Thursday, May 11, 2006

Re: Minutemen

Andy McCarthy reported this last night:

I will have more to say about this tomorrow, but I had a lengthy conversation this afternoon with Russ Knocke, a press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS vigorously disputes the claim, made in the news story I referred to in this article earlier today, that it is sharing intelligence information with the Mexican government in the consular notification process which often ensues, pursuant to the Vienna Convention of 1963, when an alien is detained.

As set forth in the DHS statement I alluded to in the article, DHS does not provide the Mexican government with information about civilian, non-law enforcement groups. Mr. Knocke assured me that this specifically includes the location, tactics and other information about groups like the Minutemen. That information is not provided.

So what does DHS do? Mr. Knocke explained that, if an alien asserts his consular notification rights under the treaty, DHS notifies Mexico about the facts of the violation of the immigration laws – generally speaking, the time and location of apprehension.
I specifically asked him whether DHS informs Mexico if the detention of an alien was the result of a tip to the Border Patrol by a civilian volunteer, such as one of the Minutemen. Knocke replied that DHS does not do that; such information is considered law enforcement sensitive, and is not called for by the notification process.

As I described in the article, the treaty requires our government to facilitate communication between alien detainees and their consulates if requested to do so by the detainee. In that connection, if an alien alleges mistreatment by those who have detained him (whether they are U.S. government personnel or civilians), DHS communicates that allegation of mistreatment to Mexico. Knocke, however, advised me that “mistreatment” in this context refers to the facts of the detention (e.g., the conditions in which the alien was held) not the intelligence, if any, that gave rise to the arrest.
Seems like the story's moving quicker than the facts on this one.

No comments: