Something being rich in irony does not always mean that an outcome is funny, as with this case, it’s really quite sad.
A man who habitually took to social media to criticize President Donald Trump’s immigration policies was killed earlier this year in August by an illegal immigrant who avoided deportation by hiding in a local “sanctuary church.”
It’s a moment that could qualify for an “I told you so” attitude, but the reality is it’s just plain sad to become a victim of something you entrusted with so much passion.
Sean Buchanan, who was a father of five from Colorado Springs, was on his way home on his motorcycle on Highway 83 when Miguel Ramirez Valiente swerved into his lane and killed him. The immigrant was charged with reckless driving with a revoked license.
Ramirez Valiente was actually featured in a CNN piece earlier in the year, where the article approached his immigration dilemma from a sympathetic perspective.
Speaking from a church podium, he claimed that he from fled gang violence in El Salvador in 2005. He said he wanted to stay in the United States to care for his wife and three children even though his asylum application was denied.
Yet, later on that same year he spoke of the woes regarding his immigration status, he killed Buchanan while he was driving on a suspended license due to him having received a DUI back in 2018. He was also arrested for reckless endangerment in 2011 and domestic violence in 2016. A district attorney dismissed both charges.
A close female acquaintance of Ramirez Valiente, who wished to remain anonymous, had confided in ABC Denver 7 that Valiente is “an alcoholic and an abuser.”
In the years prior to Buchanan’s death, he often openly supported asylum seekers like Ramirez Valiente. On Facebook and Twitter, he shared political musings ingrained in a liberal interpretation of Christianity.
His social media feed was peppered with the likes of the late progressive evangelical writer Rachel Evan Held, even citing in a 2016 tweet that “radical inclusivity” is “the most Christian phrase.” Yet, the United States still has some of the most welcoming immigration laws to date compared to other developed countries.
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) August 8, 2019
At the same time, Buchanan, who raised two adopted sons along with his three daughters, was extremely critical of the president for his views on gender, race and immigration.
In 2016, he decided to share an article on Twitter that compared Trump to Adolf Hitler. Days later, he tweeted that the president’s no-nonsense approach to immigration demonstrated “racism and ignorance.”
The sad irony in all this is that if the immigration laws that Buchanan hated so vehemently were actually followed, he’d be alive today to still be able to complain about them.
Aside from Buchanan claiming that Trump was “racist” earlier this year in February, he also used his Twitter account to condemn proposed restrictions on refugees and to highlight advocacy for more generous asylum policies.
Trump has sought to clampdown on undocumented immigrants like Ramirez Valiente who ignore their deportation orders. Back in July, the president made such immigrants the focus of his national immigration raids, which were widely criticized by liberals.
Joining me in donating to the family of Sean Buchanan. He was killed by an illegal alien reckless driver who had a deportation order but took shelter in a Colorado "church" in January and held a press conference at the time. He has long rap sheet https://t.co/vlaDtwgRmF
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) August 8, 2019
Buchanan had recently landed a new job in Denver and was moving his family to nearby Castle Rock when the fatal collision occurred. His wife, Kathy Buchanan, established a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses while she tries to figure out how to move forward. Since Ramirez Valiente was driving without a license, there is no insurance money that can be claimed.
Kathy Buchanan described how she’s moving on with her life.
“It’s hugging my kids tight; it’s relying on friends. It’s trying to figure out what a new normal looks like when the old normal was so good.”
Our prayers go out to her and her family, but it’s sad to know that this kind of tragedy could’ve been prevented.
But despite the president’s attempt at tightening down the immigration system, there seems to always be someone in his way.
Earlier in the week, Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision blocking the Trump Administration’s policy of denying visas to immigrants who do not have, or cannot afford, health insurance.
It makes one wonder if this was an act made out of real legal importance, or just a move against Trump.
Judge Simon’s decision is a clear-cut example of judicial activism. In order for the judge to make his ruling work, he had to completely disregard one of the oldest immigration laws on the books: the public charge doctrine.
In the plainest of language, the doctrine was set into place to that people who wanted to enter the country couldn’t be seen as someone who’d be a financial burden on society.
Seeing that no hospital can legally turn someone away in need of immediate care and those who can’t afford healthcare have access to state and federal programs at times to cover costs, that could certainly pose financial burdens to the greater populace.
The doctrine first appeared in 1645 within Massachusetts colony. Hundreds of years later with the Immigration Act of 1882, Congress placed the doctrine in federal law, excluding any immigrant “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.”
Flash forward to 1996, congress modified the doctrine to read, “Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa … is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”
In a sense, the judge completely disregarded hundreds of years of immigration laws and practice.
Trump’s policy, which was announced on October 4 this year, embodies the public charge statute flawlessly. Still, Judge Simon ruled that the Trump policy fixated too much on the ability to pay for health care, when the federal statute listed a number of factors that were to be considered in judging whether an alien might become a public charge.
Well, the law simply cites five factors to be considered: age, health, family status, assets/resources/financial status, and education and skills.
The plain reading of the law says that any red flags there could make someone inadmissible, and it also states other factors can be considered too.
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So, Judge Simon decided it was time to rewrite the law in their decision, ruling that, “Immigration officials may not rely on any single reason for concluding that an alien is likely to become a public charge.”
If that wasn’t enough bench-based activism, Judge Simon had another interpretation up his robed sleeve: dismantling the president’s ability to call the final shots on immigration in general.
The overzealous judge decided that a federal law that endows the president with the ability to cease the entry of certain aliens of a class or status from entering the country is just not constitutional with regard to Trump’s healthcare caveat for would-be immigrants.
So how did Judge Simon pull that one off?
Well, he cited a very weak interpretation of the non-delegation doctrine. The non-delegation doctrine is a theory that Congress can’t endow powers to people or bodies, like allowing the president to enact immediate immigration laws or stances. Yet, the non-delegation theory can be torn to shreds if anyone sat in a court and pointed a finger at the FDA or the IRS; shining examples of Congress endowing bodies with power.
US immigration proclamation by Donald Trump requiring prospective immigrants prove health insurance blocked by federal judge – CBS News https://t.co/SXTgCDxlat
— Fitness Figure (@figure_fitness) December 2, 2019
The judge’s interpretations and ruling are likely going to be overturned in the long run, if not in the Court of Appeals, then in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has rarely ever invalidated a law due to a citation of the non-delegation doctrine. The real crux of all this is that a perfectly legal and reasonable policy will be suspended.
But it shouldn’t be surprising that the Obama-era judge was able to pull this off. Anytime the president made any attempt at enforcing reasonable immigration policies, there was a judge ready to strike it down. From the travel ban, to DACA, to building the wall, and now to financial burdens entering the country.
The irony in all this is that an Obama-era policy fined United States citizens for not maintaining health coverage for years, which if left unpaid then you’d be sitting in a jail for tax evasion. Yet now, these cronies will forget they pulled that stunt on their own citizens and now want to welcome in immigrants who don’t have healthcare and will cost us money. Hypocrisy is around every corner.
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