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Immigration

ICE to Start Arresting Noncriminal Migrants Again

About time.

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According a to a Miami Herald Report published on September 29. 2020, immigration officials revealed that they would be back to their usual apprehension and detention operations.

This marks a notable change from the previous suspension of “noncriminal” enforcement due to the Wuhan virus pandemic.

On September 25, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made an update to its Wuhan virus information webpage declaring that the agency is “confident that our officers can properly and safely carry out operations.”

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The statement added:

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To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we have taken several precautionary measures — from ensuring that our front-line operators have adequate personal protective equipment, maximizing telework for agency personnel whose duties do not require them to be in the office, completing temperature checks before removal, and requiring the isolating of detainees as appropriate to prevent the spread in detention facilities.

The announcement was made in a rather quiet manner, in contrast to its standard operating procedure, and was not sent out to media outlets. This update replaced an agency statement that ICE publicly unveiled back in March, when it said at the time that it would “adjust its enforcement posture.” In the new statement, there is no longer mention of using more “discretion” when arresting “noncriminal” illegal aliens.

In an email that the Miami Herald obtained, ICE said the agency “does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”

Throughout the Wuhan virus pandemic, the agency had repeatedly said it would concentrate its enforcement on “public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.” Some of these examples consisted of probes into child exploitation, gangs, drug trafficking, human trafficking, human smuggling, and terrorism. For individuals who don’t fit under those categories, the agency said it would “delay enforcement actions until after the crisis.”

In contrast to its previous announcement, ICE’s new statement left out information about any immigrant population it would refuse to arrest and detain.In email correspondence with the Miami Herald, Andrea Flores, deputy immigration policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union, remarked: “The pandemic is very much still ongoing, and disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities.”

“More than 205,200 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, and more than 7.15 million people in the country have been diagnosed with the disease,” she stated. “By resuming civil enforcement, ICE is increasing the likelihood that more immigrants and (Department of Homeland Security) staff will be exposed to this virus, not only in enforcement operations, but also in detention facilities.”

“ICE has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to provide safe and sanitary conditions — even in the best of circumstances. This is an overtly political decision 35 days from Election Day that will lead to even more avoidable deaths and COVID-19 infections,” Flores observing. “ICE should be suspending civil immigration enforcement and reducing the number of people in immigration detention, not increasing the population with new arrests.”

“Noncriminal” immigrant is an oxymoronic term. Even if an illegal alien is not a drug trafficker, human trafficker, terrorist, or part of organized crime, their illegal entry into the country is a criminal act.

Unlike Mexico and other jurisdictions that resemble failed states, America is a nation of laws. The Trump administration, despite some hiccups here and there, has made sure to put border security as a major policy plank through Trump’s first term. A pandemic should not deter ICE from fulfilling its basic functions, and it’s good to see that they are going back to their usual business.

Immigration

Mara Elvira Salazar is No Friend of America First Nationalism

Republican leaders would be wise to ignore all of her political advice.

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If there’s one Republican leader that young activists should never listen to, it’s Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar. 

Salazar, who is a Cuban American, has been an outspoken advocate of loosening U.S. immigration laws. In fact, she even confronted known immigration hawk and key Trump adviser Stephen Miller at a Republican Study Committee weekly lunch on February 24, 2021. She specifically criticized Trump’s immigration message and demanded that the GOP be more inclusive in its outreach.

“I told him [Miller] that the GOP needs to attract the browns,” stated Salazar. “We, for the last 30 years since Ronald Reagan, have not sent the right message to the browns,” she continued. “Reagan was the last guy who gave a path to citizenship to 3 million people … 35 years ago. It’s time for us to do the same thing that Reagan did.”

Salazar doubled down on her pro-immigration message when she went on Larry Kudlow’s show on March 2 and declared that former President Donald Trump would have done better with Hispanics by advocating for looser immigration. Journalist Ryan Girdusky noted how some of Trump’s advisers were already pushing for amnesty lite policies:

Girdusky added that Salazar was rather unhinged in her criticism of Miller’s vision for the GOP:

Salazar made a lot of noise about the Hispanic vote, despite ignoring how Trump improved his Hispanic numbers between 2016 and his re-election bid in 2020 from 28% to 32%. And he did so without much Hispandering or campaigning on passing amnesty. 

The unsavory fact that the GOP consultant class and the likes of Salazar refuse to acknowledge is that the Black Lives Matter unrest alone likely pushed significant segments of the Hispanic population into the Democrats’ arms. BLM radicalism alienated Americans of all backgrounds., but Hispanics were not having any of this kind of ruckus. Even Hispanic Democrats, of all groups, largely supported strong military action during the riots.

In reality, Hispanic support for Trump is largely based on his bluster and political bluntness, which many minority groups find comfort in. 

However, Republicans like Salazar gets it all wrong by thinking that expanding immigration both legal and illegal is a key to the Republican Party success. The Republican Party will have to concede that they can make gains with Hispanics at the margins but they cannot expect to win the majority of the Hispanic vote due to Hispanics’ propensity to support many causes ranging from gun control to more government involvement in healthcare. Data from the Pew Research Center demonstrates these beliefs among Hispanics. Nevertheless, there are some avenues for outreach with this demographic  but they must be done right. 

The key for Republican success is the white working class voters, which played a crucial role in putting Trump over the top in the Midwest back in 2016. These voters are not the most reliable in terms of turnout, but they comprise a vast segment of the American electorate. Any candidate who can activate them could potentially build a hegemonic electoral coalition for years to come. The goal for a sane Republican campaign is to maximize turnout and support among the WWC. 

Such inroads with WWC voters are more important than meeting a diversity quota the likes of Salazar and naive Republican strategists would like the party to pursue. Any nationalist campaign worth its salt would be promoting the following: Infrastructure projects targeting the Midwest, the restriction of both illegal and legal immigration, and re-shoring programs to bring jobs back. 

On the other hand, following Salazar’s program is the way that the GOP will become irrelevant and alienate many WWC voters who are already on the fence with regards to the Republican Party. These voters are not going to gravitate towards Republicans just because of the “R” next to their name. They still must be catered to and pushing for amnesty is one way to turn working class voters off.

Under Salazar’s watch, the GOP will simply be going back to the politically correct ways of the Bush administration. To tap into the sleeping giants that is the WWC, Republican leaders should ignore everything Salazar has to say and get fully behind nationalist policies such as immigration restriction, infrastructure development, and re-shoring. 

 

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