Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Justice Department report reveals manufactured White House strategy to deny undocumented immigrants the “rule of law”

Justice Department report reveals manufactured White House strategy to deny undocumented immigrants the “rule of law”

LatinaLista — A disturbing report was released this week by the Justice Department. In the 140-page document entitled An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General, it was uncovered that under Attorney General John Ashcroft and partially continuing under Alberto Gonzalez, the selection of Immigration Judges (IJ) was based on their political leanings.
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According to a passage in the report:

An internal EOIR e-mail from an ACIJ to the CIJ, dated June 30, 2003, stated that Laura Baxter, a Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, had recently informed EOIR that “the Dept. is going to take a greater role in IJ hiring.” The e-mail noted further that Baxter “emphasized that she wanted us to know that this is coming from the AG [John Ashcroft].” Both EOIR Director Rooney and Deputy Director Ohlson told us that they were not aware of such an initiative at the time.
In October 2003, an exchange of e-mails between Baxter and Sampson, who had just left the White House Counsel’s Office to become a Counselor to Attorney General Ashcroft, showed that the White House
and the OAG had recently taken an interest in IJ hiring. For example, an October 8, 2003, e-mail from Sampson to Baxter stated that “the White House may recommend” two candidates for IJ positions, and that
Sampson wanted to send “folks in the White House” a document detailing a proposed new process for hiring IJs. Attached to the e-mail was a draft document, entitled “Appointment of Immigration Judges.”

The one line that says …”the White House and the OAG had recently taken an interest in IJ hiring…” taken with another revelation from the report that reads, “We also found that IJ candidates were provided by various Republican Members of Congress,” serve as proof of how extreme conservatives have steadily and successfully been able to influence the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, along with, the immigration judicial system, by ensuring that only lawyers in solidarity with their political views would be hired to preside over immigration cases.
Given the anti-immigrant political rhetoric supported and continued by the Republican Party, and apologized for by Senator McCain, the increase in worksite raids, the railroading of illiterate immigrants through the immigration courts, the profitable contracts with for-profit companies to build and maintain immigration detention centers and the recent announcement by Assistant Homeland Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers of a soon-to-be implemented policy of self-deportation, leads to the highly probable conclusion that this Administration knowingly approved and has manufactured a strategy to deny undocumented immigrants the “rule of law.”

The abuse of power revealed in this report certainly warrants the extreme motion of calling for the impeachment of this Administration.

On May 17, 2005, Williams received an e-mail from the White House Office of Political Affairs addressed to White House Liaisons in agencies throughout the executive branch. The e-mail urged the White House Liaisons to “get creative” and find positions for more than 100 “priority candidates” who “have loyally served the President.”
The White House also sought from each White House Liaison a “pledge of the number of the 108 priority candidates you can place at your agency.” In a follow-up e-mail, the White House reiterated that “we simply want to place as many of our Bush loyalists as possible.” The context of the e- mails made plain that the positions sought were political, non-career slots. On May 19, 2005, Williams responded: “We pledge 7 slots within 40 days and 40 nights. Let the games begin!”
Part of Williams’s efforts to fulfill her pledge involved finding IJ positions for these “priority candidates.” An e-mail chain involving Williams and the White House dated May 26, 2005, show various attempts to find candidates for IJ positions who have been “helpful to the President.” For example, the White House reached out to a Republican Congressman, and on June 7, 2005, the Congressman’s staff sent an e-
mail to the White House recommending a candidate, described as a “great Republican,” for an IJ position in New York. On June 15, 2005, the White House forwarded that e-mail to Williams, adding that the
candidate was a “long time donor to the local GOP,” and that local Republican Party officials would vouch for him. Williams forwarded the candidate’s name to EOIR.

It is no wonder that the White House has balked and invoked “Executive Privilege” to prevent the release of their emails. These IJ positions which should have been apolitical were politicized by an Administration corrupt with the notion that they should control a democratic nation.

In an e-mail on October 8, 2003, Sampson outlined a new process for hiring IJs that listed the White House as the sole source for generating candidates. We found that Sampson’s process, which treated the appointments like political appointments, was implemented in the spring of 2004. Sampson acknowledged that “in the sense that names were solicited from the . . . White House offices that were involved in political hiring, [we] were only considering essentially Republican lawyers for appointment.” Scott Jennings, who worked at the White House Office of Political Affairs, confirmed that IJ appointments were “treated like other political appointments,” that the White House’s sources for candidates were all Republican, and that candidates were screened for their “political qualifications.”

The report goes on to say that these lapses in judgement have been corrected and that measures have been put in place to prevent any future Administrations from repeating this abuse, but what about the current Administration?
The report cites by name several individuals who were responsible for implementing this practice but common sense tells us that the directive came from much higher in the White House and that these people, like everyone who has served or is currently serving this Administration, are only the puppets for the main puppeteer.
Also, because these abuses were so widespread among the Republican Party, it leads to valid questions as to whether or not the nation can trust a Party that has exhibited such rampant abuse of privilege and position for the last eight years?
Lastly, because of the contrived method in selecting and hiring Immigration Judges, the impact of these judges’ actions in their courts should be reviewed. Since they were hired based on political affiliation, there is reasonable doubt that they also ruled based on these same political affiliations.
If “Rule of Law” is to be used as a measure of compliance against the undocumented immigrants, it’s only right that the same barometer be used for those who sit in judgement of them.

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  • Evelyn
    July 31, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Our old home was in Con-Cow valley in what is now called by the white man Butte County…. For long and happy years the Con-Cows had lived there in peace and in plenty for they were good Indians… By and by the “ad-sals” [white man] told him [the Chief’s father] that they wanted him to leave his dear old home; that the red and white could not live together and that he and his tribe must go and look for another home in another land…. The whites – some were very good and some were very bad – began to say that the Con-Cows were killing the “Shu-min”…. If an ox or cow strayed away… it was always the Con-Cows that did it…. One day [1859] many white braves – volunteers they were called – came to our valley and gathered all our people together, and for many days and nights we traveled over the mountains until we came to a place on the shores of the Heli-mo-mox, the great waters, called Mendocino, where the Ad-sals had made a corral for us which was called a Reservation, and we were told to stay there. And the time became very hard, for often we were very hungry, and did not know where to get enough to eat, and the Con-Cows began to die very fast….
    One day [1860] soon after I went to the head man on the Reservation, and told him that my people were hungry; that we had not ground enough to raise the corn and potatoes… that I wanted to go to some other place where there was more room; and he wrote to Washington, and by and by he told me we could go to Round Valley and live on that Reservation. So I gathered my Tribe together, and we started without any white braves…
    But when we came to Round Valley we were as badly off as before; there was even less to eat, and my people had to work very hard. But the ad-sals knew that the Con-Cows were very good Indians, and they liked Tome-ya-nem [the Chief] very much, and every once in a while they helped us a little, but not much.
    The Ad-sals [whites] were afraid that their Great Father in Washington would keep all the valley for the Indians, and that the whites would have to go to some other home, and they hated us for it very much; often at night, in the springtime, some of the Ad-sals would steal around our fences and throw them down, and drive their shu-min [stock] into the fields, and the young corn and everything green would disappear in one night.
    One year [1862] there was nothing for us to eat, and I became very anxious for my Lauk-ome, for the rains were coming fast with the cold winds… and we would be shut in by the swollen streams, with starvation before and the Ad-sals behind. So I told my people to pull down their lodges and made ready to move…. I went to the head man [Short]… and shook hands with him, and told him that I must go, that I could not remain, that my people were starving and would have to kill the shu-min [stock] in the winter to keep from dying of hunger, and that the Ad-sals would kill them if they did. And in a long line, five hundred strong, we turned our faces toward… the East, and traveled onward to Wel-lu-da, our home.
    But when we got across the mountains into the valley of the Sacramento, the Ad-sals who lived there came towards us and asked Tome-ya-nem whither he was bound, and I told them, to… my old home near Chico. And they sent the lightning to Hanson… and told him that I had left….
    But one day, long before I got there, the white braves came down from Red Bluff, a great many of them with rifles and big guns, and they came up with us near a great river [ Sacramento] that we were trying to cross, and we halted. Then Hanson came in a carriage and asked me why I had left Nome-Cult…. He wanted me to turn back to Nome-Lackee; but I said that we wanted to see Wel-lu-da again for only one year. And he said that as we were good Indians we might do so, and that he would see that we had plenty of meat to eat.
    So I went with my people and camped in a meadow some five miles from Chico, and my braves and my ma-hi-nas [women] went out and worked for the Ad-sals for a whole year. But many of them became very sick with chills and fever [malaria], and when the time came for us to go back to Nome-Cult they were so weak that they could scarcely walk, and many died on the trail, lying down sick and dying all the way from Chico to this place [ Nome-Cult Reservation]. And when we got here there was nothing for us to eat, and my people began to fall as thick and as fast as the acorns in the fall of the year… and there was no one here to do any thing for us – only the White Chief Douglas at Camp Wright, who sent his medicine man to take care of my sick, and Ad-sals and mules all the way to Chico to bring my people left dying on the trail – and here have remained ever since.
    Are we happy now? No, my brother [Lieutenant Tassin ], no we have not been happy since we left our home.
    When Captain Douglas at fort Wright heard that the sick ConCow Indians were dying along the mountain trail on their way back to the Round Valley Reservation, he appointed Supervisor James Short to bring them in. Short took a pack train with food and some teams and wagons to carry the sick Indians. For thirteen days he worked to bring in a ” portion of them.” He later commented that ” about 150 sick Indians were scattered along the trail for 50 miles… dying at the rate of 2 or 3 per day. They had nothing to eat… and the wild hogs were eating them up either before or after they were dead.”
    83.7 Mandatory criteria for federal Acknowledgment
    83.7(a) The petitioner has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantialy continuous basis since 1900
    Only a hypocrit that feels no shame would claim his ancestors immigrated here from Europe legally. To him I would ask, then who did this to my ancestors? I would also ask if he is still on these stolen lands reaping the benefits of the crimes his ancestors lust for land inflicted on mine.

  • Horace
    July 31, 2008 at 6:10 am

    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.

  • laura
    July 31, 2008 at 9:04 am

    How Bush’s Justice Department illegally used criteria such as party affiliation and views on guns and abortion as criteria of hiring immigration judges is all over the newspapers. Experts on immigration law were passed over in favor of Republican ideologues with no knowledge of immigration law.
    It is frightening to think how many unqualified immigration judges are now deciding over the lives of thousands of people.
    This practice of the Bush administration was blatantly illegal, because political considerations are not to be used in the appointment of civil servants.
    What about illegal don’t they understand?
    Lastly, I can’t help but return in my thoughts to Janet Murguia, president of National Council of La Raza. It was she who signed a letter strongly supporting the appointment of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, i.e. head of the Justice Department. It was Alberto Gonzales who as Attorney General implemented these illegal hiring practices of immigration judges.
    Janet Murguia supported him because he is Latino. His enmity to social justice did not enter into her considerations; neither did his slavish support of anything that would bolster the power of George W. Bush.
    She has not even bothered to take the letter supporting him off the website of National Council of La Raza – the intervening years of his crimes, especially of his attempt to “legalize” torture, but also of his lying to Congress, among many others, have not seemed to bother her.
    Can we ask Janet Murguia to resign at NCLR and get someone as its head who supports justice and decency?

  • Frank
    July 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    If anyone believes that their ancestor’s lands were stolen, I suggest they take it up with the federal government, not U.S. citizens. Same goes for the accusation that these citizen’s ancestors came here illegally. For myself, mine came after the establishment of the U.S. as a country and after they had immigration laws.
    It appears that “Uncle Sam” is too big for these whiners who are living in the past to take on so instead they are going to beat up on every white person that ever walked on this land including those who were born here, no matter how old or young they are. Pathetic really!

  • Publius
    July 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    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.

  • Jax
    July 31, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Why should we concern ourselves about illegals being entitled to “the rule of law” when they have broken the law hemselves simply by being here?

  • Evelyn
    August 1, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Frank :
    If anyone believes that their ancestor’s lands were stolen, I suggest they take it up with the federal government, not U.S. citizens. Same goes for the accusation that these citizen’s ancestors came here illegally. For myself, mine came after the establishment of the U.S. as a country and after they had immigration laws.
    It appears that “Uncle Sam” is too big for these whiners who are living in the past to take on so instead they are going to beat up on every white person that ever walked on this land including those who were born here, no matter how old or young they are. Pathetic really!
    So if someone steals your property and I am aware of this yet accept the burglars invitation to live on your land because I didnt steal it, that leaves me with no blame? NOT!
    LOL! Prime example when the ‘rule of law’ doesent support your agenda you ignore it.

  • Gerald
    August 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Any discussion about past treatment of indigenous peoples and its applicability to the present is a moot point, as it will never appear in any political forum, being an exercise in futility.

  • Evelyn
    August 6, 2008 at 1:50 am

    As far as my discussion about past treatment of indigenous peoples and its applicability to the present goes.
    I believe the saying is “people must be reminded of past mistakes so as not to repeat them.”

  • Frank
    August 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    We of today are not repeating anyone’s past mistakes nor do we intend to and it has nothing to do with illegal immigration anyway!

  • Evelyn
    August 7, 2008 at 12:25 am

    rank said:
    We of today are not repeating anyone’s past mistakes nor do we intend to and it has nothing to do with illegal immigration anyway!
    Things Americans Don’t Like To Talk About
    By: David Neiwert Tuesday April 29, 2008 3:00 pm 0
    digg it
    One of the oddities of the emerging media meta-narrative about Jeremiah Wright is the way it is now readily assumed by the broad range of talking heads that Wright’s recent comments have only proven the charge that he is deeply “anti-American,” embodied in the endlessly repeated “God damn America” sound bite.
    There’s no doubt that a lot of Wright’s views are indeed deeply critical of America, even pugnaciously (and thus disconcertingly) so, and some — particularly his apparent absorption of racial theories regarding the spread of HIV — are dubious at best. Considering Wright’s contentious performance yesterday at the National Press Club, one really can’t blame Obama for washing his hands of the man.
    But it’s also apparent that the larger context in which Wright condemns American behavior — the reason he shouts “God damn America” — in fact reflects hard historical realities that Americans, and the American media especially, really don’t want to talk about, let alone confront the present-day consequences thereof.
    And doing so, evidently, is now proof of being “anti-American.”
    Among the things, evidently, that we’re not supposed to bring up because it interrupts Peggy Noonan’s fantasy vision of an American history populated mostly by noble 49ers and industrious Henry Fords, are the following:
    — The genocide committed against Native Americans.
    — Slavery.
    — The “lynching era” and Jim Crow.
    — Sundown towns.
    — The forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
    It’s human, of course, to want to think of yourself as a good person, and your country as a good country. Which is why it’s human of white Americans — the descendants and beneficiaries of the people who perpetrated these atrocities — to want to forget that these things happened. And they want to believe that because these events were in the past, and they took some initial steps toward reconciliation 40 years ago, the issues should have gone away, and if they haven’t, well, it’s the victims’ fault.
    The victims and their descendants, however, cannot forget that these things happened, because they continue to live with the legacy of them every day. And white Americans should not delude themselves into thinking that they could or should have forgotten, either. Ask any Native American living on a reservation, or any descendant of Japanese camp internees, or any African American, whether they can forget these things.
    Perhaps when young black men no longer face persistent job discrimination or lowered life expectancies, when racial residential segregation is no longer a persistent reality, when hate crimes are a distant memory, when our response to great national war-inducing traumas is no longer imbued with xenophobic hysteria — perhaps when white Americans take actual steps beyond those four-decade-old baby steps to confront the legacy of their very real history of shameful behavior toward nonwhites, then perhaps we can ask for that forgetting.
    Assuming that they should — and indeed insisting that the fact that they haven’t is proof that they “hate America” — is simply childish. But then, that’s what we’ve come to expect both of the American right and the American media.
    These historical realities in fact were what provided the context of Wright’s “God damn America” snippet. Here’s the key passage from the sermon:
    Where governments change, God does not change. God is the same yesterday, today and forever more. That’s what his name I Am means. He does not change.
    God was against slavery on yesterday, and God, who does not change, is still against slavery today. God was a God of love yesterday, and God who does not change, is still a God of love today. God was a God of justice on yesterday, and God who does not change, is still a God of justice today. God does not change.
    And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on the reservations.
    When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps.
    When it came to treating the citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters. Put them on auction blocks. Put them in cotton fields. Put them in inferior schools. Put them in substandard housing. Put them in scientific experiments. Put them in the lowest paying jobs. Put them outside the equal protection of the law. Kept them out of the racist bastions of higher education, and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness.
    The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three strike law and then wants us to sing God Bless America. Naw, naw, naw. Not God Bless America. God Damn America! That’s in the Bible. For killing innocent people. God Damn America for treating its citizens as less than human. God Damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is Supreme.
    What’s obvious, in fact, is that the longtime right-wing “America, love it or leave it” style of patriotism has become part of the media’s standard narrative in the post-9/11 world. I think Al Franken had it right:
    If you listen to a lot of conservatives, they’ll tell you that the difference between them and us is that conservatives love America and liberals hate America…. They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different Way. You see, they love America the way a 4-year-old loves her Mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups.
    To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.
    In the new media universe, Mommy America would never ever hurt those poor black people. And if maybe she did once upon a time, well, she made up for it a long time ago and now things are all better. Bringing up evidence to the contrary just means you hate Mommy.

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