrier suspecting fraud should contact the postal inspector in his area.
CJ also contacted the IRS Criminal Investigation Office in New York. “I’m sure you’re aware that federal disclosure laws prohibit IRS from discussing specific cases or situations,” IRS spokesman Dan Boone wrote in an email.
“For the 2013 tax season, the IRS has put in place a number of additional steps to prevent identity theft and detect refund fraud before it occurs. During 2012, the IRS protected $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft, compared with $14 billion in 2011,” he wrote.
“We have new and additional filters in place for the 2013 filing season aimed at preventing and detecting fraudulent returns. This continually updated system enhances our ability to block accounts when we know of or detect a problem. We added screening filters, including ones that target multiple refunds deposited into a single bank account or those sent to a single address.”
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot on their own require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.
The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law.
Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.
The court was considering the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.
Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.
“Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and lead counsel for the voters who challenged Proposition 200.
“The Supreme Court has affirmed that all U.S. citizens have the right to register to vote using the national postcard, regardless of the state in which they live,” she said.
The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court’s ruling.
The Constitution “authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied,” Thomas said in his dissent.
Opponents of Arizona’s law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they’ve counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.
Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called the decision a victory. “The court has reaffirmed the essential American right to register to vote for federal election without the burdens of state voter suppression measures,” she said.
But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting.
The federal “motor voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver’s license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.
While the court was clear in stating that states cannot add additional identification requirements to the federal forms on their own, it was also clear that the same actions can be taken by state governments if they get the approval of the federal government and the federal courts.
Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the government on that request back to court. Other states have already done so, Scalia said.
The Election Assistance Commission “recently approved a state-specific instruction for Louisiana requiring applicants who lack a Louisiana driver’s license, ID card or Social Security number to attach additional documentation to the completed federal form,” Scalia said.
The case is 12-71, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
A muslim who raped a 13-year-old girl he groomed on Facebook has been spared a prison sentence after a judge heard he went to an Islamic faith school where he was taught that women are worthless.
Adil Rashid, 18, claimed he was not aware that it was illegal for him to have sex with the girl because his education left him ignorant of British law.
Yesterday Judge Michael Stokes handed Rashid a suspended sentence, saying: ‘Although chronologically 18, it is quite clear from the reports that you are very naive and immature when it comes to sexual matters.’
Earlier Nottingham Crown Court heard that such crimes usually result in a four to seven-year prison sentence.
But the judge said that because Rashid was ‘passive’ and ‘lacking assertiveness’, sending him to jail might cause him ‘more damage than good’.
Rashid, from Birmingham, admitted he had sex with the girl, saying he had been ‘tempted by her’ after they met online.
They initially exchanged messages on Facebook before sending texts and chatting on the phone over a two-month period.
They then met up in Nottingham, where Rashid had booked a room at a Premier Inn.
The girl told police they stayed at the hotel for two hours and had sex after Rashid went to the bathroom and emerged wearing a condom.
Rashid then returned home and went straight to a mosque to pray. He was arrested the following week after the girl confessed what had happened to a school friend, who informed one of her teachers.
He told police he knew the girl was 13 but said he was initially reluctant to have sex before relenting after being seduced.
Earlier the court heard how Rashid had ‘little experience of women’ due to his education at an Islamic school in the UK, which cannot be named for legal reasons.
After his arrest, he told a psychologist that he did not know having sex with a 13-year-old was against the law. The court heard he found it was illegal only when he was informed by a family member.
In other interviews with psychologists, Rashid claimed he had been taught in his school that ‘women are no more worthy than a lollipop that has been dropped on the ground’.
When Judge Stokes said Rashid ‘must have known it was illegal, unless he was going round with his eyes shut’, defence lawyer Laban Leake said reports suggested Rashid had a ‘degree of sexual naivety’.
‘The school he attended, it is not going too far to say, can be described as a closed community and on this occasion this was perpetuated by his home life.
‘It is not too far to say that he may not have known that having sex with a 13-year-old girl was illegal.’ Judge Stokes sentenced Rashid to nine months youth custody, suspended for two years, along with a two-year probation supervision order.
Describing Rashid, the judge said: ‘He’s had an unusual education, certainly in terms of the sexual education provided. Comparing women to lollipops is a very curious way of teaching young men about sex.’
But he said that Rashid knew what he was doing was wrong.
‘It was made clear to you at the school you attended that having sexual relations with a woman before marriage was contrary to the precepts of Islam,’ he said.
Addressing Rashid, the judge said: ‘I accept this was a case where the girl was quite willing to have sexual activity with you. But the law is there to protect young girls, even though they are perfectly happy to engage in sexual activity.’
President Barack Obama’s administration is quietly offering a quasi-amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, while aiming to win reelection by mobilizing a wave of new Hispanic voters, say supporters of stronger immigration law enforcement.
The new rules were quietly announced Friday with a new memo from top officials at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The “prosecutorial discretion” memo says officials need not enforce immigration laws if illegal immigrants are enrolled in an education center or if their relatives have volunteered for the US military.
“They’re pushing the [immigration] agents to be even more lax, to go further in not enforcing the law,” said Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state. “At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and looking for work, this is more bad news coming from the Obama administration… [if the administration] really cared about putting Americans back to work, it would be vigorously enforcing the law,” said Kobach, who has helped legislators in several states draft local immigration-related laws.
“We think it is an excellent step,” said Laura Vasquez, at the racist, pro-illegal alien group, La Raza, which pushed for the policies, and which is working with other hate groups to register Hispanics to vote in 2012. “What’s very important is how the prosecutorial discretion memo is implemented” on the streets, she said.
The Hispanic vote could be crucial in the 2012 election, because the Obama campaign hopes to offset its declining poll ratings by registering new Hispanic voters in crucial swing states, such as Virginia and North Carolina.
To boost the Hispanic vote, the administration has enlisted support from Hispanic media figures, appointed an experienced Hispanic political operative to run the political side of the Obama reelection campaign, and has maintained close ties to Hispanic advocacy groups, including La Raza. For example, La Raza’s former senior vice president and lobbyist, Cecilia Munoz, was hired by the Obama administration as director of intergovernmental affairs in 2009.
On Friday, officials at ICE announced several new administrative changes to immigration enforcement.
The primary document was the six-page “prosecutorial discretion” memo, which provided new reasons for officials to not deport illegal immigrants.
“When weighing whether an exercise of prosecutorial discretion may be warranted for a given alien, ICE officials, agents and attorneys should consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to – the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States… particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child; the Person’s pursuit of education… whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative, has served in the U.S. military,” said the memo.
“The factors are extremely broad and very troubling … [it] look like a stealth DREAM Act enforcement through non-enforcement,” said Kobach.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act has been repeatedly rejected by Congress from 2001 to 2010. “The deliberate non-enforcement of our immigration laws in this administration certainly seems politically motivated,” said Kobach, adding “how exactly they expect to win votes by doing this is beyond me.”
On Friday, officials also announced a new advisory panel intended “to implement policies stopping the [deportation and] removal of individuals charged with, but not convicted of, minor traffic offenses who have no other criminal history or egregious immigration violations.”
Advocates for illegal aliens have long argued that police should not deport illegal aliens who are identified following a traffic violation. “It is not a crime to be be here illegally,” B. Loewe, a spokesman for the National Day Laborers Organizing Network wrongly claimed. “Local law-enforcement enforcing immigration laws is a bad idea.”
The agency also announced new training policies for immigration officials, a new policy to shield illegal aliens from deportation if they seek police protection during a domestic violence episode, and a new form to be given to detained illegal aliens which tells them they can’t be detained for more than 48 hours by state officials.
These announcements are solutions in search of a problem, said Vaughan. For example, illegal aliens who successfully show they are domestic violence victims already can get a “U Visa” under an established law, she said. “This is absolutely unheard of for a law enforcement agency to be told to practically apologize for doing its job” of enforcing the law,” she said.
The administration should end the “Secure Communities” program, which allows state and local police to detain illegals for subsequent deportation by federal authorities, said Loewe. “Secure Communities is an experiment they unleashed on the public without any safeguards or regulations… local law-enforcement of immigration laws is a bad idea,” the noted communist said.
Tougher enforcement of immigration laws shouldn’t be used to combat high unemployment among poor Americans, Loewe said. Instead, the government should start a major spending program to build schools and libraries, and levy taxes on major corporations. “When were talking about a drain on the economy,” he said, “we should look at the corporations that refuse to pay back their due.”
But the overall goal of the new memos is victory in the 2012 election, not law enforcement, said Vaughan. It is “kabuki theater… designed [by the administration] to send a signal to these groups that they are taking their concerns very seriously.”