Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Amendments to Immigration Bill Weaken Enforcement and Border Security

Key flaw remains: Amnesty before improvements to border

 The Schumer-Rubio bill has emerged from the committee mark up process with changes that further weaken prospects for improved immigration enforcement. The Center for Immigration Studies has outlined the most significant changes to the enforcement and security sections of the bill and concluded that while a few token amendments to improve enforcement plans were adopted, several other amendments adopted will weaken enforcement still further.

These adopted amendments threaten the effectiveness of E-Verify, increase protections for criminal aliens, complicate enforcement for the Border Patrol, and impose inappropriate oversight of enforcement.

“Instead of seeking a real compromise that would address the public safety concerns of the many federal and state law enforcement officers who have expressed opposition to this bill, the Gang of Eight and their allies on the Judiciary Committee made the bill worse by tacking on irresponsible provisions that serve only to protect lawbreakers instead of the public,” said CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan.

To view a complete list of changes to the bill, including discussion:

The following are some of the most significant changes to the enforcement and security sections of S.744:

Undermining E-Verify

· ICE will be prevented from punishing employers for first-time hiring violations if the error rate for E-Verify queries exceeds 0.3 percent. This is an extremely high standard, which seems designed primarily to thwart enforcement against employers. (Section 3101(a)).

· The bill creates an office in USCIS to advocate for small businesses that would have the authority to block an enforcement action or reverse penalties imposed on an employer. This is an astonishing infringement on ICE’s authority to enforce laws against illegal hiring. (Section 3107).

Protecting Criminal Aliens

· The Attorney General could decide to give illegal aliens (or groups) a taxpayer-funded defense attorney to help them fight deportation in court. (Section 3502).

· Illegal aliens fighting deportation will be entitled to see all of the documents in their file, including those obtained by ICE from other law enforcement agencies, which may be law enforcement-sensitive or even classified. If ICE refuses to release any documents, if they are sensitive or classified, for example, then the alien cannot be removed. This provision is most likely to be exploited by aliens who are criminal and national security threats. (Section 3502).

· The bill reverses ICE’s timid efforts to cut back payments to sanctuary jurisdictions under the SCAAP program. (Section 1110).

Interfering with Border Enforcement

· Border Patrol and ICE agents must determine if the illegal aliens they apprehend are parents or caregivers, and then determine how that parent or caregiver’s removal would impact the child’s welfare, or the alien’s own personal safety. It implies that parents and caregivers (or those who claim to be) will have a chance to contest or delay their removal on those grounds, or on the grounds that the area they just chose to travel through in order to cross illegally is not safe enough for them to return to. (Section 1115).

· It forbids the Border Patrol from removing people to Mexico at night without the approval of the Mexican government. (Section 1121).

Inappropriate Oversight

· It expands the mandate of the newly-created DHS Ombudsman’s office, which is likely to be staffed and led by political appointees, to include inspections of detention facilities and to review policies and programs of CBP, ICE, and USCIS. These are activities more appropriate for the existing and relatively independent Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility. (Section 1114).

View the Senate bill, and CIS analysis, testimony, and commentary on the bill, at:

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: Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185,  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

Australian conservatives to deport refugees convicted of crimes

Refugees could be sent back to their countries or imprisoned indefinitely for committing most crimes in Australia under a Coalition government.

This comes despite warnings by legal experts that the changes would be illegal under international law.

The federal Coalition announced on Sunday that, if it was elected, foreigners convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year in jail would have their visas cancelled automatically, even if they were sentenced to less than a year's imprisonment.

Such people - including refugees, asylum seekers and visitors - would lose their right to appeal except in "special circumstances". They would be detained until they could be deported and would not be allowed to return to Australia for 20 years, double the present period.

This follows Bureau of Statistics figures in March that showed asylum seekers living in the community on bridging visas were about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than members of the general public.

The proposed changes would significantly broaden the immigration minister's power to cancel the visa of people sentenced to more than one year in prison.

Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison said the minister would consider the circumstances of each case, but confirmed that, under the changes, refugees could be sent back to the countries they came from.

The Refugee Convention allows signatory countries to deport refugees in limited circumstances, including those who present "compelling reasons of national security" and a "danger to the security of the country in which he is" or, having been convicted of "a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country".

Mr Morrison said that foreigners could also be held in detention indefinitely in cases where it was not possible to deport them, citing examples of people who had been detained indefinitely despite having committed serious crimes in Australia.

A senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, Daniel Webb, said it was unlawful to deport someone to a place where they were at risk of persecution.

Liberty Victoria president Jane Dixon, SC, said the changes would include most Australian crimes, and raised concerns that the Coalition was guided by "maximum sentences rather than the context of what led to the offending".


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