Soon-to-be-former Attorney General Eric Holder, who is resigning his position atop the Department of Justice (DOJ) after years of controversy, will leave behind a role for which many don’t give him credit: He is one of the chief architects of President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty.
In a June White House speech, Obama said he had directed Holder and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Jeh Johnson to review immigration laws to find a way to grant work authorization to as many as eight million illegal aliens in America right now.
While DHS oversees the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)–the agency that would hand out work permits to illegal aliens if the president follows through with his threats–the DOJ oversees the immigration courts that are crucial to the process.
Those immigration courts that Holder oversees are facing record backlogs, a procedural burden that allows illegal aliens in many cases to stay in the U.S. by exploiting the weaknesses of the governmental bureaucracy. In 2012, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice found that the Holder DOJ was cooking the books on immigration court statistics.
The Inspector General wrote in the report’s summary:
The OIG found that immigration court performance reports are incomplete and overstate the actual accomplishments of these courts. These flaws in EOIR’s performance reporting preclude the Department from accurately assessing the courts’ progress in processing immigration cases or identifying needed improvements. For example, administrative events such as changes of venue and transfers are reported as completions even though the immigration courts have made no decisions on whether to remove aliens from the United States. As a result, a case may be “completed” multiple times. In our sample of 1,785 closed cases, 484 administrative events were counted as completions by EOIR. Reporting these administrative actions as completions overstates the accomplishments of the immigration courts.
Those actions by Holder’s DOJ’s immigration courts, the Los Angeles Times‘ Hector Becerra wrote in July, have exacerbated the border crisis that has dominated American news in recent months, since Breitbart Texas published photos of illegal alien children in holding facilities.
“The average case takes 578 days to make its way through the immigration courts, with 366,758 cases currently pending, according to federal court records compiled by Syracuse University,” Becerra wrote in a piece entitled “immigration court backlog adds to border crisis.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) recently wrote to Holder–a letter that Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) followed with one of their own–questioning why Holder and DOJ were stopping prosecution of illegal aliens pursuant to Operation Streamline on the Yuma Sector of Arizona’s border with Mexico. Gosar said in a statement about his letter:
The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney have now indicated they will no longer prosecute illegal immigrants under Title 8, United States Code, § 1325. This dereliction will completely undermine the United States’ ‘zero tolerance’ policy established through Operation Streamline and flies in the face of years of work conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement to secure our communities and our borders.
The Associated Press recently reported that Holder’s DOJ has not answered its requests, or those lawmakers’ requests, on the matter.
“Public affairs officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all refused to answer questions about whether the program has been scaled back,” the AP wrote.
The AP story led the Drudge Report when it came out just last week. Gosar said in his statement about the reports that Holder stopped enforcing immigration law on the Yuma Sector:
It seems like a never-ending cycle these days. The Administration acts to circumvent the law, Congress makes legitimate Congressional inquiries, and… silence. Nothing. Zilch. I am sick and tired of this Administration–which promised to be the most transparent in history–constantly seeking to tilt the scales on our age-old systems of checks and balances. I will not stand for it, and I will continue to seek the answers the people deserve.
Holder has also been leading efforts to give taxpayer-funded legal representation to illegal aliens. The “justice AmeriCorps” program he launched this summer, Breitbart News’ Tony Lee wrote at the time, “will spend $2 million dollars of taxpayer funds to provide illegal immigrant children with legal representation.”
Holder called the program “a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society.”
“How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings — many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking — goes to the core of who we are as a nation,” Holder said.
Holder infamously, too, said that granting amnesty to illegal aliens is a “civil right.” He said in April 2013, as the Senate began consideration of the “Gang of Eight” bill:
Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented – by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows – transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights. It is about who we are as a nation. And it goes to the core of our treasured American principle of equal opportunity.