Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Immigration and the Bush Legacy

[Immigration] You'd think that revelations about Bush era fuck-ups would have started to cap off already, but not after reading this from the NY Times. Apparently the Times found out that a Bush era program aimed at rooting out dangerous criminals who had undocumented status in the USA, by 2006 had become a farce. And instead was rounding up immigrants for deportation who had no criminal background at all. The program heads then used the "jewked stats"--as they say on The Wire--to justify further funding of the program.

This shit tears me up. Especially since looking back I've realized that one of my biggest regrets about the last eight years of trauma, was that ol' dubya didn't push hard enough for comprehensive immigration reform. The guy was at least reasonable about that issue. And while many Bush-loving Utahns may hate to hear it, Bush was famous for having said during the 2000 campaign that "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande."

Yet now we find out that not only did Bush fail to make something of his campaign for sensible and compassionate reform, but that his failure to manage his administration's ICE initiatives allowed for the agency to conduct mass roundups of workers with no criminal records and pass them off as dangerous criminals--or worse, he tacitly supported it. As the article notes a study reported that as a result of artificially pumping up these stats, in 2007 ICE's apprehension of actual undocumented fugitives with serious criminal records fell to 9 percent compared to 39 percent in 2004 when the program was legitimately targeting major criminals as opposed to just bringing in bodies. The article raised the argument that the roundups were perhaps the result of a push to assure GOP-immigration hardliners that the Bush administration wasn't soft on them thar' illegals.

Lord knows how this will reflect on a Utah bill covered in an article in this week's paper that would have state law enforcement teaming up with ICE officials in targeting major undocumented immigrant crime. (Eric S. Peterson)

1 comment:

  1. I knew it. Not this, specifically, but I've been saying for years that with all the terrible things that the notoriously-secretive Bush Administration has done that we know about, it was certain there'd be more to come out after he was gone. Expect more infuriating disclosures to come.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.