Posted tagged ‘U.S. southern border’

FULL MEASURE: December 3, 2017 – Protecting the Border

December 7, 2017

FULL MEASURE: December 3, 2017 – Protecting the Border via YouTube, December 5, 2017

 

According to the blurb beneath the video,

America’s border dysfunction was highlighted again this week by not guilty verdicts for the illegal immigrant who fired the shot that killed Kate Steinle in a sanctuary city.

This week we take you on a dangerous and sobering journey to see first hand what’s happening on our Southern border – without the spin.

We visited one of the busiest ports of entry for both legal and illegal traffic. It’s the predominantly Hispanic city of Laredo, Texas. During our visit, one overarching theme emerged: despite what you may think: they’re bullish on border security.

Border Patrol Arrests Previously Deported Sex Offenders

November 4, 2017

Border Patrol Arrests Previously Deported Sex Offenders, BreitbartBob Price, November 4, 2017

Border Patrol Agents in Texas and Arizona stopped more previously deported sex offenders from illegally re-entering the U.S. The arrests included two criminal aliens with histories of sex crimes against children.

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector arrested a Mexican national on Wednesday after he illegally crossed the border near the town of Roma, Texas. The agents transported the illegal alien to the Rio Grande City Station and conducted a background check. The check revealed that a Florida court convicted the Mexican man of Sexual Assault of a Child in 2014. After serving a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of 36 days in jail and two years on probation, immigration officials deported the criminal alien to Mexico. He returned to the U.S. after waiting for the probation to expire.

The following day, agents from the Ajo Station in the Tucson Sector arrested another previously convicted and deported child sex offender. The agents arrested 29-year-old Raul Cano-Garcia, a Mexican national, after he illegally crossed the border in southwestern Arizona. After transporting the illegal alien to the Ajo Station, agents conducted a background check and discovered that a court in Fresno, California, convicted the Mexican national for Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14. Cano received a three-year prison sentence for his offense against the child. Immigration officials deported the criminal alien to Mexico after he completed his sentence.

On Monday, agents assigned to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station in Brooks County, Texas, captured a Honduran national attempting to circumvent the checkpoint by hiking through ranchlands. Agents arrested the man and took him to the station for processing. During a background investigation, agents learned the Honduran man’s record included an arrest in Fresno, California for Assault with Intent to Commit Rape.

The three criminal aliens will likely be turned over to the Department of Justice for prosecution for illegal re-entry after removal.

Edmonton Terrorist’s Movements Highlight Threat to U.S. Southern Border

October 19, 2017

Edmonton Terrorist’s Movements Highlight Threat to U.S. Southern Border, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, October 18, 2017

He entered Canada in 2012 and obtained refugee status, Canadian officials said. It isn’t clear why Canadian officials were unaware of Sharif’s deportation from the United States. Privacy laws in both countries could keep that information secret, adding to widespread speculation that he received asylum in the U.S. Asylum applications are confidential, which further complicates the public’s right to know.

Reports of Sharif’s radicalism, including his open support for ISIS, first surfaced in 2015 after coworkers reported him to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sharif would rant about how “polytheists” needed to die and how he hated Shiite Muslims, a coworker told the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

Many Somalis travel from Kenya to South Africa on the first leg of their trip to the U.S. From there they make their way to Brazil and then made his way northward through Latin America until they reach the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sharif’s penetration of the U.S.-Mexican border isn’t unique, Bensman wrote. He notes that others with ties to Al-Shabaab have also been identified but were apprehended before they could do anything.

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Fears about a terrorist using the U.S.-Mexican border as a gateway for an attack have been realized. Evidence shows that Somali Edmonton terrorist Abdulahi Hasan Sharif crossed the U.S.-Mexican border from Tijuana into San Diego at the San Ysidro border crossing on July 12, 2011.

Sharif allegedly hit an Edmonton police officer with a white Chevrolet Malibu on Sept. 30. He then got out of his car and stabbed the officer with a knife. A police manhunt ensued. The attacker then stole a U-Haul and drove it into four pedestrians before police apprehended him.

Investigators found an ISIS flag in his car, but the jihadist group has not claimed responsibility for his attacks.

Canadian press reports indicate that when he entered the U.S in 2011, Sharif lacked valid travel documents and almost immediately ended up in the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). An immigration judge ordered Sharif deported to Somalia. But ICE released him because Somalia lacks a functioning government. He fell off the radar and U.S. authorities were unable to locate him.

He entered Canada in 2012 and obtained refugee status, Canadian officials said. It isn’t clear why Canadian officials were unaware of Sharif’s deportation from the United States. Privacy laws in both countries could keep that information secret, adding to widespread speculation that he received asylum in the U.S. Asylum applications are confidential, which further complicates the public’s right to know.

Reports of Sharif’s radicalism, including his open support for ISIS, first surfaced in 2015 after coworkers reported him to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sharif would rant about how “polytheists” needed to die and how he hated Shiite Muslims, a coworker told the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

The other question is how Sharif got to the U.S.-Mexican border – nearly 10,000 miles from Somalia.

Sharif likely worked with “long haul smugglers,” national security expert Todd Bensman theorized in a recent post on his LinkedIn account, using prior court-established smuggling patterns as a baseline. Bensman wrote his Master’s thesis for the Naval Postgraduate School on Somali smuggling patterns.

Many Somalis travel from Kenya to South Africa on the first leg of their trip to the U.S. From there they make their way to Brazil and then made his way northward through Latin America until they reach the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sharif’s penetration of the U.S.-Mexican border isn’t unique, Bensman wrote. He notes that others with ties to Al-Shabaab have also been identified but were apprehended before they could do anything.

Homeland Security issues waivers to ramp up improved border fencing

September 12, 2017

Homeland Security issues waivers to ramp up improved border fencing, BreitbartUPI, September 12, 2017

(The district courts in the 9th Circus Circuit will be busy with this for a long time. — DM)

Sept. 12 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it has issued waivers of environmental and historical preservation laws to speed construction of fencing between California and Mexico.

The waivers protect border barriers near Calexico, Calif., from federal regulations such as Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, the department said in a news release.

The department described it as “an area of high illegal entry” that is a “critical sector for border security.” In fiscal year 2016, the United States Border Patrol “apprehended more than 19,400 illegal aliens and seized approximately 2,899 pounds of marijuana and approximately 126 pounds of cocaine in the El Centro Sector,” according to Homeland Security.

This project is approximately a three-mile segment that starts at the Calexico West port of entry and extends westward, replacing approximately two miles of the existing primary pedestrian fence with a new “bollard wall,” the department said.

The Border Patrol plans to build 18-to-25-foot fencing that replaces the existing 14-foot fencing built in the 1990s, The Hill reported. The waiver also allows improvement of Border Patrol service roads.

DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke published the waiver in the Federal Register.

According to the notice, “The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border of the United States near the city of Calexico in the state of California.”

Existing budget appropriations cover some repairs and improvements to existing fencing, including the prototypes.

The White House requested $1.6 billion for 2018 to begin new construction for the wall between the United States and Mexico, which was a campaign promise by President Donald Trump.

“The Department is implementing President Trump’s Executive Order 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, and continues to take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border” according to the release.

Last week, DHS announced prototypes for a wall in the San Diego sector, west of El Centro.

Drug Cartels Fuming at New U.S. Policy Screening 100% of Mexican Cargo Trucks

August 2, 2017

Drug Cartels Fuming at New U.S. Policy Screening 100% of Mexican Cargo Trucks, Judicial Watch, August 1, 2017

Approximately 471,000 trucks pass through the U.S-Mexico border monthly, according to figures published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Frontline customs agents stationed along the southern border confirm that trucks containing “legitimate” goods are often used by sophisticated drug cartels to move cargo north. This is hardly surprising since most illegal drugs in the United States come from Mexico, according to the DEA, and Mexican traffickers remain the greatest threat to the United States.

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In a major shift from lax Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is finally allowing customs officers to screen all cargo trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico and sources on both sides of the border tell Judicial Watch Mexican drug cartels are fuming. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using X-ray technology and other non-intrusive tools to screen 100% of cargo trucks crossing the southern border after eight years of sporadic or random screening permitted under the Obama administration.

“We felt like we were the welcoming committee and not like we were guarding our borders,” said veteran U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the agency’s employee union. “The order was to facilitate traffic, not to stop any illegal drugs from entering the country,” Cramer added. “We want to enforce the law. That’s what we signed up for.” Cramer, a canine handler stationed at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, said illicit drugs are pouring in through the southern border, especially massive quantities of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is more potent than morphine.

Approximately 471,000 trucks pass through the U.S-Mexico border monthly, according to figures published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The busiest port of entry is in Laredo, Texas where 167,553 trucks enter the U.S. from Mexico monthly, followed by Otay Mesa in California (76,953), El Paso, Texas (58,913), Hidalgo, Texas (45,355) and Nogales with 29,439. Other busy ports include East Calexico, California (29,173), Brownsville, Texas (16,140) and Eagle Pass, Texas (12,952). Trucks bring in everything from auto parts to appliances, produce and livestock. In fact, a veteran Homeland Security official told Judicial Watch that cattle trucks passed without inspection during the Obama administration because Mexican farmers complained that the security screenings frightened their cows. “Our guys were livid that we were not allowed to check cattle,” the federal official said.

Frontline customs agents stationed along the southern border confirm that trucks containing “legitimate” goods are often used by sophisticated drug cartels to move cargo north. This is hardly surprising since most illegal drugs in the United States come from Mexico, according to the DEA, and Mexican traffickers remain the greatest threat to the United States. They’re classified as Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCOs) by the government and for years they’ve smuggled in enormous quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Last year the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan agency that provides Congress with policy and legal analysis, published a disturbing report outlining how Mexican cartels move record quantities of drugs into the U.S. Because cartels move the drugs through the Southwest border, western states have become part of what’s known as the “heroin transit zone,” according to the CRS.

Federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch Mexican cartels operate like efficient businesses that resort to “other more treacherous routes” when necessary, but driving through a port of entry in a cargo truck is a preferred method of moving drugs. Cartels station shifts of spotters with binoculars in Mexican hills near border checkpoints to determine the level of security screenings. “They know if we’re on the job, the level of screening that we’re conducting,” Cramer said. “The cartels watch us all the time.” Nogales is a favorite for cartel spotters because the U.S. checkpoint sits in a valley surrounded by hills on the Mexican side, where unobstructed views facilitate surveillance. “They see everything,” Cramer said. For years the cartel spotters saw that much of the cargo passing through the checkpoint was waved through, according to agents contacted by Judicial Watch.

EXCLUSIVE: Cartel Smugglers, Migrants Growing More Violent Against Border Patrol Agents

May 24, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Cartel Smugglers, Migrants Growing More Violent Against Border Patrol Agents, BreitbartBrandon Darby, May 24, 2017

File Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

TUCSON, Arizona — Sinaloa Cartel-linked smugglers and migrants are growing more violent against U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector as penalties for their crimes stiffen. Realizing that being caught now means almost certain prosecution and incarceration, the smugglers and migrants are increasingly becoming violent with Border Patrol agents in remote border regions in efforts to escape and evade justice.

Border Patrol Agent Art Del Cueto, speaking to Breitbart Texas in his role as National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) spokesman, stated, “The smugglers are definitely becoming more violent with our agents. They now try to evade arrest and even use force to get away from us where during the Obama years they would joke with us and not mind being caught. They knew, back then, that they would get away with violating our laws.”

Agent Del Cueto continued, “We are talking about significant force and violence being used against our agents. Very recently, one smuggler slammed a large rock into the side of an agent’s head.”

The growing violent tendencies are not limited to the cartel’s drug smugglers, according to Agent Del Cueto. “Even the illegal aliens who aren’t smuggling dope are growing more violent as they now face consequences for illegally entering. Before they would be let go the next day or so, now they face incarceration for illegally entering. They are willing to do anything possible to evade us.”

With the increased aggression levels on the part of the foreign nationals, the agents are forced to be on a higher alert level and willing to use higher level of force to defend their lives. Agent Del Cueto stated, “It’s a concern because when we use force we are put under a microscope and everything we do is scrutinized by different investigative bodies. There was a culture of destroying the lives of Border Patrol agents during the past presidential administration and unfortunately, that culture hasn’t yet completely dissipated.”

Though the Sinaloa Cartel or Federation controls the U.S.-Mexico border in this sector, the cartel is actually a collective of numerous regional criminal groups that simply operate under the banner of “Sinaloa Cartel.” The Tucson sector is largely controlled by two of such regional groups, Los Memos and Los Salazar. The groups are engaged in frequent clashes with each other and Los Salazar has begun using armed scouts to enter U.S. territory, according to sources in Border Patrol who asked to remain anonymous. One source told Breitbart Texas, “We have them on video with AK-47s, but we haven’t caught them. They most likely wouldn’t use them on random U.S. citizens, but have them for rip crews and to prevent Los Memos or U.S. gangs from stealing their drug loads. Be careful in the Huachuca Mountains right now.”

New Sheriff in Town: The First 100 Days at the Sessions DOJ

April 27, 2017

New Sheriff in Town: The First 100 Days at the Sessions DOJ, BreitbartIan Mason, April 27, 2017

(It’s still a work in progress.  He — like President Trump — can’t do everything first, particularly with the “deep state” swamp still in need of drastic draining. — DM)

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Wednesday saw the first of Attorney General Sessions’ Senate-confirmed subordinates take office: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Over the coming weeks, it is expected that serious progress will be made on nominating and confirming permanent occupants for the dozens of political positions at the Department of Justice, including the over 90 U.S. Attorneys who lead federal criminal prosecutions. The key victories of the first 100 days were accomplished by the Attorney General without any of them in place. As his team assembles around him, Attorney General Sessions looks to be better able to direct the legal policy of the United States government to restore his vision of law and order.

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Under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the first 100 days at the Department of Justice have seen perhaps the most straightforward and earnest efforts to bring the promises of the Trump movement to fruition.

Stepping into leadership at a DOJ managed for eight years by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, Sessions has had an uphill battle to implement the key tenets of law and order that so many Americans have long craved and which President Donald Trump promised as a candidate: an end of the lawless hypocrisy on the southern border and in the internal enforcement of our immigration laws, especially in state a jurisdictions that openly flaunt federal law and proclaim themselves “sanctuaries;” a firm commitment to get a handle on rising violent crime, especially in our most dangerous inner cities; and steadfast support of our law enforcement officers at a time when they face danger and disparagement from inside the government and without.

Hitting the Ground Running:

Attorney General Sessions was confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 2017, three weeks into the new administration. One of the very first national politicians to endorse candidate Trump, he was the fifth cabinet member to take his seat, but not before a smooth yet contentious confirmation process yielded one of the most awkwardly worded and forced political slogans of recent memory.

“Nevertheless, she persisted,” the much-touted line goes, a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) explanation of his use of Senate rules to prevent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reading a 30-year old letter from Coretta Scott King to imply racist motives to then Senator Sessions. The use was later criticized by Ms. King’s niece.

The fireworks on the Senate floor were quickly followed up in the White House. On his first day as Attorney General, Sessions stood by President Trump’s side as he signed no fewer than four executive orders pertaining to the Justice Department.

A “New Era” on the Border

Without doubt, cracking down on illegal aliens and the resultant lawlessness on the border and in our immigration system has been the greatest focus of Sessions’ attentions in his tenure at DOJ. Merely the signal of will from the new administration has already brought extraordinary results. March of 2017 saw the lowest number of illegals caught on the border in 17 years, a 72 percent reduction in apprehensions from the last month of the Obama administration.

Rhetoric was repeatedly backed up with action on the Attorney General’s part. In early March, the DOJ shifted 50 immigration judges to detention center along the border and in illegal alien heavy cities. The were set to work in twelve-hour shifts to help clear the massive backlog of deportation cases. This proved to be merely a prelude to much more substantial reform.

On the morning of April 11, 2017, the Attorney General toured the southern border with officers of U.S Customs and Border Protection. Addressing them and the nation, he proclaimed, “For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era.”

“The catch and release practices of old are over,” Sessions continued, announced that 125 additional immigration judges would be hired on expedited basis. They would be needed because from this point on all adults apprehended at the border were to be detained by federal authorities.

A new set of guidelines was sent to every federal prosecutor in the country. Those who illegally enter the United States a second time will now face felony prosecution as a matter of course, as well those who illegal enter after having been deported, and transporting or harboring three or more illegal aliens. Charges of aggravated identity theft are to be levied on those caught with fraudulent documentation.

These measures are designed to work in tandem with a similar ramping up at the Department of Homeland Security, where 10,000 additional ICE officers have been authorized and are in the process of being hired. Attorney General Sessions made a point of making joint appearances with DHS Secretary John Kelley, presenting a united front to bring order to the border. The two cabinet officials noted increased arrests, more deportations of criminals, and other operations contributing to the apparent decrease in illegal border crossings.

While President Trump has, so far, not seen it fit to reverse Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order, granting amnesty to those who came illegal as children and register with the federal government, the Attorney General has made it clear that the law remains the law. Asked by Fox News in April about the deportation of certain so-called DREAMer (after the never enacted DREAM act), Sessions was unequivocal, “The policy is that if people are here unlawfully, they’re subject to being deported. Our priority is clear. Our priority is to end the lawlessness at the border.”

No Sanction for “Sanctuaries”

From the very beginning of his tenure, Attorney General Sessions has tried to bring jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement back to legal normality, even if it means cutting their federal funds to convince them to do so. Sessions has done this in the face of steadfast refusal to cooperate by some of nation’s most powerful local leaders. For example, Chicago, under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, went so far as to issue a new type of identification available to illegal alien without the city keeping records in response to fears the administration might be able to force the “sanctuary” to give up information on immigration status. Sessions made a point of calling out a California prosecutor who appears to, as a matter of policy, be reducing charges to avoid triggering “violent felon” deportation requirements.

The most troubling resistance, however, came this final week of the first 100 days, as a federal court in San Francisco blocked enforcement of President Trump’s executive order commanding Sessions to cut off federal funds from recalcitrant jurisdictions. At the moment, as the administration has released no comprehensive plan as to what funds are subject to suspension, it is unclear what effect this temporary order will have. It will, however, prevent the use of that executive order’s authority while a lawsuit from a number of California sanctuary jurisdictions makes its way through the courts.

Sessions has not taken this tactic to continue flaunting federal immigration law lightly. In a statement Wednesday, the Attorney General was very clear as to how he saw the lawsuit:

At the heart of this immigration debate is disagreement over whether illegally entering this country is a crime.  Our duly enacted laws answer that question.

Nevertheless, actions that have always been understood to be squarely within the powers of the President, regardless of the Administration, have now been enjoined.  The Department of Justice cannot accept such a result, and as the President has made clear, we will continue to litigate this case to vindicate the rule of law.

Separate from the wider pledge to cut the flow of federal funds to sanctuary jurisdictions, Sessions has used his independent authority to bring pressure to bear. After weeks of threatening action, the Department of Justice sent letters to nine of the states and cities who most vigorously stifle immigration enforcement, demanding they show compliance by June 30 or forfeit their DOJ Bryne Grants for law enforcement. As these grants already have requirements to follow federal law attached to them, these letters may be unaffected by the ongoing court fracas over President Trump’s executive order.

Zero Tolerance:

The mayhem of our inner cities in the waning years of the Obama administration was no less troubling than the chaos on the border. On the day Sessions took office, an executive order established a task force for tackling the violent crime increase seen in certain cities. Sessions has spoken on numerous occasions on his support for a return to “broken windows” policing and taking local law enforcement’s side in their effort to wrestle their crime rates back down to the historic lows seen only a few years ago.

Some of the violence is fueled by what the justice department calls “transnational criminal organizations,” brutal gangs like MS-13 and wide-reaching networks like the Mexican drug cartels. At a meeting of the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council, Sessions made clear his department would have “zero tolerence” for gang violence as it brings an executive order targeting these organizations for deportation and dismantling into reality.

On several occasions, Sessions has highlighted his continued support for the type of rigorous policing that came under intense fire in the last administration.

Supporting Law Enforcement:

To many Americans, the Holder-Lynch DOJ’s failure to keep crime in check and the border under control was compounded by the perceived failure to adequately support law enforcement officers and their in this trying time. Black Lives Matter and other left-wing groups brought anti-police rhetoric to the forefront of the public discourse and politicized violence against the police made headlines throughout 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Justice Department responded by launching investigations into police brutality, bias, and misconduct, making it anything but clear that American law enforcement had their unequivocal support.

Spearheaded by Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta’s Civil Rights Division, the Obama administration responded to riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland by launching federal investigations into those cities’, and others like murder-capital Chicago’s, police departments. The results were predictable. A “Ferguson Effect,” where officers were reluctant to make the routine stops necessary to keep crime under control for fear of being sanctioned for misconduct contributed to a shocking rise in violent crime in the very communities supposedly protected by federal oversight of police. Initially dismissed as a right-wing conspiracy theory, the Ferguson Effect has since been supported by a survey of police officers and by a National Institute of Justice study funded by the Obama DOJ.

When Attorney General Sessions took the reigns at DOJ, there was an immediate shift in tone. “Please know that you have the full support of our Department,” Sessisons told a meeting of police chiefs in April. He went on to call out the former administration’s treatment of police:

In recent years, as you know, law enforcement as a whole has been unfairly maligned and blamed for the crimes and unacceptable deeds of a few bad actors. Amid this intense criticism, morale has gone down, while the number of officers killed in the line of duty has gone up.

Attorney General Sessions has done what is in his power to try and reverse the damage done to Law Enforcement relations. He ordered a complete review of all Obama-era investigations into local law enforcement. He has even sought to scale back the consent decree reached to install federal monitoring of Baltimore’s Police Department in the waning days of the Obama administration. When the federal judge in the case refused to reopen the issue, Sessions issued a public statement criticizing the whole endeavor, saying, “There are clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime.”

Looking Forward:

Wednesday saw the first of Attorney General Sessions’ Senate-confirmed subordinates take office: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Over the coming weeks, it is expected that serious progress will be made on nominating and confirming permanent occupants for the dozens of political positions at the Department of Justice, including the over 90 U.S. Attorneys who lead federal criminal prosecutions. The key victories of the first 100 days were accomplished by the Attorney General without any of them in place. As his team assembles around him, Attorney General Sessions looks to be better able to direct the legal policy of the United States government to restore his vision of law and order.