Drug Cartel Kills American While He Jet Skied with Wife on Falcon Lake, Texas

Tiffany Hartley and her husband David Michael Hartley

BROWNSVILLE — Gunmen presumed to be Mexican drug operatives opened fire today on a couple riding water skis on the binational Falcon Lake reservoir, possibly killing the husband and sending the woman fleeing frantically to the U.S. side.

Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said the couple — believed to be from McAllen — had crossed to the Mexican side when they came under a spray of bullets by two boatloads of men. The man, 30, was shot in the head and his wife said she fears he is dead.

“They saw them approaching and started revving it up back to the U.S. side,” Gonzalez told the Associated Press. “The guys just started shooting at them from behind.”

According to unconfirmed reports, the woman circled back to get her husband but the gunmen continued shooting, even after she crossed back to the U.S. side.

Gonzalez said he had contacted the Mexican consulate for help finding the husband. As of late Thursday afternoon, he was tracing down leads with the FBI, said Mary Pulido, a dispatcher fielding a barrage of press calls.

“I do know that it happened on the Mexican side, that’s what’s making the investigation very difficult,” she said.

The shooting follows reports in May that boaters in the famed bass fishing oasis were at risk of being shaken down by “pirates” lurking on the Mexican side.

The 60-mile long Rio Grande reservoir is shared by the United States and Mexico, and due to its location along sparsely populated Starr and Zapata counties is believed to be a favorite location for trafficking drugs.

Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, who along with state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, recently traveled to the area for a briefing by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Falcon Lake dangers said that any gunfire that took place on the U.S. side of the lake — in some places demarcated by floating markers — would represent a serious step over the line for a drug war that’s “getting out of hand.”

“These guys are getting very aggressive,” he said. “It’s a significant incident, but it has international ramifications if the shots continued into our side. This was just a couple of people having a good time.”

Peña, as chair of the emergency preparedness committee, said the incident strengthened his resolve to fight budget cuts for DPS, who along with Border Patrol agents patrol the lake.

“They’re essentially the Texas marine force,” he said. “We need them to protect our citizens and keep our lakes safe.”

Thursday’s reported shooting comes during what may be the most deadly and prolonged streak of Mexican drug cartel violence in memory.

In May, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported several incidents of pirates shaking down U.S. boaters. The robbers in at least one case posed as Mexican federal law enforcement, searching fishing boats for guns and drugs and then demanding cash at gunpoint.

The DPS issued a statement warning people not to cross to the Mexican side of the lake. Boaters were encouraged to file a float plan with family members.

“The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization or members of an enforcer group linked to a drug trafficking organization who are…using AK-47s or AR-15 rifles to threaten their victims,” it said. “They appear to be using local Mexican fishermen to operate the boats to get close to American fishermen.”

The warning came as the county of Zapata geared up for a summer of fishing tournaments, prompting the chamber of commerce to say that the warning was drastic and that people were safe if they stayed in U.S. waters.

Falcon Lake was formed by a dam in 1953 to conserve water for agriculture and control downstream flooding.

http://oneoldvet.com/?p=23289

David Michael Hartley riding his Jet Ski at home in Colorado

Mexican Pirates Attack US Couple on Falcon Lake; Husband Missing, Feared Dead

Mexican pirates operating on Falcon Lake, which is shared by the United States and Mexico, on Thursday shot an American tourist who had crossed the border on a Jet Ski.

Tiffany Hartley, 29, said her husband, David Michael Hartley, 30, was shot in the back of the head as they tried to escape an ambush on the lake, The Associated Press reports.

Hartley tried to turn around to save her husband but said she had to continue to retreat when she heard bullets whizzing by. Today, search teams continue to comb the Texas side of the lake for David, who is presumed dead. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said he had asked the Mexican consulate to conduct a search on his country’s side of the lake as well.

Falcon Lake pirate gangs in May after a spat of robberies prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety to issue a bulletin warning Americans to stay in U.S. waters. Authorities believe the pirates are offshoots of Mexican drug gangs operating in the area.

On April 30, five American fishermen crossed the border to explore Guerrero Viejo, a town that was abandoned and flooded when the Rio Grande was dammed to create Falcon Lake in 1953. The Americans’ boat was boarded by four men who said they were federal police but were not wearing uniforms.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the men demanded to know if the fishermen had drugs before making off with $200. They also had several tattoos of the letter “Z,” raising suspicions that they were members of the Zetas drug cartel, which controls territory in northern Mexico.

Like the fishermen, the Hartleys had crossed the border Thursday to see Guerrero Viejo. Gonzalez said today that the gunmen chased the couple into American waters, according to the AP. He also said he suspects they returned for Hartley’s body or let it sink to the bottom of the lake in the hopes of destroying evidence of his murder.

Falcon Lake, which is approximately 50 miles south of Laredo, Texas, is a water sports and fishing destination, making it a prime target for an unusual brand of piracy. There have been at least five reported attacks on the lake this year, although none of them was deadly.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox told the AP that the last reported sighting of the pirates was on Aug. 31, when boaters reported seeing gunmen in a small craft with “Game Wardin” spelled out in duct tape on the side of the boat.

http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/falcon-lake-pirates-ambush-american-couple-shoot-husband-in-head/19657660

Search resumes for US man shot in Mexican waters

SAN ANTONIO — Texas officials planned Friday to renew warnings about pirates marauding on a U.S.-Mexico border lake after a Colorado tourist was gunned down in Mexican waters while his wife dodged bullets and raced her Jet Ski back to American soil.

Search teams combed the U.S. side of Falcon Lake for David Michael Hartley, 30, whose wife told police he was shot in the back of the head Thursday after being ambushed by gunmen on boats.

The gunmen are suspected pirates who have turned Falcon Lake, a waterskiing and bass fishing hotspot down the border from Laredo, into uneasy waters for fishermen and boaters. There have been at least five reported run-ins with pirates on the lake this year, though prior holdups had never been deadly.

Hartley’s fate was unclear. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said 29-year-old Tiffany Hartley fears her husband is dead. She circled back on her Jet Ski to rescue him but had to retreat when she heard bullets whizzing by.

Gonzalez said he had contacted the Mexican consulate to ask them to search for Hartley on its side of the lake.

“I’m not trying to place the blame on her or him,” Gonzalez said. “But we’ve told people not to go over there, and now this happens.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox said Friday that the state planned to issue a fresh warning to boaters about staying on the U.S. side of the lake. The last warning came in May, and some campers on the lake have taken to arming themselves.

Falcon Lake is a dammed section of the Rio Grande that straddles the border. The border is marked by 14 partially submerged concrete towers that mark the Rio Grande’s path before the lake was created in 1954.

According to Gonzalez, Tiffany Hartley told police that the couple rode their Jet Skis for sightseeing and to take pictures of a famous church in Old Guerrero. They were riding back when they saw the armed gunmen on the boats, and immediately began racing back to U.S. waters.

David Hartley didn’t make it. His wife told authorities he was shot in the back in the head; Cox said one of the boats may have crossed into U.S. waters briefly while trying to run down Tiffany Hartley.

Cox said Tiffany Hartley estimated that the shooting took place about five to six miles from the Texas shoreline where she parked and called for help.

In April, pirates robbed another group of boaters who also went to Old Guerrero to see the church. Cox said the most recent reported pirate sighting had been Aug. 31, when boaters saw gunmen riding a small skiff with “Game Wardin” misspelled in duct tape on the side of the vessel.

Cox said it appeared the pirates were trying to imitate state game warden boats they have seen patrolling the lake.

Gonzalez has previously chalked up the dangerous waters as the product of fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.

Violence on the Mexican side of the lake has been climbing for several months, as a fractured partnership between the region’s dominant Gulf Cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, plunged many of the area’s Mexican border cities into violence.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5haMJhn6enRPZBA8z3GreQPLl8SMQD9IJ0RLG0?docId=D9IJ0RLG0

Agents feared Mexican drug cartel attack on border dam

Falcon Lake Dam

An alleged plot by a Mexican drug cartel to blow up a dam along the Texas border — and unleash billions of gallons of water into a region with millions of civilians — sent American police, federal agents and disaster officials secretly scrambling last month to thwart such an attack, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Whether or not the cartel, which is known to have stolen bulk quantities of gunpowder and dynamite, could have taken down the 5-mile-long Falcon Dam may never be known since the attack never came to pass.

It may have been derailed by a stepped-up presence by the Mexican military, which was acting in part on intelligence from the U.S. government, sources said.

The warning, which swung officials into action, was based on what the federal government contends were “serious and reliable sources” and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to sound the alarm to first responders along the South Texas-Mexico border.

Mexico’s Zeta cartel was planning to destroy the dam not to terrorize civilians, but to get back at its rival and former ally, the Gulf cartel, which controls smuggling routes from the reservoir to the Gulf of Mexico, said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, head of the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition, as did others familiar with the alleged plot.

But in the process, massive amounts of agricultural land would stand to be flooded as well as significant parts of a region where about 4 million people live along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The dam along the lower Rio Grande was finished in 1954 as part of a joint U.S.-Mexico project to collect water for flood control, hydroelectric power and water for drinking and agriculture.

Gonzalez’s agency was among many that responded, as did the U.S. Border Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety and even game wardens, who put more boats on the water.

Citing security concerns, neither Homeland Security nor DPS commented.

“We trust that DPS and their federal and local law enforcement partners are constantly collecting intelligence and monitoring all threats to Texas and taking the appropriate action to protect our citizens from those who would do us harm,” said Gov. Rick Perry’s deputy press secretary Katherine Cesinger.

Varying credibility

Law enforcement officials huddled at the dam, near Rio Grande City, to discuss the threat and how to stifle it, said an officer who attended the meeting.

Officers interviewed by the Chronicle gave the warning varying degrees of credibility. They noted that among the Zetas ranks are Mexican military defectors who were trained in special forces tactics, including demolition.

Special cameras were set up along the dam, which has six 50-foot-tall steel gates, and lawmen hid in brush.

A Mexican military spokesman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he had not heard of any threat to the Falcon Dam and expressed doubt that the Zetas would try such an attack.

“This isn’t the way these groups operate, they have never attacked installations like that,” he said.

Rick Pauza, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, in Laredo, said the port of entry at the dam had been at a heightened alert due to violence in Mexico.

Residents warned?

The attack may have been thwarted in Mexico. It raises the fear of what the powerful cartels could do.

“It would have been a hell of a disaster,” said Gene Falcon, director of emergency preparedness for Starr County, site of the dam. “There was plenty of concern.”

With handbills and bullhorns, members of the Zeta cartel are said to have warned the civilian population on the Mexican side of the river near the dam to get out of the area, according to residents and intelligence information from law enforcement officials.

A border law enforcement official told the Chronicle the warnings originated in part by the seizure of small amounts of dynamite near the dam, and the discovery of a copy of the alert on the Mexican side of the border.

Capt. Francisco Garcia, of the Roma (Texas) Police Department, said there was no way to know what the traffickers were capable of doing, but bringing down the dam would require nearly a tractor-trailer full of dynamite.

“As far as blowing it up — making it fall apart completely — it would have to be something like 9/11,” he said. “By the time they’d start to do something, there will be so much law enforcement there it’d be ridiculous.”

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7033818.html

Small-town mayor stoned to death in western Mexico: Drug Cartel’s Blamed for Murder of 5th City Leader

By GUSTAVO RUIZ
Associated Press Writer

MORELIA, Mexico (AP) – A small-town mayor and an aide were found stoned to death Monday in a drug-plagued western state, the fifth city leader to be slain in Mexico since mid-August.

Michoacan state Attorney General Jesus Montejano said the bodies of Tancitaro Mayor Gustavo Sanchez and city adviser Rafael Equihua were discovered in a pickup truck abandoned on a dirt road near the city of Uruapan.

Montejano’s spokesman, Jonathan Arredondo, said initially that the victims were hacked to death with a machete, but the attorney general said they were killed with stones.

Arredondo said police were trying to determine a possible motive.

Tancitaro, a town of 26,000 people, is in a region where soldiers have destroyed more than 20 meth labs in the last year and several police officers have been killed by suspected drug gang members.

Last year the city council chief, Gonzalo Paz, was kidnapped, tortured and killed. Then in December, the mayor and seven other town officials resigned saying they had been threatened by drug traffickers and local police were not showing up to work.

Soon after, the department’s entire 60-officer force was fired for failing to stop a series of killings and other crimes, and Michoacan state police and soldiers took over security in the town. Sanchez was named mayor in January.

Also Monday in Michoacan, five gunmen and a marine were killed in a shootout in Coahuayana on the Pacific coast, the navy said in a statement. A second marine was wounded, and authorities were searching for more gunmen.

Coahuayana authorities canceled school and warned people to stay indoors.

The navy said another gunbattle across the country in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas left eight gunmen and one marine dead in the border city of Reynosa.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department said soldiers arrested a man suspected in the kidnapping and killing of the mayor of Santiago in the border state of Nuevo Leon. It said in a statement that Miguel Cervantes was arrested Monday.

In the border state of Chihuahua, gunmen broke into a police complex, subdued the guards and stole at least 40 automatic rifles and 23 handguns, police spokesman Fidel Banuelos said.

Banuelos said 10 officers who were in the building at the time were being questioned. He said it was not clear whether the assailants were members of a drug cartel.

In Ciudad Juarez, a border city in Chihuahua, the Public Safety Department announced the capture of a drug gang member who allegedly helped set up a car bomb that killed three people.

Suspect Jose Contreras allegedly killed a man and dressed him in a police uniform to lure federal agents to the area where the car bomb exploded, killing a federal police officer and a doctor who was helping the shooting victim.

Contreras is a member of La Linea gang, which works for the Juarez drug cartel, the department said in a statement.

Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, has become one of the world’s most dangerous cities amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels.

http://www.abc-7.com/Global/story.asp?S=13224935

3rd Mexican Mayor Slain by Hit Men This Month – Bodies of Police Detectives Investigating Slaughter of 72 Migrants Found

3rd Mexican Mayor Slain by Hit Men This Month

Another Mexican mayor slain; Clinton angers Mexico by comparing it to Colombia decades ago

The third Mexican mayor in a month was slain by suspected drug gang hitmen on the same day the U.S. secretary of state raised hackles in Mexico by saying the country is “looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton and other U.S. officials pointed to Mexican drug cartels’ use of three car bombs, a tool once favored by cartel-allied rebels in Colombia, as evidence that the gangs “are now showing more and more indices of insurgency.”

While the Mexican government quickly condemned the killing of the mayor of the northern town of El Naranjo, it rejected the comparison with Colombia, where the Medellin drug cartel waged a full frontal assault on the state, endangering its very integrity with attacks on police, politicians and judges and terror attacks against civilians.

More worrisome to Mexican legislators, Clinton suggested the United States was looking to implement some type of Plan Colombia for Mexico and Central America, referring to a U.S. anti-drug program in which American special forces teams trained Colombian troops and U.S. advisers are attached to Colombian military units.

 
 
 

Edelmiro Cavazo Mayor of Santiago, Mexico - Kidnapped from Home & Assassinated By Cartel

McAuley’s World: As in Columbia, hundreds of Politicians and Police are in the pay of the Mexican Cartels.

The reaction was swift.

Mexico — which has suffered at least three U.S. invasions — has always rejected allowing American troops on its soil, except for a single symbolic presence: Mexico’s Senate has authorized a U.S. detachment to march in next week’s Bicentennial parade.

“Starting right now, we have to say this clearly. We are not going to permit any version of a Plan Colombia,” said Sen. Santiago Creel, a member of President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party. “We cannot permit a Plan Colombia in Mexico.”

Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the leftist Labor Party said U.S. aid to Colombia hadn’t stopped drug trafficking there. “Whoever thinks Colombia is a cure-all, and if the United States thinks it is necessary to apply the same model to us they applied to Colombia, they are mistaken,” he said.

Plan Colombia has been widely credited for helping Colombia diminish the rebel threat…

Clinton made her statements Wednesday in Washington at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she said drug cartels are “morphing into, or making common cause with, what we would consider an insurgency in Mexico and in Central America.”

Clinton also suggested that “we need to figure out what are the equivalents” for Mexico and Central America of Plan Colombia, acknowledging “there were problems and there were mistakes, but it worked.”

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias the "Barbie"

Mexican cartels are becoming increasingly violent — federal police reported Wednesday they had found four bodies in a clandestine grave linked to arrested U.S.-born drug hitman Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie” — and are carrying out more attacks on government officials in Mexico.

Hooded gunmen burst into Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia’s office in the northern Mexico state of San Luis Potosi on Wednesday and shot him to death.

President Felipe Calderon’s office issued a statement condemning the killing — the third mayor slain in less than a month — calling it a “cowardly and criminal” act.

There was no immediate information on the motive in the attack, but the style of the slaying resembles methods used by Mexico’s drug cartels.

On Aug. 29, the mayor of a town just across the state line in

Hidalogo Mayor Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Assassinated by Cartels 08.30.2010

Tamaulipas was shot to death and his daughter wounded. [Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, 46, was shot dead while he was driving his car, the source said. His four-year-old daughter was seriously wounded in the attack, the source said.] The mayor of Santiago, a town in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon, was found murdered Aug. 18, a crime for local police officers allied with a drug gang are suspected.

The San Luis Potosi state prosecutors’ office said Lopez Garcia was killed by a squad of four hitmen. The rural township of about 20,000 people borders the violent-wracked state of Tamaulipas, where 72 migrants were massacred by drug gunmen in August.

On Wednesday, the Mexican government announced that marines had arrested seven gunmen suspected of killing 72 Central and South American migrants last month in the worst drug cartel massacre to date.

Four of the suspects were arrested after a Sept. 3 gunbattle with marines, and the other three were captured days later, spokesman Alejandro Poire said at a news conference.

Poire alleged the seven belong to the Zetas drug gang, but he gave no further details on their identities or what led to their arrests.

Investigators believe the migrants were kidnapped by the Zetas and killed after refusing to work for the cartel.

San Luis Potosi Central Square - City Hall in Background

The arrests “will help determine exactly what happened in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, and it’s a significant step toward ending the impunity surrounding assaults on migrants by organized crime,” Poire said.

An eighth suspect already was in custody. Marines arrested a teenager after a shootout with gunmen at the ranch the day they discovered the bodies. Three gunmen were killed during that battle.

A Twitter account linked to Calderon’s website said two youths aged 14 and 17 had also been detained for allegedly participating in the massacre, but offered no details. The president’s office was not immediately available to clarify the report.

In addition, marines last week found the bodies of three other men suspected of participating in the massacre after an anonymous caller told authorities where to find them. Officials say they have no information on who made the call, but in the past drug gangs have handed over suspects in especially brutal killings that draw too much attention.

Zetas Dump 12 Bodies Outside San Louis Petosi

A Honduran man who also survived the slaughter and is under police protection in Mexico later identified the three dead men as having been among the killers.

The latest arrests were announced one day after authorities found the bodies of two men believed to be those of a state detective and a local police chief who participated in the initial investigation of the massacre. [Prosecutor Roberto Jaime Suarez]

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wirestory?id=11589288&page=1

 

Four decapitated bodies hung from bridge in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Hector Beltran Leyva

CUERNAVACA, Mexico — The decapitated bodies of four men were hung from a bridge Sunday in this central Mexican city besieged by fighting between two drug lords.

A gang led by kingpin Hector Beltran Leyva took responsibility for the killings in a message left with the bodies, the attorney general’s office of Mexico state said in a statement.

The beheaded and mutilated bodies were hung by their feet early Sunday from the bridge in Cuernavaca, a popular weekend getaway for Mexico City residents.

Cuernavaca has become a battleground for control of the Beltran Leyva cartel since its leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed there in a December shootout with marines.

Mexican authorities say the cartel split between a faction led by Hector Beltran Leyva, brother of Arturo, and another led by Edgar

Aturo Beltran Leyva

 Valdez Villareal, a U.S.-born kingpin known as “the Barbie.”

The message left with the bodies threatened: “This is what will happen to all those who support the traitor Edgar Valdez Villareal”

Authorities said the four men had been kidnapped days earlier. The family of one of the men reported the abduction to police.

In western Mexico, police found the body of a U.S. citizen inside a car along the highway between the Pacific resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo.

A report from Guerrero state police said the man was shot to death and had identification indicating he was from Georgia.

Death of Aturo Beltran Leyva

The U.S. Embassy could not be reached to confirm the man’s identity.

Police said they had no suspects and had not determined a motive.

Guerrero state has been wracked by drug-gang violence, including the strife within the Beltran Leyva cartel. There have also been a series of deadly carjackings this year along highways in the state.

Mexico has seen unprecedented gang violence since President Felipe Calderon stepped up the fight against drug trafficking when he took office in December 2006, deploying thousands of troops and federal police to cartel strongholds.

Edgar Valdez Villareal

Since then, more than 28,000 people have been killed in violence tied to Mexico’s drug war.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/08/22/general-lt-drug-war-mexico_7868957.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

Nineteen bodies found in Mexico mine shaft

11 of 16 Bodies Dumped Along The Roadside In Tijuana

Police in Mexico say they have found at least 19 bodies in an abandoned mine shaft in Hidalgo, near Mexico City.

The security forces said they found the decomposing remains after a tip-off from two alleged members of a drug cartel they had arrested on Friday.

The two men also named nine police officers who they say worked for their cartel, Los Zetas.

The nine have been arrested and are being questioned, while police continue to search the area for more bodies.

They say the two alleged cartel members told them there were more human remains at at least four other locations in the area.

Since President Felipe Calderon came to power four years ago, more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico.

And while turf wars between rivalling drug cartels have been particularly fierce in the north of the country, mass graves are also  increasingly being discovered in other states.

In May, police found 55 bodies in an abandoned mine near Taxco, in Guerrerro state.

And on Sunday, four decapitated bodies were found hanging from a bridge in the affluent central city of Cuernavaca.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11066631

The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 4)

Read Part 1 here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-1/

Read Part 2 here:  https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-2/

Read Part 3 here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-3/

Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c), DHS is required to “respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status . . . for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.” DHS has, in its discretion, set up LESC, which is administered by ICE and “serves as a national enforcement operations center that promptly provides immigration status and identity information to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies regarding aliens suspected of, arrested for, or convicted of criminal activity.” (Pl.’s Mot. at 6-7 (citing Palmatier Decl. ¶¶ 3-6).) Mr. Palmatier states in his Declaration that LESC resources are currently dedicated in part to national security objectives such as requests for immigration status determination from the United States Secret Service, the FBI, and employment-related requests at “national security related locations that could be vulnerable to sabotage, attack, or exploitation.” (Palmatier Decl. ¶ 4.)  (Page 18, lines 1 to 12)

Yes, I would invite you to review the history of the LESC and visit the LESC website. http://www.ice.gov/partners/lesc/index.htm

Chapter 8, § 1373(c), Obligation to respond to inquiries:

The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=1373&url=/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001373—-000-.html

“shall… any individual … for any purpose authorized by law … by providing the requested information”

THIRD FALSE STATEMENT: DHS, IN ITS DISCRETION SET UP THE LESC – LESC MANDATED BY CONGRESS

We should note the additional false statement above, that, “DHS has, in its discretion, set up LESC”. The DHS was instructed by Congress to establish the LESC and provided with the funding to do so. This action was “mandated” by Congress, there was no “discretion” involved. The issue of “discretion” in the Executive Branch flows in this direction, the DHS will exist as long as the United States Congress allows it to exist, the DHS exists at the sole discretion of Congress, the DHS is a Congressional creation.

 Thus, an increase in the number of requests for determinations of immigration status, such as is likely to result from the mandatory requirement that Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies check the immigration status of any person who is arrested, will divert resources from the federal government’s other responsibilities and priorities. (Page 18, lines 13 to 16)

Again, the significance of argument is what? This is not a constitutionally recognized argument of “preemption”. The allegations presented by the DOJ do not state a claim of preemption recognized by our Federal Courts nor does this claim state a cause of action for which relief maybe granted by a Federal Court.

The Federal Courts cannot forgive an Executive Agency from a responsibility delegated to it by Congress.

The DOJ may want to seek protection from the Federal Courts because Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Mr. Palmatier at  the LESC are incompetent and cannot properly allocate the resources provided by the Congress to their Executive Agencies. The fact that Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano are not qualified to hold their jobs does not mean that a request from the State of Arizona or any other State for that matter is unconstitutional. An otherwise constitutional request cannot become “unconstitutional” because the Executive Agencies involved cannot allocate their resources to successfully complete those tasks specifically assigned to the Agencies by Congress.

For these reasons, the United States has demonstrated that it is likely to succeed on its claim that the mandatory immigration verification upon arrest requirement contained in Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law. This requirement, as stated above, is likely to burden legally-present aliens, in contravention of the Supreme Court’s directive in Hines that aliens not be subject to “the possibility of inquisitorial practices and police surveillance.” 312 U.S. at 74. Further, the number of requests that will emanate from Arizona as a result of determining the status of every arrestee is likely to impermissibly burden federal resources and redirect federal agencies away from the priorities they have established. (Page 18, Lines 17- 24).

Simply put, the Judge is wrong. This finding is, as has already been demonstrated, not supported by existing law, the doctrine of “federal preemption” or any analysis of Congressional intent. In fact, the Judge’s contradicts the specific Congressional intent specifically stated in the Immigration Statutes and the creation of NSEERS and LESC.

I’m have no doubt that the points presented in this summary will be stressed by the Supreme Court when the Judge Bolton’s decision is reversed.  

FOOT NOTE 7 The problems associated with burdening federal resources are even more acute when considered in light of other state laws similar to this provision. (See Pl.’s Mot. at 31-32 (citing to a newspaper article stating that at least 18 other states are considering parallellegislation).); see also North Dakota v. United States, 495 U.S. 423, 458-59 (1990) (Brennan, (Page 18, Lines 26 – 28)

 b. Immigration Status Determination During Lawful Stops, Detentions, or Arrests

Next, the Court turns to the first sentence of Section 2(B): For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by [an Arizona] law enforcement official or . . . law enforcement agency . . . in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. A.R.S. § 11-1051(B). The United States makes essentially the same arguments about this requirement. First, the United States advances that it imposes a burden on lawfully-present aliens not permitted by Hines, where the Supreme Court sought to protect the personal liberties of lawfully-present aliens to leave them free from the possibility of intrusive police practices that might affect international relations and generate disloyalty. (Pl.’s Mot. at 26 (citing Hines, 312 U.S. at 74).) Second, the United States argues that this requirement impermissibly burdens and redirects federal resources away from federally-established priorities. (Id.) The United States’ arguments regarding burdening of federal resources are identical to those outlined above and will not be restated. However, the United States makes several arguments with respect to the burden on lawfully-present aliens that are specific to or slightly different in the context of the first sentence of Section 2(B). First, the United States argues that this provision “necessarily places lawfully present aliens (and even U.S. citizens) in continual jeopardy of having to demonstrate their lawful status to non-federal officials.” (Id. at 26.) The United States further asserts that there are numerous categories of lawfully-present aliens “who will not have readily available documentation to demonstrate that fact,” including foreign visitors from Visa Waiver Program (Page 18, Lines 1 to 23)

The Court notes, “The United States makes essentially the same arguments” and “it imposes a burden on lawfully-present Aliens not permitted by Hines”. For the same reasons previously enumerated, the Court is wrong. The Court’s finding does not comport with the facts of this case, the law of the land or the intent of Congress. The Hines case, again, was a case involving State registration of aliens who had not been “arrested”. The DOJ has failed to produce any proof of an additional burden as was the case in Hines, there is no constitutional prohibition against confirming the “immigration status” of those under arrest … and the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that checking an arrested aliens NCIC record does not create an undue burden … the Judge’s second finding confirms, beyond all doubt, that this Judicial opinion is rooted in politics not law …

countries, individuals who have applied for asylum but not yet received an adjudication, people with temporary protected status, U and T non-immigrant visa applicants, or people who have self-petitioned for relief under the Violence Against Women Act. (Id. at 26-27.) Also, the United States points out that United States citizens are not required to carry identification, and some citizens might not have easy access to a form of identification that would satisfy the requirement of Section 2(B).9  (Page 19, Lines 1 to 6)

FALSE STATEMENT 4: “who will not have readily available documentation to demonstrate that fact,”…  including foreign visitors from Visa Waiver Program… The Visa Waiver program does not supersede any other section of United States Immigration Law.

First I want to urge the reader to note Foot Note 8 below, where I’ve added the specifics of the Visa Waiver Program. Title 8, Chapter 12, § 1187.

I find it very hard to express my complete devastation at the lack of candor and outright dishonesty exhibited by both Judge Bolton and our Department of Justice. These are not “errors” in reading the law, errors based on stupidity or incompetence; these are now, in my opinion, instances of dishonesty.     

It has been quite a while since I worked in the legal field on a daily basis, but I have written many, many briefs and read thousands of legal opinions. Never before have I come across a judicial opinion with 4 false statements made by a Judge. There are frequent disagreements concerning the interpretation of specific laws, however, the specific language or wording of a statute is easily determined. A statute’s wording is written in bold face on the page …. I’ve inserted the relevant statutes into this post for you to read and provided links for you to verify the accuracy of my claims … you  can decide for yourself. 

Unscrupulous Attorneys will misquote and miss-site cases, but I have never seen this from a Judge before never mind an Attorney General of the United States. The statement above is a false statement and I believe it to be an intentionally false statement. No matter what “program” an alien seeks to be admitted under, that alien must first register and once registered is required by Federal Law to carry their documentation … 

Foreign visitors requesting admission through the Visa Waiver Program must still register with NSEERS and/or the DHS. An individual seeking entry under the Visa Waiver Program is required to comply with all other “entry” and registration requirements. An individual asking inclusion in the “Visa Waiver Program” is asking for exemption from the requirement to “qualify” for a visa under our system of immigration quotas. Gaining an exemption from the Visa Quota System, does not exempt an individual from “registering” as an alien.  

(The fact that the Holder DOJ suggests that admission under the Visa Waiver Program exempts foreign nationals from registering with the U.S. Government should raise all sorts of red flags in Congress).

Title 8, Chapter 12, 1304; regulates alien registration procedures in the United States.

Title 8, Chapter 12, § 1304: Forms for registration and fingerprinting

 (a) Preparation; contents

The Attorney General and the Secretary of State jointly are authorized and directed to prepare forms for the registration of aliens under section 1301 of this title, and the Attorney General is authorized and directed to prepare forms for the registration and fingerprinting of aliens under section 1302 of this title. Such forms shall contain inquiries with respect to

(1) the date and place of entry of the alien into the United States;

(2) activities in which he has been and intends to be engaged;

(3) the length of time he expects to remain in the United States;

(4) the police and criminal record, if any, of such alien; and

(5) such additional matters as may be prescribed.

(b) Confidential nature

All registration and fingerprint records made under the provisions of this subchapter shall be confidential, and shall be made available only

(1) pursuant to section 1357 (f)(2) of this title, and

(2) to such persons or agencies as may be designated by the Attorney General.

(c) Information under oath

Every person required to apply for the registration of himself or another under this subchapter shall submit under oath the information required for such registration. Any person authorized under regulations issued by the Attorney General to register aliens under this subchapter shall be authorized to administer oaths for such purpose.

(d) Certificate of alien registration or alien receipt card

Every alien in the United States who has been registered and fingerprinted under the provisions of the Alien Registration Act, 1940, or under the provisions of this chapter shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations issued by the Attorney General.

(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties

Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=1304&url=/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001304—-000-.html

The United States contends that the impact on lawfully-present aliens of the requirement that law enforcement officials, where practicable, check the immigration status of a person lawfully stopped, detained, or arrested where there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present will be exacerbated by several factors. (Id. at 28-29.) First, the United States suggests that the impact on lawfully-present aliens is enhanced because this requirement applies to stops for even very minor, non-criminal violations of state law, including jaywalking, failing to have a dog on a leash, or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. (Id. at 28.) Also, the United States argues that the impact will be increased because other provisions in S.B. 1070 put pressure on law enforcement agencies and officials to enforce the immigration laws vigorously.10 (Id. at 29.) Hines cautions against imposing burdens on lawfully-present aliens such as those described above. See 312 U.S. at 73-74. Legal residents will certainly be swept up by this requirement, particularly when the impacts of the provisions pressuring law enforcement (Page 20, Lines 7 to 19).

Foot Note 8: The Visa Waiver Program permits visitors from certain countries to enter the United States without a visa, so long as various requirements are met. See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. § 1187; 8 C.F.R.§,§ 217.1-217.7. (Page 20, Lines 21 to 23).

Again, the Court acted dishonestly it discussing the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program does not eliminate an alien’s duty to register with trhe Federal Government and caryy their registration documents with them at all times. 

Title 8, Chapter 12, § 1187. Visa waiver program for certain visitors

 

(1) Seeking entry as tourist for 90 days or less

The alien is applying for admission during the program as a nonimmigrant visitor (described in section 1101 (a)(15)(B) of this title) for a period not exceeding 90 days.

2) National of program country

The alien is a national of, and presents a passport issued by, a country which

(A) extends (or agrees to extend), either on its own or in conjunction with one or more other countries that are described in subparagraph (B) and that have established with it a common area for immigration admissions, reciprocal privileges to citizens and nationals of the United States

3) Machine readable passport

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), on or after October 1, 2003, the alien at the time of application for admission is in possession of a valid unexpired machine-readable passport that satisfies the internationally accepted standard for machine readability.

(4) Executes immigration forms

The alien before the time of such admission completes such immigration form as the Attorney General shall establish.

(6) Not a safety threat

The alien has been determined not to represent a threat to the welfare, health, safety, or security of the United States.

(7) No previous violation

If the alien previously was admitted without a visa under this section, the alien must not have failed to comply with the conditions of any previous admission as such a nonimmigrant

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=1187&url=/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001187—-000-.html

An individual admitted under the Visa Waiver Program must still register their entry with the Government, the alien must possess a passport (a legally recognized form of ID under the Arizona Law). They must undergo an NCIC and NSEERS check and complete the legally required screening process established by CONGRESS and Administered by the Executive Agencies. The “burdensome check” imagined by the Executive Agencies and agreed to by the Courts involves nothing more than an electronic inquiry of the data systems chartered by Congress and maintained at taxpayer expense to respond to just such an inquiry.

agencies to enforce immigration laws are considered. See A.R.S. § 11-1051(A), (H). Certain categories of people with transitional status and foreign visitors from countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program will not have readily available documentation of their authorization to remain in the United States, thus potentially subjecting them to arrest or detention, in addition to the burden of “the possibility of inquisitorial practices and police surveillance.” Hines, 312 U.S. at 74. In Hines, the Supreme Court emphasized the important federal responsibility to maintain international relationships, for the protection of American citizens abroad as well as to ensure uniform national foreign policy. Id. at 62-66; see also Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 700 (2001) (“We recognize . . . the Nation’s need to ‘speak with one voice’ in immigration matters.”). The United States asserts, and the Court agrees, that “the federal government has long rejected a system by which aliens’ papers are routinely demanded and checked.” (Pl.’s Mot. at 26.)11 The Court finds that this requirement imposes an unacceptable burden on lawfully-present aliens. With respect to the United States’ arguments regarding the burden on and impediment of federal resources as they relate to the first sentence of Section 2(B), the Court’s conclusions mirror those stated above regarding the second sentence of Section 2(B). Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration status determination that will flow from Arizona if law enforcement officials are required to verify immigration status whenever, during the course of a lawful stop, detention, or arrest, the law enforcement official has reasonable suspicion of unlawful presence in the United States.12 In combination with the impermissible burden this provision will place on lawfully-present aliens, the burden on federal resources and priorities also leads (Page 21, Lines 1 to 22).

 The Court continues to make clearly erroneous rulings, rulings not support by the facts, the law or Congressional intent.

Specifically the Court states, in error, that; “transitional status and foreign visitors from countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program will not have readily available documentation”. As previously outlined. Individuals in the Visa waiver program are required to register, provide a passport, carry documentation and keep their “registration documents” on their person. Any implication to the contrary is dishonest. Even should the individual loose or have all of their documentation stolen, the person can be identified if they deal with the local authorities in an honest manner and identify themselves. Every alien who enters this Country legally creates a “data record” that the LESC can access.

The Court again returns to discuss cases that are not on point. The Court notes that, “a system by which aliens’ papers are routinely demanded and checked” are disfavored. The Courts, in fact, do not “disfavor” Law Enforcement authorities completing immigration checks or individuals taken into “custody”, there is not a single instance of a Court “overruling” an “immigration check” completed on a person who has been taken “into custody”. The status check is, technically, completed by the Executive Agency that receives the inquiry. The “detaining” or “investigating officer” requests a “status determination”, as is specifically outlined in Federal Immigration law.

to an inference of preemption. Therefore, for the purposes of preliminary injunction analysis, the Court concludes that the United States has demonstrated a likelihood of success on itschallenge to the first sentence of Section 2(B). Section 2(B) in its entirety is likely preempted by federal law.  (Page 22, lines 1 to 4)

3. Section 3: A.R.S. § 13-1509

Section 3 states that “a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 [U.S.C. §§] 1304(e) or 1306(a).” A.R.S.§ 13-1509(A).13 The penalties for violation of Section 3, a class 1 misdemeanor, are amaximum fine of $100 and a maximum of 20 days in jail for a first violation and up to 30 days in jail for any subsequent violation. A.R.S. § 13-1509(H). Section 3 also limits violators’ eligibility for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon, and commutation of a sentence and requires violators to pay jail costs. A.R.S. § 13-1509(D), (E). Section 3 does not apply to “a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.” A.R.S. § 13-1509(F). Essentially, Section 3 makes it a state crime to violate federal registration laws and provides for state prosecutions and penalties for violations of the federal registration law. The United States argues that Section 3 is preempted because it interferes with comprehensive federal alien registration law, seeks to criminalize unlawful presence, and will result in the harassment of aliens. (Pl.’s Mot. at 34-39.) Arizona asserts that Section 3 neither conflicts with federal law nor regulates in a federally occupied field. (Defs.’ Resp. at 21-22.) “[T]he power to restrict, limit, regulate, and register aliens as a distinct group is not an equal and continuously existing concurrent power of state and nation[;] . . . whatever power (Page 22, Lines 1 to 22).

 

To be continued:

Read Part 1 here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-1/

Read Part 2 here:  https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-2/

Read Part 3 here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-3/

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