August 16, 2021
By Brian Lonergan
How much more chicanery can the American people endure from this renegade White House? Its current occupant, or more accurately, those who handle him, have taken the “flood the zone” strategy to new extremes. While the deliberate humanitarian crisis at the border garners the bulk of our attention, this administration rams through a torrent of orders and directives in the hope that few will notice. The common thread is that each move is designed to gradually chip away at the exceptionalism of our rapidly declining republic, to de-legitimize its authority and make us no better than Burkina Faso.
Exhibit A is the latest order from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Henceforth, ICE agents will avoid arresting those in the country illegally if they are victims of crime. Authored by Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson, the order explains the agency’s new “victim-centered approach” to immigration enforcement, which will protect aliens who have applied for special visas reserved for those claiming to be victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, child neglect or abuse.
The official justification for this order, besides the humanitarian desire to aid crime victims, is that said victims will be more likely to come forward and cooperate with the prosecutions of those who victimized them.
By saying that ICE agents should still pursue alien crime victims in “exceptional circumstances,” the administration gave itself a fig leaf to claim it is still tough on crime. In reality, the circumstances here represent a fraction of a fraction that will be negligible compared to the preponderance of cases.
This is a truly Machiavellian policy by the anti-borders Left, as it allows them to achieve another agenda item victory—a never-ending flow of foreign nationals into the country—while hiding from criticism behind yet another flank of human shields. They also get to self-congratulate for their purported compassion and castigate opponents for their cruelty. The shaming tactics are all too familiar by now. “Who could be against helping crime victims? Where is your compassion? That’s not who we are!”
Caught up in the emotionalism of that argument, one might ignore the obvious flaws in it. If our leaders allowed ICE to simply do its job and actually detain and deport those here illegally, there would be far fewer aliens here committing crimes as well as becoming victims of crimes. This is akin to seeking praise for mopping up your flooded basement so well, when the smarter move would have been to properly seal your basement to prevent flooding in the first place.
The policy also raises the question of exactly how ICE will verify these claims of victimhood. Is a compelling and sad story enough, or will physical evidence be required? How many ICE resources will now be dedicated to tracking down all these claims? Given this administration’s kneecapping of ICE and its intent to water down criteria for immigration, it is hard to believe that many claiming victimhood in their appeal to stay in the country will be denied.
More rotten fruit from this policy will be the multitude of bogus victimhood claims that will no doubt be submitted. Despite their portrayal in our media as destitute campesinos, most arrivals to our southern border have the intelligence to know when the words and actions of our government will benefit them. They listened when candidate Biden urged them last fall to “surge the border” and they did exactly that.
Now they are being told by our government that crime victims will not be deported. Human nature dictates that a spike in victimhood claims is now imminent. Coached by immigration lawyers, many of those here illegally will become a population of would-be Jussie Smolletts, telling fabulous tales of their victimhood with little or no evidence. Who could blame them when our government is this gullible and open to manipulation?
Since the White House is feeling so compassionate, why is there no “victim-based approach” for American citizens who have been terrorized and murdered by criminal aliens thanks to irresponsible sanctuary policies? They have no advocate at the highest levels of government. While human trafficking at the border is real and tragic, so too are the senseless and avoidable crimes committed against U.S. citizens by those who should never have been here. The Angel families of Drew Rosenberg, Jamiel Shaw II, Jimmie Walden and countless others are victims as well. Their voices have been all but drowned out in the Left’s fevered pursuit of a borderless America.
Despite their figurehead’s embarrassing and frequent public gaffes, this administration is shrewd and ruthless when it comes to implementing its agenda. The question is not how much longer will this administration continue to pursue its radical agenda, but how much longer will We the People tolerate it?
Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute , a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Biden to Unleash a Wave of Jussie Smolletts on America, American Greatness, August 14, 2021.
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