Posted on

Homeless Shelter Cleared to House Illegal Aliens, Dozens Infected with COVID-19

As if the illegal immigrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border were not bad enough, homeless Americans have been booted from a temporary shelter in southern California to make room for scores of migrants, dozens of them infected with COVID-19. Since the Biden administration rolled out the welcome mat, thousands of illegal aliens have entered the country, most of them minors classified as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) by the feds. Now the government is scrambling to meet its legal obligation of caring for them at facilities nationwide operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In this case, homeless residents were apparently cleared out of the San Diego Convention Center prematurely to accommodate up to 1,450 UAC, though city officials claim the decision to stop using the facility for the homeless predates the illegal alien crunch. Homeless San Diegans have been housed at the center for about a year as part of an initiative to halt the spread of COVID-19. The San Diego City Council voted to extend the program through March, but evidently it was cut short to bring in the illegal immigrants. The city will relocate about 500 homeless individuals to two local shelters, according to a local news report. “The convention center will be used to house migrants through July and will be operated by the federal government and the county,” the story says.

So far there are about 743 UAC at the convention center, according to government figures cited in a local news report this week. At least 82 of the migrant teenagers have tested positive for COVID-19. Just this week 247 girls arrived at the makeshift shelter and of that group, 32 have COVID-19, the article states. “Another girl who was placed in the COVID exposed group contracted the virus,” the news story reveals, adding that “officials said none of the minors who tested positive have needed to be hospitalized.” An HHS spokesperson named Bonnie Preston is cited in several news stories saying that the majority of the girls tested positive for the virus before arriving in San Diego and six tested positive upon arrival. The HHS spokesperson further reveals that about 250 UAC will arrive every other day until the convention center reaches its capacity.

There are around 11,551—and counting—illegal immigrant minors in HHS shelters and another 5,000 in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol, according to the government. In February alone, more than 7,000 UAC were placed in facilities funded by American taxpayers. Border Patrol figures show that in January there was a 64% increase in UAC over the same one-month period last year with two Texas sectors—Big Bend and Del Rio—seeing the biggest increase in UAC traffic over the same one-month period in 2020, 141% and 122% respectively. The problem is only going to get worse as thousands more are allowed in by the Biden administration. Under federal law HHS takes custody of UAC, identified as illegal immigrants under the age of 18, and must provide care for them. The agency funds and oversees around 170 state-licensed care facilities to house the minors when they arrive from foreign countries south of the border.

American taxpayers provide them with an array of services including classroom education, mental and medical health care, legal counsel, and a variety of recreational activities. The overwhelming majority of the migrants—72%—are not children but rather young adults or adolescents 15 to 17 years old, government records show. Most of the youths are from Guatemala and Honduras and 68% are male, which has tremendously boosted gang recruitment in this country. Federal authorities have for years confirmed that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)—recruit new members at U.S. shelters housing UAC. Long before COVID-19, health issues were a serios concern among the hordes of illegal immigrant minors allowed into the U.S. by the Obama administration because they brought in serious diseases, including swine flu, dengue fever and possibly Ebola.

The San Diego Convention Center accommodations are not the only special treatment that the illegal immigrants are receiving. They also get live teachers while the pandemic forces local children whose parents fund the public school system to receive instruction online. This week a federal lawmaker, Congressman Darrell Issa, blasted the idea in a statement following reports that teachers will be sent to the San Diego Convention Center to provide in-person instruction for the illegal immigrants. “For more than a year, parents and students in San Diego County have waited for educators to answer one question: When will our schools reopen with in-person instruction only? And for a year, they’ve been told to wait. The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry.”

Posted on

Grassroots Rebellion Grows with New Calls to Ban Critical Race Theory from Military, Public Schools

From The Epoch Times:

Kevin O’Leary said he was “devastated” when he learned his former football coach, David Flynn, had been fired after questioning a seventh-grade history curriculum that labeled white people and America as inherently racist.

“Everyone loves coach, he gets kids to play football,” O’Leary told a local television news reporter in January. “Coach Flynn is an awesome guy and we’re all devastated that they fired him. Coach Flynn and Dedham football, it’s like broccoli and cheese sauce, can’t have one without the other.”

A few weeks after Flynn’s termination as head football coach for Dedham High School in Massachusetts, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in federal court on his behalf, charging that the coach’s firing violated his First Amendment right to petition public officials and that it was in retaliation for his criticism of the curriculum.

Flynn is not the only parent going to court in opposition to a school curriculum based on the Critical Race Theory (CRT) that views all white people as racist “oppressors” and all “people of color” as the “oppressed” who are thus incapable of being racists.

Gabrielle Clark sued Nevada’s Democracy Prep charter school in federal court in December after her son, William, was forced to describe himself as a racist because of his apparent Caucasian ethnicity. In fact, his Mother is African-American and his deceased father was Caucasian.

“My son is the only white student in this class, as far as we can tell. This teacher is blatantly justifying racism against white people thereby putting my son in emotional, psychological, and physical danger. This is not ok.”

The Flynn and Clark federal lawsuits are part of a rapidly growing national movement against the inclusion of CRT-based materials in classrooms, corporate training, and the federal government.

Read More Here.

Posted on

The California Left’s Abuse of IRS Info

…cancel culture with the help of California’s government wants to target and expose the donors of… conservative groups.

Judicial Watch is fighting to protect the First Amendment rights of non-profit donors across America from a new California law which “compels the disclosure of certain organization’s donors [to its state government].” “This challenge to California law has now made its way to the Supreme Court,” Fitton explained last month. Filing an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief, Judicial Watch is asking the Supreme Court to consider or take up the case. “We’re obviously asking for this California law to be overturned,” Fitton continued. 

The California law, as the Judicial Watch brief argues: 

“…is not only wrong … it would also chill the free exercise of millions of Californians’ protected First Amendment rights.… It clearly affects individuals’ willingness to donate. Indeed, recent widely publicized reports show that threats, harassment, or reprisals have occurred from either government officials or private parties.” 

“We have this fundamental freedom of association as recognized by the First Amendment,” Fitton stated. Referring to the 1958 NAACP v. Alabama case, Fitton reminded viewers that state opponents to the civil rights organization “wanted access to the members, donors, and supporters of the NAACP.” As Fitton explained, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the NAACP, and against the State of Alabama’s attempt to undermine donor privacy. This case is substantively similar to of that “famous case” Fitton argued. “[California is] messing around with your First Amendment rights by forcing organizations… that want to operate in California” to disclose their donor base. 

As Fitton argued, government zeal for exposing conservative organizations is nothing new. Judicial Watch’s amici curiae brief “pointed out the notorious IRS scandal under the Obama administration in which the agency targeted conservative organizations’ applications for tax exempt status.” 

In our experience, any more regulation that requires additional disclosure of donor data to a state that has publicly demonstrated an animosity to conservative viewpoints has the real potential to chill speech. 

If you’re concerned about your First Amendment rights, support Judicial Watch today, your voice in Washington, DC. 

 

Posted on

Illegal Aliens Released by BP Commit Home Invasion Robberies, Store Burglaries in U.S. Town

Violence sparked by the illegal immigrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border has spilled over into a sleepy little town unaccustomed to the devastating impact large influxes have on bigger cities near major crossings. A series of crimes committed by illegal aliens and human smugglers (coyotes) has left the usually tranquil Arizona town of Sonoita, population of about 800, in shock. Veteran ranchers and business owners in the area interviewed by Judicial Watch say that in the last few days there have been two home invasion robberies and two local stores were burglarized by a group of illegal immigrants who had just been released into their community by the U.S. Border Patrol in the predawn hours.

Additionally, armed illegal immigrants were stopped by authorities just south of Sonoita on private property, according to local sources. “Keep in mind that our area is rural, and the large majority of illegal immigrants are crossing in Nogales, Naco, and Douglas in Santa Cruz and Cochise County,” said one area rancher. Another said the sparsely populated region, located about two dozen miles from the Mexican border, is a large grazing area that is “not accustomed to this type of invasion of illegal activity.” The ranchers, all lifetime Sonoita-area residents, asked not to be identified because the situation is getting increasingly heated. Judicial Watch reached out to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff, which has jurisdiction in the area, for more detailed information about the crimes. However, the agency never responded. Local sources with firsthand knowledge of the recent crime spree say one of the homeowners recently robbed was beaten quite badly by the illegal alien perpetrators. The other was the family home of an area pastor’s son, the sources said.

Judicial Watch spoke to the owner of one of the Sonoita stores recently burglarized by illegal immigrants sometime before dawn. The business, Cowgirl Flare Boutique, sits at the intersection of Arizona State Route 82 and 83 in the middle of town. Next to it is a convenience store that also got burglarized by the same group. “The Border Patrol processed and released two men and a woman for human smuggling at around 4:30 a.m. and my store is very close to the Sonoita Border Patrol station,” said Stephanie Hubbell, who opened Cowgirl Flare Boutique nearly a decade ago. “They broke in and took all the money in the cash register and several pairs of men’s jeans and shirts.” The illegal immigrants also smoked crack cocaine in her store, Hubbell said, and used the pages of a book nook stationed outside her business to start a fire. Besides also burglarizing the convenience store next to her, Hubbell said the illegal immigrants stole all the cash donations in a shrine that the owner has in honor of her deceased mother.

The problem is only getting worse, locals say, because federal agents are overwhelmed with the onslaught of migrants and more are being released into communities near the border. A separate group of illegal immigrants processed and released by the Border Patrol was arrested within the last 24 hours, Hubbell said, for criminal behavior in Sonoita. “One was coming off meth and the other three guys were traffickers,” Hubbell said. Hours later, an illegal alien “coming off heroine” was taken into custody, she added. “This is the kind of illegal activity that this is bringing to our area,” the longtime resident and business owner declared. She and other town residents, who did not want their name used, say that during Donald Trump’s presidency there was less criminal activity by illegal immigrants than in the first few months of the Biden administration. “This town was so safe for the last four years,” Hubbell said. “Not now.”

In the last few weeks, several media outlets have reported that federal authorities are indeed releasing large groups of illegal immigrants in the U.S. after “processing” them, many without even being issued a court date. One national news syndicate obtained an internal government document that explains the move is “intended to mitigate operational challenges, including risks to national security, during significant surges of illegal migration.” A Texas congressman recently disclosed that federal officials have released around 2,000 illegal immigrants inside the U.S. without a notice to appear in court. The Democrat lawmaker, Henry Cuellar, calls it “unprecedented” in a news story and warns that the migrants have placed pressure on border towns. Cuellar represents the border city of Laredo in the U.S. House and has blasted the Biden administration for failing to properly handle the migrant crises. During a recent appearance on a cable news show, the congressman said the Biden administration must work with Mexico and Central America to make sure those countries are helping the U.S.

Posted on

Judicial Watch at the Supreme Court: Fighting for Clean Elections

Battles for clean elections are heating up around the country and Judicial Watch has long been a national leader in the fight. Recently we weighed in on a critical case now being considered by the Supreme Court. Its outcome could reshape elections in America for decades to come.

The case unfolds in the midst of a political battle that could render any decision by the Supreme Court largely moot. As Judicial Watch senior attorney Robert Popper recently wrote, House Resolution 1, rammed through the House of Representatives earlier this month by Democrats on a party line vote, “federalizes election law on a historically unprecedented scale, systematically impairs existing federal and state laws concerning election integrity, and imposes new burdens and restrictions on political speech and activity.”

At the High Court, the immediate issues in Arizona Republican Party et al v. Democratic National Committee et al revolve around out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting. Should the Arizona practices be banned?

But both sides are hunting bigger game in the high-stakes case: Section Two of the Voting Rights Act. Both sides see the case as an opening for the court to reshape Section Two. The standard set in the case will impact a wide array of hot-button state election issues around the nation, including redistricting, voter ID, mail-in ballots, same-day registration, proof required for registration, how much early voting is required, third-party collection of ballots, and when polls can close on election day.

The landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act was a frontal assault on racial discrimination in elections. Section Two bans any law that “results in a denial or abridgment” of the right to vote “on account of race.”

What results in a denial or abridgment of voting rights? It happens, Section Two says, when “the totality of circumstances” show that a racial minority has “less opportunities than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”

Lower courts have disagreed on Section Two, issuing complex and often contradictory rulings. In the Arizona case, lower courts considered whether state laws banning out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting were discriminatory and thus illegal under Section Two.

The Arizona out-of-precinct law banned people from casting votes in precincts other than where they were registered to vote. The ballot harvesting regulation banned third parties such as paid political operatives and labor unions from going door-to-door to collect ballots.

A federal district court said the Arizona statutes are not discriminatory, upholding the laws.

On appeal, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court: the Arizona laws were proper and not discriminatory.

But the liberally inclined full bench of the Ninth Circuit then took up the case and parted ways with their colleagues. They reversed the earlier rulings, saying that Arizona’s prohibitions on out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting were enacted with a discriminatory purpose and had discriminatory results—violations of Section Two.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Judicial Watch and our friends at the Allied Education Foundation, we asked the High Court to reject the ruling of the full Ninth Circuit.

We noted that in the matter of out-of-precinct voting, the Democratic National Committee lawyers on the winning side in the Ninth Circuit case “utterly failed” to provide “any evidence” that the challenged voting procedures “caused minorities to have less opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”

“Causation”—cause—is the key first step in determining a Section Two violation. The Ninth Circuit found no cause, no evidence, and moved right on to the emotionally charged second step in finding a violation: past racial discrimination and current socio-economic disparities.

But to move on to the second step of finding a Section Two violation, we note, the courts must “first find causation”—an entirely reasonable standard. “The Ninth Circuit erred,” we note, “when it proceeded to the next step of the Section Two analysis” [social and historical conditions] “…without first finding causation.”

In other words, there must be evidence that, in the Arizona case, the bans on out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting actually resulted in a minority having less opportunity to vote and elect representatives of its choice. But there was no evidence, we argue. Absent evidence of actual harm, it is unjust and improper to invoke social and historical comparisons.

The fundamental flaw in the Ninth Circuit ruling that out-of-precinct voting had a racially discriminatory impact, we note, is that the case provided “no statistical or non-statistical evidence showing (1) which candidates in local and state races in Arizona elections were preferred by minority voters; (2) the vote margins by which those minority preferred candidates were defeated; and (3) whether the number of minority-cast [out-of-precinct] votes, if cast, was sufficient to have caused the election to go in favor of the minority preferred candidate.”

Without this evidence, the case collapses.

Similarly, in the ballot harvesting issue, we note that evidence presented to the Ninth Circuit consisted almost entirely of anecdotal testimony that large amounts of ballots were collected from minority voters before the ban. The implication here being that after the ban, voting dropped. But we noted that “no evidence” was provided of “specific numbers of ballots cast with the type of assistance proscribed by” the Arizona bill. And, importantly, “no individual voter testified that these ballot-collection and delivery restrictions” made it more difficult to vote.

The Ninth Circuit ruling, we note, “pointed to no testimonial or documentary evidence comparing the numbers of early ballots delivered to election officials by third parties before and after the enactment” of the Arizona law. In addition, there was no showing in the case whether the ballot harvesting ban “caused minority-preferred candidates to lose elections.”

Read the full Judicial Watch brief here. It is replete with fine detail and sophisticated legal argument.

My main takeaway? Evidence matters, and the Ninth Circuit failed to consider it.

The broader issue? With the case now before the Supreme Court, the expansive, evidence-free Ninth Circuit interpretation of Section Two of the Voting Rights Act threatens to become the law of the land. Judicial Watch strongly supports election law that is race neutral. We do not support, as Judicial Watch Tom Fitton recently said, “the misuse of civil rights laws by leftist partisans to undermine election integrity measures.”

A ruling is expected in summer.

***

Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Follow him on Twitter @micah_morrison. Tips: [email protected]

Investigative Bulletin is published by Judicial Watch. Reprints and media inquiries: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Make Hillary Clinton Testify About Private Email Server

From The Washington Times:

The Supreme Court rejected a case Monday seeking to have Hillary Clinton testify about her use of a private email for official business as secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Without comment, the justices declined to hear the challenge by the conservative activist group Judicial Watch.

It would have taken four justices to vote to grant review on the matter.

Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement. For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

David Kendall, who represented Mrs. Clinton, said the Supreme Court‘s decision “speaks for itself.” He declined to elaborate.

Read More Here.

Posted on

Judicial Watch Statement on Supreme Court Refusal to Uphold Court Ruling Requiring Hillary Clinton Email Testimony

(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court’s refusal to grant cert to Judicial Watch’s challenge to an appeals court decision exempting Hillary Clinton from testifying under oath about her emails and Benghazi attack documents:

Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement. For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice. Americans would never have known about Hillary Clinton’s email and related pay for play scandals but for Judicial Watch’s diligence. We expect that the Biden State and Justice Departments will continue to protect her and cover up their own misconduct as we press for additional accountability through the courts.

Judicial Watch argued that the Supreme Court should hear its case because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in undermining the Freedom of Information Act in giving Clinton unwarranted special treatment that conflicts both with Supreme Court precedent and the precedents of other courts of appeal, including its own.

The cert petition arose from the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242), which led directly to the disclosure of Clinton’s use of a nongovernment email server to conduct government business. On March 2, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth authorized Judicial Watch to depose Clinton about her emails and the existence of relevant Benghazi attack documents. The court also ordered the deposition of Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other State Department officials. 

###

Posted on

New Election Lawsuits | Judicial Watch

Pelosi Congress Assault on Election Integrity Raises Constitutional Questions
Lawsuit: 2,400 Illegal Alien Criminals Released under San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Sanctuary Policy
Judicial Watch Sues Georgia Secretary of State for Records about Changes to Processing of Absentee Ballots in 2020 Election, and 2021 Trump/Raffensperger Call
Fauci Update: Judicial Watch Sues for NIH Funding and Other Records Tied to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology
Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data

Pelosi Congress Assault on Election Integrity Raises Constitutional Questions

Robert Popper is a Judicial Watch senior attorney who served as the deputy chief of the voting section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2008 to 2013. In the following op-ed for The Hill he reveals the massive power grab the Left plans on elections across the land:

Ever since House Resolution 1, the Democrats’ 886-page partisan wish list of a voting bill, passed the House on a party-line vote earlier this month, its critics have had a lot to say. They correctly point out that the bill federalizes election law on a historically unprecedented scale, systematically impairs existing federal and state laws concerning election integrity, and imposes new burdens and restrictions on political speech and activity. All of this is apparent from the text of the bill.

Less obvious — indeed, almost hidden from anyone who does not specialize in voting law — is a provision of H.R. 1 requiring states to draw federal congressional districts in a way that favors Democrats: “Districts shall comply with the Voting Rights Act … including by creating any districts where two or more politically cohesive groups protected by such Act are able to elect representatives of choice in coalition with one another.” The bill adds that districts must “ensure the practical ability” of such groups to “elect representatives of choice … regardless of whether or not such protected group constitutes a majority” of a district.

“In coalition with one another” — these innocent-seeming words are, in fact, an attempt to reverse particular rulings of the Supreme Court and compel the drawing of what are known as “coalition” districts specially constructed to ensure Democratic majorities.

The checkered history of coalition districts is bound up with cases interpreting Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which forbids any practice that causes members of a racial group to “have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.” This clause has long been interpreted to forbid at-large elections where these allow a racial majority to dominate a racial minority.

Here is how this might happen: In an at-large election for, say, a city council of seven members, every member is elected by the entire population of the city; if voting is racially polarized, a racial majority of only 55 percent of the city’s voters has the power to elect all seven council members, effectively denying the large minority any representation whatsoever. The remedy for this kind of violation of Section 2 is the imposition of electoral districts. These allow the city-wide minority a chance to prevail locally in at least a few of those districts. But before compelling such a remedy — that is, before throwing out a jurisdiction’s chosen electoral system and imposing a district plan — the Supreme Court logically requires that a racial minority at least have a chance of forming a majority in one of the new districts.

In the intervening years, the plaintiffs suing to enforce Section 2 have most often been Black or Hispanic voters. In any particular jurisdiction, they may not have sufficient numbers to make up a majority in a new district. Further, many of these voters tend to vote for Democrats, and the requirement that they be placed in districts where they can form a majority often conflicts with the desire of Democratic operatives that they be placed strategically to maximize the party’s electoral chances.

Enter the concept of coalition districts. Suppose there are too few black voters to form a majority in a new district. The idea is that, if enough white voters join them, or if enough Hispanic or other minority voters join them, and if this “coalition” is large enough to constitute a voting majority in that district, then drawing it becomes legally necessary to ensure minority voters’ opportunity “to elect representatives of their choice.”

This is a transparent partisan trick. What special interest do minority voters in such a district share with other minority or majority voters who may join them to form a majority? The only answer is that they all intend to vote the same way.

Indeed, drawing such a coalition district seems to reduce to a mandate to “find as many Democrats as you can and put them in a district.” An ideological preference cannot be enshrined as a voting right. As Richard Pildes put it in 2002, a “statute aimed at counteracting discrimination in voting would thus be transformed into a substantive, partisan entitlement to office.”

In Bartlett v. Strickland in 2009, the Supreme Court rejected the idea that white votes could be combined with Black votes to constitute a majority in a Section 2 remedial district. As Justice Kennedy observed, Section 2 does not grant “special protection to a minority group’s right to form political coalitions.” And in Perry v. Perez in 2012, the court implied that the same reasoning would bar the drawing of a “minority coalition opportunity district” in which “two different minority groups” were expected “to band together to form an electoral majority.”

Now, H.R. 1 seeks to revive this bad idea and to make it federal law. Like so much else in the bill, it is sure to be subject to legal challenges — in this case, for blatantly favoring the electoral prospects of one party and one viewpoint.

Lawsuit: 2,400 Illegal Alien Criminals Released under San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Sanctuary Policy

If you want to know the danger sanctuary policies produce, look no farther than San Francisco, where criminals are permitted to roam free.

We have sued to overturn the San Francisco Sheriff’s sanctuary policy, and our suit revealed that more than 2,400 criminal illegal aliens were released under the department’s policy on communications with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about criminal illegal aliens in the Sheriff’s custody. (Cynthia Cerletti v. Vicki Hennessy, Sheriff (No. CGC-16-556164)). A hearing in the court challenge is scheduled for April 5.

We note in a recent court filing that the Sheriff’s office’s policy “is so effective in regulating immigration and obstructing Congress’ purposes under federal immigration law that, in over 2,401 known instances, it has never resulted in ICE taking into custody a single alien, not even aliens with significant criminal backgrounds wanted for removal.”

This is the latest action in the December 2016 lawsuit we brought on behalf of California taxpayer Cynthia Cerletti. Our lawsuit argues that the Sheriff Department’s restrictions on communications with ICE conflict with federal immigration law and attempt to regulate immigration and are therefore invalid.

Our recent filing includes expert testimony that details specific examples of egregious criminal behavior of illegal aliens that the Sheriff’s office had in custody who were released without consultation with ICE:

  • A citizen of Cuba faced charges for burglary and a parole violation, with a prior burglary conviction.
  • A citizen of Vietnam faced charges for robbery, battery, and assault.
  • A citizen of Ethiopia was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a peace officer, receiving stolen property, a parole violation, and had prior convictions for stolen property crimes.
  • A citizen of Mexico had a long list of current and prior offenses, including convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, felony assault, false imprisonment, burglary, vehicle theft, and probation violations, including one revocation of probation. This individual appeared to have been arrested at least nine times between January 2015 and March 2020.
  • A citizen of Honduras was facing instant charges of burglary.  His 5-page rap sheet included prior convictions on felonies such as burglary while in possession of a concealed, loaded firearm, giving false information to an officer, child endangerment, theft, domestic violence, robbery, assault, and violating a restraining order.
  • Another citizen of Mexico was facing instant charges of robbery, domestic violence and assault and also was the subject of an ICE detainer and warrant of arrest after a biometric match with DHS records. The alien had three recent, separate, prior felony convictions: two for auto theft and one for burglary, which had occurred over a 15-month period ending two and one-half years prior to the instant offense.
  • A citizen of Ukraine was arrested and held to answer for a felony burglary charge, along with false imprisonment, receiving stolen property, threatening an officer, and a firearms charge. Two years prior, he was convicted on a robbery charge, among other offense.
  • Another citizen of Mexico was held to answer on felony burglary charges, false imprisonment, and adult kidnapping charges. The alien had prior burglary convictions, one occurring one year prior to the instant charge, and another occurring four years prior, for which he was sentenced to 364 days plus probation.
  • A citizen of Cambodia was facing instant charges for assault with a deadly weapon, murder, and a loaded firearm violation.

In December 2017, the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County overruled the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s move to dismiss this lawsuit.

In rejecting the Sheriff’s attempt to end the lawsuit, presiding Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn wrote there is “sufficient support at this stage of the case for Cerletti’s allegation that the Sheriff’s policy prohibiting or restricting release information about suspected priority aliens stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment of Congress’ asserted purpose of enabling federal immigration officials to gain access to inmates who may have violated federal immigration laws.”

Our taxpayer lawsuit shows that the San Francisco Sheriff’s sanctuary policy is not only unlawful but is also a clear and present danger to the public safety.

Judicial Watch Sues Georgia Secretary of State for Records about Changes to Processing of Absentee Ballots in 2020 Election, and 2021 Trump/Raffensperger Call

The election in Georgia last year was controversial, to say the least, and we want to know more about what happened behind the scenes. 

Consequently, we filed two Georgia Open Records Act lawsuits against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for records related to: 

(1) the March 6, 2020 consent agreement regarding the processing of absentee ballots in the November 3, 2020 general election (Judicial Watch v. Brad Raffensperger (No. 2021 cv 347236)); and 

(2) the January 2, 2021 telephone call between Raffensperger and President Trump (Judicial Watch v. Brad Raffensperger (No. 2021 cv 347237)).

We filed the first lawsuit after Secretary of State Raffensperger failed to respond to a November 17, 2020 request for:

All records related to the March 6, 2020 Consent Agreement entered into by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and others relating to the processing of absentee ballots by the Secretary of State in the November 3, 2020 general election, including but not limited to emails regarding the agreement sent to and from Raffensperger, State Election Board Vice Chair Rebecca N. Sullivan, State Election Board Member David J. Worley, State Election Board Member Matthew Mashburn, and/or State Election Board Member Anh Le.

Our second lawsuit seeks:

All emails sent to and from Secretary of State Raffensperger, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs and General Counsel Brian Germany regarding the January 2, 2021 telephone call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and others concerning alleged election fraud in Georgia.

On March 6, 2020, Raffensperger and other Georgia officials signed a consent decree with the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that critics contend improperly weakened anti-fraud measures related absentee ballots.

In an hour-long telephone call on January 2, 2021, President Trump and Raffensperger discussed Trump’s concerns about voter fraud in Georgia. The conversation became controversial after Raffensperger’s office allegedly leaked a recording of the call to the Washington Post.

Here’s some background.

In April 2020, we identified thousands of persons who may have registered to vote in Georgia at non-residential addresses. We shared its data with Raffensperger’s office at the time and requested an investigation. On January 5 of this year, we announced that, of this list of voters who may have registered using non-residential addresses, 4,700 voted absentee in the 2020 presidential election. Georgia law requires that citizens registering to vote must reside “in that place in which such person’s habitation is fixed….”

We have been busy elsewhere. In 2020, as you know, we sued North CarolinaPennsylvania, and Colorado for failing to clean up their voter rolls and also sued Illinois for refusing to disclose voter roll data in violation of federal law. These lawsuits continue. We also has filed dozens of public records requests in multiple states about the 2020 election.

Hiding key records about a controversial absentee ballot settlement agreement and leaking the President Trump’s phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state prevents Americans from knowing the full story and deciding for themselves whether the outcome in Georgia was fair.

Fauci Update: Judicial Watch Sues for NIH Funding and Other Records Tied to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology

You know Dr. Anthony Fauci is a federal bureaucrat with immense and, too often, unaccountable political power. But he and his agency will face accountability thanks to a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for National Institutes of Health (NIH) records of communications, contracts and agreements with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00696)). The lawsuit specifically seeks records about NIH grants that benefitted the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

We sued after the NIH denied our April 22, 2020, FOIA request for:

  1. All NIAID communications regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China;
  2. All agreements, contracts and related documents between NIAID and the Wuhan Institute of Virology; and
  3. All records, including agreements, funds disbursement records and related NIAID communications regarding a reported $3.7 million in grants provided by NIH to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In April 2020, the Daily Mail reported that documents “show the Wuhan Institute of Virology undertook coronavirus experiments on mammals captured more than 1,000 miles away in Yunnan – funded by a $3.7 million grant from the US government.”

The NIH in April 2020 suspended funding a grant to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance that “had previously established a partnership with a virology laboratory in Wuhan, China” but in August gave the EcoHealth Alliance a grant of $7.5 million. The grant will reportedly “focus on Southeast Asia and the emergence of coronaviruses; filoviruses, the family responsible for Ebola; and paramyxoviruses, a family of viruses that includes measles and mumps.”

In March 2021, we uncovered HHS/NIH records that show NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020. Additionally, the records reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIAID Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Cliff Lane.

In October 2020, we received records from the HHS that show Dr. Fauci approved a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

For almost a year now, Dr. Fauci’s agency has stonewalled our lawful request for information about the agency’s connections to the controversial Wuhan lab. The American people have a right to know about Dr. Fauci’s agency’s involvement with the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology

 

Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data

The risks to everyday Americans from actions by Chinese government seem to be increasing every day. Judicial Watch is committed to getting answers about the China threat that a compromised Washington, DC (see Hunter Biden) would rather ignore. 

I expect will get some insight from a FOIA suit we filed against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) seeking records of the OPM’s Federal Executive Institute’s personnel classes and seminars in China and any records of communications concerning the 2014 breach of OPM data by hackers working for the Chinese government, which compromised the personal information of some 22 million Americans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (No. 1:21-cv-00646)).

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after OPM failed to reply to a December 11, 2020, FOIA request for:

Any and all promotional materials, admission applications, invitations to apply, enrollment documentation, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all course catalogs, syllabi, agendas, training and briefing materials, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all contracts, including Personal Service Contracts, awarded by the Office of Personnel Management to support the operations of the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1,2012.

Any and all materials used to provide security briefings to any student, faculty member, instructor, or other employee or contractor assigned on a permanent or temporary basis to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any official, employee, or representative of the government of China and/or any other Chinese national regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China that contain the terms “breach,” “security,” or “SF-86” between March 1, 2014 and January 20, 2017. This request includes, but is not limited to, any such communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Federal Executive Institute, a training center for executives of U.S. government agencies, includes an International Leadership Development Program that for years sent U.S. officials to China for training.

We’re seeking information on Federal Executive Institute operations in China between September 2009 and September 2012.

An April 28, 2010, report from the Chinese propaganda outlet People’s Daily Online described how a group of 20 U.S. officials selected by the Federal Executive Institute went to Tsinghua University in China for “a one-week intensive training program” that included lectures on China’s communist system.

In the hacking matter, the OPM revealed in June 2015 that it was the target of a “cyber intrusion” in which the personnel records of 22.1 million people were compromised. The OPM was targeted in two linked attacks, the first in March 2014 and the second in May 2014.

Sending federal employees to communist China for “training” seems like reckless risk to our national security. And the hack, likely by China, of the Obama administration’s sensitive personnel records of millions of government employees is a scandal that our government would like to cover up but for which we are seeking answers now in federal court.

Until next week …

Posted on

Biden Administration Gives Media “Zero Access” to Mexican Border Crisis

The Biden administration is restricting media access to the Mexican border crisis, according to various news outlets and journalists, but Border Patrol sectors in the region are reporting alarming numbers of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. The unprecedented onslaught is overwhelming federal agents, and several Border Patrol sectors are publishing distressing figures as the situation escalates. With the mainstream media sidelined, reporters are using their respective news outlets and social media to protest the lack of transparency. Even CNN, one of the president’s biggest allies, complains that the “Biden administration continues to deny journalists access to border facilities.” The policy raises questions about the administration’s “commitments to increased transparency,” the cable news network asserts.

NBC news gripes that the “Biden administration limits what Border Patrol can share with media about migrant surge at border.” In the piece, the national outlet writes that the administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency’s capacity at the southern border. The restrictions are described as a “gag order” and the information is attributed to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials. The sources say the Border Patrol has been ordered to deny all media requests for “ride-alongs” with agents in the southern border; local press officers are instructed to send all information queries—even from local media—to the press office in Washington D.C. for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist slams the administration on social media, confirming that the Biden administration is granting the media “zero access” at the U.S.-Mexico border. The renowned photographer, John Moore, says he has photographed CBP under presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump but he had to go to the Mexican side to shoot his latest pictures with a telephoto lens. “I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations,” Moore writes in his social media thread. “Until now, US photojournalists haven’t needed to stand in another country to photograph what’s happening – in the United States.” Moore, who currently works for the Seattle-based media company Getty images, says he and other journalists have been escorted away from the crossing by Border Patrol agents. “There’s no modern precedent for a full physical ban on media access to CBP border operations,” he points out.

At least some information is trickling out via the different Border Patrol sectors, albeit in local press releases that are not receiving much media coverage. The McAllen Border Patrol Station (MCS) in Edinburg, Texas had a busy few days, revealing in a statement that agents encountered three large groups of families and unaccompanied alien children with each group containing more than 100 people. The illegal immigrants were from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Belize. “On Saturday, MCS agents working near Havana, Texas, encountered a group of more than 145 illegal aliens,” the frontline Homeland Security agency writes. “Hours later, another 108 illegal aliens were apprehended near La Joya, Texas. Yesterday morning, agents working near Hidalgo, Texas, arrested a third group consisting of 116 people.  In total, the three groups consisted of nearly 300 family members and unaccompanied alien children, single adults rounded out the rest of the groups.”

In the agency’s Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector, also in Texas, agents have encountered 25 groups of more than 100 each entering the U.S. illegally in the first few months of the year. “March has been a very active month for RGV, as illegal alien apprehensions thus far have surpassed February’s total number,” a regional statement says, affirming that the global pandemic has not slowed the influx. “Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation,” the Border Patrol writes. “The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements.”

Posted on

Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) seeking records of the OPM’s Federal Executive Institute’s personnel classes and seminars in China and any records of communications concerning the 2014 breach of OPM data by hackers working for the Chinese government which compromised the personal information of some 22 million Americans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (No. 1:21-cv-00646)).

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after OPM failed to reply to a December 11, 2020, FOIA request for:

Any and all promotional materials, admission applications, invitations to apply, enrollment documentation, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all course catalogs, syllabi, agendas, training and briefing materials, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all contracts, including Personal Service Contracts, awarded by the Office of Personnel Management to support the operations of the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1,2012.

Any and all materials used to provide security briefings to any student, faculty member, instructor, or other employee or contractor assigned on a permanent or temporary basis to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any official, employee, or representative of the government of China and/or any other Chinese national regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China that contain the terms “breach,” “security,” or “SF-86” between March 1, 2014 and January 20, 2017. This request includes, but is not limited to, any such communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Federal Executive Institute is a training center for executives of U.S. government agencies which includes an International Leadership Development Program which for years sent U.S. officials to China for training.

Judicial Watch is seeking information on Federal Executive Institute operations in China between September 2009 and September 2012.

An April 28, 2010 report from the Chinese propaganda outlet People’s Daily Online described how a group of 20 U.S. officials selected by the Federal Executive Institute went to Tsinghua University in China for “a one-week intensive training program” which included lectures on China’s communist system.

The OPM revealed in June 2015 that it was the target of a “cyber intrusion” in which the personnel records of 22.1 million people were compromised. The OPM was targeted in two linked attacks, the first in March 2014 and the second in May 2014.

“Sending federal employees to communist China for ‘training’ seems like reckless risk to our national security,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the hack, likely by China, of the Obama administration’s sensitive personnel records of millions of government employees is a scandal that our government would like to cover up but for which Judicial Watch is seeking answers now in federal court.”

###