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.


Tolerated Stay, Open Borders and National Security

Simbol EUWhen the current incarnation of the European Union (EU) was formed, a number of member states agreed to eliminate their internal borders, creating a region called the Schengen Zone (named after the town in Luxembourg where the agreement was signed). Anyone admitted to any Schengen country is admitted to all of the nations within the zone. For example, travelers fly from New York to Paris and are admitted to France – they are then free to cross the Border from France to Belgium and Belgium to Germany without any further inspection by immigration officials.

Ironically, most of Europe is now wondering how Anis Amri was able to move so easily throughout Europe. Amri is the Tunisian national suspected of stealing a tractor-trailer and mowing down shoppers at Berlin’s Christmas Market. He left his native country fleeing an armed robbery warrant and entered the Schengen Zone through Italy by claiming to be a refugee.

Despite being inadmissible under EU immigration law, he was granted “tolerated stay” status. Theoretically temporary, this category is used for aliens who are inadmissible, but who can’t immediately be expelled, due to administrative or political (often political correctness) concerns. In some cases, “tolerated stay” recipients are given cash benefits and housing, at taxpayer expense.

The combination of “tolerated stay” status and open borders agreements allows known public safety and national security threats to move freely throughout Europe. Meanwhile, police and security officials must still operate under national laws. So while terrorists exploit the Schengen Zone to evade law enforcement, police are forced to negotiate bureaucratic obstacles and coordinate investigations across multiple jurisdictions.

The formation of the Schengen Zone was an expression of the member states’ belief they shared a common identity that made borders unnecessary. That borderless zone is now serving as a magnet for refugees and economic migrants from cultures that are drastically different from those in Europe. And they are arriving so rapidly and in such large numbers, Europe lacks the resources to effectively assimilate them.  It remains to be seen whether the Schengen Zone will collapse of its own weight. But recent history has clearly disproven the foolish notion that Europe doesn’t need borders.

The United States should learn from Europe’s experiences and phase out programs that reduce or remove immigration controls, like the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the Visa Waiver Program. It should also eliminate the American equivalents of “tolerated stay” – immigration parole, deferred action, and temporary protected status. America has already had far too many Anis Amris of its own.

The American Public Doesn’t Want Criminals and Illegal Aliens in Control of Our Borders

Border fence at Naco ArizonaAlex Nowrasteh, an immigration analyst for the libertarian Cato Institute, recently published a piece in The Hill arguing that President-elect Trump’s proposed border control plans won’t “normalize immigration.” His argument goes like this: A study published in the journal Political Psychology has found that people in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. favor immigration when they perceive that the government is in control of borders. When they perceive a lack of government control over borders, they do not. Therefore, any increased enforcement efforts by the Trump administration will only promote dissatisfaction because it would “increase the perception of chaos.”

Mr. Nowrasteh claims that his point is proven by the fact that illegal aliens responded to the 1990’s expansion of the Border Patrol by hiring smugglers and “taking boats up the coast to avoid the border altogether” (as if the coasts are not territorial borders). In other words, Mr. Nowrasteh believes that enforcement will only generate more crime. Therefore, we should reduce enforcement in order to keep crime at a manageable level and demonstrate that we’re in control. Does this remind anyone of Orwell’s totalitarian “Big Brother” proclaiming “freedom is slavery,” “war is peace”?

The quality of the argument only degenerates from there, Mr. Nowrasteh concludes with the admonition that, “The great Catch-22 of immigration policy is that only through more liberal immigration policies will Americans ultimately feel like their government is in control.”  His complete failure to comprehend that liberal immigration policies are the problem is profoundly disturbing.

The fact is the United States has had a dysfunctional immigration system for so long that we no longer have any idea what “normal” looks like. Donald Trump realized that the American people don’t think it is a good idea to let criminals and illegal aliens set our border control agenda. That’s why he won the election. Should he succeed in building a reasonable, effective immigration strategy, there is absolutely no indication the American people will change their minds and begin demanding a return to irresponsible policies. At the ballot box, they sent a very clear message that they’re tired of being ignored when it comes to immigration.

Could Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies Start Working Before He Takes Office?

trump-wave-rotator-720x480Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies could realistically start seeing results before his inauguration. The president-elect’s platform for reforming the nation’s broken immigration policies includes three important points, among others: end dangerous catch-and-release policies; stop illegal sanctuary cities; and reverse the trend of allowing more and more benefits to illegal aliens. If these policies are enforced, many would-be migrants will think twice about coming to the U.S. illegally because the benefits may no longer outweigh the cost.

These policies have obviously not been enacted yet, and presidential administrations are notorious about straying from what they promised on the campaign trail. However, illegal aliens and their proponents are taking the president-elect at his word. “Now that Donald Trump has been elected president, I don’t feel safe,” said Claudia Quiñonez, an illegal alien residing in Maryland. “I can be deported.”

returns-graph-wash-postThis type of reaction is similar to what occurred before former president Bill Clinton passed his (ultimately watered down) immigration reforms in 1996. He gave impassioned speeches about fixing a broken system. “The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants,” he said. “The public services [illegal aliens] use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens,” he continued.

Illegal immigrants responded to his rhetoric and actions by choosing to leave the U.S. of their own free will in record numbers. During Clinton’s administration, at least 11.5 million illegal aliens “self-removed” themselves, compared to only 870,000 deportations under the administration. The annual number of these removals increased dramatically after he made immigration a priority in 1995 and 1996. Conversely, under the Obama administration and his non-enforcement policies, self-removals dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s.

The general consensus among illegal aliens who are willing to publicly express their opinions, seems to be a belief that Trump will take a stronger stance on immigration than the outgoing president has. If the Clinton administration is any indication, many illegal aliens will make the decision to leave on their own terms before the president-elect’s reforms are officially enacted.

While many in the mainstream media paint the fear of deportation amongst illegal aliens as a travesty, it should actually be the goal of the federal government considering illegal immigration is a crime. And the resulting self-removals are a desirable result. If unauthorized migrants decide to return to their home countries in lieu of facing law enforcement measures, they do the federal government a favor, and save themselves from being formally deported.

There is nothing wrong with the federal government promoting the enforcement of our existing laws. Those who break our laws – immigration related or otherwise – should worry about the consequences of their actions. Effective rule of law is a cornerstone attribute of American sovereignty, and it protects the jobs and lives of U.S. citizens.

FAIR Guest Opinion: Immigration Roars in Campaigns, Squeaks in Debates

confetti-red-white-blue-rotator-720x478Immigration has been a central issue of the 2016 presidential campaign. Perhaps no other issue presents as sharp a contrast between the visions of the two leading candidates as immigration.

Yet, inexplicably, this driving issue of the 2016 campaign was entirely absent from the first two debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was not until the third and final debate, just 20 days before the American people head to the polls, that this issue was addressed head-to-head by the candidates.

Even more inexplicably, when finally given the opportunity to address the public’s deep-seated concerns about the economic, social, cultural and national security impact of a rudderless immigration policy, both candidates reverted to vague generalities and platitudes. With the attention of nearly everyone who will cast a vote on Nov. 8, neither Trump nor Clinton made a compelling case for how they would reform immigration in a way that serves identifiable national interests.

In the end, the forum and the candidates left voters with more questions about immigration policy than were answered during the debate.

Read the rest of Dan Stein’s guest opinion at The Hill here.