Wednesday, April 17, 2019

President Trump is Sadly Right About America's Immigration Laws

The worst thing about opposing President Trump is sometimes he's right.
And the troubling fact is that Trump's instincts, if not his incompetently executed and deliberately cruel attempted solutions, are often right on immigration. That includes the instinct behind his angry remarks to reporters on Tuesday: "We have the worst laws of any country in the world. ... You have to fix the asylum situation, it's ridiculous."
Indeed, it is ridiculous. As The New York Times explains in a deeply reported front-page story headlined "The U.S. immigration system may have reached a breaking point," it is also tragic, with nearly 100,000 migrants arriving on the southern border every month, hoping to be admitted to the country.
The migrants know that if they bring a child with them, current U.S. law will forbid them from being held in custody for longer than 20 days. (It was an attempt to skirt this stricture that led the Trump administration to implement its rightly decried policy of separating adults and children at the border.) The migrants also know that if they say they're seeking asylum and can pass a screening to determine if they have a "credible fear" of persecution in their home country, current law will grant them a hearing before an immigration court. What they may not know but will soon find out is that the backlog means that this appearance before a judge will not take place for years. (Those arriving today likely won't have a formal hearing until 2021.)
In the meantime, most will be released on their own recognizance, expected to appear before a judge when summoned. But many won't, opting instead to disappear into a vast country, taking advantage of lax enforcement of laws against hiring undocumented immigrants to make lives for themselves while remaining under constant threat of deportation if they get caught by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
It's a mess. But things truly cross over into the absurd with the recent decision of a California judge to block the Trump administration's effort to get most migrants to remain in Mexico until their asylum hearing. The U.S. is confronting a flood of migrants fleeing oppression, violence, and poverty in one country (usually Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador), crossing a massive intermediary country (Mexico) that no one claims is persecuting them, and yet a judge insists that it's a violation of the law to deny them entry.
Read the rest from Damon Linker HERE.

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