About That Latest Mass Amnesty Plan

We’ve had a few weeks now to digest Joe Biden’s latest scheme to offer amnesty and eventual citizenship (not to mention voting rights) to hundreds of thousands or millions of illegal aliens if they are married to American citizens. So where do we stand now? It has long since become obvious that Joe Biden’s disastrous open border policies have not only been wreaking havoc across the country but have contributed to his tanking poll numbers. Many people now rank the border and immigration as either their number one or two concerns. So what is the obvious thing to do in response to this situation? Apparently, if you’re on Team Biden, you would move to find a way to ensure that millions of additional illegals are not only in the country, but that they get to remain permanently, eventually finding a “pathway to citizenship.” With that in mind, the White House announced last month that with the stroke of a pen, they would allow all illegal immigrants who are married to American citizens and have been in the country for at least ten years to stay here and be immune from processing and deportation. There are a variety of reasons why this scheme should fail when it’s challenged, but that’s apparently not going to slow down Joe Biden one bit. To refresh our memories, here are some of the details from National Review shortly after the announcement was made.

The Biden administration announced on Tuesday sweeping executive action to provide legal protections to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens.

The order, touted by the White House as an effort to “keep families together,” protects the spouses of American citizens from deportation and provides them with work permits if they have lived in the country for at least a decade.

An estimated 1.1 million illegal immigrants are married to U.S. citizens and Biden’s new program, referred to as “parole in place,” could benefit nearly 500,000 people. Under the program, eligible individuals will have three years to apply for permanent citizenship.

“President Biden believes that securing the border is essential,” the White House said in a statement. “He also believes in expanding lawful pathways and keeping families together, and that immigrants who have been in the United States for decades, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, are part of the social fabric of our country.”

It’s difficult to know where to even begin with this, but we’ll do our best. First of all, I’m sure that someone on Biden’s team thought that “keeping families together” was a heartwarming slogan that would play well politically. But it’s meaningless in this context. Marital status and immigration status are unrelated. People who enter the country illegally are criminals who have broken our laws. We have plenty of citizens in prison for various reasons who are married. Some even get married while they are behind bars. We don’t suddenly release them from prison ahead of schedule just so they can “keep their family together.” It’s nonsensical.

Second, there is no such thing as “parole in place” in our immigration laws. Biden made that up out of whole cloth. Congress writes our immigration laws and the executive branch is supposed to enforce them, at least in theory. We used to. When this policy is challenged, it should take the courts no time at all to rule that only Congress would have the authority to make such a change and the White House has once again vastly overstepped its authority by attempting to singlehandedly rewrite those laws. 

Next, citizens (as well as border officials) have every right to challenge the legitimacy of these marriages. I’m sure some of these people truly fell in love with an illegal migrant and decided to tie the knot. But we’ve seen countless examples of the cartels bringing children over the border with adults, falsely claiming to be families so they will be allowed to stay. Why would any of them hesitate to go get a marriage certificate if they believed it would help to qualify them to remain in the country without penalty? 

Even if we wished to ignore all of those aspects of this debate for some reason, how dimwitted would someone have to be to believe that this is the appropriate time to grant what amounts to amnesty to a vast army of illegals based on having a marriage certificate? We’ve already been flooded with at least ten million of them, many coming here from countries hostile to the United States. Far too many wind up committing serious crimes. Even the ones who don’t are straining our resources at a time when too many citizens are struggling to make ends meet. The political optics of this announcement alone are more than enough to make you roll your eyes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of marriage and have been since reaching adulthood far too long ago. If a U.S. citizen and an illegal migrant wish to get married, I would not move to deny them that option. But when it’s time for the illegal to be processed and deported, the citizen has the option of following the spouse back to their country of origin and applying for residency there. We should be under no obligation to allow them to stay here, particularly during a period of internal unrest like the one we’re experiencing now. This new commandment from the Biden administration needs to be challenged immediately and expeditiously, with the courts assigning a high priority to hearing the case.

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