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Even as Congress increased overall federal spending from a then-record $2.6 trillion in fiscal 2006 to $3.6 trillion in fiscal 2010, it only appropriated enough funds for the Department of Homeland Security to provide a fraction of the additional 40,000 detention spaces for illegal aliens that had been authorized by an immigration law approved in 2004.
Because it lacked adequate detention space, DHS says it was forced over the last three years to release hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens it had caught and were being processed for deportation. Among these, as CNSNews.com recently reported, were 481 illegal aliens from state sponsors of terror and other “countries of interest” that DHS caught and released in fiscal years 2007-2009 and who are now fugitives whose wherabouts is unknown.
These 481 caught-and-released fugitive illegal aliens from terror sponsors and “countries of interest” include 97 citizens of Nigeria, the country from which Northwest Flight 253 hijacker Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab hailed. They also include 8 citizens of Yemen, the country where Abdulmutallab was recruited by al Qaeda, as well as 87 Pakistanis, 34 Lebanese, 29 Iranians, 22 Somalians, 14 Sudanese, 13 Syrians, 8 Algerians, 4 Afghans, and 2 Saudia Arabians.
Syria, Iran and Sudan (along with Cuba) are designated by the U.S. State Department as sponsors of terrorism. Nationals of the other countries were singled out by DHS for enhanced security scrutiny when boarding U.S.-bound flights after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253.
Yet in recent years when nationals of these countries were found to be illegally in the United States, they were not automatically detained while undergoing the deportation process – allowing some of them to become fugitives.
Congress has been uncharacteristically frugal in funding detention spaces for illegal aliens despite a 2004 law that specifically authorized and directed DHS to increase the number of detention beds by 8,000 per year – for a total of 40,000 – in the fiscal years from 2006 to 2010. Had the 2004 authorization been followed up with the necessary annual appropriations, it would have increased the number of detention beds available for illegal aliens from roughly 20,000 to 60,000.
Congress, however, did not make all the necessary appropriations.
In 2006, Congress did provide a special appropriation of $3 billion to DHS to enhance border security. This included a provision for increasing the detention beds to 45,000, but those beds were not added. Currently, there are only 33,400 beds available for detaining illegal aliens – and some critics charge not all of those are being used.
As reported earlier by CNSNews.com, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of DHS, cited the lack of bed space as the reason it released the 481 illegal aliens in fiscal years 2007-09 from state sponsors of terroris and countries of interest who went on to become fugitives. CNSNews.com was able to determine that these aliens became fugitives by filing a Freedom of Information Act request for DHS data on aliens apprehended by DHS in fiscal years 2007-2009.
Scientists are releasing gases and fluorescent particles into Boston’s subway tunnels on Friday to study how toxic chemicals and biological agents could spread through the subway system.
It’s part of a weeklong study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to figure out ways to quickly minimize the impact of an airborne assault on the nation’s 15 subway systems.
A blast killed seven people and injured 14 in China’s simmering western Xinjiang Province on Thursday. Chinese authorities have already arrested a Uighur man who they say drove a three-wheeled vehicle, laden with explosives, into a crowd.
The historically Uighur Muslim area has chafed under state efforts to populate the area with ethnic Han Chinese.
NATO says a joint Afghan and coalition force has captured the deputy commander of an al-Qaeda linked insurgent group in an overnight operation in eastern Afghanistan.
The coalition says the man ran weapons for the Haqqani network and reported directly to the group’s senior leaders. U.S. officials describe the Haqqani network as the most potent threat in Afghanistan.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that roadside crosses erected to memorialize fallen Utah Highway Patrol officers violate the prohibition of government endorsement of religion.
The Denver-based 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the 12-foot-high crosses bearing the name and badge number of deceased officers sent an unconstitutional religious message to motorists.
A NOAA scientist, Dr. Bill Lehr, yesterday told investigators that a controversial NOAA report claiming that nearly three-quarters of the oil from the Gulf oil spill has already been addressed was released by White House officials and not NOAA.
Dr. Lehr told congressional investigators that the data backing up the assertions made in the report is still unavailable.
In a stunning deal, computer-chip maker Intel said Thursday it will pay $7.7 billion, or $48 a share, to acquire anti-virus giant McAfe, a 60% premium over McAfee’s share price on Wednesday.
McAfee will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, with very few changes, while the two companies begin collaborating on the next generation of security products for mobile devices.
Fifty-eight pilot whales died after they washed onto an isolated beach in northern New Zealand and rescue volunteers’ initial efforts to refloat 15 others that survived failed Friday.
A fresh attempt to save the 15 beached sea mammals – which weigh up to 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms) each – will be made early Saturday, using machinery including a crane and transporter.