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And now a word about ICE

180606 nr 2Back in 2003 the Department of Homeland Security was established by combining several agencies from other U.S. departments under one overarching umbrella. The thinking was that placing all of these disparate agencies under one department would somehow make such activities related to homeland security, such as intelligence gathering and enforcement of border security, more efficient and effective.
Whether simply placing agencies under the same federal department resulted in any significant improvement in information sharing or a more efficient operation is still a matter for debate. What is not a matter for debate is that one of the agencies created under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ICE, which stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is now under intense scrutiny due to how the agency is implementing White House policy as it relates to immigration via the southern border of the United States.

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Salvadorans plead their case

  • Published in Local

Ever since the Trump Administration announced an 18-month timeline for ending the Temporary Protected Status of millions of Salvadorans who’d fled their country for the United States due to wars and natural disasters, Takoma Park immigration attorney Christina Wilkes’ office has become flooded with calls from many frightened people. 

“There is a lot of fear. There is a lot of misinformation. A lot of folks are calling here to ask what to do,” said Wilkes. “A lot don’t have another avenue available to them [to enable them to remain legally in this country].”

Wilkes said she is advising those on TPS to renew their legal status so that they can remain here legally for the next 18 months. She also is telling them to remain calm, that “come next year, it’s not like immigration will deport them that day.”

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CASA sues Trump administration over DACA repeal

  • Published in Local

The immigrant advocacy organization CASA de Maryland along with eight other groups and more than a dozen individuals announced on the afternoon of Oct. 5 they are suing the federal government over the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has given work status to undocumented immigrants who came to the Unitized States as minors, known as "dreamers."

Named in the lawsuit are President Donald Trump, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and four government agencies — U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection — and their department heads.

A legal team that includes Arnold & Porter LLP, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, and the Civil Rights Clinic of the Howard University School of Law is joining them in the legal action.

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County searches for solutions in wake of 911 debacle

  • Published in Local

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Montgomery County officials say they want access to a federal alert system with a reach far beyond the County’s current system.

The County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is overseeing a federal application to gain access to the Wireless Emergency Alerts system administered through the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

According to OEMHS director Dr. Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County may become one of the first localities, if not the first, in Maryland to enter the system, which allows government officials to notify residents about imminent threats to safety, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

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Run, hide and fight for your life

There has not been a death as a result of a fire in any of our schools across the nation since the 1950's. That is not to say that there haven't been any fires at our schools; it is only to say that there have not been any deaths as a result of those fires. I think it safe to say that we have fire drills down fairly well. In some schools the fire drills include blocking some passageways recognizing the fact that fires can be unpredictable.

As with almost anything, the "times they are a changin'". The threats we faced in years past are not the same threats we face today. How we adapt to those changing threats often is the difference between life and death.

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Seeing and saying something

In the world of medicine and combating life threatening diseases there are two primary paths to follow. The path chosen is ordinarily dictated by whether the patient has been infected with a life threatening disease or has not. If the individual, for example let's say a cancer patient, is undergoing treatment that treatment would normally include some chemotherapy combined with radiation to attempt to destroy the malignancy that is rearing its ugly head in the patient. For all those who have not yet been infected by a life threatening disease, the focus is ordinarily on prevention, such as no smoking, proper diet and the like.

Contrary to the ego-driven rhetoric of some of the presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump to be more specific, the same paths are required when dealing with ISIS. Limiting their response to a military action against existing terrorists without addressing the ever growing recruitment problem only serves to demonstrate their complete misunderstanding of how to deal with this deadly threat not just in the immediate but for the long term.

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