Skip to comments.Houston activist's court date draws attention
Posted on 11/28/2003 4:43:19 PM PST by Jalapeno
Nov. 28, 2003, 3:14PM
By EDWARD HEGSTROM
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
Well-known immigrant-rights activist Maria Jimenez goes to court Monday, accused of assaulting the executive director of the Harris County Republican Party.
Jimenez, the head of the mayor's office of immigrant affairs, seems to be taking the matter in stride.
When a police officer informed her of the misdemeanor assault charge during a protest at Harris County Republican Party headquarters Oct. 27, she responded: "Great! We couldn't have planned it better than this."
Jimenez is accused of shoving a box of protest letters into the chest of the Harris County GOP's executive director, Court Koenning, causing him to stumble. She has been ordered to appear before a Houston municipal judge.
The seemingly minor incident has now become an international matter. Jimenez is a dual citizen, which means she pledges allegiance to both the United States and Mexico. When Mexican government officials heard of her dispute with the GOP, they offered to provide her with a lawyer to represent her in court.
The confrontation between Jimenez and Koenning came after a group of immigrants showed up at Republican headquarters on Richmond Avenue to deliver 2,000 letters of protest to the county GOP, which had passed a resolution calling for local police to enforce immigration laws, a position some immigrants oppose.
Jimenez and other immigrants have staged protests at GOP headquarters before. They showed up in the summer of 2000 to deliver 1,000 letters in support of amnesty for illegal immigrants. The party's executive director at the time, Marc Cowart, politely accepted the letters in front of television cameras.
But the most recent protest got off to a bad start and worsened. A reporter for the Spanish-language paper El Dia arrived at the Republican headquarters before the protesters. When the reporter said she was there to cover the event, Koenning said he didn't know of any event.
The reporter called organizers, who assured her they had sent a warning to GOP officials about their plans to protest. Koenning said he got no such message.
When the protesters arrived, Koenning accused them of deceiving the reporter.
"I said: 'Which one of you guys lied to the reporter," Koenning recalls. "Either you lied to the reporter, or the reporter is lying to me."
Heated words were exchanged, with Koenning ordering the protesters off the party's property and refusing to accept the letters.
Jimenez stepped forward and exchanged words with Koenning, but says she never touched him.
"I was strong with him because I didn't want him to continue abusing us verbally," she said.
What happened next is in dispute. Koenning said Jimenez shoved the box of letters at his chest, causing him to stumble backward. He says he then told her that was assault, to which she allegedly replied: "You're damned right."
Jimenez said she tried to hand the box of letters to Koenning, but left them on a table after he refused to accept them.
"I wasn't even close to him," she recalls. "He didn't flinch or move."
The immigrants group left the office to continue their protest in front of the building. Koenning called police, who interviewed him and then went outside to ticket Jimenez for the incident.
It's easy to see how a debate between Jimenez and Koenning would not be friendly.
Jimenez is a fierce defender of immigrants who has testified more than once before Congress and does not hide her far-left ideology. (She named her daughter "Stalina" after the late Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin). Koenning is the former head of Sen. Phil Gramm's Victoria office who always has a quick retort for critics of the GOP.
"These people are professionals," Koenning said in describing Jimenez and the others who appeared at his office last October. "They are paid protesters."
Jimenez showed up that day with representatives of the Association for Residency and Citizenship of America, a group that has fought a long-standing battle for immigrant rights. ARCA representatives from Houston were invited to the White House during the Clinton administration and praised for their work.
The clash between Jimenez and Koenning comes at a time when Republicans are aggressively courting Hispanic voters. The Harris County GOP's Web site has pictures from the Republican float at the local Cinco de Mayo parade.
"The enthusiasm at the parade is more evidence that Republican values are Hispanic values, and Hispanic values are Republican values," Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill says on the Web site.
Man, you just can't make up this stuff. This is the best the immigrants have? What fools for following her.
And to the Republic for which it stands - ONE NATION Maria!!!
They're getting more pushy and demanding every day. Why should a sovereign nation put up with foreigners trying to dictate whether our laws should be enforced? It might help if our President would actually enforce them, however.
I hope they put Ms. Jiminez in the cooler for a while.
Here's a picture of the little tyke:
Jiminez is not only a scumbag, she is a stupid scumbag. ROTFLMBO!!
When did we start this crap? My parents and I gave up our foreign citizenship, and we did it willing, we wanted to become Americans and our allegiance was to our new country. If you're not willing to give up your old citizenship you don't belong here as a citizen.
PS - Be on the lookout for where Affirmative Action Lee. P. Brown lands, it could be the city where you live! He is the most incompetent human being to ever hold the offices he has had during his career.
Why the heck does the Mexican government feel compelled to inject itself into this matter?
As always, a FReep mail will get you on or off this Houston topics ping list.
She is one ugly, angry woman.
You can bet she does not pledge allegience to the United States.
Some people claim that all immigrants from Mexico are Conservative, family oriented, only coming here to work, future Republicans. Obviously this is an example that some are out to destroy the USA and massive immigration is one of their tools.
I've never heard that ridiculous claim. Has anyone at this forum suggested that?
Yes, I've been wondering which city he would be going on to plunder and pillage next. Houston was about the third in that line.
Good question and since the woman is a left wing Stalinista freak I have no sympathies for her.
That being said, the Republican Party individual she allegedly assaulted is an extremely shady, crude, and abrasive character who ranks somewhere on the overall scale of human decency between used car salesmen and the lawyer who runs those "don't trust the company doctor" 3AM TV commercials.
Though I do not know the circumstances of this event, I will hypothesize that the case does not merit assault charges. I could easily see Jiminez entering the party office with a chip on her shoulder and being met by Koenning, with an equally large chip on his own shoulder. She likely approached him in a rude and confrontational manner, to which he likely responded in kind, thus prompting her to thrust the box of letters in his direction. Though rude, her action probably wasn't criminal assault except for in the most liberal constructions of the law (i.e. the same standards by which brushing past somebody who is blocking a doorway is "assault"). In any case it will be difficult to prove the charges, meaning the case will get thrown out on technicalities before the trial even completes thereby embarrassing the "Republican Party" for what will be percieved as the "frivolous" accusations of one of its public representatives.
She probably won't. The thing is in the Houston municipal courts. The "judges" there (especially since the Lee P. Brown administration) are practically all incompetant affirmative action cases with virtually no credentials to be in a courtroom. The law does not even require them to be attorneys, and many of them aren't. Those few who are often hail from Texas Southern University law school - aka the place where they give multiple choice exams to aspiring "lawyers" who couldn't get into a real law school.
The Oath of Allegiance
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God.
Or to cast this in a less favorable light, she named her daughter after a COMMUNIST dictator who killed more people than Adolph Hitler and who was a role model for Saddam Hussein.
"The United States does not recognize "dual citizenship" for naturalized citizens."
Sorry to have to correct you, but the US just does not place any such restriction on naturalized US citizens. For several years now, as part of my research for various articles that I have written for Action America, that sometimes relate to this issue, I have become very familiar with this subject and I can assure you that there are many naturalized citizens in the United States, who still legally hold citizenship in the country of their birth, under the laws of both countries.
There is a lot of confusion about this issue and it depends upon the laws of both of the countries involved. If such a restriction were placed on a naturalized citizen of the US, it would be because of the laws of the country of his birth (ex: Communist China, North Korea and Japan, who do not recognize dual citizenship) and not US law. If the laws of the birth country of the naturalized US citizen allow dual citizenship, then there is no requirement for the naturalized US citizen to give up his other citizenship. (Obviously, when a third or fourth country is involved, this complicates matters.)
The misleading statement in the Oath of Allegiance, only serves to muddy an already confusing matter, as it would lead an uninformed reader to believe that giving up one's previous citizenship was a requirement for naturalization. However, the law makes no such requirement and in fact, is mum on the subject.
A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another.
Furthermore, as a result of a 1998 Mexican law, their citizens do not have to give up their Mexican citizenship, if they should become US citizens. Regardless of whether you think this is right or wrong, it's a fact that we have to live with, until such time as the law is changed.
BTW, certain types of lobbying on behalf of and under the instruction of a foreign power (paid or unpaid), against the interests of the United States, has been ruled, in certain rare cases, as an act that expressed an "intention to give up U.S. citizenship." I imagine that the judge that you get and the severity of the actual actions that you took, would make a difference in that case. At any rate, such an act, if proved, is grounds for losing one's citizenship, even if you were born here. That's why Johnny Taliban's (John Walker's) taking up arms to fight against US troops can easily be said to have been an act taken with the "intention to give up U.S. citizenship". In most cases, proving intent is difficult. But, taking up arms for a foreign power, against the United States, is a pretty clear sign of intent.
But, there is no US law requiring naturalized citizens to renounce their previous citizenship(s).
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