“Secretary Napolitano and Secretary Cordero applaud first-ever class of ICE-trained Mexican Customs officials”

Hi Gang:
I have attached a news release that was released by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) last week, on October 22nd that is worth considering.
The focus of the news release was the fact that ICE has now trained 24 Mexican officials of Mexico's Tax Administration Service and Customs.  Here is the excerpt from the press release that sums up the nature of the training that was provided:

Twenty-four men and women from Mexico's Tax Administration Service and Customs participated in the inaugural session of the Mexican customs investigator training conducted by ICE agents.

The course included coursework in both Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a wide variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics – helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with ICE special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.

Many years ago, the late Johnny Carson who went on to host "The Tonight Show" first hosted a television program called, "Who Do You Trust?"  That title would be apt in concisely explaining my concerns about the training program for Mexican officials conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Let me begin by making it clear that there are certainly members of the Mexican government, including law enforcement officials who desperately want to end the violence that is threatening to turn Mexico into a "failed state."  Many valiant citizens of Mexico have tried to do whatever they could to end the violence and the tyranny visited upon that beleaguered country by the extremely pernicious and violent Mexican drug cartels.  All too many of these heroes paid for their gallantry with their lives and, in fact, many of their family members were similarly assassinated.

Having made this important point I want to remind you that "Los Zetas" started out as members of Mexico's military and law enforcement who were trained by the United States in an effort to help Mexico combat the drug trafficking organizations and then defected and began working for the cartels they were supposed to investigate and shut down.  They became the "enforcers" for those cartels and eventually many of them decided that rather than work for the cartels, they supplanted the cartels and are now among the most violent thugs who are now carrying out horrific murders in Mexico!

I would remind you that since Felipe Calderon took office as the President of Mexico, there have been more than 28,000 murders committed in Mexico!  This is an unprecedented level of carnage in which the cartels are not content to simply assassinate those who stand in their way, whether they are competitors or police officers or military officials or prosecutors or judges or elected politicians- but they often engage in beheadings and the use of IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices) much the same way that terrorists have been operating in the Middle East.

While it is important for the United States to attempt to work cooperatively with officials of other nations it is of extreme importance that we do not provide our "playbook" to those who may ultimately become our adversaries!

There are many governments who work closely with the United States and their officials are every bit as trust worthy as our own law enforcement personnel.  I have personally worked closely with members of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), members of the Israeli National Police, Great Britain's New Scotland Yard and that nation's Customs Service as well as others.  The officials of these nations were highly trustworthy and both the United States and the governments we worked with benefited greatly by the close cooperation we enjoyed.  

Mexico presents an entirely different set of challenges for our nation.
Mexico looks upon its own citizens as its most valuable export!  The remittances wired to Mexico by its illegal alien citizens working in our country amounts to more than 20 billion dollars each year!  Additional funds are also sent from the United States to Mexico by these workers whose illegal earning represent the largest source of income next to its exportation of petroleum.

It is estimated that ten percent of the citizens of Mexico actually live in the United States- this is why when there is a Presidential election in Mexico the candidates campaign in the United States!

The rate of corruption to be found in Mexico is extremely high and the sort of pressure being brought to bear against Mexican officials is astronomical.  In Mexico they often say that law enforcement officers are given the choice of "Silver or Lead."  This refers to the acceptance of silver (bribe) or lead (bullets and death)!

I am greatly concerned that be providing Mexican officials with training that exposes our strategies for combatting smuggling, we will be educating, directly or indirectly, those who may wind up working against law enforcement!

Our federal agents and CBP inspectors are investigated to attempt to determine those individuals who are not trustworthy.  Even with these investigations we find that there are those who betray the trust our government demonstrates in them when they are provided with clearances.

How in the world can our country conduct effective background investigations of officials of the Mexican government when all of the leads that need to be investigated are to be found scattered in various locations in Mexico?

TAlso, I would ask you take a moment to think about the mindset of the Mexican Government.  President Calderon openly opposes any efforts our nation makes to secure our border while his country builds a fence to secure his country's border with Guatemala.  Calderon has appeared before our Congress to oppose the state of Arizona in its efforts to combat illegal immigration by passing its own immigration law (SB 1070) and he has even called for legalizing his illegal alien citizens in our country!

Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox often referred to citizens of his country who ran our nation's border to seek unlawful employment in the United States as "heroes!"  The Mexican government, under Fox, provided Mexican citizens with comic book-style pamphlets that educated Mexican citizens about the best way to run the border, evade the Border Patrol and survive in the desert!  Ultimately they went "high-tech" and provided video tapes containing the same information!  While I don't know if this lunacy is still going on- the idea that the government that was behind these practices is now sending their officials to training classes run by our government gives me more than just a little "cause for pause!"

Today the Mexican government provides illegal aliens in the United States with "Matricula Consular" cards to provide the appearance of legality to illegal Mexicans living in the United States.

None of the other governments I noted above as having worked closely with ever criticized our nation for attempting to secure its borders or to attempt to prevent our nation from deporting their citizens back to their countries when they were found to be in violation of our laws.

In fact, I can tell you from personal experience that the government of Israel, in particular, always did whatever was necessary to help us return their citizens if they violated their laws and even, on occasions, provided us with airline tickets on El Al, the airline company of Israel, at no expense to our country!  I was involved in several such instances when the citizens to be returned to Israel had been convicted of felonies in the United States or were wanted in Israel for crimes they stood accused of committing.  

Today mayors of Mexican cities complain when the United States returns illegal aliens from Mexico back to Mexico!  These Mexican mayors and other officials complain that the return of their citizens has a negative impact on their economy and recently, mayors of Mexican border cities complained that they did not want Mexican criminals returned to Mexico because these thugs were now killing and raping in Mexico!  Here is the link to the news report about this incredibly story that ran in the San Diego Union Tribune this past September 24th:

Here is an excerpt from this news report:

Among the topics discussed were the deportation to Mexico of large number of Mexicans citizens who have committed felonies in the United States.

Jose Reyes Ferriz, mayor of Ciudad Juarez, said Mexican border mayors are asking U.S. officials to stem the deportation of convicts to their communities.

Of 80,000 people deported to Ciudad Juarez in the past three years, 28,000 had U.S. criminal records, he said including 7,000 who had served time for rape and 2,000 convicted of murder.

Reyes said that U.S. authorities are “on the verge” of launching a new program that flies deportees by plane to central Mexico rather than busing them to the border.

He also said the large number of criminal deportees has contributed to the violence in Juarez, which has reported more than 2,200 homicides so far this year.

The real question is simply this- will training Mexican officials help or hurt efforts of the United States to protect its border and its citizens?  Until and unless there is reasonable fact-based evidence to support the position that this program is doing more good than harm, our government should not be training Mexican officials whose loyalties may well run contrary to the best interests of our nation and our citizens!

If  We the People fail to get involved in the democratic process and live up to our obligation as citizens of this nation, I fear that history may well remember our generation as America's "Last Generation!"

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep tonight- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just days away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal "Day of Reckoning!"

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.  We need to create a "Bucket Brigade of Truth!"

In just over one week, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and 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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News Releases
October 22, 2010

North Charleston, SC

Secretary Napolitano and Secretary Cordero applaud first-ever class of ICE-trained Mexican Customs officials

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton joined Mexican Secretary of Finance Ernesto Cordero Arroyo and Tax Administration Service and Customs Director Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz-Mena to host the first-ever graduation of Mexican customs officials from a 10-week, ICE-led investigator training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in North Charleston, S.C.

"Our efforts to crack down on criminal organizations and others who threaten the safety of our citizens and our economy require close cooperation between the United States and Mexico," said Secretary Napolitano. "Today's historic graduation of Mexican customs officials from this U.S.-led investigator training course reflects the unprecedented collaboration between our two nations to better combat transnational crime while facilitating legitimate travel and trade."

"A well-functioning border is an opportunity for growth – it opens doors to commercial exchange, peace, progress and human development," said Secretary Cordero.

Twenty-four men and women from Mexico's Tax Administration Service and Customs participated in the inaugural session of the Mexican customs investigator training conducted by ICE agents.

The course included coursework in both Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a wide variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics – helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with ICE special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.

President Obama is committed to shared responsibility with President Felipe Calderón and the government of Mexico to secure the Southwest border and ensure the security of both nations through programs such as the Mérida Initiative – the cornerstone of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation. The Mexican customs investigator training course is part of this multiyear, Department of State-led initiative – designed to provide assistance to Mexico and Central America in the form of capacity building, training and equipment to better equip law enforcement agencies to complete their missions. The United States has appropriated $1.4 billion in aid for Mexico through the initiative – including resources to provide training and equipment to support law enforcement operations.

Over the past year, Secretary Napolitano and her Mexican counterparts have engaged in an unprecedented level of cooperation, signing a number of bilateral agreements and declarations to bolster cooperation in the areas of enforcement, information and intelligence sharing, joint operations and trade facilitation along the Southwest border.

DHS has doubled the number of law enforcement personnel assigned to DHS's Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST), multi-agency teams that collaborate to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations which pose significant threats to border security and coordinate intelligence sharing on both sides of the border. The formation of the first-ever Mexico-based BEST was announced by Secretary Napolitano in August of 2009.

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