September 21, 2017

ACLU Sues Miami for Complying with Trump’s Immigration Detainer Policies

AP File Photo/Alan Diaz

AP File Photo/Alan Diaz

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Miami-Dade County, Florida, and its mayor for complying with President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration detainers.

A Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch identified Miami-Dade County as not honoring immigration detainers, Breitbart Texas reported. Following President Trump’s executive order withholding federal law enforcement grants from jurisdictions not in compliance with immigration officials, Miami-Dade County reversed its sanctuary city policy and began honoring immigration detainers.

The ACLU urges, perhaps warns, “other cities large and small across the country” to “refus[e] to serve as tools of overzealous immigration enforcement policy.” The group is seeking money damages because their client spent an extra night in jail “solely for a suspected civil immigration violation.”

The ACLU of Florida issued a statement from Amien Kacou that called the county’s decision “to cave in to the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant threats” “premature.”

After they filed the lawsuit, the self-described “nation’s premier defender of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution” tweeted, “We warned the county about the dangers posed by the premature decision.”

“The practice of treating everyone with an immigration detainer as not eligible for release has immediate and dire effects,” they pleaded in the federal complaint.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, states:

The County voluntarily detained Mr. Creedle at the request of federal immigration authorities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The detention occurred pursuant to a directive from Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez that requires the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR) to deny release for 48 hours or more to any person who is the subject of a check-the-box immigration detainer request.

ACLU’s Kacou said in the formal statement, “Miami-Dade County has long prided itself on being a place welcoming to immigrants, and should honor that legacy by joining other cities large and small across the country in refusing to serve as tools of overzealous immigration enforcement policy.”

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiff, Garland Creedle, who was born in Honduras but is an American citizen because his father was an American citizen when he was born. Creedle has been living in Honduras but came to the United States in 2015. Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) put him in administrative removal proceedings, but they filed a motion in April 2015 to terminate the matter because Creedle had submitted documentation showing that he was a U.S. citizen.

The group filed the federal complaint asking for money damages because the plaintiff, Garland Creedle, was illegally detained in the county jail for an extra day. Police arrested him on the evening of March 12 after an alleged domestic violence incident. Creedle’s lawyers say their client was entitled to be released by posting bond but was held “based on the assertion that he is a ‘removable alien’.” No charges were filed, and he was released on March 14. They filed a request for a jury trial.

The federal lawsuit names Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez as a plaintiff. The plaintiff asserts that the mayor’s immigration detainer policy released January 26 violates the United States Constitution; in particular, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unlawful seizures. They pleaded that the defendants “commit[ed] the common law tort of false imprisonment.”

Creedle’s lawyers urge that the City’s policy also violates Florida law that forbids jails from detaining people for “civil” immigration reasons. The county commissioners passed a resolution in December 2013 “which directed the Mayor to limit the County’s authority to hold individuals under immigration detainer requests.” They argue the policy imposed two conditions before the county would comply with a federal immigration detainer: (1) the federal government had to agree to “reimburse the County for all associated costs in writing;” and (2) after that condition was met, “the County would detain only individuals who have been charged or convicted of certain enumerated offenses.”

Amien Kacou and Nancy Abudu of the ACLU of Florida, the Immigration Clinic of the University of Miami School of Law, and the lawyers with the firm of Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A., are representing the 18-year-old Creedle. They argue that Mayor Gimenez’ immigration detainer directive “reversed over three years of prior policy, under which Miami-Dade Co. declined to use millions of taxpayer dollars to underwrite the federal government’s immigration enforcement agenda.”

The ACLU asks the federal court to issue a declaratory judgment declaring Miami-Dade County’s policy on immigration detainers invalid. The group also wants Creedle’s detention ruled unconstitutional and asked for compensatory damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and any other relief the judge deems just and proper. They urge that Creedle has “suffered injuries, including financial, pain and suffering, humiliation, and emotional harm,” because he was detained in the jail for an extra day.

They urge that a “detainer is not supported by a warrant or any other probable cause determination” but is only a “fill-in-the-blank form” (a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Request for Voluntary Transfer).

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

This article was originally published on Breitbart.com.

Corpses of 3 Illegal Immigrants Found in Remote Texas County — 80 Miles from Border

Bodies of illegal immigrants

Photo: Brooks County Sheriff’s Office

Three more bodies of deceased illegal immigrants have been found in Brooks County, Texas. The individuals died while being smuggled around the Border Patrol checkpoint located just south of Falfurrias.

Brooks County is not a border county. In fact, it is located nearly 80 miles from the Texas/Mexico border. Over the past few years, hundreds of bodies have been found of these people who are simply left to die by human smugglers if they become injured  or are simply too weak to keep up.

The heat of summer has not yet begun in South Texas, but already 21 bodies have been found in this one county alone.

Over the weekend, Brooks County Sheriff’s Deputy Elias Pompa was dispatched to meet with U.S. Border Patrol agents who discovered a body while tracking a group of illegal immigrants, information provided to Breitbart Texas revealed. Deputy Pompa was accompanied to the scene by Brooks County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Adela Quintanilla.

When they arrived, they were escorted to the badly decomposing body of a 20-year-old Guatemalan man. Pompa told Breitbart Texas that Border Patrol agents came across the deceased man while they were tracking the group being smuggled around the Falfurrias Checkpoint.

“The Border Patrol agents were tracking the immigrants and the group walked right over the body,” Pompa said.

The body was found just south of Highway 285 a few miles west of the town of Falfurrias. A search revealed a Guatemalan identification card, a cell phone with a power chord and wall charger, a U.S. five dollar bill and a Guatemalan 100 Quetzales bill.

Pompa said the body was severely decomposed and had turned black. When the body was turned over a black shadow was left on the ground.

On Friday, Border Patrol agents followed up on information received from a “concerned citizen” and discovered another body in a remote location of the county, information provided by the U.S. Border Patrol to Breitbart Texas revealed.

Just two days earlier, another illegal immigrant captured by Border Patrol agents advised the agents he had seen a body along the trail. Agents backtracked from where they found the immigrant and discovered the remains of yet another dead person who died during their effort to illegally enter the U.S.

During an extensive ride-along program with the Brooks County Sheriff’s office in 2014, Breitbart Texas learned the illegal immigrants are often told the walk around the checkpoint is a very short hike and they will be picked up on the other side of the checkpoint. The reality is more like a three to four day march through hazardous conditions and very soft sand that makes one mile feel like five. If an illegal immigrant becomes injured or simply cannot keep up, they are left behind to die.

“Human smugglers will treat you like a commodity and will not think twice about leaving you to die in desolate environments,” Chief Patrol Agent Padilla said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.

Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Urbano “Benny” Martinez has been leading the fight to reduce the deaths in his county for years.

“The abuse of these immigrants is hard to fathom,” Martinez told Breitbart Texas. “We have tried to make the most of our very limited resources to find them before something horrible happens to them.”

Martinez has been able to supplement his small staff of deputies with a group of volunteer law enforcement officers from the Rio Grande Valley and other areas of Texas. They volunteers give their time and professional service to the county through an organization known as the Border Brotherhood of Texas. The effort has enabled the county to significantly increase the law enforcement presence in the county at minimal cost to the county.

“We are very grateful to both those volunteer deputies and our regular staff who are dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths in Brooks County,” Martinez said.

Martinez is currently in a runoff election for the nomination of his party to become sheriff of Brooks County. He has served in Brooks County for seven years after a career with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Breitbart Texas reported in April about the abuses of these illegal immigrants at the hands of human smugglers and resulting from this country’s unsecured border.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was originally published at Breitbart Texas.

Drunk Driver Evades Arrest, Kills Prom Teen, Say Police

HOUSTON, Texas – A man believed to be driving drunk took police on a short but deadly chase as he reportedly blasted through a red light killing one teen and injuring another. The two teens had just left their high school prom only an hour or so before.

Police have filed felony evading and murder charges against Edin Palacios-Rodas after the man allegedly fled from police and crashed into a Dodge Charger being driven by a teenage driver who has not yet been identified, Houston Police Department Spokesman Kese Smith told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. The crash resulted in the death of the 18-year-old teenage passenger and the serious injury of her driver, Moises Avila, also 18.

Officials with YES Prep North Central confirmed to KTRK ABC13 that the passenger who died at the scene of the crash was one of their students, Jocelyn Valero.

At this time, police officials have not reported on the accused killer’s nationality, citizenship, or whether the 27-year-old man had a driver license.

Smith told Breitbart Texas that a Houston DWI Task Force officer observed a pickup truck making a U-Turn about 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. During the turn the driver ran over the curb. The police officer initiated a traffic stop. Initially, the truck driven by Palacios slowed down and eventually stopped. When the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the pickup truck sped away.

A short, but high speed chase ensued which lasted for about 1-2 minutes, Smith said. The pursuit came to a stop as Rodriguez allegedly ran a traffic light on the feeder road and plowed into the Dodge Charger. The crash occurred on Houston’s North Freeway feeder road at the Tidwell intersection.

The driver of the pickup crawled out of his truck and attempted to flee, but Houston Police Officer Clark, HPD Special Operations Division, quickly took down the suspect, Scott Engle with the Harris County Police Reporter wrote.

Engle reported from the scene:

Clark tried to get to the victims of the vehicle but they were buried deep in the twisted metal. As other officers arrived they too were unable to access the two victims in the mangled Charger.

The first HFD (Houston Fire Department) Paramedic Supervisor arrived on the scene and determined the female in the passenger seat of the Charger was deceased. The male driver of the Charger was critical and wrapped in metal. Houston Ladder 67 arrived a short time later as crews worked almost fifteen minutes to free the driver of the Charger identified as Moises Avila, 18. Avilla was finally freed and transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Palacios-Rodas was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and released to police. Rodas-Palacios showed signs of intoxication.
In the driver’s seat was Jocelynn Valero, a young lady, dressed in her prom dress. She and Avilla had gone to the prom. They stopped at IHOP and were heading home.

“I just want to say the guy who killed my daughter, he has to pay for what he did,” Valero’s mother told ABC13. “There is a huge open wound in my family right now,” she says, “for my dear aunt and my dear uncle who have already lost…”

It was not the family’s first run-in with tragedy this year. Valero’s brother was shot and killed outside a nightclub about five weeks ago. Police are still investigating that crime and searching for the alleged killer.

Rodriguez received minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital where he was placed in custody.

Rodriguez has been charged with Capital Murder and Felony Evading Arrest and Detention according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. He may also be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle in connection to Avila’s injuries.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was originally published on BreitbartTexas.com.

Texan with Concealed Handgun Stops Armed Robbery

HOUSTON, Texas – A Houston area man shot and killed an armed robber who was attempting to hold him and his young child at gunpoint. The man used a concealed handgun to stop the robbery and protect his son.

The incident happened on Saturday afternoon at a League City McDonald’s. The man and his child were in the drive-thru lane of the McDonald’s when another man approached their vehicle with a gun. Witnesses said it appeared the man was attempting to rob the man in the drive-thru, Fox26 Houston reported.

During the robbery attempt, the driver pulled out his concealed handgun and shot the assailant multiple times. The apparent robber was struck in the chest by the gunshots.

After being transported to Clear Lake Regional Medical, the suspected robber was pronounced dead.

The victim of the robbery was taken to the League City Police Department where he was questioned about the shooting, Galveston County Daily News’ Chacour Koop reported. The man is the holder of a Texas Handgun License.

Police told Coop neither the driver nor his 4-year-old son were injured during the incident. The child’s mother came to the scene and picked up the little boy while the father was being questioned.

The driver, whose identity has not yet been released, was released and was said to be home with his family. He was reported to be very upset about the shooting, ABC13’s Lauren Leereported.

The man’s attorney, Robert Pelton, told Lee his client was thankful to be alive and that his son was not hurt. “He was trying to get his son, protect his son and I think he obviously saw his chance then to defend himself because he was afraid he was going to get shot,” the Houston attorney explained.

Lee reported that the entire shooting was captured by a security video camera at a neighboring cell phone store.

A store employee, Vanessa Stanford also witnessed the shooting scene. “I looked over and a man was laying on the ground with another man aiming a gun at him. While he was lying on the ground,” she stated. “That’s immediately when I called 911 and told my customers get away from the wall and the windows.”

Pelton told Lee that his client was forced to shoot in self-defense. “I think he [the robbery victim] would want other citizens to know they have a right to protect themselves,” the attorney said. “You have to be cautious all the time, wherever you are.”

The shooting will be referred to a grand jury which should return a no-bill unless some currently unreported facts change the circumstances.

Under Texas law, your car is considered an extension of your home. The “castle doctrine” applies to drivers in their cars. The law also allows the use of deadly force if one reasonably believes they are in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

While the driver of the car has a Texas Handgun License, the license is not necessary to have a gun in the car.

In Texas a handgun can be carried by a non-licensed individual in the following places: (source: Texas Law Shield)

  • A person’s residence or other real property under their control.
  • A person’s private motor vehicle or watercraft if the handgun is concealed, and the person is legal to possess a firearm, is not a member of a street gang, and is not engaged in the commission of a crime greater than a Class C misdemeanor traffic or boating violation.
  • A person engaged in lawful fishing, hunting, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the persons’ residence or motor vehicle, if the firearm is a type commonly used in the activity.

The incident occurred about 2:10 p.m. on Saturday in League City which is located southeast of Houston and is the home of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center. The victim and his son were driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck in the drive-thru lane of the McDonalds located at FM518 and State Highway 3.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Originally published on Breitbart Texas

Confusion Reigns in Texas Redistricting while Lana Shadwick Files for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court

Lana Shadwick Files for the 179th Criminal District Court

Texas Redistricting is a mess. No one seems to know which end is up when it comes to when and where to file. Maybe even what race to file for. Amidst all this chaos, one thing is clear – Judge Lana Shadwick has filed for the Republican nomination for Judge of the 179th Criminal District Court in the Harris County Republican Primary. During an informal filing ceremony, Judge Shadwick was joined by members of her family and volunteers from the campaign as she filed her forms, submitted petitions and paid her filing fee.

Shadwick’s campaign, now officially underway, has already garnered county wide support from key Harris County Republicans. She has earned the endorsements of leaders like former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and County Judge Robert Eckels, State Representative Debbie Riddle, District Clerk Chris Daniels, County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners, Constable Ron Hickman and many others… She has been endorsed by recognized conservative legal scholars like retired Justices Paul Pressler (Fourteenth Court of Appeals) and Tim Taft (First Court of Appeals). Shadwick has been endorsed by over 175 of the party’s precinct chairs, senate district chairs, SREC members, grass roots activists and Tea Party members of Harris County.

Shadwick signs filing forms under the watchful eyes of her parents, volunteers and the images of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. On the wall behind the group are former chairs of the Harris County Republican Party including former Chairman and US President George H. W. Bush.

Shadwick’s conservative credentials cover 35 years of Republican political history. “My parents are conservative and have always voted Republican. In 1976, I asked my father who to vote for when casting my first vote at age eighteen. He told me to vote for the Republican presidential nominee, President Gerald R. Ford.”  Shadwick comes from a background of solid family values.  Her parents, Bobby and Joyce Shannon, have been married for 58 years and have attended Pastor John Morgan’s Sagemont Church since 1969.  Bobby Shannon also passed along his interest in firearms and the 2nd Amendment to his daughter, teaching her to shoot in her early years. Mr. Shannon has been a “Life Member” of the National Rifle Association for fifty years.

Bobby & Joyce Shannon with their daughter Lana Shadwick

Her parents said, “We are very proud of Lana. She has worked hard all her life to get to this point.  Her life experiences and education bring her unique qualifications to serve in this position of great public trust.” They continued, “Lana has always excelled at everything she does.  She will make an outstanding criminal court judge.”

Shadwick currently works in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. However, being a judge is not about being a second prosecutor in the room.  A judge must administer justice, not prosecute the law. Her prior experience as a Houston Municipal Court Associate Judge and a Harris County Family Court Associate Judge has taught her how to weigh the law fairly and firmly.  She understands the adversarial role of our judicial system and the judge’s position as an umpire.  She has managed large case loads and court staffs.  And most importantly, as an appellate attorney in the District Attorney’s Office, Shadwick understands how to avoid many types of errors judges can make leading to reversal on appeal. Visit her website for a complete review of her qualifications.

Shadwick poses with the images of two of her heros, Presidents Ronald Reagan (for whom her daughter Reagan is named) and George W. Bush.

Shadwick brings the voters of Harris County a clear choice.  She brings a broad base of experience and knowledge for making the life altering decisions a felony criminal judge must make. She has a judicial temperament that will establish confidence that justice will be served.

Shadwick’s campaign is moving strong across Harris County as chronicled on her website and Facebook page.  She was recently featured on TexasGOPVote in its “Voice of the Conservative Vote” segment.

Fiscal Conservative Lana Shadwick signs her filing papers with an inexpensive stick pen!

As you can tell, the filing event was a lot of fun. But running a campaign is very hard work and demands much personal sacrifice. The election of judges affect the lives of many people.  You must now decide who will represent you on the bench.  Get informed.  Be involved.  Vote!

Lana Shadwick will return to the bench and be an outstanding criminal court judge for the State of Texas and the people of Harris County.  I am proud to share her story with you and give her my personal endorsement in this race.

Johnny Sutton Sends Yet Another USBP Agent to Prison – Free Jesus Diaz

USBP Agent Jesus Diaz

When my good friend, Gary Brugman, called me a couple of months ago to tell me that the reign of terror against US Border Patrol Agents by now formerly (thankfully) US Attorney Johnny Suttonwas not yet over, I was stunned.  It seems that Mr. Sutton had to kick one more border patrol agent in the teeth on his way out the door.

For those not up to speed, US Attorney Sutton (aka Johnny Satin) made a habit during his tenure as the US Attorney for the Western District of Texas, of persecuting US Border Patrol agents for doing their jobs while rewarding drug dealers with get out of jail free cards and US visas. The most famous of these cases involved US Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. One of the best things that happened when Barrack Obama took office was, Johnny Sutton was replaced.  Ramos and Compean were finally released after then President George W. Bush reluctantly commuted their sentences.

Bob Price with Former US Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos

However, on his way out the door, he found one more agent to go after. That being US Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz.  Once again, it appears that Jesus Diaz was simply doing his job.  He had arrested a drug smuggling illegal immigrant.  He had the suspect on the ground and handcuffed him.  As he was lifting the suspect to his feet to take him to his vehicle, the suspect tensed up. This is recognized by police officers that a suspect is about to resist or attempt to flee.  Agent Diaz exercised a control method used by police officers and federal agents across the country.  He grabbed the handcuffs and lifted the suspect’s hands upwards.  This is uncomfortable, but does not cause injury. It also quickly returns the suspect to a position of submission.

There was no further resistance by the suspect and he was then loaded into the vehicle and transported to the jail for processing.  Upon arrival, he was inspected and no injuries of any kind were found. There was no bruising and the suspect did not complain of mistreatment.

This case received national attention after Houston Radio Host, Joe Pagsinterviewed the wife of Agent Diaz, US Border Patrol Agent Diana Diaz.  Please listen to the details of this case from her.

Later, as has been the case in many of these persecutions, a complaint was filed.  The case was investigated by the US Border Patrol Inspector General and it was determined there was no violation.

US Atty Johnny Sutton

Enter Johnny Sutton.  Mr. Sutton takes over the investigation and starts a new prosecution.  This is about the time he is replaced as US Attorney, but the case proceeded anyway and Agent Diaz was convicted and sentenced to prison.  During the investigation and trial, Agent Diaz was not allowed bail and was kept in solitary confinement. His drug smuggling accuser was released from his charges and given a US visa enabling him to freely cross the border.

For the past several months, Agent Diaz has been held in solitary confinement in south Texas. His wife, also a Border Patrol Agent, was allowed to visit him on a weekly basis. Yesterday, she showed up at the prison for her weekly visit to find out that her husband was no longer located at this facility.  He had been moved and she had been given no notification of the move.

After much investigation, she learned that he has been temporarily moved to facility in Oklahoma.  He is to be moved from there to an undisclosed location.

This move took place about the same time that World Net Daily started a petition to free Agent Diaz. I encourage everyone reading this post to visit WND, read the story and sign the petition. WND has also learned the Obama Administration is attempting to place a gag order on thier coverage of this story! No surprise that Obama would seek to stop free speech and a free press.

USBP Agent Brian Terry

How does it come to pass that our justice department continues to persecute our law enforcement agents while rewarding criminals.  This is the same Justice Department that put thousands of weapons in the hands of drug cartels under operationFast and Furious leading to the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.  What is wrong with our country and our priorities.  How can we expect our Border Patrol to secure the border when they are regularly persecuted for doing their jobs?  I thought it would stop when Johnny Sutton was replaced.  But he just had to get one more in on his way out the door.  Johnny Sutton should be thuroughly investigated to see what kind of corruption leads a man to these horrible decisions.

I have discussed this incident with Congressman Ted Poe and he assured me he will look into this matter as he did the incidents involving prior persecutions.

You might wonder, “What is Johnny Sutton up to these days, now that he can’t kick Border Patrol Agents to the ground anymore?”   Glad you asked

Here’s a new recruiting slogan for the US Border Patrol…  “Come patrol our borders and if we don’t get you killed, we will put your butt in jail!”  It is passed time for this nonsense to stop.  Write your Congressman today and demand an investigation into the Jesus Diaz case right away!

Religious Freedom Reigns Supreme at Houston VA Cemetery

Religious freedom was affirmed once again at the Houston VA Cemetery as US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes signed off on an agreement between Houston veterans and volunteer groups and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The groups had accused the VA of religious censorship through the banning of the words Jesus and God from burial services at the Houston National Cemetery. For more background on these allegations, click here.

Steve MuroThis agreement preserves VA policy that families’ wishes are paramount when their loved ones – our nation’s heroes – are laid to rest,” Steve Muro, VA’s undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a prepared statement“This agreement respects the important principle that the family’s wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one.

Many would dispute that point as Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio went out of her way to interfere with the religious wishes of family members of our fallen heroes.

Congressman John Culberson

Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) had previously gone undercover and found that the Obama Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs are not being honest with the American people. Congressman Culberson went undercover on July 8th, 2011 at the Houston National Cemetery and he says, “Right in front of me, the VA directly and deliberately attempted to prevent the VFW from doing their magnificent, spiritual ritual over the grave of this fallen hero.” Click here to listen to his story.

After the agreement was settled, Culberson had this to say, “I am glad the lawsuit is over and grateful that Judge Lynn Hughes has ordered the VA to stop interfering with our veterans’ funerals. It is deeply disappointing that it took a lawsuit to force the VA to do the right thing. I plan to change the law to ensure that the federal government cannot interfere with our veterans’ funerals, and I will also work to have Arlene Ocasio removed. Under her direction, the cemetery chapel was closed and used for storage, and she has repeatedly prevented prayers from being said over the graves of our veterans.”

Under the agreement, the local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies will resign from their positions as official VA volunteers and will be able to, as private citizens, provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes for the use by Veteran’s families as they choose.

Judge Lana ShadwickJudge Lana Shadwick, candidate for the 179th Criminal District Court said, “This agreement restores the rights of the families of our honored veterans to practice their religious freedom at our National Cemetery without interference from the government.”  Shadwick continued, “Freedom of Religion is the foundation of our 1st Amendment rights. These rights must be protected at all times and government officials should not ever be allowed to practice censorship of religious services.”

The agreement also states the VA agrees “Not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objections”.  The agreement allows families of fallen veterans to hold services with any religious or secular content they want.

Pastor Dave WelchHouston Area Pastor’s Council Executive Director, Dave Welch had this to say about the decision, “We applaud the outstanding legal work performed by Liberty Institute on behalf of not only the plaintiff organizations but on behalf of all of us. The egregious violations of First Amendment religious and speech freedoms by the VA via Ms. Ocasio were an affront to every person buried at the National Cemetery and the sacrifice of their families. The good news is that the Consent Decree by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes assures that these freedoms will be protected in the future in Houston; the reality is that the national VA policies toward religious expression still reflect a growing hostility that is rampant in our federal government. This battle was won, however there is still a war and we must press forward on land, sea and air to return our nation to reverence of our Judeo-Christian foundations and faith.”

Director Ocassio had converted the long-used chapel into a storage room/meeting facility. The agreement calls for the Bible, cross and Star of David to be returned to the chapel, and that the chapel will no longer be referred to as a “meeting facility”. The Bible, cross and star will be visible in the chapel and available to the families for their use.

The agreement does not agree with the disposition of demands for the resignation or termination by protesters of Director Ocassio.  The VA referred to this as “an internal matter”.  Shouldn’t the public have the right to know what will happen with her?

This is a victory for religious freedom in America and for the 1st Amendment’s protection of the rights of the individual from governmental censorship.

Herman Cain Addresses Clear Lake Tea Party – Tells Crowd “Stay informed! Stupid people are ruining America”

Herman Cain addresses over 3,000 Conservative voters at the Clear Lake Tea Party Rally on October 25th, 2011. He addressed foreign policy, rebuilding the economy, rebuilding the tax code, energy independence, illegal immigration and national security.

After asking the Tea Party members to stay informed, Cain boldly said “Stupid people are ruining America.” The audience of Tea Party members responded with a loud ovation indicating their approval of his message.

Cain opened his remarks at the rally by praising Tea Party Patriots as people that “love the United States of America.” He said, “The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy lies in not having goals to reach for.” He continued, “The American Dream has been hijacked. But the good news is “We can take it back!”

Following is Cain’s entire message to the Clear Lake Tea Party:

Cain defined several crises for America. “We have an economic crisis, an entitlement spending crisis, a energy crisis, an illegal immigration crisis, a moral crisis, and a foggy foreign policy crisis.” He said, “The biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership in the White House!”

Cain’s remarks played well to the large crowd gathered to hear a variety of speakers and candidates for office. Other speakers that evening included US Senate candidate, Lela Pittenger, candidate for US House CD 14 Robert Gonzales, candidate for US House CD 24 Heidi Thiess, Texas House District 129 candidate Mary Huls and the founder of Raging Elephants, Apostle Claver.

TexasGOPVote previously reported Herman Cain will next be in the Houston area on November 5 where he will debate fellow candidate and former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. The debate is sponsored by the Texas Patriots PAC and will be held at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center. This event promises to bring an hour and a half of meaningful discussion of important issues facing our nation.

 

Update – Herman Cain Reverses Pro-Choice Comments

Herman Cain attempted to reverse his pro-choice statements made on the Piers Morgan Tonight Show. Controversy arose after Cain said what many, including this author, believed to be “Pro-Choice” comments about the family’s right to choose abortion over adoption. Cain appeared on Fox New Channel with Martha MacCallum.  MacCallum restated that Cain’s previous statements appeared to be “Pro-Choice”.

Cain now states that abortion should be illegal and that families would then have to choose to break the law. This completely reverses his comment on CNN where he said, “… it is not the government’s role – or anybody else’s role – to make that decision.” He went on to say, “So, what I am saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat.” He was not talking about making a choice to break the law because changing the law was never discussed in this conversation.

Here is what Cain says now.

In this video Cain says he, as president, would change the law to make abortion illegal and that the family or the mother would then choose to break the law.

Clearly this is a 180 degree change from the previous comments.  So, is this rehearsed response the real Herman Cain?  Or, were the impromptu comments on CNN more reflective of the real Herman Cain?

Are you satisfied with his remarks at this point?  Would Herman Cain actively seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal in all 50 states?  Does this statement really counteract or clarify the previous comments?  What do you think?

Herman Cain Tells Piers Morgan He is Pro-Choice on the Subject of Abortion

One thing for sure about roller coasters. They bring you up quickly and then they send you right back to the bottom! Herman Cain has been riding that rickety roller coaster right to the top of the GOP polls recently. But a recent appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan may send him spiraling to the bottom like a plane missing one wing. The wing Cain is missing will be the Pro-Life Wing of the Republican party as Cain clearly stated that he is pro-choice when it comes to the government’s role in abortion.

UPDATE:  See Cain’s reversal on this position.

Cain stated that he is against abortion and would even be against it if it involved a pregnancy caused to a family member by a rape. However, when it comes to people outside his family, it is Katy bar the door, wide-open Pro-Choice.

Here is what Cain told Morgan… “No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.”

Herman Cain will be in Houston next Tuesday at the Clear Lake Tea Party Rally… If I have the opportunity, I will ask him the direct question.  Mr. Cain, do you believe the government has the right to protect life? What do you think he will say?