Craig Fugate begins job at FEMA

05/19/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Florida’s former Emergency Manager, Craig Fugate, is now officially in charge of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Association.

At a news conference in Washington today, Fugate said there are three things he wants people to do as hurricane season approaches.

FEMA recently announced its plan to dispose of excess temporary housing units – like travel trailers and manufactured housing – that has been determined to no longer be suitable for response to disaster.

Fugate was asked if that would continue to be the case if a major storm knocks out a huge portion of a region’s housing stock. Fugate said he wouldn’t take anything off the table.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported today that Barack Obama's administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails.

The program began as a pilot effort in October and currently operates in 48 counties across the country. This year, fingerprints from 1 million local jail bookings will be screened under the program. It also operates Dallas, Houston, Miami, Boston and Phoenix, according to ICE, and will expand to Los Angeles this year and nearly all local jails by the end of 2012.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the president’s budget expands the program for next year, and will be part of the administration’s enforcement strategy.

Napolitano has been mentioned in several published reports as a possible pick by Obama to succeed David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. But today, Napolitano dismissed such talk.

Earlier Napolitano and Fugate met on a video teleconference with the governors and officials from the hurricane prone states regarding the upcoming hurricane season.

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