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Tag: Homeland Security

Justice Department Wants to Slow Pace of Deportations by Focusing on Immigrants with Violent Histories

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

City and county jails are increasingly rejecting federal requests to hold immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Now the Justice Department plans to do something about it – reduce deportation mainly to immigrants who have committed violent crimes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is expected to make his case before the Security Communities.

The move is controversial because it would reduce the number of deportations.

Supporters say the initiative would allow local police to handle their own crimes and for more humane treatment of immigrants.

Republicans oppose any changes to Secure Communities without an overhaul of the immigration law, the Los Angeles Times wrote.

Cost Overruns, Delays May Kill $3 Billion Project to Build New Homeland Security Headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The news keeps getting worse for a massive new headquarters for Homeland Security in Washington.

The Washington Post reports that the project is now 11 years behind schedule, $1.5 billion over budget and may never be finished.

The call for a new, centralized headquarters came in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, supported by President George W. Bush.

But plans of razing 50 historic buildings and constructing a new headquarters on the grounds of St. Elizabeth, a vacant insane asylum, have been slowed by cost overruns and other problems.

The original budget of $3 billion is expected to reach $4.5 billion, and the completion date has been moved back to 2026.

Now officials familiar with the project say it may never get completed.

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Secret Service Director: Full Investigation Needed After Agents Forced to Abandoned White House Posts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service wants a full investigation launched into claims that agents were forced to leave their posts protecting the White House complex in 2011 so they could monitor a friend of the agency’s former director.

The Washington Post reports that Director Julia Pierson is calling for Homeland Security’s new inspector general to thoroughly investigate.

Those agents were ordered to abandoned their posts for at least two months in 2011 to protect a Maryland home an hour’s drive away in La Plata, Md., where the then-director’s administrative assistant lived.

Critics argue the new assignments increased security risks at the White House.

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Tampa Woman Faces Potential of Prison Time After Punching Homeland Security Agent in Face

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Tampa woman who punched a Homeland Security agent in the face may find herself in prison, the Associated Press reports.

Latrese Brantley, 40, faces up to 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty Wednesday to assaulting a federal agent.

Brantley was causing a disturbance on the April 30 flight and was being escorted from the plane when she punched a Jet Blue employee.

She also punched a Homeland Security employee who came to help.

The employee suffered scratches and abrasions and required medical attention.

Homeland Security Crackdown Nets 600+ Arrests of Suspected Gang Members

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security arrested more than 600 suspected gang members in what is being called the largest gang crackdown ever by the agency, the Associated Press reports.

The operation, dubbed “Project Southbound,” involved Ice agents and local authorities in 179 cities, leading the arrest of 638 suspected gang members between March and April.

Of those, more than 400 had violent criminal histories and seven were wanted on murder charges.

“These are bad people with bad motives from bad organizations,” said Thomas Winkowski, the principal deputy assistant secretary for ICE.

The arrests happened nationwide in places that include Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Maryland and New Mexico.

The crackdown was part of an initiative to target gangs with ties to other countries.

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Homeland Security Department Goes Way Beyond Its Original Mission to Protect U.S. from Terrorists

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security, which was created in November 2002 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has gone far beyond its original purpose and is being used to investigate crimes unlearned to terrorism, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The new law was simple: “The primary mission of the department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.”

But more than 11 years later, the mission has included interrogating people suspected of pirating videos, seizing counterfeit NBA merchandise and going after pickpocket cases.

“They’ve kind of lost their way,” former Secretary Tom Ridge said. “I was proud to be associated with those men and women, but it just seems to me … the focus – the primary focus – has been substantially diminished.”

But Homeland Security wants to expand its operations even more, especially in New Mexico, the Journal reported.

“I really do want to expand the footprint as far as my side of Homeland Security,” said Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico.

Probe: Former DHS Watchdog Tailored Reports to Linking of Senior Obama Administration Officials

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security has been placed on leave following a report that he ignored serious problems to satisfy senior Obama administration officials, the Washington Post reports.

The news comes a day after the Post reported that former Inspector General Charles K. Edwards had “altered and delayed investigations at the request of senior administration officials, compromising his independent role as an inspector general.”

Edwards, who served as DHS inspector general from 2011 until this past December, was tasked with overseeing the performance of the department’s 225,000 employees and a $39 billion budget.

But the Post reports that Edwards’ objectivity was compromised because of his cozy relationship with top Justice Department leaders and advisers to then-Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Ex-Homeland Security Supervisor Suspected of Using Government Credit Card to Gamble

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Homeland Security supervisor is accused of using his government-issued credit card to gamble at a West Virginia casino.

WHAG News reports that Gene Protogiannis, 55, of Virginia, has been indicted on 45 counts of wire fraud for allegedly using his card in 2013 to obtain cash advances at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Officials said Protogiannis withdrew $115,853.

Protogiannis is expected to be formally charged Wednesday and will face up to 20 years in prison.

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