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Morning Roundup - June 24th

Wednesday, June 24th Morning Roundup - Featured News and Public Events

From the Washington Post, on Secretary Napolitano's decision to end the National Applications Office program:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced yesterday that she will kill a controversial Bush administration program to expand the use of spy satellites by domestic law enforcement and other agencies.

Napolitano said she acted after state and local law enforcement officials said that access to secret overhead imagery was not a priority.

Two years ago, President George W. Bush's top intelligence and homeland security officials authorized the National Applications Office (NAO) to expand sharing of satellite data with domestic agencies. But congressional Democrats barred funding for what they said could become a new platform for domestic surveillance that would raise privacy and civil liberties concerns.

Earlier this month, House Democrats expressed surprise that Obama included funding for the program in the classified portion of the Department of Homeland Security's 2010 budget, and they threatened to kill the office.

"The Secretary's decision is an endorsement of this Committee's long-held position," Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.


From USA Today, on increased use of E-Verify:

Construction company CEO David Dominguez no longer worries about inadvertently hiring workers who are in this country illegally. That's because he uses E-Verify, the federal program that allows him to quickly check the legal status of potential employees.

Dominguez, who builds residential interiors in Arizona and California, said that as word gets around about the program, job applicants without legal status avoid businesses such as his, Andrew Lauren Co., which use E-Verify.

"The system works," Dominguez said. His San Diego-based company has been using E-Verify for several years in hiring office workers and laborers.

The voluntary federal program has seen a rapid growth in use this year, Department of Homeland Security records show. More than 1,000 employers are signing up each week on average, and employment checks are approaching 200,000 a week.

Use rises each year"If the goal is not to hire illegal citizens, then you should have it," Dominguez said.

Halfway through this year 5.5 million worker checks have been made by employers through the E-Verify online service. In 2008, 6.6 million checks were made, twice the number in 2007."From a year ago, it's just tremendous" growth, said William Wright, spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that administers the program.


Leadership Events
4:45 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano and Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba will sign a letter of intent on science and technology information sharing
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Press Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Concourse Level
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C.

Public Events
9 AM EDT
FEMA Administrator Fugate will deliver remarks at the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

9 AM EDT
Secretary Morton will participate in a panel discussion at the 6th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Avenue NWWashington, D.C.

10 AM EDT
Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Bart Johnson will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, about the fiscal year 2010 budget request
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

10 AM EDT
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will consider the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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