Bill Montgomery's Smoking Gun: ICE PowerPoint Shows Monty's Minions How to Deport More Immigrants
By May of 2012, the DOJ had finished haggling with the MCSO for voluntary compliance with the law, and filed suit in federal court against Arpaio, seeking to force that compliance. That case is still working its way through the legal process.
But if the ICE PowerPoint demonstrates Montgomery's disingenuousness and his complicity in Arpaio's civil rights violations, it also damns ICE, which has suspended the so-called 287(g) program in Arpaio's jails because of Perez's findings.
The 287(g) program allows local cops to act as immigration enforcers. Now it seems as if ICE has its own version of the 287(g) program for local prosecutors, allowing them to act as de facto ICE attorneys, in order to affect negatively someone's immigration case.
Keep in mind that this PowerPoint application would apply to the same individuals affected by ICE Director John Morton's June 17, 2011 letter instructing ICE agents, officers and attorneys to exercise their "prosecutorial discretion" on a "case-by-case basis."
The PowerPoint's cookie-cutter approach also can negatively impact legal permanent residents and applicants for President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom now sit nonbondable in Arpaio's gulags awaiting trial on forgery charges. If found guilty, they likely will be deported.
What does ICE have to say about this blatant hypocrisy and this outright conflict with the goals of the Obama administration and the stated intent of ICE to focus on serious criminals?
I asked regional ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice, but she would only repeat what ICE had stated in response to a previous query:
"ICE attorneys around the nation perform outreach to explain the federal immigration consequences of state convictions to numerous audiences.
"Although Maricopa County and other prosecutors are among those who have received information about the immigration consequences of crimes, ICE attorneys are careful not to advocate a particular position. Rather, they explain how precedent case law affects federal immigration enforcement following state criminal convictions."
But the PowerPoint is by no means a neutral document, and it most certainly advocates "a particular position."
Indeed, the above statement is belied by the mere fact that this was not a presentation open to the public and other lawyers, but rather was only available to MCAO staff.
The language of the PowerPoint itself is prosecutor-friendly, as I've already shown. Why else would ICE phrase the solution to a "litigation challenge" as "no problem if"?
The first person to suggest that such a training had occurred was Phoenix immigration attorney David Asser in his blog David's Inner Thoughts.
In two posts from December of 2011, he described how an ICE attorney at ICE's Eloy detention center was crowing about the training ICE had given the MCAO. (According to internal emails, ICE also did the training for the Pinal County Attorney's Office.)
I called Asser to tell him about the PowerPoint, and that its release essentially vindicated his blog.
Asser surmised that the PowerPoint must have been approved by the upper echelon of ICE bureaucrats.
"The problem is higher up," he said. "the problem is not a low level assistant chief counsel. These people are not renegades."
He also agreed that the practices in the PowerPoint conflict with the Morton memo.
"Absolutely it conflicts," he stated. "But it is condoned, apparently. It's not something that they do on their own. These people don't get out of Eloy unless somebody approves it."
Coincidentally, USA Today recently published an article detailing how ICE was "ratcheting up expulsions of immigrants convicted of minor crimes" by "trolling" driver's license databases and sending ICE agents to local traffic checkpoints.
If the "trolling" of driver's licenses by the feds doesn't send an Orwellian chill up your spine, nothing will.
When prosecutors and cops treat one subgroup of persons differently than others and apply the law differently to them, that is discrimination, pure and simple. It is unconstitutional. It is illegal. And it must stop.