A dysfunctional government agency

A couple of days ago, I blogged about coarseness at the INS because they they made me wait outside in the car with the kids while the wife went in, simply because my appointment wasn't until 40 minutes later.  I take it all back.  The Oklahoma City office is probably as good as INS offices get.

What caused me to reflect on the triviality of my complaint was reading this New York Times article about the experience of a young Colombian woman:

The calls from the agent started three days later. He hinted, she said, at his power to derail her life and deport her relatives, alluding to a brush she had with the law before her marriage. He summoned her to a private meeting. And at noon on Dec. 21, in a parked car on Queens Boulevard, he named his price — not realizing that she was recording everything on the cellphone in her purse.

"I want sex," he said on the recording. "One or two times. That's all. You get your green card. You won't have to see me anymore."

There are bad apples everywhere, even (I'm sure) in the Social Security administration which is perennially at the top of customer satisfaction surveys amongst government agencies.  But an indication that this is not just the case of a few bad actors:

The agency says it has tripled its investigative staff since then, and counts only 165 serious complaints pending. But it stopped posting an e-mail address and phone number for such complaints last year, said Jan Lane, chief of security and integrity, because it lacks the staff to cull the thousands of mostly irrelevant messages that resulted. Immigrants, she advised, should report wrongdoing to any law enforcement agency they trust.

In other words, they are so swamped by complaints that they don't even want to hear about it any more.

Those of you who complain about the DMV don't know how much worse a government agency can get.

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