Just Level With Us

It’s very hard to take anything this government says seriously when we can’t believe one word they say.

Not one word:

While the authors of the newly released Senate immigration bill touted its multibillion dollar investment in border security, critics are seizing on what they describe as a major loophole — giving the government “discretion” to choose when to enforce immigration laws.

The union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents has long complained that the Obama administration has made their job harder by preventing agents from detaining and deporting select illegal immigrants. They had petitioned members of the so-called “Gang of Eight” — the lawmakers writing the immigration bill — to address those concerns in the package.

But, in a letter obtained by FoxNews.com, National ICE Council President Chris Crane said “this legislation again does nothing to resolve that.”

The letter was sent Tuesday to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a key member of the Gang of Eight, shortly before the legislation was formally released. Crane thanked Rubio for meeting with him, a meeting he had long sought, but complained that the bill did not address his concerns.

“In fact, it appears that the security components it does contain focus mostly on the exterior, and rely on the discretion of DHS, even though DHS is in federal court right now for undermining the constitutional rule of law,” Crane wrote, referring to a lawsuit brought by ICE agents.

“Discretion of the DHS”: words that make the blood run cold.

Crane said the Senate legislation should be held until several major issues are addressed — including what he described as “directives” that release “dangerous criminal aliens” back into the community and the Obama administration’s “dangerous abuse” of prosecutorial discretion.

Lord knows, I don’t have all the answers. But I do still have a few questions.

Like this one:

Barack Obama’s administration has cut the budget nearly in half for preventing domestic bombings, MailOnline can reveal.

Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Homeland Security had $20 million allocated for preventing the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by terrorists working inside the United States. The current White House has cut that funding down to $11 million.

That assessment comes from Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 that killed three Americans and injured at least 173 others.

He told MailOnline that the Obama-era DHS is, on the whole, about as well-positioned as it was during the Bush administration to handle the aftermath of the April 15 bombings in Boston, ‘but the Obama administration has continued to cut the budget for offices such as the Office for Bombing Prevention from $20 million started under Bush, to $11 million today.’

Robert Liscouski was the first Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, and was responsible for creating the Office of Infrastructure Protection Directorate. That sub-agency’s job included protecting U.S. sites from improvised explosives, and it later spun off the Office for Bombing Prevention

‘Comparatively,’ he added, ‘the Defense Department’s Joint IED Defeat Organization had a budget of $1 billion per year focused on preventing IEDs in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.’

‘Clearly more money needs to be focused on countering domestic IEDs,’ Liscouski concluded.

He is now a partner at Edge 360, a security and intelligence consultancy.

The cuts came long before the sequester, by the way. Which had nothing to do with any lack of security presence. As every picture and video shows, there was no want of police and other first-responders. What there may have been was a lack of intelligence. Cuts of 45% sometimes have that effect.

And can we dispense with the swooning over Obama’s speech? I’m glad he came and I’m glad he spoke, but this episode is not about him. He didn’t set the bombs, and he won’t crack the case. Unless he starts furloughing FBI agents, he won’t have anything to do with how or when we catch the bad guys. He did what we already know he does well: he read a prepared text. I heard some of it; it was fine. Move on.

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