The Homeland Security Department released from its jails more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation in recent weeks due to looming budget cuts and planned to release 3,000 more during March, The Associated Press has learned.
The newly disclosed figures, cited in internal budget documents reviewed by the AP, are significantly higher than the “few hundred” illegal immigrants the Obama administration acknowledged this week had been released under the budget-savings process.
The government documents show that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement released roughly 1,000 illegal immigrants from its jails around the U.S. each week since at least Feb. 15. The agency’s field offices have reported more than 2,000 immigrants released before intense criticism this week led to a temporary shutdown of the plan, according to the documents.
The states where immigrants were released include Arizona, California, Georgia and Texas.
The White House has said it was not consulted about the releases, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has acknowledged they occurred in a manner she regrets. White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday said the government had released “a few hundred” of the roughly 30,000 illegal immigrants held in federal detention pending deportation proceedings. Carney said the immigrants released were “low-risk, noncriminal detainees,” and the decision was made by career ICE officials.
As of last week, the agency held an average daily population of 30,733 in its jails. The internal budget documents reviewed by the AP show the Obama administration had intended to reduce those figures to 25,748 by March 31.
The White House did not comment immediately Friday on the higher number of immigrants released.
ICE spokesman Brian Hale said Friday the numbers of immigration detainees fluctuate daily, but he reiterated only several hundred illegal immigrants had been released. “Beyond that normal movement, and as fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget and placed several hundred individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention,” Hale said in a statement. “At this point, we don’t anticipate additional releases, but that could change.”
The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings. But they are no longer confined in immigration jails, where advocacy experts say they cost about $164 per day per person. Immigrants who are granted supervised release – with conditions that can include mandatory check-ins, home visits and GPS devices – cost the government from 30 cents to $14 a day, according to the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates on behalf of immigrants.
The release of thousands from immigration jails is consistent with Napolitano’s early warnings on Monday – hours before anyone knew publicly that any illegal immigrants had been released – that the pending, automatic budget cuts known as the sequester would limit the government’s ability to maintain enough detention center beds for at least 34,000 immigrants.
“We’re doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester, but there’s only so much I can do,” Napolitano said Monday. “You know, I’m supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?”
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“It’s somewhat unorthodox, but it’s really fun! Lol!” says the student who posted a new video about the “abortion battles” game being played by college students.
“It’s callous. It’s sickening. It’s not funny,” says right-to-life proponent Greg Pfundstein of the Chiaroscuro Foundation.
They’re talking about the “abortion battles” game played by students at Hunter College, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.
Players put balloons under their shirts, then try to stab each other’s balloons and “Kill that baby!”
Watch the video and see students laughing and egging on the players.
When he posted the video on YouTube, Marco Rosales wrote, “We were introduced to this epic game called ‘Abortion Battles.’”
Hunter College denies any responsibility for the game and says it is investigating whether to take disciplinary action.
“It seems to have been something spontaneous that took place in the cafeteria,” says a Hunter spokeswoman.
“I think it’s immature, but it’s not like they were doing anything that bad,” says a female student.
The pro-life blog Creative Minority Report posted, “The laughter surrounding the game and the cavalier nature towards life should chill the hearts of anyone with a shred of concern for the sacredness of life.”
Read more here.
Responding to unconfirmed rumors that US President Barack Obama intends to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during his trip to Israel next month, the Hamas terror group warned the American leader against the idea on Tuesday, calling it “a diplomatic catastrophe,” and local Muslim leaders set stiff conditions for a presidential tour there.
A statement issued by Hamas called Obama’s potential visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located at the southern perimeter of the Mount, “an imminent danger which the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem have never faced.”
Hamas stated that a visit by the American president to the contested site under the auspices of “the Zionist occupation” would be more dangerous than the relocation of any country’s embassy to Jerusalem, considering the international preeminence of the United States.
The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the site of the first and second temples and by Muslims as the point from which Muhammad ascended to heaven, is administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a trust that has governed the site since the 12th century.
Ekrima Sabri, who used to administer the Temple Mount as mufti of Jerusalem and currently heads the High Islamic Council in Jerusalem, told The Times of Israel that Obama would be allowed to visit the site only if he abided by three conditions.
According to a protocol drafted by the Waqf in 1967, official visitors may enter the Temple Mount through any of its 11 gates excluding the Mughrabi Gate, which is connected to the Western Wall plaza by a bridge.
“The Israeli army stole the keys to that gate from the Islamic Waqf, so entry through that gate gives the impression that Israel has sovereignty over Al-Aqsa,” Sabri said.
“We insist on Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount,” he said.
Israel took control of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount, in the 1967 Six Day War.
The other conditions placed by the Waqf on Obama’s visit are that no Israeli official accompany the president onto the mount, and that the visit be of a sight-seeing rather than a political nature.
Sabri said that in the past, visiting officials – including French President Jacques Chirac, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI – abided by the Waqf’s regulations.
“If Obama does not abide by these rules, we will refuse to accept him in Al-Aqsa,” Sabri concluded, adding that his organization intended to send a petition to the American consul general in Jerusalem next week outlining its conditions and protesting Israeli attempts to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
The White House gave no indication that Obama actually planned to visit the Temple Mount.
A visit to the site by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon while he was opposition leader in September 2000 is widely regarded as the immediate precursor – Israel says it was a pretext – for the outburst of the Second Intifada, marked by a strategic onslaught of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel, and referred to by Palestinians as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Is America’s problems really because of the politicians who we know lie to us everyday? Or is it now from the fact we have so many ignorant people who not only believe their lies, but who live for absolutely nothing, who do not have morals or a path in this world. What say you?
The dismally low graduation rate for students who attend Chicago Public Schools is barely over 60 percent – substantially lower than the national rate of roughly 75 percent. Nevertheless, citizens of the Second City will surely take heart, because the Chicago Board of Education just passed a new policy that requires sex education to begin in kindergarten.
The new policy, which was passed on Wednesday, according to ABC News, is part of a broader makeover of the school district’s sexual health program,
Sometime within the next two years, students in every grade, including kindergarten, will be required to spend a certain amount of time on the birds and the bees.
Mandated sex-ed for Chicago kindergartners will include instruction about male and female anatomy and reproduction. It’s not clear exactly how much detail five- and six-year-olds will be taught concerning the more sophisticated uses of their genitals.
By the time students get to third and fourth grade, the focus will include appropriate and inappropriate touching, as well as puberty and HIV/AIDS.
Coursework from fifth grade to 12th grades will concentrate on sexually-transmitted diseases and contraception. Abstinence will reportedly be presented as a possible method of birth control. Sexual orientation, gender identity and bullying related to those things will also be part of the curriculum at some point from fifth grade to 12th grade, as well.
One of the stated goals of the policy is to bring the Chicago Public Schools into accord with the national HIV/AIDS strategy of the Obama administration, notes ABC.
Read more here.
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander has warned America and Europe that al-Qaida operatives will soon attack them.
And a source in the Islamic regime’s Intelligence Ministry told WND that another terror team is about to enter the United States. Should the West not accept Iran’s rights to its nuclear program within six months, the terrorists will attack, he said.
The potential targets in the U.S. include high-voltage towers to create blackouts, cell towers, water supplies, public transportation and various buildings belonging to the Defense Department and military.
The source said six U.S. politicians who have promoted tougher measures against the regime are on the hit list, along with such targets as the Washington National Cathedral and Lincoln Memorial in D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Two days of negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 countries (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) have just ended in Kazakhstan over Iran’s illicit nuclear program. The two parties agreed to meet again in March and April.
The source said an April deadline has been set for Iran to resolve issues over its nuclear program, one of which is to halt activity at Fordow and take concrete measures not to resume enrichment there. Iranian media are avoiding mentioning enrichment at Fordow in the wake of reports that explosions occurred there. The source said that proves explosions rocked Fordow and the West is now urging the regime not to restart enrichment at that site, which is deep underground and immune to conventional air strikes.
Read more here.