The number of targeted immigration arrests in San Diego has returned to levels from before former President Barack Obama changed enforcement priorities in late 2014.
That’s in large part because of the broadened priorities mandated by President Donald Trump in a January executive order, according to Greg Archambeault, San Diego field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.
Obama’s priorities focused on people convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors. Trump’s policy includes people charged with any level of crime and those who have final orders of removal, meaning an immigration judge has already signed off on their deportations.
[Targeted Immigration Arrests In San Diego Area Have More Than Doubled Under Trump, by Kate Morrissey, Union-Tribune, July 3, 2017]
Now the uninitiated might see that as a major improvement, arrests doubling from the Obama years, but a closer reading is that arrests have returned to a level under Obama, a level from 2014. While early 2014 had a higher level of arrests than 2015 and 2016, still under Obama, one must remember that the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty began immediately in 2009, and this writer identified the policy of non-enforcement, the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty, in April 2009, only three months into the Obama Regime. Early in the Obama Regime the word went out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to back off enforcement. And as the years went by more and more illegal aliens, and where illegals were physically, were off the table as enforcement targets or areas where enforcement was allowed to take place.
So, doubling arrests, to a level only three years ago, is not much of an achievement. One understands that not everything can be done in a few months, but bringing arrests up to a previous Obama level is not much of an achievement, even though staffing levels at ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is at its highest level ever.
From February through May of this year, San Diego’s fugitive operations team has arrested 547 people, according to data from ICE. That’s more than double the total for the same months last year, at 242, or the year before, at 267. In 2014, before Obama narrowed immigration enforcement’s priorities, San Diego’s fugitive operations team arrested 540 people in the same time frame.
And we have a few hints as to why. The Trump Administration is continuing to target criminal aliens, rather than illegal aliens in general.
“We’re still focusing on criminals, but we’re not confined to them,” said Clinton Johnston, assistant field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Diego. “It’s the ability for us to enforce the law across the board.”
Focusing but not confined. Hardly the words that express a systematic plan to enforce immigration law. It is more half assing it. If we run across a generic illegal alien we will arrest them, but were not looking for them is a better way of putting it. Furthermore, there is not much enthusiasm for the regular illegal aliens as evidenced by a policy continuing certain aspects of the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty, to whit, immunity from arrest for illegal aliens who are single parents or who are with children.
The man, Emilio Sotomayor, came peacefully, leaving his partner and their two sons in the house.
Depending on the situation, ICE officers don’t always take a target into custody, Johnston said. If the person is a sole caregiver to children, officers weigh that with the likelihood of a public safety issue. They might give the person a notice to appear in court instead of driving them downtown. Since Sotomayor’s partner was home, this wasn’t an issue in his case.
Now in criminal law enforcement, whether State, local, or Federal, whether a person subject to arrest is the sole "caregiver" to dependants is not a consideration when making an arrest for a crime, nor should it be one in immigration enforcement. Local cops routinely arrest single parents. If the children are present, such as if the arrest occurred in a home, or away from home, such as at a car stop, the police call a relative to come get the children or whatever is the local child protective services agency. The policy of not arresting illegal aliens with dependant children is a new policy, an Obama policy, part of the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty. It exists only to limit the number of arrests of illegal aliens, not for any "public safety" concern. Nothing is stopping Deportation Officers from ICE ERO from picking up their cell phones and calling the county agency charged with dealing with abandoned children. For Clinton Johnston's information, San Diego County Child Welfare Services (CWS) can be reached at (858) 694-5191. All the other law enforcement agencies in San Diego County use it, why not ICE ERO?
You can contact Johnston here and inquire:
San Diego Field Office
880 Front Street #2232
San Diego, CA, 92101
Phone: (619) 557-6117
What needs to be done is to begin targeting illegal aliens in general. Missing from the current DHS plan, if you can call it a plan, is worksite enforcement. Note the absence of complaints of worksite raids in the press. Why, because ICE has yet to develop and implement a strategy of worksite enforcement of laws that prohibit illegal aliens from working in the United States. This is again symptomatic of the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty. Worksite enforcement declined precipitously under the Obama Regime and nothing has changed of late.
Additionally, President Trump has not prepared and issued the necessary executive orders to the Commissioners of the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service to begin information sharing with ICE to identify illegal aliens using fraudulent Social Security Numbers, those numbers assigned to other persons, or using Taxpayer Identification Numbers for unlawful employment or tax returns filed by illegal aliens. Such a executive order could identify not only employees but employers of illegal aliens and do so with little or no cost to the government. But it is not been done, nor has this writer heard of any orders to the field to increase worksite enforcement.
It is understood that the Trump Regime is just beginning. But unlike with other hostile Departments, ICE, especially ICE ERO is generally staffed by Trump supporters. There is no Resistance in ICE ERO to deal with. There is enthusiasm in ICE ERO for their mission of arresting illegal aliens. But merely getting back to the highest level of Obama Regime arrests is no accomplishment and they could be doing much better. How about targeting illegal aliens in general? Create a panic, use tactics that are off the board right now, such as checkpoints, which are currently used by the Border Patrol. Almost all of that which is holding back expanded immigration enforcement is self-imposed. A limited mind and imagination. This I say to President Trump: Free your mind!