Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Buying American Citizenship!

Obama Administration Allows Fertility Clinics To Sell US Citizenship

President Barack Obama’s administration has decided to let the surrogate birth industry sell U.S. citizenship — and access to the U.S. welfare system — to foreign parents who never even set foot in the United States.

The fertility clinics will be able to pocket the profits, after granting access to American education, health, welfare and retirement services to the foreign children and the foreign parents.

The giveaway is accomplished by a surprise change in regulations, which redefined the term “mother” to include women who contract to carry other women’s embryos to birth.

“Under this new policy, a mother who meets this definition but does not have a genetic relationship with her child (for example, she became pregnant through an egg donor) will … be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to her child, if she is a U.S. citizen and all other pertinent citizenship requirements are met,” says the announcement from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The announcement, which was made along with the Department of State, is titled “USCIS Expands the Definition of ‘Mother’ and ‘Parent’ to Include Gestational Mothers Using Assisted Reproductive Technology.”

The change means that a woman who is a U.S. citizen can be hired by a reproductive medical clinic to become pregnant overseas and to give birth in China, Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else, and then effectively hand a U.S. passport to the baby.

That’s a huge benefit to the child, because it makes him or her a U.S citizen, even if he or she never breathes American air, or lives among Americans, knows English or shares any American cultural norms or ideas with their natural-born American citizens.
It is also a huge benefit for the parents, because they too can get citizenship once their child becomes an adult. That citizenship allows them — and their other children — to move to the United States in time for them to access Obamacare or Medicare benefits in their retirement.

That’s also a huge benefit to the companies that broker the birth contracts. They can now raise their prices to overseas customers because they can deliver U.S. citizenship with the baby, no matter where the parents are living or where the child is born.

A 2013 Reuters story described how some wealthy Chinese were willing to pay surrogate agencies $120,000 for American women to give birth to their children in the United States, as a way of seeking U.S. citizenship for those children.

But the citizenship-selling decision leaves Americans to pay for the cost of educating foreign children, and for supporting foreign parents.

It also adds to the growing cultural diversity that studies show makes it more difficult for Americans to cooperate in communities, to maintain civil society or to influence their distant government in Washington, D.C.

The federal government is currently selling U.S. citizenship for the bargain price of roughly $500,000 under a so-called EB-5 investment visa.

The U.S. government also awards citizenship to nearly all children born inside the United States, including the children of tourists and illegal immigrants.

That generous policy has already prompted the creation of a new industry that cares for foreign mothers who fly into California and other states shortly before the U.S. birth of their foreign children.

Article by Neil Munro, White House Correspondent for the Daily Caller

Ben Ferro

Released into your neighborhoods!

Administration Freed Illegal Immigrants Charged With Violent Crimes

By Melanie Batley,

Illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes and serious felonies were among the hundreds of criminals the Obama administration released from jails across the country in February 2013, newly released documents show.

According to records obtained by USA Today, the government released inmates charged with offenses ranging from kidnapping and sexual assault to drug trafficking, armed assault, and homicide.

The evidence contradicts previous assurances by the administration that the 617 criminals who were released as part of a cost-cutting exercise were low-risk offenders charged with misdemeanors "or other criminals whose prior conviction did not pose a violent threat to public safety," USA Today reported.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) admitted to the newspaper that numerous dangerous criminals had been released but denied direct responsibility.

"Discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency's control," ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told USA Today.

The new records obtained by the newspaper from a Freedom of Information Act request outlined previously undisclosed details about the alleged crimes of specific detainees. One person in Texas was charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault of a child.

Another illegal immigrant from Florida was facing charges of conspiracy to commit homicide, according to USA Today.

Two Massachusetts detainees had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon, while another illegal immigrant from Colorado was being held on a sexual assault charge.

The Obama administration released more than 2,200 illegal immigrants from jail between Feb. 9 and March 1, 2013, as part of an effort to cut the number of prisoners due to the budget-sequester funding cuts. The detainees had been awaiting deportation or immigration hearings in a court, and the administration did not give advance notice it would be freeing them.

The releases triggered a furor in Congress and hearings with lawmakers who grilled then-ICE director John Morton.

According to USA Today, Virginia GOP Rep. J. Randy Forbes asked Morton directly, "No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?"

Morton, who subsequently resigned, answered, "They were not."

Former White House spokesman Jay Carney had also described the criminals as "low-risk, noncriminal detainees," USA Today reported.

Meanwhile, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma demanded a formal investigation by the inspector general.

The internal audit, which concluded in August 2014, concluded that ICE broke the law in releasing the criminal illegal migrants.

"It is baffling how an agency charged with homeland security and immigration enforcement would knowingly release hundreds of illegals with criminal histories. In this single action, ICE undermined its own credibility, the rule of law, and the safety of Americans and local law enforcement," Coburn said when the audit was released.

He added, "This report provides more evidence that our nation's immigration laws are being flagrantly disregarded. Americans need to be assured the problems within ICE that led to the dangerous release of illegal aliens will be fixed, and DHS and ICE will never again violate the law by releasing known criminals into our streets."

McCain said it is "deeply troubling that ICE would knowingly release thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees — many with prior criminal records — into our streets, while publicly downplaying the danger they posed," USA Today reported.

Ben Ferro

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"SHAME on this ADMINISTRATION" for even thinking this!

Obama Administration Prepares Amnesty ID Cards for Up to 34 Million Illegals

Posted by Jim Hoft on on Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:31 AM

US immigration released photos of the proposed ID cards for illegal immigrants.

The federal contract will plan for for up to 34 million cards.
Breitbart reported:

Despite no official action from the president ahead of the election, the Obama administration has quietly begun preparing to issue millions of work authorization permits, suggesting the implementation of a large-scale executive amnesty may have already begun.

Unnoticed until now, a draft solicitation for bids issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Oct. 6 says potential vendors must be capable of handling a “surge” scenario of 9 million id cards in one year “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

The request for proposals says the agency will need a minimum of four million cards per year. In the “surge,” scenario in 2016, the agency would need an additional five million cards – more than double the baseline annual amount for a total of 9 million.

“The guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards,” the document says.

The agency is buying the materials need to construct both Permanent Residency Cards (PRC), commonly known as green cards, as well as Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards which have been used to implement President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. The RFP does not specify how many of each type of card would be issued.

Ben Ferro

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Warning: Lax Immigration Policies Could Be Exploited By The Terrorists


The head of the union representing 12,000 federal immigration workers issued a statement on Thursday warning that the nation's lax immigration policies could be exploited by the terrorist group ISIS. Ken Palinkas, who serves as the President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said it is "essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States."

Palinkas also warned that Pres. Obama's executive action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens that is expected after the November elections could also pose a threat to public safety.

Here is Palinkas' full statement:

The National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council represents 12,000 dedicated immigration caseworkers and adjudicators who are on the front lines in the fight to keep terrorists out of the United States. In addition to the extremely real and serious threat that ISIS has already or will soon slip across our porous southern border, it is also essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States. Indeed, as we know from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from the Boston Bombing, from the recent plot to bomb a school and courthouse in Connecticut, and many other lesser-known terror incidents, we are letting terrorists into the United States right through our front door.

Unfortunately – and perilously overlooked in Washington – our caseworkers are denied the urgent professional resources, enforcement tools, and mission support we need to keep out those who are bent on doing us harm. In fact, this Administration has widened the loopholes that terrorists could use to gain entry to the United States through our asylum system. The Administration has also blocked our partners in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from enforcing visa overstays. The 9/11 hijackers got into the U.S. on visas and now, 13 years later, we have around 5 million immigrants in the United States who overstayed their visas – many from high-risk regions in the Middle East. Making matters more dangerous, the Obama Administration’s executive amnesty, like S. 744 that he unsuccessfully lobbied for, would legalize visa overstays and cause millions additionally to overstay – raising the threat level to America even higher. There is no doubt that there are already many individuals in the United States, on visas – expired or active – who are being targeted for radicalization or who already subscribe to radicalized views.

Many millions come legally to the U.S. through our wide open immigration policy every year – whether as temporary visitors, lifetime immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, foreign students, or recipients of our ‘visa waiver program’ which allows people to come and go freely. Yet our government cannot effectively track these foreign visitors and immigrants. And those who defraud authorities will face no consequence at all in most cases. Our caseworkers cannot even do in-person interviews for people seeking citizenship, they cannot enforce restrictions on welfare use, and they even lack even the basic office space to properly function. Applications for entry are rubber-stamped, the result of grading agents by speed rather than discretion. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.

Finally, I would note the failed ‘transformation’ computer system into which this government has poured $2 billion dollars. This system is an attempt to replace human judgment with a rote computer program, and has proven to be an absolute failure. The answer is more in-person interviews, more officers and adjudicators, not to undertake the ‘transformation’ of our immigration system by removing human judgment.

So I would plead to lawmakers: give USCIS adjudicators and caseworkers the tools they need to keep America safe – and keep the terrorists out."

Reproduced from an article originally appearing on the NumbersUSA website

Note: reports that Border Patrol agents have caught at least 474 aliens from terrorism-linked countries trying to enter the U.S. illegally this year. A leaked document obtained by Breitbart says that 76 of the 474 aliens are from nations located in and near where the Islamic State is operating — Turkey (41), Saudi Arabia (13), Syria (7), Jordan (7), Iraq (4),Iran (3), and Kuwait (1).

Ben Ferro

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mr. President, we tried to warn you about this last week.

Perhaps now that your leading military people are saying the same thing, you'll act!

Ben Ferro

U.S. General Warns Ebola Could Cross U.S. Southern Border

By Stephen Dinan and Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2014

The military’s top official responsible for Latin America says he’s concerned illegal immigrants from West Africa could already be sneaking across the porous southern border carrying Ebola, adding a new potential danger the White House will have to grapple with.

Already, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have panned President Obama’s new proposal to start taking the temperature of passengers arriving from West Africa at five U.S. airports.

The bipartisan group of congressmen told Mr. Obama to issue a full-blown travel ban prohibiting citizens of affected countries from entering the U.S., and imposing a quarantine on any travelers who arrive from West Africa.

But legal channels may not be the only vulnerability. Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said he was in Costa Rica last week and encountered an embassy employee who’d run across a handful of Liberian men preparing to be smuggled into the U.S. as illegal immigrants.

“Anything can ride on the network,” Gen. Kelly said this week at the National Defense University in Washington.

He said the danger is two-fold: Not only might illegal immigrants from Africa enter the U.S. unchecked, but if Ebola spreads to Central America it could spark a new wave of illegal immigration to the U.S. that would make this summer’s surge “look like a small problem.”

“If Ebola breaks out in Haiti or in Central America, I think it is literally ‘Katie bar the door’ in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States,” the general said.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday defended the steps he’s taken so far, which will soon include U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents giving closer scrutiny at five U.S. airports to travelers from the three most heavily affected West African countries. Officers will be asked to take the temperature of travelers to try to spot fever, which is one of the early symptoms of the disease.

Mr. Johnson said only about 150 people a day come from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and more than 90 percent of them go through the five international airports he’s targeted in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Georgia and Illinois.

The secretary also issued a pointed plea to reporters to show “responsibility” in their reporting and avid coverage “that is certain to feed the flames of fear, anxiety and suspicion.”

But both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill said more needs to be done to push the nation’s barrier against Ebola overseas, rather than meeting it in U.S. airports.

“Until this disease is controlled and wiped out, the president should begin a ban on air travel to and from infected regions of Africa,” said Rep. Dennis Ross, one of the lawmakers to sign a letter to Mr. Obama demanding the changes.

The letter-writers pointed out that 27 African countries have already taken those steps, “but the United States inexplicably has not.”

One Liberian man who entered the U.S. on a visa and was later diagnosed with Ebola died earlier this week in Texas.

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a field hearing in Dallas on Friday to examine that case and look at whether Mr. Johnson, the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies are doing enough.

The Obama administration has said an outbreak in the U.S. is not likely, but most Americans disagree, with 62 percent of those surveyed in a new Reason-Rupe poll saying they expect one.

Friday, October 3, 2014

MR. PRESIDENT: Regarding securing the Southern Border, please take note:

If you check with the U..S. Border Patrol you will find out that dozens of West Africans that cannot enter legally through U.S. airports choose to fly to Mexico and enter through the southern border. Perhaps now with the possibility they are carrying the EBOLA Virus you may wish to reconsider securing the border.

Ben Ferro


Experts: Ebola Could Cross Unsecured U.S. Border

Ebola could break into the United States through the unsecured U.S. border with Mexico, experts say.

“While we've seen no signs that Ebola virus has spread to our borders, it is very concerning,” Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) told Breitbart News. “The border has still not been secured, and the President continues to wave the sign that our borders are open. There is no telling what might eventually make its way into the heartland, which should be concerning to all.”

Weber is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. That panel held a special hearing Thursday to examine the potential threat to the U.S. the African Ebola outbreak presents. During the hearing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Tom Frieden downplayed the possibility Ebola could break into the U.S. via the Mexican border but did say that it is “inevitable” the U.S. would see some cases of the deadly virus though there wouldn’t be a massive outbreak.

“It is certainly possible that we could have ill people in the US who develop Ebola after having been exposed elsewhere," Frieden testified. “But we are confident that there will not be a large Ebola outbreak in the US.”

However, a senate aide told Breitbart News Friday that Congress is monitoring the border for a potential Ebola outbreak. “Committee staff are in regular contact with CDC, [Customs and Border Protection], and other agencies to monitor the Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa,” the Senate aide said. “Our porous southern border remains a major concern.”

Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said Americans should be concerned about this.

“It’s a question for which there are many unknowns,” Orient said in a phone interview. “We do know that people from affected areas of West Africa have been apprehended at the border in the last few years. I don’t know how recently it’s happened, and I don’t know how quickly someone could get here from there—so I don’t really know if there is any infected person who could survive long enough to cross the border, but the incubation period is as long as 21 days. Or if they are coming into Central America, then maybe they’re exposing other people who are then taking it here from there. Once you have one infected person, you could have a whole series of other contacts and so on.”
Orient said the risk of infectious disease spreading across the southern U.S. border is serious, adding that nefarious forces such as biological terrorists may try to exploit the virtually non-existent security along the U.S. border with Mexico to introduce a biological threat like Ebola into the United States.
“The point is we have thousands of people streaming across our southern border who have not been screened in any way for infectious disease, which would include Tuberculosis and a whole host of other things—not just Ebola,” she said. “But if you did want to try to introduce Ebola into the United States, this is one mechanism you might try to use.”

Shawn Moran, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, confirmed that “it’s definitely a threat” and said “we’re concerned with any type of infectious disease.”
“Unfortunately, the only type of training we get is from CBP [Customs and Border Protection], and it’s usually computer-based training and an hour in length,” Moran said when reached by phone on Friday. “We’ve had it in the past on I believe Avian flu, H1N1, on some of the signs of what to look for—and they provided gloves and respirators—but that’s about it in terms of preparation to deal with it.”

Moran said that the southern border and the northern border of the U.S. “definitely still are weak spots” when it comes to the transportation of infectious disease into the United States.

“We’re concerned about diseases coming across, we’re concerned about threats to America, physical terrorist threats and things like that—but where we’re focused on anti-terrorism. We’re not really focused on biological threats,” Moran said. “CBP could always do more to prepare to fight these things.”

Orient said the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa right now is “massive, and it’s horrible, and it’s going to lead to just dire consequences, and it could travel here by a whole lot of means—probably most likely by someone who was on an international flight out of West Africa, either the person himself or someone who got infected from him, either way.”

“Once you have an airplane that stops in West Africa, and then people transfer to other flights, it’s a major nightmare to try to figure out who all the contacts were,” Orient said.

“The border being insecure is a big threat of infectious disease getting into the United States, and I would think the worst threat from that standpoint is drug-resistant Tuberculosis,” she said, adding that Ebola’s most likely chances of getting into the U.S. would be “far and away” from an international flight.

Since the Ebola incubation period could be up to 21 days but is “probably more likely to be two weeks or less,” Orient said “it’s not impossible for someone to fly in from West Africa and get from Central America to the U.S. border within the incubation period. Maybe it’s not likely, but I can’t say that it’s impossible.”

Moran said that once people are leaving from Central America to head into the United States, “it really depends” how long it takes them to get to the U.S. border.

“It could be just a few days to over a month, depending on where you’re coming from and what your resources are,” Moran said. “The resources one is a big one. If you have the money, you could get here more quickly.

Moran added that people are coming from all over the world into the United States illegally. “We get people from all over,” Moran said. “We don’t discriminate, and we don’t care where you’re from. If you’re here illegally we’re going to arrest you and try to send you back. If you enter the U.S. illegally, the Border Patrol will arrest you—what happens after that is out of our control—but we’re going to make that initial arrest, it doesn’t matter if they’re from England, Central America, Ireland, Russia—whatever. If you were born in a different country and you don’t have papers to be here legally, you’re going to be arrested.”

“In any given month, you would probably find most of the countries on Earth represented in our arrest statistics,” Moran added.

A document the United Nations released recently found that people from Asia, Africa, and other far-flung regions of the world are using the same weak southern U.S. border to enter the United States as Central American and Mexican people are using. The document found that the U.S. border with Mexico is a “global pathway” to the United States for illegal aliens from Africa and elsewhere around the world.

Another internal report that Breitbart Texas’ Brandon Darby recently uncovered showed that at least 71 individuals from Ebola-affected countries have been caught illegally entering the U.S. or turned themselves in at the border between January and July 24.
“Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States,” Darby wrote of the leaked CBP report. “At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.”

If an Ebola outbreak hit the United States, Orient said she doesn’t “see any evidence we are prepared for this,” adding that “we’ve really been in denial about the potential threat of big epidemics here, except influenza has been taken seriously. But the other big threat is of biological warfare, which of course has been a concern for decades—the United States has previously done defensive research and probably some offensive research as well, but I don’t think it has taken seriously the possibility it could happen here. We certainly don’t have very good quarantine or isolation facilities to handle it, and we have been focusing much of our research and surveillance on non-threats and not paying attention to potential extremists or people who could be a martyr who could come with infectious organisms rather than with explosives. I mean, you don’t even actually have to be infected yourself—you could bring infected body fluids on an airplane or across the border, and the virus may survive in those fluids for a period of time, we’re not sure how long.”

“We need to understand that the United States has many enemies in the world right now, and there are many means of attacking us that, if they were successful, would be absolutely devastating,” Orient added.

To stop an outbreak ahead of time, Orient said that “first we need to recognize the existence of the problem.”

“People often say why worry about the illegal immigrants when it may come from legal immigrants who came here legally,” Orient continued. “Certainly that’s a good question, except with lawful people, the airplanes have a manifest, and they know who comes in. So identifying the people, knowing their destination, doing the contacting of them may be difficult but it’s not impossible. With illegals, you have no idea who the people are, where they come from, what the state of their health is, or where they’re going—that just magnifies the problem many-fold.

There are many ways of screening people if they come through Customs—there are visual screenings of if they look sick, there are monitors that can check body temperature remotely where you don’t have to stick a thermometer in somebody’s mouth, and that’s been used at least in some foreign countries to keep people who may be in early stages of influenza from boarding an aircraft. Or you could do what we used to do for decades, which is quarantine all new legal immigrants into the country for a period of time that’s thought to be necessary to see if they’re incubating a deadly disease. If there’s an Ebola threat, then there would be a difference based on what disease is out there and where people are coming from. None of these are perfect, but at least they give us a chance of identifying potential threats without preventing people from coming into the U.S. when it is appropriate for them to come here.”

Check out these related stories:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Another Governor Can't Do Enough For Illegal Aliens In His State!

Governor Brown will spend millions of California taxpayer dollars to provide for Student Loans, Drivers licenses, Professional licenses and free legal representation for illegal aliens in California.


See related story by clicking link below -

White House Punts Concern For Sgt. Tahmooressi to State Department

Ben Ferro

Gov. Brown Signs Immigration Reform Bills Into Law

Carlos Saucedo, KXTV

Immigration rights activists are applauding Gov. Jerry Brown for signing three immigration reform bills.

The bills include legislation creating the State Dream Loan Program, which will provide $9.2 million for state public universities to administer loans to undocumented students.

"I think the greatest benefit for myself would be that I can make a single payment towards my tuition," said Oswaldo Hernandez, an undocumented student working towards his master's in education at California State University, Sacramento. Because of his immigration status, he is ineligible for federal financial assistance and most private loans.

"My first few semesters I had to work grave yard and then mornings while being a full-time student," Hernandez said. He will have access to the new loan program.

Another bill signed by Brown, Senate Bill 1159, will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for professional state licenses to work as doctors, dentists, nurses and in other professions. Brown also has signed legislation allocating $3 million for non-profit organizations to legally represent minors in their deportation cases. The legislation is a response to the surge in the number of unaccompanied Central American children arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border,

"I think Gov. Brown has been an active participant as it relates to taking leadership on immigrant issues in the state," said Ronald Coleman of the California Immigrant Policy Center. "[Immigration] advocates and the governor haven't always agreed but I think the governor has always shown good intent to make sure we can do the right things to meet the needs of our state residents."

Taking on immigration issues is nothing new for the governor. In 2011, Brown signed the California Dream Act into law, allowing undocumented children brought into the U.S. under the age of 16 to apply for student financial aid.

Last year, Brown also approved a controversial bill that will grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Opponents say these new laws will attract more immigrants to unlawfully cross the border and use California resources.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


In an apparent political effort to join the immigration dialog and launch himself on the national stage, Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland makes absolutely unsubstantiated claims that the removal of illegal alien children to their home countries will result in their "CERTAIN DEATH" 


Ben Ferro

O'Malley Touts Progress On Immigration In Md.

September 11, 2014 | By John Fritze | The Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Martin O'Malley called on the legal community to address the shortage of attorneys available to represent immigrant children and touted Maryland's progress in making the state more hospitable to newcomers in an address Thursday to the Hispanic National Bar Association.

O'Malley, a Democrat who is considering a run for president in 2016, noted the passage of a 2011 state law that allows some immigrants who entered the country illegally to attend Maryland colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates, as well as a more recent decision to limit the impact of a controversial federal program known as Secure Communities.

The governor steered clear of President Barack Obama's plan to delay executive action on immigration enforcement until after the midterm elections in November – a move that has stirred controversy on both sides of that issue.

"In Maryland, we strongly support comprehensive immigration reform but we have not waited for the federal government to act," O'Malley told several hundred gathered in a Washington hotel conference room. "We want to keep families together."

The lack of attorneys available to represent the unaccompanied minors is a well-documented reason for the backlog in immigration court. In Maryland and nationwide, nearly 60 percent of minors facing deportation to countries such as El Salvador and Honduras are arriving in court without a lawyer.

O'Malley called on the attorneys in the room to provide pro bono counsel to the children "to help them navigate the legal process." He noted that Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Maryland Court of Appeals wrote a letter this week to bar associations in the state requesting volunteers.

The governor has received praise from advocates for the tuition law as well as for backing a measure last year to let immigrants in the country illegally to apply for driver's licenses.

More recently, O’Malley limited the circumstances under which the state-run jail in Baltimore will hold immigrants beyond their scheduled release. He then tightened those rules in August after a letter from the Attorney General raised constitutional questions about the detentions.

The practice has long been criticized by groups such as the ACLU.

O'Malley also tussled with the Obama administration in July over a White House policy intended to speed the deportation of unaccompanied minors crossing the border with Mexico. The governor criticized the policy, arguing that "we are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death."