Thursday, October 20, 2011

Amnesty by Any Means

Report Traces Evolution of Obama Administration Policy

Even as it boasts of 'record levels' of deportations, the Obama administration continues to seek de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants through executive action, thus ignoring congressional opposition. Parts of this strategy of administrative amnesty have been explored before, including in recent hearings before the House and Senate, but it has not been analyzed as a whole.

To that end, the Center for Immigration Studies has published an analysis of the four leaked Department of Homeland Security memos that shed light on the evolution of this strategy. In 'Amnesty by Any Means: Memos Trace Evolution of Obama Administration Policy,' the Center’s National Security Policy Director, Janice Kephart, closely analyzes the four memos and shows the following:
The objective of the administration is to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization,” a policy laid out in June 2010 by Department of Homeland Security headquarters staff.

Nearly a year later, the means to achieve this goal evolved into the June 2011 “prosecutorial discretion” memo, in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton effectively told field agents to not enforce the law.

The White House embraced this memo and made it presidential policy in August 2011, making President Obama clearly responsible for the policy of minimizing immigration law enforcement to achieve amnesty without congressional support or approval.

The promotion of E-Verify, the successful worker authorization program, by the White House and Department of Homeland Security is set out in these memos as a ploy to distract voters from a series of administrative measures aimed at achieving amnesty, while ensuring a perception that the administration favors immigration law enforcement.

The report is online hereFor more information, contact Janice Kephart at (202) 466-8185 or

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Australia must toughen the deterrent for illegal boat arrivals

THE architect of the Pacific Solution, Philip Ruddock, said the steps taken by the Howard government after the Tampa crisis would not by themselves work a second time round, and additional deterrents would be required to stop the boats.

As figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees confirmed a 19 per cent drop in asylum seeker arrivals in the first six months of this year, the long-serving Liberal MP indicated that boatpeople arriving under a future Coalition government could expect much tougher treatment.

The former immigration minister endorsed the existing Coalition policy proposals, such as a return to temporary protection visas and the reopening of the Nauru processing centre, saying they were effective.

But, he said, more forceful measures, particularly in returning failed asylum-seekers to their home countries, may be required.

"It's going to require a lot more effort than any of the measures that are being spoken of at the moment," Mr Ruddock said. "You're going to have to use all of the measures that we used, then you'd be looking around to see what more you could do."

Mr Ruddock's comments align with views expressed by immigration officials that too much information was now public about how the Pacific Solution worked -- including that most refugees on Nauru ended up in Australia and that all bearers of TPVs ultimately ended up with permanent visas -- for the same measures to be as effective a second time round.

They also reflect a view in the opposition that any future Coalition government would probably face a hostile parliament opposed to new laws, requiring it to carry out its promise to stop the boats in a much narrower legal framework.

Mr Ruddock accused Labor of "trashing" co-operative relationships with key countries, such as Indonesia, which had been bruised by the Rudd government's handling of the 2009 Oceanic Viking stand-off.

"A number of measures necessary would be much easier for a Coalition government to pursue than this government," he said. "In my view, the big difference that is going to have to be pursued vigorously is the return of rejected asylum-seekers."

Since 2008 just 252 people -- or 2.1 per cent -- of the 11,994 asylum-seekers who have arrived have been returned to their home country.

The UNCHR said yesterday asylum arrivals in Australia for the first six months of this year were down 19 per cent, compared with last year, bucking an international average 17 per cent rise across industrialised countries. Despite the drop, both sides of politics expect boat arrivals will rise following the demise of offshore processing.

In August the High Court ruled the government's plan to deport 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia in return for 4000 proven refugees did not comply with the Migration Act.

There is a general view that Nauru is more likely to meet the court's test, but that is arguable.

The court's ruling has been widely discussed in Coalition ranks, with most talk centring on whether reopening Nauru would pass the court's new test. Asking Nauru to change its laws and staffing the centre with Australian officers to ensure the court's stipulations are adhered to are among the options.

Yesterday, opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said a much tougher TPV regime was also essential, with the visas issued for between six months and three years.


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