The Immigration Scandal at DHS - Just as Bad as at IRS

The Immigration Scandal at DHS - Just as Bad as at IRS

"Americans are outraged when tax laws and revenue agents bite them, but seem scantly or not at all troubled when our immigration laws and their bureaucratic enforcers devour people and property rights.  No doubt this disparity of concern proves the maxim that it all depends on whether your own or your neighbor’s ox is gored.  Thus, amnesty generates nary a peep if granted to tax cheats, but stands as an outrageous transgression against the rule of law if leniency and pragmatism are offered to aspiring Americans who lack legal status.  So too with the terabytes of digital ink spilled over the recent revelation that IRS agents in Cincinnati probed more searchingly applicants for non-profit designation of the Tea Party persuasion than supplicants on the left.  A scandal to be sure, but why is the public not similarly incensed when immigration agents cross the line and behave not as neutral technocrats but as political actors?  Consider the recent action of the federal union representing the officers of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who announced in a press release that it had signed on to a letter issued by another government union, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, which represents officers of a different immigration component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs & Immigration Enforcement (ICE).  As The New York Times observed in a recent editorial, “Leaders of [the ICE and USCIS] unions have joined antireform hard-liners in trying to kill the [comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill that just passed the Senate Judiciary Committee], showing an unbending hostility to its goals.  The unions, sounding like health care workers forced to engage in practices that violate their collective conscience, and a bit like erstwhile presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, offer a scurrilous letter that resurrects all too familiar bogeymen as punching bags: “illegal aliens,” “gangs,” and “9/11.”  Sadly, however, as The Times observes, “[what] any of these false charges has to do with the work of immigration agents -- which is to enforce the immigration laws as written -- is beyond us.” Indeed, there is a "certain piquancy" when "conservative" Republicans opposing CIR scurry to become bedfellows with federal labor unions, clearly miffed at not being consulted by the Gang of Eight.  Where is the popular outrage over the scandalous behavior of immigration officers that is just as abhorrent as the misadventures of errant IRS officials?  The actions of the IRS involved comparatively few agents in an understaffed local office, whereas the union leaders’ letter is offered as the shared belief of 7,000 ICE agents and 12,000 USCIS employees." - Angelo A. Paparelli, May 27, 2013.