October 12, 2007, - 1:17 pm

Federal Immigration Agency Still Rodney Dangerfield in Hollywood: A Symptom of The ICE Princess

By Debbie Schlussel
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) still gets no respect in Hollywood. In fact, but for the upcoming immigration sob story, “Crossing Over,” the agency doesn’t even exist, despite being several years old. And that’s likely a symptom of its incompetent “leadership.”
As I noted in my movie review of “Michael Clayton,” the George Clooney legal thriller out today, the nation’s federal immigration enforcement agency is the INS. Clooney’s Michael Clayton is a law firm “fixer” or “cleaner.” He directs clients in criminal legal trouble to the right lawyer for the right case. In one scene, he’s shown on the phone with someone looking for a good lawyer in an immigration case in Miami. Clayton asks the person if he’s talked to anyone at the INS. Then, he tells the person not to worry, that he knows people at the INS, including the former Commissioner.

icebadge.jpgrodneydangerfield2.jpg

No Respect:

Is ICE America’s “Rodney Dangerfield” Law Enforcement Agency?

The thing is, there is no INS anymore. And there hasn’t been for years.
But, hey, people see 20 million plus illegal aliens roaming their streets and taking their jobs. And they don’t see anyone arresting them.
And maybe that’s why they don’t know ICE exists . . . despite the trumped up “1,300” “new” illegal alien “gang” “arrests.”
All of Julie Myers’ empty, phony face time on FOX News won’t change that. Only meaningful immigration enforcement and investigation–and sweeping changes in the agency’s leadership–will.
The best form of advertising is getting the job done. With 20 million plus roaming the Great American Abyss, that ain’t happening.
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11 Responses

Thnaks for bringing that to light Debbie. I and many of my fellow agents have known that to be true, thanks to the ineptitude and malfeasance on behalf of the “Princess” and her pole-smokers.
As hard as we work to enforce the laws, locate, arrest, and get rid of the vermin, this agency takes another hit because of the spineless, PC bullshit propogated by our “leadership?”.
We don’t get any respect!

1shot1kill on October 12, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Just last night on an episode of “Without A Trace,” which is fast becoming the next “Lou Grant,” bashing America whenever it can, they kept referring to the INS. I kept shouting at the screen, ICE, ICE, ICE. But, to no avail. Are the people in Hollywood just stupid, ignorant, or a combination of the two?

JAT on October 12, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Last night on “Without A Trace” they did a program with an illegal alien character. They kept referring to the INS. I kept shouting at the screen, ICE, ICE, ICE, to no avail. Are the people in Hollywood ignorant or stupid, or a combination of the two?

JAT on October 12, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Someone should tell Hollywood it’s “BICE, BICE, BICE”.

code7 on October 13, 2007 at 9:52 am

Do you notice how fewer and fewer ICE OI agents are responding to these posts? Maybe because they are retiring, have transfered to other agencies or have outright resigned – or, maybe, they just don’t give a shit anymore, because they are so demoralized.
May I direct your attention to the recently issued report “National Strategy for Homeland Security”; the link follows:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/homeland/nshs/NSHS.pdf
ICE is mentioned only ONCE (page 24 of the PDF document) in the entire 62 page report as an afterthought regarding the round-up and detention of aliens, and only from a DRO perspective – there is NOTHING about ICE OI AT ALL and its work regarding narcotics interdiction, combatting money laundering, combatting weapons trafficking, combatting human trafficking, combatting document fraud or other important functions that legacy Customs and INS agents used to perform that were absolutely CRITICAL in keeping our homeland safe. Of course, the FBI gets a big mo-fo “attaboy” on page 13 of the PDF document for doing I don’t know what.
So once again, we are relegated to last place in the grand scheme of Homeland Security. Is it any wonder why ICE agents are leaving in droves like a massive blledout from a trauma victim? PUH-LEEZE, spare me the bullshit, becasue I’ve seen and heard quite enough.

4EVERCUSTOMS on October 13, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Asylum crisis getting worse, say officials
By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:49am BST 14/10/2007
wanna talk bout immigration? And remember, the UK is just an island. Here’s the headline from today’s paper, The Telegraph.
The asylum system is in turmoil and claimants could now be offered a backdoor amnesty to remain in Britain, a leaked Home Office memo has revealed. here’s link to story. This place is being overrun!
http://tinyurl.com/yrg4na

jayd on October 14, 2007 at 1:02 pm

You know, I tried to look at the positive for so long, but G-d help me, I am agreeing with 4EVER on this one. Agents have left in droves, from BOTH legacy INS and Customs. There are only roughly half of us left from the time of the merger. A lot of that has to do with retirement, but I’m sure some of those would have stayed on if things were better.
It’s well known that in the DHS job fair, ICE wasn’t even initially included in the “law Enforcement” section along with Secret Service and FPS (which is ICE too by BTW). It wasn’t an oversight or intentional, but a sign of the profile that our agency has within our own Department! I think many of us were dispirited when the current AS sailed through her hearings. While a nice person with a positive demeanor (good traits) she is so clearly out of place that she is easily ignored. Even in her press conferences she comes off as stammering and inarticulate even while reading from prepared statements. It is pitiful. Were it not for her political connections, she wouldn’t have even been hired for a HQ attorney position, much less to run an agency. When that is the mark you set for an agency in law enforcement, it is inevitable that our profile will remain low.
There is only so much one can do in that position with limited resources for such a broad mission. But a leader that could make precise, competent and coherent decisions and policies would at least inform the public as to what this agency can and will do. Right now we are obsessed with numbers and framing those numbers, rather than results. That can be put directly at the feet of this ICE AS.

Staypositive on October 15, 2007 at 7:00 pm

I also must agree with 4EVER. Apathy is running amock in ICE.
Asst Secretary Myers confirmation hearing was nothing short of astonishing. No answers were provided for direct questions.
Morale is at an all time low. First it was the aforementioned “job fair” ommission. ICE Agents were never told how that debacle came about or what the outcome was.
Just recently the Nassau County, NY Police Chief and County Executive bashed ICE at a press conference after a “gang” round up. Relations with local police departments are plummeting and we again are the laughing stock of the law enforcement community.
ICE Intell was revamped, but that didnt fix the problem that has existed since ICE’s inception.
Although we have a budget, we are operating on a CR as the money has not yet filtered down to the individual agencies.
The number of ‘acting’ superivsory positions are growing again, we can’t seem to fill HQ positions and people are being drafted to DC and agents are continuing to depart and resign.
Congress doesnt seem to want to seriously take up the political hot potatoe of immigration reform and enforcement and we are left dealing with the wreckage.
If you look at the ICE web page legacy Customs investigative areas are not even listed.
As an agency, we make arrests as part of ‘surge’ operations, instead of making arrests when an investigation dictates or it’s in the matter of public safety.
What happened to the days when you made a carefully planned arrest with enough evidence to impress a grand jury, judge and trial jury. Instead, we are mucking it up for the cameras.
ICE/OI proclaims itself to be the largest investigative arm of Homeland Security, yet we are non-existent in documents such as the previously mentioned reports.
We should take a lesson from another federal drug enforcement agency that was savvy enough to ‘coin’ the phrase “narco-terrorism”. That was a brilliant PR move on their part to thrust themselves into the homeland security arena!
ICE still has yet to educate the public as to who we are and what we can do!
Yup, 4EVER is right. Maybe that’s why ICE agents have not written in lately. It’s like throwing sand against the tide.

ICEDover on October 15, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Some valid points have been made here, but I’ll take exception to a few, because it’s what I do. LOL
I’m afraid ICE/OI didn’t have a whole lot to do with creating the “National Strategy for Homeland Security” and I agree with you all that we should have a bigger role and responsibility, as the largest investigative arm of DHS. The ironic reality is we are still doing some good stuff, that leads to gains in securing the homeland, but it all goes unhearaled, due to our high-visability immigration enforcement role. Wish I had the answer to those questions.
As to agents leaving in droves, this is only about half-true. Have a lot of folks left, or retired? Yes Are we down a bunch? Not really. I believe we’re at about 5,800 +-, with a full pipe-line, and full academy classes. We’ve lost a lot of experience, but we’re also gaining a great deal of enthusiasm and energy, that’s coming to work without any baggage from either legacy agency. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
In my AOR, within the next couple of months, I’ll be attending retirement parties for a couple of agents that are retiring at age 57, or their mandatory retirement date. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I don’t remember a whole bunch of people going to mandatory when we were Customs/OI.
The “job fair issue” while unfortunate, was a DHS goof. I’ve addressed that, with specificity, as I was serving in HQS as the SAC/Ombudsperson back in May when that ocurred. There was no malice, or conspiracy to cause us grief, and Director Forman took that fight up, and we got the apology that was deserved, and within a workday, which is unheard of in the CAB building. Instead of viewing this as a failure, I look at it as a success of our law enforcement leadership. I know I’m in the minority, but it’s how I see it.
We’ve always had to draft people into HQS, so that’s not news. Not many people want to leave their comfort zone to work in HQS. It’s necessary, and people that serve, generally are rewarded if they contribute.
Within my AOR their are a couple of supervisor vacancies, but only one that hasn’t already been selected for. I’d imagine this is true across the board. Most of these jobs are waiting for PCS funding, so people can be moved to the location of their new assignment. Again, nothing new…happens every FY.
I’ll say it again; it is not perfect at ICE/OI. We can do better. It is also not as bad as some would have you believe. My job satisfaction derives largely from my relationship with my immediate supervisor. As long as I have his trust and confidence to do my job, I really don’t need anything else. Remember guys, it ain’t a sprint, but a 30 year marathon. Look for the bad you will find it. Look for some good, you’ll find it too.
Work safe,
EVS/Kyle

EverVigilantSheepdog on October 16, 2007 at 9:30 pm

EVS:
I appreciate your reply, but must respectfully disagree that people posting to these blog entries are seeking the bad in anything; if anyone has bungled this abortion, and badly, to boot, it has been the President, Congress and senior management at DHS.
I will not elaborate at this time, but I hear stories DAILY firsthand of how ICE continues to lose respect both among members of the public-at-large, other law enforcement agencies (icluding our former lgacy counterparts at CBP) and our state and local partners (e.g. ports and aviation authorities); if you’d like, I can provide on this site at least 2 to 3 REAL, RELEVANT examples of how this lack of respect is conspring to render us IRRELEVANT in the “War on Terror” and nothing more than a FOOTNOTE in DHS’ history, as compared to an integral part of the story.
Regards …

4EVERCUSTOMS on October 17, 2007 at 8:34 am

4EVERCUSTOMS,
There is no doubt that the elected/appointed leadership bungled this process, or we’d have a great deal more responsibility in the matters you refer to. It goes back to the creation of DHS, and Tom Ridge, et al.
The point I’m trying to make is that it’s up to you and I to turn that around, within our sphere of influence.
We can’t affect how Congress or the White House does business, but the local CBP folks, the Sheriff’s, Police Chief’s and/or Highway Patrol in the area I work in, will know who we are, and what we can contribute.
I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last 5 days in meetings and conversations at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference which is just wrapping up in New Orleans. I didn’t once have to explain what ICE is, or what we do, and I spoke to probably a hundred or more Police Chiefs, Sheriffs and State Troopers. This is progress.
I know I don’t need to tell you this, but I will say it for the rest of the agents out there.
You are an investigator – Investigate!!!
If you bring that strategic case to the table, nobody is going to tell you not to work it. If you bring that money laundering case, or any other significant case to the table, you will be able to work it. You can have an impact on our national security, and when you do that, you’ll never be irrevelant on the War on Terror. You might not get the press, but who cares as long as you are making things better and safer.
While it’s entertaining, and perhaps helpful on some level to discuss national issues, I think it’s a mistake to get bogged down in them. Do the very best job you can, and take of your partners and your team. That’s the only point I was trying to make.
Have a great day friend.
EVS/Kyle

EverVigilantSheepdog on October 17, 2007 at 12:44 pm

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