Mad About Migrant Flights? Open-Border Liberals Should Look in Mirror To See Who’s Really Breaking the Law

COMMENTARY Immigration

Mad About Migrant Flights? Open-Border Liberals Should Look in Mirror To See Who’s Really Breaking the Law

Sep 20, 2022 3 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Tom Homan

Visiting Fellow, Border Security and Immigration Center

Tom Homan, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
A group of migrants are processed by Texas law enforcement after illegally crossing into Eagle Pass, Texas U.S. from Mexico on Tuesday July 26, 2022. Allison Dinner / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott have single-handedly exposed the left’s hypocrisy on border security and illegal immigration.

Title 8 makes harboring illegal aliens a federal crime, and this is where sanctuary cities’ enticement of illegal aliens runs into another major problem.

The left’s open-borders policies are cruel and inhumane. They’re causing record numbers of migrant deaths and assaults. They’re enriching the cartels.

Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott have done the American people a huge favor.

With their chartered flights and buses carrying illegal aliens to elite coastal enclaves like Martha’s Vineyard and liberal sanctuary cities like New York City and Chicago, they have single-handedly exposed the left’s hypocrisy on border security and illegal immigration.

The left’s furious, yet impotent, backlash to these moves has been a textbook example of hyperbole meant to inflame and divide rather than deal with a historic border crisis.

Bu California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reaction probably takes the cake. He called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate DeSantis and Abbott for, get this, "kidnapping."

"I urge U.S. DOJ to investigate whether the alleged fraudulent inducement would support charges of kidnapping under relevant state laws," Newsom wrote.

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Other open-borders advocates have echoed similar claims. On MSNBC, two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused Texas and Florida of "literally human trafficking." 

These claims are false. Numerous journalists, Fox’s Bill Melugin among them, have reported that these illegal aliens are voluntarily accepting these travel opportunities, and are often enthusiastic about traveling further into the interior, away from the border.

But, more importantly, the radical open-borders crowd should look in the mirror before accusing patriots like DeSantis and Abbott. Because a careful reading of Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Section 1324, shows that if anyone is violating federal law when it comes to illegal immigration, it’s them. 

Consider first Title 8’s very clear language making it a federal felony offense "for any person who encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law."

Encouraging and inducing illegal immigration is exactly what the federal government has done since President Biden took office. But let’s go back even earlier.

Sanctuary cities have been in operation across this country for years. Mayors in cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have openly declared that not only will illegal aliens be protected from detention and deportation, but also receive taxpayer-funded benefits, including access to local schools, social welfare programs and even driver’s licenses.

Indeed, Newsom himself signed legislation last year that would provide $1,000 stimulus checks to illegal aliens residing in California, and expand the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, to them, as well.

Someone care to explain how these generous benefits and promises don’t amount to inducement or encouragement?

But that’s not all. Title 8 also makes harboring illegal aliens a federal crime, and this is where sanctuary cities’ enticement of illegal aliens runs into another major problem.

The statute "makes it an offense for any person who—knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation." This is also a federal felony offense. 

This is precisely what sanctuary cities do on a daily basis. These jurisdictions do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That means if a person is in the United States illegally, and commits a serious crime and is currently sitting in a jail cell in a sanctuary city, local law enforcement does not contact ICE to let them know they are holding a criminal illegal alien.

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In most cases, ICE may know that the illegal alien is in the jail based upon his or her fingerprints having been sent to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). 

These jurisdictions are barred from working with ICE. They don’t even allow ICE agents into the taxpayer-funded jail to talk to or engage with an illegal alien who is here in violation of federal law.  

The end result is that criminal illegal aliens in these cities, even those accused of horrific crimes, are protected from deportation, as city leaders stiff-arm ICE and keep them from doing their jobs. That is the definition of "harboring" an illegal alien.

Sanctuary policies are a sanctuary for criminals only. They are nightmare for the tax-paying citizen—and those who have come to our country legally. 

The left’s open-borders policies are cruel and inhumane. They’re causing record numbers of migrant deaths and assaults. They’re enriching the cartels and human traffickers.

They’re also an affront to law and order. Maybe the open-borders crowd should crack open the books before making any more ill-advised claims about law-breaking.

This piece originally appeared in Fox News