The Immigration and Naturalization Service, as it used to be called, was previously the lead standard for dysfunctional government agencies. By comparison even the FBI was efficient.
Then came the Homeland Security Act of 2002, legislation of a stupidity so stunning that even George W. Bush, in a rare divgation into common sense, at first opposed the measure.
But Senator Joe Lieberman (Likud-CT) shepherded this bureaucratic camelope into law. The old INS disappeared into the bowels of the new Department of Homeland Security, where part of it was reborn as a miscarriage called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This new monstrosity, created from the conflation of racism and xenophobia with the paranoia of Bush’s “war on terror,” appears to be even more cruel, more indifferent, more sluggish, less accountable and more of a cause for national shame than its unfeeling predecessor.
The Washington Post has exposed the mess to daylight in a shocking series of articles by reporters Dana Priest and Amy Goldstein. This is the kind of thing that newspapers can still do better than any other institution we have. Here’s a good place to start, and I hope you will.