A couple of days ago I wrote a commentary about the field operation conducted by special agents of ICE and other law enforcement agencies including the Iowa State Police at the Agriprocessors food processing plant in Postville, Iowa.
An article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette (available at http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080513/NEWS/515835882/1006/news) provides information about the nature of the law violations that prompted the execution of arrest and search warrants at that factory.
As you read the article I want to call your attention to the fact that the field operation and the securing of search and arrest warrants depended on the statements and evidence of criminal activities at that facility that informants provided to the ICE special agents. Without informants laws are often unenforceable. The informants, as noted in the article, were all illegal aliens who had agreed to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. Without the cooperation of the informants, the investigation at Agriprocessors could not have been conducted.
The vital nature of informants is a point that I have made on numerous occasions, including when I have testified before Congressional hearings.
We are often told that the war on terror is not about immigration but rather about intelligence. The point is that intelligence is often provided by informants. On June 28, 2006 I testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence at a hearing entitled:
“DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY INTELLIGENCE AND BORDER SECURITY: DELIVERING OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE”
You can read the complete transcript of that hearing at:
Additionally, I also testified about the issue of Alien Smuggling (Human trafficking) at a hearing conducted on May 18, 2004 before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommit
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tee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims. The title of that hearing was:
“PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES”
The transcript for that hearing can be found at:
This hearing dealt with a number of issues relating to efforts to thwart alien smuggling and human trafficking including providing enhanced penalties for alien smugglers and the increase in the incentives to be used to cultivate informants.
The cultivation of informants is absolutely critical to law enforcement. This is especially true in combating terrorism, organized crime and large-scale conspiracies. This is yet another reason that our nation needs to hire many more special agents for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and provide those agents with the resources that they desperately need in order to do their jobs effectively. The best way to cultivate informants and gain crucial information is to arrest law violators and provide them with the opportunity to assist law enforcement authorities. The information that such informants can provide is often priceless and absolutely vital to the successful pursuit of investigations. Without an adequate number of ICE agents, opportunities are forever lost.
On this issue I am speaking from personal experience. When I was assigned to working with other agencies including the DEA, ATF and the FBI, I was often called upon to use my authority as an INS special agent to help to cultivate and motivate informants.
We the People must contact our elected representatives and let them know how we want them to represent us. The enforcement of the immigration laws, the security of our nations borders and the creation of an immigration system that possesses meaningful integrity is not a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue. These concerns are American issues!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!