Andrew R. Arthur's blog

Resident Fellow in Law and Policy


Contact - Publications - Biography

Locking the Revolving Door
Davis-Oliver puts teeth into reinstatements, but more could be done

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 24, 2017
Davis-Oliver puts teeth into reinstatements, but more could be done

The House Judiciary Committee has returned this week to mark-up the "Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act" (Davis-Oliver) (H.R. 2431), which was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho. (The committee approved the bill today by a vote of 19-13.) Earlier, I discussed how Title V of the bill will provide ICE officers and agents with the needed body armor and weapons that they need to do their jobs, particularly given the restrictions placed on them by sanctuary jurisdictions that endanger their lives and the public at large.

A separate section of that bill, section 604, will prevent aliens who are subject to expedited removal from obtaining review of those decisions by reentering illegally. Read more...

Leveling the Playing Field
How the Davis-Oliver Act keeps ICE agents from being outgunned

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 22, 2017
How the Davis-Oliver Act keeps ICE agents from being outgunned

On Thursday, May 18, the House Judiciary Committee began the mark-up of the "Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act" (Davis-Oliver) (H.R. 2431), which was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho. As Rep. Labrador, the Vice Chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, explained it in his press release introducing that bill:

The bill improves the enforcement of immigration laws to enhance public safety, adds tools to crack down on dangerous sanctuary city policies and contains needed changes to protect American communities from unlawful immigrants who commit crimes in the United States.

Loaded Questions and False Assumptions
The Ninth Circuit reviews the executive order on foreign terrorist entry

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 17, 2017
The Ninth Circuit reviews the executive order on foreign terrorist entry

On Monday, May 15, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in the government's appeal of a preliminary injunction issued by a Hawaii federal district court judge of sections 2 and 6 of Executive Order 13,780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States". As Fox News reported, the panel was "skeptical" of the government's position. The case shows the dangers that ensue when courts fail to see the whole picture and rely on false assumptions. Read more...

Unsubstantiated Voting Fraud?
The president establishes a commission on election integrity

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 12, 2017
The president establishes a commission on election integrity

On Thursday, May 11, President Trump announced the establishment of a commission on election integrity. The commission: "[W]ill review claims of improper registrations and voting, fraudulent registrations and voter suppression. ... Members will provide the president with a report in 2018 and may issue recommendations to the states."

Almost instantaneously, the president's critics attacked the commission, and its Vice Chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Read more...

The Nobel Prize Standard

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 12, 2017

The phrase "deeds not words" has long been associated with Alice Paul, suffragette, political activist, and one of the founders of the National Women's Party. The Washington Post, which describes the phrase as Ms. Paul's "battle cry", reports it is "an allusion to Paul's preference for attention-getting protest stunts, such as hurtling rocks at windowpanes, in the name of equal rights." Read more...

A Platform for Change?
Connecting the unemployed with jobs through Facebook

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 10, 2017
Connecting the unemployed with jobs through Facebook

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has long been active in the "immigration reform" movement. Four years ago, he helped found FWD.us, an organization whose mission "is to mobilize the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream achievable in the 21st century." As the group's website explains: "FWD.us has focused on immigration reform first because America's broken system prevents far too many talented immigrants from fully contributing to our communities and our economy." Read more...

The Fifth of May — an American Holiday

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

An interesting aspect of my morning news every year on the fifth of May is the festive manner in which the broadcasters note that the day that will be celebrated by revelers at their local Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurant with drink specials and free salsa. On the Baltimore morning news this year, they actually listed some of the half-price taco and $2 Tecate deals that are available to the happy hour crowd.

News reports never remark, however, on the importance of this day to American freedom, and the defeat of the Confederacy in our Civil War. Read more...

Two Sets of Rules in Mobtown
Baltimore's prosecutor announces more lenient treatment for alien criminals

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 5, 2017
Baltimore's prosecutor announces more lenient treatment for alien criminals

In a recent opinion piece I wrote for the Baltimore Sun, I discussed a recent decision by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office to employ different standards when prosecuting certain criminals: a stricter standard the office will follow when it prosecutes citizens, and a more lenient standard that it will follow when dealing with aliens.

This decision is reflected in a memorandum issued on April 27, 2017 (and disclosed the next day by the Sun), in which Marilyn Mosby’s staff "instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration." Read more...

Illegal Immigrants Get Off Easy in Baltimore

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 2, 2017

This is the first paragraph of an op-ed I wrote for the Baltimore Sun today. Read the whole article here.

Baltimore's State's Attorney's Office now has two sets of rules: one for citizens and legal immigrants, and one for illegal immigrants. In an April 27 memorandum, Marilyn Mosby's office "instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration." Read more...

Chilling the Bully Pulpit: The Effects of the Sanctuary City Ruling

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 26, 2017

Lyman Abbot, editor of The Outlook, began an essay in an issue of that publication, "A Review of President Roosevelt's Administration", with an anecdote about then-President Theodore Roosevelt: "He had just finished a paragraph of a distinctly ethical character when he suddenly stopped, swung round in his swivel chair, and said, 'I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!'" The hortatory power of the presidency has since come to be known as "the Bully Pulpit."

This phrase makes an appearance three times in District Judge William Orrick's order in County of Santa Clara v. Trump, in which he granted the motions of the County of Santa Clara and the City and County of San Francisco's motions to enjoin section 9(a) of Executive Order 13768 (E.O. 13768), "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States." Read more...

SCOTUS Leaves in Place Lower Court Ruling Limiting Rights of Illegal Entrants

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 21, 2017

On April 17, 2017, the Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in Castro et al. v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., U.S., 2017 WL 1366739 (2017), a case involving the constitutional rights of a group of aliens who had entered the United States illegally. Although "a variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ" generally, the Supreme Court's denial of the petition in this case leaves in place a circuit court decision that limits the rights of aliens who were apprehended shortly after entering the United States illegally, at least in the Third Circuit. Read more...

Is It Time for Magistrate Immigration Judges?

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 21, 2017

As the backlog of pending immigration cases grows, Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should take a page from the federal courts and establish a corps of magistrate immigration judges.

A bit of background: Up until the early 1980s, special inquiry officers, or "immigration judges" were employees within the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In January 1983, Attorney General William French Smith moved the immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals into the newly created Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Department of Justice (DOJ), giving the immigration judges independence from the prosecuting authority at the time, the INS. Read more...

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Gangs, with Focus on MS-13

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 19, 2017

During remarks to the Attorney General's Organized Crime Council (AGOCC) and the Executive Committee of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) on April 18, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced: "Under President Trump, the Justice Department has zero tolerance for gang violence." The attorney general specifically targeted La Mara Salvatrucha, or "MS-13," stating:

MS-13 has become a symbol of this plague that has spread across our country and into our communities. There are over 30,000 members abroad with their headquarters in the El Salvadoran prison system. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, MS-13 now has more than 10,000 members in at least 40 states in this country – up significantly from just a few years ago.

Ninth Circuit Significantly Extends TPS Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 12, 2017

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 31, 2017, in a little-noted decision in Ramirez v. Brown, __F. 3d ___ (9th Cir. 2017), vastly expanded the potential number of aliens who may be eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Adjustment of status is a process through which an alien may acquire a green card while in the United States, without having to depart this country and obtain an immigrant visa through consular processing. (See section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).) It is generally unavailable, however, to aliens who entered the United States illegally. (See section 245(a) of the INA.) Read more...

Pepsi – and ICE

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 6, 2017

A Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner is currently trending on Twitter and Facebook. (Pepsi pulled the ad yesterday after an outcry.) Jenner's encounter with a police officer at the climax of the ad reminded me of the arguments of critics in the ongoing debate on immigration enforcement.

The commercial begins with Jenner (a member of the extended Kardashian family) modeling for a photo shoot as a protest march assembles in the street outside. She joins the marchers, who are confronted by stone-faced police officers, some in riot gear. The assembled crowd flashes peace signs at the police, who stand stoically by, all business. Read more...