by Peter Grady –
In another assault on states attempting to combat illegal aliens, the federal government has launched a new federal hotline for aliens arrested for immigration violations.
In a press release on Dec. 29 announcing the hotline, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says it is establishing a new toll free number that will be staffed 24/7 with ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center.
ICE says the number is for detained individuals who believe they are U.S. citizens and that the hotline is “part of a broader effort to improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety, repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives while continuing to strengthen oversight of the nation’s immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration.”
Another policy change modifies the detainer form to include a provision that allows ICE agents to “make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.” In other words, law enforcement is to ignore the detainer unless the alien is convicted of the offenses he or she was arrested for, if not, the illegal alien is released.
The administration has also taken the step of pursuing legal options against states that are simply attempting to enforce federal laws that are being ignored by the administration.
Recently a federal judge stopped major provisions of South Carolina’s immigration law from taking effect after being challenged by the Justice Department. The DOJ has also taken Arizona to court for its passage of SB 1070, which mirrored federal law. In a report to the United Nations Human rights Council, the administration specifically mentioned Arizona’s immigration law.
Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), claims the hotline is intended to buy the illegal aliens time to avoid being deported. “”This is all part of an ongoing policy by this administration to make sure that unless you’ve committed some serious crime here in the United States that you are not going to be removed. And that is what the administration has been working on for some time.”
With any type of immigration reform being unlikely in an election year, Mehlman says this is a way for Obama to placate members of his base who are demanding some type of action on the issue.