The Never Ending Story: Immigration and Judicial Activism
A federal judge in Detroit recently stayed the removal of 1,444 Iraqi nationals arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Most of the affected Iraqis are Christians, who claim that they fear physical harm if forced to return home. ICE has been prohibited from removing them while the federal courts review their cases – to determine whether they qualify for political asylum or any other form of relief from deportation.It is a virtual certainty – even after further court proceedings – that 99 percent of the affected individuals will still be found deportable from the United States. Nearly all have criminal convictions. Their offenses range from murder to rape and child molestation. The immigration and nationality act clearly places the safety of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents above alien criminals’ fear of persecution. Most felony convictions – and a large number of misdemeanors – render an alien ineligible for relief from removal.The one shot that most convicted criminals have at remaining in the U.S. is protection under Article III of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT III). And CAT III requires a showing, via a submission of objective evidence, that an alien would, more likely than not, be tortured, by the government, if sent home. That is a tough standard to meet. Even though conditions in Iraq are worse than those in a Western democracy, the U.S. Department of State reports that terrorists – not the Iraqi government – committed the vast majority of serious human rights abuses in 2016.This case isn’t frustrating to average Americans because the U.S. can’t afford to be generous to a group of foreigners facing repatriation to a homeland that is in disarray. It’s maddening because the United States has already been more than sufficiently gracious. All 1,444 members of the group have previously had a hearing before the U.S. Immigration Court and ample opportunity to have their cases reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Yet, they’re still claiming that they haven’t been given due process.That’s more than a little galling. This particular group of Iraqi Christians was given a chance at a new life in the United States. But rather than seizing that opportunity and contributing to their adopted communities, they behaved in a most un-Christian fashion.What’s even more galling is that, yet again, a federal court has prioritized the personal safety of criminal aliens over the public safety and national security concerns of the American public. And this is only the latest in a long line of cases where activist courts have frustrated the efforts of the Trump administration to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to provide aliens with “due process.” Of course, the average taxpayer may wonder how much process is due to foreigners who commit crimes in the United States?Sadly, far too many federal judges appear to believe that criminal aliens are entitled to more protection from the constitution and the federal government than the American citizens whose hospitality has been so sorely abused.
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