By popular demand, I’m covering the surprising revelation that the Democratic Congress has outbid not only the usually venal, poll-steered White House, but the GOP as well, when it comes to immigration enforcement.
Homeland Security budget bill now moving through the House Appropriations Committee specifies that at least $800 million be spent after Oct. 1 to identify and remove the most violent and dangerous criminals from the U.S. And Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) is expected to take an even more aggressive approach Wednesday in his own plan, adding more money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations within Homeland Security.
In short, the Dems are plotting a pretty politically safe course in addressing one of the illegal immigration problems – they’re going after those who’re actually known to have committed crimes.
Does an infusion of tax dollars address what a deportation effort needs? Yes, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible:
Homeland Security officials say any long-term solution rests on investing in new technologies and improved interoperability to give ICE a virtual presence throughout prisons and jails nationwide.
Is the Democrat solution more than what the GOP was doing, though? Yes; vastly more.
…after the new Democratic Congress added $200 million to the agency’s 2008 budget for this purpose, the White House didn’t continue the funding…
Comparatively speaking, the Democrats have been worlds better than the GOP on immigration enforcement.
In 2003, 445 worksite enforcement arrests of illegal immigrants were made. In 2007, there were 4,077. In 2006, the last year of the GOP Congress, j”ust 67,000 illegal immigrants had been charged for deportation; by 2007 that number had doubled to 164,000, and the goal is to begin proceedings for 200,000 persons this year.”
In short, prior to the Democratic takeover of Congress, immigration law enforcement was a travesty. Now it is approaching effective on some areas like deportation. But the resources are still far below adequate to address even that:
…ICE estimates that it would require between $2.1 billion and $3.4 billion each year to remove all illegal immigrants convicted of crimes…
That is deemed an “impossible” sum. It is a hefty price tag, after all.
But it is also the amount of money spent on Iraq in a single week.