Archive | January 2012

La Raza to fight Congress on proposed law closing child tax credit for illegals

Behind the scenes, National Council of La Raza continues its work to protect illegal immigrants from U.S. tax law. While the U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for $15 trillion of debt, La Raza would like to give illegals up to $1,800 in tax credits.

“In order to extend the payroll tax holiday, Congress is considering a policy this week that will devastate over five million children in immigrant families across the country by eliminating the Child Tax Credit for households who pay taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number,” said Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum for La Raza.

La Raza contends that Congress’ proposed new legislation will force illegal immigrants to pay $1,800 in taxes. The reality of the tax-credit loophole means most of these low-income earners will not pay more in taxes, but they will not get a refund check from the IRS.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they issue “Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose.”

In an effort to pressure lawmakers, La Raza has confirmed that a conference call is scheduled tomorrow with Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office and other immigration experts to learn what can be done to prevent the proposed changes to the Child Tax Credit from becoming law.

“Congress is on the brink of denying this tax credit to immigrant and mixed-status families, regardless of the fact that they paid their fair share in taxes,” Noorani said. “If we take action now we can stop Congress from succumbing to divisive and hateful politics, and protect tax-paying families and their children.”

With the Obama Administration teeing up the “fair share” argument on the airwaves, La Raza is willing and able to use some of the angry political rhetoric to further their quest for a form of blanket amnesty.

“A fair economy is the talk of the nation, but some members of Congress have their ears plugged,” according to Leticia Miranda, Associate Director of the Economic and Employment Policy Project for La Raza. “Lawmakers are seriously considering raising taxes on hardworking, low-income, taxpaying families in order to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut. Rather than asking millionaires to pay their fair share, they want to raise taxes on those who can least afford it—by blocking taxpayers who use the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from receiving the Child Tax Credit. If this policy is enacted, more than four million Latino children and their families would face greater hunger, poverty, and other severe hardships, with negative consequences for the economy today and for years to come.”

While this may be a compelling plea, the IRS makes it clear that the ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credits.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

New York City -1 US Constitution-0 NYC profits from seizures of legal guns

The case, New York against Mark Meckler, Tea Party Patriots co-founder; The charge, C Violent Felony of Possession of a Firearm with Intent to Use; The reality, Meckler was in-transit at LaGuardia Airport and declared his fully-licensed, unloaded weapon that was stored in a TSA-approved locked case located in his luggage; The result, jail and a fine.

Meckler describes his ordeal as nothing short of a nightmare. “On December 15, I requested a firearms declaration form from the ticket agent. It was my intent to declare and check my unloaded firearm. I have a valid concealed carry permit for it issued in California.” Meckler explains that he carries a firearm after receiving several threats against his life due to his role in the Tea Party Patriots, a group that looks to limit government involvement.

Meckler’s honesty landed him a New York jail for 12 hours where he says other inmates disclosed how easy it was to own firearms without necessary paperwork.

New York’s strict gun-control regulations are ultimately responsible for Meckler’s arrest, according to his attorney Brian T. Stapleton of Goldberg and Segalla. In the end, Stapleton was able to resolve Mr. Meckler’s felony charge with a non-criminal Disorderly Conduct disposition which carries a $250 fine plus attorney fees and court costs.

With the incident in Meckler’s rearview mirror, the fact remains that NYC still has his Glock 27 (New York reportedly destroys seized firearms) and New York’s exercise of confiscating weapons are a disturbing trend.

“It’s outrageous… Arresting law-abiding citizens for declaring a licensed firearm is anti-Second Amendment,” according to Stapleton.

Meckler’s attorney advised him that he could try to recover his firearm, but the $5,000-7,000 costs were no guarantee. In fact, the majority of these cases result in the state’s favor. “I am not alone in facing this tyranny. It has happened to hundreds of people in the New York metro area,” Meckler said. “My lawyer, Brian Stapleton, has handled over 400 of these cases himself, so he is an expert on the subject.”

The Calguns Foundation, a large Second Amendment organization, says this is nothing more than the politicization of those in power.

“What we have here is political extortion. The government knows it’s not worth it for an individual to spend thousands of dollars and risk prosecution to fight over the return of a $500 firearm, even if they possessed the firearm lawfully. And, in many cases, the local governments know this and seize firearms to rack up a tally for federal grant money,” explained Jason Davis attorney for Calguns.

Davis voiced his outrage over New York City’s conduct of superseding Federal law Sec. 926A (18 USC §926A). Interstate transportation of firearms that states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.”

Other legal experts warn Americans about this disturbing anti-Second Amendment trend.

“400 cases of seizure and destruction of privately owned, licensed fire arms by the City of New York demonstrate a clear disregard for the Second Amendment, private property and due process. While there are numerous legal arguments supporting the right to keep and bear arms, prohibitions on unreasonable seizure of private property, and interference with interstate commerce, it is the audacity and arrogance of New York to think the U.S. Constitutional protections do not apply to the Port Authority. One need not be a Constitutional scholar to understand that until citizens challenge the City of New York and the Port Authority this outrageous practice will only emboldened their self-proclaimed and singular assault on the rights of Americans and hasten the erosion of our freedom from oppressive government.”

In Mark Meckler’s words…

On December 15, 2011 at approximately 5:15 a.m., I was at LaGuardia International airport preparing to check in for a flight out of the city. During a routine check-in, I requested a firearms declaration form from the ticket agent. It was my intent to declare and check my unloaded firearm.

I purchased this firearm legally, and I have a valid concealed carry permit for it issued in California. The unloaded gun was locked inside a TSA-approved travel case, and the case was locked inside my checked luggage. I carry the firearm for my personal safety, having received numerous threats due to my role in the Tea Party Patriots. I have checked this firearm at airports dozens of times before, all across the country.

As I traveled through LaGuardia that morning, I passed TSA signs telling me I had the right to check this unloaded firearm in my luggage, and that I am required by law to declare the firearm to the ticketing agent. This is exactly what I did.

The ticketing agent provided me with the declaration form, and I signed it and returned it to her. She advised me that she would need to call Port Authority police to inspect. This is not unusual when traveling with a firearm. Procedures vary from airport to airport, from airline to airline, and even from day to day, and as a law-abiding citizen, I have always been happy to cooperate.

Unfortunately, that day, I didn’t realize that I was about to cross paths with New York City’s anti-Second Amendment stance. Upon showing my case and the weapon to the officer who arrived on the scene, and after a few brief questions, she advised me that she was placing me under arrest for violating New York City’s firearms laws.

To say that I was stunned would be an understatement. I am from a law enforcement family. My mother is a retired correctional officer, and I have spent my life around folks from the law enforcement community. I have always considered myself a law-abiding citizen. I have never been arrested before. I have never been in police custody. I can never say those things again. On December 15th, 2011, I was arrested, handcuffed at the ticket counter, and taken to a waiting squad car for transport to the Port Authority Police station at LaGuardia.

I was subsequently transferred, in handcuffs, to the Queens Central booking facility in New York City. I was charged with felony possession of a firearm with intent to do harm. I spent the day in Queens…in jail.

It was a nightmare that I can scarcely describe to you. Until you have felt the handcuffs on your wrists, and until you have heard that cell door close behind you, it is impossible to understand what it means to actually lose your liberty. And since that day, my liberty has been at stake, and because of that threat, based upon the advice of counsel; I’ve been unable to speak publicly about this case. Today the silence ends.

I am pleased to announce that the criminal case against me has been dropped. Although I was originally charged with a violent felony, the case against me was resolved with a plea to “disorderly conduct. ” Disorderly Conduct is not a felony or a misdemeanor, or even a crime. The facts underlying my plea are that I declared a legally purchased, properly licensed and unloaded firearm at an airport counter. Apparently, much to my surprise, in New York City, it is considered “disorderly conduct” to exercise your constitutionally guaranteed, Second Amendment rights.

Strangely, now that the case against me is over, the authorities refuse to return my firearm. There is no law that allows them to confiscate a weapon in this manner. They simply say “no” when you ask for your weapon back. This is apparently their “policy.” It is done regularly in New York. This is government robbery. Not only is New York City anti-Second Amendment rights, but they are depriving citizens of their legally owned property. My lawyer has advised me that I can attempt to pursue the return of my firearm but that to do so would cost me more than the firearm is worth. I am not alone in facing this tyranny. It has happened to hundreds of people in the New York metro area. My lawyer, Brian Stapleton, has handled over 400 of these cases himself, so he is an expert on the subject.

While the end of this case is the end of a horrible nightmare for my family and I, it is not the end of this fight. It is just the beginning. Since the original incident, I have received more emails, phone calls, texts and tweets of support than you can imagine. To those people, I want to say heart-felt thanks on behalf of my entire family. We have come to know that we are not alone in this particular fight. Apparently, this happens to hundreds of people per year in New York City. And New York City is not alone in its attack on our rights. This sort of Constitutional abuse, Second Amendment and otherwise, is taking place all over the nation. And we as citizens must stand against it. We must protect our rights, or we will lose them.

Many of you know me as someone who is willing to stand and fight for self-governance in this country. I’m no politician, and I’m not from a powerful or connected family. I’m an average American citizen. And I stand shoulder to shoulder with millions of other Americans who, despite enormous obstacles, and despite the politicians and ruling elite who oppose us, intend to return this country to the bounds of the United States Constitution.

The politicians and ruling elite will try, but we must not let them label us Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal. We cannot let them make us fight against each other. Too much is at stake. We the People are losing our sovereignty to the government. We the Peoplemust stand and fight for our inalienable rights.

I’m not alone in this fight. There are so many laws, that no one can know or understand them. We are all affected. From the inner city to the farm, from the heartland of America to the coasts, people are under pressure from a government that no longer serves them. From my home in California, to the farmland of Kansas… from the small towns of South Carolina to the metropolis of New York, every year the legislatures pass thousands of laws and regulations that do not serve the people.

The legislators don’t read the bills they pass, and even if they did, they couldn’t understand them. Our criminal justice system is terribly broken, and no longer serves the people and the communities it was intended to serve. Our regulatory system is broken; small businesses and the communities that rely on them crushed under the weight of unnecessary regulation.

We are, step by step, destroying the heart of America. And we are doing so because we are not governing ourselves according to the Constitution. It’s up to us…the People.

It’s time to stand for self-governance. It is time to stand for the plain meaning of the Constitution. Every word of the Constitution is important, and we must fight for them all. We must fight for every inch of this country, from the inner city to the smallest rural town. We are all of us, first and foremost, American citizens. We’ve always governed ourselves…and we always intend to. And we’ve always been willing to stand when freedom is at stake. It is time to stand…time for all of us, every race, every religion, every gender, every American to stand up and fight for liberty and take responsibility for governing ourselves.

No one should ever have to go through what my family has been through, simply for exercising a fundamental right, specifically enumerated in the United States Constitution. I am committed to making sure no one does. And I’m willing to work with anyone…anyone, who agrees that it’s time for people to govern themselves once again.

Will we as citizens fight for our inalienable right to govern ourselves, or will we quietly allow ourselves to be “governed” into submission by a ruling elite, disconnected from our citizens and our communities? Only history will tell, but I intend to fight.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Mexican Mafia dealt huge blow in San Diego- 100 arrested

In what has been described as a huge blow to the Mexican Mafia in San Diego County, a multi-agency task force arrested more than 100 alleged members from the major Mafioso groups based near the U.S./Mexico border.

The federal indictments filed by U.S. Attorney, Laura Duffy show those arrested are charged with multiple counts including, racketeering, drug trafficking and gun smuggling.

Perhaps the biggest fish netted by this multi-agency raid were high-ranking gangsters of a prison-based gang responsible for violent acts across the county. Duffy said eight arrestees were “shot callers” responsible for selling drugs and collection of protection/taxes bribes, gun trafficking and conspiracy.

Two of those “shot callers” taken off the streets were Rudy Espudo and Salvadore Colabella who were handcuffed on two separate indictments. It is alleged that Espudo and Colabella collected money that was then funneled to various Mexican Mafia bosses.

The criminal arrests were the culmination of year-long investigations called “Operation Notorious County” in North, East and Central San Diego County officials said. The North County Regional Gang Force ran an 18-month investigation called “Operation Carnalismo” and “Operation 12-Step” was under the helm of the East County Regional Gang Task Force.

Commanding LT. Hydar of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said this Mexican Mafia roundup depended on multiple agencies working in concert. “We had a good day,” she said.

The grand jury indictments extended to 119 gang members, 104 of which were arrested and 13 remain at large.

“This is a major blow to more than 20 (Mexican Mafia) street gangs,” U.S. Attorney Duffy said.

The FBI also noted that this bust is one of San Diego’s largest and sent a strong message to all gang members doing business in San Diego County.

“San Diego is inherently safer today because of the cooperation between our agencies working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal activities of these dangerous individuals,” said Keith Slotter, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI.

If convicted, the alleged Mexican Mafia members can be sentenced to at least five years behind bars, while other charges carry a life sentence.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

California lawmakers sue state controller for docking their pay for late budget

In another brazen move to cheat California, state lawmakers have sued Democratic State Controller, John Chiang, for withholding nearly $5,000 each (12 days or a total of $600,000) of loss pay and expenses for failing to balance the state’s budget on time.

Years of fighting over a balanced budget each year led California taxpayers to pass Proposition 25, allowing a simple majority vote to pass a budget instead of the two-thirds requirement. The catch, lawmakers have to send the governor a budget on time or face loss of pay.

Lucky for taxpayers and unlucky for lawmakers, the first year this law was implemented, the budget was late. Lawmakers contend they were unaware their first budget was flawed and that the state’s expenditures did not match revenues. Nevertheless, the first budget was rejected by Governor Jerry Brown (D), because it underfunded public schools to the tune of $1.3 billion.

However, the Democratic majority in Sacramento decided to renege on the law and will sue the state. John Perez, assembly speaker, said he was going “to clarify the constitutional role of the California State Controller.”

Of course, the lawsuit will not only cost the taxpayer’s money, but the Democratic lawmakers have retained independent lawyers who will invoice… the taxpayers.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Border Patrol seizes nearly $1 million worth of illegal drugs in San Diego

Over the weekend, San Diego Border Patrol agents snagged more than $930,000 worth of cocaine, marijuana, and crystal methamphetamine.

“On Saturday, agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested a 26-year-old male United States citizen for attempting to smuggle 61.91 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $619, 058,” Scott E. Simon, Border Patrol Agent for the San Diego Sector Communication Division said.

Simon said the drugs were discovered at the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area by K-9 dogs. The illicit drugs were located in a secret floorboard compartment.

“Our agents searched the vehicle (a BMW X5) and discovered 25 cellophane-wrapped brick-shaped bundles in natural voids beneath seats. The suspected smuggler and cocaine were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to a multi-agency drug task force,” Simon said.

In a separate incident, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 15 checkpoint stopped a Mexican national driving a Ford pickup. Again, it was a K-9 team that located illicit drugs.

“Agents searched and subsequently discovered a non-factory compartment beneath the bed of the truck in which 30 bundles of marijuana were concealed. The drugs weighed a total of 313.83 pounds and had an estimated street value of $156, 915,” according to Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agents arrested and turned over all the suspected drug smugglers to the proper authorities. All of the vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Anyone with information regarding suspicious activity is encouraged to contact the San Diego Border Patrol at (619) 498-9900.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Obama Admin aims to increase tourism in the U. S. via Disney World

Standing in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World in Orlando, President Obama declared another “can’t wait” executive order to boost tourism in the U.S. “This is the land where we do big things,” the President quipped in the Sunshine State.

It didn’t take long for GOP front-runner Mitt Romney to make light of the President’s Disney World location used to announce his new executive-order tourism plan. “Perhaps there’s some poetic justice in the President speaking from Fantasyland because I’m afraid, he’s been speaking from Fantasyland for some time now.”

Republican Presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich’s comments weren’t any nicer. “Obama was flanked by Donald Duck on one side and Goofy on the other, much like his cabinet.”

President Obama signed the executive order announcing new initiatives to increase travel and tourism in the United States. Currently the travel industry consists of approximately 2.7 percent of the U.S. GDP and represents 7.5 million jobs.

The “new” Obama executive order aims to create an additional 1 million jobs for the U.S. lagging economy over the next 10 years.

The administration’s announcement highlights a range of steps to promote America as a tourism destination and improve the secure visa processing process.

“Every year, tens of millions of tourists from all over the world come and visit America. And the more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work. We need to help businesses all across the country grow and create jobs; compete and win. That’s how we’re going to rebuild an economy where hard work pays off, where responsibility is rewarded, and where anyone can make it if they try,” President Obama said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce claims that international travel accounted for $134 billion in U.S. exports in 2010.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis; “estimates that every additional 65 international visitors to the United States can generate enough exports to support an additional travel and tourism-related job. According to the travel industry and Bureau of Economic Analysis, international travel is particularly important as overseas or ‘long-haul’ travelers spend on average $4,000 on each visit.”

The new White House tourism strategy will focus on the emerging economies of China, Brazil and India. These three countries alone represented approximately $15 billion and thousands of jobs in 2010.

In addition, Chinese and Brazilian tourists spend between $5-6,000 per trip, according to the Department of Commerce.

In recent years, the Department of State has made progress in processing non-immigrant visas from key markets. Last fiscal year they processed 7.5 million visas. In the 2011 fiscal year, consular officers adjudicated more than one million visa applications in China, and 800,000 in Brazil.

-Some highlights of President Obama’s tourism Executive Order include;

The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior will be charged with; Co-leading an interagency task force to develop recommendations for a National Travel & Tourism Strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the United States, thereby expanding job creation. This Task Force will coordinate with the Corporation for Travel Promotion (currently doing business as BrandUSA), a non-profit corporation established by Congress through the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 to promote travel to the United States and the Tourism Policy Council to ensure private sector participation and cross-agency coordination.

A focus of the Task Force will be on strategies for increasing tourism and recreation jobs by promoting visits to our national treasures. The Department of the Interior manages iconic destinations in national parks, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, monuments and other public lands that attract travelers from around the country and the globe. In 2010, more than 400 million visits were made by American and international travelers to these lands, contributing nearly $50 billion in economic activity and 400,000 jobs. Eco-tourism and outdoor recreation also have an outsize impact on rural economies, particularly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security will be charged with; increasing non-immigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil by 40 percent in 2012.

They will ensure that 80 percent of non-immigrant visa applicants be interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application.

Increasing efforts to expand the Visa Waiver Program and travel by nationals eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program, and expanding reciprocal trusted travel programs for expedited travel (such as the Global Entry program).

-Final Rule to Expand and Make the Global Entry Program Permanent:

Global Entry was a program within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that was created in 2008 to facilitate expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Through a final rule, the Administration will expand and make the Global Entry program permanent. Due in part to innovative public-private partnerships, the Global Entry program now has more than 246,000 members, more than 1 million trusted travelers have Global Entry benefits, and efforts are underway to expand enrollment even further. There are currently 131 Global Entry kiosks located at 20 airports. Members have used Global Entry kiosks more than 1.7 million times, saving CBP officers over 36,450 inspection hours—staff hours that CBP has then re-allocated to expedite regular passenger queues.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Decapitated head found below famed- Hollywood sign.

A recent string of decapitations in the U.S. has law enforcement officials concerned that either Americans are adopting gruesome drug cartel techniques, or cartel violence is spilling across the borders.

Yesterday afternoon in Hollywood, California, a pair of dog walkers stumbled upon a human head. They alerted authorities immediately after their dogs opened a black bag containing the human head.

Police on the scene said the head appeared to be an Armenian man in his 40s. Little decomposition had taken place suggesting the man was recently murdered, according to coroner Lt. Joe Bale.

Meanwhile, last week another headless body was found outside Tucson, Arizona and in October 19-year-old Carina Saunders was decapitated by a human trafficking gang in Oklahoma.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Illegal alien released from custody rapes 13-year-old girl

A Virginia Congressman asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide local law enforcement agencies with access to digital fingerprints for all criminal, illegal aliens. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) announced that funding to digitize the fingerprints of all criminal, illegal immigrants be included in the DHS 2012 spending bill.

Wolf is asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to improve its Secure Communities database after a criminal illegal alien was arrested for public drunkenness, but later released when his fingerprints were not identified by law enforcement computers.

Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a known MS-13 gang member, was rearrested just four weeks later for raping an 8-year-old girl in Virginia. Last October, Portillo-Saravia pled guilty on two felony charges of rape of a victim under 13, as well as sodomy. Courts will sentence Portillo-Saravia next month.

“This tragic incident identified a critical shortcoming in the Secure Communities program: immigration fingerprints taken on paper prior to 2005 were often not included in the database,” Wolf said in a statement. “Unfortunately, many local law enforcement agencies were unaware of this gap in the system and that manual searches were still necessary.”

The House Appropriations Committee promptly responded to Rep. Wolf’s request to ensure criminal illegal aliens fingerprints are properly digitized and added the necessary funding to update the database.

“The Secure Communities database is an important resource for state and local law enforcement,” Wolf said. “I will continue to work to ensure this system is operating as it was intended (in order) to help protect our communities.”

The following is the illegal alien digitized fingerprint language included in the FY 2012 bill;

Improving Immigration Enforcement Activities

A total of $12,000,000 above the request is provided to improve immigration enforcement
activities, of which $5,000,000 is included in Secure Communities for digitization of paper fingerprint cards from legacy immigration files. Both the House and Senate reports outlined areas for focus (such as) developing a comprehensive strategy to address the visa overstay problem, modernizing the Alien Criminal Response Information Management System (ACRIMe) to support the identification of criminal aliens and individuals attempting to overstay a visa, enhancing ICE capabilities for law enforcement support for immigration- related inquiries from State and local law enforcement, and digitizing old fingerprint records. ICE is directed to brief the Committees, with US-VISIT and other DHS components as appropriate, on its plan for utilization of these funds, no later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. ICE is also directed, in conjunction with US-VISIT and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to report to the Committees no later than 120 days e ate of enactment of this Act on the methodology of prioritizing files for the digitization effort as well as the overall projected cost of the project to ensure electronic availability of appropriate biometrics in IDENT.

Digitization Efforts

USCIS, ICE, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review are directed to brief the Committees on use of digitized records, as required in the House report, no later than March I, 2012. USCIS is also directed to provide no less than $29,000,000 to continue conversion of immigration records to digital format.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Obama lays out new plan to treat soldiers suffering TBI and PTSD

First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have created a new generation of doctors, medical schools and research facilities that will focus on treatment options for military veterans.

“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families,” First Lady Michelle Obama said. “By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research, and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

While this new program is welcomed by injured military veterans, the signature war wounds for the signature Middle East Wars, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have seen numerous successful treatment plans in the private sector.

Most recently Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a mentally unstable gunman. Rep. Giffords received the best medical treatment her generous Congressional health insurance provided. As a result, she has recovered at a remarkable pace. Many argue that the military veterans are not given the same opportunity as an elected politician.

Another example of successful head trauma treatment is ABC News reporter, Bob Woodruff. He survived a bomb blast covering the Iraq War. Mr. Woodruff, was treated for TBI in New York City, received excellent medical treatment in the private sector, and has returned to work.

Woodruff has spoken about his and Giffords’ head injuries. “First, there is hope. Like the doctors who saved me almost five years ago, her surgeons knew exactly what to do. Her brain was swelling just like mine. They removed partof her skull on the left sideof her head almost exactly like mine, and she (was put) in a drug-induced coma so that her brain could recover.”

However, complaints from many service members suggest military treatment requires excessive paperwork and bland treatment options for their TBI and PTSD injuries.

Together, the AAMC and AACOM hope to advance their veteran-related injury education programs, focus laboratory research, and improve clinical care for military families. This cooperative effort seeks to better address health issues suffered by returning troops from the Middle East Wars.

Specifically, these organizations will focus on the following;

· Train their medical students as well as their current physicians, faculty, and staff to better diagnose and treat our veterans and military families;

· Develop new research and clinical trials on PTSD and TBI so that we can better understand and treat those conditions;

· Share their information and best practices with one another through a collaborative web forum created by the AAMC; and

· Continue to work with the VA and the Department of Defense to make sure that everyone is providing the best care available.

“Because of our integrated missions in education, clinical care, and research, America’s medical schools are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in this important effort,” Darrell G. Kirch M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges said. “Medical schools have long recognized the sacrifice and commitment of our military, veterans, and their families. The relationship between the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and academic medicine dates back to the end of World War II and serves as a model for successful partnerships between public and private institutions. Our work with the White House on Joining Forces is a natural extension of our efforts in this area and renews our commitment to the wellness of our nation’s military.”

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Border Patrol confiscates more than $617,000 of Methamphetamine drugs

Border Patrol agents working north of San Diego at the Interstate 15 checkpoint nabbed two narcotic smugglers carrying 30 pounds of methamphetamine.

The agents stopped a male 20-year-old U.S. citizen driving a black Hummer H3 along with a 21-year-old male U. S. citizen passenger as they arrived at the freeway checkpoint. During the inspection process, BP agents became suspicious of the occupant’s nervous behavior and referred them to a secondary inspection area.

“A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert,” said Scott Simon, Border Patrol Agent in the San Diego Sector Information and Communication Division.“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered a non-factory compartment in the rear cargo deck concealing a total of 20 bundles of methamphetamine.”

The illegal narcotics weighed approximately 31 pounds and had an estimated street value of $617,400, officials said. “The suspected smugglers and narcotics were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. The Hummer H3 was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol,” Simon finished.

In an effort to prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and contraband, the Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major U.S. corridors away from the nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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