Smack in the middle of the contentious immigration debate comes this angry indictment of the U.S. government’s inability to protect us from criminal aliens already within our border.
Holbrook, one of 600 federal officers nationwide charged with the apprehension and removal of aliens found guilty of felonies, resigned after four frustrating years, during which he actually poured more of these miscreants back onto the streets than he managed to deport, notwithstanding his willingness to lie, deceive and bend the rules. His tenure in the famously difficult New Orleans district, however, provided a trove of harrowing war stories, recounted here in hardboiled, high-energy, no-nonsense prose. Though never quite a rogue agent—no bribes or payoffs, no falsely claimed expenses—this self-described “master fabricator” wasn’t a choirboy either. Forced to operate in a netherworld between the government’s professed goal of deporting criminal aliens and foreign consulates’ distaste for accepting their own citizens who, they slyly claim, “learned their criminal ways in the United States,” he resorted to a series of questionable stratagems focused on ridding America of as many of these vicious criminals as possible. Frustrated by diplomatic dodges and the felons’ own manipulation of the system, Holbrook reserves his greatest disdain for the U.S. government, which he declares the biggest obstacle to stemming the criminal alien tide. Lamenting the notorious Zadvydas decision—which requires the release within six months of predatory aliens who cannot be returned to their home country—he rails against court and command mandates that hamstring agents in the field, against liberals whose misguided sympathies penalize those who play by the rules and against conservatives who talk a good game about protecting the citizenry from terror, but on whose watch the problem has only multiplied. Not unlike Dirty Harry, this dedicated, flawed agent earns our sympathy, if not our unqualified approval.
A penetrating, street-level view of an infinitely depressing and growing problem.