Immigration Enforcemen-Where is it?

By: Guest Authors

By: Dan Morris

The Illegal Immigration Problem:
The approach to or discussion about Illegal Immigration is multifaceted. The debate can be emotionally charged for proponents and opponents alike. What I am about to present here are points and positions that may be counter to the progressive movement in this country. I am taking this approach because an inordinate number of news agencies are covering the story with more than enough materials that tend to tug at the heartstrings of a vast audience while ignoring the other side of the issue. We are in dire need of more balanced reporting so the average citizen can make a fair decision on this topic.

A federal judge in Arizona shot down the states new law that addressed the growing problem posed by the increased presence of Illegal Immigrants. The frustration in Arizona comes from the lack of response from the federal government. Primarily, the poor and inefficient response comes from the lack-luster attitude and inefficiency of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), the enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is responsible for immigration enforcement in this country.

Let’s take this issue head-on. This is an after-effect of a poor and thoughtless restructuring and consolidation of several government agencies following 9/11. Combining U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (the old INS) functions turned out to be a flawed approach to a horrific enforcement problem. During the restructuring process, the old U.S. Customs was very aggressive at assuming control of all enforcement activities and that tended to alienate the rank and file personnel of the old INS. Most senior positions went to those who were in the old U.S. Customs. As tempers flared and frustration increased, morale dropped for the former INS personnel. They became a crushed and slowly dying segment of the newly formed ICE. The newly formed ICE displayed little interest in enforcing immigration laws. ICE did a poor job of integrating the former INS enforcement personnel into the new organization. With few exceptions, the Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) positions turned into powerful heads of individual turfs where the former U.S. Custom leaders would often ignore pressure from the public to enforce immigration laws. Many of these positions were Senior Executive Service (SES) management positions and the focus usually turned blindly and boldly away from the needs of immigration. Many of the old INS Special Agents began to end their careers through attrition and retired as a result of low morale and frustration. The experience level for immigration enforcement has reached a new low and that has created a substantial vulnerability for Americans.

Now that the internal political struggle within ICE has been explained, we can see why ICE isn’t fully engaged in immigration enforcement. However, there is more to this organization’s infancy than the poor restructuring of two proud enforcement components under DHS. Another glaring issue that frequently pops up is that it is nearly an impossible mission to round up and deport nearly 12 million Illegal Immigrants. Huh? Many progressives argue that the task is too big to take on. Others argue that it has never been done before. Let’s set the record right on this issue.

The historical record tells a different story when it comes to mass deportation of Illegal Immigrants in this country. In fact, it isn’t all that far back in time. We need only look at President Eisenhower who was in the White House from 1953 to 1961. President Eisenhower was a retired Army General who distinguished himself in WWII so it was not surprising that he tagged another retired General to take on the Illegal Immigration problem in the Southwest. Lt. General Joseph “Jumping Joe” Swing (Retired) was appointed Commissioner of INS under President Eisenhower and he was an efficient leader. Commissioner Swing was already very familiar with the Southwest by way of participating in the Punitive Expedition against Poncho Villa. He sent 750 Border Patrol agents to Arizona and California to conduct a sweep for Illegal Immigrants. This small contingent took 50,000 Illegal Immigrants into custody in a relatively short period of time. As a result, another half million Illegal Immigrants self-deported fearing they would soon also be arrested and deported. Swing’s team of Border Patrol agents continued on to other states with similar successes. This magnificent example of enforcement struck a positive chord in me when CNN reported examples of Illegal Immigrants in Arizona who were either self-deporting or relocating to other states. The apparent question that arises here is why can’t ICE enforce immigration laws in the Southwest when they have a larger force than ever before backed by segments of the military? Plainly, ICE doesn’t have the will or enthusiasm to do their job.

Another point the progressives like to throw around is that Illegal Immigrants perform jobs that U.S. Citizens won’t. The obvious question is; who did these menial jobs before droves of Illegal Immigrants arrived on the scene? This issue all boils down to myth verses reality. Does anyone out there remember the John Steinbeck novel “Grapes of Wrath?” Economic times were tough for people in the 1930’s, especially those from the Southern Midwest. Many families headed for California for a better life taking any job they could get to feed their families. They were not Illegal Immigrants. Yes, they took jobs as agricultural farm hands. The novel was based on the realities linked to economic hard times. So, don’t think legal citizens of the U.S. won’t take menial jobs to feed their families. I grew up in Appalachian poverty and worked my share of farm jobs. Why do the progressives want to bring in more completion illegally when our economy is so fragile? Do progressives only want to swell their ranks with people looking for government entitlements? This latter question is almost rhetorical. Naturally, Illegal Immigrants will share any interests in the progressive agenda if it is a road to staying here.

Amnesty is another area that concerned Americans should keep their eyes on. President Reagan’s Amnesty Legislation of 1986 was a total flop by anyone’s standard. Fraud in the program was proportionately astronomical. Estimates rate the fraud at upwards of 90%. One of the reasons we record history is to keep from repeating things that are disastrous for us. Why can’t we learn from this failed program? Anyone who was working in INS back in 1986 and is still around or perhaps now working in the Citizenship & Immigration Service (CIS) know how flagrant and rampant the fraud was.

What about the notion of providing Illegal Immigrants with a fast track to citizenship? Do they know what citizenship means to those of us who have experienced it? Do they speak our language fluently? Have they studied our culture, government, history and the Constitution? Are they willing to serve in our military; even fight for and die for the core values we hold so dear? Will they ever fly another flag above our Stars & Stripes? They have to pay allegiance to our country and flag.

Can we expect an Illegal Immigrant to wait for citizenship like so many others did? Our laws need to be respected and not circumvented for personal gain. What makes those Illegal Immigrants of today any more special than the ones that have come before them? Do they only want to come here so they can line their pockets with money or do they truly want to become Americans that embrace the core values and principles that established our Nation and Republic? America is in the heart, not the wallet. Love of country is a way of life, calling; not a game or a gamble. Citizenship is a privilege and an honor, thus, it should not be taken lightly or given away arbitrarily.

Lastly, why is it that when a local law enforcement officer inquires about a person’s immigration status that his question equates to ethnic profiling and when a federal officer asks, it is alright? When someone accepts a position in any law enforcement agency; federal, state and local, they have to take an oath to uphold laws at all levels. So, according to Judge Bolton, if a local policeman stops a car with a taillight out and sees a pile of automatic weapons piled in the back seat, he can only write a traffic ticket for the taillight being out because only a federal officer with ATF can make an arrest for the illegal weapons. This logic is flawed. The correct response would be for the officer to detain on reasonable suspicion or probable cause and turn the offender over to the correct agency. The officer should not ignore an obvious crime.

My views are mine; however, I do hope they are shared by many others.

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