Stephenson points me to news that DHS is forcing some asylum seekers and other high-risk aliens to wear electronic tracking bracelets. The frame presented by immigration-rights advocates is that this is creeping totalitarianism and an unacceptable attack on civil liberties by a security-obsessed Administration.
While I’m (like many Democrats) am sympathetic to the anti-GOP sentiment, it just doesn’t apply in this case. It’s long past time that these particular aliens wear tracking units.One of Stephenson’s sources is an OnPoint radio show entitled Hyper-Invasive National Security. The abstract begins:
Electronic monitoring ankle bracelets have been used to monitor paroled convicts in the U.S. for years. Now these black, plastic monitors the size of a cigarette box are being strapped onto U.S. immigrants.
I have some experience in these things, so let’s back up and check our language.
Many immigration advocates intentionally use sloppy language they know to be misleading. Their role is to secure rights for their clients at any cost, often that means appeals to the public that are less than genuine. For example, for them, every alien is an immigrant. When DHS implemented the NSEERS and USVISIT fingerprinting programs they denounced the programs as harassment of immigrants even though immigrants were specifically exempted from the programs (which only apply to NON-immigrants). These advocates refuse to distinguish between people who get visas at the embassy and those who buy counterfeit documents from Triad gangsters. They don’t distinguish between three-strike felons who climb under the fence and a granny with a green card. Their public appeals are tailored to confuse the general public and win sympathy for their clients.
Accept there are two groups of people who are subject to this program: immigrants ordered to appear before a judge and asylum seekers ordered to appear for an asylum hearing.
If you are an immigrant (have a Green Card) and have been ordered to appear before an immigration judge, it’s because you committed a serious violation of the law. We’re not talking about speeding tickets or failing to report your address change to CIS – we’re talking about convictions for murder, assault, robbery, narcotics and other serious crimes. You are going to the judge because you’ve done something so heinous that you just might get deported. You might be on parole from prison, and you are certainly on parole from immigration until you show up before the judge.
The big gap in American internal security is that we don’t have enough money to chase criminal aliens. If you don’t show up before the judge on your court date, nobody will come looking for you. It is common for criminal aliens to ignore their court date or their order to depart. ICE is looking for terrorists so they’re not going to chase down some petty gangbanger on parole for rape. So when the above paragraph starts out talking about this technology being used for paroled felons, it’s in fact giving an accurate description of the immigrants now wearing the radio bracelets.
While the asylum seekers probably haven’t been convicted of a criminal offense, they have – virtually by definition – been ordered removed from the United States. If it weren’t for their claim to asylum, they would have already been put on a plane or bus out of the country. And if their asylum claim is denied, they will be deported.
Most asylum seekers arrive in the United States on counterfeit, stolen or altered travel documents. They purchase these documents with travel arrangements for up to $50,000. Because few of them have that much money, most are indebted to the criminal syndicates which provide the documents. When you owe $50,000 to the Russian Mafia or the Chinese Triad the line between debt and slavery gets blurred. Especially when you’re a 21-year-old girl.
I concede that many asylum seekers have legitimate claims and intend to report to their asylum hearings. They are the ones who hire lawyers to get DHS off their backs.
But almost every day I see 18 to 26 year-old female asylum seekers. They tell us about how their families borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to pay “snakeheads” and human smugglers to take them to America. When asked what kind of work they’ll do to pay off that debt the girls shrug innocently, they don’t know. We hand these girls off to asylum officers who parole them into the streets to wait for their hearing. We never see them again.
Unless a whorehouse filled with human sex slaves gets raided by ICE in New York or San Francisco or Maryland.
Immigration advocates will talk up a fine storm about the heavy-handed tactics of DHS one day and then the next denounce DHS for not doing enough to protect the victims of human trafficking and modern day sex slavery. Sometimes they’re the same advocates: even criminal sex-slave traders get lawyers in deportation proceedings (if they show up to court).
I fully expect my Homeland Security Overlords to foul up the message on this thing. They’ll talk about terrorism or deny it’s happening or cancel the program under modest protest. That’s what they usually do. And that’s a real shame, because they’ve finally conceived of an intelligent use of technology.