The sheriff's department in Panama City has begun to employ a clever tactic for catching illegals while circumventing sanctuary policies that prohibit local authorities for detaining people due to their residency (or lack thereof) status:
The sheriff's department has developed a remarkably effective — and controversial - way of catching illegal immigrants: Deputies in patrol cars pull up to a construction site in force, and watch and see who runs.
Those who take off are chased down and arrested on charges such as trespassing, for cutting through someone else's property, or loitering, for hiding out in someone's yard, or reckless driving, for speeding off in a car.
U.S. immigration authorities are then given the names of those believed to be in this country illegally.
Brilliant and cost-effective. But due to the Boxer-myth surrounding Hispanic immigrants, this doesn't strike me as the optimal place to execute police duties from a PR perspective. There are other locations at which local authorities could easily replicate this strategy. Show up at the DMV. When illegals become agitated or make a break for the door, nail them for disturbing the peace and report them to ICE. Better yet, show up at a Benefits office. The public would find that even more palatable.
The usual suspects allege that the presence of police at a place where suspected illegal activity is taking place is unethical and unconstitutional:
Immigrant advocates say the technique is repugnant, and the ACLU says its constitutionality is questionable. ...
The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is investigating the arrests because "the intimidation factor is of great concern," said Elise Shore, regional counsel for the organization.
Benjamin Stevenson, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, said he finds the tactic troubling.
"Why are they sending out six or seven agents to investigate a paper crime, and are they causing them to run in the first place through intimidation?" he asked.
Open borders adovcates often use lugubrious personal stories in attempt to morally censure those who favor greater restriction for empirical reasons like relieving the burden on social services or maintaining well-performing schools. Without realizing it, the purveyors of these sob-stories are working against their own cause by providing examples of interior enforcement effectively at work:
Mexican illegal immigrant Jose Madrid, 28, said he has been unable to find a construction job over the past six weeks because of the crackdown, and hasn't been able to send money to his parents and his 7-year-old son back home.
"We immigrants, we are leaving Panama City. People are afraid they will be deported," he said. "The companies don't want to hire illegal people. Now they're only hiring those with papers."
First off, Madrid's inability to find work almost certainly stems from the sharp downturn in the construction industry. His story serves as an ominous warning of what will happen if another bill to legalize the 12-plus million illegals here passes in '09. When these low-skilled migrants find the economy in a slump, are they going to want to return to a destitute Mexico that, relying as heavily as it does on the US economy, will almost certainly be in a slump of its own? Or are they going to want to follow in the footsteps of their Latino brethren, who use welfare at rates much higher than natives, and remain stateside sucking at the teat of American entitlement?
Putting the sentimentalism aside, Madrid is simply lamenting the fact that the companies in labor-intensive industries that use third-world peasants to subsidize costs while privatizing profits are seeing their schemes broken up.
There've been no massive deportations. The INS is on track to deport about 240,000 illegals this year, a 30% increase over last year, though Chertoff is balking even at that paltry total (keep in mind that more than twice that number will enter the US over the same period of time). Millions are not going to be involuntarily sent back home anytime soon.
But many will return home voluntarily, while many who would've skirted across the border decide it's no longer worth doing. That apprehensions are down while deportations are up suggest that it's already beginning to happen. During President Eisenhower's Operation Wetback, for every one illegal deported, seven or eight left of their own volition.
To an extent, I empathize with Madrid. He's not culpable for having been born in a corrupt, uncurious country where the average IQ is similar to that of Iraq. The difficulty in resisting the urge to try and get a piece of the prosperity to the north, having only to cross a porous border nearly 2,000 miles long to do so, is understandable.
But rather than accentuating social problems in the US, those desparate situations like Madrid is in are better served in the long-run by not having children they cannot support and by channeling that putative work ethic within Mexico. Our foreign policy with Mexico should have these two aims in mind. By allowing Mexicans open access to the US, we are essentially importing social problems Mexico cannot or will not deal with, and paying the corrupt country $2 billion per month for the opportunity to do so, all the while working to insure the trend continues until some point in the future when the US is no longer a more desirable place to be than Mexico.
In conclusion, a human interest spotlighting the hyperbole spewed from the mouth of the owner of Breland Companies, a man who sold his first $32 million a year business almost a decade ago:
Developer Louis Breland is finishing the first phase of a $750 million beach condo project.
"Subcontractors could not function without immigrant laborers for painting, rebar and steel work. They are the best workers," he said.
"Without them, the cost of construction would be 10 times as much and nothing would get built."
I guess the 80% of construction workers who are legal residents build nothing. And he must either pay ten subsidized menials through the wages otherwise to be owed to a single foreman, or pay his average gopher who happens to be legal $60 an hour!
Then again, why shouldn't multi-millionaire retirees from New England be able to pay a little less for their beach resort condos just so the net taxpaying citizen, who involuntarily chips in on behalf of the washed-up retiree, doesn't have to shoulder the enormous externalities ranging from surging atavistic diseases to declining average IQ that are inescapably part of the whole racket? What an injustice!