A victory for the Obama administration in a case related to DACA in the 5th Circuit should give hope to millions waiting for deferred action of DAPA and expanded DACA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision in an immigration case today. No, not that case, but close. The Fifth Circuit ruled in another case challenging deferred action called Crane v.
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.
It has been a tough week for the ICE bureaucrats who have sought to undermine the political leadership of this country to pursue their own restrictivist and nativist agenda. Regular readers of this blog (my wife and my mother), will know that we have sought to document the efforts of bureaucrats within ICE to stymie intelligent immigration enforcement through insubordination, lawsuits, leaks, and more generic tactics like refusal to complete trainings and sick-outs.
Those of us on the East Coast woke up this morning to the news that Maria Arreola and her son Heriberto Arreola were arrested in their home Thursday night by Immigration & Customs enforcement in Phoenix, Arizona. Another day in immigration, where ICE enters people home’s homes and removes individuals who have done little more than entered into or remained in the country without permission. Yep, this was a normal case except that Maria is Erika Andiola’s mother and Heriberto is her brother.
The Migration Policy Institute recently released a study documenting that the U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, dwarfing the $14 million spent on other federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI, the DEA and the ATF, combined, received $14 billion. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s budget, alone, is $6 billion. Something is seriously out of whack here. None of this is surprising to immigration attorneys. ICE runs a gulag archipelago of detention centers across the country, holding immigrants who have overstayed visas, entered without inspection, seek asylum, and committed minor offenses.
The publication of the rule allowing for processing of provisional waivers for unlawful presence in the United States was another act of administrative rule-making that the President has undertaken to make the immigration laws more humane. Over the past year, the effort at prosecutorial discretion, the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the provisional waiver have created a much improved immigration system that attempts to solve real immigration problems for families.
A persistent and fair criticism of the current administration is that while it has made grand pronouncements of focusing its enforcement efforts on violent criminals and threats to the national security, programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities have scooped far more benign immigrants in their overboard nets. While the administration has put forward numerous memoranda and made extensive public statements about focusing limited resources on the dangerous and the recidivist immigration violators, the reality has been that, as a result of Secure Communities, immigrants without status and without serious criminal issues encountered by the police either due to a minor offense, while reporting a crime, or while the police look for another individual have been swept into the immigration dragnet, detained and deported.
It is very true that the immigration laws need a wholesale revision. Congress needs to make substantial changes, regulations need to be re-written, precedent decisions scrapped and new guidance forthcoming. But another change is needed and this change may the hardest of all. It is a change of attitude within the agencies. We have written in this space on multiple occasions about the hostility that elements within ICE have for their political leadership and the “culture of no” within CIS has been well-documented.
On Friday, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney endorsed Steve King (R-IA) for another term in Congress. King, who once compared selecting immigrants to dog breeding, represents the worst of nativist sentiment and Romney’s solicitation of the know-nothing wing of his party makes a mockery of any analysis that indicates that demographics demand that Romney move off his “self-deportation” stance in the primary toward the more humane and comprehensive approach to immigration reform.
We have paid a lot of attention to the complaint of some of the bureaucrats within ICE against their political leadership. We have reported on the ICE Agents Union’s vote of “no confidence” in Director John Morton and the bizarre lawsuit filed by James T. Hayes against Janet Napolitano. But yesterday, ten agents of Immigration & Customs Enforcement filed a lawsuit against the administration charging that the President’s deferred action policy is illegal and enforcing it requires them to violate their oath of office.