President Barack Obama has reversed course, and now won’t ask Congress to fix the legal loopholes that allows a huge wave of Central American migrants to live legally in the United States.
The legal fix was to be sought in a July 8 emergency request to Congress.
Instead, the request will now only seek $2 billion, which officials say will allow faster processing of the migrants’s scripted claims for asylum and residency, according to a July 7 report by the Associated Press that was attributed to two congressional aides.
Obama’s failure highlights the opposition he faces from his activist base, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Polls show that most Americans — including Hispanics — mostly blame Obama for the border meltdown, and those “poll results are going to get worse and worse as more of these [migrant] people are delivered to more communities around the country,” Kirkorian said.
“This will keep blowing up in his face until he takes decisive action,” Krikorian said. That action likely won’t happen until the political pain from American voters is intolerable, he said.
The White House’s request for $2 billion won’t slow the inflow, Krikrian added: “The idea that extra money will help is absurd.”
“They can have all the money, border guards and prosecutors in the world, but if [Obama’s immigration] policy and priorities don’t change, it wont make any difference” to the growing wave.
Since last October, up to 290,000 illegals have cross the border in Texas, and immediately asked for asylum or residency.
Under Obama’s interpretation of existing laws — including a 2008 law pushed by then-Sen. Joe Biden — the border-crossers are given so-called “permisos,” which allow them to stay in the country pending a judge’s decision about their court cases.
The permisos are being given to kids and youths who cross without adults, as well as mothers with one or more kids. The fathers of the children try to evade border police, and then to meet their families once they’ve been flown or bussed by the feds to the cities where they hope to settle.
Obama’s current policies mean that the adult and child migrants are safe from deportation even if they are among the less than 2 percent who lose their court cases.
That’s because Obama and his deputies have repeatedly said they will not deport lower-priority illegal immigrants.
Under Obama, enforcement of immigration laws has sharply dropped. In 2013, for example, Obama’s agencies deported less than 0.2 percent of illegals who had not committed a major crime.
Illegal immigrants who cross the border, find jobs in cities and avoid committing felonies, are rarely deported, even when judges deny their request for asylum and residency.
“If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero,” John Sandweg, Obama’s former head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency told the Los Angeles Times in April.