Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Monday, April 12, 2004

"Local Officers Join Search for Illegal Immigrants"

New York Times:

Over the past six months, Trooper Birmingham and 20 others on the state force have arrested 106 illegal immigrants, including a Mexican man driving 90 miles per hour and a Mexican mother of two who presented invalid documents while applying for a driver's license. In the past, such immigrants were often given traffic tickets or warnings and sent on their way. These days, they might be arrested by the state police — even if they have not broken a state law — and handed over to federal authorities for deportation.

"Before, the only thing we could do was issue a traffic citation and let them go," Trooper Birmingham said as he cruised along State Road 9. "It's different now."

Alabama is the epicenter of a widening effort by the Department of Homeland Security to encourage states and localities to help enforce immigration laws in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

So, in the name of Homeland security, we need to arrest a Mexican mother of two? This is truly sad.

Yes, it's perfectly likely that there are a fair number of bad guys roaming around illegally country. But it strikes me that this is not the way to go about fixing that problem. We have an estimated 8-12 million illegal immigrants in this country, the vast majority of whom are honest & hardworking, often in spite of being shamelessly exploited. All these arrests will do is force people further into the shadows -- and magnify the potential for exploitation. If we really want to flush out the bad guys, let's offer an attractive path to normalcy for the millions of honest immigrants -- and then see who doesn't take it.

Go ahead, Democrats: propose a solution real here. I'd even then throw in a kicker: dare any opponents of the plan (winger anti-immigration types like Colorado's Tom Tancredo come to mind) to live for a month while eating only foods that verifiably were not:

...illegal immigrants. They would, of course, starve.


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