Law & Justice

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.


Immigration and the Rule of Law

Gavel, scales of justice and law booksWhen it suits their purposes, mainstream media pundits are fond of pointing out that the United States is a nation founded on “the rule of law.” The comment is usually offered up in support of some overly broad argument in favor of legislation contracting a fundamental liberty. However, very few talking heads seem to have any idea what a commitment to the rule of law really means.

In a nutshell: The rule of law is the principle that everyone in the United States should be held accountable to a uniform body of laws that is fairly applied and enforced. But the rule of law is under assault in the United States. Certain segments of the American population – specifically political, media and academic elites – have come to believe that they are free to disregard immigration law as they see fit.

Witness the editorial called “Proud to be a Sanctuary City” that recently appeared in the opinion pages of the New York Times. The piece claims that, if the Trump administration attempts to enforce immigration law, the “proper” response is for state and local governments to implement sanctuary policies in defiance of federal law. In other words, the Times is arguing that American political leaders should just disregard the very roots of American order – constitutionalism, federalism, and the rule of law. That sounds more like the Venezuelan approach than the American way.

But the message the Times is sending stands in stark contrast to the views held by most regular folks in the United States. The American people know that a commitment to observing the rule of law creates the conditions required for harmony and prosperity. They also understand that one can’t begin selectively discarding whatever body of laws one might happen to dislike. When that happens, the entire legal framework collapses like a house of cards.

Immigration was one of the key issues in this year’s presidential election specifically because Americans value the rule of law. Donald Trump recognized that average Americans are beyond frustrated with the failure to secure our nation’s borders and the image of lawlessness that failure presents to the rest of the world. As such, the recent election was as much a referendum on the rule of law as it was a plebiscite on immigration.

Advocates for Illegal Aliens Declare War on the American Justice System

Rear view of themis statueThe American justice system exists to deliver fair and timely justice to those accused of wrongdoing and to their victims. The integrity of the judicial process is the foundation of any enlightened society. That bedrock foundation of our republic will soon be under attack by elected officials and tax-exempt foundations who openly vow to wage “lawfare” on our federal courts.

The assault on the federal judicial system is being led by Luis Gutierrez, who ostensibly represents the citizens of Illinois’ 4th congressional district, but has proclaimed himself to be the representative of the nation’s illegal alien population. Gutierrez recently stated that if Donald Trump acts to rescind President Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program he will consider it to be a “declaration of war.” In addition, Gutierrez has threatened that if the new president attempts to carry out the laws of the United States and begin deporting illegal aliens, “then the people he wants to deport should say, ‘I want my day in court before a judge.’ You have to paralyze the system.”

In truth, the federal justice system is already being paralyzed by deportable aliens and their advocates. More than half of all cases pending before federal courts are immigration related and there is a backlog of more than half a million cases of people fighting to remain in this country. The prospect of a member of the House Judiciary Committee openly calling upon illegal aliens to further paralyze the federal judicial system if the president tries to enforce the nation’s laws, borders on sedition.

But Gutierrez will not be waging a one-man assault on the federal courts. He is already being joined in the war against the judicial system by the California Legislature, which has been engaging in its own long-running war on sanity, not to mention immigration enforcement. State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) introduced the Due Process for All Act (SB 6) earlier this month that “would create a state program to fund legal representation for those facing deportation.” Hueso’s Assembly colleague, Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), has offered a companion bill (AB 3) that “would create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.” Needless to say, California taxpayers would foot the bill for these services. Similar efforts are underway in New York.

Immigration “lawfare” isn’t exactly hurting for cash even in the absence of publicly funded effort to paralyze the federal courts. Last summer’s leaks of a cache of documents from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF) detail countless millions of tax exempt foundation dollars (from OSF and other prominent groups) already being dedicated to the war against immigration enforcement.

The undeniable intent of the open borders zealots is to bring the nation’s court system to its knees in order to prevent the duly enacted laws of the United States from being enforced. That challenge to one of the essential pillars of our civilization is an existential threat that must be addressed.

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.

The DACA Pardon Issue is Finally Laid to Rest

DREAM Act-FAIROnce the shock from Donald Trump’s surprise presidential victory wore off, open borders groups and illegal aliens began scrambling for ideas to keep DACA individuals in the country. The panic was unsurprising because President Obama unilaterally created DACA meaning his unconstitutional executive action had no basis in law and could be immediately nullified by a future president—a point Obama repeatedly acknowledged. What is surprising is the absurd “answer” these groups came up with: Obama should pardon the approximately 750,000 DACA recipients.

Any attorney worthy of the degree hanging on his/her office wall could immediately tell you this is not a viable option. First, the pardon power is limited to criminal offenses, not civil offenses which immigration violations are. FAIR’s Research Director Matt O’Brien pointed that out last week. More importantly, even if Obama could pardon DACA recipients it absolutely would not put them on a path to citizenship as amnesty advocates claimed. Indeed, all a presidential pardon would do is forgive an illegal alien’s unlawful presence. The individual would still have no legal status to remain in the country and would revert back to being an illegal alien if they failed to return home within the set grace period. In fact, the only benefit a hypothetically-pardoned DACA recipient could receive is the waiver of the 3/10 year bars which would not be triggered upon departure because the pardon removed the unlawful presence.

Much to the dismay of pro-amnesty Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and illegal alien interest groups, the Obama administration has finally come out and said what was obvious to so many of us. In a podcast interview, White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz said, “I know people are hoping that pardon authority is a way to protect people. It’s ultimately not, for a couple reasons. One is that pardon authority is generally designed for criminal violations, not civil. But also it doesn’t confer legal status. Only Congress can do that. So ultimately, it wouldn’t protect a single soul from deportation.”