Are Deportations to Haiti Merely Flights of Fancy?



As President Joe Biden begins to deport Haitian migrants out of Texas, will he take the next logical step and defend a federal law that makes it a felony for removed aliens to return to the U.S.?

Before the mass incursion hit Del Rio, a federal district judge in Nevada struck down a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes re-entry to the U.S. after deportation a felony offense. According to Judge Miranda Du, a Barack Obama appointee, that section of law violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

The decision was hailed by open-borders enthusiasts like Julian Castro. Obama’s former secretary of Housing and Urban Development asserted that the law “has an incredibly racist history,” and tweeted, “I doubt the Biden DOJ [Department of Justice] will want to defend it in the appellate court.”

But failing to challenge Judge Du’s ruling will only raise questions about the seriousness and efficacy of Biden’s airlifts out of Texas. If the White House were truly committed to removing illegal aliens, and keeping them out, wouldn’t it want the penalties for returning to remain in force?

The question is somewhat rhetorical, given Team Biden’s dismal enforcement record. Earlier this month, DOJ lawyers persuaded an appellate panel to uphold narrow and selective criteria that have curbed deportations. February-July removals fell 33 percent from the same period last year, while the Border Patrol let 50,000 illegal aliens into the country without even handing them notices to appear in immigration court. It all makes this summer’s handful of “fast-track” deportation flights to Central America pale into insignificance.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sounded unequivocal this week when he declared: “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned.” But that was countered by other U.S. officials who reported that Haitians are being released on a “very, very large scale.” The figure is said to reach into the thousands.

This administration’s tough talk rings hollow because it has created any number of loopholes and exclusions to limit or altogether halt deportations. As Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies noted, deportations are possible unless

  • You bring a kid with you,
  • You say you’re under 18,
  • Your smuggler provides you with a minimally believable story to pass a credible fear interview,
  • You get into the interior U.S. where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rarely deports,
  • You claim ‘sanctuary’ in a church,
  • You get front-page media coverage.

Is it any wonder that migrants keep coming in droves?

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.