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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Sec. Napolitano’s staff non-compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests results in lawsuit

Sec. Napolitano’s staff non-compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests results in lawsuit

LatinaLista — Janet Napolitano may be the new head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but recent actions emanating from DHS are proving that old habits die hard.

First, there was the worksite raid in Washington that Secretary Napolitano didn’t authorize and now is seeking a review .
Now comes accusations that DHS isn’t cooperating with a University of Texas law professor who has been requesting documents about the border fence.
DHS’ refusal to release the documents has spurred a lawsuit filed by a non-profit organization founded by none other than — Ralph Nader.


Public Citizen has filed a lawsuit against DHS on behalf of Professor Denise Gilman who requested documents to find out the exact location of where the border fence will be completed.
For an unknown reason, the DHS isn’t complying.

Denise Gilman, a clinical law professor at UT, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in April for records that would show where the fence would be built, including maps, surveys and appraisals of affected properties. She also requested information about the criteria for deciding where segments of the wall would be built and agency assessments of the impact of the wall on surrounding communities.
Almost a year later, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have not complied with Gilman’s request. Despite initial indications that the agencies possessed volumes of records responsive to Gilman’s request, the corps of engineers denied part of her request outright and released only a few documents with substantial redactions. DHS referred her entire request to CBP, which released a mere two redacted documents in December. On Jan. 30, CBP told Gilman that it was still processing her request despite a federal requirement that it respond to her April request within 20 days.

While Sec. Napolitano reviews how immigration policies are enforced, it looks like she will also have to take her staff to task for behaving like it’s 2008.
In an administration that prides itself on transparency and accountability, the behavior of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DHS staff are giving a black eye to an administration with a promising start.
Sec. Napolitano should demand immediate compliance and haul in those people who still feel they answer to no one but a bygone administration.

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Comment(19)

  • Avatar
    Lew Waters
    March 13, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Speaking of “old habits,” Marisa, since you felt it necessary to headline your post about the murderer of two students as a “Radical Republican,” pray tell, how would you label this immigrant who killed a two-year old in a hit and run while high on drugs?

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    March 13, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Lew, in my book, there’s a difference between someone, no matter how unbalanced, intentionally preys on certain individuals and someone who is under the influence who causes a horrific random death. There is no excuse for either but one is on a mission to accomplish his goal — the “Radical Republican” did not shoot through the window of any other apartment and police say he knew exactly where he was going — and someone who slips behind the wheel of a car and doesn’t care who he kills.
    So, there’s a big difference and if you can’t see that, it’s because you choose not to see it.

  • Avatar
    Lew Waters
    March 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for the answer, Marisa, it is pretty much what I expected to read.
    You see, while you admonish me, your own hatred and bigotry against those who hold a different political thought blinds you to the fact that the volunteering at a Republican Campaign office 5 years previously had no more to do with the murder of those two innocent students than does this other case of the driver being an immigrant (ILLEGAL or Otherwise) have anything to do with his being high on Cocaine and Marijuana when he ran down that 2 year-old and run off.
    In each case, you have despicable people that commit heinous acts, deliberately or otherwise.
    So, it isn’t that I choose not to see it, it is that your own hatred and bigotry blinds you to the fact that in essence, there really isn’t much difference in what happened other than how each killed.
    That you semi excuse the hit and run of the 2 year-old shows me that you and the murderer of those 2 students share the same thought process, only that your hatred has not driven you to kill any one.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    When posting articles about crimes committed, mentinoning their political party affiliation is totally irrelevant unless you have an agenda against one party or another. I guess some people will do anything to flame one party or another including trying to connect individual behavior to an entire party. And we thought the politicians themselves play dirty politics?

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 13, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Get real lew, How can you compare a nut job Radical Nut who has a mind set like Charles Manson who shoots 2 kids with a gun through a window to someone who was high and had an accident. I agree with Marisa their is no excuse for takeing drugs and driveing around high but their is no comparison here lew. You know what I say Lew. Lets close the borders and take out the drug cartels and get everyone out of the shadows and documented and start cracking down on the real crime but noooo!! you guys are obsessed with this rule of law stuff and think it is more important to punish some workers rather then getting a grip on our schools filled with drugs. But I understand; its more important to let private industry prisons take our money to lock up workers and meanwhile let all the gangs and druglords parade around a make money by selling kids drugs.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    “First, there was the worksite raid in Washington that Secretary Napolitano didn’t authorize and now is seeking a review.”
    Marisa, I believe that she said that she wasn’t aware of the raid. DHS is a vast organization, including several large organizations. I’m sure that she’s not aware of every operation from minute to minute. You don’t know enough about their procedures to comment on whether she should or should not have known about the raid or whether the people who conducted the raids did it on their delegated authority as law enforcment personnel, but you deign to talk as if you were an authority on the subject. You do this so often that it’s hard to believe that you are doing this unawares.
    Marisa, I think that Lew’s point is that you are deliberately exploiting an insane man to achieve your agenda of smearing the Republicans. Everyone except your sad sychophants see this to be the case.

  • Avatar
    Michaela
    March 14, 2009 at 12:53 am

    MaryE said:
    “Lets close the borders and take out the drug cartels and get everyone out of the shadows….”
    I agree with you even about the getting everyone out of the “shadows”. We need to get them out of the shadows and back to Mexico where they belong. If they are here illegally, then they need to get out period!
    MaryE says:
    “you guys are obsessed with this rule of law stuff…..”
    Are you freaking kidding me Mary? What an ignorant statement to make. Give me a break and grow up!

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    March 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

    The Obama administration does not admit that there is a problem on the border. Napalitano, is not aware that there is a real problem on the border. Both democrats.
    Why would Napalitano investigate ICE?
    The Democratic party continues with fabrications of hatred against Republicans to keep the ethnic vote. For no other reason than to coddle minorities into believing they will help. What the Democratic party is doing is buying votes, as they have always done. President Bush did nothing about open borders, Obama will do nothing, Napalitano will do nothing. The real problem with this is……….there will be no distinction between people that think they will be able to have a better life and druglords, that will be discrimination on the part of Democrats. You see the vote is what makes the difference, the vote, nothing else.
    Laws, like family values, are for our protection. Good people have to abide by laws they don’t neccesarily need as a protcetion from real criminals…….. like drug cartel.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    “you guys are obsessed with this rule of law stuff…..”
    Rule of law and equal protection under the law are exactly what makes the country great. That same “rule of law” assures that we have our freedom under the Bill Rights and why criminals are not permitted to roam the streets, but arrested and imprisoned. To make light of “rule of law” is to abandon public order to personal vendetta. Lack of “rule of law” is why Iraq and Mexico are run by corrupt politicians. Is it any wonder why the rest of us give any credence to the opinion of advocates like ME who lack respect for our nation’s founding principles. Obsessed with rule of law, yes and obsessed with opposing those who would abandon it to further their ethnocentric agendas.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Why call it on the Democrats? Wasnt Comprehensive immigration reform a joint effort? John Mccain our patriotic prisoner of war said. “They are all gods children”. Wasnt John Mccain a Republican?? lol-and if I recall…Didnt he win in the primary?? Yes you guys do obsess with this “Rule of Law” and you all have tons of imaginary friends that are on your side of the immigration issue. The truth is most Democrats and Republicans are sick of the same song and dance with “send 11.7 million out”. Everyone knows your game is…to try give us more of the same.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    ME, as we know you and yours game also and that is to fill up this country with as many Latinos as possible to gain political, numerical and cultural control of this country. Your agenda is based on ethnocentric racism. Ours is based on the rule of law which is what has made this country great. We have no problem with legal immigrants of any ethnicity. You are only advocating for Latino illegals and you know it. If these were millions of Chinese illegals instead, you would give a rat’s behind about them.

  • Avatar
    Chris
    March 17, 2009 at 6:02 am

    “They are all gods children”
    A true Christian would at least know that the Jehovah is spelled with a capital, “God.” While we’re all God’s children, the use of this description in such a manner cheapens it. Horace was right when he said that even Bin Laden is one of God’s children. A true Christian would understand that although Bin Laden is dangerous and sick man, he is one of God’s children. Being one of God’s children in this country does not make you immune to the jurisdiction of our laws. It is not license to commit crimes or to cross our borders without being expelled. Those who would use the “God’s children” rationale to exploit religion as an excuse for lawlessness and the denial of the right of Americans to defend their country. Americans citizens have the right to decide who may and may not enter and who may stay. Anyone who denies this is a poor excuse for an American.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    If you are a Jehovah witness I feel sorry for you because your group segregates christians putting yourself above everyone else and your religion has revised what it is to be a christian. “We are all God’s children”. that is true despite our disagreements on the immigration issue. Can’t wait to tell Jenny this one over lunch. Jenny is the kindess girl and my inspiration and she has much faith in “God”. She is pro-immigration reform and so is her church and she always tells me judge and you will be judged or something like that. I am not a true Christian but I have attended church with Jenny and she inspires me to learn more and be better everyday. We will have to forgive you in prayer for makeing a judgement on my faith because I forgot to capitalize my G.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    “If you are a Jehovah witness I feel sorry for you because your group segregates christians putting yourself above everyone else and your religion has revised what it is to be a christian.”
    No, I’m not. Your religious bigotry is showing, ME.
    If you actually cared for illegal immigrants you’d be working with a missionary group in Mexico and doing what the Mexican government is failing to do for the 80 million who remain in that country. People like you prefer the easy route, however, and blame our country and put the burden of millions of illegal aliens on Americans, instead of Mexico, where it would be more appropriate.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    As shown on you-tube in Coza Meza, CA.their are many people in this country that do not care for more of the same on all issues….so get prepared Horace…Religious, Democrat, Republican, or Bi-partisan…most people today are standing behind our President Obama and trusting him when it comes to real CHANGE in America to bring us a system that works.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 21, 2009 at 7:37 am

    ME, it is Costa Mesa not Coza Meza.
    Right, we don’t want anymore economic downturn and we want to bring our soldiers home from Iraq and put an end to that war. We want healthcare reform and jobs created for Americans. That is the kind of change that “most” Americans agree on but if you are insinuating that wanted change also includes ending immigration enforcement, not securing our borders and rewarding illegal aliens with amnesty, you are sadly mistaken.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 24, 2009 at 12:12 am

    You are sadly mistaken Sandra. Americans want CHANGE and they want reform in all ways and that includes immigration reform. Americans know that the magnet that caused job loss in certain areas of the country are companys that had access to a slave workforce. In some parts of the country the undocumented are paid more than minimum wage because Americans do not want those jobs. This varies from state to state. Americans are tired of a broken immigration system that gives us a workforce that is not consistent across the country. Americans do not want more of the same…they realise the last 8 years did not work!! Also, Sandra…when you are losing your argument I notice you have to call names at people and pick on silly things like the spelling of a word…when you do that you expose your insecuritys. Get ready Sandra…CHANGE is comming!

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    ME, and of course you have proof of your assertions about what most Americans want? I bet to differ. Most Americans do not want the kind of CIR that Hispanics are suggesting. They may want some changes but no blanket amnesty as Hispanics want.
    Our immigration system is not broken for the most part. Our immigration laws just weren’t enforced and our borders not secured as promised in 1986.
    Right, I don’t want 8 more years of Bush type policies either nor do most Americans but remember he wanted amnesty for these illegals. So I don’t know what change you are talking about in regards to illegal immigration. Immigration issues are decided in congress anyway, not by the president.
    I wasn’t losing any argument with you. That would be impossible. Correcting you on the spelling of a town not far from me was not meant to be demeaning. Just who was the one who came in here initially hurling insults around, ME? Look in the mirror and look up your old posts, hypocrite!
    I am completely secure in my views on illegal immigration. I have our laws, facts and figures and common sense on my side. What do you have? Just your ethnocentric racism, thats all.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Sandra…You mentioned the Senate..Comprehensive immigration reform is most likely comming. You want to talk numbers? First of all the house is majority Democrat so reform will fly through the house and Pelosi will wave her magic wand. Now…lets look at the Congress. When Bush tried to pass it he was disliked not only by the Dems but also by Republicans. This time around the Dems have bigger numbers in the Senate and in the prior election Hispanics brought 44 additional electorial votes to Obama. If republicans went against the reform bill it would be political suicide for future elections…for they will lose the last of the hispanic vote they have. As for the numbers in the Senate…this time around more Dems will support the bill because Obama is president and for the Republicans there are enough Senators that are from liberal states to push the bill through.(The tricky part is all about which senators are running for re-election and are there voters liberal, moderate or conservative to the right). This could be debated but if you look at the Senate numbers and facts you will see that most likely the bill should pass. If you remember last time…as unpopular as Bush was he actually almost passed it and many who opposed it already ran for re-election. The last time around 15 democrats voted against it but this time I doubt you will see that again..most of them will support Obama. Id have to look back at the numbers…but I believe it didn’t pass by 6 votes in the senate?? and if someone has the numbers on this please post it. Last night I spoke to a Councilman at a political party and insiders are saying the stockmarket is going to continue to go up slowly showing significant recovery late summer. Well, nothing here is guarenteed but; I believe immigration reform will come to the plate after we finish health care reform and when the economy starts to get better. All of this is timeing and right now Obama is popular with the majority of America.

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