Obama’s halt on deportations already under way – Washington Times

Obama’s halt on deportations already under way – Washington Times.

House chairman says ‘amnesty’ violates president’s own rules

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times

Federal immigration authorities have begun granting tentative legal status to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s deportation halt — and in some cases are even ignoring the administration’s eligibility rules to stop deportations for those who shouldn’t qualify, according to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he’s learned some illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. less than five years have had their deportations canceled, even though Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano had listed the five-year mark as one of their criteria.

Mr. Smith also obtained documents laying out how U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers should actively search for illegal immigrants who are “apparently eligible” to have their cases dropped. Those illegal immigrants then would be granted tentative status.

“President Obama is granting amnesty to illegal immigrants behind Americans’ backs,” Mr. Smith said. “Although administration officials told congressional offices that it would take 60 days to implement the president’s amnesty plan, internal ICE documents show that illegal immigrants have already benefited from it, even though there are no standards in place.”

Paper trail

The Washington Times reviewed the documents, which also included an ICE memo telling illegal immigrants to contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that will judge most of these cases, and which is not taking requests until Aug. 15.

The agency didn’t return a call seeking comment, but ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the policy was always intended to apply immediately to illegal immigrants already in the deportation system — which are the ones ICE deals with.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will eventually put in place a more formal process for illegal immigrants to come forward and proactively head off deportation.

Ms. Christensen said ICE will end up with a relatively small share of the eventual cases, and their review is easier because the agency already had begun using broad prosecutorial discretion last year.

“ICE is only reviewing cases for deferred action of individuals that are currently in removal proceedings or who were/are part of the agency’s larger prosecutorial discretion review,” she wrote in an email.

Obama’s new orders

Last month, Mr. Obama and Ms. Napolitano said they would unilaterally halt deportations for illegal immigrants who would have qualified for the Dream Act — legislation that never passed Congress but would have granted a path to citizenship to many illegal immigrants age 30 and younger.

To avoid deportation under the new rules, illegal immigrants would had to have been brought to the U.S. by age 16; graduated high school or earned an equivalency degree; not been convicted of major crimes; and been in the U.S. for at least five years.

Those granted a stay of deportation are given permission to work in the U.S. — which could lead to hundreds of thousands of new, legal workers entering the economy.

The program has come under fire from both sides. Some immigrant-rights activists have said they’d be reluctant to recommend illegal immigrants come forward, saying the program doesn’t yet have the kinds of assurances they need.

Critics on the other side, meanwhile, say it’s drawn too broadly. They also wonder what proof ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will ask for. The ICE guidance Mr. Smith obtained doesn’t lay out any standards for those documents, and he said that’s an invitation to fraud.

He also said he has learned ICE has halted deportations for illegal immigrants the agency knows have been in the U.S. for less than five years.

Amnesty has been granted to those who have been here for a shorter or even unknown period of time,” Mr. Smith said.

Ms. Christensen, the ICE spokeswoman, said the agency has broad authority to halt deportations on a case-by-case basis, even when illegal immigrants fall short of the new standards, especially in “humanitarian” cases in which the people in question were brought to the U.S. as children.

“As part of ICE’s overall effort to focus the immigration system on public safety threats, border security and public safety, and in keeping with the spirit of the secretary’s memorandum, deferred action has been granted on a case-by-case basis to some individuals whose cases may differ from the specific criteria set forth in the memorandum,” Ms. Christensen said.

As for documents, she said ICE officers are already trained in what documents to ask for and how to evaluate them as part of their jobs. Acceptable documents they can request include passports, visas, school or medical records, and leases, she said.

Deciding who stays

Part of Mr. Obama’s dilemma on immigration is that Ms. Napolitano has said the U.S. has the resources to deport about 400,000 illegal immigrants a year, which means it has to live up to that level.

The president has tried to focus deportation efforts on Illegal immigrants with criminal records and had made progress in his first two years in office. But the latest statistics showed backsliding this year.

In fiscal year 2012, which began Oct. 1, about 49 percent of all illegal immigrants deported didn’t have criminal records. That’s up from about 44 percent last year — and the change had immigrant-rights advocates furious.

ICE said it’s trying to focus its priorities, and said even though criminal deportations are down slightly, most of the noncriminals are still important targets for deportation.

Of the more than 143,000 noncriminal illegal immigrants removed from Oct. 1 to June 23, nearly half had repeatedly violated immigration rules, and more than 49,000 others were recent entrants who were removed at the border.

A little fewer than 5,000 illegal immigrants, or less than 2 percent of the total, were rank-and-file illegal immigrants who didn’t fall into any of the administration’s target categories.

The Immigration Ploy – Thomas Sowell – Townhall.com

The Immigration Ploy – Thomas Sowell – Townhall.com.

President Obama’s latest political ploy — granting new “rights” out of thin air, by Executive Order, to illegal immigrants who claim that they were brought into the country when they were children — is all too typical of his short-run approach to the country’s long-run problems.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his Executive Order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year’s election.

People cannot plan their lives on the basis of laws that can suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear, in less than a year. To come forward today and claim the protection of the Obama Executive Order is to declare publicly and officially that your parents entered the country illegally. How that may be viewed by some later administration is anybody’s guess.

Employers likewise cannot rely on policies that may be here today and gone tomorrow, whether these are temporary tax rates designed to look good at election time or temporary immigration policies that can backfire later if employers get accused of hiring illegal immigrants.

Why hire someone, and invest time and money in training them, if you may be forced to fire them before a year has passed?

Kicking the can down the road is one of the favorite exercises in Washington. But neither in the economy nor in their personal lives can people make plans and commitments on the basis of government policies that suddenly appear and suddenly disappear.

Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.

The principle involved — keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control — is one already advanced by Senator Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Governor Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. The Obama Executive Order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat, steals some of Senator Rubio’s thunder, so it is clever politics.

But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation.

When the new, and perhaps short-lived, immigration policy is looked at in terms of how it can be administered, it makes even less sense. While this policy is rationalized in terms of children, those who invoke it are likely to do so as adults.

How do you check someone’s claim that he was brought into the country illegally when he was a child? If Obama gets reelected, it is very unlikely that illegal immigrants will really have to prove anything. The administration can simply choose not to enforce that provision, as so many other immigration laws are unenforced in the Obama administration.

If Obama does not get reelected, then it may not matter anyway, when his Executive Order can be gone after he is gone.

Ultimately, it does not matter what immigration policy this country has, if it cannot control its own borders. Whoever wants to come, and who has the chutzpah, will come. And the fact that they come across the Mexican border does not mean that they are all Mexicans. They can just as easily be terrorists from the Middle East.

Only after the border is controlled can any immigration policy matter be seriously considered, and options weighed through the normal Constitutional process of Congressional hearings, debate and legislation, rather than by Presidential short-cuts.

Not only is border control fundamental, what is also fundamental is the principle that immigration policy does not exist to accommodate foreigners but to protect Americans — and the American culture that has made this the world’s richest, freest and most powerful nation for more than a century.

No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.

MoveOn.org video: Saying ‘illegal’ immigrants fits definition of a hate crime – Spokane Conservative | Examiner.com

MoveOn.org video: Saying ‘illegal’ immigrants fits definition of a hate crime – Spokane Conservative | Examiner.com.

In yet another case of Orwellian political correctness run amok, a video posted at MoveOn.org says calling illegal immigrants “illegal” fits the definition of a hate crime and calls for the word to be banned when used in the context of immigration.

The headline at the MoveOn page screams “One word we hear too often on Fox News,” as if only Fox News calls illegal immigrants “illegal.”

A web page at Colorlines goes even further, giving words they say are more acceptable.

“The epithet ‘illegals’ promotes a culture of intolerance and violence toward foreign nationals, undocumented immigrants, and people of color,” the site says, suggesting:

  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Unauthorized immigrants
  • NAFTA refuge

The “Drop the I-Word” campaign describes itself as a “public education campaign powered by immigrants and diverse communities across the country that value human dignity and are working to eradicate the dehumanizing slur ‘illegals’ from everyday use and public discourse.”

“The i-word opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration,” the site adds.

The site goes so far as to call the word “racist,” claiming it “affects attitudes toward immigrants and non-immigrants alike, most often toward people of African, Asian, and Latin American descent.”

“Silly me, I always figured it was used to describe someone who is in America illegally,” notes a post at Weasel Zippers.

On Friday, attorney Jay Sekulow discussed the issue on Fox News’ Hannity, and called MoveOn.org’s effort “the politics of hate,” in essence vilifying an entire group of people who recognize that people who are in the country illegally are “illegal aliens.”

One cannot help but think of George Orwell‘s classic 1984, in which he wrote of the destruction of words in an effort to eradicate “thoughtcrime.”

It seems the left, incapable of defending the indefensible, would rather win with the debate by banning words, basically making them illegal.

Alabama Tackled Illegal Immigration and Unemployment Started Dropping – Gina Loudon – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Alabama Tackled Illegal Immigration and Unemployment Started Dropping – Gina Loudon – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Alabama politicians ran on the issue of reforming illegal immigration in the state, mostly in response to an outcry from citizens hurt or unemployed by the problem of Illegal Immigration. 

They kept their promise. 

Last session, the Alabama Legislature led by Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) sponsored and passed House Bill 56 that essentially upheld the federal law already on the books.  Governor Bentley signed the bill.  The beast was loosed…

National social welfare advocates descended on Alabama like vultures on road kill and the stage was set for an ugly battle.  Self identified “religious groups” (whose faux religion is social liberalism) scared the “bejesus” out of unsuspecting (and under-informed) religious leaders who fell for the threats of arrest and worse if they were to comply with Alabama’s new law.  The main stream media, from NBC to Al-Jazeera, was more than happy to do the heavy lifting for the so-called religious groups opposing the bill.  Cries of racism, bigotry, and mayhem resonated with those who are generally susceptible to such rhetoric. 

Patriots rallied for the rule of law and held the politicians’ feet to the fire.  Speakers at the rally included mothers of Hispanic babies, victims of crimes of illegal immigration, and those exploited by the failed permissive policy on immigration.  Politicians, especially Alabama Senators, listened to the people, and stood firm on their promise to keep the law in place that upholds the rule of law.

The Department of Justice sued, but the bill was upheld in court.  

Immediately after the bill (HB 56) was passed, the unemployment rate began to drop.  Since the bill passed last legislative session, in some counties, unemployment has dropped dramatically. For example, unemployment has gone from 10%-6.9% in the former illegal immigrant hotbed of Marshall County, Alabama.

But social liberals don’t tire easily.  Fueled by the throngs of union-funded Occupiers, those opposed to the rule of law threatened that the crops would rot in the fields, because no legal workers would work under the conditions and for the pay that the illegal immigrants would.  

But they were wrong. 

In fact, Alabamians were starving for jobs and the supply was choked by a massive influx of illegals who swallowed up the jobs as they came available.  Legal Alabamians stood in line for blocks at job fairs hoping for their turn to work the job previously dominated by illegals. 

It worked.  Alabama went back to work.

Further, the same patriots who held the politicians’ feet to the fire with their rallies, local talk, and blogs, protected employees under the law, while the opposition supported the contention that people, any people, should sweat in the fields, with no protection from standard employment  law, or fair wages. In essense, we did the job that the unions wouldn’t do.   

Liberals had to face the irony and hypocrisy of their dichotomy that what they supported was a permanent underclass without the rights all men should enjoy. While conservatives championed the positive economic impact as the heavy social welfare burdens began to ease, the crowded emergency rooms thinned, and unemployment continued to drop. 

“In the last three months alone, we’ve seen an unprecedented drop of 1.7 percentage points,” said Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley in a January 20 statement.

Alabama House Majority Leader Rep. Micky Hammon (R-Decatur) said the law is replacing illegal immigrant labor with Alabamians.

“Despite how desperately illegal immigrant sympathizers have tried to portray this law as somehow harmful to our state’s economy, the truth is more Alabamians are working today thanks in part to our decision to crack down on illegal immigration.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate has shrunk and they have added 35,400 new jobs since January of 2011. 

Other states should take notice.