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Archive for May 26th, 2021

Senate Confirms Kristen Clarke As First Black Woman to Lead DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney for the the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Photo: Twitter

By Steve Neavling

Kristen Clarke on Tuesday became the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, overcoming strong opposition from Republicans.

The Senate voted 51-48 to confirm Clarke, a longtime civil rights attorney and Justice Department veteran. Sen. Susan Collins was the lone Republican to vote for Clarke’s confirmation. 

As assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, Clarke will play a prominent role in cracking down on police brutality and enforcing voting rights laws and federal discrimination laws.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, received her law degree from Columbia University. She later prosecuted civil rights cases for the Justice Department before running the New York State Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau. In 2016, she became president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

Clarke often criticized President Trump’s administration for failing to enforce civil rights laws. 

Republicans opposed Clarke, saying she was too political and previously supported defunding the police.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Helping Smuggle Undocumented Immigrants

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent has been indicted on charges of helping smuggle illegal immigrants by letting them pass through a checkpoint

Prosecutors allege Rodney Tolson Jr. received payments in exchange for allowing cars with undocumented immigrants to pass through a checkpoint he was manning near Laredo, Texas, The Washington Times reports. The scheme occurred in early 2019, according to the indictment.

Tolson, who has been suspended from his duties, was arrested last week. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission and expects officers and agents to adhere to the oath they take to uphold and enforce the laws of this country,” CBP said.

Earlier this month, a former CBP officer admitted smuggling her undocumented housekeeper into Texas from Mexico as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Rhonda Lee Walker, who was stationed at the Laredo Point of Entry, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to bring her housekeeper into the U.S. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed felony counts of illegally transporting the woman into the country and lying to