Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bucher continues anti-immigrant campaign

Stop me if you've heard this before:

Paul Bucher, the Waukesha County DA and state AG wannabe, clearly believes that exploiting racial fears is the ticket to winning at least the GOP nomination, if not the general election.
But that was last week.

This is this week. The Journal Sentinel:
Bucher says it's time for state investigators to eliminate the blind spot by working with the federal government to identify illegal immigrants outside the prison system who are in custody for crimes that could eventually get them deported.

"Right now, they are not being identified at all," Bucher said.
Clearly, Bucher continues to think he can ride anti-immigrant hysteria to victory.

His arguments sound good on the surface, until someone who knows something about the issue weighs in:
But an immigration official in Milwaukee insists that his agents are already working with various state and local law enforcement personnel to keep tabs on arrested immigrants not yet in prison.

"We frequently receive calls from a variety of sources," said Brian Falvey, resident agent in charge of investigation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Milwaukee. "I don't really think there is a blind spot.

"If we are notified that a foreign-born who may be removable is in custody, we look into it and determine if a response is necessary. We frequently create and respond to those kinds of leads."

Bucher's remarks on the topic came as he released the results of his analysis of a state Department of Corrections list of 1,100 inmates in Wisconsin prisons whom state officials believe to be illegal immigrants. Such lists are submitted annually by corrections officials to the federal government to obtain partial reimbursement for the cost of detaining illegal immigrants.

In comparing those listed with state court records, Bucher said, he determined that 598 on the list had criminal records before being arrested for the offense that landed them in prison...

Falvey, the federal immigration agent, also warned against drawing conclusions from the list and said he could not comment on it without having seen it.

He noted that the Bucher campaign recently released data contending that 77 illegal immigrants were improperly paroled from the state prison system, an assertion Falvey characterized as misleading.

"The implication was that they were lost in the shuffle when in fact we had contact with every one of them," Falvey said. "Twenty-eight of the 77 were U.S. citizens, and 31 were identified by us as aliens who were eventually deported."

The others were either non-deportable, still awaiting deportation, allowed to remain in the country by a federal judge or come from countries that will not allow their return, Falvey said
If we wrong on 77 out of 77 on that list, how much stock should we put in Bucher's new list of 598? Just about none, based on his track record. But, once again, he got his headline. Maybe nobody will bother to read the whole story. That's what he's hoping.


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