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Federal Judge Surprises Illegals By Holding Them For Deportation

It's a telling sign of the lack of enforcement of our immigrations laws that a federal judge actually enforcing the law is newsworthy.

The Brownsville Herald - June 3 2005 - Jorge Enrique Vasquez Carrasco didn't expect jail time or to be deported when he got caught illegally entering the United States.

The 18-year-old Honduran man expected the same treatment as thousands of other undocumented immigrants who have been set free after receiving a notice to appear in court.

According to federal figures, almost 88 percent of immigrants who receive those notices never appear in court and stay illegally in the United States.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio made a statement Thursday to Vasquez and six other Central Americans who were caught this week crossing the Rio Grande near Brownsville.

"I want you to tell all your friends in Honduras that if they come through Brownsville, Texas, they will not be paroled into the system and they will be put in jail and deported," Recio told Vasquez in open court as he handed him a jail sentence that could keep him here until space opens at an immigration facility and he could be deported.

The one other interesting piece of the story is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is legally bound to carry out the sentences imposed by federal judges. If more federal judges recognized the "notice to appear" for what is is - a "notice to disappear" - and held illegal immigrants for deportation hearings ICE would be forced to address a lager percentage those arrested at the border.

How many illegal aliens are we talking about? This recent San Diego Union-Tribune article notes that the problem with the "notice to disappear" is already out of control, and getting worse.

As word of this border loophole filters back to Central and South America, the volume of people coming to exploit it is likely to grow, according to Border Patrol agents.

Apprehension statistics bolster their assertion. Arrests of non-Mexicans along the U.S.-Mexico border totaled 14,935 in 1995, 28,598 in 2000 and 65,814 last year. In the first eight months of this federal fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, more than 85,000 have been apprehended. Nearly all are no-shows at their court hearings, but comprehensive federal figures are not available.

Statistics aren't the only evidence. Interviews with immigrants caught sneaking across the border recently suggest the problem will only increase as Central and South American migrants learn of the unintended opportunity.

Notice that the 85,000 figure for FY05 (which ends Sept. 31, 2005) is for non-Mexicans. I'm not sure if anyone even has a guesstimate for the number of Mexicans arrested, but is is surely orders of magnitude larger than than 85,000, as they too know about the catch and release program currently in place.

More federal judges like Recio could have a major impact on the illegal alien problem as The Center for Immigration Studies notes in Downsizing Illegal Immigration - A Strategy of Attrition Through Enforcement

Comments (10)

Interesting, Kevin.<p... (Below threshold)

Interesting, Kevin.

About that link (McCain/Kennedy proposed legislation, that I completely disagree with), it reads, to the effect, that (I paraphrase) "since deportation is impossible (of illegal immigrants already in the country), then the only solution is to grant citizenship (to illegal immigrants already in the country)":

People read that, hear that and just nod in numb agreement, "yeah, we CAN'T deport them, it's IMPOSSIBLE...so we should, uhh, make them CITIZENS, yeah, that'll solve the problem!"

It's a combination of some incredibly non-proven, un-thought-out, illogical strains of consciousness I've ever read.

Because, no, deportation of illegal immigrants is not "impossible." And, granting citizenship to illegal immigrants because anything/everything might be "impossible" is the reasoning of fools.

If that legislation passes, what, then, to do about all the OTHER millions of illegal immigrants who arrive? Will deportation of them also be "impossible?" Will citizenship for them due to their illegal immigration behaviors also be the thing to do?

McCain and Kennedy sponsoring this legislation...honestly, can two people ever be more stupid than these two with this legislation?

I read that Governor Schwarzenegger agrees with this legislation and this is one issue about which I wrote to him and described my disagreement with that decision and with the legislation itself.

Unless the country becomes firm and committed to securing our borders, enforcing even existing immigration laws and starts applying firm and effective responses (like that federal judge you describe here) to those who violate immigration laws, we will always be the free room&boardinghouse for anyone who could care less what the laws are and can't be relied upon to show up when required, to properly identify themselvse, to even appreciate the seriousness of what being a citizen is and is not.

I can't believe that McCain/Kennedy and those who support this awful legislation would even begin to offer citizenship to people who clearly have already announced that they could care less what citizenship even means. What will the country be IF they become citizens? And others like them?

If we have to build a wall,... (Below threshold)

If we have to build a wall, then build a wall.

Anyone who has good intentions and reliable identification, can do what they want to do with peaceful intentions.

I mean, all the hooplah...this legislation (and McCain/Kennedy and their supporters), they are the reason that illegal immigration even exists. They are the 'rolloverdie" representatives in D.C. who by ommission and lack of effective action continue to issue the clear but unwritten invitation to anyone from anywhere to just "come on in."

For all the limitations Washington has, the least they could do is just build a wall, hire enough guards and keep reasonably accurate records of who is who and where and by what address and references. Not like it's "impossible" to do.

And start effectively penal... (Below threshold)

And start effectively penalizing anyone in the country who employs illegal immigrants and start doing that now. Long overdue.

I wonder: what impact on il... (Below threshold)

I wonder: what impact on illegal immigration might there be if we withheld automatic conferral of citizenship to US-born children of illegal aliens?

Actually, whether it has a big impact or not, it's an idea worth examining.


I don't understand why peop... (Below threshold)

I don't understand why people insist on coming over illegally (other than because of our lack of enforcement and even encouragement to do so). Is it really so hard to immigrate legally? Shouldn't it be reasonably easy for "good, honest, hard-working" people to come over without breaking the law?

"Is it really so hard to im... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Is it really so hard to immigrate legally?"

Actually it is, and one huge hurdle is the cost, and there is a lot of beauracratic paperwork hurdles involved.

I think we should make legal immigration easier and cheaper for people who want to come here and work.

We should have a zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration-a you come you get deported. A short grace period being build in for political refugees to apply for asylum.

The INS should track those who are let in, and deport anyone who overstays their visas.

Company'd/businesses caught knowingly hiring illegals should have punishments that actually deter the practice, rather than slaps on the wrist.

Oh and Russ I actually think ditching the "born here you are a citizen automatically" law may be a good idea. Not sure if it would make a difference.

But shoot, all I want is for the stupid states, Feds, and proffessionals involved to enforce the immigration laws we have, we aren't even doing that.

OK I am shocked, I didn't r... (Below threshold)

OK I am shocked, I didn't realize you Yanks did the same thing they do in Canada esp with asylum seekers

you want to get into Canada it is well known, destroy all your original documents before you land in Canada, make sure you got a good story put together and claim refugee status....

after a few hour interview, without any proper background checks, for all you know this refugee claimant is a serial murderer, a druglord or worse yet an Al Queda terrorist, but without original documents how can you quickly check out these stories nor does Canada Immigration have the staff or resources to do, they let these people go with a promise to appear at an immigration hearing

whereby they either disappear or the smarter ones milk the refugee system for as long as they can, they get free housing, welfare and free medical care including dental which means they get better care than a Canadian citizen, then they disappear when it looks like the refugee claim isn't going to succeed etc.....

in this day and age we can't afford to have strangers walking around without thorough background checks or just do what the judge did, which is simpler and cheaper and it will have a deterrent effect - which is just turn around and send the people back, you keep doing it and the word gets out, it's not worth the attempt.....

at least in Australia, I believe, they detain any refugee claimants until they can be checked out, even if it takes months, [I recall there were some riots at one of those camps in the news in the last year]

It would be interesting to ... (Below threshold)

It would be interesting to know if this represents a change of behavior for this particular judge. The most important development in immigration law recently is that citizens have begun to enforce it. I wouldn't be surprised if the judge's new attitude was influenced by that.

The catch and release progr... (Below threshold)

The catch and release program for Mexicans is a different than the one for OTM's (Other Than Mexican). I'm not sure you were implying otherwise, but having worked on the border for almost 10 years now, I thought it best to clear things up.

When an OTM is caught crossing the border by jumping the fence, they are handed a piece of paper by the Border Patrol called a Notice to Appear. They are then released and told to show up for court on a certain date. They almost never show up.

When a Mexican is caught jumping the fence, they are escorted back to the border of Mexico and released back to Mexico to try again later that day or the following day.

So it's a little bit different. Non-Mexican's (Like say, someone from Iraq) are given a Notice to Appear, while Mexican's are removed immediately.

There is also a difference between how Border Patrol does it and how Immigration does it. What you say? Aren't they the same thing?

Well, not exactly. Immigration/Customs works at the Ports of Entry. Land, Air and Sea Ports are manned by what used to be called Inspectors. Immigration and Customs Inspectors. If someone from Honduras, or Brazil, or the Ukraine tries to come in via plane, car or boat through a Port of Entry, they are taken into custody and returned to their home via Deportation and Detention.

Border Patrol doesn't work at the Ports of Entry. They work everywhere there is NOT a Port of Entry. IE: The fenceline.

Not that everyone didn't already understand all of this, just thought i'd help to clear some confusion up for those who don't.

I believe in justice and I ... (Below threshold)
mona lisa borjas:

I believe in justice and I believe in us making mistakes. I am a U.S. citizen born in california but the father of my children is from Rio bravo tamualipas he made a mistake did state prison time now he got arrested again and has a charge of illegal re-entry his children 15 year old son is a varsity football player and football is his life what would you do in his situation ? forget that you had a child and stay in mexico? or would you come in the states illegal and be there for your children?






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