On Sunday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the erstwhile pro-gun rights moderate Upstate New Yorker who is now barely registering in the polls in her quixotic quest to secure the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, decided to once again create headlines to appease the hard-left flank of the Democratic Party and thereby try to increase her support.

Her solution: Vow that, as president of the United States, she would not enforce our immigration laws and would, instead, bluntly ignore statute and implement mass catch-and-release for all illegal aliens attempting to infringe upon our sovereignty.

The Washington Times reports:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Sunday she will not have asylum seekers and those seeking refuge in the United States held in detention facilities if she is elected president.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate rejected the push by some GOP lawmakers to pass legislation to allow the Trump administration to hold families for a longer period of time to help combat the increasing flow of migrants across the southern border.

Under current policy, children can only be held in detention for 20 days.

“As president of the United States, I wouldn’t use the detention system at all,” the New York Democrat told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Even more glaringly, Gillibrand also frankly conceded that, instead of being detained, illegal aliens under her administration would all abscond and “go into the community” instead. Perhaps Gillibrand is unaware that, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s final 2018 report, a whopping 43% of all federal offenses last year were committed by non-citizens. And every crime committed by an illegal alien is, by very definition, eminently preventable.

What Gillibrand proposes is also flatly contrary to extant, on-the-books U.S. statutory law. Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review explained last month, in the context of immigrants who arrive at our border and plead asylum, that mandatory detention is the law of the land:

The only caveat is that those rejected from a credible fear claim can ask for review by an immigration judge of the actual denial of credible fear. But statute mandates that this be done ideally within 24 hours and at most within 7 days. Also, they SHALL be detained during that week [8 U.S. Code § 1225(B)(iii)(IV)] and cannot be released. The sole discretion for guidance in dealing with initial interviews and appeals is up to the DHS secretary and the attorney general. They have the power to shut this down. Beyond that, U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(C) states, “[t]he Attorney General may by regulation establish additional limitations and conditions, consistent with this section, under which an alien shall be ineligible for asylum under paragraph (1).”

Thereafter, they must be deported without any access to the courts. The only petition they can make to the court is that they are being removed without an official expedited removal order, they got the wrong man, or the deportee is in fact a citizen.

I explained similarly in a Daily Wire op-ed last month about the much-ballyhooed, misbegotten Flores consent decree:

The Flores consent decree was likely itself illegal, insofar as it undermined the clear statutory text of 8 U.S.C. §  1225(b)(B)(iii)(IV): “Any alien subject to the [asylum interview] procedures under this clause shall be detained pending a final determination of credible fear of persecution and, if found not to have such a fear, until removed.” Note that there is no “without unnecessary delay” language in the statute — rather, the statutory text merely stipulates that aliens who seek asylum at the border “shall be detained” (emphasis added). As the statute sub-heading reads verbatim, this amounts to “mandatory detention.” No room for ambiguity there!

This is hardly the first time that Gillibrand, as a nascent presidential candidate, has attempted to appease far-left activists within the Democratic Party. As The Daily Wire reported last week, Gillibrand recently took the farcical step of condemning pro-life laws as “against Christian faith.”

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