Warren Mass

President Obama issued an executive order on October 16 authorizing the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to call up reserve units to active duty to provide support for civilian-led humanitarian assistance operations fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa. The anti-Ebola operation is called Operation United Assistance.

Representative Michael Honda (D-Calif.) introduced a bill in the House on July 31 that would prohibit the purchase, ownership, or possession of enhanced body armor by civilians. The bill offers exceptions for those whose purchase or possession of the body armor is authorized by the federal government or a state government or political subdivision of a state. Purchases of body armor made before the law takes effect are grandfathered and would not be held to be in violation.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice on the FedBizOpps.Gov (Federal Business Opportunities) website recently announcing the imminent solicitation for card stock that will be used to print Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documentation cards. While this, in itself, isn’t unusual, the number that USCIS plans to order has raised some eyebrows.

As the Republican Party intensifies its efforts to gain control of the Senate in the November 4 elections, an amazing turn of events that no one would have predicted two years ago has occurred. The intense debate about “immigration reform” appears to be helping, rather than hindering, GOP prospects.

There are nearly 167,000 convicted criminal aliens with final orders of removal who are still in the United States and “currently at large.” This number appears to be directly related to the Obama administration’s lax deportation policy, with deportations from the interior of the United States down 34 percent during the past year.

U.S. troops and U.S.-trained Iraqi forces uncovered about 5,000 chemical weapons in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 and soldiers were injured by these weapons in six instances. However, the weapons had not been manufactured during an active, ongoing chemical weapons program, which the Bush administration cited as justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Mayor Phillip Burch of Artesia, New Mexico, where the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a temporary detention facility for adults with children who have entered our country illegally, has said that the facility is likely to receive more detainees soon. Furthermore, noted Burch, the facility will not be closed in the near future.

Columbus Day, traditionally October 12, but observed as a federal holiday on the second Monday in October since 1970, evokes fond memories among Americans who remember celebrating the day in school by cutting out construction paper images of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, and by singing: “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” 

This year, however, the cities of Seattle and Minneapolis are celebrating “Indigenous People’s Day” in place of a day that has a long, proud tradition in America.

In a speech delivered October 9 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson played up the recent decline in unaccompanied minors illegally crossing our southern border, stating that “illegal migration by unaccompanied kids turned the corner, and it’s now in fact at its lowest number since January 2013.”

A report posted by the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) on October 7 stated: “Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014.”