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THE MESS AT DHS

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 7, 2006 08:45 AM

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Brian J. Doyle: Just one of many creeps and losers at DHS

The arrest of Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian J. Doyle on felony charges of sexually preying on a undercover cop posing as a 14-year-old girl this week is just the latest debacle for the bureaucratic behemoth.

I dealt with Doyle a few times while reporting on the incompetence of leaders at the Federal Air Marshals Service over the past couple of years. He was a standard-issue, CYA mouthpiece. And as disgusted rank-and-file employees of the agency will tell you, DHS is full of them.

The mess at DHS stands as Towering Reason Number One to oppose the Senate’s border security sellout. For the last four years, I’ve reported repeatedly on the immigration bureaucracy’s inability to enforce our laws and protect the American public–let alone protect its own employees and police itself.

Leadership positions under the Bush administration’s pre-9/11 INS and post-9/11 DHS have been filled by cronies with little or no experience in immigration law and immigration enforcement.

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James Ziglar: Loser

First there was James Ziglar, a Paine Webber banker whose main qualifications for the nation’s top immigration enforcement job were his boyhood friendship with Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott and his effortless ability to suck up to Sen. Ted Kennedy–and whose law enforcement background consisted of less than three years as the U.S. Senate’s sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper, protecting the Senate gavel and playing Senate hall monitor.

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Eduardo Aguirre: Clueless

Then there was Eduardo Aguirre, another banker with zero immigration law experience whom President Bush named to head the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Julie Myers: Hapless

Then there was Julie Myers, whose uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and whose husband is DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff’s current chief of staff, John F. Wood. With virtually no experience in immigration law or immigration enforcement, the 36-year-old Myers was named head of the beleaguered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

Then there was Emilio T. Gonzalez, Aguirre’s replacement at CIS–yet another appointee with no immigration law expertise whatsoever outside his own personal experience as a Cuban refugee.

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Emilio Gonzalez: More of the same

I’ve reported on many other bureaucratic horror stories along the way. Here’s the sordid tale of the former head of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service’s counterterrorism unit, Walter Cadman and his former colleagues at Miami’s former INS office who illustrate the “screw up, move up” culture in the immigration bureaucracy. And there’s the disturbing tale of one of the managers involved in DeadHijackerVisaGate, Janis Sposato. I also tracked the story of two veteran Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who detailed gross mismanagement by supervisors at the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC), which is supposed to share information with state and local police agencies about the immigration status of aliens suspected of crimes or under arrest.

In November 2002, I reported on how the then-INS had recently granted American citizenship to a known terrorist under investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Countless of my columns and blog posts have been devoted here to the continuing outrage of “catch and release.” (More on that to come.) We’ve pounded away at the still-broken deportation system over at The Immigration Blog; my backgrounder on the subject was published by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Other messes still not fixed: asylum laxity, religious visa fraud, abysmal lack of information-sharing and database integration, and interior enforcement that remains a joke.

The disasters at the Federal Air Marshals Service are a whole ‘nuther enchilada:

TSA: Blame the machines
The air marshal and the ACLU
Still flying blind
Aviation security gaps
The air marshals’ mess: code red
Another fine air marshals’ mess
Update on the air marshals
Another air marshal outrage
Dressed for failure
Air rage, Pt. II
Air rage
The “kill-me-first dress code”

Most recently, I mentioned the resignation of Michael Maxwell, former director of the Office of Security at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who has blown the whistle on senior agency officials allegedly retaliating against him for informing Congress about grave national security vulnerabilities that persist despite his warnings to superiors. The MSM is picking up on his story. WaPo reports:

Maxwell said the immigration agency has failed to investigate more than 500 criminal complaints against its own employees for allegations that include bribery, harboring illegal immigrants, money laundering and aiding known terrorists or being influenced by foreign intelligence services.

In one example, Maxwell said, the agency employed an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen suspected of being a foreign intelligence agent to review asylum applications. “These breaches compromise virtually every part of the immigration system itself, leaving vulnerabilities that have been and likely are being exploited by criminals and adversaries of the United States,” Maxwell said.

He said the agency’s senior officials repeatedly ignored major national security vulnerabilities, covered them up or dismissed them.

More at the Washington Times.

Among Maxwell’s other devastating charges are that CIS continues to recklessly ram through applications of all kinds in an attempt to rid itself of a massive backlog. This is a theme I pounded on in my 2002 book Invasion, and the same rubber-stamp culture that infected the old INS is still in place. As I reported in Invasion, immigration agents across the country received bonuses when they met quotas for approving applications. According to documents I’ve obtained, those national security-undermining incentives and bonuses remain in place today.

Here’s a memo from the Houston USCIS office from May 2004. According to sources, adjudicators are still being rewarded for high “average completions per day.”

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In fact, bureaucrats have cooked up elaborate evaluation charts and ratings based on completion of different typs of applications.

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The single number in the boxes that begins with an “I” is a type of application The column of numbers shows how many of each application an adjudicator must process per hour to receive a rating of outstanding (O), excellent (E), and so on. Promotions, raises, and bonuses are based on these ratings at the National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, MO.

Now, ask your representatives in Washington how the hell they think the millions of applications for the Senate’s amnesty and guest-worker programs will be subject to more rigorous and careful scrutiny–when entrenched rubber-stamping of current and backlogged applications gets rewarded and always has been.

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This is all just the tip of the iceberg, but enough for now.

Bottom line: I don’t let new guests into my house until it’s in order. Shouldn’t that be our country’s policy, too?

Tell Congress: No amnesty. Clean house.

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Related:

Kris Kobach’s “Hidden Bombs” is good reading.

Shakeup at DHS, Pt. II
Special report: Shakeup at DHS

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