Friday, January 30, 2015

The Economic Impact of Illegal Immigration Debate

Does it cost more to keep unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. -- or deport them?

by  Mark Koba

While the debate over immigration reform often appears to revolve around politics, the root of the issue is economics.

With the new GOP-controlled Congress in session, the battle over immigration is once again in the spotlight.

Earlier this month, the House passed a bill along party lines that would de-fund the president’s recent executive actions to delay deportation of up to five million undocumented workers and grant them work permits.

The measure also blocks a 2012 order from the president that protected immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children — and it attempts to reverse a series of White House memos that said terrorists and criminals should be deported first.

Why? In order to emphasize Republican efforts to focus on border security as the spear point for immigration reform rather than a path to citizenship — efforts Obama says he will veto.

But while the immigration debate revolves around politics, the root of the issue is economics. In other words, does it cost more to keep illegal immigrants in this country, or does it cost more to deport them?

“We know that unemployment is higher than reported and that wages are lower partly due to illegal immigration” said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that opposes the executive orders.

“Our view is that immigration reform should have better enforcement at our borders and limited immigration at non-discriminatory levels,” Mehlman said.

But that kind of thinking is short-sighted, said Ediberto Román, a professor of law at Florida International University.

“Conservative pundits all too often sound alarms over an effort to take over America and of undocumented immigration’s alleged horrific impact on the U.S. economy,” said Román, who authored a book released last year on immigration. He said these claims have no evidence to support them.

Here, then, are the pros and cons of immigration reform by the numbers.

Arguments for a path to citizenship:

On its website, the White House says that by 2023, the U. S. economy will lose some $80 billion in economic output by not allowing a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers.

The country will also have $40 billion in higher deficits in the next 10 years. And during that same decade, the Social Security Trust Fund will lose out on some $50 billion.

“The president’s executive order is an overdue acknowledgment of the facts on the ground,” said Joseph Lake, a U.S. analyst for research group the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Most undocumented immigrants are woven into the fabric of American life in a way that will be impossible to unwind,” Lake said.

According to a 2013 study by the social action group Center for American Progress, if the undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States were provided legal status, the 10-year cumulative increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) would be $832 billion.

Meanwhile, the cumulative increase in the personal income of all Americans over 10 years would be $470 billion, according to the report.

“Moving more people into legal work permit classification and providing temporary guest worker permits would be of substantial benefit to the economy,” said Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Arguments for limiting immigration:

A 2014 study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a group that promotes tougher immigration laws, concluded that in New Hampshire the vast majority of job creation went to immigrants and not to native residents.

And according to a 2011 report by FAIR, undocumented immigrants cost U.S. and state governments $113 billion a year in welfare programs. The report argues that immigrants use more welfare programs than people born in the United States.

“The more illegal aliens we have taking advantage of welfare funding, the more strain there is on our economy,” said Ron Washburn, a professor of legal studies at Bryant University.

Reform is needed, said Villanova School of Business Economist David Fiorenza, if only to keep state budgets out of the red if the economy hits another rough patch.

“Places such as California are, or will see, more pressure on their budgets to provide services to undocumented immigration,” Fiorenza said.

FAIR’s Mehlman also said that undocumented workers are helping to keep overall wages down because they continue to work at much cheaper levels than a native-born citizens.

FAIR also points to rises in crime from undocumented workers as an economic and societal threat.

That drew a strong response from FIU’s Román.

“There is simply no basis to conclude that immigrants are more likely to foster a terrorist or criminal element than the native population,” he said. “These claims are made with little or no evidentiary support, yet they have captured the public imagination.”

Labor needs

Another set of numbers fueling the immigration debate, say experts, is the shortage of workers in the United States.

“Where I get concerned in the longer run is that the nation is becoming more reliant on immigration versus the natural population growth to supply labor,” said Scott Clemons, Chief Investment Strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

“We are borrowing labor force from other countries,” Clemons said.

Officials from high tech industries say the United States does not allow enough legal immigrants in with H-1B visas.

“We continue to notice one thing over and over again with the customers we see that really highlights a big issue around the immigration reform topic,” said Matt Faustman, CEO of UpCounsel, which provides legal services for businesses.

“Everyone, big and small companies, is looking for foreign talent,” he added.

The scarcity of labor also dominates industries that rely on less-skilled workers. Farmers in states like California have complained they don’t have enough labor to pick fruits and vegetables, while crop pickers fight for issues like overtime pay and health care.

“If we want farm workers here we need to organize them in a better way,” said Fariborz Ghadar, founding director for the global business studies at the Smeal School of Business at Penn State University. “They do pay taxes and contribute to the economy but don’t always get the benefits,” he said.

Outlook for reform

FAIR and CIS call for stricter border controls before anything else is done.

Business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce have called for immigration reform, saying immigrants are good for the economy while advocating a tough but “fair process for undocumented people who are living in our country today to earn a legal status.”

Experts remain cautiously optimistic some sort of reform will get done.

“We need more clarity on immigration policies,” said Brown Brothers Harriman’s Clemons. “Democrats and Republicans would agree the immigration process at present is muddy and unacceptable,” he said.

One figure that should focus politicians and lobbyists as they battle it out over immigration reform: experts say that expelling immigrants could cost an estimated $8,318 to deport each of the 11 million undocumented people now in the United States.

Reprinted from

Ben Ferro

Sunday, January 25, 2015




Senate Homeland Security Committee:

Chairman: Senator Ron Johnson (R) Wisconsin - (202) 224-5323

Minority Chair: Thomas Carper (D), Delaware – (202) 224-2441


John McCain (R), Arizona - (202) 224-2235

Rand Paul (R), Kentucky – (202) 224-4343.

Rob Portman (R), Ohio – (202) 224-3353

Jon Tester(D), Montana - (202) 224-2644

James Lankford (R), Oklahoma – (202) 224-5754

Tammy Baldwin (D),  Wisconsin – (202) 224-5653

Michael Enzi (R), Wyoming – (202) 224-3424

Kelly Ayotte (R), New Hampshire – (202) 224-3324

Cory Booker(D), New Jersey – (202) 224-3224

Gary Peters(D),  Michigan – (202) 224-6221

Claire McCaskill (D),  Missouri - (202) 224-6154

Ben Sasse (R),  Nebraska – (202) 224-4224

Joni Ernst (R), Iowa – (202) 224-3254

Heidi Heitkamp(D), North Dakota - (202) 224-2043

House Homeland Security Committee:

Chairman: Michael McCaul (R), Texas – (202) 225-2401


Lamar Smith (R), Texas – (202) 225-4236

Peter T. King (R), New York – (202) 225-7896

Mike Rogers (R), Alabama – (202) 225-3261

Candace S. Miller (R), Michigan - (202) 225-2106

Jeff Duncan (R), South Carolina – (202) 225-5301

Tom Marino (R), Pennsylvania – (202) 225-3731

Steven Palazzo (R), Mississippi - (202) 225-5772

Lou Barletta (R), Pennsylvania – (202) 225-6511

Scott Perry (R), Pennsylvania – (202) 225-5836

Curt Clawson (R), Florida – (202) 225-2536

John Katko (R), New York – (202) 225-3701

Will Hurd (R), Texas – (202) 225-4511

Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R), Georgia – (202) 225-5831

Mark Walker (R), North Carolina –  (202) 225-3065

Barry Loudermilk (R), Georgia – (202) 225-2931

Martha McSally (R), Arizona – (202) 225-2542

John Ratcliffe (R), Texas - (202) 225-6673

Bennie Thompson (D), Mississippi – (202) 225-5876

Loretta Sanchez (D), California - (202) 225-2965

Sheila Jackson Lee( D), Texas - (202) 225-3816

James R. Langevin (D), Rhode Island - (202) 225-2735

Brian Higgins (D), New York – (202) 225-3306

Cedric L. Richmond (D), Louisiana - (202) 225-6636

William R. Keating (D), Massachusetts - (202) 225-3111

Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D), New Jersey - 202) 225-3436

Filemon Vela (D), Texas - (202) 225-9901

Bonnie Watson Coleman (D), New Jersey - (202) 225-5801

Kathleen M. Rice (D), New York - (202) 225-5516

Norma J. Torres (D), California - (202) 225-6161

A personal note from the editor to all present and past employees: 

A lot of people have been working very hard to ensure that the Congress is well informed on the question of Immigration Reform. It is my belief that the advocates of what is really "AMNESTY" and NOT Immigration Reform are far louder than those of you working in the trenches.  Not because they have better arguments, but because they have better access, piercing volume, deeper pockets and self interests.

Don't leave the Congress without your input. Start calling now! 

Ben Ferro

Saturday, January 24, 2015

USCIS Union Blasts Border Bill

Immigration Officers Blast Border Bill: ‘A Global Joke;’ ‘Where Is the Outrage?’

By Craig Bannister | January 22, 2015 |

“We admit individuals who have no business being admitted,” the head of the immigration officers’ union said today, blasting both Pres. Obama’s amnesty and the new border bill.

Kenneth Palinkas, President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) adjudicators and personnel, says the immigration legislation scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week puts officers’ mission “in grave peril.”

“Where is the outrage from Congress?,” he asks.  “After the House passed its legislation to reverse the amnesty, all I hear is silence in the Senate.  It seems Congressional leaders will not rise to defend the laws of the United States, but are giving in to the ‘imperial presidency,’ Palinkas says.

The new “border security” bill is “a global joke,” Palinkas says:

“H.R. 399 – Chairman McCaul’s legislation – does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the US border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits.  Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it’s a global joke.”

“It’s not border security if anyone can recite the magic words and get waved right on in.  Those who arrived in the 2014 border run are still here, often living on US support and even applying for US jobs.  The bill also delays by years the implementation of biometric exit-entry to police the rising overstay catastrophe.”

The full statement by Palinkas is below:

“The dedicated immigration service officers and adjudicators at USCIS are in desperate need of help.  The President’s executive amnesty order for 5 million illegal immigrants places the mission of USCIS in grave peril.  Instead of meeting our lawful function to protect the Homeland and keep out those who pose a threat to US security, health, or finances, our officers will be assigned to process amnesty for individuals residing illegally inside our nation’s borders.  This compromises national security and public safety, while undermining officer morale.

The Administration’s skewed priorities mean that the Crystal City amnesty processng center will likely have superior worksite conditions for personnel relative to our normal processing centers.  Additionally, the security protocols at place in this facility will be insufficient to engage in any basic screening precautions, ensuring and rewarding massive amounts of fraud.  For the Administration to continue down this course after the Paris attacks is beyond belief.

Yet where is the outrage from Congress?  After the House passed its legislation to reverse the amnesty, all I hear is silence in the Senate.  It seems Congressional leaders will not rise to defend the laws of the United States, but are giving in to the ‘imperial presidency.’

I also remain concerned by the fact that needed USCIS reforms are not included in pending legislation.  For instance, H.R. 399 – Chairman McCaul’s legislation – does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the US border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits.  Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it’s a global joke.  It’s not border security if anyone can recite the magic words and get waved right on in.  Those who arrived in the 2014 border run are still here, often living on US support and even applying for US jobs.  The bill also delays by years the implementation of biometric exit-entry to police the rising overstay catastrophe.

We process millions upon millions of applications every year for lifetime immigrant green cards, refugee admissions, asylum-seekers, temporary workers, visitors, tourists, and more – but we do so without any of the resources or mission support we need to screen these individuals properly, let alone to conduct in-person interviews.  We admit individuals who have no business being admitted the United States, whether public charges, health risks, or radicalized Islamists, and in large numbers.  It is unfair to employees, unfair to taxpayers, and unfair to anyone concerned about immigration security.

We are saying to Congress: help us.  Provide us the tools, mission support and resources we need to protect the Homeland, in accord with the laws and Constitution of the United States.”

Ben Ferro

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Does Nothing To Fix The Problem

Don Crocetti, a very highly respected former colleague of mine at legacy INS, who subsequently worked for USCIS until he retired from Government service, recently asked me to share some of the thoughts and insights that he, and other former colleagues who make up the Immigration Integrity Group, have regarding the recent executive order which, in effect, grants administrative amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in this country.

These insights appear in the article below. While I may not agree with all of the opinions set forth in this article, I find them to be very thoughtful and worthy of consideration, and I am hoping they trigger a healthy discussion on the InsideINS blog.

Additional information relating to Don and his group can be found on the IIG website at:

While we welcome your comments and feedback, you should also feel free to provide comments directly to Don via the survey tab on his Immigration Integrity Group (IIG) website.

Ben Ferro

What Does President Obama’s Executive Action Do To Reform Our Broken Immigration System?

By Don Crocetti

To be blunt, nothing. It doesn't “fix" a thing. It merely satisfies special {or should I say “self-”} interest groups whose interests are clearly not enhancing national security or instilling integrity in our legal immigration system. The President’s actions equate to an endorsement of violating longstanding immigration law and will only perpetuate the discussion about a larger amnesty program. It will drive an increase in the number of illegal entries, overstays, and other violations. It will have a negative impact on those seeking immigration benefits in accordance with existing law and regulation, as the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibility criteria could increase USCIS’ workload by as much as 70%, causing major backlogs.

The ‘wink and nod’ message heard by millions of foreign nationals in and outside the U.S. is that they’re welcome to live and work in the U.S. in violation of immigration law, as long as they don’t pose a threat to national security or commit any egregious acts of violence. And if they abide by this unwritten rule, and perhaps {another wink and nod} have a child and/or marry a U.S. citizen or lawful resident, they may qualify for the next amnesty program or under some other provision. Not quite an encouragement to comply with U.S. law, is it?

No, the President did not discourage illegal entry, overstaying one’s visa, working without authorization, or any other immigration violations. Quite the contrary, his so-called law enforcement actions will actually make it easier to live and work in the U.S. in violation of longstanding law and regulation. I say this because: 
  • It prohibits our primary immigration law enforcement agency (ICE) from enforcing immigration law by limiting their focus on aliens who pose a threat to national security or commit egregious acts of violence.
  •  It proposes to increase the salaries of ICE officers in an effort to minimize their outcry. In other words, he will pay them more to do less and keep their mouths shut. Apparently he doesn't intend to pay USCIS officers for doing much more.
  •  To ensure state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) don’t try to enforce or support the enforcement of immigration law, the President will preclude them from communicating with ICE on other than national security and egregious public safety threats. 
  • To further appease the undocumented population and self-interest groups, the President will circumvent longstanding and existing employment-based laws, regulations, and quotas by expanding the interpretation and application of parole authority to “highly skilled” foreign-born nationals, so that they can work in this country notwithstanding ineligibility under existing law.
If the President was truly interested in controlling our borders, instilling integrity into this country’s legal immigration system, and holding violators accountable, he could just as easily have undertaken executive action that encourages compliance with the law, deters violations, and provides agencies the tools needed to better enforce existing laws and operations. For example: 
  1. Require much more rigorous employer education, audit, and sanctions programs and operations.
  2.  Provide employers incentives to participate in E-Verify {in that a national mandate would likely require legislation}.
  3.  Require state and local LEAs to provide information on foreign nationals arrested and/or charged for criminal acts, and to honor all ICE detainers. Prohibit the granting of federal funds to those who fail to comply.
  4.  Authorize ICE to apply a more expansive use of existing expeditious removal authority to undocumented aliens who are clearly removable, do not possess a credible fear of persecution upon return to their homeland, and do not have any form of statutory relief available.
  5.  Apply a more conservative standard to exceptional and extreme hardship, so as to discourage the granting of waivers to applicants who chose to violate immigration law. At least require violators to depart the U.S. prior to receiving an immigration benefit. Pursue legislation that also requires the payment of a fine.
  6.  Require a more rigorous development and roll-out of the automated entry-exit system and overstay database, so that those who overstayed their visas and/or violated other conditions of admission are not able to re-enter the U.S. Pursue legislation that requires the payment of a fine before being eligible to return and/or receive an immigration benefit. 
  7.  Require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to perform fraud assessments and compliance reviews to more effectively identify fraud patterns and indicators. Also require a percentage of DACA applicants to be interviewed. This is essential to detecting, deterring, preventing, and combating immigration benefit fraud, and is entirely within the discretion of the Executive Branch. Unfortunately, it may need to be legislated to ensure these actions are undertaken.
  8.  Direct the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) to work in partnership with DHS/USCIS and State DOLs on the development of a database that tracks actual labor/occupational shortages in real time by geographical areas. Incorporate a capability that enables employers to post job vacancies and lawfully authorized workers and foreign nationals pursuing employment-based visas to seek employment. Get away from the current antiquated, subjective, and special interest-driven labor process. This is also entirely within the discretion of the Executive Branch.
  9.  Direct the Social Security Administration to partner with DHS on the development of a strategy and multi-year plan aimed at transitioning to a biometrics-based social security card and employment verification system.
  10.  Authorize the use of additional National Guard to support DHS in securing our land borders. Require the development of a long-term border strategy. Determine the correct mix of staffing, equipment, and technology to support the strategy.
While the President’s action may have driven the partisan wedge even deeper, let’s hope it puts immigration reform back on the table in the interest of the United States of America!

The financial cost of not deporting?

What is immigration costing Md.? I read with interest The Sun’s article, “More school money sought” (Jan. 12). The article notes that the superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools is requesting an 8.7 percent increase in the school budget. In part, the increase is needed due to “an influx of children in need” and “to hire teachers of students who speak English as a second language.” The article explains: “... school superintendents across the Baltimore region are trying to balance the fiscal constraints of strapped state and local governments against growing enrollments and rising low-income and immigrant populations.”

   Our state and various local governments have provided incentives, or at least no disincentives, for undocumented workers and their families to live in the state. On the positive side, these families can enrich the culture of our communities. Also, these families provide hard-working persons willing to accept jobs that no one else wants. But there are fiscal and, in some cases social, costs to these policies. In certain types of businesses — landscaping, for example — entrepreneurs cannot compete with businesses that hire and pay undocumented workers at low wages. Also, there are health care, educational and social services costs to address the needs of the undocumented worker population.

   Maryland desperately needs an independent, unbiased study of the costs and benefits of our current policies. We have a right to clearly understand the real cost of unbridled acceptance of undocumented workers and their families compared to the real benefits offered by continuing these policies. Such a study should be conducted by one or more of our state’s universities that have the needed expertise and impartiality to conduct such research.

   Martin S. Schugam

Letter to the editor, The Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ben Ferro

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Here's the Proof

CBP Internal Employee FAQs on Executive Action

1.      What changes have the Secretary’s memorandum made to the DHS enforcement priorities?

Response:  The DHS priorities continue to focus on national security, public safety, and border security. The Secretary's memorandum provides guidance regarding which illegal aliens should be the focus of limited DHS enforcement resources. Under the Secretary’s guidance, DHS’s immigration enforcement
priorities are:

Priority 1 (threats to national security, border security, and public safety).  Aliens described in this priority represent the highest priority to which enforcement resources should be directed:

a.      aliens engaged in or suspected of terrorism or espionage, or who otherwise pose a danger to national security;
b.      aliens apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States;
c.      aliens convicted of an offense for which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 521(a), or aliens not younger than 16 years of age who intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further the illegal activity of the gang;
d.      aliens convicted of an offense classified as a felony in the convicting jurisdiction, other than a State or local offense for which an essential element was the alien’s immigration status; and
e.       aliens convicted of an “aggravated felony,” as the term “aggravated felony” is defined in Section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act at the time of the conviction.

The removal of these aliens must be prioritized unless they qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our laws, or unless, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, CBP Sector Chief, or CBP Director of Field Operations, there are compelling and exceptional factors that clearly indicate the alien is not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety and should not therefore be an enforcement priority.

Priority 2 (misdemeanants and new immigration violators).  Aliens described in this priority, who are not also described in Priority 1, represent the second-highest priority. Resources should be dedicated accordingly to the removal of the following:

a.      aliens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses, other than minor traffic offenses or State or local offenses for which an essential element was the alien’s immigration status, provided the offenses arise out of three separate incidents;
b.      aliens convicted of a "significant misdemeanor," which for these purposes is an offense of domestic violence;[1]  sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or driving under the influence; or if not an offense listed above is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or more (the sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and does not include a suspended sentence);
c.      aliens apprehended anywhere in the United States after unlawfully entering or re-entering the U.S. and who cannot establish to the satisfaction of an immigration officer that they  have been physically present in the United States continuously since January 1, 2014; and
d.      aliens who, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, USCIS District Director, or USCIS Service Center Director, have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs.

These aliens should be removed unless they qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our laws or, unless, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, CBP Sector Chief, CBP Director of Field Operations, USCIS District Director, or USICS Service Center Director, there are factors indicating the alien is not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety, and should not therefore be an enforcement priority.

Priority 3 (other immigration violators).  Priority 3 aliens are those who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014. Aliens described in this priority, who are not also described in Priority 1 or 2, represent the third and lowest priority for apprehension and removal. Resources should be dedicated accordingly to aliens in this priority.

2.      Will I receive training on the implementation of the President’s Executive Actions on Immigration?

Response:  Employees involved in making enforcement and prosecutorial discretion decisions will receive training in person or other methods prior to the implementation on January 5, 2015.

3.      What will this training cover?

Response:  The training will cover the DHS enforcement priorities, exercises of prosecutorial discretion, and the processing guidelines for aliens that claim DACA/DAPA relief.

4.      What if I encounter an individual who claims to be eligible for DACA or DAPA?

Response:  Aliens in CBP custody will receive initial processing in accordance with current practices. This includes biometric (14 YOA and older), biographic and apprehension data, including criminal and immigration history. Results will be documented in the appropriate processing systems and A-file along with a sworn statement and any evidence presented. Upon second level supervisory review and concurrence of prima facie eligibility for DACA or DAPA, the alien will be released from custody and referred to USCIS for a case-by-case determination. In the event the alien is an enforcement priority or fails to demonstrate prima facie eligibility for DACA or DAPA, the alien will be processed in accordance with current practices. Aliens who are not an enforcement priority will be released from custody with and alert entered into IDENT to inform any potential future encounters.

Ben Ferro

Catch and Release Season, Illegal Aliens


Leaked internal training documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveal Border Patrol agents are now receiving guidelines instructing them that the vast majority of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are off limits to federal agents and are substantially immune to detention and deportation. A trusted federal agent in the CBP provided exclusive copies of the documents to Breitbart Texas and also agreed to an interview on the condition of anonymity.

According to the source, these training documents were required training for U.S. Border Patrol agents and each agent was required to sign their name to confirm receiving the training.

The documents outline three categories that illegal immigrants are now grouped into: Priority one, two, and three. Priority one includes aliens who “pose a threat to national security, border security, or public safety.” Priority two includes aliens who are “misdemeanants and new immigration violators.” Priority three includes all other illegal aliens and describes them as “other immigration violators.”

The leaked training documents are careful to note that no part of this training should be construed as discouraging arrests, but the entirety of the training appears to do exactly that. The training materials, when coupled with a November 20, 2014 memo on prosecutorial discretion from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, indicate that agents should primarily only arrest someone who they directly see cross the border, if they are a wanted criminal, a convicted felon, have an extensive or a violent criminal history, or otherwise pose a national security or public safety threat.

The majority of other illegal aliens cannot be detained or deported without specific approval from leadership.

The source clarified this and said, “Nothing says don’t arrest, but it clearly says don’t waste your time because the alien will not be put into detention, sent back or deported. There is literally no reason to arrest an illegal alien because they are specifically telling Border Patrol there will be no consequence for the illegal alien. It is a waste of time and resources to arrest someone who is off limits for detainment or deportation and the documents make that fact clear. Border Patrol agents are now being trained to be social workers, not law enforcement.”

The memo from Jeh Johnson mentioned above is titled, “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” and was released on November 20, 2014. The guidelines became effective on January 5, 2015. The memo (embedded below) asserts:

In the immigration context, prosecutorial discretion should apply not only to the decision to issue, serve, file, or cancel a Notice to Appear, but also to a broad range of other discretionary enforcement decisions, including deciding: whom to stop, question, and arrest; whom to detain or release; whether to settle, dismiss, appeal, or join in a motion on a case; and whether to grant deferred action, parole, or a stay of removal instead of pursuing removal in a case. While DHS may exercise prosecutorial discretion at any stage of an enforcement proceeding, it is generally preferable to exercise such discretion as early in the case or proceeding as possible in order to preserve government resources that would otherwise be expended in pursuing enforcement and removal of higher priority cases. Thus, DHS personnel are expected to exercise discretion and pursue these priorities at all stages of the enforcement process-from the earliest investigative stage to enforcing final orders of removal-subject to their chains of command and to the particular responsibilities and authorities applicable to their specific position.

The Jeh Johnson memo further illuminates the intention behind the leaked training materials and exactly how broad the “not a priority” category is intended to be. Johnson wrote:

As a general rule, DHS detention resources should be used to support the enforcement priorities noted above or for aliens subject to mandatory detention by law. Absent extraordinary circumstances or the requirement of mandatory detention, field office directors should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness, who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, or nursing, who demonstrate that they are primary caretakers of children or an infirm person, or whose detention is otherwise not in the public interest. To detain aliens in those categories who are not subject to mandatory detention, DHS officers or special agents must obtain approval from the ICE Field Office Director.

The source said, “This is not how it was before. Border Patrol used to arrest, process, and turn the illegal alien over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the courts. Under this new program, the majority of illegal aliens will be released directly from the Border Patrol with no appointments or expectation that they ever have to show up for a hearing.

“Before these changes, all illegal aliens arrested by Border Patrol were required to enter the deportation system where they would be scheduled for a deportation hearing at a future date. Under this new system, the illegal aliens are not even required to show up for a hearing ever. Not only are we releasing these people with no hearings scheduled, no notice to appear, but the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is forcing Border Patrol to prepare the initial paperwork for the illegal aliens’ work permits.” The source added, “Americans really need to think about the terrorism-related implications of this. Illegal aliens who are suspected of having terrorism ties, but not convicted, could be permitted to stay in the country.”

The training materials present a number of scenarios that federal agents might encounter and the official DHS guidelines for how to deal with such encounters.

Reprinted from 

Ben Ferro

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Battle Rages On

Republicans Ready To Block Immigration Order As Its Supporters Vow To Fight Back

Sen. Ted Cruz has vowed to make the road to implementing the executive order on immigration very rough for President Barack Obama – so rough, that perhaps the destination will not be reached.

The Texas Republican is one of the most outspoken critics of the order, which could give some 5 million undocumented immigrants a three-year relief from deportation, as well as work permits and some federal benefits.

Now, with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, Cruz and others in his party who condemned the president’s unilateral action said they would fight back through purse strings – by manipulating funding to the Department of Homeland Security so that there’s insufficient or no money to make parts of order a reality.

Supporters of the order say they are ready and even eager for a fight by Republicans, according to Politico.

They say that to fight the president’s effort to suspend deportation temporarily would be tantamount to reinforcing the GOP’s image as hostile to immigrants and Latinos.

“The idea that a partial shutdown of DHS is going to get Obama to cave on a signature second-term accomplishment is fantasy,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, in Politico. “It’s much more likely that the politics will blow up in the face of Republicans, and that they’ll be seen by Latinos and immigrants as hostile.”

Cruz, who made headlines in 2013 when he spearheaded the controversial effort to defund the president’s Affordable Care Act, prompting a government shutdown, said that the GOP must stand up to Obama’s executive order.

“If Republicans stand united in January or February and use the constitutional check and balance, the power of the purse, to stop President Obama’s illegal amnesty, nobody will be happier than I,” Politico quoted Cruz as saying.

Advocates for more lenient immigration policies are working to bolster momentum for the executive order, holding information sessions around the country for people who might be eligible, and encouraging those immigrants to apply. Their thinking is that by getting the ball rolling, it will be hard to stop.

“The best defense of this action is getting people informed about what they’re going to be eligible for and making implementation as accessible as possible,” Politico quoted Kelly Rodriguez, assistant to the executive vice president at the AFL-CIO, as saying. “Once people realize what they have right now, it’s going to be really hard to try to take it away.”

More than 250,000 of the AFC-CIO’s members and their families could qualify for the executive actions, Politico said.

During the lame-duck session, the GOP voted to fund the Department of Homeland Security until the end of February so that they could take up the executive action fight again – when they will be in control of all of Congress.

Many DHS workers would be untouched by a defunding effort because they are considered essential. And the agency that is pivotal to the implementation of most of Obama’s executive order is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is funded through user fees and would continue to operate even in the event of a shutdown.

“Will the House majority really be willing to let front-line agents and officers at [Customs and Border Protection] and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] work without pay?” North Carolina Rep. David Price, the top Democrat on the House panel that oversees DHS funding, testified in December. “Would the House majority be willing to let Coast Guard military personnel continue to risk their lives at sea without compensation?”

As reported by Fox News Latino

Ben Ferro