THE CHURCH MILITANT
Ephesians 5:11-"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them". This Christian News Blog maintains a one stop resource of current news and reports of its own related to church, moral, spiritual, and related political issues, plus articles, and postings from other online discernment ministries, and media which share the aims to obey the biblical commands to shed light on and refute error, heresy, apostasy, cults, and spiritual abuse.
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More than 179,000 illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes, including violent ones, continue to roam free across the United States, with reports indicating that these illegal immigrants commit new crimes “every day,” according to lawmakers and the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also known as ICE.
Sarah Saldana, ICE’s director, disclosed to Congress on Wednesday that the agency is apprehending and removing fewer illegal immigrants than in past years.
Somewhere around 179,029 “undocumented criminals with final orders of removal” from the United States currently remain at large across the country and are essentially untraceable, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who disclosed these numbers during a Wednesday hearing.
The total number of criminal illegal aliens in the United States is in the millions.
Illegal immigrant criminals are known to be committing new crimes “every day,” according to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), another member of the committee.
Focus on the threat of criminal illegal aliens comes amid a wider national debate on immigration to the United States and the threat posed by potential terrorists and other criminals.
The Washington Free Beacondisclosed in August that the Obama administration had been keeping secret the release of violent criminal illegal immigrants and only began notifying local law enforcement agencies about this within the last several months.
The administration is continuing a policy of hiding information about this issue, as “several administration officials informed the committee they were unable to testify because the hearing wasn’t ‘in response to a particular crisis,’” Grassley said.
Saldana revealed at the hearing that somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 illegal immigrants previously convicted of crimes have been released from custody in recent years due to legal restrictions on how long the agency can detain an individual.
“Whether it’s a result of protracted appeals or refusal of a country to accept its nationals back, this decision accounts for somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 convicted criminal alien releases in recent years,” Saldana said, noting that the number has dropped over time.
Lawmakers remain concerned that the Obama administration is dragging its feet when it comes to taking action to deport criminal illegal immigrants. While President Barack Obama has vowed that this would be a priority for his administration, these criminals continue to be released into the United States.
“Many criminals remain in our communities,” Grassley said. “When will enough be enough? Even those with violent criminal histories aren’t being removed as promised … American citizens are paying the price while law enforcement officers are instructed to look the other way.”
There have been “thousands of victims” of crimes committed by illegal immigrants and “many of the agency’s own officers are unable to do the job they signed up to do,” he said.
The Obama administration is removing fewer total illegal immigrants from the United States than it was just a few years ago, according to Sessions.
“Not only are total removals down, but the number of removals of criminal aliens from the interior of United States, the so-called priority, has decreased significantly,” he said. “The reason for this decrease is not because there are fewer criminal aliens in the U.S. today then just a few years ago, there are hundreds of thousands of known criminal aliens in the U.S.”
“New crimes are committed every day by criminal aliens, so while we’re not seeing a decrease in crimes committed across this country, we are seeing a decrease in the removals of criminal aliens,” Sessions said.
This cannot be blamed on a lack of financial resources, Sessions said, as Congress has increased funding. Still, deportations have plummeted and the administration is “doing substantially less with substantially more.”
“Our goal should be to keep 100 percent of all criminal aliens out of the United States,” Sessions said. “There’s nothing wrong or controversial about such a policy.”
Saldana confirmed that “overall apprehensions on the border are declining” and the agency’s “removal numbers are lower than they have been in recent years.”
However, she maintained that the administration is removing “at a greater proportion” dangerous criminals.
Of the 235,000 deportations in 2015, 59 percent of them were convicted criminals, according to Saldana, who said she is “very proud” of these statistics.
Yet, she said, “there are also times when despite our best efforts” criminal illegal immigrants “get released from our custody.”
“ICE doesn’t willy nilly release people,” she said. “We have to have a final order of removal from the immigration courts and proper travel docs to the country of origin for that particular national.”
Update 10:00 P.M.: Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told lawmakers that ICE is deporting just a small fraction of the criminal illegals currently residing in the United States.
“Last year ICE managed to deport just over 63,000 criminal aliens from the interior out of an estimated criminal alien population of over 2 million,” Vaughan said. _____________________________________________________________
U.S. Granted 680,000 Green Cards
to Immigrants From Muslim-Majority Nations
in Past Five Years
Another 660,000 likely to be granted in next five years
The United States has granted 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim-majority countries over the past five years and is expected to grant another 660,000 over the next half-decade, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics.
Between 2009 and 2013, DHS issued some 680,000 green cards to migrants, including refugees, from Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and Bangladesh, among other countries. Another 660,000 green cards are likely to be granted over the next five years though this number could much be higher.
The increase in immigration from Muslim-majority countries has been in the spotlight since the Obama administration announced its intent to admit 10,000 new refugees from Syria, despite admitted gaps in the ability to vet these individuals for ties to terrorist groups.
The mass shooting in California also has stoked concerns, with new information indicating that the wife of the alleged San Bernardino shooter, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan and had been living with family in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States.
Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, are alleged to have killed at least 14 people. Farook was reportedly a devout Muslim, though the motivation for the attack still remains unclear.
While President Obama has expressed his commitment to admitting refugees from countries in which terrorist groups are active, he is able under law to unilaterally suspend this immigration, though it is unlikely he will use this authority.
The Immigration and Nationality Act already provides the president the unilateral ability to suspend the “entry of imposition” of immigrants.
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate,” the law states.
Also under the law, the U.S. Attorney General may “suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States” by any airline if it is detected that the individual did not provide proper documentation upon boarding.
Refugees who are granted green cards “have instant access to federal welfare and entitlements, along with local benefits and education services,” according to a release from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.). “These costs are not offset.”
The federal benefits system could find itself burdened as 660,000 migrants from Muslim-majority nations are expected to be granted green cards.
Between 2009 and 2013, the U.S. granted green cards to 83,000 individuals from Pakistan and another 83,000 from Iraq, making them the two leading nations for immigration to the U.S., according to the release from Sessions.
Another 73,000 emigrated from Iran while another 45,000 came from Egypt. Somalia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Morocco also top the list.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the foreign-born population in the United States stand at a record 41.3 million.
“One-quarter of the U.S. population is now either foreign-born or has foreign-born parents,” according to the release. “The Census Bureau projects the percentage of the population born outside the country will soon pass the highest percentage ever recorded and continue rising to new all-time records never before witnessed—unless Congress passes a law to reduce green card allotments.”
Barring such changes, the number of immigrants to the U.S. will increase, as well as the annual rate of immigrant admissions and the number of foreign-born in the country.
Wood said he was inspired by what he read online about the proposition that jurors can follow their conscience if they think a law or prosecution is patently wrong and refuse to find a defendant guilty regardless of instructions from a judge – a concept referred to as jury nullification.
"I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ," said Wood, who explained his decision to hand out the fliers he received from the Montana-based organization. "Jesus said 'the truth will set you free' and I want people to know the truth.
"If you don't use your rights, you lose them," Wood said about why he decided to head down to the sidewalks outside the courthouse.
The flier is titled "What rights do you have as a juror that the judge won't tell you about?"
As he was handing out the pamphlet to anyone who would take one, Wood, a father of seven, said someone came out of the courthouse and told him to come inside and talk to a judge. Wood said he asked the woman if he was being detained and then said he preferred to stay where he was.
A little while later, a court deputy came outside and told Wood that the judge wanted to talk to him, and if he refused to do so, the Big Rapids police would come and arrest him.
Wood said under threat of arrest he went inside the courthouse where former 20-year county prosecutor and newly-elected Mecosta County District Court Judge Peter Jaklevic told a deputy to "place him in custody for jury tampering."
Wood was walked to the connecting sheriff's department and jail. He was arrested and placed locked up with a $150,000 bond. Wood remained in jail for about 12 hours before he paid 10 percent of the bond using a credit card.
Wood was charged with jury tampering, a one-year misdemeanor and obstruction of justice, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Wood said other than a drunk driving charge as a teen, he has never had any run-in with the law. He served for five years as a pastor in Colorado, leased cars for a few years and for the last five years has been a self-employed insurance broker.
"It's just outrageous," said Wood's attorney Lansing-based David Kallman. "The government can't just come in and step on people's First Amendment rights."
Kallman said his client had no case at the court, knew of no cases and no jury had been seated at the time he was handing out the fliers.
"There was no jury to tamper with," Kallman said.
Kallman said the judge saw people in the courthouse reading the brochures and then overstepped his bounds by ordering an arrest in violation of Wood's rights.
Kallman said when Wood called his office, after being denied a court-appointed lawyer, he was convinced Wood was not telling him the whole story.
"I thought that there had to be more here, but there's not," Kallman said.
The judge has since recused himself from the case and would not answer questions regarding it. Mecosta County Prosecutor Brian Thiede has not responded to requests for comment.
Kallman said in addition to having the case thrown out when it goes for a preliminary exam on Dec. 8, he believes there is a federal court-level violation of Wood's rights.
The hamlet was founded in the late 1980s, when, reportedly inspired by Gilani, a group of primarily African American Muslims left New York City, reportedly to escape crime, poverty and racism. They built a community of some 40 family houses, with its own grocery store and bookstore and place of worship, on some land 11 miles (18 km) north of the town of Hancock. Islamberg is the first of a number of communities set up under the direction and tutelage of Gilani. According to locals, the land previously belonged to a woman from the neighboring town of Deposit, who opened up her home in the late 1970s or early 1980s to disadvantaged young people.
Although relations with neighboring communities are reportedly cooperative, including world peace rallies, multifaith celebrations of the life and influence of Jesus, and relief efforts including floods in upstate New York, Hurricane Katrina, and 9/11, Islamberg has been in the media on multiple occasions when reporters and film makers have been rebuffed by residents who generally do not give interviews or permit filming on their property.
Al Arabiya aired a report on Islamberg and the claims against it.
In May 2015, a Tennessee man was arrested and charged with plotting an attack on Islamberg.