2004 August 01 Sunday
US Virgin Islands Mecca Of Immigration Law Enforcement

On the US Department of Justice web site I came across the most curious fact: The US Virgin Islands is the only part of the United States where all illegal immigrants are prosecuted for breaking the law.

The District contains separate customs zones. Unlike Puerto Rico, when persons leave this District they are required to go through U.S. Customs. Goods are duty free up to $1,200. Duties which are paid go to the Territory of the Virgin Islands. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office in this District is very active. This is the only District which prosecutes all illegal alien cases. Recently, it was noted that the District had the 8th largest number of Immigration cases of all of the nation's 94 districts.

Anyone know the reason for this? I'm guessing that the USVI are probably seen as especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of illlegal immigrants owing their location, small size, and small population. The US government should build upon this example and extend real immigration law enforcement to other parts of the United States.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 August 01 08:21 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement


Comments
TangoMan said at August 2, 2004 1:37 AM:

It's right there in your quote- the customs zones provide revenue. Cheating on immigration procedures is like tax evasion. The islands, IIRC, are fiscally dependent on Washington, so anything to alleviate the subsidy is to be welcome. Further, being in the middle of a High Intensity Drug Trafficing Area means that because of the War On Drugs, the patrols are catching illegal immigration as a byproduct of drug searchs and perimeter security.

Ray said at August 3, 2004 3:55 AM:

Well, first you need to get local law enforcement in America to *start* referring cases to Immigration. Too many municipalities have laws forbidding the police and the DA from calling immigration when they bump into people who've broken immigration laws.


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