The president-elect of Brazil had details of her health status investigated by the U.S. embassy in mid-2009, when she was suffering from lymphatic cancer.
Dilma Vana Rousseff, former chief of staff to President Lula and his hand-picked successor, won the presidential election earlier this year. She is slated to take over the presidency on January 1, 2011.
A socialist during her youth, Rousseff was deeply involved in the struggle against the military dictatorship following the 1964 coup d’état, although she denies being involved in any armed activities at the time. Rousseff was jailed and tortured between 1970 and 1972.
WikiLeaks documents published today show how closely the U.S. embassy followed the trajectory of Dilma and the Brazilian electoral process - which Hillary Clinton. U.S Secretary of State, described as "Byzantine."
The documents also reveal that former U.S. ambassador in Brasilia, John Danilovich, alleged that Rousseff "organized three bank robberies" when she was a member of the organization VAR-Palmares.
Rousseff began to draw the attention of the embassy when she took over as Lula’s chief of staff. A special report about her was drawn up and dispatched to Washington on May 22, 2005. Although "unclassified" the diplomatic cable raises a number of sensitive issues as well as makes some gaffes. One of the messages is titled: "((Joan of Arc of Subversion becomes Chief of Staff))" - in a reference to her prison nickname.
In the memo signed by U.S. ambassador John Danilovich, the diplomatic staff dredge up several allegations about Rousseff’s past: "Joining various underground groups, she organized three bank robberies and then co-founded the guerilla group "Armed Revolutionary Vanguard of Palmares". In 1969, she planned a legendary robbery popularized as the "Theft of Adhemar’s Safe". The operation broke into the Rio apartment of the lover of former-Sao Paulo Governor Adhemar de Barros, netting US$2.5 million that Adhemar had stashed there. Rousseff separated from her first husband, Claudio Linhares, who in January 1970 hijacked a plane to Cuba and remained there."
The embassy fails to note that Dilma has consistently denied any involvement in armed activities. But the cable does mention that Rousseff was in prison for more than three years and endured "22 days of brutal electro-shock torture."
Oddly, the diplomatic cable follows up these allegations with personal details that could have come straight out of a celebrity magazine: "She has a daughter, Paula, in Porto Alegre, where she spends her weekends. She enjoys movies and classical music. She has lost weight recently, reportedly after adopting President Lula’s diet."
The document also notes that Dilma "has a reputation as being stubborn, a tough negotiator, and detail-oriented" and reveals that U.S. companies were worried when she became Minister of Mines and Energy, but "now admit that she has done a competent job. In particular, they praise her for her willingness to listen and respond to their views, even when she is inclined to a different conclusion."
In another report, sent on June 19, 2009, titled: "How Sick is Dilma Rousseff?" U.S. ambassador Clifford Sobel reports to Washington on conversations about the health of the future president, including details of lymphatic cancer that she was suffering from: "She had lymph nodes under her left arm removed and began what was originally scheduled as a four month program of chemotherapy in April."
"By early June she had completed three chemotherapy sessions. In a June 18 meeting with a Washington visitor (septel), Rousseff looked well with good natural color and light make-up, and a top aide told the Ambassador that Rousseff was responding so well to chemotherapy that her sessions would be reduced from six to four, ending in late June.
Sobel writes: "Some analysts have noted that a "victory" over cancer will play in her favor and foster an image of her as a fighter and winner" noting that "Her doctors stated that her cancer was caught early and she has a 90 percent chance of a full recovery."
Sobel also speculates on the consequences of Roussef taking a turn for the worse. "Several possible scenarios could emerge from Dilma’s cancer. In one scenario, she and the PT inner circle might already know that she is much sicker than publicly revealed and too sick to be the candidate. In another, she might be well enough now to become the candidate but later be weakened by the illness and unable to campaign effectively."
"There is still a ten percent chance that Rousseff will face this scenario," Sobel writes, concluding that if that happens: "(I)t would probably mean the loss of the presidency for the Workers’ Party in 2010."
Reports submitted by the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia on the elections were deeply appreciated in Washingon. In a cable dated April 23, 2009, Clinton thanks Dale Prince, U.S. embassy officer for political affairs, for his "unique insights" into Brazil’s "Byzantine" electoral system. Clinton noted that this information was used in meetings for briefings with senior U.S. government, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Original link: http://wikileaks.org/What-the-US-thinks-of-Dilma.html
NEW YORK - Three alleged members of an international alien smuggling scheme were charged Tuesday with smuggling hundreds of aliens from China into the United States. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
HSI agents arrested Hak Tung Lam, 44, of Flushing, N.Y., Wen Wo Lam, 43, of Staten Island, N.Y., and Ying Yang, 30, of Flushing, for allegedly participating in smuggling more than 450 aliens into the United States. Hak Tung Lam, an immigration attorney who practiced in Manhattan, Wen Wo Lam, and Ying Yang allegedly served as legal advisors to alien smugglers by recommending ports of entry, advising on methods of avoiding detection, filing false immigration documents, and obtaining the release of detained aliens through fraud.
"As an officer of the court, Hak Tung Lam swore to uphold the laws and constitution of the United States. Instead, he used his training and education to allegedly perpetrate one of the most wide-ranging criminal fraud schemes that this office has ever investigated solely for his personal financial gain," said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI in New York. "HSI will continue to pursue those individuals who seek to take advantage of this country's legal immigration system for their own benefit and at the expense of others."
"For Hak Tung Lam, zealous representation of his clients - a group of international alien smugglers - allegedly meant assisting them in breaking the law," said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney, Southern District of New York. "He and his co-defendants were allegedly responsible for facilitating a smuggling operation that brought hundreds of illegal aliens into this country and for preserving their phony legal status once they arrived. The profits were big, but the price they will now pay, if convicted, is much higher."
According to court documents, from October 2006 to February 2009, Hak Tung Lam worked with others to smuggle approximately 468 Chinese nationals into the United States. During that time, Lam provided legal and logistical advice to alien smugglers and made false immigration filings on behalf of the smuggled aliens. He earned close to $1 million for his participation in this smuggling ring. Earlier this summer, Lam was caught in an HSI undercover operation, providing advice and making false filings for an individual working for HSI whom Lam believed was in the business of alien smuggling. Wen Wo Lam and Ying Yang assisted Lam by, among other things, providing advice, collecting money, and coaching the aliens on what lies to include in their immigration filings.
Hak Tung Lam, Wen Wo Lam, and Ying Yang, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling. Hak Tung Lam is also charged with one count of alien smuggling. On the conspiracy count, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. On the substantive count, Hak Tung Lam faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
This year's Brazilian Day San Diego will once again take place in Pacific Beach (between Bayard Street and Everts Street) and is schedule for September 18th from 11a.m. to 7p.m.
PARADE & PERFORMANCE
The parade is a cultural extravaganza filled with contagious rhythms and exotic costumes. Various Brazilian and multicultural dance groups are accompanied by lively percussion bands and colorful floats. Music ensembles from Brazil will perform Bossa Nova, Samba, Forro, Axe, and Batucada. Performances of Brazilian and culturally diverse dance and art forms are sure to keep the audience moving to the beat.
A Brazilian Cultural Extravaganza
Free admission, Family Oriented, Non-alcoholic. Two stages with over 40 performances. Carnival parade featuring over 20 parade groups and floats, including Brazilian percussion groups, samba dancers groups, capoeira, community groups, and corporate groups. Produced by Capoeira Institute, Inc., a Non-Profit organization.
FLAVORS OF BRAZIL
Enjoy an array of traditional cuisine including Brazilian barbecue, feijoada and pastel. Also, taste the culinary favorites of Latin America, Asia, Europe and more. Vendors display authentic Brazilian and multicultural arts, crafts, jewelry, Souvenirs and clothing.
To ensure that the event will be a blast for the entire family, we will have a fun children's area with carnival rides, inflatable jumps, ballon artists, face painters and other entertainers.
Sponsor: CAPOEIRA INSTITUTE, INC.
Brazilian Day San Diego, is the largest fundraiser for Capoeira Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides outreach programs for underprivileged children and teens. Its focus is to educate the community in Brazilian culture and Fine Arts, such as capoeira, samba, Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion.
The Amazonia Harvest Foundation is a Philanthropic Nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of underprivileged populations of the Brazilian Amazon through focused sustainable harvest and micro-business initiatives that help create jobs and protect the Amazon Rainforest.
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August 18, 2011
Washington D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would put guidelines in place across all immigration agencies to ensure that its enforcement priorities are focused on removing persons who are most dangerous to the country.
In a letter to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other senators who had requested that DHS consider deferring the removal of all DREAM Act eligible students, DHS announced that it would not categorically defer removal, but that persons who were not high priority targets for removal would have the opportunity to request prosecutorial discretion on a case by case basis. Low priority cases—previously identified in a prosecutorial discretion memo issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton on June 17—include persons who are not criminals and have been in the country since childhood, have strong community ties, are veterans or relatives of persons in the armed services, are caregivers, have serious health issues, are victims of crime or otherwise have a strong basis for remaining in the United States.
DHS announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice that will review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings and determine which cases are low priority and can be administratively closed. In addition, agency-wide guidance will be issued to ICE, USCIS and CBP officers to ensure that they appropriately exercise discretion when determining whether a low priority case should be referred to immigration court.
Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, stated:
The American Immigration Council welcomes DHS’s announcement today that it will attempt to put muscle behind new guidelines on prosecutorial discretion. We have long advocated for using the tools of the executive branch to do effective immigration enforcement that does not cripple families and our economy. The creation of an interagency working group and the expansion of prosecutorial discretion guidance is a critical step toward slowing down the deportation of immigrants who have so much to give to this country. However, only comprehensive immigration reform can permanently address the problems of our immigration system.
According to Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center:
Today’s announcement clearly indicates the Obama Administration’s commitment to implementing the expansive use of prosecutorial discretion authorized by the June 17th Morton Memo. As we closely monitor how these new announcements are implemented, DREAM students, military families, victims of crime, and many other individuals who pose no threat to public safety may receive a reprieve from removal. We hope that the forthcoming guidance will help to ensure that DHS field offices across the country use their enforcement resources in a way that meaningfully advances the agency’s priorities and prevents low priority cases from continuing to clog the court system.
For more information, please contact Seth Hoy at email@example.com or (202) 507-7509
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2011
Washington D.C.–Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that they are taking concrete steps to implement existing guidelines on prosecutorial discretion across the agency in an attempt to provide relief for low priority immigration cases. DHS also announced the creation of a committee which will review 300,000 immigration cases currently in removal proceedings to determine which cases are low priority and can be administratively closed. One of the factors in determining low priority cases is family relationships and community ties—factors the Administration said yesterday may apply to gay and lesbian families.
There are currently 36,000 same-sex bi-national couples in the United States, many of whom are routinely denied applications for lawful permanent residence and other relief from deportation due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Enacted in 1996, DOMA prevents the federal government—including DHS—from recognizing marriages or civil unions of same-sex couples for purposes of receiving federal benefits. Although the Administration determined that parts of DOMA were unconstitutional, DHS is still denying immigration benefits to same-sex spouses of bi-national couples.
DHS’s recent announcement, however, suggests that the guidelines on prosecutorial discretion may provide temporary relief to gay and lesbian bi-national couples. On a conference call hosted by the American Immigration Council yesterday, a panel of experts discussed how the new policy may help gay and lesbian bi-national couples:
Mary Kenney, Senior Staff Attorney with the Council’s Legal Action Center, said:
"Immigration officers currently have the authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion, which essentially means that they have the authority to decide not to fully enforce immigration laws against an individual who is deserving of some relief but is not able to get it under any other law.
After DHS’s announcement, we’re really encouraged and hopeful [the guidelines] will provide relief to an even greater number of people than have previously received that relief. While it’s not a solution to the problems and the severe discrimination that DOMA has inflicted, it will hopefully set up a system for a much more comprehensive review of all cases which will give individuals an opportunity to really benefit on a much more systematic, equal playing field.”
Victoria Neilson, Legal Director for Immigration Equality, said:
"Immigration Equality, the American Immigration Council, and many senators and congress members have called upon the Administration to hold green card applications of gay and lesbian bi-national spouses in abeyance. As an agency, they have the authority to simply hold these applications and wait for the resolution of DOMA. Although the Administration said they will not do that, we’re continuing to push for that so gay and lesbian bi-national families will have a resolution for their situation."
Erwin de Leon, a Filipino native, Ph.D. candidate and spouse in a same-sex marriage, said:
"If it weren’t for DOMA and if my marriage was recognized by the federal government, [my husband] would have sponsored me and I would have my green card by now. As much as we consider America our home—our families are here, we realize that we may very well have to leave for Canada or some other country that would welcome us and would want us. And that means separation from our families, our communities, our church families. It also means that the U.S. loses two individuals who love this country a whole lot and have so much to give back. While DHS's announcements are encouraging, we need better laws that don't separate families and communities."
For more information on Immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), read:
* Immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): A Q&A Fact Check (August 2011)
For more resources on prosecutorial discretion, read:
For more information, please contact Seth Hoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 507-5709
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ocean Coast Cruises/Cruiseplanners is a premier agency that provides the total travel experience. Our experience for quality, service and highly competitive pricing for all ensures success for all your travel needs.
Ocean Coast Cruises/ Cruise Planners is a licensed, bonded and insured agency. We are members of CLIA(Cruise Line International Association). Our goal is to work extremely hard for our clients to ensure that your needs and experiences are met and that we exceed your expectations. We will design and build any vacation package request. We offer: Ocean Cruises, River Cruises, Land Packages/Hotels, Luxury Packages, Honemoon/Wedding Packages, Golf & Tennis Cruises, Corporate Reward Vacations and Church/Synagogue Cruises.
Cruising is the complete value package. With the addition of newer and more modern ships being introduced by the cruise lines each year, now is the time to schedule your dream vacation.
Ocean Coast Cruises/Cruise Planners is located in the New York City area and services the entire United States of America. Visit www.oceancoastcruises.com and see all the products and services available. Whether you are planning your first trip or are a seasoned traveler, OceanCoast Cruises/ Cruise Planners can help.
Our staff speaks Portuguese and Spanish.
Ocean Coast Cruises/Cruise Planners
31-12 45th Street, Suite 4 Astoria, NY 11103
Fax – 347-808-7100
Toll Free- 800-468-9010
Contact: Leia Kotick
Office: Toll Free 800-468-9010
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For Immediate Release
July 18, 2011
Washington D.C. - It has long been the case that those responsible for carrying out and enforcing our nation's laws do so with a measure of discretion and proportionality. Every day, law enforcement officials and judges exercise discretion in charging and sentencing decisions, weighing differing priorities and social values, and matching punishments with crimes. Consequently, minors are treated differently in the criminal system, and traffic violators and murderers receive different punishments. The use of judgment and proportionality is so ingrained in our legal system—with the exception of immigration law—that we take it for granted. Today, the need for discretion and proportionality is needed more than ever in our antiquated and over-burdened immigration system to ensure that the government spends its limited resources on high priority cases, and that immigrants who have a strong case for remaining in the U.S. are able to do so if current law provides for an avenue of relief.
To that end, a wide range of organizations, including the American Immigration Council, have been asking the Obama Administration to use its executive authority to exercise discretion in the immigration context. In June, Director John Morton of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a memo outlining new guidance on the use of prosecutorial discretion in a wide range of circumstances. The memo signals a greater commitment to using limited resources to enforce immigration law with an understanding of the need for measured action and fairness in the immigration context.
Unfortunately, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has decided that the long accepted ideals of discretion and proportionality should not apply to immigration. Smith has introduced the “Hinder the Administration’s Legal Immigration Temptation Act” (HALT) of 2011, which attempts to invalidate the long tradition and legal authority of the executive branch to use its discretion and other powers to improve and implement laws. Apparently Smith believes a different administration will be worthy of such discretion because the bill would sunset on January 21, 2013—the day after the next inauguration. The HALT Act goes beyond limiting prosecutorial discretion and seeks to suspend long respected forms of immigration relief including Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (which was granted to Haitians after the recent devastating earthquakes) and family unity waivers (such as those that allow U.S. citizen military members to reunite with their undocumented spouses).
What’s most disappointing is that Chairman Smith has advocated for the use of prosecutorial discretion in the past. The New York Times recently noted:
Back in 1999, Mr. Smith was one of several members of Congress who wrote the attorney general and the head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, arguing that ‘unfair’ deportations had caused ‘unjustifiable hardship’ for otherwise law-abiding immigrants who had jobs and families and close citizen relatives. ‘True hardship cases call for the exercise of discretion,’ the letter said.
Why the change in heart? Only Mr. Smith can answer that. However, as it becomes increasingly clear that large numbers of people are no longer migrating to the U.S., our focus must turn to those who are living, working, and raising families in America. The Administration's understaning that immigration agencies need to prioritize enforcement activities and exercise discretion when considering deportation should be encourage by Congress and the public.
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at email@example.com or 202-507-7524.
For Immediate Release
July 13, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up two immigration bills that supposedly address community safety, but in reality are simply the latest attempts to restrict immigration and limit due process for immigrants. Neither Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) “Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011,” or Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) “Security and Fairness Enhancement for America Act of 2011” (SAFE Act) offer solutions to the immigration crisis. Instead, Chairman Smith’s bill would authorize indefinite detention for a wide range of immigrants, while Rep. Goodlatte’s bill would eliminate the diversity visa—a lottery that offers 50,000 visas per year to immigrants from countries that send few people to the U.S. Once more, the House Judiciary Committee is using fear to restrict our immigration system.
While studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, “The Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011” attempts to exploit the public’s fear of crime to advance an anti-immigration agenda. The bill would expand the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to subject certain immigrants to indefinite—that is, potentially life-long—detention, even though the Supreme Court has held that such detention raises serious constitutional concerns. The bill relies on the continued detention of immigrants—many of whom have never committed a crime—as a stand-in for fixing the underlying problems of our broken immigration system. Similarly, the deceptively titled SAFE Act simply eliminates 50,000 visas that currently go to immigrants from manycountries in Africa and elsewhere that have less of a tradition of immigrating to the U.S.
Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, noted:
“The cynical use of public safety to justify dramatic changes in our immigration laws is a tired argument that must be put to rest. Whether the issue is eliminating visas in the name of public safety or justifying the detention of thousands in order to avoid dealing with institutional barriers to returning some individuals to their countries, the bills before the House Judiciary Committee offer no real solutions to our immigration problems. Proposing a bill that would increase governments costs, fail to use DHS resources against actual threats to public safety, put further strain on the judicial system and weaken due process protections by sanctioning indefinite detention does not make us safer. The pressure is on Congress to pass practical solutions to our very real immigration problems, not to use demagoguery and rhetoric—while ignoring the facts—to advance an anti-immigrant agenda.”
For more information, see:
Rep. Lamar Smith’s “Keep Our Community Safe Act of 2011” Creates More Problems than Solutions (IPC Fact Check, July 2011)
Diversity Visa System: A Fact Sheet (IPC Fact Check, April 2011)
For more information contact Seth Hoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-507-7509
New York - President Barack Obama visited New York City to mark the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. During this visit he visited ground zero, the site of al Qaeda's attack on the World Trade Center, and meet with the families of people killed nearly 10 years ago. The President made stops at a firehouse in Midtown Manhattan, the NYPD 1st Precinct in lower Manhattan and Ground Zero. He laid a wreath at Ground Zero and spoke with 9/11 victims families, police officers and firefighters who lined the area.
the following security-related changes occured:
• PATH service to the WTC station was suspended temporarily while President Obama visited Ground Zero.
• Mailboxes and garbage cans were removed in areas where the President will be visiting.
• Manhole covers were welded shut in some areas.
• There were extra police patrolling the City along with more undercover officers.
• Sharp shooters were positioned on roofs along the motorcade route.