Operation Blame Day


"Operation Game Day," the Immigration and Naturalization Service's sweep of out-of-status immigrants with jobs connected to the Super Bowl—down to the level of San Diego cab and limo drivers—is being criticized as ineffective and discriminatory. It doesn't appear to be discriminatory (nearly all the arrests, and all of the criminal charges filed, have been against immigrants from Mexico, indicating a general reflection of SD demographics rather than any singling out of folks from terrorist-reputed countries); and it has been very effective—an effective demonstration that no matter how tough you make the rules, it doesn't matter if the agency in charge is incompetent to enforce them. Dig this tidbit from a Union-Trib story today:

[O]ne INS officer, who asked to remain anonymous, had told The San Diego Union-Tribune the agency might make fewer arrests because of time constraints. Although INS officials hatched the idea for an audit of the workers three months ago, the agency didn't begin running name checks until weeks later, creating a backlog, the officer said.

So even when they have a narrowly defined target, a relatively contained geographical area, and ample lead time, INS officials are incapable of meeting goals they themselves have set.

The agency's solution? Blame the media. Adele Fasano, director of the INS San Diego field office, blames media reports from earlier this week for disrupting an operation that began three months ago and should have been over well before kickoff time tomorrow.

To our anti-immigrant (sorry anti-illegal-immigrant) readers, please understand that I am not objecting, at least in this case, to kicking out illegals. But it's always seemed pretty clear to me that we'd be better off and more secure with much looser immigration laws but much tougher enforcement. Right now we've got the worst of both worlds: An unfriendly policy and an enforcement regime that's as poor as this year's post-season NFL officiating.