Following the extensive (several hours!) hearing on immigration the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, four US Senators released a “Dear Colleague” letter regarding smart enforcement and valuing due process, continuing the active discussion of changing the immigration laws.
The letter raises good points about our current system.
In most cases breaking the immigration law is an administrative violation, not a crime. Deportation is an administrative remedy and persons are (theoretically) “detained” not “imprisoned”.
But in reality, persons detained for an immigration violations are often given less consideration than those who have committed crimes – some even have died for lack of medical treatment, for example – or are held in prison with convicted criminals. Children can be “detained” who would never be “jailed”.
Also, attention to border security, while critically important, must be done in a way that works. For more information about border security check out Ben Johnson’s post in The Hill Congressional Blog and the American Immigration Lawyers’ special report, “Border Security: Moving beyond past benchmarks”.