Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Nolan Rappaport: "Immigrant Advocacy Groups Shouldn't Be Opposing Trump's Raids"

   The Republicans won't support a legalization program until illegal immigration is under control — and that can't happen without unrestricted interior enforcement.
   The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) established a legalization program that granted lawful status to millions of undocumented aliens.
   The legalization program in IRCA was based on a bi-partisan, wipe-the-slate-clean deal: Legalize the undocumented aliens who are already here in return for enforcement and border security measures that will prevent a new group of undocumented aliens from taking their place in five or ten years.
   But the 2.7 million aliens who were legalized under its provisions in the late 1980s and early 1990s were replaced entirely by a new group of undocumented aliens by the beginning of 1997. Its strongest enforcement provision, employer sanctions, was not fully implemented, and the border was not secured.
   The Republicans have not forgotten IRCA.
   When the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) objected to it because he thought it repeated the mistakes that were made with IRCA by not adequately addressing interior enforcement.
   ... President Barack Obama focused his immigration enforcement program primarily on aliens who had been convicted of crimes in the United States or who had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry.
   During his administration, once an undocumented alien succeeded in reaching the interior of the country, he was home free. It was extremely unlikely that he would be deported unless he was convicted of a crime.
   In addition to being a pull factor that encouraged illegal immigration, this made border security more difficult by providing a strong incentive for aliens to persist in attempts to make an illegal entry.
   Controlling alien admissions is a core element of state sovereignty. The Supreme Court has held that Congress has absolute authority to control immigration by establishing laws governing the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens.
   This authority is meaningless if the laws that Congress passes are not enforced in the interior of the country.


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