ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has been negligent in enforcing immigration laws to the point of outright refusal to deal with illegal immigrants brought to its attention. Therefore, ICE’s recent attempt to “improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety…to strengthen oversight of the nation’s immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration” would be comical if the issue wasn’t so serious.
This dramatic initiative from ICE consists of a new detainer form (a real bureaucratic achievement) and a hotline for immigration detainees to call in order to get help in dealing with their legal and rights issues. There is nothing in it that deals with border security, public safety, immigration control, or “enforcement” of existing immigration laws. It concerns itself only with helping detainees – as if the ACLU suddenly ceased to exist.
ICE is following the top-down philosophy of amnesty for illegal immigrants and has remained in the good graces of the current administration by doing so. Perhaps a new administration could convince ICE to re-direct its efforts towards real “enforcement”, but it may be so infested with a politically correct agenda that it may need to be totally gutted to stop the folly.
As it is currently operating, ICE brings very little to the table for discussion of real immigration reform. In fact, its elimination as a government agency would make a good start for real reform. Don’t hold your breath for that to occur, though, because government agencies are like laws: very easy to enact, very difficult to get rid of.
Obama, on the other hand, can be eliminated in November, and that could begin an era of actual “enforcement” of existing immigration laws. What a “change” that would be.
David J. Hentosh