Is there something in the water? Has the frenzied focus on immigration enforcement prevailed over the rule of law? Here’s my sample bill of particulars:
- Congress gives the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to waive environmental and all other laws that stand in his way in building the fence that will go nowhere, i.e., as the Secretary acknowledges, will not be a cure-all in stopping the centuries-old cross border traffic (which all but begs for a legal way to manage the flow);
- The Federal District Court in Iowa, announcing in a press release the dispatch of Federal Judges to Waterloo, Iowa, for the criminal prosecution of “illegal aliens,” seems to forget about the presumption that all defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty;
- The same Federal Court is reportedly assigning appointed defense counsel up to 10 cases per lawyer and conducting mass hearings, thus making it impossible for the defense lawyers to conduct a meaningful defense and for the defendants to receive a fair trial;
- Federal law enforcement authorities were reportedly aware of an Iowa state investigation into alleged child labor law violations at the Pittsfield, Iowa Agriprocessors plant, but wilfully interfered by conducting the raid and arresting and detaining several children (including a 13-year-old) who were prepared to testify about child labor abuses.
To be sure, no one believes we should turn a blind eye to violations of the immigration laws. Rather, we should temper this zeal for an immigration-enforcement-at-all-cost policy with a dose of respect for the rule of other laws too.