As a recovering government press agent (Department of Interior, 1997-1999) I read a recent ICE press release with a specialized pair of eyes.
The lead was, shall we say, arresting:
A fugitive wanted in Mexico for beating a young boy to death with a hammer in 2001 was deported Thursday to Mexico where he faces aggravated homicide charges . . .
ICE agents had arrested him almost a year ago and, as the press release did not state, he must have retained a lawyer and managed to delay his deportation for a year by appealing to an immigration judge, and then to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), both in vain. Then ICE, at some considerable expense, chartered a small plane to carry him and his keepers from Chicago to the Lower Rio Grande Valley; from there they conveyed him to Mexican officials on the other side of the river.
All that, of course, is what should happen in such circumstances; my thoughts, however, were with the ICE press people because, in cases like this, they face (or should) face a dilemma.
On the one hand, here's a great little story about how ICE captured a murderer and turned him over to the proper authorities. It buttresses the administration's narrative that it focuses on the deportation of really bad guys, not just people who break our immigration laws. (I am for the deportation of all illegal aliens, but that's not the way the government sees things.)
But the dilemma is this: if you are always writing about the deportation of criminal aliens – as you are – does that not imply to your reading public that there is a lot of crime among the nation's overly large supply of illegal aliens? How can they get any other impression?
Doesn't that message undercut the long-term pitch of your ultimate bosses – President Obama and Secretary Napolitano – that the overwhelming majority of the illegal alien population are good guys who should be legalized?
What do you do about that?
Do your ultimate bosses realize that what you are doing may be counter-productive, as far as their policies are concerned?
The likelihood is that the chain of command is a long one, and no one, in the middle, is thinking about this problem.