Is ICE Dismissing Cases Against Illegal Aliens?

I have attached an article that has been forwarded to me by a number of different folks who often send me news articles in an effort to help keep me aware of what is going on so that I can help you better understand these important issues by providing context by providing my insight that has taken me decades to acquire.

The article upon which today’s commentary is predicated, appeared in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday, the 17th of October “Immigration cases being tossed by the hundreds – Docket review pulls curtain back on procedure by Homeland Security” By SUSAN CARROLL and deals with how ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) trial attorneys (the administrative equivalent of prosecutors) are dismissing cases against illegal aliens, thereby turning them loose.

In law enforcement prosecutorial discretion is applied to situations on all level of the criminal justice system. For example, while the posted speed limit on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn and Queens, New York is 50 miles per hour, police officers don’t generally stop a driver for speeding on a dry road unless he exceeds the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour. Police officers in many other jurisdictions around the United States follow similar practices.

However, there are situations where police take a “zero tolerance” to speeding and other infractions. For example, there is a major thoroughfare in Queens New York that cuts through the heart of that New York City borough known as Queens Boulevard. It earned the highly undesirable nickname of the “Boulevard of Death” when a series of pedestrians were struck and killed by speeding vehicles.

Queens Boulevard is a wide street that has intersections and traffic lights controlling traffic at intersections. Because the street is so wide, pedestrians, especially the elderly are often unable to get across the street before the light changes, leaving them trapped in the middle of rushing traffic. Because of this unacceptable situation, the city placed huge electronic billboards that notify drivers about their actual speed. The speed limit was reduced to 25 miles per hour and police cars routinely stop and ticket drivers who exceed the speed limit by nearly any amount. The result is that there have been no reported fatalities or even cases of pedestrians being struck by vehicles on that roadway in quite some time.

The message was clear, violate the law and expect to face consequences! This is what is known as “deterrence.”

Often prosecutors will permit a defendant in a criminal case to plead guilty to a reduced crime in order to avoid a trial.

Where immigration is concerned, it may make sense to terminate a removal (deportation) case against an alien who is likely to ultimately acquire lawful immigrant status because of a pending petition, however, this sort of discretion has to be very carefully implemented to make certain that a sensible approach to a very limited number of cases does not turn into a de facto amnesty that would not only leave illegal aliens at large, but encourage still more illegal aliens to run our nation’s borders with the expectation that unless they are convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor, they will have nothing to fear from ICE.

The article talks about how aliens who have no criminal histories are being released. Here is something for you to consider- an alien who has been arrested on multiple occasions for felonies will be considered to not be a criminal alien unless he (she) has been convicted of committing those crimes! It does not matter how many times an alien is arrested and charged with committing felonies- all that matters is whether or not the alien in question has been convicted.

I would also love to know how the illegal aliens whose cases have been dismissed initially came to the attention of ICE. Had they been arrested for crimes and were then acquitted?

Were they working illegally when they were located? While I believe it is of great importance to go after employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens to deter such violations of law, it is equally important to remove aliens found to be working illegally! If you want to discourage prostitution, law enforcement needs to arrest the “Johns” as well as the hookers.

Were any of these aliens found to have been the beneficiaries of applications for benefits in which fraud was involved?

Were any of these aliens located when a smuggling ring was dismantled? There is a tendency for our government to refer to smuggled aliens as being victims of human trafficking. In point of fact, I can tell you from firsthand experience, having been a part of the first Anti-Smuggling Unit in New York in the late 1970’s that aliens who pay smugglers (coyotes) to help them run our nation’s borders are not “victims” but are co-conspirators! Only aliens who are brought here against their will are true “victims!”

Were any of these aliens lawfully admitted into the United States and then, in one way or another violated the terms of their admission? (They may have overstayed the amount of time for which they were admitted, they may have accepted illegal employment, they may have failed to show up for a job for which they had been given a temporary work visa, or they may have failed to attend a school for which they were admitted into the United States.) It is important to remember that the 19 terrorists who savagely attacked our nation on 9/11 had all been admitted into the United States and then violated the terms of their admission.

It has been estimated that some 40% of all illegal aliens who are present in our country are visa violators. According to recently published news reports, there are all of 272 ICE special agents seeking to locate and apprehend these visa violators! Estimates as to the total number of these illegal aliens vary significantly but range from 4.5 million to 5.5 million and may well be significantly higher! If visa violators are being released even when they are caught- why is our government even playing the charade of limiting the amount of time for which an alien is admitted into the United States? Why would the government limit what such aliens may or may not do after being admitted if they are not being arrested and removed when they are found to be violating the terms of their admission?

Going back to the comparison with police officers issuing motorists summonses for violating vehicle and traffic laws- would it make sense for police officers to stop speeding cars if it became common knowledge that the traffic court judges were going to throw the charges out after the summonses were issued? Why would the cops bother stopping those cars if they knew that the judges would not take any adverse action against the motorists?

Several days ago I wrote about how police officers around the country have been staging training sessions and how Operation VIPER has been implemented to bring “randomness” to bear in efforts to combat terrorism. According to the previous secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, randomness deprives terrorists and criminals the ability to know with certainty that if they attempt to move a weapon or other contraband that the weapon or contraband will make it to its intended destination without fear of it being stopped by law enforcement. In order to achieve this worthwhile goal, federal agencies, working in close cooperation with state and local law enforcement shut down major thoroughfares to search trucks for evidence of the movement of weapons or contraband. This may inconvenience large numbers of motorists and have a negative impact on trucks and buses crisscrossing our country, however, national security takes priority.

However, injecting randomness into immigration law enforcement can also help to uncover “sleeper” agents and disrupt terrorist plots and criminal operations, however the issue of immigration law enforcement is so politically charged that illegal aliens have been made to understand that unless they have a conviction(s) for felonies, ICE has no interest in arresting, detaining or removing them from the United States. In fact, ICE is apparently about to change its name to HSI (Homeland Security Investigations). While it may sound as though this is to emphasize the national security implications of the work that this agency does, I believe that the real goal to changing the name of this agency is to utterly and completely eliminate the word “Immigration” from this agency- sending yet another clear message that immigration is of little concern to the Department of Homeland Surrender!

While I agree that law enforcement needs to make maximum use of limited resources by taking a triage approach to enforcing laws- seeking to identify the most serious threats to national security and community safety and focusing on those threats, it is of vital importance to also make collateral arrests- arrest illegal aliens that are encountered in the course of doing business and seeking their detention and ultimate removal from our country- adding randomness to the equation.

Our nation is being inundated with unprecedented numbers of illegal aliens. This massive influx impacts nearly every challenge that confronts our nation today. The message our government sends to people around the world who may be tempted to seek to enter our country in violation of law or seek to enter our country intent on violating our laws after they enter our country is that we don’t care! This exacerbates the immigration crisis and does irreparable harm!

As I have noted on many previous occasions, you only get one opportunity to make a first impression- the way our nation secures its borders against unlawful entry and the way our nation enforces and administers the immigration law once an alien enters our country, provides that first impression. Today the message is clear- violate our borders and / or our immigration laws and our government cannot wait to reward you for those transgressions!

While the Border Patrol is supposed to apprehend illegal aliens they encounter in close proximity to the borders, it would appear that DHS and the administration somehow believes that as aliens get further and further from the border they ran, they somehow mystically become less illegally present!

To create yet another analogy, imagine if you found an intruder in your home and called the police. Imagine if the police officer who answered your call asked you where you found the intruder and you said you found him near the window he climbed through and was told a car was on the way to take custody of the intruder.

Now I want you to imagine a similar set of circumstances and you are asked where the burglar was found and you responded by saying he was upstairs rummaging through the draws in the dresser in your bedroom. If the police operated the way that DHS does, you should then expect to be told that since the intruder had made it all the way upstairs into your bedroom that he would no longer be considered an intruder but rather a member of your household! Imagine if you were told that now you should prepare the guest room for your “guest!”

Unlawful entry into the United States is considered a “Continuing offense” and the venue is to be determined where the alien if located. If only DHS and the administration could only grasp this fundamental concept!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just days away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

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.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

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!”

In just 2 weeks, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, 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 implore you to get involved!

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!

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.