Sen. Sessions Falsely Implies Obama Harboring Criminals
Fox News is breathlessly thumping the anti-Obama call to arms with the help of a US Senator having an unfathomably difficult time with the new immigration policy about to go into effect Aug 15.
FOX: President Obama’s new immigration plan will provide safe harbor to criminal illegal immigrants and will lead to a ‘capitulation to lawlessness’ that could threaten public safety, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said.
Their narrative is helped by defining every person entering the US illegally as a criminal including those normally considered children under the direction of adults. Under most western cultures, children are not considered culpable of crimes committed by their parents or by adult caregivers. This apparently doesn’t hold in the minds of the right when it comes to children following their parents into the US.
FOX: Fox News has obtained an internal document detailing how the Department of Homeland Security plans to implement what critics say amounts to an amnesty policy for what could be more than one million illegal immigrants.
The new policy doesn’t confer amnesty, it defers legal action two years for qualified and verified persons.
FOX: According to the documents, illegal immigrants convicted of felonies or misdemeanors under ‘state immigration laws’ may be granted deferred action. Those who have repeatedly entered the United States illegally will also be eligible. And traffic violations would not be considered a misdemeanor.
The following quote is point #4 taken from the first page of the document:
MEMORANDUM: • has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
I’m sure the good Senator would point out that illegals convicted of felonies or misdemeanors under state immigration laws should currently be in removal proceedings and the document includes that group in its consideration.
MEMORANDUM: 2. With respect to individuals who are in removal proceedings but not yet subject to a final order of removal, and who meet the above criteria:
MEMORANDUM: • ICE should exercise prosecutorial discretion, on an individual basis, for individuals who meet the above criteria by deferring action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, in order to prevent low priority individuals from being removed from the United States.
And under point #3:
MEMORANDUM: • The USCIS process shall also be available to individuals subject to a final order of removal regardless of their age.
If viewed out of the context set up earlier in the memorandum, this looks superficially like the Senator is correct in his appraisal of the memorandum.
However if we add in the context, and start working our way backwards from point three to the initial conditions, the story looks somewhat different. I’ll bold the important points.
3. With respect to the individuals who are not currently in removal proceedings and meet the above criteria, and pass a background check:
• came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
• is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
• has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
• is not above the age of thirty.
Individuals must also complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.
It looks like the Sen. Sessions is using the tactic I mentioned earlier to categorize even children as criminals for the purpose of spinning the story when the intent of Obama’s Immigration plan is to remove that very label from young people who have shown they want to be productive members of US society.
There is some interesting and well explained information at the site of Andre Olivie a lawyer active in immigration.
It doesn’t mesh well with Sen. Session’s understanding, so I suspect a good deal of bias is informing the Senator’s understanding.