Illegal aliens protest in front of White House
A group of illegal aliens protested in front of the White House yesterday, demanding that immigration reform advocates boycott meetings with the president until they are included in any discussions about the issue.
No attempt was made to arrest or interfere with the illegals.
The immigrants made surprise visits to the Center for American Progress, National Immigration Forum and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights before rallying in front of the White House. The visits were shown in real time on a video livestream, creating some awkward moments.
The campaign, organized by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, underscores a split in the advocacy community on its dealings with the White House. There are concerns that Obama wants to lower expectations for what he can do with his executive authority, and that the advocacy groups will fall in line.
“We have one shot to convince him to do the right thing,” reads the letter delivered to the offices. “And we must unite to defend the decision if and when he does. It is clear that the people best qualified to make the case to the President are those immigrants who are harmed by status quo and who stand to be benefited by administrative relief.”
White House spokesman Shawn Turner did not respond to the demand, but he said in an emailed statement that Obama and his senior staff “meet regularly with immigration advocates and supporters to discuss the immigration issue.”
“The president and vice president met Friday with the leaders of the three Central American countries from which most of the migrant children are coming, and he continues to encourage Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” Turner said.
The most recent meeting with advocates immediately preceded Obama’s announcement June 30 that he would abandon a legislative strategy for an administrative one. Although he pledged to do as much as he can on his own to aid undocumented immigrants, Obama also asked the advocates to “right-sizeexpectations” about what was possible — a comment that the immigrants invoked during their visits Monday.
Some advocates have complained that the invite lists have grown shorter and friendlier to the White House’s point of view.
“No more meetings about us, without us,” the protesters chanted at the rally near Lafayette Park.
An ICE official told Fox News that the illegal aliens were not an "enforcement priority":
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.
“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told FoxNews.com.
Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases -- those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a pass to other undocumented residents.
This is why illegal immigrant activists can protest outside the White House without worrying too much about ICE.
I don't ever recall the excuse being used for not enforcing the law is that it wasn't a "priority." Who gets to decide that? Evidently, we now live under a new Constitutional system where the executive branch gets to pick and choose what laws to enforce and who is a priority target of enforcement and who isn't.
Glad we got that straightened out.
I don't think we should be hunting down illegal aliens. But when they present themselves in such a public way and thumb their nose at the law, why not take them into custody? Of course, they'd be released immediately and told to show up for a court date. But doesn't it matter that the law be enforced? I guess not.