Crime

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.

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.

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.

Can Obama Pardon Illegal Aliens?

penandphonePresident-elect Donald Trump has promised to end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Children of Aliens program (DACA).  As a result, advocacy groups have been calling on President Obama to pardon the approximately 750,000 applicants approved under DACA. According to the pro-illegal alien narrative, this would place the DACA applicants on a “path to citizenship.”

But there is a problem with this narrative: the pardon power doesn’t apply to civil offenses.  Although crimes are most often perpetrated upon individuals, criminal acts are considered to be offenses against the community as a whole. Criminals are prosecuted in the name of the government, e.g., State v. John Doe. And they are punished by imprisonment, in order to deter antisocial behavior.

Civil violations consist of behaviors that interfere with the administrative interests of the state. They typically include violations of building codes and the failure to maintain one’s property in a safe condition, and similar acts. Rather than punishing them with imprisonment, the state imposes fines to recover some of the expenses caused by the violation.

Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution is very clear that, “The President…shall have the Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” In other words, the president can pardon federal criminal offenses, but not civil violations. While Improper Entry by an Alien is a misdemeanor crime, unlawful presence in the United States is a civil violation. Therefore, a presidential pardon would erase the crime of illegally entering the United States but would have no effect on the civil offense of unlawfully remaining.

The presidential power to pardon derives from old English law. It served as a mechanism to restore the rights lost by a felon who, although guilty of a crime, had fallen prey to extenuating circumstances. It was not a tool for the king to willfully evade those laws he disliked. And such an abuse would likely have led to his overthrow.

Frustration with President Obama’s misuse of executive authority appears to have been one of the factors that caused American voters to elect Donald Trump president. Rather than compound his past errors with an “amnesty-by-pardon” scheme, President Obama should heed the will of the people and let the Trump administration sort out the mess caused by his illegal DACA policies.

LifeZette Asks Leading Immigration Experts: Is America’s Immigration System in Decline?

DHS[1]LifeZette asked leading experts and activists on immigration policy to address one question: Is America’s immigration system in decline?

The experts agreed the nation faces an escalating immigration and refugee crisis. They point to a lack of American political will to take on both the structural immigration challenges for the nation and to fight the radical policies pushed by the current administration as the chief culprits of the expanding crisis.

The administration’s assault on the rule of law and unprecedented unilateral action on refugees have together brought a surge of foreigners — legal and illegal — into the nation without an opportunity for assimilation.

The economic impact has also been significant. The massive increase in predominantly low-skilled laborers has contributed to stagnant wage growth for American workers and nullified much of the job gains made in the tepid economic recovery.

To read what the experts, including FAIR’s President Dan Stein, had to say, click here.