Los Angeles Times: “Arizona passes strict illegal immigration act”

Hi Gang:

The news article to which I have provided a link below appears in the April 13th Addition of the Los Angeles Times and reports on how the legislators of the state of Arizona have passed news laws that would get local law enforcement involved in the enforcement of the immigration laws.  According to the news report, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is expected to sign the bill into law.  Please click on the link below and read the article in its entirety.

It is interesting to note that according to the article:

“…police were deeply divided on the matter, with police unions backing it but the state police chief’s association opposing the bill, contending it could erode trust with immigrants who could be potential witnesses.”

The issue here is that the police chiefs association represents the chiefs of police, an organization that has strong political ties, while the unions representing the average “cop on the beat” favor the measures.

About five years ago I was invited to speak before the executive board of the International Association of Chief of Police on the issue of border security and the enforcement of the immigration laws.  I had one of my sons join me on that brief journey to Boston, Massachusetts where the meeting was held.  I was surprised to find that a special assistant to then President George W. Bush had also been invited to speak and she preceded me to provide the administration’s position of immigration law enforcement.  She made much of how wonderful it was to work for the President and how important his efforts were to create a guest worker program form millions of aliens and how effective the administration had been in protecting communities around the country by implementing programs such as “Operation Community Shield” under which some 2,300 violent alien gang members had been arrested and deported from the United States during the previous year by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

When she finished her talk she invited questions from the audience and, as you might expect, I seized the opportunity to address the points she had made during her presentation.

I told her, and the audience, that I had testified only a few weeks earlier before a Congressional hearing that had been called by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on the issue that while Congress had appropriated funding to enable the administration to hire an additional 800 special agents for ICE and 2,000 additional Border Patrol agents for CBP (Customs and Border Protection) the President had slashed those numbers and proposed to only hire an additional 143 new special agents for ICE and just 210 additional Border Patrol agents.  I explained that without proper staffing levels there was no way that the government would be the slightest bit capable of properly vetting illegal aliens who had no official documentation to attest to their true identity and to police any such guest worker program.  I also told her that I was underwhelmed that in an entire year Operation Community Shield netted 2,300 arrests of violent gang members.  I noted that more than 2,300 violent gang members could be expected to run our nation’s border on a bad weekend on the border near El Paso or other major smuggling areas.  I also said that the number of violent gang members in the United States, according to published reports, pegged the number of such gang members in the hundreds of thousands and that it was believed that a significant percentage of those gang members were illegal aliens.  To drive the point home I rhetorically asked the audience how they would react to a child returning home during Easter Recess from an expensive out of town college and boasting about getting a 1% on an important exam.  “Would you give that child a new Mustang convertible, or a swift kick in the rear end?” I asked!  The audience roared and the young lady who was President Bush’s special assistant sat there cringing!  The point was that the arrest and removal of 2,300 gang members was certainly better than nothing, but only slightly better than nothing!  It represented far less than one percent of all alien gang members believed to be present in the United States.

I made the point that ICE had concocted to great sounding names for field operations to provide the illusion of effectiveness.  I opined that the names some of these operations were given created the illusion that the administration had all but dug up General Patton, breathed life back into him and had him lead the charge!   Unfortunately nearly every one of ICE’s field operations were simply illusions, designed to quell the fears of citizens across our nation.

I also took issue with her assertion that a guest worker program from millions of illegal aliens would enable those aliens who simply wanted to work to do the jobs Americans won’t do (an utter lie!) and enable law enforcement to focus on terrorists and criminals (more baloney!)

In point of fact, I told the audience that the day before a terrorist participates in a terrorist operation he is likely to go to his job where he has been hiding in plain sight for the past year or two, awaiting the phone call, e-mail or tap on the shoulder, telling him (her) that his “services” would be needed to assist in an act of terrorism.  I asked if anyone in the audience had ever seen a newspaper account of a terrorist who had been arrested who was not identified by the job he was doing before he was arrested.

During the intermission that followed, a number of chiefs of police from states all over this country told me I was exactly right in what I had to say!

I delivered my remarks and was gratified to receive a standing ovation at the conclusion of my presentation.  Many of the police chiefs ran up to me and quietly told me that they agreed with me entirely but that if they dared to say what I had said, their bosses- the mayors of their towns, would fire them in a “New York second!”

If you want to know what works don’t ask the bosses- ask the field personnel.  It is not a surprise that the unions that represents the police officers who actually do the job agrees with these new laws in Arizona.

The assertion that the cops won’t be able to get members of the immigrant community to cooperate is a bald faced lie!  How do I know?  How dare I make such a blatant statement?  I speak from experience as a field agent.  I spent nearly half of my career working intimately with other law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local level and even with police agencies of other countries.  One of my key responsibilities in working with these other agencies was to use my authority as an INS special agent to convince aliens to become cooperators and informants!

Immigration laws and the potential for rewarding cooperators can, if used properly, provide a very big stick and/or a very big and juicy carrot!  This is the principle behind the “S Visa” which can provide aliens who furnish essential assistance in major investigations with lawful status in our country and that may also be used to enable them to bring family members to the United States in exchange for their cooperation!

In May of 2004, I was contacted by the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the then Ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and claims and asked if I would be willing to testify before a hearing that was scheduled to be conducted on May 18th of that year on the topic:

“PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES”

One of the key issues at that hearing was the use of the S Visa and funds to provide incentives for aliens to work cooperatively with special agents of ICE and to also provide testimony to seek the successful prosecution of smugglers and other criminals involved in violations of law comprehended under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

You can read the transcript of that hearing, including my testimony at:

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju93716.000/hju93716_0f.htm

Additionally, as I have noted in a slew of previous commentaries, it is absolutely critical that immigration law enforcement be a consistent component of crime fighting where aliens are involved.  When a police officer encounters any individual during the course of his official duties- one of the very first tasks he faces is to properly identify the person he has encountered.  Clearly the issue of identity is a critical issue.

I have also made this point on previous occasions- when an alien runs our nation’s borders and succeeds in heading for the interior of the United States, he does not magically acquire lawful status by making his way past the border!  A burglar who breaks into your house is no less illegally present in your house if he is found in your upstairs bedroom or attic than he would be if you encountered him in the hallway just inside your front door!

The politicians of Arizona who voted for this law and other such laws in the past year are reacting to the void created by the abject lack of leadership in Washington!  I am certain that they are angered by the fact that a city in their state, Phoenix, is now has the unwelcome title of “The Kidnap and Home Invasion Capitol of the Western Hemisphere!”

However- if Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, John McCain and all of the other “usual suspects” get their way and enact a sweeping amnesty law under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” then all of the well intentioned efforts of the leaders of Arizona will be for naught!  Every illegal alien will have lawful status.  it would be the equivalent of providing burglars with the key to the front door to the house they broke into!

Clearly the representatives of Arizona as well as the Governor of the state of Arizona hear the voices of their constituents- the real problem is that the “leaders” in Washington are apparently deaf!

We need to think about the old cell phone commercial where an employee of a cell phone company wanders around the countryside attempting to make phone calls on his cell phone and asks, as he travels around the country, “Can you hear me now?”

Today the question is “Can the United States Congress hear us (We the People) now?”

The answer that this last question is entirely up to you and everyone of our fellow Americans!

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life.  In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.”   Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If 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.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job.  Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

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.

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, 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!

If this situation 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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