ICE and CBP officials return artifacts to the People’s Republic of China
WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Kumar Kibble and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar repatriated a number of ancient Chinese artifacts seized as a result of operations by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CBP offices in New York and Anchorage and ICE HSI in Albuquerque.
Most of the objects being repatriated today were part of Operation Great Wall, an initiative targeting illicit importations originating from the People’s Republic of China. Following the signing of a bi-lateral agreement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in 2009, both countries have been working together closely to prevent the illicit trafficking of archaeological objects.
“The items we are returning to the People’s Republic of China today are delicate, but tangible, ancient works of art that are an important part of China’s heritage,” said Kibble. “While seizing, forfeiting and repatriating these treasures is indeed reason for celebration, our long-term goal is to reduce the incentive for further destruction of ancient tombs and temples, where so many of these objects are dug up or chiseled off and pilfered.”
“CBP is pleased to help return these precious antiquities of Chinese cultural history to the citizens of the People’s Republic of China,” said Aguilar. “CBP remains committed to working alongside our ICE HSI partners to intercept and repatriate priceless artifacts.”
The artifacts being returned include:
- 2 Northern Wei Dynasty terracotta horses – A.D. 386-535
- Northern Qi Dynasty limestone Buddha – A.D. 550-577
- 7 Sui Dynasty Pottery Horses with Riders – A.D. 581-618
- Tang Dynasty Horse Sculpture – A.D. 618-907
- Song Dynasty Bodhisattva head – A.D. 960-1279
- Ming Dynasty Stone Frieze – A.D. 1368-1644
- Qing Dynasty Ceramic Vase – A.D. 1616-1840
These pottery sculptures of horses and riders from the Sui and Tang Dynasties were likely buried in tombs. Having a horse was a sign of wealth, and only those of a certain rank were allowed to use them. The tombs these likely came from were therefore those of aristocrats.
While the Northern Qi Dynasty is usually considered a period of political unrest, it is known to art historians as a time when the arts flourished through interaction between Chinese and non-Chinese artisans. This particular sculpture may belong to some now-destroyed temple.
ICE HSI plays a leading role in investigating crimes involving the illicit importation and distribution of cultural property. ICE HSI uses its investigative authority to seize cultural property items if they were illegally imported into the United States. It also investigates the illegal trafficking of artwork, especially works that have been reported lost or stolen. ICE’s Office of International Affairs, through its 67 attaché offices worldwide, works closely with foreign governments to conduct joint investigations, when possible.
CBP is the nation’s lead border security agency and is charged with enforcing hundreds of laws at and between our nation’s 327 international ports of entry. As part of that mission, CBP enforces bi-lateral agreements and import restrictions on certain foreign cultural property and archaeological materials. CBP works closely with ICE and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent the illegal trade and trafficking of cultural antiquities. CBP partners with ICE to ensure that illegally traded and trafficked antiquities are returned to their rightful owners.
ICE HSI agents undergo special training sessions funded by the State Department and held at the Smithsonian museums and research facilities before they begin working cultural property cases. Smithsonian staff provided behind-the-scenes introduction to objects from regions that are at greatest risk of looting and trafficking, as well as practical skills training in handling, photographing, recording and packing objects.
More than 2,300 artifacts have been returned to 18 countries since 2007 including paintings from France, Germany and Austria, an 18th century manuscript from Italy, and a bookmark belonging to Hitler as well as cultural artifacts from Iraq including Babylonian, Sumerian, and neo-Assyrian items.
Agencies involved in the seizure and investigation of the items being repatriated today include ICE HSI and CBP in New York and Anchorage and U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Albuquerque.
ICE Notice to Former F-1 Students of Tri-Valley University
Attention Former Tri-Valley University Students
If you were formerly enrolled as an F-1 student at TVU and have been terminated in SEVIS, please note the following.
SEVP terminated the records of all F-1 students enrolled at TVU as of Jan. 18, 2011. You should call SEVP Response Center (SRC) at 703-603-3400. This number is currently staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EST), seven days a week. Beginning Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, this number will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST). At other times, you may leave a telephone number at which SEVP will return your call the next day.
Please be prepared to provide the follow information to the SEVP staff when you call:
- First and last name
- SEVIS ID#
- Telephone number where you can be reached
- E-mail address
- Dates of attendance at TVU
- Level and Major of study at TVU
When you call, SEVP will provide you with your options including the option to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Travel Information for International Visitors
Global Entry Program
Global Entry is a pilot program managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. Although this program is intended for “frequent travelers” who make several international trips per year, there is no minimum number of trips an applicant must make in order to qualify. Participants may enter the United States by utilizing automated kiosks located, at the following airports:
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
- Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Juan-Luis Múñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
- Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The process requires participants to present their machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, submit their fingerprints for biometric verification, and make a customs declaration at the kiosk’s touch-screen. Upon successful completion of the Global Entry process at the kiosk, the traveler is issued a transaction receipt and directed to baggage claim and the exit, unless chosen for a selective or random secondary referral.
Travelers must be pre-approved before they can participate in the pilot program. All applicants will undergo a rigorous background check and be interviewed by a CBP officer before they are enrolled. Automated enforcement checks will occur each time the member uses the kiosk to enter the United States. Although pre-approved for the program and determined to be low risk, members of Global Entry may be examined at any time when entering the United States.
Members entering the United States must complete the declaration questions prompted by the kiosk. If bringing items that must be declared, after completion of the kiosk transaction, the member will be directed to see a CBP officer.
Global Entry has a zero tolerance policy for violations. If a Global Entry member violates any of the terms and conditions, CBP officers will take appropriate enforcement action and will cancel the person’s membership privileges. The application fee is non-refundable.
What Are the Benefits of Global Entry?
The benefits are:
- Bypass the traditional passport control line.
- No more filling out a paper customs declaration form.
- Expedited exit process.
- Mutual benefits with other countries.
- Conveniently located at airports throughout the country.
- Cross the border with a minimum of customs and immigration questioning.
- Although this program is intended for frequent travelers, there is no minimum number of trips that must be completed.
Global Entry allows applicants to complete a single application and pay one fee. This form can be submitted online via the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES. Qualified applicants are required to come to a Global Entry Enrollment Center, for an interview). Global Entry allows United States border agencies to concentrate their efforts on potentially higher-risk travelers and goods, which helps to ensure the security and integrity of our borders.
Who May Apply for Global Entry?
- Individuals who are 14 years of age and older who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, or citizens of certain other countries.
*Note: If enrolled parents are traveling with children under 14 and clearing as a family, they may not use the kiosk and must clear using the regular passport control process.
However, individuals may not qualify if they:
- Are inadmissible to the United States under applicable immigration laws;
- Provide false or incomplete information on their application;
- Have been convicted of a criminal offense in any country;
- Have been found in violation of customs or immigration laws; or
- Fail to meet other Global Entry requirements.
If an individual does not meet the requirements of Global Entry, their application will be denied.
Applications must be completed and submitted online through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). ( GOES ) A non-refundable $100 fee will be collected before the submission of the application. If an applicant is denied participation, he/she will not receive a refund of the $100. NEXUS and SENTRI members may activate membership in Global Entry at no additional fee.
Applicants who are not accepted into the Global Entry pilot have three channels for forwarding their inquiries: a) directly with the enrollment center; b) DHS Travelers Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP); and c) the CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman. Please see the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program page for more information on how to seek redress. (DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program )
Consistent with privacy law and national security considerations, DHS and CBP may not reveal the specific reason for an applicant’s denial in either the initial notification or the redress process depending on the circumstances of a particular case.
ICE Updates List of SEVP Approved Schools (Updated 6/30/09)
Owner of Mandarin restaurant to be deported after jail
“The co-owner of a popular Jacksonville restaurant received a three-month sentence Monday for harboring illegal aliens and faces certain deportation to his native India.
Sanjit Kumar Rajak, who was head chef and manager of Cilantro Indian Cuisine in Mandarin, will complete his prison sentence in about a week because he has been behind bars since his January arrest. He agreed to a $5,000 fine.
His lawyer, Shawn Arnold, said he expects deportation proceedings to begin immediately, a bitter end for a successful businessman who lived a rags-to-riches story. Arnold said Rajak won’t be allowed to re-enter the United States for five to 10 years.
Rajak admitted hiring four illegal workers and leasing their Sunbeam Road apartment. He has no other criminal record.”
ICE Updates List of SEVP Approved Schools (Updated 3/27/09)
<a href="/files/4941-4844/__1ApprovedSchools.pdf”>On 3/24/09 ICE updated its list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools.
Updated List of SEVIS Schools – 1/14/2009
<A href="/files/4941-4844/approvedschools1.pdf”>On 1/14/09 ICE updated its list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools.
Mistaken immigration raid?
Olga Savage said she went through a harrowing life-changing experience that might have been a total mistake.
The 68-year-old woman told Action 4 News that she heard a knock at her door Tuesday morning.
But before she had a chance to get up she said U.S. Immigration & Customers Enforcement (ICE) agents were inside her home.
“They came in with guns, grenades and holding their pistols,” Savage recalled.
When she asked them why they came into her home they allegedly responded, “Show us your papers.”
Savage complied by showing them documentation proving that she’s been a United States citizen for 40 years.
Window closing for aliens with Florida criminal convictions to move to withdraw pleas that could leave them vulnerable to adverse immigration actions
Author: Tomislav D. Golik
Attorney, Leimbach & Sharma
Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) convictions for certain categories of crimes carry with them the risk that the alien defendant may face removal proceedings or inadmissibility to re-enter the United States. Under U.S. law, “convictions” are defined to include pleas of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). Even criminal offenses which have been pardoned or expunged are still considered convictions for immigration purposes.
Until 2006, the Florida Supreme Court held that an alien who was actually threatened with deportation as a result of a plea of guilty or no contest had two years to move to set aside their plea. Further, that two year period did not begin to run until the alien first learned, or should have had knowledge of, the threat of deportation based on the plea.
That changed on October 26, 2006, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled in State v. Green that the two year limitations period starts to run from the date the judgment and sentence become final. In the interests of fairness, however, the court further ruled that the Green decision would not apply retroactively. Any alien whose criminal case was finalized prior to October 26, 2006, still had the two year period to file for post conviction relief from their plea. That window closes on October 26, 2008.
If you are an alien who entered a plea of guilty or no contest to a crime in the State of Florida, you should contact an attorney immediately to see if your plea could subject you to deportation proceedings. This is especially true of those who entered pleas to felonies, but there are many criminal offenses classified as misdemeanors that could also serve as grounds for removal of a resident alien or visa holder. It is not always clear from the language of the INA which crimes could subject an alien to deportation. Consult an attorney that understands grounds for deportation and inadmissibility to make sure you understand the consequences of your criminal plea.
Even if you no longer reside in Florida, a criminal plea entered there may still subject you to deportation. If you find that your Florida plea can subject you to deportation, you still need to determine whether grounds exist for challenging it. An experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney can help determine whether grounds exist for moving to withdraw a plea and how much time remains to do so. Any person fearing they may be affected by a criminal plea in Florida should contact an attorney immediately, as that attorney may need considerable time to do any necessary research and obtain the appropriate records to review a case.
ICE Will No Longer Sedate Deportees
U.S. immigration agents must not sedate deportees without a judge’s permission, according to a policy change issued this week.
Study: Kids Hurt by Immigration Raids
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Thousands of children whose parents are arrested in immigration raids in the U.S. face mental health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety and depression, according to a new study released Wednesday by the Urban Institute.
New York Officials Denounce Tactics Used in Immigration Raids
Federal agents displayed a “cowboy” mentality while running roughshod over local police officers — at times pointing their weapons at cops — and ensnared more suspected illegal aliens than targeted gangsters in raids on Long Island last week, officials said Tuesday.