Jails refuse to hold suspected aliens for immigration authorities

The conflict between the nominal duties of our mega-government, and the agenda of the Ruling Class, is wide enough to make your head spin.  We’re told that straightforward tasks are effectively impossible, when it’s something the Ruling Class doesn’t want to do, while far more complex exercises in law enforcement are waved off as trivial exercises.  The same government that pronounced itself utterly incapable of locating and deporting 10 million illegal aliens is happy to pour endless billions into schemes that involve micro-managing the lives of 300 million American citizens.

This also illustrates how a maze of incomprehensible law creates opportunities for the exercise of power.  The Ruling Class constructs vast edifices of law, but then selectively decides which will be enforced.  It can shift that enforcement energy around at will – for example, throwing up its hands as tens of thousands of people stroll across the southern border of the United States, while coming down like a ton of bricks on Canadians who cross the northern border with unacceptable candy treats.  Think of the law as a great network of pipes, many of them rusted and leaky, while power is the water surging through them.

On the matter of American citizenship, you can tell how little the Ruling Class cares about enforcing the law by looking at how hard they work to avoid noticing its violation.  Those “shadows” illegal aliens allegedly live in aren’t very deep, but the authorities aren’t carrying flashlights.  Case in point: an L.A. Times article about the unwillingness of jails to hold suspected aliens until immigration authorities can begin deportation proceedings.

In most jails until recently, inmates booked on criminal charges and suspected of being in the country illegally were often held for an additional 48 hours at the behest of federal immigration officials.

These “holds” created a pipeline for the deportation of thousands of people from the United States in the last decade. Now, that enforcement tool is crumbling.

Although some localities started limiting the number of immigration holds a few years ago, the trend of completely ignoring the requests gathered steam this spring after a series of federal court rulings determined that the immigration holds are not mandatory and that local agencies should not be compelled to follow them.

“I think there’s momentum,” said Kate Desormeau, an American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney who has helped litigate immigration hold cases. “The more localities recognize that they don’t have to do this ??? and that it doesn’t make sense for them to do this ??? makes it easier for other localities sitting on the sidelines to say they’re going to stop treating ICE detainers like warrants.”

Thus are the immigration laws of the United States nullified, without any of those annoying legal citizens being given any input.  In theory, an illegal alien who makes it across the border, and decides there are some other American laws that don’t really apply to him, could be deported.  In practice, he’ll be gone before the immigration system has a chance to process him.  That leaves the physical security of the border as the only protection for U.S. citizenship, and the Ruling Class is tired of explaining to you chumps in flyover country that securing the border is impossible, unless maybe you give them a few billion more dollars, plus a pile of fresh political concessions to motivate them.

You will not be surprised to learn that your $3.5 trillion federal government once again muttered something about being flat broke when it came time to funding the enforcement of regulations it considers unimportant, if not actively despised:

Some county officials stopped the practice because they were fearful of exposing themselves to expensive litigation, Philips said. Others saw it as a way of relieving their already overburdened jails, especially because the Department of Homeland Security did not reimburse localities for housing the inmates during the extended stay.

Those in favor of neutralizing these holds explicitly describe immigration law as a lower order of “law” than even minor traffic ordinances, something so niggling and unimportant that it’s frankly insulting to the violators to treat them like violators:

Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, who fought to reverse the policy, said the change does not pose a threat to the public.

“It’s important to understand that every single individual who was subject to an ICE hold has been determined by the court to be eligible for release. They were not a threat to society,” she said.

For instance, she said, an inmate arrested on suspicion of homicide would rarely be able to post bond ??? regardless of immigration status.

Hart Stebbins said the immigration holds ripped apart families by deporting loved ones after a hold was triggered for something as simple as a minor traffic stop.

Rachel LaZar, executive director of the immigrant rights group El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos (the Center for Equality and Rights), said the old policy undermined community policing because it led those in immigrant communities to distrust local law enforcement officials.

Regardless of the controversy the new policy has sparked in Bernalillo County, County Atty. Randy Autio said the motivation to change the policy was simple: The county had to follow the law ??? or face being sued.

“There is a natural tendency for folks to say, ‘Wait a minute. If these are criminals, why would you not cooperate with ICE?'” Autio said. “We had to explain that it is simply that you cannot deprive someone of their constitutional rights for the convenience of another agency.”

Well, not when it’s for something as silly and trivial as entering the United States illegally.  Do something really dangerous, like seek out a tax exemption for the wrong political cause, and federal agencies will suddenly become very interested in making things convenient for each other.