Victory (Despite Bush) On H.R. 10!
The House of Representatives began
the long-neglected task of giving the executive branch the
tools for real immigration enforcement when it
passed last Friday—by 282 to 134—the "9/11
Recommendations Implementation Act," known as
Whether the Senate is as serious as
the House about immigration law enforcement is another
And as for the Bush
Administration—`nuff said. It
lobbied to get H.R.10`s immigration reform
But, while it`s easy to be
pessimistic about H.R. 10 ever becoming law, its
passage by the House is one of the best things to
happen for immigration
enforcement since Congress added its one-two punch
of amendments to the Immigration Act in 1996.
It means that, even if H.R. 10
fails for now, the tide may be turning.
Among its many excellent
provisions, H.R. 10 would activate
at long last the crucial
expedited removal processes of the 1996 Immigration
Act Section 235(b)
that have been scandalously left
dormant since 1996.
When it comes to
border security, even sincere supporters of real
immigration reform often fall into the trap of believing
the myth that "all the laws to deport aliens are in
place right now . . . we just need the
political will to enforce them."
Will is certainly lacking. But it`s
The problem is the federal
immigration bureaucracy itself. As I`ve
written extensively, all roads for real
immigration reform lead to the litigation morass of the
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and
its built-in gateway to endless
immigration litigation in the federal courts.
But at long last, short of
abolishing the EOIR bureaucracy entirely, the House
has finally passed some laws we can really use!
Amazingly, Title III of H.R. 10,
dealing with "Border
Security and Terrorist Travel," really does live
up to its billing as "Immigration reform in the
The bill addresses, at least to
some extent, the central problem with American
immigration law enforcement—the fact that the America`s
failed federal immigration bureaucracy is based on an
adversarial litigation model for deciding the "cases"
of whether to remove every single
illegal alien and
criminal alien resident in the United States . . .
one by one.
In order to set up a system that
lawbreakers, the federal government must:
1) give immigration officers the power to do their
jobs, that is, remove illegal aliens who have no damn
business being in the United States anyway, and
2) not make a
federal case out of it.
H.R. 10 is a great step toward
addressing these fundamental problems. It gives more
immigration officers the power to summarily remove more
illegal aliens while keeping the "cases"
away from the EOIR and the federal courts.
Here are the key sections:
3006 – Expedited Removal [amending Immigration Act
Section 235(b)] –"If an immigration officer
determines that an alien . . . who is arriving in the
United States, or has not been admitted or paroled into
the United States and has not been physically present in
the United States continuously for the 5-year period
immediately prior to the date of the determination of
inadmissibility under this paragraph, in inadmissible
under section 212(a)(6)(C) [for not having
immigration documents for entry] or 212(a)(7)
[for having entered by fraud], the officer shall
order the alien removed from the United States without
further hearing or review . . ."
3009 – Exclusive means of review [regarding claims
made under the United Nations Convention Against
Torture] – "The judicial review specified in this
subsection shall be the sole and exclusive means for
review by any court of an order of removal entered under
any provision of this Act."
With Section 3006, the thousands of
immigration officers already employed by the
Department of Homeland Security will be allowed to
enforce immigration laws – as they are specifically
trained to do – in order to actually remove foreign
nationals who do not have the right to be in the United
What a concept!
With section 3009, more illegal
aliens and criminal alien residents will be kept out of
the EOIR and the federal courts more often. And that`s
a good thing.
The fact of the matter is that
anyone in the world—even self-proclaimed "wrongfully"
deported aliens—can always come back and
apply for admission to the United States again
anytime they want.
All they need to do is make another
application for admission at any U.S. port of entry.
They might not be allowed in. But
there`s nothing to stop anyone from asking.
American immigration law
enforcement desperately needs H.R.10—more
expedited removal, and less immigration litigation.
So keep your fingers crossed.
Maybe the President and the Senate somehow will see the
light – after feeling the political heat—and take a step
in the right direction with H.R. 10.