The Corner

Immigration

Democrats and Open Borders: The Budget Is the Policy

Protesters in New York City call for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, June 29, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Democratic leadership may be trying to keep its distance from the hard Left’s comically absurd Green New Deal, but it has embraced the “Abolish ICE” agenda. The Washington Post report that Rich linked to makes clear that the Democratic budget negotiators, while shying away from simply guillotining the agency immediately, as their party’s Jacobins have demanded, have simply adopted a different approach to the same goal — starving ICE’s immigration-enforcement functions.

Wall funding hasn’t even been a major issue in the ongoing talks because, as the Post put it, the “White House had begun to signal flexibility on that issue.” Instead,“throughout the talks, Democrats had also been focused on limiting ICE’s ability to detain unauthorized immigrants.”

This is clear from the summary of the Democratic proposal at the beginning of negotiations: Cut the number of detention beds, abolish family detention, and cap detention “associated with interior enforcement” to the level at the tail end of the Obama administration — a level so low that ICE would be forced to release criminals and perhaps even violate the law regarding the kinds of deportable aliens whose detention is mandatory.

The increases sought by Democrats are designed to turn ICE (and the Border Patrol) into a welcome wagon for illegal aliens: Additional Health Service Corps staff, additional Victims Assistance specialists, more detention-facility inspections, “more efficient transportation, food and other consumables,” and a big expansion of “alternatives to detention” such as ankle monitors (even though nearly 30 percent of border infiltrators with kids cut off their monitors shortly after being released). What’s more, DHS’s in-house ACLU, the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, also gets a big increase, as does the customs half of ICE.

Oh, and no fencing is allowed anywhere near the National Butterfly Center in south Texas.

Implementation of the Democratic proposal would, among other things, dramatically increase the rapidly growing number of border infiltrators using children as a ticket to release into the interior. And people in Latin America are noticing; Gallup reports that “A full 5 million who are planning to move in the next 12 months say they are moving to the U.S.” If only one in five actually follow through, this will be a crisis on the scale of what we saw in Germany a few years ago. And there’s no reason to think the Democrats’ invitation to illegal immigration will only be accepted by people from Latin America — there’s already a growing number of Indians jumping the Mexican border and Gypsies from Europe bringing kids across the Canadian border as an illegal-immigration strategy.

The Democrats can deny all they want that they support open borders, but the budget is the policy, and open borders is where it leads.

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Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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