• Tag Archives immigration
  • “Fast-Track” Deportation Threatens Due Process

    Everyone’s entitled to their day in court—except illegal immigrants, apparently.

    At least, that’s the Trump administration’s position, in light of its recent expansion of the “fast-track” deportation process. The Associated Press reports that in an attempt to address the crisis on our southern border, immigration authorities have extended the “expedited removal” process to apply to millions more immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. This process allows for the deportation of these immigrants without any appearance before an immigration judge, a shortcut previously reserved for illegal immigrants who had just crossed the border.

    Now, it will apply to any illegal immigrant who has spent less than two years in the country, which potentially includes millions who live, work, and even have children in America. While immigration enforcement is important and the border crisis in dire need of a solution, this is a misstep from the Trump administration. It threatens the right to due process that all people ought to enjoy.

    Yet Trump officials

    expect that the full use of expedited removal statutory authority will strengthen national security, diminish the number of illegal entries, and otherwise ensure the prompt removal of aliens apprehended in the United States.

    Yes, there’s a backlog in our immigration courts that’s interfering with proper, timely immigration enforcement, but the solution there is to expand the number of immigration judges and expedite the judicial process, not skip it entirely.

    Of course, expedited removal does make sense for recent border crossers. If immigration officers catch some sneaking across the border, they shouldn’t have to take them to court before sending them back. But once someone has lived and worked in the United States for two years, they are at the very least entitled to their day in court before being apprehended and deported. Anything less is a betrayal of the principles of due process that make our constitutional system the best in human history.

    As the American Civil Liberties Union’s Omar Jawdat told the AP,

    Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court.

    Clearly, this kind of system is rife for abuse.

    After all, how are immigration authorities supposed to know who has been here for two years and who hasn’t? It’s not as if illegal immigrants have documentation to prove when they arrived. So in expanding the fast-track deportation process, immigration officials are essentially paving the way for it to be used against many of the millions of illegal immigrants in our country. No matter your views on immigration policy, you should oppose the carrying out of such enforcement without proper process and respect for the rights of all involved.

    Take, for example, the case of Francisco Erwin Galicia, the American-born citizen immigration authorities recently mistook for an illegal immigrant and subjected to abuse so bad he almost self-deported anyway.

    He claims he lost nearly 30 pounds due to hunger while in custody, and wasn’t allowed to shower. It’s certainly true that these horror stories in immigration enforcement are rare, but giving government officials overly broad and dangerously expansive powers exponentially increases the chances of abuse.

    Beth Werlin of the left-leaning American Immigration Council said the Trump administration’s new policy “denies a fair day in court to people who could face death when sent back to their countries.” She makes a chilling point.

    Enforcing our nation’s laws is of the utmost importance. But so, too, is respecting the dignity and rights of all who live in the land of the free—something the Trump administration’s expansion of fast-track deportation simply doesn’t do.

    This article is republished from the Washington Examiner. 

    Brad Polumbo

    Brad Polumbo is an editor at the libertarian media nonprofit Young Voices. His work has appeared in USA Today, The Daily Beast, and National Review. You can find him on Twitter @Brad_Polumbo.

    This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

  • Trump’s Trade Plan: Raise Taxes on Americans to Punish Mexico Over Immigration

    President Trump, frustrated that Congress has not approved the funding for his border wall, proposed escalating tariffs on Mexico until Mexico ends illegal immigration. According to the president, the tariffs—akin to a tax on US consumers—would start at 5 percent on all Mexican imports in June but could escalate as high as 25 percent by the fall.

    This comes on the heels of a threat (later withdrawn) to close the US-Mexico border for a “long time” unless Mexico prevents all illegal immigration into the United States. Reasonable minds can disagree on immigration policy and border enforcement strategies. However, disrupting North American trade would harm American consumers and businesses across the country.

    And President Trump knows it.

    While discussing closing the border, Trump cavalierly admitted that doing so would hurt the US economy. Mexico has traditionally been the United States’s number three trade partner (behind China and Canada). But earlier this year, Mexico became our number one trade partner. For 2018, the United States’s total trade with Mexico was about $671 billion. Total US exports to Mexico last year were about $299.1 billion. It should be pointed out that about one-half of the total imports into the US are actually inputs into final products produced by the United States.

    While all states would be affected, Texas, the nation’s top exporter, would be disproportionately harmed if cross-border trade were disrupted. Texas alone exports over $97 billion annually in goods that include computers and electronics, transportation equipment, energy, and agriculture to Mexico, our top trade partner. It is estimated that approximately 36.9 percent of Texas’s exports are sent to Mexico. Texas has an $8.5 billion annual trade surplus with Mexico. Sales into Mexico constitute about 5.7 percent of the Texas Gross State Product.

    Jeffry Bartash, writing in Marketwatch, estimated that “if all the costs were passed on to US customers, they would pay an extra $17 billion over a full year under a 5% tariff. The price tag could jump to $87 billion if duties were set at 25%.”

    Disrupting the integrated North American supply chain could have a lasting negative impact. If international customers can’t rely on the supply of goods from US-based manufacturers, those customers might turn to manufacturers elsewhere (such as Europe and Asia). Once market share is lost, there is no guarantee that American manufacturers will win back foreign customers after America’s supply lines are restored.

    After NAFTA came into place in 1994, US agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico increased 288 percent. But a trade war that cuts off American farmers and ranchers from the Mexican market would jeopardize revenue and jobs, as well as strain their way of life.

    Trump has made the threat to close the Mexican border for commerce before, walked it back, and renewed it, but he now seems intent on unilaterally imposing tariffs—presumably under the guise of national security. This move jeopardizes the ratification of the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), or the renegotiated NAFTA 2.0. Business decision-makers are getting whiplash. One moment Trump is removing his steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. The next moment he is threatening tariffs on all Mexican imports. This basket case trade policy is making it exceedingly difficult for businesses to plan their operations, decide on capital expenditures, and manage their supply chains.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) responded to the president’s latest tariffs threat against Mexico by saying, “This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.” But it is not clear at this time what legal authority the president has to impose a tariff across the board on Mexican imports. It is risible to claim, for instance, that imports of avocados are a threat to national security (thus justifying tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act).

    Immigration, border security, and trade are complex issues that require thoughtful deliberation. However, Congress (which through 2018 was controlled by the president’s party) has failed to reach a consensus on border security. Unless Congress acts to rein in the president’s authority to impose “national security” tariffs, one man will make a decision that could unilaterally cause tremendous damage to our economy. If that happens, there could be electoral consequences.

    Again, Texas is the nation’s top exporter, and it relies on trade with its neighbor to the south. With Texas looking more and more like a 2020 swing state, the president’s indifference to the economic well-being of Texans, as well as the failure of elected officials to reach reasonable solutions, may bring political risk for the president and his allies if Texas consumers and businesses feel the pain of his misguided trade policies before election day.

    Doug McCullough

    Doug McCullough is Director of Lone Star Policy Institute.

    This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

  • Appeals court deals crippling blow to President Obama’s immigration plan

    A federal appeals court dealt a potentially fatal blow Monday to President Obama’s immigration plan, leaving more than 4 million undocumented immigrants in legal limbo and setting up a possible Supreme Court battle at the sunset of his administration.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a challenge to the deferred deportation program brought by Texas and 25 other states with Republican governors, who argued that Obama lacked the authority to protect about one-third of the nation’s undocumented immigrants by executive fiat.

    The authority that the administration claimed, the court said in a 2-1 ruling, would allow it “to grant lawful presence and work authorization to any illegal alien in the United States.”

    The White House said in a statement that it strongly disagreed with the court and that the departments of Justice and Homeland Security will review the ruling to determine the “next steps” in the case.

    “The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws,” the statement read. “This lawsuit is preventing people who have been part of our communities for years from working on the books, contributing to our economy by paying taxes on that work, and being held accountable.”

    The decision had been anticipated by the administration and immigration rights groups, who have hung their hopes on the Supreme Court rather than the conservative appeals court with jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. But the four-month wait for a ruling, since oral arguments were held before the three-judge panel, could mean that the justices won’t get the case during their current term — and won’t decide it before Obama leaves office.

    Under that scenario, the 4.3 million undocumented immigrants deemed eligible for the program would be at the mercy of the next president — either a Democrat who favors giving them temporary protection from deportation, or a Republican who most likely would have campaigned against it.

    That makes the panel’s decision a major blow to Obama, who has hoped to overhaul the nation’s immigration system before leaving office even if Congress won’t go along. And it’s a crushing defeat for millions of immigrant families who hope to win protections that would make them eligible for three-year work permits and a host of health care, disability and retirement benefits.

    Source: Appeals court deals crippling blow to President Obama’s immigration plan