Stu Bykofsky: Council's ICE resolution makes my head spin

Posted: July 14, 2011

I'M WORKING my way through a dilemma. Want to be my shrink?

Me: Is City Council misguided, moronic or malicious?

Doc: There are usually reasons for aberrant behavior.

Me: Doc, the enablers of bad behavior (not their own, for once) unanimously passed a resolution demanding the city stop cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the main investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Doc: Resolutions are toothless. Maybe they were just stroking Jim Kenney and Maria Quinones-Sanchez, who introduced the resolution.

Me: Last year, Quinones-Sanchez dreamed up the resolution condemning an Arizona law she hadn't read. After I printed what the law actually said, she said she'd send me a letter proving I was wrong.

Doc: Did you get the letter?

Me: I'll get a fourth wife before I get that letter.

Me: I can't understand why Council wants to be nicer to people who are here illegally than to citizens who pay their handsome salaries.

Doc: Didn't a fair compromise settle this last year?

Me: Yes, which makes Council's meddling more mystifying. The city previously provided ICE with the names, fingerprints and biographical info of those arrested, plus names of witnesses and victims. Mayor Nutter thought that discouraged witnesses and victims from coming forward, so it was agreed that ICE would not get the victims' and witnesses' names. The district attorney and the courts signed off on it. Everything was OK. The agreement is due to be renewed Aug. 31.

Doc: Why is Council balking now?

Me: You're the shrink, you tell me. Maybe the boneheads think it will deflect attention from DROP.

Doc: What's wrong with Council's wish to stop cooperating?

Me: ICE runs the list of those arrested to see if they were convicted of previous crimes. If ICE can't do that, some ex-cons might be released to prey on innocent people.

Doc: Like who?

Me: I'll let D.A. Seth Williams answer that: "They are criminals who most frequently victimize" their own community.

Doc: Might some without prior convictions be deported?

Me: That could happen, but they are here illegally. For fiscal year 2010 in this region (Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia), 3,892 with criminal convictions plus an additional 2,737 here illegally were deported, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls tells me.

Doc: Don't you feel for them?

Me: I ask the undocumented three things: First, did you come here voluntarily? That excludes minors brought here by parents. Second, did you know you were breaking the law? Of course they did. Third, did you know there might be consequences if you got caught? Yes, which is why they live "in the shadows."

Doc: Are they doing any real harm? Aren't they doing the jobs Americans won't do?

Me: They do "harm" by breaking our laws. Forget about jobs "Americans won't do." They take jobs legal immigrants will do. How about them - the people who waited in line to come here legally? If the undocumented aren't cooperating with police now, they never will. How many of our laws do we have to suspend to make them feel comfortable in a place where they have no right to be?

Doc: I don't know.

Me: An overwhelming majority of Americans want illegal immigration stopped.

Doc: Is Council showing political courage, then?

Me: Did you hurt your head when you fell off the turnip truck? Clueless Council doesn't understand this could turn loose criminals and put everyone at risk.

Doc: And the solution is?

Me: Nutter will ignore the dopes, just as they ignored his soda tax. Payback is a bitch.

Email stubyko@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5977. See Stu on Facebook. For recent columns:

www.philly.com/Byko.

|
|
|
|
|