By Rick Oltman, July 22, 2019
In a surprise move, newly elected Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) has joined Republicans and fellow Democrat Joe Manchin (VA) in sending a letter to President Donald Trump encouraging him to create a pilot program that can identify fake asylum seekers. The program called “Operation Safe Return,” would supposedly accelerate the vetting process, giving the U.S. Border Patrol fifteen days to decide an asylum claim, expediting the removal of migrant family units who do not demonstrate a “credible fear” of persecution.
The letter, dated July 17th, is over 1,000 words long and suggests, among other things, that:
Within approximately 1 to 3 days of being encountered between the ports of entry at a selected pilot location, U.S. Border Patrol should conduct detailed, fair and accurate interviews with the participants regarding their reasons for coming to the United States. U.S. Border Patrol should have access to adequate translation services to ensure effective communication. Family member units that do not claim fear and therefore are not referred for a credible fear screening will be subject to immediate, expedited removal to their home country.
It was signed by Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Lankford (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
The NumbersUSA immigration reduction grades for this group are not encouraging:
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL): F-
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): F-
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): F-
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): F-
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): F
Sen. James Langford (R-OK): D
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY): F-
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY): D
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): F-
So what is this all about? Electioneering for 2020? Most legislation over the years is written and proposed knowing it won’t get out of committee, if it gets that far. Nevertheless, it can be used in the coming election to “show legislative support” for an issue popular with the voters.
But of the 9 signatories, only Jones, Enzi, and Cornyn are up for reelection in 2020.
At first glance, the proposal does sound like it is trying to accelerate the asylum determination process. It also sounds complicated and would require enormous manpower to adjudicate. Is it designed to fail?
One would be justified in being highly skeptical of the proposal by just looking at the track record of those pushing it.
Stay tuned. Something’s up.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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