ICE scraps self-deportation plan; will crackdown follow?
A few weeks ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) started a "Scheduled Departure" program where illegal aliens who'd received final deportation orders could turn themselves in to be deported. Only six people took advantage of the offer, and now ICE has shelved the plan (link). Despite what some have said, this appears to have been one of ICE's rare good ideas: it would have made it difficult for the far-left to complain about fugitive raids if those fugitives had had an out. Scrapping it after only a few weeks doesn't make as much sense.
The AP quotes an immigration lawyer as saying "My hope is it isn't going to empower them or fuel their enforcement even further", something that ICE seems to be promising:
[Jim Hayes, acting director of ICE's detention and removal operations] said lack of support from those activists shows they are unwilling to accept any enforcement... "They want amnesty, they want open borders, and they want a more vulnerable America," he said.
This could all be a game within a game, with ICE pretending to offer this program as a prelude to increased enforcement, or they might actually intend to increase enforcement. The bottom line, however, is that anything Bush's ICE does will be designed to promote "comprehensive immigration reform".