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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)

    US will toughen voluntary returns; immigrants will be sent farther away
    By Aileen B. Flores and Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
    Posted: 01/18/2012 12:18:55 AM MST
    Video at link

    David Aguilar, the newly appointed Acting Commissioner of Customs and and Border Protection, speaks during a press conference Tuesday in El Paso.

    U.S. Border Patrol officials announced Tuesday what may be the toughest policy aimed at deterring illegal immigration since Operation Hold the Line began 19 years ago.

    Details on the new policy or strategy are expected to start filtering out today.

    Essentially, the Border Patrol plans to curtail the practice of using voluntary returns to send undocumented immigrants back to their home countries without punishment.

    Immigration advocates in the border region said the new plan appears misguided and impractical.

    Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher in San Diego said the drop in Border Patrol apprehensions over the years is allowing the agency to develop the "Consequence Delivery System," a key part of the Border Patrol's new national strategy, according to The Associated Press.

    "What we want to be able to do is make (voluntary returns) the exception and not necessarily the norm," Fisher said.

    David Aguilar, acting commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection who visited El Paso on Tuesday, said, "This is not a cookie-cutter approach."

    Aguilar, who answered questions about the new policy during a news conference, added, "We have not, by the way, done away with voluntary departures. In addition, there are several administrative approaches to deportation, depending on the criminal background of the undocumented immigrant.

    "If the individual is a recidivist, we may choose to prosecute. If the individual is a recidivist, but just not that high of a recidivist, we may choose to go with the formal deportation," Aguilar said.

    Formal deportation does not allow a person to have any kind of immigration benefits for a certain period.

    While returning voluntarily remains an option, officials said, the new Border Patrol initiative calls for finding ways to break the smuggling cycle. Part of the initiative calls for returning undocumented immigrants to their home countries through ports of entry that are farther from the ports where they were caught.

    "An individual who we apprehended today in undocumented immigrant that has been smuggled into El Paso, if we return him or her back into Juárez, then we're returning that individual right back into the hands of the smuggler who is going to try and smuggle him or her back into the (United States)," Aguilar said.

    The number of Border Patrol apprehensions in the El Paso sector has dropped by 10 percent every year recently, officials said. In fiscal year 2011, which ended Oct. 31, the Border Patrol-El Paso sector had 10,345 apprehensions compared with 12,251 in 2010.

    Doug Mosier, spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso, said his office did not have statistics available on how many apprehensions were ultimately processed as voluntary returns and how many were processed as criminal cases.

    Before Operation Hold the Line was put into effect in 1993, as well as other enforcement actions taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the number of yearly apprehensions in the El Paso sector had reached nearly half a million.

    Operation Hold the Line, which began in El Paso, placed Border Patrol agents along the border in close proximity to each other. The strategy was credited with reducing the number of undocumented immigrants who crossed through the El Paso area, and also with driving undocumented immigration to more hazardous border regions.

    Officials of Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights, a government agency, said that 3,000 Mexican migrants died while crossing the border between 2000 and 2010, many of whom got lost without food and water in the desert.

    The Border Patrol's Tucson sector, where the latest new initiative was tried first and which had high levels of illegal immigration, ended the 2011 fiscal year with 123,000 apprehensions compared with 600,000 in the year 2000.

    El Paso lawyer Carlos Spector, who specializes in immigration and asylum issues, said he does not believe there are enough federal prosecutors and judges to handle all the potential cases that could be referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office. "We have about 5,000 cases on the docket of the Downtown courthouse," Spector said. "We are waiting two to three years to get a hearing for some cases.

    "With the apprehensions being down so much, the Border Patrol really needs to justify all the money it's been getting for its budget," Spector said. "It's like bringing the soldiers back from Afghanistan, and then once they're here, what do you do with them?"

    Spector said Mexico's drug cartel wars also have created new dangers for immigrants seeking to cross the border illegally. Mexican authorities have implicated violent cartels in the kidnappings and murders of hundreds of immigrants, usually stemming from disputes between rival human smugglers associated with the drug cartels.

    Jose Escobedo, policy director for the Border Network of Human Rights based in El Paso, said he would like to see the new policy's final details.

    "From what I've heard so far, it has no basis in human rights or humanitarian policies. It is a punitive strategy to decide the appropriate level of punishment for people who are here only because they are seeking work," Escobedo said.

    Mexican Consulate officials referred all queries to the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., where a representative was not available late Tuesday.

    "We have already seen some of these practices by the Border Patrol," said Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation House, a center for refugees from other countries.

    "The U.S. does not have the capacity to handle all the potential criminal proceedings," Garcia said. "And you're still not dealing with the root causes of illegal immigration. The economy is a greater driver of illegal immigration than anything else.

    "This is all very sad. You're simply antagonizing a neighbor," Garcia said.

    Border Patrol apprehensions are down, and the Border Patrol is looking at what else it can do, Garcia said. "They have 30,000 immigration detention beds (nationwide), and there is just no way they can process them all through the existing federal judicial system and jails," he said.

    Aileen B. Flores may be reached at; 546-6362.

    Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at; 546-6140.

    Border Patrol will toughen voluntary returns; immigrants will be sent farther away - El Paso Times
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    "The U.S. does not have the capacity to handle all the potential criminal proceedings," Garcia said. "And you're still not dealing with the root causes of illegal immigration. The economy is a greater driver of illegal immigration than anything else.

    BINGO! And it certainly is NOT the US economy Garcia is concerned about - - it is the UNDERGROUND ECONOMY fostered and flourishing with the protection of the US Government.

    Unless and until the US Gov begins to prosecute US employers for hiring illegal aliens this grotesque injustice to the America labor workforce and market will never be repaired, and will simply relegate American workers pay and posture in the US labor market to the 3rd-World standards of Mexico.

    Go after WalMart and Tyson for starters. And not just with lip service, start jailing the employers hiring illegal aliens and stealing work from Americans and you will see a 180' in illegal immigration in less than two weeks.
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 01-18-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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