Saturday, August 11, 2007

Solving the problem

From The New York Times:

NEWARK, Aug. 10 — A 15-year-old youth on Friday became the third person arrested in the fatal shootings of three young people on a Newark playground last week. An intense police manhunt continued for at least two other suspects, including another teenager.

The arrest came hours after the man suspected of being the ringleader in the crime pleaded not guilty. The authorities revealed that he is an illegal immigrant from Peru who could have been detained by federal authorities after one of his two previous arrests in the past year. Instead, the immigrant, Jose Lachira Carranza, a 28-year-old construction worker, was free on $150,000 bail at the time of the killings last week, despite pending felony charges of aggravated assault and sexual abuse of a child.

“The system is overwhelmed from top to bottom,” said Armando B. Fontoura, the Essex County sheriff, whose office discovered Mr. Carranza was in the country illegally, and reported it to the federal government, after he turned himself in on Thursday. “This guy got through the cracks.”

There are entirely too many such "cracks" for people to fall through.

I know that the system is overwhelmed, but how hard is that to fix? How difficult and expensive is it to enclose 200 or 300 acres with barbed wire, build a few guard towers with machine guns and throw up some plywood barracks? Put at least one of these in the states with the largest illegal alien problem and then require every law enforcement agency to detain every illegal they encounter whether he is from Peru or Mexico or Ireland or wherever and arrange transportation to the nearest illegal alien detention facility?

At the detention camp set up a big building with 50 or so hearing rooms. Then take a small army of paralegals and give them a special training course in immigration law. Those who pass the test are declared "Special Immigration Court Judges". Assign a judge to each of the hearing rooms and have them start processing cases.

Don't worry about finding enough paralegals to fill the slots for judges. Just pay about $75,000 per year with a good pension and benefit package and you will find people standing in line for the jobs. In fact you will attract a number of lawyers since the average yearly pay for lawyers in several states is less than $60,000. Have community colleges start teaching the paralegal course with the added immigration law section and you will have enough people to do the job for as long as they are needed.

You will also need some interpreters, but how hard is it to find Spanish speaking people any more?

I figure that each detention center could process at least 500 cases per day. That is they could hold hearings and sentence to deportation at least 500 illegal aliens per day. Let's say that we started off with 20 such centers. That means that they could deport up to 10,000 illegal aliens every day. Even if they only managed to achieve half that number that is still 5,000 per day. Couple this with effective border enforcement and the problem begins to be solved.

Of course it will be necessary to expand the detention centers beyond the first 20. In the end there would need to be at least one in almost every state and more than one in some states like Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Once the program is up an running it ought to be possible to deport around 1 million illegals per year. If we can do a good enough job on the border to keep more than a few thousand per year from sneaking in meaningful results should be apparent in just two or three years.

Of course the staff at the detention camps would do all within their power to identify every illegal who crosses their threshold and determine if they are wanted in any state or nation. If they are wanted then they can be returned to that jurisdiction to stand trial. Each illegal would be entered into a database with photographs, DNA, fingerprints and any other identification metrics we can come up with so that if they are ever caught in the US again they can be dealt with appropriately.

I cannot see this costing as much as uncontrolled illegal immigration is costing us now and is projected to cost us in the future. I also cannot see the downside of gitting rid of people like this Carranza character before they do any more damage than they have already done.