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Tag: Homeland Security

Homeland Security Secretary Kelly Considers Body Cams for Border Patrol Agents

Body cams, via Wikipedia

Body cams, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As complaints continue about President Trump’s toughened immigration policies, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday that he will consider body cameras for Border Patrol and ICE agents, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Kelly met with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members and said he would investigate credible charges of civil rights violations.

In a meeting three weeks ago with Democratic lawmakers, Kelly insisted the agency lacked enough money to buy body cameras.

“We believe that this would increase transparency and would make sure that ICE agents are doing their jobs properly, that Border Patrol agents are doing their job properly,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who has led the push for the body cameras. “He (Kelly) said he is committed to that, and hopefully that will become ‘part of our job.’”

Castro called out Kelly’s claims that the agency doesn’t have enough money for body cams, noting that Trump’s budget calls for an infusion of $2.8 billion for discretionary spending at Homeland Security.

“There are tremendous safety and accountability benefits to having video records of law enforcement activity – both for the officers and for the public,” Castro wrote.

DHS Releases List of Jails, Municipalities That Won’t Cooperate with Immigration Officials

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security fired back at municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials, releasing a list of jails and jurisdictions that have denied immigrant detainer requests. 

Those requests are directed at cities and counties that are holding an inmate who is in the country illegally.

The so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” have stated various reasons for not cooperating, including the fear that it would undermine policing and cooperation with law enforcement.

The list was published Monday and includes more than 200 unnamed individuals who ICE says committed “countable criminal activity.” Also listed are the jails where the undocumented immigrants are lodged.

Overall, less than 10% of municipalities refused to cooperate.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said.

Other Stories of Interest

Feds May Lower Hiring Standards to Hire More Border Patrol, ICE Agents

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security may have to lower its hiring standards to increase immigration enforcement and shut down the border with Mexico.

The agency, which has struggled to fill vacant positions, wants to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more ICE agents.

Strict hiring standards have made it difficult to fill those positions, so now DHS is considering eliminating the polygraph test, requiring less thorough background checks and making an entrance exam easier, according to a DHS memo obtained by Vice

“The idea that they would be able to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents without lowering the standards always struck me as unrealistic,” said Stephen Legomsky, who served as senior counsel to DHS under President Barack Obama. “It would be a terrible idea to eliminate the [lie detector] test, but if they don’t, I don’t see how they could meet their hiring target.”

The hiring standards are so strict that a vast majority of applicants never make it through the process. For example, about 65% of applicants fail the polygraph test.

Homeland Security Pledges to Help Investigate Uptick in Hate Crimes

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security pledged to help investigate a rise in hate-based crimes, from bomb threats to Jewish institutions to shootings of Indian nationals.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said Thursday that the “apparent hate-inspired attacks and harassment against individuals and communities” are “unacceptable.”

DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of International Engagement will be used in the investigations.

So far this year, about 90 Jewish community centers and schools have received threats, often about bombs.

Homeland Security’s help is long-awaited as civil rights leaders have questioned the Trump administration’s slow response to addressing an uptick in hate crimes.

Full Homeland Security statement:

Over the past few weeks, our country has seen an unacceptable and disturbing rise in the number of apparent hate-inspired attacks and harassment against individuals and communities. I strongly condemn any violent acts to perpetuate fear and intimidation not only against individuals, but entire communities. I pledge the full support of the Department of Homeland Security to assist local, state, and federal investigations into these incidents.

In response to these attacks, I have directed the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to work with impacted communities. We will heighten our outreach and support to groups affected by these incidents to enhance public safety. The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will hold Incident Communication Coordination Team calls with impacted communities. The DHS Office of International Engagement will also continue to work with foreign governments whose nationals have been affected by these violent acts.

The United States has a history of welcoming and accepting individuals regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin. Freedom of religion is a cherished American value, guaranteed by the United States Constitution. DHS is committed to protecting all people’s right to that essential freedom.

President Trump Faces Big Hurdle in Hiring 15,000 Agents for ICE, Border Patrol

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to hire 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents may not succeed.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it’s unlikely that “we’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of year,” NPR reports.

That’s largely because of the extensive training and background checks for potential agents.

When the number of agents at Customs and Border Protection were increased from 10,000 to 21,000 during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration, problems occurred. For example, new agents were rushed into the field, many without completed background checks.

“You have to make sure that no red flags come up in someone’s background before you’re putting them in a position like this,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.

One of the most burdensome steps to becoming an agent is passing a rigorous – and some say flawed and overly burdensome – polygraph exam that two out of three applicants fail.

Moran said the exams, which can take up to eight hours, “is excluding qualified candidates from being Border Patrol agents.”

NY Post: Trump’s Immigration Orders Are Strong, But Not Harsh

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Editorial Board
New York Post

Team Trump’s newest immigration orders definitely toughen enforcement, but they’re a far cry from mass roundups.

If the administration sticks to this approach — prioritizing the serious criminals for apprehension and deportation, while also making it harder to succeed at immigrating illegally — it’ll have broad public support.

Over-the-top approaches (deporting law-abiding moms) will mean big trouble.

In that regard, it’s worth noting that Trump still hasn’t touched Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives safe harbor and work permits to those brought here illegally as young children, a k a “the dreamers.”

The Department of Homeland Security also sought to provide instant clarity this time ’round, with background briefings even as DHS chief John Kelly issued his latest orders.
In a conference call with reporters, one official noted, “We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination.”

Yet Trump is moving to actually enforce US law, reversing the across-the-board Obama-era slowdown of enforcement actions. Violent criminals remain the top priority, but are no longer the only priority.

Now plea-bargaining a felony down to a misdemeanor won’t leave you automatically exempt from immigration enforcement, nor will DHS officials wink at an illegal immigrants’ fraudulent filing for welfare benefits.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Secretary Says He Has No Clue What a Sanctuary City Is

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What is a sanctuary city?

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confessed that he had no idea.

“I don’t have a clue,” Kelly told San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman when she asked for a definition.

Kelly was speaking to law enforcement in San Diego.

The definition is important because President Trump signed an executive order that threatened to pull federal funding from every “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

To be sure, what constitutes a sanctuary city has not been made clear. In general, it means cities that refuse to work with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Other Stories of Interest

Report: Estimated Cost & Timeline of Trump’s Wall Skyrockets

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The cost of President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border has soared to an estimated $21.6 billion, according to an internal report by Homeland Security.

The wall also would take 3.5 years to complete, Reuters reports. 

Trump has estimated that the wall would cost $12 billion.

More than 1,200 miles of walls would need to be erected to secure the border.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying it would be “premature” because it has not been officials given to the president.

What remains unclear is how Trump will pay for the wall. He wants Congress to approve the expenditure, which he maintains will be reimbursed by Mexico. Mexican officials said they won’t pay for the wall.

Other Stories of Interest