Monday, August 16, 2010

“Vote of No Confidence” in ICE Leadership From Border Agents

Link to original article

“VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN ICE DIRECTOR JOHN MORTON AND ODPP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHYLLIS COVEN” on June 11, 2010. The letter, acquired through sources, provides a litany of examples of how ICE’s mission is being skewed towards supporting an unflinching goal of amnesty by refusing to allow agents to do their job; allowing criminal aliens to roam free; depleting resources for key enforcement initiatives that preceded this administration; and misrepresenting facts and programs, demeaning the extent of the criminal alien problem and geared to support amnesty.

The letter, authored by ICE Union President Chris Crane, begins as follows, noting that all ICE union representatives have signed on to a unanimous “Vote of No Confidence” in ICE leadership:

On June 11, 2010, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council and its constituent local representatives from around the nation, acting on behalf of approximately 7,000 ICE officers and employees from the ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), cast a unanimous “Vote of No Confidence” in the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, and the Assistant Director of the ICE Office of Detention Policy and Planning, (ODPP), Phyllis Coven.

Providing numerous facts the media and public have not been privy to, the letter relates ICE leadership dishonesty and failure to abide by their oath to uphold the law. The letter also outlines the importance of local law enforcement referrals to ICE, and the striking symbiotic relationship between local enforcement and ICE on immigration matters. Exemplary are these two bullets:

• While ICE reports internally that more than 90 percent of ICE detainees are first encountered in jails after they are arrested by local police for criminal charges, ICE senior leadership misrepresents this information publicly in order to portray ICE detainees as being non-criminal in nature to support the Administration’s position on amnesty and relaxed security at ICE detention facilities.

• The majority of ICE ERO Officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing United States immigration laws outside of the institutional (jail) setting. This has effectively created “amnesty through policy” for anyone illegally in the United States who has not been arrested by another agency for a criminal violation.

In one uncharacteristic note of sarcasm, the outcome of the Obama Administration new detention policy is described as follows, including dance lessons and hanging plants for criminal aliens in detention facilities:

• ICE Detention Reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resort like living conditions to criminal aliens. Senior ICE leadership excluded ICE officers and field managers (the technical experts on ICE detention) from the development of these reforms, and instead solicited recommendations from special interest groups. The lack of technical expertise and field expertise has resulted in a priority of providing bingo nights, dance lessons and hanging plants to criminals, instead of addressing safe and responsible detention reforms for non-criminal individuals and families. Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.

Ohio Former Pastor Pleads GUILTY to Stealing From Church!

Link to original article-Former pastor pleads guilty to stealing from church

Former Greenfield pastor James Blaine may face up to 6 years in prison and $250,000 in restitution payments after he pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands from his church.

Blaine, 61, was indicted on 17 counts related to allegations that he stole more than $100,000 from the Good Shepherd Church near Greenfield.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court to two counts: one count of forgery, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of aggravated theft, a third-degree felony.

The maximum sentence for the first count is 12 months and the maximum sentence for the second count is 5 years.

The state dropped the remaining 15 counts and recommended a prison sentence of three years and eight months. The state also said they would not oppose judicial release.

"The church had a board meeting Monday, and they called and said, 'Go ahead and try to work it out,'" Highland County Prosecutor Jim Grandey said Wednesday. "We are pleased with the result of this case. (Blaine) had to say, 'Yes, I stole from the church.' He never wanted to admit that, and it was important for us to get that out of his mouth that he's guilty. I think that's important for the church."

Grandey said that restitution payments will be ordered following an upcoming restitution hearing. He estimated the state would recommend Blaine be ordered to pay between $200,000 and $250,000 in restitution.

Blaine's indictment was the result of a seven-month investigation by Highland County Sheriff's Office detectives into allegations that Blaine stole money from the church by forging names and documents that were then submitted to financial institutions, where Blaine obtained money in the name of the church for his personal use, Highland County Sheriff Ron Ward said.

The sheriff said the alleged incidents took place from 2004 to 2009.

Ward told The Times-Gazette he was glad that a case involving a "long and complex investigation" had come to a close.

"This investigation took a long time to complete. There was a voluminous amount of documents to go through. It was a very long and complex investigation," he said. "We are satisfied the case came to a resolution with the count of theft and the count of forgery... it's not over. We'll put our trust in the judge to order the appropriate sentence for Mr. Blaine."

BREAKING NEWS-Same Sex Marriages On Hold!

Link to original article-Court halts Calif gay marriages pending appeal

SAN FRANCISCO – Same-sex weddings in California are on hold indefinitely after a federal appeals court blocked the unions Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker decided last week to allow gay marriages to go forward after ruling that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated equal protection and due process rights of gays and lesbians guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

The Proposition 8 legal team quickly appealed Walker's ruling in a case that many believe will end up before the Supreme Court.