Amnesty Incorporated: DHS Hires Activist Immigration Lawyers
Despite the sequester, the Department of Homeland Security has just completed a hiring blitz of attorneys to oversee and manage immigration litigation. Almost all of these new civil service attorney hires hail from an activist pro-amnesty and pro-asylum background. Sources within the Department of Homeland Security report that the process for hiring these new career civil service lawyers was unconventional and was conducted by an Obama political appointee within DHS.
The new attorneys have activist backgrounds with a variety of pro-amnesty groups such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Advancement Project, and open borders groups funded by the Tides Foundation.
PJ Media previously reported on attorney hires within the Justice Department Civil Rights Division in the Every Single One series. That series demonstrated that every single attorney hire had a leftist or Democrat activist pedigree. The Department of Justice Inspector General criticized those DOJ hiring procedures as producing ideological outcomes. PJ Media only obtained the resumes of DOJ hires after this publication was forced to sue Eric Holder in federal court under the Freedom of Information Act.
Now, sources inside DHS have provided PJ Media with the employment history and pro-amnesty backgrounds of the newly hired lawyers who will be enforcing federal immigration laws.
The ideological histories of these new DHS lawyers undermine confidence that the federal government will vigorously enforce federal laws, notwithstanding any congressional "mandates" to do so.
These lawyers were hired through unconventional means by former DHS chief counsel for Citizen and Immigration Services Stephen Legomsky. Sources at DHS report that when Legomsky was hired by Secretary Janet Napalitano's Department, he was not even an active member of any bar association. After resigning in October 2013, Legomsky is now a professor of law at Washington University. His scholarship is most notable for its hostility toward barriers to entry for foreigners coming to the United States.
Here are the backgrounds of the new lawyers hired at the DHS in the recent hiring blitz:
Kristy Blumeyer-Martinez is a new attorney in the DHS Office of the Chief Counsel. Prior to joining OCC, Kristy served as law clerk to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in San Antonio, Texas, and RAICES in San Antonio, Texas. In law school, she also clerked with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic and Sacramento Child Advocates/Children’s Law Center. She also worked at American Gateways, Refugee Services of Texas, and Caritas of Austin.
Esther Cantor was hired into the refugee and asylum law division as an associate counsel at DHS headquarters in Washington, D.C.. She participated in the Immigration Clinic and volunteered with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, an open borders organization.
Nicole Flores is a new DHS lawyer in Chicago. She graduated from Harvard Law School, where she worked at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and served as the co-president of the Harvard Immigration Project, an organization dedicated to ensuring foreigners get to stay in the United States. She was also a legal intern at the leftist open borders organization LatinoJustice-PRLDEF. According to DHS sources, there she worked on project to badger businesses who implemented English-only rules in the work place. Before law school, she was a volunteer activist at a "workers' rights" organization in Madison, Wisconsin.
Erin Fricker is a new DHS lawyer formerly employed by Lutheran Social Services of New England, where she was a staff attorney representing detained foreigners attempting to stay in the United States. While in law school, Erin participated in the Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project as an immigration clinic student.
New DHS lawyer Elizabeth Grossman established her Obama-era ideological bona fides by serving on the executive board for the University of Michigan Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a leftist law school student group.
Elizabeth Gunter's resume includes a stint in the Obama-era DOJ Attorney General's Honor Program after graduating from Washington University, the same law school where Legomsky, the person doing the hiring at DHS, was a professor while Gunter was a student.
Cindy Heidelberg comes from the same Holder-era Attorney General's Honor Program, after a long activist background with open borders groups. Cynthia graduated from Georgetown Law in 2011, earning a J.D. with a certificate in "Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies." During law school, she interned at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project, the ACLU National Prison Project, and the AARP Litigation Foundation.
Celia Hicks is a new lawyer with the Litigation and National Security Coordination Division in Washington, DC. She served as Protection Fellow for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and previously worked for the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council, an organization notoriously hostile to Border Patrol agents.