Bret Stephens writes:
“In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down as strongly pro-deportation. The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system.
They need to return whence they came.
I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.
On point after point, America’s nonimmigrants are failing our country. Crime? A study by the Cato Institute notes that nonimmigrants are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of illegal immigrants, and at more than three times the rate of legal ones.
Educational achievement? Just 17 percent of the finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search — often called the “Junior Nobel Prize” — were the children of United States-born parents. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, just 9.5 percent of graduate students in electrical engineering were nonimmigrants.
Religious piety — especially of the Christian variety? More illegal immigrants identify as Christian (83 percent) than do Americans (70.6 percent), a fact right-wing immigration restrictionists might ponder as they bemoan declines in church attendance.
Business creation? Nonimmigrants start businesses at half the rate of immigrants, and accounted for fewer than half the companies started in Silicon Valley between 1995 and 2005. Overall, the share of nonimmigrant entrepreneurs fell by more than 10 percentage points between 1995 and 2008, according to a Harvard Business Review study.
Nor does the case against nonimmigrants end there. The rate of out-of-wedlock births for United States-born mothers exceeds the rate for foreign-born moms, 42 percent to 33 percent. The rate of delinquency and criminality among nonimmigrant teens considerably exceeds that of their immigrant peers. A recent report by the Sentencing Project also finds evidence that the fewer immigrants there are in a neighborhood, the likelier it is to be unsafe.
And then there’s the all-important issue of demographics. The race for the future is ultimately a race for people — healthy, working-age, fertile people — and our nonimmigrants fail us here, too. “The increase in the overall number of U.S. births, from 3.74 million in 1970 to 4.0 million in 2014, is due entirely to births to foreign-born mothers,” reports the Pew Research Center. Without these immigrant moms, the United States would be faced with the same demographic death spiral that now confronts Japan.
Bottom line: So-called real Americans are screwing up America. Maybe they should leave, so that we can replace them with new and better ones: newcomers who are more appreciative of what the United States has to offer, more ambitious for themselves and their children, and more willing to sacrifice for the future. In other words, just the kind of people we used to be — when “we” had just come off the boat.”
. . . .
Beyond the inhumanity of toying with people’s lives this way, there’s also the shortsightedness of it. We do not usually find happiness by driving away those who would love us. Businesses do not often prosper by firing their better employees and discouraging job applications. So how does America become great again by berating and evicting its most energetic, enterprising, law-abiding, job-creating, idea-generating, self-multiplying and God-fearing people?
Because I’m the child of immigrants and grew up abroad, I have always thought of the United States as a country that belongs first to its newcomers — the people who strain hardest to become a part of it because they realize that it’s precious; and who do the most to remake it so that our ideas, and our appeal, may stay fresh.
That used to be a cliché, but in the Age of Trump it needs to be explained all over again. We’re a country of immigrants — by and for them, too. Americans who don’t get it should get out.”
Read the rest of Stephens’s op-ed at the link.
As I often say, only naturalized citizens had to go through a merit-based process to obtain their U.S. citizenship. For the rest of us, it was just an accident of birth that we personally did nothing to deserve or merit.
Matt Vespa reports on Townhall:
“It’s official. The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded the memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents under the Obama administration. A statement from the department noted that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly consulted with the attorney general’s office on this subject and was able to sign off a new memorandum ending the DAPA program. The Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in place:
On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.
The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action. To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:
(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;
(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;
(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;
(5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and
(6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”
Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place.
The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years. This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.
The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.”
The formal rescission of DAPA was anticipated. The Obama Administration program never went into effect. It was immediately enjoined by a US Distict Judge in Texas. That injunction was upheld by a split Fifth Circuit. The Obama Administration succeeded in obtaining Supreme Court review. However, following the death of Justice Scalia, the Court split 4-4, without issuing an opinion, thereby allowing the injunction to remain in effect. Following the election, the cancellation of DAPA became inevitable.
Ironically, the reasoning of the District Judge and the Fifth Circuit in the DAPA case has been cited by some in support of the so-far successful effort to enjoin Trump’s Travel Ban.
But, the good news here is that for the time being, at least, DACA remains in effect. As I have previously reported, the DHS is approving both new DACA applications and applications for renewal of DACA status.
“LOS ANGELES — For years, immigrants facing deportation have been allowed to stay in the U.S. provided they show up for regular check-ins with federal deportation agents and stay out of trouble. After a brief meeting, they’re usually told to return months later to check in again.
Now, in cases spanning from Michigan to California, some of these immigrants are being told their time here is up.
Immigrants who already have deportation orders and were allowed to stay in the country under the prior administration have become a target under President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies, with some getting arrested on the spot during check-ins with officers. Such arrests have dismayed family members and sent chills through immigrant communities.
In other instances, immigrants have been fitted with ankle-monitoring bracelets. Others have been released much like they were during President Barack Obama’s administration in what immigration attorneys say appears to be a random series of decisions based more on detention space than public safety.
“Everywhere, people going in to report are just absolutely terrified,” said Stacy Tolchin, a Los Angeles immigration attorney.
Agents still consider requests to delay deportations at immigrants’ regularly scheduled check-ins if, for example, someone has a medical condition, said David Marin, who oversees enforcement and removal operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles. But decisions are made on an individual basis, and efforts are being stepped up to procure travel documents from foreign countries to send people back home.
“They still have the ability to file a stay, but again, we’re looking at it in a different light,” Marin said. “There has to be an end game here.”
RELATED RESOURCE: Millions targeted for possible deportation under Trump rules
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is tracking nearly 970,000 immigrants with deportation orders. The majority — 82 percent — have no criminal record, the agency said. ICE declined to say how many must regularly report to authorities or are tracked by ankle monitors, and it is unclear how many are being arrested.
Trump boosted immigration arrests by 38 percent in the early days of his administration, but deportations fell from a year ago as activity on the U.S.-Mexico border slowed.
For authorities keen on showing they’re beefing up immigration enforcement, immigrants who already have deportation orders are seen as an easy target. They can be removed from the country more quickly than newly arrested immigrants, whose cases can drag on for years in immigration court proceedings and appeals.
“I just assume they figure this is an easy removal. All we have to do is deport this person, and that adds to our numbers of people who are out of the United States,” said Heather Prendergast, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Liaison Committee.
Many immigrants with old deportation orders have lived in the United States for years and set down roots here despite having no legal status, which deportation agents were known to weigh to decide who was a priority for removal.”
Read the complete report at the link.
Our zany immigration laws encourage arbitrary enforcement. And Trump, Kelly, & Sessions revel in the chance to undo the modest attempts at rationality and humanity that Obama injected into the system and demonstrate their fake “toughness” through arbitrary actions directed at vulnerable populations who have actually become part of our society.
History will judge harshly those who pick on the downtrodden for their own cheap political ends and the satisfaction of abusing power over others. That’s why it is important to make a clear record of the immoral behavior of those in power.
For example, President Woodrow Wilson is finally being held accountable for his grotesque racism. Some of the early Jesuits of Georgetown Univeristy are just now being exposed for violating their sacred mission by selling African Americans literally “down the river” — splitting families in the process — to insure financial stability for Georgetown University. We are also coming to grips with the symbolic racism represented by many Confederate memorials, erected less to honor those who died in war than to symbolize continuing oppression of African Americans and glorify the systematic denial in the pre-1965 South of rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Michael McAuliffe reports in HuffPost:
“WASHINGTON — American children whose parents are undocumented immigrants brought a heartrending plea to the White House and President Donald Trump on Thursday: Don’t make us orphans in our own country.
The kids, among dozens who were organized by the group We Belong Together, fear that Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration could deport their parents, even if they haven’t run afoul of the law in any other way.
Deportations dramatically increased during the Obama administration, but the focus was on immigrants who had committed serious crimes. The Trump administration’s orders stepping up enforcement include just about anyone.
Those undocumented immigrants often have American children. And they are afraid.
“I live with the fear of being separated from my mother every day,” said Leah, an 11-year-old from Miami whose mother is a domestic worker facing a deportation order.
“It is like when somebody you care about can die at any moment,” she added, standing outside the White House, accompanied by activists and other kids. “Why can’t I just enjoy being a kid? I cannot sleep or do my homework. All I can think about is my mother being taken away from me. I am so worried about my life.”
A mom of two children who is in hiding narrowly avoided likely deportation in February, when she sought sanctuary in a Denver chuch. Jeanette Vizguerra, who has reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement regularly for 20 years while she sought a visa to escape violence in Mexico, fled a hearing on her case when her advocates noticed a squad of police apparently ready to arrest her.
“My mom has been going through the struggle of getting threatened and us getting scared by ICE,” said her son, Roberto, 10.
“I think it’s not fair for children to be living in fear or for parents not to be able to be with their children,” said her daughter, Luna, 12.
While those children and others all spoke of the worry they have of their own government, they also declared they would not relent in their bids to keep their families and other kids’ families whole.
“I want to tell Mr. Trump that he is a bully, and no matter how mean he is, and no matter how hard he tries, he will never break out spirit,” Leah said. “We are not afraid of you.”
What kind of country makes “orphans of their own children?” What kind of national values do these “instill fear” programs represent? Whatever happened to the positive national values set forth by FDR and JFK?
Way back before there were Presidents, an inspirational leader once said:
“Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Not a bad thing to think about on Good Friday and over Easter weekend.
Sadly, some of today’s leaders seem to have shifted the message to “let me make the little children suffer.” Wonder what He would have thought about that?
“Donald Trump will have a busy first day repealing President Obama’s executive orders, and here’s a suggestion to lighten the work load and win some goodwill in the bargain: Don’t revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration order.
DACA is the 2012 order granting temporary safe harbor for illegal immigrants who arrived as minors with their parents. That order is distinct from the 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) order, which exempts from deportation some four million illegal immigrants.
Mr. Trump should repeal DAPA, a sweeping usurpation of Congress’s power to write immigration laws. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked DAPA at the request of 26 states, and the Supreme Court voted 4-4 to uphold the injunction. DAPA was among Mr. Obama’s most cynical executive actions, at once poisoning the chances for serious immigration reform while trying to pit minorities against Republicans for political purposes.
DACA is also an executive action, but its repeal now would harm innocent men and women. The order is limited to children brought illegally to the U.S. before the age of 16 who are attending school or have graduated, and who have continuously resided in the U.S. since at least 2007. About 741,000 immigrants have applied for DACA’s reprieve, which lets them obtain work permits that must be renewed after two years for a nontrivial fee of $465.
DACA applicants must undergo background checks, and they cannot have a felony or serious misdemeanor record. They can’t collect federal benefits or vote. DACA essentially offers the right to work and pay taxes in the U.S., and many applicants have served in the military. If DACA is repealed, Homeland Security’s tracking will end as tens of thousands slip into the shadows to avoid deportation to “home” countries where they are strangers.
The Fifth Circuit dismissed a legal challenge to DACA by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for lack of standing. We’d prefer if Congress codified DACA, and a bipartisan coalition of Senators wants to do so. This could be included if legislation moves this year to tighten immigration enforcement.
The main issue is fairness, as Mr. Trump has recognized. He told Time magazine in December that these young illegals were “brought here at a very young age. They’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here.” He added that “they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen” and “on a humanitarian basis, it’s a very tough situation.” He’s right, which is why we hope he’s willing to forbear on DACA while a legislative solution can be worked out.
No one doubts Mr. Trump’s resolve to reduce illegal immigration, and repealing DAPA would honor that campaign promise. But minors brought to the U.S. illegally aren’t responsible for that decision. Giving them a deportation reprieve would show that Mr. Trump’s immigration policy is aimed at enforcing the law, not at punishing minorities or any ethnic group. We can’t think of another early decision that would send a comparable message of inclusion and largeness of presidential spirit.”
I agree on DACA, disagree on DAPA. The reasons for going forward and implementing the DAPA program are almost as strong as for retaining DACA.
DAPA’s proposed beneficiaries — parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders — probably aren’t going to be removed anyway under the DHS priorities as initially described by soon to be DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly. They need to be taken off overcrowded Immigration Court dockets if the Trump Administration wants to pursue its version of “criminal removal” as a priority (although I note that this is essentially the same priority as the Obama Administration had). Instead of just leaving the DAPA folks “in limbo,” why not get them registered, documented, checked for criminal record, working legally, and make it easier for them to pay taxes, without handing out green cards or any other type of permanent status? It would be good for America.