President's Budget Assumes Amnesty - Cuts Immigration Enforcement

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Article date: 
12 March 2014
Article category: 
National News
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President Obama's recently released budget request for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015) claims to reduce the deficit by assuming Congress passes amnesty this year. Despite Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pledging that the House will never take up the mass guest worker amnesty bill the Senate passed last June, the President attributes $158 billion in deficit reduction over the next decade, and $1 trillion over 20 years to "immigration reform." (See White House Budget FY2015 at p. 30, 164)

Additionally, the President's budget assumes that amnesty would increase revenue by $456 billion over 10 years, presumably through the government collecting taxes from amnestied illegal aliens, but fails to account for the future government entitlements (like Social Security) these amnestied illegal aliens would receive. (Id. at p. 170; see also Washington Examiner, Mar. 5, 2014)

The President also uses his budget to continue his effort to undermine immigration enforcement by cutting overall funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)... In fact, President Obama proposes cutting ICE by four and half percent — a major portion of the $1 billion in total DHS cuts the President is seeking. (See DHS Budget in Brief FY2015 at p. 1, 7)

In addition to reducing ICE funding, the budget seeks to limit the detention of illegal aliens by promoting the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. The request seeks to reduce the number of detention beds ICE is required to maintain for detained illegal aliens from 34,000 to 30,539. (Id. at p. 13) Instead, it allocates $94.1 million for ATD, which releases detained illegal aliens back into the community with electronic monitoring devices or "supervised" release. (Id.) ...

The Obama budget contains several other provisions related to immigration. First, it requests $124.8 million to fund E-Verify but does not seek to require all employers use it to verify their workforce. (See DHS Budget in Brief FY2015 at p. 13) Second, it adds thousands of Customs and Border Protection officers (many of whom do only customs works and are stationed at official ports of entry), while failing to increase the number of Border Patrol agents (who patrol the vast territory between ports of entry). (Id. at p. 12)

Finally, President Obama's budget would eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) that provides federal money to states and local municipalities for the costs they incur from the incarceration of criminal aliens. (See White House Budget FY2015 at p. 156; for more information on SCAAP, see Bureau of Justice Assistance SCAAP Guidelines; INA § 241(i)...