Posts Tagged ‘Immigration and Customs Enforcement’

Wanted: an immigration policy

July 18, 2019

Donald Trump’s immigration policy is to discourage crossings of the southern border by means of deliberate cruelty.

But it is not enough for liberals and progressives to protest President Trump.  They need to come up with a policy of their own.  This they have not done.  Until they do, the present situation will continue, which will be to Trump’s political advantage.

The policy of cruelty did not originate with Trump.  Under the Clinton administration, the U.S. government built walls at key border crossings, so that unauthorized immigrants would be forced into the desert and risk death by thirst.  Under the Obama administration, conditions were terrible in detention centers.

The Trump administration doubled down on all these policies.  And a cynic could make the argument (although I don’t) that control by cruelty is working.  It probably has a deterrent effect, while sufficient unauthorized immigrants make their way into the U.S. to supply employers’ need for low-paid labor.

But what is the alternative?  Is it open borders—no controls on immigration at all?  I know of nobody who has made that argument.  I know of no government that has such a policy.

Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren and others have proposed repealing a 1929 law that makes it a crime to cross into the United States without authorization.  That wouldn’t be the same as open borders.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents could still turn you back.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and others propose abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which is responsible for enforcing immigration laws in the interior of the United States.

This would not necessarily affect the sister Customs and Border Protection agency, which is responsible for controlling entry into the United States.  But AOC and Omar also oppose any additional funding for detention centers or deportations.  Some immigrant rights groups oppose all funding for detention centers or deportations.

In practice, all this means no limit on immigration at all—open borders in all but same.  The alternative to control by cruelty is no control at all.

AOC, Omar and others also call for a “Marshall Plan” to promote economic development in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the three main countries that asylum-seekers are fleeing.  But the original Marshall Plan was to rebuild democratic nations of western Europe after World War Two, not dictatorship like these three countries.

There is no point in aiding oppressive governments that are creating the problem in the first place.  Far better to aid the democratic governments of Costa Rica, Belize and Panama and the semi-democratic government of Nicaragua, and cut off support for the dictatorships.


Crime and justice: Links and notes 11/4/13

November 4, 2013

British lawyers to get higher legal-aid fees for early guilty pleas by Owen Bowcott for The Guardian.   Hat tip to Boing Boing.

judge1Talk about perverse incentives!  The British Ministry of Justice has announced a new fee schedule for Legal Aid lawyers which will pay them more if they persuade their clients to plead guilty than if they bring the cases to trial.  Fees could be 17 percent to 20 percent in common types of criminal cases.   The overall Legal Aid budget is being cut.

It seems to me that if your assumption is criminal defendants too poor to pay lawyers should be presumed guilty, it would be simpler and cheaper not to have legal aid at all.  In fact, you could save a lot of money by not bothering with the trial.  On the other hand, it costs a lot of money to feed and shelter an innocent person in prison.

I don’t know of anything like this in the USA, but the caseload of public defenders in this country is so great that we might as well have, because they don’t have the time or resources to give most of their clients a proper defense.

Nobody Should Shed a Tear for JP Morgan Chase by Matt Taibbi for Rollilng Stone.

Too-big-to-jailJP Morgan Chase and its CEO Jamie Dimon recently agreed to pay a $13 billion in fines for its part in the sub-prime mortgage fraud which lead to the 2008 financial crisis.  The fraud consisted of writing mortgages for people they knew could not repay, then repackaging the mortgages as securities and selling them to suckers.

The fine seems like a lot of money, but, as Matt Taibbi pointed out, it is a lot less than the $25 billion in TARP funds that JP Morgan Chase received, not to mention other government subsidies.  And it also is a lot less than the $100 billion to $200 billion that JP Morgan Chase might have had to pay if pending lawsuits had gone to trial.

And, unlike with Bernie Madoff, no guilty individual will pay a dollar in fines or spend a day in jail.  It will all be paid by that fictitious person, JP Morgan Chase.

CNBC discovers a firing offense by Alex Pareene for Salon.  Hat tip for this to Bill Elwell.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius deserves to be fired because of the messed-up rollout of Obamacare, according to CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo.   When Alex Pareene said on an earlier show that Jamie Dimon should be fired as CEO of JPMorgan Chase for multiple violations of the securities laws, Bartiromo regarded this as crazy talk.  But nobody was bankrupted or foreclosed on because the ACA web site doesn’t work right.

Congress’ Illegal-Immigration Detention Quota Costs $2 Billion a Year by William Selway and Margaret Newkirk for Bloomberg Businessweek.  Hat tip to Kids Prefer Cheese.

detention_center_0112-thumb-640xauto-4858U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is locking up and deporting more unauthorized immigrants than ever before.  The late Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, inserted into Homeland Security’s 2009 budget a requirement that ICE keep a minimum of 33,400 illegal immigrants locked up at all times.

Keeping all those people locked up costs $120 a day each, or $2 billion a year.  Congress has twice rebuffed White House budget requests to cut the quota and use less expensive means, such as electronic ankle bracelets, to keep track of detainees.  I imagine the for-profit private prison lobby was opposed to the change.

Girl smuggled into Britain to have her organs harvested by Steven Swinford of The Telegraph.

British authorities reported a young girl was brought from Somalia for the purpose of having her organs removed and sold to people desperate for transplants.  The World Health Organization estimated that about 7,000 kidneys are obtained for transplant illegally each year.  The transaction requires organization—a recruiter to find a victim, someone to arrange transportation, medical personnel and someone to market the organ.