In homage to Saul Alinsky’s rule of putting a face to a policy, I give you the face of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s bureaucratic overreach and lawlessness: Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico. (Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DHS, 1720 Randolph Rd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, telephone (505) 346-7912.)
Abar is shameless about his ambition:
“I really do want to expand the footprint as far as my side of Homeland Security,” said Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico, in a Journal interview.
“Too many people think we do immigration, and we don’t really do any of that at all.”
[MISSION CREEP: Homeland Security a ‘runaway train’, by Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal, April 27, 2014, MISSION CREEP: NM footprint grows: ‘We’ve up-armored’” April 28, 2014. Emphasis and links added throughout.]
Abar brags that the number of Homeland Security Investigations officers based in New Mexico “has ‘more than quadrupled’ in the past three years.” What are they all doing? The Albuquerque Journal’s Coleman reports:
Homeland Security Investigations agents are now working with local police all over New Mexico, aiming to become an integral part of domestic crime fighting in the state. HSI officers are deployed in the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, as well as at police departments in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Aztec and elsewhere across the state, Abar said.
“We are working side-by-side, literally – we are entrenched with our state and local counterparts,” Abar said…Abar confirmed that HSI officers are helping local police investigate gang activity in New Mexico, as well as track missing and exploited children, break up pickpocket rings and even sleuth for stolen and fraudulent Native American art.
“Native American culture is very important here in New Mexico, and we want to preserve that,” Abar said.
Who has time to enforce immigration law when we have to track down counterfeit Indian necklaces? [Counterfeits peddled as real Indian art, by Larry Barker, KRQE.com, January 22, 2014]
Local law enforcement apparently have no constitutional issues with Federal officers joining them:
Eric Garcia, deputy chief of the Albuquerque Police Department, told the Journal in an email that Homeland Security Investigations has one agent working full time with the department. The agent is assigned to the property crimes unit and assists with “various policing duties, including background checks.”
“The partnership between APD and HSI is great,” Garcia said. “We work alongside them in our criminal interdiction unit, and they are an asset to our property crimes initiatives. We also work alongside them on child exploitation cases.”
The Left/ Main Stream Media claims that local officers cannot enforce Federal immigration law or hold an illegal alien for ICE. However, Federal officers can apparently enforce local laws against burglary and pickpocketing and perform background checks for a local agency.
Actually, the law explicitly prohibits DHS (and therefore ICE) from involving itself in law enforcement investigations not related to its immigration and customs law enforcement function, per HSA Section 101(b)(2). Its responsibilities specifically include border security and the other immigration enforcement duties of agencies folded into it, per Section 101(b)(1)(D) and (E).
Even the investigation and prosecution of terrorism is technically left to be the purview of the FBI, state law enforcement agencies, and local law enforcement.
The sole counter-terrorism function of DHS: the enforcement of immigration and customs laws to keep terrorists and weapons of mass destruction out of the United States. Part of that means removing illegal aliens who might provide cover for foreign enemies.
The problem with DHS was that its counter-terrorism mission was always in conflict with the counter-terrorism mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Bureaucratic rivalries between ICE and other agencies has led to pointless duplication of work also performed by the FBI, the DEA, local law enforcement agencies, and the U.S. Secret Service, to name a few.
This is ultimately the fault of the legislators who gave us the poorly-worded Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), assigning counter-terrorism as the primary mission of DHS but leaving resources and responsibility with other agencies.
But who wants to do something boring like immigration law enforcement anyway? It’s far more fun, and Politically Correct, to boss around Americans. So ICE has decided to ignore its statutory responsibilities and take on the missions it likes—such as, according to the Albuquerque Journal’s Coleman:
[I]nterrogating people suspected of pirating movies at Ohio theaters, seizing counterfeit NBA merchandise in San Antonio and working pickpocket cases alongside police in Albuquerque. Homeland Security agents are visiting elementary schools and senior centers to warn of dangers lurking on the Internet.
Unquestionably, ICE felt empowered by the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty, which amounted to the Executive Branch unilaterally nullifying legislation.
“They’ve kind of lost their way…I was proud to be associated with those men and women, but it just seems to me … the focus – the primary focus – has been substantially diminished.”
On August 27 2011, I posted on VDARE.com: Obama Regime's Administrative Amnesty: Impeachment Is The Only Answer. I am happy to see that this idea is spreading: Will Republicans try to impeach Obama? By David Weigel, Slate, May 5, 2014.
ICE Assistant Special Agent Kevin Abar took it upon himself to be the poster child for the new ICE SVU and its usurpation of the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Time to make him pay for his hubris. Time to make an example of him—by impeachment.
Time for an unelected bureaucrat to hear from the historic American nation.
What about it, GOP?
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale's opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.