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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ICE REFERS OBAMA AUNT MATTER TO GENERAL INSPECTOR

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By now you've probably heard about Barack Obama's half-aunt who was revealed to be living illegally in Boston since the denial of her asylum petition four years ago. The Obama campaign released a statement yesterday indicating they had no knowledge of the aunt's status and that he had not spoken with her in over two years. Another aspect of the story that has gotten less attention is that an ICE official leaked the private information to the media.

Congressman John Conyers, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee (which includes the Immigration Subcommittee) was angered by the leak and fired off this letter to DHS Secretary Chertoff:

Dear Mr. Chertoff:


I was startled to read in today's Associated Press that a "federal law
enforcement official" has leaked information about an immigration case
involving a relative of Senator Obama. Even more troubling, the AP
reports that it could not "could not establish whether anyone at a
political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign
had been involved," a very disturbing suggesting indeed. This leak is
deplorable and I urge you to take immediate action to investigate and
discipline those responsible.



I note that this is not the first leak of law enforcement information
apparently designed to influence the coming Presidential election -- in
recent weeks law enforcement sources leaked information about an
alleged investigation of a community services organization, a leak that
the Department of Justice informs me is now under investigation by the
Department's Office of the Inspector General and Professional
Responsibility.



Such leaks are deeply harmful to the political process, and the
American people expect and deserve better from their government and its
law enforcement agencies.



Sincerely,



John Conyers, Jr.






Ben Smith at Politico reports that ICE is now investigating. According to ICE press secretary Kelly Nantel:


Early this morning, the matter was refered to Inspector General and
ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility for action. They are
looking into whether there was a violation of policy in publicly
disclosing individual case information.


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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Something not very different from George Bush DWI. I think this will give cover to racists who are unemployed to vote for McCain, and if Obama wins by 315 instead of 400 electoral votes given the current economic situation, people and press will attribute it to the news leak rather than bigotry. However, one big difference is the fact that 30% would already have voted by election day. And, by the way, the Japanese situation....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/world/asia/02japan.html?hp

    and Mark Kirkorian's vision for America...

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,425952,00.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_asset_price_bubble

    In his writings Kirkorian has said that Japan and Iceland are the ideal..and we all know what happened to Iceland recently!
  2. USC's Avatar
    The RNC/McCain campaign are calling this aunt a very close relative of Obama.

    The irony is that under current immigration law an aunt is not considered a close relative.

    The hypocrisy is that those "pros" (sic) Chambliss & Cornyn tried to go further in CIR2007 and eliminate even adult children and sibling from the definition of immidiate relatives!
  3. CIR Gal's Avatar
    USC: Sen. Kennedy supported the CIR bill in 2007 that would have eliminated adult children and siblings from the IR category. Does that make him an "anti" like Cornyn and Chambliss? Since Cornyn is, in your view, an "anti" do you, like Siskind, also reject his SKIL bill? None of this is as black and white as Siskind makes it out to be.
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    CIR Gal - Even my opponents call me by my first name. Please call me Greg.
  5. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Not sure it will influence the outcome of the election. First, it a little too late. Second, if McCain campaign starts pounding on this issue, it will be viewed high hypocritical, as Obama said earlier in the campaign that family is out of bounds and kept his word. There is also a small question if wheather it's Sarah's failure her daughter got pregnant, as opposed to Barack failure his adult half aunt stayed past her petition denial.

    On the other hand, well, I am not surprised Obama has relatives with quetionable immigration status. The fact that his aunt applied for asylum testifies that she never had any immigration options, and even her US Senator relation could not help her. Just another argument for a sad state of US immigration laws.

    Also, the story can be a double-edged sword. Many citizens with illegal relatives will conluse that Obama is one of them, thus boosting his chances in AZ, NV, and CO.
  6. Dan's Avatar
    This news will strengthen the Conservative base but will not sway independents. I browse through McCain website and it's full of Obama videos...all negative!
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