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Another Report Finds CBP and ICE Are Not Detaining or Removing Illegal Travelers

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A new report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has highlighted ongoing issues with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) processes at a major international airport. Between fiscal years 2021 and 2023, CBP agents at this airport released at least 383 inadmissible travelers into the U.S. who were legally prohibited from entering the country. Instead of detaining and processing them for removal, these travelers were released and ordered to return on their own recognizance, with 168 (44%) failing to return for their removal flights.

The report, which redacts the name and location of the airport and regional offices, found that the regional CBP and ICE detention and removal processes were ineffective. ICE officials reportedly denied CBP’s overnight detention requests for inadmissible travelers due to “staffing and bed space limitations.” Additionally, CBP cited insufficient overtime funds to detain travelers after operating hours and logistical challenges in transferring travelers to another airport.

The investigation also revealed that CBP agents failed to issue “notices to appear” (NTAs) to 77 inadmissible travelers who did not return for their deportation flights. Issuing NTAs would have transferred these travelers to ICE for removal proceedings. CBP agents claimed they lacked an effective process to track inadmissible travelers who failed to return for their removal flights.

The OIG report also found that CBP reduced the number of staff responsible for issuing NTAs, contributing to a backlog of unissued NTAs for identified inadmissible travelers. This report follows previous OIG findings that CBP agents were not properly screening and vetting noncitizens released into the country, including known and suspected terrorists.

Despite claims of inadequate funding, Congress has increased CBP funding by $2.98 billion since fiscal 2021. However, the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security identified consistent misuse and abuse of taxpayer resources by DHS, particularly through its failure to detain illegal aliens and use ICE detention resources as intended.

Under the Biden administration, ICE has not used detention facilities at full capacity, costing taxpayers between $1.3 billion and $1.43 billion annually. The administration’s fiscal 2024 budget requested significant cuts to CBP and ICE operations compared to fiscal 2023 levels. In contrast, the previous administration’s fiscal 2021 budget requested 60,000 ICE beds, whereas the Biden administration requested 32,500 and 25,000 beds for fiscal 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has faced criticism for these policies. In a recent House Homeland Security budget hearing, U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., challenged Mayorkas on his request for fewer ICE detention beds than Congress funded. Despite being given more money than requested, Mayorkas has claimed that DHS lacks the financial resources needed to secure the southern border.

Since January 2021, over 11 million illegal entries have been recorded, including those who evaded capture. In the first six months of fiscal 2024, more than 1.7 million illegal entries were reported. In February, Mayorkas became the first sitting cabinet member in U.S. history to be impeached after claiming for years that the southern border was secure. In April, he admitted that there was a crisis at the southern border.

The OIG report underscores the need for improved processes and resources to address the ongoing challenges at the U.S. border and ensure the effective detention and removal of inadmissible travelers.

Biden Administration

Former Obama-Biden Advisor Claims “The First Amendment Is Out of Control,” Hinders Government Action

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In a controversial opinion piece published recently, Tim Wu, an advisor to both the Obama and Biden administrations, argued that the First Amendment is becoming a significant obstacle to effective governance. The essay, titled “The First Amendment is Out of Control,” has sparked widespread debate and criticism.

Wu’s argument centers on the assertion that the First Amendment, designed to protect free speech, is now being exploited by powerful entities, including Big Tech companies, to resist regulation and oversight. He cites recent Supreme Court rulings regarding Texas and Florida laws aimed at regulating social media platforms as examples of this exploitation.

According to Wu, the collaboration between the government and major social media platforms is often hindered by the First Amendment, which is used as a defense to protect free speech in digital public forums. He suggests that this constitutional protection is being misused to prevent necessary government action aimed at safeguarding citizens.

Critics, however, argue that Wu’s perspective misinterprets the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment. They contend that the amendment’s role is precisely to protect citizens from government overreach and censorship, ensuring that free speech remains a cornerstone of democracy. The idea that the First Amendment is an obstacle rather than a protector is seen by many as a dangerous and misguided interpretation.

Furthermore, Wu’s essay touches on the issue of banning platforms like TikTok and implementing age verification laws, such as California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code. He suggests that the First Amendment stands in the way of these actions, which he believes are necessary for national security and protecting minors online. Critics counter that these measures, if implemented, could set precedents for broader and potentially harmful censorship practices.

Wu’s reference to the First Amendment as a “suicide pact,” borrowing language from a 1949 dissenting opinion in the Terminiello v. City of Chicago case, underscores the dramatic tone of his argument. He suggests that the amendment, while intended to safeguard freedoms, can also be interpreted in ways that undermine societal safety and security.

In conclusion, Tim Wu’s essay has reignited the debate over the balance between free speech and governmental regulation. While Wu argues that the First Amendment’s current application hinders effective governance and protection of citizens, his critics maintain that the amendment is essential for safeguarding democratic principles and preventing government overreach. As this debate continues, the interpretation and application of the First Amendment remain at the forefront of discussions about free speech and public safety in the digital age.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

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DHS and FBI Issue Warning About Large Fourth of July Events as ‘Attractive’ Targets for

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning on Wednesday regarding potential threats to large Fourth of July celebrations. According to an internal bulletin obtained by ABC News, these events are considered “attractive” targets for lone offenders and small groups with malicious intentions.

The bulletin emphasizes the risk posed by individuals and small groups who might exploit the gatherings for terrorism or other harmful activities. The warning comes as the nation prepares for Independence Day festivities, which traditionally draw large crowds to public spaces.

The FBI and DHS are urging local law enforcement and event organizers to increase vigilance and security measures. The agencies highlight the importance of public awareness and cooperation, encouraging individuals to report any suspicious activities immediately.

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Biden is 7 Times More Popular with Ukrainians than Trump, Poll Reveals

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In a recent poll conducted by The Counteroffensive/Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, President Joe Biden emerges as significantly more popular among Ukrainians compared to former President Donald Trump. This inaugural poll offers insights into Ukrainian sentiment towards American leadership during their ongoing conflict with Russia.

According to The Hill, a striking 46.7 percent of Ukrainian respondents expressed a preference for President Biden as the leader they believe would better support Ukraine’s war effort. In contrast, only 6.5 percent of those polled favored Trump in this regard.

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