JUNE 27, 2008
A veteran attorney for the Homeland Security agency in charge of enforcing immigration laws and protecting the U.S. against terrorist attacks has been arrested for accepting bribes from illegal immigrants seeking benefits in the country.
The assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was arrested at a southern California Indian tribe casino where authorities say he was accepting one of numerous cash bribes. Federal prosecutors say the 10-year government attorney, Constantine Kallas, has accepted thousands of dollars in bribes over the years and clearly compromised national security in the process.
Kallas and his wife also set up two fake companies and filed false employment petitions with the federal government for dozens of illegal immigrants and at least two legal residents. Nearly $1 million beyond Kallas’ government salary had been deposited in his bank accounts in the last few years, presumably bribe money.
Other Homeland Security agencies responsible for protecting the nation against foreign threats have also been rocked by similar internal corruption in the last few years, although the problems are more rampant on the front lines rather than the corporate offices.
Corruption is so widespread among federal officers guarding the U.S.-Mexico border that the government created an internal web site devoted to recently convicted border agents and lie detector tests are administered to all future applicants to assure they don’t already work for Mexican smuggling organizations.
That agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has seen dozens of agents bribed with cash and attractive women in return for assuring the safe passage of truckloads of illegal immigrants, drugs and other contraband into the U.S. Some have even used their government-issued vehicles to shuttle illegal aliens from Mexico to safe houses north of the border. Other incidents have involved corrupt agents at airports, who accepted bribes to assist drug smugglers.
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