Friday, May 30, 2014

Is Catch and Release Our New Immigration Enforcement Strategy?


Central American migrants in Texas flown to Arizona and released

By David Schwartz

(Reuters) - Authorities flew 400 people suspected of entering the United States illegally to Arizona over the weekend and released them at bus stops because detention facilities were full after a surge in migrants, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Over the past month, detention facilities in Texas overflowed with migrants for the first time as a large influx of Central Americans crossed the border into the Rio Grande Valley, said Andy Adame, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson, Arizona.

“We have enough manpower, it’s due to detention space,” Adame said in explaining why the immigrants, mostly families with young children, were sent to Arizona.

Many Republicans in Congress and some state lawmakers say the federal government is not doing enough to secure the U.S. southern border, while a number of groups push for policy reform to allow the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country to obtain a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

Many people who cross the border illegally from Mexico are quickly returned by the U.S. Border Patrol, but those from Central America and other regions are supposed to be transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) so they can be flown home.

The 400 migrants who crossed into Texas were transferred into the custody of ICE and released, dropped off at bus stops in Tucson and Phoenix, according to that agency.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the migrants will be required to report within 15 days to an agency office near where they were dropped off, and their cases will then be handled based on immigration enforcement priorities.

Federal officials under President Barack Obama have focused their immigration enforcement priorities on turning back unauthorized immigrants stopped in border regions and deporting others outside of those areas who are convicted of crimes.

On Tuesday, Obama asked his administration to hold off on making changes to deportation policy until the end of the summer in order to allow Congress time to pass immigration legislation.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which calls for restrictions on immigration, said the released migrants will likely slip away and avoid deportation if they do not commit any crime.

"Essentially, they have gotten successfully into the country and it's unlikely that they're going to leave,” Mehlman said.

DHS Employees: Don't be part of the problem. Blow these decision makers in!!

Ben Ferro

Saturday, May 17, 2014

U.S. Marine Sgt Being Held In Mexico After Accidentally Crossing The Border



What can we all do to assist, Andrew Tahmooressi, this US Marine who accidentally crossed the border into Mexico and has been chained in his cell without a hearing for over a month?

May I remind you all that the US government treats Mexican Nationals, including felony criminals with due process and releases them on minimum bond.  Where is the Secretary of State? Where is the Commander in Chief? Where are all the present and former INS and Customs employees? Shame on all of them and on us!

Count me in on any effort including demonstrations at the border or at the White House!

Ben Ferro 

For More Information Go to:

To sign a petition to the White House asking that the Obama Administration demand Mexico free Sgt. Tahmooressi, go to:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Obama Administration Releases Hundreds of Dangerous Criminal Illegal Aliens Into Our Communities

Feds Released Hundreds Of Immigrant Murderers, Drunk Drivers, Sex-Crimes Convicts

Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama administration statistics that could undercut the president’s argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement.

Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.”

The immigrants were in deportation proceedings, meaning ICE was trying to remove them from the country and could have held them in detention but released them anyway, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which published the numbers Monday. The Washington Times also obtained the data.

“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “The administration’s actions are outrageous. They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people.”

The data raised thorny questions about how the government decides which immigrants to detain and which it will release as they await court hearings and final action on deportation.

Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the numbers undercut the Obama administration’s argument that it is trying to keep its enforcement efforts targeted at dangerous criminals.

“We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions,” she said.

In a statement, ICE said many of those it released were subject to electronic monitoring, posting bond or having to check in with officers.

In other cases, the agency was required to release immigrants because of court decisions, including a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that found immigrants whose home countries refused to take them back could not be held for more than six months.

ICE said 75 percent of the convicted murderers released in 2013 were considered “mandatory releases” in compliance with court decisions.

“Others, typically those with less serious offenses, were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE’s resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security,” ICE said.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will have to answer questions.

Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Smith asked ICE for the release numbers but said the agency never turned them over.

“These criminals should be locked up, not roaming our streets,” the lawmakers said.

ICE has told Congress it doesn’t need to hold as many immigrants in detention. In its budget request this year, ICE asked that Congress fund slightly more than 30,500 detention beds a day, down from the 34,000 set in current law.

“This funding level of beds will allow ICE to detain the current mandatory population, as well as the higher-risk, non-mandatory detainees,” ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale testified in March.

Ms. Vaughan said that rings hollow if the administration is releasing murderers and other serious criminals even with 34,000 detention beds.

The 36,007 criminal aliens counted in the data had more than 87,000 convictions among them: 15,635 for drunken driving, 9,187 for what ICE labeled “dangerous drugs,” 2,691 for assault, 1,724 for weapons offenses and 303 for “flight escape” — a category that would seem to make them bad candidates for release.

The immigrants are in addition to the 68,000 other immigrants that ICE officers came across but didn’t put into deportation proceedings.

ICE came under fire last year for releasing thousands of immigrants and blaming it on the sequester budget cuts. Among those released were 622 criminals, including 24 with repeated felony convictions so bad that the administration had to go recapture them.

Officials later said it wasn’t the sequester, but rather the regular budget process that caused them to have to release the immigrants. They said they had been running above the 34,000 detention level for too long and would have had to cut detention to average out the numbers.

Article reprinted from The Washington Times by Stephen Dinan

Ben Ferro