LatinaLista — It’s official — the Bush Administration can’t leave the kind of Mideast legacy that they envisioned entailing where this President would be honored and thanked by people of the Mideast for bringing democracy and relieving oppression in their lands, while securing oil interests for the US.
No, this Administration is in danger of being heralded as the worst Administration in modern times on the global front. So, they must work to leave a legacy behind on home turf that will endear them to their own Party and to the vocal hardliners who dominate the media.
What better legacy to leave than to be known as the President who “got a handle on illegal immigration” by deporting thousands of people, regardless of their family circumstances. It also helps McCain seem like the Party is finally getting tough on illegal immigration too.
Undocumented immigrants in ICE custody.
However, it’s also the perfect set-up and it’s the Democrats who will pay the ultimate price.
According to a Houston Chronicle article, almost 3,700 undocumented immigrants have been arrested in raids on businesses since October — way ahead of last year’s figures.
Since May, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have already detained 1,755 people in raids.
And according to Julie Myers, head of ICE, her department will continue with this kind of dramatic enforcement operations until “the moment the Bush administration leaves office.”
As if that isn’t enough, the Administration has given its blessing to criminalize every undocumented immigrant found. Whereas before, during the old catch-and-release program, undocumented immigrants were released with only those truly committing crimes against society being incarcerated.
Today, everyone is being charged with a crime, maybe given a few days in jail and then deported.
Because when they come back across the border to see their families or look for the work that is non-existent at home, Republicans and hardliners will be the first to blame the Democratic party, if it’s in power, of letting all these criminals into the country.
They won’t be wrong. Each undocumented immigrant who has been deported previously will now be a bona fide felon in the eyes of the law — perfect scapegoats for those who want to make an example of anyone who advocates compassion or leniency for undocumented immigrants.
Homeland Security officials claim that by branding all these people as criminals it is a deterrent for them to return. For some, yes. For the vast majority who come from abject poverty, you’ve got to be kidding.
If this plan were working, then we wouldn’t be reading reports of undocumented immigrants who have already been charged and deported only to be caught returning again.
If the Democrats occupy the White House, and the Bush Administration continues full steam with this inhumane strategy, there will be no voice of reason loud enough to distinguish to the vocal critics who are the real criminals crossing the border and who are people branded as criminals but guilty of nothing more than looking for work.
The Democratic Party needs to settle on a candidate and look past November to see the kind of legacy a Democratic Congress and/or White House Administration will be caught up in.
It’s time someone took the lead in immigration reform before one Party’s legacy is another Party’s downfall.