There is much controversy about how to stop illegal immigration as well as how to reform America’s immigration system. President Donald Trump was elected because he promised to the secure the borders and build a wall. He has tried to secure the border, limit illegal immigration, and build a wall, but he has been opposed on every side by liberals in Congress and activist judges.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was a recent guest in a special edition of The Daily Signal Podcast. He says that Trump is winning despite the congressional liberals and rogue judges.
Kate Trinko asked Cuccinelli how the courts are affecting the Trump immigration policy and what can be done about them. Cuccinelli reminded Trinko and the listeners that judges are supposed to be “neutral umpire[s]” and simply call “balls and strikes.” However, there are too many rogue judges who want to make the rules rather than define and explain the law.
The example I used today in talking to the President’s Club here was a judge in New York last week who imposed a national injunction on what’s called the public charge regulation, which is a rule that requires legal immigrants seeking to stay here permanently to be self-sufficient – [it] doesn’t count humanitarian categories like asylees and refugees, just regular legal immigrants have to be self-sufficient.
Well, the judge went on what amounts to a rant against the policy, which, by the way, is about 140 years old in American immigration law, and it goes all the way back to the 1600s. He’s complaining that this somehow undermines American traditions and, in fact, it’s completely consistent with American traditions. That’s just one example.
Trinko wanted to know “how much of an impact” the activist judges are “having on the immigration policy” of the Trump administration. Cuccinelli replied that they are “having a significant impact and yet we’re still succeeding because we just keep pressing ahead.” He indicated that the regulations and rules being put in place are what “the law provides for.” He said, “The problem is that as these judges impose more and more and more injunctions, they complicate the system terribly. He blamed Congress for not providing the needed resources to “fully implement the immigration system we’ve got, much less enforce the law properly.” Even though the activist judges gum up the works, they will not win in the long run. “We’re going to win these cases, but they’re essentially trying to buy time hoping this president doesn’t get reelected and that these policies will be done away with by a different administration.”
Trinko asked about “interior enforcement regarding illegal immigration” and changes made to E-Verify. Cuccinelli replied that the system is different. “It’s been modernized substantially. And the data checks involved in it now are much more accurate and thorough.” He said that there are ways to pre-certify oneself before going for a job interview to make sure that everything is as it should be. “There are a lot of changes we’ve made that have made it more efficient, more user-friendly, and frankly, less employer-dependent…. They just want to know they have a legal employee in front of them.”
Trinko asked about eradicating loopholes in the asylum rules. Again, Cuccinelli referred to the do-nothing Congress. He said that there is an overlap between the Obama and Trump administrations. There are two loopholes that need to be closed. The first one is the Flores loophole – caused by a lawsuit that affects families. Do they separate the children from the parents, or do they release the entire family into the interior of the United States? The second loophole concerns the trafficking of children from Central and South American and even other nations. “We see children used as tickets at the southern border to kind of break through our system.” When the activist judges let them break through the system, it overwhelms the system – just as the illegals and drug cartels are trying to do.
Trinko asked Cuccinelli what he thought about the new law in New York City where people can “be fined up to $250,000 for using the term ‘illegal alien’ maliciously.” Cuccinelli said that the law will never hold up. He signed an internal document changing terms such as “foreign national” to “alien” because “that’s actually in the federal code…. I have great confidence that they will not succeed in doing that.” However, he admitted that people could be charged and must pay huge sums for lawyers to defend them. He also emphasized that the law infringes on “the First Amendment and its protections for free speech.”