Obama Orders Dance Classes, Movie Nights, and Bingo for Illegal Detainees

Obama Orders Dance Classes, Movie Nights, and Bingo for Illegal Detainees

Chris Banescu

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Obama administration has ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department to implement multiple modifications to their facilities to make life easier, more comfortable, and pleasant for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants (approximately 400,000) it detains annually.  An internal ICE email highlights 28 different changes the organization will have to make to soften the look of its facilities, present a friendlier environment, offer better entertainment, organize fun activities, and provide illegal immigrant detainees with free access to email and phone services, as well as better dining and training classes.
According to ICE officials all of these changes are part of broader efforts supported by Obama “to make the immigration detention system less penal and more humane.”  In reality, these changes are akin to “creating an all-inclusive resort for immigration detainees.”
Some of the changes the White House is ordering include:
  • § dance classes
  • § movie nights
  • § art classes
  • § cooking classes
  • § tutoring and computer training
  • § free and unmonitored phone service
  • § free email access
  • § bingo
  • § arts and crafts
  • § more variety in dining options
  • § self-serve beverage stations
  • § fresh vegetable bars
  • § fresh carrot sticks
  • § hanging plants
  • § recreation in natural setting
  • § robust aerobic exercise
Also, ICE is expected to eliminate pat-down searches, lockdowns, and light-out for low-risk detainees, as well as provide vastly expanded visitation rights (up to 12 hours per visit) in its facilities.
The changes listed in the ICE e-mail are planned for nine different detention centers owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) across the country.  According to the Chronicle, some of the changes “will be implemented within 30 days; others may take up to six months”
Illegal immigrant advocates are thrilled at the required changes.  They have been advocating these transformations for years.  Lory Rosenberg, policy and advocacy director for Refugee and Migrants’ Rights for Amnesty International was delighted with the promised improvements: “Many of these points are very important to changing the system from a penal system, which is inappropriate in an immigration context, to a civil detention system.”
However, ICE union leaders are appalled at the cavalier attitude towards the illegal immigrants they oversee and warn of the inherent dangers of such misguided policies.  The officials are concerned the mandates will jeopardize the safety of their guards and agents, increase the potential for harm to other detainees, and cost the taxpayers more money in order to transform detention centers into an “all-inclusive resort” for immigration detainees.
“Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt,” he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches.
ICE leadership also expressed concerns about safety issues inherent in lowering security standards for almost half million detainees, many of which are violent and have gang affiliations.  Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston explains:
some detainees may be classified as low-risk because they have no serious criminal history but still may be gang members that “haven’t been caught doing anything wrong yet.”
He also said eliminating lockdowns will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another.
He said reducing or eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband into the facilities, including weapons.
These concerns are justified.  According to ICE’s own report, as of September 9, 2009, 51% of the detained aliens were felons and 11% of the illegals had committed violent crimes.  The report confirms that most common crimes committed by criminal aliens are those involving dangerous drugs, traffic offenses, simple assault, and larceny.
None of this matters to the ivory-tower elitist Obama.  He condemned the people of Arizona for passing the SB1070 law that mirrors the US federal law on immigration calling it “misguided” and “irresponsible.”  He has refused to listen to the American people, 73% of whom agree with Arizona and its stance on illegal immigration.  He stood beside Mexican president Felipe Calderon as he bashed Arizona and its people.  He then applauded Calderon’s defamation of America, while Democrats in Congress cheered and shouted their approval.  He has refused to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.  He has continued to push for amnesty while a vast majority of the American people are against it. 
President Obama wants millions more voters who support his radical leftist ideals.  Pandering to illegal immigrants, blaming America, and continually playing the racist card is how he can get there.  This is the Democrat’s best chance to overwhelm the American electorate and they’re going for it.  Damn the American people, full amnesty ahead!
Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor.  He regularly blogs at chrisbanescu.com.

Congressman charges Obama with ‘increasing danger’ in the world

Congressman charges Obama with ‘increasing danger’ in the world

By Bridget Johnson – 04/25/10 02:26 PM ET

The tone against the Obama administration over its Israel policy is sharpening on both sides of the aisle, with one Republican congressman charging that the president is “increasing danger” in the world.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a longtime supporter of Israel, said on a radio show last week that the administration’s stance on the issue — and “terrible” treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — has been “counterproductive.”

The senator added on the Nachum Segal Show that there is an internal “battle” going on in the White House over the issue.

“One side agrees with us, one side doesn’t, and we’re pushing hard to make sure the right side wins – and if not, we’ll have to take it to the next step,” he said.

Republicans are notching up their tone over the issue, as well.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) told The Hill that the “embarrassing and reckless” administration stances meant that President Barack Obama is “increasing danger in the world, not decreasing it.”

Price, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he’s concerned with the White House’s “incredible disconnect between the U.S. and Israel.”

“The administration is incapable of believing that their actions can have marked consequences on the free world,” he said.

The Obama administration has taken heat from lawmakers since the row sparked by a lower-level Israeli official announcing new construction in East Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit there in March.

Though Netanyahu apologized for the timing, he made clear — including in a Washington speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference attended by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and scores of lawmakers — that Israel would proceed with building in the region that Palestinians want as their capital.

Netanyahu then had a meeting with Obama that was reported as terse, and interpreted by many as a dressing down of the prime minister. Netanyahu later pulled out of Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit, sending a deputy instead.

The State Department’s assertion that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel depended on the pace of Mideast peace negotiations appeared to be the tipping point for Schumer.

“That is the dagger because the relationship is much deeper than the disagreements on negotiations, and most Americans – Democrat, Republican, Jew, non-Jew – would feel that,” Schumer said. “So I called up Rahm Emanuel and I called up the White House and I said, ‘If you don’t retract that statement you are going to hear me publicly blast you on this.’”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs battled back in Friday’s press briefing.


“We have an unwavering commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people,” Gibbs said. “We have said that from the beginning of this administration.”

“I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say we don’t agree with what Sen. Schumer said in those remarks,” Gibbs added.

A recent Quinnipiac poll indicated the administration could be vulnerable to calls it is not being supportive enough to Israel.

Released last week, the poll showed 42 percent of respondents saying that Obama is not a strong supporter of Israel, compared with 34 percent who disagreed. Only 16 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents think the president is a strong supporter of Israel, while 53 percent of Democrats do.

Respondents also said by 57 to 13 percent that their sympathies lie with Israel, and 66 to 19 percent said that the commander in chief should be a strong supporter of the Jewish state.

Price, who was supposed to speak on an AIPAC panel but had to cancel because of the concurrent healthcare bill vote that Sunday, said that while there’s always been strong bipartisan support in Congress for Israel, he’s “heartened by Sen. Schumer’s strong and accurate portrayal of what the administration’s done” and hopes the muted comments he’s heard in the House grow into a louder chorus.

Still, he said he’d be surprised if Democratic leadership attempted “to call the administration to account” on its Israel policy. “I would certainly welcome it and support it, but I’m not going to hold my breath,” he said.

Price called Obama’s worldview “very, very dangerous” and added that the president has a “naivete of the dangers of the world.”

Obama may also find the bipartisan discontent that’s growing over the speed and heft of Iran sanctions crossing over into the debate over his administration’s stance toward Israel.

As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his nuclear program are viewed by many as a direct threat to the Jewish state, Israel may find itself deciding to take unilateral military action against the Islamic Republic. This would markedly increase pressure on the White House from Congress.