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Morning Roundup - December 18th

From KTRK-TV Houston, on the Secure Communities initiative:

The Houston Police Department has teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security for a new program designed to identify and deport criminal illegal immigrants. But as you might imagine, the program is already stirring up some controversy.

The program isn't new, but it's new to Houston. While police say this technology puts the department on the cutting edge, some in Houston's immigrant community are skeptical.

It's called the 'Secure Communities' initiative, a sweeping new plan to target and remove potentially dangerous criminal illegal immigrants from the city's jails and eventually the country.

"Non citizens, if they commit a serious crime against people here, they ought to be deported after they serve their time," said Houston Mayor Bill White. "There are some people who have not been and there are some people who've come back."

Using the latest technology, anyone arrested for a Class C misdemeanor or above, will have their fingerprints taken and electronically compared to local and national databases all over the country, including the FBI's and the Department of Homeland Security's, where immigration history information can be accessed.

From the USA Today, on a seizure of counterfeit goods:

When federal and sheriff's investigators showed up with a search warrant at Bargain Corner Jean Store here, they found about $130,000 worth of fake True Religion, Ed Hardy, Affliction and other high-end jeans, T-shirts and sneakers.

They hauled out 1,500 items in 40 trash bags and 18 boxes from the store, the owner's minivan and employees' cars.

Not everything was counterfeit, investigators said. Mixed in were some pairs of legitimate Levi's and Wrangler jeans. But federal agents acted after being tipped off by one of the affected brands.

Counterfeiting "is a multibillion-dollar industry, a global crime and a serious threat," says Marcy Forman, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center in Arlington, Va.

Apparel-related counterfeiting doesn't get the same attention as counterfeit toothpaste, batteries or Christmas lights because no one dies or gets physically hurt from knockoffs of pricey jeans, purses and belts. But arguments that the phony products are made without safety standards - often using child labor and sold by people connected to terrorist activity or organized crime - are starting to gain traction.

Public Events
8AM MST
TSA Public Affairs Manager Dwayne Baird will participate in a media availability to highlight holiday travel tips
Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field
3201 Airport Way
Boise, Idaho

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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