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No I.N.S In Phoenix

To:  "Ridge Tom"
Cc:  [email protected], senator_hatch @hatch.senate.gov, [email protected]
From:  "tim richardson"  [[email protected]]
Subject:  No I.N.S in Phoenix
Date:  Fri, 14 Feb 2003 12:48:46

February 14, 2003

Tom Ridge
Department of Homeland Security

Dear Mr. Ridge;

I am writing concerning the operation, or non-operation, of the Phoenix INS office.

Below are four news reports that are the basis for my concerns.

The first clearly shows that the Community Relations Officer of the Phoenix office does not believe that it is the I.N.S. responsibility to apprehend and deport illegal immigrants. He believes that the job of the I.N.S. is to apprehend the individuals who give illegal immigrants a bad name.

The second and third articles show the indifference of the operations of the office to law enforcement agencies attempting to assist the I.N.S., as requested by the U.S. Attorney General.

The last article is just a tiny example of the criminal problems being caused by illegal immigration.

First the Community Relations Officer says it is not their job. Then the local director says they are too busy with the terrorist threat.

If it is not these peoples job, whose job is it? I may be naïve but it would seem to me that when someone tries to drop loads and loads of illegal immigrants on at my door I might just want to make a cursory check for terrorists. I could be wrong. But I'm not.

Why should local law enforcement agencies continue to cooperate with the Federal government? They call and no one is home.

We need someone to be home. We need someone to be responsible. We need them years ago. Where is George Patton when you need him? It is simple to establish a holding facility for illegals awaiting transportation. Ask the Sheriff of Maricopa County. He will loan you his plans for establishing a tent city. As the Sheriff says: If tents are good enough for our armed forces they are good enough for criminals.

If the I.N.S. in Phoenix does not want the responsibility or won't take the responsibility close it. Put the military not only on the border, to counter the Mexican Army, but in the cities as well. Save the taxpayers a lot of money that is currently wasted. There is a line of civilians just waiting to take up the slack. Help a neighbor and you help the nation.

* * * * * * * * *

[article no longer on server]

The 'human side' of agency

By Hernán Rozemberg
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 28, 2003

Many people, including his own family and friends, questioned why - of all things - Raúl "Rudy" Bustamante would want to go work for la migra.

He had a simple reply: To do his part so one day the Immigration and Naturalization Service is perceived as more than the governmental grim reaper, dashing migrants' dreams of success in El Norte.


Raúl "Rudy" Bustamante

JOB: Community relations officer, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Phoenix district.

AGE: 47.

BIRTHPLACE: Fabens, Texas (grew up in Queen Creek).

HOME: Chandler.

FAMILY: Married with two grown children.

WORK HISTORY: Detention officer, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office; various positions, Phoenix Police Department.

Immigrants often argue that the INS doesn't know and doesn't understand the sheer desperation that drives them to embark on dangerous illegal border crossings.

They'd have a tough time making that argument to Bustamante, 47, community relations officer for the agency's Phoenix district, which oversees Arizona and Nevada.

Bustamante was born in Fabens, a Texas border town, and was reared on a ranch in Queen Creek. His mother was born in Nogales, Sonora, and his father, a son of immigrants, grew up in Fabens.

Bustamante spoke only Spanish until he began learning English at school. He had to drop out of high school to work in a lumberyard after his father was kept off the job by an injury and the family needed money.

But he never forgot about his education. He passed the high school equivalency test on his first try.

His childhood resembled that of thousands of other migrant children.

"I can relate to their feelings," Bustamante said of the plight of immigrants. "It's a feeling of despair, of constantly feeling others can take advantage of you."

Unknown to much of the public, he said, is that many INS agents empathize with immigrants. It's the "human side" of the agency, he said.

That's where Bustamante comes in - to give the agency a human face in the community. It has been a tough mission he has been trying to fulfill for a year and a half, but one that's not new to him. He performed a similar role for the Phoenix Police Department, where he worked for 23 years after his initiation into law enforcement as a detention officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

By working at the street level, he sees himself as protecting, and not persecuting, immigrants. And yet he knows he must enforce laws and regulations.

"It's unbelievable to see 80 people jammed into one room in a boarded-up safehouse," Bustamante said. "You see the sadness in their eyes. It breaks your heart to see how much people suffer just to come here."

They must be deported if they're here illegally. Yet rarely mentioned, Bustamante said, is that the same INS agent doing the arrests is the first to rush food and water to migrants in distress.

The agency readily admits it's never going to catch every undocumented immigrant. In fact, as Bustamante notes, that's not even its mission.

"We're after the worst of the worst, the criminals that make it bad for everyone else," he said.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or (602) 444-8480

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Carjacking suspects may not face charges


By 3TV / azfamily.com

Two men are suspected of forcing a man out of his truck at gunpoint and then driving away in the truck, however police say the suspects may not face charges.

Officers reportedly caught up with the truck Monday night near Interstate 17 and Camelback Road. Police say the driver was attacked earlier by two thieves near 67th Avenue and McDowell Road, and his truck was then reportedly stolen at gunpoint.

Investigators say they found 15 undocumented immigrants in the back of the truck.

The alleged carjackers were taken into custody.

"Our victim is not willing to press charges so we're wondering if this might be & something that's going on between a couple of traffickers in immigrants," said Sgt. Charles deLeon of the Phoenix Police Department.

According to police, the immigrants were taken to Immigration and Naturalization Services, but the agency said it did not have the manpower to handle the investigation of the immigrants.

* * * * * * * * *


INS feels squeeze from terror alerts


By 3TV / azfamily.com staff
Frank Camacho Reports

Twice this past week undocumented immigrants were released and those close to the situation believe it may happen again.

One reason authorities say is manpower. Immigration and Naturalization Services apparently lacks the agents to respond because of having to readjust priorities in the wake of the security upgrade to condition orange.

Money also seems to be an issue. Much money is to be made by coyotes whom police describe as modern-day slave traders.

"I don t think there s any law enforcement agency, anywhere, that has the resources, can enforce 100 percent of the laws it has jurisdiction for 100 percent of the time," said Russel Ahr of Immigration and Naturalization Services.

INS is having to take the same number of agents and reassign them to new areas of responsibility and new hours of operation to accomodate mandates under the federal terror alert, Ahr said.

That move was felt Monday night when a few undocumented workers sat quietly nearly Interstate 17 and Glendale Avenue as a suspected immigrant smuggler was taken into custody by the Phoenix Police Department. Lack of manpower at INS meant Phoenix officers had no choice but to let everyone go.

"Assuming they were undocumented, they are going to remain undocumented," Ahr said. "It is an unfortunate consequence."

Sgt. Benny Pina said he feels the squeeze of the terrorist alert. As a detective in robbery detail, Pina investigates crimes associated with undocumented immigrants such as carjackings and street jumpings.

Pina said while he understands INS manpower limitations, he said he is also frustrated because he believes that those who once smuggled drugs for a living are now smuggling people, which he said are now seen as products.

He said he also believes that many coyotes will not hesitate to use murder, beatings and rape to intimidate their product.

Saving a life, Pina said, is the first priorty of his job even if that means deporting a life to save it. Meanwhile INS said it will respond to calls from other agencies when it can, but can't guarantee anything unless priorities change and new agents are hired.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Phoenix police see increase in the invasion of Hispanic homes

The Associated Press
PHOENIX -- Phoenix police are seeing an alarming increase in home invasions that target Hispanics.

In the past five years, the number of these invasions reported to Phoenix police has nearly quintupled.

Most of the cases involve drug smuggling, but authorities say more and more criminals are going after innocent familes.

Detective Robert Pacheco says the invasions are organized by groups who rob, kidnapp and assault their victims.

Police say immigrants are particularly vulnerable because they are known to carry cash and are reluctant to call police for fear of deportation.

In the past few years, robbers have been forcing their way into the homes of doll vendors, phone card peddlers and clothing sellers. They steal the goods and sell them to other swap meet vendors or take them back to Mexico.

Tim Richardson

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      February 16, 2003
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