The latest reminder of that came courtesy of a lawsuit filed by three such illegal immigrants in federal court against Cobb County — a suit that wisely was tossed by Judge Charles Pannell Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in an Oct. 19 ruling announced on Monday.
The three, all of whom had been arrested on various forgery, driving and shoplifting violations, sued Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren, Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee and others claiming their Miranda “rights” had been violated; claiming the police had illegally seized immigration documents that would have allowed them to stay here; and had denied them access to lawyers. Funny thing about that last allegation — they didn’t seem to have any trouble finding one to take their case, did they?
In essence, the three and their attorney were trying to have the federal 287(g) program employed by Cobb’s sheriff declared unconstitutional. That program allows Cobb police to hold illegal immigrants who have been arrested on other crimes and notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement so the lengthy deportation process can begin.
Said Warren after the ruling was announced, “In today’s society, the amnesty advocates will engage in every attempt to further their mission. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security and the current Administration have continuously underfunded all immigration enforcement for many years. During these tough economic times, it is a shame that taxpayers have to fund the legal costs associated with such lawsuits.”
Indeed. In fact, those “tough economic times” have in fact been made much tougher by the presence of hordes of those who are in this country illegally and are willing to do blue-collar work for much lower wages than U.S. citizens. Equally at fault — if not more so — are the U.S. employers — a heavy percentage of them in construction and agriculture — who have hired illegal immigrants for years at close to slave wages and left taxpayers footing the bill for the education and medical costs of those illegal immigrants.
With Washington refusing to tackle the issue, and with a president and mainstream media whose sympathies are clearly on the side of the illegal immigrants rather than the law, state and local officials are taking on matters themselves. Although 287(g) is a federal program, it is local-level officials who Washington has left holding the bag. They are damned if they try to enforce the law and damned if they don’t.
The suit was not the first aimed at gutting our immigration laws and won’t be the last. But we can, at least, hope that they wind up with endings like this one.