What’s the Fuss?

The media are in a tizzy over the new policy memos from Homeland Security Secretary Kelly. They are conjuring images of massive roundups and deportations of illegal aliens at a level that will ruin the economy – in some versions – or at least tear apart millions of peaceful immigrant families. It is as if the Trump administration had just managed to get a new broad enforcement mandate and powers and funding from Congress.

But, in fact, all that was indicated in the new memos released on February 22 was that the shackles on enforcement of the immigration law placed by the Obama administration have been removed. No longer are immigration enforcement officers at the border or the interior required to look the other way if they encounter illegal aliens. Instead they are under instruction to either detain the alien, if already subject to deportation, or otherwise order the alien to appear for a deportation hearing. The new directives are aimed at reversing the breach between federal and local law enforcement agencies in their approach to dealing with illegal aliens.

So, if this is simply a reassertion of existing law, what’s the fuss? The media controversy is being stirred up by advocates of enforcement limitation that was created by and applied by the Obama administration. This advocacy that laments removing the shackles on enforcement results from a focus on the interests of the illegal alien rather than a focus on the interests of the U.S. public.

We might as well get used to this hyped up hysteria over ‘mean-spirited’ enforcement efforts, because it is a mindset that has become deeply entrenched in recent years and one that has found resonance in major media outlets. We simply need to remember that the election results reflected a public rejection of that focus.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    Don Richardson on

    My comment is that ‘we the people’ need to find out how to impeach anti-constitutional judges. Remember the flood of lawsuits that were started in the Clinton administration as an attempt to bankrupt the gun industry? We should learn from that. We should start a movement to impeach judges who refuse to follow the constitution, who think they are god and can legislate from the bench.
    The point is not whether or not you support the 2nd amendment. The same situation applies to immigration laws, situations regarding religion and discrimination (gender, race, etc). The government (public) schools were taken over by lefties over the last 50 years and much of the last two generations have been taught that Marxist tyranny is the optimum form of government. It might be extremely difficult to change everyone’s minds, but we could start a movement to get rid of the anti-constitutional judges who put this line of thought into law as ‘precedent’ in the courts.

  2. avatar


    All of these new policies
    announced on Feb. 21, 2017
    depend on existing immigration law.
    The Congress is not being asked
    to pass any immigration reform.

    However, additional money will be needed
    to enlarge the Border Patrol and ICE Police.

    ALL unauthorized foreign nationals
    (except those registered for DACA)
    are subject to deportation.

    However, as a practical matter,
    there is no way to deport 11 million
    unauthorized citizens of other countries
    now settled in the United States.
    As more immigration officers and judges are hired and trained,
    the rate of deportations will gradually rise.
    There will be no mass deportations.
    The likely maximum will probably be
    about one million foreign nationals per year
    returned to their homelands.

    Thus, even tho the official new policy
    does not state any priorities
    concerning which unauthorized foreign nationals
    will be returned to their native lands first,
    in practice some will be returned before others.

    And as the new policies are put into effect,
    adjustments will probably be needed.

    Public safety means that dangerous criminals
    who are also unauthorized foreign nationals
    will be deported first.
    Here is a reasonable order for deportations:

  3. avatar
    George tyrbyter on

    The bias in the mainstream media is so obvious once you are no longer on Liberal Lunatic Island. Take the Washington Post, the “paper of record” in Washington. No articles opposed to unlimited immigration are ever published. Columnists call immigration restrictionists xenophobes routinely. They agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center on its ridiculous classification of hate crimes. They deride Breitbart, which has the temerity to tell the truth about the terrible immigration issues in Europe. I would like to hear, just once, about crimes committed by illegals, about the identity theft that is routinely done by illegals, about drug trafficking, about jobs stolen, about rents raised by overpopulation due to illegals. You never hear anything about this.

  4. avatar

    Trump was right when he said that much of the MSM has become the enemy of the American people. This is why I no longer listen to or care about anything they have to say. Freedom of the press means that those in favor of open borders can do whatever they want on the TV shows, websites and in the newspapers that they control, but this does not mean that Americans like myself are required to listen to or care about anything they have to say.

    • avatar

      The media used to be entities unto themselves years ago. Now they are owned by huge corporations or even individuals like Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Those companies want ever more immigration to keep wages down.

    • avatar
      Don Richardson on

      I would note that “Freedom of the press” does not specifically give them the right to lie to us. They do not have a right to libel, slander or otherwise defame people just because they disagree.