This Is Not The First Border Crisis. No New Laws Needed—Reagan Administration Did Fine in 1988
Republicans are divided on a legislative response to the Obama Regime’s border dissolution, with real fears that any legislation may become a Trojan Horse for the Establishment’s Amnesty/ Immigration Surge obsession. But new laws are not needed to stop the latest wave of illegal immigration—because the law enforcement solution is already available. Past influxes were easily handled by the existing system as recently as the 1980s and 1990s, and there are even more tools available today. What is needed is enforcement of existing statutes—not the sinister farce of phony legislation.
Incredibly, the outlet publicizing the real answer to the latest crisis is ILW.com, normally the online voice for the Open Borders immigration lawyers VDARE.com calls the Treason Bar. In a recent article, Dan Vara, former Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS] executive during the 1980s and 1990s, has described how the INS responded to earlier illegal immigration crises by swiftly shutting off the flood and deporting illegals. INS Cites Abuse In Asylum Cases, AP, Eugene Register-Guard, December 14, 1988
The recent influx of Central American children is reported as an apparent crisis without a solution.
At least not without a major change in the law or the way the immigration process works.
Nothing is further from the truth.
This is not the first mass migration crisis. Ask career immigration officials about such events as the late 1970’s Mariel Boatlift, the late 1980’s Nicaraguan South Texas influx, the early 1990’s Haitian Boatlift, and the mid-1990’s “Mini-Cuban Mass Migration Crisis”…
Since that time, each crisis was known either before or shortly after it began. And the laws on the booked worked just fine.
[Article: Immigration Crisis Without a Solution-Really?By Dan Vara, ILW, July 9, 2014]
The Nicaraguan crisis was easily handled. In less than a week after it began, it was handled. A couple of strategy meetings of the top officials at the former Southern Regional Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS], a couple of teleconferences with Headquarters, the Department of Justice, and a nod from the White House, and a plan of action was implemented that, in very short order, crushed the mass migration effort.
Tent “cities” were set up on the southern border, incoming migrants were held rather than released, INS trial attorneys, including, at my request, me, and Executive Office for Immigration Review [EOIR] judges were flown in from all over the country, and hearings were held in place and without delay.
The INS was able to quickly hold hearings on location:
The hearings offered no challenge to federal officials other than logistical. The reason is that while the law and due process requires that an alien suspected of entering or being in the U.S. in violation of law be provided a hearing, the process is designed to allow that hearing to be shortcut if the alien has no basis for relief.
If there is no basis for relief, then the decision by the immigration judge is swift and certain: deportation.
The law presumes that once the government proves alienage, the burden shifts to the alien to establish, in essence, his or her right to remain in the U.S. At this point of the hearing, the judge is required to ask what, if any, “relief” from removal the alien will be applying for. If the alien or their counsel identify relief that the alien appears eligible for, the hearing is then continued for a “Merits” hearing at which the parties will present evidence and arguments for or against that assertion.
Of course, there is a way for open borders attorneys and judges to muck up the process at this hearing.
Unfortunately, this is where the process first goes awry if the participating judge and trial attorney do not do their job.
The process has become so sterile and so routine that, in most cases in most jurisdictions, the matter is continued upon a “mere” assertion that the alien will “apply” for relief. In most jurisdictions, at best, that means that the next hearing is months if not years away. And, that means that the immigration service, based on resources if not simple concepts of humanity that should abhor holding a non-criminal violator in custody for months if not years, will release the alien on a mostly hollow “promise” that he or she will appear for their hearing in the future.
But there’s an easy administrative solution.
However, nothing in the law requires that the matter be continued unless the alien is at least prima facie eligible for the relief that will be addressed at the later hearing.
Instead, such an alien can and should be ordered deported/removed, an action that starts the 30-day clock for filing an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and one that forces the alien or their counsel to an election—file a frivolous appeal that can be summarily dismissed while in custody, or use the “key” to their cell, waive appeal and take the bus or plane ride home.
The judge has the right to force the alien and/or counsel to this election by requiring them to state with some specificity what it is that they will apply for and how it is that they might qualify for it.
And even if the immigration judge does not cooperate, the DHS attorney can force the issue—if the political leadership backs him up:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) trial attorney has, at least in my book and when I was in a position to demand it, an obligation to force the election. Even when the judge does not do that on their own. They can and should do so by seeking a “proffer” on the facts and law that support such claimed eligibility, and/or making a motion to take testimony from the alien regarding such matters, and then making a motion to “pretermit” the alien’s application for relief and thus the alien’s attempt to get his or her case continued for that purpose.
The result is that in past crises, aliens were ordered removed and swiftly deported. In the 1980s, the policy was so successful that phony refugees fled deportation from Texas into Mexico.[ Latin Refugees Fleeing Texas for Mexican Haven, By Larry Rohter, (AP) New York Times, March 5, 1989]
And now there are new tools for law enforcement, meaning we don’t need to hold these kinds of hearings in many cases anyway. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added “Expedited Removal” to the enforcement arsenal. “Expedited Removal” essentially returned authority to remove illegal aliens to the Executive Branch, without any administrative review by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. This gives the arresting agency the authority to order the removal of these aliens immediately to Mexico, where they entered from.
It is indeed a complication that, at the moment, juvenile illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico or Canada have a right to a hearing. But that complication can be easily overcome simply by the doing what worked in the past: swiftly arranging hearings on the border, and deportation.
Unfortunately, all this presupposes that the Obama Regime has some interest in following the law. They don’t. In Obama’s Department of Homeland Security decided on a policy of “catch and release” at the border, whereby aliens arrested by the Border Patrol were released, the better to allow them to skip their hearings and commit crimes. There are now very few hearings at the border, and no follow-up to ensure that illegal aliens ordered removed actually leave. As a result, by 2012 there were approximately 841, 391 fugitive aliens. [Justice on the Run, by Mark Metcalf, CIS, April 2014]. There will be many more now.
The crisis on the border could be resolved tomorrow—if the Obama Regime began to enforce the law, or if the GOP compelled it to do so.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale`s opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.