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Tag: ICE

Feds Bust Rookie ICE Agent in Newark Drug Sting

A rookie mistake? Hardly.

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By The Newark Star-Ledger Staff
NEWARK –– A federal immigration agent suspected of robbing drug dealers was arrested yesterday during a pre-dawn sting at a Newark warehouse where he allegedly tried to steal what he believed was a shipment of cocaine, authorities said.

Valentino Johnson, a 25-year-old rookie agent, was surrounded by federal agents and a State Police SWAT team after he and two others grabbed the 110 pounds of fake narcotics from the sleeping compartment of a truck, authorities said.

For Full Story

Ex-ICE Agent Charged With Cocaine Trafficking and Aiding Mexican Cartels

This case is just another example of the danger the Mexican drug cartels pose to the U.S. Not only have the cartels penetrated the government of Mexico, but they’ve managed to infiltrate U.S. law enforcement. Money corrupts. And there’s plenty to go around.

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By Robert Anglen and Daniel González
The Arizona Republic

The former agent in charge of the Nogales office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been arrested on charges of cocaine trafficking and public corruption for aiding Mexican drug cartels.

Ricard Cramer, who was stationed in Mexico before retiring in 2007, was arrested Friday at his home in Green Valley. He appeared before a federal judge, who denied bail.

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U.S. Flying Illegal Immigrants Back to Mexico

Jet

For the sixth straight summer, the U.S. has been running these flights. And in all likelihood these flights don’t charge extra for checking in luggage.

By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press Writer
PHOENIX –– Immigration authorities are flying illegal immigrants deep into their native Mexico from Southern Arizona to discourage dangerous crossings in triple-digit desert heat.

The twice-daily flights from Tucson to Mexico City are intended to keep immigrants away from border towns where they would likely run into smugglers who want to sneak them back into the U.S.

“This is where the probability of losing their lives can really increase. We offer that opportunity for them to get out of that cycle,” John Torres, a special adviser to the assistant secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Monday in Tucson.

For Full Story

ICE Chief Announces End to Quotas on Controversial Program

Quotas open the door for people to question motives of law enforcement. Are agents just making arrests to fill quotas?

John Morton/ice photo

John Morton/ice photo

By Anna Gorman
Los Angeles Times
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced today (Monday)  that he has ended quotas on a controversial program designed to go after illegal immigrants who have ignored deportation orders and that he planned to make more changes to the program soon.

John Morton, who took over as head of the federal agency in May, said during a meeting with reporters in Los Angeles that the program needs to do what it was created to do — target absconders who have already had their day in court.

“The fugitive operations program needs to focus first and foremost on people who have knowingly flouted an immigration removal order and within that category obviously we will focus first on criminals,” he said.

For Full Story

Immigration Officials Locking Up Hundreds of the Wrong People

iceIt seems when you have hundreds of people wrongfully locked up, there’s a big problem. When people are being put behind bars for the wrong reasons, something is very very wrong.

By Tyche Hendricks
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — The son of a decorated Vietnam veteran, Hector Veloz is a U.S. citizen, but in 2007 immigration officials mistook him for an illegal immigrant and locked him in an Arizona prison for 13 months.

Veloz had to prove his citizenship from behind bars. An aunt helped him track down his father’s birth certificate and his own, his parents’ marriage certificate, his father’s school, military and Social Security records.

After nine months, a judge determined that he was a citizen, but immigration authorities appealed the decision. He was detained for five more months before he found legal help and a judge ordered his case dropped.

“It was a nightmare,” said Veloz, 37, a Los Angeles air conditioning installer.

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Report Says Immigration Agents in Long Island and N.J. Forced Way into Homes Without Warrants

This program was supposed to focus on illegal immigrants who posed a threat to national security. That wasn’t the case. Law enforcement abused the program.

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BY SUMATHI REDDY
Newsday

Immigration agents in Long Island and New Jersey forced their way into private residences without judicial warrants, arrested hundreds without any legal basis and committed widespread constitutional violations, according to a report to be released today on home raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey headed an advisory panel that reviewed the report from the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

The study found that two-thirds of arrests made in home raids under the National Fugitive Operations Program were not of targeted individuals but of undocumented immigrants, largely Latinos, with no criminal records. The program was designed to focus on immigrants who pose a threat to national security.

“There is an established pattern of misconduct, certainly in New York and New Jersey, enough to really suggest that we need to look hard at whether this is a widespread national phenomenon,” said Peter L. Markowitz, director of the clinic. “I think if these types of systematic constitutional violations were happening targeting any other group in society we would have seen a national outcry a long time ago.”

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Atty. Gen. Holder Announces that Immigration Agents Will Have More Powers to Fight Violent Drug Cartels

It’s good to respect the autonomy of different law enforcement agencies. But it doesn’t make sense to restrict an agency like ICE from getting more involved in battling drug violence in places like the Mexican border. This move makes sense. What took so long?

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DEVLIN BARRETT and EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON – More federal agents will be able to investigate drug cases under a new agreement between government agencies battling Mexican cartels, Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Wednesday.

Under a new deal aimed at settling a long-running turf dispute with the Drug Enforcement Administration, more agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement would get authority to investigate drug cases.

The new agreement is a victory for ICE, which has long chafed at restrictions on how and when it conducts drug investigations.

It also shows the Obama administration’s willingness to change long-established law enforcement procedures to aid the fight against the powerful and violent drug cartels operating within Mexico.

For Full Story

Read Joint Statement by Justice Dept. and Homeland Security

ANOTHER STORY OF INTEREST

Supreme Court Rules that Inmates Don’t Have a Constitutuional Right to DNA Testing (New York Times)

Immigration Judge says ICE Went Too Far With Conn. Raids

Enforcement of immigration lawsconnect-map has too often been inconsistent. There seems to be some confusion and then there’s times where things simply go too far, like in this instance.

By Dave Collins
Associated Press

Federal agents violated the constitutional rights of four illegal immigrants in raids that critics say were retaliation for a New Haven program that provided ID cards to foreigners in the country illegally, a federal judge has ruled.

The sweeps on June 6, 2007, came two days after New Haven approved issuing identification cards to illegal immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deny the early morning raids were retaliatory.

Immigration Judge Michael Straus, in a decision last week, said the ICE agents went into the men’s apartments without warrants, probable cause or their consent, and he put a stop to deportation proceedings against the four Latino defendants.

For Full Story