Corruption in Immigration Departments Introduction The topic of this paper Is a corruption In Immigration departments. This Is a very important and hot topic of these days, since the Immigration laws have been being changed and It Is way harder to get Into the country and live here for Illegal Immigrants. This fact opens a big space for corruption of Immigration officers and opening new ways for immigrants to get into the country hidden behind the “supervision” of corrupted immigration officers.
With the increasing costs of border protection and application of immigration laws, this is a big problem, since the effectiveness of the costly restrictions and new immigration law would be diminished and all the money spent to protect (especially the Mexican) border would be wasted. This paper will address the basic logic behind this problem, as well as to address the specific corruption cases and studies available to the public.
Even though this is not exactly a new issue occurring over last few months, since the corruption connected to Immigration has always been here, It has been escalating, as mentioned above, due to the new laws and rules making the Immigration (mostly from Mexico) to united States harder and complicated. Another part of this paper will be a discussion over a behavior of Immigration officers and their approach to this problem, as well as a discussion over an attitude – meaning if the immigration or police officers are mostly “grass eaters” “meat eaters”.
This is an important point to discuss, because the attitude of immigration officers towards bribery and the possible active seeking of the corruption in this case can have very serious consequences for both, immigration officers, as well as for the entire United States and its national defense and immigration policy. Discussion and Basic Definitions First of all, there are some definitions that need to be addressed first before the specific cases are discussed. The definition of corruption, according to Dictionary. Mom, Is a “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those In power, typically Involving bribery or action of making someone or something morally depraved or the state of being so. ” There are several forms, scales, and types of corruption. The three major corruption scales are petty, grand, and systemic. The petty scale of corruption is a smaller scale corruption and often occurs especially in cases when a public officers or servants feel underpaid and they take small improper gifts, etc. N exchange for their favor. The next is “grand” corruption, which is a bit higher on the corruption size scale, since this type of corruption occurs “at the highest levels of government in a way that requires significant subversion of the political, legal and economic systems. Such corruption is commonly found In countries with authoritarian or dictatorial governments and In those without adequate policing of corruption by anti-corruption agencies” (CICS, 2009).
The third type of corruption size- sis Is a systemic corruption, which Is “primarily due to the weaknesses of an organization or process” (Lazar, Andre, 2001). Factors encouraging the systemic corruption include “conflicting incentives, discretionary powers: monopolistic powers: we talk more specifically about the systemic corruption, the main types of corruption used in this case are bribery, extortion, and embezzlement, where the corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception which is connected more to “meat eaters” than “grass eaters” (Zoon, Henrietta, 2009).
This type of between two main sub- categories: centralized and decentralized systemic corruption. This diversification mainly depends on the level of the institution being involved in the corruption. The forms of corruption connected to the corruption in immigration departments are bribery, abuse of discretion, and possibly even extortion and black mail. Bribery is the most common form of corruption in this case. By definition, bribery is “improper use of gifts and favors in exchange for personal gain.
Bribery can sometimes perpetrate further corruption, as well as this type of corruption might make officials more susceptible to blackmail or extortion” (Funk, 2011). Bribery might eave many different forms, but the most common type of bribery in this case includes money, Jewelry, gold, cars, houses, etc. Another forms of corruption are extortion and blackmail which mainly focus on the use of threats (for example violence or kidnapping), commonly used and practiced by organized crime groups focusing on smuggling people across the (mainly Mexican) border to United States.
Another form of corruption would be in this case abuse of discretion. Abuse of discretion is basically a misuse of an immigration officer’s powers and decision- making facilities, usually in connection with some form of benefit or bribery. Illegal Immigration and Corruption According to Moroseness, “corruption is involved in virtually everything illegal aliens do. ” The reason is that those illegal immigrants usually come from countries where corruption is fairly rampant.
With that being said, the illegal immigrants usually enter the United States illegally or “lie to consular and immigration officials in order to obtain visas and legal entry’ (Moroseness, 2009). The corruption doesn’t simply end with illegal immigrants, but according to Moroseness, the corruption “extends to the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service”. The cent growth of the corruption between immigrants (or organized crime) and immigration officers started rapidly rising after the President of United States Barrack Obama offered the “immigration plan”.
According to the study conducted by U. S. Customs and Border Protection, the corruption volume has been rising rapidly all over its ranks, and started causing more and more problems in the whole process of protection of the national border, especially between United States and Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration is the biggest federal law enforcement organization with over 60 thousand employees, and so corruption thin this organization is a big issue (Becker, 2013).
This agency has a big problems with their disciplinary system, and since, in other law enforcement organizations (like police, etc. ) applies “code of silence”, which protects somehow the corrupted officers from being exposed (Becker, 2013). This agency is struggling with its size and structure due to the addition of thousands of new agents due to the new rules and law applied in last few years on the border between United States and Mexico.
A big role in this big-scale bribery of immigration officers play organized crime syndicates room Mexico, who bribe and blackmail the immigration officers, as well as they use protection. Those syndicates don’t only try to bribe or blackmail the immigration and border protection units; they also attempt to infiltrate the organization to avoid any “problems” in smuggling immigrants to United States, which is the second biggest business for the organized crime syndicates after the drug smuggling and dealing business.
There have been total of 16 identified infiltrations of Mexican organized crime syndicates into the organization, and who knows how many infiltrations have never been identified. With that being said, it is important of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security to try to protect themselves from bribery and infiltrations to do their Job correctly and efficiently. One of the tools the U. S. Department of Homeland Security applied while hiring new employees since 2010 was the polygraph exams of every applicant, which has been proven as a helpful tool in disclosing the possible infiltrations into the department.
According to Becker and the study conducted by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, the prospective new agents of the organization, due to the lie-detector tests, admitted their personal involvement in immigrants and drug smuggling and trafficking and other illegal activities. According to Becker, one applicant even admitted smuggling over 230 immigrants, as well as another person admitted drug trafficking in the total value of $10 million each way through the US-Mexico border.
According to the Center of immigration Studies, there have been over 1 50 officers and agents either charger or convicted with a crime or offense connected to corruption (mainly in the form of bribery or allowance of drugs and other illegal matters into the country, all the way to stealing government money). Even though this number represents only a small portion of the total of over 60 thousand agents and employees, it still represents a very significant threat to the United States national and border security.
According to the study, one of the most recent cases involved a border patrol agent from Arizona, who was caught with over 150 pounds of marijuana in his patrol vehicle while he was still on duty (Becker, 2013). The problem arises in this case with the fact that the U. S. Department of Homeland Security hasn’t implemented a comprehensive strategy to fight the corruption within the organization. Another problem, according to Becker, in this case is the “battle” with the department’s inspector general. This “battle” has arisen due to the huge criticism for agency’s inefficiencies and blind spots.
With that all being said, “the department’s inspector general has withheld information, neglected investigations and accumulated a backlog of investigations that at one point reached more than 1,000 corruption cases” (Becker, 2013). Additional to all the problems mentioned above, the leading inspector of the general’s office of the Homeland Security testified in August during a House government reform hearing that “turf tattles among the agencies have subsided and his investigators could handle the nearly 1,600 cases of alleged employee misconduct open at the time” (Becker, 2013).
Since there is a big problem with the neglected cases and other inefficiencies, some “guilty’ employees have been able to stay at sensitive security position. As mentioned above, the agency is trying to fight against the corruption, and try to punish as many corrupted employees and agents as possible. According to Becker, 150 current or former members of the Customs and Border Protection have been arrested or indicted on corruption-related charges since October 2004.
There is enough evidence fact is not true only because of the increasing efficiency of the “fight” against corruption, but mainly because the increasing volume of the corruption in general. “Meat-Eaters” vs… “Grass-Eaters” The discussion of the fact if the employees and agents of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security are “meat-eaters” or “grass-eaters” in this case is very important to understand better behavior and logic behind the huge corruption increase in last years. The definition of a “Meat-Eater” is a highly corrupted agent actively searching and seeking for the opportunities to be corrupted.
This is the worst “version” of the corrupted employee or agent of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, because they actively look for chances how to get paid for cooperation with the organized crime syndicates from Mexico and other countries in exchange for a help in smuggling the illegal immigrants into the United States. The main effort needs to be focused on eliminating those “meat-eaters” or people who try to infiltrate the organization. On the other hand, the “Grass-Eaters” are in nature more “passive” in their relationship to corruption.
They are mainly passively accepting the corruption hat comes their way, which is a difference comparing to “Meat-Eaters”, who actively seek for corruption. Since the “Grass-Eaters” don’t actively search for the corruption, they are not too “dangerous” for the system, even though they are still corrupted and in the end, the effect on the whole organization is only a little bit less “harmful” comparing to the “Meat-Eaters”. The next category, which can be seen more as a sub- category of the “Grass-Eaters” are the employees and agents who are victims of blackmail or extortion.
Those employees aren’t “happy’ about their position, but they often do not have any choice in this case, because their families are in danger due to the blackmailing by the organizer crime syndicates. This is different from “Meat- eaters”, because they do not seek this situation and the only profit is usually only the safety of their family and friends. This type of corruption is the hardest one to eliminate, because you can’t influence this by a good training or proper recruiting.
As mentioned above, the most “dangerous” group overall is the “Meat-Eaters” type, since they cause the most “damage”. There are several ways how the U. S. Department of Homeland Security can influence the negative effect of their own employees and agents accepting or seeking actively for the corruption. The first way how this negative phenomenon can be at least somehow eliminated is the proper training of the officers so they are trainer well enough so they don’t accept or seek for the sources of the corruption.
Another way this negative phenomenon can be influenced is by the proper recruitment of the right employees and agents, who either have a strong personality or would ever get corrupted, or employees who are not trying Just infiltrate the organization. This has been proven as one of the biggest issues, since the U. S. Department of Homeland Security needed to increase the number of employees and agents drastically due to the new law and rules applied and offered by President Obama, so sometimes they had to hire people who wouldn’t normally qualify, the organization Just had no other choice than employ them due to a personnel shortage.
The last way how this negative phenomenon can be influenced is by a proper internship and supervision. This is a very important tool, since the and stay under control. The only problem in this case would be if the supervisors or enters are corrupted themselves, so they would give a bad example or ignore the possible corruption at the “lower levels” so they don’t get caught as well. Conclusion The corruption within the U. S. Department of Homeland Security has been a big issue in the recent history.
Even though the corruption is a very negative phenomenon in the entire society, it is even worse while applied to the employees and agents of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, because it endangers the national border security and defense, which is more and more important now, since the American government and President Obama have attempted to apply new expensive and extensive immigration rules and laws to protect the border and limit the number of illegal immigrants coming to the United States.
As stated in the study conducted by the organization itself, the corruption in the whole organization from several reasons. The first reason is the extensive recruitment due to the need to increase the number of officers to protect the border, which brought “on-board” agents and employees who don’t have the right set of skills and do no fully qualify. It is also important to protect the officers from being blackmailed or contacted by the organized crime syndicates so they feel safe and they are not tempted by the offers by the “smuggling gangs”.
Another reason was lack of the training and supervision of the officers, so they were more likely exposed to corruptions. Also, the attitude of officers and agents toward the corruption makes a big difference. The worst attitude of officers would be called “Meat-Eaters”, when the officers actively look for opportunities of corruption. The second, and “milder” attitude, is called “Grass-Eater”, when the officers don’t actively seek the opportunities, they Just accept what is offered.
It is very important that both U. S. Department of Homeland Security and the government put a lot of emphasis on eliminating as much of the corruption connected to immigration as possible, because it decreases the efficiency of the costly project and Jeopardize all the extra spending and hardship placed on the immigrants wanting to enter the country and live in the United States. Bibliography Becker, A. (n. D. ). As Obama Offers Immigration Plan, Report Shows Border Patrol Corruption.