Huff Po obtained a letter from Jeh Johnson, the new DHS secretary, to Sen. Dick Durbin where he claims deportation quotas aren't a good idea. That's a great, we agree, but we have a follow up question, "Are detention quotas ok?"
### via Huffington Post
WASHINGTON -- Newly-confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in a Dec. 12 letter that he opposes setting quotas or goals for deportations, an issue garnering increased scrutiny as the fight for immigration reform stalls in the House.
"I do not believe that deportation quotas or numeric goals are a good idea," Johnsonwrote in the letter, obtained by HuffPost and confirmed by Durbin's office. "As I stated above, in my view, immigration enforcement must be focused first on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety and the integrity of our borders. If confirmed, I intend to continually evaluate the prosecutorial discretion guidelines of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to ensure they are consistent with the Department's enforcement priorities."
### via The Hill
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is taking President Obama to task for the “totally unjustified” deportations of illegal immigrants during his administration.
“I think that there is discretion in the law as to the implementation, enforcement of the legislation that is calling for these deportations,” Pelosi told the Spanish-language station Telemundo.
“And I myself, coming from San Francisco … have seen deportations that were totally unjustified,” she added.
Pelosi said she’s not sure whether Obama has the power to halt all deportations through executive action, an idea that’s being pushed by some immigration activists.
Image Source: Tim Miller for Obama for America (Barack Obama on Flickr)
Joe Biden hosted an Immigration reform talk via skype on Wednesday and turns out all of the questions he answered were pre-screened by White House officials. Specific "everyday Americans" were targeted and asked to submit a question. Read more on the selection process below.
Via POLITICO ###
Skype publicized Vice President Joe Biden’s Wednesday immigration chat as a chance for regular people to pose questions directly to the Obama administration.
But those who actually got to speak directly with Biden were first recruited by Skype and vetted by the White House.
Skype spokesman Chaim Haas said the Microsoft-owned company reached out last week to people already active in the immigration debate in order to find people to interact with Biden and White House domestic policy chief Cecilia Munoz.
Border Patrol need to stop torturing immigrants now! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below
The moment Border Patrol agents swooped in on Claudia and her husband, Marvin, as they tried to sneak across the Rio Grande, the 31-year-old mother of two almost felt relief.
It had been an arduous 18-day journey from their native El Salvador, which they had fled for fear of their lives at the hands – and machetes – of a vicious gang, she said in a recent interview.
But she soon faced a new, unexpected ordeal as she quickly was separated from her husband and locked away with her preteen son and infant girl in cold cells with an ominous name.
“Then they took us,” Claudia said, “to the famous hieleras.”
40 migrants from El Salvador were rushed to the hospital after the ICE bus transporting them crashed on the freeway early this morning in South Texas. Read more below.
### Via SeattlePI
HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — More than 40 people have been hurt after a bus hauling Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in South Texas hit a highway barrier and overturned on its side.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday near Harlingen.
Sgt. Johnny Hernandez says the bus was hauling detainees to Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.
ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda says the wreck involved 40 detainees from El Salvador and two drivers, all of whom were treated and released from hospitals.
Pruneda says the bus was traveling from the Brooks County Detention Center. She said she had no information on whether the detainees were in the process of being deported.
Hernandez says ICE officers took custody of the detainees following the wreck.
Some good news for Alabama? Civil rights groups and the state of Alabama have reached a settlement that will block key parts of Alabama's anti-immigrant HB 56.
### via Washington Post
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The state of Alabama agreed Tuesday to settle the remaining challenges over its toughest-in-the-nation crackdown against illegal immigration, which has mostly been gutted by federal court decisions.
The state and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a proposed settlement that would end a federal lawsuit over the law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011, and the state separately filed documents to end a similar suit filed by the Justice Department. Federal courts later blocked main sections, including a one-of-a-kind provision that public schools must check students’ citizenship status.
In reality he could have taken action by stopping deportations a long time ago. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
### via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.
"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.
The president's domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.
Image Source: dadychery.org
Homeland Security has been detaining undocumented immigrants under a quota that has been reaching record numbers in the last few years. Despite a decline in undocumented crossings in the US recently, Homeland Security's "bed mandate" policy is not stopping ICE officials from meeting their assigned quota. According to Nick Miroff, ICE is now detaining any "foreign-born" legal US resident that has committed a crime which makes them possibly eligible for deportation. Read more below.
###Via The Washington Post
KARNES CITY, Tex. — In the past five years, Homeland Security officials have jailed record numbers of immigrants, driven by a little-known congressional directive known on Capitol Hill as the “bed mandate.”
The policy requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep an average of 34,000 detainees per day in its custody, a quota that has steadily risen since it was established in 2006 by conservative lawmakers who insisted that the agency wasn’t doing enough to deport unlawful immigrants.