Monday, June 20, 2011

ICE Likes This Enforcement

But, of course, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not like this enforcement. One being enforcing the customs laws of the United States. Here ICE enthusiastically deputizes local law enforcement agencies to enforce Federal laws against drug importation.

A man steps off a flight carrying a large bag of prescription drugs. When questioned about the bag, his explanation and behavior seem strange. Airport police are suspicious. They contact the closest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office. ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents put their current workload on hold to travel to the airport to assess the situation.

This was the reality in Panama City, Fla., and many other cities across the nation, prior to the Customs Cross Designation Program. The program, established under Title 19 of the U.S. Code, grants local and state law enforcement officers the same authority as ICE HSI agents. Currently, ICE HSI has more than 300 cross-designated law enforcement partners across the nation.

"We save ourselves a world of gasoline and time by training our partners to identify potential federal criminal violations," said ICE's Panama City Resident Agent in Charge (RAC) Scott Springer.

Last month, Panama City quadrupled the number of law enforcement partners with cross-designation authorities. Instead of having to contact the local Panama City field office for assistance, Panama City Airport Police officers can now enforce customs-related laws, conduct searches, make seizures and arrests, and perform law enforcement duties authorized by federal law. They have the authority to take down narcotics smugglers, money launderers and individuals committing fraud.

Before being granted with this authority, each participating officer was required to complete rigorous training, where they learned about ICE and border security and examined case studies.

"In a world of limited resources, having the ability to cross-designate officers is a force-multiplier for the Department of Homeland Security," said Springer.

Currently, ICE's Panama City RAC Office has cross-designated officers with the Panama City Police Department, the Panama City Beach Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff's Office and the Panama City Airport Police.

And the radical left, even the druggies and potheads are silent. I guess illegal aliens just don't have the PR value that coke does. The interesting part is that local law enforcement does not need any Federal authority to make arrests for drug possession. And the left is not arguing that State laws against drugs are preempted by the Commerce Clause or the Supremacy Clause. All very interesting and very hypocritical. In fact the constitutional authority to prohibit drug possession is stronger for the several States, rather than the Federal government, at least for common possession rather than importation. But these local agencies will not be patrolling the border or conducting border searches at Ports-of-Entry. They will be executing their normal duties patrolling their normal beats.

But what we have is more evidence that John Morton, head of ICE, is derelict in his duties and failing to see that the laws of the United States, at least the immigration laws, are faithfully executed. Another charge to add to his and Barak Hussein Obama's impeachment.

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