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Lobsters Or Illegal Aliens? More Whistleblowers` Tales
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August 09, 2004, 05:00 AM
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[Last week by Juan Mann Immigration Whistleblowers, Unite!—A VDARE.COM Reader Unmasks The CBP ]

The Department of Homeland Security under Secretario Tom Ridge is ensuring the safe, orderly and regulated "migration" of lobsters, CDs and lumber.

Meanwhile, America`s immigration system amounts to de facto self-selection by illegal aliens who need only sneak in through a wide-open border, overstay a visa, or just show up at a port of entry and ask to come in . . . aided and abetted by the federal immigration bureaucracy

It looks like America may have been conned in the DHS` immigration law enforcement shell game.

Swapping the despised Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for a massive DHS bureaucracy may have seemed like a great idea once upon a time.  But the reality of the switch—based on reports from courageous VDARE.com readers—may be just one big "by management, for management" power grab at the expense of immigration enforcement in the field.

The truth about the DHS` three-headed immigration bureaucracy is taking shape . . . and it isn`t pretty.

My recent how-to guide for immigration whistleblowers focused on one of the beast`s three heads, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division under Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, supervised by DHS Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson.

But the CBP apparatus, which now includes the venerable U.S. Border Patrol, is taking on an institutional flavor once unique to the former U.S. Customs Service.

One VDARE.COM reader couldn`t wait to weigh in on the impact of "customs" culture on immigration investigations, in the CBP and its interior enforcement twin, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division.

This VDARE.COM reader comments via e-mail:

"Oh, man, all I had to see was the headline [A VDARE.COM Reader Unmasks The CBP] and I knew!  Customs has so taken over the [ICE] investigations section that longtime, seasoned immigration investigators are routinely pulled away to work on customs cases or assigned outright to work on customs cases.  Oh, like investigating illegal CD copying—the horror!—or fining companies that ship lobster in the wrong packing material.  This is why we no longer have employer sanctions, fraud or marriage fraud investigations.  Most field offices have Special Agents in Charge [SACs] that come from Customs, and they direct the legacy INS investigators to devote their time and energy to customs cases.  Fines and property seizures are more important than immigration cases.  When you read the newspapers the run immigration stories, look at the numbers spouted by the SAC touting how much property was seized or monies seized—but noticeably absent are the numbers of illegals arrested or deported.  They don`t care about immigration!

The reader exposes the conflict of culture between INS and U.S. Customs Service investigators now working under the same roof, with customs culture winning the management tug-of-war. The reader continues:

"[C]ustoms investigators routinely sneer at immigration cases and make snide remarks, even at high priority cases like Operation Predator—believing fines and such to be far more worthy cases to pursue.  I once heard a customs agent sneer about having to waste his time on a Predator case when he could be working a "real" case.  I asked an agent what he considers a "real case" and was told that he was working on a lumber tariff case.

"Conversely, in CBP, the legacy customs inspectors are expected to write up and process illegals for hearings or ER`s [expedited removals].  Their obvious disdain for immigration cases and unwillingness to learn is so apparent in the sloppy cases thrown together.  Hmmm, lets see - cracking a marriage fraud ring - or lumber importation tariff cases?  Which is more important?"

The last VDARE.COM reader to report on the CBP noted how the customs emphasis at ports of entry forces immigration law enforcement to the back burner.  Our reader comments that this same customs emphasis may have forced a recent shut-down of U.S. Border Patrol interior enforcement.

"Remember those highly successful raids applauded by citizens everywhere—the attempted reintroduction of city patrols the Border Patrol did in Southern California?   The professional ethnics shrieked, and [Asa] Hutchinson furiously backpedaled?  Notice that now Hutchinson tries to claim that such operations will continue, but only if they are initiated by ICE, as interior [enforcement] is ICE`s domain.

"When is ICE ever going to have the time, resources - or with those offices headed by customs SAC`s - the inclination to ever do so, particularly with what is left of immigration`s resources virtually totally dedicated to smuggling?  [Hutchinson] wins by making this statement - he can claim the raids can continue as long as they are initiated by ICE, knowing full well this will never happen.  For God`s sake, some CDs might be getting pirated somewhere!"

Renegade lobsters, pirated CDs or illegal aliens . . . which presents the greatest danger for America`s homeland security? 

It`s time for a reality check at the DHS.

Or reality will check on America—again.

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