The facts for this comment, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article published in the Houston Chronicle on 9 October.
The subtitle of this article correctly states the trend that is steadily growing. “Federal inaction means more than ever, nation’s law agencies take issue into own hands.” The public will is that illegal aliens are committing crimes, killing people in auto accidents, overwhelming local schools and hospitals with unpaid services. The public will is that effective steps to stop, and reverse, illegal immigration are required. The result is that inadequate action at the federal level is forcing some states and localities to act on their own.
The article recites that 23 county and state agencies have received training this year on working with immigration authorities to arrest and process illegal immigrants for deportation. This is “more than five times the number” who sought such training under an existing federal law, last year. Such training is done only when the local government takes the initiative and requests it.
The total impact of this program is significant and growing. The article notes that since the program began in 2002, “597 local officers who received training have made 26,000 arrests.”
The article refers to the “void of immigration reform in Washington, D.C.” that has caused eight states to pass a dozen laws on the subject, and a total of “182 immigration-related bills” in 43 states. The latter apparently include a Texas law requiring notification of immigration authorities whenever a non-citizen is convicted of family violence charges.
The article cites two critics of such policies. A professor at the University of Houston says, ”The worst consequence is not what the police do, but how the people begin to feel. Latinos who are U.S. citizens begin to feel the police are after them.” This is the kind of thinking the ACLU engages in.
First, it is not the business of police at any level to protect the feelings of people, if that means abandoning the rule of law. Second, Hispanic Americans are apparently smarter than this Professor. Law-abiding Americans of Hispanic background do NOT think the same as illegal immigrants.
An attorney at the El Paso Catholic Diocese said, “In the end [the program] is being used to go after individual undocumented immigrants and their families, many who are U.S. citizens.” This is typical of the ACLU position, and is both true and deceptive. In many of these families, the adults are illegal immigrants and in violation of the law. Some of the children, however, are born on American soil, and under current law they are citizens and therefore “anchor babies” who provide benefits to the parents in attempting to stay in the US.
Another attorney for illegal immigrant interests refers to “harassment” and “racial profiling.” In the view of the ACLU, efforts to enforce US law are classified as harassment. It is not a surprise that about 90% of the illegals arrested are Mexicans who speak Spanish, since about 100% of those who sneak across American borders, are Mexicans who speak Spanish.
Source for original story on the Net: