Seeing Is Believing

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on August 29, 2010

If there's any doubt that the Obama administration is running headlong away from immigration enforcement and toward de facto amnesty, it will disappear with a quick review of the latest evidence.

The weak-on-crime, coddle-the-lawbreakers political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security have had their deliberate non-enforcement policy direction exposed in the past few weeks. Instead of a drip-drip-drip dribble of tidbits and leaks, the administration has been blown by torrents of irrefutable evidence against denials of its systematically undermining the rule of law in immigration.

The Miami Herald, among others, reported how an Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo demands the release of illegal and criminal aliens who are less than rapists and murderers and terrorists, pretty much. The Herald quoted the ICE memo: "'Where there is an underlying application or petition and ICE determines . . . that a non-detained individual appears eligible for relief from removal, [its attorneys] should promptly move to dismiss proceedings,' [ICE Assistant Secretary John] Morton wrote in an Aug. 20 memo to the agency's principal legal advisor and the head of enforcement and removal operations."

The "underlying application or petition" means a relative or a mate in a marriage (genuine or sham) has filed for these deportable aliens to obtain a visa or other immigration benefit. They may eventually be denied the applied-for benefit. But get your paperwork in and that's ICE's "get out of jail free" card to thousands of illegal aliens.

The Washington Post reported how ICE political appointees' de facto amnesty policies have caused a groundswell of opposition from rank and file ICE agents – including the generation of a vote of no confidence (first reported by CIS's Janice Kephart here):

Immigration officers say the new measures limit their enforcement efforts and the revamped lockups will compromise their safety. In June, their union took the unprecedented step of issuing a vote of no confidence in the agency's director, John Morton, and the official overseeing detention reform, Phyllis Coven.

Months before that, the 24 field managers who oversee detention and deportation sent a memorandum to Morton that challenged a number of recommended changes. Current and former ICE attorneys in New York, Houston and other offices nationwide say they are angry that they have been instructed to drop efforts to deport some immigrants.

Already, the Obama administration is dropping cases and releasing thousands of illegal and criminal aliens onto American streets. This thrilled immigration lawyers in Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle. It has outraged most Americans. Witness the latest Gallup poll showing fewer than three in ten Americans approve of Obama’s handling of immigration.

The ICE non-enforcement plan is in addition to the de facto amnesty being explored and implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. That plan was exposed by U.S. senators led by Iowa Republican Charles Grassley, a leaked USCIS memo, and grassroots groups.

Still, despite all the evidence, the Obama administration continues to deny its dereliction of duty and refusal to carry out the law. After the grassroots organizations' news conference and letter to the White House, USCIS issued a statement downplaying its intent to commit de facto amnesty. The agency claimed "internal memos do not and should not be equated with official action or policy." Ignore the fact that DHS is already implementing such wholesale administrative amnesty for certain classes of illegals, such as purported "students." Reassuringly, the memo averred that DHS "will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation's entire illegal immigrant population."

The Obama immigration regime is acting like the exposed Wizard of Oz. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, the Obama administration demands. But the fraud has been exposed. Americans aren't buying empty words about immigration enforcement. The administration's actions are screaming so loud they're drowning out their voices. The mighty Oz has spoken, indeed.