I was just contacted by a reporter for a Chinese language newspaper whom I met several weeks ago when I testified before the New York State Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.
This reporter asked me for a quote about the press release that was issued by New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing that New York State would suspend participation in the Federal Secure Communities Program. I have provided you with a copy of this infuriating press release that serves as the predication for my commentary today.
Here are a couple of links to the websites that explain the “Secure Communities” program:
I have taken issue with much of how DHS has attempted to enforce our nation’s immigration laws and secure our nation’s borders but I am a supporter of Secure Communities.
Let me start out by providing you with my written response to the reporter’s request for a comment about the news release.
I am perplexed and disappointed about the Governor’s decision. The Secure Communities Program is designed to help ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to identify aliens who are convicted of committing felonies so that they can be removed from the United States when they complete serving their jail sentences. With all of the concerns voiced by politicians about how deporting criminal aliens who have no lawful right to remain in the United States would impact the families of these illegal aliens are ignoring the harm done to the victims of the crimes that these aliens have committed and the harm done to the relatives of the victims.
Immigration laws are blind as to race, religion and ethnicity. They are intended to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence in the United States would be harmful or dangerous to our nation and to our citizens and others who live in the United States. Furthermore, what is all too often ignored is the basic fact that the most likely victims of the crimes that are perpetrated by transnational criminals, regardless of what country they are from, are those who live in the immigrant communities where these criminals often live and commit their crimes.
I would go so far, in fact, to say that anyone who seeks to block the deportation of aliens who have been convicted of committing felonies or other serious crimes is actually “anti-immigrant!”
Let us remember that American citizens come from every race, religion and ethnicity. The immigration laws are purely focused on distinguishing people by one fundamental factor, whether they are citizens or aliens. While the open borders advocates get upset with the term “alien,” in point of fact an alien is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act simply as being “Any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.”
I defy anyone to explain how this term or the definition that relates to it is demeaning or humiliating. The problem that those who seek to ignore the immigration laws understand that the term alien provides clarity. They understand that the only way that they can win their arguments is to engage in name calling and obfuscating the truth!
There is much money to be made by importing millions of illegal aliens through their exploitation in the workplace, which displaces lawful immigrants and United States citizens who are finding it increasingly impossible to support themselves and their families. Furthermore, labor is a commodity and under the rules of classic economics, when you flood the marketplace with a commodity you drive down the worth of that commodity. This is why those involved in the diamond industry, for example, do everything that they can to only place a relatively small number of new jewelry grade diamonds into circulation each year- to keep the prices of diamonds elevated.
Immigration lawyers seek a massive influx of aliens. This provides them with a limitless supply of clients and hence, a guaranteed income!
Advocacy organizations are thrilled to see ever more aliens enter our country to get the money and political leverage that this provides them.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle want the campaign contributions from the folks I listed above and also seek to garner the votes of the members of the immigrant communities that they hope will vote for them if they convince them that they are helping them- even if, in reality, they are enabling criminals and others whose presence in our country represents a threat to the well being of those immigrants and others.
A final thought- criminal aliens have two advantages over American criminals. They can easily flee from the United States when they believe that law enforcement authorities are coming after them and they can threaten to do harm to the family members of members of the immigrant communities if these immigrants dare speak with the police or refuse to aid these criminals.
Title 8, United States Code section 212 is section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:
Here is a link to that section of law:
Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations. Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States.
At present it is estimated, by the administration, that more than 250 American cities are infested by members of the Mexican drug cartels. Still more cities are infested by other transnational gangs from Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and other parts of the world! Why on earth would politicians who are supposed to look out for the best interests of our nation and our citizens so willing to ignore the immigration laws that, especially now, as we wage a “War on Terror” and a “War on Drugs” opposed to the enforcement of the one set of laws specifically designed to protect us?
Let me add a few additional facts that I did not provide in my comments for that reporter.
I am often called upon to speak before various organizations around the United States and participate in panel discussions about immigration and especially how failures of this nation to secure its borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity endangers national security and endangers the lives of our citizens in virtually every city and town from coast to coast and border to border.
In 2005 I was asked to address a meeting of the Executive Board of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. I explained how it is naive or dishonest when politicians, including then President George W. Bush claim that America would be better off if our nation allowed aliens into our country who simply wanted to work so that law enforcement authorities could focus on the terrorists and gang members.
I went on and provided specific instances where I had arrested individuals who were wanted for serious crimes, who were engaged in activities supportive of terrorism and in one case, was a convicted murderer who had served time for murder, been deported and then unlawfully re-entered the United States illegally without permission. He was convicted for unlawful re-entry and while serving his sentence upon conviction for that crime, he escaped from a federal prison and I stumbled upon him as he worked in a glass factory in Brooklyn! The point is that all too often criminals and terrorists hide in plain sight by taking mundane jobs. As I recall noting during my talk that day, the day before a terrorist commits an act of terror, he is likely to be hiding in plain sight by working at his job- a job that likely provided him with camouflage and mobility!
I did not mince words (If you are familiar with my way of doing business, you know I don’t ever mince words about this serious threat to our security)! After I completed my remarks and answered questions from many of the assembled chiefs of police from city across the country- there were dozens of such police chiefs in attendance, a large number of them approached me and told me that they agreed with just about everything that I said but that if they dared to say anything that even came close to what I had said, their bosses- the mayors of the towns where they worked would fire them in a “New York minute!”
While Governor Cuomo quoted a bunch of police chiefs, I want you to remember that chiefs of police are, first and foremost, politicians! They serve at the pleasure of the politicians who put them behind those desks! For the most part, these police executives understood that they must “Go along to get along!”
When a chief of police makes the claim that if the police officers under his (her) command worked with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that community policing would suffer, that police chief needs to have rhinoplasty! (His nose is growing!)
In fact, as an INS Special Agent when I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in New York City I worked extremely closely with other federal agencies, law enforcement agencies of foreign governments including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan. I also worked in close cooperation with members of the New York State Police, members of the New York City Police Department and other local police departments. One of my key assignments at UID was to help make certain that criminal statutes were brought to bear in the most effective manner possible against major criminal targets who were citizens of other countries and to use my authorities as an INS Special Agent to help in the recruitment of informants and cooperators. This continued when I was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force where I served for the balance of my career for the next ten years. If my authorities as an INS agent was essential to the cultivation of informants how could it then be said that by having police departments working in close cooperation with immigration law enforcement that harm would be done to community policing?
These fatuous claims make it clear that these politicians are willing to sacrifice the safety and the lives of the citizens of our country for political purposes!
It has been said that a million deaths is a statistic but that one death is a tragedy. Let me tell you about one death:
As an INS Special Agent, I saw many instances where these failures wreaked havoc in communities and in the lives of people, but one gut-wrenching case in particular stands out. A member of the New York City Police Department, a 24 year old police officer by the name of Robert Machate lost his life to an alien who was illegally present in the United States. Robert Machate, at the time of his death, was assigned to the Brooklyn South Task Force.
In 1986, I was assigned to assisting Detention and Deportation Officers of the INS to transport aliens who had been ordered deported to the airport to affect their deportation from the United States. During the course of one of those assignments, I personally escorted an alien by the name of Renaldo Rayside to the airport after an immigration judge entered an order of removal to deport Mr. Rayside to his native country of Panama due to his conviction on several drug charges. As I recall, years earlier, Mr. Rayside had been admitted into the United States as a lawful immigrant, realizing a dream that so many people around the world have. To put it succinctly, he blew his opportunities by becoming involved in committing narcotics-related crimes.
Within two years, Mr. Rayside had returned illegally to the U.S. via unknown means, never having applied for nor received the necessary authorization to return to the United States following his deportation. Once he returned to the United States, according to published newspaper accounts, Mr. Rayside was arrested by members of the New York City Police Department and, in addition to other charges, was charged at least twice with resisting arrest by New York City police officers. Because New York City had policies in place that prevented city law enforcement officers from contacting INS even when they had reasonable suspicion that a person in their custody was unlawfully present in the U.S.
New York City’s sanctuary policies precluded its officers from contacting INS to inquire about Mr. Rayside’s immigration status. Had the INS been contacted, INS would have most likely detained Mr. Rayside based upon his criminal conduct and based upon his presence in the U.S. despite having been previously removed. Mr. Rayside would have been either imprisoned and prosecuted for reentering the U.S., or, at the very least, would have been deported.
On March 3, 1989, as a result of New York City’s sanctuary policies, Mr. Rayside was still present and at-large in the U.S. (albeit unlawfully) when he was stopped for questioning by Officer Robert E. Machate and his partner. On this day, Mr. Rayside wrestled Officer Machate’s gun from him and, in the gunfight that ensued, a bullet struck Officer Machate in the back.
I was called upon to provide testimony at the murder trial because of my knowledge of the factors concerning the defendant’s background and the fact that I had executed his Warrant of Deportation.
Because it was impossible to prove if the bullet that had struck Officer Machate came from the gun that Rayside had taken from Officer Machate, Rayside was acquitted of the top charge of Murder of a Police Officer but was found guilty of other crimes.
There are two postscripts to this tragedy.
Approximately two years ago when I was shopping in a local supermarket, I noticed that a very pretty young lady who was working as a check-out clerk in the store was wearing an NYPD “courtesy badge” on a chain around her neck. These are much smaller than a regulation badge and often are given to family members of police officers. I asked her who in her family was a police officer. She told me that her dad was a police officer. When I asked where he was assigned she told me that he was dead. She then told me her father had been killed while on official duty in 1989. I was stunned!
As it turned out, that young lady was Officer Robert Machete’s daughter who had yet to be born when her dad lost his life to New York City’s “sanctuary policy.”
Suddenly the emotions I had felt on the witness stand at the murder trial came flooding back to me as I met this young woman whose life was irrevocably altered by the senseless death of her father!
The other postscript relates to my declaration that I provided to the law firm retained by Governor Brewer. I made reference to the death of Officer Machate in my declaration and flew to Arizona to attend a rally and participate in panel discussions in Phoenix. Arrangements had been made for me to stay at the home of friends in Arizona and I was stunned to turn on my computer to check my e-mail and found out that I had been forwarded an e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Thomas Machate. Thomas, as it turned out, was Robert Machate’s younger brother! He had seen my declaration and decided to contact me.
He had sent me an e-mail to thank me for my efforts in conjunction with my testimony at the murder trial. We ultimately had a lengthy phone conversation when I returned back to New York. He told me that he had followed in his brother’s footsteps and had become a member of the NYPD. He has since retired from the NYPD and is now working as a police officer in a local police department in Florida.
He told me how the murder of his “big brother,” Robert Machete forever changed his life and the lives of his parents who are now deceased. This is the sort of real world price all too many people are paying across this nation because of these failures to enforce the immigration laws.
A few days ago I wrote a commentary that was predicated on a New Release issued by ICE.
Here is the link to that news release:
Here is an important set of statistics provided in that news release:
“Between Oct. 1, 2010 and April 30, ICE returned to their countries of origin more than 215,900 aliens, including 109,700 aliens with criminal convictions. Of those, 585 were convicted of homicide, 3,177 were convicted sex offenders, and 24,593 were convicted of serious drug offenses.”
What moral and reasonable political leader or police officer could ignore these statistics? Behind these statistics are stories similar to the story about the death of a valiant law enforcement officer, Robert Machate.
When innocent people die because of the wrong-headed and politically motivated decisions of Governor Cuomo and his bobble heads, they will sleep well, I can assure you because they know the facts- they just don’t give a damn!
Our nation provides lawful immigrant status to more than 1.1 million aliens each and every year! Each and every one of those aliens are immediately placed on a pathway to United States citizenship on the day that they are granted their lawful immigrant status. This huge number of immigrants is far greater that the number of lawful immigrants admitted by any other country on the face of this planet! Additionally, the fraud rate within the legal immigration system is so out of control that there is little integrity to this process!
As I have noted on ever so many other occasions, the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar!
The securing of our nation’s borders and the effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.
Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
If 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.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has 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. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
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!
If this situation 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!
Governor Cuomo Suspends Participation in Federal Secure Communities Program