One of Obama's pet federal judges says installing fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border could discriminate against minorities. Judge Beryl Howell's statement paves the way for further erosion of the Homeland Security project intended to control illegal immigration and curtail the spill-over of violent crime on the rise in Mexico. Howell stated in her ruling that the congressionally approved project may have a “disparate impact on lower-income minority communities.”
This of course means that protecting the porous—and increasingly violent—southern border is politically incorrect. At least that’s what the public college professor at the center of the case is working to prove and this month she got help from a sympathetic federal judge. Denise Gilman, a clinical professor at the taxpayer-funded University of Texas-Austin, is researching the “human rights impact” of erecting a barrier to protect the U.S. from terrorists, illegal immigrants, drug traffickers and other serious threats.
A 2006 federal law orders the construction of fencing or a wall along the most vulnerable portions of the nearly 2,000-mile southern border. This includes reinforced fencing along 700 miles of the southwest border with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determining the exact spots. Professor Gilman wants the identities of the landowners in the planned construction site to shed light on the impact the fencing will have on indigenous, minority and low-income communities. The feds refused to provide the information, asserting that it’s private.
The professor sued in federal court arguing that the public interest in how the fence will impact landowners outweighed any privacy concerns. The data will allow the public to analyze whether the government is treating property owners equally and fairly or whether the wall is being built in such a way that it disadvantages “minority property owners,” according to the professor. It will also help the public understand the actual dimensions of the wall and decisions related to where it’s placed.
Judge Beryl Howell, appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by President Obama in 2010, agreed that the public interest is significant. Her 37-page ruling also seems to indicate that she bought the discrimination argument. “Revealing the identities of landowners in the wall’s planned construction site may shed light on the impact on indigenous communities, the disparate impact on lower-income minority communities, and the practices of private contractors,” Howell wrote.
What do you think? Is the project to secure the border racist or is that a red-herring to distract from other issues?
Source: Judicial Watch
Photo: BBC World Service