"50 individuals charged in Puerto Rico with allegedly trafficking identities of Puerto Rican US citizens"

Hi Gang:

Once again I have written a commentary for the CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) Website that is, as they might say, “Ripped from the pages of the ICE website!”

I want you to think about this comparison:  3,500 vs 60,000.

If this was some sort of athletic score result, you could say that the results were extremely lopsided!  These two numbers, however, do not relate to any sort of athletic competition but a comparison of resources dedicated to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws from within the interior of the United States and the resources dedicated to making certain that passengers who board airliners are not on any “No Fly” list and don’t have any prohibited items on their persons or in their carry-on luggage.

Certainly it is extremely important to secure our airliners against a terrorist attack.  Being somewhat of “frequent flyer” myself, I can assure you that I never want to have a window seat on an improvised cruise missile!  However, airliners are not the only vulnerability that poses a threat to the safety and security of our nation or our citizens.  A terrorist or teams of terrorists operating in our country could find nearly an infinite number of ways to do us harm.  I have often noted that a terrorist running loose in the United States, determined to do us harm, would nearly be in the position of a child running loose in a toy store with a “Platinum Credit Card!”  Here we have potential terrorists running loose throughout our country because our borders are not secure, the Visa Waiver Program continues to be expanded and our borders and the immigration laws that are supposed to prevent the entry of criminal aliens and aliens engaged in terrorism from entering our country lack the resources and resolve to carry out this extremely critical mission are lacking. Furthermore, our nation lacks the resources and resolve to enforce the immigration laws that are supposed to address the issue of aliens who are able, in one way or another, those aliens who pose a threat to the safety and well being of our nation and our citizens are also lacking!

There are currently about 7,000 special agents at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to conduct investigations and make arrests for violations of law for the entire country.  At least half of them are engaged in enforcing customs laws and not immigration laws.  This means that there are the functional equivalent of 3,500 such agents carrying out their critical investigations.

The TSA has more than 60,000 personnel operating inside the United States, primarily at airports.  This massive workforce is augmented by private security officers at a number of airports.  This is how I arrived at the numerical comparison I used to initiate this commentary.

The extreme lack of resources at ICE means that many investigations are never conducted and even when investigations are conducted, they become greatly curtailed because of the lack of personnel and other essential resources.  As I have often noted in similar commentaries- it is frustrating to read about how a fraud ring is identified and the primary coconspirators are arrested and prosecuted but those who benefited from the ‘services” provided by the fraud ring that was dismantled are never fully identified and never arrested.  Many of the beneficiaries of these fraud rings remain at large living in towns and cities across our nation with little to fear from the enforcement personnel at ICE.

While many aliens who engage in such fraud do so simply to enter the United States and secure employment- a serious enough problem in this tough economic period, the potential exists that some of the aliens who succeeded in committing fraud did so with far more sinister goals in mind.  Some may be transnational criminals while others may be directly or indirectly involved with terrorism.  The 9/11 Commission was able to identify some 94 terrorists who used visa fraud or immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States and/or embed themselves in our country in the decade leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

When it becomes apparent that aliens who enter into conspiracies with a fraud ring are almost never arrested, prosecuted or deported, aliens quickly become emboldened to seek out such fraud rings to achieve their goals.  There is nothing about this situation that deters such aliens.  These crimes, as I noted in my commentary that I attached below, are not victimless crimes but are, almost always, prosecution-less crimes!

This brings to mind a sort of twisted version of the old question about trees falling in the forest and whether or not they make a sound if their is no one their to hear them fall.  Here the question is, if crimes are committed but no one pursues those who commit the violations of law that they represent, do those violations of law matter?

The answer is that most certainly those violation matter to the United States and our citizens and to others who may fall victim to the crimes involved such as identity theft and crimes carried out by those who game the system.  However, to the alien who blithely makes a mockery of our laws and continues on unscathed, there may as well not even be laws on the books that are supposed to prohibit such felonies from being committed!

It has been said that criminals may see in kindness, weakness!

The corollary of this is that in weakness, criminals see opportunities!

Under the administration’s current policies where immigration laws are concerned, coupled with the extreme lack of resources, weakness abounds!

If a chain is as strong as its weakest link, where border security and the enforcement of our immigration laws are concerned, we have extremely weak links and all but nonexistent links!
The immigration laws that so many politicians and members of the administration are unwilling to enforce are at the bedrock of national security and the other issues and challenges that confront our nation today.


Show me a politician who refuses to enforce the immigration laws or attempts to trivialize these laws, and I will show you a politician who needs to find out what it is like to stand on the unemployment line!

Benjamin Franklin, in discussing our then fledgeling nation. said that they had given us a republic if we could keep it!


What he was making clear was that this democratic republic required that its citizens take their citizenship seriously and keep the political leaders accountable.

It is time for the citizens of our nation to make certain that our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact.  Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!


I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. 

It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties, are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party.  Clearly  more and more of our fellow Americans are demonstrating that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!

I am encouraged that more and more of us, We the People, are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!


I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

I also believe that the original purpose of our nation’s immigration laws need to be be brought “front and center” to make certain that our nation does not permit the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country is problematic for the citizens of our nation and that if such aliens do succeed in entering our country that our nation have the resources, integrity and dedication to do everything possible to make it impossible for such aliens to function within our country so that even if they are not apprehended, they will find it pointless to remain in the United States.

As I have noted on a number of occasions, “No one would break into the amusement park if they could not get to go on the rides and no one remains in the amusement park at the end of the day when they turn shut down the rides and turn off the lights!” 

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!


-michael cutler- 

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50 individuals charged in Puerto Rico with allegedly trafficking identities of       Puerto Rican US citizens

Today’s commentary could be categorized as another “Good news / Bad News” story and was predicated on a news release that was posted on the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) website on January 11, 2012.

First the good news:

Certainly the fact that special agents of ICE were able to identify
and dismantle a massive identity theft ring marks an Important success
in combating an increasingly serious criminal problem that impacts the
people whose identities were stolen and also has all sorts of other
potential ramifications on a host of issues that could involve criminal
justice and even national security.

The fact that the successful investigation involved personnel from a
number of federal law enforcement agencies as well as local police
departments, working in close cooperation with ICE, also shows how
important this sort of “task force” approach to law enforcement can have
a synergistic affect where the sum of the component agencies are
greater than such agencies working alone.  Score another success for the
“Good Guys.”

The fact that these agencies all worked cooperatively, including
local police agencies, shows, however that the claims that when local
police work at enforcing immigration laws community policing suffers are
not only unfounded, but that such cooperative investigations are
essential.

Something else to consider, while not all cases of identity theft
relate specifically to the issue of immigration- the explosion of the
number of illegal aliens in our country has generated an exponential
increase in the demand for stolen identities- yet another crime related
to illegal immigration that does serious harm to law abiding citizens
and lawful immigrants.  Just another example of how illegal immigration
is not a victimless crime!

Now we get to that which I find disturbing:

There was not a single word in the entire news release that addressed
the nationalities of either the bad guys who were indicted or the
customers for whom the documents were being procured either to say that
these customers were “undocumented aliens” and other residing in the
United States.  The news release also noted that some of the ring
members used purloined Puerto Rican identification documents for
themselves.

The issue here is that it is entirely possible that United States
citizens may certainly have availed themselves of this opportunity to
acquire a new identity to obfuscate their true identities to commit
crimes or, in some cases, to evade law enforcement authorities who may
have been searching for them because they are fugitives from justice. 
It must, however, be presumed that at least some of the customers are,
in fact illegal aliens.  The same sort of suppositions must be made
about those who have been indicted in this case.

It is essential for a number of reasons that when aliens are indicted
for crimes they commit in the United States that their immigration
status be taken into account for a couple of fundamental reasons.  First
of all, when these defendants are arrested, once they are processed
(photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed), they will next be taken
before a federal magistrate who will decide on the appropriate bail for
these defendants.  A detention (bail) hearing focuses on two issues-
danger to the community and risk of flight.  In a case where there was
no evidence of violence, which would seem to be the case here, it is
entirely likely that a magistrate would be amenable to providing the
defendants with the opportunity to post bail.  Since danger to the
community is not extreme, the issue of risk of flight takes on
particular significance.  If a defendant is an illegal alien, the risk
of flight leaps dramatically.  Aliens have an “escape hatch” through
which they can and, in fact, often utilize- they can flee the United
States and head for their home countries where extradition may be
difficult if not impossible.

Certainly a news release should not be expected to lay out all of the
issues of an investigation, especially one in which the case is in its
formative stages- the defendants are indicted at this point and not
convicted, however, my concern is with the fact that all too often,
immigration-related factors in cases pursued by ICE are not highlighted
or given the weight that they should be given.

I am also concerned about the clientele of this massive fraud ring. 
We know that the 19 terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11,
2001 used 364 false identities or variations of false identities.  While
the news release did not delve into all of these issues, I hope that
the agents and prosecutors will do everything possible to not only
arrest the alleged members of the massive fraud ring- but go after those
who purchased the documents.  These “clients” have acquired a potential
legal title- that title is “Co-conspirator!”

Here is a final thought that may not help you to sleep, but as I have
told members of Congress when I conducted discussions with them about
my many concerns about the vulnerabilities that threaten us from so many
directions, “If I cannot sleep at night, I do not want you to be able
to sleep at night, either!”

We know that there are a number of elite Iranian shock troops known
as “Qods” who are currently stationed in Venezuela.  We also know that
there are terrorist training camps located in the Tri-Border region of
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who belong to Hezbollah, Hammas and,
likely, al-Qaeda.  Such individuals who would reside in Latin America
for a significant period of time could easily pass themselves off as
citizens of Latin America.  If they attempted to enter our country and
embed themselves in our country, they would want to have the sort of
documentation that these identity thieves could sell them in furtherance
of their objectives to hide in plain sight.

With the extremely limited resources ICE has and with the current
mindset that illegal aliens who have no criminal convictions should not
be arrested and deported but provided with employment authorization, I
have some serious misgivings about what may get overlooked.

I would hate to see defeat snatched from the jaws of victory!

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