May 9, 2007, - 2:21 pm

ICE & the Fort Dix Six; The ICE Princess Discovers “Morale”

By Debbie Schlussel
Morale at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is at an all-time low.
As I wrote Monday, ICE is ranked at the bottom of federal agencies in workplace satisfaction. But DHS officials piled on the double idiocy of not considering ICE “law enforcement” in a recruitment ad and also requiring ICE to justify its existence in questionnaires about how many college graduates it has.
So, yesterday, ICE chieftess Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess” had a meeting about morale in “her” agency–something, which after a year and a half on the job, she just noticed is very low. Here is what one agent in the know writes (there is salty language because that’s the stage of frustration at which this agency hovers):

icebadge.jpgjuliemyersdietcoke.jpg

Julie Myers Diet Coke by David Lunde/Lundesigns

Myers held a meeting yesterday with her upper management staff to address morale issues. Maybe if she got off her lazy fucking ass and hit the road, she would get the answers she is looking for. I hear that nobody wanted to talk during the meeting because of what might happen to them. I can’t believe what has happened to my law enforcement career since this sham [ICE] was put together. It’s unbelievable that nobody in Congress gives a shit about these things. Instead of having those who are protecting their jobs testify, maybe they could put a few of us up there to actually tell the truth. God help us . . . .
Former Customs

I can think of a great way to instantly improve morale. First, the ICE Princess should fire all of her directors and top “leadership.” And immediately after, she should resign and tell the President to pull his absurd renomination of her. Pronto.
Meanwhile, another ICE agent says that ICE could have prevented some of the Fort Dix Six Islamic terrorists from ever plotting, because they should have and could have been deported. And he has some important insights. (I don’t agree with his general attack on all former Customs agents–I think there are good and bad agents that came from both the INS and Customs. But the “leadership” is overall horrid. And with morale being the way it is, it’s hard for people–even law enforcement–to succesfully do their jobs.):

Debbie,
What does the Fort Dix plot and 9/11 have in common? The answer is both had alien overstays involved in the crimes. Three of the six plotting to shoot up the fort had overstayed their admissions just as the majority of the hijackers on 9/11.
The learning curve has never been approached as this country still allows illegal aliens to wander about. If ICE investigations had more agents working immigration leads instead of priortizing Customs work there could be at least some semblance of control in locating overstays. (In Orange County, California alone, there are only four agents devoted to employer enforcement as well as locating targeted aliens that have overstayed with something like a 17% success rate in arrest and removal).
I wonder what would have been said had this plot hatched. The FBI has a video store clerk to thank for escaping this embarassment. However, where did these people get their money to operate? This cell had some support and I am highly suspicious that this was not home grown terrorism as is being touted.
The legacy Customs people involved in ICE who abhor arresting aliens illegally in the United States need to be shown the door, like Ms. Myers and Ms. Forman. None of them are dedicated to immigration enforcement.

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23 Responses

Debbie,
Keep the light on this, girl. I think that some of the things that you are writing about are finally getting paid some strong attention from many people in our country and beyond. Evidence–so many of the things you were writing in the front lines about in the last few years are becoming openly discussed quite frequently. I have learned is that your assessments have proven to be quite accurate.
G-d willing, perhaps we could push for some “competent” person to get the head post at ICE. What a mess for someone to walk into. Would you throw your hat in that ring, DS? If they cleaned house–who would you say has LEGITIMATE answers.
Sometimes problems get so bad–they HAVE TO LISTEN. That’s the thing about this pizza delivery bomber plot thing, many people are saying–we saw the Mall Bombing by a muslim youth in February, we see this now with the pizza bombers–it’s time to ENFORCE OUR DAMN BORDERS AND TREAT ILLEGALS AS ILLEGALS. It’s also time to start sealing all the obvious holes in the system that we know exist–the unchecked clearance that illegals are given –being allowed to work in occupations within the airports which leaves vulnerable many openings for sabotage of all kinds. What are we idiots? We’re in a fricking war!!!

BB on May 9, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Debbie,
This is regarding the individual who commented about legacy Customs Special Agents not wanting to round up illegal aliens.
The truth is that ICE has a position called an Immigration Enforcement Agent (IEA). Legacy Customs Special Agents believe that immigration laws should be enforced, but that the apprehensions and processing of these illegal aliens should be done by IEAs and that the Special Agents should be doing the complex investigations that you have spoke about in your other posts.
Legacy INS Special Agents were for the most part functioning as IEAs but were titled Special Agents. When legacy INS Special Agents post about how they should be doing more immigration enforcement what they are saying is that they want to do more of the IEAs duties.

Mrobson on May 9, 2007 at 7:18 pm

myers – lmfao. a worthless bimbo who banged her way into an SES post. smart as a used condom (and just as sanitary).

muhammedfuckspigs on May 9, 2007 at 8:14 pm

Debbie,
Bravo! Continue to expose the nonsense! You are doing more to protect this country than you know.
“Young Schlussel, you’re our only hope…”

CaliSun57 on May 9, 2007 at 9:15 pm

I can’t possibly imagine why morale would be at an all-time low. Perhaps it’s because they’re not allowed to enforce the laws?

napoleon15 on May 9, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Debbie,
So many things to comment on here.
First, a heartfelt congratulations to the ICE agents involved in the Ft. Dix investigation. We owe it to those in uniform who are willing to lay down their lives defend our freedom to protect them and their families. I was waiting for ICE HQ to post something highlighting and congratulating ICE’s contribution to this case, but alas, ICE HQ missed out on another golden opportunity to breath some life into comatose morale. The HQ wonks missed the train again.
I guess it’s also warrants congratulating the other law enforcement agencies who participated in this investigation… even the FBI (ouch, that hurt). See what a team concept can do.
As for the continuing morale problem, your source from HQ seems to have stated the obvious quite eloquently. As I read the part about yesterday’s HQ morale meeting, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Captain coming out of his cabin to the bridge of the Titanic about an hour after the iceburg collision and asking, “did we hit something??” His officers respond by saying, “no, we’re just testing the lifeboats”.
If Ms. Myers wants to see how bad morale is and whats causing it, then she should take a trip to a large field office, NOT TALK to the upper management (they’ll just tell her that we are testing the lifeboats) and sit with the agents for a while for an open and honest discussion. Oh, what an education she would get.
We might ask her why it took so long to appoint supervisors several months ago, a situation which caused agents to act a supervisors for no pay, most of whom DID NOT get promoted. Has she read any of the internal and external reports which highlight ICE’s continuing problems and what has she done about it? What is her opinion of ICE’s mission and are we the new INS (an honest answer would be nice as it might cause a career change)? Does ICE plan on doing some serious cross training of agents before tossing them into groups for which they are untrained for? Why is ICE considering giving away more of our investigative authority? Are we going to allow CBP to drift further and further away from us? What is ICE’s opinion on immigration reform, after all, if you want us to enforce immigration laws, it would be nice to recieve support from HQ, Congress, US Attorney’s offices and the public?
And as for the legacy cross agency bashing, it’s getting a bit old.
As a legacy Customs Agent, I recieved training in CUSTOMS laws and the applicable authorities and SOPs. Customs deals with the smuggling of contraband. It deals with evidence, criminal arrests and sometimes adminstrative fines and penalties. A shipment of bogus handbags may not be as “sexy” as a shipment of narcotics or a large seizure of currency, but it is the jobs we have been trained for and have done successfully for over 200 years. We don’t pick and choose what group or discipline we work in. We enforce the laws we are assigned to.
INS Agents deal with the illegal immigration of HUMAN BEINGS into the US. An entirely different venue that requires intense training. INS agents are taught Spanish. I would imagine that many individuals INS come across would fit into the “victim” category.
If it sounds like I don’t know much about INS, well….. THAT’S MY POINT!!!!! There has been NO serious cross training of Agents from either agency. Yet, in our office, due to a problem that had been allowed to exist by management which caused some agents to “go home” for a while, agents are being thrown across the fence in order to address the situation. Management by crisis again.
When legacy Customs Agents sit at the duty desk, we are have to answer questions relative Immigration matters, even though we are NOT properly trained. Calls relative to other matters such as smuggling, currency and child porn are referred to the group specializing in that area. WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?????
There is no dialogue or feedback between management and the workers and management by fear and retribution seems to be the order of the day. CYA seems to be the norm. Agents are departing for other agencies (another one is leaving our office this week) and no one seems to care.
Ms. Myers, you want to know what’s wrong, visit a large office with problems. I am sure you know which ones they are. Leave the ICE Director in DC and don’t talk to the managers, let them test the lifeboats. Most of all, some honesty from HQs would be a welcome change.

ICEDover on May 9, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Uncle Mike had had a stroke so Aunt Peggy’s whole life revolved around her job and Uncle Mike. They couldn’t have children. Aunt Peggy had five brothers and two sisters. The big event in their life was coming down from New Haven at Christmas time. They’re going to spend it all on their nephews and nieces. The red cap had to use a cart to get all of the presents from the baggage car up to street level at 30th Street Station here in Philadelphia. We all could meet them at the train, platform level. After New Year’s we’d reverse the ritual and see them off at the train, at platform level. We’d want to make sure they were comfortably set up for their trip back to New Haven. Us kids would be running up and down the aisle terrorizing the other passengers. Then the conductor would enter the car announcing,’all ashore that’s going ashore’. Then we’d all run out to the window where they were sitting. Oh, my God, then the train would start to move and we’d try to keep up with their window waiving until we couldn’t keep up with the train anymore. 2007, Aunt Peggy and Uncle Mike have been dead for ten and fifteen years, everyone lines up upstairs, naked with a bar code on their forehead with sniffing dogs going up and down the line and you’re now worried if one square was enough before you left the house. God dam islamofacists and, yea, you too democrats.

John Cunningham on May 10, 2007 at 1:57 am

Just a quick comment. I applaude your efforts at trying to bring our plight to the public. In examining your site I see so many Legacy Customs and INS agents putting each other down or arguing how one or the other took us over.
I would like to state that a lot of us are not like that. Some of us just want to do our jobs and put the bad guys away wheather it’s Immigration Violators or Customs Violators. That is what I signed up for! Unfortunately, we have a Department that won’t even recognize us as Law Enforcment. I know you hear so much about how Customs Agents didn’t sign up to do Immigration work. It’s not the Immigration work that bothers them, it’s the type of immigration work we are expected to do. As Special Agents our Federal Job Description is to investigate complex organizations and to dismantle these organizations in order to effect large scale crime. I think a lot of Legacy Customs or INS Agents don’t mind Immigration work on that scale, but we are constantly reduced to administrative processing and tasks that are in no way related to complex investigations. Sad part is that most of us make over or close to 6 figures and instead of doing 6 figure work, we are reduced to doing admin work. Basically, if you want to talk about wasting tax payers money! You could hire 3 people to do the same of the Jobs 1 Agent is expected to do administratively and get more done, but the Department refuses to see that! Do we have an Immigration Problem? Yes we do and our organization should be investigating this crime on a complex scale while leaving routine enforcement to a different division or agency and not Investigations. Our divisions is called the Office of Investigations, not the Office of Removal! Sad part is that the immigration problem must be attacked on both fronts. There needs to be the routine enforcement like picking them up off the street and the Complex Investigations and dismantling of Organizations making it possible. One thing people fail to realize is that the problem can not just be attacked on one front. The Department is more concerned with the routine enforcement and has no interest in Investigating the problem. People don’t realize that in parts of the United States these Organizations are killing each other just like in the Drug trade. Instead our management would rather us pick up 20 illegal aliens in a house and process them for removal instead of investigate the organization and dismantle the very people that brought those 20 people in. Not to mention even on a fraud level, we are forced to investigate that one alien who lied instead of the organizations that are making money producing massive documents, etc. Now that is why you get most legacy Customs Agents are in an outrage. I must rephrase what they say from I didn’t sign up to Immigration work to I didn’t sign up to process aliens, I signed up to investigate crime! It is putting a finger in the Dike so to speak. Yes I do agree that we need an apprehension program, but putting investigators to do it is like putting a homicide detective on the street to write tickets.
Not to mention the volumnous amounts that congress is wasting on high saleried administrative removers. You could actually give Border Patrol More agents or create new positions and spend the same money and get more done.
Keep up the good work and hopefully someday somebody in congress will realize what the real problem is instead of putting band-aids on it! Not to mention the Customs crimes we are neglecting becuase of it also. Sad part is that when ICE was created it was created with one of the broadest authorities in Federal Law Enforcement but we’re not alowed to do our jobs.

FedUp on May 10, 2007 at 8:20 am

Just a quick comment. I applaude your efforts at trying to bring our plight to the public. In examining your site I see so many Legacy Customs and INS agents putting each other down or arguing how one or the other took us over.
I would like to state that a lot of us are not like that. Some of us just want to do our jobs and put the bad guys away wheather it’s Immigration Violators or Customs Violators. That is what I signed up for! Unfortunately, we have a Department that won’t even recognize us as Law Enforcment. I know you hear so much about how Customs Agents didn’t sign up to do Immigration work. It’s not the Immigration work that bothers them, it’s the type of immigration work we are expected to do. As Special Agents our Federal Job Description is to investigate complex organizations and to dismantle these organizations in order to effect large scale crime. I think a lot of Legacy Customs or INS Agents don’t mind Immigration work on that scale, but we are constantly reduced to administrative processing and tasks that are in no way related to complex investigations. Sad part is that most of us make over or close to 6 figures and instead of doing 6 figure work, we are reduced to doing admin work. Basically, if you want to talk about wasting tax payers money! You could hire 3 people to do the same of the Jobs 1 Agent is expected to do administratively and get more done, but the Department refuses to see that! Do we have an Immigration Problem? Yes we do and our organization should be investigating this crime on a complex scale while leaving routine enforcement to a different division or agency and not Investigations. Our divisions is called the Office of Investigations, not the Office of Removal! Sad part is that the immigration problem must be attacked on both fronts. There needs to be the routine enforcement like picking them up off the street and the Complex Investigations and dismantling of Organizations making it possible. One thing people fail to realize is that the problem can not just be attacked on one front. The Department is more concerned with the routine enforcement and has no interest in Investigating the problem. People don’t realize that in parts of the United States these Organizations are killing each other just like in the Drug trade. Instead our management would rather us pick up 20 illegal aliens in a house and process them for removal instead of investigate the organization and dismantle the very people that brought those 20 people in. Not to mention even on a fraud level, we are forced to investigate that one alien who lied instead of the organizations that are making money producing massive documents, etc. Now that is why you get most legacy Customs Agents are in an outrage. I must rephrase what they say from I didn’t sign up to Immigration work to I didn’t sign up to process aliens, I signed up to investigate crime! It is putting a finger in the Dike so to speak. Yes I do agree that we need an apprehension program, but putting investigators to do it is like putting a homicide detective on the street to write tickets.
Not to mention the volumnous amounts that congress is wasting on high saleried administrative removers. You could actually give Border Patrol More agents or create new positions and spend the same money and get more done.
Keep up the good work and hopefully someday somebody in congress will realize what the real problem is instead of putting band-aids on it! Not to mention the Customs crimes we are neglecting becuase of it also. Sad part is that when ICE was created it was created with one of the broadest authorities in Federal Law Enforcement but we’re not alowed to do our jobs.

FedUp on May 10, 2007 at 8:20 am

Most of the immigration work ICE Special Agents hate is going to get moved over to DRO, so relax.
Want to improve morale, start at HQ. Go to Business Casual Fridays even IBM did this years ago and they didn’t even wear blue shirts to work, they were that conservative.
Go to 9/80 work weeks which would save 26 commuting days a year and give overwhelmed agents a day to get a few things done without fighting the third world at Costco. Most law enforcement officers have some sort of alternate work schedule in this country, relax HQ won’t fall apart.
Don’t worry about the Secret Service taking over any ICE authorities, they have an election coming up, they can’t even investigate the adulterous affairs their wives are having let alone take on anymore duties such as ours.

code7 on May 10, 2007 at 8:34 am

As a legacy Customs Agent I wish ICE would show us the door! Not only would every legacy Customs employee leave ICE, I’d bet many legacy INS people would leave too.
I’ll take handbags and DVD’s over OSC’s any day! That’s what I signed up to do!

CustomsKoolAid on May 10, 2007 at 9:18 am

I noticed someone mentioned that most of the processing work is going over to DRO. First they have been saying that since the merger. Guess what in Phoenix Arizona where they were piloting such a program DRO doesn’t do it any more. The problem is that the upper management is comfortable with the way it is instead of changing it. Like I said in my previous post another division or agency. I was referring to DRO, but as it stands now in many offices DRO won’t even come out. In some cases Agents have to go to the detention centers and pick up the vans themselves, not to mention in some instances DRO is even refusing to find jail space. Does anybody in management care? Nope, that’s my point. DRO can say no because nobody tells them otherwise….When I was talking about hiring 3 people to do the job of 1. I was referring to more IEA’s and Border Patrol Agents. Sorry it doesn’t make sense. Point being that DRO taking over processing should have been done a long time ago and like I said Agents could concentrate on actually investigating both Immigration and Customs Law. Truth is we have the second largest investigative force in Federal Law Enforcement not to mention the broadest legal authority (even broader the the FBI) under the US Marshals Service and are the least effective. What’s the problem with this picture? Believe it or not we could investigate both if we were managed correctly. Hey the FBI does it why can’t we. Sad part is with our Authorities and manpower we could actually become more powerful than FBI if somebody would just fight on the hill for us and manage us properly.

FedUp on May 10, 2007 at 9:59 am

Hey don’t tell me to relax cause, I’ve been there and in 4 years it hasn’t changed. I’ve actually witnessed 10 agents at a detention facility processing aliens while DRO officers sit and watch. So much for DRO help. If you take all the salaries and combine them that day alone vs having more DRO officers and actually have them doing it the G would save a lot of money and Agents could actually investigate. And matbe we would even have time to investigate Customs crimes. Yep all those suggestions you give are great but hey ICE has some basic issues that need to be resolved first like getting the job done. Being taken seriously within the Law Enforcement community through PR. Actually training Agents to do what they weren’t trained to do, etc. Putting Agents at investigative tasks where they are actually experts not throwing them into a new world. Actually getting DRO to do their job. Those are just a few in a long list that needs to be addressed before wearing polos to work on Friday.

FedUp on May 10, 2007 at 10:10 am

DRO has the juice and we (Investigations) don’t. Our management is so very weak. They allow DRO to pick and choose what missions they will accomplish while we get stuck with the crap. Our management never says no to anybody and now we have become the “little bitches” to all. How in the world can DHS HQ allow their main investigative arm to become alien processing centers. We should never, ever, have to process an illegal alien. We should only be doing work that involves felony crimes not some civil administrative or midemeanor offense.

kcrat on May 10, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Dam, disorder on the border.

John Cunningham on May 10, 2007 at 2:32 pm

That’s enough !!! I’ve tried to see the legacy customs point of view, but these guys are full of S**T.
All you do is cry that the chain of command is screwing you when the head of ICE’s IB is a LEGACY CUSTOMS agent. The head of ICE OPS is LEGACY CUSTOMS. There are NO LEGACY INS/DRO officers ANYWHERE IN THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, but DRO is the 500 LB gorilla in the room? Get off it. If the fish rots at the head, then maybe the once proud US Customs Service was already rotten when it came to ICE.
You complain about agents processing aliens??? If agents made the arrests then they should process the aliens. Ever heard of you catch it, you clean it? And before you say some crap about DRO not doing its job, oh wait, too late for that. Lets talk turkey here and look at some facts. DRO has removed more aliens at this point this year than it did at the same point last year. More aliens are being detained and removed than ever before and the numbers keep growing. You also complain that DRO isn’t getting more bedspace. Unless there’s a bottomless pit of funding, DRO CAN’T pay for more beds so maybe FEDUP can help the cause and put a few beds in his garage.
Here’s a little more for you. DRO HAS already picked up most of the duties IB was allegedly doing (CAP) and the numbers clearly show that DRO is identifying, apprehending and processing more CRIMINAL aliens than IB EVER DID.
By the way KCRAT, Maybe you shouldn’t process aliens because most processed by IB have to be REDONE correcttly by GS 5,7 and 9 IEAs. How is it that GS 1811 13 “Special Agents” can’t get it right?? After all, it’s obvious you think it’s a menial chore and should therefore be completed rather quickly by such highly trained “Special Agents”.
If IB is losing its authority or giving it away, then MAYBE these guys should go out and do something impressive, instead of sitting around crying about thier lot in life. When was the last time ICE IB made some waves and showed what they’re capable of?
Oh, before you get all huffy, I never said legacy INS should not have been disbanded and abolished. Everyone knows it was a dysfunctional agency with a bifucated chain of command.

DEPORTEM on May 10, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Hey FedUp, when is the last time you offered to help DRO or gave them a “headsup” call you had x-amount of aliens and x-amount of juvies? I listened to two guys like you complain the whole time I was on detail about alien processing and now their office has completely moved alien processing over to DRO, so it’s happening despite your cynicism. You were quick to belittle my simple suggestions to improve morale because you are self-absorbed.
You make HQ a place people want to work and you get motivated people that want to reach out to the field and support them as well as improve the agency. DRO pays for a gym for their HQ personnel which translates to a healthier workforce. The little things add up.
But I know your type from my time in the Armed Forces, it wasn’t until the squad was ready to take you into the woods and beat you to an inch of you life that your poor attitude came around. There is simply no getting through to some guys that are chronically disrespectful.

code7 on May 11, 2007 at 7:15 am

I’m glad to see that the comments on this post are more positive and constructive than some earlier ones from last week. First of all, as a legacy INS Special Agent, I can tell you that USCS (something you already know) had a good reputation amongst the law enforcement community, including INS. In fact, I know a few INS agents who went over to become USCIS SA’s, primarily to get the GS-13 and do drug work. As INS agents, we knew that our reputation was not as highly considered, but that was primarily due to pre-conceived notions and certain media bias, and not based on fact. If you were to speak with prosecutors, agents and police officers that actually worked with INS agents, you would find a more positive impression. Unfortunately, some of these negative perceptions still exist with the public and are now associated with our LUSCS brethren with the ICE merger.
I think people should understand that LINS agents generally sympathize with the experience that LUSCS agents have had, with losing revenue streams, access to Customs Inspectors and the Air and Marine Operators as well as having to learn new skills. However, realistically, how much time is the average LUSCS agent spending on immigration work now? For the most part, the group structures remained the same. Unless you were assigned to a customs violation or immigration violation group outside of your previous experience, your duties by and large remained similar. It then boils down to the occasional duty call or assisting with a worksite/smuggling/fraud operation. This reflects a shift in national priorities. The fact is that DEA, FBI and a host of local law enforcement agencies do narcotics investigations (though in many circumstances, not as well as Customs did). Only ICE does criminal investigations of immigration law. Remember, this push is driven from the top (i.e. the administration), DHS is being asked to increase efforts in interior enforcement of immigration law without any additional resources. Without an increase, resources must be shifted. Hopefully, we will be getting those resources in the future to keep committed to both of the legacy missions of our agency. Until then, there will be occasional immigration work for the LUSCS agent to do.
As to the comments on this and other posts that LINS agents did not do complex investigations, many are misinformed. Pre-merger, roughly 25% of LINS Special Agents (not Immigration Enforcement Agents) worked administrative investigations of aliens who violated their status by breaking certain laws. The other agents worked alien smuggling, immigration benefit and document fraud, and employer investigations. And yes, these investigations involved money laundering, offshore bank accounts, international criminal organizations, Russian, Bulgarian and Asian organized crime, street gangs, corrupt government officials (both foreign and domestic), human trafficking and child prostitution to name a few. How do I know this? Because I led, conducted and participated in these sorts of investigations (and yes I, like most others, have a 4-year degree). Were there a lot of duty calls, arrests and administrative processing of aliens along the way? Yes, and it made it that much more challenging to do the job.
There are many things not in the control of agents that contribute to morale problems. One thing that isnít is how we treat and view one another. A mutual respect for the efforts, both past and present, of all our agents can help to make things better. In my opinion, this ship is being steered in this direction by necessities driven by those higher than ICE and DHS. All we can do now is make life livable on this ship while weíre still sailing, because we donít control the winds (i.e. public opinion, congressional pressure, media) and we certainly arenít doing the steering (i.e. the administration).
Stay positive, it canít hurt.

Staypositive on May 11, 2007 at 9:27 am

First off everybody is missing my point. I am not trying to bash DRO, I am not trying to bash legacy INS Agents, nor am I saying Legacy INS Agents didn’t investigate complex crime. Come on people what I am saying is look how big we are and how broad our autorities but yet we can’t get our act together! If OI, DRO, LINS, LUSCS had some direction maybe we could actually kick ass! Instead all I see is LINS vs LUSCS vs DRO. First problem is we need to be a team and obviously that is lacking!
First off to respond to a few people. Yes, I have helped DRO when there was only one detention officer available in the detention center and had no help in picking up a load. I even brought him back lunch after picking up the load because he couldn’t leave the center. My comments about DRO not helping is not a reflection on the workforce. It is a reflection of management. Just for the record those DRO officers that were sitting around watching us process aliens because they were specifically instructed not to because of internal fighting between OI and DRO. I will state for the record that every one of those DRO officers wanted to help and thought it was bullshit that they couldn’t. My point on bedspace was not because some lazy DRO guy didn’t want to do it. It was, in fact, because there was none. My point is that nobody in management cares nor do they do anything about it. They just let us continue to fight. They promise to pick up aliens when we have no bed space, etc. Oh and on the DRO wouldn’t come out. The actual reason they couldn’t is because it was on the weekend and they had run out of overtime funds and they were understaffed. My point exactly, nobody cares that DRO was understaffed in the office, the solution was Agents can go out and do it cause it doesn’t cost anything from our budget when 3 extra staff members could be hired for one Agent salary. As a matter of fact even as a LUSCS Agent I have considered jumping ship from OI to DRO because they actually tend to treat thier people better. As far as you catch em you clean em. I do for your information. If I am doing an investigation and take down a load of aliens, I clean them. The administrative processing I am talking about it the one alien stoped by the State Police that needs to picked up and processed. There is no investigation in that. Just like I said, you don’t send a detective to work traffic. Now if that detective does a traffic stop as a tool of an investigation of course he cleans the mess including writing the citation, but you don’t put the detective on the side of the road with a radar gun just because. It is usually becuase he is using that radar gun as a tool to further his investigation. It not that I am better tan you it’s that my Job Description IS DIFFERENT!
We used to experience the Agents think thier better syndrome in Legacy Customs with the Inspectors. Inspectors would think that we were arrogant assholes when we wouldn’t take a case. What these Inspectors failed to see was that the Federal Prosecuter would decline the case for whatever reason and we were the bearer of bad news. Many times I even fought with prosecuters over the phone to take a case because they had done an awesome job. Unfortunately, the only thing the Inspector heard was we aren’t prosecuting. Also, many Inspectors thought that all we were there for was to make demands and take credit. Truth is I was just doing my job. My job was different than the Inspectors and my demands were neccesary for the Investigation. We had two different functions. It wasn’t that I didn’t wan’t to prosecute, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to process the dope. It was that I myself had interviews and my paperwork also. I always told the Inspectors how awesome they were and to this day will take my hat off to them and I will never put myself above them, nor do I put myself above an IEA, Detention Officer, LINS Agent, etc….Some of my best friends work for DRO and hey I know that life may be better there but they have thier problems too. These problems aren’t Agents not wanting to do the work or DRO Officers not wanting to do the work it is poor management not even telling us what the work is!
Now the last poster had a point about demands way above DHS. Sad part is Immigration is a very misunderstood political issue. Many Congressmen don’t really understand the problem. They just get calls from constituants telling them they don’t like Juan in thier back yard. So what do they do they get outraged that nobody is going out to pick up Juan. Nobody educates them! Nobody educates the Public. Why do you think the FBI even though incompitent gets recognized as the elite of the elite. I’ll tell you why, because good or bad press thier in the press! People know what they do even if they fail and people are quickly educated as to why they failed. Sad part as when the people are educated they throw more money at the problem resulting in FBI getting more money! We can’t afford cars to pick up Juan and instead of somebody coming out in the press and showing the one car we do have that’s in the shop, they just stay quit and pretend there is no problem. Hey maybe if Joe Citizen was educated why we didn’t pick up Juan somebody would actually give us the resources to pick up Juan!
Lastly, I am getting tired of this 4 year degree thing! Yes I have a degree and I work with Agents that have degrees, have law degrees and have no degrees. Every single one of these is just as capable as I am to do the job. Problem is that nobody will tell us what the job is or how to do our job! Another thing I am tired of is all the in-fighting. We are just as self destructive as we are drowning. Maybe if we would all get together and fight the real problem like upper management maybe we could win. Any military person will tell you that keeping the emeny divided gives you an advantage! I may not like the Agent next to me because of personality issues, but you know what? He’s still my brother! When my ass is in a bind it’s my brother that’s gonna get me out wheather he likes me or not and I would do the same for him!
My issues is with upper management, DHS, congress and even the public! So quit taking apart every part of my post and acuse me of putting you down! You are still my brother regardless! Get off your ass and see that! Only then can we win!

FedUp on May 11, 2007 at 11:31 am

On another note. Who cares wheather upper management is Legacy Customs or INS. It is obvious regarless where they came from they can’t do thier jobs! It’s not about which Legacy Agency screwed us up, it’s about the fact that we are screwed up. Hey I don’t care if the Asisstant Secretary was a former FBI Agent! If that person was doing the job I would follow him!As far as my cynicysim about DRO, it’s not that it won’t come but at the rate the agency runs that will be 10 years from now. I am just pointing out the in-effectiveness. We are barely doing things 4 years later that should have been done 4 years ago!
And as far as the Polo comment, I am just stating that we have much deeper issues than that, and yes you are right those little things make a difference. Believe it or not HQ has addressed some of the little things but hey still not working, clue? Actually code7 it is attitudes like yours that keep us divided and unable to stand up for ourselves. Talking about taking me out in to the woods and kicking my ass because I am self absorbed won’t solve the problem. So what I’m self absorbed. Hey you don’t have to like me but only together can we win like it or not. I respect your opinion so respect mine.

FedUp on May 11, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Who came up with “I.C.E.”, anyway? That’s so corny. They should be something good, like “B.L.A.M.M.O.”.

steve ventry on May 12, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Julie Myers, you are a ha-tey. I know you read this. If you ever get tired of that General guy…I know why you haven’t cut your hair. yeah, baby. Yeah!

steve ventry on May 12, 2007 at 12:25 pm

It’s refreshing to see this discussion get focused on the real problems of ICE and away from the disgusting issue of “my legacy agency is better than your legacy agency”. There are deep problems in ICE and this forum is doing a great job of shining a light on those problmes.

longshanks on May 12, 2007 at 7:58 pm

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