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Winner of 2005 Wahhabist funded"Friend in Government" Award :Alexander Acosta new Interim Attorney in Southern Florida

ADC filed lawsuits against FBI and JTT- thanks Acosta for his "outstanding contribution" gets 6m from Saudi suicide bomber telethon prince
July 3, 2005

MIM: The new interim Attorney General in Southern Florida, Alexander Acosta accepted a "Friend in Government Award" from the Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee, a group which is presently suing the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, for investigating them for connections to terrorism. Even more of a 'conflict of interests' is that the "Friend in Government Award" is being funded by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Al Talal Al Saud,who recently promised 3 million dollars to the ADC for their new building. It should be noted that in 2001 NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani returned Al Saud's 10 million dollar 'donation' to the 9/11 victims after he stated that it was America's support of Israel which caused 9/11. It appears the Alexander Acosta the interim Attorney General of Southern Florida has no such scruples and sees Prince Walid and the ADC as his new found (and funding) friends. At the ADC dinner in May 2005 Prince Walid Al Talal Bin Al Saud not only promised to fund the new ADC building he stated that:

"We have to engage key elements in American society to dispel what many in the media, wittingly or unwittingly, propagate. A more meaningful and pervasive dialogue between the three faiths has to be initiated and sustained. And a certain perspective has to be added to the discussions in the corridors of power, be they at the official or public levels. The strategy followed should be measured and proportionate, and we have to complement and reinforce each other to have maximum effect. We have to be clear in our focus, and confident that our goals can be met. In this process of acculturation we have to be aware that the gains are slow and incremental and that it takes time to reach the desired end. But the task before us cannot wait, for there is too much at stake. That is why I, through Kingdom Holding Company, have already begun the process of establishing think-tanks, foundations and centers, as well as partnering with institutions of higher learning in the United States. Needless to say, we are more than prepared to work with organizations such as ADC, CAIR, Arab-American Institute, to name only a few, and to provide needed support. What we have before us will not be easy, but I am convinced that with your help, and the help of others, God willing, we will eventually succeed. Rest assured that I for one will spare neither effort nor treasure in reaching our common goals. Thank you..."

MIM: Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal's largesse was also evident in the money he raised for the family of suicide bombers and the help for terrorists which included '100 vehicles and clothing'.


MIM: This from the St. Petersburg Times:

Saudi telethon raises $92-million

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi telethon raised more than $92-million for the Palestinians by late Friday.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire investor, donated $27-million to the government-organized fundraiser. In October, he presented $10-million to a fund for Sept. 11 victims, but New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani refused the money after Alwaleed urged the United States to re-examine its Mideast policies.

In a statement Friday, Alwaleed said half his telethon pledge would help rebuild Palestinian infrastructure destroyed by Israeli forces, while the rest would be donated in the form of goods, including 100 vehicles and clothing.

The telethon, broadcast live by local and Saudi-owned satellite channels and expected to continue today, was ordered by King Fahd to help relatives of Palestinian "martyrs" -- a term that has been used by the Palestinians to include suicide bombers.

The Saudi government insisted the term referred not to suicide bombers but to "Palestinians who are victimized by Israeli terror and violence."


MIM: This from Insight magazine:

The documents released by Israel tell quite a different story from the Saudi claims of benign humanitarian assistance. Tables listing four "payment cycles" made by the Saudi Committee for Support of Intifada al-Quds (also known as the Committee for Support of the al-Aqsa Intifada) contained the names of more than 300 Palestinian victims of the 2000-2001 uprising, many of whom were involved directly in attacks against Israeli civilians.

An Israeli military-intelligence analysis of the most recent payment schedule ($545,000 paid out via the local branch office of the Arab Bank to the families of 102 Palestinians who died in 2001), spelled out in chilling detail the biographies of 36 of the Palestinian "victims." Eight of them were identified by name in the Saudi documents as suicide bombers. The other 28 were Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad military commanders and activists directly involved in planning or executing terrorist attacks.

The documents establish clearly that the Saudi money flowed from several sources, all of them closely tied to (and in some cases directly controlled by) senior members of the Saudi royal family. The main source of funding was the Saudi Committee for Support of the Intifada, a governmental agency run by Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. The Saudi Embassy in Washington boasted that the committee had raised more than $109.56 million for "Palestinian martyrs" during a three-day telethon in April. The biggest single donor was Alwaleed bin Talal, who pledged $27 million, including 100 deluxe four-wheel-drive vehicles — gifts that certainly would come in handy to impoverished families out shopping in refugee camps.

This is the same billionaire prince whose offer of $10 million to the city of New York was rejected by mayor Rudy Giuliani after the prince urged the United States to drop its support for Israel. Saudi King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah each pledged more than $1 million to the committee during the telethon, and King Fahd's wife, Princess Johara bint Ibrahim al-Ibrahim, pledged an additional $800,000.

MIM: It appears that The Kingdom Holding Company has spread it's tentacles to include Interim Attorney General Alexander Acosta who has shown his willing to be a "Friend in Government" the ADC and Prince Al Saud by "adding a certain perspective to the discussions in the corridors of power" as part of the Islamist "measured and proportionate strategy" for maximum effect. The prince concluded by stating that "the task before us is not easy...but with the help of others ' God willing, we will eventually suceed". The Prince stated that he would "spare neither effort nor treasure in reaching our common goals". The ADC Friend in Government Award is proof that the Saudi prince sees Alexander Acosta as another worthwhile investment . They could use him to help them in their recently filed lawsuit against the FBI and JTTT whom they accused of 'scrutinising them for terrorist ties'.

Washington, DC, June 16

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee thanks Assistant Attorney General R. Alexander Acosta of the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for his outstanding contribution to protecting the civil rights of all Americans. ADC wishes Acosta all the best of luck and a very bright future in his new capacity as Interim US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Acosta was nominated by President George W. Bush in June 2003 and confirmed by the US Senate in August 2003, serving as the first Hispanic Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department. During his tenure, Acosta presided over vigorous enforcement of civil rights statutes, including those statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, handicap, religion, and national origin in education, employment, credit, housing, publicaccommodations and facilities, and voting. Under his leadership, the Civil Rights Division met record levels of enforcement in a broad range of areas, including achieving a three-fold increase in the number of prosecutions of human traffickers over the previous four years, record levels of voting rightsenforcement, and the Department's most extensive election-monitoring effort ever.

ADC is sincerely grateful for Acosta's commitment and dedication. He was therecipient of ADC's 2005 'Friend in Government Award' in recognition of his unwavering efforts to combat discrimination and protect the civil rights and liberties of all Americans. He is also a 2004 recipient of the ADC Michigan's Distinguished Leadership Award,' the 2003 Hispanic Bar Association's Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award, and the Dalip Singh Saund Excellence in Public Service Award from the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)


01/06/2005 Prince Alwaleed Donates $6m to ADC on Its Anniversary

Washington, 1 Jun 2005

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced he was donating $6 million to help the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to buy its own office building, Arab News reported today.

The announcement was made at the ADC's gala dinner Sunday, which was attended by nearly 2,000 Arab-Americans from throughout the United States.

The ADC's three-day annual convention marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of ADC. Former US Sen. James Abourezk, D-South Dakota, who was honored along with Prince Alwaleed, and Queen Noor of Jordan, Congressmen John Conyers, D-Michigan, and Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia, were given Lifetime Excellence in Public Service Awards.

The event at a hotel on Capitol Hill was attended by diplomats from many of the Arab embassies in Washington, the Arab League, the United Nations and individuals from the Arab world. ADC has members in 80 chapters throughout the US.

ADC awarded Prince Alwaleed its "Global Achievement Award." During his speech, he articulated his support for eradicating poverty, and his promotion of women's rights, medical relief and education, peace in the Middle East, the need for a Palestinian state, and better Arab-American understanding.

"Although he doesn't like to talk about it, Prince Al-Walled shares a lot of his resources with the needy," said ADC President Mary Rose Oakar. "He has donated $19 million to the tsunami victims, $10 million to Palestinian causes, $5 million to the Carter Center for Peace and Health Programs in Africa, and food and housing to support about 10,000 families in various countries. And now he is helping ADC survive."

The ADC mission is to end all forms of discrimination and injustice and the group promotes itself as the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the US.

From its conception, ADC has fought to combat defamation and negative stereotyping of Arab-Americans in the media and the corporate world. As a result, it created a framework that has allowed Arab-Americans the ability to channel their advocacy efforts.

ADC legal, communications, education and government affairs departments work with the Arab-American community throughout the year, and are a valuable resource in tracking discrimination against Arab Americans in the US


Groups suing over FBI monitoring of activities

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Five civil rights, animal rights and environmental groups are joining together to sue the FBI to release records about monitoring of anti-war and other political activities by federal agents assigned to counterterrorism duties.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the decision to file a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington came after the FBI ignored Freedom of Information Act requests for the documents. The other organizations involved are the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee, Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and United for Peace and Justice.

The groups say they have been subjected to scrutiny by task forces set up to combat terrorism.

"We think that if they have some reason to hide from the public the files they have on political and religious groups, we want to know right now what it is," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director.

The FBI has denied singling out individuals or groups for surveillance or investigation based solely on activities protected by the Constitution's guarantees of free speech. Officials have said agents adhere strictly to Justice Department guidelines requiring evidence of criminal activity or indications that a person may know something about a crime.

The ACLU has been seeking FBI files on a broad range of individuals and groups that have been interviewed, investigated or subjected to searches by the task forces. The requests also sought information on how the task forces are funded, to determine if they are rewarded with government money by labeling high numbers of cases as related to terrorism.

The ACLU provided a list of examples, including the Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee that had been monitored by Denver police and was listed as an "active case" by a local terrorism task force.

The FBI did release some records sought by the ACLU. They concern two political activists in Colorado, one of them a 21-year-old intern for the Friends group.

Sarah Bardwell has no criminal record, according to a partially censored report from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Denver. The report said her Denver residence was "found to be associated" with two groups that were of interest to the FBI.

Bardwell said one of the groups, Food Not Bombs, distributes vegetarian food to the hungry. "They are stretching as far as they can to insinuate that these organizations are doing something wrong," she said.

The other person whose FBI file was released is Scott Silber, 29, a former labor organizer for the Service Employees International Union. "The FBI was engaging in a campaign to intimidate people who were working on progressive causes," he said.

The FBI, in a statement, said it sought to interview Bardwell, Silber and others in Colorado "based on a specific and credible threat" of violence at last summer's Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.


ADC Joins ACLU in Lawsuit Asking for Information Release on Possible FBI JTTF Spying on Political and Religious Groups

ADC Press Release:

May 18, 2005, Washington, DC – Today ADC is joining the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Greenpeace, and United for Peace and Justice, among other organizations in filling a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the US Department of Justice. Today's lawsuit is asking the court for injunctive relief to intervene in the expedited processing of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by ADC and the other organizations in December.

In December, 2004, citing evidence that the FBI and local police are illegally spying on political, environmental and faith-based groups, ADC joined the ACLU in filing multiple FOIA requests around the country to uncover possible FBI JTTF spying activities on political and religious groups.

The requests sought information about the FBI's use of the JTTF and local police to engage in political surveillance. As part of the request, the organizations also requested expedited processing on the ground that the records sought pertained to "[a] matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence."

ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, "As always, ADC supports all efforts to keep our country secure and support the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in their efforts to keep us all safe from real terrorists and criminals. However, the non-response we have so far had to our FOIA requests leaves a lot to be desired from our public servants. Targeting Arabs and Muslims on the basis of national origin, sending undercover agents to completely lawful and constitutionally protected anti-war meetings, and infiltrating student groups does not make us safer."

ADC and the other plaintiff organizations have pointed to many documented examples of JTTF involvement in the investigation of environmental activists, anti-war protesters, and others who are clearly neither terrorists nor involved in terrorist activities, including:

aggressively questioning Muslims and Arabs on the basis of religion or national origin rather than suspicion of wrongdoing
tracking down parents of student peace activists
downloading anti-war action alerts from Catholic Peace Ministries
infiltrating student groups
sending undercover agents to National Lawyers Guild meetings

These activities were, and are, not the only evidence that the FBI JTTF is building files on activists. It should be noted that ADC had already documented multiple incidents where JTTF members have inappropriately questioned, pursued, and, in some instances, harassed individuals for no reasons other than their political views and/or their national origin.

A classified FBI intelligence memorandum disclosed publicly last November (2004) revealed that the FBI has actually directed police to target and monitor lawful political demonstrations under the rubric of fighting terrorism.

Included in these FOIA filings are national and local advocates for well-known causes, including the environment, animal rights, labor, religion, Native American rights, fair trade, grassroots politics, peace, social justice, nuclear disarmament, human rights and civil liberties. Requests were also filed on behalf of numerous individuals, including an organizer for Service Employees International Union, a former Catholic priest, and student activists.

Because the FBI placed obstacles in complying with the requests in an expedited fashion, ADC has joined in today's lawsuit.


ADC Joins Nationwide Effort to Expose Possible Illegal FBI JTTF Spying on Political and Religious Groups

Dec. 2, 2004, Washington, DC – Citing evidence that the FBI and local police are illegally spying on political, environmental and faith-based groups, today the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in filing multiple Freedom of Information Act requests around the country to uncover who is being investigated and why.

ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, "ADC supports all efforts to keep our country safe and we want law enforcement to protect us from real terrorists and criminals. However, targeting Arabs and Muslims on the basis of national origin and religion, sending undercover agents to anti-war meetings, and infiltrating student groups is not making us any safer. The FBI should not be wasting its time and our tax dollars spying on groups that are critical of certain government actions."

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed today in 10 states and the District of Columbia seeking information about the FBI's use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) and local police to engage in political surveillance. JTTFs are legal partnerships between the FBI and local police, in which local officers are "deputized" as federal agents and work in coordination with the FBI to identify and monitor individuals and groups. The FOIAs seek two kinds of information: 1) the actual FBI files of groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith; 2) information about how the practices and funding structure of the task forces, known as JTTFs, are encouraging rampant and unwarranted spying.


Saudi Prince Calls Arab Americans Role Models for Arab World
Says Arab achievements in United States can be repeated in Arab World

H. Delano Roosevelt and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud hug during ADC's annual convention in Washington.

H. Delano Roosevelt and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud hug during ADC's annual convention in Washington. (Photo courtesy ADC)

By Ralph Dannheisser
Washington File Special Correspondent

Washington -- A member of the Saudi royal family, billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, has told Arab Americans they are role models for the Arab world.

"You have proven that Arabs can be successful, and not only that, to be ahead of other ethnic groups," the businessman-philanthropist said, ticking off statistics from the latest U.S. census that showed Arab Americans exceeding the U.S. average in such areas as percentage of college degrees and of professional and managerial positions, median family income and home ownership.

"We can look at you here in the United States and see our role model," Alwaleed declared. "If you can do it in the United States, we should be able to do it in the Arab world."

Alwaleed served as keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary gala held during the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) annual convention here May 27-29.

He called for a transfer of "power and knowledge from here to there" that would bring the Arab countries reforms in government, law, finance and education. Above all, he said, "We have to mention the notion of civil society . civil society in the Arab region is very primitive."

Alwaleed detailed some of the serious problems he sees in Arab society.

"Many of the so-called institutions of higher learning are in reality no more than adult day care centers," high unemployment rates pose a threat to stability and women are "marginalized," he said.

Despite all these problems, he said, "there is, of course, nothing in Islam or Arab culture that predisposes us to permanent failure. My purpose is to affirm that we have the capability to escape from our current malaise."

But, Alwaleed stressed, making the needed changes will require the help and support of the West, including the United States -- and especially of Arab Americans who can be instrumental in building bridges between the two societies.

"Our relations with the American people cannot be allowed to fluctuate in tandem with the rise and fall of the price of oil," he said.

Much of Alwaleed's talk focused on the same two issues that dominated the three-day convention: the U.S. public's perception of Arabs and Muslims, and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

He decried what he saw as the destructive impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the U.S. public's attitude toward Arabs, including Arab Americans.

Saudi Arabia, has been "the primary target of this onslaught," although the terrorists who came from there do not in any way represent the bulk of the Saudi people, he said. But Alwaleed said he is pleased that "a moderation of attitudes can now be discerned."

"What unites us is infinitely greater than those elements that divide us," he said.

On the Palestinian issue, however, Alwaleed complained that "the United States has not been fair and objective with the Palestinian cause."

Arabs, and more specifically Arab Americans, cannot rest until a state of Palestine has been established, the prince said. "Let us hope that a resolution to the Palestinian issue will soon be found and that a Palestinian state will emerge before long," he declared.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud speaks at ADC's annual convention. (Photo courtesy ADC)

Alwaleed received ADC's Global Achievement Award, citing him for "success in the global business community and outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work for those in need throughout the world."

The citation said that Alwaleed -- not a member of the government -- has been a strong supporter of causes including women's rights and empowerment.

ADC quickly got its own indication of his philanthropic bent, especially toward Arab causes.

Former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, ADC's Arab-American founder, had told the gathering that $700,000 had been raised toward purchasing a $3.3 million headquarters building in Washington.

Hearing this, Alwaleed threw an unexpected line into the opening part of his speech: "James, you'll get the $2.6 million next week," he said to sustained audience applause.

The ADC is a civil rights organization committed to defending the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their cultural heritage. Since its founding in 1980, it has become the nation's largest Arab-American civil rights organization.

The 2005 convention drew more than 1,000 participants from around the country.

Among those on the dais for the silver anniversary gala were the ambassadors of Kuwait, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the League of Arab States, and other high-ranking diplomats from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

Abourezk read a congratulatory letter from former President Jimmy Carter and former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu read one from former President George H.W. Bush, whom he had served as White House chief of staff.

Also participating was H. Delano Roosevelt, grandson of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was a 1945 meeting aboard the USS Quincy between the president and King Abdul Aziz, Alwaleed's grandfather and founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that launched the close relationship between the two nations.

H. Delano Roosevelt pledged to work with Alwaleed toward "a greater understanding between grassroots Americans" and Saudis.

Adapting his grandfather's famous words to the post-September 11 situation of fear and mistrust, Roosevelt said, "If there was ever a time where we needed to reinvigorate the concept of 'freedom from fear,' now is the time."

The issue of Palestine surfaced frequently during the conference, once in a talk by former Senator George McGovern, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972.

McGovern deemed United Nations Resolution 242 to offer "still the most logical and fair-minded solution of the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict."

The U.N. resolution, adopted by the Security Council in November 1967, calls on all parties to work toward "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East." It contemplates withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied earlier that year, coupled with the Arab parties' recognition of Israel's "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."


Interim federal prosecutor chosen

A Cuban American with roots in Miami has been tapped as South Florida's top law enforcement officer, taking temporary command of one of the country's busiest regions.


[email protected]

Alexander Acosta, a native of Miami who heads the Department of Justice's civil rights division in Washington, will become interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida after Marcos Jiménez formally resigns on Friday, according to three sources familiar with the appointment.

Acosta's appointment, which has not been formally announced by the Justice Department, surprised some former and current federal prosecutors in Miami because it was believed that Jiménez's first assistant, Tom Mulvihill, would get the nod to temporarily head one of the country's busiest federal jurisdictions.

Jimenez himself even lobbied Justice Department officials to appoint Mulvihill, 53, a federal prosecutor who has spent nearly two decades in the Miami office.

Acosta is only 36 years old, though he boasts an impressive resume. The Cuban American graduated from Gulliver Preparatory School, obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and went on to become the first Hispanic to lead the Department of Justice's civil rights office.

As the interim U.S. attorney in Miami, Acosta could stay on the job for at least six months to a year because it could take that long before President Bush nominates a permanent U.S. attorney. He is scheduled to start work Monday.


Acosta, according to sources, is expected to be a candidate for the permanent job along with others with strong Republican and legal backgrounds.

Neither the Justice Department nor the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami would comment on Wednesday.

The Southern District, which stretches from Fort Pierce to Key West, is known mainly for its high-profile narcotics cases. But the district -- like the 92 other U.S. attorney's offices around the country -- was transformed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Jiménez, 45, took office the following August. He expanded his office's anti-terrorism division and worked especially closely with the FBI in trying to prevent another terrorist assault on U.S. soil.

Acosta brings a different kind of background to the post.

A Herald profile of Acosta, published last summer, described him as conservative, smart and young. Chief of the Justice Department's civil rights division since August 2003, he quickly became the point man in the government's drive to halt trafficking of an estimated 15,000 people a year into the United States for slavery.

Last year, he helped launch anti-trafficking campaigns in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Atlanta and now Tampa. He made more news when he reopened the investigation into the death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth whose abduction and killing in Mississippi in 1955 helped spark the civil rights movement.

Federal investigators exhumed Till's remains last week from a suburban Chicago cemetery, saying DNA or other evidence might help determine who killed him and whether anyone still alive should be prosecuted.

There is a unifying factor in most civil rights work, Acosta told a Herald reporter last year. He talked at length about the subject of fear. The fear of blacks in the South during the 1950s and '60s. The fear of trafficked slaves. The fear of newly arrived immigrants.

Acosta even recalled his own story about fear. While at Harvard Law School, he got a call from home. His grandmother, in her 80s, worried that a proposed law would cut her Social Security benefits. The bill applied only to illegal immigrants -- and his grandmother had her green card. But she remained fearful of the government. So he helped her study for the citizenship test, the only way to make her feel secure.


Before heading the Justice Department's civil rights division, Acosta had limited litigation experience. He had tried only two cases because he worked mostly on appeals. And in his earlier role as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department, under the leadership of Ralph F. Boyd Jr., he left some minority groups wondering whether he would be an advocate or an adversary.

But his confirmation hearing drew support from The National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights organization, the National Asian Pacific Legal Consortium and the Arab American Institute. Acosta is the only child of Rene and Delia Acosta, whose families came to Miami from Havana when they were teenagers. The family always focused on his education. He learned Spanish from his maternal grandmother, who cared for him during the day while his parents worked.

"I had the kind of family where I was told it was my job to study," he said last year. "They would work out the finances."

His parents still live in the Old Cutler area. His mother is a senior paralegal at a Coral Gables law firm; his father works in a Kendall cellphone store. They happily sacrificed to send him to Gulliver Preparatory School and Harvard. "He was not a child that you had to push. He always wanted to push himself," Delia Acosta told the Herald last year. Her son liked science, she said, and the family thought he would become a doctor, as his grandfather had been in Cuba.

"Going into the law didn't surprise me because he always wanted to make a difference," she said. "He feels he can do that in this job."

Herald staff writer Amy Driscoll contributed to this report.

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