The Patriot Post® · Preserving 'Catch and Release' by Any Means Necessary
On Monday, Sept. 23, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced that the Trump administration would end the bipartisan effort to continue flooding the country with illegals, better known as “catch and release.” Five days later, Judge Dolly Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California, a Barack Obama appointee, rejected the the new regulations, insisting it it was up to Congress, not the administration, to supplant the Flores Agreement, which requires the release of children held in detention centers after 20 days. The regulations “fail to implement and are inconsistent with the relevant and substantive terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement,” Gee wrote. “The Flores Settlement Agreement remains in effect and has not been terminated.” Thus the flood — as in more than 811,000 illegal border crossers apprehended at the southern border during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year — remains ongoing.
It gets worse. Since activists and their media allies have successfully portrayed the Trump administration as “inhumane” for “separating families” due to the fact that the Border Patrol can hold law-breaking adults while they’re forced to release children, entire families are being freed. That the Obama and Bush administrations also separated adults and children? Perfectly OK, because they didn’t do it as often.
The real agenda? Since immigration courts have a backlog of more than one million cases, illegals will be living in America for years before they have to show up in court — if they show up at all. And if they do show up after years, is it a stretch to believe a leftist propagandist effort will be engendered to prevent those who have “put down roots” while waiting for their asylum claims to be adjudicated — even if those claims are meritless — from being deported?
The Trump administration was not being cavalier or heartless. The Flores Agreement, reached in 1997 following a series of lawsuits precipitated by immigration activists beginning in 1985, resulted in immigration detention standards for unaccompanied alien children (UACs), especially with regard to the conditions of facility in which they were held, as well as the timing and terms of their release. Over the last 22 years, a series of additional rulings by judges “with loose border proclivities,” as the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) puts it, has now come to be interpreted as requiring all minors in detention — whether they are accompanied by parents or not — to be released after 20 days.
In short, activist judges and their open-border allies have successfully incentivized coming here illegally and routinely claiming asylum, irrespective of legitimacy. CIS reveals the consequences, noting that “the number of apprehended aliens who claim credible fear (the first step in applying for asylum) has soared — up 67 percent in FY 18 vs. FY 17, and up over 10-fold from a decade ago. Moreover, only 3.5 percent of UACs are ever removed, according to DHS,” the website reports.
Tellingly, the same Judge Gee had a hand in expanding the parameters of the Flores Settlement in 2015. That year she ruled that the Obama administration must release detained children and their mothers who illegally enter the country, because Texas detention centers failed to meet the Flores standards.
A year later, a trio of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges reaffirmed that Flores applies to all children, unaccompanied or not, but reversed the ruling that those rights extended to accompanying adults.
The latest ruling by Gee was precipitated by the assertion that children were being held in filthy conditions without access to basic hygiene. Yet note the circular reasoning: Gee and other activist judges engender an incentive to illegally cross the border, an action undertaken by millions of illegals, many of whom are apprehended and brought to holding facilities. Those holding facilities have been overwhelmed by the huge number of detainees. Since such over-crowding constitutes “inhumane conditions,” government is forced to release the children being held there. The “breaking up families” mantra orchestrated by a pro-open borders media and their political allies, precipitates the release of adults. Since this dynamic is both entrenched and well-known, it further incentivizes illegal immigration, more over-crowding, more claims of inhumanity, and more judicial rulings requiring releases.
In short, lather, rinse, repeat — and catch and release remains viable indefinitely.
More nonsense? On Sept. 28, another Obama-appointed jurist, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, blocked the Trump administration’s plan to expand a fast-track deportation procedure known as “expedited removal.” The plan would have expanded the removal of illegals apprehended within 100 miles of a land border and within 14 days of arrival, to one that would have included removing illegals anywhere in the country who cannot prove they have lived here for two years or more.
Jackson insisted government officials “cannot succumb to whims or passions while rulemaking; instead, they must carefully evaluate all of the relevant facts and circumstances and take into account the feedback they have to solicit and receive from interested members of the public.”
Interested members of the public — or die-hard open-borders activists?
“Once again, a single district judge has suspended application of Federal law nationwide — removing whole classes of illegal aliens from legal accountability,” the White House press secretary declared a released statement.
Thankfully both of the above rulings are now back before the Trump-shaped Ninth Circuit Court, which began hearings Oct. 1.
Ending catch-and-release was intended to complement the Migrant Protection Protocols that require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claim is adjudicated. Federal District Judge Jon Tigar, another Obama-appointee, tried to submarine that effort as well, with another nationwide injunction. But the Ninth Circuit limited Tigar’s ban to Arizona and California, and then the Supreme Court stepped in and allowed the Trump administration to continue barring most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in America, while the issue plays out in the lower courts.
Yet who’s kidding whom? That policy will also end up before SCOTUS, because the highest court in the nation is the only one that can ultimately decide whether America is a nation of definable borders with a controllable immigration system — or a nation that can be gamed with impunity by those seeking its “fundamental transformation.”
The American public? Little more than spectators whose desires to maintain an exceptional nation — or even a nation itself — are largely irrelevant. And it’s exactly that way because congressional leaders of both political parties have made it clear they embrace the ultimate expression of contempt for their fellow Americans, better known as the globalist agenda.