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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:42am

    Yup, you work for an agency that has to deal with desperate illegal immigrants, armed smugglers, and arrogant bloggers... and you think it would be a nice job.

    I am sure it's only bad to work there because of the internet stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      One of those things is no where near like the others.

      "I had to take down a desperate illegal immigrant." ICE Agent #1
      "I had to take down an armed smuggler." ICE Agent #2
      "I had to take down a website." ICE Agent #3

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:57am

        Re: 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!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Trails (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It would increase the morality of ICE. POssibly also its morale.

          Clearly Agent #3 has the worst job because he's taking down sites no one wants taken down for "secondary infringement" (a civil offense), while his colleagues fight, you know, actual crime.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: 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...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Hop, 24 Feb 2012 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re:

        These guys are a joke ban them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stephen, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      Yet you come to this site and read this "arrogant blogger." You even comment here. Interesting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jay (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:43am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      TtfnJohn (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:58am

      Re: 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".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      gorehound (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 9:23am

      Re: Focus on morale? Ha!

      Heat will melt ICE and turn it into water !!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 9:24am

      Re: 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_12836 23.html

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stuart, 23 Feb 2012 @ 9:51am

      Re: 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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Jay (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: 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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Focus on morale? Ha!

          I think their point was "the Constitution protects citizens," "illegal immigrants are not citizens," therefore "no violation of the Constitution occurs."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Jay (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2012 @ 4:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Focus on morale? Ha!

              I never said their point was valid, just noting that your argument didn't address it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Niall (profile), 24 Feb 2012 @ 2:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Focus on morale? Ha!

            As far as I understand it, your Constitution applies to everyone in the country, whether they are 'legal' or 'illegal' - otherwise you'd break an Amendment or two. Oh wait, this is the US government...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Chris-Mouse (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: 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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 23 Feb 2012 @ 3:12pm

        Re: 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?

        Itís not just supposed to be a burden on everybody, itís supposed to protect them all, right?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2012 @ 4:21am

          Re: Re: 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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lucidrenegade (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:52am

    Maybe that explains why they are shooting each other...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:56am

    Why would it want to focus on it's mandates? Then it might have time to verify children's identities before they deported them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:57am

    the leaked memo link

    seems to go to a particularly unpleasant site

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:59am

    Perhaps one of your links should be annotated thusly

    Warning: this link points to a web site run by an extraordinarily stupid person, even by the appallingly low standards of intelligence now considered acceptable in United States.

    Oh...and she's a racist, bigoted, xenophobic asshole. That too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:38am

      Re: 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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        iamtheky (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re: Perhaps one of your links should be annotated thusly

        I concur. That site should be avoided at all costs. It is of no use to a logical defense or rational argument.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: Perhaps one of your links should be annotated thusly

        It only proves that Mike will do anything to discredit certain agencies... even if it requires him to link to some truly out there websites.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Perhaps one of your links should be annotated thusly

          All we have to do to discredit ICE is link to news articles in just about any paper in the US or abroad. I don't Mike has to try as hard as you think he does, in other words.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:01am

    perhaps concentrating on their official tasks rather than being the 'bum-chums' of the entertainment industries would be a better road to follow. couple that with the good probability that some of those working for ICE are as into file sharing as the rest of us and have now hit the same hurdles as everyone else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:03am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:04am

    They know they aren't effective

    I was stopped on my way back into the US from Canada. My motorcycle was searched and I was let go. If that is their idea of border security then I don't feel one bit safer. They know they are ineffective and wasting a lot of time and money. No amount of office parties is going to change that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:07am

    What I find great about that list is that the TSA comes in ten positions below ICE. That is awesome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr. Smarta**, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:18am

    And, of course, the ol' saying

    Internal memo leaked from within ICE:

    "BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES!!!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chargone (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:40am

    ... 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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Glen, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Where is the "sad but true" button?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 9:14am

      Re:

      > you have 240 different government agencies.
      > that right there is a significant problem

      The obvious fix is to merge them into a smaller number of agencies.

      After the merge, increase the size of each agency to deal with additional internal communication, conflicting agendas, mandates, etc.

      There. Problem fixed. Everyone happy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jay (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:26am

      Re:

      Welcome to the outlying result of the Patriot Act.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      Nobody knows, there was a list once (someone may have referred to it as the 'knock list') but we lost it and haven't found the agency in charge of creating it the first time....

      If you find our lost government, please return it, we are trying to make due in the meantime... but you can see how things are going

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2012 @ 4:36am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:45am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2012 @ 4:39am

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

      If it's a crime to come into the country without going through the immigration process, then doesn't every illegal have an existing criminal record? Isn't that why they're called "illegals."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:45am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ken (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 8:45am

    The flogging will continue till morale improves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 10:29am

    I can say in all honesty...

    I have worked for a company where I went into several ICE/DHS buildings to work on printers/computers and I have met many people in those offices, not a single one smiled. Just sayin...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lord Binky, 23 Feb 2012 @ 10:37am

    I can't imagine how it sucks to work a place where your tasks come from the blatently corrupted. How could knowing you're making the world a worse place not make your existence fullfilling. At least this doesn't provide any openings for criminals to persuade agents to look other ways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2012 @ 11:09am

    and planning some sort of typical bureaucratic response to bad rankings [...]

    You forgot the most important:
    - (Threaten to) seize the domain of the US gov for putting out that report.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nbcart (profile), 23 Feb 2012 @ 3:17pm

    "The beatings will continue, until morale improves."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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