Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

10th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is apparently compelling an Australian man, who is currently a partner in a same sex marriage with an American Citizen, to depart the USA. In order to provide further clarity on this situation it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the San Fransisco Chronicle, SFGate.com:

Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse. Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples. The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems…

The administration of this web log encourages interested readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn further details from this interesting story.

Frequent readers of this web log may recall that the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) preclude the federal government from recognizing a same sex marriage for purposes of distributing federal benefits. Therefore, same sex bi-national couples cannot acquire the same travel documents and visa benefits (such as the K-1 visa, CR-1 visa, or an IR-1 visa) as a different-sex couple notwithstanding the fact that the couple may be legally married in one of the State jurisdictions which legalize and/or solemnize such unions. It should be noted that legislation such as Representative Jerrold Nadler‘s Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) or the Respect for Marriage Act would rectify this situation to one degree or another. As of the time of this writing it remains to be seen whether this legislation will ultimately see enactment.

Meanwhile, in news of further interest to those who follow immigration matters; it recently came to this blogger’s attention that DHS has issued an announcement regarding a nationwide program to be administered by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USICE, sometimes colloquially referred to as ICE). To provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Washington Times, WashingtonTimes.com:

The District could be forced to participate in an immigration-enforcement program now that the federal government has issued a letter to states that voided their participation agreements and emphasized the program’s mandatory nature. The Department of Homeland Security sent the letter last week to governors of 39 states, including Maryland and Virginia, after three states expressed interest in opting out of their contracts with the federal Secure Communities program. The program allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to access fingerprints collected by state and local law enforcement and shared with the FBI. It was started in 2008 and has helped ICE identify and deport more than 86,000 convicted criminal aliens. “This is to avoid any further confusion,” ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas said Monday. “We’ve made it clear. There’s no opting out.” DHS voided the agreements to clarify that they essentially served no purpose, and that states are required to remain in the program. Federal officials no longer will seek agreement with newly enrolled states and jurisdictions, and will simply notify them when they plan to implement the program…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Matters pertaining to immigration can be difficult to understand especially in the context of the United States Constitution since many of the immigration-related powers of the American Legislature and Executive are plenary in nature. How such powers interact with States’ Rights can be difficult to ascertain as the legal principles involved can be quite subtle. In any case, the ultimate resolution of this issue remains to be seen. Hopefully, a solution will present itself which will prove amenable for all concerned.

For information related to United States immigration from Thailand please see: Legal.

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9th May 2010

In a recent statement, the Director of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), Timothy J. Healy, discussed the overall methodology of the Center and how it has had a positive impact upon anti-terrorism initiatives of both the United States and the global community. The following in an excerpt from the statement, which has been distributed by AILA:

Established in 2003, the TSC is a multi-agency center that connects the law enforcement communities with the Intelligence Community by consolidating information about known and suspected terrorists into a single Terrorist Screening Database, which is commonly referred to as the “Terrorist Watchlist.” The TSC facilitates terrorist screening operations, helps coordinate the law enforcement responses to terrorist encounters developed during the screening process, and captures intelligence information resulting from screening.


Of paramount significance is the TSC’s success in making this critical information accessible to the people who need it most – the law enforcement officers who patrol our streets, the Customs and Border Protection Officers who protect our borders, and our other domestic or foreign partners who conduct terrorist screening every day. In the six years since we began operations, the Terrorist Watchlist has become the world’s most comprehensive and widely shared database of terrorist identities. The current terrorist watchlisting and screening enterprise is an excellent example of interagency information sharing whose success is due to the superb collaborative efforts between the TSC, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and other members of the Intelligence Community.

It is interesting to note the international character of this initiative. In a previous posting on this blog the author noted that Thai Immigration authorities have begun linking their database to international and American information databases in order to more accurately investigate individuals who may be a threat to security.

On a related note, it should be mentioned that due to the new synergy that has arisen as a result of international cross referencing of criminal record databases those Americans living or staying in a foreign country could have significant problems if they have an American warrant as having a US Criminal warrant could result is passport confiscation by a Consular Officer at an American Citizen Services section of a US Consulate overseas. This usually happens when Americans with such warrants need to obtain a new passport or add pages to their current passport. In order to forestall these types of problems, it is advisable to speak to an American attorney in order to assess one’s options with regard to dealing with the matter in the legally prescribed manner.

For further information about Thai Immigration, please see: Thailand Visa.

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