LatinaLista — There is a perfect storm of data emerging about illegal immigration that at any other time Congress and the President would have been expected to act upon in a rational manner. Yet, after the recent spectacle on Capitol Hill over the debt ceiling debate, it can no longer be expected that this government knows what to do with credible data, especially since one party seems driven more by ideology than fair governance.
If this government was driven by fair governance then the news, that there are fewer undocumented Mexican immigrants entering and leaving the United States, and 47 percent of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed is illegal reentry, would signal that a tipping point has been reached in the fight against illegal immigration, and the time has come to reevaluate immigration policies.
The fact that more Mexican immigrants are staying in Mexico versus trying to cross the border illegally, and those who are crossing are re-crossing to primarily rejoin family lays out the success of the border security programs that have been in place over the years to deter illegal immigration.
In fact, according to the nonpartisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse that monitors US federal immigration enforcement, this year is also the first year that recorded prosecutions for illegal reentry surpassed those of illegal entry, which have been declining from their high during FY 2009.
It’s obvious from the data that the undocumented who are now being prosecuted in federal courts are those who have strong and deep ties to the United States — children, mortgages, church and community members, etc. Unfortunately, this fact is being ignored by the Obama administration whose record for prosecuting illegal re-entry cases surpasses the record of any of his predecessors.
It’s more than disappointing news.
That these immigrants are being charged with a felony (illegal re-entry is a felony crime), not for committing murder, rape or robbery, but for wanting to reunite with their families, illustrates that not even the one faction of government Latinos thought they could turn to for rational help and support is the one that is mercilessly enforcing an immigration policy that no longer makes sense.
It doesn’t make sense because the prosecution of illegal re-entry cases is inundating the federal courts, costing money and labor that is well spent trying the real criminals who commit hardened crimes.
In the meantime, the immigrants awaiting their trials are enduring conditions not expected of a superpower country.
An article by the Cronkite News Service quoted Victoria Brambl, attorney supervisor at the Tucson Public Defenders office as saying, “Most Americans would be shocked if they saw the treatment of those defendants, who often spend days in the same clothes they were apprehended in.
“We are the ones that deal with the human end of it,” she said. “It’s not what you expect from our country.”
And it’s not what we expect from this administration that made big promises but retreats behind the excuse of needing bi-partisan support. There are certain issues that definitely need bi-partisan support but there are other issues that only need a President to lead.