October 26, 2020 | Judicial Watch Sticking to its commitment of dismantling the nation’s deadliest street gang, the Trump administration has criminally charged 127 members of the famously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) this year and half a dozen face life in prison after being convicted. It’s a start but, shockingly, it barely puts a dent on the problem since the MS-13 has an estimated 10,000 members in the U.S. and tens of thousands more abroad, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) figures. Back in 2012 the Obama administration issued sanctions against the MS-13, officially classifying the Latin American gang as a Transitional Criminal Organization (TCO) for its involvement in serious criminal activities, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder, racketeering, blackmail, extortion and immigration offenses. MS-13 has long operated in the U.S., but it was Obama’s open border policies that energized the international gang domestically with new recruits provided by a steady flow of illegal immigrant minors. In fact, the DOJ reveals that around 74% of MS-13 defendants prosecuted by the agency in the last four years are in the U.S. illegally. Lax immigration enforcement is largely responsible. When the Obama administration started welcoming a barrage of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in 2014, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. The Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently confirmed that the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state under Obama’s disastrous program, which saw over 60,000 illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months. Tens of thousands more have entered since then. When Donald Trump became president he issued an Executive Order directing several agencies, including the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, to coordinate an effort to restore safety for the American people by extinguishing TCOs such as MS-13. The order states that the criminal groups have spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens. “These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life,” the president’s order reads. “They, for example, have been known to commit brutal murders, rapes, and other barbaric acts. These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.” The commander-in-chief gives federal agencies 120 days to report progress in combating the criminal organizations as well as recommended actions for dismantling them. In August 2019 Attorney General William Barr launched an initiative known as Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) to address MS-13 with a coordinated force of federal law enforcement agencies and the DOJ. Less than a year after its formation, the task force recorded big successes. Over the summer the DOJ announced a number of significant JTFV cases, including for the first time an MS-13 member being charged with terrorism-related offenses, the take down of the MS-13 Hollywood leadership and the Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty against an MS-13 operative. This month the DOJ released a report documenting the government’s achievements in pursuing MS-13 members nationwide. Since fiscal year 2016, the agency has charged 749 MS-13 defendants and obtained 504 convictions, including 37 life sentences. In 2020 federal prosecutors have charged 127 MS-13 gang bangers with six facing life sentences after being convicted. Additionally, the DOJ is seeking the death penalty in two MS-13 cases, in New York and Virginia. The feds will keep at it because MS-13 is a barbaric and well-organized criminal enterprise that continues to intensify in the U.S. and internationally. “For decades, MS-13 has exploited weaknesses in U.S. immigration enforcement policies to move its members in and out of the United States and to recruit new members who have arrived in the United States illegally,” the DOJ writes in its recently issued report. “MS-13 recruited and utilized foreign nationals, most often from Central America, who were in the United States illegally.” A tiny portion, around three percent, of MS-13 criminal defendants are in the country legally, according to DOJ figures.
October 20, 2020 | Judicial Watch The U.S. government spent at least $162 million last year to incarcerate tens of thousands of criminal illegal immigrants for committing crimes that include rape, murder, kidnapping and terrorism. The offenders were imprisoned by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), which confirm that 94% of aliens jailed in 2019 were unlawfully present in the U.S. The alarming data was recently disclosed in a new report issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which disclose that nearly 70% of known or suspected aliens in BOP custody last year had been convicted of a non-immigration related offense and 39% of known or suspected aliens in USMS custody committed a non-immigration related crime. Under the Obama administration this type of pertinent information relating to illegal immigration was essentially ignored, but President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order in 2017 that, among other things, forces USMS and BOP to provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with data on a quarterly basis regarding inmates and detainees identified as foreign-born during their criminal case process. In turn, ICE checks USMS and BOP data against its ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) case management system, the ENFORCE Alien Removal Module (EARM), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Central Index System to identify aliens with immigration records and pending or completed removal proceedings. The president’s order also directs the DHS Secretary and Attorney General to collect data on the following: The immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the BOP; the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the USMS and the immigration status of all convicted aliens incarcerated in state prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States. The essential data is meant to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the country and to ensure the nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, according to the president’s order. The new report states that 51,074 known or suspected aliens were in DOJ custody in 2019, with the majority (27,494) in BOP facilities throughout the country and 23,580 in USMS custody at various institutions. The BOP operates 122 prisons nationwide while the USMS houses detainees in federal, state, local and private jails. More than half of the 51,074 were confirmed by ICE to have orders of removal. More than 28,500 of the aliens in BOP custody committed fraud and 1,147 weapons offenses, according to stats provided by the DOJ and DHS. Over 1,000 illegal immigrants jailed by the BOP carried out racketeering and continuing criminal enterprise offenses such as murder for hire and 535 committed sex crimes that include production or distribution of child pornography. Around 1,028 aliens executed serious felonies such as kidnapping, murder, terrorism, rape and extortion, the report states. More than half of the USMS arrestees committed drug offenses with the rest incarcerated for immigration crimes, fraud, weapons violations, sex offenses and racketeering. Nearly 1,000 of the illegal aliens jailed by USMS carried out serious felonies such as murder, rape, terrorism, and kidnapping. The DHS/DOJ report ends with specific cases of sentenced illegal aliens in BOP custody around the country. The first is a Colombian national sentenced to 180 months in prison in south Florida for smuggling illegal immigrants from his country into the U.S., resulting in a rape and two deaths. In South Carolina, a Mexican national was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. In Iowa, an illegal alien from Guatemala was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of three counts of unlawful use of an identification document and four counts of misuse of a Social Security number to obtain welfare benefits. In Louisiana, a Mexican national was sentenced to more than two decades in prison for distributing the psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and possessing firearms. In Mississippi, a Mexican citizen was sentenced to 330 months in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The list goes on and on, including convictions for drug trafficking, aggravated robbery, assault, theft, and illegal voting in 10 elections.
October 16, 2020 | Judicial Watch A national pandemic of local municipalities protecting illegal immigrant criminals is driving federal authorities to resort to desperate measures to keep communities safe. This month Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a billboard campaign seeking the public’s help in capturing felons released by various law enforcement agencies throughout Pennsylvania under sanctuary policies. The state has more than a dozen official sanctuary counties that have recently discharged convicted or arrested criminal aliens. Police throughout the Keystone State refuse to honor a local-federal partnership known as 287(g) that notifies ICE of jail inmates in the country illegally so that they can be deported after serving time for state crimes. At least 16 Pennsylvania counties and the state’s biggest city, Philadelphia, offer illegal immigrants sanctuary, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The new taxpayer-funded billboards will be placed on or near highways throughout Pennsylvania and will feature at-large immigration violators who may pose a public safety threat, according to a statement issued by ICE. “These individuals were previously arrested or convicted of crimes in the U.S. but were released into the community instead of being transferred to ICE custody pursuant to an immigration detainer,” the agency writes in the announcement. “ICE lodges immigration detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being removable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.” Unfortunately, this is a sad old story that has ignited a national crisis. Judicial Watch has reported on it extensively, providing outrageous examples that include elected law enforcement officials freeing child sex offenders, major counties releasing numerous violent convicts and a state—North Carolina—that recently discharged nearly 500 illegal immigrant criminals from custody before the end of the fiscal year. The dangerous trend has forced ICE to come up with creative ways to apprehend the offenders and deport them. In one busy region the agency publicly disclosed the convicts, complete with mug shots, scheduled to be released before they were actually let go by police that proudly offer illegal aliens sanctuary. The initiative targeted six offenders incarcerated in two Maryland counties—Montgomery and Prince George’s—notorious for shielding illegal immigrants from the feds. Most were incarcerated for sexual crimes involving children, including rape and serious physical abuse that resulted in death. A couple of the convicts were in jail for murder and assault. The new Pennsylvania billboard project will plaster the mug shot of criminal aliens under a “Wanted by ICE” banner and the crimes they have committed. The agency that released them, in most cases the Philadelphia Police Department, is also written in large letters on the board as well as a caption that reads: “Sanctuary policies are a REAL DANGER.” The new billboards will be located on Route 1 north of Old Lincoln Highway, Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge & Wood, Walt Whitman Bridge #5, Route 130 south of Airport Circle, North Christopher Columbus Boulevard Artic Avenue and I-276 Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Buck Road. “Too often sanctuary policies limiting cooperation with ICE result in significant public safety concerns,” a senior ICE official says in the agency announcement, assuring that “ICE will continue to enforce immigration laws set forth by Congress through the efforts of the men and women of ICE to remove criminal aliens and making our communities safer.” Here is an example of offenders featured in the first batch of Pennsylvania billboards; Han Soo Lee, a South Korean national arrested by Philadelphia Police for aggravated assault, simple assault, possessing an instrument of crime and reckless endangerment; Mike Bwondara, a Kenyan national also arrested in Philadelphia for aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person; Lauro Peralta-Veles, an Ecuadorean national arrested by Pittsburgh Police for aggravated assault, public intoxication, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. In each case, ICE lodged a detainer with local authorities, but the detainers were not honored under sanctuary laws. “Non-cooperation policies result in preventable crimes of violence taking place in our communities when dangerous criminal aliens are released to the streets to reoffend,” according to ICE.
October 14, 2020 | Judicial Watch A federal agency that celebrates everything from Hispanic to African American, Asian and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) culture is under fire for recently observing European Heritage because it supposedly promotes white nationalism. With 70,000 employees and a whopping $12.8 billion annual budget the Department of the Interior (DOI) prides itself on being inclusive and diverse. The agency manages the nation’s public lands and minerals, national parks, and wildlife refuges. It also upholds federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and Native Alaskans and is responsible for the conservation of endangered species and the environment. DOI regularly observes the country’s diverse cultures by publishing special edition magazines and holding festive events. Recent DOI publications have focused on LGBTQ and Asian Americans. In February it was National African American History Month. September was Hispanic Heritage Month and November will be Native American Heritage Month. So why the bruhaha over European Heritage, which was highlighted in the August edition of a DOI publication known as “Connections?” Some employees believe observing European Heritage is “insensitive” because it improperly endorses “ideals related to white pride,” according to a story published in a digital news site that covers government. DOI workers are “annoyed and angry” that the agency recognized Europeans because it promotes a “white lives matter ideology,” an employee says in the article. The DOI staffer says it is especially troubling “during a time of civil awakening.” Presumably this refers to the radical, leftist Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Of interesting note is that the “offensive” 20-page European Heritage issue features a congratulatory message to the magazine staff from the DOI’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administrative Services, a black woman named Jacqueline M. Jones, a veteran government executive who oversees five divisions at the agency. She shares a note from an administrative judge thanking the agency for its commitment to diversity in the workplace. Jones, whose photo appears next to the message, thanks the magazine staff for “connecting with us through these monthly celebrations of diversity, inclusion and equity. We truly are stronger together!” Below her signature is the publication’s table of contents, which includes sections on the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wales, Germany, the European Union, Russia, and Voices for Change. One section is dedicated to Martin Luther King and highlights his infamous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. It includes the entire speech, a half-page illustration of King and a separate color photo of the civil rights leader waving to a massive crowd during the March on Washington. The section dedicated to King evidently did not upset any DOI employees, but some found the portion titled “National Parks with European Connections” offensive because they feel it was insensitive to Native Americans. The magazine states that Native Americans were the largest indigenous group in Florida and Georgia at the time of European contact, occupying about 19,200 square miles with an estimated population of 200,000. According to the news article critical of the publication, a DOI employee viewed this as “suggesting it only served to highlight that those populations have been almost entirely wiped out.” Another agency worker said the entire edition celebrating European Heritage was “tone deaf,” even though it features a renowned civil rights icon and includes diverse cultural experiences of DOI veterans such as a National Park Service (NPS) employee in Florida who writes fondly about exposure to Cuban, Guatemalan, Mexican, British and Irish cultures in the Sunshine State. In a desperate effort to justify criticism of DOI’s European Heritage magazine, the article states that the “Southern Poverty Law Center has flagged various organizations that celebrate European heritage as associated with white nationalism.” The reality is that the SPLC is a radical leftist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalog of “hate groups.” Its famous “hate map” helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative nonprofit in 2012. The Virginia man, Floyd Lee Corkins, was sentenced to 25 years in prison though prosecutors recommended 45 because his crime was an act of terrorism. Even the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) officially reprimanded the SPLC for its hateful attacks, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in 2017. The rebuke was a vindication for groups targeted by the SPLC’s witch hunts and was especially impactful because the Obama administration was tight with the SPLC and even hired the controversial nonprofit to conduct diversity training for the government.
October 08, 2020 | Judicial Watch The U.S. government has finally issued an official policy on the inadmissibility of foreigners affiliated with Communist or totalitarian parties. The critical new rule appears to be the Trump administration’s response to an epidemic of Communists, mainly from China, that have stolen billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded scientific research while working in the United States with Uncle Sam’s permission. This month U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, published details of the Communist ban in an updated USCIS Policy Manual. Many Americans may wonder why it took so long. “Membership in or affiliation with the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party is inconsistent and incompatible with the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, which includes pledging to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States,” according to a USCIS statement announcing the new measure. The agency continues to explain that, “in general, unless otherwise exempt,” immigrants with domestic or foreign Communist or totalitarian affiliations are inadmissible to the U.S. Indeed, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952 authorizes the exclusion of immigrants on the basis of membership in or affiliation with the Communist or any other totalitarian party. The problem is that the government has failed to enforce the policy for decades. A rule in the books will help officers adjudicate the “inadmissibility ground consistent with federal law,” according to USCIS, which adds that it will also provide “guidance” in the “context of adjustment of status applications.” The new chapter of the USCIS manual says the admissibility ground applies to past or present membership or affiliations with Communist parties. Officers are directed to determine whether the organization is Communist or totalitarian. Next, they are to determine whether the alien’s connection to the organization rises to the level of membership in or affiliation with such organization. After that, federal officers must decide if the membership or affiliation was “meaningful.” Regulations define the Communist party as: The Communist Party of the United States; the Communist Political Association and the Communist Party of any foreign state or political or geographical subdivision as well as other branches, affiliates and subdivisions. Totalitarian parties are defined as organizations that advocate the establishment in the United States of a totalitarian dictatorship or totalitarianism. This refers to systems of government characterized by a single political party and organized on a dictatorial basis. When considering whether an alien is a threat to the security of the United States, USCIS says it considers factors such as espionage, terrorism, subversion, and risks to intellectual property. The latter appears to be the force behind this new policy. The U.S. government has long permitted Communists working in the U.S. to steal billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded research. Many of them work at public universities throughout the country or at government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) or national laboratories affiliated with the Department of Energy (DOE). For decades many of the institutions have been deeply impacted by Chinese infiltrators stealing highly valuable intellectual property. A U.S. Senate investigation determined that, not only has American-funded research long been stolen by China, the work is helping the Communist nation meet its goal of becoming a world leader in science and technology. China uses hundreds of government-funded talent recruitment plans to incentivize individuals engaged in research and development in the U.S, transmit information in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space and other perks. The Communists then use the American research for their own economic and military gain. Thankfully, the Trump administration appears to be addressing the problem. Earlier this year, the NIH fired dozens of scientists over their secret financial ties to Communist China. It is not clear how long they went undetected or how much taxpayer-funded research they stole, but at the time some 54 scientists got booted for failing to disclose a troubling financial arrangement with a foreign government. In the overwhelming majority of cases—93%—the cash came from China, according to an ongoing NIH investigation that started two years ago. Also, in most of the probes the targets were Asian men in their 50s. The bulk of the ousted researchers received generous grants from the NIH, which has an eye-popping $41.7 billion annual budget. Every year the NIH invests tens of billions of dollars in medical research by giving around 50,000 grants to more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools and other institutions throughout the country. Only 10% of the agency’s budget supports projects conducted by scientists in its own lab in Bethesda Maryland. Chinese infiltrators have been stealing valuable research from the U.S. government for decades. In fact, more than 20 years ago Judicial Watch helped expose a Chinese Communist scientist (Wen Ho Lee), who stole nuclear secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, among the world’s largest science institutions and the nation’s key nuclear weapons research facility. The Bill Clinton Justice Department refused to prosecute Lee because then Attorney General Janet Reno claimed the accusations against him were racist. Judicial Watch represented the whistleblower, Notra Trulock, responsible for launching an investigation into Lee’s actions. Trulock was the DOE’s intelligence operations chief and Clinton administration officials defamed him by accusing him of being a racist to cover up Lee’s repeated and embarrassing security violations.
October 02, 2020 | Judicial Watch Leftwing billionaire George Soros just donated $1.5 million to help the nation’s most populous county elect a Black Lives Matter-endorsed prosecutor who promises to lock up fewer criminals. The sizable contribution to former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon’s campaign for Los Angeles District Attorney is part of a broader effort by Soros to place leftists in local prosecutors’ offices around the country. The philanthropist has donated generously to these types of candidates throughout California as well as in other states, including Florida, Virginia, Illinois, Texas and New Mexico. Earlier this year, a Soros-linked group called Missouri Justice Public Safety PAC gave St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner, who criminally charged a couple for defending their home against violent Black Lives Matter protestors, $78,000. Soros also helped fund Gardner’s 2016 campaign and his reelection support has not wavered even though she was investigated for abusing her power to pursue a bogus criminal case against a political nemesis and fined for campaign finance violations. Now Soros, who has long funded international and domestic movements to advance the left’s radical agenda, is pouring money into the L.A. County race to remove its first black district attorney, Jackie Lacey, who is seeking a third term. Judicial Watch has launched an investigation and this week filed a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request for Gascon’s records, communications, and expenditures with various Political Action Committees behind his controversial move from San Francisco to Los Angeles. According to a conservative news report, social justice advocacy groups, including Black Lives Matter, recruited Gascon to come to L.A. and he met with the co-founder and key strategist of the Black Lives Matter global network, Patrisse Cullors, about the move south. The same media outlet reported the recent $1.5 million Soros donation to Gascon this week. Besides promising to imprison fewer criminals than L.A. County’s current prosecutor, here is why leftists want him in charge; Gascon helped craft two state measures, Proposition 47 and Proposition 57, that benefit hardcore criminals under the auspice of “criminal justice reform.” Proposition 47 decriminalizes drug and theft offenses by reducing them from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 57 grants serious criminals such as rapists, human traffickers, child molesters and drive-by-shooters early release from prison. Gascon’s campaign is a perfect example of outside special interests controlling traditionally non-partisan races, according to the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA), the professional group of deputy prosecutors in L.A. County. “Special interest groups, funded by George Soros, pumped millions of dollars into district attorney races across the county,” the group’s president writes on its website. “Their mission was to use Soros’s wealth to radically reshape the criminal justice system.” Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the multi-million-dollar global crusade funded by Soros to further advance the left’s radical agenda. Incredibly, American taxpayers contribute to this outrageous cause. A few years ago Judicial Watch published an investigative report on the financial and staffing nexus between Soros’ deeply politicized Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the U.S. government. OSF works to destabilize legitimate governments, erase national borders, target conservative politicians, finance civil unrest, subvert institutions of higher education and orchestrate refugee crises for political gain. With the help of American taxpayer dollars, Soros bolsters a radical leftwing agenda that in the U.S. has included: promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts; fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist racialist organizations; financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other organizations involved in the riots in Ferguson, Missouri; weakening the integrity of our electoral systems; promoting taxpayer funded abortion-on-demand; advocating a government-run health care system; opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts; promoting dubious transnational climate change agreements that threaten American sovereignty and working to advance gun control and erode Second Amendment protections.
September 18, 2020 | Judicial Watch A webinar event billed as “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled” is scheduled for September 23, 2020. San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and Professor Tomomi Kinukawa are hosting the open classroom Internet event described as: “a historic roundtable conversation with Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader Leila Khaled, followed by Q&A discussion with students, activists, and scholars at 12:30-2:30 pm PST (3:30-5:30 pm New York, and 10:30pm-12:30 am in Palestine and Jordan). While Leila Khaled is not a specially designated terrorist, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a designated organization – and Khaled is a member of the terrorist organization’s politburo. Because it is an online event, there are no issues related to her admissibility to the U.S. Khaled has spoken in Europe several times (including at an EU conference in Brussels in 2017), but was denied entry to Italy the same year. In 2018, the co-chair of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America featured a famous photo of Khaled holding an AK-47 during the hijacking of TWA 840 on her Twitter banner and tweeted that, “Khaled never harmed a single human being”. She has recently tweeted support of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Portland riots. The event is also scheduled to feature South African politician Ronnie Kasrils. He was the country’s Minister of Intelligence, an executive committee member of the African National Congress, and a member of the Central Committee of South Africa’s Communist Party. He was previously an advisor to Hamas. Another speaker at the event, Sekou Odinga, is a Black Panthers revolutionary who was convicted of six counts of attempted murder of a police officer and RICO charges related to his role in breaking a fellow Panther (who had been convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper) out of prison. He was paroled in 2014. Former Weather Underground and SDS member Laura Whitehorn is also scheduled to participate. She was convicted for her role in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Senate and sentenced to 20 years. Event moderator Rahab Abdulhadi is a Professor and Director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas/Race and Resistance initiative at SFSU. She has an extremely long history of Palestinian/anti-Jewish activism, including establishing ties between SFSU and Hamas-affiliated universities. In 2014, she led a university-funded delegation of academics to the Middle East that met with Khaled and Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of an organization that supports Hamas. Co-sponsors of the event include the Marxist Workers World Party and leading BDS organization Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, which has called for the elimination of Israel and earlier this year had its GoFundMe account terminated on account of its anti-Semitic views. SFSU President Lynn Mahoney seems to be a run-of-the-mill leftist academic. Previously, Mahoney was Provost and V.P. at California State University in Los Angeles and held various positions at CSU in Long Beach.
September 17, 2020 | Judicial Watch It took nearly two decades after the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil for every state to finally comply with a federal law requiring minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards. The measure, known as the REAL ID Act, was passed by Congress after 9/11 to establish a more secure national system less prone to fraud after several of the hijackers exploited loopholes to obtain dozens of driver’s licenses from various states. The cards allowed them to take flight lessons and board planes to carry out the 2001 attacks. At the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the law in 2005 and states originally had until 2011 to comply, though the Obama administration tried to drastically weaken the legislation. Obama Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted a 20-month extension on the deadline as she worked behind the scenes to undermine the Real ID Act, asserting that it violates civil liberties and privacy. The measure’s crucial verification process requires states to certify the authenticity of every driver’s license applicant by requiring that documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, be submitted to get the card are legitimate and that the applicant is in the United States legally. It also calls for a newly created federal database to link all licensing information that must be checked before states issue new cards. This will establish a much-needed standardized national driver’s license system less vulnerable to fraud and will prevent terrorists from abusing it as did September 11 hijackers. Once the law is fully enforced, federal agencies will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses or ID cards from noncompliant states for official purposes, including boarding an aircraft, accessing a federal facility, and entering a nuclear power plant. Of interesting note is that about a dozen states—including Arkansas, California, Maine, and Oregon—offer gender-neutral licenses and ID cards in violation of the REAL ID Act. So does Washington D.C., the famously corrupt local government surrounding the nation’s capital. Nevertheless, Title II of the act specifically states that “features on each driver’s license and identification card issued to a person by the State” must include: The person’s full legal name; the person’s date of birth; the person’s gender; the person’s driver’s license or identification card number; a digital photograph of the person; the person’s address of principle residence; the person’s signature; physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes; a common machine-readable technology with defined minimum data elements. It is not clear how the feds will handle the gender-neutral licenses, which in most cases include choices such as “non-binary” and “undesignated.” In D.C., depending on what option is chosen, an “X” appears on the card in the place of an “M” for male or “F” for female. Some states—including Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming—resisted complying with the REAL ID Act altogether and vowed to pass bills ordering officials to ignore the measure. Other states, such as California, implemented legislation to give special driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who will not meet the security standards under the federal law. Thankfully, the Trump administration cemented a deadline for all states to comply with the crucial anti-terrorism law enacted a decade and a half ago to protect the nation from another attack. Incredibly, some federal lawmakers are still trying to buy more time. Among them is Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy, who wrote a letter to the president earlier this year claiming that “Real America needs a REAL ID extension” to avoid disrupting “the lives or livelihoods of hardworking citizens.” This month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delivered the good news; all 50 states are finally in full compliance with the REAL ID Act, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years under pressure from the Trump administration. “To date, the 50 states have issued more than 105 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 38 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification card holders,” according to the announcement issued by DHS. In less than a year full enforcement of REAL ID will take effect at all federally regulated airports, federal facilities and nuclear power plants, the bulletin further states. That means federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting licenses and ID cards that do not meet the law’s standards. It only took 15 years after Congress passed the legislation and nearly two decades since Islamic terrorists attacked the nation.