Immigration

North American Union Escapes Scrutiny

Judicial Watch uncovered documents that shed new light on the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” announced by President Bush, former Mexico President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 23, 2005.

The expressed goal of the partnership is to create “a safer, more prosperous North America” through enhanced cooperation between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Critics, however, charge that it is a veiled attempt to erase the borders between the countries, creating a “North American Union,” much like the “European Union,” with a common currency. (Under such an arrangement, the U.S. would obviously sacrifice aspects of its sovereignty.) Little has been reported about the inner workings of the partnership in the mainstream press, which is one reason why Judicial Watch decided to investigate.

Our investigations team is still in the process of analyzing the documents released to Judicial Watch in response to its Freedom of Information Act request. But what we have uncovered so far is intriguing. The partnership’s “working groups,” include officials from 10 federal agencies, including Commerce, State, and Homeland Security. These officials, in cooperation with representatives from Mexico and Canada, are addressing a wide variety of topics behind closed-doors, including the movement of goods between countries, traveler security, energy, environment and health.

Some of the more disturbing material, we found in documents concerning the North American Competitiveness Council. The council consists of 30 members, 10 each from the United States, Mexico and Canada, and is responsible for making recommendations to the partnership on a variety of topics. Judicial Watch uncovered its recommendations and meeting minutes. To give you a sampling of just how dangerous this partnership could become, here is what the council recommended on border enforcement:  “A reasonable grace period should be established at border crossings, during which time people lacking documents are educated about their options and allowed to pass.”  Can you imagine the chaos created at the U.S. border with Mexico if such an insane policy were ever enacted?

While these documents raise many additional questions, one thing is clear about the North American partnership announced just over a year ago:  This is not simply a theoretical exercise. These “working groups” are spending your tax money to this project. The project is not about the North American capitals “synchronizing their watches” and making sure they have the right numbers to call in case of emergency. It is about changes in policy and regulations on a host of important issues–including border security. And it’s all happening without any fanfare or much media scrutiny. Judicial Watch will continue to push for transparency in this process.

Herndon, Va., Heeds Call to Fight Illegal Immigration

Last Wednesday, the Herndon (Va.) Town Council voted to allow Herndon police officers to participate in a program offered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train local law enforcement in immigration enforcement techniques.

Herndon officials made the right decision, and we’re glad for that. Of course, it took a public pressure campaign initiated by Judicial Watch to make it happen.

On July 20, 2006, Judicial Watch released documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicating that local police officers trained in immigration enforcement techniques can be effective in enforcing federal immigration laws. Judicial Watch noted at the time that Herndon, Virginia officials had inquired about the immigration training program offered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, called “287(g) cross designation training,” but had failed to follow up and pursue the training.

Following the document release, the Herndon Town Council had a welcome change of heart, voting 6-1 in favor of allowing Herndon police officers to participate in the 287(g) program, which costs roughly $500 per officer. According to the Washington Post, “If the town is accepted into the program, it would negotiate an agreement covering the scope of the training officers would receive.”  To be clear, local police already have the inherent authority to help enforce key federal immigration laws. In fact, more and more localities, tired of illegal immigration lawlessness, are beginning to enforce the laws on their own.

Nevertheless, enrolling its police force in this immigration enforcement training program is a good first step. But the real test of the Herndon Town Council’s resolve on the issue of illegal immigration is whether or not they continue to support its illegal day laborer site. You will recall that Judicial Watch sued the town of Herndon and Fairfax County, Va., over their decision to bankroll an illegal day laborer site for illegal aliens. Click here to learn more about our day laborer site lawsuit and our other illegal immigration programs. From Herndon, Va., to Los Angeles, we’re making sure local officials respect and enforce federal immigration laws.

Did Bill Clinton Lose His Cool in a Fox News Interview?

Did President Clinton really lose his cool or was it a calculated political move?  That was what many were asking after the former President mounted a bizarre and belligerent defense of his record fighting terrorism during an interview last Sunday with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace. During the 10-minute interview, a red-faced Clinton repeatedly invaded Wallace’s space, leaning over and jabbing Wallace’s note cards with his finger. On one occasion Clinton made a remark about “the smirk” Wallace had on his face. Wallace later said of the Clinton meltdown, “I felt is if a mountain was coming down in front of me.”

Personally, I don’t see how anyone can truly believe that Bill Clinton, a skilled and experienced career politician who served as president and survived impeachment, was thrown off balance by a television interview. He was told in advance that at least half the interview questions would be on subjects of Wallace’s choosing. Given recent events, do you think the questions on terrorism caught Clinton by surprise?  Not a chance!  Review the video for yourself, and you’ll see that Wallace’s questions were mildly irritating at best. Clinton was waiting to pounce. He may have overplayed his hand a bit, but it was definitely a calculated move. The emotion/violence may have been spontaneous, but there’s no doubt his weak defenses were the product of much consideration.

Bill Clinton cares about two things right now: his legacy, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. His emotional defense of his record and his attacks on President Bush and Fox News, were played repeatedly on television and the Internet for the world to see. It was intended to defend against the criticism of his record by folks such as Judicial Watch, the 9/11 Commission, and the ABC television special “The Path to 9/11.”  Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics. And there was plenty of that to go around last Sunday. As former Clinton campaign adviser Dick Morris wrote in a column this week, “[with Bill Clinton] The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation.”

For all Bill Clinton’s blustering, though, he cannot change history. The Clinton administration was warned about the threat posed by Osama bin Laden at least as far back as 1996 and Judicial Watch has the documents to prove it. He failed to take action. Bin Laden and his al Qaeda network grew in power and influence and launched two more terrorist attacks on Bill Clinton’s watch. Clinton failed to take meaningful action. And then came September 11. It is fair to point out that President Bush had eight months to take action. But let’s be clear, Clinton had eight years. If you want to read a little more on what Bill Clinton knew about bin Laden, click here.


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