ICE Press Release: “Eritrean man pleads guilty to alien smuggling”

Hi Gang:

I have attached a press release that was issued by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on March 30th that is significant for a number of reasons.

First of all, as the title of the press release notes, a citizen of Eritrea has pleaded guilty to smuggling illegal aliens into the United States.  The aliens came from a wide variety of countries and all were ultimately brought into the United States by circumventing the inspections process along the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.

In order to get these aliens into the United States from as far away as South Africa and East Africa via Latin America and, finally, into the United States in Texas.  Along the way, his “Magical Mystery Tour” on some smuggling runs, included passing through Brazil and Venezuela, the latter, a nation not considered a friend of the United States.  It causes me to wonder if the government of Venezuela offered any assistance to the smuggler, Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, aka “Sami,” aka “Sammy,” aka “Alex” and aka “Alex Williams.”

What is of further concern to me, is the fact that Fessahazion was able to game the immigration system and successfully commit immigration fraud by obtaining political asylum by making a false statements in conjunction with his application for political asylum.

Consider this passage from the press release:

According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America. Specifically, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States.

Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.

Think about it, if he had not been able to con the bureaucracy at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) it is entirely possible he would not have been able to remain in the United States or travel freely across our borders, an ability he gained when the agency charged with maintaining the integrity of the immigration benefits program failed, yet again!

According to the press release, Fessahazion, himself, ran our nation’s border on March 20, 2008 and then he applied for political asylum roughly 6 months later.  He had either studied our immigration “system” or had been well coached.  In any event, in under six weeks he was granted political asylum.

I have to repeat this to make certain you did not miss what I just wrote.  Fessahazion was granted political asylum just 6 weeks after he applied for asylum even though he claimed to have been facing persecution in Eritrea, nearly half way around the world!

Meanwhile the investigation disclosed that while he claimed he was fleeing persecution in Eritrea, he was apparently dodging law enforcement in Guatemala as he smuggled East African aliens through that country en route to the United States!

One of my favorite Yiddish words is “Chutzpah.”  The classic example of chutzpah is the young man who kills both parents and pleads for mercy because he is an orphan!  Now that is a clear demonstration of Chutzpah!  However, I believe that for an illegal alien (Fessahazion) to file an application for political asylum based on credible fear while, in reality, he was smuggling aliens into our country trumps the oft-quoted classic example!

In order to apply for political asylum an alien must establish “credible fear.”  This means he must prove to our government that if he is returned to his country his life will be in grave danger because of his religion or other such factor.  I would love to know how in blazes USCIS conducted its investigation into Fessahazion’s claim to “credible fear” in just 6 weeks!!!”

I would love to see that Report Of Investigation (ROI)!

The granting of lawful status to aliens who enter our country is serious business- all too often, deadly serious business!

In January 1993 a Pakistani national by the name of Mir Kansi stood outside CIA Headquarters with an AK-47 and opened fire on the vehicles of CIA officials reporting for work on that cold January morning in Virginia.  When the smoke dissipated, 2 CIA officer lay dead and three other were seriously wounded.  Kansi fled the United States and was ultimately brought back to stand trial.  He was found guilty and executed for his crimes.  He had also been granted political asylum and had been subsequently found to have lied on his application, thereby committing fraud.

Of 94 terrorists who were identified as operating in our country in the decade leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, some 59 or roughly two thirds of them were found to have committed immigration fraud to enter our country and/or embed themselves in our country.  Yet Fessahazion, an illegal aliens with an apparent penchant for using false names, ran our nation’s border, claimed political asylum and was then rewarded by being granted political asylum and, in so doing was potentially placed on the pathway to United States citizenship!

Yet another sterling example of the competence of USCIS!

Before we go any further, however, I do want to make an important point.  Many aliens who are granted political asylum are not engaged in criminal activities but are fleeing horrific situations in their home countries.  My concerns is that the vetting process is apparently more concerned with keeping the bureaucratic production line moving at warp speed rather than making certain that meaningful efforts are made to see to it that the process has integrity.  This is the clear obligation of our government and it is yet another obligation that is not being met!  There have been a succession of GAO and OIG reports that document just how big a problem fraud is throughout the entire immigration benefits program, a program that is administered by USCIS.

I am compelled to make the point that USCIS is the agency that would be called upon to spring into action (likely landing on its collective face) if our government manages to jam Comprehensive Immigration Reform down our throats!

It is absolutely astounding that the advocates for open borders and a sweeping amnesty program from millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds, intentions and possible affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” keep noting how broken the system is.  Yet they claim that the solution is for the same broken system to be given the job of handing out the keys to America’s front door regardless of the irreparable damage that this inept agency has already done to our nation’s security!

Here are a couple of other questions raised by the press release but not answered by the press release:

Who are Fessahazion’s co-conspirators in the smuggling ring and where are they now?  Does our government have them in custody or even know their identities?

What ever became of the aliens who Fessahazion smuggled into the United States?  Are they in custody?  If Fessahazion is being charged with conspiracy, is anyone else being prosecuted for entering into the conspiracy?  (As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango!”  You cannot enter a conspiracy by yourself!)  The others who engaged in the smuggling enterprise would certainly be co-conspirators, but then too, the aliens he smuggled also entered into a conspiracy with him or his partners.

All to often our government has taken to the bizarre tactic of referring to smuggled aliens as “victims of human trafficking.”

When a person is moved across international borders against his (her) will, that person is most certainly a “victim of human trafficking.”  Often we see this sort of reprehensible crime being conducted when women are smuggled into a country for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.  However, an alien who pays a smuggler to enable him (her) to enter a country without inspection is not a victim but is a co-conspirator!

Therefore I would love to know what efforts are being expended to find all of the aliens who were smuggled into the United States as a result of the criminal activities of the smugglers who were involved in this case.

This, of course, will be up to the prosecutors and the case agents to determine.

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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