Patricia Sullivan reports:
“Agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 82 people in Virginia, Maryland and the District last week, including one who they said was identified as an officer in command of a Somali organization known for human rights abuses, rape, torture and killings.
The arrests included 68 people with previous criminal convictions, ICE said in a news release that described the five-day operation as a routine, “targeted immigration enforcement.”
Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported, can be immediately removed from the country. Others will remain in custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending deportation arrangements.
The Somali, a 50-year-old male, was picked up in Falls Church and was a second lieutenant in the Somalian National Security Service and had a felony drug conviction, ICE said.
Agents also took into custody two people who have ties to the MS-13 street gang, ICE said, two who already had been given final deportation orders and three who had overstayed their visas.
ICE said two of the targeted individuals had pending local charges and one was wanted by a foreign law enforcement organization. Three more had unlawfully entered the U.S., the agency said.
Most were arrested in Virginia but two were arrested in the District and one in Maryland. Their names were not released.”
On its face, this appears almost identical to the “targeted enforcement” that the Obama Administration was doing by 2016. What if the Trump Administration had said that it was simply going to refine and build on the prioritization of criminals system already established by the Obama Administration? Would they have engendered so much opposition? Did the melodramatic Executive Orders, the dumb statements by guys like Stephen Miller, and boneheaded expansion of the “criminal alien” concept actually hinder community support for targeting individuals convicted of serious crimes? Has the Trump Administration converted the beginnings of a “smart enforcement” program into a “dumb enforcement” program without actually changing much of the substance?