August 29, 2007, - 12:51 pm
Rudy & The “Serpenthead”: Meet Giuliani’s “Catch & Release” Immigration Team; Question for ICE Agents
By Debbie Schlussel
Several readers sent me Rudy Giuliani’s disconcerting pro-Michael “Serpenthead” Chertoff comments quoted in yesterday’s Detroit Newsistan. But those readers apparently are new or haven’t been reading this site very closely. This isn’t news. Just a repeat of old bad news. I already wrote–a while ago–about how Chertoff worked for Giuliani when he was U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and how he praised Chertoff with a full vote of confidence. Bad news on so many levels.
Anyway, here’s the quote from yesterday:
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani suggested Monday before a fundraiser here that President Bush might want to look to Michael Chertoff, whom Giuliani once hired, when seeking a replacement for embattled outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. . . .
It is now critical, Giuliani said, that Bush appoint “a really great attorney general” who has the trust of Republicans and Democrats.
“I believe that the attorney general is one of the two or three most demanding jobs in U.S. government,” Giuliani said. “Everything we do now involves very difficult legal questions.”
Giuliani was U.S. attorney in New York in the 1980s when he hired Chertoff as an assistant, and Chertoff led several high profile organized crime cases. Chertoff is now U.S. secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Also, as some of you know, Giuliani recently announced his “Immigration Team.” And unfortunately, it’s made up of also-rans who got Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into the sinking mess in which it currently finds itself. Here’s what a very wise source who ranked very high in ICE had to say about this team. I can’t agree more, given that these are his “Immigration Policy Advisors”:
Giuliani announced the formation of his immigration advisory team, consisting of among others Robert Bonner (former Commissioner at CBP), Stu Verdevey (former policy honcho at DHS) and Victor Cerda (former head of ICE/Detention & Removal Operations).
While I think Bonner did some good things at Customs/CBP, I have to wonder – aren’t these some of the architects of the failed immigration enforcement policies that got us where we are today? What will that mean in terms of the advice they give Rudy and the policies he pursues as a result? What role might they play in a Guiliani Administration? . . . This is a sad comment on his approach to what I believe to be the most pressing social and law enforcement issue we’re presented with in this country today – more of the same.
Cerda was John Torres’ predecessor. Actually, if I recall correctly when ICE was formed there was initially someone else in charge of DRO and Cerda was counsel to Mike Garcia. Then Cerda was moved over to DRO where he remained until he left ICE and the govt., and then Torres came in. Which means that Cerda was a part of the “catch and release” policy ICE/DRO was following (along with Border Patrol) during that period.
I have heard good things about Bonner, too (when he headed the old U.S. Customs Service).
But the larger picture here isn’t good news. Just what we need . . . if “we” are terrorists and criminals trying for the easiest way into America and the ability to stay here.
Question for ICE Agents: If you worked for or with either Bonner or Cerda, what did you think of them? Please tell us, by commenting on this entry.
Tags: Alberto Gonzales, America, assistant, attorney, Attorney General, Bush, CBP, Commissioner, counsel to Mike Garcia, Debbie Schlussel Several, embattled outgoing Attorney General, fundraiser, Guiliani Administration, head, Immigration Policy Advisors, John Torres, Michael "Serpenthead" Chertoff, Mike Garcia, New York, President, Republican Presidential candidate, Robert Bonner, Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Likes Chertoff, Secretary, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. government, United States, Victor Cerda