Ironic, isn’t it. ICE Director John Morton made a special visit Monday to the National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center in Williston, Vt., to congratulate agents on busting a Colombian cocaine smuggling ring that exported drugs internationally. ICE agents did their jobs and deserve a pat on the back from the boss. But an important part of ICE’s mission is to enforce laws against people who violate U.S. immigration laws – a responsibility that neither he nor his local hosts seem to take very seriously. During the course of his sojourn to Ben & Jerry Land, the ICE director failed to even note that Democratic Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently passed a “look the other way” policy prohibiting state police from asking about a person’s legal status or launching a criminal investigation if they believe the person is an illegal alien.
We know what gives. Mr. Morton does not want immigration laws enforced because it is inconvenient to the political objectives of his boss (President Obama), while Gov. Shumlin does not want immigration laws enforced because it is inconvenient to the interests of a powerful Vermont business interests – the $560 million dollar a year dairy industry. It is an industry which has gotten used to a plentiful supply of Mexican farmhands while bypassing thousands of jobless Americans in Vermont.
We don’t need to speculate about Gov. Shumlin’s motives – he’s quite open about them. “Vermont farmers can’t survive without workers from outside America. That’s just the way it is. We’ve got to keep our dairy farms strong, so we’ve always had a policy in Vermont where we kind of ‘look the other way’ as much as we can.”
Gov. Shumlin, thank you for admitting your state’s reliance on illegally employed labor. You’re also to be congratulated for shrugging off responsibility for your country’s security. But the big question here is why isn’t John Morton pressuring Vermont to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agents? Morton “looking the other way” on Vermont’s policy shows a lack of commitment in the Obama administration to enforcing illegal immigration.
States like Vermont want federal funds for education, civic works, and public services—amenities used by illegal aliens—yet they don’t want the responsibility of cooperating with federal immigration enforcement. The snake rots from the head down. If the Obama administration isn’t going to insist states get onboard in protecting our borders, governors like Shumlin will have no trouble continuing to make their states attractive to illegal aliens. In any case, the Vermont government’s announcement is a clear green light for those who would use non-cooperation for criminal purposes—including farm workers.