ICE

Ex-ICE Agent Is Headed to Prison After Accepting $990,000 in Bribes From Desperate Immigrants

Clifton Divers and Charles Busse teamed up to take advantage of a disenfranchised group.

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|||Tina Burch/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Tina Burch/ZUMA Press/Newscom

A former agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is facing upwards of four years in prison after using his position and partnership with a shady lawyer to take advantage of immigrants.

The Detroit Free Press initially reported that then-ICE agent Clifton Divers used his proximity to immigrants hoping to avoid deportation to carry out a bribery scheme with a lawyer named Charles Busse. In one instance, one of Busse's supposed clients, a woman believed to be from Albania, paid Divers $20,000 in hopes that the money would help her remain in the country. After taking the money, Divers then worked behind the scenes to make sure the woman would be safe from deportation. The woman was later revealed to be a government plant and her encounter with the men was enough to bring an end to their operation.

Over a six-year period, Divers took money from at least four of Busse's clients to shield them from deportation. At least one report says the men accepted more than $990,000 in cash.

"Where many saw an overtaxed and broken system in need of reform, Mr. Busse saw an opportunity to enrich himself," criticized acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch. A court document accused Busse of making thousands by "exploiting the inexperience, trust and desperation of his clients and their families."

After taking money from immigrants, who were often left with no other options, the men then found a way to classify the immigrants as undercover informants working with federal investigators. This classification would make them eligible for a deferred action program that was reserved for immigrants helping federal agencies with cases like drug trafficking and terrorism.

Divers was reportedly motivated to help Busse in exchange for free legal representation, worth about $5,000. He also secured summer jobs for his daughter via Busse.

Drivers was charged with bribery and conspiracy in 2016. He entered a plea of guilty to the charges in January. He is currently facing four years in prison and will be sentenced on Monday. Busse is already serving a three-year sentence behind bars. Prosecutors defended harsher punishment for Divers because of his security clearance and proximity to sensitive documents.

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  1. I’m pretty sure you meant “Illegal immigrants”.

    It’s always a bad sign for your argument when you know you don’t dare honestly describe what’s going on.

    1. The average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. Does that make you an illegal citizen?

      1. The average immigrant waits up to seven years to receive green cards into the US are they less worthy than those who bribe their way in?

        1. Taxi medallions cost huge sums. Should Uber be able to cut in line ahead of cabbies who paid a lot of money and did as they were told?

          1. A more apt analogy would be: Uber paid off the local government to provide it with an advantage over its competitors should they be punished for that?

            As it stands, Uber and Taxis run two different business models and Uber doesn’t identity itself as a taxi service which allows it to avoid paying for a medallion.

            The comparison would be refugees getting expedited immigration papers before standard immigrants. They are taking two separate paths to immigration so it’s not an applicable comparison.

            1. I could also go with the trend toward employers ignoring or not requiring degrees, and the lost investment this represents to everyone who got a degree in order to access the job market.

              Of course, yet another analogy of the former costs to enter a protected market being lost investment when the protections are lifted depends on an ability to make the connection. It doesn’t seem folks have any incentive to see that connection if they perceive barriers to entry as right and natural.

              1. You can use all of the poorly designed analogies you want to try and explain your preferred conclusion, but it doesn’t change the fact that one immigrant, due to geographic proximity, could chose to walk across a border and the other cannot.

                Even if you eliminated all quotas in immigration, forgo all security checks beforehand, and eliminate all fees related to immigrating, it is still easier for someone south of the US border to simply cross and another across the ocean who wants to immigrate here.

                I wish people would be honest that they are pro-illegal immigrant and necessarily pro-immigrant

                1. So the barrier to entry is “right and natural” as you so aptly put it

                  1. I said “they perceive” to be right and natural.

                    This is what I mean by folks seeing whatever works for them. Its not all that insulting to repeat that I think some perceive barriers to entry as right and natural.

                    1. That’s fine. I just think this conversation has gone a bit sideways. I’m not really clear what we are discussing as related to the article anymore

                2. I wish I could be what you want, except I’m not. Cardboard caricatures don’t seem to be as common as complex humans.

                  People seem to perceive others in whatever manner makes sense according to their personalized experiences. If we’re lucky, that perception is based on stuff we actually did or said. Sometimes it’s just because it was easier.

                  1. Too bad, because you described me so fairly

                    “Of course, yet another analogy of the former costs to enter a protected market being lost investment when the protections are lifted depends on an ability to make the connection. It doesn’t seem folks have any incentive to see that connection if they perceive barriers to entry as right and natural.”

                3. Just Say’n, there is a huge difference between naturally occurring barriers, and differences in ability and talent, on one hand, and restrictions imposed by government through coercion, on the other hand. Surely you can appreciate the difference.

                  1. There is a difference. But, currying favoritism from the government is the issue at hand here. And that’s why the ICE officials are in the wrong here.

            2. Uber paid off the local government to provide it with an advantage over its competitors

              Has Uber actually done that? I’ve seen more examples of local government officials attempting to ban Uber from operating in their cities at the behest of politically connected cronies in the Taxi cartels. Or has Uber learned from that experience to grease the right palms before setting up shop now?

              1. No, they haven’t paid them off from my understanding. I was providing a hypothetical comparison.

      2. So you want more immigrants so the US can have more felons!!!!!

      3. The average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. Does that make you an illegal citizen?

        Sure. Is your suggestion that they’re unaware that they’re committing a (or several) crime(s)? That seems rather insulting.

    2. How is this article dishonest? Of what relevance is the immigration status of the immigrants? Is the story acceptable as long as they were illegal?

    3. No, actually Zuri meant “child rapist MS-13 gangbanger scumbag illegal invader”. Does that make you feel better?

      1. Technically, the illegals involved committed at least two crimes.

        Illegally entering the USA and bribing a US official.

  2. There was a bad ICE agent, huh?

    Well, I guess we have to open the borders to anyone who wants to come across then.

    What other reasonable conclusion could there be?

    1. There was a bad ICE agent, huh?

      Was he bad? He accepted money like a good capitalist and let people who shouldn’t be in the country stay.

      I mean, at worst he was a government agent taking money from people living in this country and there’s like a billion of them.

  3. After taking money from immigrants, who were often left with no other options, the men then found a way to classify the immigrants as undercover informants working with federal investigators.

    Sounds to me like another example of free-market capitalism getting the job done where government has failed. Jailing these people is simply a way to make government work more efficiently and effectively when the last thing you should want is an efficient and effective government, it’s bad enough when it’s inefficient and ineffective.

    1. So then arresting the ICE agent was bad itself, because it makes government look competent?

  4. last PP calls the ICE agent Drivers and Divers.

    also, Cliff Divers sounds made up.

  5. It’s like the Second Amendment in this way . . .

    I’m all for freedom, but not if it means someone gets hurt.

    Someone used a gun to commit a crime? Well, obviously, we can’t support the Second Amendment anymore.

    A crooked ICE agent?

    Well, so much for the enumerated powers of congress and the appropriate place for democracy. It was a nice idea and all, it’s just that I never realized that by congress setting the rules per the Constitution that anyone might get hurt.

    Is that the point of this article?

    P.S. If I post a story about an illegal immigrant committing a crime, does that mean we have to support building a wall?

    1. Reason will use any excuse to open dem borders.

    2. Is there anyone here arguing that this episode alone justifies open borders?

      1. What is the purpose of this article?

        Why is this being brought to our attention?

  6. How about

    “Desperate Ex-ICE Agent Is Headed to Prison After Accepting $990,000 in Bribes From Immigrants”

    Does that make the agent more sympathetic.

    1. So . . . it’s an article about sentencing reform?

      Or maybe we’re not supposed to conclude anything from this article?

      Maybe it’s just a slice of life.

      Maybe we’re not supposed to think too much. Thinking just makes things complicated.

      1. Hmmm. I’m thinking bribery is a crime on both sides, briber and bribee and both should be dealt with. Bribee goes to jail, bribers goes back to home countries with $990,000 intact. Could live better than King of Albania with $20000 unless of course there’s a lot more where that came from.

        1. Is this a big problem?

          Is bribery on both sides not already a crime?

          Is that what this article is about?

  7. also, if Ms. Albania and her available $20-large didn’t raise your suspicion, you did not criminal-enterprise correctly.

    1. What if she were Russian? Then we’d no for sure that it was Putin blood money or something so ridiculous and unsubstantiated that only journalists would repeat it with a straight face

    2. also, if Ms. Albania and her available $20-large didn’t raise your suspicion, you did not criminal-enterprise correctly.

      That stuck out to me as well. I kinda wonder what this agent’s caseload was like that an Albanian woman with a bag full of cash didn’t seem unusual. At the very least, I think it’s safe to say that he wasn’t separating little Guatemalan kids from their Mothers at the southern border.

  8. “After taking money from immigrants, who were often left with no other options …” So, they couldn’t just go back to their homeland? There was absolutely no other option?

  9. Seriously? “Clifton Divers”? How could you not turn out bad with parents that would do that to a child?

    1. At least he got to work with divers people.

  10. Prosecutors defended harsher punishment for Divers because of his security clearance and proximity to sensitive documents.

    Ha! No *reasonable* prosecutor would even bring charges!

  11. At this point I have so little faith in the federal criminal justice system that I’m not going to assume these men did anything wrong just because they were convicted.

    Anyway, if people are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get into the US unmolested, why aren’t we letting them? Let’s set prices and let them pay at the ports of entry.

  12. So thousands of criminal illegals committing a crime by bribing a US government agent and 1 criminal government agent.

    Sounds like a reason to go against what most Americans want- enforce immigration law and secure the borders.

  13. A former agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is facing upwards of four years in prison after using his position and partnership with a shady lawyer to take advantage of immigrants.

    Taking advantage or providing a valuable service?

  14. I think they’d made that a misdemeanor in CA.

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