Democrats Threaten Obama Unilateral Action On Immigration If GOP Doesn’t Act

Top Democrats threatened Thursday that President Barack Obama will unilaterally decide what changes should be made to the Nation’s immigration policy if Congressional Republicans don’t act soon.

Obama has so far held off on changes to the Administration’s deportation policy, urging Republicans to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor before July.

“We’re at the end of the line,” Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Thursday. “We’re not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act.

“Their first job is to govern,” Menendez added. “…[I]n the absence of governing, then you see executive actions.”

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.) also chimed in on the issue of immigration reform Thursday, urging House Speaker John Boehner to move on the issue which hasn’t seen Congressional action since the Senate passed a broad bipartisan reform measure last year.

“I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

A day earlier, however, Boehner issued a memo to fellow Republicans informing lawmakers that he plans to sue the President for the very sort of executive actions the Democrats claim Obama will use to force the immigration issue.

The GOP isn’t likely to bring immigration reform legislation in the House, especially with a crisis currently unfolding at the border due to Administration policies which have provoked a flood of illegal unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S.

And any unilateral actions the President takes are likely to be cited in Boehner’s lawsuit if it gains traction.

ICE And Border Patrol Representatives Tell Congress Illegal Children Are Clearing The Way For Cartels

The chief of the Nation’s Border Patrol union told Congress Wednesday that the flood of unaccompanied minors coming across the Nation’s southern border is crippling the Border Patrol’s ability to do its job. And the gaps in security are giving dangerous Mexican cartels an advantage in bringing drugs and criminals into the United States.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told members of Congress that laws requiring special treatment for young people coming into the United States illegally have tied up roughly 40 percent of Border Patrol manpower. The union president told lawmakers that the Barack Obama Administration’s “catch and release” immigration policies are largely to blame.

“This program is bad policy and encourages people from countries other than Mexico to enter the United States illegally,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. “Under this policy, and in most cases, individuals entering the U.S. illegally know they will be released if apprehended.”

“The result is no one is afraid of breaking the law,” Judd continued.

Mexican cartels, which already employ a strategy of bringing illicit materials and dangerous people into the Nation by crossing the border at multiple locations, are also finding it easier to break the law and increasing criminal activity along the border while the agents are tied up, according to Judd.

“The cartels purposely cross between ports of entry to tie up Border Patrol manpower, creating holes in our enforcement and facilitating their other lines of business, such as drug smuggling and the smuggling of known criminals into the U.S. Make no mistake, this is big business for the cartels,” he said.

To make matters worse, agents who are usually tasked with tracking dangerous fugitives from other countries who have illegally made their way into the U.S. interior have been reassigned to help with the influx of young illegal immigrants.

“ICE ERO Fugitive Operations Teams in some areas have been completely shut down with ICE officers reassigned to process and transport UACs and Family units. Officers in other vital ERO criminal enforcement programs such as the Criminal Alien Program and Secure Communities Program likewise are being pulled daily from their critical public safety missions,” Chris Crane, who heads the union representing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents, told lawmakers in a prepared testimony. “There is no doubt that ICE ERO’s many critical missions, to include its criminal enforcement and public safety missions are impacted. Ironically, as ICE ERO and the Border Patrol spend millions of dollars and shift resources from vital programs to process family units and UACs, it is unlikely that a significant number of these illegal entrants will be removed from the United States unless changes are made to current immigration.”

The liberal media scoffed earlier this month when outspoken Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio lamented that the southern border is vulnerable because Nation’s Border Patrol officers are too busy changing diapers due to the massive numbers of unaccompanied minors flowing across the border.

“The Border Patrol is too busy changing diapers and not going after dope peddlers and illegal immigrants,” Arpaio told FOX News.

Congressional Black Caucus Member: Cochran Should Reward Black Voters

Following Mississippi establishment Republican Senator Thad Cochran’s successful bid to beat Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel making black voters in the State believe his opponent is racist, Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) of the Congressional Black Caucus says that the Senator should reward black voters to keep their support.

“We have historically black colleges in our state who do the best job they can trying to educate our citizens,” Thompson told National Review Online Wednesday. ”I’d like to see efforts that they receive full funding. I’d like to see the health care of our citizens improved; our children die too young. I’d like to see an increased effort to make sure that the minority unemployment rate in our state is reduced. So, there are a lot of opportunities for us to start with.”

Thompson also said that Cochran didn’t have a hard time rallying the voters to help him beat his challenger, because African Americans despise the Tea Party.

“Their platform is counter to a lot of the beliefs of many African Americans. We think there is a place in government to make the lives of its citizens better; that there is a place in government to make sure that education, health care, and other things are available to all citizens,” he said. “So, that’s a reasonable expectation of government. But this ‘limited government’ and other things that you hear from a lot of tea-party candidates does not resonate well with the black community.”

Of course, these insulting, unattributed fliers obviously aimed at low-information voters probably helped a little too.

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Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh called Cochran’s campaign tactics “reprehensible” on his show Wednesday.

“The Republican establishment sought victory via Democrat voters in the runoff, and they got them. Without the African-American vote from Democrat-leaning counties, Thad Cochran would have lost by eight or nine percent last night,” he said.

Computer Crash: EPA Follows IRS Lead In Covering Up Wrongdoing

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are following the Internal Revenue Service’s example and claiming that they are unable to provide copies of email communications to Congress because an employee’s hard drive crashed.

On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told House Oversight Committee members that she can’t turn over agency documents related to a proposed pebble mine near Bristol Bay, Alaska, because of a computer crash that occurred in 2010.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy told the lawmakers. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

Lawmakers believe that former Alaskan EPA employee Phillip North, who currently is in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate with lawmaker inquiries, collaborated with fellow EPA officials to veto the mine before the agency ever bothered to investigate its potential environmental impacts.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told McCarthy during the hearing, “[The Oversight Committee has ]tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning.”

The EPA informed lawmakers about the 2010 hard drive crash months ago; but, according to McCarthy, she only notified the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the agency which enforces the Federal Records Act, this week.

Democrats Want Taxpayers To Pay Illegal Immigrant Legal Bills

As a flood of illegal immigrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, continues to flow across the southern U.S. border, the Barack Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats are proffering plans to protect the undocumented newcomers at taxpayer expense.

According to multiple reports, the Obama Administration has ordered border security agencies to stand down and allow the illegal immigrants to make their way into the U.S. interior.

The Associated Press reports:

Most of the immigrant families are from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala and cannot be immediately repatriated, so the government has been releasing them into the U.S. interior and telling them to report within 15 days to the nearest U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement offices. Despite promises for better transparency on immigration issues, the administration has been unwilling to say how many immigrant families it’s released — hundreds or thousands — or how many of those subsequently reported back to the government after 15 days as directed.

The Texas-based alternative media site Infowars interviewed McAllen Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Pagan earlier this month, learning that the immigrant “detainees” are being dropped off at bus stations with vouchers for bus travel into the Nation’s interior with instructions to appear before an immigration judge at a later date.

Meanwhile, a group of House Democrats has proposed legislation that would ensure that illegal immigrants who are minors are well-represented at taxpayer expense if and when they show up in immigration court.

The bill, the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act (VIVA), is sponsored by House members Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.). It would provide legal representation to minor illegal immigrants in an effort to help undocumented aliens who are mentally disabled or are under the age of 21 understand the claims they can make to avoid deportation.

“Some of the children who have come to this country may not have a valid legal basis to remain, but some will. Yet, it is virtually impossible for a child to assert a valid claim under immigration law in the absence of legal representation,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said this week.

Those immigrants under 21 are currently able to achieve special status by claiming that they’ve been abandoned by parents or were the victim of a crime.

“Most undocumented children are not aware of the claims they can make in immigration court,” Jeffries’s said. “The claims are technically available without counsel, but it is highly unlikely these children can vindicate their rights absent legal representation.”

Senate Democrats attached a similar provision to last year’s failed comprehensive immigration bill, which passed the Senate but went nowhere in the House.

As The Washington Times observed in its report on the measure, Federal law forbids the use of public funds to provide “legal representation to those going through the immigration system — though they are able to hire attorneys themselves, and the Obama administration has announced a program to try to recruit dozens of volunteer lawyers to help out where they can.”

The Administration of President Barack Obama has estimated that more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally entered the U.S. since October of last year; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates more than 150,000 will enter the U.S. illegally over the next year.

Staff writer Ben Bullard contributed to this report.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-24-2014: IRS Admits It Abused Conservatives; Even Democrats Don’t Believe ‘Lost Emails’ Story; Awkward Times At The Capitol; Smith V. Maryland Turns 35; Lawmakers Call On DHS To Seal The Border

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

IRS Admits Wrongdoing In Settlement With Traditional Marriage Group Over Leaked Donor List

The IRS has admitted wrongdoing in the illegal release of names on a confidential list on conservative donors to a rival political group and has agreed to pay $50,000 to the conservative group whose members’ names were wrongly leaked. Read More… 

Not Even Democrats Believe The IRS Accidentally Lost Lerner Emails

More than three-fourths of American voters in a poll released today agree that the loss of email communications crucial to the House investigation into the IRS’ discrimination against conservative groups was anything but an accident. Read More… 

Lawmakers Press DHS Secretary To Stop Children Crossing The Border

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday he had ordered five dozen additional criminal investigators to Texas to prosecute human smugglers responsible for bringing children across the border illegally. Read More… 

Watch: Quite Possibly The Most Awkward Moment Ever Recorded On Capitol Hill

During a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony Tuesday top Democrat and Republican lawmakers joined hands and sung “We Shall Overcome.” The result was one of the most awkward moments ever recorded in politics. Video… 

Smith v. Maryland Turns 35, But Its Health Is Declining

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1979 decision of Smith v. Maryland turned 35 years old last week. Since it was decided, Smith has stood for the idea that people have no expectation of privacy in information they expose to others. Labeled the third party “doctrine” (even by EFF itself), Smith has come up over and over in the debates surrounding electronic surveillance and NSA spying. Read More… 

University Liberty Group Says School Charged Extra For Pro-Gun Speaker

A conservative student group at Boise State University says students’ free speech rights were trampled when school administrators required the gratuitous and costly hiring of extra security personnel when a gun rights speaker visited the campus.

BSU’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) invited Dick Heller — the former Federal police officer whose 2008 Supreme Court victory cleared the way for handgun ownership in the District of Columbia — to speak on the school’s campus last month.

The YAL students say they were required to pay $465 in last-minute fees for additional security and police officers on campus after school administrators said that they feared members of the community would try to open carry at the event.

According to YAL leaders, claims that open carry organizers would show up were unfounded and certainly didn’t come from members of the conservative group.

“Boise State overstepped its bounds by charging extra security fees last minute for an event where the goal wasn’t to have an open-carry gun rally, but rather provide an educational forum for our students and community regarding a very important, historical Second Amendment Supreme Court ruling,” YAL leader Sherlyn Rose wrote in an email to the Idaho Reporter.

But the college, which says it has charged the additional security fee for other events (a U.S. Bank stockholders meeting, Federal Reserve regional meeting and a Sandra Day O’Connor address ), said that the additional fee was charged as the result of a “threat assessment” — and not because administrators harbor biases against conservative causes.

“We do charge campus groups for security when it is deemed a necessary component of an event, based on threat assessments,” BSU communications staffer Kathleen Tuck told the Reporter.

“In this case, there was concern that a community member had been encouraging folks to open carry,” she continued.

Earlier this month, BSU officials said that the university would need to spend an estimated $500,000 in order to ramp up campus security to comply with a law passed by the Idaho Legislature and signed by Governor Butch Otter that will allow concealed carry on campuses starting July 1.

The bill will allow retired police officers and people who earn an enhanced concealed-weapons permit, which require special training and background checks, to carry on campus.

Family Sues After Cops Shoot WWII Vet In Assisted Living At Close Range With Shotgun Beanbags

How hard can a 95-year-old World War II veteran throw a knife? Hard enough to justify shooting him with five 190-mph beanbag rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun, according to six Chicago police officers.

The family of World War II veteran John Wrana Jr. is suing the Chicago police for killing the 95-year-old on July 26 of last year. At the time, Wrana was a resident at Park Forest Assisted Living Center in Park Forest, Ill.

According to the lawsuit, suburban Chicago police officers Clifford Butz, Michael Baugh, Craig Taylor, Lloyd Elliot, Charlie Hoskins and Mitch Greer arrived at the senior living facility after staff called because Wrana was refusing to leave his room to go to the hospital.

“… Mr. Wrana was alone in his room, suffering from what the facility’s staff believed were symptoms indicative of a urinary tract infection in an elderly person,” the lawsuit states.

After Victory Center employees failed to convince the elderly man to leave his inhabitance in an ambulance to go to the hospital, they called 911.

After the officers attempted unsuccessfully to convince Wrana, who remained alone in his private room throughout the ordeal, to go to the hospital for possibly lifesaving treatment, they formulated a plan to remove the elderly man from the room by force.

The lawsuit explains, “The plan was to re-enter Mr. Wrana’s room and seize him by force with the use of: Commander Baugh’s ballistic shield, Commander Baugh’s Taser, Officer Taylor’s bean bag shotgun and Corporal Elliot’s loaded handgun.

“Defendant Commander Baugh instructed defendant Taylor to stand next to Commander Baugh with the shotgun ready to deploy if the Taser was ineffective in controlling Mr. Wrana. Defendant Corporal Elliot was behind defendants Commander Baugh and Taylor with his PARK FOREST departmentally issued handgun “deployed as lethal cover” in the private residence of 95 year old Mr. Wrana. Defendants Hoskins and Greer, who were also armed, followed inside the room from behind.”

The lawsuit goes on to say that, upon bursting into the elderly man’s residence, the beanbags were immediately fired into his abdomen.

“[E]ach of the other defendant police officers was also armed with a departmentally issued Taser,” the lawsuit says. “None of the other defendant police officers attempted to use their Tasers to resolve the encounter with Mr. Wrana with non-lethal force.

“Instead, defendant Taylor immediately deployed his ‘less lethal’ shotgun directly at Mr. Wrana and fired five rounds within just a few seconds at Mr. Wrana, striking and wounding him in his abdomen, chest and arm. Taylor fired the five rounds from his shotgun from a distance of only approximately six to eight feet from Mr. Wrana.”

Media reports contradict the lawsuit, stating that one officer tried, unsuccessfully, to stun the elderly man with a Taser.

According to Wrana’s family, the officers then cuffed the elderly man as he screamed in pain, photographed his injuries and required him to wait for treatment until a municipal ambulance arrived on the scene — even though the private ambulance that was originally scheduled to carry the man to the hospital stood by.

The elderly veteran subsequently died as a result of internal bleeding from his injuries. His death was ruled a homicide by investigators.

The officers claimed the need to use force because Wrana brandished a knife, which he threatened to throw at the officers, along with a cane and a shoehorn. But Wrana’s family says the officers’ claims are dubious because the elderly man was barely able to get around with the help of a cane or walker.

Furthermore, the lawsuit says, Wrana committed no crime by refusing treatment in the first place.

“At all relevant times, Mr. Wrana was alone in his private residence and had committed no crime by refusing to be transported to the hospital. Defendants were without lawful authority to enter his residence, and there was no immediate lawful reason to implement any police action against Mr. Wrana, including the use of police tactical intervention,” states the complaint.

The officers are being sued for unreasonable seizure, failure to train and supervise, conspiracy, wrongful death, violation of due process, excessive force, assault and battery and emotional distress.

Lawmaker Mocks IRS With ‘The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act’

Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) has introduced legislation that would afford average Americans the ability to “offer a variety of dubious excuses” for not having tax documents for the Internal Revenue Service after “the IRS offered an incredibly dubious excuse for its failure to turn documents over to House investigators.”

Stockman’s tongue-in-cheek legislation, “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act,” would offer taxpayers 10 outlandish reasons for not submitting paperwork requested by the IRS:

1.         The dog ate my tax receipts

2.         Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction

3.         Traded documents for five terrorists

4.         Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon

5.         Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room

6.         Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car

7.         Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords

8.         Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar

9.         Was short on toilet paper while camping

10.       At this point, what difference does it make?

Stockman introduced his bill a week after the IRS claimed that it had lost two years’ worth of former official Lois Lerner’s emails because of a computer crash. Lawmakers suspect that some of the missing emails implicate Lerner and others in an IRS plot to target conservative groups.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves,” Stockman said in a statement. “Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama administration uses.”

Canadian Newspaper Takes A Stand Against Granting Mass Murderer Celebrity Status

Following a deadly shooting rampage in Moncton, New Brunswick, which left three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers dead earlier this month, media in the nation across the United States’ northern border reacted to the tragedy in a way that many Americans would never expect from their own mainstream media. The Canadian Sun News Network decided to do its part in ensuring that the killer, who is very much alive and in police custody, remains an anonymous nobody.

“We will not help give this killer his blaze of glory,” the editorial staff wrote, arguing that media’s infatuation with exploiting sensational violence and the people who perpetrate it plays an enormous role in expanding a culture that fosters copycats, one-upsmanship and a perverse promise of historic notoriety for the next mass killer.

“Sun News Network will not report the name of the killer. We will not show his photo,” the editorial explained:

When it comes to mass murderers, too often, it is attention and infamy they crave. Luckily, shootings of this nature are rare in Canada.

And in the US, they account for less than one per cent of all gun-related deaths. Far more people have been killed in the bad neighbourhoods of Chicago than were killed in all the mass shootings combined. But these rare incidents are never forgotten. And with the rise of social media, they’ve become a spectacle.

It’s easy to report on the life of the killer, to scour his deranged Facebook page, to speculate about motive, but doing so could actually encourage the perception that his heinous acts are somehow justified.

Following the deadly Newtown, Connecticut shooting in December 2012 that left 26 dead, including 20 children, it was discovered that the perpetrator kept a “score sheet” of previous mass shootings.

Did he hope his name would be placed at the top of the list?

This bizarre act is not uncommon. In fact, experts have found a clear path of influence running through some of the most infamous shooters — from Columbine, to Virginia Tech to the Colorado Theatre — including explicit reference to previous killing sprees and calls to empower future “celebrities.”

…When we make the killer’s name and face famous, are we setting the stage for future mass killings?

In the media, it’s a dilemma. We feel an obligation to tell the public what is going on. Our job is to inform. And like the old saying goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

…Mental illness, gun control, warning signs, will all come up. These are legitimate points of discussion. But for us in the press — and for society at large — let’s take an honest look in the mirror to see if our hyper-interest might be contributing to this very disturbing phenomenon.

Reader comments beneath the online editorial were overwhelmingly positive. “This is exactly what I have been hoping the news media would do for quite some time now — remove the notoriety incentive and quite possibly remove the mass killing,” wrote one reader, whose remark typified the feelings of many others.

American media has shown no capacity for judicious self-restraint in exercising its immense power. It is a business, and any pretensions of serving the public welfare — to which our news media, both in print and over the airwaves, has a long history of paying earnest lip service — is completely dictated by the profit motive. That’s fine, if only the media were honest with the public (and would stop deceiving itself) about that very fact.

What Sun News Network is proposing is for media to wield its power in good faith, despite the prospect of garnering fewer Web views or TV tune-ins from bloodthirsty oglers. It’s a cultural judgment call that no government should ever be charged with making on media’s behalf, and it’s the right one.

Here’s hoping against hope that American broadcasters and news publications, which set the tone that Western media emulates, will see the long-term value in that decision and follow Sun News Network’s lead.

–Staff writer Ben Bullard contributed to this report.