Michael Hiltzik says:
It’s plain that a sensible immigration policy has four prongs: 1/ Set existing illegals on the path of legal residence and citizenship, at a price in cash or commitment to work; 2/Offer a similar deal to newcomers; 3/ Sanction employers who hire outside these two categories; and 4/ Secure the borders.
Regardless of whether you agree with these prescriptions, it’s plain that there is a missing prong: aggressive deportation of the criminal element of the illegal population.
We will never deport the millions of illegals currently residing in the country. But, as I have previously argued, we can use our scarce enforcement resources to target violent criminals.
While many illegals are hardworking folk, some are robbers, kidnappers, rapists, violent gang members, and murderers. Police officers often know who these individuals are — yet they have their hands tied by local policy.
Targeting violent illegals makes good sense.
Hiltzik obviously disagrees. A recent column of his demonizes a pilot program in Costa Mesa designed to check the immigration status of suspects in violent crimes. Hiltzik denounces the entire concept as demagoguery. But what is demagogic about an effort to deport violent illegals?
To the contrary, such efforts help honest hardworking illegals, who are often the victims of violent illegal immigrants.
The Costa Mesa program may not be perfect, but the general idea is sound: promoting cooperation between local law enforcement — the folks who know who the bad guys really are — and federal immigration officials. Hiltzik would do better to suggest ways that the program could be improved, rather than criticizing the entire concept as grandstanding.