Archive for February 14th, 2007

Bank of America Issues Credit Cards to Illegal Aliens

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

It is amazing to me that our laws can be disobeyed so blatantly with no repercussions.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp. has begun offering credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers, typically illegal immigrants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

In recent years, banks across the country have been offering checking accounts and even mortgages to the nation’s fast-growing ranks of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are Hispanic, the paper said, adding these immigrants generally have not been able to get major credit cards.

The new Bank of America card is open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft, the Journal said.

Bank of America tested the program last year at five branches in Los Angeles, and last week expanded it to 51 branches in Los Angeles County, home to the largest concentration of illegal immigrants in the U.S., the Journal said.

The bank hopes to roll out the program nationally later this year, the paper said.

A Bank of America spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Original Link.

Michelle Malkin weighs in:

BoA is defying federal immigration laws:

  • 1907 Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) Offenses
    Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).
  • Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
  • Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
  • Penalties — The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(i) and (v)(I) (alien smuggling and conspiracy) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both. With regard to violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(ii)-(iv) and (v)(ii), domestic transportation, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or aiding/abetting, the basic statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years. In addition, significant enhanced penalties are provided for in violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1) involving serious bodily injury or placing life in jeopardy. Moreover, if the violation results in the death of any person, the defendant may be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years. The basic penalty for a violation of subsection 1324(a)(2) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(A). Enhanced penalties are provided for violations involving bringing in criminal aliens, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i), offenses done for commercial advantage or private financial gain, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii), and violations where the alien is not presented to an immigration officer immediately upon arrival, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(iii). A mandatory minimum three year term of imprisonment applies to first or second violations of § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i) or (B)(ii). Further enhanced punishment is provided for third or subsequent offenses.

So what is the Bush Department of Homeland Security doing? Using the BoA outrage to argue for its amnesty plan that would reward illegal aliens en masse! They do not get it:

    Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said banking products aimed at illegal immigrants “reinforce the need for a temporary worker program” that the Bush administration has been promoting. That program would screen, tax and otherwise regulate immigrant workers and, the administration contends, would squeeze out illegal workers who now use forged or stolen documents to get jobs, driver’s licenses and occasionally credit.

Dios mio. Banking products aimed at illegal immigrants do not “reinforce the need for a temporary worker program.” They reinforce the need to enforce the borders, strengthen interior enforcement of immigration laws, and punish companies openly flouting the rule of law.

Original Link.

Ad Company Rejects Billboard Ad Questioning Homosexuality

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

(CNSNews.com) – A national communications company refused to display a conservative Christian group’s potentially controversial advertisements promoting a conference on sexuality over the weekend.

Focus on the Family expressed disappointment at Clear Channel Outdoor’s decision to block ads for its international Love Won Out conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

The billboard ad was drafted to read, “I questioned homosexuality: Change is Possible, Discover How.”

Gender issues director at Focus on the Family, Melissa Fryrear, said Monday the advertising company had turned down the business, but as of Monday, its lawyers had not received an explanation for the decision.

A Clear Channel Outdoors representative told Cybercast News Service,”Our local managers review each advertisement on a case-by-case basis to ensure that it meets the tastes and standards of the local community.

“Local managers reserve the right to reject advertising copy if it does not meet their community’s standards for appropriateness or the copy is deemed offensive towards any business, group or individual,” the representative added.

Fryrear argued that “there is nothing objectionable about [the ad].”

“It gives a hopeful message for those who are dissatisfied living homosexually and [shows] that there is an alternative they could consider,” she said

Despite the advertising controversy, the conference was successful, Fryrear said. At the same time, Focus on the Family would never know how many more could have been impacted had the billboard ad not been refused.

“We wanted to try to get the message out in a variety of mediums,” she said. “Our concern certainly is that it would have affected potential attendees because we weren’t able to promote it as intentionally as we had planned.”

Even a group protesting the conference, Arizona Human Rights Foundation (AHRF), questioned the decision to censor the advertisement.

AHRF representative Amy Kobeta said although she was glad the communication company had tried to avoid offense, the move was “a little odd because it seems to be somewhat of an infringement on free speech.”

“I would be upset if someone didn’t advertise one of our conferences and I think the reverse is also true,” Kobeta said.

The ad was eventually picked up by another advertising company in the area.

Original Link.

Mexico Demanded U.S. Prosecute Sheriff and Border Agents

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

We continue to learn more about the case involving two border agents who “allegedly” shot a drug dealer.

The Mexican Consulate played a previously undisclosed role in the events leading to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s high-profile prosecution of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving 11 and 12 year sentences for their role in the shooting of a drug smuggler, according to documents obtained by WND.

And Mexican consular officials also demanded the prosecution of Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Guillermo “Gilmer” Hernandez, who subsequently was brought to trial by Sutton, the documents reveal.

Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas – among a number of congressman who have fiercely opposed the prosecution of Ramos and Compean – told WND he has “long suspected that Mexican government officials ordered the prosecution of our law enforcement agents.”

“Mexico wants to intimidate our law enforcement into leaving our border unprotected, and we now have confirmation of it in writing,” Culberson said.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, was equally outraged.

“The Mexican government should do more to keep illegals from Mexico from crossing into the United States, especially drug dealers, rather than be concerned about our border agents,” he told WND. “The U.S. Justice Department should not be working for the Mexican government.”

The White House and Sutton’s office in El Paso, Texas, did not respond to calls from WND asking for comment.

Hernandez’s attorney Jimmy Parks of San Antonio, Texas, told WND the documents “prove that it is wrong for my client to be in jail.”

“The prosecution of my client sends a wrong message to criminal illegal immigrants who are being tempted to cross our borders with impunity,” he said.

Mexico intervenes

WND has obtained a copy of a letter written April 18, 2005, by Mexican Consul Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes in Eagle Pass, Texas, demanding Hernandez be prosecuted for injuring a Mexican national, Marciela Rodriguez Garcia.

[Page 1 of the letter can be seen here and page 2 here.]

The first two paragraphs of the letter set out the facts of the case as understood by the Mexican consul. The letter is reproduced here as written:

I am addressing to you, regarding the case of the Mexican national, Ms. MARICELA RODRIGUEZ GARCIA (DOB 4-11-1979), who based on the information obtained by this Consulate, received a gunshot wound by an agent of the Sheriff Department of Edward County, that caused injuries in her face.

As far aw we know, last April 15, 2005, the Mexican national was transported in first insistence to Val Verde Hospital in Del Rio, Tx, and then to San Antonio, Tx., where she was attended at the University Hospital. Today, Mr. Gabriel Salas a member of the staff of this office had the opportunity of interviewed Ms. RODRIGUEZ who confirms the facts of the incident.

The final two paragraphs contain the demands of the Mexican consul:

Based on the Consular Convention between Mexico and the United States and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Consulate of Mexico is entitled to represent, protect and defend the rights of Mexican nationals in this country. Therefore, I would like to point out, that is the care of my Country that this kind of incidents against our nationals, do not remain unpunished.

According to the information provided above, I would appreciate your kind assistance, so this Consulate can be informed of the current investigation, and your support, so you present and file a complaint with the necessaries arraignments.

Original Link.