So, dear readers are confused, why one cheer for the Trump immigration proposals? Well, in theory, the plan is great and deserves three cheers. However, a close reading suggests that the Trump Administration does not realize that most of their plan can be implemented administratively, a sort of Trump Regime Administrative Immigration Crackdown, without input from Congress and legislation.
The most glaring problem highlighted by the Trump proposals is Expedited Removal (ER). Although this writer is not a one-trick pony, ER has been one of the issues I have emphasized over my years of blogging on both my website, Federale, and when writing for VDare.
H. Expedited Removal.
Limited categories of aliens are currently subject to expedited removal, which erodes border integrity and control by impeding the ability of the Federal Government to efficiently and quickly remove inadmissible and deportable aliens from the United States. The Administration seeks to expand the grounds of removability and the categories of aliens subject to expedited removal and by ensuring that only aliens with meritorious valid claims of persecution can circumvent expedited removal.
[Immigration Principles & Policies, The White House, October 9, 2017]
The Trump Administration apparently does not understand or refuses to understand the authority they now have under Expedited Removal. To date, despite authority to fully implement Expedited Removal, the Trump Administration has not yet done so to date. In fact, the proposal to administratively expand ER is only to include illegal aliens in the United States for 90 days or less, despite the fact that the law says that illegal aliens present in the United States for two years or less are subject to ER. With no Act of Congress, President Trump can fully expand ER to the statutory limit. My discussions with current and former immigration agents has revealed that most think that the Trump Administration is wise to wait for additional legislation on ER because of fear that the courts will strike ER down. That is of course foolish, ER is the law and additional laws will not prohibit Kritarchs from acting against ER, which has been upheld by an appeals court. The best course of action for President Trump is to instruct DHS to fully implement ER. However, as this writer has long argued, ER needs to be expanded to solve the problem of the backlog in the immigration courts and to discourage future illegal immigration.
Next, the Trump Administration has complainted of fraud and the lack of enforcement in the asylum system, especially for illegal alien juveniles.
B. Unaccompanied Alien Children.
Loopholes in current law prevent “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UACs) that arrive in the country illegally from being removed. Rather than being deported, they are instead sheltered by the Department of Health and Human Services at taxpayer expense, and subsequently released to the custody of a parent or family member— who often lack lawful status in the United States themselves. These loopholes in current law create a dramatic pull factor for additional illegal immigration and in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the apprehensions of UACs at our southern border. Therefore, the Administration proposes amending current law to ensure the expeditious return of UACs and family units.
Again, the Trump Administration complains of problems that were created administratively, not by legislation. Fraud is never acceptable in immigration benefits, including asylum claims, especially for juveniles.
iii. Terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) by passing legislation stipulating care standards for minors in custody and clarify corresponding provisions of the TVPRA that supersede the FSA.
They specifically complain about the Flores Settlement that purported to limit detention of illegal alien juveniles, which it did not, as explained here. In any event, the Administration can challenge the Flores Settlement by petitioning the court or by beginning to detain illegal alien juveniles and create a new case. The law is quite specific that DHS has the authority to detain any illegal alien whom the government thinks unlikely to appear at a future hearing, which most illegal aliens don't. There is no need for any new legislation.
The Trump Administration also complained of fraud, criminals, and terrorists in the asylum system. That problem, again, was created administratively.
C. Asylum Reform. The massive asylum backlog has allowed illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the United States by exploiting asylum loopholes. There are more than 270,000 pending cases in the asylum backlog before USCIS, and approximately 250,000 asylum cases before EOIR. Therefore, the Administration proposes correcting the systemic deficiencies that created that backlog.
i. Significantly tighten standards and eliminate loopholes in our asylum system.
ii. Elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews.
iii. Impose and enforce penalties for the filing of frivolous, baseless, or fraudulent asylum applications, and expand the use of expedited removal as appropriate.
iv. Close loopholes in the law to bar terrorist aliens from entering the country and receiving any immigration benefits.
It was the Bush Administration that allowed illegal alien criminals and terrorists to use the asylum system. And it was Clinton, Bush, and Obama who allowed fraud to corrupt the asylum system. All the problems of fraud and baseless claims in the asylum program are tolerated and rewarded by the current administration of the system: Asylum Officers are not held to the correct standards of proof of asylum claims, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) managers are not held to standards to prohibit fraud in the asylum system, there is no supervision or review for validity of Asylum Officer decisions, and those Asylum Office managers still refuse to comprehensively review asylum applications for systematic fraud. The Trump Administration was warned that USCIS bureaucrats were hostile, and the problem can be solved by comprehensive reform of USCIS and their managers.
These are just three examples of the problem with the Trump Administration immigration proposals; most of what they propose can be implemented administratively, with a pen and an phone. It is disingenuous of the Administration to complain when it still fails to take easy administrative action to end many of the problems in the immigration system, such as fully implementing Expedited Removal. While legislative solutions are needed, such as expanding ER to all illegal aliens irregardless of their time in the United States, this is no excuse for the Administration to not take action where it can, such as Attorney General Sessions firing recalcitrant immigration judges.