Successes Against Gangs By Communities and Agencies Ignored By Feds

This evening I decided to do some trolling at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website to see what ICE has been up to.

I found a number of press releases that dealt with successes scored by my former colleagues at ICE. I certainly commend the valiant efforts of the law enforcement officers who are carrying on the vital mission of employing various criminal statutes including those to be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to combat gang activities and crimes committed by assorted transnational gang members and associated thugs.

Here is the point I think you may want to take a moment to consider: When Arizona enacted its own immigration law that largely parallels provisions of the INA the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the implementation of that law, SB 1070.

Among the issues raised by the federal government is the purported concern that by enforcing immigration laws, efforts intended to gain the trust of the immigrant communities would be irreparably harmed and community policing would suffer greatly. The supposed reasoning was that by enforcing immigration laws or working with immigration law enforcement agencies, folks living in those communities would stop trusting the police. I have, in fact heard these arguments when I have testified before state legislative hearings on the need to make effective use of immigration laws a part of a strategy to combat crimes committed by foreign nationals (aliens) in communities around our country.

As you read the press release (158 Arrested in Utah’s Largest Ever Ice-Led Gang Enforcement Action Authorities Credit New Multi-Agency Task Force for Record Arrests) – you will notice that mention was made about how successful the field operations were and how important the cooperation was between local police and ICE!

Could it be that the federal government was trying to undermine community policing?

Could it be that now the residents of those towns in which transnational gang members were arrested will no longer trust the police because they dared to work cooperatively with Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

Certainly nothing could be further from the truth! Clearly our leaders understand this – they just don’t give a damn!

It is also important to make the point that not all criminals from foreign countries are members of gangs. Many such criminals who ply their respective “trades” operate independently or are involved occasionally with gangs but are not identified with those gangs. When local law enforcement agencies fail to take immigration laws into account when going about their routine duties to keep their communities safe the cops would be safer and the communities would be safer if immigration laws were used appropriately to combat crime.

Of course for me, the idea of having federal agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as the agency was known when I was a Special Agent for that agency that morphed into ICE working with local and state police was nothing new. Within the first couple of years of entering on duty as an INS Special Agent I developed a very close working relationship with members of the NYPD (New York City Police Department) in a number of police precincts and, in fact, had a desk in a particularly crime-ridden precinct, the 71st Police Precinct in a neighborhood located in Brooklyn, New York known as Crown Heights, where a significant percentage of the bad guys who were selling narcotics and engaging in gun running and crimes of violence were citizens of Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti and Panama although we did find some other criminals from other countries along the way.

My authority as an INS Special Agent as far back as the late 1970’s proved to be of enormous assistance to the local cops who sought to get the criminal off the street who, I might add, often preyed upon the law abiding members of the same immigrant community these thugs came from.

In addition to arresting individuals involved with criminal groups we uncovered as a result of investigative efforts for administrative violations of the INA, seeking the removal (deportation) of those illegal aliens who were not prosecuted for various felonies, we managed to break up a number of drug trafficking organizations operating on the street level.

We also found that by the effective use of my authority as an INS Special Agent, we were able to convince some of the individuals who were involved in criminal gangs to become cooperators and through their subsequent efforts we were able to go after the “heavy hitters” who ran a number of the drug trafficking groups.

I recall one particular morning when I joined a number of my colleagues from the INS to arrest a number of drug traffickers we had been told by local residents of a gang of drug dealers who were selling drugs, mostly marijuana but some small quantities of cocaine to school kids- some in the 7th and 8th grade! This gang of bums became the focus of our attention. The day we arrested these guys was a hot summer day and the arrests were made early in the morning. As we exited the building we were shocked to find that dozens of local residents had gathered on the sidewalk outside the apartment building where we arrested the half dozen illegal aliens who were selling drugs to the kids by passing them through the hole in the door of the apartment where the peephole had been removed.

When we saw how many folks were standing outside our first reaction was serious concern that the crowd was angry that we had made the arrests. Suddenly applause broke out and everyone on the sidewalk started cheering and patting us on the back and thanking us for shutting down that drug operation! What an incredible morning that was!

Here I am, decades later, still smiling at the thought of that wonderful morning when we made the environment a bit safer for the residents of that community and especially the kids. You could say that that was an excellent example of law enforcement at its best!

I will once again repeat the point I find myself making on so many occasions. Nearly every city in our country is being harmed by criminal aliens who have come to our country from virtually every other country on Planet Earth. Because these criminals are aliens the effective use of immigration law enforcement can be used to achieve truly important goals to combat this escalating crisis.

Yet the federal government is not willing to provide the resources to get the job done and I want to know why. I hope that you also want to know why. This is a question that We the People must ask each and every politician who seeks public office on all levels of government.

I am certainly pleased to see the fine work that was done by the federal agents and local police in the field operations reported on in the press releases. But lets face facts. It has been estimated that there are more gang members now operating in our country than there are sworn police officers! Getting several hundred bad guys off the streets is certainly a worthwhile goal, but it only represents a tiny step in the right direction.

ICE has an estimated 6,000 Special Agents for the entire United States of America. These agents also enforce customs laws and are often called upon to back up Secret Service when there is a shortage of agents to protect the President and visiting heads of state. During the presidential campaigns a large percentage of ICE Special Agents are pulled off of conducting immigration law enforcement assignments and are detailed to work with the Secret Service.

The incredibly small number of ICE personnel hobbles any serious efforts to truly enforce the immigration laws of the United States. I would remind you that the City of New York has roughly 35,000 police officers just to patrol the streets of the City of New York, a factor that figures greatly in earning New York City the envied title of “Safest Big City in America.”

New York City has approximately ten times as many police officers protecting the folks who live and work in New York City as their are ICE agents who protect the 300 million citizens of our nation in addition to all of foreign nationals who come to our country for a variety of reasons each year! Could you imagine what would happen to the crime rate if New York City had as many police officers as ICE has Special Agents? You would probably need a shotgun to go to a local store to purchase a container of milk and a newspaper!

Having worked with a wide variety of law enforcement agencies and personnel from those agencies on all levels of government, I can tell you that street level law enforcement officers understand the force-multiplier that combining law enforcement agencies and authorities, can when used properly, represent. Everyone knows how tax law was ultimately used to bring down Al Capone. He was involved in everything you could imagine, but at the end of the day, it was tax law violations that did him in!

The enforcement of the immigration laws if properly brought to bear against transnational gangs and criminals can be as least as effective and must be an integral part of the government’s strategy to combat the Mexican cartels and other violent transnational gangs operating throughout our nation.

Politicians who claim they are attempting to secure our nation by focusing on the border and ignoring all of the other critically important components of what should be a unified system are either liars or fools! In either event they do not belong in charge of anything!

Ignoring the various components of what should be a coordinated program of the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States including the need to make serious efforts to combat immigration fraud, will doom any efforts to protect our nation to fail. I fear that this failure will lead to extreme carnage at the hands of terrorists and drug traffickers such as we are witnessing just south of El Paso, Texas in Juarez, Mexico.

Ignoring the interior enforcement missions is comparable to attempting to play baseball and not permit your outfielders take up their defensive positions when the opposing team is at bat. Any opposing player who could hit the ball over the infielders’ heads would get an automatic “in the park” home run!

Where national security and the lives of our citizens are concerned however, this is anything but a game!

It is time for the politicians in Washington to live up to their oaths of office as well!

They must take to heart the statements made by the union leaders who represent the employes of Immigration and Custom Enforcement and do whatever is necessary to address these massive deficiencies as quickly and effectively as possible. The security of our nation and the safety of our citizens must, without equivocation take priority over any political goals or agenda.

It is unacceptable that the citizens of this nation be alienated by their own government especially where border security and the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are concerned!

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

November 2nd cannot come fast enough!

We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political “representatives” that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.

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 and members of al-Qaeda!

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 months 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!”

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year 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!

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