Deport Aliens -- exclusive anonymous reports from the field

DeportAliens -- Exclusive Anonymous Reports

Former INS Attorney Reflects on EOIR Immigration Court Circus

Dear Juan:

As a former INS trial attorney I have first hand experience with the insanity you describe when you talk about the INS and the EOIR. After 4 long years of banging my head against the wall and listening to people lie and be rewarded with permanent residence, I left the INS. (I was actually referred to your site by a former colleague of mine who is still in the INS.)

In my experience at the INS the only people interested in busting these liars were the younger attorneys still learning the territory. The "senior" attorneys in the office had already rolled over and resigned themselves to "the way it is". How sad that in the greatest country in the world all it takes to get a green card is a "consistent, detailed, and plausible" story, whether or not it is the worlds biggest lie.

I left the INS a little over a year and a half ago, so my memories are getting rusty. Unfortunately I cannot recall a specific case because I was in court hundreds of times many cases have merged into one massive memory of overwhelming frustration and disbelieve. I could not believe how little regard the IJs had for the INS trial attorneys and for the sanctity of the process. Liars were rewarded with green cards and people who told the truth (that they came to the US solely for economic reasons) were often required to leave. Because INS does not have the resources to verify every claim made by an alien, the aliens story could not be verified. Thus, credibility and consistency became short hand for fact. (if it sounds true an cannot be disproved it is considered truth.)

There is a pervasive "nothing to lose" attitude. That is, the alien asks for any relief possible, whether or not he has a good case for such relief because he has nothing to lose by asking. Because the Judge is a government employee he/she is always thinking about "job security" and thus will consider even the most bogus of cases with no consequence for the huge waste of government resources.

If the Judge denies the baseless case, the alien appeals because he has nothing to lose and will always gain time (sometimes months or years on appeal!). There is no "Rule 11" which penalizes people for baseless appeals. And, as you point out in one of your articles, there is no charge for the transcript. (Don't forget that the government also foots the bill for interpreters before EOIR.) The system rewards liars and fraud as evidenced by the NACARA. As you know, years ago aliens could receive work authorization shortly after filing for asylum (regardless of the merits of their cases). Thus, many illegals in the US filed bogus and baseless asylum applications in order to get work cards. Because of the large number of applications, administrative backlogs and other political reasons, these asylum applications sat for years without being processed by the INS. Many of these applications came from Guatemalans and while some were certainly meritorious, many were without merit. Anyway, years later Congress passes NACARA basically rewarding those people who filed these bogus applications with green cards!

Perhaps my biggest source of frustration in working for the INS was the "job security" attitude both of EOIR and some of my formed colleagues. Everybody knows how flawed the system is but no one complains to loudly for fear that things may become more efficient and thus require fewer employees on the government payroll. I happen to think the opposite is true. INS needs more people who want to do the job right.

Finally, let us not forget the many, many US employers who continue to hire illegal aliens thus providing incentive for others to come. IRCA, the government's attempt to control illegal employment was a joke as it was not enforced and never given the priority it deserves. While I believe we do need foreign labor the government must establish some control over US employers who hire illegals. Persons hired illegally are often underpaid, receive no health benefits, and are exploited. Also, illegal employment frequently involves illegal social security numbers which raises all sorts of other issues (what happens to the social security monies earned by an illegal using a false number who never files for social security benefits). There is so much to discuss concerning illegal immigration and all of the attendant consequences. I give you credit for taking the issue head on.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Anonymous former INS Assistant District Counsel

Watchdog Insider Documents EOIR Charade for a Week

My comments:

Day in, day out I see cases adjudicated by these esteemed "judges." While in the last few months some judges have upped the bond amounts for illegals in removal proceedings (likely due to 9/11), I fail to understand why any illegal who has been in this country a grand total of 45 minutes, has no family, no means to stay in the country, and no right to work is entitled to bond at all. The name of the game is delay, delay delay, which IJ's are all to happy to accommodate. If someone says in court, "I just want to work/go to school/live in this country/get the American Dream, etc, why not go ahead with the case, even if it means holding the hearing and (gasp) being ordered deported or ordered to depart? Why is this enough reason to release someone ahead of the millions waiting to enter legally, and allow them to begin to put down roots -- someone who we know virtually nothing about and has not been properly investigated prior to entry? Why allow the alien to sit for months, resetting the hearing date for the alien's benefit-or even after release? Yes, AILA members, I know the alien has a right to plead his case - or more like the right for an attorney to turn an economic migrant into some far-fetched asylum case because he was looked at wrong in his country or "I heard from my cousin that someone was looking for me...well, yes, it was back in 1981..." - but the intent of immigration law has been stretched into an unrecognizable and bastardized interpretation of law.

And the delay tactics used are mainly to allow the alien to find a benefit during that time (like a USC "spouse") or in time, the law will change to benefit them (TPS, NACARA, etc.) The delay game has been perfected by the BIA, where appeals that don't even give a reason for the appeal other than "the judge abused his discretion" takes years to decide, or where the alien has waived appeal, yet changed their mind and files one anyway takes years to decide. Or when a motion has been filed but no stay is granted, yet if the alien is taken into custody, a stay is virtually automatic if requested that same day and will ensure a year or more of further delay. And neither the INS nor opposing side can even ask the BIA to look at a case that has been languishing an unreasonable amount of time, such as those appeals that are 7 or more years old - time means nothing, since it can only benefit the alien!

Here are just a few examples of how the EOIR really works in one week alone:

An alien matching what I described above sat in detention for 2 months until someone (a do-gooder teary-eyed over an alien being detained) wrote a letter to the judge offering to hire him for a job (not a relative, or even a friend.) The bond was lowered, and the do-gooder posted his bond. The alien does not even have the right to work, no skills, no family, not even a pending visa - and the do-gooder has absolutely no incentive to ensure the alien appear for hearings, much less appear when he inevitably gets ordered removed.

In another case, an alien who has no pending visa, no skills, no family and no friends or relatives who are in the country legally got a friend's friend who is here on a temporary visa to post a $25K bond for the alien to get the alien released from detention pending a hearing. The bond-posters first question? What will happen to me if I don't produce him (as he was signing the contract promising to do so)? Nothing - you lose the money. Relieved, he signed and stated that he did not know the alien, or where he would live (all the information about the alien was obtained minutes before by telephone), and stated that it was not his money, he was just doing a friend a favor. Yes, yes, yes, he waved impatiently, sure, I promise I will produce the alien when asked.

An alien's pastor of a church appeared to post bond. Will you produce your parishioner, even if it's to be deported? The pastor rolled his eyes, and in a bored voice, promised he would. Yeah, right. A pastor will turn in his parishioner if asked? A green card holder convicted twice of spousal and child abuse reoffended while free on $10,000 bond. Upon release, the INS tried to set a higher bond -- and was freed to await his hearing again on $3000 bond.

A green card holder, convicted of child molestation of a child under 14 ordered deported but appealing to the BIA - released on just $5000 bond.

An alien convicted of extreme DUI and other charges-case terminated since DUI is no longer considered a crime one can be deported for, thanks to rulings by the BIA and other courts. DUI - and I mean DUI convictions where one gets more than a year in prison, meaning the alien is an extreme offender - is not a crime of violence, they ruled recently. This is ensuring that no legal immigrant (read: a guest of this country given the privilege to live and work here) will face deportation in many cases if they drink and drive and endanger or damage life and property.

A gangbanger granted adjustment (good ol'(245(i) - a well-documented gang member with misdemeanor convictions, but when asked by the judge, he denied being in a gang - and was automatically believed over the word of a peace officer. Remember, 245(i) is all about so-called "family unity-" his mother who lives out of state and has little contact with, filed for the visa years ago. Just because there relationship exists was the cause of the grant. The crimes were waived due to the "hardship" it would cause his 1 year old US citizen child and girlfriend.

A violent criminal ringleader of a smuggling organization - granted withholding (like asylum, but only the to right to live and work here) because his country might persecute him for being a criminal in his own country (it's ok to victimize US citizens, though.)

And my favorite case today - an alien placed in deportation proceedings in 1993, convicted of felony burglary, persuaded a judge to "conditionally terminate" (place on hold) proceedings because he claimed a visa number was available to him to adjust under good old 245(i). The number was not actually available for another 6 years, a fact missed by the INS attorney. The alien filed the paperwork to adjust in 1999 - but shortly after was convicted of felony armed robbery and is now in state prison.

These are not "anecdotal" stories -- this is a typical week. Throw in countless adjustment grants, asylum grants, suspension and cancellation grants, and now recently, 212(c) grants (cancellation of deportation for convicted criminals who are green card holders). Now that judges have "discretion" back to cancel deportation for convicted criminals due to recent absurd circuit, magistrate and Supreme Court rulings, I will see a waiver granted to a first degree murderer before I see a denial of one again. Just to get a hearing date in my area is an almost 2 year wait (if not detained). And it could be reset for whatever frivolous reason, or any number of loopholes to stay or get a green card can be found within that time.

This is but a minuscule number of abuses committed by EOIR. I wanted to share just a tiny handful of cases that are more routine than outrageous, and I only wish this could be more well-publicized to expose them and generate more public outrage.

In response to a pro-illegal alien lobby member comment: I almost wish it was 1983 again. When the system is as backed up as it is now due to a shortage of judges, their shortened docket times, and their penchant for allowing the alien to delay proceedings in hopes of benefiting them, how nice it would be to use INS officers again as special inquiry officers to hear and wrap up cases in a far more timely manner.

No Name Please

A reader vows to fight illegal alien "amnesty"

Massive illegal immigration is a cancer eating away at U.S. citizenship, sovereignty, and the rule of law. The recent outrageous comments of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge [about giving status to illegal aliens] were obviously designed to gauge the strength of those opposing amnesty and guest-worker legalization schemes.

The truth is Bush is gung-ho on amnesty and is only waiting for the right time to come out of the closet. A pandering and corrupt President Bush is this nation's most dangerous "open border" advocate. Interior and workplace enforcement of our immigration laws has dropped off the charts during the last three Bush years. Bush Congressional liasons have gone so far as to proclaim "neutrality" on the question of states issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

Thank you for writing and not giving up the fight to preserve our nation.


Predictions from a Patriot:

On 1/07/04 the Bush administration will announce an agreement (totalization accord) with the government of Mexico for the U.S. to pay social security benefits to Mexican nationals who have illegally worked in the United States while using phony social security cards.

On 1/12/04 President Bush will announce a guest-worker amnesty for 8-12 million illegal aliens domiciled in the United States putting them on the path to U.S. citizenship.

On 7/04/12 Bush will announce he is stepping down as President of the United States and that he is turning over control to Mexican President Vicente Fox.


High-tech workers with foreign loyalties?

I think the posting titled "Illegal aliens got your data?" makes a good point. I'd also like to add that Arabs aren't the only aliens that have the potential to do us harm.

I recently overheard a conversation between a group of Indians and a group of Asians at a restaurant. From their conversation, I got the impression that they were all employed as computer programmers and were waiting on their green cards.

I listened as they talked about the "shortcomings of America." One of the Indians lamented that "the U.S. is foolish for siding with Pakistan" in the war on terror. As you know, India and Pakistan are enemies. One of the Asians remarked that "it's insulting for this American president to call North Korea evil."

All these guys were wearing some sort of corporate ID badge. I could not clearly see the badges that the Asians were wearing, but I was able to make out the company name on the badges worn by the Indians. After doing some research, I found that the company sells software to banks and financial institutions.

It's scary to think that aliens who are hostile to the U.S. are writing software that processes bank transactions. It's even scarier to realize that our businesses and our economy are coming under the control of Third World nations. If we don't reverse this trend, there will be nothing left for our children.

Yours truly,

A citizen who fears for America's future

Off-duty adventures of intrepid INS "Cowboys"

There was a group of INS inspectors that we'll call “The Cowboys.” The Cowboys found out that under state law, immigration inspectors were granted “peace officer” status, which, among other things, allowed them to make arrests for violations of state criminal law.

So, the Cowboys started riding around after work in surplus police cars, equipped with lights and sirens, pulling over motorists. The Cowboys even found out that they could use INS computers to run license plates and make criminal history queries. One Cowboy would be on duty at work, ready to take calls from the Cowboys on patrol. INS management had no problem with the Cowboys.

One Cowboy was a particular favorite of the Port Director who selected him, a journeyman GS-9, ahead of dozens of GS-11 Special Operations inspectors, to head up INS’ pride and joy program -- the over-hyped INSPASS. The Deputy Port Director took special delight in the Cowboys’ activities. He utilized them to run the license plates of vehicles driven by attractive females in his neighborhood. Learning their names and addresses, the Deputy would then have his opportunity to approach these women.

However, when the Cowboys ran afoul of a federal law enforcement agency by staging a “raid” of a commercial establishment while under surveillance by another agency, then and only then, did port management take action against the Cowboys. After having them arrested, management started a media smear campaign against the Cowboys, and even accused them of pulling over females to “pick” them up.

Management targeted the weakest [mentally] Cowboy and told him that “we are not out to get you . . . just give up the other Cowboys and you’ll be OK." This Cowboy admitted to everything and gave up his compatriots. The INS immediately fired him, along with the other Cowboys.

The punchline: one Cowboy did manage to win his job back in court, and the INS has since promoted him.


Are bad management, corruption and sloth the INS' legacy for the Department of Homeland Security?

The recently passed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] is probably the single most significant legislation passed in our lifetimes. Certainly, its significance is unsurpassed when it comes to the character of our immigration administration.

It is quite noteworthy how the Immigration and Naturalization Service is singled out in the DHS bill. But it is open to debate as to whether these changes will actually improve the administration and enforcement of our immigration laws, going to the very heart of our national security. I would have to estimate that nearly ninety percent of our terrorism problem can be blamed on our immigration policies and those who are supposedly sworn to enforce the immigration law.

It is the INS, and only INS that is the only agency dismantled by the DHS bill. The Customs Service leaves the Department of the Treasury and is transferred to DHS, intact. The Secret Service leaves Treasury and is transferred to DHS, intact. The Treasury’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is almost entirely transferred to the Justice Department. The ATF is actually given more responsibilities, at the apparent expense of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But the hapless INS is legislated out of existence. The “enforcement branch of INS” -- an oxymoron if ever there was one -- now becomes Border and Transportation Security. The INS benefits branch becomes Citizenship and Immigration Services. No longer will we ever hear the accursed three letters, I-N-S.

But is this reopganization an attempt to forge a new beginning, or will its sins be forgotten along with the agency? Will the name change, but the personnel remain the same?

The restructured INS/Border Security is also singled out for buyouts and transfers. No employee of any other agency now in DHS is being offered a $25,000 buyout. Maybe the intention is to get rid of the slugs for which INS is infamous. But I fear that the only people who will take the buyout are those who, for one reason or another, have seen their careers stalled in INS while watching quota-fillers and butt-kissers get promoted. The bosses of INS are not going to settle for $25,000 when they have been continuously raping the taxpayer for salaries over $100,000 every year. They know a cash cow when they see one.

The DHS bill also calls for GS-14 employees to work a year in a different office of Border Security, which is something, at least. But how can an agency promote someone up the chain from INS inspector to supervisor to Assistant Port Director to Deputy Port Director to Port Director without that person ever working in a different duty station? Our military and most law enforcement agencies, federal and local, have a policy of “move up, move out.” You get promoted or you get transferred. Why the INS is so special, exempt from this policy, is a mystery. To allow the same people to stay in the same place and move up the chain of command together is managerial inbreeding. INS managers need to be moved around. But to limit it to GS-14 employees and above is short-sighted. In INS Inspections, GS-14 employees work as Port Directors or the Inspector In Charge. To wait until he or she gets a GS-14 is waiting too late! The "move out" part should have been by the GS-13 level at the latest.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The INS name may change, but the same people are going to be staffing the district offices, manning inspection booths around the country and conducting “investigations” into illegal aliens and their conspiracies in this country. Many INS personnel still have a “chest-thumping” mentality, where inspectors point to the badges on their chests and berate 80-year old grandmothers with improperly completed forms, screaming “I am a federal officer! You must respect my authority!” Some INS personnel believe that questioning aliens should consist of insults. Middle-age males, failures in career after career after career throughout their lives, suddenly find that the authority that comes with being an INS officer finally makes them “a man.” Rank-and-file personnel get into brawls with management.

Psychologists need to be called in to find out why offices are on the brink of mutiny. Personnel have been arrested for smuggling aliens, smuggling drugs, dealing drugs, molesting children ... and more.

The INS may be gone, but its legacy will linger.


Illegal aliens got your data?

American consumers should be told that their personal data is being exposed to non-citizens.

If you do business with a major airline, telecommunications provider or financial services company, then chances are your personal information is being accessed by a non-citizen.

The following is a partial list of corporations that either hire foreign nationals ( on H1-B Visas ) for data-sensitive positions or simply "export" customer data to offshore locations.

American Airlines
Delta Airlines
Continental Airlines
United Airlines
Southwest Airlines


AT and T

Fidelity Investments
American Express

The situation with the airlines is particularly worrisome, when you consider that flight and crew information is being exposed to workers ( with H-1B Visas ) that come from countries that harbor terrorists!

Please write to the CEOs of these companies and tell them that you refuse to do business with them because of their hiring and data exportation practices. The corporate executives of these firms clearly do not care about the rights of American workers, but they definitely care about the discretionary purchases of American consumers.


Illegal aliens frisking your loved ones?

I think you have an excellent and informative site.

Have you ever wondered why most of the passengers selected for "random" searches and "secondary screenings" at airline boarding gates are those who seem to be the least threatening (such as pregnant mothers, infants, and middle-aged white males)?

Could it be that this situation exists because the airline software systems that automate these "random" searches are developed by foreign nationals who are working in the U.S. on H-1B Visas?

Every major airline (including the "low cost" carriers) hires foreign software engineers, systems analysts and business analysts using the H-1B Visa Program. Evidence of this can be seen by the Labor Condition Applications ( LCAs ) for H-1B Visa workers that have been filed by the major airlines.

Interested readers can check this by using the search engine at

Does ANYONE out there feel comfortable flying when sensitive passenger and flight information is being exposed to aliens who may very well be from countries that produce or harbor terrorists?

Outraged passengers should write to the CEO's of these companies. The corporate "Globalists" who manage the major airlines may not care about the jobs of American Workers, but they certainly care about the purchase habits of American Consumers!


More suggestions for how to report and generally make life tougher for illegal aliens

I liked this article -- I thought it brought up some really important points. Still, I think it missed an another strategy. The real criminals here, and the folks truly vulnerable to legal action, aren't the illegal aliens themselves but their employers and the politicians that protect illegal immigration.

What I think we need to look at here is how employers of illegal aliens can be attacked through the legal system. Howard Foster of Chicago has made an interesting move with his RICO lawsuit. Still there is a lot more that can be done here. The big thing to get here is that companies that employ illegals or use legal immigrants illegally don't have to be attacked through regular channels.

They can also be attacked by being identified and being the subject of boycotts, investigations of actions outside immigration violations, and social ostracism of their officers. Once these violators are identified, we can do things like review their products carefully and reveal every nasty detail. The law these days is so involved, that almost everyone is guilty of something.

In the case of publicly traded companies, there really is a big con going on here. Do the investors of [the big technology companies] really know they are hiring a bunch of Indians lured there by the promise of green cards, or illegal immigrants hired through agencies? Has anyone done any good financial analysis on how use of illegal immigrants or use of legal immigrants illegally affects long-term shareholder equity?

It is a lot easier to get people to keep their money than it is to get people to spend money. Negative campaigns against investment and purchase of alien produced products could help here.

These principles can be extended to political campaigns. The web site Open contains list of all major political donors (including names and addresses). About half of all donors have listed numbers in Yahoo. Many of the major donors for politicians that protect illegal immigration don't know what the politicians they are supporting are doing. Maybe they need a phone call that will educate them a bit. This could be done through organized phone call campaigns.

Perhaps it is time to take off the gloves.


Don't hire illegal alien labor!

I have some more actions I think should also be include in the "how to report illegal aliens" article.

If you have reason to suspect someone you hire of being an illegal, then ask to see their papers. If you hire a contracator, ask if he has illegals working for him. Make a point of not hiring/not supporting illegal alien employment in whatever situation you are in. "Ask" - it's the way to start forcing the question and encouraging people to take a stand on the question.

Every small victory will make up the larger one.


Reviewing illegal alien sniper Malvo, his Mom and Michelle Malkin

A defense of INS standard procedure in releasing Malvo and Mom from custody

I think you can be effective in getting the accurate facts out about the Malvo case. It is disheartening when INS field officers appear on national TV (O'Reilly, Fox) and still can't even get the facts straight. It is further demoralizing when they join the crusade in discrediting the Service, its officers, and the hard work we do.

The bottom line is that Malvo and Mom were apprehended in Bellingham, WA after entering without inspection. It is futile how they entered at this point. In order for the Service to charge someone as a stowaway, the alien has to be apprehended on the ship or thereafter in their attempt to abscond. It must be witnessed and the Service must be able to substantiate the stowaway charge. There are reasons for this. For one, the carrier is responsible for the stowaway - they are technically responsible to either detain the stowaway on board or, if they are not returning to the same port, provide the means for the stowaway to be deported. How, then, could Malvo have been charged stowaway when the carrier could not be identified?

[Editor's Note: Section 235(a)(2) of the Immigration Act does not specify when or how a stowaway should be apprehended in order to receive this classification.]

Second, aliens charged as stowaways have severely limited due process. In fact, stowaways have absolutely no rights whatsoever to remain in the United States except to pursue asylum. The cases are referred to an asylum officer for a credible fear screening. If credible fear is not found, they have the right for the negative credible fear finding to be reviewed by the IJ [immigration judge]. If the IJ concurs, it's sayonara - at the expense of the shipping company. If credible fear IS found, the case is referred to the IJ for Asylum Only Proceedings. If the IJ denies asylum, the case is appealable to the BIA. It's unlikely the Jamaicans would have had gotten past the credible fear stage and even less likely the IJ would have granted asylum.

However, how could the stowaway charge have been substantiated before an IJ in Washington state when they claim to have entered in Miami and slipped through? It happens - the IJ would have terminated the case and INS D&R [detention and removal unit] would have had to re-NTA [notice to appear] the two as EWI [entering without inspection] because there was no way for them to prove stowaway. EWI, on the other hand, places the burden on the alien. If they were to state they made legal entry or were admitted, then show us the stamp, because we have no record of you entering the US. Oh, lost your passport and I-94? Sorry, you're an EWI.

Despite the sworn statement of the Mom, where she apparently admitted she and her son were stowaways, the [stowaway] charge could not have been lodged based on the law. Border Patrol was wrong by charging stowaway, for refusing to change the charge, and for appearing on national TV to discredit the INS D&R.

Additionally, there is no possible way to detain every single illegal alien who attempts to enter, or is encountered as having entered, or who has overstayed illegally. The facilities do not exist, nor do the finances, nor community support. At every office, several "credible-fear-founds" are paroled daily - at times by the dozen. It's enough to make you sick - and we know that many will never return for court. Even if they do and they lose their case, there's not enough manpower to go get them. So it is pretty normal for an EWI non-criminal to post a bond pending proceedings and for the accompanied son to be released with the mom. Nothing at all unusual there. But because the kid became a mass murderer, INS gets the kick to the @#$% ... with Border Patrol holding the INS' arms back.

Sure there's a lot wrong with the Service - poor training, poor allocation of funds, managers who don't know their @$%*&#, political and liberal manipulation. But INS handled this correctly and give credit where it is due. [Syndicated columnist] Michelle Malkin is not always an ally - she's in it for herself. The case here should be that illegal aliens have too many rights. INS can't simply deport people. And INS can't detain every alien while affording them all of their due process. This is what the public needs to know.


To PWI or not to PWI? -- When is a stowaway not a stowaway?

Another defense of the apprehension-specific stowaway theory

In front of certain immigration judges, and under certain ADDs/OICs, [INS Assistant District Directors, INS Officers in Charge] stowaway law is very particular and specific. If they were not apprehended as stowaways, forget it - it's PWI [present without inspection] all over again. To tell you the truth, I agree with this perception [that stowaway status depends on apprehension], based on the law.

[Editor's Note: Section 235(a)(2) of the Immigration Act still doesn't specify when or how a stowaway should be apprehended in order to receive this classification.]

I would hate to have to articulate on the federal stand in a habeas corpus suit why the INS handled a case per section 235(b)(2) on [an illegal alien] found wandering the interior when all the INS has to stand on is "that's what they told me during the I-213 interview."

Besides, once you advise a stowaway of their rights, they all opt to pursue asylum and jam up the process anyhow.


Freedom of Information? -- INS bumbling reveals confidential files by mistake

Routine FOIA request yields entire personnel files of two other employees

I used to be an INS employee in the ABC District. Despite my qualifications, or rather, because of my background, I was constantly passed over for promotion. Finally, I had enough and filed a discrimination complaint when another undeserving Hispanic female received a promotion. The Office of Personnel Management's own statistics show that Hispanic females are way over-represented in the INS as compared to the civilian labor force.

As part of my complaint, I filed a Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] request with INS. I wanted to see my file because I knew that management, in typical INS fashion, was sending each other secret memos about me while denying the existence of the memos. A supervisor one day made a mistake of letting me see my file at the time I was signing an annual performance appraisal. And sure enough, the file did contain a rather inflammatory internal memo from one boss to another.

My first FOIA request for my personnel file resulted in me getting the performance appraisal belonging to another INS employee. This employee worked in the XYZ District, about 1000 miles away. The last name was similar to mine, but was still spelled differently. But most of all, the Social Security Number was completely different, and my FOIA request stated my SSN. However, INS could not tell us apart.

The second FOIA request resulted in getting my own file. But since I knew that what information one receives [from a FOIA request] can often depend on which INS slug draws the assignment to locate, pull and copy the file, I made a third request anyhow. I wanted to see if INS held back information in the previous request, or if they would provide new information.

My third request resulted in getting a WHOLE load of information from yet another INS employee, including details of a suspension for malfeasance. This person was currently employed by INS. I had left the INS X years ago in the ABC District. The first name of the other person was completely different than mine, while the last name was spelled slightly different. And again, although I supplied INS with my SSN, this employee had a completely different SSN. The INS still couldn't tell the difference between us.

Since I could no longer trust INS bureaucrats, I returned the files to my Congressional Office. I hope that, unlike INS, their office staff can tell the difference among us all. The INS sure as hell can't."


Tuberculosis, liberals and foul odors -- all in a day's work

The landing of the Haitians and their activist handmaidens

I thought I'd share some [October 29, 2002] Haitian-landing news with you. There is a count of 210 in federal INS custody. Many are diseased (TB, HIV, perhaps diptheria), many did not know their own birth dates, could not sign their names on the charging documents, and stunk to the high heavens.

The group of activist lawyers in Miami that assemble all the anti-INS liberal political groups, as well as the media, and all fight together for the (too many) rights of the aliens is the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC). FIAC is headed by no other than Ms. Cheryl Little who was pardoned by President Clinton before he left office. She is now INS-Miami's greatest adversary.

The activists were caught today attempting to smuggle reporters disguised as interpreters into one of the non-INS facilities where many of the families are being detained.

Their big arguement is for INS to treat the Haitians as we do the Cubans. Here's why they continue to lose their arguement. We do not maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba and therefore do not deport Cubans (for all intents and purposes). We do, on the other hand, maintain relations with Haiti to the tune of billions of dollars in aid per year and a full JPATS flight of deportees every two weeks to Port Au Prince.

Second, the Clinton administration passed the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)- if they make landfall, they're paroled and can adjust their status to LPR [lawful permanent resident] in one year. If they're interdicted, they repatriated.

The CAA needs to be repealed so that all rafters can be removed - this will help deter people from attempting to enter the US by such dangerous means which takes the lives of who knows how many people per year out at sea.

FIAC will cost the taxpayers hundres of thousands of dollars on the Haitian cases alone. They have already filed bond hearings for all of them. INS will argue for their detention. They'll take the INS to the Federal Courts where INS will be forced to employ the AUSA's, SAUSA's and OIL attorneys from DC. They'll drag out the section 240 proceedings with continuances based on the numbers to be represented. They will file asylum claims and they'll appeal to the BIA. It'll be this time next year before the load lightens - that's food, clothing, medical, dental, and supervision for each body everyday for a year. $$$$$

INS had a similar load of Haitians that came onto the shore on 12/3/01. Many are still in custody.


Insider cynicism about the "credible fear" loophole in section 235(b)

As a point of comment on the reality of this, I have worked at a POE [port of entry] airport, and the expedited removal is a "farce."

Yes, they get an order by an inspector who determines the person has no documents to enter. However, they get an opportunity to claim "credible fear." There is a 100% finding of credible fear -- allegedly in order to protect the thousands removed by expedited removal who don't claim fear, because the process is under challenge by the alien advocates.

Once there is a finding of credible fear, they are issued an NTA [notice to appear] and get a hearing in front of an immigration judge just like everyone else. They are generally paroled into the US because they can overwhelm the detention space priorities for criminal aliens. Thus, it is a another smoke and mirrors process.

Also the issue of ER [expedited removal] is problematic because if the alien who now enters has no fear of the ER process, they will remain peaceful as they are processed. Those who get threatened with expedited removal will take more dangerous routes for themselves, enter into more deserted areas, flee and fight with Coast Guard, INS and Border Patrol as they attempt to apprehend them. It will be a more dangerous situation and for what? Nothing is different, they still get the hearing and due process afforded those who touch land.

Now if they declared them to be arriving aliens, subject to mandatory detention, and not "technically" in the US, we may begin to see a shorter turnaround time. This is just taking the problem and putting it in a different bag and when you shake it up, it is still the same.

Good thoughts, however. How about expedited hearings instead of expedited removal? Port Court: give me your best shot right here and right now -- why did you leave [your home country]? Right now. Not after you get "lawyered up" with lots of thoughts of what works from friends and family. Do it on the spot -- within hours, give them a hearing. That is justice.

The best thing that might come from [section 235(b)] is the fraud and abuse at the airport. If the AG puts a policy in place, the ER cases won't get paroled -- any ER cases. Then the airport arrivals who claim fear will stay detained too. That is a lot more than the maritime arrivals. I have had airport arrivals ask me how long they have to stay detained with this fear thing because if it is more than a couple weeks, they won't bother and just go back.

Believe it or not, they got a fear finding, and a parole and they weren't hardly inconvenienced at all! The word will get out if we really get teeth in this.

Anonymous at POE

"Credible Fear" and Loathing --

Real Life in the Airport as Aliens Drop from the Sky

Okay, it's like this: Joe Schmo walks up to the federal inspection area at the airport and has no documents to present himself, doesn't know what country he just came from, or what airline he was on. All he knows is he fears returning to whatever country he says he's from (which we'll never really know) and he wants asylum.

The INS inspectors maybe run his prints, or maybe they don't. They run through the general questions (where were you born, what's your mother's name, blah blah blah). Then they get to the key questions at the end. [the "credible fear" interview requirements of Section 235 of the Immigration Act]

"Do you have any fear of being returned to your country?" "Would you be harmed if you were returned?" etc, etc. Any alien would have to be an idiot to answer "no" to any of these questions. What with having no valid documents to enter the U.S. legally, this is the alien's big break -- opening the door to new opportunities. Most aliens are coached before their arrival anyway - they know just what to say to the inspectors.

After being taken into custody, the alien then gets to sit before some "kum ba ya" asylum officer to tell the "whole" story. By now they're probably represented by some bottom-feeding lawyer who charged them $2,500 to get them paroled from custody, which really was going to happen anyway. The asylum officer finds that the alien has a "credible fear of persecution" should they be returned to wherever they came from - which, by the way many times (the country they came from) goes unsubstantiated. The alien is then served a Notice to Appear (NTA) before the immigration judge, charging violations of Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) - intending immigrant without documents - and 212(a)(6)(C)(i) - fraud or misrepresentation at time of entry [under the Immigration Act]. The INS then gets the cases calendared for Immigration Court hearings and the aliens are paroled to the street. See ya! [alien disappears into the United States forever, exiting stage left]

Anonymous at the airport

Capitol Hill insider blows the whistle on "imperial BIA" proposals

You need to be aware of the above bill that was snuck through the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Senate by Joe Lieberman and Ted Kennedy. Among other things it does the following: Creates the BIA as a statutory body rather than one created only by regulation, and makes them statutory appellate judges, establishes 15 of them by statute, gives them de novo review (meaning they can retry a case on appeal -- something which no appellate body in the United States has the authority to do including in the Federal Court System), and gives them "final agency action" (which means that no one can administratively review their decisions including the Attorney General, who is basically stripped of the power to do so no matter how unjust or egregious their decisions).

This would also mean that BIA decisions would become precedent nationwide that everyone is bound to follow. It also means that the government would have no right to appeal on behalf of the people of the United States (the alien could appeal further but the gov't. on behalf of the citizens of the United States could not -- under the current system at least the gov't. can appeal to the Attorney Genreal -- under the new bill they could not). Additionally, this bill, if passed, would circumvent the Attorney General's latest regulations which cut back the power of the BIA. The effects of this bill would cause serious damage to the country, and to the people of the United States.

If you research this bill, you will also find that virtually no notice of its introduction was given to the public, and no debate was conducted.Go to, then go to the governmental affairs committee where you will then see Title XIII of the amended bill, S.2452. You will also notice that it was introduced on the floor and included in a massive part of the general bill. Then if you look at the amendments, it is not included there either. Again, it was hidden deep within the bill, and voted on at a "business meeting" two days later. That means it then became part of the Senate's Homeland Security Bill.

Not only is the content of the bill dangerous to the people of the United States, but the way in which it was done was deceptive (by giving short notice of its existence, which is tantamount to no notice). Please give this your immediate attention -- time is of the essence since this will go to the Senate floor when the Senate returns on September 3, 2002

Anonymous e-mail to

Former INS Inspector Skewers Dim Bulbs, Leaves Heart in San Francisco


I like your site. I can certainly tell you that after working eight years as an Inspector with the INS, there has to be a solution to the problem of quick deportation of aliens.

I would like to let you know of some related problems. The first is sometimes the BIA is needed to overturn absurd IJ decisions. I worked in the San Francisco District, and spent a good deal of time preparing cases for the district trial attorneys in exclusion cases invovling arriving aliens.

Generally, trial attorneys are not the brightest bunch. (Now let's not get too hasty here. You are talking about California, right?) Time and time again I had to explain to attorneys that aliens are inadmissible until they prove otherwise.

But, getting back to the local judges, they were horrible. In one case involving an alien, the judge refused to accept a signed affidavit in Question and Answer format, stating that the Inspector taking the statement did not understand Spanish, even though this particular Inspector was fluent in Spanish, as his parents were immigrants from Colombia.

In another case, an American citizen confessed, in writing, and at the removal hearing that she married an alien, just so the alien, a homosexual, could get residency. The marriage fraud was ignored and the alien admitted to the U.S. by the judge.

In most of these cases the District Director, in collusion with the Chief Trial Attorney of the District, (that would be the INS "District Counsel") refuse to appeal to the BIA. The problem extends to the whole INS bureaucracy, as they see themselves as advocates for the aliens, especially at the higher management level.

Interestingly, I once had a conversation with a trial attorney after the 1996 Act that brought us Expidited Removal. He complained to me that we were presenting cases for removal hearings when the law required the use of expidited removal. I told him we were under orders not to use the expedited removal process very often.

I am not sure if removing the BIA is the problem, but getting an Attorney General who is willing to enforce the law, and appoint subordinates who are willing to enforce the law, especially at the District Director level, where real policy is in play.

Remember, every BIA decision can be overturned by the AG. So, in the end, it falls on Juan Ashcroft.


The Agents' Corner -- More reports from the field

Anonymous Border Patrol agent tells the truth -- courtesy of American Patrol Report

Name: Agent in Midwest
Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: As quickly as possible
Referred by: Followed link from another site
Rank this site: Excellent
Comments: Let's get the word out! Nothing is more frustrating than arresting a criminal, placing a high bond, or no bond on them, and then an immigration judge asking the alien how much money he can afford for a bond and setting the bond at that amount. That is as much a crime as anything.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: no gov. program works!
Referred by: Recommended by a friend
Rank this site: Excellent
Comments: I worked for the INS for almost 14 years before I quit, last month in disgust. I worked as a Border Patrol Agent in the busiest sector arresting thousands of illegal aliens, and it was all for nothing. Any aliens that made it past me (and eventually they all did) have been given a free pass by the good buddies G.W. Bush, and Vicente Fox. The INS has to be the WORST run gov. agency, with the biggest idiots on the planet running the show. The INS wants to be a "feel good" organization and "PC" rules the day. If I could go back in time I would not have worked 14 minutes for the INS let alone 14 years. The INS has no desire to stop or solve the immigration problem. The INS is a joke, and should be completely dismantled.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: Yes, but something has to speed up the process.
Referred by: Followed link from another site
Rank this site: Very good
Comments: First time on the site. I'll be back. Retired from the Border Patrol in 1995 after 28 years. Still a Union "rep". Hope to see more about the fact that the problems at INS are mainly due to cowardly and incompetent management - not the folks actually trying to do the work. (There are some good managers, but they're not considered to be "team players") Also, in the 32 years that I've been involved with INS, there hasn't been one Congress nor administration which has clearly told INS what to do about immigration. Perhaps that's a reflection of the ambivalence of the American people. In my (very) humble opinion, there's plenty of blame to go around. Hopefully, this site and others like it will help to educate the "common folk" (referenced earlier) so that they'll speak up.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: Yes
Referred by: Recommended by a friend
Rank this site: Excellent
Comments: I don't blame you for keeping your identity secret. I recently put on the Internet damning information about the INS {I was an inspector at JFK Airport--the worst Post of Duty within INS, with maybe Miami excepted--from 1993 to 1999) and I was immediately attacked by the powers-that-be and their lackeys within the rank and file. These people don't mess around. They will go for the jugular; they will say that YOU, not they, are the problem. We must restructure INS immediately, and we can start by firing about 95% of the current management. Unfortunately, most of the American public are blissfully unaware of what is going on with INS. And those who do, those are the people who are shamelessly pro-alien {both legal and illegal}, who want 100% liberalization of immigration laws, and who are in control. I commend you for your shedding light on the EOIR in an excellent expose.
Keep up the good work, and remain courageous.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: YES, For Sure
Referred by: Followed link from another site
Rank this site: Excellent
Comments: I work for the State of California, Employment Developement Dept/Unemployment Insurance Division. When a person files for unemployment insurance in California each person is asked, "Are you a U.S. citizen?" We, at the California U.I., accept whatever answer we are told. If the person states that they are a U.S. citizen there is no further investigation, no matter how "strong" our thoughts may be. To me this is totally absurd!!! Why do we even bother asking if nothing is done when we are lied to? I would welcome anyone's comments to me.
Thank You.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: Yes
Referred by: Followed link from another site
Rank this site: Excellent
Comments: Not only is the EOIR a problem, but District Directors are also a problem. After eight years with the INS in the San Francsico District, a succession of District Directors contantly interferred with enforcement activity designed to arrest illegal aliens. In one incident, the District Director ordered agents not to cooperate with the DEA and their program located at the San Francisco International Airport that was designed to interrupt drug smuggling. The DEA asked for INS assistance, as the majority of drug couriers were illegal aliens. The airport also was a center of alien smuggling as well as drug smuggling orgionating in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Should Congress abolish the EOIR?: yes
Referred by: Followed link from another site
Rank this site: Fair
Comments: Interesting exchange with the liberal (the AILA puke), however I would like to add a few points. First, the aggravated felon Section, 101(a)(43) is, on the one hand, too defensive for criminals, yet on the other hand too permissive. For example, a felony burglary conviction, for which the alien was sentenced to less than one year, would not be an agg felony. That's bologna. Yet an alien with two drug possessions in his whole life IS an aggravated felon. By the way, have you read the recent Matter Of Yanez, where a single felony possession can be an agg felony? - we're getting deports with this decision. Section 101(a)(43) needs to be further refined.

A Reader's Personal Saga --

One Man who Made Sure the INS Took Out the Trash!

Great Site. Much to digest.

I'm wondering if your site talks about the failures of the prison Institutional Hearing Program and also presence and lack thereof of the INS in jails to screen for deportable criminal aliens?

In 1992 my then 10-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a LEGAL Salvadoran immigrant. The felony conviction and six-year prison sentence turned into time served of only seven months. He walked out of Men's Central Jail in X (city) with five years of probation, mandatory sex offender registration and sexual abuse counseling, and GREEN CARD intact. After about a year of attempting to heal my family from this nightmare, I needed to know how someone who had been convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl could retain the privilege of a Green Card.

It was not easy getting through to the INS, but I got the number of investigations department. I had no alien registration number, but I did have the name, court location and case number for them to obtain proof of the conviction. It was 15 months after his release from jail at that point and the INS had no record of this man had even been convicted of child molestation. I was told there was no INS presence at Men's Central Jail to screen for deportable aliens. It was confirmed that his conviction was an aggravated felony and that he qualified for deportation, but that did not imply he would be deported. This apparently is left to the whim of the INS.

INS Agent X told me in January 1994 that "only one out of four deportable criminal aliens is actually deported by the INS." This, due to lack of personnel. I would like to believe it was my own persistence as the victim's mother and my knowledge of the details of the case the INS needed that after nine months resulted in the molester of my daughter being arrested and finally deported.

This experience, seeing the INS drop the ball so blatantly handling deportation of what 99.9% of America believes should be locked up forever, a child molester, is all I have needed to know about our immigration system. If they're too overworked to manage and keep tabs on those already admitted, especially criminals, no one has any business contemplating amnestying 9-10 million illegals. You don't take on more until you can handle what you've got on your plate already.

From X.

Dear X.:

Thank God you persevered!!
YOU can take credit for seeing that the criminal was removed!

The INS Investigations Branch is incredibly overwhelmed in larger cities. But here's the kicker: there are entire regions of the country with NO INS PRESENCE at all! That means that aliens can pass through the state/county custody without an INS Special Agent (investigator) ever visiting them and placing a "detainer" (an "INS hold") on them. Many just walk back into society after committing crimes that make them deportable.

I will do what I can to help expose what is going on.
Thank you for sharing your story.


Mr. Mann:
Thank you for your reply.

You have my permission to post my letter on your site. In reading your site, I am reminded how often in the news recently the INS claims to be focusing only on "violent" criminal aliens, as if there is a new category termed "innocent illegal immigrants."

In the case of the molester of my 10-year-old daughter, the X Police Department listed on their report the weapon used as "bodily force." There was nothing exceptional about this case, thankfully no permanent physical damage but psychological wounds that are still present, currently at age 20. "Bodily force" I'd feel safe assuming is a terminology the BIA must somehow turn upside down and interpret as the perpetrator hurting a little girl trying to "protect her."

Juan, who pays for the legal counsel for these dregs of humanity going through the BIA? Organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center?

From X.

Dear X:

The federal circuit courts and the BIA bureaucrats in robes have done their level best to twist common sense in reviewing criminal convictions. The problem is that federal law in the immigration context does not match up seamlessly with the criminal laws of all the fifty states. States have the duty to enforce criminal laws and write their own statutes with their own definitions, as is their right. The private immigration bar and the federal courts have exploited these differences in the state definitions of particular crimes to say: "gee, this Colorado/Nebraska/Vermont statute doesn't fit the federal definition of this particular crime under the federal immigration laws" . . . so the alien is not deportable. Therefore, common sense is lost.

In response to your other question: the enemies of immigration law enforcement are as follows: ACLU, AILA, la Raza, MALDEF, Rural Legal Aid organizations, pro-immigration ethnic lobbying groups, the Ford Foundation (who funds them) and liberal federal judges.
For the heroes of immigration enforcement: check out the Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement. They probably would be interested in hearing your story too.
So would Glenn Spencer at American Patrol.


Mr. Mann

I gave you Chapter 1 of the story regarding the molester of my daughter. After reading all that was available to him as far as appealing the deportation order, I am surprised he didn't even try. There was never a "bond" or "bail" permitted and perhaps he didn't want to spend his appeal time in an INS jail. It was easier to just come back illegally, which he did.

I agree with you that a national ID card isn't necessary, but the federal government needs to give money to the states to enforce uniform standards for driver's licenses including fingerprints and a centralized national DMV databank. The molester of my daughter applied for and received a driver's license in Houston, Texas in 1997 using a different name. At that time Houston's DMV did not inquire as to licenses in other states nor did it require fingerprints. He had licenses and ID cards in California and Oregon and was in the national sex offender registry database, but Houston had no automatic method of accessing those other references unless manually done, provided with specific, detailed information.

I've heard it argued that being in the United States illegally is not in and of itself a "crime," merely a violation of INS policy. I believe that is largely correct as it appears the majority of INS "law" consists of guidelines and policies which require interpretation and application only done by INS judges. As you must know, it was not sufficient for the molester of my daughter to be convicted of child molestation. The prison sentence established by the criminal court system had to meet INS criteria to qualify for the aggravated felony for them to consider deportation.

I have been watching Illinois' Luis Gutierrez's HR 500 for some time. This Congressman's office even provides services to assist illegal immigrants with the 245-i process. HR 500 will reverse much of the 1996 changes, particularly regarding crimes which are considered deportable offenses and retroactivity of enforcement. It's a truly ugly sight to see the almost 40 dregs of Congress who co-sponsored this piece of legislation.

From X.

© Juan Mann 2004