| NEWS of the Day - August 16, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From the L.A. Daily News
Undocumented immigrants line up for federal program to avoid deportation
by Amy Taxin
Nathaly Uribe has all the papers she needs to get a work permit - something the 17-year-old daughter of a construction worker only dreamed of growing up as an illegal immigrant in the United States.
The high school senior said she hopes a federal program launched Wednesday that defers deportation for undocumented immigrants will make it easier to get a decent job and help pay for college.
"This is my country. It's where my roots are," said Uribe, who moved from Chile when she was a toddler and lives in Glen Burnie, Md. "It feels great to know that the country that I call home finally accepted me."
Thousands of young undocumented immigrants lined up Wednesday hoping for the right to work legally in America without being deported. The Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals could expand the rights of more than 1 million young undocumented immigrants by giving them work permits, though they would not obtain legal residency here or a path to citizenship.
At least 13,000 people stood in line in Chicago, clutching reams of paperwork, for a workshop led by immigrant rights advocates at the city's Navy Pier. Hundreds of potential applicants waited outside nonprofit offices in Los Angeles for help filing paperwork to open the door to the staples of success in America - a work permit, and then later a Social Security number and driver's license.
"It's something I have been waiting for since I was two years old," said Bupendra Ram, a 25-year-old communications graduate student in Fullerton, who still needs supporting documents from his Fiji Islands home before he can apply. "This offers us an opportunity to fulfill the dreams I've had since I was a child."
Less than three months before an expected tight presidential election, the new immigration program is mired in controversy. Republican critics accuse President Barack Obama of drafting the plan to boost his political standing with Latinos ahead of November's vote and say the program favors undocumented immigrants over unemployed American citizens during dismal economic times.
To be eligible, immigrants must prove they arrived in the United States before they turned 16, are 30 or younger, have been living in the country at least five years and are in school or graduated or served in the military.
They cannot have been convicted of certain crimes or otherwise pose a safety threat.
Initial concerns by immigrant rights groups that federal authorities might take a tough approach on applications or that a Republican presidential victory could unravel applicants' gains have largely been pushed aside by massive interest from thousands of young people eager to work.
In Los Angeles, one immigrant rights' group started hosting hourly information sessions over the past month to keep up with the frenzy. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles has handed out 12,000 information packets about the program and is encouraging all eligible immigrants to apply as long as they have stayed out of legal trouble, said Angelica Salas, the organization's director.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney does not support so-called Dream Act legislation for undocumented immigrants who attend college - a key group that Obama aims to reach with this program. The former Massachusetts governor has also criticized the deferred action program but has not said it he would reverse it, pledging instead an unspecified "civil but resolute" long-term fix to illegal immigration.
So far, the measure has won favor for Obama among Latinos - many who view immigration as a litmus test when choosing a political candidate, said Manuel Pastor, director of USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.
"What this has done is to signal that the president, who was unable to get comprehensive immigration reform, does at least care about the situation of these immigrants," Pastor said. "This is something that has been overwhelmingly popular in the immigrant population and in the Latino population in general."
Some Republican lawmakers have accused Obama of sidestepping Congress and creating a backdoor amnesty program with the high potential for fraud.
In an internal document outlining the program's implementation, Department of Homeland Security officials estimated more than 1 million people would apply in the first year and about 890,000 would be eligible.
Harbor City immigration attorney Alena Ray Conrad will hold four free workshops at area churches to help residents who think they might qualify.
"I'll be giving an overview of the requirements, the benefits and the risks of applying," she said. "Some people are excited about it and anxious to apply."
It is important for potential applicants to determine at the outset, however, whether they will qualify for the program, Conrad said, adding that there is always a risk that it could also trigger immigration proceedings.
The process is confusing, she said.
"A lot of people are aware of it but there can be misinformation (being spread)," she said. "Some people are thinking the requirements are one thing when they're really something else. And I've encountered people who think it's a path toward permanent citizenship, which it definitely is not."
On Wednesday, immigrants lined up for help filing applications at workshops around the country. Others sought identity documents from consulates to be able to apply.
Jaqueline Cinto, 26, said she's still working on gathering the documents she needs, knowing it's her only shot at putting her master's degree in education to good use. But she's nervous that filing the papers might put her relatives at risk for deportation - even though Homeland Security officials have said they will generally not use applicants' information to track down other family.
"I am even more afraid that I might be denied," said Cinto, who came to New York more than a decade ago from Mexico.
In Central California, one group has been warning farmworkers and their children not to sign up for the program at all.
"Immigration agents could haul them off that same day," said Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League. "Even if they don't, if this policy is disbanded, now ICE has the addresses of all the families. Why would you want to squeal on your parents?"
The documents to prove identity could include passports, birth certificates, school transcripts and medical, financial and military records. Multiple sworn affidavits, signed under penalty of perjury, can also be used, Homeland Security officials said. Anyone found to have committed fraud will be referred to federal immigration agents, the department said.
Laura Lichter, a Denver attorney who heads the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said everyone takes a risk by applying.
"I would say that people are between a rock and a hard place. In most cases, people can take (the government) at their word that their intent is to administer this policy in a fair and appropriate manner but there are going to be people that are going to find themselves having problems," she said.
A decision on each application could take several months, and immigrants have been warned not to leave the country while their application is pending. If they are allowed to stay in the United States and want to travel internationally, they will need to apply for permission to come back into the country, a request that would cost another $360.
The lines on Wednesday grew throughout the day; the crowd in Chicago was so large that workshop organizers told them to come back another day.
"Navy Pier is today's Ellis Island, and while they saw New York City, today they see Chicago," said Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez. "But the most important thing is they see America."
Want to go?
What: Four free workshops will be conducted by Harbor City immigration attorney Alena Ray Conrad to give an overview and talk about qualifications for the new immigration policy. The workshops will be presented in English and Spanish and will run about an hour.
Aug. 20: (7 p.m.) at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (Gabriel Room), 515 W. Opp St., Wilmington
Aug. 21: (6:30 p.m.) at St. Peter Catholic Church, 338 N. Grand Ave., San Pedro
Aug. 26: (2 p.m.) St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (St. Joseph Room), 25511 Eshelman Ave., Lomita
Sept. 5: (6 p.m.) Holy Family Catholic Church (church hall), 1220 N. Sanford Ave., Wilmington
From Google News
Policing by bike a growing trend nationally
by STEVEN ELBOW
When Madison police Sgt. Tony Fiore was asked to do his job on a bike, he didn't like the idea.
"They had to drag me to the bike kicking and screaming," he says.
Now he sings a different tune.
"Now I'm all in," he says. "I drank the Kool-Aid. I believe in what bikes have to offer."
Fiore, who heads the Central District Community Policing Team, now spends a lot of time on a bike. And more officers will soon join him. The city recently approved the purchase of 15 additional bikes, and five more will be donated by Trek. That will bring the total number to 30, tripling the current fleet. Currently, the vast majority of bike patrols take place in the dense, bar-saturated Central Police District. Capt. Jay Lengfeld, who's in charge of expanding the program, wants all five police districts to find ways to use the bikes.
"Since I've been here, the last 30 years, we've always had cops on bikes," Lengfeld says. "But it's always been kind of an informal thing, depending on the interest of an officer, or a district might want to start something. I was given the task at the beginning of this year to formalize our bike program. We determined that we need 30 to 40 bikes to have an adequate bike program here."
In the world of bike police, Madison is playing catch-up. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, by 2007 all large police departments in the nation had bike programs. Among those serving populations between 100,000 and 250,000, like Madison (population 237,000), it was 71 percent, and that percentage has certainly grown in the past five years.
Smaller departments have also bought into the idea. In Dane County, a random check of law enforcement agencies found that every one contacted uses bicycles, as does the Sheriff's Office.
But in Madison, said to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation, the concept has had trouble gaining traction among police officials. Partly that's because of the upfront costs, Fiore says. But it's also because of an initial lack of interest.
Now that's changing as officers like Chris Masterson, a triathlete who has been pushing the program for years, show that it's an effective, healthy and cost-efficient way to police. Today there are more officers interested in bike policing than there are bikes.
"Chris Masterson has been really instrumental in getting the program going," says Fiore.
Advocates laud bikes for their stealth and their agility in getting places that squad cars can't go. A good bike cop can cover a lot of ground quickly, weaving through both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Many bike cops like to brag that in urban settings they can get to a scene more quickly than a squad car can.
In smaller departments, bikes offer a variety of benefits.
"We typically use them for special events, such as a parade or Ironman or National Night Out," says Lt. Dave Dresser of the Verona Police Department, where three officers are trained for bicycle patrol. "But we also use them in the dark hours when we're trying to detect crime."
And officers on bikes are great public relations ambassadors.
"I think the community likes seeing the officers on the bikes," Dresser says. "Our sense is that it makes the officers more approachable."
UW-Madison officer Erik Pearce says 15 cops and 11 security officers patrol the campus regularly, logging above 2,200 hours on bikes last year, and more than 3,100 in 2010. The UW police have used bikes since 1992.
Pearce likes to point out that bike policing is green and cost-effective. According to Madison police officials, purchasing and equipping a squad car can cost about $47,000, not to mention the approximately 2,400 gallons of gas each burns in a year.
A Trek police mountain bike lists for $1,400. Madison's getting its new ones at cost: $500. That's on top of the donated bikes.
"We typically do not do larger donations such as this," says Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling. "But Madison is our hometown and we're dedicated to making it a better place to live."
For catching someone on foot, Fiore says bikes are virtually unbeatable. A trained cop on a mountain bike can chase people over curbs, through tight alleys, up and down stairs, even into buildings.
"We've had foot pursuits where people have tried to outrun us and it hasn't been real successful for them," says Fiore. "They're getting tired and we're pedaling along saying, 'How long do you want to run because I can keep pedaling all night?'"
The International Police Mountain Bike Association, which has become the lead training organization for bike cops, is pushing the envelope as police bikes become more established. The organization offers training in firearms tactics, night operations, crowd control, you name it.
Fiore says you're not likely to see Madison cops doing a combat-style tuck-and-roll off a bike while wielding a gun, but you are likely to see crowd control strategies, such as one used successfully after this year's Rhythm & Booms. When several dozen youths caught wind of a fight, they immediately headed toward the excitement. A contingent of cops pedaled by and cut them off with a wall of bikes.
"We were able to isolate that disturbance, get that over quickly, and keep it from becoming this larger frenzy," Fiore says.
National Night Out highlights 'community' policing
Communities across the country, including Belleville, held National Night Out festivities last Tuesday.
If you look online, you'll read that National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
More simply, amid the parties and food and music, there's the theme of solidarity in the township, standing up to crime, not just individually but as a team.
How often do we take the time to get to know one another in our neighborhood, even more so those who work for us? Because of our busy schedules, it's probably a lot less these days.
"It's been quite a few years since it started," said Belleville Police Captain Vic Mesce of NNO. "It was the start of community policing coming into being, for everyone to get to know the police and the people in their neighborhood."
It's encouraging even when a few blocks take the time out on a busy weekday evening to participate in this event. It's even better when police join the mix and we can see the face of our public safety department, while learning some valuable tips in being more vigilant to crime. Police say the involvement increased in this year's NNO - hopefully more will join in the future.
From the White House
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Who Can Be Considered?
by Alejandro Mayorkas
August 15, 2012
Ed. note: This post was originally published on dhs.gov.
Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Under this process, USCIS will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. While this process does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred will not be removed from the United States for a two year period, subject to renewal, and may also receive employment authorization. To be considered for this process, you must show that:
- You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
- You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
- You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained your certificate of completion from high school, have obtained your general educational development certification, or you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat
- You were present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
If you meet the above guidelines, and want to submit your deferred action for childhood arrivals request with USCIS, you will need to:
- Collect documents as evidence you meet the guidelines
- Complete USCIS Forms I-821D , I-765 and I-765 Worksheet
- Mail USCIS the forms and fees (total $465, accompanying Form I-765)
- Visit your local USCIS Application Support Center for a scheduled biometrics services appointment
After you file, you will be able to check the status of your request online. For more information, visit our website for the latest news and updates on this process at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals
From the FBI
Three Charged with Making Threats Against University of Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH—A federal grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania today returned two indictments charging a resident of Dublin, Ireland, with a series of crimes related to e-mailed threats targeting the University of Pittsburgh, three federal courthouses, and a federal officer. A third indictment charges two Ohio men for additional online threats against the university, announced U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.
A 35-count indictment named Adam Stuart Busby, 64, of Dublin, as the sole defendant. According to the indictment, from March 30, 2012 until April 21, 2012, Busby sent more than 40 e-mails targeting the University of Pittsburgh campus. The e-mailed bomb threats resulted in more than 100 evacuations at the University of Pittsburgh, greatly disrupting the university community. The indictment charges Busby with 17 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of maliciously conveying false information in the form of bomb threats, and two counts of international extortion.
A separate but related four-count indictment alleges that on June 20 and 21, 2012, Busby maliciously conveyed false information through the Internet claiming bombs had been placed at U.S. courthouses located in Pittsburgh, Erie, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In addition, Busby is charged with threatening David J. Hickton, a federal officer, while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties.
A one-count indictment named Alexander Waterland, 24, of Loveland, Ohio; and Brett Hudson, 26, of Hillsboro, Ohio, as defendants. According to the indictment, between April 25, 2012 and May 23, 2012, Waterland and Hudson engaged in a conspiracy targeting the University of Pittsburgh with interstate threats claiming they were associates of the computer hacking group Anonymous. The threats—posted on YouTube by a user calling himself “AnonOperative13,” sent via e-mail, and publicized via Twitter—attempted to extort the chancellor of the university into placing an apology on the university's website. The threats claimed that if the chancellor did not comply with their demands, confidential information stored on the computer servers of the University of Pittsburgh would be released.
The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for maliciously conveying false information is 10 years in prison. The maximum penalty for extortionate threats is two years in prison. Because all counts charged are felonies, the maximum fine on each count is $250,000. The law provides for a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both for Waterland and Hudson. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting these cases on behalf of the government.
The FBI, the Western Pennsylvania Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the University of Pittsburgh Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in these cases.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.