Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.He talks the talk, but can he actually walk the walk? Illegal immigration is a huge issue and one that could potentially be a major issue in the midterm elections in 2006 and the Presidential elections in 2008.
"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.
"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.
Thousands of "Mexicans who are caught entering the United States illegally are returned immediately to Mexico. But other parts of the system have nearly collapsed under the weight of numbers. The problem is especially severe for non-Mexicans apprehended at the southwest border," Chertoff explained.
"Today, a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities," he added.
Border control is a major problem, and so far, we've only seen half measures from the federal government - and both political parties have factions that support open borders.
I was reminded that the immigration issue became a higher profile issue after the
Minuteman Project decided to protest the porous border situation between the US and Mexico by keeping tabs on the border in Arizona and actively participating in making sure that illegal immigrants did not enter the country on their watch.
The Immigration Blog has reviewed the comments and the substantive information behind the press releases and thinks there's trouble in the details.