Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the southwest border of the United States is more secure than ever and warned lawmakers against holding proposed legislation to reward illegal aliens with citizenship hostage for more border security.
Napolitano that her departments efforts would ensure that there would be no repeat of the 1986 amnesty issue took place in which the government failed to follow through with better immigration enforcement.
The Washington Times reports,
“Immigration enforcement now is light-years away from what it was in 1986,” she said.
The state of border security is a giant factor in this year’s debate, disputes over which helped scuttle an immigration bill in 2007.
This time, the plan emerging in the Senate would grant illegal immigrants immediate tentative legal status but would withhold green cards — the key intermediate step on the path to citizenship — until the border is secure.
Ms. Napolitano pushed back against that, saying that the entire problem must be addressed at the same time.
“Too often the ‘border security first’ refrain simply serves as an excuse for failing to address the underlying problems,” she said.
Napolitano said that Border Patrol had been increased, though reports are that they are being taught to flee, run and throw things. She also said that hundreds of miles of fencing had been installed and that her department were deporting a record number of illegal immigrants.
The numbers that the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement puts forward with regards to deportation of illegal aliens who are also convicted criminals from 2008 to 2012 has increased significantly. In 2001 under George W. Bush, when DHS was created there were 71,079 convicted criminal illegals who were removed from the U.S. Remember that followed September 11, 2001. The following year 71,686 were removed.
In the first year of Obama’s first term, 2009, ICE reports to have removed 136,343 illegals who were convicted criminals and in 2012 that number climbed to 225,390.
Those are most certainly moving in the right direction. However, the DC’s Caroline May points out:
In a response letter to four top Republican lawmakers, the Department of Homeland Security revealed it initiated only one case against an immigrant for becoming a “public charge,” or being primarily dependent upon the government, in fiscal year 2012. The case was later withdrawn.
While the department’s response to Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Pat Roberts’ August oversight request offered an overview of the centuries-old federal public-charge restrictions, it noticeably avoided several of the senators’ direct questions and demonstrated potentially significant inadequacies in record-keeping by immigration officials, who legally should be enforcing public-charge rules for immigrants both inside and outside of the country.
The response, for example, failed to explain why immigrants are only assessed for their potential reliance on just two of the more than 80 federal means-tested welfare programs when the government determines if they are “public charges” prior to their entry into the U.S. — meaning that they are likely to become primarily dependent on federal aid for subsistence after arriving.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a single American who believes a whole year went by without a single alien violating the public-charge law,” one Republican aide said. “This revelation from DHS is beyond disturbing. It is inexcusable. Surely this must give pause to fiscal conservatives considering the cost to American taxpayers of various comprehensive immigration reform proposals being discussed.”
Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Nelson Peacock, who penned the letter, also provided data of the number of applicants from 2005 to August 9, 2012 who were denied entry on public-charge grounds though the Visa Waiver Program. The findings were a mere 9,796 applicants, or .0084% of approved VWP applicants in that seven year period.
According to an analysis of Census Bureau data, The Center for Immigration Studies revealed last August that in 2010, 36% of immigrant-headed households were on at least one major welfare program, compared to 23% of native-headed households.
So on the one hand, their deportations of illegals, who are convicted of crimes in the United States are up, and yet they are not tracking illegals who become welfare dependent upon the government (ie. taxpayers). This is a very serous issue, because we are talking 36% of immigrants are on welfare! Whether people want to admit it or not, that is not only a disastrous economic issue, it’s a national security issue.
While many Republicans are siding with the Obama administration on legalizing tens of millions of illegals and believe they have no choice but to cave on the issue, others are standing their ground, convinced that doing so will just invite another wave of illegal immigration. I believe it will most certainly do that.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “1986 is so fundamental. We need to see, the American people need to see a real commitment.”
With the numbers revealing what they are, especially when it comes to welfare, I don’t think we have seen real commitment from this administration yet. I would further question whether the numbers of deportations is even accurate.
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