It has been easy for those in Washington and elsewhere to make the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service the scapegoat for terrorist actions against this nation on Sept. 11.
We who live on the border, who see INS and Border Patrol agents working hard every day to try to protect both our borders and us, know better. And those of us who know better believe this INS reorganization rush infecting Congress is much ado about nothing, or much ado about not much.
We see nothing particularly wrong with the setup of the INS, and see no pressing need to separate the agency into two entities, one for enforcing immigration laws and one for handling citizenship and immigration matters. That is what the House of Representatives will vote on soon. A similar plan prepared by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is expected to emerge from the Senate.
Under the House bill the two agencies would remain under the umbrella of the Department of Justice and would report to an assistant attorney general for immigration. Under Kennedy's setup an independent administrator appointed by the president would oversee the operations of the two separate agencies.