The former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Sandweg, published an op-ed this week calling, in effect, for the abolition of immigration law.
Sandweg, a criminal defense attorney and Arizona crony of Janet Napolitano, wrote in relation to President Obama’s directive that ICE reexamine enforcement policies with an eye toward making them more “humane.” To that end, he says ICE “should eliminate ‘non-criminal re-entrants and immigration fugitives’ as a priority category for deportation.”
He’s not just blue-skying this idea; it’s clearly the next step being considered in the administration’s unilateral amnesty push. It wouldn’t confer legal status on any illegal aliens (unlike the president’s illegal DACA/DREAM amnesty) but would solidify the status of immigration violations as secondary offenses. An example of a secondary offense is not wearing your seatbelt (in many states, anyway) — the police can’t stop you just for that, but if they stop you for, say, speeding, and find you’re also not wearing your seatbelt, they can ticket you for that as well.
In the immigration context this means that an illegal alien would have to commit some other, “real” crime to potentially face any immigration consequences. And the list of “real” crimes does not include the crime of sneaking into the country, or identity theft, document fraud, Social Security fraud, tax fraud, perjury on an I-9 form, false claim of U.S. citizenship, and now even reentry after deportation and absconding from immigration court.