Tag Archives: INS

Private prisons remain a detestable idea

Oh, how I hate the principle of letting private firms incarcerate prisoners.

Yet, according to USA Today, the private-prison industry thinks it’s about to score big if Donald J. Trump goes ahead with his plan to round up millions of people who are in the United States illegally.

These outfits have given big money to Trump and now see a potential payoff if the president follows through with his pledge to put all the illegal immigrants behind bars before deporting them.

Let me offer this notion about private prisons.

First of all, the public already pays police officers, prosecutors, judges and juries to arrest, detain and prosecute criminals. The public, therefore, ought to be responsible for their incarceration when they are convicted of crimes.

It’s a social responsibility thing, the way I see it.

Second of all, if the president believes illegal immigration presents a dire threat to our national security, our way of life and our national identity, doesn’t that mean that the public should step up and foot the bill for these alleged threats?

Here is how USA Today reports the issue: “Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security issued sweeping new instructions to carry out Trump’s executive orders on immigration. They require all federal agents — including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — to identify, capture and quickly deport undocumented immigrants.

“Significantly for private-prison operators, the orders also require that undocumented people caught entering the country be detained until their cases are resolved, ending the ‘catch and release’ program in which undocumented immigrants were processed by immigration agents, released into the USA and ordered to reappear for court hearings.”

So now the Trump administration wants to farm out this responsibility to for-profit prison companies? I’m trying to understand where the nation derives the cost savings if it is going to pay these companies to do what state and local authorities should be doing.

And I haven’t even mentioned the public oversight of the manner in which these private lockups are managed.

The idea of private prisons is loony, in my view. If we’re going spend public money to send criminals to prison, we need to spend public money to ensure they are treated humanely.

And that includes illegal immigrants.

Slow down just a bit on immigration

Immigration policy needs to be reformed.

Democrats favor reform, as do reasonable Republicans. The outliers appear to be the tea party wing of the GOP, which appears to be calling the shots within the Republican caucus.

The question now is whether President Obama will take executive action to institute reforms during the lame-duck session of Congress. As much as the tea party — aka nut case — wing of the GOP angers me, I think the president should wait just a while longer before taking unilateral action.


Fox News reports Obama might take action next week.

It is sure to enrage Republicans, who already are loaded for bear in the wake of their stunning election victories on Nov. 4.

Obama is said to be considering a 10-point plan that includes deferment of deportation for 4.5 million illegal immigrants; it also includes a pay increase for Immigration and Naturalization Service employees.

Here’s a thought: Wait for the new Congress to take office; enlist some congressional allies to put forward your legislative proposals; debate it with Congress; let the Republicans have their say along with Democrats.

Then, if nothing gets done, drop the executive action hammer.

This is a fight worth waging … but when the time is right.


Obama is 'deporter in chief'?

Well, what do you know about this?

The Obama administration has broken its own record for the number of illegal immigrants deported in a single year. To think that critics believe President Obama is “soft” on illegal immigration.


Soft squishiness has produced angry protests from the Latino community who want the president to act on immigration reform.

I happen to agree that there should be some action — executive action, if necessary — to further the case for reforming national immigration policy. However, to suggest that the administration has looked the other way while people flood across our “porous” southern border is to resort to demagoguery.

In 2013, the Immigration and Naturalization Service deported 438,421 illegal — or undocumented — immigrants. That beats the former record set the previous year. What’s more, the deportations include 198,400 immigrants with criminal records. How is it, then, that critics keep harping on the feds’ inattention to the crime wave that’s sweeping into the country from Mexico and points south? I guess it’s because they’ve gotten quite good at distorting these issues for their own gain.

As the Texas Tribune reports: “The statistics are not likely to draw praise from Republican lawmakers. Despite the administration’s record-breaking deportations over the past several years, conservative lawmakers have criticized the president for what they consider his lax enforcement policies, which they say lure illegal crossers.”

Whatever. I’ll consider the deportation push to be a poke in the eye of those very critics.

I’ll also consider it time for the president to act where he can legally to start fixing the immigration problem. If Congress won’t act, then it falls on the president to, as the Tribune reported, “to expand relief to more of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.”