A Stealth Bush Betrayal: New DHS Regulations Open Southwest To Millions Of Mexican Colonists
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[Other Juan Mann articles on Section 235(b) expedited removal: How Section 235(B) Could Have Stopped Beltway Sniper Malvo; DOJ Expands Expedited Removal To Aliens Arriving "At Sea"; The Worthless Rubber-Stamp Of "Credible Fear" Interviews]

The recent announcement by Border and Transportation Security Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson of two seemingly unrelated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations—approved by DHS Secretario Tom Ridge and published in the federal register last week—amounts to a stealth Bush Betrayal potentially as large as the Administration's stalled amnesty/ guestworker proposal.

It leaves no doubt who is running American immigration policy: Vicente Fox and the government of Mexico.

Hutchinson announced that the U.S. Border Patrol will—someday real soon—begin using one tiny piece of the expedited removal power to deport illegal aliens summarily that was approved by Congress in 1996 but never implemented.

Significantly, DHS says its new power will be "primarily directed at those illegal aliens who are not citizens of Mexico or Canada."

There is no specific justification for this in the law. But Hutchinson told a DHS "Media Roundtable" that the Bush Administration is going to make a special policy exception for Mexican illegal aliens.

Hutchinson explained:

"In reference to the Mexican nationals who will be subject to expedited removal — it would only be applicable to those that are engaged in smuggling organizations, and those that are repeat violators, that would constitute a criminal offense. And so it would be applicable, narrowly, in that fashion. But the broad majority of Mexican nationals, of course, would be voluntarily repatriated, as they are now, and no significant impact in that arena."

Of course, if Mexican nationals are given a "voluntary return" by the Border Patrol, rather than an expedited removal order, they can still apply for immigrant petitions to enter the U.S. legally at a later date.

Simultaneously, in what bears the stench of a secret deal, Hutchinson announced the federal government will immediately allow what he estimated in the Media Roundtable to be 425,000 Mexican nationals to take up de facto permanent residence in the American Southwest.

They will be able to do this through an unlimited number of "visits" of up to thirty days at a time, using so-called border-crossing cards (BCCs).

Amazingly, Hutchinson also told the same press conference that there are "seven or eight million border crossing card holders." (My emphasis.)

He offered no explanation as to why all of them—not just 425,000—won't promptly come here.

All this sound too strange to be true?

The details of the two orders are all in the Federal Register here:

  1. August 11, 2004 — Designating Aliens For Expedited Removal; Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, DHS. Allows the Border Patrol to summarily remove illegal aliens found within 100 miles of a land border, if discovered within two weeks of their illegal entry. This is a very limited implementation of the authority previously granted by Congress. That legislation allowed for the summary removal of illegal aliens found anywhere in the United States—within two years of entering illegally. But the Clinton Administration, and subsequently the Bush Administration, shamelessly mothballed it.
  1. August 13, 2004 — Extension of Time Limit on Admission of Certain Mexican Nationals; Border and Transportation Security Directorate, DHS. Expands the time limit of visits for Mexican nationals holding non-immigrant BCCs from 72 hours to thirty days at a time.  Unless obtaining additional permission, BCC holders must remain within an area 25 miles from the border, 75 miles in the state of Arizona.

Er…how do we know BCC holders will stay close to the border?

Answer: We don't. There's very little interior immigration enforcement at all.

The two new DHS regulations are obviously linked for diplomatic reasons. Under Secretary Hutchinson even made a point of explaining to the Media Roundtable that the Mexican government was informed in advance of the enforcement decision:

"Well, first of all, we have communicated to the government of Mexico. I understand Secretary Ridge talked to Secretary [Santiago]  Creel. I spoke with the ambassador last night in reference to this, so there's been a strong level of communication on all of these issues. They're not catching them by surprise, but informing them in advance, and — and making sure there's a good awareness as to what we were doing. They'll have to speak for their reaction to it, but we certainly have communicated on this issue."

This is a really bizarre quid pro quo arrangement—even by the standards of the notoriously Mexophile Bush Administration. The Mexican government apparently grants its blessing for the United States to summarily deport certain non-Mexican nationals under the previously unused expedited removal authority. In exchange, DHS arbitrarily creates over 62,000 square-miles of Mexican lebensraum in the American Southwest...to begin with.

The DHS press release for the new regulations insists that both regulations "expand control of the United States borders."

Bunk. Allowing Mexican BCC holders to stay north longer does nothing to control the border. As a practical matter, giving BCC holders a free non-deportation pass will allow them to live in the U.S. indefinitely, on the condition that they go back and touch their native soil once a month.

All "seven to eight million" of them.

The new BCC regulation explains that the previous 72-hour limit "has resulted in many BCC travelers crossing back and forth over the border for the sole purpose of avoiding staying longer than 3 consecutive days."

Well, you bet!

But, thanks to the DHS, Mexican BCC holders now only have to keep up the charade just once every thirty days.

Many probably live north of the border anyway, or have long since disappeared into the American heartland as illegal aliens. But the BCC sure comes in handy for crossing back and forth though—thus eliminating virtually all chance of catching them.

Let's take another reality check here.

A "visit" is a few hours or a couple of days. Perpetual thirty-day "visits" for seven to eight million Mexicans holding BCCs is colonization.   

Final straw: The regulation allowing more Mexicans to stay longer in the United States goes into effect immediately. But not the expedited removal regulation—Hutchinson announced that will have to wait until more "training" is in place.

Even then, don't hold your breath. Don't forget that any illegal alien uttering the magic words "political asylum" can derail the deportation process, be released from detention and given a full hearing before the federal immigration bureaucracy of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

No doubt the DHS will wait even longer, until Eduardo Aguirre's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division rushes more rubber-stamping asylum officers to conduct the "credible fear" interviews that begin the political asylum process.

So thanks to the Bush Administration's DHS, more Mexican nationals can stay in the American Southwest longer with border-crossing cards. . . and their illegal countrymen (unlike illegal aliens from other nations) need not fear the threat of Section 235(b) expedited removal.

Sounds like a great deal . . . for Mexico.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.

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