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AG Garland Ignores Vital Immigration Law Enforcement
Crippling national security and public safety.
By Michael Cutler
Rampant violent crime across the United States, particularly in cities and states run by radical leftist mayors and governors is of great concern to Americans everywhere and is an outgrowth of the insanity of the defund police movement and “criminal justice reform” which has led to violent criminals being released without bail causing carnage at unprecedented levels.
Perhaps in response to this crisis, on January 21, 2022 the Department of Justice issued a press release: Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors that provided a transcript of his remarks as they were delivered.
It is important that, as you read the transcript, to remember that the Attorney General of the United States is also the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Many federal law enforcement agencies operate under the aegis of the Justice Department but even those agencies that operate under the auspices of other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, and the Treasury Department still rely on the federal prosecutors of the Justice Department they partner with to further criminal investigations and prosecutions for all crimes comprehended under federal statutes.
Violations of federal criminal laws are prosecuted by federal prosecutors who are assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s offices located across the United States.
Federal prosecutors are not, however, required to accept the prosecution of all cases that are presented to them by federal agents. Because of limited resources and political considerations, federal prosecutors have far-ranging discretion in deciding whether or not to pursue criminal charges in the cases that are brought to them.
U.S. Attorneys are beholden to the “marching orders” issued by the Attorney General for whom they all work.
This brings us back to Attorney General Garland’s prepared remarks and a particular worrisome excerpt:
Keeping our country safe and the American people safe is a core priority of the United States Department of Justice. A critical part of keeping our country safe is protecting it from foreign and domestic terrorism.
These are dangers that Justice Department law enforcement components work against all day, every day. And as I have said, they are dangers that we work against together with our state and local partners, without whom we cannot succeed.
Another important part of keeping our country safe is working alongside all of you to protect our communities from violent crime, and particularly the scourge of gun violence.
At the Justice Department, we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight against violent crime, and we will use every tool at our disposal to protect our communities.
Last year, the department launched a comprehensive anti-violent crime strategy aimed at harnessing our resources of every relevant component in the department, including our United States Attorneys’ Offices, our litigating divisions, all of our law enforcement agencies and our grantmaking offices.
Recognizing the importance of anti-violent crime strategies that are tailored to individual communities, we directed each United States Attorney’s Office to work with its state and local partners to address the crime problem in those communities.
As a result, the FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshals Service partnered with state and local agencies and police departments to embed agents in homicide units, confiscate illegal firearms, disrupt violent drug trafficking and provide other support where needed.
That very last paragraph is beyond shocking.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the immigration law enforcement elements of the that federal leviathan are conspicuously absent from the Attorney General’s statement which included the threats posed by international terrorists even as he enumerated many other federal agencies.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) has always included immigration law enforcement officers. In point of fact, the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, made it abundantly clear that the 9/11 terror attacks and other such attacks, were only possible because of multiple failures of the immigration system.
A variety of other task forces have also traditionally included immigration law enforcement personnel.
Other law enforcement efforts are largely duplicated by local and state law enforcement agencies however, the enforcement of the immigration laws including the deportation (removal) of illegal aliens is unique to the DHS.
We will consider the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission shortly, but first I want you to know that in writing my article today I am calling upon my extensive real-world experiences as an INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) special agent.
I was the first INS agent assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in New York City. I worked closely with the DEA, FBI, local and state police and a variety of law enforcement agencies both within the United States and even foreign governments.
That assignment lasted for about four years whereupon I was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. Once again, I was assigned to various other federal agencies to provide my unique authorities and expertise as an INS agent to assist in conducting investigations and subsequent prosecution of large-scale narcotics trafficking organizations.
There are a variety of crimes that pertain specifically to aliens who commit serious crimes in the United States that are uniquely pursued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Among these crimes are:
8 U.S. Code § 1326 (Reentry of aliens who were previously removed from the United States)- which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison for aliens who are deemed to be “aggravated felons.”
8 U.S. Code § 1324 (Bringing in and harboring certain aliens).
18 U.S. Code § 1546 (Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents) which can carry up to 25 years in prison when such crime is committed in conjunction with terrorism.
18 U.S. Code § 922 (Unlawful acts concerning firearms and ammunition) the following subsection addresses possession of firearms or ammunition by illegal aliens:
(5)who, being an alien—
(A)is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(B)except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
Additionally, the removal (deportation) of aliens helps to combat recidivism. Criminal aliens who are no longer in the United States cannot carry out crimes in the United States.
Nevertheless, the Biden administration has gutted both border security and the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. Garland’s omission of immigration law enforcement from the efforts to help combat violent crime was clearly consistent with the policies of the Biden Administration.
Transnational gangs are running rampantly across the United States, frequently profiting by their involvement in the drug trade which has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of victims in the United States.
Gang violence causes many additional deaths- frequently within the ethnic immigration communities where these criminals, from all over the world, now operate with impunity particularly in so-called “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States.”
The preface of the official report 9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States began with the following paragraph:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
Border security is national security, but perhaps the most overlooked element of immigration law enforcement is the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
Page 54 of the above-cited report contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”
“…once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.”
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
I included that statement in my prepared testimony when, on March 10, 2005, I testified before a hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic, Interior Immigration Enforcement Resources.
Advice for Garland, Biden and Mayorkas: as I noted in my prepared testimony for a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, 2006, “A nation without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls.”
Image Credit: Chuck Kennedy for The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons