by Michael Cutler
An excellent article appeared in Wednesday's edition of the Washington Times and merits your consideration, not only in terms of evaluating Presidential Candidate Huckabee, but to also understand the concerns I have about most politicians and the way that all too many of them have become skilled at the craft of creating illusions. Of course my focus is generally limited to immigration and border security but I believe that you can find so many other areas where politicians will attempt to create the impression that they are effectively addressing an issue while maintaining the status quo.
It may be that Mike Huckabee really wants to address the immigration crisis confronting our nation, but I am baffled as to why he did not follow through with the program in his state of Arkansas to enable local law enforcement to receive the critical training under the provisions of Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act that would have effectively deputized a number of state law enforcement officers to enable them to work cooperatively with law enforcement personnel at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Consider this quote from the article about then Governor Huckabee's failure to complete the process that would have empowered Arkansas state police officers to enforce provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act:
Mr. Huckabee's campaign acknowledged he didn't follow through, but said it was lack of time, not lack of interest.
Mr. Huckabee really needs to explain what this statement means. How could he claim that he lacked the time to make certain that the program that apparently so many of his constituents wanted prevented him from completing the process he began? Perhaps I am mistaken about Mr. Huckabee, but frankly my concern is clear. He began an important program in his state that could have helped with the enforcement of the immigration laws and then abandoned this effort. We the People have the right to know why! We the People have the right to know what he and all of his opponents really plan to do where the issue of border security and the effective enforcement and administration of the immigration laws are concerned.
It is my contention that there is no issue that has greater significance for the future of our nation that the immigration issue because it impacts so many other aspects of our nation. As I have often pointed out, immigration impacts everything from the economy, the environment, education and healthcare to criminal justice and national security. Yet the politicians on both sides of the political aisle have been fighting hard to prevent the borders from being secured and to prevent the creation of an immigration bureaucracy that has even a modicum of integrity, even after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and the findings of the 911 Commission in terms of the role that immigration benefit fraud played in the embedding process utilized by the terrorists who killed so many innocent people.
I have heard Mr. Huckabee state that he favored providing in-state tuition for the children of illegal aliens claiming he did not want to penalize the children of illegal aliens. In point of fact, the children of illegal aliens are, themselves, illegal aliens. Additionally, they may well be the children of illegal aliens although with the rampant issue of immigration benefit fraud that has been amply documented in one GAO report after another and one OIG report after another, I also fear that if our nation was stupid enough to create such a lucrative benefit for such "children" that the fraud rates would be astronomical!
Finally while these illegal aliens are the children of illegal aliens they are not minors! We are talking about adult illegal aliens who would be provided with the opportunity to remain in the United States and file applications for their family members while being provided with a level of financial assistance our nation does not provide to United States citizen college students! This is the equivalent of my providing a steak dinner with all the trimmings to my neighbors kids each night for many years while feeding my own kids tuna fish and macaroni! If I did this as a parent you would question my sanity and you would be correct- yet Mr. Huckabee and other politicians who favor this seemingly well-intentioned measure would be stabbing our own kids in the back while opening yet another Pandora's Box that would invite massive fraud!
Mr. Huckabee and his opponents need to explain their positions and their justification for the positions that they take. They also need to provide concrete proposals for securing our borders and creating a secure immigration system. The Border Fence Bill was passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President. I was called to appear on many television programs to discuss the fence. I made it clear that I doubted that the fence would ever be built. Then I was asked about the "Virtual Fence." My 'sound bite' was that "The Virtual Fence would stop virtually no one!" The Virtual Fence will cost loads of money, but in the end, to arrest illegal aliens your need Border Patrol agents, jail space, vehicles, detention officers, attorneys, immigration judges, etc.
To prevent the entry of illegal aliens you need physical fences. Creating a high-tech "Virtual Fence" that sounds alarms when illegal aliens run the border is next to worthless unless there are enough agents and all of the other components in place to stop and apprehend the intruders. We also need to have enough special agents at ICE along with other resources to back-stop the Border Patrol and the beleaguered Customs and Border Protection inspectors at ports of entry so that when aliens run our borders or are admitted through ports of entry only to overstay their authorized period of admission or otherwise violate their terms of admission they are likely to be found and apprehended. Today there is a shortage of Border Patrol agents and an absolutely outrageous shortage of special agents at ICE.
(As I have often noted, New York City has been consistently found to be the safest big city in the United States- a fact largely attributable to the fact that the NYPD has approximately 38,000 police officers who are well trained and have incredible resources. ICE has about 6,000 special agents and they are responsible for enforcing customs laws as well as immigration laws. Meanwhile New York City has approximately 8 million residents and covers about 400 square miles while there are probably over 20 million illegal aliens in the United States who are scattered across one-third of the North American continent!) It is likely that fewer than 4,000 ICE special agents are engaged in the critical mission of enforcing the immigration laws for the entire United States of America! Additionally, most of the leaders at ICE came from Legacy Customs and not from Legacy Immigration. Their orientation and background leaves much to be desired where the effective enforcement of the immigration laws are concerned. As one of my former colleagues at ICE told me during a recent conversation, those bosses are more concerned with busting a gang that produces counterfeit Gucci briefcases than counterfeit passports!
the People need to hear specific proposals from the candidates for
the Presidency. That is our right! We should think of the debates
and campaigns as a sort of job interview. The occupant of the Oval
Office, I would remind you, is our employee. The candidates understand
that they need to garner the votes in order to win the election. We
the People need to end our passivity about the campaign for the Presidency
and need to have our voices heard. Similarly we need to take a far
more active role in writing to our other politicians who seek to be
elected or re-elected to positions as members of Congress as well
as those seeking elections on the state and local levels. That is
how democracy is supposed to work. When we sit down in a diner to
order a meal we tend to be very specific about what we want to eat
and how we want it prepared. We must be at least as specific about
who we will hire to lead our nation especially in this perilous era.
This is not only our right, it is our obligation!
© 2007 - Michael Cutler
- All Rights Reserved
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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work 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 of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.
Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.
Presidential Candidate Huckabee, but to also understand the concerns I have about most politicians and the way that all too many of them have become skilled at the craft of creating illusions.