janet napolitano

Janet Napolitano: Page 2

See the summary for this topic on the main Janet Napolitano page.

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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.

Obama snubs Fox to discuss domestic policy with foreign citizen (Jorge Ramos, Univision) - 09/19/09

On Sunday 9/20/09, Barack Obama will be appearing on five (5) Sunday talk shows to promote Obama healthcare. One stop he won't be making is at Fox News; Chris Wallace isn't too happy about being snubbed [1] and neither are various GOP leaders [2].

Instead of reaching out to Fox's viewers and deflecting what would assuredly be lightweight questions, Obama will be appearing on Univision's "Al Punto with Jorge Ramos". Ramos is a Mexican citizen who has no interest in becoming a U.S. citizen; he says he might want to run for office in Mexico one day. Despite that, he has no qualms about interfering in our internal U.S. politics, supporting illegal immigration, and opposing assimilation (link, link).

And, at the CNN Democratic debate of February 21, 2008, he was allowed to ask questions of the presidential candidates and CNN did not reveal that he isn't even a citizen of the U.S. Don't expect Obama to do that either.

UPDATE: The Univision interview is at univision.com/content/content.jhtml?chid=3&schid=160&secid=20208&cid=2094409
As could have been expected, Obama said mostly the same thing he's been saying. He said (yet again) that illegal aliens won't be covered under Obama healthcare (without acknowledging the loopholes that would let them be covered and without explicitly mentioning his magical plan to simply legalize them first then give them healthcare). Asked about comprehensive immigration reform, he responded in the same basic way as George W Bush did, saying he was working on it and he's met with leaders but there's no specific timetable. He also referenced that Janet Napolitano was making changes to eliminate the "most negative practices we've seen" (note: from his English to Univision back to English).

And, Ramos - someone who represents Mexican and not U.S. interests - asked Obama why during his last big speech he'd used the phrase "illegal immigrants" rather than "undocumented immigrants" as he'd done during the campaign:

Yo estaba abordando la información errónea aportada por la otra parte que estaba tratando de… asustarnos. Yo esencialmente los estaba citando. Yo dije: "Para aquellos de ustedes que dicen que los inmigrantes ilegales van a tener cobertura bajo este plan, dije que eso no es cierto". Así que estoy usando esas palabras porque estaba yo dirigiéndome a la información errónea que ellos están proporcionando, yo estaba hablando directamente a un público, al pueblo estadounidense, quienes, debido a esta información errónea que le han brindado, en sí, creo que… estaban respondiendo …muy a menudo de una manera muy negativa.

Per Google:

I was addressing the misinformation provided by the other party ... I was trying to scare us. Yo esencialmente los estaba citando. Essentially I was quoting. I said: "For those of you who say that illegal immigrants will be covered under this plan, I said that's not true." So I'm using those words because I was speaking to the wrong information they are providing, I was talking directly to an audience, the American people who, because of this misinformation that you have provided, in itself, I think ... were responding ... very often in a very negative way.

[1] huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/19/snubbed-by-obama-fox-news_n_292254.html
[2] thehill.com/homenews/house/59141-gop-

Napolitano immigration meeting: you weren't represented (vast # of loose borders groups, Obama/Janet anti-287g) - 08/20/09

Earlier today, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security held a closed-door meeting with a group of what she calls "stakeholders" (dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1250792978709.shtm) but was actually a vast pantheon (see below) of far-left, racial power, corrupt business, and in general loose borders groups all of which want some form of comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. There were at least 98 participants in the meeting, and none of them represent your interests or the interests of the great majority of American citizens. Why exactly they'd hold the meeting isn't clear; aside from guest workers and minor details they're all pretty much on the same page. Perhaps it was a strategy session to see how they could fool as many people as possible whenever they decide to push for amnesty.

According to Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum (link) Obama stopped by:

The President said specifically that when it comes to the local police charged with enforcing federal immigration law under 287(g) agreements that he wants these local law enforcement agencies held accountable.


Noorani’s other question concerned the 287g program, which gives local law enforcement the authority to enforce immigration law. Noorani asked Napolitano to revoke the authority of agencies who have clearly violated the spirit of the agreement, and that the immigration reform community looked forward to seeing that happen. Napolitano responded, “Me, too.”

Other statements from those attending the meeting are here. Here's the intro to the DHS's press release:

"Today’s meeting on comprehensive immigration reform was an important opportunity to hear from stakeholders and build on the significant time I’ve spent on the Hill meeting with members of Congress on this critical subject. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress and representatives from law enforcement, business, labor organizations, the interfaith community, advocacy groups and others as we work on this important issue.”

UPDATE: Griswold of CATO weighs in with a slab of Policy-As-Highschool (cato-at-liberty.org/2009/08/21/the-president-drops-by-to-tout-immigration-reform). After Napolitano gave her "opening remarks we broke up into smaller roundtable discussions of about 15 people each moderated by DHS officials". They then reconvened and Napolitano discussed what they'd learned. Then, Obama entered the building and made his speech "about 20 feet from where I was sitting". Griswold also refers to himself as a "small fish"; he's much too modest since he was some kind of inspiration for Bush's 2004 anti- and un-American guest workers plan.

And, there are so many groups that I've split the list into two parts. The religious, union, city/police, and miscellaneous groups are here. The following has the major groups, the business groups, and the single libertarian:

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.

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.

White House immigration meeting of amnesty all-stars: Obama, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, Gutierrez - 06/26/09

Yesterday, Barack Obama met with various members of Congress to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. His remarks are at [1], a list of attendees is at [2], and some quotes from attendees is at [3]. Nothing very important appears to have happened or been said.

Obama at Hispanic Prayer Breakfast: same old immigration speech (+sounds like McCain) - 06/19/09

Earlier today, Barack Obama spoke at the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast [1]. Others in attendance included Cecilia Munoz, Ed Rendell, and Janet Napolitano; the event was organized by Rev.

Kyrsten Sinema book: "Unite and Conquer" (foreword by Janet Napolitano; reviews?) - 06/10/09

Kyrsten Sinema is a far-left Arizona state representative who, to the greatest extent that her low intellect allows, supports illegal immigration.

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.

Peter Grier/CS Monitor news flash: Janet Napolitano enjoys opera, often reads two books concurrently - 06/02/09

Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor has some breaking news scoops in "Janet Napolitano, master multitasker/Homeland defense one moment, swine flu the next. She juggles the disparate needs of a cabinet conglomerate" (link), which closes with this momentous, world-changing news:

Napolitano enjoys opera, and she generally reads two books – one fiction, the other nonfiction – at a time. In Arizona she also occasionally coached women’s basketball teams. (“To victory, make sure you add that,” she said at the Monitor breakfast.)

What comes before then is just like that and just as newsworthy. And they say the MSM never holds politicians accountable!


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 budget ends SCAAP, just like Bush did (reimburses states for illegal alien incarceration) - 05/08/09

Barack Obama's budget has no funding for SCAAP, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. That reimburses states for their cost of incarcerating illegal aliens, and it will supposedly save $400 million. And, not funding that program is something that Bush tried to do in each year of his presidency; Congress rebuffed the previous illegal immigration-supporting president's attempts. That "tango" where the program is underfunded by Congress after an attempt to cut is made by the president is described here (from March 2008).

The AFSCME wasn't happy when Bush tried this last year (link), and past quotes in opposition to that Bush attempt from Janet Napolitano and Reps. John Spratt and Gabrielle Giffords (all Democrats) are here.

Back to Obama's attempt to do the same thing, this quotes Sen. John Cornyn:

"Forcing state governments to pick up the tab for federal government's failures doesn't save Texas taxpayers one dime."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison says Obama's actions are "outrageous" (link).

Sen. Dianne Feinstein says this:

"[Obama's actions deprive] communities of critical funding for public safety services... We cannot afford to let our public safety services crumble under the weight of our immigration policies, especially during this time of economic uncertainty."

UPDATE: A letter demanding funding for SCAAP has been signed by 12 Democratic and five Republican members of Congress (link).

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."

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.

John McCain calls for closing the Mexican border over swine flu, but only "if it would prevent further transmission" - 04/29/09

When even John McCain calls to close the Mexican border over the potential swine flu pandemic, you know it's serious. Except, he left himself an out indicating that he might just be blowing smoke (link):

"At the same time, many questions still remain, including the question of why the cases of the H1N1 influenza in Mexico appear to be more severe and deadly than the cases seen in the U.S. I continue to believe that all available options to end this crisis must remain under consideration, including closing the border if it would prevent further transmission of this deadly virus."

Of course, Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano, and the World Health Organization say that it wouldn't help, even at the same time as Napolitano seems to contradict herself.

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/
[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/

[2] homeland.house.gov/press/

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.

Customs and Border Protection chief of staff is dual citizen (Marco Antonio Lopez) - 03/02/09

The new chief of staff of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a dual citizen (Mexico and the U.S.)

Just let that sink in.

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.

Could Obama and Napolitano enact a mini-amnesty... without Congress? - 02/24/09

Immigration lawyers Gary Endelman and Cyrus Mehta offer "The Path Less Taken: Is There An Alternative To Waiting For Comprehensive Immigration Reform?" (link) Evaluating their claims is left for those intimately familiar with immigration law, but here's the editor's summary:

...The article argues that there is ample room in the Immigration and Nationality Act, for the Executive Branch, acting alone and without Congress, to take decisive curative action. The key is to separate permanent residency from the two critical benefits that flow therefrom - legal work authorization and ability to travel. Both of these benefits can be made available, by Executive fiat, to millions of immigrants - both present and future, immediately, without any act of Congress. Once these benefits are in hand, Congress can grant permanent residency and citizenship, when the time is propitious, without being held hostage by the anti-immigrationists. This article explores how the once-unthinkable can be achieved lawfully through the enlightened use of President Obama's and Secretary Napolitano's inherent discretionary authority under the current statutory regime...

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/
[2] sflcn.com/story.php?id=5735

DHS fugitive teams mostly picked up non-fugitives (why is Nina Bernstein telling us this? MPI, Wishnie) - 02/03/09

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times (a paper part-owned by a Mexican billionaire) offers "Despite Vow, Target of Immigrant Raids Shifted" (link).

In a way, it's a two part story.

In the first part, there's the story itself, with the not-so-news news is that the targets of fugitive raids by the Department of Homeland Security shifted from dangerous criminals into whatever illegal aliens they found, including those who had not been convicted of crimes.

In the second part, the question becomes, why are Bernstein and all the other not-so-fine people mentioned telling us this, and why does it dovetail so neatly with something that Janet Napolitano is doing?

Regarding the first part, here's the scoop [1]:

But in fact, beginning in 2006, the program was no longer what was being advertised. Federal immigration officials had repeatedly told Congress that among more than half a million immigrants with outstanding deportation orders, they would concentrate on rounding up the most threatening — criminals and terrorism suspects... Internal directives by immigration officials in 2006 raised arrest quotas for each team in the National Fugitive Operations Program, eliminated a requirement that 75 percent of those arrested be criminals, and then allowed the teams to include nonfugitives in their count... In the next year, fugitives with criminal records dropped to 9 percent of those arrested, and nonfugitives picked up by chance — without a deportation order — rose to 40 percent. Many were sent to detention centers far from their homes, and deported.

On the one hand, that's a not-so-shocking example of the Bush administration putting politics ahead of the safety of U.S. citizens: they were attempting to show they were doing something in order to get comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, they were able to deport a fair number of illegal aliens whatever their criminal histories, and that probably had a deterrent effect.

Now on to the second part of the story:

The increased public attention comes as the new secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has ordered a review of the fugitive teams operation, which was set up in 2002 to find and deport noncitizens with outstanding orders of deportation, then rapidly expanded after 2003 with the mission of focusing on the most dangerous criminals.

That directive was released just four days ago, on January 31. Now, suddenly, something playing in to such a "review" appears in the NYT. And, the Migration Policy Institute will be releasing a report tomorrow critical of the program. [2] And, one of the authors of the MPI report is Michael Wishnie of Yale University; he was also involved in helping New Haven distribute ID cards to illegal aliens.

Why is all this happening now? Is it just something in the air, or something else? And, why isn't Nina Bernstein asking those questions? (Hint: because she's an agenda-driven hack).

[1] The figures and documentation were obtained via an FOIA request by Peter Markowitz and his students at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
[2] The NYT continues to maintain that the MPI is "nonpartisan"; nonpartisan groups don't get free ads in the NYT.

DHS immigration directive: goal is comprehensive "reform"; biometrics - 01/31/09

Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security has been issuing a series of directives in which she asked the various sub-agencies in the DHS to come up with reports on their future operations. She's finally gotten around to immigration matters: dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1233353528835.shtm

DHS Deputy Secretary was top United Nations official (Jane Holl Lute) - 01/25/09

From this:
A top United Nations official who once served on the White House National Security Council has been picked for deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, a move that would place two women at the top of the department for the first time.

President Barack Obama's nomination of Jane Holl Lute, a retired Army major who worked on the NSC under President Bill Clinton, was announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

...At the U.N., Lute coordinates peace efforts among countries in conflict.

...In addition to her NSC work, Lute has served as vice president and chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation. She served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Lute is married to Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Obama's deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan.
A quote from James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation follows; he doesn't think she has "the right skill set."