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Obama Considering Immigration Moves to Bypass Congress?

3 years ago
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The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services is considering ways to achieve aspects of the White House plan for immigration reform -- including giving some illegals permanent-resident status -- without the approval of Congress, ProPublica reports. Congress appears unlikely to act on the politically sensitive issue this year, meaning the unresolved issue could spill into fall midterm election campaigns.

USCIS, a part of the Obama administration, outlines the ideas in a draft memo that includes the possibility of issuing green cards to tens of thousands who entered the country illegally. "In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations," the memo advises.
Illegal immigration in Arizona
It was prepared by senior aides for CIS Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas and made public by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who last month asked President Obama for assurances that rumors of a reprieve for illegal immigrants were unfounded. "This memo gives credence to our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back-door amnesty plan," Grassley told ProPublica, a non-profit investigative team.

Word of the draft memo comes as debate rages over a new Arizona law cracking down in illegal immigration, which took effect Thursday -- albeit stripped of its most controversial elements by a federal court ruling.

USCIS spokesman Christopher Bentley said the agency would not comment on what he described as an internal memo that "should not equated with official action or policy" or mistaken "for final decisions." To be clear, he said Thursday night in an e-mail to ProPublica, the Obama administration "will not grant deferred action (delayed deportation) or humanitarian parole to the nation's entire illegal immigrant population." Bentley said the agency still thinks that "comprehensive bipartisan legislation, coupled with smart, effective enforcement, is the only solution to our nation's immigration challenges."


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47 Comments

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ellingt5

Is anyone surprised? What happened to the 3 branches of government and checks and balances? This administration acts like they were elected King. Enough already!

July 31 2010 at 8:11 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
josephmsanderson

Rule of law, anyone? An executive agency has no power other than the power given it by the Constitution or Congress. USCIS has no legal power to issue permanent residency other than that given it by the law, which specifically limits both the numbers of green cards and the criteria for receiving them. The law as it stands absolutely excludes those who have broken US immigration law from receiving even tourist visas, let alone immigrant visas. Any attempt at amnesty by executive fiat would be struck down immediately by any court in its right mind as patently unlawful.

July 31 2010 at 8:10 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to josephmsanderson's comment
ellingt5

I sure hope so!

July 31 2010 at 8:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
leblancaj

How grossly, grossly unfair to all those whose legal paperwork is backlogged, and who wait patiently for legal permission to enter the country to live and work here. Their places will be usurped by those who are illegally present in the country and whose illegal acts have gotten them the ability to live and work here.

July 30 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
sysaphus71

Is he planning on circumventing the congress...I'm sure of it and the public once again while he's at it...what next a Chavez style amendment to be king of the world.
If he tries to out flank the other branches of government with this.....this WILL LEAD to a government crisis....This will make the second half of his term totally consumed by the after effects of this move.....And the rest of the world will laugh and become even more dangerous.
Good job Democrats ...got any more candidates you can believe in?

July 30 2010 at 9:03 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
Delbert

To zanytothemaxx, I believe Mexico invited settlement of its Texas territory. After U.S. citizens started to outnumber Mexicans the government got worried. Then it all hit the fan. The U.S. government didn't take Texas from Mexico, but settlers did. Texas was an indepentent country when it joined the union years later. That's why it's so much larger than most other states.

July 30 2010 at 8:27 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

I am still waiting for this president and Dem Congress to explain how allowing millions of illegals to compete for mainstream jobs we do not even have enough of for our own citizens is a good idea with unemployment hovering near 10% and people losing homes and struggling to feed their families... crickets chirping...

July 30 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply
KATHI AND JOHN

If they can't get jobs ..they will go back....simple

July 30 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KATHI AND JOHN's comment
CONWAYS

No they won't. They'll consume public resources until the Labor Market improves, and then go to work illegally. This is what they've done for decades.

July 30 2010 at 6:32 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
B. J. R. Collins

We aquired that territory either by paying other European countries for it, or by war. America was started by European conquest - Mexico was started the same way. Survival of the fittest. Of course this country was built on immigrants, and every race and nationality had to take a beating along the way; discrimination, violence, these are what each new wave of immigrants had to endure. The illegal migrants crossed a border line and expect to be treated as citizens just because they've been here so long without being caught. You don't hide if you know you're in the right. Today one is either blessed by birth or certified through proper legal channels the rights of citizenship. Amnesty is for severe cases, and on a case-by-case basis - not wholesale to 12 million people flouting the laws they claim they will obey as citizens.

July 30 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to B. J. R. Collins's comment
wbearl

Mexico let people from all over settle in Northern Mexico (Texas) and California. Mexico was looking for settlers to populate and develop the Northern parts of their country. They required all settlers to convert to Catholic and swear allegence to Mexico City. Mexico City then started over taxing and makin life hard for the people and they revolted. At the Alamo there were Latinos fighting right next to Anglos. The COUNTRY of Texas petitioned the US for acceptence as a state years after the revolution. In California, the original Californians (Latinos) were as happy to get rid of Mexico City as were the anglos. Mexico City was making laws that hurt the Californians and taxing them to death. It is the present day US Latinos who think Mexico is so great, not their fore fathers. I suggest people do a little historical research before jumping on the poor Mexico Band Wagon.

July 31 2010 at 7:49 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
gregwanat

No Amnesty, Follow the rules AS MILLIONS have DONE for many years. Do it Legally,
OR GO HOME!

July 30 2010 at 6:02 PM Report abuse +24 rate up rate down Reply
eyeforeye42

Time to fine employers of illegals big time (even jail too). Need only make a few examples like the record industry did with piracy to make employers gun shy and real careful about employing illegals Likewise anyone caught with a false identification, no hearing, just instant deportation marking them as instant felons if they return.

July 30 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply

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