Smugglers imprisoned more than 110 illegal immigrants for days in an 1,100-square-foot bungalow in Watts, securing the doors with chains and demanding ransom from family members until a tip led to a police raid, authorities said Wednesday.
The captives — including some children — were smuggled into the United States from Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador and were apparently bound for the East Coast.
The house had been used in this manner for at least 2 years. If you were living next door to a house with over 100 people chained into it would you call the police? Or would you consider that a normal state of affairs? Do you want to live in a society where people will call the police when they are faced with a house with in their neighborhood which is being used to hold people against their will?
Commenting on the raid, local law enforcement officials said that, other than the large number of people in the house, there was nothing unusual except that most such houses and human smuggling rings go without federal notice. The neighbors who saw what was happening saw no reason to turn them in.
Perversely, the Los Angeles Times editorializes against allowing local police to enforce immgration laws. We have at least one neighborhood (and probably many more) in Los Angeles where the neighbors think it is a routine and normal thing for smugglers to turn into kidnappers who hold people for ransom. The culture of lower class immigrant LA has deterioriated to the point where the people living there think this is normal and morally acceptable. Yet the LA Times doesn't see why the local police should be involved.
As I've previously argued, the "Broken Windows" argument for law enforcement applies to immigration law as well. Failure to treat violations of immigration law on a par with violations of other types of laws has created a culture of lawlessness that leads to kidnapping. Kidnapping is a very serious crime. Americans should want to see it remain rare and not to become as common as it is in some Latin American countries.
When the LAPD handles a smuggling case on its own, the immigrants are usually released. When the bureau is involved, it's much more likely that the immigrants will be deported.
Los Angeles police have a long-standing policy, called Special Order 40, that bars officers from informing federal immigration officials about undocumented immigrants they discover during the normal course of their duties. The purpose of the order, which was adopted by the Police Department in 1979, is to assuage illegal immigrants' fears that they may be detained or deported if they seek assistance from local law enforcement.
Note that in spite of Special Order 40 the neighbors of the Watts house would still not call the police to let those people escape. Nor did the neighbors take it upon themselves to act vigilante style to help the illegals to escape. Do you want to live in a society in which people do not see that they have any responsibility to enforce the law aganst holding people against their will? Do you want to live in a corrupt Latin American culture with a completely different sensibility about government and the law?
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn't even have enough funding to hold all captured illegals for deportation and so it sometimes releases illegal immigrants it rescues from smugglers who are holding them for ransom.
"When the narco elements started moving human beings, they brought their propensity for violence with them," Ahr said. Hundreds of home invasions related to the illegal-immigrant trade were reported in Phoenix every year, he said.
The activities of the more ruthless and brutal smugglers have gotten bad enough that in some cases even Hispanic immigrants have begun reporting some of the smugglers.
WASHINGTON -- The federal government will soon grant a group of Virginia State Police officers the power to enforce immigration law, making the state the third in the country to adopt the practice since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, local officials said.
The tentative agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Virginia State Police, permissible under a 1996 law, is part of a movement across the country to grant local law enforcement officials more authority to detain illegal immigrants.
I've previously posted about this trend toward state and lower level enforcement of immigration law in the post State Governments Move To Enforce Immigration Laws.
A new Virginia law targeting illegal aliens has been embraced as a powerful weapon to combat gangs and terrorism by local police departments, but Arlington County officials plan to ignore it.
The law, which takes effect July 1, permits local police to arrest any illegal immigrant who previously had been convicted of a felony and deported. Under current state law, police investigating a crime are not authorized to forcibly hold an illegal immigrant pending the arrival of a Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent.
Arlington County is a classic example of a government entity that becomes captured by the forces that see government's purposes to serve welfare clients. Arlington County also insists upon providing rent subsidies to illegal aliens.
Arlington also is the only jurisdiction in the Northern Virginia suburbs that does not check the immigration status of residents receiving tax-funded county rent subsidies -- a breach that an ICE official said opens the door to terrorists.
Illegal immigration and immigration of people from cultures that have less respect for the law are corrupting the nation. It is possible to enforce immigration law. This source of decay of the health of the body politic and quality of life in America can be greatly reduced.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2004 April 28 07:49 PM Immigration Law Enforcement|