We Should Discourage the Arrival of Failed Migrants and Encourage the Exit of Criminals. Biden Is Doing the Reverse.

By David North on February 15, 2022

A sensible immigration policy would discourage the arrival of failed migrants and encourage the forced departure of criminal ones, but two recent (and apparently unconnected) actions of the Biden administration show it is operating in the other direction.

The two actions I have in mind were so obscure that not one reader in 10,000 noticed one of them, much less both. Each of the actions was of the tiny-print category, dealing with minor regulations and small-scale populations; each was totally wrong.

One of the two populations is the self-petitioning alien spouses of U.S. citizens and green card holders. The aliens routinely charge that they have been abused by their new spouses and USCIS more or less routinely agrees with the aliens, often without giving the citizens a chance to rebut the charges; many of the citizens are then thrust into life-long alimony payments to the aliens.

We admitted some 4,528 of them in the last normal year before the virus hit us, 2019. By definition, all of the self-petitioning spouses are failures or worse; either they falsely charged their citizen spouses with abuse, or were in failed marriages.

The other population consists of aliens from Laos (not one of our larger suppliers of migrants) who have misbehaved to the extent that they are (or should be) subject to deportation, but their home country will not take them back. Laos has reluctantly received an average of only five deportees a year over the last seven years. The number that should have been removed is not known to me, but it must be much larger.

So what has the government done recently about these two minor alien flows?

As to the self-petitioning alien spouses, USCIS has decided that it will make it easier for them to make their claims, saying:

This guidance updates the interpretation of the requirement for shared residence. USCIS no longer requires self-petitioners to currently reside or to have resided with the abuser during the qualifying spousal or parent-child relationship. Instead, the self-petitioner must demonstrate that they are residing or have resided with the abuser at any time in the past.

Regarding the Laotian would-be deportees, the message is even more obscure. Without explaining what the sanctions are, our Embassy there issued a press release saying that:

The Secretary of State has authorized the lifting of most sanctions on U.S. visa issuance to Lao citizens. The sanctions were imposed under U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 243(d).

For the benefit of 99.99 percent of my readers, Section 243(d) permits the government to create obstacles for people applying for visas to come to the U.S. when their home nations fail to cooperate with deportation orders on their own citizens. The embassy press release does not mention the reason that these sanctions were imposed in the first place, and does not explain why matters have changed to allow it to do so. For more on this subject, see here.

Tea leaves blowing in the wrong direction.