Thursday, February 05, 2009

More Unsurprising News

According to the luminaries of the right, among them Lou Dobbs, Tom Tancredo, Pat and Bay Buchanan, the US is in immediate and grave danger of being overrun with the brown menace. Dangerous criminals from Mexico and parts south are flooding the country, raping our women, stealing our money (and jobs), and just generally diluting our pure White essence. They must be stopped! That's what they told former President George W. Bush, and he did his best. He directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to round up those criminals, put them on ICE and kick their backsides out of the United States. And so it did. Sort of.

For more than five years, U.S. immigration authorities have touted the success of a national program aimed at arresting and deporting dangerous criminals and fugitives.

In frequent early morning raids at homes in Los Angeles and around the country, federal fugitive teams have sought out immigrants with criminal records or outstanding deportation orders.

And year after year, the Department of Homeland Security has received congressional support and funds to expand the program.

That support from Congress has been generous. Here are the numbers:

There are 104 teams, up from eight when the program started in 2003. During that time, the budget has grown from $9 million to $218 million.

Now, with all that money and all that man power, you would expect that ICE has made a sizable dent in the number of rapists, robbers, and drug lords roaming our streets with ill intent. These numbers, however, don't quite show such a sterling result.

Fugitives with criminal histories made up 9% of arrests in fiscal year 2007, compared with 32% in 2003, according to the report, which relied on Department of Homeland Security numbers.

Unauthorized workers with no criminal records or outstanding deportation orders made up 40% of arrests in fiscal year 2007, compared with 18% in 2003.

Why the disparity? Well, the policy changed just a tad. data released Wednesday showed that 73% of the nearly 97,000 people arrested by the fugitive operations teams between 2003 and early 2008 did not have criminal records, according to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

The data, along with newly released internal memos, show that the agency abandoned its stated mission to go after dangerous fugitives and instead targeted noncriminal undocumented workers -- the "low-hanging fruit," said Peter L. Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York, who sued the government to get the documents.

The memos show that in 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement changed its focus from criminals and fugitives to increasing the number of arrests.

Each seven-member fugitive operations team was expected to increase its annual arrests from 125 to 1,000. At the same time, the agency stopped requiring that 75% of those arrested be criminals and allowed the teams to include non-fugitives in their tally, the memos show.
[Emphasis added]

Now, nobody wants criminals of any ethnicity roaming the streets. That was the whole point of giving DHS and ICE additional funds to round up the most dangerous of those criminals. Unfortunately, the racist xenophobes, their knickers in a twist at the thought of the downfall of Western Civilization and the defeat of White Supremacy, got the president's ear and the policy was subverted. The GOP's base-base won that round.

Hopefully the new administration and the new Secretary of DHS will take a more sensible, not to mention more humane, approach to the problem. I think ICE might be surprised to learn that their intelligence on the really bad guys might be enhanced if those who also want those bad guys out of their community didn't have to worry about being scooped up in the next raid.

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Blogger shrimplate said...

The Bush administration could never see the forest for the trees, unless it meant they could shovel taxpayer dollars into their own pockets. So nice of them to leave yet another little mess for us to pick up.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not saying I defend their tactics, but just pointing out that if the percentage of criminal arrests went down while the number of total arrests went up, that doesn't mean that they didn't still arrest more criminals in 07 than 03. It just means they arrested a lot more people who were here illegally with them.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous JDM said...

Let's start deporting republiKKKans for awhile. And Fortune 500 CEOs. There's too damn many of them. Some 46% of the registered electorate voted for McCain/Palin. Let's deport them, too.

3:32 AM  

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