Thursday, December 31, 2015

The incompetence of this woman is absolutely frightening!!!!

Islamic jihadists are on the march and 14 people were massacred in San Bernardino, yet DHS seems clueless about what is going on with potential threats to our security. Watch DHS testify before the National Security Subcommittee yesterday.
Posted by Congressman Ron DeSantis on Friday, December 11, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Attack Highlights MINIMUM ENFORCEMENT of Visa Overstays

Although not specifically mentioned in the following article, it is important to note that the Federal Government's refusal to enforce the law on all types of visa overstays has resulted in millions of persons, many from high risk countries, living among us illegally.

Ben Ferro (Editor)

The WSJ Highlights More Immigration Visa Abuse Connected to San Bernardino Attacks

by Caroline May,

The abuse of a popular visa program intended to allow foreigners to come to the U.S. for educational exchange purposes is a “sidelight” to the San Bernardino terrorist attacks that shows additional dysfunction in the nation’s immigration system, The Wall Street Journal reports.

As the paper recounts, Enrique Marquez Jr. — the man accused of purchasing the guns used in the San Bernardino attacks — has also been charged with entering into phony marriage in 2014 with a Russian woman named Mariya Chernykh.

Chernykh initially came to the U.S. on a J-1 visa, but remained in the U.S. illegally for six years after her three month visa expired. To date, she has not been charged in connection with the Dec. 2 attacks that killed 14 people.

There is no cap on the number of J-1 visas issued annually for finite stays and those who overstay their visas become part of the illegal immigrant population in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. Some 40 to 50 percent of the illegal population are those who were granted legal access to the U.S. but overstayed their visas.

“The J-1 category is a huge, catchall category for all sorts of purposes, and it’s relatively easy for people to use,” Margaret Stock, an immigration expert, told the WSJ. “Some J-1s come here, they love America and they hear the misinformation that nothing is going to happen if they overstay.“

As the WSJ notes, while it is illegal to overstay one’s visa, the Department of Homeland Security rarely “tracks down” those who overstay their visa.

“Visa overstays are a long-standing challenge for immigration enforcement,” Marc Rosenblum, deputy director for U.S. immigration policy at the Migration Policy Institute, told the paper. “Overstay enforcement has never been a top priority, and completing a system to reliably identify and track overstayers remains years away.”

According to the WSJ, in fiscal year 2014 the U.S. issued 331,068 J-1 visas to applicants from 200 countries and rejected another 42,792 applications. The Journal notes that it is “unclear” how many J-1s are part of the visa overstay population.

As with other foreigners in the country illegally, the DHS doesn’t attempt to locate visa overstays unless a person has committed a crime or is in police custody, the spokeswoman said. Thus, it is unlikely that Ms. Chernykh would have raised any red flags.

Marquez’s marriage to Chernykh on November, 2014 made her eligible to apply for legal permanent residency, despite having overstayed her initial three-month visa.

A day after the attack, she was due at a DHS office in Southern California for a green-card interview, according to law-enforcement officials. Officials wouldn’t comment on whether she might face any charges or deportation because of the continuing investigation.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Immigration Debate: Today’s Issues

Surge at southern border sparks debate across U.S.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Tribune Newspapers

   HOUSTON — The southern border has become a flashpoint in recent weeks as Syrian families, along with Cuban and Central American migrants, have arrived to seek asylum. At the same time, the president’s executive action programs to provide temporary relief for up to 5 million immigrants have ignited a heated national debate. Here is some background on today’s immigration issues.

   Q: How many Syrians have arrived at the southern border seeking asylum?
   A: It depends on whom you ask. Several Syrian families have arrived at the southern border in recent months, seeking asylum, but the administration has delayed releasing complete figures. According to a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, only five Syrians were stopped by Border Patrol nationwide in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, with 14 the previous year and two the year before that. But U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose South Texas district includes Laredo, said there actually were more than 80 Syrians apprehended at the border last year.

   Q: Has there been an influx of Cuban migrants?
   A: There was a 44 percent increase in the number of Cubans arriving at U.S. ports of entry in the year that ended Sept. 30, 43,159 compared with 24,278 the year before, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. While Cuban migration to the U.S. has increased annually since 2009, officials conceded that the recent jump significantly exceeds the average increase in the last six years.

   Q: What’s driving the upswing in Cuban immigrants?
   A: Cuban migrants who recently entered Texas through Laredo told Tribune Newspapers that they fled after the U.S. and Cuba announced last December the beginning of a process to normalize relations. The change, migrants feared, would mean the end of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which allows Cubans who make it to the U.S. to stay and work legally. Their fears appear unjustified in the short term. Secretary of State John Kerry said last summer that he had no intention of changing the policy.

   Q: Last year, President Barack Obama said Central American children and families flooding the border had created a “humanitarian crisis.” What is happening now?
   A: There has been a new surge this fall in Central American families and unaccompanied children arriving at the southern border, according to Customs and Border Protection figures. In October and November , the number of families intercepted there nearly tripled to 12,505 compared with the same period last year, while the number of unaccompanied children more than doubled to 10,588.

   Q: Where are the unaccompanied minors coming from?
   A: Most travel from Guatemala and El Salvador.

   Q: What is the status of Obama’s proposal to give temporary legal status to up to 5 million immigrants now in the U.S.?
   A: The programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, would not apply to recent arrivals, such as the Central American families, Cubans or Syrians stopped at the border recently. The programs were designed to allow children brought to the country by their parents, or parents of U.S. citizens or resident children, to stay in the U.S. Texas, joined by 25 states, sued to block the programs, arguing that they create an undue burden including associated costs, such as the cost of issuing immigrants driver’s licenses. Texas attorneys asked for a 30-day extension until Jan. 20 to respond because of a heavy workload. On Dec. 8, the court denied Texas’ request and granted an eight-day delay instead. 

Ben Ferro (Editor)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On the Question of Refugee Vetting

You're being lied to and perhaps a bit naive if you believe that security vetting of Middle Eastern refugees is meaningful. Here's why:

First: The claim by the government that the security vetting process of refugees often takes two years and, therefore, should be seen as thorough and complete is pure fiction. The fact is that while the process often is lengthy, its duration has little or nothing to do with security or background checks. The greatest delays are generated by "cultural training" and other administrative functions conducted by community organizations. (These organizations are under the umbrella of the State Department and are handsomely compensated for these services)    

Second: True security vetting is dependent in large part on the exchange of information between governmental law enforcement organizations and from informants in home countries. Where traditional governments are in disarray or no longer even exist and where sources in country are extremely limited as is the case in most of the refugee providing countries, vetting is at best a crap shoot. What is left in the vetting process are "camp sources" and the interviews with the applicants.

In sum, without criminal records and in country source information, vetting is a misnomer for "best available." 

Ben Ferro (editor)

(Ben Ferro served for six years as the Justice Department's Immigration Director at Embassy Rome with responsibility for all refugee processing of persons from the then Soviet Union, the Middle Eastern countries, as well as those refugees fleeing war torn areas in Africa. During Mr. Ferro's tenure, tens of thousands of persons were processed each year through INS Rome operations.)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Enough is Enough!

This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Here's the NY Times suggesting that Immigration requirements should be tightened for intending female spouses of US Citizens. This is the same organization that whined loudly that we shouldn't treat women and children with the same restrictions when considering tightening the Refugee and Visa Waiver Programs for persons coming our of Syria. Would the Times want the U.S. to tighten up Visa requirements of intending female spouses coming instead from their historically political support communities? I think not.

Ben Ferro (Editor,

For Woman in Shooting, Easy Passage Through U.S. Visa Process

By Julia Preston, The New York Times

The woman involved in the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday passed through two rounds of criminal and national security background checks as she obtained a “fiancé visa” and later a resident green card to live in the United States, federal officials said.

Those checks turned up no negative information about the woman, Tashfeen Malik, a federal official said Friday. But after the F.B.I. said Friday that it was investigating the shootings as an act of terrorism — Ms. Malik pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post the day of the attack — officials were scouring her immigration record to see if there were any revealing details they might have missed.

“There was nothing she presented that would have been flagged,” a federal official said, speaking anonymously to discuss a fast-moving investigation involving several federal agencies. But, he said, “We’re going back right now and double-checking and looking over everyone’s shoulder who was involved.”

The information that Ms. Malik came to live in this country legally has heightened concern about security reviews in the immigration system. It has also renewed a tense debate in Washington, particularly after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris provoked a furor in Congress and among state governments about the vetting of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

On Thursday, two Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, who is running for president, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, demanded that the Obama administration provide them with detailed information on the immigration history of Ms. Malik, who came to the United States and married Syed Rizwan Farook, an American citizen whom officials have identified as her partner in Wednesday’s shooting that killed 14 people and injured 21.

Ms. Malik, 29, was granted a K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé visa, in Pakistan in July 2014, the officials said, and she traveled to the United States that month. The review process for a K-1 visa is “not as strict” as the vetting for refugees, Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman said. But immigration officials said the K-1 review was more extensive than the vetting of a foreigner who planned to only visit. Mr. Earnest said Obama administration officials were examining Ms. Malik’s journey to this country to see if any policies should be changed.

As a routine part of the visa and green card applications, Ms. Malik gave fingerprints and other identifying information, which were passed twice through background checks using the State Department’s watch lists and the immigration, counterterror and criminal databases at the Department of Homeland Security and at the F.B.I.

For the K-1 visa, Mr. Farook, 28, initiated the application to bring in his fiancée, who provided a Pakistani passport. Adhering to standard procedure for the K-1 visa, Ms. Malik had to demonstrate to State Department consular officials in Pakistan that their relationship was legitimate, and that she and Mr. Farook intended to marry in the United States within 90 days after she received the visa. Mr. Farook had to prove that he and Ms. Malik had met in person at least once in the previous two years, typically done by providing photos showing them together, personal messages and travel reservations. After the 90-day period, a K-1 visa expires and cannot be renewed.

As part of that review, Ms. Malik had a personal interview with a consular officer in Pakistan, federal officials said.

The couple came to the country in July 2014 on a flight that originated in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, two federal officials said. According to a certificate obtained by The Associated Press, the two were married in Riverside County, Calif., in August 2014, within the 90-day time limit.

On Sept. 30, 2014, Mr. Farook applied for a green card to make Ms. Malik a permanent resident, based on her marriage to an American citizen. There is no limit on the number of green cards available to spouses of citizens, so the process generally moves quickly.

Since green cards are granted by a different agency, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ms. Malik had to undergo more background checks, probably providing a new set of fingerprints, officials said.

It is routine for an officer from the citizenship agency to interview both spouses, but officials there could not confirm that Ms. Malik was interviewed, citing privacy concerns. Under the standard procedure, the couple would have had to provide documents and undergo questioning, primarily to persuade immigration officers their marriage was not fraudulent. Typically the officer would interview the spouses separately, often asking highly personal questions about foods or pastimes the other spouse enjoyed or other intimate details, to make sure the immigrant and the spouse lived together.

Ms. Malik received a conditional green card in July 2015, officials said. After two years, the couple would have had to apply again to get a regular green card, showing they were still married. Both were killed in a shootout with police on Wednesday, leaving behind a 6-month-old daughter.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

San Bernardino Violence


The White House says "Too early to tell"

Take your pick, the White House or the facts

The facts from  law enforcement:

·       Subject was in touch with terror suspect abroad
·       Subject visited Pakistan in 2014
·       "This was not a workplace argument" Local PD
·       Subjects' home had bomb making tools and devices
·       Subjects' vehicle contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition
·       Subjects' home had 12 assembled pipe bombs 

Ben Ferro says:: Are you blind?


FBI Investigates Shootings as Terrorism

Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Refugee Program Is Actually an Unauthorized Family Reunification Program For People Who Came To The United States Illegally

Central American "Refugee" Program Admits Few Actual Refugees

By Jessica Vaughan

Most of the youths being approved under the Obama administration's new Central American Minors Refugee/Parole (CAM) Program do not qualify as refugees, but are being admitted as parolees, according to new data released in a stakeholders' teleconference last week, confirming earlier reports.

This program, unveiled in November 2014, has been misleadingly described as a refugee program that will provide a safe alternative to hiring the criminal alien smuggling organizations that have been enriched by the administration's open door policy for illegal juvenile and family arrivals from Central America. In the official program announcement, the State Department stated:

The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States.

In fact, as even the most cursory examination of the program makes clear, the CAM is essentially an unauthorized family reunification program for Central Americans who came to the United States illegally and who are not eligible for any legal program to bring in the family members that they left behind.

So far, about 4,300 applications have been accepted, representing about 4,800 people. The parent sponsors must fall into one of five categories, mostly covering illegal aliens in the United States who have been given a temporary quasi-legal status.

Of those adjudicated (so far about 90), only 12 percent received conditional approval as refugees. The vast majority, 84 percent, were conditionally approved as parolees. The remaining 4 percent are undergoing additional review (meaning they don't appear to be approvable at this point, but the agency will do its best to find a way to say yes).

A representative of one of the many "mas-migration" groups on the conference call voiced disgruntlement that so few of the applicants were being awarded refugee status, which in addition to qualifying the applicant for a vast array of public welfare benefits also leads to a green card and potentially citizenship. A USCIS presenter noted that parole is not such a bad deal either, as it's a status from which one potentially can adjust to a green card, and the relatives of parolees also can obtain parole.

A participant from the Post-Deportation Human Rights Program of Boston College asked the government officials to confirm that it is possible for juveniles who have been deported from the United States, and who have other problems such as criminal convictions or gang membership that would normally disqualify them, to be approved for this program. The officials confirmed that this is possible, and that these applicants could seek a waiver for certain disqualifying factors, as refugees can.

One participant asked if a parent could sponsor a child for this program if the parent is currently in removal proceedings. A government official said he would look into that.

No information was offered on how many of the applications have been received in each of the qualifying categories of sponsors. This information is tracked on the Affidavits of Responsibility that are part of the application. The five categories of status that qualify a parent to sponsor a child through CAM are: Lawful Permanent Resident (even though green card holders already can sponsor their children so they have no need for refugee status or parole); Temporary Protected Status; Parole; Deferred Action (including U visa holder, VAWA petitioners, and DACA recipients); and Deferred Enforced Departure/Withholding of Removal. All of these categories except for LPR are used primarily to launder the status of illegal aliens. Under the law, individuals with TPS, Parole, Deferred Action, and DED are not permitted to sponsor family members for admission because they are not a legal form of admission or permanent residence.

During the Q&A part of the teleconference I asked if the government presenters could provide information on 1) the number of applicants seeking waivers of ineligibility/inadmissibility and 2) the number of applications from sponsors in each of the five qualified categories. They asked me to submit the questions through their website, and I have not heard back. The Senate Judiciary Committee submitted similar questions after holding a hearing on the program last April entitled "Eroding the Law and Diverting Taxpayer Resources: An Examination of the Administration's Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program".

Reprinted from Jessica Vaughan’s Blog, Center for Immigration Studies

Ben Ferro (Editor,

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Although No Longer a “Hot News Item”, Wave Of Illegal Aliens Continues Unabated Across Our Southern Border

Thousands of Children Crossed US-Mexico Border in October

By Seth Robbins, Associated Press

Nearly 5,000 unaccompanied immigrant children were caught illegally crossing the U.S. border with Mexico in October, almost double the number from October 2014, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Also, in the figures released Tuesday, the number of family members crossing together nearly tripled from October 2014 — from 2,162 to 6,029.

The numbers spiked despite expectations of lower numbers due to the colder winter months coming, better enforcement along the border and efforts by Mexican authorities to stem the stream of Central American migrants to the U.S. Though tens of thousands of women and children from Central America were caught at the border in summer 2014, it had dropped by nearly half during the 2015 federal fiscal that ended Sept. 30.

The 4,973 unaccompanied children caught at the border last month is the highest number that Washington, D.C.-based think tank Washington Office on Latin America has recorded for October since their records began in 2009, said Adam Isacson, a border expert and senior analyst.

The high numbers buck the typical trends of crossings peaking in spring then declining through summer and fall, Isacson said. But there was an uptick in families and children crossing in July, and the numbers have stayed over 4,000 each month since.

"Rather than a big jump, it's been a steady burn," he said. "I think we are almost in crisis mode with this many months of sustained arrivals."

Most children and families trying to cross the border in October were from El Salvador. Increased violence in the tiny country, which averaged 30 murders a day in August, is likely partly to blame, Isacson said. Previously, Guatemala had the most families and children apprehended at the border.

While the Rio Grande Valley remains the center of migration flows in Texas, immigrants are starting to venture farther west. The number of unaccompanied children caught in Del Rio sector jumped from 120 to 237, while 187 children were apprehended in the remote Big Bend area, up from just 13 a year ago.

According to internal intelligence files from the Homeland Security Department, most families interviewed told Customs and Border Protection officials that smugglers decided where they would try to cross. They reported that the cost ranged from about $5,000 to cross the border near Matamoros or Reynosa, Mexico, across the border from the Rio Grande Valley, but was about $1,500 to $2,000 to cross near Ciudad Acuna, across the river from Del Rio.

Carlos Bartolo Solis, director of a shelter in Arriaga, Chiapas, said migrants are eschewing the dangerous train that begins its journey near his shelter after raids by Mexican immigration authorities. The flow of migrants, however, has not diminished, he said, adding that they are moving along other routes, often walking.

"They are moving in hiding," he said in Spanish.

The administration was caught off guard by the sudden surge of children and families in 2014 and made several efforts to curb the flow of people crossing the border illegally, including media campaigns in Central America to scare people out of attempting the dangerous journey.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement this week that the campaigns are still in place and highlight that "those attempting to come here illegally are a top priority for removal."

Immigrant families caught illegally crossing the border between July and September told U.S. immigration agents they made the dangerous trip in part because they felt they were likely to succeed, according to the intelligence files. Immigrants spoke of "permisos," or passes, that they believed would allow them to remain in the United States.

Ben Ferro (Editor)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Problems with Automation: The rest of the story

On Monday, I reposted a story which appeared in the Washington Post entitled, “A Decade Into A Project To Digitize U.S. Immigration Forms, 
Just 1 Is Online” which recounts problems that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently had trying to automate their “antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records”.

The Post article, outlining a scandalous decade and disastrous waste in the electronic modernization of the INS, now USCIS under the Homeland Security Department, was a well done account of the gross ineptitude at the troubled Agency.

At the risk of being seen as piling on, we cannot pass up the opportunity to record and provide our readers with the "Rest of the Story" as a favorite radio commentator of the past coined.

Outlined below is a compilation of frank and candid recollections of many many persons who "worked" on the project from within the government and from the private sector, not for 10 years and one billion dollars but for 20 years and much more taxpayer dollars. First it must be said that while the primary participants in this effort were INS/CIS government employees and contract employees of IBM, many others from other government entities and other private contractors contributed in making this one of the biggest contracting fiascoes in government.

It can be said with certainty now, that only IBM and other contractor contributors benefited from this two decade project perhaps to the tune of two Billion dollars. Indeed the irony is that government is likely worse off than when it all began. 

As noted, during this latest endeavor, which USCIS has dubbed as “Transformation”,  the agency has spent more than a billion dollars, over a period of 10 years, with very little to show for their efforts. In fact, as pointed out in the Post article, this venture has resulted in the automation of only one of the almost 100 forms filed with USCIS.

While this revelation might seem shocking to most people, those of us who have worked for this agency and for it’s predecessor, the INS, aren’t the least bit surprised. That’s because the immigration agency has had a very long history of failed attempts to automate their paper intense immigration benefit filing and adjudication process.

A Little History

The first (and, in my opinion, the last) real success that the INS had in automating it’s records was when they deployed the Central Index System in 1985. This mainframe computer system, which tracks all immigration paper files was, in fact, so successful, that it is still very actively in use today, some 30 years later, despite dozens of efforts to replace it with newer technology.

The agency’s next major attempt at automation came several years later with the creation of the CLAIMS 3 system. Unfortunately, this system, which is used to manage most of the paper applications for immigration benefits serviced by the INS,  did not include one of the most important, the Application for Naturalization. In addition, although this CLAIMS system was available in the agency’s 4 Regional Service Centers, it was not accessible by the 80+ USCIS field offices where the bulk of the adjudication of immigration benefits took place at the time. Although much time and money was spent attempting to roll this automated system to field offices in the early 1990s, it failed miserably. In fact, only one office out of the 80 received this computer system.

Fast forward to the mid 1990s, when the INS decided to abandon the CLAIMS 3 system and create a whole new system, using a different technology, which they would eventually call CLAIMS 4. The plan was to roll all of the application form types into this new system and then take CLAIMS 3 off line. Unfortunately, after years of development, and many cost overruns, when CLAIMS 4 was finally unveiled it only supported one application, the Application for Naturalization (do I detect a theme here?).  As I understand it, development was halted because someone realized that the new system was not compatible with this newly emerging phenomena called the Internet. As a result, the CLAIMS 3 system is still in use today.

So, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, INS was stuck with two separate major automated systems, which used old technology, and which were very expensive to maintain. As I recall, in 2000 a decision was made by INS Headquarters to create yet another major system which would replace both CLAIMS systems, as well as the dozens of ancillary automated systems which filled in the gaps. This effort, christened Modernization, set out on a five year undertaking to gather technical requirements to develop a new automated system, code-named, TABS. Although the TABS experiment cost the INS millions of dollars and eventually resulted in an extremely detailed functional requirements document consisting of hundreds of pages, no actual automated system was ever built.

Enter Transformation

In 2005, after several failed attempts at modernization, the INS, now re-branded as USCIS, set out to transform its operating model from a paper intensive process to an purely electronic process, and the Transformation Program was born. To accomplish this transformation, the agency decided to bring in outside help in the form of an Information Technology contractor. After much vetting by USCIS, IBM was selected for this role. As the Solutions Architect for this project, IBM was supposed to come up with solutions to help USCIS get to its new “transformed state”. Unfortunately, this was much harder to accomplish than anyone could have imagined, and a 5 year, $500 million project has eventually stretched to almost 11 years and over 1 billion dollars (and counting).

As stated in the Post article, the project was mismanaged right from the start. Instead of building requirements for the system based on the aforementioned extensive TABS requirements document, USCIS simply threw this document out and started the requirements gathering process anew. Now, I have to tell you, I worked for the agency for more than 35 years and I can say with relative certainty that the basic mechanics of adjudicating most applications for immigration benefits hadn’t changed much, if at all, between the way it was done in 2000, as compared to 2005.

In any event, a large part of the problem with the creation and development of ELIS, as the new electronic immigration was called, was the way that the agency set about trying to determine what the new system would do. USCIS insiders have informed me that, in a misguided attempt at including everyone in the process,  this was done via large scale telephonic conference calls involving dozens of USCIS  employees in offices all over the country. These mass meetings, I’m told, were far from productive, and many times devolved into hours of petty arguments over points minutia, while missing important broad concepts.

Another problem encountered in developing the ELIS system was the apparent power struggle between the newly created Office of Transformation within USCIS, and the USCIS Office of Information Technology (OIT), which was ultimately responsible for all issues involving automation. This led to OIT being left “out of the loop” many times on technology decisions, a fact which later came back to haunt the agency.

And, although IBM, I’m told, likes to dump the whole mess which is Transformation on USCIS, they are not entirely blameless. I was once informed by a former colleague who was heavily involved in the development of the ELIS project, that it seemed to her that IBM’s primary objective in this effort was not to assist USCIS in automating its processes, but rather to sell the agency as many IBM products in the development of ELIS as they could before they were ultimately canned as the solutions architect.

Winners and Losers

In the end, IBM walked away from the project having earned triple the amount of money they were initially promised, leaving USCIS with a product that was so badly flawed that they eventually just threw it away and started with a totally new approach.

Did those who mismanaged this project so badly receive their just desserts? Well not exactly. The senior managers in charge of the project all received nice promotions to positions of their choosing, including the former USCIS Director, under whose watch this debacle took place.

And what of the few whistleblowers, who tried, in vain, to shine a light on this mismanagement? Well, they were quickly transferred to other agencies based on “management need”.

The Dust Settles

Transformation today at USCIS has taken a new direction. The new system being developed, now called ELIS2, is projected to be completed in 2019 at an additional cost to the agency of two billion dollars. I’m not that optimistic. Sources within the agency have told me that there continue to be problems with system development. Maybe USCIS should just stick with the paper-based process; after all, it’s worked OK since 1952.

Ben Ferro

Monday, November 16, 2015

An Open Letter: Curtailing Syrian Nationals Unfettered Movement Into the U.S

"An Open letter to the President"

Mr. President:

I and several other former Directors of the INS ask you in the light of the present upheaval in the EU to immediately
consider shuttering the Visa Waiver eligibility program from persons coming from European countries who have resettled
there from Syria.

In addition, acceptance of persons applying for Refugee Status from Syria should be subject to such scrutiny as necessary to establish  their bona fides identical to the former Soviet refugee program.

Ben Ferro (Editor)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Here's A Guy That Gets It‏

Sanctuary City Policies Will ‘No Longer Be Tolerated In Texas,’ Says Governor Abbott

By Bob Price,

Texas Governor Greg Abbott admonished Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez over her recent decision to consider honoring immigration detainers on a “case-by-case” basis. The governor said sanctuary city policies like this will “no longer be tolerated in Texas.”

Governor Abbott wrote the tersely worded letter to Sheriff Valdez after her decision to scale back on honoring immigration detainers sent to her jail by the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Her announcement was reported by Breitbart Texas on October 12.

“’Sanctuary City’ policies like those promoted by your recent decision to implement your own case-by-case immigrant detention plan will no longer be tolerated in Texas,” Abbott began in his letter attached below. “Your decision to not fully honor U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) requests to detain criminal immigrants poses a serious danger to Texans. These detainers provide ICE with the critical notice and time it needs to take incarcerated immigrants into federal custody.”

“Your refusal to fully participate in a federal law enforcement program intended to keep dangerous criminals off the streets leaves the State no choice but to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our fellow Texans,” Abbott continued. “Now more than ever, it is essential that state, federal, and local law enforcement work collaboratively to protect our fellow Texans and to ensure that our laws are upheld, not disregarded.”

The governor laid out actions he and the state of Texas could take in response to the renegade actions of this sheriff. Those include the following:

§        Passing laws that prohibit any policy or action that promotes sanctuary to people in this state illegally.
§        Enacting laws that make it illegal for a Sheriff’s Department to not honor a federal immigration detainer request.
§        Evaluating the extent to which local taxpayers should foot the bill for local decisions that increase costs for Texas’ health and education systems.
§        Amending the Tort Claims Act to ensure counties are fully financially responsible for the actions of any illegal immigrants who are released because the county’s Sheriff failed to honor an ICE detainer request.

Valdez says her new policy applies only to those who have committed minor offenses. She issued an order that these inmates not be held the additional 48 hours for ICE officials as has been done in the past, as reported by Breitbart Texas.

“No matter what we do, someone is going to get upset,” Valdez told Dallas Morning News reporters. “We can’t base our decisions on who is going to get upset with us. We have to base our decisions on what is best for the whole.”  She did not elaborate on how releasing criminal illegal aliens into the community before ICE is able to determine if there is grounds for detention or deportation makes her community safer.

Lopez said that instead of looking at felonies vs. misdemeanors, she would instead base her decisions on a case-by-case basis.

“Now more than ever,” Abbott concluded in his letter, “it is essential that state, federal, and local law enforcement work collaboratively to protect our fellow Texans and to ensure that our laws are upheld, not disregarded.”

Ben Ferro (Editor)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nothing would surprise me anymore!

Sources: Vocal Supporter Of Sanctuary Cities On Short List To Be Next Head Of Border Patrol

By William La Jeunesse,

A former San Francisco police chief and vocal supporter of a sanctuary cities policy is on a short list of candidates to become the new chief of the Border Patrol, according to sources.

As police chief, Heather Fong shielded illegal immigrants, including aliens who committed crimes, from deportation. In contrast, it is the job of the U.S. Border Patrol to catch and deport all illegal immigrants, including those with a criminal history.

"If they bring (a police chief) in for political purposes based on the sanctuary cities model, that politicizes the job and I think it completely undermines credibility and morale in the organization," House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News.

"If you have someone who is advocating for sanctuary cities, that's the opposite side. They welcome these illegal immigrants to stay in the country. And so I think it's at cross-purpose with the mission itself."

Fong, according to Border Patrol, DHS and Capitol Hill sources, is one of several candidates to replace current chief Mike Fischer, who announced his resignation last month.

Fong is currently an assistant secretary for state and local law enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security. If tapped, she would be the first outsider to lead the Border Patrol in its 90-year history.

That decision is up to Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, who released a statement Monday saying, “"At this time, CBP has not begun the search for the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. It is completely false that any individual could be a potential candidate at this time. We are currently preparing the paperwork to begin the process."

 Rank and file agents were surprised she would be considered.

"The appointment of Heather Fong would prove that the Border Patrol is no longer the enforcement agency that Congress and the American public intended it to be," according to a statement released by Brandon Judd, head of the agents' union.

"Heather Fong oversaw a sanctuary city, which is directly contrary to our mission. Her appointment would be for political purposes and the trust of the men and woman of the Border Patrol in DHS and CBP leadership would be lost."

During her five years as the chief of SFPD, Fong refused to cooperate with ICE, telling reporters in November 2008, "We do not cooperate with ICE when they go out for enforcement of immigration violations of the law."

A few months earlier, she appeared in a public service campaign telling illegal immigrants they're welcome in the city. In promoting San Francisco's sanctuary city policy on TV, radio, posters and brochures in five languages, Fong said illegal immigrants had nothing to fear under her watch. "San Francisco is committed to providing safe access to public services to our communities," she said.

In a news conference unveiling the campaign, she told reporters, "We do not work on enforcing immigration laws."

The chief of the Border Patrol position does not require congressional approval. But given the "border security first" mentality among many on Capitol Hill, McCaul said he believes bringing in an outsider could be a hard sell.

Ben Ferro (Editor)