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Dept. Of Labor Stonewalling JW FOIA Request Re Hilda Solis Visit To CASA Training Centers

On March 13, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in
the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Obama
Department of Labor (DOL).  They’re seeking records detailing the May 30, 2012
visit of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to CASA de Maryland’s Langley Park
training center.

CASA was founded in 1985 and is affiliated with the National Council of La Raza.

Thomas Perez, Obama’s current nominee for Labor Secretary, served as President of the Board for CASA, which has as its chief goals, helping all people “participate and benefit fully” in American society, “regardless of their immigration status.”

It operates five day labor centers throughout Maryland, and receives public as well as private funding.

It’s  funding comes from a variety of sources, including George Soros’
Open Society Institute, and  CITGO, the state-owned Venezuelan petroleum products
corporation.

You may be wondering why a Soros, and Chavez funded organization with ties to La Raza would receive millions in taxpayer dollars while Maryland
faces severe budget shortfalls. So does Judicial Watch.

While taking part in a roundtable discussion at the center, Solis
reportedly told CASA center graduates to report their employers for wage
and hour violations, regardless of the workers’ immigration status.
the rights of the Hispanic community and of other communities in any
area where they are working,” Solis was quoted as saying. “The federal
laws are clear and protect all workers equally, whether or not they have
papers.”

 On June 1, 2012, Judicial Watch sent a FOIA request to the Department of Labor seeking access to the following information:

a. Documentation of funding to Casa de
Maryland, directly or through its affiliation with Prince George’s and
Montgomery County Colleges;

b. Talking points, briefing books, or any
other internal memoranda (in any language) developed in preparation for
Secretary Solis’s visit to Casa de Maryland this week;

c. Documentation of transportation,
meals, and security associated with Secretary Solis’s visit to Casa de
Maryland this week, including invoices, reimbursement authorizations,
and check requisitions; and,

d. Notes, agendas, minutes, and any other
communications relating to Secretary Solis’s visit to Casa de Maryland
this week, including video, audio and e-mail contact with the press and
third-party organizations before and after the event.

Under federal law, DOL was required to respond to the Judicial Watch
FOIA request by June 29, 2012. According to the Judicial Watch March 14
lawsuit, DOL has “failed to make a determination about whether it will
comply … or notify [Judicial Watch] of its right to appeal any adverse
determination … Nor has [DOL] produced any records responsive to the
request, indicated when any responsive records will be produced, or
demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.”

 Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The most transparent administration in history is once again in
violation of the Freedom of Information Act.  The outrageous
stonewalling by the Obama Department of Labor strongly suggests it is
covering up connections and policies that most Americans would find
objectionable. The Obama
administration’s partnership with a radical organization that openly
encourages illegal immigrants to operate outside the law is especially
egregious in light of the continued unemployment crisis for the American
citizens and legal residents.  No wonder there’s a cover up.”

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