"We are moving to end the old 'Catch And Release' style of border enforcement, increasing removals by tens of thousands a year."—Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 18.
Yawn. As Peter Brimelow has blogged, it never occurred to us at VDARE.com that anyone would take Secretary Chertoff's remarks seriously. Peter suggested a two-point plan to gauge the sincerity of any "illegal immigration crackdown"—(1) is the Expedited Removal law, on the books since 1996, finally going to be implemented? (2) are lawyers, in the shape of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, going to be gotten out of the way, so illegals can be summarily deported? This Bush bafflegab failed on both counts.
But it does reveal something about the Bush Administration's real attitude to immigration law enforcement—and toward the extraordinary elite drive to merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
In his statement, Secretary Chertoff trumpeted:
"Today I am announcing this goal for DHS: eliminate completely the 'Catch And Release' enforcement problem. Return every single illegal entrant—no exceptions. What's more, it should be possible to achieve significant progress in less than a year, as we apply concentrated removal efforts with the support of individual countries."
Yawn again. All this means is that the phrase "Catch And Release" has been so loudly shouted from the rooftops by heroic media patriots like Lou Dobbs (with a little help, we like to think, from VDARE.COM) that it has become radioactive.
So, in order to sell its guest worker program, the Bush Administration has realized that it has to pretend to be against its own "Catch And Release" policy.
Accordingly, in a sleight of hand worthy of its notorious redefinition of "amnesty," the Bush Administration has reinterpreted "Catch And Release" as purely a "border enforcement" problem.
Here's a Juan Mann reality check: There's far more catching-and-releasing of illegal aliens and removable criminal alien residents going in the interior of the United States than at the borders.
It's clear from Secretary Chertoff's statement that this business about "return[ing] every single illegal entrant" certainly does NOT apply at all to the thousands of illegal aliens already given a de facto non-deportation amnesty by being allowed to adjust their status to permanent residence under the shameful Section 245(i) give-aways.
This Section 245(i) crowd of illegal aliens and visa-overstayers aren't being returned ANYWHERE!
As I wrote in 2002, the DHS does not "Catch And Release" aliens simply for sport, like some sort of fishing tournament. It does it to serve the EOIR system.
If the EOIR Immigration Court process (complete with its smorgasbord of relief from removal and automatic appellate rights) did not exist, then there would be absolutely no excuse for the federal government to release captured deportable aliens back to the streets.
With this type of unwieldy system, the INS cannot possibly detain so many aliens for so long during the process. The EOIR is the reason for what appears on the surface as mere INS folly.
"Catch And Release" isn't simply about "border enforcement." It never was! Here's the proof:
That's a lot of catching and releasing.
Secretary Chertoff's co-opting of the term "Catch And Release" is more evidence that the Bush Administration has no interest in enforcing immigration laws away from the borderlands.
It's really only interested in its "Temporary Worker Program" a.k.a "amnesty." Thus Chertoff also said:
"The comprehensive approach we have taken to removal can be applied more broadly to other aspects of border and interior enforcement. In that sense, what we are doing in our removal efforts is simply a down payment on our overall border enforcement initiative, which we are designing as a complement to the President's Temporary Worker Program." [My emphasis]
And here's what I think is the underlying reason why America's deportation system remains inexplicably paralyzed by federal litigation and rigged in favor of relief from removal.
Internationalists in the Bush and Clinton Administrations have decided to confine immigration enforcement only to the U.S. borderlands…until there's no enforcement at all, because the U.S., Mexico and Canada will have been merged into one unit behind a new "North American security perimeter."
This shared Canada-U.S-Mexico "security perimeter" is exactly what the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America has in mind for America someday.
The Building a North American Community report was signed without dissent by the former chief immigration law enforcement officer of the U.S.—the Clinton Administration's Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner—Doris M. Meissner.
So who cares if there's no interior immigration law enforcement in the United States, as long as there's a "North American security perimeter" in the works for what former California Governor Gray Davis called the "magnificent region" that a merged U.S. and Mexico would comprise?
This may sound shocking—but remember, the same sort of elite consensus hornswoggled the historic nations of Europe into the "European Union."
And after all, under the Chertoff-Meissner plan, aren't we all North Americans now?