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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

OPINION:

Illegal immigration is surging, and the Biden Administration’s response is to roll out the welcome mat.

In July, 213,534 people were apprehended trying to cross into the country illegally. In August, that number was 208,887. Those were the two highest numbers of apprehensions in two decades, but how many hundreds of thousands evaded capture and escaped into the interior? A few weeks ago, the Biden Administration “solved” the problem of 15,000 illegal Haitian immigrants who gathered at the U.S. border town of Del Rio, Texas, by essentially ceding control of the border and allowing more than 10,000 entry into the country; the Panamanian foreign minister has been warning U.S. Government officials there may be as many as 60,000 more Haitians streaming north.


NBC News reports that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked his deputies if they were ready to handle the arrival of 400,000 illegal immigrants in October, almost twice as many as came in the record-setting month of July. And then, two weeks ago, Mr. Mayorkas finally took decisive action – by announcing his intent to provide a massive amnesty, complete with legal work permits, for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants already here.

Yes, you read that right – two weeks ago, while virtually no one was looking. In the face of a massive surge of illegal immigration that was already stressing his department’s resources to the breaking point, Mr. Mayorkas announced that his department would soon promulgate a new rule to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Barack Obama unlawfully established in June of 2012.

The new notice of proposed rulemaking follows a ruling in July of this year by federal district Judge Andrew Hanen, who struck down the program because it was created unlawfully.

Essentially, the new rule is the same as the old rule. The only significant difference is that the new rule is being appropriately noticed, with a provision for a 60-day public comment period. That public comment period will end on Monday, November 29.

DACA is the program Barack Obama said he did not have the constitutional authority to establish – right before he chose to install it anyway. In October of 2010, he said, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March of 2011, he said that with “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” And in May of 2011, he acknowledged that he could not “just bypass Congress and change the law myself … That’s not how a democracy works.”

Obama was right, on those occasions and about two dozen more where he said he did not have the authority to act that way. And the passage of time since he initially said he did not have the constitutional authority to suspend deportations has done nothing to change that status. The president still does not have that constitutional authority.

That’s because only Congress, not the president, has the constitutional and legal authority to make immigration law. Not only did Congress not authorize the president to make such decisions, Congress specifically rejected proposed legislation that would have done just that.

So, let’s review: 

DACA recipients are, by definition, illegal immigrants.

DACA, which has benefited more than 800,000 illegal immigrants, is a massive amnesty program.

DACA is a direct violation of U.S. immigration law, which requires that people in this country illegally be apprehended and repatriated into their own country. There is no discretion allowed there.

Yet the Biden Administration – which has already demonstrated its cavalier disregard for constitutional authority and the law (see, for example, CDC-promulgated eviction moratorium, renewal; executive order requiring certain private companies to impose a vaccine mandate on their employees, declared) – now compounds its reputation for lawlessness by once again announcing to the world its intention to defy established law.

In the real world, actions have consequences. Deciding to open the border incentivizes more illegal immigration, no matter what Biden Administration officials and spokesmen publicly say. Those trying to enter our country illegally know that it’s what the Biden Administration does, not what it says, that counts. The question is, have the American people figured that out? And are they going to remember that come election time?

• Jenny Beth Martin is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots


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