Alabama Stuck With Crack-Head Immigrant Who Was Arrested 35 Times Over 12 Years On Laundry List Of Charges – Can’t Be Deported Because US Government Doesn’t Recognize His Homeland As A Country

April 22, 2012

ALABAMA – He’s a man without a country.

An immigrant in Alabama who has been arrested 35 times in 12 years cannot be extradited because the United States does not recognize his homeland, the Birmingham News reports.

According to the paper, federal authorities have tried to remove convicted felon Sofyan Eldani, 45, but couldn’t send him to his native Palestine because the U.S. does not recognize it as a country. Eldani says he is a native of Palestine, though he carries an Egyptian passport.

Eldani’s arrests include assault, fraudulent checks, criminal mischief, resisting arrests, reckless endangerment, shoplifting, burglary, drug possession, failure to appear, probation violation, possession of a drug paraphernalia and DUI.

He has at least nine convictions, including four felonies, and served six months in an Alabama prison for receiving stolen property. His most recent arrest was for allegedly being found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop, according to the Birmingham News.

For now, Eldani will remain in Alabama and face his most recent drug trafficking charge in state court.

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Man Treated Like A “Criminal” By US As He Tries To Enter To Attend 10 Year Old Son’s Funeral – Story Goes On To Mention He Got The Boot For Being In US Illegally In 2007…

April 1, 2012

A Mexican national said he has been barred from entering the United States to bury his 10-year-old son, a U.S. citizen who died Tuesday in a house fire in northeastern Pennsylvania that killed three other people.

Attorneys for Fidelmar “Fidel” Merlos-Lopez are trying to win humanitarian parole so he can attend the funeral, but say U.S. Customs and Border Protection has rebuffed their efforts.

Damien Lopez died in a Shenandoah row house along with his cousin, aunt and 7-month-old half-brother. The funeral is set for Monday, with burial the next day.

“I told the customs officer that all I want is a permit to see my boy for one last time. They treat me as if I am a criminal,” Lopez, 34, a bus driver, said in an interview Saturday. “Right now, I need their support, and they are refusing to help me.”

Lopez has been waiting at the U.S.-Mexico border near Laredo, Texas, since the fire.

“He’s out of his mind. Can you imagine? Your son is dead in a fire and you can’t even get across. It’s clear they are giving us the runaround,” said Elizabeth Surin, his Philadelphia-based immigration lawyer.

A spokeswoman for the border agency did not return a phone message left at her office Saturday.

Lopez was a teenager when he entered the United States illegally in 1995 and wound up in Shenandoah, a blue-collar town with a large Hispanic population. He married a U.S. citizen who gave birth to Damien in 2002. He later divorced Damien’s mother and married his current wife, Danielle Lopez, who’s also a U.S. citizen.

In 2007, police in nearby Frackville stopped Lopez for running a red light and turned him over to immigration authorities. He agreed to leave the U.S. voluntarily and began the process of applying for legal permanent residence.

Surin, his immigration lawyer, said he was well on his way to getting his green card and rejoining his family in Shenandoah when tragedy struck.

“He’s trying to comply, trying to follow the rules of U.S. immigration law, but they are using that against him now. This whole thing is really heart-wrenching,” she said.

Humanitarian parole is granted to immigrants who have a compelling emergency that requires temporary entry into the United States. It is used sparingly: The government approves only about 25 percent of the 1,200 applications it gets each year.

Surin said Lopez qualifies. In fact, the Mexican husband of Tiffany Sanchez, the 29-year-old woman who died in the fire, was granted humanitarian parole to attend the funeral, she said.

Surin said border officials told her that Lopez was denied entry because he didn’t have a relationship with Damien. She said it’s just the opposite: Lopez shared partial custody of Damien and paid his ex-wife child support before leaving the United States.

Lopez, who worked as a mechanic in Shenandoah, said he was very close to his son.

“I have a video of him. I watch it often. Of when he graduated from kindergarten, you know how they do those parties. He was wearing his cap, a shirt and a tie,” Lopez said.

Though he hadn’t seen Damien in more than three years, they spoke over the phone twice a week.

“He used to tell me, ‘Come back, come back,'” he said. “I have been thinking that maybe it’s my fault because there may have been a reason he asked me that.”

His current wife said Lopez, who lives in Naucalpan de Juarez, a suburb of Mexico City, had been looking forward to returning to the United States. Now he’s desperate to get back, if only for a few days. But time is running out.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Danielle Lopez, 28, a hairdresser who was born and raised in Shenandoah. “It’s his child, his flesh and blood, his firstborn son. It’s horrible.”

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US Customs Places Order For 450,000,000 Rounds Of Ammunition

March 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an “indefinite delivery” of an “indefinite quantity” of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK.

U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal.

The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”

This refers to the the bullet’s hollow-point tip that passes through barriers and expands for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet getting warped out of shape: “this bullet holds its jacket in the toughest conditions.”

We’ve also learned that the Department has an open bid for a stockpile of rifle ammo. Listed on the federal business opportunities network, they’re looking for up to 175 million rounds of .223 caliber ammo to be exact. The .223 is almost exactly the same round used by NATO forces, the 5.56 x 45mm.

The deadline for earlier this month was extended because the right contractor just hadn’t come along.

Looks like the Department of Homeland Security means business.

Thanks to loyal BI Military & Defense Twitter follower Allen Walter for the heads up.

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9/11 Hysteria: So-Called “Homeland Security” Officials And Police Go Way Overboard With Fighter Jets And Bomb Squads After Couple Makes Out In Airliner Bathroom

September 12, 2011

DENVER, COLORADO – Two people “making out” in a restroom on a Frontier flight from Denver to Detroit caused authorities to scramble fighter jets, bomb squads and alert FBI and police on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ABC News reported.

On Sunday afternoon, the Transportation Security Administration was notified of “passengers allegedly behaving suspiciously onboard Frontier Airlines Flight 623,” Denver FBI spokesman Dave Joly said in a statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled F-16 at 3:30 p.m. EDT to shadow the flight until it landed safely at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Joly said.

Law enforcement met the flight, which was brought to a remote area of the airport, Joly said. The plane was swept, nothing hazardous was found and the aircraft was cleared at 5:15 p.m.

The “suspicious behavior” turned out to be two people “making out” in the bathroom mid-flight, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Three passengers were taken into custody for questioning, Frontier Airlines spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said in a statement, but no arrests were made.

In another incident Sunday, a pair of fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet into New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after the pilot became spooked by passengers’ frequent trips to and from the restroom, ABC News reported.

The precaution turned out to be unnecessary as federal air marshals aboard American Flight 34 from Los Angeles to JFK were able to resolve the situation when the passengers complied with their instructions, police officials told ABC. The pilot then radioed that the situation was under control and the plane landed safely. Three male passengers were questioned upon arrival, but no charges were filed against them, authorities said.

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Florida TSA Agent Caught Stealing Traveler’s iPad – Stole Apx. $50,000 in Computer, GPS, And Video Cameras Over 6 Months And Sold Them Online

July 7, 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Transportation Security Administration worker is accused of stealing from the luggage of travelers at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport Monday.

Broward Sheriff’s Deputies said a Continental Airlines worker saw Nelson Santiago, 30, slip an iPad out of a suitcase and into his pants.

That worker reported the theft to his supervisor and Santiago was arrested.

Deputies said Santiago is responsible for a string of thefts over the past six months. They said he told detectives that he stole computers, GPS devices and video cameras from luggage he was screening.

He then allegedly took pictures of the stolen goods with his cell phone, and posted them for sale online.

BSO said the items would often sell by the time Santiago’s shift ended.

Detectives estimate Santiago stole about $50,000 worth of electronics. So far, he was charged with two counts of grand theft and has been released on bond.

Detectives are trying to locate possible victims, though most will never recover their property.

Santiago had worked as a TSA officer since January 2009, but no longer works with the agency.

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Department Of Homeland Security Head Janet Napolitano Wants New Yardstick To Measure/Hide Agency’s Failure To Secure U.S. Borders

May 4, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Saying the measure of “operational control” of U.S. borders is obsolete, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Wednesday that the Obama administration is trying to come up with a new yardstick to better reflect the improvements it says it has made.

With the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s chief watchdog, saying less than half of the southern border is under operational control, the Obama administration has been distancing itself from that measure for more than a year.

” ‘Operational control’ it’s an archaic term,” Miss Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “The fact of the matter is that we need a more quantitative and qualitative way to reflect what actually is occurring at the border.”

The wording is more than just a semantic game.

House Republicans, in their campaign Pledge to America last year, set operational control as their goal, and at least some of the triggers lawmakers have suggested for determining when to move to legalization of illegal immigrants already here require the government first to prove it has control of the border.

Congress itself defined operational control in a 2006 law as the ability to prevent all unlawful entries into the United States, but all sides now say that amounts to sealing the border, which they say is impossible.

“Everybody seems to agree it’s not feasible to achieve operational control as it’s defined there,” said committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent. “Either we have to come up with another definition or we have to set some sort of standards for getting closer to operational control.”

On Wednesday, Miss Napolitano said she has asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection to come up with another way to measure the true state of security along the border.

She said she wants to try to include measures of how many people have been deterred from even trying to cross in the first place, as well as stats that would show the increasingly violent clashes and collateral damage fueled by the drug trade.

Border Patrol officials in Washington have said operational control doesn’t capture the true state of the border because there are places where natural boundaries make crossings so rare that there’s no need to have the kind of manpower and technology needed in other places.

Still, the other chief measure of border security – the number of illegal immigrants apprehended while trying to cross – has its own problems.

The GAO and local U.S. Border Patrol offices regularly use the term “operational control,” and define it to mean Border Patrol agents have the ability to deter, detect and respond to illegal crossers.

In February, the GAO said that the U.S. had operational control along 873 miles of the 2,000-mile border. Of those miles, just 15 percent were designated as “controlled,” while the rest were designated a slightly lesser category of “managed.”

On the more expansive northern border, the GAO says the picture is even more grim: just 32 of the border’s 4,000 miles are under operational control.

Sen. John McCain, a frequent opponent of Miss Napolitano on the issue, said the issue isn’t the yardstick, it’s the fact that many people living on the border feel unsafe.

“If you want to change the metrics, change the metrics, but on the ground in Arizona, on the border, we see people still living in an environment where they’re not secure lives,” the Arizona Republican said.

He said voters will not accept a plan to legalize illegal immigrants until the government proves it can police the border more effectively.

Miss Napolitano, though, said the border cannot be secured unless the rest of immigration is also addressed.

“There’s a linkage between immigration reform and the border,” she said. “If you deal with the legal immigration system, that also has an impact on what is in the illegal immigration system. And so this is a Gordian knot that we must untie, looking at all of these things together.”

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U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ordered To REDUCE Or STOP Arrest Of Illegal Immigrants Caught Invading U.S. Along Mexican Border

April 1, 2011

ARIZONA – An Arizona sheriff says U.S. Border Patrol officials have repeatedly told him they have been ordered to reduce — at times even stop — arrests of illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the U.S. border.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told FoxNews.com that a supervisor with the U.S. Border Patrol told him as recently as this month that the federal agency’s office on Arizona’s southern border was under orders to keep apprehension numbers down during specific reporting time periods.

“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back,” Dever said in an interview with FoxNews.com. “He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. … They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

Dever said his recent conversation with the Border Patrol supervisor was the latest in a series of communications on the subject that he has had with various federal agents over the last two years. Dever said he plans to relay the substance of these conversations when he testifies under oath next month before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God, and nothing is more serious or important than that,” he said. “I’m going to tell them that, here’s what I hear and see every day: I had conversation with agent A, B, C, D and this is what they told me.”

Dever’s charges were vigorously denied by a commander with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false,” Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command in Arizona, said in a written statement.

“I took an oath that I take very seriously, and I find it insulting that anyone, especially a fellow law enforcement officer, would imply that we would put the protection of the American public and security of our nation’s borders in danger just for a numbers game,” he said. “Our mission does not waiver based on political climate, and it never will. To suggest that we are ambiguous in enforcing our laws belittles the work of more than 6,000 CBP employees in Arizona who dedicate their lives to protect our borders every day.”

In recent days, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the U.S.-Mexican border is more secure than ever, and Homeland Security officials have used recent statistics to support those claims.

“There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been,” Napolitano said at the El Paso border crossing last week. “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”

Dever doesn’t agree.

“Janet Napolitano says the border is more secure than it’s ever been. I’ve been here for 60 years, and I’m telling you that’s not true,” he said.

The sheriff of Santa Cruz County, which borders Dever’s Cochise County to the west, said, “This is news to me,” when asked about reports that border agents were being told to turn illegal immigrants back to Mexico rather than arrest them.

“It comes as a complete surprise that that would be something that’s going around,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said. “I meet with Dever all the time and I have great respect for him, so I expect he’d come forward and say what he knows and give the source.

“Not knowing who the source is, how reliable that source is, I really don’t have much of a position,” Estrada said. “I’ve been around a real long time and haven’t heard anything like this. By the same token, you learn new things every day.”

Both sheriffs are elected officials. Dever is a Republican, Estrada, a Democrat.

Others have questioned the methodology and conclusions of the Homeland Security numbers showing the border is more secure.

Mark Hanna, CEO of Real Life Enterprises, a Phoenix-based technology integration and security company, has testified before the Arizona Senate about what he called Homeland Security’s flawed methodology used to compile border security statistics. Hanna maintains the numbers are dangerously misleading.

Hanna, who is currently working on a private/public partnership pilot program along the Arizona border, said he attended a February conference at which Michael Fisher, chief of the United States Border Patrol, and Mark S. Borkowski, assistant commissioner for technology and innovation acquisition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, showed off charts indicating arrests were decreasing and argued the border was more secure. The charts also showed an increase in marijuana seizures along the border and an increase in Border Patrol agents.

But those charts left out crucial data, Hanna said.

“Since we don’t know how many illegal crossings are occurring, then a decrease in apprehensions might mean that there are fewer illegal crossings, and the border is more secure. But it could also just as easily mean that more illegal border crossings are occurring, and we’re just not catching as many. In order to know how secure the border is, you need to know how many are crossing and the threat level of those who are crossing illegally,” he said.

“It is a very dangerous condition for the secretary of Homeland Security to be using incomplete data to form such a conclusion, and then repeatedly announce these conclusions as fact,” he said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return repeated requests for comment on Hanna’s specific challenges to the agency’s methodology.

Whatever the methodology, Dever said the numbers don’t accurately describe what’s happening on the ground.

“We do not know who’s crossing that border, but that anyone who wants to can. That’s the message our nation needs to hear, that anyone who wants to can, and is. And our own Department of Homeland Security does not have clear definition of what securing the border even means,” Dever said.

“People are disgusted, the smiles are gone off their face, their general sense of welfare been taken away from them and until that’s returned you can throw all the numbers on the board. … I’ll tell Napolitano, in spite of all of your declarations and efforts to the contrary, things are not safe. No, they are not secure.

“You can use your numbers to say it’s more secure, but it does not define a sense of safety or well-being. You can say it’s more secure, but it’s more dangerous than ever.”

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