San Diego County Board of Supervisors votes to support sanctuary state lawsuit against California – 10News.com KGTV-TV San Diego

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws.

The board voted 3-1 Tuesday afternoon to support the lawsuit.

The board directed that the County’s attorney to file an amicus brief supporting the federal lawsuit.

The deadline to file a brief passed, so Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar said the earliest the county can file a brief is if the ruling is appealed to a higher court.

Supervisor Greg Cox was the only one opposed to supporting the lawsuit. Supervisor Ron Roberts wasn’t present for the vote.

Among the laws targeted by the legal action is SB 54, which limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob led public opposition to the laws and said she agrees with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that they are unconstitutional and undermine public safety.

“This is a politically super-charged issue as you might imagine,” Gaspar told Fox News. “We’re talking about hundreds of emails pouring in from all sides. But let us not forget, let’s take the emotion out of this. We’re talking about following the constitutional laws of our land.”

Two supervisors indicated they’re opposed to joining the suit: Greg Cox, who said sheriff’s deputies “should not be forced to carry out immigration duties,” and Ron Roberts. But Roberts will not be at Tuesday’s meeting due to a “long-planned trip.”

“Had I attended, I would have urged my colleagues to stay out of this issue,” Roberts said.

Local governments in recent weeks have taken varying approaches to weighing in on the sanctuary state case, from resolutions to voting to file lawsuits themselves.

The city council in San Juan Capistrano, for instance, recently passed a resolution against SB 54. Resolutions are largely symbolic statements of a government’s stance.

Aliso Viejo, Escondido and Mission Viejo are among the cities whose leaders have voted to file amicus briefs in support of the Trump administration’s position. Such briefs are often submitted by those who have an interest in a court case but are not parties in the lawsuit.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted last month to join the lawsuit, while the Huntington Beach City Council voted recently to file its own suit.

The Los Alamitos City Council voted to “exempt” the city from the sanctuary laws.

“We want to do something more than a resolution, or at least I personally do, because that’s seemingly meaningless,” Gaspar said. “We’ll be working in closed session with our legal team to really explore any and all options that we have as a county to provide meaningful input into this lawsuit.”

The San Diego Organizing Project released the following statement after the decision:

“Today’s harmful decision during a closed session shows that our Board of Supervisors is out of touch with the citizens of San Diego County. SB 54 is a crucial bill to protect all San Diego residents, both immigrants and citizens of all cultural backgrounds, from unwarranted interrogations, detainments and deportations. Our faith community will work tirelessly to elect true representatives who understand that we are better and stronger together.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter also released a statement after the board voted:

“Today’s action was the very definition of leadership. In standing up against the irresponsible actions by the State of California, our County Supervisors who supported this action clearly demonstrated that their priorities are protecting those of us in San Diego County and not about politics. The fact of the matter is, when state and local law enforcement agencies outright refuse to share information to federal officials regarding criminal activity, our communities are unsafe and the rule of law is undermined. It’s not complicated. I have always been, and will continue to be, an advocate for state’s rights, but that’s not the issue. The U.S. Constitution clearly places border policy and our immigration laws within the purview of the federal government. State or local governments cannot just choose to ignore federal statutes because of a political agenda, especially when doing so places its citizens at risk by leaving criminals eligible for deportation in our communities. Our San Diego County Supervisors who took action today deserve our thanks and we need to hold every elected official accountable who does not demonstrate the same the type of leadership.”

Source: San Diego County Board of Supervisors votes to support sanctuary state lawsuit against California – 10News.com KGTV-TV San Diego

Inside New York’s silent sex trafficking epidemic

Through interviews with top law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, advocates and victims from around the five boroughs, The Post has pieced together a picture of New York’s sex-slavery underbelly — and the struggle to end it.

“People are shocked to hear that it actually exists in New York City,” says Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“This is not a case where you have super-high-priced fancy sex businesses — this is really disgusting, forced, cruel, cold. Taking kids who are in need of help, preying upon that need, developing a relationship and then turning against them and turning them into kids who are making money for them on the street — those are the cases that we get.”

Thanks to Hollywood films such as “Taken,” people who hear the term “sex trafficking” often think of a sorority girl kidnapped and chained to a radiator by men with foreign accents.

But the average victim is a vulnerable girl from a troubled home who has already been sexually abused and is first sold for sex as young as 12.

The girls often aren’t detained at gunpoint — not at first, anyway — but are instead manipulated into “the life” by smooth-talking pimps promising a better life.

Some are even dazzled by glamorized portrayals of prostitutes in songs, movies and books — like a 14-year-old girl who told Queens prosecutors she had been inspired to turn tricks by the 2005 Snoop Dogg film “Boss’n Up.”

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“Her aspiration was for [her pimp] to fall in love with her if she made enough money,” says Queens Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, chief of the Human Trafficking Unit.

Many local victims come from in or around the city, but others are bused into the Big Apple from upstate or nearby states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

There also are the women and girls brought here from overseas and forced to work in an estimated 700 illicit “massage” parlors across the city.

Of course, there are adults who choose to become escorts. But police say they’re the minority.

“I can confidently say the majority — the overwhelming majority — of people engaging in sex for money are doing it against their will,” says Klein, who has run the vice unit for the last two years.

‘There’s no cookie-cutter pimp,” Klein says.

Some are gang members or drug dealers hunting new revenue streams. Others are just teenagers themselves and from a family of traffickers. They’re men and women, white, black, Asian and Hispanic.

But all traffickers have made the same sick calculation.

“You can sell a gun once, right? You could sell a kilo of coke once . . . But once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Klein says. “But a woman or a person, that’s 15 times a day every day . . . for as many years as you possibly get out of that person. That’s a never-ending cycle.”

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Interior of a homeless shelter were the sex trafficking enterprise operated in Harlem.
The pimps often sweet-talk the girls into joining them, but once their victims realize the glamorous life they were promised is anything but, that’s when things turn violent.

“One guy kept [a girl] in a dog cage because she wasn’t cooperating,” Klein says.

A 17-year-old girl trafficked by convicted Queens pimp Ricardi “Dirty” Dumervil escaped only to be kidnapped again, burned with cigarettes and bashed with a gun before being dragged to Atlantic City to keep working, according to Melton.

This is not a case where you have super-high-priced fancy sex businesses — this is really disgusting, forced, cruel, cold. Taking kids who are in need of help, preying upon that need, developing a relationship and then turning against them.
– Cyrus Vance Jr.
And the 14-year-old who watched the Snoop Dogg film? She was found locked in a closet surrounded by pots of urine.

These thugs aren’t just operating out of decrepit buildings in the worst parts of town, and their victims aren’t necessarily kept locked up.

“It happens right under our noses . . . This is something that could be happening right in our neighborhoods,” says Juanito Vargas, vice president of the victim-assistance nonprofit Safe Horizon.

“You go to the deli in your neighborhood and are served your morning coffee by someone, and you don’t know if that person is being trafficked,” he says.

There was the Prospect Heights apartment where those two 16-year-olds were allegedly forced to turn tricks in fear for their lives by a trio of 20-somethings.

There was a Bronx homeless shelter just blocks from Yankee Stadium where convicted sex trafficker Maria Soly Almonte repeatedly prostituted out three of her sisters and a 13-year-old girl.

When she wasn’t turning tricks, the 13-year-old attended eighth grade at PS 29 — where the school nurse figured out what was going on when the girl came in weekly requesting STD and pregnancy tests.

At a Howard Johnson hotel in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a couple allegedly forced two 14-year-old runaways to have sex with man after man and give up all their earnings.

And at a Manhattan youth shelter, kids escaping broken homes were lured into a life of prostitution with offers of booze, cash and a warm bed — lured by ads posted openly on Craigslist.

“Are you a female that wants to stop living in Covenant House?” it read, alongside photos of tequila and hundred-dollar bills.

When the 14-year-old Snoop Dogg fan was rescued from the closet, she first told police and prosecutors that she wanted to be in there, Melton says.

It’s a prime example of why it’s so hard for police to catch and convict traffickers: The women and girls often don’t see themselves as victims.

Making matters worse, antiquated state laws don’t recognize underage prostitutes as victims of trafficking, either, unless there is clear force or coercion, so their cooperation is often crucial.

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With limited resources for survivors, it’s a tough sell.

“We’ve had girls say, ‘At least I have a place to sleep — yeah, he beats me, but at least . . . I’m not sleeping in the gutter,’ ” says David Weiss, a senior assistant district attorney in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, immigrants working in massage parlors often also fear deportation and are typically trafficked by members of their own communities.

“They are so hard to crack,” says Assistant District Attorney Laura Edidin, head of the Brooklyn prosecutor’s Human Trafficking Unit. “Both because the way in which money is moved out of massage parlors is sophisticated and because women who are being exploited in those massage parlors are very unlikely to come forward.”

And most NYPD cops simply aren’t trained to deal with the survivors, critics say.

“I had to stand in a hospital with a rape victim and nearly got myself arrested with these huge cops towering over her, demanding answers,” says Rachel Lloyd, founder of the anti-trafficking organization GEMS and a survivor of trafficking herself.

Just recently, glaring staffing and training issues with the NYPD’s Special Victims Division — whose cops sometimes have first contact with trafficking victims — were exposed in a scathing report by the city’s Department of Investigation.

Still, police and prosecutors say they’ve made huge strides in recent years against sex trafficking.

District attorneys now have dedicated units for tackling trafficking, more citizens are calling the NYPD tip line, and law enforcement is actively working with nonprofits to find and help the victims.

Last year, the NYPD announced that it had added 25 detectives to the vice unit and formed a joint task force with the FBI.

The department has also shifted its focus to busting pimps and johns rather than prostitutes.

“It is an overwhelming problem; it can feel that way,” says Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Carolina Holderness, chief of the borough’s Human Trafficking Response Unit. “We’re just trying to hit it with everything we have.”

Lloyd adds, “When you take a long view, there’s been significant progress.”

Still, she says, “when you take the immediate view, good grief, there are so many gaps and so many ways we are failing our kids.”Source: Inside New York’s silent sex trafficking epidemic

‘Allahu Akbar’: Man Attacks Women With Hammer in France

A man wielding a hammer has attacked and injured two women in France while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for ‘my God is greatest’).
The attacker, who stuck in Chalon-sur-Saône, Eastern France, was wearing all black and is still on the run, French media reports.

French prosecutors say they are treating the incident, which occurred just before midday, as a possible terror attack but did not rule out other motives.

The two assaults happened near Place de Beaune, 15 minutes apart. One of the two women is believed to have been hit in the back of the head.

A helicopter was flying over the area to try to find the fugitive.

“A man assaulted two women using a hammer, slightly injuring one of them in the back of the head; both victims are in shock. The events took place near the city centre,” authorities confirmed in a statement.

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‘Allah hu Akbar’ Shouting Woman Threatens to Blow Herself up at Cannes Festival

A 27-year-old woman from Cannes was arrested this week outside the CanneSeries television festival after she yelled “Allah hu Akbar” and threatened to blow herself up.
The threat of terrorism took place at the Place de Gaulle in Cannes, within the vicinity of the Palais des Festivals where both the internationally renowned Cannes film festival and the TV festival take place, regional newspaper Nice-Matin reports.

More disturbingly, the 27-year-old was accompanied by her two children aged two and four years old while she was making threats to explode. Police were able to quickly arrest the woman who was later taken for a psychiatric evaluation and hospitalised on the advice of a clinical psychiatrist.

The two children were taken into protective custody with social services.

The incident was not the only terrorist threat in France this week as two men were arrested in Saint-Brieuc in Brittany after they both also shouted “Allah hu Akbar” and uttered death threats against an employee of France’s national railway company SNCF at a train station.

Several witnesses to the incident said the two men were shouting not only “Allah hu Akbar” but were also making disparaging remarks about French people and Roman Catholics.

After the men threatened the employee, the station was evacuated until 15 police officers arrived on the scene with anti-bomb equipment as they were concerned the men may have bombs in their suitcases. “We had to react very quickly. We did not know what their suitcases contained,” a local police officer said.

The two men were quickly arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital. One of the men, a 23-year-old born in France was said to be homeless and known previously to police, the other a 32-year-old was also known to police.

The threats come only weeks after a radical Islamic terrorist entered a supermarket in Trebes, taking several hostages and killing four people including French policeman Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame who traded himself for a hostage and died the following day of his wounds.

The man, identified as Moroccan migrant Redouane Lakdim, demanded the release of Bataclan terrorist Salah Abdeslam. He was killed by police after they stormed the supermarket.

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