The DREAM Act? What About the Crime and Corruption at America’s Immigration Agencies?
Today President Obama joined top Congressional Democrats, like Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to pass the DREAM ACT to give hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants under the age of 36 a conditional path to legal residency. But the big question is: why won’t lawmakers first acknowledge then address the serious criminal and procedural problems at America’s immigration agency, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before potentially tasking it with legalizing illegal aliens? Is it really all about votes? As I reported here and here, Radical Islamic terrorists use the broken USCIS to gain access into America.
Since I first began reporting the crime and corruption at America’s immigration agencies, here and here, where federal officials were found to be taking bribes, be it for cash, sex, gifts, or jewelry in exchange for legal documents, the criminal activity continues.
Following are more examples:
• Jeweler, former diplomat plead guilty to exchanging visas for jewelry, trips with dancers – headline, Associated Press, February 25, 2009. Mike O’Keefe was the deputy nonimmigrant visa chief at the U.S. consulate. O’Keefe personally fast-tracked visa applications for New York-based STS Jewels. In exchange, he received the presents from Sunil Agrawal, the chief executive officer of STS Jewels, according to court documents.
• Corruption in Immigration Agency Endangers Americans—headline, Detroit News, March 11, 2009. Read more here.
• The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement – headline, City Journal, Autumn 2009. “Corruption indictments and convictions linked to drug-trafficking organizations, known in police parlance as DTOs, are popping up in FBI press releases with disturbing frequency. In April, for instance, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Texas announced that Sergio Lopez Hernandez, a 40-year-old Customs and Border Protection inspector, had been convicted of drug trafficking, alien smuggling, and bribery. Hernandez pleaded guilty to accepting over $150,000 in bribes and to conspiring to sell cocaine and bring illegal aliens into the country…Or consider the case of border inspector Margarita Crispin—“precisely the kind of border corruption case that alarms us,” says William Abbott, an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s criminal branch in El Paso, Texas. In 2005, he says, a federal informant tipped off the Bureau that Crispin was deliberately ignoring traffickers who moved drugs and other contraband through her border post…”
• Roy Bailey, “a former top immigration official in Detroit whose “outrageous conduct” involved taking free meals, landscaping services and casino chips in return for official favors.” March 2009. Court documents. Bailey… pled guilty “to defrauding the federal government, conspiracy to commit bribery, and failing to report a felony….” “Under Roy Bailey’s control, the immigration system… was starkly divided between those he favored and those he did not… He became seduced by the attention, favors and gratuities that people offered him as a result of his position.”
• Green Cards, Belief and Betrayal at a Storefront Church – headline, New York Times, June 16, 2009 .Word of the deal spread swiftly among Ecuadorean immigrants, along a robust grapevine from New York City……. all they had to do was to fill out a form and provide $8,000 each in cash and some personal identification documents… The green cards would be ready in a month.
• Ex-Judge Accused of Filing False Immigration Forms, Bilking Clients –-headline, New York Law Journal, July 15, 2009. Former Manhattan Civil Court Judge Salvador Collazo was arrested early Tuesday morning by federal authorities for a conspiracy to commit visa fraud and overcharge clients …
• FBI Says Corrupt Border Officials Accepting Bribes Expose U.S. to Terrorist Risk—headline, ABC News. September 24, 2009. “… at the U.S.-Mexico border, FBI video surveillance… caught a truck full of illegal immigrants pulling up to Customs and Border Protection officer Michael Gilliland, and being waved through his border inspection lane for $100,000, officials said… in Texas, an undercover FBI operation allegedly caught a deputy sheriff in the act. “You can either pay me here or follow me all the way to Petula and you can pay the judge,” the deputy sheriff told an undercover FBI agent posing as a Mexican national…”
• Feds: Calif. man ran student visa fraud ring—headline, Associated Press, March 9, 2010. A California man was charged Monday with operating a ring of illegal test-takers who helped dozens of Middle Eastern nationals obtain U.S. student visas by passing various proficiency and college-placement exams for them, federal authorities said.
• Immigration Agency Attorney Convicted of Federal Corruption Charges for Taking Thousands of Dollars in Bribes from Immigrants Seeking Status in U.S.—headline, U.S. Department of Justice, April 2010. Los Angeles – A senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was found guilty today of three dozen corruption-related charges for taking a series of bribes from immigrants who were seeking documentation to remain in the United States. ICE Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas, 39, of Alta Loma, was convicted by a federal jury… The jury found Kallas guilty of conspiracy, six counts of bribery, two counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of fraud and misuse of entry documents, three counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of making false statements to the Department of Labor, four counts of making false statements to obtain federal employee compensation, and four counts of tax evasion. “Mr. Kallas was a corrupt government official who abused his position of trust to line his own pockets,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.
• GAO sting shows passport fraud remains a problem—headline, nextgov, July 30, 2010. “Despite multiple indicators of fraud and identity theft in each application, State identified only two as fraudulent during its adjudication process, and mailed five genuine U.S. passports to undercover GAO mailboxes, Gregory Kutz, GAO’s managing director of forensic audits and investigations told members of a Senate Judiciary Committee panel Thursday. U.S. passports are one of the most sought-after travel documents in the world, Kutz noted, because they allow holders entrance to the United States and visa-free passage to many other countries. As such, passport fraud is a serious threat to national security, he said.
I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again. Americans deserve a competent immigration agency. The people who honorably serve at the USCIS deserve a crime free work environment. Following the law for millions of lawful immigrants should not be an exercise in futility. Maybe when and if America’s immigration agencies are meaningfully reformed and existing laws are enforced, the illegal alien problem in America might dissipate.
What say you, President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and Reps. Nydia Velazquez of New York and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and all the elected officials in support of a path to citizenship/amnesty?