Thursday, February 17, 2005

Guess What? Illegals Don't Show For Court Dates!

In the move to reform our immigration laws there are few statistics that are more telling of the huge task ahead then the percentage of failure to appear in the nation’s immigration courts. In one such court in Harlingen, Texas has a failure to appear rate of 88% for the year of 2004. That means that out of the 10,401 illegals scheduled to appear, only 1,246 actually showed up for their hearings. Unfortunately that kind of percentage is the norm and not the exception across the nation. Here is the full article that I refer to.

The laws on the books do nothing but contribute to this issue. When an illegal immigrate is apprehended, he or she is issued a Notice to Appear in immigration court at a specific date, usually within 6 months. The arresting officer must at the same time make a decision to either detain the illegal because of a criminal record or if the officer believes the illegal is a threat to national security, or let the illegal go with or without a bond. Now since the sharing of criminal information between the United States and other countries is still incomplete or nonexistent you can see what a terribly difficult job the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have.

It’s not really a surprise that appearance rates are so low, it fact the ICE does not really investigate the reasons behind the lack of appearances by illegals. The U.S. government estimates that there are about 7 million illegals in this country, some folks think that is a little low in light of the fact that the Mexican government believes that 4.5 million of its people live here illegally. The Border Patrol caught 1.1 million people trying to immigrate illegally last year. On an average day in the Rio Grande Valley/McAllen sector, which is 17,000 square miles in size, the border patrol catches about 270 people.

About 25 years ago, policy concerning illegals was changed so that if caught the illegal was given the option to return to their country of origin to avoid the court system and save the taxpayers money. The result of the policy is just to allow illegals to get caught in the morning, return to Mexico, and be caught again in the afternoon. The fact is that this policy and the reality of its failure have destabilized the American southwest to a dangerous degree. The funding for the border security has increased over the last several years but money alone will not solve this problem or even stem the flow. At any given time only a small percentage of the illegals living here are being actively sought by ICE, on the order of about 400,000.

While we are increasing our use of technology to monitor the border, we must also make a commitment to place more agents on the borders and give them the tools to make a different in this silent invasion from the south. Border Patrol agents have one of the toughest jobs in the world and their efforts should be applauded and praised. As our leaders dance around the issue either out of a desire to garner votes or to protect the cheap supply of labor that their business buddies have become addicted to, we must pressure them to “think outside the box” and come up with ideas that protect this nation while allowing honest immigrates the ability to pursue the American dream.

One such idea that has been forwarded here in Arizona is an idea to build a private prison in Mexico to house the every increasing number of illegals in Arizona’s prisons. The proposal is now working its way through the Arizona Legislature and details can be found here. I encourage the lawmakers for wanting to try something different but this is way out there. Arizona has become the focal point for illegal immigration as other crossing points near San Diego and El Paso were tightened but I just can’t wrap my head around this one. How can a sovereign state of the United States ship illegal immigrates to a private prison in another country that will be paid for by Arizona taxpayers? I guess since I am not a bottom feeder, sorry lawyer I can’t see the legality of it.

Which government would be responsible for the capture of any illegals that escaped? Not to mention the sheer idioticy of shipping Mexicans to a prison in Mexico to wait their court date for breaking United States immigration laws. Before you say that will not happen, consider this, people caught by the border patrol that have criminal records do not have the option of opting out of the court system and returning to their country of origin, they sit in jail so they would have the potential to be sitting in a prison in their own country waiting to face charges back here in the states. In my opinion the legality of it will never be worked out and the legislature needs to head back to the blackboard.

The effects of illegal immigration are felt throughout this nation, if not directly then surely the increased health costs as providers pass the cost up the chain, increased taxes to pay for enforcement and storage costs associated with holding illegals, or increased crime rates including identity theft as the illegals seek to establish themselves in America. The cost of holding illegal immigrates has cost Arizona 118 million dollars over the last few years which our dear governor has seen fit to bill back to the federal government. I can only imagine what that money could have done for the state if available. I urge every American, regardless of where you live, to do some research find out how bad the problem is for yourself and then get involved either by supporting local measures or contacting your representatives in Washington and letting them know that this issue is serious and inaction upon it is simply unacceptable. Have a great day everyone.

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