Judicial Watch • Homeland Security

Homeland Security Archives | Page 3 of 3 | Judicial Watch

In the Obama Administration’s latest move to protect illegal immigrants while an amnesty plan gets worked out, Homeland Security officials said they won’t take action against a group of outlaws arrested in Georgia last week.The illegal immigrants participated in a disruptive Atlanta demonstration to protest a state measure that bans undocumented students from attending some public colleges. The seven self-described activists, who proudly boasted about their illegal status, were arrested by local police for blocking traffic in bustling downtown Atlanta for about an hour.Local media followed up this week by inquiring about the arrested demonstrators and the Homeland Security agency responsible for removing illegal aliens, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), confirmed that it was not taking any “enforcement actions against the student demonstrators.” One ICE official pointed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s well-documented stance on not deporting illegal immigrant students.Last summer the Obama Administration ordered authorities to stop removing illegal immigrants who are students while lawmakers craft legislation to officially shield them from expulsion. The move, which has spared an estimated 700,000 illegal aliens, came in response to nationwide rallies by defiant illegal immigrants protesting their eminent removal or that of their undocumented parents.The directive is part of Obama’s secret backdoor amnesty plan in case Congress doesn’t pass legislation to legalize the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants. Devised by political appointees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the plan aims to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”This includes “deferred action” delaying deportation indefinitely, granting green cards, allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. indefinitely while they seek legal status (known as “parole in place”) and expanding the definition of “extreme hardships” so any illegal alien could meet the criteria and remain in the country.Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Homeland Security to obtain records detailing the stealth amnesty plan because the agency has ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

Years after implementing a costly passenger screening program, the Homeland Security agency responsible for protecting the nation’s transportation system failed to detect terrorists at U.S. airports on nearly two dozen occasions.As a result the terrorists slipped right through “security” checkpoints and boarded commercial airplanes, according to a government report that’s difficult to swallow nearly a decade after the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history. Unfortunately, it’s true and, not surprisingly, it involves the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which was created after 9/11 mainly to prevent terrorists from using planes as weapons of mass destruction.The agency’s perpetual blunders have been well documented by Judicial Watch over the years, but this seems to be the icing on the cake for an agency with unlimited resources and unconditional support from Congress and the White House. A heavily-touted and quite expensive TSA program that targets terrorists by observing their behavior has failed miserably, according to a congressional probe conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).Known as Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), the innovative project was implemented with great fanfare to enhance aviation security after Islamic terrorist slammed commercial jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In 2010 SPOT cost taxpayers nearly $212 million and the Obama Administration wants $232 million for it this year.But on at least 23 occasions its highly specialized Behavior Detection Officers failed to stop terrorists from boarding planes, investigators found. At least 16 people who were later charged or pleaded guilty to terrorism charges slipped through eight different U.S. airports with SPOT programs, according to the GAO’s findings.It gets better. Most of the airports where terrorists boarded planes rank among the top 10 highest risk on the TSA’s Airport Threat Assessment list. For instance, an individual who subsequently pleaded guilty to providing material support to Somali terrorists boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport en route to Somalia an another who later admitted providing Al Qaeda with material support took a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport to participate in a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.Before pouring more taxpayer dollars into this dubious security program perhaps the Obama Administration should consider a point made by congressional investigators in their report; “the TSA deployed its behavior detection program nationwide before first determining whether there was a scientifically valid basis for the program.”

As Mexican drug violence reaches epic proportions, Homeland Security officials prepare to reopen a remote port of entry—closed years ago for security reasons—as an unmanned border crossing monitored by federal agents hundreds of miles away.Known as the Boquillas crossing, the port of entry is located in southwest Texas’Big Bend National Park, an 800,000-acre oasis known for its diverse terrain of deserts, mountains and rivers. The Boquillas crossing, which links the U.S. to the Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen across the Rio Grande River, was shut down after the 2001 terrorist attacks because it represented a national security threat.Amid escalating drug cartel crime in Mexico and reports of Middle Eastern terrorists slipping into the U.S. through the southern border, Homeland Security officials will reopen the crossing in 2012. It will be “monitored” by immigration officials hundreds of miles away and those entering the U.S. will submit documents electronically, according to a San Antonio newspaper report.The U.S. government will construct an information center and bathrooms to accommodate border crossers and the area will return to the pre 9/11 “bi-national community” where Americans regularly boated across the Rio Grande and Mexicans came into the U.S. for groceries. Area residents who expressed security concerns were reassured by the head of the Homeland Security agency handling the matter.“People who act criminally will act criminally regardless if there’s a lawful crossing here,” said Alan Bersin, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency that guards the nation’s borders and safeguards the American homeland. Bersin flew to the area by helicopter to announce the reopening, which is scheduled for next spring.He does admit that Mexico has a “long way to go” in combating organized crime and corruption, but says the country has “acknowledged the problem” and taken “corrective action.” Besides, a legal rowboat crossing on a remote, shallow portion of the Rio Grande won’t affect illegal immigration or contraband, according to Bersin.Just last week, a Dallas newspaper reported that Mexican drug violence hit record levels in scale and brutality in 2010. More than 13,000 people were murdered acrossMexico in disturbing and cruel ways not commonly seen in previous years and the problem is especially critical along the U.S. border. A few months ago a veteran federal agent revealed that Middle Eastern terrorists regularly enter the country through the porous, 2,000-mile Mexican border.

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