Monday, October 30, 2006

7 days to go: NOW an ICE press release

A sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its annual report today on its work including information on apprehending undocumented immigrants at the border. The report claims that apprehensions are down at the border and that this somehow reflects that fewer undocumented are crossing into U.S. That's one interpretation.

Another interpretation could be that ICE is not looking in the increasingly remote areas where immigrants are crossing and putting their lives at risk. A study by the General Accounting Office, that was released in August, found that deaths at the border have doubled since 1995.

National Public Radio commented on the timing of this release, only one week before the mid-term elections. Normally these numbers are released in January. Commentators wonder if ICE wanted to make voters feel better about the ability of the Bush administration to address the situation and therefore vote Republican.

In this blog, we've reported on the questions surrounding the interim appointment of Julie Myers to head ICE when she had very little experience and her motivations in increasing workplace raids. It is interesting to note that in today's press release her name is prominently mentioned in the first sentence. Ms. Myers is up for confirmation in a few months, by the way...And there's no telling who will be on that committee is the OTHER party takes the Senate...

ACTION STEP: Call Julie Myers at 202-514-2648 and ask why she released the report three months early, right before the elections. Tell her to leave electoral politics to politicians and start instituting just policies that protect immigrant families and don't terrorize communities with raids.