The recent roundup of Sinaloa cartel members in Arizona do not show an agressive U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bringing the fight to the cartels, but are symbolic of a complete failure accross the Department of Homeland Security. And generous amounts of DHS hypocracy as the ICE operation was in fact a joint operation with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. One of the same sheriff's offices that DHS is claiming cannot enforce Federal immigration laws. It also shows the weakness of the claim that Federal authority over immigration is exclusive as the State of Arizona also outlaws drug possession, but you don't see DHS claiming that Arizona laws against cocaine possession interfer with the exclusive Federal jurisdiction over international drug smuggling. While the State of Arizona cannot regulate international drug trafficking, it can and does prohibit possession or sale of cocaine within the State. On the same reasoning it can prohibit presence or employment of aliens prohibited from entering or remaining in the United States under Federal law.
But first to the massive DHS failure highlighted by the recent arrests:
Los Angeles Times October 31, 2011
Arizona officials have arrested 76 people suspected in the smuggling of at least $2 billion worth of drugs through the state's western desert in coordination with Mexico's Sinaloa cartel.
“We in Arizona continue to stand and fight the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own the place,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement about the investigation, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express.
“While this is a historic drug bust, sadly this represents only a fraction of what my deputies face every day,” Babeu said...
Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the smugglers succeeded at first because they had established control over an 80-mile stretch of the border from Yuma to Sells, Ariz."They had gained a virtual monopoly over a swath of the Arizona border," she said.
Kice said investigators believe some of those arrested are U.S.-based bosses in the Sinaloa cartel.
“Through our joint efforts, we’ve sent a resounding message to the Mexican cartels that Arizona is off limits to their operatives,” Matthew Allen, special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Arizona, said in a statement...
It estimates that the drug ring smuggled more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States during the last five years.
The arrests and statements from Allen and Kice are admissions that DHS does not control the border, it is an admission that ICE, despite its concentration on drug smuggling at the expense of an ongoing amnesty for illegal aliens, has continued a policy of failure. And their dereliction of duty on immigration law enforcement is only highlighted by their admission that cartel bosses live and work openly in the U.S.
But of even more import is that the operation was led by Babeu, a local sheriff. Here is a local law enforcement official doing the job of ICE. But here ICE does not complain, nor does Eric Holder and the Department of Justice. Certainly if immigration is an exclusive Federal jurisdiction, then customs laws are also exclusive Federal jurisdiction. The whole operation was targeting an alien smuggling organization. This was not street level drug sales. This was an international operation. Certainly outside the jurisdiction of the Pinal County Sheriff. But instead Babeu led the operation. ICE, DHS, and DOJ have no complaints about this interference in a Federal concern.
Compare this to Janet Reno Napolitano's statements on the Alabama immigration law:
Mary Orndorff The Birmingham News October 27, 2011
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security told Congress Wednesday that her department, which includes the agency responsible for enforcing federal immigration law, is not helping implement Alabama's new immigration law.
The comments from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano throw into question the ultimate effectiveness of Alabama's crackdown on illegal immigration, which allows local police to detain people who are in the country without permission. If the federal government doesn't follow through and deport them, they stay in the country.
At a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Napolitano was asked by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., if DHS was "working with Alabama" to implement the law, in which Alabama officials ask people for proof they are here legally."Not in that sense. We have been working with the Department of Justice on its challenge to that law," Napolitano said.
Quite a difference. Janet Reno Napolitano wants no help in arresting illegal aliens, including Sinaloa cartel members in Alabama, or elsewhere, but will accept the Sheriff of Pinal County leading an investigation into drug smuggling, an area of exclusive Federal jurisdiction. But this does tell us the claim by Eric Holder that States cannot make and enforce their own laws on aliens is without basis. If States can legislate on imported drugs in conformity with Federal law, then it can do the same with aliens. And as Arizona and Alabama have done. None of the State laws, except for that of Utah, is in conflict with Federal law, but parallels and supports Federal law. The aforementioned exception is Utah, which created its own guest-worker program, in conflict with Federal law:
ABC News March 7, 2011
Utah could become the first state in the nation with its own guest worker program that would grant permits to illegal aliens and allow them to continue living and working in the state legally.
Now this law is in conflict with Federal law. It creates an immigration catagory and authorizes illegal aliens to remain in the United States. A State cannot do that. It may, however, make a Federal offense also a State offense, as numerous States have done, and Sheriff Babeu is actively enforcing. But Janet Reno Napolitano and Eric Holder have taken no action against Utah usurpation of Federal law and violated the Constitution apportionment of powers between the States and Federal governments.
From massive failure to deliberate dereliction, DHS is not performing its duties. It claims that to succeed in one area, it must neglect another area of enforcement. But we see that it cannot even succeed at that. Time for a replacement, by impeachment if necessary.