Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's About Time

Finally. That's about all there is to say about today's Michael Chertoff announcement:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.

Thousands of "Mexicans who are caught entering the United States illegally are returned immediately to Mexico. But other parts of the system have nearly collapsed under the weight of numbers. The problem is especially severe for non-Mexicans apprehended at the southwest border," Chertoff explained.

"Today, a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities," he added.

"Through a comprehensive approach, we are moving to end this 'catch and release' style of border enforcement by reengineering our detention and removal process."

Although the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, perhaps now we can call a halt to the utterly nonsensical (and self-destructive) debates over whether illegals should be rewarded for their crimes with driver's licenses, welfare, food stamps, Medi-Care and subsidized higher education. I am not anti-immigrant, although I do think we currently welcome far to many legal immigrants. I am strongly anti-illegal immigrant (and anti-amnesty). Send 'em home. No excuses, no apologies.

I'm sure the end of the 'catch-and-release' policy will draw the ire of those who reflexively cry racism and zenophobia in response to even the merest suggestion that federal imigration law be enforced. Who cares? Their "arguments" have been roundly rejected. Insults are all they have left (and, to be fair, insult has always been the weapon of choice in their intellectual arsenal).

More: The Immigration Blog has a very different take on Chertoff's presser. Oh well, isn't any enforcement better than none?