Special Treatments of Cubans Ended?

cuba-street-rotator-720x480The Obama administration announced the end of the ‘wet-foot-dry-foot’ policy for Cubans on January 12. This executive action repealed the executive action of President Clinton that provided refugee treatment for any Cuban making it onto U.S. soil – including at a legal port of entry. This was a much needed change in policy for a variety of reasons, but it was too late in coming, and it did not go far enough to remove special immigration treatment of Cubans.

The announcement was too late because it allowed additional tens of thousands of Cubans to take advantage of the refugee treatment after the administration announced restoration of diplomatic relations with the island in July 2015. And it did not go far enough because it left in place another questionable executive action of President Clinton that increased the flow of Cuban migrants. That action, adopted as a concession to Fidel Castro’s regime, was to try to lessen the incentive for illegal immigration by Cubans to the United States by establishing a special quota of 20,000 immigrant visas for Cubans to immigrate legally. This action was outside the immigration law and applies to nationals of no other country. Its legality is questionable.

Just as there was no legitimate reason for the now-ended policy accepting illegally arriving Cubans as refugees, there is also no legitimate reason for maintaining the special quota system of immigrant visas for Cubans.

A further change that needs to be adopted is for Congress to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) enacted in 1966 to provide automatic legal residence as refugees for Cubans who had arrived illegally a year earlier. If Cubans now arriving illegally are being deported like other illegal aliens, the CAA will lose much of its meaning. But, because of deportation backlogs and the efforts of immigration lawyers to drag out deportation proceedings, the CCA still represents a flaw in treating Cubans like other nationals and should be withdrawn.

Apprehension and Removal of illegal Aliens: A Revolving Door

Accounts of crimes committed by illegal aliens too often include the fact that the alien had been previously deported: often several times. The Border Patrol has been tasked with evaluating what is the rate of recidivism – the illegal return of those who have been deported.

The Border Patrol calculation of the most recent recidivism rate is 14 percent. But a newly released study by the government’s General Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that this is a woefully low calculation.

The GAO study “Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of Post-Apprehension Consequences,” found that a more recent system to evaluate recidivism placed the rate at 29 percent – more than double the Border Patrol’s established estimate. The GAO went on to point out that even this higher estimate is also ridiculously understated for two reasons:

-       First, the system only compared the records of persons apprehended two or more times in a given year. So aliens apprehended reentering illegally are not counted as recidivists if they were last apprehended more than a year earlier.

-       Second, the absence of an illegal reentry does not mean that the illegal alien has decided to stay out of the United States, it very well may mean that the apprehended illegal alien is still be in the country or illegally reentered the country without being apprehended.

The GAO recommended, among other changes, that the recidivism evaluation system exclude from the category of non-recidivists any illegal alien for whom there is no record of their deportation. DHS disagreed with this recommendation, so it remains to be seen if the change is implemented.

It is clear that this obvious recommended change in the method of calculating the rate of recidivism would result in a major jump in the recidivism rate. That rate underscores the falsity of Obama administration’s insistence that the border is under control.

Legislation to Give States Reins on Refugee Resettlement in 2017

State & Local Legislation from FAIRLawmakers around the country are introducing legislation to give states more control over refugee resettlement in the United States.  Opposition to mass refugee resettlement soared this year following recent terrorist attacks globally by extremists posing as Syrian refugees. The most notable attack occurred in Paris, France, in November 2015, resulting in 130 fatalities.  Such legislation underscores the need for reform on the federal level of its Refugee Resettlement program and need for greater consultation and cooperation with state and local officials in the placement process.

Legislators from two states joined in the efforts to facilitate state and local leaders’ participation in refugee resettlement, as already required by federal law. Missouri Representative Jeff Pogue (R-143) introduced a measure to the General Assembly last month to help give Missourians a say in refugee resettlement in their state. Under House Bill 203, the Missouri General Assembly must approve refugees before they can be relocated into the state. Representative Pogue has yet to provide additional information regarding how this process will be implemented.

Georgia Senator Josh McKoon (R-29) also announced his plans earlier this month to introduce a measure to allow the state to withdraw participation from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. If passed, Georgia could become the fifteenth state in the country to refuse participation.  Currently, fourteen states refuse participation in the Refugee Resettlement program. States that withdraw from the program, often referred to as “Wilson-Fish” states, do not participate in the placement process or administer aid to refugees, unless specifically required by state or federal law. Often, the federal government gets around states that refuse to participate with the program by contracting with third party organizations to facilitate placement of refugees into those states. Withdrawal from the Refugee Resettlement program, however, will ensure state taxpayer resources are not spent in the resettlement process.

Additionally, federal legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Scott Perry (R-Pa.) last year sought to require state governments’ approval over the resettlement of refugees.  H.R. 6119, also known as the Allow State Sovereignty Upon Refugee Entry (ASSURE) Act, would have required the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to submit a detailed plan to each state where refugees are to be resettled.  This plan would require a list costs expected by the state for housing, education, health care, and any other subsidies. In addition, vaccination records, health records, criminal history, and possible terrorist ties of refugees would have to be disclosed in the report. After submittal of the plan to the state government, it must be ratified by the state legislature and signed by the governor in order for refugee resettlement to proceed. A similar version of this bill is expected to be reintroduced this year if the upcoming Trump administration fails to reform the federal program.

Jerry Brown Braces California for a $1.6 Billion Deficit as the State Considers Legal Defense Fund for Illegal Aliens

Map of California StateCalifornia is a fiscal hole again. A deep fiscal hole, like $1.6 billion deep, warns Gov. Jerry Brown as introduced the state budget. That means more cuts in services, benefits, infrastructure repairs, education budgets, and general bad news for Californians.

But one group of California residents seems likely to be spared the pain of the state’s fiscal crisis: The ones who earned their special place in the hearts of California lawmakers by violating U.S. immigration laws. Even with a $1.6 billion deficit looming (and politicians often lowball bad budget numbers), two of the first bills likely to be taken up by the Legislature are Senate Bill 6 and Assembly Bill 3.

Both of those measures would commit state dollars to establish a legal defense fund for illegal aliens who might face deportation under the Trump administration – anywhere from about $10 million and $80 million according to the bills’ sponsors. That would be on top of the $10 million already allocated by the perpetually cash-strapped City and County of Los Angeles and similar funds likely to be set up by San Francisco, San Jose and other localities that pride themselves on placing the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the security and well-being of everyone else in their jurisdictions.

The $10 million to $80 the state is considering using to help illegal aliens flout the law is a pittance compared with the deficit Brown is forecasting but it says a lot about where the priorities of the state’s political leadership lie. Based on their response to Californians who have faced tragedy as a result of the state’s sanctuary policies it was hardly a mystery.

Lifezette Front Page Guest Opinion: Debunking the Myth of Obama as ‘Deporter in Chief’

The outgoing administration used gimmicks to conceal the extent

of its immigration lawlessness

Obama_signing_112414The mainstream media and open borders advocates have done an outstanding job of painting President Barak Obama’s administration as tough on immigration violators, even calling him “the Deporter in Chief.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the administration falsely painted itself as tough on immigration lawbreakers, while simultaneously eliminating most immigration enforcement, thereby endangering both national security and public safety.

This administration’s deportation statistics were deliberately manipulated to mislead the public.  Deportations – the removal of immigration violators arrested in the interior of the United States – have fallen steadily since President Obama’s first year in office and have declined over 40 percent since the Bush administration.

To camouflage this fact, the Obama administration padded its statistics by adding in “turn-arounds” – the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens caught crossing the border illegally, or found inadmissible at a port-of-entry.  The only problem: “turn-arounds” aren’t, and never were, true deportations.  They involve an entirely different legal process. By including “turn-arounds,” the Obama White House bolstered its “deportation” numbers and disguised the fact that it was destroying the nation’s immigration enforcement plans.

The vast decline in real deportations was the direct result of the Obama administration’s disastrous Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). In essence, PEP prohibited U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from prosecuting most deportable aliens. Under PEP, only aliens with convictions for egregious crimes were placed in removal proceedings.  The result: the vast majority of the deportable alien population got a reprieve from any type of enforcement action.

This foolhardy program put the public at risk and rendered immigration offenses inconsequential.  Read the rest of this op-ed here.