DV Archive

Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

ICE Director believes the immigration system isn’t working

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Virginia native John Morton has worked on the front lines of U.S. Immigration for more than 20 years. The current Director of Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) believes that the system isn’t working and is in need of reform.

“The present system doesn’t work as well as it should,” said Director Morton,  “but my view is that reform should start at the federal level and not through 50 individual state laws.”

Morton agreed that there are problems with illegal aliens in all parts of the country, but in his opinion, the drastic action taken by Arizona and similar laws like one in Prince William County are not the answer.

“I don’t think at the end of the day that individual state immigration enforcement regimes are the right answer,” he said.  “We need a uniform federal law but one that’s aggressive and one that works very closely with the states throughout the country.”

According to Morton, ICE is forced to prioritize exactly what it spends time enforcing. Limited resources make it difficult for the agency to go after every single lawbreaker. It is one of the many reasons he believes a comprehensive reform package is a neccessity.

“We work in a world of limited resources. We focus first and foremost on criminal offenders.”

And while he waits for reforms that have been promised for years, Morton and his team must continue to do the best they can under the current conditions.  A job that must be done regardless of the political climate.

“On the one hand, it’s what makes our country great,” he said. “We’re a nation of immigrants but we’re also a nation of laws and we can’t forget that we’re best when we try to balance those two things and make sure at the end of the day we’re trying to keep the streets safe and yet be a welcoming country.”

You can see my entire interview with Director John Morton below.

*You can see an entire transcript of the interview on our main page- NBC12.com

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

One Response

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  1. Whose job is it to enforce the laws of the state,city,county? If they arent legal they are illegal .A good start would be employee records and prosecuting employers that hire illegals. I work construction .There is no possible way the hispanics I see on jobs are legal . The govt. doesnt work that fast .Turn the economy back around ,put Americans back to work

    bill packard

    July 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm


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