Problems with Secure Communities?


No other issue in contemporary American politics provokes as much controversy or debate as immigration. Political leaders constantly shift their support for or in opposition to immigration reform or enforcement. U.S. citizens and legal residents argue among themselves over the measures required to solve illegal immigration. Individuals who are illegally in this country demonstrate peacefully to draw attention to their plight. Some of their countrymen who live legally in the U.S. oppose their demands for leniency and forgiveness. In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level the states have enacted laws designed to protect their own interests. Religious leaders who   normally argue obedience to the law have stated that they and their organizations will disobey any law that requires the denial of safe haven for any person. Everyone seems to believe that immigration reform is necessary. As good citizens we should advocate the indiscriminate enforcement of all our laws,  including those affecting immigration. A country’s right to control the  movement of people across its borders is not in dispute. The larger immigration debate centers on what to do with the millions of persons who have illegally entered into the U.S. or violated set conditions for remaining in the country.

The basic tenets of U.S. immigration law are clearly understood. It is a violation of U.S. law for a person to enter the United States without permission or legal  processing. This type of entry into the U.S. is a crime. A civil fine will automatically be imposed consistent with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, together with any other criminal or civil penalty. People who entered the U.S. in this way are considered to as undocumented aliens (“illegal alien”). U.S. citizens and legal residents must also be processed and inspected upon their return to the U.S.

Many foreigners enter the U.S. upon an approved application or petition. At a designated ports of entry U.S. authorities process these people and then release them into the U.S. under certain terms and conditions.  Unfortunately, some visitors and non-immigrants violate the terms under which they were permitted entry into this country. The U.S. is likely  to start removal or deportation proceedings against these people. U.S. immigration law and enforcement revolve around these basic tenets.

As of yet no one has seriously challenged on legal grounds these basic laws. No group seriously argues that the U.S. discriminates in enforcing its removal or deportation laws. There is no disputation that international law gives every country the right to secure its borders. Consequently any discussion of the Secure Communities program (SComm) should not take place in the larger debate about immigration. Immigration advocates , behaving more like French anarchists than civil libertarians, are challenging America’s rights to secure its borders. They should re-read American history. The Founder Fathers established this country based upon the premise that its borders would be secured. Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers, stated that “…To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens, the moment they foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty…”

SComm seeks to achieve policy goals that most people clearly believe further U.S. interests. The initiative specifically repudiates the past enforcement procedure of  the “tag and release” of immigration violators. ICE 

If we all believe that our laws should be enforced then why is there any opposition to the SComm?

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