September 6, 2007, - 5:47 am
EXCLUSIVE/OUTRAGE – The Myers Hearings: Immigration Chieftess & Senator Cornyn Trade Votes & Raids; Alien Tats
By Debbie Schlussel
On 1695 Washington Blvd. in the fancy Detroit suburb of Birmingham, a $600,000 bungalow sits for sale. It has remained unsold for well over a year.
The unsuccessful seller is the U.S. government. That’s because the home’s last resident, Matthew Albence, a top Michigan Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official, moved out. A year ago, Albence was a rising star in ICE, as one of the few former INS agents promoted to the heights at the agency. He left the Detroit area to become a top official of the ICE Academy where all new agents are trained.
But he is now gone from the agency. Like many other agents who see the handwriting on the wall under the “leadership” of Julie L. Myers, he eagerly left ICE for a job with the TSA.
Albence is emblematic of what has happened to ICE in the almost two years that it has been headed by the unqualified, inexperienced niece of General Richard Myers. Good, experienced agents are leaving in droves, most of them well before they are eligible for retirement.
Myers doesn’t notice or, if she does, seem to care. She’s busy preparing for her September 12th confirmation hearings with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Since July, she has been tutored and grilled by top ICE officials in mock Senate hearings. That there is a need for these “murder boards” is odd because she’s been atop ICE since January 9, 2006. You’d think she’d have gotten to know the agency she supposedly runs. But you would be wrong. Agents involved in the Myers tutoring sessions tell me she’s been coached on the most minor of things and is clearly clueless. They tell me there will be a lot of brown-nosing responses like, “That’s a great question, Senator.”
The confirmation hearings, although set long ago, were hushed by both Myers and her staff. She did not want Senators to be inundated with letters, phone calls, and perhaps testimony from the many angry, demoralized, and disappointed agents who work for her . . . responses she knew would certainly come if agents had any advance warning. That’s why the hearings were only announced on the Committee website, yesterday–just a week before she’s scheduled to appear.
And Myers recently brought a big group of her inexperienced cronies to ICE Headquarters to cook the books and massage ICE figures and statistics to make it look like she is actually accomplishing goals in arresting and deporting dangerous illegal aliens, a job at which her agency is failing miserably.
One of the figures that will be highly “exaggerated” (a nice euphemism for fraudulent) is the number of arrests and deportations of violent criminal and gang member aliens. I’ve learned from many ICE agents that they’ve been ordered to take photos of detained aliens’ tattoos. That’s because any alien caught with a tattoo is then classified as a criminal and gang member. That’s despite the fact that many aliens with tattoos range in age from their early fifties to senior citizenship. Their tattoos are often hearts with their mothers’ or girlfriends’ names. Agents have told me they are ordered to note on the records that these aliens are gang members because of the tattoos. It’s all a way of massaging the Myers stats.
And then there is the outrage of Senator John Cornyn from Texas and his traded vote. I have cornfirmed that a scheduled large-scale raid on a plant for a Texas-based company was canceled pursuant to a shady bargain between Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn. The raid–scheduled for a plant in another state (not Texas)–was in planning for almost two years, the entire tenure of the Myers ICE administration. Originally, over 200 criminal arrests of illegal aliens were to have been made and even arrests of managers and executives who knowingly employed them.
But the large-scale raid has now been transformed into a tiny “raid” with a few criminal arrests, in exchange for Senator Cornyn supporting and voting for Julie Myers’ confirmation as ICE Secretary. (ICE Headquarters is still “negotiating” with other parties to decide how many criminal arrests agents will make.)
Although Senator Cornyn is not on the Homeland Security Committee, he is on the important Senate Judiciary Committee and was a “persuaded critic” of hers at Myers’ 2005 hearings. He is important because he is seen as one of the loudest Senate voices for tough immigration enforcement, and his endorsement of Myers will go a long way. But the truth is, image is completely different from reality. Senator Cornyn did not want the out-of-state plant (or any other plant) of his Texas constituents raided. His–as with many politicians–is a case of NIMBY immigration enforcement. Not In My Backyard. Arrest illegal aliens but not MY states’ companies’ illegal aliens.
As I noted during her 2005 hearings, Senator Cornyn took a liking to Myers and served as her ally and “surrogate” in the Senate, trying to smooth her nomination. He made a sweetheart deal with her then, too:
Also disturbing, word has it that Committee Chair, Republican Senator John Cornyn has taken a liking to Brunette Barbie [Myers]. Agents are wondering, out loud, what was promised or exchanged between the two. One suggested, Cornyn “should have his own source for White House trinkets, no?”
Cornyn is going to be Myers’ “surrogate” through the testimony. Does that mean he will also play her surrogate for the next 3.5 years when ICE gets worse under her hegemony? Several Committee Senators have softball questions ready to go–questions provided to them by Myers’ team of tutors, protectors, and breast-feeders.
Cornyn’s staff recently had a whirlwind tour of the Southwest border, and we’re told that in exchange for his cheerleading for Myers, she or her crony Chertoff will soon re-deploy interior assets to the Southwest border–not to do anything concrete against hemhorraging illegal immigration, but nice window dressing.
Now in compromising our national security and nixing raids for Senator Cornyn, it’s a repeat matter of “You Scratch Julie’s Back, She’ll Scratch Yours.”
How does Senator Cornyn know about the raids? Aren’t “raids” supposed to be a surprise? Well, actually, no. That’s the dirty little secret about immigration raids, these days. Everyone knows about them–the company being raided, the U.S. Senators from that state, etc. They are only a suprise to you, the general public. That’s because they are all a charade, a play put on for the cameras, so America will think something is being done about illegal aliens.
In fact, despite two years of “planning,” executives at the company in question–which I will not name because I hope this column will force a full-scale raid to actually happen–were alerted right away to the investigation. Myers’ boneheaded ICE superiors at headquarters sent in ICE agents from the same state as the plant into the plant in their “undercover” investigation. Predictably, the plant employed former ICE agents from the same state as “immigration consultants.” And predictably, they recognized the undercover agents. Yup, this is the Keystone Koppery under Julie Myers that dominates the highest levels of ICE.
That arresting a few hundred illegal aliens takes planning of two years should tell you something. They are barely making a dent and won’t anytime soon . . . if ever. During Myers’ almost two years in office, only a few hundred criminal arrests of illegal aliens have been made. Only a handful of executives and managers have been arrested and charged with knowingly violating immigration laws. If you are an employer who employs illegals–or an alien who works for one of them–you know the odds are heavily on your side. And, in the end, that is the only statistic that counts on the Myers watch at ICE.
And then there are the problems with ICE that the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG) has identified. DHS-OIG is generally lazy and doesn’t pursue much. Given that, it’s notable that for the time period of Fiscal Years 2005-2007, a whopping 42 “audit reports” on serious problems at ICE (most of them during Myers’ tenure), most of which remain unresolved.
The reports highlight gross ICE neglect, including budget mismanagement, turf wars with other agencies (including the FBI and other DHS components, that have negatively impacted the government’s war on terror), poor levels of service to other DHS components (including in the area of integrity investigations), inconsistent enforcement of immigration laws, and significant misconduct by senior ICE personnel (including indecency and racial and sexual discrimination by those at the very highest levels of ICE).
As one agent in the know notes:
An overview of audit reports and reviews conducted by GAO and the DHS/IG in the past couple of years paints a troubling aggregate picture of ICE’s management. . . . A significant number of these reports note problems at ICE, many of which took place on Myers’ watch and all of which demand action on her and her management team’s part to correct. The nature of the GAO and IG processes is such that we seldom see what the ICE’s corrective actions are, so it is impossible for the public to see what ICE has done to address deficiencies noted by GAO and the IG and to assure itself that the organization is being managed in the public’s best interests.
Even the reports (outside of the 42) that don’t specifically mention ICE relate to social security number problems and DHS management problems that ICE contributed to . . . under Myers.
Then, there are the problems with ICE investigating leads on immigration fraud referred to the agency by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS-which issues green cards, citizenship, and certain visas) and Customs and Border Protection (inspectors at the borders and Border Patrol agents). Before and at the beginning of Myers’ administration, testimony delivered by former CIS Director of Security Michael Maxwell indicated that ICE declined to pursue about 73% of those immigration fraud cases. Now agents document that the rate, under Myers is at about 81% of these cases declined to be further investigated.
And then, there is the ICE senior “management” team that has been assigned to respond to this site. All summer long, Marcy Forman-Friedman, the ICE Director of Investigations–and perhaps the most important person running ICE–has been focusing her attention on the most important immigration fraud problem facing America–my website. As I’ve noted, she made a summer world tour, traveling across the country visiting mandatory assemblages of all ICE agents in most major cities. I asked ICE agents to give me reports. At all stops on her tour, the reports came back the same: Forman discussed me at each stop and tried to dissuade agents from believing what they read here. She asked them to help turn in agents who are talking to me and/or commenting on this site. Forman is in charge of all immigration and customs fraud investigations. But, apparently, I am immigration and customs fraud problem #1.
Top ICE official Kyle Barnette is the ICE Deputy Special Agent in Charge over five states: Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Yet, instead of worrying about the massive illegal alien population of those states, he’s spent the past few months monitoring and posting on my site at the apparent behest of his friend and patron, ICE Director of Investigations Forman.
Of well over 168 comments on my site under the name “EverVigilantSheepdog,” many–if not most of them–were made from an ICE computer, which means he did so on the job. It is my policy not to out posters on my site (unless they threaten my safety or my life), but Mr. Barnette’s identity was determined by a fellow ICE agent, and Mr. Barnette willingly admitted to it on this site. With so much time spent on my site by this senior ICE official, you’d think all of the illegal aliens in his five states had repatriated back to their native countries.
Although Mr. Barnette made some important points and valid disagreements with me in his comments on this site (and I invite him to respond to this column), clearly he has too much time on his hands. Or does he? Mr. Barnette’s many gushing comments putting lipstick on the pig of failed job performances by Forman and Julie Myers are not a symptom of a teen with a crush on these two women. They are the function of a top ICE employee assigned to do this with the full sanction of the two people running ICE–Forman and Myers. And in pursuit of that, Mr. Barnette attempted to out at least one ICE agent who posts under a pseudonym on this site (His comments doing so were removed). Agents post here under fake names because they fear the extreme reprisals and vengeance that are legendary to Ms. Forman.
Finally, there are the very serious alleged integrity issues within ICE Headquarters. I’m told search warrants were reportedly issued on ICE Headquarters at FBI/DHS-Office of the Inspector General. It is a big deal, so serious that Myers met with DHS chief Michael Chertoff and others about this, last Thursday night. It is a matter of misconduct by Myers’ subordinates that she either knew or should have known about.
All of these problems and more are your tax dollars at work under Julie Myers in the name of lackluster immigration enforcement.
She is supposed to be the top immigration enforcement official in the nation. She is supposed to be our friend against the national security threat of the illegal alien invasion.
But her “performance” has clearly shown us that . . . with “friends” like Julie Myers, who needs enemies?
Write your U.S. Senators (except Sen. Cornyn who has already made his unethical deal) and the members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Let them know what you think of the Julie Myers nomination and her job “performance” to date. As I wrote yesterday, she has yet to be confirmed for this position and is on the job as a result of a recess appointment. She wants to be able to put “confirmed” on her resume. Is resume-packing the primary goal of immigration enforcement?
STOP THE CONFIRMATION.
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