Thursday, March 5, 2009

Early immigration test for Obama administration -- and DHS

A gang-related workplace investigation and raid in Bellingham, Washington, is shaping up as the first test of how the Obama administration will handle immigration enforcement. Anti-enforcement groups are determined to stop the raids entirely, the Washington Times reports.

It looks from a distance as though ICE followed up a potential criminal case in the usual way, assuming that, while policy changes might be made gradually, there would be no political interference in whether to pursue criminal investigations. But the advocacy groups decided to make the raid a litmus test for the administration's commitment to change by demanding a moratorium on all raids. This is not a good choice for DHS, which is after all in the business of enforcing the law but which is surely being pressed hard by the White House to get the anti-enforcement groups off its back.

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