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Archive for February 27th, 2017

Should TSA Fire Staffers After 11 Passengers Weren’t Screened at JFK Airport?

1024px-welcome_john_f-_kennedy_international_airport_signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eleven passengers managed to get past a checking point at JFK Airport without being screened last week, prompting outrage from law enforcement.

Although three of those passengers set off a metal-detector alarm, they were able to walk on without the TSA alerting Port Authority police for two hours.

In a statement, the TSA wrote, “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees.”

The TSA pledged to take “appropriate action” against the responsible workers.

In an editorial last week, the New York Post called for the termination of the employees involved. 

Retraining. Appropriate action. How about fired? Sorry, no: TSA staff are a protected branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, one with the hilarious motto: “Stronger Union, Safer Skies.”

Private-sector workers who mess up so badly as to put lives in jeopardy would be gone in a heartbeat. Heck, they’d be fired for far less serious breaches.

Somewhere along the road to making America great again, Mr. President, how about privatizing the damn TSA to end all the maddening “security theater?”

Other Stories of Interest

White House Dodges Questions about Sessions’ Role in Investigation of Russia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House won’t answer questions about whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post reports. 

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russian interference, said Sessions should not lead the investigation because it represents a conflict.

But deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won’t say whether Sessions should withdraw from the investigation.

The appropriate time to discuss Sessions’ role, she said, is after the congressional committees complete their own investigations, even though  they are independent of the FBI probe.

ICE Agents Are Ignoring Finer Points of Immigration Law

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Sandra Hernandez
Los Angeles Times

Whenever U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement insists it is just doing its job, Americans should take a closer look at what is happening.

With an executive order signed in his first week in office, President Trump has “taken the shackles off” ICE and Border Patrol officers, according to the White House, expanding the priorities for deporting immigrants.  Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly claims his agents will focus on those convicted of or charged with crimes, but immigrant advocacy groups and the news media already have documented arrests, detentions and deportations of  immigrants who in no way represent a threat to public safety.

From 2006 through early 2010, I reported on Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What I learned was that no matter the ostensible priorities of federal agencies — or even settled law — ICE was an agency prone to overreach.

In those days, immigration agents liked to roll out press releases touting the successes of their  “fugitive operations.” The releases detailed how violent gang members, sexual predators and other criminals were taken off the streets. Time and again, I pressed the agency for detailed information on those arrested only to discover the detainees were neither fugitives nor serious criminals.

Instead, I found longtime green card holders who had been convicted decades earlier of minor offenses.  Or who were ordered deported in absentia, in some cases because they had moved or the wrong paperwork had been filed.  Among the detainees without green cards, many simply didn’t come close to fitting the description “danger to society.” They were street vendors, construction workers, janitors and small business owners, albeit without papers.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Pursuit Ends in Crash in California, Injuring 9 Inside

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents were chasing an SUV driven by a suspected human smuggler when the Chevrolet Trailblazer crashed Sunday in Lake Moreno, Calif., injuring all nine people inside the vehicle.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that agents attempted to pull over the SUV on state Route 94 in the Campo area shortly before noon. 

The driver, who sped away, crashed about 15 minutes later into a boulder near the entrance to Lake Morena County Park.

One person was in critical condition, while six sustained moderate injuries and two suffered minor injuries.

Agents believe the driver, who is a U.S. citizen, was smuggling the passengers into the U.S. They were all adult Mexican nationals.

“This incident is a sad example of how human smugglers show utter disregard for human life in order to profit from criminal activity,” Mark Endicott, a supervisory Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, said in a statement. 

Pennsylvania Man Sues ATF Because 40-Year-Old Crime Bars Him from Owning Guns

atf_sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Pennsylvania man who is barred from possessing a gun because he was convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor 40 years ago is suing the ATF because he wants to hunt with his grandchildren.

PennLive reports that Terry E. Laudenslager was convicted of buying a stolen television in 1976. A federal law bars him from possession a firearm because he was convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison. 

Since then, Laudenslager has not committed another crime, and now he wants to buy weapons to protect himself and to hunt with his grandchildren.

Last week, he filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the ATF, hoping to win a judgment that will allow him to once again legally possess guns.