August 10, 2010

Inanities But Not Sovereignty: The Wildly Upside Down Priorities of the Administration (and their Accomplices in Congress)

Monique Chartier

True to their misguided word in their lawsuit against Arizona that they lacked the resources to enforce our borders, the Obama administration has ordered ICE to cut way back on (Joe B, correct me if this is wrong) non-felony violations of our border.

The new guidelines are outlined in a June 29 memo from Assistant Secretary John Morton, who heads the agency, to all ICE employees regarding the apprehension, detention and removal of illegal immigrants, noting that the agency "only has resources to remove approximately 400,000 aliens per year, less than 4 percent of the estimated illegal-alien population in the United States."

Mr. Morton said ICE needed to focus wisely on the limited resources Congress had provided the agency and would "prioritize the apprehension and removal of aliens who only pose a threat to national security and/or public safety, such as criminals and terrorists."

Don't we now have a border that is partially open? If you can get here, we won't deport you.

Though Senator Lindsey Graham has a record on illegal immigration that is checkered at best, certainly we can have the conversation that he proposes about birthright citizenship. I would agree with those who assert, for example, that the word "jurisdiction" in the Fourteenth Amendment may have been misinterpreted all these years.

More urgently even than that, however, can we ask both President Obama and Congressional pro-illegal immigration, anti-sovereignty advocates to explain why they have chosen to spend billions of dollars on the most inane pork and stimulus projects but are now sharply curtailing resources for one of their primary functions: preservation of this country's sovereignty and borders? Can we also ask them to please correct their terribly misguided priorities forthwith?

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Willard Mitt Romney, a outspoken critic of illegal immigration, has for years employed a landscaping firm that uses undocumented workers to tend this home’s lawn.

It’s not the action it’s the hypocrisy.

Posted by: Sammy at August 10, 2010 7:33 PM

The Obama administration is hardly the first to abdicate responsibility.
Carter perhaps was the worst.
Reagan took a benign neglect view-he was busy dismantling the Iron Curtain.
Bush1 was also very mediocre on this issue.
Bill Clinton saddled us with a commissioner who hated enforcement and actively tried to undermine the whole program.
Bush2 was preoccupied with the War on terror,yet seemed somewhat unaware of the critical role immigration law played in that effort.
The last administration that dealt with this issue head on was Gerald Ford's.I was hired near the end of his term,in March 1976.
I normally don't defend Obama,but the whole pile of guano should be equally distributed,not just on his plate.
I remember two censuses during my career-we were told to scale back neighborhood operations except for criminal aliens and fugitives.However we were also told that this didn't mean we were to ignore violations.What the hell?Yeah,stinky butt bureaucrats covering their behinds and leaving agents holding the bag if there was a problem.
If I told you how bad the Carter period was,you'd think I was writing fiction.
That period,which encompassed the Mariel boatlift and the Iranian takeover of the embassy and our reaction here set the ball rolling for a complete loss of control of the immigration situation.
Obama's approach is the latest in a long line of gutless surrenders to the easy way out.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 10, 2010 7:59 PM

Why can't we try the simple things first? Enact E-verify to cut down on document fraud and impose stiff penalties on businesses that fail to verify the employment eligibility of their employees. Employers are easier to deter because they have so much more to lose. If you say to an illegal alien "you'd better go home because if we catch you we're going to send you home," he might as well take his chances. If you say to an employer "you'd better have your I-9's up to date and e-verified because if we catch you you're going to get whacked with a huge fine; you'll have to sell your boat; and your kids will be in public school," he's much more likely to comply. If illegal aliens run out of employers and they can't get public assistance, I suspect many will realize their best option is to go home.

This would be a more efficient use of ICE's resources. Businesses are easier to find than illegal aliens and a few high-profile enforcement actions might result in increased compliance across the board.

We can address the anchor baby problem by making it clear that the illegal alien parents will derive no benefit from having a US citizen child and, in fact, any future attempt to come to the US legally may be jeopardized by their illegal entry to give birth.

It seems to me that these measures require very little in new legislation. What it mainly requires is a change in attitude towards enforcement by the federal government.

Posted by: David P at August 10, 2010 8:29 PM

The 14th Amendment. A debate between the "plain meaning" and "original intent" should not arise. It's date makes it clear that it was a "reconstruction" amendment. It's purpose was to reverse the finding in the Dred Scott decision that blacks were not citizens and to prevent the states from denying them rights by defining them as non-citizens.

America has never been a friendly place to immigrants and there are many laws in place whose original intent are forgotten. In many places there were laws against hunting on Sunday (Sunday was the whole weekend then). The purpose was to prevent free food to blacks and immigrants, consequently they had to work to eat and wages were kept low. In New England we had very expensive "non resident" fishing licenses. I remember being a kid and asking the town clerk (ancient) why the non-resident licenses were so expensive, he leaned over the counter and whispered "to keep the Irish moving?". I think he was old enough to be "living memory". While immigration was fairly free, individual states took their own action. New York limited the number of passengers that a boat could land at their harbor, that kept passage rates high and limited the number of "poor immigrants".

Like the French collapsing their government in crisis, the American respose to an immigration crisis has usually been amnesty. This goes back to the "Chinese Confession cases" which arose shortly after we made a real distinction between "legal" and "illegal" immigration. Immigration was originally denied only to prostitutes, lepers, and morons. In 1882 we legislated the "Chinese Exclusion Act" and they became our first "illegal aliens". Eventually there was a lot of them, who "couldn't be told apart". We decided that if they would come forward and admit they were illegal, we would give them residency. I don't recall much being made of "anchor babies".

Please do not take this to mean I am not in favor of controlling our borders.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 10, 2010 9:19 PM

Seem to make sense. All corporations have to cut back, become lean. Why not government agencies? If resources are limited why not go after the violent, or ones that are threats to national security? It is the same tactic that police use when dealing with vice, go after the big fish (the suppliers) and leave the little ones be. I wouldn't say that means the police are legalizing drugs by doing that, just as the current administration isn't opening the borders by doing this.

Posted by: Swazool at August 10, 2010 10:34 PM

David P-well said!!I absolutely agree on the children born here to illegal aliens-change the visa eligibility laws-the children themselves should not be penalized for being born here-it's not a choice they made.
Swazool-If you knew any Immigration agents,you'd find very few that really preferred chasing busboys and factory workers to criminally involved aliens.Most of my career was involved with narcotics offnders(9 year assignment)smugglers(2 years)and criminal aliens(3 years).
I would prefer one serious felon to 20 ordinary illegals.
Prevention via E verify is the best bet along with STIFF penalties for employers.
Actually,in RI I probably arrested almost as many resident aliens as illegals-they were convicted felons.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 11, 2010 12:38 AM

"I would prefer one serious felon to 20 ordinary illegals."
That is where I agree with you Joe. Since we are in tough economic times, I think, and you probably agree, we should put our resources towards going after the felons. By doing so doesn't mean that is "terribly misguided priorities" as Monique posted.

Posted by: Swazool at August 11, 2010 10:35 AM

Swazool-I played the numbers game for 4 years after transferring from the Border Patrol to the Chicao District Investigations Division.
I was on the Area Control Squad and we had 23 agents assigned there-year in and year out we averaged 1000-1500 arrests a month.Do the math-Jim Hummel wouldn't catch us loafing.One week we had a "surge"with some Border Patrol flown in to assist and we got over 1300 arrests.It didn't make a ripple in a pisspot.the aliens,seeing us with fully loaded vehicles,just laughed because they knew we couldn't stuff one more in.
It was a bizarre,but never boring job.
If we'd just put a few employers in the can or on food stamps,it'd have had a larger impact.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 11, 2010 11:44 AM
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