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Tag: immigration

Ex-Homeland Security Chief: Trump’s Wall Is a ‘Symbol’ and Waste of Tax Dollars

Michael Chertoff

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called President Trump’s border wall “a symbol” and a waste of tax dollars.

Chertoff, who led the country’s Homeland Security Department from February 2005 to January 2009, told Newsweek that a border wall would “fulfill some sort of visual image” for Trump but would do little to prevent undocumented immigrants from coming to the U.S.

“I think the idea of a wall in and of itself is a symbol. It’s not a real tool,” Chertoff said. “It is not an efficient or effective tool.” 

Chertoff said the better alternative to a wall would be comprehensive reform.

“The right way to do border security is to look at the entire system,” Chertoff said. “And that begins with what is pushing people to leave their countries and come to the U.S. in the first place. In some cases, it’s violence and the rule of law not being in existence.” 

Trump’s Plan to Hire New Border Patrol Agents Falls Far Short of Goal

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s call for tighter border security came with a pledge two years ago to hire 15,000 new border agents and immigration officers.

But after the CBP spent $60.7 million on a management consulting firm, Accenture Federal Services, to recruit, vet and hire the border officers, the company has hired only 33 people so far, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The hiring surge has not begun,” the inspector general’s office at the Department of Homeland Security wrote in November.

The IG also questioned whether the surge was necessary because of illegal immigration has reached historic lows at the southern border.

Still, Trump has made border security a priority, and the lack of money for a wall led to the longest government shutdown in history.

Trump Threatens to Deploy Military, Shut Down Mexican Border over Caravan of Immigrants

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump threatened Thursday to deploy the military and close the southern border if Mexico fails to stop thousands of immigrants heading toward the United States.

“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!,” the president tweeted Thursday.

In another tweet, Trump continued to castigate Democrats for being weak on immigrations.

“I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S,” Trump said.

In a third tweet, Trump said trade is less important to him than stopping migrants from entering the country.

“The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border,” he wrote. “All Democrats fault for weak laws!”

A caravan of more than 4,000 migrants fled Central American countries a week ago because of violence and poverty.

They appeared to be undeterred by Trump’s threats.

“We are going to continue,” 32-year-old Luis Navarreto told the Associated Press. “It is God who decides here. We have no other option but to move ahead.”

Homeland Security Shifted $10M from FEMA to Combat Immigration

Hurricane Florence

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration shifted nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier this year to fund the detention and deportation immigrants, according to documents obtained by USA Today

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the documents Tuesday, saying the Department of Homeland Security requested the money as the hurricane season was gearing up.

Merkley said the money is desperately needed in case the U.S. is hit as hard as it was last year by hurricanes.

“It’s almost guaranteed to happen again, so this is just incredibly irresponsible,” Merkley said. 

Sure enough, the documents were released just days before Hurricane Florence is expected to pound the Carolinas, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. 

The documents also reveal that millions of dollars also were taken the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard to finance ICE.

FBI Investigating Weeks-Old Attack on City’s First Latino Mayor over Immigration

Burien Jimmy Matta

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Three weeks after the city of Burien’s first Latino mayor said he was attacked by a man angry about his policies supporting immigrants, no charges have been filed.

Now the FBI is stepping in after several law enforcement agencies have failed to charge the 62-year-old Burien man who Mayor Jimmy Matta said attacked him at a block party in this suburb city in King County, Washington.

Matta told police that a man in his 60s put him into a headlock and pulled him to the ground on July 21, whispering to the mayor, “We’re not going to let you Latino illegal take over our city,” the Seattle Times reported at the time. 

The attack is

Both the King County prosecuting attorney and state attorney general said they have conflicts of interest.

A spokesman for Attorney General Bob Ferguson said state prosecutors are waiting for the FBI to complete the investigation.

“We’re still waiting to receive the investigation file,” the spokesman said in an email to the Seattle Times.  “Hard to guess at a timeline when we’re not sure when we’ll get the file, but I’m sure the team will need some time with it to review the evidence before making a recommendation.”

Matta has been an outspoken supporter of making Burien a so-called sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

James Comey: ‘I Am Disgusted. I Am Horrified.’

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Director James Comey, in Ireland to promote his book, “A Higher Loyalty,’ said in Dublin he was ashamed.

“I am ashamed of the way my country has acted with respect of those children,” Comey said Friday in Dublin, according to the Irish Times. “I am disgusted, I am horrified, I am embarrassed, I’m ashamed.”

“My wife and I were joking, not really joking; we wanted to tell the people on the customs line coming here that we were Canadian. And we were joking but it’s funny because it reveals a truth: I’m ashamed.”

USA Today reported on the remarks in the Irish press.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The RFK Assassination

Trump Pledges to Deploy National Guard Troops in Not-So Unprecedented Move

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump boldly signed a proclamation Wednesday directing National Guard troops to the southwest border in what he falsely called an unprecedented move to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

President Barack Obama deployed 1,200 members of the National Guard to the border in 2010, President George W. Bush’s decision in 2010 to send up to 6,000 National Guard members to increase military presence at the border in a two-year operation dubbed “Jump Start.”

Under the previous presidents’ plans, the guard members built infrastructure and conducted surveillance but left the arrests and enforcement up to Border Patrol agents who were trained in border enforcements.

Trumps plans, which lacks details about the operation, would not allow troops to come into physical contact with immigrants, three administration officials told NBC News

Homeland Security announced the policy in a statement Wednesday afternoon that read, “To secure the border and make America safe, we need to deploy the National Guard. Deploying the National Guard will serve as an immediate deterrent while dramatically enhancing operational control of the U.S. border.”

The statement added the troops would “support federal law enforcement personnel … and that federal migration authorities “will direct enforcement efforts.”

Trump’s announcement, which caught some of his advisers by surprise, pledged Tuesday, Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military.” 

Details like the number of troops to be involved and how long they will stay there remain unknown and are expected to be hammered out in the coming days, officials said.