Monday, May 23

U.S. BORDER PATROL'S MICHAEL NICELY THE FOCUS OF CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION?

"WorldNetDaily," in a column published yesterday, indicates that Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado), Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Committee, has written a letter to Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, calling for the resignation of Michael Nicely, agent-in-charge for the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. The letter was signed by eight other House members. Tancredo, in a separate letter, is also calling on the House Judiciary Committee to commence an investigation of Nicely's purported misconduct.

Michael Chertoff allegedly ordered Border Patrol agents under his command to "stand down" and limit the number of arrests they would otherwise normally make as a negative response to the "Minuteman Project" volunteers who gathered in the Tuscon Sector to identify illegals crossing into southern Arizona from Mexico and to report them to Border patrol agents.

A dozen Border Patrol agents told the Washington Times they had been instructed to "stand down" from arresting illegal aliens near where Minutemen protestors had patrolled in April. The agents understood that an increase in arrests would prove the effectiveness of extra manpower on the border and would credit the Minutemen's approach. Several sources, including the president of the National Border Patrol Council, have confirmed the newspaper report.
Ironically, in the context of this story, is the release today of a 33-page report by investigators for the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, which, according to a story in the "Washington Times" (registration required), "credits the Minuteman project with proving that additional manpower could dramatically reduce, if not virtually eliminate illegal immigration." These investigators concluded: "the Minutemen served as a model for a government effort to reclaim the southern border of the United States."

"The tide of illegal crossings on the borders of the United States is beyond unsatisfactory; it is catastrophic. It does not ebb and flow — it only grows. It is rising without measure and eroding the very fiber of our safety, life and culture," the report said.

"As we wage the war on terror in foreign lands, we have all our doors and windows open at home. ... The insanity of such a policy, or silent toleration of such a policy is almost criminal in itself," it said. "The Minuteman Project demonstrated that illegal immigration on America's southern border can be dramatically reduced to manageable levels."
While the investigators' report duly noted that U.S. Border Patrol supervisors claimed that the Minuetmen had little or no effect on illegal immigration, that observation was in sharp contrast to the statements made to the investigative team by the Border Patrol's rank-and-file agents:

"However, nearly every individual Border Patrol officer who spoke off-the-record in the field to the Caucus team said that illegal immigration virtually stopped in the sector patrolled by the Minutemen as a direct result of Minutemen activity and publicity," the report said.

"The individual officers were highly appreciative of the impact the Minutemen made in the area, had good working relations with the project unofficially and felt the project had made a valuable contribution to the cause of the rank-and-file officer — protecting the border against impossible logistical challenges," it said.

Despite contrary claims by the supervisors, the report said, illegal immigration dropped significantly in the areas east and west of Naco, Ariz., targeted by the Minutemen. It said the decline "put to rest the historic immigration reform myth that it is impossible to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border with any reasonable amount of additional manpower."


The report further concludes: What is missing is not the means to control; it is the will. With a will, there is a way.

And therein lies the rub, Dear Readers. The "will." The President of the United States does not have it. Many members from both sides of the aisle in Congress do not have it. Many state governors do not have it.

So I ask you: will you please sign this petition and make your feelings known on our porous borders and need for immigration reform in this country (and by that I do not mean "amnesty").