Criminal record? Repeat offenses? "Welcome to America," says the president.
“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions told Breitbart News.
“Under the guise of setting ‘priorities,’ the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime."
Sessions's comments came after his office released a three-page "Critical Alert" prepared by the senator's staffers. The report asserts that the Obama administration is currently blocking the enforcement of immigration laws in the overwhelming majority of violations and is planning to turn down the heat on illegals even more by further expanding the various de facto presidential amnesties now in effect.
President Obama has taken three separate, legally and constitutionally dubious actions that when considered collectively guarantee that almost no individuals illegally present in the country will be deported if their sole act of lawbreaking consists of being in the country.
Obama has provided executive amnesty and work permits for illegal immigrants covered by the proposed "DREAM Act" that Congress has repeatedly rejected. That legislation, if enacted, would cover individuals who claim to have entered the U.S. as minors under their parents' guidance.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also issued a directive in August 2013 expanding that amnesty to illegal immigrant relatives of "DREAM Act" beneficiaries. DHS issued another directive in December 2012 reinforcing the existing policy under which almost all immigration offenses were deemed unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.
The Sessions report undermines the claim by some left-wing pressure groups that President Obama is tough on illegal immigrants and is deporting them in record numbers. Some radical activists have mocked Obama, labeling him the "Deporter in Chief," in what now appears to have been contrived criticism calculated to give the president political cover to move even further to the left on immigration policy.
Left-wing lawmakers are calling on Obama to scale back deportations. After Latino Democrats met with the president at the White House recently, DHS announced it was considering how to deport illegal immigrants in a more "humane" way.
Except for the occasional convicted criminal, hardly any illegal aliens at all are being deported under Obama, Sessions discovered.
According to official Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statistics on 2013 removals, 98 percent of all removals met one of the agency’s “enforcement priorities." Those priorities consist of: individuals convicted of a serious criminal offense; those apprehended in the act of crossing the border; those who have been previously deported; and fugitives from the law.
The first two categories —235,000 border apprehensions (which are not deportations as commonly understood) and 110,000 removals of convicted criminals— taken together account for 94 percent of the 368,000 removals last year.
Under 0.2 percent, or under two tenths of 1 percent, of the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants and visa overstayers in the U.S. were placed into removal proceedings who did not have serious criminal convictions on their record.
Under 0.08 percent --that's less than eight one-hundredths of 1 percent-- of the 12 million were placed into removal proceedings who were neither convicted of a serious crime nor a repeat immigration violator.
This means that at least 99.92 percent of illegal immigrants and visa overstayers without known crimes on their records did not face removal.
Illegals are routinely taken into custody and released back into the community soon afterward. Those garden-variety illegal economic migrants not targeted for removal "are free to illegally work in the United States and to receive taxpayer benefits, regardless of whether or not they come into contact with immigration enforcement," the report notes.
In a particularly disturbing incident described in the report, ICE management cautioned an ICE officer in 2011 that he would be subject to disciplinary action if he followed through and enforced the law by issuing a Notice to Appear in court to an illegal immigrant “driving the vehicle of a known fugitive without a license.”
“The suspect, who had multiple misdemeanor offenses on his record, was released while the ICE officer was threatened with suspension,” the report stated.
Amnesty opponents in the House of Representatives reacted strongly to the Sessions report.
“The Obama administration’s subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law make enforcement of our immigration laws virtually impossible,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said. “The law-abiding and taxpaying Americans who oppose this executive amnesty policy are paying the price with lower wages and fewer job opportunities.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) thundered that while "President Obama hypocritically tells people he is for income equality, [at the same time] he violates federal immigration law, floods the labor market with wage-suppressing illegal aliens, and destroys the chance millions of hard-working Americans have of attaining self-sufficiency and the American dream.”
“It is clear that President Obama believes it is more important to pander to voters based on race than it is to enforce immigration laws that protect American workers’ ability to earn a living wage.”
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said, “This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama. He has repeatedly shown a willingness to enforce the law selectively, while looking the other way when it doesn't fit his agenda.”
Obama and generations of leftist politicians before him have been using immigration to subvert the American system. In the 1960s the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) shepherded reform of that era’s immigration laws through Congress. The concept is simple: Flood America with people who don’t share Americans’ traditional philosophical commitment to the rule of law, limited government, and markets, in order to force changes in society.
So far the plan is working.
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