Arrest, Yes – But Don`t Forget The EOIR
It would be great if every police
officer, sheriff and state trooper in America went out
and arrested an illegal alien or criminal alien resident
today. But it wouldn`t be the end of the illegal alien
story – it would just be the beginning.
The recent VDARE.com
article by James R. Edwards Jr. made clear that
using state and local law enforcement to assist the
Department of Homeland Security is not only perfectly
legal, but it`s the right thing to do.
James Edwards certainly knows his
way around immigration law. Co-author of the extremely
The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform,
Edwards is one of those rare writers who can make
interesting reading out of
Section 287(g) of the Immigration Act.
And that`s a good thing. Because
this little-known section of law delegating immigration
authority to local law enforcement is vital to any
round-up of immigration fugitives.
Affectionately known as “Section
133 authority,” these provisions came into existence as
Section 133 of the 1996 Immigration Act – the 104th
enforcement package, the Illegal Immigration Reform
and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA).
But unfortunately there`s more to
immigration law enforcement than just arresting illegal
The problem: what happens next.
So with apologies to
Paul Harvey, now it`s time for the rest of the
Even if Section 133 immigration
authority were expanded to police departments nationwide
— and thousands of illegal aliens were arrested every
day – any hope of an illegal alien-free country would
hit the brick wall of current
catch and release policies in the
Though largely unknown, the
stumbling block called the EOIR Immigration Court system
is both a
revolving door of detention and release and also a
permanent amnesty program. EOIR is the unspoken
four-letter word of the immigration issue.
wrote in March, 2002 —
"If all of the illegal aliens
and deportable resident alien criminals were rounded up
tomorrow, the system would not be capable of handling
them…The aliens would all be released back out on the
street on immigration bonds and go back right where they
were as if nothing happened, while their cases would
grind on through the system of Immigration Court
hearings and endless appeals."
She also holds the distinction of
being the first syndicated columnist and author to adopt
the central thesis of my
web site, and call for the federal immigration
bureaucracy of the EOIR and its
appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals, to
Arresting and detaining illegal
aliens and criminal alien residents is long overdue.
But as long as the EOIR and the same former INS policies
are still around, the illegal immigration problem won`t
disappear whether Border Patrolmen or police officers
put the handcuffs on someone.
There`s a long road ahead for real
immigration reform. And all roads lead to the EOIR.