By Joe Guzzardi
January 2, 2015
No sooner were the 2014 election votes counted before speculation about 2016 began. With the conjecture came the predictable theorizing about immigration and whether passing comprehensive reform would be essential for the GOP to recapture the White House.
Still mum about his presidential intentions, Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently spoke about immigration with rare candor. In his interview with NPR, Rubio said that using the term “nativist,” as President Obama recently did, to describe opposition to amnesty is “inaccurate and unwise.” Rubio then said that the U.S. accepts one million legal immigrants each year, and that few congressional voices advocate reducing that unsustainable policy. Noting that in the 21st Century, low skilled workers are having increasing difficulty finding jobs, Rubio endorsed a merit-based instead of a family-based immigration system.
For Americans who favor sensible immigration, Rubio’s words are heartening. Let’s face it. Congress never talks about an immigration time out, and only occasionally criticizes the deleterious effect on low-skilled, under-educated American workers of giving work permits to five million illegal immigrants. The questions are whether Rubio, a one-time Gang of Eight amnesty advocate, is sincere and whether by 2016, it will matter what the candidates’ immigration views are if Obama’s unilateral actions go unchecked.
When Obama leaves office, he will have spent eight years dismantling immigration law, circumventing Congress as well as encouraging and tolerating open borders. During his reign, deportation and border as well as interior enforcement have come to a screeching halt.
The findings of an Executive Office of Immigration Review report that analyzed the summer’s Central American border surge confirm that little is being done to enforce immigration laws. According to the EOIR, of the 30,467 families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the border between July and October, only 22 percent received a final disposition as to their immigration status—allowed to stay or ordered deported. Of the 15,614 families caught at the border but not detained, 4,197 have been ordered removed.
However, 96 percent of those removal orders were handed down “in absentia,” meaning the aliens didn’t show up for their appointed immigration court dates. Although Obama promised that the Central Americans would be returned home, the majority remain in the U.S. Federal officials predict it could take up to a year to resolve the 450,000 pending immigration court cases, assuming no new ones are added to the docket.
However, new cases are assured. Leon Rodriquez, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, predicted that another border surge is on the way. Rodriquez said that Americans should view the newly arriving children as “willing to break their backs” at U.S. jobs and as having the potential to “energize” the economy.
Obama has drawn his red line on immigration. Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s senior advisor, promised that even in the unlikely event that the GOP-controlled Congress leadership would vote to shut down the Department of Homeland Security, the president’s executive amnesty would go forward because fees legal immigrants pay would fund it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker john Boehner are complicit in the White House’s willful dismantling of immigration law. While McConnell and Boehner have bloviated about the resistance they would mount to Obama’s amnesty, neither has lifted a finger to stop it.
A president indifferent to U.S. sovereignty, a Congress equally passive about preserving the traditional American nation, and the resulting vanished borders will pose an imposing 2015 challenge for concerned citizens.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]