Friday, April 07, 2006

Tales of Bureaucratic Stupidity

If you've ever wondered why the Federal Gubmint does such a lousy job of securing our borders, the Salt Lake Tribune recently provided this example, guaranteed to set your teeth on edge.

Since the Trib for some reason has been cutting off access to older articles, here's the short version of the story for when the above link rots: Guatemalan man and his family legally immigrate to the US about 13 years ago. He files the proper paperwork, and then hires a lawyer to make sure it gets through the system. Then he moves to Cache Valley, Utah, gets a job, has more kids, learns English, and in general becomes a Model Citizen.

Fast forward to a few months ago. Guatemalan man takes his mother to Immigration office so she can fill out the paperwork and start the process of legally immigrating. While he is there, Immigration bureaucrats tell him his lawyer didn't submit the proper paperwork and as a result, he's going to get deported for basically a technical violation.

While there was a happy ending to the story -- the public outcry caused the .gov to backtrack -- this is a classic example of bureaucratic shiftlessness. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of recently-arrived illegal immigrants working on the dairy farms and in the slaughterhouses of Cache Valley. Yet the Immigration cops try to screw over someone who has tried to play by the rules, instead of rounding up the thousands who don't. Like the drunk looking for his car keys under the street lamp because that's where the light was the best, the INS employees cherry-picked an honest man who tried to do the right thing but didn't get everything perfect.

Hmmmm. Sounds kinda like the BATFE.


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