“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.
I think you just don't get the most basic elements of what is going on. ICE has finite resources. It has to choose where to spend them. Obviously it doesn't have enough resources to catch and deport every single undocumented immigrant, right? So it needs to prioritize. Rather than focusing resources on trying to catch folks who didn't even come here of their own volition and who aren't causing any trouble, ICE wants to focus on the highest priority targets. People that are committing other crimes are the top of the list, but people who came here of their own volition are also obviously higher priority than people who didn't, right?
Explain to me how you think it works. A law enforcement agency is given a budget of say $40 billion and it would cost $10 trillion to catch everybody violating a law it is charged with enforcing. Are you saying they should just blow the $40 billion on the first cases that happen to cross its path no matter how much it costs and then let everybody else go? Of course not. It needs to use its discretion to try to accomplish the most good with its finite resources. Right?
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
The Tea Party reminds me of that caricature. Obama could blink his eyes, and they'd hate him for that.
Furthermore, I think it's the Republicans who are scared here (as they almost always are). If the Latino vote swings the electoral vote in favor of Obama, then they know that they are going to have real trouble regaining America's vote over the next couple of decades.
What is Prosecutorial Discretion?▲
“Prosecutorial discretion” is the authority of an agency or officer to decide what charges to bring and how to pursue each case. A law-enforcement officer who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion. The authority to exercise discretion in deciding when to prosecute and when not to prosecute based on a priority system has long been recognized as a critical part of U.S. law. The concept of prosecutorial discretion applies in civil, administrative, and criminal contexts. The Supreme Court has made it clear that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal process, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion.” Heckler v. Chaney 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985).
Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law | Immigration Policy Center