Alabama defends its immigration law – Officials criticize federal suit to stop state from enforcing its tough statute

Hi Gang:
Here we go again!
Not long ago the federal government went after the State of Arizona for daring to enact its own immigration laws in an obvious effort to fill the void created by the failures of the federal government to secure our nation’s borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity and effectively enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
Now, not surprisingly, the State of Arizona is in the crosshairs of the United States Department of Justice because it has also enacted its own immigration law.  It is a bit ironic that until the creation of the DHS, a dysfunctional and inept bureaucratic behemoth I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Security, the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws were the sole responsibility of the same Justice Department that is now determined to block the enforcement of immigration laws on the state or local level.
I have attached a news report that appeared earlier today, August 2nd in the Washington Times and was written by Jerry Seper, one of the most experienced journalists who regularly covers the immigration beat.  This article discusses the reaction of the DOJ to the enactment of the immigration law (H.B. 56) in Alabama.
Here is a quote from that newspaper article that concisely explains the need for this law:
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 The Alabama law was authored by House GOP Majority Leader Micky Hammon, who told reporters after the lawsuit was filed that the Obama administration and federal officials have “turned a blind eye toward the immigration issue and refuse to fulfill their constitutional duty to enforce laws already on the books.

“Now, they want to block our efforts to secure Alabamas borders and prevent our jobs and taxpayer dollars from disappearing into the abyss that illegal immigration causes,” he said.

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What is astounding about our nation’s immigration laws is just how unique they are.  It would be hard to imagine the federal government objecting to the enactment or the enforcement of any other laws and, indeed, often the federal government encourages states to enforce laws that parallel federal laws.  Think about kidnapping laws, bank robbery laws, tax laws, firearm laws and narcotics laws.  All of these laws and many others are enforced on both the federal level as well as the state level.
During the gasoline shortages of the mid 1970’s the federal government threatened to cancel federal subsidies to local states that did not enforce a 55 mile per hour speed limit!  The reason behind the speed law was to increase miles per gallon fuel efficiency of motor vehicles because virtually all vehicles suffer from a reduced level of fuel efficiency when they speed.
Certainly not all of the state and local laws match federal laws, yet, the federal government does not complain when state and local governments enforce these and still additional  laws.
Where immigration laws are concerned, however, the federal government marshals its legal resources to go on the offensive to attack states and local governments that dare to enforce laws that are designed to protect our nation and our citizens!
The debate about the immigration laws have gotten as vitriolic as possible.  Accusations about racism, bigotry and hatred are often the stock and trade of individuals and organizations I have come to refer to as the immigration anarchists.  They claim that anyone who wants to secure our nation’s borders and enforce our nation’s immigration laws are bigots.  They conveniently and blithely ignore the fundamental fact that our nation’s immigration laws make absolutely no distinction about the race, religion or ethnicity of people.  The only distinction that is made is between those people who are citizens and those who are not (aliens).  In fact, the term “Alien” is defined by the immigration laws that these immigration anarchists eschew.  
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) an alien is any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.  Those who are opposed to the enforcement of the immigration laws claim that the term Alien is the equivalent of the “N” word.  When you consider the definition of the term alien- where is there any sense of bigotry or racism?
For immigration anarchists, the problem with the “A” word is not bigotry but clarity!  They understand that with clarity, they cannot win their false arguments.  They know that the facts, the law, commonsense and morality favor those who insist on our nation securing its borders and creating an immigration system that has real integrity that not only protects our citizens and our nation itself, but also honors those countless lawful immigrants and their descendants, of all races, religions and ethnicities that built this nation.
Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 212 is the section of law under the Immigration and Nationality Act that lists the various categories of aliens who should not be permitted to enter the United States. 
Here is a link to that section of law:
Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed war crimes and human rights violations.  Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States.
At present it is estimated, by the administration, that more than 230 American cities are infested by members of the Mexican drug cartels.  Still more cities are infested by other transnational gangs from Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and other parts of the world!  Why on earth would politicians who are supposed to look out for the best interests of our nation and our citizens so willing to ignore the immigration laws that, especially now, as we wage a “War on Terror” and a “War on Drugs” opposed to the enforcement of the one set of laws specifically designed to protect us? 
The immigration laws are also supposed to prevent aliens from entering our nation who would become public charges or are likely to take the jobs of Americans and lawful immigrants.  As the unemployment and under-employment rates soar and family incomes are diminished, it is vital that Americans be able to support themselves and their families.  Their well being depends on this as does the well being of all Americans and our nation.
You would be hard pressed to find a politician from any political party who would stand before the microphones and proclaim- “I am here to take jobs from Americans!”
Yet this is precisely what politicians are doing when they call for more H-1B visas and other such “temporary” work visas for aliens as well as advocating for sweeping amnesty programs for illegal aliens.  The current administration talks about “Shovel Ready Jobs” and yet has blocked the enforcement of immigration laws that would remove aliens from the United States whose presence in our country represents a violation of law.
Think of the game of “Musical Chairs” that we all played as children.  You know how the game is played, there are a number of children who circle a line of chairs while the music plays.  When the music stops, the goal for each child is to get into a seat.  The challenge is that there is one fewer chair than there are players.  Each time the music stops and a child remains standing, that child is told to leave and a chair is removed from the game.  The winner is the last child sitting!
What do you think would happen if while the kids are circling the chairs if suddenly the doors were thrown open and suddenly many more kids were let into the room but no new chairs were brought in?  Imagine how those children would react!  That is the impact of our federal government’s failure to secure its borders and enforce immigration laws!
The leaders of Arizona, Alabama and other states and local governments clearly understand how their citizens are being betrayed- causing them to attempt to do the work the feds won’t do- enforce the immigration laws!
Last year I assisted the law firm that Arizona Governor retained to defend her state against the lawsuit that was filed by the DOJ in an effort to block the enactment of SB 1070 (Arizona’s immigration law).  I provided an extensive declaration, based on my 3 decades long career with the former INS, that laid out why these laws are so critical to the safety and security of our nation, our communities and our citizens.
I have attached a copy of my declaration below.  Rather than pose all of the reasons why I am in agreement with the leaders of states that are enacting their own immigration laws here, I would urge you to review my declaration that I provided in support of SB 1070 that has become a part of the legal defense of Arizona’s immigration statute.   

At the beginning of this year, I also testified before the Indiana State Senate in support of a similar immigration bill, SB 590.  That bill was enacted into law.
Here is a link to my appearance before that legislative session in Indiana and my prepared remarks as it appears on my website:
It has often been stated that America was built by immigrants.  Indeed, immigrants from all over the world have come to America and contributed to the rich and extremely diverse tapestry that is the United States of America that is so eloquently described by the three word motto, “E Puribus Unum”  (Out of Many- One!)
But America became the greatest nation on the face of this planet because of something else- the creation of a large and upwardly mobile middle class.
While the citizens of most countries were virtually locked into their position on the socio-economic ladder of their countries, in America literally “anyone could grow up to be President!”  America’s Middle Class is the heart and soul of the United States.
In America creativity and diligence could enable inventors and tinkerers such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers of the past generations and Steve Jobs of the current generation could amass incredible wealth with their upstart companies that may have begun in their garages, basements or kitchens!
There was a time when there was a commonly cited expression, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a pathway to your door!”
The idea was that by creativity, ingenuity, diligence, chutzpah and a bit of luck, anyone could become the next success story.
Today that expression is rarely if ever quoted, and I suspect that many of our younger citizens never even heard that saying!
Today it would seem that there is a new pathway to success that is summed up by the expression, “You have to be in it, to win it!”
This is a reference to idea that a person could achieve great wealth by buying a winning Lottery ticket!
Today few are attempting to build new mousetraps but would likely call an attorney if they found mice in their homes.  They would want to be able to sue someone for causing the mice to enter their homes!
Our nation was not built by dumb luck or by filing lawsuits!
I would urge that the Middle Class be placed on the “Endangered Species List!”
Politicians are quick to claim that illegal aliens will do the work that American won’t do- if you check out those politicians who are quick to make those statements, you are likely to find that they never did a real day’s work in their lives!  It may well be that hard work never killed anyone, but certainly these elitist political “leaders” don’t want to take any chances!
They apparently don’t understand just how desperate so many Americans are to support themselves and provide for their families.
Each and every day Americans across this great nation go to work in coal mines and steel foundries they race into burning buildings to attempt to rescue total strangers, chase armed criminals down dark alleyways and work on constructions sites (as did my dad) where the work they do is backbreaking, filthy and hazardous- indeed, more hazardous than law enforcement!
Obama has been talking about putting construction workers back to work while his policies encourage the establishment of day labor sites that undercut construction jobs!
My mom and dad made it clear they would not tolerate me saying one thing and doing another!  My mom’s used to say that “Actions speak louder than words!”
I ask you consider the actions of this administration! 
You should also know that on April 30, 2011 a hearing was convened by the Senate Immigration Subcommittee that was entitled, 
“Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?”

Alan Greenspan provided testimony at that hearing in which he complained bitterly about how Americans with skills and education had become the “privileged elite” and were being paid far too well!
Here is a direct quote from his prepared testimony- remembered this was his prepared testimony- this was not an extemporaneous statement in which he may have misspoke- this was a part of the written statement he provided for the hearing:

The
second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in
this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled
would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill
shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor
force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the
wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged
elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high
levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating
such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income
inequality.

In those words it became clear that Greenspan believes that Americans need to be made to compete with foreign workers so that their wages can be cut!
This is an outrage and is not only immoral but illegal!  At least in theory, the immigration laws are supposed to prevent the entry of foreign workers into our country if, by their presence in the labor market, American workers suffer reduced wages, worsened working conditions and/or the loss of their jobs!
Here is a link to my commentary about that hearing and Greenspan’s testimony that appears on my website:
Senator Chuck Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee called for that hearing and arranged for Alan Greenspan, arguably the architect of the current economic crisis our nation finds itself in, to testify at the hearing.  Schumer is the Senior Senator of New York, the state and city that suffered the greatest harm as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, established that failures of the immigration system that enabled the terrorists to enter the United States and successfully embed themselves in communities throughout the United States as they went about their plans to carry out those terrorist attacks.
In fact, Schumer also was behind the Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) provisions of the 1986 Amnesty that enabled between 3 million and 4 million illegal aliens to gain lawful status even though so many of them had no reliable or verifiable way of proving their true identities.  In 1985 I met with Schumer who was, at that time, my elected Congressman.  I asked him to reconsider his efforts to provide amnesty to agricultural workers but he not only did not want to listen to me- he insisted that he tell me what he knew about immigration and then he hastily escorted me out of his office in Brooklyn!  I suspect he did not want me to confuse him with the facts!
I warned him that his provisions of a special amnesty program for agricultural workers was particularly odd since there were no farms in his entire district!  I predicted that the rate of fraud in the entire amnesty program in general and particularly in the SAW program would guarantee my then one year old son with job security if, when he turned 21 he decided to follow in my footsteps and become an INS Special Agent.  I told him that his program would create a national security problem for our nation!
Unfortunately, I had no idea, at that time, just how prophetic my warning about the national security implications for his proposed legislation would be.

On September 1, 2006 I was called to testify before a field hearing conducted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives at Dubuque, Iowa on the topic,

“IS THE REID-KENNEDY BILL A REPEAT OF THE FAILED AMNESTY OF 1986?”

Here is a link to the complete transcript of that hearing:

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju29745.000/hju29745_0.htm

When I testified at that hearing, I raised the issue of how one of the terrorists who attacked our nation at the World Trade Center in February 1993 was an alien who had, in fact availed himself of Schumer’s SAW program.  He lied on his application for amnesty claiming to have been an agricultural worker.  In point of fact, the only thing this thug ever planted was a bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center!

Here is a relevant excerpt from my prepared testimony:

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“A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status  through this process. During the 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for various violations of law and he ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our Nation’s generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages inflicted on that iconic, ill-fated complex. America had opened his doors to him so that he might participate in the American dream and he turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our Nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then hide in plain sight among us.”


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Apparently the quest for new voters and the cheap labor so desired by the Chamber of Commerce and the quest by some unions, for new membership with the attendant dues and political leverage that additional members would bring outweigh the harm that uncontrolled immigration does to our nation where nearly every challenge and threat that confronts our nation is concerned.
Meanwhile the Department of Justice has made it clear that it will not tolerate any local or state government doing the job that the administration is utterly opposed to doing- securing our borders and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws!
The lawsuit that has been filed against Alabama is not only a betrayal to the citizens of Alabama and Arizona, it is a betrayal to all citizens of all ethnicities, races and religions of the entire nation and, it represents a betrayal of the oaths of office the members of this administration took when they were sworn in!
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.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has 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. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to get involved!

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!

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- 



Please check out my website:

Additionally- this summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”



I hope you will be joining my cohost, Paula Lauzon Ostman and me, on Fridays this summer!

Here is the link for this program:


Alabama defends its immigration law

Officials criticize federal suit to stop state from enforcing its tough statute

Del Marsh, Alabama Senate president pro tem, contends that the federal government has “looked the other way” about immigration law enforcement in the state. (Associated Press)Alabama officials Tuesday criticized a Justice Department lawsuit challenging the state’s tough new immigration law, arguing that the federal government’s failure to enforce its own immigration statutes had forced the states to do so.


Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, a Republican, said the legislation — signed into law in June by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley — will survive any court challenge. A federal judge in Phoenix has blocked implementation of an Arizona immigration law for more than a year after a similar challenge from the Obama administration in 2010.

“Make no mistake, this lawsuit will not undo Alabama’s immigration law. If the court finds problems with parts of the law, tweaks can be made,” Mr. Hubbard said. “But Alabama is not going to be a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. Alabama will have a strict immigration law and we will enforce it.”

Alabama State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the federal government has “looked the other way” on the issue of immigration law enforcement, allowing Alabama’s illegal immigrant population to increase by nearly 400 percent over the past decade.

“With almost one out of every 10 Alabamians looking for a job, we need to make sure that legal Alabama residents are not being passed over for employment in lieu of those who are here illegally,” Mr. Marsh said.

The Justice Department lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, restated the Obama administration’s strongly held view that setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration law was a federal responsibility. The department argued that the Alabama law, known as H.B. 56, “undermines the federal governments careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives.”

The brief makes clear that, while the federal government values state assistance and cooperation, a state cannot set its own immigration policy, much less pass laws that conflict with federal enforcement of immigration laws.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the problems of immigration law enforcement cannot be addressed through a “patchwork” of state laws.

“To the extent we find state laws that interfere with the federal governments enforcement of immigration law, we are prepared to bring suit, as we did in Arizona,” he said.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the suit Aug. 24.

Both supporters and critics of Alabama’s law have described it as the toughest in the nation. It requires public schools to determine the immigration status of students; orders police to detain those they suspect of being in the country illegally when stopped for any reason; and makes it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor someone illegally in the country.

The law, scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, also imposes penalties on businesses that knowingly employ someone without legal resident status.

The Alabama law was authored by House GOP Majority Leader Micky Hammon, who told reporters after the lawsuit was filed that the Obama administration and federal officials have “turned a blind eye toward the immigration issue and refuse to fulfill their constitutional duty to enforce laws already on the books.

“Now, they want to block our efforts to secure Alabamas borders and prevent our jobs and taxpayer dollars from disappearing into the abyss that illegal immigration causes,” he said.

The Justice Department argued that the Alabama law could result in the “harassment and detention of foreign visitors, legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens who may not be able to readily prove their lawful status.” In addition, the department said, it will place “significant burdens on federal agencies, diverting their resources away from dangerous criminal aliens and other high-priority targets.”

The Washington-based Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, applauded the lawsuit and called on Congress to begin working on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.


DECLARATION OF MICHAEL W. CUTLER

              Michael W. Cutler declares as follows:

1.              The facts set forth below are of my own personal knowledge and, if called as a witness, I could and would testify competently thereto.

2.              Since 2002, I have been a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.  The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization.  As a Fellow, I have provided perspectives based upon my experience with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) about the nexus between immigration and national security, the impact of immigration on the criminal justice system, and strategies to combat illegal immigration.  I regularly speak with Special Agents and other employees who are currently employed by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) (the successor to INS), members of the law enforcement community, members of Congressional sub-committees and their staffers, and other government officials involved in the enforcement and adjudication of federal immigration laws.  I also read a substantial amount of open source material provided by DHS, ICE, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and other federal law enforcement agencies.  The federal immigration laws that I enforced as a Senior Special Agent are, with some changes, substantially the same as those laws in place today.      

3.              In February 2002, I retired as a Senior Special Agent for INS.  The INS ceased to exist in 2003 and is now known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Prior to my retirement, I worked for INS for approximately 30 years. 

4.              My career with INS started in 1971 when I entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to the John F. Kennedy International Airport.  As an Immigration Inspector, my responsibility was to examine documents (such as passports) and to briefly interview passengers to make a determination about their admissibility into the U.S. consistent with federal immigration law.  In essence, I had my eye to the “peephole” to America’s front door.  Effectively, any state with an international airport or a seaport should be considered a border state.        

5.              By 1975, I became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS in New York City.  During that time I rotated through all the squads of the investigations branch of INS.  During this period of time, I often worked closely with other law enforcement agencies including the New York City Police Department.

6.              From 1988 until 1991 I was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (“UID”) of the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) in New York.  In 1991, I was promoted to Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) wherein I partnered with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs, and local and state police, as well as law enforcement organizations in other countries. 

7.              Since 1997, I have been called by members of both political parties to testify relating to the enforcement or lack of enforcement of immigration laws and deficiencies in the immigration system before both houses of the United States Congress on more than 12 occasions.  The bulk of the testimony that I have provided to Congress has occurred since my retirement from the INS.  On one of these occasions, specifically on February 23, 2003, I provided testimony about sanctuary city policies and their negative impact on enforcement of federal immigration laws and the negative impact on our communities.  At the beginning of this Congressional hearing, Representative John Hostetler, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, began the hearing by discussing the abduction and brutal assault on a 42 year-old mother of two by several illegal aliens who had extensive arrest histories in New York City – a known “sanctuary city” – which never resulted in any referral to the INS by the New York City Police Department.  On March 11, 2004, I testified before congress about funding for immigration enforcement.  On March 10, 2005, I offered testimony before Congress about interior immigration enforcement resources.  I also provided testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

8.              During my career at INS, I gained a unique perspective by working as an Immigration Inspector, an Examiner (an Adjudications Officer) and as a Special Agent where I worked to enforce immigration laws within the interior of the United States.  Thus, I have firsthand experience of having directly worked as part of, with two of the three elements of, what I refer to as the immigration enforcement tripod:  (1) inspection; (2) border patrol; and (3) interior enforcement.  Each leg of the immigration enforcement tripod plays a critical role in the national security of the U.S. 

9.              Inspection occurs when Aliens enter the U.S. through designated ports of entry.  Upon inspection, a determination is made by an inspector to determine whether there is any reason to preclude an alien from entering the U.S.  Inspectors at designated ports of entry attempt to deny entry to aliens who would not be admissible to the U.S.  The following is a partial list of reasons why an Immigration Inspector will not permit an alien to enter the U.S.:  (1) the alien has certain communicable diseases of public health significance; (2) the alien has a physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder may pose a threat to the safety of others; (3) it is determined that the alien is a drug abuser or addict; (4) the alien has committed a crime involving moral turpitude; (5) the alien has committed a crime involving  controlled substances; (6) the alien has been convicted of two crimes which resulted in aggregate sentences of five years or more; (7) the alien has been known to be an illicit trafficker in controlled substances; (8) the alien is coming to the U.S. to engage in prostitution or has engaged in prostitution within the last 10 years; (9) aliens who have committed serious crimes but claimed immunity to avoid prosecution; (10) foreign government officials who have violated U.S. laws relating to religious freedom; (11) the alien has engaged in trafficking in persons; (12) the alien has engaged in money laundering; (14) the alien is entering the country to engage in espionage or any unlawful activity; (15) the alien has engaged in terrorist activities, is planning to engage in terrorist activities or is a representative of a terrorist organization; (16) the alien is a known war criminal; (17) the alien has been previously deported and lacks proper authority to reenter; and (18) the alien is found to be in possession of fraudulent documents.  

10.           Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency that is now part of US Customs and Border Protection.  Border Patrol is tasked with deterring, detecting, and interdicting (apprehending) illegal aliens who enter or attempt to enter the U.S. other than through designated ports of entry.

11.           Interior enforcement, consistent with its moniker, is enforcement of immigration laws within the borders of the U.S. and falls under the purview of ICE Special Agents.  Based upon my 30 years of experience for the INS as an Immigration Inspector, a Special Agent, and as a Senior Special Agent, I believe that the interior enforcement program was and continues to be terribly under-staffed and, in general, neglected.

12.           While the actual number of ICE Special Agents is classified, most estimates by what I consider to be reputable data sources put the number of ICE Special Agents at approximately 6,000 for the entire U.S.  A substantial portion of these agents are tasked with enforcement of U.S. Customs law and not immigration enforcement.  The President recently estimated the number of illegal aliens at 11,000,000 – other estimates are significantly higher.  Government estimates place the number of illegal aliens who have entered through ports of entry but violated their terms of admission, at 4,500,000.  According to a recent DHS report, it is estimated that there are only 272 ICE employees trying to track down these 4,500,000 immigration law violators.  In any event, there are no more than 6,000 ICE agents responsible for the interior enforcement of federal immigration laws for the more than 11,000,000 illegal aliens that are in the United States.  Thus, ICE cannot be successful in enforcing federal immigration law without the assistance of local law enforcement.       

13.           Based on any estimate for the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S., it cannot be disputed that the federal government has failed to secure the borders of the U.S or to deter the continuing entry of illegal aliens.       

14.           The federal government’s failure to secure the border, combined with the federal government’s decision not to engage in substantial interior enforcement, has created an immigration policy that effectively creates a “finish line” at the border.

15.           In other words, aliens are incentivized to make it to the border whether through lawful means or unlawful means because once an alien crosses the border there is little chance of detection in the interior of the country and even less chance of removal (deportation).

16.           The reduced chance of detection and removal creates an environment where aliens who enter the U.S. through lawful means at designated ports of entry face little or no penalty for staying in the U.S. after their permission to remain expires.  Once an alien’s permission to remain in the U.S. expires, an alien is unlawfully present in the U.S.  Aliens who were lawfully admitted become unlawfully present in the U.S. when they violate the terms of their admission into the U.S.  Examples include aliens who: (1) remain in the U.S. beyond their authorized period of admission; (2) accept unauthorized employment; and/or (3) are convicted of crimes.

17.           Alien’s previously lawfully admitted who become unlawfully present represent a risk to the security of the U.S. because they are able to establish themselves into a community and hide in plain sight.      

18.           A second way for aliens to get past the finish line (the border) and move to the interior of the U.S. to is to circumvent designated ports of entry.  By definition, anyone who enters the U.S. by circumventing designated ports of entry has entered the country unlawfully. 

19.           National security is at risk when someone circumvents designated ports of entry because the U.S. does not have any information about the identity of those persons who have entered our country or any record of their entry into our country or their presence thereafter.  Nor does the U.S. have any information about the actual number of persons who have circumvented designated ports of entry.  Most critically, the U.S. does not have information whether the person who has circumvented inspection is carrying a communicable disease, is a war criminal, is wanted in another country or is a known felon, a member of a transnational gang or cartel, or whether the alien is actually a terrorist who seeks to harm the U.S. 

20.           In my experience as a Special Agent who enforced immigration laws in the interior of the U.S., I am familiar with the various rationale for circumventing inspection at the border. 

21.           Some percentage of those persons who circumvent designated ports of entry come to the U.S. simply to work (albeit unlawfully) in an attempt to secure a better life than might be available to them in their home country.  

22.           Some percentage of those persons who circumvent designated ports of entry come to the U.S. to avoid detection and subsequent prosecution for crimes that they have committed in their home country.  The U.S., with its porous border and lack of interior immigration enforcement, becomes a haven for these aliens to hide.

23.           Some percentage of those persons who circumvent designated ports of entry come to the U.S. to blend into our communities with the plan of hiding in plain sight with the eventual goal of causing harm to the U.S. and its citizens.

24.           Some percentage of those persons who circumvent designated ports of entry travel back and forth between the U.S. and a border country to import drugs, weapons, to engage in human smuggling or trafficking, and to evade U.S. law enforcement agencies. 

25.           Aliens that have entered the U.S. unlawfully, often become the potential clients of other criminal enterprises that prey upon illegal aliens through the sale of forged or altered identity documents, fraudulent schemes to ensure the ability to stay in the U.S., and further exploitation by the criminal element.

26.           The circumvention of designated ports of entry creates a tremendous problem for the federal government because ICE does not have sufficient personnel to enforce federal immigration laws consistent with its stated objectives by solely relying on Special Agents stationed in the field.  Moreover, because of ICE’s inability to enforce federal immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S., aliens intent on entering the U.S. are emboldened and encouraged that they will ultimately succeed in entering the U.S. even if they are interdicted by border patrol on a number of occasions.  From my interviews with aliens that I have arrested or otherwise detained, I have learned that U.S. immigration policies have contributed to aliens adopting the view that they only need to keep trying to circumvent the border one time more than they are caught to be successful at entering the U.S.   

27.           During my time as an INS Special Agent, INS would prioritize its enforcement efforts in an attempt to seek removal for those persons most likely to cause harm to the U.S.  The same is true today now that immigration enforcement falls under the direction of DHS and more specifically, ICE.  In fact, I personally worked with Senator Al D’Amato to prioritize criminal aliens, distinguish aliens by subjecting such criminal aliens to enhanced penalties who reentered the country after a formal order of removal after a criminal conviction, and to hold removal proceedings inside the jail to expedite the adjudication of removal proceedings. 

28.           I am aware that ICE, on June 30, 2010, posted a memorandum outlining ICE’s enforcement priorities for the (world to see).  Setting aside the peculiar timing and tone of the memorandum, ICE has identified its highest enforcement priorities as (1) national security; (2) public safety; and (3) border security.

29.           As a Special Agent for more than 26 years, I have come to the conclusion that ICE must rely on local law enforcement to even attempt to work towards its highest enforcement priorities because ICE Special Agents only come into contact with a small portion of the alien population that has entered the U.S. or that remains in the U.S. unlawfully. 

30.           Local law enforcement, on the other hand, has regular contact with members of the public including aliens.  These daily contacts by local law enforcement represent a critical tool in assisting ICE with its highest enforcement priorities because local law enforcement can assist ICE in the identification of those aliens who are unlawfully present in the U.S.

31.           Specifically, each time a local law enforcement officer has contact with a person, whether a U.S. citizen, a lawful alien or an unlawful alien, the officer will almost always try and identify the person to make sure there are no outstanding criminal or administrative warrants that would cause the local law enforcement officer to take the person into custody to protect the safety of officers and the community.  Further, as it relates to ICE’s highest enforcement priorities, local law enforcement plays a critical role in identifying aliens so that ICE can make a determination about whether or not ICE should seek to lodge a detainer and or to take other appropriate actions to effect the removal of the alien. 

32.           I can think of no situation where ICE would not want a local law enforcement officer to assist in the identification of someone unlawfully present in the U.S.  These contacts can result in improved national security because, at least from time to time, some of these aliens identified by local law enforcement may be significant threats to the U.S. and wanted by ICE and/or other federal authorities.  It is important to note that some of the 9/11 terrorists had interaction with police officers prior to engaging in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.  On other occasions, ICE may in fact determine that an alien identified by local law enforcement is not an enforcement priority under ICE’s current prioritization. 

33.           Local law enforcement can also play a critical role in assisting ICE in enforcing federal immigration laws by creating a deterrent because of its ability to inquire into the immigration status when reasonable suspicion exists that someone is unlawfully present in the U.S.  This deterrence can assist in removing some of the pressure on the border.

34.           I am also aware that some cities become sanctuaries to aliens unlawfully present through the creation of policies that prevent local law enforcement officers from inquiring into an alien’s immigration status even when the officer has reasonable suspicion that an alien is unlawfully present in the U.S.  These cities are sometimes referred to as “sanctuary cities.”

35.           The creation of sanctuary cities actually hurts ICE in its efforts to conduct its highest enforcement priorities because it results in less identification of potentially dangerous unlawful aliens by local police officers.  In other words, when ICE is left to enforce federal immigrations laws on its own, its efforts are substantially limited.  On the other hand, permitting local law enforcement to inquire into an alien’s immigration status when they have already been stopped, detained, or arrested will actually assist ICE to meet its highest priorities as local law enforcement assists ICE in becoming aware of those aliens who would be considered a high priority for removal or other appropriate action.  Moreover, an argument could certainly be made that cities that create sanctuary policies are actually in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324 which creates criminal penalties for “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation” (8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii)) or “encourage[ing] or induc[ing] an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of that fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.”  8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(iv); see also 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(v)(II) (“aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts”).  In other words, if the federal government was interested in enforcing federal immigration law it would be actively working to end sanctuary city policies throughout the U.S.

36.           I am personally familiar with one example in which a city’s sanctuary policy prevented local law enforcement officers from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration law leading to the death of a police officer.

37.           Specifically, in 1986, I personally escorted Renaldo Rayside to the airport after an immigration judge entered an order of removal to deport Mr. Rayside to Panama due to his conviction on several drug charges.

38.           Within two years, Mr. Rayside had returned to the U.S. via unknown means.  Once inside the country, according to published newspaper accounts, Mr. Rayside was charged at least twice with resisting arrest by New York City police officers.  But New York City had policies in place that prevented city law enforcement officers from contacting INS even when they had reasonable suspicion that a person in their custody was unlawfully present in the U.S.

39.           New York City’s sanctuary policies precluded its officers from contacting INS to inquire about Mr. Rayside’s immigration status.  Had INS been contacted, INS would have detained Mr. Rayside based upon his criminal conduct and based upon his presence in the U.S. despite having been previously removed.  Mr. Rayside would have been either imprisoned and prosecuted for reentering the U.S., or would have been deported. 

40.           On March 3, 1989, as a result of New York City’s sanctuary policies, Mr. Rayside was still present and at-large in the U.S. (albeit unlawfully) when he was stopped for questioning by Officer Robert E. Machate.  On this day, Mr. Rayside wrestled Officer Machate’s gun from him and used it to shoot him through the back.  Officer Machate died as a result of the gunshot wound.

41.           New York City’s sanctuary city policies during this time period, or any sanctuary policy that prevents local law enforcement from contacting federal immigration authorities for that matter, are inconsistent with ICE’s highest priorities listed in its June 30, 2010 memorandum.  In other words, ICE’s highest priorities are more likely to be met when local law enforcement is permitted to contact ICE when contact is made with a potentially dangerous illegal alien.  Sanctuary city policies also have a potential harmful effect on officer safety and the safety of the community.

42.           Local law enforcement is in the unique position of being able to assist ICE to meet their highest priority of removing the most dangerous persons from the U.S. as it simultaneously enforces state or federal law in other areas.  As an example, persons are regularly stopped by local law enforcement for minor traffic violations but – once the person is identified – the minor traffic violation can result in the arrest of someone wanted for a violent crime or some other significant felony.  It is simply nonsensical for ICE to suggest that it can more appropriately enforce its highest priorities if local law enforcement ignores a person’s immigration status. 

43.           Just as local law enforcement is in a unique position of being able to assist ICE to meet their highest priority of removing the most dangerous persons from the U.S., ICE stands in a unique position to assist local law enforcement.  In my experience as a Special Agent, I was often asked by local law enforcement to provide testimony at bail hearings to provide INS’ perspective about the flight risk of a particular alien.  In fact, INS’ (and now ICE’s) files can be a treasure trove of information about an alien’s lack of ties to the community, failures to appear for prior hearings, or their record of using false or non-existent identities or addresses.                         

44.           As someone concerned about the security of the U.S. border, I have read Senate Bill 1070.  Based upon my 30 years of experience enforcing federal immigration laws, Senate Bill 1070 does not seek to enforce federal immigration laws beyond what is permitted by the Immigration and Nationality Act and its amendments.  Rather, Senate Bill 1070 prevents the creation of sanctuary cities, a detriment to assisting ICE in meeting its highest enforcement priorities, and provides local law enforcement with the ability to assist ICE in meeting ICE’s stated objectives as well as the objectives of local and state police officers.

45.           Senate Bill 1070 leaves actual enforcement, including the setting of enforcement priorities, in the hands of DHS and ICE who are charged with enforcing federal immigration laws.  Also, it is important to note that the actual removal of aliens falls under the exclusive control of ICE and Senate Bill 1070 has no impact on this authority. 

46.           As a former Special Agent, I believe that being able to have the assistance of local law enforcement is critical in helping ICE to remove the most dangerous unlawful aliens from the U.S. in order to protect our nation’s security, protect the safety of the public, and to secure our border.  Cooperation between local and state law enforcement, CBP, and ICE creates a synergy that will improve the results of all agencies involved and, as a result, will improve national security and community safety.                                  

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

DATED ______________ .

 

New York.

            By  

Michael W. Cutler

 

 

 

11733636

 

doc iconBrewer-DOJ_ Declaration of Michael Cutler_11733636_1-1.DOC

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