Patterico's Pontifications

4/17/2015

Oral Argument Today on Fifth Circuit Case Challenging Obama’s Most Recent Amnesty

Filed under: Court Decisions,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:29 am

There is an important oral argument taking place today in the Fifth Circuit regarding Obama’s amnesty.

First, a paragraph of background: there have been two amnesty-related cases of note percolating through the Fifth Circuit, and it’s important to keep them straight. One case has been around a while: the challenge to Obama’s action on the “Dreamers” — his “deferred action for childhood arrivals” or DACA. In the second case, a judge who has been very critical of Obama’s amnesty issued an injunction barring implementation of Obama’s recent and far more sweeping executive amnesty.

The DACA case has been decided; more on that below. Oral argument will be heard today on the injunction regarding the sweeping amnesty. Last month, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line gave us a summary and preview:

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an order that sets oral argument in Texas v. United States for April 17. This is the case in which Texas and other states challenge President Obama’s executive amnesty.

In district court proceedings, Judge Hanen temporarily enjoined the government from enforcing Obama’s program to grant lawful status to millions of illegal immigrants. The government has moved for a stay of that order, pending appeal.

The oral argument on April 17, for which two hours have been allocated, will pertain only to the government’s motion for a stay. As for the merits of the injunction, the Fifth Circuit’s order sets a briefing schedule and permits the filing of briefs by a number of amici, including Senators Cruz and Cornyn.

Mirengoff reports that the government is arguing that Obama’s amnesty is somehow “essential to national security” because it helps ICE agents “quickly distinguish dangerous immigrants from those who pose no threat.” Expect this to come up in the oral argument.

Oral arguments can be very revealing, as the resolution of the DACA/Dreamers case shows. Recall my prediction. Last month, after listening to the audio of the oral argument in that case, I told you:

I’m the guy who told you that the panel was going to rule against Obama in Halbig, based on listening to the oral argument. Unfortunately, I have to be the guy to tell you that — unless I am interpreting the argument incorrectly — the Fifth Circuit is probably going to rule for Obama here.

And that is exactly what happened, 10 days ago. Politico reported (Google cache link, no links for bullies):

A federal appeals court’s ruling Tuesday upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s first major executive action to aid illegal immigrants could help the Obama administration fight a more significant suit that has resulted in Obama’s second wave of immigration orders being halted nationwide.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that several immigration agents and the state of Mississippi lacked legal standing to sue over Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because evidence that the agents or the state would be harmed by the effort was too speculative.

“Neither Mississippi nor the Agents have alleged a sufficiently concrete and particularized injury that would give Plaintiffs standing to challenge DACA,” Judge W. Eugene Davis wrote in an opinion joined by Judges Carolyn King and Priscilla Owen.

Always trust content from Patterico.

We’ll see what today’s argument holds in store. I admit to a lack of optimism, but that is characteristic of my personality. I’ll report more on it when I get a chance to hear the audio.

UPDATE: I should note that on the earlier case, I thought they might grant standing but deny on the merits — and they tossed it on standing. Details.

The audio of today’s oral argument is here. I have heard about half an hour or so. More later.

8/1/2012

Obama: Deport the Criminals Last

Filed under: 2012 Election,Immigration,Obama — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Failing to deport illegal criminals costs lives. Again:

The Obama administration released illegal immigrants who went on to commit more crimes, including charges of 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the House Judiciary Committee said in a report Tuesday.

All told, 16 percent of the nearly 47,000 illegal immigrants the administration was notified of but declined to deport between 2008 and 2011 under its Secure Communities program have gone on to be charged with other crimes, the committee said.

. . . .

While hundreds of thousands of aliens have been sent back home under the program, 159,286 were not put in deportation proceedings during the period under review, CRS said.

About three-quarters of those weren’t eligible for deportation because they were legal immigrants and their criminal records didn’t rise to the level of deportation.

But nearly a quarter could have been deported and weren’t, CRS said. They went on to commit the 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the Judiciary Committee said.

So, 19 people dead because of lax immigration policy. But what is that as compared to all the votes Obama will get?

Thanks to Robert C.J. Parry.

7/26/2012

Obama Deports the Criminals First — Unless the Illegal Says He Went to High School

Filed under: 2012 Election,General,Immigration,Obama — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

Because if he went to high school, Obama says let him go:

In a startling allegation, the president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claimed illegal immigrants are “taking advantage” of a new directive allowing some undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country. Union boss Chris Crane said the policy ends up allowing illegal immigrants to avoid detention without any proof — particularly so-called “dreamers,” or those illegal immigrants who would benefit under the “DREAM Act” proposal, which Congress has not passed but the administration has partially implemented.

“Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual’s claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go,” he said at a press conference with GOP senators. “Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything. … At this point we don’t even know why DHS has criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien.

“We believe that significant numbers of people who are not dreamers are taking advantage of this practice to avoid arrest,” he said.

Crane cited one case in which, he said, an immigrant facing criminal charges was let go under the policy. Further, he complained that officers are “under threat of losing their jobs” if they defy the policy.

Illegals: don’t forget to vote for Obama! And remember: you don’t need ID!

7/24/2012

14 Killed in Immigrant Smuggling Crash

Filed under: Immigration — Patterico @ 7:16 am

Illegal immigrant smuggling just killed more people in a single incident than James Holmes killed at the Aurora movie theater:

With little more than photographs and fingerprints, authorities were trying to identify 14 suspected illegal immigrants who were killed when a pickup truck packed with nearly two dozen people crashed in South Texas in one of the nation’s deadliest immigrant smuggling accidents.

The victims — men, women and children — were carrying toothbrushes, toothpaste and changes of socks and underwear but no identification. Authorities said the white Ford F250 was carrying 23 immigrants from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala when it veered off a highway and crashed into trees Sunday night.

“It’s the worst single-vehicle wreck I’ve worked in my 40 years in the funeral business,” said Adrian Fulton, a local funeral home director who picked up the 11 people who died at the scene. Fulton estimated their ages from 8 to 30, and he said Homeland Security Investigations agents came Monday to photograph and fingerprint the dead.

All the dead were coming here to make better lives for themselves, and none of them did. What’s more, this is hardly an isolated incident.

As with Holmes, what should be done (if anything) in response is open to lively debate. But 23 people in a pickup is not a situation you strive for, is it?

Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano tells us not to pay attention to what President Obama says about immigration:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano accused her boss President Barack Obama of making an inaccurate statement on immigration law enforcement during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

A hot topic during the hearing was the Obama administration’s decision to selectively enforce immigration laws. The administration decided in mid-June – via an announcement from Napolitano and a subsequent Rose Garden speech from Obama – that it would not deport illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as “young children.”

The president’s decision to selectively enforce immigration laws directly contradicts a public statement he made in March 2011. Back then, Obama said he thought “[t]here are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Correct, sir — and yet, that’s what you’re doing.

7/13/2012

Why Illegal Immigrants Killing People Is Especially Galling: An Observation

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Let’s pretend that a man enters your house without your permission. Then he breaks one of your dinner plates.

When you complain, you are told: “What’s the big deal? You broke one of your dinner plates last month.”

You might say: “But this is different! I didn’t invite this guy into my house! And anyway, just entering my house without permission is a crime to begin with!”

Most people would understand this argument.

But when an illegal immigrant enters this country, and then does something wrong — like, say, killing somebody — the argument from illegal immigration supporters is always the same. They will ask: “Are illegal immigrants more likely than citizens to kill people?”

Here’s my answer.

I don’t care.

They’re not supposed to be here in the first place.

7/12/2012

More Deaths Caused by Illegal Aliens

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Houston:

A day care employee who police say ran a red light and crashed a van full of kids on Monday is in the country illegally and doesn’t even have a driver’s license, according to investigators, KHOU-TV (Channel 11) is reporting.

Glassock County, Texas:

The driver of a big rig dump truck that caused a fatal accident in Glasscock County is now facing two charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The wreck happened Tuesday evening when Ruben Garces ran a stop sign at FM 2401 and slammed into a pickup.

29-year-old Bryan McBride and 19-year-old Jacob Power were killed instantly.

We have learned from Glasscock County Sheriff that Garces does have a Class C Mexican license but doesn’t have an American one.

The Instapundit blogs a similar case in St. Paul, Minnesota:

IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF THAT EVIL SUV! “Scott wrote here about the appalling case of a 16-year-old St. Paul girl, Clarisse Grime, who was sitting in the grass at her high school, nowhere near the street, when she was struck and killed by a vehicle that careened out of control and bounced off a fire hydrant. The vehicle was driven by an illegal immigrant who has been in Minnesota for ten years without ever having a driver’s license. He was known to local authorities, having been convicted of drunk driving in 2001 and driving without a license just a few months ago. But the immigration laws are not enforced in St. Paul. So today, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Miss Grime’s funeral. This was the paper’s headline: ‘St. Paul teen killed by SUV remembered at her funeral.’ Killed by SUV? That doesn’t really seem to be the salient point.”

No, but focusing on it helps avoid the salient point. Which is, you know . . . the point.

It’s happening all over the country. You’ll see it if you look for it.

3/27/2012

Deport the Criminals First: Two Stories

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:03 am

A triple murderer should have been deported after his previous robbery and assault conviction leading to a prison sentence. Gee, maybe we should Deport the Criminals First:

A day after authorities arrested a suspect in connection with the brutal slayings of five people in a San Francisco home, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the accused killer had eluded deportation and instead had to be released from custody in 2006.

San Francisco police have connected Binh Thai Luc, 35, of San Francisco with the grotesque killings of three men and two women, who were discovered dead about 7:45 a.m. Friday by a woman who had access to the house. Officials arrested Luc on Sunday and alluded to his having a criminal history.

On Monday, officials said Luc had been taken into ICE custody in August 2006 as he was serving a prison sentence at San Quentin State Prison for assault and attempted robbery. Officials say he was ordered to be removed from the country by an immigration judge a month later, but because Vietnamese authorities declined to provide appropriate travel documents, Luc could not be deported and had to be released in December 2006.

Vietnam didn’t want their robber back? Now there’s a shocker.

I think it’s about time we told countries that we don’t care if they don’t want their criminals back. They are their problem, not ours. If they don’t like it, no more American cash.

So that’s one issue. But this one was obvious: of course we should deport robbers. I keep hearing, though, that we are being meanies by wanting to deport illegals who commit minor crimes, like DUIs. OK . . . and when we don’t, here’s what can happen:

Immigration officials confirmed Monday that the suspect in an alleged drunken driving wreck that killed one boy and critically injured another was in the country illegally.

Luis Hector Lopez-Rodriguez, 27, of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is accused of plowing into the porch of a southwest Houston apartment, where two young boys were playing during a March 17 party, authorities said.

Gregory Palmore, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said agents have determined that Lopez-Rodriguez was in the country illegally and have filed paperwork to detain him. Palmore said ICE officials had no prior contact with Lopez-Rodriguez, who was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Harris County in January 2008.

. . . .

Jesus Ordonez, 7, was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Christopher Cruz, 4, suffered burns on more than 40 percent of his body after the car slammed into a hot grill, authorities said.

Yeah, they had no contact with him because they didn’t start their program until later in 2008:

Immigration officials launched a jail screening program called Secure Communities in the Harris County Jail in the fall of 2008 . . .

Wish they’d listened to me. In November 2003, I said:

Look, I understand that we don’t have the resources to deport all illegal immigrants. But it seems like a no-brainer to start with the criminals. If a single immigration agent is worrying himself with illegals who have not already been convicted of a crime serious enough to warrant jail time, while illegals are being deliberately released from jail, there is something seriously wrong.

I reiterated the idea in March 2005 and December 2006. And I started a crusade with my multi-part series “Deport the Criminalst First” campaign in May 2007.

It’s sometimes fun on this blog for me to call myself Carnac by talking about the correct predictions I have made and so forth. But it’s actually no fun being Carnac when you realize that actual lives would have been saved — like that of the seven-year-old boy above — if people had just listened to you earlier.

By the way, if you’re still opposing identifying criminal aliens in jail, even those convicted of “minor” crimes like DUI, you’re part of the problem — and the blood of children like Jesus Ordonez is on your hands.

1/28/2012

San Francisco Based State Legislator Fights “Deport the Criminals First” Policy

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration,Morons — Patterico @ 3:02 pm

Ah, San Francisco:

A bill being drafted by a state legislator would limit local law enforcement from holding arrestees on behalf of immigration authorities seeking to deport them.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said he is finalizing amendments to a bill that would be the first statewide measure to counter the Secure Communities enforcement program, which requires law enforcement agencies to forward to immigration authorities the fingerprints of all arrestees booked into local jails.

If those authorities identify a candidate for deportation, they can issue a detainer, which asks the agency to hold them beyond the time when they would normally be released so immigration agents can take custody. The program has come under fire because many of those ensnared have never been convicted of crimes or are low-level offenders.

When states like California or Arizona have tried to pass legislation that helps the federal government enforce federal immigration law, the immigrants’ rights advocates always tell us those law are illegal — because federal law is supreme in the area of immigration. So, local laws can’t touch on immigration (so the argument goes) because that steps on federal toes.

(I have never understood this argument, because helping the feds enforce the law can’t be seen as stepping on their toes . . . can it??)

Where is the “federal preemption” crowd here? This law explicitly seeks to interfere with federal programs designed to catch people in custody who have violated our immigration laws. Wouldn’t that . . . step on federal toes?

What needs to be remembered is that people who are subject to deportation have already violated the law. What’s more, if they have been arrested, they are on average more likely to be among the least desirable among those who have violated our immigration laws. A “Deport the Criminals First” policy uses our limited resources in the manner that best protects public safety, by concentrating on people who have (by and large) committed crimes other than violating immigration laws. Because criminals are more dangerous than non-criminals, this policy saves lives. And even if it turns out that they didn’t commit other crimes, they still violated immigration laws anyway, and we have them in custody.

Ammiano’s plan is an open borders plan: EVERYONE is welcome, including the diseased, the immoral, and the criminal. Our country is a country of immigrants, but we have the right to control which immigrants are allowed to enter, to keep the country healthy and safe. Orderly immigration laws seek to import immigrants who are not criminals or afflicted with communicable diseases. A policy of simply throwing open the borders removes these checks, which has the effect of welcoming people with TB and serious criminal histories. I don’t see why our country needs to be burdened with a crop of undesirables (criminals) when we have insufficient resources to take care of the people we already have.

The U.S. is fishing for illegals. We can’t catch every fish in the sea, but we can catch some. Ammiano wants to take the fish that are already in the net and throw them back out to sea. That only makes sense if you think fishing is morally wrong.

Me, I don’t think it is. And I don’t think deporting criminal illegals is wrong either.

But then, I don’t live in San Francisco.

8/31/2011

L.A. Times Loves Them Some Financial Aid to Illegal Immigrants

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 11:05 pm

Because California state government has so much money that legislators hardly know what to do with it all, state senators passed a bill today to give financial aid to illegal immigrants who are college students. Plenty of U.S. citizens are short financial aid — never mind our eternal budget crisis — but apparently lawmakers still think we have $40 million available to hand over to non-citizens.

Just lovely.

And what do you think the Los Angeles Times thinks of this legislation? Just read the beginning of their story and you’ll quickly get the picture:

The college dreams of thousands of students who are illegal immigrants moved closer to fulfillment Wednesday after the state Senate approved a bill that for the first time would give them access to public financial aid.

Part of a two-bill package known as the California Dream Act, the measure would allow undocumented students who qualify for reduced in-state tuition to apply for Cal Grants, community college waivers and other public aid programs. To be eligible, they must be California high school graduates who attended schools in the state at least three years, and demonstrate financial need and academic merit.

The Senate vote brought relief to Brian Lee, a UCLA undergraduate who was brought to the U.S. at age 4 from South Korea and fell out of legal status when his mother did not renew their visas. Lee, a biology major who hopes to become a dentist, said the chance to apply for financial aid would help him finish school more quickly and alleviate the stress of working multiple under-the-table jobs. As it is, he has worked for two academic quarters to pay for each term he attends.

“I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel, finally,” said Lee, 24, who has completed just two quarters in more than two years.

Is there balance? Sure, if you read far enough down into the story. But the editors would never think of opening the story in this way:

Despite a recurring budget crisis and claims that even U.S. citizens are short on financial aid, California lawmakers voted in favor of funding financial aid for illegal immigrants, to the tune of $40 million.

That would be biased, you see. But the way they did it? Fair!

They probably don’t even realize what they’re doing. Or maybe they do. Who really cares? The effect is the same either way.

P.S. Many of you have noticed I hardly blog about this rag any more. I don’t know. They keep doing the same thing over and over, but they seem so irrelevant. All they do is keep printing the same tired stories with the same tired leftist slant, and laying more and more people off. It’s hard to get too excited about it any more, frankly.

I can still manage some minor irritation. But the outrage is gone, vanished just like the paper’s influence.

That’s a trade-off I can live with.

8/18/2011

Deport the Criminals First (and Only?)

Filed under: 2012 Election,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Karl @ 5:06 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama’s re-election campaign finds a new gear:

In a move that could shake up the U.S. immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security is going to begin reviewing all 300,000 pending deportation cases in federal immigration courts to determine which individuals meet specific criteria for removal and to focus on “our highest priorities.”

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the review will enhance public safety. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons,” Napolitano wrote Thursday in a letter to assistant majority leader Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and 21 other senators including Indiana Republican Richard Lugar.

***

But the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which advocates changing policies to decrease the number of immigrants coming to the United States, said in a statement on its website that the action by the Obama administration “amounts to an administrative amnesty and a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration policy without approval by Congress.”

Patterico has long championed the idea of “Deport the Criminals First.”  However, a review of the June  ICE memo (.pdf) detaling the new policy makes clear that the prosecutorial discretion involved is not limited to prioritizing deportations, but decisions to arrest, settle or dismiss proceedings, defer action, grant parole, etc.   Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times describes the new policy as “virtually stopping deporting students who are in the U.S. illegally, taking steps even as Congress has resisted passing the DREAM Act.”  Sen. Durbin issued a statement adding that when reviews of individual cases result in cases being closed, those individuals “will be able to apply for certain immigration benefits, including work authorization.”

So… if not backdoor amnesty, a big step in that direction.  Sweet, to her credit, duly notes that the move came as Hispanic groups have been stepping up complaints about Obama’s illegal immigration policy.

–Karl

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