Financial Meltdown + "Routine Management" = Open Borders
July 12, 2004, 05:00 AM
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The fix is in. The border has collapsed. Immigration detention centers are full. Illegal aliens are being released to the streets. Now the bad news . . .

With millions of taxpayer dollars spent on replacing the despised Immigration and Naturalization Service with the new Department of Homeland Security, funds once earmarked for illegal alien detention and removal—even in the INS! —have been looted by greedy bureaucrats.

We already knew that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the DHS was in policy meltdown.

But financial meltdown?

Government Executive Magazine confirmed the story on the ICE/DRO budget mess in a must-read article as of the July 4th holiday weekend. ["ICE Releasing Aliens on Nationwide Basis," by Jason Peckenpaugh, Government Executive magazine.]

It appears that somewhere along the line, patriotic government employees have leaked incriminating memos to the magazine.

Bravo!

The story: The ICE detention and removal (DRO) division is broke. Coast Guard veteran Anthony Tangeman has been gone since March, and young Victor Cerda is minding the store.

Peckenpaugh adds:

"The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is releasing certain illegal aliens from federal custody across the country because it lacks the funds to detain them, according to documents obtained by Government Executive.

"The releases are designed to cut the number of illegal aliens in ICE's detention system, which is budgeted to hold 19,444 detainees, but has housed thousands more for most of the fiscal year. 'Currently we are exceeding the level our resources can support nationwide,' wrote Victor Cerda, ICE's acting director of detention and removals, in a June 10 memorandum to regional detention officials."

"Homeland Security Department officials describe Cerda's directive as a sensible approach to help ICE stay within its budget limits. 'This is routine management,' said one official."

"Routine management!" Here's my translation of this DHS/ICE/DRO bureaucrat-speak:

"We sure have plenty of money around to pay government executive salaries—but we don't have enough funds to even keep up the pretense of detaining illegal aliens and criminal alien residents for Immigration Court proceedings before the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)…other than the ones we're actually forced to detain by law.

This state of affairs shows just where detention and removal really stands on the Bush Administration's priority list.

Dead last.

So what does this "routine management" by Cerda and his ICE compadres mean for immigration law enforcement?

Answer: de facto open borders.

All this and record budget deficits too!

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.