Archive for June 17th, 2008

n a major blow to the federal government, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that an indicted Lexington landlord can use his ignorance of the law as a defense in a harboring trial scheduled to start next week.

William Jerry Hadden, 69, goes to trial Monday on charges that he harbored 60 illegal immigrants by allowing them to rent apartments at two Cardinal Valley apartment complexes in Lexington.

The trial is thought to be the first time the federal government has prosecuted a landlord for renting to illegal immigrants, defense attorneys have said in court filings.

Hadden?s defense attorneys have steadfastly maintained his innocence and claim that the federal government is twisting the intent of harboring laws. Tuesday?s ruling will allow defense attorneys to argue that even if Hadden broke the law, he cannot be prosecuted because the law is confusing and vague and he did not understand it.

U.S. District Judge Karl Forester ordered the government to turn over all documents related to an ?outreach program? required under the law to educate the public about harboring laws.

Hadden?s attorneys declined to comment for this story. But they?ve argued in legal filings that the government has not complied with its responsibility to educate the public.

?Jerry Hadden feels that he has been singled out for prosecution, and that the United States is attempting to make an example of him in order to deter others from providing the basic necessity of shelter to individuals who may be in this country illegally,? attorney Russ Baldani wrote in a motion. ?If that is true, the government is attempting to educate the public about the crime of harboring by the prosecution of a reputable business person with a spotless record, rather than complying? with the educational requirements of the law.

Gail Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Chicago, declined to answer questions about whether the agency has complied with the outreach requirements in the law. Montenegro cited the open case against Hadden as the reason.

A search of the agency?s Web site,, on Tuesday afternoon did not return any fact sheets or materials explaining the law.


The Washington Post

If John McCain keeps dancing like this, he’s liable to break a hip.

Last month, he shimmied to the left on energy policy, infuriating conservatives with a plan to cap carbon emissions. Yesterday, he shuffled back to the right, demanding an end to quarter-century-old bans on offshore oil drilling.

“There are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation, and I hope we can take the first step by lifting the moratoria,” he announced at a news conference at McCain headquarters in Crystal City.

Let’s leave aside whether it’s a good idea for the Republican presidential candidate to advocate the “exploitation” of the nation’s coastlines. McCain said such drilling “would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis” — even though it takes years to get from oil exploration to production.

It was, in other words, a typical day in the life of McCain. Pulled between the need to appeal to independent voters and the need to placate the still-suspicious Republican base, McCain has been stutter-stepping his way to the GOP convention.

While probable Democratic nominee Barack Obama follows the conventional path of sprinting to the center, McCain’s route has had more turns than a Macarena: slide to the right on judges and guns, jump to the left on climate change and foreign alliances, pivot to the right on taxes and Iraq.

Read More (If you can take it)


Jose Luis Munoz , an Anaheim gang member raised by a single mother, received $2.5 million from a lawsuit against the city and police. He is back in prison for violating parole by associating with other gang members.

$2.5 million couldn’t keep Anaheim gang member from his old friends
LA Times
June 17, 2008

Nobody wanted Jose Luis Muñoz to fail.

The Anaheim gang member raised by a single mother had received a second chance — or maybe it was his first — to turn his life around when he settled a lawsuit against the city and police for $2.5 million.

In December, he was waiting for the check and paving his future with good intentions. But four months later he was back in prison for violating parole; he had been caught associating with other gang members.

When he was released from prison, Muñoz, 23, said he was eager “to do the right thing.” He said he was going to move out of his gang-infested neighborhood and buy a house for his mother, who had worked two jobs while raising him.

Muñoz’s mother declined to comment last week when contacted at her Anaheim home where Muñoz grew up. She and just about everyone else, including the police, hoped that a financial cushion would steer Muñoz away from a lifestyle that had already cost him four years in prison and Juvenile Hall. His current prison sentence is 16 months.

“We were all pulling for him. All he had to do was stay away from friends who could only get him in trouble,” said Anaheim gang Sgt. Dennis Briggs, whose unit is well acquainted with Muñoz, whose moniker is Dopey.

In 2005, Muñoz, on foot, was struck from behind by a police cruiser as he surrendered after a brief chase.

He was wedged in the vehicle’s undercarriage and severely injured. Muñoz said he bolted from police because he was afraid they were going to send him back to prison.

Muñoz sued the city of Anaheim and the Police Department over his injuries and was awarded $2.5 million……

To read entire article click here.



FRANKFORT — Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a toddler abandoned Friday afternoon in the city’s Wal-Mart Supercenter, left with only a backpack and a handwritten note.

The boy is believed to be about 21/2 years old, named Martín and from Guatemala. Wal-Mart employees found him wandering in the store’s fabric department.

“Where he’s at now, in foster care, he’s been interacting with the other children and playing with them,” Maj. Jeff Ward, a detective with the Frankfort Police Department, said Monday. “He understands English, but we’re not sure if he speaks it.

“The letter suggests that he was abandoned. Nobody has come forward to report him missing.”

Deputy Police Chief Randy Emery said the note, written in Spanish, is believed to have been penned by the boy’s mother. In it, she states that the family moved to the United States from Guatemala about a year ago and that her husband left them 10 months ago.

The letter says she does not have the financial means to feed him or provide shelter. His backpack contained a baby bottle, “sippy” cups, diapers and toys, Emery said.

Read more.


Freedom Folks baby, yeah!

No Comments »

Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - The 9-year-old son of an Immigration activist who took sanctuary at a Chicago church for a year is returning to the city for the summer.

Saul Arellano (saw-OOL’ ah-ray-AH’-noh) is Elvira (el-VEE’-ruh) Arellano’s son and a U.S. citizen.

Elvira Arellano defied a deportation order by living at the Adalberto United Methodist Church for a year. She was arrested and deported to Mexico last year after attending a rally in Los Angeles.

Saul will live with his legal guardians in the U.S. They are the church’s Reverend Walter Coleman and his wife, Immigration activist Emma Lozano.

Coleman says Saul will visit old friends and will also participate in immigrant rights events.

On Friday, he’ll attend a vigil in front of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in McHenry County.

Elvira laments Caleron’s lack of help for her, refuses scholarship for her son

El Porvenir

Elvira Arellano, the Mexican migrant deported by the U.S. government, regretted that her petition to president Felipe Calderon “has been forgotten”, in favor of promoting with the government of that country an immigration reform bill that guarantees the basic rights of his countrymen and a worthy life in that country.

On that matter, the representative of the PRI, Guillermina López Balbuena, demanded that president Calderon to require the government U.S. to end the judicial pursuit, harassment and systematic abuse that our countrymen suffer in that country.

In an interview in the framework of a business meeting between legislators and Mexican migrant leaders, performed in the Senate, Arellano referred that the president of Mexico offered her support for her and a scholarship for her son Saúl; nevertheless, “I am not going to accept nothing; this fight is not for my own or my son’s benefit”, she emphasized.

“The most important thing at this time ?she added- is to achieve a reform in the United States that permits migrants to live properly; that doesn’t criminalize them, and their children to stop living with the terror from the deportation of their parents”.


Salt Lake Tribune

Orlando, FL — Immigration has not weakened the Christian identity of the United States but rather strengthened it, the director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life told Catholic bishops here Thursday.

”Even though immigration is increasing diversity,” Luis Lugo said, ”its primary result is that it’s reinforcing the Christian character of American society.”

Lugo presented findings from Pew’s sweeping U.S. Religious Landscape Survey to some 240 Catholic bishops attending their annual spring meeting.

The survey, first released last February, measured the changing and diversifying religious affiliations of some 35,000 American adults. Researchers found that Catholics lose more adherents than any other religious group; one in 10 Americans are former Catholics.

Despite those losses, Catholic numbers have held steady during the last two decades, at about a quarter of the U.S. population. That’s thanks in large part to immigrants, notably Latinos. About one-third of U.S. Catholics are Latino, which is helping offset the more secular attitudes that have gained ground in Europe, Lugo said.

”Immigration is not leading to the de-Christianization of American society but to the de-Europization of American Christianity,” said Lugo, a native of Cuba.