News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Deport yourself plan isn't going to work

Squads of immigration agents are going around the country knocking on doors, scouting out street corners for day laborers, stopping cars driven by foreign-looking people and raiding factories in search of undocumented immigrants.

It's literally a manhunt that is not only taking a toll on immigrant families but is draining the resources of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. So now it is asking for help.

ICE has come up with a new pet project. It's being called "Operation Scheduled Departure." It looks like the agency is so overwhelmed with its hunting expedition that it wants immigrants to aid in their own deportation.

This is what ICE proposes: If you are a "fugitive alien," turn yourself in. Those who adhere to this program will avoid being jailed, and they will have up to 90 days to make the necessary arrangements to leave and take their family with them.

According to Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Julie Myers, this pilot program is in response to those immigrants who were arrested and deported and said they would have liked some time to leave things in order. Myers says the plan targets hundreds of thousands of immigrant fugitives who do not have a criminal background.

Now, think about it: If they do not have a criminal background, then why are they being considered fugitives? Sounds confusing, doesn't it? The government defines "fugitive immigrants" as those who have deportation orders — mostly immigrants who have been deported before and came back into the country or who violated a previous deportation order. They are the ones who qualify for this voluntary deportation program, but not if they have committed "other" crimes.

The pilot program is supposed to run from Aug. 5 through Aug. 22, and includes five cities: Phoenix; Chicago; Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego; and Santa Ana, Calif. If effective, it could be extended. Immigration authorities claim there are some 457,000 fugitive immigrants in the country. Mind you, that does not include other undocumented immigrants who are not considered fugitives, even though immigration agents are also going after them. I know, I know, it still sounds confusing.

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