President Barack Obama used a TV interview to describe law enforcement officials as soldiers under his direct command, and he threatened to punish law enforcement officials who try to ignore his November policy barring the enforcement immigration law against millions of illegals.
“In the U.S. military, when you get an order, you’re expected to follow it,” said Obama, who is legally the commander in chief of the U.S. military. “It doesn’t mean that everybody follows the order. If they don’t, they’ve got a problem,” he said during his Wednesday interview that aired on MSNBC and the Telemundo Spanish-language network.
“The bottom line is, is that if somebody is working for [U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences,” Obama said.
Obama’s threat followed complaints from the Spanish-speaking audience members about officers who try to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
Obama doesn’t want protests from Latinos or enforcement by U.S. officials.
His Nov. 20 Oval Office amnesty includes a policy directive to immigration officers directing them to stop repatriating illegals, unless the illegals have recently crossed the border, or have have been convicted of a major crime. “For people who’ve been living here for a long time, they are no longer prioritized for enforcement and deportation,” Obama told the audience.
Recent data shows that Obama is successfully reducing the repatriation of illegals who have been living in the United States for some years.
In 2012, his agencies were repatriating roughly 30,000 illegals per month, out a population of roughly 12 million. But that number fell to roughly 20,000 per month in 2014, and down to 11,000 in January 2015, according to a calculation by the Center for Immigration Studies.
At the record low rate of 10,000 repatriations per month, it will take 100 years for Obama’s administration to comply with federal law, assuming the federal government also ends all other incentives — such as workplace authorization rules — that encourage the return home of the 12 million illegal immigrants.
Obama defended his costly directive by saying he’s focusing law enforcement resources on high-priority threats. “We’re focused on criminals and gang members who are a threat to our community, and we’re focused on the border and making sure the people who’ve just come,” he said.
Immigration officers “are instructed to focus on criminals and people who have just crossed the border,” Obama said. So “if you’ve been here for a long time and if you qualify, generally, then during this period, even with legal uncertainty, they should be in a good place.”
The cost of Obama’s “prioritization” project is likely huge. Each household of low-skill workers — whether native-born of legal immigrants — costs Americans taxpayers roughly $50,000 per year, in various transfer payments, such as IRS rebates, ant-poverty programs, health-care programs and K-12 education costs, according to the Heritage Foundation.
Obama also acknowledged that his “prioritization” argument was pushed only after he decided to stop enforcing immigration law. “We recognize we’re not going to deport 11 million people. And so why we would want to allocate resources in a wasteful way — that doesn’t make sense,” he said.
But he’s also redirecting federal resources from enforcement to give get-out-of-jail residency cards to illegal immigrants. The cards will allow at least 5 million illegals to compete for jobs, get IRS anti-poverty payments, get Social Security Numbers and also get on a fast-track process to citizenship and full access to federal support programs.
“The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, he is absolutely committed to this new prioritization,” Obama said. “More importantly, I, the president of the United States, am absolutely committed to this new prioritization.”