Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Border Patrol Not Allowed to Deport

The Washington Times picked up a story that's been around for the last week or so down here in the San Diego area. Apparently the Border Patrol had put together a 12 member "Mobile Patrol Group". This group was charged with picking up illegals within the interior of the country and not just along the Mexican border. The Mobile Patrol Group had picked up about 450 illegals at known public gathering places for illegals, but the Department of Homeland Security has ordered them to desist because they "failed to consider the 'sensitivities' of those detained."

Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson criticized the arrests, saying they had not been approved by officials in Washington and violated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol.

In a letter, Mr. Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, assured Rep. Joe Baca, California Democrat — and other members of the state's delegation who complained about the arrests — that in the future, Homeland Security would enforce immigration laws "in a reasonable manner" and would consider the "sensitivities" surrounding the enforcement of those laws in its interior-enforcement program.

The California delegation had described those detained as victims of racial profiling and said the arrests caused panic in the Hispanic community.

Last week there was a townmeeting held in Temecula and I heard parts of it on the radio. It was abundantly obvious that the people attending the townmeeting not only approved of the work of the Mobile Patrol Group but were outraged that they were being forced to stop their activities. Everybody knows where groups of illegals hang out looking for work. There's a bridge that I cross every day on my way to work no more than a couple of miles from my house where 15 or 20 illegal Mexican men wait for someone to stop and offer them work for the day. The Mobile Patrol Group was going to these places and picking up the men on immigration violations.

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents the agency's 10,000 nonsupervisory personnel, attended the meeting and called for the arrest of illegal aliens by the patrol in the nation's interior to continue.

"These mobile patrol arrests were actually having an impact in Mexico," said Mr. Bonner, a 26-year Border Patrol veteran. "Word was getting around that you weren't necessarily OK once you got past the border."

Law-enforcement authorities said the California arrests came as a result of intelligence operations that identified locations where suspected illegal aliens were thought to gather. Much of the information, the authorities said, came from local police and residents.

The team targeted illegal aliens at public sites, including bus stops, in a 3,000-square-mile area of Southern California. Some of the arrests were made 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hey, maybe this Mobile Patrol Group should be a model as to how things should be done instead of being ordered to stop activity. Obviously they were effective picking up illegals and having them deported. We have a serious illegal immigration problem in this country and special amnesty programs aren't going to fix it. We need small but highly effective groups rounding these people up and sending them back to where they come from. There are millions of illegals in this country and we have limited resources to enforce immigration, so when someone figures out an effective way to handle it, lets model it, not stomp on it.