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Tag: immigrants

Obama Administration Admits It Improperly Approved 175 Immigrants for Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s administration acknowledged this weekend that it approved about 175 immigrants for citizenship without properly running their names through the FBI’s name-check databases.

That means the federal government may have missed red flags to disqualify some of them from naturalization, the Washington Times reports. 

The error was blamed on computer code, affecting about 15,000 applicants.

Because of the error, the government has halted “all naturalization ceremonies already in the pipeline and banned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers from approving new citizenship applications beginning on Nov. 29, when officials acknowledged the problem in an internal email that was later obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte,” The Times wrote.

Daniel M. Renaud, associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told all officers in an internal email “not to approve or oath any naturalization cases in ELIS,” referring to the Electronic Immigration System that serves as the case management system for processing applications.

“At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” he wrote.

Trump Considers Appointing Marine Gen. Kelly to Lead Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump is considering Marine Gen. John Kelly as head of Homeland Security or secretary of state.

That’s significant because Trump became interested in Kelly after hearing about his hawkish views on the Mexican border, The Washington Times reports. 

What caught Trump’s attention was Kelly’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, when he warned that smuggling routes along the border are vulnerable to terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

“In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland,” Kelly said at the time.

Kelly is a four-star general who has been endorsed by fellow retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.

Thousands of Green Cards Mishandled Over Past 3 Years, Inspector General Reports

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government mishandled thousands of green cards over the past three years, according to a new Department of Homeland Security inspector general report. 

Among the problems were electronic system errors that led to at least 19,000 cards being issued with correct information or as duplicates.

The inspector general also found that some green card applicants received a card valid for 10 years, instead of the intended two years.

But the head of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services said some of the report’s conclusions were exaggerated, ABC News reports. 

The USCIS director said none of the green cards were sent to people who were ineligible to receive them.

Central Americans Rush to Cross Border Because of Trump’s Threat to Build a Wall

Border Fence in the DesertBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall has triggered a surge of Central American families flowing into the U.S.  to escape poverty and warlike conditions.

Smugglers are telling migrants they better cross the border soon before the wall is erected, the Boston Globe reports. 

For Smugglers, fears of Trump building a wall have been a selling point.

To handle the influx, the U.S. sent 150 additional agents to Texas to shore up the border.

The Globe writes:

Here at the border, the obstacles to Trump’s plans appear daunting. To hold, quickly process, and deport the tens of thousands of arrivals each month, the Trump administration would have to add scores of immigration judges and dramatically expand detention facilities, which have faced legal challenges. A wall could cost billions.

Some here welcome a Trump crackdown. Many Border Patrol agents resent what they see as a ‘‘catch-and-release’’ approach to the flood of Central Americans. To them, Trump’s win has delivered the morale-boosting equivalent of a Red Bull.

‘‘We’re going to be able to do our jobs again,’’ said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent and a spokesman for their union, which endorsed Trump for president.

‘‘We’ve turned into a detention agency,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not out there enforcing. We’re doing jailer work and sometimes babysitting.’’

But analysts, lawyers and elected officials on both sides of the border say it is a place that has always defied easy fixes and expensive barriers.

Border Patrol’s ‘Icebox’ Conditions Raise Troubling Questions in Court

Detainees used these mylar mats to stave off the cold in detention centers.

Detainees used these mylar mats to stave off the cold in detention centers.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has come under fire from federal prosecutors and civil-rights advocates following the discovery that immigrants are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors.

Tucson.com reports that the floors were so called that they earned the nickname, hierleras,” or iceboxes.

A federal hearing on the issue began Monday, and U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury said he has “concerns” about the court filings.

Bury also referenced statistics that show most detainees are forced to stay in detention centers twice as long as the agency’s recommendation of 12 hours or less.

Border Patrol defended the actions, saying it’s doing the best with limited resources.

“But this court can’t be concerned with budgetary issues,” Bury said.

Border Patrol Chief: Agents Are ‘Most Assaulted Law Enforcement Personnel’ in U.S.

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mark Morgan, the Border Patrol’s new chief, said his agents are “the most assaulted law enforcement personnel in the country.”

“I’ve learned that the United States Border Patrol agents are among the most assaulted law enforcement personnel in the country,” Mark Morgan, the new chief of the Border Patrol, told a House Homeland Security subcommittee panel on Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reports. “There have been 7,542 assaults against agents since 2006 and 30 agents have died in the line of duty since 2003.” 

Morgan also said agents are distracted from their mission to keep the country safe because of unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

“What we’re being asked to do right now, I think you could phrase it a little bit, is a humanitarian mission,” Morgan said.

Homeland Security Released Nearly 20,000 Criminal Immigrants in 2015

immigrationBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security released nearly 20,000 criminal immigrants in 2015, largely because the convicts’ countries wouldn’t take them back.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials said they often have no choice but to release the criminals back into the U.S. after they serve their time, Newsday reports. 

Many of them have been convicted of violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault.

Some members of Congress criticized ICE for releasing the immigrants.

“What is unacceptable is even one (release). Why did you release even one person?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Saldana.

ICE Director Sarah Saldana said her agency is developing a item to alert local authorities when a criminal is released back into society.

Chaffetz said that’s not enough.

“They got caught committing a crime. They were convicted of the crime and instead of following the law and deporting them, you released them … and they commit more crimes,” Chaffetz said. “That is so wholly unacceptable.”

Cell Phone App Helps Border Patrol Save Lives, Capture Undocumented Immigrants

"Grid Me Now" app.

“Grid Me Now” app.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A cell phone app is credited with saving undocumented immigrants who were in bad shape after crossing the border.

The app, “Grid Me Now,” allows residents to send precise coordinates of undocumented immigrants to Border Patrol stations.

In one case, a rancher in Texas found a man who crossed the border illegally and was having a tough time. The rancher offered the man water and then sent the coordinates to the Border Patrol, KRGV reports. 

Jon Parham, Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team member, said, “He looked exhausted. He was not severe, but he definitely would have gotten there if he’d stayed out here any longer. Luckily, he made it out the road and somebody spotted him, called us in. We responded to it and got him the medical help he needed.”

In another case, a rancher spotted a young woman who needed medical attention, and she sent out an alert on the app.

“She was left behind, you know, just after Mother’s Day,” said Thomas W. Slowinski, deputy Border Patrol agent in charge in Falfurrias. “Who leaves a woman behind in the brush? Well, the ruthless smugglers do, okay. They left her behind too tired to walk, feet completely blistered. This rancher went by, saw her, gave us the information, need help, need medical help. That information came in, and of course we responded.”

Slowinski said the phone app is a great resource.

“It’s a tool for us to better communicate with the ranch community or the community at large, to generate information, precise information, through the use of the Internet in an application… that goes on smart phones to give us a precise location of the traffic they may encounter,” Slowinski said.