Latino News and Opinion

Editorial: Obama Excels Prosecuting the Undocumented
Por Editorial AL DIA NEWS   
20:30 | 02/03/11

Non-felony immigration prosecutions (petty offenses by law) increased 259 percent, and felony criminal prosecutions grew 77 percent between FY 2007 and 2010.

The bulk of the so-called “felony criminal prosecutions” is not for human, drugs, or firearms trafficking, but the most ominous of all crimes in the eyes of the White House and Congress: “illegal entry”.

Obama’s immigration enforcement zeal was possible due to a sizeable increase in federal prosecutors and enforcement staff in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

CBP and ICE increased in size and payroll 12 times more than the Drug Enforcement Administration, and 6 times more than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This war on immigration unfortunately takes its toll on other seemly less important crimes such as murder, and from other federal enforcement responsibilities, namely: “curbing human trafficking, enforcing the nation’s civil rights and employment discrimination laws, assuring the availability of safe foods and drugs, dealing with a host of occupational and mine safety issues and cracking down on serious environmental polluters,” according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) February 2011 report.

President Obama’s immigration enforcement fever fails the test of fairness and justice.

When the federal government treated as an “aggravated felony” of supposed “drug trafficking” a mere possession of one tablet of Xanax without prescription, the U.S. Supreme Court questioned the government’s resort to “unorthodox” and “counterintuitive” interpretations of the law in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder Attorney General.

The U.S. Supreme Court wondered about a government incapable of distinguishing a petty offense from aggravated felonies typically worsened “by circumstances such as violence, the presence of a deadly weapon, or the intent to commit another crime,” generally absent from the majority of undocumented immigration cases.

“We must be very wary of the Government’s position,” further stated the Supreme Court frankly disappointed even with the distortion of the English language by the federal government in its effort to prosecute and remove even legal resident immigrants.

An administration intent on an enforcement only approach to immigration, unwilling or incapable of prioritizing dangerous crimes over undocumented immigration is already wearily regarded by the U.S. Supreme Court, by Hispanics and the immigrant community at large.


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