A Handy Guide To The DHS' Three-Headed Immigration Lucifer

Behind the smiling visage of the Department of Homeland Security's public persona—Secretario del Departamento de Seguridad Interna Nacional, Tom Ridge –lurks a three-headed bureaucratic monster of immigration law enforcement even more ghoulish than its despised predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

In the bad old days of the INS, the federal foot-soldiers of immigration were all under one roof, supervised by INS Commissioners the likes of Doris Meissner and James Ziglar.

The imperial immigration litigation bureaucracy of the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) was previously unaccountable to the INS Commissioners. And it is still unaccountable to Secretario Ridge and his Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security, Asa Hutchinson. (I've been expounding on the permanent amnesty machine that is the EOIR for almost three years now.)

But with the creation of the DHS in March, 2003—as with Gaul under Caesar—the bureaucratic pie of former INS functions became divided into three parts. [Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres]

That means three immigration fiefdoms where there was once one.

That also means three chiefs without necessarily adding any more Indians. Three chains of command mean three sets of featherbed administrative jobs inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway, but not more men with guns.

So with utmost apologies to the poet Dante—as we descend into the Ninth Circle of Hell to get a closer look at the three-headed Lucifer—I offer the following summary of the DHS' immigration divisions and an index of my VDARE.com articles pertaining to each. 

Lucifer's Head #1: The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under Michael J. Garcia—handles all interior immigration enforcement, as well as the detention and physical removal of illegal aliens and criminal alien residents.

Right now, ICE's embattled Detention and Removal office has no money left to detain aliens that the DHS isn't already forced to detain under mandatory detention provisions of Immigration Act Section 236(c).

Obviously, this lack of funds effectively means the land border and ports of entry are an open door. More and more aliens appear, are caught and then and are released into the U.S. to continue their journeys every day.

My VDARE.COM articles:






  • Series on EOIR immigration judge undercutting ICE's "Operation Predator" [here, here and here ]

Lucifer's Head #2:  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under Eduardo Aguirre —handles the administration of all immigration benefits, including asylum, immigrant petitions and naturalization to U.S. citizenship.

Faced with a backlog of approximately 3.7 million applications for immigration benefits—with little hope of determining for sure how many of those are fraudulent, short of divine intervention— Chief Aguirre recently reminded his troops that "every application represents a person, a family and a community." How nice!

My VDARE.COM articles:






Lucifer's Head #3: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—under former U.S. Customs commissioner Robert C. Bonner controls immigration inspection operations at all U.S. ports of entry, as well as border enforcement by the U.S. Border Patrol.

My VDARE.COM articles:




Recently, CBP Commissioner Bonner's boss, the DHS's second in command on immigration, Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson, had to step in because the CBP's Border Patrol was doing too good a job at immigration enforcement in Southern California.[See "Bush official slammed for stopping illegals sweeps Asa Hutchinson refuses to say if popular California roundups will continue," by Ron Strom, WorldNet Daily, July 13, 2004].

Consequently, Hutchinson got his clock cleaned on July 8 on a remarkable radio talk show in Los Angeles.

[Audio archives, The John and Ken Show. ("What he failed to do was to answer John's simple question… 'Yes or no, will the illegal alien roundups continue?' You could almost hear Asa praying for a commercial break. It didn't come.") Click to listen in Windows Media Player.]

The immigration Lucifer has three heads, but no brains.

Or patriotism.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.