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  1. #1
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    Dems blast Bush adm. for targeting workers in raids

    Lofgren made a fool of herself on Lou's show today in my opinion. She kept saying those who used SS#s that were made up and didn't belong to anyone weren't guilty of identity theft. MAYBE NOT, BUT IT'S STILL FRAUD AND STILL A FELONY!

    Democrats blast Bush administration for targeting workers, not employers, in immigration raids

    Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose. Associated Press file photo...

    (07-24) 16:10 PDT Washington - -- Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, blasted the Bush administration today for conducting what Democrats described as harsh and punitive immigration raids, calling special attention to a raid at a kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa last May where nearly 400 illegal workers, mainly Guatemalans, were arrested in the largest worksite immigration raid in U.S. history.

    Lofgren, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, said at a hearing on the raid that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rounded up workers at the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, and then they were "herded into a cattle arena and prodded down a cattle chute, coerced into guilty pleas and then to federal prison."

    In all, 306 illegal immigrants ultimately were charged with Social Security fraud for using illegal Social Security numbers, and also a higher offense, aggravated identity theft, which carried two-year mandatory minimum sentence. The government offered a plea bargain to dismiss the identity theft charge in return for their admission to the lesser offense, which gave them a five-month sentence and order of removal.

    Lofgren and other Democrats on the panel accused the administration of targeting workers instead of employers in what has become a major enforcement crackdown on illegal immigration since the collapse last year of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would have eased legalization requirements. The overhaul was backed by President Bush and most Democrats, and opposed by most Republicans. It died in the Senate in June 2007.

    At the time, the administration was widely criticized by members of both parties for years of lax immigration enforcement. When the immigration overhaul effort failed, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said he had no alternative but to enforce existing law. He proceeded to administer a wide ranging crackdown, both at the border and with high-profile raids of employers known to hire large numbers of illegal immigrants.

    Arrests have been on a sharp rise, from just 176 criminal and 1,116 administrative arrests in 2005, to 863 criminal and 4,077 administrative arrests in 2007. That number is set to rise again this year; as of this month, the immigration enforcement agency, commonly known as ICE, has made 949 criminal arrests and more than 3,500 administrative arrests. Of the criminal arrests, the agency said 105 are of owners, managers and supervisors of the offending businesses.

    Administration officials from the enforcement agency and the Justice Department staunchly defended the Postville raid, saying immigrants were given legal counsel and humanitarian assistance and efforts were to avoid separating parents from their children. They said 62 immigrants were released on humanitarian grounds.

    Marcy Forman, director of investigations for the immigration enforcement agency, said "continued aggressive enforcement is establishing a culture of immigration compliance in America."

    Deborah Rhodes, a senior associate deputy attorney general representing the Justice Department, said the "vast majority - hundreds" of those arrested at the Postville plant had stolen identities.

    The agency said Immigrant advocacy groups have roundly condemned the raids, and Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said such raids would never be tolerated by non-Latino ethnic groups.

    "When dealing with Anglo identity theft suspects, is federal law enforcement going to start cordoning off white neighborhoods or workplaces, handcuffing and detaining everyone, and only then sorting out the accused?" Conyers asked. What about in the African-American neighborhoods? Or on Indian reservations? Would anyone be shocked if such indiscriminate sweeps resulted in an immediate and loud response?"

    Lofgren said the immigration raids interfered with an ongoing Labor Department investigation of working conditions and labor law violations at the plant. She said little effort was made to punish those who maliciously stole identities, and said most workers at the Postville plan "apparently had no idea what a social security number or card even was. It may have been the employer tagging them with the number so it could hire them." She also said there was only one defense lawyer assigned to groups of 17 defendants and the whole legal process was rushed through in a way that may have violated due process. "The crushing power of the state is constrained by the Constitution," Lofgren said.

    Rhodes said two supervisors at the plant had been arrested and that the investigation into the employer's role was continuing.

    Lofgren also charged the administration with going after "busboys and nannies" instead of focusing on illegal immigrants involved in drug cartels.

    Republicans on the committee were more interested in the growing problem of identity theft, in which illegal workers use valid but stolen Social Security numbers from legal workers to obtain employment.

    Rep. Dan Lundgren, R- Sacramento, pointed to the increased presence of illegal workers in the construction industry as evidence that they are taking jobs that legal workers, especially young African American males, would be willing to fill. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex, called the hearing "curious," saying, "It seems to me that the more the administration tries to do its job" on worksite enforcement "the more they are criticized for enforcing the law."

    The issue promises to remain at a stalemate until the next president takes office. After roiling Congress last year, immigration has played a much smaller role in the current presidential election than might have been expected because both candidates, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, and Republican Sen. John McCain, supported the effort to expand avenues to legal immigration. McCain was a co-sponsor of the failed effort to rewrite the law last year and came under heavy attack from his own party for doing so. He has since promised to focus first on enforcement, but has not abandoned his promise to push for a wider overhaul. Obama has promised to take up immigration during his first year in office should he win, but the issue is full of thorns, practical and political, and promises to be a headache for whoever tackles it.

    E-mail Carolyn Lochhead at clochhead@sfchronicle.com
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... .DTL&tsp=1

  2. #2
    Senior Member vmonkey56's Avatar
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    ICE ARE YOU WORKING ALL DAY - EVERY DAY

    Some people just do not understand how many years of a backlog you have on simply catching the illegal criminals.

    But some Americans are criminals, too.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member WorriedAmerican's Avatar
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    I liked that kitty kept telling her it was true!

    She usually makes me mad when she doesn't have a follow up to the people spouting crap.
    If Palestine puts down their guns, there will be peace.
    If Israel puts down their guns there will be no more Israel.
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    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
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    Lofgren is just ANOTHER DEMOCRAT ILLEGAL ALIEN LOVER.

    Lofgren has alot of nerve appearing on national tv mocking federal immigration and fraud laws like they mean nothing. I shought she took an oath. Read up Lofgren.


    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 > § 1028Prev | Next § 1028. Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information. http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1028.html
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

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    Senior Member SeaTurtle's Avatar
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    comprehensive immigration overhaul that would have eased legalization requirements.
    That gets the understatement of the year award.
    The flag flies at half-mast out of grief for the death of my beautiful, formerly-free America. May God have mercy on your souls.
    RIP USA 7/4/1776 - 11/04/2008

  6. #6
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    Expedited Trials of Illegal Immigrants Are Questioned


    By Spencer S. Hsu
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, July 25, 2008; Page A09

    Criminal defense and immigration lawyers yesterday challenged the government's use of expedited trials to convict 306 illegal immigrant workers at a meat processing plant in Iowa in May, arguing that fast-tracked group trials violated defendants' rights.

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, said after a day-long hearing that she found the Justice Department's actions against workers at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa, "to be unusual and provocative, and I do have questions about whether they meet the requirements of due process that is guaranteed in our Constitution."

    A Justice Department official, Deborah J. Rhodes, said all defendants were provided with criminal defense lawyers and interpreters, as well as access to immigration lawyers and consular officials. Federal judges also asked them and their lawyers if they understood and voluntarily agreed to the terms, she said.

    "While the scope of the case presented unusual challenges, defendants' constitutional rights were carefully protected and exercised," Rhodes said.
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    The hearings focused attention on the aftermath of the Agriprocessors raid, the largest immigration sweep at a single worksite, and on the Bush administration's expanding use of criminal charges against illegal immigrants. Previously, illegal workers were generally held on administrative grounds and deported.

    Erik Camayd-Freixas, one of 12 court interpreters who participated in the two-week Iowa proceedings, called them a dangerous pilot effort that subjected defendants to unfounded charges, denied them access to bail because of their immigration status, gave lawyers too little time to advise their clients and deprived judges of a meaningful role in plea deals or sentencing.

    The government convicted and sentenced most defendants in four days at temporary court and detention facilities set up at nearby cattle show fairgrounds.

    Defendants, most from Guatemala, were processed in groups of 10. Most were charged with aggravated identity theft with the promise of at least a six-month stay in jail until trial, a mandatory two-year prison sentence if found guilty and deportation whether they were found guilty or not. Or they could plead guilty to a lesser charge of document fraud, serve five months in prison and be deported.

    Most agreed to the latter, even though six U.S. circuit courts of appeal have split evenly over the question of whether aggravated identity theft requires that the government prove a defendant knows the person whose identity or Social Security number he has taken.

    "If our honorable judges had known how this dubious experiment would have turned out, they never would have allowed it," Camayd-Freixas said.

    Homeland Security and Justice Department officials credit the new aggressive tactics with deterring border crossings. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee accused Democrats of caring more about illegal immigrants than the American workers whose jobs they take. "The more the administration tries to do its job . . . the more they are criticized for enforcing the law," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.).

    http://tinyurl.com/5mdydk

  7. #7
    MW
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    Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex, called the hearing "curious," saying, "It seems to me that the more the administration tries to do its job" on worksite enforcement "the more they are criticized for enforcing the law."
    Rep. Smith would be correct. The more the law is enforced, the louder the screams from the pro-illegal advocates, including those in the U.S. Congress (mostly Democrats).

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  8. #8
    lateone's Avatar
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    I think it is a mistake to simply blame "this Democrat" or "that Republican" for the current mess this country is in . Just because "this Democrat" has a big mouth on public television does'nt mean he is any more dangerous than "that Republican" who is quietly voting for a gigantic increase in farmworkers or H1-B's behind closed doors. They need to be addressed on an individual basis - not on some irrelavent party line loyalty that completely ignores reality.

  9. #9
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    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, said after a day-long hearing that she found the Justice Department's actions against workers at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa, "to be unusual and provocative, and I do have questions about whether they meet the requirements of due process that is guaranteed in our Constitution."
    "Due process" and "Constitutional protections!" These people are in this country illegally committing identity theft/fraud. Far as i'm concerned, they got every "due process" and "Constitutional protection" they were entitled to.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
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    I don't especially care if the number is stolen, made up or doesn't exist - it's AGAINST THE LAW to work here if you're here ILLEGALLY. As has been said many, many times here - what part of illegal don't these people understand.
    "A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow

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