Mexican Drug Cartels Expanding Abroad

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I just noticed an article on the AOL Website and felt compelled to call your attention to the obviously worsening situation in Mexico which is now, apparently, impacting many other countries including countries that are within the Western Hemisphere and, incredibly even countries as far away as Asia!

Meanwhile the administration has yet to announce any real efforts that are aimed at identifying members of the Mexican drug cartels that are operating in American states across the entire country. It would appear that the administration, under the leadership of Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano is focused purely on the Mexican border and even that border, as evidenced in a report issued by the Office of the Inspector General, is far from secure, even as our nation rapidly approaches the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Clearly the influence of the Mexican cartels are rapidly expanding and creating real problems for so many countries. In so doing, creating additional possibilities to thwart our nation’s relatively paltry efforts that are not addressing the issue of National Security. The government is not devoting adequate resources to attacking this growing menace to our nation’s security and the safety of our citizens.

What is clearly being ignored is the vital issue of the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. Most of the members of the Mexican cartels are, in fact, aliens and the immigration laws that were written decades ago with the intention of denying the entry of aliens whose presence in our country would represent a threat to the well being of our citizens and the best interests of our country. Those laws were also promulgated with the clear intention of removing aliens who either entered our country illegally or, who after being lawfully admitted, violated our laws including criminal statutes as well otherwise violating the terms of their admission into the United States.

Of course the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that is currently enforced by personnel of DHS, underwent some evolutionary changes since the early 1950’s when the INA was initially signed into law, but the fundamental principles of that body of law remains essentially the same. The problem is that back in the early 1950’s the government of the United States actually was concerned about the needs of our nation’s citizens. Back then it was believed that if Americans did well, America would do well.

Today, globalists in industry and their paid-for politicians and others in government apparently could not care less about the well being of the citizens of our nation or our nation itself. For them, the “bottom line” is the bottom line!

These individuals apparently know the price of everything and the value of nothing!

Obviously the goal of any successful business should be to maximize profit but that objective must not come at the expense of the average American or the security and well being of our nation!

Providing millions of illegal aliens with lawful status in our country makes a mockery of the immigration laws and insults each and every lawful immigrant who entered our country legally, abided by our nation’s laws and awaited their turn on line only to have them watch those who violated our nation’s laws and borders be rewarded for their violations of law! What is even worse is the simple fact that these millions of illegal aliens will not be able to offer a single shred of official documentation to prove who they really are. There will be no way of knowing their true identities or even their nationalities.

There will be, therefore, no way of knowing about possible criminal histories in other countries. There will therefore be no way of knowing who they are affiliated with or what their true intentions are. Our nation’s immigration officials will have no way of knowing when, where or how they entered the United States. Such a massive amnesty program would represent nothing short of an open invitation for criminals and terrorists to create new false identities for themselves even as our nation is facing a growing threat from so many perspectives and so many countries around the world!

If our nation fails to act swiftly and decisively to effectively combat the cartels and their allies who are operating in our country, I fear that many American lives will be lost and the damage inflicted on our nation will be truly irreparable.

As you read the article I have attached below I want you to understand that aliens who are involved in large scale criminal organizations are truly transnational criminals. The implication is clear. When these criminals realize that law enforcement is getting close to them in our country, they simply hop on a plane or other conveyance and leave the United States. While the article notes that some 14 such criminals were successfully extradited to the United States from Colombia in the last two years to stand trial for their crimes, there are tens of thousands of such criminal aliens, from a wide variety of countries who are operating in our country who are engaged in crimes involving violence and narcotics. Other criminals may be involved in abusing children and committing other such revolting crimes.

These alien criminals all have an advantage that American born criminals don’t have; they can flee to the relative safety of their home countries to evade the “long arm of the law.”

This makes our nation a particularly tempting destination for such criminals whose goal is to ply their criminal trades while minimizing the potential that they will be identified, caught and prosecuted and sent off to jail.

This is why I have always made the point that when an illegal alien runs our nation’s border, this is not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before crossing a bridge. By running our nation’s border, the illegal alien enters our country in a stealthy fashion to keep our authorities from knowing that he (she) entered our country. They may be simply intent on securing a job and sending money home or, they may have entered our country with a more sinister goal. They may be fleeing law enforcement authorities in another country or they may have surreptitiously entered the United States to “set up shop” to participate in a criminal or terrorist organization’s activities in the United States. Often there is a thin line that divides terrorist organization from terrorist organizations because often members of terrorist organizations commit crimes in order to fund terrorism.

Even illegal aliens who seek to simply secure unlawful employment in the United States will generally commit a series of crimes in support of this seemingly innocuous objective because, increasingly, illegal aliens engage in identity theft or pay those who will steal identities for them. I do not know of any victim of identity theft who will tell you that this is a “victimless crime.”

Several weeks ago I wrote a commentary about the concept of having agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) working cooperatively with agents of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). I believe I have a bit of experience with this issue having spent nearly four years as the INS representative assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York and then the next ten years of my career as a Senior Special Agent of the INS assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in New York. Incidentally, when I was assigned to the UID I compiled a statistical analysis of the arrest statistics of the DEA from 1988 until 1992 and found that some 60% of the defendants arrested by the DEA in New York, back then, were identified as being “foreign born.” Nationally, back then, some 30% of the defendants arrested by the DEA were described as being “foreign born.”

When I wrote my commentary last month I listed a list of seven solid reasons why immigration law enforcement needs to be brought to bear in combating crime. Here is a copy of that list of issues:

Here are 7 important reasons why our government must hire many more special agents for ICE and incorporate an adequate number of those ICE special agents in the investigations of international criminal and terrorist organizations if those investigations are to be successful: Access to immigration files to provide investigative leads when a criminal alien is being sought as a fugitive or suspect of a crime. Access to immigration file can also provide vital information to a judge when a criminal alien is arrested and the judge is attempting to set bail.

The immigration file can provide evidence of risk of flight based on numerous identities, occasions when the defendant jumped bail in an immigration matter and failed to appear for a hearing. The file can also provide evidence of prior deportations. This could help to prevent those tragedies in which a criminal is arrested and then released on bail, only to commit another heinous crime. If a plea bargain is being arranged, local and state prosecutors should work in close cooperation with federal immigration counsels to make certain that in the process of working out a plea-bargain arrangement that they don’t inadvertently eliminate a conviction that have would rendered the alien deportable.

Working cooperatively with ICE, it would be far easier to cultivate informants. Informants are often essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of criminals and criminal organizations as well as terrorists and their associates. The immigration laws provide a huge “carrot and stick” to this end. There are a number of laws that can be used to hammer criminal aliens under the federal code. For example, the penalty for an illegal alien in possession of a firearm carries a 5 year penalty. There are other such laws in the federal code that deal with the possession and use of false identity documents and for the crime of reentry after deportation. A criminal alien who is deported from the United States and then unlawfully reenters the United States is facing a maximum of 20 years in jail. Without the federal government being made aware of these violations of law, none of these penalties come into play.

When an alien is convicted of a crime, when state and local law enforcement authorities work in close coordination with federal immigration authorities, a detainer can be lodged to make certain that upon release from jail when his (her) sentence is completed, the criminal alien will be deported from the United States. There are instances when it is advantageous to the investigation to arrest a key individual(s) without alerting other members of the criminal or terrorist organization he is part of, that they are being investigated as an organization. In such instances, it is often easy to find a violation of the immigration laws to enable those individuals to be arrested for administrative or criminal violations of the immigration law, thus not alerting their cohorts to the larger, on-going investigation. Ignoring the effective enforcement of the immigration laws, especially when dealing with international criminal or terrorist organizations is tantamount to bringing a knife to a gun fight!

Several years ago I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Gene Kranz, the Flight Director for Mission Control during the early years of the space program. In fact, he was one of the Flight Directors who helped our Apollo 11 astronauts successfully land on the moon and return safely back to the earth, realizing the goal that President John F. Kennedy established as this nation’s goal nearly 50 years ago. As you probably know, that mission was completed just about 40 years ago and we celebrated the anniversary of that famed landing on the moon on July 20th.

Gene Kranz also led the effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when he spearheaded the efforts to bring the crew of Apollo 13 back to the earth after an explosion onboard the service module half- way to the moon nearly cost the three astronauts their lives. He wrote a book about that mission entitled, “Failure Is Not An Option!” Commander James Lovell was the mission commander on that flight and when I attended Border Patrol Academy in 1972 at Los Fresnos, Texas, I had the privilege of meeting Commander Lovell by a stroke of luck when, during a long weekend I visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas and had the great fortune of seeing him with family members in the souvenir shop. He was truly a gentleman and was very gracious and we chatted for about 30 minutes.

When the subject turned to that close call he and his colleagues endured on Apollo 13 he employed typical test pilot understatement when he said, more or less, that when you are that far from the earth it is impossible to get someone to make a service call! I suspect that Jim Lovell agreed whole-heartedly with the title of the book that Gene Kranz wrote! Of course in the case of Apollo 13 three lives hung in the balance.

Where national security is involved, the lives of 300 million Americans hang in the balance! Where the “War on Terror” and the “War on Drugs” I would also strongly suggest that “Failure is not an option!” America’s “War on Drugs” must be more than a thin line in the sand! When we say the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the United States, shouldn’t We the People have the right to expect reciprocity from the government of the United States to pledge to look out for us?

If your “Congressional representatives” in either the House of Representatives or the United States Senate are not willing to protect the jobs of Americans than we need to remove them from their jobs! Good citizenship does not end at the voting booth but it simply begins there.

In order for our representative democracy to represent us, we need to communicate with our elected representatives to let them know in clear and unequivocal terms what we want. I implore you to get involved! We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue! You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem! Democracy is not a spectator sport! Lead, follow or get out of the way!

AP IMPACT: Mexican drug cartels expand abroad

Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the ‘911 Families for a Secure America.’ He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.