By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The nation's biological surveillance system is "falling short" of its goals some three years after President Bush ordered the Department of Homeland Security to consolidate biological threats uncovered by agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into a central early-warning system, a new report found.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that for the first time, it has reduced the backlog of cases involving illegal aliens who failed to show up for immigration hearings or disappeared after being ordered deported.
In a report, Mr. Skinner said the backlog of fugitive aliens increased an average of 51,228 each year over a four-year period ending September 2005 and that from October 2005 to August 2006, the number jumped by 86,648.
Despite ICE's deployment of 50 Fugitive Operations Teams nationwide with the "immediate mission" of eliminating the growing backlog of fugitive aliens, Inspector General Richard L. Skinner said the fugitive alien population was "growing at a rate that exceeds the teams' ability to apprehend."