BUSH'S ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS: A GRAND ILLUSION
Everyone wants to be a "success." Baseball players are obsessed with their batting averages, earned run averages and other statistics that show how effective they are when they play ball. Athletes in other sports attempt to demonstrate how effective they are. Salesmen are rewarded for demonstrating their ability to sell. They track their earnings and the number of sales that they make. Stock brokers track the earnings reports of corporations that offer stocks and bonds to investors, and based on these statistics, along with other factors, brokers advise their clients as to which stocks are worth buying and holding.
Every year, on Labor Day, the very famous entertainer, Jerry Lewis, holds an annual fund raising telethon to generate funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. During the grueling telethon Jerry Lewis or one of the guest hosts periodically call for a drum roll from the band and point to the tote board that keeps track of the amount of money pledged and contributed by people from all over the country. The higher the numbers go, the happier everyone is. Now we come to the wacky world of immigration. Each year the numbers go up, but these numbers are the fugitive aliens who have managed to embed themselves in communities around the United States having failed to show up for an immigration hearing or, having been ordered deported, have failed to present themselves for removal from the United States. The article that appeared in The Washington Times cited at the bottom paints an extremely disturbing picture where the efforts being mounted by the administration to apprehend illegal aliens, especially those who are known to the immigration agencies and have become "absconders" in the parlance of immigration or fugitives as described in the article.
The number of alien absconders has been rising rapidly, in part, because our nation lacks the ability to stop the massive influx of illegal aliens.
The past couple of years, the administration has finally decided that they need to at the least, provide an illusion of competence and commitment to enforcing the immigration laws. I note that the administration is attempting to provide an illusion of enforcement because the administration has steadfastly refused to hire an adequate number of special agents for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and an adequate number of Border Patrol agents.
On March 10, 2005, three and a half years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims about the resources provided to ICE for the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. Incredibly, while Congress appropriated funds that were adequate to hire 800 new special agents for ICE, the administration slashed that already anemic number of new agents to a meager 143. You can read the transcript of that hearing here.
Similarly, the administration cut the number of new Border Patrol hires from the authorized 2,000 to just 210. Some of those numbers were increased, but nevertheless the question is, why? Why has our government sent elite members of the Border Patrol to beef up the Iraqi border while not being willing to secure our own border because our border still lacks an adequate numbed of Border Patrol agents. This lack of manpower is made even more apparent when you realize that five and half years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, National Guard troops (many of them unarmed) are being assigned to the Mexican border to purportedly augment the beleaguered, understaffed Border Patrol. The administration is willing to spend billions of dollars on high tech solutions but balks at the construction of a fence. The administration created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that has divided the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws among three agencies and divided the interior enforcement of those laws from CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and then made certain that the great majority of managers came from legacy Customs and not from legacy INS.
While the former U.S. Customs Service was also a border agency, once you get beyond the fact that immigration laws and customs laws deal with our nation's borders, Customs was focused on the movement of money and merchandise across our borders and the collection of duties and tariffs while the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was focused on the movement of people across our nation's borders. Since the creation of DHS, the new special agents of ICE do not get the Spanish language training that were an absolute requirement for all INS enforcement personnel. It is estimated that 80% of the illegal aliens in the United States are Spanish speaking. It is impossible to investigate people you are unable to communicate with, yet the new special agents are being handicapped by this language barrier that has been created since the creation of DHS which, for a number of reasons, I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender. This is not intended as a slight against the dedicated men and women of the DHS but rather a way of highlighting my frustration with the administration and its very obvious lack of desire to make certain that our borders are secure and the immigration system has integrity.
Where immigration law enforcement is concerned, it is obvious that the job is not getting done. The administration is adamant about creating a Guest Worker Amnesty program and clearly the President and his administration realize that if they are to sell the Guest Worker amnesty program, they need to demonstrate that the government is able to effectively enforce the immigration laws to blunt the criticism of those of us who oppose the Guest Worker Amnesty program. Of course my objections to the Guest Worker Amnesty program are based on many issues and while the demonstrated inability of the government to effectively enforce and administer the immigration laws figures in my objections, there are many other issues. The thing to understand is the fact that no matter what the administration may claim, where immigration is concerned, things are getting far worse and not better. Our nation is still failing to gain control over our borders and restore integrity to the immigration system. DHS reminds me of a supposed chess master who plays several games of chess simultaneously in a public venue to demonstrate his prowess as a chess player. The problem here is that DHS is losing nearly all of its games!
Meanwhile, there are many criminal aliens among us, hiding in plain sight, plying their respective trades and harming our citizens and lawful immigrants. Among those fugitives may well be terrorists or those who support terrorism and have managed to embed themselves in our country because of the lack of resources and leadership from the administration to make the enforcement of the immigration laws a true priority.
The article which reports on the testimony of Richard Skinner, the Inspector General makes it very clear. Since the attacks of 9/11 the number of fugitive aliens (absconders) living among us has nearly doubled! The spiraling number of fugitive aliens make it clear that the administration is either incapable or unwilling to effectively enforce the immigration laws, thereby endangering our safety. This is not acceptable. Lead, follow or get out of the way!
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© 2007 - Michael Cutler
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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.
Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.
Meanwhile, there are many criminal aliens among us, hiding in plain sight, plying their respective trades and harming our citizens and lawful immigrants.