Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Continued Mismanagement Illustrates Lack of Progress on Immigration Reform

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

A March 3, New York Times editorial asks the poignant question of the Obama Administration: who’s in charge when it comes to immigration policy?

On the campaign trail President Obama continually promised to take a different, albeit smarter, approach to immigration enforcement than the one chosen by the Bush administration. The Bush era can generally be categorized as one consisting of federal agents storming factories and shackling workers and allowing local authorities to take matters into their own hands. Unfortunately, according to the Times, a lack of management remains to be the case when it comes to President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s immigration efforts. The editorial cites two recent examples to illustrate its point.

As previously discussed in “La Plaza” last week, thousands in Phoenix protested peacefully against rampaging Sheriff Arpaio. He has a reputation of terrorizing Latino neighborhoods by initiating harsh sweeps and parading shackled immigrants through the streets. Many accuse Sherriff Arpaio of severely misusing the powers granted under a program called 287(g), which enlists local police as immigration enforcers. (See: Activists March for Immigration)

Also as discussed in a previous “La Plaza” post, last week, Secretary Napolitano had to admit in a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that she was unaware of a controversial work place raid in Bellingham, Washington that occurred only days previously. (See: Hispanic Lawmakers are Hopeful Following Meeting With Homeland Security)

Many Americans feel strongly that any crackdown on illegal immigrants is good. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that without any clear and focused path the efforts of random raids and rampaging Sheriffs are being done in vain. The country is not better off because an entire community is living in fear or two dozen families have been torn apart. Enforcement alone will not suffice – the government simply will not be able to remove close to 12 million illegal immigrants from their homes and jobs. It is clear that the system is broken and the Obama administration needs to develop a smarter, more practical, path.

New York Times


  1. I think it’s a shame that this country, especially its leaders, can’t come to some sort of sensible consensus on immigration. I understand its a sensistive and complex subject, but we all must realize the important part that immigrants (and especially in the past 20 years, Latino immigrants) play in the workforce of this country! Great coverage of this topic and please continue to follow up!

  2. It is disguisting that Sherrif Arpaio still has a job despite his record. It is unacceptable to assume that someone is illegal based on his/her looks. Police officers cannot act as if they were immigration officers because 1) they don’t get the proper training 2) how exactly do they determine whether someone is legal or illegal? It is not like the United States people have ID cards like in many countries. There are Americans who also don’t have a driver’s license…what do these people do? How do they prove that they are in fact NOT illegal?