ICE Considered One Of The Worst Places To Work In The Federal Government

from the maybe-if-they-spent-time-not-censoring-the-web dept

Last month, we noted the odd propaganda film from ICE director John Morton, in which he seemed to be trying to pat himself on the back and pump up the morale of ICE agents for their hard work in illegally censoring the internet. Perhaps it’s because he knew that ICE agents apparently hate working there. An anonymous person pointed us to the news that in a recent ranking of government agencies, ICE ranked very near the bottom — 222 out of 240 agencies. It seems that morale isn’t particularly high there.

The same person pointed us to the news of a leaked memo from Morton concerning his disappointment about these rankings, and planning some sort of typical bureaucratic response to bad rankings: appointing someone to lead the effort to improve morale, looking at other agencies with happier employees and hosting some townhall meetings. Perhaps he could also try keeping ICE agents focused on issues related to their actual mandate, rather than having them work on seizing domain names and censoring the internet. Just a thought.

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Comments on “ICE Considered One Of The Worst Places To Work In The Federal Government”

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Jay (profile) says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

ICE’s mandates are all over the place. First, let’s look at immigration

First, ICE has decided to take a few pages out of the IRS ’80s hand book and audit then arrest employers. The issue here is if a company allows illegal immigrants or not. Then you have the number of deportations annually for Congress apportionment money. If they get 400,000 people illegally deported, they get more money from Congress. Then you have the massive number of abuses occurring in the detention centers. And they’ve raided immigrants for years violating constitutional rights. With the massive abuses, it’s any surprise that ICE has let up on certain tools that they’ve abused. Although, I would suggest that there’s political motivations behind the deal.

But I for one am not surprised that ICE is a terrible place to work for. It was formed as a merger between U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It has competing and conflicting objectives which force it to be an agency with dual agendas. And that unfortunately came to a head with the recent February shootout which exposes the problem of how competitive this rivalry has gotten. What concerns me all the more is that the field agents are angry about not being able to catch more immigrants. Even though John Morton is saying there needs to be restraint, the agents seem angry at being railed in. It seems that the agents have a perverse incentive to try to prove their lot in the industry and move up out of being a field agent. In a sense, it’s the same as crack dealers living with their mothers. They either don’t make enough money or they are in a very dangerous situation where actual thinking is banned.

Now, let’s get into the domain seizures…

You have a company with low morale…
–where the leader is ineffective…
–where you’ve turned into a horrid parody of the IRS…
–where your rival might actually be your supervisor…
–where the entire world hates you for doing your job…
–where civil rights seems to be more an afterthought than a first concern…

Is it any wonder that ICE can’t figure out how clueless they are about seizures? How violating rights aren’t that big of a deal to them? Is it any wonder that officers move on to places like the MPAA who give them lucrative salaries?

ICE is just trying to kid themselves if they believe that they’ll fix their problems any time soon.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Yeah, clearly ice agent #3 has the worst job, because he had to cut off his own supply of pirated movies and music. That must be totally demoralizing!

How nice of Mike to suggest that they should get out of the enforcement business. Perhaps ICE can go on to making infomercials and running them in foreign countries to discourage illegal immigration. That would be good, and would probably increase moral!

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

It’s sounding, in many ways, to be similar to when the Canadian Government created CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service) out of a merger between the security arm of the RCMP who were caught spying on citizens, among other things, with other civilian intelligence services and other departments leaving a wholesale mess between the new agency and the RCMP. Both going well and truly overboard in an attempt to prove their worth.

It’s taken years to fix that and I’m not sure it’s fixed now just better “hidden”.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Is it any surprise that the TSA is located even lower down that list?
In fact, there are eleven entries in that list that fall under the Department of Homeland Security. All but four of the entries are in the bottom half of the list, and even more worrying, all but two of the entries have gotten worse than they were last year.

Sounds like there should probably be a rethinking of this whole Department of Homeland Security.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Let’s see, what doe ICE stand for again? Oh yeah, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s all about people and things from outside the nation coming into the nation, right?

Illegal immigrant? Check, that’s on the list — there are rules to follow for entering the country, and it’s ICE’s job to enforce them.

Smuggler? Check, that’s on the list, too — you can’t skip out on customs, either to cut costs or to bring in unwanted items, and it’s ICE’s job to enforce that, too.

Internet sites? Erm, well… huh. I’m not sure I see where this one fits in. I mean, maybe if they were shutting down sites that provided foreign products to US citizens, like BBC.com or Telegraph.co.uk… ’cause if those were being physically shipped in they’d have to go through customs… But (1) nothing is being physically shipped in, and there’s no law requiring customs on the Internet (and until there is such a law, we shouldn’t have anyone working to enforce it), and (2) it seems to me that they’re just shutting down sites that are (allegedly) involved in providing US products to US citizens. That’s weird, because ICE and Customs aren’t usually involved when I watch TV or go to the movies or turn on the radio…

Anonymous Coward says:

Perhaps one of your links should be annotated thusly

Yeah, this isn’t such a great precedent for Mike. Schlussel is a fascist harpie. She occasionally says things that are completely accurate, but sadly, she encrusts those nuggets of truth in layer upon layer of the darkest, nastiest, most dishonest hyperbole you’ll find on the Internet this side of some Aryan Nations website. And most of her posts consists of just bile, without anything worth digesting. This post is one of those.

If Mike’s interested in Morton’s email, why not just quote it? Instead, Mike links to a story that basically just gives some rightwing nutjob a chance to rant about his oh-so-lefty bosses. News flash to both Mike and the unnamed-and-unhappy wingnut ICE agent writing into Schlussel – ICE hasn’t gotten all soft and squishy since Obama took office. The dysfunction has been there for the past decade.

Chargone (profile) says:

… 240.

you have 240 different government agencies.

that right there is a significant problem in it’s own right.

i’m betting there’s a lot of overlap, gaps, and subdividing areas of responsibility that probably shouldn’t be.

i mean, yes, obviously you’re running a continental empire, that that justifies the agencies being Large and having a lot of branches to cover all the localities. how the heck do you even HAVE 240 government agencies? what do they all DO?

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe it's because everything ICE is doing eveerything is whack-a-mole

They don’t seem to have a high success rate doing these things:

– Deporting only the illegals who have existing criminal records

– Letting a majority of illegal products get smuggled in via the ports & borders because they don’t inspect every package

– Shutting down drug tunnel #999, arresting drug smuggler #99999

– Seizing random web sites on the internet simply for linking, but not seizing google.com and and failing to explain the difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe it's because everything ICE is doing eveerything whack-a-mole

They don’t seem to have a high success rate doing these things:

– Deporting only the illegals who have existing criminal records

– Letting a majority of illegal products get smuggled in via the ports & borders because they don’t inspect every package

– Shutting down drug tunnel #999, arresting drug smuggler #99999

– Seizing random web sites on the internet simply for linking, but not seizing google.com and and failing to explain the difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

Did Techdirt cover the Long Beach shoot-out between ICE employees?

“Garcia was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department after he and another ICE agent claimed they were roughed up by five officers while doing undercover work. A federal jury found in the police officers’ favor in 2005, saying they did not use excessive force against Garcia and the other agent.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/long-beach-shooting-federal-building-ice_n_1283623.html

Stuart says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

How do you violate the constitutional rights of non citizens?
Also I would be much more inclined to accept some illegal immigration if they at least wanted to be Americans.

Most of the ones I see where I live just want the money but their loyalties stay with their home country.
Immigrants that came to America to be Americans made this country great.
Immigrants that come for a free ride and do not want to become Americans can all go fuck themselves.

Jay (profile) says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

They arrest people in the US who have been a part of the community for over 25 years without problems. This has lead to 5100 children being sent to foster homes.

When you are arrested and a woman, you have a very high chance of being sexually assaulted. The GAO has only just stepped in to investigate. ICE was intentionally interfering with people reporting these allegations of assault.

Communities are LESS secure from the Secure communities programs. Officials have less help from the Latino community, who have a fear that the police are coming in to arrest them.

People in detention are eating rotten food, leading to less weight gain. Quite frankly, ICE is damn near torturing these people as they wait for a court date. The Secure Communities program is woefully inept at what it’s supposed to do.

Jay (profile) says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

That would be an even worse argument to make. If they’re on American soil and they’re being abused then that undermines the entire argument about civil rights in this country. Bear in mind, no where in the Constitution does it say that these people should be excluded. So they have just as much right to Constitutional protections as anyone else.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Focus on morale? Ha!

How do you violate the constitutional rights of non citizens?
Might I point out that the United States constitution does NOT apply to American citizens, so they have no constitutional rights either.
The constitution of the United States applies to the United States Government, and if the constitution says the government shall not do something, then it shall not do that something. The citizenship status of the people involved simply does not apply.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

How do you violate the constitutional rights of non citizens?

US law is supposed to apply to everybody on US territory, citizen or not, right?

The law is supposed to work both ways: it not only imposes obligations, it also grants rights. Right?

It?s not just supposed to be a burden on everybody, it?s supposed to protect them all, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

How do you violate the constitutional rights of non citizens?

I think the answer is yes, no, and no — because we have laws that say you can’t steal a car, but nothing that says you CAN eat pizza on Thursdays. The result is the same, though, as Chris-Mouse points out: if the Government shall not do a thing, it shall not do it regardless of the citizenship of those involved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well, depending on how you count, I only came up with 21: Air Force, Army, Commerce, DHS, DOD, DOE, DOJ, DOL, DOT, ED, EPA, GSA, HHS, HUD, Interior, NASA, Navy, OPM, Treasury, USDA, and VA. They just break down all the branches and divisions that you’re talking about. It’d be like if they listed out Greeters (Walmart), Stockers (Walmart), Cashiers (Walmart), etc.

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