The consequences of the Republican failure to stand up to Obama’s immigration action may come faster than we feared (see: Broken GOP Leaders Take Their Last Stand). The Justice Department was busy last week. On Thursday the announcement came that an emergency motion for a stay of State of Texas v. United States of America and a motion to speed up the government’s appeal of the injunction had been filed.
Nothing will be off limits when it comes to overturning State of Texas v. United States. The political stakes are too high. After Obama wins this one, Americans will not only be stuck with the illegal aliens granted deferred action, we will still be stuck with the criminal illegal aliens the government claims are the real problem. In the end, keeping Americans safe by securing the border and keeping the bad guys out will come second in the security vs. amnesty war. Once that battle is resolved, will criminal illegal aliens still be a priority, or will the government be too busy processing amnesty applications to bother?
Secure border is just a bargaining chip
Democrats still deem it good security policy to trade Republican insistence on securing the border for their demand that the White House immigration action become law, but there is a tremendous gap between how a secure border is viewed by each side. Citing last year’s border surge as proof of failed security, Congressman Jeff Flake observed:
As you are aware, with the recent surge in unaccompanied minors and persistent increases in apprehensions over the last four fiscal years, the border is not secure.1
The White House used what it considers a victory over the border surge as propaganda for unilateral immigration action:
Continuing the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer, the President’s actions will also centralize border security command-and-control to continue to crack down on illegal immigration.2
Shuffling resources to criminal illegal aliens has been the excuse for shifting enforcement priorities. Are we dealing with the bad guys effectively, or is this just another deception while the administration finesses amnesty?
Good and bad news in new action against criminal illegal aliens
Two days before the Justice Department filed its appeal, Homeland Security announced success in a five-day effort that apprehended 2,059 criminal illegal aliens. What was the bad news? Over 20% of those nabbed by ICE had already been deported:
Of those arrested during this operation, 476 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country. Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, 163 of those arrested during the enforcement action were presented to U.S. Attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges, including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.3
ICE agents do good work but they are hamstrung by politicians who put votes before security. This is a fight we seem determined not to win. 2,059 arrests pale in comparison to the 36,000 criminal illegal aliens released two years ago:
In Fiscal Year 2013, ICE released over 36,000 criminal aliens from detention who were in removal proceedings or had been ordered removed, in the large majority of cases purely as an act of discretion not compelled by any federal court or immigration judge.4
Removal figures for 2014 are not encouraging, especially when compared to the 36,000 criminals we let go the year before. There were 52,701 fewer removals in 2014 than 2013. Of the 315,943 removals, 213,719 were caught trying to break into the U.S. 177,960 removals were criminal illegal aliens, 5 a number that raises the question of how many more criminal aliens are living here.
A DHS release on Obama’s immigration action made clear what comes next for border security. Hint: it’s not more security.
Government deceives about Obama’s immigration action
A federal executive action fact sheet sounds positive about border security:
The Department of Homeland Security and Department of State have launched the next stage of an aggressive campaign to make clear the national security, border security, and public safety priorities that are now in effect, and to clarify the criteria for filing requests for deferred action under the Executive Actions recently announced by President Obama.6
So the next stage is about security? No, it’s about signing up for amnesty:
The next phase of the campaign is the launch of “Executive Action on Immigration: Know the Facts” awareness campaign, a national and international outreach effort detailing the eligibility requirements for requesting deferred action under the President’s announcement.7
The DHS and State Department immigration action campaigns seek to “dissuade members of the Mexican and Central American public from illegally migrating to the United States”8 and to “dissuade family members living in the United States from supporting illegal migration of family members.”9 Only a fool or a Democrat would believe for a moment that when word gets out that the Texas injunction has been thrown out the flow across the border will slow or that the government will worry about criminal illegal aliens. Homeland Security will be so inundated rubber stamping amnesty applications and figuring out what to do about the border surge Obama will have created that it will be a long time, if ever, before DHS gets back to rounding up the crooks.