Saturday, May 27, 2006

Safe -- For Now

Remember that family the feds wanted to break up by deporting the father, mother and two oldest siblings? Well, it looks like they get a reprieve for the time being. Monitor reporter Travis Whitehead reports:
They were scheduled for a hearing Friday morning at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Immigration Court in Harlingen. But when Ruben and Maricela Gloria and their two older children, Ruben Jr. 15, and Blanca, 17, showed up, they learned the court had no documents on their case.
The feds, however, can still file the immigration charges, so the Glorias aren't out of the woods yet.

The couple brought their two kids to the U.S. 14 years ago and overstayed their visa. In the meantime, they had four more children and built a life for the family in Rio Grande City -- until an overzealous sheriff''s deputy accused the two oldest siblings of smuggling illegal immigrants. Starr County deputies called the Border Patrol, and pretty soon the two kids and their parents were looking at deportation.

On a related note, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño says deputies won't question anyone about their citizenship:
"Deputies shall not make inquiries as to the citizenship status of any person, nor will deputies detain or arrest persons solely on the belief that they are in this country illegally," the policy states.
This policy makes sense for several reasons:
  1. If someone who's here illegally has to worry about local cops questioning their citizenship, they will be reluctant to talk to police if they're a crime victim, or even a witness.
  2. Besides, immigration enforcement is a job for the feds, not local law enforcement. They're busy enough handling other crimes.
  3. Local law enforcement asking people for identification papers is something that the former Soviet Union did. It shouldn't happen in the (supposedly) Land of the Free.


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