Tag Archives: Customs

Obama administration tells 60,000 Border and Customs agents to take furloughs

If you needed any proof that Obama does not have the temperament to be President, here it is in this Newsmax article.


Sixty-thousand federal employees responsible for securing the nation’s borders and facilitating trade will be furloughed for as many as 14 days starting next month because of $85 billion in cross-government spending cuts.

The federal government notified the workers on Thursday, CNN reports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the furloughs and other austerity measures would cause delays at ports of entry, including international arrivals at airports, and would reduce the number of border patrol officers on duty at any one time, CNN reports.

[…]Customs collects more money for the federal government than any agency other than the Internal Revenue Service, the National Treasury Employees Union said in a statement.

“There is no escaping the reality that sequestration is having serious effects on the traveling public and on vital commerce,” the union’s president, Colleen M. Kelley, said in the statement.

Late last month, Napolitano and other Obama administration officials came under fire — particularly from officials in Arizona — for the release of hundreds of illegal immigrants held in local jails to save money as the sequester neared.

Napolitano has since promised to release more illegals, primarily on supervised release, saying the sequester had left her no choice.

“We’re going to continue to do that for the foreseeable future,” Napolitano said at a March 4 breakfast meeting hosted by Politico. “We are going to manage our way through this by identifying the lowest-risk detainees, and putting them into some kind of alternative to release.”

The border is a national security issue, because anyone coming through with a weapon of mass destruction could cost the lives of many Americans. The Border and Customs programs are not what is driving our debt. The biggest driver of our debt is entitlement spending, especially spending on Medicare. But that’s not what Obama is choosing to focus on. He wants to hurt the American people rather than doing the hard work of cutting back big government. There are lots of places where we could cut billions without impacting effectiveness. Why not look at cutting fat (Solyndra) rather than muscle (border security)?

Why won’t Obama sue “sanctuary cities” for breaking immigration laws?

Story here in the Washington Times. (H/T ECM)


A week after suing Arizona and arguing that the state’s immigration law creates a patchwork of rules, the Obama administration said it will not go after so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement, on the grounds that they are not as bad as a state that “actively interferes.”

[…]”For the Justice Department to suggest that they won’t take action against those who passively violate the law who fail to comply with the law is absurd,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and chief author of the 1996 immigration law. “Will they ignore individuals who fail to pay taxes? Will they ignore banking laws that require disclosure of transactions over $10,000? Of course not.”

[…]Mr. Smith said the administration doesn’t appear to understand his law, which requires localities to share information on illegal immigrants with federal authorities.

“The White House is just plain wrong on the premise since the Arizona law mirrors federal law — it does not ‘interfere’ with it,” he said.

The Arizona law, which goes into effect July 29 unless a court blocks it, requires authorities to inquire about the legal status of any detained person about whom they have reasonable suspicion might be in the country illegally. The law as amended specifically prohibits using race or ethnicity as a reason for suspicion.

[…]On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Michael A. Cox [a Republican] filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the federal lawsuit arguing that Arizona’s law is consistent with what Congress intended. He was joined by attorneys general from eight states and one territory.

[…]Arizona officials have said the federal government has failed in its responsibility to police the borders, and the state is experiencing a crime wave spurred by illegal immigration. They have said the new law is meant to fill in the gaps in enforcement.

On Wednesday, two Republican senators — Jim DeMint of South Carolina and David Vitter of Louisiana — announced that they will introduce an amendment to a bill that would halt the Justice Department lawsuit by denying it federal funding.

It’s a double standard. They’re selectively enforcing the law in a way in order to buy votes from those who benefit from illegal immigration.

Obama picks opponent of immigration enforcement for key role at ICE

Story here from Fox News. (H/T Hot Air)


The Obama administration has tapped an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue.

Harold Hurtt, a former police chief in Houston and Phoenix, has been hired as the director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of State and Local Coordination. Starting July 6, Hurtt will supervise outreach and communication between ICE, local law enforcement agencies, tribal leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations.

[…]But as a police chief, Hurtt was a supporter of “sanctuary city” policies, by which illegal immigrants who don’t commit crimes can live without fear of exposure or detainment because police don’t check for immigration papers.

He also, during his tenure as Houston police chief, criticized ICE’s key program that draws on local law enforcement’s support.

[…]Critics say his pro-immigration policies enabled illegal immigrants to kill two police officers and seriously injure another in Phoenix before he left in 2005 and to kill an officer in Houston before he retired in 2009.

The widow of one of the officers, Rodney Johnson, who was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record, is suing Hurtt for enacting policies that she says led to his death.

Border enforcement is a legitimate function of the federal government. I think it’s ironic that Obama drops the ball on national security, foreign policy and border security, but has the nerve to insert the federal government in places it should never be – like health care.

Fortunately, Arizona governor Jan Brewer is getting traction out of these blunders:

The Republicans should make border enforcement an issue in the next election cycle.