sovereignty

Can the President shut down the border?

In response to the endless stream of Central American migrants currently attempting to access the U.S. by any means, lawful or otherwise, President Trump has threatened to shut down the border.

Predictably, the armchair jurists in the media have opined that the president doesn’t have the authority to close the border and will be sued if he tries. The Washington Post proclaimed, “The only way Trump could potentially shut down the border would be through trade.” (Although, the legal sages at the Post didn’t go into any detail about how that would actually work, since the object of any border shutdown would be keeping out the people currently trying to get in.)

So what’s the real deal? Can the president shut down the border? He can. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly said so:

  • 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f), unequivocally grants the president the authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whenever he finds that their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”  
  • In Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc., decided in 1993, the Supreme Court held that, 1182(f) was intended to give the president the authority to prevent unauthorized mass migrations. Therefore, it delegates “ample power” to impose entry restrictions on foreign nationals, in response to emergent situations that threaten America’s interests. In fact, the Court found that 1182(f) was a more than sufficient basis for the naval blockade which ended the mass migration from Haiti during the Clinton administration.
  • More recently, in Trump v. Hawaii, the high Court reaffirmed Sale holding that, “Fairly read, [1182(f)] vests authority in the President to impose additional limitations on entry beyond the grounds for exclusion set forth in the [Immigration and Nationality Act] — including in response to circumstances that might affect the vetting system or other ‘interests of the United States.’” The court also noted that, “By its terms, §1182(f) exudes deference to the President in every clause.”

Based on the Supreme Court’s holdings in Sale and Trump v. Hawaii, 1182(f), it would appear to grant the president more than ample authority to close ports of entry because they are being overrun by people seeking to enter the U.S. by any means, lawful or illegal.

That the mainstream media has repeatedly presented its inaccurate opinions on this issue as a factual statement of the applicable law is completely unconscionable.

Bad bills in Legislature – Read This

Alert date: 
2019-03-16
Alert body: 

Two very bad bills have been introduced in the current session of the Oregon Legislature.

HB 2932 “prohibits courts from inquiring into defendant's immigration status or requiring defendant to disclose defendant's immigration status at time of plea or at any other time during criminal proceeding.  Requires court to allow defendant, upon request, additional time for plea decision after informing defendant about possible adverse immigration consequences of plea. Declares emergency, effective on passage.”

This bill to protect illegal aliens and legitimize illegal immigration, opening our borders to the world without limit, has 26 sponsors, all Democrats, and may be fast-tracked through the Legislature as certain bills were done in the previous session.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 18, at 1 p.m. by the House Judiciary Committee, which has 11 members, 8 Democrats and 3 Republicans.  There seems little doubt the Committee will approve the bill and send it on to the Legislature for a vote.

Please contact your State Representative and urge him/her to oppose this bill. Whether your Representative is a Democrat, a Republican, or other, it’s worthwhile to express your view.  

You can see an Overview of the bill at:  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2932, and you can sign up there (in upper right corner) to receive notices of further action on the bill.

Statements by citizens on Legislative bills can be emailed to the Committee that’s hearing the bill (if a hearing has been scheduled.)  The email address for such statements is given on the Committee’s website.  Here’s an example of one filed that way:  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/173965. Other citizen statements on HB 2932 will appear as they are submitted.  You can check back here to follow them:  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Committees/HJUD/2019-03-18-13-00/HB2932/Details

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Another bad bill related to immigration which is of concern now is HB 2015It “eliminates requirement that person provide proof of legal presence before Department of Transportation issues noncommercial driver license, noncommercial driver permit or identification card.  Becomes operative January 1, 2021. Declares emergency, effective on passage.”

See Overview of the bill at:  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2015?pubDate=2019-03-04-16-33.  It was referred to the House Transportation Committee where a hearing has not yet been scheduled.  You can receive notices of actions on this bill by clicking the top-right link on the Overview page.

Protect sovereignty: yes on Measure 105

Many thanks for publishing Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin's spot-on commentary ("Measure 105 would restore respect for law," Sept. 20).

Oregon's sanctuary law, writes Sheriff Bergin, undermines respect for law by telling illegal immigrants "that Oregon considers immigration-law violations so inconsequential as to be unworthy of police and sheriffs' attention." He's right. How, indeed, can the existence of a sanctuary law do anything but attract illegal immigrants to our state?

The purpose of immigration law is to protect our nation's sovereignty— our right to self-determination as a free, autonomous people. That sovereignty is undermined when foreign peoples are permitted to violate that law on a routine basis. And it is undermined even more when state and local governments — like Oregon's — purposely thwart that law with policies that give safe haven to those who break it.

To conceal their unlawful presence, illegal immigrants routinely commit identity theft and other crimes that wreak havoc on innocent Oregonians — crimes, notes Sheriff Bergin, that "are well within local police and sheriffs' purview." But thanks to the sanctuary law, the very fact that illegal immigrants are here illegally is what can render them off-limits to further scrutiny. What kind of warped, Alice-in-Wonderland logic is this?

Restore respect for law, for sovereignty — and for sanity. Vote yes on Measure 105.

Open-borders immigration policies have consequences

Many of the calls for open borders and to abolish ICE come from people who don’t understand the consequences of such policies.  Unfortunately, some do understand – perhaps most of the leaders of this new movement not only understand, they deliberately seek the end of the U.S. as a nation.

How did we reach such a state of affairs? Negative Population Growth’s latest report explains what happened to cause immigration, human capital and economic development in the U.S. which thrived in the mid-20th century, to spin out of control in recent decades. 

They suggest what to do about it now.  See Immigration, Population and the Labor Market: Toward a Fair System for American Workers. The issue is urgent because “If global population trends unfold as forecast, hundreds of millions of persons from Africa and the Middle East are likely to try to enter the country as unlawful migrants or as refugees or asylum seekers.” 

The overcrowding, housing shortages, traffic congestion, environmental degradation, etc. which are already serious problems today, will become unlivable chaos for all, immigrants as well as citizens.

Instead of flinging accusations of racism and callousness to the sufferings of “immigrants,” we need to think about the old fable of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.  The U.S. cannot continue to be a safe, law-abiding country with freedom of thought and speech, scientific and technological advancement, acceptable quality of life, unless we respect, observe, and strictly enforce reasonable laws limiting immigration.

The way to help the poor of other nations is through financial and technical assistance, a course we have followed for over 50 years, when the federal Agency for International Development began.  Besides governmental programs, we also have many philanthropic organizations which directly aid countries in need.

We cannot invite the world to come in without limits – that’s a suicidal policy for the nation and the people living here.

The Dangerous Myth That Sanctuary City Policies Encourage Victims and Witnesses to Cooperate with Local Law Enforcement

Introduction

Since the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, hundreds of cities and municipalities across the country have declared themselves "sanctuary cities." A sanctuary city is a municipality, or other state/local subdivision, that, by law or policy, prohibits local officials from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.1 In other words, it's a case of American cities blatantly violating federal statutes against harboring illegal aliens.2

Proponents of these policies claim that they do not interfere with federal law enforcement activities.3 Rather, they claim, such policies simply leave immigration enforcement to the federal government. But that is semantic hairsplitting. Sanctuary policies are nothing other than a deliberate attempt by state and local entities to impede the enforcement of federal immigration laws.4

State and local law enforcement officers are far more likely to encounter criminal aliens during routine job activities than are federal agents.5 As such, the ability of state and local law enforcement officers and government officials to freely cooperate and communicate with federal immigration authorities is not just important – but essential – to public safety.6

The Claim: Sanctuary Policies Enhance Information Sharing Between the "Immigrant" Community and Law Enforcement

The current model of policing management preferred by most law enforcement agencies is called “community policing.”7 It relies on the notion that police officers should be seen as part of the communities they serve and that they require the cooperation of victims and witnesses to solve crime and convict offenders.8

Sanctuary proponents claim that if state and local police officers are seen as “immigration agents,” then illegal aliens who are the victims of crime, or witnesses to crime, will not come forward to aid police.9 In effect, they are claiming that good immigration enforcement interferes with the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to stop child predators, drug dealers, rapists or robbers.10

Why the Claim is False

1. There’s no proof. There is simply no documented evidence indicating that any illegal alien has ever been deported solely as a result of reporting a crime or volunteering information to the police.11 As a practical matter, when police are offered information about a crime, they do not inquire about the immigration status of the person volunteering it; they do not “bite the hand that feeds them.” Moreover, prosecutors have no interest in removing the witnesses they need to successfully obtain convictions against criminals.

2. Like everyone else in the United States, illegal aliens can offer information that may be valuable to police investigations on various anonymous "tip-lines." Jurisdictions do not need sanctuary policies in order to acquire information this way.12

3. Sanctuary policies don’t provide illegal aliens with any permanent form of immigration relief. The administration of our immigration laws falls solely within the jurisdiction of the federal government. State and local authorities cannot provide illegal aliens with any type of immigration status.13 They can only harbor illegal aliens and help them evade U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – both of which are serious violations of federal law.14

4. The federal government administers a number of programs that allow state and local police to seek lawful status for illegal aliens who aid in the prosecution of criminals. Illegal aliens who have valuable information that they do want to share with law enforcement, but who feel nervous about doing so, have no legitimate concerns about being deported. If illegals provide helpful information to police, they may qualify for a "S," "T," "U" or "VAWA" nonimmigrant visa, which, in-turn, would allow them to apply for permanent legal status in the U.S.15 Where those visas are not appropriate, the federal government may also provide cooperating victims and witnesses with deferred action or parole.16

5. Most illegal aliens don't cooperate with police, even in sanctuary cities. The vast majority of illegal aliens come from countries where law enforcement authorities are either corrupt or serve as a tool of state oppression.17 They don’t suddenly begin trusting American police officers because of sanctuary policies.

And gangs – which are inextricably tied to crime in illegal alien neighborhoods – often exact retribution from anyone who is viewed as collaborating with law enforcement.18 As a result, most illegal aliens have no interest in cooperating with policing authorities at all.19 In most cases, they will only speak with investigators if they are likely to receive some form of immigration status in return for their testimony.

6. Sanctuary policies diminish trust in the integrity of law enforcement and may actually inhibit information-sharing. Community policing strategies were developed from a study called Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities.20 The authors found communities that discourage all public safety violations, from low-level offenses such as vandalism to administrative building code violations, are most successful in reducing serious crimes because they promote a culture of compliance with the law.

Conversely, cities that ignore and promote illegal immigration – usually for political gain – erode civic trust in law enforcement. They send a clear message that law enforcement agencies in sanctuary jurisdictions are willing to tolerate a certain level of lawlessness.21 The result is a chilling effect; fewer residents may be willing to approach police if they believe that officers are only willing to enforce certain laws against certain law-breakers under certain conditions. Uniformly enforcing all laws for all residents of a particular jurisdiction demonstrates integrity and fairness and fosters open dialogue.

7. Sanctuary policies increase criminal activity by illegal aliens. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 68 percent of released prisoners wind up being arrested for another criminal offense within three years and 76.6 percent end up being re-arrested within five years.22 Sanctuary policies shield illegal alien criminals from arrest and removal by ICE when they are released from local jails and state prisons. As a result, illegal alien criminals return to American communities, where they regularly commit new crimes.23 Many criminal illegal aliens seek out sanctuary jurisdictions because they know living in one significantly reduces the chance that they will be deported if arrested by local police.24 On the other hand, cooperating with ICE to identify and remove criminal aliens results in their removal from the United States, protecting Americans and lawfully present immigrants from further victimization.

How Many Criminal Aliens Are Allowed Back Onto Our Streets by Sanctuary Policies?

According to ICE estimates, roughly 2.1 million criminal aliens are currently living in the United States, over 1.9 million of whom are subject to deportation.25 It’s tough to determine how many of those criminal aliens have evaded capture by immigration authorities because of sanctuary policies.

Most correctional institutions distinguish only between American-born and foreign-born inmates. The foreign-born category includes illegal aliens, nonimmigrant visa holders, lawful permanent residents and naturalized U.S. citizens. Virtually none of the policing and corrections agencies in the United States keep clear statistics on how many illegal aliens they process each year.

Here’s what we do know:

• The San Francisco County Jail houses roughly 15,000 inmates during a typical year.26

• According to the Public Policy Institute of California, roughly 17 percent of inmates in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are foreign-born.27

• Assuming only half of those inmates are aliens (as opposed to naturalized citizens), and that only half of those aliens are unlawfully present, the CDCR illegal alien population would be roughly 4 percent.

• If the San Francisco County Jail population breaks down in a similar fashion that would mean that the County of San Francisco releases approximately 600 illegal alien criminals back into the community each year, without informing ICE.

• The actual number of criminal aliens turned loose is probably much higher.

Consider that, in addition to San Francisco, a number of huge American cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have also declared themselves to be sanctuary cities.28 That means that state and local governments are actively harboring thousands of illegal aliens each year and then releasing them into American communities, without so much as a nod to ICE.

Conclusion

Sanctuary policies don’t encourage information sharing between immigrant communities and local police. That’s because they don’t offer illegal aliens a path to any form of lawful status in exchange for their cooperation. State and local governments have no authority to confer any type of immigration status.

As such sanctuary policies just result in state and local agencies aiding and abetting illegal aliens as they continue to violate our immigration laws. And illegal aliens know this, that’s why they flock to sanctuary jurisdictions.

Accordingly, there is no reliable evidence that sanctuary policies have ever encouraged a single illegal alien to cooperate with local law enforcement authorities. But there are numerous examples of law abiding citizens who have become the victims of illegal alien crimes in sanctuary jurisdictions throughout the United States.

So – apart from buying into the sanctuary myth – what can a city do to foster information sharing and keep communities with large immigrant populations safe?

Recognize that many immigrants, both legal and illegal, are generally hesitant to provide information to police. This may be the result of experiences in their home country or a desire not to be perceived as a "snitch."

Ensure that local policing agencies engage regularly with immigrant communities and consistently demonstrate that American police officers uniformly enforce all laws for all residents of their jurisdictions.

Educate community members and law enforcement officers so they understand that, in certain circumstances, DHS may provide illegal alien crime witnesses or victims some form of relief from removal with an "S," "T," "U" or "VAWV" visa.

Abolish sanctuary policies and let ICE do its job. If the governments in sanctuary jurisdictions were really concerned about fighting crime, they would cooperate with ICE to permanently remove illegal alien criminals from their communities. Doing so would ultimately increase the number of resources available to deter crime because every dollar ICE spends removing a criminal alien from the United States is one that local communities don’t have to expend on criminal justice costs.

Although the federal government is responsible for regulating immigration, state and local law enforcement play an important role in helping to ensure that immigration law is effectively enforced. Illegal and unconstitutional sanctuary city policies undermine the rule of law and prevent local, state and federal law enforcement agencies from working in conjunction with each other as they should.

They put law-abiding members of our communities at risk. Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien who was deported five times and had a lengthy felony record. Ms. Steinle is only the most recognizable of hundreds of Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens with extensive criminal records who should have been removed from the United States after their first conviction.

Tolerating illegal immigration and providing a "safe haven" for illegal aliens is unfair to immigrants who respect our nation's laws. In addition to waiting months or years to come here, legal immigrants abide by the entry, employment, health, and processing laws and regulations set by our government. Besides giving future prospective immigrants little incentive to follow the law, sanctuary policies are an affront to those who do it the right way.

Footnotes and endnotes

1Federation for American Immigration Reform, “State Sanctuary Policies,” https://fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/state-sanctuary-policies
2Offices of the United States Attorneys, “1907. Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a) Offenses,” U.S. Attorney’s Manual, https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1907-title-8-usc-1... and “1913. 8 U.S.C. 1327 – Aiding Entry of Certain Criminal or Subversive Aliens,” https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1913-8-usc-1327-ai...
3Editorial Board, “When Cities Refuse to Enforce Immigration Laws: Is Chicago a Sanctuary for Nullification,” Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2017, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-sanctuary-citie...
4Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Sanctuary Cities: Obstructing Immigration Enforcement,” October 2, 2015, https://fairus.org/sites/default/files/2017-08/Sanctuary_Cities-Obstruct...
5Joel Gehrke, “Report: U.S. Spent $1.87 Billion to Incarcerate Illegal Immigrant Criminals in 2014,” July 28, 2015, https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/07/nearly-2-billion-spent-jailing-il...
6Federation for American Immigration Reform, “The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement in Immigration Matters and Reasons to Resist Sanctuary Policies,” January 2016, https://fairus.org/issue/illegal-immigration/role-state-local-law-enforc...
7U.S. Department of Justice, “Community Policing Defined,” Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Revised Edition 2014, https://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p157-pub.pdf
8James Q. Wilson, George L. Kelling, “Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety,” The Atlantic, March 1982, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/03/broken-windows/304465/
9Chuck Wexler, “Police Chiefs Across the Country Support Sanctuary Cities Because they Keep Crime Down,” Los Angeles Times, March 06, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wexler-sanctuary-cities-immig... and Debra A. Hoffmaster, Gerard Murphy, Shannon McFadden, Molly Griswold, “Police and Immigration: How Chiefs Are Leading Their Communities Through the Challenges,” Police Executive Research Forum, 2010, http://www.policeforum.org/assets/docs/Free_Online_Documents/Immigration...
10Tanvi Misra, “Harsh Policing of Immigrants Is Bad for Everyone,” CityLab, January 26, 2016, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2016/01/immigration-policing-enforcement-...
11Heather MacDonald, “Crime and the Illegal Alien,” Center for Immigration Studies, June 1, 2004, https://cis.org/Crime-Illegal-Alien
12Cynthia Lum, PhD, “Tip Line Technologies: Intelligence Gathering and Analysis Systems,” National Institute of Justice, July 1, 2005, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/211677.pdf
13Todd Shepherd, “Term ‘Sanctuary City’ Is Misleading to Illegal Immigrants,” Washington Examiner, April 2, 2017, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/term-sanctuary-city-is-misleading-to-...
14Federation for American Immigration Reform, “The Law Against Hiring or Harboring Illegal Aliens,” December 1999, https://fairus.org/issue/illegal-immigration/law-against-hiring-or-harbo...
15Karma Ester, “Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants,” Congressional Research Service, July 19, 2005, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS21043.pdf; Chelsea Phua, “Obscure Visa Helps Illegal Immigrants Who Witness Crimes,” Sacramento Bee, July 8, 2010, http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/immigration/obscure-visa-helps-...; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide,” https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/PM_15-4344%20U%20an...; American Immigration Council, “Fact Sheet: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Women and Victims of Crime,” May 7, 2012, https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/violence-against-wom...
16U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “Tool Kit for Prosecutors,” April 2011, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/osltc/pdf/tool-kit-for-prosecut...
17Police Executive Research Forum, “Refugee Outreach and Engagement Programs for Police Agencies,” May 2017, http://www.policeforum.org/assets/refugeeoutreach.pdf
18Peter Finn, Kerry Murphy Healey, “Preventing Gang- and Drug-Related Witness Intimidation,” National Institute of Justice, November 1996, http://www.popcenter.org/problems/witness_intimidation/PDFs/Finn&Healey_...
19Kelly Dedel, “Guide No. 42- Witness Intimidation,” Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, 2006, http://www.popcenter.org/problems/witness_intimidation/
20George L. Kelling, Catherine M. Coles, Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities, Free Press, 1998, https://www.manhattan-institute.org/fixingbrokenwindows
21Jen Kerns, “Sanctuary City Policies Are Ruining California – Here’s Why I Left,” The Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/362940-sanctuary-city-polici...
22Bureau of Justice Statistics, “3 in 4 Former Prisoners in 30 States Arrested Within 5 Years of Release,” April 22, 2014, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rprts05p0510pr.cfm and, Matthew R. Durose, Alexia D. Cooper, PhD, Howard N. Snyder, PhD, “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005-2010 – Update,” Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 22, 2014, https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4986
23Pete Hutchinson, “Dangerous ‘Collateral Consequences’ in Santa Clara County, California,” National Review, May 17, 2017, https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/05/immigrant-criminals-plea-bargains...
24John M. Morganelli, “Here’s Why ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Are Bad Public Policy,” Penn Live, July 14, 2015, http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2015/07/heres_why_sanctuary_cities_are.html
25Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Criminal Aliens,” May 2016, https://fairus.org/issue/societal-impact/criminal-aliens
26City and County of San Francisco, “City Performance Score Cards – County Jail Population,” http://sfgov.org/scorecards/public-safety/county-jail-population
27Public Policy Institute of California, “Just the Facts: Immigrants and Crime,” June 2008, http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_ImmigrantsCrimeJTF.pdf
28Bryan Griffith, Jessica M. Vaughan, “Maps: Sanctuary Cities, Counties, and States,” November 26, 2017, https://cis.org/Map-Sanctuary-Cities-Counties-and-States

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