published Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Foot-dragging on immigration

About $50,000 from U.S. taxpayers and an additional $40,000 from Colorado taxpayers will be going to a suspected illegal alien.

It seems that Luis Quezada was arrested during a traffic stop in Colorado after police found he had failed to show up in court for other traffic violations. Federal immigration officials notified the Colorado authorities that they believed Quezada was in the United States illegally. They asked the Colorado officials to hold the man until they could make that determination — something that is supposed to happen quickly.

Instead, he remained in jail for a month and a half. Now, he will be getting a settlement for the time he spent incarcerated.

Wherever you may stand on the question of illegal immigration, this case is ridiculous all around.

When a person is taken into custody and is suspected of being an illegal alien, federal authorities should promptly make that determination one way or the other. They should not delay that decision unduly, and neither should someone who is found to be in this country illegally be permitted to drag out deportation proceedings through lengthy appeals.

If Quezada is in the United States in violation of our laws, he should be deported. But it is absurd that federal enforcement of immigration laws is so complicated that it can take weeks on end to determine that.

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