Tuesday, 08 July 2014 17:08

Obama Admin. Blames Bush-Era Law for Failure to Deport Illegals

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Media reports support the findings of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report acknowledging that the Obama administration’s failure to deport illegal immigrants is among the “pull factors” prompting more people to follow suit. But the administration instead blames the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, signed into law by George W. Bush, for making it nearly impossible to deport unaccompanied minors to Central America.

An article in the Los Angeles Times on July 5, under the headline “Deportation data won't dispel rumors drawing migrant minors to U.S.” affirmed that reports that the Obama administration is not deporting illegal immigrants according to law are based on fact.

The Times writer noted that although the Obama administration has dismissed “rumors” circulated among Central Americans that they will be allowed to stay in the United States if they successfully cross the U.S. border, those rumors have increasingly proved to be true.

Citing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data released under a Freedom of Information Act request, the article noted that the number of immigrants under the age of 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008 (the last year of the George W. Bush administration) to 1,669 last year.

However, Obama administration officials deny that their lenient policies, including a 2012 program that allowed immigrants who had entered the country illegally as minors before June 2007 to apply for deportation “deferrals” (usually meaning "cancellations") have encouraged the recent flood of illegal immigration by unaccompanied minors.

The administration instead blames the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which was signed into law by Bush. That law made it nearly impossible to deport unaccompanied minors to Central America without first letting them appear before an immigration judge. Because of the current backlog, the wait for such court appearances can be very lengthy, during which time the immigrant minors are released from custody. 

Named after William Wilberforce — the British politician who led the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for 26 years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 — the act (S. 3061) was geared to combat the trafficking of minors. The law was designed, its proponents asserted, to prevent victims of child trafficking from being automatically sent back to those who had effectively enslaved them, with the court appearance designed to allow the judge to evaluate their particular situation. The law’s contribution to the present crisis, though undeniable, is most likely an unanticipated consequence.

While President Bush did sign the measure, it was a bipartisan effort, and was originally written partially by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and introduced in the Senate by then-Senator, now Vice President, Joe Biden.

The New York Times quoted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), a chief backer of the original bill, who said multiple factors have contributed to the present crisis, including “exploitation of our laws, the ungoverned space in Central America, as well as the desperate poverty faced by those deciding to cross.”

“With all these factors in mind, it’s hard to think that today’s situation at the border can be directly attributed to a law that’s been in effect now for six years,” Fortenberry said.

“It is classic unintended consequences,” Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, told the Times. “This was certainly not what was envisioned.”

Aides to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who was one of only two House Republicans who opposed the Wilberforce bill, told the Times that he did not foresee the current massive influx but was more concerned about federal spending at the time. Flake now supports revising the law. “Congress needs to change what it can, as soon as it can, to ensure that these unaccompanied minors are sent home without delay,” he said.

It might be noted that Flake is one of the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” who drafted the “immigration reform” bill passed by the Senate that the Obama administration would like the House to pass.

 Photo: AP Images

Stop Illegal Immigration

Related articles:  

DHS: Flow of Illegal Immigrants Encouraged by U.S. Failure to Deport

Obama Administration's Futile Response to Illegal Immigrant Minors

Obama Administration Weakens Illegal Immigration Enforcement

Report: Obama Immigration Policy Partly Responsible for Deaths of Americans

Illegal Aliens: Economic Consequences

Mishandling of Illegal Immigrant Minors Continues

3 comments

  • Comment Link chad james Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:13 posted by chad james

    "Obama Admin. Blames Bush-Era Law for Failure to Deport Illegals"

    "While President Bush did sign the measure, it was a bipartisan effort, and was originally written partially by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and introduced in the Senate by then-Senator, now Vice President, Joe Biden."

    Not happy that Bush signed it, but for Obama to blame the law and then do nothing about it puts him in the same boat. If he really wanted to fix the problem, he could start by asking Congress to change the law. But he knows that would be a vote-killer for the Democratic Party in future elections.

    And, putting legislation in front of the House that is neither helpful nor effective so you can blame the GOP for blocking it doesn't accomplish anything either.

  • Comment Link Rocky Wednesday, 09 July 2014 18:24 posted by Rocky

    The sad part of it is, he's right ! Bush did not enforce our immigration laws.
    Our last 5 Presidents refused to enforce our immigration laws. BOTH political parties sold their soul and their country for money, power and votes. THEY BOTH chose to pick and choose which laws which laws we were to obey and immigration was not one of them. However, NONE allowed in anything like the Obama Children's Crusade. We are fast losing our language, culture and American way of life and we have no one to blame except ourselves. WE let our government get away with this ! We have probably passed the point of no return.

  • Comment Link rprew Tuesday, 08 July 2014 17:18 posted by rprew

    Just issue an executive order nullifying the law. What? Not constitutional? Technicalities like that have never stopped him before. He won't because it (Trafficking Victims Act) supports his agenda, something he will never admit to (that he and Bush are actually on the same page).

    As an aside, this Bush era law is just another example of why the Republicans are no more a friend to America than the Democrats.

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