Flushing out illegal immigrants -- quietly

We reported in July that Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Obama had initiated an audit of employers with illegal immigrant employees in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio and New York.

Now, a major janitorial services firm owned by local conservative talk radio host Peter Weissbach has fired about 100 janitors suspected of being illegal.  The Seattle Times reports that Seattle Building Maintenance will continue to let go workers in waves so managers can hire replacements.

At first, the Obama Administration's approach was heralded by immigrant advocates as more humane, since it keeps enough of a buffer between immigration agents and illegal immigrants so the former don't deport the latter wholesale.

Conservative Law Professor Kris Kobach has also focused on making it more difficult for employers to hire and employ illegals.  The federal strategy also  includes roping in local law enforcement to identify illegal immigrants with criminal histories in preparation for deportation.

The government's more targeted, two-pronged approach is aimed at chipping away at the illegal immigration population by reducing the supply of jobs that draws people to this country illegally and speeding up deportation proceedings by focusing them on criminals.

U.S. treatment of illegal immigrant once they have been detained has been criticized as inhumane due to the dirty, overcrowded private contractor facilities for housing those detainees.

Las Vegas police help deport illegal immigrants

Since November, the Las Vegas police department has helped initiate deportation proceedings agains nearly 2,000  illegal immigrants who are inmates in the Clark County Detention Center.

In a new partnership that blends criminal law and immigration law enforcement,  Las Vegas police report the names of violent offenders believed to be in the U.S. illegally to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Clark County program is narrower in scope than that of Maricopa County in Arizona, where police officers can arrest people for immigration violations.  However, once someone has been arrested in Clark County on unrelated charges, they can be screened for possible deportation. 

A Las Vegas police spokesman said  an inmate's criminal history affects whether they initiate deportation proceedings.  Another 1,800 inmates who are illegal immigrants were not reported because they had no violent criminal history.

Critics of the partnership call it tantamount to racial profiling; they say the police's double duty will deter Hispanic community members from reporting crimes.