Friday, April 3, 2009

Rick makes a move on illegal aliens...

Rick and Kay both seem to have seen the polls. Border security, illegal immigration, and all the related issues are big, big stuff in Republican primaries. Even I as a former skeptic on the issue have started to want tougher immigration enforcement and border security, with all the violence on the other side of the border.

Rick has asked the U.S. to share any data it has on illegal immigrants, so Texas can crack down on them more efficiently (link). Excerpts follow:
Gov. Rick Perry has requested that top Department of Homeland Security officials resolve “vulnerabilities” that have allowed illegal immigrants to hold onto valid Texas driver’s licenses and slip undetected through the state’s jails.


• Giving all Texas jails access to a database that automatically checks suspects’ immigration history. So far, 19 of the 252 jails in the state with electronic fingerprint booking participate in the program, including the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police Department.

Those 19 jails have checked 37,000 people through the database since last fall, and have identified 8,844 with fingerprints on file with immigration officials, according to Perry’s letter.

Perry specifically cited the case of Wilfido Alfaro, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who avoided deportation after multiple arrests in Texas and last month shot and critically wounded a Houston Police officer.

• Requiring ICE officials to notify the state when they deport a foreign national with a Texas driver’s license, which would close a gap that has allowed illegal immigrants to keep valid state identification. For example, according to local investigators, Alfaro had a Texas driver’s license, even though an immigration judge ordered him to leave the country in 2001.

• Keeping illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in federal custody until their deportation. Perry cited a recent case involving two Cubans convicted of robbery in Florida and dropped by immigration officials at a bus stop in Willacy, Texas, after being released from custody.

Honestly, I have no idea what any of that just said, but I do like that Rick and Kay both seem to be paying more than lip service to the issue of border security, even if it is just political posturing.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.