Byron York: ‘Democrats are particularly anxious about immigration because of the unusually tenuous nature of President Obama’s policies on the issue. Those policies can be undone unilaterally’

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Democrats’ nightmare.

There are extensive, and in some cases, strict immigration laws on the books, passed by bipartisan majorities of Congress. Obama wanted Congress to change those laws. Congress declined. So Obama stopped enforcing provisions of the law that he did not like. A new administration could simply resume enforcement of the law.

Byron York writes: President-elect Trump’s transition team knew that nominating Jeff Sessions for Attorney General would set off controversy.

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Democrats and their allies in the press have at key times in the past called Sessions a racist — they’re now using the Alabama senator’s full name, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, to heighten the Old South effect — and now, as they oppose Trump at nearly every turn, they’ve turned to race again.

“There are extensive, and in some cases, strict immigration laws on the books, passed by bipartisan majorities of Congress. Obama wanted Congress to change those laws. Congress declined. So Obama stopped enforcing provisions of the law that he did not like.”

Here’s why the effort to stop Sessions is likely to intensify as his confirmation hearings near. Sessions is the Senate’s highest-profile, most determined, and most knowledgeable opponent of comprehensive immigration reform. Democrats are particularly anxious about immigration because of the unusually tenuous nature of President Obama’s policies on the issue. Those policies can be undone unilaterally, by the new president in some cases, and by the attorney general and head of homeland security in other cases. There’s no need for congressional action — and no way for House or Senate Democrats to slow or stop it.

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“A new administration could simply resume enforcement of the law — a move that by itself would bring a huge change to immigration practices in the United States. No congressional approval needed.”

There are extensive, and in some cases, strict immigration laws on the books, passed by bipartisan majorities of Congress. Obama wanted Congress to change those laws. Congress declined. So Obama stopped enforcing provisions of the law that he did not like.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Examiner]

A new administration could simply resume enforcement of the law — a move that by itself would bring a huge change to immigration practices in the United States. No congressional approval needed.

“It will be possible for the Trump administration to dramatically increase enforcement of immigration laws by using what is now on the books.”

— Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies

There are laws providing for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally. Laws providing for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally and later committed crimes. Laws for enforcing immigration compliance at the worksite. Laws for immigrants who have illegally overstayed their visas for coming to the United States. Laws requiring local governments to comply with federal immigration law. And more….(read more)

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“Democrats are particularly anxious about immigration because of the unusually tenuous nature of President Obama’s policies on the issue. Those policies can be undone unilaterally, by the new president in some cases, and by the attorney general and head of homeland security in other cases. There’s no need for congressional action — and no way for House or Senate Democrats to slow or stop it.”

President Trump could throw PEP out the window. And that would be just a start. The Center for Immigration Studies has published a list of 79 Obama policies the new administration could change without any action by Congress. (The list was compiled in April 2016, before anyone could know who the next president would be.) Among them:

1) End the embargo on worksite enforcement. “Experience has shown that employers respond very quickly and voluntarily implement compliance measures when there is an uptick in enforcement,” Vaughan notes, “because they see the potential damage to their operations and public image for being caught and prosecuted.”

2) Restore ICE’s authority to make expedited removals of illegal immigrants who are felons or who have recently crossed into the United States.

3) Tighten requirements for H-1B visas, including banning such visas for low-salary, low-skill jobs, revoking visas that are followed by layoffs of American workers, and other measures.

4) Stop suing states that take action to support immigration enforcement, and instead support such enforcement…(read more)

Many of those laws have been loosened or, in some cases, completely ignored by the Obama administration….(read more)



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