Using Our Laws Against Us

In February, Judicial Watch reported that a group of illegal aliens working in a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in East Tennessee were arrested by ICE agents. These illegal aliens, aided by the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC), are suing the federal agents that arrested them.

The article reports:

Represented by an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations on a catalogue of “hate groups,” seven illegal immigrants detained in a workplace raid are suing the federal agents that arrested them, claiming that they were racially profiled for being Latino. In a federal court complaint filed this week by their pro bono attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the illegal aliens assert that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents violated their Constitutional rights against illegal seizures and to equal protection under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The raid occurred last spring at a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in a small rural town called Bean Station in east Tennessee. Agents from ICE and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided the facility as part of a lengthy investigation into the owner’s multi-million-dollar tax evasion and fraud scheme. About 100 illegal aliens were arrested, most of them from Guatemala and Mexico and some had been previously deported from the U.S. more than once. At least 54 people were deported immediately, some were released and others faced federal or state charges, according to a local news report following the seize.

The owner of the business, James Brantley, eventually pled guilty to multiple federal crimes, including tax fraud, wire fraud, and employment of unauthorized illegal aliens. The feds say he avoided paying nearly $1.3 million in taxes by hiring at least 150 illegal aliens and paying them off the books in cash. The scheme began in 1988 and continued through 2018 when he got busted. Brantley had reported to the IRS that he had only 44 wage-earning employees, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). To avoid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax obligations, unemployment insurance premiums, unemployment tax and workers’ compensation insurance premiums he paid illegal immigrants in cash at a rate of $8-$10 per hour.

Since when do illegal aliens have constitutional rights–they are not American citizens, and they are breaking the law by being here.

The article also states:

Leftist groups went ballistic, asserting that illegal immigrants were victims whose “rights” were violated by the federal government. Outraged, the SPLC called it the largest workplace immigration raid since the George W. Bush administration. “What happened on April 5, 2018 was law enforcement overreach, plain and simple,” said the group’s senior supervising attorney Meredith Stewart. “We, as a nation, have a shared set of ideals, rooted in the Bill of Rights: We have a right to be free of racial profiling and unlawful arrests. If we are not willing to uphold those ideals for everyone in this country, then we are all at risk of losing our rights.” In the complaint, SPLC attorneys write that the federal officers conspired to plan and execute the forceful and prolonged seizure of the meatpacking plant’s Latino workforce solely on the basis of their actual or apparent race or ethnicity.

If the workers were here illegally, why would anyone characterize the arrests as unlawful? Isn’t it lawful to arrest people who break the law?

I hope a judge throws this case out of court. The person running the business was breaking the law by hiring the illegals, but the illegals were also illegal. They are not protected by the U.S. Constitution. Does anyone believe that if they entered Mexico illegally that they would be under the protection of the Mexican constitution?

The Problem With Telling Lies Is That You Have To Keep Your Stories Straight

Michael Cohen has been caught lying to Congress. That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, but it happened. The Daily Caller posted the details today.

The article reports:

A lawyer for Michael Cohen says that the former Trump fixer directed his former attorney to inquire about a presidential pardon, a claim which, if true, would contradict Cohen’s congressional testimony on Feb. 27.

Lanny Davis told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night that Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home in April 2018.

“During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Davis told The Journal.

That statement directly contradicts what Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in public testimony on Feb. 27.

Michael Cohen is not stupid. I am sure that when he saw the “Mueller Train” coming at him full speed, he was open to trying anything to get out of its way. I believe he would say anything to Congress to limit his jail time and any jail time for his wife. It is unfortunate that some on the Mueller team have resorted to the kind of theatrics and bullying that has been a major part of this investigation. We need to take action in the future to see that all Constitutional rights of Americans are protected–even when a Special Counsel is involved.

There Is A Reason The House Of Representatives Has Had To Do All Of The Work On The Illegal Surveillance Of The Trump Campaign And Transition Team

Have you wondered why all the information and investigation of the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team has come out of the House of Representatives rather than out of the Senate? Well, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has the reputation for being one of the leakiest, most politicized, and most corrupt committees in Washington. The current chairman of the committee is Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina; the current vice-chairman is Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. Both are seriously entrenched creatures of the Washington swamp. That fact explains the following report.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted the following:

Chairman of the Senate Intel Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) said on Tuesday there were “sound reasons” why the judges issued FISA warrants on Carter Page.

The newly released Carter Page FISA docs, although heavily redacted, reveal the FBI and DOJ relied on Hillary’s phony dossier and liberal media reports as ‘evidence’ presented to the court in order to wiretap Page.

The FBI omitted the fact that the dossier was paid for by Hillary and the DNC.

This is not only criminal, but unconstitutional, says investigative reporter, Paul Sperry.

So spying on an American citizen based on information bought and paid for by a political opponent is now justified? Under what constitution? Has this man read the Fourth Amendment? Donald Trump’s constitutional rights were violated. If this is allowed to stand, we can expect it to happen again to anyone who disagrees with the party in power. That is not a good thing.

The article continues:

Even the argument the FBI thought Carter Page was an agent of the Russians doesn’t hold water. Carter Page was never charged or arrested for being a Russian spy, furthermore, not too long ago Page was actually helping the FBI take down Russians.

So now the FBI expects us to believe Carter Page flipped and became an agent for the Russians…yet they never arrested him?

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

According to Senator Burr, these are “sound reasons.”

“I don’t think I ever expressed that I thought the FISA application came up short. There (were) sound reasons as to why judges issued the FISA,” Burr said to CNN.

Hopefully my fellow voters in North Carolina will remove this man from office during the next election. I don’t care if a Democrat replaces him–he has not lived up to his Oath of Office to defend the Constitution.

UPDATE: It should be noted that a copy of the unredacted FISA application was delivered to the committee on March 17, 2017. This was then leaked to the media by a staffer on the committee. That is one of many questionable actions by the committee regarding the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign.

 

States Begin To Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about a move in Texas to abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. I have written about this procedure in the past (here, here, and here). One of the most common examples of Civil Asset Forfeiture occurs when the government accuses a small business owner of making multiple deposits of less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal regulations that track such deposits. The law has been used to take assets away from small business owners with little regard for their Constitutional rights. The assets seized can be sold and the money used to shore up local budgets. Needless to say, there is a lot of temptation there for some local governments. A few states have taken action to limit these forfeitures. Texas is now joining them.

The article reports:

Texas is looking to become the third state in the last year to abolish civil asset forfeiture, and replace it with criminal asset forfeiture. State Senator Konni Burton filed a bill last month which requires a felony conviction before law enforcement can gobble up someone’s property. It’s a major step in Texas’ fight for justice reform which has saved the state $3B (while crime rates are at record lows).

…There’s just one problem…the asset forfeiture laws are being misapplied in cases where people who are not convicted of crimes, end up losing their property because prosecutors and police believe they “may have” been involved in/had knowledge of a crime. A Philadelphia family was forced out of their home because their son was arrested on drug charges, even though it didn’t appear they knew what the 22-year-old was doing. A Texas man had over 53-thousand dollars in cash donations for an orphanage and school seized after he was pulled over in Oklahoma.

The home and money were eventually returned to their rightful owners after the cases got a ton of press. But Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen points out media attention doesn’t always happen, because the numbers aren’t really sexy (emphasis mine).

Ordinary citizens trying to run a business and live their lives should not have to worry about a government that almost arbitrarily can take their assets. It is good to see Texas moving in the right direction. Hopefully now the federal government will follow suit.