Friday, February 25, 2011

These ICE Sweeps Are A-OK

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a scitzoid personality when it comes to sweeps of criminals. On one hand at one particular time, sweeps of criminals are bad. At another time in another place, sweeps of criminals are good. As you see, it all depands on whose behind is being gored.
Let's deal with the more recent and "good" sweeps:
WASHINGTON — A little more than a week after an American law enforcement agent was shot to death by gunmen suspected of being drug traffickers in Mexico, federal authorities struck back Thursday with raids across the United States that rounded up more than 450 people believed to have ties to criminal organizations south of the border.
The authorities said sweeps were conducted in nearly every major American city; involved more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents; and resulted in the seizure of an estimated 300 kilograms of cocaine, 150,000 pounds of marijuana and 190 weapons. Derek Maltz, a special agent at the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the sweeps were part of a multinational investigation that could lead to more arrests and seizures in the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

Mr. Maltz said that the message the authorities hoped to send with the sweeps was as important as the suspects being brought in. The operation came eight days after Jaime Zapata, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, was gunned down on a Mexican highway. Mr. Maltz said the planning for the operation had begun before Mr. Zapata’s shooting, but he acknowledged that the United States hoped to show it would not tolerate attacks against its agents.
And straight from ICE's mouth:

Louie Garcia, a deputy special immigration and customs agent involved with the sweeps, echoed that thought in an interview with The Associated Press. “This is personal,” he said. “We lost an agent. We lost a good agent. And we have to respond.”
"We have to respond..." Does that mean in other cases it does not have to respond? Which brings us to the time and place where sweeps were bad, just recently in fact, and in Maricopa County of all places, Ground Zero of drug and alien smuggling:
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is the only law-enforcement agency in the country to lose its authority to enforce federal immigration laws on the street under a revamped and controversial program that lets local and state agencies act as immigration officers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Friday that they limited the ability of the Sheriff's Office to enforce federal immigration laws because of the office's record of conducting wide-ranging crime sweeps intended to identify illegal immigrants. Those sweeps - the Sheriff's Office has conducted 11 in the past year and a half - have led primarily to arrests of people who have not committed serious crimes. The revamped federal program places a priority on going after dangerous criminals, not illegal immigrants encountered as the result of minor offenses like traffic violations.

"At the end of the day I determined the sweeps and immigration enforcement of Maricopa County was not consistent with new priorities, which is removing severe criminal offenders who pose a danger to society," said John Morton, assistant Homeland Security director in charge of ICE.
This is not to say that conducting sweeps of illegal alien drug smugglers is not a good idea. It is. In fact such sweeps are a highly productive law enforcement method in the war on crime. It is both highly effective and frightens large groups of criminals. I think though if sweeps are effective against illegal alien drug smugglers, why hasn't that tactic been used before and more frequently? Here obviously is a need to send a message to the illegal alien drug gangs, but there would not be such a problem to respond to if sweeps against illegal alien drug gangs were more frequent.
However, since sweeps are both obviously legal and effective against illegal alien drug gangs, therefore they are also highly effective against other criminal groups, such as illegal aliens in general. We know where they live, what neigborhoods and businesses they frequent, what, for the most part they look like, what language they speak. They are an obvious and easy target for the legitimate law enforcement tactic of conducting sweeps.
So, why does John Morton condemn sweeps when they are conducted by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but not when sweeps are conducted by his own agents at ICE? Perhaps Morton really is not interested in arresting to many illegal aliens. They might be voting for his boss, Barak Hussein Obama, that is why. But, then, I think drug dealers also voted overwhelmingly for Obama as well. Perhaps this sweep of Mexican cartel members this is just boob bait for bubbas.

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