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Biden Doubles Down on Amnesty

By The EditorsNational Review

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Joe Biden largely campaigned on restoring the status quo ante in Washington, so naturally one of his first proposals is for the sort of “comprehensive immigration reform” that was a staple of the pre-Trump years.

George W. Bush pushed a “comprehensive” bill and failed. So did Barack Obama. Biden picks up where they left off, except with a proposal — and this will be a theme — that is further to the left than the prior bills.

The key, if always dubious, promise in past legislation was to implement enforcement provisions before or alongside an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Biden’s plan doesn’t even bother pretending. It discusses upgrading technology at the border, the bare minimum of enforcement window-dressing, while proposing an amnesty for more than 10 million people.

Although the details are yet to be written into legislation, it’s hard to exaggerate how sweeping this proposal is. It would apply not just to illegal immigrants who have been here for years and become embedded in their communities, but to illegal immigrants who showed up the day before yesterday — the cutoff for the amnesty is January 1, 2021. Even this requirement may be waived for illegal immigrants who were deported on or after January 20, 2017 but resided in the United States three years prior to that.

Biden doesn’t want to give temporary legal status to illegal immigrants. He wants to give them green cards and then, after a period of years, make them eligible for citizenship. This would precipitate a wave of follow-on immigration. Green-card holders can petition for spouses and minor children to come to the United States, while citizens can petition for parents and siblings, as well.

It’s an unwritten rule that comprehensive immigration bills must always increase levels of legal immigration, too, and sure enough, the Biden proposal would loosen and lift various restrictions and caps in the legal system.

The proposal’s gesture toward stemming the flow of migrants from south of the border is to increase foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. We should do what we reasonably can to assist the development of these countries, but we shouldn’t pretend that this is any kind of short-term solution to migration. Even if these countries were to experience more economic growth right away, the immediate effect would likely be to increase migration as more people would have the resources to attempt to come north.

In a move worthy of an apparatchik at Oberlin College, Biden also wants to eliminate the term “alien” from the U.S. code on grounds that this longstanding, perfectly good term is offensive and exclusionary.

There is a good case for a carefully tailored amnesty for the illegal immigrants who have been here the longest, coupled with real enforcement measures like E-Verify and an exit-entry visa system. This is not even close to that.

At least the proposal furthers Biden’s goal of unity in one respect. It should unite Republicans and all supporters of a sound immigration system in determined opposition.


Obama’s Year In Review

ISIS, Ferguson, the Senate, Ukraine, Ebola, border kids. Really, this was a pretty awful sixth year for the president. Not that he’s acting like it.

by James Oliphant     •     National Journal

Smug-ObamaYou can make a compelling case that 2014 was the worst year for President Obama since, well, the year before. And, in fact, the president spent much of this year trying to recover from some body blows he took in the final months of 2013, when, in short order, Congress rebuffed him on Syria and the federal health care exchange imploded.

Those setbacks ate away at Obama’s public support. According to Gallup, the president began 2014 with a 41 percent approval rating, and he’s ending it a tick or two higher. He’s also ending the year as a certified lame duck, facing two final years with a hostile Congress and the political conversation centering around the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul. Continue reading


Obama aides were warned of brewing border crisis

border crisis_immigrationby David Nakamura, Jerry Markon and Manuel Roig-Franzia

Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.

Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013. In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse. Continue reading


Sen Cruz: Obama’s Amnesty Promise is at Root of Border Crisis

border security_immigration_illegals_obamaTexas Senator Ted Cruz appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to discuss his proposal to solve the border crisis. The interview took place shortly after we learned the U.S. Border Patrol was under heavy fire from 50.-caliber weapons fired by Mexican cartels.

“What I want to do is solve the crisis,” Cruz told Wallace. “I agree with the president in one respect. We are seeing a humanitarian crisis. We’re seeing tens of thousands of young children coming in illegally, being brutalized, being mistreated by global transnational drug cartels.” Continue reading


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