But, I can also understand the frustration of officials who are charged with enforcing existing laws. The County Sheriff in conservative El Paso County, Colorado, home to Colorado Springs, is one of those frustrated people.
El Paso County spent $1.2 million in 2004 to jail illegal immigrants . . . This year, the price tag will be higher because the jail is now housing 75 to 100 undocumented workers a day, compared with 50 to 60 last year, he said. . . Sheriff Terry Maketa . . . notified ICE and the Mexican consulate that he wanted to drive some of the undocumented inmates to the Mexican border . . . about 75 percent of the undocumented inmates face charges ranging from misdemeanor traffic offenses to attempted murder. If they're convicted, they enter the state correction system. But the other 25 percent are held only as undocumented immigrants and are rarely deported upon release . . . ICE is notified each time an undocumented inmate is processed. ICE picks up only five or six inmates a week, Goodall said. Those who don't face charges are released after 72 hours . . . .
In other words, El Paso County spends $300,000 a year jailing people whose only offense is lack of a valid visa, for the privilege of letting those several hundred people a year spend a few days in an immigration jail, after which they are not deported by the immigration agency that had them in custody. Fortunately, this is federal immigration law which isn't supposed to make sense.
Given this status quo, the stance of Denver's police department, that pure immigration violations are somebody else's problem, is entirely understandable, whatever your stance on the larger issue of immigration law may be. Doing pointless stuff at great expense is never good policy.
Great points. It apalls me that our country hasn't been able to deal with this issue more reasonably.
In Birmingham AL we have a large mexican immigrant population. The conservative talk radio has almost daily tirades on what a disaster this is, and even sometimes make racial jokes at their expense. No one is reducing immigrant access to expensive social services, but cities have been shutting down cheap, beneficial services, such as publicly funded areas mexican workers could gather. Now they stand on gas station corners instead.
As far as I can tell the immigrants are a patient people and there seems to be little negative response from them... but in a city with a history like ours, I have this awful feeling that history is repeating itself.
Post a Comment