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ICE Priority One: Inspecting Grapefruit

By Greg L | 29 August 2007 | National Politics, Illegal Aliens | 26 Comments

Now that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided to reassign 1,000 agents who were working on identifying and deporting illegal aliens to perform customs investigations instead, informal arrangements between local and state law enforcement and ICE are likely to suffer. This severely undercuts Governor Kaine’s contention that such arrangements are adequate to Virginia’s future needs and that there’s no reason for the state to enter into the Section 287(g) Program. Current efforts haven’t prevented some illegal aliens being added to the Sex Offender Registry instead of being deported. If we get even fewer dedicated resources from ICE, this is only going to worsen.

If there will be fewer resources from ICE devoted to removing criminal illegal aliens from Virginia, can Virginia afford not to add state resources to this effort and at least make up for unconscionable shift of resources in some way?

Here’s the money quote from the article:

Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican and outspoken critic of lax immigration enforcement, said resources need to be allocated to ensure the removal of criminal illegal aliens from the U.S.

“It lacks wisdom to take 20 percent of your work force who know how to deal with criminal detainees — experienced officers — and make grapefruit inspectors out of them,” Mr. Poe said.

Indeed. The dominance of Customs personnel within the leadership of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is yielding disastrous results.

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  1. JM said on 29 Aug 2007 at 11:58 am:
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    I just wish to disagree with you on one point.

    “Current efforts haven’t prevented some illegal aliens being added to the Sex Offender Registry instead of being deported.”

    Once they have been convicted of a serious crime and served their sentence, immigrants should be deported regardless of their immigration status. I don’t want a sex offender to remain inthis country even if he is here legally.

  2. AWCheney said on 29 Aug 2007 at 12:07 pm:
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    JM, I believe what Greg meant was that INSTEAD of being deported after serving their time, if any, they are being added to the Sex Offender Registry. He’s not disagreeing with you.

  3. dolph said on 29 Aug 2007 at 1:07 pm:
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    DRO, ICE, DHS, too many layers here. I thought Republicans were for less government? You sure couldn’t prove it by this administration.

  4. Greg L said on 29 Aug 2007 at 1:31 pm:
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    Of note the Crime Commission is reporting that up to 10% of persons incarcerated in Virginia prisons may be illegal aliens. Let’s see 13,735 illegal alien in jail @ $23,123 per year = $317,594,405 per year, if all 13735 we incarcerated for a full year. That excludes the cost of investigation, prosecution and the economic impact of the crimes themselves.

    And are deported each year? Here’s a clue: it’s a LOT less than 13,735. It’s probably less than 500.

  5. Harry said on 29 Aug 2007 at 5:19 pm:
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    Why doesn’t Bush use the authority he has and seal the soutern border? Federalize all National Guard who are not in Iraq, put the entire US Army that is not in Iraq on the border. Why? Well his constituents like the cheap labor and the impact on keeping inflation in check.

  6. Harry said on 29 Aug 2007 at 5:20 pm:
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    Greg, regardingt he cost to detain and deport, the # I saw about 6-7 months ago was around $11,000 each.

  7. Rick Bentley said on 29 Aug 2007 at 10:48 pm:
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    This is something I wanted to comment on, sitting at tonight’s HSM meeting. Steve T. was carrying on as if Nancy Lyall, MSF, and Ricardo Juarez are “the opposition”. It seems to me the real villians here are people like George W Bush who want this phenomenon to continue because it causes wage suppression, which is good for the elitists who run this country, and who abrogate responsibility for effectively upholding the lqws they are sworn to uphold.

    I’m not arguing with anything you guys do tactically. I’m not arguing that the GOP will be the party that gets us out of this mess - I’ve changed party allegiances so as to affect the Republican Party, as the Democratic Party is totally asleep on this issue, and too far divorced from priciples of law and order (activist judges having become my new pet peeve) to attack it, too much the party of bleeding hearts.

    But given that so many of you do have backgrounds as conservatives and Republicans - let me ask - isn’t the REAL enemy the elite pigs in both parties? People like George W Bush and John McCain who deliberately thwart the will of the voters and of their constituents? Nancy Lyon surely was never empowered to create this mess or to affect it in any meaningful way.

  8. Greg L said on 30 Aug 2007 at 12:18 am:
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    Rick, I agree, and have said so in the past. GWB’s support of amnesty and McCain’s proposals on this have been utterly horrible.

    But we’re working at the local level, pretty much because these “leaders” have done such a horrible job on this issue. Instead of wasting my time trying to scream about a lame duck and a presidential candidate has-been, it’s more productive to get the solutions we can achieve at the local level, and use that as a means of demonstrating to McCain and GWB that their foolish gig is up.

  9. sandy said on 30 Aug 2007 at 7:03 am:
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    Good Luck on your debate, The illegals are not citizens Is there anything in the Laws that says visitors, guests or people without cads or Identification have rights as US citizens do?

  10. Rick Bentley said on 30 Aug 2007 at 9:05 am:
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    Thanks for your response and good luck in your debate.

    Through most of my adult life, I’ve been a Democrat who abhorred the way the GOP consistently and persistently fought to lower American wages and to undermine the social contract in America (the idea that we would subsidize a certain standard of living for our poor, as money allows). “Miminum wage? Terrible idea. Family Leave Act? It’ll ruin us.” I see the immigration issue and the conscious attempts to undermine our laws and sovereignity as continuation of that. Of course what bitterly disappointed me is that the Democratic party leans the wrong way on this issue; I see them as having abrogated their mission in a quest for more minority voters and, to be fair to their sense of rationality, a possibility at perpetual ownership of elections (a gift which our inept President has been strangely willing to work with them towards). Just wanted to vent, thanks.

  11. dolph said on 30 Aug 2007 at 10:31 am:
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    I totally agree with you about the Democratic party. I enjoy your vents. They generally reflect many of my own feelings. Not all, but many.

    It really shouldn’t be that difficult to find a candidate who supports stem cell research, family planning, a tough immigration policy, and securing our borders, just to name a few apparently incompatible (in the minds of politicians) ideas.

  12. Rick Bentley said on 30 Aug 2007 at 11:31 am:
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    Yeah. Through my whole life it’s been said that the parties represent the extremes and no one stands for the centrists. Now I really feel that way.

    If you want immigration reform and want to curb judicial activism, you have to vote for the guys who generally vote to make Terry Schiavo and Elain Gonzales into superstitious folk heros, making them want to ram tubes down brain-dead people’s throats and worship children who enter the US on magic dolphin rides, and exploit homophobia systematically while lecturing it as learned behavior even while their own representatives cruise the toilet stalls (while shouting “I’m not gay!” in scenes straight out of Brokeback Mountain).

    Or you can vote for the guys on the other side who thump the Bible a bit less but want to pretend they’re fighting a war on poverty even while fighting for amnesty of tens of millions of uneducated poor, want to pretend they’re about improving education even while fighting for importation of millions of non-English speaking children living in poverty into our overburdened schools, and want to pretend they are fighting for opportunity in America even while pursuing policies that reduce working wages for citizens and bring us towards a shrinking middle class and a nation of haves and have-nots reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” where the workers live underground while the elites live a carefree existence on top.

    God knows we need a revolution, term limits, something to free us from the tyranny of the scumbags who domineer both parties and invest their wealth in confusing and obfuscating everything real from American voters, so that each election becomes an exercise in vapidity where we get to choose between two caricatures who each coopt the other’s positions - worst example being the 2004 race where we had to pick between two Ivy league Scull and Bone members who, we know according to that club’s ritual, once watched each other masturbate in coffins. (A true if little-known fact [Kerry watched Bush] and a great metaphor for the whole race).

    And this grass roots movement and the work Greg and the other leaders of HSM are doing is fantastic, the only thing that keps me from crying and blocking out FOX News and CNN from my cable setup.

  13. dolph said on 30 Aug 2007 at 12:13 pm:
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    Keep on venting. It truly is disgusting. The political system really doesn’t represent the people. I think it is high time we had a viable third party, not one that merely takes votes from from one of the other parties at election time. I want a moderate party and I just don’t see that happening.

    We are too large and too diverse of a country to be pigeon holed into a 2 party system, each of which seems to have been anchored by party extremists.

    I just want a few, or even one, hell, I am not greedy, candidate who represents the true mainstream.

  14. Rick Bentley said on 30 Aug 2007 at 12:19 pm:
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    I always have believed that our 2 party system is a strength - that it enables rapid change and adaption more than the systems in Europe do. Because neither party can afford to get caught on the other side of a popular issue (whereas in Europe they can remain stubborn on one particular issue if they compromise with some other party on another). I still believe that.

    The root problem I think is how eager most people are to accept bs whole, to accept the type of “leadership” our particular “leaders” give us. (This President to me being a consummate example - a complete buffoon masquerading as a wartime leader). But thank heavens it didn’t quite work in 2007 on the Amnesty issue, despite the best-laid plans of the elites of both parties.

  15. dolph said on 30 Aug 2007 at 3:30 pm:
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    Interesting perspective on the three party system and some valid points made. I suppose my real discontent is because extremists seem to have hi-jacked both parties. Somewhere my politics lie far away from those of both Jerry Falwell and Al Sharpton.

    Not to speak ill of the dead, but both of those characters were/are buffoons and George Bush is a buffoon of a different nature. He is actually an elected official and I firmly believe it will take years to undo the damage he has done to our nation.

  16. Rick Bentley said on 30 Aug 2007 at 4:54 pm:
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    Firmly agree on that. I’d like to see Bush charged with treason, personally.

  17. dolph said on 30 Aug 2007 at 6:59 pm:
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    I don’t want to waste the money it would take. I just want him out of office. I keep telling myself the end is in sight.

  18. Rick Bentley said on 30 Aug 2007 at 10:15 pm:
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    16 months is a long time to have him in charge of our national security apparatus.

  19. dolph said on 30 Aug 2007 at 10:50 pm:
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    Good point. And that includes national border security. Shudder.

    I don’t expect it to happen though. It will be a long 16 months, that’s for sure.

  20. OnceVoice said on 31 Aug 2007 at 5:44 am:
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    One of the best dialogues I’ve seen on this blog. Couldn’t agree more - Thanks!!

  21. dolph said on 31 Aug 2007 at 8:45 am:
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    I expect Rick and I are just getting warmed up, preaching to the choir. Join us. When I look at the presidential candidates parading aound, I am just dumbfounded. In a nation of 300 million people, THIS is the best we can do?

  22. Rick Bentley said on 31 Aug 2007 at 9:18 am:
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    People get what they vote for. They usually want reassurance and bs, not capable leadership.

    Bill Clinton was, all in all, a pretty capable leader. He was never especially popular. He didn’t get 50% in either election that he won, and his polls always hit a ceiling because a lot of people just didn’t like him. He was generally bashed by the right, the left, and the media with no ground swell of popular support ever putting a check on his critics.

    A guy like Newt Gingrich is probably the most capable of the candidates or possible candidates running for President. But does he make people feel safe? Good about themselves? Is he the kind of tool who is going to stand there each January and bs people with some speech about a manned mission to Mars, or a pretense that avian bird flu is now our greatest threat?

    In my personal opinion, this need for reassurance and nonsense is a reflection of the human condition. Look at how many people cling to religious beliefs that are clearly, demonstrably irrational and child-like. With that as a pillar of our collective consciousness, why expect rational behavior to flow forth from that?

    I’d go even further and claim that Americans have entered a period of such decadence, such a lack of fear for our continued health and welfare, that we have been able to abandon rationality and can and will choose to believe demonstrably false fairy tales if they make us feel good. The war in Iraq never made sense - the rest of the world knew it - but we more or less embraced it because it made us feel like heroes, fighting a “war on terror” (through terroristic shock and awe campaigns). Rationality be damned. We’re going to do what we’re going to do. I think earlier generations would have elected Kerry over Bush by a wide margin, what with the performance Bush gave in the Presidential debates where he basically said “This is the best I can do and I don’t really even want to do it” while Kerry proposed a redistribution of wealth that would almost certainly do more for most Americans. But Americans wanted buy-in to the “war on terror” idea that they were becoming accustomed to - nonsensical as it is (a war on Islamic fundamentalism is what we’ve really undertaken, and labeling it as something else only propogates the detachment from reality that I think is characterizing American society these days). I also think Bush’s re-election was a statement of anger by Americans against young overseas Muslim men, who we want to see punished for dancing in the streets when we get bombed, attacked, or humiliated, but that’s another story.

  23. dolph said on 31 Aug 2007 at 10:46 am:
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    Both Gingrich and Clinton are both personally flawed men. Both have zipper problems. That apparently inspires hate and contempt with the American people. I could care less about their zippers. Both have a brain. Both are intellectuals. Neither man takes complex issues and attempts to fix them with simplistic answers.

    I basically hate politics. I really feel that to get elected, one has to sell their soul to someone. There is simply no free lunch. Additionally, I am not electing my president to be my spiritual leader. There are all sorts of churches out there which would be more than willing to reel this home-girl in and take care of that rather daunting task.

  24. Rick Bentley said on 31 Aug 2007 at 11:04 am:
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    Everyone is personally flawed … though I admit those 2 have particular flaws that impact their fitness for office - Clinton’s aparently insatiable sexual desire which he places above security matters (phone sex on open lines, giving Lewinsky secret codes), Clinton’s mind-boggling dishonesty to his entire cabinet and to a nationwide audience, Gingrich’s egomania.

    But it could always be worse. How about if Larry Craig were President? Now that would be a spectacle. A Brokeback Mountain Presidency. “Ahm not gay … but ah can’t quit cuising the stalls … ah don’t understand it”.

    On the issue of faith, I’m not a big John Edwards guy, because he ignores the illegal immigration issue. But I give him credit for this one. I saw him on one of these new-fangled debates where the candidates are asked unusual questions by viewers via videos. Somebody asked each of the Democratic candidates whether they felt praying really makes a tangible difference in the world and in preventing negative events like 9/11 or Katrina. Hillary went first and gave a good safe answer on a tricky question. A few others made brief remarks. On his turn, Edwards said you know my son died at 16 and my wife has cancer right now - I don’t believe those things happened for lack of prayer, no I don’t think praying actually makes any tangible difference. I really respected that with his wife in the audience, he just couldn’t tell the lie, couldn’t tell the audience the bs they wanted to hear, he loved his family more than that. It swung around to Joe Biden and he gave a nice summary, said prayer didn’t do anything tangible but did help people to cope in the aftermath of tragedies. It was refreshing to see some politicians giving straight answers. I believe Walter Mondale did the same thing in one of his debates against Reagan though, and we all know how far it got him. Stick with the bs if you want to get elected. Vote for me, I’ll cut waste, lower taxes, promote growth, keep us strong, retreat with dignity, etc. etc.

  25. dolph said on 31 Aug 2007 at 1:46 pm:
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    Keep on rolling! In the 21st century, I don’t believe I could pull the lever for anyone who said they didn’t ‘believe in evolution,’ like it was the tooth fairy or something. I don’t want a national leader who believes the Grand Canyon is only 6,000 years old. That is one step away from believing the moon is made of green cheese and that the 1969 moon landing was a hoax by NBC.

  26. Rick Bentley said on 31 Aug 2007 at 2:25 pm:
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    Totally agree.

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