Politics
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves at the end of a speech to students, young activists and officials at Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest May 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves at the end of a speech to students, young activists and officials at Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel   

Biden: Some ‘Dream Deluge’ Illegals May Get Citizenship

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Vice President Joe Biden inadvertently offered U.S. citizenship to thousands, or even tens of thousands, of illegal immigrants from Central America — even though he was trying to persuade them to not cross the border.

“We’re going to hold hearings with our judges consistent with international law and American law, and we’re going to send the vast majority of you back,” he said during a June 20 press press conference in Guatemala.

But “vast majority” is not “all.” So Biden’s statement says the U.S. will award the Grand Prize in human life — ‘U.S. citizenship for you and all your descendants’ — to the illegal immigrants who are not among the “vast majority” who are sent home.

Biden scheduled the press conference to help stop the accelerating deluge of 90,000 adults, youths and children who have crossed the Texas border since last October.

Biden compounded his televised gaffe by telling Central Americans the legal formula for winning the citizenship prize.

Migrants “have a right under our law to make the case… that ‘We’re here because we’re avoiding persecution, we’re avoiding something [which] will physically affect our safety,” he said.

In case the TV audiences in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador missed his legal advice, Biden repeated it. “We’re sending immigration judges, [taxpayer-provided] attorneys to represent these young people and families with young people… who are claiming credible fear, and [who] are eligible to apply for asylum,” he reiterated.

Biden’s partially-open door declaration may become a massive problem if hundreds of thousands more Central Americans follow his legal advice and claim “persecution” and “credible fear” to unlock the golden door of U.S. immigration law for themselves, their children and all of their descendants.

U.S. government officials predict more than 200,000 adults, youths and children will cross by October, creating a major political headache for President Barack Obama.

Roughly six percent of the flow is estimated to consist of children younger than 15. Nearly all of those children are sent north by their relatives in the hope that U.S. officials will transport them to their illegal-immigrant parents inside the United States.

That’s a problem for Obama, because it undermines his political campaign to pressure GOP leaders in the House to pass the Senate’s unpopular 2013 immigration bill. A Gallup poll released June 20 showed that 61 percent of Americans oppose his immigration policies. Only 31 percent of Americans, and 25 percent of independents, support his immigration-boosting policies.

The business-backed Senate bill would double the inflow of immigrants and guest-workers to four million per year, which is roughly equal to the number of Americans who turn 18 each year.

Later in his 38-minute press conference, Biden took a harder line when responding to one of the two reporters who were allowed to ask questions at the press-conference

“There is no free pass… none of these children or women bringing children will be eligible under the existing law in the United States of America,” he said.

But that absolute defense of U.S. citizenship was outshone by Biden’s repeated offer of citizenship to some of the border-crossers.