Biden administration reportedly ‘quietly’ begins efforts to close Guantanamo Bay ahead of 9/11 20th anniversary

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a recent report from NBC News, the Biden administration has quietly begun efforts to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. 

Biden has reportedly initiated efforts to pick up where former President Barrack Obama left off in pursuing the detention facility’s permanent closure, this time avoiding what Biden’s team sees as mistakes made by Obama.

Biden is “using an under-the-radar approach” to minimize “political blowback” ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The administration hopes to transfer a handful of the remaining terrorism suspects to foreign countries and then persuade Congress to permit the transfer of the rest, including 9/11 suspects, to detention on the U.S. mainland.

This would not, however, include the most infamous prisoner at Gitmo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the group dubbed the “9/11 five” who are believed to be directly behind the 9/11 terror attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

The five were supposed to stand trial in January 2021, but controversy over transferring them to the continental United States has seen any such request blocked by Congress. People familiar with the discussions said that Biden hopes to close the facility by the end of his term.

Even though just 40 people remain at Gitmo, the Biden administration faces many of the same obstacles that doomed Obama’s much more public effort to close it nearly 12 years ago.

A former Biden administration official privy to the ongoing discussions said of Biden’s “quiet” approach to closing Gitmo:

“They don’t want it to become a dominant issue that blows up. They don’t want it to become a lightning rod. They want it to be methodical, orderly.”

A spokesperson for the National Security Council (NSC) said in a statement to NBC News:

“As to the overall issue of Guantanamo, the Biden administration remains committed to the goal of closing the facility. To that end, the NSC continues to work closely with the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice and other departments and agencies.”

Biden must still persuade Congress to permit the transfer of detainees to the mainland, which Obama could not do. The Biden administration, like the Obama administration, plans to use the cost of maintaining Guantanamo, including special care required as detainees age, to try and persuade Congress to reverse the ban on domestic transfers.

The low-key strategy is a response to miscalculation that Biden administration officials believe Obama made.

An administration official said:

“President Biden is objective-driven and focused on quiet and intense solutions.”

Last January, Gitmo was again at the center of controversy when the Biden administration abandoned plans to prioritize giving Gitmo terrorists the COVID-19 vaccine follow a wave of public outrage. 

In terms of a timeline of an actual full closure, it would take years to finally accomplish that. However, the White House reportedly hopes to make significant progress on prisoner transfers to foreign countries amid resolving a complex web of legal issues by the time of the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.

The U.S. has to negotiate a transfer agreement with a foreign government for each detainee eligible for transfer, which can be difficult from destabilized countries like Yemen. There is a core group of at least a dozen detainees who cannot be transferred, including the 9/11 defendants.

Ten detainees are in the military commissions. Military courts often used to try foreign citizens affiliated with terrorist networks who fought against the U.S. Two other detainees have already been convicted by military commissions. 

People familiar with the discussions said that the administration is likely to try to work out plea deals for the men in the military commissions process, under which they would continue to be detained, but could be spared the death penalty. 

Biden has also ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11th. 

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Report: Biden administration entertaining plan that would allow previously deported illegal immigrants back into U.S.

June 1st, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The open borders lobby reportedly shared a plan with the Biden administration that would bring illegal immigrants once deported by former President Donald Trump’s administration back into the interior of the United States.

Data shows that more than 935,000 illegal immigrants were deported by the Trump administration. According to reports, the plan that is being suggested by open border activists, with the corporate-backed National Immigrant Justice Center assisting, could be done through executive order by Biden.

If done, then an office would be created inside of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would allow deported illegal immigrants to submit requests to return to the U.S. The Associated Press (AP) reported:

“The plan asks the government to take into account factors like people who were eligible for legal status and had applied before being deported or those who have compelling circumstances. The proposal has been shared with White House staff, the group said.”

AP added:

“It plans to invite Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the proposal and include a letter signed by 75 immigrants’ rights organizations supporting the plan. A White House spokesperson referred questions about the proposal to the Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond.”

This plan comes as the Biden administration weighs another initiative to provide amnesty and reparations to more than 1,000 illegal immigrants deported by the Trump administration. 

The plan would be a result of negotiations between the Biden administration and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is representing the illegal immigrants whose children are still in the United States.

While the Biden administration has not explicitly endorsed the plan set forth by the National Immigrant Justice Center there are similar provisions included in the White House’s official amnesty plan.

As reported previously, Biden’s plan would give amnesty to illegal immigrants who were already deported from the U.S. by the Trump administration starting in January 2017.

Specifically, the provisions provides DHS waivers to deported illegal immigrants, as long as they have not been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors, so that they can return to the U.S. and apply for amnesty. As of this writing, there are nearly 11 to 22 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

There are 42 million foreign nationals south of the U.S.-Mexico border who have said they want to migrate to the United States. This is a foreign population that is nearly five times the population of New York City. KTLA reported that the National Immigrant Justice Center has stated that Congress does not need to act on their submitted proposal.

Instead, the National Immigrant Justice Center believes the creation of a centralized process to review applications could be done through executive action.

The proposed plan asks the government to take into account factors like people who were eligible for legal status and had applied before being deported or those who have compelling circumstances. 

According to reports, illegal border crossings have hit a 20-year record high as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions have declined dramatically under the Biden administration.

The latest ICE statistics show that 2,962 illegal immigrants were deported in April, which is the lowest number in the agency’s history.

ICE arrests and detentions have also dropped by nearly one-half since Biden took office. Immigration laws have not changed, but enforcement priorities have shifted under the Biden administration.

Some ICE officers are frustrated and confused by the back and forth policy changes and have reportedly been relegated from fieldwork to pushing papers.

Andrew Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, said in a statement:

“People at the agency did the job Congress gave them, but the Biden administration has them in a time out. The Biden administration is abolishing ICE without abolishing ICE.”

He added:

“It’s truly about politics. ICE enforcement under Trump was lukewarm at best. Much of what the Biden administration is doing is based on this canard that the Trump administration just recklessly enforced the immigration laws.”

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Democrats push to end ICE partnerships with local police as illegal immigration crisis explodes in America

April 27th, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic legislators are seeking to end a federal program that allows local police to seamlessly transfer criminal illegal aliens over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency for arrest and deportation.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) have sent a letter to Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, asking him to terminate the agency’s 287(g) agreements with local law enforcement agencies.

The 287(g) agreements allow local law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements with ICE allowing local departments to identify illegal aliens and hand them over to ICE for processing and eventual deportation.

ICE describes the 287(g) program as “mutually beneficial”:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) Program enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and remove aliens who are amenable to removal from the United States.

The 287(g) Program continues to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from its partners. The mutually beneficial agreements allow state and local officers to act as a force multiplier in the identification, arrest, and service of warrants and detainers of incarcerated foreign-born individuals with criminal charges or convictions.”

Some of the criminal illegal aliens arrested by local police and subsequently turned over to ICE agents included those charged with drug trafficking, child rape, domestic violence, carrying a firearm without a license, aggravated assault, and felony embezzlement.

Despite the success and popularity of the program with law enforcement agencies, the Democratic lawmakers wrote to Mayorkas telling him that he must terminate the agreements:

“We write to you to urge you to immediately terminate all existing 287(g) agreements. These agreements undermine public safety and result in the racial profiling and harassment of immigrant communities.

“In order for our immigration system to properly represent our American values, it is paramount that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement critical changes in how it seeks to enforce federal immigration law.”

Democratic lawmakers threatened that if the Department of Homeland Security does not terminate the agreements unilaterally, they will introduce the PROTECT Immigration Act in Congress to repeal Section 287(g):

“Today, on April XX, 2021m (sic), we introduced the PROTECT Immigration Act, which would repeal Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act once and for all. While it will take congressional action to repeal this provision of federal law, we strongly encourage DHS to terminate all existing 287(g) agreements immediately.

“This would represent a critical step in disentangling federal immigration enforcement from state and local law enforcement and improve the enforcement of our nation’s federal immigration laws.”

In a statement to NBC News, Sen. Booker argued that immigration enforcement should not be the responsibility of local and state law enforcement:

“Immigration enforcement should not be delegated to state and local police departments that are not equipped to enforce immigration laws — it is the job of the federal government.

“These agreements undermine public safety and result in the racial profiling and harassment of members of the immigrant community.”

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and  Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are co-sponsors of the bicameral bill.

The House version of the legislation will be introduced by Rep. Michael Quigley (D-IL) and co-sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal ( D-WA).

President Biden, who administration is struggling to control an immigration crisis at the southern border, has not addressed the Democrats’ call for termination of Section 287(g) agreements.

In February, a group of 60 House Democrats urged the President to end programs at the Department of Homeland Security that allowed for state and local police to assist in immigration enforcement.

The lawmakers also asked the Biden administration to end a program started by the George W. Bush administration that gave federal agents access to the fingerprints of individuals booked into jail by local and state authorities. The program, known as Secure Communities, was ended by former President Barack Obama in 2014 but restarted by Trump via a 2017 executive order.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have been critical of the administration’s handling, or failure to handle, the immigration crisis. A group of 12 Republican Senators led by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) urged the Biden administration to reconsider its immigration agenda in light of the rapidly expanding border crisis.

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‘Angel families’ who had kids murdered by illegal immigrants call for Biden to enforce immigration laws

April 5, 2021

 

 TITUSVILLE, FL – During a recent press briefing with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, alongside Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and the parents of two people who were killed by illegal immigrants (known as “angel families”), a collective call was made for the Biden administration to enforce immigration law and to proactively deport illegal immigrants.

The press briefing was reportedly held on March 30th at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.

During the briefing, Governor DeSantis took the time to highlight the state of Florida’s proactiveness with regard to addressing the criminal element versus other states that have had a more lackadaisical approach:

“You’re not going to see people…dangerous people released in Florida like you’ve seen in some of these other states where they get rid of bail and they do all this stuff because public safety matters.

“One component of that is making sure people who are in the country illegally and committing crimes are held accountable.”

The Florida governor was extremely critical of the Biden administration’s handling of immigration, especially with respect to illegal immigrants convicted of crimes here stateside:

“Someone may be here illegally, they commit a felony, they get convicted they get sent to state prison. Well, their sentence runs out at some point, and the appropriate thing to do is for the federal authorities to then take custody, and then return them to their home country, and we think that that worked very well for my first two years as governor.”

It was back on February 18th when the Biden administration issued new directives to Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) in terms of the prioritization of deporting illegal immigrants, which effectively has the agency only focused on illegal immigrants who actively pose national security threats or have been convicted of serious crimes like rape and murder.

Governor DeSantis coined this administrative stance as being a sort of tacit acceptance of those illegally present in the country:

“Now though under the Biden administration, they are basically dispensing with this idea of accepting the criminal aliens, they are not honoring ICE detention detainers and they’re halting removals of even criminal aliens.

“We’ve already had in Florida, a handful of criminal aliens that had finished their sentences, and that detainers were removed by the Biden administration.”

Two parents who had lost their sons due to illegal immigrants present within the community also spoke out during the briefing.

Kiyan Michael spoke about her son who was killed in 2007 by an illegal immigrant who had already been deported from the country twice:

“They talk about the separation of children…but real separation is having to go to the cemetery and look at your child. That’s the only way you can visit them. He’ll never come home. Our children are not coming back.

“Our son, Brandon Randolph Michael, 21-years-old and we live in Jacksonville, Florida. So he’s on his lunch break going to cash his paycheck — just like every other kid, young man — engaged to be married, he had his whole life ahead of him when a twice-deported illegal crashed into our son.

“Just weeks prior, he had been stopped by our local law enforcement, they found him to be driving without a driver’s license and they just let him go. They released back into our community.”

Jamiel Shaw Sr. had also lost his 17-year-old son back in 2008, when young Jamiel Shaw Jr. was simply walking home and was gunned down by an illegal immigrant who had just gotten out of jail:

“March 2, 2008, my son was coming home from the mall…and he was murdered.

“The illegal alien that murdered him already had three gun charges, assault with a deadly weapon and he was in jail the day before he murdered my son with assault with a deadly weapon, using a gun, battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

“He was only given eight months in the county jail and he was released in four months. The same day he got out, he was in my neighborhood and caught my son and shot him in the head. He shot him in his stomach and while he was on the ground with his hands up in the air…he shot him in his head.”

 

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