Immigration Follies at Homeland Security

There are plenty of reasons why the United States experiences so much illegal immigration. They include: Americans' insatiable appetite for cheap labor and the standard of living it affords; the vast wealth disparity between the United States and Mexico; the failure of countries around the world, including Mexico, to produce jobs at home so people don't have to cross borders; the reluctance of elected officials in this country to crack down on the politically well-connected business interests that keep illegal immigrants gainfully employed; and the fact that Americans, especially 20-somethings, have surrendered their work ethic and won't do the jobs that wind up being done by illegal immigrants.

For a simpler view, we turn to Julie Myers, former assistant director of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Myers recently put the blame on "sanctuary" policies, which she said make it hard for federal agents to arrest and deport criminal gang members who are in the United States illegally.

First, let's clarify what we mean by sanctuary cities. The shoe fits in San Francisco, where in 1989, the Board of Supervisors barred local officials, including police, from cooperating with federal authorities in the deportation of illegal immigrants. But the term sanctuary doesn't apply in those cities -- like San Diego -- where there's been no formal declaration but where police, on their own initiative, refuse to act as surrogate immigration officers.

Frankly, I'm not sure Myers understands the difference. Since nominated for the position in 2005, when she was 36 years old, Myers turned ICE into a laughingstock.