The Obama administration is looking to convert hotels and nursing homes into immigration detention centers and to build two model detention centers from scratch as it tries to transform the way the government holds people it is seeking to deport.
These and other initiatives, described in an interview on Monday by Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, are part of the administration's effort to revamp the much-criticized detention system, even as it expands the enforcement programs that send most people accused of immigration violations to jails and private prisons. The cost, she said, would be covered by greater efficiencies in the detention and removal system, which costs $2.4 billion annually to operate and holds about 380,000 people a year.
"The paradigm was wrong," Ms. Napolitano said of the nation's patchwork of rented jail space, which has more than tripled in size since 1995, largely through Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts for cells more restrictive, and expensive, than required for a population that is largely not dangerous. Among those in detention on Sept. 1, 51 percent were considered felons, and of those, 11 percent had committed violent crimes.
"Serious felons deserve to be in the prison model," Ms. Napolitano said, "but there are others. There are women. There are children."
These and other nonviolent people should be sorted and detained or supervised in ways appropriate to their level of danger or flight risk, she said. Her goal, she said, is "to make immigration detention more cohesive, accountable and relevant to the entire spectrum of detainees we are dealing with."
From KUSA-TV, on a new terrorism prevention video:
A new video released Monday teaches Coloradans how to recognize eight signs of terrorism, including suspects testing security, acquiring supplies and rehearsing terrorism plots.
The video was co-produced by the nonprofit Center for Empowered Living and Learning (the CELL) in Denver and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security.
They created it over the last four months using a $30,000 federal grant.
It is narrated by former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and 9NEWS Anchor Kim Christiansen.
"Eight years after 9/11, it's important to remember that the United States is not immune from terror attacks," Governor Bill Ritter said.
"The video will help empower citizens with the knowledge they need to protect our communities, our state, our nation."
Ritter and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released the new video after touring the CELL Monday afternoon.
"Unfortunately, the world we live in today, everyone has to assume the threat of terrorism is anywhere," Napolitano said. "It's New York City, it could also be Denver."
Napolitano says attacks across the world show the battle against terrorism is a shared responsibility.
From KNXV-TV, on the Deputy Secretary's meeting with Mexican officials on H1N1:
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute joined her Mexican and Canadian counterparts in Mexico City Monday to discuss continued coordination in dealing with the spread of the H1N1 flu.
According to a DHS press release issued Monday, the meetings focused on the further development of efforts to inform and educate the public in preparation for the fall H1N1 season.
"The shared responsibility to respond to the H1N1 pandemic requires close coordination with our Mexican and Canadian allies," said Deputy Secretary Lute.
The Mexican delegation was led by Health Ministry Deputy Secretary of Prevention and Promotion of Health Mauricio Hern?ndez, while Canada's delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Health Morris Rosenberg.
Secretary Napolitano and ICE Assistant Secretary Morton will announce new immigration detention reforms and participate in a media availability
Myers Conference Room
500 12th Street SW
10 AM EDT
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton will testify about human rights violators before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building