Posts Tagged ‘agents’

How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico

January 4, 2010

By John Dillin

George W. Bush wasn’t the first Republican president to face a full-blown immigration crisis on the US-Mexican border.

Fifty-three years ago, when newly elected Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, America’s southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond.

President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic. He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents less than one-tenth of today’s force. The operation is still highly praised among veterans of the Border Patrol.

Although there is little to no record of this operation in Ike’s official papers, one piece of historic evidence indicates how he felt. In 1951, Ike wrote a letter to Sen. William Fulbright (D) of Arkansas. The senator had just proposed that a special commission be created by Congress to examine unethical conduct by government officials who accepted gifts and favors in exchange for special treatment of private individuals.

General Eisenhower, who was gearing up for his run for the presidency, said “Amen” to Senator Fulbright’s proposal. He then quoted a report in The New York Times, highlighting one paragraph that said: “The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican ‘wetbacks’ to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government.”

Years later, the late Herbert Brownell Jr., Eisenhower’s first attorney general, said in an interview with this writer that the president had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration when he took office.

America “was faced with a breakdown in law enforcement on a very large scale,” Mr. Brownell said. “When I say large scale, I mean hundreds of thousands were coming in from Mexico [every year] without restraint.”

Although an on-and-off guest-worker program for Mexicans was operating at the time, farmers and ranchers in the Southwest had become dependent on an additional low-cost, docile, illegal labor force of up to 3 million, mostly Mexican, laborers.

According to the Handbook of Texas Online, published by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Historical Association, this illegal workforce had a severe impact on the wages of ordinary working Americans. The Handbook Online reports that a study by the President’s Commission on Migratory Labor in Texas in 1950 found that cotton growers in the Rio Grande Valley, where most illegal aliens in Texas worked, paid wages that were “approximately half” the farm wages paid elsewhere in the state.

Profits from illegal labor led to the kind of corruption that apparently worried Eisenhower. Joseph White, a retired 21-year veteran of the Border Patrol, says that in the early 1950s, some senior US officials overseeing immigration enforcement “had friends among the ranchers,” and agents “did not dare” arrest their illegal workers.

Walt Edwards, who joined the Border Patrol in 1951, tells a similar story. He says: “When we caught illegal aliens on farms and ranches, the farmer or rancher would often call and complain [to officials in El Paso]. And depending on how politically connected they were, there would be political intervention. That is how we got into this mess we are in now.”

Bill Chambers, who worked for a combined 33 years for the Border Patrol and the then-called US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), says politically powerful people are still fueling the flow of illegals.

During the 1950s, however, this “Good Old Boy” system changed under Eisenhower if only for about 10 years.

In 1954, Ike appointed retired Gen. Joseph “Jumpin’ Joe” Swing, a former West Point classmate and veteran of the 101st Airborne, as the new INS commissioner.

Influential politicians, including Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D) of Texas and Sen. Pat McCarran (D) of Nevada, favored open borders, and were dead set against strong border enforcement, Brownell said. But General Swing’s close connections to the president shielded him and the Border Patrol from meddling by powerful political and corporate interests.

One of Swing’s first decisive acts was to transfer certain entrenched immigration officials out of the border area to other regions of the country where their political connections with people such as Senator Johnson would have no effect.

Then on June 17, 1954, what was called “Operation Wetback” began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.

By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.

By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.

Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.

Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.

The sea voyage was “a rough trip, and they did not like it,” says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.

Mr. Coppock says he “cannot understand why [President] Bush let [today’s] problem get away from him as it has. I guess it was his compassionate conservatism, and trying to please [Mexican President] Vincente Fox.”

There are now said to be 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the US.  Of the Mexicans who live here, an estimated 85 percent are here illegally.

Patrol vets offer tips on curbing illegal immigration. One day in 1954, Border Patrol agent Walt Edwards picked up a newspaper in Big Spring, Texas, and saw some startling news. The government was launching an all-out drive to oust illegal aliens from the United States.

The orders came straight from the top, where the new president, Dwight Eisenhower, had put a former West Point classmate, Gen. Joseph Swing, in charge of immigration enforcement.

General Swing’s fast-moving campaign soon secured America’s borders an accomplishment no other president has since equaled. Illegal migration had dropped 95 percent by the late 1950s.

Several retired Border Patrol agents who took part in the 1950s effort, including Mr. Edwards, say much of what Swing did could be repeated today.

“Some say we cannot send 12 million illegals now in the United States back where they came from. Of course we can!” Edwards says.

Donald Coppock, who headed the Patrol from 1960 to 1973, says that if Swing and Ike were still running immigration enforcement, “they’d be on top of this in a minute.”

William Chambers, another ’50s veteran, agrees. “They could do a pretty good job” sealing the border.

Edwards says: “When we start enforcing the law, these various businesses are, on their own, going to replace their [illegal] workforce with a legal workforce.”

While Congress debates building a fence on the border, these veterans say other actions should have higher priority.

1. End the current practice of taking captured Mexican aliens to the border and releasing them. Instead, deport them deep into Mexico, where return to the US would be more costly.

2. Crack down hard on employers who hire illegals. Without jobs, the aliens won’t come.

3. End “catch and release” for non-Mexican aliens. It is common for illegal migrants not from Mexico to be set free after their arrest if they promise to appear later before a judge. Few show up.

The Patrol veterans say enforcement could also be aided by a legalized guest- worker program that permits Mexicans to register in their country for temporary jobs in the US.  Eisenhower’s team ran such a program. It permitted up to 400,000 Mexicans a year to enter the US for various agriculture jobs that lasted for 12 to 52 weeks.

John Dillin is former managing editor of the Monitor

Security Incident on AirTran Flight #297 – A Cover-up?

December 9, 2009

I, Gene Hackemack, received this email from my good friend Tedd Petruna, a diver at the NBL facility [Neutral Buoyancy Lab], at NASA Houston, whom I used to work with.  Tedd happened to be on this same Flt. 297, Atlanta to Houston.

In my opinion, the Muslims are all getting very brave now, since they have one of their own in the White House……read Tedd’s story below.

Semper Fi
Gene Hackemack

PS…Can you imagine, our own news media now are so politically correct that they are afraid to report that these were all Muslims… unbelievable. Thank God for people like Tedd Petruna.

A. Gene Hackemack
979-251-2310 cell & home
buttonbox01@gmail.com
8725 Hwy 290 W
Brenham TX  77833

—– Original Message —–
From: Petruna, Tedd J. (JSC-DX12)

[RAYTHEON TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY]
To: undisclosed-recipients
Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 11:32 AM
Subject: Long story short….

One week ago, I went to Ohio on business and to see my father.  On Tuesday, November the 17th, I returned home.  If you read the papers the 18th you may have seen a blurb where a AirTran flight was cancelled from Atlanta to Houston due to a man who refused to get off of his cell phone before takeoff.  It was on Fox.

This was NOT what happened.

I was in 1st class coming home.  11 Muslim men got on the plane in full attire.  2 sat in 1st class and the rest peppered themselves throughout the plane all the way to the back.  As the plane taxied to the runway the stewardesses gave the safety spiel we are all so familiar with.  At that time, one of the men got on his cell and called one of his companions in the back and proceeded to talk on the phone in Arabic very loudly and very aggressively.  This took the 1st stewardess out of the picture for she repeatedly told the man that cell phones were not permitted at the time.  He ignored her as if she was not there.

The 2nd man who answered the phone did the same and this took out the 2nd stewardess.  In the back of the plane at this time, 2 younger Muslims, one in the back aisle, and one in front of him, window, began to show footage of a porno they had taped the night before, and were very loud about it.

Now…they are only permitted to do this prior to Jihad.  If a Muslim man goes into a strip club, he has to view the woman via mirror with his back to her.     (Don’t ask me… I don’t make the rules, but I’ve studied)  The 3rd stewardess informed them that they were not to have electronic devices on at this time.  To which one of the men said “shut up infidel dog!”  She went to take the camcorder and he began to scream in her face in Arabic.  At that exact moment, all 11 of them got up and started to walk the cabin.  This is where I had had enough!  I got up and started to the back where I heard a voice behind me from another Texan twice my size say “I got your back.”  I grabbed the man who had been on the phone by the arm and said “you WILL go sit down or you Will be thrown from this plane!”  As I “led” him around me to take his seat, the fellow Texan grabbed him by the back of his neck and his waist and headed out with him.  I then grabbed the 2nd man and said, “You WILL do the same!”  He protested but adrenaline was flowing now and he was going to go.  As I escorted him forward the plane doors open and 3 TSA agents and 4 police officers entered.  Me and my new Texan friend were told to cease and desist for they had this under control.  I was happy to oblige actually.  There was some commotion in the back, but within moments, all 11 were escorted off the plane.  They then unloaded their luggage.

We talked about the occurrence and were in disbelief that it had happen, when suddenly, the door open again and on walked all 11!!  Stone faced, eyes front and robotic (the only way I can describe it).  The stewardess from the back had been in tears and when she saw this, she was having NONE of it!  Being that I was up front, I heard and saw the whole ordeal.  She told the TSA agent there was NO WAY she was staying on the plane with these men.  The agent told her they had searched them and were going to go through their luggage with a fine tooth comb and that they were allowed to proceed to Houston.  The captain and co-captain came out and told the agent “we and our crew will not fly this plane!”  After a word or two, the entire crew, luggage in tow, left the plane.  5 minutes later, the cabin door opened again and a whole new crew walked on.

Again…this is where I had had enough!!!  I got up and asked “What the hell is going on!?!?”  I was told to take my seat.  They were sorry for the delay and I would be home shortly.  I said “I’m getting off this plane”.  The stewardess sternly told me that she could not allow me to get off.  (Now I’m mad!)  I said “I am a grown man who bought this ticket, whose time is mine with a family at home and I am going through that door, or I’m going through that door with you under my arm!!  But I am going through that door!!”  And I heard a voice behind me say “so am I”.  Then everyone behind us started to get up and say the same.  Within 2 minutes, I was walking off that plane where I was met with more agents who asked me to write a statement.  I had 5 hours to kill at this point so why the hell not.  Due to the amount of people who got off that flight, it was cancelled.  I was supposed to be in Houston at 6pm.  I got here at 12:30am.

Look up the date.  Flight #297 Atlanta to Houston.

If this wasn’t a dry run, I don’t know what one is.  The terrorists wanted to see how TSA would handle it, how the crew would handle it, and how the passengers would handle it.

I’m telling this to you because I want you to know.
The threat is real.  I saw it with my own eyes…

– Tedd Petruna

Additional information from WorldNet Daily http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=118310


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