A few articles back, this space discussed at length the matter of illegal immigration. Part of that discussion focused on the aspect of international law that a country has inviolate borders and therefore controls who does and does not enter the country through specific procedures of its own choosing. A special category of people seeking to enter a country is that of refugees who are people forced to leave their home country due to circumstances usually being war, persecution, or natural disaster. In dealing with refugees, countries typically expedite or set aside the normal procedures for entry due to the extreme conditions driving them out.
To be sure, some of this can be political in nature such as the Clinton era policy of “wet foot dry foot” that allowed Cuban refugees who reached American soil to remain in the United States and attain full citizenship. The name coming from the typical route of Cubans coming here by sea, the wet foot, and reaching US soil, the dry foot. This was done in continuance of actions against Cuba that began during the Cold War after the communist regime of Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and set about brutally repressing the Cuban people. There were similar refugee programs in place for other Soviet allies, again more of a political nature though the humanitarian case was easy to make given the appalling conditions of communist countries.
Regardless of whether a refugee policy is humanitarian or political, it is an immigration policy controlled by the policy maker not an absolute right or guarantee. This was on display in full force when former President Obama, with barely a week remaining in his administration, ended the wet foot dry foot policy. Abruptly. Without warning. Not only were Cubans on their way to the US affected by the change, but those who arrived here for visits were not just barred but instead placed in detention centers. All of this directed by a President literally on his way out the Oval Office door.
The hue and cry over it? Limited mostly to Cubans in the Miami area and conservatives who still oppose the Castro regime now headed by Fidel Castro’s brother Raul who continues his brother’s repressive and cruel policies. No one including any states filed suit. The media didn’t go non-stop coverage on it. No Soros-funded rent-a-mobs descended on airports to protest.
There are many reasons for the lack of response, but the main one is because the policy maker for refugees and anyone else coming to the United States is the President of the United States. It is not Congress and certainly not the judiciary. When the President was Barack Hussein Obama, the media and the left were silent because they supported him. Now that the President is Donald J. Trump, the media and the left are on the attack.
Unintentionally, the left is providing the best refutation of the 9th Circuit Court’s egregious overreach into immigration policy making, and the best acknowledgment that it is the President of the United States, and only the President of the United States, who makes immigration policy.