Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weaknesses exposed

The 287g program has exposed the two fatal flaws in our immigration enforcement program, namely DRO and BIA.

DRO stands for Detention and Removal Operations. They are essentially charged with finding beds for illegal aliens awaiting their appeal/hearing…and, of course, their flight back home.

BIA is the Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Before we even get started with the local enforcement problem, ICE has its own people out looking for illegals who failed to show up on their scheduled deportation date. These fugitives number about 600,000. In a record year they are able to find about 35,000 of them.

So, these fugitives compete for beds as well. And, believe it or not, they sometimes go back for a new hearing and clog up the BIA. (Remember Obama’s aunt?)

So, the point Napolitano was making last week with her veiled and well-spun announcement is that 287g is too successful. Would the agencies please stop sending back those who commit minor crimes. We don’t have beds for them. We don’t have room on the docket for hearings. We don’t have space on our planes to send them home.

Now, these 287g agencies represent only 66 police/sheriff departments nation-wide. And keep in mind that a 287g agency is typically in an area where the political will allows it to exist. You won’t find sanctuaries like LA or Chicago on the list. Too many illegal aliens at risk in places like that.

So, here’s the rub. There are 12,766 police departments in the United States, 3,067 county sheriffs, and 49 state police departments. If 66 agencies can overwhelm our system, what hope do we have of servicing the other 15,000 or so? None.

Put another way, only 0.09% of the police departments in the US have 287g authorization. (That NOT 9%, it's 9 one hundreths of ONE percent.) Can you see the problem? And none of the police departments are big cities, the largest being Phoenix and Las Vegas. What about LA? Or Houston? Or even Tucson? Chicago? No way.

Despite warnings over the years, we still don’t have enough detention beds or hearing officers.

And so Napolitano announces 11 more 287g contracts (MOUs) as though it were important. It isn’t. The important part of her announcement is that she wants the agencies to slow down with their deportation requests. Prioritize.

That’s not protecting the public.

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