Category Archives: Politics

Political discussions from the far Left to the far Right and everything in between.

Immigration Mistakenly Deports Dallas Teen to Colombia

January 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM ET – DALLAS – “It’s very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said. She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien. “Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said. “It’s all I can think about. Finding my baby.”

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce. Turner searched for months for a clue. “God just kept leading me,” she said. “I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her.”

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place – Colombia. Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

“They didn’t do their work,” Turner said. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?”

News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest. So ICE officials stepped in.

News 8 has learned ICE took the girl’s fingerprints, but somehow didn’t confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her. “She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” Turner said.

Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down. U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up. But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won’t release her, despite her family’s request. “I feel like she will come home,” the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “I just need help and prayer.”

There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.

“ICE takes these allegations very seriously,” said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. ” At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case.”

Source by Rebecca Lopez for WFAA

Jakadrien Turner deported

Hypocrite Michele Bachmann Mocks Obama yet Reads Cue Cards

December 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM EST – Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was caught red-handed reading from prepared notes, on the heels of mocking Barack Obama’s use of teleprompters. Bachmann has gone on record to claim that there would be “no teleprompters in the Bachmann White House.”

The following photo of Bachmann’s aids was snapped at the Pizza Ranch in Boone, Iowa on Friday, as Michele was unable to remember the details of her visit without assistance.

Michele Bachmann teleprompter hypocrisy

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Kicked Out of Immigration Enforcement Program

12/16/11 at 4:42 AM – Hours after the release of a Justice Department report that said that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio fueled a culture of anti-Latino bias in his office, the Department of Homeland Security said it was kicking him out of an immigration enforcement program.

Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday the department is ending an agreement with the Maricopa County sheriff’s office that allowed trained deputies to enforce immigration laws.

It’s also restricting the office’s use of the Secure Communities program, which uses fingerprints collected in local jails to identify undocumented immigrants.

Napolitano’s announcement came shortly after the Justice Department released a scathing report accusing Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office of committing a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos.

The report, which includes findings from a three-year investigation by the federal agency, says the Arizona sheriff’s office engaged in a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination, and carried out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is nothing short of appalling,” said Dan Werner, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Sadly, though, the Department of Justice’s findings of serious constitutional violations are not surprising given his celebrity status among those who have been peddling and successfully passing unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws in several states.”

Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio’s office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff’s anti-public corruption squad.

The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff’s immigration efforts damage trust with the Hispanic community and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren’t followed up on or investigated at all.

The civil rights said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos and that the agency’s immigration policies treat Latinos as if they are all in the country illegally.

A review done as part of the investigation found that 20 percent of traffic reports handled by Arpaio’s immigrant-smuggling squad from March 2006 to March 2009 were stops — almost all involving Latino drivers — that were done without reasonable suspicion. The squad’s stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.

Meanwhile, calls for Arpaio’s removal from office have grown louder in recent weeks.

Critics of Arpaio say he must be forced out for failing to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases in the county, inappropriately spending $103 million from two jail funds over an eight-year period for other operations and leading failed corruption investigations against county officials who were at odds with the sheriff.

This story is based on reporting by The Associated Press.

Source Article at Fox News Latino

Sheriff Joe Arpaio racial profiling

Rick Perry Can’t Remember Judge Sotomayor’s Name

12/9/11 – Echoing his devastating “oops” moment in an earlier GOP debate, Republican and Texas Governor Rick Perry forgot the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in an interview today with the Des Moines Register editorial board. He had to be assisted by a reporter who offered the jurist’s name.

Rick Perry Can't Remember Judge Sotomayor's Name

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Allegedly Ignored Sex Crimes

Already criticized for what many consider to be racist legal practices against illegal immigrants, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has recently come under fire for allegedly botching a number of sex crime cases. Critics have found a possible pattern of sex crime victims being ignored when they are Hispanic.

12/4/11 EL MIRAGE, Ariz. (AP) — The 13-year-old girl opened the door of her home in this small city on the edge of Phoenix to encounter a man who said that his car had broken down and he needed to use the phone. Once inside, the man pummeled the teen from behind, knocking her unconscious and sexually assaulting her.

Seven months before, in an apartment two miles away, another 13-year-old girl was fondled in the middle of the night by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. She woke up in her room at least twice a week to find him standing over her, claiming to be looking for her mother’s cell phone.

Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio’s office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff’s office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.

The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to a department whose sheriff is the self-described “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue.

Brian Sands, a top sheriff’s official who is in charge of the potential discipline of any responsible employees, was later made available to talk about the cases. He declined to say why they weren’t investigated. “There are policy violations that have occurred here,” Sands said. “It’s obvious, but I can’t comment on who or what.”

Arpaio’s office was under contract to provide police services in El Mirage as the city struggled with its then dysfunctional department. After the contract ended and El Mirage was re-establishing its own police operation, the city spent a year sifting through layers of disturbingly incomplete casework.

El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird, who reviewed some the investigations, learned from a sheriff’s summary of 50 to 75 cases files he picked up from Arpaio’s office that an overwhelming majority of them hadn’t been worked.

That meant there were no follow-up reports, no collection of additional forensic evidence and zero effort made after the initial report of the crime was taken.

Arpaio acknowledged his office had completed an internal probe into the inadequate investigations, but said, “I don’t think it’s right to get into it until we get to the bottom of this and see if there’s disciplinary action against any employees.”

A small number of cases from El Mirage were handed over to prosecutors, but the El Mirage Police Department said most were no longer viable — evidence dating as far back as 2006 had grown cold or wasn’t collected in the first place, victims had either moved away or otherwise moved on.

Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff’s contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio’s office — and not by individual investigators.

Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants — who are often transient and fear the police — were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations. He said some cases also involved families here legally.

Although a small number of El Mirage officers continued working there during the period, Arpaio brought in patrol officers and detectives and managers who ran the department.

El Mirage police files obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests establish a pattern of sex-crimes not actually being investigated after the crimes were reported to Arpaio’s office.

The string of unresolved cases left Elizabeth Ditlevson, deputy director for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, shaking her head. “My impressions were anger at the system and concern for the people whose cases weren’t addressed,” she said.

According to both Sands and Scott Freeman, a sheriff’s official who heard complaints from then-El Mirage Police Chief Mike Frazier about the quality of the sex-crimes investigations, more than 400 cases countywide had to be reopened. Freeman told outside investigators examining alleged managerial misconduct at Arpaio’s office that a number of arrests were made in the reopened cases.

In their follow-up on the case of the 13-year-old attacked by the man claiming to have a broken car, El Mirage police discovered Arpaio’s office hadn’t interviewed the victim.

An El Mirage detective went to the girl’s home just off the city’s main drag. The girl’s uncle said she and her mother weren’t around and took the investigator’s card with a promise to ask them to call.

The mother never called back. She and her daughter’s whereabouts are unknown.

The case of the molested 3-year-old was returned to El Mirage police unworked five months after the initial report. The family’s beige tract home was deserted, the phone disconnected.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio racist

Article by Jacques Billeaud for the AP

Did Wyclef Jean Steal Haiti Charity Money?

12/27/11 – In the months following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a charity run by hip-hop star Wyclef Jean spent a pittance of the money it took in on disaster relief and doled out millions in questionable contracts.

Yele Haiti’s coffers swelled to $16 million in 2010, the most the charity had ever received. But less than a third of that went to emergency efforts, and $1 million was paid to a Florida firm that doesn’t seem to exist, The Post has learned.

Jean’s charity, which he founded in 2005 with his cousin Jerry Duplessis, was already troubled when the earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. The Post reported in 2008 that it had never filed a required tax form detailing its spending with the IRS.

The group lost $244,000 in 2009. But hours after the earthquake hit, Jean took to Twitter to beg for $5 donations. An avalanche of donations poured in.

Almost immediately, allegations surfaced that the former Fugees singer had used the charity’s cash for his own benefit. Critics found that four years earlier Yele Haiti had steered $250,000 to a Haitian TV station controlled by Jean and Duplessis.

Jean held a Jan. 18, 2010, press conference to tearfully defend Yele Haiti’s reputation.

“Have we made mistakes before? Yes,” Jean said. “Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefits? Absolutely not. Yele’s books are open and transparent.”

The earthquake killed between 200,000 and 300,000 Haitians and left a million homeless. The country is still in the grip of a cholera epidemic.

For all the desperation, records show that Yele Haiti spent just $5.1 million for emergency relief efforts, including food and water delivery to makeshift survivor camps, according to a review of the charity’s 2010 tax filings, which were obtained by The Post.

Yele Haiti paid five contractors to accomplish its goals, including P&A Construction — which received $353,983 and is run by Warnel Pierre, the brother of Jean’s wife, Claudinette.

A purported Miami business called Amisphere Farm Labor Inc. received a whopping $1,008,000 as a “food distributor.”

No trace of the company could be found last week in the Sunshine State, but records show the company’s head, Amsterly Pierre, bought three properties in Florida last year, including a condo in an upscale waterfront community.

The firm incorporated in August 2008 but never filed any of the subsequent financial paperwork required to do business in Florida, according to the Florida Department of State.

The address listed for the business is an auto-repair shop in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, where a worker said he had never heard of Pierre or Amisphere. Pierre did not return a call for comment.

Yele Haiti also paid $577,185 to a company called Samosa SA, based in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, as a “bulk water supplier.” But some of that money went to rent a house for Yele Haiti volunteers on Samosa’s property at the inflated price of $35,000 a month.

“Given the fact that Yele Haiti was involved in a swirl of controversy after the earthquake in Haiti, it’s all the more reason to be more transparent to ensure donors that their funds are going to help people,” said the Better Business Bureau’s Bennett Weiner.

Jean and most of the board left Yele in the summer of 2010. Derek Johnson is the new director.

“It’s a clean slate now,” he said.

Source Article at the New York Post

Wyclef Jean issued a formal response:

I started Yele in 2005 because I wanted to help people that were helpless in my home country of Haiti. People who didn’t have a voice, people who didn’t have resources, people who had mostly been forgotten. Since Yele launched six years ago we have helped close to half a million people. I will always love and serve the Haitian people until the day I die.

The NY Post piece entitled, “Questions Dog Wyclef’s Haiti Fund” is misleading, deceptive and incomplete. The Post conveniently fails to acknowledge that the decisions that Yele made were a response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response. There were no roads, no clean water, no sanitation, no banks, no electricity, no infrastructure. Immediate decisions were made to save lives and alleviate suffering. We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions. We did the best we could with the available resources. I am proud of the way that Yele handled the crisis on the ground in 2010. We were able to feed, clothe, provide medical assistance and shelter for more than 250 thousand people in need.

What the article doesn’t say is that the construction projects funded by Yele Haiti were responsible for rebuilding an orphanage, building a temporary assistance facility, and had constructed a system of out door toilet and shower facilities in Cite Soliel one of the largest slums in Port-au-Prince.

The Post never highlights that Amisphere Farm Labor was responsible for preparing and delivering close to 100,000 meals. The Samosa SA property referenced by the Post was located in the vicinity of the largest tent camps in Port-au-Prince. Yele chose that location because it was closest to
the people it needed serve.

All of these facts as well as photos and testimonials were readily available to the Post for their story. Unfortunately, they chose not to include these facts and instead chose to imply that Yele “squandered” donors money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, the percentage of funds used is consistent with NGOs and Not For Profits operating in Haiti at the time. I have acknowledged that Yele has made mistakes in the past, including being late in IRS filings, but that is old news. When I entered politics last summer, I transitioned from being a board member and chairman of Yele Haiti to a supporter. The new and good news is that Yele under new leadership, despite efforts to undermine its credibility and effectiveness, continues its mission to serve people in need.

– Wyclef Jean

Source Article

did Wyclef Jean steal Haiti money

Police Pepper Spray 84 Year Old Woman in Seattle

11/16/11 – Seattle photographer Joshua Trujillo captured what may become the defining image of this week of Occupy unrest — an elderly woman being led away from the mayhem, her face covered with pepper spray. A pregnant woman and a priest were also hit with pepper spray during a march on Tuesday night.

The Seattle branch of the Occupy movement, which has been camped out near Seattle Central Community College, held the march in support of the New York camp, which faced a day long eviction battle with the city yesterday. On Monday, Occupy Oakland was the scene of another attempt by police to drive campers out of a city park. There were reports that both Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Cal (on the Berkeley campus of the University of California) are being raided on Wednesday morning. The week of police crackdown comes amid reports that the federal government and is coordinating with multiple on legal strategies that can shut down the Occupy protests.

The woman in the picture is not just any elderly woman, however, as she is well known to Seattle residents. Dorli Rainey is a former school teacher who has been active in local politics since the 1960s. In 2009, she ran for mayor, but eventually dropped out by saying, “I am old and should learn to be old, stay home, watch TV and sit still.” We guess she didn’t learn.

Rainey emailed The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative paper, to say she stopped by the march to see what was happening when her group got pinned in by police and nearly trampled in the chaos.

Source Article by Dashiell Bennett – The Atlantic Wire

Dorli Rainey pepper spray

Video – Judge William Adams Beats Disabled Daughter

11/1/11: Republican judge William Adams of Aransas County (Texas) beats his teenage daughter, who has had cerebral palsy since birth, for downloading video games online.

Warning, this video is graphic, and may offend some viewers. Help spread this video and prevent this type of blatant child abuse.

Judge William Adams Beats Disabled Daughter