Judicial Watch Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes, along with Judicial Watch attorney Julie Axelrod, appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans last Wednesday on behalf Houston police sergeant Joslyn M. Johnson.
Houston, Texas, as you may recall, is a sanctuary city. And here’s the principal argument our client is trying to make in court, as described in our original complaint:
Sergeant Johnson challenges current policies, practices, and procedures of the Houston Police Department that substantially restrict, if not prohibit, Plaintiff from communicating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) about illegal aliens who are criminally present in the United States.
Plaintiff does not seek to detain or arrest persons in order to inquire about their immigration status. Rather, Plaintiffs seeks to use her professional judgment to determine when it is appropriate to contact ICE to inquire or provide information about a person’s immigration status if, in the course of carrying out her duties and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer, she has reason to believe a crime may have been committed.
Now I say Mrs. Johnson is “trying” to make these arguments because the lower court dismissed the lawsuit before the merits of the case could even be considered. (For more information on the “reason” for this dismissal, please read our latest court filing in the case.)
If Judicial Watch is successful at the appellate court level, the lawsuit would be remanded to the district court level again where Sgt. Johnson could make her case.
This sanctuary policy issue personally affects Sgt. Johnson. Not only because she serves in the Houston Police Department and sees the potential dangers of allowing illegal alien criminals to roam free, but because Mrs. Johnson is also the widow of former Houston police officer Rodney Johnson, who was murdered by an illegal alien during a routine traffic stop on September 21, 2006.
Rodney Johnson was shot and killed by Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez, a previously deported Mexican national who had reentered and was living in the U.S. illegally. After reentering the U.S. illegally, Quintero-Perez had multiple interactions with the Houston Police Department before shooting and killing Officer Johnson, including at least one arrest for driving under the influence and citations for failing to stop and give information following an accident and driving with a suspended license.
The City of Houston, in many ways, is the poster child for the harm that is caused by illegal alien sanctuary policies. And the harm continues to be devastating. Our investigators recently uncovered the infuriating details behind the murder of yet another police officer in Houston. Our Irene Garcia at JW’s Corruption Chronicles reported the details:
A Judicial Watch investigation has discovered that the drunk illegal immigrant who recently killed a Houston police officer had six arrest warrants, multiple encounters with law enforcement and had been caught driving without a license four times.
He also had been cited by police on eight occasions, was ticketed twice in 2009 and had two convictions for unlawful entry into the U.S., according to public records obtained by JW from the Houston Municipal Court. Incredibly, the illegal alien (Johoan Rodriguez) remained free and in late May struck and killed Houston Police Officer Kevin Will.
It marks the fourth time in the last few years that a Houston officer dies at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant protected by the city’s sanctuary policy, which, among other things, forbids police from inquiring about immigration status. In 2009 an illegal alien from Mexico (Roberto Pedroza Carrillo), who had been ticketed by Houston Police at least four times, killed an undercover police officer during a sting operation.
As long as the Obama administration refuses to police illegal alien sanctuary policies like those in Houston; as long as the Obama administration continues to sue states that seek to protect their citizens from the scourge of illegal immigration (like Arizona and, most recently, Alabama); and as long as the Obama administration continues to lawlessly suspend deportations for illegal alien criminals, expect more violence and more victims.