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illegal immigration

Biden And Red States Are On Immigration Collision Course Heading For Supreme Court

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JASON HOPKINS

 

The Biden administration is currently waging a legal campaign against Republican-led states, arguing their laws that effectively restrict illegal immigration are unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice has so far filed lawsuits against three different states for enacting laws that largely empower police to enforce immigration rules. However, these state leaders, in the backdrop of an unprecedented border crisis, say they have no choice but to take up the issue themselves because the Biden administration won’t — and other Republican states may soon follow suit.

Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma have all signed similar bills into law in recent months that make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. Texas Senate Bill 4, Iowa Senate File 2340, and Oklahoma House Bill 4156 empower their law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants and bestow various penalties for unlawful presence in the country.

“Due to the abdication of this administration’s duty to enforce the law, states are trying to protect themselves,” Matt Crapo, a senior attorney with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They are trying to do so by mirroring federal law, enforcing the same type of laws if this administration was enforcing the law.”

The Biden administration, however, argues these laws are unconstitutional as they intrude on the federal government’s sole authority to enforce immigration law.

Whether or not these states can enforce their laws will likely depend on the Supreme Court. The law passed in Texas, the first of the three to take up this approach, will likely end up back into the nation’s highest court.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute, a legal organization that supports stricter immigration enforcement, filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Texas SB4. Crapo said his organization plans to file similar briefs supporting the Iowa and Oklahoma bills once those states file in opposition to preliminary injunctions imposed by federal courts.

IRLI argued in its Texas brief that, while SB4 “parallels” similar federal immigration offenses, the law does not interfere with the federal government’s power to decide which classes of aliens are admissible or removable.

However, not all legal experts agree the Texas law adheres to the Constitution.

“SB4 is cruel, inhumane, and clearly unconstitutional,” Kate Melloy Goettelsenior legal director at the American Immigration Council, said in March statement. “All these bills could result in significant civil rights abuses, leading to widespread arrests and deportations by state actors without key federal protections.”

“Our hope is that SB4 is ultimately blocked in court; otherwise, this sets a disastrous precedent,” Goettel continued.

Immigration experts aren’t sure how the Supreme Court will ultimately rule.

“It’s sort of an open question as to whether the Supreme Court is going to allow Texas to criminalize illegal entry into Texas,” Art Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies said to the DCNF, noting how this case is fundamentally different than the lawsuit against a 2010 Arizona law that criminalized illegal immigration status, but was largely struck down. “Texas’ argument is ‘look, the federal government doesn’t completely occupy the field with respect to this crime because trespassing is an essential state crime and this is basically a trespassing offense.’”

Arthur noted that the Texas legislation is fundamentally different to the Iowa and Oklahoma laws, meaning potentially very different outcomes in their court challenges. Unlike Oklahoma and Iowa, Texas borders Mexico and has more standing to enforce trespassing.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in SB4 will give us a lot of idea of how much vitality these other laws have, but these other laws are distinguishable from SB4,” he said. “For that reason, if the states are serious about this, they will have to litigate it all the way up to the Supreme Court.”

Similar to what sponsors of this legislation have argued, Arthur said that the passages of these state laws are not “political stunts,” but cries for help and assertions that the Biden administration has abandoned immigration enforcement.

Federal immigration data show that illegal immigration is at historic levels.

Border Patrol agents have had more than 1,171,000 encounters with illegal immigrants this fiscal year, according to the latest data by Customs and Border Protection. Well over six million such encounters have been made since the beginning of President Joe Biden’s White House tenure.

The massive influx of illegal immigrants has been followed by high-profile crimes, such as the killing of a Georgia nursing student allegedly at the hands of a Venezuelan illegal immigrant and the attempted breach of the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia allegedly by two Jordanian nationals living unlawfully in the country. A report by a New Jersey lawmaker found that his state is shelling out over $7 billion annually to cover the costs of illegal immigrants.

For these reasons, Republican state leaders say they have no choice but to address the crisis themselves — even if the Biden administration threatens to sue them for it.

“The Biden administration refuses to do their job, so we need to do it,” Louisiana state senator Valarie Hodges said to the DCNF. Hodges is the sponsor of a bill that, if signed into law, will also make illegal immigration a state crime.

Her legislation, Senate Bill 388, makes illegal entry punishable by up to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine for the first offense, and up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a second offense. The bill has already passed both chambers in the state legislature, and needs procedural approval from the state senate before heading to the governor’s desk.

Much like the governors and attorneys general of the states already sued by the Department of Justice, the state senator appeared unfazed at the prospect of a court challenge.

“When the federal government won’t do their job, what course do we have?” Hodges asked. “We’re going to collapse if we don’t do something. I believe we are within our constitutional boundaries to do this.”

“Maybe we should sue them for not doing their job,” she added.

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

illegal immigration

Biden Announces Widespread Amnesty Plan for Illegal Immigrants

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From Heartland Daily News

President Joe Biden announced a new plan on Tuesday that will fast track a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals who’ve been living in the country illegally for more than 10 years and married a U.S. citizen. He also expanded protections for DACA recipients, according to several reports.

In a statement issued by the White House, the president blamed Republicans in Congress for not securing the border and fixing the “broken immigration system.”

Because of Republicans putting “partisan politics ahead of national security,” he announced additional measures to implement deportation protections to some illegal foreign nationals. Doing so reflects his commitment to “expanding lawful pathways and keeping families together,” he said, arguing that those who entered the country illegally “who have been in the United States for decades, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, are part of the social fabric of our country.”

His new action will help “people who have been here many years to keep American families together and allow more young people to contribute to our economy,” according to the statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the plan zeroes “in on the population of mixed-status families, where typically the children and one parent are U.S. citizens, because they believe that demographic is the most compelling, according to administration officials and advocates who have spoken with them.”

One way to do this would be to implement another parole policy called “parole in place,” enabling illegal foreign national spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain green cards and U.S. citizenship. They would also receive work permits and deportation protections, according to several reports on Monday.

In order to be eligible for the new parole program, noncitizens, as of June 17, 2024, must have resided in the U.S. for 10 or more years and be legally married to a U.S. citizen. On average, those who are eligible have resided in the U.S. for 23 years, according to the White House statement released Tuesday.

Advocates in support of providing amnesty estimate there are more than one million spouses who could apply to the new parole program, the Journal reported.

The announcement at the White House came on the 12th-year anniversary of former President Barack Obama creating by executive order the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA shielded children from deportation who were brought into the country illegally by their parents and has been in litigation for 12 years. A federal judge has twice ruled that the program is illegal. The most recent ruling was in a multi-state lawsuit led by Texas to end DACA once and for all, The Center Square reported. The case is expected to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden announced an expanded program for DACA recipients to “streamline the process” for them “and other undocumented immigrants to request waivers that would make it easier for them to obtain temporary visas, such as H-1B visas for high-skilled workers,” CBS News reported.

DACA recipients who earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education and who received an offer of employment from a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree will be able to quickly receive work visas, according to the White House statement.

Numerous reports suggest between 700,000 and 800,000 people living in the U.S. are DACA recipients. The Los Angeles Times reports there are 578,680 DACA recipients on record with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as of March 2023.

After announcing earlier this month he was limiting asylum claims, the president is now proposing a measure to ensure those in the country illegally aren’t deported. Both announcements made five months before the election aren’t solutions but political ploys and will only incentivize illegal immigration, critics argue.

“It is definitely an incentive and will drive more illegal immigration,” former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan told The Center Square. “In a time where we are facing historic numbers on the southern border, President Biden announces yet another giveaway program, another reward for illegally entering this country.

“This reinforces that you can enter this country illegally and if you can hide out long enough, you get legal status. This will drive more illegal immigration and they know that and that is why they are doing it.”

If the president really cared about border security and reforming immigration law, he would “reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols; … restore Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Central American partners; finish construction of new border wall system that Congress funded years ago [which he halted]; and … end mass catch-and-release,” U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green, R-TN, said in a statement. The president “could stop the flow of hundreds of thousands entering this country via unlawful mass-parole programs created by his DHS secretary. And he could encourage Senate Democrats to pass H.R. 2, the only border bill passed by either house of the 118th Congress, to further close loopholes and end avenues for exploitation of our borders by the cartels.

“But he won’t, because the rabidly anti-enforcement, open-borders left is calling the shots for the Biden administration. And the rest of us are paying the price.”

Any executive actions taken related to newly created parole programs or DACA are likely to be challenged by Republican attorneys general.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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illegal immigration

Surge In ‘Inadmissible’ Afghans Trying To Cross Southern Border Is Nothing Short Of Alarming

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY

 

There is good reason for Americans to be concerned about individuals from Afghanistan coming across our southern border.

When Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, testified in the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7 he issued a warning about ISIS-K, a terrorist group based in Afghanistan.

“[V]arious groups in the Central Region retain the capability and will to target U.S. interests abroad in under six months with little to no warning,” Kurilla said in a written statement to the committee.

“We assess an attack on American soil would likely take longer,” he said.

“Taliban pressure against ISIS-K temporarily disrupted the group’s ability to plan and conduct attacks against the Homeland and Western targets, but that pressure has been intermittent and insufficient,” Kurilla said in his statement.

“ISIS-K and its allies retain a safe haven in Afghanistan, and they continue to develop their networks in and out of the country,” he said.

“Their goals do not stop there,” he said.

“They have called for attacks globally on anyone not aligned with their extremist ideology, and Taliban efforts to suppress the group have proven insufficient,” he said. “The recent ISIS attack in Kerman, Iran demonstrates the group’s resiliency and indicates that they retain the capability to conduct spectacular external operations.”

What happened in Kerman?

“ISIS-K killed 91 Iranians and injured 284 others in Kerman on 3 January 2024,” Kurilla said. “This was the deadliest terror attack in Iran since 1979 and it is part of ISIS’ effort to exploit the war in Gaza to rejuvenate its global attacks.”

ISIS-K is not the only terrorist group in Afghanistan.

“Al Qaeda, while weakened, still enjoys safe havens in Afghanistan and Yemen. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates training camps, safehouses, and religious schools in Afghanistan,” he said.

“Both AQIS and AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] continue to call for lone wolf attacks on U.S. and Western interests via their digital reach,” he said.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who served as a U.S. Army officer in Afghanistan, questioned Kurilla about what he had said about ISIS and al-Qaeda.

In this exchange, Kurilla said an ISIS attack in Europe or Eurasia is more likely in the near future than one in the United States itself.

“You said — and this is close to a direct quote — that we could see attacks against U.S. or Western interests abroad with little to no warning in as little as six months,” Cotton said. “Are you speaking there about ISIS and al-Qaeda from Afghanistan?”

Kurilla responded: “ISIS-Khorasan specifically, and also out of Syria, which they are trying to factor into predominantly European countries.”

“So,” said Cotton, “ISIS out of either Afghanistan or Syria, attacks against U.S. interests and Western interests abroad in as little as six months. Now, abroad can mean a lot of things. Abroad could mean our embassy in Tajikistan. It could also mean Western Europe or North America.

“Could you be more specific?” Cotton asked.

“Europe and Eurasia,” said Kurilla.

“What is the timeline you foresee in which those terrorist organizations could launch an attack with little or no warning against the American homeland?” asked Cotton.

“I think it is … a lot more difficult for them to be able to do that and requires substantially more resources,” responded Kurilla.

“OK,” said Cotton, “so six months anywhere across Eurasia and indeterminate time in North America?”

“Yes,” said CENTCOM’s commander.

When Kurilla had testified in the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2023, he admitted that U.S. intelligence gathering in Iraq had diminished.

“At one time, we had 60 balloons over Kabul, Afghanistan,” Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said to Kurilla then. “Our ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] is very limited. How confident are you in the intelligence you have to see threats rising from the Taliban?”

“Our intelligence has degraded since we are no longer in Afghanistan,” Kurilla said. “I believe we can see the broad contours of an attack. Sometimes we lack the granularity to see the full picture and we’re working to close that gap with our alternative airborne ISR and some of our other intelligence that we are working to penetrate those networks.”

Since this nation’s military forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2021, the Biden administration has been conducting “Operation Enduring Sentinel.” Last month, the inspectors general for this operation released their report for the first quarter of 2024.

Operation Enduring Sentinel, it explains, is “the U.S. mission to conduct over-the-horizon counterterrorism operations against threats emanating from Afghanistan and to engage with Central Asian and South Asian regional partners to combat terrorism and promote regional stability.”

The United States, of course, is continuing to accept refugee applications from people fleeing the situation in Afghanistan. “From October 1, 2020, to March 6, 2024, USCIS interviewed approximately 24,400 Afghan refugee applicants,” said the inspectors general report.

Then there are those who are not refugee applicants.

“In addition,” said the report, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 68 Afghan ‘inadmissible non-citizens’ at the U.S. Southwest Border in FY 2022 and 342 in FY 2023.

“As of March 5,” it said, “CBP had encountered 932 in FY 2024.” 

How many “inadmissible non-citizen” Afghans made it across the southwest border in those first 156 days of this fiscal year without being encountered by the Border Patrol?

It only took 19 al-Qaeda terrorists to carry out the 9/11 attack.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the investigative editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation. To find out more about Terence P. Jeffrey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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