8/03/2005

Catch and Release

I hate to keep harping on immigration, but...

According to the Christian Science Monitor last week, the US Border Patrol has a problem:

"Because OTMs, or "Other Than Mexicans" as the Border Patrol classifies them, must be returned to their country of origin, they cannot be simply sent back across the southern border, as most Mexicans are. Under US law, they must be detained (in the US) pending a deportation hearing. The problem is, immigration detention centers are packed, so most OTMs are given a court summons and told to return in three months. A full 85 percent don't.
According to the Border Patrol, some 465,000 OTMs have taken advantage of this "catch and release" policy to settle here in the US. "It's an insane policy which encourages OTMs to come into the country illegally, and we shouldn't be shocked that they are coming in record numbers," says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 9,000 agents." (7/26/05 Christian Science Monitor)

Insane falls well short of how I'd describe this policy. We're at war. Allowing the enemy to enter your country at will is suicidal. I've said it before, but the 2008 Presidential election could be swayed mightily by a candidate who was serious about this issue. There's an awful lot of red states (I live in one) that would turn blue in a heartbeat if a Democrat put forth a plan to actually deal with the problem of illegal immigration.

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