Holder Legacy: Leaves Behind Weakened Immigration Enforcement and Dysfunctional System
(September 25, 2014 — Washington, D.C.) — Responding to the Department of Justice’s announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder will retire, Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform issued the following short statement:
“Despite his responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder performed as the chief dismantler of laws this administration found to be politically inconvenient, notably all those related to immigration enforcement and the law’s administration. Mr. Holder provided guidance to the Obama administration when it chose to use “prosecutorial discretion” to weaken enforcement and began laying the groundwork for amnesty by executive action. Once new policies were in place and the administration had consolidated the power to not enforce our immigration laws, Mr. Holder’s job was to make sure no one else could either.
Most evident was Mr. Holder’s aggressive stance against DoJ-state cooperation. While he was quick to sue or threaten states such as Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama with lawsuits when each tried to participate meaningfully in cooperative immigration enforcement, he adamantly refused to act against states and localities that had imposed sanctuary policies which protect illegal aliens and openly defy federal laws. In particular, Mr. Holder willfully ignored anti-detainer legislation — the most dangerous sanctuary polices — which actually prohibit local police from cooperating with federal immigration officials.
Holder’s opposition to state cooperative laws and agreements was in furtherance of his, and this administration’s, overall desire to torpedo the effective operations of our immigration system. The truth of the matter is that the attorney general of the United States did not like our immigration laws, and thus spent his term demolishing them.
The president needs to restore credibility by appointing someone new who will give the public confidence that a professional — not a political ideologue — is responsible for immigration adjudication and law enforcement.