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Tag: Sequestration

Columnists Offer Alternatives to Immigrant Detention That Include Private-Sector Supervision

By Julie Myers Wood and Steve J. Martin
Washington Times

Congress held two hearings this month to examine the government’s decision to release more than 2,000 immigrants from detention for budgetary reasons. The good news is that committee members of both parties used these hearings to focus on the core issue: our flawed immigration-detention system.

The government’s purpose in detaining immigrants is not to punish them, but to ensure that they show up for hearings and comply with removal orders. In many cases, though, detention is not the best way to achieve these goals. Alternatives to detention are both routine and effective. They’re employed every day, not just in the immigration system, but in the criminal justice systems of all 50 states and the federal government. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be wise to re-examine how it uses alternatives in order to best fulfill its mission.

Read more by visiting the Washington Times.

AG Eric Holder Pledges to Avoid Furlough of Prison Staffers Under Sequestration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Attorney General Eric Holder said he’s prevented the furloughs of prison staffers nationwide to protect prison staff, inmates and the public, the Associated Press reports.

Holder prevented the furloughs of some 38,000 employees at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons by moving $150 million from from Justice Department account, the AP wrote.

The Justice Department has already been forced to cut $1.6 billion from its budget.

It’s not yet clear which department agencies will absorb the $150 million that won’t be saved from furloughs.

“I am deeply troubled by the impact the sequester will have on the department’s capacity to prevent terrorism, combat violent crime, partner with states and local law enforcement agencies and protect the judiciary and our most vulnerable citizens,” Holder wrote.

Opinion: Homeland Security Buys Up Expensive Assault Rifles, Armored Assault Vehicles

Don Gilleland
Florida Today

In 2008, presidential front-runner Barack Obama called for a “civilian national security force” as powerful as the U.S. military.

Nobody seemed to pay much attention to that suggestion at the time. Much has happened since then that should concern us.

Recent news reports indicate our Department of Homeland Security has bought 7,000 assault rifles, 1.6 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition and 2,700 armored assault vehicles. Why?

What could justify our government stockpiling such a massive supply of weapons and ammunition? Does President Obama think Homeland Security will have to defend our republic against large-scale public riots? What other reason would explain the use of such armored vehicles and assault rifles on American streets?

To read more click here.

 

U.S. House Lawmakers Question Why Homeland Security Did Not Better Prepare for Sequestration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. House lawmakers criticized Homeland Security officials Tuesday for not reducing costs on the lead up to the March 1 sequestration, the Washington Post reports.

Homeland Security Undersecretary of Management Rafael Borras said he didn’t believe the automatic cuts would take place.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said the department should not have ignored the reality of the cuts.

Lawmakers also questioned the sincerity of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano saying that lines at major airports have doubled, the Post reported.

Borras said he was unaware of wait times doubling and said that overtime reductions had “resulted in some additional wait time.”

Border Patrol Reports Increase in Illegal Crossings Following Confluence of Problems

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is bracing for more illegal crossings following a confluence of problems related to the budget sequestration and Obama administration policies, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

“It’s the perfect storm,” Stuart Harris, vice president of Local 1929 of the National Border Patrol Council in El Paso, Texas, told the Free Beacon.

The perfect storm – planned furloughs, the release of illegal immigrants and a renewed push for amnesty – could have a devastating impact along the border, experts said.

“It’s a giant catch and release program,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Why go through the expense of applying for a visa, when you can get turned down?”

Border Patrol outposts are reporting an increase in illegal immigrants crossing the border.

Secret Service Plans to End Public Tours of White House to Save Money

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service plans to save $2 million by ending public tours of the White House beginning March 9, CNN reports.

It’s a small fraction of the cuts that need to be made to absorb $84 million in reduction as part of the sequestration, CNN reported.

The Secret Service pays 37 uniformed officers $50 an hour to stand guard along the route.

The agency is still debating how to most effectively cut $84 million from its $1.6 billion budget.

“The Secret Service, like other agencies of government is affected by the sequester,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during his Thursday press briefing. “And the Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime. And in order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would unfortunately have to temporarily suspend these tours.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The Homeland Security Department Stands to Lose $3.2 billion Because of Sequestration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If sequestration cuts aren’t restored, they will cost the Homeland Security Department about $3.2 billion this fiscal year, Fierce Homeland Security reports.

To make up for the lost money, the department, which reached 10 years old March 1, would need to cut more than 5% across the board.

Other federal agencies face big losses. Customs and Border Protection is set to lose $595 million, while ICE cuts could total $295 million.

“Sequestration would roll back border security, increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry and airports, affect aviation and maritime safety and security, leave critical infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper disaster response time and our Surge Force capabilities, and significantly scale back cyber security infrastructure protections that have been developed in recent years,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wrote in a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Justice Department Faces Serious Cuts If Sequestration Isn’t Avoided Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire

The Justice Department faces $1.6 billion in cuts – nearly 10% of it budget – if Congress and the White House can’t reach an agreement on the nation’s spending plan by later today, NPR reports.

Obama earlier warned of big cuts to federal law enforcement.

“FBI Agents will be furloughed,” Obama warned. “Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said a sequestration would be painful, NPR reported.

“Under sequestration, we’ll do the best that we can to minimize the harm that actually occurs as a result,” Holder said. “But the reality is that there is going to be harm. There is going to be pain, and the American people are going to be less safe. That is just a fundamental reality that people have got to get their heads around.”

Other Stories of Interest