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  1. Letters of the Week: May 15 - May 21

  2. The days of abdicating our duty to enforce immigration laws are over. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    On May 11, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an appearance before Customs and Border Protection officers at the U.S.-Mexico border to announce the issuance of new guidance to federal prosecutors on criminal immigration enforcement.

    It is here, along this border, he said, that transnational gangs like MS-13and international cartels flood our country with drugs. They leave death and violence in their wake. “And it is here that criminal aliens and the coyotes and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration.”

    “I am here to tell you, the brave men and women of Customs and Border Protection: we hear you and we have your back.”

    The president has made enforcement of our immigration laws a priority, and we are seeing the results already. Illegal crossings dropped by 40 percent from January to February of this year, and last month, we saw a 72 percent drop compared to the month before the president was inaugurated. This is the lowest monthly figure in the last 17 years.

    It is “the Trump era.” The days of abdicating our duty to enforce the immigration laws are over.

    But what are his real intentions?

    According to Frank Sharry, one of the nation’s leading liberal spokespersons for immigration reform:

    “Attorney General Sessions is grandstanding at the border in an attempt to look tough and scare immigrants. It’s yet another example of the Trump administration treating all immigrants as threats and as criminals. This is the smokescreen they use to justify their efforts to deport millions, to keep people out of the country, and, ultimately, to try and remake the racial and ethnic composition of America.”

    Sharry’s accusations seem to be based on what he thinks of Sessions, not on what Sessions is doing, which in this case is just prioritizing the prosecution of criminal immigration violations.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author.
    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

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