December 27, 2010, - 1:35 pm

Marxism Comes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

By Debbie Schlussel

**** UPDATE: Top Immigration Cop, Jim Dinkins, Responds to ****

I have known many Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents since before the agency was established and they were U.S. Customs Service or INS agents.  For those who stayed on the job long enough, it was always a sign of achievement and a tiny modicum of status to achieve the title, “Senior Special Agent.”  Typically, agents would get this status and designation after they achieved five or six years on the job (depending on the government pay grade and experience/GS-level with which they entered the job).



But, now, as if morale isn’t low enough at ICE, the biggest agency in the Department of Homeland Security, the designation has been eliminated. Read this memo from James Dinkins, who heads the Office of Investigations for ICE.  He previously changed the name to “Homeland Security Investigations,” probably because when ICE agents were attending to Hurricane Katrina victims, back in 2005,  he and other ICE agents were mistaken for people with frozen water.  Now, though, he’s eliminated the Senior Special Agent designation.

This is an agency with many good agents desperate to get out, and many of the best have already left or will soon retire.  With this latest attack on achievement and introduction of what is essentially Marxism–everyone must be treated “equally”–into ICE, there is little incentive for even younger, less experienced agents to hang on for even five or six years.  No wonder the agency is hemorrhaging and has a greater turnover among agents than ever. This doesn’t help, and agents who’ve been in the agency for many years are angry that this designation and title has been taken away from them for absolutely no reason other than an attack on achievement–their achievement.

Maybe if ICE and its “Homeland Security Investigations” division spent more time actually investigating illegal aliens in our midst, instead of eliminating titles of achievement for agents, our country would be safer.  But that’s the thing:  ICE agents mostly have their hands tied.  They can’t do much investigating anymore or rounding up illegal aliens at worksite enforcement operations, all of which were ended by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and her boss Barack Obama.  So, this is what they are reduced to.

As I’ve noted on this site before, I know Jim Dinkins, whom I met over ten years ago, when he, himself, was a Senior Special Agent in the U.S. Customs Service in Detroit and was doing excellent work busting Muslims who financed Islamic terrorism.  Jim is a good guy, and I can’t believe this Obama-esque BS was Dinkins’ idea.  Again, it’s pure Marxism and an attack on achievement to get rid of designations and titles for those who have been around and have experience.  I’d bet this is the idea of Suzie “Stripper Pole” Barr, an incompetent party girl from Arizona who was a top aide to Janet Napolitano when she was Governor of the state.  Barr is pretty much running (into the ground) ICE.  Officially, she is the “Chief of Staff” for the agency, but everyone knows she’s running the show and the Islamo-pandering froofy boy John Mor(t)on, who officially heads ICE is mostly a figurehead like Prince Charles.

Barr is Napolitano’s “man” heading the agency.  She’s mostly known for her arrogance, incompetence, airheadedness, and referring to a support column near her desk as her “stripper pole.”  It’s why all of the agents call her “Suzie Stripper Pole” behind her back, not because they want the nightmare image of her on such a pole indelibly stamped on their minds.

Barr is very sensitive to the rightful objections of ICE agents that this airhead-ette is running their agency.  And it would be just like her, many of them say, to get rid of their titles and recognition of their achievements and experience.  She has absolutely no respect for that.

ICE agents thought things couldn’t get worse for them under George W. Bush who destroyed their two previous agencies to create the aimless ICE.  But now it is worse.  Much, much worse.

And since ICE’s “leadership” apparently doesn’t like titles, I propose we get rid of the titles “ICE chief of staff” and “Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”  Getting rid of those titles and the people currently occupying them will go a long way.

Sadly, instead, ICE is getting rid of any incentive for agents to stay in that sinking agency.

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55 Responses

It’s even worse if you were an agent when you had to apply, make a “Best Qualified List”, interview, and be selected from an announcement of maybe one to three slots in a given geographic area to receive the GS-13 Senior Special Agent title and pay. Now agents with just the requisite time on the job…four years if you come on as a GS-7…get it for basically not doing anything wrong.

Customs Forever on December 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm


The elimination of the title Senior Special Agent was done for the good of the agent. It frees the agent from the oppression of class distinction. The shackles of individualy are slowly being removed and soon there will only be workers and always the work before us.

The only reward a worker should strive for is the reward of work. Not titles and awards and incentives. That only creates jealousy and lies and competition. These are all products of evil imperialism.

Next comes the elimination of the word Special in the title, and soon we only be known as Comrade Agent. Then at last we shall be free when all idividuality has been removed!

This is a day to celebrate. Comrades we are one step closer to acheiving complete and total mindlessness.

Château d'If on December 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    All praise The Animal Farm!

    Napolean the pig. on December 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      Well, with as many faults as Napolean had, (like abandoning one army in Eygpt and one in Russia) at least he knew how to focus (for instance his artillery) on one spot crucial to the battle and overcome the enemy. ICE shoots in every direction hoping to hit something. This strategy could only appy for Custer at The Little Big Horn and the Sixth Army at Stalingrad. And we know how those two battles came out. They were surrounded out of ignorance and poor leadership and the inability to withdraw after being encircled. It seems like ICE has volunteered to be caught in a trap, to be cut off and bled to death through trying to fight a ten front war. It’s pure stupidity. It’s what you get when you appoint leaders who haven’t earned the right to be in charge.

      Forgive me for thinking. From now on I will strive to shed my selfish desire for individuality and free-thinking. In addition, I will no longer spread subversive metaphors throughout the work place; such as my opinion that even though the Titanic was deemed unsinkable, they shouldn’t have gone out to prove it.

      Château d'If on December 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm

When the White House and Sen. Lieberman were pushing for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, I had a bad feeling about it. I’d been through enough reorganizations within a single agency to realize that creating a new department out of 22 disparate agencies, each with their own history, culture and mandate, was a mistake and would turn out badly. I couldn’t imagine just how bad.

A few years ago, the government did an in-house survey of some 36 departments and agencies, looking at things like effectiveness, morale, quality of leadership, etc. DHS scored at or near the bottom on virtually every measure. With fools and rank incompetents in charge, I’m sure it’s only gotten worse since.

Oh, and did you see the ABC interview of the “three blind mice” of national security? DNI head Clapper hadn’t even been briefed about the arrest of 12 terror suspects in the UK hours earlier. Asked about London, it was clear from his wordless response he didn’t have a clue. Heaven help us.

Raymond in DC on December 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Sounds like it may also be a means of making older agents feel uncomfortable so they will retire or leave in favor of the younger agents. My guess would be that more recent hiring is also affirmative-action based.

Little Al on December 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Uh-OH look out Debbie…EVS and his little buddy Priceless may jump on here and spin up the propaganda machine!!!!! LOL

notanEVSfan on December 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

This is being conducted under a HQ program called “One ICE.” There were complaints from the administrative side of the house about people with titles like “Special Agent,” so there is a movement to eliminate the title altogether. At HQ they are eliminating the SA title as far as management is concerned, thus they can have a non law enforcement supervisor in charge of a law enforcement program area and/or in charge of LE personnel.

ICE’s SA position has no standards; they are hiring gang members, drug dealers, people who are mentally unbalanced, people who cannot speak English, people who have RECENTLY arrived from foreign countries (including former Soviet block countries), and people so overweight and out of shape that they are disabled.

And Little Al, you are correct in your theory about affirmative action hiring–the word is Dinkins is going to expand the Student Intern hiring and use that to hire mostly minorities.

I don’t think anyone who is honest actually believes ICE is a LE agency.

King David on December 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Only INS was ever hung up on adjectives attached to their titles. Senior, Supervisor, as well as the branch was all stamped on their badges.
However, in the INS Academy, the agents were warned never to use the title DOJ Investigator, Agent or any reference to being an investigator of the Justice Department. Doing so could be inferred as impersonating a real USDOJ Special Agent, even though INS was under DOJ just like FBI, DEA, etc.
Funny how times have changes. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the Customs folks have taken over ICE and now want to be real agents like the adults in the room, and demand now to be called HSI Agents.If you call ICE, they will answer the phone “Homeland Security”, which could be any of a dozen agencies.
These ICE Agnets even parade around the town in up-armored MRAP armored cars like they are the national police force for the US.
How long before the Bureau gets jealous, and knocks their chair out from under them?

MIB on December 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t think the Bureau will get jealous–everyone in the industry knows that ICE is a complete joke. How could anyone get jealous when the local ICE agent shows up with a mouth full of gold teeth and a tattoo on his neck that states “Thug For Life?” Do you think the Bureau would ever have ANY employee like that?

    King David on December 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    For your information, Customs special agents have always been real agents. INS special agents were journeyman GS-12 for a good reason. If you read the OPM standards for journeyman GS 1811, GS-13, they state the incumbent must be conducting multiple suspect, multiple violation, multiple jurisdiction, international implication, complex investigations. Customs investigations were most definitely these kind of complex investigations. So the legacy Customs people aren’t looking to play with the big boys as you put it, we were one of the big boys until we were forced to merge.

    Customs Forever on December 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

Debbie, The angency started removing the ” Senior” titles about 8 years ago in the Inspectors series. Before I retired,a senior Agent or Senior Inspector title was competive earned by experience and knowledge.Currently,if you sleep with a upper manager,a relative,boyfriend/girlfriend,drinking buddy, or just have been friends you will most likey be promoted to a supervisory position normaly within 2 years of starting this job. Everbody else regardless of experience or knowledge just hope they can get another job or retire. Massive hiring severly damaged having credible and experienced personnel which makes me believe that this agency is making a mockery of the general public.

Tony on December 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Who the hell is Izumi Therrien? I can’t find him/her on a search engine. IS this another “friendly” Muslim working in the DHS?

JeffT on December 27, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Ah, this explains it: From a Bing search…”Jackson Heights Middle School students of the month for February are Izumi Therrien, eighth grade, Melinda Gadd, seventh grade, Gabriel Bouch, sixth grade.”

JeffT on December 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I well remember border agents under Bush who said that if they retired in one piece they would be happy. Bush, like Obama, was far more interested in the Hispanic transformation of America than the concerns of ordinary Americans who might object to rape, torture, slavery, murder, property confiscation, voter fraud, and all the other things that La Raza and the Mexican government has planned for Americans.

pat on December 28, 2010 at 12:57 am

You may recall that I&NS was being abolished, at least the administrative side was being split from the investigations side because of incompetence, abuse, and corruption, prior to 9/11, Congress was on the verge of doing that. I&NS agents were “terminal twelves” for a reason, they did not do GS-13 level work, their G/S’s were more “administrative” than criminal investigators/special agents (and they still are). U.S. Customs OI, prior to 9/11, was up there in the level, competence, and quality of criminal investigations with agencies such as the FBI, DEA, etc., and many were experienced agents. GS-13 used to be a Merit Promotion in Customs, albeit with its own politics inside Customs. Under ICE it has no meaning other than just a pay grade for many of the Clowns that are attaining GS-13 status, and then GS-14 G/S status. If you look at the current Position Description for the GS-13 Criminal Investigator at ICE you will be shocked to discover that 99.9% of agents are not doing that level of work. Some of the comments here are right on the mark, there are some agents that can barely speak English, never been to a Grand Jury,never cultivated a confidential informant, never worked outside of their legacy Immigration area of “expertise” which in a word is “bullshit” Immigration work, and they never will. This is particularly true of the ICE SAC Chicago office where Clowns have risen to the levels of G/S, ASAC, DSAC and SAC management, notice I said management because they do not exhibit any leaderships skills. There are G/S’s in charge of U/C programs that have never worked undercover; there are G/S’s that need translators because their English is hard to understand (very comforting if there is a situation that can get and agent hurt, but then no one is conducting investigations of any worth at the SAC/Chicago). Throw in the mix those that blow their way to the top and you have “ICE” the laughing stock of all federal agencies, being run by clowns that are not only inexperienced, but idiots and legends in their own minds, an agency that no “criminal” has to fear or worry about, an agency that, barring major intervention, has its future setup for further failure because of many of the clowns that are running it (into the ground). Of course they (ICE) will deny this and give embellished examples of all of the great work they are doing, but if you look closely you will find that it is all half-assed, bullshit Immigration work (GS-5 level work) and definitely not GS-13 criminal investigative work. It’s a disgrace, because there are many young agents that have the ambition and training to conduct criminal investigations but have no one to show them how because, again, none of “them” (G/S and above) have ever conducted any, and as a result they are inhibited and discouraged, expected by management to instead sit in the office and make sure all of the administrative tasks are completed on time otherwise they will get nasty-grams. It’s a joke at the SAC/Chicago, because clowns are running it. BTW thats where Thierren came from.

QTD on December 28, 2010 at 2:10 am


    Amen Brother!!

    Customs Forever on December 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

And any of this should be a surprise because?????

If you remember – Detention and Removals was changed to Enforcement and Removals – because Enforcement is a much kinder, gentler word then ‘Detention’ – which is not something that this Administration and the cronies it has placed on the 11th floor of the PCN find a good word. And the word ‘Enforcement’ is a joke – because there is none. ‘Removal’ numbers were well padded (and have been padded since Torres got involved with them by adding tens of thousands of voluntary returns annually…..) and are actually down this last fiscal year.

Interior immigration enforcement for non-criminals is dead. Defacto amnesty is here for at least two more years. A wignut formerly of the CIS asylum office has been running the Office of Detention Policy and Planning for nearly two years now systematically denigrating the detention system. Detention is no longer a deterrence because detention had turned into country clubs that are now a threat to the safety of ERO officers and contract personnel. Suzy and Beth continue to do everything in their powers to find fault with enforcement activities and to denegrate the good officers that work for that agency.

One more thing – Morton’s title did already change….he is no longer the AS – he is now the Director of ICE.

belugajedi on December 28, 2010 at 5:39 am

When I was a BP Agent I wondered why a journeyman agent was a GS-9 but an INS Examiner was a GS-12. My supervisor told me it was because an Examiner needed to actually know what they were doing and that any numbnut could be a PA. Right or not, the proof was in the paygrade. Shortly thereafter they changed the title of ‘Examiner’ to ‘Adjudication Officer’, which sounded pretty damned important to me. Today these positions are referred to as ‘Immigration Service Officer’ Level I, II & III…so it would appear the neutering is Service-wide. Same logic in calling a janitor a Sanitational Engineer.

#1 Vato on December 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

I was very proud to have served in the U.S Customs service( formely Bureau of Customs) for 25 years from 1968 to 1993). First as Special Agent, then as a Senior Special Agent, and as a Group Supervisor. The admimistration of George Bush, in one of its most reprehensible actions, destroyed what was once a premier Federal investigative force, the U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigations (OI). OI enjoyed a high degree of esprit de corps.(Note to Pres. Obama- It is pronounced “core” stupid!) ,many notable accomplishments, and a reputation for a relentless “can do” attitude.

The destruction of U.S Customs investigative assetts, in order to create the ineffective Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, involved the “dumbing down” of INS components in order to make the whiole thing even function at a minimum. Former Customs Special Agents had obtained a much higher degree of investigative prowess, job skills, computer literacy, and more wide ranging experience in the scope, varities, and breadth of investigations than the narrowly focused INS investigators. This not said to deminish or dismiss the efforts of INS investigators in the limited investigative world in which they functioned-it is just fact. But, unfortunately, the creation of ICE has dismally set back law enforcement at our nations borders and , more specificaly, the war against terror, by giant steps of incompetency, bureucratic dithering, and lack of diligence and effectiveness.

U.S. Customs, established in 1789, had the first criminal investigators in this nations history. Prior to the Income Tax (Introduced in 1913) this nation was financed solely by customs and excise taxes. George Bush should go to his grave with the knowledge that he destroyed the nation’s oldest, most storied, and one of its most highly effective investigative assetts. To see how law enforcement and investigations involving our nation’s borders has degenerated is sad and regretable. But worst of all, it makes us less secure and puts us in danger .

tantalon on December 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm

A major example of ICE management stupidity: the FEMA training. Why was every employee required to take training that is specifically geared for upper level management, at the SAC or above level? When is an investigative assitant or a Special Agent or a G/S going to be put in charge of a disaster scene.

Frickin Never!!

What a waste of time that was, and god help the employee who didn’t complete it. In my observation an agent can work half days and have no case work and there won’t be a problem. But if you don’t complete the computer training, then there’s a problem.

Oh well: Virtual University uber alles!!

Château d'If on December 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I agree with everthing tantalon stated. I started as a Customs Inspector in 1962 and retired as a Customs Supervisory Special Agent 1n 1990. Having worked for and with FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies, I believe that the Office of Investgations of the U S Customs Serivce and the predecesor, Customs Agency Service, was the finest federal law enforcement
agency. The variety, and complexity of laws we enforced together with the competency of the agents far exceeded all the others. The devestation of the oldest and finest federal law enforcement agency to create, as a knee jerk reaction to terrorist activty, a new and uncontrollable agency, was a historical and monumental blunder sold to George Bush. The results are blatantly visible and, mark my word, Customs as well as Immigration enforcement will continue to deteroriate.

Bobfla on December 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I agreed with numerous comments stating that ICE/HSI will continue to deteriorate. Another event which comes to mind is that of the SAC/LA, ASAC, “JG” who was put on admin leave, credential and gun taken way; any updated of what led to this?

JOE on December 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

This is what they did to the Army Special Forces, the Green Berets. To make the other soldiers feel better about themselves they started giving everyone a beret.

So as Mr. Rogers said “your special”, unfortunately the kids watching didn’t realize he was talking to millions of “special” kids and they actually think they themselves are more important/special than everyone else. So the affirmative incompetent appointments at the top want special titles for themselves and want to diminish the underlings below them to let them know who is boss/special. When every one is special, no one is special.

ender on December 29, 2010 at 1:50 am

NEWS FLASH, here we are 7 years into this new agency, and we still have a bunch of whiners writing about how bad things are, and how great things were. You have wasted 1/3 to 1/4th of your career whining. Other agencies will respect you if you do your job professionally. You are only a laughing stock if you allow yourself to be. If you run your own agency down in front of other agencies, this will be their opinion of you as well as your agency. One thing you never see is an FBI SA airing their complaints in front of other agencies and more importantly in a public forum.

I have been both an INS SA and Customs SA. Get your facts straight (after 7 years you would think an 1811 could do this). INS had Senior 1811s assigned to JTTF or other task forces. Yes you had to have time in grade and apply. INS had its problems, mostly poor management and the political nature of the work. I made the move to Customs for better geography, and found Customs had most of the same issues as INS. I agree the merger was a mistake, but there is no going back. In this economy be grateful you have a job. How many of your friends would trade places.

Pull up your big girl panties and do your job.

Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Hey whinning, speaking of panties, you really seem to have gotten yours in a wad! If you are happy to be a part of an ineffective, barely functional, demoralized, politicized, wanna-be investigative agency then I am sorry you have taken offence to the glaring facts of the matter. One major field office in the old Customs Service Office of Investigations accomplished more in a year than all of ICE has since its inception. Mediocracy and ineffectiveness, thriving within ICE, is something that can not and should not be tolerated in Federal investigative agencies but you seem content. That’s right, you are just, as you say, “grateful to have a job”, not to worry about the proper functioning and carrying out of the agency mission for the protection of our nation and its borders. If you are content not to address the problem, then you become a part of the problem.

    tantalon on December 29, 2010 at 10:37 am


I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. When I worked for I&NS, we had the SPECIAL OPERATIONS INSPECTOR designation. It was eliminated when the max grade level for INSPECTORS was raised to GS-11 by President BUSH.
It had nothing to do with equalizing the work force. The SOI’S as they were called, were a competitive GS-11 grade. In other words, when the position came open, if you were liked by management, you got a promotion.
In MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, for a number of years, the lower grade GS-9 Inspectors were often better qualified and had the work load to prove it than the management “heroes”.

You should remember this is the government you are talking about and the higher the grade does not always equate with higher ability.



James CARROLL on December 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

Dear Stop Whining:

You are drinking the infamous DHS CoolAid!

Bobfla on December 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Bob, as regards Whinning, some people just can’t see the forrest for the trees when they are planted squarely in the middle of the forrest.

    tantalon on December 29, 2010 at 10:41 am

Stop wining…The FBI would never sanction a Halloween costume party either!

#1 Vato on December 29, 2010 at 10:45 am

If you think your agency is bad then take an FBI agent out for a beer…I suspect you will get an ear full. They just have the professional sense not to air their dirty laundry for all to see.

Napolean the pig. on December 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Stop Whining obviously is not very well versed in what is ACTUALLY going on in the agency. He probably worked in some small office, like Vermont, and it was business as usual with the changeover. Additionally, his “job” is one of the highest paying in the region–all he sees is the pay, and his entire job satisfaction level is based on that.

If you will recall, originally it was the FBI and INS that were to be merged. The FBI quickly pointed out that they had the requirement that one had to have a college degree to be an agent, and that most INS SA’s did not have college degrees. The FBI then pointed out that Customs did not have a requirement of a college degree. While it was true that Customs did not have a college degree requirement, generally, with few exceptions, one had to have the minimum of a Bachelors degree AND 3-5 years experience an a LE investigator (detective, etc.). The decision to merge Customs and INS was born, and the rest was history.

There is all this discussion about ICE versus the FBI, but the discussion is moot as ICE is not even in the same league as the FBI, the FBI is a professional LE agency. You will never see the FBI hiring gang members, drug dealers, drug users, alcoholics, people so grossly overweight that they can barely walk, and mentally inbalanced people for their LE cadre.

King David on December 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    King get your facts straight, there was never talk about merging the FBI and INS. ATF was the agency that was talked about. I knew only a very few INS 1811s that didn’t have 4 year degrees, and everyone of them was a military vet and had earned their 1811 from the BP. My guess the only legacy you worked for was ICE OI.

    Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I’m a retired vet and I thought even though I have no experiance as an agent or otherwise, that combining all of those agencies was a stoopid move no matter the rational behind it. It’s no wonder this country is in a sad state of affairs.To much feeely meely goodyness of the moment at the expense of buffoons and nepotism. This is not directed at the hard working and highly devoted agents of the falterd system just the ones who shouldn’t be playing directors or whatever the upper echelon calls themselves.

Tmorlan on December 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Oh, and you will NEVER see an FBI agent with tattoos on their neck, faces, head, prison tattoos, gang tattoos, white supremist tattoos, fully tattooed arms, pierced noses, pierced tongues, and gold teeth (AKA: Grills)–But you will see ICE agents like that.

King David on December 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The Bureau must not do much undercover Gang/Narco work.

    Gangsta bad guy: “Look Spyder, here comes Beaver Cleaver trying to infiltrate us!”

    Napolean the pig. on December 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Napolean the pig. on December 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm

The Bureau must not do much undercover Gang/Narco work.

Gangsta bad guy: “Look Spyder, here comes Beaver Cleaver trying to infiltrate us!”

Napolean the pig. on December 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

The Pig knows from nothing. ICE does very little gang/narco undercover work. How you going to do that when your agent doesn’t speak the English well enough to write a report or testify in court (and yes Pig in federal courts they still use English)?

King David on December 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I admit, I am part of the problem I’m at a point in my career where I should be a manager, but don’t want to deal with the BS. As stated earlier, I have worked for both legacy agencies. I applied for and earned my 13, before it was granted to everyone. I have never worked in a RAC. I have worked in 3 SAC offices in various parts of the country. If you talked to my management or peers the last thing they would use to describe me is cool aid drinker.

What gets my panties in a wad is when we as ICE agents attack our peers because of what agency they came from. Look around; there are not too many legacies left. Attack management all you want that comes with taking the pay grade.

If you really want to make this a better agency, work, make cases, and act professional. If more of us left our sense of entitlement behind and put our money where our mouth is, other agencies would respect us more.

By the way, I have yet to see a Federal agency that was perfect across the board. There are better offices and worse offices. The agents set the tone, and management takes the credit. Accept the fact that almost all managers are bureaucrats. If they were good field agents most of them would never have taken the promotion.

You are only a joke if you allow yourself to be. If someone from another agency dumps on you, dump back by showing them that you can make cases.

Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

ICE has more important things to do, like FEMA training, Virtual University, changing the letter-head every week, removing SACS and DSACS. You see we’re quite busy over here so leave us alone. Leave your negative remarks at the door and please don’t disturb the sleeping ICE agent.

But in the end it doesn’t really matter what FBI, DEA, or anybody else does. ICE is the best job in the world because they pay us lots of money and it’s easy work. Well as long as you can process an alien it’s easy, which some of you still can’t.

Everybody wants to be super-recon bad-ass ninja cops and say they did the best cases, made the most arrests and seizures, and risked their life in some super secret undercover capacity. Well if that’s you then fine. Let me stand at the end of the line or put me on perimeter. Slug or Hero, it all pays the same.

In closing I’d like to add that you can say whatever you want about the INS, they did the one job that nobody else wants. They dealt with aliens and did it better than anybody else, with less confusion too.

And remember, as long as you’re high you’ll never be low.

Aloha Mr. Hand

Château d'If on December 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

The FEMA training was a complete waste, but thats another topic for another day.

Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

King get your facts straight, there was never talk about merging the FBI and INS. ATF was the agency that was talked about. I knew only a very few INS 1811s that didn’t have 4 year degrees, and everyone of them was a military vet and had earned their 1811 from the BP. My guess the only legacy you worked for was ICE OI.

Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Stop Whining–you are incorrect. After 9/11, I remember ribbing my FBI buddies about it (the FBI/INS merger), and them responding that it would never happen. Sometime later they informed me that it was Customs that would be merged with INS; I remember responding that that would never happen.

I also remember quite clearly, some time after the merger they sent me TDY to work with a bunch of legacy INS SA’s on a large-scale operation. After I had been there a while they (INS management) trotted this guy out, a legacy INS agent, and announced what a big deal the guy was because he had a college degree. I thought they were kidding at first, after I realized they weren’t, I stated I also had a college degree. The whole room grew silent and the supervisor then asked me where I got my degree from and what kind of degree it was. When he found out that I had graduated from a top ten university he was floored. He went on to tell me most INS SA’s didn’t have college degrees. He was even more floored when he learned most Customs agents had college degrees, including advanced degrees. I heard him on the phone sometime later verifying the information I gave him was correct. It turns out the agent they trotted out had a Bachelors degree from a paper mill–not even real, but still a source of real pride for INS. Even today, most of the legacy INS agents I work with do not have a Bachelors (or higher) degree.

As a footnote, ICE, for the Special Agent position has no educational requirements; in some instances one does not even need a high school degree or equivilent. To put that into perspective, ICE SA’s have less required qualifications/standards than Wal-Mart.

When you work for a circus, no matter how much work you do, no matter how you carry yourself, in the end you still work for the circus.

Just keep drinking that Kool-Aid Stop Whining! Maybe you should change your name to Stop Winning as it is more apropos!

King David on December 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm


As stated I worked for both agencies. I did know a few INS and Customs Agents without 4 year degrees. I worked in one of the biggest offices in the country,and only knew two guys without degrees. Both had very impressive military and prior LE backgrounds. I knew 2 Customs Agents without degrees, they were both former Customs Patrol guys. All of these guys were great agents. I know and respect many of out State and Local counterparts. Many of them don’t have 4 year degrees, but their street time gives them an education that sitting in a class room listening to some liberal hack never could. I agree that to be an 1811 you should have a 4 year degree. I have not seen my SAC office hire anyone since 2003 without the degree.

The Kool Aid thing is like listening to a liberal pulling out the race card, it’s all you got and a cliche.

I hope you have applications out with other agencies, not because I want you to leave. That too would be a cliche. However, a year or two with the FBI or DEA might educate you about the grass being greener.

Stop Whining on December 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I know Mr. Dinkins. I agree that he would not have written this memo unless ordered to do so. I am glad I am retired now so I do not have to deal with the issues facing ICE, HSI, or whatever the flavor of the day is. Any president, senator or congressman that can return USCS and INS to their pre-911 days, without the corrupt and inept leadership, would probably find his likeness on Mt. Rushmore.

WilliamMunny on December 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm


I have plenty of friends in other agencies–federal, state, and local. Thus so, I know what it is like on the other side of the fence. From that, I know what the other agencies really think of ICE, and the general opinion is that ICE is a joke. The general opinion is only reinforced by ICE’s low hiring standards–what do you think a LEO thinks when the local ICE agent walks in and the LEO recognizes the gang tats on the ICE agent’s neck? Or the ICE agent is so fat that they can barely fit into a standard sized car and cannot walk more than 25 feet without breathing hard? In the industry, ICE’s acronym is put forth as “I Can’t Enforce.”

If you have any friends at the academy talk to them and ask about the quality of people they are getting. Some do not even meet the stadards for most state qualification standards for private security.

Why the low standards? ICE is not a LE agency is why. ICE considers itself an administrative enforcement agency, not a law enforcement agency. Check you PIV badge went you get a chance–no LE designation, per ICE specifications. DEA. ATF, FBI, DSS, Secret Service all have LE designations, hmmmmmm.

Most of the state/locals do not consider ICE to be a LE agency either. I am familar with a situation where an ICE SA was chewed out for going into a LE entrance at a local jail because, as the deputies pointed out, ICE is not a LE agency. Further, the city of Oakland, California is demanding that ICE remove the wording “police” from any clothing they may wear in that city as they state ICE is NOT a LE agency and is therefore impersonating a LEO.

Enjoy the Kool-Aid. And take off the rose-colored glasses every once and a while, and look at the scene before you in the cool light of truth.

King David on December 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm


Again with the cliche. My experience seems to be different from yours. I don’t asume to speak for every SAC/RAC office around the country. If things are so bad where you are, put in for a self funded. Life is too short to be so miserable.

I have know guys like you my whole career. You get so wrapped up in your own low self worth you try and pull everyone else down with you. If the job is all you have your going to have a sad life.


Stop Whining on December 30, 2010 at 9:23 am


I do not work for ICE, I worked for I&NS before the MERGER and the problems we have are based on a lack of understanding of what we do by management and the political appointees.

When CUSTOMS was pushing for a merger with I&NS (this was nothing new, CUSTOMS had been pushing for a takeover the the I&NS INSPECTIONS division for years), the management actually had no idea of how politically charged immigration matters were or what immigration officers did.
When a CUSTOMS Inspector had a drug seizure, they did not investigate or prosecute their own cases. They either handed them off to a CUSTOMS S/A or to local law enforcement for prosecution.
IMMIGRATION Inspectors had to do a complete case for deportation or later for an expedited removal (a deportation without a hearing before a judge).

I remember asking the former CUSTOMS PORT DIRECTOR a question about a problem we had with U.S. Passport holders, he literally had no idea of what I was talking about.

To understand how bad things were in I&NS, the service would combine arrest statistics from INSPECTIONS and INVESTIGATIONS to hide how unproductive the S/A’s were in some districts.
When the stats were separated, they had NYC district making 40 times as many arrests as MIA.

In the MIA (Miami) District, the quickest way to get into trouble was to be productive. One officer who literally NEVER COMPLETED A CASE was promoted constantly, while others left the district or the service.
I was threatened with action for refusing immigrants with FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS (because the U.S. EMBASSY said they HAD TO ISSUE VISAS OR IT WOULD UPSET THE FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS) and on another occasion for refusing people who had collected welfare on previous entries.
Believe it or not, the governor of Florida signed an agreement with illegal alien support groups permitting them to get welfare!
Your tax dollars at work.

I think ALL the agencies in DHS would benefit if they realized that they cover many areas and should train people to do that, either CUSTOMS or IMMIGRATION and then LET THEM DO IT without the farce of claiming they are all the same.


James CARROLL on December 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I spent just under 21 years in INS,starting with the USBP and,due to a shortage of agents for interior enforcement,transferred to Investigations in a very short time-15 members of my class did the same.
I spent time doing the usual mass arrest operation,common crrier opertions,which was very productive,and eventually made it into the Anti Smuggling Unit,which worked complex criminal cases,not necessarily all smuggling matters.Ourcases weree made from fragmentary evidence in another language.
The largest case I worked while assigned was concerned with aliens smuggled in from eastern Europe through mexico.
People are overlooking the numerous document fraud cases also.You know,counterfeiting and use of stolen valid documents.
I eventually transferred from a large district to a suboffice where the US Attorney received more criminal prosecutions for harboring,citizenship fraud,smuggling(a ring that brought in 12,000 people in a 10 year period using contract mail 18 wheelers for part of the journey.
I spent my last 9 years in OCDETF,a regional drug task force and produced numerous prosecutions for re-entry and drug offenses.In the state I was assigned INS and other Federal agents had state peace officer authority,which made joint operations very efficient.
I had the opportunity to work with numerous agencies on cases ranging from drugs to murder to fraud.
INs agents were in demand from virtually every agency and my office expanded from 3 to 15 agents in the twelve years I was there.
I worked with USCS a few times and truthfully,there was little crossover in our duties,so ICE as an investigative combination made little sense.
I retired in 1996 so I missed this whole boondoggle.
I testified at numerous major trials and frequently in the Gran Jury,both state and federal.
At one point I was assigned four 4 years to a city PD narcotics unit along with an ATF agent-full time,and yet still found time to assist our suboffice whenever needed.
the US Attorneys Office was highly laudatory of our agency in their jurisdiction.We worked constantly on tracking down criminal aliens in the community,both residents andillegals.We made an impact.i am a little disgusted by what I read here.I have no desire to knock any other agency-we all had a job to do.Although I was a GS13 Senior SA for 9 years I was never issued a Senior badge and never paid attention until i was about to retire when I was asked if I wante one in lucite,and I replied that they could give me the one I carried,because I really am not about appearances,just results.
INS in my day developed many informants,many at only the cost of employment authorization and we supplied other agencies with them to enhance their operations.
To this day I receive many complements and invitations to events from the state and local police because I always tried to facilitate good investigative work.
I have to say the agents I worked with in the suboffice had the same mindset.I can’t answer for what transpired in other offices.
There were actually times when INS had more criminal defendants
detained by the US District Court than all other federal agencies in the District combined.
Happy New Year all.

joe on January 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Please excuse my poor typing-I am having a flareup of gout,which gives me a lot of pain that is distracting.

    joe on January 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm

How bout the $$$$ wasted on the stupid foolish video and the two clowns highlighted in it? What a colossal waste of $$$$…

Hit the play button in the bottom left.. Deb, you must do a story on this!

ICEpick on January 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Some seem to be forgetting that in USCS and the SA assigned to Intelligence were GS-14 Senior Special Agents. All this does is remove the title, not the grade.

And for those in the legacy USCS, INS SAs were not 13s because they did not attend the Criminal Investigator Training Program. They completed IOBTC just as adjudicators/examiners, inspectors, and DOs. OPM would not allow GS-13 for that reason, not the alleged lack of complex, multiple or jurisdictional cases, as legacy INS smuggling cases were all that.

While USCS had a better reputation in their area, the legacy INS also had their own area that they excelled at. Interestingly enough, a BPA of any grade had more authority than any GS-12 SA under the 1990 Act.

I don’t think the problem is customs v. immigration, it is a lack of management skills, agent selection (e.g. affirmative action), training, and enforcement mindedness that is hold back ICE or whatever they are calling themselves.

Obviously the other problem is that before 9/11 we had two agencies dealing with people or goods, now we have three, with two of those each dealing with an aspect of customs work and immigration work.

What is needed is a unification of all border agencies under one named agency vertically integrated, much like a large county or municipal law enforcement agency is.

One should start on uniform patrol, then move up to inpsections, the adjudications, then investigations. No local cop starts out at detective, they spend years doing other things until they get promoted, usually based on a competative specialized examination. Just look at the best investigators in the world, Grade 1 Detectives with the NYPD. They all spent years doing other police work, then worked for promotion.

In the legacy agencies and ICE, they start out as investigators with no experience or training until they are hired. It is much better to weed out the failures while they are in uniformed patrol that hire someone to do investigations then find out they don’t cut it.

Federale on January 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm

The biggest problem with ICE (which was totally ignored by the powers that be when ICE was created) is that immigration and customs are very separate disciplines that have nothing to do with each other. When combined, they mix about as well as oil and water.

All the other problems facing ICE almost 7 years after it’s creation stem from this basic fact. As an agency, ICE continues to exemplify the phrase, “jacks of all trades, and masters of none”.

Senior Special Agent on January 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm

still the same. you be custms you get promoted. you be ins you not.

SoCal agent on January 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

Wow, 5+ years removed from ICE and I see that things have greatly improved 🙂

Was a disaster in late ’06 when I pulled out. Glad I left. Legacy USCS. Learned some good skills working with my brethern from legacy INS. Am much better off now working for another three-letter agency. Crappy location, though. Would love to still be in the SE.

FormerICE on February 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm


INTELL IN ATLANTA on March 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

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