In a move that sadly is not surprising, President Obama has ordered a review of immigration enforcement policies to see if they can be done “more humanely within the confines of the law.” Not enforcing existing immigration laws would only encourage additional illegal immigration.
This decision comes in the wake of increased pressure from pro-amnesty organizations such as the National Council of La Raza, which has called President Obama “the deporter in chief” and have demanded that President Obama unilaterally stop deportations. Indeed, President Obama has already taken unilateral actions to ignore the law, and now he is considering actions that would even further abuse his authority.
Ending deportations would send a crystal clear message that it is open season for illegal immigration to the U.S. Ending deportations is not just amnesty; it is effectively a continuous amnesty for anyone who wants to illegally enter or stay in the U.S. in the future. The damage that such a policy would do the rule of law and U.S. society would be devastating.
In spite of the rhetoric, President Obama is not the deporter in chief, as deportations have consistently fallen under President Obama. And despite record levels of removals, the majority of removals are actually a result of Border Patrol arrests that turn back illegal border crossers. Under previous Administrations, these turn-backs would not have been counted, as even Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson admitted. The numbers of true deportations are at their lowest levels since 1973.
No one is advocating for ruthless and inhumane treatment of unlawful immigrants. All humans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, but coming to the U.S. is a privilege, not a right. Pro-amnesty advocates, however, would have the American people believe that enforcing the law and deporting unlawful immigrants is, in itself, unfair and inhumane.
But here is what is really unfair: Amnesty, whether it is given by Congress or by the President in the ultimate act of executive overreach, has a cost that must be paid. Once given amnesty, unlawful immigrants will eventually gain access to the whole range of U.S. services and benefits, including welfare and entitlement programs, most of which are already bloated and fiscally unsustainable.
Who will pay for a massive expansion of these broken programs as a result of amnesty? The American taxpayer will in the form of higher taxes, fewer benefits, and even more debt. While pro-amnesty advocates say that is unfair and wrong to deport unlawful immigrants, is it fair or right to impose trillions of dollars in new costs on the American people?
Less rule of law and less enforcement is the exact opposite of what the U.S. needs. The only way to fix a broken immigration system is to restore enforcement and trust in the executive branch. Anything less is unfair to the American people.