Attorney General Jeff Sessions is using his legal expertise and his authority to aggressively implement President Donald Trump’s policy against illegal immigration, even as he is getting flak from the President for recusing himself from Democratic-cheered investigations into the President’s campaign and business activities.
The next step for Sessions, says source, is the release of federal regulations that will replace the 2015 Flores settlement which requires officials to release migrants within 20 days if they bring children with them over the border.
The catch-and-release settlement was created in 2015 by a judge, the ACLU, and officials working for former President Barack Obama, and it has forced officials to release hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants who bring their children into the United States.
But the pending Flores regulation is just one of several major regulatory changes which Sessions which are shutting the various border loopholes which were created by pro-migration judges, advocacy groups and agency officials over the last 20 years.
“These changes are really possible because Jeff Sessions is Attorney General,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Krikorian continued:
He both knows what has to be done, and is committed to making sure it happens. A different AG, even if he means well, would be unlikely to have both the knowledge and commitment to get these kinds of change though, and that assumes he even wanted to do so. A [George W.] Bush-retread might not even be committed to the President’s agenda … What matters are the policy changes that we are seeing, not the investigative circus which dominates the news.
Justice Department officials “are intimately involved in the drafting and coordination of the Flores regulations,” an agency source told Breitbart News. The proposed regulations soon will be posted at a government site for public comment, officials say.
The regulations likely will allow officials to keep migrants with children in detention for at least two months, ensuring that the migrants who bring children are not released into the United States to seek jobs.
The extra time is needed because many economic migrants are legally allowed to ask judges for asylum from gangs or abusive spouses. The time allowed for detention by the pending regulation is expected to be long enough to allow border officers and judges to consider and reject claims for asylum, so allowing officials to deny catch-and-release to migrants.
The new quick-turnaround process is expected to sharply reduce the number of migrants who put themselves in debt to pay for smugglers who can guide them through Mexico to the U.S. border posts.
That reduction will help lower-wage Americans by reducing the inflow of cheap workers to U.S. employers. In 2017, for example, officials were forced to provide 400,000 work permits to unskilled migrants who Obama allowed into the country to claim asylum. The Flores regulation will likely also help U.S. children by reducing the number of migrants youths and children who are being smuggled into U.S. schools by Central American parents.
In April, Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy for people trying to sneak over the border. He also sent extra prosecutors down to the border states to conduct the extra prosecutions. This policy is expected to deter future economic migrants because judges can impose a jail sentence on migrants who are caught returning after a first conviction.
According to TRAC Reports data service:
immigration prosecutions continue to climb. The latest available case-by-case records for June 2018 reveal a total of 11,086 new federal prosecutions were brought as a result of referrals from Customs and Border Protection in the five federal judicial districts along the southwest border. June numbers were up 20.3 percent from the 9,216 such prosecutions recorded during May, and up 74.1 percent over March figures. Despite this increase, only 46 percent of all Border Patrol arrests of adults in June were criminally prosecuted.
The nation’s immigration courts are run by the Attorney General, so Sessions has the legal authority to set precedents, procedures, and rules for ordinary immigration judges and for the Board of Immigration Appeals. He has used that power to end the Obama-era policy of awarding asylum to Central American migrants who claim “credible fear” of abuse by spouses or by criminal gangs.
“Starting in January 2018, court findings of credible fear began to plummet,” says a report by TRAC Reports. The “dramatic change” is shown in the data, says TRAC:
By June 2018, only 14.7 percent of the CFR [credible fear] Immigration Court decisions found the asylum seeker had a “credible fear.” This was just half the [30 percent] level that had prevailed during the last six months of 2017 …
Unless the asylum seeker who is otherwise subject to expedited remova passes the [courtroom] CFR review, he or she is not allowed even to apply for asylum. This applies to most parents arriving with children at the southwest border. As a consequence, individuals who don’t pass these reviews are usually quickly deported back to their home countries.
This reform is expected to force a rejection of the many of the 700,000 asylum cases launched during Obama’s terms. The ACLU and other pro-migration groups are suing Sessions’ agency to block the reforms.
Ending “Administrative Closure”
Sessions has ordered immigration-court judges to stop the practice of “Administrative Closure,” which was used by overburdened judges to discard deportation cases during the mass migration of Central Americans in Obama’s tenure. Roughly 350,000 migrants were excused from deportation via this process, but Sessions has directed agencies to “recalender” these deportation cases.
Sessions ordered the change via his review of an immigration case titled “Matter of Castro-Tum.”
The Sessions reversal was shown in a chart released by the Executive Office which reveals that 1,077 cases were revived by the Department of Homeland Security in July 2018, up from roughly 755 cases per month since October 2017.
Streamlining Immigration Courts
On March 5, 2018, Sessions formally vacated a 2014 immigration-court decision, dubbed “Matter of E-F-H-L,” and told the 350 immigration-court judges that they could rely on submitted written evidence to avoid full hearings in some deportation cases. This reform will speech up courtroom hearing and help reduce the huge backlog of roughly 700,000 asylum that allows many migrants to stay in the United States for several years.
The TRAC data shows that Sessions has halved the rate at which migrants win deportation cases, from roughly 56 percent in 2017 down to roughly 28 percent in 2o18.
That percentage shift means that far more migrants are being sent home under Sessions’ watch that under Obama’s tenure. The deportation numbers are rising from almost 80,000 in 2016 to more than 120,000 in 2018, says TRAC:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Amnesty
Obama offered a legal blind-eye and work permits to roughly 800,000 younger illegals via his 2012 DACA amnesty, and then tried in 2014 to offer similar benefits to roughly 3.5 million illegal immigrants who have children in the United States via the so-called DAPA amnesty.
The DAPA measure was struck down by a Texas court in 2015, and the DACA measure likely will be ended in 2019 because of Sessions’ continued legal pressure in various courts.
The loss of work permits by roughly 800,000 illegals will pressure Democrats to make concessions on Trump’s “Four Pillars” immigration policy.