Watch CBS News

Immigration Studies Legal Analyst Says President Is Misinterpreting Law

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Holy Family Institute in Emsworth is taking in 20 children, all under the age of 12, and housing them until they can go before an immigration judge. The surrounding community disagrees with the church's choice and isn't ready to have illegal immigrants living among them.

Since October, nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the southern border in hopes of finding a better life in America. The swarm of children has taken over the military facilities and required the government to find other locations to keep the children.

Sister Linda Yankoski, at Holy Family, says each child deserves a fair hearing.

"We do think this is something the United States should do, and we're glad to be a part of that," she said.

But John Feere is the legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies where they focus their concern on educating the community on the consequences of legal and illegal immigrants coming into America.

Feere says he believes that President Obama as been misinterpreting the 2008 law, and by doing so, illegal immigrants have flooded into the country.

Feere explains the 2008 law was put in place for the victims of human trafficking. Those people were forced into labor they did not willingly choose, but these illegal immigrants have chosen to illegally come into the country, knowing that they were violating the law.

He continues that this law was meant to rescue the victims, capture the criminals and shut down the organizations. Then, those victims would be entitled to certain benefits and a type of status to stay in the United States instead of being deported.

"When it comes to smuggling, these are people who are, in many ways, criminals themselves because they're a part of this criminal process of helping the smuggling come along," said Feere. "And what we're basically doing right now is providing benefits, that are supposed to go to victims, to people who are actually the culprits of the smuggling operation."

John Feere, Legal Policy Analyst, Center for Immigration Studies

"Run letters" as Feere describes are the court letters sent out to the immigrants explaining to them that they must face their day in court and plead their case before they can be a legal citizen. They are called "run letters," he says, because as soon as the immigrants receive them, they'll disappear and never appear in court.

Feere says that the last three speeches President Obama has given on immigration have specifically expressed that all immigrants in the country should be made citizens. Even if there is no law passed to make this legal, Feere says the president will take his own action to make sure that this happens for all immigrants.

The proposed legalization of immigrants explains that only immigrants that have been here since 2007 will be allowed to become legal citizens. But since President Obama seems to have decreased his deportation of U.A.C.'s, unaccompanied children, more minors are taking the risk and coming into the country.

"The other issue is this administration choosing to not enforce immigration laws with any seriousness since the administration started and took office, January 20th of 2009," said Feere. "It's gotten to a point now where just a couple months ago, President Obama's former I.F. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer) director told the LA Times, 'If you are a run of the mill immigrant here illegally your odds of getting deported are close to zero.' They admit this, they know it's the case. People who are thinking of coming here are seeing that their family members and neighbors are not being returned home and so it encourages them to come here."

Holy Family Institute Hosting Child Refugees From Central America (7/16/15)
More From NewsRadio 1020 KDKA
Like NewsRadio 1020 KDKA On Facebook
Follow NewsRadio 1020 KDKA On Twitter

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.