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Obama Calls For Review Of Ice Procedures


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  • Obama Calls For Review Of Ice Procedures

    Obama Calls for Review of ICE Procedures by Mickey McCarter Wednesday, 27 August 2008

    Candidate's call for a review of ICE's mission appears to distinguish otherwise similar immigration views to his rival John McCain

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) exchanged letters with a police association last month expressing his respect for federal law enforcement officers but decrying the mission of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement "to try to detain and deport millions of people" though immigration raids on communities and employment sites.

    Obama, officially receiving his party's nomination as the Democratic candidate for president this week, was attempting to draw a distinction between his position and ICE tactics that "terrorize" communities, as he said in a July 13 speech to the National Council of La Raza--remarks that drew an objection from the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association.

    While Obama understands that ICE officers are public servants sworn to uphold the law, he believes immigration enforcement policy requires a "top-to-bottom" review to correct a broken system, an Obama campaign spokesperson told HSToday.us.

    "He has heard communities express concern that ICE enforcement activities have not exercised the necessary balance between respect for civil liberties and the manner in which they enforce the law," said Moira Mack, deputy national press secretary for Obama for America. "That is not a function of ICE enforcement officials' commitment to service, but rather one of being handed an overwhelming task and the failure of our system to reform the immigration system to make it safe, legal and orderly."

    Obama, who voted in favor of the Senate immigration reform bill championed by his presumptive presidential rival John McCain (R-Ariz.), endorses a system that would reduce incentives for foreigners to enter the country illegally by providing them opportunities to work legally, such as through a guest worker program, Mack commented.

    But at the same time, an immigration overhaul must encourage undocumented workers to come out of the shadows, pay any back taxes, become proficient in English, and "get in the back of the line for citizenship," Mack added.

    Obama further believes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must ensure that more illegal immigrants do not come into the United States to replace those that join a guest worker program "by setting up a workable and mandatory electronic eligibility verification system that employers would have to use to check the legal status of employees with the government," Mack declared.

    However, the Democratic nominee-to-be objects to immigration enforcement training under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for state and local law enforcement officers, viewing it as an initiative that frightens minority communities. Under the program, ICE agents train state and local police agencies in procedures to detain illegal immigrants and to assist in deporting them.

    "Senator Obama believes it is the responsibility of federal law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws," Mack stated.

    Numerous inquiries by HSToday.us to McCain's presidential campaign were not returned. However, McCain's campaign Web site places an emphasis on border security before immigration reform. McCain endorses physical and virtual fencing along the border as well as the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and an electronic employee verification system. Obama too has voted in support of fencing along the US southern border with the Secure Fence Act.

    McCain backs the guest worker system outlined in the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill, but he voices support for persecuting "bad actor" employers who knowing hire illegal immigrants, according to his Web site. McCain has not criticized the ICE raids, but he has said officials must avoid "inhumane" treatment in dealing with illegal immigrants.

    McCain also has expressed support for section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
    Calling an Illegal Alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

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    Sheriff Joe for President
    ...Did you call the Boys in Blue or the Man in Tan?


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