- - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winding its way through federal courts is a case that, although inconsequential on its face, is actually highly illustrative of the depths professional illegal-alien “rights” activists will go in their war against our sovereign borders.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a 13,000-strong immigration attorneys lobby, along with the Ford-funded American Immigration Council and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, apparently have designs to defame the names of immigration judges they and other open-borders groups don’t like. Acting in the name of “the public interest,” AILA and company seek to “out” judges who have had complaints filed against them — complaints likely filed by the three groups themselves as well as other partner organizations. To current and future immigration judges the message is clear: follow the nation’s immigration laws too closely and expect a campaign of intimidation and harassment.

The contemporary left has used similar tactics in their war against traditional America for some time. Those who have signed pro-traditional marriage petitions in Maryland, Washington and California have had their names and personal details published online, setting them up for abuse from fanatical groups. Immigration patriots are routinely attacked, especially by organizations like the multimillion-dollar Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes photos and personal details of persons on its “Hate Watch” blog, libeling them online for life.

As for federal immigration authorities, this isn’t the first time they have been threatened for doing their job. In 2011 Casa de Maryland, an illegal-alien “rights” group once led by President Obama’s labor secretary, Thomas Perez, sued in federal court to obtain the names of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who allegedly racially profiled Hispanic day laborers in Baltimore. The case went up to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel decided in favor of the open-borders group. ICE agents no doubt got the hint: ease off on enforcement or get dragged through the mud.

In the current case, AILA’s initial attempt at publicizing the immigration judges’ names was struck down by a lower court, which found that exposing their names would indeed “unduly infringe their privacy interests.” On appeal, it is hoped ICE attorneys warn that alien plaintiffs and their counsel could lodge complaints against members of the immigration court, and nothing can stop them from coordinating with other open-borders attorneys to gang up on judges they don’t like. These groups could simply fire off a series of targeted complaints (charging a judge with “implicit bias” against non-citizens, for instance), then point to the pile of complaints as “evidence” that the offending judge must be exposed “for the public interest.”

The Washington Post led a similar attack in 2007. After seeking background information on immigration judges appointed by the Bush administration, the paper “exposed” those who had “Republican ties” and who “lacked experience” in immigration law. These “compromised” judges posed a threat to the immigration judicial system, according to The Post.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) uncovered similar findings about the immigration judges appointed under Mr. Obama, although they are likely nothing The Post would want to publish. After receiving through a public records request the resumes of every immigration judge approved by the Justice Department since 2012, around half were found to have past ties to open-borders groups. Fifteen of the 34 hires whose resumes IRLI received worked for either open-borders advocacy groups, such as the Soros-funded Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or had been in private immigration law practice, an industry whose remuneration is tied to open borders. Several of the appointed judges were affiliated with both groups, while others were actual AILA chapter board members.

A note on the particularly cynical field of immigration law: Although it is true that immigration attorneys understand immigration law and, therefore, may appear best suited for a role in the immigration courts, it’s not an exaggeration to say that their work hinges on impeding those very laws and pushing for ever more-porous borders. AILA, for instance, attacks states that try to pass their own immigration laws and it claims publicly that the president’s unilateral amnesty programs are, in fact, legal.

Ideological imbalance at the Department of Justice was once made the subject of an investigative series by PJ Media. Within the Office of Special Counsel, the section tasked with enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, PJ Media found that most Obama hires in the department had a background involving open-borders fanaticism.

As for intimidation and harassment from open-borders pushers in general, the tactics currently employed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Southern Poverty Law Center may just be the beginning. In Sweden, for instance, so-called “antifa,” or anti-fascist groups, hacked the comments section of several Swedish news sites and found the contact information of “anti-immigrant” commentators. In cooperation with one of Sweden’s leading newspapers, the group took a camera crew to the commentators’ homes, filming and interrogating them as if their concerns about mass immigration were somehow unlawful or immoral. Again, the message to Swedish patriots was clear: stay passive and you’ll be unmolested.

Witch hunts, intimidation and slander will increase if immigration patriots fail to organize. A confident and supportive pro-sovereignty movement gives its advocates the confidence to not back down in the face of an attacker, disarming and neutralizing his attacks. Without organization, however, immigration patriots will continue to yield and the “social justice” surveillance state will only keep spreading.

Ian M. Smith is an investigative associate at the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

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