ACLU Outrage: Bureaucrats: 'We don' need no steenkin' statutes.'


ACRU Staff


August 3, 2010

The facts for this article, but not the legal conclusions, come from an internal memorandum in the US Department of Homeland Security, Division of Citizenship and Immigration. This extraordinary document is from the Chief Counsel and the Directors of Policy and Strategy, Field Operations and Service Center Operations. It is addressed to the Director of that Office.

Though the ACLU has no direct involvement in this memo, it is entirely in line with the ACLU’s position that everyone who can sneak across the border is immediately entitled to all the benefits available to Americans and to legal residents in the country.

Here is the title: Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Well, what does that mean? It means, how can we, the bureaucrats, do what the President wants. Ignore the fact that Congress has not acted. Never mind the fact that the people are adamantly and clearly opposed to amnesty for people who are here illegally.

In its first paragraph entitled “Purpose,” these bureaucrats say, in bureau-speak, what they really have in mind. This memo was written to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization….” What does that mean? It means reducing by millions the number of illegal aliens by making them legal!

The memo offers two ways to achieve that result, a result that President Obama and most of the Democrats in Congress desire. The first is to use bureaucratic means to make many of these illegals into instant Americans who can vote, get free education up to grade 12, medical benefits, welfare benefits, etc. The other part is to delay the adjudications and end the imprisonments for millions of illegals so they can remain permanently in the US, with many of the same benefits.

To get a clear explanation of what these bureaucrats are proposing, consider a scene in the classic film, “The Treasure of Sierra Madre.” Humphrey Bogart and the other gold miners are confronted in Mexico by heavily-armed bandits who claim to be federal police. Bogart says, “Where are your badges?” The lead bandit replies with the memorable phrase, “We don’ need no steenkin’ badges.”

Even though the Constitution says that immigration law is solely in the hands of the Congress, these bureaucrats are saying, “We don’ need no steenkin’ Constitution, or Congress, or statutes….”

In nineteen separate sections, this memo outlines how bureaucrats can stretch and bend the law and the regulations, always in favor of illegal immigrants, and always to the detriment of ordinary, law-abiding Americans and legal aliens.

One approach is titled “Allow TPS Applications Who Entered without inspections to Adjust or Change Status.” For a long time the official position of immigration counsel have been that people who broke the law and snuck into the country are not entitled to seek a change to legal status while remaining in the country. The memo suggests that the General Counsel’s office reverse that position. That’s like calling a robber who breaks into a bank at night a “customer who entered without inspection.” The plain word for such a change is amnesty.

People who think like this do not belong in any government based on a written Constitution, and the rule of law, where elected representatives have the responsibility for writing the laws for the nation.

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