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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Feds to oversee immigration detention facilities

    Feds to oversee immigration detention facilities

    by Suzanne Gamboa and Eileen Sulllivan -
    Aug. 5, 2009 05:40 PM
    Associated Press .

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to place federal employees in the largest immigration detention facilities in the country to monitor detainee treatment.

    Under the new plan, 23 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would be placed at the largest jails to directly supervise how the detention centers are managed, according to people briefed on the government's plan. Private contractors have been doing the monitoring since 2007. Before that, it was federal employees.

    While ICE is calling these and other changes to the detention system “major reforms,
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  2. #2
    ELE
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    God Help America.

    Oh I feel so much better now that the Federal government has stepped in........
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    I.C.E. News Release

    August 6, 2009

    ICE announces major reforms to immigration detention system

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton announced today that ICE is undertaking a major overhaul of the agency's immigration detention system.

    "This change marks an important step in our ongoing efforts to enforce immigration laws smartly and effectively," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "We are improving detention center management to prioritize health, safety and uniformity among our facilities while ensuring security, efficiency and fiscal responsibility."

    "In the past five years, ICE has experienced considerable growth in immigration detention. This growth has presented significant challenges to a system that was not fundamentally designed to address ICE's specific detention needs," said Morton. "Implementing these reforms will improve medical care, custodial conditions, fiscal prudence and ICE's critical oversight of the immigration detention system. ICE remains committed to enforcing our nation's immigration and customs laws. We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the security, safety and well-being of individuals in our custody."

    As the first of many concrete steps ICE is taking to implement comprehensive detention reform, the agency is creating an Office of Detention Policy and Planning (ODPP). The role of this office is to design and plan a civil detention system tailored to addresses ICE's needs. Dr. Schriro, who will report directly to the assistant secretary, will lead the ODPP with support from detention and health care experts.

    The ODPP will evaluate the entire detention system in a methodical way, with seven areas of focus, each with benchmarks for progress:

    •Population Management: To ensure the best location, design, and operation of facilities reflecting the unique nature of civil detention;
    •Detention Management: To ensure appropriate custodial conditions and address day-to-day detention functions, including classification, discipline and grievances;
    •Programs Management: To ensure the provision of religious services, family visitation, recreation and law libraries;
    •Health Care Management: To ensure the timely provision of medical, dental and mental health assessment and services;
    •Alternatives to Detention Management: To develop a national strategy for the effective use of alternatives to detention including community supervision;
    •Special Populations Management: To provide attention to women, families, the elderly and vulnerable populations; and
    •Accountability: To ensure ICE employees perform the core functions of detention oversight, detainee classification and discipline, and grievance review.

    While ICE continues to undertake the ODPP review, other immediate actions announced include:

    •Discontinued use of family detention at the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Texas. In place of housing families, we will propose that the Texas facility will be used solely as a female detention center. Presently, Hutto is used to detain families and low custody female detainees. Detained families will now be housed at Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania.
    •Formation of two advisory groups of local and national organizations interested in ICE's detention system. These groups will provide feedback and input to the Assistant Secretary. One will focus on general policies and practices, while the other will focus on detainee health care.
    •Appointment of 23 detention managers to work in 23 significant facilities - facilities which collectively house more than 40 percent of our detainees. These 23 federal employees will directly monitor the facilities and ensure appropriate conditions.
    •Establishment of an Office of Detention Oversight (ODO) whose agents will inspect facilities and investigate detainee grievances in a neutral manner. The ODO will be part of ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility, an independent office which reports directly to the Assistant Secretary.
    Shortly after taking office, Secretary Napolitano issued an action directive initiating a comprehensive review of ICE's detention system. Although the review is ongoing and additional reforms lie ahead, the steps Assistant Secretary Morton is taking today will address the vast majority of complaints about ICE's immigration detention system while allowing ICE to maintain a significant, robust detention capacity to carry out serious immigration enforcement.

    For more information go to http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/2 ... eforms.htm.

    -- ICE --

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

    Last Modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/0908/090806washington.htm
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  4. #4
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    ICE to revamp immigrant detention policy

    Published: Aug. 6, 2009 at 11:36 PM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The Obama administration plans to centralize the system of detaining immigrants awaiting deportation from the United States, a top official said Thursday.

    John Morton, head of immigration and customs enforcement for the Department of Homeland Security, said the first step is to name a government manager for each of the 23 biggest detention centers, The Wall Street Journal reported. About 40 percent of detainees are in those facilities.

    In a conference call with reporters, Morton said the administration plans to review the entire system over several years. The goal is to place detainees who are not charged with crimes in facilities that are less like jails or prisons.

    The federal government holds 400,000 detainees in about 350 individual facilities. Some are operated by private companies and the government also contracts with local governments to use their jails.

    The system "is disjointed and heavily reliant on contracts with correctional facilities and private industry," Morton said.

    Most of the detainees are being held because they are considered flight risks while waiting for deportation or rulings on asylum applications.

    Morton did not give specifics on what type of facility would be developed for detainees.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/08/06/ ... 249564920/

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  5. #5
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
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    Condensed version: open the doors and let them all out, give them green cards and a job.
    "A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow

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  6. #6
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    Walter Shapiro
    Columnist

    America's Shameful Immigrant Jails: Will Reforms Lead to More Humane Conditions?

    Posted:
    08/7/09

    It has long been one of the saddest aspects of America's malfunctioning immigration system – the harsh treatment of illegal immigrants and legal asylum seekers who are often housed in prisons designed for hardened, violent criminals. Whether it is investigative reporters describing detainees dying from lack of medical attention or human rights groups documenting refugees fleeing torture only to be shackled in America, the tales of neglect and abuse have continued regardless of who is in the White House or at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security.
    "Despite report after report, the system up to now seems incapable of reform," said Donald Kerwin, a vice president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. "This has been going on for 15 to 20 years. There has sometimes been the will to fix these problems, but it hasn't happened. This has been the harsh underside of our immigration system."

    Without this context, it is difficult to appreciate the significance of a series of reforms in the detention system announced Thursday by John Morton, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On a day when Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed for the Supreme Court, it is difficult to bellow "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" because a member of the sub-Cabinet is appointing 23 detention managers and establishing an Office of Detention Oversight.

    But often the character of an administration is shaped not only by prime-time presidential press conferences, but also by the actions of semi-anonymous political appointees in the depths of the bureaucracy. The only tangible change that Morton announced was that ICE would be moving children and families out of the notorious T. Don Hutto penal facility in Taylor, Texas. Writing in The New Yorker last year, Margaret Talbot chillingly recounted, "Children were regularly woken up at night by guards shining lights in their cells. They were roused each morning at five-thirty. Kids were not allowed to have stuffed animals, crayons, pencils or pens in their cells."

    This is not a question of whether illegal immigrants should be granted amnesty or whether America should open its gates to everyone who arrives at Kennedy Airport, claiming that their lives are in danger in their home countries. At stake instead is something that should be non-controversial – whether the roughly 32,000 people in U.S. custody waiting to have their immigration status legally reviewed should be treated humanely.

    In a conference call with reporters announcing the reforms, Morton repeatedly stressed that his goal was "the creation of a system maintained by and defined by civil detention." Homeland Security has developed a haphazard system, housing detainees in about 350 prisons, local jails and privately operated detention centers like Hutto. "This shift away from a penal model is welcome if it really happens," said Eleanor Acer, the director of the refugee protection program at the advocacy group Human Rights First. But Acer added, "What is noticeably absent here is the lack of an explicit commitment to making sure that all asylum seekers have access to immigration courts."

    This latticework of contracts – and the lack of alternative non-penal detention facilities – means that progress will be gradual at best. Morton talked about a "multi-year effort to reform the system." Which is why administrative changes like the creation of 23 federal detention manager positions and the establishment of an oversight office at least raise the odds that flagrant abuses in local facilities will be detected and halted. In a system as disorganized as ICE's current detention facilities, it is possible for detainees to become effectively lost for weeks in an immigration gulag.

    The administrative steps announced Thursday have little direct connection to the coming congressional debate over immigration reform. But the Obama administration is keenly aware that it must never appear lax on immigration enforcement without risking political retribution. This may explain why Morton went out of his way to repeat the mantra, "This isn't about whether we're going to detain people. We're going to continue to detain people on a large scale. This is about how we detain people."

    In the atmospherics of Washington, it is intriguing that Morton, rather than Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, presented the detention changes. Part of the explanation may be that a second set of proposed reforms is awaiting review by Napolitano. These are based on an internal review of the ICE detention system by Dora Schriro, who was Arizona corrections commissioner when Napolitano was governor. As Sean Smith, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for public affairs, put it, "This was the first of what may be many potential announcements on detention based on the review conducted by Dora."

    Good intentions have their limits when confronting a dysfunctional bureaucracy like immigration enforcement. In the right hands, the new adjustments in the administration of the government's detention system may provide a major impetus for reform. But without careful monitoring and a commitment from both Napolitano and the White House, sincere words and the shuffling of administrative boxes will not reverse decades of callous ineptitude.

    The administration of the detention system is now on Barack Obama's watch. And something is morally awry when children awake to see the horizontal bars of a jail cell and asylum seekers enter a prison system that makes a mockery of the words on the Statue of Liberty.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/08/07 ... o-more-hu/
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  7. #7
    Senior Member TexasBorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas2step
    Walter Shapiro
    Columnist

    America's Shameful Immigrant Jails: Will Reforms Lead to More Humane Conditions?

    Posted:
    08/7/09

    It has long been one of the saddest aspects of America's malfunctioning immigration system – the harsh treatment of illegal immigrants and legal asylum seekers who are often housed in prisons designed for hardened, violent criminals. Whether it is investigative reporters describing detainees dying from lack of medical attention or human rights groups documenting refugees fleeing torture only to be shackled in America, the tales of neglect and abuse have continued regardless of who is in the White House or at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security.
    "Despite report after report, the system up to now seems incapable of reform," said Donald Kerwin, a vice president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. "This has been going on for 15 to 20 years. There has sometimes been the will to fix these problems, but it hasn't happened. This has been the harsh underside of our immigration system."

    Without this context, it is difficult to appreciate the significance of a series of reforms in the detention system announced Thursday by John Morton, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On a day when Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed for the Supreme Court, it is difficult to bellow "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" because a member of the sub-Cabinet is appointing 23 detention managers and establishing an Office of Detention Oversight.

    But often the character of an administration is shaped not only by prime-time presidential press conferences, but also by the actions of semi-anonymous political appointees in the depths of the bureaucracy. The only tangible change that Morton announced was that ICE would be moving children and families out of the notorious T. Don Hutto penal facility in Taylor, Texas. Writing in The New Yorker last year, Margaret Talbot chillingly recounted, "Children were regularly woken up at night by guards shining lights in their cells. They were roused each morning at five-thirty. Kids were not allowed to have stuffed animals, crayons, pencils or pens in their cells."

    This is not a question of whether illegal immigrants should be granted amnesty or whether America should open its gates to everyone who arrives at Kennedy Airport, claiming that their lives are in danger in their home countries. At stake instead is something that should be non-controversial – whether the roughly 32,000 people in U.S. custody waiting to have their immigration status legally reviewed should be treated humanely.

    In a conference call with reporters announcing the reforms, Morton repeatedly stressed that his goal was "the creation of a system maintained by and defined by civil detention." Homeland Security has developed a haphazard system, housing detainees in about 350 prisons, local jails and privately operated detention centers like Hutto. "This shift away from a penal model is welcome if it really happens," said Eleanor Acer, the director of the refugee protection program at the advocacy group Human Rights First. But Acer added, "What is noticeably absent here is the lack of an explicit commitment to making sure that all asylum seekers have access to immigration courts."

    This latticework of contracts – and the lack of alternative non-penal detention facilities – means that progress will be gradual at best. Morton talked about a "multi-year effort to reform the system." Which is why administrative changes like the creation of 23 federal detention manager positions and the establishment of an oversight office at least raise the odds that flagrant abuses in local facilities will be detected and halted. In a system as disorganized as ICE's current detention facilities, it is possible for detainees to become effectively lost for weeks in an immigration gulag.

    The administrative steps announced Thursday have little direct connection to the coming congressional debate over immigration reform. But the Obama administration is keenly aware that it must never appear lax on immigration enforcement without risking political retribution. This may explain why Morton went out of his way to repeat the mantra, "This isn't about whether we're going to detain people. We're going to continue to detain people on a large scale. This is about how we detain people."

    In the atmospherics of Washington, it is intriguing that Morton, rather than Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, presented the detention changes. Part of the explanation may be that a second set of proposed reforms is awaiting review by Napolitano. These are based on an internal review of the ICE detention system by Dora Schriro, who was Arizona corrections commissioner when Napolitano was governor. As Sean Smith, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for public affairs, put it, "This was the first of what may be many potential announcements on detention based on the review conducted by Dora."

    Good intentions have their limits when confronting a dysfunctional bureaucracy like immigration enforcement. In the right hands, the new adjustments in the administration of the government's detention system may provide a major impetus for reform. But without careful monitoring and a commitment from both Napolitano and the White House, sincere words and the shuffling of administrative boxes will not reverse decades of callous ineptitude.

    The administration of the detention system is now on Barack Obama's watch. And something is morally awry when children awake to see the horizontal bars of a jail cell and asylum seekers enter a prison system that makes a mockery of the words on the Statue of Liberty.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/08/07 ... o-more-hu/
    Gag...makes me want to toss my lunch. Imagine the lunacy of this. We are now paying for detention facilities where soon there will be a multitude of services being offered to these poor people who are in this country illegally and deliberately. Family counseling, dentists, doctors, job counseling....can you see it coming???
    ...I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid...

    William Barret Travis
    Letter From The Alamo Feb 24, 1836

  8. #8
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    TexasBorn wrote:

    Quote:
    "Gag...makes me want to toss my lunch. Imagine the lunacy of this. We are now paying for detention facilities where soon there will be a multitude of services being offered to these poor people who are in this country illegally and deliberately. Family counseling, dentists, doctors, job counseling....can you see it coming???"

    Reply:

    You're so right, TexasBorn, and, most importantly, immigration lawyers will only have to make one convenient trip to visit multiple clients!

    The American Association of Immigration Lawyers is one of the most aggressive wealthy lobby groups pushing for illegal alien amnesty legislation.
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