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ICE and CBP Turned Into an Illegal Alien Shuttle Service

border-patrol-truck-rotator-720x480Most American taxpayers believe that the function of their immigration enforcement agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is to secure the borders and enforce immigration law. Apparently the current administration doesn’t agree. In the last days of his final term, president Obama has turned ICE and CBP into a taxpayer-funded shuttle service for illegal aliens.

Breitbart is reporting that ICE officials are releasing illegal aliens from immigration detention centers and transporting them to bus stations and airports so that they can travel to destinations across the United States. In 2014, the union that represents Border Patrol agents stated that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing illegal aliens to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification. Apparently, the dangerous practice has been continued in order to facilitate the dispersal of as many of the recently-arrived illegals before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The scam works like this: ICE or CBP apprehends illegal aliens. (In many cases the aliens intentionally seek out CBP and turn themselves in, hoping to secure immigration benefits under the latest program.) The aliens are then transported to a detention center for “processing.” Rather than conducting any in-depth background checks and detaining the aliens until they can be removed from the United States, immigration officials issue them a Notice to Appear – a document instructing them to appear before the Immigration Court for a deportation hearing. The majority then simply disappear into the interior of the United States. If they are encountered by immigration authorities again, it is usually when they are arrested by local law enforcement for committing a crime and referred to ICE.

ICE has officially acknowledged its reckless actions in a press release issued to KGNS TV in Texas, stating: “During the recent increase of individuals illegally entering the United States in south Texas, individuals who have final destinations within the U.S. are identified and transported to bus terminals and airports.”

If that seems a bit strange, it should. Nearly all illegal aliens have a final destination within the U.S. It’s extremely rare to find any transiting the lower 48 on their way to Canada or Greenland. That’s why we have ICE and CBP. Their function is to interdict illegal aliens before they reach their American terminus and remove them. Unfortunately, President Obama appears to have turned the two primary immigration enforcement agencies into a taxpayer-funded convenience for illegal aliens – many of whom may later prove to be drug traffickers, terrorists and violent criminals.

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.

USC Professor Bans Use of Word “Illegal Immigrant” on Final Exams

illegalimmigranttermIn its mission statement, the University of Southern California (USC) proudly boasts that it is “unfettered by political control” and “strongly committed to academic freedom.” However, this mission statement seems to only apply to those who are willing to follow a certain politically correct orthodoxy. Campus Reform is reporting that American Studies professor Alicia Chavez had her teaching assistant instruct students to “refrain from using the term ‘illegal immigrant’ to refer to human beings, as Professor Chavez has requested (or mandated).”

American universities used to be places that fostered and encouraged debate from a variety of perspectives. No longer. Instead, students are must accept faculty indoctrination or else risk a failing grade. In today’s university, respecting “safe spaces” and using politically correct terminology are becoming requisites to remain in good standing.

“Illegal alien” is a factual and accurate description of foreign nationals who violate U.S. immigration laws when entering the country. It is a legal term of art referenced in legal dictionaries and is commonly used throughout immigration-related legislation. In contrast, referring to illegal aliens as “immigrants” is factually incorrect. “Immigrant” is also a legal term, but it refers specifically to those who have been granted authorization to reside permanently within the borders of the United States. So, essentially, one of America’s most prestigious universities is requiring the use of incorrect terminology in order to maintain political correctness.

This is only the latest battle in an ongoing war on words waged by open border proponents. In April, amid pressure by pro-amnesty groups, the Library of Congress announced plans to replace all references of “illegal aliens” with the terms “non-citizens” and “unauthorized immigration.” The U.S. House of Representatives eventually voted 237-170 to require the Library of Congress to use the correct legal terminology.

Changing the nomenclature and rhetoric related to illegal immigration is part of a larger effort by open-border proponents to normalize the act of illegal immigration. Force-feeding vanilla terms to impressionable students is simply one way to minimize the negative connotations related to breaking American immigration laws. It is important that Americans, especially the next generation of leaders currently in college, acknowledge the importance of upholding the rule of law, and properly labeling those who violate it.

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.

Mr. President – Trump’s Enforcement Message Resonates with American Voters!

President ObamaAt his first press conference since the election, President Obama told reporters that he wanted to ensure a smooth transition between himself and President-elect Donald Trump and that he intended to give Trump “space” to determine his agenda as well as staff.  Yet, at this very same conference, President Obama said that he would “urge the president-elect and the incoming administration to think long and hard before they are endangering the status of what for all practical purposes are American kids.”

Obama’s claim that DACA recipients are “American kids” is factually incorrect on a number of levels. First, DACA recipients are citizens of other nations who are living in the U.S. unlawfully. Second, many DACA recipients are full grown adults. Despite the rhetoric, the actual criteria for DACA eligibility include being under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 and claiming to have entered the U.S. before turning 16. Thus, you have DACA recipients who are nearly 35 years old today—hardly the “kids” that open borders advocates claim benefit from the program.

Additionally, the recent election shows that the American people favor Trump’s approach to immigration over Obama’s. By electing  someone who championed the American public’s interests in immigration policy over a candidate who pledged to exceed President Obama in the use of executive action to protect illegal aliens, Americans made their views on immigration clear. A pre-election poll by Pulse Opinion Research that found that 54 percent of likely voters believed there has been “too little effort” to enforce our immigration laws and 56 percent supported “causing illegal aliens to return to their home countries by penalizing employers, getting cooperation from local law enforcement, and denying welfare benefits.”