In Tom Lawrence's readworthy series on big dairies in South Dakota, an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officer claims he finds no evidence of illegal immigration arrests at South Dakota dairies.

This kind of incompetence and falsehood from a government official could get me to rejoin Stace Nelson's party. To wit:

Fourteen people arrested in the Veblen area Wednesday will appear before a federal immigration judge who will determine whether they're supposed to be in the country, an immigration official said Thursday. Thirteen others arrested face state charges of identity theft or using false identification. Tim Counts, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman in Minneapolis, said court dates have not been set for the 14 people suspected of immigration violations. The hearings will likely be in the next two or three weeks in Minneapolis, Counts said. There is also a federal immigration judge in Omaha, Neb., so the hearings could be there. The immigration accusations are administrative, not criminal charges, Counts said. So the people in those cases could be deported, but not sentenced to jail or prison. Counts said all 14 people are adults. They are being held in Sioux Falls-area jails. He was not sure on their nationalities. The 27 arrests are incorrectly being described as an immigration raid on dairy facilities in the Veblen area, Counts said. Most of the arrests were made at dairy buildings in Veblen because that's where many of the people worked, but not because the dairy was being raided, he said [Scott Waltman, "14 Arrested in Veblen Area Face Immigration Hearings," Aberdeen American News, 2008.10.30].

I'm not sure why Immigration would have a stake in twisting language to keep hide illegal immigration violations at South Dakota dairies. I would think Immigration would be keenly interested in demonstrating its commitment to and effectiveness in rooting out the crime it is charged with stopping.