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Homeland Security Articles and Related News

Push for amnesty must be rejected
Al Eisner, Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2009

Be ready for the battle this summer and fall on illegal immigration as President Barack Obama plans to back efforts by radical Hispanic groups and legislators to open the borders and pass full amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Despite the recession, massive job losses and foreclosures now impacting American citizens, Mr. Obama seems to feel compelled to push for amnesty to repay radical groups for bringing out the Hispanic vote in his favor.

But there must be no amnesty for illegal immigrants ever.
Obama to Push Immigration Bill as One Priority
By JULIA PRESTON for the New York Times, April 8, 2009

While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. (Editor: This is called amnesty...taking away what little clout the Border Patrol still has. Pick up the illegals, haul them back across the border and drop them off. Also go after the employers, but don't give them amnesty. We welcome LEGAL immigrants!)
Bush Orders Contractors to Vet Status of Workers
By JULIA PRESTON, New York Times, June 10, 2008

President Bush has ordered federal contractors to participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s electronic system for verifying the immigration status of their workers, greatly expanding the reach of the administration’s crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Times Topics: Illegal ImmigrantsAn executive order, signed by the president on Friday and announced on Monday, requires federal contractors to use the system, known as E-Verify, to check immigration status when they hire new workers or start work under government contracts.
Immigration Agency to Reveal Some Death Data - DHS Bureau Will Report the Number of People Who Die Awaiting Deportation
By Amy Goldstein for the Washington Post, June 5, 2008

The top U.S. immigration enforcement official told a congressional subcommittee yesterday that the Bush administration will disclose more information about foreigners who die in the sprawling network of federal detention centers around the country.

Julie Myers, assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, said her agency will report such deaths to a branch of the Justice Department that collects similar information about inmates in state prisons and local jails.

The Justice Department publishes statistics on the fatalities, not the identities of the victims, but Myers said the change represents "more transparency" about detainee deaths. Since last year, congressional Democrats have pleaded with ICE to reveal the names and circumstances of foreigners who have died in U.S. custody.
Immigration Prosecutions Hit New High - Critics Say Increased Use of Criminal Charges Strains System
By Spencer S. Hsu for the Washington Post, June 2, 2008

Federal law enforcement agencies have increased criminal prosecutions of immigration violators to record levels, in part by filing minor charges against virtually every person caught illegally crossing some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new U.S. data.

Officials say the threat of prison and a criminal record is a powerful deterrent, one that is helping drive down illegal immigration along the nearly 2,000-mile frontier between the United States and Mexico. Skeptics say that the government lacks the resources to sustain the strategy on the border and that the effort is diverting resources from more serious crimes such as drug and human smuggling.
Immigration Raids Hearing Held In Atlanta - A hearing was held Thursday to examine the practices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency
By Damon Putzier for the WJBF, May 30, 2008

Atlanta, GA -- A hearing was held Thursday to examine the practices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency.

A commission heard testimony about immigration raids in Georgia, Tennessee, and Iowa.

This is the fourth hearing on the issue.
Border Agents, Lured by the Other Side
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD and ANDREW BECKER for the New York Times, May 27, 2008

SAN DIEGO — The smuggler in the public service announcement sat handcuffed in prison garb, full of bravado and shrugging off the danger of bringing illegal immigrants across the border.

Raul Villarreal, a United States Border Patrol agent at the time, in a Mexican advertisement against smuggling. He is now wanted on suspicion of helping smugglers. “Sometimes they die in the desert, or the cars crash, or they drown,” he said. “But it’s not my fault.”

The smuggler in the commercial, produced by the Mexican government several years ago, was played by an American named Raul Villarreal, who at the time was a United States Border Patrol agent and a spokesman for the agency here.

Mr. Villarreal and a brother, Fidel, also a former Border Patrol agent, are suspected of helping to smuggle an untold number of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Brazil across the border. The brothers quit the Border Patrol two years ago and are believed to have fled to Mexico.

The Villarreal investigation is among scores of corruption cases in recent years that have alarmed officials in the Homeland Security Department just as it is hiring thousands of border agents to stem the flow of illegal immigration.

The pattern has become familiar: Customs officers wave in vehicles filled with illegal immigrants, drugs or other contraband. A Border Patrol agent acts as a scout for smugglers. Trusted officers fall prey to temptation and begin taking bribes.
Homeland Security Stands by Its Fence
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD and JULIA PRESTON for the New York Times, May 21, 2008

NACO, Ariz. — As the Department of Homeland Security pushes to complete 670 miles of fencing along the Mexican border by the end of this year, it is confronting the sharpest resistance yet while conceding that physical barriers alone do not stop illegal crossings.

Fencing the Border In the latest challenge, the Texas Border Coalition, an organization of mayors, county commissioners and economists opposed to the fence, filed a federal lawsuit on Friday. It says that the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, failed to conduct required negotiations with property owners and local authorities when he ordered that the barrier be built in Texas. The group wants the construction halted.

The protests come as known efforts at illegal crossings — measured by the number of people detained at the border — have fallen 17 percent this year, after declining 20 percent in 2007, figures that Chief David V. Aguilar of the Border Patrol points to as proof that the overall approach to border enforcement is working.
ICE chief Myers calls on companies to help stop illegal immigration
By LYNN FRANEY for The Kansas City Star, May 20, 2008

The government cannot stop illegal immigration on its own, Julie Myers, the head of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said today in Kansas City.

It needs businesspeople to keep their eyes open for possible undocumented immigrants working for them, she told hundreds of human relations executives and business leaders attending a labor, employment and benefits symposium put on by law firm Shughart Thomson & Kilroy.

“Your company depends on you,” Myers, a Shawnee native who has led the 16,500-employee agency within the Department of Homeland Security for 2½ years. “Your government also depends on you.”

During her talk at the Overland Park Marriott, Myers said the best way to stop illegal immigration is “drying up the job magnet.”
Caring for Immigration Detainees
By Julie L. Myers for The Washington Post, May 20, 2008

Recent media reports, including a May 11-14 Post series, have presented a misleading view of the medical care provided to detainees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. Readers deserve to hear from both sides.

ICE was formed in March 2003 with a broad mission that includes immigration and customs enforcement and management of the detention and removal processes for apprehended aliens. ICE did not create the detention or detainee health-care systems but, in fact, inherited the procedures of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Division of Immigration Health Services (DIHS). Over the past 2 1/2 years, ICE has examined these decades-old practices and is making substantial improvements.