NEWS of the Day - August 26, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - August 26, 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

Parents deported, what happens to US-born kids?


STAMFORD, Conn.—Alexis Molina was just 10 years old when his mother was abruptly cut out of his life and his carefree childhood unraveled overnight.

Gone were the egg-and-sausage tortillas that greeted him when he came home from school, the walks in the park, the hugs at night when she tucked him into bed. Today the sweet-faced boy of 11 spends his time worrying about why his father cries so much, and why his mom can't come home.

"She went for her papers," he says. "And she never came back."

Alexis' father, Rony Molina, who runs a small landscaping company, was born in Guatemala but has lived here for 12 years and is an American citizen. Alexis and his 8-year-old brother, Steve, are Americans, too. So is their 19-year-old stepsister, Evelin. But their mother, Sandra, who lived here illegally, was deported to Guatemala a year and a half ago.

"How can my country not allow a mother to be with her children, especially when they are so young and they need her," Rony Molina asks, "and especially when they are Americans?"

It's a question thousands of other families are wrestling with as a record number of deportations means record numbers of American children being left without a parent. And it comes despite President Barack Obama's promise that his administration would focus on removing only criminals, not breaking up families even if a parent is here illegally.

Nearly 45,000 such parents were removed in the first six months of this year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Behind the statistics are the stories: a crying baby taken from her mother's arms and handed to social workers as the mother is handcuffed and taken away, her parental rights terminated by a U.S. judge; teenage children watching as parents are dragged from the family home; immigrant parents disappearing into a maze-like detention system where they are routinely locked up hundreds of miles from their homes, separated from their families for months and denied contact with the welfare agencies deciding their children's' fate.

At least 5,100 U.S. citizen children in 22 states live in foster care, according to an estimate by the Applied Research Center, a New York-based advocacy organization, which first reported on such cases last year.

And an unknown number of those children are being put up for adoption against the wishes of their parents, who, once deported, are often helpless to fight when a U.S. judge decides that their children are better off here.

Immigration lawyers say that—despite the ICE policy changes—they see families destroyed every day.

"I had no idea what was happening," says Janna Hakim of the morning in 2010 when a loud knocking at her Brooklyn apartment door jolted her awake. It was the first Friday of Ramadan, and her Palestinian mother, Faten, was in the kitchen baking the pastries she sold to local stores.

Janna, then 16, and her siblings were all born here. None knew that their mother was in the U.S. illegally—or that a deportation order from years earlier meant she could be whisked away by ICE agents and her family's comfortable New York life could come crashing to a halt.

"It was horrible, horrible," Janna says, describing the shock of seeing her mother in an ill-fitting prison uniform behind a grimy glass panel in a detention center in Elizabeth, N.J. She was deported after three months. Her family fell apart.

Janna's 13-year-old brother began wetting his bed, she said, and her 15-year-old brother began hanging out with gangs and experimenting with drugs. Her father, who has a prosthetic leg and relied on his wife for help, grew despondent. And her mother, back in Ramallah living with her own mother after more than 20 years away, grew desperate, unable to sleep or function or think about anything except her family.

"I am not a criminal. I am the mother of American children and they need me, especially the younger ones," she cried over the phone. "How can a country break up families like this?"

Critics say the parents are to blame for entering the country illegally in the first place, knowing they were putting their families at risk.

"Yes, these are sad stories," says Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates tougher enforcement against illegal immigration. "But these parents have taken a reckless gamble with their children's future by sneaking into the country illegally, knowing they could be deported."

"Not to deport them," he continued, "gives them the ultimate bonus package, and creates an incentive for others to do the same thing."

Others, including Obama, say splitting up families is wrong.

"When nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing ... when all this is happening, the system just isn't working and we need to change it," Obama declared during his first run for president in 2008. A year ago, he told a Texas audience that deportation should target "violent offenders and people convicted of crimes; not families, not folks who are just looking to scrape together an income."

And, last year ICE announced a new policy of "prosecutorial discretion" that directs agents to consider how long someone has been in the country, their ties to communities and whether that person's spouse or children are U.S. citizens.

"That gave us a lot of hope," said David Leopold, general counsel for The American Immigration Lawyers Association. "Now we are all scratching our heads wondering where is the discretion when many of our lawyers continue to see people being deported with no criminal record, including parents of American children."


In the Molina case in Connecticut, after Rony Molina became a U.S. citizen in 2009, an immigration attorney urged Sandra to go to Guatemala, where her husband could then sponsor her to return legally.

It was bad advice. Though she has no criminal record her petition was denied. Desperate, she tried to re-enter with the aid of a "coyote" who demanded $5,000, but she was stopped at the border, detained in Arizona for two weeks, then deported in March 2011.

Immigrants who are deported and try to re-enter the country are considered felons and a top priority for immediate removal.

Back in Guatemala, she faced what many deportees experience—loneliness, suspicion and fear in a country that no longer felt familiar. She says her brother was held for ransom by kidnappers who presumed her American husband must be wealthy enough to pay. Eventually she fled to Mexico, where she says she feels so hopeless about her life that she has thought about ending it.

"I just want to be forgiven," she said, sobbing on the phone. "I feel I am about to go crazy, I miss my children so much. They are all I have. I cannot go on without them."

Back home in Stamford, her children are suffering too. The youngest cried constantly, the eldest became angry and withdrawn. Though their plight is documented in thick files that include testimony from psychologists and counselors about their need for their mother, appeals for humanitarian relief were denied.

"Quiet, slow-motion tragedies unfold every day ... as parents caught up in immigration enforcement are separated from their young children and disappear," Nina Rabin, an associate clinical professor of law at the University of Arizona, wrote last year in "Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System."

Rabin, an immigration lawyer, says one of the most unsettling experiences of her life was witnessing the "cruel and nightmarish destruction" of one Mexican family whom she represented in a fruitless attempt to keep a mother and her children together.

The mother, Amelia Reyes-Jimenez, carried her blind and paralyzed baby boy, Cesar, across the Mexican border in 1995 seeking better medical care, Rabin said. She settled in Phoenix—illegally—and had three more children, all American citizens. In 2008 she was arrested after her disabled teen son was found home alone.

"When they took my girls, I felt as if my heart fell out," she said during an immigration court hearing. She described how her 3-month-old daughter, Erica, was snatched from her arms as the other children, ages 7, 9 and 14, screamed, "Mommy, Mommy."

Locked in detention, clueless as to her rights or what was happening to her children, she pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges, and then spent two years fighting to stay with her children.

Twice her attorneys tried to convince an immigration judge that she qualified for a visa "on account of the harm that would be done to her three U.S. citizen children if she were to be deported," Rabin said. She lost and was deported back to Mexico in 2010.

Last year, her parental rights were terminated by an Arizona court after a judge ruled that she had failed to make progress towards reunification with her children—something Rabin said was impossible to do, locked away for months without access to legal counsel or notifications from the child welfare agency.

The children are in foster homes and will likely be placed for adoption. Reyes-Jimenez works for a factory making cell phones, crying constantly over the loss of her family.

Her case is before the Arizona State Court of Appeals, but Rabin says regardless of the outcome the family has been destroyed.

"Amelia's case is not a fluke," Rabin says. "Tragically, we hear of cases like this every day."

A key reason, she says, is the extreme disconnect between federal immigration and state child welfare policies that leads to "Kafkaesqe results" when parents and children are swallowed up by the system.

Many advocacy agencies now encourage immigrants to have a detailed plan in place in case they are deported, including granting power of attorney in advance to someone who can take custody of their children.

ICE, meanwhile, maintains it tries to work with such groups to ensure "family unity."

"ICE takes great care to evaluate cases that warrant humanitarian release," said spokeswoman Dani Bennett. "For parents who are ordered removed, it is their decision whether or not to relocate their children with them."

But immigration lawyers say that is not so easy. A recurring complaint is that clients "disappear," often sent to detention centers far from where they lived. They are routinely denied access to family court hearings, phones and attorneys. Many immigrant parents do not fully understand their rights, or that custody of their children might be slipping away.

Federal law requires states to pursue "termination of parental rights" if the parent has been absent for 15 out of 22 consecutive months, and some states allow proceedings to begin even sooner. In some cases, foreign consulates have intervened directly in a deportee's fight to retain parental rights.

In 2007, Encarnacion Bail Romero lost custody of her 6-month-old son, Carlos, after she was arrested during an ICE raid on a chicken plant in Missouri. While she was imprisoned, her baby was first cared for by relatives and later adopted, against her wishes, by a Missouri couple after a judge said the child was better off with them.

"Smuggling herself into a country illegally and committing crimes in this country is not a lifestyle that can provide any stability for a child," wrote circuit court Judge David Dally.

Last year the Missouri Supreme Court called the decision "a travesty of justice," saying "investigation and reporting requirements" weren't met before the mother's rights were terminated, and it sent the case back for retrial.

Although Bail Romero was ordered deported, the Guatemalan government arranged for her to get temporary legal status so that she could stay in the U.S. to fight in court for Carlos—now 5 and renamed Jamison by his adoptive parents. She hoped to bring the boy back to Guatemala to raise him with her two other children.

"I am the mother of Carlitos," she said, begging the court to return her child.

Her pleas were ignored. In July, a Greene County judge terminated her parental rights, saying she had effectively abandoned her son.


In the little mountain town of Sparta, N.C., the family of Felipe Montes is facing a similar fight. When immigration agents deported the 32-year-old laborer to Mexico two years ago, his three young sons—American citizens—were left in the care of their mentally ill, American-born mother. Within two weeks, social workers placed the boys in foster care.

Montes and his wife want the children to live with him in Mexico, saying they are better off with their father than with strangers in the U.S. He works at a walnut farm and shares a house with his uncle, aunt and three nieces.

But child welfare officials have asked a judge to strip Montes of his parental rights, arguing the children will have a better life here. Such a ruling could clear the way for their adoption.

"I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs," Montes said earlier this year. "I have always taken care of my children, I have always loved them."

But parental love is only part of the equation. Even when children join their deported parents in order to keep the family together, it can be a struggle to adjust. In many cases they don't speak the language and fall behind at school. Often standards of living are much poorer than what they were accustomed to.

"They don't have the same access to health care or education," says Aryah Somers, a Washington-based immigration lawyer who is in Guatemala on a Fulbright scholarship studying the effects of U.S. immigration policies on children. "Their parents can't even afford to buy the food that they are accustomed to, so we see a lot of children who are U.S. citizens suffering from malnutrition and living in conditions that would not be acceptable back home."

Sixteen of these American children live in the small Guatemalan mountain town of San Jose Calderas, growing up in extreme poverty, with little schooling and scant medical care. Their parents were among the nearly 400 immigrants rounded up in an ICE raid on a meatpacking plant in Iowa in 2008. The kids are undernourished and barely literate in either Spanish or English, Somers says.

But they have something their Guatemalan cousins can only dream of—a U.S. passport, their ticket to a better life. As soon as they are old enough—10 or 12—some parents say they will put them on a plane back to the U.S. And then, Somers says, the country will have to deal with—and pay for—the social, medical and psychological repercussions of banishing them in the first place.

Somers, who has been in Guatemala for eight months, says she has encountered scores of deportees who were removed from their families, including many who have no criminal record and were deported after the new ICE discretionary policy was announced.

She described a mother from Los Angeles, a victim of domestic violence, who was deported earlier this year after police responded to a fight at her home. Desperate to return to her 3-year-old son, a citizen, the woman recently went to Mexico, where she plans to try to cross the border again, illegally.

Although Somers advised against that, she understands. "How can you blame her?" Somers asks. "Her frustration and devastation was just so complete."

There are some signs of change. Somers said she has heard about ICE agents boarding a deportation jet before it left the U.S. and freeing deportees who had lived in the country since they were children and gone to school here—a direct response to Obama's June executive order allowing such young people with no criminal record to temporarily stay and work.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the time that the policy change is part of a general shift by the administration to focus on deporting high-priority illegal immigrants.

In Chicago, Marilu Gonzalez, a coordinator at the Roman Catholic archdiocese's office of immigrant affairs, recently saw her first example of that shift. An immigrant mother, living here illegally, was arrested for driving under the influence and sent to a detention center. However, instead of being deported, she was released with an ankle monitoring bracelet and given a stay. And, instead of being placed in foster care, her children were permitted to stay with her sister, who is also here illegally.

"That would not have happened in the past," said Gonzalez, who sees hundreds of such cases. "She would have been deported."

In another rare move, Felipe Montes, the father who wants his children from North Carolina to join him in Mexico, has been granted permission to temporarily return to the U.S. to attend custody hearings, though he must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet.

Still, Gonzalez and others say the changes are too haphazard and random, open to interpretation by individual ICE agents. And many say it seems particularly cruel that deported parents who return illegally in order to be with their children should be a priority for removal.

In Congress, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard has proposed legislation that would make it more difficult for local agencies to terminate the parental rights of immigrants. She calls it "heartbreaking ... that in the U.S., immigration status in itself has become grounds to permanently separate families." It is, she said, "absolutely, unquestionably inhumane and unacceptable, particularly for a country that values family and fairness so highly."

Twenty-four-year-old Lucas Da Silva knows all too well the heartbreak of having a parent deported. He vividly describes the day in 2009 that his father, didn't return home from his job cleaning swimming pools in Orlando, Fla.

"Until then, we were just a normal American family," Da Silva said. "Now, I don't know if we ever can be a proper family again."

With his father back in Brazil, Lucas, struggled to become the head of the house, even as he felt powerless listening to his 14-year-old year sister cry every night, seeing his mother straining to make ends meet, and watching his parents' marriage deteriorate.

"Everyone seems to agree that the current system is broken," he says. "But people don't seem to understand that it breaks families too."



Federal immigration program can help young workers


TULARE, Calif.—In an animal laboratory in central California's dairy country, Juan Carlos Martin cleaned and fed dozens of cows.

Smuggled through a U.S. border checkpoint in a car at age 13, the Mexico native had hoped for an education and career, but started working full time at the end of high school after an accident incapacitated his father.

Now 23, Martin was surprised to learn this week that he may be eligible for the new federal program that temporarily defers deportation and grants work permits to young illegal immigrants.

Much of the attention surrounding the program that began last Wednesday has focused on students. But researchers say it could also benefit hundreds of thousands of young adults working in low-wage industries such as agriculture.

"The stereotype about the young people who are eligible is that they're college students and academic superstars that speak English perfectly. And that is, of course, not true for all of them," said Ed Kissam, a labor policy researcher.

To be eligible, immigrants must prove they arrived in the United States before they turned 16, were younger than 31 as of June 15, have been living in the country at least five years, are in school or graduated, and have not been convicted of certain crimes.

The program is also open to individuals who haven't graduated high school or received a GED, as long as they enroll in an adult education program, vocational training or even English language instruction.

Agricultural workers like Martin say a work permit and the benefits that come with it could open doors previously closed, leading to better paying jobs, improved working conditions and benefits, and a path to higher education.

"This would change my whole life," said Martin, a high school graduate. "I came to this country with the goal of studying and getting ahead. But you really can't do it without a work permit, a Social Security number and a drivers' license."

Despite the possibilities, workers and advocates say farmworkers and others who are out of school could face significant hurdles when applying: a lack of information about the program, limited English skills, little access to legal advice and limited access to adult school to fulfill the program's education requirement.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals does not grant legal residency or a path to citizenship.

More than half of the 1 million young illegal immigrants eligible for the program are in the labor force, mostly working in low-wage industries—holding either a high school degree or GED, or lacking a degree altogether, an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute shows.

Agriculture could be one of the most affected. Two-thirds of farmworkers are foreign-born Mexicans, the majority without legal status, and many are young—more than half are under the age of 31, according to the National Agricultural Workers Survey. Data from the survey shows that at least 54,000 farmworkers could qualify for the program.

Jaime Hernandez, 23, who picks strawberries in the Santa Maria area for $8 per hour, found out about the program from a friend and is hoping to apply.

Hernandez, who crossed the Arizona desert with his parents at age 11, dropped out of high school in Madera, Calif., to work in the fields and help his family make ends meet. He recently finished a GED course, but never took the diploma exam, because his 10-hour workdays didn't leave him time. He now plans to sign up for the test.

If he is granted a work permit, he plans to get a better-paying job, and go back to school to become a lawyer or a radio engineer.

"I'm afraid, I don't have the money to pay for a lawyer, and I don't know if I am guaranteed acceptance or if I will be rejected," Hernandez said. "But still, it's worth it ... I'm not giving up."

Organizations helping eligible applicants say many workers don't know they may be eligible.

"Working people in the fields, many don't understand the program," said Ramiro Medrano, an adviser with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District near Watsonville, which is holding an information session about the program Sunday. "Most call about their kids. When I ask them, 'How old are you?' it turns out the parents could qualify."

The UFW Foundation has also been holding information sessions and phone meetings with farmworker union locals to spread the word.

For eligible workers who have never filled out an application and speak little English, applying for Deferred Action is intimidating, said the group's Richard Gorman. "Our hope is that once they have papers, once you take away the fear of deportation, that will encourage workers to stand up for themselves and for others in their own workplaces, to form a union or complain to their boss when there is a problem."

Some farmers are worried the program could cut into their workforce. One group of growers, the Nisei Farmers League, is discouraging farmworkers from applying, worried workers or their families could be deported once their addresses are given to the federal government.

Another worry: Because the application for work authorization asks for all previously used Social Security numbers, the information could lead the government to track down agricultural employers who hired the illegal workers and subject them to audits or sanctions, said the league's president, Manuel Cunha.

"There is no safe haven at the end of the day," Cunha said.

Federal immigration officials have said they won't use information from the applications for immigration enforcement against workers. Officials declined to comment on whether information provided by applicants would be used to prosecute or audit employers.



From Google News

Armstrong called humble hero who served country


When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon all those years ago, he made his country believe that anything was possible with ingenuity and dedication — and in the process became one of America's greatest heroes, his friends, colleagues and admirers said Saturday after news that the former astronaut had died.

‘‘When I think of Neil, I think of someone who for our country was dedicated enough to dare greatly,'' said former astronaut John Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program and was a close friend. He said Armstrong showed exemplary skill and dedication.

The idea of Armstrong as a humble pilot who served his country above all echoed around the country Saturday, by visitors to museums that fete his accomplishments and by his former NASA colleagues. Armstrong died Saturday at age 82 from complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, his family said.

In California, visitors and staff at the Griffith Observatory paused for a moment of silence. At the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, a black ribbon hung over a plaque of Armstrong in the museum's entryway and a U.S. flag was lowered in Armstrong's memory.

Tourist Jonathon Lack, a judge from Anchorage, Alaska, said he decided to visit the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., after hearing of Armstrong's death.

‘‘What really hit me is that he was in his 30s when he walked on the moon,'' said Lack, who is 42. ‘‘That made me think about how little I've done.''

He saw in Armstrong's death a reminder of an America where people dreamed big things and sought to accomplish the inconceivable.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th-century's scientific expeditions during the climax of a heated space race with the Soviet Union.

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. Aldrin, who became the public face of the moon landing after shy Armstrong recoiled from the public eye, said his colleague's leap changed the world forever and became a landmark moment in human history.

‘‘Whenever I look at the moon, it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from Earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone,'' he said. ‘‘Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew.''

The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship 60 miles overhead while the other two went to the surface. ‘‘He was the best, and I will miss him terribly,'' Collins said, according to NASA's website.

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia is on display at the Air and Space Museum, and visitors there Saturday gathered around it to remember Armstrong and his accomplishments.

Bob Behnken, the chief of the NASA Astronaut Office, said Armstrong's historic step was the reason many became astronauts.

‘‘Neil Armstrong was a very personal inspiration to all of us within the astronaut office,'' he said. ‘‘The only thing that outshone his accomplishments was his humility about those accomplishments. ‘‘

Daniel Zhou, a student at Armstrong's alma mater Purdue University in Indiana and a member of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, said Saturday was sad day.

‘‘He will always be a source of inspiration for our generation, and for the generations to come, as we ask ourselves, ‘Why explore space?''' Zhou said.

At New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a 1960 photo of Armstrong hangs near the space shuttle Enterprise — showing a youthful NASA pilot standing and smiling next to the X-15 rocket plane he was testing.

On Saturday afternoon, many among the hundreds of visitors filing past the mammoth white display didn't know he had died.

'I'm shocked!'' said Dennis McKowan, 49, a computer network engineer from Sunnyvale, Calif., on a business trip to New York. ‘‘I used to skip school to watch the Apollo launches.''

He was a child when he watched the moon landing.

‘‘How do you top that? No one has gone farther yet.''



Online tributes and video of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon:



From the FBI

Genocide and War Crimes
New Website Designed to Raise Awareness, Solicit Information

Kosovo…Rwanda…Srebrenica. These places will forever be associated with unspeakable, brutal acts of genocide and war crimes.

NEW: Genocide and War Crimes Program webpage

The global community has banded together to help prevent crimes like these and to bring to justice the perpetrators who commit them. The U.S. is part of this international effort—most recently through the creation of an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board. And the FBI supports the government's efforts through its own Genocide War Crimes Program.

Today, in an effort to raise awareness about these crimes and the FBI's part in helping to combat them, we're announcing the launch of our Genocide War Crimes Program website. In addition to educating the public on our role, the website solicits information from victims and others about acts of genocide, war crimes, or related mass atrocities that can be submitted to us through tips.fbi.gov or by contacting an FBI field office or legal attaché office.

Why is the FBI involved, especially since these incidents primarily take place overseas? Take a look at the jurisdiction section of our new website, which explains the 1998 Presidential Executive Order 13107 and the four U.S. laws dealing with genocide, war crimes, torture, and recruitment or use of child soldiers.

According to Special Agent Jeffrey VanNest, who heads up our Genocide War Crimes Unit (GWCU), our mission is to “systematically and methodically help track down perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and other related atrocities—the worst of the worst—and apprehend them.”

These types of investigations are among the most complex ones we work. They typically involve piecing together fragmentary bits of information, interviewing overseas witnesses in conflict zones, collecting evidence in other countries, and accommodating language barriers. And the key to successfully conducting them—according to VanNest—is cooperation.

“The GWCU works shoulder-to-shoulder with our U.S. federal partners—most often with the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—to determine if there's a violation of U.S law,” says VanNest. “If so, we envision working many of these cases jointly with our partners in ICE's Homeland Security Investigations.”

Internationally—because the bulk of these investigations occur overseas—we work through our network of legal attachés who have established relationships in place with our counterparts in foreign nations and who coordinate our work with international criminal tribunals. We also cooperate with INTERPOL.

On the overview section of our new website, you can find out more about how we offer additional support to foreign authorities —such as crime scene preservation, interviewing techniques, age-enhancing photos, language services, and increasingly, victim/witness services — and who our primary domestic and international partners are.

Members of the GWCU, usually in conjunction with our ICE counterparts, coordinate our genocide/war crimes investigations. Collectively, GWCU agents and intelligence analysts in the unit are carefully selected for what they can bring to the table—subject matter expertise, interviewing skills, experience in past critical incident response, foreign language ability, and experience working with partner agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

“Our ultimate goal,” says VanNest, “is to ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes find no safe haven in the United States, or for that matter, no safe haven anywhere in the world.”

For more on our Genocide War Crimes Program, visit our new webpage .