Last week, there was a story I kept meaning to discuss, but never got around to it. Massachusetts’ governor, Mitt Romney, was seeking cooperation with federal officials to allow state troopers to arrest illegal aliens. Under the proposed program, select officers would receive special training from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on identifying illegal aliens, as well as beign given the authority to detain them for violating federal law. (This story was also covered by the Boston Globe, who kind of glossed over the “illegal” aspect and plastered their front page with “Troopers Would Arrest Immigrants.”
Well, the Boston Globe can’t just leave this bone alone. It turns out that this program is not completely unprecedented. It was implemented in Alabama three years ago, so the Glob sent its crack investigative staff down south (after they had their anti-redneck shots, of course) to see how it has worked out.
It took some effort, but they managed to find some things they didn’t like about it. They begrudgingly acknowledge that about 200 illegal aliens have been caught by the troopers, including more than a few who were seeking legitimate drivers’ licenses with forged or “borrowed” identification papers. In another case, 13 of 15 people in a van pulled over for a traffic violation turned out to be “undocumented.”
So, with this program pretty much a resounding success (to the point where the governor wants even more troopers to undergo the 4 1/2-week training program), who could possibly object? Why, the usual suspects, of course.
The Public Defender’s office and the local branch of the ACLU have reached into their bag of tricks, and pulled out their most-frequently used story (to the point of being almost threadbare): “racial profiling.” Apparently, it’s irrelevant to these worthies that, according to the Pew Hispanic Center that 81% of all illegal aliens are from Latin America (and 57% of those are Mexican); to consider that an illegal alien is far more likely to be a Latino than any other ethnic group is just plain wrong. (Hell, in Massachusetts, a self-designated “spokesman” for the Brazilian community freely admits that about 2/3 of all Brazilians in the Bay State are here illegally.)
I hope Governor Romney gets his way, and Massachusetts state troopers start arresting illegal aliens. (And if they “accidentally” nab a few random Kennedys in the process, that’s a small price to pay.) And I’d like to see more states start picking up the slack where the federal government, for whatever reason, just hasn’t done its job.
Sometimes, when I’m not sure of where I ought to stand on an issue, I take a good look at who’s lined up for it — and sometimes, more importantly, who’s against it. I’ve found that if I take whatever side the ACLU is not on, I’ve got a better-than-even chance of being correct. And this is one more piece of evidence of how good a policy that is.