The past few days have revealed tremendous silliness in the immigration reform debate. It is a true pity given the serious stakes involved for everyone persecuted by the U.S.’ brutal immigration laws.
Just today, we saw prominent immigrant rights groups’ applauding the honesty of ICE bureaucrat representative, Chris Crane because he stated in some forum or another:
For this pearl, Mr. Crane has been lauded by all sorts of ostensibly pro-immigrant types as a whistleblower. After all, here is an ICE agent stating that ICE only cares about hitting its numerical targets for removal. ICE has recently come under some well-deserved heat for conducting data-mining and all sorts of definition-expanding permutations to ramp up the removal of criminals. It would seem that Mr. Crane is stating that ICE is going after low hanging fruit and not the dangerous criminals, who we all can agree, at least in theory, deserve removal. At last, someone within ICE points out that the emperor has no clothes. Right?
Well, only if you pay no attention to everything else Chris Crane has ever said. Based upon his testimony, Mr. Crane believes that ICE is not being allowed to do its job of keeping the community safe because the ICE political leadership has instructed ICE officers to focus their removal efforts on those convicted of crimes or repeated immigration law violators. Apparently, Mr. Crane believes that community safety would be enhanced if ICE agents were permitted to make arrests when they are “on duty in a public place and witness a violation of immigration law.” If only ICE agents were empowered to make arrests in such circumstances, public safety would be enhanced. This makes us wonder: what does it look like when a student falls out of status due to failure to maintain appropriate credits, or what does it look like when a tourist visa expires, or what does it look like when an undocumented person clear your plate, does it look that much different than when a documented individual re-fills your water? If ICE agents were empowered to make arrests because of these and other “immigration violations” they witness, the U.S. would look a lot more like those totalitarian regimes where the only law is the presence of a gun and handcuffs. No thanks. Yes, ICE is doing everything can to pump up their removal numbers, but if Mr. Crane and his allies had their way, that number would be way higher than 400,000 and community safety would not be enhanced. Recall that Chris Crane is the plaintiff in a lawsuit, where he is represented by uber litigation-loser Kris Kobach, where he alleges that DACA is illegal because it means he can not arrest and remove every undocumented youth he comes across. Nonetheless, members of the non-profit industrial complex for immigration reform have embraced Crane’s quote, displaying an alarming lack of awareness of what Crane is actually saying.
This followed this weekend’s adolescent drama that occurred when the President’s plan for immigration reform was leaked to USA Today. Immediately Marco Rubio and other Republicans groused that the President never spoke to them and that there were significant divides between the President and the GOP in Congress. John McCain insisted that the President, by talking about immigration reform was trying to derail it. And Newt Gingrich (why do we still have to listen to this pompous blowhard?) went on TV and blurted out the partisan truth that the Congressional GOP would not pass anything that had Obama’s name on it and the President had to call Senators McCain, Graham, and Rubio (Senator Flake was unavailable) and tell them “don’t worry, baby, I love you and your plan.”
The President’s proposal is very intriguing. We will discuss it in detail in the next couple of days, but it goes to territory where none of the other plans go: shrinking the definition of “aggravated felony,” allowing for immigration recognition of expungements and other ameliorative statutes, and restoring suspension of deportation. For those of us who care about due process in the immigration courts and greater flexibility in removal statutes who thought that immigration reform would be all about E-Verify, border fences, legalization at the back of the line and a guest worker program, the introduction of due process concepts into the debate is welcome. The very real humanitarian considerations represented in the President’s plan should not be overshadowed by high school cafeteria antics