February 3, 2013, - 5:19 pm

Homeland Security’s Napolitano, Morton Livin’ It Up @ SuperBowl; ICE . . . We Keep You Safe From T-Shirts!

By Debbie Schlussel

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano a/k/a “The Lesbionic Woman,” and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief John Morton are livin’ it up in N’awlins, this weekend, allegedly in the name of keeping you safe. The photo below shows John Morton with a ring that he claims was seized from street sellers and is a counterfeit New Orleans Saints ring. (He’s posing in front of an “HSI” sign, which stands for Homeland Security Investigations–ICE’s new branding name, which cost a ton of money to switch over to. But, hey, branding and style are more important to this Obamanik than substance.) Every year, I write about how ICE agents are sent to the Super Bowl to engage in the charade of pretending they are taking dangerous, counterfeit merchandise funding Islamic terrorists off the street. But they are doing no such thing.

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Instead, it’s a hollow PR ploy on which the mainstream media eagerly bite while ICE agents–who aren’t enforcing immigration laws much anymore–act as the personal trademark police for billionaire NFL owners and multi-millionaire NFL players, while you foot the bill. As I’ve noted before, ICE agents will seize t-shirts from innocent vendors trying to make a buck to survive in this economy.


People selling shirts with phrases like “New Orleans Football” or “Big Game – New Orleans ’13” will be threatened with arrest unless they turn over these items, which break no laws and are merely an exercise of the First Amendment. The NFL and ICE officials spend your time and money compiling giant reference books, chock full of words, slogans, phrases, and symbols that they claim infringe on their copyrights, when in most cases they do not. These unsophisticated street vendors don’t know better and, rather than challenge the seizure of their merchandise, they hand it over.

While it’s true that a lot of Muslims linked to HAMAS and Hezbollah, sell counterfeit merchandise to fund their favorite Islamic terrorist groups, not a single t-shirt seized or baseball cap grabbed by ICE agents near the Superdome is linked to Islamic terrorism. If there was any nexus to terrorism, then why are the vendors immediately set free in exchange for the t-shirts, caps, and pins? ICE agents know this is a BS mission they’re on, but they don’t have a say in the matter because John Morton wants to mug for the cameras along with Big Manet, er . . . Janet. After all, in four years, he’s gonna need to find a job. And his last two years of seeking high-paying legal jobs with Comcast and Viacom have failed. Look for him, also, at the Oscars and the Grammys–he’s at both every year, partyin’ in style, complete with a whole posse of tax-paid ICE agents serving as his bodyguards.

So, when you see his mug in the paper and his claims about keeping you safe, ask yourself how many poor shnooks trying to sell a t-shirt, emblazoned with “San Francisco Football Minus the Village People,” pose a threat to your and your family’s safety versus the many illegal aliens in our midst that he lets roam free even when they have committed serious crimes.

If he really cared about stopping Islamic terrorism (which is actually the domain of the FBI, not ICE), he wouldn’t be at the Super Bowl and neither would Janet Reno Napolitano. They’d be sweeping America’s streets and deporting people and he’d put a lot more agents on money laundering investigations. Now, though, those people are set to get a golden amnesty path to citizenship. And there isn’t much to do.

So they are living the good life with the beautiful people and pretending to do something that has some tangential connection with America’s security. Don’t believe the hype.

ICE . . . we keep you safe from baseball hats and sweatshirts! Only in America.

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32 Responses

Looks like we paid for a nice manicure for Morton so he’ll look good chillaxin’ around the Big Easy. Nice.

Joe Guiney on February 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm

An agent buddy recently told me “since we don’t do any law enforcement work any longer, where else could I earn $125,000 a year doing nothing?”. It all comes down to a paycheck…..For as big a mess as was INS, things are worse today. From Meissner to Napolitano, we are lost.

#1 Vato on February 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Only in America…you got guys selling obvioud non-NFL endorsed merchandise but somehow these vendors are bigger threats than the people at CAIR and its Muslim Britherhood minions. WTF?! Nice that are our (ACTUAL tax payer) tax dollars working for the country’s security >sarcasm<. Gee I see some illegals from Mexico selling Raiders/49ers blankets from their van on the side of the road. Ooo very bad, forget Al-Qaeda cells in our country, making sure the NFL gets their kast nickel and dime is more important.

Mario on February 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

It’s a tragedy what they have done to the old U.S. Customs Service, once a top notch investigative agency, and yes they did do counterfeit, but now that the Clowns have taken over, no one is doing anything of substance as far as criminal investigations, so the only thing left for HSI/ICE to do is the counterfeit stuff; bullshit immigration work is not criminal investigations, all it is is process and release. The real and dangerous work is being done by the Border Patrol. HSI/ICE “agents” are con artists, content conducting “criminal investigations” from the comfort and safety of their climate controlled cubicle, and the Clown managers are doing their jobs by making sure they are all sitting at their cubicles because that is what a “good agent” is supposed to do.
HSI has been transformed by the Clowns, at all levels, into a giant, bumbling, bungling, Keystone Kop of an agency, the laughing stock of all federal agencies. Blame it on the Clowns that have been promoted, especially the INS clowns that don’t have any experience, never done anything except kiss ass and process, and got promoted with none of the heavy work necessary, never done anything, and not expected to do anything, rode the coattails of Customs to the higher grades. And one wonders why the agency is a complete disaster? HSI doesn’t have any leadership, just a bunch of ignorant bureaucrats that are legends in their own minds, fake tough guys that hassle Chipotle workers, or counterfeit NFL goods sellers, and call that “investigations”. They should re-brand “HSI” and change “investigations” to “idiots”

QTD on February 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    While I agree the whole organization is a blight and embarrassment, let’s not forget it was your beloved customs clowns that took over the agency at it’s inception, from HQ down to the SAC, DSAC, ASAC, and RAC levels. In addition, there were a lot of legacy customs supervisors/agents that were shameless, inept, corrupt wastes of DNA.

    Put the kool-aid down……

    IceNoMore on February 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    QTD,

    I’d like to know what work you think INS special agents didn’t do. I think until you’ve personally prosecuted an alien smuggling load house, you need to keep your mouth shut. From my experience, an ASU case is much harder than a drug case. FYI, I’ve never seen an INS clown puke outside of a load house full of Guatemalens, but I’ve sure seen a non INS agent do it.

    You guys always gotta start some shit between legacy INS and Customs. Why don’t you leave it alone? INS agents didn’t fuck this agency up. It turned that way on its own.

    HSI is an overflow system. We are allowed to take the cases the DEA and FBI don’t want, except for ASU and HT. We’re not really needed, yet we’re still getting paid. Be grateful you make so much money and don’t have to do much.

    Remember: Nobody ever got shot in their cube (the cube not the supervisor’s office).

    279!

    Cube Slug on February 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Slug,You’re either been smoking dope, content to live in blissful ignorance, or both. You must be one of those ins clerks that called themselves agents because they were processing “busloads” of “wets” all by themselves and calling it “investigations. You and your type will never understand: Customs took criminal investigative cases that both the DEA and the FBI wanted. That probably doesn’t mean much to you since you got your GS-13 after just 5 years on the job, and sit at your desk all day ingratiating yourself with the boss, who by the way also probably doesn’t know his/her ass from a hole in the ground. How many ASU cases did you do within the hours of 7 AM-3 PM, since that’s what the ins agent union allowed you to work? HSI/ICE was doomed to failure when they fucked up the Customs Service by merging it with a dysfunctional, ass kissing agency as was the ins. Now its even more fucked up because they are promoting a lot of incompetent ins “agents” through the ranks with no experience, and no academy training, many got the “letter” from the old ins DD (District Director) that proclaimed to the recipient “you are now a special agent”, many ins clerks, adjudicators and inspectors with absolutely no criminal investigative experience got those, remember? And you wonder why the agency is so completely fucked up? That’s why.

      QTD on February 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

        QTD:

        It seems that you have a lot of anger issues over the merging of the two agencies, especially the fact that legacy INS special agents received their GS-13 grades non-competitively. Furthermore, it’s apparent that you wish to attack me. You assume that because I was legacy INS I’m lazy, stupid, and fucked up. You don’t even know me. Usually it takes people at least a few months to realize I’m lazy, stupid, and fucked up.

        That being said, you are severely incorrect in your statement that ASU cases are worked 7am to 3pm. Almost every load house I’ve worked came after hours and turned into a straight 30 hours and then a few weeks of hard work after that.

        Furthermore, I’ve never heard of an INS special agent receiving his title through a certificate from the DD. As far as I know, everyone goes to the academy; and it’s just stupid of you to assume that some INS agents didn’t graduate FLETC like everybody else. I’m sure it’s a rule somewhere that a federal agent has to graduate the academy.

        As for “busloads of wets” (as you called it) not being an investigation, here again you are terribly mistaken. But let’s just take a moment to think about this. In a load house case there’s generally anywhere from about 20 illegal aliens to say about 300. And yes, buses must come to transport that many aliens, and those busloads of aliens must be processed. In addition to that though, those aliens have to be interviewed along with any potential suspects.

        From those interviews, material witnesses and defendants are developed. At the load house, evidence is collected, photographed, and processed. From the collected evidence and the witness statements, the investigation is developed further. Defendants and matwits are taken to court. Defendants are prosecuted and eventually convicted. Sometimes you have cooperating defendants and they provide additonal information concerning the leaders of the alien smuggling organization.

        From this point, additional evidence is gathered via survellance, telephone tolls, GPS pings, and possibley a T-III. Then hopefully, you can identify leaders and additional co-conspirators. Now, I’m far from being the smartest agent in the agency, but the above sure does sound like an investigation to me. So for you to say that “processing a busload of wets” is not an investigation just shows that you’ve never been involved in an ASU case. And perhaps not any type of investigation.

        Let me say this: When it was 3am with 30 aliens to process, I never saw one incompetant INS agent. An INS agent can enter a password into ENFORCE, interview an alien in Spanish, process that alien, and generally help out with the ASU investigation. Unfortunately, what I have witnessed is a number of non INS agents who couldn’t (or refused) to do those things. But at the same time, I’ve witnessed a number of non INS agents who could and were more than willing to process.

        And in case you didn’t get the memo QTD, you’re a fucking immigration officer, like it or not. Just as I can be made to work a drug, gang, IPR, or child porn case.

        Now you and I could sit here, list our awards and long-term cases, and argue all day long about which one of us has the bigger dick; but I’d rather not get into it. I could care less how fucked up you and the agency are, how fucked up legacy INS and customs were, nor do I care how hard you work. As a matter fact, I hope you work 20 hours day and weekends to. The more you work, the less I have to.

        Also, I don’t care how I got my 13, just so long as I have it. The decision of merging the agency was made by people way above me, and if they felt that promoting my ACAP GED ass to a 13 was the thing to do, then God bless them. I have a family to take care of and that extra money sure has helped.

        Everything I have, I earned. Nobody gave it to me. And maybe you should think a little bit before you start attacking people. You never know the qualifications or the work history of the person you’re attacking. I know a lot of legacy INS agents who don’t look like much, but they’d surprise the hell out of you with how much they know and what they’ve done in their careers.

        And lastly: don’t trade shots with me or bash the INS (you haven’t earned the right to say anything about it). Just let this go.

        Cube Slug on February 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

John Moron, er…Morton — a credit to his public relations agent.

Seek on February 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

While it is true that HSI is staffed mainly by legacy Customs management, ICE was built on the on a structure (administration and operational systems, etc.) similar to the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service.

For example, under Customs, to be an agent, generally, it was required that the candidate possess at least a Bachelor’s degree and at least five years experience as a criminal investigator (Treasury Enforcement Agent Standards) . HSI now uses the legacy INS standards in the hiring of its agents—in some instances not even a high school degree is required. HSI has the lowest standards in the federal government for its criminal investigators (GS-1811 job series). HSI now manly hires student interns as special agents, and while it is true that they have college degree, most of them have no prior work experience. A criminal investigator with no time in the world is useless in that position as they are bereft of the skills necessary to interview people from various backgrounds and they tend to have huge learning curve in that they are learning to operate as an investigator from the ground up.

The interns are the model employee for the agency as they are young, they will be on the job a long time, they tend to do as told, and they are not self-motivated. HSI does not want employees that go out and make their own cases. Incredibly, there are reportedly at least two Special Agents in Charge (SAC) that do not possess college degrees (Washington DC and San Francisco)—you will never find that in another federal agency, and in fact many local law enforcement agencies now require that their managers have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum.

There is a bright side to working as a special agent in HSI though. One can pull down $125K a year, get a government car for fulltime use, great benefits and retirement, and, best of all, one does not have to work. There are agents in the field that hardly come into work anymore (just like the days of INS), or go to school, or work other jobs.

King David on February 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    King David – Get your facts straight and stop spewing rubbish. The SAC of San Francisco has a college degree.

    Bob on February 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm

First of all, I know the SAC San Francisco personally. Clark Settles is a good and decent man, and, very intelligent, to boot (his knowledge of counterproliferation law is second to none, bar none). There are a myriad of reasons why sometimes people don’t have Bachelor’s degrees – family circumstances, financial circumstances, whatever circumstances that, as a function of life, sometimes preclude a person from getting a formal degree. Much like I make the argument on guns, I’d rather people focus on personality and actions/behaviors, and not pieces of paper – there are people in this agency with LAW degrees and approaching Ph.D levels, and are the biggest A-holes on Earth. Yep, all of the paper – perfect to wipe their sorry asses with.

What really disappointed me was the hypocrisy of the recent HQ tour through various SAC offices – tens of thousands of dollars in travel and per diem for Morton, Dinkins and a whole gaggle of 15s and aspiring 15s to travel to some 4-6 SAC offices, both East and West Coast, to tell us … What? That we are out of money? That the time of austerity is upon us? That we have no money for equipment, cars, legitimate investigative travel, payments for informants, etc.? REALLY? F’in REALLY ??? What a bunch of B.S. that is (and that doesn’t stand for a degree title either, folks). What? They could do THAT via VTC, just like they do with semi-annual U/C reviews.

Is it any wonder that I quietly hear whispers from “senior” agents (although they stripped us of that title, too) about that upcoming consult with HR and their financial consultant, to see if retirement is feasible, if they are eligible? People can’t bail out of this agency fast enough, and the fish rots from the head down. Pretty soon, we will be paid $ 130,000 + a year for doing absolutely NOTHING. The American public ought write to their Reps and Senators as to exactly WHY SES HQ management is gallivanting about the country like this, while we are being asked to send collaterals to other offices, instead of traveling to places to gather case-critical information to post indictments, arrests and CONVICTIONS of transnational criminals.

20+ years of government service – I’ve never seen it so bad. God help us all.

StillShakingMyHead on February 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I certainly feel safer knowing that those fake rings and t-shirts are off the streets.

DS_ROCKS! on February 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

The Bureau of Prisons ranked higher than ICE in the national survey, outranking us by about a hundred or so points. The BOP is one of the most fucked up places to work. It’s misery to work in a prison, surrounded by convicts and often a bunch of dirty officers. Compared to the BOP, HSI 1811s have it great, and yet, the BOP scored much higher. What does that tell you?

When your agency ranks lower than the BOP, there’s a major problem.

Cube Slug on February 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Just remember: The more fucked up the agency is, the more fucked up you get to be. It’s a lot easier to be a turd in a bowl full of turds, than a pile of shit in a field of flowers.

Rock On!
Aloha, Mr. Hand.

Cube Slug on February 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm

The below article is a very common occurance in the BOP. ICE ranked way below the BOP on the national survey. The female correctional office is an example of the some of the officers who work the federal prisons. Yet, the BOP officers are more satisfied with their agency (according to the national survey) than ICE agents.

It’s a tragedy that ICE agents appear to be so unsatisified with their agency.

..NEW YORK (AP) — A federal prison guard was charged Tuesday with having an illegal affair with an inmate convicted in one of New York’s most notorious police killings, later becoming pregnant with his child.

Nancy Gonzalez, 29, was arrested on charges she intentionally engaged in a sex act with Ronell Wilson while working the night shift at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. She became pregnant in June, a few months into the affair, according to court papers. Gonzalez appeared in court Tuesday visibly pregnant and crying, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, and was released on $150,000 bond.

“She’s had a very tragic life,” said her attorney, Anthony Rico. “She has long-term issues that affected her life and judgment.”

Her family didn’t comment as a swarm of photographers and television cameras surrounded them outside federal court. Gonzalez buried her head in Rico’s shoulder while he spoke to reporters.

“These are very serious charges,” he said, adding he wouldn’t say whether Wilson pressured Gonzalez into the affair.

Gonzalez faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

Wilson, 30, was a young gang member on Staten Island when he was convicted in the point-blank shootings of undercover officers James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews in a 2006 illegal gun sting gone awry. The officers were both shot in the back of the head. Wilson was sentenced to death, but the sentence was thrown out in 2010 by an appeals court based on prosecutorial error.

Wilson could still face death; a new jury will decide his fate. But the replay of the trial’s penalty phase has been put off as Wilson’s lawyers seek to convince a judge that he’s ineligible for the death penalty because he’s mentally disabled.

In November, a hearing was held on the claim, and a decision from Judge Nicholas Garaufis is pending, though it’s unclear if and how Gonzalez’s arrest will affect the motion.

Wilson was moved to solitary confinement in August while reports of the relationship were investigated.

According to court papers, Gonzalez was seen by other inmates going in and out of Wilson’s cell starting in March, meeting him in a vacant activity room next to his cell when other inmates were supposed to be sleeping.

“I took a chance because I was so vulnerable and wanted to be loved and now I am carrying his child,” Gonzalez said, according to court papers.

She said she “kind of got sucked into his world,” and that she “felt like, well, why not give him a child as far as giving him some kind of hope.”

She confessed her relationship with Wilson to a different boyfriend, another inmate who had been under her supervision at the federal prison but is now housed at a state facility. She said it was over with Wilson, and that she was worried she would get into trouble.

After she became pregnant, Wilson’s mother made contact, requesting a sonogram photo, according to court papers. Gonzalez said she was worried about the calls because she feared authorities would catch her.

“I know what’s to come. I know what is going to be said about me,” she said, according to court papers. “How am I going to explain this to this little boy? Mommy was in the military … Mommy was a C.O., Mommy got wrapped up … And then the opposite end is with a person who took lives. So how do you explain that?”

Cube Slug on February 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

QTD says:

“especially the INS clowns that don’t have any experience, never done anything except kiss ass and process, and got promoted with none of the heavy work necessary, never done anything, and not expected to do anything, rode the coattails of Customs to the higher grades”

Little problem with this, as I have pointed out many times before: 22 of 26 SACs are former Customs and the Director of HSI, his deputy, and the heads of programs and operations are all former Customs. That means about 90% of senior agency leadership is former Customs. Here’s some other names for ya: John Clarke, Marcy Forman, Kumar Kibble, should I go on? STFU already about how INS agents have been promoted to leadership and jacked up the agency. Give credit where credit is due: to you glorious former Customs agents. BTW, I don’t think all of them (w/the exception of Forman) have done or are doing a bad job. I’m fine working under senior leadership that was former Customs. But if you aren’t happy, don’t blame people like me, blame people like YOU.

As to the t-shirt issue, fake apparel is a billion dollar industry that takes money from the rightful license holders. Do we ignore it when most of it has been illegally imported? I don’t know, big business or not, Nike pays a lot of money to get to have shirts manufactured in China for pennies and sold here for hundreds. Should others who didn’t pay for that privilege be allowed to have shirts manufactured in China for pennies (likely at the same factory) and sold for tens of dollars on the street and at flea markets? I’m being sarcastic but everything I said is true. I see both points, but I think it is hard for us to look the other way at obvious (if simple) IP theft. But, as Debbie pointed out, we are told to look the other way with illegal immigrants all of the time. So in the end, we pursue the least controversial issues, so as not to upset the potential future voters of America. Yay…..

please on February 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Please and Slug, both of you just don’t get it: ins was a fucked up agency PRIOR to the merger, as many of your own agents have testified. And if you ignorantly think that Customs was only about IPR, that’s only because you have no experience in the criminal investigations world, as most ins agents lack. Ins DD’s promoted numerous clerks and secretaries to “agent” positions with the stroke of a pen, again you must be the new guy on the block because you don’t know shit from shinola. There are also numerous GS’s from ins that have never been to any academy, and have NEVER conducted a criminal investigation, that comes from ins agents who know. AS for the GS 13 positions, dig up the job description and standards, if you got the guts, then you’ll see that ins agents, as most of the HSI/ICE agents that are 13’s, should be at the GS-7 level, and the GS’s at the GS-9 level. They are not performing up to the standards, never will, and aren’t expected to. Customs taking over the agency, with its SAC’s and ASACs, was not by accident, they were the most qualified. Customs inherited a totally dysfunctional ins agency, and is stuck with all the bullshit that ins entails. You want to talk about accomplishments? Ok, then I challenge you to come up with major criminal investigations wherein ins was the lead agency, and I don’t mean a case where no other agency wanted to get involved because it was a bullshit ins case, I’m talking cases that even the DEA and the FBI, would want to have taken over but couldn’t. I know you can’t so both of you DH STFU.

QTD on February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    QTD:

    Well dickhead, I don’t know about you, but I did my wire. And so far as I know, that’s a GS-13 level case. Furthermore, with my H.S. diploma and my INS experience, I can match you case for case and hour for hour and probably work you into the dirt both physically and intellectually. So shut the fuck up asshole. I don’t understand why you hate INS agents so much; they didn’t merge the agencies, and like anybody else, they’re doing what they’re told and getting away with whatever they can.

    I think you’d better seek some type of counseling for your anger issues. You need help.

    Cube Slug on February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

No one said Customs was all about IPR work, that however is the original topic of Debbie’s posts related to the Super Bowl. Did INS have the cartel dismantling cases of DEA or the La Cosa Nostra cases of the FBI? No, and neither did the run of the mill agents for those agencies either. I will give you this: alien processing is GS-7 work, but that is supposed to be a means to an ends, not the end itself. Try investigating corrupt law practices involved in complex asylum fraud schemes, or international alien smuggling organizations with drop houses in multiple contries and corrupt foreign officials on the payroll. Ask a prosecutor if they think it is easier to go after a dope case or a benefit fraud investigation, see what they say if you don’t believe me. Ten years into the merger and I have worked on CPI and IPR investigations and found them to be less difficult than benefit fraud cases while more complicated and challenging than most alien smuggling and document fraud investigations. The fact is, full blown criminal investigations into conspiracies involving the violation of Federal laws are difficult, whether it is HUD fraud, Medicare fraud, human trafficking, drug smuggling, or Customs fraud.

We have a host of authorities and a host of responsibilities. If top management (which is almost entirely legacy Customs) can’t handle or develop it, what does that have to do with some legacy INS GED-holding GS in Podunk, NM? Get over yourself and take ownership for the direction of your work.

BTW, in my old INS office we had a mixture of hires, a lot of former Patrol and Inspections, but also street hires of Veterans, outstanding scholars, and those who took the test. I’ve never met anyone who was a clerk and have no idea what you’re talking about. I’d say about 75% of my old office had degrees, with a couple holding PhDs, a couple former attorneys, and about a third with master’s (including me). And not every Customs SA had a degree either, with former marine officers and inspectors having been converted. I once saw the agency-wide stats on this, and while legacy Customs SAs had a high percentage of degree holders, it wasn’t as large a difference as you make it out to be.

Look, we’ve got HQ personnel in their mid-thirties, as well as seasoned agents, who came on board post merger. It’s about time to give up on the complaint that legacy INS personnel have fucked this place up. This place is what it is, and people in charge have to take responsibility for how it ended up here, and it wasn’t some former INS guy/girl. Your complaints need to go to John Clarke, Marcy Forman, and Jim Dinkins. They need to own it, as do you.

Please on February 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

And let’s not forget that Virtual University was originally developed to train people to be INS investigators—on line training for “law enforcement.” There were cases in INS where people were hired off the street and were just given a gun and a badge and no training under the auspices that they would receive “on the job” training.

The problem with ICE now is not that it is staffed by former Customs management, but that the agency was patterned after INS. If ICE was created on the model of the Customs Service the agency would be better performing. Instead of raising the bar for the former INS agents, the bar was lowered for everyone.

Is it any wonder why ICE has the lowest standards in the federal government for its special agents?

King David on February 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

King D –

What are you talking about? Every INS agent went to at least the basic police course at FLETC as an Inspector, or academy training through Border Patrol, or Deportation Officer or Special Agent school. No one ever got a gun off the street, even if you’d been a trained police officer or detective, you had to have gone to FLETC.

ICE is actually patterned after Customs, to the organization, titles, internal hiring and promotion, etc. It is nothing at all like the old INS (thankfully) which was aligned along Districts which had authority over Examinations, Deportation, Investigations and Inspections. HSI structurally is very much like the old Customs OI and nothing like INS.

VU was not developed for INS investigators. It is for everybody and always has been: contractors, personnel and budget people, attorneys, etc. Ethics training, leave administration, PII information, records custody, are the main things that take up my time.

There are tens of thousands of applicants to become agents who applied off the street, and about 2,000 other federal agents that wanted to switch over. ICE doesn’t get the lowest, it probably gets some of the best after the FBI, we get to pick who we want, amongst a pretty large applicant pool. We may have a bunch of former Customs and INS agents that don’t like the agency, but don’t mistake that for applicants lining up to get in here. For any one of us that leaves, there are a couple hundred that want the job. If we can’t get good people with that demand, that’s on us.

please on February 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Fact Check: Those glorious USCS special agents also received wholesale upgrades to GS-13 around 2002. Prior to that, about 25% of them were GS-13’s, having obtained a 13 by virtue of a system they called “dialing for dollars” which resulted in the butt suckers getting 13’s and those who did actual work did not.

Now go back and make another complex criminal case based on a routine CBP seizure of marijuana. Go seize some more counterfeit panties and Nike tennis shoes from that dangerous container or serve that search warrant on a safety deposit box and don’t forget while doing so, wear your vest and don’t hesitate using SRT because something might jump out and bite your candy asses.

The Truth Hurts on February 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

This is a beating a dead horse, but, there are people in ICE who were former INS special agents who have not attended any sort of a law enforcement academy. There was a prior reference to people who had training as INS inspectors, but it should be noted that the training for INS inspectors was not police integrated (interestingly, the Customs inspectors training was police integrated). Upon the merger, there were approximately twelve former district directors who had no law enforcement training who were converted to ICE special agents.

From its inception, ICE adopted all of INS’ administrative systems and procedures. ICE currently hires under the INS standards (standards which are even lower than the minimum standards required by OPM for the 1811 job series). As INS was abolished, ICE should be hiring under the Custom’s standard which is under the requirements of the Treasury Enforcement Agent (TEA), specifying the best candidates as possessing, at a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of experience as a criminal investigator.

As for special agents who are trying to get into ICE from other agencies, yes there are people who are doing it, but they are not doing it because they want to get into ICE, they are doing it because they want to get somewhere (location), or get away from something (i.e., discipline, non promotion, or firing) in their prior agency.

If you know anyone at the academy, I would suggest that you contact them and ask about who ICE is hiring—people who are grossly overweight, people who barely speak English, people who are mentally unbalanced, people who have no work history, etc. Does that sound like top candidates?

King David on February 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

The position upgrade to journeyman 13 in Customs was the result of audits that found that most agents were performing at the GS-13 level. Even then the agent had to show that he/she was performing at that level by listing cases, prosecutions, informants, etc, in short, everything that the GS-13 job description called for. It is a glaring fact that many former ins “agents” lacked that experience and training, after the merger the bar was lowered to accomodate the them. Most ins “agents” never performed to the Customs standards, they were performing brilliantly to the ins standards which were very low according to all standards. I won’t name the numerous former ins “agents” that I know for a fact never attended basic investigator school, never worked a criminal investigation, and never even recruited a confidential informant, which is essential in any criminal investigation. Ins “agents” were all gone at 3:00 pm, and never available for anything, unless it was 6:00 am to go “bust” Chipotle workers, process them and then release the, then go home at 10:00 am. And that “prosecution” you’re all talking about, sorry but immigration court is not the same as a district court. As for the ins inspector training and border patrol training, that’s all fine if one still wants to bust “wets”, but the fact is you cannot expect to apply those techniques to a modern criminal investigation, it may work fine over in Podunkville, wearing the shitkickers and busting “wets”, but outside of that ins is way outside of their league. Of course there are thousands of applicants applying for HSI/ICE agent positions, where else can you get paid over 125K a year and not be expected to do anything? And, look at the recruiting mewdia, it all promises internationl criminal investigations, homeland security, human smuggling, terrorism investigations, all of the buzz words. What they get is a job sitting at a desk all day conducting “criminal investigations” processing “wets” and doing all sorts of bullshit immigration work.

QTD on February 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I really don’t see the point of this arguement. Do you think bitching on this website is going to change the agency? Is QTD going to publish a manifesto concerning his hatred of INS agents and how INS agents ruined his life? Based on what I see of QTD’s writing ability, I’m doubting he’s educated or an even a special agent for that matter. Maybe an INS agent did his wife really good and that’s why he’s so upset with them?

There must be a reason at the heart of all this hatred.

from The Waste Land–Cube Slug “Out”.

Cube Slug on February 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Slug, through your own admission, there are a lot of things you don’t know, and, may I add, a lot of things you will never know, hence your current status as a blissful ignorant. And don’t confuse lack of respect with “hate”, they are very different. There is a general lack of respect for ins Clowns that are incompetent. Perhaps they were rising stars in the old ins, but at the current level they aren’t, which is why, as you put it Customs “took over”. It was not an accident, Customs was operating at a higher level. Notice that since the merger, HSI has self voted the worst place to work. Customs was never like that, ever, not even in its most trying times because, yes, there were a lot of assholes there. But now, forget about it, ins Clowns by a landslide.

    QTD on February 14, 2013 at 3:09 pm

KD-

You are an idiot. There is no basic education requirement for the 1811 series defined by OPM, and USCS and Treasury never required three years of experience as an investigator. The requirement for 1811 is a degree OR three years of progressively responsible work experience that qualifies you for the GS-5 level. I’ve got several good friends that were legacy Customs and now HSI agents that came on board right out of college, a few were part of an intern program and others were right off the street. I also know two others, who have since retired, that were with Customs as marine officers, but when hired as Customs SAs did not have their degrees. In fact, not one of my first line legacy Customs supervisors that I have had the past ten years had ANY law enforcement experience before they became SAs. You don’t even know you’re own history.

QTD –

You’re another one reinventing history. More than half of legacy INS SAs went to Special Agent training, the same academy course as CITP with about 4-8 hours changed. The INS Special Agent certificates were accepted by all the Treasury agencies as being equivalent to CITP, since Treasury ran FLETC, they knew the deal. Most others who became agents had spent years as Inspectors or Patrol Agents, many of whom went to the Special Agent transition course after becoming agents. Who do you think makes a better investigator, someone who spent four years in the Patrol chasing dope and alien smugglers in dangerous conditions and then transitions to an SA, or some recent grad with a 3.5?

I don’t know, maybe you work in some office where the legacy INS guys did nothing then and do nothing now. Have either of you even done a benefit fraud conspiracy or human trafficking investigation? An international human smuggling ring? Do you really think these cases are easy? I can bet you those type of cases have you in the office later than 3 pm, and much longer than when AIRG and CPI folks clock out at 4:30.

The problems with this agency are policy driven, not agent driven. Those policies aren’t designed by some legacy INS GS who was a former inspector. They come from the top and are implemented by former Customs agents who are now our leaders. I’ve got a master’s, a wall full of plaques from the U.S. Attorneys office, awards, front page cases, and a precious FLETC certificate, and I still don’t think I am half the agent my original training officer, a former marine and Patrol agent with a HS diploma, was. Education and training are important, but so is this thing called actual WORK experience.

Agents like my old INS trainer are not the problem, its agents like you who ridiculously blame your peers. I’ve worked immigration cases with legacy Customs agents by my side and Customs violation cases with those same agents. Doesn’t seem to be a big deal to me. Try looking into the mirror. Besides the pathetic loser you see staring back at you, maybe you’ll realize the source of your problems is in that same reflection.

please on February 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm

OMG Please is so deluded. When he is faced with facts, realizing his arguments hold so little merit, he resorts to personal attacks. Weak, very weak.

Please, check the TEA standard. ATF still hires under the TEA standard, and the ideal (note, I stated ideal candidate, not absolute standard) candidate has a college degree and 3 years criminal investigation experience. Speak to someone at the hiring center and they will tell you that ICE hires under the INS standard. Also, the training program that INS special agents went through (when they were sent through a training program and were not just given gun, badge, and on-the-job training) was not equivalent to CITP. Lastly, contact the academy and ask someone there about the quality of the new hires going through training—it might open your eyes to the reality of the situation. And, just like INS, ICE is looking for ways to shorten the “training“of its agents by eliminating CITP, getting rid of written tests and those perky standards.

In the past you have stated how agents in HSI are looking for retirement options or have just given up and quit working. HSI is a train wreck. You know it is bad when the “leaders” of the agency spend all their time publicly congratulating themselves on how good a job they do and how great the agency is. If they have to tell you the agency is great, the agency ain’t great (that’s called a clue my man).

King David on February 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

I have already stated a fact, that here are hosts of legacy Customs SAs who did NOT have three years of criminal investigative experience prior to coming on board. I am familiar with the TEA standard, it is not a “requirement” if it wasn’t required in all hires. ALL Federal agencies must have their candidates meet minimum OPM job series qualification requirements, as does ICE and INS before. I agree that ICE hiring standards are only at the minimum level for “basic” qualifications, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t weeded out in the competitive process, they are. Every new hire in my SAC has had at least a 4 year degree, most with law enforcement and/or military experience, and many with language skills and all fairly physically fit. They may be an entitled bunch who think they have come to save us from ourselves, but I’ve found the quality to be good.

The Immigration Special Agent Training Program (ISATP), which half of INS agents went to, was nearly identical to CITP. Both were 11 weeks long and the course syllabi mirrored each other. The tests were the same, as were the subjects, and instructors. That is why when INS agents, who’d graduated ISATP, jumped ship to ATF or Customs, they were not sent back through CITP. After ISATP agents went to a five week immigration course, then five weeks of Spanish. Not delusions, facts.

So much of the discontent and agency angst of guys/girls like you comes from the unfortunate truth that you might have to touch on some immigration issues in the course of your work year. I don’t get it though. Most of my friends doing CPI or contraband smuggling work very rarely deal with immigration issues. They basically do what they did under legacy Customs, with legacy Customs supervisors, inside the old legacy Customs office buildings. I know of very, very few legacy INS agents supervising former Customs groups, while I have worked under several legacy Customs agents in immigration centric groups. Like I told QTD, there may be problems, but putting the blame on legacy INS personnel is absurd.

please on February 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

In January 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California responded to the FBI’s report of investigation into the February 16, 2012 shooting. Upon review of all the facts: Kozak, Woo, Garcia, any other facts: myths, theories, racism, cover ups etc and found no evidence that Woo committed any crimes. The Attorney’s Office also found an significant evidence that Woo protected himself and others (Kozak, Duty Agent, Attorney) from a deadly situation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI Los Angeles have promptly closed their cases.

A tragic event of workplace violence from a man who chose his destiny and committed the unthinkable.

As we are only 3 days away from the one year anniversary of the shooting, let’s all try and love and care for one another in law enforcement and help prevent something like this from happening again.

I hope this post ends the year-long thread of conspiracy theory and that the surviving agents and all affected heal and move on.

TRUTH on February 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Some people when faced with overwhelming facts that are irrefutable, prefer to continue living in ignorance and use embellishments to justify their current status as “special agent”. The Treasury TEA exam was a requirement for all who applied for Special Agent positions in Customs. That meant that all applicants, Customs inspectors as well, had to pass the exam before their application went forward for consideration. The test measured certain abilities and aptitudes conducive to successful employment as a special agent. Once selected all had to attend both CIS and Customs criminal investigator school. Not so in the screwed up ins. And in case you haven’t noticed, this blog specializes in showcasing the sad state of affairs at HSI/ICE, and it’s because the incompetent Clowns have taken over an agency that was dysfunctional to begin with, the ins. Customs management have had to grapple with it. While it is true that a lot of the leadership is legacy Customs, and there are incompetent Clowns there, the caliber of legacy ins Clowns is disproportionally higher, and that’s the way ins was prior to the merger. And all that “busload” bullshit, isn’t that what the BP does? So screw your wire and plaques and go tell your momma that everything is ok at HSI because you getting the big money now, the sentiments echoed again and again at all SAC offices is that the agency is dysfunctional and is going to stay that way for a long time.

MF Jones on February 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

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