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Posts Tagged ‘immigration’
December 17th, 2014 at 2:34 pm
Fed Judge Says Obama’s Amnesty Unconstitutional

A federal district judge has said that President Barack Obama’s amnesty program for illegal immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution.

The only question: Does it matter?

Judge Arthur Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a ruling yesterday saying that, “President Obama’s executive action goes beyond prosecutorial discretion because: (a) it provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based upon arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examination; and (b) it allows undocumented immigrants, who fall within these broad categories, to obtain substantive rights.”

Unfortunately, however, Judge Schwab’s declaration may be little more than a non-binding advisory opinion. According to conservative law professor Jonathan Adler – one of the originators of the ObamaCare subsidies challenge now before the U.S. Supreme Court – Schwab’s ruling came after he requested supplemental briefing in a case trying to decide how to sentence an illegal immigrant for a non-immigration-related crime. Apparently, Schwab wanted to know if the defendant qualified for protection from deportation under Obama’s plan. Schwab then used the occasion to find the amnesty program unconstitutional.

While legal experts like Adler try to figure out how much to make of this opinion, Schwab’s ruling points to a larger issue. Namely, that major policy changes have major policy implications. For example, legal immigrants are finding out that creating exceptions for illegals increases the costs on the law-abiding.

Time will tell if Obama’s amnesty program has a negative impact on the federal court system as well.

December 11th, 2014 at 1:18 pm
Now, 24 States Are Suing to Stop Obama’s Unilateral Amnesty

Nearly half of the States in America are now suing the Obama administration to stop the president’s unilateral and unconstitutional directive to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Current Texas Attorney General and incoming Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced four new states joining the coalition he assembled that is seeking to have the federal courts halt a Department of Homeland Security directive that violates both the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

The latest roster includes: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

If this trend keeps up, it won’t take much longer for a majority of states to oppose what to all reasonable observers is an unprecedented power grab by this president.

Hopefully, the federal courts are listening.

December 5th, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Obama’s Immigration Amnesty Is NOT an Executive Order

My hat is off to Jerome Corsi at World Net Daily for confirming that President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty that affects up to five million illegal immigrants was not, in fact, given as part of an executive order.

Instead, what Obama signed in Las Vegas on November 21 – the day after he announced his intent to grant a temporary halt to some deportations and provide work permits – were documents much different.

“One was a presidential proclamation creating a White House Task Force on New Americans and the other a presidential memorandum instructing the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to consult with various governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce costs and improve service in issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas,” reports Corsi.

As Corsi explains, “the only Obama administration document relevant to the plan announced Nov. 20 is a DHS memorandum signed by [Homeland Security Secretary Jeh] Johnson titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”

Getting into the ramifications of this revelation probably merits its own column, but it should be mentioned here that the Texas-led, 17 state lawsuit challenging Obama’s immigration amnesty already knew about this legal technicality and focuses its fire on Secretary Johnson’s abuse of the notice-and-comment process required of any policy change. So far, Johnson’s memorandum implementing Obama’s amnesty has not appeared in the Federal Register, as required, and thus is in clear violation of the law.

Stay tuned. The games are likely just beginning.

December 4th, 2014 at 2:42 pm
Washington Post: Obama’s Immigration Amnesty “Unprecedented”

Add the editorial board of the Washington Post to the list of people who think President Barack Obama is setting a very troubling precedent with his decision to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as 5 million illegal aliens.

Key to the Post’s criticism is the revelation that part of the justification for Obama’s amnesty has been completely falsified. Since the president announced his executive order, he and members of his administration have said that the percentage of people who will benefit from his amnesty are similar to an amnesty granted by President George H. W. Bush. Specifically, Obama & Co. claim that Bush’s order benefited 1.5 million illegals, while Obama’s would benefit around 4 million. In both cases, the beneficiaries are estimated to be around 36 percent of all illegal aliens.

But according to Post reporter Glenn Kessler, that assertion cannot be verified. At best, the total number of Bush beneficiaries was no more than a couple hundred thousand – far less of a percentage than what Obama is targeting.

It gets worse. As the editorial board notes, “Even the apparent original source of the 1.5 million figure – Gene McNary, who led the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the time – told Mr. Kessler he believes the number is false and was based on a misunderstanding from testimony he gave to Congress. And no underlying data or methodology to justify the 1.5 million figure has been uncovered.” (Emphasis mine)

The facts don’t lie. What Obama is trying to do with his unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty has no precedent in practice and no place in a country governed by the rule of law.

December 3rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm
Texas Launches 17-State Lawsuit Against Obama’s Immigration Amnesty

Hello, Greg Abbott!

In my column this week I mention that Abbott, the newly elected Republican Governor of Texas, would file a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional order granting temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Alone, Texas’ lawsuit would have generated more attention than most challenges to federal action. But with the inclusion of sixteen other states, it’s sure to get a very serious look from the conservative-leaning federal Fifth Circuit.

According to My Way News, “The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the ‘Take Care Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will ‘exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.’”

If the lawsuit can overcome an important legal technicality – and former Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Robert Delahunty think it can – then this super-suit may, in time, serve as a Texas-sized roadblock to federal overreach.

December 2nd, 2014 at 6:10 pm
Senator Sessions Responds to Current Plan Being Floated in House Re: Obama’s Immigration Decree
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

The following statement was released earlier today by Senator Jeff Sessions in response to the current plan being floated in the House of Representatives in response to President Obama’s immigration decree.

“The Chairman of the Republican Party made a promise to America on executive amnesty: ‘We can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen… everything we can do to stop it we will.’

Unfortunately, the plan now being circulated in the House fails to meet that test. The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security, and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants—reducing wages, jobs, and benefits for Americans.

Congress considered and rejected these changes to immigration law in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. The President’s action erases the laws Congress has passed in order to implement laws Congress has refused to pass.

Now the President demands Congress fund his imperial decree and declare its own irrelevance.

That is why Congress must respond to the President’s unlawful action by funding the government but not funding illegal amnesty. This is a perfectly sound and routine application of congressional authority. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that last year’s omnibus spending bill included 16 such funding restrictions on fee-based programs.

Such a plan would put the focus where it belongs: on Senate Democrats. They are the ones who should be made to choose sides—save Obama’s amnesty or save Americans’ jobs and borders.

Polling shows voters believe that Americans should get preference for available jobs by almost a 10-1 margin. Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but mount a bold defense of struggling Americans.

Billions of dollars and countless hours have been spent advocating immigration policies that help everyone but the actual citizens of this country. Who will be their voice, if not us?” 

BACKGROUND:

Since taking office, President Obama has engaged in a sustained and calculated campaign to dismantle the immigration laws of the United States. As his own former ICE Director, John Sandweg, explained: “if you’re a run-of-the-mill immigrant living here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.” ICE officers report that their agency caters to special interests and open borders activists, while they are ordered to ignore their oaths and the laws of the United States.

Additionally, since the year 2000, the U.S. has issued nearly 30 million lawful visas for permanent immigrants or temporary guest workers. As reported by the Pew Research Center, the total number of immigrants in the U.S. has reached a record 41.3 million. The share of the U.S. population that was born in another country, per the Census Bureau, has quadrupled.

According to Harvard labor economist Dr. George Borjas, current high immigration rates result in a $402 billion annual wage loss for American workers.

November 25th, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Obama Won’t Extend Unilaterial Amnesty to Tax Reform

Sounds like no one prepped President Barack Obama for the obvious question posed by ABC’s George Stephanopolous: “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in and wants to lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it; so he says ‘I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax.’”

After dithering a bit, Obama replied with, “The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes, and when we conduct an audit, for example, we are selecting those folks who are most likely to be cheating. We’re not going after millions and millions of people who everybody knows are here and were taking advantage of low wages as they’re mowing lawns or cleaning out bedpans, and looking the other way.”

Stephanopolous pressed harder. “So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?”

Without a hint of irony, Obama says, “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.”

And yet the president has no reason in principle for limiting his successors in office from willfully disregarding whatever laws they don’t like. The former constitutional law professor seems to be completely unaware of the precedent he is setting by unilaterally suspending immigration enforcement. If left unrebuked, this action will teach future Oval Office occupants that the rule of law can – and at times should – be replaced with the whim of one.

The only saving grace in this interview is that the President of the United States seems genuinely clueless as to the logic of his own order. Such is the state of the chief executive.

H/T: Media Research Center

November 20th, 2014 at 8:19 pm
McCarthy on Amnesty: Obama Perverts Prosecutorial Discretion

Who better than a former federal prosecutor to judge whether President Barack Obama can unilaterally impose amnesty for illegal immigrants via “prosecutorial discretion”?

Andrew C. McCarthy, now a contributor at National Review, explains: “Prosecutorial discretion means you are not required to prosecute every crime”, but it “does not mean that those crimes the executive chooses not to enforce are now no longer crimes.”

Yet that’s just what President Obama is proposing.

“He is claiming not only the power to determine what immigration laws get enforced and which illegal immigrants get prosecuted – power he unquestionably has,” writes McCarthy. The president, “also claims the power to declare (a) that criminal acts are somehow lawful – that illegal aliens now have a right to be here – just because Obama has chosen not to prosecute them; and (b) that those who engage in this unprosecuted activity will be rewarded with benefits (lawful presence, relief from deportation, work permits, etc.), as if their illegal acts were valuable community service.”

In other words, Obama’s amnesty perverts prosecutorial discretion beyond recognition.

Next up: Consequences?

November 20th, 2014 at 10:50 am
In His Own Words: Obama Calls Executive Action on Immigration “Illegal” – 25 Times!

There has been no shortage of commentary in recent weeks and months addressing the illegality of President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration.  Even Obama himself, despite his plans to announce a sweeping new executive order on immigration tonight on prime-time television, has argued that circumventing Congress and acting unilaterally would be illegal.

In fact, Fox News’ “The Kelly File” dug up some 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera over the last several years. 

Watch the video here.

November 19th, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Obama Readies Immigration Announcement

Thursday, November 20, 2014, could be a day of infamy if President Barack Obama follows through on indications he will act on his own to give some form of legal status to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Some conservatives say liberals can’t defend Obama’s lawless action, but there is no consensus among the former on what to do if the president intentionally violates his duty to faithfully execute the law.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) calls on his fellow Republicans not to “confirm a single nominee – executive or judicial – outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.”

Charles Cooke of National Review cautions against adopting The Obama Rule – picking and choosing which law a president will enforce – when the GOP next controls the White House. Among other things, doing so would forever obliterate the Republican claim to defend the Constitution and the principles it preserves.

Of course, all of this could be avoided if a certain former constitutional law professor would step back from the precipice. A little self-restraint would go a long way toward reestablishing appropriate boundaries on what the most powerful man in the world can, and cannot, do.

If so, then tomorrow won’t go down as the day The Obama Rule officially replaced the Rule of Law.

September 1st, 2014 at 6:54 pm
Marco Rubio Evolving on Immigration

If at first you don’t succeed, pivot to the next best alternative.

That seems to be the strategy used by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as he positions himself for a potential White House run in 2016.

Rubio, once the darling of conservatives and a top GOP presidential contender, quickly fell out of favor with the grassroots when he supported a version of comprehensive immigration reform championed by the Obama administration and some of the most liberal members of Congress.

After the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill was pronounced dead-on-arrival in the House of Representatives, Rubio has since modified his position on how to pursue immigration reform. Unsurprisingly, it now aligns with what conservatives have said all along: secure the border first, build trust in the federal government’s commitment to the rule of law and national sovereignty, and only then discuss how to integrate illegal immigrants into American society.

Last week, Rubio sent a letter to President Barack Obama warning against a unilateral executive action that would grant some kind of legal status to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. In Rubio’s words, such an act “will increase the perception of ambiguity in our laws, incentivize more people to immigrate here illegally, and significantly set back the prospects of real reform.”

It’s too early to tell whether Rubio’s repositioning will be enough to convince conservatives that he’s changed his principles instead of just his tactics. Until he can give a convincing explanation of why next time will be different, skepticism about his true beliefs will remain.

August 25th, 2014 at 7:06 pm
Pro-Amnesty Congressman: ‘Get Ready’ for Obama Executive Order

One of Congress’ biggest amnesty boosters is telling allies to “get ready” for a presidential announcement that could shield as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), an amnesty supporter who called on fellow Hispanics to “sign up to vote and punish those who speak ill and criminalize children who come to our border,” expects to hear very soon that President Barack Obama will issue an executive order to effectively legalize half of the United States’ illegal immigrant population.

“It’s music to my ears that someone would have a source at the White House that say it’s 5 million,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC today. “Let me just say, tomorrow, the next day, and all of this week we’re getting ready.”

By “getting ready,” Gutierrez means preparing to process 5 million quasi-legal residents into semi-permanent status. The problem is, Gutierrez has no idea what those structures will look like – or how they’ll be funded – because Congress has refused to pass any type of immigration reform that includes amnesty or anything like it.

Perhaps President Obama will opt for the complex “Registered Provisional Immigrant” status outlined in the Senate Gang of Eight bill that died in the House of Representatives. After all, Gutierrez and other amnesty supporters have “urged Obama to legalize all of the illegal immigrants that would have qualified under the Senate’s amnesty bill,” reports Breitbart News. If Obama can achieve the same policy goal as Congress, why can’t he do it using the same policy means?

Besides, just because the legislative branch won’t pass a law doesn’t prohibit the executive from doing whatever he wants, right?

Today, Gutierrez may be gleeful at the prospect of Obama violating the Constitution to benefit his pet issue, but he should remember: Once you brush aside the separation-of-powers, there’s no check on tyranny. Tomorrow, you lose.

August 7th, 2014 at 6:18 pm
Would President Romney Be Allowed to Disregard the Law?

Robert Delahunty, a former Department of Justice attorney, poses an interesting counterfactual to those defending President Barack Obama’s possible legalization of 5 million illegal immigrants.

“One has to wonder how those who consider such non-enforcement to be constitutional would react if a President Mitt Romney announced that his Internal Revenue Service would simply stop collecting capital gains tax on the rich, or that his Environmental Protection Agency would no longer seek to impose legal penalties on polluters,” writes Delahunty.

Delahunty’s thought experiment is worth elaborating. If it’s true that presidents can assume lawmaking powers when Congress refuses to implement his will – a point I’m only granting for the sake of argument; Articles I and II of the Constitution clearly foreclose this possibility – then it stands to reason that any Republican running for president in 2016 can simply campaign on a promise not to enforce any law he does not like. Why worry with winning control of Congress? All any political party needs to do is win one race – the presidency – and the entire executive branch can be put in the service of the party’s platform.

It’s an outcome so at odds with our constitutional system that in saner days it would have been ruled out as a serious option as soon as it was floated. But we are in transformative times. Future presidents and their would-be advisors are taking notes. If President Obama is allowed to get away with such a regime-shattering power grab – and unilaterally importing 5 million new citizens would be just that – then there is very little reason to justify limits on even bigger abuses hereafter.

July 14th, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Illegal Immigration Cleanup Falls on Public Schools

“All politics is local,” goes the saying, and it looks like local public school districts will be the political entities dealing most directly with the surge in illegal immigration when classes begin.

“While politicians spend the summer fighting over how to turn back the tide, school leaders across the country are struggling to absorb a new student population the size of Newark, New Jersey,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “More than 40,000 children, many of them fresh from violent, harrowing journeys, have been released since October to stateside relatives as courts process their cases.”

The issues facing public school personnel include lack of immunizations, emotional distress caused by the trip north and an expected surge in non-English speaking students. The money and manpower required to meet these challenges is immense, but at least as far as local schools are concerned, also worthwhile. No one wants to perpetuate the trauma caused to the children who survive this experience.

It’s important to remember that each child is a person deserving of care and assistance, and one hopes that public officials will work with civil society organizations – including faith-based groups – to help each child heal.

That said, the fallout from the Obama administration’s deliberately poor management of the southern border is a profound object lesson in avoidable tragedy. As usual, the cleanup effort will be done by those that can least afford it.

June 11th, 2014 at 7:34 pm
Surge in Illegal Immigration Triggered by Alleged Fed Govt. ‘Free Passes’

A Border Patrol memo obtained by the Washington Times and referenced today in a Senate hearing identifies the main reason Central American women and children are risking illegal entry into the United States – A guaranteed ‘free pass’ by federal government.

“The immigrants come seeking ‘permisos,’ which apparently are the ‘notices to appear,’ the legal documents given to non-Mexicans caught at the border,” reports the paper. “Those notices officially put the immigrants into deportation proceedings. The immigrants usually are released to await a court date, giving them a chance to fade into the shadows in the interior of the U.S.”

According to the Border Patrol memo, “This information is apparently common knowledge in Central America and is spread by word of mouth and international and local media.” It goes on to say that, “A high percentage of the subjects interviewed stated their family members in the U.S. urged them to travel immediately, because the United States government was only issuing immigration ‘permisos’ until the end of June 2014.”

The only permissive immigration policy I’m aware of that is slated to end this month is President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA – program.

In my column this week I explain how President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action program impels more illegal immigrants to bring or send for their children, hoping that once here the federal government will expand the de facto amnesty program.

Recently, President Obama announced that he is extending DACA another two years to the end of his presidency. That means we can expect to see increasing numbers of Central American and perhaps other illegal immigrants flooding into the country seeking those promised “permisos” that allow them to drift into the shadows and avoid deportation.

Given enough time to put down roots perhaps they’ll demand to come out of the shadows on a pathway to citizenship.

May 28th, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Texas Tea Party Knocks Off GOP Lt. Gov. in Run-Off

It’s been a tough two years for outgoing Texas Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. First, he lost a bitter U.S. Senate primary fight to Ted Cruz in 2012, and yesterday he was blown out 64-36 percent in a run-off election to maintain his current job. After more than a decade in statewide office, the multi-millionaire Dewhurst is out on the political streets.

None of this was inevitable. Dewhurst was an early favorite in his matchups with Cruz and Patrick; the latter currently serving as a State Senator and formerly as a conservative radio show host. Not long ago Dewhurst was trying to shore up his conservative bona fides by shepherding a Voter ID law over strenuous objections from Democrats. However, even that wasn’t enough to overcome his past support for in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants and other moderate tendencies.

When Ted Cruz challenged Dewhurst for the Senate it was said that the standards for conservatives had to be higher in Texas than most other states. Dan Patrick is perhaps the most outspoken elected conservative in Texas politics right now, with a clear path to becoming one of the most powerful political figures in the state.

In two years, Texas Republicans have selected two deeply committed conservatives to important offices with national reach. Time will tell if Cruz and Patrick make good on their opportunities.

April 7th, 2014 at 7:12 pm
Tech Industry May Cut a Deal on Immigration, Killing Gang of Eight Bill

With the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill dead-on-arrival in the House of Representatives, the tech industry may be ready to break ranks and cut a deal.

So far, Silicon Valley – one of the wealthiest segments backing comprehensive immigration reform – has held out hope that their goal of expanding H-1B visas for foreign-born workers will come to fruition when House Republicans finally get around to passing the Senate’s bill.

But with the Gang’s bill looking less and less likely to get even a vote in the House, immigration’s tech supporters are exploring other options. The announcement came in the form of an op-ed published by the leader of Compete America, the industry’s immigration-focused political action committee. In it he called on both houses of Congress to pass the SKILLS Act, which would give Compete everything it wants, but would also leave its members with no real reason to stay in Washington pushing for the rest of the Senate’s bill.

That possibility drew a swift rebuke from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who wrote in a letter to Compete America, “I am troubled by recent statements suggesting that some in the technology industry may shift their focus to passage of stand-alone legislation that would only resolve the industry’s concerns.”

The daylight emerging between the tech industry and its comprehensive immigration reform allies presents an opportunity to House Republicans, says Byron York. “If the House were to pass H-1B expansion, the GOP would win support from at least some in the tech world. And Democrats would be standing in the way of admitting more high-skilled workers into this country.”

Liberals like Durbin know that the only way to legalize a controversial pathway to citizenship is to hold hostage popular reforms like expanding the H-1B visa pool. This turn of events may be just what House Republicans need to make that ploy crystal clear.

January 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm
GOP’s ACA Alternative is Here

I’ll add an Amen to what our friend Quin Hillyer preaches at National Review Online today.

Quin writes convincingly about the opportunity Republicans have to take control of Congress by uniting behind the Obamacare alternative proposed by the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

The short, snappy piece is worth reading in its entirety, but here I want to draw attention to two points I’m glad Quin made. First, there must be an agreement among the DC GOP leadership to adopt the RSC’s framework for reform. Doing so would commit the party to a conservative version of reform that, as Quin demonstrates, will be an easy sell during the campaign season.

Second, that this strategic decision must be joined to an equally unified agreement to abandon any version of comprehensive immigration reform this year. Just as Obamacare is an internally divisive issue among Democrats, so too is immigration reform among Republicans. In a year where Obamacare is already the dominant issue, there is no reason for Republicans to voluntarily drive a wedge between their members on immigration by reviving an issue that’s currently dead. Instead, GOP leaders should try to divide and conquer the Democrats with votes on Obamacare alternatives they can’t afford to oppose.

Conservatives at the RSC have put forward a viable plan. It’s up to GOP leaders to decide whether they want to spend 2014 defeating Democrats, or fighting their own members.

November 13th, 2013 at 6:05 pm
Boehner Nixes Immigration Deal on Senate Gang’s Bill

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pulling the plug on the Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration bill.

“We’ve made it clear that we’re going to move on a common sense, step-by-step approach in terms of how we deal with immigration,” said Boehner, according to the Washington Times. “The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House. And frankly, I’ll make clear we had no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”

That last line about having “no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill” might come as a surprise to those who remember the viability of that option prior to freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) unleashing a public and private remonstrance against it.

I’m sure there were a lot of factors that went into Boehner’s decision to put the kibosh on the Senate’s version of immigration; not least of which is politics. Immigration reform splits the GOP to the advantage of Democrats. Focusing on all of Obamacare’s failures unites Republicans ahead of the critical 2014 midterm elections.

Whatever the weight given to individual factors, it’s good to see House Republicans opting for unity over division. On both issues, the conservative perspective wins.

September 23rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Senate Immigration Bill to Help Illegals Convicted of Other Crimes

Here’s the immigration reform version of “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

Speaking to attendees at the Congressional Black Caucus’s annual conference, Esther Olavarria, the White House’s director of immigration reform, highlighted some provisions of the Senate’s bill that she would like the public to ignore.

Making it easier for illegal immigrants convicted of crimes to stay in the country got special attention.

In Olavarria’s telling, the Senate bill reverses a 1996 law that says any criminal conviction can serve as the basis for deportation. The new language would exempt convictions followed by a suspended sentence, meaning that deportation would not be an option if the offender gets probation instead of jail time.

Bear in mind, the conviction referred to is for a crime separate from illegally entering the country.

Thus, if passed, the Senate bill would not only excuse the foundational illegality of unlawfully entering the country, it would further protect from prosecution those who have been convicted, but not yet served jail time.

But if you haven’t heard about this controversial change in law, Olavarria explains why.

“We haven’t played [them] up because we want to be able to maintain them as we go through the legislative process,” she told the conference attendees. “The bill has a number of other important provisions that have stayed under the radar, and we’d actually like to keep them under the radar.”

That’s because the White House knows it can’t win an open and honest debate about granting illegal immigrants not one, but (at least) two free passes when it comes to breaking the law.

This subterfuge is yet another reason to scrap the Senate’s bill and start over.

H/T: The Daily Caller