Comparison of Resources Dedicated to Enforcing Nation’s Immigration Laws

Once again I have written a commentary for the CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) Website, “50 individuals charged in Puerto Rico with allegedly trafficking identities of Puerto Rican US citizens” that is, as they might say, “Ripped from the pages of the ICE website!”

I want you to think about this comparison: 3,500 vs. 60,000.

If this was some sort of athletic score result, you could say that the results were extremely lopsided! These two numbers, however, do not relate to any sort of athletic competition but a comparison of resources dedicated to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws from within the interior of the United States and the resources dedicated to making certain that passengers who board airliners are not on any “No Fly” list and don’t have any prohibited items on their persons or in their carry-on luggage.

Certainly it is extremely important to secure our airliners against a terrorist attack. Being somewhat of “frequent flyer” myself, I can assure you that I never want to have a window seat on an improvised cruise missile! However, airliners are not the only vulnerability that poses a threat to the safety and security of our nation or our citizens. A terrorist or teams of terrorists operating in our country could find nearly an infinite number of ways to do us harm. I have often noted that a terrorist running loose in the United States, determined to do us harm, would nearly be in the position of a child running loose in a toy store with a “Platinum Credit Card!”

Here we have potential terrorists running loose throughout our country because our borders are not secure, the Visa Waiver Program continues to be expanded and our borders and the immigration laws that are *supposed* to prevent the entry of criminal aliens and aliens engaged in terrorism from entering our country lack the resources and resolve to carry out this extremely critical mission are lacking. Furthermore, our nation lacks the resources and resolve to enforce the immigration laws that are supposed to address the issue of aliens who are able, in one way or another, those aliens who pose a threat to the safety and well being of our nation and our citizens are also lacking!

There are currently about 7,000 special agents at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to conduct investigations and make arrests for violations of law for the entire country. At least half of them are engaged in enforcing customs laws and not immigration laws. This means that there are the functional equivalents of 3,500 such agents carrying out their critical investigations.

The TSA has more than 60,000 personnel operating inside the United States, primarily at airports. This massive workforce is augmented by private security officers at a number of airports. This is how I arrived at the numerical comparison I used to initiate this commentary.

The extreme lack of resources at ICE means that many investigations are never conducted and even when investigations are conducted, they become greatly curtailed because of the lack of personnel and other essential resources. As I have often noted in similar commentaries- it is frustrating to read about how a fraud ring is identified and the primary coconspirators are arrested and prosecuted but those who benefited from the ‘services” provided by the fraud ring that was dismantled are never fully identified and never arrested. Many of the beneficiaries of these fraud rings remain at large living in towns and cities across our nation with little to fear from the enforcement personnel at ICE.

While many aliens who engage in such fraud do so simply to enter the United States and secure employment- a serious enough problem in this tough economic period, the potential exists that some of the aliens who succeeded in committing fraud did so with far more sinister goals in mind. Some may be transnational criminals while others may be directly or indirectly involved with terrorism. The 9/11 Commission was able to identify some 94 terrorists who used visa fraud or immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States and/or embed themselves in our country in the decade leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

When it becomes apparent that aliens who enter into conspiracies with a fraud ring are almost never arrested, prosecuted or deported, aliens quickly become emboldened to seek out such fraud rings to achieve their goals. There is nothing about this situation that deters such aliens. These crimes, as I noted in my commentary that I attached below, are not victimless crimes but are, almost always, *prosecution-less* crimes!

This brings to mind a sort of twisted version of the old question about trees falling in the forest and whether or not they make a sound if there is no one there to hear them fall. Here the question is, if crimes are committed but no one pursues those who commit the violations of law that they represent, do those violations of law matter?

The answer is that most certainly those violations matter to the United States and our citizens and to others who may fall victim to the crimes involved such as identity theft and crimes carried out by those who game the system. However, to the alien who blithely makes a mockery of our laws and continues on unscathed, there may as well not even be laws on the books that are supposed to prohibit such felonies from being committed!

It has been said that criminals may see in kindness, weakness!

The corollary of this is that in weakness, criminals see opportunities!

Under the administration’s current policies where immigration laws are concerned, coupled with the extreme lack of resources, weakness abounds!

If a chain is as strong as its weakest link, where border security and the enforcement of our immigration laws are concerned, we have extremely weak links and all but nonexistent links!

The immigration laws that so many politicians and members of the administration are unwilling to enforce are at the bedrock of national security and the other issues and challenges that confront our nation today.

Show me a politician who refuses to enforce the immigration laws or attempts to trivialize these laws, and I will show you a politician who needs to find out what it is like to stand on the unemployment line!

Benjamin Franklin, in discussing our then fledgling’s nation said that they had given us a republic *if we could keep it!*

What he was making clear was that this democratic republic required that its citizens take their citizenship seriously and keep the political leaders accountable.

It is time for the citizens of our nation to make certain that our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact. Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I f our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings *before* more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups.

It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party. Clearly more and more of our fellow Americans are demonstrating that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!

I am encouraged that more and more of us, *We the People,* are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

I also believe that the original purpose of our nation’s immigration laws need to be brought “front and center” to make certain that our nation does not permit the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country is problematic for the citizens of our nation and that if such aliens do succeed in entering our country that our nation have the resources, integrity and dedication to do everything possible to make it impossible for such aliens to function within our country so that even if they are not apprehended, they will find it pointless to remain in the United States.

As I have noted on a number of occasions, “No one would break into the amusement park if they could not get to go on the rides and no one remains in the amusement park at the end of the day when they turn shut down the rides and turn off the lights!”

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

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!

Michael Cutler
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.