Progressives use new asylum rules to seek return of 1.7 million deportees

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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A new rush through the U.S. border has been triggered by an outspoken progressive group that is exploiting new asylum regulations to demand American citizenship for 1.7 million illegals previously deported to Mexico, according to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Border officials have told advocates and TV stations that hundreds of people are using the group’s innovative legal tactic to get approval from the border patrol for a temporary legal stay in the country.

The National Immigrant Youth Alliance triggered the rush by sending a group of illegals back to Mexico. The illegals then successfully used the asylum claim to win a temporary stay in the United States. The members, dubbed the “Dream 9,” walked up to the U.S. border and asked for asylum, based on the claim that they’re afraid of Mexico’s drug-cartels.

The group’s tactic works because new regulations allow immigrants to ask that a judge, rather than a border patrol officer, decide their asylum claim. Instead of jailing the prospective immigrants until their courtroom date, border officials are releasing many into the United States.

The release means that the migrants can disperse into the United States in search of jobs that are sometimes being sought by up to 20 million unemployed or underemployed native-born Americans and legal immigrants.

They can also use their stay to seek amnesty if House Republicans approve the immigration rewrite now being pushed by President Barack Obama and the alliance of business and progressive groups.

But that border rush is a problem for Obama, said Kris Kobach, who is the Secretary of State of Kansas, and a counsel with the Immigration Law Reform Institute.

“The Dream 9 agenda threatens to pull the mask off much of the open border movement, because it just shows how they are completely disrespectful of all immigration laws,” said Kobach

“By the twisted logic of the Dream 9 group, every person in the nation of Mexico can be an asylum applicant because everyone has some fear that cartel violence will effect their community.” he added.

“It will be very interesting to see if the Obama administration is willing to come to grip with reality and try to get off this slippery slope” caused by their asylum policies, he said. “If they allow this asylum claim, it will redefine asylum to make it virtually” limitless, he said.

Kobach also said that the Dream 9 group has inspired hundreds of other potential immigrants to follow suit.

“The word has gotten back to Mexico that this is a new tactic for getting into the United States and getting released,” he claimed.

The open border movement consists of progressives and business leaders who want of minimize border curbs that restrict the flow of Latinos, workers and customers into the United States of America.

The pending Senate bill goes partway towards that goal, by doubling today’s 1 million annual inflow of immigrant workers and consumers, most of whom are low-skill and are likely to vote Democratic. Overall, the bill would allow roughly 46 million people to immigrate by 2033, according to estimates on the right and left.

The Dream 9 group’s tactics have prompted a backlash from established progressive leaders, who say it will embarrass Obama as he pushes for passage of a transformative immigration bill.

These leaders fear the group’s tactics will weaken their push to persuade Republican leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner, to back a large-scale influx of immigrants, most of whom are low-skill workers who are likely to vote Democratic.

The push is in high-gear during the August recess, when politicians return to their home districts to meet local voters and lobbying groups.

“I’m not critical of the ‘Dream 9’… I admire their fortitude, I admire their courage, I admire their passion [but] I think they should have done is take that courage and passion and marched on John Boehner in Washington,” said David Leopold, is an Ohio-based immigration lawyer and a former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and currently practices immigration law in Cleveland, Ohio.

“It is a diversion, and its an unfortunate diversion,” he said during a Huffington Post interview.

“Putting the spotlight on Obama is a bad move,” said DeeDee Garcia Blase, a co-founder of the progressive National Tequila Party Movement. ”The effort should be target to the real battleground… the House of Representatives,” she said in the Huffington Post interview.

Republican politicians are “threatening not to support the Senate’s immigration bill,” she said, adding that “the majority of these politicians are white and gray haired men…we need to humiliate these Representatives.”

The group’s spokesman was unrepentant.

“We firmly believe that the 1.7 million who have been deported [since 2009] deserve to come home,” Mohammad Abdollahi, an organizer with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.

In a statement to TheDC, Leopold said he disagreed that all deported migrants be allowed to return.

“I do not believe deported people have a moral or legal claim to residency,” he said. However, “I do believe that it’s fair to consider return in limited circumstances, such as for certain DREAMers and for the spouses, children and parents of US citizens or legal permanent residents,” said Leopold.

Leopold did not estimate the number of people who would be covered by his return policy.

However, as an immigration lawyer, he has already won legal status for one illegal who left the country prior to the Obama’s June 2012 mini-amnesty for younger illegals.

Last week, border officials concluded they had enough grounds to make Dream 9’s claim for asylum in a U.S. immigration court, and released them into the United States pending the court hearing.

Since then, hundreds of Latinos have presented themselves at U.S. border posts to seek asylum, according to documents reported by Fox News.

Some are being held in San Diego hotels, others are being released into the country prior to their court hearing.

“This clearly has to have been orchestrated by somebody,” according to Peter Nunez, former U.S. Attorney for Southern California. “It’s beyond belief that dozens or hundreds or thousands of people would simultaneously decide that they should go to the U.S. and make this claim,” he told Fox.

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