The Los Angeles Times today has this piece on former San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam’s ouster, hinting that the prosecutor’s record on immigration was to blame for her sacking.

The piece offers comments from her detractors and none from her supporters, and also doesn’t give much analysis on how border prosecutions went during her term.

It does offer this insight:

Lam’s case has political overtones, but it also reflects a more complicated reality: a conflict over what the priorities of federal prosecutors should be and who should set them. In her case, pursuing white-collar crime at the expense of border crime, illegal immigration and gun violence.

California, with its cutting-edge business community and overnight fortunes, is fertile ground for white-collar crime and corruption.

At the same time, the state has some of the most active border crossings in the nation and big problems with drugs, smuggling, immigration and gang violence, issues that have been on the front burner of the Justice Department and the White House.

Heading into last year’s midterm election, President Bush and his political strategists were struggling with a rebellion by conservative Republicans over immigration policy. The White House goal was to demonstrate toughness on border crime and security.

The record suggests Lam did not see things that way.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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