Freedom Folks

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What Would It Look Like If...

Source: ocregister

George W. Bush were completely unserious about stopping illegal immigration?
U.S. can't stomach serious crime plan

It took some political backbone for Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona and Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor to call for local cops to enforce immigration laws against illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes. But now the proposals by the sheriff and the mayor have apparently been gutted like a couple of fish.

And it's the federal government that's wielding the knife.

As reported in The Orange County Register last week, federal officials have decided to scale back drastically a proposal by Carona to have 200 deputies trained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify illegal immigrants who are suspected of having committed serious crimes and to empower the deputies to detain the suspects under federal immigration laws. Mansoor had proposed a similar plan for Costa Mesa cops, which most likely will also be severely cut back.

And for Mansoor, who in some ways put his political neck on the line in pushing the plan – he's been repeatedly and hysterically denounced as "a racist pig" and worse by opponents of the proposal – that's hard to take.

"Even if it's only a handful (of federally trained local officers) it's a step in the right direction," Mansoor says. But, he adds: "If the federal government is serious about keeping us safe, they need to give us the tools to do that. It's double-speak to say they want to secure America but then take little or no action to accomplish it."

Mind you, neither local enforcement plan called for cops to make immigration "sweeps" at day-laborer sites or businesses, much less at schools or churches. No one was talking about jacking up jaywalkers and putting them on a southbound bus.

Instead, the proposals called for deputies and local police officers to undergo several weeks training by immigration agents in immigration law, "cultural sensitivity" and so on. After that they would be authorized to use federal immigration laws to identify and detain a relatively narrow group of illegal immigrants – hard-core gang members, ex-cons, guys who had already been ordered deported but flew the coop, repeat offenders and so on.

There was nothing really radical about it. It was simply an extension of the routine federal-state-local law-enforcement cooperation that's used against burglars, car thieves, bank robbers – criminals of every stripe.

And while it's a requirement that every discussion of illegal immigration include the statement that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are here to work, not to commit felonies – which in addition to being politically correct is also true – it's foolish to think that crimes committed by illegal immigrants aren't a serious problem.

For example, a report last year by the federal Government Accountability Office found that 55,000 illegal immigrants in federal and state prisons and in local jails – more than half of them in California – had been arrested a total of 460,000 times, an average of about eight arrests each. More than a quarter of the arrests were for serious crimes ranging from burglary to rape to homicide. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 400,000 people walking the streets who are under deportation orders but who somehow forgot to show up for the ride home – and 85,000 of them are convicted felons.

And who's best able to catch these guys? The 5,000 federal agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Or the 700,000 local and state cops nationwide who are actually out there on the streets?

That's what the Sheriff's Department and Costa Mesa plans were supposed to do: to add local law-enforcement bodies to the fight against serious criminal illegal immigrants – emphasis on "serious criminal."

And just six months ago the feds seemed to be onboard. Immigration officials told me then that federal-local cooperation on immigration enforcement was a "tool to protect communities."

But now it appears that the feds have chickened out.

In the draft agreement with the Sheriff's Department, the feds agreed to train only 15 deputies who work in the jails, not 200 deputies who work serious criminal cases on the streets.

The feds apparently claim they lack the money and personnel to train more, while a sheriff's spokesman said the feds were "more comfortable" with the smaller number and with limiting it to the jails – which means they'll also probably be "more comfortable" with similar cutbacks in the Costa Mesa proposal.

But let's face it: If the federal government really wanted to combat crimes by illegal immigrants, it would find the small amount of money needed for the local officer training.

So to me this is simply a case of federal politicians and bureaucrats looking at a sensible but controversial proposal to address the worst aspect of illegal immigration and then ripping the guts out of it.

Because they lack any guts of their own.
Why I think it would look astonishingly like...THIS!!!

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