By Joe Guzzardi
March 25, 2015
Since a Texas federal court judge temporarily enjoined President Obama’s executive action, the media has been focused on what the policy’s future may be. Judge Andrew Hanen struck down, at least for the time being, Obama’s order to give about 5 million illegal aliens work permits, social security numbers, and welfare benefits. But in the meantime, the administration’s steadfast refusal to deport unlawful immigrants including convicted criminals goes on, more or less unnoticed.
Judge Hanen, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Obama agree on one thing: the court’s decision has no effect on deportations. Judge Hanen: “There’s no indication that these individuals will be removed or otherwise prosecuted.” Johnson: “Nor does the court’s order effect this department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities.” Obama: “…if you qualified for the executive action that I put forward, we’re going to make sure your Mom is not prioritized.”
In support of its executive action, the administration has made staggeringly illogical and indefensible arguments, namely that granting deportation relief, quasi-legal status, and rewarding aliens with work permits is a vital national security matter. DHS will, or so the argument goes, issue biometric IDs to the aliens which will allow agents to quickly identify them, and put them through vigorous background checks. Then, unburdened from having to monitor illegal immigrants’ movements, DHS agents can get down to the important task of focusing on criminals.
None of the administrations three-prong selling points are credible. First, a biometric visa program has been stalled in Congress for years. Not even 9/11 generated enough congressional enthusiasm to pass entry/exit legislation. No reasonable person can expect it to happen on Obama’s watch. Second, Obama’s 2012 deferred action for childhood arrivals didn’t include background checks.
Neither will Obama’s 2014 version now under review. Third, DHS could easily detain and deport criminals. Only Obama’s twisted immigration priorities stand in the way. A concerned Immigration Customs and Enforcement agent could do a fingerprint check on criminal aliens if the administration returned that authority to him. Instead, according to ICE statistics, 167,527 convicted, final-order aliens including murderers, kidnappers and child molesters are at large.
The Justice Department filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court, and may take its case all the way to the Supreme Court. If so, that could mean at least 22 more months of non-enforcement plus new waves of illegal immigration that the Department of Homeland Securities’ Obama-imposed neglect spurs.
Specifically, removals from the interior will continue to be negligible. During fiscal year 2014, DHS removed a mere 6,466 illegal immigrants who were not convicted criminals, immigration fugitives or repeat immigration violators, a total that represents less than six one-hundredths of one percent of the nation’s estimated 11.2 million illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, down on the border, a repeat of last summer’s Central American surge is well underway. Aware that Obama did not return last year’s border crossers and equally aware that the president has unconstitutionally rewritten immigration law, nearly 13,000 Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans under age 18 have been “booked in,” meaning they’ve been turned over to federal facilities before being released into the general population. Since officials consider the autumn and winter months the slow period in illegal crossings, analysts expect last year’s crisis to repeat itself.
Accommodating illegal immigrants and bowing to advocacy groups at the expense of citizens defines Obama’s presidency. His aggressive rejection of immigration law in favor of an agenda which endorses and encourages lawless behavior that undermines America’s well-being will be his sad legacy.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization. Contact him at [email protected]