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
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.