Immigration eases up on minor traffic cases
WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigration officials say they will no longer immediately detain suspected illegal immigrants who are arrested only on minor traffic violations and have no criminal history.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said Friday that immigration agents will now consider detaining people arrested on minor traffic offenses — provided they have no criminal history — only if they are convicted of these offenses.
The change responds to recommendations from a task force that reviewed a federal program that checks arrestees' fingerprints against immigration records.
Immigrant advocates say the modifications are too minor to revamp a program they say leads to racial profiling and lands too many people without criminal records in detention.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, criticized the government's decision to weaken the so-called Secure Communities program.
Nugent says he's insulted by concert cancellation
RYAN PEARSON,AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ted Nugent said he was insulted by the cancellation of his planned concert at an Army post over his comments about President Obama.
Commanders at the Fort Knox, Ky., post nixed Nugent's segment of a June concert after the rocker and conservative activist said at a recent National Rifle Association meeting that he would be "dead or in jail by this time next year" if Obama is re-elected.
Nugent told The Associated Press this week that his words were not intended as a threat against the president.
"To think that there's a bureaucrat in the United States Army that would consider the use or abuse of First Amendment rights in determining who is going to perform at an Army base is an insult and defiles the sacrifices of those heroes who fought for the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights," Nugent said.
Nugent said he had received messages of support from troops and noted that the Secret Service had met with him and closed its case about the remarks.
"There is nothing in my spoken word or written word that could be even wildly considered by any stretch of the imagination to be a threat to anyone," Nugent said.
Asked to clarify the remarks at the NRA convention, Nugent said: "A whole bunch of us ... believe ... we are in danger of being improperly and criminally jailed — I mean criminally on the part of the government."
SPACE SHUTTLE ARRIVES IN NYC; CROWDS WATCH IN AWE: NEW YORK (AP) — In a city understandably wary of low-flying aircraft, New Yorkers and tourists alike watched with joy and excitement Friday as space shuttle Enterprise sailed over the skyline on its final flight before it becomes a museum piece.
Ten years after 9/11, people gathered on rooftops and the banks of the Hudson River to marvel at the sight of the spacecraft riding piggyback on a modified jumbo jet that flew over the Statue of Liberty and past the skyscrapers along Manhattan's West Side.
"It made me feel empowered. I'm going to start crying," Jennifer Patton, a tourist from Canton, Ohio, said after the plane passed over the cheering crowd on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the floating air-and-space museum that will be the shuttle's permanent home.
"I just feel like to have a plane fly that low over the Hudson, right past New York City, and to have everyone cheering and excited about it, shows that we don't have fear, that we have a sense of 'This is ours.'"