department of homeland security

Department of Homeland Security: Page 3


See the summary for this topic on the main Department of Homeland Security page.

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

DHS also restricting 287g enforcement in Prince William County, northern Virginia - 10/12/09

From this:

Prince William supervisors Tuesday are expected to put in place a new directive from Homeland Security that will standardize how 287(g) immigration policies are implemented around the nation... ...The new agreement states that "ICE must give approval for an immigration arrest where no state or local charges are made [and] ICE must give prior approval of planned operations where immigration enforcement is the sole function." One more revision "provides levels and types of criminal offenses that ICE directs to be a focus, rather [than] pursuing immigration enforcement based on specific charges," according to the background documents.

Senators complain about DHS plan to reduce Border Patrol agents on southern border - 10/10/09

A group of senators - mostly of the "secure the border first, then amnesty" variety - have sent a letter to Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security complaining about her plan to reduce the number of

Obama pick to head ICE investigations himself investigated for possible embezzlement - 10/08/09

Debbie Schlussel has an exclusive here:

Robert Schoch, the Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Los Angeles, is under investigation for alleged embezzlement and/or misuse of ICE funds used in undercover operations. Mr. Schoch and the Los Angeles Deputy Special Agent in charge, Jennifer Silliman, were escorted from the ICE federal offices in Long Beach, California, and had their badges and guns taken from them (standard procedure when an agent is under investigation and put on leave). They were both put on administrative leave pending a continuing investigation. A search warrant was reportedly executed on Agent Schoch’s home, and sources say his computers from both his LAX and Long Beach offices were seized... Normally, this would be inside baseball stuff. But Schoch was slated by Obama Administration officials running ICE to be Director of Investigations of ICE, meaning that he would be running and overseeing all ICE investigations worldwide. His appointment to that position was imminent, even as he was reportedly being investigated by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility and, reportedly, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing at ICE. . . and doesn’t care.

DHS scraps "no match" program, e-Verify still operational - 10/08/09

From this:

The Obama administration has repealed a rule that would have threatened employers with prosecution unless they fired workers whose Social Security numbers did not match entries in a government database, ending a two-year battle in a San Francisco federal court.

Although the Department of Homeland Security formally withdrew the "no-match" rule Wednesday, the administration is supporting another program (EVerify) enabling employers to check workers' names against electronic records that are supposed to screen out illegal immigrants.

See the no match summary for the backstory; groups collaborating on the lawsuit included the American Civil Liberties Union and the US Chamber of Commerce.

DHS revising rules on immigration detention; some actions might be OK, but motives questionable - 10/06/09

From this:

Homeland Security Department officials said on Tuesday they would enact far-reaching reforms for how Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains immigrants. The new system will prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and those slated for deportation from the country and seek alternatives to incarceration for others when appropriate, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The reforms were announced in response to the recently-completed review of the detention system by Dora Schriro, the former director of ICE's Office of Detention Policy and Planning. Schriro left the bureau in September to become the New York City commissioner of corrections.

In addition, ICE will review and centralize management of the more than 300 contracts it has negotiated with other public and private facilities to house detainees, said John Morton, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

...This fall, ICE will submit to Congress a nationwide implementation plan for creating alternatives to detention where appropriate, such as using monitoring devices on aliens who don't pose a threat to others.

...Napolitano and Morton said they were immediately pursuing plans to develop and implement a risk assessment and custody classification system that would help officials determine the appropriate facilities for detainees, with the idea that converted hotels and other residential facilities may be used to house noncriminal, nonviolent detainees.

To a certain extent, reforms like these might be a good thing, and not just because they'd give the American Civil Liberties Union and other illegal immigration-supporting groups one less place to try to hang their hats. However, considering that the Obama administration has as much use for our immigration laws as the Bush administration did, the specifics of each change will have to be closely monitored to make sure they aren't simply trying to enable illegal immigration.

UPDATE: The DHS press release is at dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1254839781410.shtm

DHS sued to release 287g reform documents (Judicial Watch, FOIA) - 09/28/09

From their press release (link), Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, seeking that they release documents about their proposed "reforms" to the 287g program. JudicialWatch filed a FOIA request in July; the DHS responded by asking for more time but apparently never followed through. Here's what JW wants:

-- The new standardized Memorandum of Agreement used to enter into 287(g) partnerships, as announced by Secretary Napolitano on July 10, 2009, as well as any documents containing information on the development of the agreement;

-- All new 287(g) agreements entered into with law enforcement agencies;

-- All documents concerning the decision to standardize the Memorandum of
Agreement and/or create new 287(g) agreements;

-- Media and congressional notification plans concerning 287(g);

-- And all email correspondence concerning the new 287(g) agreement between Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Border Security "Czar" Alan Bersin, and White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz, among other government officials.

All of those could be quite interesting.

Sources for DHS rightwing extremism report: ADL, SPLC, NYT, LAT, Dave Weigel... - 08/12/09

* A large number of links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including [1]. That SPLC link is misleading for the reasons outlined here and here. That misleading claim made it into DHS's report.

DHS blamed release of illegal aliens on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and then tried to shut him up about it - 08/06/09

From this:

The spat between controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) surfaced on July 23 and 24 when the sheriff's deputies were ordered by ICE officials to release illegal immigrants who had been caught in a broader criminal sweep. Sheriff Arpaio complained to the media; a federal spokesman claimed the release was the sheriff's fault; and the sheriff then released audiotapes proving that ICE officials, not he, had ordered the release.

Caught looking foolish, ICE officials threatened to withdraw the sheriff's authority to enforce any immigration laws because the sheriff had violated a ban on contacting the media without first obtaining approval from the Department of Homeland Security, which is ICE's parent agency...

DHS wants your input on immigration policy, terrorism, FEMA - 08/03/09

The Obama administration has a habit of running popular voting systems - flawed systems that allows weak questions and proposals to rise to the top - and they're back with another one. This time it's concerning immigration policy and the other issues in the DHS's purview. They want your input at homelandsecuritydialogue.org

ACLU tries to block 287g program, files FOIA request - 07/15/09

From the ACLU press release at commondreams.org/newswire/2009/07/15-4

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday for new documents governing the continued delegation to state and local law enforcement agencies of federal immigration enforcement authority. The fundamentally flawed program has been associated with serious civil rights abuses and public safety concerns...

[references the DHS changing their rules]

"No amount of tinkering with the 287(g) program is likely to solve the fact that it threatens public safety and undermines the basic guarantee of equal treatment by increasing profiling of people who look or sound ‘foreign,'" said Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "Still, DHS's refusal to disclose these new documents is a disappointing and legally unsupportable step back from with Bush administration practice and makes it impossible to fully evaluate the changes to this highly controversial program. DHS should immediately release the documents we have requested."

The ACLU has long sought to end the 287(g) agreements between DHS and state or local agencies that are, by design, fundamentally flawed. The 287(g) agreements have encouraged illegal racial profiling and civil rights abuses as well as the mistaken and unlawful detention and deportation of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as reflected in a series of lawsuits, all while diverting scarce resources from traditional local law enforcement functions...

Like the ACLU cares about any form of law enforcement. Their goal with this and the other steps they take is to make illegal immigration easier; they even collaborated with the Mexican government to further that goal. And, this is a preview of how they'd act if the comprehensive immigration reform they support passes. CIR is sold in part by many as having tough enforcement; if it passes, the ACLU would begin to weaken that enforcement through actions like the above. Note also that the press release quotes Joanne Lin giving a flawed analogy.

Janet Napolitano of DHS undermines 287g program (Joe Arpaio, Phil Gordon) - 07/13/09

On Friday, Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security announced new rules for their 287g program that allows local police to help in the enforcement of immigration laws.

Obama admin sends audit letters to possible illegal alien employers; Bush-style prelude to "reform" - 07/02/09

Remember how George W Bush "got tough" on illegal immigration in an attempt to push through comprehensive immigration reform? Welcome to the Obama administration's version (link, from Jeanne Meserve of CNN):

In a signal that the Obama administration is changing tactics in dealing with illegal immigration, hundreds of businesses were notified Wednesday that federal authorities will be taking a closer look at their employment records to determine if they are hiring illegal aliens.

Kelly Nantel, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said businesses in every state and industry are being audited, "from agriculture-related businesses, to service businesses, to high-tech industry and everything in between." The companies were selected based on leads from ICE offices around the country.

On Wednesday, 652 audit notices were issued. By comparison, only 503 such notices were issued in all of fiscal year 2008, according to an agency statement.

The goal for this is obvious and, while it's certainly welcome, no one should be fooled into complacency. Even CNN references the Bush administration in their article, although they don't mention why he did something similar. Meserve did ask about the status of immigration raids, with Nantel saying they hadn't been put on hold but unable to provide any current statistics.

DHS Southwest Border Task Force includes NCLR chairwoman, recipient of award from Mexican government, more - 06/08/09

The Reform Immigration for America group recently suggested that one part of "reform" should include the formation of an advisory council to make recommendations on dealing with border issues. The Department of Homeland Security's new "Southwest Border Task Force" (dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1244145382319.shtm) shows how that would work.

DHS to check for criminal aliens at all local jails by 2012; possible 10x increase in such deportations; prelude to amnesty? - 05/19/09

Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post offers "U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails/Obama Administration's Enforcement Push Could Lead to Sharp Increase in Deportation Cases" (link). The Department of Homeland Security's ICE currently checks state and federal inmates to determine whether they're illegal aliens (or perhaps legal immigrants) who are deportable. The Obama administration intends to extend that to all local jails by 2012:

Based on the pilot program, the agency estimates that if fingerprints from all 14 million bookings in local jails each year were screened, about 1.4 million "criminal aliens" would be found, Venturella said. That would be about 10 times the 117,000 criminal illegal immigrants ICE deported last year. There are more than 3,100 local jails nationwide, compared with about 1,200 federal and state prisons... [David J. Venturella, program director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] said ICE will give priority to deporting the most dangerous offenders: national security risks or those convicted of violent crimes. Based on initial projections, the agency estimates that 100,000 of these are "Level 1 offenders" and that deporting them would cost $1.1 billion over four years. Removing all criminal illegal immigrants would cost $3 billion, ICE estimated last year.

There are other caveats about the program itself. And, the program may be an attempt to show that the Obama administration is willing to do something about illegal immigration in order to make getting comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) easier. "Deport the criminals first" sounds good, until you're forced to ask what comes afterwards. While this latest move is definitely very good news in and of itself, comprehensive "reform" requires a comprehensive opposition that takes into account the overall strategy of the "reformers". Those who don't have an overall opposition plan may find themselves useful idiots for those who do.

For instance, consider this:

"We mean this, we're serious about it, and we believe we need to put in an all-out effort to get this done," said Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee for homeland security. He has led calls to remove illegal immigrants convicted of crimes after their sentences are served.

Now see Rep. David Price: deport criminals, but leave the illegal workers alone (cut enforcement funds to support illegal immigration)

100,000 in U.S. have swine flu; youth hospitalization rate "very unusual". Would border security have reduced spread? - 05/19/09

On a conference call yesterday, the Centers of Disease Control said that around 100,000 people in the U.S. are infected with the swine flu (link). While it's currently a mild disease, it's affecting more young people than usual, with Dr. Anne Schuchat saying:

"That's very unusual, to have so many people under 20 to require hospitalization, and some of them in (intensive care units)... We are now experiencing levels of influenza-like illness that are higher than usual for this time of year... We are also seeing outbreaks in schools, which is extremely unusual for this time of year."

We'll never know whether its spread could have been halted or reduced if common sense precautions had been taken. For instance, a school in New York City that was the site of an initial outbreak later held a public event of some kind. And, aside from Joe Biden, government officials have worked to downplay the possibility of a major outbreak, with Matron Barack Obama simply telling people to wash their hands and with Janet Napolitano and the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security nearly failing to do their job and protect our borders.

Obama admin deports two illegal aliens, but only because they tried to tour the White House - 05/14/09

According to the Associated Press (link):

Two people facing deportation from the United States have been taken into custody at the White House gate. They had arrived for a tour of the executive mansion... The pair was part of an adult education program, and a routine background check showed they had an outstanding immigration order against them.

DHS budget: no additional miles for border fence; concentrating on "virtual fence" (+287g?) - 05/08/09

Peggy Sherry, Acting Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, recently conducted a conference call about Barack Obama's budget for the DHS and a transcript is

House Republicans demand that Janet Napolitano explains rightwing extremist report - 05/07/09

From this:

(Rep. Peter King) and several members of the House Republican leadership filed a resolution of inquiry on Wednesday that would give (Janet Napolitano) 14 days to provide Congress with materials detailing how the Department of Homeland Security arrived at the conclusions contained in the [rightwing extremist report].

Whether the resolution will do anything and will produce, for instance, details on the extent to which materials from far-left groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti Defamation League were used as sources isn't clear.

The resolution follows a letter:

In the April 25 letter to (Bennie Thompson), Napolitano explained that the message in the report - "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" - could have "been made more directly and succinctly" and admitted that "there was a breakdown in the clearance process before its distribution."

Obama immigration budget: does a McCain: border security, then amnesty; fulfills promise to Mexican government; worried about *southbound* flows - 05/06/09

Remember how when John McCain used the cheap, misleading tactic of talking about how he wanted to "secure the border first" and then use that to push for amnesty, and Obama supporters lied and said he didn't support comprehensive immigration reform anymore? Well, now Barack Obama wants to secure the border first and then use that to push for amnesty. Somehow it's different this time.

From "Obama budget puts security first at the border/He'll ask Congress to help curb the flow of arms to Mexico before seeking any immigration reform" (by Anna Gorman and Peter Nicholas of the Los Angeles Times; link):

President Obama will ask Congress for $27 billion for border and transportation security in the next budget year, fulfilling a promise to the Mexican government to battle the southbound flow of illegal weapons and setting the stage for immigration reform by first addressing enforcement, administration officials said Tuesday.

While some of what he proposes might do something about the northbound flow, and there's no statement from Obama being as upfront as the LAT is, that's a good reminder of who and what are really important to the elites.

Rather than emphasizing fence construction, the budget concentrates on fighting drug smuggling, increasing funding for the Transportation Security Administration as well as:

...[doubling DHS] funding to nearly $47 million to combat southbound firearms and currency smuggling, and adds more than 100 Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers... Among the immigration enforcement priorities, the budget increases funding by 30% to nearly $200 million to enable the Department of Homeland Security to hire 80 new people to identify criminal immigrants in the jails and prisons for deportation... Obama also wants to spend $112 million, a 12% increase, to make E-Verify, an employment verification program, more reliable and to get more employers to use it.

The rest of the article consists of Gorman and Nicholas blueskying for the administration:

In devoting more money to security and enforcement, Obama may be creating some political space needed to revamp the immigration system. The president risks alienating many conservatives if he doesn't emphasize strong border and immigration enforcement before taking action on a reform package that would create a path to legalization for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants... "If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders," Obama said during a prime-time news conference last week, "then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, 'Well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.' " ...The emphasis on border security isn't a surprising first step by the administration, said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank. ..."It's a no-brainer that he is going to want to spend a lot of resources and build muscle at the border," she said... [But, the] second chapter better be looking to Congress and being in the driver's seat, both publicly and behind closed doors, driving a legislative package successfully."

DHS "Domestic Extremism Lexicon" includes wider range of groups - 05/01/09

Just before the more famous "rightwing extremism" report, the Department of Homeland Security also released a "Domestic Extremism Lexicon" that defines a wide range of left, right, and elsewhere groups. You can download a copy from here, and the DHS says it was pulled for an unnamed reason shortly after it was released.

Among those groups and movements defined are "anti-immigration extremism":

A movement of groups or individuals who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, particularly along the U.S. southwest border with Mexico, and who have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals. They are highly critical of the U.S. Government’s response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend "rights" to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver’s licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education.

The "and" bolded above might at first indicate that they were restricting this to only those advocating or engaging in violence. Except, the "been known to advocate" part could open it to those who are falsely accused of inciting hate crimes, such as Barack Obama did of Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh. The Obama-linked ThinkProgress refers to Rush and other mainstream rightwing talkers as "hate radio", so it's not out of the realm of possibility that the more corrupted members of the DHS might include those who are not in fact extremists in that group. The reason why they put "rights" in scare quotes is not clear; the Supreme Court has determined that K-12 education for illegal aliens is a right, but the others are not.

They also define the "alternative media" as:

A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.

Which describes this site and others who tell the truth.

The far-left influence is shown in their definition of "hate groups":

A term most often used to describe white supremacist groups. It is occasionally used to describe other racist extremist groups.

It's a good thing they added that on at the end.

They give a hat tip to reconquista extremists in "Mexican separatism":

A movement of groups or individuals of Mexican descent who advocate the secession of southwestern U.S. states (all or part of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas) to join with Mexico through armed struggle. Members do not recognize the legitimacy of these U.S. states, including the U.S. Government’s original acquisition of these territories.

They don't mention that Obama fed such sentiments by advocating the reconquista viewpoint.

And, they define "Puerto Rican independence extremists" as:

Groups or individuals who engage in criminal activity and advocate the use of violence to achieve Puerto Rican independence from the United States.

I haven't been able to verify it, but see the comment here about Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez being U.S. leaders of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. They later lobbied Bill Clinton to pardon Puerto Rico terrorists (long article here). Gutierrez also "sent" a staffer to Rod Blagojevich who'd been imprisoned in regards to a terrorist act.

New DHS immigration raid guidelines: focus on employers, not employees - 04/30/09

Ginger Thompson of the New York Times offers "Immigration Agents to Turn Focus to Employers" (link):

In an effort to crack down on illegal labor, the Department of Homeland Security intends to step up enforcement efforts against employers who knowingly hire such workers.

Under guidelines to be issued Thursday to Immigration and Customs Enforcement field offices, agents will be instructed to take aim at employers and supervisors for prosecution “through the use of carefully planned criminal investigations.”

...[Employers won't like it, but] advocates who have long considered raids at work sites to be symbols of a crackdown that, they say, violates workers’ rights and divides immigrant families while ignoring employer abuses. Raising the bar on what is required to undertake such raids could result in fewer of them...

Among the most significant of the new guidelines is one in which agents are instructed to “obtain indictments, criminal arrest or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute the targeted employer, before arresting employees for civil immigration violations at a work site.”

The guidelines call on agents to seek civil penalties, including fines and disbarment from federal contracts, in cases where they do not have enough evidence to press criminal charges. And they require that at least 14 days before conducting a raid, the relevant field office notify ICE headquarters with information including a proposed strategy for prosecuting the employer...

More hand-tying regulations at the link. On the one hand, this will result in fewer raids and will send a strong message to potential illegal aliens that they don't have much to worry about from ICE; if they're caught they might even get work permits and be released as Napolitano did in a previous case. On the other hand, a few high-profile prosecutions might spur other employers to abide by our laws. It would also cause them to fight even harder to change our laws to suit them. Yet, those who support amnesty have thankfully already divided themselves for us. And, it could take months or years to build and prosecute these cases against employers.

Napolitano: swine flu can be spread by infected visitors, but closing the border won't contain the virus; says actively questioning visitors - 04/29/09

The prepared remarks of Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are here. Among many other things, she says:

...As infected travelers can lead to the spread of this virus, DHS is taking a number of precautions in light of the scope and nature of the threat... The actions we are taking regarding international travelers match the precautions advised by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) based on the current, evolving epidemiology of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. According to both the CDC and WHO, closing the border would yield only very marginal benefits; at the same time, closing the border has very high costs. The strain of the this virus that was first detected in Mexico is already present throughout the United States, and there is no realistic opportunity to contain the virus through border closures, so our focus must now be on mitigating the virus. The actions we are currently taking, as well as the travel advisories issued by the CDC and the State Department against non-essential travel to Mexico, should help to mitigate the number of people infected with 2009 H1N1 flu crossing the border.

Those would seem to be in conflict. During the questioning (link):

Napolitano said that "passive surveillance" is "not an accurate picture of what is going on" at U.S. entry points. She had used that term Tuesday morning to describe the nature of the monitoring for illness.

On Wednesday, Napolitano said that U.S. officials are "actively" questioning visitors at the border, asking questions about "whether they are ill, their travel history and the like."

That contradicts eyewitness accounts here and here.

Napolitano, Vilsack: call it the "H1N1 virus", not "swine flu". More concerned about pork industry than public safety - 04/28/09

Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security and Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture want us to call swine flu the "H1N1 virus" instead (link). They have somewhat of a point: if you really can't get it from eating pork then perhaps we should grit our teeth and not wish for the demise of the pork industry. The problem is that while they're rushing to the aid of pork producers, they're keeping the borders as open as ever.

Per Vilsack:

"This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that's not what this is about."

Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting director Richard Besser:

"That's not helpful to pork producers. That's not helpful to people who eat pork. It's not helpful to people who are wondering, how can they get this infection,"

Israel wants to call it the "Mexico flu". Another group wants to call it the "North American flu". We'll call it the swine flu.

Janet Napolitano refuses to close or even tightly secure the border despite health risks (+Eric Massa) - 04/27/09

Rep. Eric Massa - Democrat of New York state - is calling for the Mexican border to be closed. Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security is refusing to close the border and does not appear to fully appreciate the risks of a loose border during a pandemic. At a press conference today, she said:

"We're already doing passive surveillance at the border... You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States." ...Noting that those infected with swine flu may not show symptoms for a few days, Napolitano said border closure is "a very difficult judgment to make." ..."We are simply in preparation mode... We do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States." ..."We believe at this level the appropriate precautions have been taken."

The disease is certainly already here, but if those who are ill now could be contained it might not spread as far and as rapidly. By allowing people to come here who might already be ill - or who might have the disease but not have symptoms - she's going to make the situation even worse. That's as irresponsible as those Mexicans entering the U.S. who refuse to wear masks. She has a 9/10 mindset motivated by some combination of corruption, political correctness, and personal knowledge that she'll be OK. Government workers on the border are already receiving anti-viral medications, and no doubt she is as well.

UPDATE: The New York Times offers "With Swine Flu Cases Rising, Borders Are Tightened" (link). The "borders" part refers to other countries; ours remain wide open even if we might be discouraging travel to Mexico. The World Health Organization doesn't want borders to be closed or a ban on travel but other countries are moving in that direction. Note that the WHO's director general is from the PRC (who.int/dg/chan/en/index.html).

And, the outbreak might have started in the area of a Smithfield pig farm in Mexico; link. Hundreds in one village got sick (or thought they were sick) and one of the original sufferers tested positive for swine flu.

Napolitano on DHS partnering with ADL; admits shift in enforcement focus; trying to repeal REAL ID; "reform" is a "mission" - 04/23/09

Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano gave a talk to the Anti Defamation League yesterday, and her remarks are at dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1240412499724.shtm

1. The ADL has been "training" DHS personnel about "hate" groups and others, which is more than a bit worrisome because the ADL's definition of "hate" isn't trustworthy. Nevertheless, Napolitano said this:

...the ADL and DHS have had some good partnerships. In recent years, the Department has placed our employees in your advanced training school to educate us on the tactics used by extremists and terrorists; the strategies that may be used by law enforcement to deter, prevent and respond to incidents and threats; and to make us aware and sensitive to and cognizant of the civil rights and liberties that must be protected even while you are enforcing the law and conducting these very difficult investigations... We also, of course, have our own civil rights/civil liberties area, section, within the department. And we have undertaken action, sometimes with ADL or other similar groups to provide outreach to communities of particular sensitivity and do some pretty unusual - some functions that you wouldn't normally place within DHS.

Janet Napolitano thinks 9/11 terrorists came over Canadian border - 04/21/09

Via this comes this CBC interview with Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security:
Napolitano: ...Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.

(Neil Macdonald of the CBC): Are you talking about the 9/11 perpetrators?

[Napolitano]: Not just those but others as well. So again, every country is entitled to have a border. It's part of sovereignty. It's part of knowing who's in the country.
The "millennium bomber" who tried to blow up LAX did come over the Canadian border. However, the 9/11 terrorists did not; they came here on visas as described at the first link. See "Visas for Terror".

It's also worth noting that those linked to terrorist groups have come over the Mexican border. See this, this, Chapter 3 of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report, this, and the Diversity Visa Lottery. I might have read more government reports on this than Napolitano, and that's not a good sign.

UPDATE: It was all just a crazy dream: link. The Canadian ambassador spoke out against her remarks, then Napolitano issued a statement saying she knew the 9/11 hijackers didn't come over the Canadian border, then Canada says apology accepted but they still want a meeting. Then, she said:
"The fact of the matter is that Canada allows people into its country that we do not allow into ours," she told a Canadian participant who asked her to explain why the Canada and Mexico borders should be treated equally. "That's why you have to have a border and you have to have border policies that make sense."

Janet Napolitano falsely says "crossing the border is not a crime" (+border fence, Arpaio) - 04/20/09

Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" with John King and said the following (transcript here):

And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.

The U.S. Code says she's wrong (link, excerpt at [1]): sneaking across the border can result in up to six months in jail for the first offense and up to two years for subsequent offenses. It most definitely is a crime; see also this, [2], and [3].

In addition to not calling her on that, King asked about the recent report discussing rightwing extremism but without pushing her on how vague it was or how closely it tracks reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Regarding the border fence:

And so we will complete the amount of fencing that the Congress has appropriated money for. We're only a few miles short right now. And all of the contracts have been let, the construction basically either has been begun or is just about to begin. It's just a couple of miles left.

Those following that saga will probably correctly point out how she's not telling the truth about that.

She also said the Obama administration is "actively considering" sending the National Guard to the border, and took a swipe at sheriff Joe Arpaio over his suggestion that the federal government enforces our immigration laws across the board.

DHS released rightwing extremists report despite objections by their civil rights officials (+Napolitano, Hoekstra, Harman, Boehner) - 04/17/09

From this:

Civil liberties officials at the Homeland Security Department did not agree with some of the language in a controversial report on right-wing extremists, but the agency issued the report anyway.

...Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the report was issued before officials resolved problems raised by the agency's civil rights division. Kudwa would not specify what language raised the concerns.

SPLC: DHS rightwing extremist report mentions them and "tracks" theirs "fairly closely" (Harry Smith; +two errors) - 04/16/09

As you haven't heard from almost anyone else, the recent Department of Homeland Security report warning about rightwing extremists mentions - without naming it - a misleading report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I say "almost" because of this:

Mark Potok, director of the [SPLC's] intelligence project, said... he was generally pleased with the report... "Basically, the report tracks fairly closely with what we have been saying for some time now. They mention us a couple of times, though not by name," he said.

Anyone who wants to do something effective about the report should stress that the DHS is relying on a misleading SPLC report; so far I have yet to see anyone else do that (not much of a surprise).

And, it's not just Potok who's happy with the report, but his boss Morris Dees. Speaking on yesterday's CBS News Early Show, Dees told a fawning Harry Smith that "I think they sync up pretty much", referring to an SPLC report claiming an increase in hate groups. Needless to say, Smith didn't point out that the SPLC has a fundraising interest in "hate", a word that they very broadly define. A transcript is at [1], and the SPLC crows about the similarities between the DHS report and their reports at [2].

The key to this is the DHS' reliance on the SPLC; the problem is getting others to concentrate on that.

(On a related note, one of the anecdotes in the DHS report appears to be completely bogus, and another appears to be highly questionable [3]).

[1] newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/04/15/
cbs-fears-right-wing-extremism-may-increase-after-obama-election
[2] splcenter.org/news/item.jsp?aid=373
[3] justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2009/04/the-race-to-dumb-special-dhs-edition.html

Bennie Thompson "dumbfounded" by DHS rightwing extremist report - 04/16/09

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson - chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee - has written a letter to Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security complaining about their recently-released report warning about rightwing "extremists". Per this, in the letter he says that he's "dumbfounded" by the report, also saying:

"This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans -- including war veterans... As I am certain you agree, freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans -- whether a person's beliefs, whatever their political orientation, are 'extremist' or not..."

As pointed out at the end of 2006, Thompson was agitating against the border fence and got an F- for his immigration votes. At the same time, he spoke out against the jobs americans wont do canard.

UPDATE: Greg Sargent draws our attention [1] to the fact that back in 2005, Thompson released his own call "for the Department of Homeland Security to do More to Fight Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists" [2]. For an unknown reason, the PDF link at that page no longer works. However, a copy is linked from this page.

What Sargent doesn't tell his readers is that that report is different from the latter in that it's much more specific about what exactly a domestic terrorist is, relying on the FBI's definition and focusing on actual violent acts rather than verging on trying to criminalize protected speech.

However, it does contain this worrisome quote:

There are several organizations, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the National Abortion Federation, and others with long-standing experience in monitoring rightwing domestic terrorist groups and assessing their danger. Congress or DHS should establish an advisory council of these groups in order to ensure that the Department has as much information as possible about the risks right-wing domestic terrorists pose.

[1] theplumline.whorunsgov.com/terrorism/
democrat-who-blasted-right-wing-extremism-report-called-for-crackdown-on-right-wing-extremism

[2] homeland.house.gov/press/
index.asp?ID=119&SubSection=0&Issue=0&DocumentType=0&PublishDate=0

Illegal aliens from ICE raid given work permits so they can sue ICE agents? (+more) - 04/13/09

Debbie Schlussel has a scoop here.

According to her sources, the reason why illegal aliens were given work authorization and then released after being caught in a raid in Bellingham, WA is so that those aliens can now... sue the ICE agents who arrested them.

Suzanne Gamboa /AP big scoop: 55 U.S. citizens deported in past eight years - 04/13/09

Suzanne Gamboa of the Associated Press - with help from Traci Carl and Peter Prengaman - offers her version of investigative journalism in "AP IMPACT: Citizens held as illegal immigrants" (

U.S., Mexico form "working group" on immigration (safe, legal, etc.) - 04/06/09

From this:

Mexico and the United States have formed a high-level, joint working group to make immigration safer and more orderly, Mexican officials announced Friday.

The working group will focus on making documented migration easier, protecting migrants' rights and improving procedures for repatriating migrants, the Mexican Foreign Relations Department said in a statement.

It also will focus on steps to inform the public about the dangers of trying to cross the border without documents.

The group was formed through the efforts of Janet Napolitano.

Immigration enforcement, Janet Napolitano style: illegal aliens given work permits, released - 03/31/09

Welcome to the tough new immigration enforcement regime of Janet Napolitano (link):

Many if not all workers detained in the Feb. 24 immigration raid at Yamato Engine Specialists have been released from the federal detention center in Tacoma.

The unexpected move appears to be related to an ongoing federal investigation of Yamato.

"I can confirm that many of the individuals ... have indeed been released pending the further investigation of Yamato Engine," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lorie Dankers.

Besides their freedom, the workers also have permission to look for work.

The company claims they did nothing wrong, but I'd imagine they aren't too pleased with the fact that the DHS might in fact be going after the employers now. At the same time, actions like this send a very clear message to potential illegal aliens: the DHS is not going to go after you if you can make it across the border. In fact, they might even give you a choice between a flight home and a work permit.

Many of them might even catch on to the new version of the DHS' politicized mission. Before it was to allow corrupt businesses to have a low-wage workforce. The new DHS mission is to allow as many potential Democrats to stay here as possible in order to give power to corrupt politicians.

UPDATE: Per this, Rep. David Price says:

As part of its investigation, ICE has employed a long-standing law enforcement tactic by granting 'temporary immigration status' to certain individuals, which does not permanently change the status of these immigrants; it is a tactic utilized in many past investigations and does not represent any change in work-site enforcement policy.

Rep. Hal Rogers disagrees, also saying:

This doesn't make it any less alarming, and needless to say, I have several concerns with this approach. This policy affects every law-abiding citizen in America and is an apparent slap in the face for those who are struggling every day in this economic downturn... And, in the midst of a turbulent economic downturn, perhaps now is the absolute worst time to relax any effort that protect American workers from fraud -- be it illegal imports or a job unlawfully filled."

UPDATE 2: There are videos of Rogers grilling Marcy Forman of ICE here.

DHS halting immigration raids pending policy change; may "go after employers" instead - 03/29/09

About a month ago, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security - someone who was sold as tough on illegal immigration despite that not being true - went through the roof after an immigration raid was conducted that she hadn't been informed of. Now, there's partial confirmation that Napolitano has in fact ordered a halt to such workplace enforcement pending review. Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post offers "DHS Signals Policy Changes Ahead for Immigration Raids" (link):

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.

A senior department official said the delays signal a pending change in whom agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement choose to prosecute -- increasing the focus on businesses and executives instead of ordinary workers.

Napolitano will apparently issue new rules this week. Hsu goes on to present the illegal immigration-supporting side of the raids, including mentioning Luis Gutierrez's recent tour and some of Nancy Pelosi's recent remarks. While he does include her statement that raids aren't "the American way", he doesn't mention that she also called them "un-American".

About the only hopeful thing in the article is this:

But Obama also faces pressure from conservative lawmakers and many centrist Democrats, who say that workplace enforcement is needed to reduce the supply of jobs that attract illegal immigrants, and that any retreat in defending American jobs in a recession could ignite a populist backlash.

Frankly, there isn't that much chance of such a backlash. Based on personal experience, the only people willing to do anything beyond making a few phone calls do things that are mostly ineffective, such as street protests. The most effective way to undercut both the Obama administration and the mainstream media is to ask politicians tough questions to their face on video, and two years of trying has resulted in no one else being able to figure that out or being willing to do anything.

T.J. Bonner of Border Patrol union "underwhelmed" by Obama border plan - 03/26/09

According to this, T.J. Bonner - president of the National Border Patrol Council is "underwhelmed" by Barack Obama's recently announced border control plan. He's concerned about working with his counterparts from Mexico considering that many Mexican law enforcement agents have been corrupted and are "rotten to the core". And:

Bonner wants a greater priority placed on border security, and said he is "in a word, underwhelmed" by Napolitano's plan. "We need to take more aggressive steps to stop that violence from spilling into the United States," he said, calling the strategy "showmanship in advance of the diplomatic outreach to Mexico."

Much more at the link.

Janet Napolitano orders review of first immigration raid under Obama; bye bye raids - 02/26/09

After barely doing any immigration raids for several years, the Bush administration began enforcing the laws at workplaces in an attempt to get comprehensive immigration reform.

Now, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security is sending the message that the Barack Obama administration isn't even going to do show raids (link):

Immigration agents this week conducted their first work-site raid since President Barack Obama took office [at Yamato Engine Specialists in Bellingham, WA], but it was news to their boss, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who on Wednesday ordered a review of the action.

...Napolitano told lawmakers during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that she did not know about the raid before it happened and was briefed on it early Wednesday morning. She has asked U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which arrested 28 illegal immigrants in the raid, for answers.

"I want to get to the bottom of this as well," she said. She said work-site enforcement needs to be focused on the employers.

Even the rare raid tends to disincentivize coming here illegally in order to find work, which would lead to less need to "focus on the employers". It's also a bit difficult to see how she'd concentrate on the employers without sweeping the employees up in it. Would she give all the workers involved in an investigation amnesty in exchange for testimony? If so, wouldn't that simply incentivize illegal immigration, with workers realizing that they'd only very rarely be arrested and deported? Does she cling to the loony idea of some that it's possible to enforce labor but not immigration laws? Is she trying to appease the cries from the far-left to halt all raids pending "reform"?

Will this result in public outcry and backfire on them?

Whatever the case, she can't do anything without political cover, and if anyone wants to help take that away organize others to go out and ask some tough questions.

UPDATE: Per this, an unnamed DHS official says "The secretary is not happy and this is not her policy". And, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says:

"these raids are not a long-term solution... Secretary Napolitano is conducting a thorough review of ICE, including enforcement... The president believes we must respect due process and our best values as we enforce the law. The real answer to our broken immigration system is to fix it. The president has said that we will start the immigration reform debate this year, and this continues to be the plan."

As with prior "debates", you won't be invited, and the only "debate" will be over which form of "reform" they're going to try to push on us. The only way to get a seat at the debate is to do what I've been suggesting for over two years now: go out and ask tough questions. If your leaders aren't urging you to go out and ask tough questions but instead are organizing "protests" like the "tea parties", get new leaders.

DHS Dep. Asst. Sec'y for Policy is from CAP, United Nations, Ted Kennedy office (Esther Olavarria) - 02/23/09

Janet Napolitano has selected Esther Olavarria as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. And, she's from the Center for American Progress, called around here the "think tank that can't think straight". CAP supports illegal immigration and defines opposition to massive illegal activity as "xenophobia"; see the link for more on them. And, since August 2008 she's been a CAP Senior Fellow and their Director of Immigration Policy [1], [2]

The first page has her bio containing more nuggets of great news:

Esther comes to CAP/CAPAF from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, where she served as senior advisor for government and external relations. Prior to joining UNHCR, she was chief immigration counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1998 to 2007, she served as Senator Kennedy’s principle advisor on immigration, border security, and refugee policies and legislation, including comprehensive immigration reform. Esther began her career as an immigration attorney in Miami, FL, working at several non-profit organizations. She co-founded the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center and supervised the direct service work of that organization. She also worked at Legal Services of Greater Miami as the directing attorney of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Project, and at the Haitian Refugee Center, as a staff attorney.

[1] americanprogressaction.org/pressroom/cap/releases/2008/08/
Olavarria_joins_CAP_CAPAF
[2] sflcn.com/story.php?id=5735

Pages