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Two days ago, the Washington Times reported that the union that represents rank-and-file field agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unanimously passed a “vote of no confidence” for the agency’s leadership. The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 7,000 ICE agents and employees, stated that ICE has “abandoned” its core mission of protecting the public to support a political agenda favoring amnesty. The vote, by the Union’s Council, was 259-0.
Has this story made it into the mainstream media? Not to my knowledge. My friend Craig Harrison asked me to imagine what would have happened if the EPA union voted unanimously to support a statement that Bush was not enforcing environmental laws. I think we can imagine the reaction if a handful of EPA employees issued such a statement.
The union denounced John Morton, who heads ICE, and Phyllis Coven, assistant director for the agency’s office of detention policy and planning. It stated that the integrity of the agency “as well as the public safety” would be “better provided for in the absence of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven.”
Among the other points unanimously agreed to are these:
* The majority of ICE’s enforcement and removal officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing U.S. immigration laws outside of the jail setting.
* Hundreds of ICE officers nationwide perform no law enforcement duties whatsoever because of resource mismanagement within the agency.
* ICE detention reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resortlike living conditions to criminal aliens based on recommendations not from ICE officers and field managers, but from “special-interest groups.”
* The lack of technical expertise and field experience has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms for noncriminal individuals and families.
* Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities, allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers – putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.
* Senior leadership ignores reports that ICE internal investigations by the office of professional responsibility conceal agency and supervisor misconduct and are used to retaliate against employees who make whistleblower-type disclosures or question inappropriate policies and procedures.
The Obama administration has been touting the fact that deportations of illegal aliens have increased by about 10 percent over what they were under President Bush. But according to the union, illegal immigrants now being held in state and local jails seek out ICE agents for deportation to avoid prosecution, conviction and prison terms. Criminal aliens, it says, “openly brag” that they are taking advantage of a broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes – while U.S. citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences.
Under these circumstances, it seems particularly outrageous for the Obama administration to claim that Arizona acted unconstitutionally by passing a law that attempts to enforce federal immigration laws. It is the executive branch of the federal government, not the state of Arizona, that is in serious tension with the immigration laws passed by the United States Congress.
The race for the U.S. Senate in Florida continues to be all about Governor Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, regardless of which Democrat they face.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida shows Rubio with 38 percent of the vote and Crist at 33 percent if Congressman Kendrick Meek is the nominee. Meek earns 21 percent.
U.S. stocks declined sharply Wednesday, the biggest drop in six weeks, after heightened concerns for global economic recovery led investors to sell stocks and riskier assets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 265 points, or 2.5 percent, to 10,379, with all 30 Dow components in the red. The Nasdaq Composite fell even further, plunging 69 points, or three percent to 2,209.
Jurors told Judge James Zagel in a note that they have been unable to reach a unanimous decision on some or all counts against Rod Blagojevich and asked for guidance on how to proceed.
Zagel read the note aloud in court with a nervous-looking Blagojevich looking on. “We have gone beyond reasonable attempts” to reach a unanimous decision and “now ask for guidance,” the note said.
There they go again. For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha’s Vineyard.
But first the Obamas will be traveling to the Gulf Coast of Florida for a mini-vacation as a way to encourage other vacationing Americans to head to the beaches that have been shunned by tourists.
Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels have abducted 697 people in central Africa in the last 18 months, killing many of them, according to a human rights group investigation.
“The LRA has killed at least 255 adults and children, often by crushing their skulls with clubs,” said Human Rights Watch, which spent a month gathering evidence on attacks in Central African Republic and Congo.
The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure surged in July, another sign lenders are moving quicker to take back properties from homeowners behind in payments.
Lenders repossessed 92,858 properties last month, up 9 percent from June and an increase of 6 percent from July 2009. Banks have stepped up repossessions this year to clear out the backlog of bad loans.
A Democrat member of Congress called for White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’s resignation Tuesday due to inflammatory comments he made about the “professional left.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), said Gibbs went over the line when he told The Hill that some left-wing critics of the president “ought to be drug tested.”