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.

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Cornyn & Myers:

Senator Aids & Abets Unqualified Immigration Nominee In Exchange for Canceled (Reduced) Raid on Illegal Aliens

(Julie Myers Diet Coke by David Lunde)

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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73 Responses

It appears that Bush’s war on terrorism is confined only to Iraq.
How many more days ’til he cuts brush full-time in Crawford?

Thee_Bruno on September 6, 2007 at 6:17 am

As you state in your article Albence was on the rise in ICE, but as with many of the legacy INS agents he was sent to the minors when he would not adhere to Marcy Formanís policy of do as I say or else. If you keep looking you will see that a great number of upper ICE managers both legacy Customs and INS are leaving the agency either to retirement or new jobs. As an example the former Unit Chief for the 287(g) program threatened to retire if he were not allowed to transfer out of ICE HQ. They sent him to the Washington SAC office. The new guy who took over (also legacy INS) ramped up the program in cooperation with his DRO counterpart and as a result of that success was ultimately forced out because Marcy Forman does not like the 287(g) program because she feels it is below the level of investigations. As her Deputy Director said let the “prison guards and bus drivers” referring to ICE DRO do it. The 287(g) program has become so successful that and has the attention of Congress that Marcy and her cronies have come up with something call “ICE ACCESS”. They use this as a way to defer requests for delegation of INS authority from state and locals and pitch “alternatives” to the program. When in fact Marcy knows that ICE can not support the alternatives since so many agent positions are vacant in the field. Someone should ask her why ICE is short 500,000 man hours in TECS over the last year. The biggest problem facing ICE today is not crime, gangs, undocumented aliens, smugglers, forgers, WMDs, or anything else, its Marcy Forman and her cronies who are running the best out and promoting those with little or no field experience to long term positions that will hurt the agency for years to come. If you want to start changing ICE for the better you need to cut the cancer out of it that is Marcy Forman.
So Albence is gone, Jesus Ramos, 287(g) Unit Chief forced to retire for doing to good a job, and a very notable move Catherine Sanz, moving out to FPS, someone should ask Myers why Sanz left. This would indeed be an excellent question during her confirmation hearing…..

M-Man on September 6, 2007 at 8:41 am

Wow. What a piece!
BTW, looks like Bryan over at Hot Air is spending some time in your archives. LOL. He’s using stuff you did, what, back in February? Ages ago anyhow. Maybe you should apply to Hot Air. You’re the one that should be working with Michelle Malkin. You’d be better, I’m sure.
Kinda makes you wonder what happened to Ian huh? Musta been that cavewoman comment.

NoTPaYiNGaTTeNTioN on September 6, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Oops. Sorry bout that. Didn’t notice that you’d pointed out his “revelation” comes a little late. It’s been done, Bryan, and done better. Anyhow, his response seemed a little snarky. Wonder if he’s worried for his job! You really should supplant the amateur.
Just a thought.

NoTPaYiNGaTTeNTioN on September 6, 2007 at 12:31 pm

It’s a bit creepy reading all this DS. You have to have a mighty strong inner composition to disagree and call out government officials like this–and you have done it regularly as you have seen and heard about the abuses. I think I would have an ulcer or worse wondering if they would come after me–forgive me–for blowing the whistle.
I read EVS’ post over the weekend. I had a hard time following what he was trying to say. But maybe that is fine too. Vendettas from government officials (implied or direct) tend to intimidate most folks. DS is one tough cookie and proves fearless again!

BB on September 6, 2007 at 2:38 pm

The Cronyism in the Bush administration is just disgraceful. As someone who voted for him twice, I’m certainly ready for fresh blood in the White House. He’s made some terrible moves based on pure cronyism and personal loyalty that either weren’t qualified to begin with (see both Harriet and Princess Julie Myers) or screwed up terribly but were maintained (see Rumsfeld, Donald). I’d laugh at the ineptitude of the princess, except for the fact she is heading one of the most important departments in this country today, given our current situation.
A poster down below said that she was appointed b/c she would placate the right people and not enforce immigration laws, thereby scratching the backs of Senators and Congressmen whose districts rely on illegal alien labor. It is all a complete travesty. Either way, yes Debbie – OPPOSE THIS NOMINATION.

JasonBourne81 on September 6, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Myers and Albence are in the same league. neither one knows much about the job they were selected for and neither one has left the organization they were named to head in a position where they are functional. Both are excellent at smoke and mirrors, promoting the nearly incompetent, and rewarding the real workers with treatment that could only result in the number of EEO complaints that now must be dealt with by the ice organization (I use the word organization loosely). Neither the president, congress, or dhs really gives a damn as we head toward civil unrest, gang rule, and a third world civilization in the United States of America, or should I say the Union of the Americas (bush would like nothing better than to follow the european unions’ model of social unrest and terror promotion that exists today as the middle eastern and third world countries undermind the european civilization by sponsoring their own flood of illegal immigrants. Be Prepared to Protect Yourselves and Your Families because dhs is a joke!

GrouchoMarx on September 6, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Just a fact check for you. Irrelevant to the point of your post, of course. That bungalow in Birmingham MI is actually listed for $379,900, and has never been listed anywhere near $600,000.
ACTUALLY, IT LAST SOLD FOR $438,500 (ABOUT 3.5 YEARS AGO). AND ITS TRUE VALUE IS ABOUT $600,000 ROUNDED OFF (THE DOCUMENTS I CHECKED VALUE THE HOUSE AT $580,000 FOR TAXES, ETC.). THAT HOUSE HAS SEVERAL ADDITIONAL ROOMS BUILT UPSTAIRS, SO ITS VALUE IS INCREASED. I KNOW THAT AREA WELL. IT IS RARE FOR ANY HOUSE THERE TO GO FOR LESS THAN $500,000, BUT IN THIS MICHIGAN ECONOMY ALL OF THE HOUSES FOR SALE ON THAT BLOCK ARE NOW HAVING THEIR PRICES SLASHED.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Maureen Francis on September 6, 2007 at 9:26 pm

DS
Your tenacity is inspiring. Keep it up Debbie.
You forced FDT to ditch S Abraham, I’m sure your persistence can stop this most unworthy and dangerous appointment.
You go girl.

USorThem on September 6, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Well…looks like its time for me to finally post a comment on this interesting site….and don’t over tax yourselves…I will out my ownself here shortly, cause what I write I mean and I want you to know it came from me.
It really doesn’t matter if Julie M. gets confirmed or not…ICE is a disfunctional organization (with my appologies to all the work hard every day to make it better..and there are many!) and it is going to stay that way. Why…because ICE is the new US Immigration Service (by design) and this Administration and all previous administrations simply does not want, has never wanted and will never want a functional and efficient immigration enforcement agency. All the old INS employees who always held that INS was never allowed to do a good job were RIGHT! This is just a political issue and the Administration (Red or Blue) wants only to be able to say that they have an immigration enforcement agency, wants to use if as a policy tool from time to time and in the case of ICE may want to hold in reserve the ability to work in the narcotics, money laundering, anti-terrorism, trade enforcement, etc. arena from time to time. But there is a reason that only young, no clout, political lightweight appointees are sent to ICE..and that is to insure that the outfit operates in disarry, with minimal leadership or Departmental direction. Face it, to quote former Customs Commissioner Bonner…”ICE will likely in 3-5 years collapse under its weight and hollow construction and be re-merged with Customs where it rightly belongs”.
The reality of ICE’s situation is the reason I and so many other good people have retired or otherwise left the outfit…and make no mistake…anyone who says or implies that I had to “take early retirement/was forced to retire, etc. is FULL of BS…I retired like so many others simply because the administrative and operational situation in ICE OI had deteriorated to the point that no field agent, regardless of seniority, could have a positive impact on the direction or culture of the agency…oh yea…and…HQ wouldn’t restore Use or Lose Annual Leave as per A/S Garcia direction in 2005 and I had a LOT of Use or Lose!!!
What happened to ICE??? You can blame the Department for never really funding the start up of ICE, blame Mr. Garcia for having some very deficient personal senior staff that started the agency on a continuing downward spiral, a HQ team that would not accept the reality or act on the fact that such a wide disparity of truly basic training needs existed in the investigative workforce (on both sides of the house-Customs & INS)and of course blame the Department for its purposeful lack of direction, leadership and guidance. But, really…ICE is what it was designed and meant to be…ineffective and largely purposeless. Make no mistake, lots of good, capable and talented people right up to the highest levels work in the organization every day, trying to make it better, to make a difference, many that I respect and admire and count among my friends…but with very little chance of making a lasting impact if any real impact at all…but, it remains evident that its an uphill battle!
Which brings me back to my original purpose for writing (thank God!)…with the state of the agency so evident, why would anyone take exception with an agent or agents expressing thier views in this public forum…using a guarenteed freedom all 1811′s are expected to defend….honestly, some need to get a grip…and Kyle…I am speaking to YOU….WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!! I know you and the quality agent you are, how could you post another 1811′s name and photo and expose him to such risk and potential jepoardy! If you had a personal (not professional cause this isn’t that kind of forum)…you should have contacted him personnally, directly. If you had done that, maybe done a little genuine homework, you would have found that this agent you outted was one of the best “street agents”, one of the best true investigators that the Customs Service ever had. Sure he was a bit of a “lone wolf” kinda guy, one who didn’t favor lots of routine, recurring reports, one who was very selective of the kind of case he spent his time on, one who believed in working smarter…not longer…but one who when properly motivated, lead and directed was 100 per cent reliable, innovative and completely dependable!. If I ever had a worry that a load of dope, or money or a suspect was going to be lost or burned or a case was going to fold prematurely…this agent was the go-to guy to salvage and insure that the case “Went”! Professionals don’t “out” other professionals and put them and their family at risk. Whatever pressures caused this lapse in judgement by a senior manager in ICE…well, I see it as just another symptom of deep trouble in ICE. That is the real reason so many of my good and capable friends like, Steve, Joe, Paul, Kevin…and me left this troubled outfit.
Make no mistake…this new US Immigration Service will not get better, its not allowed to be efficient by the Department or this Administration…or the next…immigration enforcement is too political, to much business and money and trade is impacted…so get used to it…no matter who gets confirmed or not confirmed or next nominated to lead the organization.
Ken Cates
SAC (Ret.)
DHS/ICE
OI/Dallas, TX

Ken1811 on September 6, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Ms. Schlussel,
I appreciate you allowing me access to your blog again, and your invite to respond to your column. If you only have people that agree with you writing in, it will get quite boring I would think.
As I’ve said in many previous posts, I’m not going to offer an opinion on our “appointed leadership”. I have an opinion of course, but I choose not to post it here in this public forum.
You were referring to me when you said “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.”
I’ve said on a number of ocassions that this is inaccurate, and I’ll repeat if for you.
I have never, repeat NEVER discussed my participation/involvement and/or discussions on your website with Director Marcy M. Forman or Assistant Secretary Julie Myers. Never happened.
I have not, in any way, shape or fashion been asked to do this, instructed to do this, or told what to say on this blog. Never happened.
My guess is someone may have told Director Forman by now that EVS and I are one and the same, but I don’t know that to be true, and I have very little contact with the A/S or her staff, so I don’t know what if anything she knows about it.
To say my efforts to defend the law enforcement leadership at ICE/OI is sanctioned, is just wrong.
You also said “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)”.
I’d like to correct you there too. I didn’t attempt to do anything. I did what I said I’d do. Your double standard for allowing the negative posters to post with free rein (because they support your position) while clamping down on their opposition is crystal clear.
It is your site though, and I’ve agreed not to “out” anyone else and I’ll abide by that, and furthermore, I even told you in the “offending post” that I had no interest in outing anyone else. I was just warning folks to be careful what they said anonymously, because sometimes you end up having to own those words.
Ken,
Call me if you want to talk. You have the number.
EVS/Kyle E. Barnette

EverVigilantSheepdog on September 6, 2007 at 10:02 pm

“If you had done that, maybe done a little genuine homework, you would have found that this agent you outted was one of the best “street agents”, one of the best true investigators that the Customs Service ever had. Sure he was a bit of a “lone wolf” kinda guy, one who didn’t favor lots of routine, recurring reports, one who was very selective of the kind of case he spent his time on, one who believed in working smarter…not longer…but one who when properly motivated, lead and directed was 100 per cent reliable, innovative and completely dependable!. If I ever had a worry that a load of dope, or money or a suspect was going to be lost or burned or a case was going to fold prematurely…this agent was the go-to guy to salvage and insure that the case “Went”!”
Mr. Cates,
When you said this, were you aware of the vicious things that FingerEleven had posted on this board about his fellow agents (the Legacy INS ones)? He attacked EVS, but more than that, he attacked those of us who have quietly worked a difficult mission, one that didn’t involve the glamorous and profitable war on drugs or the ever present evil of child pornography that everyone agrees about. We did it quietly and to the best of our abilities within the limitations imposed by Congress and various administrations.
We didn’t call ourselves the best kept secret in federal law enforcement, we didn’t talk about our birthday, we didn’t constantly talk about how much better we were than the FBI or DEA, and we didn’t worry about what the world thought about us. We just did the job we had as best we could, knowing what we were and where we stood.
But we also knew it was important work and needed to be done, so we tried to ignore the difficulties and concentrate on the fun times and the accomplishments we had in spite of the cuffs placed on us by our management. Some of us moved onto greener pastures because of the frustrations that came with immigration law enforcement, but most stuck around and kept at it day after day without concern about whether our credentials said we had intergrity and were worthy of trust. We knew we were because we are, not because some pre-printed government form proclaimed it.
I’ve done this job for lots of years, and I would tell anyone it is thankless. But it is also necessary, and we are tasked to do it. Finger didn’t ask to do immigration work, and I didn’t ask to do any of the traditional customs work (and have no interest in doing any of it). But both are important, and ICE is expected to do both now. I try to do both when asked to the best of my ability, and I try to be professional both on the job and off, including what I say and write about my agency in public forums.
Finger posted a picture of himself with his true name on a public website in Dallas, he posted his picture with an alias he used on this webiste on a poker website, and more importantly he disgraced himself and his agency with every word out of his mouth on this forum. It’s great he loved his job with Customs, and it’s fine that he express his dissatisfaction with ICE, but as a professional “worthy of trust” or whatever it said on his old credentials, he has an obligation to the American public and his fellow agents to not be a horse’s ass in a public forum.
If his poor judgement in posting his correct name and picture on one site and his forum alians and picture on another site causes him problems, then I would imagine he and all of us have learned a valuable lesson. My name is out there in lots of court documents that are public record, and if I post my picture and name on the internet, anyone that is a little enterprising will be able to put the two together and find out who I am.
If Finger has suffered so much mental trauma from being associated with the immigration mission that he said the hateful things he said on this forum about his fellow agents (the agents who will be out there backing him up on the job), then he needs help beyond what Debbie or you can give him. If the things he wrote are indicative of his mental state, it’s good he has been “outed” and hopefully it will lead him to retire before his rage and immaturity cause him to do something worse than spewing bile about his co-workers. He’s not a lone wolf, he’s a fool, and I for one will be happy if his posting days are over.

SouthernICE1811 on September 6, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Well Southern ICE1811…”Lighten Up Francsis!!” Hey, just joking…you make some good points…no one knows better than me that “Finger” can get out there on that ragged edge…I think even he would admit it…but no matter what…even if Finger himself posted his own name and picture…then HE would have been over the line in putting himself, maybe other agents in his office and his family at risk. You apparently don’t know me, but you need not convince me that the immigration work is necessary…I for one thought the potential of having both Customs and Immigration authority in a single agent was an outstanding case making leap forward…can’t tell you how many times as a Customs and an ATF agent I wished I could have hooked up some crook on immigration charges when that was all I had…so…you keep on keeping on with your fine effort…but while you don’t have to like another agent, neither should you be reckless with his safety…even if he is…even if you dislike the guy or what he says…and for the record…I know that Kyle didn’t have any evil intention…but lets all get real…this is America, we can say pretty much what we want and we aren’t supposed to get punished for our opinions (given in the right public forum, etc.). Honestly…this blog serves some good discussion purposes..but like most media stuff in this world…it really just entertainment. Thanks for your service there SouthernICE1811…me, I have got to dash off to bed and get up early for my new job!…There is life after ICE!!
Kyle, I left you a message to call me either Tues or yesterday…I will try you through Sector tomorrow…no worries…just one old retired guy’s opinion…but I sticking to it!
ken

Ken1811 on September 7, 2007 at 12:01 am

Oh, my gawd! I now have a new idol. I am bowing to the new kid in town that is Ken Cates. Not an egomaniac, not a trivial, name-calling ne’er do well – just the truth, and eloquently put. Damn, I’m sorry you retired. I would follow you to the gates of hell! Good night, Mr. Cates. Gawd bless.

q2thecore on September 7, 2007 at 12:49 am

Sometimes one gets to be the fly on the wall.

John Cunningham on September 7, 2007 at 3:58 am

I want to echo Mr. Cates’ analysis of the current debacle known as ICE; In fact, history will records ICE’s legacy as the DEFINITION of “debacle” – from vision/mission to leadership to capital management (human and financial) – this agency is the epitome of all that can and has gone wrong with government reorganization.
Ms. Schlussel: I think you are aware that anyone who values their job is NOT going to write to their legislators, even as a “private citizen” – there is too much fear of one’s name being exposed to upper management in opposing Ms. Myers for anyone to do that; furthermore, groups like the FOP and FLEOA have been strangely silent on this matter – simply engaging Ms. Myers in dialogue of “mutual concern and interest”, but really not taking a stand, one way or another, regarding the nomination.
The only true way that Congress and the Senate will truly see what is going on is for GAO to conduct a surprise audit/investigation of ICE OI -no warning, no announcement. One morning, teams of GAO investigators need to show up at ICE OI offices around the country and at HQ and do a complete administrative/financial/operational audit – What kind of cases is ICE OI working and why? What is the state of infrastructure and why? What is the financial snapshot of the office in question and why? What about staffing? What about support issues? THERE NEEDS TO BE NO STONE LEFT UNTURNED !!! Furthermore, so that ICE managers on the field or at HQ have no time to influence or craft a response, GAO investigators need to whisk employees away at random to an off-site location and offer WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION STATUS to ensure that employees will feel comfortable in expressing their true views and observations about operations. Then, ICE managers need to be called in and questioned about how ICE OI operates and why.
This may seem draconian, but the future of border enforcement in this country demands no less – ICE is imploding, and the security of this nation is going to suffer if ICE Special Agents do not get the manpower, money, infrastructure, training, tools and, most of all, SUPPORT, needed to ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION – BOTH IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS.

4EVERCUSTOMS on September 7, 2007 at 6:00 am

All,
SouthernICE1811 said many things that I didn’t in my last post for fear that Debbie Schlussel would ban me from posting again.
Every point made is accurate, and well made. Couldn’t have said it better myself. It is refreshing and encouraging to occasionally get some support in this hostile place. Thank you Sir or Madam.
4EVERCUSTOMS,
I don’t know where you work (and for the record, don’t care), but you certainly aren’t in my AOR. As a leader within ICE/OI I have nothing to hide from DHS OIG’s surprise auditors. They could whisk all of the supervisors off and examine the office and books without a single concern from us. Hope they take us somewhere nice, as we could all use a nice vacation. LOL
We’re doing the job we’ve been tasked with, both immigration and customs, and to the best of our ability. We’re doing some good cases my friend. We can’t do as much of one or the other because of the dual mission, but neither is being neglected.
We’ve spent all of our budget, down to the last pennies, appropriately and within guidelines, asking for more when necessary, and receiving it from ICE HQS. It isn’t all roses mind you, but we’re comfortable that the mission, as convoluted as it sometimes appears, is being accomplished, and our objectives are being met.
The credit for this goes to the talented Special Agents and leadership team we have in place, supported by the outstanding administrative support folks, that see to it that everything that needs to be accomplished is done, according to established policy and procedures.
There may be pockets of problems around ICE that I’m not aware of, but we have complete transparency where I am, and welcome the opportunity to show off what we’ve done. Because Debbie says the sky is falling, and other’s fall in step (sheep-like) does not make it so.
ICE is the youngest federal law enforcement agency in the United States Government. We’ve overcome a lot, and we still have much to do, but we’ll get there.
Ken – Mike and I have been on the road since Monday (I know, I know… worthless and lazy SAC and DSAC traveling on a Federal Holiday) but I’ll be back in the office today. If you left a message I’ll return your call.
Work safe guys,
EVS/Kyle

EverVigilantSheepdog on September 7, 2007 at 6:38 am

Kyle/EVS
Thanks for posting on “this hostile place” as you call it. Very simply, Why don’t your people start deporting illegals in earnest (more than a raid here or there for a headline)? We see them all over–even protesting boldly in the streets every May 1st each year.
Do you say that it is NOT true that you guys notify the companies in advance of where you are going to make a raid for a headline? Why should we not see your department as farce? How hard would it be to check the rolls for legal SSN’s etc? or to require proof of legal status when getting a driver’s license or traffic ticket? Then to deport the illegals?

BB on September 7, 2007 at 7:11 am

EVS …
I’m not trying to bash managers on a local level. I realize the shit rolls downhill, and a lot of what is done on a local level is dictated by decisions made at pay grades MUCH higher than ourselves.
I didn’t intimate that YOU or other local mangers had anything to hide. What I think is that, after the audits and interviews are done (and no, not in a nice vacation spot), it will show that the issues lie square at the TOP – READ: CHERTOFF and MYERS.
Can you please answer this, for example: Why, when in the past, SACs were given their entire annual budgets or, at worst, their entire quarterly allotmnents, are they now being given only 1/4 to 1/3 at a time within a quarter? (I know this because I happen to know the budget officers at my SAC office). I sadly suspect the reason is, and you can correct me if I am wrong, that DHS and ICE senior managers (i.e. HQ) know that the financial system is SO screwed up, that ICE OI will have to surrender funds originally allocated to them to cover other entitries’ shortfalls within ICE and DHS, generally. If true and correct, is THIS any way to run an L/E entity responsible for BOTH aspects of border enforcement investigations?
Furthermore, why is my office losing an additional 10% of its investigative staff to HQ transfers, retirements, resignations, etc. and gaining back only 2.5 % for the forseeable future, with no relief in sight, and more staff loss due in 2008? Why are groups now SHARING investigative assistants and some groups don’t even have an intelligence analyst? Is this how border investigations are supposed to work on a grand scale? Please, sir, tell me not.
You see, as we have respectfully disagreed in the past, all I am doing is pointing out facts and perceptions as gathered/observed in the field, and, yes, perceptions do become reality. I am not denigrating a person or people here (except Chertoff and Myers, who are contemptible), but rather the entire way things are being done. And, sir, you know and I know that NOONE is going to risk their career by outing themselves in an e-mail to their Senator/Congressman opposing Ms. Myers’ nomination, only to get sent to Butt F*ck, Wherever when they are found out.
Regards.

4EVERCUSTOMS on September 7, 2007 at 7:36 am

Come on Ken,
You know more obstruction of immigration enforcement occured at the supervisory level than anywhere else. The Special Agent job is only as good as your immediate supervisor. When my twenty is over I have will have done everything I can to fight the good fight.
One Fortune 500 company boss I had said I was “brutally blunt”.
I can’t apologize for that, charm school is for politicians. Too many agents never stopped trashing the former INS agents and there can’t be much more than around 900 left. Within two years, probably less than 500, so why bother to keep kicking a dead horse? You killed your ride out of the valley.
My personal opinion is if we dump Myers, we will be on foot again until the new administration gets moving and remember that Bush One took a long time making appointments.
So you have a small rudder, do you break it mid-voyage?

code7 on September 7, 2007 at 8:44 am

To SouthernICE1811
I applaude you and even though I’m not an agent I would be proud to work with you.
To All
Why would you fear losing your jobs or other stuff happening if you exercise your rights as a citizen by writing your to your senator or congressman.
I plan on writing to my senators about this.
Everyone have a good weekend.
BECAUSE OF MARCY “DEAD TO ME” “BLACK ASS” FORMAN. THAT’S WHY THEY’D FEAR RETRIBUTION.
DS

NotAnAgent on September 7, 2007 at 10:21 am

Why would you fear losing your jobs or other stuff happening if you exercise your rights as a citizen by writing your to your senator or congressman.
Posted by: NotAnAgent
Obviously you have never worked for the Government. If they write their Congressmen and are found out they will be labeled a “shit stirrer” or “not a team player” by management.
From that point on their lives will be a living hell as they will be set-up and fired or worse.
There is no such thing as whistle blower protection. It is all a fraud to make the public think our government will protect people that disclose fraud or wrong doing in Government.
For every Serpico, there are 100 that were fired and had their life and reputation destroyed.
Do a google on Congressman Curt Weldon and Able Danger if you do not believe me.

ScottyDog on September 7, 2007 at 2:40 pm

and this is a GENERAL’S daughter?!!
what happened to this country? this stuff just gets under my skin so quickly, its as if reality just got shut off. Thank you very much Ms S and keep up the important work.
All this just goes to show you that the war never ends and that we have to fight back or they will eat us alive.
had a chinese national that just graduated from UofM Biz school in my cab the other day, we agreed that as China becomes more westernized we will meet them on the way down before they even make it to blue state status.

playertwo on September 7, 2007 at 3:46 pm

4EVERCUSTOMS,
I’d like to answer the questions you posed to me, and I’ll try to be direct and to the point.
You asked “Why, when in the past, SACs were given their entire annual budgets or, at worst, their entire quarterly allotmnents, are they now being given only 1/4 to 1/3 at a time within a quarter? (I know this because I happen to know the budget officers at my SAC office).”
Here’s the real story. SAC’s are apportioned quarterly funding as it drops from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and it is not an ICE/HQS/OI move to hold back the SAC budgets. It drops in increments of:
1st qtr – 40%
2nd qtr – 30%
3rd qtr – 20%
4th qtr – 10%
Therefor, the SAC’s have 70% of their budget in the first six months of the year. Your budget “officers” either didn’t pay attention, or are leading you astray for some reason unknown to me. And again, OMB drops the funds, and the SAC’s get it – it’s not DHS or ICE/OI HQS playing with the numbers and/or money.
Your second question was :
“Furthermore, why is my office losing an additional 10% of its investigative staff to HQ transfers, retirements, resignations, etc. and gaining back only 2.5 % for the forseeable future, with no relief in sight, and more staff loss due in 2008? Why are groups now SHARING investigative assistants and some groups don’t even have an intelligence analyst? Is this how border investigations are supposed to work on a grand scale?”
It is true that we have lost a number of people to retirement and transfers to DRO, CBP, and other agencies. Attrition is a normal course for any organization, and because of ICE/OI’s broad mission, our losses are a bit more painful. You should know Sir, that ICE/OI/HQS is not fully staffed any more than the field is. Many of the moves to other organizations are healthy for ICE/OI though, as many of the people leaving never embraced the new, more comprehensive mission of ensuring the safety of our own country. It is a normal leveling out of our workforce, and since we are a young agency (youngest Federal Law Enforcement Agency in the USA) we are still in the process of building a healthy workforce.
We have approximately 2,000 new hires in the pipeline for training. Unfortunately, FLETC can only process about 500 of these per year. To expedite the hiring process, ICE/OI solicited volunteer 1811′s from other agencies, that wouldn’t have to attend the CITP portion of our training, which will get them on the street a full 10 weeks faster. We received over 600 applications from over 40 federal agencies. A number of these agents will be hired, and put to work soon.
The facts are that ICE/OI is a work in progress. We aren’t there yet, but we’re getting there. We have as many agents as we ever had in the past (maybe not in your office at present), so your perception is inaccurate that we’ve lost postions or bodies.
As far as administrative support positions, it is incumbent on the SAC’s and the SAC offices to keep these positions filled. I know we’ve had some vacancies over the past year, but we’ve had announcements issued, and we’ve recently made a number of selections. I think when this round of admin people come on board, we’ll be fully staffed, until something else changes that.
I hope this helps you understand what’s going on within ICE as a whole. What I’ve told you is the truth, and though some of our fellow DS blogger’s will doubt it, or play games with what I’ve said, the truth doesn’t change. It is what it is.
Work Safe my Friend,
Kyle E. Barnette
Deputy SAC/New Orleans
AKA: EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on September 7, 2007 at 3:52 pm

…Must be another ‘federal friday’ at SAC N’awlin’s, or the Blackberry is on fire while on the road. Is that why 15′s and above were given Blackberries? To “set the blog straight” whilst commuting in the G-Goat every day? I’ll bet Finger11 has to use a payphone to call his office.

q2thecore on September 7, 2007 at 5:27 pm

For the agent that sends the letter to his conrgessman or simply stirs the s##t there are three ways that management can punish them with no questions asked. One is the group assignment where agents are sent to groups they want no part of. The second is their assigned government car where the problem agent gets the worst car in the lot. The final way is TDYs where the agent gets sent to someplace or detail that no one wants. These punishments happen all the time in offices around the country, except of course in that paradise called the SAC New Orleans.

longshanks on September 7, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Oh I forgot, senility goes with age, regarding the Albert Gallatin award, I disagree with those who were making light of this award. While it may not reflect courage, bravery, or outstanding achievement, it is noteworthy for employees to serve for a lenghty period of time with no adverse actions taken against them. I’m sure there are many who are very proud of receiving this award and I think it’s wrong for EVS or anyone else to make light of this achievement. And if Gallatin wasn’t important why do they have a statue of him in Washington DC?

longshanks on September 7, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Hey Longshanks,
I was not making light of the award, just reinterating the fact that it was for longevity with the Treasury and clarifying who got them when the folks whose agencies were under Treasury were transferred to DHS.
Also, I think you need to review who gets the award in the Treasury regs, anyone who has 20 years with the agency, they say nothing about having to have a clean record to get the award.
Believe me in the SAC office where I work, those of us who were shy of the 20 year time frame looked up the Tresury regs to see if there were any loopholes to get the award if you were transferred out under no fault of your own.
It would be a great idea if we all, and I’m including myself, checked our facts before we post on this site. Now opinions are another thing altogether.
As to the admin. staffs in the SAC offices. I know the administrative staff in the SAC office where I work is just one person shy of being a full complement and they are terribly overworked. However, Hqs. has a template that they use to determine the number of administrative employees each office has. It’s according to the number of agents the office has. I’ve been told this by my supervisor, however, Kyle you may correct me if I’m wrong.
Do any of the agents who post here want to see some agent positions made into administrative slots in their respective offices? I think not, and this is a personal opinion not a statement of fact folks.
As to the person who said I couldn’t have been a federal employee and made the statement I made about writing to my Senators, wrong. I am a federal employee and have been for 28 years. There is a big difference in writing to your congressman or senator and giving your opinion as to a matter they will vote on and being a whistleblower in my humble opinion. I’m just going to write them and tell them that I think there is a more qualified person out there and again in my humble opinion should’t it be someome with more experience and preferably a law enforcement officer who can finish getting this agency called, ICE, up off the ground floor as they say.
I don’t know Ms. Foreman personally, I have heard
lots of stuff about her via various means, but I sincerely doubt she has the time to contact each Senator to see which of the ICE employees has written to them about how they will vote on the Myers nomination.
You don’t have to make a big deal about your writing to them, just quitely do it and then don’t tell the whole world.
May all of your favorite college and pro teams win this weekend.
NotAnAgent

NotAnAgent on September 7, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Whatever records you are checking are wrong. You are correct about the last transaction price. Here are the public records on taxable value. I know the area well too. Not only did I grow up about a mile from that home in Birmingham, I am a Realtor and have sold real estate here for years.
Assessments & Total Annual Tax
Year Taxable Value State Equalized Value Homestead/ Percent Total
Taxes
2006 194,220.00 194,220.00 100.00 8,345.87
2005 198,340.00 198,340.00 100.00 8,623.08
2004 128,640.00 161,570.00 100.00 5,666.65
2003 125,750.00 159,890.00 100.00 5,312.29
2002 123,900.00 150,300.00 100.00 5,315.65
The county feels the market value is just under $400,000, and the taxes are based on the same kind of value.
A home (and any asset) is worth whatever someone else will pay for it. It has been established, by current price and time on market that that home is not worth even $400,000, or it would not be listed where it is.

Maureen Francis on September 7, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Longshanks is right, I have had all of those retaliations done to me. But nothing compares to be promoted to HQ that was the ultimate screw you. They win, they finally got me, this is the worst punishment I have ever had. I never wrote letters to Congressmen, but I’ve dropped by after hours and shot the sh-t with a few. If you can’t make a precise point in one minute their eyes glaze over and only perk-up if someone says “who do I make the check out to…”
When you go overseas, on the otherhand, you have to completely forget about making a point with the politicians there or their eyes will glaze over. The larger question regarding DC is this, “Is anyone getting laid in this town?” The married guys don’t have to answer, the answer is no (with my wife) and yes (with the boss). Regarding the value of the house in Detroit, nice to see home prices are now under the VA ceiling.

code7 on September 7, 2007 at 9:28 pm

longshanks,
I’ll not rise to the bait, but rather wait for 4EVERCUSTOMS to post, to see if what I had to say was of any use to him. I put in 12 hours today, how about you? Don’t be jealous because you don’t have a Blackberry…it just means you are accessible, 24X7X365.
The Albert Gallatin award is a “Service Award”, awarded for 20 years or more (and in some cases less) of service to the Dept. of the Treasury. Employees that left the Dept. due to no fault of their own (like NotAnAgent and others) were presented the award as well.
There is a statue of Secretary Gallatin in DC because he was and I believe still is the longest serving U.S. Treasury Secretary.
It’s still nothing more, nothing less than a good conduct medal. Not a bad thing, but hardly something worth bragging about. Just one mans opinion.
EVS/Kyle

EverVigilantSheepdog on September 7, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I want my son to earn that award some day, because it gets all the chicks HOT! Ooooh, show me your Gallatin award!

code7 on September 7, 2007 at 10:48 pm

EVS, now that I’ve left the “G” I am putting in long days, only about 10 today and using a blackberry. It’s really over rated, just an upgraded electronic leash. By the way I haven’t gotten the hang of driving and texting at the same time, is there a class for that in New Orleans? I hope Gallatin appreciates all the props he’s gotten from these posts. I didn’t have the same luck with my award that code7 did, must be using it wrong. Anyway EVS, keep it coming, I’d like to hear your comments on the topic of punishments via group assignments, cars, and TDYs. I’m sure nothing like that ever happens in New Orleans.

longshanks on September 7, 2007 at 11:16 pm

What the hell is wrong with some ICE agents NOT buying into DS’s gloom and doom view of ICE? Hey, I for one am an 1811 who loves his/her job, and they will have to beat me away from here with a stick!! I have not been able to post on this site in awhile b/c I have transferred from one AOR to another. And I have found the same thing in my new AOR that I found in the last one. Only a few whiny crybabies with not enough work to do to keep them occupied, and the rest working their butts off!! Keep up the good work EVS. I’m sure you know this, but you are not alone in your views.

lsellers on September 7, 2007 at 11:19 pm

“Ask Kyle Barnette” ICE QUESTION OF THE DAY
NotAnAgent and EverVigilantSheepdog (EVS) libeled FingerEleven 27 times on the Debbie Schlussel website. NotAnAgent published half as many libels as EVS. How many libels did NotAnAgent post?

NDN on September 8, 2007 at 3:54 am

Hey Isellers- If you’d stopped blowing your coworkers for a minute, you would see that were working on some serious proposals here. I know who you are and I’m going to post your picture on the dog breeder’s website under the Brown Noser breed.
I am working on a new proposal: we merge the Dept. of Labor into ICE assigning them to worksite enforcement. We give them their 13s and become LICE. That’s just phase one.
Here’s phase two: We merge Secret Service and make them 12s and become SLICE. That way when the next hurricane hits people can chase us looking for soda and pizza.

code7 on September 8, 2007 at 7:05 am

longshanks,
Biggest hassle with ours is the security requirements – every 20 minutes you have to enter your damn password, even if you are in the middle of a sending a message. Texting has to wait, until you are stopped in traffic, unless it’s a real short message. I’ve added quite a number of words using the “Auto Text” function in the setup, i.e. I can type kb, and the autotext fills out my entire name/title/phone numbers, etc…
That little feature saves a lot of key strokes.
As to your questions on punishments via group assignments, cars and TDY’s, I’ll offer this:
Where I am, group assignments are not made lightly. I have the ASAC’s gather, and pick teams so to speak. No one group can have all the “A” players, as it’s almost as problematic to have too many self-starter/case initiators as it is to have too many “C” or “D” players, who couldn’t find a case if it bit em in the butt.
We try to level the groups with blend of experience and new agents, and as much as it irks me to admit it, some less than motivated agents, or less talented agents.
It’s no secret that first line supervisors spend 90% of their time dealing with 10% of their subordinates, and the guys and gals that are really pulling the wagon, get very little attention from the GS. It is the way it is.
In New Orleans, we’ve done what we could to balance out the groups with legacy agency experience, and over a year ago, moved some GS’s into groups that traditionally would have been supervised by someone from the other legacy agency.
You see, we embraced the one-team/one-fight mantra, and we’ve done everything within our power to break down the barriers between legacy immigration and legacy customs folks. I think it’s working pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good.
It is sometimes necessary to make a group change, either a single agent, or a mass-shuffle, and we don’t hesitate to do this when it’s called for.
We believe everyone should be “well-rounded” experience-wise, in order to perform well as an ICE Special Agent, as well as to perform well on promotional tests. Leaving an agent in a specific group forever creates a stagnant employee, and is counter-productive in my opinion.
Change is always uncomfortable, and I hear the moans and groans anytime we make changes, but it’s necessary for growth, and everyone eventually gets used to it.
We don’t use G-ride assignments as punishment, but do, on ocassion use them as rewards. If I have a younger/newer agent that is kicking ass, and running circles around some experienced agents that for whatever reason aren’t fully engaged, I won’t hesitate to authorize that newer agent to drive the nicer/newer vehicle.
I don’t get in the weeds on most of this, as we leave the vehicle assignments up to our first line supervisors, but I support rewarding productive case makers with good equipment. I know there is a faction out there that thinks “seniority” is everything, and I just disagree. Since we aren’t a union shop, I’m free to feel that way.
Of course the other reality is our vehicle fleet, at this moment in time is better than I’ve ever seen it, including back in the Customs days (and we always, or almost always had nice cars).
We’ve been given the latitude by ICE/OI HQS to purchase what we want, instead of what they arbitrarily give us, and we are really healthy when it comes to cars.
TDY’s. We in New Orleans don’t use TDY’s to punish, but again, we do sometimes use them as rewards. If I have an “A” player who works his ass off pulling the wagon, never complaining, and going above and beyond what is required of him or her, I won’t hesitate to send him or her on a TDY that I think they will enjoy, or that will help benefit their career.
We will never send the “C” and “D” players on TDY’s that are important, as they represent our SAC office, and we always attempt to match the proper experience and attitude to the mission.
It’s no secret for example, that prior to 9-11 we at Customs never sent our best and brightest to the JTTF assignment. We needed those folks making cases for us. Post 9-11, we send the FBI “top-shelf” agents, because there is no more-important assignment then counter-terrorism, and anything we can do to contribute to protecting this country, we are going to do.
Probably more answer than you expected longshanks, but you asked, and I answered. This is our practice, and I can’t speak to the other 25 SAC’s, but would guess it wouldn’t vary much.
NDN,
Is NDN yet another “pen-name” for FingerEleven? You seem to be carrying the water for him, as if you have a vested interest. Hmmmm?
Libel and Slander is only actionable my friend, when what has been said is untrue. Truth is an absolute defense against slander and/or libel. Better get some free advice from a knowledgeable attorney before you waste a bunch of money on someone who missed this “fact” in law school.
Isellers,
Glad to see you back my friend. Hope all is well in your new AOR. Now that you know who I am, drop me an email some time, or give me a call. Your identity is safe with me, on that I give you my word.
Ya’ll work safe,
Kyle/EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on September 8, 2007 at 7:13 am

Hey code 7. GO F*** YOURSELF!! I just saw a “Help Wanted” sign at McDonalds. Since you know who I am, drop off an application, and I’ll turn it in for you. ( I do like the SLICE proposal, though ) “WAAA!!! I hate my $100,000 a year job. WAAAA”!! I’ve said it in previous posts and I’ll say it again. Go work a REAL police job for a few months, and see the problems these guys deal with day in and day out. At the end of the day guys, it’s JUST A JOB!! You are not going to change the world. And if you or I left ICE tomorrow, there are thousands of qualified men and women more than ready to take our place. I agree with a good many of the posts here, and some things should be changed. But until the day they tell me to sit at my desk and do nothing, I’m giving 110%. This is still the best job I’ve ever had by far, and I’m not going to let a few naysayers, and DS, change my opinion.

lsellers on September 8, 2007 at 8:50 am

Iseller- I was kidding about knowing who you are and posting your photo on the dog breeder’s website under the brown noser’s breed.
I never said I didn’t like my job, and don’t put down McDonalds my childhood friend owns 122 of them. My $100,000 wouldn’t would pay his taxes.
And please! Don’t give me that REAL police thing. That work is REALLY overpaid, or at least where I come from. Sleeping around with groupies, pushing college kids around, Nice try, but the local PD are legends in their own minds and get arrested as much as the people they police.
Nice try at the “WAAA!!! thing, but I eat boots like you for breakfast.
I never thought I would be missed or that I was so important. But I do change the world, for at least one future victim everytime I take some sleezoid off the street and there have been a boat load.
I wouldn’t recommend it, it is a delicate dance, but if you know how, you can get intelligence from defence attorneys after the case is closed. They will all tell you that federal agents bring the most thorough, complete, and professsional criminal cases, light years above the locals. But we don’t have our own TV show showing what REAL peace officers we are. By the way, where I came from they make more make more than we do, especially due to the very greedy off-duty jobs they have like guarding rappers, and taking free coffee, dry-cleaning, and rent.

code7 on September 8, 2007 at 9:55 am

I do apologize if I offended anyone in the Food Service industry by my sarcastic reference to code 7 applying for McDonalds. Hey dude, I’m sure on some level you do appreciate your job.
I couldn’t disagree with you more on the REAL police issue. Where I come from they make a quarter of what my pay is, and their job is a hell of a lot more stressful and dangerous. I know b/c I’ve been there and done that.
BTW, as far as the “eat boots like you for breakfast” comment, I’ll step into the Octagon with you anytime my friend. “Bow to your sensei. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!!”

lsellers on September 8, 2007 at 10:16 am

Isellers-
I agree with you 100% that local patrol duties are more dangerous but working in a fast food restaurant is much more dangerous than any police job. Only 57 police were killed last year on duty, we can loose that Iraq in US Armed Forces and fastfood workers and their customers get gunned down in unbelievable numbers. I am aware that officers in some parts of the country get paid dirt and have to buy their own weapons, ect.
The eat boots comments was rhetoric, I don’t have to prove anything physical especially to the Japanese who want to cut and run in the Middle East like their cowardly Italian and Spanish former fascist friends.
Just because some agents are frustrated that they can’t do their job doesn’t mean that they are whiners. For most of the country there is nearly ZERO cooperation from the locals in trying to get our arms around the immigration chaos. If we let them skate on their responsibilities on the local and state level the issue will suck the blood right out ICE.
Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that illegal immigration is not a crime, further stating, “I know that’s very hard for people to understand, but it’s not a federal crime. I was U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact when yu throw an immigrant out of the country, it’s not a criminal proceeding. It’s a civil proceeding.”
Let me make this point clear because I get it from a lot of agents: illegal immigration is a crime:
8 USC 1325, a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
GOT THAT RUDY! The Constitution clearly gives Congress the authority to handle immigration issues and naturalization requirements. Just because they legislate administrative proceedures to effect the handling of the criminal Title 8 violations does imply that it is not a federal crime, because it is, GOT THAT RUDY! Federal District Court Judges and the Supreme Court are the ultimate authority on who gets removed and many of those are criminal proceedings. GOT THAT RUDY! You better straighten out your boy Chertoff too, he says something stupid like that and Congress is going to send him fishing like Gonzalez.

code7 on September 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm

All this chest thumping you people are doing is ridiculous. The pie in the sky view point of a DSAC and the ìoutingî of another agent does what? The bashing of legacy INS agents and Legacy USCS does what?
I admit, for the longest time I thought that a majority of the INS agents were not USCS caliber. But after reading the posts on this site and others, and possibly my own, I have realized that my anger was misdirected. I have worked with some legacy INS agents and found them to be not too much different than USCS agents; some are good and some arenít so good.
Letís go back to the root of the issues concerning ICE. First, letís point out that all, if not most, of the 9/11 hijackers entered this country legally. The INS wasnít to blame for that. I donít think there was a single USCS person involved. The FBI and the CIA FAILED to listen to the intelligence coming from the field. Hence, 9/11 happened and the end result is DHS.
The issues in ICE werenít created by the current A/S or by Ms. Forman. They were created by the President, Vice President, Congress and the first DHS Secretary. That is where the blame squarely lies. Think about it! Those people created the debacle and they could have CLEARLY outlined the authority and the responsibilities of ICE/OI. The FBI and the CIA failed the American public and then had the juice to make the INS and Customs pay for their failures. The FBI congressional lobbying is better than any other federal agency. Then they stacked the deck and put the very politically weak in charge of DHS and OI. There still isnít anyone that has the political capital to make any corrections.
Perhaps Ken Cates was right; the agency was set-up to fail from the beginning. Again, letís be honest. The republicans want the cheap labor force and the democrats want the voting block, thus the need for immigration legal or not.
Does the average American really care about illegal immigration? Does Congress? Have any of the recent presidents actually cared? If so, there would have been significant changes to the Constitution and other laws that could have stemmed the tide of illegal immigration. There are laws on the books regarding employing illegals but how often are those laws really enforced? If any President or Congress really cared, the laws would be changed. Look at how long prohibition lasted!
The outlook on immigration appears to be changing but is it really? If we really wanted to unite as a country and as Americans, we would have a governmentally sanctioned national language. We would build the wall along the border to keep people out and not in as was the case with the Berlin wall. We wouldnít allow judges to legislate from the bench. We wouldnít tolerate being called racists because we want to control who comes in the country. We would realize that this country was founded on legal immigration. The presidential candidates would not say that entering this country isnít a crime.
I donít think the current A/S or Ms. Forman are to blame. If you want to blame someone blame the Bush administration and Congress. Hopefully, the next administration and DHS Secretary and A/S can fix the authority issues, the funding issues, the separation from the uniform side and the getting OI out from underneath DRO.
Bottom line; the next administration is 18 months or so away. The best we can hope for is someone with political clout to make positive changes after taking over. Turn your anger where it may make a difference. Point out to your representatives that it was the FBI that failed. Tell them that DHS is a debacle and explain how it needs to be corrected. Explain what the issues are and how to fix them. That is productive work; not what has been going on here.

mgofca on September 8, 2007 at 1:11 pm

It seems I didn’t get early enough start this morning to reply to NDN soon enough. Am I wrong, and I know I will be corrected if I am, but I don’t think telling someone he is wrong in his way of thinking is libel or slander. However, I’m so flattered that you took the time to go back and read everything that I have written.
It’s also amazing that only myself and EVS have allegedly committed libel and slander with regard to our posts refuting what FingerEleven has said on this site. Kyle, should we feel honored to be singled out, however, it’s good to know I’m in such good company.
I totally agree with what mgofca just posted, he/she hit the nail on the head. It doesn’t sound like he/she would be afraid to write to his/her elected representatives and let them know how he/she feels about what has happened to DHS/ICE.
I’ve done quite a bit of thinking about what has been said on this site by Debbie, as well as the other posters. There have been some insightful comments and observations made, but there have also been a lot negative stuff said about a lot of good people that joined us legacy Customs folk in forming this agency we so lovingly call ICE.
I do have one thing to say, have any of us, me included, thought to ask Kyle how all of his people in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are faring today after Hurricane Katrina blew thru there 2 years ago. I bet there are lots of government employees in all three of those states that drove government vehicles, or didn’t have a g ride, had to live miles away from their place of employeement soon after the storm and maybe even today.
To the person who was complaining that their managers got all of the new g rides and the agents got the ones who were dinged, etc.. Have you ever thought it might be the way you’ll drive and keep up the cars that allow them to get into the shape there are in. I know in the SAC office that I work in I don’t see any agent driving a car over 3-4 years old, but I do see a lot of wrecked cars sitting in the back of the parking lot. Here are agents making over $100000 a year complaining about not having the newest car to drive, when there are soldiers out there in Iraq and Afghanistan would just want a vehicle armoured enough so they won’t get either killed or have parts of them missing when that IED is hit or hits them.
I was reading about some soldiers that are in remote bases in the wilds of Afghanistan who, when supplies are low, only have one MRE to eat a day. Think about this when you are riding in that G ride to lunch one day this coming week.
What ever difficulties we are facing in this agency pales in comparison to what our military faces each day. We all need to think about them before we utter our next complaint about what is happening on whatever job we have in ICE. Yes they chose that career, just like we chose ours and I’m in no way saying that what we do is not as important in it’s own way. But to keep complaining about what is “utter nonsense” in the scheme of our work life is what I’m talking about.
Debbie, I wish you would write more about what our soldiers are going thru over there and what they are going thru when they get back to the states. Take congress and the rest of our leaders to task for not providing the necessary tools for them to do their jobs once in awhile.
Well I’m going to get off my soapbox and enjoy the rest of my day.
Take care all of you.

NotAnAgent on September 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm

A very good post by mgofca. I don’t see that the problem can be solved by personnel changes at the top even though there are big problems with top management in ICE. The problem is not legacy INS or legacy Customs. Both of these groups just want to do the type of law enforcment that they enjoy doing and have been trained to do. The problem was putting these two agencies together in the first place. There are similar problems with CBP trying to adjust to this change. The merger was a mistake and we can only hope the next administration will fix it. I’d also like to commend notanagent’s post. It’s nice of her to give Kyle something to think about during his two hour one way commutes.

longshanks on September 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm

To Longshank’s
You got it all wrong, though you did guess right that I am a she. I was trying to get the street agent who posts on here to think about what they say and how it comes across,. Personally I think what mgofca said is what should be debated around the water cooler on Monday morning.
A lot of you have tried to say what mgofca said but many times it was in very unflattering language and it denigrated your fellow agents that came from INS.
I can’t help but wonder if some of you legacy Customs agent’s ever considered that you might need that legacy INS agent you spoke unflattering about on this site to back you up in a very dangerous situation someday. and the reverse situation could happen also.
Kyle is right in that we all need to own what we say on this site and as well as everywhere else. I can say this, what I say on this site I mean and if we were having a conversation about this and I was talking to any of you who post on this site, I will say to your face what I say on this site. I will not, however, demean you as a person, however, I will debate the issue with you. Also, if I do not know something I will tell you that also. However, if you act like a true “AH” I will probably tell you that also but I may not say it in those terms. Depends on how much of one you really are.
To the agents who post on this site, remember you are not the only ones with opinions and ideas about the whole debate about ICE and DHS. Yes our opinion is coming from a different job experience, however, we do have opinions.

NotAnAgent on September 8, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Well Longshanks, I just made a tactical error if you were just guessing that I was a she, I confirmed what you wrote in your post.
However, you have to know that I’m not trying to find out who anyone who posts on this site is in real life. If someone chooses to tell or if someone else guesses who someone is and that person confirms it, then I might talk to that person and let them know who I am.
So rest assured I don’t know who you are and I’m not trying to find out either.
I could guess you are male and I would have 50/50 odds of being right. However, what would knowing you are male do for me, nothing, as there are more males that work for ICE than females.
If I gave you the reasons I feel most of the posters here are males then I would be giving you more clues into who I am and that I chose not to do.

NotAnAgent on September 8, 2007 at 6:10 pm

My G-ride is eight years old, still in perfect condition. At first I resented how the brown nosers got new cars which they didn’t take care of and banged up without fixing, but then I started quietly putting high performance parts into my g-ride and collecting parts off of the dead-lined cars of the same model. I loved that car and everyone stayed off my bumper and well away from me which is the way I like it. When I needed the juice I didn’t have to worry about the tires, struts, stabalizers or any other part betraying me. There is a certain freedom as a field agent in telling the brass to keep their flashlights or other stupid end of the year purchases to themselves and their brown nosers. My former Customs Agent supervisor drove the worst car in the office, after a while you realize all the peacocking around the office is just insecurity, look at what Lt. Colombo drove.

code7 on September 8, 2007 at 6:24 pm

“I am working on a new proposal: we merge the Dept. of Labor into ICE assigning them to worksite enforcement. We give them their 13s and become LICE. That’s just phase one.
Here’s phase two: We merge Secret Service and make them 12s and become SLICE. That way when the next hurricane hits people can chase us looking for soda and pizza.”-Code7
FingerEleven > ROFLCOPTER!!!!!!!!!!
ROFLCOPTER = Invented by a Blizzard moderator on the Warcraft III forum. There is always much whining going on on those official forums, much sucking up to moderators and an awful lot of ‘BLUE!!! PLZ REPLY!!!1one’ (Blue = color of moderator posts), so when a mod posts something, you can bet there’ll be thousands of people jumping on it, if only to spam ‘BLUE FIX GARGZ PLZZZZ’ or ‘first reply woooot!’ after it in the vain hope that the mod will read it and react.
So when one invented this new buzzword, it was grabbed and squeezed out and spread like a virus across all of the Blizzard forums and from there over the internet.
The word is derived from a unit in Warcraft III, the gyrocopter (flying machine). Your immediate response when someone masses gyros (to be funny, ruin the game, mess around or whatever) is to rofl for ten straight minutes until the copters of doom and destruction have pinpricked 1 of your 20 farms to death with their uber godly bombs.
Now mostly used on internet forum and blog posts as a leeter version of rofl.
NotAnAgent please use ROFLCOPTER in a sentence:
“Code7, Sloloman of the elite omega roflcopter squad enjoyed a fresh ZOMGBBQPIZZA and a cool lolmonade after his swift victory over the lollerbladers, lmaoplanes and outlawls and returning safely to the lolapalooza?????” -NotAnAgent

FingerEleven on September 8, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Notanagent, I wasn’t trying in any way to out you. When I wrote my post I put in the her without thinking. I guess something you had written earlier made me think you were female. I think staying anonomyous on these blogs is very important, at least for the rank and file. Despite what others may say there are prices to pay for speaking out. Of course if someone asks to be outed that’s a different thing.

longshanks on September 9, 2007 at 12:01 am

Have you noticed that as EVS, Kyle Barnette purported to be a wise, in-the-know senior manager dedicated to advancing ICE. EVS claimed in his early posts that he wanted to get the truth out there and raise the bar on the debate.
As soon as the true identity of EVS was revealed, Mr. Barnette became a mean spirited, name-calling bastard whose primary purpose was to retaliate against the agent who accepted his challenge and identified him. As soon as a jealous colleague of FingerEleven “dropped a nugget” in Barnettes lap, EVS started chortling with greed at what he was going to do. One wonders if the smirk will be wiped from Mr. Barnettes face if he is thrown under the bus by senior ICE management who he claims do not sanction his unprofessional conduct.
For now, Mr. Barnette has reverted back to his original persona, secure in his belief that FingerEleven has been marginalized. EVS reminds me of “Mr. Know-It-All” who was featured on the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. When Bullwinkle posed as Mr. Know-It-All, an authority on various topics, disasters invariably ensued. Stay tuned.

NDN on September 9, 2007 at 12:12 am

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