[See also: Hijacking Of H.R.10 Reveals Terrifying Truth—Bush Really Believes Own Propaganda, by Sam Francis]
The House of Representatives began the long-neglected task of giving the executive branch the tools for real immigration enforcement when it passed last Friday—by 282 to 134—the "9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act," known as "H.R. 10."
Whether the Senate is as serious as the House about immigration law enforcement is another story.
And as for the Bush Administration—'nuff said. It lobbied to get H.R.10's immigration reform provisions dropped.
But, while it's easy to be pessimistic about H.R. 10 ever becoming law, its passage by the House is one of the best things to happen for immigration enforcement since Congress added its one-two punch of amendments to the Immigration Act in 1996.
It means that, even if H.R. 10 fails for now, the tide may be turning.
Among its many excellent provisions, H.R. 10 would activate at long last the crucial expedited removal processes of the 1996 Immigration Act Section 235(b) that have been scandalously left dormant since 1996.
When it comes to border security, even sincere supporters of real immigration reform often fall into the trap of believing the myth that "all the laws to deport aliens are in place right now . . . we just need the political will to enforce them."
Will is certainly lacking. But it's not the whole story.
The problem is the federal immigration bureaucracy itself. As I've written extensively, all roads for real immigration reform lead to the litigation morass of the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and its built-in gateway to endless immigration litigation in the federal courts.
But at long last, short of abolishing the EOIR bureaucracy entirely, the House has finally passed some laws we can really use!
Amazingly, Title III of H.R. 10, dealing with "Border Security and Terrorist Travel," really does live up to its billing as "Immigration reform in the national interest."
The bill addresses, at least to some extent, the central problem with American immigration law enforcement—the fact that the America's failed federal immigration bureaucracy is based on an adversarial litigation model for deciding the "cases" of whether to remove every single illegal alien and criminal alien resident in the United States . . . one by one.
In order to set up a system that actually deports lawbreakers, the federal government must:
1) give immigration officers the power to do their jobs, that is, remove illegal aliens who have no damn business being in the United States anyway, and
2) not make a federal case out of it.
H.R. 10 is a great step toward addressing these fundamental problems. It gives more immigration officers the power to summarily remove more illegal aliens while keeping the "cases" away from the EOIR and the federal courts.
Here are the key sections:
Section 3006 – Expedited Removal [amending Immigration Act Section 235(b)] –"If an immigration officer determines that an alien . . . who is arriving in the United States, or has not been admitted or paroled into the United States and has not been physically present in the United States continuously for the 5-year period immediately prior to the date of the determination of inadmissibility under this paragraph, in inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C) [for not having immigration documents for entry] or 212(a)(7) [for having entered by fraud], the officer shall order the alien removed from the United States without further hearing or review . . ."
Section 3009 – Exclusive means of review [regarding claims made under the United Nations Convention Against Torture] – "The judicial review specified in this subsection shall be the sole and exclusive means for review by any court of an order of removal entered under any provision of this Act."
With Section 3006, the thousands of immigration officers already employed by the Department of Homeland Security will be allowed to enforce immigration laws – as they are specifically trained to do – in order to actually remove foreign nationals who do not have the right to be in the United States.
What a concept!
With section 3009, more illegal aliens and criminal alien residents will be kept out of the EOIR and the federal courts more often. And that's a good thing.
I say: rubbish!
The fact of the matter is that anyone in the world—even self-proclaimed "wrongfully" deported aliens—can always come back and apply for admission to the United States again anytime they want.
All they need to do is make another application for admission at any U.S. port of entry.
They might not be allowed in. But there's nothing to stop anyone from asking.
American immigration law enforcement desperately needs H.R.10—more expedited removal, and less immigration litigation.
So keep your fingers crossed. Maybe the President and the Senate somehow will see the light – after feeling the political heat—and take a step in the right direction with H.R. 10.