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  1. #1
    Senior Member loservillelabor's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Loserville KY

    Leaked DHS memos reveal major flaws in border militarization

    By Bill Conroy,
    Posted on Sun May 28th, 2006 at 12:32:25 AM EST
    With some 6,000 National Guard troops set to be posted to the U.S./Mexican border to appease the immigration hawks in the country, all our problems should be solved, right?
    Readers of Narco News know better. But there’s always that nasty little thing called proof. Time, of course, will offer the best proof, but some recently issued Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memos obtained by Narco News offer some advance clues.

    First, a concept well-known to law enforcement, must be laid on the table. Here it is: Whatever you do on the front end of the system creates more pressure on the back end.

    For example, if you put more police in the field, you better back them up with more support staff to process the increased number of arrests that will result, and you better have more jail cells and more prosecutors and courtrooms available to try the cases.
    A similar concept holds true for the immigration issue. If you increase enforcement along the border with the idea of apprehending more illegal immigrants, the back end of the system better be able to handle it, or everything will break down.

    Some figures help to elucidate that reality on the immigration front.

    From a May 19 Associated Press report:

    It will take nearly 35,000 more jail beds to end a much-criticized "catch and release" program for dangerous illegal immigrants in the United States, but the Bush administration has not budgeted enough to do that, the Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog said Friday.
    The White House proposes spending $386 million, which would pay for 6,700 beds but not enough to detain all high-risk aliens, Inspector General Richard L. Skinner said in a 52-page report.

    The new report highlighted shortfalls in deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the United States or are from countries that sponsor terrorism or protect terrorists.

    It also warned of "significant risks" posed by the inability of U.S. customs and border enforcement officers to identify whether immigrants released from jail were linked to terror groups.

    So, clearly, adding greater enforcement capability along the border will only aggravate the already acute shortage of so-called “beds” for housing those captured.

    But there’s more; again, from the same AP report:

    Skinner's report said 36 percent of the 774,112 illegal aliens apprehended in the U.S. during the past three years were released because there weren't enough beds or money available to hold them while officials determined their immigration status.
    Well I wonder who has the task of doing the legwork to determine immigration status?

    You guessed it, the DHS – specifically, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    DHS’s Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, does the apprehending and ICE does the background checks and investigating to determine whether those captured have a track record of criminal activity or potential terrorist ties, a tiny percentage to be sure, but you still have to look through the haystack to find those needles.

    The Washington Times provides this insight into ICE’s task in a recent article, again referring to the Skinner report:

    The inability of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ensure their [illegal immigrants’] departure -- including those who pose national-security or public-safety threats -- exposes the country to "significant risks" from would-be terrorists and criminals, said a report by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.
    … Inspector General Richard L. Skinner, in the report, said historical evidence showed that 62 percent of the aliens released eventually would be issued final orders of removal by the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review and later fail to surrender.

    Although ICE's Office of Detention and Removal has received additional funding to enhance its fugitive-operations program, Mr. Skinner said it was "unlikely" that many of the released aliens would ever be removed. As of Dec. 30, he said, more than 544,000 released aliens with orders of removal had fled into the country.

    Declining bed space and personnel levels also are making it difficult for ICE to detain and remove illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico, including aliens from countries whose governments support terrorism or protect terrorists, he said.

    Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE, said in a response that the agency is developing plans to increase its capacity to detain, process and remove aliens who pose a security or public-safety threat -- a key recommendation made in the report.

    And what is that plan? The memos obtained by Narco News offer some insight as to what’s in store on that front. In short, it appears to be a CYA plan that shifts an impossible task to the ICE agents in the field.

    The First Memo

    ICE agents are already charged with investigating violations of more than 400 different laws that encompass a range of criminal activity, including narco-trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and terrorism. Now as part of ICE chief Myers’ plan, it appears ICE agents will also be put on the immigration clean-up detail as well. This all has to be done with some 6,000 agents nationwide who not only cover the 2,000-mile U.S/Mexican border, but also the 4,000-mile U.S. Canadian border – which history has proven to be an actual entry point for terrorism in the past.

    The leaked memos are interesting not so much because of their content, but rather because DHS brass saw fit to issue them to ICE field offices in the first place. Why issue memos unless there are problems that need addressing?

    The first DHS memo, drafted by Meyers and directed to ICE and CBP personnel on May 10, deals with what appears to be some already existing coordination problems between the two DHS agencies. We can only expect these coordination issues to become more complicated once some 6,000 National Guard troops are introduced to the border equation.

    From the May 10 memo:

    This memorandum clarifies guidance and responsibilities related to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) coordination with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on referral matters and serves as a reminder to field components of the current policies’ key aspects for both CBP’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) and CBP’s Office of Border Patrol (OBP) with ICE’s Office of Investigation (OI).
    CBP and ICE support each other in the various aspects of our enforcement efforts, including the proper referrals of investigation leads and providing results of those referrals to each other. CBP and ICE field personnel are reminded to find every feasible opportunity at the local level to promote broader cooperation and coordinate efforts on case referrals, and jointly resolve, at the field level, issues as they arise, elevating issues as necessary.

    The memo then goes on to provide guidance and referral pointers on a range of issues, including currency and monetary instruments, illegal drugs, commercial importation and exportation violations, national security matters, and gangs.

    More from the memo:

    The guidance above is a reminder of existing referral agreements between CBP and ICE. In properly communicating and coordinating referrals, as well as information gained from referrals, CBP and ICE can ensure that interdictions are brought to their logical and most effective conclusion, through proper investigations that can provide broader intelligence. It is vital that at every level, CBP and ICE maximize every opportunity to cooperate and coordinate efforts in pursuit of our common homeland security mission.
    Now ask yourself, why issue such a memo if the coordination and referral activities of ICE and CBP are already clicking like clockwork, as the American people were led to believe would be the case with the merger of these law enforcement entities into the DHS super bureaucracy.

    The memo could be viewed as an effort by the brass at DHS to cover their tail ends should something bad happen due to the ongoing lack of coordination between CBP and ICE. Should a disaster unfold, the brass in D.C. would be able to say to the media and whatever little oversight might be done by Congress that they did their jobs, but it was the field offices and their commanders who dropped the ball.

    A cynical reading of the memo to be sure, but then Washington, D.C., is fueled by Machiavellian cynicism.

    Regardless, what should be even more frightening to U.S. citizens is the fact that such a memo had to be drafted in the first place, particularly on the eve of DHS’ new priority push: Immigration. If CBP and ICE are having problems coordinating on matters outside the immigration front, what’s going to happen when you up the ante along the border, and introduce some 6,000 National Guard troops to boot?

    The Second Memo

    That leads us to the second memo, issued six days after Myers’ memo, by the director of ICE’s Office of Investigation, Marcy Forman.

    This memorandum will serve as guidance to all Office of Investigation (OI) personnel on response to calls for service involving undocumented alien(s). It is imperative that OI field offices respond to as many requests for assistance from state and local law enforcement as resources and workload allow. This includes responding to incidents where state and local law enforcement officers have identified smuggled aliens either in drop houses or during vehicle stops. Response to and processing of these aliens is an integral part of our national security and public safety missions.
    In addition to on scene response, OI personnel must confirm that DHS and other law enforcement indices checks are conducted for each alien encountered as the alien may be subject to mandatory detention based on national security or public safety concerns.

    … When issues involving a remote area arise, Special Agents in Charge (SAC) must look for solutions to respond to the situation. Solutions may include deployment of terminals with DSL connections at local law enforcement offices, the remote filing of detainers, and/or transportation services contracted through local law enforcement. The lack of bed space is not a sufficient reason for not responding to a request for assistance.

    So it appears the ICE OI chief is conceding there is a “bed” shortage -- which will only be magnified by the increased immigration enforcement efforts, including the participation of not only the National Guard but also state and local law enforcement in the effort. More importantly, what Forman’s memo makes clear, is that ICE has a severe manpower shortage to tackle this problem. Why else include a line like “as resources and workload allow.”

    One ICE official, who spoke with Narco News on the condition his name not be used, describes the situation this way:

    “You can’t identify illegal immigrants when our (computer) systems still don’t talk to each other,” he says. “The immigrants being arrested don’t have IDs, so we have to cart them back to the office and basically hand check to see if they’ve shown up before. It takes hours, so often only a cursory check is done.”

    That makes sense, in light of the fact that we are talking about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants that require background checks by a subset of the 6,000 or so ICE agents nationwide – not all ICE agents are stationed along the U.S. Mexico border after all. This is on top of the huge caseloads these agents already have on their plates pursuing far more complicated, and arguably far more important, criminal and terrorist investigations.

    Something has to give, right?

    “The worst case scenario is that the agents spend so much time handling illegal immigrants that they are distracted from an investigation, and that leads to a nuke getting smuggled across the border,” explains Mark Conrad, a former regional supervisor for U.S. Customs, ICE’s predecessor agency. “If they are off processing illegal immigrants, then they can’t be spending that time investigating money laundering and other serious crimes.”

    And if you think the National Guard can easily be trained to take on these background-check duties, think again.

    “If I’m in the National Guard and stationed down on an Indian reservation in Arizona, all I’m going to do is get frustrated, because I can’t process people if I don’t know the language,” Conrad says. “You need to have people working immigration who are knowledgeable about a complicated law, and they need to be bilingual and they need to understand the culture.”

    So, Myers’ plan to deal with the immigration dilemma appears to be simply to pass the buck to the working agents in the field, to give them an impossible task that seems doomed to result in an eventual catastrophic failure. The immigration plan, folks, is a farce being carried out by leadership who couldn’t change a tire without a credit card. In this case, their credit cards are maxed out.

    A writer for the San Antonio Express News, Carlos Guerra, recently penned a column that hits that nail right on the head:

    Had I the space, I could list many more reasons why we shouldn't expect real reform. This is really about providing a wedge issue for the fall elections that will distract the public's attention away from escalating fuel costs, an economy stagnant for most and an increasingly ugly war in Iraq.
    No more space is needed for that reality of our times.

    But a warning is in order, as we continue to further militarize the border for the sake of political expediency.

    “It’s all a show,” one ICE officials says. “Remember Kent State? That’s exactly what’s going to happen.

    “Law enforcement is trained to determine evidence, intent and to arrest. Soldiers are trained to find the enemy and kill them. The National Guard is obligated to act under their rules, not ours, if there is a situation. We are asking for a disaster to happen.”
    Unemployment is not working. Deport illegal alien workers now! Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnB2012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    Clearly a shortage of bed space for detainees has been a problem. I would almost guarante some of the "assistance" from the National Guard will address this problem.

    It will take nearly 35,000 more jail beds to end a much-criticized "catch and release" program for dangerous illegal immigrants in the United States
    Check out some of the prisoner of war numbers: ... bhardt.pdf

    The Army should have no problem temporarily detaining 35,000 illegal aliens until they can be deported.

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