Is Arizona deporting the wrong kind of illegal?

Posted on May 20, 2011

You’d think, from a common sense standpoint, that anyone caught being in the country illegally should be eligible for deportation, but it appears that isn’t the case:

The Department of Homeland Security will conduct an internal review of a controversial federal immigration-enforcement program that has led to the deportation of thousands of immigrants in Arizona to determine whether the program has strayed from its primary goal of removing dangerous criminals.

DHS inspectors also plan to look into a burgeoning controversy over whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials falsely misrepresented the Secure Communities program as voluntary to persuade counties and states across the country to participate.

All 15 counties in Arizona participate in the program that lets federal immigration-enforcement officials quickly screen all people booked into local jails. Arizona is one of 11 states fully participating in the program.

The review comes amid growing opposition to the program. Earlier this month, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he would terminate his state’s participation, setting the stage for more communities to follow. In December, the state of Washington announced it would not participate, and lawmakers in California and Massachusetts have raised objections about the program under pressure from immigrant-advocacy groups that say the program is tearing apart families and disrupting communities by deporting more non-criminals and low-level offenders than dangerous criminals.

Critics hope the review will lead to a revamping of the program that narrows its focus.

“It’s like feigning that they are going after hard criminals but in reality they are going after moms and pops and anyone who falls into their dragnet,” said Salvador Reza of Puente, an immigrant-advocacy group in Phoenix.

So let this be a lesson courtesy of all the illegal immigrant activists.  From their point of view, deportation is only appropriate if the person is illegal illegal and not just illegal.  Got that?