2005 August 08 Monday
Lack Of Immigration Law Enforcement Kills

If illegal alien Ramiro Gallegos had been deported after his first DWI (Driving While under the Influence of alcohol) arrest then Scott Gardner would still be alive.

Calling a single deportation officer for North Carolina "inexcusable," U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick asked federal immigration officials Wednesday to explain why they're "not fulfilling their responsibilities."

Myrick's letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other officials came four days after the death of constituent Scott Gardner, a Mount Holly man killed Saturday when his car was hit by a truck driven by an illegal immigrant later charged with driving while impaired.

It's the fourth time in three years that Ramiro Gallegos, 25, who lives in the Brunswick County town of Supply, has faced DWI charges.

"It should not take a horrible incident like this to draw attention to this persistent problem plaguing the enforcement of our immigration laws," wrote Myrick, a Charlotte Republican.

See Steve Sailer's post on just how cheaply illegal immigrants could be deported. The same correspondent who he quotes anonymously tells me small numbers of federal agents could deport large numbers of illegal aliens.

What could be done instead? For a start, we could build a wall from Tijuana too Brownsville for the cost of one month in Iraq. We could simply enforce our laws like Israel and Malaysia do. Both Israel and Malaysia have removed massive illegal populations with minor law enforcement efforts. Indeed, the U.S. has done so as well... Three times it turns out. There were large scale deportations in the 20s, 30s, and 50s. The 50s enforcement effort was ordered by President Eisenhower and was named "Operation Wetback" (not very PC). 700 federal agents removed some 80,000 illegals. However, it is clear that large numbers of illegals left on their own faced with real immigration enforcement. Estimates range from 700,000 to as high as 2 million. See [here] for a sane article on the subject

Update: Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays wants to give power to local police to enforce immigration laws.

“We should crack down on the borders more and allow local police to have the power to make arrests,” said Shays, a Republican who represents the 4th District, which includes Ridgefield and Redding. “Federal law prohibits bank robbery and we allow local law enforcement to make arrests.”

The call from Shays comes several months after Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton unsuccessfully sought help from the state police to crack down on illegal immigrants in the city. Federal law requires local or state police to get six weeks of special training to enforce immigration law.

If police can identify someone as an illegal then why should they go through 6 weeks of expensive training before they can make an arrest?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 August 08 11:57 AM  Immigration Law Enforcement

Stephen said at August 8, 2005 3:52 PM:

I think the problem is harder than it looks. In the absence of the person admitting they're an illegal alien (and why would they?), how does an officer make positively sure the person is an illegal, and then how does the officer make positively sure the person is being deported to the right country? I'm thinking of the recent horrific case in Australia where the government accidentally deported a citizen suffering shock after a car crash, aggravated by schizophrenia. She was found several years later living in a slum in the Philippines surviving on handouts from the local priests. Any deportation system needs to guarantee that that can't happen. Even one failure would be too many.

PS: By positively, I mean not relying on the absence of evidence of citizenship - ie just because a person doesn't have any paperwork available isn't positive proof that they're not a citizen.

Randall Parker said at August 8, 2005 4:10 PM:


Yes, it is a problem. But it is not a problem in all cases. Examples:

1) Millions get caught crossing borders and get recorded as having done so. Enter all those people into a database with biometric data. Then check suspects against that database.

2) Lots of people overstay visas. Again, record biometric data of all people who enter the country legally and then any suspect can be checked against the known list of foreigners who at some point entered legally (or who at some point applied for a visa and were rejected).

3) People granted citizenship and legal residency can again have (if this isn't done already) their info entered into a database. Someone speaking with a foreign accent can be checked against that database to see if they have legal status.

In a nutshell: use databases with biometric data. Use fingerprints, iris scans, brain shapes, pictures, ear shapes (which are supposed to be pretty good), and other biometric data. Then do checks.

Also, people with fake IDs are obvious suspects. A cop can check the legality drivers licenses against databases.

mariana said at August 8, 2005 7:47 PM:

The family of Scott Gardner should sue everyone: The federal government, the state government, local government, the employer of this illegal immigrant. People will only begin to deal with this issue in a fair way for American citizens once it costs them money. How likely are you to hire an illegal if you might get sued? How likely is the government going to let this continue if they have to deal with class action lawsuits from the victims of illegal immigrant crime? Imagine what happens to popular opinion once people hear of these cases.

Randall Parker said at August 8, 2005 8:11 PM:


A thought: If employers could be systematically informed in public by voluntary groups that they are employing specific illegals then the employers couldn't later have any basis for plausible denial that they didn't know they were hiring illegals. Then if the illegals did anything harmful there might be standing for suing the employers for the damages the employers effectively enabled.

Similarly, I've read of cases (I think a county government in Utah if memory serves) where businesses are being sued for damages due to the general effects of their hiring illegals. One could go after them for racketeering perhaps. RICO charges for engaging in criminal conspiracy might stick.

We need ways for private individuals to enforce the law with lawsuits against employers. Then the refusal of the feds to enforce immigration law wouldn't matter so much.

mariana said at August 8, 2005 9:34 PM:

That Utah case you mentioned reminds me of the articles I've read regarding what is taking place in the Shenandoah Valley of VA where tons of illegals have moved to work in meat-packing plants thereby stressing the infrastructure of a not very wealthy area and bringing gang violence and drug trafficking with them. I wonder what a lawsuit there would accomplish. Or maybe lawsuits against cities that allow asylum? I wonder if the voters of California could vote on a referendum demanding that the state of California withhold funding from cities that have an asylum policy?

How successful would lawsuits against Mexico be for crime victims whose victimizers are being protected by Mexico?

How would you get the information needed to figure out what people are illegal criminals? In many cases, how would you prove that so and so was actually employed someplace?

John S Bolton said at August 9, 2005 3:45 AM:

We don't say that even one wrongful arrest is one too many, and stop arresting altogether. Wrongful convictions occur, but this is no reason to reduce the rate of convictions. The blood cost of immigration has to be taken into account. Since not all immigrants were needed, any death or injury from them was caused by the immigration policy. The government can't prove that any immigrants were actually irreplaceably needed, in current cohorts, therefore any evil reulting from an immigrant being here, and especially unrightfully, is chargeable to public policy. They knew, or should have known, that certain individuals and groups were of elevated risks for the blood cost. Officials deliberately use immigration to raise the level of aggression overall; they want emergency powers.

John S Bolton said at August 10, 2005 12:30 PM:

Not only DWI enforcement, but especially driving without insurance arrests, and summary deportations, would clear quite a large portion of the illegal aliens out of the country. Local lockup would suffice quite often, if deportation would follow speedily.

Engineer-Poet said at August 10, 2005 2:42 PM:

That would help in a great many places.  Some years ago I was romantically involved with someone who lived in Waukegan, IL.  I was told that it was expensive to drive there because of all the illegal Mexicans who drove without insurance driving up the accident rate and thus insurance rates.  My reaction was the same:  "Catch 'em, confiscate their vehicles and deport 'em!"

I'll bet that the voters would have done exactly that had it been put to them, but the PTB had other ideas.

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