February 28, 2007, - 12:07 pm
Immigration Follies: Chertoff Testimony; ICE Princess Wastes Millions on Yo-Yos, Chap Stick, Stuffed Monkey
By Debbie Schlussel
More absurdity in the continuing follies of supposed immigration enforcement:
Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff a/k/a “Mr. Burns” and Commerce Secretary Carols Guttierrez were scheduled to testify at a Senate Judiciary Hearing on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” You know what that means–amnesty for illegal aliens.
Of note is that Chertoff, himself, is testifying and not his useless, incompetent little ICE Princess, Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She is, after all, supposed to be in charge of immigration, but she’s not testifying because, well, it would be a laughing stock. That the Commerce Secretary is testifying on immigration matters tells us all we need to know–big business wants amnesty. Blah, blah, blah.
Meanwhile, The ICE Princess is up to her old tricks of wasting our tax money on things that have NOTHING to do with ICE or customs and immigration investigations. Remember her specious claim that she was going to bring fiscal accountability to ICE? Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV reports that millions of dollars that could have been spent on immigration enforcement were spent on official ICE Yo-Yos and chap stick . . . and a lot of other absurd items.
Read and watch (it’s MUST WATCH TV!) enterprising reporter Jason Boose’s enlightening report. (I feel sorry for Peter Smith, the agent who was forced to answer questions on this. This is not his baby. It’s that ICE Princess’ problem. And The ICE Princess should personally answer for this absurdity–the fish rots from the head down.):
Protecting our homeland; that’s the mission of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Cities across the country are vying for the money that comes from that department. But what we found Homeland Security money being used for may surprise you.
Pens, yo-yo’s, a change purse and a chip-clip. They all read, “Help secure our homeland.” The merchandise even tells you how to help, by calling a number listed on all the items. That’s where 2 On Your Side’s Josh Boose began the investigation.
It’s a voicemail. No live operator, no federal agents. The recording told us to leave a message about any suspicious activity, criminal actions we’re aware of or information we feel needs to be looked into.
Boose called the Immigration and Customs Enforcement press office. He was told any budget questions had to be addressed to Homeland Security. So he contacted them. But they directed Josh back to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement press office.
A Washington spokeswoman for the agency explained the process to 2 On Your Side over the phone. We told her we needed to talk to someone in a phone interview or in person. She told Boose a phone interview wasn’t possible, but that she would get back to him. 2 On Your Side was about to get our questions answered. . . .
But how would a yo-yo help them track down sexual predators?
In the end, Boose requested nothing less than an on-camera interview. Only after he told the press office he was sitting down with New York Senator Chuck Schumer to discuss what he found did the northeast division call Channel 2 to set up an on-camera interview with Special Agent In Charge Peter Smith from the Buffalo office.
“We have a product line here with various levels of products that we are giving away at different sites when we’re out doing our public work, our public outreach programs,” said Smith.
When 2 On Your Side arrived for the interview, Immigration and Customs didn’t hide the fact they bought these things. They even showed us more items. There’s a piggy bank, a stuffed monkey, a mirror, a sunglasses holder, a Frisbee, a teddy bear, a stress relieving toy, a stress ball, a letter opener, a cd-dvd case, a travel mug, highlighter, notebook, travel bag, lunch pail, calculator, a wallet, toy plane, crayons, a water bottle, an orange water bottle, change purse, keychain, a flip-up mirror, a pad of paper, a light-up yo-yo, a bottle opener, a clip with two highlighters on it, a lanyard, an ice scraper, a mechanical pencil, another change purse, another key chain, a presidential ruler and a bottle of chap stick.
It’s intended for teachers, students and moms and dads. It’s a way to get the word about what the agency does. But the big question still, who paid for it?
Josh Boose asked Smith, “Let’s talk about cost. How much does all this cost here?” “This is all coming from the treasury forfeiture fund,” said Smith.
Here’s how it works; the homes, cars and drug money of criminals are seized by the feds, and then sold. That money goes into a fund. . . . Immigration and Customs Enforcement received $85 million from the fund last year. When we asked how much money was spent on the trinkets, the closest number he would say is less than five percent of that $85 million. [DS: That's $4.25 Million!!!!] In Buffalo alone, Smith says $15-hundred was spent on things like yo-yo’s and chapstick.
“Is it really worth it, do you think, the cost of the teddy bear, the piggy bank, the yo-yo? Do you think it’s worth it,” asked Boose [to Smith]. . . . “What would you say to the people who look at this, the average Joe on the street who look at this and say, are you kidding me! Look at the cd case, the pens, the calculators, the crayons. Do you really stand by this?”
To the many ICE Agents who read this site, if you have any of these things, please e-mail me scans of the items, so we can post them here. I’m particularly interested in the stuffed monkey, teddy bear, and chap stick–all of which are certainly symbolic beyond what was intended, regarding our soft, fuzzy, stuffed-monkey-style, cosmetic immigration enforcement policy under Mr. Burns and The ICE Princess.
Does The ICE Princess really think she’ll get a Julie Chapstick endorsement ad?
Tags: Assistant Secretary of Immigration, Buffalo, Carols Guttierrez, Chuck Schumer, Commerce Secretary, David Lunde, Debbie Schlussel More, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff a/k/a, enterprising reporter, Jason Boose, Josh Boose, Julie L. Myers, key chain, Michael Chertoff, Peter Smith, piggy bank, presidential ruler, Princess, Special Agent, travel bag, travel mug, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States, USD, Valley Girl Artwork, Washington spokeswoman for the agency, Wastes Millions, WGRZ-TV