The number of calls to a national immigration and customs hotline -- including tips turning in illegal immigrants -- has skyrocketed in the past six months, according to officials of the Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant Secretary Michael J. Garcia lauded the record growth of the hotline operated by his agency.
``Alert citizens, using the . . . tip line, are making significant contributions to homeland security,'' Garcia said in a statement Tuesday.
But the growing popularity of the government hotline, (866) 347-2423, has immigrants and their advocates worried about racial stereotyping and targeting of immigrant communities.
They have little to worry about while George W. Bush is in office. My guess is that most calls reporting illegal aliens are ignored unless the illegals are from the Middle East and therefore potential terrorists.
However, the hotline demonstrates that if only the government would be willing to deport illegals the American people would find the illegals. So large scale deportation of illegals is possible if only enough pressure can be built up on the federal government to act.
Note that identity theft is one of the problems people report. Identity theft is a large and growing problem. People who get their identity stolen go through ordeals that cost them hundreds of hours to handle.
On a given day, the hotline will receive tips about human smuggling, drug smuggling, identity theft, a corporation hiring undocumented immigrants and immigrants who have been deported and have returned to the United States, said spokesman Michael W. Gilhooly.
At the Law Enforcement Support Center in Williston, Vt., 260 employees take reports from citizens across the United States on a variety of crimes. The center operates every day, around the clock.
Even though the government ignores reports the calls are going to make a difference politically. It is inevitable that some Congress reps are going to ask for statistical summaries of the numbers of calls received, the type of each call, and the percentage of calls of each type for which actions were taken or not taken. This call hotline could become a means to pressure the government to start deporting illegals in earnest.
My advice to people who want to turn in illegal aliens: Call the hotline and report the information. But also then write your Congressman and both your US Senators and report the same information to them noting that you have provided this information to the hotline. The Congress needs to hear from large numbers of Americans who say that they want immigration laws enforced. If illegal aliens you report are still living in your community a few months later then call the hotline again and write to your Congresscritters telling them nothing has been done about your report. Make sure you tell them you are angry about it.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 April 17 11:46 AM Immigration Law Enforcement|