enforcement

And so it begins...

The message is loud and clear from the White House.  If you can get here, we'll let you stay.  Obama has undermined our the sovereignty yet again by throwing down the welcome mat for "kids" illegally in the U.S between the ages of 15 and 30.  The result is that now children are forced to risk their lives crossing the border alone for a chance to be included in this "amnesty". 

Read more in the National section of our website or click here. Read more about And so it begins...

Number of Illegal Alien Minors Crossing Border Alone Continues to Grow

According to recently released U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) figures, 15,590 unaccompanied illegal alien minors have crossed the border so far this fiscal year. (MSNBC, July 3, 2012) The CBP defines unaccompanied illegal alien minors as those under the age of 18 who are traveling without their parents or guardians. (Id.) This figure marks a significant increase over the past two years. Over the same time period in 2011, the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors was 10,776; and in 2010, it was 13,267. (Id.) In fact, during 2011 alone, the total number of unaccompanied minors apprehended was 16,607. (CNS News, June 12, 2012)

The significant growth in the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors comes at the same time as the Obama Administration has significantly relaxed immigration enforcement. Most recently, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memo last month that offered to grant "deferred action" status and work authorization to illegal aliens between the ages of sixteen and thirty who are already in the country. (See FAIR Legislative Update, June 19, 2012)

This new policy of granting deferred action has the potential to encourage even more illegal border crossings by minors. This is mainly because one of the prerequisites to receiving deferred action is presence in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012 (although Administration officials suggested during a stakeholder phone call the exact cut-off date was still being determined). While future border crossers will not meet that deadline, once in the U.S., they will likely forge documents to establish eligibility.

Meanwhile both Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to voice support for the DREAM Act, which would grant permanent amnesty to virtually all illegal alien minors. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), and Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), have all touted competing versions of the DREAM Act. (See H.R. 5869, May 30, 2012; see also FAIR Legislative Update, April 2, 2012) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who appears to have been working with Sens. Hutchison and Kyl, has been touting his own version of the DREAM Act for months, but announced he is now withholding introducing it until after the November elections, on account of the Administration rolling out its June amnesty memo. Read more about Number of Illegal Alien Minors Crossing Border Alone Continues to Grow

Obama Administration Closing Key Border Patrol Stations

Alert date: 
July 9, 2012
Alert body: 

FAIR has just confirmed from reliable sources that nine border patrol stations – north of the border but in heavily traveled corridors of illegal activity - are being shut down and the personnel reassigned. Six of those stations are in Texas - one in Amarillo and another in Lubbock. The closures leave local officials with no federal resources to assist them in identifying and detaining illegal aliens, drug smugglers and human traffickers.

Potter County (Amarillo) Sheriff Brian Thomas said, If we pull over illegal aliens (now), we can call border patrol agents who can detain them. We won't have those resources to check them."

FAIR has obtained a memo from the USBP delivered to local law enforcement officials in Texas. In it, Robert Green, Resident Agent in Charge, details the changes and says that when the stations close, there will be no active plan for ICE assets to assist local authorities in this area when alien smuggling or alien transportation situations are encountered by your personnel.

The memo then takes an unusual tone of urgent appeal when Green says, I would encourage you, if you have found USBP assistance valuable in the past, to contact your political representatives and voice your concerns.”

The remark is stark evidence that the men and women of the U.S Border Patrol who are struggling to protect our borders are under siege as much by their own government as by illegal entrants.

Interior border patrol stations represent a much needed second line of defense against illegal aliens who make it past the border and continue moving north through heavily traveled corridors. On such major "feeder area" is Riverside, California, another border patrol station being shut down.

The full list of stations and cities which will soon have no federal border authorities to detain and remove illegal aliens, smugglers and traffickers include: Lubbock, TX; Amarillo TX; Dallas, TX; San Angelo, TX; Abilene, TX; San Antonio, TX; Billings, MT; Twin Falls, ID, and Riverside, CA.

 

California Considers Illegal Alien Sanctuary Law for Entire State!

Despite mounting budget woes, California lawmakers continue to invite illegal immigration by dolling out benefits to, and creating a safe haven for, illegal aliens. Their latest goal is to become the "anti-Arizona" state by passing laws to further prevent the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

A bill awaiting final passage by the Assembly, AB 1081, prohibits California law enforcement from complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to hold suspected illegal aliens. Law enforcement is barred from holding an arrested illegal alien for ICE unless they have been convicted of a serious or violent felony in the bill.

Other jurisdictions, including Cook County, Illinois, and Washington, DC, have adopted similar measures. And, although California and others are circumventing the enforcement of immigration laws by passing bills to prevent the apprehension of illegal aliens, the Department of Justice and ICE have failed to stand up for the rule of law and stop them.

This is all going on against the backdrop of a severe budget crisis for California resulting in deep cuts to welfare, child care, and education benefits. Come November, Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats are asking voters to approve $8.5 billion in annual tax increases, including a sales tax hike. Meanwhile, California's 3.2 million illegal aliens – and their children – continue to receive publicly funded education, college aid, in-state tuition and health care to the tune of nearly $22 billion a year.

AB 1081 originated in the Assembly but will return after passing the Senate with changes. It will come before the Assembly once again in early August.


  Read more about California Considers Illegal Alien Sanctuary Law for Entire State!

Don’t hide behind "protection of the children"

Mike Alsworth of Salem hit the nail on the head in his recent letter to the Editor.  Our government has caused the massive immigration problems we have today by not upholding our laws ... now fix it! Read more about Don’t hide behind "protection of the children"

Law Professor gives his take on the Arizona Supreme Court decision

Jan Ting is a Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and a former Assistant Commissioner for Refugees, Asylum and Parole, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice.

To read more, click here.

Jan expresses his disappointment and frustration with the recent ruling by the Supreme court in regards to Arizona's immigration law 1070.

Any immigrant or legal resident that followed all the rules and immigrated legally should be outraged and express those feelings to elected officials at every level of government. The ability to sneak over the border, or overstay a VISA is not the new criteria for becoming an American Citizen. Read more about Law Professor gives his take on the Arizona Supreme Court decision

22 charged in multi-state scheme to obtain real driver's licenses with fraudulent documents

NEWARK, N.J. — Twenty-two individuals were charged and arrests were made in six states Wednesday in connection with an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain driver's licenses for illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Document and Benefit Task Force; FBI; Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission; and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Seventeen arrests were made in New Jersey, New York, California, Nevada, Virginia and Georgia, including a contract employee of USCIS charged with stealing and providing forms used to aid in the scheme. The charged criminal operation allegedly provided a suite of unlawful services to individuals illegally residing in the United States, including fraudulently obtaining driver's licenses, and investor and student visas.

"Today's arrests are a reflection of how ICE Homeland Security Investigations continues to prioritize and work with our law enforcement partners to identify and dismantle those organizations engaged in document and identity fraud," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. "Fraudulent documents give people the appearance of lawful status and provide them with opportunities to which they are not entitled. This investigation prevented masses of additional fraudulent documents from being used, and possibly threatening security at the local, regional and national levels. HSI works closely with federal, state and local agencies to combat immigration fraud, protect the integrity of the immigration system and punish those who profit from promoting fraudulent schemes."

"By gaining access to protected, blank government immigration forms, the subjects in this case were able to utilize sophisticated computer software to create false identity documents and subsequently move to receive legitimate driver's licenses," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Ward. "In doing so, they were able to circumvent established safeguards and proper vetting put into place post 9/11. The exploitation of this vulnerability is significant because identity-type frauds are a gateway crime. Seldom are they the end game. Individuals with falsely obtained identities are more likely to commit financial frauds, walk away from legal obligations, and are more difficult for law enforcement to identify and investigate."

According to the complaints unsealed today:

Young-Kyu Park, formerly a resident of Fort Lee, N.J., and currently a resident of Los Angeles, was the leader of a criminal enterprise ("the Park Criminal Enterprise") operating in Palisades Park and Fort Lee, N.J., as well as in other states. The Park Criminal Enterprise illegally obtained driver's licenses genuinely issued by New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Nevada and elsewhere. To do so, it acquired, created and counterfeited a variety of documents for sale to customers. Members of the Park Criminal Enterprise also escorted customers to various state motor vehicle agencies and coached them through obtaining the licenses. In return, customers each paid the Park Criminal Enterprise a fee of approximately $3,000 to $4,500 for the unlawful services.

In particular, Young-Kyu Park fraudulently obtained, completed and sold genuine I-797 forms for customers to use to get licenses. An I-797 form is used by the federal government – including USCIS – to communicate with others or convey an immigration benefit. State agencies that issue driver's licenses rely on these forms to verify the authenticity of an applicant's foreign passport and to verify the applicant's lawful presence in the United States. One version of this form can be used to show eligibility for in-state college tuition.

The Park Criminal Enterprise also altered and counterfeited other immigration documents, including passports, and created and provided fictitious documents to customers – such as fictitious utility bills and bank statements used to establish residency requirements. In furtherance of the scheme, Young-Kyu Park and his co-conspirators fraudulently extended expired Korean passports of individuals without legal status in the United States so they could obtain driver's licenses. These illegal services were, at times, advertised in Korean newspapers and online with headings such as, "New Jersey Driver's License."

Young-Kyu Park obtained blank I-797 forms from Karine Michmichian and Martin Trejo, a USCIS contract employee, working at the USCIS' Western Forms Center in Montclair, Calif. – the United States' largest warehouse storage facility for these forms. At various times, Young-Kyu Park ordered the forms from Michmichian, who contacted Trejo.

For example, on Feb. 2, 2012, Young-Kyu Park called a cell phone used by Michmichian. Approximately two minutes later she sent a text message to a cell phone used by Trejo, stating, "Need 200 (A) call me asap, please, valentines is coming," – an alleged reference to the purchase of approximately 200 I-797A forms. Young-Kyu Park then used a computer to print customers' information onto the blank, stolen forms.

The Park Criminal Enterprise maintained a network of co-conspirators in New Jersey, Nevada, Georgia and Virginia that met with customers. Young-Kyu Park often communicated with his co-conspirators in various states through email. For example, on Nov. 3, 2011, Young-Kyu Park sent an email to a cooperating witness, stating, "Not sure if [you] have received [the customer's] passport from Director Kim [Ki-Sok Kim]. Must receive the passport and extend it. When extending passport . . . [sic] set the period to 11/3/2011-11/2/2016 . . [sic] issue date should be 11/2/2011." In the same email, Young-Kyu Park directed the cooperating witness to then send the altered passport, via Federal Express, to Ho-man Lee, a co-conspirator in Alexandria, Va., who helped customers to illegally get licenses in that state.

Members of the Park Criminal Enterprise, including Young-Kyu Park's wife, Soong-Young Park, and his daughter, Hanna Park, laundered the proceeds of the illegal operation to distribute the proceeds and conceal the scheme. The criminal complaint charges the following offenses:

Count one charges the named defendants with conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents (driver's licenses) and false identification documents (passports). The charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Count two charges the named defendants with conspiracy to steal government property and to transport and receive stolen property in interstate commerce. The charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Count three charges the named defendants with conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
  Read more about 22 charged in multi-state scheme to obtain real driver's licenses with fraudulent documents

No matter what the spin, enforcement wins!

Alert date: 
July 1, 2012
Alert body: 

Read the intelligent analysis and summary of the Supreme Court's decision about Arizona's immigration law in the Statesman's Guest Opinion section dated 6/28/2102.  Or click here to read it in OFIR's letter section.

Heavily-armed Texas gunboats now patrol Rio Grande

SOUTH TEXAS -- Ask Kyle McCarty where he worked just a few months ago and he’ll tell you about patrolling the roads around Odessa as a state trooper.

"Yes, sir," says McCarty, an affable young man with a Texas twang just two years into his career with the Department of Public Safety. "Just regular road crew, black and white."

Today, he’s patrolling a place utterly unlike the highways of the Texas Panhandle, piloting an armored gunboat bristling with automatic weapons around the Rio Grande, watching out for drug runners.

Call him one of the new cops on the border beat, zipping around the water in a shallow water boat that looks more like a military vehicle driving the streets of Baghdad. Surrounding him is a crew of fellow troopers who usually wear flak jackets as they man large-caliber machine guns that can fire up to 900 rounds a minute.

"Typically, the boats operating in the Rio Grande River are operating with six M-240, 30-caliber automatic machine guns," explains Lt. Charley Goble, the DPS officer in command of the newly deployed force of gunboats on the Rio Grande.

Texas now has a small navy of gunboats patrolling the Rio Grande and the Intercoastal Waterway. Right now, the DPS has four of the 34-foot shallow water vessels, but the fleet will soon grow to six. Each of the boats, equipped with armor-plating, night vision equipment and a small arsenal of weaponry, costs about $580,000 in state and federal funds.

Troopers patrolling the border say the expense is justified, considering the ruthless nature of their adversaries in the Mexican drug cartels. What they fear, more than anything else, is the prospect of an ambush.

"They’ve got radios, they’ve got their telephones, there’s somebody right here in this abandoned house right here," Goble says, gesturing to people hanging around on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. "There’s somebody there now. They’re watching what we’re doing."

They’re watching, troopers explain, mainly because they’re providing real-time intelligence to smugglers who dump bales of drugs into the river and let the current carry them to the U.S. shoreline. Smugglers typically steal trucks in south Texas, load them up with drugs on the river and drive inland.

If they’re caught close to the border, many of the smugglers make a run back to the river, speeding down the dusty roads and crashing their trucks into the water. Then they climb out of their vehicles and quickly unload their contraband cargo, helped by confederates splashing into the river from the Mexican side. They haul their bales of dope back onto the dry land in Mexico, ready to try again another day.

"They fear Texas law enforcement, but not as much as they fear going back and saying they’ve lost their load," Goble says. "Everything’s at stake. They will go to any extreme to get away from law enforcement and to get the contraband back to the owner."

The desperate flights back to the river happen so often, troopers have nicknamed them "splashdowns." Law enforcement authorities have recorded more than 60 of these escapes in the last three years. Troopers point out rusting hulks of abandoned trucks on the U.S. shore where fleeing smugglers have abandoned their stolen vehicles.

So the cat and mouse game on the border continues. Troopers now watch for smugglers from their heavily armed gunboats. And smugglers position spotters to watch for the gunboats.

"They’re in constant communication," Goble says. "If they see us operating in a particular location on the river, they’ll just push it 10 miles either end of us. They’ve got their techniques down to a science, almost. They can move a load of dope across the river in just a matter of minutes. And they can have it completed prior to us even arriving."

  Read more about Heavily-armed Texas gunboats now patrol Rio Grande

More than 7 in 10 U.S. teens will be jobless this summer

WASHINGTON — Once a rite of passage to adulthood, summer jobs for teens are disappearing.

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.

And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The drop in teen employment, steeper than for other age groups, is partly a cultural shift. More youths are spending summer months in school, at music or learning camps or in other activities geared for college. But the decline is especially troubling for teens for whom college may be out of reach, leaving them increasingly idle and with few options to earn wages and job experience.

Older workers, immigrants and debt-laden college graduates are taking away lower-skill work as they struggle to find their own jobs in the weak economy. Upper-income white teens are three times as likely to have summer jobs as poor black teens, sometimes capitalizing on their parents’ social networks for help.

Overall, more than 44 percent of teens who want summer jobs don’t get them or work fewer hours than they prefer.

“It’s really frustrating,” said Colleen Knaggs, describing her fruitless efforts to find work for the past two years. The 18-year-old graduated from high school last week in Flagstaff, Ariz., the state that ranks highest in the share of U.S. teens who are unable to get the summer work they desire, at 58 percent.

Wanting to be better prepared to live on her own and to save for college, Knaggs says she submitted a dozen applications for summer cashier positions. She was turned down for what she believes was her lack of connections and work experience. Instead of working this summer, she’ll now be babysitting her 10-year-old brother, which has been the extent of her work so far, aside from volunteering at concession stands.

“I feel like sometimes they don’t want to go through the training,” said Knaggs, who is now bracing for a heavier debt load when she attends college in the fall.

Economists say teens who aren’t getting jobs are often those who could use them the most. Many are not moving on to more education.

“I have big concerns about this generation of young people,” said Harry Holzer, labor economist and public policy professor at Georgetown University. He said the income gap between rich and poor is exacerbated when lower-income youths who are less likely to enroll in college are unable to get skills and training.

“For young high school graduates or dropouts, their early work experience is more closely tied to their success in the labor market,” he said.

Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, said better job pathways are needed for teens who don’t attend four-year colleges, including paid internships for high school seniors and increased post-secondary training in technical institutes.

“We are truly in a labor market depression for teens,” he said. “More than others, teens are frequently off the radar screens of the nation’s and states’ economic policymakers.”

Washington, D.C., was the jurisdiction most likely to have teens wanting summer work but unable to get it or working fewer hours than desired, with more than three in five in that situation. It was followed by Arizona, California, Washington state, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Nevada.

On the other end of the scale, Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas had teens who were more often able to find work. All those states have fewer immigrant workers.

The figures are based on an analysis of Census Bureau Current Population Survey data from June to August 2011 by Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies. They are supplemented with research from Christopher Smith and Daniel Aaronson, two Federal Reserve economists, as well as interviews with Labor Department economists and Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a national job placement firm.

About 5.1 million, or just 29.6 percent, of 16-to-19 year olds were employed last summer. Adjusted for seasonal factors, the rate dips to 25.7 percent. In 1978, the share reached a peak of nearly 60 percent before waves of immigration brought in new low-skill workers. Teen employment remained generally above 50 percent until 2001, dropping sharply to fresh lows after each of the past two recessions.

Out of more than 3.5 million underutilized teens who languished in the job market last summer, 1.7 million were unemployed, nearly 700,000 worked fewer hours than desired and 1.1 million wanted jobs but had given up looking. That 3.5 million represented a teen underutilization rate of 44 percent, up from roughly 25 percent in 2000.

By race and income, blacks, Hispanics and teens in lower-income families were least likely to be employed in summer jobs. The figure was 14 percent for African-American teens when their family income was less than $40,000 a year, compared to 44 percent of white teens with family income of $100,000-$150,000.
  Read more about More than 7 in 10 U.S. teens will be jobless this summer

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - enforcement