But instead of focusing on drug dealers and other vicious criminals, hundreds of thousands of low-risk offenders have gotten the attention that should have been reserved for actual threats to the homeland.
This is yet another example of missing out on a simple chance to pick off the low-hanging fruit. ICE could just follow its stated mandates and focus on the worst of the worst instead of sweeping up corn vendors and car washers. In the process, ICE could gain a measure of respect as purveyors of “smart enforcement” tactics rather than as experts in low-priority persecution.
These examples demonstrate once again the ways our immigration system could be reformed to be more efficient and humane even without a broad overhaul full of difficult compromises. But this would require the one thing that’s missing in all things immigration-related: a modicum of reason.
Esther J. Cepeda is a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at email@example.com.