I’ve changed my mind. I’m sorry this is going to suck, really hard, for some people, but I cannot wait to see this implemented. And I’ll tell you why. This is going to be hilarious.
Here’s the thing. This is being sold as something like 287(g) for the whole state. Except communities that have 287(g) have a relationship with the Feds, who can actually do something about immigration. So, if Davidson County says “We have these five guys whose citizenship we cannot verify,” there’s someone on the other end to say “Okay, hold them for us” or “Don’t keep them on our account.”
Nothing in HB0607 outlines any reciprocity with any federal agency. In fact–and people, I am not even kidding you–all it does is establish that, if a local law enforcement agency cannot determine someone’s immigration status, they have to send a fax to Homeland Security saying as much.
Yes, send a fax. To Homeland Security.
The bill doesn’t even say to which department the fax should be sent (as far as I can tell, your best bet would be ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center in Vermont, though they’re set up to deal mostly with violent criminals and they are but one office. I’m sure they’ll love being flooded with faxes concerning traffic stops). And then, it doesn’t say what should happen next. Do the jailers hold the person until someone at Homeland Security faxes them back? How long will that take? How much is that going to cost taxpayers? At least under 287(g), a participating department gets reimbursed by the Feds for the cost of holding someone. But this law makes no such arrangement with the Feds.
I honestly cannot believe that this law requires a fax be sent to some unspecified place, doesn’t outline what should happen to the person about whom the fax is sent, and this is going to be sold by politicians as a great victory against illegal immigration.
You have to laugh. They care so much about illegal immigration that they have to pass and sign these laws, but not enough to actually specify where the fax in question should be sent?
No one on the Hill can even put in the 10 minutes on their computer it would take to try to track down to whom to send the fax?
And here’s the thing. The Governor isn’t stupid. So, he signs this bill because he knows it’s a vague cluserfuck. I mean, really. Send a fax to Homeland Security. That’s like saying the directions for getting to Tuscon are “Drive west.”
And after that?
Once folks have sent their faxes?
Do they detain those folks until they hear back from Homeland Security? And, if so, who pays for that? And, if not, then what was the point of the fax? If they do have to hold them, who pays for transporting them to a Federal immigration judge? There’s nothing in the law about who foots that bill.
But it’s you and me, folks. They can claim all they want that they didn’t raise our taxes, but forcing our localities to raise our taxes to pay for crap the state legislature put through is, in fact, raising our taxes. It’s just being cowardly about it.