Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dead Horse Post

Two recent stories in the press have confirmed the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy of not enforcing the immigration laws of the United States. Concurrent to that, ICE has decided that the merger between the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service is a failure.

First, the news on non-enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States where ICE has decided to not arrest aliens detained at traffic stops:
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Letting illegal immigrants go free? Hard to believe but that could be the new federal mandate if a proposed ICE policy change is approved.

Here's the idea: If authorities pull someone over for traffic stop and discover they are in the country illegally, authorities would be forced to let the illegal immigrant go without calling federal agents unless the individual is a convicted felon.

Even officers opposed to SB 1070 say this would set a bad precedent.

Sheriff Tony Estrada of Santa Cruz County says nothing in southern Arizona would change if the detention policy changed. He says that's because his deputies turn these kinds of cases over to Border Patrol anyway.Just as some of the debate swirling around Arizona's new immigration law began to cool off, a possible new Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy has some mad hot.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is very upset about possible policy changes to ICE that read in part, "Immigration officers should not issue detainers against an alien charged only with a traffic-related misdemeanor unless or until the alien is convicted."

Babeu said "now it appears what they have in some draft policies and their proposal is to water down any strength in the federal law whatsoever and this is clearly in direct opposition of what the people really want."

Even Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, who leaned strongly against SB 1070, thinks this sort of federal policy change is suspect. "It is surprising they would make that decision. I would suspect once an individual is identified as being here illegally, some process would kick in...that would deport that person," he said.

Ariz. Sen. Jon Kyl weighed in, along with Texas Sen. John Cornyn, writing this to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano: "Based on our review of these memos, we are concerned that these new policies would circumvent, rather than promote the enforcement of, immigration laws pertaining to illegal aliens."
I, of course, informed you of this new policy some time ago.

And now ICE has decided to cave to the Sheriff of San Francisco City and County who does not want illegal alien criminals arrested:
U.S. immigration officials said Wednesday they will consider San Francisco's request to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities program that makes it easier for federal authorities to track down and deport undocumented immigrants.

Until now, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, has rebuffed San Francisco's contention that participation in the program is voluntary. San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, a vocal opponent of the program, has said repeatedly that as head of the city's jail system he does not want to participate.

He fired off his latest letter to the head of the Secure Communities program Wednesday - a repeat of the same request he made Tuesday.

Federal authorities agreed Wednesday to review Hennessey's request and convene a meeting with involved agencies, including the California Department of Justice that under Attorney General Jerry Brown has been supportive of Secure Communities and opposed to Hennessey's requested exemption.

"Based upon those discussions, ICE and its partners will examine the options and seek a feasible resolution, which may include changing the jurisdiction's activation status," said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice.
Feasible here means not arresting illegal aliens.

The connection here is that ICE, the unholy amalgamation of the investigative arms of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has totally failed at its mandate to enforce both customs and immigration laws. It was a conflict of cultures and motivations. Like most shotgun marriages, it could not and did not work out.

Now the plan is to separate customs investigations into Homeland Security Investigations and Enforcement and Removal Operations. The legacy INS personnel will be segregated to ERO and the legacy USCS employees to HSI. We will then have remade what we had before 9/11, a separate Customs Service and Immigration Service. Add to that the separate Customs and Border Protection, which is itself deeply divided between the old Inspections section, now the Office of Field Operations, and the Border Patrol. And, of course, there is the separate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, which hands out the benies. So, after 9/11, we will have five separate agencies dealing with immigration and two separate agencies dealing with customs laws. And we were told that before 9/11 two agencies were too many and there should be one face protecting the country. Now we will have five or seven, depending on how you count it. And one of those agencies will be entirely unmotivated in its job. But at least he Border Patrol is picking up the pace in the interior, replacing ICE's non-feasance.
Based on informants and tips, agents determined that smugglers had begun using tourist buses traveling into and out of Las Vegas to transport drugs and people.

"The only other way around that part of the country is to go through Las Vegas," Van Wagenen said.

U.S. Border Patrol officials spent months planning an "intelligence-based operation" and on July 29 sent agents from the Blythe station to conduct raids at several valley bus stations. They arrested 31 people suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Van Wagenen said 12 of those arrested had prior criminal histories, including charges of theft, prostitution and burglary, or immigration-related offenses. Some of the 31 were taken for processing at the Border Patrol station in Blythe. Others were released pending upcoming immigration hearing dates or have already been deported.

The raids began at the same time immigration rights groups had gathered at a local church to celebrate a judge's decision to block the most controversial sections of a new Arizona immigration law, including a section that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
Compare that to the 500,000 absondees from ICE: – The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) says that as of Sunday, Sept. 5, it had caught-and-released 506,232 illegal aliens who are now fugtives. That is more than the population of Sacramento, California, which currently numbers 486,189. Fugitive illegal aliens are individuals who were apprehended ICE for being in the United States illegally and then were released ahead of their court proceedings and deemed fugitive when they failed to appear in court.
The good news is that impeachment is starting to go mainstream:

I have little doubt that critics (and perhaps even fans) of these columns are tiring of my weekly harangue over the sorry performance of Barack Obama. And just when I think I can spend a week actually thinking about something else on which to comment, he renders such fancy impossible by proposing yet another inane scheme for spending our great, great, great grandchildren's hard earned tax dollars. This week is no exception...

So, the question arises, is it time to start using the "I" word? I pose this question without recommendation, with all due deference to the U.S. Constitution, which defines the criteria for such action vaguely as "high crimes and misdemeanors." Looking at the two presidential impeachments in U.S. history (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), neither of which resulted in expulsion from office, it is easy to dismiss both as political vendettas...

In Obama's case, virtually everything he proposes is at odds with the Constitution. Is that an impeachable offense? You make the call. In any case, right after the first of the year the GOP should be calling the shots in Congress.
All journey's start with a single step...circa January 2009.

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