“Obama Invokes Prosecutorial Discretion to Circumvent Constitution and Congress”
Here is the link to my Op-Ed:
Testimony of Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for being provided with this opportunity to share my thoughts and perspectives on the issue of providing driver’s licenses to aliens who have been processed under the provisions of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
As you may know, I am a retired senior special agent of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, an agency whose missions and authorities have been, in part, transferred to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
To provide you with information about my background I have attached a copy of my bio to this testimony.
Before we get to the instant matter of the driver’s licenses I want to spend a bit of time explaining the true significance of the immigration laws of the United States as contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Those laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals- to protect innocent lives of Americans and foreign nationals present in the United States and protect the jobs of American workers.
The immigration laws of the United States are utterly blind as to race, religion and ethnicity. The only distinction the immigration laws make is to distinguish citizens of the United States from those who are not citizens of the United States. Under the definitions contained within the INA, the term that describes such non-citizens is “alien.”
In point of fact, the term alien is defined as being, “Any person- not a citizen or national of the United States.” It is important to make this point because for far too long, discussions about immigration have been hobbled by false and misleading contentious accusations and assertions. There is no insult to be found in the term “alien” only clarity. It is vital that any discussions or debates that we engage in here or anywhere else, be factually accurate and fair.
Title 8, United States Code section 1182 is the section of law (the INA) that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found. Among the categories of aliens who are statutorily deemed excludible are aliens who suffer danger communicable diseases, aliens who suffer extreme mental illness and are prone to violence or sexual deviation (pedophiles, rapists, etc.), convicted felons, human rights violators, war criminals, drug traffickers, money launderers, terrorists, spies and those who would become public charges or seek to remain unlawfully and work illegally.
It is this section of law that provides the guidance for the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Inspectors who inspect arriving foreign visitors and determine whether or not they should be admitted into the United States in the first place.
Aliens who evade the inspections process must be presumed to fall under one or more categories of aliens who are not to be admitted into the United States and consequently pose a potential threat to national security and the wellbeing of the citizens of the United States.
While we have heard much about the issue of the importance of securing the Southwest Border of the United States that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico- and indeed that border is of great importance, it is only one of many components to the immigration system upon which national security, public safety and host of other issues depend.
In point of fact, the United States does not have just “four border states” as some have suggested. The United States has 50 border states. Any state that has a seaport or international airport must be considered as much a border state as are those states that are found along the southern and northern borders of the United States.
Furthermore, in a manner of speaking, the valiant members of the United States Armed Forces are charged with securing our nation’s borders externally, keeping our nation’s enemies as far from our shores as possible. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with securing those same borders from within. When DHS fails in the mission of securing our borders and preventing the entry of those who would do harm and/or seek to remove those foreign nationals who pose a threat, the gallantry, dedication and sacrifices of our military is undermined and national security is compromised.
It is also important to note that every year the United States provides more than one million aliens with lawful immigrant status. The Alien Registration Card or “Green Card” signifies that they have been granted this status. They are placed on the pathway to United States citizenship the day that they are granted lawful immigrant status. In fact, the United States grants lawful immigrant status to more aliens than do all of the other countries on this planet, combined.
Each year more than 500,000 aliens are naturalized and thus become citizens of the United States.
Additionally, tens of thousands of aliens are provided with nonimmigrant visas that authorize them to work in the United States. Most months the United States legally admits more foreign workers and potential foreign workers than the number of jobs that are being created. This is before considering the entry of illegal aliens or aliens who enter the United States via the legal inspections process and go on to violate the terms of their nonimmigrant admission to take unauthorized jobs.
Prior to the Second World War, the enforcement and administration of America’s immigration laws were the responsibility of the Department of Labor. By shielding American workers from unfair competition provided by foreign workers, the United States expanded its middle class and, in so doing, created the concept of the “American Dream.”
It is important to note that on April 30, 2009 the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration, chaired by one of the “Gang of Eight” Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a hearing on the topic: “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?” Among the witnesses called to testify before that hearing was Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank and arguably one of the key architects of the continuing economic crisis, who stated:
“…The second bonus (in accelerating the influx of skilled immigrant workers) would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at non-competitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.”
To put it succinctly, Mr. Greenspan is of the belief that growing our skilled labor force through less restrictive immigration policies would have the supposed “benefit” of reducing income inequality- not by increasing the wages of workers who lack skills or advanced education but by lowering the wages of professional Americans workers who have skills or advanced educations- Americans that Greenspan has the unmitigated chutzpah to refer to as the “Privileged Elite.”
Let me repeat this because it bears repeating- Mr. Greenspan bemoaned income inequality- not based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity or age- something we would all agree with- but wage inequality based on skill and education. The incentive that powered America’s rise to preeminence was the understanding that any American of any race, religion, gender or ethnicity could excel and write the next “great American success story” by acquiring skills or advanced education and then applying those skills and expertise in their careers and working hard to achieve their goals and dreams.
Those who favor the creation of a massive immigration amnesty program share Mr. Greenspan’s views on how to trim the so-called “wage premiums” to use his terminology, that is being paid to skilled and/or highly educated hardworking Americans- import many more foreign workers to provide unfair competition for scarce jobs. It is important to note that such unfair competition is illegal under our nation’s current immigration laws.
It is also vital to note that according to published news reports, one in six American families is living below the poverty line and that American minority families are experiencing higher rates of unemployment and underemployment and are suffering higher poverty rates than are non-minority families.
To borrow an oft-asked question and put a slightly different perspective to it, I am compelled to ask the members of this legislative body- “Are your constituents doing well enough that unemployment and/or underemployment is not an issue for them?” To put it another way, are your constituents realizing their “American Dreams?”
To ask the inevitable and blunt question, what are you doing to represent your constituents’ best interests?
Providing driver’s licenses in Ohio to aliens who have been processed for deferred action will undoubtedly attract many of these aliens to your state to compete with American and lawful immigrant workers of every ethnicity- workers who are struggling to survive.
The late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neil, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, famously remarked that “All politics is local.” As a former federal agent with approximately thirty years of experience I can tell you that all law enforcement is also local.
On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked. I am a New Yorker. My home town was attacked as was Washington, D.C. Shanksville, Pennsylvania was also the scene of the death and destruction of innocent lives when one of the hijacked airliners crashed in that town.
The federal government may compile crime statistics relating the number of various crimes that are committed, the number of people killed or injured, etc. The casualties of crime are not attacked simply somewhere within the United States but on a specific location in a town or city, perhaps even within their own home or neighborhood.
This is why when laws are violated often local, state and often, federal laws are simultaneously violated.
When homes are lost to foreclosure, those homes are located on streets of neighborhoods in our towns and cities.
Because of the politicization of the immigration issue, some seemingly rational leaders have come to act irrationally. However, we are indeed a nation of laws- laws that cannot be ignored.
The President of the United States may have a pen with which he can sign Executive Orders, but he has most certainly not been given a “Magic Wand.”
To consider the issue of the DACA program, it must be remembered that the first to words of that acronym are “Deferred Action.” The action that the President’s executive order defers is deportation.
Try as he might, the President of the United States lacks the statutory authority to confer lawful status on illegal aliens. Such action can only be accomplished by provisions of law and there are no provisions within the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with lawful status when nothing concerning their respective situations have not changed.
The President has justified his actions by saying that he is employing “prosecutorial discretion” by his use of executive orders. I wrote an Op-Ed for Fox News Latino nearly a year ago in which I said that the President was not utilizing prosecutorial discretion but rather prosecutorial deception. While all law enforcement agencies make use of a sort of triage approach to marshal limited resources- in point of fact, the administration is not simply ignoring illegal aliens who do not fit a certain profile but is actually using very limited resources to provide hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with employment authorization.
It has been reported that special agents of ICE have filed a lawsuit to stop the administration from exceeding its authority to impede the enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States.
According to a recent Washington Times article the approval rate for the applications being filed under DACA is in excess of 99%. Furthermore, I have heard from impeccably reliable sources that applications are being processed without so much as an in-person interview. There is no way to determine the true identities of these hundreds of thousands of aliens who have, thus far, had their applications processed. There is no way of validating claims that these aliens meet certain criteria such as the fact that they had entered the United States under the age of 16. The age cutoff for these applicants is more than 30 years of age. Without the resources to conduct face-to-face interviews or conduct field investigations adjudicators at USCIS are literally flying blind. Furthermore, it takes just minutes to approve an application but hours, or more likely, days to deny and application.
Finally, I would point out that driver’s licenses are the de facto national ID for people in the United States. The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, determined that the 19 terrorists who so savagely attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, in the aggregate used some 365 false identities or variations of false identities. They secured driver’s licenses by falsifying information in their applications for licenses and other such identity documents. Terrorists and criminals use false identities much the same way that a chameleon uses changes in coloration to hide in plain sight as they go about their deadly business.
It is of extreme importance that state government’s understand the true significance of driver’s licenses in terms of national security and the impact that providing illegal aliens with such official identity documents may well have.
There is no reason for states to issue driver’s licenses to foreign nationals whose presence in the United States represents a violation of law, irrespective of executive orders that simply defer their ultimate deportation from the United States.
I look forward to your questions.