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Rule of Law

Obama’s Lawless, Job-Killing Immigration Policy

September 5th, 2012 - 7:52 am

We won’t be hearing many details from the DNC podium this week about President Obama’s immigration policies. The DNC can’t talk about details because it combines two main characteristics of Obama’s presidency – job-killing policies and lawlessness.

President Obama has granted effective amnesty to 1.7 million illegal aliens under the age of 31.  He has done so deliberately, turning a blind eye to crimes which may have been committed by some of these illegal aliens. And on cue, lawless open-borders advocates have launched a nationwide bus tour titled “No Papers, No Fear” to promote Obama’s policies

The new policy is called deferred action. (See this PJ Rule of Law story about Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s witch hunt against those who blew the whistle to Congress about this policy.)  The new policy borrows from the long-standing policy of “deferred action,” where DHS can exercise its prosecutorial discretion to delay an alien’s removal on a case-by-case basis based on special humanitarian concerns. An example might be an alien who needs urgent medical care.

Obama’s version of deferred action is properly called “no action.” Deferred action is being granted to broad classes of people based on all-encompassing standards, not unique individual circumstances. It applies to an estimated 1.7 million illegal aliens.  If an illegal alien is younger than 31, and says that he satisfies any number of options, such as working toward a high school education, he gets to stay. The rules don’t even force the illegal aliens to actually prove in an immigration court that this is the case in some instances. It is a word-of-mouth, get-out-of-jail-free card when they are picked up by the Border Patrol.

The administration claims the program is designed as a temporary measure to achieve the goals of the DREAM Act, including allowing young people who came here as young children and were good students who obtained a college degree or entered military service to remain in the United States. While this is a laudable goal, the truth is that the Obama program applies much more broadly.

It applies not only to college graduates, not only to high school graduates, not only to those who have passed a high school equivalency test (GED), but to anyone under 31 who is even enrolled in a GED program. Obviously, an illegal immigrant could enroll in a GED class just to get this new immigration status.

The policy also takes jobs from 22 million unemployed Americans.  It vastly expands the number of immigrants who can work legally in the United States.  Deferred action, which the administration claims its program is authorized by, is listed as a situation by regulations where aliens can get work authorization in the United States if they can show “economic necessity,” which basically means living at or below the poverty line. Yet under  Obama’s plan, applicants are required to apply for work authorization at the same time they apply for the new program.  Thus, illegal immigrants will be given work authorization while they get deferred status.

Contrary to what some say, many of the 22 million unemployed Americans would work in the jobs taken by the non-Americans.

While tens of thousands seek to come to American through the legal process, only aliens who are in the United States illegally are eligible for Obama’s new policy.  If an immigrant meets all of the criteria, such as coming to the United States before age 16, but was in legal status, he cannot benefit from the program.  Thus, the program rewards illegal aliens but punishes those who come to the United States legally. It is another example of rewarding illegal immigration at the expense of legal immigration. Once again, Obama has taken the side of the lawless at the expense of the law abiding.

Not only does the program reward lawless behavior, the program itself is lawless.

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