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 This executive action repealed the executive action of President Clinton that provided refugee treatment for any Cuban making it onto U.S. soil – including at a legal port of entry.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drag out deportation proceedings, the CCA still represents a flaw in treating Cubans like other nationals and should be withdrawn.

President Obama Increasingly Refused to Deport Immigration Violators Throughout Presidency

Over the past eight years, President Obama and his supporters tried to convince the American people that he took a strong stance when it came to enforcing immigration law. Some open borders proponents even went as far as labeling him the “Deporter in Chief.” But last week, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released removal statistics for the president’s final year in office. A complete eight-year picture is now available of what the outgoing administration really did when it came to removing those who violate our immigration laws. In short, it is the polar opposite of the picture painted by his administration.

Since taking office in 2009, the truth is that the Obama administration progressively dismantled immigration law enforcement while simultaneously making entitlements more easily available to illegal aliens. These actions, coupled with an improving economy, would appear to be incentives for more people to attempt immigrating into the U.S. illegally. Indeed, the progressively increasing number of illegal aliens turned back while trying to cross the border throughout most of the Obama administration adds evidence to this claim. To hide the ever decreasing interior removal numbers from a public that supports immigration enforcement, the administration started including these border returns in its overall deportation numbers.

This dishonest maneuver was necessary because interior removals looked miniscule compared to the already underwhelming deportation statistics under previous administrations. In FY 2009, approximately 240,000 interior removals were conducted by ICE. That number has steadily decreased by an average of 25,000 per year. In 2016, only 65,000 immigration violators were removed from the interior of the United States. (click for larger version of graphic)

ice-removals-2008-2015

In addition to drastically scaling back removals, the Obama administration opened up the floodgates in other areas of immigration as well. During his administration, approximately 605,000 refugees, many from terrorist hotbeds, have been admitted despite undergoing minimal vetting. Furthermore, the president enacted the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which required that only immigration violators who had committed other crimes, of a more severe nature, could be placed in removal proceedings. This resulted in the release of some 90,000 criminal aliens back into society. By creating programs like these, combined with a non-enforcement policy, the administration succeeded in making the United States a de-facto open border nation.

Donald Trump made immigration reform a central issue of his successful presidential campaign. Based on how badly President Obama failed at immigration enforcement, President-elect Trump seemingly has nowhere to go but up. However, the American people sent a clear message to Washington, D.C. by electing someone who promised to enforce immigration law. President-elect Trump and the GOP-led Congress can expect to be held accountable and suffer the consequences should they fail to deliver on their promise to repair the currently ineffective and broken system.

Recent Attacks Underscore Need To Rethink Refugee Resettlement

Syrian refugees on their way to EU, Serbia-Croatia borderAssimilating immigrants – even those coming from developed nations – is never easy. But there is clear evidence that the process is crumbling under the weight of mass immigration from nations with low levels of education and cultures drastically different from that of the West. Assimilation is further hampered by external interests, such as the Saudis that spend millions of dollars annually to spread a totalitarian form of Islam among disaffected members of the refugee community here in the U.S.

The past several years have demonstrated that Western refugee policies, intended to protect the innocent, can also harm citizens of host countries.  Western democracies have traditionally sheltered those fleeing persecution. But this good will has occasionally been repaid with aggression and violence.

Global jihadism is making the West a terror target. Terrorists are exploiting refugee and asylum protections to attack the very societies that offer the chance for a peaceful and prosperous life. Clearly, we must do a better job of distinguishing between those fleeing legitimate persecution and those who would kill us.

In the U.S., an Iraqi refugee recently pled guilty to attempting to bomb Texas malls. Twenty-four-year-old Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan came to America in 2009 fleeing sectarian violence. Yet he began planning the very type of bloodshed he claimed to be escaping. Several months later, a Somali refugee, attending Ohio State University on a scholarship, drove his car into a campus crowd then stabbed 11 fellow students. In fact, there have been approximately 380 foreign-born individuals convicted of terrorism in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

Read the rest of Dan Stein’s op-ed here.

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.

 

Obama Is Letting Aliens With Bogus Asylum Claims Into The United States

Obama_signing_112414The Washington Times recently published an informative piece on political asylum by immigration reporter Stephen Dinan. It casts light on a number of important flaws in America’s asylum policies. Particularly the lax attitude the Obama administration has had toward security and public safety concerns connected with asylum seekers.

Political asylum allows foreigners in the U.S. or at its borders to seek refuge if they have a credible fear of persecution on account of race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group. Individuals who prove to an immigration officer that they have a reasonable belief they will be persecuted in their country of origin are permitted to remain in the U.S., pending an asylum hearing. Those who cannot demonstrate a credible fear are returned home.

For decades, the political asylum process has been the target of fraud. Merely having a pending asylum application was an easy way to be paroled into the United States and get work authorization. Due to backlogs at Immigration and Naturalization Service Offices and the Immigration Court parole pending an asylum application meant years of quasi-lawful presence and profitable employment. And large numbers of those paroled to request asylum absconded, failing to ever appear for asylum hearings.

In 1996, Congress attempted to correct these problems by passing legislation requiring any asylum application to be filed within one year after entry into the United States and requiring the detention of anyone requesting asylum without proper travel and identity documents. The measure was signed into law by President Clinton. In 2007, the Bush administration tightened its parole policies in deference to post September 11, 2001 national security concerns.

In 2009, the Obama administration reversed this policy and began paroling virtually all asylum seekers into the U.S., where they frequently disappear, becoming illegal aliens.

A larger percentage of the world’s population is fleeing war and strife than at any other time in history. And the number of individuals requesting asylum when arrested by the border patrol has risen from 1 percent in 2010 to 9 percent in 2016.

This means that, without proper administration, the very laws we have enacted to protect freedom in the wider world may be turned against us. Rather than permitting our Asylum program to become the tool of alien smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists, the incoming Trump administration should conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. asylum laws and policies, attempting to minimize the risks associated with asylum, while maintaining their spirit.