Government officials say that roughly 16 percent of the more than 82,000 male Muslim immigrants older than 16 who registered with the U.S. government earlier this year may face deportation because they have are living in the United States illegally.
Jim Chaparro, acting director for interior enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), justifies this step by noting that "There's been a major shift in our priorities. We need to focus our enforcement efforts on the biggest threats. If a loophole can be exploited by an immigrant, it can also be exploited by a terrorist."
This makes sense to me but not to Lucas Guttentag, director of the immigrants' rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "What the government is doing is very aggressively targeting particular nationalities for enforcement of immigration law. The identical violation committed by, say, a Mexican immigrant is not enforced in the same way."
The ACLU's logic implies that (1) unless the DHS finds a proportionate number of lawbreakers from each nationality, it should not bother enforcing the law at all and (2) the DHS should close its eyes and pretend that Mexican immigrants have the same proclivity to drive airliners into buildings as do Saudis. (June 8, 2003)