May 17, 2007, - 12:01 pm

Buh-Bye, Customs: Welcome to Immigration and CRIMINAL Enforcement

Hey, . Here’s another fact-laden post for your “” (PoRN):
Remember how I told you that Department of Homeland Security “leadership” sent ICE “leadership” a questionnaire asking how many agents have college degrees? It was designed to force ICE to justify its Customs functions (and likely it’s very existence).
I’m a college grad. But, hey, if you spent four years partying at drunken frat parties or learning about the virtues of Madonna in a liberal arts class, that’s far more valuable to law enforcement than if you were a beat cop learning actual law enforcement, right?

I am now hearing that by the end of the summer–and likely before–there will be no more “Customs” in ICE–Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What was once the nation’s oldest and most successful law enforcement agency (U.S. Customs Service) will be absolutely kaput.
The name of the agency will change to Immigration and Criminal Enforcement–an original idea for the agency’s name, which was tabled because it ignored the Customs functions. Under the new and unimproved ICE with a new name, Legacy Customs agents–the ones with college degrees–will be transferred to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Secret Service to replace agents in those agencies who’ve retired or quit. Some will remain in ICE, but will no longer pursue any Customs Investigations whatsoever.
Every employee at ICE in the know is wondering about his/her professional futures . . . except The ICE Princess–ICE Chieftess Julie L. Myers. She’ll improperly occupy her job until the end of this year, unless Senator Wyden removes his hold on her nomination and the rest of the idiots in the Senate confirm her, which is doubtful.
Agents rightfully worry that the Customs mission–investigating violations of Customs laws, including money laundering and weapons smuggling will fall through the cracks. No-one knows which agency–if any at all–will investigate violations of those laws, making the engagement thereof fair game for terrorists and other criminals.
Dumb question: Wasn’t the creation of Homeland Security and the creation of ICE perpetrated to eliminate the INS? While that was a bad idea, for sure, it hasn’t even turned out that way. Instead the INS has reconstituted with the worst of Customs running it, while the old Customs agency has been eliminated instead.
Way to do, Michael Chertoff a/k/a Mr. Burns and The ICE Princess. You’ve regressed a long way, baby.
I hope I am wrong about these rumors and that, instead, separate Customs and Immigration agencies are set up, like they used to have before the DHS Debacle. We’ll see. Like I said, I hope I’m wrong and that my sources are, too. But it appears they are right.

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16 Responses

Just brilliant! All that knowledge out of the window. Is anyone actually using their brains in HQ?

rivfedup on May 17, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Well, you’re assuming HQ has brains to use…
Great…while I suspect you aren’t wrong, I wish you were about Customs finally getting the death blow, Debbie

RammerJammer on May 17, 2007 at 5:48 pm

Sounds great!!!! Put us Customs Agents back where we belong and keep ICE for immigration related issues. Dont see the big problem with this at all. No way Secret Service picks up any additional investigations while there is an election on the horizon. If they do this then everybody is happy. Oh wait,, this makes to much sense. Never going to happen baby….

kcrat on May 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm

I agree with kcrat, at least most of it. Customs Agents will go back to being Customs Agents without stressing over getting sent to an immigration group. I also agree about Secret Service, although I do see Customs losing Strategic to the FBI. I do, however, see changes like this potentially happening in the not too distant future.

BorderRat on May 17, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Those of you who think a move to Secret Service would be an improvement, think again. If any of you had the displeasure of being detailed during the last presidential election, then you got a taste of what it’s like. If you check the stats, you will see the turnover rate at Secret Service is highter than at ICE. One of the biggest complaints from their agents is the inability to work cases due to the fact they are constantly being sent on protection detail, and not just during the election years.
And don’t think for one second Legacy Customs agents will be welcomed with open arms. Secret Service agents will give you about as much respect as the janitors in their office who change the toilet paper rolls.

lsellers on May 17, 2007 at 8:06 pm

hhhmmmm, this seems like a job for the “rumor debunker squad.” So that ICE personnel can make informed, rational and intelligent decisions on their career choices and paths, could some please confirm or deny this ‘rumor’???

ICEDover on May 17, 2007 at 8:14 pm

Well, here’s what I know, from some well-placed persons in Washington as of C.O.B. today.
Apparently, Deb is RIGHT ON THE $$$ – Myers, Clark and Forman are reported to have held an emergency meeting with Unit Chiefs to hash out the final details of the plan, now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag. THIS VERY MUCH LOOKS LIKE IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, in some form or another – Either some or all of the legacy Customs agents are going to go back to CBP and some (with financial experience) MAY (not confirmed) go to USSS; this will happen before the end of FY 2007.
As for some comments regarding USSS being an “improvement” and ICE agents being welcomed with “open arms”, well, I have coroborated information that us ICE agents about to be “executed” may not be given a choice regarding the form of “execution” – the choice will be made for us based on our legacy agency and if we have a college degree, along with our area of expertise. Don’t like the USSS? SORRY, BUDDY!!!; you’ll either take the slop how it’s served, or don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out. And, as for USSS, they will do WHATEVER Bush and Chertoff tell them to do, because THEY’RE THE BOSS; the USSS may not LIKE it, but they’ll HAVE TO DO IT.
As a legacy border rat, I hope to end up back in CBP, to be sure, and I sure as hell DON’T relish the prospect of going to USSS. But, I’ve got to tell you, having a clearly defined mission and the support of a grateful nation is a HELL OF A LOT BETTER than the THANKLESS banter we’re engaged in now, especially with amnesty on the VERY NEAR HORIZON, and immigration enforcement about to be rendered IRRELEVANT (who needs ENFORCEMENT when you’re about to LEGALIZE AND LEGITIMIZE Paco, Mohammed and 12 million of his friends, along with their families?).

4EVERCUSTOMS on May 17, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Hey 4EVERCUSTOMS,,, I am a Legacy Customs Agent, was on four years before the merger, college degree, and no financial experience. Where the hell do I go????

kcrat on May 17, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Sounds just like the rumor when the merger first happened. Remember Investigations and Criminal Enforcement, which I rather liked compared to the current version of ICE. Heard that the bureau shot that down though and Ridge gave in. I’ll believe it when I see it, hopefully I won’t.

BlueICE on May 17, 2007 at 10:19 pm

WOW!!!! Based on Debbie’s information and the information contained in the posts, several things are becoming apparent.
While HQ is worried about all the rumor mongers and info leakers in the field, it is blatantly obvious that based on the accuracy of the information and the speed with which it’s getting out, the leaks and start of all the latest batch of rumors is within HQ itself!!! Therefore, I think HQ personnel should cease their edicts regarding the propogating of rumors. WE ARENT STARTING THEM…. we are just reacting to them and asking for the straight story!!!!!! I predict an unknown amount of chaos in field offices unless someone officially and immediately addresses these issues.
I also believe that this has alot to do with the new immigration package floating around DC, which pretty much makes any legacy INS investigation moot, since the government is considering some form of ‘amnesty’.
What I dont understand is why CBP would not also inherit money laundering. It is a ‘border’ violation, which usually involves any number of unlawful activities (ie drug/human/alien smuggling, strategic violations, ect) which are investigated by DHS agents.
Having said that, I guess it’s better than the current organizational structure. I think we should start a pool as to when HQ is going to put this out to the field troops in some official manner. And maybe we should have a show of hands as to who predicted this agency would “nose dive” back in 2003.

ICEDover on May 17, 2007 at 10:41 pm

To “kcrat”…
Current wisdom says you’ll probably end up in CBP; however, at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, let “Uncle” 4EVER break it down for you.
CBP will NOT be legacy CUSTOMS; most of what was taken over in the inspectional side of the house has now been infected with the legacy INS mentality and managers afraid of their own shadows. Yes, inspectors and agents might work side by side again, but they will not truly be one like before. Furthermore, Border Patrol is the 800 pound gorilla in CBP right now, and has been locked in a FURIOUS battle with Commissioner Basham over territorial rights since he took over CBP last year. It always amazed me why a legacy Secret Service 1811 took over an agency with NO 1811s; however, if Basham gets agents back, it might bode well for OI and not so well for Border Patrol – this remains to be seen.
Regarding Secret Service, NOT a bad career choice if offered to you and you are single with no pressing commitments; retiring agents have an almost UNLIMITED number of second career opportunities available to them due to the allure of “executive protection” and being “one of the president’s (wo)men”.
A third choice you will have to chase on your own would be ATFE. A lot of my friends who are agents there say they are having LOTS of fun doing REAL law enforcement work (arrests, warrants, etc.) with little if any of the B.S. plauging other agencies. The problem is that they are Justice and only would want to take you at GS-9 pay; too much of a hit for many people with families and obligations. Furthermore, ATFE would require you to go to their add-on school, with NO free ride on passing their course. So, if you fail or get bounced out due to injury, better have a Plan “B”, because I don’t think CBP or Secret Service is going to take you back.
Good luck to you and all my fellow brethren suffering under these most miserable of circumstances.

4EVERCUSTOMS on May 18, 2007 at 8:33 am

Got my bags packed and dusting off my Customs gear. Where do I sign up to abandon this sinking ship?

CustomsKoolAid on May 18, 2007 at 8:35 am

Finally some good news, if this were to happen I might rethink my decision for early retirement.

longshanks on May 18, 2007 at 8:50 am

Since most of the legacy INS agents have fled ICE in one way or another, who will be left in ICE to work all these Immigration-related cases?

komodo on May 18, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I hear whatever is going to happen is to occur by the end of the fiscal year. But, Puhleease! The FBI doesn’t want LUSCS S/As. They don’t want anyone from another agency. If you’ve been a federal, state or local LEO for any length of time you should know that other agency personnel aren’t good enough for them. They just want our expertise in the money laundering cases, illegal export/import cases,etc cases, ability to recruit good CIs (because we don’t burn them without their up front OK), etc. They dropped their hostile takeover of the DEA agents in the early ’80s and I doubt that they’ll take us.
As to the Secret Sevice- they are very good at their primary mission- Protection. But I don’t ever recall the USSS conducting money laundering investigations. Counterfeit U.S. currency investigations-yes. But I wouldn’t call a counterfeiter making the newly counterfeited bills look old by throwing them in the washing machine a Money Laundering investigation. (No cut intended to our fellow SAs at the USSS.)
Additionally, both the FBI & USSS would require transferred agents to attend their basic academies. The expertise the FBI/USSS is looking for would be your veteran agents of 40+ yoa. Heck, USSS doesn’t want 40+ yr old agents for the TDYs during election years. You think they want them permanently?
I just don’t see a forced transfer to these agencies happening.

frustrated to the extreme on May 28, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Debbie was right with the college degree survey but there was also another reason…there was a class action lawsuits active at a time and the ICE bosses at HQ stated the reason members of a particular ethnic group were not being able to obtain higher degrees such as a BA, MS was because the majority were from the Customs side with only HS or a GED. The word was out and someone fingered one particular Customs career woman who at one time was a Customs Patrol Officer and within a short period became the SAC (Senior Executive Service) position with only a HS or GED diploma. The class attorneys hit ICE where it hurts the most and the SAC New Orleans suddenly retired. As a border Customs rat I am a product of both agencies…but got tired of all of the BS and took early retirement. Now, there is something very strange happening on the Southwest border….now, it is hard not to notice that in Texas, all long the border, FBI, DEA, ICE, Border Patrol agents and CBP Inspectors current or retired are being federally convicted almost on a daily basis….while in Arizona and California corruption is a way of life and only the new agents are getting busted…as to HQ…well..they got their own in-house problems and active ICE agents are being assigned to policy making duties…and that morale at ICE-HQ even if you are an SES is miserable even under the new ICE boss John Morton who is almost the same as Julie Myers. As to doing immigration stuff…it is going to be the same…earning $110,000 per year as an ICE agent for doing GS-5 work…and staying in the office because now, you got more head-hunters out there from DHS, ICE, CBP, Border Patrol etc….they all have their own internal affairs units and finally the word is that getting a brother or sister federal law enforcement badge taken away, means an automatic promotion, this is one reason ICE agents are afraid of making even a small minor mistake.

4everlawenforcer on August 22, 2009 at 5:35 am

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