The ongoing bipolar inconsistency of the U.S. Congress — that institution responsible for drafting our laws on immigration, among other things — was once again on display this past week. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey kicked it off with a harangue in which he accused federal immigration agents of everything from racism to general rudeness. Why? For enforcing the laws that Congress passed.
How tiring it gets to listen to such self-righteous and hypocritical grandstanding. Yes, there is a need for a serious debate about this nation’s immigration laws. There’s an even greater need for debate about why our elected representatives — such as Sen. Menendez — are so ineffective and unable to address the issue of comprehensive immigration reform.
Perhaps the attacks on DHS and ICE are efforts to distract from the abysmal record of the Congress. Perhaps Sen. Menendez is simply unaware that it is his organization, not DHS, that makes our immigration laws. No doubt the good senator will be out attacking DHS for not securing our borders soon enough, though, so one suspects he knows perfectly well what he is doing. (Menendez is one of the senators clamoring for 100 percent cargo scanning, an ineffective security model that will end up as a debacle, and no doubt he will be one of the first to condemn DHS for trying to enforce 100 percent scanning once it disastrous effects become clear.)
Sen. Robert Menendez on Thursday said the top officials responsible for immigration enforcement proved to be “in denial” about constitutional violations by federal agents in a meeting he had with them.
A day after the New Jersey Democrat took to the Senate floor to assail immigration agents as overzealous, Menendez said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Julie Myers, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reacted dismissively when he raised his concerns during a May meeting.
On Wednesday, before his Senate colleagues, Menendez condemned immigration raids — arguing that they’ve ensnared legal immigrants and U.S. citizens — and accused immigration agents of racial and ethnic profiling. He accused agents of trampling on the rights of immigrants who speak Spanish or have dark skin.