"Deportation often an empty threat, as illegal immigration rises"
Posted Tue, Oct 18, 2005 at 4:29 am
Illegal immigration is increasing rapidly from countries other than Mexico, federal officials are telling Congress. And the ease with which these foreign nationals can stay in the United States is fueling terrorism concerns.Would those "others" be willing to put their money where their mouths are? If they turn out to be wrong, would they, for instance, be willing to take full responsibility for being wrong? Hey, where'd those "others" go?
Testimony at a recent congressional hearing and a report to House members said the lack of detention space to hold this growing category of illegal immigrants means 70 percent of them remain free until deportation. Most disappear into the United States.
Last week, Congress passed a homeland security bill that included funding for 2,300 more detention beds. This brings the total to 20,300, which is 3,750 fewer than the Sept. 11 commission wanted.
Long an issue between the United States and Mexico, the international scope of illegal immigration has grown substantially since 1997. But the diversity of people coming through the southern border has ignited a debate over their motives for coming.
"Terrorists can use South America as a launching pad to slip into Mexico and from there into the United States," says Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. Others say such talk is overblown.