"One of the most effective tools we have in this effort is a process called expedited removal. Under expedited removal, non-Mexicans are detained and placed into streamlined proceedings. It allows us to deport them at an average of 32 days, almost three times faster than usual. In other words, we're cutting through the bureaucracy. Last year we used expedited removal to deport more than 20,000 non-Mexicans caught entering this country illegally between Tucson and Laredo. This program is so successful that the Secretary has expanded it all up and down the border. This is a straightforward idea. It says, when an illegal immigrant knows they'll be caught and sent home, they're less likely to come to the country. That's the message we're trying to send with expedited removal."
The Commander In Chief is referring to the expedited removal provisions of Immigration Act Section 235(b)—which his own administration has still failed to implement to the fullest extent granted by Congress almost ten years ago.
The Section 235(b) authority as written by Congress allowed the summary removal of illegal aliens apprehended anywhere in the United States — within two years of entering illegally.
This expedited removal authority was created by the 104th Congress in amendments to the Immigration Act called the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996." The IIRIRA, known as the 1996 Act was signed by President Clinton on September 30, 1996, and became effective on April 1, 1997. The IIRIRA cut back on relief available for criminal aliens and known foreign terrorists, and called for the mandatory detention of more classes of convicted criminals who are foreign nationals.
So far, Immigration Act Section 235(b) has managed to withstand the legal onslaught of the pro-alien lobby in the federal courts.
But immediately after passage in 1996, the Clinton Administration, through then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, shamelessly mothballed most of Section 235(b). The Section 235(b) authority was only put into effect for immigration inspectors at ports of entry, not for any immigration officers in the interior of the country or outside of airport buildings.
But the Bush Administration has added its own stamp on crippling the expedited removal authority. It has implemented it slowly, partially and grudgingly—adding geographic restrictions, time restrictions, and also exempting Mexicans from the process entirely.
In August, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush Administration announced regulations allowing the Border Patrol to summarily remove illegal aliens found within 100 miles of a land border . . . if discovered within two weeks of their illegal entry.
The game of "pass the border and you're home" with illegal aliens had gotten harder, but the Section 235(b) non-implementation scandal continued.
Remember that Congress has already given the federal executive agencies the absolute authority to summarily remove aliens found anywhere in the United States— within two years of entering illegally!
Alluding to Immigration Act Section 235(b) might make for some great (and desperately-needed) speech material right now.
But until the Bush Administration implements expedited removal law to the fullest extent of the law, that's all it is—speech material.
You heard it on VDARE.COM first—09/19/05 - Bush Administration Still Sabotaging Expedited Removal Law.
In other news:
One of my VDARE.COM readers familiar with the federal immigration bureaucracy quickly weighed in on the President's speech via e-mail Monday night.
The reader took President Bush to task for claiming that "[t]he first part of the plan is to promptly return every illegal entrant we catch at the border, with no exceptions."
The reader chronicles all of the current "exceptions" where illegal aliens caught along the border area are still released from immigration detention and sent on their merry way into the United States.
"No execptions," right? What about the thousands of unaccompanied minors, or those under age 18, that are released one their own recognizance pending an [Executive Office for Immigration Review] Immigration Court hearing (which could be months or years down the road) to almost anyone who comes and asks for them - legal or illegal, friends or family?
"'No exceptions?' How about doing something about the hundreds of thousands of people on, what, the sixth year of TPS following one hurricane,[Hurricane Mitch] 6 years ago, although the Army Corps of Engineers and millions of our tax dollars have helped rebuild Nicaragua and Honduras (not to mention that we have opened up CAFTA [Central American Free Trade Agreement] that is supposed to bring new jobs to these countries)?
"These aliens' semi-legal presence here continues to encourage relatives to join them, and encourages the smuggling of their children here (and immediately claim them if caught—see above). It encourages ineligible people who just come from TPS countries to apply in hopes of getting someone to not scrutinize the application and grant delayed TPS, or a work permit in the meantime.
"'No exceptions'? What about El Salvadorans, who continue to enjoy special protections from expedited removal or immediate deportation due to a 20-year old Orantes injunction? [Vdare.com note: The Orantes decision was based on Cold War politics; there was a guerilla war going on in El Salvador in the 1980s. But the Cold War has been over for some time, even in El Salvador.]
"'No exceptions'? With no place in the country to house families, where will a nursing mother and her newborn stay while they wait two weeks for a travel document and flight arrangements? Or a mom and her three young kids pending deportation? Without any detention places to hold families, where will they be detained?—or will they too be the 'exception?'
"'No exceptions?' ICE jail standards are so high (thanks to standards set in place by [former Clinton INS Commissioner] Doris Meissner, to ensure as few aliens as possible were actually detained), few jails across the country can meet them. What additional detention facilities do you propose using?
"'No exceptions?' how about the asylum-claimants who currently get paroled once an asylum officer makes their determination of 'credible fear' in 99.9% of their cases?
"'No exceptions'? How about the tens of thousands of Cubans with deportation orders? The criminals, child molesters, arsonists and murderers that make up the remaining Mariel Cubans are still here 25 years later. [Vdare.com note: OK, there is one place the Cold War isn't over: Miami. And anyway, Castro won't take them back.]
"'No exceptions'? How about when an alien files his third, fifth or tenth appeal at all the levels of appellate review? Or getting an automatic stay just for filing at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, delaying deportation for at least a year?
"'No exceptions'? What about the thousands of sob-story cases that make the media, when the government breaks down and grants parole or a stay? Or the hypocritical politicians who file private bills for their 'constituents' facing deportation? Or the hundreds of thousands of illegals with newborn or carefully planned U.S. citizen 'long-term legalization and retirement plans' (a.k.a. their kids?
"'No exceptions'? How about the thousands of tips that come in, from other law enforcement agencies, from private citizens, probation offices, state troopers, drivers license bureaus—about illegal aliens, criminal aliens, prior deports—and the tips get collected and thrown in a pile, never to actually be worked by any investigator?
"'No exceptions?' Then how about taking care of the sanctuary laws, instate tuition, government blessings on using ITINs and matricula consulars, that facilitate illegals coming here and staying here?
"'No exceptions?' I think the President has got a lot of work to do before he can say 'no exceptions.'"
Hey, immigration patriots got the rhetoric in Tucson—and that's an improvement.
But we still need the reality—particularly because the President's rhetoric disguises yet another attempt to foist his illegal alien non-deportation plan on America.
I'll file my thoughts on that next!