On immigration alone, Vanita Gupta will be a disaster in the Justice Department


April 27, 2021

By Dale Wilcox

As the Biden administration hits its 100-day milestone, it has become clear that one of the following statements must be true. Either Joseph Robinette Biden blatantly lied to voters last fall when he portrayed himself as a common sense moderate, or Biden’s role in his own administration is little more than a hood ornament while fringe elements of his staff and party wield the actual power. Whichever one is true, the end result may be the most left-wing presidency in American history, particularly on the issue of immigration. This can only lead to extremely bad outcomes for the country.

This extremism is evident in the appointments this administration has made to high-level department positions. Case in point is Vanita Gupta, who was recently confirmed by a razor-thin 51-49 Senate majority for the number-three spot at the Justice Department.

Gupta’s radicalism is evident from her stints with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Obama Justice Department under the leadership of the hyper-partisan Eric Holder. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave his assessment of Gupta at a recent hearing.    

“Your record is one of an extreme partisan advocate,” Cruz said. “As I look at your record on every single issue, the positions you’ve advocated for are on the extreme left, and you’ve demonstrated an intolerance for and hostility to anyone who disagrees with the extreme left political position.”

That record apparently raised no red flags for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the lone Republican who crossed party lines to vote for Gupta. In her remarks on the Senate floor, Murkowski seemed to be either struck by naivete or suffering the effects of being in the D.C. swamp too long, saying “I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated through her career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice.”

Gupta is indeed deeply, deeply committed, but not to a form of justice that most Americans would recognize. She was obviously coached to sound like a rational centrist in her hearings, but she cannot hide from her past. My organization, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), investigated Gupta’s past and discovered numerous writings and statements that contradict the image she has projected in hearings.  

While Gupta was noncommittal when asked about sanctuary policies and the wisdom of refusing detainer requests on criminal aliens, she had much more critical thoughts on the subject of ICE cooperation when she published a blog in June 2017 that bemoaned a new law signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that effectively banned sanctuary cities across the state. The bill, S.B. 4 or otherwise known as the “sanctuary cities” bill, allows local law enforcement officials to be charged with a crime and removed from office for carrying out sanctuary policies, such as ignoring ICE detainer requests.

Gupta called the new law an “unwise piece of legislation” in her blog post. In fact, she opposed it so much she submitted an affidavit in support of the ACLU’s lawsuit to block it – she failed to persuade the courts. In her affidavit, she claims that ICE cooperation, such as honoring detainers and coordinating with federal officials, should be mitigated as it allegedly erodes distrust between local jurisdictions and the non-citizen community (item 8 in affidavit). This argument is in direct contradiction to her Senate testimony.

Similarly, Gupta avoided answering whether she supported abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a position currently en vogue on the far left. While Gupta has, to IRLI’s knowledge, never made a blanket call to abolish ICE, she has worked for years at institutions that not only oppose ICE’s work to enforce the country’s immigration laws but have specifically called for its abolition.

From 2005 to 2021, she served as an advisory committee member for South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). An IRLI review of SAALT’s Twitter account identified well over 50 (56 seen on Twitter search) instances in which SAALT tweeted out the hashtag “#AbolishICE”. IRLI was unable to locate any instance where Gupta condemned SAALT for these statements in the 16 years she was a part of the organization.

Gupta has worked directly for an organization that is behind much of the current “Abolish ICE” movement. She worked as a consultant for the Open Society Institute from 2004 to 2006. The Open Society network, funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, has bankrolled numerous organizations that have publicly pushed for the termination of ICE. United We Dream, for example, has called for the agency to be abolished, and it has listed the Open Society Foundations as one of its funding partners.

There are numerous other instances we found where Gupta staked out extreme anti-borders positions, like questioning the very idea that non-citizens should face deportation as a consequence for committing crimes. Does America, its citizens or legal residents benefit in any way from these policies? Absolutely not. Gupta and her fellow travelers seem concerned only with what America can do for foreign nationals, including those with criminal records.

The president has the authority to nominate whoever he pleases for administration positions. However, the Senate serves as a necessary check on executive power to ensure said nominations serve the American people. Based on her resume, writings and statements, Vanita Gupta is a far-left radical whose philosophies and political agenda will do great harm to our country and its people. Lisa Murkowski will have a lot of explaining to do back home when the consequences of Gupta’s second run at the Justice Department become known.

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel 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: Dale Wilcox, On immigration alone, Vanita Gupta will be a disaster in the Justice Department, American Thinker, April 27, 2021.

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