In today’s contentious political climate, it is difficult to achieve a substantial majority on any given issue. Illegal immigration appears to be an exception.
According to a recent poll sponsored by Judicial Watch, in partnership with Zogby International, the vast majority of likely voters want more emphasis on law enforcement to address the illegal immigration crisis. An even greater majority of likely voters are opposed to so-called “sanctuary policies” that reward illegal alien lawbreakers. (Last week, CNN’s Lou Dobbs highlighted the results of Judicial Watch’s poll. Click here to watch the report.)
While the basic data from the poll are compelling in their own right, when you dig a little deeper, you find some really interesting results. Here is a breakdown of some of the statistics.
· Overall, 66% of likely voters believe that more emphasis should be placed on law enforcement when addressing the issue of illegal immigration, including 51.6% of Hispanics and 56.8% of self-described political “liberals.” Only 5% said the emphasis on law enforcement should be diminished, including 3% of Hispanics.
· 79% believe public officials should not use taxpayer funds to operate day laborer sites that help illegal aliens, including 71.9% of Hispanics and 70% of self-described political “liberals.”
· 72% of likely voters believe local law enforcement officers should help enforce federal immigration laws, including 40% of Hispanics and 55% of self-described political “liberals.”
These numbers represent staggering majorities for a no-nonsense approach to addressing the illegal immigration crisis. Virtually every voter demographic – even those supposedly most sympathetic to illegal aliens – want our illegal immigration laws to be strictly enforced.
In other words, when it comes to illegal immigration, the American people speak with one voice. Why aren’t politicians listening?
On Monday, April 11, President Bush was in Yuma, Arizona, an illegal immigration “hot zone,” to, once again, pitch his plan for addressing the crisis at our southern border. A large component of the president’s strategy involves a “temporary worker program” for illegal aliens who are already here. We know from government documents we’ve previously uncovered that such proposals are almost certain to worsen the dangerous and chaotic situation on our border with Mexico as illegals flood across to take advantage of the program. And given these poll numbers, it is a far cry for the strict law-and-order approach most Americans seems to favor.
Meanwhile, in cities across America, local public officials continue to implement so-called “sanctuary policies” that reward illegal aliens, such as taxpayer-funded day laborer sites that help illegal aliens find employment, and policies that prohibit police officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status and cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
The results of Judicial Watch’s poll are impossible to ignore, especially if you are a politician whose livelihood depends on securing votes. And this poll undermines the myth that Hispanics support leniency for illegal alien lawbreakers. When it comes to handling the illegal immigration problem, politicians and public officials need to get themselves in line with both the law and the views of the overwhelming majority of American people.
FBI Search of Congressman Jefferson’s Office was Constitutional
Last week, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of a lower court ruling stating that a FBI search of Rep. William Jefferson’s congressional office was constitutional.
Judicial Watch argues in the brief, filed on April 6, that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, which protects members of Congress from “intimidation by the executive and accountability before a possible hostile judiciary,” does not make the search of Jefferson’s office unconstitutional as the Speech or Debate Clause only protects members of Congress conducting legislative actions.
And, let’s be honest, while bribery takes place far too often on Capitol Hill, it is not, under any stretch of the imagination, a protected part of the legislative process.
The FBI searched Rep. Jefferson’s office in Washington, D.C. on May 10, 2006 during the course of its investigation into a bribery scandal involving Jefferson, high tech business deals in Nigeria and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to press reports, Jefferson was caught on tape discussing the deals. During a meeting with a Northern Virginia investor, who was wearing a wire, Jefferson said at one point, “All these damn notes we’re writing to each other as if we’re talking as if the FBI is watching.” Well, the FBI was watching, and a few days later investigators discovered $90,000 in cash stuffed in Jefferson’s freezer during a search of his home. The FBI subsequently searched Jefferson’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building for documents pertaining to the alleged bribery deals. (Jefferson allegedly accepted cash bribes to push business interests in Nigeria.)
The Speech or Debate Clause was not intended to allow members of Congress to conceal corrupt and criminal activity. The search of Jefferson’s office is in compliance with constitutional law, and neither Representative Jefferson, nor any other member of Congress, is above that law.
Judicial Watch Deposes LAPD Officials in Special Order 40 Lawsuit
Speaking of public opposition to “sanctuary policies”…
Last week, Judicial Watch attorneys began deposing Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officials and officers in connection with our “Special Order 40” lawsuit. Judicial Watch is battling the LAPD (and ACLU lawyers) over this “sanctuary” policy that prevents police officers from inquiring about a suspect’s immigration status and cooperating with federal immigration officials.
Initially, LAPD lawyers attempted to have the case thrown out of court. They were rebuffed by California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, who allowed the case to move on to discovery. Now, the LAPD not only has Judicial Watch’s lawsuit to worry about, but another follow-on legal challenge as well.
This according to the Los Angeles Times: “The latest challenge to [Special Order 40] could come this week, with a lawsuit that would ask a judge to require that the LAPD inform federal immigration officials when illegal immigrants are arrested on drug charges…The potential lawsuit comes less than a year after Judicial Watch sued the LAPD.
“Los Angeles was the first major city to enact the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on illegal immigration, though most other police agencies have followed suit. So the outcome of the legal challenges could have widespread effect.”
Judicial Watch attorney Sterling “Ernie” Norris was also quoted in the article: “[Special Order 40] handcuffs police officers’ ability to ensure law and order in the city. It is a model for sanctuary cities. It is the original. Los Angeles is where it all began.”
Next month, we expect the court to set a trial date.
Photo Illustrates More Obama Ethics Issues
Recently, Judicial Watch released the results of a Judicial Watch-Zogby poll that indicated that 45% of likely American voters are concerned about the corruption that may follow Hillary Clinton to the White House. However as we saw again this week, her chief competitor, Barack Obama, has a few ethics troubles of his own.
Obama apparently met with his chief political and media adviser, David Axelrod, in his Capitol Hill office, although congressional rules forbid the use of federal office space (funded by taxpayers) for any kind of campaign or political activity. A color photo of Obama and his adviser lounging in his plush Senatorial office provides a sharp contrast to his professed dedication to ethics on the campaign trail.
This, however, isn’t Obama’s first ethical lapse. Last month, the press was abuzz over an alleged influence peddling scandal involving Obama. This is how the New York Times described it: “Less than two months after ascending to the United States Senate, Barack Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.”
Obama was also involved in a questionable real estate deal with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, an indicted political fundraiser. Obama approached Rezko with the idea to simultaneously purchase adjoining lots in Southside Chicago. Rezko obliged. Obama obtained his lot for a reduced price. Rezko later sold a portion of his property to Obama. All of this took place while Rezko was the subject of a federal corruption investigation. Later, Obama simply dismissed it as a poor judgment call.
There is a fine line between a string of “questionable judgments” and corruption. Has Obama crossed it?
Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.