ICE chief: We might not process illegals referred to us by Arizona

From ICE’s homepage: “Formed in 2003 as part of the federal government’s response to the 9/11 attacks, ICE’s mission is to protect the security of the American people and homeland by vigilantly enforcing the nation’s immigration and customs laws.” If he’s not prepared to “vigilantly enforce” federal law because he doesn’t like how certain suspects were identified, the solution is simple: Fire him. He can while away his days wearing a sandwich board and marching around outside Jan Brewer’s office instead of leeching taxpayer money for not doing his job.

Echoing comments by President Barack Obama and others in the administration, Morton said that Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration is not “good government.” The law makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork.

Morton said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of state laws, he said.

“I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution,” Morton said.

I looked for a transcript on the Tribune’s site but can’t find any, so we’re deprived of the logic by which (a) an amnesty bill would actually reduce illegal immigration and (b) bona fide illegals caught by Arizona cops are somehow too tainted or whatever to be processed by ICE. But it’s good to know that America’s de facto secretary of immigration enforcement is squeamish about state cops trying to fill the enforcement void created by his own agency.

Speaking of local solutions, here’s the mayor of Costa Mesa declaring his jurisdiction America’s first “rule of law” city. If the feds can’t handle this issue, fine; just don’t cry when state and local governments decide that they can.