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Democrats push back on Obama's amnesty

By Garth Kant

President Obama pushed for amnesty for illegal immigrants in his first term, but the Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, which would have provided a road to citizenship for illegals in college or the military.

Obama had promised in April last year that he would pursue amnesty, or what he calls comprehensive immigration reform, in the first year of his second term.

Now, even Democrats may be showing signs of pushing back.

In an apparent slap at the president’s policy, the Democrat-controlled Senate has passed spending bill eliminating the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Public Advocate. The administration had created the position in February 2012 to advocate for immigrants’ rights.

This comes at a time when the administration is facing criticism for releasing immigrants awaiting deportation from detention and blaming it on cuts caused by the sequester.

As WND reported last week, a federal court ruled the Obama administration must turn over records related to its policy of suspending some deportations of illegal aliens, which critics have called “stealth amnesty.”

The Department of Homeland Security violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to hand over relevant records to the D.C. watchdog group Judicial Watch, ruled Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Feb. 28.

The new policy gave wide latitude to local immigration officials to dismiss illegal alien deportation cases, including the dismissal of charges against illegals convicted of violent crimes. Since mid-February, the Obama administration has released from jail more than 2,000 illegal aliens facing deportation, the Associated Press reported.

The administration reportedly plans to release 3,000 more this month.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “Now, with the prison floodgates being thrown open to illegal aliens under the phony pretense of abiding by sequester cuts, it is more important than ever that Obama’s hand be revealed.”

As WND also reported, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tried to avoid responsibility for the release of the illegal immigrants.

WND columnist Barbara Simpson wrote, “Napolitano also hedged, then admitted she regretted the way it was done. She actually told NBC she was surprised to learn of the action. She actually tried to shift blame to ‘career officials in the field’ – as though she has no responsibility for the people who work under her.”

Simpson added, “To make the lying and blame shifting worse, it was reported that an official was forced to resign but the next day, it was shown that that hadn’t happened, either.”

And now, Obama does not appear to be resisting the elimination of ICE’s immigration advocate.

A White House Budget Office statement supports the spending bill as is. It reads: “The administration urges the Congress to promptly pass this bipartisan compromise allowing critical government functions to operate without interruption in order to protect national security and ensure that Americans continue to receive vital services and benefits.”

The fight to cancel funding for the Public Advocate’s office was led by Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. She indicated, “The administration needs to instead be using this money for its intended purpose of securing our borders and combating illegal immigration.”

Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, a union representing 7,600 ICE officers and agents, said, “We applaud Congress’ efforts to defund the program.”

He called the Public Advocate office “nothing but waste, fraud and abuse.”

Now, Napolitano seems to be sounding a note of panic over immigration reform.

The DHS secretary says the administration is “urgently awaiting” immigration reform legislation being drafted by a bipartisan group of senators, the so-called “Gang of Eight.”

That bill will likely provide a path to citizenship, or amnesty, for illegal aliens.

Napolitano doesn’t see securing the borders as a priority.

“The notion that we have to secure our border first is kind of another way of saying ‘We don’t really want to deal with immigration reform,’ right?” she noted.

She also doesn’t blame the administration for not achieving immigration reform in its first term. She blames Congress.

“When I came here to serve as secretary, it was not the time. There just weren’t enough people ready to dive in and there were other issues that were crowding the calendar for the Senate floor and the House floor,” she said. “But now is the time when this issue rises to the top.”

Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo wrote in WND what he sees as the outcome if securing the border isn’t made a priority over amnesty.

“First, if Congress legislates another general amnesty without first demonstrating border security, we will NEVER have border security,” Tancredo explained.

“Second, if we have no border security and yet offer amnesty to all who succeed in violating those borders, it is tantamount to opening the gates to another 10 million unlawful entries tomorrow. We might as well stop debating the terms for amnesty legislation: it is simpler to hand our green cards to all applicants at the 200 or so foreign consulates scattered around the nation.”

“We have driven down the numbers, so that the number of illegal immigration attempts is at 40-year lows,” claims Napolitano. “We haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since the early 1970s.”

Tancredo disagrees, writing: “Every indication along the southwest border is that the number of border crossings has begun to increase after five years of decline. The main reason for the decline was our poor economy, not the small improvements in technology, fencing and Border Patrol manpower. Yet, even with our poor economy, we had over 300,000 illegal border crossings last year by official count.”

“A recent GAO report says that the Border Patrol only catches 60 percent of persons attempting to cross the border illegally, so at least 200,000 entered our country illegally in 2012,” he added. “The association of retired Border Patrol agents believes the ‘gotaway ratio’ is more like three to one, which would place that number at 900,000 successful border crossings. Janet Napolitano – and evidently Marco Rubio and Charles Krauthammer – think this is an acceptable level of border security.”