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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Utah bucks conservative trend on illegal immigration: A state effort to offer legal residency to many illegal immigrants is driven in part by the influence of the Mormon Church.

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

March 19, 2011, 8:36 p.m.
Reporting from Salt Lake City—
President Obama's aides were flabbergasted. Here was Mark Shurtleff, the conservative Republican attorney general of deeply red Utah, explaining how he and other GOP officials had approved a statewide version of the immigration measures that the president and his progressive allies have long sought.

"You sued us on healthcare," Shurtleff recalls the aides saying during his meeting in Washington this month. "How is it you did something differently on immigration?"

The answer lies in how Utah expresses its conservative values — particularly the importance placed on family and business — and the influence of the Mormon Church.Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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