“Policy Changes” = No Enforcement

From the Washington Post,

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.

In other words, enforcing the law is on hold for now.

“Raids that break up families in that way, just kick in the door in the middle of the night, taking [a] father, a parent away, that’s just not the American way. It must stop,” Pelosi added at a Capitol Hill conference on border issues sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But Obama also faces pressure from conservative lawmakers and many centrist Democrats, who say that workplace enforcement is needed to reduce the supply of jobs that attract illegal immigrants, and that any retreat in defending American jobs in a recession could ignite a populist backlash.

When the White House announced plans last week to move more than 450 federal agents and equipment to the border to counter Mexico’s drug cartels, lawmakers warned Napolitano against diverting money from workplace operations.

Rep. Lamar Smith (Tex.), ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the administration “appears to be using border violence as an excuse” to undercut immigration enforcement in the nation’s interior.

All part of the political chess game.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which seeks to reduce immigration, said Obama aides are trying to manage the issue until an economic turnaround permits an attempt to overhaul immigration laws.

“I think their calculus is, how do they keep Hispanic groups happy enough without angering the broader public so much that they sabotage health care and their other priorities?” Krikorian said.

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Published in: on March 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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