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Friday, February 28, 2020

Congress, Do Your Job

For John, BLUFPart of our problem with immigration is that the Congress is not doing its job of coming up with an immigration policy that they are willing to support and which State and local governments can live with.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Public charge rule goes into effect today.

From Center for Immigration Studies, by Mr John Miano, 24 February 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

I previously posted a summary of the Public Charge Rule’s legal saga.  In City & Cnty. of S.F. v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Servs., 944 F.3d 773 (9th Cir. 2019), the Ninth Circuit held that the Public Charge Rule was within the authority of the Department of Homeland Security.

Contrary to the disinformation published in the elite media, the Supreme Court did not affirm this decision -- it merely lifted the injunction against the administration's public charge rule, allowing it to go into effect today while the case continues to proceed through the courts.

Judge Jay Bybee wrote both the court’s opinion and a separate concurring opinion.  The lack of attention the nation’s elite media has paid to the latter should not surprise anyone acquainted with the generally poor quality of reporting.  However, the opinion is worth reading in full (citations omitted):

BYBEE, Circuit Judge, concurring, perplexed and perturbed:

I join the majority opinion in full.  I write separately to emphasize two points — points that I feel must be made, but are better said in a separate opinion.

We as a nation are engaged in titanic struggles over the future of immigration in the United States.  These are difficult conversations.  As a court, the Ninth Circuit in particular has felt the effects of the recent surge in immigration.  As we observed last year with respect to the asylum problem:

We have experienced a staggering increase in asylum applications.  Ten years ago we received about 5,000 applications for asylum.  In fiscal year 2018 we received about 97,000 — nearly a twenty-fold increase.  Our obligation to process these applications in a timely manner, consistent with our statutes and regulations, is overburdened.  The current backlog of asylum cases exceeds 200,000 — about 26% of the immigration courts' total backlog of nearly 800,000 removal cases.  In the meantime, while applications are processed, thousands of applicants who had been detained by immigration authorities have been released into the United States.
Because of our proximity to Mexico, Central America, and East Asia, the brunt of these cases will find their way into our court.  And we are well aware that we are only seeing the matters that find their way into federal court, and that the burdens of the increase in immigration are borne not only by our judges, but by the men and women in the executive branch charged with enforcing the immigration laws.

Our court has faced an unprecedented increase in emergency petitions arising out of the administration's efforts to administer the immigration laws and secure our borders.  These controversial efforts have met with mixed success in our court and the Supreme Court.

My first point is that even as we are embroiled in these controversies, no one should mistake our judgments for our policy preferences.  Whether "the iron fist [or an extended velvet glove] would be the preferable policy.  ... our thoughts on the efficacy of the one approach versus the other are beside the point, since our business is not to judge the wisdom of the National Government's policy."

So, where is the Congress on this?  I hear a lot of whinging about the policy, but I don't see new legislation coming out that compromises Democrat and Republican Party views to give us a consensus position we can all reasonably support.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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