9:55 AM 02/23/2015
NEIL MUNRO White House Correspondent
A federal judge has ordered the federal government to grant U.S. civil rights to illegals who are caught at the border, and to release all migrants except for those who may endanger Americans.
The migrants “may have legitimate claims to asylum … [and] their presence here may become permanent … [so] that they are entitled to the protection of the Due Process Clause, especially when it comes to deprivations of liberty,” said the judge, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.
Under current rules, border-crossers who are released are also allowed to compete against Americans for jobs, and to attend U.S. schools and to receive welfare, until their cases are decided by immigration judges.
But immigration courts are already so clogged with asylum-seekers that many cases aren’t decided for several years. The slow process gives migrants many opportunities to find other legal avenues to become citizens, and full access to U.S anti-poverty programs for themselves, their parents and their children.
Unless reversed, the decision opens a huge hole in U.S. border security, and likely will dramatically increase illegal immigration and competition for jobs, partly because immigration enforcement has already been greatly reduced by President Barack Obama.
The judge’s decision was released late Friday, but political pushback is growing.
“If liberal federal judges and the president are determined to trash the rule of law in this manner, we are on the verge of a full-blown constitutional crisis,” said Jonathan Tobin, an editor of Commentary magazine, which generally favors large-scale immigration.
“As much as there is reason to grant many illegals a path to legality if not citizenship, without first securing the border, such proposals ought to be off the table,” he wrote in a short article titled “Immigration and the End of the Rule of Law.”
The decision comes amid a partisan standoff over the 2015 budget for theDepartment of Homeland Security.
Obama and his political allies are insisting the agency be allowed to implement his November amnesty plan, even though a court ruled Feb. 16 that Obama’s plan violated federal law. Unless the Democrats stop their filibuster of the 2015 agency budget, they will force a partial shutdown of the agency by Feb. 28.
The Democrats’ amnesty is so lawless that the GOP should change the Senate’s filibuster rules to allow the GOP majority to defund Obama’s November amnesty, columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote Feb. 19.
The judge’s decision requires border officers to go through a lengthy legal process if they want to keep a border-crosser in jail while a judge decides if the illegal is repatriated or put on a path to citizenship. “Such detention harms putative class members in myriad ways, and as various mental health experts have testified, it is particularly harmful to minor children,” the judge declared.
The government “maintains that one particular individual may be civilly detained for the sake of sending a message of deterrence to other Central American individuals who may be considering immigration,” the judge wrote. But the government’s “ current policy of considering deterrence is likely unlawful… [and] causes irreparable harm to mothers and children seeking asylum,” he wrote.
The anti-jailing decision increases the already huge incentive for millions of foreigners to fly, sail, walk or drive across the U.S. border, and then claim asylum from foreign criminal gangs, political oppression or domestic abuse. In March 2013, Gallup reported that at least 138 million foreigners want to migrate into the United States.
The decision was issued late Friday, Feb. 20, by Judge James Boasberg of D.C.-based Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. Boasberg was nominated by Obama, and was confirmed in 2011.
Obama is likely to appeal the decision, partly because it reduces his ability to manage the inflow of migrants.
The American public — including most Latino voters — is strongly opposed to lax border controls.
The immigration issue has dominated federal politics since 2013, when Obama’s allies in the Senate tried to push through a bill that would have increased immigration and given an amnesty to all 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States.
Since then, Obama has lost the battle for public opinion, lost the congressional debate over immigration, lost his Senate majority, and in February lost the first round of a lawsuit that is trying to block his November amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants.
But Obama has used his power over the immigration agencies to minimize enforcement of immigration laws. Since 2009, Obama’s senior deputies have repeatedly instructed his immigration agencies to reduce enforcement of immigration laws. For example, since 2009, his aides have given work-permits and temporary residency to 4.7 million migrants, including illegal immigrants, tourists, guest-workers and students.
That 4.7 million is in addition to the annual inflow of 1 million legal immigrants. Roughly 4 million American youths enter the workforce each year.
In 2014, 130,000 Central American asylum-seeking adults, youths and children crossed the border. Under Obama’s rules, a large percentage were immediately allowed to get work permits plus access to welfare programs and free schooling, ad were allowed to ask judges for permanent residency.
American’s hostile reaction to the inflow that killed Obama’s top second-term legislative priority — passage of a comprehensive immigration reform law that would have sharply increased legal immigration.
The public’s hostility also contributed to the Democrats’ crushing defeat in the November Senate elections, when the GOP gained nine seats and won a strong 54 vote-majority in the Senate.