What do you do when you’re an officer with the U.S. Forest Service and you come up on a couple who appear to be “illegally harvesting plants in the Olympic National Forest?” You approach and question them. What do you do when you realize the couple doesn’t speak English?
Before a ruling issued by Joe Leonard, Jr., President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary for civil rights at the US Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service officers could call the US Customs and Border Patrol. CBP would send an agent out to translate.
Of course, if you were a speaker of English and you were caught tampering with native plants in the federally owned forest, you’d be questioned and perhaps detained. If you made the mistake of removing or harming a rare, threatened or endangered plant, you’d be subject to prosecution and then fines and jail time.
In essence, Leonard teamed up with an immigrant activist group, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, to issue a ruling halting the use of translators from CBP because it is “humiliating to Hispanics and an illicit backdoor way to capture more illegal immigrants.”
Leonard’s ruling upends when you learn that the couple whose alleged plant tampering in 2011 paid a self-imposed penalty. The Washington Times said “the man jumped into a river to try to escape and drowned.” CBP detained the woman, but in keeping with Obama’s policy, she was released “reportedly on humanitarian grounds.”
An American citizen or immigrant would probably have had to hire an attorney.
Leonard issued a lengthy ruling about the incident, claiming there was “deep mutual distrust” between what are presumably non-English speakers and English speakers in a small town nearby. There was a review board, and allegedly some residents claimed the Forest Service officer “was known for harassing Hispanics.”
Translation from English to English: That officer was simply trying to do his job.
No proof is provided of the alleged harassment.
Is there a black market in rare, threatened or endangered species in that area? Olympic National Forest has an abundance of wildlife and special ecosystems, and many animal species are mentioned. No list is easily obtained of the plant life, however, other than trees. Absence of a list is an indication rare species are present and some are likely endangered to the point of extinction.
Leonard’s ruling is not posted online. The former racial issues activist relied on a ruling from President Bill Clinton’s administration—“language is interchangeable with national origin, which is protected by federal law.” That is another example of Clinton’s sophistic legal arguments devoid of common sense.
After all, it was Clinton’s wall between law enforcement that helped enable the attacks on 9/11.
In essence, an activist group and a federal activist stymied the Forest Service from doing the job taxpayers subsidize.
Why is the Forest Service even part of a department overseeing agriculture? I realize timber is classified as a cash crop, but it makes no sense to me to have the USDA telling the Forest Service how to do the job the government mandates.
The group Pro English told The Washington Times the government seems “to be granting special language rights to illegal immigrants.” Pro English, which advocates for English language policies in the U.S., noted that U.S. courts have never “upheld their argument that language and national origin are equal…” That’s probably one reason activists within and without the government use the back door to implement policy that is rightfully the domain of Congress.
Incidentally, the activist group NWIRP counts the United Way of King County among its supporters. When you give money to any charity, be sure to check out whom that charity supports.
Illegal harvesting of rare, endangered and threatened species is nothing new to the US Forest Service or to anyone who’s worked in conservation. It’s a serious problem that would normally have environmentalists up in arms. You can bet the enviro-lobby would be up in arms if an American citizen was caught and then let go after tampering with plants in a federally protected area. Trade in exotic species is worth billions on the black market.
The Pro English website has an alert option you can sign related to the flawed logic that places the rights of illegal aliens above those of U.S. citizens and immigrants.
NWIRP is currently engaged in a lawsuit against CBP. The U.S. taxpayer will fund the government's defense.
Forest Service hit for Border Patrol call (The Washington Times)
Idaho father charged for violating Endangered Species Act (The US Report)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 7, 2012)