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September 2022


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NYT Editorial: New Obama Administration Announces Immigration Policy for Smarter Enforcement

New York Times

The Obama administration on Friday announced a policy change that — if it works — should lead to smarter enforcement of the immigration laws, with greater effort spent on deporting dangerous felons and less on minor offenders who pose no threat.

The new policy places stricter conditions on when Immigration and Customs Enforcement sends requests, known as detainers, to local law-enforcement agencies asking them to hold suspected immigration violators in jail until the government can pick them up. Detainers will be issued for serious offenders — those who have been convicted or charged with a felony, who have three or more misdemeanor convictions, or have one conviction or charge for misdemeanor crimes like sexual abuse, drunken driving, weapons possession or drug trafficking. Those who illegally re-entered the country after having been deported or posing a national-security threat would also be detained. But there would be no detainers for those with no convictions or records of only petty offenses like traffic violations.

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ATF Hamstrung by Weak Gun Laws, Legislative Restrictions

guns-atf agent

Steve Neavling

 The ATF’s ability to curb gun violence is severely hampered by legislative restrictions and loopholes in federal gun laws, the New York Times reports, citing law enforcement officials.

Making matters worse, the agency has been without a permanent director for six years.

To start, current law bars ATF from creating a federal registry of gun purchases. That often makes it difficult for officials to track down records to match the serial number of a gun to an owner, the New York Times reported.

The Times wrote that about a third of the cases involve shuffling through cardboard boxes for records because Congress has rejected the establishment of a central database of gun transactions.

While the ATF is equipped to reduce gun crime, it is bogged down by politically motivated laws.

“I think that they’ve really been muzzled over the last several years, at least, from doing their job effectively,” Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a former police commissioner in Baltimore, told the Times. “They’ve really kind of been the whipping agency, caught in the political turmoil of Washington on the gun issue.”

Montgomery County Joins Other Areas in Bid for New FBI Headquarters

Steve Neavling 

The competition for a new FBI headquarters and thousands of new jobs now includes Montgomery County, a suburban D.C. County in Maryland, the Washington Post reports.

Montgomery joins Prince George County in Maryland and  Fairfax County and Alexandria in Virginia to the list of places soliciting developers and consulting with federal officials about potential new sites to replace the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Virginia.

“Any jurisdiction which has the opportunity to have the FBI in it would be crazy not to figure out how to get the job done,” Steven A. Silverman, Montgomery’s economic development director, told the Post.

Feds are looking for up to 55 acres and 2.1 million square feet of office space, the Washington Post reported.

FBI Was Monitoring Occupy Wall Street Before Protests Began in New York City

Steve Neavling 

FBI agents were monitoring the Occupy Wall Street movement before the first protesters set up camp in Zuccotti Park in New York City, the New York Daily News reports, citing new documents.

Records show the FBI tipped off officials about potential protests at the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance, the Daily News wrote.

One of the tips came as early as Aug. 19, 2011, about a month before the movement began.

Investigations continued nationwide as the movement spread, the Daily News reported.

The heavily redacted documents show the FBI overreached its legal bounds, the head of the civil-rights group, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said.

“(It’s) a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the partnership’s executive director told the Daily News.



Border Patrol Plane Crashes in Kazakhstan, Killing 27 People Aboard

Steve Neavling 

A military plane crashed in Kazakhstan Tuesday, killing the country’s acting border-service chief and 19 border guards, along with seven crew members, the Associated Press reports.

Among the dead is active head Col. Turganbek Stambekov.

Details remained murky Wednesday morning, and the cause of the crash was unknown, the AP reported.

In southern Kazakhstan, where the plane crashed, heavy snow, strong winds and low temperatures have caused flight delays, the AP wrote.

In June, Col. Stambekov was given the leadership role after a mass killing of 14 frontier troops in a remote outpost near the border with China in May. The slaughter caught worldwide criticism and raised questions about the troops’ professionalism, the AP reported.

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Florida Undercover ATF Agent Infiltrates Sophisticated Theft Ring