Homeland Security: Red Alert

Things are going from bad to worse
at the Bush Department of Homeland Security.

Do not be

by DHS chief Michael Chertoff`s

tough-sounding rhetoric.

While the Washington muckety-mucks
pay lip service to reforming the nation`s broken
detention and deportation system, catch-and-release of
immigration lawbreakers remains the order of the
day-­not only at the border, but all across the
country`s interior.

The rudderless and overwhelmed U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency still does
not have a new chief. Which is just as well since Bush

Julie Myers
(a nice Bush lawyer with virtually no
immigration or customs enforcement experience who

happens to be the niece
of recently retired chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers/wife of
Chertoff`s chief of staff/former employee of Chertoff
and former colleague of outgoing ICE head Michael
Garcia) would provide as much leadership and
morale-boosting ability as a pair of junior high
pom-poms. Her nomination is still pending.

Meanwhile, as illegal immigration
continues unabated, the White House has seen fit to
award the chief of the Border Patrol,

David Aguilar
, a presidential

“Meritorious Executive”
award, which comes with a
cash bonus, for his outstanding performance. I kid you
note: The Customs and Border Protection website

Chief Aguilar
as a
" trusted
spokesperson within the Hispanic community,
communicating border-crossing policies that have a
profound impact on Hispanic communities along the

It`s not much better over at the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which
administers all immigration benefits, from citizenship
applications to asylum requests to work permits, and is
responsible for overseeing all amnesty, student visa,
and marriage visa applicants. The head of the agency, a
nice banker named

Eduardo Aguirre
whose only experience in immigration
law was his own personal background as a

Cuban refugee,
left in June after two years in
office to become ambassador to

. Aguirre`s biography says that under his
“leadership,” CIS “made significant and measurable
progress towards eliminating the immigration benefit
application backlog, improving customer service, and
enhancing national security.”


? Don`t make me laugh.

A new report by the DHS inspector
general`s office showed that Aguirre`s agency has failed
miserably to crack down on the estimated 4 to 8 million
foreigners who have overstayed their visas­a supposed
priority in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,
which highlighted how lax enforcement against

visa overstayers
has enabled many al Qaeda
operatives to stay in the country.

Of the 301,046 leads the
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency received in
2004 on possible visa violators, the inspector general
found, only 4,164 were formally pursued, resulting in
just 671 apprehensions­-few of which will actually
result in deportation.

In these trying times for
conservatives in Washington, you`d think the last thing
the Bush administration might do is send up yet another
crony/diversity nominee to fill a sensitive post. But
Aguirre`s proposed replacement, Emilio T. Gonzalez, is
just such an embarrassment. He appeared before the
Senate Judiciary Committee recently and was endorsed by
two Florida Republicans—Sen. Mel Martinez and Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who said Gonzalez would “`bring
an understanding of national security and my own
personal immigration experience to bear.” [Cuban
exile likely to direct bureau
By Frank Davies,
Miami Herald,
October 19, 2005]

Gonzalez is a Cuban refugee who
arrived in the U.S. at the age of 4, achieved the
American dream, and served

honorably in the Army
for 26 years. This makes him a
remarkable success story. It does not make him a good
candidate to head the of Citizenship and Immigration
Services agency in a time of war.

Scouring his resume, one finds no

immigration law experience
whatsoever outside his
personal experience.

No indication that he has any clue
about how to curtail rampant

asylum fraud.

No indication that he has any idea
how to deal with those massive numbers of visa
overstayers and immigration benefit fraudsters, let
alone root out terrorist operatives among them.

And no indication that he would
have the ability or willingness to ensure that the
millions of

“guest workers”
under Bush`s proposed amnesty
plan would be competently screened, registered, and

after their “guest” terms are up.

Zip. Nada. None.

This has been the Bush plan on
immigration enforcement and border security: Recruit the
clueless. Reward the failures. Those who abide by the
law lose. The con artists, the criminals, the
ideological border saboteurs, and the terrorists win.

Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.