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Undocumented immigrants living locally face fears of deportation

Residents living in the Eugene area said Wednesday that they are nervous after Tuesday s announcement that federal immigration authorities will begin aggressively locating, arresting and deporting people who are in the country illegally, regardless of whether they re otherwise law-abiding. Rose Richeson, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement public affairs officer for the Pacific Northwest, said Wednesday that ICE agents no longer will make deportation exceptions for any class or category of removable aliens.

All of those in violation of immigration law may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and if found removable by final order removed from the United States, Richeson said. A final order is a final judgement made by a judge.

The memorandum, Richeson said, makes it clear that ICE will prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime. Richeson also said that, in compliance with the Tuesday memos, ICE would conduct targeted enforcement operations and allocate resources to work in jurisdictions with violent crime tied to gang activities. Documents released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security outlined what policies and practices the Trump administration intends to implement in the coming months to combat illegal immigration. The practices include enlisting local police officers to enforce immigration laws; establishing new detention facilities; publicizing crimes by undocumented immigrants; stripping such immigrants of privacy protections; discouraging asylum seekers; and immediately hiring at least 5,000 border patrol agents as well as 10,000 new ICE agents. The Trump administration has not announced how those new hires will be funded.

One of the memorandums directs the appropriate agencies to begin planning, designing, constructing and maintaining a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, complete with lighting, technology and sensors. Despite Trump s detailed implementation plans laid out Tuesday, local and state law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they had no intention of acting as ICE agents.

The federal government has no authority to tell us to enforce immigration laws, Oregon State Police Capt. Bill Fugate said. In general, we can t just enforce federal laws; we enforce state laws. We won t be delegating our resources to enforcing immigration laws. Fugate pointed to a 2013 state law that prevents local and state law enforcement from using state money to locate people living in Oregon who are not U.S. citizens.

ORS 181.850 states: No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns echoed Fugate s comments and cited the same law. Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order of her own designed to bolster protections in Oregon against deportation and discrimination of people who immigrated to the country without authorization.

Brown s executive order bans state agencies from helping federal immigration officials find or arrest illegal immigrants. That would expand Ore gon s 1987 sanctuary state law, which already prevents any state or local law enforcement agency from doing so. The order also would explicitly prohibit state agencies from discriminating against illegal immigrants, unless existing state or federal law requires them to do so. Brown s executive order would apply to agencies such as the Department of Human Services, which administers Ore gon s safety net social service programs, as well as the Department of Education and the Department of Transportation. Brown said at the time that she was concerned about news reports of plainclothes federal immigration officers making arrests and appearing to monitor people at the Multnomah County courthouse in Portland.

She acknowledged that she hasn t heard of any state agency receiving requests from federal immigration officers for state assistance in implementing deportation efforts. Brown said her order primarily is a preventive measure.

I want our agencies to understand that folks will not be targeted based on their immigration status, she said. Brown s office did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment about stepped-up border security, immigration enforcement and deportations. Deportations have taken place across the nation for years, including during the Obama administration, when 2.4 million people were deported from fiscal year 2009 to 2014, including a record 435,000 in 2013, according to DHS data.

The population of unauthorized immigrants living in Oregon is unclear. Census data indicate that about 130,000 undocumented residents lived in Oregon in 2014, according to the most recent Pew Research Center data. Advocates of a new state law dubbed by supporters as Cover All Kids, which would extend government-funded health insurance in Ore gon to many unauthorized immigrant children, estimate that about 17,900 unauthorized immigrants younger than age 19 live in the state. But Lane County immigrant rights advocates and organizations said Wednesday that the Trump administration is using fear and intimidation tactics in its fight against illegal immigration.

David S ez, executive director of Centro Latino Americano, said Wednesday that those tactics are working. Centro Latino Americano is a bilingual, multicultural agency that serves Latino families in Lane County. S ez said fear among some undocumented members of the community, as well as family members of those populations, grows with each new memorandum or executive order issued by the Trump administration or the president himself.

There are people who are keeping their children home from school and who aren t going to work because they re scared, S ez said. Being a safe community is critical. We need to make sure our schools, our city, our county and our state are creating safe environments that allow people to go to work, to school, to get their groceries without feeling afraid. The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of criminal aliens and warning that such unauthorized immigrants routinely victimize Americans, disregard the rule of law and pose a threat to people across the United States.

Despite those assertions in the new documents, research based on census data shows that there are lower levels of crime among immigrants than among native-born Americans. S ez alleges that much of the language presented in orders and memorandums from the Trump administration directly contradict the U.S. Constitution, which in a way can protect those who are prepared.

How these documents were worded and how they square with the Constitution and the rights people have regardless of their status, S ez said. A lot of what s in those memos is contradictory to the law of the land, and I m hopeful that we can challenge them. To prepare for the situation some Ore gonians could face, S ez said he and his colleagues at Centro Latino Americano have been holding workshops to provide guidance for immigrants in case ICE agents knock at their door.

We re helping families put together emergency preparedness kits so that if there s a family member deported or detained, that there s a plan of what will happen to kids and other family members, he said.

Examples of those preparations included making extra car and house keys, gathering important documents and informing families of their rights. Juan Carlos Valle, vice president and council treasurer of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Lane County, said Wednesday that LULAC also will be helping families prepare for what could happen.

This is what s left for us to do, Valle said. We need to inform our families of their rights and tell them not to get in trouble, because at this point they ll (federal immigration agents) use any excuse to arrest them. We have to be the ones taking this step. They have to know we have their backs and we ll speak up. This is my responsibility.

Email Alisha at [email protected] guard.com[1] . More Local News[2] articles

Don t open the door, but be calm. You have rights.

Ask what they are there for, and ask for an interpreter if you need one. If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge; if so, ask to see it through a window or slipped under the door. If they do not have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at your door.

If they force their way in, don t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent. If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer. Follow driving laws and maintain a good criminal record. Younger generations should stay busy and in school, be respectful and avoid friends who might get in trouble.

Source: Juan Carlos Valle of the League of United
Latin American Citizens in Lane County via the ACLU

References

  1. ^ [email protected] guard.com (registerguard.com)
  2. ^ Local News (registerguard.com)

FBI authorized some informants to engage in unlawful activity at refuge

Updated 6:20 p.m.

Over the objection of a prosecutor, a defense lawyer Wednesday asked Oregon’s recently retired top FBI agent about his reaction to the jury verdict from the first trial in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“You do not believe the participants that went to trial in the fall of 2016 were held accountable, that’s correct?” asked Michele Kohler, representing defendant Duane Ehmer. After some hesitation and direction from the judge to answer the question, retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing replied, “That’s correct.”

Kohler pointed out that Bretzing didn’t testify during last year’s trial of the occupation leaders but is a government witness for this second Oregon standoff trial. And she noted that the verdict last fall likely didn’t correspond to the last of three goals that shaped Bretzing’s response to the 41-day occupation: to hold those involved accountable.

“So that verdict thwarted the third purpose of your federal response?” Kohler continued.

“No,” Bretzing replied.

“Sir, it’s your desire to hold someone accountable for what happened in 2016?” Kohler asked.

“I can’t answer that yes or no,” Bretzing said.

As Kohler asked her question about the earlier verdict, U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight stood to object. “The court has ruled on it,” Knight told U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown. Kohler countered that she asked her question to discern potential bias. The judge overruled the objection and allowed the question.

But moments later, when the jury was permitted to take a brief break, Knight told the judge that he was concerned the defense had violated an agreement not to ask Bretzing about his reaction to the verdict. There was no mention of what the verdict was, but jurors could easily figure it out from the line of questioning. Occupation leader Ammon Bundy and six co-defendants were acquitted in October of conspiracy and weapons charges after a five-week trial.

“We bring that to the court’s attention,” Knight said. “This is something the government is very concerned about in front of this jury in this trial.”

Brown said she was unaware of any agreement reached between lawyers involved in the case but told them: “We need to be able to count on each others’ representations.”

After court, Andrew Kohlmetz, standby attorney for defendant Jason Patrick, said he had told Knight ahead of time that he wouldn’t cross-examine Bretzing about the first trial’s verdict. Kohler said she was unaware of any agreement made. Other testimony Wednesday:

Refuge neighbor and longtime rancher Andy Dunbar testified that he saw a caravan of cars headed to the refuge as he and his wife ate lunch at The Narrows RV park on Jan. 2, 2016. Days later, while feeding his cows, he said he spotted men in the refuge watchtower, one pointing a rifle at him. Another time, he saw a man looking through a rifle scope at him. He said armed men worked eight-hour shifts in the watchtower and swapped out “like clockwork.”

Dunbar acknowledged the FBI paid $2,000 each to him and his son after they let agents use their property on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, 2016, as agents tried to persuade people remaining at the refuge to leave after the Jan. 26 arrests of the occupation leaders.

Dunbar said he gave defendant Jason Patrick a ride out of the refuge to an FBI checkpoint on Jan. 27, 2016. In mid-January, Dunbar testified that he heard “hundreds and hundreds of shots” coming from the boat launch during the refuge occupation, estimating it occurred over six days.

— Refuge manager Chad Karges said he told the 16 employees not to return to work on Jan. 2, 2016, after hearing armed men had taken over the wildlife sanctuary.

“I told them not to report to work until they heard back from me,” Karges said. “The tensions in the community were extremely high. A lot of hostilities were directed towards federal agencies.”

Asked if anyone ever reached out to him or invited his staff back to the refuge during the occupation, Karges said no.

Prosecutors had Karges open a maroon pouch that the government contends was found in defendant Duane Ehmer’s car. The pouch belongs to the nonprofit Friends of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and contained at least a dozen gas credit cards for refuge employees, an employee’s ID card and checks and receipts, Karges said.

They showed him photos of refuge trucks blocking entrances to the refuge. They also showed him photos of defendant Darryl Thorn waving his hand while driving a government ATV and another person operating a backhoe at the refuge. Did Karges give them permission to use the equipment, a prosecutor asked. Karges said no, and that the backhoe in the video was operating on an archeological site.

Defense lawyer Michele Kohler pointed out a septic tank on the refuge property near where the backhoe was operating. “On an archeological site?” she asked.

Karges said the refuge obtained “archeological clearance” to place the septic tank there. The refuge headquarters remains closed to the public today, Karges said.

— Burns resident Walter Lee Eaton Jr. testified that he was in the first caravan of cars that took over the refuge on Jan. 2, 2016. He said Ryan Payne asked him, “Hey, ready to go?” in the lot of the Safeway in Burns that day. He got into Payne’s truck and didn’t realize they were headed to the refuge. Defendant Jason Patrick was in the truck as well.

When the caravan arrived at the refuge about 12:45 p.m., a group of 10 men went building to building. Most of the buildings were unlocked, he said. “They said they were taking the refuge,” Eaton testified. “You can’t do something like that without a plan.”

Eaton said he couldn’t recall if Patrick was armed, although he had told the FBI in early January 2016 that Patrick had a gun, prosecutor Ethan Knight pointed out. If Eaton was a supporter of the refuge occupiers, then why did he leave the refuge shortly after he arrived on Jan. 2, 2016, walking about two miles in the 10-degree temperature to call his wife for a ride, Knight asked. “This,” Eaton said, looking around at the men on trial. “I’m a sick man. I can’t jeopardize going to jail.”

Eaton did make about five subsequent visits to the refuge during the occupation. “I told those guys, ‘you guys are crazy. I love you. I support you, but you’re crazy.’ ”

During FBI Agent Ronnie Walker’s testimony, the government played a Jan. 22, 2016, video of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum at the refuge. “We are not going anywhere. We are here to do a job. Be at ease. We will not leave these buildings. We will not turn them over to the federal government.” The judge then read to jurors an instruction that to consider a co-conspirator’s statement they must find the person who made the statement and the defendants on trial were participants in a conspiracy and that the statement was made in the furtherance of the conspiracy.

Jeffrey Rose, manager of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management/Burns Division, testified that some threats to “take out” BLM employees were received in November and December 2015 before the refuge was seized. He said the office was closed from Dec. 31, 2015, until Feb. 10, 2016. He cut power to the BLM’s French Glen field station, concerned that it might be taken over, but that didn’t occur

The matter arose during Bretzing’s second day on the witness stand. Four remaining defendants are charged with conspiring to impede federal employees from carrying out their work at the federal wildlife refuge through intimidation, threats or fear. Defense lawyers, during cross-examination, elicited testimony from Bretzing that there were “maybe a couple of hundred” FBI agents in Harney County during the course of the refuge takeover, plus dozens of state and local law enforcement officers.

While Bretzing was questioned further about the FBI’s use of informants or if he gave any approval for them to engage in unlawful activity while at the refuge, he said he didn’t have direct knowledge. Bretzing said he would have been “briefed on the activities of informants,” but wasn’t familiar with them by name, other than that of informant Mark McConnell. He said he couldn’t say whether or not an FBI informant had participated in guard duty or fortifying the refuge.

“I’m not familiar with each place the confidential human source may have been at,” Bretzing said. In contrast, FBI Special Agent Ronnie Walker, who was called by the government as a witness later in the day, was very clear. He testified that some informants were authorized to engage in “otherwise unlawful activity” during the occupation.

Prosecutors have said there were nine informants sent into the refuge during the occupation. Walker, the FBI’s trial agent for the case, said informants’ range of stays at the refuge ran from two hours to 23 days.

Fabio Minoggio, who was outed by the defense in the first Oregon standoff trial[1], was the last informant to leave the refuge on the night of Jan. 26, 2016, after the fatal police shooting of occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on U.S. 395 between Burns and John Day. Some informants, including Minoggio, were allowed to carry guns when they went to the refuge, Walker testified.

If one was asked by occupier Ryan Payne to do guard duty at the refuge, “I would encourage the informant to do so, simply to maintain credibility,” Walker told jurors. Under cross-examination by defense lawyer Jesse Merrithew, Walker confirmed that Payne asked an informant to lead one of the security teams of occupiers. Walker said he didn’t know if the informant directed others to do guard duty or take other security measures, but said it would be “fair to infer” that the informant would delegate responsibilities to others.

Asked if he knew Minoggio was training those at the refuge in hand-to-hand combat, Walker responded, “Oh yes, of course.”

Merrithew continued, asking Walker if he knew Minoggio trained people at the refuge in the use of weapons. “That’s one way of putting it,” Walker said. During redirect, Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow asked the FBI agent if any informant participated in the initial occupation of the federal refuge. Walker said no.

“Did any informant initiate the idea of security teams” at the refuge, Barrow asked.

“No,” Walker answered. Why, Barrow asked, was informant Minoggio allowed to train people.

Walker said it was done “to make the place safer.”

Minoggio heard shooting by the boat launch and went to check it out, Walker said.

“He saw firearms behavior that was unsafe,” Walker said, so Minoggio “interjected himself and asked them to stop.”

Walker said none of the informants left their firearms behind at the refuge when they left.

— Maxine Bernstein

References

  1. ^ Fabio Minoggio, who was outed by the defense in the first Oregon standoff trial (www.oregonlive.com)
  2. ^

Greg Hansen: Arizona Wildcats’ Spirit of ’79 lives on with USC, UCLA arriving

To encourage customer traffic and circulate his restaurant s name in the community, Spaghetti Company owner Mike Pulos offered a free spaghetti dinner to all 14,586 McKale Center fans if the Wildcats could complete a historic 1979 sweep of UCLA and USC. To be safe, Pulos ordered 2,000 cases of pasta and scheduled double-shifts for his waiters. In January 1979, that was about $50,000 of giveaway spaghetti.

It was our first year in the Pac-10, and it was really big to have UCLA and USC on our court, remembers 1980 Arizona all-conference guard Joe Nehls. I think everybody in town ate free spaghetti. Only now, 38 years later, with the Trojans and Bruins a cumulative 45-9, is there a USC/UCLA weekend as appealing. In the Lute Olson years, USC and UCLA never arrived at McKale with more than 36 wins.

Rarely have the Trojans and the Bruins been good simultaneously, but in 1979 they were picked to finish 1-2 in the newly expanded Pac-10. UCLA was ranked No. 3 when it arrived in Tucson; the Trojans were ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll, and by the time they suited up at McKale, they had already played the nation s most difficult schedule, enduring road games at Duke, Maryland and Texas . The Bruins came first, a Thursday night game attended by 14,606. Like many other teams of the era, Arizona had not beaten mighty UCLA since 1923. No one could have expected a sweep, or even a split. The Wildcats were bludgeoned 116-80 at Oregon State five days earlier.

We had been embarrassed, says Nehls, now a Tucson real estate broker. They probably came in thinking they could walk all over us.

On the biggest platform in McKale history, Arizona beat UCLA 70-69 when reserve guard John Smith made a single free throw with six seconds remaining. He was engulfed by hundreds of celebrating fans who not only attempted to cut down the nets, but carried Smith and several of his teammates off the court. When coach Fred Snowden arrived at work the next morning, his first of dozens of congratulatory phone calls was from U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, a 1959 UA grad.

It s the biggest win of my career, said Snowden, who earlier stunned No. 3 UNLV in the 1976 Sweet 16. I ve never seen it like this here. It was the first time I d ever seen the crowd come onto the court and lift the players up on their shoulders. Then came the promise of free spaghetti dinners if Arizona could complete the sweep on a Monday night against USC.

Another sellout crowd squeezed into the arena, at which Arizona had gone 82-7 since McKale opened in 1973. But most of those victories were against regional opponents from the Western Athletic Conference. It was the Joe Nehls Show. The shooting guard from the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Illinois, scored 31 points, giving him 50 for the weekend. Arizona won 74-72, with two Nehls free throws providing the differential. This time the crowd rushed the court with even more revelry. A small security force was overwhelmed; some fans got inside the UA locker room, embraced by Snowden and the players.

I don t think I ve ever seen that in back-to-back games anywhere, says Nehls, who is a UA season ticket-holder. We didn t get to the postseason, not even the NIT, but that weekend was a highlight that can never be taken away from you. It was as loud as I can ever remember it at McKale.

Los Angeles Times basketball writer Mal Florence described his weekend in Tucson this way: I thought Oregon was bad, but this is the new Pit. How did it happen? How did an Arizona team that finished 16-11 and tied for fourth in the Pac-10, sweep NCAA-bound UCLA and USC teams? The Wildcats shot a combined 57 percent for the weekend. The future NBA players from Los Angeles UCLA s Kiki Vandeweghe, David Greenwood and Brad Holland and USC s Cliff Robinson couldn t overcome what has grown to be the West Coast s leading game-day environment.

The USC-UCLA weekend has never been able to match the appeal and anticipation of the 1979 games. Over the last 30 LA weekends, Arizona is 50-10 against the Trojans and Bruins with 22 sweeps. A few years ago, Nehls got a call from Arizona s 1979 point guard, Russell Brown, who scored a season-high 18 in the upset over UCLA. He asked if Nehls had video of either of the games, or an old tape.

Unfortunately, no, says Nehls. But I d love to get my hands on one. The old Spaghetti Company restaurant on South Alvernon Way closed in 1982. The spirit of 79 lives on.