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  1. #1
    Senior Member controlledImmigration's Avatar
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    Aug 2007

    Arizona wire transfer investigation blocked

    Illegal Immigration: Arizona wire transfer investigation blocked

    September 12, 2007

    PHOENIX — State prosecutors investigating suspected money laundering by immigrant smugglers were dealt a blow when an appeals court voided an attempt to gather information on money transfers into northern Mexico.

    In a ruling released Tuesday, the Arizona Court of Appeals annulled a lower court’s order that Western Union Financial Services provide information on wire transfers of $300 or more from any of its worldwide locations into the northern Mexican state of Sonora for a three-year period.

    The appeals court said the information requested by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office wasn’t justified and that the prosecutors failed to establish a tie between Arizona and a large number of the locations in Mexico.

    The case, however, is headed back to the lower court, which is to decide whether any remaining element of the order should stand.

    Spokeswomen for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Western Union didn’t have immediate comment on the ruling, saying comments may come at a later time.

    In January, a different judge struck down the first effort by prosecutors in Arizona to seize suspected immigrant smuggling money flowing from other American states into northern Mexico.

    The judge ruled the effort was unconstitutional and barred prosecutors from seizing money that wasn’t sent to or received in the state.

    For several years, prosecutors had used special court orders that allowed them to seize $17 million in wire transfers flowing to Arizona that authorities said were payments to smugglers.

    Prosecutors said their previous efforts were so successful that smugglers began to route their payments from other American states to Mexico, even as traffickers continued to sneak people in through Arizona. Authorities responded by trying to seize money transfers going into the Mexican state of Sonora.

    Western Union, the biggest wire transfer company in Arizona, challenged the foray into Mexico, saying state prosecutors had no power to interfere with transfers into another country and that the company reports suspicious transfers.

  2. #2
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    May 2007
    Federal judges have become the new best friends of illegal immigrants.

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