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Government how-to manual on expediting guilty pleas from undocumented immigrants uncovered by ACLU

LatinaLista — This week, we learned from a Justice Department report that the White House interfered in the hiring of immigration judges by politicizing the hires. In other words, if the candidates met the conservative criteria or were recommended by Republican members of Congress, they were hired. If they were determined to be liberal or Democrats, they were shown the door.

This month we learned from federal translator Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas, who worked the Postville raid in May 2008, and who reported his eyewitness observations last week to Congress before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law, that there were some “irregularities” in the judicial system in Postville.
Among the most blatant were:

1. The court failed to maintain a physical separation and operational independence from the ICE prosecution.
2. There was inadequate access to legal counsel.
3. The court failed to provide a level playing field for the (centralized) prosecution and the (fragmented) defense.
4. At initial appearance there was no meaningful presumption of innocence.
5. Many defendants did not appear to understand their rights, particularly the meaning and consequences of waiving their right to be indicted by a grand jury.
6. There was no bail hearing, as bail was automatically denied pursuant to an immigration detainer.
7. The heavier charge of aggravated identity theft, used to leverage the Plea Agreement, was lacking in foundation and never underwent the judicial test of probable cause.
8. Many defendants did not appear to understand their charges or rights, insisting that they were in jail for being in the country illegally (and not for document fraud or identity theft), and insisting that they had no rights.
9. Many defendants did not know what a Social Security Number is or what purpose it serves. Because “intent” was an element of each of the charges, many were probably not guilty, but had no choice but to plead out.
10. The denial of bail, the inflated charge, and the leveraged Plea Agreement combined to create, for the many sole providers whose families were put in jeopardy, a situation of duress under which the pleas were obtained. Under these circumstances, the pleas, in many cases, may have been coerced.
11. At sentencing, the judges had no discretion to administer justice, as they were presented with a binding and coerced Plea Agreement.

And today, we learn that the irregularities that occurred in the Postville courts, to which Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas testified to before Congress, were premeditated and came complete — with a how-to manual.

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union were able to get a hold of the government “manual” that was issued to defense lawyers representing the undocumented immigrant workers apprehended and prosecuted in Postville.
As Dr. Camayd-Freixas so expertly noted, there was purposeful disregard for the judicial process. What the federal translator didn’t realize was that it was all scripted.
The manual contained “prepackaged scripts for plea and sentencing hearings as well as documents providing for guilty pleas and waivers of rights that were used to push the more than 300 Postville workers through mass criminal proceedings as quickly as possible.”
According to the ACLU analysis of the manual:

The government “manual” provided for the workers to waive all their legal rights and in the overwhelming majority of cases, to plead guilty to charges of falsely using identity documents for employment. It was an important tool used to rush defendants through the criminal justice and immigration systems without a criminal trial or immigration proceedings. The plea forms in the “manual” included a requirement barring immigrants from pursuing any legal claims or procedures under the immigration laws.

The revelation of this manual implies that the same “code of conduct” is being applied to apprehended undocumented immigrants in makeshift courts across the country in order to expedite their removal. Yet, the question begs to be asked: Why the hurry?
Why is it necessary to traumatize families by separating them and not allowing them to have contact with each other after apprehension?
Why is it necessary to deny due process to illiterate immigrants who cannot seriously be considered threats to national security?
Why is it necessary to disregard the foundation of the U.S. justice system — “innocent until proven guilty?
Why is our (immigration) judicial system working hand-in-hand with ICE when it should maintain its independence from that entity?
Why is it necessary to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on whole families who otherwise were living non-criminal, peaceful and productive lives?
Why is it necessary to have to ask the federal government to explain itself?

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  • Evelyn
    August 1, 2008 at 3:19 am

    The constitution declares even the Government is not above the law.
    How can they get away with fact they are guilty of violating peoples rights.

  • juancarodster
    August 1, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Did you read through this manual? Quite frankly, this is making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m a former federal prosecutor and defendants are routinely given these types of forms (indictment waivers, detention waivers, consent to plead before magistrate, etc.) everytime they walk into magisrate court. The rest of the docs in the manual recite the criminal elements of the offenses with which the defendants are charged. There are also copies of the applicable statutes. Quite frankly, I think the use of this manual is both efficient and fair. It allows the defendant’s attorney to have all the information up front about the criminal charges. It also shows eveyone involved what the government position is and where the proceeding is going. There is no hiding the ball from the defendant, so to speak.
    As for the speed of these hearings and the creation of makeshift courts, are you aware that along the southwest border for years it routinely occurred that alien defendants charged with violating the immigration laws were processed through group hearings comprised of 25 defendants or more? What’s new is the expansion of these proceedings to areas north of the border.
    Furthermore, because they are in the midst of criminal proceeding, all of these defendants were appointed counsel. If they pleaded guilty without adequately understanding the charges, or without actually being guilty, then where are the complaints against the defense attorneys for not doing their job and standing up for their clients’ best interests? Where are the ACLU lawyers? Why don’t they take these cases pro bono and slow the process down by asking for bail hearings and fighting the charges?
    Finally, let me say that I too disagree with this whole process. I think the charges are cowardly and are meant mostly to just garner a quick conviction. That doesn’t mean I think that the charges are unfounded. If you read over the elements and law in the manual again, I think it’s clear that the government has a case and would likely prevail if forced to prosecute its charges. The intent element that you comment on is not as steep of a burden that you make it out to be.
    That these people can be charged with these offenses is a different question, however, from whether they should be so charged. I don’t think they should be charged in this manner and think that the charges are chickenshit. Still, it’s intellectually dishonest to suggest that the charges are unfounded.

  • Evelyn
    August 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Horace : said
    There’s nothing to indicate in any of your discussion that this was a plot to deny immigrants rule of law. Once again you stretch an issue to serve your own ends, open borders and the obstruction of the “rule of law”. You are obviously unable to comment objectively and fairling on issues pertaining to Latino illegal aliens.
    Publius : said
    While this may be questionable and even illegal political patronage, Horace is correct in his statement that you do not provide convincing evidence that this is a case of travesty of “rule of law” and a plot against against illegal immigrants. Simply saying so does not make it a fact.
    Now what do you have to say? YOO HOO where are you? Gee, the silence is deafening in here. Where did every racest go? Yooo Hoooooo!

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Juan, Thank you for your honest analysis. After reading your response, I have to say I do agree with you. To clarify my implication that these charges are unfounded is definitely from a moral standpoint rather than legal.

  • Liquidmicro
    August 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Bravo!!!, Juancarodster, well stated. I applaud you as well, Marisa, for understanding the difference of your moral standpoint vs. the legal standpoint.

  • Evelyn
    August 2, 2008 at 7:50 am

    ACLU Obtains Government “Manual” For Prepackaged Guilty Pleas For Prosecution Of Immigrant Workers In Postville, Iowa (7/31/2008)
    CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;
    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union obtained a government “manual” distributed to defense lawyers assigned to represent immigrant workers arrested and prosecuted in last May’s Postville, Iowa meatpacking raids. The document – posted on the ACLU Web site today – contains prepackaged scripts for plea and sentencing hearings as well as documents providing for guilty pleas and waivers of rights that were used to push the more than 300 Postville workers through mass criminal proceedings as quickly as possible.
    “This document provides further evidence of the government’s disturbing pressure cooker tactics for mass guilty pleas that assumed guilt instead of protecting the constitutional presumption of innocence,” said ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Director Lucas Guttentag. “Along with the workers, fairness and due process were the victims of the Postville prosecutions.”
    The government “manual” provided for the workers to waive all their legal rights and in the overwhelming majority of cases, to plead guilty to charges of falsely using identity documents for employment. It was an important tool used to rush defendants through the criminal justice and immigration systems without a criminal trial or immigration proceedings. The plea forms in the “manual” included a requirement barring immigrants from pursuing any legal claims or procedures under the immigration laws.
    After the Postville meatpacking raids, the ACLU and many other organizations sharply condemned the denial of basic legal protections to the arrested immigrant workers. The troubling system implemented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security appeared designed to undermine fairness and due process by criminally prosecuting the workers under circumstances that undermined their ability to understand or protect their rights.
    The large scale criminal prosecution of workers is a new tactic of the Bush administration. Previously, charges of fraud and identity theft were usually reserved for cases that involved the theft of people’s identities to rob them of money and property and did not typically extend to the use of false papers for employment.
    A copy of the Postville raids defense “manual” is available online

  • Evelyn
    August 2, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Everything Hitler Did was “Within the Law”
    2006-09-18 18:49. Geneva Conventions George W. Bush International Law Terrorism Torture
    Normally, any discussion that brings up Hitler or the Nazis has reached a level of hyperbolic absurdity that it cannot be continued.
    But in any discussion of International Law as it relates to the Geneva Conventions, there is no way to avoid talking about the Nazis.
    This is because their trials at Nuremberg provided the international precedents under which the world has been living for the past sixty years. The Nazis gave birth, if you will, to our modern understanding of conduct that is unacceptable even in a time of war–any war.
    And it must be remembered too that the United States played the central role in defining what these crimes were. We sent a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to prosecute these men, and to make the case to the world that a new set of values must be imposed in order to preserve civilization. And through Justice Jackson’s efforts, we executed those men for violating laws of humanity.
    This is important because the main defense of the war criminals at Nuremburg was that they had no reason to think they were breaking any laws, domestic or international. After all, their own legal officials had told them everything they were doing was permissible.
    Perhaps we could disregard this bit of history, and the hyperbole and emotions any mention of the Nazis evokes, had our President not started this conversation.
    But by requesting legislation from Congress that will redefine our understanding of the Geneva Conventions as it applies to our country, he has made the discussion unavoidable.
    Having argued for years now that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners captured on a battlefield in Iraq, the Administration has now been told otherwise by the Supreme Court. This ruling was not a shock to anyone outside the insulated “we make our own reality” bubble in which the President’s administration operates.
    But it seems to have been a genuine shock to them.
    So much so that it made them realize, for the first time, that the conduct they have been pursuing would theoretically subject them to war crimes prosecutions. And so they have gone to Congress asking for retroactive protection, and for Congress to re-write the “American Interpretation” of the law.
    John McCain was particularly scornful of this approach, because he he knows what it leads to. Every nation can “redefine” international law against torture and war crimes until it is rendered completely meaningless.
    And of course, it brings up sad, but inevitable comparisons to the conduct of Germany in World War II–because they did the same thing.
    Now, before I go on, I need to make something clear: when I say that everything Hitler did was “within the law” I am not implying that George Bush is like Hitler, or that his administration is on a par with the Nazis. As infuriating and dangerous as our political situation is, nothing this administration has done yet comes close to that kind of depravity, nor does anyone aspire to it.
    That said, the Nazis provide the single best legal precedent for why our nation is skirting dangerously close to destroying the laws that have held the world together for more than a half century.
    The Nazis too argued that they did not know they were violating the law. They had the judges and lawyers to prove it. And we prosecuted those legal officials for the criminal advise they gave, and the reprehensible conduct they legitimized under color of German law. That they destroyed judicial independence in their country (as many argue we are currently attempting to do by circumventing the FISA courts), was not considered a defense. It made them that much more guilty.
    In short, the manipulation of the legal system to give “cover” to violations of international law was considered no defense–and condemned them in the eyes of the world.
    There is an excellent analysis of this currently up at newsrack blog, and reading it struck a chord in me because I had just finished watching Ted Koppel’s Discovery Special entitled “The Price of Liberty”.
    During this show, there was a chilling exchange between Ted Koppel and an assistant Attorney General, in which he kept justifying the reprehensible conduct of our administration as being ‘lawful’.
    And when Tedd Koppel pointed out that the law clearly said otherwise, he snapped back that everyone thought they were an expert.
    When Ted Koppel pointed out that a judge had said otherwise, the administration’s representative snapped back that it was ‘just one judge’.
    When Koppel rejoined that it was a Federal Judge whose ruling was binding, the man defiantly asserted that they would appeal.
    This exchange was telling, because it displays not ignorance of the law–but an arrogant determination to define the law any way the executive sees fit, carelessly discarding anyone else’s interpretations, even though they are the branch of government least capable, and least entitled to do so.
    And their efforts to manipulate the justice system to justify conduct that we all know is unacceptable, and have always known is unacceptable, because they now deem that we are facing a greater threat than say, the Cuban Missile Crisis, invites the criticism.
    They are going over the edge and taking our country with them. The definition of torture does not change because lunatic right wing lawyers like Alberto Gonzales and Jon Yoo say so. International law does not change because the administration bullies their lackeys in Congress to say so. And our Orwellian insistence that conduct we know to be illegal is being done “under the law” is not going to be our salvation.
    In fact, it is making a mockery of our values, and who we are as a country. It will ultimately undermine our understanding of the law, our democracy and our standing in the world.

  • Evelyn
    August 2, 2008 at 9:24 am

    This is not justice.
    I suppose this brave patriotic man who opted to do the right thing is also considered an “American hater” for exposing the whitewashing of American laws to make them “Within The Law”
    Erik Camayd-Freixas, Ph.D.
    Florida International University
    June 13, 2008
    On Monday, May 12, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., in an operation involving some 900 agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a raid of Agriprocessors Inc, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant located in the town of Postville, Iowa. The raid ..officials boasted.. was “the largest single-site operation of its kind in American history.” At that same hour, 26 federally certified interpreters from all over the country were en route to the small neighboring city of Waterloo, Iowa, having no idea what their mission was about.
    I arrived late that Monday night and missed the 8pm interpreters briefing. I was instructed by phone to meet at 7am in the hotel lobby and carpool to the National Cattle Congress (NCC) where we would begin our work.
    The Clerk of Court, who coordinated the interpreters, said: “Have you seen the news? There was an immigration raid yesterday at 10am. They have some 400 detainees here. We’ll be working late conducting initial appearances for the next few days.” He then gave us a cursory tour of the compound. The NCC is a 60-acre cattle fairground that had been transformed into a sort of concentration camp or detention center.
    Driven single-file in groups of 10, shackled at the wrists, waist and ankles, chains dragging as they shuffled through, the slaughterhouse workers were brought in for arraignment, sat and listened through headsets to the interpreted initial appearance, before marching out again to be bused to different county jails, only to make room for the next row of 10. They appeared to be uniformly no more than 5 ft. tall, mostly illiterate Guatemalan peasants with Mayan last names, some being relatives (various Tajtaj, Xicay, Sajché, Sologüí…), some in tears; others with faces of worry, fear, and embarrassment. They all spoke Spanish, a few rather laboriously. It dawned on me that, aside from their nationality, which was imposed on their people in the 19th century, they too were Native Americans, in shackles. They stood out in stark racial contrast with the rest of us as they started their slow penguin march across the makeshift court. “Sad spectacle” I heard a colleague say, reading my mind. They had all waived their right to be indicted by a grand jury and accepted instead an information or simple charging document by the U.S. Attorney, hoping to be quickly deported since they had families to support back home. But it was not to be. They were criminally charged with “aggravated identity theft” and “Social Security fraud” -charges they did not understand… and, frankly, neither could I. .
    390 were arrested: 314 men and 76 women; 290 Guatemalans, 93 Mexicans, four Ukrainians, and three Israelis who were not seen in court.
    In all, 306 were held for prosecution. Only five of the 390 originally arrested had any kind of prior criminal record.
    This was the immediate collateral damage. Postville, Iowa (pop. 2,273), where nearly half the people worked at Agriprocessors, had lost 1/3 of its population by Tuesday morning. Businesses were empty, amid looming concerns that if the plant closed it would become a ghost town. Beside those arrested, many had fled the town in fear. Several families had taken refuge at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, terrified, sleeping on pews and refusing to leave for days. Volunteers from the community served food and organized activities for the children. At the local high school, only three of the 15 Latino students came back on Tuesday, while at the elementary and middle school, 120 of the 363 children were absent. In the following days the principal went around town on the school bus and gathered 70 students after convincing the parents to let them come back to school; 50 remained unaccounted for. Some American parents complained that their children were traumatized by the sudden disappearance of so many of their school friends. The principal reported the same reaction in the classrooms, saying that for the children it was as if ten of their classmates had suddenly died. Counselors were brought in. American children were having nightmares that their parents too were being taken away. The superintendant said the school district’s future was unclear: “This literally blew our town away.” In some cases both parents were picked up and small children were left behind for up to 72 hours. Typically, the mother would be released “on humanitarian grounds” with an ankle GPS monitor, pending prosecution and deportation, while the husband took first turn in serving his prison sentence. Meanwhile the mother would have no income and could not work to provide for her children. Some of the children were born in the U.S. and are American citizens. Sometimes one parent was a deportable alien while the other was not. “Hundreds of families were torn apart by this raid,” said a Catholic nun. “The humanitarian impact of this raid is obvious to anyone in Postville. The economic impact will soon be evident.”
    But this was only the surface damage. Alongside the many courageous actions and expressions of humanitarian concern in the true American spirit, the news blogs were filled with snide remarks of racial prejudice and bigotry, poorly disguised beneath an empty rhetoric of misguided patriotism, not to mention the insults to anyone who publicly showed compassion, safely hurled from behind a cowardly online nickname. One could feel the moral fabric of society coming apart beneath it all.
    In all my years as a court interpreter, I have taken front row seat in countless criminal cases ranging from rape, capital murder and mayhem, to terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking. I am not the impressionable kind. Moreover, as a professor of interpreting, I have confronted my students with every possible conflict scenario, or so I thought. The truth is that nothing could have prepared me for the prospect of helping our government put hundreds of innocent people in jail. In my ignorance and disbelief, I reluctantly decided to stay the course and see what happened next.
    Wednesday, May 14, our second day in court, was to be a long one. The interpreters were divided into two shifts, 8am to 3pm and 3pm to 10pm. I chose the latter. Through the day, the procession continued, ten by ten, hour after hour, the same charges, the same recitation from the magistrates, the same faces, chains and shackles, on the defendants. There was little to remind us that they were actually 306 individuals, except that occasionally, as though to break the monotony, one would dare to speak for the others and beg to be deported quickly so that they could feed their families back home. One who turned out to be a minor was bound over for deportation. The rest would be prosecuted. Later in the day three groups of women were brought, shackled in the same manner. One of them, whose husband was also arrested, was released to care for her children, ages two and five, uncertain of their whereabouts. Several men and women were weeping, but two women were particularly grief stricken. One of them was sobbing and would repeatedly struggle to bring a sleeve to her nose, but her wrists shackled around her waist simply would not reach; so she just dripped until she was taken away with the rest. The other one, a Ukrainian woman, was held and arraigned separately when a Russian telephonic interpreter came on. She spoke softly into a cellular phone, while the interpreter told her story in English over the speakerphone. Her young daughter, gravely ill, had lost her hair and was too weak to walk. She had taken her to Moscow and Kiev but to no avail. She was told her child needed an operation or would soon die. She had come to America to work and raise the money to save her daughter back in Ukraine. In every instance, detainees who cried did so for their children, never for themselves.
    The explanation, which we repeated over and over to each client, went like this. There are three possibilities. If you plead guilty to the charge of “knowingly using a false Social Security number,” the government will withdraw the heavier charge of “aggravated identity theft,” and you will serve 5 months in jail, be deported without a hearing, and placed on supervised release for 3 years. If you plead not guilty, you could wait in jail 6 to 8 months for a trial (without right of bail since you are on an immigration detainer). Even if you win at trial, you will still be deported, and could end up waiting longer in jail than if you just pled guilty. You would also risk losing at trial and receiving a 2-year minimum sentence, before being deported. Some clients understood their “options” better than others.
    That first interview, though, took three hours. The client, a Guatemalan peasant afraid for his family, spent most of that time weeping at our table, in a corner of the crowded jailhouse visiting room. How did he come here from Guatemala? “I walked.” What? “I walked for a month and ten days until I crossed the river.” We understood immediately how desperate his family’s situation was. He crossed alone, met other immigrants, and hitched a truck ride to Dallas, then Postville, where he heard there was sure work. He slept in an apartment hallway with other immigrants until employed. He had scarcely been working a couple of months when he was arrested. Maybe he was lucky: another man who began that Monday had only been working for 20 minutes. “I just wanted to work a year or two, save, and then go back to my family, but it was not to be.” His case and that of a million others could simply be solved by a temporary work permit as part of our much overdue immigration reform. “The Good Lord knows I was just working and not doing anyone any harm.” This man, like many others, was in fact not guilty. “Knowingly” and “intent” are necessary elements of the charges, but most of the clients we interviewed did not even know what a Social Security number was or what purpose it served. This worker simply had the papers filled out for him at the plant, since he could not read or write Spanish, let alone English. But the lawyer still had to advise him that pleading guilty was in his best interest. He was unable to make a decision. “You all do and undo,” he said. “So you can do whatever you want with me.” To him we were part of the system keeping him from being deported back to his country, where his children, wife, mother, and sister depended on him. He was their sole support and did not know how they were going to make it with him in jail for 5 months. None of the “options” really mattered to him. Caught between despair and hopelessness, he just wept. He had failed his family, and was devastated. I went for some napkins, but he refused them. I offered him a cup of soda, which he superstitiously declined, saying it could be “poisoned.” His Native American spirit was broken and he could no longer think. He stared for a while at the signature page pretending to read it, although I knew he was actually praying for guidance and protection. Before he signed with a scribble, he said: “God knows you are just doing your job to support your families, and that job is to keep me from supporting mine.” There was my conflict of interest, well put by a weeping, illiterate man.
    We worked that day for as long as our emotional fortitude allowed, and we had to come back to a full day on Sunday to interview the rest of the clients. Many of the Guatemalans had the same predicament. One of them, a 19-year-old, worried that his parents were too old to work, and that he was the only support for his family back home. We will never know how many of the 293 Guatemalans had legitimate asylum claims for fear of persecution, back in a country stigmatized by the worst human rights situation in the hemisphere, a by-product of the US-backed Contra wars of 1980s’ Central America under the old domino theory. For three decades, anti-insurgent government death squads have ravaged the countryside, killing tens of thousands and displacing almost two million peasants. Even as we proceeded with the hearings during those two weeks in May, news coming out of Guatemala reported farm workers being assassinated for complaining publicly about their working conditions. Not only have we ignored the many root causes of illegal immigration, we also will never know which of these deportations will turn out to be a death sentence, or how many of these displaced workers are last survivors with no family or village to return to.
    Another client, a young Mexican, had an altogether different case. He had worked at the plant for ten years and had two American born daughters, a 2-year-old and a newborn. He had a good case with Immigration for an adjustment of status which would allow him to stay. But if he took the Plea Agreement, he would lose that chance and face deportation as a felon convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude.” On the other hand, if he pled “not guilty” he had to wait several months in jail for trial, and risk getting a 2-year sentence. After an agonizing decision, he concluded that he had to take the 5-month deal and deportation, because as he put it, “I cannot be away from my children for so long.” His case was complicated; it needed research in immigration law, a change in the Plea Agreement, and, above all, more time.
    There were other similar cases in court that week. I remember reading that immigration lawyers were alarmed that the detainees were being rushed into a plea without adequate consultation on the immigration consequences. Even the criminal defense attorneys had limited opportunity to meet with clients: in jail there were limited visiting hours and days; at the compound there was little time before and after hearings, and little privacy due to the constant presence of agents. There were 17 cases for each attorney, and the Plea offer was only good for 7 days. In addition, criminal attorneys are not familiar with immigration work and vice versa, but had to make do since immigration lawyers were denied access to these criminal proceedings.
    In addition, the prosecutors would not accept any changes to the Plea Agreement. In fact, some lawyers, seeing that many of their clients were not guilty, requested an Alford plea, whereby defendants can plead guilty in order to accept the prosecution’s offer, but without having to lie under oath and admit to something they did not do. That would not change the 5-month sentence, but at least it preserves the person’s integrity and dignity. The proposal was rejected. Of course, if they allowed Alford pleas to go on public record, the incongruence of the charges would be exposed and find its way into the media. Officially, the ICE prosecutors said the Plea Agreement was directed from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., that they were not authorized to change it locally, and that the DOJ would not make any case by case exceptions when a large number of defendants are being “fast-tracked.” Presumably if you gave different terms to one individual, the others will want the same. This position, however, laid bare one of the critical problems with this new practice of “fast-tracking.” Even real criminals have the right of severance: when co-defendants have different degrees of responsibility, there is an inherent conflict of interest, and they can ask to be prosecuted separately as different cases, each with a different attorney. In fast-tracking, however, the right of severance is circumvented because each defendant already has a different case number on paper, only that they are processed together, 10 cases at a time. At this point, it is worth remembering also that even real criminals have an 8th Amendment right to reasonable bail, but not illegal workers, because their immigration detainer makes bail a moot issue. We had already circumvented habeas corpus by doubling the court’s business hours. What about the 6th Amendment right to a “speedy trial”? In many states “speedy” means 90 days, but in federal law it is vaguely defined, potentially exceeding the recommended sentence, given the backlog of real cases. This served as another loophole to force a guilty plea. Many of these workers were sole earners begging to be deported, desperate to feed their families, for whom every day counted. “If you want to see your children or don’t want your family to starve, sign here” -that is what their deal amounted to. Their Plea Agreement was coerced.
    One of my colleagues began the day by saying “I feel a tremendous solidarity with these people.” Had we lost our impartiality? Not at all: that was our impartial and probably unanimous judgment. We had seen attorneys hold back tears and weep alongside their clients. We would see judges, prosecutors, clerks, and marshals do their duty, sometimes with a heavy heart, sometimes at least with mixed feelings, but always with a particular solemnity not accorded to the common criminals we all are used to encountering in the judicial system.
    Monday morning I felt downtrodden by the sheer magnitude of the events. Unexpectedly, a sentencing hearing lifted my spirits.
    I decided to do sentences on Trailer 2 with a judge I knew from real criminal trials in Iowa. The defendants were brought in 5 at a time, because there was not enough room for 10. The judge verified that they still wanted to plead guilty, and asked counsel to confirm their Plea Agreement. The defense attorney said that he had expected a much lower sentence, but that he was forced to accept the agreement in the best interest of his clients. For us who knew the background of the matter, that vague objection, which was all that the attorney could put on record, spoke volumes.
    the interpreter is the only one who gets to see both sides of the coin up close, precisely because he is the only participant who is not a decision maker, and is even precluded, by his oath of impartiality and neutrality, from ever influencing the decisions of others. That is why judges in particular appreciate the interpreter’s perspective as an impartial and informed layperson, for it provides a rare glimpse at how the innards of the legal system look from the outside. I was no longer sorry to have participated in my capacity as an interpreter. I realized that I had been privileged to bear witness to historic events from such a unique vantage point and that because of its uniqueness I now had a civic duty to make it known. Such is the spirit that inspired this essay.
    As a citizen, I want our judges to administer justice, not a federal agency. When the executive branch forces the hand of the judiciary, the result is abuse of power and arbitrariness, unworthy of a democracy founded upon the constitutional principle of checks and balances.
    To an impartial and informed layperson, the process resembled a lottery of justice: if the Social Security number belonged to someone else, you were charged with identity theft and went to jail; if by luck it was a vacant number, you would get only Social Security fraud and were released for deportation. In this manner, out of 297 who were charged on time, 270 went to jail. Bothered by the arbitrariness of that heavier charge, I went back to the ICE Search Warrant Application (pp. 35-36), and what I found was astonishing. On February 20, 2008, ICE agents received social security “no match” information for 737 employees, including 147 using numbers confirmed by the SSA as invalid (never issued to a person) and 590 using valid SSNs, “however the numbers did not match the name of the employee reported by Agriprocessors…” “This analysis would not account for the possibility that a person may have falsely used the identity of an actual person’s name and SSN.” “In my training and expertise, I know it is not uncommon for aliens to purchase identity documents which include SSNs that match the name assigned to the number.” Yet, ICE agents checked Accurint, the powerful identity database used by law enforcement, and found that 983 employees that year had non-matching SSNs. Then they conducted a search of the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network for reporting incidents of identity theft. “The search revealed that a person who was assigned one of the social security numbers used by an employee of Agriprocessors has reported his/her identity being stolen.” That is, out of 983 only 1 number (0.1%) happened to coincide by chance with a reported identity theft. The charge was clearly unfounded; and the raid, a fishing expedition. “On April 16, 2008, the US filed criminal complaints against 697 employees, charging them with unlawfully using SSNs in violation of Title 42 USC §408(a)(7)(B); aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 USC §1028A(a)(1); and/or possession or use of false identity documents for purposes of employment in violation of 18 USC §1546.”
    Created by Congress in an Act of 1998, the new federal offense of identity theft, as described by the DOJ (, bears no relation to the Postville cases. It specifically states: “knowingly uses a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit any unlawful activity or felony” [18 USC §1028(a)]. The offense clearly refers to harmful, felonious acts, such as obtaining credit under another person’s identity. Obtaining work, however, is not an “unlawful activity.” No way would a grand jury find probable cause of identity theft here. But with the promise of faster deportation, their ignorance of the legal system, and the limited opportunity to consult with counsel before arraignment, all the workers, without exception, were led to waive their 5th Amendment right to grand jury indictment on felony charges. Waiting for a grand jury meant months in jail on an immigration detainer, without the possibility of bail. So the attorneys could not recommend it as a defense strategy. Similarly, defendants have the right to a status hearing before a judge, to determine probable cause, within ten days of arraignment, but their Plea Agreement offer from the government was only good for… seven days. Passing it up, meant risking 2 years in jail. As a result, the frivolous charge of identity theft was assured never to undergo the judicial test of probable cause. Not only were defendants and judges bound to accept the Plea Agreement, there was also absolutely no defense strategy available to counsel. Once the inflated charge was handed down, all the pieces fell into place like a row of dominoes. Even the court was banking on it when it agreed to participate, because if a good number of defendants asked for a grand jury or trial, the system would be overwhelmed. In short, “fast-tracking” had worked like a dream.
    It is no secret that the Postville ICE raid was a pilot operation, to be replicated elsewhere, with kinks ironed out after lessons learned. Next time, “fast-tracking” will be even more relentless. Never before has illegal immigration been criminalized in this fashion. It is no longer enough to deport them: we first have to put them in chains. At first sight it may seem absurd to take productive workers and keep them in jail at taxpayers’ expense. But the economics and politics of the matter are quite different from such rational assumptions. A quick look at the ICE Fiscal Year 2007 Annual Report ( shows an agency that has grown to 16,500 employees and a $5 billion annual budget, since it was formed under Homeland Security in March 2003, “as a law enforcement agency for the post-9/11 era, to integrate enforcement authorities against criminal and terrorist activities, including the fights against human trafficking and smuggling, violent transnational gangs and sexual predators who prey on children” (17). No doubt, ICE fulfills an extremely important and noble duty. The question is why tarnish its stellar reputation by targeting harmless illegal workers. The answer is economics and politics. After 9/11 we had to create a massive force with readiness “to prevent, prepare for and respond to a wide range of catastrophic incidents, including terrorist attacks, natural disasters, pandemics and other such significant events that require large-scale government and law enforcement response” (23). The problem is that disasters, criminality, and terrorism do not provide enough daily business to maintain the readiness and muscle tone of this expensive force. For example, “In FY07, ICE human trafficking investigations resulted in 164 arrests and 91 convictions” (17). Terrorism related arrests were not any more substantial. The real numbers are in immigration: “In FY07, ICE removed 276,912 illegal aliens” (4). ICE is under enormous pressure to turn out statistical figures that might justify a fair utilization of its capabilities, resources, and ballooning budget. For example, the Report boasts 102,777 cases “eliminated” from the fugitive alien population in FY07, “quadrupling” the previous year’s number, only to admit a page later that 73,284 were “resolved” by simply “taking those cases off the books” after determining that they “no longer met the definition of an ICE fugitive” (4-5).
    De facto, the rationale is: we have the excess capability; we are already paying for it; ergo, use it we must. And using it we are: since FY06 “ICE has introduced an aggressive and effective campaign to enforce immigration law within the nation’s interior, with a top-level focus on criminal aliens, fugitive aliens and those who pose a threat to the safety of the American public and the stability of American communities” (6). Yet, as of October 1, 2007, the “case backlog consisted of 594,756 ICE fugitive aliens” (5). So again, why focus on illegal workers who pose no threat? Elementary: they are easy pickings. True criminal and fugitive aliens have to be picked up one at a time, whereas raiding a slaughterhouse is like hitting a small jackpot: it beefs up the numbers. “In FY07, ICE enacted a multi-year strategy: …worksite enforcement initiatives that target employers who defy immigration law and the “jobs magnet” that draws illegal workers across the border” (iii). Yet, as the saying goes, corporations don’t go to jail. Very few individuals on the employer side have ever been prosecuted. In the case of Agriprocessors, the Search Warrant
    Application cites only vague allegations by alien informers against plant supervisors (middle and upper management are insulated). Moreover, these allegations pertain mostly to petty state crimes and labor infringements. Union and congressional leaders contend that the federal raid actually interfered with an ongoing state investigation of child labor and wage violations, designed to improve conditions. Meanwhile, the underlying charge of “knowingly possessing or using false employment documents with intent to deceive” places the blame on the workers and holds corporate individuals harmless. It is clear from the scope of the warrant that the thrust of the case against the employer is strictly monetary: to redress part of the cost of the multimillion dollar raid. This objective is fully in keeping with the target stated in the Annual Report: “In FY07, ICE dramatically increased penalties against employers whose hiring processes violated the law, securing fines and judgments of more than $30 million” (iv).
    Much of the case against Agriprocessors, in the Search Warrant Application, is based upon “No-Match” letters sent by the Social Security Administration to the employer. In August 2007, DHS issued a Final Rule declaring “No-Match” letters sufficient notice of possible alien harboring. But current litigation (AFL-CIO v. Chertoff) secured a federal injunction against the Rule, arguing that such error-prone method would unduly hurt both legal workers and employers. As a result the “No-Match” letters may not be considered sufficient evidence of harboring. The lawsuit also charges that DHS overstepped its authority and assumed the role of Congress in an attempt to turn the SSA into an immigration law enforcement agency. Significantly, in referring to the Final Rule, the Annual Report states that ICE “enacted” a strategy to target employers (iii); thereby using a word (“enacted”) that implies lawmaking authority. The effort was part of ICE’s “Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces,” an initiative targeting employees, not employers, and implying that illegal workers may use false SSNs to access benefits that belong to legal residents. This false contention serves to obscure an opposite and long-ignored statistics: the value of Social Security and Medicare contributions by illegal workers. People often wonder where those funds go, but have no idea how much they amount to. Well, they go into the SSA’s “Earnings Suspense File,” which tracks payroll tax deductions from payers with mismatched SSNs. By October 2006, the Earnings Suspense File had accumulated $586 billion, up from just $8 billion in 1991. The money itself, which currently surpasses $600 billion, is credited to, and comingled with, the general SSA Trust Fund. SSA actuaries now calculate that illegal workers are currently subsidizing the retirement of legal residents at a rate of $8.9 billion per year, for which the illegal (no-match) workers will never receive benefits.
    Again, the big numbers are not on the employers’ side. The best way to stack the stats is to go after the high concentrations of illegal workers: food processing plants, factory sweatshops, construction sites, janitorial services-the easy pickings. September 1, 2006, ICE raid crippled a rural Georgia town: 120 arrested. Dec. 12, 2006, ICE agents executed warrants at Swift & Co. meat processing facilities in six states: 1,297 arrested, 274 “charged with identity theft and other crimes” (8). March 6, 2007 ..The Boston Globe reports.. 300 ICE agents raided a sweatshop in New Bedford: 361 mostly Guatemalan workers arrested, many flown to Texas for deportation, dozens of children stranded. As the Annual Report graph shows, worksite raids escalated after FY06, signaling the arrival of “a New Era in immigration enforcement” (1). Since 2002, administrative arrests increased tenfold, while criminal arrests skyrocketed thirty-fivefold, from 25 to 863. Still, in FY07, only 17% of detainees were criminally arrested, whereas in Postville it was 100% ..a “success” made possible by “fast-tracking”.. with felony charges rendering workers indistinguishable on paper from real “criminal aliens.” Simply put, the criminalization of illegal workers is just a cheap way of boosting ICE “criminal alien” arrest statistics. But after Postville, it is no longer a matter of clever paperwork and creative accounting: this time around 130 man-years of prison time were handed down pursuant to a bogus charge. The double whammy consists in beefing up an additional and meatier statistics showcased in the Report: “These incarcerated aliens have been involved in dangerous criminal activity such as murder, predatory sexual offenses, narcotics trafficking, alien smuggling and a host of other crimes” (6). Never mind the character assassination: next year when we read the FY08 report, we can all revel in the splendid job the agency is doing, keeping us safe, and blindly beef up its budget another billion. After all, they have already arrested 1,755 of these “criminals” in this May’s raids alone.
    The agency is now poised to deliver on the New Era. In FY07, ICE grew by 10 percent, hiring 1,600 employees, including over 450 new deportation officers, 700 immigration enforcement agents, and 180 new attorneys. At least 85% of the new hires are directly allocated to immigration enforcement. “These additional personnel move ICE closer to target staffing levels”(35). Moreover, the agency is now diverting to this offensive resources earmarked for other purposes such as disaster relief. Wondering where the 23 trailers came from that were used in the Iowa “fast-tracking” operation? “In FY07, one of ICE’s key accomplishments was the Mobile Continuity of Operations Emergency Response Pilot Project, which entails the deployment of a fleet of trailers outfitted with emergency supplies, pre-positioned at ICE locations nationwide for ready deployment in the event of a nearby emergency situation” (23). Too late for New Orleans, but there was always Postville… Hopefully the next time my fellow interpreters hear the buzzwords “Continuity of Operations” they will at least know what they are getting into.
    This massive buildup for the New Era is the outward manifestation of an internal shift in the operational imperatives of the Long War, away from the “war on terror” (which has yielded lean statistics) and onto another front where we can claim success: the escalating undeclared war on illegal immigration. “Had this effort been in place prior to 9/11, all of the hijackers who failed to maintain status would have been investigated months before the attack” (9). According to its new paradigm, the agency fancies that it can conflate the diverse aspects of its operations and pretend that immigration enforcement is really part and parcel of the “war on terror.” This way, statistics in the former translate as evidence of success in the latter. Thus, the Postville charges-document fraud and identity theft-treat every illegal alien as a potential terrorist, and with the same rigor. At sentencing, as I interpreted, there was one condition of probation that was entirely new to me: “You shall not be in possession of an explosive artifact.” The Guatemalan peasants in shackles looked at each other, perplexed.
    A line was crossed at Postville. The day after in Des Moines, there was a citizens’ protest featured in the evening news. With quiet anguish, a mature all-American woman, a mother, said something striking, as only the plain truth can be. “This is not humane,” she said. “There has to be a better way.”

  • Horace
    August 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    It seems that twit Evelyn posted her response on the wrong place, as it should have showed up in the previous. Nevertheless, Juan seems to support my assertion. As to Marisa’s re-spin in her response to Juan’s comment, this is just more egg on her face. I wonder whether she would have backtracked at all if Juan didn’t have an Hispanic name. She clearly was referring to rule of law and not morality. She sounds like Barack Obama or any other politician that’s been caught with their pants down, rather than bravely admit she was wrong, she compounds her error by looking more foolish.

  • Evelyn
    August 2, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Oh my Horace, you must have missed the article I posted by ACLU.
    I also read that
    Erik Camayd-Freixas, Ph.D. testified before congress on this issue. It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Time will tell.
    In the mean time you might want to sign up for lessons on how to respect and treat different people.
    The disrespect you show when you address Marisa is totally out of line.
    Because she is the messenger of news you dont like does not give you the right to show you have no manners when addressing her.
    Your manners are a reflection on all Americans, people who witness your behaviour are going to think all of us were born and raised in a barn.

  • Horace
    August 3, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I’d profit more from taking manner lessons from a senile pig than I would by listening to someone as pathetic as you.
    If Marisa is going to continue her journalistic pursuits, she’s going to have to do her homework before going on her diatribes. ICE and the Border Patrol people are hardworking civil servants, and aren’t the Nazis she portrays them to be. If she wants illegal aliens to be treated with respect, then she should be careful how she treats our government agents.

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Horace, I shouldn’t have to remind you of the role of journalism in a free and democratic society. Just because someone wears a uniform or is enforcing the laws of the day doesn’t mean that they or the laws should be above reproach or analysis. We only have to look at the pictures from the 60s when police officers in riot gear or holding batons enforced the laws of that time against black protesters and their supporters when they marched the streets of the south for civil rights. Why it’s only in hindsight that some people can see the unjust and intolerant passages of our history is a mystery to me — especially when it’s right in front of their noses every day.

  • Evelyn
    August 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Well shucks Horace, now that explains two things.
    1. Why it’s only in hindsight that some people can see the unjust and intolerant passages of our history is a mystery to me — especially when it’s right in front of their noses every day.
    In your case it’s understandable having traded your nose for a snout.
    2. Why your manners are those of a senile pig.

  • Gerald
    August 4, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    “Why it’s only in hindsight that some people can see the unjust and intolerant passages of our history is a mystery to me — especially when it’s right in front of their noses every day.”
    You mean, in front of your nose, because the analogies you make to the past have no basis in our civil rights laws. These people have no civil right to occupy U.S. territory without permission of our citizens. The arrest of large numbers of illegal aliens in the workplace, the breaking up of these families and the weeping of the spouses of these transgressors, while upsetting to you as a Latina, are not analagious to past violation of any civil rights laws. If illegal workers would finally get the message that they will ultimately be arrested and deported, they will avoid arrest and forced deportation by repatriating themselves to their homelands. These people are the victims of their own governments and their own bad judgment. Let them go home and start their own revolution to change their own governments and leave us in peace. That’s the real solution to illegal immigration.

  • Gerald
    August 4, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    “Why it’s only in hindsight that some people can see the unjust and intolerant passages of our history is a mystery to me — especially when it’s right in front of their noses every day.”
    You mean, in front of your nose, because the analogies you make to the past have no basis in our civil rights laws or protest movements. These people have no civil right to occupy U.S. territory without permission of our citizens. Not only that, there isn’t the prayer of a snowball’s chance in hell that the American people would ever make such actions legal by institutionalizing them in law, because such actions would result in immigration anarchy.
    Our authorities have every right to remove them. There is no polite way of doing this. Although these situations have the appearance of roundups, it is a necessary method, as it is impractical to arrest so many one at a time and be as polite as you would have the ICE to be. The arrest of illegal aliens in the workplace, the breaking up of these families and the weeping of the spouses of these transgressors, while upsetting to you as a Latina, are not analogous to past violation of any civil rights laws in despite your assertions. I wonder how many times criminal citizens are arrested in their homes, and in front of their families and friends. I’m sure it is traumatic to them as well.
    If illegal workers would finally get the message that they will ultimately be arrested and deported, they will avoid arrest and forced deportation by repatriating themselves to their homelands. These people are the victims of their own governments and their own bad judgment and are thus not the responsibility of the American people. Let them start their own revolution to change their own governments and leave us in peace. That’s the real solution to illegal immigration.

  • Horace
    August 4, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    The problem with your type of journalism, Marisa, is that it’s totally one-sided. When journalists report only one side of an issue they become propagandists.

  • Horace
    August 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Wikipedia definition of Propaganda: “A concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.”
    Your blog, Immigrationproflog, Citizen Orange, and Migra Matters fit the definition very nicely. You never make any attempt to be even-handed in your treatment of the immigration question. Just be a little introspective and honest for a change and read some of your own comments and you’ll see this to be the case.

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 5, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Horace, I’m surprised that you are only now discovering this. From the beginning, I’ve made it known that the kind of journalism I practice is what is called opinion journalism. I do it in print and at Latina Lista. With opinion journalism, you bet it will be one-sided and coming from my perspective but at the same time, I’m not going to lie and will try to be as fair as possible. I think anyone, as yourself, who has been a longtime reader of Latina Lista will attest that I try to adhere to those standards — but it will always be my opinion, not a straight news article.

  • Evelyn
    August 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Horace : said
    The problem with your type of journalism, Marisa, is that it’s totally one-sided. When journalists report only one side of an issue they become propagandists.
    That would be your expertise Horace.
    Dictionary: propaganda, Talk:propaganda, scientific racism, agitprop, propagandist, bourrage de crâne, smear campaign, elettorale, disinformation.
    speech or writing advancing one’s cause or ideas, or denouncing one’s opponents; any type of communication ultimately directed to a large public, whose message has a deceiving character seeking a reaction, in terms of opinion or behavior, according to one’s interests, cause or ideas.
    Propaganda is a certain type of message presentation directly aimed at manipulating the opinions or behavior of people, rather than impartially providing information.
    An appeal to one’s emotions is, perhaps, the more obvious propaganda method, but there are varied other more subtle and insidious forms. A common characteristic of propaganda is volume (in the sense of a large amount). Individually propaganda functions as self-deception. Culturally it works within religions, politics, and economic entities like those that both favour and oppose globalization. Commercially it works within the (mass) market in the free market societies.
    Propaganda shares techniques with advertising and public relations. In fact, advertising and public relations can be thought of as propaganda that promotes a commercial product or shapes the perception of an organization, person or brand. A number of techniques which are based on research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid. A few examples are: Flag-waving, Glittering generalities, Intentional vagueness, Oversimplification, Rationalization, Red herring, Slogans, Stereotyping, Testimonial, Unstated assumption, and bandwagon.

  • Horace
    August 5, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Actually, Marisa, if would be better if you practised “informed” opinion journalism, which means that you would have to collect information from both sides of the story rather than just one, as doing otherwise is committing the sin of omission, which makes it propaganda.

  • Horace
    August 5, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    FYI. I may not be posting for a period of time, as I will be deploying to Iraq for God and country on 15 August, and my internet service may be restricted. Frank, liquid, Tex, et al, keep Marisa straight. As for Evelyn, I will be reminded of her every time I hear a mosquito buzzing in my ear. There’s a rumor that she’s posts from an asylum in San Diego, which would explain her whackoness.

  • Grandma
    August 5, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Horace, my prayers will be with you. Thank you for serving this country and keeping me safe.

  • Evelyn
    August 6, 2008 at 1:39 am

    “Warriors Of The Rainbow”
    There would come a day of awakening when all the peoples of all the tribes would form a New World of Justice, Peace, Freedom and recognition of the Great Spirit. The “Warriors of the Rainbow” would spread these messages and teach all peoples of the Earth or “Elohi”. They would teach them how to live the “Way of the Great Spirit”.
    They would tell them of how the world today has turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is “Sick”. The “Warriors of the Rainbow” would show the peoples that this “Ancient Being” (the Great Spirit), is full of love and understanding, and teach them how to make the Earth or “Elohi” beautiful again.
    These Warriors would give the people principles or rules to follow to make their path right with the world. These principles would be those of the Ancient Tribes. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach the people of the ancient practices of Unity, Love and Understanding. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four corners of the Earth.
    Like the Ancient Tribes, they would teach the people how to pray to the Great Spirit with love that flows like the beautiful mountain stream, and flows along the path to the ocean of life. Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature, and the Great Spirit.
    They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life — the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty in prayer and the solitudes of life. Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of Nature and Mother Earth.
    Free from the fears of toxins and destruction, wrought by the Yo-ne-gi and his practices of greed. The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life.
    The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way — not by their political party, or who could speak the loudest, boast the most, or by name calling or mud slinging, but by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom, and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs.
    Peace be with you Horace, as you become one of these “Warriors Of The Rainbow”

  • Frank
    August 6, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    May God be with you, Horace.

  • Horacio
    August 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Daily Kos
    “Oh, you want discipline, do you?”
    by Kagro X
    Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 11:00:33 AM PDT
    Crocodile tears and calls for “discipline” from ICE Gestapo chief Julie L. Myers

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