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Tag: ICE

ICE Special Agent Charged in Alleged Pay-to-Stay Immigration Scheme

ICE Special Agent Clifton Divers.

ICE Special Agent Clifton Divers.

By Steve Neavling

DETROIT — An Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent is accused of a pay-to-stay immigration scheme.

Clifton L. Divers, 48, of Detroit, has been charged with bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, the Detroit News reports.

Divers, who also is a local attorney, is accused of providing deferrals of deportation and other immigration benefits for non-citizens in exchange for free legal services and more than $5,000.

Divers has been charged with conspiring to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful function of Homeland Security by dishonest means. In addition, he has been charged with destruction and falsification of records to obstruction an official investigation by the Office of Inspector General of Homeland Security.

Divers is accused of committing the crimes between 2009 and 2015.

If convicted, he faces between five and 20 years behind bars.

ICE HSI Special Agent Makes Heroic Rescue of Child, Woman in Burning Car

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

When Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent John DeJohn was driving home from a fishing trip in Corpus Christi, Texas, he spotted an SUV that had crashed in a field.

DeJohn, of HSI Houston, sprinted to the vehicle and discovered it was on fire.

The special agent found a young girl screaming for help, pinned underneath the SUV. Her mouth was bleeding and she appeared to have a broken leg.

DeJohn and others who stopped lifted the vehicle and rescued the child.

As the fire was spreading, a passerby cut the seatbelt of the unconscious driver, and the group pushed the car back on its wheels to rescue the bleeding woman.

“We commend Special Agent DeJohn for the heroic action taken to save others on a moment’s notice,” Mark Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Houston, said in a press release from ICE. “This is a testament to HSI special agents everywhere who are willing put their lives in jeopardy every day to help others.”

DeJohn said, “You don’t ever want to be a hero, because that means someone’s life is in peril.”

Homeland Security Memo Says ICE Is Running Out of Money Because of Detention Surge

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling

Is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency running out of money because of a surge in the number of immigrants in detention?

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that ICE is on the verge of running out of money unless it receives $136 million to continue operating through Dec. 9.

But after the story was published, a DHS spokeswoman claimed the story was wrong.

Now the Wall Street Journal has a Homeland Security memo that appears to back up the earlier report that ICE is running out of money. The Journal reports today that a memo says, “ICE requests an additional $136 million for this account through Dec. 9, 2016,” and if the agency doesn’t get it, “our funds will run out on November 12.”

“Without the requested funding ICE will not fulfill its detention requirements… Insufficient funding would force ICE to reject any new book-ins, including these recent border crossers that fall within Priority 1 of the Secretary’s enforcement priorities,” the memo says.

Deputy Director of ICE, Daniel Ragsdale, called the memo a “draft which was never reviewed by ICE leadership,” adding, “this type of adjustment is common, and has been done in years past.”

Homeland Security Released Nearly 20,000 Criminal Immigrants in 2015

immigrationBy Steve Neavling

Homeland Security released nearly 20,000 criminal immigrants in 2015, largely because the convicts’ countries wouldn’t take them back.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials said they often have no choice but to release the criminals back into the U.S. after they serve their time, Newsday reports. 

Many of them have been convicted of violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault.

Some members of Congress criticized ICE for releasing the immigrants.

“What is unacceptable is even one (release). Why did you release even one person?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Saldana.

ICE Director Sarah Saldana said her agency is developing a item to alert local authorities when a criminal is released back into society.

Chaffetz said that’s not enough.

“They got caught committing a crime. They were convicted of the crime and instead of following the law and deporting them, you released them … and they commit more crimes,” Chaffetz said. “That is so wholly unacceptable.”

ICE Employees Complain of Pervasive Discrimination, Mismanagement, Harassment

ICE logoBy Steve Neavling

The union representing ICE employees is asking the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of discrimination, mismanagement and harassment from top officials.

“We’ve begged ICE leadership to intervene but they refuse to clean up the agency,” Felix Luciano, a local president of the union in San Diego, said in a PR News Wire release. “If you’re a pregnant female, a veteran, a union representative, or person of color, you’re a target of ICE managers.”

The issues are so pervasive, the union argued, that ICE employees filed 18 discrimination suits in just San Diego.

“Union and non-union employees agree: ICE is a horrific place to work,” said Chris Crane, National President of the union representing ICE employees.

“Mission readiness falls apart when leadership fails, and morale hits rock bottom,” Crane said. “Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are a part of everyday life for ICE employees. Our managers act more like thugs than public servants entrusted to manage ICE’s critical public safety and national security missions.”

Crane said the pervasive issues are causing morale to continue to decline.

Other Stories of Interest

American Families of Victims Killed By Drug Traffickers Sue HSBC Bank for Allegedly Laundering Money and Supporting Cartels



By Allan Lengel

American families of victims killed by “ruthless” Mexican drug cartels are suing the HSBC Holdings PLC, saying it “knowingly provided continuous and systematic material support to the cartels and their acts of terrorism by laundering billions of  dollars for them.”

“As a proximate result of HSBC’s material support to the Mexican drug cartels, numerous lives, including those of the Plaintiffs, have been destroyed,” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Tex.

HSBC said it plans to fight the allegations, according to Bloomberg News.

The lawsuit mentions some of the people who were killed by the cartel.

The lawsuit stated:

Victims Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila, Jr. were Special Agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security. On February 15, 2011, while on assignment transporting cargo to Mexico City, the two were attacked in broad daylight by two car loads of Los Zetas militants on a highway outside of the city of San Luis Potosí. While travelling in an armored vehicle displaying U.S. diplomatic plates, the agents were chased down, flanked, and forced off the road. Ignoring cries from the Special Agents that they were U.S. citizens and diplomats, the militants fired over 100 rounds from AK-47s and other military-grade weapons inside and at the vehicle, killing Special Agent Zapata and seriously wounding Special Agent Avila.

In another case, the lawsuit stated:

Victim Lesley Enriquez Redelfs was an employee of the U.S. Consulate Office in Ciudad Juárez, and her husband, victim Arthur Redelfs, was a detention officer for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. On Saturday, March 13, 2010, Arthur, Lesley, and their sevenmonth-old daughter attended a children’s birthday party in Ciudad Juárez hosted by the U.S. Consulate Office. As they were leaving the birthday party in their SUV, they were followed and ambushed by members of an enforcement arm of the Juárez Cartel. Lesley, who was four months pregnant, was shot twice in the head. Arthur made a desperate dash for the American border as the Juárez Cartel enforcers chased the Redelfs through the streets, spraying their car with more bullets. Just before reaching the border, Arthur was gunned down. The Redelfs’ infant daughter was found screaming in the backseat. At the same time, other Juárez Cartel enforcers chased down and killed the spouse of another U.S. Consulate employee as he left the same birthday party with
his two young daughters, who were also wounded in the attack.

Bloomberg reports that HSBC, in 2012,  paid $1.9 billion to resolve a criminal investigation into whether it violated U.S. sanctions laws and laundered at least $881 million on behalf of drug cartels.

Read Lawsuit 

Two Dozen High-Ranking Members of Sinaloa Drug Cartel Captured

Agents conducting the raid, via Twitter.

Agents conducting the raid, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

Multiple federal agencies conducted a secretive raid in Arizona, capturing two dozen high-ranking members of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, an ICE spokeswoman said.

The International Business Times reports that the operation took place between the border cities of Lukesville, Ariz., and Sonoyta, Mexico.

The operation was led by Homeland Security with the help of U.S. Customs, FBI and DEA.

“The targeted Sinaloa cell has been responsible for the importation of millions of pounds of illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico during its existence,” said spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen. “The organization is also responsible for the smuggling of millions of dollars in U.S. currency, along with weapons, into Mexico.”

Agents also seized assault weapons and hundreds of pounds of drugs.

“ICE applauds the government of Mexico for their bold action in taking down this criminal organization and for their continued pressure on the Sinaloa Cartel throughout Mexico,” she said.

ICE Agent Dies After Being Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver in Miami Beach

By Allan Lengel

An ICE agent who was hailing a cab with a fellow agent in Miami Beach on Jan. 15, and was struck by a hit-and-run driver who hopped the curb, died Monday from his injuries, the NBC station in Miami reports.

The driver, Jordana Rosales, 21, has been arrested and charged in the case.

ICE issued a statement about the agent, Scott McGuire:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is saddened to announce that an ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent who was critically injured in a hit-and-run incident Jan. 15 while on duty in Miami Beach, Florida, died as a result of his injuries Sunday at a South Florida hospital. Befitting his selfless nature, the special agent was an organ donor, and although we are immeasurably diminished by his death, we can at least take some small comfort in knowing that his final act gave others the chance to live. ICE asks that you join us in keeping his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”