Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Congressmen Franks and Smith: doubleplusgood doublespeakers about Sheriff Joe

"Hugh Nuze", 'blogging on Sonoran Alliance, reports a joint statement by Congressmen Trent Franks (AZ-2) and Lamar Smith (TX-21) on ICE/Homeland Security's nonrenewal of their enforcement agreement with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Despite the odd formatting (it seems like everyone who covered this forgot what the <blockquote> tag is for) what you are seeing on the Alliance page is the full text of the announcement. Let's examine it more closely:

This unbelievable move by the Obama Administration represents a politicized attempt to hinder one of our most effective illegal immigration enforcement mechanisms, the 287(g) program.

"Unbelievable?" "Politicized?" I suppose everything is politicized these days, But I'd hesitate to call established 4th/14th Amendment constitutional law "politicized". If DHS/ICE's decision is beyond the pale (what people usually mean when they say "unbelievable") we can conclude that Franks and Smith really don't care about Fourth Amendment protections. Perhaps it'd be better to take them literally and infer that they are having difficulty believing what happened. In that case, they should avail themselves of psychiatric services in D.C.

The key to combating illegal immigration is federal, state, and local cooperation.
Right-wingers are like old-fashioned libertarians. When abstractions start being tossed about, they're up to no good.
This is why we believe it is crucial for the federal government to continue to support individuals like Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the implementation of agreements under section 287(g), which provides for the Department of Homeland Security to delegate authority to enforce federal immigration laws to state and local officials. To date, hundreds of local officers have been trained in enforcing U.S. immigration laws, and nowhere in the country is this more critical than in Maricopa County. Currently, over 33% of inmates in Maricopa County Sheriff facilities are illegal, and more than 53% of violent crimes in Maricopa County are committed by illegal immigrants.

53% According to whom? According to what study? That would contradict the experience of the rest of the U.S.A.--since Franks doesn't even allude to a source we can consider this as one of those 43.7% of statistics that are simply made up.

The fact is, the 287(g) program works. Thousands of illegal immigrants apprehended for other crimes are being identified and deported.
The fact is, only jackasses trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes actually write "the fact is". In speech, it's an obnoxious, arrogant, insulting tic in speech, as though that isn't bad enough. And more to the point, under the new agreement, the MCSO can still check the immigration status of those apprehended for other crimes.
Claims that the program was supposed to focus only on serious crimes are false. In fact, the program was created to let state and local law enforcement officials help enforce all immigration laws, not a select few. We must not forget that we live in a post-9/11 world and have a profound responsibility to secure the borders of this nation to prevent another terrorist attack.

The race to the bottom! The rest of us are concerned about being able to go about our daily lives without being herded into a Third World scene like Julian and Julio Mora, and Franks is appealing to the September 2001 terrorist attacks and trying to stir up irrational fear. And think about it: if you're a foreigner intent on some sort of kamikaze act of terror, wouldn't you rather have a visa, like the 11 Sept 2001 goons?
Terrorists are looking for our weakest link and will exploit such weaknesses at any cost. Border security and national security are inextricably linked.
Divert immigration back to the roads, where it belongs, and you wouldn't have this problem. Moreover: A shall-issue policy for visas would make it safe to presume that anyone without one is up to no good. Contrast this with the current situation, where the presumption is that the individual without the right visas--an illegal immigrant--is a victim of a broken system.

“Local law enforcement agencies deserve the thanks, and not punishment, of the federal government for helping to address the problem of rampant illegal immigration, especially in area like Maricopa County that see an increase in crime, drug trafficking, and other issues because of it.

This talk of an increase in crime is, again, suspicious, and the proper counterfactual to consider is not "immigrants obey the law" but rather "illegal immigrants are made legal."

"Punishment" would be making every single MCSO officer who violated 4th Amendment protections in the course of 287(g) street level enforcement pay up. To take an abused power away from local law enforcement, that's not punishment. Government agencies are not objects of moral consideration. To speak of their dignity is absurd--it is to make people subordinate to institutions.
Instead of launching a politicized attack against a local law official who has yielded great success with the 287(g) program
By "success", according to the Arizona Republic's numbers, they mean fewer than 300 suspected illegal immigrants caught by the enforcement actions that will soon be prohibited. Contast that to the 30,000 caught by screening of those arrested for other offenses.
the Obama Administration should replicate the success we have experienced in Maricopa County in other areas that are desperately in need of similar solutions. It is reprehensible for DHS to bull
Again, a regulatory change is "bullying", as though government agencies are entitled to their current powers due to some moral considerations, as though they are ends in themselves.
law enforcement officials who have honorably served this nation and the state of Arizona by enforcing federal and state laws and who are continuing to work to protect the American people.”

If what Sheriff Joe and his goons did to Julian and Julio Mora is honorable, if workplace raids are honorable, if willfully violating the U.S. Constitution is honorable, then Franks's and Smith's ideas of honor is very different than mine, and, I suspect, yours.

Given their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, we can conclude that Franks's and Smith's sense of "honor" renders them dishonorable.

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