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ICE`s Real Priority – Find Muslim Chaplains for Detention Centers!
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October 05, 2003, 05:00 AM
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I recently reported on the meltdown of the Department of Homeland Security`s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division – perfectly exemplified by D.A King`s experience when he tried to report illegal aliens to the Atlanta office.

Perhaps this meltdown is occurring because the ICE bureaucrats are focusing on something really important: hiring Muslim chaplains.

Hiring enough chaplains – for "different faiths," mind you – to cover all of the DHS` immigration detention centers ranks as enough of a priority to make a ten-year strategic agenda for ICE`s Office of Detention and Removal (DRO).

In June, 2003, the DRO released a ten-year strategic plan for 2003 through 2012 called "Endgame," with the blessing of its Director, former Coast Guard officer Anthony S. Tangeman [send him e-mail: anthony.s.tangeman@dhs.gov; anthony.tangeman@dhs.gov].

Among other things, "Endgame" heralds the "unique and extremely diverse" alien population of its detention centers as one of the DRO`s "strengths."

The DRO report addresses "chaplaincy" as follows:

"DRO has requested positions be created to place chaplains in each of the Service Processing Centers (SPCs) to ensure that detainees of different faiths are provided reasonable and equitable opportunities to pursue their respective religious practices. This initiative will satisfy detention standards that allow for the practice of various religions, unique food provisions, and spiritual needs during terminal illness and death. The chaplain will also be responsible for advising the Officer in Charge in matters of religious holiday observance, religious diets, religious personal property, dress and contraband."

[Section 2-3, PDF page 13]

Why is the DRO concerned about "chaplaincy" when there are 389,000 (and counting) illegal aliens and criminal alien resident fugitives on the loose? The very same fugitives that the DRO has the responsibility of apprehending?

Who knows?

Considering the recent experience of the U.S. military, giving Wahabi "chaplains" access to federal immigration detention centers isn`t exactly a step in the right direction for homeland security anyway.

And considering the trouble the U.S. military has also had in selecting Muslim chaplains to "minister" to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, maybe the DHS had better re-think this agenda item.

Or at least Secretario Ridge had better be careful who "ministers" to federal immigration detainees.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.