President Obama and other administration officials continue to push their thumb-in-the-eye approach to legal and illegal immigration with a series of unilateral moves that once again reveal their contempt for the American public and the rule of law—when they’re not busy engaging in outright extortion.
The first insult comes courtesy of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This week they “clarified” the requirements necessary for becoming naturalized citizens. The clarification involved modifications to the Oath of Allegiance every would-be citizen must recite. The USCIS determined that two clauses contained in that Oath, as in the promise “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by law, are no longer operable.
According to the new guidance, one may be eligible for such modifications based on “religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.” Such religious training does not require one “to belong to a specific church or religion, follow a particular theology or belief, or to have had religious training in order to qualify.” Furthermore, one while one may submit some sort of documentation to that effect if they choose to do so, one is not required to provide “an attestation from a religious or other type of organization, as well as other evidence to establish eligibility.” In short, if you wish to eschew any commitment to serve in a military or nonmilitary capacity, you are free to do so based on nothing more than simply stating you have a religious or conscientious objection.
Next up, the administration will be moving ahead with a plan to expand its illegal alien waiver program. On Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule updating President Obama’s provisional waiver program created in 2013. That program aimed to “shorten the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.” The government defined an immediate relative as “an individual who is the spouse, child (unmarried and under 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen.”
The waivers allow these immediate family members to stay in America rather than having to leave and be prohibited from returning in three or 10 years. Current law states that if an illegal spends less than a year in America and leaves, reentry is barred for three years. If one is illegally in the United States for over year, the penalty rises to 10 years. The waivers allowed illegals to avoid these penalties, provided they could prove separation would create an “extreme hardship.”
Now DHS is determined to expand the eligibility requirements. “DHS proposes to expand the class of aliens who may be eligible for a provisional waiver beyond immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to aliens in all statutorily eligible immigrant visa categories,” the proposed rule states. “Such aliens include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children.” Based on these broadly-worded definitions, one might be forgiven for wondering which illegals wouldn’t be eligible for a waiver, courtesy of an administration determined to impose de facto amnesty by any means necessary.
Those means also include expanding the definition of “extreme hardship.” “DHS also proposes to expand who may be considered a qualifying relative for purposes of the extreme hardship determination to include LPR [legal permanent resident] spouses and parents,” the proposed rule adds.
And yet again a somnambulant Congress has been removed from the equation: the DHS insists it has “broad authority” to implement such changes based on the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
The administration has also shown its utter contempt for enforcing existing immigration law. Following a Senate hearing conducted on Tuesday, during which people who had lost loved ones to illegal aliens gave searing testimony to that effect, lawmakers heard from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Sarah Saldaña. In a statement reeking with an extortionist stench, she told them the Obama administration has no plans to do anything about enforcing immigration law in sanctuary cities until Congress passes “comprehensive immigration reform.” When pressed by Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who characterized Saldaña’s response as “ridiculous,” she remained unmoved.
Moreover in keeping with the parade of hacks hired by this administration, an exchange between the director and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) revealed an astounding level of ignorance on the director’s part. She knew nothing about the crime breakdown of the more than 68,000 criminal aliens released by the administration over the last two years, and insisted it was “good news” that the total number of releases had dropped from 36,007 in 2013, to “only” 30,558 last year.
Cruz leveled both barrels at Saldaña and the Obama administration. “I don’t want to hear from the Obama administration they’re sorry while they continue to do the exact same thing because what we know – more people will be murdered, more people will be raped, more people will be killed by drunk drivers because this Administration refuses to enforce the law,” he declared. “That is wrong. No man is above the law, and that includes President Obama…It is within your power to follow federal law. And this administration refuses to do so, and that is altogether unacceptable,” he added.
Unfortunately, it is more than acceptable. Nothing makes that reality clearer than a report by the Migration Policy Institute. “Taking the enforcement focus off settled unauthorized immigrants who do not meet the November 2014 enforcement priorities would effectively offer a degree of protection to the vast majority—87 percent—of unauthorized immigrants now residing in the United States, thus affecting a substantially larger share of this population than the announced deferred action programs (9.6 million compared to as many as 5.2 million unauthorized immigrants),” it states.
That nearly nine-out-ten illegals will remain immune to the rule of law is the epitome of selective law enforcement. And it is hard to determine who is worse, an Obama administration that practices that selective law enforcement, or a Congress that collaborates with the wholesale deconstruction of the nation.
Yesterday the House passed legislation aimed at cutting off funds for sanctuary cities. But aside from the realities that any bill passed by the House would first have to go to the Senate, and then to President Obama–who has already threatened to veto it—American Thinker’s “Newsmachete” reveals the real futility behind that endeavor. As he explains, “this spending restriction is a standalone piece of legislation,” he writes. “It’s not attached to the budget. If it were attached to the budget, Obama would have a more difficult time fighting it, because to veto it would be to veto the budget. But the House gave up that mechanism when they passed a budget fully funding all of Obama’s priorities, including Obamacare and his illegal amnesty.”
Thus, Congress will ultimately cave and sanctuary city policies, which are nothing less than local politicians and law enforcement officials taking it completely upon themselves to ignore complying with federal immigration laws, will continue to thrive.
So will criminal activity engendered by illegal immigration. A 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documents 3 million arrest offenses attached to the jailed criminal alien population. Approximately 500,000 of those crimes were drug related, 70,000 were sexual offenses, 213,000 were for assault, 125,000 were for larceny/theft, and 25,000 were for homicides. Those stats do not break down the distinction between illegal aliens and those with lawful immigration status, but it would be ludicrous to suggest only those with legal status are committing crimes.
Part of that obfuscation is by design, and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is attempting to do something about it. On Wednesday he introduced a bill called the “Arrest Statistics Reporting Act.” It would require state and local authorities to provide the immigration status of a suspect in their arrest reports, and the FBI to include illegal alien crime data in its annual crime reports. “While we have daily access to the endless stream of anecdotal gruesome news reports of yet another illegal alien taking yet another American citizen’s life, we need big picture data to rebut the liberal left’s mantra that illegal aliens are as clean, innocent, and pure as freshly fallen snow,” Brooks said on the House floor.
Expect the Obama administration, the Democratic Party and the Establishment Republicans who favor amnesty to marshal their forces against such an effort. There is little doubt an already angry public more fully informed about the real impact of illegal alien crime could prove fatal to the ambitions of the pro-amnesty political class and its business and activist collaborators. The “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” requires nothing less than selective law enforcement—followed by a concerted effort to cover up its consequences.