Politics & Policy

Obama’s Immigration Lawyers’ Enrichment Act

Protesting deportations of illegal immigrants in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Endless appeals and reviews make a mockery of our system of immigration courts.

The American Dream is dying for tens of millions of unemployed, underemployed, and long-term-jobless citizens. But the White House has guaranteed that one sector of the U.S. economy will thrive for decades to come: immigration lawyers.

Don’t believe the fibbing D.C. flacks. While the president’s spokesman Josh Earnest promised that “most” of the illegal-immigrant youths from Central America flooding across our borders will “likely” be deported, decades of reality expose the White House lie. Our deportation system is designed to fail.

“Due process” in deportation is a euphemism for interminable delay. According to TRAC Immigration, which gathers data on the chronically backlogged immigration-court system, there are currently more than 366,000 pending deportation cases, with average wait times nationally of nearly 600 days. There are a measly 59 immigration courts staffed by a meager 235 judges to handle all those cases.

Insiders have told me again and again over the years: “It ain’t over ’til the alien wins.”

Democrats, as always, will blame lack of taxpayer funding. But here’s the cold, hard fact: The system is “broken” on purpose. As they clamor for mass illegal-alien amnesty, left-wing immigration lawyers and ethnic activists operate a lucrative industry whose sole objective is to help illegal aliens and convicted-criminal visa holders evade deportation for as long as possible. Groups such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and the American Friends Service Committee make their livelihoods off administrative bottlenecks.

The racket’s chief enablers: the federal Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees immigration courts nationwide, and its unaccountable appellate arm, the Board of Immigration Appeals, which routinely puts aliens’ rights over citizens’ safety.

The BIA’s 15 members are politically appointed career bureaucrats who have the power to overturn deportation orders nationwide. The panel is composed largely of alien-friendly advocates from immigration-law circles, former Justice Department attorneys, and former BIA staff. These meddling activists regularly reopen factual findings of lower trial courts, violating fundamental principles of appellate review and giving illegal aliens more opportunities to press their cases in federal courts than legal American citizens have.

The legal tricks for evading the flimsy immigration dragnet are well known among the immigrant population, as I first reported twelve years ago in a Center for Immigration Studies report on the deportation abyss. “Even if an alien is removable,” an EOIR bureaucrat testified back then, “he or she may file an application for relief from removal, such as asylum, voluntary departure, suspension of deportation, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, registry or a waiver of inadmissibility.”

Today’s young illegal border surgers have a plethora of litigation bites at the apple that will keep them in our country in perpetuity. As one of countless immigration law firms now advises, “There are several forms of relief that an unaccompanied child may apply for in immigration court.” Voluntary departure is the de facto “catch and release” option that entrusts illegals to deport themselves. Then there’s the scam-riddled asylum application process, which is significantly loosened for minors. Next alternative: the special juvenile immigrant visa, which offers lawful permanent resident status to unaccompanied illegal-alien children.

Another route: the fraud-friendly U visa. It’s a program for illegal-alien victims of trafficking or domestic violence that was supposed to grant temporary legal status if the beneficiaries assisted law enforcement, but has morphed into an ever-expanding path to residency, work authorization, and citizenship for virtually anyone who applies.

An attorney who worked as a law clerk in the Fifth Circuit shared his firsthand experience with me several years ago. Nothing has changed. “It was amazing the number of petitions for review of BIA decisions we handled,” he said. “You are absolutely correct that immigration lawyers use the current system of endless appeals to make illegals essentially undeportable. (It amazes me that illegal aliens, unlike American citizens, get TWO appeals as of right — one to the BIA and then another to the Circuit Court of Appeals.)”

One real solution: “Repeal the statutory provisions that provide for judicial review by the Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court,” the lawyer told me. “It is clearly permissible for the Congress to do this under the Constitution. This would eliminate the biggest ‘bottleneck’ in the removal/deportation process. It would also reduce greatly the overburden dockets of our federal appellate courts.”

Another solution: As I first proposed twelve years ago in my book Invasion, it’s long past time to abolish the EOIR and BIA and transfer their functions to existing law-enforcement officers within the immigration bureaucracy.

Expedient promises by both parties to “secure the border” are worthless unless America shuts down the litigation boondoggle that rewards foreign law-breakers, their saboteur lawyers, and their amnesty advocates.

— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies. Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com. © 2014 Creators.com

Michelle Malkin — Michelle Malkin is the host of Michelle Malkin Investigates on CRTV.com. Her email address is writemalkin@gmail.com. Copyright © 2018 Creators.com

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