Think things are bad for illegal aliens in Arizona…don’t go to Escondido, California if you are an illegal alien and have any kind of criminal record (including a traffic ticket)by Hugh Holub on Feb. 05, 2011, under border issues, immigration law reform, politics
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a program being tested in Escondido, California called “Joint Effort” , which allows federal agents to reach deeper into the streets for immigration scofflaws than in almost any other community in the country.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have been stationed at the Police Department of this San Diego County city since May, responding to everything from traffic stops to gang sweeps in an aggressive effort to clear the community of illegal immigrants with deportation orders or criminal records.
The “Joint Effort” program between ICE and Escondido’s police department looks almost exactly like what Arizona legislators intended by passing SB 1070….make every encounter with the local police an opportunity to check people’s immiogration status…and boot out anyone in the state illegally.
Besides the obvious problems of racial profiling and limited budgets of local law enforcement agencies that coud be better spent chasing violent criminals, a major obstacle for SB 1070 is what do you do with a suspected illegal alien when you catch one?
The Escondido “Joint Effort” project puts federal ICE agents right in the town, with the resources to process illegal aliens and deport them. ICE has made no such committmeent in Arizona….yet.
According to the news account, ICE officials are willing to expand the “Joint Effort” program to other comnmunities if they are interested and there are funds available.
The Escondido program targets “criminal” aliens…folks with prior criminal records. Most people would agree that any illegal alien with a criminal record ought to be bounced out of the country. But the definition of “criminal record” in the Escondido/ICE project includes traffic tickets.
Here is the story from the Los Angeles Times:
“The city of Escondido is the Arizona of San Diego County,” said Kevin Keenan, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego and Imperial counties. “The program is an extreme example of local police working with federal immigration agents, and neglects the tremendous harm to public safety from scaring to death our immigrant communities.”