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How Obama Spurred Crisis on Border


The House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing Tuesday on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, during which lawmakers welcomed Leon Rodriguez, the agency's newly seated director.

Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte wasted little time before cutting to the chase, noting that Mr. Rodriguez's appearance on Capitol Hill comes against the backdrop of the "illegal immigration crisis" along the nation's southern border.

"Of course," said Rep. Goodlatte, R-Va., "if President Obama took seriously his duty to secure the U.S. border and enforce laws against illegal immigration, there would be no such crisis."

GOP lawmakers expressed particular concern about the 2-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by the administration under the president's order, without the assent of Congress.

DACA proffered temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. The program was scheduled to expire last month but Mr. Obama extended it two years, bypassing Congress yet again.

Mr. Rodriguez told Judiciary Committee members that some 700,000 undocumented immigrants — who were spirited across the U.S. border before June 1997 and before reaching their 16th birthdays — have taken advantage of DACA.

The program "is a major reason for the influx of illegal immigrants to the United States," said Rep.


Indeed, many if not most of the estimated 60,000 unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children who have made the trek from Central America to the U.S. appear to have been motivated by the prospect of obtaining the same legal status as the 700,000 undocumented immigrants currently protected by DACA.

The Obama administration tacitly acknowledges that its DACA program has been a magnet for the mass illegal immigration that began in October.

In fact, President Obama hosted a White House meeting with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to seek their help in convincing their undocumented children that "they would not be welcomed with open arms in this country," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

We suspect that message will fall mostly upon deaf ears. That's because of news reports this week that the White House officials are considering immigration-related executive actions Mr. Obama can take between now and November's midterm election.

The president's unilateral actions could include expanding DACA, the Associated Press reported. They could also include legal status for illegal immigrant parents of the 700,000 DACA immigrants.

If Mr. Obama actually follows through with these executive actions he almost certainly will exacerbate the current crisis along the nation's southern border. Moreover, he will all but guarantee that bipartisan immigration reform is a dead letter during the final two years of his presidency.




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Linda Chavez
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