Idle hands at the Border Patrol, 1/15-1/22

24 Jan
Border Fence with a  Border Patrol Agent

Photo by: Leo Ortiz

A tougher stance for the border patrol, AP, 1.17.12

A downward trend in apprehensions has left the border patrol (BP) twiddling their thumbs, but rather than scale back the 21,000 agents, the agency has new plans for its idle time. The BP will soon outline punitive measures to take against immigrants who are detained and are to be deported. Yes, they have decided that deportation isn’t punitive enough, and that they need to make the lives of undocumented immigrants even more difficult. The thought is that if the border patrol makes the process more difficult for immigrants from Mexico, then there will be overall less immigration. Of course, the US immigration will continue to avoid acknowledging the contribution of undocumented immigrants on the economy, that should go without saying.

The new rules have been given the euphemism “Consequence Delivery System.” This is just another way to make life more difficult for immigrants, not much different from what anti-immigration legislators like Lamar Smith are already doing across the country. The new system includes: longer stays in the immigration detention system, flights to Mexico City with bus ticket to home town, prosecution in the Mexican courts for smugglers, and bus rides to border-towns hundreds of miles away to disconnect migrants from their networks. Essentially, the Border Patrol is institutionalizing the culture of abuse and maltreatment as outlined in the report from No More Deaths “Culture of Cruelty.” These new rules may delay the arrival of immigrants from Mexico looking for work, but immigrants will likely still come looking for job opportunities. The only difference is that the border will be more treacherous with coyote’s charging more to cross. This new announcement represents many of the current immigration solutions: it introduces another hardship for immigrants, and doesn’t do anything to address the causes for migration. Instead of new responsibilities for idle agents, the Border Patrol should be reigned in, surely we can find better uses for these funds.

In the news
Gallup poll misses the point on immigration issues, Politico, 1.17.12
A Gallup poll conducted in early January examined opinions of immigration in the US. The poll asked whether respondents were satisfied with levels of immigration, and if not, whether they wanted more immigration or less immigration. According to the poll 64% were dissatisfied, with the majority being of the opinion that there should be less immigration. All the poll demonstrates is that immigration hawks have whipped the country into a frenzy. What is missing is data on immigration policy solutions, and to determine what is the support for a sane, fair immigration reform.

Test of deportation review in Colorado find that 16% of cases benefit, NY TIMES, 1.20.12.
Hardly the backdoor amnesty that FAIR and the other hate-mongers were howling about, an initial review of deportation cases find that 1 in 6 people in deportation proceedings will be allowed to stay. Those allowed to stay will not receive any new immigration status or government benefits.

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