Oh, John Lamb, I’m so glad that you brought this up.
John Lamb has a post today about Juana Villegas, which is well worth the read. It does seem that the national attention on this case has focused on whether it was okay to shackle Villegas while she was giving birth. But that’s just focusing on the unique aspect of her predicament. Lamb brings up the broader concern:
If Berry Hill officers are arresting people instead of giving them citations in the hope that their immigration status will be checked by the Davidson County Sheriff once in custody, that could be driven by racial profiling, which is illegal by statute in Tennessee as of this year.
(This is exactly why I, unlike Tim Chavez, for instance, am unwilling to believe that the Nashville police are an example of “good” police while Berry Hill police are “bad cops.” Until I see evidence that they’re not also arresting people in order to get their immigration status checked, I reserve judgment.)
John Lamb quotes Rick Casares* as saying
Once we single out a portion of our population and determine that they are unworthy of basic human rights, it becomes easier and easier to justify.
I would again like to point out this is how the system is designed to work. It is no coincidence that we made it illegal for undocumented immigrants to received drivers’ licenses and started participating in 287(g) at roughly the same time. One provides a mechanism and an excuse to run the other.
Most folks who entered the country illegally are otherwise not criminals. It takes something, like refusing to issue them drivers’ licenses, so that when they come in contact with the police for all the reasons any of us come in contact with the police (speeding, broken tail light, being confused by the one-ways around Baptist, whatever), the police have an excuse to arrest them and put them through the program.
That is what’s supposed to happen. I repeat. It’s not a flaw or a glitch.
And for ICE to act surprised that this would be catching so many regular people?
Temple Black, spokesman for ICE [formerly known as INS] in the Southeast, seems puzzled that Metro law enforcement would expend resources on busting undocumented workers who aren’t dangerous criminals. “What we are focused on is aggravated felons…. We don’t go down to the Shell Station and pick up [undocumented workers].”
Please. That strains credulity.
*I don’t know who this Rick Casares is, but he sounds like a very handsome man. I can only hope to aspire to a day when I can search out this man and have my own wise quotes from him to post on Tiny Cat Pants.