Below is a quote from Rep. Lofgren at yesterday’s Department of Justice oversight hearing :
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, Mr. Attorney General, for being here today. You know, a couple of years ago, the immigration subcommittee held a hearing on ICE’s raid of a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.
And the factory workers there were literally rounded up and herded into a cattle area and then figuratively treated like cattle.
They had group hearing with shared counsel, no translation services and very questionable guilty pleas and prison time.
The — Judge Mark Bennett, who sentenced a number of the immigrants, said this about that proceeding, and I quote, “I found the plea agreement that the immigrants were asked to sign professionally and personally to be offensive.
“I thought it was a travesty. I was embarrassed to be a United States district judge that day.”
Now that was then. This is now. One way to look at these prosecutions is the impact in terms of due process rights and our adherence to law as to the defendants.
Another way to look at it is how are we using our resources.
And I’ve had my — the attorneys on the subcommittee take a look at the data and I understand that illegal reentry after deportation is now the most prosecuted federal felony in the United States, and that misdemeanor prosecutions of «immigration» offenses in border districts has tripled from 2007 to 2010, and that these prosecution decisions making reentry felony prosecutions the most commonly prosecuted felony, federal felony, has come at the expense of prosecuting other crimes.
And non-immigration felony prosecutions in non-border districts have declined 6 to 8 percent in this same time-frame.
Now I raise this because many of us, when we go home every week, get this question from our constituents.
As far as we can tell, the department has not brought a single prosecution of a high-ranking Wall Street executive or major financial firm in the wake of the Wall Street scandal that contributed to the global economic crisis.
So it looks to me that the department is spending its resources prosecuting nannies and busboys who are trying to get back to their families, illegally reentering.
And yet we have not brought any prosecutions on the bandits on Wall Street who brought the nation and the world to the brink of financial disaster. Could you explain these priorities, Mr. Attorney General?”
What do you think?