Try Some ICE on That!
They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose
Townes van Zandt, Pancho & Lefty, 1982
Thanks to some hard work by the Romney Administration, Massachusetts' own Federales in Blue, the State Police, will be able to do something which has been called for by sensible people for decades - detain illegal immigrants for deportation when they commit crimes.
When Romney first instructed his counsel to contact ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the Federal center in Vermont which has jurisdiction, not all were happy. Last June, the Boston Globe reported, "This will overwhelm the State Police force, it will hinder real law enforcement, real community law enforcement, and it clearly will lead to racial and ethnic profiling," said Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. "That's not effective law enforcement, or effective immigration policy." Apparently, total statis and lack of any law enforcement is the ACLU’s idea of effective immigration policy.
Probably, they never thought it would come to pass. But last week, Massachusetts became one of only six states to permit their State Police to make these detainments. It is far from a carte blanche. A select group of troopers will receive 4 1/2 weeks of training on immigration and civil rights law and on avoiding racial profiling. The Federal government will pay the salaries and travel expenses for the ICE instructors, and the state will pay the salaries and travel expenses of the troopers chosen for the program.
"The agreement is finalized from our point of view and is with the Secretary of Public Safety's Office in Massachusetts," ICE spokesman Michael Gilhooly said Sunday.
But the Glob would not be denied its shot at embarassing the Governor. Shortly before any announcement could be made, they reported (HERE) that - gasp! - Romney had hired a lawn service, Community Lawn Service with a Heart, owned by one Ricardo Saenz. One of the crew, Rene Rosales told the Glob in an interview in Suchitepequez, Guatemala (!), that he worked on and off for about eight years landscaping Romney's two-and-a-half acre property in Belmont. He characterized Anne Romney as polite and pleasant. The Governor cheeerily hailed them with 'Buenos dias!', and relied upon the representation of the lawn company, who told State Police that all his subcontractors were legal Guatemelan workers. It fascinates Porcupine that when the cries on Morrissey Boulevard are at their height, and reporters are being laid off right and left, that the Glob should send reporters to South America to do follow-up interviews, hoping against hope that perhaps Romney had been rude or discriminatory, instead of voluntarily hiring a firm of minority workers and paying the company well and treating them courteously.
Porcupine eargerly awaits the Glob expose of every subcontractor currently building and roofing Deval Patrick's new palatial digs in Richmond, as well as who maintains his lawns at his tony home in Milton (click HERE for photos).
"It is safe to say that the Governor-elect will be reviewing the details of the agreement quite closely," Patrick spokesman Richard Chacon said. "This appears to be another out-the-door action by Gov. Romney with an eye toward his presidential ambitions rather than toward sound public policy for the people of Massachusetts." Since negotiations began last June, shortly after the Federal government created this program, the 'last minute' allegation is either a disingenuous appeal to public ignorance, or a demonstration of Patrick's own ignorance.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrstrom responded, "I hope we haven't reached the point where enforcing the law is considered a political ploy." And there is Patrick's problem. He touted his experience as a Clinton Dept. of Justice appointee, and even went so far as to claim during debates that he had been a prosecutor (well, perhaps not in an actual courtroom, but support staff are important too!). Given his legal credentials, it will be difficult for him to refuse to enforce the law, and his base won't allow him to do so.
Perhaps he hopes that this will just slip away, too.