There is an important column on immigration today in The Washington Times Commentary section by Mark Metcalf, a former Justice Department colleague and good friend of mine. I previously reported for The Foundry on his testimony in June about our broken immigration court system before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. Metcalf is a former immigration judge who writes about the disdain the Obama administration has shown toward the rule of law with its wholesale dismissal of thousands of cases against illegal aliens. It is also ignoring the more than 600,000 outstanding deportation orders already issued by immigration courts (unless a particular alien has a criminal record).
This will, Metcalf points out, “assure that more illegal immigration will follow — with illegal [alien]s confident that the administration, which refused to secure this nation’s borders, will not remove those who enter and remain illegally.”
This policy of ignoring the law, ignoring court orders, and implementing the across-the-board dismissal of immigration cases against illegal aliens can occur because of a fact that few members of the public realize: our immigration courts are administrative courts within the Justice Department, and the judges are DOJ employees. Because they are not Article III federal courts with independent authority, they don’t have “the historic check and balance of authoritative courts — courts that can refuse the bidding of a reckless executive agency.”
What is so infuriating about the Obama administration’s case dismissal policy is that it means that illegal aliens are being treated better than ordinary citizens: “Aliens who enter this nation illegally and then evade court or disobey orders to leave are treated better than the general public … In any other court, court evasion results in contempt charges, arrest and incarceration.” Not so in the Obama-Holder world of justice.