Actually, I just wrote that headline to get your attention. We’re not having a humanitarian crisis on the border. We’re having a poor public policy crisis on the border. As the lefties love to trumpet, US law prevents the immediate deportation of underage minors from non contiguous countries when apprehended at the border; rather, these young people are entitled to be boarded and housed at taxpayer expense while they wait for our taxpayer provided and grossly overloaded immigration judges and public defenders to get around to giving them their hearing.
Roger Simon, the Chief Political Columnist over at Politico– he’s insufficiently disconnected from reality to work for NYT or HuffPo or Slate– is up with more foolishness this morning about how poor, poor President Obama is enmeshed in an immigration battle he didn’t want to have. Simon doesn’t say, but one assumes the immigration battle the President did want to have involves amnesty, not the protection of children who are too young to vote Democrat. In any event, the law requiring the man-caused disaster on our border is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which became law on 12/23/2008. According to the legislative history, the act was introduced on 12/9 (Howard Berman, D-CA-28); was reported out of three committees and passed on the floor of Nancy Pelosi’s House by voice vote without objection, was further taken up by Harry Reid’s Senate, read three times and passed by unanimous consent, all on the 10th; presented to Bush 43 on the 12th ( I guess it took the bureaucrats a while to type it all up); and signed on the 23rd, one of Bush’s last acts as a lame duck.
Date Major Actions
12/23/2008 Became Public Law No: 110-457.
12/23/2008 Signed by President.
12/12/2008 Presented to President.
12/10/2008 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Received in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent.(consideration: CR S10886-10887)
12/10/2008 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection.(text: CR H10889-10902)
12/10/2008 Committee on Judiciary discharged.
12/10/2008 Committee on Energy and Commerce discharged.
12/10/2008 Committee on Foreign Affairs discharged.
12/09/2008 Introduced in House
The problem with this act is it does a good bit more than merely reauthorize the funding from the original law passed in 2000. There are a number of amendments– they couldn’t possible have been read and understood in two days time– but the real damage is in Title II:
(Sec. 204) Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant a stay of removal or deportation to a T-visa or U-visa applicant whose application sets forth a prima facie case of approval until the application is adjudicated.
(Sec. 205) Amends TVPA to authorize: (1) the Secretary of Homeland Security, upon application from a federal law enforcement official, to permit an alien trafficking victim’s continued presence in the United States in order to effectuate investigation and prosecution of the traffickers; and (2) law enforcement officials to request the parole entry of specified relatives of such an alien. Directs the Secretary to permit such alien’s continued presence if the alien has filed a civil action against the traffickers.
(Sec. 212) Amends TVPA to direct: (1) the Secretary of Health and Human Services, upon credible information that a child has been a trafficking victim, to provide 90-day interim assistance to the child and determine eligibility for long-term assistance; (2) federal and state and local officials to notify the Secretary within 24 hours of learning of such a child; and (3) the Secretary and the Attorney General to provide appropriate training for state and local officials.
There’s more, but that’s the general drift. Now, combating trafficking is a good thing. This is especially true for minor children forced into the sex trade. The language does, in fact, contain words to describe what I would to to people who do that sort of thing, albeit it probably falls under the heading of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, but I’m not going to describe it.
But here’s the thing about Simon, which is how I got started on this. While he’s big on lamenting how much trouble this is causing President Obama, he never mentions the actual problem is a misguided public law encouraging parents to send unoccupied minors all the way across Mexico– where they’re having a minor civil war, in case you hadn’t noticed– to land them here and, with the help of taxpayer paid attorneys, keep them here at public expense for years while they wind their way through the court system. He also never suggests this is one of the times the President should use his discretion to not enforce the law…