Thursday, April 3, 2008

Is there ever a right way to deport people?

The LA Times has published an editorial that is announcing there is actually such a thing as a "perfect immigration raid."

It also criticizes advocates who continue to speak against the raids: outraged immigration activists picketed ICE's downtown intake station

Like there is something wrong with being outraged.

Its a confusing environment. I had to fly to Washington, D.C. this morning. On way to the airport I saw a number of billboards in Spanish. I even saw one that was bi-lingual. Houston is full of Fiesta Stores - geared towards the Latino population. Clear Channel communications which owns many English language stations in the U.S. also owns a good share of those that broadcast in Spanish.

ICE does not check undocumented immigrants in the check out line at Walmart, Target, or Home Depot. It is ok to take in money from people that according to some, aren't supposed to be here. Yes, these same millions that are helping keep our economy afloat can drive outside the Walmart parking lot, get speeding tickets, or be fined for not making a complete stop at the red light or stop sign - and in a whiff they are on their way back to their countries of origin. In other words, the U.S. is telling them - give me your money - be a good consumer - but don't be surprised if we pick up your neighbor, or brother in law, or your wife - because it's ok for people without residency papers to spend money in the U.S. but its not ok for the same people to live here.

p.s. detaining and/or deporting people is never a humanitarian act - no matter how it is carried out. Remember the arguments that some people were "good slave owners?" - making bondage less objectionable - many people have responded to this saying bondage is never ok, even with a nice master.



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The right kind of immigration raid

Law enforcement and immigrant advocates are working together to make for kinder crackdowns.
April 3, 2008

Before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took 144 men and women into custody at Micro Solutions Enterprises in Van Nuys a few weeks ago, the agency sent advance notice to civil rights groups. It put social service agencies on standby in case children whose parents were detained needed help. Once the suspected illegal immigrants were identified, ICE agents asked if they had chronic health conditions, child-care issues or other urgent personal situations. Those who did were released and given an order to appear in court at a later date. Lastly, ICE handed out a list of attorneys who would take cases pro bono.

It should have been the perfect immigration raid -- considerate, humanitarian, efficient, the agency's standard since the debacle in New Bedford, Mass., last year when children, including a breast-feeding baby, suffered when their parents were taken away for days. But the Van Nuys action still resulted in a lawsuit -- which led to progress. Lawyers waiting to assist the immigrants filed an injunction against ICE after they were stopped from accompanying the immigrants to interviews, a clear violation of the constitutional right to representation. ICE settled the suit several days ago, and since then attorney access has been smoother.

This is the reform of immigration enforcement far from the halls of Congress. It is being cobbled together bit by bit, with compromises, cooperation and confrontation by naturally opposing forces -- those charged with enforcing the law and deporting illegal immigrants and those who advocate on their behalf.

Tuesday afternoon, outraged immigration activists picketed ICE's downtown intake station, protesting the detention of about 30 suspected illegal immigrants taken in what they believed were "raids" on warehouses. Even a well-conducted raid is a hypocrisy, they said, illustrating contradictions between immigration enforcement policies and immigration law: A humane raid would not separate mothers from their young children for a long time, but the law allows the harsher separation of deportation.

It turns out, however, that the people picked up Tuesday were taken in routine port customs security inspections of freight warehouses. Those businesses have to comply with a lengthy list of security requirements, one of which is to not hire illegal immigrants, who are particular security risks because their status makes them vulnerable to coercion. All reasonable. So Wednesday morning, immigration advocates and ICE officials were on the phone together, examining and clarifying Tuesday's events -- and preparing for the next time.



for link to LAT article click the title of this post

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Harsh reality-- by entering into and remaining in the United States illegally, these immigrants are subject to the consequences of their criminal actions. We don't withhold punishment including imprisonment from a domestic criminal simply because that criminal became a parent after committing their crime. People who break our immigration laws are no different than people who break any of our other laws, and they SHOULD face consequences (there's that word again) for their actions just like anyone else. Rapists, murderers, thieves and embezzlers (among others) are separated from their families every day. Why are illegals any different?

Here's a tip: Don't have a baby in the U.S. if you aren't legal, and don't bring your children here if you aren't here legally.