Pride comes before the fall, and the anti-American Left is flaunting its arrogance with its latest campaign—freeing criminal aliens from detention. This time, the push isn’t coming from the Regime, but cultural Marxists in the Main Stream Media and local government.
Thus a recent editorial in Salem OR’s Statesman Journal:
Cities, counties and states do not belong in the immigration-enforcement business. Instead, they must follow the Constitution.
The latest evidence came last week. Marion, Polk and several other Oregon counties stopped jailing foreign-born individuals who were being held for up to 48 hours simply at the request of federal immigration officials.
The decision to stop that practice might sound like sacrilege, but it’s prudence. In many cases, residing in the United States unlawfully is not a crime; it is a violation of civil law. But the even greater issue is that we are a country of freedom. One of our foundational beliefs is that the government should not detain people without cause.
[Editorial: Judge, Jails Right On Immigration , April 19, 2014]
But the government is not detaining people “without cause.” The cause is Federal law. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 236 and Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 1226, authorizes the arrest and detention of aliens who are deportable or inadmissible. In fact, the authority to hold an alien is not even reviewable by a court.
The Statesman-Journal editorial continues:
A federal judge ruled a week ago that Clackamas County had broken that principle: It violated a woman’s constitutional rights by holding her for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (known as ICE) without a court order to do so. The magistrate’s decision followed a similar ruling last month from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The practical result is that Portland metro and Mid-Valley jails will require more than an immigration detainer—a request from ICE—to hold an undocumented immigrant. Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers and his colleagues have acted appropriately by ending that practice. In doing so, they have set an example for law enforcement across the country.
But officers of the Department of Homeland Security (of which ICE is a part) do have authority to issue warrants for the arrest of aliens. They can also use “detainers” to hold aliens for up to 48 hours. (This is critical because the editorial later claims judges must follow precedent).
The Statesman-Journal editorial assures readers that
[T]heir action does not imply that dangerous criminals will go free. Individuals still will be jailed on criminal charges or if ICE obtains a court order for them to be detained for immigration purposes.
Unfortunately, there is no process for a Federal court to order a local jail to hold a Federal prisoner or immigration violator.
The Statesman-Journal continues:
It would be easy for critics to attack the court rulings as judicial activism, but they are in keeping with American legal precedent. Courts consistently have ruled that immigration is a federal issue. And unlike the judicial systems in much of the world, where individual judges have wide discretion, the U.S. has adopted the British system in which legal consistency—case law and precedents—trump a judge’s personal preferences. [Emphasis added].
But this is precisely a case of a judge’s personal preferences trumping precedent:
(e) Judicial review
The Attorney General’s discretionary judgment regarding the application of this section shall not be subject to review. No court may set aside any action or decision by the Attorney General under this section regarding the detention or release of any alien or the grant, revocation, or denial of bond or parole.
The U.S. Magistrate Judge who issued the order, Janice M. Stewart, (appointed during the Clinton administration) is acting outside the law and precedent. Why? And why is the Main Stream Media also against detaining illegal aliens?
There is no question that the U.S. immigration system is broken. But any anger at the court’s decision should be directed at Congress, which lacks the political will to rewrite the nation’s outdated and erratic immigration laws. [Emphasis added]
“Outdated and erratic immigration laws?” The Statesman Journal editorial doesn’t explain, but it seems to object to the fact that we have any kind of laws at all.
Actually, our immigration laws are indeed outdated. In the 21st century, you would think that this country would need immigrants with advanced technical training and education. But most of the immigrants who come here have little or no education.
We know that the editorial thumbsuckers at the Statesman Journal are not really worried about excluding foreign PhD’s. These are criminal aliens who are detained that they are trying to free. How is that going to fix our “outdated and erratic immigration laws”?
The argument in this case was about the detention of an alien, not that alien’s deportation or admission to the United States—a very minor issue revolving around the arrest, detention, and removal process for aliens. Is the Statesman Journal trying to claim that deporting criminal aliens is something that is “outdated and erratic”? (Ask them—it's an unsigned editorial, but the editorial page editor is Dick Hughes, email@example.com.)
The bottom line: Cultural Marxists want elect a new people, by any means necessary. This includes freeing criminals and throwing out legal precedents if they get in the way of this desperate, almost frantic desire to flood the United States with new wards of the welfare state and reliable voters for socialism.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale's opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.