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U.S. News and Commentary



Friday
Aug062010

Underground immigration rumbles with no-confidence vote in ICE leaders

When the US Government acts to undermine federal law, it can take awhile for information to surface. After some media ran stories about Immigration and Customs officials’ intent to ‘make detention centers more humane,’ a new story is making the rounds. Officers and agents have issued a ‘no confidence’ vote in  assistant secretary of Homeland Security for ICE John Morton and Office of Detention Policy and Planning assistant director Phyllis Coven.

Janice Kephart at the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies wrote, “In an unprecedented move within the Department of Homeland Security, the detention and removal officers and agents responsible for and sworn to enforcing our nation's immigration laws issued an exhaustive, scathing letter simply titled "'VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN ICE DIRECTOR JOHN MORTON AND ODPP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHYLLIS COVEN' on June 11, 2010.”

The letter from the American Federation of Government Employees came after ICE issued new requirements in May for detention centers, part of Morton’s new approach to treatment of detainees. Among those requirements:

• Increase availability of legal supplies and postage to indigent detainees for legal correspondence.

• Add research resources at the law libraries.

• Play the "Know Your Rights" legal orientation video in each housing unit every day (not in lieu of in person legal programs but in addition to them).

Eliminate lock downs and lights out for appropriate classification.

• Reduce the frequency of and, as reasonable, wholly eliminate pat down searches (noncriminal Level l's in facilities where non-criminal Level l's can be separated into a discreet housing unit).

Soften the look for the facility with hanging plants, flower baskets, new paint colors, different bedding and furniture, wall graphics and framed pictures on the walls, and enhance the aesthetics of the living areas.

• Expand programming for detainees to include movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance, walk and exercise classes, health and welfare classes, basic cooking classes, tutoring and self-paced computer training on portable computer stations.

• Provide celebrations of special occasions and allowing a detainee to receive outside, packaged food for celebrations.

• Offer continental breakfasts that are completely self serve on holidays and weekends.

Email and free phone service are also included.

In essence, the federal government is creating a welfare state on the US border.

When The US Report first began to receive emails about this situation, we believed it was a joke. We have since verified the claims in those emails.

The ‘no confidence’ letter provides a troubling view of federal enforcement: “This action reflects the growing dissatisfaction and concern among ICE employees and Union leaders that Director John Morton and Assistant Director Phyllis  Coven have abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most United States citizens similarly incarcerated.”

The US taxpayer bears the burden of feel-good programs that have nothing to do with law enforcement. Such policies are a direct result of Democrat ‘leadership’ in the executive branch and congress.

The US Constitution assigns responsibility to the federal government for managing naturalization, and despite statist claims, does not specifically prohibit states from protecting the welfare of their citizens.

The US Report has noted there is potential for a class action lawsuit by taxpayers to recover costs incurred because the federal government has failed to properly manage immigration and to enforce laws for the same. At the moment, the US government is redistributing American income directly to citizens of foreign nations.

As a matter of fact, the federal government recently advocated for residents of a foreign nation by suing the state of Arizona, an action that directly contradicts the US Constitution.

The ‘no confidence’ letter said ICE is “misleading the American public.”

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 6, 2010)

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