The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules. Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.
These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
These are common sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.
Three critical elements of the President’s executive actions are:
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and will promote naturalization for those who qualify.
For more than a half century, every president—Democratic or Republican—has used his legal authority to act on immigration. President Obama is now taking another commonsense step. As the Administration implements these executive actions, Congress should finish the job by passing a bill like the bipartisan Senate bill that: continues to strengthen border security by adding 20,000 more Border Patrol agents; cracks down on companies who hire undocumented workers; creates an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay a fine and taxes, pass a background check, learn English and go to the back of the line; and boosts our economy and keeps families together by cutting red tape to simplify our
legal immigration process.
By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN - Associated Press - 07/30/2014.
“McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A woman who says she was sexually assault by a Border Patrol agent guarding her at a South Texas hospital has filed a federal lawsuit against him, alleging he violated her constitutional rights.
The woman had crossed from Mexico into the U.S. without legal permission in April 2013 and was pulled from a bus at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, according to the lawsuit, filed Friday in Brownsville by attorney Javier Maldonado on her behalf. The Associated Press does not generally identify people who allege sexual assault.
While in custody at the Border Patrol station, the woman tripped on a blanket and injured her arm, according to the complaint. She underwent two surgeries at a Corpus Christi hospital and was guarded by Border Patrol agents.
The woman says in the complaint that she woke up on April 28, 2013, to find agent Philip Westerman sexually assaulting her while legs were in restraints on the hospital bed. Another attempted assaulted later in the day was interrupted when another agent entered the room, the lawsuit says.
The woman later told a nurse that she had been assaulted. Police responded and a detective took a towel the woman had saved.
According to a Corpus Christi police affidavit, Westerman told investigators he had no sexual contact with the woman, but that he had masturbated in her bathroom after she aroused him. He repeated that denial Wednesday through an attorney.
Westerman was arrested in May 2013 on a sexual assault charge, but nearly a year later a Nueces County grand jury declined to indict him and the case was closed. Prosecutor Lorena Whitney said several weeks later that the grand jury proceedings were confidential and she did not know the reasoning behind the decision to not issue an indictment.
Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said Wednesday that Westerman remained on unpaid indefinite suspension pending an administrative investigation into the woman’s allegations.
Rey Merino, the lawyer who represented Westerman during the criminal investigation, said Wednesday after speaking with him that Westerman was disappointed the case had resurfaced. Merino said he was not representing Westerman in the civil lawsuit but had received permission to comment on his behalf.
“Obviously he denies any sexual assault of this lady,” Merino said. “This is embarrassing to him and his family.”
The lawsuit says the woman was deported to Mexico before the investigation was completed.
Merino relayed that Westerman said Wednesday that the Nueces County district attorney had the case for nearly a year and ultimately the grand jury decided not to indict.
Read more: www.washingtontimes.com