Getting in Gears: New York Times Goes to Irving, Tries Not to Get Arrested and Deported

For two years, the city of Irving's been turning over to federal officials people it arrests, for various reasons, and suspects of being illegal immigrants. Matter of fact, the so-called "experiment" has been in effect for so long that a once-controversial issue -- Hispanics claimed the Irving PD was engaged in racial profiling and pulling over folks for petty offenses -- appeared to turn into a nonissue. Till this morning.

My former Daily Texan cohort Randy Kennedy has come back to Texas to tell how "immigrant-friendly Democrat" Herb Gears, the Irving mayor "with deep political ties to the city's Hispanic leaders," is leading U.S. cities' attempts to take control of the immigration issue, for better or worse. Says Gears in the lengthy front-page piece:

"I let my instincts rule the moment in that instance," he said. "What weighed heavily in my thoughts is that if we didn't do something, a lot more immigrants were going to be hurt."

"And now," Mr. Gears added ruefully, "I'm the hero of every redneck in America."

Why? Because folks are getting deported not only for the big-ticket items, but for lesser charges -- like, driving without insurance. And, spoiler alert, there's a cameo by everyone's favorite activist, Carlos Quintanilla, who calls Gears "the most tormented man in America."