Watching the news. Apparently immigration services are currently undertaking a massive sweep and deportation of illegal immigrants.
I think it is bad form to start enforcing the laws at the same that we are starting the debate on immigration reform. Of course, this apparent wave of deportations might simply be nothing more than the INS trying to clean its slate of current investigations before new rules takes effect.
Even if this is the case. A sudden increase in deportations while we are in the process of redesigning the law does smack of selective law enforcement.
Selective law enforcement is a sure fire way to destroy the rule of law.
Speaking of selective enforcement: I listened to Rocky Anderson on KPCW. In his pandering to the immigrant vote, Mr. Anderson recounted his opposition to the deportation of undocumented workers at the Salt Lake International Airport just before the 2002 games. This was one of the only attempts at enforcing immigration laws in Utah over the last decade. Mr. Anderson is somewhat right in labeling this act as selective law enforcement. However, I think he is wrong for condemning the INS agents who partook in the law enforcement act.
The problem in this political climate where we do not enforce laws is that law enforcement agents are stuck in the bad position where they have to build a political base and run a PR campaign for each act of law enforcement. The INS selected the airport because they felt security concerns might provide the PR cover needed to enforce the laws.
Rocky Anderson projected all sorts of negative motivations onto the INS. He used the term "hypocrite" a half dozen times. In the present political climate, I fall short of calling the INS hypocrites for selective law enforcement. In an ideal world, law enforcement shouldn't be driven by PR concerns.
The real evil is large number of politicians who have actively thwarted the ability of law enforcement to do their job.
The current system is really what politicians want. They want a draconian set of laws, with selective enforcement that they can belittle and control.
What the people need is clear, enforceable rules.
Regardless, this acceleration of deportations is bad form. Increased border security during the debate would be good form (keeping a bad situation from getting worse is good form).
We need to avoid a world of selective law enforcement. Selective law enforcement, however, is not a fault of the law community, it is the result of our present political climate that sets unrealistic goals and actively works against effective law enforcement.