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New York Times, June 8, 2024

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发表于 6-8-2024 12:09:52 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
(1) Edgar Sandoval, Latinos on Border Are Skeptical of Asylum Ban. at page A14.
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/ ... -latinos-biden.html

Note:
(a) The Spanish surname Sandoval is from name of "places [in Spain] called Sandoval * * * earlier called Sannoval from Latin [noun masculine] saltus 'grove' 'wood' + novalis 'newly cleared land.' "

Latin-English dictionary:
* novalis (noun feminine; from [adjective masculine; adjective feminine nova] novus [new novel]): "unploughed or fallow land (or land ploughed for the first time)"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/novalis
(b) I always wonder what Latinos (residents near the border or in far-away states, border patrol agents and so on) think about border-crossers.

--------------------
At the height of the surge in immigration last year, Cindy Garza found it hard to recognize the small Texas town of Garciasville, where she lives not far from the Rio Grande. Large crowds of people were often poking their fingers through the fence near the border crossing and screaming for help. Mothers and children kept trying to swim across the treacherous river. Once she came home and found a man who was fleeing the Border Patrol hiding under her bed.

Ms. Garza, a mother of four, has always seen herself as a Democrat, and voted for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But she has come to believe that President Biden’s softer policies on immigration have attracted the migrants from all over the world who have been seen spilling into the streets of her community. She is convinced that only a return of Donald J. Trump to the White House can restore order.

“When Biden won the last election, he said he was going to help people, and I saw a lot of people coming,” said Ms. Garza, who regularly crosses the local international bridges to visit and shop in Mexico. “I would see packs and packs of people. People saw it as a green ticket.”

Latinos all over the Rio Grande Valley, like many elsewhere in Texas, were once likely to be reliable Democrats, as Ms. Garza was. Now, widespread consternation over unauthorized crossings among residents along the border, where the majority of the population in most communities is Latino, could threaten support for Mr. Biden in what otherwise might be one of his key constituencies.

The Hidalgo County Democratic Party surveyed about 400 voters in southern Texas last year and found that even those who tend to vote for Democrats now support stronger border enforcement. Immigration reform and border security were ranked among the top 10 most pressing issues by respondents.

The results did not surprise Richard Gonzales, the county party chairman.

“You can ask anybody if there’s a problem,” Mr. Gonzales said. “Yes, there is. It needs to be addressed.”

This week, President Biden ordered a near-total ban on new applications for asylum on the southern border, at least for now. The new rule, which is likely to be challenged in court, prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border when the number of unauthorized crossings exceed a certain threshold. It is a clear attempt to deal with mounting criticism of the situation on the border in the months before the presidential election.

The executive order does not address the issue of migrants who cross the border illegally without seeking asylum at legal ports of entry,

Mr. Gonzales said he thought the new policy would address concerns of moderate voters who support both a wide range of liberal priorities and stronger border security. But in interviews this week, it was clear that not all voters had found their concerns allayed.

Tony Lopez, 52, a school employee who lives close to a fence meant to obstruct people crossing into the United States from Mexico, said he was skeptical. Mr. Lopez, a Democratic voter in past elections, said he viewed Mr. Biden’s executive order as “obvious” and “political.”

“He’s not doing anything,” Mr. Lopez said. “I don’t believe him.”

He said he placed more reliance on the border crackdown undertaken by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. Since 2021, Mr. Abbott, a Republican, has been testing the legal limits of what states can do to enforce immigration law.

His multi-billion-dollar initiative, known as Operation Lone Star, includes physical barriers along the border, a state law that would empower Texas police officers to arrest migrants, the deployment of state police and the National Guard on the border and the use of helicopters and other military-style equipment to help patrol it. The state has also bused thousands of migrants who arrive in Texas to cities like New York, Denver and Chicago.

Many of these efforts are being challenged in court. But even so, Mr. Lopez said he believed they were already having their intended effect, by making the Texas border uninviting to migrants and asylum seekers.

Mr. Abbott’s office has said that crossings into Texas have declined by 72 percent over the past two years.

In December, about 10,000 people a day were crossing into the United States without authorization along the entire southern border. The pace has since slowed to about 3,000 a day, with many of them entering states to the west.

For the first time in 25 years, the San Diego region has become a top destination for migrants, surpassing areas of Arizona and Texas for several weeks this year, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The Biden administration has also adopted a range of other policies, including working with the Mexican government to deter people from reaching the border. Analysts say these other steps have contributed to the reduction in the number of crossings.

On a sweltering afternoon this week, Mr. Lopez pointed to a large white bus used by the Border Patrol to transport migrants. Though the effects of Mr. Biden’s executive order had not yet become apparent on the U.S. side of the border, the bus was nonetheless standing idle a few feet away from his house.

“If you notice,” he said, “it’s empty. That’s because of what Abbott is doing. They are not coming here anymore. They are going to Arizona and California.”

A poll conducted earlier this year by the University of Texas at Austin found that a majority of Texas residents supported Mr. Abbott’s border policies. Nearly two-thirds of Texas voters, including many Democrats, said they supported the deployment of the state police and National Guard troops at the border.

The border has been a key issue in a South Texas congressional race, where Monica De La Cruz, a conservative who favors Mr. Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, broke a 118-year-old streak of Democratic victories in the 15th Congressional District to capture the seat during the 2022 midterm elections. Her victory in the district, which stretches from Hidalgo County to San Antonio, gave new hope to Republicans, who once were considered outsiders in local politics.

In November, Ms. De La Cruz will once again face her 2022 opponent, Michelle Vallejo, a Democrat, who lost by nine points last time. Ms. De la Cruz is focusing her campaign on border security, among other issues. Ms. Vallejo has called for securing the border but has also emphasized the need for better infrastructure to speed up handling of asylum-seekers and “treating migrants with dignity.”

Adrienne Peña-Garza, a Republican Party leader in Hidalgo County, said the number of voters who support stricter immigration laws is likely to keep growing in future election cycles. Mr. Trump, who made building a wall along the border a focus of his campaigns, garnered 28 percent of the vote in Hidalgo County in 2016 and 41 percent in 2020.

“Hispanics on the border, we want law and order, we want border security,” Ms. Peña-Garza said. “We want safety in our communities. We do love immigrants. But we just want things done legally and safely.”

Mr. Gonzales, the local Democratic leader, said it was wrong to cast immigration as either a conservative or a liberal issue.

“Me personally, I love seeing President Biden being aggressive,” he said. “I like seeing him take situations, facing them head on and try to fix them, especially a situation as nuanced and complicated as immigration.”

He added: “This is not a Democrat problem. It’s not a Republican problem. It’s an American problem.”

He said he thought Democrats could continue to prevail if their candidates talk not just about immigration, but also about greater access to health care, job creation and gun control.

But voters like Monica Castro, a 53-year-old retired property manager who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, have evolving priorities. Ms. Castro said she voted Democratic as a young woman, but now places border migration and security near the top of her lists of concerns — and Democrats, she said, are not rising to the new challenges.

“The border was always part of life here,” she said. “But it has become difficult to ignore it anymore. We need to pay more attention to who is coming here and why, and do more to secure the border.”

“My days of voting for Democrats are over,” she said.

Ms. Garza, the woman from Garciasville, said she often felt conflicted about having a front-row seat to human suffering. She frequently leaves drinking water out for anyone who reaches her property during extreme heat.

“I support more border control, but I am also human,” she said. “I feel bad for what they are going through. I have a heart.”

She recalled the incident in which a man fleeing from Border Patrol agents managed to enter her house unnoticed one afternoon, and discarded a red shirt he was wearing before hiding under her bed. Her husband spotted the shirt and became suspicious, causing the man to flee.

By the time the agents came to her house and asked whether she had seen anyone in a red shirt, the migrant was long gone, she said. “It is moments like that when you feel bad for the person, but also realize that something has to be done.”

Edgar Sandoval covers Texas for The Times, with a focus on the Latino community and the border with Mexico. He is based in San Antonio.
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 楼主| 发表于 6-8-2024 12:10:00 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 choi 于 6-9-2024 09:37 编辑

(2) Eileen Sullivan, Glenn Thrush and Zach Montague, Hunter Biden's Daughter Testifies on His Behalf. at page A20.
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/ ... aomi-testimony.html
("But under an intense cross-examination, her claim seemed to crumble. * * * The government produced several text exchanges that suggested he was not in a good place. * * * Ms Biden Neal was subdued as she sat in the witness box, glumly reading a sheaf of her texts printed out by the prosecution. She said she did 'not recall' sending them")

Note:
(a) Naomi Biden
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Biden
(1993- ; " is the eldest daughter of Hunter Biden and Kathleen Buhle * * * She grew up in Washington, DC, and attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School"/ section 3 Personal life)
(b) The rules governing (criminal or civil) trial in common law is basically the same everywhere (in England, United States (states or federal)) Before trial, parties have to produce names of witnesses and lists of evidence they wish to introduce in their respective direct examination. (If a party does not, he can not call a witness or introduce an evidence. Naming or listing does not mean that he will actually call that witness or introduce that witness. So defense attorney in a criminal trial may list defendant as a witness, but not do so, to keep prosecution guessing.)

In a trial, for each one who testifies, there is the sequence: direct (examination), cross, re-direct, re-cross: re-direct is conducted by the same party that did direct, to rehabilitate the one who testify, after cross to impeach or undermine that same person.

The salient rule in cross examination or re-cross is that an attorney can introduce evidence not listed in the pretrial list, solely to impeach the one who is testifying. And this is what happened to the daughter yesterday, which is quoted above.
(c) Here is the (federal) rule to impeach a witness with her prior statement.

Federal Rule of Evidence (abbreviation Fed Rule Evid; federal courts and academics discuss and make rules, and send  rules to Congress for change or approval) 613 states in full (2011 edition):

"(a) SHOWING OR DISCLOSING THE STATEMENT DURING EXAMINATION. When examining a witness about the witness’s prior statement, a party need not show it or disclose its contents to the witness. But the party must, on request, show it or disclose its contents to an adverse party’s attorney.
(b) EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE OF A PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENT. Extrinsic evidence of a witness’s prior inconsistent statement is admissible only if the witness is given an opportunity to explain or deny the statement and an adverse party is given an opportunity to examine the witness about it, or if justice so requires. This subdivision (b) does not apply to an opposing party’s statement under Rule 801(d)(2)."

https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/d ... december_2020_0.pdf

(d) What does "extrinsic evidence" mean?

10. Cross-Examination and Impeachment, at page 5. In Professor Alex Tanford's course: 723 Evidence -- Syllabus. Summer 2020 (he does not use textbook; it is online only due to Covid pandemic; "All materials will be distributed online from the syllabus page at no charge").
https://law.indiana.edu/instruct ... 3/10impeach/T10.pdf

Quote:

"The usual foundation is:
(1) The cross-examiner must direct the witness's attention to a specific assertion made on direct examination that will be the subject of the impeachment, eg, 'Now on direct, you said the traffic light was red, is that right?' * * *
(2) The attention of the witness is directed to the time and place where, and the person to whom, the inconsistent statement was made, eg, 'Do you remember giving a deposition at my office on July 8, 2015?'
(3) The content of the prior statement is disclosed to the witness in any reasonable manner, and the witness is asked if she or he made the statement. Commonly, it is quoted [but not shown] by the attorney, eg, 'In that deposition, at page 25, didn't you say the light was green?'
(4) If the witness admits making the statement the questioning can go no further. Extrinsic evidence of the inconsistent statement is not admissible. The cross-examiner may not 'double-prove' it by also introducing (or having the witness read) the writing containing the inconsistent statement.
(5) If the witness denies or does not remember making the statement, and if the statement is on a material issue, then the cross-examiner may introduce extrinsic evidence of it (a written statement, a deposition, or a person claiming to have heard an oral statement). Extrinsic evidence is not permitted if the matter is collateral ['collateral' means related tangentially but not directly]."
-----------------------------------print edition (online version is slightly different, and slightly longer)
WILMINGTON, Delaware -- Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi Biden Neal took the stand on Friday in hopes of taking her father’s defense into her own hands. By the time she embraced him at the defendant’s table after an hour of emotionally raw testimony, it was unclear whether she helped or harmed his cause.

Ms. Biden Neal, 30, told the court her father seemed “hopeful” and sober weeks before he claimed to be drug-free on a gun application at the heart of the government’s case. But that upbeat assessment was quickly undercut by prosecutors, who introduced anguished texts from that period in which she told her father he had driven her to the breaking point.

“I’m really sorry, dad, I can’t take this,” Ms. Biden Neal wrote in October 2018, after he had failed to respond to several of her messages when they were both in New York.

“I don’t know what to say, I just miss you so much,” she said. I just want to hang out with you.”

The dramatic testimony by Ms. Biden Neal — somber, clad in black and nagged by a nervous cough — capped the first week of Mr. Biden’s trial on charges that he falsely claimed to be sober on an application to buy a handgun on Oct. 12 in Delaware.

The government’s goal is to prove Mr. Biden was using drugs regularly in 2018 and 2019 and knowingly falsified the form. His lawyers have offered a spirited, if narrower, defense centered on questioning whether Mr. Biden was actually using drugs in October 2018 and challenging the recollection of the prosecution’s witnesses.

Over the previous few days, David C. Weiss, the special counsel in the case, summoned three women with painful, intimate experiences with Mr. Biden’s descent into crack and alcohol after the 2015 death of his brother: his former wife, Kathleen Buhle; a onetime girlfriend, Zoe Kestan; and Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau Biden, with whom he had an ill-fated romantic relationship.

Ms. Biden Neal has been the only woman called by the defense, led by the veteran defense lawyer Abbe Lowell.

Ms. Biden Neal, who works as a lawyer in Washington, had been eager to help out her father, who she believes is the target of a politically motivated prosecution, according to people familiar with the situation. Even if things had gone more smoothly, she could offer only limited insights into the actions of Mr. Biden, who was often absent from her life for months and erratic even when they were in the same city.

Mr. Lowell guided her through a series of gentle questions during a direct examination that lasted 11 minutes as she sought to bolster the defense’s contention that her father was working hard to kick his addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol in the weeks leading up to his gun purchase.

After having lunch with him in Los Angeles in August 2018, Ms. Biden Neal concluded that he was “the clearest” she had seen him since her uncle’s death three years earlier, she told the court.

“He seemed great; he seemed hopeful,” she recalled.

But under an intense cross-examination, her claim seemed to crumble.

Just three months later, in mid-October 2018, Mr. Biden visited New York City, where his daughter was entering her second year of law school and moving in with her boyfriend.

The government produced several text exchanges that suggested he was not in a good place.

Mr. Biden ignored Ms. Biden Neal’s desperate texts for hours and made a bizarre request when he did resurface, around 2 a.m. “Are you up? Please call me,” he wrote to his daughter. He wanted her boyfriend to bring him his truck, which the couple had borrowed, to Midtown Manhattan from Brooklyn.

Later that day, Ms. Biden Neal and her father exchanged more texts, trying to arrange handing off the keys. She had hoped to see him, but that was looking unlikely.

“So no c u!?” she texted him on Oct. 18, adding a sad-face emoji.

Mr. Biden responded, “I’m sorry, I have been so unreachable, it’s not fair to you.”

They did see each other the next day. But she later admitted their encounters were often fleeting, lasting no more than an hour or two.

Ms. Biden Neal was subdued as she sat in the witness box, glumly reading a sheaf of her texts printed out by the prosecution. She said she did “not recall” sending them when asked to explain her state of mind, noting that her main recollection of those days was how difficult it was for the two of them to connect.

Her father appeared to be fighting tears as she spoke.

After stepping down from the stand, Ms. Biden Neal walked over to her father, who was  at the defense table, and embraced him before they exited the courtroom together.

The prosecution, which rested on Friday [June 7] morning, has gone to great length — through witness testimony, hundreds of contemporaneous text messages and bank records, as well as the defendant’s own words — to illustrate that Mr. Biden spiraled through an unrelenting addiction to crack cocaine in the months before and after October 2018.

Over the course of the week, Mr. Lowell has established that no one saw Mr. Biden doing crack cocaine in October 2018, the month he bought the gun. Ms. Biden Neal’s testimony on Friday did not change that.

But two text messages retrieved from Mr. Biden’s phone have been hurting his defense from the start. One day after he purchased the gun, he sent a text saying he was meeting a dealer named Mookie. A day later, he followed up to say that he was sleeping on a car and smoking crack.

The apparent admission came to a head as Mr. Lowell questioned the prosecution’s last witness, Joshua Romig, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, who was asked to translate drug lingo introduced in the government’s case against Mr. Biden.

Mr. Lowell made the point that while the prosecution has spent days examining Mr. Biden’s communications earlier in 2018 and in 2019, showing pictures of him holding a crack pipe and texts about buying drugs, there was nothing comparable to show for October 2018.

The trial has served as a vivid reminder of a harrowing drama that has played out in the Biden family for years, underlined by the presence of friends and family of Mr. Biden’s in the courtroom every day. The first lady, Jill Biden, flew back from France on Thursday to retake her seat in the front row behind the defense counsel table on Friday.

The case centers on whether Mr. Biden lied on Oct. 12, 2018, when he marked “no” in answering a particular question on a federal gun application. It asked, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

The first lady, Jill Biden, flew back from France to attend the trial on Friday.Credit...Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times
Mr. Biden is charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the federal firearms application and possessing an illegally obtained gun. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. But nonviolent first-time offenders who have not been accused of using the weapon in another crime rarely receive serious prison time for the charges.


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