Friday, July 17, 2009

ICE takes Issue with the New York Times

John Morton, the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security took issue with a recent editorial that appeared in the New York Times entitled: “More Immigration Non-Solutions” (NY Times editorial, July 13).

He responded with a letter to the editor stating in part:

"I take issue with your assertion that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program is 'misguided, ineffective and dangerous.'

Among other things, the program enables state and local law enforcement officials to deploy resources and manpower in their communities to enforce federal immigration laws, a force multiplier for federal law enforcement.

The program has been effective. Since January 2006, 287(g)-trained officers have identified more than 120,000 people, predominantly in jails, who are in the country illegally and have committed serious crimes while here. Finding and removing these criminal aliens is critical to our nation’s overall interior enforcement strategy."

From my perspective, enforcement is a necessary part of United States immigration system. After all, what is the point of having laws if they aren't enforced? That being said, until Congress finds a way to fix our broken immigration system there will continue to be rampant violators.

As an immigration practitioner I can tell you without hesitation that our immigration system is not irrevocably broken, and merely needs minor tweaks to be able to get the job done. The real problem is that members of Congress are being influenced by extremists on both side of the issue and the result is a paralysis of action.

Now it is the Democrat’s turn to attempt to address our immigration problem. With them controlling both Congress and the White House they will have no excuses in the mid-term elections if they once again fail to enact any meaningful comprehensive immigration reform.

I’m not holding my breath.

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