#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Dec.02 – With the shut-down clock ticking, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday pitched a two-step plan to House Republicans that would keep the government funded and also fight back against President Obama’s executive action on immigration The Hill reported.
Boehner told lawmakers in a closed-door meeting he plans to bring a bill to the floor this week pushing back on Obama’s unilateral move on immigration, a GOP source inside the room said.
The largely symbolic bill, introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), would state that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to delay deportations of undocumented immigrants.
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.23 – President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he “bent over backwards” to give Congress leeway to pass immigration reform The Hill reported.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Obama said he has issued fewer executive actions than most former presidents “by a long-shot.”
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.21 – House Speaker John Boehner declared Friday that President Barack Obama was “damaging the presidency” with his unilateral action on immigration AP reported.
He said the Republican-run House will not stand by, but gave no hint of what the response would be.
“I will say to you, the House will, in fact, act,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a news conference the morning after Obama announced plans to offer deportation relief and work permits to 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.20 – Amnesty supporters and detractors alike have long expected Barack Obama to announce unilateral action regarding immigration shortly after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.
According to a Reuters report Wednesday, that announcement will come Friday during a stop in Las Vegas.
Early reports are based on a Las Vegas Review-Journal report confirming Obama has scheduled a stop in the city this week and a subsequent CNBC claim that he will share details of an executive order during the trip.
While there are few confirmed details regarding the contents of his anticipated immigration plan, Reuters cited a source who advised the action will defer deportation of the illegal parents of legal American citizens.
Activist Dawn Le of the Alliance for Citizenship sent an email out to her contacts this week calling for the formation of “watch parties” Thursday evening and Friday in anticipation of a “celebratory” announcement regarding amnesty. BuzzFeed reported that labour union representative Jeff Hauser passed the correspondence along to several news organizations – apparently by accident.
Amnesty advocates planning Thursday night watch parties for Obama’s unlawful announcement. http://t.co/THWxp9QHN8
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) November 19, 2014
The email, which was obviously sent to rally pro-amnesty activists, arrived in the inboxes of reporters from major outlets, including the New York Times and USA Today, before Hauser followed up with a second email asking the recipients to “please ignore” his previous message.
Obama will also likely allow immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally to remain in this country and could announce new border security measures.
Reports suggest the only deportation efforts Obama is interested in pursuing involve illegals convicted of serious crimes.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – Press Release – November 03 – The Secure Travel and Counter-terrorism Partnership Act of 2007 (part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, also known as the “9/11 Act”) (Pub. L. No. 110-53) amended Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, requiring that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement an electronic travel authorization system and other measures to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
On August 1, 2008, DHS implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), adding a significant layer of security to the VWP by enabling U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to conduct security vetting of prospective VWP travelers to determine if they pose a law enforcement or security risk before they board aircraft destined for the United States.
Although the U.S. Government does not currently have any credible information that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or other Syria-based terrorist groups are planning imminent attacks against the United States, we do know that a significant number of foreign fighters have traveled to Syria over the past three years, including citizens from the United States and Europe.
Many of these foreign fighters have joined ISIL’s and other terrorist groups’ ranks and there are significant concerns that these groups may use these fighters to conduct external attacks. These foreign fighters are likely to gain experience and training from the Syria-based groups and eventually may return to their own countries battle-hardened and further radicalized. Many of these fighters may possess valid European and U.S. passports or travel documents, and pose a potential threat for committing terrorist attacks in Europe or the United States.
ESTA has been a highly effective security and vetting tool that has enabled DHS to deny travel under the VWP to thousands of prospective travelers who pose a risk to the United States. Since program inception in August 2008, CBP has approved millions of ESTA applications, but has denied over 4,300 ESTA applications as a result of vetting against the U.S. Government’s known/suspected terrorist watchlist.
During that same period of time, CBP has also denied over 22,500 ESTA applications for individuals who applied for an ESTA using a passport that had been reported as lost or stolen. As part of our commitment to preventing terrorist attacks here in the homeland and to strengthening border and immigration security, DHS has been carefully evaluating options for further strengthening the security of the VWP, to include enhancements to ESTA that would bolster CBP’s ability to identify potential security threats.
In response to increasing concerns regarding foreign fighters, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is strengthening the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) through enhancements to ESTA. These improvements are designed to address the immediate foreign fighter threat, provide an additional layer of enduring security for the VWP and facilitate visa-free travel to the United States.
DHS has determined that ESTA enhancements will improve the Department’s ability to screen prospective VWP travelers and more accurately and effectively identify those who pose a security risk to the United States.
DHS also believes enhancements to ESTA will help the Department facilitate adjudication of ESTA applications. By requiring ESTA applicants to provide additional information, DHS will enhance its ability to identify ESTA applicants on the terrorist watchlist and therefore reduce the number of inconclusive matches that currently result in an ESTA denial, requiring the applicant to apply for a visa for travel to the United States.
ESTA is a web-based application and screening system used to determine whether certain aliens are eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP. As stated in the ESTA Privacy Impact Assessment Update dated June 5, 2013, DHS has entered a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) that permits NCTC to use ESTA information to facilitate NCTC’s counterterrorism efforts and helps to ensure travel authorizations are not issued to individuals who pose a threat to national security.
No single data element by itself enhances ESTA to address the foreign fighter threat. It is the combined totality of existing and new ESTA data elements that will help the U.S. Government mitigate the foreign fighter threat and facilitate lawful travel under the VWP.
All ESTA data elements will help DHS adjudicate applications and, in many cases, enable DHS to distinguish between lawful applicants and individuals of concern.
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#AceNewsServices NORTH AMERICA: On October 02 a new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, North America: Time for a New Focus, asserts that elevating and prioritizing the Canada-Mexico-U.S. relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
“It is time to put North America at the forefront of U.S. policy,” the report says. “The development and implementation of a strategy for U.S. economic, energy, security, environmental, and societal cooperation with its two neighbours can strengthen the United States at home and enhance its influence abroad.”
The Task Force proposes a comprehensive set of recommendations for deepening North American integration, concentrating on four pivotal areas—energy, economic competitiveness, security, and community. These include:
Capitalizing on North America’s promising energy outlook. The North American countries need a regional energy strategy to strengthen the continent’s energy infrastructure, expand energy exports, support Mexico’s historic reforms, improve safety, and encourage harmonized policies to promote energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions.
“For economic, environmental, and diplomatic reasons, the Task Force recommends that the U.S. government encourage increased energy connections with Canada and Mexico. The U.S. government should approve additional pipeline capacity, including the Keystone XL pipeline,” the report says. “The Task Force also proposes that the United States end restrictions on energy exports, including oil and LNG (liquefied natural gas).”
Bolstering economic competitiveness through the freer movement of goods and services across borders. Upgrading infrastructure and policies across borders would interconnect national economies securely and efficiently. Recognizing trilateral economic interests, the United States should also include Canada and Mexico in its negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other free trade agreements.
“The United States’ ability to compete in a dynamic and competitive world economy would be strengthened by enhanced economic ties with Canada and Mexico,” the report explains. “The Task Force recommends working toward the free and unimpeded movement of goods and services across North America’s common borders.”
Strengthening security through a unified continental strategy and “continuous border innovation.” While working toward the goal of a unified security strategy for North America, the United States and Canada should support Mexican efforts to strengthen the democratic rule of law, dismantle criminal networks, contribute to the development of resilient and cohesive communities, and reduce arms smuggling and drug consumption.
“The United States should shift from border-centric security toward a strategy of combining perimeter protection with security in depth through the use of intelligence, risk assessment, shared capabilities, and joint actions throughout the region,” the report says.
Fostering a North American community through comprehensive immigration reform, workforce development, and the creation of a mobility accord to facilitate the movement of workers. The U.S. Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reforms. To better aid the movement of North American workers, the three countries should also create a North American Mobility Accord, expand visas for skilled workers, streamline recognition of professional credentials, and develop a regional educational innovation strategy.
“The Task Force strongly recommends the passage of comprehensive federal immigration reform that secures U.S. borders, prevents illegal entry, provides visas on the basis of economic need, invites talented and skilled people to settle in the United States, and offers a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants now in the United States,” the report says.
Chaired by David H. Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and chairman of the KKR Global Institute, and Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group and chairman of Goldman Sachs’s International Advisors, the Task Force is composed of a diverse and distinguished group of experts that includes former government officials, scholars, and others. The project is directed by CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America StudiesShannon K. O’Neil.
#AceWorldNews says after immigration vote, Swiss have to rework Croatia labour deal according to ZURICH (Reuters).
Switzerland has told the newest European Union member, Croatia, that it will not be able to sign a labour market pact as planned on July 1, following a shock referendum vote in favour of immigration curbs.
#AceWorldNews says `Human Rights Watch Calls on Spain, Morocco to End Abuse of Sub-Saharan immigrants ‘
Human Rights Watch on Monday called on Morocco and Spain to end the abusive treatment of sub-Saharan immigrants. The call came after nine migrants drowned trying to reach the Spanish territory of Ceuta, AFP reported.
The security forces “commonly beat, otherwise abuse and sometimes steal” from sub-Saharan migrants, HRW said. Rabat launched an operation in January to regularize the migrants’ situation. The rights group also criticized Spanish security forces for using “excessive force when they summarily expel migrants” from their north African territories of Ceuta and Melilla.
#AceWorldNews says Australia apologized to Indonesia on Friday for naval breaches of Indonesian territory, Reuters reported. The breaches happened as Canberra stop boats carrying would-be asylum seekers from entering its waters. Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison had been told earlier this week about the “inadvertent breaches” on multiple days and immediately informed the Indonesian navy. A formal apology would be issued by Australia’s embassy in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia downgraded its relations with Australia in November as a result of spying allegations.
AFTER LATEST LAMPEDUSA TRAGEDY, BAN CALLS FOR ACTION TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS
Following reports of a second ship capsizing off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to protect the rights of migrants and take action to prevent such tragic incidents.
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened to hear reports of the loss of lives as another boat carrying migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Italy, only a few days after the tragic incident near Lampedusa which had already claimed more than 300 lives,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/?nid=7196“>statement.
According to media reports, at least 27 people died and 221 were saved on Friday after their boat capsized near Lampedusa.
The incident occurred just over a week after more than 300 migrants, mostly Ethiopian, lost their lives when their boat caught fire half a mile from the coast, leading the vessel to capsize in the same area.
“The Secretary-General calls on the international community to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future, including measures that address their root causes and that places the vulnerability and human rights of migrants at the centre of the response,” the statement said.
- Video released of dramatic rescue of capsized Lampedusa migrants (telegraph.co.uk)
- UN chief calls for action to protect migrants’ rights (worldbulletin.net)
- Lampedusa Tragedy: Ban Calls For Action To Protect Migrant Human Rights (eurasiareview.com)