On April 27, 2021 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release, DHS Announces Operation to Target Criminal Smuggling Organizations, that heralded the creation of what was described as a new multi-agency anti-smuggling effort, "Operation Sentinel."
Here is how the press release began:
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N.
Mayorkas today announced a new counter-network
targeting operation focused on transnational criminal
organizations affiliated with the smuggling of migrants.
“Transnational criminal organizations put
profit over human life, with devastating consequences,” said Secretary
Mayorkas. “With the help of our federal and foreign partners, we aim
to cut off access to that profit by denying these criminals the
ability to engage in travel, trade, and finance in the United States. We
intend to disrupt every facet of the logistical network that these
organizations use to succeed.”
The new anti-smuggling effort, called Operation Sentinel, is a
collaborative effort with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations,
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of State,
and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement
Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice.
It is hard to imagine that the Biden administration is sincere about
its desire to combat human trafficking and alien smuggling, because, as
I noted in my recent article, "Biden Amps Up The Immigration Delivery System," The refusal to declare a border crisis is more than a matter of semantics.
Could it be that the administration created the illusory Operation
Sentinel to respond to the concerns of the American public but not to
actually combat the smugglers who are part of the immigration delivery
On April 19, 2021, roughly one week before the DHS issued the press release about the creation of Operation Sentinel, The Hill published an opinion piece, "Biden's border polls lower than bottom of Rio Grande," that began with the following:
Despite the best efforts of the Biden administration to dismiss
criticism or shift blame to the previous president, the American people
are increasingly dissatisfied with Biden’s border fiasco.
A recent Heritage Action poll in sixteen “battleground
districts” finds that the White House’s policies on the border and
immigration are underwater. The most stunning part of these results is
the spreading dissatisfaction across region and party. Everyday
Americans are looking through the spin and seeing an administration that
is ideologically driven, incapable of effectively dealing with a
crisis, and working against the interests of everyday Americans.
When parents are confronted by screaming children, especially in the
middle of the night, they generally seek to calm the child so that
he/she will go back to sleep and so that they themselves, can go back to
sleep. Frequently these harried parents gently rub the upset child’s
back, perhaps offer them some slightly warm milk and talk to them in a
soft and soothing tone of voice to calm and reassure the agitated child
that everything is really okay.
Therefore, perhaps, “Operation Sentinel” should be more appropriately be named “Operation Back Rub.”
Clearly the White House understands that millions of Americans are
extremely unhappy with the crisis on the U.S. Mexican border, that these
irate Americans needed to be soothed, and their understandable concerns
assuaged -- hence “Operation Sentinel” was created to placate agitated
Simply declaring the creation of an operation can be utterly
meaningless if adequate resources are not committed to the effort and
there is a lack of meaningful oversight.
To determine just how sincere the administration is about addressing
human smuggling, we need to consider a number of questions to peel back
the curtain on Operation Sentinel and find out if the administration is
going to commit meaningful resources to this operation.
Here are a few such questions:
How long will this operation run?
How many agents from each member agency are to be assigned to
this operation? Are they to be exclusively dedicated to Operation
Sentinel or will they carry collateral assignments?
Are full-time prosecutors also being assigned to this operation? If so, how many?
How many analysts and other support personal will be assigned to Operation Sentinel?
How much money is going to be dedicated for various operational expenses associated with this operation?
How will oversight be conducted and what will the critical
elements of the agents a’ job description and evaluations of those
assigned to this operation include? (In other words, what constitutes
These questions that address the resources that will be brought to
bear in this new operation are important and are the questions that true
journalists must ask, but there is another overriding question that
causes me to believe that in reality, Operation Sentinel is nothing more
than a public relations ploy that is not only doomed to fail, but was
designed, from the outset, to fail.
But before we get to that “show stopper” we need to understand that
for Biden and his globalist supporters, the immigration system has
become a delivery system that delivers an unlimited supply of
cheap and exploitable labor, an unlimited supply of foreign tourists, an
unlimited supply of foreign students and, to the delight of immigration
lawyers of both the Democrat and Republican Parties, an unlimited
supply of clients for immigration law firms.
The immigration delivery system also delivers a huge supply of
potential union members, and tenants who will force the price of housing
through the roof -- increasing the wealth for those in the real estate
and banking industries.
That is good news for those who are feeding at the very lucrative
immigration trough, literally and figuratively “making out like bandits;
not, however, good news for the growing population of the homeless
Americans resulting from housing prices soaring through the stratosphere
while Americans face job loss and wage suppression.
Consider that the policies of the Biden administration that
encourage and embolden aspiring illegal aliens from all over the world,
to head for the United States, are still in place even after DHS
announced the creation of a multi-agency task force to supposedly combat
Such a task force is certainly a good idea, but to be successful,
the administration must begin by turning off the powerful magnets that
draw these aliens from around the world to the United States in the
Sanctuary polices of cities and states further undermine and counter any efforts to combat these smuggling operations.
While the DHS press release claims: “We intend to disrupt every
facet of the logistical network that these
organizations use to succeed,” that statement ignores the most critical
facet: the smuggled aliens and the incentives for them to come to the
United States by whatever means they choose, knowing that ICE has been
essentially ordered to “stand down” and the Biden administration has
terminated all of the successful measures implemented by the Trump
administration to gain control over our nation’s borders.
Now here is the “Show Stopper”: How can the Biden administration be
serious about dismantling alien smuggling operation while ignoring the
smuggled aliens themselves, who are at the heart of these criminal
This would be the equivalent of creating an operation that targets
narcotics trafficking organizations but then seizes no illegal drugs
found during the course of the investigation, instead actually allowing
the drugs to be sold on street corners.
Biden’s immigration policies severely restrict ICE (Immigration and
Customs Enforcement) agents from arresting illegal aliens unless the
aliens in question are aggravated felons.
Speaking from my own personal experience as a former INS
(Immigration and Naturalization Service) agent, generally immigration
agents build cases against human trafficking organizations by arresting
illegal aliens and then questioning them about the way that they managed
to enter the United States.
Eventually enough aliens are arrested who are willing to cooperate
with the ongoing investigation to identify the smugglers and provide
addresses of safe houses and other such facts that lead to a successful
investigation and subsequent prosecution.
Under Biden's restrictions, however, ICE agents today are not able
to arrest illegal aliens who may have the information that is required
to conduct successful investigations into alien smuggling and human
In the past ICE agents encouraged such illegal aliens to cooperate
with their investigations and become cooperating witnesses and
informants by offering these aliens the opportunity to remain in the
United States for a limited period of time with permission to lawfully
work. When their cooperation was of a sufficient importance, aliens
could be rewarded with visas that would enable them to become permanent
residents of the United States and thus have their immediate family
members join them in the U.S. as lawful immigrants.
However, by executive order, the Biden administration has implemented a de facto
amnesty which further hobbles any efforts to identify and dismantle
alien smuggling operations. As a result, under Biden’s policies, illegal
aliens have no incentive to cooperate with law enforcement authorities
or abide by any of our laws.
It has been said that we only have one chance to make a first
impression. For millions of people around the world the first impression
of the United States is how we enforce or fail to enforce the first
American laws they are likely to encounter -- our immigration laws.
Biden’s message is clear: violations of these vital laws, that are
supposed to protect national security, public health, public safety and
the jobs and wages of Americans, will not only be tolerated, but richly
This is why, in my view, DHS’ “Operation Sentinel” should be renamed
“Operation Back Rub.” Perhaps, Biden could set up kiosks around the
country to serve up some slightly warm milk for concerned Americans, to
go with the press release that serves as the predication for my