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Thread: GOP probably broke law by revealing asylum status of Barack Obama's aunt

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default GOP probably broke law by revealing asylum status of Barack Obama's aunt

    Another day, another gimmick. Republicans are digging out every possible turd they can find to fling and seeing what will stick on Barack Obama's wall -- and so far, no luck. Earlier this weekend they were peddling a dumb smear about Barack Obama's aunt being an illegal immigrant who had been ordered deported.

    But there's one little problem with that tale: As the Washington Post reports, the release of that information was a violation of confidentiality laws for immigrants seeking asylum:

    Federal privacy law restricts U.S. immigration agencies from disclosing information about citizens and permanent residents, and DHS policy similarly limits disclosures about the status of legal and illegal immigrants. Asylum-seekers are granted greater protection, because of the sensitive nature of their claims and the risks of retaliation.

    In a statement, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the matter has been referred to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility and its parent department's inspector general.

    "They are looking into whether there was a violation of policy in publicly disclosing individual case information," ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. "We can't comment on individual cases."

    As Kyledeb at Citizen Orange observes:

    There are very specific confidentiality laws around asylum cases. Why? Because it could be dangerous to disclose information about potential asylee. It could result in their further persecution. This is true, of course, even after an asylum case is closed because then there would be a huge disincentive not to apply for asylum.

    ... In other words, while nativists are screaming "ILLEGAL" at the top of their lungs and "progressives" are refusing to defend unauthorized migrants, it appears that everyone's lost sight of who the real "ILLEGAL" is. That "federal law enforcement agent" broke U.S. immigration law. Perhaps the anonymous source should be deported?

    Of course, at this point, the GOP seems to believe it has nothing to lose; after all, any investigation will be too late to do anything about it.

    And the intent is obvious: Scare those white suburbanite undecideds with the notion that Obama is going to open the floodgates to Scary Brown People. In a related vein, the GOP hopes to revive the wingnut conspiracy theory that Obama's being elected with a foreign donor base.

    But talk about deja vu all over again. Back in 1992, GHW Bush's operatives were caught illegally riffling through Bill Clinton's passport files and disclosing the information therein. Of course, the Republican operative -- Joe DiGenova -- appointed as "independent counsel" to investigate the matter rather predictably found no serious lawbreaking had occurred.

    This time, they shouldn't be permitted to get away with it.Crooks and Liars

    I'll be interested to see if this is pursued.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    They won't pursue it.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Sadly, you're probably right. If the situation was the other way around I think we'd see something different happening.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    rebublicans don't care about outing spies, they're not going to worry about a little thing like breaking the law to serve their political interests...
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Leakgate: Did Julie Myers Leak Obama Aunt’s Immigration Status?

    11/1/08, 5:44 pm EST
    Myers, last Halloween, posing with the employee in blackface whose costume she’d awarded “most original.”
    Someone in the Bush administration improperly leaked the immigration status of Obama’s Kenyan aunt.
    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office is now conducting an internal investigation to determine the source of the leak.
    A reasonable hypothesis, based on my own experience as a reporter, is that this off-the-record source had a previous relationship with one of the reporters — and like as not had earlier spoken to one of them on the record.
    A Nexis search of previous stories by Eileen Sullivan and Elliot Spagat and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2008 turns up four potential “law enforcement official” suspects:
    Spoke to Sullivan:
    ICE assistant secretary Julie Myers (October 1)
    Scott Hatfield, unit chief of the Human Smuggling division at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (July 7)
    Spoke to Spagat:
    Mike Unzueta, special agent in charge of investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. (October 22)
    Joe Flores, group supervisor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (January 12)
    From this list of three careerist immigration officials and one deeply controversial political appointee the choice of a prime suspect isn’t difficult.
    Julie Myers.
    Myers is a loyal Bushie whose appointment was a clear case of nepotism — she is both the niece of Gen. Richard Myers and is married to John F. Wood the chief of staff for the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff.
    Myers was such a controversial pick that she was initially installed at ICE in 2006 via a recess appointment, and she was not confirmed by the Senate until last December.
    Her nemesis in the appointment process was one Claire McCaskill, who tried to block Myers with a “hold” last year. The Missouri Senator is a co-Chair of Barack Obama’s campaign.

    Tim Dickinson
    Leakgate: Did Julie Myers Leak Obama Aunt’s Immigration Status? : Rolling Stone : National Affairs Daily
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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