Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Obama Administration Plan to Solve Border Crisis

U.S. to Admit More Central American Refugees

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday announced a substantial expansion of a program to admit Central American refugees to the United States, conceding that its efforts to protect migrants fleeing dangerous conditions had left too many people with no recourse.

The administration said it would broaden an initiative that currently lets unaccompanied Central American children enter the United States as refugees, allowing their entire families to qualify, including siblings older than 21, parents and other relatives who act as caregivers.

It is unclear how many refugees might be eligible, but during its two years, the program for children has drawn 9,500 applicants, which could eventually grow to many times that with the broader criteria.

The expansion was denounced by Republicans, and it sharpened a contrast with Donald J. Trump, who has centered much of his presidential campaign on a call to shut out immigrants.

Republicans said the Obama administration should be focused on tackling what they called a border crisis. The expansion would instead essentially open an entirely new channel for Central American families escaping endemic violence to gain legal entrance to the United States.

“What we have seen is that our current efforts to date have been insufficient to address the number of people who may have legitimate refugee claims, and there are insufficient pathways for those people to present their claims,” Amy Pope, a deputy Homeland Security adviser, said in a conference call to announce the changes. She said the revisions showed a recognition that “the criteria is too narrow to meet the categories of people who we believe would qualify under our refugee laws, but they just don’t have the mechanism to apply.”

The White House also said it had reached an agreement with Costa Rica to serve as a temporary host site for the most vulnerable migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras while they wait to be processed as refugees. These migrants would first undergo security screening in their home countries. Costa Rica would accept up to 200 people at a time among those who are found to be eligible, for periods of six months.

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees has agreed to set up an unusual process to review requests from potential refugees while they are in their home countries. Administration officials also said they would begin reviewing applications from refugees in their home countries, a step they hoped would discourage people from making the dangerous trip to the United States border.

Republicans said the expansion was the latest example of the White House’s misuse of its authority.

“Once again, the Obama administration has decided to blow wide open any small discretion it has in order to reward individuals who have no lawful presence in the United States with the ability to bring their family members here,” Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “Rather than take the steps necessary to end the ongoing crisis at the border, the Obama administration perpetuates it by abusing a legal tool meant to be used sparingly to bring people to the United States and instead applying it to the masses in Central America.”

In making the revisions, President Obama was bowing to years of complaints from advocates for immigrants who have argued that he has turned a blind eye to the plight of refugees at the southern border. They complained that he has instead focused on deterring migrants from coming to the United States and deporting them if they do, even as he has expanded his effort to welcome people fleeing violence and persecution elsewhere, including those displaced by Syria’s civil war.

The situation in Central America “is heartbreaking and it’s distressing, and that is why the president had not been satisfied with the steps that we’d been taking,” said Eric Schultz, the deputy White House press secretary. “That’s why we have been able to expand some of these programs.”

Ángel Herrera, the coordinator for the pastoral care of migrants in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, said the news that the United States would open its doors to more refugees was welcome.

“Violence has overwhelmed all limits,” said Mr. Herrera, speaking by telephone from one of the region’s most murderous cities. “The insecurity is tremendous. People see no other option than to emigrate.”

The American program, he said, has not had much success because the process is slow and people do not understand it. But the church has begun to organize workshops to explain the program and guide people through it.

The Obama administration has grappled with how to respond to an influx of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which spiked in 2014 with the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children streaming over the border in South Texas. The administration has tried to address the root causes of the migration by allocating $750 million in foreign aid to Central America and pledging to set up new programs to extend humanitarian protection to those who need it.

But its primary response to date has been to try to discourage migrants from making the journey to the United States or entrusting their children to smugglers. The administration has also accelerated the deportation of newly arrived migrants — most of them held briefly in detention centers before being released to pursue asylum claims in immigration courts, often with no assistance from lawyers — if they are not granted asylum.

Only 600 people from Central America have entered the United States as refugees since the influx began, officials said, including 267 children under the program created for minors with parents living in the United States who are citizens or legal immigrants. The pace is increasing, however, with 2,880 minors approved to live in the United States. Now, that program will be further broadened to family members of such children.

People in the program will be screened to see if they meet the stringent requirements for refugee status, showing that they have been forced to flee their country because of a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality or political persuasion.

But people who do not meet the requirements could be offered an entry permission known as parole, according to a senior administration official. That status does not open a pathway to citizenship, but it allows migrants to enter legally to join family members in the United States. Many of the children admitted to the program have been paroled, the official said.

“It shows the administration now recognizes this is primarily a refugee flow, not an economic one,” said Kevin Appleby, the director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies in New York.

Advocates called the changes a long overdue step that moved the administration in the right direction after years of mismanaging the Central American crisis.

“We have long argued that what is happening is a refugee emergency and should be treated like one, and these modest measures at least recognize this reality,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration reform group.

But he said the administration must do much more, including affording migrants who arrive in the United States “full and fair proceedings.”

“The administration has relied on an enforcement-centric approach that sends vulnerable young people back to countries where they may well face death,” Mr. Sharry said. “Instead, we need to respond to this humanitarian emergency with a comprehensive refugee-centric strategy.”

Ben Ferro (Editor,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The "Show Me State" Shows the Way

Missouri has very few illegal aliens compared to the rest of the US – less than 1% of it’s population are “undocumented”; go figure... shouldn't the other states do the same? Missouri's approach to the problem of illegal immigration appears to be more advanced, sophisticated, strict and effective than anything to date in Arizona . Does the White House appreciate what Missouri has done? So, why doesn't Missouri receive attention? Answer: There are few illegals in Missouri to demonstrate.

The "Show Me" state has again shown us how it should be done. There needs to be more publicity and exposure regarding what Missouri has done. Please pass this around.

In 2007, Missouri placed on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment designating English as the official language of Missouri . In November, 2008, nearly 90% voted in favor! Thus, English became the official language for ALL governmental activity in Missouri . No individual has the right to demand government services in a language OTHER than English.

In 2008, a measure was passed that required the Missouri Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person arrested, and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be in Missouri illegally. Missouri law enforcement officers receive specific training with respect to enforcement of federal immigration laws.

In Missouri, illegal immigrants do NOT have access to taxpayer benefits such as food stamps or health care through Missouri Health NET.

In 2009, a measure was passed that ensures Missouri 's public institutions of higher education do NOT award financial aid to individuals who are illegally in the United States .

In Missouri all post-secondary institutions of higher education are required to annually certify to the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education that they have NOT knowingly awarded financial aid to students who are unlawfully present in the United States .

  So, while Arizona has made national news for its new law, it is important to remember, Missouri has been far more proactive in addressing this horrific problem. Missouri has made it clear that illegal immigrants are NOT WELCOME in the state and they will NOT receive public benefits at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.

Please feel free to share this information.

Source: various

Ben Ferro (Editor,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

An Alarming Deterioration In Immigration Enforcement

New Statistics: Enforcement Continues Decline in 2016

By Jessica Vaughan, Center For Immigration Studies

ICE deportations continue to decline this year and are on pace to be the lowest since 2006, according to the latest ICE statistics. Deportations of criminals also keep declining, despite a nationwide litany of high-profile fatalities caused by criminal aliens, and despite the Obama administration’s claimed focus on removing deportable criminals. ICE internal metrics, including arrests, detainers and charging documents issued, show that enforcement in the interior has reached the lowest level of this administration. Most of ICE’s workload (72%) is still made up of cases referred from the Border Patrol rather than aliens arrested in the interior of the country, a trend that started in 2012. The number of aliens being detained is running slightly higher than it was at this time last year, but still well below the level mandated by Congress.

Deportations Keep Dropping

The most recent ICE enforcement statistics were disclosed in a document released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. These figures are current through the third week of June, and thus cover approximately 75 percent of the federal fiscal year.

To date, ICE has completed 168,781 deportations, a slight decline from the same point in 2015, but a continuation of the steep decline that has occurred since 2012, when the administration took steps to suppress interior enforcement and exempt the vast majority of illegal aliens from deportation.

ICE is on pace to complete about 230,000 deportations, which would be the lowest number since 2006.

According to the ICE report, the sharpest declines in deportations have occurred in the Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, and Atlanta field offices (see p. 17 of the report).

Most Deportations are Border Cases

The great majority of deportations (72%) completed by ICE are border crossers who were initially arrested by the Border Patrol or port of entry officers and turned over to ICE for deportation. Most of the rest are aliens who were arrested in the interior, with only a handful of cases (less than 1%) initiated by other agencies.

In previous administrations, border crossers did not make up a large share of deportations credited to ICE. The inclusion of hundreds of thousands of border cases in ICE deportation totals became the basis for deceptive Obama administration claims of “record deportations” beginning in 2012, when in fact, deportations resulting from interior enforcement were dropping sharply. Exposure of this statistical manipulation by the Center led then-incoming DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to acknowledge that Obama administration deportation statistics are not comparable with those of previous administrations.

Interior deportations fell to 46,511 to date, according to the report, putting ICE on pace to complete 63,700 this year. This is approximately one-fourth the number of interior deportations completed by ICE in 2009, the first year of the Obama administration.

Criminal Deportations Still Declining

Despite a claimed focus on the deportation of criminal aliens, and a motto of “felons, not families,” ICE is deporting fewer criminals too. To date, ICE has completed 43,005 deportations of criminals from the interior. ICE is on pace to complete about 59,000 deportations of criminal aliens in 2016. This is a decline of more than 60 percent from 2011, which was the peak of criminal deportations that resulted from the implementation of the Secure Communities program. Under Secure Communities, ICE developed the ability to locate criminal aliens by matching the fingerprints of all those arrested nationwide with the DHS databases of known aliens.

ICE Enforcement Activity Still Declining

By every measure, ICE is doing less and less enforcement. According to the agency’s key metrics – Encounters, Arrests, Detainers, and Charging Documents Issued – fewer aliens have been put on the path to deportation in 2016. The agency has simply stopped reporting on the number of encounters (an in-person screening of an alien, usually in a jail). The number of arrests is down 10 percent over the same time last year. The number of detainers (a notice to a law enforcement agency that ICE intends to take custody of an alien for deportation) is down 16 percent from last year. The number of aliens charged with immigration violations is down by about five percent from 2016.

In 2014, the Obama administration aligned itself with anti-enforcement legal activists and, in a significant departure from decades of practice and the language of federal regulations, declared that local law enforcement agencies would have the choice to accept or refuse ICE detainers, or immigration holds. Detainers are the main way ICE is able to take custody of illegal aliens who have been arrested and/or incarcerated. Sanctuary jurisdictions typically refuse to comply with ICE detainers and instead release criminal aliens back to the streets, forcing ICE to have to track them down. In addition, to appease sanctuary jurisdictions, ICE has begun issuing “Requests for Notification” in lieu of traditional detainers (now called “Requests for Action”).

Number of Non-Departed Aliens Still Growing

The number of aliens who have been ordered removed but who have not departed grew by more than 25,000 since the end of FY2015 and now stands at 953,507. For more information, see the Center’s recent publication on the non-departed, which includes a map of the aliens’ countries of citizenship.

Of these, 182,786 are convicted criminals, an increase of more than 3,700 since last year. Of the criminals, 176,126 are at large, an increase of nearly 4,000 since last year.

ICE Fails To Comply With Detention Bed Mandate

As part of the appropriations process, Congress has mandated that ICE maintain an average daily detained population of 34,000. In the current year to date, ICE has detained an average of 28,449, or 16 percent below capacity. The last time ICE complied with the congressional detention mandate was in 2012. Even though space is available, ICE has released more than 86,000 criminal aliens from its custody since 2013, including more than 19,000 in 2015.4

Detainers Still a Key Tool

Despite the efforts of anti-enforcement legal activist groups to subvert the use of detainers, or immigration holds, they remain the primary way in which ICE obtains custody of criminal aliens who have been arrested or incarcerated. According to the report, ICE issued more than 44,000 of the most assertive form of detainer, known as a “Request for Action.” To help institutionalize the controversial claim that detainers are optional for local jurisdictions to honor, the Obama administration has promoted the use of the meeker “Request for Notification” or “Request for Voluntary Transfer” forms, but these were used in only about one-fourth of the cases to date.


These statistics reveal an alarming deterioration in immigration enforcement. The economic, social, and public safety consequences of this nullification of immigration law will surely be a lamentable legacy of the Obama administration.

Ben Ferro (Editor,