Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) articulated a radical vision of immigration law this weekend on Telemundo. The House Minority leader said she is lobbying the administration to halt all deportations for individuals whose only offense is "lacking sufficient documentation":
NANCY PELOSI: Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation.
The implications of reducing immigration law violations to secondary offenses are enormous, the National Review's Mark Krikorian writes:
In the immigration context, that means the administration position is that immigration law should only be applied to illegal aliens who have committed some other violation of a "real" law — murder, rape, drug-dealing, etc. It’s like going after Al Capone for not paying his taxes, but ignoring all tax cheats who aren’t mafiosi.
The implications are huge, and not limited to the tenure of this administration, since this is now the consensus Democratic party position. It means the substance of immigration legislation is irrelevant; John Boehner and Paul Ryan can stuff a million enforcement provisions into an amnesty bill and it’s all just for show if being an illegal alien is no longer a reason to be removed from the country. With Democrats in charge of the Senate and the White House there is simply no basis for constructive immigration policymaking. Regardless of your views on amnesty or the level and makeup of future immigration, no assurance made by congressional Democrats or the administration regarding enforcement of new immigration laws can be believed. In this environment, any House Republican attempting to engage with Democrats on immigration is either a fool or a collaborator.