May 21, 2007
Reforming The Reform
A few days ago, the county animal-control authority said it was considering going door-to-door to find "undocumented dogs". In other words, the county government is going to track down people who own unlicensed dogs.
It should make for some interesting moments. Canine versions of Sophie's Choice come to mind -- "Take the female dog! She's a bitch!"
Or jackbooted dogcatchers storming a house to seize Elian the unlicensed chihuahua from his owner.
So the county dogcatcher has the means and methods to track down god-knows-how-many people with illegal pooches ...
... but, we're told, the omnipotent and omniscient federal government can't possibly round up and deport 12 million illegal aliens.
The Feds claim that deporting 12 million illegal aliens isn't an option because it wouldn't be practical or humane. But let 12 million American citizens openly organize to simultaneously break a federal law and watch those concerns about practicality and humane treatment disappear faster than the Branch Davidians.
That pithy point leads us to the only immigration "reform" we need: enforce the current immigration laws. That means secure our borders and deport illegal aliens.
It's no secret that immigration law enforcement has been, at best, spotty. At worst, it's been lethally incompetent -- just ask families and friends of the nearly 3,000 people murdered on one particular day.
There have been a few recent high profile raids of businesses employing large number of illegal aliens, but those cases are all show and are exceptions to the rule. Far more common is what happened recently when a local employer discovered that an employee, an alien from Mexico, was using his phone number as a Social Security number. The company dropped a dime on the criminal employee and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took him away -- only to release him shortly thereafter. The illegal alien quickly landed another job.
The sheriff in Ohio County, West Virginia has busted 98 illegal aliens in the last two years; in each case, the alien was turned over to the ICE field office in Pittsburgh. The Charleston Daily Mail reports:
In each of the 98 cases in Ohio County, representatives of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ... office in Pittsburgh have identified each individual as illegal, set a court date, and then released them. "And what do you think the odds of them showing up for that court hearing, especially since most of them are set two years down the road?" [Ohio County Sheriff] Burgoyne said. "One time we arrested four illegal immigrants, and they were sent to ICE in Pittsburgh. After their hearing with ICE, they were set free so they took a taxi back to Wheeling so they could look for their car. They even came to my house after asking around, 'Where does the sheriff live?' But when I asked them if they would be back in this area for their court date, they just all smiled real big and said, 'Si, senor,'" he said.
And what is ICE's response to this catch-and-release program? Get a load of this:
Ernestina Fobbs, a public affairs officer at ICE headquarters in Washington, said the agency is trying to its best. "We stopped the catch and release practice, and we are enforcing the laws, but it is an evolving process," she said. "We make the necessary changes so we can do our job better, but it's a process.
I guess "an evolving process" entails denying catch-and-release even as you continue to do it.
Just what stops ICE from giving these illegals an immediate one-way ticket to Mexico or, at the very least, making sure they show up for their court date? Bureaucratic laziness? Fear of PC blowback? Incompetence? Perhaps.
But I suspect that ICE takes it's cue from the top -- the president of the United States. The president has made no secret that he's soft when it comes to securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws. If the nation's chief law enforcer doesn't give a damn, why should any of his subordinates give a damn? For some reason, President Bush finds it politically expedient to laxly enforce immigration and border laws; so it only stands to reason that ICE bureaucrats will follow suit.
That's why it's hard to to take seriously claims by the White House and Senate leaders that their drawn-up-in-secret non-amnesty amnesty bill would seriously address border control and illegal immigration issues. The current immigration and border laws aren't being enforced to any meaningful degree, so why would things be any different with a so-called reform of those current laws?
The problem isn't current law. The problem is a president who won't enforce it.
By the way -- whenever Republican and Democrats work together in secret on legislation, and jointly unveil it as a cure-all, hold on tight to your wallet and your freedom.
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