Immigration Enforcement Works - Even When It's a Hoax
The New York Times reports that immigrant communities were seized in a paralysis of fear as rumors of immigration enforcement measures terrorized these defenseless residents. And if you think the previous sentence was a tad overwrought, you should read the article.
Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami, is still looking into rumors. "The community is paralyzed," she said. "I haven't seen this kind of fear in the immigrant community ever. Immigrants are afraid of going to work, of taking their kids to school, of leaving the home. People are not going to important medical appointments. There are pregnant women canceling their prenatal care appointments because they feel immigration will be waiting for them there." Some immigrant advocates see an eerie reversal of the groundswell that emboldened tens of thousands to take to the streets in protest last month, and a frightening glimpse of the future if Congress enacts pending measures that would require the local police to enforce federal immigration law and add criminal penalties to what are now civil violations. [emphasis helpfully added to point out the reporter's own use of loaded terms]The only reason "massive deportation of the people here is not going to work" (to quote the President) will be that people won't be able to stand hearing about pregnant women missing doctor appointments and kids being torn out of their Head Start classes - not from being genuinely touched by them, but just not being able to stand hearing the nonsense over and over and over again. The Times did at least give the last (if only) word to an immigration opponent who pointed out that this is good news.
Supporters of the measures say that illegal immigrants should feel fearful. "People should feel uncomfortable about breaking the law," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation of American Immigration Reform, which advocates sharp restrictions on immigration. "If we have a policy that is demonstrated to be consistent, many people will get the message and decide that remaining here in the United States illegally isn't worth the price that they have to pay."Now, if only ICE would follow this up with some real raids - particularly some random ones, we might actually make some real progress.