***bumped to the top…LA school officials will join students in walkout, LATimes reports: “[I]f students walk out, school officials plan to march with them — walkie-talkies and cellphones in hand — to help protect them. In addition, buses will be on call to take students back to their respective schools after the march is over, officials said. “We honor their 1st Amendment rights, even though that gets in the way of their schooling,” said Richard Chavez, a high school director for local District 5, which encompasses much of East Los Angeles.”***
Reader Steve J. e-mails: “I’m glad the LA School District is so pro-First Amendment. Will the District also be supporting the First Amendment by providing bus transportation so students can go to their house of worship of choice for the National Day of Prayer?”
Update: The downside you won’t see today…MS-13 convictions…U.S. charges 22 in alleged fraudulent identification ring based in Chicago; Cell leader allegedly ordered murders of competitors in Mexico…Border: The Movie…
Update: Check out “You Don’t Speak for Me” for a diverse perspective on illegal immigration.
Update: Have you read about Hillary’s radical La Raza adviser?
Update: Here come the reconquista shirts!
Let’s start off today’s May Day illegal alien rally day with some misleading immigration numbers:
The Drudge Report trumpeted the NYTimes spin by headlining this stat:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, facing intense political pressure to toughen enforcement, removed 221,664 illegal immigrants from the country over the last year, an increase of more than 37,000 — about 20 percent — over the year before, according to the agency’s tally.
It sounds like we’re getting serious about immigration enforcement–until I remind you of this inconvenient truth that will get glossed over in all the MSM sob stories today:
U.S. Can’t Account for 600,000 Fugitives
March 26, 2007
Teams assigned to make sure foreigners ordered out of the United States actually leave have a backlog of more than 600,000 cases and can’t accurately account for the fugitives’ whereabouts, the government reported Monday.
The report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found that the effectiveness of teams assigned to find the fugitives was hampered by “insufficient detention capacity, limitations of an immigration database and inadequate working space.”
Even though more than $204 million was allocated for 52 fugitive operations teams since 2003, a backlog of 623,292 cases existed as of August of 2006, the report said.
The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has been estimated at between 11.5 million and 12 million. About 5.4 percent of them are believed to be “fugitive aliens,” those who have failed to leave the country after being ordered out.
The inspector general found there is not enough bed space available to detain such fugitives and that agents are hampered by an inaccurate database. Other factors that limit the teams’ effectiveness are insufficient staffing, the report said.
Until the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, attempts to catch such fugitives were mostly carried out by teams not exclusively devoted to the task. After the attacks, an Absconder Apprehension Initiative was created within the Justice Department to find, apprehend and deport such immigrants. When the Homeland Security Department was created in March 2003, it assumed responsibility.
Plans for the new office stated that it aimed to eliminate the case backlog by the end of 2012, although a field manual put the timetable at 2009, the report said.
Yet “despite the efforts of the teams, the backlog of fugitive alien cases has increased each fiscal year since the program was established in February 2002,” the inspector general said.
221,664 “removed” illegal aliens vs 623,292 released illegal alien fugitives.
That’s right, people.
There are nearly three times as many officially designated illegal alien fugitives freed by the feds as there are illegal aliens who have been removed over the last year.
Just doing the context-setting and number-crunching the rest of the MSM won’t do…
Guess what else? More and more of the illegal aliens caught by immigration authorities and ordered to appear for deportation hearings are skipping out. From the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General:
As the IG explains:
Each year, thousands of illegal aliens fail to respond to orders to appear at their scheduled immigration hearing. In most of these cases, the Immigration Judge (IJ) will conduct an in absentia (in the absence of) hearing and order the alien removed from the U.S. However, a failure to appear does not always result in an in absentia order. In 4 percent of the cases the IJ may also administratively close a failure to appear case without ordering the alien removed. Of the 461,556-immigration judge decisions and administrative closures issued by the Executive Office of Immigration and Review (EOIR) between FY 2001 and FY 2004, 39 percent (181,807) were issued to illegal aliens who had been released but later failed to appear at their respective immigration hearings.
Although the percentage of released aliens who failed to appear at their respective hearings has declined in recent years, the total number of aliens failing to appear is increasing.
During FY 2001, 42,030 aliens failed to appear compared to 52,890 who failed to appear during FY 2004, a 26 percent increase.
In fact, according to DHS’s Detention and Removal Office, 85 percent of the illegal aliens released that have been issued final orders of removal, will abscond. That goes not just for illegal aliens from Mexico, but for illegal aliens from terror-friendly and terror-sponsoring nations:
Illegal Aliens from Special Interest Countries (SIC) and State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) Countries. A significant number of OTMs that are apprehended and released each year originate from SIC and SST. From FY 2001 through the first half of FY 2005, 91,516 SIC and SST aliens were apprehended of which 45,000 (49%) were later released. It is not known exactly how many of these SIC and SST aliens were ultimately issued final orders of removal and were actually removed since such data is not tracked by DRO. However, assuming SIC and SST aliens are being removed at the same rate as other apprehended and released aliens, 85 percent of the SIC and SST aliens released who eventually receive final orders of removal will abscond.
One more updated graph for you from the immigration court bureaucracy shows that failure to appear rates rose again in 2005 and held steady through 2006:
And there’s this truly frightening reality:
[The Detention and Removal Office] estimates that in FY 2007 there will be 605,000 foreign-born individuals admitted to state correctional facilities and local jails during the year for committing crimes in the U.S. Of this number, DRO estimates half (302,500) will be removable aliens.
Currently, most of these incarcerated aliens are being released into the U.S. at the conclusion of their respective sentences due to the lack of DRO resources.
Homeland security? What homeland security?