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Blue On Blue Crime – And Bad Coverage Of Polyamory

ICE Chicago Citizens Academy faces criticism from activists

CHICAGO (WLS) — The agency’s very name strikes fear in the hearts of undocumented immigrants, many of whom live waiting for that proverbial knock at at the door that might end in deportation.

It’s an image that ICE itself is now looking to change.

“There’s information that perpetuates that we just go to the corner and say ‘hey Barbara Gonzalez, you look Latina, can we see your papers?’ That’s not how we operate,” said Barbara Gonzalez, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer.

“We’re prioritizing those who pose the greatest threat to our community,” she said.

Starting in September, ICE will offer a 6-week Chicago Citizens Academy that they say is designed to teach community members what ICE agents do and don’t do.

An invitation letter read in part, “Attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“We see what we’re seeing in the community. We see what we’re seeing in ICE detention facilities. Some of us have even gone to O’Hare airport witnessing the deportation flights taking place,” said Fred Tsao, wit the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “If it is a PR attempt, I don’t see this succeeding. I even question why they’re doing this.”

“We’re talking about a citizens academy that sounds like a vigilante academy,” said 33 Ward Alderman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez. “We don’t want our neighbors to be scared of their neighbors, so we’re sending a letter to the director of ICE in Chicago to suspend the training.”

ICE insists nothing sinister about the name. It is the same one used at similar law enforcement seminars around the country.

“We want to be transparent. We want to open our doors to see firsthand what we do, how we do it, why we do it and at the end of the day it’s about protecting Chicagoans and protecting everyone,” Gonzalez said.

Twelve people will be part of the pilot course which will be held here at ICE’s field office, every Tuesday starting September 15. Anyone who is in the country legally, is able to apply.


TOP STORY: ICE launches inaugural citizens’ academy

ICE launches inaugural citizens' academy
ICE launches inaugural citizens’ academy

They visited York County Detention Facility, perused the Forensic Document Lab and spent time at a firing range, honing their marksmanship skills. They also hit the books, learning firsthand about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from some of the agency’s leaders. They’re the inaugural class of the ICE Citizens’ Academy.

ICE’s Office of Public Affairs began the ICE Citizens’ Academy to provide members of the general public with an inside look at ICE and how the agency enforces immigration and customs laws. Over the course of nine weeks, a total of 19 individuals met once a week in one of two locations – Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

For Blaine Young, president of Frederick County Commissioners in Frederick, Md., attending the Baltimore-based academy was an enlightening experience. Since Frederick County participates in the 287(g) program, Young is personally vested in learning about the agency and how its laws affect his community.

“I wanted to see if I could learn anything about ICE’s immigration and enforcement program,” said Young. “I learned that ICE has a budget to deport 400,000 people per year, and they try to deport the ones that are the biggest threat to us, the citizens, and national security.”

Participants also learned a significant amount about Homeland Security Investigations, ICE’s investigative arm. ICE’s special agents conduct a variety of investigations ranging from drug trafficking to human smuggling to child exploitation.

The Baltimore and Washington, D.C. academies were part of a pilot program. After an initial assessment, the agency plans to roll out citizens’ academies throughout the country.

“I would highly recommend to people on both sides of the spectrum – whether they think the government should be doing more or not be involved at all,” said Young.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/27/2015

Squirrel in Colorado tests positive for the bubonic plague

A squirrel has tested positive for the bubonic plague in the Town of Morrison in Colorado, Jefferson County Public Health officials announced in a statement over the weekend. The squirrel, discovered on Saturday, is the first case of plague in Jefferson County, the statement said.A spokesperson for Jefferson County Public Health told CBS News on Tuesday that someone in Morrison reported seeing at least 15 dead squirrels around the town. Officials tested one, and since it was positive for bubonic plague, they expect others are also infected.In a statement, officials warned that plague, an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, can be contracted by humans and household animals. They said humans can be infected through flea bites, the cough of an infected animal or by coming in direct contact with blood or tissue from an infected animal.

Cats are highly susceptible to the plague and can catch it from flea bites or a rodent scratch or bite, or by ingesting a rodent. Cats may also die if not properly treated with antibiotics, officials said.

Dogs are not as susceptible to plague, according to the statement. However, dogs can pick up and carry fleas infected with the plague.

Officials advise pet owners who live near wild animal populations, or suspect their pets are ill, consult a veterinarian.

In its statement, Jefferson County Public Health recommended several precautions to protect against the plague, including eliminating sources of food and shelter for wild animals, avoiding sick or dead wild animals and rodents and consulting with vets about flea and tick control.

“Risk for getting plague is extremely low as long as precautions are taken,” the statement said.

The statement said plague symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, headache, nausea and extreme pain and swelling of lymph nodes, which could occur within two to seven days after exposure to the bacteria.

The report from Colorado comes about one week after officials in China announced a suspected bubonic plague case in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Associated Press reported that authorities in the Bayannur district raised the plague warning earlier this month, ordering residents not to hunt wild animals such as marmots. It also ordered residents to send anyone with fever or other possible signs of infection for treatment.

Plague killed millions of people worldwide during the Middle Ages, and outbreaks have occurred since, including the Great Plague in London in the 1600s.

Today, plague can be deadly in up to 90% of those who are infected, if not treated. The CDC said modern antibiotics are effective in treating it.

“Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia,” the CDC


Massachusetts city officially recognizes polyamorous relationships

The city of Somerville, Massachusetts, has passed an ordinance making it one of the first cities in the nation to officially recognize polyamorous relationships. The city no longer limits the number of people included in a partnership.The change, which was unanimously passed by the city council last week, required only a minor shift in language. Instead of defining a relationship as an “entity formed by two persons,” Somerville now legally defines it as “entity formed by people.”The Somerville Journal reports that the momentous revision actually came about as a last-minute addition.poly 1Poly 2poly 3poly 4poly 5


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