August 21, 2017

Immigration obstruction, from liberal cabinet heads to Hispanic-majority Border Patrol agents

An article in the LA Times reviews the data on immigration enforcement so far during the Trump administration, pointing to the same conclusion I and others have reached for months now -- that the picture is largely unchanged from the Obama era, other than illegal border crossings being down.

Even there, they have risen for the past three straight months, likely showing that the initial drop was due to would-be immigrants believing that they would not be able to live and work illegally in the new era of Trump, therefore not bothering to try crossing the border.

Now that it is becoming clear that there's no wall in sight, that deportations are lower than under Obama, that Obama's catch-and-release program is still de facto policy, that DACA is still in effect, and that the courts tie up any attempt to control the flow of foreigners, the immigrants' perception has shifted toward a more cautious willingness to start crossing the border illegally all over again.

The longer the lack of strong immigration action persists, the more convinced the immigrants will become of the weakness of the American border, and they will keep crossing more and more until they're back at Obama-era levels again.

As for deportations falling, the LA Times quotes an ICE spokeswoman who assures us without any numbers that there has merely been a shift in the type of deportation -- from the meaningless definition of turning people back right at the border, to removing people who have actually settled somewhere in the interior of the country.

The lack of numbers is telling because every other claim is backed up by statistics, whether released to the public or to the investigative reporter by request. Trump, his team, and his rationalizers in the media and the general public can quote how much illegal border crossings have fallen, down to the percentage point.

If there has really been a surge in true deportations, and a decline only in the fake deportations, everyone would be touting it -- whether they were in favor, saying look at the good job we're doing, or whether they were opposed, saying look how awful the situation is under Trump.

We'll see these stats anyway in the year-end report, so the total lack of specificity suggests they're trying to hide something in the meantime.

Even assuming that one type of removal has replaced another one-for-one, that still implies that the total investment in deporting illegals has not changed from Obama. The argument assumes that the amount of time, money, and manpower is exactly the same as it was under Obama, only being allocated to the interior rather than the border.

Yet we expect a greater investment under Trump, not the same old amount. Why don't we have twice the money and twice the manpower devoted to this problem now, allowing not just a substitution of one kind of enforcement for another, but an increase over that to boot?

As usual, Trump himself is not to blame -- he's certainly not the one ordering the investment to remain unchanged. But also as usual, Trump is not omnipotent -- close to the opposite, in fact, when it comes to immigration, since almost nobody in the government feels compelled to carry out his instructions on this issue, whether cabinet secretaries or lowly officers.

Quiet mutiny is the order of the day on immigration, as the outsider President has minimal political capital (perhaps even political debt) with which to inflict consequences on those who betray the policies he ran and won on.

We've seen General Kelly, as head of DHS, betray the immigration program by hiring Kevin McAleenan to lead US Customs and Border Protection, which includes Border Patrol. McAleenan is an open-borders Obama holdover who had been deputy at CBP, now promoted to the top by General Kelly.

But now I'm starting to wonder how much of the sabotage and subversion is due to the Border Patrol agents being majority Hispanic -- estimates are just over 50%, from the end of George W. Bush onward. I couldn't find stats on how much of the ICE agents are Hispanic.

Naturally, Hispanic agents are going to sympathize more with Hispanic border-crossers than Anglo agents would, especially if the Hispanic agents are not deeply rooted in this country. Ditto for deporting illegals within the interior who have already started to live and work here, perhaps with families here. If a majority of Border Patrol agents are Hispanic, that might explain why catch-and-release is still the norm.

VDare wondered the same thing in February when there were only initial reports of some agents not wanting to carry out Trump's orders. Most of us don't know that these BP agents are mostly Hispanic. I figured if they were federal agents, they were recruited around the nation and then assigned to the border. But it looks like they're recruited locally, where the population is much more Hispanic than the nation as a whole.

The LA Times article points to another series of problems that comes from the BP agents being mostly Hispanic, although they don't mention that this is because the applicant pool is so Hispanic. Namely, that such a large fraction of the applicants fail for really bad reasons -- not passing the drug test, having engaged in human trafficking, having dealt drugs, not passing a lie detector test, and so on. Anglos would pass these background checks at far higher rates.

VDare also discussed the criminal consequences of having such a Hispanic BP force -- soaring corruption, sometimes with agents who may not even be American citizens working on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.

One solution to this problem, without making it explicitly racial or ethnic, would be to begin recruiting drives from the Rust Belt states that flipped for Trump. They have among the lowest rates of immigrant residents. It could be framed as helping out the economically left-behind workers of the Rust Belt, giving them something patriotic to do for decent pay until the factories start coming back. I favor Western Pennsylvania -- Appalachians are territorial, and would be natural border agents.

A second solution would be to re-assign deployed members of the armed forces -- Americans ought to protect America instead of Afghanistan. If there are fewer BP agents under Trump than under Obama, and if the goal of adding 5000 seems out of reach, then just cut the number who are in Germany by 5000. They will pass the background checks more or less with no problems, and they won't need very much additional training. It would also boost their morale, giving them something clearly productive to do to defend their country, rather than ask why the fuck we're still in Afghanistan.

Other better solutions may be out there, too -- but they certainly will not come from the cheerleader squad who just chant "never sick of winning" no matter what the numbers continue to show. While that cuts out a fair share of hardcore Trump supporters, it does not include the immigration single-issue people like Mark Krikorian, Ann Coulter, CIS, and immigration beat reporters at conservative media outlets like Breitbart and Lifezette, or frankly the LA Times.

I've seen no sign that they're going to rationalize whatever the data say just because a hardliner won the election -- there are so many sources of subversion throughout the government and the private sector employer base, and Trump is not a literal God-Emperor who knows all of the facts (especially with General Kelly restricting what info the President receives), and who has the power to implement his wishes with the snap of a finger.

Now it is our job to help turn up the heat on those subversives on behalf of our only-human President.


  1. Good comments, though I thought you were going to write on Bannon!

    One issue with any reform oriented federal administration is that the federal government is in fact a really complicated organization, and even experienced pols whose experience was in state politics could get tripped up by this.

    This is slighly off topic, but one problem is federal legislation, or interpretation of federal legislation, that prevents presidential candidates from recruiting or designating appointments before they are elected. Technically, this should apply to any time before the Electoral College vote is certified but its usually taken to mean Election Day. This means all appointments have to be done during the two and a half month "transition" between Election Day and the swearing in. Vetting and the potential for past life experiences to nix potential applicants has also become more extensive. Anyone elected President should have a team ready to go, with nominations ready to be sent to Congress, the day after Election Day and any legislation that prevents this from happening should be amended. This is how things work in other countries, and would enable the public to find out about who the candidates intend to appoint to positions before they vote. It also would enable outsiders who don't already have a DC network to well, run an administration. Its one lesson we can take already from the Trump administration.

    As for lower level federal jobs such as border agents, these jobs are supposed to be open to anyone in the country. I took a low level federal job a thousand miles from where I live, applying through USA jobs, so in that particular agency you don't have to get hired locally. There is relocation assistance, though only for new hires (not people transitioning from other agencies) and like most things federal, very limited and cumbersome to use. In practice, a bureaucracy that wants to hire only locally could probably find ways to do that.

    One of the points of having a federal civil service is to have bureaucrats who are not from the area, are not connected to the local power brokers, and can therefore be fairer than local bureaucrats. Otherwise there is really no reason to not handle everything through state and county government.

    Structural reform simply has to precede policy reform or else you are not going to get the policy reform, but policies are what people care about.

    "Hispanic" is a really broad term and there is no particular reason, for example, for Puerto Rican to go easy on an illegal Honduran immigrant found in Misssissippi. By all accounts INS and Homeland Security have substantial administrative problems, but hiring too many Hispanics is probably not one of them.

  2. This kind of obstruction is historically the norm in all complex societies. its only made a bit worse than average by the systems loathing for Trump.

    The instant you appoint aides, courtiers, ministers, cabinets bureaucracies or anyone else they start to work to become the defacto State

    The only way around that is for the actual government to take control, fire people or worse.

    In a Republic you rotate everyone out elected and appointed on a regular basis and keep the State small and local.

    We are too corrupt to do things, so we should stop doing them. We won't though till our "empire" is unable to continue, the same thing that happens with every other nation configured that way

    Really its better to abolish agencies if you can and to stop having a few large states try to run this union.

    Problem is the Congress has been too lazy to do its job for decades, I'm mean the last time we passed a clean highway bill was 1992, more than two decades!

    As for the executive, I agree with the anon at 11:02 , you need to come in with a cabinet of loyal people pre selected people. In the case of Trump, not an easy task since he doesn't know the right kinds of people and no guarantee he can get any of them in since Congress wants him gone

    Also the Hispanics in the border patrol in California at least have a reputation for not tolerating illegals. A few are corrupt but mostly, they expect people to do what they did, apply like anyone else.

  3. Hispanics are more prone to crime, drugs, corruption, etc. So if the BP is selecting for Hispanics -- perhaps for bilingualism -- then that slows the recruiting process a lot b/c of the lower quality of applicants. Plus higher turnover when the initial false negatives are detected and fired.

    If it's not a regional vs. local hiring thing, then it's for cultural competence, bilingualism, etc. So, remove those as criteria for joining the BP. All you need to communicate with would-be illegals is a gun to point at them, and firm shouting -- they'll understand that perfectly well.

    The idea that only the members of the group we're trying to keep out should be entrusted with keeping them out, is suicidal. It's like the Romans only allowing Germanic barbarians on one side of the border to keep out the Germanic barbarians on the other side of the border. Doesn't work, unless they are totally assimilated, which they were not, and which the US Hispanics are not (to that degree).

    It's like only allowing Afghans in America to protect us from Afghan terrorism. Or only Saudis in America to protect us from ISIS.

    We should defend ourselves, not farm it out to mercenaries who have at best dual loyalties to this nation, and would sympathize with the group we've tasked them with keeping out.

  4. After that speech and yet another pointless troop surge in a desert shithole with no numbers and no end goal it's feeling more and more like Trump is a weak Roman Emperor used as a puppet by the corrupt Praetorian Prefects or Magister Militum. Especially combined with this entry. I'm not expecting a wall at this point, only further cuckstablishment issues (tax cuts for the wealthy, culture war nonsense like abortion) while the military leadership gets to have their desert adventures.

  5. Also it seems like people are trying to reassure themselves with the Ominpotent God Emperor in every Cernovich twitter thread about this. They don't want to believe that their country has been hijacked as flagrantly as it has and thus don't seem to want to believe that McMaster and company aren't having their way with the state.


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