President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was met with “profound disappointment” by the National Council of La Raza. The Latino advocacy group would have preferred another candidate.
But La Raza will get over its disappointment once they learn more about Perez. Maryland is one of three states that gives driver’s licenses to people without worrying if they recently snuck across the border. Perez, a former Clinton administration official, lives in Takoma Park, Md., a “sanctuary city” that allows illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. He’s also a former president and board member of Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit group that receives millions of tax dollars — in addition to a $1.5 million donation from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.
Casa is suing Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the first Maryland sheriff to participate in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program, which deputizes local police forces to enforce federal immigration laws. In just 10 months, 309 of 337 illegal immigrants arrested in Frederick have been slated for deportation — including MS-13 gang members, a Nicaraguan sniper, and others with drug, child abuse, rape and burglary convictions.
On March 4, Sheriff Jenkins told the House Committee on Homeland Security that his first 287(g) case involved a man caught driving drunk in a school zone. For doing his job and protecting his community, Jenkins now stands accused by Casa of breaking the law.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Ariz., is also under investigation — by the same Justice Dept. office that Perez will soon head — for alleged racial profiling in dealing with illegal immigrants. His accusers include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, whose city has become America’s kidnapping capital — where drug cartel thugs intimidate terrified Mexican nationals. Ten Republican congressmen warn that targeting Arpaio will have a chilling effect on other law enforcement agencies battling Baghdad-like levels of drug violence now spilling over our southern border.
James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says only a three-pronged approach will quell this ongoing invasion: Beef up law enforcement in Mexico, promote strong community policing in border states, and follow up with integrated prosecution efforts at the federal, state and local levels. “Without those three things, you don’t have a strategy,” Carafano says. With Perez at Justice, La Raza will be pleased to learn, at least two of these essentials will go by the boards during the Obama administration.