national security

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: a true Immigration Reformer

In a recent newsletter, NumbersUSA lists all the steps that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken to turn our muddled immigration system around and make it work again for the best interests of U.S. citizens.

Of course, a lot remains to be done, and any progress at all depends on elected officials in Congress and The White House.  President Trump criticizes his AG at times, but looking at what Jeff Sessions has accomplished, Sessions deserves citizens’ praise and encouragement.  Let’s hope Mr. Sessions gets strong support from the public, the Department of Justice, and elsewhere in government.

From the NumbersUSA Newsletter of September 21, 2018:

No person in the Administration has done more to advance Pres. Trump's immigration agenda than Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Here's an overview of some of the areas in which AG Sessions has taken bold action over the last 21 months.

END DACA -- AG Sessions authored the legal defense for the Trump Administration's decision to end the illegal DACA executive amnesty. The Department of Justice has also defended the decision to end DACA in a number of legal challenges filed by several states and pro-amnesty groups.

END SANCTUARY CITIES -- AG Sessions has taken several actions to discourage states and local jurisdictions from providing sanctuary to illegal aliens. He's blocked Department of Justice grants for sanctuary jurisdictions and sued the state of California over the state's passage and implementation of laws that block both law enforcement and employers from working with federal immigration officers. AG Sessions has also supported a Texas state lawsuit that seeks to eliminate sanctuary jurisdictions in the Lone Star state.

REDUCE ASYLUM FRAUD -- Earlier this year, AG Sessions took action to reduce the growing number of illegal border crossers who exploit the asylum system to avoid prosecution for illegal entry. He strengthened the credible fear standard by clarifying that the law does not allow individuals to receive asylum for fear of gang violence or domestic abuse perpetrated by non-governmental actors. He ruled that credible fear claims should only be approved when the alien has a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This single action should help reverse the dramatic rise of defensive asylum claims entered by illegal aliens over the last decade.

INCREASE IMMIGRATION JUDGES -- AG Sessions has taken steps to eliminate the enormous backlog of cases that are bogging down the immigration courts. Just last week, AG Sessions announced that the DOJ would be increasing the number of immigration judges by 50% to help deal with the more than 746,000 immigration cases that await a ruling. This major new expansion would be on top of the additional judges AG Sessions sent to the Southern border region earlier this year to help deal with the ongoing border surge. He's also issued new guidelines to immigration judges to ensure the fair and expeditious treatment of cases and placed limits on judges' ability to postpone hearings that allow illegal aliens to live and work in the United States.

ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY -- AG Sessions issued a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossers, ordering the prosecution of all foreign nationals apprehended crossing the border illegally. The policy also covers illegal aliens who enter a defensive claim for asylum -- approximately 80% of illegal border crossers from Central America who claim asylum have their claims eventually denied.

In his State of the Union speech earlier this year, Pres. Trump said "Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families."

It's clear that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has done more to implement those policies than any other individual in the Trump Administration.

We encourage you to call the White House comments line at (202) 456-1111 and tell Pres. Trump that you stand with Attorney General Sessions and support the actions he's taken to return America's immigration system back to one that serves the national interest.

Sessions Shuts Down Stealth Amnesty

WASHINGTON Attorney General Jeff Sessionss has ordered an end to a longstanding practice of immigration judges (IJs): administratively closing cases to make them disappear from the docket. Immigration judges did this so often in past administrations that the procedure amounted to a vast amnesty-by-stealth for deportable aliens. When an alien’s case is administratively closed, the alien gets to stay in the United States until the case is reopened—and most such cases, once closed, are never reopened.

The Attorney General noted that out of fourteen briefs he received from various groups, the brief of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) was the only one to oppose administrative closure. Again and again, this lopsidedness in briefing is the reality in these cases, with dozens of groups pushing open borders, and IRLI, standing alone, advocating enforcement.

Agreeing with IRLI’s brief, the Attorney General noted that no statute or regulation confers general authority on IJs to employ administrative closure. And Sessions declined to grant IJs this authority. Instead, he expressly overruled prior Board of Immigration Appeals cases that had recognized it.

Sessions’ ruling means that IJs will be unable to use administrative closure except in certain narrow circumstances where its use is provided for in regulations. As for cases that previously have been administratively closed, Sessions ordered that they must be reopened if either party that is, either the Department of Homeland Security or the alien so requests. Thus, his ruling ends stealth amnesty going forwward, and frees the government to roll back the massive stealth amnesty that has already happened.

“We are pleased that the Attorney General agreed with us and not the thirteen briefs on the other side,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This ruling chokes off an abuse that has gone on far too long: letting deportable aliens stay by making their immigration cases just disappear. Immigration Judges undoubtedly are overworked,” Wilcox added, “but they are charged with applying our immigration laws, and have no authority simply to erase deportable aliens’ cases from the docket. Now the administration’s duty is clear: to step up, recalendar these prior cases, and finally bring them to a conclusion.”

The case is Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018).

Sanctuary policies are not compassionate

Mayors and governors of “sanctuary” jurisdictions are actually “partners in crime” with human traffickers and exploitive employers, says Michael Cutler, a veteran of the INS who knows immigration issues from the inside out after 30 years’ experience in immigration law enforcement. 

Besides “mayors and governors” we might add to the “partners in crime”:  newspapers and other media plus the various organizations and lobbies which, while touting “compassion,” vilify skeptics and misrepresent facts about the downside of unlimited immigration.  Advocates for unlimited immigration ignore the consequences to citizens and the dangerous loss of national sovereignty.

Cutler isn’t fooled by the “compassion” facade of the open borders advocates.

Sanctuary Cities Protect Crooked Employers and Human Traffickers; Exploitation of the vulnerable is anything but “compassionate.”

By Michael Cutler, in FrontPage Magazine, May 1, 2018

We have all heard the bogus claim that “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” protect the “immigrants” from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and that the mayors of sanctuary cities are being compassionate.

There is no compassion to be found in exploitation.

In reality, politicians who create and support sanctuary policies are every bit as disgusting and exploitative of illegal aliens as are human traffickers and unscrupulous employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens and benefit by sanctuary policies and, indeed those human traffickers and employers of illegal aliens are being provided with “sanctuary” and are being shielded from detection by ICE.

Mayors and governors of “sanctuary” jurisdictions are actually “partners in crime” with human traffickers and exploitive employers.

Before we go further, however, it is imperative to lay waste to that the false claim that mayors of sanctuary cities protect immigrants from immigration law enforcement agents.

Lies about sanctuary policies being motivated by “compassion” creates a hostile environment and antipathy for ICE agents and Border Patrol agents that impedes them from locating and arresting aliens who violate our immigration laws, but also makes it far more difficult for ICE and Border Patrol agents to engage with the public to develop actionable intelligence. 

This hostility also endangers their safety (reportedly physical attacks on immigration law enforcement personnel have more than doubled in the past couple of years).

Let’s be clear, Immigrants need no protection from immigration law enforcement authorities. …

However, aliens who evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry enter the United States without inspection should be fearful of detection, arrest and deportation (removal).

In point of fact, the fundamental law that underlies the decisions made by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors at ports of entry as to whether or not to admit a foreign visitors into the United States is Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens.

That section of law is contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act and enumerates the grounds for excluding aliens from the United States and includes aliens infected with dangerous communicable diseases, suffer from extreme mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are criminals, human rights violators, war criminals, spies or terrorists.

Finally that list also includes aliens who would likely become public charges or provide unfair competition for American workers and would either displace American workers or cause suppression of wages and have a deleterious impact on working conditions.  

Nothing in that statute makes any distinctions about the race, religion or ethnicity of aliens.

… In the past I have written about how Sanctuary Cities Betray America and Americans and that by shielding illegal aliens from detection by ICE agents prevents those agents from discovering the human traffickers and other criminals who enabled those aliens to gain entry into the United States and perhaps, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission, embed themselves in communities around the United States.

Sanctuary jurisdictions attract large number of illegal aliens including transnational gang members, international terrorists or fugitives from other countries because they know that local police, in those jurisdictions, will not report them to immigration law enforcement authorities even if they are arrested for committing crimes in those jurisdictions.

…  Sanctuary Cities provide a veritable “army” of readily exploitable illegal alien workers who are sought after by unscrupulous employers who eagerly hire alien workers they can exploit, paying them substandard wages under substandard, indeed, dangerous conditions that lawful immigrants and American workers would never tolerate.

… Clearly sanctuary policies attract huge numbers of illegal aliens who entered the U.S. without inspection and often with the assistance of human traffickers- at great risk and expense, to seek illegal employment. 

Employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens do so, not out of compassion, but out of greed. 

Such unscrupulous employers hire illegal aliens because they know that these aliens will work for significantly substandard wages under substandard, indeed, often illegally hazardous working conditions.  Exploitation is not a demonstration of compassion.  …


Read the full article here.

Pres. Trump spells out immigration priorities

In a broad policy statement released on Dec. 18, President Trump spells out plans to reform immigration controls in the national interest. 

The statement, titled National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, covers many aspects of national security in addition to immigration issues. 

To view the full document, click here.  Below is the section dealing with immigration management.  The steps he includes in “Priority Actions”, when implemented, will greatly improve the current system.

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Strengthen Border Control and Immigration Policy

Strengthening control over our borders and immigration system is central to national security, economic prosperity, and the rule of law. Terrorists, drug traffickers, and criminal cartels exploit porous borders and threaten U.S. security and public safety. These actors adapt quickly to outpace our defenses.

The United States affirms our sovereign right to determine who should enter our country and under what circumstances. The United States understands the contributions immigrants have made to our Nation throughout its history. Illegal immigration, however, burdens the economy, hurts American workers, presents public safety risks, and enriches smugglers and other criminals.

The United States recognizes that decisions about who to legally admit for residency, citizenship, or otherwise are among the most important a country has to make. The United States will continue to welcome lawful immigrants who do not pose a security threat and whose entry is consistent with the national interest, while at the same time enhancing the screening and vetting of travelers, closing dangerous loopholes, revising outdated laws, and eliminating easily exploited vulnerabilities. We will also reform our current immigration system, which, contrary to our national interest and national security, allows for randomized entry and extended-family chain migration. Residency and citizenship determinations should be based on individuals’ merits and their ability to positively contribute to U.S. society, rather than chance or extended family connections.

Priority  Actions

ENHANCE BORDER SECURITY: We will secure our borders through the construction of a border wall, the use of multilayered defenses and advanced technology, the employment of additional personnel, and other measures. The U.S. Government will work with foreign partners to deter, detect, and disrupt suspicious individuals well before they enter the United States.

ENHANCE VETTING: The U.S. Government will enhance vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors to identify individuals who might pose a risk to national security or public safety. We will set higher security standards to ensure that we keep dangerous people out of the United States and enhance our information collection and analysis to identify those who may already be within our borders.

ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS: We will enforce immigration laws, both at the border and in the interior, to provide an effective deterrent to illegal immigration. Th e apprehension and swift removal of illegal aliens at the border is critical to an effective border security strategy. We must also increase efforts to identify and counter fraud in the immigration process, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system, exploits vulnerable individuals, and creates national security risks.

BOLSTER TRANSPORTATION SECURITY: We will improve information sharing across our government and with foreign partners to enhance the security of the pathways through which people and goods enter the country. We will invest in technology to counter emerging threats to our aviation, surface, and maritime transportation sectors. We will also work with international and industry partners to raise security standards.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905-2.pdf

 

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