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Calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s rescission of 287(g) Task Force agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies “the Administration’s declaration of war against Arizona,” three Arizona congressmen are calling on ICE Director John Morton to reconsider the decision.
Arizona Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, Dave Schweikert and Trent Franks have signed onto a letter set to be sent to Morton Wednesday, in response to the agency’s Monday announcement that they have terminated Arizona’s 287(g) Task Force agreements — which allow state law enforcement agencies to verify the immigration status of suspected illegals.
“I write in response to what appears to be the Administration’s declaration of war against Arizona,” The letter reads. “Rather than work cooperatively with the states, as federalism requires, the Administration unwisely decided to unilaterally and abruptly terminate multiple agreements under a program that fostered federal-state cooperation in tackling a very difficult public safety threat to Americans.”
According to the trio, the only winners under the administration’s plan are the drug cartels and human traffickers.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a self-described conservative think tank in the United States. Its president since its founding has been Amy Ridenour. David A. Ridenour, her husband, is vice president, and David W. Almasi is executive director. Key staff include Caroline May, who oversees environmental programs, and Ryan Balis, who oversees United Nations studies. Dana Joel Gattuso, Council Nedd II, R.J. Smith, Deroy Murdock and Bonner Cohen are among those who frequently speak or publish under the NCPPR banner as senior/distinguished fellows.
Abramoff connectionsDisgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was a member of NCPPR's Board of Directors; he resigned in October 2004 after NCPPR's Board of Directors concluded he had violated the organization's conflict of interest policy.
In October 2002, Abramoff directed the Mississippi Band of Choctaws to give $1 million to NCPPR, and then told Amy Ridenour to distribute the funds to Capital Athletic Foundation ($450,000), Capital Campaign Strategies ($500,000) and Nurnberger and Associates ($50,000). In June 2003, Greenberg Traurig, the firm that employed Abramoff, sent $1.5 million to NCPPR, of which Ridenour distributed $250,000 to Capital Athletic Foundation and the remainder to Kay Gold LLC, both controlled by Abramoff. Ridenour said in testimony that she believed Abramoff co-conspirator Michael Scanlon was the owner of Kay Gold (Kaygold).