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Tag: DHS

Obama’s No. 2 Choice for Homeland Security Post Is Subject of Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for the No. 2 job at Homeland Security is under investigation following allegations that he obtained a special visa after the initial application was denied by the U.S., the Associated Press reports.

The department’s inspector general warned Congress in an email that Alejandro Mayorkas is under investigation for allegedly helping an international investor obtain a special visa without U.S. approval.

Mayorkas, who currently runs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was chosen by President Obama to become the second-ranking officials at DHS.

The inspector general “is investigating Director Mayorkas,” the e-mail read, according to the AP. “Director Mayorkas was not specifically named in the initial complaint; however, the DHS is now investigating allegations concerning the actions/conduct of Director Mayorkas and other USCIS management officials.”

Janet Napolitano’s Job at Department of Homeland Security Is Not Only High-Ranking Post Available

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano’s job as head of the Department of Homeland Security is not the only high-ranking position available there, NPR reports.

According to the NPR, 15 top jobs at DHS are vacant or about to be, and lawmakers won’t fill the jobs.

The openings raise questions about whether DHS is too large and unwieldy.

“Customs and border protection — the role of commissioner for that has been vacant [and] filled by acting people for … nearly a year and a half,” says Christian Beckner, deputy director of George Washington University’s Homeland Security Institute.

And surprise, surprise. There’s bipartisan agreement.

“It is a bad situation,” says Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who chairs the Senate homeland security committee. “I call it executive branch Swiss cheese. And it’s not that the people in these acting positions are inept or bad people, but there’s a special stature that comes by Senate confirmation.”

Obama Administration Removed More than 100,000 Immigrants with No Criminal Record This Year

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Obama administration is deporting fewer people, but his administration continues to oust tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who don’t have criminal records, The Washington Times reports.

The deportation of rank-and-file immigrants – more than 110,000 this year – is incensing advocacy groups.

“DHS consistently misleads the public about who it is deporting,” said Jessica Karp, staff attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “The Obama administration has created a ‘criminal immigrant’ boogeyman to justify unprecedented deportation levels. But when we look at the facts, again and again we see that the majority of those deported have no or only very minor misdemeanor convictions, including traffic offenses.”

The numbers were compiled and released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Homeland Security Reaches 10th Anniversary But Has its Trials

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks revealed flaws in the U.S.’s national security.

So on March 1, 2003, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act, which created the Homeland Security Department.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano described it as “the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense,” wrote Fox News. The department was designed to “protect our homeland,” then-President George Bush said. 

“I don’t think people understand what (DHS) does and no part of it really wins any respect from the public,” Ben Friedman, a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Fox News.

Since Sept. 11, the department has received nearly $800 billion, according to MSNBC.

Since its creation, the department has been criticized for numerous reasons.

Illegal Immigrants Being Released Ahead of Looming Mandatory Budget Cuts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Department of Homeland Security has begun to empty out some immigration jails ahead of the looming mandatory budget cuts, the Associated Press reports.

The AP wrote that ICE has reviewed hundreds of cases and began removing an undisclosed number of illegal immigrants, who were “placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said.

The agency’s “priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety,” she said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Report: Homeland Security Employees Are Disproportionately Affected by Low Morale

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is plagued with low morale, much more so than other federal agencies, according to a Department of Homeland Security report.

The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office urges the DHS to determine the reason for low morale and solve the problem.

“GAO found that despite having broad performance metrics in place to track and assess DHS employee morale on an agencywide level, DHS does not have specific metrics within the action plans that are consistently clear and measurable,” the GAO report concluded.

The report examined four agencies within DHS: ICE, TSA, Border Protection and the Coast Guard.

Job satisfaction, according to the report, is being affected by perceptions of low pay and unfairness of performance evaluations.

Iraq, Afghan War Veterans Might Join Dept. of Homeland Security

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Department of Homeland Security official on Wednesday announced a plan to hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan to operate satellite communications, blimps and other surveillance tech at stateside southern borders, reports NextGov.

Drawdowns in troop levels and overseas actions will leave the Pentagon with more equipment and personnel on hand at the same time that the Department of Homeland Security seeks to build a “virtual fence” along the southwest border of the nation. DHS officials were invited to share their plans for using the military systems with a House subcommittee on Wednesday, NextGov reported.

“We’ve got a huge number of personnel coming out of the military as we wind down in theater in Iraq,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, said. “There’s an opportunity there to hire already trained DoD personnel to run these systems.”

To read more click here.

 

Grassley Fires Off Letter to Homeland Sec. Napolitano: Concerned About Reduced Searches for Illegals on Northern Border

By Danny Fenster

Sen. Grassley/official photo

ticklethewire.com

A letter from Senator Charles Grassley representing a group of 14 Senators is asking  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to reconsider a policy to end routine traffic checks of buses, trains and other vehicles for illegal aliens along the United State’s northern border.

“News of the lessened security will only entice potential terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the country through the northern border,” read the letter issued Friday.  “The American people must be reassured that our borders remain secure and routine searches will continue.”

Grassley learned of the new policy from media reports, another point of contention he had with DHS.

“The nature in which we learned of the orders sent to the north border field offices is quite troubling considering you appeared before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees over the past two weeks and neglected to inform of this change in policy.”

Grassley asked for copies of any memos or directives sent to the field.

The letter also pointed out specific instances of terrorists crossing or being stopped at the Canadian border, attempting to enter the United States to commit harm.

To read the letter click here.