Sunday, November 25, 2007

The true cost of immigration enforcement

By Libby

This is how the government inures us to the incremental chipping away at the bill of rights. They target their initial violations against hated minorities. It used to be mostly drug consumers. Now the focus has shifted to undocumented immigrants. Take for instance, Operation Community Shield, "a two-year-old national program singling out violent gang members for deportation."

Sounds like a great idea, no? Who could object to deporting violent criminals? The only problem is they're not catching a whole lot of gang members. They're busting into private homes without a warrant and mostly rounding up a lot of hard working immigrants with no criminal records. In the latest attack, only one of the eleven arrested were on the four person target list and they already knew two of those targets were currently in jail.

It's a clever trick. Since illegals tend to change addresses, they had a lot of them to search. Obviously most of the addresses were wrong and to their credit, the entire town is appalled and some of the arrested employers stepped forward to aid in the immigrants' defense. They discovered the arrested immigrants were effectively disappeared.

For the first six to eight days, the Lopez cousins and Mr. Salazar were held incommunicado, without access to counsel, at the maximum-security Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where Muslim immigrants considered terror suspects were held after 9/11.

Others were transferred from jail to jail so quickly that by the time one employer hired counsel and went to post bail in New Jersey, he discovered his employee had already been flown to New Mexico. The authorities say it's legal.

“We’re not here stomping all over anybody’s rights,” said Peter J. Smith, the special agent in charge of the Long Island operation, which led to the roundup of 186 men. “We’ve got immigration powers.”

When immigration powers include busting into private homes without a warrant, we should all be worried. The next address could be your own.

Meanwhile, Digby busts some of the myths fueling the misplaced hatred that allows this sort of conduct to be condoned. The anti-immigrant crowd is convinced that the illegals are bankrupting us by draining our social services. Nothing could be further from the truth. There's more at the link, but these two points are the most important.

"Immigrant contributions to social services are similar across the country. The National Research Council concluded that immigrants will pay on average $80,000 per capita more in taxes than they will use in government services over their lifetimes.

"In 2001, the Social Security Administration concluded that undocumented immigrants "account for a major portion of the billions of dollars paid into social security that don’t match SSA records," which payees, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, can never draw upon. As of July 2003, these payments totaled $421 billion."

In other words, instead of draining the system, the illegals are propping it up. Those who agitate for mass deportation might want to take a moment to consider the true effect on our economy if their vengeful fantasies of "punishing these people for breaking the law" ever comes to fruition.

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