- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
- Drone technology turns South, targets feral pigs to kill
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Better pack a lightsaber: House told space explorers could find alien life in 10 years
- Selfies gone too far? N.Y. woman snaps photo in front of suicidal man on bridge
- High times on D.C. radio: Toronto’s crack-addled Mayor Ford gets sports spot
Detention squeeze forces illegals back on streets
Question of the Day
More than 70 percent of the 98,000 illegal aliens detained so far this year by the U.S. Border Patrol from countries other than Mexico were released almost immediately onto the streets of America because of a lack of detention facilities, federal authorities said yesterday.
Under questioning by members of two Senate subcommittees, Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar said agents in Texas alone were experiencing a near threefold increase in the number of illegals known as “other than Mexican,” or OTMs.
But because of a lack of detention beds, he said, “there is no place to put them.”
“We interdict them, process them and then hand them off,” Chief Aguilar said.
Chief Aguilar, whose agency does not oversee the detention program, called the “exponential growth” in the number of OTMs and their subsequent release “a major source of clogging and friction for the removal process.”
The chief acknowledged to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security, that because of a lack of intelligence data, some OTMs released may have been criminals.
The panels also are concerned that some of the OTMs come from nations identified as state sponsors of terrorism, although most come from Central and South America, Europe and Asia.
Wesley Lee, head of detention and removal operations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), acknowledged a lack of detention space, but declined to say how many beds he needed or what they would cost.
He told Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, during a rancorous exchange that of the 19,500 beds now available for all criminal aliens and others facing deportation, only 2,500 were dedicated to OTMs and “they are filled.”
Mr. Lee said a new ICE program known as “expedited removal,” which speeds the deportation process, was seeking to free up additional bed space.
“I think you may have reached the tipping point, and once these folks know you’re not going to do anything about them, the numbers are going to go up,” Mr. Sessions said, noting that some OTMs were chasing down Border Patrol agents in Texas to surrender in exchange for a “notice to appear” at an immigration hearing, giving them a legal reason to be in the country.
“And then, of course, they never show up. Is anybody working on this? Is anybody in charge?” Mr. Sessions asked. “Do you have a vision to indicate that this utter failure will end?”
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, border security and citizenship, said arrests of OTMs at the southern border were reaching record levels and some have been identified as being from countries identified as sponsors of terrorism.
“The vast majority of illegal OTMs are simply given a notice to appear letter and released into our country because we lack the facilities to hold them,” Mr. Cornyn said. “Whether in Texas, Arizona, California or anywhere else … this state of affairs is unacceptable and needs to change.”
A lack of funding and manpower at federal detention centers nationwide has forced Border Patrol agents into what they angrily call a “catch-and-release” policy, under which apprehended OTMs are turned loose because they have overwhelmed the number of available beds.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Obama: Growing income inequality 'defining challenge' of this generation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Career Doctor Cassi Fields prescribes valuable advice for anyone looking to find a career, nail an interview or earn a promotion.
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.