September 13, 2006
• Video: ICE Bust
America is deluged with illegal immigrants. While most admit politically that America would not accept putting them on a bus home, neither will a majority accept letting them live and work illegally with impunity.
For the time being, ICE, also known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has come up with a solution.
Fugitive task force teams are deployed around the country to target the worst offenders — criminal aliens — those who entered America with criminal records or who committed felonies while here.
Of the 600,000 foreign fugitives in the U.S., 80,000 have serious criminal records. Even while ICE managed to remove about 23,000 foreign fugitives off the street, a significant amount arrive or skip their court date each and every week.
So, each morning before dawn, usually near a local convenience store parking lot, federal immigration agents, dressed in blue windbreakers, will gather to plot their day, keeping the following in mind.
• Which house will they go to first?
• How many people do they expect inside?
• Are they known to carry a weapon?
Then, the agents take a final look at the latest photo of the fugitive they are looking for and head out to their last known address. Some agents will cover a rear window or door, while others cover the front.
Since many of these illegals don't own property or credit cards and don't use multiple aliases, the team's success rate is less than 50 percent. What does that mean?
It means that out of six possible targets, only three are apprehended.
So what is the alternative? Should agents give up and admit defeat?
Right now, 50 teams covering ground from New York to L.A. are arresting more than 1,000 criminal alien fugitives each week.
But, until America is willing to change the laws that allow fugitives to skip court dates and evade warrants for their arrest — and because welfare and its computers can't interface or talk with law enforcement computers — a knock on the door at dawn may be the best and only alternative.
William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel’s Los Angeles bureau as a reporter in March of 1998.
William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March 1998 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.