Obama Pressured To Free Central American “Asylum Seekers” Before Trump Takes Over
Posted by Tyler Durden on November 23, 2016 12:55 am
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Categories: American Civil Liberties Union American Immigration Lawyers Association Amnesty Asylum seeker Business Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Department of Justice DOJ donald trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Economy Expedited removal Human migration illegal immigration Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration to the United States Jeff Sessions Kris Kobach Obama Administration Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Presidency of Barack Obama President Obama Social Issues The Apprentice U.S. white house Women’s Refugee Commission WWE Hall of Fame
Just two days ago we shared our complete shock that Obama’s justice department agreed to stay a federal court case, that would have granted amnesty to 4 million illegal immigrants, citing a “change in Administration” (see “Trump Wins Again – Obama DOJ Halts Amnesty Lawsuit In Uncharacteristic Display Of Humility“). But some immigration advocates are refusing to give up the fight and, as Bloomberg notes, are urging Obama to use his last couple of months in office to release nearly 4,000 “asylum seekers” from Central America currently being held in “jail-like” facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Immigration advocates are asking the Obama administration to release thousands of detained Central American women and children who want asylum in the U.S., citing concerns that Donald Trump will deport them after his inauguration in January.
Representatives of groups including the Women’s Refugee Commission and the American Immigration Lawyers Association met with White House officials last week to discuss a host of immigration issues, including the fate of about 4,000 Central American detainees, some as young as two years old, who have fled violence in their home countries. They’re housed in jail-like facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania, some for more than a year, as they wait for the government to process their asylum pleas.
“The family detention infrastructure is something that President Obama built, and unless he tears it down in the next two months this will be part of his presidential legacy,” said Carl Takei, staff attorney at the the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project.
Meanwhile, proving once again that the rules mean absolutely nothing to the left, democrats have called on President Obama to go one step further and “pardon” 750,000 illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as small children. That said, even the Obama administration admits that its power only extends so far and can’t be used to grant legal status to illegal aliens.
Separately, advocates for about 750,000 young undocumented immigrants granted protection from deportation under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, have pressed the White House to ensure Trump can’t use data compiled by the program to instead target and remove the people from the country. House Democrats called on Obama last week to issue a presidential pardon for the immigrants, who were brought into the country as children and have grown up as “Americans,” Obama said in Nov. 14 news conference.
The White House said last week that the president’s clemency power can’t be used to confer legal status on undocumented residents. Pete Boogaard, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on whether the administration has the authority to release the asylum seekers.
Of course the urgency comes as Trump is set to take office in less than two months and has promised to deport millions of illegal immigrants from the U.S., starting with those that have criminal records. Meanwhile, panic is setting in along the border as migrants staying in cramped shelters or
church basements are trying to leave the border region for cities
farther north such as Baltimore or New York…“there’s literally not enough commercial bus space to get the people out….they’re all terrified.”
Trump has promised to crack down on undocumented border crossers while also restricting refugees from terror-prone countries, but he has yet to articulate a policy for the thousands of asylum seekers who enter the U.S. each year. Trump’s top immigration advisers, including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican who Trump plans to nominate as attorney general, have argued that Obama has been too easy on migrants.
“Instead of removing illegal immigrants, the President has expended enormous time, energy, and resources into settling newly arrived illegal immigrants throughout the United States,” Sessions wrote in a January 2015 “immigration handbook” for Republicans.
Under Trump, the advocates fear, the government could broaden the use of expedited removal -– fast-track deportation proceedings that take place without a judge — a practice that is already being used more frequently with asylum seekers.
“There is an added urgency to make sure that the families that are here get an opportunity to be heard in front of a judge,” said Ben Johnson, executive director at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “There is some concern that those families under the new administration will never have that chance.”
Stay tuned, though Obama has refused to take any unilateral actions on immigration since election day, we wouldn’t be shocked if he dropped a couple of surprises on the American people before departing the White House in two months.