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The recent coverage of Julie Myers stalled nomination to be Assistant Secretary for ICE is missing something…discussion of her performance record in her office. While it is more than appropriate to ask tough questions as to what happened at the Combined Federal Campaign Halloween Party at which she and two others were costume judges, there also needs to be analysis of how she has performed since she took the position in early 2006.

Since the incident broke in the media, Myers has been forthcoming in her apologies to the employees that were there and to others that were offended by the tasteless costume that was worn by an ICE employee. Her proactive outreach to those parties and others is indicative of someone who does care about the people and the environment where she works and her performance record is indicative of that. Furthermore, in the job she has been doing for nearly two years, Julie’s service record at ICE answers the critics and skeptics of how she would perform. Investigations, arrests and prosecutions are all up and as a result, the job the President asked her to do in 2005 has been getting done. Isn’t that the ultimate metric we want?

Consider these statistics:

  • In Fiscal Year 2007, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 3,563 gang members and their associates. This includes 1,489 criminal arrests.
  • Under Operation Community Shield ICE has arrested more than 7,655 members and associates of approximately 700 different gangs. Of those apprehended 2,444 have been charged criminally and 5,211 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.
  • Over a three month period this summer ICE arrested more than 1,300 violent street gang members and associates in 23 cities across 19 states.
  • ICE has expanded its Criminal Alien Program to identify incarcerated criminal aliens. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE identified for removal 164,296 criminals who were incarcerated in federal, state and local facilities.
  • ICE has increased its fugitive operations teams from 15 in 2005 to 75 today. As a result, the fugitive alien population has plummeted by more than 35,000.
  • ICE continues to increase worksite enforcement operations. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE made 863 criminal arrests and 4,077 administrative arrests for a total of 4,940 arrests.
  • In Fiscal Year 2007, DHS obtained more than $30 million in criminal fines, restitutions and civil judgments as a result of worksite enforcement.

By no means should Julie get a free pass on what occurred last month. It is more than appropriate that she answer questions from her staff at ICE, the leadership at DHS and Members of Congress about what happened at the party but the ‘tisk, tisk, tisk,’ finger waving by some of the Congressional Members is practically laughable when you apply a performance metric to them.

Think about this for a second… We’re still waiting on Congress to approve a budget; we can’t get an immigration bill put together; we can’t streamline Congressional Committee oversight of DHS but we can still make it to fundraisers on time and express “shock, horror and outrage” when a federal employee somewhere does something stupid as the ICE employee did when he made his costume choice.

Julie made a mistake, admitted it and apologized for it. But the last time I checked, she was being nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Immigration & Customs Enforcement, not to co-host with Joan & Melissa Rivers and survey and analyze the red carpet fashions of Washington or Capitol Hill.

Rich Cooper blog primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More