Monday, April 20, 2020

The Coronavirus is No Reason to Waive the Rules for Immigrants

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a necessary slowdown in government operations. That’s frustrating to anyone who needs the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a permit to replace a damaged hot water heater. And the unavailability of certain government services has posed challenges to working people everywhere. However, only immigrant advocates appear to be arguing that their clients deserve a free pass from applicable laws for the duration of shelter-at-home orders.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has fielded calls from mass migration advocates to extend immigration filing deadlines and grant automatic extensions to any foreigners whose status is about to expire. Many mainstream media outlets have carried opinion columns that claim allowing more time to file applications would “save lives” and that “USCIS policies make immigration difficult and dangerous.”
That’s nonsense. And the recent USCIS announcement directing non-immigrants to seek extensions individually is both legally correct and wise public policy. USCIS has a responsibility to protect both the American public and foreign visitors. It can only fulfill that responsibility by vetting extension requests on a case-by-case basis.
Assertions to the contrary, made by advocates for migrants, are hyperbolic and baseless. The proof lies in the fact that nobody is making similar arguments about comparable government-administered benefits. An approved immigration application is roughly equivalent to a driver’s license. It demonstrates that the government has accorded a privilege to an individual who has satisfied a set of legal conditions and demonstrated that he or she merits an exercise of the government’s discretion. Nevertheless, no one has been howling that the United States will not survive the COVID-19 crisis as a moral and upstanding nation unless we allow anyone who wishes to do so, licensed or unlicensed, to operate a motor vehicle on our public roadways.
What’s really going on? The open-borders contingent is trying to create a back-door amnesty by capitalizing on a public health crisis. And what’s worse, they are suggesting USCIS take actions that it has no statutory authority to implement.
Read the rest from Matt O'Brien HERE.

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