Politics

Pelosi: Immigration law like internment of Japanese

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The deportation of foreigners living illegally in the United States is similar to the forced internment of ethnic-Japanese Americans in World War II, according to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“I’ll be very honest with you: Looking at the numbers at some point, in terms of how people are treated and deported and families separated and the rest, this has a scent of Japanese internment,” Pelosi told a Politico reporter. “It’s really a black mark,” said Pelosi.

Roughly 110,000 ethnic-Japanese immigrants and their American children were detained during World War II after Japan’s sneak attack on Americans in Pearl Harbor.

Pelosi also urged Obama to stop enforcing immigration law, and to stop removing foreigners who try to live in the United States illegally.

“I believe that if [immigration] status is the violation, then that should not be even in the scheme of things as to whether somebody would be deported or else you would be deporting 11 million people, which doesn’t make any sense,” Pelosi said in the softball interview.

The comparison to the wartime internment of Japanese Americans was buried in the last paragraph of the story, which was bylined by Seung Min Kim, who is the current president of the Washington, D.C.-chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, according to her bio.

Kim’s article did not include any data about the current inflow of immigrants and guest workers, the various costs of immigration, nor any mention of the many polls that show overwhelming opposition to the current inflow of 1 million immigrants and 650,000 guest workers each year. For example, a 2012 Pew survey showed that 69 percent of independents say “We should restrict and control people coming to live in our country more than we do now.”

Pelsoi’s strident opposition to enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws reflects Democrats’ growing determination to boost their political coalition with Democratic-leaning immigrants. In the 2012 election, for example, almost three-quarters of the Latino and Asian immigrants populations — which included many native-born Americans — voted Democratic.

For example, Pelosi repeated her support for the Senate’s 2013 bill that would amnesty at least 11 million illegals, boost annual immigration and double the inflow of guest-workers. “It’s the biggest thing that we can do… I would rather pass [a] comprehensive immigration reform bill than win the elections in November,” Pelosi told Politico. “There’s nothing we could accomplish in winning that would be as big as passing immigration reform.”

Pelosi also told Kim that she backs the de facto amnesty plan now being pushed by the Democrats’ Hispanic caucus.

The plan — which Obama and his aides are hinting may be adopted soon — would direct federal agents to ignore illegal immigrants unless they’ve committed a felony — such as murder, drug dealing or rape, or have violated drunk-driving laws more than once.

The plan would also invite large numbers of illegals who were sent home back into the country. Obama should “expand humanitarian parole to parents and siblings” of several hundred thousand younger illegals who were given work permits in 2012 and 2013 because “this would allow family members outside of the U.S. most of whom have been removed [after crossing the border illegally] a way to be reunited with their families in the United States,” according to the plan.

“I think that the approach that the Hispanic caucus is taking is exactly right,” Pelosi told Politico.

Roughly 20 million Americans are looking for jobs, or have given up looking for jobs. each year, roughly 4 million Americans join the workforce to look for good jobs in the Obama economy, where wages have dropped to a record low percentage of national income.

Pelosi’s opposition to enforcement of immigration laws, if shared by the nation’s chief law enforcement officers in the administration, would post a welcome sign to would-be illegal immigrants.

“About 13% of the world’s adults — or about 630 million people — say they would like to leave their country and move somewhere else permanently,” according to a March 2013 survey released by Gallup. “For roughly 138 million people, that somewhere else would be the U.S. — the No. 1 desired destination for potential migrants,” Gallup concluded. Roughly 310 million Americans living in the United States.

Many of the immigrants who would be granted de-facto amnesty are poor and unskilled, and if eventually made legal, would be entitled to an equal share of the nation’s welfare system. In May 2013, the Heritage Foundation calculated that the lifetime 50-year after-tax cost of the nation’s current population of roughly 11 million illegals would be $6.3 trillion.

Immigrants tend to settle in poor and lower-middle class areas, and to compete for assets — such as apartments and teachers’ attention — that are already in short supply for Americans. Pelosi is wealthy, lives in an expensive SanFrancisco neighborhood, and sent her children to expensive private universities.

Pelosi also complained that House GOP leaders are blocking the Senate’s immigration bill, which was passed last June. If the Senate’s immigration rewrite becomes law, it could triple the inflow of foreign workers and immigrants over the next decade to 40 million, and would sharply increase competition for the jobs sought by the 4 million Americans who leave school or college each year.

Follow Neil on Twitter