Friday, May 11, 2007

Illegal Immigrants Being Caught And Released

A Twin Cities news investigation reveals a "catch and release" approach to illegal immigrants. Troopers do all they can to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, but immigration officials refuse to take them into custody. The local news team was with a state trooper this week, when a common scenario played out. Two men were pulled over for speeding and admit to the state trooper they are here illegally. The trooper radios federal authorities-- who refuse to take the men into custody. The illegal immigrants pay their fine and are free to go. "It is a frustration level that you try not get too caught up in-- you don't have any control over it," a state trooper said. The reporters spoke with Gov. Pawlenty who says these kinds of immigration stories are just the tip of the iceberg. "I can tell you stories that would make your eyes open twice as wide as they are already," Pawlenty said.Pawlenty says state's can train state and local officers to enforce immigration laws--- essentially stopping the "catch and releases," but he says the legislature won't agree to fund the program. State Troopers said they have to catch at least 10 illegal immigrants at a time to peak the interest of the federal authorities. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement blames a lack of manpower. "Given the choice, the American public would prefer that we focus on those threats as opposed to going to investigate one or two suspected illegal aliens who were stopped in a traffic stop," Claude Arnold of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. State troopers and the governor are both tired of excuses. "People are making a mockery of the immigration laws in our country," Gov. Palwenty said.