From sanctuary cities to a sanctuary nation

Illegal immigration highway sign

It’s not too hard to imagine what immigration enforcement would look like under President Hillary Clinton. If allowing 200,000 criminal aliens to escape deportation sounds like a good idea to you, you should be wearing a Hillary for President button.

We learned this past week that the FBI does not think Hillary Clinton’s gross negligence in managing top-secret documents is a crime. Why are we surprised? Gross negligence in immigration law enforcement has been celebrated as a national virtue for the past seven years.

What will happen to immigration law enforcement when immigration anarchy is accepted as the “new normal”? The answer is simple. We’ve already test driven the beta version, so we are fully conditioned for the full roll-out in 2017.

If you want a graphic preview of what gross indifference to immigration law enforcement will look like when implemented across the board, look no further than the Obama team’s unwillingness to deport even convicted criminal aliens. Some 925,000 deportable aliens including 200,000 criminal aliens now roam our streets— after being ordered deported by a federal immigration court.

Here’s a little quiz. True or false: When a federal immigration judge issues a “Final Order of Removal” against a criminal alien after all appeals and waivers and exemptions have been exhausted, then a federal immigration agency takes that person into custody and escorts him or her out of the country.

The answer is — False.

First, because in the large majority of cases, the criminal alien did not show up for the court hearing and has no known address.

Second, no one will go looking for him because the deportation order will be added to 925,000 other deportation orders that have yet to be enforced.

Okay, yes, there is some good news buried in this depressing picture– only about 20 percent of the 925,000 are convicted criminals. The bad news is that since 2012, the number of criminal aliens has been growing at about 6 percent annually.

But the really bad news is that both numbers — the 925,000 undeportable aliens and the 200,000 criminals among them — are only the tip of an invisible iceberg. No one knows the true size of the invisible iceberg, and no one in government even wants to know that number.

That statement is not an exaggeration. To people in the immigration enforcement business, numbers do not mean what ordinary citizens think they mean. We need only look at the federal government’s attitude toward  visa overstays.

Our federal immigration agencies think it is wonderful that — by their own estimate — only one percent of the more than 50,000,000 foreign tourists, foreign students and business travelers who enter the United Sates annually with non-immigrant visas become “visa overstays.”

By the government’s latest estimate, 500,000 foreign visitors annually fail to depart on the date their visa expires — and the government thinks this is an acceptable level of illegal entry.

A one percent failure rate may not sound like a big problem until you consider two other numbers.

  • Half of our 12-20 million illegal aliens are visa overstays, so even if by some miracle the land border is made secure, we will still have a rising tide of illegal entries.
  • 1 percent of 50 million is a very big number if even one per cent of one percent of those foreign visitors are terrorists.

Think about what these numbers really mean.

  • A mere 1 percent of 50,000,000 is 500,000 illegal aliens from over 120 countries annually joining the 12 to 20 million already here. And the truth is, no one really knows if it’s 1 percent or 2 percent or 5 percent.
  • Then factor this number: All 19 of the 9/11 terrorists entered the United States on legal visas and then simply ignored the expiration date and assumed new identities.

So, if only 1 percent of the estimated 500,000 annual visa overstays have terrorist plans or ambitions, that is 5,000 potential terrorists entering the country legally each year — not by crossing the Rio Grande, but merely passing through customs legally at one of over 100 U.S. airports that welcome foreign travelers.

Today, our “broken immigration system” has become a cliché, but at least we have a robust debate about fixing it. Under President Hillary Clinton, Congress would be debating how to speed up refugee resettlement and “remove roadblocks” to immigration. Immigration law enforcement would be an oxymoron.

If you think the Border Patrol has a retention problem now, wait till Clinton orders agents to abandon green uniforms for white ones — to better symbolize our “welcoming spirit.”

On immigration law enforcement, instead of a “zero tolerance” policy we have a zero worry policy. Instead of “see something, say something,” we now have “see nothing, say nothing.”

This is the policy Hillary Clinton embraces, cheers and celebrates. If she becomes President Clinton, we will no longer be debating what to do about Sanctuary Cities. We will have become a Sanctuary Nation.


Tom Tancredo pic 2

Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.

Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.

He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.