Regardless of where you stand on illegal immigration and any proposed reforms, you have to admit that it’s jaw dropping that the big operation recently conducted in California by federal authorities to capture and deport criminal illegals targeted, of all places, jails. Yes, out of the 700+ people captured and detained by the federal authorities to be deported, really deported too as opposed to “show up at this date to be deported, now on you way” orders that courts regularly hand out, 423 of them were already in jail on non-immigration related criminal charges.
The-seven day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep, dubbed “Operation Return to Sender,” targeted jails across five counties in the Los Angeles area, where police took 423 of what they called “criminal aliens” into federal custody for deportation, after being held on charges unrelated to their immigration status.
The fact that state and local authorities can’t relieve the overcrowding in California’s jails by returning to sender those people who are detained on criminal charges who are in the state illegally is just scandalous and a symptom of a much larger bureaucratic problem that puts public safety secondary to the illegal immigration battle that has been underway in this state for over two decades.
Community activists like Antonio Bernabe really miss the bigger point when they make statements like this:
“The police didn’t just take people with deportation orders, they took anybody … guys who were just hanging out in the street and even from a Jack in the Box restaurant … and now people are afraid to go out,” he added.
Actually the inconvenient fact of this is that the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants captured in this raid were sitting in jail on charges not related to their illegal status. If anyone should be afraid it should be those people in the very communities where these people live and work, including the people that Bernabe is trying to help. Not only is it intellectually dishonest for Bernabe to make this statement, but there is a deficiency of integrity that goes along with trying to spin this as “poor helpless immigrants getting swept up out of their homes by the feds”.
Oh yeah, and in another “I couldn’t even make this up” story, 24 illegal immigrants were captured during this operation when they approached ICE agents taking a break and solicited them for work. Now this could be forgiven as an honest mistake by this group were it not for the fact that the agents, 10 of them, were wearing their ICE raid jackets and badges on their chests. In addition to deportation, these 24 should be given the Darwin Award or perhaps their own reality TV program. On a more serious note:
Of the 24 suspected illegal immigrants detained by authorities, Raimondi said, six men had criminal records, three had final judges’ orders of removal from the county, and eight men previously had been physically removed from the country, including one who had been caught at the border six times.