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Tag: Homeland Security

Watch President Trump Deliver Speech at Homeland Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump spoke to Homeland Security on Wednesday afternoon about his plan to build a wall and increase enforcement on the ground.

ICE Employees to Get Free Gym Memberships Near Washington Headquarters

gymBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government is shopping for a health and fitness center for its employees who work at ICE.

The bids call for a “full-range health & fitness center” for ICE employees, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ. 

One requirement is a gym with “state-of-the-art-fitness equipment” wishing walking distance from one of its offices in Washington D.C.

The agency is accepting bids.

The plan is to pay the bill for employees to receive 1 year of access to the gym. The contract may be extended an additional 3 years.

The spending limit on annual memberships is $200,000.

Homeland Security Warned of ‘Alarming Security Concerns’ with Processing Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public watchdog for Homeland Security issued an “urgent” alert Monday, saying there are “alarming security concerns” with the long-troubled electronic system that processes immigrants’ applications for citizenship, according to the U.S. News & World Report. 

Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General warned of widespread security flaws, prompting the Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS, to be discontinued.

Among the findings was that the system granted 20,000 green and and 175 applications for citizenship to people with incomplete or inaccurate security and background checks.

“Without sufficient vetting, immigrants could potentially be granted U.S. citizenship although they are ineligible or pose national security threats,” Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth wrote in a Friday memo to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

U.S. News & World Report wrote:

The system entered development in 2009 as a way to ease benefits applications for immigrants, and it was scheduled to be completed in 2013. By the time the program launched in 2012, however, it offered just two of the dozens of the services it was supposed to provide, and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services estimated it would need another three years and $1 billion to complete the program. Subsequent audits made public March, November and January uncovered a raft of security concerns.

However, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General apparently learned that, despite the issues, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services planned to reinstate the program as soon as this month, stoking alarm that the agency had not properly addressed the issues identified in the inspector general’s audit, the full results of which still have not yet been released.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Candidate Distances Self from Trump on Border Wall, Russia

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for secretary of Homeland Security don’t see eye to eye on two critical issues.

During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of a border wall and said that he agrees “with high confidence” that Russia tried to influence the presidential race, Bloomberg reports.  

“A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job” at the border, Kelly said. Instead, he favors a “layered defense,” including the use of border patrol agents and technology such as drones that would work in “places that perhaps the wall can’t be built or will be built any time soon.”

Kelly said he’s talked about the wall with Trump “only briefly.”

If confirmed, Kelly would be the first former general to lead Homeland Security since it was created in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack.

“I have never had a problem speaking truth to power, and I firmly believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations,” Kelly said in his opening statement.

Trump’s Pick for Homeland Security Secretary to Make Case for Confirmation

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s pick for Homeland Security secretary pledged to commit to diversity and tolerance if confirmed during a Senate hearing beginning Tuesday.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly is likely to be grilled about his positions following President-elect Donald Trump’s divisive, controversial statements about immigrants, Mexicans and Muslims.

Kelly will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

“I believe in America and the principles upon which our country and way of life are guaranteed. I believe in respect, tolerance, and diversity of opinion. I have a profound respect for the rule of law and will always strive to uphold it,” Kelly plans to tell the panel, Politico reports. “I have never had a problem speaking truth to power, and I firmly believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations.”

Kelly plans to you his military experience and roll as a military adviser.

Other Stories of Interest

Nearly 200 Homeland Security Employee Accepted Bribes in Past Decade

homeland-security-investigationsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly 200 employees and contract workers for Homeland Security have accepted bribes totaling about $150 million over the past 10 years, the New York Times reports. 

At the time, the employees were getting paid to protect the borders and enforce immigration laws.

The employees and contract workers have allowed tons of dugs and thousands of undocumented immigrants to be smuggled into the U.S. in exchange for bribes. They also illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents and provided sensitive information to drug cartels.

“It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees,” said an internal affairs official at the Department of Homeland Security who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Although these employees represent less than 1% of the more than 250,000 people who work for Homeland Security, the impact is still broad.

“Any amount is bad, and one person alone can do a lot of damage,” said John Roth, the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. “It doesn’t have to be widespread.”

Journalist, Researcher Sue U.S. Spy Agencies for Records about Russian Hacking

foiaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An investigative reporter and a researcher at Harvard have filed a open records lawsuit this week against the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence for information about Russia interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

The suit was filed by investigative reporter Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro, a PhD candidate at MIT and researcher at Harvard, after the government agencies failed to provide records, Recode reports

The FOIA seeks information between Congress and the federal intelligence agencies and between the FBI and White House.

The CIA has expressed confidence that Russia interfered in the election in the months leading up to the November contest.

Recode reports:

The plaintiffs seek information about any ongoing investigation into ties between Donald Trump or anyone associated with his campaign and interference from the Russian government in the election. Leopold and Shapiro also asked for communications between Congress and the Republican and Democratic campaign committees, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign in reference to Russian involvement with the 2016 presidential race.

Trump Taps Thomas Bossert as Top Adviser on Homeland Security Issues

Tim Bossert

Tim Bossert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday chose his top adviser on homeland security issues.

Thomas Bossert, an aide to former President George W. Bush, was appointed assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Newsday reports. 

Bossier will work with the incoming national security adviser, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law,” Bossert said in a statement distributed by the transition. He also said the internet should reflect U.S. values as a “U.S. invention.”

Bossier served as deputy homeland security adviser under Bush and later ran a security consulting business.

Trump called Bossert an “invaluable asset.”

Other Stories of Interest