The ICE website currently features this gem: "The top 10 laws you didn't know ICE enforces." I immediately clicked on it, expecting to see the Immigration and Nationality Act listed as Number 1, based on the findings of a new report we're releasing next week, showing immigration enforcement in steep decline.
The news release should be called "Top 10 excuses for not enforcing immigration law." And pathetic excuses at that. Sure, we're all against Child Exploitation, Chemical Weapons Proliferation, Extrajudicial Killings, Genocide, Import Dumping, and Use and Recruitment of Child Soldiers. We must not ignore the Lacey Act either. You're not familiar with the Lacey Act, USC Title 16 Chapter 53? It is an obvious linchpin in our homeland security enterprise that protects animals and plants by banning the buying, selling, transporting or trading wildlife and vegetation that have been illegally obtained.
One item caught my attention: Importation of Aliens for an Immoral Purpose. It's meant to cover things like prostitution and involuntary servitude, but I could not help but think of the many thousands of not only illegal aliens, but also foreign exchange students, technology workers, teachers and nurses who are lured the United States each year on guestworker visas for what I consider to be the immoral purpose of avoiding hiring Americans.
But instead of arresting illegal employers and removing illegal workers, ICE is grasping about for anything else to do. On Wednesday, I received a press release from ICE sent out to warn the American populace about the scourge of counterfeit decorative contact lenses! One of my associates promptly re-branded one of the nation's largest collections of sworn gun-toters as "Immigration and Contact Enforcement," and another, a former federal agent, lamented, "do they ever realize how foolish they look?"
To be fair, the list of otherwise obscure and rarely-prosecuted statutes that seem to be a priority for ICE did include Human Trafficking and Money Laundering, but I'm not convinced that the public needed to be reminded that ICE does this important work.
Besides, the emphasis in recent years has been not so much on fighting human trafficking per se, but on making sure that advocacy groups and legal aid providers around the country take full advantage of the special U visas intended for victims to be used by as many illegal aliens as possible who can make even the most tenuous claim to be a crime victim.
The most absurd example of this that I've seen lately is the case of Gabriela Machado, a Brazilian who swindled thousands of dollars from a number of women who sought her help at the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance in Lincoln, Nebraska, an organization that specializes in obtaining legal status for illegal aliens claiming to be crime victims. After conviction on a plea of no contest and an unsuccessful appeal, Machado, who was out on bond, failed to appear at Lancaster County Jail on October 1 to begin serving her one-year sentence (the local ICE office, of course, under current policies would never had dared issue a detainer to keep her in custody because Machado got off with misdemeanor theft, and that's considered a minor offense in ICE HQ). Machado obviously learned the U visa racket well. Now on the lam, she sent an email to the judge offering to come back to serve her sentence if he will cooperate in obtaining a U visa for her, which would protect her from deportation and lead to a green card and potentially citizenship. It's a great country we live in.